Monday, March 14, 2011

Little Brothers are fun!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Lazer is 7 months and Zelia is house cleaning

Last weekend we went to a Red Cross sale and found Zelia some dress up clothes - she found these pink heels and it's pretty funny to watch her in them walking around the house.

Jacob found this hat for Halldor, but Zelia thought it would be great for Lazer.

Zelia has become quite a helper around the house, always wanting to vacuum some on her own and today she helped me put away her clean clothes. We are working on the bed making but it's a bit hard to get the big down blanket on the bed.

Here he is! Little Lazer man at 7 months and day.

Last Days with Uma

Yes, there are little girls in there!

Uma left at the beginning of last week but these ast few photos were still on our camera. We spent as much time as possible with uma, Roland and Shiloh. They bathed together each of the last days and we basically spent the entire two days together hanging out and playing. We miss them!

Zelia's first haircut

So, we decided to wait until Zelia was three years old before considering cutting her hair. Why? there is a Jewish tradition, Upsherin, that informs us to not cut the hair until three when their Jewish learning begin, this is often done on and then on Lag BaOmer - that's where I goofed. It was not Lag BaOmer and here we went and got her hair cut. I think I was so taken and taken aback that she ASKED for it and then kept saying that her hair is in her eyes and she wouldn't agree to barrettes, anyway, it happened and it was a bit exciting for all of us. When we got to the hairdresser's she got a bit nervous and was a little upset although she wanted to proceed. Halla cut her hair and was super nice about it.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

March Holidays in Iceland

I could write all about them, but someone already did!

Eat, Eat, And Eat Some More

Bolludagur, Sprengidagur, Öskudagur
Words by Steve Ganey
Photos by BB.IS
Bolludagur, Sprengidagur, and Öskudagur: an Icelandic holiday trifecta of food and fun. They take place on the three days leading up to the start of Lent, and centre mostly around stuffing yourself with treats. These back-to-back holidays hearken back to the days when Catholicism reigned supreme in Iceland, and the purpose of Lent was to fast, refrain from luxuries, and basically make yourself suffer (because that’s what Jesus would’ve wanted?). So naturally, before the great misery of Lent, Icelanders would try to satisfy a month’s worth of indulgence in three days. Even after Iceland went Lutheran and never looked back, they kept the holidays because they’re just so much fun.

Bolludagur, this year falling on March 7, kicks off the celebrations. Translated as “Bun Day”, Bolludagur centres on eating copious amounts of chocolate-covered pastries filled with cream and jam. For children, Bolludagur comes with the added bonus of getting to spank their parents. Children must get up early in order to spank their parents in bed with a special “bolluvondur”, or bun wand, and yell “Bolla! Bolla! Bolla!” They get a pastry for each spank.

Next up is Sprengidagur, or “Bursting Day.” As you might have already guessed, the holiday tradition is to eat… until you burst. The customary food for Sprengidagur is salty mutton and split pea soup, and the customary amount is whatever you can fit in your stomach. Hopefully your Sprengidagur won’t be followed by a traditional stomach ache, or traditional regret.

The last day on this holiday marathon is the Ash Wednesday celebration, Öskudagur. Öskudagur could be described as Icelandic Halloween, with children dressing up in costumes seeking candy, but without the extortion. Instead of threatening neighbors with petty vandalism if they don’t fork over the treats, this holiday takes a much more wholesome approach. Icelandic children must earn their candy by singing a song. In keeping with the theme of Ash Wednesday, children collect ashes in a small bag, an “öskupokur”, and as a prank, try to secretly pin it onto someone’s clothes. Öskudagur is also noticeably different from Halloween in that only children participate, so don’t expect to see half-naked college chicks dressed as naughty nurses.

So celebrate life and eat to excess! Bolludagur, Sprengidagur, and Öskudagur will surely leave you satisfied… and feeling very, very full.

Pic nabbed from Ísafjörður's finest news source,

Friday, March 4, 2011

Zelia singing in Icelandic

Laughing Lazer

Jack went to the Vet

On Tuesday we picked Zelia up early from school and we drove over the mountain to Saudarkrókur for our first family dentist appointment. this was Zelia's first visit and she HATES when people she doesn't know touch her so this was not that fun for her. Eventually she screamed so much that he was able to take a look inside. Then the VERY nice doctor gave her a ring that she LOVES.

Next on the docket, Jack's vet appointment. he hasn't been since we arrived and we wanted to see if there were any annual shots he needed, etc and to ask about his teeth. I have had him since he was 4 months old and I think since he was a year old the vets have been showing me his bad teeth. The vet in the US wanted A LOT of money to put him under and clean them...hmmmm, just wasn't sure about it all to be honest. So we were especially wanting to ask the vet here about it all. He looked, said they were bad but that his gums looked good, yay. He said he could clean them and right then and there sedated him and we watched as he scratched and chipped off the plaque with an ultra sound pick was wild, pieces like rock were coming off.

It is super weird to see your dog sedated and it brought up bad memories of putting Mikey down. His tongue was just hanging out of his mouth, poor guy. Anyway, when he was done and discovered two lose teeth which will have to be looked at later to determine their need to be pulled, the vet gave him the antidote to wake him up. t took longer than expected and Jack's irregular breathing pattern put us all on edge. But all of a sudden, he blinked, he moved his tail, he lifted his head and before too long was standing. Oh....the vet had at least one daughter who was 4 and so Zelia made herself quite at home playing with her.

So, for those of you who are dog owners, I know you are wondering what this whole thing cost us and I will mention he gave him a look over, a de-worming pill and a vaccine. We walked out $90 poorer and smiling!!!! can you believe it?

His teeth look great and although the rest of the evening was sort of slow for him, he didn't even bark when Ninette came to the door, but morning he was up and bouncing.

Headache Mystery - Solved

So, I drink decaf coffee with soy milk and sugar almost every day, until about 3 weeks ago when I decided to cut back on my sugar intake and this was an easy way...Before i knew it I was headache free. Huh? Kind of weird but I'll take it. It is cumulative though, if I have some on the weekends nothing seems to happen, but it is the only major change and I feel so much better. I am assuming it is drinking too much soy ilk that did it...I eat sugar in other ways and it is fine and I have several kinds of decaf so presumably it is not the coffee.

Anyone experience this with soy? I know people experience all sorts of hormonal things from too much soy.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Singing Zelia

Saba's visit and turning 3

yes, I am all over the place in this posting because the photo upload is not cooperating, however, I feel it is totally apprpriate for THIS 3rd birthday cake with pink frosting to open the spread.

And we will not forget the beautiful pink strawberry ice cream in the cast iron dutch oven...what a presentation!

Since December, Zelia has been waiting for Saba to come and has been talking about him at school and he made it! So wonderful for his second trip to Iceland for her birthday (3rd trip overall). He got in and hopped on the bus to come north, which gave him some much needed sleep. I picked him up in Blönduós and we went for a swim. It is always a nice thing to do after that flight and bus ride and not much sleep. Then we picked Zelia up from school and although she was her shy self it didn't last more than 5 minutes!

I had to show this because this is beautiful and we got it right here in Iceland.

Well, almost, everyone is asleep...even Jack, you can only see part of his tail.

Poor Aba was a champ getting in and out between the TWO car seats and figuring out the seat belt.

Seriously, the ride was worth it for the pool in Hofsós. It is so gorgeous. they are in the hot pot and you can see the bigger pool beyond. I got to do a few laps and seriously thought, oh if only Skagaströnd had such a pool, I would live in it. It was a wild drive through super thick fog. We opted against Grettislaug at the time because of the fog. Afterward we went to Saudarkrókur and got some lunch at Ólafshús, soup and salad for everyone and then to the bakery for treats. the spelt chocolate chip cookie was PERFECT.

Loves holding her Saba´s hand whenever we went anywhere.

We had a wonderful Shabbat dinner at home and invited Olafia. Jacob made a beautiful leg of lamb. Almost every night we would put the kids in the stroller and go for a long walk. On Friday we walked under the clear sky and million stars for about an hour and a half. The kids would fall asleep and Aba would talk about the moon and universe:) He also had a great show of northern lights which seems to be his thing and also something that happens quite remarkably around Zelia's birthday. She certainly seems celestial in that way...born on a full lunar eclipse and then strong northern lights at least for her 1st and 3rd birthdays.

Oh, do you think she likes it???? Man give this girl a bone to gnaw on and she is happy.

Saba brought Zelia the whole Whinnie the Pooh collection and everyone is listening. Funny, I SO remember Aba reading me stories, his intonation and everything...some things just stick.

I stayed home on Saturday to bake the cakes and the crew went out fishing. Each one caught a fish, well except for Lazer who was fast asleep.

Yes, Lazer is inside.

Apparently, Zelia felt like ignoring the no bike riding in the house rule:) The weather while Saba was here was so beautiful the bike came out and this was too funny to pass up.

Big sister, little brother. they absolutely love each other.

The kids began showing up on Sunday, February 20 at 3pm....I made pink play dough for them to play with. ALL the girls came in their pink dresses. Zelia was excited as we were getting ready, but wasn't sure what to do upon the arrivals.

Here she is, the 3 year old, in her new dress that Amama made for her - she loves it. Turning 3 was a little hard, she didn't want to do it, after 2 days she got used to the idea and was even talking about how next will be 4.

Hello crazy rolling toy from Uncle Baki and Aunt Angie!

Valdimar and Athena showed up. They live down the street, lucky for us!

This is Þórrún, Zelia´s teacher. Zelia cuddled with her almost the entire time, and we think she changed into all brown because of Þórrún´s brown shirt!
mmmmm, veggies, fruit and heittibrauð.

Zelia playing with Uma and Irena Lind.

Reading "When we are Six" (this was before the party).

Yes, this is my son in a Red Sox outfit, hahaha.
It was a good call earlier in the visit, because we found Saba a ride for Tuesday morning with the Mayor and on Monday after picking Zelia up from school we headed to Grettislaug and it was fabulous. We spent an hour in these lovely pools. The big one was SO hot.

Last birthday plan worked, full of veggies and fruit there was plenty of cake and ice cream left on the plates.

It was a wonderful visit with Saba, short, but perfect in a 100 different ways.