Category Archives: c’est la vie

2018 round up

2018 is over! Hallelujah! Maybe I’m a little late in saying it but, it’s true, I’m grateful we made it to the other side. Sometimes it felt like we were just a ball of dough being kneaded and knocked around but a well-worked dough produces something elastic and workable and I think that’s where we’re…

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A garden full of weeds

It was the end of April and there were weeds in the lawn and the tree in front of the living room window was practically under a spotlight glowing with bright pink blossoms and my head wasn’t quite sure what was happening but I was grateful for both the weeds and the blooms. They were exactly…

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Bringing Home Bébé Hospital Checklist

We’re in the eighth month and that means it’s time to start packing for the hospital! I had planned all sorts of posts I wanted to share but when it came down to it, we’ve been so busy entertaining family for full weeks at a time to finish reno’s, which means the baby room is…

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  • ChristineApril 1, 2018 - 09:16

    I was thinking about you the other day so I’m glad to see your post.
    We found a button down shirt for Dad is even better for skin to skin.
    Fluids were really important for me during and after labor.  I’m not sure what your hospital provides but you might want to bring some juice boxes.  
    I didn’t see a nursing pillow on your list. This was key to me not dropping my babies in my exhausted state those first few days of nursing. My favorite pillow is the “my breast friend nursing pillow” because it clips around you so I was able to walk and use it at the same time.
    I’ll be watching for your announcement!!ReplyCancel

    • Christina (Vine and the Olive)April 1, 2018 - 13:15

      Ahh yes, we were thinking we might do the button down shirt as well because we’ve got a bigger collection of them, I think the idea with the V-neck is that it’s generally softer but worst case scenario I’ll bundle them up in a soft fleece type blanket. Shirt optional. Ha!

      As for juice boxes, I’m not sure if they provide any or not but I’ve got a few massive bottles of water at the ready and some applesauce and things that are easy snacks and I was considering some kind of electrolyte drinks but I have to admit, I had totally forgotten this by now… you’re probably right though, something that’s a little more punchy than water can be a nice option!

      I put the nursing pillow on the second page. I had ideally wanted a My Brest Friend but I was given the Big Flopsy from Red Castle so I’m going to give it a go first because My Brest Friends aren’t as easy to come by here and there was only one pattern available and I wasn’t so fond of it. So far I’m really liking it because it works really well as a maternity pillow. For sleeping, for relaxing, for some exercises the midwife gave me and we used them in our prenatal class and I have to say it’s great. It seems more interesting to me than something like a boppy because it’s holds it’s form really nicely but is equally a little more flexible and useful for putting the baby on after he’s born. Back to the My Brest Friend though, of course, it has nothing to do with the fabric, but I thought I’d prefer to have the organic cover it looks softer, thicker and more classy but they only had a striped one available here (and normally I’m all about stripes but this one, I didn’t love…) and to have them shipped over is insane. The shipping costs as much as the item and the duties are through the roof so I’d rather not do that but I like that they’re good for people with bad backs which I can fully relate to and I might decide is worth it in the end. But I’m going to try with what I have for now first so I don’t start collecting nursing pillows.

      How are you and your family doing?ReplyCancel

Third Trimester Check In

I’m officially into the third trimester and for the most part, this pregnancy has been going well. It may have started out looking a bit dodgy in the first trimester, and then there were a few weeks in the second where I had to be on bedrest (since baby was headed for the door) but…

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Enduring the move

I was still in grade school when I realized I wanted to live abroad. At the time I didn’t know where I just knew I saw myself living somewhere else. Just because I felt that way, didn’t mean I knew how to get there or what it would entail.  I read a lot of books before…

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  • Rob PJanuary 12, 2018 - 17:55

    In some ways, moving to Vancouver Island from Langley has been quite similar.  No paperwork hassles due to immigration issues, no language barriers, but some of the other issues were still there… Finding new doctor and dentist, living in a completely new place that we’d only visited before, securing housing, etc.  Some days all you can do is open a fine micro-brew (the “Wine” of Victoria…) and enjoy a quiet afternoon and forget about the difficult bits for a while.  And know that in the end, it will be worth it!ReplyCancel

    • Christina (Vine and the Olive)January 12, 2018 - 19:04

      Yeah, I think you’re right. Any move is a hard one. Getting set up just takes time and it is a hassle but it does pay off in the end. Being a frequent visitor can be a tricky beast because even though you feel like you know the place (especially because I’d be around for long stretches at a time) it doesn’t actually get you any further ahead. If it makes you feel better we like a good microbrew over here too… or at very least a good Belgian brew, because I gotta hand it to them, they’ve got more going for them than just the fries and the chocolates!ReplyCancel

  • IvanJanuary 13, 2018 - 01:05

    Enjoyed reading this article. Lots of sound observations and interesting to hear another perspective. For us, the hardest thing was getting a place to rent. Medical insurance was easy, and work was legally easy, although hard to find. Different regions in France also cause variation in what’s difficult — it  sounds like the area around Paris is more demanding in terms of courtesy than the southwest. Speaking to other people who have moved to France, it always amazes me how everyone has their own challenges…. But EVERYONE is exhausted and often bewildered by anything administrative here. It’s very, very hard to get your bearings, but it’s also a rite of passage, and if you get someone else to do it for you, you’re just delaying the inevitable. If you want to live, really live in France, dare I say BECOME French, you have to make it your personal project to understand and manage your finances, phone/internet plan, apartment rental, health insurance, work benefits, retirement, and everything in between. You have to be a functioning adult, and in France it means coming to terms with a bazillion acronyms and what they mean to you. Fortunately if you do research online, call and talk to a helpful person (50% chance), or visit a local office that is a real branch with helpful people (80% chance), you can learn a lot. Keep at it. Don’t give up.ReplyCancel

    • Christina (Vine and the Olive)January 13, 2018 - 09:25

      Absolutely! They definitely want you to show that you want to be here by jumping through hoops and I will say that I always hear that lodging is one of the hardest to tackle and I was fortunate not to have to worry about that. In general, I believe it’s better to arrive with a job than without one if you want things to move faster.

      The process of going through it though has really caused me to be more organized than ever. I wasn’t too bad when it came to going back and forth for four years (that’s a whole other story of crazy organization) but when it comes to documents or following up with people I have what I need or seem to get through things much faster now because I’ve got dates of phone calls, AR’s to prove they’ve received my dossiers and I am firm but calm and it seems to get a better response on the other end.

      I can’t help but laugh at your percentages about people on the phone and in person. There is a lot of misinformation or staff who either don’t know or won’t do their job (debatable.) It’s very frustrating but knowing to get a second opinion by talking to another person is a helpful tip!ReplyCancel


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