Friday, January 30, 2009


I was interviewed by one of my favorite bloggers, Lisa over at Lemon Gloria this week. It just sounded like too much fun in her interview post so I figured, what the heck?

So here goes:

1. I know that while you're in Switzerland you're not working outside the house (and I do realize that being a mom to Marion and soon to baby-to-be is a full time job)...but do you miss having a job outside the house? And if so, what do you miss about it?
Oh yes, I definitely miss having a job outside of the house. I miss the stimulation of my work and the adult interaction of my job that I received on a regular basis. When I went back to work after having Marion, I went part time and I loved it. It was the best of both worlds. I was able to use my degree, do something I enjoyed, but still have time with Marion during the week by ourselves. I definitely think I'll try to work part time again when we move back to the States.

2. If and when you splurge, what kinds of things to you splurge on?
Spa services. This is a definite weakness of mine. Facials, massages, pedicures... ahhhhhh. I have yet to find a spa in Zurich. Brian is thrilled.

If I can't indulge at a spa, we like to go out to eat. If we are really feeling fancy, we will splurge on a nice dinner out and a babysitter.

How boring do we sound? Hahaha.

3. Has being a mother changed your perspective on the world in any way? Or changed how you see yourself in the world?
Absolutely, my perspective has changed. Before I had Marion I had a tendency to sweat the small stuff. So much so that one year in college both my husband and a good friend told me about a book called "Don't Sweat the Small Stuff." They weren't joking.

But since having Marion I've definitely mellowed. I don't sweat the small stuff as much as I used to and, sometimes, I manage not to at all. I've learned that there are always bigger things to deal with and that this to shall pass.

Aside from that, I also have a very hard time reading any news pertaining to young children being hurt. I never realized how many stories there are in the media like this before having a child and now become emotional if I read any of them. There are some sick people in this world.

4. What's the most unusual thing you've learned/come across while living in Switzerland?
Zurich Street Parade, without a doubt. It is truly something that is indescribable, unique to Zurich, and should really be experienced. And we were there before the party really began!

5. If you had to choose a flavor of ice cream that most fits your personality, what kind do you think you would you be? Feel free to make one up if necessary.
Hmmmm, this one is a toughie for me. I'm a literal person, straight forward, and direct. When you first meet me I can be shy but once you get to know me I am an open book. I enjoy math and the sciences but also love to create pottery and knit. I am funny, loyal, stubborn, and sarcastic. And I can be sensitive, but I don't wear my emotions on my sleeve.

So I'll go with vanilla ice cream with kiwi. A little bit of ordinary with a side of unexpected.

Now it might be your turn! If you are interested in being interviewed, here are the rules.
1. Leave me a comment saying, “Interview me.”
2. I will respond by emailing you five questions. I get to pick the questions.
3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions. Be sure you link back to the original post.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

In which we are stunned first thing in the morning

Marion managed to sleep in this morning (8:15! 8:15!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) so that meant Brian and I were able to sleep in a bit and take our time getting ready.

So when the doorbell rang at 8:30, we were a little taken aback.

Brian answered it and then came back to inform me that it was the complex inspector asking for the fourth key to our old apartment. Someone is moving in today, we get a refund of two days!

Hahahahaha. Ha.

Finally, it is someone else's problem. With two days to spare. I can hardly believe it.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

I go up the mountain Mommy!

Brian went sledding with Marion, Christian, and Carolina last Monday. I'd tell you which mountain they went to, but I can't remember the name. But I do know it is near Zug, so there you go.

Brian called me when they arrived. Marion wanted to talk, but only briefly. All she told me was, "I go up the mountain Mommy! I go up the mountain with my Daddy!"

I think she was a little excited.

Marion and Carolina ready to get sledding. The beginning of the name of the mountain is on the glass behind them for anyone more knowledgable of the area than I am.
Marion was apparently more interested in eating the snow than sledding at first. Don't worry, we've told her only to enjoy the clean snow.
The sledding hill in the kids area.
Brian said it was gorgeous. And from the pictures, he was right!
Maybe I'll make it out to one of the many mountains around us one of these days.

Marion had a great time and came back with a report of her trip. I love that she is old enough to tell me about her day. She said that she went up the mountain with her Daddy, that her face got wet (from the snow kicking up as they went down the mountain), and that she played in the snow. What more could a 2 year old want?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Al Bundy came to my house today

He managed to fit in a laundry basket and enjoy some Diego while I folded some laundry. Good times.

Storytime with Daddy

She does things her own way, that is for sure.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Probably should learn German pretty soon

I received a huge stack of paperwork from the hospital where I plan on giving birth. I assume it is my registration paperwork. I've heard from other mothers here that you have to register with the hospital beforehand so they know who I am, who my doctor is, etc.

I say I assume that this is the registration paperwork because all of it is in German. So I am not entirely sure that is what it is.

All I do know is that it is from the hospital, has my name on it, includes a lot of papers as well as an envelope to send forms back, and is entirely written in German.

I've got a lot of translating to do!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Sick Day

This is what happens when we stay inside all day due to both Marion and I being sick.

I look like I'm sick. Not even stickers can hide that. On the other hand, Marion looks great for having a cold. What's up with that?

New Years Eve (with kids edition)

We invited Jo, Christian, their kids, and Minnie (Our friends, The McKenney's niece) over for dinner for New Years Eve. Brian and I couldn't figure out what to serve for dinner since we had been entertaining and been out so much that week. Finally, we decided- barbeque food. Yep, we celebrated 2009 with a good, old fashioned, July 4th barbeque. We had ribs, chicken, cole slaw, and potato salad. And it was glorious!

The girls enjoyed their chicken too, which gave the adults time to enjoy their meal.
Next, we blew up Ms Piggy. Okay, of course we didn't, really. Unfortunately I didn't get a before picture of Ms Piggy so I'll have to do my best to describe it. I bought a cylinder full of party favors from the local grocery store. The cylinder had a stuffed female pig's head on the top of it that looked a lot like Ms Piggy. And on the bottom, a piece of string that you light to make the cylinder go boom. And then the cylinder explodes with all sorts of goodies inside- noisemakers, toys, etc. These are pretty popular here- I saw a ton at the store for Christmas and New Years and there are always a few available for kid's partys. Anyway, here was the scene in my living room after we blew Ms Piggy to bits.

Inside were two red noses. So, naturally, we gave them to Brian and Christian to put on.
Then it started to snow. Fresh snow for a new year!
After some party time, we enjoyed the grapes Minnie had brought over. The grapes are a Mexican tradition. There were twelve in a glass and you eat one for each stroke of the clock at midnight. As you eat each grape, you are supposed to make a wish.
Of course we didn't do this at midnight because this is what we looked like at 9:45.
But before Jo, Christian, and the kids could leave, we had to do one more game of hide and seek. Where are the girls?
Imagine the above picture with lots of giggling and screams of "We're hiding!" coming from underneath that blanket. Which of course makes it very hard to find the girls. Oh, there they are!
This game works every time.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Swiss gave me a driver's license

And in record time!

Switzerland recognizes American licenses for a year after a move into the country. However, my Maryland license expires on my birthday at the end of this month. So, I was in a bit of a bind and had to apply for my Swiss license early.

A friend sent me the link to the application online and Brian was gracious enough to translate and fill it out for me.

Since they were so helpful I only had two tasks: to get an eye exam and to take my completed application to the Strassenverkehrsamt (say that three times fast, if you can say it at all).*

So off I went to the local Optik store for an eye exam. I easily passed since I was wearing my contacts. The man who gave me the exam asked my prescription and, amazingly enough, I remembered it. He just looked at me, smiled, and said, "Yes, no driving without your contacts then!" I replied, "Sir, I can barely walk without my contacts. Trust me, I don't drive without them!"

Ahhh, so much fun to have crappy vision. But I digress.

Next up was a stop at the DMV, or the Strassenverkehrsamt. I was last there in July and I still haven't learned how to pronounce it.

Like the DMV, the Strassenverkehrsamt handles all things dealing with vehicles and drivers. That's basically where the similarities end. I showed up at 9 am on a Thursday morning and walked right up to a counter. Seriously.

The woman didn't speak English but the form speaks for itself. I just needed to sign the application (with black ink!). She graciously glued my passport photo to the application for me and then took my Maryland license and copied my residence permit. And that was that.

Today, just four working days after dropping my application off there, I received my Swiss driver's license in the mail. I also received my soon to be expired Maryland license in a separate envelope with a little orange sticker on the back that says "Not valid in Switzerland."

After opening the envelope I quickly turned on my computer's webcam to snap the picture above. And then I sent it to Brian, who replied that I was "arguably the biggest dork ever."

That's okay. I'm comfortable in my dorkiness. He's just jealous because he doesn't have a Swiss driver's license anyway!

*I've been told you can also take the application to your local Gemeinde house. However, this process takes longer than going to the Strassenverkehrsamt.

Friday, January 16, 2009


On the day after Christmas, Boxing Day, we decided to head over to Rapperswil. Marion was excited. There happens to be a castle in Rapperswil and Brian spilled the beans about it this morning. She couldn't get there fast enough!

Of course everything was closed since it was a national holiday so we just explored the city.

On our way up to the castle
Hoppy showing Marion the way- or maybe it was the other way around?
Aunties with a cute toddler.
And, lo and behold, a playground. Ladies and gentlemen, we hit the jackpot in Rapperswil. A castle AND a playground. Life doesn't get any better than this!
Brian had to join in on the fun.
Me attempting to be artsy.
Nice rose garden. Betcha it is even nicer when there are roses in there...

Then we found the ducks, swans, and rats with wings, I mean seagulls. Some things are universal. There was a small grocery store open down the street so we got some bread to feed them.
Cool trees.
A big shoe.
Grammie and Hoppy getting some snuggle time in- get a room!
Luckily there were some restaurants open so we were able to grab an excellent Italian lunch on the water at La Scala. Really, the food was fantastic. I highly recommend it if you are in Rapperswil!

After lunch I attempted to get a nice picture of Marion. I thought since she had just eaten it would be easy. Hahaha, really- what was I thinking??? This is the best shot I got. She wouldn't keep still for me.

We'll definitely be heading back to Rapperswil in the summer. I've heard great things about the kinder zoo here and the town is a lot of fun!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Christmas Day, or Santa finds his way to our apartment

What is there to say about Christmas Day? Not much. Santa found his way to our apartment and our two year old loved every minute. She really got the holiday this year. And she really enjoyed ripping open presents. Who doesn't????

Marion waiting patiently for Grammie and Hoppy to show up and for Aunt Erin to be ready.
A robe from Grandmom! (my grandmother)
A fantastic giant puzzle- of a castle. Also from Grandmom. Marion yelled, "I go to the castle and get married!" when she saw it.
A treasure chest of Tinkerbell dress up clothes from Aunt Amy and Uncle Mark. Just look at that concentration.
Trying on her dress up clothes from Aunt Colleen.

We didn't do much the rest of the day. Just hung out with our family and relaxed. Oh, and tried to make room for all of Marion's new stuff. It was a great day. Hope you enjoyed yours as well!

Monday, January 12, 2009

27th week pregnancy appointment

I had another appointment this morning to check on baby 2.0. This appointment was different than the others- it was quick and easy. What a great change of pace!

The baby is healthy, measuring right on schedule, and his head is down. No wonder I feel a lot of kicks along my ribcage.

Everything else is also going well. I'm within all the normal ranges for everything and I've gained 6 kilos since the craziness began. I think that has something to do with my eating habits. After my appointment I went to Jo's house and had three helpings of her salad and quiche. Dear god, I have to stop eating like that.

The doctor also gave me the okay to go to Brian's work sponsored ski weekend in March! With some qualifications of course- that I feel okay, things are going smoothly, and that I don't go up on the ski lifts. Apparently the ski resort we would be going to is at a very high altitude. But I don't care, I just want to go!!!!!!!!!!!!

Of course this will probably mean I will go into labor the week before the trip or while on the trip. Hahaha, at least I can prepare and laugh at my horrible luck.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Some Friday morning cuteness for you

Here's some video cuteness for your Friday morning.

Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing

Little Miss loves to dance. And she really loves her heels. It's amazing she didn't trip and fall. Someone should move that computer wire. Errrrr...

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Christmas Eve

We headed over to Jo and Christian's house for Christmas Eve. They were having a bunch of people over so it wasn't so bad when we showed up with our crowd!

The party was wonderful, as are all get togethers at J and Ch's. Jo happens to be the person most like Martha Stewart that I know. You should try her cupcakes, fantastic! That is, if you can beat this pregnant lady to them.

Marion had had some trouble making it to the potty all day long so we had to keep an eye out for her at the party. I think it was a mixture of her tights and all the excitement that was throwing her off. When we got to Jo and Christian's keeping an eye on her got a little bit harder. They had a gorgeous tree up with presents underneath of it. Marion's eyes just lit up. Amazingly enough, all of the kids were able to wait patiently until after dinner to open presents. However, Marion did pee on the floor twice before dinner. Hey, you win some and lose some, right?

Balloons were a great distraction from the gifts under the tree. See? Jo is brilliant. The kids and dads had fun trying to keep the balloons in the air.

But that didn't last long so Hoppy gave some horsie rides. This is the same Hoppy who had back surgery last year. Good thing!
I think Marion was trying to get the horsie to go faster in this picture.

Then Marion found a Santa hat. She spent a good bit of time walking around with that on her head saying "Ho, ho, ho!" Yea, this year was fun. She was at the perfect age for the holiday.

And then what seemed like the impossible that day happened. Marion was upstairs with her friend JP when she went to the potty and peed and pooped by herself. After cleaning up four pee accidents throughout the day we were ecstatic! Poop accidents are kind of messy to deal with.

Anyway, Marion was excited about this turn of events too. So happy that she took off her undies and threw them over the second floor loft into the crowd of people eating and relaxing below.

Yes, my daughter took off her underwear and threw them into a crowd of people.

Everyone thought it was hysterical and started to laugh. I laughed too, then wished I had gotten it on video tape, and finally hoped that this wasn't a sign of things to come in her future.

After we tracked down our little stripper, we forced the kids to sit in front of the tree and presents for a picture. Looking back, this was probably torture for them. They had already made it this far in the night. But hey, we wanted a picture of all of the kids together and nothing works quite as well as bribery.
And finally, we got the required family pictures.

I hope you all enjoyed your Christmas Eve as much as we did. While we weren't at home for Christmas with our family, it felt like we were with family. We are truly blessed to have found such great friends here.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


This morning, when I went for my usual playgroup at the local Migros grocery store, I noticed a special case out selling some bread. I didn't investigate since there was a long line and I was anxious to get my full of energy toddler to the playground. Plus, I still haven't learned German and that poses problems in situations such as these.

Well, Jessica over at A Swiss Story blog saved the day!

Apparently today is Dreikönigstag, or day of the three kings. Which I can kind of see from the parts that make up the word Dreikönigstag. Baby steps in the German direction...

Anyway, Jess explains the whole thing really well. And now I might just have to head back over to the Migros after Marion's nap to buy some Dreikönigskuchen. Yum!

The fam takes on Mt Rigi (take two)

Brian has been determined to go to Mt Rigi and see the view ever since the first trip was a bust. So on Tuesday, December 23, he took my sisters and parents to the mountain. This time they were prepared though- Brian checked the Mt Rigi webcam ahead of time.

So off they went. Marion and I stayed home. Despite the promise of spectacular views this time, I was determined to stay warm.

The trip was a success! Look how beautiful it was above the clouds.
They still look cold though.
But pretty views nonetheless.
There was even some sledding going on up there. Maybe I'll check it out next winter. Or in the summer, clear views and warm weather sounds good to me!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Baden Thermal Baths

Also known as "Colleen watches Marion so Mommy can go swim in the thermal baths."

The Monday after everyone arrived we decided to check out the thermal baths in Baden. The day before we had walked all over Zurich, checking out the HB Christmas Market and city, so we deserved a break. And my sister Colleen even offered to watch Marion for Brian and I. Double score! No worrying about the crazy, rambunctious toddler ruining the peace and quiet for the other swimmers in Baden.

So off we went. It was a fairly easy drive up to Baden. Most likely because everyone left the city for the holidays.

Anyway, we made it up there without incident, paid our way through, and got our lockers. I immediately noticed that the locker room and shower area was coed. Certainly not separate as I expected. But there were some private changing rooms for use and curtains on the showers. Just threw me for a loop for a second but I quickly recovered and took my pregnant butt into one of those private rooms to change.

After changing it was off to the showers for the pre-swim shower routine. This is a big rule at every pool I've been to in Switzerland. In the US there always is a sign saying it is a rule but no one ever seems to follow it. But the Swiss like rules and everyone follows them. I like it.

Then we made our way to the indoor pool. Um, it was heavenly. The water wasn't too hot and it wasn't too cold. Just right. And there were chairs and loungers built into the side of the pool with bubble jets to massage your body. Just what my achy pregnant back needed.

Next stop was the outdoor pool. Also very relaxing with jets all over the place. I wish this place was closer. And had daycare.

Finally, I got out of the pool, got my warmed towel from the staff, and headed into the quiet room to relax and read. Certainly something I wouldn't have been able to do had a certain toddler been with us that day.

After we were all done swimming, we got changed and had lunch at the cafe on sight. Food wasn't too bad and it was convenient to say the least.

All in all, it was a fantastic, relaxing morning. The baths are really nice and I believe they also have some saunas at the facility. Since that is a big no-no for me though I can't tell you for sure. But the baths themselves were extremely relaxing and nice. Did I mention it was relaxing? Check them out if you get a chance!

Happy New Year!!!!!

I hope everyone is enjoying 2009 so far. We have had some busy holidays here in Switzerland. My family has come and gone. My mom is gearing up to go home tomorrow after being a huge help for two months. Don't worry, she'll be back in mid-March to help me take care of Marion when this little one comes.

I have a lot to catch up on. I've been enjoying our visitors, venturing out, and attempting to be a functioning member of my family all while neglecting my blog. Feel free to give me a swift kick to my big pregnant bum.

There ya go. That was me on December 23, before we went out for a girls night (my mom, two sisters, and crazy toddler) dinner at a local hotel. I was around 24 weeks pregnant at the time. The look on my face is the result of several things. First, I had put a dress and make up on for the dinner which prompted a lot of "Wow! You look so nice!" comments. This immediately made me wonder what I look like on a typical day. Must be a pretty horrible sight. The word slob comes to mind. Hmmmmmmmmm. Second, my husband was having fun with my SLR camera and clicking away happily. I think I have ten pictures of me in various poses. During this, I was instructed to put my hands under my belly to show just how huge I am.

Hence, the "What the hell is going on here?" look on my face. Note to self: try a bit harder on regular days. Just because I puke every morning isn't a reason to ignore my lipstick. My family should not be as surprised as they were when I put a dress and make up on!

Anyway, I do have a lot to catch up on so keep an eye out for lots of posts this week. And enjoy your new year!