Sunday, December 29, 2013


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-


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


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!