10 days after my last post, Miss H was born. Welcome sweet & precious little girl. You have been so expected.
Helena Marie Kronbach Brescia
I love her name, and although I did consider Josephine, Amelie, (I guess I was on a French mood) and a few others, those were quickly scratched by Mr. K. He didn't give any reasons. Even though agreed on not naming our children after other people, we did realised that Helena made us think of Helen (Chuck's beautiful Grandma) and Marie reminded us of Maria Alicia and Maruja (both my grandmothers).
A beautiful little girl, weighed 3.370 Kg and measured 52 cm and has these gorgeous (full of cute rolls) legs.
Instagram was a huge help :)
cute little feet
Los hermanitos más lindos
Estoy tan enamorada de esta linda niña ... y feliz de tener una familia.
Have you ever bitten an apple that you just picked off a tree? I hadn't ... before this past Sunday! I have seen fruits grow in Perú, some local ones, which here would be very exotic: mangoes, passion fruit, bananas. But truly with the exception of mangoes I had never enjoyed something immediately I picked it from a tree. It was delicious ...
We went to visit an apple farm in Steinsel, about 8 minutes from our house. They let you pick apples from 5-6 different kinds, you are allowed to try them and pick as many as you want. At the end you pay for them by weight. All very civilised.
It was a grey, drizzly day, but that did nothing to our apple picking spirit. In fact, it was so good to put an end to all our "hard work" by the sausage stand. There was also hot soup, freshly pressed apple juice, apple fritters, cider and all sorts of apple cakes. How can you beat that!?
Oh yeah, I forgot this was about the kids! Sebastian and his friends enjoyed the ride and had as much fun as the adults, ok maybe a little less?
I was secretly hoping the walk will help me start labour but there were no signs at all. The wait continues :)
Lately I find myself going up and down the stairs wherever I go. Instead of choosing the elevator, which some people like to remind me I should. Thankfully I find no offense on the comment and just say "no thank you, I prefer the stairs". In a few days I will have a stroller attached to me most of the time and I wont have the option ;-)
So here, a toast to all the stairs, which help me keep moving !
My doctor says it could be anytime. It's week 38 and I am enjoying the pregnancy except for the odd neck pain. After the first 5 nauseous months, this is the good part! so baby #2 can stay a little longer if she needs to.
I took these photos with my phone, and I guess it shows a tiny belly. It's a little bigger but auto-photography with an iPhone is not my thing :)
Things at home are as ready as they will be, hmmm ... true, we don't have the stroller yet, but the store has said it will arrive near my due date: October 18th. Will I make it until then?
There is a full moon on October 12th, and that's what started my labour last time with Sebastian, so who knows? In the meantime, let's just enjoy ...
I was walking yesterday near my old office in Avenue de la Liberté and decided to check out this very cute shop "Ben & Pepper"
(Photo rights: Ben and Pepper)
The owners: Ben & Pepper are two former students, graphic design & photography, who spent a lot of time in Brighton. Their shop is absolutely gorgeous with unique pieces ranging from furniture to small stuff (great for a gift). They are also super friendly and happy to share information about their products and their shop.
It is one of those places that adds to the life in Luxembourg, much like Konrads! (*)
If you are ever near have a look and let me know what you think.
PS: Nope, I am note getting any commission for spreading the news, I wish! ;-)
(*) I couldn't find Konrad's own website so I slipped in Anne's Kitchen wonderful review
This is a totally obnoxiously ME post. So I am hoping not too many people are reading. This is to remind myself how good I felt through the pregnancy and relish on this part! As opposed to the first five months where I just had this "I-am-going-to-vomit-on-you" face (right now!) with no vomiting actually, which made things even worse... (for me of course).
Since I don't have a picture of me running, here is a photo taken yesterday (14/09/2011) :
About 2-3 times a week, after dropping off Sebastian at school I sneak out to park my car near the Grund and run. It is getting silly for two reasons:
1) I feel a little silly telling people what I am really off to when they ask me to join them for coffee, so I just say I have an appointment. And I am a terrible liar, so they probably see that I am lying just by looking at my face. I just cannot bear the whole "what???? running??? " and then I feel like I am showing off. So I prefer a little white lie :)
2) It's actually pretty funny to see me running. Firstly because it's no longer a run, and secondly because a lot of people point or just look at me with their mouths open. It embarrasses me a little and also makes me a liiiitle proud.
Anyway, my doctor is totally fine with me running, he is also a runner and advised me to listen to my body and to watch out for uneven surfaces. The biggest risk is to fall. It's pretty incredible how good I feel during and after my runs. Most of the pains associated with the pregnancy: back pain, sciatica, joint pain, go away. And I am refreshed and feeling cheerful.
So that's about it, a completely pat-on-the back ME post.
Just got back from my check-up and all looks well. Due date 18 of October.
This year our holiday was not near the sea ... kind of disconcerting, given our history. But when the holiday planning fell in the middle of another move and a pregnancy, you just kind of go along and "jump" at the chance. Lucky us, we have really organised and thoughtful friends who happened to book a house in the Dordogne region in France and invited us three to share a holiday week with them.
We started the trip a little worried, not having really researched anything about the place. We bought a guide a couple of days before our departure! we even underestimated our travel plans by a few hours, well between 8-10 hours of car travel, there is not much difference really.
We left Luxembourg (a dreary and rainy Luxembourg week) and headed for the South West of France. Blue skies welcomed us a few hours into the trip and we fixed our smiles and looked ahead. Sebastian, the ever good traveler, wasn't even bothered by having to sit on his car-seat for that long.
And that's how we started a week in one of the many French heavens, La Dordogne, the land of foie gras, truffle and nuts.
Our house was a few minutes from Sarlat, a medieval village with a lot of beautiful spots, shutters painted in a very special shade of blue and little corners full of surprises. We had a great encounter with a shopkeeper who gave us 4 truffles and explained us how to make a good truffle omelet.
Sebastian enjoyed the whole week, Dad made pancakes more often than usual, we all jumped in the pool and the kids chased and run around enjoying the fresh air and the forest.
All in all a beautiful week. Now are we all ready for school???
Since I started being serious about photography Sebastian has seen me a lot with my camera, so it was only natural that he finally said: "Mamá you comprar una cámara for me, fo mi mor (por favor)"
We looked around the apartment and found an old digital camera, loaded it with batteries and gave it to him to see what happened. We truly expected to see it torn in pieces in a couple of hours, but my secret wish was to see the first photos taken by Sebastian :)
A little later we were being chased by a little man and a flash, he was unstoppable :) so here is a little selection of his work.
Collection #1: Feet
Well seems like Sebastian spends a lot of time looking at legs, it might be his height ;)
Collection #2: Home
He seems to be quite keen on his home .. there are many photos of our bathroom too
Collection #3: Giraffe
No description needed
Collection #4: Mamá y Papá
Our fronts and backs
Collection #5: Table
Here are a few snapshots of our meals, there is ketchup of course, fruit, pizza, maple syrup, Mickey Mouse pancakes and a cow.
Collection #6: People
We found out that Sebastian is not shy about getting people to pose for his pictures, so so proud ...
Sebastian's first solo photo album is loaded in flickr. Click here to see all his work :) and click on slideshow.
Our little summer escape took us to Sicily. Beach, sun and blue blue skies ... and of course some wonderful food.
We spend a few days at a beautiful hotel in Palermo and then headed to Cefalú for a week where Sebastian met a beautiful Sicilian - Gloria - and proceeded to have his first summer fling :)
Chuck and I got so tanned, (hey we did use 50+ protection!) we are having trouble remembering how pale we were before the trip.
1. If you get a chance stay at the Villa Igiea in Palermo, you'll be treated like a king
2. Italians love children so you'll never feel bad about taking your small child to a restaurant
3. Try a new flavour of gelato every day and don't be scared of the brioche gelato!
4. Meet the locals and do as they do, like coming back to the beach at 5pm and stay until past 7pm ...
And if you need any details about our trip just email us, I will be happy to give you all our tips.
Lately I have been working on Sebastian's third birthday ... THIRD!? I am shocked ...
We have a little theme going on: animals from the jungle, and Sebastian seems quite excited about the whole thing. He keeps saying: "my birthday con mis amigos" a sweet mélange of English & Spanish as usual :)
We are expecting a lot of people at the party and we hope they all enjoy the day with us. In the meantime, I am off to collect ideas and recipes from friends to make sure there is entertainment for the soul and the stomach.
And he brought this wonderful gift - sent by a friend from Logitech for Sebastian (Thanks Sheldon :)
It's a pretty **awesome** (and I never use this word) remote-controlled-Hong-Kong-Taxi-Cab and, of course, Sebastian loves it. Proof below:
and I got to practice a few shots with my new 50mm lens (Thank you amor)
I love French, I have always dreamed with speaking fluent French. The kind of French that lets you slip into a conversation and make interesting remarks, or at the very least understand what's going on. The truth is, some people think I do speak French ... fluently. Au contraire, all my native French speaking friends know that I don't really speak french that well.
It's all relative ...
So I want to come clean friends ... I can speak what I call "transactional" French. I can ask for things, order stuff, do a few exchanges of pleasantries and pass as a very polite foreign French speaker (with a weird Spanish, English accent). In fact, if you see me talking you might even think I am quite good (unless you speak French fluently). But honestly, I cannot consider myself good at this. I cannot, for example, write a letter to complain to my landlord that I do not have a place to park my bike and that they should make an arrangement, since life in an apartment is already lacking convenience. [any interest out there in helping draft one in French?!] I cannot explain (in less than 15 minutes) to the uniformed man asking for my ticket why I missed my stop. And so a lot of things go undone in this life.
That's why, I have all my trust in Sebastian. My master plan is to wait for him to get a little older and fluent in French - which should happen in a few months - so that we can catch up on all those "French to-do's". Ahh, landlord, wait until I show up in your office with my translator by my side, which happens to be a very charming young man. We should be able to find a solution for my bike ... and little-by-little my French to-do list will disappear.
In the meantime, I have my French lessons to look forward to. Every Tuesday at 2pm for an hour.
Maybe a dinner party is not the best time to try a new recipe. I should now better. Last week I hosted a dinner for a few girlfriends and after much debating (Chuck loves good complicated food and I like simple flavourful stuff) chose to make "The Thinnest Crust Pizza with Ricotta and Mushrooms": simple, interesting and full of flavour (it has Asiago and shallots too, yummm).
Chuck was off in the US so that meant I had to get everything ready, play, bathe Sebastian, play more, feed him dinner, read books and have him asleep by 8pm. He was as sweet as always and stuck to his "program" without a complaint,
My friends arrive, I am all set, having pulled out champagne, glasses, made dessert and had all the ingredients for the Thinnest Pizza ready. To ensure that the pizza was a little bigger (the original recipe called for sandwich wrap) I used pre-made thin crust pizza dough, I followed the instructions and put wax paper between the cooking sheet and the dough and then covered the dough with the cheese, mushrooms and shallots.
All is going great, we are having some apetizers, and I pulled out the first pizza out of the oven (I had made 2 just in case we were VERY hungry). It looks and smells delicious ... surely it will be a hit! Until ... I notice that the wax paper has become part of the pizza! You get it, stuck there like a second skin.
[insert your laughter here]
I basically start peeling the thing off the base of the pizza to very little success. That's when I notice the second Thinnest Pizza, which thankfully I had not put in the oven yet , my savior! or so I thought. The soft dough is already stuck to the paper (or the other way around), whatever, they are one. I turned the pizza upside down, really, upside down, although I had the presence of mind to put cling foil under it and proceeded to try "peel" the thing off my pizza. Chunks of soft dough were coming off along with the wax paper. I was sweating (and I don't sweat, ... a joke) and worried for my friends who I am sure were wondering what was going on inside the kitchen?!
Believe it or not, it worked, partly.
The girls were very sweet and did not make a big deal about "The Thinnest PAPER Pizza (Pizza #1). I am sure they all ate their share of fiber for the week. Pizza #2 turned out ok, but by that time I had lost my appetite due to all the worrying.
(update: I had the left overs of Pizza #2 the next day and it was so good I am including therecipe. It's a keeper and a hit with Sebastian! Amor, I can't wait to make one for you.)
When my sister Carla was last here in Lausanne she was very surprised to find that in Switzerland there are many life activities that are based on trust and that people do as they should. For example, we went out and parked our car in a "blue zone" where you can park for 1 hour for free. In order to do this, you need to display a blue card indicating the time of arrival. Now, my sister was puzzled: how does that work? what if you put a later time to get more time? etc. So I explained how it worked and that sometimes there is a parking man who will do some checks and that you could get a fine, but that a lot of times places go unchecked and it is down to people to be honest. OK ... she looked at me in awe ... (I totally understood her, having had the same reaction when I moved away from my country!) but people change!
We then got on a bus and bought the tickets in the electronic kiosks at the bus stop. She got her ticket and tried to give it to the driver. She and I laughed when the driver looked at her quizzically!? Same thing, the driver will not check, you only need to keep it as proof in case there is a "surprise check". Ahhhh, ok, said Carla. The entire journey she was waiting for the famous "surprise check" ... it never happened.
In fact, I have ridden buses in Lausanne many times and I have never been checked. Sometimes I get a little tempted to be mischievous (or maybe it is that I am really not used to this whole TRUST thing) and want to try going without a ticket. Just to see if I can make it, will they actually do a check in a bus? I have never seen it! They check the metro, they CHECK the trains, but buses?? too many I thought, no way. But still I bought my ticket and of course there were no checks.
A couple of days ago I decided to take Sebastian for a walk downtown Lausanne. We were going without the stroller, so I figured it would be better to take the bus and maximise Sebastian's walking time. After our stroll and a stop at the toy-store (for a donkey a goose and a sheep), we decided to head back home (again by bus). Now a little note here: in Lausanne you can buy a cheaper short-distance ticket (court parcour), which allows you a maximum of 3 stops from your departure point. We got our court parcour ticket since our stop was exactly the third down from the center and got on the bus.
Right before our stop, I try to get Sebastian ready but he's too busy chatting to the grandpa (I mean this in the nicest way, there was a sweet old man sitting next to us). I am already loaded, carrying our shopping and flowers, so I call Sebas but of course he does not move. The doors open, the people get out and I am still frantically pulling and trying to get Sebastian out. Of course the doors close and off we go. Missed our stop... Shoot now, we are going to have to get out in the next one and walk Sebas, I think. Oh yeah, humph, walk with a tired son and the shopping. We get to our NEW stop and what do I see?!! an army of uniformed men and women, a "surprise check" frick- frick- frick, let the explanation begin in my head, we missed our stop, and our ticket is only valid for 3 stops, and I am very annoyed at the driver because he saw us trying to get out and did not wait and now we are going to get a fine (CHF 40.00 I think or more) ... and shoot I am going to have to explain all this in French .. and I cannot even find my ticket.
My sister Carla was here and we laughed and laughed.
It was such a sweet visit because we did what pleased us: a drink at the Deck, dinner at Kai Zen and a visit to the Zoo with Sebas.
At the zoo we spotted this contraption and decide it to test it as a duet!
Oh my poor soon was too confused watching her mom and aunt Carla drown themselves in tears of laughter whilst trying to make this thing go round (more like it made us go AROUND and DOWN)