Friday, November 30, 2007

No to Bern, Yes to the Cowboys

The past few weeks Zach's had a possible business trip to China hanging over his head. This trip would take place the week before Christmas (or so was the original plan). It's unfortunate b/c normally Zach would be excited to goto China, but we'd already thought he was done traveling for a few months. So last week it looked like this trip was a nearly sure thing for him, so we'd planned to take today and go to Bern so he could file for his visa at the embassy there.

Except, as tends to happen with these install trips, the machines he'd be working with apparently might not be getting there in time, meaning the trip would get pushed back, meaning Zach wouldn't be able to do it after all. Because, well, my dad and sister will be here till Jan 8 or so, and after that I'll be about full-term and there's no way in hell I'm letting Zach travel halfway around the world while there's a decent chance of this baby coming while he's away.

So, no Bern trip today. There's still a chance, it seems, that he might still go, during the scheduled time, in which case he can mail in the stuff to the embassy in the US and apparently it'd be faster than doing it here anyway (hah, figures). So, we'll see.

My back-up plan for today was to go into town to run a couple errands, one of them being going to an Orange store b/c I recently realized that the voicemail on my cell phone seems to not be working. But instead I stayed home, finished reading My Sister's Keeper (um, holy cow!) and started my Switzerland scrapbook. I'm not terribly happy with the first few pages I made today, they're pretty simplistic and not very inspired, but at least it's started.

Then Zach emailed me about trying to watch the recent Cowboys game, and so we basically invited ourselves over to Ryan and Hillary's place again for the night and that's where we're off to in a few minutes. =P

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Things That Become a Challenge When Your Belly Grows to Astronomical Proportions

1. Getting dressed. Little things like, say, putting on pants, socks, and even tying your shoes become just a bit harder to do when you have a big belly in the way.

2. Grabbing those last items out of the grocery cart
. Especially when the aisle at the check-out counter is too narrow for you to try to go around the cart to grab things on the far side. Instead you have to go up on your tiptoes, slug your belly over the edge of the cart, and lean waaay over to grab that last bottle of milk that's stuck way in the far corner of the cart.

3. Slouching
. When you've got baby part stuck up into your ribs, you want to do everything possible to give your ribcage as much space as you can.

4. Using your ab muscles
. Which are practically nonexistent at this point. It was weeks ago that Zach and I were driving, me in the passenger seat, and I realized that in order to lean forward to, say, change the radio channel I had to grab onto the door handle and pull myself up with my arm. Such a small motion that you take for granted, until you can't quite make it anymore.

5. Picking things up off the floor
. You can't really bend over at the waist, since your belly soon hits your thighs and well there's nowhere else to go. So you have to keep your upper body straight and squat down with your legs, which I guess is technically the "proper" way to pick up stuff so I guess that's a good thing?

6. Washing dishes
. Normally I lean my body right up against the counter when washing dishes. Except now my growing uterus is in the way, so I have to stand back a bit, which means I have to lean my upper body forward to still reach the sink well, and that just gets awkward after a few minutes.

Just, you know, a few things I've noticed recently that are a bit more difficult to do than they were, say, 6 months ago.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007


Nothing exciting to report today. I dealt with the insurance stuff, or as much as I can for the moment-- I made an excel spreadsheet with all the info and more numbers are adding up than I previously thought, although there's still 2 claims that I sent in that they've done nothing about, and 2 others that got approved and everything and they say they sent wire transfers but according to MS Money those never showed up. Hm. So I'll have Zach check the bank account just in case, I guess, and then call back if I need to. Fun stuff, eh? ; ) I'm glad I'm getting more organized about this now, though, hopefully things will be more in check by Loki's arrival, when I'll have less time and patience to deal with it all.

I also organized some stuff around the house, and took out a bunch of recycling that's been cluttering up one of our closets.

And now I'm feeling Loki move around in my belly, and honestly it sorta feels like he's kneading on the skin around my belly button. Feels weird. hah

Zach has his French class tonight so won't be home for another couple hours yet. I might go curl up with a book until then...

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Fun Ikea shopping today, not-fun chores tomorrow...

I met up with Hillary and Sophia today at Ikea for Swedish meatballs and some shopping. My goal was to get a dresser for Loki's room (that will double as a changing table) and perhaps an extra lamp or 2. I came home with each of those things... and a bunch of other stuff as well. Like a wine rack (that actually holds all our wine bottles!) and a small cutting board and this gorgeous vase I've been lusting after since I first saw it at Ikea a good 3 trips ago. So yeah, probably spent too much, but that's why I don't go very often. ; )

I discovered today that apparently in Switzerland the police will do random checks of drivers for their license and registration. I discovered this when I got stopped while on the entrance ramp onto the highway while leaving Ikea. I have never gotten stopped by a cop before. Ever. I'm glad I at least had the guts to ask him why he stopped me after he'd handed my stuff back to me, and yeah it was a random check. Which I guess is not a bad idea to do, but seems like such a strange concept coming from the US. I mean, you're only supposed to get stopped when you're doing something wrong, right?

Anyway. So I got home and set up my new Ikea purchases, and then sat down at the computer to try to check up on insurance stuff. See our insurance makes us pay up-front and then they reimburse us the money, and after a few smooth repayments I'd assumed they were on top of things. Well it seems they are not, and there's a bunch of claims that have gone unprocessed, and it'll take more time than I'm prepared to give it tonight, so looks like I'll be spending a good part of tomorrow dealing with that. And calling the antenna guy that was supposed to come install one in our house about a month and a half ago but have yet to hear back from. Yes, it will be a fun day tomorrow.

Monday, November 26, 2007

highs and lows

Today was to be a day of rest. I got up and had breakfast, cleaned up a bit in the kitchen (amazingly, after running one big dishwasher load last night before bed, we had very little left to clean), and spent some time internetting. Sierra played model for me as I toyed with the camera some more, finally venturing away from the automatic settings and getting a feel for settings like shutter speed, ISO, and aperture size and what they do to pictures. It's amazing and so gratifying when you spend 20 minutes playing with something, and all of a sudden it goes from feeling WAY-over-your-head to "hey, I kinda get this!" Sierra seemed somewhat annoyed by all the picture taking, but oh well. She's pretty and makes a pretty subject. =P

This afternoon I chatted on aim with an old friend who's in the marines and has been stationed in Japan for the past few years. He said that in February he'll be going to Afghanistan for 9 months, to help train the Afghan national army. I didn't really know how to respond at first... do you say "oh, cool" or "that sucks" or what? He's been in a position that's seemed pretty safe the past few years, and it's scary to think of him being in a more dangerous situation. And so I guess you just hope that he does ok and nothing bad happens. He seemed to be in good enough spirits about it... not happy to go, but ok with it. It was good to talk to him, though. It'd been kind of a while.

On a lighter note... I brought out my box of Christmas decorations today. Unfortunately there's not a whole lot I can put out quite yet-- most of them are tree ornaments (need to get a tree) and I have a couple strings of lights but they're the wrong voltage to work here. I'll also have to figure out how to hang up our stockings, since I'm nervous about nailing anything into the wooden mantle, and the wall around it is pretty much solid rock. Hmmm but maybe these sticky hooks I got a while back might work... I'm sure I'll figure something out. ; )

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Afternoon Walk, and a Late Thanksgiving

The sun came out today, for the first time in several days, so while my pumpkin pie cooled Zach and I took a walk around the village and took a few pictures with the new camera. Below is a sampling:

The snow! It's melting! Nooooooo!! ; )
The incredible growing belly. =P
We came across a bunch of girls taking horse-riding lessons, and this little girl and her pony were just adorable beyond words!
The village Christmas decorations are out!

Our Thanksgiving(ish) dinner was tonight. I'd gotten some chickens from Coop to make, and also some salad and green beans, and baked the pumpkin pie and pumpkin bread. Mélanie and Sylvan brought mashed potatoes and prosecco, Sophia and Tyler brought candied yams, Sara and Christov brought carrot cupcakes with cream cheese frosting and some bread from their town's famous French bakery, and Jonathan brought some wine and beer. It was an incredible meal, each dish utterly delicious, and somehow we still had some room left over to sample the scrumptious desserts. I'd say our first Swiss dinner party was a success, and I'm very much inspired to have more of them. Which I guess I'll have to hurry up and do before baby comes... ; )

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Blogging Dilemmas

After playing around with a few different blogging platforms, I've come to be really happy with blogger for my daily bloggings. However, I'm thinking of starting up a separate blog for Loki once he arrives, and although at first I just assumed I'd do it here on blogger as well, I'm wondering if I should instead consider other options.

Loki's blog would mainly be a place to post pictures and updates for the grandparents, family, and anyone else who's interested, to read and enjoy. That way I don't innundate this blog with the million pictures I'm sure to take of this kid, and people who just want to read about him don't have to wade through my daily random thoughts. ; ) Since many of the people I'd want to write the blog for aren't that good at reading blogs, I'd also probably set up a feedblitz newsletter that would email the posts to them (with their permission, of course).

One of my concerns is that I want to make it as easy as possible to upload and post pictures. Blogger's ok, I have 1GB of storage space for this username which is a decent amount and has worked well enough so far b/c I usually post reduced sized pictures... although that's kind of a pain in the butt, and time consuming, and I know I'll want to just upload the pictures right off the camera and won't have the time/patience to go through and re-size them all the time. And if I'm wanting this to be any sort of a long-term deal I'm afraid I'd run out of room quickly by uploading full-sized images.

Looking at the other free blogging options, I remembered I was very impressed to see that they offer 2GB of storage space, per month. For free. They also have a direct link with flickr, making it easy to transfer pictures over and post them (and those wouldn't count towards the 2GB of space allotted, either). So that's a definite plus.

However-- it's much more of a closed community, in that you have to be a member in order to post comments. You get a lot less freedom with setting up your page and sidebars, etc. Also, and this may sound silly, but blogging sites like Vox and are definitely built to be more of networking blogging sites, what with the subscriptions and neighborhoods, etc. Blogger, however, is a bit more isolated-- which I kind of like for my personal, daily blog, and was kinda wanting also for Loki's blog.

Of course as I'm writing that I'm realizing that I've lately been blessed to meet some really cool people randomly through this blog, and why would it be a bad thing to be in a more connected blogging network?

So I don't know... I may set up a practice site and play around with it to see how I like it before deciding.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Grumpy (but with a silver lining)

I am feeling tired and grumpy today. I think that 3rd trimester fatigue is definitely kicking in. And it's been cloudy and rainy for about 4 days straight now. And I went to the store today, again, to get some last few things for this weekend, and got home to realize that I'd still forgotten a couple things and will have to go back tomorrow. I could go today, but that would require me having the energy to go back out again. That's what I get for rushing out the door to the grocery store without taking stock of what I've got at home already, and writing out a proper list.

But I don't want to dwell on the grumpiness, so instead I'll write about last night. My friend Hillary graciously invited a few of us over to her apartment to watch some of the Thanksgiving football games since they have the Yahoo sports package thingie. This is even though she and her hubby were leaving early this morning to go to Belgium for the weekend. So Zach and I showed up around 7ish I think, and had a great time hanging out with Hillary and Ryan, and Sophia and her hubby Tyler who were also there. Being that it was Thanksgiving, and a turkey dinner was not to be had, we did the next best thing-- we ordered pizza from Domino's. And holy crap was it yummy. Hillary also had made some chocolate chip cookies that were delicious (even if they did come in a package and all she did was stick them in the oven =P). Unfortunately we didn't get to stay long enough to watch the Dallas game (it started around 10pm) but I think Zach enjoyed the football, and it was fun to hang out with new friends-- especially for Zach since he hasn't gotten to do much of that lately.

I also got to talk to Mom and Jen and Daddy a bit last night. I called Mom at 5pm here (so 10am Texas time?) expecting her to be in the kitchen working on a turkey, but instead she was at the Turkey Trot walking (with Philip and Jen running ahead) and so I got to chat with her as she walked the last mile or 2 of the race and then spent a couple minutes talking to Daddy and Jen as well. Jen was quite proud of herself for having run 5 miles. I told her to eat lots of turkey and pie for me and Nephew (her nickname for Loki). =P

Tonight then is the UT v A&M game, and I think we're gonna pay to watch it online here at home. It starts at 9pm here... meaning I think I need to go take a nap so I can stay up to watch it.

EDIT: Actually, there may be hope for the pumpkin pie yet! I just looked up some links and apparently it's relatively easy to make your own evaporated milk, using either powdered milk or letting regular milk simmer so the water content gets reduced. Hmmm....

Thursday, November 22, 2007


For my husband, whom I have loved for 10 years, who knows me better than anyone else in this world.

For living in Switzerland, and the gorgeous home in which we live here.

For the local friends I have made.

For all the family and friends that we miss back home.

For this child that I am carrying and all the joy he already brings into our lives.

For the ease this pregnancy has been graced with (thus far).

For all the places we have traveled to and seen this year.

For all these silly material things we can spend money on without worrying too much.

For our good health.

For a good life.

For all these things, and so much more, I give thanks.


I am making a pumpkin pie this morning that I will then take in to Zach's work, since most of his coworkers are European and therefore have most likely not experienced this utter yummy goodness yet. I even found a can of whipped cream to go with it.

Tonight I'd thought of making a small Turkey Day meal for just the 2 of us, but then we got an invite by Hillary to go to their apartment to watch the football game since they have the Yahoo sports package. Unfortunately, Dallas is the late game, not starting here till... 10pm-ish? I know Zach's disappointed about that. But at least he'll get to watch some proper American football, and get to hang out with new friends. =)

Sunday I've organized a bit of a Thanksgiving pot-luck with some friends. Unfortunately, both Zach and I are pretty intimidated by the idea of trying to cook a turkey ourselves, so we might opt for a different kind of meat (I know, this is sacrilege...) but I will probably also make pumpkin bread for dessert, and if I can find another can of evaporated milk at the American Market on Friday then I'll make another pumpkin pie, too. Since, really, we all love the turkey, but isn't pumpkin pie the real star of Thanksgiving? ; )

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

a post about nothing (wait, isn't that most of them?)

Lately I've been waking up in the middle of the night feeling hungry. Zach hasn't been sleeping well b/c of jet lag. So this is how we both discovered we couldn't go back to sleep at 4am early this morning, and so instead sat in bed talking for a while, then came downstairs to grab a bite to eat, and went back to bed at 6 and slept for the next 4 hours.

That's right, he didn't get up till 10am, about. That's not a normal occurrence. At the same time, I don't think he could ever deal with a job that required him to be there early every single morning. Luckily his job is flexible enough so they don't seem to worry about it too much.

I managed to head out to La Praille this afternoon for a haircut and groceries. By the time I came back I was exhausted... I think that pregnancy fatigue is starting to kick in again. It doesn't help that it seems that when I spend lots of time on my feet my lower back starts hurting, and yesterday and today I spent a decent amount of time on my feet.

And so now I'm on the computer, running out of blogs to read and sites to check, trying to muster up the energy to go wash the dishes... and I'm failing miserably. Crap, and I also wanted to make a pumpkin pie for Zach to take in to work tomorrow... Hmm maybe I should have taken a nap when I got back from the store. Except it was already getting dark and I hate waking up from a nap when it's dark out.

I think tomorrow will be a day of rest.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Out & About

Today was a busy day. I started out going to the Baby Talk group this morning, then after grabbing a panini for lunch I went to Coop City to buy some lightbulbs since we had 2 out (that's 3 bulbs that have burned out in the past month). I got energy-efficient ones, rated to last 8-15 yrs. Too bad we'll only use them for a small fraction of that time, but oh well. They're still saving us electricity, right?

At 2pm I met up with Melanie, Sophia and Hillary at the MEG for a free exposition, and afterwards we went to a little cafe for some tea and girl talk. I then managed to catch the bus in time to be back home by 5pm, so I could clean up a bit before Claudia, a woman from our village, was expected to come over around 6. I'd been given her contact info by the secretary at the women's club when I joined, saying that this woman lived in our village and wanted to do an English-French language exchange. Her number had sat on my bulletin board for a few weeks and finally yesterday I called her and she agreed to come over tonight. Zach got home just in time to meet with her, too. We talked for a while, alternating between English and French, and when she left we had a dinner date with her for 2 weeks from now. I'm also to call her anytime I need anything, or simply want someone to take a walk with and/or practice French. =) Her English, btw, it pretty flawless, but I guess she feels the need to practice still.

Then we had a yummy dinner that Zach made, with chicken and tons of veggies (very good for Loki), and we'll probably be up for not too much longer before heading off to bed. I didn't get much of a chance to use the camera today, but my schedule for tomorrow looks a bit more clear so I should get to do some of that then. ; )

Monday, November 19, 2007

I'm In Love

Zach came back today, and he brought with him... our fancy new toy: And I love it to death already, b/c just with playing with the automatic settings I have already taken better pictures of Sierra than I ever have with my point-and-shoot. These first 2 pics were taken with flash:
(Zach resting after his long flight, Sierra taking advantage of the warm body)
This one was taken from across the room, no flash, in such dim light that I would have never ever gotten a decent shot with my other camera:
And I just love how this one turned out. =)
It's a bit overwhelming looking at all the settings that we have to play around with, but the photos I took around the house this evening really impressed me, and I'm just so excited to get to toy around with this camera and discover what it can do... and what I can do with it.

Sunday, November 18, 2007


This morning I was laying in bed reading, and I started feeling Loki kicking around on my left side. Normally when I feel movements I'll put my hand where he's kicking and just feel him moving. This time I pulled up my shirt and watched my belly-- and was shocked! He was really going at it, making the whole left side of my belly jiggle and shake and move! It was pretty amazing to watch. It made me laugh out loud... which made him stop. He then started up again for a few minutes, then calmed down again.

I can't wait to show Zach when he gets back.

Which, btw, is tomorrow afternoon, woot! It shall be quite nice to have him around again. And he's bringing me lots of goodies, including our new camera! Yay for fun (expensive) new toys. =P

six word sunday: Eagerly, yet patiently, awaiting your arrival.

six word sunday challenge

Saturday, November 17, 2007


I spent several hours last night on the message boards over at The Nest Baby. Then today, I did a different kind of "nesting"-- I swept the floors from top to bottom with my omop (managed to at least get rid of the larger dust bunnies that have started trying to take over), re-arranged some of the things in the closet in the guestroom (aka Loki's future bedroom), and washed and put away many of his clothes.

I kinda laughed at myself a bit as I washed all his tiny baby clothes, separated by age/size. I have a gargantuan amount of 0-3 month sized clothes. Probably a good solid 2-3 weeks of outfits, which in a way is nice b/c that means laundry less often! But I also hope he doesn't outgrow them too quickly, b/c they really are adorable. Then I look at his 3-6 month clothes and he's got plenty of onesies, but only a handful of pants and sleepers. Oh well, if he's true to size that will last him through summer and should do well enough. I'm tempted to buy more clothes for him online, but at this point it's probably best to just wait and see how he does size-wise and what I end up needing...

I do adore his clothes, silly as it may sound, and I can;t wait to get to dress him in them. I will also say, between the wardrobe I'm building up for my little guy and all the girl clothes Lindsey still has in storage, my future nieces and nephews to come will be quite the well-dressed bunch and will hardly have to buy anything at all. ; )

Friday, November 16, 2007

Love It!

A couple years ago I came across this.*

Then today, my sister sent me this link.

All I can say is... long live His noodly appendage. =P

*try this link if the one above doesn't work. I can't get the page to pull up right now, maybe b/c of higher traffic from the news story?

Would it be wierd if I just wore my ski jacket as a winter coat?

After freezing my buns off yet again today while out and about in town, I decided to check what temperature it has been and sure enough I got proof that I'm not just bing a wimp-- today's temps were hovering right around freezing, with a "feels like" rating in the mid-20's (degrees F). That's COLD. I also read on another Swiss blog that apparently this is the snowiest start to a Swiss winter in 55 yrs. I checked's 10-day forecast and it should get a bit warmer next week, at least get above freezing... which might actually be disappointing for Zach since he'll want it to stay nice and cold for a good, early ski season. ; )

Zach mentioned recently that some of his co-workers have been asking if we're registered anywhere for baby stuff, and that it might be good to make a "liste de naissance" at a local store. So I went out to Autour de Bebe (the one decent-sized baby store in town) to do just that this afternoon. Now, registering in most stores in the US has become a pretty high-tech procedure-- you get to go around the store pointing a nifty scan gun to whatever items you want, or you can even start and build your entire registry online if you want. Pretty simple and easy.

I walked into the store today and told them I wanted to start a registry. The lady behind the counter hands me a plain piece of paper (taken from the printer tray) and tells me to write down certain info on the price sticker of whatever items I want. That's it. When I was done I handed her the paper along with my info, and she said "Ok, I'll write it up next week." And basically the way it works is she hand-writes what I wrote down on the paper, onto a special form that she then hands to anyone who wants to buy anything off our list. Honestly, I have no idea how people will be able to find specific items in the store, listed only by their serial number and a vague name. They seem to have an online registry set-up available... just not yet for Geneva. I also feel bad b/c I kept finding myself adding things to the list that were pretty pricey... b/c there just isn't much available that's less than 100chf in baby world, apparently. Oh well. I'm not really planning on people buying much stuff for us anyway, and we get a 10% discount on leftover items at the end so it works out either way. I figure we'll probably just go back in January of early February and buy up the things on the list that we still really want to have, and getting the discount will be worth it.

Thanksgiving is suddenly nearly upon us, and I'm wondering what we'll do to celebrate. I've got half a mind to invite a bunch of people over for a Thanksgiving pot-luck dinner (so what if I've never cooked a turkey before???), but I gotta get the hubby's ok first. ; )

Thursday, November 15, 2007

SNOW!!! And midwife meeting update

IT WAS SNOWING THIS MORNING! Ok, so to all of you used to cold weathers and real winters it was nothing, but to someone used to never seeing snow unless you specifically drove to it, this was pretty exciting. =) It was pretty, too, seeing the little snowflakes falling from the sky and beginning to accumulate on the rooftops. Within an hour of me getting up it had already stopped and the sky was blue and the little bit of snow that had accumulated was already melting, but STILL. =P Hey, that much snow woulda probably shut down all of Austin for the entire morning. ; ) Here's a pic of the Jura mountains with their fresh layer of snow on top:

Ok, onto bigger matters-- I met with the midwife from the birthing center today. I wasn't quite sure what to expect for the appointment, if she was going to do a regular prenatal check up or what, it turned out to basically be more of an interview as I felt her out and she gave me all the info on her practice and the birthing center. I really liked a lot of what I heard. Basically, if I were to choose to continue care with her, I'd see her for appointments and then when I hit 37 weeks she'd officially be "on call" for me for the next 5 weeks, since baby can come at any time after that. Whenever I'd go into labor I'd call her, she'd come to the house to check my progress and would stay with me here until I'd be 3 cm dilated or so. At that point, we'd go to the birthing center and take it from there. The center is basically a house with one birthing room, has a bed, swing, birthing chair, and a big tub where you can take a bath while laboring and even choose to do a water birth. The mid-wife would then stay with me the entire birth, calling on one of the other mid-wives from the center for assistance if needed but otherwise it'd be me, her, Zach and my mom for the entire labor/delivery.recovery process. She showed me some pictures of the space. It seems really nice, basically like giving birth at home, only you don't have to deal with the set-up or clean-up or anything. ; ) After birth, the mid-wife would do at-home check-ups for me and the baby every day for a week, and then every other day or every few days for up to 3 weeks after the birth.

Now, here are the downsides, or the things that make me a bit nervous: There's only one birthing room available, so if another woman happens to already be at the birthing center, I would have to then go with Plan B of going to the public hospital anyway. The mid-wife would take me there and drop me off, and then I'd be in the hospital's care. At first this really turned me off, but then again if my other option is going to that hospital anyway, then what's the difference other than the option to use this fabulous center?

Ok, the other factors that make me pause-- If any sort of complication happens (breech baby, need a c-section, or even if I decide I need an epidural) we'd need to transfer to a hospital. The closest hospital is in Nyon, and is about 5 minutes from the center she said. I'm not sure how to feel about this. The vast majority of births are complication-free, and I do feel fairly certain that I should be able to do this drug-free, especially with the help of a skilled mid-wife who can help me prepare for labor and help relieve the pain through natural methods. But there's still a part of me that wonders...

So right now I kinda feel like I'm 80-85% leaning towards committing to the birthing center, but I want to wait till I take a tour of the center itself. I also want Zach to come with me, so he can weigh in on the decision some-- I definitely feel like I need to talk this through with him before making a decision, since I need him to feel comfortable with it as well. The atmosphere and space seems so much nicer than at the hospital, and I love the idea of being able to have both Zach and Mom present (the public hospital would only allow 1 of them in the room at a time) and to have 1 person taking care of me the whole time (at the hospital the midwives would be rotating according to shift, and then whichever doctor is available would deliver the baby). I just would have to trust that nothing would go wrong, while also being ok with Plan B... which I think I could do.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Yay for comfort foods

So this morning there was no frost on the car, but as I drove Hank and Susan to the airport at 7am I noticed more than just a couple cars on the road that had SNOW on them! Which means that not too far from here it was snowing last night (whereas here it was just rain). On the way back home I also noticed what appears to be snow on the Salève. Again, for someone who's used to nearly non-existent winters, the prospect of snow is pretty exciting. Ok, so yes I got to play with copious amounts of snow when we drove to Tahoe for the weekend, but that was a novelty far from home.

After getting back home from the airport run I caught up on this week's episode of The Hills (I know, I know, but I have few TV guilty pleasures, ok?) and then I was hit by a wave of utter exhaustion so I climbed up to bed and collapsed there, not to rise again till 1pm or so. Sierra slept on me pretty much the entire time. Actually, she's been kinda hiding out in our bedroom upstairs and not coming down hardly at all, I'm not sure why since it's actually colder up there than down here... I did accomplish some housework this afternoon, and now I'm actually cooking myself a proper dinner of chicken, a baby spinach salad, and corn casserole-- which makes me very happy. I finally found Jiffy corn muffin mix at the American Market, stocked up on 3 boxes, and now I'm making corn casserole for the first time since we've moved, and it's in the oven as we speak and I'm way too excited about it. =P For those of you not in the know, corn casserole is a ridiculously easy and incredibly yummy recipe that our family inherited from a family friend, and has become a staple at holiday dinners and potluck parties ever since-- and is always a huge hit. I think I'll have to post the recipe on facebook to continue sharing the wonders of this dish... ; )

On an entirely different note we've now gotten our first Swiss speeding ticket. For going 51kph in a 40kph zone. Right. I guess we'll be more careful from now on...

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


Yesterday when I walked up to take some of our recycling out, I noticed that some of the peaks along the Jura mountains had snow on them-- which shouldn't be a big surprise, I guess, since it's been cold and has rained a few times over the past week. But I hadn't really expected to see snow already, and it looks very pretty. =)

Then this morning as I took the bus into town I could see a layer of frost on many of the cars and plants in the village. I guess it's getting colder, and it is the middle of November already, and winter is just about upon us. I wonder if/when we'll get snow. It's kinda exciting to think about it snowing... although in the back of my mind I'm also thinking "Please don't let there be snow when I go into labor!!!"

Oh, and remember Sierra's cute trick of licking the condensation off the windows last year? Welp, she's at it again. As I was getting ready this morning I noticed Sierra sitting at the bedroom window, having pulled part of the curtain aside so she could reach the glass, and sure enough she was licking off the water drops. I don't know what it is, but she just seems to feel this compulsion about licking all the water off. Silly kitty.

Monday, November 12, 2007

baking attempts

I made sugar cookies today. I don't bake very often, so this was kind of a feat for me. I think the inspiration came partially from this feeling of the approaching holidays and wanting to prepare for them. One of the markers of the holiday season is my mom's seemingly endless batches of cookies. These, did not turn out nearly as good as hers. I realized as I was making them that I might just have to ask her to do lots of baking as part of her grandmotherly duties when she's here in February. ; )

Loki's been quite active the past couple days. He seems to be trying to teach me better posture by kicking me in the ribs when I slouch. I'm still waiting for him to kick Sierra when she happens to be sleeping on my lap/belly.

Hank and Susan came back from Germany tonight, I just got back from picking them up at the airport. They'll be here tomorrow, then Wednesday morning they fly back to the states. They seem ready to go back home. Susan was complaining about all the Germans in Munich being very grumpy people. Hank, on the other hand, seemed practically giddy over the tech exhibit they saw and all the neat gadgets there. Loki's so gonna be a science geek, too, I just know it. You can;t fight genetics. =P

Sunday, November 11, 2007

six word sunday: Pretty kitty, pretty flowers... messy table.

six word sunday challenge

Fun with fotos

So last night I stayed up till nearly 3am finishing my book, and then slept it till 1:30pm today. Yeah... we'll try not to let that happen again. I then spent several hours this afternoon putting together a photo book from Snapfish with pictures from our trip to Chile and Argentina earlier this year. It took a while, especially since I was already halfway done when I suddenly realized I could change the layouts of the pages, which gave me so much more freedom ,and there ya go. But I think it's gonna come out looking awesome, I'm really excited about it. =) I ordered a ton of pictures from our European travels for scrapbooking, but for the Chile trip I figured I'd go ahead and order a book since, well, it was either that or make a whole scrapbook album just for that trip since I have so many pictures, and this way was much easier. ; ) It's also fun to do something nice with these pictures, since I have so many gorgeous shots from that trip.

Got to talk to Zach again this afternoon. In past trips he's been too busy/exhausted to really talk much, but this time I've gotten to talk to him once a day or so which is really nice. We talked some more about the camera stuff, and it sounds like the stock lens really is pretty decent, except for pictures in low-light settings for which we could get a $100 (or less) lens just for that purpose and spend some more time saving up for and researching more serious (aka expensive) all-in-one lenses later on if we so choose.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

the search

Talked to Zach a bit this afternoon (early morning for him). He gave me his report after going camera-shopping at Best Buy and apparently spending a good deal of time talking to one of the women who work there, and it seems we are pretty much set on buying the Canon EOS Digital Rebel XTi. The dilemma now is whether to stick with the lens that comes in the kit, or splurge on something better. The gal at the store almost had him convinced to get a $600 lens that should be a do-it-all type. We'll see. When he gets back from San Diego he said he'd go check out a local specialized camera shop and talk to them about it all. If any of you photographer readers have advice, I'd love to hear it. =) I've been scourging the internet for reviews and forums and sending Zach the links to help him make the decision (since he's the one talking to people, looking at stuff, etc). It's a bit overwhelming, all the info, and I certainly don't get all the lingo when it comes to lens features yet, but it's also pretty exciting. =) Gosh... we're such yuppies, aren't we? =P

Other than that, not much to report today. Been reading a lot, Sierra's acting more clingy since her Favored One is not around, and I didn't get as much done today as I meant to but hey that happens. I think I might now make myself a cup of tea and then curl up in bed with my book.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Successful Shopping, Pregnancy Musings/Update

This morning I went to the English library's annual book sale, and found several books, each for 5chf and under-- woot! I think I got 5-6 second-hand paperbacks for less than the price of one new paperback at any of the local bookstores. Although I must say, the find I'm most psyched about is a KGSR Broadcasts Vol 8 (including an anniversary "10 from Texas" bonus disc) for 3chf. What the chances of finding a limited-edition release from a radio station in Austin, Texas in the handful of cd's being sold at a bookstore in Geneva, Switzerland are, I do not know, but they can't be high.

(As a side note, when I got home I took all my books out of the paper bag I'd carried them home in, and for kick placed the bag on its side on the ground, and sure enough just now I looked over and Sierra was curled up inside the bag and batting at one of the handles. *Grin* my kitty makes me happy=P )

I'm just a few days away from entering into the THIRD TRIMESTER which seems just incredible. I have a feeling the past 6 months have spoiled me, and the harder 3 might be ahead. I'm already starting to notice changes-- more days where my whole belly area just feels uncomfortable, like things are running out of room in there (imagine that); driving is starting to become less comfortable, as my belly gets in the way, and let's not even get into how any strength in my abs seems to have vanished; If I sit for too long in one position I seem to waddle and walk funny from my legs and back being a bit stiff; and I'm forced to sit up straight a lot more often b/c, again, there's not much room to compress left so hunching over isn't much of an option. Which I guess is a good thing.

Not that I mean to be negative. It's amazing and amusing how my belly seems to stick out further every time I look at it in the mirror. I gauge its growth partially by the state of my ever-changing belly button, which is slowly getting pushed out, has become almost totally flat, and is actually now starting to poke out little by little.

I've been feeling fewer out-and-out kicks, and feeling smaller movements more. I'll be sitting here at the computer, resting one hand on the top of my bulging belly, and I'll feel this light poking out, and then the thing poking out starts kinda moving around a bit, and it sounds totally creepy but feels so cool. More and more I look down at my belly to find that it's not uniformly round, but instead has stiff bulges sticking out here or there, what I imagine to be feet or a knee or maybe a back or a head. I feel bad that Zach can't feel this, that I can't share this intimacy with him that our son and I share.

And it's interesting how, as I feel him move and shift and I think of him and what he must look like all curled up in my belly, I'm not sure I fully believe that there's actually a living being living in there, that in a few short months we'll be Mom and Dad. And our whole world will have changed, and from what I hear we won't be able to imagine how there was ever a world without him in it. I sort of remember that feeling when we got Sierra, Zach and I looking at each other and wondering how we ever lived without this adorable cat in our lives. I can't imagine how much more intense it will be when it's a child that's entered our lives.

I guess we'll find out soon enough. ; )

Thursday, November 08, 2007


I have so many things floating in my head that I want to write about, but don't necessarily want to author the World's Longest Blog Post Ever so I'll try to just sum up a few things:

Yesterday, through our village friend and social networker Connie, I got to meet this incredibly sweet German woman and her husband, who live just up the road in our village. They came by in the morning, to say hello, and the woman (unfortunately I didn't quite catch or remember her name, I'm terrible about that) invited me for tea in the afternoon since her daughter, who is 4-5 months pregnant, would be around. They served me tea and fresh-made apple crumble and the daughter, Celine, and I talked about all sorts of pregnancy-related stuff, and laughed about the fact that she's actually the daughter-in-law of Jean-Pierre, the contractor who rebuilt our house.


Jessica leaves for the US in just a few days, and planned a big fondue dinner last night at Au Vieux Carouge, a restaurant that will definitely go down on my list of great places to take people in the future. The fondue was delish (is it really possible that this strange dish of melted cheese and bread has grown on me?), and the company was, of course, superb. It was a great way to say good-bye to both Jessica and Serena before they both go off to the states till the new year.


I got an email from Mom yesterday saying that my aunt Barb suffered a brain aneurism. The bleeding seemed to have stopped soon after, and she was alert and seeming fine, but they still needed to do surgery, and a fairly precarious procedure at that. Luckily they seem to be in the best hospital, with the best doctors to deal with this. I got an update this morning saying that the surgery went very well, now they just have to watch her in the ICU for 10 days or so as there are certain complications that are known to arise from this type of thing in the days that follow. Zach was actually hoping to get together with her and my uncle Casey for dinner when he's in San Diego next week, maybe he'll still get to go by and say hello and send our well-wishes.


Zach left this morning for California, will be gone for just under 2 weeks. Already I'm feeling lonely knowing he'll be gone for so long, but I have things to keep myself busy to help pass the time and at least this is the last trip he should have to take until after the baby's born. He's got a long shopping list of things to bring back, including a digital SLR camera that will be our anniversary/Christmas gift to ourselves this year. =) I'm pretty excited about that, actually-- Zach originally wanted to surprise me with it, but instead decided to get my input (and I have more time to scour through the endless review sites online). I'm glad to have a few months to toy with it and learn how to use it before the arrival of this little person that I'm sure will be my prime photographic subject very soon (sorry, Sierra).


It is almost 100% certain now that we'll be staying here in Geneva through the end of 2008. A few weeks ago Zach made some discoveries that made it seem like the company was planning on moving us back as early as this summer, but since then some talks have happened and I guess they realized they want him here after all. I won't lie, part of me was starting to get excited about the prospect of going back to California early-- back to the weather, the friends, the markets, the strawberries (oh good lord the strawberries!), the ease of life... But I know this is for the best, and I'm also really glad we'll have that extra time here to enjoy life in Europe and the incredible Swiss chocolate and ice cream, to travel, to host visitors, to practice and reap the rewards of our French. California is quite likely our long-term destination, Europe however is not a certainty and we'll take advantage of as much time here and we can get.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Just when I thought it was all settled...

So today, by random chance, while perusing the English Forums website I found out about a birthing center near Geneva. I didn't think there were any near here. After a few phone calls and some fumbled French, I now have an appointment with a mid-wife associated with them next Thursday, and know of a group tour that will be given at the center on Dec 3. I'm planning on asking the mid-wife lots of questions about how the birthing center works, what it offers, what the back-ups are in case of emergency, etc. I have my last appointment with my current OB at the end of the month, and then I'll have to decide pretty quickly whose care to continue with, either this mid-wife or the public hospital.

The initial relief and hope I felt at finding out about this new option was almost immediately replaced by new questions and worries-- Do I want to choose a birthplace that's 30 minutes from our home? Do I feel comfortable giving birth someplace outside a hospital, with its immediate access to emergency care (even though few births really need it)? Will I even like the birthing center, and the staff? What's their English like?

However, after picking the first OB I talked to and later not being satisfied with her, I feel an obligation to at least try this option on for size and find out as much as I can before making a final decision. And I must admit, the timing of this new revelation seems impeccable.

As time goes by...

It was 10 years ago tonight that Zach took me by the hand and asked me to be his girlfriend. If it sounds kinda "high school," well, it's b/c it was. We were seniors, at a party at our friend Mike's house after the last football game of the season. Zach was on the football team, I was on the drill/dance team. I'd had a crush on him for months, having met and begun spending time with him through Lindsey, one of my best friends at the time (and who would eventually become my step-sister... in an interesting coincidence my mom and her dad started dating at about the same time Zach and I did, married the following April, will soon celebrate their own 10 yr anniversary). A few weeks before we'd kissed, an event that shocked all our friends but most of all ourselves. The next day, though, he said it was too fast, and wanted to "just be friends." It took him those 3 weeks to figure out that he obviously couldn't live without me. ; )

The picture was taken in February 1998, just a few months after we started dating, the night of the Valentine's Day Formal, at my mom's house (the cat, below, is Joker, long-lost brother to Jester who still resides with my mom).

In January we'll be married 4 years. To celebrate these 2 anniversaries combined, we'll be going to Lyon for a long weekend next month. And then, in February. a baby. Our son. It's amazing all we've gone through in the past 10 years, the people we used to be, who we've become, who we've helped each other grow to be. And then there's all the years yet ahead-- I wonder the joys and trials they will bring, as I'm sure there will be plenty of each. I wonder what we'll be like, what our children will be like, what life has in store for us all. We'll find out, eventually. Together.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

learning to play hostess

Serena and Jessica came by yesterday for lunch and what was supposed to be a bit of a scrapbooking session-- Serena has never scrapped before and is thinking about starting. We kinda just wound up looking at my scrapbook and Jessica's collage/art book, and then sitting around chatting the rest of the time. I made chicken and corn empanadas for lunch, which I'm pretty proud of-- I think we've hosted people here at the house only once before, and usually Zach's the one to cook. I certainly am no Martha Stewart, but it was fun to have a few friends over and not be too concerned about making sure everything turned out perfect or that the house was in perfect order (it certainly wasn't). I've always had a bit of a complex about playing hostess, not being entirely sure of how exactly it is that things are "supposed to be done" but what I need to remember is that, with the right people, it doesn't really matter as long as you all have a good time, and a good time was had indeed. I was a bit sad to realize that both these women are leaving for the US at the end of the week and will each be gone for about 2 months. We'll have one last big fondue dinner all together on Wednesday, and then I'll still have the rest of the weekly lunch crew (the "Non-Desperate Geneva Housewives") to chit chat and bond with. =)

Today was a decidedly lazy day. I could feel guilty, but I then remind myself once again that in a few short months I won't have time to spend the entire morning (and afternoon) playing around on facebook and reading blogs with Sierra sleeping on my lap, so I may as well take advantage of it now. Tonight I should make a to-do list for the rest of the week, but I think for now I'll go upstairs, finally take a shower for today, and then curl up with The Poisonwood Bible while waiting for Zach to come home.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Zurich Recap: Friday*

We had planned to leave Friday morning around 9am... knowing it would most likely be later. We managed to get out of the house around 10am, I think, not too bad. We drove to the airport and parked there, then hopped on a train and off we were to Zurich. After 2-3 hours of travel time we got to the Zurich station, walked to the hotel and checked in, and then went off to explore Bahnhoffstrasse, the pedestrian shopping street, and try to find a bite to eat. The street seemed to be lined mostly with shops and few cafes so we wound up eating at a Manora restaurant, which was good enough. I was shocked and amused to see some of the window displays at chain stores like H&M, the styles were so different from what you see in Geneva... which is something that would NEVER happen in the states (where chains sell sweaters even in Hawaii b/c it's December and therefore "sweater season"). I also saw some really adorable and not-outrageously-priced (or perhaps I'm getting used to the prices here?) Christmas decorations in Manor that I was tempted to buy... I really hope they have the same or similar things at the store here.

We walked by some of the local churches, like the Fraumünster which is supposed to have incredible stained glass windows. Unfortunately it was closed to the public when we walked by, and Zach and I tried a couple other times to go by and see the windows in the daytime, but alas it was not to be. We also walked across the river and got to go into the Grossmünster church, where we got to be flies on the wall for a few minutes during choir practice. That was really cool, actually-- got a "behind the scenes" look, and it also reminded me of watching Mom practice with the choir and Mixed Blessings singing group at church. The music was gorgeous, and the acoustics incredible. Mom would've really gotten a kick out of experiencing that.

We walked on back up through the Old Town towards the hotel, passing the various bars and restaurants on that side of the river, and then had a bit of a rest at the hotel before heading out for dinner. Unfortunately Susan was completely tuckered out by then so she stayed in while Hank, Zach and I went in search of a bite to eat. We wound up at Santa Lucia, an italian restaurant that we'd noticed earlier as looking interesting. The restaurant was broiling hot inside, but the food was fabulous. After dinner we basically walked right back to the hotel, we were tired and it was cold and we wanted to get an early(ish) start to our Saturday.

PS- Zurich Photos Here.

* In order not to write one hugely long post, I'll break up our weekend recap into 3 posts that y'all can choose to read or skim over, or ignore completely.

Zurich Recap: Saturday

Susan had expressed interest in wanting to go to one of the Swiss history museums (I think there's one in Geneva she'd mentioned) so we figured we'd visit the one in Zurich on Saturday. We got up and had our free breakfast at the hotel (woot!) and then were off, getting to the museum I think around 10:30 or 11am.

I have to say, my favorite part of the whole museum was the first exhibit, taking you back to the beginning of time and up through prehistoric times. I loved it b/c the exhibit had personality to it, and a bit of humor, not something you see very often in museum exhibits. For example,. they had a time-line of the Earth's history starting with the Big Bang, with symbols representing landmark events such as the creation of life, etc. The era of the dinosaurs was symbolized by a vhs copy of Jurassic Park, along with a few plastic dinosaurs. In another part they had the evolution of tools, starting with a primitive flint rock arrowhead, building up to... the Swiss army knife! ; ) It was fun.

The rest of the museum was ok, interesting but then again it's not like Switzerland has a ton of historical moments to really talk about. I did buy a very cute hand-(swiss!) made wooden cow with a bell from the gift shop. =P It was very very cute, and a perfect item to build interest in a Montessori classroom one day, where it could spark all sorts of conversations about cows and Switzerland and how people carve things out of wood.

After the museum we had a simple lunch at a crêperie, and then walked along the river down to the lakeshore, just as the cloudy sky gave way to some sun. We saw a big crowd gathered by some of the bridges, and someone shouting things through a loudspeaker. Zach got his hopes up that it might be a protest of some kind-- hah, shoulda known better. Instead the commotion was the result of a crew race on the river, which made me think of Jen and her rowing days. We watched for a bit, then headed towards some boats where Zach had heard they were having a wine tasting event. Unfortunately admission was a bit steep (20chf I think?) so we passed on that, but I did take some pictures of a Chilean flag, there along other national flags, I presume representing regions from which the different wines may have come.

By Saturday afternoon it had become clear that I had not brought a good enough jacket for the cold and windy weather. I had been thinking of buying a better winter coat anyway, in anticipation of Geneva's winter, so Zach came along with me to one of the (3!) H&Ms along Bahnhoffstrasse to scout out the selection while Hank and Susan went back to the hotel a bit early. We braved the crowded store, finding one long wool coat that fit well, even with my bulky sweater underneath, and was double-breasted so the extra fabric actually covered my tummy while still seeming like it would fit well post-baby. Success! We made one last stop, at a chocolate shop to pick up a few truffles to snack on, on our way back to the hotel, then rested a bit before dinner.

Mélanie had told me of a great place, Zeughauskeller, that had this infamous meter-long sausage on the menu. Zach, Hank and I had actually stopped by on Friday night, and decided we should wait till Saturday to eat there since it was pretty kitschy, German-style, something we knew Susan would get a kick out of (who insists she's of strong German heritage). So we'd made reservations for Saturday night. The place did not disappoint. Our waiter was very friendly and entertaining, and the food was good-- none of us got the meter-long sausage, but Zach had a bite of the famous local sausage that Susan ordered and declared it the best non-spicy sausage he'd ever eaten. I opted for the weinerschnitzel, as I'd heard often that it's practically the same thing as chicken-fried-steak. Which, honestly, it is, just missing the white cream gravy. It was yummy. =) I think if we ever find ourselves in Zurich again, we'll have to eat at this place again. Good food, good atmosphere. Fun. =)

After dinner Hank and Susan called it a night, while Zach and I walked around a bit more, though we didn't stay out much later. Unfortunately when your wife is pregnant going into a smoky bar to have a drink doesn't work quite as well, so we just strolled through the streets of the old town and enjoyed the views and the lights reflecting on the river down below.

Zurich Recap: Sunday

Sunday morning we got up, had breakfast, packed our bags, then checked out of the hotel, leaving our bags behind with them to enjoy one more (half)day in Zurich. We decided to check out the local art museum this time, which turned out to be really cool. It was bigger than we thought, and we kinda had to rush a few places to try to get to see everything we wanted. But Zach rated it as one of the better art museums he's been to. Lots of cool stuff to see.

I think it was already about 3pm by the time we were done at the museum, and had just enough time to grab a last hot chocolate all together before heading to the hotel to grab our bags and head to the train station. Zach and I were headed back to Geneva, Hank and Susan off to the next leg of their trip in Germany. We said our good-byes and then went our separate ways.

When we first arrived I was worried about the language thing again. You get so used to be comfortable (enough) with the local language, that it's really odd being somewhere and not even really knowing how to say simple things like, well, "hello." And you can't even use standard German phrases, as Swiss German is quite a bit different, and do they even make Swiss German phrasebooks?? However, it was not a problem. I don't think we ran into a single person the whole weekend that didn't speak passable, if not perfect, English. It reminded me of something Francisca (a local Dutch friend) said once, about why all Dutch people learn English b/c, well, who outside their country is ever going to learn Flemish? Zach and I were talking one of the nights about how, if we'd ended up in Zurich instead of Geneva, we probably would have learned a few phrases in Swiss German but not much else b/c there's little point, where as French is (a little) more necessary in Geneva and is also spoken by more people in general. While communication was not a problem, it still made me appreciate knowing the amount of French I do know, as you still feel like a bit of an ugly American when you have to keep asking people to speak to you in English. Zach did feel cool about at least having the back-up of offering French or Spanish if someone didn't speak English. ; ) Though it seems far fewer Swiss Germans know any French than know English...

Sunday, November 04, 2007

six word sunday: Missing! Black, white, crazy all over.

six word sunday challenge

We had a great time in Zurich, and I'll recap that whole trip probably tomorrow. Tonight, I'll just mention Charlie, and that she's missing. =(

Zach and I adopted Charlie at the beginning of the summer of... 2005, I'm pretty sure. We'd had Sierra for a little over a year, and had been debating getting a second cat. Finally we decided to go for it, and Charlie came home with us. Her full name is Charlie Chaplin, Crazy Cat, though some of our friends insisted on calling her "Zappa" instead, b/c her mustache and goatee makes her look a bit like Frank Zappa I guess. It took Sierra a good 6 months to get over having this new creature around, and to go back to her normal personality and pay attention to us rather than follow Charlie everywhere, worried about what she'd do. Soon, they were snuggling on the bed (though Sierra didn't always look completely happy about that) and Charlie was taking over the best sleeping spots, and suddenly Sierra didn't seem so desperate for attention when we came back from trips anymore b/c she had a companion.

Charlie was a hoot. She constantly made us laugh. Stick any box on the floor, no matter how big or small, and she'd jump in it. She learned how to open up a low drawer in our kitchen, dig out its contents, and get in. Unfortunately, she soon also started peeing on our bed in the morning, while we were still in it, and I think managed to associate this behavior with us getting up and feeding her (I always fed the cats when I got up, and didn't think about this possible association in her kitty brain). Then came the offer to move to Switzerland. Just as we were considering the need to make her an outdoor kitty, we were now going to move someplace where most likely we'd be in a small apartment with no good way to let her out safely. We considered the possibility of her going to live with one of our parents instead. In the end, she decided for us-- Zach said to her one night, "OK, Charlie, if you wanna move to Texas, pee on the bed." Lo and behold, a couple hours later she'd done just that. Last Christmas, 2 months before our scheduled move, Zach flew to Texas with Charlie and when we flew back to California after the holidays, there she stayed, with Zach's parents. (It was planned that we'd take her back upon moving back to the states, though part of me figured Hank and Susan might not want to part with her either once they saw what a fun cat she is)

Hank and Susan arrived here last Friday, and my brother JC's been watching over their pets in their absence. On Thursday we got a call from him-- Charlie had been missing since Tuesday afternoon. She has yet to come back home. She's been indoor/outdoor since living there, but usually comes in at night. Susan says Charlie has never been gone this long before.

I'm not quite sure what to think of it all. I sorta feel like, well, if she comes back then she comes back, and if not, then, so be it. It sounds heartless, but maybe I've already mourned her since we left her months ago. Or maybe I'm just being practical-- while a pet is my pet I'll love it to death and worry about it and treat it nearly as a human, but once they're gone, well, they were an animal and it's ok. I don't know. Part of me also still thinks she'll be back. Or maybe I'm just used to this, seeing as our family seemed to have a pattern of losing cats every few years while growing up (which is part of why Sierra and Charlie were both initially indoor-only cats).

I sent JC some pictures of Charlie tonight, so he can make flyers to post up in the neighborhood. Charlie also has a microchip, so if she's taken to a vet or the pound they should have all her info and know who to call. We'll see. Hopefully she turns up.

Friday, November 02, 2007


I shoulda known better... It's barely the beginning of November and already I'm going to be breaking NaBloPoMo rules... I guess that's life in Europe, off to weekend trips all the time, eh? ; ) We're leaving this morning for Zurich for the weekend with the in-laws. Will be back Sunday sometime.

Have a good weekend everyone! =)

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Sushi & Fun American Treats

The in-laws rode into town on the bus with me this morning, and then, prepped with 2 city maps and a timetable of when the bus leaves to come back home, I left them to wander the streets of Geneva as I went to meet up with my weekly lunch group. Man, that sounds kinda cruel... but they wanted to go venture on their own, and I had plans and... well... ok maybe I suck as a hostess sometimes. It's weird, I do really like my in-laws and we get along well, but even though I've known their son for 10 yrs now I still don't always feel comfortable hanging out with them when he's not with us. But maybe that's not that abnormal...

Anyway, I met up with the girls for lunch at a sushi place that came highly recommended. Our group's getting bigger-- there were 9 of us today! They had to seat us at 2 separate tables. I don't think the typical tiny Geneva restaurant can handle us that well. ; ) We had a great time, I just had a salad while the others munched on sushi, and now I need to plan a time when I can take Zach to this place since everyone gave it high ratings and Zach's been missing sushi dearly. Though I guess he's about to go back to California next week, he'll surely get some there. Well, this place will definitely go on the list for future dinners out. Serena came armed with some burned DVDs for me, including BLADES OF GLORY which I have been way amped to see, ever since Zach saw it without me on one of his plan trips to/from the US... and has insisted in quoting lines from the movie ever since. I normally don't like stupid-funny movies, but I have been loving most of Will Ferrel's movies (esp Elf and Anchorman) so I'm looking forward to watching this one. =P Oh, and Mélanie lent me her copy of The Poisonwood Bible, which I started reading on the bus ride back home this afternoon. =)

After lunch I stopped by the university hospital to ask a couple of questions, neither one of which really got a satisfactory answer, but I have phone numbers to call to get more info so I guess that's progress. Then I went to the American Market to see if by any chance they might carry Jiffy corn muffin mix so I could make corn casserole sometime... and they did! So I got 3 boxes. And some candy corn for Zach. And maple and brown sugar oatmeal (which makes me very happy, especially with the colder mornings we've started having). AND a cherry coke. =P All for ridiculous prices, of course, but hey every so often you need fun treats. I was very tempted to buy the s'mores pop tarts (one of my absolute favorite at-home breakfast indulgences) but we don't have a toaster soooo.... yeah. Though I'm sure I could just make them in the oven... hmmm......

My last stop of the day was back at this little chocolate shop along Rue de Marché where earlier in the day I'd seen these adorable and incredibly yummy-looking cakes for sale. I'd been planning on making a batch of brownies that I have here at home, to celebrate Susan's birthday, but then I saw these and thought I might as well buy something since they looked soooo good. So I got this small chocolate cake that smelled delicious as it sat next to me the whole bus ride home. We shall indulge tonight. =P


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