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