Saturday, June 30, 2007

Geneva, Annecy, etc

Me and Pat enjoying some delicious jam cookies in Morges, Switzerland

Ok, so sorry about the non-updating this past week. I'm finding out the reason why it is that the rest of the world isn't as obsessed with blogging as I am... which is that, when you don't have hours of free time to do whatever, you sometimes *gasp!* forget to blog.

So let's see, Wednesday we drove around in the rain with Pat and her family... that night she came home with me and stayed here, just the 2 of us. Thursday we slept in a bit then headed into Geneva to meet up with Franciska for lunch. Pat wanted to take one of the little tourist mini-trains so we headed over to the Jardin Anglais and took the apparently famous solar-powered train that took us up the left bank of Lac Leman/Lake Geneva/whateveryouwannacallit. Which was actually pretty cool b/c I'd never gone up that far before and I discovered a tiny little sand beach along the lake, and some cool big gardens that Zach and I will have to explore later.

We then went in search of some cheap sunglasses for Pat, since she recently broke her Target pair, and afterwards we made our way to the Jardin Botanique and walked around the pretty flowers for a white, and sat down for an ice cream. It was sunny and warm, the first great day we've had in a while (I was SO HAPPY when I woke up that morning and saw blue sky out the window!). By the time we were done with that it was nearing 6pm and I was pretty tuckered out from all the walking around so we caught the bus back home and I showed Pat the pictures from our trip to Chile, etc.

While we were in town Pat got a message from her mom asking if we wanted to go to Annecy with them the next day (Friday). So we set it up to have Pat's mom (Lyn) and the uncle (Maurice) pick us up in the morning on the way out. Maurice's wife came,too, as did their 2 dogs! We drove out there and walked around the old part of town, which is full of shops and restaurants. Very cute. Then we went by the lake, which is touted as the cleanest lake in all of France, I think (that's what someone told us). It was another gorgeous day, and there were tons of people spread out along the huge green lawn leading up to the lake shore. I hear Annecy's a very popular swimming spot during the summer months.

Afterwards Maurice dropped me, Pat, and Lyn off at my house along with their stuff, and after a brief rest and a walk down to show them the horses, we went back to Pat's aunt (Dorothy)'s house, where they would spend the night before going up to Bern in the morning. Dorothy made a fabulous dinner for all of us, and before I knew it it was late and I was tired and Dorothy and Lyn were all but insisting I stay the night, so they set me up in a guest room with PJ's and everything. I called Zach and found out he'd be arriving at the airport at about 8:00am, so I woke up early, said my goodbyes, and was off to pick him up.

And now here we are, both home, both quite tired, and ready for a very lazy day hanging out with poor Sierra, who has been very lonely and neglected the past few days!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

A day of... "sightseeing"

Random word of advice: Google maps does not do well with small Swiss villages. Both of the times I've gone to meet family of Pat's that live in small villages north of Geneva, I've gotten lost b/c google maps can't deal with the last small streets. Oh well, I got there eat time...

Today I got up early and headed over to Pat's uncle's house. We were set to have a day of sight-seeing with Pat, her mom, and the uncle. We started out driving around NYaon (didn't get out much b/c it was cold and rainy) and then going to Lausanne. We had a very yummy lunch at a Vietnamese place where Pat was able to satisfy her craving for greasy asian noodles. They were fabulous.

After that, the day kinda turned into a trip down memory lane for Pat's mom and her brother. They both grew up in the Philippines, but spent months at a time living in Switzerland as kids b/c their parents are Swiss, and so we stopped by some of the houses where they'd lived. It was... fun enough.

We then went back to the uncle's house and ordered pizza from this restaurant down the street that's apparently very well known, and the pizza was really good actually... and it was great b/c I've been craving good pizza the past few days. The uncle's wife had stayed home earlier b/c she had a cold, but she joined us for dinner and since she doesn't speak much English at all I got to practice some of my French. =) They also have 2 dogs, a black poodle and another breed that I didn't recognize but was about the same size. They were both fun and very cute. =)

Finally at about 9pm or so Pat and I headed back here, and she'll now be staying with me till Friday, I think. Tomorrow we'll go into town and meet up with a friend of mine from class for lunch, and then we might try to find the botanical gardens... we'll see how that goes. I'm hoping the weather cooperates.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Forecast: rain, with a slight chance of the blahs

The weather has been kinda... gloomy lately. Lots of clouds, wind, rain. Kinda cold. Not fun. The sun came out a bit this afternoon, I'm hoping tomorrow will be a sunny day. Pat called me this afternoon and invited me to go sightseeing with her and her family tomorrow. Good weather would be very nice.

Zach left for NJ this morning. =( At least he'll only be gone for a few days... back on Saturday morning. I spent the day watching the Friends (1st season!) dvds that came in the mail yesterday, though they're all in black and white b/c that's how our Swiss "all region" dvd player plays US discs (and these are US discs it seems).

In other news... any one else baffled by the fact that most major news casts showed live footage of Paris Hilton going into and out of prison? Is this really the breaking news we need to be getting? Just goes to show how many of the "legitimate" news shows seem to be less reliable and valid than, say, The Daily Show.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

wonderful people

My friend Pat is traveling around Switzerland with her mom, visiting some relatives of theirs. They've been in the Geneva area for a few days now, and she'll be staying with me for a few days starting Wednesday but I was hoping we'd be able to get together this weekend as Zach leaves for the states again on Tuesday. So she invited us to come over to her aunt's house (where they're currently staying) for drinks and dinner this afternoon.

We headed over a bit on the late side, got there I think around 5pm, and they were actually just sitting down for a very late lunch! We got to squeeze in at the table with all of them (Pat, her mom, the aunt and her 2 children: her daughter, and her son with his new wife, and later their 7 month old baby came out to play) and enjoyed some very yummy lamb, peas, and potatoes au gratin. We also got to come home with some fresh cherries picked off the cherry tree in their backyard.

The aunt and her family were all super sweet and we had a great time-- she insisted we call her or drop by anytime we want. =) She's actually Scottish but has been living in Switzerland for over 30 years, and she (and her children) all have adorable accents b/c of it. Anyway, we had a really great time. It's so cool to meet local people, especially when they're just so damn nice! =P

six word sunday: Beautiful flowers cause painful, itchy eyes.

six word sunday challenge

Fete de la Musique

Earlier this week I'd tried to make plans with people to get together over the weekend... these didn't really turn out that well, but they did prompt me and Zach to get up early(ish) yesterday morning to go check out the farmer's market in Carouge. We were very pleasantly surprised to find a parking garage that's FREE until 1pm on Saturdays, and that at about 11am still had plenty of spots. Woot! Looks like we might be doing this more often. =)

The market was great-- smaller than some of the ones we'd go to in California, but with more than enough yummy fruits and veggies being sold to make up for it. As I went to buy a cantalope I suddenly was struck with fear of making some cultural faux-pax-- in California, usually you'd grab your own bag, pick your fruit, then hand it to the guy behind the stand to weigh and price it. Here I watched a bit, and it seemed people more point to the produce they want and the workers bag it for you. Hmm, ok, I guess that's how it works here. I can do that. We didn't buy much, just the cantalope, some very shiny strawberries, some tomatoes and a loaf of bread. But it's definitely nice to know that it's there, for future trips.

We also discovered a tiny used bookstore just around the corner from the market, where we found French copies of The Jungle Book and the 1st Harry Potter book, for a grand total of chf$7!

Around noon, my friend Ciska (from French class) met up with us, and after walking around a bit trying to find a nice cozy lunch spot, we ended up sitting at a cluster of outdoor tables under some trees, enjoying the cool, sunny weather. It was quite nice. =)

During lunch we got a call from Bob, he and little Jules were in Old Town listening to some free outdoor music. Turns out Geneva was having its Fete de la Musique yesterday, which we'd sorta heard of but didn't know much about. So after lunch Zach and I headed into town to meet up with them, and were amazed at the festivities going on... starting in Place Neuve there were small stages set up in different areas with music playing, and people all over the place lounging in the grass and playing around listening to the music and eating food. Everything was just open air and free. We walked up to Old Town and past the cathedral where Bob and Jules were, with some friends of theirs. Jules, of course, ran up and gave me a huge hug when she saw me. =) That girl is too cute! The range of music playing everywhere was huge-- from jazz to reggae/rock to the symphony we saw and heard inside the cathedral, and the piano-accompanied opera singer at another stage. It was sort of like a mini Austin City Limits Festival. ; ) We stayed for a few hours, then around 5 or 6 we headed back to the car to go home-- and were very pleasantly surprised to only need to pay chf$1 for our several hours of parking (yet another reason to go into Carouge on the weekends and use that garage!).

Zach had spotted a potentially great fishing spot on one of his bike rides recently and was really wanting to go try it out soon, so that's what we did after stopping by home and picking up his fly rod, and a blanket and some reading material for me. Unfortunately, the spot he'd seen before now had a sign that claimed it a natural reserve spot and no fishing was allowed. =( We looked on our street map to see if we could find another access point to the stream somewhere else-- we found one that would sorta work, it was a bit difficult to get there, but then later on the way home we found an opening to a hiking trail that had some great fishing spots in it. By then it was getting darker and there wasn't enough time to really do much, but at least we have 1 great spot to go back to now.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Summer Fun

On Tuesday we met up with The Parents in Carouge, a very cutesy little suburb on the outskirts of Geneva. Mom and Philip had been going around town on their own earlier, and then found a spot at a sidewalk bar next to this huge water fountain. As Zach and I walked up to meet them, we got a huge laugh... the water fountain itself was pretty cool, but the best part was all the kids SWIMMING in it and running around in the water! You see the big bowls of water splashing down? This one kid was up inside one of the lower ones, then jumped down to go run after someone else. Highly unsafe, I'm sure, but HOW FUN DOES THIS LOOK?? =P

This little kid was totally cute, splashing water all around.
I guess it was just the unexpected sight... it was pretty warm that day, too, so I almost wanted to jump in there with them. Looks way more fun than a regular pool. ; )

As for today... I did a whole lot of nothin'. Ok, so actually I finally unpacked all my long necklaces and hung them up my a new bulletin board. So Sierra will have a whole slew of new toys to play with while mommy isn't looking... I got a call from my friend Pat who's visiting a bunch of family here this summer. She's in Geneva with some family, but we may get to see her this weekend, which would be nice as otherwise she won't get to see Zach (she'll be staying with me for a few days next week, but it'll be after Zach leaves for his business trip again). This should be a good weekend... it's the last one Zach and I will have alone, together, for a while. Don't get me wrong, it'll be awesome to have Andrew out here next week, but I'm also looking forward to a couple of days of just relaxing with my hubby. =)

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Le grand orage

Last night we had the craziest thunderstorm I think I may have ever been through. It didn't last all that long, but all of a sudden it started raining HARD and these loud claps of thunder felt like they were RIGHT above us. I'm sure it helped that our bedroom's on the top floor. It even hailed for a bit. I mean, it was crazy. When it started hailing (onto the glass window right above our bed) I could hear Sierra's bell ringing as she ran off to try to hide somewhere-- poor thing has never been through a thunderstorm before! I guess we've probably had storms like this in Texas... but it's been such a long time since then. It was a bit scary, but also kinda cool. Luckily, the rain had completely stopped by the time we had to get up and out of the house this morning.

The sun came out in the afternoon, and Zach and I took a walk around the village. Last week Zach had discovered a huge patch of sunflowers growing, and by today most of them were about ready to bloom. They're all a good 4-5 ft tall. I'll have to go out there sometime in the next few days and get pictures. It's gonna look amazing when they're all blooming. The grapevines are also growing their little green bunches of grapes. I guess they never flowered after all... it's kinda cool getting to see what were tiny clusters now getting bigger, a good several inches long.

As we were coming back to the house, we stopped by to say hello to our neighbors, and they invited us in for some tea and to chat. It was great French practice, as they're very patient with us and good about helping us find the right words to say what we're trying to say. I keep hearing things about how usually the Swiss take a long time to warm up to and become friends with, which makes me feel so much more blessed that this couple has completely taken us in under their wing and been so sweet to us.


Zach came with me to my check-up this morning. We did the usual stuff- blood, weight (haven't gained anything yet), etc. Then we did the ultrasound. The baby's 6 weeks and 4 days today, so still very teeny (about 8 mm), but there it was, a teensy little blob on the screen. And even better? The teensy little blob had a heartbeat. The dr didn't measure the rate, it might still be early for that, but the little pulsating heart was definitely there.

As we were leaving I turned to Zach and said "See? I wasn't making it up... there really is a baby in there!" ; )

The funny thing is, even though I know it's true... I almost still don't believe it. I look down at my belly, not showing signs of change yet (except when I'm feeling bloated, which is sort of baby's fault), and it seems so strange and amazing that there's a little living creature growing inside me. I just can't wait till I'm showing, then I'll hopefully feel like it's a bit more real. It'll probably also help when we share the news with more people.

Incredible, isn't it? All of it? In 8 months we'll have a little baby living with us, a little son or daughter. Wow.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Satellite Conundrum

After weeks of putting it off, today I actually started trying to look into our options for getting satellite installed. See, our quaint little village does not get cable, and right now we don't even have an antennae so we don't even get local channels. So, we've been thinking of satellite.

The relocation company that's been such a lifesaver for us throughout the whole move recommended this guy that specializes in Sky TV. Our friends have Sky TV. Being from the UK, and mostly in English, it seems like the logical choice for us American expats, right?

Except that Sky is technically only supposed to be for UK residents. Like, you have to have a special UK TV license to have Sky. The people who install it here in Switzerland will set you up with a PO Box in the UK, but they warn you NEVER TO CALL SKY DIRECTLY and that, if Sky finds out that you're illegally using their network, they'll cancel your service and charge you the $115 (I'm assuming that's in pounds?) TV license anyway.

This all seems slightly sketchy to me. Not to mention that, after looking up their price list, once you get the box, the satellite dish, have it all installed, pay the annual fee, etc, you're looking at close to $2,000 (swiss francs). That doesn't include the monthly charges for whatever channels you want.

Soooo... I'm trying to look at other, local satellite options, but all their websites are in French, and most likely all of their programming, too. Which is fine, I'm sure it's very good for us to hear French TV to get used to the sound, but do I really wanna pay $50+/month for programming I can only understand half of?

I've also found some Netflix-equivalents (though of course, more expensive) that we most likely will sign up for, and honestly I might lean towards just getting that and not a satellite package. However, that would mean Zach not getting his sports channels... and that might not work.

So I guess Zach and I have some talking over to do tonight... or whenever we have time to do so.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Trapesing Around Town

The Parents and I headed into town this afternoon and did lots of shopping for gifts for family back in Texas. Not all of it is strictly "swiss" type stuff, but cute things that I think people will enjoy. =) And, of course, there should be plenty of chocolate to share.

Zach met up with us later on and we all had dinner together, then went walking around by the water for a bit. I've forgotten how nice the Quai de Mont Blanc can be, I need to go hang out there more often. It seems we arrived just after a large cultural demonstration had ended-- there were a bunch of men and women dressed in traditional Swiss mountain gear with those big, long wooden horns, packing everything up. It's a shame we missed it!

We had glorious weather today, I'm quite thankful for that. Hopefully tomorrow will be another nice day, and we can take The Parents over to Carouge.

I think I'll sleep well tonight... my feet and lower back are feeling beat up from walking around all day!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Week 6: Nausea Sets In

I've been feeling pretty good, but then last week I started feeling tired again, and then in the past few days my stomach's been acting up... sort of just upset. Last night and up to this morning I was having to force myself to eat, even though nothing tasted good. I felt better today at dinner, but I'm still feeling just a bit... off. I'm having to eat small bits every few hours, and I seem to bet going for either water-packed fruits and veggies (apples, cucumber) or simple starches (crackers, pretzels). Last night I woke up at 3am feeling pretty crappy, and had to come downstairs and eat something before being able to go back to sleep around 4. My legs have also been feeling more achy, the muscles more tight. No idea if that's pregnancy-related, exactly.

I told Jen the news last night... she was SUPER excited. =) It was very very cute. She says she's gonna HAVE to come out and visit us, when I have a big plump belly. I tried calling JC and Cristina, too, but they didn't answer. Don't people know when I have really good news to tell them??? ; )

The tadpole's heart should be beating now, I'm hoping to get to see/hear it at the ultrasound on Thursday morning! All the internal organs are beginning to form. Last week it was the size of an apple seed, this week apparently it's about the size of a sweet pea. Crazy, huh? I can no longer be accused of being lazy... I mean, I'm creating a human being inside me. That takes WORK! =P

Saturday, June 16, 2007

six word sunday: Just trying to find my way.

six word sunday challenge

...back again

Just got back from spending the weekend with The Parents up in Torgon again. We had a great time- Zach and I took the train up to Aigle on Thursday morning (after succeeding in buying our tickets and the 1/2 price yearly rail passes, even though the guy couldn't understand a word of my French apparently), Mom and Philip picked us up at the train station and then we went up to their apartment in Torgon. We rested for a bit, then went on a late afternoon hike for a few hours, amongst the cows (boy those cowbells are LOUD), and found a little house with smoke coming out of the chimney that turned out to be a lodge for backpackers. A group from France was staying there at the time, and we were able to sit outside and have a drink (the boys had beers... of course). It was ridiculously adorable. The lady who served us was really sweet. We got lots of great pictures of very pretty mountains, I'll share those soon. We got back down the mountain at about 8:30 or 8:45pm, and it was still perfectly light outside. We had a great dinner and then were off to bed.

Friday Zach and Philip were itching to go on a longer hike. I'd already figured I'd stay home, and when we woke up and saw it was raining Mom settled on staying back with me. She and I had some nice mother-daughter bonding time, and I started reading The Kite Runner (I'd gotten it just before we left on Thursday, thanks to The Sisterhood). It's amazing how much of a book you can read when you've got all day to do so... I got through most of it, then finished it this morning. It was that good. The boys, meanwhile, had a great (though wet) hike. I'm glad Zach got to go on a good, long hike as he hasn't had the chance in a while.

This morning we checked out of the apartment, then headed down the valley to Sion, a very cute, very Swiss little town, and walked around a bit before having a quick drink at a cafe. Then we went over to Montreaux, which reminded me so much of Lausanne, had lunch at an Indian restaurant right on the lake, and saw the Chateau de Chillon (which Zach has had a wood-carving picture of in his bedroom since he was a kid, that his grampa had made long ago). We got back here in the late afternoon, Zach and Philip returned the rental car, and now we're hanging out at home for a calm night, I think. Tomorrow there's talk of driving out to Chamonix for the day.

I'll upload pics and show them off soon, I promise. =)

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Yet another reason why my husband is awesome

Along with all the items I'd asked Zach to buy for me while in California, he also managed to surprise me with a few extra goodies... including this HUGE stash of magazines (these'll keep me busy for a while!), AND... (drum roll, please)... a half a bag of kettle corn, purchased the morning of his flight at a farmer's market. My god, is this stuff good.

So, um, yeah. MY husband's a badass. =P

Zach also took several pictures of peoples back in Cali, anyone who's interested in viewing them can do so here. I must say I got a bit nostalgic looking through them.. especially seeing Mr Stinky Fuzzy Butt with his freshly shaven lion-cut hairstyle (furstyle?).

Another thing that left me feeling nostalgic for the US today? Thinking of good ole Target, or even crappy Albertsons, and how I knew I could always walk into one of those and find the item I was looking for. Went to a grocery store in town today, while running other errands, specifically in search of more compostable bags (among some other stuff). Couldn't find them. So I'll have to drive out to the store in La Praille this afternoon on my way out to my baby-sitting date with Jules. A minor altercation, but frustrating nonetheless.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Mountains, Galore... and a Birthday Wish!

I had a very nice, relaxing weekend with The Parents... the keyword being relaxing. We hardly did much of anything, other than sit around, enjoy the views from the condo they're staying in, and read lots. They're staying in a tiny little mountain resort close to Montreaux, and up a fairly treacherous road up the side of a mountain-- lots of switchbacks on a narrow road. I sure am glad I wasn't driving... however the views were AMAZING! We arrived Saturday afternoon, got checked in and settled, had a fabulous dinner cooked by Philip (we got groceries on the way, the condo has a full kitchen), and after watching a bit of TV we hit the sack. Mom actually went out for a nice walk on Sunday in the early afternoon, while Philip and I napped/rested, and then a bit later it started raining and thundering. It was neat to watch it rain out there. Monday we got up early and headed back into town, eager to meet Zach on his way back in after spending nearly 2 weeks away in California.

We all 4 headed into town, walking around Old Town despite the rain, then ending up at "the chicken place" for an early dinner. The Parents stayed with us last night, this morning we all got to have a bit of a late breakfast together (Zach didn't head off to work till nearly 11:30am!). I have to say, one of the best perks of having Mom and Philip visit is getting to have Philip's cooking, especially for breakfast. =)

Now The Parents are headed back to the mountains for the rest of the week. Zach and I will join them Thursday morning, I think, and stay until Saturday, at which time we'll return to Geneva and they'll spend their last week here with us, exploring the city a bit more.

These are a couple pictures of the views out of the condo where The Parents are staying this week:
(you can see part of the windy mountain road here, weaving through the town off to the left and on down the mountain side)Mom and Philip in the rain, beside the cathedral in Old Town.
Now, last but not least, today is a very special day. Today, my wonderful husband turns 27 years old (we're still allowed to tell each other's age, right? Does that stop at 30? =P ). Zach's kinda hard to shop for, as he's not that into material things and he already has all the camping gear he could ever want, so instead I took all of his baby pictures that have been sitting in an envelope in a closet these past several years, and put them in an album. I showed it to him this morning, and he seemed to really like it. =) After all, he was a pretty adorable baby, and these pictures need to be shared and displayed better, don't they? One of our personal faves in the one of him, at 1 or 2 months old, sticking his tongue out (on the right page in the pic). Precious, isn't he? ; )
Happy birthday, hunny!!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Week 5: Thoughts on Scary Stuff

All of a sudden, I'm starting to freak out about the chances of miscarriage. I think it's b/c we're starting to tell people (I plan to tell my parents this afternoon, as soon as Zach gets back from his trip!). I'm VERY excited to share the news, but also worried... what if this "jinxes" us somehow? I know that's silly, but can you help a pregnant woman from worrying? (I'm still getting used to this whole BEING THE PREGNANT WOMAN thing... hehe!)

Thankfully, the odds are looking like they're on my side. Chances of miscarriage once a pregnancy has been confirmed are between 10% and 25%. I've read that women in their 20's have only a 10% chance of miscarriage. I also found a website that states that, according to one study in the UK, women in their first pregnancy have only 5% chance of miscarriage... EXCELLENT news! I've also read that the chances of miscarriage drop significantly after you heart the baby's heartbeat (probably b/c at least half of all miscarriages are due to chromosomal abnormalities in the embryo, in which case the heart might not develop at all). Many sources claim that the hb can be heard as early as 6 or 7 weeks-- I go in for my next ultrasound at 6.5 weeks, very much crossing my fingers.

Another site claimed that the highest chance for miscarriage is between weeks 6 and 8, and after 8 weeks the chances drop (then dropping further after 12 or 13 weeks).

This is all very exciting, very reassuring news.

So who knows... perhaps once we've heard the heartbeat. and after passing the 8 week point, maybe we'll start telling more people. I guess we'll start with family, as we've planned, and go from there.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

six word sunday*: Guestroom Available, Chocolates and Cat Included.

six word sunday challenge

*posted a day early, since I may not have access to the internet tomorrow.
I was just thinking to myself how I've felt like I had more energy the past few days, and then today I'm hit with this... tiredness. I had sort of a long day yesterday, and somehow that's left me tired and with very sore thighs and back... no clue why, really. Does pregnancy make you more susceptible to muscle soreness?? Oh well. I'm about 5 weeks along now. Yay!

I talked to Lindsey online the other day, and I kinda let the news slip out. She was SUPER excited. I think she'll be pretty glad to have a cousin for Ryan, even if they'll be nearly 5 years apart.

Today I take off to go to the mountains with Mom and Philip, one of their time-share places. They don't know yet. Zach gets back Monday, I think we'll all have dinner together Monday night and that's when we'll share the news. However I wonder if they're already suspicious, as I haven't been drinking wine, and accidentally left my pregnancy planner book out the other day when they arrived. Oh well. Will be fun to have it out in the open, either way. =)

Friday, June 08, 2007

Le Fin du Cours de Francais

Today was my last day of French class... and to celebrate the end of this session of the course, we had a pot-luck at one of the student's apartment after class. It was much fun, lots of good food and some fun multi-lingual conversations, etc. The pumpkin bread was a HUGE hit... as usual. ; )

I got a text message from Mom and Philip as we were about to sit down to eat, saying they were at my house already... woops! I was in the middle of town at the time. They said to take my time and they'd keep themselves occupied, so I hung around to eat and such, and then made my way home to find them sitting in the front terrace reading. I made some dinner for us and we had a nice time here at the house, and now it's approaching bedtime.

Tomorrow afternoon we'll head out towards Montreau where the parents have their 2nd time share week. I'll go with them tomorrow, then return Monday to greet Zach upon his return from the states. I'm not sure if we'll have good internet access up in the mountains, so I may have to post my six word sunday early tomorrow... well see.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Buffet Canadien

I miss Zach. =(

He gets back on Monday, so I don't have much longer to wait. Still, it sucks. At the end of the month he'll need to go to the east coast for work again, only be for 4-5 days, but it means he'll have been gone for half the month. I guess we sorta signed up for this when we decided to move here. Oh well.

It was sunny and warm earlier today, but all of a sudden it's gotten dark and stormy outside. Not anything like a Texas t-storm, but more rain and lightning than I've seen in a while. It's strange, it actually feels like it's getting late since it's darker outside... normally these days it'll still be light out almost until 10pm.

Tomorrow is the last day of French class. I can't say I'm that upset about it. I think the class has run its course with me. Today was ok, but still... Then again give me a week or 2 without it and I might be bored to tears. Anyway, we're having a pot-luck lunch after class (called "buffet Canadien" in French, apparently), so I'm making some pumpkin bread. I figure that will be a novelty for most people (I don't think Europeans usually associate pumpkin with dessert or sweet things), and it's also easy to make and bring to class with me in the morning. As an added bonus, there should be a decent amount left for when Zach gets home, which will mean major brownie points for me. =P

I signed up to get Glamour magazine shipped out here, and they said it'd take about 6-8 weeks to get my first copy. That was before leaving for Chile. So it's been... ok, I guess it's only been 7 weeks. I'm getting impatient, though.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

In My Little Garden Bed...

I gave myself a day off from class today. It's been nice. I slept in (in my now very dark bedroom, which can also be very nice and bright when I want it to be... weeee!) and spent the morning doing different stuff in the house, like washing dishes and, well, lounging about. Then in the afternoon I made my way over to a garden center in a nearby town and got a bunch of pretty flowers and some tools so I could pretty up our yard (not that it needs any help). It wound up costing a bit more than I had anticipated, but look how pretty everything is now!! =P
This is the window by our front door. Each of those plants I'd had before, and the garden gnome is the one the neighbors gave us a while back.

These are some of the flowers on one of the new plants I got today-- I LOVE them, so pretty!

My pretty new flower boxes, filled with petunias.

This is what one wall of our yard now looks like, with my flower boxes sitting on the ledge. The flowers on the very top of the wall are the neighbors'.

It all looks very nice right now. We'll see how long that lasts. I don't have the best history with plants... My trouble has usually been watering, really, I need to figure out a schedule to do it regularly. Hopefully all the Swiss rain will help, too.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Skylight Problem Update- SUCCESS!!!!!!!

So, remember our issue with the skylight in our bedroom? (if not, check here and here for previous entries) We weren't having any luck going through either of the stores we found, so Zach went ahead and ordered the windowshade via the Velux website.

Guess what came in the mail today??? =)

I wouldn't even have gotten it yet if it weren't for my absolute DREAM of a neighbor who took the package from the mailman (not the first time, either) and then brought it over, saving me a trip to the post office tomorrow to pick it up myself.

So I opened the package and realized I'd have to drill some holes into the windowpane in order to get this thing up. I was all set to call Bob and trade in some Jules baby-sitting time to have him come over and do the job with his cordless drill, but first I decided to attempt it myself... and I totally did it! I'm so proud of myself! Yaaaay! Here's the before and after pics:

(please ignore the messy bed)

Can I tell you how ECSTATIC I am to have this be DONE with? My previous ghetto-rigged system was not going to last much longer. Ah, to be able to sleep in peace, in darkness... =)

A Rant, and a Rave

I am getting so frustrated with French class lately... today we were talking about a certain way to phrase certain ideas, and there was some tiny nuance of when you used one form and when you used another, and I just couldn't understand it. I guess it's just one of those things unique to a language that you have to memorize what goes with what. The most infuriating part is when the teacher acts SHOCKED that you're having trouble b/c "it's so logical!" OF COURSE it's logical to you, this is your native language!!! I swear she's changing up the way she explains things. And then there's things like how yesterday we talked about a certain vocab word for a while, and explained it one way, and then today when a girl who had been absent asked what the word meant, the definition the teacher gave was completely different. Maybe the word has multiple meanings... I guess I'll have to go look it up. I'll be done after this week, but I'm so temped to just stop now and not go the last few days. Except one of the other women in the class is gone this week and I promised her I'd send her the notes of what we covered each day. I guess it's only 3 more days. I used to like this class so much... what's happened?

After class I met up with 2 gals for lunch, and we had a really great time. We went to Chez Ma Cuisine (which will from now on be known as "the chicken place") in Old Town. Their signature dish includes a half a roasted chicken, french fries, and salad for $15 (a STEAL in these parts). One of them, Kathy, is thinking about going into teaching, and started asking me questions about Montessori so I got to go into my whole schpiel on how much I love Montessori and why. =P She seemed to really like what she was hearing. I offered to lend her some books I have so she could read up on it more, and she gladly accepted. Yay! I'm always happy spreading the Montessori love around. =)

Our lunch was very much a European one-- after finishing our meal, we sat there talking for so long that the waitress had to come up to us and ask us to pay as I think her shift was ending! All 3 of us being Americans, used to waiting around for what feels like forever for a waiter to close out the bill, we had a pretty good laugh about it. We then made tentative plans to get together for lunch again next week, gave each other 3 kisses goodbye, and were off.

As I was walking back towards the bus stop I stopped into a small "papeterie" and bought a cloth-bound photo album, the kind with the black pages that look all artsy and cool. Shortly after we got married my mother-in-law sent me a manila folder filled with Zach's old baby pictures. They're all adorable, and have been sitting in said folder for years... which seems like an awful waste. I think I'll put them in this album so they're displayed and organized a bit better.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Lazy Sunday, turns into a Productive Monday

I spent all day yesterday basking in absolute lazedom. Total and complete. The rain actually seems to have subsided and it was nice and sunny all day, but I spent it mostly in my PJ's, flitting around on the computer, scrapbooking a bit, and watching some of the Friends 10th Season DVDs we bought along with our DVD player last week (BTW I never understood the whole Joey-and-Rachel hookup, made no sense at all... like they just needed a filler storyline or something). Sierra, the ever faithful kitty, spent much of the day sleeping sweetly on my lap. It was actually a pretty nice day, all in all. =)

Today it's back to the regular schedule. It's actually my last week of French class... it will be nice to sleep in a bit more after it's over. I need to devote some serious study time on my own, actually... all the verb tenses are getting so mixed up in my head, not to mention all the new ones the class seems to have covered in my absence. After class I stopped by the post office to pay a bill and send off a book as part of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Books. Woot! In turn, I should be receiving The Kite Runner soon. I love the idea of this books-sharing forum, we'll see how it all plays out.

Good news! I think Zach and I will be making our way over to the states in late August/early September. We're hoping to make the rounds in both California and Texas, and be able to attend the wedding festivities for both Ankur & Subha and Karen & Benjamin. This is totally exciting news, as we really have been wanting to go to Ankur's Indian wedding. Things aren't really set yet, but Zach thinks he can arrange to have some work to do states-side during that time so that he has to use less vacation time. We'll see. I'll keep y'all posted. ; )

And now, I need to be on my way to get some grocery shopping done...

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Week 4

Usually when Zach's out of town, I let laziness get the best of me and won't eat regularly. I'll snack, but actually cooking a meal just seems like too much effort. Now, though, considering I've got a teeny little tadpole in my belly trying to grow big and strong, I'm forcing myself to eat better. I've found myself going for that apple or cup of yogurt even if I'm not really hungry, just b/c I know I have big dietary needs to fill. Right now, I've got dinner cooking on the stove, a simple move that I might have left undone if I weren't pregnant. But I have to take better care of myself now-- baby's depending on me! Zach had already started joking a few weeks back about how when I get preggers he'll have to start cooking better meals for me. ; ) (honestly, he does a pretty good job anyway)

There are times when I feel like shouting our news from the mountaintop and that keeping this baby a secret is just SO DIFFICULT. Then there's other times when I just smile to myself, content to keep this just between us for a bit longer, our little secret. Still... it's going to be so much fun spreading the news. =)

six word sunday: Must reach flowers before getting caught!

six word sunday challenge

Saturday, June 02, 2007


We all slept in late this morning, finally got around to breakfast at about noon. Philip took over his usual role as Pancake Chef, and we were able to enjoy some of the delicious maple syrup that was part of the care package I got from the parents from school. Later on in the afternoon, we enjoyed a late lunch at the village restaurant, after having picked up The Parents' rental car from the airport. Lunch was good, we got a visit from the little black and white kitty that hangs out by our kitchen window sometimes. He apparently also spends lots of time at the restaurant, begging for food. Mom, Philip and I were each having steak, and the cat was hanging out right next to the table and meowing pathetically at us (we were sitting at the outdoor patio). It was pretty cute. Then some kids came by and started playing with the cat, at which point the cat seemed to pretty much disappear.

At one point at lunch Mom got a bit of a curious little smile on her face and asked The Question:" So... are you and Zach thinking about babies?" lol... I guess Ryan's getting old enough to not satisfy the baby cravings anymore, huh? ; )

After lunch The Parents took off to their time share in France. They're only an hour away or so, so I might be seeking them again before the end of the week. It's fun having them around, and Mom is just so excited and so impressed by where we're living and how adorable this area is, and so happy for us. Fortunately today was also a really beautiful day-- yesterday it was so rainy and dreadful, it was nice to get to hang around in the sunshine a bit. Sierra seems to have also very much enjoyed Mom and Philip's presence, I swear she remembers them from other visits and she seemed much more comfortable around them than she has around anyone else that's come into our house since arriving here. Or maybe she's just taking all the extra attention she can get, as Zach (aka Sierra's favorite) is away...

sinking in

I'm still in such disbelief over this whole pregnancy deal. I just can't believe we're HAVING A BABY!!!! I was just thinking of it a few minutes ago, picturing us holding this tiny little being that will be entering our lives in approximately 8 months, and I got tears in my eyes. It seems so surreal.

I haven't had too many symptoms, or they haven't been very obvious-- I've been feeling more tired (I get winded more easily it seems, I'll walk a few blocks and climb some stairs and my heart will be POUNDING inside my chest), had some bloating/gas, and have notice that at times I'm a bit more emotional than what I usually think I am. I've also gotten occasional twinges and funny feelings in my boobs, they almost feel heavier but I haven't noticed any definite visual difference yet. It's funny, ever since I took that first test I've had this "feeling" down in my lower abdomen, which totally makes me feel pregnant. I don't know what it is, or if it's psychosomatic or what. It's nice, though. Makes it all seem a bit more real. I'm finally realizing that YES, this is real, this is true, I am really pregnant, and my biggest threat/worry is a miscarriage. However I read somewhere that for someone my age the chance is only 10%. I think I'll just continue my habit of thinking positively.

Mom and Philip got into town yesterday, and left today to spend a week at their resort. Mom asked me today over lunch if we're thinking about babies. ; ) I just smiled and said, "yeah, we're thinking about it." I can't till Zach gets back from his trip, and we can tell them the good news. They're going to be so excited.

Beware, one symptom of pregnancy is brain rot, so if I repeat myself a lot in these posts, just chalk it up to that. ; )

Friday, June 01, 2007

The Parents

The Parents (aka Mom and Philip) are here, I found them at the train station (recognized Philip first from hos trademark hat). We put their luggage in the lockers at the train station and went off walking a bit, and found a place for lunch. It was kinda rainy, but thankfully it never got too bad while we were walking-- at one point it was POURING while we were sitting down inside for lunch.

We then got the luggage and made our way home on the bus. We've since hung out at the house, I showed them all our pictures from Chile, we walked over to the bakery for some bread and milk, and then I made dinner. The parents brought us a ton of goodies, including 2 sets of sheets, a Method o-mop and extra supplies, and new Mary Kay moisturizer from Lindsey (which comes just in time, I've been having trouble pumping the last bits out of my old Clinique bottle). Woot!!

Tomorrow at some point I'll be taking The Parents to the airport to get their rental car, and then they'll be off to their time share place in France.


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