It all started when we were on our trip to Texas. Our kids seemed to do well gradually adjusting to jetlag. Then we made our way to Seth’s parents lake house and “it” happened. Seth and I put Owen down for a nap and headed out for a walk with Jackson. Seth’s mom was sticking around so she could hear Owen when he woke up. Halfway around the lake I heard Owen’s voice carry across the water. But looking across the lake I could see my mother-in-law out front. That could only mean one thing….Owen got out of his crib. by. him. self.  He was a free boy with this new skill and has made our lives extra interesting ever since. He did it one day after his 2nd birthday which was EXACTLY when Jackson did it. Only difference is that Jackson wasn’t so graceful and scared the living daylights out of himself so it took him months to try it again. Owen on the other hand had finesse and made it look easy.

By the time we got back to Bern there was no keeping him contained.  A stern scolding, taking his pacifier, you name it we tried it, and it didn’t matter, he still climbed out.  So, a few days after we arrived back after Christmas in early January we removed the front rail on his bed so that he now has a toddler bed.   Take away the novelty and the habit will diminish right?!










helping daddy unscrew the bed.

Well, the novelty did not wear off. After the first week home we were so over the jetlag excuse. Owen was waking up all throughout the night…sometimes 10-15 times a night walking out of his room. He wasn’t fussing or fighting or screaming he was just wide awake and out of his bed. We started out with getting after him, telling him to stay in his bed, one of us lying on his floor, etc. We would lock the door and stand outside of it hoping he would go back to sleep and give up on opening the door and coming out. We have the typical stack of sleep books so we went through the gammat of suggestions. One of which was terrifying to try but actually worked to break his cycle. We would go in just before his typical say 2 AM wake up and we would re-situate him, give him his blankie, etc. Basically we did just enough to not wake him fully but to have him restart his sleep cycle.  We had to and continue to have to unscrew his light bulb at night to remove that element of excitement for him. We have transitioned into not talking at all and just walking him back to his bed. Those have gradually been the things that we have seen changes come from.

When all else failed our friend lent us this Swiss baby sheet that is a bit like a straight suit sheet. You zip the baby in to a fitted sheet. By the following picture you can tell how Owen felt about it. He was jumping with so much resistance that he was pulling the sheet off of the bed. Needless to say we didn’t get beyond this  initial attempt with the sheet. (sidenote: see the blue fabric wrapped on the rail of his crib….that was from his gnawing on the wood while teething phase)










So between early January and nearly March we have made slow, slow progress. The nights have gradually gotten better but the mornings have remained very early. Owen typically wakes up for the day at 5:30 AM if not earlier. That is when he begins to come out of his room, over and over again. Seth and I tag team and put him back in his room. He now has “the bunny clock” from Jackson’s room that shows him a picture of bunny sleeping or playing.







When asked the sleep rules at bedtime Owen will tell you “stay bed”, “no door”, “wait for bunny” and “no light”. The boy knows the rules….and ever so slowly we are moving towards obeying the rules. Slowly we are getting more rest.

The thought of another round of jetlag and the boys sharing a room starting in July is enough to make me cry after what we have been through. But we will just push through and do what we gotta do. Maybe being together will actually help?! Humor me. No need to reassure me that for years and years kids have shared rooms. I am aware. But I am also aware of our sleeplessness and my own kooky kids and they might not be stellar adapters with sleep. The transition to a shared room will only provide us a “Sleep Sage Part 2” in the future.

















If you think of us, say a prayer for some great sleep. And pray for me this week as Seth heads back to the US. the thought of the early morning marches back to the toddler bed solo is a bit daunting knowing I will have the rest of the day sans assistance.

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Well the bad news is we are nearing the end of our last fondue season in Switzerland…the good news is we are nearing the end of our last fondue season in Switzerland. It seems we have acquired some baby tummies around here, only not the sweet, human kind, the “fondue baby” kind. It doesn’t help that each and every guest that comes has been dreaming of a pot of hot, bubbly fondue when they come! We do it for the guests, I say! Recently we had friends for fondue and we were trying to figure out how many times we had had fondue since we arrived. Because we have had 26 guests Seth said at least 26 times…that number is not really accurate because thankfully we had groups of guests which means we didn’t eat it THAT often.  Here is the evidence of how many pots we had with guests…the rest are unfortunately unaccounted for.  At least we won’t look back longingly on our time here wishing we had just enjoyed it. We have!

Last night I had a girls night out with some gals at the Fondu Hutte…here are some not so great pictures…






































We ordered herb fondue and sun-dried tomato fondue.  They were both delicious!! I am often scared to stray from the plain old cheese but these were both worth trying at home. If you are local and you haven’t tried the Fondue Hutte you will have to try it out! It’s a cozy set up with furs and blankets around, a fireplace and just generally very wintery and Swiss looking. Great for tourists as well. It isn’t cheap but a fun treat during fondue season. I believe they are only open November through February for fondue and they mainly do group reservations so you have to get a table on one of the few nights when it is open seating. Which I believe is Wednesday and Thursday!  So hop on over before they close for the season!

Back to the fondue baby tummy… my goal for the coming months is to get into shape before our move. Unfortunately stress doesn’t  normally do amazing things for me like help me miraculously drop the pounds!   My attempts to exercise with the boys is comical. Yesterday I did crunches with Owen on my stomach and Jackson whipping around the exercise band. Fun times, I tell you. I am looking forward to Spring when the birds are chirping, the sky is blue and the temps are above 7 measly degrees. I can meet Seth at the door and leave for a walk before he even realizes that he has been abandoned with the starving housebound heathens boys.   Here’s hoping for a healthy Spring! And the loss of fondue tummies!


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Our Swiss friends have been telling us about their apartment in the mountains since we arrived. It is in Grindelwald where we went with my brother Graham and my sister-in-law Tina. This past weekend they lent us their place for a few days. I kept it a secret from Seth until his birthday so he only knew about it for a couple of days before we went. I was actually hesitant to go at all considering it would require all of the packing of snow gear and resettling of kids with sleep. But we decided to give it a go and thought it might be a the perfect break from the house hunt stresses. Turns out the kids slept relatively well but the house craziness continued with numerous interactions with the bank and our realtor, i.e. messages in the night and wee hours of the morning. We still haven’t heard the final word on our counter offer but we are hoping for news tomorrow when the bank is back to work.

After a relatively snow free winter here in Bern it was fun to have some really snowy days! We left Bern Friday around lunch time and started with lunch at the Trucker Bar…sounds delightful huh. Seth had read they have the best burgers in Bern….after which I decided it’s just better to wait until the US for burgers. It looked good but was a bit scary. But then again it might have been the atmosphere that threw me. We hit the rode, arrived in the afternoon and geared up to sled and play in the snow. The next morning we went sledding at a place around the corner where they offer ski lessons and lots of winter sports. Seth and Jackson got sled passes and rode the automatic ramp up and the sled down. That afternoon we went to the indoor pool at the sports center. On Sunday we woke up to big beautiful snowflakes. We played in the snow with some oh so grumpy Kolb boys and had a big pot of fondue before packing up and heading back home. The boys slept like champs last night once they were back cuddled up in their own beds. The trip might have been just what Owen needed to jolt him back to being a sleeper.

Here are some pictures from the weekend.

































view from balcony
















(not sure if you can tell but it appeared a bird landed in the snow and left his wing markings)







a bit deep for snow angels













happy boy




























rosy cheeks





























Heidi was our main read of the weekend













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Last year we had a house full of chicas for a fun week!  I braved heart-shaped whoopie pies which was fun but very time consuming!!  This year I decided to skip the whoopie pies and we started the day with pink waffles, whipped cream and strawberries for breakfast.  The boys were delighted and that started the day off with HIGH energy! They managed to sustain that energy until Seth walked in from work at around 5:30.







I tried to defuse the wildness by plopping down on the couch with a stack of books. I went through our stack of books on the shelf and pulled out all of the love books just to make it extra enticing and festive for V day. It lasted a few minutes and then they were back to wild. We filled our day with making cut out cookies, playing with friends and ended the day with a heart shaped pizza for dinner. No candlelight in this house this year!  This year with the chaos of our schedule we just decided to make it a family gig and postpone the romantic dinner until the dust settles. (Did I mention we are considering gutting a foreclosure house?!….the dust abounds right now)






We have a long  way to go on our journey of learning to love each other well but I hope our little family celebrations teach the boys a bit about loving each other better!   I hope each of you had a happy Valentine’s Day wherever you may be!

We are heading to the mountains tomorrow thanks to a day off for Seth and some generous friends who offered to lend us their chalet in Grindelwald. Hopefully I will be back Monday refreshed and with lots of pictures!

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