Wear your baby with pride!

Most of us babywearing mamas are the ONLY ones in our towns that wear our babies…  Have you seen that commercial for Discovery Health for Baby Week that describes babywearing as “radical”???  All I know is that I LOVE being radical if this is what radical is, and I’m sure that my baby and all my babies have appreciated my radicalness (is that a word?)!! Babywearing is a tradition centuries old stemming from ancient cultures!  How can it be “radical” to be copying designs used in historical times?

I know that I get looked at like an animal in a zoo when I carry my little one in a sling, and I almost feel like handing out cards to people who stare:

What are YOU looking at?
My baby is happy, content, & loved!
It’s called babywearing!
Try it!  You’ll love it!

Wear your baby with pride, girls!  Keep a smile on your face, and be very willing to answer comments and questions!  You never know!  You may even convert someone!  And if you are feeling brave enough, make it a point to sidle over to moms you see wearing unsafe or uncomfortable carriers and mention how great yours feels!  Or if you are feeling even braver, try introducing babywearing to a mom using a bucket seat or a stroller with her little one!  You may be opening her eyes to a whole new world of parenting!

The simple act of babywearing in public can be enough to make a mom go home and discover a new addiction!

Love Day 13: The Beach & Being Mama

13-daysPAXbaby is celebrating Valentine’s Day with 13 days of Peace & Love leading up to the big HEART day itself! And today is day number 13. It has been fun! I hope you all have a happy and love-filled Valentine’s Day!

PAXbaby loves The Beach

The sand beneath my toes, and in my ears, and caught in crevices where sand should definitely NOT be!  The salt water drying white on my legs, crusted in my eyelashes, and burning my nose!  The buckets and shovels, rakes and pails,  boogie boards and goggles, chairs and umbrellas, snacks and towels that are all handed to me as my children run towards the water with glee!  The cuts and scrapes and bruises and worse from tripping over rocks and branches and their own feet.

You may ask why on earth would we go to the beach as often as we do…

The gorgeous white sand singing beneath my tan legs as I carry my baby to the water’s edge where we will frolic and splash.  The warm water washing up over us as we sit at the edge, tickling out toes, and bring an interesting collection of seashells to inspect! The colorful toys that only are brought out to join us at the beach, completing our fun with star shaped mounds and drip sand castles.  The excitement to be the first one all the way in the water, and then the first one out of the water.  Running back up to our bright blanket to telling me all about their adventures, explaining with large hand gestures how big the wave was and how long the ride was, finding something unexpected under a rock, and how much fun they are having.

Why wouldn’t we come back again and again and again!

April of Thrifty Yippie Homemaker blogged along with us and wrote…

With a sick baby in my house, things have kinda gotten backed up. Thus, I am starting my 13 days of what I love with a catch up to Day 3.

Day 1: Breastfeeding.

(Yes, so far, this is my only BFing pic)

No matter how many times I do it, it never feels less important. For the first time in my life, my breasts have become as treasured to me as they already were to my husband! With them, I give my daughter everything she needs and she gives me the closeness that I still need from a child that will some day be a completely seperate human being. It is a miraculous gift to give.

It’s also wonderful because it helps her be a good baby and me be a good mommy. She has less stomach aches than any formula fed children that I have taken care of. And I have to spend a lot less time preparing for meals or dealing with loss of sleep. Basically, it is the easiest and best gift that I feel I can give my daughter and I will keep giving it for as long as I can! Oh, and the calories it burns isn’t bad either.

Day 2: Co-sleeping

(Clay and I never get to be in pics together but usually he fits in there too!)

Co-sleeping is an amazing thing! When babies co-sleep, they breath in more oxygen and spend less energy regulating heat so they are less likely to have some of the health issues of individual sleepers. Thus, I can sleep with less worry. Also, co-sleeping allows me to breastfeed without ever fully waking up. (Unlike other moms, I seem to have more of a problem with sleeping too much.) It also allows me to stay connected to my child while she is in her 4th trimester and I am adapting to her being out of my body. And finally, co-sleeping is wonderful because I get to share my bed with the most important people (…and sometimes puppy) in my world.

Day 3: Taking walks with my kids

(I thought I’d share some pics of the two of them since I don’t have any pics of our walks. But if I get some, I will share them because they would be hilarious!)

Since our daughter was born, our dog, Coltrane, doesn’t get to do as much with either myself or my husband. It always seems like an event to do anything with the two of them. Recently, however, I have begun to attempt to walk both of them (which is quite a challenge). It is the one activity that both Aubrey and Coltrane can be a part of where I don’t feel like I’m losing my mind and it is pretty wonderful. Not only does it give me a little more exercise each day; Aubrey and I get our vitamin D; and Coltrane gets to burn off some energy so he isn’t so crazy. In the end, it keeps the family happy and Coltrane gets a little reminder that we still care about him!

Love Day 12: Big Families and Adoption

13-daysPAXbaby is celebrating Valentine’s Day with 13 days of Peace & Love leading up to the big HEART day itself! The next to last day of our blogging adventure, and we turn back to our families. The PAXbaby family is a big one, and we found a blogging mama with a heart of gold who is fostering to adopt (although what she really wrote about is how much she loves her hubby who jumped wholeheartedly into the adventures). Read on!

PAXbaby loves Big Families!

Big families don’t just happen by chance you know… there has to be a will, a want, and a “why not” attitude! In a culture where having 1.8 children is the norm, driving a 5 seater car is average, and going on 1 vacation a year is the minimum, a family the size of mine is considered to be a zoo! Imagine seeing me walking to the park in YOUR hometown! Frazzled, but smiling, ever smiling, mother with a baby strapped to her back & 2 kids holding onto the sides of the over-loaded double stroller chock-o-block full of 2 more kids, supplies, snacks, and extra clothes, supplies, and snacks *just in case!*

My mom often remarks that we look like a Volkswagon full of clowns when we emerge from our mini van! Child after child, piling out onto the sidewalk! We have the blonde one, the redhead one, the towhead one, the dark one, and the whispy baby! We have shouting, laughing, crying, and whining! We have needs, wants, and demands all needing mommy’s attention at the same time! We have a lost shoe, a forgotten bike, a book to be read, a book to read, and a million questions about why kites go up in the air, but sometimes don’t ever come back down! We have paint on our cheeks, clay in our hair, and “what is that on the back of your dress, Mommy?” We have the ones who only eat peanut butter & jelly sandwiches, and those who only eat peanut butter with NO jelly sandwiches, the ones who request no crusts, and the ones who will eat real food! We have the sweet one, the feisty one, the cranky one, the confused one, and the bossy one! We have the adoring big sister, the helpful big brother, the silly little sister, the funny little brother, and the baby who everyone will baby until the next baby comes along! We have the one who has to pick out their own clothes, the one who will wear anything whether it matches or not, the one who will only wear pink, pax-waterfall2the one who will match whatever his big brother is wearing, and the one who really would rather just be naked! We have love in our hearts, spring in our step, songs on our lips, and a twinkle in our eye as we plan for our next baby because let’s face it, any family who dares to go against the grain and have more than the token 2 children, LOVES babies!

Other kids had lofty goals: Nasa astronaut, doctor beyond borders,hot shot Hollywood actress… me? I wanted to be a mom! More specifically, a mom of 8 kids!!!! In 8th Grade, we were asked to present a report on our “life plan”. Mine detailed very carefully that I wanted to meet a boy, marry this boy, and live happily ever after! With 8 kids!!!!
Well, 5 down, 3 to go, with a happy husband in tow!


Holly of Living in Louisiana Shares What She Loves

After much reflection, I think it is….
My husband.
He puts up with a lot.

When we met, he was planning to finish his 4 year enlistment in the Air Force and get out, go home to south Florida, and join the family business (if nothing else came along).

My mom told me to have him stay in… and here we are. He’s been in 8 years now and planning for a full 20 at least.

He thought we would be like everyone else and get on birth control pills to “plan” when we wanted to start a family. I informed him otherwise… His dad laughed at us and claimed “the rhythm method” never works and we’d end up pregnant right away (we didn’t use the rhythm method, FYI, just mostly fertility awareness). Turns out that the entire point was “moo” (as Joey from Friends would say).

So after trying to get pregnant for a year and a half (or so), hubby rather reluctantly jumped through all the hoops a reproductive endocrinologist puts couples through when their fertility is in question. When we got the oh so helpful diagnosis of “unexplained infertility”, my thoughts went in many different directions at once..

Which brought me to the idea of foster to adopt. And of course, hubby came along too. He got completely on board with it, but I know he just thought it was another crazy idea in the beginning. Then we got to convince our families that adoption isn’t just an option for “those people who are called to it” (how exactly do “those people’s” families decide that they are called or not, I’d like to know?) and get them on board not only with grandchildren that were not genetically related, but also of any possible race, gender, and not necessarily a baby at the time of adoption.

After the adoption roller coaster started, my life seemed to split into two passions: parenting (in an attachment sort of way) and simple living (as in gardening, cheesemaking, and basically doing whatever we can for ourselves instead of paying others to do it).

My wonderful husband has now dug up a good sized patch in the back yard for my heirloom veggies and a nice sized strip of our front lawn too! Why grow grass- grow food!

He’s also learned to put a baby in a wrap and do yard work at the same time. He’s still often wary of joining in conversations with friends from La Leche League, but admitted to wanting to ask a very pregnant co-worker about her birth and baby feeding plans! He just didn’t know how to bring the subject up. This is my husband, the man who was completely weirded out the first time he met my family…. my 2.5 year old baby brother was nursing on the couch watching a movie with us. :)

So yes. My mostly manly husband is now a babywearing, organic gardening, lactivist that subscribes to Hobby Farms magazine and can’t wait for the farmer’s market to open back up!

Love Day 11: The Unexpected

13-daysPAXbaby is celebrating Valentine’s Day with 13 days of Peace & Love leading up to the big HEART day itself! It’s day number 11 and we’re doing something a little unexpected, we’re celebrating the little coincidences, the things we didn’t plan for yet find their way into our lives, sometimes they work out even better than we imagined, sometimes they don’t, but one thing we do know is the unexpected is part of life!

PAXbaby Loves the Unexpected

Blabla Boogaloos YokoI’m not a big fan of surprises. In fact I’d prefer you tell me know what’s in my Christmas gift, even if I have to wait 10 more months before I can open it! But I do like the unexpected. Seeing things that perhaps don’t quite fit in yet still look fabulous. Like the shocking pink hair on my favorite Blabla Boogaloo, Yoko…

I love finding babywearing in unexpected places! Last year TurboTax aired this commercial which shows a father wearing his baby in an Ergo! The DVR came in handy the first time I saw this one, and of course my hubby thought I was nuts playing and rewinding and playing again, asking over and over if that was an Ergo baby carrier.

yoda-lukeAnd of course there’s the silly baby carrier sightings, like Luke carrying Yoda during his Jedi training. Although we can’t really call Yoda a baby, the carrier Luke is using was certainly inspired by a traditional Mei Tai, straps over the shoulders and around the waist.

Babywearing is becoming much more common, or I suppose we should say it is experiencing a resurgence, since carriers carriers have been around since people figured out how to weave cloth together. Even a decade ago, however, it would have seemed strange to see a baby being worn instead of in a stroller.

Now that the benefits of babywearing are getting more attention, celebrities and public figures are catching on. The average family can babywear with pride and not feel like a pariah or earth-hugging hippie (not that it’s a bad thing ;))! It’s still a little unexpected, but certainly a welcome sight to see slings in the media.

brad-pit-sling sarah-palin-babywearing

What I love from Jana of Sidetrackd: Two Very Special Ladies

On Sunday morning, January 10, as we prepared to leave for church, my Mom called to let me know that my grandmother, Mema, had been hospitalized due to heart attack.  At that point no one really had much information except that she was stable and being admitted to the cardiac care unit for tests and observation.

On Monday morning, January 11, I was awakened about 5 a.m. by contractions that steadily grew stronger and closer together.  I was 40 weeks 3 days pregnant, so we were anxiously awaiting the arrival of our newest baby girl.

Our precious baby girl was born that afternoon and immediately stole our hearts, just as her older sister (3 1/2 years old) and brother (21 months old) had upon their births.  My parents made the three hour trip from Nashville to be with our older children while I was in the hospital.  The news they brought of Mema seemed to be good; everyone thought she was improving and that with time and a change in medication she would be able to go home.

The next twelve days were pretty much a blur of newborn care, mom recovery, tending to the older children, and attempting to get as much sleep as possible.  And then, on Saturday, January 23, my whole world shifted as I learned that my Mema had left this earth and gone to be with Jesus.  As I spoke with my Mom on the phone that morning, I struggled with many things: holding back the tears well enough to carry on a conversation, guilt at not having been able to visit Mema in the last few months, and a profound sadness that my tiny baby had not been able to meet her great-grandmother.

I immediately made the decision that I had to be at the funeral; there was just no way that I could miss it.  Even though that meant loading up all the little people, making the three hour trip, and exposing my two week old baby to all of the people who would be coming and going during the visitation and funeral.  For me, this was really a no brainer, the choice between the temporary hardships of a 24 hour trip to Nashville or a lifetime of regret for not being there.

Mema was a very special lady.  She poured her love into my life from my very earliest moments.  She set an amazing example of what a wife should be as she cared for my grandfather during his years of battling muscular dystrophy.  She demonstrated the love of a grandmother in every way.  She influenced my life in many ways.  Her death is felt by many and by me every day.

Our baby girl is a very special little lady.  Right now because she is ours and, hopefully, in years to come because she grows and matures into the very special lady God has created her to be.  I feel blessed to be her mother and pray that she is as good a woman as my Mema was.

I did get to introduce these two ladies who mean so much to me, although not in the way I had hoped.  Instead of a cheerful welcome into the arms of her great-grandmother it was a tearful, one-sided conversation.

And now it is my privilege and obligation to make sure that this tiny girl knows how much her Mema loved her even though she never met her.  It is my privilege and obligation to make sure she knows that in her final days Mema was very concerned about the well being of this tiny girl.  It is my privilege and obligation to make sure that I pass along the legacy that Mema left.

Mema, you are loved and missed, but a part of you lives on in each of your daughters, granddaughters, and great-granddaughters.  Including this tiny bundle of baby girl that I hold in my arms.

Love Day 10: Olives & Applesauce and Wrap Love

13-daysPAXbaby is celebrating Valentine’s Day with 13 days of Peace & Love leading up to the big HEART day itself! It’s day number ten, can you believe it? I’m sad we are nearing the end of our Peace and Love days. Today we present an interview with Caren, the genius designer of the wildly popular Olives & Applesauce baby carriers and a sweet contribution from a mom who loves babywearing and wraps!

PAXbaby loves Olives & Applesauce! O & A

Caren of Olives and Applesauce is sweet, nurturing, & passionate about babywearing!  With 3 young boys, she knows that moms need to keep their hands free, and she has provided all of us with a stylish, comfortable, & easy way to do that!  Caren, we heart you, and love our O & A too! Just for kicks & giggles, we asked Caren a few questions to show you how creative & cool she is!

PAXbaby: When did you begin babywearing?

I started BW’ing when Trey was about 5 months old, he’s now 4 1/2 already! I had a really hard pregnancy and an emergency section and just had a really hard time bonding with him. He screamed all the time, literally, all. the. time. After a few months a friend offered me her old Bjorn and my life just did a total 180. I could go out again, I took him for walks, I made myself lunch, I picked up the house, I could use the phone again. It was amazing. I found a natural parenting group through craigslist and before I knew it I was totally into the natural parenting lifestyle and I found that we were all a lot happier… I had a life back that included my son but didn’t leave me tied to my couch anymore and that was what I really wanted.

PAXbaby: When did you start designing the  Olives & Applesauce baby carrier?

I started on the first test run of the O&A when our second son, Nathan was born. Nothing was working for me and as the saying goes, necessity if the mother of all invention. Well, I’m apparently the mother of really heavy kids, by 6 months old they were already in the 15-20 pound range and with a childhood shoulder injury I couldn’t use one shoulder carriers anymore. I worked and worked on it and finally signed up for a natural parenting festival about an hour from my house. I took 15 half buckle carriers and sat there all day long. I sold one carrier and it was so exciting for me, it was totally worth that hour each way in driving and sitting there all day. I came home though with 14 carriers and I wasn’t quite sure what to do with them. I realized that the awesome women of TBW would be able to help me really hone my product and so I asked for testers and got an amazing response to the carrier. Over time people requested that I put side buckles on them and gradually we moved away from the half buckle to the carrier that everyone knows and loves now. It’s been an amazing journey and at times a real Godsend. My husband was unemployed for all of my pregnancy with our third son and for a few months after his birth and this little business of mine that started as a hobby allowed us to continue to take care of our boys, I’ll be forever grateful for that.

Olives and Applesauce JethroPAXbaby: How did you come up with O&A’s infamous & creative name?

The name, I get asked about that more than anything else and every time I swear I’m going to make up some really cool answer. I never do though and I’m afraid the real answer it’s really to exciting. I have an odd sense of humor, frequently I am the only one that finds me funny and this was one of those times. My husband got me a balloon for Valentine’s day that had a martini glass and olives on it, it said “Olive You”. The balloon combined with a lack of sleep and a rambling thought train lead me to be thinking about gross food combinations and olives and applesauce was pretty gross to me. At that time I never really had a goal for my business, it was just to pass the time because I can’t stand to be idle so I thought why not? It makes me laugh and it makes me happy so there’s a good name for it. I still have that balloon in my file folder with all of my business paperwork.

PAXbaby: What has been the best part about spreading the BWing LOVE???

The best part about spreading the love has come through our local group. It’s been two fold, first is the actual babywearing. It’s so wonderful to help a new mom who is going through that same frustrating experience that I had years ago. I can see it on her face, she loves her baby so much but she’s tired and she needs her hands back. She feels almost helpless to try and meet the constant demands of a newborn while still caring for herself or other family members. You get her in a good carrier and you just see the look of relief on her face, she totally gets it. She might go on to become a die hard babywearer or she might wear just out of necessity but you know that you’ve helped her get a semblance of order back into her life. She has another tool now to help calm her baby, to help her get her never ending list of things done, to give her a little break but still be near her baby. It’s so rewarding. The second has been an inadvertent benefit, I have found that in the last few years I’ve been able to be a sounding board for mother’s that have had less than wonderful births. You help with a carrier and then your answering breastfeeding questions or something about cloth diapers or baby food and you develop a bond. Birth stories are a universal thing, we all have them and good or bad we wind up sharing them. The good one’s triumphantly and the not so good in an effort to have someone hear us and understand, to help us with the healing. I had two c-sections myself and then a home birth with our third son and I’ve found that women will just want me to hear them. I’m helping them with wrapping their newborn and a half hour later I’m hearing about their birth. I can totally relate because after the first section I just wanted someone to hear me. Everyone wanted to tell me that I was healthy and so was the baby, what else mattered? But it mattered to me and it matters to them to. Our babywearing group has been amazing for so many things and it’s all started with helping a mom and a baby. I wouldn’t trade my experiences with our group for anything.

Becca of Close At Hand Baby Shares Her Wrap Love

Sweet peaceful long sleep

So, my friends at PAXbaby have me thinking; Why am I so in love with babywearing?  I am totally over the moon obsessed with babywearing, and I teach it, live it, and breath it.

hugs that last for hours
baby droolie kisses
sweet exhaling sighs of a sleeping baby close to my heart
Breastfeeding in front of many with secrecy
long stares into deep baby eyes
never chasing my 2 year old into the street!
Crumbs down my shirt (front or back, I love both!)
Being able to have my babies nap on the go and not being stuck at home
warmth and closeness
But most of all, I LOVE HAPPY BABIES!

Nursing Judah in Goldfish



Nati Savannah and a willing wrappee! 40 lbs 2 1/2 yrs.

newborn back nap

snapshot of ann arbor babywearers!

Love Day 9: Etsy and Warm Fuzzies

PAXbaby is celebrating Valentine’s Day with 13 days of Peace & Love leading up to the big HEART day itself! Today we turn to our kids. Oh Etsy, website of handiwork and heartfelt wonder! It’s day number nine and we feature some of our favorite babywearing inspired items on Etsy and some gorgeous warm and fuzzy photos from a blogging mama.

PAXbaby loves Etsy!

Toy Pouch Sling for ChildrenEtsy is a favorite website of the PAXbaby mamas! You can find anything there, and most of it is handmade! We especially love coming across babywearing items on Etsy! Check out these fun finds!

Babywearing gear for little people! These handmade pouch slings are perfect for little girls and boys to carry their dolls or stuffed animals in. I’ve even heard of little boys using them to tote around their favorite trucks! So cute! The mama behind this pouch sling in it’s country-flair bandanna print says, “The slings are for sale — we keep the cowgirls =)”

Slinging-Mama pendantsThe mama and papa behind Family Tree Glass are babywearers! Along with this gorgeous Slinging Mama pendant, they hand create beautiful pregnancy, birth and nursing pendants from a rainbow of colors of glass. Each piece is one of a kind, they don’t use molds! Pretty awesome, isn’t it? A beautiful way to commemorate the relationship between you and your little one and remind you of the precious slinging days! Check out their website for even more glass art.

Laminated Magnet - Attachment ParentingHere’s a babywearing magnet to stick on your fridge! The sweet, hand drawn image shows a baby in mama’s sling. I love the colors on the sling, reminds me of Wrapsody Bali Baby in Iris with it’s rainbow of colors melting together. What do you think?

The art is by Jen Niles and is also available as an ink jet print.

Some of the most inspiring Etsy art we have come across is babywearing dolls. First up, choose from a mother and newborn or family babywearing doll sets. The mama behind these gorgeous works of art is from Sydney, Australia! Her dolls are approximately 5″ tall, perfectly sized for little hands. The babywearing family wears their newborn twins, mama with her sling and papa in his wrap. The mother and newborn is a four piece set, mom can switch between wearing her babe in a pouch sling or wrap! The babies are swaddled and wear adorable elf-like hats.
Mother and newborn minature doll set 6 Piece Doll Set

And check out this needle felted babywearing mama egg! Perfectly sized for your little one’s hands, this sweet mama has her baby all wrapped up in a sling. If you aren’t familiar with needle felting, it begins with raw wool roving which is then poked and squished into form. It’s an arduous process, but the results can be spectacular, as shown with this gorgeous little egg! You can also order this and other egg designs as part of a half-dozen carton of wool eggs. (Could be a perfect basket stuffer for Easter, which is right around the corner!)

babywearing-watercolorWe’ll end with some babywearing inspired art. This simple yet breathtaking watercolor art piece depicts a daddy wearing his baby on his back in a Mei Tai. I love the monochromatic look and simple lines. And baby looks snuggled against daddy’s back, maybe even sleeping! One other cool thing about this picture, if you haven’t noticed, the fabric in the background is none other than the same as our Zoye Beco Butterfly II! Pretty neat!

Thanks to all the Etsy mamas and papas for inspiring us and creating works of art that remind us to cherish our little ones and wear them often!

Erika of Inspired Mama Musings shares these warm fuzzies

:: this belly ::
26-ish weeks. every single wiggle and kick brings a smile.
:: new mitts ::
goldenrod cestari merino + coconut buttons = happy hands indeed.
:: cute thrifted boots to wear with cute thrifted skirt ::
maternity skirt mentioned above has an elastic waistband and a button fly! how funny is that!
:: color, color everywhere ::
we have painted every day this week and have no plans to stop.
:: this weather ::
spring in january. ’nuff said!

:: new fluffy fiber ::
what will i knit? oh, the possibilities!

yours in loving life and making happy,

Love Day 8: Beco and Babywearing

PAXbaby is celebrating Valentine’s Day with 13 days of Peace & Love leading up to the big HEART day itself! On day number eight we bring you more of what PAXbaby feels most passionately about, babywearing!

PAXbaby loves the Beco Butterfly 2

We love Beco Baby Carriers so much that we’ve devoted an entire blog to using, choosing, tips, hints and everything we know about Beco carriers. myBecoBaby.com was started as a way to share information about the Beco carriers. It’s helpful, it’s funny, it’s informative! If you’re looking for the latest, new prints, design changes, or just need some help getting comfortable with your Beco, check out myBecoBaby.com!

A sweet ode to Beco:

Before you, my arms were heavy.
Before you, my back was achy.
Before you, my body was tired.
Now, my arms are free!
Now, my back is strong!
Now, my body is happy!
And my baby is peaceful.
And calm.  And happy.  To be worn.  All day.  Every day.

Carrie of Takin’ Care of Twins wrties: I LOVE babywearing!

I LOVE the closeness.

I LOVE ability to nurse on the go. (Though, I have no pictures to prove it!)

I LOVE having my hands free AND happy babies…
(even wearing two babies at once!)

Much LOVE,

Love Day 7: Animals and Puppy Love

PAXbaby Peace and LovePAXbaby is celebrating Valentine’s Day with 13 days of Peace & Love leading up to the big HEART day itself! It’s lucky number seven today, and Jillian shares more of her family adventures down under while one of our contributors shares about her dear husband.

PAXbaby loves Animals!

Living in Southern California, we don’t usually see much wildlife!  The only interesting animals we see outside of the zoo are squirrels, the occasional skunk or possum, and bats if you are in the right place at the right time.  Here in Australia and in New Zealand, we have seen so many fascinating animals, including a 3 foot monitor lizard in the rainforest, and a mob of kangaroos who come every afternoon to the local golf course to graze!  (If you are ever in Yamba, make sure to walk by the Golf Club on River Road!  You’re sure to see them there!)

But even though we have seen kangaroos in the wild probably a dozen times now, we still can’t believe how adorable they are!  HUGE feet, deer-like faces, tiny arms like a T Rex, long tails, and big intelligent eyes!  We saw wild blue penguins in New Zealand, and kiwi birds!  My daughters’ favorite birds, the pukeko birds! And “heaps of sheep” as my kids say now!

A turkey that we visited with really got a bit personal while I was wearing a sleeping baby! Unbelievably large spiders, and fast moving skink with places to go!  Grasshoppers flying noisily through the air as we walked, gigantic ants, and miniature horses!

AlisaMarie of Crunchy Macaroni shares her Puppy Love turned Love of a Lifetime

“I’m going to marry that boy someday”. The words from a very young and much in (puppy) love 12 year old girl.

When I saw Steve for the first time, I couldn’t stop staring. He was very tall, thin and had this shaggy blonde hair that made my heart skip a beat. He liked good music and was a total skateboarder. I melted in his presence.

Our friends liked each other and would talk but since he was very shy, we didn’t talk (except on msn chat) for a couple years. Even when I started going to the school he went to, we pretended we didn’t know each other. It became a game to me and I was determined to win him over. He had never had a girlfriend and had other things on his mind. I was a bit boy crazy which is kind of what made our relationship fun. So I began the journey. My mission: marry that boy.

Our First Picture Together: April 2005

We were total opposites. But whoever said “opposites attract” was dead on. He was shy, quiet, had a few close friends he opened up to and was very tall. I was loud, outgoing, friendly and very short. It didn’t take long to win him over. I was a very persistent, determined girl who wouldn’t give up and Ill never forget the day he asked me to be his girlfriend.
We had gone to a movie and he put his arm around me and I felt like I was in a dream. After the movie his sister drove us home (I know, so romantic! But remember we were only 14) and when we got to my house, he walked me to my door. He looked really nervous and started to stutter a little.
“Um, Alisa…. I was just wondering, if you would be my “girlfriend”?”
The best part is that when he said “girlfriend”, he actually did the quotation sign with his fingers. How could I say no to that?
The rest is history. We spent every moment possible together and we never got bored or sick of each other.

He purposed out senior year on our 3 year anniversary on the side of a cliff at our favorite spot in Alaska.

We got married in July, two months after we graduated and it was one of the best days of my life. It was absolutely beautiful and we were surrounded with all our friends and family.

As if we didn’t have a busy enough year, we were blessed with the perfect surprise, a baby! We hadn’t planned on getting pregnant so quickly, but we were more than excited when we found out! God had a plan and it was better than anything we had hoped for. The next year, I gave birth to Levi Abner James and he is our everything.

The reason I wanted to write about Steve is because he was my first love. He turned my world upside down and still makes me melt. He changed my life and made me become a better person. He treats me like a queen and provides our family with everything we need. He is the hardest worker I know and I am blessed to be a stay at home mom to our wonderful son. He encourages me in all of my passions and hobbies and he puts Levi and I above himself.
Our love has come along way and is definitely not that puppy love it started with. We have had trials and some days are better than others. But there is no one I’d rather be with.
He is a man of God, a wonderful husband and an amazing Father. And we are a very blessed family.

Love Day 6: Art and Tissue Paper Pom Poms

PAXbaby is celebrating Valentine’s Day with 13 days of Peace & Love leading up to the big HEART day itself! I don’t know about you, but I am loving reading these sweet and sappy, love-filled and funny stories from moms all over the ‘net. Today is day number seven and we’ve got more warm-your-heart goodies that will have you yearning to snuggle up on the couch with those you love. (And for those of you across the US who are experiencing snow storms, there isn’t a better place to be!)

PAXbaby loves BWing art!

In a perfect world, everyone would wear their babies!  Slings, pouches, and carriers would be commonplace, and expected.  But sadly, we live in a society where babywearing is still considered to be odd, crunchy, or plain old bizarre.  I find myself grinning like a lunatic at other babywearing moms that I pass, but hopefully they are just as happy to see me & my baby too!  Sometimes it feels like a secret club, and I am so lucky to be part of it!

When I stumble across babywearing in unexpected places, I LOVE it!  In movies (Star Wars Attack of the Clones), in books, in vintage family photographs, but my very favorite find is babywearing art!  The ALWAYS peaceful expression on the mothers’ faces reminds me of what I want to look like while wearing my baby!  Serene, relaxed, and enjoying the nurturing moment!  If this were a perfect world, my house would be full of babywearing art to remind me to savor the moment and enjoy the peace!

An early American Illustration showing a family on their way to church. Notice the baby in the sling!
This is Happy Family from Picture Lessons Illustrating Moral Truth (a childrens’ primer). Circa 1850.

Kee Fung Ng is a Chinese artist who escaped red China to San Francisco. His most cherished paintings depict children. This one of a child wearing a baby in a traditional Mei Tai carrier is circa 1970.

art-wrap-jean-charlot art-sling-jean-charlot
French artist Jean Charlot (1898-1979) created beautiful illustrations with Mexican and pre-Hispanic themes. It is said that his favorite subject was babies in slings!

Contemporary artist Erika Hastings used watercolor to create this sweet image of a baby being worn by her mother in what appears to be a Soft Structured Carrier.

Blair of Heir to Blair shares this sweet story…

When I was a mere 14 years old, still biting my lip over being an entire foot taller than the majority of my peers, my English teacher requested that we write an essay about “love” as a nod to the impending February 14th.

What is true love?

Pretty abstract for a group of high school freshman that liken “true love” to awkward fumbling in a backseat, right?  I was stumped.  I had never kissed a boy, or held hands in a dark movie theatre.  I had never slow-danced.  Or found a note tucked into my locker between classes.  & the more I thought about the subject, the more I despaired over being the only 14-year-old in the entire universe that had not locked lips.  (obviously, my flair for the dramatic has come honestly by decades of careful practice.)  I believe I tapped out something self-righteously angry about how love could not be boxed in, could not be defined, & how this was pretty much the worst essay, like, EVER.

I got my first C- on that paper.

Fast forward 12 years again to the topic of love.  With a little more maturity, I can attempt to define love – my husband, who kisses the back of my neck every night before we fall asleep.  My son, who has my smile.  My friends that brought me pink slippers & bottles of liquor when I lost my first baby.  My dog, curling up at my feet every night in loyal companionship.   Snow & chocolate chip cookies.  My Moby wrap, the Twilight saga, perfectly ironed table linens, & the smell of Christmas.  & today, despite every single one of the things listed above (minus the Christmas smell since it is January, after all), the greatest definition & example of love are these:

Tissue paper pom-poms.

Over a month ago, I came up with the brilliant idea of throwing The Momma (aka my mother) a birthday brunch at the end of January.  Despite the fact that I have an infant son & returned to my full-time office job only three weeks ago, I saddled up the troops & forged ahead.  Ten of her closest girlfriends at my house, celebrating a woman we love.  & although she insisted that I throw a few eggs & a pre-made coffee cake on a plate, I wanted to really do this right.  Let’s be clear that I am NOT Martha Stewart.  I struggle mightily to take thoughts into action, but I felt determined to whip every piece of linen, tissue, & Southern Charm I owned to exemplify this amazing woman.  Decorations, food, & friends to reflect her own beauty, class, & grace.  Invitations were mailed on linen paper, with every single invite RSVP’ing in the positive.  A miracle!  I spent every free waking moment (& trust me, I don’t have many of those!) making & fluffing poms, polishing silver, washing crystal until it sparkled.  All with a joyful heart, knowing it was for a woman I love.

& then the unthinkable happened:

No, really.  It’s unthinkable.  We live in North Carolina, where the chances of snow are about as good as K. Stew ever giving a gracious interview.  So despite the forecast, I plugged on without rest, dipping truffles & strawberries, ironing pink tablecloths, & gluing butterflies to every surface imaginable.  & when I woke up this morning to multiple inches of snow with more pounding down, I sat at the dining room table & cried.  Not for my own hard work, but because I had been dreaming of this day for a month, when I could show my mother & all of her girlfriends just how much I love her.  It may have been pink tissue paper to everyone else, but to me, those tissues represented years of IOU “thank you’s” & “I love you’s.”  With a heavy heart, I called each guest to cancel & reschedule.

Because for the first time in my life, I truly understand love.  A love that is unconditional, unrelenting, & soul-consuming.  The sacrifices, selflessness, & loyalty that comes with being a mother.  I know that The Momma spent her entire life showing & teaching me how to love that deeply — did I ever truly appreciate it?  Or did it take becoming a mother myself to fully understand the extent of her heart?

Momma, I get it now.  & I cannot wait to show you for the rest of my life that I finally understand.  Even if it’s through fluffing tissue-paper at midnight on a Friday.

Love Day 5: Daddies

PAXbaby is celebrating Valentine’s Day with 13 days of Peace & Love leading up to the big HEART day itself! Today is day number five, and it’s hard to believe we’ve waited this long to show some love to the men in our lives! And certainly nothing makes our men more lovable than seeing them with our babies!

PAXbaby loves Babywearing Daddies


My husband knows a good thing when he sees it!  And when it comes to baby stuff, he has an eye for the superfluous!  Fancy cradles and bassinets?  NEVER, he said!  Expensive clothing to be outgrown in a week?  No thank you, he said!  Fancy strollers with all the bells & whistles?  No need, he said!  Baby carriers to suit any need?  Absolutely, he agreed!  And so, we are the proud owners of 2 stashes, HERS and HIS!

AaronKikiMy husband is a man with no time to spare.  He needs to be able to pop that baby in and get on with it!  He needs to be able to buckle on the carrier while locking the car with the other hand all the while making sure that his smoothie doesn’t spill!  He needs to be able to put on the carrier without putting down his cell phone OR his GPS.  And all this while taking care of the 4 older kids.  In a nutshell, my husband needs a good SSC to keep his life simple.  SSC = Soft Structured Carrier or Simply Sensational Carrier if you ask him!

Buckle the waist, put baby in, shoulder straps up, buckle the chest strap, continue with his day!  He has his hands free for zipping zippers, flying kites, building sandcastles, applying band-aids, and whatever else may happen in his everyday life as a stay at home dad!


April of Thrifty Yippie Homemaker shares…

2009 was a year of change for me! In January, my husband and I found out that we would be bringing a child into this world which did amazing things for us…after my husband adjusted to my ridiculous hormones and I came to terms with the fact that I was being invaded by an alien and nothing would ever feel (or fit) the same.

aprilIn May of that year, my husband and I planned to move back to Oklahoma where both of our families lived. It seemed to be an impossible journey with our financial situation at the time; but when push came to shove, both our families and our friends gave us the help and financial support necessary to make our way home.

Then, a very long and arduous summer began. We moved in with my in-laws so that we could start saving money for our nest, which was both a blessing and an ordeal. My husband spent most of the summer working as much as he could and I pulled in some temp work. And in the end, we were in our house awaiting our wonderful bundle of joy.

After our daughter came into the world, things were amazing. We had found a way for me to stay at home with her and my life could not have been more satisfying; but, too soon after her arrival, my cousin, who had been struggling with a rare lung disease, passed away. It was a heart breaking moment in my life but my daughter had given me strength beyond any I had ever known. It was also an event that brought my extended family together.

Through sickness, divorce, and misfortune, it seemed that my once very close extended family had endured some damage that I was unsure would heal. With the sickness and then death of my cousin, everyone came together. We were reminded of why our family is so lucky and so rare. In a time when technology seems to be pulling others apart, we found ourselves pulling together and even using the technology to do so.

So, as I think about love in 2009, I think of all the times that I was proud of my family and the love that I continue to share with my friends. I think of our precious little girl who has brought more love to my already overflowing heart. I think of our rambunctious dog that has been tolerant as we have taken him across the country and forced him to share his territory. I think of my aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents who are a great blessing to me. And most of all, I think of my husband who is the center of it all, my other half, and the person most responsible for all the love in my life.