Friday, May 31, 2013

Have a beautiful weekend!

The weather in Zurich is dismal, so we are coming up with whatever indoor fun we can have in all this rain. It's hard to believe that a year ago (in the adorable photo of Coco above) it was that bright and sunny and we were spending all our time at the park. Sigh! Would you look at how that little muffin has changed over the past 12 months! I love her chubby arms and soft downy head. When I look at that photo, a part of me kind of wishes I could scoop up 8-month-old Coco for a big, yummy, squishy kiss. But then I remember 20-month-old Coco is even more irresistible. ;) Honestly, my heart swells bigger with love for that little girl every single day! It's ridiculous. Today, she and I are meeting our mommy group friends for lunch at a restaurant with a big indoor playroom. I was hoping we could ride our bike there, but it looks like it will be too rainy. Boo. Saturday and Sunday we are going to have to get creative and come up with something to do under cover. Maybe a zoo trip is in order? 

Here are a few fun things that caught my eye this week: 

Americana clothes for summer!

This was my favorite pregnancy book, which has now been made into a documentary (see below).

The trailer for Birth Story made me shiver all over!

And don't miss this interview with the filmmakers behind Birth Story.

A good reminder to focus on what really matters.

Self-harm has become more dangerous than war, murder and natural disasters combined. Excellent article.

So in love with my much-needed summer pajamas.

Have you heard of secondary infertility?

If only Coco loved being in the car this much. (Absolutely adorable!)

This chemistry teacher has a sense of humor!

And don't forget to enter the Elmex Toothpaste Giveaway. Closes Sunday evening. :)

I hope it's sunny where you are! Coco and I are looking forward to the weather in Spokane. I can't wait to see my family in less than two weeks! :) Have a great weekend and see you back here next week with some photos from our trip to Ibiza. It was magical and transformative and I can't wait to tell you all about it! See you Monday. xo

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Elmex Toothpaste Giveaway

This year, Elmex, the Swiss toothpaste brand synonymous with childhood, is celebrating their 50th anniversary. We have used Elmex for Coco since the midwives recommended it for her sweet little baby teeth. Thankfully, the water in Zurich is not fluoridated, but that also means it is important to use a toothpaste with the correct amount of fluoride for each phase of a child's life. With Elmex, we know Coco's teeth are protected and we can relax knowing it's made in Switzerland.
Elmex is giving three lucky Swiss Lark readers a huge box full of Elmex goodies! Included are the 50th anniversary edition adult's toothpaste, toothbrushes and toothpaste for each phase of development, a travel set, mouthwash, floss and a child's cup and mini toothpaste for taking to school or daycare. Coco loved opening ours when it came in the mail and we enjoyed using the contents on our trip to Ibiza. :)

You can enter to win three different ways: leave a comment below OR like Swiss Lark on Facebook OR follow Swiss Lark with Google Connect. You have until Sunday evening to enter and the winners will be chosen at random on Monday June 3rd. Open to residents of Switzerland only. Good luck! xo

UPDATE: I wish I could have given an Elmex goodie box to each and every one of you. But, our winners are EBS, Virginia Constam and Susan Morris. Please email me if you haven't received an email from me already to claim your prize! lindsey (at) swisslark (dot) com. Thank you. xo

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Mothers Returning to Work Series: Lindsey and Coco

I've dreamed of being a stay-at-home-mom since I was about five or so. As an adult, I always figured I would have to go back to work after becoming a mother. But I wound up getting my wish in a way that was far from what I would have expected! Click on "Read more" below to hear how I didn't go back to work and became a stay-at-home-mom. 

Monday, May 27, 2013

Montessori Mondays: Free Range Kids

Free Range Kids is a website and book devoted to promoting increased freedom for children in spite of the media's fear mongering. Remember going to the park and playing with the neighborhood kids until everyone headed home at dinner time? That's exactly what today's children are missing out on as we try to protect them from predators and kidnappers, and exactly what FRK wants to bring back.

Inspired by FRK, my friend Courtney decided to loosen the reins with her daughter and son, ages 3 1/2 and nearly 6, respectively. Her children are taking on more responsibility at home and enjoying wider boundaries outside. But the real pièce de la resistance came in letting her son go on a neighborhood bike ride, well away from their house, all on his own! 

Click on read more below to hear Courtney's full story in developing her two little "Free Range Kids."

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Mothers Returning to Work: Kate and Hattie

Kate works as a middle school English teacher. She lives in SE Portland with her husband and her daughter Hattie and now their son, Sawyer. At the time of this interview, Kate was getting ready to have her second child, and reflecting on her journey to life as a working mom. Her answers below are honest, personal and inspiring. 

Monday, May 20, 2013

Montessori Mondays: Start with the Basics

During one of my Alt for Everyone classes, a group of women in the chat were complaining that they "hate primary color themed toys" and "those boring Montessori black, white and red toys." Well, I hate to break it to you, people, but you've gotta start with the basics. Read on to understand how children's minds are developing impressions of the world, formulating broad, basic categories of classification and beginning to understand the broad, complex world around them.

Friday, May 17, 2013

The weekend is already here!?

Oh my goodness, I had such great plans for the blog this past week, but I came down with a strange malady that ended with the most disturbing, full-body rash of positively biblical proportions, that somehow it all went out the window! Now, armed with an Epi-Pen, new allergy medication and a bunch of supplements, Coco and I are getting all our stuff ready for our trip to Ibiza Sunday night. It's hard to believe that we are going! I am SO excited. We have our fingers crossed for sun, because the weather in Zurich has been so gloomy. Grey days still outnumber the sunny ones and we are losing hope that spring will ever come. It's very sad. :( A couple weeks ago we met J after work and we walked home along the lake. Coco was spellbound by the buskers and took putting coins onto their little stool very seriously. We were so relieved that she only put coins IN! ;)

Here's what caught my eye this past week: 

Let's reclaim childhood play for our kids!

Pants for moms that don't look like pants for moms. ;)

Beautiful advice for those postpartum weeks.

Amazing graphic design resources.

Princesses, move over!

Another reason to love white wine.

No ADHD in France?! (Four months is too young for sleep training, though. Just my disclaimer. ;)

I hope you all have an amazing weekend and may it be sunny where you are! Please follow along next week on Instagram and I do have a few posts lined up so it won't be completely quiet. I'll do my best to do a few mobile posts from the iPad, too. Wish me luck on the flight! xo

Monday, May 13, 2013

Intimate Restaurant Seating

See all those people at that long table? They are not together. They're parties of two, seated across from each other - and right next to someone else!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Happy Mother's Day Weekend

What are you doing to celebrate your mom this weekend? It's hard to believe that Coco and I leave for Ibiza in 9 days! I consider that trip my real mother's day present, but J has some nice surprises planned for Sunday and we picked out a gorgeous bouquet of pink roses today. I'm giving my mom a gift certificate for a pedicure at the Aveda Salon where she lives. She will love it! 

I absolutely adore this photo of the little girl holding onto her mother's hand. The story is that she just came out of a birthday party and took her mother's hand against her face for comfort. I could look at it for hours. It makes me think of being a child and feeling that way with my own mother, and the little girl's full cheeks remind me of Coco. It's crazy to think that she feels that way about my hand, and my presence, that I am her mother in that sense. It's so precious. 

Here are a few things that caught my eye this week:

Old Finnish people with things on their heads.

Currently working on this beautiful book of our wedding photos.

Tight shoulders? DIY relief.

Awesome toddler/child scooter on our summer wish list for Coco.

Bravo to this judge! Teachers have a rough job that requires venting some days. :)

Terribly sad moment captured in Bangladesh.

When moms text. (You may cry laughing; I did! ;)

Best lip gloss for summer.

When we move back to the States, this bike shall be mine.

Handy weekly cleaning checklist from Martha.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend and celebrate all the moms in your life. If you're a mom, I hope you get lots of love and pampering - and a nap! See you back here Monday. xo

(Photo via The Telegraph)

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Shopping in Switzerland

Last week, I ordered these adorable Saltwater Sandals for Coco for the summer, and our upcoming trip to Ibiza! I really hope they'll get here in time because I am waaaaay behind in getting her summer sandals in Switzerland. A friend of mine went to a few children's shoe stores to get her daughter sandals for the Holy Mama retreat and all of the stores laughed at her when she asked if they'd be getting more sizes in. Apparently, the Swiss all bought their sandals three or four months ago and now the stores are onto receiving all the winter boots! Can you believe that?! 

Two other weird quirks about shopping in the land of cheese and chocolate after the jump.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Neti Pot for Allergy Relief

Wouldn't it be magnificent to walk this flower canopied street in Bonn, Germany? If your answer is a resounding "NO!" then you're an allergy sufferer like me. ;) It's terrible to have allergies, because after a long, cold, grey winter, what could be better than blooms and greenery all around us? Not itching and sneezing and wheezing is what. ;)

Because I'm still breastfeeding Coco, I don't want to load up on heavy duty drugs as usual. This year I've tried homeopathic nose sprays, local honey, lots of different eye drops and finally succumbed to taking Claritin. Even with the Claritin, I still have a reaction. :( But my suffering has been greatly reduced by a couple of simple habits. I use the Neti Pot once I get home for the day and shower before bed. 
Using a Neti Pot is a little strange at first. You fill it with lukewarm salt water and then pour the water up into one nostril and breathe through your mouth patiently until it streams out the other nostril. The little spout on the Neti Pot is smooth and just the right size and shape to make a nice seal against your nostril so that you can pour the water in there. It is unbelievable! All of the pollen and dust from the day are rinsed away and your nose is clear and refreshed feeling. I really love it!

Have you ever used a Neti Pot? This depiction cracked me up! ;)

(photo by Adas Meliauskas)

Monday, May 6, 2013

Montessori Mondays: Concentration

Last week we took Coco on a boat ride on Lake Zurich and something she did caught me completely by surprise!

Friday, May 3, 2013

Have a serene weekend.

Our computer is back and like new again! I am so relieved to say that we didn't lose any of our data (thank you Time Machine) and that the repairs were inexpensive and quick (thank you Genuis Bar). I am determined to order some iPhoto albums ASAP. The thought of losing all of our photos is positively sickening. I also resolve to edit and print more frequently. Like regularly.

I am officially obsessed with hardwood floors painted white. Swoon! And, here are a few things that caught my eye around the web this week:

One photo every year, for 36 years.

All the more reason to use organic baby toiletries. (So scary.) 

I just registered for this online blogging conference. Can't wait to learn some new tricks of the trade! ;)

Coffee could be pleasurable again someday...?!

Creepy things children say. (Gave me an asthma attack from laughing!)

I am loving my new bike

Well folks, that's all I've got. It was a light week on the internet surfing, but now that we've got our computer back, next week should be a full one. :) I hope you have a great weekend and see you back here for a really good Montessori Mondays post on Monday! xo

(photo via Et møblert hjem)

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Mothers Returning to Work: Tanya and Josh

Tanya Foley moved from Vancouver, B.C. to Switzerland in early 2011 as the International Ice Hockey Federation Women's Program Manager. A few weeks later, she discovered that at her 'advanced age' in her late 30's (she only looks 20! ;) she would be having her adorable son Josh just 8 months later! The following is her adventure of becoming a mother completely by surprise in a foreign country. 

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Spring Cleaning & The Apartment Therapy Cure

This is actually the first year that J and I have had to do spring cleaning. Up until now, we moved so much, we never lived in an apartment for more than a year. Isn't that insane?! But I am here to tell you that spring cleaning is a very necessary and wonderful part of making a place your home. It's hard work, yes. And it's disgusting (hood fan filter over our stove, I'm thinking of you!) but so worth it. Nothing feels better than refreshing your home from top to bottom. I only wish I could get my hands on some Mrs. Meyer's geranium all-purpose cleaner. I miss it so! 

I am midway through my spring cleaning endeavor and it is scary. It's one of those things that gets worse before it gets better and we are right in the thick of the worst phase. But I have no fear because I am following an excellent guide: The Apartment Therapy Eight Week Cure. Have you heard of it? It is incredible! It's an eight week process to overhauling your home and making it work for you. It involves cleaning, clearing out and redesigning spaces that aren't working well. I'm loving it and frantically doing as much as I can while Joel is on holidays. 

Cleaning with a toddler around is, as my friend Charlotte puts it, like brushing your teeth whilst eating Oreo cookies. Charlotte is British; she actually says whilst! ;) And her description couldn't be more accurate. The level of clutter and disorder in our apartment was really beginning to grate on my nerves, but I had no idea how to tackle it all. With the Apartment Therapy book, I'm eating the elephant, one bite at a time, and it's working. I can't wait for it to be all finished and to stand in the middle of our apartment, take a big, deep breath and let out a long, relaxed exhale. Aaaaahhhhhhhh. Heaven.

How do you tackle your spring cleaning? Are you bothered by clutter and organization (me) or is it really not something that affects you (J)? ;)
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