Progression Pics and Notes: 37 - 40 Weeks

Thursday, December 27, 2012 12:40 PM Posted by Lovely Fluffy Mama

37 Weeks: Where in the world did this week go? It literally flew by! Had a couple of appointments - 1 NST and 1 dilation check (2cm yay!).

38 Weeks: This is the final countdown! If I don't go into labor this week/weekend on my own, then I'll be induced next week on my mom's birthday!!

Had my weekly NST, everything looks good. I'm at 2.5 cm and the doctor did a very "aggressive" exam in hopes of possibly encouraging labor to start naturally. We will see! Either way, she will be here next week!! Eeeeeek!

39 Weeks: Induction Day!!! Well, she didn't come on her own, so time for the induction! It went great! I was able to get an epidural early, and I must say it was absolutely glorious lol! Got to the hospital at 6:30am, started the pitocin around 8am, epidural around 9am, the doctor came to break my water by 9:30am, and little miss Emily  Noel was born at 12:15pm! Super quick and amazing delivery! Thank you God!

The night before induction day - 39 weeks :)

And here she is! Emily Noel, 7lbs, 8oz :)

Hanging with the hubs after Emily was born :)

And one of my favorite pictures, the kids meeting their baby sister :)

Thank you for following me on my pregnancy journey!! It's been an amazing experience :)

~ Jessica

Progression Notes and Pics: 33 - 36 Weeks

Monday, December 3, 2012 4:24 PM Posted by Lovely Fluffy Mama

33 Weeks: This week I am really starting to feel the pregnancy lol. Very breathless and I can feel babygirl getting bigger and more cramped. I am still walking with my mom in the mornings which helps tremendously! I can really feel a difference if we happen to skip a couple of days or so of walking!

Starting to get more anxious about the delivery. Not necessarily nervous, just getting more and more ready for it to happen haha.

Had a prenatal appointment this week. Although my glucose numbers looks ok, I am now taking Glyburide at night to help lower my fasting blood sugar.

I also found out that unless I have babygirl in the next 5 weeks, I will be induced at 39 weeks. Definitely not what I wanted to hear, but I have to trust that God is in control and knows my situation and my heart and I will accept whatever the outcome may happen to be.

34 Weeks: This week I can feel a difference in the positioning of babygirl. She has been moving down and feels like she is in a definite head down position - locked and loaded lol :)


35 Weeks: This week has been very slow going. BUT, my baby shower is this week so that is very exciting!

Babygirl has for sure dropped this week. I can barely walk most days due to the pelvic pressure and pain and my back is more wrecked than ever before. Heating pad seems to really help, but of course is very temporary. 

Dr appointment next week! She will be checking me for dilation and I will have a non-stress test to make sure everything is going well with the baby's oxygen levels and such. Excited to see if there is any progression :)

I had my baby shower! So much fun with family and friends! Here's me and the hubs, he's measuring my belly for a game :)

36 Weeks: This week flew by! Going to the doctor twice a week  now - once for NST's and once for regular check ups. I am 1 cm dilated this week and baby is confirmed head down :)

Progression Notes and Pics: 29 - 32 weeks

Thursday, November 1, 2012 1:19 PM Posted by Lovely Fluffy Mama

29 Weeks: Took the 3 hour glucose test this week. The doctor said that "no news is good news", so we will see what happens! I go back for a regular checkup in 2 weeks :)


30 Weeks: My doctor's office called about the results of my 3 hour glucose test. She didn't say I didn't pass, but I am to start a 2,000 calorie diabetic diet for the next couple of weeks, and when I go back for my regular appointment next week we will talk about it.

I have been trying really hard to change my diet around and add more exercise into my routine so that I don't gain a ton more weight, since I am already at the "reasonable" weight gain for this pregnancy. And I have to say, I feel great! Over the last 2 weeks, I have managed to maintain my weight from my last doctor's appointment :) One more week until my next appointment so I will have the official weigh-in then :)

31 Weeks: I feel better now than I have this entire pregnancy. Having to do the 3 hour glucose test and gaining so much weight so quickly was a big wake up call. It wasn't that I was eating terrible before, but I certainly wasn't really paying much attention to it. And I also wasn't exercising nearly as much as a should have been. I have cut out most carbs/starches/sugars. Added a ton of water and protein. I came to realize that when I eat pasta, breads, drink sodas (even diet) etc...that I end up with a monstrous headache. I never associated it with what I was eating before now!

Had a doctor's appointment this week. Sure enough, I have to test my blood sugar 4x/day, at least until my next appointment in about a week and a half. If my numbers can be maintained using diet modification, then I will only have to to test maybe twice a day (if that) and will need NO medication! Good news is I am finally measuring where I should be (I was always measuring 2 -3 weeks ahead, but this time was spot on 31 weeks!), and I only gained maybe 1.5 lbs between visits (normally I was gaining between 4 - 6 lbs between visits!). 

32 Weeks: This week has been going ok. My numbers for blood sugar testing have been looking good, and I have figured out how to control it. So, hopefully after next week I will only have to test twice a day! 

Halloween was this week :) We had a good time! My parents and sister and her kids came over for chili and then we ventured out into the neighborhood for trick or treating! Lots of walking, which actually felt really good, and I amazingly avoided *most* candy consumption :)


Progression Pics and Notes: 25 - 28 Weeks

Saturday, October 6, 2012 12:29 PM Posted by Lovely Fluffy Mama

25 Weeks: More exercise for me! I've been walking with my mom in the mornings 3x/week and it really helps me feel great, plus I get to spend some quality time with my mom!

26 Weeks: This week has been pretty uneventful. Took my glucose test, and I go back to the doctor in a couple of weeks. Still walking in the mornings with my mom :)

27 Weeks: The weeks are just flying by! I can't believe it! It is almost the end of September already! I am pretty sure babygirl has moved her way back down again! Possibly even head down at this point. I feel a lot less pressure on my lungs and feeling that low pelvic pressure and pain once again. I gotta be honest, I would rather have the pelvic discomfort than to have the pressure on my lungs - I seriously couldn't breathe!

Getting a little nervous about the end of this pregnancy/birth - not necessarily the actual labor/delivery, but the madness that will be surrounding it. First of all, my due date is Christmas Eve, so that in itself is already a chaotic time of year to have a baby (although, definitely the BEST gift I could ever ask for!). All the hustle and bustle of the holidays is so much fun, but also a lot to take in, especially being so far along in my pregnancy as I will be. But this year, we will also have a lot of family here!! We already have lots of family that live in town (my parents, Ryan's parents and his brothers, my brother, my sister and her family). But this year, Ryan's grandfather from England is flying in. Also his aunt from England is making a "surprise" visit. His other aunt and uncle (and possibly cousin) from Texas are flying in. And so is his uncle from California. There are always other surprises and surprise visits involving family, so there is no telling how big and burly this season will be lol! But, as nervous as it makes me to have so many people around at such an emotionally draining and trying time, I feel SO BLESSED to have so many people that will be there that really care for me and love me and be excited with me. As a bonus, I will have plenty of help and babysitters available to let me recover! yay!

28 Weeks: Found out at my prenatal check-up that my 1 hr glucose test was high, so I am taking the 3 hour test next week. We will see what happens! I also had to take the 3 hour one with my son and it ended up being nothing, so I am really hoping and praying that this will be the same :)

Measuring around 31 weeks, and I have gained 6 lbs since my last appointment (went from 147 to 153 in a month).


Pics and Progression Notes: 21 - 24 Weeks

Tuesday, August 14, 2012 11:40 AM Posted by Lovely Fluffy Mama


Week 21: I am officially past the halfway mark in this pregnancy! Things are starting to set in a little now in my mind - this is really happening! Ahhh!!

I am somewhat the opposite of a pack rat. I hate clutter, so if something doesn't have a "home" or storage space or if we haven't used it lately or won't use it anytime soon, it gets thrown out or given away. That being said, of course we have NOTHING left of Riley's or Noah's from when they were babies. Well, I think we still have Noah's pack and play, but that's it. I'm not too worried about it - we have time to get things done and it will be fun starting over! And if it doesn't get done, oh well! Things always seems to fall into place when it needs to, I'm not going to stress over it :)

I have been able to feel babygirl moving around since about 17 weeks, but late last night as I was laying there, watching my belly, I realized she is big enough now for everyone else to see and feel the movements! What an amazing show to watch - it never gets old :)

I have been really mindful of what I have been eating lately. I feel like my stomach is an endless, insatiable, monstrosity of an abyss lately. So, basically, I could literally eat all day and never feel full. This is why I have to make a conscious decision with every single bite that I am eating as healthy and as nutrient dense as possible. I definitely want only the best for this little one, and I sure as heck don't want to have to lose 1,000 lbs after she is born :)


22 Weeks: Carrying a baby can be killer for your back. Carrying a baby low is just torture lol. Not only does it do terrible things to your back, but it also does quite a number on your pelvic region. There are some days where it hurts to even just stand up. I am hoping she moves her way up a little as time goes on and as she gets bigger. But until then, I ordered this pregnancy support band that should be arriving this week, so we will see how that works! I'm also incorporating a little yoga into my routine, and I think that will also help :)

The pregnancy band seems to be actually helping! Pretty comfy to wear and I can definitely feel the difference, especially in my back - yay!

Starting to narrow down the names for babygirl!! Very Exciting :)

(this week flew by and I forgot to take a picture!)

23 Weeks: I think babygirl is finally starting to move up a little! A LOT less pressure down low, and the pregnancy band that I wear during the day has been helping :) The only downside is that I can feel more pressure on my lungs now, so I am becoming much more breathless these days.

24 Weeks: It's hard to believe how fast this pregnancy has been going! Only 16 weeks left!

Still feeling good, just feeling fat lol. Huffing and puffing all over the place :) I need to get to the gym - the sad part is, my husband manages one and I haven't been there to work out yet lol!

Had a prenatal appointment this week. Everything is going great! Glucose screening will be in the next couple of weeks.

Really looking forward to some cooler weather (hopefully soon!). It is already into the first week of September and still 95+ degrees outside! Come on Fall weather!

(Again, no photo - oops!)


Homemade Greek Yogurt

Thursday, July 26, 2012 3:04 PM Posted by Lovely Fluffy Mama
I had no idea you could make yogurt at home!! And then, to find out how easy it is??!! Amazing! It is quite time consuming, but most of that is letting the yogurt "incubate", which you can do overnight, and you can use your crock pot!!

  • 8 cups (1/2 gallon) milk - I used whole milk, but you can use any kind
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt (this is used as a "starter", so if you have made homemade before, you can use that. Also I used plain Greek yogurt, but I think any kind would work)
Optional Ingredients:
  •  1/2 cup to 3/4 cup honey 
  •  1 Tablespoon vanilla extract

  1. Pour 8 cups milk into crock pot. Cover and cook on low for 2 1/2 hours.
  2. After 2 1/2 hours, turn crock pot off (unplug it too). Let sit, covered for another 2 1/2 to 3 hours.
  3. Take out 1 to 2 cups of the milk and whisk with 1/2 cup plain yogurt. Make sure it is nice and smooth. *You can also whisk in the honey and vanilla at this point, if you wish to have sweetened yogurt*. Pour mixture back into crock pot and stir well with the rest of the milk.
  4. Wrap entire covered crock pot with a thick towel to insulate. Let sit for 8 to 10 hours - I set mine in the oven with the light on over night, but you can probably just leave it on the counter top.
  5. After 8 to 10 hours, unwrap and uncover the yogurt - if you don't like Greek yogurt, you can just pour this mixture into containers and refrigerate until ready to use. 

**To make it Greek style
  • After, 8 to 10 hours of incubating, unwrap and uncover the yogurt. Pour yogurt into a cheesecloth-lined strainer/colander, sitting in a bowl (the bowl is to catch the liquid whey that will separate from the yogurt), and place in refrigerator for several hours to strain. I had to use about 4 layers of the cheesecloth.
  • When yogurt has reached your desired thickness, removed yogurt from the cheesecloth, put into containers, and store in refrigerator until you are ready to enjoy! I was ready to enjoy right then!

  • Keep the whey that collects in the bowl!! It is VERY good for you! Loaded with protein, vitamins, minerals, and enzymes!! You can freeze it into ice cubes and put into smoothies! You can also substitute it in its liquid state where a recipe calls for buttermilk (like pancakes yum!). Here is a good link for 18 Ways To Use Whey. You can always just Google it too! There are so many things you can use it for, so don't throw it away, even though it does has a striking resemblance to urine lol.

Don't forget to save at least 1/2 cup of your homemade yogurt to use as a starter for the next time!

After I enjoyed a few bites of this yummy deliciousness, I decided to add some granola - YUM!
Enjoy your homemade yogurt!

~ Jessica

Pics and Progression Notes: 4 - 16 Weeks

Monday, July 23, 2012 8:14 PM Posted by Lovely Fluffy Mama
With my first 2 pregnancies, I hardly took any pictures and I never wrote anything down about it. I did journal for a bit after both kids were born - milestones and such. But never anything while I was still pregnant. Now that I have a blog, I want to use it to keep track of this beautiful time in my life with my third (and possibly final) pregnancy. I really should have started taking pictures much earlier, but the earliest I have is from when I was 12 weeks, so I will start there with the photos :)

I really don't have anything to report as far as symptoms because I haven't really had any. No morning sickness (thank God). No food cravings yet. Maybe a few food aversions for a short amount of time (chicken was yucky to me for about a week), but now everything sounds pretty good lol. The only thing that stood out for me was between 4 - 7 weeks along, I was extremely dizzy and exhausted. Beyond exhausted. Headaches galore. Breathless. But that all subsided by around 8 weeks. Also around that time (somewhere around the 6 or 8 week mark) my clothes started to not fit anymore! Yikes!

Here we go!
*12 weeks: Feeling great (yet feeling big, and at this point I was not telling anyone about this pregnancy yet)

*Skipped a few weeks of photos and such, sorry :(

*15 weeks: Still feeling awesome! And still not telling anyone about the pregnancy until after our 1st appointment, which will be after 17 weeks :) 

I seriously need some new clothes! NOTHING fits anymore - even my "big jeans" do not fit any longer. 
I need some summer clothes! It is HOT! 

I'm pretty sure I felt movement - although I'm also pretty sure it could have also been gas lol. With my 1st pregnancy I felt movement at 23 weeks (she was super tiny so it took a little longer to feel her moving). With my second, I felt movement somewhere between 18-20 weeks. 

(I apologize for the poor photo quality on this one!)


*16 weeks: Feeling wonderful. I have been intentionally eating as many whole and raw foods as possible. With my first pregnancy with Riley, I ate basically whatever I wanted, but most of what I wanted was good for me - salads, tons of fruit, smoothies, etc. With my second pregnancy, I ate terrible lol! Anything fried, greasy, or spicy was a go! I remember feeling yucky most of the time and I gained a lot more weight than I probably should have. And it also took me forever to lose the weight once I had Noah. So this time around, even before I became pregnant, I have been making a conscious decision every day to eat very heart healthy and drink tons of water, and get exercise when I can, and I can really feel the difference. I still drink coffee everyday and definitely splurge now and then, but overall, I feel much healthier this time around. 

I have been feeling definite movement this week! I remember this feeling very well. Mostly at night, or when I'm laying down, or when I eat/drink something cold :)

I have my 1st doctor's visit next week and am so excited! It has been hard to keep this pregnancy under wraps when just about everyone else around me has announced their pregnancies!

(again, with the crappy photo quality)

Find Weeks 17 - 20 here :)

Pics and Progression Notes: 17 - 20 Weeks

7:50 PM Posted by Lovely Fluffy Mama

17 Weeks: HEARTBURN!!!! Yep. It's here with a vengeance! I had it terribly with my other pregnancies, and this time around doesn't seem to be any different, except that is has started earlier in the pregnancy than usual.

I FINALLY got to see my doctor for the first time! I LOVE her! I have had female OB/GYN's in the past and had terrible experiences with them, so I was a little hesitant at first when I realized this doctor is female. But she is awesome and I am so glad that I ended up at her office :) The appointment went great - heard the heartbeat a couple of different times during the visit which is always awesome! I have gained about 10 lbs so far this pregnancy, my pre-preg weight was 125lbs and I'm about 136lbs now :) I have an ultrasound scheduled for next week, so I am super excited about that! 

(please excuse the tiny mess in the background haha :) )


18 weeks: Ultrasound day!! Finally went in for our first ultrasound, which also ended up being the gender reveal ultrasound! Ryan and the kids went with me :) Everything looks awesome for our new little PRINCESS!! Yes, IT'S A GIRL!! YAY!

And here's me :)

And, we FINALLY told everyone!! Whew! Felt so good to tell my friends and family :)

More to come!
19 Weeks: It has been one HOT Summer!! I already tend to feel hot all the time normally, but add on summer and a pregnancy and it is absolute misery haha! Definitely been having a hard time cooling down during the day, but lots of water and fresh fruit has been helping :)

The kids are really excited about their baby sister! Noah likes to look at her ultrasound picture :) Riley has been going through her own clothes and said she is keeping the small clothes for her baby sister :) And both of them have been learning how to fold and prep diapers - they like how tiny their sister's diapers are compared to Noah's lol.

My next doctor's appointment will be next week to go over the ultrasound and such :)

Not quite 20 weeks yet in this picture, but I loved Noah in this one :)


20 Weeks: The halfway mark!! Yay! Been feeling really good lately. Definitely need to get more exercise though! Been feeling a tad sluggish, and I know some additional walks around the neighborhood would definitely help. Been thinking about names for babygirl, but nothing solid yet!

Had a follow up appointment to go over the ultrasound and blood work, and everything looks great! My due date hasn't changed, although I did measure 22 weeks instead of 20 weeks (but that could be because of a million different reasons - nothing to be concerned about). I weighed in at 140 lbs, so I gained about 4 lbs since my last appointment - yikes! I was advised to add some additional walking/exercise time into my week lol.

I am carrying super low, which is very uncomfortable. I carried low with Noah as well, and it was miserable! A lot of pressure on the bladder and hips. Although, at this point it is still nice to be able to breathe and not have baby movement all in the ribs and such (but I am sure that will change once she is bigger).

One weird thing that is happening (and it may not even be pregnancy related, although I kind of hope it is), is that my right index finger feels like it has arthritis! Every morning, it is super swollen and tender at the joints. I can barely move it or straighten it. It gets a little looser throughout the day, but not really. It has the feeling of when you jam your finger, yet I didn't injure it. Could this be gout? Whatever it is, I hope it subsides soon or at least after this pregnancy.

OOPS! I forgot to take a 20 week picture! 

Click here to read about Weeks 21 - 24 :)

Picture Progression: From 12 weeks - 40 weeks

7:11 PM Posted by Lovely Fluffy Mama

Review: Scarlet's Naturals SunBlock - Revisited :)

Sunday, July 8, 2012 1:03 PM Posted by Lovely Fluffy Mama
Scarlet's Naturals

Back in May, Desiree from Scarlet's Naturals sent me a generous, full sized Coconut Scented SunBlock to review, just in time for Mother's Day weekend! We ended up spending the day out on the boat and exploring some of the surrounding islands, and for some reason, the SunBlock just didn't seem right - the texture was off, the ingredients were separating, the scent seemed a little off, and it actually didn't work on me (although it worked fantastic on my husband and my kids!). It was odd because I have used some of her other products, such as the Hiney Honey Quick Stick Mini and the Scarlet's Suds laundry detergent, and I absolutely love them and have had no issues with those whatsoever! As it turns out, the SunBlock that was sent to me just happened to be part of a very small few that were a tad faulty. Desiree was so prompt with contacting me about it, and I have to say her customer service is outstanding!! She really cares about her customers and stands behind her products 100%. On top of being super friendly and apologetic, she sent me a completely new full sized bottle of SunBlock! How awesome is that?!

When I received the SunBlock, I have to admit I was a little hesitant to try it again, but I sure am glad that I did! I LOVE it!!!!! It is definitely one of my favorites to use now! I received the unscented this time, and it smells amazing!!! Almost like a light and fresh baby wash type of smell! It is so extremely easy to apply, and even though it ends up going on clear (which I love), it leaves absolutely NO greasy residue!

My kids love to be outside and in the water, so we basically have to use some form of sun protection every single day. To say we have tried a million types of sunscreens and sunblocks and UV resistant clothing would be an understatement!! Or at least it feels that way ;) Scarlet's SunBlock protected my kids for at least a couple of hours with just one application, even with them playing in the water the whole time! 

What I love about Scarlet's SunBlock:
  • All natural ingredients!!!! With ingredients such as coconut oil and beeswax (made from the bee hives in their own backyard!), you can really feel confident about using this product on yourself and your family!
  • Ease of use. This is so easy to apply, even on squirmy kids!
  • No residue. The SunBlock leaves no greasy residue! It blends right in!
  • Water resistant/ Sweat resistent with an SPF of 50+! It really stays on and continues to protect from harmful UVA/UVB rays, even while in the water!
  • Scent is wonderful. Doesn't leave any weird "after scents". It smells very light and clean, the whole time.
  • Great Size and concentrated. The full size comes in a 6 fluid oz bottle and I think it is perfect! It fits nicely in my beach bag without taking up too much room. And because it is fairly concentrated, a little goes a long way and is plenty for our family and will last us a long time.
I honestly can't think of any reason to not love Scarlet's SunBlock! You should definitely give it a try, especially if you are looking for an all-natural alternative for sun protection.

I am so impressed with Scarlet's SunBlock! I will be ordering more in the future for sure! You can purchase your own SunBlock right here! And what is even more awesome is that there is even an option to purchase a convenient, take-along  SunStick - perfect for quick application to the body and face!!! Love that idea! Scarlet's Naturals offers an amazing line of products! You will not be disappointed, no matter what you decide to purchase! Make sure to also go ahead and become a fan on Facebook too - be among the first to know about new products, promos, and giveaways!

A special THANK YOU to Desiree at Scarlet's Naturals for the opportunity to review (and re-review) such an awesome product :)

~ Jessica

*I was not paid to do this review. The products were provided to me in exchange for the review. These are my true and honest words and personal opinions.*

Pregnancy #3 and An Explanation :)

Monday, July 2, 2012 2:17 PM Posted by Lovely Fluffy Mama
After you read my "A Confession, A Little Venting, and A Blessing in Disguise" post, the info from here on out will make more sense :) 

FYI: This post is a tad lengthy, but I need to explain some things first - by the time you are reading this post, I will be backtracking some, so try not to be confused ;)

A Little Background:
This is pregnancy #3 for me and my husband Ryan. We have two beautiful little ones - our little princess Riley is 3 and our handsome prince Noah is 2. We always knew we wanted to have at least one more baby, but didn't really know when. My first 2 pregnancies were a breeze. In fact, we got pregnant immediately (on our honeymoon) and weren't even trying! (Well, we weren't exactly doing our best to prevent it either, but you know what I mean hehe). Piece of cake pregnancy - no morning sickness, not a lot of weird cravings (except at the end I drank about a gallon of milk every day - seriously I had to have it!!), I didn't even show with that pregnancy until I was almost 6 months pregnant! I was induced at 37 weeks only because she was tiny and the doctor wanted to be sure she wasn't tiny because of lack of oxygen flow. Turns out she is just tiny, no health issues whatsoever. Labor was extremely short, about 4 hours total, from breaking my water to Riley screaming her little lungs out on my chest :) In fact, it was so short, by the time I asked for the epidural, it was too late! I was already 10cm dilated and she was ready to make her entrance!

 My second pregnancy happened when Riley was about 6 months old, and I misplaced my birth control pills while the interior of our house was being painted and we moved out for about 3 days during that time. Again, we weren't really taking the appropriate measures to prevent the pregnancy, but it happened after only missing about 2 days of the pill - doesn't take much! But again, no morning sickness, I showed a little earlier that time around, no weird cravings (except for Nathan's corn dogs and cheese fries, and anything spicy - so nothing weird, just completely unhealthy lol), he was an average sized baby, but I ended up being induced again, only because he went past his due date and I couldn't handle it anymore! Short labor, even shorter than my first one - less than 3 hours total. Severe back labor, but again, I waited too long to ask for the epidural (you'd think I would have learned to ask for it immediately upon arrival after having gone through the last labor and deliver without one), so Noah was also born without any pain meds - WOW! That's all I can say - it is a pain like no other! lol

So because it has been so easy for us to get pregnant, we really wanted to wait and actually plan for #3. And so we did. We waited for about 2 years to try again. Except this time it wasn't so easy. Thankfully, it only took 3 - 4 months after really trying (I know that's nothing, but for us it seemed like forever, so I really feel for those that have had to wait much much longer and are possibly in the process of still trying and waiting - i.e. my mom and dad tried for 8 years to get pregnant with me!!!). At the time we started trying again, Ryan had a new job and the future was looking great! We were talking about moving beachside (my dream!), and spending Christmas in a new home! It was all just so exciting! 

Then, one day, Ryan came home from work earlier than I was expecting. I was actually expecting him home a little early, because we planned on going to a basketball game that evening and he needed to leave a little early so we wouldn't be late. But he came home a few hours earlier than I was even expecting him. He got layed off. Talk about emotional rollercoaster. We went from talking about moving to a beach house, planning our Christmas in a new home, to being jobless and falling behind on our bills, and then finding out about our pregnancy all within a matter of weeks. 

The Explanation (for not telling anyone sooner):
We originally wanted to tell everyone after my first doctor's visit (which I was planning on being somewhere around 8 weeks), but since week after week I wasn't able to get an appointment, and then it turned out that I wasn't able to get in to see anyone until 17 weeks (almost time for our gender reveal ultrasound), we decided to just wait until we knew the gender to make the announcement. There was also just no way I could tell my friends and family about our pregnancy before then. They would be so disappointed in us (self-imposed, negative thoughts). I could feel the judgment already (again, this feeling was self-imposed - I would hope that nobody would truly judge us). The pregnancy itself was going great, but I just imagined our situation being better than it was. Ryan had no job. I had no job. He picked up side jobs with his dad (construction) and other friends (lawn care) and traveled every weekend (it ended up being every Wednesday or Thursday - Monday) selling athletic bands at iron man competitions and marathons. And I have been making/selling cloth diapers in between all the craziness that comes with having 2 young children at home. It was crazy!!! Nothing stable, our income has been all over the place this year. Ryan was working and traveling all the time! Then there was the issue with my insurance! Ahhh! Such a trying time. But as trying as this all has been (and to some, this may seem like nothing), I am so very thankful that my family is extremely healthy and that I have been able to stay home and raise my 2 little ones, even through difficult financial times. And I am also thankful that this pregnancy has been such a breeze for me, with no issues whatsoever. 

Meanwhile, I have been trying to keep this pregnancy on the down low, but it has not been easy!! Not telling anyone wasn't the hard part. The fear of judgment from everyone has made it quite easy for me to keep it a secret. Thankfully, I have had no morning sickness or any food aversions or cravings, so it hasn't been too hard to keep it under wraps in that sense. Physically hiding it has been the hard part. I have been showing since I was somewhere between 8 - 10 weeks! Here's my belly at 12 weeks:

Not exactly easy to hide that!

 I am now 15 weeks pregnant while writing this, and I have been sucking it in, wearing loose shirts, staying at home, etc. doing everything possible to hide my growing belly until after my first doctor's appointment (which again won't be until I am 17 weeks along) and first ultrasound.

The good news is, Ryan has a stable job now, he has been promoted in the short amount of time he's been there, my insurance issue has been straightened out, we will be getting a decent return from the IRS soon from a mix-up of sorts so we will be able to catch up on all bills and such, there is another possible house for us to move into (not my dream beach location but a great area and much closer to Ryan's work), and I have an appointment to finally see a doctor. God has always pulled through for us, and I know that He always will, but it isn't always easy to see the victory while you are going through the struggle - that's where FAITH comes into play :) Anyway, after our first ultrasound, I will be more than ready and excited to tell everyone the wonderful news!!

In fact, I won't even be publishing this post until after we make the announcement!

So to all my friends and family that are reading, I apologize for keeping everyone in the dark for so long. And if you have been questioning whether I am pregnant or just simply getting fat and "letting myself go" over the past 4 months, now you know lol! 

P.S. It's a GIRL!!!!

More pictures and other fun stuff to come right here!

~ Jessica

A Confession, A Little Venting, and A Blessing in Disguise :)

1:56 PM Posted by Lovely Fluffy Mama
A Confession: 
Recently friends and such have been asking me when we are going to have more kids. And I have been answering them with something like," Hopefully sooner than later". Or "We would love to have more kids, we just don't know exactly when yet".  The truth is, I have known that I was pregnant since I was about 4 or 5 (at most) weeks along, which makes me almost 4 months pregnant as I am writing this. The day my period was due in April (possibly the day before), I took 3 home pregnancy strip tests - the kind that you dip into the urine sample. I thought they were all negative, until I looked closer. There was a very very very faint line on all 3 tests. Evaporation lines. Or so I thought that was what had happened. The lines seriously were so faint that I thought maybe I was imagining it. But I still had that feeling. So a couple of days went by and I bought another test - the kind that reads either "pregnant" or "not pregnant". I wanted the results to be more clear than the lines - and sure enough "PREGNANT". I took the second one the next day just to be sure - "PREGNANT". 

I'm due December 24, 2012 :)

A Little Venting:
My husband has been self-employed up until recently (now he works for a company instead of for himself). And while we were self-employed, we have had no health insurance for the last 5 years. It is WAY too expensive to purchase privately, and since we didn't work for a company that provided benefits, we have always been able to get coverage through our state (enough coverage for pregnancies and the kids' pediatric services and that's all). BUT, this time around was different. Long story short, it has taken 2 1/2 months to get my insurance coverage straightened out (and another 2 weeks to see a doctor after that), and I have waited this whole time to be able to make a doctor's appointment for prenatal care! Let me tell you, it has driven me CRAZY!!!! All I have wanted to do is to hear the heartbeat, make sure the baby is ok, get my lab work done and out of the way, tell people the exciting news!!! I must have called the doctor's office a billion times trying to make an appointment, and every time I called, I ended up disappointed, because I couldn't get in, because my insurance coverage wasn't "correct". 

So, today (July 2nd), I am now 15 weeks pregnant (I know I am back tracking a bit by the time you are reading this), still haven't seen a doctor - I have had a really smooth pregnancy so far, so thankfully I haven't had any emergencies or else I would have gone straight to the ER or Health Department. Trust me, I would have rather gone to the ER for anything than the dreaded Health Department - I have never had a good experience there, so I will not go there if I can go somewhere else. Anyway, I called AGAIN today to make an appointment, because I was assured that my insurance coverage was in place and ready to go. DENIED an appointment AGAIN!!!! INSANE I tell ya! 

A Blessing in Disguise:
I was totally heartbroken and disappointed, because I was so excited to finally be seeing a doctor! However, I truly believe in blessings in disguise. God knows what He is doing, especially when it doesn't seem to make any sense to us :) So, I started thinking, "Maybe I am just not meant to go to this specific doctor. Maybe I should look into other doctors in the area". And I did just that. And I found a wonderful office that I had never heard of before, affiliated with the hospital where I would like to deliver (and have delivered my other 2 children). Called them and got the appointment right away! My insurance went through and we are all set for July 17th. Yes, I'll be about 17 weeks pregnant by then, but I am SO EXCITED to check out this office and meet the doctor and get things rolling finally! UPDATE: I finally went to my 1st doctor's visit and I am SO BLESSED to have found this office! I love it!

P.S. You all won't be reading this until AFTER this appointment, since we are not telling anyone the news until I have had my first appointment or after the gender reveal ultrasound - see the following post :) 

In the meantime, I'll be updating the blog with pictures and such and when the time comes, I will post everything for all to see!!

Thank you all for reading and keeping up with me! I hope you will continue to follow me and my pregnancy!

~ Jessica

Getting Back To Where I Started

Tuesday, May 29, 2012 11:43 AM Posted by Lovely Fluffy Mama
Hi all!!! As of late, I have been getting so distracted with making diapers, selling diapers, doing giveaways, sponsoring giveaways, keeping up with all of the Facebook "groups" and such, that I have completely gotten away from using this blog for it's original purpose. I started this blog as a way for me to share my feelings, connect with other parents, and be a positive and uplifting source for those who choose to read. I apologize for getting away from all of that. And to be completely transparent with all of you, I have also gotten away from the joys and responsibilities of being a stay at home mom because I have been so focused on all of these other things.

I am truly blessed and grateful that I have been given the option to stay at home with my beautiful and precious children. My husband Ryan is amazing and does everything he possibly can to provide a comfortable lifestyle for us. For a long time, I felt so guilty because I was not providing financially for the family. I have made a lot of changes in order to cut back on expenses, such as switching to cloth diapers, using cloth in the kitchen, using the clothes line more often to dry clothes instead of the dryer, cancelling cable tv, switching to a lower speed internet, making homemade meals and snacks, etc. But I never felt like it was enough. Not because Ryan made me feel that way, but because I made myself feel that way. 

Ryan has always found a way to make money. I have never had to worry about that. We have owned businesses, sold businesses, he has had "regular" 9-5 type of jobs, sales jobs, traveling jobs, and he has freelanced as a subcontractor taking side jobs as they came up. He works incredibly hard so that our kids can stay home with me and grow up comfortably in their own environment. If he wanted me to work, he would ask me to find a job. He has never pressured me into making money, and I appreciate that so much. The added pressure on me has been put there solely by me. The whole reason he does what he does, is because he truly wants me to stay home and raise our kids! And you know what? I want that too!

Sometimes people question my decision to stay home: "You have a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. Why aren't you using it?" Why on earth would I want to spend 12+hours/day with people who don't care about me, working my butt off doing something that I don't even really like doing? Especially when I don't have to?? It's not that I have anything against nurses or any part the medical field. I wouldn't have gone through college to get a degree in the health/medical field if there wasn't something appealing about it to me. But just because I have the background doesn't mean that my life has to be centered around it. Was college a waste then? No way! College was great! Life experiences, friendships, awesome education, independence - it was well worth it! But, now that I have a family, my focus is on giving my all to them and not giving my all elsewhere. 

I understand that not everyone has the opportunity to stay home with their kids. I get it. Everyone has to do what they have to do to provide the best for themselves and for their families. And you better believe that if Ryan ever asks me to return to work, I would and should do it. In fact, after our 1st child was born, Ryan did ask me to return to work when our daughter was about 6 months old. And I did. And it worked out fine. And I was able to return home later that year and haven't been back to work in almost 3 years now. What I am getting at is that I have realized that I am what is best for my family, and I should be taking full advantage of the opportunity that God has given me through my husband, and stop feeling guilty about not providing financially because I am providing a life for my kids that no one else could provide for them. 

My babes are 2 yrs and 3 yrs old. They will not be little and young and innocent forever. I want to spend as much time with them as I possibly can. Connecting with them, providing for them, teaching them, having fun with them, supporting them, being there for them. And with all of that being said, I am getting back to where I started with this blog. I will still do reviews, giveaways, sponsor events, make and sell diapers, etc. But all of those things will always come second to my family and what matters most to me and my husband. This blog is getting back to sharing playtime activities, yummy recipes, positive thoughts, family values, "green" tips and ideas, and simply sharing the fun and humor in life!

A big thank you to all who take the time to read my thoughts - I appreciate you! Now, let's all have some fun and get back to where we started with this whole thing!

~ Jessica

Sponsor Spotlight: Scarlet's Naturals Hiney Honey Review and Giveaway

Sunday, May 6, 2012 7:16 PM Posted by Lovely Fluffy Mama

As I was browsing through some of the WAHM Facebook groups I belong to, I came across a wonderful woman named Desiree from Scarlet's Naturals (on Facebook you will see it as Scarlet's Hiney Honey), looking for a few testers for one of her natural baby skin care products. I volunteered to be a tester, as well as offered to write a review in exchange for the product. I love to review products, so when she asked if I would also review her natural sunblock (review still to come), of course I said yes! 
(And, since I'm a sucker for anything coconut scented/flavored, I went ahead and purchased her Scarlet's Suds laundry detergent because I saw on her website that I could get it in coconut scent :))

Scarlet's Naturals

Before even receiving any products, I could tell that I was going to like the Scarlet's Naturals product line. My kids have always had very sensitive skin, my son especially. Our decision to cloth diaper Noah was partly because of his skin sensitivities. So when I saw that Scarlet's Naturals products are specifically made for babies and kids with sensitive skin, I wanted to know more. I found out that each product recipe uses ingredients found locally to them, including honey and beeswax that is from their own backyard! Love it!

The tester was for the Hiney Honey Cream in the form of a convenient stick (as of now, this product is available in a nice 4oz tin only, but will very soon also be available in stick form, although I am uncertain at the moment what size stick will be offered for purchase).

The original 4 oz tin

The tester stick (chapstick size)

The Hiney Honey Cream is a wonderful product that can be used for many purposes, such as (but certainly not limited to):

  • diaper rash
  • dry skin
  • eczema
  • irritated skin
  • redness on skin     

I love this cream (although after trying it, I would call it a "balm" rather than a "cream") because one of the ingredients is coconut oil (love it), and is used to safely calm and clear up red and irritated skin. A barrier or liner is not needed when using Hiney Honey on your baby's bottom, because all of the ingredients used will be completely rinsed out of the fabric in the wash. This is something that is very important to me, as I have damaged and stained many cloth diapers and liners due to treating diaper rashes and irritations with products that are not cloth diaper safe.

I have not had the pleasure of using this product in the original tin that it usually comes in, but I will have to say using this product as a stick has been super convenient and pleasant. A few of the many pros that I have found are:
  • Convenience of tossing it into my purse or wetbag or diaper bag.
  • The consistency is great. The product stays firm enough to allow you to dispense as a "solid stick", but melts nicely and easily as you apply to the skin
  • Non-greasy, non-oily. This product absorbs into the skin without leaving any sticky, oily, or greasy residue feeling.
  • No overwhelming scent. There is no fragrance. However, you may smell a light coconut fragrance due to the coconut oil used, but most likely you won't even notice. (But as I have already stated, I am a sucker for anything coconut, so I really like the very slight coconut scent).
  • Very quickly calms irritated skin. I personally have a couple of areas on my hands that get extremely irritated and my skin flares up several times a week. I use the Hiney Honey Stick on my hands and feel almost instant relief to the irritation, and the redness begins to calm and clear up just as quickly.
  • No residue on fabric. The Hiney Honey Cream didn't leave any kind of residue on my son's diapers. The product washed out completely.
  • All natural ingredients, including some of my favorites. Beeswax, cocoa butter, and coconut oil are a few. I feel confident that I am using a safe, all natural, and effective product on my family.

I had a hard time coming up with any cons, as I really like this product. But if I had to come up with something, it would be:
  • When I had the Hiney Honey stick outside (inside my wipes container that was inside a diaper bag) at the park, ants got into the bag and went straight for the stick. It was the only thing the ants ended up getting on. This may have been a fluke of sorts, and maybe they were attracted to one of the ingredients that the cream is made out of, but that really is the only negative experience I have had with this wonderful product.

All-in-all, this is a great product! Especially for someone who has a child with skin sensitivities/allergies. I appreciate all of the work that Desiree and her family puts into their products for Scarlet's Naturals.

You can purchase your own tin of Hiney Honey Cream here. (Also make sure to "like" her on Facebook as well so you can be one of the first to know when the stick is available for purchase.)

Desiree has also agreed to sponsor my giveaway in the Mother's Day Cloth Diaper Giveaway Event and Blog Hop! You can win a full size Hiney Honey Cream as well as some of her other great products that she is giving away in a gift set! Just click on the picture to enter to win a Scarlet's Naturals gift set, as well as some other awesome products I am giving away.

* I was not paid for this review. The products were provided for me in exchange for this review. These are my own true and honest words and opinions*

Mother's Day Cloth Diaper Giveaway Event and Blog Hop!

Sunday, April 22, 2012 12:04 PM Posted by Lovely Fluffy Mama
First of all, I am so excited to be a part of this phenomenal event!! This is my first year blogging, and I have been having so much fun getting to know other bloggers and connecting with all kinds of awesome people and companies! What a wonderful experience!

Ok, back to the giveaway event ;) 

Mother's Day is almost here and we are celebrating with our love for cloth diapers!
Welcome to the Mother's Day Cloth Diaper Giveaway Hop hosted by Daily Mothering! Nearly 100 blogs have linked up to bring you dozens and dozens of exciting cloth diaper giveaways. Enter my giveaway below and then hop to the other blogs listed at the bottom of this post to enter their fluffy giveaways too! Each blog has a cloth diaper prize valued at $15 or more, and many blogs have prize packs worth over $100. And, don't forget to enter the GRAND PRIZE giveaway at Daily Mothering for your chance to win this amazing $1300 Cloth Diaper Prize Pack!

I am so super excited to be hosting a giveaway as part of this event! I have some really awesome sponsors that have offered some of their amazing products for this event, including Greenie Beanie BottomsLovely FluffMandi's MenagerieHipster FluffKitty's Top2Bottom Diapers n' More, Nature's Keyes, and Scarlet's Naturals. These companies have been such a pleasure to work with. I will be giving away an awesome Cloth Diaper Package from these sponsors, valued at nearly $150! The package will include these products:

Greenie Beanie Bottoms is a wonderful Economical and Earth-Friendly company, offering many different brands for all your cloth diapering needs.
Tiny Tush Elite One-Size Pocket Diapers -SALE!Tiny Tush Elite One-Size Pocket Diapers -SALE!
  • 1 One Size AI2 Diaper with a 5 pack of matching Flannel/Cotton Velour Wipes from Lovely Fluff (winner will receive this exact set) - valued at a total of $32!
Lovely Fluff is a mama owned and operated, home-based business. Offering custom, hand-made, quality baby and mama cloth.

Mandi's Menagerie is a mama owned and operated business, offering beautiful, one-of-a-kind, quality, hand-made diapers and more! 
  • 1 custom fitted or AI2 diaper (winner's choice) from Hipster Fluff - valued between $22-$25!
Hipster Fluff is a mama owned and operated company, with focus on super cute, comfy, and quality AI2 and Fitted Diapers for your little ones :)

Kitty's Top2Botton Diapers n' More is your cloth diaper specialist. A wonderful, home based business, offering a variety of cloth related products. Including wet bags, diapers, dryer balls, mama cloth, nursing pads, and many other personalized and custom items.

  • 1 custom wet bag (winner will choose fabric) from Nature's Keyes. Will up to 5-6 diapers! - valued at $15!
Nature's Keyes is a home-based business, offering a variety of handmade products for mom and baby. Including diapers, trainers, swim pants, wipes, pads, nursing covers, baby slings, blankets, rice heating pads, mama cloth, and more!

My Posh Nest is the home of the Sweet Cheeks Laundry natural product line. At Sweet Cheeks Laundry, "everything is made with love by a stay-at-home mom". 
Sweet Lil Soap Bits - Natural Cloth Wipe Solution - Choose your scent

  • An amazing gift set from Scarlet's Naturals, which includes a 2oz Honey Wash, 2oz Honey Lotion, a full sized order of Hiney Honey Bites and a full sized Hiney Honey Cream! (See my review of the Hiney Honey Cream here.) (winner will choose Lavender, Oatmeal Milk and Honey, or unscented) - Valued at $22.00!
Scarlet’s Naturals is an all natural line of baby products that are gentle for kids with sensitive skin, and cloth diaper safe. They believe in using simple, natural ingredients that are safe for delicate skin. They use natural local ingredients when possible, including using the hives from their own backyard! 

So that's 5 diapers, 2 wet bags, a set of 5 wipes, 1 set of 28 soap bits, and a 4 product gift set!!!!

Look for a couple of Fluffy Sponsor Spotlight product reviews from me during the week!

I've made quick and easy entries for you!
Good luck, have fun, and don't forget to hop to the other blogs to enter their giveaways! You can see all of the participating blogs below the Rafflecopter entry form :)