Archive | October, 2013

We took the plunge…

30 Oct

That is…to hire a nanny.  This is something I knew we had to do, I’ve just been holding off on it because I feel so guilty about it.  With living abroad, having a new baby (in the winter months mind you), no family around, busy, busy boys and daddy traveling, amongst other factors, it’s a must.  A big factor that has been weighing on me (and Henry); what if I go into labor in the middle of the night??  The last thing I want to be doing is worrying about the boys.  I mean, I’m sure I’ll worry about them, but if they are in good hands I’ll be much more at ease.  This is why we hired her now.  I want for the boys to get ‘use’ to her before the big event, whenever that may be.

The process of hiring a nanny has been stressful in and of itself.  We really didn’t want a live-in nanny, however with our schedule and the unknown of my impending labor, having someone already here is a bonus.  I think we interviewed close to 20 ‘nannies’.  I liked a couple of them, but never got the ‘right’ feeling from any of them…until last week.  I didn’t want to hire someone just to have an extra set of hands, I wanted for them to be nurturing, professional, educated, clean (crazy enough a few were so unkept at the interviews) and to share the same core values as our family.

The girl we hired, we’ll call her M, is a professional nanny.  She’s originally from Poland, however she has just finished a 2 year job in London and prior to that was in London as well.  This is a was a big factor, being able to speak fluent English.  With the boys, I never wanted them to misunderstood due to language because that would just cause frustration on both ends.  M speaks fluent English, Polish, French and German.  She seems very sweet, however we’ve never met in person.  I found her through the nanny agency here in Switzerland therefore a background check has been done, she’s CPR and first aid certified, has great references, was interviewed by the company and we were able to interview her via Skype.

Well Friday marks November 1st and that’s when we ideally wanted someone to start, so she flies in tomorrow evening.  She’ll be staying in one of our guest rooms for at least 6 months ( to help me through the winter months ) and then we’ll go from there.  She’ll mostly be helping out with the boys and just staying with the baby while I run both boys to school in the mornings ( or she may take them ), just so the baby doesn’t have to be exposed to the elements and all the sick kiddos.  She will be here on weekends if we ever want to go out for dinner or such and she’s also going to be traveling with us, which will be an added bonus with the boys.  Occasionally we may travel with the baby just for the weekend and she’s stay with the boys.  I’m just happy that the boys will have a familiar face if/when we do these activities, it just makes it easier for all of us.

I still feel REALLY guilty about this, but once the baby arrives I think I’m going to realize just how important and vital this decision is/was.

 

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I’m back

30 Oct

It’s been a while since I’ve been able to get on here.  A few weeks ago Thomas accidentally closed my computer while my back up disk was sitting on my keyboard and it caused my screen to crack, leaving me with a computer but no way of seeing anything on the screen.  Finally this morning I went to the Apple store and purchased a new computer, because this way I have a new warranty (mine was up in January – go figure) and fixing the screen on a Mac is way expensive.

I guess I could have kept up on the iPad but it’s a little difficult to blog from there being that everything was on my computer (photos and all).

There’s a lot to catch you all up on so stay tuned 🙂

 

33 week appointment

12 Oct

The boys and daddy are sitting in family room watching the Cars movie after our yummy breakfast of whole wheat pumpkin pancakes.  I promised Henry last night before bed that we’d make them this morning, and he doesn’t forget much.  It was the first thing out of his mouth at 7 am this morning.  I doubled the batch so that we can freeze them for lazy mornings (I made some 30+ pancakes) 🙂

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Our super healthy breakfast

Yesterday I had my 33 week appointment (33 week 3 days) to check on baby girl.  Henry has been going to all of my appointment this time around which has been nice.  I had a babysitter come at 2:15pm for my 3pm appointment.  I just walked to the appointment and met Henry there – it’s good exercise for me as it’s a 2 mile walk up the hills of Lausanne.

Weight – I’m up 2 lbs from my last appointment 2 weeks ago so that’s good news.  Total weight gain 13 lbs

Baby’s HR – 136 BPM

My BP – 110/70

No protein in my urine

At my last appointment he took blood (as he does at each appt) and my liver enzymes are in the normal range, however my platelets have dropped to 126 (normal range 150-400).  He was a little concerned with this as we don’t want me going into HELLP syndrome again (because the only cure is delivery), so he rechecked them yesterday and I should know by Monday.  He wants me to make it to 36 weeks (for the baby’s sake and the hospital I want to deliver at won’t take me until 36 weeks and I’d have to have another doc deliver me).  When he mentioned induction in 2 weeks my jaw about dropped!

As for the baby; she’s still measuring a week behind and is weighing in at 1920 grams or roughly 4.1 pounds (if I were to make it to my due date she’s estimated to weigh somewhere around 6 1/2 lbs).  She has gone from the 46% to the 36% which is something else we’re watching out for since preeclampsia causes growth restrictions.  Many prayers are said for the baby girl, all I want is a healthy baby!

With Henry traveling and my platelets dropping, I’m starting my weekly appointments.  My next appointment is this coming Friday and we’ll do some stat blood tests since Henry leaves for India on Sunday.  Yes, India – an 8 + hour flight plus a 2 1/2 hour train ride.  This is his last trip planned and he’s only gone for 4 days.  If I get induced at 36 weeks, it would be the following Tuesday or later so fingers (and legs) crossed!

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33 week belly

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Baby girl’s profile

After our appointment we did an early date night.  I don’t like to miss out on the boys bedtime, so with an early appointment it worked out perfectly.  We headed to a nearby town called Lutry for some ‘American’ burgers.  Most restaurants don’t start serving until 7 pm, but rarely you find a ‘non-stop’ place, meaning they serve all day.  It’s been rainy the past 2 days, but cleared up beautifully for our date night.  The rain here only means snow for the mountains across the lake and it was so pretty.

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Beautiful streets of Lutry

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The snow capped French Alps

 

Dinner for 17

8 Oct

…and 33 weeks pregnant!

Last night we successfully hosted a dinner for 17 at our place.  Henry did his team meeting locally so we decided it would be a nice touch to have everyone over to our place for dinner.  The best part about this idea was that Henry had each region (Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland and so on) prepare a favorite dish of theirs.  What this meant is that everyone sent us their lists of ingredients and all we had to do was the shopping – brilliant!

It was a beautiful night (in the high 50s) so we were able to open the house up and use all of our balcony space as well.  We had a babysitter for the boys and they were excellent with all the ‘strangers’ being in their house.

The Belgiums prepared the appetizers which consisted of roasted parma ham, melon, and pineapple to pick on.  Along with this they made a puff pastry stuffed with smoked salmon – which was AMAZING!  I was a little upset when we had to buy the smoked salmon, but after I saw that it was being cooked I was delighted!  One of the US guys that lives here in Lausanne, his wife brought over guacamole which was awesome as well for a starter.  For our main dish we had salmon, grilled pancetta wrapped chicken, rice made with coconut milk and a medley of vegetables – most was made by Damien who is from Bordeaux, France.  For dessert the Germans made what looked like an apple funnel cake, and it as well was heavenly.  Another one of the guys who lives here now but is from Paris brought all the wines and the US guys supplied the beer.

It was such a great night and by the time they left at 9pm, they had my kitchen cleaned up, trash taken out and you almost couldn’t tell we had 17 people wandering throughout our house!

Here are a few photos that we captured during the night:

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Thomas helping one of the Belgium’s chose a beer

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The newest member of Henry’s team who are relocating from Arizona

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Playing puzzles with the Belgiums

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The entire group

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So excited for Rachel to move over here

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More of the team

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The clean up crew

 

And yes…today I’m 33 weeks pregnant and feeling pretty well!  Sleep has been a little difficult for me lately, but I blame the fact that my body is just preparing for what’s ahead.  I have a doctor’s appointment this Friday so stay tuned for more details!

What’s New

2 Oct

Both boys are at school and the house is almost too quiet.  While I’m sure there are a million other things I could be doing, I thought I’d put my feet up and relax for a bit – because in less than 2 months our lives are only getting busier 🙂

So my parents have come and gone, so I thought I’d do a little week recap.

They couldn’t have come at a better time, the weather was glorious and fall is just setting in here.  Across the lake a few mountain peaks have their first coating of snow so it is definitely picturesque. Throughout the week we did a lot of walking and traveling to close by towns.  They arrived early Saturday morning and Henry went to pick them up on the train.  It’s a 2 1/2 hour train ride back, but it’s so beautiful as you ride through the mountains and the countryside of Switzerland.  We all napped when the boys did and afterwards we headed to a nearby town called Lutry.  It’s a true European town with the old and very narrow cobblestone roads.  It’s also a port so we went to the park right on the lake and played for a bit.  We had a little snack of crepes and walked around a bit before heading back to our place to grill.  On Sunday, Henry and I were able to go to church in the morning alone, which is a rarity.  We had planned to have our hospital tour following church, however I was notified that they had 6 babies being born and it was a bit too busy (that’s a lot for the hospital since they have 700 a year).  We then came home, made lunch for everyone and got an early nap.  We woke the boys up prematurely from their naps so that we could catch the boat from Lausanne to Evian, France (where the water comes from).  The boat ride was glorious.  We spent a few hours over there and then came home for dinner.

I don’t remember what we did on Monday and Tuesday we had my doctor’s appointment.  Wednesday I walked my parents to the center of town to see the old Cathedrals and boutiques.  Once the boys were home from school and had their naps, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday we just played and went to the park.  On Thursday, since Thomas we home from school and I didn’t have to pick Henry up until 1:30pm, we decided to head to the Gruyere Castle here in Switzerland.  It’s only a 45 minute drive from us and it’s just so beautiful. My parents really enjoyed that, as we were able to walk around the village and see them make the cheese along with tasting it (for them at least, it’s not all pasteurized so I just stay away!).  It was a busy morning so we just relaxed in the afternoon.  On Friday we just caught up on rest in the morning and played at our place and in the afternoon I selfishly made an appointment to get my nails done…and it was glorious.  I had an parent teacher conference at Henry’s school at 5 pm so another mom from his class and I walked there together.

Side note: During the conference, which was 1 1/2 hours because they had to do it both in English and French, I had another scare.  I’m not sure if it was due to the fact that for an 1 1/2 hours we sat in the little kids wooden chairs or what but it was scary.  Like halfway through the meeting I was getting these intense cramps, so badly that I was sweating profusely.  They felt like true contractions, starting from the back and radiating to the front and down toward my pelvic bone.  Within the last 45 minutes to an 1 hour of the meeting it happened 4-5 times.  I really didn’t know what to do.  After the meeting I walked home and they subsided for the most part and haven’t happened since.  Luckily my parents were here so they helped with bathing the boys once I got home.

Saturday we all got up early and headed to Chamonix, France where daddy was for a conference.  It’s about a 1 1/2 hour drive there and absolutely beautiful.  Chamonix is the highest peak in Europe and is covered in snow year round.  It also has a glacier on in and I’ve heard that if you go to the top (which being pregnant you’re not allowed, nor are kids under the age of 4) you can hear the glacier shifting…someday!  We spend the morning and early afternoon there and headed back home during naps so that the boys could sleep in the car (in which they didn’t).  Saturday night we cooked steaks and called it an early night since Henry and my parents had to get up around 4 so they could catch the train for the Zurich airport (it wasn’t fair to drag the boys along so I had a lazy, pj morning with them!).

All in all we had such a great time.  With jet lag and only being here for 8 days, I’m sure it was exhausting for my parents but they say they had so much fun!

And now some photos we captured from our week:

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The current bump

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Grandpa did a lot of reading to the boys

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On the boat to Evian, France

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Kisses from my love bug

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What a beautiful day for the boat

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Our little daredevil

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Mom and dad in front of the Evian Cathedral

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Group photo minus daddy

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After bath reading

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They read A LOT of books

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Of course we had to bake oatmeal chocolate chip cookies with grandma

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And yet more reading 🙂

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At Gruyere Castle

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Inside the Castle walls

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Entering Gruyere village

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It was such a nice, quiet morning strolling around the village

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Playing in the rocks in Chamonix, waiting for daddy to finish his meeting

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They were both so happy to see daddy

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Beautiful church in Chamonix

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Family photo, minus the photographer again

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It’s so hard to get both boys to look at the same time

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Gosh I love him

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Family photo attempt…they were too enthralled with the paragliders overhead

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The ENORMOUS pretzel daddy brought home from the Zurich airport