Thursday, September 25, 2008

We are moving.


Our next door neighbors started it. They decided to move and leave their apartment. And their apartment has a third bedroom and second full bath.

Yea. We're jumping on it.

So now we have successfully added some stress into our lives where there wasn't room for any. I still feel sick most of the time. Sadly, I am getting used to my routine trips to the toilet. Brian is busy at work and busy doing everything here at home. Marion is still getting over the ear infection/cold, sans antibiotics. Yet, we think moving in a month and trying to find someone to take our apartment on such short notice will be worth it.

First, we love our location. It is fantastic with easy access to everything.

Second, the new apartment is bigger which will be great for when the baby comes.

Third, the new apartment has a fenced in patio, great for keeping an independant toddler close.

Yep, I'm pretty sure this is a good idea. Now, anyone want a two bedroom flat in Zurich?

Monday, September 22, 2008

Treating an ear infection the European way

Brian had plans to take Marion to a local indoor pool with a coworker of his and his child on Sunday morning. I was looking forward to the break. Brian was looking forward to surprising Marion- she loves the pool.

Plans were ruined when Marion woke up crying and complaining that her ear and eye hurt.

Well, we knew what that meant.

Marion is prone to ear infections. More than the average kid but not as bad as others I've heard about. Basically, she gets a cold and it goes right to her ear. She usually doesn't have a fever, unless it gets significantly worse.

So I was prepared for a trip to the pediatrician this morning. What I wasn't prepared for was the wait, since it had been a dream before. But it is cold season and it was Monday morning... I guess some things never change.

We waited an hour before we were taken back to the exam room. Marion seemed fine, as she tends to be when sick. She enjoyed playing with the toys in the waiting area. I sat in my chair, anxious that we would be their all day and I would end up puking all over the place. I tend to imagine the worst at times like these.

We were eventually taken back and, finally, the doctor came to see us. He took a look and, sure enough, she has an ear infection.

Then he asked about how we had treated these in the past. I told him that she has always gotten antibiotics for an ear infection. He said he'd like to try to not treat with antibiotics just yet, but instead try pain medication and a nasal spray to clear it out. I said sure, why not. If it works for the Europeans, it may work for Marion. And we'll never really know until we try, right?

We got the medicine and then were given instructions to come back in two days. If it is the same or worse, we will try antibiotics. If not, good! It went away without needing the drugs.

Anyway, we go back on Wednesday to see how the experiment worked. I just gave Marion her first round of medicine and nasal spray. She didn't even flinch and asked for more medicine. Hmmm, good for not flinching. Bad for asking for more...

Friday, September 19, 2008

I went outside and walked today

A huge effort on my part, I've been driving everywhere lately.

But a friend called and invited Marion and I to go to Starbucks. And, because I have family visiting next week, I thought I needed to do some walking and see how my stomach took it.

I gave myself plenty of time and still almost missed the train. Apparently I walk a lot slower these days. So, to make the train, I stupidly ran. What was I thinking??? I got to the train, barely, sat down and called my friend. She was still waiting for me on the platform. I figured she would have gotten on the train. Oops. Oh well, it gave me time to rest and concentrate on not getting sick at our destination.

When we met up with our friends a little later, we realized the elevator at the train platform was broken. Damn. So we had to lug the strollers up a large flight of stairs. I quickly became winded and nauseous again. So far, not good.

However, we made it to Starbucks without incident. There we found a table on the deck and rested. I ate some yummy lemon pound cake and started to feel better.

We hung out at Starbucks for a bit and then headed over to Migros to pick up some things for lunch. I decided on a Caesar salad. Why? I'm not sure. I've been craving fruit and salads but they usually don't sit well. I'm playing with fire over here.

We ended up getting home a litte late so my lunch and Marion's nap ran a bit late. So far, I'm feeling okay. Tired from my excursion this morning but not nauseous... yet. My bewitching hour (this week) starts around 5 and lasts until I go to bed. It has been pretty awful this week. I'm crossing my fingers and toes that my exercise and salad don't come back to bite me later. I'll let you know.

**Update: Bewitching hour struck again. Damn.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

I decided to postpone German classes

Unfortunately I can't imagine sitting in a class right now with the way I feel. I'm hoping I'll be able to take the January session. So, sadly, no German from me for awhile.

However, someone in our house is learning the language. Marion has started to say "Oh, nein!" the last few days. At first I thought she was saying "Oh, mine!" But no, she has definitely picked up another German word. So far she regularly uses the following:

Gruezi - Swiss German for hello
Danke Schoen - Thank you (never says thank you in English anymore)
Nein - No
Ciao/Tcheuss - Swiss German for goodbye

And god knows what else that I can't understand.

She's going to be my translator soon.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

One step forward, two steps back

This week hasn't been going so well in the pregnancy department. I have had a hard time keeping food and water down again. Brian and I are ready for the end of this after 4.5 weeks.

Recently, I haven't been sleeping well. 10 weeks of pregnancy is a little early to start the sleepless nights, no?

I usually am in bed by 9 at the latest (a full hour earlier than normal) and take awhile to fall asleep. Then I wake up somewhere between 1-3 am. And that is when I have a really hard time falling back asleep and spend the rest of the night tossing and turning while some very vivid and disturbing dreams run through my head. Dreams of the chasing and hurting my family variety. Not really nightmares, because the bad stuff never happens. There's just always the threat it is going to happen.

So I wake up exhausted and anxious. Ready to face the sink or toilet (I like to change things up) and my toddler who seems to have more energy lately. Figures.

The other morning Brian, in all his intimate wisdom, decided to put full-of-evergy-Marion in bed with me so I could rest a bit more. Then, Marion licked me. And, of course, she found it hilarious when I screamed in surprise so she did it again. Where does she get this stuff? Certainly not a relaxing way to wake up. But definitely a story for the baby book!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Dell - Part Two

So after my previous post, I waited several hours and called back the international US telephone number. I pressed 3 for Europe again and waited for someone to help me. But this time, when someone answered, I asked if I was talking to someone in the international service group.

The answer was no.

Makes no sense whatsoever.

I filled this guy in on my situation and he gave me a number in Switzerland to call. Makes a little bit more sense.

When I got off the phone I realized the number he had given me had too many numbers. Darn. So I get on, switched the country to Switzerland, and tried to wade through the German to find a contact number. Actually, it was much easier than I expected. The German words I needed were very close to the English (contact/kontact) and it didn't take me long to find a number. I should have started there.

I called the number and was delighted to hear that there was an English option. Definitely something new in my three months here. So I pressed the button for English, pressed a bunch of other buttons to answer a handful of other questions, and waited.

The woman who answered spoke German to greet me.

What. the. hell.

So I asked her if she spoke English and she replied that she did, with a tone that suggested she was annoyed that I asked. Whatever, that is why I pressed the English option! (German classes start on Thursday.)

I explained my problem to her and she said she would send a new charger out to me. Then she asked for my address.

My street is a very long word. And, while spelling it out to her, we got confused. I realized that it is difficult spelling out words here when the you lack common ground for 'a as in apple' etc.

Somehow, we managed. After five tries.

I received my charger on Friday. My computer is up and running. Last night it shut down on me again though. So, same problem still. I'm really not looking forward to calling back. But I apparently have until February 2009, 'cause that is when my warranty runs out. Just so I know.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Dell, ahhhh Dell

Dell is on my not very nice list right now. I'm having problems with my computer and I've contacted them twice to try to fix it. And I still haven't even gotten ahold of the right people to help me.

For several weeks now my computer has been shutting off at random times. When it does, the bottom of my laptop always feels really warm. And I can't remember the last time I heard the fan come on.

So I contacted Dell's online customer tech support. One of the first things he told me is that my warranty expires in Feb 2009, 'just so I know'. Uh, thanks. I'm obviously within my warranty period, but thanks for letting me know.

We got about halfway through the conversation when I mentioned my theory that the electrical difference here in Switzerland is part of the problem. The rep promptly told me he couldn't help me because I was abroad and gave me a separate service line to call. And the number was a US line, 512 area code.

I've been putting off calling the number because I wasn't really thrilled with my first contact with their 'support'. But today I needed to call.

A couple of days ago my battery charger I brought with me from the US broke. Just stopped working one day. So I used the computer on battery power until it was almost gone then plugged my laptop in using an adapter Brian brought home from work. Well, that adapter wouldn't charge my battery for some reason, but it was able to run the computer. Until today, when that stopped working.

Now my computer sits on the couch. I can't turn it on because the battery is dead and I don't have anything to power the laptop.

So I was forced to contact Dell. I dialed their US number for international support using our Magic Jack line, an invention that is truly awesome.

I pushed the buttons required (abroad in Europe, yes) and waited on hold for a little more than 15 minutes. Finally I got someone on the phone. I gave him my information, told him the problem, and, along the way, mentioned the European power cord Brian had brought home to use.

He asked, "You're in Switzerland?"

I said, "Yes."

To which he responded, "You need to contact the international service number and they do not open for another hour and fifteen minutes."

I kid you not.

At this point, I'm boiling. I mention that, hey, I DID call the international service number which I was told to do after already contacting Dell about this. He apologized and said that thsoe calling the international line before they open are immediately transferred to the regular help line.

Uh, why?

So I told him that it would have been nice to have had a message at the beginning of those 15 or so minutes of wait time informing those calling the international number, that they aren't even open yet! And not to mention that, in my humble opinion, an international help line shouldn't only be open from 7 am to whenever central time.

He just apologized and reiterated that I would have to call again. Of course, what else is he going to do? It's not his fault that Dell has this crazy set up.

So now I wait. Again. Argh.

And if you are from Dell and reading this, feel free to contact me. I'd love some customer support at this point!


The test on my bladder infection came back okay. I was told to drink more water though. Easier said than done when water makes you nauseous. A friend suggested trying lemon water (or lime, orange, or cucumber) to flavor it a bit. I think it just might work!

Other than that, I've been trudging along. Trying to rest and eat as much as possible. It gets old though. I'm tired of eating. And sometimes the wave of nausea just comes out of nowhere no matter what I do.

I'm pretty sure I'm having another girl. That, or I just don't handle pregnangy hormones very well. Brian isn't convinced yet but he swears he doesn't care if we have a girl or boy. I think he is secretly hoping for a boy. :-)

We unfortunately don't have any trips planned. Right now we are just trying to get through each day and make sure everyone is taken care of. We've done little trips to friend's houses or to the playground. And Brian has taken Marion to Planeta Magic the past two Sundays with friends. She loves that outing!

So, this has become the norm for now. I'm going to try not to post anymore on the topic unless something big happens- I'm hoping that something big is that I feel a ton better! I don't want this blog to turn into a morning sickness pity party!

Monday, September 8, 2008

How we enjoy American TV

Back at my parent's house, we have this little item called a Slingbox.

Now, Brian handled the purchasing of our Slingbox. And then my dad handled installation. So I really know very little about this whole thing but I'll try to explain it. Well, as much as I know about it.

Basically, this box plugs into an American cable box. Then it is hooked up to the internet, either through a wireless connection or a landline. Since it is connected through the internet, you can connect to the box and watch it over the internet. Hence, we can watch the TV over our internet here in Switzerland.

Make sense?

If not, please direct all questions to my husband.

But in the end, we were able to watch the Ravens beat the Browns last night. And see the replay of Tom Brady's injury, ouch!

**Yes, it has been brought to my attention that the Ravens actually beat the Bengals, not the Browns. And yes I am completely ashamed that I made that mistake. But I'm leaving the mistake there, just to illustrate how I clearly am losing touch with American 'reality' and being sucked into European-ness.

Can you hear that thud?

There it is again. Can you hear it?

It is the sound of me banging my head against the wall.

Went to the doctor's this morning. I was told "It doesn't look good" and then was asked to call in the morning so they could do a test to see where my bladder infection stands.

Then the doctor said, "It is hard being pregnant for the first three months in Switzerland, yes?"


Sunday, September 7, 2008

Life is Good

I'm watching American football.

Go Ravens!

I'll post tomorrow about how I can do this from the comfort of my bed while I try not to puke. In the meantime, hope you all enjoyed your weekend!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

One day at a time

That's how I've been taking this week and it has been going pretty well! I've kept all my meals and meds down. I have gotten sick a handful of times but it hasn't affected the big meals or meds. And I feel a ton better. Just kind of sick of eating at this point. I feel like I constantly have something in my mouth!

We've been able to get out of the house a little bit this week too. Tuesday night we went to a birthday party for one of Brian's coworkers children, Wednesday evening we went to the Badi, and Friday we went to Park Im Gruene with a friend.

We've tried to make sure Marion has friend time as well so she spent Monday morning at a friend's house and then had Spielgruppe two mornings this week.

As Brian puts it, my focus this week has been to get through the day, rest, eat, and not puke. And create human life.

And as far as I know, all is going well in those areas. I have a doctor's appointment on Monday morning to check on my infection so I'm hoping that has gone away too.

Brian's been doing everything else. Grocery shopping, putting Marion to bed, and making meals when he is home (the kitchen still kind of makes me gag). Seriously, this guy deserves the award for father of the year. He's got two kids at home to tke care of!

Thanks for all the well wishes, I really appreciate it!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Heard at our house this morning

Me: Getting sick.

Brian: What do you think you are doing? You aren't allowed to do that!

All's going well here. I am feeling better, despite getting sick this morning. That was before I took my medication so all is still good. Except that Brian thinks he can control my stomach. It was good for a laugh!

Monday, September 1, 2008


Our next door neighbor's son, Ramen, recently got two rabbits. Marion is in love. She already adored Ramen. Everytime she sees him she yells "Hi Ramen!" and then looks at me to tell me she is going to go play with him. Now he has two rabbits? He has now reached idol status.

Here are some pictures of the two of them playing with the rabbits. I have a feeling we will be visiting these rabbits often.

Well I landed myself in the hospital

Saturday started off okay. I was able to keep some bacon and Orangina down. And two doses of my medication for a bladder infection. But it just wasn't enough. I was starving and dehydrated and, by Saturday afternoon, I had some back aches.

Fearing a kidney infection, I called my doctor. He was worried about the same thing and had me go to the hospital.

So Brian and Marion dropped me off and I found my way to the check in desk. Luckily, the person there spoke a little English. But the forms were in German. I still haven't learned all of the official stuff so I was a little stuck. She was very nice though and helped walk me through it. Once I was checked in, she handed me my paperwork and told me where to go.

I followed her instructions but was still confused. No nurses station to direct me and everything was still in German. And I only had a doctor's name to go on. So I tracked down a nurse holding a crying baby in the hallway and asked her where to go. She sent me down a different hallway and I was able to find the doctor.

First thing on the list to do was get some pee and blood samples to check my infection. They checked my ketone level and then turned to me asking, "You are hungry, yes?"

I guess it was pretty obvious. I was starving. But couldn't find anything I wanted to eat or that I could keep down. It's a vicious cycle, this morning sickness. You should stay hydrated and full to avoid getting sick. Food aversions make that tougher. So if you don't eat, you get sick. Then of course you don't want to eat anything else and it all goes downhill from there.

Next, the doctor hit my back to check for a kidney infection. It didn't hurt so she was pretty confident that they were okay. But my ketone level concerned them so they started me on an IV right away.

My doctor arrived about an hour later to see my bloodwork results. They confirmed I didn't have a kidney infection (thank god, because the result would have been a three day stay in the hospital). However, he was also concerned about my morning sickness so he admitted me to see if they couldn't get it under control.

They got my medical background and then a nurse came by to take me to my room. I was told I'd be sharing a room with a woman who is 30 weeks pregnant and on bedrest. There's that lack of patient privacy again. It's going to take me awhile to get used to that considering our doctor's office back home wouldn't even release test results about Brian to me.

Anyway, as we were walking to my room, the nurse mentioned that she did acupuncture and asked if I would like to try it to alleviate the pain?

I said sure. I mean, why not? I'm in Switzerland, might as well do as the Swiss do.

Then she mentioned one of my medications was only available as a suppository.

And I immediately thought, "Acupuncture? Suppositories? Where the hell am I?"

So that's about as far as I'll go with this story. I've given more than enough information I think.

The acupuncture went well. It definitely helped although I had an ohmygod, i'mgoingtopassout moment while she was putting the needles in.

By 5 pm on Sunday I felt better and was ready to leave. The hospital was clean and nice but I felt nasty (hospital showers with an IV in your hand just aren't the same) and was worried about who was going to take care of Marion this week.

The doctor released me. But with the warning that if I don't keep my medicine down he's shipping my butt back to the hospital. So far so good today. And we are taking things slowly this morning at our household. Marion's at a friend's house getting some playtime in. Brian's at the grocery store stocking up on some food for me and then he'll go in to the office. And I'm trying to get some rest.

So that was my weekend. Aren't you jealous?

Happy Labor Day to all of you back in the States!