Saturday, April 14, 2012

Stream of Consciousness

So, today I cut all the men’s hair.  Orrin screamed like we were torturing him.  In a bit of poor planning, the vacuuming of the floor and the cleaning/mopping of the bathroom happened before the hair cutting, so that was unfortunate. 

In other news, Orrin is pretty much walking!!!  It is soooo cute!  I swear, babies learning to walk is one of those things that no matter how many times you see it, it’s still the cutest, funniest little miracle ever.  He’s still not confident enough to do it all the time, but when we start him off he goes great!  I knew he would be good, because he’s been almost there for such a long time.

In other news, it’s rainy and COLD!  Silly weather.  But as Hazel told me, “Abril, Abril, macht was er will.”  Meaning, April does what he will.  And I’m really okay with it because we are heading South on Wednesday.  Yahoo!!!!!  Wednesday is also Brett’s birthday.  He’s turning 33.  What an oldie.  I say that every year because I like to mock him, and because I get to feel young compared to him.  :)  Whenever I asked him what he wants for his birthday he said a motorcycle.  So I think I’ll get him a matchbox motorcycle.  But actually, he already bought himself a new computer.  He tends to buy himself his presents.  He changed the oil in the van today.  I remember the first time he changed the oil in the van here in CH he said, “Man I feel so much better now that I’m no longer an irresponsible vehicle owner.”  The van wasn’t overdue for it’s oil change or anything, he just felt weird not having done anything to his vehicle.

In big news, we’re staying in Switzerland.  Not forever, but for a few more years.  When I said Brett and I were trying to decide what to do with our lives, I really meant it.  It was a really really hard decision.  You see, the robot Brett has been working on for the last two years is at a point where the accuracy is such that they can start experimenting soon on real live humans.  And Brett’s boss wanted to start a company together to commercialize it.  Which obviously means staying for a while.  It’s a pretty fantastic opportunity for Brett, and while we wanted to be closer to family, there were really no guarantees that we would get a job very close to family (if we got one at all).  So I think that’s partly why it was so hard to choose- the known vs. unknown.  I could go on with all the lists of pros and cons, but I won’t.  Anyhoo, here we are.

You know what this means?  It means you all have more time to come visit!!  An American friend of mine just posted this video on her blog and said, “Come visit me- I live in the most expensive city in the world!” and while I can’t say that, I can at least say I live in the 13th, and that’s worth something, right? (Also, it’s really cool watching the little part about Bern and being so very familiar with all of it.)

So I called up the mom of one of Hazel’s classmates who I have met briefly once before.  She is from England and so I asked her if she had many English books (for kids) and if she wanted to do a little swap, and she said sure.  So we went over and had a nice time.  It was interesting- she’s from England and her husband’s from Portugal (actually Madeira, an island just below the Canary Islands which I looked up when I got home and it looks gorgeous), and they met in Switzerland.  She speaks German, but learned it in Germany.  She told me when she came to Switzerland, people would speak High German for her, but she thought it was Swiss-German because it sounded different, but of course really it was just High German with a Swiss accent.  So she said she’s only just now, after being here 4+ years, starting to understand the Swiss German.  She said that normally she always asks people to speak High German, but for whatever reason, she didn’t ask her neighbors in her apartment to, so they always speak to her in Swiss German and she always smiles and nods, and now that it’s been 4 years, she can’t very well go back and say oh, I don’t understand you, could you speak in High German.  Ha ha.  It made me laugh so much.  But she says she’s actually understanding now a lot more finally. 

And she has three daughters, the oldest is a year older than Hazel and the youngest is Ethne’s age, and they have all gone to Swiss schools and lived in Switzerland their whole lives, and she says that now they almost always speak German, and she has to designate certain days to be English-speaking days, and that her youngest –who is 5- can’t actually speak English very well.  She’s all mixed up with German and English and can’t really make English sentences.  She said her older girls could by her age, but since they always speak to her in German, she just hasn’t got it.  And she how strange it is that language makes up so much of a person’s identity, and how weird it is that her children’s identities are different from her own.  Anyway, interesting stuff. 

I should probably knuckle down and learn German.  But it takes so much effort, you know?  Too bad I’m not 5 years old and going to kindergarten every day.

In other news, I saw this picture on Pinterest the other day, and I kindof fell in love with it:

image

I love how young she looks and pretty and happy, but mostly I love the way he’s looking at her.  Wow.  Love it.

While I’m putting up pictures I love, here’s another.

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And this one’s pretty sah-weet too.

image

The end.

13 comments:

Lynn said...

Wow. I loved all that you shared about the language and the differences with your friend and her children. I find it all so very fascinating. In fact, the lesson I am teaching tomorrow in Sunday school is regarding this....the loss of language and how quickly it can change or become corrupted over time from just one generation to another. {Not that your friend's is corrupted. HA ha} But you know what I mean. The people of Zarahemla came from the SAME place as the people of Lehi, but by the time Mosiah got to them...he couldn't understand a word that they spoke...because the people of Zarahemla didn't bring any records with them and soon their language was corrupted and they ended up speaking their own made up language.

Would you mind if I shared your little story as an example in my class?? I promise no names mentioned.

Alyse and Carlos said...

Alright, I had lots of thoughts while reading this, so I'm numbering them so it seems like there's some organization.
1. When we found out we were having a boy, my initial reaction was "uh oh, now I have to learn how to cut boy's hair!" Random.
2. Happy Birthday Brett. You're old.
3. If you're going to Pisa or Florence anytime we have great food suggestions for you, well Carlos does. And he knows where to get coupons for amazing gelato there buy one get one free. I still dream about it--seriously.
4. I'm really happy and sad that you're staying in Switzerland--I think that is really exciting, it's a great adventure, and you really live in the most gorgeous place ever. And what a great opportunity for Brett! But, I know how hard it is to be so far away from family...and Walmart...and English speakers. Okay, I'll stop.
5. We went to Madeira! (That's where Carlos got bit by the dog...haha). It is gorgeous, but very very touristy. There was the funniest English gentleman there at our hotel who went around saying "olaaaa" to everyone in the worst Portuguese accent I've ever heard. It made me feel much better about my poor Portuguese. :)
6. I still think you're amazing if you don't learn German. It is HARD to learn another language. Just sayin'! (sorry, I couldn't resist)

Missy said...

Happy birthday to Brett! Ben buys himself presents too and it drives me crazy.

Couple of more years huh? That's excellent! Brett's job sounds really great. Whenever I think about going back I'm half excited about the family and all that, but really I think it will be devastating to leave such a beautiful area.

And I understand the language bit. Here they speak "Tirolish" German, which isn't as crazy as Swiss German but still pretty confusing. I can always tell if someone grew up here because I have NO idea what they are saying. I'm two years in and still embarrassingly awkward. Good luck. Languages are very tricky, especially when you are old ladies like us!

Anyway, Ben has a conference in Paris in July... we may come and visit on the way if you don't mind :)

Ashley said...

Yes, the weather has been terrible! Enjoy the south. As you prob know, we were there for Easter and I loved it!

In the meantime, congrats on "figuring out your life" and staying in CH. I am still wondering what to do once David is done with his program in about 3 years... Time will tell. But while we wait, let's get our friends to come and see us!

Christine Merrill said...

Hey, be nice to 33 yr olds...

I loooooove that picture of Gene Kelly. I won't bore you with all the ways he reminds me of my hubby :) But yeah, I'm with ya.

So is Brett going to stay a post-doc, or does he get some sort of promotion for staying?

Steve and Katrina said...

So I loved your post. So exciting and informative! I gasped and yelled out to Steve that you are staying and said now we really had to go to Switzerland and you know what he said??.....yeah, maybe we can look into that for our 10 years!! I thought he would just laugh and turn me down. Anyway, I was curious on how expensive flights were one night so I was looking at Switzerland and also Japan(because my SIL is moving there) but I couldn't figure out where you would fly into. It kept telling me there were no flights to Bern. Anyway random but I was curious?

Happy Birthday to Brett and Happy walking to Orrin!!!

Andrea said...

33 is a GREAT AGE!!! Happy Birthday, Brett! (I'll admit I'm sad you are staying, but still trying to conjure up a reason to come and visit you...)

emily ballard said...

I want to come visit!!! How about 2015?

Ginger said...

33 is not old...you'll see....in like 10 years or something?

Just kidding, I know you're not THAT young!

Megan said...

Happy BirthdayBrett!

Megan said...

I like the picture of the guy falling off the horse. Great memories!

Benjamin D. Crockett said...

YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!! We're totally coming to visit next summer, and with any luck, we won't bring kids.

Little known fact about me: I love Gene Kelly (esp in Brigadoon). I also love Howard Keel. (esp in "Calamity Jane," which I'm sure you haven't seen, but you really really should, if you're into musicals at all).

Also, I miss you. Tell Brett happy birthday, and that Ben's only 3 months behind him, but that they're both old men.

I was considering buying pinkish/purplish skinny jeans. Do you think they would look good on me? xox allison

The Expat Wife said...

the photo with the baby is beautiful!

Your very lucky to be staying there, even though it is expensive. We loved it so much and have another rail holiday that we are planning there (we fly to Geneva and rail across to St Mortiz stopping for a running even in Davos) but it's not until 2014...I better get training :)

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