Thursday, August 28, 2008

A trip to the dentist

Rowan did okay at the dentist. He was a bit scared when he first met the dentist, but didn't have any major screaming fits. The dentist took an x-ray and there don't seem to be any major issues. The dentist wants to do a 20-30 minute procedure, but Rowan needs to be able to sit still for that. It isn't urgent, so he recommended it happen next June.

We'll fill out the accident form with our health insurance provider so that there is a record of what happened and that we went to the dentist.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Je voudrais un rendez-vous pour mon fils.

Rowan fell on his face last week and one of his front teeth is starting to turn dark. We decided to take him to the dentist to see if anything is wrong. I went to the dentist office and said "Je voudrais un rendez-vous pour mon fils (I would like an appointment for my son.)" The conversation went a little further in french before switching to english.

Rowan's appoint is on Thursday, so I'm sure I'll have more to write tomorrow night. He seems fairly excited and he has been practicing opening his mouth as wide as he can.

As for my opening sentence, it should have been "Je voudrais faire un rendez-vous pour mon fils." That translates to "I would like to make an appointment for my son."

I used google translate to determine how to say "his tooth is becoming dark" and the translator provided text that meant that "his tooth was night fall." I'm glad I reviewed it with a coworker before going to the dentist.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Eight months later

It only took eight months, but I think my US taxes are done with seven weeks to spare. I'm hoping the process will be a bit easier next year, since I'll have one individual do both by US and Swiss taxes. This year I had the same company do my taxes, but the US taxes were done in the US and the Swiss taxes done by someone in Switzerland.

I'll also try to do them on my own to see if I get the same answers. I'm not too worried about Turbo Tax, but the tool for the Canton of Vaud (where Morges is located) is only in French.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

One qualified and one working on it.

I think Rowan is a fully qualified engineer now. He can flip the switches and use the control panel for changing speed and direction, turn the lights go on and off , and blow the whistle. He can also get the trains setup on the track.

Niamh has only figured out how to stop the train, but at least she likes to help clean up the track when we are done.

Problem solved

There was a typo with the cupcake recipe. The copy I received indicated I should use 1/5th of an ounce of flour, but it should have been 1.5 cups. We don't have anymore cream cheese, so I'll get some at the store on Monday and try again.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

I don't think they were supposed to turn out like this.

I have been given a few suggestions on what to do with the almost expired choloclate chips. One of those suggestions was a cupcake recipe. Everything was going fairly well. I looked in the oven window after about eight minutes of baking and everything looked normal. Two minutes later I smelled something funny. I looked in the oven and this is what I saw:

Three days in a row

Rowan's diaper was dry for the third morning in a row. I think he'll be going to sleep in underwear next week if this keeps up. Niamh is not showing much interest in using the toilet. I've heard kids regress when a new baby arrives, so we probably won't start working with her until after #3 arrives.

Favorite Video

Here is Rowan's favorite video. I think he has the entire thing memorized. Our goal is to ride all the different types of trains shown in the video.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

I guess I was wrong

I thought we decided on a name, but I think I was wrong. Emily just asked what I thought of two names. I couldn't pronounce one of them, so I think it has been taken off the list.

For those her are interested, here are my aunt's suggestions for good Irish names:

  1. Molly McCann
  2. Grace McCann
  3. Rosie McCann
  4. Tadhgan McCann
  5. Meg McCann
  6. Rhian McCann
  7. Nory McCann
  8. Sinead McCann
  9. Mairenne McCann
  10. Fiona McCann

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

#3 update

Emily had a doctor appointment yesterday. #3 is currently 2 kilos and the doctor expects her to be about 4 kilos at birth. The baby is measuring at the top end of the measurement scales, but the weights don't seem to align with that.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

An extra week of summer vacation

The entire family was excited that Rowan was heading back to Jardin d'enfants (preschool) next week, but it turns out that the preschool doesn't use the exact schedule as the regular schools. Rowan doesn't start until September 2nd.

He will go Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursdays from 8:30 to 11:30. Here is his vacation schedule:

Sept 22: Jeune Federal
Oct 10-27: fall vacation
Dec 19-Jan 5: winter vacation
Feb 13-23: Relaches (I'm not sure what this is, but I believe the entire country goes skiing.)
Apr 3-20: easter vacation
May 21-22: Ascension
June 1: Pentecost

His last day will be July 3rd.

We hope to get Niamh into the same schedule when she turns 2.5. I believe that is the minimum age.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Broken Bun is now just Damaged Bun

A friend fixed Rowan's broken bun. It now has two ears. The newly reattached ear is still stained and ripped, but at least the ear is attached again. Rowan is very happy.

Suggestions please

Before we left the US we purchased a few items in bulk, as very little, if anything, is sold in bulk here. One of the items was Nestle Semi-Sweet Morsels. We have about 1.25 72 ounce bags left and the use by date is next month. Anyone have any recommendations on what to do with them? I could make seven batches of cookies, but I don't have room to store them.

Friday, August 15, 2008

More sailing

I went sailing with my coworkers on Wednesday. We had good weather and wind. We tried to go around the fountain in Geneva, but we didn't have that much wind. We'll try again next week.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

I think we need to go to Bern

I'm not sure what is more disturbing.
  1. Someone designed it
  2. Someone displayed it

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Rowan learned how to... the car door from the inside. The bad news is that we were headed down the auto route at about 120 kph when he did it. We pulled over and shut the door, but he freaked out and screamed for a bit. I'm guessing he won't be doing that for a while. I've also make a mental note to check the Mobility cars to ensure the doors can't be opened from the inside.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


Midwives or sage-femmes seem to play a bigger role in the childbirth in Switzerland than in the US. Many people here use a midwife and I think one will deliver the baby if Emily's doctor can't make it to the hospital on time. The midwife association has a website with what I assume is good information, but I haven't struggled through it yet.

Getting ready to complete the trilogy

If everything goes as planned, #3 will be born in the Morges Hospital. My understanding is that we can request a private room, but even then Emily might need to share a bathroom. If the baby is ill or premature, it might be transferred to CHUV, which is the cantonal hospital.

Other items of interest:
  • Prenatal checkups will be about every 4 weeks until the 7th or 8th month when they become every three weeks.
  • The hospital stay is normally 4to 7 days and could be longer if there is a C section.
  • There are prep classes, prĂ©paration pour l'accouchement,but I'm not sure if we'll attend.
  • Fathers do not typically attend the classes in Switzerland
  • The local social security office will offer a 'consultation pour nourissons et petits enfants.' This is a weekly visit where a nurse will check the child's wight and height.

Monday, August 11, 2008

And the name is....

...a secret! I think we've decided on both the first and midlle names, but won't be sharing them until the birth. What's the point of sharing a name that the Swiss government might reject. Anyway, there are only about 66 days left until the reveal.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Did someone sneak her some eggs?

Niamh had issues last night. She started screaming about 30 minutes after going to bed, so I went in and told her to go back to sleep. All was well for a little while. She started screaming after another 30 minutes, so I went back in and rolled her over. I knew something was wrong as soon as I touched her. She had puked on the sheets, pillow and blanket. We got her up and changed the sheets. Right as we were finishing with the bed she started to puke again. We moved quick, but not quick enough - she puked all over the bathroom floor and her father's shorts.

This earned her the privilege of not having to go straight back to bed. She sat on the couch with Emily for a while and then proceeded to puke on the living room floor and Emily's pants. She calmed down after a while and went back to sleep. A couple hours later she woke up screaming again because she had thrown up on her pillow.

She's now been asleep, or at least quiet, for the last 7.5 hours and I'm hoping to find a clean bed when I wake her up.

UPDATE: The bed was not clean.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Photos of the end of the world

I know I've posted on this topic before, but I wanted to share some photos of what could destroy Earth.

A trip to Swiss Vapeur Parc

The kids and I went to Swiss Vapeur Parc today. I took a rather poor video of the main loop to share, but it turns out the video is more than Blogger or Youtube can handle. I tried to shrink the video down, but it still ended up at 3 GB.

I think a good time was had by all. We would have stayed longer, but Niamh missed her nap and was falling asleep on the rides. It was difficult to fight for seats while carrying a sleepy two year old.

We'll (or maybe I'll) go back before number 3 arrives.

Ireland: Day 9

We headed home on day 9. The first discovery was that the Dublin airport was very crowded. It took about 30 minutes to check in and we were only 5th in line. The conveyor belt broke, so luggage was being stacked everywhere. Thanks to the stroller we were able to use the priority line in security. They didn't make us put the stroller in the x-ray machine, which is what normally happens. Emily purchased the Trinity College sweatshirt she had been looking for the past eight days. The flight was bout 45 minutes late, which is never good when traveling with the under 3 crowd.

I tried to get a fairly inexpensive flight, so from Dublin we flew to Munich and then to Zurich. Rowan was a bit sad because he wanted to ride a 747 and the plane was an A321. Since the flight was late we had to hurry to our connecting flight at the Munich airport. Unfortunately, the airport was not well designed for strollers and wheel chairs. First, it took about 10 minutes for the gate checked strollers to be delivered, then there were stairs that had to be climbed. There was also an elevator, but only employees could operate it and there weren't any employees in sight. The stroller was carried up the stairs and then we raced to security where the stroller had to go through the x-ray machine. I then had to carry the stroller down the next jetway, as I didn't want to wait for someone to operate the elevator. We had to ride a bus to the airplane, which Rowan enjoyed. He freaked out when we got to the airplane, because it was a Dash 8-400 and he wanted the "big white airplane" (747). The good news is that he got to sit right by the wing so he could watch the landing gear go up and down. The plane also flew fairly low so he could see the scenery.

Once we got to the Zurich airport we had to clear customs. I think we arrived just after a plane from the Mid-East, as the line moved very slowly. Once we got to the front the stroller couldn't make the corner, so I had to disassemble it to get to baggage claim. We took the train from the Zurich airport to Morges. I splurged and got first class tickets for three reasons:
  1. First class coaches are almost always empty, so the kids can run around. (our coach was empty almost the entire trip)
  2. There is more baggage storage in 1st class, so I don't have to carry are stuff around until we find a seat.
  3. The seats are wider, so the kids have more room to play.

The only problem with the train was that it left right after we arrived, so we didn't have time to get water/dinner. We decided to get water on the train, but the restaurant car in our section of the train was closed. Rowan and I got off the train at one station and went to the other section of the train(this train was actually two trains linked together). We got the water and then went back to our section of the train at the next stop.

All in all is was eight and a half hours from the time we left Dublin until we arrived in Morges. Dinner was purchaed at the McDonalds in Morges.

Ireland: Day 8

We left our rental on day eight and headed back towards Dublin. We decided to go to the Rock of Cashel (above) on the way. It took 4-5 hours to get to there from Portmagee, so we were a little beat down when we got there. It was interesting, but I'm not really sure if it was worth going out of our way. I can't believe that Rick Steves gave it three triangles(his highest rating). We ate a very good lunch in a little pub before getting back in the car.

Rowan got really excited about "feeding the car," so he helped me put gas in the car. The traffic was horrible as we got near Dublin, so the last 40 km took a long time. Oddly enough, earlier in the trip we listened to a radio call in show where people were referring to this section of road as "the Dublin parking lot." We stayed at a hotel at the airport to make things easier the next morning.

I think it was the most exhausting day of the trip and I ended up with a migraine. I got to test out my Swiss migraine medicine and it seemed to work. It didn't make my heart feel like it was going to pop out of my chest, so that was a definite improvement.

Ireland: Day 7

This was a fairly relaxing day. In the morning we went to the local cafe for a snack and internet access. After that we went to see cliffs just west of Portmagee. The cliffs were supposedly voted the best in County Kerry, but they weren't all that impressive. The view from the cliffs was free, but we had to pay to cross a farmer's land. I could tell we weren't the only ones expecting a free attraction.

That afternoon we went to get ice cream on a Valentia Island farm. The ice cream had eggs in it, so Niamh was unable to participate in the fun. The ice cream was good, but not great.

Even faster than expected

I got my passport back two days earlier than anticipated. I can't believe it! Now we need to travel so we can fill it up again.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Swiss Health Care on NPR

Here is a link to an All Things Considered article/audio track regarding the Swiss medical system. It made me realize that my company probably pays a larger portion of the premiums than I realized.