Forget Paris

It is pretty obvious that I am in love with Paris.  I had the opportunity to once again visit my favorite city a few weeks ago.  The trip to Paris was for work, and I went 2 days early to visit my friend Sara.  She, too, had recently become a mother and I was dying to snuggle her son.

This was not my first time leaving Matilda.  Prior to this trip, I had visited Amsterdam for 3 days.  I was sad to leave my baby but took advantage of 3 full nights of sleep.  Also, I brought back a disturbingly large amount of stroopwaffles to indulge in.

I had also been in Chicago for my Grandfather’s funeral.  Returning to Matilda was a bit more emotional because my feelings were very raw.  Those sad times really called for her cuddles and giggles.

So when it came time to leave for Paris, I felt fully prepared to spend time away from her.  I had done it twice before, why should Paris be any different?  Little did I know that Paris was about to be replaced by my new true love, Matilda.

Upon arriving to Paris via train, I was flooded with those familiar sights, smells and emotions that are so Parisian.  Fresh bread and cigarette smoke.  Fancy perfume and car exhaust.  People, people, people everywhere.  I quickly made it to my friend’s adorable flat in Le Marais and commenced cuddling her new son.  That was when the pangs of missing Matilda first started.  His baby smell, his baby sound – it made me yearn for her.  However his presence helped me push past those feelings to enjoy my weekend.

paris

The next day, we took full advantage of the delicious Parisian food and the famous Parisian soldes (sales).  Everywhere we looked, there were amazing and stunning outfits, shoes, bags on sale.  Everywhere I turned, my nose filled with incredible smells, mixing salty with sweet.  On this gorgeous summer weekend, Paris was even better than I remembered.

paris

But I also saw, on every street corner, a gray Babyzen Yoyo stroller.  It is the exact same stroller we have.  On the one hand, I thought – “wow, we must be cool parents considering every Parisian mom has this same stroller.”  But on the other hand, it made me miss my baby even more.

paris

I was slowly beginning to realize that not even my favorite city could overpower being away from her.  I loved her so much that all I wanted to smell, mixed in with those great Parisian smells, was her baby skin.

At the end of the day, the trip was incredible.  I had so much fun with my friend, and per usual, she introduced me to exquisite restaurants.  Work that week was extremely productive and I learned a lot.  I also connected with many colleagues that I don’t often get to see in person.

But I could not wait to get home and snuggle my baby girl…..and model my new clothes for her.   😆

Forget Paris – I’m a mom!

A Day at the Zurich Zoo

Zurich has a zoo.  I know, right?  It’s not something one would naturally associate with this city.  I have actually known about the zoo for a very long time.  I see the 6 tram everyday on my way to work, and it ends at “Zoo”.  So yeah, Zurich has a zoo.

Today, we finally decided to visit the zoo.  I think having a child now makes it a bit more acceptable.  🙂

Matilda and I both dressed in our stripe-y dresses and were on our way.  We found ourselves on the 6 tram that I had viewed thousands of times before, and got off at the very end – Zoo.  I hadn’t expected much, to be honest.  I mean, exotic animals in the middle of Switzerland?  However, I was pleasantly surprised.

First stop was the penguin exhibit and aquarium.  Tilly was clearly too small to see and understand what was going on, but we stopped at each tank to watch the fishes.  The penguins themselves were adorable.  They waddled in a group, following each other step for step, above ground and then into the water.

zoo

zoo

We quickly came to realize just how special this little zoo in Zurich actually was.  Unlike the zoos in Chicago, the animals were constantly out, always moving, always active.  There were also tons of new babies to see – baby bears, baby monkeys, baby camels.  Every exhibit was one worth sitting at for hours.

zoo

Baby Bears

Matilda had a great time, too.  Even though she didn’t understand much of what was going on, she made her own fun.  Her favorite part was playing with her own monkey IN the monkey house.  Imagine that.

 

Our last stop was at the elephant exhibit.  I absolutely adore elephants.  I am so blessed to have had the opportunity to ride them and feed them in Bangkok, and see them up close in South Africa.  The exhibit was at the bottom of the zoo with lots of room to roam.  It had a Thai feel and decor to it, which made it even more endearing.

 

Overall, we had a truly wonderful day at the zoo.  We really enjoyed ourselves and would absolutely go back, especially when Matilda is a little older.

 

Traveling with a Baby – The Supplies

For those of you that follow my blog regularly, you have seen what an avid traveler Matilda has become.  We have taken her all over Europe, and next week is her first visit to the United States.  It’s no surprise that good baby travel supplies are important to us!

Part of our travel success with her does stem from her chill nature.  Matilda is a very flexible baby and I thank God every day for this.  But there are also a variety of items we heavily rely on to help in our baby travel success. In today’s blog, I will list out our favorites.  I hope these prove helpful to those of you traveling with a little one.

Moby Wrap

My husband especially preferred the Moby Wrap when Matilda was smaller.  It is comfortable and soft, and very easy to clean and use.  He loved being able to wrap Matilda to his body during our walks throughout Milan.  It also made it easier for him to enjoy his espresso in one hand and Parma ham with the other.  😆

baby travel supplies

There is a baby in a Moby under that coat!

baby travel supples

Moby Wrap

 

Fuel Baby Bottle

The Fuel Baby bottles are a true gem.  I stopped pumping one month ago and am so thankful for these bottles.  The bottom compartment is for powdered formula and the top compartment for water.  I have been able to prep multiple bottles well in advance and quickly pull them out as soon as those hungry cries start.

With our recent Easter road trip to Poland, the bottles were ready like the shake of a Polaroid picture!  When flying to Naples, the bottles were prepped with the powder in advance, and after passing through security, filled with purchased bottled water.

Not only are these amazing for travel, but we also use them at night!  The bottle is ready to go on the nightstand and as soon as we hear Matilda cry, we shake shake shake and feed.

I can’t forget to mention they are dishwasher safe!  Phew!

 

Babyzen Yoyo Stroller

A good friend of mine introduced me to this stroller and I am IN LOVE!  This stroller is perfect for travel, especially plane travel.  It is extremely light (15 kg!) and folds up small enough to be a carry-on item.  It also opens up easily with one hand, so like the Moby wrap, you can use your other hand for something else….like holding your baby or if you’re my husband, eating Parma ham.

This stroller has already accompanied us to hilly and winding Sorrento, the rocky beaches of Capri, cobblestoned Vienna, and of course, throughout the streets of Zurich.  It’s a real winner!

baby travel supplies

BabyZen Yoyo in Capri

 

Medela Freestyle Pump

When I was still pumping, I found this to be the best for traveling.  It is small and compact, comes with its own carrying case, and also provides a traveling cooler.  It has a chargeable battery and was easy to clean.

On top of its travel convenience, it is comfortable.  I didn’t need creams and there was no pain, no matter how often I pumped.

baby travel supplies

These are some of my favorite baby travel items and I would love to hear yours.  Share your thoughts and suggestions in the comments.

Happy Travels!