Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Wow! I would hate to miss this!

P1020611.JPG, originally uploaded by NSDY.

In Geneva women are entitled to four months maternity leave. If I'm not mistaken, that's twice as much as women in France and about a quarter of what can be taken in northern Europe.

The thing is, although every day, week and month since Emma was born has brought it's magic moments (challenging and tough ones too), and Emma has been smiling and laughing for over 6 weeks, it is now, at nearly five months, that she is really interacting with us and giving us clear and varied feed-back. Laughing, chattering away, testing new sounds, imitating us, grasping at things with her pudgy hands and sticking everything into her mouth with her dimpled fingers.

Perhaps as her mother I have been privileged to witness these moments earlier and more often than even her Dad and certainly the rest of her family, but I'm pretty sure that's mainly because I spend the most time with her.

Although I look forward to taking up activities without Emma, I wouldn't want to miss any of it for the world. Although bringing up kids can be hard work, I am so happy to be able to spend so much time with her.

Oh, and another thing; I take my hat off to single moms. Respect.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Enjoying life and silver beauty

We are back in Geneva, staying in our little pad in France, where we are gradually settling in.
A few minor set backs mean we are not yet fully furnished (we've borrowed a few chairs until ours arrive) and some work still needs doing (doesn't it always when a place is yours?) but luckily nothing as unpleasant or as intrusive as the stuff that was going on in Vienna (I am trying to put that behind me in the hope that no more will be needed when we return to Wien, but who the hell knows with all that went on there....)

Anyway... it's lovely to be in a place of our own, dry frozen fields outside so Balou doesn't need bathing after walks, and to be able to actually enjoy life a little (workmen waking your baby every single day does not make for enjoyable life).

Enough already! Now for some pleasanter stuff;
  • Emma gave us a great Christmas gift and let us have our first full night of uninterrupted sleep since she was born. Yay! Bring out the Champagne!!
  • I also got some more tangible really nice Christmas gifts this year
  • our new chairs should arrive tomorrow!
  • waking up to beauty is good for the soul (read on...)

Although I wouldn't necessarily consider myself a winter person, I am finding that winter can be absolutely gorgeous.
Here are a selection of pics from our pad (or just outside) I wanted to share.

Remember, the view from our place this summer was like this:

well, now it's this:

I am absolutely stunned at the beauty of the winter scenery
the silver trees and the coral like branches

Beautiful, don't you think?

Merry Christmas!


Hope you have a cherry day!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Here we go again....

This time it's leaking in the kitchen.
Whoever said expat life was a walk in the park?

Monday, December 03, 2007

in the country of Christmas Markets

On Sunday after a long walk in the vineyards with Em and Balou, we went to our first Christmas Market in Vienna - in fact it was my first ever Christmas Market excluding the one on the Place de la Fusterie in Geneva and the one in Covent Garden which don't really count, do they?
We chose the Weinachtsmarkt in front of the Schönbrunn Castle, the Austrian Emperors' former summer residence, which is supposedly one of the most "authentic" markets -whatever that means in terms of Christmas shopping!

At the moment, it's dark here as early as 15h30 when it's gray, but yesterday was sunny and we arrived after 16h00 just in time to enjoy the lights.
Loads of people from near and far (bus loads of people from Croatia, Hungary and Italy) enjoying the Christmas spirit, decorations and

Despite breastfeeding, I couldn't resist sharing a cup of apple wine with
crème chantilly and vanilla sauce, mmmhhh de-li-cious (I'm sure Emma enjoyed it too). See pic below of the stand

Your first drink will cost you an extra 2 Euros for the mug which you keep throughout evening and take home as a souvenir. People carry their mug from one stand to another re-filling it with anything liquid they fancy. Apparently every year the mug is different.

Maybe after a few years we'll all be drinking Glühwein in front of the fireplace from our own favorite Weinachtsmarkt mug.... a shame this year's mug isn't very Christmassy.