Fairest of Them All

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Join the princess club with Fairest of Them All, PAXbaby.com‘s spin on a classic story of excellent housekeeping, taking food from strangers, and a deep sleep that most mothers would give anything for! This twist on Snow White is on sale today all starting at $100!
 
http://shop.paxbaby.com/natibaby-exclusive-fairest-of-them-all-woven-wrap/
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fairest of them all PAXbaby snow white disney
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*happy babywearing*
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Meal Planning!!!

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Planning weekly for our family meals is the only way to stay ahead on the grocery buying and food budget! PAXdaddy plans breakfasts, lunches are almost always left overs, and dinners have been strictly vegan for weeks! After 9 weeks of vegan meals every night of the school week, my children finally asked me ever so politely if I could PLEASE cook them some “meat!” Of course, I was compelled to say YES, and luckily my Instant Pot was ready and willing to be put to the test! It’s my new best friend, and with my big kids’ help who assist me in the kitchen a few nights a week, there is now “meat” on our table almost daily! I hope you can use some of these recipes for your own family, and maybe my meal plan will inspire you to get more organized too! When 4:30 comes around, the only thing that keeps me from losing my mind is knowing that I have a plan, the ingredients, and the time set aside for a nutritious meal for my family!
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Please note that I cook with all gluten free and sugar free ingredients. If a substitute needs to be made, I use gluten free flours or coconut sugar! Lucy and I are also following the AIP (autoimmune protocol) diet because of our autoimmune issues so we omit or sub out the nightshades including pepper, tomatoes, potatoes, and paprika!
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Short meal plan :

Monday – onion soup, chicken sausages, sautéed mushrooms
Tuesday – beef stew, brussels sprouts, lentils
Wednesday – hummus, aip tortillas, lemon chicken
Thursday –  date night take 2 –  PASTA!
Friday – fish taco night, cheese sauce, mushroom taco filling
Saturday – spaghetti squash
Sunday – Zoodles and BBQ chicken


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Long recipe filled meal plan :

Monday 27
sautéed mushrooms
chicken sausages
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Tuesday 28
shredded brussels sprouts
lentils
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Wednesday 29
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Thursday 30 – date night!?!??!!
PASTA!
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Friday 31
Fish taco night
mushroom taco filling – use this recipe loosely http://jerryjamesstone.com/recipe/mushroom-meat-tacos-vegan/
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Saturday 1
sub out bacon fat / double the recipe for 2 spaghetti squashes
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Sunday 2

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Bon appetite!

Force Friends

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Coming soon to a baby carrier store near you…. and PAXbaby.com! I am thrilled to have stocked a handful of these adorable baby carriers created by Kinderpack and themed after one of my favorite movie series! Force Friends features an emoji-style Star Wars fabric with a mesh panel perfect for our upcoming warm weather and a quite possibly a trip to the happiest (and hottest!) place on earth! If you missed out on our original stocking, stay tuned! We may have a cancellation or two that you can try to catch on their way back into our shopping cart!

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force friends kinderpack

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*happy babywearing*

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Cloth gift bags for the win!

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As hard as we have tried to downsize the gift giving on big holidays, three presents seems to be our average amount per child. However when we are wrapping three presents for each of our children, that’s a LOT of wrapping! 7 kids x 3 gifts = 21 presents!!!! My mom had talked for years about converting to a cloth bag system which would save time, energy, and of course the environment, but since she is the only one who can sew proficiently, it took a while to get the project off the ground! She began by buying designer Christmas fabrics on sale after the holiday so our selection ranges from Michael Miller retro to Alexander Henry jingle girls to traditional holly and ivy prints by Moda. She fashioned a pattern based on a pillowcase and simply increased or decreased the ratio. We use mostly the pillowcase size bag followed by a smaller format (8×10.) For closure we tie a ribbon around the gathered end, and slide a tag on before tying a decorative bow! Our tags were also made by my mom, PAXmommy Catherine; some were crafted from felt, and some in craft paper and laminated to last longer!

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cloth christmas bags paxbaby

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Now that we have our Christmas bag stash, the next endeavor will be birthday, Easter, and miscellaneous other holiday bags! This is a fun, beautiful, and GREEN way to wrap your family’s presents! If you wrap in cloth too, please share your traditions!!!

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*happy babywearing*

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9 years ago….

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9 years ago I was a mom to 4 adorable kids ages 4, 2, 2 and almost 1. I was on an adventure that, looking back on it, was absolutely impossible! PAXdaddy was working as a full time stained glass artist at the time, and I was a full time mom. My time was spent driving to the park, changing diapers, feeding, cleaning up, grocery shopping… you know how life goes with little kids! Every day was just another variation on the chaos and mess that toddlerhood brings multiplied by FOUR! The only way that I could handle everything with the grace that I  had was from babywearing. And praying a lot. But having been a babyworn baby and then starting my parenting career with a homemade ring sling, babywearing was in my blood! Once my fourth baby was 7 months old, I realized I needed something more effective than the hand me down ring slings I’d used for my “twin” daughters and the Snugli that had been mine as a baby. The Babywearer swept me in with its fancy initials and its glittering ads and its ability to connect me to other REAL LIFE moms like myself! I delved in with the question “Which carrier would be better for my baby and I : an Ergo, a Blue Kangaroo, or a Beco 4g?” Of course the veteran admins there at TBW had answered this very question a million times so they advised me to search the page for my own answers. Sheepishly, I followed their directions and discovered that the manufacturer of Beco lived in my hometown in Southern California, and when I emailed in, Gabby, the owner, replied herself. She’d be happy to meet with me, fit a carrier to my baby and I, and by the way, would I like some of her wool diapers that she was giving away. I was astounded. Blown away! I had NEVER met this woman and yet, here she was giving me goodies and advice! I ran, not walked, to Beco headquarters, then in Costa Mesa CA, and proceeded to have an amazing afternoon with Gabby and Duke, her son. I’m sure she doesn’t recall that fateful day, but it is one of my favorite memories of my adult life because had I not contacted Beco, and had Gabby not been so friendly, I may have purchased a different carrier and my story would be completely different.

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Given the fact that Gabby spent an entire afternoon with my baby, Koko, and I, I felt naturally obligated to purchase a Beco from her. Just kidding, as soon as she fit us into the adorable Beco 4G, I was in love. His little body was weightless, both shoulders were equally supported, and perhaps most importantly to the story, this carrier was CUTE! I bought “Spa Damask,” a print that was rather subdued in my opinion, but PAXdaddy said he would wear it too. (The one I lusted after was called Carnival Bloom. Fun fact, the stools and accessories in my current kitchen are made from this iconic Michael Miller fabric.) I proudly showed off my new carrier to my other baby mama friends at home in Santa Barbara and was overwhelmed by requests that I help my friends find one for their own baby! After I referred quite a few friends back to Beco, someone mentioned that I should really sell these myself. LIGHT BULB MOMENT! Why not, I asked myself, it won’t be any more than a mere hobby! Gabby told me to set myself up with a business license and she’d be happy to sell my a minimum quantity of Beco carriers, 9 in total including the one I’d already bought. I was very pleased with this idea, but could not for the life of me think of the PERFECT name!  One name that didn’t make the cut was The 4 Bees for my current 4 children, soon discarded since we knew we wanted more children and soon, but after much hemming and hawing, my genius husband said one night, what do you want babies to FEEL in the carrier that you sell. I said, “PEACE!” And so, PAXbaby, everything you need for a peaceful baby, was born! PAX means PEACE in Latin, and I quickly had fallen down the rabbit hole and decided to sell a little of EVERYTHING!
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9 carriers became 20. 20 became 50, and so my career as a small business owner (for the second time in my relatively short life at 24 years old) took off! The allure of cloth diapers convinced me to add a great number of manufacturers to our line up including custom designs. The appeal of safe feeding supplies brought a plethora of BPA free options including Klean Kanteens and bento boxes. Organic baby clothes, blankets, and wooden toys soon showed up as part of our array of options. Having a tiny store front in Santa Barbara was wonderful, but when we decided to move back to Southern California, the option of seeing customers in my own space wasn’t viable. PAXbaby.com became a .com only; I filled that social void with bi-weekly and monthly PAXplaydates where I could interact with local babywearers from San Diego up to Los Angeles and also on our family road trips! The change has been good for me though. I have been able to focus on my first love which is textile design, and by paring down the other extraneous items that had been on our shelves, PAXbaby is truly a babywearer’s dream, filled with wraps and carriers conceived of my dreams and born through the hard work of my team of PAXmoms! I am truly so grateful for your support over these 9 years.
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Thank you for allowing me to stay at home with my children, as a WAHM and now as a homeschooling mommy too! I am so blessed by you and your love!
With all my heart, jillian

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*happy babywearing*
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PAXbirthday Week!

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Celebrating our birthday with YOU is the best part of the year! Bringing a slew of amazing goodies to win, next week is going to be full of amazing opportunities to take home a prize or a steal of a deal! The PAXmoms have gadgets and gizmos a plenty, and whoozits and whatzits galore, so be sure to check back in with PAXbaby.com on Monday to see what we have in store for our PARTY WEEK! Happy 9th birthday to us; thanks for celebrating with us!
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*happy babywearing*
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PAXpack Shoulder Bags

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Tote all your most prized possessions in a PAXpack shoulder bag, created from PAXexclusive wrap scrap and guaranteed to help you travel in style! Lined with two inner pockets, these purses adjust easily with a dual ring sling on the side and ensure maximum comfort with a wide shoulder strap. The PAXpack is the best way to enjoy our creative cosplay wraps even while not babywearing! I can’t wait to see our new releases; stay tuned for more!
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*happy babywearing*

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Waiting

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***Please take caution when reading this heartfelt post; you may be triggered if you have been affected by pregnancy loss.
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Now that you have tried to make a baby, there’s the endless two week wait while you wrestle with the inner turmoil and emotional personal disputes not limited to “was now the right time?” “should we have waited?” “am I ready?” “are WE ready?” “what will I do if we are pregnant?” “what will I do if we’re NOT pregnant.” For me, having lost our eighth baby in May but knowing for 21 days before I started bleeding that the early birth was imminent, my current wait for my period to start is causing PTSD style flashbacks. A few months ago I was hanging onto each moment with my baby and trying not to lose my mind in grief. Here I am today, hoping for the best, but expecting nothing, and reliving each day of my loss while I carefully check my toilet paper (ok, you got me! family cloth!) for a trace of blood or ANY clue as to why I am now 2 days late without a positive on my pregnancy tests. Speaking of which, I ordered a stack of 100 cheapies from Amazon when we decided that September would be our first TRY month! I love the cheap sticks because I can pee away without worrying about the money; I limited myself to 1 a day but quickly progressed to 2. Given the fact that I am crying at the latest episode of This Is Us, craving eggs (I’m a VEGAN!), and I suddenly think that coffee tastes gross, I want to believe that I am pregnant and my HCG levels just aren’t caught up yet. But on the other hand, I have become a public crier since losing my Blaise in May, my friend Guin has been hooking us up with amazing happy eggs from her backyard chickens, and at PAXretreat I was treated to amazing cappuccino every day so ordinary coffee is kind of gross in comparison. So maybe these aren’t symptoms as much as they are just part of being me.

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The thoughts that go through my mind every time I step into the bathroom to pee on ANOTHER stick are :
You just bribed your other kids to stay downstairs with some gluten free cookies and a science based show on Netflix so that you could go in the bathroom and cry. This is a new low.

You can’t even go to the bathroom without at least one child sitting in your lap. How will you fit your belly in here too??

If you pee on your hand one more time while aiming for the pee stick….

And my personal favorite, your baby is finally sleeping through the night and 100% potty trained except the occasional accident. WHY ON EARTH would you want to start all over?

But the thoughts that go through my mind each time I pee on another stick and see that negative sticking its tongue out at me are :
You have peed on 10 sticks in the last 3 days; just wait and see.

You are the most impatient person I know.

You need to drink more water; your pee isn’t clear!

You need to calm down, and focus on the 7 little blessings waiting for you downstairs, covered with cookie crumbs and filled with new Science facts to share with you.

You need to accept with grace whatever happens this month.

Next month is another cycle, another chance for the baby that YOU KNOW you are meant to hold in your arms.

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But let me tell you, the wait is so stressful, and the associations I can give every odd event make my emotions swing wildly within minutes. I took 2 naps yesterday; I MUST be pregnant! I don’t feel like eating; I MUST NOT be pregnant! My breasts hurt; I MUST be pregnant! I have high highs and low lows like PMS; I MUST NOT be pregnant! My belly is sticking out even though I’m not eating much and exercising daily; I MUST be pregnant!

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Now add to this emotional rollercoaster the guilt that I feel for closing the story of my 8th baby, and wanting to try again for #9. Did I give her tiny life enough respect. Have I taught the kids well that though they never got to meet their baby sister, she counts as one of their siblings. Was I a good enough mom to my Blaise during our 15 weeks together.  Am I ready to share my love with someone new.  Am I ready to be pregnant again, count the weeks again, and hold my breath until we pass that 15 week mark when I gave birth last. Will my body be ready in 36ish weeks to be healthy, and my mind to be whole and focused and not remembering the pain and suffering that a year beforehand brought me to my hardest birth. Can I give a new baby the grace to not replace my Blaise, but to be another love of my life, not detracting from my previous experience, but adding a new bud to the beautiful bouquet of lives, deaths, and memories that I hold in my heart.
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Am I strong enough? Am I mom enough? Time will tell.
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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*