Milk sharing aka wetnursing

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Milk sharing aka wet nursing or cross-nursing is really common among my group of friends! Many of us have nursed each other’s babies, toddlers, and kids out of necessity or even just to boost our little ones’ immune strength! It’s a truly wonderful way to bond with your most cherished friends; my kids now have milk siblings. Their milk mamas have shared the bond of physical closeness as well as the antibodies that comes from one’s own milk. I can’t think of a more perfect way to show love as a mommy friend!

It’s sad but true that for many years, I felt tethered to my babies who were each exclusively breastfeed for almost 12 months. Until I found my community here in Southern California, I couldn’t physically leave my children without a back up feeding source but once I found my village, I allowed myself to leave my young baby in the care of dear friends who would breastfeed her as needed. My plight of not bottle training and yet desperately needing to go on a date with my husband was solved with one simple statement. “Please feed her when she seems hungry!” Suddenly, our options widened, and PAXdaddy and I have enjoyed quite a few dates since the birth of our daughter in 2013 by leaving she and our 6 older children with friends as well as having provided childcare for other friends wanting to escape the clutches of their little milk monster for a few hours!
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I myself have been able to feed many of my friends’ babies for a plethora of reasons! I was very proud to put my lactating breasts to work one night when I was a doula at a friend’s birth. She had a trauma shortly after delivering her baby so I nursed her newborn through the night while also taking care of my own sweet 5 month old baby. The next morning I put out a call for help, and an army of mutual friends arrived to help with the new baby and also to keep baby’s tummy full of 100% breastmilk! I still marvel at that amazing week and how a group of women could come together to keep one little baby well nourished, clean, comforted while her mommy was under the weather.
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At 32 months old, my daughter, Cate, was still breastfeeding and enjoying the mommy cuddles that it’s hard to find in a large busy family! When our 8th baby, Blaise, was born at just 15 weeks, my milk dried up leaving Cate high and dry. Luckily for her, an entire herd of lactating friends came during the month of May to care for me, my husband, and my children as I recovered from the loss of our beloved baby. She nursed from several mothers over the course of the month and now refers to one of our closest friends as “Mama Milk.” I am so grateful to each and every friend who offered to breastfeed my sweet girl. It means so much to me and made the transition to being a non-lactating mother much easier and less emotional.

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At PAXretreat last week, PAXfriend Evonne had a little snuggle time with #toddlerCate. My lovie was over the moon with the fresh milk, and Evonne was happy to fill her little tummy with liquid gold. I cannot wait to have another baby, have my milk come in, and be able to feed someone else’s baby straight from the tap!
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*happy breastfeeding*

 

 

Sally Stitches is back!

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Wear during the holidays or all year round if you dare, Sally is our PAXbaby.com exclusive that we’ve been DYING to share with you! Sally is the brainchild of our wonderful designer at QuasiCo Creative and PAXmommy Jillian, who wanted a Nightmare Before Christmas themed wrap that would be the ultimate #disneybound wrap! Here is our Sally complete with eerie stripes, crazy swirls, tiny dots, scary zippers, and the quintessential stitch lines!!! Sally features a unique color palette that screams NIGHTMARE and will frighten you with her perfection!
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Sally is 100% Cotton, manufactured in Germany, and shipping from Southern California.

These KoKaDi wraps are currently on their way from Germany, which as you may or may not know from previous experience could be a couple weeks long journey or take as long as five or six weeks! So with that being said, please join the PAXmoms as we host a private stocking JUST for you!!!!
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http://shop.paxbaby.com/kokadi-sally-exclusive-carrier-preorder/
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*happy babywearing*


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Read Aloud with The BFG

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Our newest adventure in #readaloudrevival is Roald Dahl’s The BFG in which the Giants drink an amazing beverage called Frobscottle.  I challenged each of the kids to design their own magical elixir! The results were varied, but everyone stated that their concoction was “rare!” Some were tasty, some not, and three of them had the magical ability to fill you up for the whole day; wouldn’t that come in handy! My focus with the older kids this year is GRAMMAR, so they each wrote a paragraph about their imaginary beverage. This challenged a couple of them to think outside their usual “box,” and drew out the sillies from the others who love to get creative in their writing! I love watching their vocabulary improving daily as well as their use of interesting sentence structure!
#homeschool #homeschooling #learnathome #secondgenerationhomeschooler

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*happy babywearing*
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Read Aloud Revival

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I’m a huge bookworm, but I don’t have much time for pleasure reading. What I do make sure to have time for is to read aloud to my littles.  A favorite activity in my house is to all snuggle in my bed – queen size! – and listen to mama read aloud. Picture books, chapter books, bring on the books, we read them all! Because of this family habit, it is my belief that my children will grow up to love books as much as I do, and that makes me very happy.As the new school year approaches, we’ve been discussing the addition of a few new To Do’s for the older kids to keeep life spinning smoothly during our school day. One of Lucy’s new chores will be the wonderful task of setting up our mantle in a delightful library style; I chose a few topics for September and compiled a book list for each one. The books we don’t have will be fetched from the library, or ordered from amazon thanks to school funding! I’ve also asked her to augment the arrangement with props and decorations!

#booknerd #readaloudrevival #homeschool #charlottemason
 
Sept 11 – Grandparent’s Day
The hello, goodbye window by Norman Juster
40 uses for a grandpa by Harriet Ziefert and Amanda Haley
Grandparents’ Day by Nikki Tate and Benoit Laverdiere
Nana Upstairs and Nana Downstairs by Tomi DePaola
Llama Llama Gram and Grandpa by Anna Dewdney
Spot Loves His Grandpa by Eric Hill
Full, Full, Full of Love by Trish Cooke and Paul Howard
Abuela by Arthur Dorros
I Love Saturdays y domingos by Alma Flor Ada and Elivia Savadier
Grandpa’s Face by Eloise Greenfield
 
Sept 15 – Robert McCloskey’s birthday
One morning in Maine
Blueberries for Sal
Make way for ducklings
Bio video http://childrensbooks.about.com/video/About-Robert-McCloskey.htm
 
September 16 – H.A. Rey’s birthday
All Curious George books + on our shelf
 
September 19 – “Talk Like A Pirate Day”
A Pirate’s Guide to First Grade by James Preller and Greg Ruth
All pirate books + on our shelf
 
September 22 – “Hobbit Day”
All Tolkien + on our shelf
 
September 23 – First Day of Autumn
Peepers by Eve Bunting
Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert
Pieces: A Year in Poems and Quilt by Anna Grossnickle Hines
We’re Going on a Leaf Hunt y Steve Metzger and Miki Sakamoto
Apples and Pumpkins by Anne Rockwell and Lizzy Rockwell
Seed, sprout, pumpkin, pie by Jill Esbaum
Fletcher and the Falling Leaves by Julia Rawlinson
Fall Leaves Loretta Holland
 
September 15 – October 15 is National Hispanic Heritage Month
The Storyteller’s Candle / La velita de los cuentos
Viva Frida by Yuyi Morales
Niño wrestles the world by Yuyi Morales
Pancho Rabbit and the Coyote: A Migrant’s Tale by Duncan Tonatiuh
Diego Rivera: His World and Ours by Duncan Tonatiuh
Dear Primo by Duncan Tonatiuh
Separate is never equal : the story of Sylvia Mendez and her family by Tonatiuh, Duncan.
Portraits of Hispanic American heroes by Juan Feliipe Herrera
Esperanza Rising by Pam Munoz Ryan
A Movie in My Pillow / una pelicula en mi almohada by Jorge Argueta and Elizabeth Gomez
Book Fiesta! Celebrate Children’s Day by Pat Mora and Rafael Lopez
The rainbow tulip by Pat Mora and Elizabeth Sayles
Yum! mmmm! quu rico! : Americas’ sproutings by Pat Mora
 
Can’t wait to show you her displays! There will be plenty of pictures, don’t worry!
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A tiny placenta print

How does one measure love?

Certainly not based on the size of a placenta, but in my case, it’s all I have left of my baby. 15 weeks in my belly, 8 weeks in heaven; my heart will never be whole again but I wouldn’t give back this time for the world.

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#paxbaby #paxmama #paxmommy #pregnancyloss #pregnancy #placentaprint #imissmybaby #bb8 #justonemorebabyd #happybutsad

Big family chat

What a mom of many needs to survive – other than a good baby carrier (or 2!)
Determination
Grace
Strength
Sense of humor
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Without these, it would be impossible to overcome the obstacles of extreme sleep deprivation, anxiety, breastfeeding issues… Next time you see a mom with many small children, offer to push her cart, hold her groceries, open her car door. Your kind gesture or word could make her day!
 
My husband and I have heard every “joke” in the book about the size of our family, and the only purpose that the negative comments serve is to reinforce why our world needs gentle refocusing on what’s truly important. Do we know what causes this? Yes, shall I explain it to you? Do we own a TV? Yes, although we rarely watch it. Do we plan on having more children? Yes, God willing! Are we millionaires to afford our family? No, we live frugally within our means. How will we send each child to college? We don’t plan to, but each child may choose to attend continuing education classes if they so desire. How do we do it? Juggling, it’s ALL about the juggling! family picture april 2016
I truly will never understand why a stranger would think it’s respectable to discuss our state of financial status any more than it is proper to be discussing where babies come from on the sidewalk with a neighbor. I rarely get peevish, but for this topic, I beg you, please just tell us moms of many how beautiful our children are, how well behaved (if applicable!) and leave the snarky comments, rude jokes and blatant stares at home! Or say nothing at all but offer up a prayer because that mama will need it today, guaranteed!!!
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Silver Linings

When Laura, owner of MJ Baby Carriers, asked me what name I wanted to call PAXbaby’s first MJ PAXexclusive baby carrier, I had to choose the PERFECT moniker! The raindrop theme and bright colors seemed ideal to convey a sense of hope and continued sunny outlook on life, and Silver Lining is exactly that!!!! Interestingly, this carrier would represent an immense shift in my real life. Our photoshoot featuring #babycate was the last time Cate would latch and breastfeed before I lost my milk due to our lost pregnancy. These photos were unintentionally the end of an era and the beginning of an amazing journey that I will never forget. I am immensely grateful to PAXtographer Allie for capturing our very last breastfeeding bond, and to Laura at MJ Baby Carriers for giving PAXbaby the opportunity to create a beautiful carrier that would carry the torch and inspire babywearing parents everywhere that while you will never forget, you will get stronger and you WILL carry on!

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*happy babywearing*

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Mother Earth babywearing

A lovely French friend, Marie Viral, said these thoughts about PAXmommy Jillian’s “rings on the back” high front carry in a ring sling :

I’ve been “thinking about this reptilian baby position on the wearer! The baby is less active in his self body support as his body is not vertical; your baby’s body contacts fully with you.  It’s a beautiful way to {represent} babywearing as The Mother Earth, stimulating your baby reptilian instinct. {This position is} very safe with the mom’s body to relieve the gravity pressure on this baby body. This position is a good solution for hypotonic babies, {because} it automatically helps some babies’ needs with possible bad effects from the gravity influence.”

Translated by PAXmommy Jillian from Marie’s comment on this photograph of #babycate at 3 weeks in our Easycare Ring Sling.

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*happy babywearing*
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easycare cate 3 weeks first work

Different

To those who aren’t who they want to be.What they want to be. Where they want be. How they want to be.

To those who envisioned their life differently. In a different location perhaps. In a different state of mind. In a different physical body.

To all those who were wishing and hoping but your wishes and hopes didn’t come true or fell through or were forgotten while tending to others’ needs and wants.

To all those have been counting on being, having, feeling, doing something different in some way, in any way.

Standing over here, looking into your every day, I can’t see the full picture; I can’t explain why or what or how or when.

Standing over here, looking into your every day, I only see my own reflection, mirrored in the quiet sorrow in your eyes as you play sweetly with your children. My own reflection caught as still as a photograph, doing a mundane task, tears streaming down your face as you take a moment to grieve alone. My own reflection, a twin to your own emptiness, a twin to your own void, a twin to your own infinite pit of abject sorrow and intense anger. What have you lost? A lost world, a lost soul, a lost life, a lost year, a lost month, week, day, hour, minute…. LOST.

Today I sit poolside, sipping my lemon water, listening to the palm trees sway in the wind and in this quiet moment by myself I am allowed to imagine how this day would have should have could have been. A round belly protruding over my bikini bottom instead of post partum love handles. A blissful list of baby names rotating through my head.  A proud expression on my face as someone asks me how many children I have. “8!” I could have said while rubbing my tummy happily.  What a lovely moment spent thinking about my would have should have could have, and then… my children are here and fill the space with shouting, laughing, crying, splashing, eating, jumping, swimming, being, and my thoughts are turned again to focus on the here and now. The reality in front of me. Tangible, incredible, magical, these small beings who fill my every minute with themselves. How well they keep my mind occupied to have these thoughts often, and and how well they keep me too busy to stand and look into your every day, but believe me, I feel your sadness and recognize your hurt. Your life, like mine, will continue. Your world, like mine, will slowly begin to spin again. You will wonder how it is that you’re back in the swing of things, back in the saddle, and back on the road; you will wonder how it is that your life has been so changed and yet, that’s okay. It’s just DIFFERENT.

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*happy babywearing*

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