Friday, December 25, 2009

Fine Art: Christmas Tree for Grammie and Bumpa

Rowan has been asking for this drawing to be sent to Grammie and Bumpa. I figured it would be easier and faster if I just posted it online.

Mes dessins de Noel

Rowan had been working on this at school and brought it home on the last day of school with strict instructions that he continue to work on it each day.

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Has the end of the world arrived?

This clock at the CFF station in Montreux was 7 minutes slow. I checked both my phone and my watch (sync'd to Morges train station main clock) to validate that it was wrong. I couldn't believe it. It is the only train station clock I have seen in Switzerland that has not been correct. It is a sure sign the end of the world is coming.

A visit to Pere Noel

It took 2 hours and 2 trains, but we made it to Pere Noel. Please note the following:
  1. The lines across the picture are from an issue with our scanner, the actual picture is fine.
  2. Niamh was totally uninterested in being on Pere Noel's lap.
  3. Muriel was only slightly more interested in being on Pere Noel's lap
  4. The spot on Rowan's head was caused by Emily letting Rowan play with the clippers after she was done cutting his hair.

Rowan actually talked with Pere Noel this year, which is a significant improvement from the last visit.


Rowan learned how to do somersaults at school and now the girls are joining in on the fun.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Letter From Santa

Rowan and Niamh received their letters back from Santa (AKA the Swiss Post) last week.

The letter, in English, included a random short story about a snowman, which seemed to end and begin in the middle, as well as some Christmas window decals. It wasn't, in fact, really a letter at all, which I found to be slightly disappointing. But I'm glad that the Swiss Post went to the trouble to at least send something back!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Second Sight

Today I am feeling like I'm gifted with second sight, as yesterday I forced myself to go out shopping for snow gear for the kids in preparation for the train up to Rochers-de-Naye on Monday to see Père Noël. And then woke up today to snow! Coincidence? I think not.

My second sight must be a bit spotty though, because I was certainly caught completely unaware yesterday afternoon when Pat learned that his office here is to be shut down and we'll out of Switzerland sometime in the next nine months. Where next? Who knows at this point.

But for now let's focus on something a little more festive and cheerful, like unexpected snow! I hope it sticks around for Christmas, I can't remember the last time I had a white Christmas!

We were able to get out the door about 15 minutes early today so the kids could play for a bit before Ro had to go to school.

Later that morning I took the girls out to play.

Muriel love it....

for about two seconds. She spent the rest of the time in my arms, or looking like the above photo. Maybe gloves would have helped? The sleeves on her snowsuit go way past her fingers though, so I thought she'd be okay without.

Niamh on the other hand, thoroughly enjoyed herself!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Wrapping Presents

We are having what is probably (mustn't get my hopes up) only a brief lull between illnesses, so I thought I'd use the respite to post a couple of recent photos.

I haven't wanted to put any gifts under the tree to tempt the children (mostly Muriel), so Rowan and Niamh took matters into their own hands on Tuesday morning. They spent a good hour or so making wrapping paper and then wrapping up various toys. If Niamh hadn't had to leave for school (Ro stayed home sick) they probably wouldn't have stopped until every toy they own was wrapped and under the tree.

Muriel has actually shown zero interest in the "gifts" under the tree, so perhaps I could put the real ones under it after all.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Letters to Santa

Last weekend we wrote letters to Santa Claus. We dropped them in them mail address to:
Père Noel
Pole Nord
Rumor has it that Père Noel sends letters and/or gifts back, but we haven't seen anything yet. Rowan's letter is below. His list includes:
  • a violin
  • a microphone
  • cars
  • chocolate
  • a guitar

Niamh is looking for:
  • a microphone
  • ironing board
  • car seat for her doll.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

St. Nicholas Day 2009

St. Nicholas stopped by last night and left the kids each a new Christmas book, an additional piece for the nativity scene, and a few treats.

I felt so bad for poor, sick Niamh who just couldn't really enjoy the festivities. She did try and eat a piece of chocolate, only to throw it up a little while later.

Muriel's favorite part were the walnuts. She toddled all over the apartment with as many as she could hold clenched in her little hands.

Later that morning, while Niamh slept, I took Rowan and Muriel out to a boulangerie down the street and got some St. Nicholas bread. Unfortunately there isn't much in the way of celebrations here in Morges other than the St. Nicholas shaped bread in all the boulangeries--probably because Vaud is not a Catholic canton.

For anyone in search of some good Christmas picture books, I can highly recommend all three that St. Nicholas left for the kids: Good King Wenceslas, The Little Drummer Boy, and Brigid's Cloak. Despite my bias towards books that can be sung, I think my favorite of the three is Brigid's Cloak. Lovely illustrations, and an equally as lovely Irish story (always welcome in this family!) about St. Brigid that mingles Christian and Druid beliefs.

Sick Sick Sick

Friday morning

this evening

Pat got sick last Sunday with what seemed like the flu minus a fever and it's been making it's way through the whole family all week. Me and Rowan on Tuesday night, then Muriel on Wednesday. Niamh was the last to get sick on Thursday night, when I think she only got an hour or so of sleep and spent the whole night vomiting. She and Muriel were both so exhausted they fell asleep on the floor next to each other on Friday morning as I was getting Rowan ready for school. She's also the last to get well, and I think it's lasted longer with her than with the others. Poor thing hasn't eaten anything to speak of in three days, so I think if she's not showing improvement tomorrow we should perhaps go to the doctor.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Thanksgiving 2009

We celebrated Thanksgiving on Saturday with some people from Pat's office. Unfortunately, in the midst of all the cooking, baking, and cleaning madness (all twenty-four hours of it) the only picture I took all day was of the cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie chilling on the balcony. Our wintertime "fridge" gets a lot of use under normal circumstances, but was a complete lifesaver for the Thanksgiving feast. It was a lovely day and definitely helped take the edge of our holiday homesickness.