Friday, February 25, 2011

Jack's 2.5 year pictures

While we were in California we made a trip to the picture studio to get some updated shots of Jack:

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Apartment search begun

Our 1 year lease for our current apartment is up as of July 1. I have been counting down the days until I could find a new apartment and it is finally here. Since we have to give a 3 month notice to our landlord, we started looking for new apartments this month. I already found one and we checked it out today. It looks awesome and I am going to put our application in tonight.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Trip to California - Part 2

A trip to California wouldn't have been complete without Mexican food. I have been craving mexican food ever since we arrived in Switzerland so of course, I made sure to eat my fill while in California:

 I ate, and ate and ate. I couldn't get enough of the FREE chips and salsa

Surprisingly enough, I got my fill of mexican food. By the 2nd week of our vacation, I was sick of it. I think I ate enough mexican food to last me until next years visit.

I was also able to spend a few hours admiring the choice at the grocery store. At my local store in Switzerland there are only 3 kinds of canned tomatoes: sauce, whole and diced. In California, there was a whole shelf dedicated to tomatoes
And this is the same for every other type of food imaginable. I don't even think my little grocery store in Switzerland would be able to fill one of these shelfs... and in California there are aisles and aisles just like this.

Luke flew down for a weekend and we were able to visit with his grandparents. Here are Jack, Grandpa Jay and Luke
 Grandma Marianne, Aunt Enie and me
 Enjoying some delicious In N Out
We also spent some time with Luke's family
 Jack loved playing with their dogs
 Jack and Grammie
 Grammie, Jack and Great Grandma
 Jack and Amanda
 Jack can't get enough of his Aunt
For the Super Bowl we met up with my family at a friends house to watch the game
 Jack and I with my aunts Kristi and Tina

Jack exploring with uncle Jeff
More mexican food with Nana, Poppie, Tina and Jeff
My cousin Dan
Uncle Jeff has all the cool toys!

Before we took Luke to the airport for his 2nd week in Idaho, we stopped by the beach. It couldn't have been a nicer day. It is hard to believe this was in February!

 But then of course, I had to deal with California traffic on the way home.
It was a great trip and I successfully ate all the foods I have been sorely missing. Jack and I had to fly back home alone and it was as terrible as the first time around. I have to say that the people in the US are on average MUCH friendlier than those in Europe. As soon as we got to London, the people changed. And then our flight from London to Geneva was a disaster (again). Jack did his usual tantrum as we walked to the plane except no one offered to help me this time. I was able to manage by myself and got him, his seat and our backpack in the plane. I set Jack on the chair and attempted to make room for my backpack in the overhead bin. Just as I cleared a space, I bent down to pick up my backpack and some woman (who saw me clearing the space) jammed her bag in there and took her seat. What a b!tch. I couldn't believe it. Then, Jack screamed on the flight... and screamed and screamed. At one point, he wanted to lay on the floor so I let him, and he stopped screaming. Apparently he was keeping himself busy by trying to play footsie with some guy in the seat in front of him, but the guy didn't like it so he STOMPED on Jack's toe with his boot. Poor Jack started screaming again "the man smashed my toe, he smashed my toe!). So I put Jack back in his chair and let him kick the guys seat the whole way home. What a way to end a trip.

Now I need another vacation to recover :-)  Good thing we are heading to Munich this weekend to celebrate Luke's birthday!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Trip to California - Part 1

Back in January, Luke's work told him that they wanted him to go to Pocatello Idaho for a couple weeks to work on some equipment for a project he's working on. I couldn't imagine the thought of staying home for 2 weeks alone, out here in the country when it is freezing cold outside and nothing to do... so Jack and I found the cheapest flights possible and booked our trip to California. 

We loaded into the car at 3am on Friday morning and headed to the Geneva airport for our 7am flight. I was hopeful that the first flight would be easy since it was only 1.5 hours. I had my backpack and Jack's car seat sitting on top of a platform with wheels so I could push it. 

Families are able to board first so Jack and I got ready to walk to the plane, when Jack decided he didn't want to sit in the car seat...he wanted to walk. So I let him walk. But then he wanted to push the car seat. By this time he's crying and almost ready to throw a tantrum so I let him push the car seat, but it wasn't working. He was moving too slow and a long line was forming behind us. Plus, he couldn't steer the car seat and kept bumping in to the walls and to other people. So I tried to pick him up. He went ballistic. That is probably an understatement. He came unglued. He was screaming and hitting me and biting and I could barely hold him, let alone try to push the car seat. It was a disaster. At one point I even started crying. Finally, some guy came and grabbed the car seat for me and helped me get on the plane, then he took the screaming, hitting Jack while I installed the seat in the plane. It was a miserable situation. Jack screamed most of the flight. And when he wasn't screaming, he was kicking the guy in front of his seat. The guy got really mad and told me to keep my kid from kicking him. But Jack and I were both beyond our breaking points and he kicked the seat for the rest of the flight while I tried to calm my nerves. Then, just as the plane landed, Jack fell asleep.

Now we had to deal with our 5 hour layover in London. Jack slept for a while, then we got some breakfast and I tried to let him walk around as much as possible. Next, we had a nine hour flight to N. Carolina. I was hopeful Jack would sleep on this flight, but I was out of luck. He slept maybe 1-2 hours and the rest of the time I desperately tried to keep him entertained with my iPhone and the Monsters Inc movie they had playing. But, of course, he couldn't last 9 hours without running around. By this time I was so exhausted I didn't care about the looks I got from other people as my insanely hyper 2 year old ran up and down the aisles. I was just happy he wasn't screaming. And so we spent the majority of the flight running up and down the aisles and bumping in to people and pissing people off, but at least we didn't have any meltdowns.

Next we had a 4 hour layover in N. Carolina. We ate some dinner and I tried to let Jack run around again. By the time we boarded our next flight it was 12pm our time in Switzerland and we had been up for 21 hours. I told Jack that this was the "sleeping" plane and it seemed to work. He fell asleep pretty quickly and slept for the last 5 hour flight. I didn't get any sleep though, he kept waking up because I don't think he was comfortable so I kept having to take him out of his car seat and hold him until he fell asleep again and then put him back. We got into LAX at 9pm local time, 6am Switzerland time and I hadn't slept at all.

All in all it was a nightmare and next time we will pay the extra money and get a direct flight from London.

Once we were at my parents house I was finally able to rest...for a few hours. Jet lag set in and Jack was up around 2 am every night. Thankfully my mom was there to help and she would get up with him in the morning while I slept. It was still a difficult recovery and we spent our first few days close to home. I was able to meet up with my friends from CHOC and thier kids. Jack and Tessa have been buddies since he was 3 months old, and they still love each other

 A group shot of all the kiddos
 We were also able to spend time with my long time friend Wendy and her kiddos.
 Here we all are
 Finally by Wednesday the worst of the jet lag was over and we headed to Disneyland.
 Jack loved all the characters, but most had insanely long lines so we hit up the less popular ones
 Jack and his auntie Amanda
 The roller coaster at Toon Town was Jack's favorite ride. He would hold his hands up and squeal the whole ride
 Walking with auntie Amanda and uncle Josiah
 In the Toon Town jail
 Jack with Nana
Grammie, Josiah, Amanda and Jack
 Jack adores his auntie

 Here we all are
 Jack and Goofy
 Jack and Josiah
 Jack and Grammie
 On the rockets
Disneyland was a blast. Jack was able to go on the Matterhorn, but I think he was a little shaken afterwards. He also got scared on Pirates of the Caribbean when we went over a couple drops in the pitch black. But he loved the Toon Town roller coaster, the tea cups and the jungle cruise. It was a great day!