Thursday, January 31, 2008

I'm an Idiot

We woke up at 7am this morning to go get my mom from the airport and as I'm checking the flight times to look for delays I realize that I made a mistake when looking at her flight schedule-- Mom leaves today, so only gets here tomorrow (Saturday) morning.


(Of course the worrier in me is going to worry now about me being wrong again and Mom actually being at the airport right now waiting for us, and it's 1am back home so I can't call to double-check with them directly.)

Village Sunset

The other night I was hanging out downstairs and noticed through the kitchen window that the sky had turned all sorts of gorgeous colors, so I ran upstairs with the camera and took a few shots from our bedroom window. Sierra also enjoyed getting to peek out the open window as I took the pictures.

Went to lunch with the girls today, had Lebanese food which was yummy, unfortunately burping it up the rest of the day was... not so much. I headed to Manor with Melanie and Sophia afterwards for a bit of shopping and then we discovered that they're selling "boules de Berlin" now (basically round donuts) and you get your choice of vanilla, chocolate, or fruit fillings. We each succumbed, and boy were they good. This might be a very very bad thing if they sell those regularly. ; )

Came home afterwards and went grocery shopping, which went ok except this woman really pissed me off when I was leaving. I'd gone to the Coop in the next town which is small and has limited parking, I was parallel parked along the street in front. This woman saw me walking towards my car with my groceries and decided to wait for me to leave, which I understand-- parking is precious there when it's busy, so it can be worth it to block the road for 5+ minutes waiting for someone to leave. However she decided that the best place to wait for me to pull out was about half a car length in front of me, precisely where I would need to pull out into. This meant that I had to pull out and go directly into the opposite lane (you know, the one with traffic coming the other way) and go around her in order to get out. Why she felt it was beyond her ability to wait behind my car, so I could pull out safely and give her my spot, I do not know. Whatever. As Zach says, half of all people are below average.

I finished A Thousand Splendid Suns today. The story carries over some 30 years or so, ending in 2003-- so includes the 9/11 attacks and the US invasion of Afghanistan, which actually seemed to bring peace stability for the first time in those 30-something years. Nice to see we did something right with the whole war-on-terror hooplah. The author wrote an afterword mentioning an organization he works with to help refugees around the world, I think I may need to donate some money. It's amazing how I can sit here and fret about spending $800 on a stroller when people elsewhere are starving and watching their loved ones die all around them.

My mom arrives tomorrow morning. That means that tonight is the last night Zach and I will spend at home alone together, as not-yet-parents. I'd like to say we're doing something romantic and extravagant to commemorate it, but I think it'll be a fairly low-key evening. Though I probably should get off the computer now and go cuddle with my hubby.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

and on wednesday, she rested

I had planned on running a few errands today, but I've still got this cough that comes on mostly at night and keeps me up so I figured it might be best to stay home and rest for the day. So I did, and I napped, and I've been making my way through A Thousand Splendid Suns which I borrowed from Hillary way too long ago and only just started reading. I've been both looking forward to it and also felt a bit hesitant to start... I loved The Kite Runner and could not put it down when I read it last summer, but it's also such a heartbreaking story and this second novel is similar. It's interesting and sad at the same time reading about Afghanistan's violent history.

Anyway, it's late and we should be heading to bed so I'll keep this short. By the way thank you all for the comments on my last post. I really appreciate all the advice. We still have some time to figure out what we want to do, and I do have 2 cross-body baby slings (and mom's bringing out a 2nd hand upright sling, sort of like the Baby Bjorn but can be worn on the front or the back) so we'll definitely be using those the first month(s) and then can gauge how much we like that and how soon we want to get a stroller, and what we'll be looking for in it. At least that's the plan...

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The Great Stroller Debate Continues...

I've been dreading having to choose a stroller. For one, I've never been much of a fan. I realize they're much more practical and convenient than carrying a heavy kid all day long, but strollers have always always looked like a bulky pain in the butt to me. Not to mention than once you start actually looking at strollers, the choices are staggering and you quickly get information overload.

A while back I wrote about falling in love with Bugaboo strollers, but not being able to quite justify the cost. We settled on a tentative plan of waiting till our trip back to the US in June to buy a stroller (much much cheaper) and either relying on baby slings or having my parents bring out my step-sister's used stroller for those first few months. However that used stroller is still in my parents' attic, I have yet to ever get any description on it or its condition, it probably would be a pain for Mom to lug it out here on the plane, and Zach and I also realized that our housing allowance will be renewed in March (once we'll have been here a whole year) and that we should be able to use that extra money to buy a stroller.

So the stroller search, which had been on hold until further notice, is now back on. And the funny thing is that as outrageously expensive as Bugaboos are in the US ($500-$800 compared to many many models that are under $200), they actually are fairly par for the course price-wise for Europe and thus not terribly unreasonable.

I was tempted at first, once again, by the Bugaboo Chameleon, since it's a lightweight, compact stroller for in-city use, that also has the rugged wheels that can be used on rougher terrain like hiking trails. However I think I'll want something even more compact and lightweight for using in town. And thus, I have fallen under the spell of the new Bugaboo Bee-- cute, compact, weighs all of 17lbs and is 20in wide. I played with one today in a store and it was so easy to maneuver, and felt so small and light, as opposed to most other strollers that felt like behemoths in comparison. It costs about 800chf, which painfully enough is about average here for strollers. Checking online reviews, it's gotten pretty high marks, other than a few questions about how long a child can use it for-- it claims to be good up to a 37lb kid (~4yrs), but being as compact as it is many reviewers thought their child would outgrow the stroller long before that benchmark. I'm not sure this bothers me that much, as having something that's small is such a big concern to me when thinking of using a stroller inside the cramped stores and other indoor spaces in Geneva.

However... Probably the biggest negative is that we already bought our car seat, and it's not one of the few that's compatible with the Bee. So if we want to have a stroller that we can snap the car seat into, we have to go with the Bebe Confort brand, which has some decent strollers available that are up to 100-200chf cheaper, but they're wider and heavier. And so the debate is, do you trade the convenience of size for the convenience of being able to use the car seat in the stroller? I don't know.

The next step is for Zach and I to go to a baby store and test out the strollers together, test out all the features, do some laps around the store, and then see what we think. As for any of you mommies reading this, I would love to hear any words of wisdom you might have to share on this issue.

Monday, January 28, 2008

cold & flu season strikes again

The past few days I've been dealing with a sore throat that comes on in the evening and lasts through part of the morning, then for some reason recedes a bit during the day. I figured maybe it was the beginning of seasonal allergies, since I used to experience similar symptoms in California spring and fall, but today I woke up with more congestion and a cough and finally gave in to the notion that I might just have another cold. Zach may have the weak stomach, but I sure seem to be more susceptible to the sniffles than he is...

I rested most of the morning, sipping some tea as I surfed the interweb, then in the afternoon I met up with Celine, a somewhat new pregnant friend (she's about 4-6 weeks behind me, I think) whose mom lives here in the village. She, her mom, and I took a walk, and then Celine and I had some tea here at the house and chatted about baby stuff and preparations. It was nice. =) We still need to arrange a dinner with her and our husband sometime... In the small world of our village, I met Celine through another local introducing me to her mom, but it also turns out that Celine's father-in-law is Jean-Pierre, the man who oversaw the renovations of our house. This makes me quite curious to meet Celine's husband, since Jean-Pierre is quite a character and it'd be fun to see what his son is like.

For being 39 weeks pregnant I still feel surprisingly comfortable and well, although I'm definitely noticing a lowering of my energy supplies. I recently went grocery shopping and even though it was the only thing I did all day I found myself feeling slightly lightheaded at times as I shopped, and I just get tired out easily in general. I'm planning on going to the baby talk group tomorrow (since I haven't been since before the holidays, and may not have a chance again for a while depending on what Loki's plans are) and then maybe go look at some strollers (we're currently planning on buying one in March when our expat allowance kicks back in for the new year) but I'll have to see how I'm feeling as the day goes on, I guess.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

looking back... and forward

Zach and I both woke up kinda early this morning, then spent the next few hours laying in bed talking and hanging out with Sierra. We eventually got up and made breakfast (eggs, flour tortillas imported by Zach's coworker, and a big bowl of mixed fruit) and spent a decent part of the morning (or mid-day) doing different things around the house-- I organized a few things in Loki's future room, and made some closet space by getting rid of a few pairs of shoes and jackets that I haven't used in ages. Or, well, those things are sitting in a box waiting to be gotten rid of. I just need to walk them up to the collection box up the road.

I also spent some time this evening scrapbooking, trying to catch up on pictures from the past year while I still have time. I'm a bit amazed that some of these pages are coming out still looking pretty decent since I feel like I'm slapping them together without much thought or time.

It was interesting to look back at pictures from this summer, back when I was 5 -6 months pregnant and felt like I had this huge belly already, and now I look at them and can barely even see a bump. I also look at those pictures and notice that, yes, my face has definitely gotten a bit... fuller... in these last months of pregnancy. Not that I'm complaining, I certainly could be experiencing much worse things due to pregnancy. It was just kinda crazy to look back at what I looked like just a few months ago, and see how much my body has changed. It's crazier still to think about the changes still ahead, with birth and recovery and breastfeeding, etc. I'm both excited and scared to see what my post-baby body will look like, and how long it'll take for me to look like my old self again. I am looking forward to being able to tie my own shoes again... ; )

And speaking of bellies... I took a fun picture and sent it in to Pink is the New Blog earlier this week, and Trent published it today (along with the other week's sent pictures). Check towards the bottom of today's post. =P woot!

six word sunday: Searching up above for a sign.

Searching up above for a sign.

six word sunday challenge

Saturday, January 26, 2008

not much to report today...

Zach went snowshoeing today with some coworker buddies (he had his cell phone with him of course, I also had the number of one of the other guys with him just in case). I had a pretty low-key day here at home. I took a nap, re-read some chapters in The Birth Book about labor and preparing for it, and spent the rest of the afternoon wasting time on The Nest Baby message boards. Sierra has been sleeping upstairs in bed, ignoring me.

I'm feeling much more ready for Loki to come now, although I kinda have a feeling it'll be a while still before he does. We'll see what happens, I guess. I was reading in a book the other day that recent research suggests that it's actually a chemical reaction that starts in baby's brain that sets off labor. I thought that was pretty interesting.

I also found this today, which I found amusing...

Friday, January 25, 2008

A visit

This afternoon I rode into town to visit my friend Debbie, who's 5 months pregnant and recently was put on bed rest. Putting the whole worrying-about-baby-being-ok part of it aside, some of us who are naturally more homebodies would deal better with something like bed rest... Poor Debbie is more of a mover and a shaker and I think not being able to get up and do stuff is already driving her nuts a bit. But she was in great spirits today. She gave me back a book I'd lent her, and I brought over a few pregnancy magazines I had, and then we sat and chatted and before I knew it 2.5 hrs had flown by and I had to head out. Perhaps I'll be able to fit in another visit or 2 before Loki arrives, we'll see.

I'm now waiting for Zach to get home, he's supposed to bring a couple coworkers home with him and we're gonna go have dinner next door at the restaurant. However I may give him a call soon since his ETA had been about 6:30 and it's not past 7pm...

No real labor signs yet, the only thing I've been feeling is menstrual-like cramps in my lower abdomen, though they don't coincide with any sorts of contractions and from what I read today I think they're just the result of pressure from baby's head. It's crazy thinking I'm only 1.5 weeks away from my due date... Looking back it feels like a long time ago that we found out we were pregnant, but at the same time it's flown by.

Thursday, January 24, 2008


I've been feeling minor pangs of homesickness lately. Mostly it's just small, silly things that have been leaving me a little frustrated the past few days. For example a few nights ago when I was trying to make a sauce from a powder packet that just wouldn't mix (I wound up having to strain the lumps of powder crap that refused to dissolve), making me very much miss my trusted shells-and-white-cheddar packets I used to use a lot in the US. Guessing at what exactly the directions on the risotto box say, b/c Zach and I only mostly understand them. Or guestimating the amount of butter needed for this or that, b/c I'm too lazy to measure out tablespoons of stick butter, and the sticks here don't have the measurements printed on the wrapper like they do in the US.

When Zach and I have talked lately about how much longer we want to stay here, I've been hesitant to really say much one way or another b/c I think that once Loki's around it will impact my feelings about it. Will I want to stay here and raise this child in this gorgeous environment, where we get to walk past cows and sheep on daily walks if we wanted to, and go on incredible family vacations throughout Europe? Or will the small frustrations and annoyances of language barriers, cost, separation from family, etc get to be too much and make me long more for the ease of back home?

The frustration I feel right now is probably just a temporary funk, possibly hormone-induced. Though the questions above are real ones that I've been aware of for a while, and that I know will need to be answered eventually. I guess we'll just wait and see.

My due date's only 11 days away... and Mom gets here in a week! These visits tend to have a way of sneaking up on me... It'll be nice to have her around, she's been so incredibly excited about me being pregnant and all the baby stuff. =) At the same time this also means that this is the last week (at the most) that Zach and I will have alone together for a long time. That's so weird to think about.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


It's been 10 months, and I still am adjusting to prices here. Today while grocery shopping I thought I'd go peruse the makeup aisle for fun, maybe pick up a few things. Then I looked at the prices, and turned right around and walked away. Whatever happened to $5 lip gloss?? Not to mention that the lighting in the makeup section was friggin atrocious. What's the use of having samples available to test if you can't even trust the colors to look right? So I figured, once again, if I was gonna pay Sephora prices I might as well get Sephora products and did some shopping online, only to get my order rejected twice b/c of problems with payment information or something. Which is really really weird. I'll have to ask Zach if he knows of anything funky going on with the amex card, or maybe the website was just having a glitch. Either way, I took it as a sign. I have to say, I just don't understand what makes the prices so different. For funsies I compared prices on the US and the French Sephora websites, and let me tell you especially with the exchange rate what it is there's no excuse for a $27 product to cost 34euros in France. That comes out to, what, $50 just b/c it's being sold overseas? BOOOO, I say.

I dunno. Maybe at some point I should just let go and deal with it. This was my problem with housing in California. There was a point in that first year after we moved there that Zach and I were semi-seriously talking about buying a condo, and even went to look at a place or 2, and I just kept comparing the tiny 1-bedroom places we were looking at to my mom's 4-bedroom, 2,500sq ft house in Texas, that was the same price, and just couldn't do it. I'm sure we would've come out quite nicely financially at the end of that deal with how much prices went up in the 2 years after that, but then again we would've also had no money to do any of the fun things we did while living there, so I still think it was for the best.

Of course, this all continues now with baby-related shopping as well. I needed to buy a nursing bra to have on hand, and bit the bullet with paying 55chf for the cheapest, most simple bra available the other day. Just not many other options (the only cheaper one I found was at C&A and had clasps that were insanely complicated to do and undo). We've managed to import a lot of baby stuff from the US, but my guess is there'll be plenty more things we'll just have to pay the high prices for (btw I have done some price comparisons between here and France and when you do the conversion it's virtually the same prices). *Sigh* I guess I shouldn't be complaining, I'm living in friggin Europe. Besides this will just make everything feel really economical when we move back to the states, right? ; )

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


While on our trip to the US last August we got the very exciting news that my sister Cristina was getting married. The date was soon set for early June 2008, which meant Zach and I had a great excuse to plan our next trip home for then, along with our then-to-be-4-months-old baby. I was thrilled for the upcoming nuptials, thrilled to have a good reason to schedule our next visit already, thrilled to know that we'd get to show off Loki to friends and family at that time.

Unfortunately some not-so-good stuff has come up and to accommodate some different schedules the wedding has been moved up to March 15. Which also, unfortunately, means Zach and I (and Loki) will not be attending. In theory, we could still go-- I know there's plenty of people who have traveled with a 1-2 month old and everything went fine. However both Zach and I have strong gut reactions against it, and honestly aside from the worry of exposing him to all sorts of germs that young, I'd be more worried about how I would fare with traveling that soon after giving birth than I would be about Loki.

It's really gonna suck missing out on this wedding... I'll have to rely on looking over all the pictures and the video afterwards to feel a part of it. This also brings up other questions... like, without the wedding as a reason to go home in June, do we want to still make that trip at that time? If not then, when would we go? I'm not gonna lie, there's a good part of both of us that's excited about getting an extra 2 weeks to enjoy summer in Europe, especially since this will probably be our last one here. But part of me also feels like we should take advantage of the one company-paid trip home we get per year, which has to be at least 6 months away from whatever our final departure back home date is, which could be as early as this November/December. And I'm not sure I'm thrilled about the idea of waiting till then to visit home, as that will mean I'll have gone nearly 1.5 yrs between visits to the US. So I don't know. These changes are all pretty recent and we still have some thinking to do.

Monday, January 21, 2008

spring in january

The infamous Swiss winter fog that plagues our area every winter (or so I'm told) has let up the past few days to give us glorious sunshine, something Zach has been extremely grateful for. It's amazing how directly the weather (and more specifically, the presence or absence of sunlight) affects his mood.

Yesterday we took advantage of the sunny weather by walking over to the next village and stopping in the cafe to have a drink before walking back. Not only was it sunny, but also warm enough that we stripped off our jackets as we walked, and sat in the sun at an outdoor table at the cafe. While we were there a man on a bike (one of several) rode by and said, "I see it's spring already!" at seeing us sitting outdoors.

Today I think I accomplished almost everything on the day's to-do list, and have spent the evening making my way through the 6th season of SATC as I wait for Zach to get home from his French class. In the afternoon I also took advantage of some nice light in our bedroom, and the self-timer on my camera, and took a few fun belly shots. I even got Sierra into a couple of them. =P

Saturday, January 19, 2008


Being pregnant while living abroad, I had pretty much given up on the idea of getting a baby shower. I don't think it's really a tradition over here, we're too far away from our friends and family in the US, etc etc etc. I knew that going into it, and was ok with it. As we started making more friends here I'd thought once or twice that perhaps they'd want to do something for us, but I never really gave it more thought than that and didn't expect anything, really.

So imagine my surprise when what I thought was a wii night at Sophia and Tyler's last night was actually my surprise baby shower. =)

baby shower

Zach was in on it, and as we were walking towards the party he even came out and said something about how he felt bad that we hadn't had a baby shower for me... and then we get to their front door and there's baby wrapping paper decorating it, and, well, yeah. =)

baby showerbaby shower

It was a great night, fairly low-key, no cheesy games. =P There was different foods there but I think all I ate all night long were Sara's cupcakes. I don't even wanna think about how many I had... they were just so delicious. And, there were presents, adorable and beautiful presents that I'm very grateful for. I got some really cute and warm sweaters and clothes that will be very useful in these remaining winter months, one of Jessica's bookmark books and a baby book that had all of us cracking up, a bumbo seat (I think these things are so cool... I guess we'll see if Loki agrees), and some other goodies. Yay! Click here for more pictures.

My friends rock. =)

Friday, January 18, 2008

Happiness is....

Happiness is gorging yourself on delicious carrot cupcakes while chatting with your fabulous friends at the baby shower they surprised you with. =)

Thursday, January 17, 2008


One of the things that scares me the most about becoming a mom is that I procrastinate way too much, and sometimes with important stuff.

I got a message from my mom the other day. She'll be flying out here Feb 1 to help with Loki. Her bags are already packed, just in case he comes early and she then decides to fly out earlier than scheduled. Meanwhile, my labor bag is sitting up in our room, half-packed. It's like I've been avoiding finishing that simple task, partially b/c I really don't know what to pack (how do I know what I'll need or find comforting for an event that I have never experienced before?) and partially b/c maybe I'm hoping if I don't finish I won't go into labor yet. Which is nuts, b/c since when do kids wait till it's convenient to do stuff??

Although the thing that's really wigging me out now and that I'm kicking myself for not looking into earlier is what it'll take to register Loki's birth, both for Switzerland and with the US consulate, and then to get him a passport. We have a certified copy of our marriage license, but I do not have a copy of my US-citizen-born-abroad birth certificate (I do have the Chilean-issued one, but I doubt the US consulate will be much interested in that). Looking online, in order to get one I'll have to send in a notarized request to DC, and it might take a good 8 weeks for them to find my paperwork and then send me my birth certificate. Did I mention we're trying to fly to the US in June for my sister's wedding? My mom may also be able to file the request, which might not save much time but it would save me the pain in the ass of having to find a place to notarize a signature here (a friend recently had to do that and I don't remember the details but it did not sound like a fun experience).

I can't believe I haven't thought about all this before this. What else have I not thought of that's going to jump out at me and bite me in the ass all of a sudden? In some ways I feel so ready to welcome this baby, and in others just so... not. There's so many things left undone, long to-do lists in my head, and although I did accomplish several things today that I've been needing to do, there's still lots left.

Most pregnant women by this point are just begging their babies to come out already. Me? I'm quite happy letting him hang out a bit longer while his mother ties up loose ends that should've been taken care of by now.

EDIT: Crisis averted. While Zach was looking for his birth certificate, he found my US one, which had somehow gotten separated from my other documents. Yay! Although I also realized that the birth certificate is only needed for the Swiss birth registration, in which case I could've used my Chilean one, I'm sure. Unfortunately we couldn't find one for Zach, it appears we may have left that with his parents so they'll be sending that out soon. I feel much better.

And to accent this lightened mood of this previously-frazzled-and-stressed post, how's this for friggin adorable? =)

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

It's the small things in life...

The big Coop supermarket near our house has started this new program where you can basically scan your own groceries and save time at the check-out line. We first tested it out a few days ago when Zach and I went on a joint big grocery trip. I'd gone into another store in the mall to look for something else, and when I went to find Zach in the Coop he had a cart with a funky neon-green bag in it and this little hand-held scanner. He showed me how you scan each item as you put it in your cart, so then the check-out lady doesn't have to do it. Ok, cool, I thought, though really I wasn't sure I saw that big of an advantage to it and I was skeptical of how well the scanner itself would work.

Then we went to check out and I discovered the true genius of this new program. Zach handed the cashier the scanner, we paid, and then walked out... and the neon-green bag, which at the moment held all of our groceries (well, ok, and then some b/c the bag isn't that big) could go home with us. Meaning that, for the vast majority of our purchases, all we had to do was hoist the bag out of the cart and into the trunk of the car.

Meaning... no bagging.

Which is perhaps least-liked part of any shopping trip for me. I always feel clumsy and slow when bagging my own groceries, and if there's someone behind me well then I feel like I'm holding up the whole line. This way I don't even have to load them in and out of the cart, but even if I do have some extras that need to be bagged I can just keep old grocery bags (re-use!) in the car and not even bring them into the store, and transfer them into bags at a calm pace out at the car. Not to mention that there's only one big(ish) bag to haul inside when you get home, as opposed to a million little plastic bags.

This may not be the preferred way to do things for others, and maybe it's silly... but to me this is friggin' awesome.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


Last night was a bit rough, but went much better than I had feared. After it became clear I also had the bug, I refrained from eating anything and only drank sips here and there of water and ginger ale. By bedtime my tummy was, thank goodness, feeling fairly calm.

Unfortunately I still had a really tough time going to sleep. I was burning up under the covers, but when I got out of bed I'd get cold and start shivering violently. It was really weird. Not wanting to wake Zach up with my tossing and turning I layered up and went downstairs to try to read a bit, and spent the next several hours either reading through half-closed eyes, then trying again to sleep in the guest room, then getting up and trying to read again when sleep wouldn't come. At about 4am I attempted eating a rice cake, which went down well enough, and then I think around 5 or 6 or so I finally went to sleep and stayed asleep. I have since spent much of the day sleeping or lying down in bed, resting up. Thankfully I've felt pretty ok all day, just tired. Zach stayed home today again, he was thinking of going in to work for the morning but realized he was still pretty exhausted so gave himself another day to recuperate. It sucks being sick, but it's also been almost kinda nice to be sick together and spend all day in bed.

So basically we're both back to feeling normal now... yay. Now we can get back to life as usual for the rest of the week.

Monday, January 14, 2008


Zach woke up early this morning feeling sick to his stomach, and sure enough soon afterwards started throwing up. He has a history of a having a bit of a weak stomach (we've joked about how we hope Loki inherits my stomach, since I hardly ever seem to get sick) and we kind of assumed he got some sort of food poisoning... potentially the medium-rare burger he had last night when we went out with a bunch of friends.

So he stayed home from work today, and I tried to help however I could but I had a midwife appointment to go to at 11:30 so I left him at home to go do that, promising to come back with some Sprite and crackers.

As I was running a few errands around town after my appointment I noticed that my stomach started feeling funny. But these days it can be hard to tell what the cause might be, and I hoped it was just Loki getting in weird positions or maybe I was just tiring myself out while walking around in town. I came home and realized I hadn't really eaten lunch, but I didn't feel like eating much so instead I had some bread and crackers to try to fill my tummy with something and see how it went from there.

Well, the way it went was that "it" (bread and crackers) just came right back up. At least my stomach feels a bit better now... but I'm worried as to what the rest of the night will bring. Zach went and looked online and it appears that Pepto-Bismol is a no-no for pregnant women, so there goes that. I guess depending on how I feel in the morning I can call my mid-wife and ask her what (if anything) I can do/take.

I usre hope my body knows better than to try to go into labor while Zach and I are both sick...

Saturday, January 12, 2008

not sure how many more of these we have left...

Zach took advantage of a snowy, still-child-free Saturday to go up to the mountains with his friend/co-worker Bob to snowboard. As I drove him over to Bob and Aruna's this morning we could see it snowing on the Salève... however down here where we are it wasn't cold enough for snow or ice. It seems they had a good day of it, and afterwards I met them over at Bob and Aruna's for dinner. They had another friend there, too, with her 2 kids who were adorable, and the little girl (who was about 3, I think?) insisted on seeing my "big belly" and then she and Aruna patted and talked to it. =P Zach was debating getting up early again to go boarding or snowshoeing again tomorrow, but I think he's since decided against it. Instead we might go over to Hillary and Ryan's for some football in the afternoon. =)

Plans have commenced for my sister's wedding this June, and as part of the bridal party I need to choose a dress. I'm kinda nervous about it since I have no idea what my body will look like over the next few months... She's letting us choose our own dress design from the David's Bridal selection, and I think I found one that should be fairly forgiving in the tummy/waist/hips area, but I still have to try to predict what my boobs will be like (which have already gone from a 34B to a 36C and will likely grow even more once Loki's born and my milk comes in). So I'll probably order a dress in size HUGE and then find someone to take it in if/where needed. Anyone know a good seamstress in Geneva?

Risk Management and Global Warming

Saw this video on another blog today, and thought it was worth passing along to others. It takes 10 minutes to watch, but I think is very worthwhile.

There is also a whole series of follow-up videos that can be found here.

Friday, January 11, 2008


I've been having some very lazy days yesterday and today, spending most of them watching Sex and the City with Sierra. Last night Zach and I did go out for a huge grocery shopping trip, where we started stocking up on some household items (soap refills, cat food and litter, etc) as part of preparing for Loki's arrival. I also bought a few baby goods, which was more difficult than I thought it would be. I'm sure picking out the right diaper rash cream would be overwhelming enough in the US, but then you add to the process needing to read the labels in a different language and trying to decipher from the vague descriptions whether the tube you're holding is in fact diaper cream or just regular baby body lotion, and well, yeah.

Today I finally called a vet the neighbors recommended months ago and made an appointment for Sierra's annual check-up, another thing I've been needing to get done before Loki gets here. I still have more baby shopping to do, and Zach got started on putting Loki's dresser together today, and goodness it seems like there's still lots more to be done and I don't know if we have 1 week or 1 month to do it all. I guess we'll just do what we can, and if baby comes before we're done, well, we'll figure it out from there, right? Thinking about it maybe I should be less lazy and try to get more of this stuff done sooner rather than later. Perhaps I'll try to go shopping tomorrow...

PS- I thought I was gonna get through this pregnancy escaping the whole swollen-feet-and-hands deal, but in the past week or so I've suddenly noticed my shoes fitting much more snugly when I go to put them on. The wierd thing is that your feet are supposed to be more swollen at the end of the day, but I swear it's the mornings that are worst and then my shoes seem to fit better later in the day. Hm.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Last Day

Today wound up being very low-key. Daddy and Jen had thought about going into town again, but the rainy weather deterred them and so they spent the day packing, and resting some. Jenny and I also spent a good bit of the afternoon watching episodes from the Sex and the City dvds Zach brought me back from China as my christmas present. =P

Then, tomorrow morning they fly back home. And then I'll get to the list of last baby shopping items that I've been needing to take care of but haven't gotten around to with guests here. All of a sudden Loki's arrival seems nearly upon us, and I'm struck at all the things left undone-- little things like buying diaper rash cream and nursing bras, and stocking up on paper goods and cat food to keep at home so we won't have to worry about buying them for a while. I'm really hoping that he holds off till Mom gets here in a few weeks, I'm counting on having her help around the house and with Loki in those early days.

We just got back from having dinner at the restaurant next door, and the woman who usually waits on us was there again and asking about the baby, commenting that it looks like he's dropped (I think so too, seeing as what I think is his butt and feet feel to be a good several inches below my ribcage, and instead I feel something pressing up against my right hipbone a lot of the time) and to be sure to let them know when he's born.

Holy crap, I'm gonna be a mommy... am I ready for this? I guess I am, about as ready as I'll ever be. I can't say I'm not scared or a bit freaked out about it all, but I'm also excited. I've been reading a few blogs of other women who gave birth in the past few months and reading their stories of mommyhood have been incredibly heartwarming (of course, there's also always the funny-yet-kinda-scary stories of things like projectile pooping). I don't think you can face something this huge without some fear and trepidation. But I also have some sense of the amazing wonderfulness of what is to come.

Earlier tonight I was feeling the lumps of my belly and thinking I felt a butt and back over on one side, and the familiar foot on the other, and it struck me-- that is my son. That is my little baby, inside there, a baby who will soon be here with us, and who will one day be walking around chasing the cat, and then going to school, and one day maybe getting married and having babies of his own. And it's all just so... amazing.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

sun & cheese

We were graced with another sunny, beautiful (if still very cold) day today, and so I took Jen and Daddy into town to get to see more of Geneva in nice weather... since the city can look quite gloomy in rainy/cloudy weather. Jen got to do some shopping at Zara, one of her goals for this trip, then we had some paninis for lunch and walked around Place Neuve and the Parc des Bastions before stopping into Le Pain Quotidien for a coffee break. Last, but not least, we took a tram down to Carouge and walked around a bit before heading back home on the bus. I think they enjoyed the day.

Jen and Daddy had so loved the fondue we had with the neighbors that we decided we should have another fondue dinner before they left. So I made reservations for us to eat at Au Vieux Carouge for this evening. Zach and I had been there once before with some friends and had liked it a lot. It's a cute, teeny little place with with animated and friendly staff, and great food-- Jen and I shared a fondue, while Zach and Daddy had rosti and steak. Everything was very yummy. As we were getting up to leave I ran into the chef outside the kitchen and he asked me about the baby, when I'm due, etc. This place has definitely made it onto the short list of go-to restaurants in the city. The only downside is that b/c it's so tiny and the tables so closely packed together, I could barely squeeze through to get to the bathrooms.


It's funny how you get so excited to see your belly grow in pregnancy, and then you start getting big and you feel HUGE and then another month or 2 goes by and you look back at the previous pictures and think "Yeah, that? That was nothing." Lately I've noticed that when I try to scoot my chair up closer to the table I end up bumping my belly on the edge of the table (not very fun, btw). And maneuvering through tight spots (and some not-so-tight ones, as well) gets pretty tough. And then you realize that you're now constantly walking with your back arched at a funny angle to make up for the extra 35lbs you're carrying in front. I'm finding myself daydreaming of my old body, or what it will be like to get to wear regular jeans and go shopping for normal clothes again. But at the same time, I'm trying to enjoy this belly and this pregnancy while I'm still in it, as I know that very soon it'll be over, and while I growingly look forward to that new beginning, I know part of me will also miss this time right now, with my belly, with baby all to myself feeling him move around and squirm, with Zach also all to myself, this last month (?) of our "old" life that will soon be changed completely.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Florence, Italy

We drove down to Florence on Wednesday morning. It took about 7 hours or so... getting there wasn't bad, however finding the hotel took a bit of time. Especially since we'd hoped the GPS my step-dad gave us this summer would help us (we also had written directions, but directions relying on street names I keep finding are nearly useless in many European cities where street signs are either non-existent or hard to find/read, and where streets change names every other block anyway) but the maps that Zach had loaded the day before didn't seem to have actually gotten saved on the device so... yeah. But we found the hotel, which was in a great location (close to the train station and the duomo). After checking in we walked around a bit to check out the area, and then had dinner at a trattoria that was pretty good, although Zach's food wasn't that great and left him with an upset stomach. =(

Thursday morning I woke up with a sore throat and a bit of a stuffy nose. =( We went by the Uffizi but the line was already way long (an estimated 2-3 hr wait) so we decided to save that for another day and wound up at the Palazzio Pitti and saw some interesting exhibits there. We also found this great little place to have lunch, I had a kick-ass pizza there. After lunch we walked around one of the Palazzio's gardens and then started heading back to the hotel around 4:30ish... but kept getting sidetracked by shopping, and didn't actually get there till 6:30. ; ) We rested for a bit, then had dinner, and then called it a night.

Friday morning Zach and Jen were set to try the Uffizi again, getting there at opening time. Feeling the effects of my cold, I decided to let them go while I stayed at the hotel. I did get up and have breakfast with them at 7am, on the top floor of the hotel, and we enjoyed an utterly gorgeous view of the sky as sunrise began. Up till then it had been cloudy and drizzly/rainy, but Friday the sky was mostly clear and sunny. It seems a shame thinking back that I spent the one sunny day sleeping in the hotel room, but it's what I needed so... oh well. Daddy also stayed behind (though I think he went walking for a good bit of the morning) and he and I went out to lunch together, then Jen and Zach met up with us in the early afternoon. Afterwards Jen and I took some time to go explore the shops of Florence while Zach and Daddy took a break. She and I were successful in finding a pair of boots she'd wanted, and then b/c we got 20% off our 2nd purchase I talked myself into buying these very cute grey sueded flats. =P

We all met up again and walked across the river in search of a bar where the 3 of them could enjoy some happy hour specials, but apparently we picked the wrong area to walk through (Lonely Planet led us astray) b/c we didn't find much... however we did end up stopping into this cute restaurant we'd seen before for a drink, and then stayed there for dinner. I loved the feel and decor of the place, and the food was also pretty fantastic.

Saturday we checked out the duomo, Zach and Jen thought about climbing up to the top of the bell tower but it was another grey, drizzly day so they decided to wait and see if Sunday morning might be better weather. Instead we walked by the Accademia (Zach's brother, when he'd been here this summer, said the only thing worth seeing there was the David which you could apparently see through the exit door, but alas we could not find the exit... oh well) and then Zach, Jen and Daddy went off to find the Museo Bardini and explore that area while I decided to rest up at the hotel for a couple hours. We met up later in the afternoon at the Piazza della Republica and had a fabulous late lunch at a restaurant there, then went to the Palazzio Vecchio to check it out. The rooms there were amazing, almost ridiculous with the decorations and mural paintings everywhere! We later found a very cute, very hip restaurant for dinner (with some very cute young male waiters that Jen grew fond of). Daddy and I walked back to the hotel and called it a night, while Jen and Zach took advantage of the more happening nightlife in that part of town and had a drink or 2 at nearby bars.

Sunday morning we had breakfast, then Jen and Zach thought about climbing the bell tower near the duomo but the day was even more foggy than the day before, and they'd gotten some good pictures from the top of a hill the day before anyway. So we packed and were on the road by about 11am. I had feared that this drive back would be long and uncomfortable due to me being heavily pregnant and all... instead the drive was long and uncomfortable b/c I was still suffering from this infernal cold and was either blowing my nose every 2 minutes, or annoyed by my overly-dried-out nasal passages (funny how the 2 extremes go together like that). I think we made it home around 7pm or so. We all made it an early night.

Overall I really liked Florence. The cobblestone streets and old buildings had a lot of character to them (and I'd love to see more of the city when the weather isn't so crappy). An goodness, the shopping! SO MANY cute stores, not to mention all the stands and street vendors everywhere. I'm not sure if/when we'll get a chance to go back, but I hope we do.

Pictures from Florence

Today my nose is still stuffy and my throat still a tinge sore, so I resolved to spend the day resting (and uploading pictures, catching up on blogs, etc). Jen and Daddy went into Geneva in the afternoon, riding the bus in, and I think had a fun time exploring the city on their own a bit. The sun was out today (after some early morning showers) and it didn't seem that cold, hopefully the nice weather continues tomorrow so we can go explore a bit more together.

By the way, Zach now really wants to move to Italy and learn Italian sometime. He's decided that Italians are his favorite group of Europeans. =P

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

why'd you have to go and make things so complicated?

I'm feeling frustrated with flickr right now. I've been trying all day to upload pictures, a process that usually takes all of about 5-10 minutes to complete, but the uploadr's are not working (never gave me trouble until I tried to download the new one-- 3.0-- a few days ago, which failed, then I went back to the old one, which then today kept crashing on me, so I tried the new one again which at least installed properly but would only upload 3-4 pics at a time) and now the uploader on their website is also giving me trouble and taking for-eeeeee-verrrrrr. Grrr. Maybe it's just a fluke today, and will be better tomorrow? Ugh.

We spent yesterday in Gruyeres, a town up in the mountains where the famous cheese comes from (I'd show you pictures, but... yeah). It was fun, if quite cold, and although we missed the cheese tastings at the factory, Jen, Daddy and Zach still got to purchase and try out some fun cheeses and we toured the castle and also took a peek into the HR Giger bar (the museum was, unfortunately, closed, but I think Zach and I will have to go back another time to check it out.. Actually, this would be the absolute perfect excursion to take whenever my brother comes out to visit us). The whole Alien theme doesn't really fit with the rest of the historic, medieval Swiss mountain town bit, but that kinda just makes it that much more amusing. ; )

We spent the evening at home, had some champagne at midnight to celebrate the occasion, and then were greatly amused by the group of young college(?) guys that were running around naked on the street right outside our house (and their group of girl friends taking lots of pictures). Ok ok, most of the did have boxers on... but at least 1 guy was running and dancing completely naked. By the way, it was at least at freezing last night, if not colder. They continue hooting and hollering and singing at the top of their lungs for quite a while, luckily we were able to sleep through most of it (or at least I was).

And now it's January 1st, 2008 and holy hannah where did the time go?

Tomorrow we're leaving for Italy for the rest of the week. Is it wise for me to go on a 6-7hr road trip while nearly 36 weeks pregnant? Probably not. But I'm really excited to go, and so we'll just hope for the best now, won't we?


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