Saturday, March 31, 2012


Daniel called me from work yesterday at the end of the day and mentioned that he was thinking about going to work out (which I highly am in favor of, because it helps with his RA symptoms), then said "no, I guess I can just go Sunday night". To which I laughed and said there was virtually no way in hell that he was going to be leaving me alone with the kids on Sunday night after being gone all weekend. After being pretty much gone with work stuff for the past few weeks. If anyone will be driving away alone on Sunday, it will not be him. :)

Okay, so Ethan's thing was the most random kid illness ever. He could not walk at all Wednesday or Thursday. Friday he didn't seem to be hurting as much, but he still was crawling.  Eventually in the late afternoon, he started standing, then limping around, and by 5:30- running.  Now he seems to be fine. SUCH a weird syndrome (toxic synovitis, in case you care).  Hopefully we will not be catching that particular virus again.

I survived Friday as well, and even got a good bit of work done and the chores around the house done. I'm one of those odd people who is actually a ton more productive if I'm busy. Otherwise I just sit around and play on Facebook and on the blogs and get nothing accomplished.  I have a great need for a full to-do list.

Daniel left at 6:30 this morning and so far the kids are still asleep. Hurray! We have big plans today to go to Target and generally wander around and do grocery shopping at other stores as well. I love that I have kids who think shopping at Target is the BEST THING EVER! I've trained them well.

Friday, March 30, 2012

"Accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative..."

Do you all know that song? I don't even remember the other lines, but have had that line "accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative" in my head all morning.

It's been a really rough week.  I found out last night that my grandmother has skin cancer- not an aggressive kind, and they anticipate treating it easily, but it's still stressing me a bit.

And Ethan still can't walk.  It's breaking my heart, watching him crawl around everywhere. He's had such a good attitude- I can't imagine being that cheerful if I just woke up one day and my leg didn't work.

Daniel's been working crazy long hours and he finally admitted yesterday that it probably wont let up anytime soon.  And tomorrow at 6:30AM he leaves for our church's men's retreat. I really want him to go to that, since it's so encouraging and good for him, but it's kind of rotten timing. Especially since Ethan can't walk


Going back to work this week has been such an emotional and mental boost. Oh, and a financial boost as well, so we'll be able to pay for tumbling classes and day camps for the kids this summer.

And turning 35 wasn't too awful and I got a lot of sweet cards from my family members. And cake. And some insanely delicious pizza.

And Vivian slept in her own bed all night on two different occasions this week, but still came in our room in the morning for a snuggle, so that was a win-win. 

And I'm reminded how lucky I am to have kids that normally can walk and run and that this is a temporary thing. Hats off to parents who deal with physically handicapped kids on a regular basis. I am in awe.

If Daniel's gone all weekend, I don't have to cook dinner for us and can live on boxed mac and cheese if I want to :)

I think I might make it through today after all.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Definitely a memorable birthday

I survived turning 35. Someone asked me last night if they were lots older because they were 37, and I said no. I think it's because you often hear classifications like "people under 35 voted for such-and-such candidate" or "those over 35 think this way".  Maybe I'm making that up, but it's my birthday and I can be crazy if I want to.

Today started with Ethan throwing up everywhere. Which is such a common occurrence that I just ask him to tell me when he's done vomiting and then I gather the bedding and wash it. He gets fed through his feeding tube at night and sometimes if there's air in the bag or we start it too late or something else random happens- vomiting.

Then he got out of bed and collapsed into a heap, telling me that his elbow hurt. Turns out he meant his knee, and he proceeded to not be able to stand all morning. Finally I got an appointment at our doctor and Daniel came home early so that I could have the car and we went off to be told that the doctor wasn't completely sure, but he (and another doctor in the practice) thinks it's this weird thing where a virus inflames a joint (usually hip, sometimes knee) and you just have to wait it out and dose with painkillers.  So I have a kid who can't walk, but is otherwise 100% fine and hopefully all will be well in a few days (apparently that's how long this usually takes to resolve).

I told Daniel tonight that I wish Ethan could start trying to focus on getting normal sicknesses, rather than suffering from a sensory disorder that still doesn't officially exist in the diagnostic manuals and a misplaced virus that it took two doctors at our practice to diagnose.

My parents called to wish me a happy birthday today and my mom said she wasn't entirely surprised that Ethan got sick today. He has a tendency to get massively sick on our anniversary and on other special occasions. So it really was right on schedule.

Thankfully my birthday ended with pizza and drinks and cake.  So I still consider it a success.

Oh, and did I mention that I started working again yesterday?  I so did not expect it to feel so good.  It's nice to be doing something I'm really good at again. And getting paid for it.  And as a side benefit, I no longer want to shop, because I think of everything in terms of how many hours of my job that it takes to pay for it and how much hassle it is to simultaneously work and entertain my kids while I make that amount of money :) So this is a win-win.

Monday, March 26, 2012


I hate to admit it, but my kids sleep late. There are many mornings that I don't hear from Ethan until 9:30, and Vivian will generally sleep until I wake up (since we co-sleep).  Daniel works from home in the morning and is monopolizing the computer, so there's no real reason for me to get up early most mornings.

This morning though, I was up by 5, so that I could meet my neighbor at 6 to head out for a run.  She and I have both been trying to run on our own, but finally admitted that it's too easy to make excuses on our own and so we've joined forces. And since she's a working mom, early mornings are where it's at for exercise.

So today I was done with exercise and showered by 7:15 AM. Which is totally not me. And since Daniel was on the computer, I got a bunch of other stuff done before 8:30.  The productivity is confusing me.  And now I kind of need a nap, but it's nice to get so much stuff checked off the day's to-do list!

We spent this weekend in Canada visiting Daniel's parents. Or rather the kids did.  I spent most of the weekend trying to fix their computer.  Running virus scans, updating, cleaning the disk.  The only bad thing about that was that they had no idea what I was doing and I'm pretty sure they thought I spent the whole weekend playing online and ignoring them.  But they had the kids to entertain them, so that's what really matters.

And Daniel and I were able to go out for a lovely dinner at a great Greek restaurant near his parents' home, which was much fun. I love free babysitters!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

I find being depressed to be very depressing

The thing that I dislike most about depression is how insidious it is. It creeps in slowly while I'm not watching and then one morning I wake up and wonder how I ended up at the bottom of a ditch.  Not a deep one, but definitely a ditch.

This is kind of my own fault. I've let us fall into a totally unstructured, nothing going on, no big projects or goals life lately, and that is not one where I deal well with things. When I don't have big things going on, I fixate on other stuff.  And I tend to see only negatives. Lately I've been feeling like a complete failure because of my inability to get up and go running in the morning (in my defense- when the alarm goes off, I wake to find myself snuggled in bed under blankets and next to my sleeping toddler baby girl and it's virtually impossible to leave such a snuggly situation. Especially to exercise). Or the fact that I haven't dusted the house in ages. Or the fact that Daniel's rheumatoid arthritis has been absolutely awful lately and he is miserable and I can't fix it.  And I can't make Ethan eat.  I want to FIX things.  I've been praying a lot lately for perspective and a better attitude, but it's a process, for sure.

So, when I get like this, I agree to crazy ideas. Like when I got an email from my old company this morning asking me if I could please do some on-call work for them because they're swamped.  I haven't had a whole lot of validation lately, and honestly, I was pretty good at my old job and I know there's praise to be had there. It's pathetic how quickly I agreed. It's probably a good thing though, as I do need to start getting back to using my brain and meeting deadlines before grad school starts at the end of August.

We're off to Canada this weekend for a brief visit that's mostly going to just involve eating. Dim sum when we arrive, dinner out for Daniel and I on Saturday night to celebrate my birthday (weeping) a few days early.  Probably more dim sum after church on Sunday.  I always come back from Canada in sodium overload. :)  Visiting the in-laws around a holiday or birthday is always a good thing though- love those red envelopes!

Anyway, the sun is shining today, so I need to drag my sorry self and my adorable daughter out to get some sun while we can.  Sun always makes things better!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

All grown up

I'm turning 35 in a week. I'm a little (okay, a whole lot) freaked out about this. Not so much just the age, but the fact that I think I might actually be a grown up now.  Which I'm not entirely willing to accept.

The kids are also seeming really grown up all of a sudden. We're done with all that baby stuff. No more baby food or diapers.  We can go out without the stroller on fairly long outings.  If we're out during nap time, that's okay- we can skip a day or two. 

It's totally good, even if it is hard to wrap my brain around how fast the kids got done with being babies.  This past Saturday, Vivian and I went on our first Mommy/Daughter adventure- out to the Pacific Northwest Ballet's children's matinee of Snow White. And I could not stop smiling the entire time. I got to dress up my little girl in a fluffy dress and go join lots of other families with little girls in fluffy dresses and it was just all TOO cute!

Watching the bigger girls dance in the pre-show class

In the theatre with her new Ballet Kitty

It's just such an interesting and amazing stage. I have little people on my hands. And they have SO much personality and are SO different and both SO fun in their own ways.  I am so blessed. Even if I do have to turn 35 next week.

Friday, March 16, 2012

I apparently have a very magnetic personality

Hanging out in the condo. Waiting for a phone call from the washing machine repair guy letting me know he's almost ready to come to our rental condo to look at the washing machine there. After he calls, I get to load up the kids and head out in the crazy wind and rain to hang out while he checks things out. But after that! Target!!! And maybe Trader Joe's! And it's Friday, which means picking up Daddy at work and then going to eat sushi and visit the pet store and probably go to another Target!

Tomorrow morning I HAVE to go running. I've been making excuses because my back's been hurting and I haven't been feeling well otherwise, but now I have no excuses and I need to go out because the Free Them 5K is in two months and I haven't run a step in ages.  So there's that.

I finally just banished my kids to their room. Also known as the small place crammed with toys that they never seem to play with. Because they'd rather be climbing me or begging for my iPod or pulling the blankets off my bed to go "camping"
Admittedly, this is a very cute game

Mostly though, they just want to be wherever I am.  Cleaning the kitchen? In the bathroom? Sitting on the couch? They're there.  Which is fine most of the time, but it's been a long week of not much exciting going on and lots of time in the condo and I need them to separate from me physically for just a while.  They tried bringing their cars in here to where I am, after I banished them to play the first time. But I redirected that train of play back to their room and it seems to have worked this time.

In other news, Ethan's breaking my heart lately with his feeding tube stuff. He's finally realized that 1) not all kids have a feeding tube and 2) that he's different and 3) it's restricting some of his activities. He's a huge fan of climbing and playareas at McDonalds and IKEA, but his tube is super vulnerable to infection (three rounds of antibiotics in the past month), so we have to either remember to cover it up really well ahead of time, or not let him play in public play areas. Last night he was crying and asking when he could grow up and get rid of it, and when I again told him that he has to start eating first, he sadly looked at me and said "Mommy, I'm tired of this subject."

I think one of the things that surprised me most about our trip to Iceland was what a sense of relief it was to not have to deal with Ethan's feeding stuff for a few days. You don't know how heavy something is until you put it down and feel the relief.  His feeding issues and Daniel's rheumatoid arthritis are both this low-level, constantly present stress that I don't necessarily even acknowledge anymore, even to myself, because it's just reality.  It was awfully nice to have someone else dealing with mealtimes and lack of eating and the feeding pump at night and everything. 

Well, this post turned all depressing. And they're back, so I need to wrap up and get back to cleaning/trying to convince the kids to actually play with their toys without me.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Iceland, day 4

I decided to finally wrap up my Iceland trip recap, mainly  because I'd like to mentally (if not physically) be somewhere with better weather. And the weather in Iceland was definitely better than the nastiness that we're having this week in Seattle. 

Anyway- Saturday was day 4 of our trip.  We woke up early, loaded up our bags and checked out of the hotel, then went to wait in the lobby with all the other people that we'd been seeing off and on all week. That was kind of the weird thing about this trip- since it was through IcelandAir, it was a hotel/flight/excursion package. So we saw the same people over and over whenever we participated in a group activity.  Kind of like what I imagine it's like on a cruise. 

We all loaded up the gigantic bus and were off to our much-anticipated trip to the Blue Lagoon! We originally weren't sure if we were going to do this, but then we decided to add it on, since the last day of our trip was also our 6th anniversary and we wanted to do something fun and romantic before spending hours on the plane.

The scenery on the way to the Blue Lagoon was very pretty- snow on the lava made for quite a contrast.

The Blue Lagoon was breathtakingly beautiful! After figuring out the fancy bracelets that controlled our lockers, we changed into bathing suits and ran through the freezing air into the lovely hot spring. And hot it was! It was so neat to float around in the warm or hot water and just relax after a busy week. A perfect anniversary spot.

After several hours of floating and a lovely snack, it was back on the bus and time to head home to the kids! The plane trip home about drove me insane, as I had watched all the interesting movies on the way there and I was tired of all of my games and it was just time to be home. 

But finally we were back and through customs and back to our munchkins. Who hadn't seem to notice we were gone, thanks to great childcare by my parents.  My parents left soon after we arrived and apparently went to bed at 8:30 that night :) 

Seriously, if you ever get a chance to go to Iceland- go. It's a gorgeous country with super-friendly people. Everything is modern and really efficient.  Food is expensive, but everything else was pretty reasonably priced. And since they accept credit cards absolutely everywhere, we didn't even ever see the Icelandic currency. We'd definitely like to go back when the kids are older and see more of the country. Well worth the trip.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Temporary insanity brought on by miserable weather

After I wrote yesterday's psycho post, I sulked around the condo for a while.  Then I started researching vacations to Southern California. Ethan's been asking about Disneyland a lot lately. Another thing I can blame on school, I think.  I know a bunch of his school friends have gone recently, and peer pressure starts young! Anyway, we'd been sort of keeping it out there as a family vacation idea. But the summer is filling up quickly, and it didn't really fit on the calendar.

Then I remembered that thing called Spring Break.  And so I started looking at Disneyland trips. Daniel was vaguely on board with the idea. Then I discovered (I'm really new to this Disney stuff) that 2 year olds get into Disneyland free.  Which means going on Spring Break rather than this summer after Vivian turns 2 will save us a bunch of  money. 

So then Daniel was completely on board and I spent the rest of the day glued to the computer looking at all the options.  Finally I found one that worked well for us and I was about to book it when Daniel looked at me and hesitantly said "what do you think. No wait. Maybe.... we could invite my parents?" To which I of course rolled my eyes and sighed deeply, but got myself together and agreed. And they're going!

I am actually glad Daniel suggested it. Yes, going places with his parents and the kids is much like herding cats.  They all tend to just wander a bit, and even going to Target together is usually an adventure requiring search parties to be sent out for one or more temporarily misplaced family member. So Disneyland should be interesting. But I know his parents will love seeing the kids happy and they really don't ever get to do anything fun with the kids or spend long stretches of time with them like my parents do.

So I have sunshine in my future to get me through the horrifically dismal weather that we're having in Seattle this week. Hurray!

Oh, and did I mention that I'm flying with the kids to Virginia at the end of May? Alone? And yesterday the airline changed my flight so now I have 35 minutes to haul two kids across a large airport to a connecting flight? I'm praying really hard that they change the flight times again, because that's just not happening.

Monday, March 12, 2012


I'm feeling anxious this afternoon. Thankfully Ethan's at school and Vivian's napping, so I can hide in my bedroom and feel this way without causing stress to anyone else. Except our psycho cat. I think I'm making her jumpy.

We have done pretty much nothing now for the past couple of weeks. I was really wiped out physically by the Iceland trip and emotionally/mentally by all the people in my presence. So after my parents went home, I pretty much did nothing after that. We haven't had things on our social calendars, I don't have any pressing obligations right now. We've just kind of been existing. Which is fine and I like that most of the time.

Then I started updating my calendar for the next few months and suddenly it was full almost to the end of August. WHEN I START GRAD SCHOOL AGAIN. OH MY GOODNESS WHAT WAS I THINKING!

Hyperventilating.  Suddenly I have to plan things and get ready for a really busy next few months with trips and visiting people and a wedding and lots of fun stuff! And then I have to somehow juggle taking care of my family with studying law and public policy and what if Vivian stops napping in the afternoon.

Oh, and I have discovered on the last two school friend playdates that my kids are woefully un-busy. They don't do music classes or swim classes or anything.  Nothing other than school. And Vivian doesn't even have that. Am I harming their development?

I think I'm just going to hide under the covers now.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Iceland: Day 3

We just got home from an outing to downtown Seattle and while we waited for the bus, Daniel and I remarked simultaneously about how much the weather reminded us of Reykjavik. 40 degrees, windy (thanks to the proximity to the water), constantly changing skies of rain and then sun and then rain again two minutes later.  We were really surprised by how much it felt like home in terms of the weather. We'd really expected it to be cold, but other than the day on the glacier and the Northern Lights hunt, I wore my normal clothes- even my totally unsensible open-on-the top shoes!

Anyway, day 3. Slept late, thanks to a very late arrival at the hotel the night before. Had another breakfast of yogurt and fruit from the store around the corner. Iceland had some excellent drinkable yogurt.  I used to do a lot of drinkable yogurt when I lived in Ukraine, and it was nice to get to have that as part of my breakfast again.  Yummy!

Then it was off to the old part of the city again.  Much the same as what we saw on Wednesday, but this time we were actually awake, whereas on Wednesday we were functioning on virtually no sleep. It was nice to just wander around and check out all the old buildings and sites. 

This sculpture reminded me of Ethan :)
Our favorite set of buildings- loved the colors!

Oldest timber building in Iceland

Parliament and a church

Catholic Church  
Museum of a famous Icelandic sculptor, whose name I am too lazy to look up at the moment

Loved these sculptures!

Sunset on our last night

Tired-out Daniel   
Even though we'd gone on a failed Northern Lights hunt the night before, we decided, based on the weather and Northern Lights forecast to buy tickets for another attempt on our last night. Better to give it a shot and fail than hear about the great sighting the next day! 

Unfortunately, it was another bust in terms of seeing the lights, but I'm still glad we went. We (and about 600 other people on a huge bunch of buses) headed out into a dark area, outside of Reykjavik. Then we walked down to the edge of the water and stood and watched. No lights, but we could see the stars for a long time. It was an incredible feeling just to be outside, breathing the air and hearing the water and being awed by the stars.  Not things that I do a lot in the city!  Unfortunately, the weather turned before the lights showed up.  And yes, we were very cold on this outing. Really the only time I was truly cold on the trip.

The reason for the cold and the clouds became evident when we woke up the next morning to see this!
Snow! And yes, this is taken in the morning. It's dark until 9 or so at this time of the year.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Iceland, Day 2

We were just outside waiting for Ethan's bus and I saw a city bus drive by with the IcelandAir ad on it "only 7 hours from Seattle to Iceland!" and realized I'm behind on this again.

So, day 2 in Iceland was Thursday, which was the big glacier hike day.  We found ourselves hanging out in the Hilton lobby in the morning, with a big crowd of people, all dressed in layers and wearing boots, so we were pretty sure everyone was heading to the same place. I suspect I had on the best socks under my boots:

 Our big bus eventually arrived, and we headed off across the mountains to the glacier.  Just a bit outside of Reykjavik was the first mountain pass, and our view looked like this:

But pretty soon we were past all the snow and back to the lowlands of Iceland. Which pretty much looked like this:
Eventually we stopped for a yummy lunch of Icelandic meat (lamb) soup. Super yummy!
And we got fitted for crampons, and thankfully the guide noticed that most of the group was wearing warm clothes but not waterproof clothes, and they handed out waterproof pants. Thank goodness.
Then it was back on to the big bus and off toward the glacier, with a stop at a famous and pretty waterfall:
After driving past the volcano that caused all the air travel uproar in 2010 (but that apparently had almost no effect on the local area, other than an abundance of volcanic ash) we were at the glacier. And I started second guessing the wisdom of this decision.
First view

I was a bit comforted by the fact that I was traveling with a large group that was, shall we say, more in the range of my physical fitness than my husband's. So I didn't think I would be slowing them down too much. After stopping at the edge of the glacier for our insanely patient guide to show us how to put on our crampons (which most of us screwed up repeatedly), we were off! 

Our guide, explaining that this overhang was a tunnel the week before

The black stuff you see is volcanic ash.  It was really pretty up on the glacier. A bit more strenuous than the "leisurely walk" that was advertised, but worth the climb.  It wasn't even very cold on the glacier, just very, very, very wet.  Between the rain falling from the sky and the glacier melting since it was above freezing, we were absolutely soaked.  Thank goodness for the waterproof pants, as that was pretty much the only dry spot on my body.  

Going up was challenging, but I knew going down would be worse as I 1) have a crazy fear of falling and 2) this makes me not walk properly when I'm going down inclines and I generally fall. I was actually praying that when I fell I wouldn't hurt myself or anyone else, and when I fell a few minutes later I was fine.  Daniel and the guide, both of whom and gently been telling me that I needed to stomp harder to get a better grip with the crampons, both refrained from 'I told you sos'.

Eventually we were down and were wet, but happy to have risen to the challenge.
After a stop by another waterfall:

We were then off to a delicious dinner of lobster soup. Oh, and beer. Definitely beer.
Then we ended our night with a failed hunting trip for the Northern Lights and at midnight rolled back into our hotel, exhausted, wet and so thrilled to have had the adventure. Not bad for an overweight city girl, I think :)

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The horror!

Fair warning- this story is about poop.

So, I'm discovering how very very very lucky I was to have a kid with sensory issues, at least in the area of potty training.  One of his big things is avoiding messes. He's a very tidy kid.  Never was a messy eater (back when he did eat) or anything like that. And definitely no messes when potty-training.

It's dangerous to have a kid like that first, because it gives you certain expectations about the second child.

Potty-training Vivian is actually going smashingly well.  She's responding exactly as I suspected she would- whole-heartedly embracing the peeing for chocolate candy and big girl underwear. She doesn't even like to wear diapers at night. And she's been staying dry at naptime and bedtime, but since we co-sleep, I'm going to continue making her wear a diaper for a while.

Before you hate me, let me tell you what happened today.  Vivian hadn't pooped yet this week, so that was the goal for today.  I put both kids on the potties and appealed to their insanely competitive nature and they were having a pooping competition. Ethan won easily and went off to play the Leap Pad, which motivated Vivian more.  It was taking a long time though, so I wandered off to play on Facebook in the other room, assuming that Vivian would inform me when she was done, as she has been doing with the peeing.

You know how cats like to bring their prizes to the door when they catch a small animal (or in the case of my cats, a piece of lint) and expect praise? I was getting up from the computer desk and walking into the other room, when Vivian came running across the living room toward me.  HOLDING POOP cradled in her hands. Having no idea how to respond, I took it from her and we rushed off to the bathroom to clean up our hands. And most of Vivian's legs. And the potty, although that was the cleanest thing of all.  Then I tried to give her a bath, but more hidden poop that I'd missed in the wiping of her legs ended up floating around the bath.  My bathtub.  The one where I like to take a break from the kids in the evening by taking a hot bath every now and then.

This does however earn me giant sympathy points from my husband, and I do have a birthday in three weeks, so there's that.

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go disinfect my bathroom. Again.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Potty-training. Please send tequila and chocolate.

Vivian's diapers departed from her life this morning. I've been waiting for her to be "ready", but it recently dawned on me that such a thing was never ever going to happen. Vivian is, how shall I say this. STUBBORN.  I didn't want to get into a battle with her about potty-training, so I hadn't pushed it, but enough was enough. She's almost three and I've changed multiple diapers nearly every single day for 4 years, 6 months, 3 weeks and 3 days. Enough. 

So the diapers left this morning and she's had two accidents and one success. M & Ms have been purchased. And she's responding exactly as I thought and hoped she might- embracing this whole thing and spending lots of time running to sit on the potty. She actually refused to wear a diaper to nap. 

Still, we're only 4 hours into this and I'm already sick of cleaning up pee and discussing the potty. It occurred to me that when I was potty-training Ethan, there was tequila involved. I may need to visit the liquor store soon.

I realized the other day that I almost never talk about the kids here anymore.  They are still around, I promise. They're just at sort of a weird stage- they're fairly self-sufficient (at least as far as preschoolers go), and they require  more from me in terms of entertainment than actually physical needs. If that makes sense.  It's not a particularly angsty stage for me- we're all just sort of trekking along and hanging out.

Vivian's a character though- so strong-willed, SUCH a prissy little thing but so ready to be rough and tumble with Ethan too. She loves to sing and put on performances for us, but also loves to sit and "read" her books.  I think she's going to be an early reader.  She amazes me with how grown up she is every day.

And Ethan. Such a boy.  He's loving school and is picking up all sorts of interesting words and ideas from his class of 13 boys.  Lots of poop jokes, mostly. He's up to almost 34 pounds and is doing well with his feeding tube and eating a bit too.  He's on his third round of antibiotics (in 6 weeks!) for an infection of his tube and we're really praying that this will be it for a while. Nothing slows him down for long though- he's always running and jumping and trying to play baseball or football or hockey.  Sports are his passion. 

I'm actually liking these ages a lot. I'm so not a baby person, but I like these little people.  They wear me out constantly, but it's a good thing. I think I'll keep them :)

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Iceland- Day 1

Okay- here's the long awaited trip recap.  I know you've all been waiting anxiously for this :)  I need to get it all written down before I forget too!

So, we left on Tuesday the 21st from Seattle. Had the easiest check-in ever, as only one other person was at the IcelandAir check in desk. There was also almost no one at our gate. Apparently Iceland in February does not appeal to everyone.  The flight was basic, but comfortable. Our flight was slightly under 7 hours, and I played on my Nintendo and watched on-demand movies and enjoyed not having to entertain little people, and then we were in Iceland! And it was morning! (Eight hour time difference!)

After getting through the shortest passport line ever, thanks to the fact that we were at the front of the plane and that most people on our flight were connecting to elsewhere in Europe and hitting up duty-free for the recommended alcohol purchase (alcohol is very expensive in Iceland, and most people suggest picking up a small supply at duty free for your stay), we made it to our coach for the trip to the city.  Even though it was morning, it was dark, so hard to know what to think about Iceland yet.

As we made our way into the city (about a 40 minute bus trip), we drove through the city to drop people off at the various hotels. I was really surprised at how crowded Reykjavik was- and by the appearance of a Taco Bell and KFC on the side of the road. Most of the residents of Iceland live in Reykjavik, so it makes sense that it's busy there. No really tall buildings in the city and no industry other than aluminium processing.  We finally ended up at our hotel, dropped our bags and ate our complimentary buffet breakfast. Since my stomach thought it was 1 AM at this point, it was a bit confusing, but yummy.  Then back to our room for a nap- and to enjoy this view!
Then it was up again to head into the old part of the city- no time for sleeping!

Daniel and I do well together traveling, except for one slight problem. We both utterly and completely lack any sense of direction. And for some reason, we decided to just wing it on our walk into the city. We could see the large church that we were headed to, and that seemed like enough.

Our 20 minute walk turned into more like an hour walk. And it was POURING down rain and windy. Not particularly cold (it was around 40 most of the time we were there), but very wet. Eventually we defeated the church's attempts to hide from us and made it there.

We even got to hear the organist playing the big pipe organ while we were in the church, which was pretty cool for us, since organs aren't a big thing at the types of church we usually attend.

Then it was off for more wandering around the city and a trip to the excellent National Museum. During our wanderings around Reykjavik, we were entertained by all the crowds of kids and pre-teens who were going in and out of shops and cafes, singing a song and collecting candy. Apparently we arrived on the day that is the Icelandic equivalent of Halloween!
National costumes- the embroidery was gorgeous!

At the pond in the center of town. Reminded me of our Green Lake in Seattle

Cool building

After that we headed back to the hotel, since I was wearing unsensible shoes and my feet were freezing and we were tired.  We stopped to pick up sandwiches at a shop- I still have no idea what I ate, but it was good. Oh, and we saw these, which made me smile. 

We capped off the evening by watching TV from England, France, China, and Germany.  I think there may have been an Icelandic station in there too.  Oh, and I think I opened the Icelandic Schnapps that I bought at the airport. That, plus the almost no sleep for two days pretty much finished me off for Wednesday :)