Our New Crew Member

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Location:  Zug, Switzerland
Author:  Pete

 

Leonora Jean Gorkiewicz

Born April 21, 2017 

12:48pm – 47cm – 2.645kg

We have a new crew member!  Leonora Jean Gorkiewicz has been added to the manifest!  We knew she was breech, so we tried to make the best of it and play up the benefits of scheduling your own child’s birthday.  We went out to dinner the night before, took a nice walk by the lake the morning of, and then headed to Kantonsspital in Zug and had a baby by one o’clock.  It’s Switzerland!  Would you expect any different?

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The hospital facilities and staff were fantastic.  Miranda’s c-section went very smoothly.  I got to be in the operating theater with Miranda, cut the umbilical cord, and announce the gender.  The latter being surprisingly difficult with all the chaos of the OR and wild emotion going on!

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We were set up on the top floor with a corner room overlooking the snow-capped Alps.  Too bad they took a backseat to Leonie!  My girls are doing great.  Eating, sleeping, and expelling waste, which is as important for post-surgery mothers as it is for babies!  Leonie is pretty little, 5.8 pounds, but started gaining weight the second day and quickly exceeded her birth weight.

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All are well and happy!  The hospital keeps Miranda and Leonora for one week.  I’ll take some paternity leave once they’re sent home.  The real question is, “what then?”

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Calm Before the Swiss Baby Storm

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Author:  Pete
Location:  Zug, Switzerland

Spring has rolled in over the Zugerberg.  Crumbling under our family’s prodding for baby-bump pictures, we took a photo shoot day in the hills.

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Miranda has been working hard to get the nursery finished.  We’ve been painting cribs, assembling furniture, and decorating the walls.  On my excursions biking and hiking, Miranda has me looking for pinecones, twigs, bits of string, feathers…  My transformation into a nesting critter is almost complete.

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Our school just broke for spring vacation.  Miranda and I aren’t traveling because she could go into labor at any point now.  Even though the weather improves I still feel like I’m standing on deck watching stormy skies roll towards us across the water.  The barometer indicates squalls and sleepless nights ahead.  So for now we’re battening down the hatches and enjoying the calm before the storm.

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Swiss Winter Wonderland

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Author:  Pete
Location:  Europe

Past the chilly months in a winter wonderland that is the Alps.  Coaching the school’s ski team kept me happily on the slopes and learning the best places to find powder.  The school has its own chalet in Wengen, so we were there often, as well as other little mountain villages like Zermatt under the Matterhorn.

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Miranda looks more and more like a real pregnant lady every week.  Maybe it’s good that we ease into parenthood.  It still doesn’t seem real yet.  It’s all fun and games until someone’s water breaks.  We do get a lot of nods from passerbys.  Everyone seems to smile at us knowingly.

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Miranda and I feel well loved.  We’ve had a small army of family and friends make the pilgrimage from all over to come and see us.  I think everyone is worried we’ll drop off the radar again once there’s an infant in our midst.  Miranda’s brother Casey and his buddies Mike and Stacy came for a week of rowdy fun.  We drove up to Munich for some historical tavern-crawling.  In the Munich Hofbrauhaus they only serve liters of beer!  Let me reiterate, beer is served only in liters!  Back in the Alps we went night tobogganing down kilometers of tooth-chattering, unlit trails.

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Miranda’s other sibs, Adam and Becky, came to see us too.  We piled in the car and drove over the mountains to Italy.  Venice during Carnival was full of energy.  The gloomy weather made the ambiance even better, swirling around the plague masks and the elaborate costumes.  Back Swiss-side we jumped on the slopes and spent a day battling gravity.

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Not to be outdone, Liza, Felix, and Jovia came down from Frankfurt a couple of weekends this winter.  The idea was to hit the slopes together, and although we never hit great snow, but we did have a great time with them.

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My folks came in on a European baby-flyby trip.  We went up hiking in Engelberg as the spring thaw relinquished the slopes to the grass.  Paragliders soared like clouds of bees.  I’m salivating to get my kit over here.

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Also our climbing buddies Ben and Elizabeth came from Abu Dhabi to see us.  We used to climb twice a week when we were teaching in Chile.  It’s been three years since we last climbed together and it was so great to be back on the crag with them!

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So that was our flood of friends and family!  It’s so wonderful to spend time with everyone, especially after being off radar for several years.  Although it’s sad to part ways at then end, Winnie the Pooh’s words give me comfort.  “How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.”  How lucky we are indeed.

 

 

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