Packing Your Hospital Bag- A Little Help from Push Pack

Packing your hospital bag can be really difficult. After all, pregnancy brain is totally real and you don’t want to forget a thing when you’ll be away from home for a few days. There are so many other important things to do and think about before baby’s big arrival. When packing your bags, Push Pack has you covered!

 

Push Pack is a pre-packed essentials bag perfectly created for your maternity stay when giving birth to your new baby. The Push Pack bag includes shampoo, conditioner, body wash, facial soap, lotion, make-up remover wipe, nipple cream, toothbrush & toothpaste, lip balm, deodorant wipes, razor & shave cream, comb & hair band, baby bottom balm, nail file, breast pads, maxi pads, disposable underwear, note pad, lollypops, snacks, mints, thank you cards & pen, and a “sticky-belly” baby milestone sticker. You can choose between three color bags: pink, blue, or green.

My Experience:

I had a Push Pack when I delivered Jackson and it made packing my bag SO easy! I was afraid of going into labor and then forgetting something important like my toothbrush or deodorant. I was able to pack my bag and the baby’s bag to leave by the door with nothing else to pack! When I went to the hospital, it was so handy to have! I remember using the lip balm in between contractions and sneaking a lollipop or mints in between my nurse coming in! 😉 In my opinion, it’s a must-have for your hospital bag and would make a fantastic baby shower gift!

 

Want a Push Pack for yourself or a friend? Use the code FLUFFBUM for 10% and enter in the giveaway below!

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The Truth about Motherhood

 

When you become pregnant, the “truth” about motherhood is almost hidden from you. Been there, done that moms don’t want to scare you with what is about to come.

You’ll never get to pee alone. I don’t care if your child is 5 days old or 5 years old. Chances are, you’ll never use the bathroom alone again. And if you try to, that’s when they’ll start getting into stuff (especially during the toddler phase) and you’ll regret not taking them with you in the first place.

You’ll survive on coffee. And wine. There are nights that you can count the hours of sleep you got on one hand. You’ll be exhausted. Coffee will be your best friend. And then when you’ve had a rough day- wine will be necessary to make it to bedtime. Might as well buy stock on both after you get that positive pregnancy test! 😉

Hello internet friends. Hanging out with friends with kids can be super hard. I love my Target dates and going to ChickFilA with other moms, but in all honesty, I get the most interaction from my internet friends. These moms are up breastfeeding when I am, they’re pulling out their hair midday just like me, and they crave adult interaction as much as I do. Sometimes the best mom friends you’ll have, are friends you’ve never actually met in person.

You’ll catch vomit in your hands, at least once. This is something that you never imagine will actually happen…. But it will. I can almost guarantee it! And if it isn’t your hands catching the vomit, it’ll be your hair. Your shirt. Your mouth. Yep- the real truth.

Prepare for the newborn pee/poop. On you. If you have a baby boy, you probably know this is coming. But if you’re having a girl- you can get peed or pooped on too! Just a word of advice: be quick. And if you plan on changing them in your bed at night, have towels nearby to throw over the mess so you can go back to sleep. Change those sheets in the morning! 😉

Babies get older…. And they turn into kids. I mean, I know we all know this will eventually happen. But I know I wasn’t really prepared for this. Give me a newborn or a toddler and I’ll rock that kind of motherhood! Give me a school-age kid with homework and preteen emotions at 6 years old- SEND HELP. Kids do not get easier as they get older. They get more independent, sure. But easier, oh heck no.

 

Motherhood is not for the weak. But let’s be honest- women are pretty badass so we get through it just fine. With wine. And cookie dough. What’s a “truth” about motherhood that comes to your mind?

 

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Pink Lemonade Shop’s Love the SKIN You’re In #Selfcare Giveaway!

Enter to win $300 in personal care products just for YOU!

Self care is important and often overlooked and this ‘Love the Skin You’re In’ Giveaway features all the products you need to treat yourself! Pink Lemonade Shop has partnered with some amazing brands and businesses to highlight some of their amazing self care products. These products will make you feel pampered, pretty, healthy, cozy, safe and feisty!

So who are these amazing sponsors and what are their prizes?

Austin Tie Dye Co-

Creator of gorgeous hand-dyed super soft swaddles, blankets and clothing, Austin Tie Dye Co has contributed (1) 47×66 Hand-Dyed Buttery Soft Adult Pastel Blanket Valued at $66

The Amber Monkey

Baltic Amber, Gemstone and Hazelwood Jewelry for adults and children that will soothe and relieve ailments and discomfort naturally and they’re stylish too! The Amber Monkey has contributed (1) 17-18 Hazelwood & Turquoise Necklace Valued at $35.99

Eclipse Sun

Eclipse is the manufacturer of 50+ UPF Sun Sleeves, Bonnets, Gloves and Sun Shawls. Eclipse products are perfect for active, outdoor families who want immediate sun protection without having to apply sunscreen. Eclipse has contributed a NEW 50+ UPS Sun Shawl Valued at $35

Elevated Body Care

Elevated by Taylor’s, the creators of Balm Baby, is a line with self care in mind. Natural, non-toxic and cruelty-free, these Elevated products will leave you feeling elevated to say the least! Taylor’s/Elevated has contributed (1) Lovers Lube Valued at $17.99, (1) Lovers Kit Valued at $19.99 and (1) Goddess Foreplay in a Bottle Valued at $29.99

Eco Sprout Soap

Eco Sprout is a family owned business based out of Arizona that has your family’s health and well-being in mind. Eco Sprout has contributed two of their most popular products, (1) 24/48 Bag of their Laundry Powder Valued at $7.95 and (1) The Coconut Stick Valued at $10.95

Pink Lemonade Shop

If you haven’t given Pink Lemonade Shop’s cloth pads a try then this is your chance! Cloth pads are more comfortable, more absorbent, non-toxic and a money-saving alternative to disposable menstrual pads. Pink Lemonade Shop has contributed (1) Set of FOUR Minky Pads in a variety of sizes, colors and prints Valued at $44

Lularoe by Sue Nichols

Sue Nichols, the owner of Pink Lemonade Shop is also a successful Lularoe Consultant! Sue has contributed (1) Pair of Buttery Soft (OS) or (TC) Mystery Leggings Valued at $25

The Giveaway

This prize pack is valued at approximately $300. This contest is open to the USA & Canada. Contest is open 2/1-2/10/17. Winner’s entries will be verified and the winner will be notified by email. Winner will have 7 days to claim their prize. Prizes will ship separately from each sponsor and delivery times may vary.

Enter to win using the Rafflecopter entry form below. Feel free to complete as many or as few entry methods as you’d like.​<​/p><​p> ​<​/p><​p> ​<​/p><​p> ​


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4 Simple Reasons We Eat Dinner Together 


You could say we’re “old fashioned” when it comes to dinnertime. A majority of our dinners are homemade and we eat together at the dining room table every night. (Sure, there’s an occasional “eat wherever you want” but it’s few and far between.) Here are 4 reasons we eat dinner together as a family:


Healthier Meals.

I’m sure this isn’t the biggest reason why we eat dinner as a family- but as a family of 5 on a budget, it helps. Homemade meals are much healthier than buying take-out regularly. Sure, there are nights that we buy take-out AND eat together but it’s still few and far between. Plus: Healthier foods equal healthier kids.

 

Communication.

Now that the older two kids are in school, sometimes our dinnertime is the only time we can really sit down and talk about our day. I love listening about what’s going on at school and what they’re learning. They always have the best stories to tell us and we usually end up laughing more than eating! 
 

Unplug for 20 minutes.

My husband and I have a rule- no phones at the table. If someone calls us, texts, or emails us… they just have to wait until we’re done. This time is 100% for us as a family. We want zero interruptions in our time together. 
 

Teach manners.

Table manners are important to us too. We started teaching them to the girls pretty early. Some family members think we’re just mean- but I’m pretty proud to be raising little ladies that have good table manners. How can you teach good table manners when your kids aren’t eating at the table? 
Do you make it a point to have a meal with your family at the table regularly? What’s your biggest reason? Comment below and let’s talk about it! 🙂  

 

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Why I Love Target- The #MomLife Addiction

It’s true- I’m addicted to Target. You’ll find me browsing around the store maybe two or three times a week. Why? Well- Because it’s the magical land of the basic stay-at-home-mom. You might think I’m joking. But this is serious. I really do love Target.

10 reasons we’re all a little (or a lot) addicted to Target:

It’s basically the SAHM meeting ground. I meet up with a couple other moms for “Target dates” a few times a week. Other than hanging out with my husband after he comes home from work, this is sometimes my only other form of adult interaction.

Starbucks. I basically function on caffeine at this point. With three kids, I’m not allowed to sleep through the night. One of them is always waking me up. Starbucks in the store makes it much more worth it for me to go to Target. Plus- I earn free Starbucks because of the Starbucks rewards program!

The dollar section. Well, not everything a dollar anymore. All the items in Bullseye’s Playground is between $1 and $5. It’s super rare that I don’t have at least one product from that area. You can find holiday décor, arts and crafts, party supplies, gift wrap, toys for kids, candy. So much to choose from!!!

Baby Nap. Jackson gets some of his best naps during our Target trips. He usually ends up driving me crazy in the cart so he ends up in a baby carrier on my back. Within a few minutes, he falls asleep. Of course, this doesn’t happen every time. But it’s still a perk when it does! 😉

Cartwheel. If you haven’t heard of the Cartwheel app, then you’re seriously missing out. You can find a lot of instant coupons on your phone in this app. I save a good amount of money using it!

The atmosphere. I swear they have to be pumping something into the air in Target. It almost makes me instantly happy walking through those doors. It could be because I’m a shopaholic. Or it could be the air. Ehhhh. Whichever it is, it’s fine for me.

Clearance. Let’s be honest- Target makes it super easy to find clearance items. Again, I usually end up with at least one clearance item in my cart. I’ve found some pretty good deals through the years!

Price matching. Did you know that Target will price match? Yep. I went to purchase a new cup for Jackson and it was $3 cheaper on Amazon prime. I really didn’t want to wait 2 days for the cup so I went to customer service. They price matched it quickly and easily! I got the Amazon Prime price but that day. Oh and I got to use the next reason I love Target…..

RED Card. My RED card makes me so happy. It’s a debit card attached to my bank account. Every time I use it, I automatically get 5% off. I can also use it to get free shipping with that 5% discount on target.com. Sure, 5% doesn’t sound like a whole lot…. but using it with the Cartwheel app, printable coupons on their site, manufacturer coupons, clearance- all that savings really adds up!!!!

Awesome Stuff! You see that amazing sweatshirt and giant coffee mug in the picture above? Yeah. Those are Target purchases. Basically the best coffee mug and sweatshirt I’ve ever purchased. I love Target. <3

 

 

BONUS. I’m raising little Target lovers as well. Baileigh loves Target just as much as I do. I see this as both a good thing…. and a problem. 😉 She asks me to take her to Target multiple times a week. Thank goodness she goes to school through the week so she only goes once. Because she talks me into things like little hats:

 

 

 

*This is not a Sponsored post. At all. I received no compensation for posting how much I love shopping at Target. However, there are some affiliate links throughout the post to help make a tad bit of $$$$ to keep this website going.*

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MommyCon VIP Sessions- A Community Post

I have not personally attended any of the MommyCon VIP sessions- although I have heard many great things about them! VIP Sessions take place the day before the event, so on a Friday, and they are small seminars with some amazing people. Because I can’t personally tell you about my experience and why they’re so great- I asked some of my blogger friends to help with this post! 🙂

Want to purchase a VIP upgrade? VIP sessions are typically announced 30 days before your city’s event.

** Still need to buy your MommyCon ticket? Remember to use the code FLUFFBUM17 for a $5 discount! Please not that this code is not valid on VIP ticket upgrades. **

 

Cotton Babies VIP Session

I attended the Jen’s VIP session at MommyCon OC 2015. It was a small circle of about 15-20 women with babies having freeplay in the middle of the circle. We had light snacks and drinks and it felt very inviting. Jen had everyone introduce themselves and share what we wanted to get out of the session. We were able to ask questions and it never felt rushed it was very natural like a group of friends. Xza was in and out of the session visiting too. We each got a tote from catbird baby, and inside was a bum genius diaper, wet bag, wipe spray, maxaloon style pants, and several samples of other cloth diaper safe products. The products we received were well over he $40 session price, the inspirational message from Jen was worth more as well. I’m still friends with some of the moms I met there 2 years later.

– Hannah

 

Mommy-con Atlanta 2016 was my second mommy-con experience and my first time going all the way and doing a VIP session as well as breakfast with Jen before my VIP session. My sister in law and best friend took the plunge with me as my twins and her son are 10 days apart and we share many parenting values. She had also been by my side during our first mommy-con in 2015!
Bright and early on Friday morning I picked her and my nephew up and we drove to the hotel that the breakfast was scheduled at. When we arrived Jen and Jimmy were already seated and there was coffee ( a twin moms lifeline 😂) ready to drink! We were joined by a few other moms including both Dona from black women do cloth diaper and Deja from sunshine fabric and designs. We had an excellent conversation about race and equality in the diaper industry over an amazing breakfast. We talked until it was time to head over to the convention center for the first VIP session of the day With Jen!
When we got to the convention center I had a good idea of the layout as I had been there before so we knew where to park and walked right in. The mommycon shoppe and the tekhni booth were both open allowing us first pick at all the merchandise as well as the tekhni exclusive which was amazing! We got there about 30 minutes before our VIP session was set to begin so we mingled with eachother as our kids played with the amazing variety of toys set out for them. I will admit I was attempting to wrap one twin when the other ran through my legs and toward the door but was thankfully quickly caught by another mom and returned to me.
I’m not going to lie I attended Jen’s session purely because I wanted to see her not because I have any interest in running my own business. The session was however amazingly interesting and informative! My twins were pretty interested in the toys which was nice so I even got to listen to her talk without one of them yelling in my ear. We also got some amazing swag in our bag (which was it’s self super cute) including a cloth diaper and wet bag, doodle pants, mother love diaper and thrush cream, a tekhni head wrap, and other fun goodies from mom owned businesses! I’m so glad I chose to do a mommy con VIP session it added so much to my weekend!!!!

– Colleen Walker Sondergaard

 

The first VIP session I attended was hosted by Jennifer Labit the creator of Cotton Babies who shared insight into her life journey. She spoke openly about how she transitioned from a mother struggling to balance the home budget, highlighting how her struggle was the catalist into becoming an entrepreneur and founder of a successful business. Her honesty was refreshing and encouraging. We all struggle and fall; hearing how the most difficult times of her life.

– Patricia @ Dr Mommy Rx

 

Pool Party

At the Baby Safe Pool Party with Mat York from that That Dad Mat we were treated to a full table of Babyganics goodies and a bag absolutely stuffed with poolside treats including a Beachfront Baby ring sling. Mat helped everyone get comfortable with the slings. Unfortunately we were inside because of Hurricane Hermine. It was a good thing the session was hosted by Mat because it was the most fun pool-less pool party ever!

– Alexandria Lawrence @ Naturally Made with Love

 

Feed the Baby

The Feed the Baby VIP with The Leaky Boob’s Jessica Martin-Weber was something I’ll never forget. We had a rap session about how not every experience is a “rainbow farting unicorn one”. The swag bag for this session had some seriously cool gadgets. Gootensils, and EZPZ mat, Bitsizers, a donut rattle from Pebblechild, a gift voucher for Undercover Mama, a Re-play set, a reusable squeeze pouch… and more! A lot of these have become regular daily use items for us, that I can’t imagine our life without.

– Alexandria Lawrence @ Naturally Made with Love

Babywearing

Laura Brown from Ergo and Angelique Geehan of Beco gave us some helpful insights at Babywearing VIP. I got an Ergobaby organic SSC (which is still my favorite carrier to date!) in my swag bag. After a run down on the carriers with how to-s and safety features we played two rounds of a game like heads up. All of the cards had terms used during the session. What an exciting way to use the knowledge we gained from our fun instructors!

– Alexandria Lawrence @ Naturally Made with Love

 

The second VIP session I attended Friday afternoon was called Babywearing. This session is very popular because each attendee is randomly given either an Ergo or Beco baby carrier. Hosted by two industry professionals, including Laura Brown of Ergo, this session focused on proper ways to wear Ergo and Beco soft structured carriers. Additionally, they were more then happy to take the time to help parents trouble shoot any struggles they are having with their own person baby carriers (of all forms). 

– Patricia @ Dr Mommy Rx

 

 

Want to see more posts about MommyCon? Here are some other posts a part of my MommyCon Series:

 

~ MommyCon Basics and FAQS ~

~ MommyCon on a Budget ~

~ 10 Tips for MommyCon ~

 

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10 Tips to Make Your MommyCon Experience Amazing!

 

Another post for the MommyCon Series! Can you tell I’m a little excited? I’ve been to two MommyCon events so while I wouldn’t consider myself an expert MommyCon attendee- I’ve been around the block twice so I’ve learned a few things. Here are 10 tips to make your MommyCon experience amazing, fun and the best that it can be!

 

10 Tips as a MommyCon Attendee

Plan your day ahead of time. MommyCon is very fast paced and a lot goes on throughout the day. There are multiple rooms with different sessions going on plus the vendor area. Writing out your schedule ahead of time on paper or your phone is a great idea. You don’t want to miss the seminars you wanted to attend because of mom brain! (I highly recommend attending Cloth 101 with Jennifer Labit and Kim Rosas’ Reusable Menstrual Products seminar!)

 

Grab your tickets early. While MommyCon is a huge event, there are restrictions to how many people can attend due to the location. MommyCon  events tend to sell out, so waiting until the day before isn’t the best idea. MommyCon offers Presale tickets at a super discounted rate, some promotions throughout the year for discounted tickets, and Bloggers/Street Team/Parent Squad members have discount codes. (You can find mine here.) If plans change and you can no longer attend the event, MommyCon does not refund your ticket BUT they do allow selling of your tickets on your location’s Facebook group.

 

Join the Facebook Group. Speaking of the Facebook group- did you know that MommyCon has Facebook groups for the different locations? This is a great place to be to find out important information. This is also where they’ll share volunteer opportunities and sneak peaks to the event behind the scenes. Like I mentioned above, this is also the perfect place to find a buyer for tickets you may no longer need or where you may be able to find tickets yourself if the event has sold out! (You may even be able to grab a VIP ticket this way!)

 

Get your goodie bag later. The goodie bags will not run out. (Usually there’s actually some extras at the end of the day.) But they will get heavy. And bulky. And you can’t just check them in somewhere for later. If you don’t want to carry them around all day, wait a little bit to get them. Just before lunch is the perfect time because chances are- you’re going to your car or hotel room anyways. And if not- its the perfect time to dip out and head to your car or hotel room since you won’t miss any sessions.

 

Bring snacks or get lunch close. Lunch break is an hour long. This may seem like a lot of time- but once you take your goodie bag to your car and scope out the nearby places, lunch will be over in a flash. Just like planning your day ahead of time is important, figuring out your lunch plan is important too! It’s a long day so you’ll be starving. (Trust me on that.) Have a plan for lunch and a backup plan in case the first place is too busy or closed. My first year, the places we wanted to eat were closed. (Silly large cities.) And my second year, lunchtime is when I discovered I locked my keys in my car. Ended up eating lunch at the hotel’s Starbucks while waiting for AAA. You better believe I’ll know what I’m doing beforehand this year! 😉 Also scope out the nearest coffee shop. If you’re lucky enough to have a coffee shop in the connecting hotel- take advantage of that. You may be wired with caffeine, but it’ll keep ya going all day long!

 

Take pictures! Take lots of pictures! The day flies by so fast and you’ll want to remember the cool toy your kiddo loved at the event, meeting somebody you follow on social media, and just your overall experience. I highly suggest you bring your phone charger too just in case. If you have service or wifi at the event’s location, put your pictures on social media and tag MommyCon and/or use the hashtag for the event! All the mamas at home are waiting to see/hear about your day! 😉

 

Wear comfortable shoes. It really is a long day. And while you think you’ll be sitting a majority of the time while attending sessions, it’s still a lot of walking. Don’t wear heels unless you’re a pro at them. And don’t wear brand new shoes unless you want blisters. Be comfortable.

 

Pack light & babywear. Chances are, you’re going to be shopping for a few things during the event. The vendor’s hall is usually pretty packed with your favorite vendors and full of ones you’ve never heard of before (and will also love!). If you’re going by yourself, pack a small bag with just the necessities. And if you’re going with a little one, pack only the things you will need and leave the “maybe needs” in the car. Try to not bring a stroller if you’re bringing a little one too. While MommyCon doesn’t have a “no stroller” policy, they may ask for you to park it along the outskirts of the room or ask you to fold it up if it’s too crowded. There are so many little ones crawling and walking around that you really need to be careful. While going stroller-less isn’t an option for all parents, if it’s an option for you to just babywear- please do that.

 

 

Bring a friend! My sister in law and I have made it our thing. We love going to MommyCon together and making it a “Mom’s Weekend Away.” There are so many other parents to mingle with at the event sp there’s always the option of making new friends! But if you know someone expecting, trying to conceive, or another mama with little ones, why not ask them to come along??? You may be able to convert someone into cloth diapering, show them the awesomeness of babywearing, or give them a day kid-free!

 

Snatch a VIP spot! I’ve never attended a VIP session so I really can’t speak much on this topic. You can totally have an amazing time at MommyCon with a general admission ticket and no extras. But if you have the funds and the availability to attend a VIP session (or two!) then go for it! VIP sessions have extra goodie bags and they’ll also snatch you another entry into the giveaway! (Look for a “MommyCon VIP Sessions 101” post later this week!)

 

Need more MommyCon Info? Check out the other posts in my MommyCon Series! This series of posts is leading up to a MommyCon ticket giveaway!!!!! 😉

 

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ezpz Placemat Review

ezpz mats have become a “must-have” product in my book for toddlers. We currently have the Mini Mat, the Happy Mat, the Snack Mat, and the new book- Making Mealtime ezpz: Fun Ways to Fill the Happy Mat.

Some of you may be wondering…. “What is ezpz?” ezpz placemats are silicone placemats marketed for kids that suction to most tabletops. These mats are made of food grade silicone that is BPA, BPS, PVC, latex and phthalate free.

ezpz placemats are super handy once your child has reached the age of eating food, but wants to play and throw their plate or bowl on the floor. The Happy Mat suctions nicely to tabletops, while the Mini Mat is designed to fit on most highchairs.

 

I will admit that I’m not a Pinteresty mom in any way, shape, or form. This is one reason why I love these mats. Jackson’s food can look so fun with very little effort. And let’s face it- kids seem to eat more when their food looks fun. I don’t understand the logic behind it, but we all know it’s true! These placemats are also dishwasher safe, microwave safe, and oven safe (up to 350 degrees) so cooking with them and clean-up are easy!

 

Jackson really likes to snack, but he doesn’t want to sit in his highchair during snack time. The Snack Mat has become a favorite, and was actually our first ezpz mat! I can put his snack in the bowl, suction it to our floating floor, and he can play while snacking- and I don’t have to worry about him just tipping the bowl over for fun!

 

Now this may sound silly…. But I’m a mom on a budget. These mats aren’t exactly cheap, although I wouldn’t say they’re expensive either. Because they’re made of silicone, they won’t show signs of wear. This means that they really won’t have to be replaced. The ezpz mats that I use for Jackson now, can be stored away for any future babies. It doesn’t hold onto bacteria either since it’s a nonporous material- and it also shouldn’t stain! (although, I’m sure cooking some red sauce in it may be harder to get out!)

 

We really like to take the ezpz mats with us when we leave the house. Jackson has used his mats at restaurants and family member’s homes. We put the Mini Mat into a Smart Bottoms wet bag and the Happy Mat fits perfectly in a Smart Bottoms On-the-Go wet bag. It really depends on where we’re going, what’s clean, and what we’ll be eating for me to decide which one to take. If it’s super messy food, I’ll take the Happy Mat (for example) because sometimes my Mini Mat doesn’t want to stick to all surfaces. If it’s somewhere that he’s eating chicken and fries or something just not messy, and maybe it’s a quicker meal, then I’ll probably bring along the Mini Mat.

 

You can see in the photo above that there isn’t much size difference in the actual plate portion of the mats. A Happy Mat’s portion sizes (designed with toddlers in mind) are 4oz, 4oz, and 10oz while the Mini Mat’s (designed more for infants) portion sizes are 2oz, 2oz, and 4oz.

 

All in all, I’m really happy that I decided to try these ezpz mats and I like that they do make my life a bit easier. Jackson also likes them and in reality- that’s really all that matters.

 

 

*Please note: I purchased the Mini Mat and Snack Mat myself. The Happy Mat and book were provided by my participation as a Guidance Guide Ambassador. All opinions are 100% my own.

 

 

 

 

 

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TBT- Two Kids in Diapers

Having two kids in diapers is a real life scenario for many parents. Some parents want to get the diapering days over with and for some, it just happens naturally! 😉 Our girls are 18 months apart so I had two in diapers for almost 18 months since Aubrey potty trained completely around 3 years old. For me, it wasn’t a total nightmare. It wasn’t really that bad at all! But I really wish that I had found cloth diapering before tackling the two in cloth scenario. We were in disposables almost the whole time! Can you just think about all that money that we just threw away?! Yeah, don’t remind me!

I think most of you know that I have not always been a cloth diapering mama. Aubrey was 100% a disposable diapered baby. We didn’t switch to cloth until after Baileigh turned one. We figured better late than never! (so it really is NEVER too late!)  I had attempted to switch Aubrey over when she was 2 for bedtime use, but it just did not happen. She was too excited to have on a pretty diaper! We had pink ones and purple ones, floral ones and ones with hearts on them… This led to her wanting a new diaper every 5 minutes. This just ended up me getting aggravated and throwing in the towel! So Aubrey really hasn’t had on cloth diapers. We cloth diapered Baileigh and disposable diapered Aubrey. Weird right??

For me, the worst part of diapering two kids was buying the diapers. I hated buying twice the amount of disposables and twice the amount of wipes. I felt like we were buying diapers every week. And of course, the kids just couldn’t run out of diapers at the same time. That would be too easy! I feel like cloth diapering would have SAVED my sanity as far as the buying part. Don’t get me wrong! I loved my frequent trips to Target. But now I enjoy going to Target for things other than diapers. And buying cloth is way more fun! Because what’s more therapeutic than some online diaper shopping and stalking the mailman?

Overall, two children isn’t too scary when it comes down to it. And especially with cloth since you’re already doing laundry and already working on your personal shopping addiction! 😉 If we had other children close in age again, I think I’d be more excited to have a reason to buy more diapers! More diapers means more fun! Right??

 

So tell me, are you diapering more than one child? How is that working out for you?

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Jackson’s First Birthday + A GIVEAWAY!

jack-birthday

It happened- our little boy turned one year old. How did a year pass by so quickly? Honestly, he’s still a tiny baby in my eyes and not a toddler. I mean, he’s a peanut so maybe that helps a bit. He did, however, make it known that he’s officially a toddler. We have quickly learned that his new favorite hobby is unrolling the toilet paper… How toddler-like, right???

We celebrated his first birthday with our close friends and some family members, nothing too big. His party was Pumpkin themed, which I felt was fitting for an end of October birthday. I also found the perfect birthday shirt on Pinterest and we kind of based the party theme around it. You see…. Jackson’s bedroom is filled with tractors. And not just any tractor. It’s filled with John Deere green tractors. I found him a shirt that not only had pumpkins on it…. but there was a GREEN tractor pulling the pumpkins! Perfect, right? So of course, we had to incorporate the tractors into his party décor.

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His smash cake and the cupcakes were pumpkin spice- because what other kind of cake would you have at a pumpkin themed birthday? I found some pumpkin cutouts and taped his 1-11 month pictures on them. He had some orange balloons, tractor balloons, a giant green 1 balloon…. Basically balloons everywhere. The decorations were simple, but so adorable.

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He was so busy- I could barely get a “decent” picture. He was on the move! I’m not really sure how he had the energy to move, mister no nap. But you better believe he CRASHED after the party. Between eating his cake and no nap beforehand, he was a sleepy little guy.

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It may have been Jackson’s birthday…. but the gift is for you! His birthday shirt came from Zoey’s Attic Personalized Gifts. This WAHM shop was opened in November 2006 by Erin Delanty. She offers many types of gifts from personalized shirts, totes, drinkware, and wall art. Jackson’s shirt is amazing quality- it washed up nicely and didn’t fade or shrink. Most orders ship within 1-3 business days which, in my opinion, is super fast for a personalized item!

Zoey’s Attic Personalized Gifts is being SO generous and has offered a $35 gift certificate to one lucky reader! This certificate can be used on ANY item in the shop. Enter the giveaway by using the rafflecoptor below. Look at the shop HERE and tell me in the comments below what you’d like to order!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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You Know You’re a Cloth Diaper Addict When…..

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  • You have more than one package arrive in one week containing Fluff Mail.
  • You have placed more than one order from your favorite store within a few days.
  • You started out using cloth as a way to save money. You still tell your partner you’re saving money.
  • A cloth diaper resource page tells you that you’ll need 20 diapers. You’re stash consists of at least twice that amount.
  • You have Rainbow Syndrome: you must complete a full rainbow of your favorite brand(s) and when that’s finished, you start a double rainbow.
  • You match baby’s outfit with their diapers.
  • The only laundry that gets folded and put away are the diapers.
  • You can’t stop talking about fluff bums!
  • Seeing a disposable diaper on a baby takes a minute to register… What are they wearing?!
  • You see colors and instead of green, blue, pink…. You see:
  • You have enough BG detergent samples to do diaper laundry until the end of time, or at least the end of potty training days.
  • You highly believe that “Stashified” doesn’t exist.
  • You’re always looking for a new way to store your stash.
  • Your partner may think you’ve got something going on with the mailman since seeing him is the best part of your day.
  • You dream about diapers.
  • You think about diapers.
  • Stalking, and eventually breaking, websites at stocking time is the highlight of your month.
  • You understand, and sometimes take this phrase literally: BUY ALL THE DIAPERS!!

 

If you have read this nodding your head, giggling to yourself (even in your head), and thought, “Oh my gosh… How does this woman know me so well?!” You’re welcome. You are officially a cloth diaper addict. And I am right there with ya, sister!! Just remember, buy all the diapers and cloth diaper addicts unite!! 😉

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Why I Love Babywearing+ a Giveaway for MommyCon San Jose Tickets!

Why I Love Babywearing

I found babywearing a little later in my motherhood journey. Aubrey was already past the “babywearing” stage and Baileigh was about 14 months old. Once I found the amazingness of having a baby carrier, I swore I’d never have another baby without one. From wrapping, to having a soft-structured carrier- I’ve tried it all. (Or at least most of it!) And I’ve loved every minute of it. Babywearing has literally helped me with being a mother; it’s almost like I’ve grown another set of arms overnight! Here are some other reasons I love babywearing:

 

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Babywearing makes me hands free. Because I’m a mama to 3, I usually need my hands free to hold the girls’ hands in the parking lot or in a crowded area. My baby carriers make this possible. I’m hands free while holding onto each one of my children.

 

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Babywearing makes naptime much easier away from home. Jackson has a really hard time sleeping when he’s out of his element. He is a strict sleeper and has to be in his crib, with his sound machine, with his special pacifier… You get the idea. If we’re away from home during naptime or after bedtime, he turns into a monster. And I really wish I was kidding. Babywearing sleepy dust totally helps knock him right out and gives me some piece an quiet. Plus snuggles. Can’t forget about the sleepy baby snuggles.

 

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Babywearing helps me clean. Well, kinda. Again with the hands free thing… Jackson is the kind of baby that doesn’t like to let me get things accomplished when I have to get something done. If there’s people coming over or a party- you better believe he doesn’t want to nap. He doesn’t want to play independently. He just wants mommy cuddles. (Great timing, kid.) Babywearing helps him get his mommy and lets mommy get the cleaning done!

 

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Babywearing made bonding with Jackson so much easier when he was a newborn. When he was sleepy and I wanted to enjoy his newborn cuddles, I had other things to do like make lunch for the girls. Putting him into a wrap made me able to do both! I was able to bond with my new baby while take care of my older children.

 

Here’s a few throwback pictures of me babywearing the girls. I absolutely love the small amount of time they spent in carriers. In fact, one of my greatest memories is when I sold our Tula baby carrier. Baileigh was two and just wasn’t asking for “uppys” as much anymore. When the lady came to the door to pick it up, Baileigh hugged the Tula tightly, gave it a kiss, and cried as she said goodbye. <3 It totally pulled at my heartstrings.

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MommyCon San Jose

If you love babywearing like me and you’re in the Northern California area… you may want to make some plans for October 29th! MommyCon is coming to San Jose and they have a wonderful “Babywearing Lounge,” an area that you can try on almost every baby carrier on the market! Tula, Boba, Beco, Lillebaby, Ergo, Sakura Bloom, Maya Wrap Ring Slings, Tekhni, Kokadi, Didymos, K’Tan, Babyhawk, Catbird Baby + MORE! It’s amazing!

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MommyCon San Jose is happening on October 29th at the San Jose Convention Center. Because it’s so close to Halloween, there will be a family-friendly Halloween party and costume contest! There will be winners in each of these three categories: Babywearing, Family, and Individual (adult). The winner in each category will take a home a prize. The winner in the Babywearing category will go home with an Orbit car seat!!!

The schedule looks like so much fun and includes some of my favorite sessions that I attended in Chicago earlier this year. If you’ll be in the area or can make the trip- I highly recommend it! Be sure to experience Jessica Martin-Weber, Kim Rosas, Angel Lakita Moore, and Jenn Labit! They’re some pretty amazing speakers. Here’s the full schedule for Saturday:

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If you still need to purchase your tickets, use the code FLUFFBUM16 for $5 off your general admission ticket! And if you’d like the chance to win tickets, enter in the rafflecopter below!

 

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

*Please note: This post is Sponsored by MommyCon, but in no way does it change my views or opinions. I really do love MommyCon and babywearing. <3

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My Feeding Journeys + MiLK Conference Giveaway

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This week, #MomLifeMonday and #WinItWednesday are colliding! A huge thank you to MommyCon’s MiLK Conference for sponsoring this post and providing the tickets to giveaway!

*Before I became a mother, I had how my babies would be fed all planned. They would be breastfed for at least 6 months, until they started on solid foods. I would make their pureed baby foods and they wouldn’t eat “junk.” Little did I realize, babies don’t follow the plan.

 

Aubrey


Aubrey was our first baby, born when I was still a kid myself. I hadn’t been around breastfeeding much before becoming a mother. However, I figured it was something natural so it should work out just fine. I purchased nipple cream, a breast pump, breast pads, and a boppy pillow. I thought I was set and ready to go.

After Aubrey was born, we had a difficult start. She didn’t seem to be interested in nursing and her blood sugar was a little low. There was a point in time that she didn’t nurse for over 8 hours. After nursing again, they let us go home as long as we followed up with her doctor in a few days.

Breastfeeding was extremely painful for me. My nipples were raw. They were cracked and bleeding. I was putting Vitamin E on them plus the nipple cream. I distinctly remember, and it almost sends chills down my back now, crying when she would start crying in hunger. My poor baby wanted to eat but I didn’t want to feed her. I would cry and ask my husband, “what kind of mother doesn’t want to feed her baby?!” It was hard for us. And I decided to somehow, stick it out.

I started pumping in preparation to return to work. I had a cheap breast pump that I picked out at Target just because it went along with the bottles we picked. It did nothing for me. It would suck and suck but nothing would come out. I could nurse her just fine at this point with very little pain but I just couldn’t produce enough milk to store and to keep her satisfied. We fell into a rabbit hole and decided that we would start supplementing with formula.

The start of our formula journey was when she was 6 weeks old. I had that “plan” of just breastmilk until 6 months old so I felt a little guilty. At this point, she was half breastfed and half formula fed. Within two weeks, I was too overwhelmed as a mother at 18 years old. I needed life to be just a tad bit easier. And then she became 100% formula fed.

Looking back now- I feel like I had a strong lack of knowledge and support. I *could* have successfully nursed her until she was at least 6 months old. I *could* have nursed her until a year. I *could* have nursed her until she naturally weaned herself. Facebook Groups weren’t so much a thing when she was born and I was the first of my friends to have a baby. I had no idea what I was jumping into and thought that the most natural thing in the world would just come….. naturally. The super sore nipples could have been caused by a number of things. And I really wish I would have known to find a lactation consultant to help me ASAP. Aubrey was my first little guinea pig, if you will, on this whole being a mother thing.

 

Baileigh


Before Baileigh was born, I started doing more research on breastfeeding and how I could be more successful with the next baby. She was born 18 months after Aubrey so things were still fresh in my mind. I knew to start lathering my nipples up with cream even in the hospital. I knew that I wanted to get a freezer stash started and that I was going to have a much better pump as my sidekick. I had made all these “plans” again. Afterall, I had been there and done that. It just had to be easier the second time around, right???

Wrong. Baileigh and I had a pretty good nursing relationship from the start. She had an okay latch and it most definitely wasn’t as painful as it was with Aubrey. I had the same goal of exclusively breast milk for the first 6 months. I didn’t have to return to work as I had become a stay-at-home mom but I still wanted her to take a bottle. Three days after having her, I started pumping with a Medela manual pump. My goodness- I loved that pump. Baileigh took to the bottle so whenever we left the house, she would have a bottle of breastmilk so I wouldn’t have to nurse in public.

Here’s where I think I went wrong. I was so worried about my supply dropping like I felt like it did with Aubrey…. That I started taking a supplement to boost my milk supply. Fenugreek. I smelled like a pancake house and not in a good way. I had such a strong letdown that I started to almost choke her when she would nurse. I just had way too much milk! This little baby was only 4 weeks old and I could easily pump 10 ounces in a session. WOW, right?!

Baileigh then started having some belly issues. Well, more like spitting up issues. She had always spit-up just a little bit. But this was like, projectile vomiting. I specifically remember a middle of the night feed and I thought her head was going to spin around like a horror movie. The amount that she vomited all over the bed was WAY more than I thought she could even have in her little body.

Baileigh also had some problems gaining weight. She was so tiny and petite. At the recommendation of our pediatricians, we started adding some cereal to her breatsmilk bottles. It helped to hold the milk into her belly, but just not enough for me to feel like she was nutritionally getting the milk she needed. Those pesky formula companies…. I had formula cans in my cabinet from the free samples they sent me. They won. I couldn’t see my baby not gaining weight anymore. And I couldn’t deal with all the spit-up anymore. I also was dealing with postpartum depression and I’m sure that wasn’t helping anything.

We quit breastmilk almost cold turkey at 6 weeks. At this point, I felt like a complete failure. How could so many mothers nurse their babies for so long yet I couldn’t seem to last more than 6 weeks?! Don’t get me wrong, I’m not “bashing” formula moms at all- but this wasn’t what I had planned for my babies. This wasn’t the healthiest option I saw for them and it just wasn’t what I had wanted.

 

Jackson


Jackson James- my little game changer. Before Jackson was even conceived, I found my support groups. Knowledge, power, support, confidence, and perseverance was what was going to get me to my goal for at least one of my babies. And with him, I even edited my goal to wanting to nurse him for one year.

When Jackson was born, we clicked right away. He was a boobie monster and loved mama’s milk. I decided to wait to really pump because being a stay-at-home mom, it wasn’t necessary for a bottle. There would be a minimal amount of times that I left him and it wasn’t going to be a for awhile anyways. It was just me and him- and that was A-OK for me.

Remember how I had hoped everything would just come naturally? I was waiting for a problem to occur: cracked nipples, bad latch, drop in supply. I was just waiting. Luckily, it didn’t happen in the beginning like it had with the girls. We were smooth sailing through our journey.

Months went by and he had only had breastmilk. My first *successfully* breastfed baby. I had support from family and friends. I nursed in public. I pumped when needed, and that was it. Everything was wonderful!

And then it wasn’t. Two things happened: Jackson’s weight gain seemed to have plateaued. And I needed to pump to leave him… And my boobs decided they weren’t going to cooperate anymore. I was worried that my supply had finally dropped. I was worried that Jackson wasn’t actually getting what he needed from me anymore. I tried lactation cookies, I tried increasing my water intake, I tried fenugreek again. Nothing seemed to be working. I even tried an electric pump and that got out less than my manual! I was so frustrated.

I had family pressuring me to try formula, so I did. After all, formula companies sent me formula while I was pregnant. Wouldn’t you know that a baby at 8/9 months old wouldn’t drink formula after only having breastmilk as their milk source? Yeah- I figured that too. Lucky for me, I have some amazing friends that knew my goal and knew my struggle. I now have an amazing supply of frozen donor milk in my deep freezer for when we need it. My supply has come back enough that I don’t wonder if I’m making enough.

We are just under a month away from his first birthday. I will have nursed my baby, with a little help from donor milk and a splash of formula, for one full year. I made my goal of 6 months of just breastmilk. I know there are many women that nurse for years and years and multiple babies. And compared to them- my story seems dull and silly. But it’s a part of my motherhood journey. And accomplishing this year makes me feel, well, kind of badass. My body has successfully nourished another human being though 9 months of pregnancy and almost 12 months earthside. <3

 

 

 

MiLK Conference

The second annual MiLK Conference will be held in Costa Mesa, CA November 11-12. It will be MommyCon’s final event in 2016. MiLK is an infant feeding conference for parents and parenting professional. It’s set-up to provide not only nutritional information, but support and an educational platform for the health of children. Want to go? There’s one of two ways from here- you can purchase your tickets using my promo code FLUFFBUM16 for $5 your ticket price OR you can enter to win the rafflecoptor below and win a pair of 2-day tickets! 🙂

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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#MomLifeMonday; Family Friendly Restaurants 

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Family friendly restaurants… We’ve all been in that place. You don’t want to cook dinner or clean up a mess after eating. Or maybe you just haven’t been out of the house in days so you’re using dinner time as a way out.  Seriously though- we have all been there.

You pack up the diaper bag, take off the clothes you’ve been wearing for over 36 hours and maybe brush your hair just to feel presentable. Maybe you decide on a place that has crayons for the toddler, high chair for the baby, and a place that feels family friendly. You’re just planning ahead so you won’t feel judged as your kids are screaming or talking VERY loudly and feeling like you should have stayed home.

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Here’s where I get frustrated with “family friendly” restaurants: the baby needs a diaper change. You’ve changed over 20 diapers today (or at least you feel like it) so you send Daddy to change the baby. Only to watch him walk right back out of the men’s bathroom with the screaming baby and the diaper STILL needs changed. Why? Because there isn’t a changing table in the men’s bathroom. 😩 This is something that irks me. I want a break. I didn’t want to cook. I didn’t want to clean. I didn’t want to change a damn dirty diaper. I wanted to enjoy a meal out in the world and the restaurant just couldn’t put a changing table in their men’s bathroom.

Another thing. Just because a restaurant has a kids menu and high chairs, doesn’t mean they’re family friendly at all. I can think of three places I’ve gone to eat with high chairs and a kids menu only to find that there wasn’t a changing table in the men’s bathroom… BUT there also wasn’t one in the woman’s bathroom?! What?!?! So I’ve had to change a baby on the sink counter and get some really judgemental stares from strangers. (Hey people- it’s either the baby stinks and screams from a gross diaper or he gets changed right here. Have a problem? Take it up with management! They’re the ones that made me do it.)

Oh and what about this. There are a handful of places I would just love to eat at regularly. But, let’s be honest, it’s just not feasible with three small kids. And not to mention, date night is few and far between. I’d love to just pick up Chipotle or Panera but… No drive thru. No curbside carry out. And there’s no way in hell that I’m taking three kids out of car seats, dragging them in somewhere to pick up food to make them turn around (while my hands are full with said food) get them back into car seats, and then wrangle them back into the house. Do you know how much business places like these are losing from moms?! I know I can’t be the only one avoiding restaurants like these. It’s just too much work and when I eat out… It’s to eliminate the work of cooking and cleaning.


Here are my favorite places to eat at with kids: Chick Fil A, Bob Evans, Steak N Shake, Red Robin, and any pizza place. My number one go-to being Chick Fil A. ❤️ Chick Fil A basically knows that moms need extra help when dining out with kids and they’re spot on with their service, their food, and the amenities like the disposable placements for kids.

 

Where are your favorite places to eat-out with the kiddos? Let me know in the comments below!

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#MomLifeMonday; I’m So Tired 

So remember how I said I had a new posting schedule? Here’s day one!!! Yay!! Welcome to #MomLifeMonday. Along with my blog post, search the hashtag #MomLifeMonday and #FluffBumBabies! And share your Monday in the comments below!! 

***Oh and by the way…. Mom life Monday shows pure, real life stuff. There may be a curse word or two. There may be moments where i stop typing to cry. Or nurse the baby so then it doesn’t make sense…. Real life. Mom life. You get the picture. 😉

So today- I’m tired. Between back to school and getting into a new routine…. Life has been hectic. Throw in some family get togethers, other crazy stuff to do, add in the normal errands and house chores and you’ve got a mama that’s around the corner from crazy town. My brain is tired. My body is tired. My give-a-f***s are gone. I feel like my patience with the kids is dwindling and let’s just pretend I don’t take it out on my husband. I need a week long nap. Or maybe just one full night’s sleep- I’d settle for that too. 


Do you see the bags under my eyes? And the forced smile. Yep. Let’s not even talk about my hair…. I can’t remember the last time I had a chance for a shower. Remember when I said this was real life? No filters. No edits. Just me and my kiddos. Why? Because life isn’t a perfect picture. I probably have boogers and slobber on my shirt. That’s just a part of this *glamorous* mom life I live. And wouldn’t you know, this could easily become one of my favorite pictures because it does show my day to day life. It shows that I’m tired. But it also shows that Baileigh doesn’t care and that she’s happy as can be just taking pictures with her mama. This picture shows Jackson staring at himself in my phone and figuring out technology. 

Coffee is basically the only thing keeping my moving these days. Adulting is hard. Motherhood is hard. Being a wife, yep…. It’s hard. Trying to keep up with everything on my plate is something I’m always working on. There will be days that my house feels spotless, homemade dinners on the table, and laundry is all caught up. But those days are few and far between. Life with three kids has proven to be an adventure- fun but challenging. 
Share with me your “I’m so tired” pictures on Instagram! Be sure to hashtag #momlifemonday and #fluffbumbabies!! 

 

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