Saturday, February 27, 2010


Samper Pamper

While shopping with a friend, at Krónan, she spotted and I documented this awesomeness.
Sampers and Pampers, right next to each other. Sampers were half the price, made in China but had nearly identical packaging as the well known brand Pampers.
Neither of us was brave enough to buy the Sampers, besides, we both usually use cloth.

Baby Jail

Leópold has made the big move from his little cradle, something he is far to big for now, into a crib!
The way he grips the bars and tries to get his arms and legs out makes me think we might be on the market for some padding around the sides, but besides that I think the transition is going great.
Now he sleeps half with me and half in his crib.
This particular crib has a decent history already. It appears to be from Ikea, but my friend Diana got it from the second hand store, used it for her son, then passed it onto another friend, Cassie, who gave it to me last week. And it still looks great.
The singing turtle came with it!


Kasper started this new medication yesterday, so we still have to wait and see how it turns out.
The dosage will be adjusted over the next few weeks and after 6 weeks we decide if it is having the desired effect, meaning we keep him on it or not.
The desired effect being a generally happier Kasper who can control himself.
We will see, although I have to admit I am not a huge fan of giving medication to kids, I still hope it helps.

Run away dogs - worst picture ever

It was a bit of a mess trying to get the camera out and take pictures of these wild dogs running madly around the hospital waiting room. People were everywhere, it was chaos.
But back to the beginning,
Kasper and I were walking to his light treatment early Monday morning and saw 2 large dogs running around with no collar, leash or owner in site.
Later in the walk we saw them again, criss crossing the road and pissing on everything they passed.
I was starting to wish I knew the number for the pound, although they did seem harmless enough.
We arrived at the hospital, Kasper had his treatment and as we were leaving the front doors opened and guess who ran in? Those dogs...
The hospital waiting room turned a little chaotic and squeals, laughs and everyone standing and pointing, until they were herded back outside.
While walking away from the hospital I saw one of the same dogs pooing on someones lawn and wonder how long it would take for these guys to get caught.
I also wonder why the hospital did not use the opportunity it had to lock them in a room until the proper attention could have been given to them.
I guess in Iceland, this is not such a big deal.

Lobster Soup

Last Friday I completely out did myself and made a fabulous meal for dinner. We were expecting company and Davíð thought it would be good to do something great.
So I made Lobster soup from scratch.
It was amazing, especially considering the fact that, generally speaking, I can not cook.
But here it is, you need:
Lobster, frozen is fine
little shrimps
celery sticks
canola oil
paprika powder
salt and pepper
beef bullion

Then this is what you do:
The most painful first, shelling all the lobster. Put all the meat in a bowl with shelled shrimp and set aside to defrost.
Put shells in a large pot with oil.
Add diced vegetables and fry up.
Add spices.
Add about 9 cups water and 4 tablespoons flour.
Mix well, bring to boil and allow to simmer for 20 min. or so.
Strain mixture. Only super tasty broth will remain in pot. The rest you can throw out.
*****If you do not want to eat it until the next day you can stop now and save in fridge, if not, continue on.
Add shrimp and lobster and bring back to boil.
Just before serving add wine and cream.
It does taste great, but really should be eaten that day.
Our only problem came when our dinner guests did not show up and we had to eat a lot! Even send some over to other friends to help out.
But everything worked in the end, and the soup was amazing, so maybe I can cook, a little.

Online Games

While I admit to having a slight addiction to farmville. there is one far worse out there.
Gameknot has claimed many people, and a few who I know very well.
This on line chess site allows you to have several games going at once with as much as two days between moves. I suppose this is nice for people who are seriously learning the strategy. But these things take time.
It has been more then 5 years since Davíð heard of this game from some friends.
He told Johnny, a housemate we had at the time, and then we watched him waste away in front of the computer. As far as I know he is still there, waiting for his next move.
The my father in law got started. I understand, it is a nice break from things, but it is just as much of an addiction as smoking. He is always signed in or looking to check in on it. Some moves might need to be made...
Now I have lost my husband to this pesky site. For sometime now (I will not mention how long) he has been basically locked in his office playing chess, waiting for the next guy to move.
Its getting lonely over here.
Not that these games are the only offenders. I have a neighbor who has been spending so much time online she is now on medication for swollen wrists (keyboard issues), so with these pills, she can still spend buckets of time on line.
Sometimes it seems that real life is slipping away.
And here I am blogging more.

Friday, February 19, 2010

All Ages

Now we know these are not just for babies!
Actually, I must say that Leópold is probably the luckiest baby around, to have his biggest brother to play with!

Öskudagur Pictues 2010

Kasper, Stefán and Bob (the bag)

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Couchsurfers from Germany

A family of 5, including a homeopathic doctor and a nurse, stayed with us this week.
They have the most beautiful children I have ever seen.

Now if your excuse for not visiting is because of space, we have now proved that my apartment can hold 10, comfortably :)

The problems with bob

"A Bob is a thing that can feel no pain" - Stefán Elías 2009
Actually Einar (Stefáns bestest friend) and Stefán both have Bobs they bring with them everywhere.
Some people might call them imaginary friends, because you can talk to Bob, he is funny. He even gets hungry.
Bob's tend to look like a regular backpack. If you look inside you will see Bob's guts, including his heart (the pencil case).
Bob likes to fall down stairs, be kicked and talk with other Bobs.
Recent problems we have had with Stefáns Bob include:
  • His refusal to use the new backpack we bought him at Christmas after we made it rather clear that it was not a Bob. 
  • Bob has also developed a dog allergy making him sneeze when he sees Rósa, our dog.
  • Stefán and Einar decided to give the Bobs a shave today and used, what appears to be, an entire can of shaving foam.
I wonder how much longer this will go one for, or if I should do anything about it.
So far, I have basically let Bob be, but I know it is driving my husband crazy.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Ash Wednesday - Öskudagur

Celebrated throughout Iceland, Ash Wednesday is a popular day among children who often go from door-to-door singing songs in exchange for sweets and treats. The day is similar to the “trick-or-treat” antics of Halloween in other countries and is a day of mischief and merriment. In the olden days, children would collect ash in small bags known as 'Oskupokar' (Ash Bags) which would then be attached to the clothing of unsuspecting passers-by.

Sounds so cute.

But really the streets are full of kids running around screaming, crazy off candy and it is a little cute.

I took the boys downtown to sing for candy but unfortunatly most places had run out of candy before we got there.

*I make the kids go to school but a lot of kids will skip school to get more canhdy, causing a lot of businesses to run out before lunch.

We then went to Reykjaneshöllin for a little party for the kids. They had games, a jumping castle and contests meant to help the kids burn some of that sugar they were eating. I was grateful.

After two hours there the boys seemed normal enough and we went home, exhausted.

Happy Öskudagur! 

Bursting Day

Sprengidagur is actually one of Kasper's favorite day because like he says, it doesnt matter what your eatting, you eat until you burst.

Although tradition call for lamb and lamb we had, with corn, scalloped potatoes and beans. We were bursting.

I hear alot of places, including the States call this Fat Tuesday, although I honestly never heard of that until I moved to Iceland.

For some reason the kids were even out of school, leaving more time for the eating :)

Buns Day

This year we have tried our best to stick with a variety of Icelandic traditions including Bolludagur, or Buns Day.

There is supposed to be something about hitting your parents with sticks, but we skipped that part.

But we did eat far too many of the tasty puffy donut type things, cut in half, filled with whip cream and jam and topped with chocolate.

Although I hated myself for it after, I rather enjoyed these things.

I would also like to note that I suspect that the bakery business helped in keeping this tradition alive. Hardly anyone actually makes there own anymore and the parking lots of ever bakery is packed all day.

I am tempted to call this donut day.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The question of rooms

Up until last spring the boys had always shared a room.

They were very good about it, played well and were generally best friends.

But we did not want to push our luck. We felt it was time to separate them, give them a chance to develop separately and appreciate each other more by spending time apart in separate rooms.

I also had an idea that they would be easier to put to bed if they were not talking together all night.

So we moved into a bigger apartment, giving the boys each a bedroom, and they loved it, at first.

Then, after a few months, Stefán dragged his bed into our room and informs us that he is moving in with us. His old room is just his 'office' now.

Now, after a couple months of that, Stefán has moved in with Kasper. Just like the old days.

Giggling together all night.

Now I don't know what to do. Should I separate them? Move them together into a bigger room to share or just let them play musical rooms until they settle?


Some of the apartments on the base are very very big. Large for North American standards and near mansions in Icelandic standards.

This makes us look greedy for having a 4 bedroom apartment to ourselves, even if there is 5 of us.

This particular apartment style often has two small families living in it.

For example, the people across the hall from me. There are two sisters. One of whom in still married, the other is single. One has two boys that share a bedroom and the other has one boy in his own room. There, 4 bedrooms used up but two families.

They say this arrangement works well for them, but there is a problem with too many couches in the living room. Everything else is good.

This makes me miss my own sister more.

Even if we fought like cats and dogs, I would like to think we would be good roommates.

My three boys could share a room, her two could have there own. One room for me and Davíð, one for her. Perfect.

One hand

There has not been a whole lot of typing going on lately, but I have some excuses.
You see, typing, or any writing, requires 2 hand and a bit of thought.
These days both hands and my entire mind has been taken up.
At the best of times, when the boys are in school, I am still holding Leópold in one arm and trying to do something with the other.
Often when I get him to sleep I sleep myself, you could say I have been burning the candle at both ends.
Farmville is an alright way to pass the time, all I need to do is click the mouse with one hand. No thought required.
But seriously, my desk is littered with hastely scratched ideas of things I wanted to write about and it is time to get going.
I hope that for the next while, until I feel somewhat caught up, I will blog a little extra.
(This one handed typing has also seriously delayed my email replies, I am sorry)
Time to drink more coffee and start catching up!


Saturday, February 06, 2010

On the good note

After my last post of whining I feel that I owe you some good sides about Iceland, because there is a lot and I know I would miss them the moment I left the country.
Here are 5:
  • Warm swimming pools, actually full of mineral water, great for the skin
  • Endless hot water means endless showers
  • Warm homes, without the huge bill
  • Midnight sun
  • The knowledge that my kids are safe
Actually, most important and what (who) I would miss most, is Davíð's family and I know he would be sad without them.

They are great.

But I do wish we saw them more.

Trapped with homesickness

It pains me to say,
and I do mean 'pains', I have spent a considerable amount of time crying about it,
but I can not come to Canada this summer.

With the worthless Kr. it would cost the equivalent of three months of our income, just for the flights.

We even looked into a bank loan, and they agreed, but the reason tells us that if we can not really afford to take a loan like that.

The plan was for Davíð to work during the summer to pay for our trip, but after the math was done, it looks as though it would support us for the summer and pay for most of the trip, but not enough for us to be able to take a loan with a clear conscious.

So there will be another summer in Iceland.

The good news with that being that we will not have to worry about the apartment, the dog or school from being away all summer.

I can also stop worrying about the boys, who did not want to leave there friends all summer. (I was also a little worried they would have problems finding someone to play with in Canada because there English is not as good as it once was)

The bad news is that I am going rather crazy here.

The planned trip home was something to look forward too.

Hence the feeling of being trapped.

Trapped in Iceland.

Trapped in Reykjanesbær.

Trapped in 961.

To try to fix this I am starting class again in a few weeks and am looking into getting my license (bout time I know) at least then I can leave the house.

We shall see.

And to be honest, some days I think that if I were to go to Canada, I am not so sure I would come back.

Just like his mom

Yesterday there was a math challenge at the school.

Two groups Grades 1-3 and Grades 4-6.

Stefán won the Grades 1-3 challenge. They this is the first time a six year old won.

I am so proud!

Not meaning to brag, but math was a good subject for me too :)

Tuesday, February 02, 2010


Recently I have been having amazing adventures with the Icelandic mail service, Pósterinn.

First there was the sending of Christmas cards. They all seem to have gotten to the right place. I am happy with that.

Then I sent out pictures of the boys to nearly everyone I know. Not so many of those arrived. Most just didnt get anywhere but one was special.

One envelope was sent back to me. I never wrote a return address but they opened the card with pictures and saw the message to my brother, To Tye, From Ko-Leen, thats it. Now, being the only Ko-Leen in Iceland it was very easy to put my name in the computer and get my address. So I got the envelope back with my first name and address printed on the back and the erry feeling that the post office knows everything about me now.

I have also had a few problems with the mail and Ebay. You see, I ordered some iron on paths. I could not find any in Iceland so I ordered them online. Nearly two months later they start coming in the mail with insane bills from customs.

Now I should make it clear that I was prepared to pay tax on these things. I knew that most items coming through the mail were taxed about 50% of the price you paid, including shipping. So if you payed 800kr for something, including shipping, you could expect to pay another 400 when it got to Iceland. Expensive, but I expected that. I did not get what I expected.

I paid just over 800 kr for some Mario iron on patchs and was slapped with a bill for more then 1200! So these cute little patches cost more then 2000kr.

There doesnt even seem to be anyone you can reason with about this. You either pay the money or forfeit the money you already paid to buy it. I am still shaking.

And last but not least: While switching apartments the mail switch over has went very smoothly, everything is coming to the new place and our mailman even wrote us a kind note:
Davíð og KoLeen
Viljið þig vera svo gíð að merkja ykkur á kassa.
Guna Póstur
meaning: would you be so kind as to label your mailbox

the piont: even if the post office is evil, our mailman seems nice enough
its the little things

Flash - Flash So Icelandic

Davíð bought himself a new phone. 
The having the neatest new thing is the very Icelandic part. They can not help themselves.
And it is very shiny...
 There was some deal with our phone company that you get the price of the phone in phone credits, so really it wasnt expensive, but anyways.
He bought a new phone with a camera and everything.
So now he can document the days in low quality but instant shots.
This is what Davíð has been doing.
The kids are first, then are a bunch of his friends and even a terrible one of me with fresh color on my eye brows :)



Monday, February 01, 2010

Geeky in a cute way

Part of me tells me it is wrong to dress up the baby and take funny pictures, but the other part of me can not help myself!

Everybody pays.

In a pervious post I complained about the 15800 I would be paying for supposed damages (paint) in my last apartment.
I was really angery, really I have better things to spend the money on.
Then one of my old neighbors said her friend just moved and had to pay 40000, and the guy at the store had to pay 50000, so I can stop complaining now.

Hvað mikið er nóg?

I guess the town is judging my parenting now.
I guess they judge everyones parenting because they sent us (and not just us) this great free book in Icelandic called: Hvað mikið er nóg?. The English version is How much is enough?
Thanks, its:

Everything You Need to Know to Steer Clear of Overindulgence and Raise Likeable, Responsible and Respectful

Thanks Reykjanesbær. I want my kids to be likeable too.
Thank you taxpayers for the great book I can not read.
It looks good on my bookshelf already.
In fact, I think I will refer to it as a reference for my horrid parenting :)
And I thought the town was broke!