Stay-at-home mama enjoying every changing moment with our lil guy!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Swiss life...

As the boys both nap, I thought I'd catch everyone up on our experiences thus far.

Last Monday evening we boarded the plane to start our journey through Switzerland (and Europe).  We had 9 checked bags, 3 carry ons, 1 single jogging stroller and 1 double jogging stroller, 2 convertible carseats, 2 sleeping kiddos and then us.  With much help, we managed to get through the airport, eat a little dinner and board the plane quite smoothly.  I installed both carseats in the plane (not an easy task with everyone boarding and the lack of room to begin with), secured both kiddos and sat in between them with a sigh of relief.  We did it!  The next 8 hours flew by, the boys both slept for 5 1/2 hours, being awake for both take off and landing.  I can't complain about the first flight over here, it really went pretty well.

We landed in Zurich which is about a 2 hour drive to Lausanne where we are living.  We opted for the direct flight from Philadelphia to Zurich rather than the Newark NJ direct flight to Geneva Switzerland. It's a MUCH nicer drive in Switzerland and the landscape is breathtaking.  We arrived at our temporary apartment around noon, the boys both slept the entire ride.  Our relocation agent met us, showed us how everything worked and then off we were again to get the milk, bread and so on.

The grocery stores here are much different.  You pay 2 CHF to get a cart out (you get it back once it's returned), baby food is bought at a pharmacy, and you pay for bags at checkout if you don't have your own...along with the outrageous prices of food here and so on.  We arrived back home after hitting a few stores to get baby items, coffee (it was much needed) and so on.  We made dinner for the family, organized the house a little and called it a night.

The first night both boys went to bed on time, were up from 10-midnight because that's 4-6 pm back home, but then Thomas slept until 8:30a and Henry slept until 11 am.  Henry had a minor setback, he threw up twice in the morning, mostly liquid, but then was fine the rest of the day once he ate.  The second night was much better, Henry slept from 7p-8:30a and we had to wake him up for his first day of school.

On Thursday Henry attended his first day of school,  but only for an hour to acclimate to the new setting.  His classroom consists of 2 kids that only speak Russian but are learning both English and French, 4 kids that only speak French but are leaning English and about 4-5 kids that speak English and are learning French...all 2 year olds.  Both teachers speak both English and French and are super nice.  Before I left I had emailed them asking what to bring the first day and they said slippers and a change of clothing if he's not yet potty trained.  When you walk in the door, everyone takes off their shoes and puts slippers on.  They have their own little potty room, a bunch of toys (which is nice since we only brought a handful), tables and chairs and an art room.  He's still adjusting to the new school and he cries when I drop him off, but they say he's great once he starts playing.

Friday, Henry went to school from 8:30-12 and did great again.  There were only 4 kids in school that day which probably made it a little easier for him.  I packed a picnic lunch so after we picked him up from school (which is only a 5 minute walk from our place) we headed to the park for a picnic.  It was such a beautiful day on the lake.  Friday night, little Henry and daddy took a quick walk to the butcher while I bathed and put Thomas down and came back with 2 beautiful ribeyes freshly cut.  It's amazing here, they don't say the food is organic because it's all organic...they don't ever use hormones and everything is grass fed and just grazes at it's leisure.  We enjoyed dinner with a bottle of wine and sat back and relaxed.

Saturday we played outside at the various parks in the morning, I went for a wonderful run along the lake, came home for naptime and then ventured out again to another small town.  It's so wonderful here, all the towns have a pedestrian only part where all the shops are so that you can just stroll up and down and not worry about any cars, it's great to just let Henry walk and expend some energy too.  Saturday night we just made a pizza we bought at the grocery store and watched a movie on the iPad while eating Swiss made ice cream.

Sunday we played outside in the morning, I set us a walker I bought for Thomas (video to follow), went to an English mass at 10:30am, came home for lunch and nap and Henry slept until 4pm when we went in and woke him.  We then did a long walk and played at the park.  It was such a great family day.

Today Henry had school and daddy is doing his first day at the office.  It's raining outside so it's a good day to get organized...or just read a book :)  Tomorrow daddy leaves for London and Germany so I'm a bit nervous, but I'm staying strong knowing it's only 3 nights.

I hear someone stirring...I will post photos later!!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Our crazy, busy life...

To say life is crazy here at the Charlton household would be an understatement. The boys are both napping so I'm taking advantage of it and having some mommy time!

A few things: 1) Tomorrow marks the end our daddy's 7 day meeting in Paris, so I've been solo parenting since last Saturday morning.  2) We leave for Switzerland the evening of September 17th, that's a mere 18 days away....gah! 3) With moving, I've been super busy packing up the house - with a 7 month old and a 2 year old I have to say it's quite difficult.  The neighbor girl has been helping me from 3-6 after she gets out of school and Tues-Thurs Henry's in school from 8-12. 4) The boys both have had dr. appts... of course on different days.  That's just a few of the things that have been keeping me busy!

So on to Thomas - He turned 6 months July 25th, however I couldn't get him into our favorite Ped until August 11th (and I scheduled at his 2 month appt).  He's a growing boy weighing in at 16 lbs 8 oz and measuring at 26 1/2 inches long.  He's the best baby really - only cries when he's tired or hungry and will play in the pack n play or exersaucer while I pack without a peep!  He's been up on all fours for awhile now and will (at 7 months) go forward a few steps and go backwards all throughout the living room. 
He still wakes once a night to feed, which I don't mind at all.  During the day his feedings sometimes get interrupted by his big brother and he doesn't want to miss a thing.  He feeds every 3-4 hours during the day and eats cereal in the morning and around 4:30pm - he loves his cereal!

Henry turned 2 on August 16th - the day we came home from Switzerland.  His 2 year appointment was August 21st and he too is a growing machine.  He currently weighs 25 lbs 1 oz and is measuring in at 33 1/4 inches tall.  He's hit so many milestones lately, I can hardly believe it myself.  
The greatest thing about his 2 year old birthday was making his carseat forward facing...and of course the ice cream!  We took him for ice cream that evening at his favorite place and he just laughed and giggled the entire way there!  He now tells me where to go when I'm taking him to school - mommy turn, mommy stop here...
He's talking in complete sentences and his vocabulary is out of this world.  The other morning it was raining outside and clear as day he said/sang "Rain, rain go away, come back another day!"  While we were gone my dad taught him "Good night, sleep tight, don't let the bed bugs bite" so each night he says that.  That's just to name a few!
He's still a great sleeper: 7:15ish -6/7am and still in his crib.  He still wears his sleep sack and LOVES it, asking for it each night.  I figured that in 18 days we're going to turn both their world and their routines upside down so we'll make the big adjustments then also (big boy bed and potty training.)
Henry does go potty on the toilet, but with an 8 hour flight ahead of us, I believe it's best to just wait until we're settled over in Switzerland.  

We are taking a 6:15pm flight arriving in Switzerland at 8am, please pray that the boys sleep a little bit! They both have their own seat and with the 6 hour time difference I can only imagine that it's going to take some time to settle in.

Stay tuned for more updates, but for fun, here are a few photos!

Brotherly love

Playing at Mama Charlton's 

This boy loves his trucks

So happy

Our new home town

Port de Pully - Great dinner in our new home town

Starting of his birthday celebration with some Swiss chocolate (Papa had some too!!)

Mommy and daddy bought me a wooden train set made in Swiss

Loving my new training pants

Friday, August 3, 2012

Weekend in Michigan

To say I wasn't nervous for this first trip away from the boys since Thomas was born would be a lie.  As I've mentioned before, Thomas will take a bottle, but he's not really into it!  

Henry and I had the first flight out of Philly Friday morning - meaning we left our house at 5:15 am. We made it to the airport with plenty of time, even with checking my bag (I was suppose to pack a carry on but with all my dresses and shoes it wasn't going to happen!)  

We made it to Michigan by 9:30 am and did a little shopping and mommy here treated herself to a bloody mary and it was divine!!

With my gazillion texts I sent my mom throughout the day, all went excellent with the boys.  Thomas took the bottle like a champ and my mom had absolutely no issues with it!  With this reassurance I was able to enjoy the rest of the weekend, as noted by the photos below!

At the Babini's house for the rehearsal dinner

Pre-wedding snapshot (FOB - tall guy next to Henry)

Dodge Estate

MOB and FOB - doesn't she look fabulous
The wedding was for one of Henry's coworkers daughter.  It was absolutely beautiful with such great weather.

When we returned Thomas only wanted bottles, go figure.  I guess because it's less work and comes out immediately.  He's slowly getting back into our routine, just in time for us to leave for Switzerland in 7 days.  Luckily he has no problem with night time feedings, which is what I was most concerned with - heating breastmilk up at 3-4am if he wakes is not an easy task when Thomas likes it very warm :)

Have a great weekend everyone!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Getting 'pumped' for all our travel :-)

Ok, that's the best I have for terms that I mean pumped milk :)  This next weekend marks the first weekend (and night for that matter) away from the kiddos since we've had Thomas.  He'll be 6 months this Wednesday and that in and of itself is crazy.  We're heading to Rochester, MI for a wedding and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't very excited...and sad too to leave the boys.  I know I'm going to miss them terribly, they are my life, however I think it's also much deserved!  After we come home from this trip, we'll be leaving for Switzerland in just 11 short days.  August 10th we're heading over to Switzerland to do our house hunting.  A relocation agency has been doing all the work for us and now we're going to view what they've found.  We will be there until Henry's 2nd birthday (WOW - 2 already), August 16th.  My parents just happen to have vacation that week, so they'll be with the boys on both occasions.  My primary job up until that point is to pump, and pump a lot of milk - it's like a dairy farm over here :)  So far I have roughly 200 oz and I'm not stopping.  It's not an easy job pumping with an almost 2 year old and almost 6 month old, but I'm getting the job done.  Thomas still isn't the biggest fan of the bottle, but he'll take it and I know he won't starve himself.

Speaking of, the boys are both sleeping so best get pumping :)

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Mother's Helper

So I finally caved and hired a 'mother's helper'.  I feel so guilty doing this, however with Henry's crazy travel schedule I knew it was time.  She's a high school girl who has been coming from 3-6pm to just help out.  It's been great so far, especially with the heat we've been having.  I can only have Thomas outside for so long before he gets super sweaty and hot, whereas Henry would be out there all day if he had it his way.  Now I'm able to give baths, put Thomas to bed and make us dinner all without the added stress!  I only have her come the nights Henry is out of town, and little Henry is starting to warm up to her...and she surely wears him out!

Photos from the week:

All smiles

Brotherly love

My boys

Daddy and his boys

Mr Serious

Sitting all by himself, such a big boy!!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Father's Day, Fourth of July and everything in between

As always, life has been a bit crazy here at the Charlton household...maybe even a bit more crazy with daddy's travel schedule.  For example, last Sunday Henry left for Switzerland, worked Monday and Tuesday and came back July 4th and we headed straight to the neighborhood BBQ.  The next few months will be crazy until this visa goes through, but we're surviving :)

Last weekend we had both families over - it was such great time!

Picking weeds with both Pop-pops

Gigi W snuck in a kiss :)


Such a happy boy

Boys at breakfast

Enjoying the neighborhood BBQ - and loved the feel of the grass

Slip n slide

Playing with Saxton

Beating the 100 degree heat

100 ft slip n slide + cocktails = craziness

He just LOVES the water

For Father's day we headed to the zoo.  For members they opened an hour early, that way we could beat the crowds.

Father's Day at the zoo

Happy Father's Day

Watching the ducks

Just chillin

Henry and his tractor

Not so sure of the goats

Mama and her boys

Loving aunt Asia and uncle Thomas' doggie

Thomas and Henry traded feeding spots

Surf and Turf

Grandma Lohse would be proud