Sunday, December 25, 2005

Happy Christmas!

Merry Christmas everyone! We're having a lovely Christmas with my family. Anna has been enjoying all the attention that Amma, Afi and Uncle Kiddi have been lavishing on her. Plus, she got a lot of loot.

Once I get the pictures uploaded, I'll post them. Hope everyone is happy and joyous today!

Sunday, December 04, 2005


I am now the proud owner of my very own two year old girl. I never thought that a twenty-four month period of my life could be so eventful, exhilarating, hilarious, exhausting and delightful.

We had a little birthday party for Anna this morning with a few of her little friends. The kids all played really well together. I thought that there may be some fighting over toys, but alas peace reigned superior today. The highlight of the day was Anna singing happy birthday to herself. She has decided that whenever a candle is lit it is time to sing happy birthday in her own version of the song which goes: “Happy birthday to you Anna happy birthday; happy birthday to you Anna happy birthday; happy birthday to you Anna happy birthday” etc. etc. She’s got the tune right, but I guess she’s decided that she’d like better lyrics.

We had cupcakes today instead of a cake, and they were a big hit with the kids. I’m not so sure how the parents felt about them because chocolate frosting got everywhere.

In other news, we went to a Christmas party yesterday where Santa Claus made a little visit. Boy, that did not go over well with Anna. She was absolutely terrified of Santa and wouldn’t go anywhere near him.

The garbanza has taken up kick-boxing in utero. It seems that she wants to be ready for anything once she makes her arrival. She moves around a ton, and lately it feels like she’s been using my bladder as a trampoline.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Pillow Talk

One of the highlights of my day is when I put Anna to bed, especially for her afternoon nap. Now, I don’t mean for this to sound as bad as it does. The reason I love it is that I get to listen to the conversations she has with her stuffed animals before she finally gets tired and falls asleep. In the afternoons it usually takes Anna longer to settle down and fall asleep so I am treated to an extra long monologue. Lately, there seems to be some friction between the stuffed hippo and zebra. The other day I heard, “Hippo, no pushing zebra, no pushing.” And also, “be nice, be nice.” I guess the laws of the jungle apply among the stuff animals of Anna’s crib.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Going Native

Anna has gone native. Lately, when I don’t respond immediately to her calls of “Mamma”, she starts calling “mum-may, mum-may, MUM-MAAAAY”. This continues until she gets an answer. I have to say I much prefer being called mamma to being call mummay. She also tells me when she needs to have her diaper changed by saying “change nappy”. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that she says these things. My biggest issue is remembering to use the right word consistently so she doesn’t get confused. I end up confusing our babysitter, Angelika, all the time. I always forget to say jumper instead of sweater.

Anna and I went to a Halloween party last Friday, but we didn’t do much for Halloween here. Trick or treating isn’t that common here, and I live on a dead-end so there isn’t much foot traffic passing by. We had one group of trick or treaters. Hmmmm, what to do with all that leftover candy? I have pretty good idea of what will happen to it, and what has already happened to it. Let’s just say that it feels like the Garbanza is doing the Mexican hat dance in my belly from the massive increase of sugar in my bloodstream.

Yesterday, I discovered a new activity for Anna to tire her out and entertain her at the same time – chasing squirrels. It provides loads of entertainment for both of us.

Friday, October 28, 2005

On our way to a Halloween party!

Puss in Boots

Thursday, October 20, 2005


Anna is going to have a little sister, and come March, Carlos will be seriously outnumbered. The ultrasound today was great. The little Garbanza looks healthy, and at one point, it even looked like she was waving at us.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Back In Action

Boy oh boy, a lot has happened since I last posted. Yikes.

At the end of August and beginning of September, we all went to Spain for a two week vacation. To be brief, it didn’t turn out quite as we expected. We first went to Ibiza for what we thought was going to be a lazy beach vacation. Not exactly. First, Carlos and I discovered that we should have done more homework before we booked a package vacation. Second, we all got sick. First Carlos and Anna got a 24-hour stomach virus and spent a day and some vomiting up a storm. Then I got sick and spent the rest of the vacation in bed. I don’t recall ever being so sick. Poor Carlos – I don’t think it was much of a vacation for him to look after a vomiting, pregnant wife. After a miserable week at the beach, we went to Barcelona to see the abuelos. I was still in an invalid-like state until our last day there, but I think Anna and Carlos had fun. The good news is that the Garbanzo survived this nightmare well. And, as of tomorrow afternoon, we’ll know whether we’re expecting a Garbanzo or a Garbanza – stay tuned!

After our less than ideal vacation, we made it back to London. Things have been quite busy. We’ve had a number of house-guests visiting which has been a ton of fun. We always love visitors (hint hint).

Anna has been talking a ton lately. Suddenly, she’s started forming sentences like “Let’s go home.” And “See you later.” It is really wild to hear her language development. We’re working on the colors right now. She always gravitates toward her orange crayon, but also likes “peeple” (aka purple). Anna’s hair has also started to really grow and get a bit thicker, finally. So, I’ve posted a recent picture of her with a new hairdo.

Stay tuned for Garbanzo(a) news tomorrow!

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Introducing the Garbanzo!

Ladies and Gentlemen – meet the “Garbanzo” – who will be arriving the first week of March. Anna is going to have company! Why “Garbanzo” you may ask? When I first told Carlos that I was pregnant, I said that the baby was about the size of a garbanzo bean, and the name just stuck. Right now, the baby is a bit bigger than a garbanzo bean – 66 mm to be exact. We got confirmation from today’s ultrasound that everything looks good – hurray! Now we just have to wait until I reach 20 weeks to find out whether it is a boy or girl.

So, Garbanzo makes four.

Gliding in the English Countryside

On Sunday we all went for a drive in the English countryside – to Essex (northeast of London) to be exact. It was a gorgeous day for a drive, and we had fun until we got off the main motorways and onto the country roads. Boy, the lack of signage makes finding your way around rather difficult. Carlos and I have had a number of experiences of the crazy road signs here – we can’t get over the signs on the motorways that just say “The North” or “The West” as an indicator of which way to go. To me, that isn’t really helpful. Anyway, after making our way through a number of windy roads, we made it to our destination – Ridgewell Airfield. We each went for a glider ride. Pretty cool, huh? Carlos had gotten a gift certificate that he could redeem for the glider ride, and I got to tag along. We each did what is called a wire launch rather than being pulled into the air by another plane. The glider is attached to a wire winch (I think that’s the right term), and it pulls the glider up into the air at about a 70 degree angle really fast. Let’s just say that I’ve had moments in my life where I’ve felt less queasy. Once you reach about 1000 feet, the wire is released, and you just glide around. The gliding bit was fun, and it was a beautiful, cloudless day – a great way to see the surrounding countryside. Overall, though, I wouldn’t do it again. I think Carlos came to the same conclusion. We both thought it was a cool experience, but we definitely don’t feel a burning desire to do it again.

Anna had a grand old time. She got to see lots of gliders up close which she thought was very exciting. Plus, she got to have a little picnic lunch at the airfield. Here’s a picture of her eating her latest favorite – grapes.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Good books

I've read a few fantastic books recently. If anyone is looking for a good book to read, I highly recommend the following:

The Wind Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami. EXCELLENT EXCELLENT EXCELLENT

Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell.

Saturday by Ian McEwan. I just started this book, but it is already so good, so well written that I know I can recommend it.

Confession of an Ugly Stepsister by Gregory Maguire. A very fun read (fictionalized account of where the fairy tale Cinderella may have come from).

The Other Boleyn Girl Philippa Gregory. Great historical fiction.

Got milk? . . . or sushi? . . . or olives?

Anna’s tastebuds continue to surprise me. Thankfully, she has finally started drinking milk. It has been a long time coming. After she was weaned, she would not drink formula or milk unless it was poured over cereal. That was it, nothing else. I tried a number of different types of formula and milk (soy milk, flavored milk, etc.). Nada. She just didn’t want any of it. Then, when we were in Iceland last month, she started to ask for milk and then actually drinking it when I gave it to her. Ever since we came back to London, she’s been drinking milk constantly!! At last!

I think Anna’s tastebuds are taking more after Carlos than me. She is constantly surprising me by the things she wants to eat. For instance, she eats sushi – the vegetable or shrimp variety. I haven’t given her the raw fish ones yet, but if she is anything like Carlos, she’ll eat those up lickety split once she gets a taste of them. Anna also loves olives. She would eat an entire jar if I’d let her. As soon as she sees the jar in the fridge, she starts asking for “Oleees Oleeeees” very insistently. Anna has also started eating the Spanish cured meats like jamon and fuet (a salami-like cured sausage that is delicious). She can’t get enough of it. I’m just glad that Anna doesn’t seem to have inherited my huge sweet-tooth.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Snip Snip

Anna had her first haircut on Saturday (that is, if you don’t count my minor trim of her bangs over Easter). Carlos and I decided to make an outing of the event, and we took Anna to Harrods to have her hair cut. I know, I know, it sounds ridiculous to take your child to Harrods to have her hair cut, but it is the only place I know of in London that has a children’s hair salon. I thought it would be fun for her first haircut to go there. So, Anna’s mullet is now gone. I kind of miss it because it was a rather cute mullet with curls, but a mullet no less.

New words:
mooksick = music
eebah = zebra
doubleshoe = double u (the letter)

Friday, July 22, 2005

Posing before going for a splash in the hot tub.

Feeding the ducks in downtown Reykjavik with Amma.

Talking to a horse with my uncle Kiddi.

Coloring at the cottage with my favorite hat.

I'm a big dork

I just realized that I posted almost the same post twice. I thought I had lost the first version of “it’s been a long time”, so I tried to recreate it, and I didn’t think to actually check the blog to see if the first post had been published. I’m a big goof.

It's been a long time

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted. I don’t know why that is. I kept trying to write something after the July 7th bombings, but I couldn’t come up with anything sufficiently eloquent or appropriate. Just a knot in my stomach – which got a bit tighter today when I heard the news that there had been more bombings. So, now, here I am posting (finally) because I have terrible insomnia, and I cannot get to sleep.

Anna and I just got back from Iceland. We spent a bit over a week at the cottage with my parents and brother. Anna had the time of her life. I planned this trip so that it would coincide with a mini family reunion that my mom and uncles planned to commemorate what would have been my grandmother’s 100th birthday. The reunion was wonderful – I got to see a lot of cousins that I haven’t seen in ages. Also, I found out that my grandmother had written stories about her life and poetry. Who knew??? (It turns out that a lot of people knew, just not me) My mom read one of her stories, and it was amazing. For me, it shed a new light on my grandmother’s perspective on life and her personality. I’m hoping to get photocopies of the stories and poetry that she left behind. I can’t wait to read it.

I think it is going to be tough for Anna to return to reality after this trip. She got way too much attention while we were in Iceland. Her grandparents, uncle, great-uncles, friends all played lots of games with her and let her be the center of their attention. She’s going to think life in London is really boring after all that. Even more so after we start back with our regular bedtime routine tomorrow (that all went out the window while we were away).

It's been a long time

Wow, I really haven't posted anything in a long long time. I don't really have any good reason why. I wanted to write something really eloquent and moving after the July 7th bombings, but I could think of anything to say. I just had a big bit in my stomach (which got bigger today when I heard about another round of bombings).

It is now almost 1:30 AM, and I have terrible insomnia. Anna and I got back from Iceland today. We had a really great time at the cottage, visiting with Amma, Afi, Kiddi and a host of other relatives. I had planned this trip so that we could be in Iceland when my mom's family celebrated my grandmother's 100th birthday. She would have been 100 this past May, and my mom and her brothers decided to have a sort of mini-reunion in her honor. It was fantastic to see my extended family. There were a lot of cousins at the reunion that I hadn't seen in ages. The other fun thing that came out of this reunion is that I found out that my grandmother wrote some stories and poetry -- wow, I had no idea! My mom read one of her stories (more like memoir-like stories) at the reunion, and it was amazing to gain a whole new insight into my grandmother's life and personality. My mom said she'd photocopy the stories and poetry for me -- I can't wait to read it.

In Anna news, she spent her time in Iceland charming all her relatives. Boy, that little lady got way too much attention while we were there. But, she had a fabulous time -- imagine, being the center of attention all the time, not having to have a bath every day (because the cottage only has a shower, and she hated the shower), and getting to stay up late every night!! It is going to be really tough to get her back into her normal routine.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Shiny, not so happy person

It is hot. Really hot. Hot weather makes me very shiny. As Carlos puts it (while the Spaniard looks cool and non-shiny), “In the summer, you are from a family of shiny people.” It’s true – I think my entire family is not genetically engineered to deal with hot weather. We all take on a rather red, shiny appearance as soon as the mercury rises above 75 F.

We’re experiencing a bit of a heat wave in London right now, and we don’t have A/C. Frankly, it would seem a little wasteful to have air conditioning here since it is this hot for such a short period of the year. Still, this heat is killing me. I’ve been trying to work from home all day today, and I can’t seem to get anything done other than sweat profusely.

It remains to be seen if Anna will join the shiny people or if the Spanish side will win out. For her sake, I hope she’ll be a non-shiny person in the summer. It is already clear that she won’t have her mother’s freckly, sunburn prone skin – lucky girl. But, she doesn’t seem to be dealing well with this heat.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

A Day, A Decade -- No big diff

Yesterday Anna and I met up with some friends from McGill – Tiff and Ben and their daughter Clara (who is two months older than Anna). It was fantastic to see them and to finally meet little Clara in the flesh (you can follow her exploits at Before I met them at the train station, I was thinking about the fact that I hadn’t seen Tiff and Ben for about 10 years. Who knew that 10 years could go by so quickly! Unfortunately, the weather didn’t cooperate with us yesterday, and we ended up exploring my neck of the woods in the rain. The good thing about miserable, rainy days is that they are ideal for sitting in cozy English pubs and catching up with old friends.

When did I reach a point in my life where not seeing friends for a decade is (a) possible, and (b) not such a big deal. I guess with friends living all over the world, it is hard to meet up with everyone on a regular basis. The funny thing is that when I saw Tiff and Ben, I didn’t feel like much time had passed since I saw them last.

Anna continues to chat away. New words are:
Tingka = toothbrush, I want to brush my teeth
Opsuh = octopus

I love my boots.

This smells lovely.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Slick Baby

I think I need to have Anna eat wearing a showercap. She has become increasingly fond of rubbing her hands in her hair when they are covered with food. This morning was especially bad because she decided to rub her buttered toast (and buttery hands) all over hair. So, out Anna went this morning with Angelika looking like she just stepped off the set for West Side Story. I was half expecting her to launch into "When you're a Jet . . . ".

Sunday, June 05, 2005


Carlos had a bit of a surprise yesterday when we were playing with Anna. She started looking at him and saying: “Cahlohs, Cahlohs”. What????? Poor Carlos looked at her and said, “No no no, Papa Papa” (pointing emphatically at himself). Wow, where did this come from? I don’t think she understands that she’s saying Papa’s name, but it really threw us for a loop.

We went to the Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew today and saw the most fantastic glass art exhibition. Kew Gardens are one of the most extensive botanical gardens in the UK and are close to where we live. We bought season passes to the gardens and go there a lot. Generally, we go just to amble around (not paying much attention to all the plants) and to let Anna run around (the gardens also have a great play area for kids). Now, the gardens are exhibiting glass sculpture by Dale Chihuly in the most amazing way. If anyone has been to the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas, he is the artist who made those incredible glass flowers on the ceiling of the hotel’s lobby. His glass sculptures are placed throughout the gardens, amongst the plants. It is really incredible. I’m going to try and go back this coming week and take some pictures to post here. I was totally blown away. I haven’t figured out yet if the sculptures that are in the gardens existed prior to this exhibit or if there were created solely for exhibiting in the gardens. I think it is the latter. It is very difficult to describe without pictures, but his work has been placed in such a way that it looks almost like it is part of the plantscape. Very amazing.

New words

Teekuhl = Mr. Tickle (thank you Maya Key); this generally means please read the book Mr. Tickle for me
Cumpee = crab (not as out of this world as it seems because she has a book called Clumsy Crab that she loves; seems to have combined the two words)
Mango = just emerged yesterday; I don’t know where she learned this word because I don’t think either Carlos or I have taught it to her, but it does in fact seem to refer to the fruit
Laybuh = ladybug

I'm happier looking in this picture

18 Months -- wannna make something of it??

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Ohlee! 18 Months Today

Today Anna is 18 months. What a milestone. As I’m sure I’ve already written, time moves super fast these days.

I’m at the computer writing while listening to the most lovely rendition of “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.” Anna is in bed for her nap, and we’ve read a number of books already. I put her in her crib with Piglet and her doll and a few books for her to read to them. She done reading and is now singing (in a tiny, very high pitched voice) “Kinkull kinkull lil tar” – the words fade out a bit after that first line, but amazingly she’s got the tune spot on.

It was been so much fun watching her recently. She’s really turning into a funny little person. The crazy thing is to see her traits that she gets from Carlos and her traits that she gets from me, but the craziest thing is to see her traits that are all her own. One thing that is a little disturbing is her temper. The majority of the time Anna is a very good natured and happy child. But, when she’s tired and something frustrates her, look out! When she gets mad, she makes me think of the Incredible Hulk. Remember on the TV show when someone made the scientist mad (I can’t remember his name), he would look at them and say through clenched teeth: “You don’t want to make me angry.” Well, Anna gets look and then turns into the Hulk – except for she doesn’t turn green, she doesn't triple in size and she doesn’t turn into Lou Ferrigno. Yesterday she got mad at her play stroller (a toddler-sized stroller for dolls, etc. that she just got yesterday – it seems to be a de rigeur toy here and Anna loves it) because it wouldn’t cooperate with her plans to place three teddy bears in at the same time. So she clenched her fists, yelled and bit the stroller. Yikes. Hopefully, this temper will ease up once her coordination develops more and her stroller plans don’t get thwarted quite so often.

We went to Barcelona last weekend, for an extra long weekend (it was a Bank Holiday weekend here). It was great to see the abuelos (español for grandparents for you gringos out there), and they went nuts for Anna. The weather was wonderful, lots of sun and the perfect temperature. We flew with Swiss International Airlines (I think it replaced Swiss Air), and they get a huge thumbs up in my book. Wow, they were really great. Excellent customer service (not something that is a defining characteristic of Iberia Airlines), and the best thing was on the way back we flew through Zurich and the Zurich Airport has a gorgeous playroom/nursery for kids. Anna was on cloud nine! During our layover, there was a huge room filled with toys for her to play in. Just a service that the airport offers. Wow.

On the job front, I’ve got training scheduled for Thursday next week. I think the scope of my work will become clearer after this. For now, I think I’ll be adding information to the organization’s website about cases in the US involving the Alien Tort Claims Act (a law that has been used to sue for human rights violations in US courts). Oh, in case I haven’t mentioned, the organization is a small non-profit that acts as a resource center for information on human rights and business. In particular, they monitor activities (both positive and negative) of companies as they relate to international human rights. It should be really interesting.

New words:
Ohlee = hola
Tannkoo = thank you
Gassjass = gracias
Umblela = umbrella

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

This Boot Was Made For Walking

Anna’s obsession with her wellies continues. This morning she insisted on getting her boots and putting them on. However, after managing to get one boot on, she decided that the other was unnecessary. So she spent a good portion of the next hour or two stumping around in just one boot.

I had a job interview today for a volunteer position. Finally, I’ve found an organization that will take me up on my offer for free legal help! Who would have thunk it would be so difficult to give one’s services away. The interview was in a crazy ‘60s or ‘70s era building. It was one of those buildings which, when it was built, I’m sure was heralded as very futuristic. Now it just looks kitschy and retro. The funniest thing about the building was the elevator lobby area. Instead of placing the buttons to call the elevator on the wall next to the elevator, the call buttons were on a large cylinder in the middle of the lobby with a really bright spotlight shining straight down on the cylinder. It looked a little Star Trek-ish to be (of the William Shatner TV show vintage).

New words:

Golleee = broccoli
Sjaaa = see ya
Googoo = gurka (Icel. for cucumber)

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Gusi - Extra Crispy

Gusi – Extra Crispy

Anna has become quite the little social butterfly. She has started waving at and saying hello to everyone we meet on the street, on the tube, on the bus, in the store, etc., etc. The funny thing is practically everyone she waves at says hello back to her. It is kind of nice to see the effect she has on people. Generally, she makes people smile.

Today, Anna was extra crispy cute. That’s the term Carlos and I use when she’s being particularly cute and funny. She was with her babysitter, Angelika, for most of the day. Anna now calls Angelika, “Leeka”, and that makes Angelika laugh. I really lucked out with Angelika; she is amazing with Anna. Come to think of it, Anna is always in an amazing mood on the days she spends with Angelika.

Wellies are not made for walking much when you’re 17 months old. Anna is obsessed with her wellies. She walks all over the house either with them or in them, says “boots boots boots boots”, over and over again. Today we discovered that it is rather hard to maneuver when wearing the boots. She insisted on wearing the boots first thing this morning, and the first obstacle was getting on to Charlie (the rocking caterpillar), then the next obstacle was getting up the stairs, and so on and so forth. I think by the end of the day it was starting to dawn on her that walking around in boots isn’t all that it was cracked up to be in her little head.

Note to self – must be careful what I say around Anna. Carlos called today to tell me that he needed to work really late tonight, and he was quite bummed about it. I said to him “that really sucks” to commiserate with his long hours (he worked until midnight last night – I can definitely relate). Anyway, Anna was next to me when I said this and instantly parroted back to me, “sucks sucks sucks”. Great.

New words:
Tuhrtuh = turtle
Bahss = butterfly
Kaneh = kanína ( Icelandic for rabbit)
Mazzah = manzana (Spanish for apple – we’ve got “apple” down pat, but now I’ve decided that we need to throw some Spanish words into the mix, especially since we’re going to Barcelona in two weeks – got to impress the abuelos)

Saturday, May 14, 2005

A Hug and a Mmmog

I’ve been trying to teach Anna to blow kisses for a while now, and I’m not making very much progress. I think I’ve gotten as far as I’ll get for the time being. Anna will bring her hand to her mouth and say “mmmog”. I guess it is her version of the “mmmwaw” noise we make when we blow kisses. Anna also gives her teddies mmmogs when she says good night to them.

New words for the dictionary:

Hiss = horse
Gohss = sock (I don’t know where that came from, sock sounds almost the same in Icelandic as it does in English)
Ohdonnoh = Sing “Old McDonald had a farm” for me

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Buggy Envy

Since we’ve moved to London, I’ve encountered a new feeling – Buggy Envy. I don’t drive here since generally Carlos takes the car to work and since the roads here are about as wide as a stick of gum (yes, I am a big chicken). This means that I walk everywhere, and Anna comes along in her stroller.

By way of background, to bridge that vast cultural divide between the US and UK, people don’t say “stroller” here. It is a buggy, pram or pushchair. Second of all, the selection of buggies here is astonishing. There are probably three times as many varieties available here as there are available in the US. Since a lot of people here don’t drive and walk everywhere with their infants in their buggies, the buggies take on some car-like qualities. I now understand the importance of having a big basket underneath the buggy – it is like the trunk of your car. After a big grocery shop, you can just stuff all your things in the basket and not have to carry anything. Then there are the different sizes of buggies. There is the SUV of the buggy-world, with big, air-filled wheels, a cushy seat and generally unwieldy on urban sidewalks. There is the middle-of-the road buggy that is like the family sedan. It gets you from point A to point B efficiently, but it doesn’t have a lot of style. Then, there is the Yugo of the buggy world. It is a tiny, flimsy buggy that makes you worried that if you bump the buggy into something, it may just crumple like an accordion. Now, as I walk around town, I find myself looking around at all the buggies with rather covetous eyes. Some of the buggies have become like status symbols in the same way that luxury cars are. For instance, the Bugaboo is a really cool looking buggy that a number of movie stars have been photographed using, but it is ridiculously expensive (I think they sell for about $750 or $800). Nevertheless, I find myself thinking wouldn’t it be cool to have a Bugaboo. There’s a new buggy on the market here from Stokke (cool Norwegian company that made the crib we bought –which I love) that seems to be trying to be the next Bugaboo. I’m not sure it is going to work. This is one weird looking buggy. I think it looks like an office chair with a baby sized seat on top and handles to push it around. It just looks a little silly.

In Anna news, today she started asking for a song that I sing for her by name. I’ve been singing an Icelandic nursery rhyme for her called “Bí bí og blaka” and today she kept saying “bí bí” to me until I sang the song for her. Also, she’s become the resident blesser in our household. She just walks around saying “bishyou” to everyone and everything. I was trying to explain to her that she needs to wait for an achoo before saying bless you. Maybe she just thinks people need to be blessed, sneeze or no sneeze.

Anna’s “bishyou” obsession has reminded me of two recent and strange occurrences. It has now happened on two separate occasions to Carlos and me when we’ve been out walking with Anna (safely ensconced in her buggy) that an old man has stopped us and done the sign of the cross over Anna. Is it just me or is that weird? It makes me wonder if Carlos and I look like such heathens (or bad parents) to old men that they feel the need to cross Anna to give her some extra protection?!?! Has this ever happened to anyone else?


It is almost 8:30 on a Tuesday morning, and Anna is still sleeping. I'm actually a little nervous about writing this because I think it might jinks me. I don't know what has happened over the last week or so, but Anna has been sleeping later and later in the morning. She used to wake up consistently between 6:45 and 7:00, and lately she's been sleeping until 8:00. Dare I hope that I might get to "sleep in" this weekend?

Anna turned 17 months on the 4th. Time does fly.

Here are some new words for the dictionary:

dookee = "dukka", Icelandic for doll
ahss = eyes (I'm still not sure that she understands this word because she seems to always point to her ears when she says this).
pit = piglet
bishyou = Bless you (there been a lot of sneezing going on with all the colds being passed around)

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Hurray for British (snack) Food!

What a wonderful discovery I made this weekend – salt and vinegar rice cakes! What could be better?? I can give in to my crazy salty-sour cravings without the buttishness of eating potato chips. I have to say that the snack/sweet aisle at a British supermarket is something to behold. So many choices: every flavor of chip you can imagine and the sweets are like something out of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Delish chocolates and gummie candy. It’s a PMSer’s dream.

This weekend I had to go into central London to get my laptop fixed. Yup, yet another PC of mine has crashed. That makes three. Yikes. How is it that every PC I’ve ever owned has crashed, but it hasn’t happened to any of Carlos’ PCs [he was looking pretty nervous when I was using his computer while mine was being fixed]. Now I have my trusty laptop back with a new hard drive, CD drive and twice as much memory as before. Hopefully, this upgrade will last for a while. I have to say that after this laptop bites the dust (as it inevitably will given my current track record) I’m switching teams. It is going to be all about the Apple iBook or PowerBook. No more PCs for this lady.

Observation on my way into London on the Tube: As I’m waiting to change trains at the Earl’s Court stop, I happened to glance across the platform and witness a very interesting outfit on a man on the other side. This man looked to be in his 40s, glasses, thinning hair, not the best posture, Englishman pale, and he was sporting a glorious, off-the-shoulder cowl neck mohair sweater complete with a rather large sparkly brooch on the cowl. This he decided to pair with a subdued pair of trousers and loafers. It really made me wonder. Was he cross dressing? Who knows.

I’ve decided that I need to keep track of Anna’s language development. She has all sorts of words that are like her own language. Right now she speaks a bit of a mixture of English and Icelandic. In addition, there are a bunch of words that Anna has made her own . . . so to speak. So, here’s the dictionary:

Aku = avocado
TawbEE = strawberry
Papa = (1) Carlos, (2) Pasta, or (3) Puppy
Tutu = tomato
Ho = “horfa” (Icelandic for “watch”, i.e., Anna wants to watch Baby Einstein)
Ange = orange
Ban or Bani = banana
Beed = bread
bansEE = “bangsi”, Icelandic for teddy bear
tepit = “tepið”, Icelandic for blanket (VERY important item)
MEEE = "meira", Icelandic for more
cheechee = Charlie, her rocking horse caterpillar named Charlie

Friday, April 29, 2005


That is the sound of me taking a bounding leap onto, and landing bum-first on the bandwagon. Yup, I've become a blogger. It has become a bit of a cliche, but there it is. I'm writing about me, my life in London and, of course, the owner of 90% of my heartstrings (husband, family and friends own the balance) -- Miss Anna Freyja.

We moved to London eight months ago and made it through a dreary London winter. (Now I understand the British obsession with going somewhere sunny in the winter.) When we first came here, I thought: "I'll find a part time job by January." Then in January, I thought: "I'll find a part time job by March." Now, at the end of April, I'm thinking that a part time job just may not be in the cards for me right now. So, I spend the bulk of my time with a small, energetic 17 month old. And, believe it or not, it is a lot of fun. Maybe not the best way to further a legal career (which really isn't a lot of fun), but lots of fun.