Sunday, December 29, 2013

Birthday!

So today is my last day of not yet being thirty... Weird, but not really weird, because of course thirty comes after twenty nine, right? So I definitely should have seen it coming.

Anyway, I am feeling okay about being thirty - the upside to being completely unambitious is that you don't feel disappointed in yourself for not achieving whatever lofty goals you 'should have' completed by now. I am really incredibly content with what I have: my nice little house with my lovely husband, best little boy, and oafish dog, plus the new baby arriving really soon! (Like, two weeks soon - yikes!) It doesn't take much to make me happy, for which I am grateful.

On that note, we had a lovely and quiet Christmas, just had some delicious meals with the family. The weather was pretty terrible, they had forecast a massive blizzard, but it was mostly just windy. Still yuck, though. Henry got really spoilt by everyone and had a great time, so it was pretty fantastic. The only thing missing is photos, but Henry's been really anti-camera lately, I'm having difficulties uploading photos to Ross' computer, and I'm also feeling pretty un-photogenic these days. (I wore a dress with stars on it to Christmas eve dinner, which was pretty appropriate, as I am approximately the size of a planet right now ;))

Pretty sure that my birthday tomorrow will be similarly low key, I bought a bunch of stuff to make ice cream sundaes and I'm getting Ross to make something delicious for dinner, probably a couple of curries.We'll eat and hang out and go to bed early, yay for partying!

What else? Ross and I have been watching River Cottage, it's a British show about this chef who buys a farm and basically lives off the land, growing and cooking and eating and fishing and bartering. It's pretty inspiring, so much so that Ross has actually baked a few loaves of bread, whereas I'm still in the 'inspired, but not enough to do anything about it' category. I do have all next year off, though, so maybe I'll do some gardening once the weather gets nicer.
The hilarious part is that Henry really loves watching it, too. Usually he's not into whatever we're watching, and demands to watch kids' shows, but he seriously seems to enjoy River Cottage. At first I thought it was just the animals, but even during the cooking bits, or butchering or gardening or whatever, he's hooked. He's a great dude.

Aaaaaand that's probably all for now. When I next post, I'll be a thirty year old grown up type person, whooooo!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Another overheard conversation...

Ross: Okay, here goes Flynn the fire engine *vrooooom-y sound effect*
Henry: *shrieks* No! Flynn goes ba-booo! (That's the noise that Icelandic fire sirens make)
Ross: Yeah, usually, okay, but maybe he doesn't have the siren on... Fire trucks have engines, so they still make a *vroom* sound while they're driving. It's not an emergency, so he's not using the siren, see? So that means we can hear the engine going *vroooo-
Henry: BAAAAAAAA. BOOOOOOO.

Touché.

Trees, art and snow

Wow, three weeks left and counting! Not sure if it'll fly by because of the Christmas holidays, or draaaag out for the same reason... Oh well, we'll see. Ross is finished work for the time being, he goes back on the 2nd of January, then hopefully only has to work a little while before starting paternity leave.

We put up our tree last weekend - it's not the Icelandic way, but we take advantage of being foreigners when it suits us. According to the Icelanders, you can put up lights in early December, but the tree is supposed to wait until the 23rd. Then, of course, all the decorations have to come down by the 6th of January, so I feel like it's a pretty short time to enjoy lights and prettiness in your house.

Last Sunday we went to an exhibition by Donna Maree Robinson, who is an Australian artist currently staying at Nes in Skagastrond. Vicki works for them as a go-between, organising exhibitions and workshops and stuff, so we figured we'd go and have a look. I went to the last exhibition on my own, and it was just a gallery type deal, pictures on the walls and people chatting and so on.

So when we went, we just waltzed into the foyer and started taking off our cold-weather gear, chatting merrily away, listening to Henry ramble about whatever he was rambling about... Then I poked my head around the corner to have a peek inside, and it turned out that it was an installation type thing - everyone was sitting down on the ground in complete silence, watching a projection of skies on a mountain while listening to this atmospheric music (pretty sure it was Sigur Ros).

I was pretty mortified at the time, but Ross later convinced me that it was quite funny, really. We also had a bit of a chat with the artist afterwards and I apologised, but she seemed to think it was a bit funny, too. So that was all okay, and I quite liked her work, so it was good that we went.

We had some blizzards this week, so I ended up just keeping Henry home with me yesterday. Our road  is never really a top priority for plowing, and the snow just builds up in drifts at both ends of the street. Add that to the fact that if the car does get bogged, my only real option is to sit and wait for someone to help me, and it just doesn't seem worth the hassle.

I think that is probably it for now, I may or may not investigate a way to post photos from this computer at some point...

Thursday, December 12, 2013

One more day...

Hello again!

So, today was going to be my last day at work - ideally I would have stopped last week, but with one thing and another, we were going to be quite short staffed from Monday to Thursday, so I offered to stay to help out. I was pretty sure I made this clear to my boss lady, but obviously I didn't, because she thought I was working Friday, too. And it was just as I was leaving yesterday that she said see you Friday, and it was all awkward and I hate trying to argue with her about stuff, so I just went, okay then.

I was pretty disappointed at first, both in myself for not arguing the point, and at the situation in general, cause dammit I was looking forward to holidays! But, I figure the extra effort to explain it all to her is more trouble than the extra effort of just working one more half-day. So I'll do it and then buy myself a treat.

What else? Henry got his first ever present in his shoe from the Icelandic yule lads this morning, I guess I maybe should have taken a photo? Oh well, I'll remember it with my brain parts instead - he got a little steamroller, which he and Ross decided to call Stephanie. It's funny, we'll ask him what name he wants to give a toy (all of them have names!), but we always forget that he doesn't actually know that many names, so if you don't offer a suggestion you'll end up with a whole range of different toys with the same name. Makes life easier, I guess?

I saw this write up at Shakesville, about a six year old kid who got suspended from school for kissing a girl, and the media stuff about it is all 'geez, lighten up, boys will be boys' and 'it's political correctness gone mad' and all that crap. Thing is, the boy has invaded this girl's space against her wishes a number of times, and the school has a zero tolerance policy on unwanted touching. The only reason he's getting suspended is because he is continuing with inappropriate behaviour after being told that it's not okay. And it seems like his mum is the one telling him that it is okay, he's just expressing himself, and that everyone else is a big meanie, boo hiss.

Anyway, there's lots of good conversation about teaching consent to kids, which is relevant to my interests because, y'know, currently raising one of those guys and I'd like to do a good job. Someone pointed out that the best way to teach kids stuff like that is by example, which I've totally taken to heart: Henry has been completely refusing to kiss me goodnight lately, and when he says no, then we just wave or have a high five instead. If he says he doesn't want someone to hug or kiss or touch him, then he's allowed to say no. And on the other hand if someone else says stop, then I hope he recognises their right to say no, too.

All of which is a long winded way of saying that if you meet Henry and he doesn't want to give you a goodbye kiss, it's not a referendum on whether he loves you or not. He gets to be the boss of himself sometimes.

Haha, that got a bit serious. Turns out I have some Feelings about things, and at least if I rant them out, then you don't have to read any more complaints about my health for the time being :) I'll save it for next time!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Ooops.

Welp, on Sunday night I managed to sprain something in my back from coughing too hard - I have previously done something similar to my ribs, but this time I felt something go 'pop' in my back, and then it hurt a lot. Rad.
And then it turned out that the only painkillers we had in the house were Ibuprofen (Nurofen in Aus, can't remember what the active ingredient guy is called), which is of course not okay for super pregnant ladies. Boo!

I stayed home from work yesterday, and called the midwife just to check what I could take for pain and suppressing the cough, and she said I should go see a doctor who could prescribe Parkodin - paracetamol and codiene, who knew that was going to be okay during pregnancy? So yeah, that does both the painkillery job and the cough-suppression thing, DOUBLE WIN!
I tend to avoid taking drugs while I'm pregnant, which is okay for me as I don't suffer from headaches, etc. very often, but golly gee whiz it is excellent that they are available to me when necessary.

I made Ross stay home with me to get Henry to school, and then he spent the rest of the day waiting on me hand and foot. It was pretty great, I did nothing except relaxing and eating and drinking all day. I think it was probably good for Ross to get a sort-of day off, he had a pretty busy weekend of looking after me and Henry and the house and the dogs, plus he made sausages all by himself.

What else? Oh yeah, yesterday was supposed to be my last full day at work, so I managed to skip that entirely - woo! I'm just working today, tomorrow and Thursday from eleven til three, so that is very doable. I'm not even really doing much while I'm there, which makes me feel a little bit bad, but I guess it's worth it to have the extra person around for moral support and supervising and helping out a little where possible.

Anyway, that's probably enough of the whinging for now, I will be sure to update you if I manage to hurt myself again! For now I may just attempt to do something productive before work...

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Overheard conversation...

... between Ross and Henry, because I don't get out much.

Ross: (something I didn't catch)... That's yuck!
Henry: Ohhh, Daddy's yuck!
R: No no, I'm not yuck. Perla licked me, that's a bit yuck.
H: Oh, yuck, Perla. (pause) I'll lick Perla? Come on Perla! I'll lick Perla!
R: Noooooooooo!

Clearly my son does not always catch the main point in the conversation. Perla is Vicki's dog, by the way, we're looking after her while Vicki takes a short holiday to Australia! Nina and Perla get along really well, so they seem quite happy to have each others' company.

I talked to my boss lady today, and she agreed that I should definitely stop working if I wanted to. Next week is a bit busy still, so I'm going to work half days until Thursday, then stop altogether. Oooh, that means this time next week I will be off work for the next year! Yaaaaaaay! I got the letter today confirming my maternity leave pay, so that's almost all sorted, too. Feels good.

What else? Oh yeah, in all my whinging last night, I managed to leave out the fact that I currently have a pretty bad cold/flu thing going on. Which sucks. I never did end up getting that flu shot, although the decision was purely down to me forgetting to make an appointment, as opposed to any moral stances. If I have a stance, it's definitely pro-vaccination, but alas, laziness wins another round.

Um um um, I feel like there was another little anecdote I wanted to share, but now I can't remember what that could possibly be... Oh well, time to hit post, then!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Time flies...

Haha, our current division of labour seems to be: I sit around after work and write draft blog posts and look at far too many internets, while Ross takes care of that parenting business (unless he's doing overtime, in which case I have to be the responsible adult. Boo). Yesterday I wrote half a draft during bathtime, tonight Ross is putting Henry down to sleep so maybe I'll manage to finish and post this before he comes down!

So anyway, what's going on? It is December, so I'm counting down the days until I stop working! I originally said that I could probably stay on until the 20th, but I'm having my doubts as to whether I'll last that long. The last week has really worn me out, so even when I think I'm taking it easy, I'm still wiped by the end of the day. Plus I'm getting some super fun pain in my hips when I stand up, or sit down, or move, or sit still for too long. It's not very awesome, and I am yet again reminded of how lucky I am to be able bodied for most of the time. Pregnancy: teaching me to check my privilege since 2011.

 Had a pretty fun/intense/eventful day today. The weather was wretched; it had been snowing all night and was still blizzarding this morning, so there was heaps of snow everywhere. As a result, of course I managed to get the car bogged while I was dropping Henry off at leikskoli. It was basically peak drop off time, so I figured I'd manage to get out one way or another, but I tried by myself for a little while, which was super frustrating. I started to get upset, then didn't want to get out and ask for help until I'd calmed down, which was even more frustrating, and so on and so forth with me getting myself alllll worked up about it...
It ended with a random guy just walking up and asking if I needed a hand, and I somehow managed to say yes through the (by then) heaving sobs. He hopped in and tried to rock the car back and forth a bit, then another guy came up and just gave the car a little shove, and they got it out. No problem, and not a big deal at all - I guess it's a pretty commonplace occurrence here, and if you're able to help out, why wouldn't you? It took them two minutes, tops. I felt a bit silly for getting so upset about it, but I think it was just the feeling of absolute helplessness more than anything else. Bummer.

Anyway, after I went home and calmed down a bit, I picked Ross up and we headed to the hospital for an ultrasound and midwife's appointment. All was well with the ultrasound, except that Felix (ha! I just realised he's Felix the fetus - that sounds comical to me) had his face all smushed up against the placenta, so we couldn't really get any halfway decent photos. I wasn't too fussed, it's not that long til we can see him in person.
The only somewhat remarkable thing was that according to the torso measurement, the doctor estimated that he'll be a pretty big baby. But he did mention that the measurement could have been skewed by the way Felix was facing... Also they told me Henry would be little, and he turned out to be above average, so who knows, really? Again, we'll find out soon enough.

The midwife appointment was good, too. I mentioned the hip pain and tiredness and stuff (partly at Ross' prompting, I didn't want to feel like a whinger), and she was very understanding and ready to write me a doctor's certificate for whenever. So I'm thinking that I'll probably work a week more, then I'll be a month off the due date, so screw it, it's time for a holiday. I'm definitely picking up on the attitude that a lot of Icelanders seem to have, wherein you work until you just can't anymore. And I sometimes get pretty persuaded that that's the way it should be, and I am just a big baby for not feeling up to it.
But then I think about it, and yeah, in theory I won't be at work for the next year, but the first couple of months of having a newborn (at least!) are a pretty tough slog. And maybe I am a big wuss, but I don't have a problem with that, when it comes down to it. So whatevs, Icelandic superheroes, you can have all the glory of working really hard all the time, I will just be over here hanging out and looking after myself.

The other thing is I keep looking for the perfect time to quit, like when there's nothing going on, but there's always something. We were really busy getting ready for the open day (which was yesterday), so I figured I could take a day off or something after that. But then boss lady had to cover for someone else on a trip to Akureyri today, so I didn't want to leave them shorthanded. So I figured it could wait til next week, but then another girl has to take three days off from Monday to Wednesday. So I thought maybe Thursday, but then boss lady has to take the day and go to a meeting in Akureyri again, so maybe the week after?
 Anyway, long story short, I have somehow convinced myself that I'm indispensable for the foreseeable future, but that there will come a time when it will be fine and no problem and not at all inconvenient for anyone. Which is bollocks, especially when I write it out like that. So there, take that, brain.

Whew, I have clearly been dwelling on all this leave business far too much! I'm obviously feeling quite guilty about it all, given how much justification I think it needs. Enough! Going to talk to boss lady tomorrow - hooray for entirely deserved time off!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Sickie...

Hey I am thinking maybe I can bash out a quick post now and again while Ross is putting Henry to bed. Good idea, yes/yes?


Henry and I stayed home sick today. He has had a bit of a terrible cold lately, just heaps and heaps of coughing at all hours of the day and night. He even threw up the other night because he was coughing so hard, poor little man. Added to that is a bit of a rash on his chin, and he's also been rubbing his ears, which always makes me paranoid. So I decided to stay home today and take him to the doctor's.

He wasn't super keen on the idea, and as we were walking into the office he kept assuring me that he wasn't going to the doctor's. So of course I lied and said that I was going, and he was just keeping me company. Then we got inside and he crawled under the table and said he was busy fixing things, so he was too busy to come out. Poor dude.

He got a bit upset when we finally coaxed him out, and then refused to let the doc look at his chin. Just nope. Then I did Parenting (tm)*, and made him think we were both too stupid to know where his chin was. I got his elbow out, and was like 'yeah, here's your chin', and he was all smug and 'no it isn't! That's my elbow!' The doctor played along and he eventually got the chance to be a smart ass and show us his chin. Yay for every single tantrum that we somehow manage to avoid.

Then while she was checking his ears, he was all chipper and went on about how it wasn't scary at all, and it didn't hurt, and he informed me that he was going to tell Felix all about how it isn't scary to go to the doctor. Oh the cute, it hurts sometimes.

* This script is almost verbatim from this book, which I bought a while ago on Kindle. It does come off as kind of patronizing a lot of the time, and I'm not really all in with the toddler-ese business, but a lot of it is pretty fantastic and helpful for averting tantrums - for Henry, anyway.

So, long story short, Henry is all healthy and stuff, the cough will eventually go away on its own, and we had a nice afternoon nap on the couch together. Now Ross is back, so it's time to watch some QI and have some belly laughs before bed.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Baby talk

Whoa, what is this posting thing that is happening right now? Don't be alarmed, it'll probably just be a blip in our regularly scheduled lack of programming.

So, what's new? I am now 33 weeks pregnant, and finally managed to send off my maternity leave paperwork on Thursday. I swear, I had it printed a while ago, and then we just faffed around trying to get our various work people to sign it all. Which is kind of the story of my life at the moment, I feel like there's heaps of stuff I want to get done, but then as soon as I have some free time, I either a) cannot find the energy or b) cannot remember anything that needs doing.

Energy wise, I am pretty wiped a lot of the time, so I've embraced a philosophy of being really easy on myself. Is there a pile of dishes next to the sink*? If I decide to do something about it, I do as many dishes as I feel like, then I stop. Quite often I end up finishing them, but it somehow makes me feel better to know I don't have to finish them if I don't want to.

* Fun fact: a pile of dirty dishes IN the sink makes me feel kind of anxious and stressed out. It looks like it needs to be done now - I can't use the sink properly until I wash them, and then when I do wash them, I still have to pull them all out of the sink first in order to have clean water to wash up in. If they're next to the sink, then I can arrange them neatly, group all the stuff together in preparation for washing. Then if when I don't get to them straight away, at least I can still get to the sink in the meantime.

Haha, is 'messy, but with a set of rules governing the mess' better or worse than just messy?

What else? Henry is talking heaps, and says lots and lots of ridiculous and funny things that I should definitely be writing down. Or videotaping, I guess, but that never seems to work out as planned. His Icelandic is still a work in progress - he seems to understand quite a bit, but he doesn't really try to speak much... I'm not fussed though, I feel like his English is great for his age, so he's got the skills to learn, the rest of it will come with time.

Oooh, we have a baby name! As always, acceptable reactions include 'Nice!' and 'Cool', and 'Good for you!' (that last one is appropriate if you hate the name.)
Unacceptable reactions include: 'oh, I knew a (name) once, and he used to kick puppies for fun' and 'haha, he will get made fun of in this particular way: (insert comment making fun of my future kid)' and 'Ew. Gross, I hate it, why didn't you name him something I approve of?'

Okay, rant done. New baby will be called Felix Domenic Di Blasio. Yay!

Hmm, I think that's probably all for now. Oh yeah, Henry spilled water on my laptop, so it's gone to be fixed/ pronounced dead forever. I would consider using that as an excuse for not posting, but you all know that would be a lie. I will, however, use it as a reason for not posting photos. Maybe one day you'll see photos of us again!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Prague in words, not photos...

Ooh, shall I tell you about our trip, now that I have enough energy to do so?

So, Prague is a pretty lovely city. Ross and I agreed that it kind of felt a bit Melbourne-y, if only for the trams and interestingly dressed people. Of course, once we'd made that connection, the whole trip kind of reminded me of days off while touring* - staying in a hotel, eating in different restaurants all the time, wandering around and hoping to stumble across cool music stores or antique shops or whatever. Ah, nostalgia.

* Yeah, it was exactly like that, except that we're no longer in our early twenties, we didn't speak the language (most people spoke English, but I felt rude for making them do it) and I was nearly seven months pregnant and could walk only a set number of steps per day before my hips stopped working. Aside from that? Just the same.

We ate some pretty great food, and I managed to tick some meals off the list of things I'd been craving. We had a pretty great curry (Ross pointed out that it wasn't as good as a Brick Lane one, but it was still better than anything I've ever made!), went to a nice Italian place, some pan-Asian type place, and we even invited some of the Icelanders to come to a Mexican restaurant with us.
That last one was a bit funny, because I'd found it on the internet, and all the reviews said it was good, but it was totally empty when we got there. And I, of course, felt like I had made everyone go there, so it was massively important that everything was good. I enjoyed it, anyway.

We didn't really do much touristy stuff, went to a cool jazz club one night, and then saw the castle and some churches and things like that. I think I have to be in a specific frame of mind to do museums or tours, and I wasn't really feeling it this time around. It was nice to just... not bother, and have a relaxing time together instead.

It was weird but nice but a little bit sad to be without Henry, although we skyped with him just about every day. The first morning we called, he said hi to us both then introduced us to 'his friend, Amma'. It was sweet and hilarious. Anyway, he had a lovely time with both his grandmas, so that is a relief. He had been really really tantrummy the week before we left, so I must admit I was a tiny bit worried - not that my mum couldn't handle it, just that I felt bad for leaving her with a little monster for the week. But he did okay, although I think Mum was a bit knackered afterwards.

The bummer of the trip was that we arrived home late on Monday night, so we still had to work almost a full week - in Ross' case, he had to work yesterday as well, so it was actually a normal working week. Complete with a bunch of overtime! Nice planning, boss-type people!

It's okay, really, but I definitely felt like we needed a weekend by the time it came around. You know, when you're just about to get a break, but for that last little stretch you feel like you've been worn down to a tiny stub of pencil that barely writes? We were both at the end of our energy supplies, and it sucked.

Luckily I got to have a pretty restful weekend. Henry and I got up early on Saturday, but then he was quite happy to hang around inside and just chill with me nearly all day - I didn't even change out of my pyjamas until Ross came home at 2pm. Then today Ross let me sleep in, and we had another pretty lazy day, punctuated by some light cleaning (on my part), and hardcore cleaning (on Ross'). Just what I needed!

Anyway lovelies, it's time for bed if you're the same type of person I am (a sleepy one), so I'll say bye for now. Maybe I'll do some maths and see if I can still get 50% on this 'posting in October' business... Or maybe I won't.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Midwives, vaccines and all the admirable qualities of firemen...

Hmm, I felt like I had some really interesting things to tell you about, but now I can't think of any of them.

Oh yeah, I had a midwife appointment yesterday, and all was well. Everything seems to be on track and as it should be. It's almost funny how little I'm paying attention - I know, I know, it's such a cliche, but I actually had no idea how far along I was until she calculated it yesterday (26 and a half weeks, for anyone playing along at home).

Anyway, I asked about a flu shot, because they were advertised in the weekly paper* as being a) recommended and b) free for pregnant women. I had been slack about going to get it, for a bunch of reasons, but mostly just laziness. Plus I have to take time off work to go, and I feel like I've been asking for a lot of time off lately.

 * Okay, it's the tv guide, but that sounds super weird... Because it is super weird? Weirder still is how excited I am to read the new one every Thursday. "Oooh, butter is on special at KS this week! OOOH, there's a Red Cross market on!! YAYYYY!"

So I asked her what her opinion was regarding the flu shot, and she said that it was advised by the national health whatever, but that she didn't think it was necessary. She mentioned that she wouldn't get it herself, because if you're basically healthy, and unless lots of people around you get it, there shouldn't really be too much increased risk of getting the flu. And you always compare that to the side effects of getting the shot, which can sometimes be a bit uncomfortable and bad. And of course there's never any proper medical trials done on pregnant women, because who the hell is going to volunteer for that?

I was kind of nodding my head and going 'yeah, I guess that sounds reasonable, I'll probably be fine without it...' And then she went on to explain that she never gets any vaccinations, and she NEVER VACCINATED HER KIDS, EITHER. AGAINST ANYTHING. BECAUSE IF THEY'RE BASICALLY HEALTHY, THEN WHY WOULD YOU PUT VIRUSES INTO THEM. ARGLE BLARGH.

So yeah, there goes that well reasoned argument against flu shots. She did say that she'd be happy to give me one later if I decide to do that, so at least she's not imposing her opinions on everyone else's lives.

What else? Ah yes, dinner tonight reminded me: Henry is really into fire engines at the moment. Mum just gave him a duplo engine that comes with a hose and a flashing siren and everything - he LOVES it.
 Anyway, one of our near-daily hurdles is that Henry doesn't want to get dressed, so I pointed out to him that firemen always get dressed really quickly. It was pretty effective, so now these legendary firemen have been imbued with a range of good qualities, including not spitting out their drinks at the dinner table, telling everyone when they have to do wees, and eating all their breakfast. My favourite one has become Henry's favourite saying: Be patient like a fireman. I think there's something in that for all of us.

Okay, I have to head to a parents' meeting at the leikskoli - it will supposedly run from 8 til 10, but I have no idea if I'll be able to stay up that late. I have been in bed by 9.30 pretty much every night since forever.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Well, that was short lived...

... But I guess I could keep trying for at least a passing grade?

I realised on Thursday night, as soon as I got into bed, that I had forgotten to post. I then tried to get a blogger app on my iPod, and made a halfhearted attempt to type a post, but, you know... Meh. Never mind, I'm sure I'll tell you lots of sweet (and not so sweet) nothings over the course of October anyway.

I had a bit of a pregnant-lady-hormone-fuelled meltdown yesterday, because I basically felt like Henry was failing at potty training on purpose. WHAT A JERK! (Spoiler: I'm 90% sure he's not doing it on purpose, but he has regressed a bit and doesn't really seem to care whether he pees his pants or not. Boo. BOO, I say. My rational brain/ reasonable husband reminds me that he'll figure it out eventually.)

What else? Ross and I will be in Prague NEXT WEEK! I am glad we're going, we sort of had some second thoughts about spending a holiday with everyone at Ross' work, but a) hanging out and doing touristy stuff together isn't mandatory, and b) it'll be so lovely to have a last getaway before the new baby arrives. I am so excited about flying sans toddler, and while I'm at it, I'm also excited about sleeping in, eating at restaurants and shopping. I'm sure we'll both miss him, but I'm definitely excited about independence.

We I spent a lot of time today looking at baby name websites. We have a good shortlist for first names, and one in particular that we quite like, but we're trying to find a middle name to go with it. Baby name websites are funny - we found one that lets you input both the mother and father's names, and it somehow came up with a list of 'names' that somehow 'blended' the two.
My scare quotes will now make sense, 'cause here's a list of suggestions:
Westbrook
Wolfcot
Reamonn
Eadwardsone
Brok
Coletun
Hillock (?)
And my personal favourite, Ransom.

Spectacularly bad. We tried the middle name generator on that page, and the results just looked like a random name generator, but the name-blendy-majig just seemed like it generated completely random words and letters. Thanks, internets.

My favourite baby name websites (in case you're naming babies, pets or fictional characters anytime soon) are nymbler.com and britishbabynames.com/blog. The first one just has a nice interface for 'if you like these, then you might like these', and the second one is really interesting and in depth with all the history and etymology and all that complicated stuffs.

Anyway dudes, will try to keep up to date, especially while we're away! But no promises...


Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Round two!






Whoo! Two days in a row, yayyyyyy! I am super good at motivating myself, right?

Anyway anyway anyway. I can't remember whether I have previously mentioned our upcoming trip to Prague - basically Ross' work has a staff entertainment fund to which they all contribute, then every two years they go on an overseas trip. I get to pay for my own ticket and tag along, and they organise the hotel and travel arrangements and everything.
Ross got all the details today, including a link to a restaurant rating site. You can search by area and type of food, and I pretty much exploded with excitement while browsing around. I am going to eat my way through the centre of Prague, and it will be glorious.

In other news, Henry has started swimming lessons again. Last week's lesson was not great, he was a bit timid and out of practice (unsurprising, since we haven't been swimming in months). He had a great time this week, though, splashed around, jumped into the water, and even deigned to try floating on his back for a bit. It was awesome.
After the lesson, Ross took Henry into the mens' changeroom, as the ladies' room is usually more crowded. While I was in my changeroom, one of the mums had a kid who was in the midst of the most massive tantrum that I've ever seen. All flailing and kicking and just shouting NO NO NO NO NO at the top of his lungs. I felt pretty bad for her, and tried to give her an encouraging/sympathetic face on my way out.
Then as I headed for the foyer to meet Henry and Ross, what should I hear from the mens' room? Henry's little (big) voice: NO NO NO NO NO NO NO! Hooray for being two.

Okay kids, I'm going to go now. Maybe I'll try to figure out what time zone I originally put the blog in, and how to fix it so my posts look more evenly spaced. Or maybe I won't. 

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Whoa, October!

Hey hey, do you know what time it is? It's time to commit to posting every day for all of October! Woo! The best part is where if I fail, I'm blaming it on the fact that I'm six months pregnant and have a toddler, and why are you being so harsh about it anyway, you big old meanie? Everybody wins.

So what is up? We had a 'surprise day' at work yesterday - basically every Monday there's a group activity, which can be a video, or a visit from the Red Cross dogs, or whatever. The fifth Monday of the month (when there is one) is a surprise, so everyone helped make pizzas for some employees who left without having leaving parties. It was pretty full on, lots of organising and planning, and because I was in the kitchen I somehow ended up overseeing it. Plus it was my pizza base recipe, so PRESSURE.
 
It is almost funny, Henry woke me up at 4.30 yesterday morning (but then went straight back to bed, thank goodness!), and I could not get back to sleep for fretting about these silly old pizzas. I sort of managed to remind myself that in a years' time (heck, even a weeks' time!), no one is going to remember or care about how well it went, but I still did a bit more worrying anyway. Is this a pregnant thing, or an Olga thing? Maybe it's a pregnant Olga thing?

Anyway, it went great, so worrying proves to be a completely pointless hobby, yet again.

Baby stuff is going well, I'm still tired but otherwise feeling pretty good. So grateful that I haven't ever suffered from morning sickness, that just seems like the worst thing ever. I'm taking it easy at work, everyone is super understanding and nice. Ross and I have been brainstorming names, but we haven't quite settled on anything yet. We started out really prioritising the internationality aspect - the name has to work here and in Australia - but lately we've been less fussed about whether Icelanders think it's a proper name. They are all pretty much citizens of the world, so even if it doesn't exist here, I'm sure they can learn something new and get over it.

------------------------------------------

Haha, okay, here's a possible indicator of how this month will go - I wrote the draft of the above yesterday, and was going to just schedule it to post today. Then I realised my time zone on my blog is set wrong, so I figured I'd just leave it, and post it myself sometime today. It is now 8:39pm, and I JUST remembered that I was going to post! So, let's not get our hopes up for the rest of October.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Out of place...

This'll probably be a short one, just had to share this kinda weird photo... We all went to the beach this morning so that Nina and Henry could run around for a bit, and on the way back we went for a drive out to the docks. It's all shipping containers, a couple of buildings, those awesome fish drying racks that everyone loves so dearly...


Look closely...

... plus some horses? We went almost to the end of the dock, and there were three horses just kind of hanging out there. It was really surreal, not at all the place where you would expect to find horses wandering around. They seemed pretty happy, just nibbling grass and strolling about like it was a totally normal thing. I'm thinking maybe I should let someone know about it, surely they're not supposed to be there? Bizarre.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Which one?

Whoops, sorry it's been a few days - they have been pretty weird and surreal days, so I haven't managed to write a proper post.

But life is short and who knows when I'll finally get around to posting properly... Fanfare is for suckers, and we're having another boy! Ross and I must be getting better at deciphering ultrasounds, as we both spotted it before the doctor told us. He took a whole bunch of photos, so I'll put some up if I ever figure out how. The stills never do the ultrasounds justice, it is the weirdest and most awesome thing to see inside your guts. The future is rad.

We are pretty pleased, I honestly felt like I didn't mind either way. I also didn't really have any idea of what I thought we were having, although I did mention to Ross the day before that I thought maybe it could be a boy (Which isn't really a revelation or intuition, it's just stating the obvious. Duh, it could always have been a boy.)

We now need to do some serious name-storming (see what I did there?), suggestions are welcome, as always, in the comments. Unless you suggest something as a joke, and then we secretly love it, in which case I'll get all embarassed and delete my blog and never talk to you again. But no pressure or anything.

Henry has accepted the phrase 'baby brother' into his vocabulary, so we're that much closer to a life of limitless harmony and a complete lack of sibling rivalry. Haha. I'll get back to you in a years' time on that one.

Anyway, the rest of the world is a bit too hard at the moment, so I'll just leave it at that. Love to each and every one of you.




Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Hey.

Hey, guys. Guys. YOU GUYS.

Guess what I'm doing today? I'm going to get a 20 week ultrasound, and the doctor guy will probably be able to tell me if I'm having a boy or a girl. I am absurdly excited.
 It's kind of weird, I don't really remember getting this worked up about it last time... And I just had to trawl through old blog posts to discover that no, I apparently wasn't too excited. Or at least, not excited enough to post about it beforehand.

Anyway anyway anyway - anyone want to place any last minute bets? I have no idea, as always, although the general consensus seems to be girl. Leave a comment, win a prize (there is no prize. Sorry.)

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Farm show and countdown

Hello again! Mum just shared some Henry photos on facebook, so I figured I may as well stick some up here, too!

There isn't really anything super newsworthy going on at the moment, we're just plodding along like always. But in a good way. Plodding happily?

You can't really tell, but his shirt is stuffed full of toy cars. After this photo, he opens up the bottom of the shirt and lets them all fall down, and then laughs maniacally. Good times.
Aunty Eva and Henry reading about sheep.

Super close up of Thomas. Look. Look at him.

The agricultural show was on yesterday, and I was surprisingly excited to go. Henry loved it last year, so we all went together. I think Eva took lots of photos, we only ended up with a couple, of which this one is the best.

'But what even is it? Chicken? Rabbit? Tiny bear?'
They had lots of other animals, including a pair of cows who kept licking the pig in the pen next to them. We I spent waaay too much time trying to figure out why - like, maybe the pig was sweaty and therefore nice and salty, but how did they realise that in the first place? Do they just experimentally lick every animal they see, just in case? Is that a thing that cows do?

We also saw a stall for farm equipment - tractors and feeding apparatus and the like - that sold little ride on tractors for kids. They were pedal powered, and we might have to invest in one for Henry one day. It would blow his tiny mind.

Like father, like son.

Henry and Amma.

Henry is still completely obsessed with cars and trains and buses. I don't know where it came from, but he's evidently decided they're the best thing ever. When he goes to sleep, he always has to pick which of his cars come with him - no teddy bears for him, just little metal cars. We try to steer him away from the biggest and noisiest ones, but there have definitely been nights where he gets a bit squished off to one side. I may have to make a separate bed for the cars, so that he and they don't disrupt each others' sleep.

Ooh, I have an ultrasound this week, as I'll be 20 weeks pregnant. That means it's theoretically possible to see whether we're having a baby with girl parts or boy parts. I am absurdly excited, although I try to keep reminding myself that it's not a precise science - sometimes the foetus is uncooperative and facing the wrong way, and you just can't tell. I guess even if we don't get to find out straight away, we'll definitely be able to tell in January.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Baby belly!

So folks, now that I'm pretty pregnant, I have finally taken the first proper photo of my torso/fetus construction area. I had proper plans for taking weekly photos and updates of my belly, but apparently I am just not that person. But better late than never. Wanna see?


Bonus: Taking self portraits in the mirror means I don't have to figure out what I'm going to do with my face.

So anyway, I'm still feeling pretty good, kind of exhausted still but I think that's more to do with our busy schedules than pregnancy. Eh, maybe it's fifty-fifty.
Ross has spent the past couple of weeks working up on the roof for 12 hours a day, since that will help cut down on labour costs. I think he's enjoying the learning experience, but it is definitely a lot of work.
I've been back at work and then looking after Henry and feeding Ross and his builder friends - one guy was getting paid, but Ross' friend Gerry has been helping out just because he is awesome. It's the least I can do to feed him occasionally.

The roof is now just about done, Ross has been finishing off some odds and ends, and there's only a bit left to do. It looks great, and the ceiling no longer leaks in my sewing room, so I'm counting it as a win.

Apart from that? I had my first appointment with the midwife, who turned out to be one of the midwives who was working in Akureyri when I had Henry. Small world. She was also the one who told me, at 9pm that evening, that she was sure I would have the baby within the next hour - before her shift finished at ten. For anyone who can't quite remember, Henry was born at 5.35 the next morning. Boo to false hopes.

But anyway, she is pretty lovely and fun and easy to talk to. She said that I probably should have had an appointment with her before I went to have the ultrasound in Akureyri, but that it all seemed fine regardless. I now have a second ultrasound booked for the 28th of August, at which point we should be able to find out the sex of the baby! I had vague thoughts of leaving it and not finding out, but then I realised that is also not who I am. I. Must. Know!
Also on the list of people I am probably not: people who make fancy cakes in order to have gender reveal parties. I've been thinking about doing it, but I don't know that I could handle the suspense. Plus Ross wants to know straight away... Hmm, maybe I could get him to make the cake? Or maybe not.

We've started talking to Henry about the new baby. I'll have to take some video of his conversations about it, they can be pretty hilarious and adorable. If we ask whether he wants a baby brother or a baby sister, he invariably says baby sister, despite not really knowing what 'sister' means. He's not even really that clear on what exactly constitues a 'baby', as he'll use the term for any kid his age or younger. So that'll be a fun surprise for him, too.

I think he'll be a great older brother. It's kind of amazing how good he is at talking now, and it really lets him express more of his personality. Basically he just continues to be so sweet and lovely, he just seems really thoughtful and nice for a two-year-old. Then again, I'm obviously biased.

He's also been potty training lately, and is doing a really good job. He had a really good run at home, and has been doing pretty well at leikskoli, too. That said, I took him out today and he did not-so-good, but it all balances out, right? He's been getting rewarded with chocolate and stickers and high fives a lot of the time, which is probably not the ideal way to do it, but it works for us, for now. I really don't like the idea of doing negative reinforcement or shaming him about it, so I figure we just tell him he's great when he does a good job, and just deal with the rest as it happens.

NICE AND COSY!

Oh wow do you know what is also awesome good news? Turns out that my aversion to coffee doesn't apply to coffee from an espresso machine. Who knew? I noticed while we were in Germany that when Ross got a black coffee from a cafe, it smelled delicious instead of gross. And then when I came back home, I found out that the bakery has an espresso machine, so I can go buy coffee there every once in a while! YAY! And can you also tell that I just went and got one a little while ago? I don't know what tipped you off...

Anyway dudes, maybe I will leave it there for now. Hope you enjoyed the rambling! Maybe I'll try to be that person who updates regularly instead of in massive blocks every once in a while. Or not.


Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Holiday part three: Home!

So where did I get up to? Oh yeah, dinosaur balloon! 

Hello there!
So after spending a few days in Berlin, we returned to Fred's house in Niesky, where Henry played in the creek...


 ... helped Fred drive his car...


 ... and got to play in a fire engine (Fred is a volunteer firefighter). Ross and I were cooking dinner at the time, so it was just Anja, Joe, Fred and Henry. Then when they got home, the little man got so overwhelmed that he cried when he tried to tell us about it. Just massive sobs of extreme emotion. Aww.


We visited Görlitz, which is the biggish town a little way away from Niesky, right on the Polish border. It was really beautiful, but I failed at bringing a camera - Anja took this photo on the bridge over to Poland, and then her camera died. So there are not many photos. But now we can say we've been to Poland, so there's that.

 

We took some excellent group photos on the day we left Niesky:



Best godparents!

Leaving was bittersweet as always, there were a few tears but it's always nice to come home. We couldn't get a flight straight north from Reykjavik, so we stayed for a night at an apartment owned by the union. It's a pretty awesome deal, the apartment is totally reasonable and has all sorts of amenities, and you only pay 5000kr a night! Yay!

Ross and I took the opportunity to go to a nice steakhouse downtown, and we ate THE BEST. STEAKS. EVER. It was pretty expensive and super fancy, but so so worth it. We also passed some other great looking restaurants, so we're definitely thinking of travelling down south more often if we can.

Also awesome was the fact that Mum met us in Reykjavik! She has just gotten a job here in Sauðárkrókur, which is clearly the best idea ever. I think she was a bit homesick for all of us, and the town itself, and so she decided to come here for a while. I get some more free babysitting, Henry gets some more Amma time, and Mum gets to enjoy everything about being here in Iceland - everybody wins!

We all flew north on Friday, in the world's tiniest airplane. Seriously, we watched for about fifteen minutes as the guy tried to find a way to A) make our suitcases fit on the plane, and B) evenly distribute the weight so that we could actually take off.
Eventually he figured it out, then we got rearranged on the plane to evenly distribute the weight - hint, the baby doesn't sit directly over the wings. Good to know.

Henry decided to have a mini freak out about halfway through the 40 minute flight, and we were all too worried about upsetting the delicate balance of the plane to stand up. So, we busted out some stickers, and Henry stuck them on his legs.

Start with these ones...

... yep, those ones too...

Magnificent!
He was fine for the rest of the flight, and we then managed to squeeze all of us and our luggage into our tiny car. It was lovely to come back to our house, and Vicki had already dropped off our darling Nina, so it was completely homey straight away.

So that was the holiday! Ross has been off for the past week and a half, and still has another week and a half left of holidays. I went back to work pretty much straight away, which is a post in and of itself - damn I hate it when people can't do staff rosters or communication. Anyway, all is well, and now that this holiday summary is done, I might even update you all on the rest of the stuff going on.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Holiday, part two: City -> Paradise -> City again!

Hello again!

Having already shared Henry's point of view, I guess I should write a little bit about our lovely holiday, too. Our trip to Berlin (and Niesky!) managed to live up to all of my wildly optimistic dreams!

First we stayed with our friend Anja at her apartment in Neukölln - she has a really nice place. It's a beautiful light filled home on the fourth floor, with a balcony and a gated courtyard/playground. That was definitely a highlight for Henry; there was a swingset, slide and seesaw, then a sandpit (complete with toys!) and a ping pong table for the grownups. Awesome.






We stayed one night at Anja's, then caught the train to Anja's dad's house in Niesky. It's a small town about two-ish hours from Berlin, and it was sooo lovely. Anja's dad Fred was an incredible host - he's heard over ten years' worth of stories about us via Anja, so it was pretty awesome to finally meet him.



Henry adored Fred. Immediately and without hesitation - 'yeah, I like you, guy.'
Fred lives in a big house that Anja's granddad built, surrounded by a garden with a little creek running through it, which is in turn surrounded by forest. Amazing.



Ross' friend Lachlan and his friend Aaron, they also stayed with us and played Gypsy Jazz
Henry joins in the cricket game

Sunny!
Swimmin'
 We spent a couple of days in the country, then headed back to the big city to meet up with Joe! He had a show on the 19th (which Ross and I attended and really enjoyed - thanks Anja for babysitting!), so we had a bit of time to go and do some touristy stuff. Saw the Brandenburg gate, bits of the wall and the Holocaust memorial.
I found the memorial a really interesting but odd experience. Doing some googling just now, I read that the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe is designed to be unsettling and confusing, but it didn't really evoke anything like that for me. I mean, obviously if you think about it, it's a monument to the terribleness of humanity, and I expected something that would make me uncomfortable, and so it should. Instead it felt kind of interactive and beautiful, but maybe that's just me. 

On a lighter note, Henry then received a balloon in the shape of a dinosaur, which produced no conflicting emotions in anyone. Because dinosaur balloon, yay!



Okay, I think I may have to leave it here and write about the last chunk separately - even more photos to come, so be prepared!

Holiday, part one: Henry's point of view









Saturday, July 6, 2013

Guess what?

So, time for some news that probably isn't news to anyone anymore...

We have a new baby on the way!
It is somewhat amusing how I first figured it out. Turns out that the reason I caught Henry's hand, foot and mouth was because my immune system was being suppressed, because that is apparently what happens when you start growing an embryo. Good to know!

So anyway, I am around about three months pregnant, which by my calculations makes me due in early to mid January. Hooray for driving an hour and a half to Akureyri in the middle of winter, in the (hopefully) early stages of labor*. As you can tell, I'm starting my worrying in nice and early.

* Wait, is it spelt the Australian way in this context? Labour? Labor? Now it all just looks wrong.

Seriously, though, the hospital here doesn't have an anaesthesiologist on staff, so they're not really allowed to book anyone in to give birth here. There has been much discussion about it lately, after a few women have been unable to make it to Akureyri: a friend of mine had hers at home, another lady had hers in the parking lot at Varmahlid (about half an hour from here), and the most recent one had a baby in an ambulance on the side of the road, about halfway between here and Akureyri.

I think it may be getting to a point where people are getting pretty vocal about it, which hopefully means something will get done. As one lady wrote, it doesn't really seem like anyone will listen until something serious happens, ie. someone is seriously injured or dies. So everyone is just kind of hoping that it won't be them - how messed up is that?

Okay, enough of that, I'll keep you updated, and hey, at least I have a bit of time for them to sort something out before it directly affects me.

This pregnancy seems to be much the same as the last one: I felt slightly nauseous for a while there, but haven't actually been sick, just felt kind of hungover all the time. I've gone off coffee again, which is a bummer, because I'm totally drained and exhausted a lot of the time. I'd love to want a nice big cup of caffeinated goodness, but alas, it smells revolting.

One thing I don't remember from last time is that I'm just now getting over a phase of outrageous hunger. I'm pretty sure I got a bit cranky from not eating often enough on a couple of occasions, but never this amount of emotion and desperation behind it. From the time I started feeling hungry, I had maybe a couple of minutes to get and eat food, otherwise I would start feeling sick and hollow. I actually ended up telling my co-workers just so that they could understand why I was being so irrational and weird around lunchtime.

We went to Akureyri for the first ultrasound yesterday, it all went pretty well, but the baby was being quite uncooperative, so the photos seem really blobby and indistinguishable to me. Might put them up later, anyway, after I get Ross to remind me which way is up on the pictures. The most important part is that everything looked fine and normal, so the photos are kind of an afterthought anyway...

In other pregnancy related news, here is a list of things that have made me cry over the past couple of months:

This dog food ad.

The film clip for Feist, 1234 (I don't even know why, it's just visually touching or something?)

Wendy Davis. So many feelings.

This short film about zombies from Tropfest (giant, heaving sobs, I'm not even kidding).

And finally, a real life one: Henry and I were lying on the couch, and he rolled over and headbutted me. It hurt, and I didn't expect it, so I went 'ow', and my eyes watered. He then turned over and started crying, too, just going 'Mummy sad, mummy ouch, oh no.' At which point I started proper crying, which made him sadder, so I tried to tell him I was okay, and he sobbed more, and I sobbed more, and we both ended up in a big puddle of soggy cushions.
Ross kind of laughed a bit, and looked a bit teary himself. As he said, it's things like that that make you think you're doing an okay job raising a thoughtful and empathetic person.
Which, of course, made me cry again.

And for the most recent one, I cried just a teeny bit more while typing the above paragraph. C'mon hormones, seriously?

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Two!

This short man had his second birthday today:


I don't love using cliches, but golly gee whiz, how time flies! At the same time it kind of feels like he's been here forever. A more accurate catchphrase would probably be something to do with time being relative and experienced by everyone differently. Or something.

Anyway, we all had a lovely day! I made Henry a cake of which I was (am!) supremely proud. I used a Betty Crocker cake mix, so I can't take (much) credit for the fact that it was delicious, but I decorated it and it turned out pretty great.


 Although I can now see that it was slightly lopsided, probably should have taken the photo from a different angle. Ah well.

Mars bar cars! WINNERS! And thanks, Mum, for sending Tiny Teddies!

Henry had his first taste of uncooked cake batter - he didn't want anything to do with it at first, but then he obviously changed his mind... 


Also featured in this photo: Baby's first black eye. He copped an elbow at leikskoli, now he looks like a tough guy.

Discussing balloons.


We decorated the lounge room and had a little party in the afternoon - Vicki, Sigga, Amma, our friends Gerry and Edda and their son Eddie, and my friend Annika, her husband Gretar and their daughter Hanna Maja.

Ah-ha! My plans for a tiny baby band are coming to fruition...

 Eddie on drums, Hanna Maja and Henry sharing the glockenspiel.

Hanna Maja is in Henry's class at leikskoli, and they seem to be becoming, dare I say it, friends! He honestly seems to be a bit of a loner most of the time, not that that's a bad thing - Ross and I are pretty content with our own company most of the time. I guess it's also understandable given the language barrier at school. But we've had a few playdates together now, and Hanna Maja and Henry seem to get along pretty well.  Yay!

Eddie is a bit younger than the other two, so he's not quite into the 'playing together' scenario just yet. I think he had a pretty good time, though - even if he didn't love the company, he had an awesome time playing the drums.

This photo is mostly to show you my awesome bunting. More pride.
 
Me, admiring and showing off my Henry's cake.

Henry was super well behaved, really good at sharing and playing and generally being great. Then after everyone left, we went to Sigga's for dinner, where he continued to be cute and lovely. We were all preparing for the super tired meltdown when he finally got overwhelmed by the day, but it never came! He just got smiley-cuddly-sleepy, then came home and went straight to bed.

Best. Boy.