Saturday, August 27, 2011

Get out in the sunshine, and get vitamin D; I'm good for your eyes, I'm good for your bones...

Here's vitamin E!

Got a package the other day from Mum - nursing tops ahoy! I have found it rather difficult to find good quality (but reasonably priced) clothes here in Iceland, so huzzah for overseas suppliers of stuff! Also Henry got an awesome outfit and a book that is a dog. It's also about a dog, so that makes sense.


The dude and I went to the mother's group on Monday and it was really fun! There were six other ladies there, five with boys and one lonely girl. Henry was by far the youngest, so he mostly sat with me while the other kids played together, but he seemed pretty interested in watching everyone else. Also, it was awesome to get out of the house and talk to people.

And it's good to get other people's opinions: Henry has been taking vitamin D drops for about a month now, I'm not sure if babies all over the world have to do that, but they were strongly recommended by the midwives here. Unfortunately, they play havoc with his stomach, so the poor little dude hasn't been sleeping very well lately.
Anyway, I mentioned it at the group, and the general consensus was that they're not worth the effort. Babies this young get upset tummies, so most of the mums just waited until the little ones started eating real food, and gave them cod liver oil instead.

I did some looking around on the internets, and the idea seems to be that there isn't usually enough vitamin D in breastmilk because the mothers aren't getting enough. But given that there isn't that much sunlight here to begin with, people (including me) are all taking some form of supplement on a daily basis. So maybe I have more vitamin D in my milk than say, someone in Perth - you wouldn't expect to be deficient in such a sunny place, but with the super emphasis on slip, slop, slap, people probably don't get much real sun exposure in the end.*

Anyway, the point of the above speculative rant is: I hope Henry doesn't get rickets, but I don't think he will.

* Did I just become one of those people who bandies about stupid ideas that could do more harm than good? Oops, my contradictions are showing.


In other news, I have been suffering from the toothache from hell for most of the past week. It started aching a bit on Friday night last week (natch), so on Monday I called up for an appointment at the dentist. They offered one on the following Monday, but that night the pain got heaps worse, so I phoned again on Tuesday, and they found me a time slot for Wednesday.

Tuesday night was the longest and most pain-filled night ever, even worse than that one where I was in labour. I had forgotten how bad toothaches can be - there should definitely be a separate word for that kind of pain. I went on a website to look at home remedies for toothache  - my favourite suggestion was Vicodin! Um, yeah... I don't think that counts as a 'home remedy'. I found a combination of things that eased the pain enough to sleep a bit, but by 'a bit', I mean maybe one hour total, in five to ten minute blocks. UGH.

Went in on Wednesday, totally sleep deprived and still in agony, and the guy numbed my mouth, filled a tooth and sent me home. Yay! I slept for a couple of hours while the anaesthetic was still working, then it was alright for a little while longer, then the pain just came back and brought along a bunch of painful friends... 

So Wednesday night Ross drove me to the hospital to get some painkillers, which then didn't work (alas, they were not Vicodin), so I got my uncle's wife to phone them for me and demand some better painkillers, or even that they check me in and sedate me. It was such a horrible feeling, nothing was helping me feel better, and I was so exhausted and befuddled by pain that I couldn't even think straight. At least with childbirth, all the pain was leading up to a reward, there were people looking after me and there were intervals where I actually felt okay and could rest.

Anyway, the doctor on call phoned the dentist, so at ten pm I went in and he did what I suspect may have been a root canal? Oh my gosh, that anaesthetic was pretty much the best thing that ever happened to me. So it turns out it was the tooth NEXT to the one he filled that was causing the trouble - well done, dentist man!
So he fixed it all and sent me home, and Ross slept downstairs with the dude so that I could get a proper night's sleep. It was amazing. 

My conclusion: toothache = worse than childbirth. Or more accurately, this particular toothache was worse than my particular childbirth.


I was trying to upload a video so that I didn't have to end on that note, but it doesn't seem to be working... Oh well, nevermind, I've been meaning to post this post for about three days now, no more putting it off for whatever reason!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Exit, pursued by a bear...

Oh my gosh, my uncle Jon Erik and his family sent us the cutest outfit ever - it's so fluffy, I'm gonna die!*

Seriously, it's like having a live teddy bear, all squishy and soft and warm... Look! Lookit the tail!

* We watched Despicable Me last night, and I may or may not have cried at the end. I do love a good kids' movie. 

Oh, that face. It's a bit weird though, because I can't tell whether it's supposed to be an outfit in itself, or something to wear over his normal clothes. If I was wearing a bear suit, it would go over my real clothes, but I have a feeling Henry could wear this as a fuzzy onesie. And he may have to do so ALL the time from now until he grows out of it!

What else? We went to the doctor's for another checkup, and Mr. Henry now weighs 6.26 kilos and is 62cm long! Again, I have no real frame of reference, but I believe that's quite a respectable growth spurt.
There was another mum with a baby in the waiting room, who turned out to be the girlfriend of a guy we work with at Fisk. Her kid was five months old, I think, and he was only a little bit taller than Henry - his head was waaaay bigger though, and he was almost totally bald. Yay for cute Henry and his mop of hair!

The nurse also mentioned that he was still written in the computer as Boy unchristened - we (okay, I) haven't gotten around to trying to sort out a christening, as I don't think we're fussed either way. Anyway, the nurse kindly pointed out that some people don't realise that the baby's name has to be registered in the Þjóðskrá, it's not enough to just write it down at the hospital.
Ha ha, yep, 'some people' would indeed be me. I figured I probably had to do that somewhere, but I don't think they dob you in for child negligence until you have a six-month-old nameless baby.

So I went and registered him yesterday, and then it isn't such a big deal if we have a christening later or not. The main issue is that the people we want to be godparents are a) both living in other countries and b) not especially religious, although that's not really the point for us, anyway. If I could find a good secular word for 'someone who will be a good influence on my child's life, help teach him how to be a kind-hearted human and give him sound advice when he won't listen to his parents', then I would use that... Suggestions welcome in the comments!

What else? I have joined a 'Mums in Sauðárkrókur' group on facebook, and as a result, I will be doing some socializing soon! I am pretty bad at putting myself forward and making new friends. Most of the time I'm quite happy with that, but every once in a while I feel like a bit of a sad case. Also, it'll be good to get some advice from other people, and Henry can play with some other kids! Good times all round, I think.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Three hundred club...

Hello again.
What is up where you are? It's the same old routine here, Ross is still on holidays so we are living in bliss - we hang out and eat and watch The Wire and try to sleep when we can.

I figured Henry was awesome at sleeping as is, he only wakes up a couple of times, usually around two-ish and five-ish. Then the other night he stayed at his Nanna's house, and he slept from ten til five, non-stop! He has a more spacious cot there, so maybe that made a difference... I suspect the main disruption to his sleep might be me - I pick him up too quickly when he fusses, whereas if I left him, he'd probably go back to sleep. I experimented last night with leaving him a bit longer, and it seemed to work pretty well. Here's hoping for a full night's sleep one day soon.

Henry's super talkative at the moment, lots of cooing and squealing, especially when he's in his crib. He also seems to have a better grasp (ooh, unintentional pun!) on what his hands are and how to work them. He likes to shove his whole fist in his mouth, and lately he's been trying to grab things: noses, fingers, hair, scarves, ears, etc. Fun times.


What else? Nina betrayed her friend the gross bunny, and ripped him to shreds. We found it comical and photo worthy.

I restuffed him and sewed the ears back on, but then she ripped his face off. Nice doggie.


We went to the music festival Gæran on Friday night - the music was mostly unimpressive, but it was good to get out of the house. The only bummer was when Ross got racially abused by a random drunk guy (he told me that he was unimpressed that I was dating a black man - what? 'What' on so many levels...) Apparently that guy is a bit of an obnoxious feature around town, so we're not too hurt by it. Whatevs, random man.


Aaaand, here's some more Henry to round out the post. The rug that he's lying on is one that my great aunt Guja crocheted for him. Amma gave her a bag of mismatched ends of yarn, and she somehow made all the colours work together. Talented lady.

P.S. Did you know that this was my 300th post? Don't worry, I wouldn't have known, either, except that Blogger keeps track for me. Also, it's nearly three years since I started the blog - nuts, hey?

Sunday, August 7, 2011

"It's much too late to do anything about rock & roll now ..." - Jerry Garcia

Not much to report here in sunny old S'krok - although by gosh, it was indeed sunny today, which I guess is newsworthy! We all took a walk to Vicki's house to meet her current visitors, three Australian ladies who are travelling around the world. It's always lovely to hear an accent from home, and they were all really lovely.

On the way home we passed the new pub/ restaurant, and saw that they were advertising burgers! Don't know if I mentioned the place before, it's called the Hard Wok Cafe (har de har), and it's one of the few places in town that isn't owned by the Olafshus monopoly. It opened earlier this year, and I really wanted to support it, but they usually serve a mishmash of Asian foods, and I wasn't really that impressed when we went.

So yay for burgers! They were pretty okay, and it was nice to sit in a cafe and watch the world go by. Some of the world that went by turned out to be Amma and Sigga, and they came in to join us for lunch.
I even left Henry in his pram outside, as per Icelandic custom - although I was a bit paranoid that he'd wake up and cry and everyone would think I was a terrible mother. Didn't happen though, he slept quite happily while we ate. Winner.

The boy continues to be totally adorable, seen here wearing a Ramones shirt sent to him by his aunt Victoria in London. H&M's baby stuff is pretty amazing - Henry has been given quite a few things from there, and they're all really cute and comfortable and easy to put on*.

* A super good feature in baby clothes. I'm getting better at it, but am still a little bit nervous that I'm going to break something important**.

** Ross just asked which bits aren't important. Good point.

The debate still rages on about who he looks like, we hear different opinions all the time. I can't really tell, he just looks like himself to me. I was thinking, though, maybe people think he looks more like me because of his colouring - it's kind of hard to look past the blue eyes and blonde-ish hair. He definitely has olive skin though. Who knows? All I know is he's the cutest ever.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


I have been reading lots of parenting blogs lately, and I've realised I am totally hooked on reading tips for travelling with babies. Anytime there's an article on planes, trains and minis, I am there. I think it's because I dream* of being on a plane to Australia with Ross and the little dude...

* Not literally. My actual dreams lately have been repeatedly about The Wire. We are rewatching it at the moment, and it's clearly taking up too much of my brain space. But man, how good is that show? I can't believe I forgot how awesome Lester is.

So anyway, when we do finally go to Australia, I promise my fellow travellers the most relaxed flight ever. Hmm, I guess I can't guarantee that, but I can promise that I will try the best I can to make sure that we aren't the ones making an already hellish flight worse. I think that's the main thing - people can sort of forgive a crying baby, as long as you're making an effort to do something about it!

Anyway, apart from lists of what to bring on an airplane, parenting blogs can be pretty insane. Just about every day, I read a new theory on what causes autism.
Actual examples: Pacifiers. Or maybe a lack of vitamin D. Oh yeah, or it might be a lack of pre-natal vitamins maybe? Or taking anti-depressants - again, before you even get pregnant. And don't even get me started about vaccines.
Sorry about the negativity,  I guess autism is one of those things that people still don't understand, and it really gets me when people bandy about stupid ideas that can cause more harm than good.

Enough of that. Henry is a bit cranky at the moment, and while I haven't managed to take a picture of his ultimate sad face (hint: it looks like the saddest cartoon sad face you ever saw), here's one I prepared earlier...

Monday, August 1, 2011

Green is not a creative colour...

Hello again! As Maja said re: blogging - the longer I leave it, the longer I leave it! So here's a bunch of photos.

I think the dude's hair is still getting lighter, it's almost the same colour as mine! 

Someone told Amma that sleeping with your arms above your head is bad for you, so every time she sees him like this, she tries to put them down. Unfortunately, that's nearly all the time - I figure if he was uncomfortable, he'd either change position himself or cry until I moved him, right?

Also, this photo illustrates what Ross and I just realised about body proportions in babies - his arms are the same length as his head! How cute is that? A: Very.

Nina has a stuffed bunny with no arms. It is pretty gross, and she loves it.

Henry tried on a christening dress that Amma has been knitting for years... Literal, actual years - I'm not sure who's going to wear it, but I already told her it wouldn't be Henry. He was just the model to see if it will fit a small person, and as you can see, it did!

As you can also see from the photo, he was pretty unimpressed with the whole deal.

Henry and Nina do tummy time, yeah!

So yeah. That's our life in pictures at the moment... And as I write it out like that and then look at the pictures, I realise that maybe I should get out of the house more. On the other hand, although there is more to life than puppies and babies and gross stuffed bunnies, I'll have plenty of time to do all that other stuff later. This life is still pretty entertaining for now.


There were two things on the internet today that made us laugh loudly.


And this:

Don't Hug Me I'm Scared from This Is It on Vimeo.