The Fashion Magpie Season of Life

This Season of Life.

Mr. Magpie and I have been planning for months to go to Tuscany this summer along with his extended family. A villa has been rented, deposits have been paid, and we had begun edging towards looking at plane tickets when we paused and asked ourselves: “Should we be traveling internationally with a baby that will only be one month old at the time?” I’d had a pit in my stomach on this topic for months. It was one of the first thoughts that skittered through my mind after I found out I was expecting, in fact, and a subject that has occasionally kept me up at night: “But we’ll need two pack and plays…” and “Maybe a friend will lend me her Yoyo so we can take two Yoyos with us” and “I wonder if I could sleep on a couch in a common area so I don’t wake mini up with nursing micro every 2 hours…” and “How will I feel if I do need to have a c-section and am still recovering?” Ya know, privileged problems but problems nonetheless. I’ve shuffled these mild anxieties under the rug, telling myself that we’ll figure it out, that I shouldn’t be so precious, that a trip abroad with a young baby will be good for everyone.

But.

I decided to investigate more formally. I had read online that there’s nothing strictly prohibiting a baby from traveling at any age, other than the hectic finagling of a last-minute passport for a wee one. My pediatrician echoed this sentiment, but added, gently: “It’s not bad per se. The altitude isn’t a problem. But planes are dirty. And if your baby catches something on a plane and develops a fever at a young age, you would need to bring him to a hospital. And it’s just — not ideal. But if you need to travel, you can.” This, coming from a highly pragmatic, non-alarmist French doctor whose advice I trust implicitly. She added, a bit later: “Think also of yourself. Would you enjoy a trip when you are already adjusting and sleeping so little? With none of your creature comforts around you?”

And so my entirely unfounded and implausible visions of laying out by a pool behind a Tuscan villa, a glass of wine in my hand, evaporated.

I’m simultaneously disappointed, relieved, and nonchalant about it all. While I’m devastated to miss out on a once-in-a-lifetime family reunion, what happier reason to cancel a trip than the birth of a child? It is what it is, and this is the fortunate and chaotic season of life we’re in right now. International travel can wait. We’ll be hanging close to the fold and are instead planning a trip to the Hamptons (around two hours away by car). POOR US.

I had been doing research on travel gear (both in anticipation of our trip to warmer climes next week, and in over-eager excitement over the prospect of this Italy trip) and thought I’d share some finds nonetheless…and I pretty much imagine myself looking like the ultra-chic pregnant woman above — could I pull off a gray wool fedora and a popcorn knit sweater (on sale for $32!!!) with such aplomb?

+The cutest matching swimsuits for boys and girls. (More coordinating swimwear here.)

+I’m not a pajamas-on-plane person, but these ribbed cashmere leggings look like heaven for a long flight (or some basic blush ones). (Maybe with GG high tops.) Mini could coordinate (in non-cashmere) with these jams and these kicks (or these). So neutral-chic!

+I usually like to travel with a pashmina that can be tied as a scarf when cold, draped over bare shoulders in the evening, and repurposed as a travel blanket. I’ll be swapping in my St. Frank Textiles throw this go around! It’s super lightweight but warm.

+Lusting after one of these metallic Rimowa suitcases.

+I absolutely LOVE these toning and makeup-removing pads (one of the first things I did after delivering mini was wipe one all over my face! ha!) but am drawn to these individually-wrapped wipes for travel situations. (I swear by their living luminizer — it’s like a corpse reviver for those days where you are hanging on by a thread.)

+I’ve been meaning to buy one of these long iPhone charging cables forever, and just added one to my cart. Handy for travel, where you can adapt to any sleeping situation, or for my impending hospital visit (the plugs are almost never close to the bed!)

+I’ve been over this topic 2398293829382 times, but I swear that the only way to stay organized when traveling with children is to keep everything in little pouches. I have two sets of these and will use one for mini and one for micro. (The different colors will help keep their stuff separate and organized!) I also have a few Truffle pouches for my liquid carry-ons and for miscellaneous in-flight must-haves, like earbuds, pens, Advil, lip balm, etc. I also recently bought a couple of clear larger cosmetics pouches because I find it so much easier to find things (duh) — I’ll use one for skincare, a second for makeup, and a third for mini’s stuff (in case of emergency medicine, shampoo, diaper cream, etc). I still love my Cuyana cases but am finding I reach for the clear ones when traveling with the family.

+Thinking about snagging this for travel days to keep my structure-less Cuyana tote tidy.

+This travel pillow gets really good reviews. I think my friend Grace recommended it first.

+I recently read a strong (favorable) review of Kopari’s mini deodorants for travel! It might have been on Grace’s blog as well!

+Good shades are a must. Love these and of course these (recently restocked! hurry!).

+A couple of fun, vacation-ready dresses I’m eyeing: this (under $100), this (on sale!), this, and this. All would look incredible with a simple pair of slides.

P.S. 8 things I never travel without and lessons from traveling abroad.

P.P.S. More life lessons.

8 Comments

  1. I’ve been trying to come up with something coherent to say about how I’m cheering your transition to this season in life, while I watch my 5 month old on the monitor continue to not sleep. This third baby has reminded me that: we are all doing our best, and maybe I don’t know what I’m doing since each kid is SO DIFFERENT!

    Once Micro is born you will inevitably compare him (looks, demeanor, milestones) to your Mini. It is natural and it happens! With our second, I kept saying… “but your brother didn’t… or at this age he was….” And now with our third, I keep thinking… “but didn’t the other two do… or was that G… or P? Oh please just sleep!”

    One thing I have learned is to continue to be gentle to yourself. So, while Tuscany will always be there, you are so wise to give yourself some room physically and emotionally to heal and welcome your new baby. But a wishlist for the Hamptons is a MUST!

  2. This must not have been an easy decision, but I love how you reframed it at the end as something positive — the birth of your micro! My husband and I, when we were expecting our baby (our first and last, haha), had a week-long trip to Kauai planned and it fell on my 28th week. Neither of us had been, and I had been so excited but then ultimately (after agonizing over it for days) we decided it would be best to cancel and stay closer to home. I did not have a high-risk pregnancy but I had experienced a miscarriage before, and was already 39 at the time and we knew we would only have one biological child (by choice). We really could have gone to Hawaii, as the hotel we had booked was close to a hospital, but had read on forums that for any complications or pregnancy-related emergencies, I’d need to be airlifted (!!!) to another island with a hospital more equipped to deal with these situations. Yes, #firstworldproblems, but I do remember grieving over that decision, as it had really hit me then that my body is no longer my own. We ended up taking a 5-hour road trip to Santa Barbara, CA (still one of my favorite local destinations) which ended up being absolutely wonderful and relaxing. Your trip to the Hamptons sounds lovely too!

    And yes to traveling with pouches… that’s the only way I stay sane, with bags in a bag.

    1. Wow! Now THAT must have been a really tough decision. You obviously made the best (and most mature!) decision for you and your baby. Probably the first of a trillion times you have put your child’s needs before your own! πŸ™‚ Anyway, glad I found a kindred soul in this decision and also happy to hear you focus on all the positives that came with it! xo

  3. What a bummer to miss the Tuscan family reunion β€” but the best reason to have to miss it! My family recently went through something similar(ish) β€” we’d been planning an international vacation to celebrate my dad’s retirement, and had to postpone the trip when my brother & sister-in-law announced they were pregnant. My niece wouldn’t have had her shots by the time the trip was scheduled to happen, so we decided to postpone until a later date. As Jennifer said, Italy will always be there when you are ready for it! And the Hamptons will be fun.

    I’ve long pined for a Rimowa suitcase! I heard that AWAY is launching an aluminum line, which has me intrigued. Gotta check it out.

    I own that Native Union belt cable & LOVE it! It lives in my purse. I fully agree that long iPhone cables are one of those boring but lifechanging purchases πŸ™‚

    1. Good to know on the long cable! Added to my next order. UGH the Rimowa luggage! Stuff of dreams.

      We are bummed but you are SO right. Italy is always there.

      xx

  4. Oh, what a hard decision to have had made! I completely empathize. But, Italy will always be there, even if you don’t go for a family reunion.

    I use a Turkish towel as my airplane blanket/scarf – love it, because I can also use it for its intended use (…towel) in a pinch if need be (came in handy when I was in Greece a couple of years ago and needed to pack super-light!). And yes to all the pouches and super-long phone charging cables! There is no better way to stay organized, and having a long charging cable is one of those purchases you’ll wish you made ages ago (the shortest ones I have now are 6ft) – such a game changer!

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