Archive | March, 2013


25 Mar

I keep meaning to update, but life has been busy and tired (life=me), so I will put it off for another day or so. In the mean time, here are a couple videos of our cute boy making his adorable high-pitched “Ooooo!” sound.

Here he and I are walking up a hill. Notice that he is both signing and saying “play” because he knew that there was a playground at the top of the hill. About halfway through the video he sees a big fountain and does his really cute “Oooo!” sound:

This is Asher and I looking at the toys at a grocery store. While he looooves looking at the toys, he is sometimes gets frustrated at the toys being in packages, since he really wants to play with them. Again, note his really really cute “Ooooo!” sound when he sees the trucks. I must say that it takes literally all the self-control I have not to buy this precious little boy toys every time we are out.


P.S. Please note the post I did a week or so ago about the words Asher uses. I updated shortly after it and was told by a few people that they had not seen it. It’s a goodun!

It was clean water!

1 Mar

We’ve been here for about 15 months now, but we are still reminded daily that things are different here.

Yesterday was Thursday, cleaning day. I turned on a TV show for Asher so I could quickly clean the bathrooms without him coming in and committing suicide with the cleaning products. I sang (beautifully) and scrub-a-dub-dubbed everything from floor to ceiling. I did the toilet brush thing, where I scrubbed the inside of the bowl with the stick-brush. Done and done — flush! No big deal. I cleaned that toilet like a boss and it smelled like fresh chemicals and sparkled like a cubic zirconia. As I moved on to picking up my cleaning products, I noticed that the after-flush-water-sound was loud and had been going on for a while, so I flushed again and went back to finishing up. Still… the water sounded like a loud throaty whistle…*flush* … Still?! Then I noticed a puddle forming underneath the toilet. I quickly opened the back of the tank. I had visions of all the other toilets I’ve fixed in the past, which is actually not that many but if you’ve seen one you’ve seen them a…What the what?! The tank pieces of European toilets are different the tank pieces in US toilets, apparently. It looked more like a old-fashioned fish tank than a toilet tank back there. I pulled and poked a few things as the puddle by my feet continued to spread. Finally I yelled “Phil! Phil!! Uh! Um!!! Phil!!! S-s-s-s-something is happening!” (Because apparently I turn into a bumbling idiot during a toilet crisis). Phil came running in and seemed to have the same thought process that I had just gone through — His hands sprung for the back of the tank… only to stop midair as his eyebrows furrowed. We realized that the water would empty into the bowl and proceed to whatever hellish place flushed matter ends up whenever we pushed the button, so every 30 seconds or so one of us would push the flusher button while we tried to figure out how to get the water to stop. We took turns manning the flush buttons while the other googled toilet questions — nothing. We desperately tore through a huge stack of papers we hoped we would never have to organize looking for our landlord’s contact information… nothing. Finally, we swallowed our pride and decided to involve the neighbors. I washed my hands, left Phil by the flusher button and went to ask my neighbor Martina if she 1. had the contact info for the landlord, and 2. knew how to shut off the water going to the toilet 3. would tell me something terrible that had happened to her so we would both know an embarrassing story about one another and then make a blood oath swearing our secrets would be safe forever. I’m already the foreigner in the neighborhood, after all, I don’t want everyone knowing our toilet overflowed… especially without the details. I’d have to put up fliers saying “it was clean water!” and I really didn’t want to do that. Anyway, Martina had to call her husband, who got us the information to contact Herr Bischof. I came down to tell Phil and found he had made a breakthrough, discovering the part that stopped the water but not understanding what he had done. I fiddled about with it and found a little thing that must have been like the bobber in normal, correct toilets, so we did what anyone would do and tied the thing up with string. Martina’s husband came by after work and showed us how to turn off the water supply. We contacted Herr Bischof and someone is coming to fix it Monday morning.

All is well.

That’s a lot to write about a crappy toilet.

Here is our dumb toilet after we got things a little bit under control. Note the string holding something closed. The bag is full of paper towels used to sop up icy cold toilet tank water.

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So that was our day. I have since created an emergency contact list (something I should have had the day we arrived in Switzerland) and taped it to the pantry door.

Oh, life. Whadda joker!