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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The Trick to Getting a Baby to Sleep Through the Night – The DockATot

The DockATot may have saved me. You see, like so many sleep deprived parents, I was desperate for a full night’s sleep. I wanted to sleep and stay asleep for any amount of time longer than 3 hours. Jackson just did not like to sleep. Nurse? He liked that. He would have nights where he was waking up every two hours, like a newborn, at 15 months old. To say I was tired…. well, that felt like an understatement. I was exhausted.

Enter in the DockATot. If you’re unfamiliar with the DockATot- it’s a breathable, multi-functional pillow for babies and toddlers. It comes in two sizes: The Deluxe is for babies 0-9 months and Grand is for babies and toddlers over 9 months old. It was designed to mimic the womb and offer a snuggly safe place for babies to sleep. While most families use it while traveling or for safe co-sleeping, it can also be used when transitioning a child into their own bed. The air-permeable sides offer security for both parents and child as they can act as a bed rail.

 

I had seen people rave over them. This huge pillow for babies and toddlers…. It was supposed to help him sleep through the night. But the cost?! Over $200 for a pregnancy look-a-like pillow for a toddler. Ugh. I needed sleep. I needed him to sleep. So I bit the bullet. I contacted DockATot and they sent me a coupon code to use to help me purchase the DockATot Grand- the DockATot for infants and toddlers over 9 months old. Guess what happened next…..

Ladies and gentleman…. Jackson sleeps. He sleeps 12 hours every night. Straight through. I won’t pretend that it happened the exact day that we got the DockATot. Unfortunately, I learned just how easy it is to clean the first night we had it thanks to some toddler vomit. But after about a month of use, Jackson started sleeping through the night in his bed. We even traveled with it and the little boy that refuses to sleep away from home, slept pretty darn good!

We have “broken” the rule and allow it in his crib. This is NOT recommended by the company as it is against “safe-sleep” practices. But my husband and I felt comfortable since Jackson has the capability to move his head or get unstuck if necessary. He’s old enough for a pillow in his crib at 17 months old anyways. The DockATot has given him a sense of comfort and security and will stay with him as we transition to a toddler bed, sometime this year.

I can not say enough good things about the DockATot. It is super easy to clean, super comfortable- of course I laid on it! I love how easily it travels and can’t wait to take it camping with us! (If you didn’t know- Jackson was not a fan of the pack n play, therefore we had to take the crib mattress with us when we went camping 4 times last summer! Crib mattresses aren’t so easy to just take with you….)

While the DockATot may not be the exact answer to getting your baby to sleep through the night, it certainly helped us. In all honesty, Jackson may not have been ready to sleep through the night. Maybe he physically did need to nurse and cuddle mama all night- even though he REFUSED to cosleep- little booger. But I’ll continue to praise the DockATot for getting me some sleep. 😉

 

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AWE Süsse PD All-In-One Diaper Review

The AWE Süsse PD All-In-One Diaper was designed and created by three moms that decided to open an eco-friendly family store! Their store, AWE Süsse was named with their youngest children’s names in mind, along with their German heritage. They carry many of the brands we all know and love- but they also have created their own diaper!

About the Diaper

This diaper was designed with their babies in mind. It is easy to use for babysitters and daycare providers- but also absorbent enough for bedtime! The diaper has a PUL outer layer around French terry, to keep clothes dry. On the inside, you’ll find a layer of athletic jersey lining to pull the wetness away from baby’s sensitive skin. The absorbant stiched in insert is made up of French terry, organic cotton, bamboo and hemp. The insert is wrapped in organic cotton so only the softest material touches baby. With four rows of snaps, there’s many size settings to make sure your baby gets the best fit possible.

On to one of my favorite features: the rainbow snaps. We’ve seen rainbow snaps on Lalabye Baby diapers, and it’s one of their big selling points. The AWE Süsse PD All-In-One Diaper also has rainbow snaps to make diaper changes easy for other caretakers. Its super easy to grab a index card and color the outline of the diaper and then circle which color snap setting baby is currently fitting into. This makes it a million times easier to leave baby with someone that is unfamiliar with cloth diapering!

Want to use it on a newborn? This diaper also features an umbilical cord snap down! Because of the way the snaps are designed, you also have the option of a fifth rise to make it even tinier for the itty bittiest of babies! This diaper will start to fit around 8 lbs and fit until 35 lbs.

My Experience

I refuse to post about a diaper that did not work for us- because how can I tell you to use it if I wouldn’t? Well- this is not the case here! I love this diaper! It fits SUPER trim but it so absorbent. It even passed our bedtime test! 😉 Jackson seemed comfortable and his super sensitive skin wasn’t red, even after spending the night in it- which is a constant issue we have with using cloth for nighttime. The available designs are super adorable! I absolutely love the galaxy print: AWE Süsse Dreams. Isn’t it amazing?!

 

Overall- my experience with the diaper was fantastic. I love the elastics, the rainbow snaps, the materials used, and of course…. the absorbancy! This diaper is a winner in my book. I just wish I had a teeny tiny squish to try it on and see how it would fit on a newborn!

 

So now- a giveaway! You’ve seen what I like about the diaper so tell me in the comments- What’s your favorite feature of the AWE Süsse PD AIO diaper?

 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Please note: I did receive the diapers for the review. All opinions expressed are 100% honest and my own.

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A Look @ Babyganics + a Review!

 

As a Guidance Guide Brand Ambassador- I received this amazing package from Babyganics! Inside the package included baby wipes, hand sanitizer, sunscreen, body lotion, and body wash/shampoo. I’ve used a few Babyganics items in the past- but not all of these!

Baby Wipes

Babyganics face, hand & baby wipes are made with plant-based ingredients. These baby wipes are super thick- but not so thick that you can’t handle them easily. They also have a slight texture to them to help clean up the messiest messes on baby! They’re fragrance free, so super gentle on baby’s sensitive skin. Added bonus? They’re also free from alcohol, parabens, sulfates, phthalates, and artificial dyes! I’m very particular about what baby wipes I use for diaper changes and these are my new favorite- hands down! They get the job done but without a bunch of added “stuff.”

 

Hand Sanitizer

Visitors in my house probably think I’m a germaphobe because there is hand sanitizer EVERYWHERE throughout my house. I also be sure to keep one in the diaper bag. This was a product that I already owned and love. There are seriously only 7 ingredients in the alcohol-free version. This particular hand sanitizer also foams, so it’s fun for the kids! And we all know that if the kids think it’s fun…. they’ll actually use it! 😉 My favorite part about this hand saniziter is that it doesn’t have a sticky feel after it’s all rubbed in. A little bit also goes a long way, so even the travel size lasts a long time!

 

Sunscreen

Here in Ohio, we don’t need sunscreen until May…. sometimes June! I’m really picky about the sunscreen I use, if I’m being honest. Babyganics’ Suncreen is SPF 50 and is mineral based. In their sunscreen, you will not find PABA, phthalates, parabens, fragrances or nano-particles. It’s made with plant-based and certified organic ingredients. Being tear free and non-allergenic, it seems like a pretty good sunscreen to try! Babyganics also states that it is water-resistant for up to 80 minutes! I’ll definitely be trying this on the kids this summer for sure!

 

 

Body Lotion

I absolutely love this body lotion! Jackson loves his bath time, but it’s hard on his skin since he has some eczema. This lotion isn’t harsh on his sensitive skin but still smells super good! (We have the chamomile verbena scent!) It has all the good stuff- plant-based and certified organic ingredients like aloe, shea butter, olive oil, vitamin E and avocado oil. And again, you won’t find any parabens, sulfates, phthalates, mineral oil, petrolatum, artificial fragrances or dyes in this lotion! Jackson’s skin is super smooth after we use it and it also doesn’t get that sticky feeling. I’ve even started using on super dry hands- totally helps moisturize them. It’s also not super thick, so it’s much easier to rub in than some other baby lotions we’ve tried.

 

 

Body Wash/Shampoo

The Babyganics Shampoo & Body Wash is also a foaming soap- like their hand sanitizer. So obviously, it’s a huge hit with the kids! I love it because I don’t have to lather it up. I feel like that step has already been done for me! This particular soap makes me happy because it’s also tear free- we all know babies and toddlers don’t sit still for long! I like knowing that we won’t have a complete meltdown if some gets into Jackson’s eyes. Like the rest of the products, it’s made with plant-based and certified organic ingredients and is free of all the junk. It not only cleans baby’s sensitive skin, but it also has a 100% natural NeoNourish® seed oil blend to nourish skin as well.

 

 

All in all, I’m really happy with the Babyganics products! Last summer, I found their Insect Repellent and fell in love with it right away! But after trying all these products- it really makes me want to take a trip to Target and grab a few other of their products to try! So tell me this- do you use any Babyganics products in your home? What’s your favorite??? 🙂

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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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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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Eight Easy Tips To Reinvent Your Toddler’s Bedroom

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It’s hard to know how exactly to decorate your toddler’s room. It’s that time where they’re starting to form their own distinct little personality, and knowing how to reflect that in their space is a tough challenge. Thankfully, there are some solutions…

 

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Pick A Colour Scheme

First of all, it’s important to choose a colour scheme. Toddlers’ rooms are crazy enough with scattered toys and possessions to have a mishmash of decorations too, so if you try to make it as clean and simple as you can to begin with, the mess will be easier to deal with. Go for a cool, calming colour like duck egg blue (yes, for girls as well!) or pale yellow. Colours like red and purple might be bright and fun but you should bear in mind that you want this room to be somewhere where you want your toddler to sleep well so it shouldn’t be too over stimulating.

Invest In A New Bed

If your toddler hasn’t moved up to his or her big boy or big girl bed yet, now is the time to make that transition. Every child is ready for their big bed at a different age – but if your toddler’s been trying to climb out of his or her crib, now is definitely the time! You might feel a little nervous about it on the first night so make sure you put some pillows on the floor next to the bed to break your toddler’s fall if he or she rolls off the bed during the night. Chances are, they’ll be absolutely fine! Look online for the best toddler beds that will suit your needs.

 

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Try Out More Storage Solutions

One of the biggest problems that we all have – and will always have – with our homes is storage. Especially if you have kids, it’s almost impossible to know what exactly you want to keep. Random objects become imbued with more sentimental attachment than they really deserve. It’s not necessarily time to throw away all of your kids’ old childhood toys – but it is time to install some decent shelving so that you can put certain things on display, Put some covered baskets or bins on the larger shelves and use them to keep toys in.

 

Change Your Windows

If your toddler’s having problems sleeping – and staying asleep – it’s probably destroying your sleeping patterns as well. Although you expect new-born babies to be up a lot in the night, it can be really difficult if your toddler continues these patterns. Purchase some blackout blinds or curtains so early morning sunrise doesn’t wake up your child. You can also get soundproof drapes that will block out any noises from the street below. Make sure that you tie up the end of the blind string so there’s no way your toddler can reach it, as this can be a huge hazard.

 

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Decide What You Want The Room To Be

When you’re decorating a room, it’s important to consider exactly what sort of space you want it to be, so it doesn’t turn into a mess of different ideas. If you’re lucky enough to have a separate playroom where your child spends most of their time, then you might want to make the bedroom into a place mostly for sleeping and napping, so you might be focusing on turning it into a relaxing space where it’ll be easy for your toddler to fall asleep and to relax. In that case, you might focus on soft, cosy furnishings, and shelves of books that you can reach for when it’s time for bedtime stories. If you want to make it a more stimulating environment that encourages creative independent play, go for more bright colours and plenty of toys within easy reach, along with a surface where your toddler can create his or her amazing works of art.

 

Give Your Toddler Some Choices

Your child is starting to reach the sort of age where he or she is forming their own personality, with distinct likes and dislikes, so it’s time to start asking them what they might want in their new room. Obviously it isn’t a good idea to decorate the whole place based on a whim – in six months, chances are your daughter won’t love Frozen quite as much as she does now, so the life size statue of Princess Elsa might turn out to be an error in judgement. Give your child choices between a couple of parent-approved options, so they feel as though they have control over their new room but you also know it’ll turn out the way you want it to.

 

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Make It Eco Friendly

In this day and age, it’s crucial to consider what changes you can make to your home to help save the planet. It’s even more crucial to ensure that you include your children in these choices so that you raise them in a household where it’s the norm to consider the rest of the world and how exactly to do the best and greenest thing to help save the world. Make sure that you paint the room using non toxic environmentally friendly paint, and if you’re disposing of any old furniture, consider freecycling it instead or donating it instead of throwing it away. With new furniture, try to use sustainable, recyclable materials like wood, glass and metal instead of plastic. Replace old light bulbs with new LED ones, which will use less energy and also have the added bonus of bringing down your energy bill!

Add Decorative Touches

Finally, add some decorative touches just like you do in the rest of the house. If you’re a fan of taking plenty of family photos, get your Instagram pictures printed and blown up onto canvases so you can put them onto your toddler’s walls. Go for a bright, cheerful rag rug – not only are they pretty, but they also aren’t too expensive, so spillages and mess won’t matter – and as a final touch, stick some glow in the dark stars on the ceiling.

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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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MommyCon Review, Promo Code, and GIVEAWAY 

*Edit- Looking for the 2017 coupon code? Use the code FLUFFBUM17 for $5 off!*
For the third year in a row- I have the pleasure of being in MommyCon’s media team as a blogger. And last year, I experienced MommyCon in real life- instead of just thru the windows of the Internet! 😉 I was 34 weeks pregnant so I was hormonal but I loved having a da away from my kids and husband! I had a day for me, doing what I love! Here’s what I think about the MommyCon events…

MommyCon is freaking awesome! Where else are you going to find a bunch of parents with a mindset like you?! Cloth diapering, baby wearing, breastfeeding, co-sleeping, essential oils… The list could go on and on. Everybody is accepted. There’s no shaming or words being thrown around the mother openly breastfeeding her child. It’s like everyone is on the same team. MommyCon brings that community together and it’s literally one of the coolest things I’ve experienced.

So other than meeting people- what else is MommyCon about? Well… There are some really neat speakers. I had the pleasure of listening to Jessica from the Leaky Boob last year. And maybe it was the pregnancy hormones- but she seriously made me cry. Her words were so powerful that I just couldn’t hold them back.

   

Another person I got to see speak was Jennifer Labit, the founder and CEO of Cotton Babies. She spoke about cloth diapering- mostly how and why to start. She was a very good speaker and I was excited to meet her!

   

I had a total “fan-girl” moment when I met Jamie, the BabyGearGuy. I love following his posts on Facebook and Instagram. He’s just a really down to earth, funny guy. And he knows his stuff! He spoke on car seat safety and answered questions. My sister in law convinced me to go up to him for a picture, which I would have anyways… But I was nervous. 😂 Again, probably my pregnancy hormones.

 

 

Along with bloggers and speakers, you also get to shop. And I like shopping! There were many venders there and they were all right up my alley. Smart bottoms, Pink Lemonade Shop, Applecheeks, Tekhni- and that’s just the beginning! I was really excited to meet Sue, the owner of Pink Lemonade Shop. She also is in Ohio but is still about two hours away from me. I’m happy MommyCon allowed us to actually meet!

 

Now, the swag bag. I wouldn’t recommend going to MommyCon if you’re only going for the goodie bag. There’s so much information and other amazingness to get from this experience than just the goodie bag. But, it is an awesome perk. MommyCon has some awesome sponsors! Because I’m in the media team, some of my items are a little different  than the general admission bags, but here’s what I received:

  

And then here is what I purchased. I could have (and wanted) to purchase some additional things, but I was overwhelmed and couldn’t make a decision on what I wanted. So although I didn’t get everything I had my eye on, I’m still really happy with what I did purchase! And I LOVE my MommyCon shirt! As a matter of fact, I’ve gotten some awesome compliments on it! 😉

   

MommyCon 2015 was really neat and I’m happy that I got to experience it! But now, they’re gearing up for MommyCon 2016! Here is the schedule for this year:

  • MommyCon Atlanta- February 6th
  • MommyCon Chicago- March 5th
  • MommyCon Seattle- April 2nd
  • WEAR: Babywearing Conference (Chicago)- May 27th-May 29th
  • MommyCon Austin- June 25th
  • MommyCon DC: July 23rd
  • MommyCon OC: August 20th
  • MommyCon Orlando: September 3rd
  • MommyCon San Jose: October 29th
  • MILK: Infant Feeding Conference (Orange County)- November 11th- November 12th

 

Can’t wait to buy your ticket??? I have a coupon code for you! Use the code FLUFFBUM16 at checkout to receive $6 off your general admission ticket- not valid on VIP upgrades. This code is good for ALL MommyCon events, including WEAR and MILK!!! 🙂

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Now- enter to WIN a pair of MommyCon general admission tickets! Pick the city you would attend. Please be aware that this covers the ticket ONLY and does not include travel or hotel stay.

 

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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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MommyCon Discount Code 2015

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Have you dreamed of meeting other cloth diapering, babywearing, breastfeeding and natural parenting people?? Have you wondered or wished that you could be at, oh… I don’t know, a convention that brings these kinds of parents together??? Well, here’s a game changer for you: MOMMYCON! MommyCon is just that and more!

Are you ready for MommyCon’s 2015 schedule??? So far, this is what has been released. We’re waiting on just a few more cities and dates to be announced.

February 21- CHICAGO
March 28- ATLANTA
April 18- MINNEAPOLIS
May 23- ORLANDO
August 22- WASHINGTON D.C

Visit MommyCon’s website for more information. I’m excited to actually attend MommyCon this year in Ohio! They haven’t announced the official date yet- but you better believe I’ll be there!

Fluff Bum Babies is a part of their Sisterhood Blogger program again this year. This helps me give you a discount code and in turn, I earn a small percentage for compensation. So a huge thank you for using my discount code in advance!!!! 😉 This code is valid on general admission tickets only. It is not valid on pre-sale or VIP upgrades.

So tell me…. Which location will you be attending? Will I be seeing you in Ohio?!

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Fluff Advice Wednesday: Find Your Local Group

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Finding a group on Facebook is super easy, unless there hasn’t been one started in your area yet. Or maybe there has, but it’s mainly used as a buy/sell/trade page.

About a year ago, I started my own local group and invited some of the mamas I knew that cloth diapered in my area. We started having meetings in my home or my sister in laws once a month. This was awesome because we got to not only interact with each other in person, but we could ask questions, show each other new diapers, and just enjoy each other’s company. It’s amazing having friends that parent in similar ways that I do. We have each other’s backs!

Now, why is this good advice? I strongly believe that each family has their own wash routine and there is no “one size fits all.” However, if there are water issues in your area, then chances are…. Another mom is dealing with some of the same laundry issues that you are. Heck, you might get lucky and they may have already figured out the tricks to getting pretty, clean diapers.

Just like babywearing has a sense of community with their meetings, cloth diapering has brought in an even bigger community to my life. I’ve seen more cloth diapers up close to know what I may want to purchase and try and what I may want to avoid. I’ve learned about more than cloth diapers since starting our local group and met so many awesome women!

My advice for today is: find some people. Heck, you may already know them. But join a LOCAL group, be a part of your local cloth diapering community, and support any local cloth diapering shops you may have. The internet is great at bringing people together and for online shopping. But we’re starting to lose the sense of community by joining large Facebook groups and never meeting these people in person. (And of course… It is the internet so always remain cautious in every scenario!)

Hey, you may even meet a mama that brings you a bottle of wine on a really bad day. (True story, it’s happened to me!) We all need support. So why not get it from people that are minutes or miles away? <3

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50 Reasons My Toddler Has Thrown a Fit Today

toddlerism tuesday

Toddler-ism Tuesday: 50 Reasons My Toddler Has Thrown a Fit Today

  1. She woke up with her finger out of her mouth.
  2. She had to take her diaper off and put on big girl panties.
  3. She wanted to sit on my face.
  4. Her sister handed her a banana.
  5. I put the baby gate up by the stairs.
  6. Her smoothie wasn’t pink enough.
  7. My phone rang.
  8. I wanted to use the bathroom… by myself.
  9. She wanted the pink plate instead of the red one.
  10. I said, “I love you!”
  11. She wanted Daddy.
  12. She didn’t want Daddy.
  13. The dog barked at the mailman.
  14. She watched that episode of Sesame Street yesterday. (Gees Netflix!)
  15. Her sister handed her a tissue after she sneezed.
  16. She was tired.
  17. She wasn’t tired.
  18. Her name is Baileigh.
  19. She wanted PB&J.
  20. She didn’t want to eat her PB&J in squares. Triangles, Mom!
  21. She ate all her applesauce.
  22. She wanted to color with the lined paper.
  23. There weren’t enough lines on the paper.
  24. Daddy came home.
  25. Mommy took a shower without her.
  26. She had to pee while watching a movie- Can’t miss Elsa singing Let it Go for the millionth time.
  27. She peed in her panties because she HAD to watch Elsa sing Let it Go.
  28. She didn’t want the Minnie Mouse panties.
  29. She didn’t want the 2T pink pants, she wanted the 4T pink pants. (Her sister’s size that she could drown in…)
  30. Her sister got more purple fruit snacks in her pouch than she did. (Gees Welch’s!)
  31. It was her sister’s turn to pick a movie.
  32. It was naptime.
  33. The batteries ran out. (Or did they….)
  34. The puzzle pieces fell out of the puzzle when she held it upside down.
  35. Mom said, “No,” again…
  36. She was told to stop eating her broccoli and eat her chicken.
  37. She was offered a piece of chocolate.
  38. She was asked to snuggle.
  39. Daddy gave her a kiss on her head.
  40. Sister offered her half her cookie.
  41. Her stuffed animal was left on her bed during dinner.
  42. She wanted the “Fishy” diaper. (Thanks Bumgenius!)
  43. She wanted the “Snowman: diaper. (thanks Best Bottoms!)
  44. She wanted to wear BOTH diapers to bed. At the same time.
  45. She drank all her milk.
  46. She was offered water.
  47. Her music turned off 20 minutes after she was put to bed.
  48. She fell asleep too early.
  49. Her sister woke her up. (Her sister was fast asleep when I walked in….)
  50. Mommy didn’t close the door fast enough.

 

WHEW. What. A. DAY! Toddlers can be super rough, especially because they can’t communicate with you entirely. Their lives are struggles but they don’t understand why. You can bet that I choose my battles. For instance, when she got a red plate and wanted the pink one, I gave her the pink one. If that’s all she wanted, then why not give it to her? Sure, it put another dish in my sink, but it made her happy. Some may say she’ll be raised to be spoiled then. I say, she’ll be raised happy. The color of something to a small child can be the world. It’s not JUST a color like it is to you and me. It’s their entire day. I’ll pick my battles to get through the day. And after bedtime, I’ll pour myself a glass of wine and tell myself, “I freaking did it!”

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Our 4 Week Potty Training Journey

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Baileigh could not have surprised me more. I had put off potty training because I just didn’t feel like she was ready. She wanted to wear big girl panties but she wouldn’t recognize when she needed to go to the bathroom. This would make a huge mess in any room she would walk into. I didn’t want to discourage her, but I’ll be honest. I didn’t want to clean up pee off my floors fifteen times a day. That just would not be my cup of tea.

Here’s what we did. I didn’t push her into potty training. Every morning, I’d ask her what she wanted. Most mornings she would tell me she wanted to wear big girl panties. I’d let her and we do the whole go to the potty thing. But once she had three accidents, it was diaper time and we’d try again later. Luckily, at this point she wanted to wear a diaper because she didn’t like feeling pee in panties anyways.

Fast forward a few days. I remember this day specifically in our short journey. I was babysitting and she was wearing big girl panties. She had been doing good all morning and then just asked for a diaper. Because I wanted it to be all on her, I gave in and put a diaper on her. She seemed to be feeling overwhelmed and I wanted her to be able to play with her friend without having to worry about accidents. She wore the diaper for about an hour when she run up to me. She told me she peed and she wanted panties on. This was her last daytime diaper during awake time. This was big. It was her choice to put it on and after peeing in it, she decided to take it off and be done.

Since then, she has gone through multiple nap times, play time, hour long car rides, family get togethers, and grocery store runs without an accident. She was ready. It was time. She was a big girl and was ready to spend her days in big girl Minnie Mouse panties.

For a few days, the thought of her potty training was really hard for me. This was her last “baby” thing. We had already outgrown night time feedings, bottles, binkies, and now diapers. Bai has always been a very mommy dependent child. She’s always been a mommy’s girl. And now, she’s more independent and wants to do everything on her own. She has such a sassy attitude that I’m not sure that being independent is good or not! I think that just means we’re in a bunch of trouble!!! Haha

Mamas that have potty trained, how was your experience? Scary? Easy? Better or worse than you expected?? Tell me all about it in the comments below! 🙂

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