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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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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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; 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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My Three Reasons for Mom-Guilt 

  
I won’t lie… Mom-Guilt is something I deal with basically every day. And honestly, I have more “reasons” for mom guilt than I could fit in a typical blog post. So here’s my three reasons for mom-guilt. 

  

Aubrey 

 Aubrey is our oldest daughter and she’s five. Five has been such a great age for her. But I’ve had a lot of mom-guilt with her lately. She’s always been my helper and she’s always tried to be the center of our attention. And with a new baby in the house, it makes things a little difficult for her. Don’t get me wrong- she is obsessed with her brother! But it’s hard that she has to share her mommy and daddy with yet another person, and that tiny person requires a lot of attention. I’ve had to sit down and explain to her that he can’t feed himself, can’t go to the bathroom on his own, can’t entertain himself, etc. And she totally understands and acknowledges that— but it doesn’t make it any easier for either of us. I can’t tell you how many times I have put her to bed and then felt plain awful about how much time may have been taken away from her that day. But then I also remember, that I’ve given her something as well and that’s siblings. She’ll have people there for her when her father and I aren’t on this earth anymore. And for that… I’m a little grateful. 
  
Baileigh

Baileigh May. Oh man. This one is hard. So much mom-guilt over this one. She is SO different from her sister and literally in almost every aspect. And I’m trying so hard to not throw her into the “middle child” group because I’ve seen how that an affect a kid in the long run. But sometimes… I do it without even thinking. For instance, Aubrey needed a shirt for picture day and Jackson needed a pair of those terry fake jeans— I walked out of the store with just those things. But then it was pointed out to me that I left with nothing for Baileigh. I totally didn’t do it on purpose… But I felt so awful when it was pointed out to me. Super mom-guilt. I didn’t forget about her but it was obvious I wasn’t thinking about her while I was shopping either. Since that day, I’ve made it a point to get a little something for everyone if I need to get something but it’s just not fair. And although “life isn’t fair,” it’s not necessarily a lesson that I find important to teach at three years old. 
  
Jackson 

So he’s still new to the family. But that doesn’t mean I haven’t felt the mom-guilt with him. Obviously we cloth diaper, since that is what this blog was founded upon. But I’ll admit that we’ve used a fair share of disposable diapers too. We also breastfeed. But I can’t tell you how many times I’ve thought about giving him some formula to give myself a break. (It hasn’t happened- but I’m hanging on by a thread most days.) 

Being a mother is seriously SO hard. Being a mother to three is as hard, if not harder, than I thought it would be. Our family life has finally adjusted since welcoming Jackson five months ago- but that doesn’t mean that it’s all high fives at te end of the day. Sometimes it takes everything I have in me to not cry over something I should have handled differently or something I should have or should not have said. There are days that this mom-guilt crap tears me up and I really just can’t help it. It’s a part of life, a part of living. It’s a part of raising these little humans that I’ve created. Some how, some way, i hope to have a better handle on my guilt as a mother.   

“Ah, yes. The past can hurt. But the way I see it, you can either run from it or learn from it.”

                        -Rafiki, The Lion King 

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My Exclusively Pumping Story

I started out my pregnancy just like everyone else…confused. Perfect strangers would come up to me and ask me 100 questions about how I would raise my child. These strangers made me feel like I HAD to Breastfeed, cloth diaper, baby wear and do everything else that “the perfect parent” would do. It was completely frustrating to me but I decided to try to research as much as physically possible to make the best decision I could.

My husband and I attended Breastfeeding classes and I became increasingly confident that I could do it! My husband is one of those people who read everything the experts say and thinks we have to do it EXACTLY by the book. This is something I find incredibly annoying and incredibly beneficial. Ha Ha. Let me follow that by saying, if my husband was not so adamant and supportive of my Breastfeeding I would have given up on day one.

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Our daughter is the laziest baby ever. Even in the hospital, with the lactation consultants help, I struggled to get the proper latch and was in a lot of pain. We went home on a Friday and by Monday morning I was dreading feeding Myla because it hurt so bad and was so miserable. When those nosey strangers tell you that you HAVE to breastfeed they don’t tell you how incredibly hard it is. It’s like they forgot or something, I don’t know, but I’ll never forget.

This is the look I kept getting from Myla in the hospital.  "Yeah right mom, good luck getting me to eat from those things..."

This is the look I kept getting from Myla in the hospital. “Yeah right mom, good luck getting me to eat from those things…”

One morning I was feeling Myla and pulled her away to find blood all over her mouth and face. Screaming for my husband, I was thinking I somehow killed our baby, until I realized that it wasn’t her that was bleeding… It was me. I was so raw that my nipples had actually begun to bleed. It was awful. That day just so happened to be Fathers Day. I decided that as a present to my husband (and myself) that I would pump and let him feed her for the first time. I fumbled with the pump and hoped I was doing it right. For the first time, I wasn’t dreading feeding my child. She drank the bottle so well that I decided to exclusively pump from then on out.

There are many reasons some moms choose to exclusively pump for their babies. I chose to do this because traditional breastfeeding was not working for us. I was miserable, and Myla was hungry. “If mommas not happy, no one is happy.” That is the best advice I ever got and I totally agree!! There is almost no information or support for exclusively pumping mommas out there so here’s how it works!

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You pump just as much as you would feed your baby. At first, I pumped about an hour before she would be ready to eat. You pump, on a pressure that is comfortable until the milk stops flowing. It takes awhile at first but your body will get the hang of it. I would then pour the fresh milk in a bottle and let her chow down! She ate so much better this way, and actually started gaining weight like she was supposed to! YAY! I was blessed with “over production”, meaning I produced more milk than Myla needed so I had a wonderful stockpile in my freezer! Fresh milk only lasts a couple days in the fridge so every 3 days or so I would pour my fresh milk into the freezer safe bags with the date and lay flat in the freezer. What is great about a freezer stockpile is that when your little one starts eating cereal, you can thaw and use the milk in the cereal instead of water. Double the nutrients!

Once Myla got older and my body got used to the pumping I could go longer without pumping and not have to pump as long. I got down to as little as 3 times a day and only pump for 20 minutes or so. The downfall for all this for me was I could not go longer than a week without getting clogged ducts. If you know what these are you know how painful they are! I would spend almost an hour in the super hot shower trying to message them out so I could sleep at night. Then Myla and I got Thrush. Thrush is basically a yeast infection on your breasts and the baby’s mouth. Its terrible. So So terrible. At around 5 months I had decided that I had enough and it was becoming more of a pain. Hubby and I own our own business, so our schedules were crazy!! After attempting to pump in a moving car one too many times I knew that my lifestyle wasn’t cut out for this. Once again the thought popped into my head, “If mommas not happy, no one is happy!”

I started weaning myself off the pumping. I need to express how important it is to go as slow as possible because you can get so many infections and pain from doing it too quickly. It involved a lot of Advil and ice packs, and could never be described as fun!

Once I finally got dried up, Myla had maybe 2 weeks worth of milk left in the freezer that I continued to give her. Once I got down to about a week left I started mixing in the formula. We started out with Similiac Supplementation, which is meant for breastfed babies. This tastes the most like breast milk so it was an easy transition. At first she would drink 2 oz. of formula and 4 oz. of breast milk. Every couple of days I would up the formula and decrease the breast milk.

Myla was officially a formula baby. While part of me is mad at myself for not sticking it out, I am ultimately happy. I wish I loved breastfeeding as much as some moms do, but I hated every second of it. Formula actually improved Myla’s well being. She wasn’t going #2 any more than 2 times a month. The formula and the introduction to cereals helped her become more regular. The doctors were incredibly concerned with her bathroom habits and were on the verge of recommending some drastic measures. I could not be happier with my decision to give her formula.

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This is Myla now.  She just had her first birthday and could not be a happier (and more ornery) girl in the world! If you are feeling lost like I was for almost the whole first year of her life, just keep in mind you are not alone.  Also, look at the picture above.  Myla is healthy, happy and couldn’t be more perfect!  Whatever you chose to do for you and your little one is the right choice.  Either way, your baby will be happier if you are happy.  You don’t have to torture yourself to make your children happy.  They are going to be happy if you are!

If you would like to see what my ESSENTIALS for Exclusively Pumping are, you can check out this post from my personal blog, Myla Moo Review!

It has been wonderful sharing my story with the Fluff Bum crowd! Thank you so much Amanda for inviting me to do this entry!  -Jess

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How I Hoped to Be and Kissing That GOODBYE

As a child and growing up, I had always imagined myself as the mom that was always baking, being crafty, and just being that perfect mom. Since becoming a mother almost 4 years ago, I’ve learned to kiss that hope goodbye.

I love to bake, yes. But I can not pull off half of the creative cupcakes and cakes on Pinterest. Heck, I want to make Christmas cookies every year. And guess what day passes every year without a single cookie being made. Yep. You’re welcome Santa for those Oreos or those cookies that my mom gave us. Fail.

My kids get awesome birthday parties, but all of my paper plates are in solid colors from the dollar section at Walmart. As for my decorations, thank you Amazon! The past few times, I’ve even made the cupcakes from a box (gasp!), instead of homemade. Ain’t nobody got time for that. I get pretty cupcake liners, frost with my piping bag and cool tip, and maybe add some sprinkles or something. Is this how I had always envisioned my children’s birthdays? Nope. But it’s the way it turns out and they’re still perfectly happy and don’t know the difference.

I love seeing crafty, homemade decorations for parties and bedrooms, but when it comes to actually gluing something together, my hands and brain don’t communicate and it turns out like a big glob of a mess.I almost feel like Pinterest was created to put a damper on moms and their feelings on their own abilities. I won’t lie when I say it bums me out to see all the pretty DIY projects because I’d LOVE that in my house. But if you’ve seen me DIY, then you’d understand why I don’t do it. And I don’t want (nor do I need) to decrease my self-esteem over a stupid home decor item that I can just pay for at Pier1 or World Market.

I love seeing all the cute finger paints and projects for two year olds, but then I realize who has to pick up the large mess on the floors, walls, tables, chairs, and kids. No thank you. I have done finger paints one time. And after that, my house looked like a Smurf blew up all over it and my kids. That was the longest clean up ever. Lesson learned, be prepared and do it outside. I have also learned that Play Do is awful. Do not, I repeat, DO NOT request it for your child’s birthday, Christmas, whatever. It sticks to everything, it crumbles, it just sucks.

I’ve learned that I am not Suzy Homemaker. My house is not perfectly clean, ever. I could not pull off the beautiful dinner parties with little name plates and pretty China- you’d get paper plates, sit where I told ya, and probably pizza or BBQ because I wasn’t cooking. That’s me! And that’s okay. This blog is not filled with DIY, recipes, party planning, or whatever else you find on other blogs. It’s just not me. I’m the mom watching Disney movies and making microwave popcorn instead of finger painting. I’m the mom that finds things to do at home rather than go to the zoo during the week. I’m the mom that I am and I’m learning to accept it or change it. And right now, I’m going to accept it and spend the time with my kids at this age. When they’re in school, maybe I will bake every day. Maybe we’ll do cool crafts or maybe I’ll take up a crafting hobby and not spend my money on the stuff I can just buy instead. Who knows?! But right now, I’m just going to be me. 🙂

 

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8 Facts About Moms like Me

1) We’re tired. All. The. Time. Moms don’t have a day off. Ever. Our “job” can call us in the middle of the night, at 3 am, during the best sleep of your life. And we gotta answer!

2) We’re not that healthy. Our kids eat better than we do. Some how, preparing 3 meals for kids plus snacks, we forget to feed ourselves throughout the day. We may remember and eat the toddler’s leftovers… or eat a large meal or two when we actually remember.

3) Laundry sucks. I don’t care who you are… You know that folding and putting laundry away is not fun. Don’t be ashamed of a pile or three of clean clothes that just sit there until they’re gone. It happens.

4) We can pee alone. Although the screaming toddler behind the door may tell you differently. And I don’t need a “woohoo” dance after doing my business either as I’ve successfully done it myself for over 20 years. 😉

5) I plan and I don’t plan. I like to know where I’m supposed to be and when, but it doesn’t always happen like planned. To be early is to be on time, to be on time is to be late, and when you’re late you’re left behind. Well, we can just be left behind because I’m always running late!

6) Just because some of us stay home, does not mean we sit on our bums all day long. Are there days where my laundry sits there? See #3. Are there days that the kids watch Frozen over and over while I indulge in a season (or two) of my shows on Netflix? Heck yes. But more than likely, it’s because #1 happened the night before. At 2am. And 4am. And 6:30am.

7) I’m crazy. And I know it. (Yeah, like the song… I’m sexy and I know it too. But I don’t work out. 😉 haha) Okay maybe I’m just tired. See #1 again.

8) I’m also a wife. And a daughter. A sister. And a friend. I’m a person. Just like you’re a person. And we all need time to ourselves. Even if its just that 3 minutes of peeing alone, (see #4) locked in the bathroom, with a screaming toddler (or two) on the other side of the door.

 

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Babyhawk Oh Mei Review

I am always looking for something different to review. When I found the Babyhawk Oh Mei carrier, I knew I had to try it!! The Oh Mei is like the best of both worlds: a soft structured carrier and a Mai Tei. The bottom part of it is a buckle and you wrap the top like a Mei Tai. I won’t lie, I was nervous at first because I had never used a Mei Tai carrier. I had only worn Bai in a soft structured carrier or a wrap. I came to find out that it was easier that I had thought and started to wonder why I waited this long! This is now, officially, my go-to carrier.

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When I say it’s my go-to carrier, I mean this thing gets A LOT of use. When we run errands, it’s in my car. When we’re home, it’s on my dining room table. Bai brings it to me and tells me she wants “uppy” or “wrapped” and it has become her go-to carrier as well. When I say it’s in my car… it’s there with me and goes in the store with me. I always ask Bai if she wants to go in the cart or if she wants wrapped. Usually she wants wrapped.

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The Oh Mei came with tons of sleepy dust! Bai can comfortably fall asleep and stay asleep in this carrier. I like that its so easy for her to nap while we’re out and about. I can not tell you how many trips we’ve had to take during nap time. I have also successfully taken her out of the carrier and transferred her to the car seat without waking her up. I have no clue how I did it, but it really did happen!! As a matter of fact, I’ve been able to do some awesome stuff with this carrier. I was able to use the Spray Pal while baby wearing very easily. And I was able to tandem carry with the Boba during a stressful evening babysitting!

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This is the carrier that I highly recommend to friends and family. I love that even though Bai is almost 2, it still fits her knee to knee. Not many other standard carriers do!! The Oh Mei is just wonderful! It’s comfortable for me, comfortable for her, and convenient to put on. I can not say enough great things about it! They retail for between $115 and $120. You can also have yours custom made with your own fabric or a variety of fabrics that are readily available. If you want yours right away, there are a few that are ready to ship. 🙂

If you want to purchase a Babyhawk Oh Mei carrier, you can do so HERE, find instructions on use HERE, and like their Facebook HERE. 🙂 Be sure to enter the giveaway below!! 🙂

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Please Note: I received this carrier for the purpose of this Babyhawk Oh Mei Review. No other compensation was made. All opinions are my own and 100% honest!!

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Baileigh’s Almost 2!

Okay, I’ll admit that I’m close to having a slight breakdown over here. My baby is almost 2 years old. When Aubrey was turning 2, I had her 6 month old sister to distract me from the fact she was getting bigger and about to hit the “Terrible Twos.” With Bai, I got a terrible two and a teenager three. Needless to say, I’m not only scared for this next year but kind of sad to see it happen. My little girls are growing up.

Of course, it’s not all sadness and fear. I’m happy too that they’re growing up and becoming more independent. Aubrey puts DVDs in the player herself so now I don’t have to change Disney movies 8 times a day. Baileigh is now independently playing so her sister can do what she wants and I can get some chores down around the house. They both can run around at the playground and I can finally be the mom that sits on the bench (still watching closely but not 1 step behind them every minute). We can paint our nails together and put on lip gloss. We have popcorn and movie time in Mommy’s big bed and cuddle. As they get older, we’re finding more things we can do together and enjoy. That’s amazing!

I would be lying, though, if I said I didn’t miss the baby days. Yes, it comes along with spit up, more diapers, crying, screaming, and endless nights. But then you have the constant cuddles, that baby smell, the living of new life, and just another purpose for being.  Maybe again someday! But today, I’m focusing on Bai’s 2nd birthday party!!

Did someone say PARTY?! Parties are a big deal in this family. We have our “theme” and I stick to it. The birthday girl gets a personalized shirt with her name, new age, and it matches the theme of her party. Aubrey’s has been a fun, girly, animal theme, Minnie Mouse, and Cinderella. Baieligh’s was ladybugs last year and it’s a rainbow candy theme this year. I have their shirts in their memory box so they’ll have them when they’re older. I haven’t decided what age we’ll stop that tradition but I don’t see it ending any time soon. Along with the shirts, I also make or buy a few decorations. This year, I’ll be using Pinterest and hope that mine look good and don’t end up on Pinterest Fails. We’re going to try and make giant lollipops and hard candies with balloons and paper plates wrapped in cellophane. We’ll see what happens!

Stay tuned for Bai’s party pictures at the end of May! We’ll even have a candy bar to top cupcakes with yummy candy!

 

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5 Confessions of a Stay-at-Home Mom

1) Just because I stay home, it does not mean I sit on my butt all day. Do I have the days where I do nothing but watch tv? Sure. But that’s because my job is not an 8 hours a day/5 days a week job. My job could be calling my name at 2am or any other time during the night.

2) I hate cleaning just as much as anyone else. So if you come in my house and there’s a mess, remember how much you don’t like to clean. Then think about how much cleaning you’d get done with little kids running around and how well they “help” you. Messes happen. It’ll get cleaned up eventually.

 

3) Sometimes I envy my husband’s out of the home job. I long for 9 hours out of the house almost every day. But then I remember that I am supposed to be home with my kids. It’s where I am needed right now. And honestly, I think I’d be miserable without this time with my kids.

 

4) I have days where I just want to cry. I get overwhelmed with kids that don’t want to listen, a mess throughout the house, and then having to make 3 meals per day along with however many snacks are asked for that day. This is not a job for the weak. But it can also bring down the strong sometimes. I’d be lying if I said I have never walked away and locked myself in the bathroom to collect myself for a few minutes and then walked out with a happy smile on my face.

 

5) I love my kids, my husband, and my “job” in the household. Just because its difficult, just because I’m always doing something, and just because I have my bad days, does not mean I would trade it in. In my mind, this is the most important job in the world. I’m a cook, a nurse, a maid, a teacher, a babysitter, a stay-at-home mom. My days are never dull, never go as planned, and my house is never 100% clean. And to me, that’s okay!! This is my life and I wouldn’t have it any other way!

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The Baby Bonanza and Kid Expo!

If you are in Columbus, Ohio, you should attend the 8th Annual Baby Bonanza and Kid Expo! It will be held this Sunday, March 9, 2014 at the Aladdin Shrine Event Center at Easton from 10am to 4pm.
The Baby Bonanza and Kid’s Expo is Ohio’s largest consumer, maternity, baby and child expo! There you will find:
-Exhibitors showcasing their products and services
-Diaper Derby Baby Races
-Educational Seminars
-A Dad’s Challenge
-Entertainment for the whole family

Fluff Bum Babies will be there to check out the local exhibitors and see what it’s all about! I have never been before and I’m pretty excited! My Columbus people: let me know if you’ve been to the bonanza and expo before and how your experience was!! 🙂

Tickets are $5.00 for parents, $4.00 for grandparents, and kids 12 and under are free. Parking is also free. Make sure to bring some money in case you need a snack or find something you just can’t live without!!

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A Big Reminder for Any Mama

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Sometimes we all need to just sit back and remember that we’re good mamas. We all need that occasional hide in the closet, the glass of wine after the kids are in bed, or that bubble bath with the bathroom door locked. No one said this motherhood thing would be easy- it’s just worth it. So tonight, when you’re ready to pull your hair out or scream into a pillow, remind yourself that this is not going to last forever, babies don’t keep, and that you’re a GREAT mom!! Happy Thursday mamas!! 🙂

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SodaStream Review

As part of wanting to become more eco-friendly, I wanted to start using a SodaStream maker instead of buying cans of soda or bottles of soda. I found out that not only is it better for you to make your carbonated drinks at home, but it does reduce waste from plastic bottles and aluminum cans. Here’s my SodaStream review:

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I received this red SodaStream maker and these syrups to make our pop and other drinks. What I really like about the actual machine is that there are no batteries and there are no plugs. This baby runs on it’s own! If you are unfamiliar with a SodaStream, there is a carbonated bottle that screw into the back of the machine. You then fill up the clear bottle with tap water or whatever water you’d prefer to use. You then screw on the clear bottle of water to the machine and press the button a few times until you hear a buzzing sound. Then you can release the bottle, unscrew it, and add whatever syrup you’d like! It’s super easy, affordable, and fast.

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Our favorite soda was cola, root beer, and ginger ale. I also really liked their energy drink even though I haven’t had an energy drink in years! The girls love it when we make our own pop and they’re always asking us to make some!

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As you can tell, they were so excited when we got it! (Maybe because they saw how excited Mommy and Daddy were too!)

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So tell me, do you have a SodaStream maker? And if not, are you wanting one? I’ve wanted one for years! And we’re so happy that we’re finally getting to try one out and use it regularly. There’s another thing we can cross off our list at the grocery store! 😉

Please Note: I received this SodaStream Maker and the syrups in the pictures for the purpose of this review. No other compensation was made. All opinions are honest and 100% my own!!

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