Sunday, September 30, 2007

Happy Birthday Emma


1 trip on a plane,
met 2 out of 2 aunties,
wore nappies of 3 different sizes and lived in 3 different "homes",
met 3 out of 4 grand-parents,
driven in 5 different cars,
visited at least 6 apartments...

What an experienced girl I am!
Things can only get better, don't you think?

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Poop Show

What is the deal with these toilets?!

Why is it that the more recent Viennese toilets are built like bathtubs for the physically challenged or elderly?
I.e. with a step or "landing" half way down?


The downside?
Increased visibility and smell.

It is rather off putting, you must admit.

I can't figure out what the plus side of designing toilets this way could be.
Any ideas?

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Welcoming Bratislava

Although you'd think we'd want to discover Vienna, having been here for less than a couple of weeks, on Sunday we opted for a more adventurous outing and decided to visit Bratislava (SlovaKia) after reading about its open shops and cafés on Sundays.

We figured we'd make the 79km road trip (according to Google Earth) for lunch and do a food shop at the 24h mega-huge TESCO so that I wouldn't have to practice pushing Emma's pram and the food troly simultaneously to fill the fridge of our serviced apartment.

Bratislava's old town was nice nicely restored buildings,
lively cafés and ice-cream parlors,
quaint statues...

Bratislava is clearly providing to the needs of the many British and Italian tourists with lots of holes in the wall (ATMs),
international press readily available and signage in English everywhere...
Check that. Nearly everywhere...
Resulting in a less welcoming occurrence which seemingly
only applied to cars with license plates other than SK
And so we discovered that the traffic police in Bratislava
work on Sundays.
A phone call away, they readily came to pocket the (hefty) fine
and enable us to drive back to Vienna.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Marriage and tomorrow's yesterdays

If you think preparing and planning your wedding together tests a marriage, just wait 'till you have a baby!

And if that isn't trying enough, try 3 months (three months today!!) of living out of a suitcase. Make that suitcases, since you're constantly changing sizes in between week 34 of pregnancy and week 40+8, not to mention the change of temperature and season -unless you live somewhere near the equator-, and then there the small matter of the clothes and gear of a fast growing baby...
Add to that, staying with your Mum and your Mum-in-law, while buying and setting up a pad in France (which is great but is also quite a bit of work), before flying out to a new city and house hunting with your lovely newborn while living in a serviced apartment (thankfully equipped with a washing machine)...

And of course, hubs is very much in demand and engrossed in his new position at work and, hey, even traveling....

In the meantime you're desperately trying to sooth yourself with positive thinking and the belief that inner stability is what counts (so what if you've called 5 different places "home" in half as many months and driven as many cars).

So what?

* I've learned to be less anxious and get less unhinged by the small stuff
* modern technology is more than helpful, it actually often saves the day; you can read the paper of your city of choice, keep in touch (and sight!) with friends and family practically instantaneously, lose yourself in music and enroll into a local yoga class that is being set up by another newcomer and discussed on a local forum
* having said that, you really can get by with a lot less stuff than you are used to living with...
* which in turn gives you the opportunity to look around you more and (re)discover that which is most important to you
* hopefully, all of this will be another bumpy corner your marriage will bounce off, and, in a few days, you’ll tease each other about your bloody mindedness and short-lived irritability
* remember to cuddle and play as often as possible - it makes you feel so much better

Mostly, all these moves and co-habitations, travels and change in plans, irritations and encounters have convinced me that you really need to live life in the present; communicate (and not only the about the bad, irritating, annoying stuff), express yourself (go yell in the park or sing in the shower), breathe and concentrate on what's going on for you now. Make it as good as you can.

Tomorrow is another day... and, take it from me, a billion things can happen before then, making tomorrow very different from what you thought it would be... You might as well be able to look back and remember the happy yesterdays that you did NOT spend worrying about tomorrow.

As hard as it may be for some of us, this is definitely one lesson worth learning.

Friday, September 21, 2007

House hunting with little Emma

The colors of this blog - reminiscent of spring and freshness - just aren't working for me today having woken to "purée de petits pois" mushy grey sky for our second day of house hunting in Vienna.

House hunting just isn't the same when it's grey...
A foreign city instantly looks less welcoming and even the most appealing apartments take on a cold and uninspiring allure.

Luckily, on our third and fourth days of house hunting we have had sunny weather.

House hunting with an eight week old baby has been quite challenging and very different from previous house hunting trips.
Luckily, Emma has been a real star and good company when visiting flats around Vienna with different realtors.

I've been carting her around, in and out of cars and taxis (after setting up the car seat), squeezing her pram into the tiniest lifts, and feeding and changing her just about everywhere! The worst has been getting past the stairs taking us into lots of the buildings (I still need to master the pram over stairs especially if there are more than 3 steps) but it was worth the experience since it led me to add "no stairs" to the agency brief!

Anyway, hopefully we have now found our new home; a three bedroom apartment in a new building with a view (rare), not far from the Wiener Wald, in a green area, on a street with a lovely name, a fireplace, lots of windows, light and a lovely parquet....and with absolutely NO STEPS on the way!

If all goes well, the contract will be signed on Monday and if we're really lucky the owner might even let us move in just before October 1st!

Monday, September 17, 2007

September 17th

Today three years ago we got married!

Wow! How time flies...

Last year for our anniversary we were living in Turkey and now we are settling in Vienna... who knows where are future anniversaries will be?

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Come fly with me

Today will be Emma's first time in a plane... and my first time flying with her (packing clothes for a fast growing baby with this year's crazy weather plus all the baby gear: not fun!)

Kind of daunting, but luckily it's a short flight and she doesn't have a cold so hopefully take-off and landing will not be too painful for her tiny ears.

We're off to Vienna -where hubs is already- on a house-hunting trip.

More soon....

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Pre-preggers body...

well, uh, getting there...

Today for the first time I was able to button up a pair of jeans I owned and wore way before I got pregnant. YAY!!!

OK, so it doesn't fit me in the same way it used to... This particular pair of Levis (W30 L30) was my baggiest pair and it now fits me rather snuggly... BUT the IMPORTANT thing is I can button it up all the way without any tricks or belts or tummy wraps... and I can actually breathe! (I wore them all day, and if you know me at all, you know I cannot stand anything tight for over 3 minutes)

Not too bad five weeks after giving birth, huh? Not that I can take any credit for this, but nevertheless, it's encouraging!

Still, I look forward to the day my joints (and especially my knees and feet) will feel more like they did before the relaxin hit them... soon I hope!

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

The tricks your mind plays

My first memory of one of my mind's tricks goes back to when I was a little girl and staying with my grandmother (aka "Baba") in Grocka on the outskirts of Belgrade.

I don't recall my age, but I was definitely "toilet trained" and most likely under the age of 4 or 5. When I stayed with Baba, I slept in her room (u plavoj sobici), which was conveniently located opposite the bathroom.

One morning I awoke quite mortified to discover I was lying in a wet bed. Baba made no fuss and what I recall most vividly is the proverbial trick my mind played; at the time I distinctly remembered waking up needing to go to the bathroom, getting out of bed and going to the loo... so naturally when I woke up wet in my bed I was more than surprised!

It dawned on us that I had awoken, then fallen asleep again and dreamt the part where I got out of bed and went to the bathroom.

Recently in a similar vein, I have been waking startled at 3 or 4am when I hear Emma crying and have wondered (sometimes aloud!) where she is because a second ago, in my dream, she was in my arms and I was already feeding her.

It seems my mind has created a mechanism of defense against getting out of bed in the middle of the night...