How to… baby fashion

If you are obsessed with baby fashion you might like what I am about to share. I am often asked where I dress our daughter. I try to share the brands as much as I can on my instagram account @choux.nco but not everyone is on it and it is dispatched here and there.

If you want a little head’s up on French baby fashion, I was asked by another mama blogger to write a post about the basics:  

http://www.beiaandluna.com/single-post/2016/07/06/FRENCH-BABYS-FASHION

I don’t dress Elizabeth as a classic French baby though. I am more eclectic. My favorite brands are from all over the world. Read More »

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Words from a mother in fear

It was Monday night. Almost bathtime. Still trying to process the Orlando attack, I listened to live French news. A father, police officer was stabbed to death on his way home. The attacker entered the home to take the mother and their 3 years old son hostages. Four hours later, only he survived, orphan. One more in the name of radical Islamism.

49 – Orlando, FL. USA

32 – Brussels, Belgium.

37 – Ankara, Turkey

129 – Paris, France.

14 – San Bernardino, CA. USA.

….

I am sorry for all the ones I forget. My mind does not process anymore.

I am starting my motherhood life dealing with atrocity I can’t understand and handle. The shock started when I was 4 months pregnant with the Charlie Hebdo attack. Our daughter was 3 months old at the time of the Paris attacks. And it continues. One after the other, here and there, as she grows and as I (try to) gain confidence in my daily mother’s job. Read More »

No cuddles from your baby | How to accept

She is everything we asked for. We wanted a beautiful independent silly baby. We got her: the most beautiful independent silly girl. Playful, easygoing, a delight when it comes to eat, never had to get up at night, smiling, social…

You get it…mama bear’s speaking of her baby girl!

 

During my pregnancy I was over informed about baby bonding, skin to skin contact and tons of other techniques that help connecting with baby, which is good.

Except that I was not prepared to face such an independent baby. All the bondings techniques may have alleviated our connection (that is beautiful and unique) but it has nothing to do with the cuddles like I thought it would. Read More »

Those 5 steps will help you handle any crisis

Isn’t this picture already making you feel better?

Now, breeze, relax, and read this.

We all go through episodes in life that require skills and experience to be properly handled. It can be a matter of hours, days or months depending on what we are dealing with. But it always challenges our nerves. Here is how I manage my episodes:

  1. Self-control

The most important, yet difficult, is to not do or say something you can regret. This is the first but hardest part of the process. It requires a good sense of self-control that can be gained overtime. If you do not possess it, you would need to work on it.

I am certainly not gifted with such a wisdom. I like to think of what the consequences would be if I followed my impulsions. 

Ignorance is bliss. Anything you say and do can and will be used against you. Life does overall a good job in getting what you ask for. Karma will do the rest for you.Read More »

When mother means superhero

And here we are ladies, Mothers.

Mothers of one. Mothers of two..three…four, boys, girls…

Before we got pregnant, we had no idea what mother meant, what it takes of course, and what they are. Mothers are not like any other human being.

From the day we give birth and the following months, we have this need to share and express what we feel and what we go through. Like if we were the very first woman on this planet to experience motherhood. Reason why there are so many moms communities.

Why?

A “new us” emerged when giving birth to our babies.

This is what makes us so special, so unique.

This “new us” is the same version of ourself but stronger and reckless. Strength makes us do things we never thought capable of doing.

Becoming a Mother is a regeneration

Read More »

Overwhelmed stay-home-mom: don’t feel guilty over daycare

I am seated here, at the cutest coffee shop, enjoying the foamiest cappuccino.

I am a stay-at-home mother and we just enrolled our 8 months old daughter in a Daycare twice a week.

Let’s take it from the start. An infant goes through all kind of development phases. Each and every one of them is a whole new challenge for parents.

The first few weeks you are sleep deprived, trying to figure things out and catch up on different tasks when baby sleeps.

The moment you become a master at it, baby doesn’t nap so much anymore. She starts turning into a mobile tiny human (that you think!). Wait until a few more months to see what’s a mobile baby!

The more she grows, the more challenging it is going to be.

At 5 / 6 months old, our daughter started developing her motor skills very quickly. I converted myself into a mono handed woman, when not mono legged…. Add to this feature, not a one-man-band, but more of a one-mom-band! Do you relate mama?!

Oh boy, the day we bought the pack and play… Best day of my life ! I then thought: “all good now”. Baby is enjoying her time playing and I can pursue projects while watching her”. Did not last very long… She very quickly learned to pull herself up against the net, dangerous since she had no grip.

At this point she barely naps one hour a day. This is pretty much where we are at today. She crawls and is at the beginning of the walking process.

Let’s face it, I have an active baby and I need a break sometimes.

kaymbu-image-20160407-1443 (1)

We started thinking of finding a daycare when she was 5 months old. Two main reasons motivated us to do so:Read More »

Breastfeeding: France’s apathy , USA’s pressure and UNICEF’s misleading data

Formula vs breast milk. I have decided to write about it as soon as I witnessed the stress women were facing with today’s society view on breastfeeding.

I was a breastfed baby, and always heard positive talks about it from my mother. This pretty much summarizes my knowledge on the subject. Besides my mother, none of the mothers in my family breastfed. By choice. Because in France, we are not ashamed nor pressured to say “I do not want to breastfeed my baby”. No judgement whatsoever. On the other hand: the USA. The country is well known for having a strong opinion about it. It is a public opinion often broadcast on TV-shows and movies.

Personally, I felt like giving it a try. I educated myself on the subject towards the end of my pregnancy. I didn’t want to pressure myself by reading tons of potentially scary stories. I wanted it to come naturally.  And it did. I loved it.

But, the more I nursed my daughter, the more pressure I felt from the outside (among Americans). For personal/medical reasons, I had to feed my baby half breast milk/half formula.  I sometimes felt embarrassed talking about it. I would here: “do you still give her formula?”. Well, you know… my baby has to eat at some point so…Yes I still feed her with formula. I felt like I had to justify myself for it.

Long story short. It was clear to me that the two countries were not on the same page. Pamela Druckerman (author of Bringing up bébé) confirmed my first impression: “French mothers barely breastfeed. About 63 percent of French mothers do some breastfeeding. A bit more than half are still nursing when they leave the maternity hospital, and most abandon it altogether soon after that. Long-term nursing is extremely rare. In the United States, 74 percent of mothers do at least some breastfeeding, and a third are still nursing exclusively at four months.”

She is an American in Paris, I am a French in Boston. We had the same feeling.

Until I decided to do some research to understand what was really happening. And here are the numbers from governmental sources:Read More »

USA / Europe: A realistic perspective on pregnancy and birth

You’ve probably heard it, this is a massive subject in the USA: the profusion of medical care around childbirth. I actually feel lucky that I had my baby here rather than in France.

In 2013, 32.7% of births were operated via c-section in the United States.    [1] The same year, the rate was 20.3% in France.

While pregnant, I looked at documentaries I could find about natural/medical births: The Business of Being Born, plus the 4 other episodes they made afterwards (all available on Netflix). 40 Weeks. And The Mama Sherpas. I also read Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth, and Hypnobirthing from Marie Mongan.

I needed to educate myself. I started my pregnancy with what I’ve always heard and what I’ve always been told. Like everyone. except I am in a country with a medical culture that is not the one I grew up with.

I would not have searched any of that in France, because people are assisted in every way, so was I. 

I liked all of the movies and books but one. I was surprised how 40 Weeks was so negative. It’s like they wanted to tell the “truth” about all the cons of being pregnant. Without bringing all the other good things up.

This is so trendy to say “No one told me”, those days. How many blog posts are untitled like so. Well…, it’s not true. Read More »

The unpractical survival guide to the first days following birth

Do you feel the contractions? Here they are. Finally !

You try to follow your birth plan, if you have one. I, personally trained and prepared myself with and for hypnobirthing.

Long story short, I had quite a long labor with different phases: 30 hours and 1 hour pushing.

Yet, I was mentally and physically prepared.

Oddly, the one hour pushing felt like an easy game. Baby and I worked together, we were connected.

I gave birth.

And here she was, in my arms, on my chest. Like to pursue the connection we had built, to tell me “we did it mom”, she stared at me, with her eyes wide open. Balancing form my left to right eye. We were physically discovering each others. She was extending the bonding we created for 9 months. It was strong.

pied naissance Elizabeth (1)After minutes of intense fusion, they took her to the scale and did everything she was scheduled for, like every newborn.

I found this to be a tricky moment. Alone. Of course, daddy is with the baby. You still have work to end with the OB and the medical team. Read More »