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13 posts from May 2008

May 30, 2008

Young Diplomat, Nicholas Q. Dinoia

We had a special visitor to the Embassy today and, yes, Peter was quite busy with this visit.  I think you can probably guess who it was, but if not, the photo below gives a little more insight. 

Nicky Quinn was dressed to the nines in a new outfit for the occasion and was on his best behavior.  He even rated a special mention by name from the Ambassador as the youngest member of the Embassy community.  We were all quite honored and he showed his appreciation by with his usual calm demeanor, as displayed below.   DSC_0087

May 28, 2008

World's Strongest Baby

Nick is really into tummy time after watching some of Iceland's Strongest Man competition at Smaralind last weekend.  Like most things here, we just happened upon it.  Very interesting to watch.  I had my camera and thought about taking a picture, but it seemed like a closed event.  And I certainly don't want the competitors mad at me for throwing off their balance just to get a good shot.

Like all other babies, Nick has been working on his neck muscles to strengthen them for his upcoming crawl-a-thon.  So, no pics of Iceland's strongest man, but how about strongest neck muscles in a baby?
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You blinked, didn't you?

And now you can't find the picture of Kelsey on the farm (on the home page) on the school website?  Yes, that is the one problem: they are too darn good at keeping the site updated! 

So, instead you probably clicked through to a picture of the older kids at Glacier Bay.  They took a field trip there last week after working for almost a month to earn the 130,000 ISK (that's $1780 to those of you in the States).  They washed cars, babysat, walked dogs, held a yard sale (for which our movers are supremely grateful), hosted a restaurant night at the school and taught basketball.

The kids worked tirelessly around their regular classes to raise the money for their trip.  They met their goal and hired a bus to take them to the Glacial Lagoon for a one day trip.  It may not seem academic to some, but I was very impressed with both the efforts of the kids and the organizational skills of their teacher (Cait's second grade teacher).

Lest you think poor Cait was the only one not going on a field trip, that is not at all true.  Grades 3-5 had a surprise trip to the farm this past Monday.  I have attached a photo of Cait and a new friend.  As you can guess, this is pretty much all we heard about Monday night.  I
Caitlin and kitty

May 23, 2008

Kelsey on the farm

Check out the photo here and another one here (scroll down the page a bit).  The Kindergarten and First Grade class had a great time at the farm on Monday.  Kelsey's only issue was that the cow's milk was "too cold to drink."  Huh?  As opposed to the stuff from the fridge?  Well, anyway, they had a good time and, yes, they are still wearing winter coats in late May!

May 22, 2008

The (k)nick-knack turns 3

months old! He is 3 months old today and 'talking' up a storm.  He holds his head up high and really seems to want to crawl during tummy time.  I think he would except that little belly still gets in the way and keeps him in place.

He visits the doctor for his official appointment on Thursday and will get his first round of vaccinations.  They are a month behind the States on the vaccination schedule from the States, which is actually good for us. This will give us a little more time to get settled with a pediatrician in 'wherever the heck we are going to live', CA.

UPDATE:  He was an angel during the vaccination process.  Not that crying would be bad, but not  a whimper.  It also helps they now do a cocktail, rather than 5 separate pokes as I remember from the past. 

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May 19, 2008

Caitlin's Nightstand

We spent the night at Glacier Bay Saturday night.  More later on the details (see album at left - Jokulsarlon), but suffice it to say a great way to spend our 11th anniversary.

Img_0712Now about the picture.  We spent one night...ONE NIGHT and this was her book minimum for travel.  I can see her hoarding books for the move already...wrapping up in clothes in her suitcase to hide from us (as though we would deny her!)...confusing the heck out of the TSA people.

I keep reading articles about children who don't read (don't enjoy it) and thank my lucky stars our biggest issue is getting her nose out of the book to do other things once in a while.  Really, though, 8 books for one night....

May 15, 2008

Artsy Times

The annual Reykjavik Arts Festival has begun again.  You can rest assured the house placed in the lake is there on purpose, another nod to the conceptual arts movement that is so popular here. Granted, the artist is not from here, however, it fits in quite well with some of the works I have seen here. As much as I appreciate that art does not have to be completely formal, I just cannot wrap my head around most of it. 

I prefer pieces that are unique but showcase the beauty of Iceland as an end result, with use of the artist's talents in a particular medium.  We have purchased quite a bit from Rebekka for our new home in CA and we have also shared some of her pieces with friends and family.  We are also fans of SigrĂșn, whose works are created in her private studio, which is the only "hot-glass studio in Iceland."  In fact, some of her works are in private collections in the U.S.  Well, collections in private homes, and the works are very much appreciated from what I understand.

Img_0700So, given that many museums (and the Festival) tend to promote more abstract and conceptual works, I was quite intrigued by these photos nailed up on the gate around the old Kebabhusid.

It is part of the Arts Festival and far more 'real' than I expected.  I was curious and it turns out it is a collage of photos of Icelandic children; one picture of one child from each town in Iceland.  The kids are apple-cheeked, bright-eyed, and truly represent the children of Iceland and was missing just one thing.

Where the heck was this cutie?

Continue reading "Artsy Times" »

May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day!

I woke up to breakfast in bed today, courtesy of Peter, Caitlin and Kelsey.  Nicholas helped by taking a break from his breakfast so I could eat without eating over him.  It was a lovely meal of French toast, Pete's famous potatoes, reallly crispy bacon & coffee.

The girls insisted I open my presents right away.  Both girls had made cards at school and Caitlin made me a napkin holder shaped like a flower.  Kelsey joined Pete in giving me my own seltzer maker!  I gave up soda (Coke, etc.) two years ago for Lent and with a few exceptions during my pregnancy, haven't had any since.  I found that seltzer with lemon or lime is just as refreshing and has the added benefits of no caffeine or sugar.

Oddly enough, I saw one on a blog on Thursday and thought about asking for one for my birthday.  We can get bottled seltzer here, but I hate the wasting so much plastic on something that doesn't last very long. Now if I could just get one that makes Coke Zero for Pete!  In other thoughts...

Continue reading "Happy Mother's Day!" »

May 10, 2008

Conflicted?

I had a little trouble thinking of a good topic today, as I am just a little bit weary from the day spa. My friend, B., treated me to an afternoon at the Nordica spa.  We enjoyed a brief workout, relaxing in the hot pots, the awesome head and shoulders massage in the hot pots, the saunas (steamy & dry) and, finally, a pedicure for me and a facial for B.  It was lovely to lounge and not have a care in the world other than waiting for my fotsnyrting. 

I even forgot, momentarily, how conflicted I am these days.

Continue reading "Conflicted?" »

May 09, 2008

Thanks & thoughts

The thanks is to my friend, Diana.  I met her when she enrolled her son in my Mother Tongue class soon after she moved to Iceland.  She has been here not quite a year, but introduced me to a group I had not known about, a mom's group run by the Red Cross in Kopavogur.   

Since it hasn't hit me that we really are leaving in 4 weeks and 3 days, it doesn't seem to me to be too late to meet new folks.  Of course, this being Iceland, I already knew another group member, as she is the au pair for two of Caitlin's friends (and their baby brother).  It was a fun morning, great to get out early and, yes, Nick was the charmer as usual.  It is their end of the year meeting next week, hopefully held at the Reykjavik Farm Park & Zoo (weather dependent) and we will be there with bells on. 

In other news, I have thought long and hard about how to blog daily.  I often intend to, but other commitments end up coming first.  I also would like to think that somehow this blog could help someone, somewhere, given all of the upheaval in the world today.  I could mention a whole string of events, just from the past few weeks.   However, given that many of these events are publicized, I thought it would be a nice touch to make known those issues/people/events that may need positive thought but may not be out there just yet...thus begins my Blogthought of the Day.

I won't always come up with one and would like to keep this interesting.  Therefore, I ask for audience participation.  If you would like to share something that needs some positive thought, send it my way, by email or a comment.  It may seem silly to some, but a few good vibes sent in someone's direction can go a long way.

Obviously, please send in something that is truly an issue.  It be concern for a family member, good luck wishes for a tough exam or thoughts for a tragedy-stricken part of the world that may not be well-known.  Also, not everyone wants their information out there in cyberspace. Let me know whether the person(s) in the thought should be anonymous or don't mind a little publicity.  Let's try the first one...   

Continue reading "Thanks & thoughts" »

May 07, 2008

An angel straight from heaven

Img_0667and one might never guess from this picture that the lack of blogging would have anything to do with said angel, right?  Despite my best efforts and intentions, I simply have not had the wherewithal (read: two hands) with which to take photos, upload photos and blog about photos.

Really, it is the blogging part.  With all of the feeding that is going on, it is often hard to find time or energy to put hands to keyboard and type.  I forgot how tiring it can be.  Rewarding, of course, but definitely tiring.  It is so hard to not compare oneself to the uber-bloggers out there  who just had  babies (there seem to be a ton). Who knows, perhaps they have family around, a household staff, no other kids or obligations? 

So, I will focus on the positive, that Nicholas is growing by leaps and bounds, all naturally!  He is gaining an average of 155 grams per week and now weighs a respectable 5025 grams (~11 lbs 1 oz).   His cheeks are chubby, his eyes bright and clear and he is so very alert and happy when awake.

He has even started to sleep through the night to some extent. Sunday night he slept from 11:30 until about 5 a.m. and Monday night from 10:34 p.m. until 4:11 a.m.  He broke out of the mold last night, but has barely slept today, so I am really hoping perhaps he will have a long stretch tonight and I can finally go through the cr*p, craft room?  Back to the joys of the PCS!

May 06, 2008

Storytime

Are they cute or what?   Img_0670

May 02, 2008

Baby Swim!

Yes, Nicholas had his first swimming experience yesterday.  Unfortunately, I was not able to get the camera and take a shot, but imagine the cutie pie in the tiniest little swim trunks you can, floating happily in his dad's arms...that was our 20 minute intro-to-swimming!

We will try to go again soon and will definitely snap a shot of the little guy.  Today's picture of the day will appear later and will be of Kelsey and her friend, M.  Really Cait's friend, but the two of them were the only ones interested in jumping on the trampoline in M.'s backyard yesterday.

As I was taking the photo, I realized I need to remember the camera more often as our days are numbered here.  We had lunch with a different set of friends early yesterday afternoon and as we walked to the playground afterwards, Kelsey and her friend, J., held hands as they ran off.  I watched and it occurred to me there are only a few more weeks of these precious moments here.

Not that they won't make friends in San Francisco, but I don't think the finality of leaving has hit them quite yet....