Friday, November 30, 2007

A bar of chocolate a day

The other day (Tue) was a beautiful clear day, which is rather unusual for Zurich, apparently. We (Sonja, Emilie and I) ended up doing a stroll in the afternoon up on the hillside of the city, with nice views of the surrounding region. We (ahem, I) ended up talking with another woman doing the same - she had a five week old son in a carrier on a chest. Both of us ended up in the supermarket underneath the hillside. After getting a few fruits and veggies, I was passing the chocolate isle when I saw her again, contemplating which chocolate bar to get. I made a comment about the chocolate, and she said that since she started breastfeeding, she needs/eats one of those regular chocolates a day.

Sounds familiar.

I have been doing the same thing. Back in Fairbanks, I was going through our stashed away chocolate. Here, I just go for the value packs: yesterday I bought a kilogram of chocolate (10 bars, variety) for ten francs, and already started several ones. Probably the equivalent of two bars is already gone, and it is barely 24 hours later. I was glad to hear I am not the only one.

Here is our house on a clear sunny day. The house is the one where you can see multiple cars parked in front of it. It is near the center of the picture. The windows on the top floor (in the roof) are exposed (I was trying to find the antonym of receded), and we are in the corner window. We are actually at the window: Sonja, myself, and the third blob in between is the computer since I had to press a button to take the picture.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


Martin wanted to have Emilie baptised, and so it happened at the same time as Ivan's (Ivan is his sister's son, 4 months old), a week ago. The day was bright and clear, and a bit on the cool side. The church was near (10 mins walk) the village where his sister lives. Unheated church - that initially caused me some concern. Many thanks to Lucas, Martin's godson, for taking all the pictures - he was in charge of our camera that day.

The church.

The priest going over a few things before the actual start, in the sunshine outside the church, since that is where everyone was absorbing the sunshine before going into the cold building.

Nice view of the inside.

The (warm) water on Emilie's head, with Martin's sister Cornelia as the Gotta (godmother) and his dad as the Getti (godfather).

Since I am writing this in English-based window, it is pretty funny that should be Křtiny, becomes, without the hat on the "r", Krtiny - molehills, if you like, or something else entirely.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Pics from visiting grandma/grandpa Oct 07

Martin and Sonja hiking in Turtmanntal, where we went for a quick overnight trip with grandpa + Martin's sister Cornelia, her husband, and her 1.x year old and 4 month old.

The "baby" gets introduced to the sheep at grandma+grandpa's well as later on to the black and white goats characteristic of that region.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Pictures from October

We got a new modem. Seems like I can post pictures now. Yay! These are the ones from the first three days in Zurich: grandma and grandpa and Martin on our balcony, view from the balcony at night, at the zoo on Sunday with Martin's sisters and their kids, and Hilary and Ryan and Sophie.

Married to a single guy

A week ago, Martin finally got back from the states, two days late. He had to get a new passport in New York. On the application, he apparently checked "single", then realized it as he headed out the door. The secretary promised not to tell anyone, but he himself has found it pretty funny. Apparently it is hard to change one's ways when your entire life you have been checking the "single" box...

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Best coffee in town...probably not the best coffee in town

In front of a coffeeshop by "our" tram station, they have on the blackboard hand-written (in english)

"Best coffee in town"

That same sign/message has been there every day since we came to town, some five weeks ago, so I guess it does not change very often, if at all.

The other day I noticed that a cheaper-looking coffeeshop on a nearby corner has, on the blackboard in front of its door, the message (again in english)

"Probably not the best coffee in town :)"

Nice response ... may be I should try the tea at both shops since I don't drink coffee.

Babicka have speck (grandma has bacon)

As I was tucking Sonja into bed tonight, I told her that papa will be back tomorrow, and that at the end of the week we will be heading over to visit grandma and grandpa (in czech, babicka + dedecek).

On hearing the news, her face lit up with a huge smile and those dimples of hers: "Babicka have speck".

Speck (in german) is bacon, already cured so that you can just eat it as is (without cooking). At the end of our last visit to Martin's parents', grandma packed some slices of bread and slices of speck, so that we could give those to Sonja in th train if she got hungry. She did get hungry. And she still remembers that...

grandma has bacon.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Imaginary phone calls and conversations with Sonja

OK, one more post about Sonja for today, since I did manage to log into blogger and post. Does not happen often these days.

She loves to do imaginary phone calls. Hold several bricks of fake lego to her ear, so that they form a longer block, and one to your ear, and she starts telling you all sorts of things after establishing that you are indeed holding your phone to your ear. Can't put it down. Hallo, mama? is followed by an explanation of what we had done or what we will be doing or anything else.

Put a real phone into her hand when someone is on the line, even after she had claimed that she wanted to talk to that person (e.g. papa or aunt Regula or Tinu), and she is dead silent.

After Martin left for his travels on Wednesday, Sonja was also imitating our typical conversation on the landing by our front door each workday morning, including an excellent imitation of "see ya" that I say at the end. Parrot. Martin noticed she says "super" like he does too. Long past time to watch our language in front of her.

Sonja duck, mama duck, papa duck

At "the children's place" store in San Francisco last year I got Sonja the puzzle consisting of 16 wooden blocks, which can be arranged into one of six pictures depicting farm animals: either ducks, chickens, sheep, cow, horse or pig. Somehow she loves the ducks. (She can put the picture of ducks together by herself, without our assistance.) She loves the ducks so much so that she not only points out the mama duck and papa duck (after Martin taught her that the duck with the green head is actually papa duck, it took him a while to persuade her of it), but she also named the three ducklings in the picture: the smallest one is Sonja Duck, the next bigger one is Emilie Duck, and the third one is Baby Duck. Sorta like our family: there is Sonja, there is Emilie, and there is the doll that is simply named Baby.

Sonja really does like those ducks a lot. In the last week, Sonja has wanted to take the blocks with Sonja Duck, Mama Duck, and Papa Duck with her to bed when she went for either nap or night-night several times. Especially for the nighttime, I always try to go in some time later and take those wooden cubes out - don't want her to wake up if she rolls onto them. But it is funny to see how much she likes them.

Emilie's finding her hands

So that I don't write only about Sonja: Emilie has started exploring the world a bit with her hands. She is not very coordinated, at all, but yesterday when I stuck my face by her as she laid in the carseat (which makes a nice container for her even though we don't have a car), she touched my face with one or the other hand, several times. The fingers are no longer clenched in fists, and it is pretty cool to see her check things out. A caveat regarding the tiny fists: if I want to cut her nails, those fingers are in a fist, very tight little fist.

Papa Happy Birthday Airplane

Sonja sometimes says things out of the blue. Today, as we were all three laying on the bed for the afternoon nap, she mentions something about papa happy birthday airplane. She did have a verb there, I forget what it was. Hmmm, did Martin call her from California, and tell her to remind me that his birthday is coming up in two weeks, and what he wanted for his birthday? And in case I didn't get what she was saying, Sonja repeated something about papa happy birthday flugzig.

No more jumping like Clifford through the fallen leaves

Since we found a local park within the first two weeks of coming to Zurich, Sonja has enjoyed jumping through the piles of leaves like Clifford (the Big Red Dog) does in the book "Clifford's First Autumn". Even on Monday, when we discovered that they had cleared the park of all the leaves since our last visit, one tree still luckily had some... and they were still falling from it... and so we ended up making a pile under that tree and jumping through the pile. Then Thursday night came the wind. And the rain/drizzle/occasional snow. We haven't gone to the park, but whatever leaves remained underneath the one tree are probably now blown all over, and that tree itself will be leafless, considering the windy conditions have now lasted two days.

Friday, we visited Elsbeth and Lena again in Einsiedeln (Tinu was working, we didn't see him). There it is high enough that instead of rain/drizzle they had snow. Blowing snow. Sonja did not like much that encounter, but we were not quite dressed for it either. So now, instead of playing in the leaves, we'll be playing in the snow...

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Emilie 4.9 kg (10 lbs 12 oz) at 2.5 months

Emilie had her first visit with the doctor here in Switz., to get her 2 month shots. It was good to see that she is gaining weight nicely, almost 5 kg, considering that often I feel like she does not nurse for very long. (but she does like the nipple as a pacifier, unfortunately for me - a real nuky she never takes. I'll keep trying it though.)

View of our house:

If you want to see what the weather is like in Zurich, or see the house we live in, go during daytime in Europe to In the center of the panorama you can see a building in construction, with two cranes not quite looming over it. If you look to the right of those cranes, you will see a city block with three houses that is on the same street. The next, corner, house to the right is the house we live in. Top floor. With those funky windows that jut out of the roof.

With Sonja, we often watch the crane move stuff around.


On Tuesday, we had fondue at the Funk's. A huge sorry goes to Hil and Ryan and Sophie, since we messed up the date and invited them that same Tuesday for dinner - we'll makeit up to you folks in December or January. Glad you found a temporary flat that allows you time to look for something else.

The Funk's have 3 daughters: in english spelling, I would write them as Jamila (7 or so), Natasha (5 y.o. or so), and Anushka (4mo). Even though Sonja is quite a bit younger than eiher Jamila or Natasha, they were eager to show her all the toys. She took a bit to warm up to them and to get past all the jumping (a bit too much energy for her at first), but once she did, the "cooked" together all sorts of foods. It is great to see her playing with other kids. I will keep these posts short since I continue to have the problems, but it is most likely the router here, as opposed to the mac.


The last weekend we spent with Tinu and Elsbeth and Lena in Einsiedeln, about an hour by train from Zurich. The weather was bad but the company great. Sonja enjoyed Lena, as well as the hike on the following day, where she had Lena as an example that a two-and-something year old does not have to be carried all the time. She did great. The 1h10min hike took probably two or more hours, but we then enjoyed the soup and tea up at the hut, before hiking back down.