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!

The Working Mom

Wow, I am a working mom.  Because of this, I am just now realizing  it has been a month since my last blog.  I went back to work the week of May 8th, adjusting to this new balancing act in my life.  Even while typing this, I am watching Matilda eat her toes yet also trying to sort through some old T-shirts.  In between sentences, I am checking work email.  While I find it a little nutty, I actually couldn’t be happier.  Let me tell you why.

Back in the day, I never envisioned myself as a working mom.  Why?  Because up until 2015, I never wanted to be a mom.  In a weird way, moving to Switzerland made those feelings even more concrete.  I loved my job, I loved living in Europe, and I traveled all the time.  I had disposable income for crazy bags and shoes, and only had to worry about Tony and myself.  My Type A personality and lifestyle allowed me to focus on the things I most enjoyed, all while cleaning my house, writing my blog, and staying in touch with family and friends.  At the time, it didn’t seem possible to have room in my life, or my heart, for another being.  It was already full.

But then in 2016, I met my nephew Adrian and everything changed.  Even though Tony has nieces and nephews, and all of my closest friends have children, my sister’s child was different.  Maybe it was a blood relation thing, but I could almost feel what my sister felt towards her own baby.  It struck me quick deeply and I realized that I wanted to know what that felt like, too.

Tony and I didn’t expect Matilda to come quite so quickly.  And yet now here I am, back at work, blogging on a day off, while trying to keep Matilda from crying.  I am a working mom who is finding balance, one day at a time.

I still adore my job and was really excited to go back.  We keep traveling, just now with Matilda, as you may have seen.  My house remains (mostly) clean, thanks to Tony and my mother-in-law.  And I recognize that my heart and my life always had enough room for this beloved gift, Matilda.  However, the blog may really suffer if she gets a sibling.

Three cheers to all working moms – it’s not easy finding balance, but that precious face makes it all worth while.

Traveling with a Baby – Milan, Italy

Traveling with a baby is not as scary as I thought it would be.  For my husband and I, traveling is a huge part of our life.  As such, it will inherently be a big part of Matilda’s life.  And guess what?  Matilda is already quite the traveler in her 6 short weeks on Earth.

One of my biggest fears before becoming a parent was that I would have a child who misbehaved on planes or at restaurants.  I want to expose Matilda to these things as early as possible so she gets used to them.  This will hopefully not only result in a better behaved child, but also an extremely open minded one.

It all began when my parents arrived in Switzerland a few weeks ago.  Not only was I thrilled to see them, but I also found it a great opportunity to kill two birds with one stone.  These two “birds” were introducing my parents to Italy while traveling with Matilda.  It was a trip of firsts – the first time my parents had been to Italy (Milan specifically) and Matilda’s first time in a car.

Matilda already loves her stroller and falls asleep very quickly when being pushed around.  It was therefore no surprise that she responded the same way to the car.  She slept the entire way to and from Milan – about 4 hours each way.  She also reacted very well to sleeping in a different environment (hotel room) and to interacting with different people.

Now what do I mean by interacting with different people?  Well, at dinner one evening we sat next to a table of older Italian women.  They actually grabbed her from my arms for their own snuggling purposes.  While initially jarring, it ended up being really sweet and making for a great story.

Traveling with a Baby

The Nonnies

It was also surprisingly easy to pack for this trip.  As Matilda mostly drinks powdered formula, all I needed was a water kettle to both prepare her milk and clean her bottles.  Most hotels have these readily available and our hotel was no exception.  This also goes for cribs, although these should be requested at the time of booking.

Her clothes and diapers are also so small that they barely took up any room in my suitcase.  Finally, since we drove, it was extremely easy to cart along her stroller.

Traveling with a Baby

Our trip to Milan was a great success and proved that traveling with a baby is very doable.  It was also a nice precursor to the Swiss day trips we did the following weekend, but I will save that for another blog.

Until next time…