Random thoughts on a November afternoon.

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Flag of Switzerland  , Zürich,
Tuesday, November 9, 2010

We were surprised with a beautiful November day today, but we did not much 
planned to do. That worked out just fine, as we were able to enjoy it 
in the yard with the neighbors after finishing our school work. 

The girls did a little websurfing today to research Italy before we head off their this weekend. Nothing too 
taxing though, as we will be in a rather German area of Italy and our 
plan is basically hiking, swimming, and relaxing. If the weather is 
anything like today's, it will be a perfect weekend holiday.

For lunch someone who wishes to go unnamed  invented a Swiss style 
sandwich that we called grilled apple fondue. It is grilled cheese 
with apples sliced in. Not sure it will make it into the school lunch 
rotation back home, but its worth a try.  We are all enjoying cheese 
with most anything.
Apple Fondue Sandwich

We are also enjoying the mix of music that we hear over here.  It's a 
mix of 80's one hit wonders, German rap, and a few sprinked current 
songs. Today I heard Grease is the Word, followed by Just a Gigalo, 
followed by Katie Perry.

After lunch the girls' new friend Andrea came by. She speaks Spanish, 
English, swissgerman, and German.
The jump rope gang
They swapped frienship bracelets and did jumprope before scootering 
down to see her house and meet her mom.

Alexander and I stayed with Selina and discovered an old sandbox in 
the yard. He was delighted, and played in the dirt with his toys and 
tools for hours.  Wishing Cece was here all the time
.Selina and Alexander in the sandbox

We are making some great progress in the potty training department, 
and though we should have more exciting things to report about, 
nothing could make me happier. (Today was certainly an exception, to 
the progress,  however, though I don't feel the need to share any 

One of the biggest challenges to being here is the monotony of day to 
day. If there is nothing planned, and a big grey cloud settles into 
the valley of Zurich, the day can make for some real homesickness. 
Where are our friends, and fam, and busy schedules??

The girls manage their school work quite well, but we are all easily 
sucked into the Internet for a source of conversation and entertainment.
I have found plenty of activities and walks to take with the kids, but 
that is more time online to google translate anything I may find, then 
get directions, and figure the price. Most things we enjoy are either 
free or quite expensive. A few hours at the zoo or museum runs $30-$60 
for the 4 of us. Definitely worth our time, but not something we can 
do everyday.

The communting, the cost, and the language are constant barriers that 
we all feel to different extents. If the weather adds itself to the 
mix, we have a recipe for the stay at home blahs.

  It reminds me a lot of the adjustment a new mom has to learn to make 
for the pace of life. Yeah, I have done it 3 times now, but it's still 
always a struggle to learn how to best fill your days when they are 
open and empty.

Today was an easy one. I'm going to go enjoy the rest of it now.
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pano.mamalou on

The cheese apple fondue looks great! Glad to hear Alexander is mastering the toilet training. Your pictures are great, and I love seing and hearing about the things you do, even if it is staying home and learning the life there. Nothing muc going on here, except work, and Mimi and Ava's birthday this week. I am taking Mimi and three friends to the Marriott for a spa night with the pool. (n nudie swimming, though!!) I am giving french manicures, and we are getting Shatila bakery cake and pizza. Amanda put together a new kitchen by herself, and I kept the kids out of the ktichen. Boys are sure different than occupying girls. We played Chutes and Ladders and count and name the action figures, jump on the boxes, and pop the bubble wrap.
I got the rooster shots in my knees and it feels great! Sending you lots and lots of love and encouragement. It is hard to do what you are doing, and I understand your feelings, Is there an english speaking school that you and the girls could visit? Haven't heard you talk about that. Loved the mountains and the hiking and waterfall and horse and carriage pictures and video. Did you to that in place of Paris? Love, mom

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