Monday, January 26, 2009

The window has been replaced

A few months ago one of our large windows developed a crack. It took 13 weeks from the time we notified the landlord until today, when the window was installed.

Here is the timetable for today.
  • 7:15 - the installation crew calls and tells me they won't be arriving as promised at 7:30, but will be there by 8:00
  • They arrive at 8:20 and can't find our apartment building even though their van is parked right in front of the door.
  • They work for about 5 minutes and then say they need to wait for the crane, which will be arriving at 9 (what would they have done if they had arrived at 7:30 as originally scheduled?). They go out and wait for the crane.
  • 9:20 - Crane arrives and cracked window is removed
  • 9:50 - new window is installed
  • 10:20 - clean up is done and the installation crew is gone.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Driving in the snow!

Rowan wanted to drive his cars in the snow. There wasn't any snow in Morges, so he took his cars to the closest bookshelf. He pretended the dust was snow and had a great time.

I guess this means we should dust, but I'm not sure when we'll get around to it.

Monday, January 19, 2009

13 weeks old!

I missed Muriel's 3 month birthday, so I'll blog for her 13th week birthday.

Big Boy School

Today we received notification that Rowan needs to be registered for kindergarten. The registration is the week of February 9th, so expect an update around then. We're hoping to get him in the school closest to our apartment, but we're not sure if that will happen. It sounds like it is a bit random.

We live at "A" and the school we want is at "B".

View Larger Map

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Is there a recession?

Not based on our guest room's vacancy rate. I believe it is already booked for about 8.5 weeks in 2009. The individuals below will be arriving in February.

Friday, January 16, 2009


I received a copy of the GUIDE TO ESSENTIAL KNOWLEDGE for my birthday. It is full of all sorts of interesting stuff. Here are the languages spoken in Switzerland and the approximate percentages.

German 63.7% (official language)
French 20.4% (official language)
Italian 6.5% (official language)
Serb/Croation 1.5%
Albanian 1.5%
Portuguese 1.2%
Spanish 1.1%
English 1.0%
Romansch 0.5% (national, but not official language)
Others 2.8%

This data is based on the 2000 census.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Higher Rents?

I don't find this too surprising, as many foreigners have housing allowances from their employer.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Is the US trying to keep visitors away?

Last week I had to go through passport control at Washington Dulles International Airport. It was by far the worst line I've ever waited in to get my passport checked. It took an hour and ten minutes to get through immigration. I'm just glad I could use the US citizen line. I'm guessing the non citizen/resident line would easily have been two hours.

It took me another 15 minutes to get through customs. The line was short, but it took a while to find my bags. They had been removed from the conveyor belt and lined up with the rest of the bags. It would have been nice if the bags were lined up so the tags were facing the same direction.

I'm surprised any foreigners would want to visit the US now that the government has implemented this. I don't think it would be worth the pain.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Niamh Day 4

Things are looking up. Niamh cried for the first 30 minutes and then was fine for the next 2.5 hours.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Preferred Travel Books and Map

My preferred travel books and map.
  • Streetwise Maps: First, they are laminated so the kids can't destroy them. They also fold so that they can fit in a back pocket (granted, they do stick out of the pocket.). The subway system is shown directly on the map, so you know exactly where they are going and where the stops are. This was very handy in Barcelona, where some of the stops were linked on the metro map, but in reality they were a block or two apart and separated by a long tunnel. They also have a good street index.
  • Time Out: Contains good information on history and the different neighborhoods. It also contains good information on stores as well as activities for kids. An Uncle Pat recommendation.
  • Rick Steves: Good at indicting the true highlights. Also provides walking tours that often cover a lot of the sights.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Torta de Queso Canarejal

This is one of the excellent cheeses we brought back from Spain. The taste reminds Emily of blue cheese, but I'm not sure if I agree. This cheese is interesting because you cut the top off and then scoop the insides out with a spoon. Very yummy!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Baby Bath

Muriel in the tub

Niamh brushes Muriel's hair

Friday, January 9, 2009

Niamh Day 3

Niamh was happy on the walk to school, but didn't do too well after that. She ended up crying herself to sleep. We'll try again on Tuesday.

A family that plays together stays together

60% of the family played MarioKart Wii over the internet against Cody.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

More Singing

Niamh Day Two

There might have been more screaming on day 2 than day 1. Both kids were on the verge of breaking down on the walk to the jardin. Unfortunately, Alyssa, the daughter of a friend, was screaming when Emily and the kids walked in. Rowan and Niamh both started crying, but Emily was able to keep them from screaming until she left.

She came back an hour later to get Niamh and it seems that Alyssa, Rowan, and Niamh may have cried the entire hour. Emily took Niamh home and Rowan stayed against his will.

When I arrived to pick him up he was walking around as Mr. T-Rex and roaring at anyone who would look at him.

We'll see what adventures today brings.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

New Years!

New Year's Eve wasn't too exciting here. Emily purchased a firecracker like contraption that had shot out party hats, noise makers, and a fishing game when it went off. We played with that, had ice cream and watched Ice Age 2. All that and I was still in bed by 9:27.

Happy 90th Birthday Grandpa!

Today is Grandpa/Big Bumpa Charlie's 90th birthday. I couldn't find a picture from when he was a baby, so here is a picture of him with his family in 1939.

Back Row: Paul, Mary Louise, Edgar, Grandpa Charlie, Catherine, Norbert

Front Row: Robert, Great Grandpa Mark, Great Grandma Mary, John, Jim

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Niamh’s First Day at Jardin d’Enfants

Told from Emily's perspective...

It did not go well. She was cheerful during the entire walk to preschool, but when we walked in the door she fell apart. I stayed for an hour at the beginning, and even so she cried for the first fifteen minutes and then stuck to me like glue for the rest of my time there. Rowan on the other hand hated having me there and kept telling me to go home. Sheesh! Where’s the happy medium?

When it was time for me to go Niamh’s howling began again. I came back for her after one hour, and her eyes were all red and blotchy from crying. Poor thing! I gathered from the teacher it had been a hard hour. There was another hour left before it was time for the other kids to go home, so I was going to take Niamh home and have Pat pick up Rowan. But apparently Niamh’s distress had been hard on Rowan too, because when I started getting Niamh dressed to go home (shoes, coat, backpack, etc) his little lip started quivering and he told me he wanted to go home too. Hopefully tomorrow goes better. I won’t stay with her at all, but she only stays for an hour. Then on Thursday she stays for two hours. And then next Tuesday she can stay for the full three hours.

My Swiss friend, Sandra, gave me this tout naturel potion from her pharmacy in the Jura (she grew up there and her parents still live there) that she said would help Niamh be calm, not cry so much, and be more independent. She told the pharmacist all about Niamh and so they whipped it up according to her personality–2 sprays, 4 times a day. I wish it had worked. Or perhaps I shudder to think of what the morning would have been like without it!

Singing to Muriel

Monday, January 5, 2009

Muriel's Checkup

Muriel's 10 week checkup(one week late) was at 2:30 today. Unfortunately, we thought it was a 4:30. The combination of making appointments via phone, the french language, and military time can be confusing.

Emily and Muriel had to wait for a bit, but the doctor fit them in.

Muriel received an injection that included the following vaccinations:

  • Diphtheria
  • Tetanus
  • Pertussis
  • Polio
  • Influenza

We received confirmation that she is a big girl.

  • Weight: 5.75 kg (12.68 pounds)
  • Height: 59 cm (23.23 inches)

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Alphabet Train

Rowan received an alphabet train puzzle for Christmas. It is 10 feet long, so Rowan has a few problems driving it around the apartment, but manages okay.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Niamh gets dressed on Christmas

1. Socks on
2. Pajama pants off
3. Finish taking pajama pants off

4. Check out socks

5. Pajama shirt off

6. Walk around in socks and diaper

7. Walk around in socks

8. Fully dressed

Friday, January 2, 2009

More Muriel!

More practice.

More fondue info

An interesting post.

I'll have to look for some single serve fondue.

Thursday, January 1, 2009


Muriel on New Year's Day 2009

Happy New Year!

Rowan is ready to say "Happy New Year" via Skype, but nobody is logged into Skype. I'm guessing there are three reasons that none of our friends are logged in.
  • Skype is broken
  • Everyone is asleep
  • Everyone is at a party and isn't in front of their computer

Given I was asleep by 9:30, I'm hoping for the 2nd option, but I'm thinking it might be that others were partying.