Thursday, April 27, 2006

Creepy keyword searches

Somebody found my blog after searching for "p*ct*re of b0y wear*ng di*per$".


Needless to say I've been deleting some ph0t0s.


Breaking news

Switzerland has a parliamentary system of government with an unusual executive: a seven-member Bundesrat. According to Somebody who knows Somebody who knows R, one of the seven, Bundesrat Deiss (the Economics Minister) will be stepping down. You heard it here first!

UPDATE: News travels fast, you can read more here (English) and here (Deutsch).


Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Things fall apart

If there is anybody left still reading me, I'm sorry about the lack of posts. Even before the Easter Weekend Puke Fest '06, I was suffering from a spring blogging drought. But since the Easter Weekend to End all Easter Weekends it's been a disaster over here. The worst of it lasted just three days; the final throw-up came on Easter Monday. But since then Small Boy's had a lingering sense of discomfort, a mild fear of his bed where the throwing-uping all began, awful to non-existant napping, night waking, a sudden resurgence of nursing, and did I mention he appears to be getting five teeth simultaneously? You heard me, five. I'll repeat that so it's clear that's not a typo. Five. Five five five five five. My whole schedule has been blown to pieces like a match-stick house in a tornado. I'm neither writing nor blogging, not swimming, not cooking, lord knows I'm not sleeping. It's stunning, simply stunning, how such a small person can blow my life inside out; I'm wandering around like a shell-shocked village dog wondering what happened. I hesitate to say he seems to be settling down a bit, lest I curse it, but he appears to be settling down a bit. He's actually napping in his bed, hence I can type this mea culpa. I'll be back. Sometime. Hopefully soon.

In the meantime, go read This Non-American Life post about the Zurich tradition of burning the Böögg that I don't have time to post myself. Plus she has pictures.

(P.S. It took 10 minutes 28 seconds and it means we should have a nice summer.)

Monday, April 24, 2006

Cycling Update: Liège-Bastogne-Liège and Tour of Georgia

Alejandro Valverde wins Liege-Bastogne-Liege; Damiano Cunego is showing good form ahead of the Giro d'Italia with a third place and Ivan Basso is a respectable tenth. Basso seems to be following the Armstrong strategy and gearing everything towards France, so a tenth in Liege is a good finish for him.

Meanwhile, Stateside, Floyd Landis defends his Tour of Georgia title. Add that to his Paris-Nice title, and the Phonak rider is having a good early season. Phonak seems to have a wee Tour de France curse, but Landis is looking ready.

Jan Ullrich has confirmed for the Tour of Romandie, which runs from Tuesday to Sunday, so we'll be getting a peak at his spring form soon.


Thursday, April 20, 2006

Five percent

Doing the down and dirty math in our heads - a questionable proposition, I admit, given how little sleep we're getting - that's about how much of his body weight Small Boy has lost since he inaugurated Puke Fest '06 on Saturday night. Five percent. This is not good under any circumstances, but considering that Small Boy is possibly the Skinniest Boy on the Planet, it's a bit alarming. Or, it would be alarming if our pediatrician, who we saw this afternoon, were alarmed, which he's not. It's always good when your pediatrician is Not Alarmed. I'm not entirely sure why he's not alarmed, other than the fact that the active phase of Puke Fest '06 has drawn to a close; Small Boy is consuming and retaining food, though in smaller than desirable quantities; he's consuming and retaining liquids; his white blood cell count indicated no bacterial infection; and about 25 years of medical experience.

I'm trying not to be alarmed. But Small Boy - 5% = Wee Small Boy.

Now if only I could lose 5% of my body weight! Without the puking, of course.


Wednesday, April 19, 2006

How sad is it...

...that I'm more excited about the arrival of this and this, than of this?

Monday, April 17, 2006

Cycling update: Amstel Gold

First Cancellara in Paris-Roubaix, now Schleck in the Amstel Gold. CSC is having a good run in the spring classics. Does this bode well for Basso's Tour?


Sunday, April 16, 2006

Random thoughts on a rainy (Easter) Sunday

  • Small children can throw up surprising quantities of partially digested food.
  • Peas apparantly take a really long time to digest.
  • Partially digested meatloaf? Sehr gross.
  • The Swiss version of Pedialyte is called GES 45. I think Pedialyte is a much friendlier name.
  • Rubber lined sheets really do protect the mattress from seeping moisture.
  • When your child throws up all over you, you only think about how gross it is much, much later.
  • I wish it were me instead.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Cycling update: Paris-Roubaix

Fabian Cancellara became the first Swiss cyclist in 83 years to win Paris-Roubaix.

Poor George Hincapie can't catch a break in this race. I mean, this sort of thing (check out the position of the handle bars) just shouldn't happen to a bike that costs in excess of US $8,000. I imagine that picture won't be showing up in any Trek ads any time soon.


Friday, April 07, 2006

The glider is still

R and I have a simple bedtime routine with Small Boy. It doesn’t take very long, and R does most of it – he washes Small Boy’s hands, face and feet; cleans his teeth; does the final diaper change; and puts Small Boy in his pj’s. There is usually, but not always, a pull-cord music box playing and R plays with Small Boy as he gets him ready. From the next room I always hear Boy Giggles and when they reach their peak I know that R is smelling Small Boy’s feet and making faces and saying peeeee-eeeeeew! Only at the very end, when Small Boy is all ready to go to sleep, do I come in. I take Small Boy, sit in the glider in the corner, and nurse him before I put him to bed.

I always knew I wanted a rocking chair. Before I got pregnant I always imagined myself rocking the baby in some old handmade Shaker rocking chair. After the infertility diagnosis it was the one concrete image I allowed myself to hold on to, that I would one day sit in a rocking chair in a darkened corner of a quiet room rocking a baby. In the event, I did get pregnant and we bought a glider, rather than a rocking chair, which to my mind is the same thing and I don’t have to worry about pinching the cat’s tail. My glider is nothing fancy, no handmade one-of-a-kind chair, but if you put it in a row of identical gliders I would find it. The frame is blond pine, and the arms have been burnished warm by my resting forearms. It is upholstered in a speckled blue, the blue of approaching dusk, of certain deep lakes, of Small Boy eyes; it has a matching footstool, and Small Boy and I have spent countless hours in it.

In the beginning I only nursed him in the glider. Even in the middle of the night, for reasons that made sense at the time but now seem like the decisions of the sleep deprived, I would take him to that glider and nurse him, even though he slept in a bassinet one inch from my side of the bed. Small Boy’s room back in Small Village was at the back of the house and it was always perfectly still, and we would sit in the glider and nurse and I would stroke his hair and his ear and his fingers. For perhaps two months, day and night, I nursed him in that glider in his room that he didn’t use yet. R had painted the walls sky blue with fluffy white clouds; along one wall, arching over the crib, a rainbow bloomed from one corner to the other. The ceiling was a rich dark blue, the blue of night, of crushed velvet, of Van Gogh, and scattered with plastic glow-in-the-dark stars forming the constellations – Orion, the Big Dipper, Cassiopia. I would sit in the quiet room with Small Boy in my arms, rocking, listening to the stillness and nursing my son. At some point I started to nurse him in bed overnight, and at some point – certainly by the Giro d’Italia in May – I started nursing him on the couch, but that glider has always been our special chair; Small Boy won’t sit in it with R.

In that glider, Small Boy and I end the goodnight routine. When he is ready to go to sleep I come into the room; Small Boy is in R’s arms and he leans towards me, holding out his arms. I take him and we go to the glider where he nurses briefly before I put him in his crib. Recently, however, he hasn’t wanted to nurse. He points to the glider and we go sit, but then he pulls my shirt down as if to say, put that thing away! After sitting there a minute or two he points to his crib, and I put him to bed.

Wednesday night, when I took him from R, Small Boy pointed directly to his crib. I made for the glider anyway, but he protested and pointed again to his crib, so I put him to bed. It happened again last night. I put him straight to bed with a glance over at the glider in the corner, still, waiting faithfully to be set into motion.

My boy doesn’t want to nurse before bedtime anymore. My boy doesn’t want to rock in the glider anymore. He is outgrowing these things of his babyhood.

My glider is still.


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Thursday, April 06, 2006

Im April macht das Wetter was es will

Tuesday was lovely. Lovely. Small Boy and I spent the afternoon outside, first taking a walk along the river, then cutting through the petting zoo, then curling back through the Old Town before coming to rest at the park by the university, sitting on a blanket spread out on the grass. The sky was blue, the sun was warm, the breeze mild, the panoramic view of the Alps unparalleled. Small Boy played with his buckets and became outrageously excited when the young men kicking around a soccer ball lost control of it and it rolled towards our blanket; heartbrokenly shattered when I returned it to them. Behind us four anarchist punks were listening to music and drinking a beer; couples kissed in the grass; a playgroup filled the Schanze with shrieks of excitement. Coats were shed, shoes removed, pant legs rolled to the knee. Spring, spring, wonderful spring.

Yesterday, it snowed. Snow. On the ground. On April 5th.

And so say the Swiss, im April macht das Wetter was es will. (In April the weather does what it wants.)


Monday, April 03, 2006

...and his (US-)Americanness

In case Small Boy's (US-)Americanness ever comes into question, in case the Consular Report of Birth and US passport aren't enough, I can always just point to this cultural marker. When I push the stroller past Starbuck's without actually going in, Small Boy cries, points to the door, and strains his neck to watch the store until it receeds in the distance.

I guess I spend a bit of time in there, huh?

R and I can't decide if we're appalled or proud.