30 June 2009


We decided we have lived in Switzerland long enough, and are going to live here for the foreseeable future, so it was time to upgrade our Ikea bed.

We looked at several different options and debated this for several weeks (almost several months!) before deciding on the spur of the moment.

On our recent trip to Florence we stayed in a Westin Hotel. It made us remember how unbelievably comfortable the Westin beds are. In fact, it's their schtick. They call it the "Westin Heavenly Bed." And heavenly it is!

I did a bit of research and discovered you can actually order the Westin Heavenly Bed and have it delivered to your home!

We called the number for European orders and now, 8 weeks later, our new bed has arrived!

I think what I enjoyed the most about the delivery was the Swiss delivery men, looking with puzzlement at the pillow-top mattress. They eventually decided the pillow-top was for extra warmth in winter and you used the other side during the summer. They didn't quite believe me when I assured them the pillow-top was for year-round usage, but put the pillowy side up just to humor me.

But my favorite part will be sleeping on it tonight!

15 June 2009

One Easy Lesson...

...in How to Freak Out Your German Housecleaner.

On a hot day, hold your baby in front of a fan to cool him off and make him giggle.

Apparently this can result in dire consequences. I'm not sure what. But she was very upset.

06 June 2009

Introducing Foods

I've decided to hereby completely ignore the photocopied brochure Global Baby's pediatrician gave me regarding the introduction of foods and follow the English-language book from the US instead.

When I follow the US guidelines, Global Baby does just fine. He spits up maybe once or twice a week. When I decide to try a new food using the Swiss schedule, clothing changes tend to happen!

It astounds me at how different the two schedules are! Are babies really that different?

Let's go back and talk about Global Baby's lactose intolerance. In the US there are many options available for babies who are lactose intolerant. In Switzerland, we could not find a single formula that worked for him. Once I started reading labels, I discovered why. It is virtually impossible to find formula that doesn't have some lactose in it. Even the soy formulas had lactose added!

And when we were still in the US and Nicholas was having difficulties, the US pediatrician told us to try the lactose-free formula first. Worked like a charm and Global Baby instantly stopped having stomach problems. The pediatrician said lactose-intolerance is quite common, especially in babies under 6 months old. That is the one they usually start with when a baby is having discomfort.

However, the Swiss pediatrician said lactose-intolerance was extremely unlikely. He would be more likely to have a milk protein allergy.

Complete opposite of the US theory. I suppose it's possible, given Swiss cuisine, that Swiss children are simply not allowed the luxury of lactose intolerance. But is it also possible they are far less likely to have it?

So I've been wondering. Is there some kind of genetic link to this and that is why the advice is so diverse? Is it possible that babies of some ethnic heritage have more problems with certain foods than others?

When we first considered adoption we looked at the various options, international and US domestic. One article intended for parents adopting from Asia said that Asian children are quite likely to have lactose intolerance and therefore should be watched closely when given dairy products. So, I guess it is possible.

Or is it that Swiss children simply have more stomach discomfort and vomiting and that it is considered within the norm.

What have been the experiences of other expat parents in Europe?