Wednesday, November 17, 2010

New friends

On Saturday Jacob walked over to a house down the street where a lovely Canadian family is staying. They are here as residents at NES and with their daughter who is Zelia´s age. He invited them to dinner and over they came. While we were waiting for them Zelia helped me put together a box of her toys for their daughter to have while here. So, at 6pm Shylo (sp), Roland and Uma came over. We had a great time, drinking Jacob's rhubarb wine, eating hot soup and bread and the girls hit it off! They had this one moment all of a sudden when they got off their chairs by the table, looked at each other for a while and then went off giggling. Perfect.

We made plans to play in the snow the following day. In the afternoon, after Zelia's nap we got her in the sled and Lazer in the stroller and went to explore what the blizzard had done. It was pretty wild and here are some pictures. Turns out it hasn't snowed like this in November for about 20 years! We met up with Uma and Roland and went for a short walk. The wind proved a bit cold for the girls. We headed back to our place for hot chocolate and lots more giggles.

Monday, Zelia was excited for leikskoli and for playing in the snow. Before picking her up Jacob and I took Lazer to the health clinic for his 3 month check-up and first shots. He has officialy doubled his weight and has grown 12cm since he was born! Amazing. Then in the afternoon we headed to Blönduós to give in our visa applications. We got there and the office had just closed, but they were so nice they took us anyway! whew. now Zelia tlaks about the visas we need.

Yesterday, I had a nice morning at mommumorgun talking to the priest mostly and then in the afternoon we went to meet Uma at NES for a painting session. The girls had a blast painting and paying with plasticine and generally running around.

It is getting light around 9:30ish these days and dark by 5 I think. So certainly shorter days. The snow everywhere helps tremendously since it reflects all the light. Supposedly wind and rain are coming which is too bad because then the snow will melt, ugh. We will see.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Bizzards, Kindness and Murphy's Law

At around 5am on Monday morning the wind was howling and Jacob thought he would postpone his departure for Reykjavik in order to take Zelia to leikskoli. By 7, it calmed down a bit and we decided I could take them in the stroller and make it. To be honest, the walk there wasn't too bad, a few big gusts stopped me in my tracks but otherwise it was uneventful. The walk home without Zelia's weight was a bit more challenging, but again, nothing too bad. I had a babysitter come to be with Lazer while I went to the gym and picked Zelia up at 12. The rest of the day went well.

I had planned to take Lazer on Tuesday to the babysitter and go to the gym, but the wind was just too bad to walk the entire town more than once, so I canceled. After taking Zelia to school, I asked Halldor to borrow the work truck to go to Mommumorgun and pick Zelia up. He is a kind man and said yes, but he needed it back afterward. I should have left it and taken the stroller...hahaha. After picking Zelia up we took the car back to work and then I walked back across the field, wearing Lazer, carrying 2 backpacks, the car seat and holding Zelia's hand so that we would actually get back in less than 30 minutes! She was busy and happily eating snow. That evening Zelia had a total tantrum, like never before, over her she was missing Jacob. Of course Jack wanted to go out as well and the tub was already running. Jack was out, she was screaming, lazer was unsure of what was going on and Jack was barking to come in. So I go to the door and he thinks it's a game and as he runs, the rope snags and he gets loose, a sense of humor is key here. Underwear gets resolved, lots of hugs and she was in the bath. Some girls came to collect money for their confirmation class and I thought they might get Jack, but he wisens up to them and plays some more. Eventually he came in..too cold and windy outside - for a moment I was grateful for this weather.

Wednesday morning was alright and the walk to school was uneventful, we looked at the stars. By the afternoon when I took Lazer in the strolled to go and teach dance the wind was picking up, but we managed. At some point during our rehearsal Halldor walks in and asks how long we will be, that I can drive him to work and take his car. No, I said, don't worry, I walked here, he insisted, because he is a kind man :) and because he knew more than I did! Lazer was at Elna's house, we finished rehearsal, I took Halldor to work, got the car seat, went to the gym for a 10 minute run and Elna brought Lazer there for me to take him. The wind and snow have begun to gust and howl. Ha! I get him in the car, move things around so the stroller would fit, get in the car try to start it and's dead! OMG! I need to get Zelia and now what? I call Halldor and he asks, did you leave the lights on? Why yes, yes I did, so embarrassed. It did not even cross my mind that they were on to begin with and so many cars including ours go off automatically. We make a plan. I get the stroller and Lazer out of the car and walk to leikskoli. Halldor was going to come and jump it and leave it running for me. the wind is blowing strongly now but we make it. the teachers ask, did you walk??? In my terrible language skills I try to explain that the car died...wondering if the word for death is used in Icelandic in this case. Sesi said she would drive me but I said I could make it back to the sports' house...before I could even get both Zelia and Lazer in the stroller, Halldor comes around the corner with the car for us. If I could make angel music I would.

We got home and stayed in, this time Lazer broke down and cried from about 6-8:30...poor little man and his stomach. When they were both asleep I sat and knit and watched TV...ahhhhh. Over the night the wind picked up and was howling and by morning the blizzard was full on. I got the kids in the car and Zelia to leiskoli. It was a scary drive and there were a few times, in less than 1km, that I had to come to a complete stop since there was ZERO visibility. I wondered if I should continue with the plan for the day but decided that if the car couldn't pass I wanted to be with Zelia too. The whole thing is a bit funny because I am in a big, tall jeep with BIG ass tires. The plan was to take Lazer to Elna's at 10:30, go to the gym, get him and go to eat soup with Zelia at school....special day. I ran late to take Lazer, ran to the gym, ran 5km, showered and sweat the entire time I was getting dressed. I got Lazer and made it to school. Parents were there and Zelia and I were seated at our own table to eat some delicious soup and bread and butter. It was very sweet. Lazer woke as we were eating and Sesi came over and held him for a while which was great. As it was time for parents to leave lots of the kids began to cry of course, so did Lazer... I was trying to get Zelia dressed, me dressed and hold Lazer so he wouldn't scream while the teachers were dealing with the other kids and getting them to sleep...I only half succeeded. Thankfully, as I was walking out a mom of one of Zelia's classmates, carried Zelia to the car and I took Lazer. We drove home slowly and I parked the car on the grass in front of the house.

Zelia got into bed quickly, Lazer was crying but nursed and slept and I cried...what can you do, there are days like this, and loneliness was creeping in quickly. So, I happened to write a small sentence on facebook, "sucks to be home alone with two young children in this weather". Before I knew it my phone beeped with a text and later the phone rang and both Halldor and Sigga were right there to say hi and see if I was ok. This morning I woke up to another kind note from what can I say, people are amazing.

The weather is still really bad, but should be gone by tomorrow. This morning I just left Lazer at home with Jack! Ha! Crazy right??? Well, he was fast asleep and he would scream in the car at leikskoli when I took Zelia in so I figured, let him sleep and I will be back in 5 minutes if he is crying. He was sleeping when I returned and began coo'ing a few minutes later.

Needless to say, Jacob is not coming home today after all...not in this tomorrow.

In the midst of all of this I have been working furiously to write my grad school statement, thank you thank you thank you Haley...our days have been filled with intense conversations about Judaism and education, my head is spinning.

Today I begin teaching two new dance classes, this time to younger kids. Birta and Gudrun Anna will be coming to be with the kids and Silla and Katla will be helping me with the classes...excited, but not feeling prepared Icelandic wise.

Hopefully by tomorrow afternoon I will get some much needed TLC.

Monday, November 8, 2010

chicken pox, 3 months and a fabulous weekend

On Tuesday I saw a few spots on Zelia, I thought her underwear had pinched her. On Wednesday evening she had several more, so I called Sigga and Zelia stayed home on Thursday and saw the doctor. He confirmed chicken pox, but my golly, the best kind ever! No fever, no itchiness, this is the way to do it. She stayed home Friday as well, feeling great and playing all day.

Caitlin, Maik and Felix came Friday evening from Reykjavik to spend the weekend with us. We had Lazer in their apartment in Reykjavik...which they are moving out of in a few weeks. We had a wonderful time with them, playing and chatting, drinking Jacob's blueberry wine and eating his delicious sour dough bread. They brought a blueberry marinaded lamb for Saturday night and we truly feasted. The kids took a bath together and played with the toys and listened to stories. It was very sweet.

Friday was November 5 and Lazer was 3 months!!! Man, he seems older than Zelia and in a way he is. She was born about 2 weeks before her due date and he was born in the week after maybe it is not JUST our imagination. Here is is talking away in the video.

Jacob left this morning for Reykjavik for a course in R Statistics and he will be gone until Friday evening. It's the first time he has left since Lazer's birth and so far so good. Thankfully the wind died down so we could take the stroller to leikskoli this morning. There is ice on the roads and sidewalks making it a bit tricky but we managed. At least the wind didn't blow us over!

In a few Karen is coming to be with Lazer so I can head to the gym to run. I am feeling pretty proud as I am running 6 kilometers about 3 times a week!

I am also working now on my statement for Northeastern and working with Becca and Katri on our collaboration so we can begin applying for grants as well. Lots of exciting things happening.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Snow and syrup

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The snow has come

Well we had a 3 day storm that has quieted down this afternoon. the storm came later than expected which worked out well for us as we had a planned a trip to Ísafjörður for the weekend.

We picked Zelia up from school on Friday and headed to Blönduós to do some errands, including buying fat from the slaughter house to make tallow for Gerður to make soap. Turns out we bought lamb fat and not cow it´s a no go. But hey next time and we will get some for ourselves as well and make some soap - FUN!

It was a long drive, about 6 hours to get there and we didn't have a lot of time there, but it was well worth it. Seeing good friends and just getting to hang out and relax was fabulous. I bought more yarn, got to talk with Gerdur, Gisli tried some hunting, we all played in the hot pot and ate delicious food together:)

Until today I had not gone outside since Monday evening. The winds have been blowing at 40 miles/per hour and more and the snow has been falling. I have no idea how much snow since it blows all over making drifts.

This morning I watched as Jacob drove the car over a nice one to get Zelia to Leikskoli, thankfully we have this new car! then Lazer and I hung out here is tlaking up a storm to the mobile...I always get the camera after it has all started, oh well....