Thursday, June 30, 2011

Hofsos and educational toys!

Ross and I went to Hofsós on the weekend, it's the little village on the other side of the fjord from Sauðárkrókur. Dad has recommended that we get out of town every once in a while, and we had a really lovely day.

We had a practice run of the Baby Bjorn at home, and Ross was thoroughly impressed. It seemed like Henry's face was getting a little bit smooshed, but I'm informed that's how it's supposed to fit. Plus he didn't seem that upset about it, so we figured it was fine!

(On a side note, I wish I could tell if Henry enjoys things or not - he doesn't really do proper facial expressions on purpose yet, so the only time he reacts visibly to things is by howling if he hates them. Frustrating, but I'm basically assuming that anything that doesn't make him cry, makes him happy! So he loves baths and being nude and the dinosaurs next to his changing table, and hates pooing and having his clothes changed. What a dude.)

The weather was great - it was sunny at home but with a freezing northerly wind, whereas Hofsós was pleasantly sheltered and warm. We still dressed Henry up in about five layers of clothes, from a little woolly singlet to a grey and white hoodie that Daisy sent him - and Ross accidentally managed to dress in a matching grey and black striped jumper. Nice work.

It's funny, I've basically been hating every photo of me that gets taken lately, so Ross chose this one. I just feel like none of the photos look like me - but this is a good thing, because I just don't believe that I look as hideous as the photos suggest. Yay for self esteem!

We got a package the other day from Danny and Lindall, our friends who live in Oxford. They sent some pretty awesome toys, like this rattle bracelet in the shape of a ladybug...

This brand, Lamaze, is apparently really good for all the developmental stages that babies go through - as they get older, they appreciate different things like the colours and textures and noises.

And then there was Bill D. Beaver... I think I need to copy out Lindall's comment from the card:

"Bill D. Beaver - a controversial choice. Danny and I went to buy Henry a gift. Danny saw Bill and was adamant that we buy him. I personally find him creepy as hell. Imagine the hilarious argument in the toy store that followed. Danny won. I guess he is one of those love or hate it things, please do not feel obliged to force him on Henry. Our friends have all since met Bill and agree on the creepy factor. Danny stands alone with his love, perhaps Bill is suitable for geniuses?"

Dan is an astrophysicist. Here's Bill:

 To be fair, I think he was crying for other reasons, we just thought it would be a funny photo. Bill is hanging in Henry's pram at the moment, and they seem to be getting along fine - Henry is clearly a genius.

This one is just because it's nice.

The midwife came over again on Monday to weigh Henry - I love her little weighing-ma-jig, complete with stork pouch. He has put on 750 grams since he was born, which I think is relatively a lot. He definitely seems to be getting quite big and chubby, which is nice to see. And it's pretty satisfying to think that he gets all his food from me - we are clearly both awesome at this!

P.S. I keep tagging posts with 'henry', but it's probably a safer bet to go through and re-tag all my other posts with 'not henry'. Oh well. You all love it, really.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Of course there's more pictures...

I'm trying to not swamp my blog with nothing but baby photos (although if you do want to see them all, they're on my flickr), but I haven't really taken the camera outside the house yet. And the main awesome thing to take photos of here is HENRY!

I promise I'll take the camera out today, there's a festival on at the moment called Lummudagar -  pancake days! Everyone in town is supposed to decorate the streets based on where they live: downtown is blue (yay!), up on the hill is yellow, on the other hill is red and so on. My favourite part is that the colour for all the farms in the area is pink - take that tough guy farmers...

There are also street markets and all sorts of events on, so hopefully there'll be some interestingness to photograph. Also, the Red Cross is open! I am pretty excited, I used to go op-shopping (or browsing, at the very least) on a daily basis in London, but the store here is open once a month, if that.

Poor Ross has got the flu, he was a little bit under the weather last week, but then he had to go back to work on Thursday and Friday, where he inhaled fish dust and somehow managed to develop a full on cold. Boo! He's taking it easy at the moment, and I'm trying to get him to call in sick on Monday, but I doubt he'll do it. Tough little trooper.

What else? Henry continues to be pretty fantastic, although he's a bit sniffly at the moment. So he was a bit grouchy last night, but I still think he's the best little dude I've ever met. We went to Akureyri on Thursday for a hearing test, which he passed with flying colours. He got a touch grouchy at one point, but I saw first hand the awesomeness that is white noise's effect on babies. Seriously, he went from whimpery and fussy, to staring into space, to totally asleep in about three minutes. Good to know.

Anyway, I think it is time to get up and get dressed and go find some bargains! Not sure if the weather is summery enough to take Mr. Monkeypants out, perhaps his first op-shopping expedition will have to wait...

Saturday, June 18, 2011


We continue to do not very much at all - yesterday was Icelandic Independence Day, but it was also freezing, so instead of going out to celebrate, we just hung out at home and snuggled on the couch watching Arrested Development and the Wonder Years.

Mum and Dad went to Reykjavik for the weekend, they'll be visiting relatives and doing a bit of shopping along the way... Anyway, here's a nice photo of them:

The most exciting news of the day is that Mr. Henry is wearing cloth nappies, and I am wearing jeans! I really missed having jeans that fit properly, these ones are the slightly bigger pair that I bought in early pregnancy, but it is still very exciting - trousers that aren't pyjama pants!
Also my feet are back to normal, my belly button is nearly back to its former glory and I've been enjoying all kinds of unpasteurised cheeses and uncooked salmon.  What a good life!

And while I get to look more like a real person again, little Henry gets to look... well, a little bit like a hobo, to be honest. Nah, he's got more than enough personality to pull it off. We have been using disposable nappies up until now - a friend gave us a whole stack that his baby never used, and we figured we could be a bit slack while we were getting into routines.

Now though - it's all on! Mum brought nearly a whole suitcase full of thick towelly ones, we bought a stack of lineny ones, and Mum also sent over some new fangled bamboo ones with press studs and fancy patterns on the outside. At the moment we're just using the big towelly ones, will experiment with different combinations over the next couple of days.
Riveting stuff, hey?

On a different note: this is a cool site, people take pictures of old photos in their original locations. Very nice - I may have to dig through some of Amma's pictures and see what I can find...

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Seven days and seven nights...

So today we have a one-week-old little Henry man! Just realised I didn't write all those details that people write down - he was born at 5.35am on Wednesday the 8th of June, weighing 3.985kg and 53cm in length.


It has been a pretty crazy week - in writing about it, there may be some instances of waaaay too much information. I'll try to keep a bit of a lid on it, but let's face it, I know some people have a morbid sense of curiosity like my own, so surely you want one or two gory details?*

*On the list of gory stories NOT being told today: that whole giving birth part. Maybe later, but for now it's all still a little bit too fresh.

This suit makes him look like a muppet. Go Bonds!

We went into the hospital on Tuesday afternoon, finished all that pesky labour business by Wednesday morning, and then spent the next day and night in a happy daze. Mum, Dad and Vicki came to visit us in Akureyri, took lots of photos and did lots of oohing and aahing and almost crying.

With Nanna Vicki

We wanted to head home as soon as possible, so we started talking to the midwives about that on Thursday morning, but of course there were various tests for me and Henry before we could go. I had three separate people come in to take blood samples - the first guy was a bit awkward (possibly because of my exposed boobs), but really careful and gentle. The second lady was one of the lovely midwives, and she managed to draw blood from the same spot completely painlessly.

Then came the doctor. I offered him my other arm, because Henry happened to be sleeping on the first one. I have no idea what exactly happened, but for some reason it took him four tries, in four different spots up and down my wrist to find a vein that worked. It was almost funny, except that I'd already been through the previous night and all that entailed, and then there was this totally avoidable pain from a careless doctor guy - pretty much the definition of 'the last straw'.
So while I didn't cry during labour, I totally bawled then, and again every time I spotted the four bits of cotton wool sticky taped to my arm.

Not bawling in this photo, obviously.

Anyway, we were allowed to leave the hospital that afternoon, and there followed the slowest and most careful drive home ever. We were a little worried that he'd be fussy on the way home, but then we remembered all the stories we'd heard about car rides being so soothing to babies. So he slept and we relaxed a bit and then we were home!

The next couple of days were a bit of a haze again, Henry decided he had some issues with putting effort into breastfeeding. He'd been alright at the hospital, but I think I wasn't really making lots of colostrum, and he fairly quickly lost patience with even trying to feed, so he'd just cry. Really loudly. There's something about the pitch and tone of that cry, it is just absolutely paralyzing. Made my brain freeze up completely. So that wasn't really that much fun.

Anyway, our awesome midwife came by for home visits, and reassured us that it was okay to feed him formula just to take the edge off his hunger before trying to breastfeed. She used the term 'pour it into him', which I thought was just a figure of speech, but then she clarified that it was better to avoid a bottle, and just fill him up!

Unnur Amma likes to make him burp...

... and Nina wants to help.

And in the meantime there were all the tips on how to make your milk come in, every man and his dog and the internet has them! I had oats, hot compresses, soup and my first beer in aaages. It was pretty nice, even if it was a Guinness - mmm, medicinal.

The formula kept us going until Sunday morning when we ran out. Oops, never mind, we'll go to the convenience store up on the hill right? Ha ha, um, nope! Sunday was Whitsunday, apparently even the convenience stores are shut! So some of us may have indulged in a minor meltdown, but then all of a sudden: MILK! The timing was just impeccable, and Henry overcame his fear of the boob and drank like a champ.

And since then, he's been the mellowest baby ever! He's been sleeping really well overnight, and just chilling during the day. It probably helps that Ross and I are both in total holiday mode, as Mum and Dad have been staying and taking care of the washing, cooking, shopping and everything else!
So we all just hang out and relax and enjoy life - and talk amongst ourselves about how clever and exciting Henry is. For example? He just did five sneezes in a row. What a great dude.

Life is sweet.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Friday, June 3, 2011

Two days to go...

... until the due date, anyway. I think I read somewhere that only about 5% of babies are actually born on the right day, but here's hoping! Otherwise I would totally settle for tomorrow or Monday morning - Ross doesn't really feel like going back to work on Monday. Also, we read a book at Sigga's about your personality based on the day you were born*, and the 4th of June seemed better than most of the other days surrounding it.

* Probably not completely accurate, the entry for my birthday talks about my love of outdoor sports... Yeah, no.

Oooh, in other exciting and somewhat related news, Ross and I bought a new camera! We decided it'll definitely be worth it once Henry arrives, and Ross has spent all afternoon getting up to speed on how it works. May have to set up a mini-tutorial on skype with one of you photography-skilled kids. I'm pretty sure even the auto settings on the new camera will take better photos than the ones on my little camera, so we'll win either way!

What else? Mum and Dad arrived in Iceland this week; Mum came straight north and Dad is still in Reykjavik completing various goose chases around the shopping centres. Poor thing, we even made him go to Ikea today - I think Ikea is one of those places where if you're in the mood to go, then it's awesome, but it can get really tiring really fast if you're not really into it. Still, they have some neat stuff, and it's cheaper than anything from ye olde overpriced co-op.
Anyway, it's awesome to have Mum around, and I can't wait til Dad arrives, too! They are the first of our many guests planned for the next six months, so it'll be good to sort out what we need to do to the house to make it more hospitable.

Well, yeah, I think that's it... I'm trying not to get into the whole 'waiting waiting' mindset, but it's kind of difficult - so impatient!! Oh well, shall try to relax and enjoy the bumpy belly for just a little bit longer...