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Halloween in Switzerland 2014

4 Nov

To be honest, we really didn’t have any halloween plans this year besides fun food for dinner. It’s not really celebrated here, so although I felt like the worst mom ever, it was going to be just a typical Friday night.
Thursday afternoon a friend of mine (strangely enough from Philadelphia!) invited us to their village for chili, hotdogs and trick or treating! The boys were ecstatic when I told them the news!
Friday afternoon the boys had a play date and then after we made mummy dogs fir dinner – even though they were serving dinner that night. We dressed up in the boys Batman costumes ( a party favor from a recent birthday party ) and hopped in the car. As bad as it sounds, we left Anna with the nanny since we were leaving the house at 6 and she’s usually in bed by 6:15/6:30 pm. She missed her first halloween but I know she was much happier being home!
We arrived in time for some food (I decided to bring jalepeno cornbread muffins to pair with the chili) before we headed out as a group of about 10 kids + parents. It was a lot of fun and the kids really enjoyed themselves. T was a bit shy at first but then when he saw what happens, he was right there up front saying ‘trick or treat!’
We headed back to our place around 8 pm, just enough time for baths and bed.

The kids got maybe 10-15 pieces of candy and thought they were in heaven, just wait until we are able to do trick or treating in America…they won’t believe it

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And some days I just want to go to Target…

24 Oct

It’s been quite some time since I’ve done a post about things I miss. This idea came to mind last week when our entire home ( minus Anna ) had the stomach bug. T started it off on a Saturday morning around 1:36 am and didn’t go back to sleep until his ( earlier than usual ) nap at 11:30 am…oh and he only wanted mommy ūüė•. We set up camp on the couch, then the floor, then back to the couch but he was just so uncomfortable. Once he ate later in the morning he seemed fine. I kept him inside with me for the morning and we got him out in the afternoon for some fresh air. ¬†We thought we were in the clear and had a nice family day on Sunday. ¬†Monday night after baths, Henry just stood over the toilet saying his “tummy was being naughty.” ¬†We were reading stories and getting ready to head to his bedroom at 7:30 and wouldn’t you know, he stopped in the bathroom and started vomiting. ¬†I hadn’t felt good all day and really didn’t eat anything and around 9 pm that evening I was sick. ¬†Of course Henry had just left for Germany so it was a sick mommy to take care of a sick 4 year old…the worst feeling. ¬†Even worse, Henry landed in Germany and started throwing up as well. ¬†UGH!

Tuesday I was feeling much better and little Henry and I had a bum day of doing crafts, coloring, watching a movie and just laying around. ¬† Wednesday morning Henry was all better and ready to go back to school, but our nanny was now sick. ¬†I gave her the day off so she could quarantine herself and after taking Henry to school, Thomas, Anna and I went outside to get some fresh air. ¬†By Wednesday afternoon everyone was better and I had now disinfected our place 3 times! ¬†I really couldn’t eat anything until the weekend, but now I’m good as new.

Ok so back to the things I’m missing lately:

  • It’s now Autumn so I’m missing all things fall…pumpkins, apple cider donuts, apple cider, pumpkin patches. ¬†They sell pumpkins here but it’s just not the same
  • Again, the weather is getting cold and I’m missing my US coffee – the big ole cup of java. ¬†We have a Nespresso which we love, but somedays I just want a coffee with some kind of special creamer in it!
  • Kids clothes. ¬†Henry’s actually in San Fran this week and he took an extra suitcase because buying kids clothes here isn’t as much fun…plus they are ridiculously priced – 1 sleeper can be upwards of $60!!!!
  • Of course, FAMILY, especially when the kids are sick – you just want to be able to call home! ¬†2 more months until we are home for the holidays
  • Target, now that’s a give in. ¬†I mean you an go there and get pretty much anything you need or want!

I have to cut this short since Anna is waking, more later!  But before I get off, when you are missing home, just look out your window and know all will be ok!

 

 

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Dinner for 26

11 Oct

We hosted Henry’s team for one of their annual dinners. At the dinner last year I was very pregnant, this year Anna was able to enjoy an hour of the party before she went to bed!

As usual we just do the shopping (besides the wine in which the man from Paris is always in charge of) and his team divides and conquers the rest! We had a great menu this year; gazpacho to start, leeks and scallops, mashed potato with cod atop a whole wheat baguette for appetizers; broccoli sautéed with garlic and tomatoes, grilled cedar plank salmon and a 6lb filet roast. For dessert his team member from Milan made tiramisu from scratch Рamazing!! We also had an apple tart/pie with vanilla ice cream.

The 2 guys from the US are always in charge of cleanup because they did such a great job their first time (their own fault ūüėČ).

It was such a wonderful evening and his team had such a wonderful time. The weather couldn’t have been any better either! It’s very un-European to invite a lot of people to your house for dinner so it’s a good change for his team…puts them at ease a bit.

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My new promise

9 Oct

The baby is sleeping, the kitchen is clean and the laundry is in – now for a little mommy time.

Ok so I’ve started my Greece post far too many times, only to come back and finish and it’s no where to be found.

I’ve made a little promise to myself that I’m going to blog at least once a week, little or big, but blog.

So here goes, a little recap on Greece.

We landed in Switzerland on a Wednesday in August from the US and then left again that Saturday for Greece. Luckily I had finished all of our laundry at my parents house before we flew home so packing for Greece wasn’t really that bad (I mean I still had to pack for 3 children, Henry and I).
We left for Greece that Saturday afternoon and 2 1/2 hours later (isn’t that crazy!) we were in Elounda, Crete, Greece. It was quite dark when we arrived, we had room service to make it easy and then put all the kids (and ourselves) to bed. The next morning we woke to utter beauty. It was a scorcher already at 8 am so we had ourselves a quick breakfast and headed straight to the beach/pool. This was basically our routine each day, with a few days being exceptions where we did a few excursions. The kids were in heaven and were full of smiles all week.

Each afternoon while T and A napped, we would take Henry on a little trip into town for lunch all by himself. Towards the end of the week, he would stay and have quiet time as the sun really exhausted them!

Wednesday afternoon we rented a boat for the family and our captain took us out and around a few other islands for 3 hours. We were able to snorkel (with the kids!), enjoy a cocktail (as much as you can enjoy it when you’re trying to keep the kids from falling into the sea) and little Henry even got to fish! It was a lot of fun. Our captain was very informative and even taught little Henry had to drive the boat – he was so excited!

Thursday during nap, Henry and I rented a speed boat to go and explore by ourselves. I was a bit nervous to say the least, I mean Henry really doesn’t drive boats ever, especially off the island of Crete in the sea! I relaxed about halfway in and we found a really great cove to do some snorkeling.

Friday morning Henry and I took the first boat over to Spinalonga (the island across from us) and walked around and enjoyed the history.

The food in Greece was to die for. A few nights we took everyone into town and enjoyed an early dinner and a few nights we ordered room service for our nanny and the kids and we would go out alone. I had at least one Greek salad a day, if not more, the feta was just that good!!

Now for a little photo diary of our trip:

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Anna’s 9 months, Henry’s 4

21 Aug

Don’t worry, I’m not forgetting about Thomas, his appointment isn’t until Monday. There are a few specific things I want to discuss about him, and didn’t think having them all at the same time would allow for that time to talk!

We just returned from a glorious holiday in Greece (that’s for another post/posts) and while there Anna turned 9 months and Henry turned 4! Seriously, where has the time gone?!

We headed to the doctor yesterday to see how the two of them were measuring up.

Anna:

Weight: 18 lbs 3 oz
Length: 27 1/2 inches

Very similar to Henry at this age

Henry:

Weight: 32 1/2 lbs
Length: 39 3/4 inches

The doctor asked it Anna is moving around yet and honestly, she really isn’t. She said this is very typical, especially with the boys constantly bringing here toys. She will scoot around, but she isn’t really rolling and not crawling at all. I was looking at the boys at this age and they were cruising on furniture and speed crawlers, but I guess it just proves that you can’t compare. She’ll do it when she’s ready!! I told my mom that she will probably skip the whole rolling over this and go straight to crawling or walking. If you sit her down she immediately goes into the crawling stance…she just doesn’t move from there.

Anna is the greatest eater. She will eat pretty much anything I make her. She’s been advancing to meats and enjoys chicken and veal. I’ve also started her on finger foods like peas, carrots, pasta and toast.

Her sleep is ok, and I guess it doesn’t help that we did travel from the US to Switzerland and then left for Greece 3 days later. All the articles I read say it can take babies 2-3 weeks to adjust to jet lag. She’s been getting up at 1am and 4am, but feeds and goes right back to sleep.

She’s still nursing (seriously I feel like I’ve been pregnant and nursing since 2010!) and I love it as much as she does. I rarely pump, but while in the US we did a night away and I got about 25-30 ounces out.

Now for Henry!

He starts ‘real’ school September 3rd, isn’t that crazy? Here in Switzerland you have to attend school from the age of 4. It’s not even half days. He will be in school M-F (except Wednesdays) from 8:45-4pm and Wednesdays he will be there from 8:45-12pm. All schools in Switzerland have half days on Wednesdays.

Henry is so clever! He can write so many words already (Henry, Thomas, Travis, Anna, Abbie, Mommy, Daddy, etc) , he know all his numbers by seeing them and can write them up to 10. He asks the most inquisitive questions and can speak both French and obviously English. We’ll be at the park and he will be speaking french to another child and then come and tell us what they were talking about. Or for example when I picked him up one day at school back in June, he started to speak to me in French and then corrected himself by speaking English…it amazes me! Oh and his school this year will be all French except 30 minutes a day.

He has the biggest appetite EVER!! I will make him dinner at 5:15pm and then he will eat a full dinner with us at 7 pm. He will eat or at least try anything. He loves ham (or so he calls salmon) and says his favorite foods are pizza and spaghetti.

He’s a great sleeper. He’s currently napping, but doesn’t always nap these days. He goes to bed around 7:40/8pm and wakes around 7/7:30am.

I’m sure I forget something, but naptime is coming to an end. Next post: Greece

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Our trip to the good ole US of A

31 Jul

Wow what a whirlwind of a trip this has been. We landed in America July 9th and these last 3 weeks have flown by.
Here’s the very abbreviated version of the craziness we’ve endured in this trip. The 10th (big) Henry started feeling a little achy and that evening he had the a stomach bug. Friday the 11th was a pretty bad day for him with excruciating headaches and vomiting, by noon he was able to keep some food down. The 12th we has a BBQ at my parents house and he’s was so weak; he couldn’t even hold Anna who weighs around 15 lbs. Another clue that something else was going on was that he was unable to open a bag of chips, a jar of pickles or hold a glass of water without two hands. He went home early that night ( he stays with little Henry at his parents while I keep T and Anna at my parents; especially when they are jet lagged ). Sunday morning I got a call quite early ( I was awake with 1 of our jet lagged kids! ) saying that he thought he needed to go to the ER. At this point he could barely walk. We went to the local ER at around 6:30 am, we were there for sometime ( lucky it wasn’t busy ), they drew every lab and the doc was 90% sure of what he had; Guillain Barr√©
Henry was then rushed via ambulance to the Milton Hershey Hospital and was admitted on their Neuro ICU floor.
He stayed in the ICU for 7 days and was 60% recovered, which is quite miraculous with Guillain Barré. The neuro attending has only seen 2 patients with this in his 17 years walk out of the hospital to go home. We count our blessings each day!

I was suppose to go to Nebraska with my mom and the 3 kiddos, however I had to cancel it – I’m glad I did but I was so bummed :(. The airline gave me a credit which I will use to see my NE family hopefully soon!

We had family photos taken the day after Henry’s discharge from the hospital and he looks quite good for how awful he was in person ( only able to be up for 10-15 minutes at a time ).

The rest of our trip was just spent with family and Henry’s boss called me personally to tell me to take Henry’s computer away and that he was to rest and see family only!!

If this was going to happen, we are blessed that it happened when it did. Henry was to leave for Cali the Monday after he was diagnosed and then head to India and Europe after. Can you imagine this happening in India?!?! Not good

I’ve written this in two segments so hopefully it makes sense…and I wrote it on my phone (a first)!

We are now in Greece so stay tuned

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Portugal

18 Jun

Three weeks ago we were getting ready for a little family beach vacation. ¬†It was a holiday here so daddy was off from work and we had him all to ourselves for 5 straight days – amazing! ¬†We wanted to visit some place different and we went with the Algarve coast in Portugal, and it didn’t disappoint!

We left early Thursday morning (the 29th of May) and headed to Geneva.  Because it was a last minute trip, all the nonstop flights were booked so had to connect through Belgium.  It all worked out perfectly and we were pool side that afternoon.  Little Henry was so ready for the pool that he helped me unpack our bag as soon as we were in our villa, and he was all suited up waiting by the door in no time!

The location we picked (the Pine Cliffs Resort; it’s part of Sheraton) was fantastic. ¬†It’s made for families from the service at the restaurants to the rooms to the kids club. ¬†We rented a 3 bedroom villa with a full kitchen and it was definitely worth it. ¬†We ate out as a family 1 night (our first night) and then the remainder of the trip I would just make this kids and the nanny dinner and Henry and I had date night once Anna and/or the boys were in bed. ¬†It was heavenly really…and much needed. ¬†We ate some of the best food we’ve ever experienced on that trip.

Every other day was pretty much the same in that we would wake up, make breakfast and coffee in the villa and then head to the beach as early as 8:30am.  Yes we got to the beach early, but we got the best seats, it was already hot and by 1:00pm the boys were ready to head back to the room for naps.  We woke everyone from naps at 4pm and then spent our afternoons by the pool.

It was one of our best (family) vacations to date, the boys just couldn’t get enough of the beach and pool and were with constant smiles on their faces! ¬†The flights were even enjoyable; I’m sure it helped having the 1 adult to 1 child ratio!

Now a better way to document this trip, with many photos!

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Ready Mom

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T’s tent

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Our walk to the beach

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They love their daddy

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Approaching nap time

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They held hands every day on the walk back from the beach ( and yes Henry wore that life jacket all day every day)

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Water guns + Thomas = InLove

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T taking mommy for a ride

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Henry in the big pool with daddy (and his alligator!)

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Dipping Anna’s toes in the water

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Not a day goes by that Henry doesn’t ask if we can go back to Portugal. ¬†We met so many great families there. ¬†Family vacation; Success!

Easter in Italy (better late than never)

9 May

This year for Easter we decided to rent a villa in Aosta, Italy. ¬†It was such an amazing time, and one of the greatest aspects of this trip was that it’s only a 2 hour drive; door to door! ¬†We set off on Friday morning and were able to enjoy the entire afternoon in the center of Aosta. ¬†It’s a very historical town with original Roman ruins still in place.

The weather of Friday was so warm and sunny; high 70s. ¬†We walked around the old cobblestone streets (it’s a walking district meaning no cars allowed so the boys could run!), did a little window shopping, stopped by an Italian restaurant for dinner and had some of the most amazing pizza and pasta for dinner and then of course ended our evening with gelato. ¬†What a great day it was.

Friday evening the boys shared a bedroom for the first time ever and it was quite comical. ¬†Henry was in the bed and Thomas in a pack n play, and boy we didn’t think they would ever stop laughing. ¬†Twenty or so minutes went by ¬†and all you heard was Thomas say “Henny, Henny…” so I guess Henry must have passed out and Thomas just gave up.

Saturday we woke up to snow. ¬†Aosta is situated in the middle of 2 mountain ranges, therefore a storm must have moved it over night. ¬†It was quite beautiful and it didn’t stop us from exploring. ¬†We did more walking (or running) around the center, grabbed more pizza and pasta for lunch (my favorite of the trip), and then headed home for naps. ¬†Before we left we stopped by a store that makes their own fresh pasta and sauces and grabbed a bunch for dinner; because let’s be realistic, eating at home is often times much more enjoyable.

When we arrived back at our villa, there was enough snow to make a snowman (or an Olaf), so we did just that.  After T woke up from his nap we drove to an amazing castle called Fenis castle, about 20 minutes away. We returned home in time for some wine and dinner and just stayed up and talked.

Easter morning we woke up and again it was warm and sunny – so crazy!! ¬†We went to church at the Cathedral and then walked through the Roman Ruins after lunch…with gelato in hand. ¬†Our nanny decided to stay back Sunday morning to catch up on her journal, so we had a family day and it couldn’t have been better.

The Easter bunny came after naps and the rest of the afternoon/evening was spent playing with their new toys/books.  We again bought more fresh pasta/wine for dinner and enjoyed eating dinner at the villa.

Monday late morning we left to get back home and to our surprise the Easter bunny had been to our place in Switzerland.  We then went for a long walk and called it an early night (for the kids at least!!).

So that’s the abbreviated version of our amazing Easter trip to Italy; and here are the photos!

Walking up to Fenis Castle

Walking up to Fenis Castle

It was an attempt to get a photo with the kiddos

It was an attempt to get a photo with the kiddos

Snowing day in Aosta...with inappropriate shoes on my behalf

Snowy day in Aosta…with inappropriate shoes on my behalf

Abbie and Henry walking through the streets catching snowflakes

Abbie and Henry walking through the streets catching snowflakes

He just loved the pizza

He just loved the pizza

Henry - Easter morning

Henry – Easter morning

Smiles for nice weather

Smiles for nice weather

Family photo - thanks to Abbie

Family photo – thanks to Abbie

T wearing his gelato

T wearing his gelato

These boys - enjoying gelato by the Roman theater

These boys – enjoying gelato by the Roman theater

T cheesin

T cheesin

Henry and Anna - best buds

Henry and Anna – best buds

Another family photo - this one thanks to self timer

Another family photo – this one thanks to self timer

Love him

Love him

Playing some tunes for us

Playing some tunes for us

 

Oh and today Anna turned 6 months – appointment on Monday so stay tuned!!

Anna’s 5 months

15 Apr

Baby girl, slow down! ¬† Last Wednesday marked Anna being 5 months old…really? ¬†I just weighed her this morning and she’s tipping the scale at 14 pounds – yay Anna. ¬†She continues to make me smile at every glance I get of her. ¬†She is also quite the talker these days, this morning I could have swore that she was saying ‘dada’ as we were facetiming with daddy. ¬†She has started to wake up 1 or 2 times at night, but I can’t complain because I just feed her and back to sleep she goes. ¬†She has been showing signs of teething (my earliest yet, remember Thomas had 0 teeth on his 1st birthday) like pulling at her ear, chewing on everything and was a bit fussy. ¬†I went and purchased an amber teething necklace the other day and she hasn’t been fussy since, coincidence? I think not.

Anna's first jewels

Anna’s first jewels

Recently Anna has been sitting by herself for 10-20 seconds, and she’s so proud of herself! ¬†She also loves to stand up. ¬†Whenever lil Henry enters the room, she smiles from ear to ear and he can certainly make her belly laugh at any given time!

Her schedule is pretty set these day; she goes to be between 7 and 7:30pm and is up for the day around 7 am. ¬†She takes 2-3 naps lasting for 1 1/2-3 hours. ¬†The weather has been glorious here, so we’ve enjoyed many walks in the stroller.

Today marks a very happy day in our household, Daddy comes home!!! ¬†He’s been traveling like a crazy man, from California to Utah and returning from Sweden today.

 

Anna – 4 months old

20 Mar

Time seems to be escaping me and I truly can’t believe my baby girl is 4 months old!

Anna is the best baby, really she is. ¬†She rarely cries, sleeps like a champ and pretty much smiles the rest of the day. ¬†I always tell Henry that it’s a good thing she’s our third, because if she came first and then her brothers came after, I most likely would have thought something was wrong with the boys (with the catnaps, fussiness, etc)!

We had her 4 month appointment on Monday and she’s a growing girl:

Weight: 12 lbs 6 oz

Height: 25 2/3 inches long

Both of these approximately in the 50th percentile

Milestones:

She isn’t rolling over yet (different from boys which was around 13 weeks), she will roll onto her side but then just gets caught in the action of her surroundings…but boy does this little girl want to sit up. ¬†If you lay her at any type of incline, she just lifts her head and back up. ¬†Also, she’s a talker – it’s so funny how into the conversation she gets with her facial expressions.

She’s nursing every 3-4 hours during the day and then gets her last feeding at 9 pm and wakes up around 6 am for a feeding then up for the day around 8 am.

Unlike the boys where I was super strict about starting a routine with them at 8 weeks, I don’t really have a ‘real’ routine for her yet – during the day that is. ¬†Also she should be going to bed earlier, but it’s been busy around here and she seems happy so I’m just going with it until we move next month into a new apartment and get settled. (P.s. our new nanny is amazing – another post for that!)

And of course, so photos of the little lady:

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Getting too big too fast

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Hanging out in her crib

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Trying to find the right finger

 

Hopefully this link works!