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!

Being a Mom

As of this past Sunday, I have officially been a mom for 6 weeks.  In the most cliche fashion, I can’t believe how time has flown.  My pregnancy seemed to drag on FOREVER (as have the nights Matilda is up crying).  However since her birth, I feel like the calendar has nitrous oxide under its ass like the cars in Fast and Furious.

As such, I have neglected my blog.  It’s incredible how such a small being can flip your world upside down.  And so, I wanted to take a moment to share what being a mom has been like for me these first 6 weeks.

First, there have certainly been the unexpected surprises.  Friends and family and funny YouTube videos had prepared me for most mom-related things.  But projectile poop?  Baby hair loss?  Stinky baby feet?   On one of the last days in the hospital, I tried a quick diaper change in my hospital room only to end up with yellow baby poop up and down my pajama pants.  It happened too fast to react, shooting out with the force of a cannon.

Second, time now has a mind of its own.  As I have mentioned, time has gone so fast, but that is overall.  The nights are far too long, and sleep is fleeting and slips through my fingers like water.  Matilda’s cries are long and loud and her smiles over within a blink.  In only 6 weeks, she no longer looks like any of her original photos and has outgrown 1/3 of her clothes.  One part of me wants to grab the calendar and shake it silly, begging it to pause.  But then my other half tries to take a match to that NOS tank to fast forward to Matilda holding her own bottle.  I’ve heard it said that in parenting, the days are long but the years are short.  I now completely understand.

Finally, that love.  That all consuming, indescribable, aching love.  It is the love that begins in your gut and radiates outward.  It is that feeling that comes from the part of the brain without language capabilities.  As much as my eyes burn or my stomach rumbles or my arm pits stink (showers are less frequent now), the love pushes me forward.  It is the love that all moms know.  I would do anything for her.

I guess that’s what being a mom is.

Until next time…

Baby Necessities

This will now be my second blog in a row about baby stuff.  This is apparently what happens when a travel/fashion blogger gets too fat to fly or buy trendy clothes.   😆  😯

Tony and I feel almost 100% set in terms of the baby needs.  We have been extremely thoughtful and minimalistic in our purchases thus far.  Most of my closest family and friends have children, so I have had an enormous amount of support and advise to steer me clear of buying crap I don’t need.  We have secured the most essentials items for now, and will gather the rest as we go along.  This has not only kept my bank account (and therefore husband) happy, but also me, because my house has not been overrun with clutter.

My mother and best friends have been incredibly generous to us as well.  They have gifted us with loads of baby clothing needed to get through the first 6 months.  The rest of the big baby items we purchased through various Zurich expat channels or during our recent visit to Poland.

I am most excited about our stroller.  Even though we purchased it in Poland to save money, this still ended up as our main  “splurge” item.  Even when converting the cost from Polish Zloty to Swiss Francs, I still gagged when reviewing the stroller price tags.  It really made me wonder how anyone afforded a baby.

After 2 hours in the Polish baby store and with the sincerely appreciated language skills of my sister-in-law, we bought the iGo stroller from Musty.  The color palate is customizeable, and we went with the below.  We selected this stroller for a few different reasons:

  1. It is extremely lightweight, making it easy to get on and off trams/trains/buses
  2. The bassinet comes off easily, and the entire thing collapses into its compact state
  3. There are add ons for toddler and for car seat – we included the toddler add on for now
  4. The wheels turn and pivot smoothly
  5. I think it looks as chic as a stroller can

iGo

 

The next big item, our changing table, is actually our dresser in disguise.  We lucked out on this one, because we received a great white dresser from Ikea for free when our friends moved away.  It was recommended to me by a few people to just purchase a changing pad and place it on top of the dresser.  Voila!  Instant changing table.  It was also suggested to ensure there is as little space between the ends of the dresser as possible, as the baby will get squirmier with age.  Well noted!

And the final big item – the crib.  This was a steal – we purchased it used from another family in Zurich for 100 CHF.  It has a side that easily folds down, either to take out the baby or to turn into a toddler bed.  It also has storage underneath that the little one can’t get to.  The crib is made by a Japanese brand called Katoji, making it fit well in our travel themed baby room.

katoji baby crib

Some of the smaller items we have secured are the breast pump and baby food processor.  The breast pump was purchased in Poland for a 1/4 of the cost and is made by Haberman.  It is extremely travel friendly, which is a big reason I loved it so much.  Plus, you can switch between manual or electric pumping, and adjust the force.  The only downside is that it only includes one pump, but that’s part of what makes it so easy to travel with.

breast pump

 

Our baby food processor, by Philips Avent, was a sweet recommendation from a co-worker.  As soon as Tony and I saw the video on how it works, we were sold.  Tony wants to be as organic and “home-made” with our baby as possible.  This is probably because all it wants to eat while in my belly is pizza and chocolate.  This food processor both steams and mashes the vegetables in one.  The video tells it all….

I know there are many more items to consider, such as:

  • Diapers – picking up closer to the baby’s due date
  • High chair – received a used one for free
  • Pack n Play – received a used one for free
  • Car seat – will purchase once we own a car
  • Toys – pots, pans and tupperware will have to do for now

Next up, I will share some photos of our very non-traditional baby room.  In the meantime, I hope the above is helpful for new mommies-to-be!