Wednesday, December 26, 2012


It's been entirely too long since I've blogged but life has been busy. Christmas has come and gone and things are starting to settle down. Hubby took a new job and is now home with us everyday. He works out of our home office so it's not like he's out playing and socializing but he is here if needed. His commute is down from 40 min. each way to a one minute walk out of the office. It's great for all of us!

First Coast Fluff is doing well. I'm just trying to get the word out and spread my love of cloth to others. I'm not gonna lie it's hard to find new customers but once people locate us they seem to love the products! I put together some basic packages for those looking to start cloth diapering affordably. I also attended two holiday bazaars. The second of these I organized and ran myself. It was a huge undertaking from finding a venue, booking other vendors, an getting people in the door. Overall I think it was a success!

My little man is getting bigger everyday. After some weight issues (surprise, surprise) he's up to 12#5oz and two feet long! He can roll front to back and gets almost over from back to front now. Time is flying way too fast and I have to remind myself to cherish every baby moment. Nolan is still an amazing big brother and loves little C.

Monday, November 26, 2012

First Coast Fluff

I did it!! I started a small business. Yep it's legit, registered, licensed, and everything. I'm selling cloth diapers and baby accessories. I'm not making them myself as just running the business is time consuming enough besides hand crafting all the products. Plus, I've never found a handmade work at home mom diaper that held up as well as my commercial ones.

I'm selling Tender Tushies diapers which aren't widely known here in the states. My friend in Canada became a reseller as her friend started the company. I purchased some diapers from her and loved the look (cute prints) and loved the price even more. I just wished I had found them when Nolan was in diapers still. I'm sure he's jealous of his brother's cute diapers!!

I carry one-size pocket diapers, heavy wetters, and newborn all-in-ones. Solid colors and prints are vibrant and fashionable. For me, one of the key improvements to other diapers we already own is the hip snap and the cross over snaps. It means Carter could wear them much earlier!!

So if you're reading this please like my Facebook page ( Even if your kids are out of diapers it helps spread the word. I'm offering local free pickup and even do baby shower events and house parties. Fun times!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Happy Halloween!

Here are the highlights from our fun last night! Enjoy the pics!!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Nursery theme

Since it's now ten weeks after he was born, I figured I should finally get around to posting pictures of Carter's nursery. I chose a pirate theme and fell in love with the idea before I tried to find accessories to go with what I pictured. This meant I had to end up making almost everything!! I pinned a pattern for crib sheets but luckily found a red pin stripe one that is perfect and a few backup pirate themes ones to match. I skipped the bumper and other bedding pieces because last go round they were never used!

Side view of the sail and mobile.

Pirate fabric framed with his name.

Ribbon bed skirt, pirate mobile, and sail complete with mast and cuckoo's nest.

Detailed mobile view.
Updated artwork post here.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Super Third Birthday

Nolan's super third birthday party was this past weekend. He had such a great time and is talking about it every day. This year I did a superhero theme. It was lots of work for both me and Tim but so worth it to see the look on our little boy's face.

Tim smoked the meat ahead of time so we had amazing BBQ (chicken and pork). I made 80 cupcakes with some help from visiting family. That was a last minute addition since the birthday boy insisted. I planned to only do an ice cream sundae bar complete with lots of toppings. However, whenever I asked Nolan what he wanted for his birthday he told me cake, balloons, and yellow presents. He talked about cake all the time so I couldn't not have cake for him. Gluten free cupcakes (for him) and funfetti ones for everyone else to the rescue!

All the children including the 4 newborns present got their own custom superhero cape to join in the play!

I planned a few fun games. Shoot the bad guys with silly string, pin the badge on Super Nolan, and deactivate the bombs. The kids LOVED wearing the blindfold I made and trying to stick the post it notes to Nolan's large picture. Everyone wanted to play it more than once. The bomb game was hilarious. Tim and our buddy Ben dropped 45 black balloons for the kids to pop. Our grass had other plans and immediately started randomly popping them. The kids were running around in a frenzy thinking they were actually popping the balloons. Adorable! Then since they are so young and helpful they made a game out of cleaning up the yard!

Shoot the villains (with silly string)

Pin the superhero badge on Nolan

Deactivate the bombs!!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Stash Update

New baby means new diapers, right? Well, sort of. I haven't been able to rein myself in entirely but for the most part we are able to completely use the diapers I bought for Nolan. Just one of the many reasons cloth is so great.

I did just recently try out a brand new diaper. My friend sells them and they are called Tender Tushies (TT). She has skinny kiddos too so it was great to see how they worked on her little ones ahead of time. I got my first three in the mail last week and they already fit Carter. He's able to fit into most of my one size diapers now but they still tend to wick or leak at the legs because they don't quite go tiny enough there. Not the case with the Tender Tushies. The TT's have an extra thigh area snap that helps keep them snug fitting where he needs it the most, around his skinny chicken legs! They also have crossover snaps at the top which let you tighten much smaller around the waist. of course I haven't yet mentioned the best part! They come is super cute prints. Right now Carter has trucks, sports them, plus soccer balls he can wear to cheer on his brother when he starts munchkin soccer in a month.

So here is my updated current diaper stash. This doesn't, of course, count the numerous dozens of prefolds and their covers I have too.

22 BumGenius One Size (3.0 and 4.0)
3 Happy Heineys
3 WAHM (work at home mom diapers)
7 Kawaii GoodNights
2 Kawaii
2 BabyKicks
1 Grovia AIO (all in one)
1 Itty Bitty Tutto
4 BumGenius Flip Covers and many inserts
3 Tender Tushies
4 Fuzzi Buns

Yay! Love our cloth and so happy to see it getting used again!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Kitchen Kollage

My newest home decor project is finished and I just love it!!! Our kitchen eat in area was pretty blank and is such a visible area in the house. I wanted something artsy but not too overboard. I might have went overboard though!

I got the idea to feature pictures of our family using the dining area. What's cuter than a messy baby or toddler? I searched my thousands of pictures for the ones of messy Nolan, picked out my favorite, and converted them to black and white. Avoiding the color helps keep the collage looking more like decoration or artwork than just another area I'm hanging pictures of my baby! It almost blends in and until you actually concentrate on the individual pictures you don't even realize it's of our messy little boy.

After finishing the hanging, Tim says "It's kinda creepy having so many pictures of Nolan." Eventually, half of these will be replaced with pictures of messy Carter. None of him eating now though as I figured I'd spare my dining table the view of my little one on my boob! We'll wait until he does solids! Don't worry, color is coming in on the other side once I finish that project!

Now for the how to... this wall is very large so I went with 5" by 7" pictures. I simply ordered them from which was cheapest. I wouldn't normally print photos I wanted to hang from the non photography sites because quality and color calibration is so off but with this it wasn't as important. The frames are wooden and from the dollar store! It couldn't get any cheaper and they are definitely adequate for the job. Thanks to my wonderful hubby for hanging all of these in my exact pattern!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Meal Planner!

I've been slowly completing projects in the house. The nursery is 95% done and wall decorating has begun. A few weeks back I made our meal planner/calendar. I wanted something nice but easily accessible. Here is what I came up with.

I found great large frames at a  local church garage sale. This one didn't even need repainting! I then took apart the frame and covered the artwork inside in white paper. This hid the print. My outer layer is burlap and both it and the paper are secured to the back of the artwork. To section out the board into the seven days of the week, I used black ribbon also secured on the back (pinned then glued). JoAnns sells nice vinyl letter stickers so I found a font I liked to label the days of the week. Once all of that was done, the frame backing was put back in place and wah-la!

I now have a write on wipe off meal planner that matches our kitchen nicely! Because everything is behind the glass, it makes it easy to wipe off and clean. Another plus is that it looks like a piece of furniture not just an organization tool.

Monday, September 24, 2012


As you know if you've read my posts before, Nolan is gluten intolerant. He does not have celiac's but he definitely reacts to gluten. Carter is doing great on the weight gain front which is much different than his brother. He was, however, having some issues.

He started projectile vomiting almost daily. No fun for either of us. He was also very gaggy most of the night. You'd hear him grunt and grumble and then choke and wake himself. I quickly thought reflux but was hoping it wouldn't be something he'd need daily medication at such a young age for. We also experienced body and diaper rash and congestion.

After a few days of the projectile vomiting, I took the doctor's suggestion and cut out dairy. Two weeks later though, he had improved a bit but then was starting to decline again. Last Friday we had an impromtu appointment to discuss everything  and get baby some help.

At 5 weeks 1 day C weighed in at 9lbs 6 oz. That was up from 8lbs 3 oz at 2 weeks 5 days. It turns out he likely isn't having reflux from over acidic stomach acid but from positioning and overeating. To combat that, we purchased the Fisher Price Rock n Play sleeper which lets him sleep safely at a 45 degree incline. I'm not sure if it's a fluke but the first night he slept 6 hours straight! Second night he did all 4 hour stretches. That's much better then the two hours he was doing. We are also trying out pacifiers hoping he'll suckle those instead of always me! He would want to suckle then get upset when milk came out and he was already full. Crazy baby!

As for the rashes, our doctor suspects some sort of allergy/intolerance to something I'm eating. Since dairy doesn't seem to be the issue or possibly not the only issue, I'm doing a full elimination diet for him. This means no corn, soy, dairy, nuts, eggs, or gluten for the next three weeks. Then I'll slowly add one in at a time every week or so. I'm keeping a full journal of everything I eat/drink and charting his reactions, symptoms, and sleep habits. Hopefully I'll see improvement at the end of the 3 weeks and be able to figure out what is going on. All I can say is dairy elimination was hard but removing all of this is torture!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Back to School

Our TotSchool started this week. If you remember, we did this last year and blogged about it a few times. Basically we follow a preschool curriculum at home (this year it's a program a few of us in the group wrote) and meet once a week together for a group class and then every other week or so for a fun field trip event too.

Nolan was so excited to go to school yesterday. As we were driving there and I told him we were going to the park first, he told me over and over again that no he would rather go to school first. He kept asking for his backpack and to ride on a bus. Poor kiddo needs to visit his grandma so he can explore a school bus! Let's hope this enthusiasm continues once he actually gets to school.

This week we are focusing on the letter M, color red, shape circle, and the overall theme of All About Me. Nolan started using scissors and is obsessed with them. He asks to do "cut, cut" constantly. Lots of fun crafts, art projects, and stories being read! Here are a few pictures from our fun today.

"Hmm...which circle should I pick next?"

Friday, August 31, 2012

New Blog Title

It's official!! Two weeks after our newest addition arrived I've changed from Nurturign Nolan to LeMastering Motherhood. Thanks Ingrid for the awesome idea!!

Update your bookmarks to continue following us!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

My Mei Tai

Before Carter arrived I spent one riveting Friday night making my very first baby carrier. It is probably my most in depth sewing project to date and required me to pay more attention to the pattern than I normally do. Even so, I modified the pattern and made it my own! I added in a head rest with padding and changed the overall shape a bit. Here's the final product in use. I could only try it on empty yet cradling my giant bump until he arrived. Now that he is here it's getting use. I have to say I love it possibly even more than my Ergo or Moby at the moment. The only draw back is that I can't just untie it and let it hang half on half off once he decides he wants out. I can do that with my Ergo and Moby stays on in between carryings. Maybe I'll make the same pattern but but buckles on it instead of long tie strings next. Then it'd be perfect! It's lightweight and much more cool both in temperature and fabric pattern!!

The pirate fabric panel is actually removable so it can be switched out with other fun patterns at a moments notice. I'm excited to have a fashionable carrier that changes without having to own a hundred different one. Hubby already asked why I needed this one when I have a Moby and an Ergo. He just doesn't understand!! Wait until I tell him I still need a woven wrap!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Carter's Birth Story

If you don't want to read all the details, then skip this post!! I spared you the awesome pictures but there are some cute ones at the end. =)

At 4:30am on August 15th at 38 weeks pregnant (LMP) or more likely 37w5d pregnant (ovulation), I awoke suddenly feeling like I had peed. Unlike last pregnancy when my waters also broke, I didn't feel or hear a pop. At first, I really thought it wasn't my waters as I could stop the flow and Carter's head had apparently dropped and sealed the flow. It wasn't as much as last time nor as frequent. A few minutes to wake up and I knew what was happening. I tried to relax but gave up and got in the shower. I came out and told Tim he wouldn't be going to work this day.

Knowing that I had 12 hrs to be in active labor or the birth center would have to transfer me (state law), I headed outside to walk. It was nice, cool, and dark still and with some curb stepping I got regular contractions started. They weren't super painful but I hoped they'd progress. They were short, 40s each, but occurring every 2 minutes. At 7am, I phoned the birth center. They were aware that this same situation happened with Nolan and I didn't deliver him until 36hrs later and a whole lot of Pitocin. My midwife on call suggested I start nipple stimulation and once contractions picked up start walking. She said to rest if I felt tired and she’d call back in the early afternoon. Not sure if you’ve ever had to do it, but it’s a little weird, okay a LOT weird, to have to manually roll your nipples hoping your uterus will start contracting. It does, however, work like a charm!! I tried the breast pump but it was way too harsh so manual it was. 

Early on in my pregnancy when I chose to deliver at a birth center instead of a hospital, I researched the laws to make sure it was going to work for me. Florida requires moms whose water break prematurely to be in active labor, defined as 5cm dilation, within 12 hours. I spoke at my consult with the birth center about my worries. I was reassured that it’s highly unlikely for premature rupture of membranes (PROM) to happen twice and that since my body had been in labor it would be much easier to get into labor this time around. Besides that, I was told that there were tricks and tips to get me going so I could continue to labor at the center. I asked up front if my waters break early if I should keep it to myself and therefore not invoke the 12 hour clock. I had in fact done this with Nolan in order to avoid getting pushed into Pitocin immediately. We didn’t even go to the hospital until 12 hours after my waters broke. I was reassured that there was no need to do so because by calling in early they’d have all 12 hours to help get me into labor. 

Apparently though, in the end this really wasn’t the case. Looking back, I should not have called in until I was in active labor. The 12 hours is arbitrary and premature breakage of waters only increases the risk of infection by 0.5%. It’s a risk I would be willing to take as the risk of c-section increases by many, many times if you’re pushed into induction. When my midwife called back at 3pm I asked for more tips to get things going. Walking got contractions but every time I stopped they stopped and I was worn down and melting in the heat. I couldn’t be exhausted before true labor began. She mentioned continuing what I was doing. She started to suggest something else but changed her mind. I was told to head into the birth center at 5pm. 

At 5pm we arrived and I was checked for dilation. Contractions had begun again but weren’t super strong yet. I was only at 3cm and really disappointed. Ashley (midwife) went ahead and manually stripped my membranes in the process hoping to move things faster. After the exam she stated that since it had been 12 hours I needed to go to the hospital. Instead of screaming which was my first thought. I calmly explained how I felt. I had told them from the beginning that this was a likely situation and was over and over at each appoint told I’d be helped to get into labor. I thought this meant more than being told to walk and stimulate my nipples and come in at 12 hours. Ashley left the room to consult with the other midwives on the phone and came back a few minutes later. They had decided to let me have another bit of time and suggested a few more things. Yum…castor oil. Tim headed to the store and grabbed castor oil and orange juice. This natural laxative brings contractions on as it makes your bowels contract. Fun times. I took it and we headed home for a few hours to return at 8. This gave us time to get Nolan fed and into bed for the night. Our great friends came down to sit with him and we headed back our bags fully packed and prepared to have a baby in hand the next time we came home. 

The castor oil hadn’t actually done much yet but by the time we got back to the birth center I had regular contractions at about 5-7 minutes. They were painful in the normal early labor way. Seeing I had progressed, we started walking the halls with our midwife and again doing manual nipple stimulation. I walked and walked and walked! The castor oil kicked in too which was lots of fun. We gave it a straight hour and a half and by the end I was in pain and not able to talk through contractions. They were three minutes apart. Ashley gave me one more check and afterwards we discussed my options. I was still only at 3cm. Ashley was kind of astounded and said she was certain I would have progressed to a 6 by this point but my body wasn’t cooperating.  I basically had two options. I was being released from their care at this point. They would transfer me and accompany me to Shand’s hospital in town or I could have my charts and would be on my own to go elsewhere. Tim and I considered our options and narrowed it down to two paths. 

One: We follow their recommendations and go immediately to Shand’s. It’s a more non plush hospital but as part of the University of FL it has amazing care and is one of two level III NICU’s in town. Not that we would need that, but it’s nice to know the specialist are there. Our birth center recommends them because they are familiar with the center and understand the patients coming in without their own doctor. They staff OB’s ready to take in walk in pregnancies. They let mothers labor naturally and try not to push c-sections. If I was being transferred though, it would be with the recommendation that Pitocin be started immediately. My hopes for a natural birth would be slashed as Pitocin is pretty horrible when not taking any pain relief. I labored for hours with it last time before finally taking the walking epidural and just didn’t want to do it again.
Two: We take my charts and head home. Once in active labor, we’d head to the close and very nice comfy, and new hospital (where we actually delivered Nolan). This would mean we’d be on our own and hope they had an OB on staff ready to deliver. This could lead to lots of questions and likely a hostile environment. We were also a bit concerned that it would possibly take Pitocin to get me going so I would not go into active labor in the next 12 or so hours. Last time I was on the max dose of Pitocin for hours without progress so what was the likelihood that this time I’d progress on my own? I’d hate to show up not in active labor and without a doctor. 

In the end, we decided to head to Shand’s with our midwife. She sent over our paperwork and a room was waiting for me when I arrived. On the drive and especially in the gravel parking lot, my contractions became even more intense. They required concentration and I could not move during them. Squatting helped but I felt positive things were moving. Once checked in, I got in to my room and the nurses started things. I had to have general bloodwork done before they would start any pain relief so they drew blood, took vitals, and got things going. The Pitocin pump was ready but would not be given to me until my labs were closer to coming back. The labwork was slated to take an hour and I got into the room just before midnight. Once there, things progressed pretty speedily. My contractions were up to about a 7 on a pain scale of 1-10 and after 40min they decided to check my dilation. I was now suddenly a stretchy 7. They agreed to hold off on the Pitocin since I was moving along. I became nauseous and, yep, puked all over the place. After a gown change and a nice shiny larger pail placed next to my side, they decided to transfer my room. My equipment wasn’t reading at the nurses’ desk so we went to a new room. Once in the new room, the OB that would deliver me came in. Memories here are a little fuzzy but he was really nice and asked me what I was wanting. 1.) healthy baby and 2.) no c-section were my main concerns. We talked about immediate skin to skin and delayed cord clamping as much as one in late labor can talk! He was calm, collected, and non judgmental. I never felt like I was inconveniencing him which I felt a lot during my last labor. 

At this point, Ashley started commenting that I was definitely getting close. Hormones had kicked in and I was shaking and having other odd symptoms. I had to lift myself off the bed with each contraction as baby was very low and felt like he was trying to come out the wrong way!! I knew everyone said they always felt like they need to poo but it was just baby. I kept telling myself it was baby and I was fine. At this point, I felt like I wanted to push but figured it was too soon. Instead, I started pushing just a tiny bit while lifting myself during each contraction. It relieved a bit of pain but wasn’t enough that anyone noticed or told me to stop.  I had moments of doubt and wasn’t sure I could do it as pain was at the most I thought I could take and baby wasn’t here yet. Everyone reassured me but of course it didn’t help! I managed the contractions with low moans and avoided any hysterics or screaming. 

Finally, I told them I was gonna push. The nurse checked me and said yep I was ready. They called the OB and still were trying to get equipment in the room. As soon as I saw stirrups, up went my feet and regardless of if they were ready I sure was. The OB entered again and asked if I had been consented. Apparently they have to ask you a ton of questions before he can touch you. So while contracting constantly and trying to push all alone I was answering whether or not I consented to have a baby and a bunch of other things. My humor was at least still present so while pretty much yelling at him I said of course I consent to anything let’s get going. At one point, Tim laughed at something and I remember telling him to stop laughing. Everything was too much to take at that point. 

As I got ready to do the first real pushes with doctor in place and everyone ready, Tim got the camera. We had planned to videotape the birth at the birth center but had to settle for pictures at the hospital. I pushed with all my might and it was the most painful thing I’ve ever felt. Any descriptions I’d read just didn’t do it justice. Once that contraction was over, I voiced my concerns that I didn’t think I could take 45 minutes of that level of pain and Nolan took 45 minutes of pushing. Ashley assured me that Carter was right there. He didn’t need pushing down, he just needed pushing out. She was certain it’d go fast and commented that he had a full head of hair, just like his brother. I got ready and pushed 2-3 times with each contraction. At least with pushing you are doing something instead of just getting through the pain but it is in no way the “relief” I’d heard about. I also always heard it felt like a burning ring of fire moments before baby emerged but I always thought that meant once not with every push. I could feel the stretching with every push and each time I pushed was the most intense and painful thing I’ve ever done. I’m not sure how long I pushed nor could I keep my eyes open to see progress. I felt him crown though and every said his head was out. I tried to go slow to avoid tears but just couldn’t a strong push later and my baby came out. Immediately the pain was gone and I felt 95% like my normal self. 

Tim says the view this time was much different too. I wasn’t able to watch just from the physical aspect my eyes were not focused on the mirror this go round. Nolan got close to delivery and you could see the top of his head for numerous pushes. With Carter, apparently the entire area bulged and then moments later his whole head came out. The resistance was definitely not as strong and my pushing was very effective.

Carter Ridley was born at 2:28am on August 16th weighing 6lbs 13oz and measuring 19.75 inches long. I held him right away and he was a champ at nursing. After the cord stopped pulsing, Daddy got to cut it. A bit more painful moments and it was all over! This time I only tore a little bit (2nd degree but not bad) and truly felt so much better after the birth than I did last time. I was able to get up and walk within moments and felt pretty normal. 

If you’re thinking of having a natural birth, I urge you to do so. It’s the most empowering thing you can ever do and you can definitely handle it!!

Last belly shot. After water broke!