One of the days we were in Paris N took a tour up to Vimy Ridge. So it was H and I exploring Paris! I love trying to do the local thing, getting away from the tourist areas… but I also love a good hop-on hop-off tour! For my birthday my mom gave us a 3 day one so we ended up using this as a bit of a shuttle service. Paris does not have the most stroller friendly metro, which wasn’t an issue with two people; one person would have presented more challenges! So for our day together I put H in her carrier and set off on the bus!
H loved sitting on top of the bus… the wind in her hair… there was some serious baby-giggle action going down! I felt a bit better with her in a carrier than just holding her, as she can be so wiggly and surprisingly strong! Eventually she fell asleep in the carrier and I got to continue doing a bit of sight seeing.
We got off at Notre Dame and wandered up to the Centre Pompidou (the modern art museum). Before we reached the museum we stopped at a beautiful park where I changed and fed H. I have considered numerous times trying to record some of the places we have changed her… the things you make work! Haha! We grabbed some lunch and we had a little picnic at another square. Finally it was to the Pompidou!
For all the times I have been to Paris I have never made it to the Pompidou so I was very excited to check it out. I loved that there were so many people relaxing outside admiring the very cool building… and the school groups (tiny kiddos to teenagers) made my teacher heart smile! I must say I wasn’t completely blown away with the collection, but I was still very happy that I visited! Besides the collection there are also some great views of Paris! Going to museums with a baby is actually great for the simple reason that they have baby changing facilities… not always the easiest thing to find!
I loved wandering the collections with H swinging her legs in her carrier. At one point we entered a very busy, but quiet room and as usual guess who stole the show! Everyone was admiring the art when all of a sudden Harper let out a huge giggle! Everyone then started smiling and laughing… it was actually really nice! We had a snack in front of one very large painting and I noticed many people trying to take pictures of us… we were darn cute if I do say so myself 😉
We stopped by the Luxembourg gardens next and had a lovely stroll. I think that Paris would be such a great destination for older kids… there are so many playgrounds and carousels everywhere!
It was a great day, but having a second set of hands with a wiggly little one makes things so much easier! I was so glad that N had an amazing day… but glad it was only a day!
Paris is always a good idea… am I right? The only thing that makes it not a great idea is the fact that we live in Alberta and Europe is very far away! To get to France we took an 8-hour flight to London Heathrow had a fairly short transfer and then had an hour flight to Paris.
We flew British Airways and in terms of their baby options we were very impressed! I loved that we had the option between a more traditional bassinette and a little chair that attaches to the bulkhead. We tried to the bassinette heading over there, but H was far too big. She ended up falling asleep on me so we didn’t bother to try the little seat out. On the way back however, we had them set it up right away and it was wonderful! I could get up and pee whenever I wanted, I ate dinner, I had feeling in all my limbs!! We reclined the chair and bam… she was out! It was awesome!
I found it interesting that in Calgary and Paris the moment anyone saw H we were immediately escorted to the front of the line, but in London they couldn’t have cared less. I found it really nice that we didn’t have to wait in the customs or security lineups! To be fair in London everything moved rather quickly, I was just a bit surprised!
We had 3 carry-on bags, one for us, a diaper bag and a little backpack with extra baby stuff.
Here is what we brought for H:
- A pillow (this was awesome for when she feel asleep on me as she is basically a heater)
- A few, relatively quiet, toys… mostly chewing ones
- Her diaper bag with the usual fixings and a few extra diapers
- Food, snacks, dinner, baby cereal, water and formula (bottles as well)
- Baby carrier (often European transfers don’t allow you to pick up your stroller!)
- Baby blanket for the chilly plane
- Extra soothers
- A couple changes of clothing… because you never know!
- Her toiletry kit… including Benadryl just in case things got rough…. Also we tested it prior to the flight to ensure it wouldn’t result in a hyperactive reaction!
I brought extra of everything, even though we didn’t even use half the stuff we brought… I swear the moment you don’t have it you need it!
Asleep in her carrier on the way to the airport!
Best thing ever!
We just got back from two weeks in France so I am taking a few days to regroup and organize my thoughts!
So far I have thanked many people in my “village”. I have acknowledge people that have left, those that have come back, family, and friends that have always been there. Today I want to talk about a new special group of friends that I have affectionately termed my “baby mommas” and “the baby momma dads”. I met these couples (and their babies) in a “birth and babies” class N and I took pre and post baby! We were all due within a week and now have about a month spread between our babies birthdates.
Sometimes I see some of these amazing mommas and their little ones 5 times a week! Some of them I see once every month or so and other will touch base through funny posts in our Facebook group. We are all first time parents, and just trying to figure things out as best we can… and I cannot tell you how much I adore these people! Having people going through the same thing you are makes those days when you just “can’t even”, a little bit more manageable!
I think back to a time when I didn’t know these people and I have a very hard time picturing it! Currently one of our core group is off in Europe, and then it is my turn and I can’t believe we are going to go for so long without seeing each other! After a week I miss these ladies and their munchkins. I can’t wait till our girls are bigger girls and can roll their eyes as the parents dig out photos of when they were so tiny playing together. Often at lunch a few of us imagine what type of girls they will be like… we have the adventurous one, always on the move, always trying something new. There is the serious one, calm and just taking it all in as the others get into trouble. The silly one, making faces, giving toothy smiles, exploring and sometimes giving her mom a little bit of attitude! I love these ladies and their babies!
So thank you baby mommas for your understanding, for the laughs and for the future!
There are some relationships that come and go, and then there are those that stick around no matter what. Family is obviously huge, but there are also some friendships that from day one you know are going to last a looooong time!
First off family… what can I say… family to me is the most important. These people have and always will be the heart of my “village”. I am so lucky that not only do I have the most supportive family I also have the best family-in-law! Both sets of parents have been absolutely invaluable to me. For me there is something so special about having my own mom help me out, and then being able to foster such a great relationship with my mother-in-law… bonus!!! I could go on and on about the grandparents but something I didn’t expect was my sister-in-law. H’s Aunty is the best! Her excitement and love for her niece is just amazing! I knew the grandparents would adore their granddaughter but seeing Aunty L with H has often made me almost teary eyed. I can’t wait to see how their relationship is going to continue to build in the years to come. To know that this little girl is surrounded by so much love is almost overwhelming! Knowing that H has so many people around her that would do anything for her has allowed me to relax as I know that if I need anything they will be here for me in a second!
I have friends here and there and somehow I have managed to make some seriously amazing friends! I think about people I met on trips, through my “book” club, at university, through work and even from childhood… these people rock! Some of these people I may have known for ages and some are actually relatively new, but these friendships are solid! Sure they have and will change and evolve, but once we were friends… it was friends on, forever! Thank you so those friends that listened to me complain, listened to me when I needed to just vent, made me laugh when I needed that, poured me some wine when I needed that and distracted when that was the right course of action. Some of you have kids and get it, some of you don’t and still get it! Some of you don’t have kids, have straight up said you have no clue… but you are still just as valuable to me! I still love you all!
So thank you to my new and old family for loving my little person so unconditionally. And thank you friends for your friendship; I hope I have been there for you as much as you have for me!
Today I want to acknowledge people that have come back into my life and those that have left it. My “village” is changing and I am sure that it will continue to do so. A few people told me that when you have a baby many relationships will end up changing. I listened to this politely and nodded, but I didn’t realize how right these people actually were. I like to think that these changes have had nothing but a positive impact, but some have been a bit harder to find the positive than others.
I found out I was having a girl because… I just couldn’t wait to find out! The idea of having a girl made me take a closer look at some of my relationships. I knew I had a few toxic friends but I have always loved an underdog, felt drawn to the outsider; I want to stick up for someone who might be misunderstood. This usually has allowed me to meet some great people, but sometimes I have a hard time realizing when I might be being used for my understanding and patience (I also hate confrontations). I think it was Oprah who said, “Surround yourself with only people who are going to lift you higher”. This is something that I realized was so important for me to instill in my little girl. Girls have enough garbage to deal with… bad friends… no thank you! The thought of my coming back from a “friends” house feeling bad about myself because of something negative they had said and having my little girl see this as okay was NOT okay with me! It was hard but I knew that I had to cut out those people that were not supporting me. Those people that never really cared about me were not going to care about my little girl… so they sadly needed to go. I felt bad, but in this situation I had to be selfish and I know that it was the right thing to do!
On the flipside of those people I lost are those people that came back into my life. I couldn’t believe how many moms, that I had been friends with at one point, got back in touch with me to offer support! It was such an amazing feeling. I thought I had lost touch with these people and then all of a sudden to have them back in my life was so cool! These people wanted nothing but to support my little girl and me in any way they could! I laugh now at one of these moms who I affectionately refer to as my “mom activity guru”… we still don’t see each other as often as I would like. But I know that if I needed her, she would be here for me in an instant, even if it meant bringing her two kiddos along.
So thank you to those who have come out of the woodwork and continue to build my confidence as a parent and support me unconditionally. And to those of you that feel like maybe you have a toxic friendship, it is okay to say you have had enough… in the long run you will be better off. I am proud of myself for standing my ground and doing what needed to be done so my little girl can see her mom in happy, healthy, and supportive friendships!
I wanted to take some time over the next two weeks and acknowledge me and N’s “village”. “It takes a village to raise a child” Is an African proverb that I think many people have now heard! I often find myself referring to those people that are supporting me, N and little H as our “village”. I cannot imagine my life with little H so far, or in the future, without support from so many people that make up our “village!” I have always been a social person who appreciated support from others, but having a baby, friendships and family have a whole new value in my life. It’s not always the easiest thing to make time for these people… but I cannot imagine my life without them!
Whether you call them your village, your squad, your partners in crime or your loved ones… parenthood is more than two people and their baby! Even if you are not a parent you probably still have a “village” of people that support you and help you whenever you are down. Small or big we all have individuals that we couldn’t imagine our life without.
So who is in your village?