Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Ode to Cheerios

The longer I don't post, the harder it is to start again! Boo!

Everything has been fine around these parts - Henry continues to grow teeth, Ross works super hard and Nina eats all the things. And I potter around being occasionally useful and always awesome.

Ross worked on the weekend, at Fisk in the morning and then at my great uncle's farm in the afternoon - so many conflicting smells! He said he wasn't too fussed about working, as that would give him an excuse to put off painting the dining room. Then when he got into work and asked what he'd be doing, what was the reply? Painting! Poor guy.

We had dinner at Vicki's on Saturday night, and it was lovely as usual. We caught up with interesting people and ate delicious food - every time I have bread and butter pudding, I promise myself that I'll make it at home sometime, but I never do. Oh well, I guess that means I am always super excited when Vicki makes it for us!

Henry and I went to the mother's morning today, and it was really well attended for once! It had basically dropped down to me and two other ladies drinking coffee together every week, but maybe now that the weather's nicer more people will come.
It really is a highpoint of my week - getting out of the house, having coffee and cake, and talking to other mums who all seem to know everything about child-rearing - it's all good. Plus Henry gets to do a bit of socialising with people (as opposed to learning all his interpersonal skills from his faithful hound, Nina. She is not a master of social niceties. Not at all.)

I took the dude to the doctor's yesterday, because he's been rubbing at his ears quite a lot lately, and he kind of tilts his head to one side sometimes. Yeah, I know, hardly symptoms of serious illness, but I figured better safe than sorry. The doctor was really nice and humoured me in a non-condescending way, and then informed me that Henry had lovely ear canals - beautiful, even.

Have I told you how much I love Cheerios? Not for myself, I just find them to be the best of all possible baby treats - entertaining and delicious! When they're in a little tupperware container, they make a fun rattly sound. Then once they're out, Henry spends aaaaages picking up each one individually, which totally develops his fine motor skills (or pinchy fingers, as I like to call them). They seem to have the most minimal choking risk possible for a solid food - they go gooey almost immediately, and if all else fails there's a built-in air hole.
Having said all that, I have a sneaking suspicion that they're more sugary than they seem - isn't that always the way?

Anyway dudes, there's another slice of my life recorded for posterity. Oh, future generations, what wisdom you will glean from my writings.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Bolludagur!

So yesterday I joined the hundreds (thousands?) of people who have googled the phrase 'help I spilled (beer/coffee/motor oil) on my laptop'. Boo!

I think it's going to be okay, it was only a little bit of beer, and after we let it dry out for a little while, it worked fine. I had a bit of a mope for being such an idiot, but these things happen, and it could always have been worse - it could have been motor oil! I had a time out and a shower and felt much better afterwards.

It's kind of funny how easily 'whoops, I did something clumsy' becomes 'whoops, I am such a useless idiot' in my brain. And by funny, I mean sad and disappointing. But on the plus side, recognising that that happens is a good thing, because then I can make my sneaky jerkbrain stop doing it.

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What else? Henry is a bit cranky as his top teeth are on their way, and he seems like he could have a little bit of a cold, too. If he is sick, then that'll be the first time ever - I don't know if he just has a super good immune system, or if I just don't take him out and expose him to other people's germs enough.


He gets plenty of germs at home, that's for sure. 

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Today is Bolludagur, which is the Icelandic celebration of 'the Monday seven weeks before Easter'. I don't know what the english name is, or if there even is one. You celebrate by eating cream buns, which pretty much makes it the holiday of my dreams. I already celebrated twice. Yum.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Raaaage...

It's the weekend!

I bought some headphones for Henry from the internet - I figured that he'll probably need some so we can entertain him on the flight to Australia. I decided to do the right thing and just order them from the US, and pay the customs fee that Iceland charges on anything that comes into the country - boo!

I had kind of resigned myself to paying a percentage of the value, and I found out that it's about 25%. Yikes, but okay, do the right thing, right? The headphones cost $17.99 US, which is about 2000 kronas. So, 500kr extra, right? Nope.

They charge 25% of the entire amount you paid, including postage from the US ($12). And then they have three separate random fees, including 500kr for 'handling' - sure dudes, feel free to charge me for the privilege of being charged a made up fee, that doesn't make anyone annoyed.

So for a thing that cost 2000kr, I paid 3000 in customs fees - that is more than the value of the item itself. Blergh! And snuh, and also pffft and grargh! I know there are many bigger things wrong in the world, but for some reason this just makes me incoherent with rage.

Anyway, I could talk for hours about how ridiculous and stupid it is, but I don't want to. If you ever want to bring it up in person sometime, be prepared for a tirade filled with angry noises instead of words.

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In other news, here's some stuff I like on the internet:

Captain Awkward - Advice column from an awesome human who is dedicated to embracing the awkwardness of life and using your words to get what you want.

This article about stupid defenses of sexism from Cracked is all kinds of great. 

Monster Bark is a flash game about a puppy who has to save his friends from monsters. I liked it, up until I got stuck in a maze level where you just have to run really fast. I hate those kinds of levels.

Unfuck your habitat is a tumblr about cleaning and organising your stuff, so you don't have to live in piles of clutter. I know, I know, it's not something I'm terribly good at (yet!), but a girl can dream...

P.S. Do you have any links to things that are awesome? I like looking at awesome stuff!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Face time

I just tried to take a photo of Henry's teeth, because golly gee are they adorable. I didn't get teeth, but I got this awesome expression:


I'm calling it a win.

Hvað ertu stór?

It's Sunday morning! The men of the house are watching the cricket and sharing breakfast - it is totally cute. Henry's getting much better at eating food in bits, so he gets a bit of whatever we're having. He seems to enjoy food much more when it comes from someone else's plate, but who doesn't?

What else? Henry had a check up with the nurse last week, and all is well with him. He only put on about 300g over the past two months which is:
a) less than usual, because up until now he's been growing like a wildly growing thing,
b) normal, because he's using up more energy now that he's crawling around the place, and
c) kind of a relief, because at the rate he was going, I was worried he'd be too big for the airplane bassinet when we go to Australia... Ah, the things I find to worry about.

The nurse asked if he'd started doing things like waving and clapping (yes and yes), and stressed the importance of getting those sorts of things right in time for his 10 month appointment. Basically, there's a developmental test that the doctor gives, to see if their motor skills and communication skills are all good for their age. This is, of course, a good thing.

And I guess they need to have some sort of standardized milestones, so they can compare babies to each other. But here in Iceland, they seem to go one step further. Not only does Henry need to know how to clap, he needs to clap along to a specific song. That's the prompt that they give him, and if he doesn't respond to it, then he fails at clapping. (There's probably another phrase they use, 'fail' sounds fairly harsh for a baby.)

And there's another thing that I'd noticed other mothers doing at playgroup - asking their babies how big they were, and then the baby would throw his/her hands in the air (this big!) and grin. Aww, how adorable, right? I tried it a bit with Henry, just because I thought it was a bit cute.

Turns out he'll be tested on that. There's a german girl at the mother's group, and she said their daughter puts her hands up every time someone scores a goal in soccer - apparently the nurses warned her that that wasn't an acceptable demonstration of putting your hands up. It must be as an answer to the question 'how big are you?'. Boo.

I can't decide whether I should set aside time every day to practice the 'right' question and answer, or just teach him to high five instead. Maybe I can do both.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Ugh.

Welp. Bear with me, this is kind of hard to write. I still suffer from trying to be totally perfect all the time, or at least appearing that way to other people. So I find it difficult to expose failures and pain and horribleness - but it's probably good to air it all out, right? Right.

We tried some sleep training last night. Read all the things on the internet, pros and cons, safety stuff, tips for 'gentler' sleep training, tips for staying sane while your baby cries, and so on. Had a big plan, set up his bedroom all nicely, finally put him to bed, decided we would not back down, no matter what...

I lasted exactly five minutes. The first interval we left him for was three minutes of crying (worst. noise. ever.), then I was supposed to go in and soothe him without picking him up. That part was even worse - he was just looking at me and bawling, and holding his arms up so I could pick him up, but I couldn't. Ugh.

Then Ross came up to tell me to leave him again, because you're only supposed to be in the room for a minute or two. I came halfway down the stairs, but by this time I was crying, too, so I asked if we could stop. And we took about ten seconds to make that decision, and then I went back up and rescued my poor little Henry. He took a little while to calm down again, even with me holding him, so I don't really understand how he would have calmed down on his own. I guess he'd have stopped crying eventually from exhaustion, but again, ugh.

Anyway, we decided that that particular method is definitely not for us. Not right now, and probably not anytime soon, either. I know Henry needs to learn to sleep on his own, and in his own bed, but I'm okay with him learning that in his own time.
I'm glad we tried, just so we can say that we did. And I think it taught us more about the way we want to parent - where the lines are for us.


Luckily there were no hard feelings from Henry, he's such a lovely little chap.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Schlaf, kindlein, schlaf

Henry stayed at his Nanna's house on the weekend, which was both awesome and terrible!

Awesome because Ross and I just spent a quiet night watching movies and hanging out. We watched Things to do in Denver When You're Dead, and 50/50, which made me cry like a little baby. Nina got heaps of pats and attention without the little man trying to pull her face off, and I slept for nine hours straight. It was so so nice.

On the other hand, it was a bit terrible because I don't think Vicki slept at all. Henry kicked up a fuss when she tried to put him in the crib, and carried on about it for nearly an hour. I think that was the worst part, but they both had a pretty restless night. Henry fell asleep in the pram on the way home and then had a four hour nap, which is a new record!

Anyway, we were definitely super appreciative for the break, and I'm sure it's good for Henry to get used to hanging out with people that aren't me. He sometimes has a bit of a whinge when I pass him over to anyone else, but it's not really affecting our daily life in any negative way... Yet.
Plus, it's a bit nice that he likes me so much, and in any case, as a wise woman once told me - this too shall pass.

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What else? Henry has learned how to clap, and as a result he gives himself and everyone else a round of applause for doing anything. Or nothing. It's funny though, it seems like every time he learns a new thing, he stops doing any of the old things - so now instead of waving to you when you leave the room, he claps ('Yay, you're finally gone!' What a charmer.)

In other news, the internet is still awesome. I found a place where you can learn how to write computer code for free, which is kind of interesting and fun. I tend to race through the exercises, but I think I need to set up a way of revising and actually remembering things once I've 'learned' them.