Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Bubble bubble toil and...well, you know the rest

Raising WEG and Phantom Scribbler are worried about bird flu. European leaders think they're right to be. Me, I see storm clouds on the polio horizon.

When the poo hits the ventilator, my plan is to quarantine at the in-laws' farm (crops, no livestock).

I suppose we should let them in on that.

Monday, August 29, 2005

The old man and the Small Boy

I see the same elderly gentleman most mornings. His morning constitutional seems to coincide with the end of Small Boy's morning nap, so from Small Boy's window I see him walking past on the street below. He carries a walking stick and wears a cap, and looks the way I imagine James Cromwell might look at eighty, although he's not nearly so tall. Once he stopped and had a brief, animated conversation with a woman in her fifties. The window was closed, so at first I could not tell if it was a conversation or something a bit less friendly, but the woman occasionally patted his forearm and they shook hands upon parting. I imagine he has lived in this quartier for decades - Swiss people tend to stay put - and is well known to other long-term residents. I imagine his wife passed on a decade ago. I imagine he looks over at our modern building - a bit cold, a bit sterile perhaps - and shakes his head. I imagine it pleases him, however, that so many families with young children have moved in. I imagine he speaks a Dialekt that resembles my father-in-law's - an older vocabulary, somehow more difficult to understand, more foreign - more than my husband's. I imagine when he returns home from his walk - he lives on the first floor and although his building has a lift he insists on walking the stairs - he drinks a cup of coffee. I imagine he is quietly satisfied with his life.

And then I look at my boy, with his whole life still stretching out before him, so eager to get on with it already!, to crawl, to walk, finally to run boldly into his future and never look back, and I think that this is what I want for him above all: At the end of his life to be quietly satisfied with it.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

I have seen the future, and it comes with rocks.

So last night two of the neighbor kids were throwing rocks and our windows. Just standing down there chucking rocks. At our windows. What the hell? I mean, the play area is covered with rocks, not the best idea in the world, I grant you, but who just stands there throwing rocks at windows? I yelled at them in my rotten German and they pretended not to understand me, so I remembered what R said to me once - if you ever want to yell at somebody or insult them, do it in your mother tongue. It works much better that way. So I switched to English and said "But you understand I'm angry, right?" and one of the two said "yes." Turns out he's the son of the Swiss-American guy we met at the get-together. So I went down and talked to the parents, and Swiss-American guy scolded the kids and made them apologize to me and shake my hand. The mother of the other kid who was involved was remarkably unconcerned and just said something about how stupid it is to have stones on the playground. Um, yeah, it's stupid but just 'cuz they're there doesn't mean your kid has to chuck them at people's windows! Try acting a little concerned.

Afterwards R and I were talking and he said "Six years from now we're going to be on the other side of that conversation." It turns out boys? They do stupid stuff. They break things. They push their limits. They throw rocks. The kids' mistake, R said, was doing it so close to home. That's just dumb. You're supposed to do it farther from home, on the way to school or something, when you can't get caught. Methinks he speaks from experience. What this all boils down to, of course, is that apparantly one day some woman is going to ring my bell and say something like, "Your son was throwing rocks at my car." Of course, she'll be speaking Dialekt so it'll sound more like "DeensnhaschsschteensismiAUTOgwrfn" but I'm pretty sure I'll get the gist.

Things just got interesting. And by interesting I mean "oh crap."

(Yes, they did break one. In our bedroom. Oh, the window is only 3 feet wide and runs all the way from ceiling to floor, so that won't be a pain in the butt when the management company comes to replace it. No, that should go real fast.)

Friday, August 26, 2005

We Know Where You Live

I saw the new Mütterberaterin Wednesday. She's younger than the one we saw in Small Village, but seems experienced. I liked her. Small Boy flashed her a smile, so I guess he approves too. She gave him a yellow rubber duck to hold during the weigh in - anybody who gives him a yellow rubber duck to hold! is okay in Small Boy's book. Although she is younger than our old MB, she must see more babies in Big City, so even though she has fewer years on the job she's probably seen her share of babies. Small Boy checked out fine. He's slowing down on the length measurements - given that he had been at the 95th percentile there was really noplace else for him to go. Regression to the mean and all that. Holding his own, or down slightly, on the weight curve but the MB saw nothing to be concerned about. He's doing all the right developmentally appropriate things, perhaps even a bit early, and is attentive and alert. Alert. Yeah, that's one word for it. Oh lord is that boy alert.

And how did I find this new Mütterberaterin? Well, in this post, An American Mama in Berlin wrote about a visit from the Jugend Amt - the office in charge of young people. They're a little more laid back in Switzerland, but they do keep track of you. I assumed the old Mütterberaterin would inform the new Mütterberaterin. Well, it doesn't quite work that way. The city informs the Mütterberaterin when a family with a child under five moves into town. Then the Mütterberaterin sends the family a letter with information about the Mütterberaterin system, hours and telephone numbers. Then it's up to you to go to them. And how does the city know when a family with a small child moves in? Why, when they register, of course.

We know who you are. We know where you live. We know how old your children are.


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Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Life in the City

So we moved over two weeks ago. How's life in the city going? Glad you asked!

We love it here. LOVE. IT. HERE. Although we are only about three-quarters unpacked, they're the important three-quarters. Small Boy's room, of course, was the first to get set up. Then our bedroom, most of the combined living-dining area (it's one big room) and the two baths. The kitchen came along in stages - first the important stuff that allowed us to have basic meals, then slowly other items until we got it all sorted out. Most of the china is unpacked, but the stuff we really won't be using like the whiskey glasses and the port wine glasses are still boxed up somewhere. So are the Michel Jordi dishes and things like random serving platters and other wedding gifts.

Our office is half done - we still need to get a desk, so there are some boxes in there, but the shelves are in and the secretary is serving as desk for both of us for now. Well, I pretty much have my laptop on the dinner table most of the time.

The guest room is where all the boxes that still need to be unpacked are, so we just keep that door shut and pretend it's not there.

So far we've taken in Sri Lankan curry once, pizza twice, and Thai thrice. That's not too bad right? And hey, we've cooked fish twice already! And how strange is this? I actually DO get more exercise/go outside more in the city than in the countryside. There's a small park about five minutes away from our building and as long as the grass is dry Small Boy and I go there most mornings for about an hour. I spread a blanket on the grass, toss some toys in the Boy's direction, sit next to him and read the paper. Several afternoons a week we go for little walks around the Old Town, just because it's easy. Sometimes I take him down by the river and to the zoo. And I've started my yoga class again. So I actually am getting more exercise - and certainly more fresh air - in the city than in the country. Shhh. Don't tell my mother-in-law.

The people in our building met Saturday for a little happy hour. We were supposed to gather in the open area/Kinderspielplatz in the back, but the weather drove us into the entry hall. Everybody brough a little something to drink and a little something to eat and we got to know eachother a bit. My attendance was cut short by the Small Boy, who decided that the echo of 30 strangers making small talk was too much to bear. After he fell asleep upstairs I went back down, but the reception on the baby monitor kept cutting out on me, so I went back up. R stayed for a few hours, however. At halftime he came up so we could switch off, but by then I was cozy in the apartment, happy to be alone, and not feeling like socializing, so I sent him back down to continue to represent us. But from my brief attendance we have an interesting crowd. And small world! A couple in our building used to live in Small Village Right Next to Our Small Village. There's another American in the building, though you'd never know it from his perfect perfect Dialekt; some Germans; and a native Spanish speaker, but I didn't catch her country of origin. Our immediate neighbors speak a mixture of French (I think they're from the Romandie - French-speaking Switzerland) and Dialket. So, unlike in Small Village, I am not a freak foreigner. I don't even stand out. This is good.


Monday, August 22, 2005


Days of heavy rain - with more in sight - have flooded the low-laying parts of the Old Town.

High water in the Matte

You can just see the roofs of some cars here

The trees along the left and the brown house in the foreground are usually well above the river bank

Das Rettungsboot

Some of the 240 people evacuated by boat



Restaurant surrounding by rising water


Thursday, August 18, 2005


Remember this post? Well, last night Small Boy went to sleep at 18.40. He woke at midnight to nurse, then went back to sleep and slept until 06.47 this morning!


Wednesday, August 17, 2005

How to get your child a US passport in 111 easy steps

So Stella's Mami is thinking about applying for Stella's US passport. Since I went through this with Small Boy back in April, I thought I'd put together a handy little step-by-step guide.

First, just for fun, let's look at how to get a Swiss passport for your child born in Switzerland to one Swiss parent and one American parent:

1. Give birth to the Small Boy.
2. Hospital files birth records with appropriate Swiss authorities.
3. Call the Gemeindeschreiberei (basically, Town Hall) to ask what is required to get a passport.
4. Get passport photos taken.
5. Think Small Boy looks a lot like Winston Churchill with gas in these photos.
6. Decide I don’t care that Small Boy looks a lot like Winston Churchill with gas.
7. Pay 20 Swiss Francs for Swiss passport photos.
8. Walk to the Gemeindeschreiberei (this is still back in Small Village) and say “Hi, I’d like to request a passport for my son. His name is Small Boy.”
9. Watch as the woman working there brings up a record on her computer and prints it out.
10. Woman asks, “Is this information correct?”
11. Read form.
12. Say yes.
13. Sign form.
14. Hand over one picture of Small Boy looking like Winston Churchill with gas.
15. Woman asks, “Would you like to get his national ID card at the same time?”
16. Say yes.
17. Pay 135 SFR cash for the passport and the national ID card.
18. Two weeks later receive passport and national ID card via registered mail.

Now let's look at how to get an American passport for your child born in Switzerland to one American parent and one Swiss parent.

1. Give birth to the Small Boy.
2. Hospital files birth records with appropriate Swiss authorities.
3. U.S. embassy does not care about appropriate Swiss authorities.
4. Go on line and read information about how to report the birth abroad of a child to a U.S. citizen and how to obtain a U.S. passport for said child.
5. Request “Extract of the Birth Registry Issued in Pursuance of the Convention signed at Vienna on September 8, 1976” because the Swiss documents are not good enough for the U.S. embassy.
6. Pay 26 Swiss Francs for “Extract of the Birth Registry Issued in Pursuance of the Convention signed at Vienna on September 8, 1976”
7. Find marriage certificate.
8. Thank God that you got married in the United States and not in Switzerland. If you had gotten married in Switzerland you would have to order (and pay for) the “Extract for the Marriage Registry Issued in Pursuance of the Convention signed at Vienna on September 8, 1976.”
9. Find U.S. passport of American parent.
10. Find Swiss passport of Swiss parent.
11. Print out application DS-11, available from the embassy’s website.
12. Read instructions for application DS-11 and realize you also need form FS-579/SS-5.
13. Return to embassy website.
14. There is no PDF file or other link to Form FS-579/SS-5
15. Google Form FS-579/SS-5
16. Still can’t find any computer accessible version of form FS-579/SS-5
17. Make list of questions I have for the embassy.
18. Call U.S. embassy citizen services to request Form FS-579/SS-5 and to clarify other issues that are not quite clear.
19. Ah! I see. We get Form FS-579/SS-5 at the embassy and fill it out there. They will register the child while we wait.
20. Wonder why that piece of very useful information wasn’t on the website, because it clears up some other issues, but then move on.
21. Ask two other questions.
22. Get off phone.
23. Complete, but as instructed do not sign, Form DS-11.
24. Find school attendance records and other documentation that will prove that not only am I a U.S. citizen but that I also meet the physical presence requirement of not less than five years in the United States or its outlying possessions, at least two of which were after attaining the age of fourteen, and that therefore I am allowed to pass on my citizenship to my son.
25. Wonder briefly how many people can’t find this sort of evidence, but then move on.
26. Re-read list of documents necessary to register birth and obtain passport and double check that I have them all.
27. Okay. I have them all.
28. Ask husband when he can take a day off of work, because in order to get the passport all three of us have to appear at the embassy in person. Unless my husband wants to submit a notarized statement in English giving unequivocal and unconditional consent to passport issuance for the child?
29. Vote for appearing in person.
30. Decide what day we can do this. By the way, it has to be a Wednesday, because the embassy only takes appointments on Wednesdays from 9:00 am to 11:30 am. All other days it’s a first come first serve basis and you have to wait and there is no guarantee you will be served. Yeah, sure, I want to wait at the embassy, with no guarantee of service, with a 10 week old child. Please. Sounds fun.
31. Call embassy to make appointment.
32. Woman on phone asks when I would like to come in.
33. Mention the Wednesday in question.
34. She says okay, what time.
35. Say 10:30.
36. Woman on phone says “Oh no, that is much too late, you need to be here by 9:30 at the latest.”
37. Say okay, 9:30 then.
38. Wonder why she asked me when I wanted to come in if she was just going to assign me a time anyway.
39. Get two passport photos that are 5 by 5 cm without frame with a head size from chin to top of head of 25mm minimum and 35 mm maximum, set against a white, plain background with no other people or object in the frame.
40. Ever try doing that with a 10 week old baby?
41. Admire creativity of photographer who takes photo of son alone against a plain white backdrop with no other people or object in the frame.
42. Notice that Small Boy has spit bubbles in the U.S passport photos.
43. Decide I don’t care that Small Boy has spit bubbles in his U.S. passport photos.
44. Pay 29 Francs for U.S. passport photos.
45. Get home and look at passport photos. Is his head too large?
46. Measure son’s head in passport photos. Whew, it’s okay.
47. Go on embassy website to triple check that we have all the documents.
48. WTF?? Now the website says I need Form DS-2029/SS-5. What the hell is Form DS-2029/SS-5 and what happened to Form FS-579/SS-5? And how did they possibly change the rules on me in the ten days since the last time I looked at the website?
49. Download Form DS-2029/SS-5.
50. Fill out, but do not sign, Form DS-2029/SS-5.
51. Make sure the sudden appearance of previously unknown Form DS-2029/SS-5 is the only curveball the embassy is throwing my way.
52. Notice that the fees have gone up, but nothing else appears to have changed.
53. Decide I have done as much as any human being can do to ensure I have everything we need to get Small Boy a U.S. passport.
54. Measure son’s head size in U.S. passport photos again.
55. Call embassy to confirm our appointment.
56. Take Small Boy in stroller on one train and one tram in order to get to U.S. embassy.
57. Bring – in addition to the Small Boy – “Extract of the Birth Registry Issued in Pursuance of the Convention signed at Vienna on September 8, 1976,” completed but unsigned Form DS-11,the new and exciting Form DS-2029/SS-5, my U.S. passport, my husband’s Swiss passport, our marriage certificate, my school records, two passport photos (with spit bubbles), cash and credit card.
58. Arrive at embassy at 9:15 for our 9:30 appointment.
59. Get admitted to the embassy and assigned Number 4.
60. Why are they assigning me a number if I have an appointment?
61. Why did we make an appointment if we just get assigned a number?
62. Whatever.
63. Wait for number 4 to get called, which, to their credit, is pretty much right away.
64. Hand over completed but not signed Form DS-2029/SS-5.
65. Consular official asks for documents to prove the physical presence requirement
66. Hand over 2 inch stack of school records and other documents.
67. Return to waiting area.
68. My name is called.
69. It seems I filled out Form DS-2029/SS-5 incorrectly. Months must be spelled out in full; the numerical abbreviations are unacceptable.
70. Correct Form DS-2029/SS-5.
71. Return new corrected Form DS-2029/SS-5 to the consular official.
72. Return to waiting area.
73. My name is called again.
74. It seems I filled out Form DS-2029/SS-5 incorrectly again. Where is says “U.S. address” I must write in my U.S. address – not “NONE” – even though I have lived in Switzerland for four years and HAVE NO U.S. ADDRESS! Hello! That’s why the Small Boy was born abroad in the first place!
75. Argue with consular official for a few minutes.
76. Realize that pissing off the consular official who holds Small Boy’s fate in the balance is probably not a good idea.
77. Concede the point and fill in last known U.S. address.
78. Return to the waiting area.
79. My name is called again.
80. It seems they cannot accommodate umlauts. Small Boy’s last name uses an umlaut. We have to decide what umlaut-free spelling we want.
81. Change the spelling to the new umlaut-free version.
82. Return to waiting area again.
83. My name is called again.
84. Everything finally seems to be in order - I can go pay now.
85. Go to the cashier’s desk.
86. Pay 176.40 Swiss Francs (up from 162).
87. Ask for receipt.
88. Am told we get the receipt after they process the documents.
89. Um, don’t we need to show the document processing people the receipt to prove we paid already?
90. Apparently not.
91. Return to waiting room. I now have no documents and no receipt.
92. My name is called.
93. We may now sign Form DS-2029/SS-5 and Form DS-11 in the presence of a consular official.
94. We can have the Consular Report of Birth issued while we wait or have it mailed to us.
95. Decide to wait the additional ten minutes to get the Consular Report of Birth.
96. Get Consular Report of Birth.
97. This is a very cool looking document.
98. One hour and twenty minutes after arriving, we leave the embassy with the Consular Report of Birth and the promise that the passport should arrive within the next two weeks. No word on how long the social security card will take.
99. One week later Small Boy’s passport arrives in the mail. In the regular mail. In a plain old envelope. Um, wouldn’t you at least want to send that registered? Security, people!
100. One month later Small Boy’s social security card arrives in the mail. In the regular mail. Um, again…
101. Sheeesh.
102. Vow next child will be born in the territorial U.S.
103. But post-partum care in Switzerland is so much better than post-partum care in the U.S.
104. And my OB/GYN here ROCKS!
105. Wonder if it would be possible next time to go into labor and deliver on U.S. embassy property, which is, under the strictest letter of the law, U.S. territory.
106. Remember that I was in labor for 17 hours with the Small Boy.
107. Figure the embassy would never let me stay there that long.
108. And they probably wouldn’t let in my German OB/GYN.
109. Have I mentioned my OB/GYN rocks?
110. And I bet they don’t have Epidural Guy.
111. Damn.

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Monday, August 15, 2005

Flash those pearly whites

Small Boy's two bottom front teeth both broke through yesterday. No wonder he had been so off-kilter over the weekend.


Saturday, August 13, 2005

Got Milk?

I find this troubling. Especiallly the part about the company buying something that has been donated, and then selling it back to hospitals. As I understand it, milk banks in the US currently operate by pooling donated milk (donors are not paid but the costs of an initial blood test to screen the donor and shipping costs to deliver the frozen milk to the bank are covered) which is then available by prescription to needy infants. It seems to cost about $2.75 to $3.00 per ounce and can be ordered by individuals or institutions. Breast milk donation is an incredibly generous and altruistic gift that has saved the lives and/or improved the health of countless premature/low-birthweight babies.

It's hard to find numbers, but the WakeMed Milk Bank in North Carolina distributes about 100,000 ounces annually; the Mothers' Milk Bank in Denver seems to have roughly the same, if not slightly higher, numbers. The San Jose milk bank claims to have distributed over 1.4 million ounces of breast milk since 1974. That's a lot of feedings. A healthy full term newborn may consume about 1 to 2 ounces per feeding and might nurse 8 to 10 times a day. Typically pre-term infants are able to consume less, but I do not have personal experience with this and can't find some numbers right now.

Now if Prolacta Bioscience keeps the costs to institutions the same, and does not purchase so much of the donated milk that individuals no longer have access to this valuable supply, my concern will prove to be unwarranted. Call me paranoid, but I don't see that happening. Here's why. According to the article

"Prolacta will first use its facility to buy donated breast milk from independent milk banks and hospitals across the United States, pasteurize it at its Monrovia plants and sell it back to hospitals to treat very-low-birth-weight babies."

But this is essentially what the milk banks are already doing. Collecting, pooling, pasturizing, and distributing. Prolacta wants to insert itself as a middle-man, and we all know middle-men tend to increase the cost of any transaction.

"Its next market will be babies with heart defects who need surgery and are at risk for infection, and then children with cancer and those undergoing chemotherapy who suffer very upset stomachs."

Again, these seem to be children who would be eligible for the milk already with a prescription. Where's the value-added?

The value-added comes in the next paragraph:

"Medo also hopes to develop human-milk-based therapies to treat necrotizing enterocolitis, a gastrointestinal disease that is one of the leading killers of premature babies."

If Prolacta can develop this treatment, great. Anything that gives pre-term infants a better chance, I say great. I fully agree that learning more about the properties of human breast milk could lead to discoveries that, if developed, could improve the health and life prospects of countless of infants. The health benefits of breast milk are pretty clear, and those benefits are probably even greater for pre-term infants. But I'm very concerned about a for-profit biotech start-up stepping in to what has been until now a not-for-profit relationship driven by the needs of sick infants. If Prolacta can find a way to, in the long term, get the benefits of breast milk to more infants - that is, if they don't absorb all the supply so that families don't have access to the donated milk and if their treatments aren't outrageously priced - then I will drink my words.

But I don't like the looks of this. I just don't.

To learn more about milk banking, go here.

Awwww, bunnies!

I saw this book quiz over at Profgrrrl

You're Watership Down!

by Richard Adams

Though many think of you as a bit young, even childish, you're
actually incredibly deep and complex. You show people the need to rethink their
assumptions, and confront them on everything from how they think to where they
build their houses. You might be one of the greatest people of all time. You'd
be recognized as such if you weren't always talking about talking rabbits.

Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.

I actually do love this book. I read it until the cover fell off, and I think I might still have it somewhere in one of the boxes of books that never got unpacked after the first move five years ago.


Thursday, August 11, 2005

To the person who found my site by searching for "do it like they do it on the Discovery Channel"

I imagine you were quite disappointed to find that it referred to this post. So sorry.


Die Anmeldung

One of the things you have to do in Switzerland is register with the Gemeinde (community) in which you live. You have to present yourself at the Gemeindeschreiberei (I guess that would translate as something like the city hall) and tell them that you live in town. When you move out, you have to tell them you are leaving (abmelden), and then register yourself in your new hometown. You have eight or ten days (I'm not sure which) to do this. (Other than a fine, I'm not sure what would happen if you failed to register. I'm trying to find out - I thought about asking yesterday as we were registering, but they seemed kind of busy. Plus I didn't want it to seem like I was fishing for information for some friend who was unregistered. I do know that you need to show your documents when you get hired, and often when you sign a rental contract, so if you don't register you're sort of condemned to doing all sorts of things illegally.)

Before the move, we lived in Small Village. Dealing with the Gemeinde there was always very easy for me. There were just over 1,000 residents in Small Village, and only about 20 Ausländer/innen (foreigners). I can't remember a single visit to the Small Village Gemeindeschreiberei when there were other people there trying to get something done at the same time. I never had to wait for a single thing. Renewing my residency visa was a breeze - about a month before it was set to expire the Small Village Gemeinde sent me a letter asking me to bring the current visa, my passport, and a picture to the Gemeindeschreiberei. They collected copies of the necessary documents and forwarded them on to the Kantonal (like states) Fremdenpolizei (immigration). The Fremdenpolizei would send the extended visa back to Small Village, they would sent me a letter telling me I could pick it up, and presto! Instant service.

Well, we live in Big City now. We went to register yesterday. When we showed up, we took a number. Picture something like a big city DMV - you take a number when you show up, there are about a dozen counters serving people, and a board indicates which number was being served at what counter. We waited about 15 minutes for our number to come up. At the counter we sat down and said we were there to register. We presented our Familienbuchlein (literally the little family book, but it's a meaningless translation for Americans - it is the collection of documents that verify our status), my visa, my passport, our Abmeldung from Small Village, our AHV cards (like Social Security numbers), R's Niederlassungsausweis (I don't even know how to translate this - it confirms that R lives where he says he lives), and a photo of me. The man helping us ran through some basic questions for each of us: Have you ever been registered in Big City before? Are you employed? Where? What's your confession? (You need to report your denomination so that you are billed the proper church tax.) R also applied for a new national identity card. This had nothing to do with the move - it's just that his old one had expired. The whole thing took about thirty minutes and cost 178CHF (about $140 US), and at the end of it R had an updated Niederlassungsausweis (Small Boy and I do not have one, we are attached to R's) and I had an updated visa. R's ID card will come in the mail.

Less painful than I expected, actually.

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Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Yes, yes he WAS listening at the door

The ninety-minute nap is back! And he fell asleep at bedtime with nary a peep. Did I just jinx this by blogging it?


Monday, August 08, 2005

He must have been listening at the door

Small Boy must have overheard us talking about Taking Drastic Measures if he doesn't start sleeping, because he had another decent night with another five hour stretch last night. Mind you, for a six month old five hours should not be something to blog home about, but in our household it is.


Sunday, August 07, 2005

Post-move chaos

We are officially city people. (Well, actually it's not official yet because we haven't registered. We have ten days to do that, but plan on making it Monday's chore.)

The move itself went well (because we hired movers, of course). The packing beforehand and all the upacking that faces us now, not so much. But we are here and we have carved out some livable space among the boxes. We've even found enough kitchen utensiles to make a go of basic meals. Small Boy's room is in perfect order (the only one), in the hopes that having his familiar things around him will help him deal with the unfamiliar place. The disruption of the packing and the move and the boxes and the unpacking and the stressed-out Mom and Dad (I personally think that's probably the biggest factor) have wreaked havoc with his sleep, and we're back to the old short naps and multiple night wakings, although last night he 1) put himself back to sleep once and 2) put in a five hour stretch, so I think he's on his way to getting back to where we were before the move (which still wasn't great, but was a massive improvement over the every two hours thing).

We love it here, in spite of the boxes everywhere. The apartment is so light compared to our old place. (The down side of that is I only just now noticed that we really need to get our dining room chairs cleaned!) There's a Sri Lankan curry place around the corner that has take-away, and the bakery a block away is open on Sunday. (If you're not from Switzerland or Germany - I don't know about the rest of Western Europe - you have no idea how huge this is.) This being August, several of the cafes in the neighborhood have limited opening hours at the moment, but start getting back to full swing in the next one to two weeks. But it's good here. Young, lively, and surprisingly quiet for the middle of the city. It'll take us awhile to get unpacked, what with Small Boy demanding much attention, but we'll get there. And then it'll be great here.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005


As Profgrrrrl would say, Gah! The movers, they come in two days. The house, she is not ready. Gah! I'll be gone packing for a few days, and then unpacking on the other side.

Note to self: in next life be fabulously wealthy so that I can waste money on having the movers do the packing.