Sunday, October 31, 2010

Flu of Death 2010, and other great (not so great) moments of the week.

Lets start with last Sunday,

We went to Övar's first birthday party, a fabulous event with great food at Stína's. Övar being  Leópolds cousin of nearly the same age. And I forgot the gift at home. To be fair we did stay out with ther inlaws :) the night before, but I should learn to plan a little better. I planned to mail it to her on Monday. We live in different city's.

There was no school on Monday because of Winter holidays. The first day of winter was on Saturday, so I guess we needed a four day weekend, alright. So I go downtown, forget the gift at home again, then I take Kasper to the dentist while forgetting to transfer myself money to pay for the appointment. So I had to call my father in law to borrow 3500 ikr until I could get home. I was feeling a little silly.

That evening I started to feel very very ill, in a violent and disgusting way. A few hours later I was woken up by Stefán, equally ill and even more disgusting. I spent the rest of the night being sick or helping the sick kiddo.

I could hear the phone ringing while I was lying in bed, but there was nothing I could do about it. On Tuesday, I was nearly dead. The violence that came with the illness was gone, but I was drained. I couldnt walk further then 10 steps, Stefán and I spent most of the day sleeping while Leópold got only basic care from me. I even missed sending Kasper to school. It was my fault he slept in and he still has not forgiven me.

I did get him to school, he seemed healthy enough, until he was sent home from after school care and he puked all over the car.

By evening I could see straight, with the help of Poweraide, I assessed the damage. I had to literally shower down and scrub the entire bathroom, terrible. The laundry pile had turned into a mountain over night, it grew eyes, attitude and an awful smell.Kasper slept and slept.

Wednesday - everyone seemed fine. The boys stayed home, relaxing, watching cartoons and napping. I even went on a much needed grocery shopping trip, the house was looking normal again and things were looking up. By evening the boys were bickering, a sure sign of good health, so I made plans for them to go back to school in the morning.

Leópold falls asleep early, then starts throwing up and the scary thing was that he was not even awake while he was being sick. So I was awake all night with the little guy, making sure he didn't choke, cleaning him up, changing his clothing - and he slept through it all. I would rather he was awake and crying, I think, then I would at least see some life in him.

Thursday morning Leópold started to look better, at least he stopped ugly stuff, and was sleeping soundly. I sent the other two off the school. Less then an hour later the school calls, they are sending Kasper home, I guess he has a fever. I must have missed it. Kasper comes home and goes back to sleep. I really thought he was doing better.

Stefán is totally healthy and in school, but I kept Kasper home on Friday. Not taking any more chances. Leopold is better. The laundry is actually caught up. The weekend is looking good. Kasper was even invited out for a sleep over with a friend, but I thought it might not be a good idea. I took them to the library then  out to see this new movie in the theater with pizza at home after. Everyone was happy.

Everything looked normal again on Saturday morning. Cartoons, cereal, coloring, then Kasper fell asleep before lunch. After sleeping 12 hours at night I don't think he needs naps.  He woke up in time for dinner, ate a few bites, and fell back asleep for the rest of the night. Everyone else was fine.

***I should mention that I made homemade chili for the first time, and it was amazing! I'm hooked.

Today is Sunday, Halloween in many parts of the world, and usually a family day around here. The kids and I woke up this morning. Davíð slept in, this is a usual thing so I thought nothing of it, until he started getting really sick. Now he is sick, he has not left the bed all day, with the exception of running to the bathroom and is burning up with a fever. Now being all manly as he is he is refusing medication for the fever or even to call in sick for work tomorrow. Some times I want to shake that guy around. There is no way he is going to work in the morning.

I tried to take the kids to see a show with a hundred model ships but we missed they bus and since there is only 2 buses a day on the weekends that pretty much killed that idea. So we went to the indoor playground instead. It was really nice and everyone had a great time. Then we went home and heard form other kids that the base would be doing the American Halloween thing. I knew they did it last year, it had been a lot of fun, but there was posters advertising it beforehand so I just assumed it would not be happening this year. I was wrong. Keiler sent out emails to everyone living on the base explaining to rules what to expect. Kids were supposed to dress up and go out between 6 and 8 to get candy. Adults were supposed to get decorating the hallways and buy candy. I got the message an hour before the store closed.

Lucky for me I was not the only one dashing to the store at the last minute, so I caught a ride with a friend of Kasper's dad. His name is Stefán. He doesn't speak English. So we went to the store, I grabbed a bunch of candy, and sandwiches for a quick supper (I knew the boys would be in a hurry). Get to the cashier and I forgot my wallet. It was really great. I had to borrow cash from someone who I don't actually know, and who could not understand what I was talking about. But he did it, and I bought the stuff. I did manage to get his banking information out of him and transferred him the money after he dropped me off at home. But I still feel stupid.

The kids dressed up, went out and got candy for the 2 hours they were allowed. It was a great success, especially considering it was a last minute thrown together Halloween. The kids brought home lots of interesting things including several baggies of popcorn, loose candies and marshmallows (things that are OK in Iceland and nowhere else). We even ran out of candy 10 min. early, and I was a little sad because I was looking forward to the leftovers.

Oh well, maybe next year.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Couchsurfing Family's

Just so you know its not just us

Home Sick

Spent far to much of today crying.
Winter is coming, it is getting dark, windy rainy and generally discusting.
At the boys birthday parties last week I realized how lonely I am out here, at the very least I need my sister. No one should have to go years and years with out having coffee with a sister.
I always wanted the boys to have a great family, a huge great family, and they do, but they are all over the place and it makes me sad.
And my brothers, dont get me started, they are all grown up, 2 are engaged now with babies on the way.
Thats the order we do things in our family, get a baby then get married. I suspect this might not be the same in other families, but it works for us.
Imagine all these additions to our family, more cousins for the boys, sister in laws for me, and I have not met either of them before.
My cousins are having babies, it's an epidemic. 
Even my Dad had some amazing news for me, wedding bells in his future, amazing.
There is so much great news, and I really am so happy for everyone, and I miss you all so so much.
And thanks to my friends for the helpful suggestions.
One friend suggested a small bank fraud to take a 6 month holiday in Canada, while another suggested packing our backpacks and making a run for it, this country is getting more backwards all the time.
I am not actually going to do either, but have become more determined then ever to find a way to be closer with my family across the ocean.

The Big Question?

Is this your Spiderman shirt?

Why was it at the playground?

While I should say that I am grateful to have come across the shirt, clothing being as incredibly expensive as they are here,and me just taking the baby and dog out for a walk, finding it.

It is Stefán's shirt.

And it is cold out.
Must have been near zero today.

So what would make you take off your shirt while playing out in the cold?
Maybe he started to feel a little warm from all the running around?
Maybe brought the shirt out as some sort of game, like a cape?
I actually just don't know, and Stefán acts like he doesn't understand me when I try to ask him.
He actually might not understand, his English comprehension seems to be getting worse every year.
But I think I might have to spend more time walking around the playgrounds and keeping an eye out for clothing that has mysteriously left our home.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Why blogs are better then Facebook updates

That was probably the main reason I gave up on the Facebook in the first place.
The updates remind me of a highschool popularity contest, likes, comments,
but the worst was only getting a snip it of a story. One line. Then your expected to guess what on earth is being talked about.
***** : shouldn't have eaten that chicken salad
From there you need to figure out why
  • is she allergic to chicken? 
  • did she tempt fate by eating some leftovers out of the fridge that should have been thrown out last week?
  • has she broken some weight watchers rule by lapping up all that mayonaise?
  • did the chicken salad have onions in it giving her bad breath for the rest of the afternoon?
  • is she still pulling celery strings out of her teeth?

What happened?
and you know the first comment will be asking just that. and usually by the time I see this update there are at least 30 comments , some from the salad victim slowly explaining the story, one line at a time, the rest mostly from people I have never heard of, relating sympathies or similar stories
I hate to find out what happens this way, it seems so choppy, detailed and impersonal.

Example 2:
*******: Finally got the job!
and my thought chain looks like this:
  • I thought she had a job
  • I guess I am happy about the new job
  • what happened to the old job
  • I thought she liked the old job
  • what is the new job
now because I am not on Facebook all day, everyday, I miss a lot of updates and so I might not understand what is going on, but I would like to know. I can try looking on the profile page to get more of the story that must have been going on for more then the last 10 minutes. There must have been more there at some piont, but the profile is so cluttered with crap, comments, applications, writings, that I could have to did around, looking at older and older posts just to find out what happened in the last few days, and I might never do it that way. Better to call.

Now why blogs are better:
  • More words, you can explain yourself, give a clear picture and someone who cares can understand what is going on.
  • You dont need likes.
  • Blogs are organized, they have archives that are easy to navigate, labels and a search function - you can find anything.  And so can anyone else, that wants too.
  • You don't have to declare someone your friend to show an interest in them, or them in you. You can read about someone just because you are interested.

I know I might be a little biased, I love reading, a lot and even about people I do not know so well.  You can not get that out of Facebook.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Canadian Culture

My dear friend Cassie once told me that on the culture channel in Australia, they watch Trailer Park Boys - a representative of Canadian culture, and while I laugh at the show, I know what people are thinking when I tell them I am Canadian.
Thanks Ricky.

Clearing out the camera

While these pictures could have been sorted into several posts and better organized, that would have taken far too much time and I am a little bit lazy. So here's the story:
Leó playing Soccer a.k.a Football

Looks as though these Canadian couchsurfers were playing with my camera

 This guys name is Paul, he is from Winnipeg and wants to be a director, I think
Maybe he should consider acting

This is his girlfriend, Alyssa, also from Win.

Her tongue looks a little scary here,

But she was a good cook.

Kasper and I dug up our garden, The potatoes did well but I think the carrots could have used a little more space in between. Yes, those stringy things are carrots.

On Leópolds first birthday we woke him up really early so we could all sing for him before everyone left for school. He was a little tired.

Like all baby's, he did not really understand the idea of blowing out the candle, on a waffle.

At least he looks happy here.

Stefán was a very helpful brother when it came to opening the gifts, a car rug and garage.

With three boys, these toys get a lot of miles on them.

He gets it.

There seems to be some law that when you are trying to have a birthday party, trying to take pictures, no one looks at the camera.


The English speaking table.

Little Tommy, only here for the cake. Kids are so honest.

Leópold's first cheeseburger ever.

And he likes it. 

And so did Rósa after he dropped it.

In 7 Days

This past week has been crazy.

There was the birthday party for Stefán and Leópold.

I realized that I better get choppin and check into why the National Registry has Leópold under drengur (boy). Davíð was asked if his sons name was actually Drengur. Seriously. I think we may have forgotten to register his name and will be fined soon...

We got the bill for the car being towed. Not a nice situation. The city can tow your car out of your own parking spot if it is not being used, and charge you for it.  I guess they can even come into your yard and taker a car if someone complains. So now we know, nearly 30 000 ikr later, just because we pay for that parking spot does not mean that we can park our car there until we get it fixed. It might offend someones eyes.

I lost my wallet for 6 days. Saved a lot of money too because I didn't want to admit I had lost it so I just didn't buy anything for almost a week. Then I found it in with the unmatched socks.

Leópold got some flu with a headache and crazy fever for three days straight. No amount of Tylenol seemed to help and he could not see a doctor because it is at least a weeks wait for an appointment. The fever is gone now but he is still a little on the cranky side.

Parent teacher interviews with Stefáns teacher went amazingly well. She says he is nearly perfect. Excellent math, one of the best readers in the class, well behaved, listens - I was so proud I was probably glowing. Then Kasper tells Stefán that no one wants to friends with a kid who is always good and it would be better if he did bad in math or something.  I could not believe that I overheard that and had to take several deep breaths before snapping.

Kasper's meeting was postponed until next Wednesday, but that didn't stop me from fighting with his special ed teacher in the hallway this week. Turns out she is not actually teaching him anything and just lets him play computer games for 40 minutes a day. She says otherwise he does not want to come to class. I said I don't see any reason for him to go to class to play computer games, he can do that at home.

The Police officer who lives down stairs from us threw a tantrum and screamed at one of my other neighbors (Gulli) because someone was in his parking spot on Sunday. Gulli explained that it was his 4 year old daughters birthday and they had family over for the party, he was sorry but they probably didn't know what spots belonged to who, and that it would not happen again. I was just shocked. Really, our parking lot has more parking spaces then it has people in our building. It is not possible to run out of parking, even if everyone was having a party, there would be parking spots to spare.

I went to the town office, got my tax forms, then was told I would have to go to another town, really, to get them stamped then return them. A half hour drive for a stamp, while I am looking at a whole office full of people drinking coffee. What kind of system is this? All these people standing around and they dont know how to use a stamp?  I know where the government could save money, they could cut back on the government.

All in all, it has been a long week, and I dont feel that I got anything done.

I think it is almost nap time.

visit reykjanes

I know it is hard to beleive, but there are things to do in Keflavík.

There is lots to do.

There is a whole book full of things to do.

But still, Reykjavíkers continue to insist that they have some sort of superiority and look down upon us out here  in Reykjanesbær.

In the middle of nowhere.
even worse if you live on the base.

But it just is not true.

It is too bad that 80% of the people are fat headed cowboys who vote in the same government every election, even after the town is swallowed up in corruption and bankrupt.  But that doesn't mean that there is nothing to do.

We have a few Museums, dancing light posts, Lighthouses, an abandoned NATO base and the Blue Lagoon.

On holidays I think you could actually skip Reykjavík and just hang out in Reykjanesbær.

I am just complaining because couchsurfing always seem to think Keflavík is just a place to catch your plane, when really its a town, people live in it and there is stuff to do.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Survival of the double birthdays

The party was last night, the official ending, 26 hours ago and just now I can say things are back to normal. Mostly.

Stefán let things get a little to his head and still has not gotten over it, each hour he gets better.

And the living room is still full of day room furniture, even more then usual, but I might like it this way.

Rósa the dog has been sleeping most of the day in recovery, she was a good host and I think she took the time to greet everyone.

Our party included:
14 adults
2 ten year olds
1 nine year old
2 eight year olds
3 seven year olds
1 five year old
1 four year old
1 three year old
2 two year olds
3 one year olds
and one little baby

All this and amazingly enough, no one spilled anything on the carpet.
My father in law thinks this is a sign of a boring party :)

Nearly all the food was eaten, even though at first I was thinking I may have over done it.

Both boys got such nice gifts, they are both very lucky. Thank you too all my friends and family for that, and even Kasper was happy at the end of the night.

And now that the party is done, the pictures being sorted and the house looking more like a home then a kindergarten, I am happy that this only happens once a year.

See you next year.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010


With the taxes being insane on all alcohol and tabacco products, there is now a kind of group effort to get these things into the country through duty free.

Everyone is in on it.

You have a duty to help out your fellow islander.

Well, not really, but the price difference is so extreme that you feeling guilty about not buying duty free.

You can compare the prices if you want, some stuff is three times more on this side of customs.
Vinbudin - The state controled liqour sales
Frihofnin - The duty free store in Keflavik airport

I do not drink and have not smoked in years, but I still ask couchsurfers and friends to bring beer, vodka and cigerettes for people I know, including my husband.
David likes beer and his friends smoke.

It really would be wastful if every person going through customs does not take full advantage of the chance at duty free.

I have probably stopped making sense now, its really late and I am getting really really tired.
And this computer , o'l betsy, does not have spell check, so I am seeing that this might not make sense to anyone. I just had to say it.

So, good night!

My Thinking

My father in law gave lended me, long term, a lap top. An IBM ThinkPad that may be an original with a shiney sticker delcaring it 'Designed for Microsoft Windows 98'
oh dear, I did not even know these guys were still around.

I am incredibly grateful because after my computer died I have had a tough time getting online for any decent amount of time, hence the blog neglect.

With a screen only slightly bigger then my coffee cup and an English keyboard, I will need to learn how to type again.
*I know how to set it to Icelandic but because the letters would not match up it would be confusing!

And I called this post my thinking because when I am using this computer I can only relate thoughts, words. o'l betsy (laptops new name) doesnt like pictures and has no hard drive space anyways.

In other news, my baby Leopold turned one today, but you have to wait until tomorrow for the pictures.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Everyone's doing it

electing someone funny into government.
The mayor of Reykjavík is a comedian, who also dresses in drag, and now a clown was elected to congress in Brazil
I guess when things can not get any worse, you need someone that can at least make you laugh.