Thursday, October 30, 2008

Not much weight gain

Emily took Muriel to the public health center to get weighed on Wednesday. Muriel now weighs 4390 grams (9.67 pounds), so she is 20 grams more than when she was born.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Climate Change

I found this article about Switzerland and climate change interesting.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Muriel Pics

I have received a number of requests for photos of Muriel, so here is my attempt to satisfy those demands.

We recently replaced our bed (mattress and frame), because the frame was taking up too much space . The new bed was purchased from Pfister and can be seen below. I think it is the European equivalent of a queen, but it is a little narrower and longer than a US queen. Just different enough so that the sheets don't fit well. The old bed set was sold to an expat family in Lausanne.

If we still lived in Seattle....

we would probably have gone to a pumpkin patch like this. Since we live in Morges we went to a pumpkin patch like this:

The pumpkins come boxed for easy carrying.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

I think we might have a birth certificate by the end of the week.

Here is a history of what has been done to get Muriel a birth certificate.
  • All available documents (4 passports, 4 birth certificates, 4 residence permits, and 1 marriage certificate) were taken to the hospital
  • The hospital made copies of my passport, Emily's passport, and our marriage certificate.
  • Two days later I get a note from the canton(state) that they need a certified copy of the marriage certificate. This is very annoying as that is what the hospital made a copy from. In addition, they want copies of Niamh and Rowan's birth certificates.
  • I go to the office that I think sent me the letter.
  • I get directed to another office in another building.
  • I cannot find that office, so I have to ask a police officer for directions
  • The police officer does not speak English, but does give me good directions to the correct building.
  • I find the office and notice multiple signs that indicate that they only see individuals with appointments.
  • I go in and stand in a deserted office.
  • After a few minutes someone comes out and asks if I need help. I give her the letter that I was sent and the necessary documents. She makes photo copies and I leave.
  • A week later I get another message that the office needs to see Emily and my birth certificates because they need to know where we were born. This is frustrating, as all of this information was submitted when we applied for our residence permits.
  • I go back to the office and provide the necessary documents.
  • Less than 18 hours later I receive another message, but this one has good news. In addition to returning all of the documents I submitted, they indicated that the birth certificate is available for ordering.
  • I ordered a copy online today, but had issues paying. I couldn't figure out how to submit my credit card info, so I had to pay by account transfer.
In theory we should get a copy in the mail on Tuesday or Wednesday. If that happens and I ordered the correct document, I can fill in all of the paperwork for the US government and get that sent to the consulate.

Just a reminder for those who like to call...

Summer (daylight savings) time ends in Europe tonight. This means that Morges will be 8 hours ahead of the west coast and 9 hours ahead of Palinland until the US changes back to standard time

Friday, October 24, 2008

Expats for Obama?

Niamh and I went to a recent expat fair and there were three booths related to the US election. Two were related to the Democratic party/Obama and one was for the Republican party. The Obama related booths were very crowded and it seemed like people were tossing money down as fast as they could to buy stickers, signs and shirts. The Republican booth was not quite as busy. In fact, I didn't see anyone walk up to the booth the entire time I was at the fair.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Chicken Salad Sandwich

A while back I decided I liked chicken salad. I'm not sure why, but for the longest time I wouldn't even try it. I guess I'm not very adventurous.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


Emily, Rowan, and Grammie went to the circus on the 12th. Rowan got part way up the stairs into the tent before he got scared and started to freak out. They ended up watching about 10 minutes of the circus before leaving the tent and heading over to look at the animals.

Monday, October 20, 2008

I don't feel too bad now.

I no longer feel bad about reading books intended for teenage girls. If they are good enough for my mother-in-law, they are good enough for me.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Ready to help!

Niamh wanted to help nurse Muriel, but things didn't work out like she wanted.


I don't remember who asked about Muriel's Apgar scores, but here they are:

1 min: 9
5 min: 10
10 min: 10

I believe she lost a point in the first minute for her color. I'm not sure what she was supposed to look like, but she was purple.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

An important introduction!

One of the first things Rowan did with Muriel...

Hearing is fine

Muriel had a hearing test before we left the hospital. It worked more or less the same as in Seattle. The technician comes in right before we are about to leave and needs about 5 minutes of absolute silence. Muriel did fine, but I was worried about Rowan (he came with me to take them home). He normally isn't real happy when strange people show up, but he did fine.

The tests indicated that Muriel's hearing is fine and they gave us a document to take to the pediatrician.

Maybe not as different as I thought

In an earlier blog entry I commented that children don't go to the pediatrician until they are one month old. That is true, but at the time I didn't know/understand the role of the midwife. A midwife came to the house on Friday afternoon. She weighed Muriel (she has started to gain weight), gave her a vitamin K supplement, and took blood.

Friday, October 17, 2008

No 911 in Switzerland

Switzerland doesn't have a 911 system, so you need to know what number to call for different issues. The good news is that the numbers are consistent across the country. Here are some:

Ambulance: 143
Police: 117
Fire: 118
Air Rescue ( 1414
Air Rescue ( 1415
Poison Control: 145

More Vitamin D

Children in Switzerland take Vitamin D supplements from the time they are 2 weeks until they are 1 year old. That means Muriel will take 1404 drops (4 a day) of a vitamin D supplement before the age of 1. Here is a related article from the New York Times.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

More differences between the US and Swiss medical systems

  1. Per the Swiss process Muriel does not go to the pediatrician until she is 1 month old. I believe Rowan and Niamh visited the pediatrician on day 4.
  2. Mothers in the US are generally wheeled to the car in a wheelchair. Emily was told she could leave and the nurse walked out. That was the last we saw of anyone, so Emily walked out to the car.

Rowan and Muriel

Rowen enjoyed holding Muriel at the hospital.

They're home!

Emily and Muriel came home about noon today. We'll be available via Skype if anyone is interested in seeing Muriel via web cam.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Muriel and Niamh

Here is a video of Niamh and Muriel. Be sure to have the volume up so that you can hear Rowan's comments.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Muriel Update

Muriel and Emily are both doing well. The doctors won't let them come home until Thursday morning, so they have another fun filled day in the Morges Hospital. Staying in the hospital for 3-4 days is normal here. We all went to visit today and the kids had a good time. Rowan was very sad at the end because he wanted Emily and Muriel to come home with us. 90 minutes of watching Smurfs cheered him up.

Pictures have been posted at

Monday, October 13, 2008

Our votes have been cast!

We received our absentee ballots today and have filled them out. They'll be mailed back on Tuesday. I'll have to figure out how to vote via email prior to the next election, so I can avoid a trip to the post office.

Differences between having a baby in US and Switzerland

Here are a few of the differences I noticed between having a baby in the US and Switzerland.

  • The staff in Switzerland is close, but not fluent in English.
  • In Switzerland there are only three people (doctor, mid-wife, nurse?)in the room. There were many more in the US
  • Doctors/nurses don't come in and out of the room as often in Switzerland
  • The rooms aren't as father friendly - no space for the father to sleep
  • Security isn't as tight or at least doesn't seem that way. In Seattle babies are required to have a band on them that matches the parent's band and sets off an alarm if the baby is taken outside the maternity ward. No parents for the bands or alarms in Morges

Muriel Catherine McCann has arrived!

Muriel has arrived. We decided to skip the traditional spelling and the silent gh. Here are the stats:

Date: Oct 13,2008
Time: 16:45 C.E.S.T
Weight: 4370 grams (9.6 pounds)
Length: 52cm (20.47 inches)

Melamine in Switzerland

From Yahoo:
GENEVA - Swiss authorities say they have found high concentrations of
melamine in biscuits from Thailand and Sri Lanka and have called on other
European countries to withdraw the products.
Authorities in the canton (state) of Geneva say tests have shown high melamine levels in the Thai biscuits Milk Cookies S&P and the Sri Lankan candies LemonPuff Munchee.
Melamine in milk has been blamed for the deaths of four infants and for sickening more than 54,000 others in mainland China. The authorities said in a statement
Monday that the European distribution channels for the two biscuits have been
identified. They say tests on a dozen baby milk products have shown no
melamine contamination.

The ideal process

In an ideal world the contractions would have been followed by a baby. That doesn't seem to have happened here. The contractions are down to about 1 an hour. I guess I'll be going back to the office after lunch.

Contractions have arrived

Emily started having contractions around 5AM this morning. It didn't seem to imminent, so I went to work. I was there for about 10 minutes before Emily called and asked me to come home. The contractions are currently about 6.5 minutes apart lasting 35-45 seconds.

I'm not sure what the Swiss recommend for timing prior to going to the hospital, but we'll probably wait until our fear that the baby could arrive at our house out weight the fear of a hospital where the employees may not speak English.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

More train video from Uncle Mike

Here is another train video from Uncle Mike. Even Uncle Ryon admits that Uncle Mike has pulled into the lead for Uncle of the Year.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Monday, October 6, 2008


Niamh now refers to Grammie Krista as "this." Here is a recent example: "This help Niamh brush teeth."

I guess this is an improvement, as she hasn't referred to either grandmother by name or title in the past.

Sunday, October 5, 2008


We tried to get Niamh into jardin d'enfants with Rowan, but the classes are full. We thought we had to wait until she was 2.5, but that doesn't seem to be the case. Here is some other Niamh related news:
  • She can get into and out of the tub without our help. She is a bit wobbly, but hasn't lost her balance yet.
  • She responds with "I don't know." to almost all questions. This is due to her mother getting tired of all Niamh's questions and responding with "I don't know." to her.
  • She can put on most of her clothes.
  • She loves squash, green beans, carrots.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Grammie Krista has arrived

Grammie Krista arrived on Thursday with suitcases full of loot that Emily had ordered. She was able to bring 3 50 pound bags, one very large carry-on, and one personal bag without being charged any fees. Once the crib arrives we should have everything we need for #3.