Friday, October 24, 2008

The Organizing Mama

I just discovered a great blog to help moms get organized. Even if you are super organized, you can always improve. At least in France you can - nobody is perfect here. Especially in school. But that's another blog post for another time.

The blog is called The Organizing Mama (there's a link to it on my sidebar). For all the moms who follow this blog and live in small Parisian apartments, you'll probably find the closet organization post useful. I like the "Magazine Holders Have Many Uses" post - never thought of that before. Check it out!

This Mamá is Muy Caliente

How does the hot Spanish mom at the Park Monceau look consistently fabulous with two kids under three?

I'll admit it, when I see her at school every morning at 8am looking serene, beautiful, and totally put together, I always ask myself how the heck she manages to look so perfect and get the kids ready and out the door by 8am? It's something I can rarely do myself. seems her nanny had diarrhea of the mouth the other day and let it slip to my friend's nanny, who told my friend, who told moi her little secret.

I may have to take a few notes.

Hot Spanish Mom, who I'll call Alicia Consuela Barcelona, has her nanny live with them in a chambre de bonne, or a shoebox size apartment on the top floor of her apartment building. ACB makes her start work at 6am. Why? It's actually very cleverly thought out.

Alicia Consuela Barcelona starts her day at 6:30am and claims that her kids stress her out in the morning. She doesn't want to deal with them in case they wake up early or even when they wake up on time so the nanny is on-call from 6am so ACB can focus on herself.

If the kids don't wake up before 7, the nanny irons. Then at 7am she gets the kids dressed and ready for the day. She feeds them breakfast, grooms them, etc. while ACB does yoga in her bedroom for 45 minutes then showers and applies a ton of makeup to make it look like she's not made up at all. In fact, the kids and nanny don't see Mamá until she's ready to take them to school.

At 8am ACB is out the door and on the way to school looking like she's super-Mamá and a supermodel. She makes small talk with the other moms at school. Here's what she told us today:

  • "Javier didn't want to eat his breakfast and had a tantrum. He is sooo difficult right now." (Yeah right, apparently you don't deal with tantrums while doing the Downward Dog).
  • "Tia threw up all over the Persian rug. I barely had time to clean it up and get to school on time." (Truth is you left the baby throw up for the nanny to clean up).

And how did she get her tummy so toned three months after giving birth? Well, she spends her mornings at the Power Plate boutique.

(Sidebar: I can't really make fun of this. In fact, I'm jealous. Maybe I should give the Power Plate a try to get rid of my spare tire. It'll take a lot less time and give me faster results than jogging around the Park Monceau).

Why does ACB's hair always look so incredible? Because she never does it herself (even though she tells us moms at the park that she curls her own hair). She goes to the coiffeur for a style twice a week. I knew something was fishy!

So now I know Alicia Consuela Barcelona's secrets and it makes me feel better about not looking so great every day at 8am. I live a real life and take care of my kids - tantrums, baby barf, and eveything else.

Olé Olé!

Mommy Playdate at IKEA

If I could send a love letter to IKEA, here's what I'd write:

My Dearest IKEA,

Merci! Merci! You've kept me sane this week. It's been one of the most difficult weeks in recent history dealing with the French Fries. First, they were sick for two days. Then today, Big & Small Fry cried all morning before school and on the way to school. Imagine dragging Big Fry to school while he screams, "School isn't fun, I hate the cafeteria..." and having all the parents stare at you in the courtyard. Of course, Small Fry freaks out at least ten times a day because she's two and therefore in the middle of temper tantrum season. Then my apartment cleaner called in sick this morning. Last, but not least, my scale says I've gained two pounds! Oh la la.

You have kept me sane, IKEA, because this whole week I've been doing nothing but focusing on our little rendez-vous planned for Saturday morning. I can't wait to hop into the Range Rover (all by myself!!) at 9am, blast the music, and arrive chez toi at 9:45am for your very hearty 1 EURO breakfast. I plan on reading the paper (something I never get to do at home) and sipping café au lait while munching on a pain au chocolat and a baguette covered in jam. Maybe eating this isn't the best idea if I want to lose the two pounds I just gained!

Then I will shop till I drop, and when I drop, I won't go home to reality, I will go back to the IKEA café and hang out for another hour and read my book while I eat lunch. Then, maybe, I'll entertain the thought of going home.

It's been one of those weeks. A big merci for helping me get through it. I couldn't have done it with out you!

Love and bisous,


You know you're at a low point when you get your kicks out of a mommy playdate at IKEA.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Wheels On The Bus Go Round and Round

Sex And The City quote:

"Don't worry, sweetie, don't worry! Nobody in New York notices a bus until it's about to hit them! [Samantha]

In NYC you may get hit by buses, but in Paris you and your kids get yelled at on them!

Today, I took the kids to the Park Monceau on the bus. Big Fry loves it because he's big enough for his own seat at the window and I like it because I get to people watch. Today was also the day that Small Fry decided to melt down on La Mom while on the bus.

Small Fry didn't want to sit in her stroller and threw a fit - crying, yelling, screaming, wailing, "Up Mommy, Up Up!" was all she repeated for the 15 minute ride to the park. I started sweating like a little piggy from embarrassment and Big Fry growled at her like a lion thinking he might scare her into quieting down. Of course this only made her cry harder.

So what's a mom to do?

I kept my eyes averted from the other passengers (read: glued to the floor) while simultaneously telling Small Fry she could have any sugary snack she wanted once we got to the park if she could just be quiet. It was then that a voice yelled out from the back of the bus, "Putain, calmez votre enfant! C'est insupportable!" or, "Calm your f***ing kid down! It's unbearable!"

Question: How do you get 20 Parisians on a bus to smile at you?

Answer: You don't. Parisians don't smile. But, SURPRISE... they smiled at me today!

I was getting ready to rip the old man who yelled at me a new one when I realized that everyone was looking at me with sympathetic smiles and not annoyance. One woman even whispered to me that everything would be all right. You couldn't wipe that smile off her face for all the cheese in France!

(Sidebar: OK, since when are Parisians, much less Parisians on a bus, nice? It just doesn't happen).

The old man must have been pretty annoyed because a few minutes later he got up from his seat. Part of me breathed a sigh of relief thinking he would be getting off at the next stop, but another part of me was scared that he would come yell at me again.

He came over to Small Fry, bent down and ......started singing to her!

It was the sweetest thing. This man went from grumpy to adorable in zero to ten! Somehow his singing had the desired effect because Small Fry calmed down and was an angel for the rest of the bus ride to the park!

The passengers and I just stared at each other and the old man in amazement.

Vive la France: Liberté, Egalité, Séniorité!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

La Mom Is Sick

and won't be blogging for a few days.
Please check back soon!

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