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    What Sweet Beginnings Are Made Of

    You have often heard entrepreneurs referring to their creations  as their “baby,” and that is a very accurate comparison.  Babies grow up, they go through adolescence  and eventually  leave the nest. I started FuzziBunz as a young mother (28) and it was born out of a need for a better diapering solution to help heal my son’s raw and rash-prone bottom. It was the love for my own children that birthed the brand and I suppose you could say we all grew up together. In the beginning I did what every mother would do for her own child. I nurtured it, encouraged it and I watched it grow. I cheered it on during its brightest moments, and cradled it during its lowest points. . There were many sleepless nights to be had, especially in the early years when nursing a baby and nursing a business were simultaneous. For 13 years I lived and breathed FuzziBunz, all while raising my 3 real life children on my own.  The “adolescent” stage was certainly the most challenging. Then comes young adulthood. There comes a time in every parent’s life when they need to let go and allow their children to sow their own oats and find their way all by themselves. And I am sure every parent can relate to the self-consciousness one feels when their children DON’T turn out as they had hoped; when they run into problems; when they make bad choices, etc. It is all too easy to blame ourselves as parents for what went wrong. We only HOPE that once we let go that we have guided them, nurtured them and have instilled enough wisdom in them that they are OK without us right there, holding their hands. In 2013 it had come time for me to let go and allow my baby (FuzziBunz) that I had nurtured for 14 years to move on and either blossom and thrive or fall flat on its face.  My oldest child, Sarah, was graduating and also leaving the nest. I felt I had taken FuzziBunz as far as I could possibly have taken it on my own, with no investors or partners to help me.  I was a single parent of 3 kids in real life and I was a single parent of FuzziBunz as well. Many people don't realize I was a one woman show running a 3 Million Dollar company. So I did exactly that, I let it go and hoped that all of my hard work I had put into it would pay off under the guidance and care of others that might have known better.  I did what I felt was “in the best interest of the child.” While my daughter (now 20) thrived on her own with all that I had taught her, FuzziBunz did not. I had to sit on the sidelines (as many parents do) and just watch and wait for that fateful moment when that child returns home and asks for your help because they can’t seem to figure it out on their own.  That is exactly what happened with FuzziBunz (details spared). In December of 2014 I was able to pick up my baby - now a little bit on the beat - up side, and somewhat depressed after its year of struggle and failure -  and give it the love and nurturing it deserved once more. BUT……. FuzziBunz wasn’t the only part of this equation that had changed: so did I. I had a lot of time to reflect on my parenting skills. What did I do wrong? What did I do right? What mistakes would I never repeat again? And what - if given a second chance -  would I most certainly do differently? Now being an older and wiser parent from a business perspective was one thing, but being an older and wiser parent needing to “cloth diaper” was another. I didn’t have a baby in cloth diapers anymore. My real life baby was 13 years old! I had also been out of the diaper industry for almost a year and so I was somewhat out of touch (intentionally).  What had changed in the world of cloth diapers, and in the world of parenting in general? Clearly there was research to be done, so we went to the very source – the parents themselves. This is who we do everything for (and their babies of course) and this is the lifeblood of our company.  The result???? A whole new FuzziBunz that encompasses quality, durability, functionality and fashion and a company that can now grow and meet the needs of the very people that make it possible for it to exist in the first place. For that...I am truly grateful. Parents are typically given one shot at child rearing. You learn as you go and hopefully apply lessons learned with the first child to the second and so on. Not many entrepreneurs are given the luxury that I was given to take stock of a situation and walk back in and make it better. I get a do-over.  How lucky am I?? Very. It has been 6 months in gestation but in that short timeframe a new company was built, a new and exceptional team established, a complete product makeover completed and a product launch in full swing.  6 months has passed in the blink of an eye and just like parenting a newborn, I have loved every minute of it. Our new collection has been aptly and meaningfully named the “Sweet Beginnings” collection for a reason.  Babies mark the beginning of life, which is always sweet, and we wanted to capture that essence in our new line. But it is also about the new and very sweet beginnings of a new brand, new company and new opportunity for me as an entrepreneur and I plan on cherishing it, valuing it and making my partner, team, family and loyal FuzziBunz fans proud. I cannot wait for July 6th. The anticipation is incredible for all of us here at FuzziBunz, and I hope you’re just as excited to see what’s in store. Thank you for sticking it out with me on this long and crazy journey! The future is looking sweet indeed!! Tereson - Single mother of 3 and FuzziBunz Diapers

    Creative Activities for the Kids

    There are some days when I feel like I can't get anything done. My house is a mess; my kids want to play, but I don't have the time; meals consist of bacon and eggs because it's quick, easy, and I know my kids will eat it.... etc cetera and so on. Then there are days when I feel like Super-Awesome Mom, and I come up with all kinds of ridiculously awesome things for the kids to do while I clean my house till it sparkles and make a huge, nourishing, delicious meal. I'd like to share some of those awesomely creative ideas here, and I would like to hear about some of YOUR awesomely creative ideas, too, because it's nice to share. 1. Build a Fort! I know, most of you have probably built forts for your kiddos, but it never gets old! We have built some pretty epic forts using the couch, the kitchen table chairs, huge blankets, pillows, those big giant foam blocks, and whatever else is sturdy that will hold things together. One of my girls' favorite things to do is lay a blanket down underneath the "roof" of their fort and have a snack while watching their favorite movie. They also like to play pirates, which brings me to my second idea... 2. Build a Pirate Ship! augsburg-584043_640_large I sometimes fulfill orders for returns/replacements from my home office, and sometimes when I receive an office supply order it will come in a big box with these really huge flaps on them. I took one of these the other day and made a super fun pirate ship out of it! We made portholes, a pirate flag (because you have to have one of those) and the girls spent quite a lot of time coloring the inside and outside of the ship. I had planned to attach one of their Barbies to the front of the boat as the figurehead, but we got so wrapped up in everything else that we forgot. Remember the figurehead! Note: Boxes can be used for so much more than pirate ships. One day we put together a pretty large box-building with really random sections. I hung long socks from the interior "ceiling" of the main box so that it would tickle the girls as they crawled through, and we had another section dedicated to Weeble Wobbles, and another section dedicated to talking on the "box phone." You get the idea, and it was a blast! 3. Paint the Bathtub paint-boxes-186904_640_large You may have just cringed reading that, but allow me to elaborate: I allowed the girls to bring their watercolors into the bathtub one day, and they had so much fun! The bath water swirled with color, they used their fingers to make pictures on the tiled wall, and they painted whiskers and cheetah spots and all sorts of things on eachother which rinsed right off because they were already taking a bath. 4. Make Magic Water Fill up a water-table or other big, clean vessel with water, a little Dr. Bronner's, and some glitter. During the warmer months, the kids love splashing around and washing their bikes in the "magic soap." The glitter sparkles in the sunlight and their hands splashing around make more bubbles! The girls literally play with their water table for at least an hour usually. And as an added bonus they're clean when they come inside! 5. Create Nature Bouquets flowers-791397_640_large My girls love picking flowers, and I don't blame them! It's fun to go out into nature and gather interesting-looking greens and beautiful flowers. In our yard, we tend to have a lot of Yarrow, Dandelion, Bluets, Wild Mint, Clover, Sweet Grass, and other various grasses that I haven't yet identified. Put the bouquets in a little mason jar or other vase (or you can decorate your own.... another creative idea!) and enjoy the bounty of nature for days to come. These are just a few ideas, though there are thousands of others. What are some of your favorite crafty ideas to help your kids have fun during "boring spells?"

    Staying Comfy During Pregnancy

    You have just peed on a stick, or dunked the stick in pee, and saw the little plus-sign or smiley face, or "PREGNANT" sign appear indicating that you are indeed "with child." Surely a range of emotions burst forth from within: excitement, nervousness, perhaps a sprinkle of terror for a nanosecond or two, and you take a deep breath and prepare for the next nine (or ten) months of pregnancy bliss. Only, it ain't always so blissful. While it's true that some women breeze through pregnancy with nary a sneeze, there are many more of us who suffer from some form of discomfort at one point or another. Thankfully, there are things you can do, both before you get pregnant and during, that may help to alleviate some of these uncomfortable situations. 1. Morning Sickness Obviously this is going to be the number one complaint that pregnant women have, because - let's face it - who the heck likes to be nauseous and possibly vomiting daily for three or four (or more) months? Certainly not me! This does not have to be part of your pregnancy, however, and depending on how willing you are to ensure that this does not happen may play a large role in whether or not you manage to escape it. First, let's remember that a little more than half of all women will experience some form of morning sickness during pregnancy. These are pretty balanced odds (hehe) that actually made me feel better about the chances of experiencing it, as opposed to if the statistics were more like 90%. Some things you can do before you ever even get pregnant (if you have made the decision to try to become pregnant) are to start getting yourself as healthy as possible. This means consuming lots of rich mineral broths, plenty of green, leafy vegetables (preferably organic, but do the best you can), pasture-raised meats, and dairy from grass-fed cows (or goats or sheep). Look into high-quality supplements that will boost your Vitamins A, D, and K-2 such as fermented cod liver oil and high vitamin butter oil (I use this brand: http://codliveroilshop.com/). And probably one of the most important supplements to take before you get pregnant is Magnesium. Magnesium is a natural relaxant and is a critical nutrient that many of us are deficient in. Eating sea vegetables or nettles, and taking Magnesium supplements are the best ways to boost your levels. You can buy Magnesium drinks, use mag oil transdermally, or take concentrated trace mineral drops, all of which will help to decrease your chances of experiencing morning sickness. Even if you are already pregnant, doing the aforementioned nutritional boosts can still help to lessen or eliminate morning sickness, though it may be more difficult to do since your body is already using up your nutrient stores to feed your growing baby. Additional suggestions for combating morning sickness is to eat plenty of protein throughout the day, especially before bed, and first thing in the morning. If you are having a hard time keeping anything down, making sure to hydrate and nourish yourself with bone broths, soups, and fresh juices (especially with ginger added) can be very healing and comforting. 2. Sore Breasts Hormonal shifts which raise estrogen and progesterone levels cause breasts to enlarge, and increase blood flow to the breast tissues. Because of this, your breasts may become sore, swollen, and sensitive to touch. Thankfully, you can try a few things to make things a bit more comfortable for you. Wear a soft, supportive bra. Reducing breast movement during times of soreness will greatly reduce discomfort. Sports bras are a wonderful option for those who do not like underwires, and can even be worn at night. Make sure that your bras are the proper fit, otherwise they make things worse. If need be, visit your local lingerie shop for a professional fitting. Taking a warm bath or shower is another way to pamper yourself while alleviating some of the discomfort of sore breasts. Water can be highly therapeutic, especially when you make it a relaxing experience. Soften the lighting, light an aromatherapy candle or add a few drops of your favorite essential oil and allow yourself to luxuriate for a few moments before stepping back into reality. You can also use coconut or olive oil to do a breast massage. This may or may not be helpful depending on how sensitive your are to touch, but if you are able to it can provide some much-needed relief. 3. Fatigue We're not talking "Oh, I feel a bit tired today." We're talking about head-bobbing, slumped over your shopping cart at the grocery store exhausted. It takes a LOT of energy to create another human being, and it can be very difficult to feel peppy and spritely when it seems that all of your zest has been drained into a pool of oblivion. If you are suffering from morning sickness or an iron-deficiency, and/or are anxious and stressed, fatigue is almost inevitable. To combat this as much as possible, make sure you get adequate rest. I know, I know. You may be thinking "Duh," but for women who are working full-time, or have other children to take care of during the day, taking a nap when you feel you really need it can be almost impossible. Go to bed early at night, and if you get an opportunity to take a nap during the day, take it! Drinking plenty of fluids, eating healthful foods, and getting some daily exercise will all help to keep your energy levels up. While you may still be tired for the first trimester or two (or three), doing the above should at least assist in increase your energy somewhat and keep you from feeling like a snail in molasses in January. 4. Frequent Urination There really isn't any escaping this one. As your uterus grows, the bladder begins to get a little crowded and you will likely find yourself visiting the Ladies Room a bit more (or a LOT more) than you normally would. During the day, it is necessary to stay hydrated for all of the above reasons (plus, it's just good for you!) so you probably won't be able to control how often you have to pee. If it keeps you awake at night, however, you may want to cut back on your intake of fluids a few hours before bed so that you won't hear the toilet beckoning to you. And if worse comes to worse, you can always buy one of our Pregnancy-sized FuzziBunz Cloth diapers so you don't have to get up so much! That last part was a joke. But don't-cha think it would be kind of handy?? ...Anyone? 5. Cravings and Food Aversions I'm a total foodie, and there weren't really too many foods that caused my stomach to turn when I was pregnant, but one night a friend of mine was making soup of some sort in the crockpot and I could smell it through the walls of my bedroom (where I tend to hibernate when feeling less than stellar), and I wished I had a fan that would blow the smell out of the bedroom because it was literally making me feel ill. A vast majority of pregnant women will experience food aversions, and it's important that you allow yourself some leeway when it comes to when, what, and how you eat. You may be fine with red meat one day and the next you want to throw it out the window. That's fine! Eat it on the days when you want it, and find something else on the days when you don't. It IS important to get protein into your body while your pregnant, and this is the challenge for many women because for some reason protein seems to cause the most sour faces in pregnancy. Try to find times each day when you can be OK with protein, whether it is in the form of meat, eggs, or raw dairy. On the opposite side of things are food cravings. You've all heard the pregnant woman (and apparently there are like, 2 million of them) who craved ice cream and pickles - together - throughout her pregnancy. Well, maybe some women do crave pickles and ice cream. Or maybe you crave a giant meat-ball sub, toasted golden and oozing with mozzarella cheese (this was my craving, and nobody ever got me one!)... or perhaps yours was grapefruit juice with chocolate chip cookies. Whatever your cravings are, it is important to realize that sometimes these cravings are a sign that your body needs a particular nutrient, vitamin, or mineral. It is also important to realize that the protein that you might get from a McDonald's cheeseburger is not the same as the protein you'll get from a homemade grassfed burger. And getting a little sugar from a Butterfinger (oh man I used to love those) is not the same as some whole fat yogurt with a dollop of raw honey. Allow yourself the occasional indulgence when you crave something wicked, but keep the majority of your food intake healthful. After all, you are eating for two! What was your pregnancy experience like? Did you suffer from any of the above? And please... tell me about your food cravings (I love hearing about those).

    Do You Want Another Baby?

    I caught Baby Fever around 2006. My husband and I had been together for almost two years, and I knew that we were going to stick it out until we were two old farts spraying kids off the lawn with the garden hose (okay, my husband will probably do that... I'll bake them cookies and knit them sweaters). He wasn't quite into the idea yet, and for any woman who has the primal urge to procreate, but has a partner who isn't sure about it, you know that the disappointment can be intense and the urge to persuade your significant other is great. And I did try to persuade... quite often and with gusto. Eventually, he warmed to the idea, so we began trying. And trying. And trying. For the next two years, we never used protection and I did "Happy Baby Pose" to try and direct the flow of sperm, and I rubbed the Goddess' belly in our local metaphysical store, and visualized my big, happy pregnant self over and over again .... but nothing. I was trying too hard, and it wasn't happening. In November 2008, I learned about charting your cycles to pinpoint ovulation. So I tried it, and miraculously within a month I was pregnant! Our daughter was born in a hospital (induced/epidural/episiotomy) in October 2009, and while the hospital portion of the labor and delivery was not at all what I had wanted, once we got home I could finally focus on bonding and creating a connection with this beautiful soul. Baby Fever: BROKEN. For the first year. I didn't get my period back until Maya was 19 months old, and by that time I was chomping at the bit to get pregnant again. After discussing our sporadic moving habits, our frequent job changes, and our general wanderlust however, we decided that it probably wasn't the best time to try conceiving again. We had almost accepted and become comfortable with only having one child, though we both had siblings and reminisced about how much fun (and how many fights) we had with them growing up. Didn't we want that for Maya? Would she be "missing out" if she was an only child? Or would that just mean more attention and love just for her? We never really figured out the answer to those questions because in September of 2012, after being only 3 days late for my Moontime, I decided to buy a pregnancy test just to reassure myself that I was definitely not pregnant. As it turns out, I definitely was pregnant according to that blinding "+" sign in the little test window . Sophia was born at home after a very quick 2.5 hour labor, one day after we moved in to our very first mortgaged house. The birth went wonderfully smooth, but was followed by a horrendous bout of mastitis, which reoccurred (though to a much less degree) a few months later.  Aside from that ordeal, things have gone pretty well. Having two children has it's benefits for sure: they can keep each other occupied. They are eachother's best friends, even though they can also be eachother's worst enemies. The younger learns so much from the oldest (and yes, there can be a few downsides to that, but for the most part it's great), and the oldest protects the youngest. Having two (or more) children can also be more exhausting. Resources must be doubled (clothing, food, toys, etc) though breastfeeding, growing some of your own food (if you have the time, know-how, and/or desire),  purchasing used clothes or using hand-me-downs from siblings or friends with children, and keeping the toy situation simple and easy can really make a huge difference in how overwhelming acquiring and maintaining those resources can become. Our youngest daughter is about to turn 2. I haven't gotten my period back yet, and honestly this time I'm fine with that even though it would be useful to begin charting again. As of this moment, I am firm in my decision that I do not want any more children. I love my daughters immensely, and I am so grateful that they exist here with us, but I feel like I am done with that part of raising children from sprout to beautiful flower. My daughters are still young; the youngest still breastfeeds, and my oldest nursed until her 3rd birthday so I have to be prepared that Sophia may do the same. Maya actually would have nursed longer, but I was pregnant with Sophia then and I simply was not physically comfortable sharing my body anymore. I love that I chose to breastfeed my daughters, but I am getting to that point where I want my body back. I want to sleep through the night and feel truly rested in the morning. I want to be able to leave the girls with a relative for the weekend while my husband and I take off on a romantic excursion somewhere along the coast. mother-589730_640_large I am grateful for these experiences, and I would not change it for anything (and I mean ANYTHING). I take joy in watching our girls grow and develop their own personalities; I love snuggling with them and comforting them and playing with them; and I love their beautiful energy that is tangible whether they are sleeping or creating a gigantic mess. That being said, I do not want to go through the process of pregnancy, or taking care of a newborn and then a toddler all over again. The direction that I am heading in life, and the person who I am, needs more time for creativity, passion, and freedom, and with each passing year it seems to get a little easier, and I seem to become a little more relaxed, and excited even, knowing that little by little I am more and more free to pursue what I have longed to pursue. I am not a woman who can devote her entire life to raising children. I know some woman who are, and they are some of the most patient, loving, nurturing women I've ever met. I can be patient, and I can be extremely loving and nurturing, but I want to focus more time and attention on me. And I want my girls to grow up knowing that it is okay, and necessary to focus attention on yourself sometimes; that by nurturing yourself you are better able to nurture others; and to spend time doing the things you're passionate about. Some women can do that while raising a lot of children, and others choose not to. I am choosing not to, and I'm okay with that. How many children do you have? Do you want more? Why, or why not?

    The Importance of a Support System

    In days past, families grew up surrounded by not only their immediate relatives, but extended family as well. Even if everyone didn't live in the same house, they generally lived on the same land and worked together to grow their food, carry out seasonal tasks, and raise their children. They were connected to their community, and everyone helped out. These days, most of us grow our families alone, without the large support systems that folks once had. Many parents are working outside of the home while others are living off of the land, and almost all of us are trying to reach a common goal of being self-sufficient. Now, being self-sufficient is truly a wonderful thing to be, but it is often a misunderstood term in that people assume that self-sufficiency equals doing everything by yourself with no help from outside sources. Let's be honest here and admit that nobody knows all things, and nobody can provide all things to everyone, so cultivating a support system to help out with some of those things can bring immense relief, as well as the opportunity to learn new things! Think about the people who you trust the most. Are they available to come and help? Whether it's once a week or once a month, having someone you know and trust to come and be with your children, assist with a home project, or teach you and/or your children a new skill is invaluable. This does not have to mean just family, either. If you know people in your community who are apt at a certain skill, they may be able to help, or point you towards someone who can assist. What sorts of programs or events are available in your community? Are there 4-H programs or parent/child classes to participate in? Does your local preschool cooperative offer afternoon or summer programs? Look into community happenings for opportunities to expand your child's (and your own) experiences, interactions with others, and interests. Putting your child into an afternoon preschool program can give him/her the chance to play with other children, learn new skills, and adapt to socializing outside of the home. Your local library may offer a children's reading hour and art time once a week, or you may even find some "Mommy/Daddy & Me" classes locally to get out of the house and do something fun! If you need help financially, have limited or no transportation, or aren't sure where to turn for specific resources, you may qualify for government programs that can help you with your and your child's needs. Contact your local DHHS office or go to http://www.211.org/ to find local resources that will get you ahead when you need it the most. Resources are everywhere even if sometimes we don't  realize it. People want to help! All we have to do is ask. :)