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

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Bon appetite!

PAXbaby Gluten Free Recipe for Thanksgiving!

I thought you might enjoy this recipe that will be on our Thanksgiving table as it is every year!  My mom created this delicious side dish –  Sweet Potato Pone aka Gluten Free Yam Casserole, and it’s better than Thanksgiving Day candy – really!

PAXbaby’s Sweet Potato Pone
4 cups shredded yams (usually 2-3 yams)
8 eggs
2 cubes butter
4 T molasses
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup orange juice
Grated rind of 4 lemons
Cinnamon
Nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350*. Cream together sugar and butter.  Add eggs, juice, molasses, lemon rind. Mix together… it will look nasty, but will taste delicious!  Sprinkle with cinnamon and nutmeg.  Pour into a 9X12 pan.  Bake for one hour.  Enjoy!
*happy babywearing*

The BEST bread machine recipe!

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For all you busy parents who don’t have time to bake bread from scratch, the bread machine is such an easy way to get that home cooked goodness without the fuss and muss!  I throw my Baby #6 on my back, roll up my sleeves, and 6 minutes later, can go play again!  Here’s the recipe, but you may need to make adjustments for your own machine as mine  #1 – is ancient, #2 – has only a few settings, and #3 – knows exactly what I’m going to make!

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PAXbaby.com

Ingredients!
1 cup warm water – I use warm tap water!
3 tablespoons sugar – I use organic!
2 teaspoons yeast – I use regular, not bread machine!
1/4 cup vegetable oil – I want to try Coconut Oil but haven’t yet!
1 teaspoon salt – I use sea salt!
3 cups flour – I use organic!

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Directions!
Put the Water, Sugar, & Yeast in the bread machine pan. Set your timer for 10 minutes, and while the Yeast gets all foamy and bubbly, pour your other ingredients into a prep bowl – Oil, Salt, & Flour.  Add the prep bowl ingredients to the bread machine pan, and set your machine to cook a 2 pound loaf on “quick bake!”  Yummy!!!

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Good luck, *happy baking & babywearing*, and feel free to tweak the recipe to suit yourself – and your own machine!

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Babywearing ‘n baking!

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Sometimes the best things in life are simple!  A barefoot walk at the beach, a kiss on the cheek from your child, the smell of clean laundry (yum, Ecover!), a new baby carrier, and at my house tonight, baked apple pancakes served on heart shaped plates!!!!

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Poor Baby #6 wasn’t feeling well so he helped me to bake in our BB Slen Turkish Delight Ring Sling worn tummy to tummy with the rings on my back, and his feet covered up by the tail – he was chilled from his fever!

PAXbaby turkish delight bb slen ring sling

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Baked Apple Pancake Recipe

Ingredients

APPLES :

3 large apples, peeled and sliced thinly

1/4 cup butter

1/4 cup brown sugar (can use more)

1 teaspoon cinnamon (can use more)

PANCAKE MIXTURE :

6 eggs

1 1/2 cups half-and-half

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/3 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2-3/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

DIRECTIONS :

1. Preheat oven to 350’F.

2. Grease a 9×13 baking pan. (I use ungreased pie plates!)

3. Melt butter in baking pan in oven. (To hurry, I melt butter in the microwave and pour into each dish!)

4. Place the apple slices evenly over bottom of pan.

5. Bake for about 10 min, or until apples are soft.

6. Remove apples from oven, and dust with brown sugar and cinnamon.

7. In a blender, combine pancake ingredients, and spread over apples.

8. Return to oven to bake about 30-40 minutes.

9. Sprinkle with sugar topping, powdered sugar, or PAXdaddy’s favorite, homemade whipping cream!

10. Serve immediately and enjoy!!!

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PAXbaby recipe apple pancakes

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*happy baking ‘n babywearing*

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FFO situations!

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Most babywearers are introduced to babywearing with the uninspired big box “crotch dangler” style of baby carriers –  the Infantino, the Bjorn, the Chicco – and most babyworn babies are indoctrinated to their babywearing career by being subject to the unsupported and uncomfortable method of FFO (Front Facing Out!)  With these mass produced baby carriers being so common, most civilians don’t bat an eye at a newborn drooping pitifully from its new mother’s baby harness with its wee arms extended over the front flap and its legs in an unnatural & flaccid sag.  Most admire baby’s hair, or lack of hair, or sweet outfit, or cute hat, but what we babywearers know with every babywearing bone in our body is that these carriers are not good for our babies!  They don’t support – they suspend!  They don’t cradle – they dangle!  They don’t hold – they hang!  As a friend of mine says, Friends don’t let friends FFO!

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PAXbaby Baby Bjorn Beco Gemini

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Front Facing Out is not a popular way to wear your baby in the stricter world of babywearing, however I’d like to point out that there is always the exception to the rule!  I have a handful of exceptions in which case a baby carrier with FFO capability is invaluable!  I was thrilled when Beco introduced to the babywearing population the Beco Gemini which features the ability to forward face because not only will that option lure in the unsuspecting parent who would usually buy a Bjorn but the Beco is “so much cuter,” but the Gemini also allows me to use an organic, Made in the USA, ergonomic carrier in a FFO position without needing to own a “crotch dangler”!!!  These circumstances happen very rarely, but when they do, I’m grateful for my Gemini!

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FFO circumstance #1 - Sitting to view a sibling’s class or play.  You need to be able to sit back so you can’t have baby on your back!  Baby wants to see the happenings as well!  FFO your baby so that they can interact with the world but be very observant of their signals to you of discomfort or overstimulation and limit their FFO time to about 10 minutes at a time!

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FFO circumstance #2 - Wearing an older baby while they are eating.  I can clearly remember the first time I wore my Gemini to Disneyland!  When Baby #5 got hungry and PAXdaddy handed him a messy granola bar, I simply turned him around and all the crumbs went cascading onto the ground outside Pirates of the Caribbean instead of down my cleavage!  What a relief and easy clean up that made!  These days we can use a custom Flat Hat to act like a bib to protect the Gemini itself as well!  Urge baby to finish up quickly because wearing an older baby with his spine against you is NOT going to feel good after a while and certainly is not ergonomic for babywearing participant!

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FFO circumstance #3 - Wearing a baby who wants to be included in a craft!!!  Crafting with children is always a challenge, but add into that messy mix a baby who wants to be involved, and you have a recipe for disaster!  Luckily, by inviting baby to help while being worn lessens the catastrophic demise that usually occurs when baby “helps!”  Strap baby onto your front and put in his arms reach harmless tools that will help him create his masterpiece without damaging your crafting area permanently!  In our case this past week, the kids & I were making a Christmas surprise for the PAXdaddy!  Every year, we make him something with their hand prints, and this year, a friend inspired me to help the kids create Homemade Salt Dough Ornaments featuring their very own paw prints!!!  Of course we couldn’t leave out Baby #6, so into the Beco Gemini he went, and we imprinted his very own ornament with his tiny hand print!

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THANKS for reading, and keeping an open mind when you first read the blog post title!!!  Remember, the main purpose of babywearing is to bond with your baby and remain available to them as they grow so if you need to fudge the rules once in a while, I understand!  I’ve been there & done that, and have made the decision to FFO with a happy baby then try to back carry with a screaming one!  Let baby participate, and you will be a better babywearing team for it!

PAXbaby

PAXbaby Christmas Craft Beco Gemini bjorn infantino crotch dangling

Homemade Salt-Dough Ornaments

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Ingredients & tools needed:

  • 4 Cups Flour
  • 1 Cup Salt
  • 1 1/2 Cups of water
  • Rolling Pin
  • Parchement Paper
  • Cookie Cutters
  • Toothpick
  • Ribbon
  • Acrylic paints

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Instructions:

1) Pre-heat oven to 300 degrees F.

2) Prepare your cookie sheets by lining with Parchment Paper.

3) Mix Flour, Salt and Water together. The dough will be sticky at first.   If it’s crumbly, add a little bit more water. If it’s too sticky, add a bit more flour.

4) Knead the dough by hand or use your mixer for  25 minutes. This will eliminate “most” of the air bubbles.

5) Roll the the dough out to about 1/4 of an inch thick.

6) Use cookie cutters to make desired shape, or trace a bowl like we did!  Place cut-outs on the cookie sheet. Don’t forget to make a hole for hanging!  We used the end of a glass straw to make uniform holes in each ornament.

7)  Press baby’s hand firmly into the dough, or use their fingertips to mark the small ornaments.

8 )  IMPORTANT: Salt-dough has a tendency to “bubble”, which will cause the ornament to crack. To help prevent bubbling, take a toothpick and lightly poke tiny random holes all over the ornament or in a creative pattern. This will help release the air.  The holes may be noticeable so make ‘em pretty. Once the ornaments come out of the oven you can poke holes on the bottom as well to release some of the trapped air as well. This may help prevent them from cracking in the future.

9) Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until they are a very light golden brown on the bottom. Keep a close eye on them, because they can burn quickly!

10) Take the ornaments out from the oven and let them cool.

11) Paint them!!!

12) Give them to your loved ones & hang on your tree!

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Hope you have a wonderful time crafting with your little ones, and feel free to use this recipe!  It was given to me by Andrea!!!

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*happy babywearing*

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PAXbaby recipe – sweet corn cakes

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Want something perfectly yummy to bake with baby’s help?  Or not so much help?  Strap baby on and get to baking!!!  These sweet corn cakes are absolutely fabulous!  I don’t have a picture of our cakes because we ate them too fast for the camera to even catch!  And there are certainly NO leftovers!

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Best Sweet Corn Cakes

*best of all, they are gluten free so our whole family could enjoy!

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Ingredients needed:

1/2 cup butter – softened

1/3 cup maseca – masa harina

1/4 cup water

1 1/2 cups frozen whole-kernel corn –  thawed & processed until chunky in the food processor

1/4 cup cornmeal

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/3 cup white sugar

2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream

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Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Beat butter in bowl until creamy. Add the Maseca flour& water.  Mix well. Stir processed corn into the butter mixture.

In a separate bowl, mix cornmeal, salt, baking powder, sugar, & cream.

Mix both bowls together &  stir to combine.

Pour batter into 8×8 inch ungreased baking pan.

Place pan into a 9×13 inch baking dish filled a third of the way with water.

Bake for 50 – 60 minutes.

Allow to cool for 10 minutes.

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Best tip:

Use an ice cream scoop to serve the corn cakes.

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Enjoy this cutie pie picture of babywearing daddy, Luke, and his his tiny chef on his back in a Beco Butterfly II!

PAXbaby Beco Butterfly II daddy babyweaing cooking

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*happy {baking} & babywearing*

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Babywearing ‘n baking

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This is one of my favorite recipes, some of my FAVORITE Beco Butterfly action pix,  AND favorite PAXbaby blog posts!!!!  Enjoy and please post pictures of your homemade pretzels when you try this at home to PAXbaby’s Babywearing Facebook page!!!!

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Beco & Baking

I’m a black thumb when it comes to gardening, I am not much of a cook, and I can’t sew a straight line worth beans.  But give me a (relatively) simple recipe to bake, and I can pull it off with (relative) success!  The only thing is, I have to be able to make the recipe while wearing the baby!  Otherwise, he ends up on the table, getting flour in his hair, and no one, not even his grandma, wants to eat a treat that he has had his paws in!

So, when I found this pretzel recipe, I decided to give it a whirl with the kids, and it was an instantaneous hit!  By the time the big daddy got home from his errands, every last pretzel had disappeared into our growly tummies!  I made a few amendments, and developed a treat version also, perfect for the holidays!  We’ve made this recipe almost weekly even while traveling through Australia, it is THAT easy!  Keep in mind, this recipe doesn’t make traditional Bavarian pretzels, but kid friendly, delicious doughy pretzels that you can make in batches for special occasions, school parties, and just for your own family’s enjoyment!  heart

Beco & BakingPAXpretzels – will make 8 large or 10-12 small pretzels

1 teaspoon instant yeast
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 tbsp cinnamon (less or more depending on your love for cinnamon)
1 cup warm milk (1 minute zapped in the microwave)
2 1/2 – 3 cups all-purpose flour (add more if the dough is still wet)

  • Preheat to 425 degrees & set a pot of water to boil.
  • Combine & mix the first 4 ingredients.
  • Start adding in 2 cups of flour, and add more slowly while stirring (beware the white poof if you add the flour too quickly!)
  • You’re looking for your dough to go from a thick batter to a bread like dough that you can hand knead.
  • Spread a handful of flour on your clean (no children’s tongues have licked it, please!) surface, and hand knead your dough for 5-10 minutes until the dough becomes smooth & satiny.
  • Cut the dough into even pieces and roll into short snakes.  Let the dough relax for 10 minutes, and stretch the snakes longer.  Shape into pretzels, roll into cinnamon roll shapes, or pinch the middle and curl the sides around into hearts.
  • Boil each pretzel for 5 seconds and place on a greased cookie sheet. Sprinkle each PAXpretzel with a cinnamon sugar blend.
  • Bake for 8-15 minutes depending on the size of the pretzel! Eat as soon as you can without burning your tongue!

All done, mama!

Aren’t they BEE-You-T-FULL???

A yummy heart just for my little love!

PAXbaby.com

*happy {baking} & babywearing*

PAXbaby.com


Love Day 1: Babies & Homemade Pretzels

OK, so the whole time difference really threw me off, oopsies!!!  HAPPY February, everyone!!!!  PAXbaby is celebrating Valentine’s Day with 13 days of  Peace & Love leading up to the big HEART day itself!  With so many little kids around, a lot of love is thrown around every day, but we harnessed our top favorite LOVES and will present them each day to you!  Along with some wonderful blog entries from moms who also wanted to share their LOVE with you!  Happy February, happy Valentine’s Day (almost), and as usual, happy babywearing!


Homemade Pretzels by PAXbaby mama, Jillian

Beco & Baking

I’m a black thumb when it comes to gardening, I am not much of a cook, and I can’t sew a straight line worth beans.  But give me a (relatively) simple recipe to bake, and I can pull it off with (relative) success!  The only thing is, I have to be able to make the recipe while wearing the baby!  Otherwise, he ends up on the table, getting flour in his hair, and no one, not even his grandma, wants to eat a treat that he has had his paws in!

So, when I found this pretzel recipe, I decided to give it a whirl with the kids, and it was an instantaneous hit!  By the time the big daddy got home from his errands, every last pretzel had disappeared into our growly tummies!  I made a few amendments, and developed a treat version also, perfect for Valentine’s Day!  We’ve made this recipe almost weekly even while traveling through Australia, it is THAT easy!  Keep in mind, this recipe doesn’t make traditional Bavarian pretzels, but kid friendly, delicious doughy pretzels that you can make in batches for special occasions, school parties, and just for your own family’s enjoyment!  heart

Beco & BakingPAXpretzels – will make 8 large or 10-12 small pretzels

1 teaspoon instant yeast
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 tbsp cinnamon (less or more depending on your love for cinnamon)
1 cup warm milk (1 minute zapped in the microwave)
2 1/2 – 3 cups all-purpose flour (add more if the dough is still wet)

  • Preheat to 425 degrees & set a pot of water to boil.
  • Combine & mix the first 4 ingredients.
  • Start adding in 2 cups of flour, and add more slowly while stirring (beware the white poof if you add the flour too quickly!)
  • You’re looking for your dough to go from a thick batter to a bread like dough that you can hand knead.
  • Spread a handful of flour on your clean (no children’s tongues have licked it, please!) surface, and hand knead your dough for 5-10 minutes until the dough becomes smooth & satiny.
  • Cut the dough into even pieces and roll into short snakes.  Let the dough relax for 10 minutes, and stretch the snakes longer.  Shape into pretzels, roll into cinnamon roll shapes, or pinch the middle and curl the sides around into hearts.
  • Boil each pretzel for 5 seconds and place on a greased cookie sheet. Sprinkle each PAXpretzel with a cinnamon sugar blend.
  • Bake for 8-15 minutes depending on the size of the pretzel! Eat as soon as you can without burning your tongue!


All done, mama!

Aren’t they BEE-You-T-FULL???

A yummy heart just for my little love!


From Katie at BabyBumbleB.

I wanted to be a mommy my whole life. I wanted a baby. I want to feed a baby and clothe a baby and change diapers and rock a baby to sleep. I loved to soothe crying babies and cuddle babies and kiss baby cheeks. I baby sat, had 30 cabbage patch dolls, tried to surround myself with babies every moment I got!

I knew a mother’s love for her child was like no other I heard the moms say “I never knew love until I had my baby”. I wanted that love. I saw babies only want their mommies when they were scared or sad or even just happy. I wanted a baby to want me.

I loved my baby like that the second I knew he was there. I felt that connection from the first fleeting thought of curls, rosy cheeks, and smiles. I knew what I would have with my baby would be extraordinary!

Sure enough, I had Austin. I loved him exactly like I knew I would. People asked me “did you ever imagine you would love someone so much?” I just smiled and shook my head each time, but honestly, I thought the answer “yes,” every time. I knew how I would love him. I knew he’d be irresistible to me. I knew that huge vacant space in my heart would fill, and be overflowing, with this indescribable feeling for my baby.

The moment I heard his cry in that OR Thanksgiving morning, not knowing if it would be there or not, put all of the pieces of my life together. There was that baby, healthy and here, ready for me to love with every ounce of love I already had for him, have for him, and okay, probably a little extra that I couldn’t imagine I’d have!

Motherhood makes me so happy. I love it. I love knowing the different cries he makes & knowing exactly how to fix it. I love knowing exactly where to tickle him so that he smiles and squirms. I love knowing that when he’s sucking on his pacy & his eyes get really big, it means he’s hungry & wishing it wasn’t a pacy at all. I love knowing that he likes to copy me when I stick out my tongue or make AAAH sounds. I love knowing the perfect combination of swaddle, sleepy, and music makes him comfy & dreammy in his bassinet, but that he’d really rather cuddle with me. I love his exasperation when I text on my blackberry instead if singing his favorite song, which I love knowing is Father Abraham. I love weighing him every week and seeing him grow before my eyes with nourishment that only I can provide him. I love that “nom nom nom” sound he makes when he’s nursing. I love noticing when he does new things, like noticing his mobile for the very first time. I love that he looks like me. I love when he makes new noises. I love that I know exactly where to pinch his cheeks to make him giggle. I love when he squeals because he’s so excited. I love when he pees on me, even though it’s gross, it’s so so funny. I love showing him off to my friends and family. I love knowing they love him too. I love that I forgot my birthday because I was so wrapped up in him. I love taking hundreds of pictures of him & I love looking at them over and over again. I love that my instincts know exactly what to do. I love when I look over at him and he’s just gazing at me smiling. I love that my heart melts & my eyes well up every time I remember that memory. I love that I feel this way about him.

I love being his mommy. It’s the most wonderful thing I’ve ever done in my life.