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Christmas Vacation

Ugh, I’ve got to get better at writing!

So anywho, I told you all about Thanksgiving.  10 days after we got back from that trip, I left for a month-long Christmas vacation.  The plan was to hang out in NJ for 10 days, visiting with family and friends, and then make my way down to Florida to meet D and stay with my folks for the holidays.  I had planned such a long stay because I originally booked the trip before I was pregnant, thinking I would be getting some “2nd opinion” testing in Florida.  Well as it turned out, I didn’t need that!  But I was grateful for the long stay with my parents none the less.  I could have maybe done with less time in NJ, only because I was feeling like crap most of the days.

I was pretty short on cash, so I stayed at my brother’s house.  My niece is 3, and she’s up at 6am every day!  So me, dealing with pregnancy exhaustion and all that, found myself going to bed when she did, at 8pm most nights.  But it was worth it.

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I spent most of my time there on this couch.

In my previous 3 pregnancies, I had not gotten to the point of getting morning sickness.  So the fact that I was feeling quite crummy was actually pretty encouraging.  I was in the 8-9 week range when I was in NJ, and even though I had that little reassurance of sickness, I was still pretty much freaking out, since this is the time when things tended to go south for me.  I tried to get an appointment for a scan at a few places, but had no luck.  So I had to settle for an appointment in Florida, but it wasn’t until January!  It felt like forever to wait.

So I enjoyed (as best I could) my 10 days in NJ, but was really looking forward to just letting myself be the baby of the family again when I got to my folks in Florida.  They had just moved back to Florida, and so we were all staying in a temporary apartment.  It was cozy, but totally fine with me.  D and I had our own bedroom and bathroom, and that’s all we needed.  It was great to be treated like “the kids.”  Even though my husband says my folks, especially my mom, spoil me!  Oh well!

D could only take off a week from work, so his time there went pretty fast.  We got to see one of my best friends, whom I’ve known since 5th grade.  We enjoyed a great brunch with her and her husband, and some beach time on a particularly nice day!

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Now this is what January should look like!

 

Christmas morning came and went, and we got many nice gifts as usual.  I was feeling not that great unfortunately.

Us in our matching PJs, and the dogs on Christmas morning.  Lookin' rough.

Us in our matching PJs, and the dogs on Christmas morning. Lookin’ rough.

 

My mom’s “big gift” to me was a nice surprise, she was taking me to Disney World for 3 days!  I prayed that I would be feeling ok for the trip!  (Spoiler alert, I felt pretty good!)

Soon it was time for D to leave, and it was just me, my folks and the dogs once again.  Unfortunately, he had to leave before my Jan. 2nd appointment, to make sure everything was still going ok with the pregnancy.  I was so nervous, to the point of tears that day.  It seemed to take forever to get the scan done, and when the doctor started, I couldn’t look.  Finally she said “It’s good,” and I looked at the monitor to see my little baby, moving all around!  It was so crazy.  The last time I had seen the baby was at 8 weeks, (When really there’s not much to see) and it had grown SO much!  I told the nurse that my mom could come in and see, and of course she lost it.  It was a good day :)

Liebster Award

I was nominated by the lovely Amanda, over at Poppies and Ice Cream for the Liebster Blog Award.

I’ve always wondered why these things are called “awards” but I feel special now, so I’m gonna go with it ;)

From what I understand, you’re supposed to asked the questions proposed to you from the previous blogger, and then nominate others with your own questions.  So without further ado, here are the questions from Amanda:

1. If you could live anywhere in the World, where would that be?

Oh man, talk about opening up a can of worms!  lol!  My short answer is someplace warm, near a beach.

Yeah, I could handle this every day!

Yeah, I could handle this every day!

2. Have you ever felt any city in the world pull you, even though you did not know it before or had any ties with said city before?

Hmm, I don’t think so.  I’ve definitely formed “bonds” if you will, with cities during or after visiting them.  But not before.

3. Which is your favourite book or author?

I’ve always loved the book, Just as Long as We’re Together, by Judy Blume.  It’s a “tween” book, and I first read it when I was really young.  I just love the evolution of the friendships, and the main character throughout the book.

4. Do you have a pet?

Not one of my own.  My dogs (the family dogs I guess) Franklin and Roxie live with my parents.  And of course I run my own pet care business, so 9 times out of ten, there’s a dog here.

5. What would be an ideal day for you?  What would you do on such a day?

Go to the beach!  Or pool :)  Ideally, wake up on the early side, enjoy coffee and breakfast.  Get a work-out in, then head down to the beach.

Again....yeah.  ::sigh::

Again….yeah. ::sigh::

6. What do you do? Study? Work? Raise pandas?

I have a business I started called Fuzzie Friends, and mostly I do doggy day-care, or board people’s dogs here while they go on vacation.

7. Tell me where you ate the best ice-cream in your life.

This was before I was vegan.  I went to a Ben and Jerry’s ice cream shop in Virgina, and had their Cinnamon Buns ice cream for the first time.  Seriously one of the best things I’ve ever tasted!

8. What is your favourite museum (or sight)?

Hmm, I’d have to say the Natural History museum in London.  That’s the only time I really remember thinking the stuff inside was cool.  The Met in NYC was also pretty cool, but I tend to like more artifacts-type stuff.

9. What has been your favourite trip / place you have ever visited?

Oh man, this is a tough one!  I’d say it’s a toss-up between our first anniversary trip we took to the Philippines, and the trip we just took to Mexico.  I loved them both because they were beach vacations.  But other than that, they were pretty different.  In the Philippines, it was amazing to see such a different culture.  The first place we stayed at was in the middle of nowhere, and it was great to feel so away from it all.  And the waterfall hike we did was one of the best things I’ve ever done.  The 2’nd half of that trip, we stayed in more of a touristy spot, with a bungalow over the water.  It was a great resort!

Our Mexico trip was my first time at an all-inclusive resort, so of course that was just simply amazing!

In the Philippines

In the Philippines

In Mexico

In Mexico

10. What is your favourite animal?

Probably a dog!  But I love all animals, which is mostly the reason I’m vegan!  I feel so connected to them.  I love looking into a cow’s eyes.

11. Just for fun, if  you could choose your looks, what would you look like?

I’ve always wanted to look more exotic, and not just be plain ol’ “white.”  lol  I’d love to have maybe some Asian features.  Though I do find myself missing my blonde hair now, and I think I’ll be making the switch back to blonde sooner than later!

 

A return to blonde, coming soon?!

A return to blonde, coming soon?!

And now my questions:

1.  If you could have any super-power, what would it be and why? (Mine would be breathing underwater!)

2.  What’s been your greatest struggle so far in life?

3.  Are you happy living where you live?  Why or why not?

4.  How would you categorize  your diet? (Healthy?  Unhealthy?  Needs improvement?  I eat whatever I want and don’t give a damn?)

5.  What kind of books do you enjoy reading the most?

6.  Does your home have a “theme” in it’s decor?

7.  Do you mainly surf the net on your phone, tablet, or computer?

8.  Do you have a favorite sports team?

9.  What made you start your blog?

10.  Do you have any tattoos?

And I would like to nominate Mama et Maman, and  Just Stop Trying and It Will Happen

Thanksgiving

So….shortly after we found out I was pregnant, we traveled to Virginia for Thanksgiving.  I was feeling pretty ok before we left, but by the end of the trip, morning sickness and exhaustion had set in.  It all started in the car.  I used to get car-sick as a kid, but I mostly grew out of it, and it never came on when I was riding in the front seat.  All of that seemed to go out the window with the pregnancy.  All of a sudden, on EVERY car ride I was feeling so sick!  I never threw up in the car thankfully.  (But I kept some plastic bags around, just in case.)

Also by the end of the trip, food aversions had pretty much taken over my life.  Before we left Switzerland, we did an online order on the Wholefoods website for our Thanksgiving dinner. I had been so excited to try everything that we ordered, from the Tofurkey to the vegan pumpkin pie.  Well Thanksgiving rolled around and I was in no state to enjoy any of it.  The Tofurkey was absolutely disgusting to me!  The only thing I could tolerate was the pumpkin pie, and I only ate one small piece!  That was definitely a first!

I think the whole week in Virginia, I lived off of plain pasta and Snyders of Hanover hard pretzels.  I barely remember eating anything else.

Oh, except the one time we went to PF Chang’s….I’m cringing at the memory.  I had felt surprisingly good as we sat at the bar and waited for some friends who were meeting us.  D suggested we get some lettuce wraps as an appetizer, and since I was feeling pretty good, I agreed.  An hour or so later, I was not feeling so great.  I must have gone to the restroom at least 5 times, and the lettuce wraps couldn’t seem to make up their mind as to which end they wanted to come out of.  Our one night of meeting up with friends was pretty much ruined.  We ended up telling the few friends who were there what was going on because I was getting up like, every 5 minutes.  I begged D to take me home (we were staying at his aunt’s house) and I somehow made it through the 20+ minute ride without incident.

The whole trip I didn’t do any Christmas shopping or anything.  D decided to go out for a bit on black Friday to score some deals, while I lay in bed the whole time.  He came back and surprised me by loading me up with tons of Bath and Body Works products and candles,  all in holiday scents which I normally LOVE.  Well this year, they all went unused! :(  I just was so turned off by most smells. (And still am for the most part.)

We flew back to Switzerland the Saturday after Thanksgiving.  I was super nervous about getting sick or just feeling like crap on the plane, but it went pretty ok.  Except for the fact that we were seated all in the way in the back, near the bathrooms.  This was due to a last-minute change of aircraft.

D’s dad picked us up at the airport, and my morning/car-sickness kicked in high gear on the car ride home.  As soon as we got in the door I ran for the bathroom.  This was one of the times I actually had to run to the bathroom to puke.  Most of the time when I threw up in the first trimester, it was more of a feeling that I needed to throw up, and I’d feel better if I did.  So I’d just go to the bathroom and hover my face over the toilet and kinda make it happen.  Glamorous, I know.

After coming back home after Thanksgiving, I only had 10 days until my next round of traveling…..

The post I’ve been both looking forward to, and dreading to write.

Hey folks, remember me?  If I remember, the last I left you I was in the middle of recanting our fabulous vacation.

Well there’s no easy or right way to say this, so I’m just gonna come out with it.  I’m pregnant.  Like, a lot pregnant, more than I’ve ever been.

To make a long story somewhat short, when I came back from vacation in October, I was just finishing up a period.  We decided to try one last time naturally, before we were going to move on to IUI the cycle after that.  Well as it turns out, we were successful.  Almost as soon as we found out, I was put on a daily injection of Clexane (heparin) and 100mg of Aspirin daily.  As well as 200mg of Progesterone daily, just for good measure. Now, while nothing was ever definitively diagnosed that would suggest that I need blood thinners, I feel like the fact that I am sitting here, 15+ weeks pregnant for the first time in 4 pregnancies speaks for itself.  I’ve read a lot of things online that say putting women who have unexplained RPL on blood thinners does no good.  Well, I beg to differ.  We feel as though we’ve been given a literal life-saver.

It took me so long to write for many reasons.  I was scared, I didn’t (and still don’t want to) “jinx” anything.

But for once we are seeing a light at the end of the tunnel.  For once, I think we feel more optimistic than scared.

So, I hope to catch you all up on what exactly has been going on the last 15 weeks.  But for now I’ll leave you with this, Baby B (B as in last name, since we’ve been calling it “Baby Last-name”)  at about 13 weeks.

 

babyscan

 

 

Happy Almost Halloween!

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Hope you all are gearing up for a fun and happy Halloween.  While I could be happier, I’m kiiiind of in an alright-ish place for now.  Sure I wish I was still on vacation, but enough is going on right now to distract me from the mundane, barren existence which is infertility.  As it ends up, we are going to the States for Thanksgiving AND Christmas this year!  So in about 3 weeks, I’ll be headed back to the Holy Land of Target and Whole Foods!  I want to try a Tofurkey for the first time!  I have big plans ya’ll.

 

SO!  Being as Halloween is the only holiday I’ll be here for, I thought I’d share my decorations and what-not.  We are going to have a party on Friday, which is the actual date of Halloween for those who don’t know.  Unfortunatly, as Halloween hasn’t quite caught on too much here in Switzerland, I doubt we’ll get any Trick or Treaters!  :(  A tip I picked up from Lausanne Mom, is to put a small Halloween decoration on your mailbox.  That way, if there happen to be ToT’ers in your area, they’ll know that they are welcomed to ring your bell!

Keeping in the tradition of the past few years, we themed our party this year.  I won’t reveal the theme just yet.  But the first year was 80s-90s, then last year was comics.  Which I apparently never wrote about?  Oh well, I guess it’s because I went through my 3rd mc just a few days later.

I think not as many people are coming to this year’s party as in years passed, because it’s on a work-day, even though it’s a Friday.  And you know what, I’m totally fine with that.  It’s not like our apartment is huge, and I just have better things to worry about!  The people who want to be here, will be here, and I’m happy about that!

As much as I’d love to live permanently on a beach, I do sometimes enjoy the fall, and all that comes with it.  Putting up decorations makes our home feel more cozy, and it makes me feel like I’m doing a good job at keeping a nice home! (I know that’s so 50s housewife, but whatever!)  One of the compliments that I most love receiving is when people tell me my home looks nice and cozy!  And I am by no means a professional, or even that great of a decorator, but I do what I can.

So here is what our “mantle” looks like in all it’s glory:

Halloween Mantle, The Swiss Wife Style

It kind of has a retro-vibe going on, because most of the decorations are OLD!   I have been wanting to frame those old Beistle decorations for years now, so I finally did!  According to my mom, they were given to us by a grandmother-figure in the early 80s, and they were old then!  So who knows when they are actually from.  I think you may still be able to buy reproductions of these designs today.

The leaf garland I picked up at Coop last year, and the battery operated string of “leaf lights” is from Maxi Bazaar.

The pillar candles and holders are from Ikea.  The 2 skinny candles in the middle are from my childhood!  As well as the pumpkin head ghost candle holder on the left.  The mini spider chandelier I got probably about 10 years ago from the dollar store.  The plastic pumpkin things that are lit-up are from an old light set.  I just pulled the pumpkins off and stuck a light from the leaf set in them.

Halloween Decor, The Swiss Wife Style Halloween Decor, The Swiss Wife Style

The bow on top…I have no idea!  It could either be from my childhood or the dollar store in my 20s, I can’t remember!  And the Peanuts figurines are from Hallmark of course!  My mom gave me the Snoopy one on the right this year, and the other one within the last couple of years.  They play sounds from The Great Pumpkin!

In addition to our “mantle” I have a few other things up around the house, along with some yummy-smelling candles.  Here’s what our dining room table looks like:

Halloween dining room table, The Swiss Wife-Style

Definitely not as whimsical!

How many other people have the ol’ glass pumpkin candy bowl?!  It was a staple in my house growing up, and when I was in my 20s, my mom bought one for me!

Speaking of candy, last night I made some peanut butter cups!

Vegan Peanut Butter Cups for Halloween, The Swiss Wife Style

This was my 2nd attempt at making pb cups, and I like the results I got this time much better.  Although they are a bit melty, since the chocolate is based from coconut oil, and that melts as soon as you touch it!  For the chocolate, I used the “chocolate topping recipe” from this pie I made a few weeks ago.  I just doubled it a few times.  And there are a hundred recipes out there for homemade peanut butter cups!  I followed along to this one, using the chocolate I had made.  The first time I made them, I just melted vegan chocolate chips.  I wasn’t happy doing it that way because I felt it was too much chocolate, too bitter, and it was too hard when you chomped into it.  Using the chocolate from Wholly Vegan, you get a nice soft bite!  I will keep experimenting though, that’s one awesome thing about being a vegan!  You’re always experimenting and trying new things, especially over here where we don’t have the luxury of going to a Whole Foods to grab some Justin’s PB Cups!

Well, I’m off to do some party-prep!  How will you be celebrating Halloween?  Happy Haunting!  :)

Cape Cod

I had always wanted to go to Cape Cod, ever since I saw the movie Splash.

(Fast forward to about 50 seconds in if you’re impatient.)

Man…I need to watch that movie again soon, one of my favorites!  But anyway, back to business.

So when we got invited to a wedding there, I was pretty excited!  I didn’t know what to expect.  Sadly I didn’t see any mermaids, or else I wouldn’t be writing this right now, because duh, I would have been adopted into a mermaid family, and computers don’t work underwater.

 

What?  Could totally happen...  *

What? Could totally happen… *

 

The drive from Boston took forever!  There was a lot of traffic and it was pretty insane.  Whenever we visit a place, we always say whether or not we could live there.  Well, driving around Boston while we were there pretty much solidified it for both of us.  Nope!  Sorry Bostonians, I could not live there!  Plus you know, ew…the Bruins!

We finally arrived at the hotel that the wedding was held at.  Our friends had supplied us with a few choices of where to stay, but I always find that staying at the actual hotel where the festivities are to be held is so much more convenient, right?  The hotel was nice, in a slightly old-fashioned charming way.  It sorta-kinda reminded me of where they stayed in Dirty Dancing, if DD had taken place in Cape Cod.  I loved the nautical, beachy decor.

The only thing was, it was pretty expensive!  And breakfast wasn’t included.  Ah well.

The day we got there we said hi to our friends, but stayed out of the their way since it was the night of the rehearsal dinner and all that.  I know how stressful it can all be!  We headed down to the beach to watch the sunset.  It was great to finally be near a beach, even it was not really “beach weather.”

Falmouth, Cape Cod, The Swiss Wife Style

 

Falmoth, Cape Cod, The Swiss Wife Style

Falmouth, Cape Cod, The Swiss Wife Style

That night we ate dinner at the hotel restaurant, Red’s.   I had a cheese-less pizza, much to the bemusement of our waiter.

The next morning we had the buffet breakfast.  We didn’t know there was 2 different prices to the buffet.  Cheaper if you just do the continental, and not get hot stuff.  But again, whatever.  I had a bagel and vegan cream cheese that we bought at Whole Foods prior to leaving Boston.  (I also had hash-browns, which is why I got charged for getting the more expensive breakfast!)  I had also bought some Silk hazelnut coffee creamer at WF, so I was a pretty happy camper with all of my “luxury” vegan items that we can’t get here.

We took a walk on the beach, and checked out the gym.  The gym wasn’t that special, but it got the job done.  After that we relaxed until it was time to get ready for the wedding.

I had ordered my dress from Zalando.ch prior to our trip.  I knew I wanted to wear navy blue, as a nod to being on the coast.  I narrowed down my choices online, (thanks HB friends!) and ordered 2 dresses.  I think I’ve mentioned before, but Zalando.ch is kind of like Zappos in the US.  Free shipping, and free returns.  So I ordered the 2 dresses thinking I would just return the one I didn’t like.  I was nervous about the sizing, since it’s so different here, I was ordering from a brand that I had never tried on before.  But I crossed my fingers and took the plunge.  I ordered these 2 dresses:   

 

I wanted to order one in one size, and one in another size, but they were both only available in one size that would work for me, so I just went with getting them both in the same size.  When they arrived, I tried them both on, and really liked them both!  I couldn’t decide.  I threw a quick poll up on instagram, and the butterfly dress won.  So I went with that one!  (I still kept the other dress, by the way!)  I paired it with magenta earrings and a magenta scarf/shawl, and some old Payless vintage-y black peep-toe heels.  I got a few compliments that night, so I guess I did alright!  (Fashion=hard.)  I will say though, that I will definitely buy this brand (designer?) of dress again!  I love the way they fit, and the size I got was perfect for me.

 

The only picture I have of me in the dress.  Blogger fail!

The only picture I have of me in the dress. Blogger fail!

 

The wedding was very nice.  We started outside, at the ceremony space. overlooking the beach and water.  Then there was a cocktail hour, then we moved inside for the reception.  The music was great and we pretty much danced all night! It was fun.  More friends need to get married please!  I do love a good wedding.

We left the next morning, but first we drove quite a bit out of the way to hit this little vegan spot that D had looked up online.  I wasn’t feeling that great, so all I ended up getting was a PB&J.  D got a vegan reuben, and I had a taste and it was really good!

After that we hit the road back to Boston, we had a early morning flight the next day…..

 

*photo taken by Maria Trias, minus the tail!  More on that to come.

 

I’m back!

Well, here I am again.  Back from vacation.  Was it just a dream?!  Nope, it really happened, and it was fabulous!

We started out in Boston.  We got a rental car at the airport, and drove to Cambridge, where we stayed for a few days at this little B&B.  If you don’t know, Cambridge is where Harvard University is located!  It was a pretty nifty little area, but the area around Harvard itself seemed a little sketchy.  One day we took a long walk and passed by the university.  I don’t know if we were walking past the back (neglected?) side, but it was NOT what I was expecting!  There were a lot of what looked like homeless, drunk, and/or high people.  Definitely not what I was expecting after watching Legally Blonde so many times.

But anyway.  The B&B was affordable.  Nothing glamorous, but nice.  The included breakfast was ok for vegans.  I had a bagel with peanut butter one morning.  It’s within walking distance to many restaurants and shops, and the metro station to get into Boston.  There’s a Mom and Pop grocery store right across the street, that has a bit of a Trader Joe’s vibe.  The first night we got there, we ate at a cool place called Christopher‘s.  I had a tofu-beet veggie burger.  It was pretty good!

Side note:  omg, WHY is it so hot down in the metro stops!?  Yikes…The metro is fairly easy to figure out, we only messed up once or twice!  ;)

The whole reason we came to Boston was because one of Diego’s friends was getting married.  We met a bunch of friends out one night, at a bar/restaurant near Fenway Park.  It was called The Yard House, and they had a lot of vegan items on their menu!  Though do make sure to tell them if you are vegan because they will double check the ingredients for you.  For example, D and I ordered the Gardein sliders, but as it turned out the buns they used weren’t vegan.  The manager actually came out and explained this to us, and told us they could use sourdough bread instead of the regular buns.  Sold!  I fell in love with the place.

We did one day of site-seeing in Boston.  It was pretty nice, but the weather was windy and a bit chilly.  We didn’t really see anything too exciting.  We went to the cemetery where Paule Revere was buried.

Here lies Paul Revere, The Swiss Wife-Style

And we went down to the famous harbor.  You know, where all the tea was dumped?

Boston Harbor on a gloomy day.

Boston Harbor on a gloomy day.

 

 

We ended up passing an area where a few food trucks were setting up, for lunch.  But it was pretty early still and we weren’t hungry yet.  Too bad because one of the trucks was a vegan taco truck!  I didn’t get a picture of it :(  Never fear though, for lunch that day we made it to Veggie Galaxy. 

 

This place was AMAZING!  And I really think the word “amazing” gets overused these days, but in this case it’s totally accurate.

There were SO many things on the menu I wanted to try.  But I narrowed it down to a chocolate peanut butter “frappe” (milkshake) and cheesy fries.

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The taste of the milkshake was great.  But it was verrrry thick!  I knew it would probably fill me up (understatement) and so that’s why I only ordered the cheesy fries.  Now, to be honest, I didn’t love the fries.  The “cheese” sauce was nutritional yeast based, and you could really taste it.  Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.  But they also had some very strong herbs on there.  The whole thing kind of tasted “Thanksgiving-y” which is not really what I’m looking for in a plate of cheese fries.  But none the less, the place was still one of my favorite things that we did on the trip.  We got some desserts to eat later.  I got carrot cake, and I totally forget what D got!  (Some sort of muffin maybe?)  But my carrot cake was great!  The frosting was delicious!

Seriously, if you are vegan or vegetarian and anywhere near this place, GO!  GO NOW!

Other things we did while there included going to Target what seemed like 10 times, meeting D’s uncle out for lunch at a mall, and meeting one of my sorority sisters out for dinner!  I hadn’t seen her in ages!  It was great to catch up.  She and her husband actually craft their own hard cider in Salem.  Their company is called Far From the Tree, and they’ve been featured in local magazines! They put a lot of hard work, thought and love into what they do!  Unfortunately, we didn’t get to try any products since we met outside of Salem, but hopefully next time!

Another thing we want to do “next time” is go to Cheers!  We simply ran out of days there.  We had to get down to Cape Cod to attend the wedding…..to be continued!

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