My First German Lesson

So, for those of you who have been living under a rock (or away from the internet), the hubby, baby, and I have been living in the German-speaking area of Switzerland since July 2008. Our visas expire at the beginning of July 2009, but it is highly likely that they will be extended for another few years and we’ll continue to live in the small city of Winterthur.

For various reasons (mainly money and timing), we couldn’t get signed up for German classes until now. And even then, it is only me taking the class. If we stay in Switzerland for a few years, we plan to take classes every other semester with my husband studying one semester and me another. Partly it is because we’d have to find a reliable babysitter for one (or more) nights a week, and also my lovely husband says he can’t be in the same class with me because apparently I’d drive him insane. 😉

I’ve signed up to take German (high German, not Swiss German, for those in the know – I’ll provide an explanation at some point later*). My class is once a week for about two hours. I was nervous. My learning wasn’t via a private tutor, and it certainly isn’t “German for native English speakers.” I learned French in my American high school and college classrooms, so if you got stuck, you could always say something like, “Comment dit-on <insert English word> en Français?” I was pretty close guessing about the class structure – lots of pointing and pictures. Continue reading

A Day with Edward

Earlier this week, I got word that my grandmother was ill in hospital. We had recently picked up a small photo printer, and I’d been meaning to print some photos anyway of my son to send to my grandparents, as they’re not really whizzes on the internet. As I wanted to get the pictures in the mail quickly, I decided to take a bunch of pictures of Eddie during the course of one day, and then print the best ones and mail them the next day. After snapping pictures all day, and putting the baby down to bed, I printed out about a dozen pictures, attached them to colored paper, and made captions. I got busy the next day, and didn’t make it to the post office.

And that evening I got word that my grandmother had passed away. The pain is still fresh, but I thought I should share the pictures. I hope to finish binding up the book and get it in the mail to my grandfather next week.

The rest of the pictures can be found here.

An Edward Post…

I have a funny story to relay about our son that happened earlier this week. One of my friends here has a daughter that is just a month younger than Edward. We’ve gotten them together a few times for playdates, and I really think Edward gets a lot out of his time with this little girl.

One day this week his playmate came over, and they were both rolling and scooting around, playing with books and toys and staring at each other. They started to take toys from each other, each one wanting the toy the other one had. At one point, the little girl had one of those canisters that “moo” when you turn it over. Eddie leaned over and tried to swipe it from her. The little girl let out a loud sinister shriek. Eddie stopped, completely shocked by the sound (even though he’s well-known for his own loud shrieks). His jaw fell open in utter surprise and he just stared at the little girl for probably about half a minute with his mouth wide open in a perfect “O.”

My friend and I were laughing so hard we were crying.

Schupfnudeln

While at the Konstanz Christmas market, Heath and I (and Eddie – he enjoyed it too) were introduced by our local friends to a dish that I don’t exactly know the name of. Apparently it is frequently made at homes in Germany and northern Switzerland and is really easy and delicious.

Schupfnudeln are an elongated sort of potato dumpling similar to gnocchi. You can buy them pre-packaged in the grocery stores right next to gnocchi and various fresh tortellini and ravioli:

The dish that we had was quite delicious, and we’ve made it at home a few times since. Here’s how I made it. I’m not sure if it is entirely accurate, but it was still quite tasty. The only thing I’d do different than in these pictures is toast the noodles separately until they were a little more brown. Continue reading

An Update

Well, we’re zooming right along with Edward and he’s nearly 11 months old. Last month we realized that he was too big for the Bumbo seat when he leaned forward too far and fell out of it. So now it is down in storage until we have a second child. It was definitely a great seat – we just probably used it a little too long. Here’s Eddie the last time he spent some time in the chair.

Eddie is still not crawling, but that doesn’t stop him from rolling and scooting around the living room at lightening speed, leaving a path of destruction wherever he goes. He loves to rip apart his foam puzzle playmat and mommy and daddy spend a lot of time putting it back together.

Eddie also isn’t walking yet, but he’ll stand with help, and can lean against the coffee table or the back door while standing. He seems to have no interest in moving his feet to walk, and just stands still grinning. Continue reading