Thursday, June 28, 2012

Camping with a Baby

We are going camping for a week on Corsica next month so I'm gathering pointers on camping with a baby. So far we've decided that Coco will be feasting the whole time on Ella's Kitchen. I was happily surprised to learn that Ella's are certified organic by Oregon Tilth and that their baby rice is brown rice instead of white. Won't it be easy? Nothing to worry about but spoons and bibs! 
Until a couple weeks ago, I thought that squeezing baby food out of a pouch and onto a spoon to feed your baby was a little weird. In fact, I was against store bought baby food altogether. But that all changed when Coco took a liking to Nestlé baby food after weeks of not touching my homemade purées. Now that we have a seasoned eater on our hands, I love store bought baby food and I think  that baby food from a pouch is pretty much completely rad. 

Have you gone camping with your baby? What worked out well and what didn't? I'd love to hear your tips and tricks before we head south in a couple weeks! 

{photo from ella's kitchen}

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Zurich: Beautiful Old Doors

Tonight was a lovely warm evening so J, Coco and I took a walk through town. We enjoyed a nice little picnic dinner and then we strolled through Lindenhof. J is planning a photo-led scavenger hunt for his class. The idea is that within a boundary area and allotted amount of time, the children have to look for (and find!) 32 different doors, each unique and beautiful. As we strolled along looking for pretty doors, it was fun to see the area through a different lens and to notice all of the gorgeous exteriors and old houses. 

We saw people taking their dinner out onto their balconies, cats lounging on garden walls and people hanging out their windows smoking cigarettes. It was a great night to be out and on the way to the tram home, we saw the Zurich Musikkorps brass ensemble playing on the Rathausbrucke. Coco was blown away. 

I say if your baby has a late nap and wakes up at 5:30, don't bother fighting it. Just get out and enjoy your found evening. :) Here are a few of my favorite door photos J took. 
Zurich is such a pretty city. It's one of the things I love most about living here. What do you love about where you live? What makes it special to you?

Friday, June 22, 2012

Baby Gender Dreams

It's said that the dreams you have while pregnant regarding your baby's gender are never wrong. So far based on my one pregnancy, I can say that this is true. When I was about 15 weeks along, I had the most vivid dream about our baby.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Our Little Eater

I was so frustrated last week that I swore off giving Coco solid foods for a whole month. But something didn't feel right about that. After all, she is nearly nine months old and should really get used to eating since she'll be doing it for the rest of her life! ;)

So I decided to try lots of different things. I'd been making all her baby food with the Babycook and started to suspect that maybe she just didn't like it. So I picked up a few new things. I got a millet cereal with pear and apple. Winner! And then, when that worked two days in a row, I got some Nestlé meals and apple and banana purée.

Wow. My baby food has nothing on that stuff. Today Coco polished off 100 grams of garden vegetables and veal and then went on to have 65 grams of apple and banana purée. I was so surprised! And she was so satisfied an content and happy. Hurrah! I'm so happy for her. 
What a sweetie. I love her to the moon and back!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Father's Day at the Walensee

For Father's Day, we took the train to the Walensee and did a gorgeous, long hike through the forest, past the highest waterfall in Switzerland and along the beautiful lakeside. It was lovely. Coco started the journey with a nice long nap with her daddy in the Ergo. How appropriate for Father's Day! ;) Photos and more below if you'd like to see.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Busy Bees

I've been busily preparing for a webinar I'm presenting on Positive Discipline at the end of the month. It's so much harder than I thought it would be to bring all this wonderful information together in a concise and accessible way. My goodness! So that has taken up a lot of my energy the last few days. It's deadline time!!!

Here are a few pictures of our little darling. She has learned this week to move! It's so amazing. She slaps her hands on the floor in front of her and pulls! Then she goes places. Like today at my friend Karina's house, she went for a vase on a low shelf - and got to it! Luckily I got there in time, too. I guess this means we have about one week to do some baby proofing. :) What an exciting time!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Pink Dishes

It's a well known fact that I love pink. And perhaps it's going a bit over the top, but we now have pink dishes! :) Most of them are actually white, but I couldn't pass up these sweet pink bowls or the pink dessert plates, either. I love the delicate, flower like appearance of the bowls. They're dainty and have a sweet vintage feel to them. I nearly passed them up, but I'm so glad I got them in the end. I was standing there at IKEA, all ready to pick out some boring, utilitarian white dishes when I said, "Hey, wait a minute! We're not going to live here and eat off of these dishes forever, why not have something fun?" And that was that. I do think pink dishes will be very fun. 

IKEA has a lot of romantic, whimsical stuff right now, with floral patterns and scalloped edges all over the place! I used to prefer everything to be modern with clean lines. Now I find I like a touch of frill. What's your decorating style? Would you ever have pink dishes? ;)

Monday, June 11, 2012

Baby Essential: Nuscheli

The word Nuscheli does not have an English equivalent. I had never seen or heard of these genius little things until I came to Switzerland. They're the little scarves that Coco is always wearing. They're also burp cloths, sun shades, bandanas, bibs, washcloths, towels, basically anything you need them to be. They're the original cloth diapers here in Switzerland, and although some people still use them as diapers, they're much more commonly used for just about everything else. Last week I got a set of small ones in an array of bright colors for washing Coco's face and hands after she eats. When they arrive, they're perfectly flat and absolutely gorgeous.
Then, after you wash and dry them, they become wonderfully textured and dimensional. It's almost magic how they change!
Nuscheli have become my go-to gift for mamas-to-be and I have pretty much taken to stockpiling them for personal use. They come in three sizes. 30x30 cm, shown here, ideal for wiping noses when dry, or for cleaning faces and hands when wet. This size is also wonderful to tie one onto the pacifier chain as an added soother. Coco loves the texture of her nuscheli. The next size up is 60x60 cm, the perfect scarf or burp cloth size. Finally, the biggest are 80x80 cm, which is good for covering her pram while she's snoozing in there. When we leave Switzerland, I will probably take at least 100 nuscheli back to the States with us. They're indispensable and I honestly can't imagine having a baby without them!

See more after the break.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Matchy-Matchy Family Photos

I just ordered a kurtan and bloomers for myself and Coco from Rikshaw Designs for our family photos this summer. I'm thinking J can wear a white linen shirt and his turquoise J.Crew pants and we will all match. Is that just completely disgusting? Probably. But I love the idea, anyway.

Would you do matchy-matchy family photos? Have you? What would you have thought of the idea ten years ago? Or five even? ;)

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Zurich: Babu's Bakery & Coffeehouse

One of my absolute favorite spots in Zurich is Babu's Bakery & Coffeehouse on Löwenstrasse. Their coffee is delicious: I always get a hazelnut latte macchiato. And they have fantastic food: My favorite is the Parma Schinken sandwich, which I think we'd just call a prosciutto sandwich in English, but in German they call it Parma Schinken. Isn't Schinken a funny word? Not to be confused with schminken. Look that one up and have a laugh. ;)
Today Coco and I went to Babu's with my friend Nina and her daughter, Lilja. We had a table outside that was just perfect. When we arrived, it was overcast and cool. By the time we left, it was full sun and blazing hot. It's amazing how the weather here changes from one hour to the next. In fact, it happened again this evening and went from sunny and warm to dark, stormy, windy and pouring buckets in less than 30 minutes! It must have something to do with the Alps. Regardless, Babu's is ridiculously charming and reliably yummy whether you sit inside or out. If you're in Zurich, don't miss out!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Volkswagen Ads

J and I just booked a Volkswagen Polo rental car for one week in July. We are planning a super cool trip up and over the Alps, through Northern Italy into Tuscany. We'll stop off to say hello to the leaning tower of Pisa, then hop on a ferry to Corsica. Do a little camping, drive around the Cap Corse and then hop on another ferry to Nice and drive back up the coast, over and through the Alps once again to Switzerland, and then on to Zurich. We love being in the car together. Our best conversations are always when we're driving or walking and, as of her last time in a car, Coco loves being in the car, too. So we are looking forward to a good old road trip, filled with beautiful scenery and camping.

Back in Portland, we had a VW Golf that we miss so much sometimes. I am a total Volkswagen devotée. I've had three of them! First, when I graduated college, I got a white Cabriolet with white leather interior that was my childhood dream car from the movie "Can't Buy Me Love." ;) Remember how 80's fantastic they all were? Then I had a black Cabrio with crazy confetti patterned interior, which we loved dearly until it was totalled. What a sad day that was. And then we got the Golf. It was a TDI and the exact car we had always wanted. When we got the job offers to come to Switzerland, we almost turned them down so we wouldn't have to sell our Golf! But, in the end, we passed her on to a loving owner in San Francisco and parted ways after just six months together. I do miss that car sometimes. I really do love driving a Volkswagen. 
Aren't these Volkswagen ads cute? I particularly love the Cabrio ad of the starry sky. There is nothing better than driving in a convertible. Do they make you want to drive a VW, too?

{Volkswagen ads via here}

Friday, June 1, 2012

Deathly Ill

I'm sick as can be with a nasty head cold. Luckily I have this little sweetie to hang out with. I had no idea how I could possibly be sick and still take care of her, but I had nothing to worry about, really. She's surprisingly empathetic and understanding for eight months old. We underestimate babies, I'm afraid!
If this is what Coco had last week, I feel so sorry for the little sweetie! This is the worst headache I've ever had and it pains me to think that I stopped giving her paracetamol after her fever went away. Poor baby!

We had a surprisingly wonderful day together, all things considered. I learned today that she is happy just to be near me, even if I'm flat on my back and miserable. She played with her basket of toys and chirped and talked while I dozed nearby. And then we had two very long, very snuggly, very cozy naps together. I love being with my baby girl. Thank you, Coco, for being so loving and sweet. xo

Have a great weekend and see you back here Monday. 
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