Sunday, November 30, 2008

EasyJet: Maybe not a budget carrier after all

I have heard that EasyJet is a low cost airline and should at least be considered when traveling via plane in Europe. We recently booked tickets to Barcelona and I have to say EasyJet was a bit of a disappointment.

I ended up booking the tickets on Swiss for the following reasons (In order of importance):
  • EasyJet was 13% more
  • EasyJet doesn't offer seat assignments. We could pay an extra 115 CHF to be in the first group of people racing onto the plane, but that makes EasyJet even less competitive on price.
  • EasyJet would be even more expensive if I wanted to check more than three bags (something I hope to avoid, but 3 kids might equal more than thee bags.)
  • Frequent flier miles are earned on Swiss
  • Thanks to Swiss being part of the Star Alliance we can check in with business class. Not having to wait in line is always a plus when traveling with the 4 and under crowd.

New pictures are available


New photos have been posted on our web site.

Niamh sings!

video

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Muriel's Passport has arrived!

On November 20th we all went to the US consulate in Geneva to apply for Muriel's passport, report of birth abroad, and social security card. The consulate is very small and only has two people working in it, so we had to wait in the hall for a while. The really annoying part was that we had to refill out the report of birth abroad form. The form they sent us to fill out ahead of time was a single piece of paper, but the government needs it in triplicate.

The good news was that it only took 16 days for the passport and report of birth to arrive. I was expecting it to take 21 to 28 days. We're still waiting on the social security card, but that isn't as critical.

No stamps

This means even fewer opportunities for a stamp in the passport.

Happy Thanksgiving HMB!

Many extended family members will be gathering in HMB today to celebrate Thanksgiving. Those with musical talent play instruments after dinner. The video below contains Rowan's audition to be included in the musical portion of next year's gathering.

video

Friday, November 28, 2008

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Our celebration was fairly limited. It was comprised of tuna sandwiches and multiple walks around Morges in an attempt to get Muriel to fall asleep. A different family's Swiss Thanksgiving can be found here.

Organisation fromagère suisse

I realize it isn't in English, but it has links to many of the Swiss Cheese manufacturers.

Organisation fromagère suisse

An election that isn't covered on cnn.

News on the upcoming election can be found here.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Fondue Anyone?

Here is some good background on fondue.

We normally use a pre-packaged mix. Our current problem is keeping the cheese melted without burning it. It doesn't seem like it would be too difficult, but it is.

Muriel's Residence Permit

I took the corrected birth certificate to register Muriel as a foreigner. I was told that the B permit would be issued automatically and I don't need to do anything. I was sure that I was not understanding what I was being told, but I left. A week later I got a postcard indicating that the permit was ready and I need to bring my passport and and work permit when I go to pick it up.

The permit was ready and I was out of the office in less than 5 minutes.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Are walkers not as safe as I thought?

I would never have guessed that this was an issue in Switzerland.

Happy Birthdays!



Today is my cousin Heidi's birthday and Saturday is my Aunt Merrily's birthday. Happy Birthday!

Happy Anniversary!



Big Bumpa Charlie and Great Grammie Catherine were married on this day in 1944.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Population of Morges

I have been asked a few times about the population of Morges. I think I normally say about fifteen thousand. A little booklet came in the mail last week and it had the population numbers from different points in time.

2006: 14,591
2000: 14,154
1950: 6,456
1900: 4,421
1850: 3,241

Library Support

Rowan and Niamh show their support for the Noel Wien Library.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Anyone need a Muriel fix?





A 21st century birthday



This morning Rowan opened his presents from Grammie and Bumpa while they watched via Skype. Thank goodness for free video conferencing.

Niamh and the cupcakes

Big bite!

Cupcake death grip


Into the mouth


Making sure it is all in


Look at that mess

Attempting to tidy up a bit



Licking the wrapper


Can't get the sippy cup dirty



Moving on to Rowan's unfinished cupcake



"Nya-Nya make big mess!"

4 years ago...


Rowan turns 4 today. He says he is now 4 going on 5.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Birth Certificate Update

About a week after submitting all of the requested data we received a letter that more information was required. Our marriage certificate did not have enough detail about where we were born, so we had to provide our birth certificates. I submitted that information and about a week later I received a letter saying I could order a copy of Muriel's birth certificate.

The birth certificate arrived about two days after I ordered it. It had incorrect data for our marriage date, so we had to send it back. We received a corrected copy about a week later. We could now focus on the other required documents (US Passport, US Report of Birth Abroad, Social Security Card, Swiss Residence Permit)

Snow!

There isn't any accumulation yet, but it has been snowing for a several hours. Rowan is outside in his hat, coat, crocs, and Emily's mittens watching the snow come down. He announced that winter has started and wanted to know when it would be spring.

Muriel and I were out for our evening/early morning walk when the snow started. Neither of us had the correct clothing and she did not like the snow on her face. At least I think she didn't like it. I cannot be positive that there was more screaming after the snow started landing on her face, but I think so.

Current temp: 2.2°C

Sunday, November 16, 2008

We have separation!

Muriel's umbilical cord has fallen off. This is about 3 weeks longer than it took for either Rowan or Niamh's cord to fall off. In Switzerland it is common to put alcohol on the cord each time the diaper is changed. We didn't do that in the US, so I'm wondering if that accounts for part of the time difference.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Stupid

Rowan has been referring to things as stupid all day. I asked him where he learned it and he said "Linus."

He watched "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown" a few times around Halloween and it must have made an impact on him. Here is part of the show for those who are interested.


I may have been banned from dressing my daughters.

Friday, November 14, 2008

The downside of no Thanksgiving...

... is that the Christmas decorations go up right after Halloween. I'm not sure if I can handle two full months of Christmas cheer.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

1 Month Old


Muriel is one month old today and had her first visit to the doctor. All is well. Our main concern was that the umbilical cord had not fallen off. The doctor looked and said it was still too thick for him to cut it off and that this isn't too unusual.

Here are her stats:

Weight: 4,920 grams (10.8 pounds)
Height: 55 centimeters (21.6 inches)
Head circumference:38.3 centimeters (15 inches)

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Halloween



We didn't get any pictures of Niamh in her costume, but here is a picture of them all dressed up. Rowan's pants were a bit long for Niamh, so she didn't bother to put them on. Muriel did not get a costume

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Swiss live beyond their ecological means

Another interesting article on Switzerland and the environment.

"New baby sad"


Niamh saw this picture and said "New baby sad." Muriel is receiving her vitamin D supplements and isn't a big fan off them. Good thing we only have 49 more weeks until she doesn't need them anymore.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Pork!

We found these at Migros today. Each one is made of two pork patties with a piece of cheese in the middle and wrapped in bacon. We're leaning towards using the oven to cook them, as they might be to big to fry.

There seem to be many more thing wrapped in bacon here than in the US.