Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween....?

Today: Slept in till 11am, perused the internet, went grocery shopping and dropped the in-laws off at the next village so they could explore and then walk back (their plan, I didn't abandon them!), painted my nails, read one of my million preggo books, made dinner (chicken, zucchini with potatoes and tomatoes sauteed in some oil, turned out pretty nicely if I may say so myself), and am now feeling sleepy and may go read some more while waiting for Zach to come home from French class.

How weird that today is Halloween. I saw pictures today from a Halloween party our friends in California had, it made me miss them. =( I guess we didn't really ever do that much on Halloween night itself, when it fell on a weekday anyway, but there's still something odd about knowing that there will be no little trick-or-treaters coming by in adorable costumes. I should see who of our American friends will be around for Thanksgiving, and try to plan something for that. Otherwise that will be really weird feeling, too, I'm sure. At least I know Christmas will not be that different. Stores have already started setting up their Christmas sections and selling chocolate Santas.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Sightseeing & Baby Shopping

I got up early this morning to make it to the "baby talk" group at the women's club. On the bus ride into town I was wondering if I should've just stayed home, since I was feeling pretty energy-less. However I got there, and started talking with some of the moms there and ended up having a great time, so I'm glad I made it. I even stayed overtime a bit and so wound up missing my Tuesday yoga class, but oh well. I figure bonding with new local moms is pretty valuable right now (as opposed to the women in my yoga class, who are pregnant, but are all French-speaking and not much socializing happens).

I then grabbed a panini for lunch and killed some time downtown while waiting for Zach and his parents to join me for an afternoon in Geneva. We walked up to the cathedral, then around old town a bit, did a bit of shopping, and then stopped by Autour de Bébé on the way home b/c Susan insisted on taking us shopping for baby stuff... and wound up buying us a moses basket! =) It wasn't too expensive, either, which was nice. We also looked at some strollers, but I dunno... Other than one kind that was on sale for 99chf (umm.... something's gotta be wrong with it) and one or 2 models that were 400chf for the stroller and car seat (not bad, but wasn't crazy about that particular model honestly) everything else still seems to be in the 900chf and up range. And I still wonder how much we'll even use a stroller to begin with, and ... well... I don't know. Someone this morning mentioned that if you make a registry with one of the local baby stores you get a discount later when you buy stuff off it, so that might be worth doing for the discount alone. We'll see. I guess I need to be figuring all this stuff out sooner rather than later. Eeek.

So after spending all day in the city, I was pretty pooped. But we'd made plans to have dinner at the restaurant next door and Susan was still adamant about doing that, so off we went. Turns out they were about to have a huge party that night, so they opened up the back room just for us and we probably got our dinner served and over with faster than ever before, since the waitress was I think trying to get us out of the way before she got really busy with the big party (all the time being very nice and funny and sweet to Hank and Susan, whom she served the other night when they went over there by themselves while we went to Jessica's party). I have to say, buying steak in Switzerland can be a pretty iffy endeavor, as it's not always very good, but every time I've had it at this restaurant I've been pretty happy.

I think everyone's pretty much off to bed now, and I'll be joining in soon, too. I think tomorrow will be another day of rest and reading for me... today kinda wore me out.

Monday, October 29, 2007


My sister Cristina, the writer, has participated in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) the past several years, feverishly writing 50,000 word novels during the 30 days of November. I've always found this challenge to be fun and interesting, something that would be kinda neat to try to do except that, other than the cheesy short stories I'd write for my younger sister back in, like, middle school, I don't think I've got much of a knack for novel writing.

Then I heard about NaBloPoMo-- a challenge to write a blog post every day throughout the month of November, a sort of little-sister to NaNoWriMo. It seemed quirky, and cute, and fun. I forgot about it until reading about it again this morning on Charming, But Single's blog. And so, this year, I signed up. Which in a way is kinda silly since I already post on a pretty regular daily basis. But, what the heck. Perhaps this way I'll discover even more blogs to take up my time. ; ) On a serious note, I've actually started meeting some great people through blogging and making connections, and that's a pretty darn cool thing.


On to other news... I once again skipped the French conversation session I've been meaning to try out, in lieu of resting at home today. After a long day out yesterday, I woke up this morning and my body just felt... tired... and worn out. I figure I'll listen to it (pregnancy is about the only time you get to use the "I feel kinda tired" excuse to really take it easy-- I mean, it's not about me, right? Gotta take care of the baby!). Though I was also thinking of doing a good bit of laundry, and maybe even starting to wash some of Loki's bigger clothes (6month+) and putting them away somewhere so they don't take up as much room in the closet.

I did my weekly weigh-in yesterday morning, and I'm up to 20lbs. Looking at my chart, starting at about 15wks I've been steadily gaining an average of 2lbs per week. That's kind of a lot. Part of me's worried about it-- I still have another 15-ish weeks to go, and at this rate I'm setting myself up for gaining 40-50lbs by February. That was not really part of the plan. But then again, most of the weight seems to be baby-related (I haven't noticed a significant change in other parts of my body), and I'm being pretty conscious about eating a good diet every day. Yes, I have ice cream and chocolate here and there, but not anything I'd consider large amounts. So I don't know... I'll probably keep doing basically what I've been doing, maybe try to go on walks with Zach a bit more often, but more than anything trying to concentrate on being healthy rather than numbers on a scale.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

six word sunday: Legions of dragons, preparing to attack.

(dragon figurines at the Notre Dame gift shop in Paris)

six word sunday challenge

Annecy, revisited

We drove out towards France this morning to show Hank and Susan the adorable little town known as Annecy. I'd been there once before, with my friend Pat and her family when she was traveling through these parts, and remembered having had a great time wandering the pedestrian alleyways and cute shops. One attraction to go today was the farmer's market that goes on on Sundays, which we'd heard was really something. Unfortunately I was not highly impressed by the market.... not b/c it didn't seem impressive, actually it was. It's just that they had it set up on this tiny alleyway and it was a bit of a clusterf@ck trying to walk through it... and this is on a cold day in late October! What must this market be like in the summer, during the "high season?" Or maybe they have it in a more open area... I dunno.

Noon was nearing by then, and we found a little crêperie in which to have lunch. I started feeling much better about our day as lunch went by-- the food was very good, and the waitress was very nice. Afterwards we walked around Annecy a bit more, sat down at another cafe later on for a coffee/soda break, and then headed down to the bord du lac to check out the water and sailboats, and had some roasted chestnuts as a snack. By then we were starting to get kinda pooped, so we headed back home and Hank is upstairs out cold. There had been talk of dining at the restaurant nextdoor, but I think instead we'll just have a quiet evening here at home.

You can click here to see more pictures from today in Annecy, and click here for pictures from last night's Halloween party.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Lazy Saturday, Fun Times with New Friends

So Hank and Susan's bags showed up this (Saturday) morning, as expected, good news for everyone. They had their clothes, and I got to have the stuff I'd ordered from the US and have been eagerly anticipating (the baby slings, some Gap maternity pants, and these two books which I'm loving so far).

Zach and I had talked about taking them to the top of the Salève to get a view of Geneva, but the day kinda lingered on as we hung out here, and then Zach and Hank went grocery shopping which would up taking 2 hours... and we now have more groceries than we know what to do with (the funny thing is, the amount they brought home was probably not that different from a fairly normal grocery run in California, it's just that we have much less food storage space and, well, it's just not as easy to store a 6-pack of bottles of orange juice). So inertia took over and we just hung out here, took a walk around the village, and then made pizzas and corn on the cob for dinner.

Jessica and Jonathan were having a Halloween party tonight, so Zach and I then got ready and headed out to that, leaving Hank and Susan to have a drink at the restaurant next-door and then have an early night. We drove over to their place and found the apartment itself by following the chatter of a happy crowd, and had a really fun evening hanging out with out Geneva friends, and getting to meet some of Jessica & Jon's old friends from Neuchâtel (which we have yet to visit, but definitely plan to do... sometime!). And, we got to witness the very exciting (if highly anticipated) engagement of our hosts. =)

As we drove home Zach told me what a great time he'd had, and how this was the first gathering we'd gone to where he'd gotten to talk to a bunch of people that he could see becoming good friends with. =) I got took a few pictures, but will wait till tomorrow to upload them. Right now, it's nearing 2am (I'm surprised we made it this late!) and we need to get to bed, and tomorrow we're supposed to get an early start on our day trip into France.

Friday, October 26, 2007

New Arrivals (and more lost luggage)

After getting delayed, missing their original flight connection to Geneva, and spending an extra few hours in airports, Hank and Susan (Zach's parents) arrived safe and sound this afternoon. Their bags. however, stayed in Paris (where they departed from). Apparently the Paris airport has a hard time parting with baggage going through, as we've had our bags stuck there twice already. Hopefully the bags will show up tomorrow... especially since they have a bunch of baby stuff I ordered from the US. ; )

So they got in, got settled, we ate a dinner of nice yummy fatty salmon (for the baby-- gotta get in those omega-3s! =P ) with rice and veggies, and now they're both off in bed sleeping. Tomorrow will probably be a low-key day, depending on what happens with the bags-- we either have to wait around for them to get delivered, or go into town so The In-Laws can buy some clothes to wear.

I'm feeling better today, I slept really well last night (yay!) and didn't get up till 11:30am or so. Unfortunately last night in the last few hours that we were up my back started hurting like crazy-- I've had this pain before that's down at the base of my spine, usually off to one side or the other and it will be kinda dull but if I step wrong with whichever leg corresponds to the side with the pain, I'll get a sharp shooting pain that lasts for a second, then goes away when I take the weight off that foot. That's been happening off and on for the past few months, Last night I had a similar pain, except it wouldn't. go. away. I found I could sit with my legs wide and kinda lean forward and that made my back feel better, but otherwise it hurt. Kind of a lot. Thankfully when I went to bed I was able to use pillows to find a comfortable position, and it stopped hurting and hasn't come back yet today. I'm keeping my fingers crossed....

Thursday, October 25, 2007

ramblings of an exhausted pregnant lady

Goodness, it's already 6pm.

I'm still not feeling great, and to top it off I woke up at 4am and couldn't get back to sleep. Boo. So I got up and finished The Handmaid's Tale, which I started a few days ago. It's basically 1984/Brave New World, but with a feminist/women's rights concentration. Very creepy to read. It's crazy how at first you think "It's a good thing nothing like this could really happen." But then they describe the account of how the new regime supposedly took over, and especially with all the terrorist hooplah of the past several years it doesn't seem that far-fetched. And then there's Afghanistan, where didn't women have a decent amount of rights (like being able to work and, say, walk around on their own) before the Taliban took over and stripped all that away so quickly? So maybe it's not so impossible, which just makes it that much more scary.

I did manage a nap this afternoon, then I dragged myself to go shopping for groceries to last us through the weekend (funny how you have to think about that here). And now, I am exhausted.

There's still a lot left to do today-- Zach's parents fly into town tomorrow, they'll stay with us for 10 days or so. I still have to change the sheets on the guest bed, and we need to vacuum (at least the stairs, which seem to collect more dust bunnies than the rest of the house), there's dishes to be unloaded and others washed, and there's the small wine rack and the coat rack I bought from Ikea on Monday that have yet to be assembled...

It's funny, this morning I checked in on one of the pregnancy message boards I frequent sometimes, this one specifically for women in their 2nd trimester, and there was a thread asking who was so ready to move onto the 3rd trimester already? Many ladies responded saying they were definitely ready. Me? So not. I feel like there's still so much left to do before baby gets here, and once you're in the 3rd trimester (just 3 weeks away) you're in the "home stretch" right? Baby's right around the corner? Plus I just know that exhaustion from the 1st trimester will creep in again, and I'm not looking forward to that. Or getting huge. The belly's already starting to get in the way, when I bend over to pick stuff up for example. Trying to put on/take off pants while standing has certainly become more difficult all of a sudden. I'm not sure I'm ready to transition from the cute-pregnant stage to the holy-crap-she's-HUGE (and tired and grumpy) stage...

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

sick & tired

When my sore throat from last week went away after a few days, I figured I was safe, that I wouldn't get sick.

Yet yesterday and today I've had the sniffles all day long, and a bit of a cough. Nothing major, but enough to warrant taking it easy so as not to risk getting worse. I guess I should check if I have a fever... probably not, but just in case since that would be the main concern pregnancy-wise.

Perhaps my big day of nesting on Monday did me in... I went to Hornbach (the local Home Depot- wannabe) and Ikea to get some different random things for the house. Unfortunately, Hornbach did not have any house numbers, which leaves me absolutely baffled... Everyone else in our village has these blue house numbers to display their address, apparently these come from the city and well we've been here for, what, 7 months now and gotten nothing so far. I noticed the recently-remodeled house across the street has their own style of house numbers, so I figured I'd just find some at one of the DIY/bricolage shops in town. Well, Jumbo had one style of very ugly numbers, MParc had ugly plastic numbers we could glue to the mailbox (I would've been ok with these, but they got vetoed by Zach) and Hornbach? Well, I found nothing there, even though it's the biggest of the 3. Locals, if you have any advice please pass it on b/c I'm at a loss...

Anyway, so yeah, Ikea, I got a bunch of pretty potted flowers which is sorta ridiculous in a way b/c I so don't have a green thumb, but they're still alive so so far so good. We also have some new curtains, more pillows for the guestroom (since I'm hoarding more of them myself at night), a big stuffed hippo for Loki, and some other random stuff. I even then came home and set most of it up right away (including potting the new plants, indoors with lots of newspaper since it was freezing cold outside, which completely freaked Sierra out).

However I left a few things undone, and I have not touched them yesterday or today, b/c I've been tired and feeling a bit sick. I did manage to go to the store also yesterday, and came home to make a lasagna recipe found online that turned out pretty well even though I tweaked a lot of stuff for convenience sake. And this morning I called around some different places in search of childbirth classes in English (wasn't very successful, but as a last resort I should be able to contact a couple midwives and have them come do individual classes here at home with us).

I spent the rest of the day in bed, reading, perplexed that Sierra did not join me since, well, we'd be able to keep each other warm. The weather has certainly turned here in Geneva, with biting cold wind and temps in the 40's (with wind chills in the 30's). It's not even November quite yet. I'm not sure I'm ready for a "real winter." I think I'll need a new, warmer coat. Maybe I can find something that will cover my belly? Or at least my butt.

Boy, this entry feels extremely disjointed. I'll blame feeling tired and groggy.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Finally, decisions made

So this morning I had my 24 week check-up, which included the glucose test. Last time when we set this appointment my doctor recommended I bring someone with me, as I'd have to wait an hour between taking the drink and getting my blood drawn and so it'd be nice to have company, and also to have someone there in case I got lightheaded from not eating (couldn't eat or drink anything until after getting the final blood draw). So Zach came with me.

We sat down in her office, and she smiled and asked if "papa" had any questions, and we kinda got around to talking about the choice in hospitals. She told me that in her opinion the level of care is the same in the public hospital vs the private clinics (something I suspected to be true anyway, but it's nice t0 hear confirmation). I then asked her about her philosophies about labor and delivery-- if I go to one of the private clinics she'd be the one delivering the baby, whereas at the public hospital it would be the midwives and OBs on staff, so I figured this would be a good thing to consider when deciding. I mentioned how I'd kind of like to be able to move around if needed to help with contractions, and that I like the idea of being in a sitting or squatting position for pushing so that gravity can help out a bit. She kind of dismissed these things (being very nice about it all), seeming to not really think they'd be any benefit and that the traditional way is to be on the bed, and that's what all the hospitals do anyway (the public hospital actually has a mayan stool that allows you to be sitting while pushing the baby out). Later on we also mentioned birthing classes, and she dismissed those as unimportant as well. Both of these were red flags for me, and I decided right then and there that I'd rather go with the public hospital and that, either way, I would not feel comfortable with this doctor assisting my delivery. I wish I'd asked these questions from the beginning... although even if I'd found a fabulous doctor for this whole time I still would've had to give him/her up if I chose to go with the public hospital, so maybe it doesn't really matter. I do feel she's given me great care during the pregnancy.

So then at the end of the appointment she sits us down again and lets us know that she's possibly going to be leaving the medical group where I've been seeing her, and is giving us the option to follow her to a new location or find a different doctor. She's going to make copies of all my records so far and give them to me at my next appointment (by which time she may already be at the new location, but we don't know-- I'll have to call her the week before to find out where I'll be going to see her). Wierd as it is, this actually kind of works out-- to deliver at the public hospital I'd have to switch my care over to their midwives at some point anyway, usually around 36 weeks, and so this way I might as well start going to them a bit early and get a jump start on that. So I guess after this last appointment with her (at 28 weeks) I'll call the hospital and make an appointment to start seeing them instead.

So, yeah. Kind of a strange morning, but it all seems to work out ok, and I'm feeling more at peace with it all. I'm still nervous about what the care will be like at the public hospital, but if they're as attentive as the midwife who gave me the tour (and spent 1.5+ hrs talking to me and making sure to cover all my concerns) I'll be pretty happy.

After the appointment Zach and I went out to lunch (he was adamant on getting me some red meat, since my iron count has been a bit low the past couple check-ups). The place we picked turned out not to be too great, but it was nice to get to have lunch together. He then went off to work for the afternoon and I came home, suddenly feeling incredibly tired and drowsy waiting for my bus stop, and when I got home I crashed out for almost 2 hours. I still don't feel great, just feel tired and worn out and my nose has been stuffy off and on. And I think my belly's gone through a growth spurt in the past day or 2-- I've felt overstuffed, like when you eat way too much food, the past 2 days (which, when you think of it, it's kind of funny that I haven't felt like that the entire past 5 months... hah). So I think I'll try to rest up tonight, and see how I feel in the morning and maybe take it easy then, too.

By the way... one of my pregnancy books told me that, by now, my belly's approximately the size of a soccer ball. ; ) Perhaps slightly bigger, even, since Loki's measuring about a week ahead (and weighs 1.5lbs!).

Monday, October 22, 2007

worries and fears

I read articles like this one, and am sad. Sad because I feel I have little choice. The article talks about giving birth in the US, and how obstetricians and hospitals often make decisions that are more out of convenience for their own sake, rather than what's best for the mother and child (such as trying to speed up labor by giving pitocin, which can bring on stronger, more painful contractions and increases the risk of needing a c-section quite a bit).

I figured being in Europe would mean I'd have as much access to a natural, hippie-type birth if I so wanted. I've always assumed that I'd want to give birth in a hospital because, well, what if something goes wrong, right? However I do want to give birth naturally. I don't want to be induced. I don't want to need a c-section. Why does it feel like, even here, when I express those desires people look at me as if I have 3 heads?

Apparently we're just in the wrong part of Switzerland for this. The German side seems to be much more progressive, with things like birthing centers and water births being much more common. But as I was told when I visited La Tour, in Geneva and the Suisse Romande they're much more old-fashioned and conservative. And so, I feel the pull-- go to the public hospital, which every local recoils at the thought of, but which seems to be much more likely to allow the kind of birth I want, or go with the fancy clinics, which yes are much prettier and everyone approves of, but where I'll likely be strapped to a bed and where medical interventions are more common?

(At least here they're still extremely pro-breastfeeding. I was shocked while talking with some local new mothers and found out that other European countries, such as France and Great Britain, are practically pro-formula. I understand that not every woman is able to breastfeed and all, but shouldn't it at least be encouraged for everyone, seeing as how it's so insanely good for both baby and mom??)

And so, this is what scares me the most about giving birth-- that I won't be in control. That I'll be there at the hospital, and I'll be told that x or y needs to be done, and that I won't be able to speak up b/c I know how I am in those situations-- I defer to authority, even if I don't like it. And the language barrier may not help, either. And maybe things aren't progressing well so I'll need something to "speed things up." Which will cause worse contractions, meaning going with an epidural. Which can then slow things up again, and before you know it I'm in an operating room, getting cut open.

And maybe that's not so bad as long as I have my healthy baby boy at the end of it. But are those things really necessary? Doesn't Mother Nature kinda know what she's doing? It reminds me of the whole formula vs breastmilk history-- how formula came out and people assumed that, b/c it was made by scientists, we must have improved on nature's plan, right? And yet we had not. And maybe we think all these things are improvements when they're not. That maybe we should just leave things be, intervening only when truly necessary.

EDIT: Here's another article, listing the increased rate of c-sections as one factor in the increased rate of women in the US who're dying from childbirth. Lovely.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Someone got a new toy today...

someone got a new toy ; )

Zach got to pick up his scooter today. Yay! He says he feels more European now. =P

The wind was wickedly cold today... at least it was sunny, but you'd just look outside and hear the howling wind and just want to stay in, curled up in a blanket with some hot tea and not go anywhere. Unfortunately there were a couple casualties due to the high winds...

One of my potted flowers (the one that's actually been surviving pretty well, even through my negligent care) fell over and the pot broke (we have it it a reserve small plastic pot for now), and one of Michelle's plants also fell off the wall separating our yards and into one of our bushes. Zach says he'll keep it here so he can later make jokes to her about hoe I tried to steal her plants.

Last but not least, here's my latest belly shot, taken last night (~23.5weeks):

23wks, 5days

It's funny how even though I see it every day and stare at it quite often (it's ridiculous how much time I'll spend in front of a mirror looking at the latest developments in the shape of my belly button, and the bely in general), when I take pictures and look at them I'm still surprised by its size most of the time. Earlier today I felt this strange sensation near my belly button, and I think it was Loki reaching out and stretching either an arm or a leg-- just pushing out with it gently and then pulling back in.

Friday, October 19, 2007

The Pregnant Body

Its been really something to watch my body change over the past 5 months. It's almost a surprise now, when I look back at pictures of me without a baby belly. One of the disappointments I felt, silly as it may be, about pregnancy was that many women don't even start to really show until halfway through the pregnancy. Sure, you might be a bit bloated and look/feel different from normal, but many won't have that baby belly to show off till between 18-24 weeks! So I spent a long time waiting for it to show, and then as soon as the abdominal swelling started I'd steal glances at my profile whenever possible-- at home, in store windows as I walked around in town, etc.

I now feel like I'm right in the middle of that "cute pregnancy stage" where I have a nice, round belly that's not too big but is definitely there. My body is fuller, rounder, and I love it. I love what it is doing as it creates and nurtures this life inside me.

At the same time, worries about what I'll look like after the birth have started creeping in. I've been blessed with good genes and have never really had to worry about my weight. Sure, I've always tried to be relatively active and eat well, but I've never been good at keeping up a workout regimen and I do love me some chocolate cake. I've always wondered how I'd react if I did start noticing the pounds creeping on. Would I act quickly, eating a bit less and moving a bit more, till I got back to "normal?" Would I have the self-discipline for that? Looking at the women in my family I don't have many worries-- both my mother and grandmother (maternal, anyway) look fabulous after birthing 4 and 7 children, respectively. But I wonder what it will be like in those first months, as my body adjusts back to not being pregnant. It's fun watching the number on the scale grow now, b/c it's supposed to-- it's a good sign. But what will I feel as I look down at my belly, no longer taut and round but instead squishy and flabby? How long will it take to get back to "normal?" What sorts of permanent body changes will I notice? Will I be able to lose the weight before my sister's wedding, 4 months post-partum?

And I guess the answer is, we'll see. I like to think that instead of worrying about how flabby I look, I'll be proud of my body for the feat it will have just accomplished. I also like to think that, thanks to good genes and breastfeeding, I'll get back to about my pre-pregnancy size without too much trouble. We'll see. I may also have much bigger (or, smaller) things to worry about at that time, like our precious baby to take care of and get to know.

We'll see.

Thursday, October 18, 2007


What I was up to today:

New uses for old things- same good ole Target picture frames, new pictures.

Some people like to scrapbook on tables. Me? I like to take up as much space as humanly possible.

Pictures from last September. As in, 2006.

I broke my scrapbooking spell... and finally broke into my new supply of stuff that I got from Cristina back in August. I still have a lot more catching up to do (I want to be "up to date" by the time Loki gets here) but I'll also have to order a bunch of photos from Snapfish first, and have Zach bring them back on his next US trip. I suppose I could try to find a local shop to develop pictures at, but my guess is, in Geneva fashion, it would probably cost an arm and a leg.

Tonight Zach and I went to the house of one of his classmates from French class, she and her husband are trying to sell a bunch of baby stuff their 2 boys have outgrown. We made out with a changing pad, a baby bath chair, some hooded towels and a couple other miscellaneous items... and a baby Columbia jacket. =P Fairly successful, in the end. Their kids were pretty cute (18 months and 4 yrs). In desperate need of a quick meal, Zach and I succumbed to McDonald's (I know, I know... and my chicken mcnugget meal was 10chf!) and I still had my cup of Sprite when we got to their house, and the 18 month old was obsessed with it and wanting to take a drink. It was pretty funny, I set the cup down on the floor at one point to look at something, and I kid you not 5 seconds later he had picked up the cup and was about to make away with it-- when I'd put the cup down he'd been in the other room.

Anyway, Loki's kicking, and Zach's calling, and I think it's about bedtime... especially since I still have a bit of a sore throat. =(

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The Great Fly Massacre

I came across this today, and found it fairly amusing. ; )

Today was a great magazine day. I was leaving to head into town for lunch and on my way out I checked the mail, and my Glamour magazine was there-- woot! Then I met up with The Girls for lunch and Hillary, who just returned from a brief stint in the US, brought me back several gossip mags-- double woot! So I now have plenty of trashy reading to do. =P Lunch went well, though there was a bit of a humorous moment when I walked up to the restaurant (or where I thought the restaurant was) to find Sophia standing there, and she says to me, "Um... I don't think this place exists." Turns out the street address we had was wrong-- luckily the place was just around the corner so easy enough to find, but it also meant that Serena, who was supposed to meet up with us, was unable to find us and since she doesn't have a cell phone I couldn't reach her. =( Oh well, she doesn't seem mad and we'll hopefully meet up again soon (there's talk of a coffee date on Friday?).

Loki was kicking up a storm this morning as I was riding the bus in, which was nice for me b/c he's been kinda quiet the past couple days. I knew I shouldn't worry, and I'd still feel him moving around from time to time, but hadn't gotten any good strong kicks in a day or 2. So, yeah, he seems to be doing quite well still. =P

Now, the less-than-cool part of my day came later on... It felt nice outside when I got home, so as I sat and played on the computer I left one of the big doors open to our yard so Sierra could play outside if she wanted. Once it started feeling chilly, I went to go close it... and noticed all these teeny tiny flies buzzing around just outside, and of course, by the inside as well. So I closed the door, was extremely grateful that I'd finally found a flyswatter a couple weeks back, and spent the next 10 minutes massacring what must've been at least 100+ little flies on our doors. I'm gonna have to windex the heck out of the glass later on to get the little fly carcasses off. =(

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Tortillas! And a hot, sleepy pregnant lady.

Today, after running some other errands in town, I went in search of Los Tacos, the shop in Carouge I'd been told sold handmade tortillas and tortilla chips. It took me a while to find it, but eventually got there and happily paid my 13.50chf for a bag of 15 tortillas and a medium-sized bag of chips. You should have seen Zach when he got home-- he was so excited. =) So for dinner he made up a batch of scrambled eggs and potatoes, I mushed up some avocado, and we ate it with our tortillas. And it was yummy. The tortillas are good, though different from what I was initially expecting-- they almost remind me of crepe-like tortillas, they're pretty thin and have a bit of a salty-sweet taste to them. But they're still pretty good. The chips are good, too, they're the thick kind which I've always liked a bit better, and I think Zach was quite happy to get to open up the jar of salsa one of his coworkers recently brought over from the US and get to eat it with the tortilla chips. The simple pleasures of life. ; )

You know how they say that pregnant women always feel hot? Today was the first day I got a sense of this. The day started out grey and very foggy, but by noon the sun had come out. I'd dressed lightly this morning, expecting this, so I wore a shirt with a tank underneath and my hoodie zip-up sweatshirt. By noon the sweatshirt was tied around my waist. By early afternoon, I was sweating as I walked up and down the Carouge streets trying to find the tortilla shop. And I was puzzled as I looked around, and saw everyone else wearing long sleeves and jackets. True, I was walking a decent bit, but wasn't everyone? So, yeah. I think it's started.

Last night I had trouble sleeping again, mostly b/c my hips kept getting sore-- I'd lay on my left side and then my left hip would start to bug me, and then switch to my right only to have the same thing happen again. Fairly annoying. Once Zach got out of bed I stole one of his pillows and stuck it under my waist and that helped a bit (relieving the pressure on my hips, I think) but when I did that again while taking a nap this afternoon I still ended up uncomfortable. *Sigh* This may be a long 4 months. I may need to do naps whenever I can, to make up for less-than-stellar night sleeping.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

5 months down, 4 more to go

Zach and Jennie left early this morning for their day hiking up near Chamonix. Since becoming pregnant (and thus having much less energy than usual), it's become clear that, for those types of trips, it's best to have me stay home so that I don't feel bad for keeping people behind or not letting them do as strenuous a hike as they want. I've gone before and just sat reading a book, which can be nice especially when you have Mont Blanc as a backdrop, but there's not always good places to sit and read and, well, some days I'd rather just stay home.

And so I did. And I've spent the majority of the day sleeping. This at first seems somewhat ridiculous, but then I remembered that, well, I'm pregnant, and the past week or 2 I've been a lot more active and so this might be my body's way of saying "Hey there crazy lady, you're trying to grow a person here! Slow down!" It amazes me sometimes the amount of energy it really takes to be pregnant (until I think about what's really happening inside my body, and then I'm amazed that I'm ever awake at all).

I hit the 5-months-pregnant mark today. My total weight gain up to now is about 15lbs. People definitely notice the belly now and have been making more comments, asking when I'm due, and I even had a woman give me her place on the tram once earlier this week. My belly's also starting to get in the way when I'm trying to do stuff, which is kind of amusing. I wonder when I'll get to the point of not being able to see my feet...

six word sunday: His dreams of adventure, finally realized.

His dreams of adventure, finally realized.

six word sunday challenge

(I was originally going to use this 6ws, but I think I'll keep that one on flickr alone for now...)

Saturday, October 13, 2007

A Day in Pictures

After getting a bit of a later start than initially planned, me, Zach and Jennie headed out along the southern border of Lake Geneva towards the town on Yvoire.

This was a gorgeous little kitty that we saw hanging out near the water. He was not very friendly however... I have a light scratch on my hand from when I tried to pet him.

Trying to figure out where to go next...

We made a brief stop in Evian (yes, as in the bottled water company) to walk around a bit, but soon were on our way again. Zach was itching to go up the mountains a bit in hopes of getting above the fog, and we wound up in the town of Abondance.

We got some hot chocolate at a "historic cafe" and were amused by a large group of older French people who were loudly talking and joking with each other at the bar.

A stop along our drive home. Fall has started, and the leaves are beginning to turn. We saw some gorgeous colors today.

After a bit of confusion on the highways coming back, we made it home where I found a package in the mailbox from the school where I used to work in California. Apparently, the teachers had told the children that I'm pregnant, and the kids were all so excited that many of them made things for me-- including 3 beaded necklaces, some paintings, many drawings and some very sweet letters. =)

Friday, October 12, 2007

london visitor

Jennie arrived this afternoon. Zach picked her up from the airport, then we gave her the tour of the house and took a short walk around the village. We decided to go into Geneva for dinner and wound up walking around quite a bit trying to find a place that we liked (and that had views of the lake), and ended up in a restaurant that was mostly empty (on a Friday night), but the food was pretty good anyway. Then we came home and had ice cream. =)

Jennie moved to London, from North Carolina, earlier this year, so we've had a good time talking about living in Europe, and the differences between the UK and the rest of Europe, etc. I think tomorrow we may visit some of the cute towns along the French side of Lake Geneva, though our plans are sort of nebulous still. We'll see what develops.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

New Internet Addictions, and Cute Kitties

So I joined facebook today. At the urging of some of my new local Geneva friends. And it's kinda fun. ; ) I might like it better than myspace... though I think I probably should get past the initial fun setting-up of everything first before making such declarations.

Today was fairly uneventful-- I laid in bed reading (with Sierra curled up on my lap), washed dishes, cleaned up a bit downstairs... tomorrow I have some more tidying up to do before Jennie arrives from London to spend the weekend with us. =) We don't really have set plans yet for what to do while she's here, but then again sometimes that just works out better than the whole "planning" bit organized people like to go on about. Tonight Zach and I went into town to hear a child psychologist from the local Brazelton institute give a talk about their methods, and how to try to understand babies' needs a bit better by looking at their non-verbal communication. Unfortunately the lecture itself wasn't all that informative (I think the fact that she was giving it in English hurt her a bit, not being as free to express things as she would've maybe liked) but my curiosity is peaked and I might check out one of their books. Though a lot of it (from my limited knowledge) seems to center on really observing the infant, and gauging how they react to stimuli to see how much they can tolerate (and keeping that in mind for future interactions so as not to overwhelm them).

So my friend Jessica has these kittens. And she's trying to find homes for them. And, dammit, they're friggin beyond adorable (I haven't even seen them in real life yet, this is all from the pictures I've seen). And I totally want a kitten (who wouldn't want a kitten???). But we can't have a kitten. There's a million reasons why it would not be good for us to get a kitten right now (not the least of which being that we'll have an infant to take care of in about 4 months). But damn would it be fun to have a kitten in this house, to play with Sierra and run up and down the stairs with her.

At night, as bedtime approaches, I think Sierra senses it and will start going up and down the stairs and want to play on them. The best is when she's up on a floor above me, and she peeks her head between the steps down at me:
She's just too cute sometimes. Like when I open the front door upon returning from an afternoon out and about and I immediately hear the sound of the bell on her collar ringing as she rushes down the steps to greet me. Just a minute ago she went NUTS batting at the glass on our front door, her tail all poofed, and Zach and I immediately became curious, and very proud of our cute, feisty kitty, while running to the door to find out what was going on. Turns out there was a cat in our patio. Sierra's still sitting at the front window, keeping watch (this might be another reason not to get a new cat). Ah, Sierra. It will be a bit sad when we don't have as much time to hang out with her anymore. I just hope she doesn't take it out on Loki...

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

From coffee, to market, and back to coffee again

I headed into town this morning for the new member coffee at the women's club. It went pretty well, especially the part where one of the women that stood and talked about getting settled in Geneva mentioned a Mexican store in Carouge that sells handmaid tortillas. And tortilla chips. And salsa. First thing I did once we broke for drinks and cookies was to find this woman and ask her about said magical place (ok, actually the first thing I did was grab a water and some delicious-looking brownies, but then I went looking for her), and she said she'd have to get my email and send me the info. Unfortunately we didn't get to that before I left, but she'll be at an event we're going to tomorrow so I'll have to get info from her then (or give her mine, or whatever we need to do). I told Zach about this tonight when he got home from class, and he's absolutely psyched.

I then grabbed a lunch empanada from the stand on Rue de Marche (so yum) and went on to the public hospital to talk to someone about health insurance info, which went surprisingly well even in all French (now I just have to call our insurance company again and get something called a "prise en charge" from them). I'm still not 100% decided on giving birth there, but it's definitely looking like the best option right now mainly b/c of their attitudes about the labor and birth process.

I then stopped into this little children's boutique that sells these gorgeous wooden nursery items that I browsed at before, but was too shy to actually ask prices (and they were not listed, always a dangerous sign). I was particularly drawn to one item-- you know those things that are shaped like a sawhorse that you can hang toys and stuff off and baby lays under it and plays with the toys that dangle down? You know how normally they're plastic, painted with loud colors, and play obnoxious music? Yeah, I'm kinda developing an aversion to plastic, brightly-colored, obnoxious-music-playing baby things (Michelle, our neighbor, actually has one she offered to us, and she turned it on to play music, and Zach looked at me with this utter horror in his eyes and I immediately said "It's ok we can take the batteries out."). This store had one that was made of wood, simple, and absolutely gorgeous. I actually asked the price today-- 56chf, I think it was. Pricey, I know. There's a reason most parents opt for the plastic alternative. But the wood one just looks so much better. So while we're definitely going on the simple, minimalistic side as far as most baby items and toys (the bugaboo I think will remain a wish and a dream for now), I think I can use that as an excuse to splurge on these occasional pieces that I just adore.

I then spent some time meandering around the Plainpalais flea market. It was my second time to go there-- the first time I found this adorable wooden cat ring-holder for 5chf, I think. This time, towards the end, I found these really pretty _____ that were also inexpensive that will be serving as someone's Christmas presents (what, you think I'd spoil the surprise?). It's fun to peruse some of the stuff being sold (one man's trash is another man's treasure... though some of it is just plain trash). It's also fun walking past and seeing some of the vendors playing cards on a table by their set-up, or eating hot cheese fondue from a pot, chatting with each other and their friends. I took some pictures, but haven't uploaded them yet. Perhaps tomorrow.

After the making the rounds at the market I stopped by a coffee shop nearby and sipped an incredibly yummy cappuccino with caramel syrup while I read my latest library book, Prep. I have a ton of pregnancy/baby books to read still, but I've been hankering for some fun fiction and this definitely is footing the bill. I'm in book-devouring mode right now, and I'll probably finish this one in the next day or 2. I'm liking the book and the main character most of the time, though she also at times strikes me as such a teenager, with all that angst and self-consciousness, and I just want to take her and explain to her that, all these things she's so worried and anxious about? They don't matter. Really. But I guess we all go through that self-conscious 16-yr-old phase, and the only way to learn in through experience, isn't it?

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Moms & Tea

I had a longish day in town today, but it was a good one. I first headed out to stop by a women's club in Geneva, planning to stop in, sign up for a membership, then pop back out to go to my yoga class at noon. Well, turns out the mothers-of-young-children group was meeting right when I got there, so they invited me to sit in with them which was really cool. Everyone was really nice, all the children seemed to be under 2yrs old (and pretty adorable) so many of them are new moms, and even met another mom who's pregnant and shares my due date. =) I'm excited to have some mommy/preggo friends who are local, whose brains I can pick about where to get stuff and how to handle this or that.

I had made plans to meet up with Jessica, Melanie, Hillary, and Sophia for lunch at 1:30 (after yoga) and wound up making it out of the women's club just in time to go make it on time for lunch. We tried out this tiny Chinese tea house that serves dim sum, and it was fabulous. The food was delicious, and they had about 100 different kinds of teas. I can't wait to go back and try it again.

After lunch I headed to the English library to donate some magazines, and check out a couple books (gotta make use of that membership fee!). On my way back to my bus stop I stopped by a couple small baby stores in town, to eye their selection of strollers and car seats (now that I have a bit better of an idea what I'm looking at). I have to say there's something quite disheartening about walking into one of these places and seeing every single car seat cost at least 250chf (about $200), when I know I could get a Graco Snug Ride (a pretty highly-rated car seat) in the US for less than half that price. I've been told that the European/Swiss car seats may have some additional safety features that the US versions lack, but that doesn't seem like it should justify a 100+% price increase. I also finally found a store that had some moses baskets for sale, but they were listed as 200chf (I've seen them listed for $60 in the US). The good news, is hopefully a car seat will be one of the few things we have to buy here for full price. Zach met a mom with 2 boys (2 and 4 yrs old) in his French class that's offered to sell us a bunch of her old baby gear, including some strollers she has and a bassinet/cradle/moses basket (Zach was unclear which of these it was by the description, but was told it's very cute, and for babies to sleep in that are under 3 months old-- perfect).

Oh, and my prenatal yoga DVD came in the mail today! I'm excited. Maybe I'll try it out tomorrow afternoon. =)

Monday, October 08, 2007

Baby Shoppin'

I did a lot of online shopping today-- it's starting to hit me that I don't have that much more time to get ready for this kid! I ordered 2 baby slings (one of these in "seasons in the sun"- 2nd row down, on the left-- and one of these in light blue-- a better pic here). The second sling I got at a discount b/c of "minor aesthetic flaws." I'm really excited about these slings, I really like the concept of "baby wearing," especially after hearing about the benefits it can provide mom and baby (makes sense, more physical contact and comfort). I sent the slings to my in-laws' house, they'll be coming out to visit at the end of the month and so should be able to bring the stuff with them (yay for saving on shipping!).

I also bought some books off, and baby bottles. I've chosen to go with glass bottles, mostly b/c of all the hooplah being raised about bisphenol-A, a chemical found in most plastic baby bottles that could cause weird hormone disruptions in babies. I plan to breastfeed anyway, and being a stay-at-home-mom I'll be doing most of my feedings straight from the boob, but we'll want to have bottles around occasionally anyway for nights out and for daddy feedings, so yeah. I figure I don't make a habit of breaking the glasses I drink out of, and we won't be letting baby hold the bottles on his own, so it should be pretty safe.

In other news, yesterday our village had a big garage sale. One long street was lined up with tables, and various neighbors were each selling their old stuff, mostly kid toys and books. In Zach's words, "even their garage sales here are adorable." =P We bought a couple French children's books (2chf each, a friggin steal considering how expensive books are here) and Michelle our neighbor gave us a few toys left over from her grandkid's sale (he'd sold everything else). We also got a new cat tree for Sierra. =) She hasn't touched it yet, but I'm sure she's just taking her time. I remember when I bought one large toy for her, back in CA, and she didn't play with it for months, and then one morning we found the thing massacred and dismantled after what appeared to be a very vigorous night of play. I deemed that toy a successful purchase. ; )

This morning started out foggy and cold, as many past ones have lately, but by noon it was sunny and fairly warm again. I can deal with the morning gloom if we get sun each afternoon. Hopefully it keeps up.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

La Fete du Village

Tonight (saturday night) our village was having a party, hosted by the local youth association to raise money for... something they do... The youth association is basically made up of young people that live in the village who are over 18, and not yet married. Interesting.

We figured we'd go over and make an appearance, even though we don't really know anyone (perhaps for that exact reason, really). Kinda nervous at first, we walked up, got some food, and I found a spot at a picnic table near some people that had a young girl in a stroller. Then I realized that the people were speaking English. So I used my recent stroller research to start up a conversation-- I asked the mom what kind she had (some big cool-looking jogging stroller) and the convo flowed from there. It was great. Turns out her parents ( so the baby's grandparents) live in the village, grandma is Dutch and grampa is Brittish but by birth only and has traveled everywhere (army brat, basically). They all spoke perfect English. Grandma talked to me for about 5 minutes before offering me a bunch of baby stuff (that she said they'll of course need back by the time the 2nd grandbaby is born, but it'll be a while till then apparently). I told her, "Of course! Thank you! I'll take what I can get!" Especially since the first thing she offered was a "baby basket" which I'm thinking may be a moses basket, which is precisely what I want Loki to sleep in for those first several months so I can carry him around the house with me easily.

Zach also got to talking to an older couple sitting on his other side, who also spoke a bit of English and were very nice, and later we said hi to an American couple that we met a few months ago that moved to the village 16 yrs ago and never left. I've been meaning to go talk to the mom, Connie, for a while to ask her about baby stuff (she had 2 of her 4 children here) so it was great to meet her and get to share our news this way (her house is tucked away down a random street and hard to just swing by). She also seems to know lots of other people here, and immediately introduced us to some neighbors (whose backyard we look out onto from our kitchen window) who, again, are Swiss yet speak perfect English.

So yeah, overall it was a really great night to mingle and meet people, and although we were sorta prepared to have to fumble through in French we only had to do that for a short bit of the time. It's amazing how well so many Europeans known English... it used to be if I heard someone speaking with a perfect US accent I'd assume they were American... no more. You just can't assume that, as so many of them simply learned it early enough and with an American teacher, or perfected it by watching American TV. It was also funny to see people's reactions when we told them which house we live in-- apparently it really is famous in the village, having been empty, run down, and inhabited by squatters for a while before it got remodeled and we moved in. I think the entire village was quite happy to see someone actually do something nice with the house, and we by association are welcomed.

Another funny thing about the party-- they had a live band, who played all American music (including some Beatles songs and "Money for Nothing"). The lead singer was Scottish, which I guess explains the English-language setlist a bit... but it was still a kick to hear some of the things they played. Zach and I did get up and two-step to one country-ish song, and watched as others danced the "rock and roll" which looks very much like swing. Zach was cute, kind of afraid to really dance much for fear of hurting me and my growing belly. =P Connie mentioned that after the band, a DJ was set to come on and play I guess dance music... which is what all the young people present were waiting around for. I retired early as I was starting to feel a definite decline in energy, Zach went back to mingle a bit more. I'll be curious what other fete stories he brings back.

(As a random aside, does anyone know how to make the different accents on blogger... or email, or other applications? I figure I'll need to learn this at some point...)

Friday, October 05, 2007

to bugaboo or not to bugaboo?

I met up with Monika for lunch today, a local mommy that I've gotten in touch with online and finally got to meet face-to-face today. She has 2 kids, one of which is at a Montessori school here in Geneva so we talked a bit about that, and other stuff like baby gear. She has a Bugaboo Frog stroller that she's used with both her kids, and she's been giving me the hard sell on it. And I must admit, I'm kinda falling for it... I remember randomly looking up their website one day since I'd heard the name "Bugaboo" so much, and I immediately fell in love with the amazing contraptions I saw (well, until I noticed the prices attached to them). But then I saw hers today, which is 4 yrs old and still looks practically like new. And to watch her with it... she was maneuvering that thing around one-handed, and it looked so easy and light, and turned on a dime! I was very impressed, especially since one of my biggest fears about strollers is what a pain in the ass they look like they can be half the time for the poor mom that's pushing it. And they're so compact-- the Bee is only 20" wide! How awesome is that?

I'm still not sure I'm ready to pay $500-$800 for one (and those would be US prices), though. Lindsey's lent us a bunch of her old baby stuff that Ryan's not using anymore, and I think I'm gonna see if we can use her old stroller. That, or I might ask for Mom's help in scourging for something used that's still in decent condition. Then I can not spend a ton of money, see how much I really use a stroller to begin with, and if it seems like splurging on a really nice one will be worth it, well then maybe that'll be my birthday and christmas gifts next year. ;) It certainly would get plenty of use-- we're planning on having 2 (possibly 3) kids, and it would also likely get passed on to other siblings as they have kids, so... Isn't rationalization dangerous??? =P

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Yay fish!

This is an interesting article I found today regarding pregnancy and eating fish. Basically, b/c omega-3 fatty acids are so incredibly good for baby, they recommend eating at least 12 oz of fatty fish every week. However, still worried about mercury, they also say not to eat more than 12oz of fish/week... so I guess 12oz/week it is! I know I don't get quite that much fish in, but I'm taking supplements and will definitely enjoy some good salmon as often as I can get my hands on it.

Moving on... today was a pretty chill day. The tickle in my throat and occasional stuffiness is leading me to believe that I may have a slight cold, so I had quite the lazy day today. Sierra took a nice nap with me in the early afternoon, curling up on my chest/shoulder/neck trying to get some neck scratches from me. She's such a sweet kitty sometimes. =) I tried to make some phone calls this afternoon to set up some stuff I've been putting off lately (like trying to get an antenna installed at our house so we can watch the public access TV that we're already paying for), but they all went unanswered so now I'm left waiting for email replies. We'll see how well that goes.

Tomorrow I might be meeting up with a local mommy who I met online, and possibly doing some shopping as well (or at least exploring more options for baby shopping). I have a list of other things I need to take care of in town that I'll need to get to next week (like talking to the hospital about insurance stuff, and trying out the French convo sessions at the Women's Club). I can be a bad procrastinator at times, but I've let this stuff slide long enough.

Loki must've liked the soup Zach made for dinner tonight-- he's kicking me gently, but steadily, just to the left of my belly button. =)

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Good Day

I met up with Melanie, Hillary, and their friend Sophia today for lunch in Carouge. It was quite lovely. Today started out foggy, just like the past few mornings, but by lunch I was getting blinded by the sun as we sat outside. I also discovered that these girls apparently are just as addicted to The Hills as I am... I'm not the only crazy! lol ; ) Hillary even introduced me to a great gossip blog that does these recaps of each episode. I'm in love! Afterwards we walked around a bit, and had some gelatto from this little place Melanie had found. It was yummy.

As we were walking back to our apartments/tram stops, I also spied a little restaurant across the street that had Condorito on the window... and then I realized that the restaurant was named "El Copihue" and also had a painting of the flower on another window. So I'm guessing this is a little Chilean restaurant, and we'll definitely have to go back and check it out and see what their menu looks (and tastes) like. =)

And now I'm back home, catching up on gossip and bloggings, and as I read another installment in poor Jessica's Search for Decent Housing in Geneva, I am struck by how lucky we got, and how sweet of a deal Zach's work gave us when they signed us up with the relocation agency. I knew they'd saved us a crapload of headaches, but my goodness I didn't realize just how many that might've been.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

21 weeks

I had my check-up this morning, and everything's still going fabulously. We did an ultrasound (as usual) and as soon as Loki popped up on the screen my doctor says "Aw, he's big!" lol She estimated that he weights nearly a pound now. All his measurements were in the 60-80% for being 21 weeks along (she said his head measured for 23 weeks... yikes! Maybe he'll come out a bit early?). He was being all active during the ultrasound, I felt him kick a few times as she was moving the sensor around. The doctor gave me a photo of his feet pushing up against my uterus. =P

I then went to my yoga class, and then did a bit of shopping before coming home and plunking down at the table with my feet up, at the computer for a few hours. The weather was nice out (the day started out with this dense fog, but by afternoon the sun had come out and burned most of the fog off) so Sierra got to have some outside time.

Some of Zach's coworkers from California are out here on business so we met up with them at La Trattoria, this Italian place near the gare, for dinner. The food was pretty good, and aside from it being all male coworkers, and me, it was a nice enough dinner. The "shop talk" was fairly limited. ; ) Some of these guys I've met before at different work functions, but they haven't seen me with my big belly so that was kinda fun to show off.

My next appt is in 3 more weeks, to do the glucose test to check for gestational diabetes. Part of me thinks perhaps I should get in as much sugar and chocolates before then, just in case I test positive and can't have them anymore for the rest of the pregnancy. ; ) heh heh

Monday, October 01, 2007

Warning: Ranting Ahead

I'm feeling kinda blah today. It hasn't necessarily been a bad day, just... I don't know. I wanted to have the car today to drive over to one of the private clinics to take a tour, so I had to wake up early and take Zach to work. I came back home and called the clinic, made an appointment with someone for 3pm, and took a nap. The tour of the clinic went ok, but for some reason I just didn't get a good feeling. Can't completely put my finger on it. I guess part of it was getting stuck in traffic on the way there (construction). Then it took me forever to actually find the floor where the lady I was meeting with was (and had to walk up 4 flights of stairs b/c I kept being told to go up one more floor, and couldn't find the friggin elevators). The midwife was nice enough, answered all my questions, and showed me the labor and post partum rooms. We were done in all of about 20 minutes (partially b/c a lot of the questions I had about what will or won't be allowed during labor she said would be up to my doctor). Then I went back down to the reception desk to try to find someone to talk to about insurance, and the lady pointed me down this one hall and said to go upstairs and ask for Anabel... I walked down the hall, which was short, dead-end, and had no stairs or elevator. WTF? I just walked out. By then I was kinda fed up of getting lost in that hospital. B/c it's a private clinic it is a bit nicer looking than the public hospital, and they do allow having more people in the delivery room (the hospital said only 1 at a time), but I don't know... again, I just walked out of there not feeling happy. So I guess it's a no-go for that clinic.

I guess part of what's bugging me is that the midwife that showed me around the hospital took a good 1.5 hrs to show me around, answer questions, gave me some pamplets, took me with her to ask about insurance stuff, etc. The gal at the clinic was, again, very nice, but not as proactive? I dunno. Maybe it's unfair to judge based on one employee at each place. But I'm also not going to go against my gut.

And now I'm kinda frustrated b/c I've been trying to research this possibility of getting a child allowance from Geneva canton, but I can't find any reliable info-- it's all hearsay on message boards, and I have no idea if we (as non-Swiss citizens, not even EU citizens) would qualify. Zach wanted me to try to find more info online before he asked about it at work, but I don't think I'm gonna get any further than I am now. So I emailed him the threads regarding the allowances and I think it's now gonna be his job to ask at work... since, you know, they might actually know something that's worthwhile and reliable (if we do qualify for this, the payouts would come from his employer).

Tomorrow I go in for my next check-up, and I'll be armed with a long list of questions to ask her (starting with whether I need to get a flu shot and how/where to do so, and on into the big labor discussion). Hopefully I can actually get some answers. I think the most frustrating thing about this whole ordeal is being given the run-around. I ask my doctor if she can deliver at so-and-so hospital, and she tells me that I should check first if my insurance covers it. I call the insurance that ask about this, and they say they'll cover, but to ask the hospital if they'll take a direct payment. I ask the hospital about taking a direct payment from my insurance, and they tell me I have to ask the insurance company or at the very least bring in a copy of my benefits (which are in English, we'll see if that's at all good enough). At times it feels as if no one's willing to give me a straight answer.

And, of course, I'm sure hormones and pregnancy emotionality are not helping make any of this feel any easier.

(PS- To make everything worse? I have been dealing with one horribly ugly zit at the corner of my mouth for a good week now, and it's finally going away.... only to be replaced by another big fat painful monstrosity on my chin. Nice. And the acne cream I've been trying to use against them? I swore I read online that it was fine to use during pregnancy, only to then come across something else the other day saying never to use that stuff. I'm just gonna trust that Loki's fine, no weird mutant powers thanks to Clearasil.)


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