bonjour again.

Je t'aime! I've never met a striped shirt I didn't like.

Well, bonjour there! It's me. Hi. 

Long time, long time. I know. A lot of has happened since we last caught up. A lot. If you follow me on Instagram (if not, you can catch me here or here) or have followed my posts with the The Expat Mom Experience on HiP, you'd know that we left the bright lights, big city of Paris and moved the Michaud crew out to the Seine-et-Marne region. Located only an hour by train from Paris, which doesn't seem so far, kind of like Long Island (Long Island, France, anyone? No? Okay.) but an hour away culturally-speaking, we might as well be in the deep countrysides of France. And I couldn't be more thrilled. So our neighbors have chickens, the cobblestones have a vendetta against my stroller, there are two restaurants (although, rumor has it, but you didn't hear it from me, that another one is opening), our supermarket takes an afternoon sieste and I pretty much see the same people every day, but it works. So much in fact that we moved out of our rental townhouse and purchased a home. So now with a 20-year mortgage, this better effing work. 

In the fall, I came down with the chicken pox. And it was pretty much fresh hell. I was out of commission for a good two months with aches, soul-crushing exhaustion and nasty blisters. Scarf season came in handy because I needed it to protect the population from my face. No one assumes in your mid-30s that you have the chicken pox, they will assume, however, you are faces of meth who probably shouldn't be pushing that stroller. I was often asked, and still am when the subject comes up, the same question: "Didn't you get it when you were little?" Apparently not. I even got vaxxed for them in 2012 when I was working with kids, so how I got them is truly my mystery of 2017. No, I take that back, for me the mystery, or perhaps the scandal of 2017 was how Omarosa was working in the White House, frighteningly involved in making policy and no one, including The View seemed to notice until recently. Omarosa, people. 

Moving on....I receive emails and messages on why I haven't been writing as much and if it's because I've lost interest. Or is it because I'm a mom now and have moved on. No and no. I actually do write when I squeeze a moment in, but nothing I've been confident in sharing. After taking some time off, I'm a little shy but I'm taking small steps back in.  

Going back to early 2015, when I found out I was pregnant, I felt like I had to rush and get "everything done" before life as I knew it would be over. I breathlessly sent unpolished manuscripts to agents thinking I could publish —what I now recognize in retrospect—a pretty awful book in 9 months. Some of this communiqué included spelling the agents name wrong, sending attachments like an embarrassing to-do list and meditation mantras, along other mistakes that illustrated a lack of focus. 

Excuse me while I slap my forehead in disgrace. 

I used to stare at the computer screen hoping to produce compositions of gold, or even a coherent grocery shopping list, but an hour of trying to will with Jedi might for my blank word document to manifest into Buy Buy Baby would go by with no words, just more distractions. After months of trying to force myself to be more interesting, I decided to concede to my current reality and buy the damn onesie. 

Some, perhaps most, women can do it all. Or maybe these are just famous and poreless Instagram people giving me a false sense of ambition? These enviable women who can really "lean in" and push forward, start or manage companies, host TED talks, have always fluffed throw pillows, make money without child care and be present at home while pregnant or nursing. I am not one of those people. After an honest conversation with myself, I've come to the scientific conclusion that I am shit at multitasking. And I think I'm just going to own it. To put it into context, in high school, you see, I could never get across the board good grades. It was always just one, maybe two subjects that would stand out as jewels on my report card, as my thumb strategically covered the other grades settled lower on the alphabet. Every semester I'd pick which subjects to be "good at" and math usually got snubbed because, well, math. 

What I learned when my son arrived was that life as I knew it was and is not over. It's just different. For the first time since Facebook I'm present, as I observe and participate in these first years of Georges. The transition to real time means never knowing where the hell my phone is, my computer battery always on low, the few moments I have to myself is spent sleeping or reading a paragraph in my book before sleeping, or preparing things like chicken stock from scratch because you can't buy it here pre-made in a carton. For some reason, this last one makes my mom laugh. Imagining her daughter who thought putting onions in her scrambled eggs was a culinary effort is now making freaking chicken stock, which prompts her to say every time, "My daughta the chefette!" 

But here I am. Hi. With Georges at la crèche a few extra hours a week (!!!), I get to do things like Yoga with Adriene, go to the bathroom with the door closed, look for work, and step a baby toe back into the pool of writing with purpose. So here I am now. I hope to entertain you.

One more thing before I go: A few weeks ago, Aurélien and I got into a near-fatal car accident on the autoroute A6 heading into Paris. We thank the higher powers that Georgie wasn't with us and that he is not an orphan right now. As I wrote on Instagram, charging through the French ER on a stretcher was certainly not one of the experiences I ever imagined having almost ten years ago when daydreaming about living in Paris some day. But it happened and I plan to elaborate more on that next week. Thank you all for your messages and strength! It was really touching to hear from people from all walks of my life from old readers to fellow bloggers to high school friends to Evergreen friends to L.A friends to Paris folks and beyond. Thank you. Just thank you.    

Until next week's post, here are some tidbits I've had published since having a baby:

AirBnB Paris Local Content Curator (link soon)
HiP The Expat Mom Experience
Global Living Magazine All Roads Lead to Paris
Narratively Surviving Postpartum Anxiety in the Age of Terror
Shut Up and Go Feature Locals of Paris
Bonjour Paris (online) and France Today (print - this was exciting to buy at my mom's local Barnes and Nobles! At the register, after letting the page just magically fall to my feature, the clerk asked, "Wait, how are you, like, in the magazine??" Now I know how Tavi Gevinson feels.) Paris Favorites