The Past Week

I remember reading an article online a few years ago complaining about how Americans write “Saint Patty’s Day” instead of “Saint Paddy’s Day,” because Patty is a girl’s name and Paddy is the diminutive for Patrick in Ireland. At the time, I wanted to point out that in American English they are pronounced the same, so who cares. And yet nowadays I find myself a little annoyed every time I see “Saint Patty’s Day” show up on the web.

Anyway for Saint Paddy’s Day yesterday I did dress Littlest up in green this year. Last year I hadn’t yet thought of it as a suitable tradition for his saint’s day, since we aren’t actually practicing Catholics or anything. I took a few pictures of him and hope to do so every year if I can get my act together. Truthfully I’ll probably just have to keep an eye out for green clothes year round, since it’s not really a color anyone seems to buy just casually—at least that Irish kelly green.

This next week should be pretty busy because our Polish students are arriving Wednesday evening and we’ll be hosting one of the teachers here. Fingers crossed Littlest sleeps well! Also his nanny is out sick for the week so we are scrambling to figure out where to put him. This was sort of inevitable at some point so hopefully we will figure out a solution that we can use next time she gets sick.

Some reading:

Changement d’heure, l’argument anti-gaspi tient-il encore ? I still can’t imagine getting rid of winter time here in France, where the sun rises at 8:40 in the dead of winter. Unless we full on changed time zones to line up with England instead of Germany.

Every Excuse The Americans Has Used to Hide Henry Jennings Offscreen I’m way into season five of the Americans right now, and this was funny.

The Wire, 10 years on: ‘We tore the cover off a city and showed the American dream was dead’ Yaaasss the Wire.

Women’s Health Today: Should HIV+ Mothers Breastfeed? Interesting read on a subject I knew basically nothing about.


The Past Week

The past week Littlest has been sick and cranky. I thought it was just a cold but turns out it was severe laryngitis and the beginning of an ear infection. Poor dude. So he got antibiotics and steroids which he is just loving (not). We did manage to get his hair cut again last week at the beginning of the sickness.

I finished the Good Wife, with mixed feelings about the final episode (especially the Diane-Alisha conclusion) but I still have entirely good feelings about the show. Now season 5 of the Americans is on Netflix so I can follow up with that.

March is always intense in terms of work so I’m trying to delegate a little bit more than usual and not take on quite everything that is expected of me. However our Open House day at the lycée falls on Saint Patrick’s Day this year so I AM excited about wearing green to that. I’ll be dressing Littlest in green this year to take a picture of him, hopefully making it a yearly tradition.

Reading this week:

Daily Update On Hildegard Von Bingen’s Health Condition: I did have to look up who she was and she was sort interesting but this is mostly just funny.

Barbie Unveils 17 New Dolls Based On Inspiring Women Like Frida Kahlo And Chloe Kim, And We Want Them All: Yes please for future birthday/Christmas gifts for Littlest (particularly that Amelia Earhart one)

‘RBG’ Documentary Trailer Is Here, And Even More Inspiring Than You Can Imagine

Avec elle, vous êtes tranquilles: This book summary both sucked me in and put me off reading it (but I still sort of want to but omg it looks so stressful and sad).

Mortalité routière : la France mauvais élève en Europe pour la sécurité des enfants sur les routes: Ah HAHA to all our friends who thought it was weird we kept Littlest in his rear-facing seat so long (he’s still in it in my car). COME ON France.

Pas d’écran avant 3 ans, lit de bébé dans la chambre des parents: les conseils du nouveau carnet de santé: A new carnet de santé for French babies with more up to date information (but still nothing about rear-facing carseats). J didn’t believe me when we were expecting Littlest and I told him it was recommended to share a room with the baby the first six months. (Not that we ended up doing that.)


Skiing in the Alps 2018

Not that I skied—still not over my last trip.

We got back over a week ago now from our trip to the Alps with J’s family and their friends’ family. I’m still not sold on the whole “winter sports” vacation thing since it seems to be so much effort in planning (where will we fit the skis and snowboards? what about the heavy coats? what do we have to buy this time?) and also there is so much traffic.

There were fifteen of us so we rented a big chalet at a ski station in the Alps—waiting just a little too long to rent meant that there wasn’t that much choice left and so we couldn’t go to the Pyrenees, which would have cut out some driving.

We left Friday night and slept overnight at a hotel in Lyon in order to avoid ten+ hours of driving with Littlest. He was all right about the drive though—but each way there was one point where we had to stop because he was tired of being strapped in.

Anyway, me being more of an introvert than I realized made evenings a little stressful for me, and being tied down with a toddler while everyone else did mostly whatever they wanted was as much fun as I expected it would be—but overall it was a good trip. J skied to his heart’s content, we went on a nice mountain hike together, and Littlest got to ride in his sled and walk in the snow.


The Past Week

Well I made it to vacation! This past week was a little easier than the others because my workshop (those extra 3 hours) students were on a trip. It also snowed which took two classes out of my Tuesday afternoon and allowed me to get some stuff done. Littlest is going to the nanny’s three days this week so I can get ahead on some work and then next Friday afternoon we will head off in the direction of the Alps.

He has been really adorable this weekend which did us both some good since post-nanny evenings this week had been rough. Hopefully these next few days won’t be too hard because I can drop him off a little later and pick him up a little earlier—but who knows, that might not make any difference.

Other than operating on work survival mode, I’ve been watching season 4 of Grace and Frankie, catching up on French music with the Victoires de la Musique (MC Solaar’s new album is excellent), and getting over a cold.


Taux de césariennes, d’épisiotomies… : comparez les maternités près de chez vous: The clinic where Littlest was born has a surprisingly high episiotomy rate.

Un mama 10 trucs: Sevrer un enfant 2 ans ou plus: This is funny but also points out my very real worries about potentially weaning Littlest (BUT ARE YOU SURE REALLY SURE YOU WANT TO???).

Meet Hardy, a sea otter pup (for Sea Otter Awareness Week): I like the explanation they give for why we find sea otter pups so cute.

And I added a page on my sidebar: All My Breastfeeding Links Ever

The Past Week-ish

An extra 3-hour class was added to my work week during this brief five-week period between vacations and it has made things INTENSE. Basically every minute of my day is counted and I have no time to waste on photocopiers eff-ing up—but they still do, of course. It’s a sprint. Wednesday is my day off with Littlest and last week I had to give in and send him to his mamie’s so that I could get some work done and live through the week. I don’t really want to complain about that, since my day off is a luxury of the profession (but also my mad time management skills). I did briefly start wondering if I had been wrong to ask for this day off (to be clear—my work load isn’t reduced, it’s just crammed into four days), but it’s a financial and family time decision that I really can’t regret.

Anywho, my motto these past few weeks has been “Don’t get mad” because the whole just barely holding it together thing has made me very irritable about other people’s minor or major bull-sh*t.

Soon we will be on vacation—again, yes, I agree that this five-week period of classes is very strange, it happens once every three years—and I will be able to get ahead with some work, and then go to the Alps with fourteen other people. (I’m counting Littlest, which seems a little silly, but he is a person.) Again I can’t say that I would have chosen to take this trip of my own motivation, but hopefully there will be some Littlest-walking-in-snow cuteness and some spa time for me.

Other than work, we have been watching Littlest toddle around and it is pretty darn cute. He is getting interested in toddler puzzles which feels huge. He has also figured out that the milk comes from under my shirt so is often looking in there, and also that I have teeth and they are fascinating. He now has twelve of his own. We have new favorite books (me: Pat the Bunny, him: Les Animaux from Lidl), and a new shower routine since he stopped wanting to go in his play pen a few months ago. He’ll happily play in his bed for about fifteen minutes if I pack it with toys and books, though they’ll mostly all have been tossed over the edge by the time I come back freshly showered.

I also finally started rock-climbing again. I’m going slow, only about an hour and a half per week, to let my arms adjust. At some point I hope to be able to do a little more of it.

Here’s one interesting thing I read:

The Hollywood Reporter: Ellen Pompeo, TV’s $20 Million Woman, Reveals Her Behind-the-Scenes Fight for “What I Deserve”

Involuntary Post-Pregnancy Weight Loss


8 months pregnant

Let me just preface this by saying a few things.

  1. In putting this out there (and I already have in other ways) I am by no means trying to throw any shade on anyone else’s pregnancy or post-pregnancy or motherhood weight gain. I’m very aware that what I’m going to talk about can be frustrating to hear for people for whom things have gone the other direction.
  2. I have, in the past, gained amounts of weight that I was unhappy with and then struggled to lose weight and deal with the shock of a new body image. That is an experience that I have also had.
  3. I know that weight is annoying and uncomfortable to talk about in general.

That said…

I’ve lost, to me, disquieting amounts of weight since Littlest was born. To start with, I felt underweight at the beginning of my pregnancy; I had just dealt with the flu, which involves a lot of not eating, and also was nauseous through most of my first trimester. On top of that I didn’t gain all that much weight during the pregnancy—about 8.5 kg (19 pounds) on top of my normal pre-flu and pre-morning sickness weight.

Add that all up and since Littlest was born I’ve lost 16.5 kg (36 pounds). I went back down to my regular, “ideal” weight and then kept slipping. For a while it was unalarming—and then it was more and more curious. At a few points I tried to make efforts that seemed fruitless: eating avocados, peanut butter, allowing myself “unhealthy” foods that I used to steer clear of. Since I kept losing, I sort of gave up. But in retrospect think those efforts were actually making a difference because the weight loss seems to have just accelerated since I gave up.

Here’s the thing: I was happy weighing 15 to 20 pounds more. We make lots of assumptions about losing weight being a positive thing, or some sort of judgment on other people’s NOT losing weight. It’s a hard thing to bring up, and I swear I try to bring it up less, but my whole body image is changing and I’m starting to wonder if this is just, once again, the new way that I look. (But also, will I stop losing weight?)

I know it’s not a medical problem, since I went to a “bilan de santé” a few weeks ago and my thyroid and iron levels are normal. So it’s a lifestyle/metabolism/breastfeeding thing. I asked Littlest’s doctor about it and she said that lots of new moms actually do lose weight after they become mothers, because their whole lifestyle—sleep, for example—has changed. So I’m not convinced it’s just a breastfeeding thing. Moreover, I would hate to stop breastfeeding in order to gain weight just to find that it actually wasn’t the driving reason behind it.

So, I guess I’m writing this just to say that yes, this is also something that happens to new moms, and it is confusing. It may not be as soul-crushing as weight gain can be, but it is preoccupying. Part of me doesn’t want to get comfortable in this new body because I’m wary that the previous one will come back and I’ll have forgotten how to love that one. I looked good twenty pounds heavier. There’s nothing inherently better about less.


Whose body is this?

The Past Week

Littlest is walking!

He’d been taking timid mini-steps here and there and working on standing up on his own from sitting down. But last Monday he finally bit the bullet and starting walking and he is progressing like gangbusters over here. So it looks like we’ll have to get him some après-skis for our upcoming family vacation in the Alps. I might have to create a new “Toddler” blog category and retire the “Baby” one.

Totally unrelated, we are considering getting an Air France credit card. We will probably do a good amount of flying back and forth to the States and some around Europe over the coming years, and Air France, in spite of the strikes, is a pretty good solution. Of course it’s not really a credit card since we are in France—it’s just a debit card with end-of-month debits. Anyone have any experience with this, or other airline cards? It is American Express so we won’t be able to use it everywhere, including grocery shopping at Lidl, as far as I can tell. But we’ll keep our other, cheaper bank cards—in fact I’d cancel my Visa Premier and get something cheaper so that the insurance wouldn’t be redundant.

For example we are considering a trip to Bologna just the two of us at some point. Air France/Hop flies from Poitiers to Bologna (or Venice, but for a four-day destination I think I’d prefer Bologna) with a short stopover in Lyon.