31 January 2009

American Kitchen?

Lately while feeding and rocking Global Baby I've been watching a program entitled "A Place in the Sun" in which Brits travel to warm and sunny locations. Generally to purchase either a vacation home or a retirement home.

Frequently they talk about how the house or apartment features an "American kitchen."

I cannot for the life of me figure out what they mean by that. The kitchens don't look particularly American or even much like each other.

Anyone know?

28 January 2009

It Figures

Not only am I taking care of a sick & feverish baby while I have a bad cold, but Global Baby is also having a growing spurt. Last night he woke up every 2-3 hours and downed almost a full bottle of formula each time. This morning I noticed the clothes that fit fine last week are now a bit too short.

Shouldn't his body know he is sick and wait a few days for the growing spurt?

Meanwhile GLH is off on an executive retreat/business meeting in the Swiss Alps. Last night the entire group snow-shooed through the woods to have a fondue dinner in an igloo restaurant.

I am not even making that up! Here's the proof!

GLH so owes me!

27 January 2009

Mission Accomplished

Baby in bed by 7:30 pm.

Mama bathed by 8:00 pm.

Folded two loads of laundry and now I'm going to bed.

I'm exhausted.


Spoke too soon. Baby back up at 8:45 pm.

Still exhausted.

Sleep Deprivation = Study Aid?

Apparently lack of sleep improves my language abilities. Who knew?

We are leaving the Deutsch textbooks behind and moving on to reading & discussing books in German. We are starting with a modern baby care book. My tutor thought it would be interesting to compare and contrast the baby advice given to Germans and Americans. I agreed!

Day 1

Things not looking good. Both Global Baby and I have colds. GB was up until 2:30 am. GLH was up at 5:00 am to catch a 6:14 am train.

I have a German lesson in 2 hours. I can barely think in English...

26 January 2009

Flying Solo

GLH is leaving tomorrow morning for a business trip so it will be my first experience solo parenting for more than the length of a work day.

The biggest question? Will I manage to bathe or wash my hair during the 3 days GLH will be gone?

Any bets?

19 January 2009

Overnight Trip to Germany

We made a quick trip up to Germany over the weekend.

Our primary goal was to pick up US infant formula, Infant Tylenol and Infant Motrin. We've got a friend connected with the US military, so we went on base to do a bit of shopping. American groceries at American dollars -- and no worries about packing them in luggage for a flight. Woo hoo!

We also picked up a Baby Einstein Exer-Saucer, which our friend's toddler had outgrown.

Global Baby loves it!

15 January 2009

Crazy Lady

I have officially become a Crazy Lady who yells at other people's children.

Here's the story:

Today's nap wasn't going well, so I buckled Global Baby into his stroller and went for a stroller nap. It took 30 minutes of constant movement and singing (which earned me more than a few sideways looks), but I had just managed to get him to sleep when we happened to walk by the school. Just as school was letting out for the day.

A large group of boys, aged about 8-10 years old, ran out of the school and immediately started up a snowball fight. With Global Baby and me in the middle.

Can you see where this is going?

Not surprisingly, one of the snowballs hit the stroller, causing Global Baby to wake up and start crying.

Fortunately, the snowball did not hit him. Or this might have been a very different story. One involving the police being called after I throttled a young child.

However, I was angry enough at these inconsiderate boys that I yelled at them in a combination of High German and English.

I doubt they understood what I was saying. But I am certain they took my meaning.

13 January 2009

Mystery Trip

We are going to spend a couple of hours on US soil this weekend.

Anyone guess where we are going?

11 January 2009

So Fast

This past week I snapped this photo of Global Baby...
What amazed me is that while I can still see the baby that he is, the photo captured a brief glimpse of him as the mischievous, little boy that he will eventually become.

This morning I packed away his 6 months clothes and pulled out the 9 months clothes. It was a struggle getting him into the 6 months size. And that is US sizing. In European sizing he is closer to what is recommended for 12 months.

I think he doesn't realize that he is still only 3 1/2 months old!

He is trying to stand on his own. (Has the strength, doesn't have the balance.) He is trying to crawl. He is trying to talk. He is starting to teeth.

In short, he is doing so many things that the Baby Books say he shouldn't be doing yet. I've had to read several months ahead in the "What to Expect the First Year" book just to keep up.

On the one hand, it is thrilling to see him so excited about discovering the world and learning new things. On the other hand, there is a part of me a little sad that he is so determined to grow up so quickly.

I hope he still loves to cuddle for a long time to come. I would miss that the most.

10 January 2009

Fate Worse than Death?

Earlier today I watched Part 2 of Fleeing the Famine, a documentary about Irish famine refugees emigrating to Canada.

Overall it was well done and quite interesting. But it did have one phrase which I thought could have been stated a bit better.

The Irish famine victims had to make "an impossible choice: Death or Canada."

06 January 2009

Gratuitous Cute Baby Picture

Global Baby loves looking in a mirror...

He laughs and giggles and tries to touch the face he sees.

05 January 2009

Top Swiss

Here's the quote from Swissinfo:

"A man who was born German and died American has just been named the most significant Swiss of all time."

One of the newspapers here in Switzerland came up with the list of the 30 most influential Swiss in all of history. How influential could they be, given the person in the number one position wasn't even Swiss and only lived in Switzerland from 1902 through 1914.

Know who it was?

Albert Einstein.

01 January 2009

Top 10 Destinations of 2008

It's a bit late because it's been a busy week with a teething baby, but here's the 2008 Top Ten List!

10. Delos, Greece
Ancient sites are thrilling to me. I love glimpses of life from centuries ago. We were astounded it was as free of tourists as it was. occasionally we ran across others, but for the most part we felt we had the island to ourselves. Not being engulfed in crowds made it all the more special. Delos would be higher on the list if it hadn't been so hot and humid on that tiny island.

9. Rhodes, Greece
An amazing juxtaposition of ancient, medieval and modern lives. Definitely on our list for future travels.

8. Dubrovnik, Croatia
Such a beautiful, charming little city. It's beauty was made poignant by the freshly repaired roofing tiles, which highlighted the extent of the bombing during the civil war in the 90's.

7. Las Vegas, Nevada
Although I have no driving need to ever return to Las Vegas, I'm glad we made a trip to this iconic city. Especially before Global Baby's arrival. Regardless of the many attempts to Disney-fy Vegas and the hordes of children running about the smoke-filled casinos, it is still an adult's playground and most definitely not child-friendly.

6. Santorini, Greece
Perhaps the one place this year which was so gorgeous it literally took my breath away. None of the photos of this much-photographed place can possibly compare to the reality.

5. Olympia, Greece
The Olympics is the only sporting event I care about. Seeing where it all began was beyond exciting for me. Ditching the tour guide and large group for this visit was definitely worth it.

4. Cairo, Egypt
Walking into the tombs of ancient Pharaohs is an indescribable experience and one which I will carry with me forever.

3. Istanbul, Turkey
Perhaps the most fascinating city I have ever visited, the trip was made all the more enjoyable by having hired a private guide and driver. Something I cannot recommend highly enough for this city. Otherwise you cannot possibly grasp the extent of its history and significance.

2. Pompeii/Napoli, Italy
As mentioned before, I love the ancient sites. And this one outshines them all. A moment in time from Ancient Rome, frozen by the molten lava of a spewing volcano. What is also amazing are all the people who continue to live in the shadow of Vesuvius, a still active volcano that is due for another Big One.

1. San Antonio, Texas
How could this not be the Number #1 trip of the year? It's where we went to get Global Baby, our beautiful son. No other trip could possibly compare to this one filled with so much joy.