Life as seen through Instagram

Working in Luxembourg means for most of the day my time online with my phone is limited, so I’ve never really gotten into Twitter or Snapchat or the other various ways to communicate/waste time online. However, I do like using Instagram, especially since most of the people I follow are in the states, so it’s a way for me to picture (ha) what my life would be like if we lived there. Obviously, life as seen through Instagram isn’t the reality, but a little daydreaming on the morning train is always fun.

I like that different people I follow have different “roles.” There’s definitely a foddie or two, travellers, moms, and my celebrities girl crushes (your guess as to who they are . . .) I decided to look at what I tend to post to see if I fall into any of those categories.

Breakdown of what’s on my Instagram (I share about 80% on Facebook as well):

– 15 % our cat (based on the content of my phone pre-bébé, I thought it would be more!)

– 15% selfies, including those with my husband, but not things like just my shoes or nails

– 20% food and drink

– 50% “life”: around town, funny ads, new purchases, recent creations, exciting packages, parties, vacations . . . It’s not particularly fascinating, but I feel like it’s as varied as any other normal life. When I’m on vacation it’s obviously a little more interesting than the fifth picture of the month of the rainy weather taken during my commute.

 

We don’t share pictures of bébé publicly online, but if we did, I’m pretty sure he’d take up most of the “life” category, replace the 15% of the cat (poor kitty), and most of my selfies would include his cute little face. We use 23snaps to share his photos privately with close friends and family, which satisfies my new parent snap happy tendencies while allowing me to maintain a more “balanced” public online presence.

So, do you follow a few of the typical Instagram types? What kind of Instagrammer are you?

Bébé’s first château and citrouille

My return to work last week went well, and since I started on a Wednesday, I barely had time to sort through my emails before the week was over! This was probably the last warm and sunny weekend until Spring, so we took full advantage of it. Saturday I went to a nearby château with bébé while my husband took a nap (he’s starting to understand what the past three months have been like for me! Well, minus recovering from labor and breastfeeding) and Sunday all three of us went to a local farm to get a pumpkin.

The Château de La Grange is actually really close to our end of town, and it only took about 25 minutes on foot to get there. I might have to add it to my list of things I like about Thionville, except it’s technically in Manom . . . I only paid for the gardens, since it was too nice of a day to spend inside. I particularly liked the moat. Bébé seemed unimpressed overall, though he did perk up a bit when looking at the different flowers.

 

ChateauxCitrouilles

We used to go to the Cueillette de Peltre (pick-your-own farm) almost every weekend when we lived in Metz, but I think this is the first time we’ve been since we moved away. Going out to a farm to get a pumpkin in October is a terribly American thing to do, so of course we had to start the tradition with bébé. There were lots of different types of pumpkins: Jack O’ Lantern (that’s what they called it!), citrouille, potimarron, and a few others I can’t remember. Again, he didn’t seem very into visiting a new place, until I showed him more flowers.

While it’s not always possible to stick to what we planned to do, having something to look forward to all week really helps make the days go by faster. And now I have tons of cute pictures  to look at while at work.

Going back to work after baby

I’m going back to work this Wednesday, and I’m having the typical mixed feelings a new mother can expect. I’m excited to go back to doing something I enjoy, but nervous about how pumping will fit into my schedule. I’m also very nervous about not being able to pump enough, since I don’t have a big freezer stock. I’m not too worried about bébé being with the nanny, since he’s been there a few times already, but I still don’t know how he’ll react to his daddy being the one to drop him off and pick him up. I don’t know how either of us will handle not seeing each other for over 11 hours.

I did or will do all the things the different books and blogs suggest. I’ve been pumping for awhile, so I’m used to my pump. I got a haircut. I’ll get my nails and eyebrows done tomorrow. I have some new clothes to wear the first week back. I’ve been to visit the office, and I’ve been sending emails regularly to stay in touch.

I’m not sure how to spend these last few days. My husband needs to learn the daily routine, so should I stay out of his way and do my own thing? Or should I spend as much time as possible with bébé? If I had gone back a month ago, I think I would have been fine doing my own thing. The first weeks I really felt like a glorified milk bottle, and with all the nap issues he had, I really looked forward to my husband getting home so I could finally have a few minutes to myself. But now bébé is so much more interactive, and the smiles and giggles come so easily. It feels like he’ll notice more when I’m not there.

However, I am looking forward to an entire day without the same mobile songs playing over and over and over . . . And eating lunch at a normal speed. And reading more than three pages of my book in one sitting. And wearing somethings besides leggings.

But then I think about how I’ll see him awake for less than two hours during the week, and my heart gets tight, and those annoying mobile songs don’t sound so bad anymore.

So yeah, like I said, normal mixed feelings! We’ll see how I feel next weekend!

Three months

My third monthly letter to our little garçon:

 

Dear bébé,

This was quite a busy month: grandma and grandaddy visited, you started English “classes,” and you spent your first day with the nanny. All three went pretty well!

You would look at grandma with a confused look on your face, like you almost recognized her. We could see the wheels turning in your head “This person kind of looks like momma, but something is different . . .” You would always burp extra loud for grandaddy. We all visited Luxembourg and Metz and Verdun together, and we even drove through Germany. You’ve already been to more countries in 3 months than momma had seen by the time she was 20!

You’re the youngest in your English for babies “class,” but it’s not so much about learning as it is about socializing and showing you that other kids and parents like English. Besides, even though you’re little now, in a few months you’ll be scooting around with the rest of them! And you’ll be less tired in the mornings as you get bigger, so you won’t be quite as overwhelmed as you were the last time.

You behaved yourself during the six hours you spent with mamie, and you were pretty much the same with the nanny. Some smiles, some tears, but mostly interested in all the new stuff. She looks after three other kids and while the noise was apparently a little hard to get used to, you still slept and ate like a champ.

Speaking of sleep, your nights have become really regular. You go down around 7, daddy still gives you a bottle while you’re sleeping around 10, and you’ll be up between 2 and 4 to eat again (it depends on when you fell asleep; you usually wake up after 8 hours). Then back to bed until 6 or 7. We’ve started to wake you at 6:30 to try and get you used to the rhythm we’ll have to follow when momma goes back to work in 10 days. And a new wind down routine seems to be working extremely well to help you learn to fall asleep on your own and nap better during the day. Sometimes you still only sleep a half hour, but every day is a little bit better. You sleep around 13 hours a day, which is less than “average” but you’re growing and smiling like you should, so we figure averages come from babies like you plus babies who sleep 17 hours a day.

You can hold your head up quite well, and are holding onto things better with your hands, though you’re not quite reaching for things yet. You also still occasionally grab momma’s hair . . . with your feet! You “sing” a lot, especially to your gros nounours. And you were especially chatty after your days with mamie and the nanny, so we assume you were telling us about all the new things you saw and did. Seeing momma and daddy in the morning or after naps usually brings a smile, and you even seem to recognize mamie sometimes. Making silly noises with our mouths makes you laugh. Your favorite game lately is chatting with the cute baby in the mirror.

Your 3 month clothes all fit, and we’ve started bringing out a few of the 3-6 month pieces. We go to the doctor’s next week to weigh you, but based on our scale, you’ve probably gained at least 700 grams. You’re getting too heavy to carry around in the carseat, and momma’s biceps are starting to rival daddy’s in size and strength! You’re losing your hair a bit in a circle around the middle of your head, which looks pretty funny. At least it means you’re turning your head regularly in both directions. Your eyes are still blue, but a darker gray-blue now.

This next month will be full of changes, with momma going back to work and daddy being at home more to take care of you. We’re hoping to keep giving you breast milk, but also don’t want to put to much pressure on momma, so we’ll see how it goes. You eat about every three hours during the day, and this month you might start going even longer between feeds, but we’ll let you show us what you need to be happy. And you certainly are turning out to be a pretty happy baby, who makes everyone around you happy too.

Bisous & kisses,

Your momma