Friday, April 28, 2006

First do no harm...

This is the Witches' creed (I think it may also be the doctors' creed - I hope I'm not confusing the two)...

I get the irrates when I see someone I *KNOW* to have gone out of their way to make people's lives miserable (many families in fact, causing much stress and ill-health), tout themselves as a Pagan and even talk about Paganism in the same sentence at Occultism... The Occult is quite a world away from Paganism, let's just get that clear here and now... The only people who seriously believe that Paganism has anything whatsoever to do with Satanism or non-Godly practice are followers of the Abrahamic religions (Jews, Christians and Muslims)...

This same person was spouting rubbish that Fae are dangerous and should be avoided. Fae are no more dangerous than black people, men, or Muslims (I'm trying to point out that calling a whole sub-group of people/beings dangerous is prejudice - I'm not having a go at people of darker complexion, men or Muslims)... That is just Fae-ist!!!

This person obviously just doesn't understand Fae humour - poor thing...

Imcomprehensible rant over...

Just OMFG!!!


Ok, if you're sick of me going on about my weight loss, skip this post and stayed tuned for more interesting stuff later...

This is me (of course), takem a little while ago in the new jeams I bought this morning - size 16!!!

I met Jen up at the shops for a coffee and to pick up my keys (totally forgot to get the keys, argh!!!)... Anyway, thought I'd check out some new jeans as all my pants are falling off my now - thought I *try* a size 18, but then having been talking to Jen about the sizing/measurement charts I found yesterday, I decided to see if I really could fit a size 16 - but really didn't believe I wiykd, yk?

These jeans are size 16!!! I can't believe it, I'm totally stoked, I was giggling like a bloody school girl in the shop!

And they're so pretty too, with their little design on one leg and all...

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Size surprise!

When I was in Adelaide visiting mum, she gave me a couple of skirts she had been given by a friend who had been shopping in Europe a few months ago... One was way too big and not my style at all... The other was nice and neat and fitted great over the hips and was only a tiny bit snug on the waistband (but still wearable)... Anyway, the one that fitted was a size 42 European...

So, anyway, I went in search of size comparisons today, to see what size that would be in Australia and found this site...

http://www.cairnsconnect.com/visitor/clothingsizes.asp

It says a 42 European is a 14 Australian!!! Well, I just didn't believe it, to be honest... So, I check my winter coat that I bought in Norway when I was 17, and it is also a size 42 and it also fits great (with room for a winter jumper under it as it should be)...

So, then I thought I'd measure myself and get actual Aussie measurements for sizes (as tricky as they may be)... So I'm 99cm around my waist, and 117cm around my hips... and lo and behold if that doesn't put me in the 14-16 range (oddly enough I'm a 14 for hips and a 16 for waist - it's all the upperbelly flab, rofl... Can anyone say muffintop... - always knew I wasn't an hourglass figure)....

http://shop.abc.net.au/help/helpclothessizes.shtm

I'm just like, OMG!!!

Then I went to the bottom of the ABC site and measured the boys, and while they both are average height, they're both should only be wearing size 2-3 clothing!!! Well, I know they're not fat, but I don't think they're that small either, just right, actually... Kids must be getting a lot bigger these days, huh?

Monday, April 24, 2006

Confirmations and Christenings...

On Saturday, April 22nd, my cousin Bylgja (meaning small wave), was confirmed. On the same day, her newborn brother was Christened and given the name Johann Ingi after his paternal grandfather and maternal grandmother (my Amma Inga)...


Below you see my mum's three younger sisters, youngest to oldest from left to right; Helga, Groa, and Syta... They're all wearing Icelandic costume, and the silverwork on the bodices of their costumes are our particular family silverwork...


From the left you see my cousin Alda (meaning large wave - we have a whole nautical theme going in our family, I have another cousin named Bara, which mean's Giant wave, LOL)... Then there is my uncle Magnus' sister (I think)... Then my Aunty Helga (in Icelandic costume), my uncle Magnus, my cousin Heidrun (Heidi), and my cousin Bylgja, and I'm assuming the girl on the end is their cousin, but I don't know her name...

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Bryn's nose, Mummy's nose...

Ooooh, have to share!

Bryn can play the "Nosey, nosey" game!!!

I was just changing him on the change table a moment ago, and he put his index finger to his nose, and I said, "Bryn's nose", and he giggled... So, then he does it again and I repeat what I said before and he laughed again, so I put my face close to his and said, "Mummy's nose" and he put his finger on my nose, so I said, "Bryn's nose" again and again he put his finger on his nose!!!

The "Nosey, nosey" game was something I started with Erik when he was just about 2 months old, and he also started playing it once he got older (and once he had nose down pat we progressed to other facial parts and body parts)...

I know that Bryn understands so much of what we say, but it's still amazing when he responds so clearly to what we say!!! My clever little chappy!!!

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Ooooh, my dogs are waaaarm...

Had to put a pic of these on here...



These are Bryn's "my mum wants me to catch gay" slippers... They're little cream coloured puppies and they GLITTER! He's been desperately trying to take them off all evening, and I can't figure out why, hehehe!

My Amma



This is a picture of my Amma's mountain... I can't remember the name of it, and even if I could, none of you would be able to read it, hehehe! It is situated over a glacier, near where my Amma grew up on the farm with her parents and many siblings. My mum has a water colour painting of it on her wall at her house. The significance of this photo is that it is what one of my uncles put on his site on the day my Amma passed away (April 11th). The sun setting over Amma's mountain, isn't that lovely???

My Amma was one of 6 or 7 children, I think, and I know she was in the younger group, her and her brother were the children from her mum's second marriage. Her father won their farm in a card game, the bet being that if he could move his brood into the farm by the end of the weekend they could have it, and this meant travelling quite some distance, but they did and thereby won the farm...

My Amma came to work for my Langamma (my mum's dad's mum) as a scullery maid and to help care for her "sickly" son (my grandfather wasn't at all "sickly", but my Langamma was a rather over protective single mum of one child, hehehe - not that all single mum's of only children are over protective, but my Langamma certainly was, and my grandfather milked it)...

My Langamma was NOT impressed that my Afi (grandfather) wanted to marry the maid, and so she was never very nice to my Amma (my Langamma's family was one of Iceland's premier families, and well, Amma was just a farm girl)...

My Afi was very artistic, musical, and he worked in the theatre, he was also prone to alcohol addiction and drug use, and was bi-sexual, and so my Amma put up with a lot over the years... Afi would disappear on a bender fairly regularly, and Amma would have to send one of the kids (usually my mum) to go fetch him home from the pub. He was also Catholic, and so Amma had 11 pgs and 7 children in all...

One day in early 1969, Afi went out to lunch and came home with tickets for the family to move to Australia. My grandparents, Langamma, and 7 kids all moved to NSW in April of 1969 (26th) and Afi went to work for Qantas for a while. My Amma didn't speak a word of English and got work as a seamstress. She would sit at home all the time, with the older kids going out and doing all the shopping and taking care of the smaller kids, and she'd sew. She did this for 2 years until my Langamma decided she couldn't bare the Australian culture (or lack thereof) and longer and whole family was forced to move back to Iceland, except my mum, who had met my dad and had me by then...

with my mum in 1990

My Amma was extremely crafty. She used to be one of a dozen women in Iceland who knitted authentic Icelandic knits for export - there are people all over the world wearing her jumpers and cardigans!

She could sew, knit and crochet anything! I have many of her handycrafts here at home, and she is the one who has inspired me to try my hand a few crafts myself.



Amma was very much a homebody. She could almost always be found sitting at her kitchen table under the window, smoking, drinking black coffee, and playing cards, or sewing or knitting... If you didn't find her in the kitchen (she was also a great cook), then she was most likely in bed! One thing she was well known for was taking showers, and then hopping straight into bed naked and still just air dry, LOL!



Amma was a very sensual woman, and had a few lovers, especially after she and Afi seperated in the early 80s... She would get around the house in her long, flowing nighties with matching dressing gowns that she'd sew herself from all sorts of delicate fabrics...

When Afi died, the President of Iceland sent flowers and her condolences.. Amma didn't recieve anything so grand, and yet she had certainly lived a life as colourful and worthwhile as that of my Afi...

Things I'll always remember about my Amma:

~ The smell of cigarette smoke and coffee...
~ Big soft eiderdown doonas with crisp white covers...
~ Her Japanese umberella hanging over her bed...
~ Her hoarse smokey voice...
~ Her Konfekt Kake (chocolate mudcake)...
~ Her sparking amber-green eyes...
~ Her sharp tongue..
~ Her even shaper wit...

Ingibjorg Sigrun Janhannsdottir 20/11/1926 - 11/04/06 - My Amma Inga!!!

Friday, April 21, 2006

Learning new things...

Dave just reminded me I had to blog that Luey learned a bunch of new games while we were away, and we are definitely in the "Age of Games" now with both the bigger boys... Luey now can play Snap, Fish and an Icelandic card game called "langavitlausa" (loosely translated that means "long nonesense"... For the last game you divide the pack of 52 playing cards between two players, then each play places a card face up on the table at the same time. The player with the higher value card then "takes" both the cards on the table... If the cards places on the table have the same value (say two eights or two Jacks), then a "battle" ensues, another card is placed face down over the first card (by each player) and then a new card is placed face up, and the player with the higher value card facing up "takes" all six cards...

The game continues until one player has "taken" the whole deck.

WARNING: this game CAN go on for ages...




Today, I had the pleasure of going over to Beck's for a day of scrapbooking... I "sort of" did four pages!!! By "sort of", I mean, a) they're not all finished yet, b) they're very, very simple (because, hey, this is only my second attempt EVER), c) they rely heavily on kits a paper I bought at the Reject Shop yesterday, LOL...

I REALLY enjoyed doing this, and it's definitely something I want to keep doing...




Thursday, April 20, 2006

We have TOOTHIE!


This is Bryn with my mum a week ago... Just an incidental photo to help celebrate another milestone...

We have a tooth!!! Bottom left front toothywig popped up tonight after much whinging (me) and grizzling (him)... He turned 8 months last Saturday (I think it was Saturday), and already a tooth... Erik got his first tooth at 10.5 months... Luey was 9.5 months, and Bryn is barely 8 months... Mind you, it's not like he had any control over when the tooth finally broke through, LOL, but it's pretty cool anyway!

I have so much to write about the past week, but right atm my brain is feeling kind of jet lagged, so I'll have to get back to you all...

Monday, April 10, 2006

Lovely things

Thought I'd share some lovely things that have come my way the past few days...

This is Dave and my brother, Mike, playing Chess for the boys. Luey quickly lost interest in the slow goings on, but Erik really got into it, and after this game Mike and Erik played together against Dave, and won - Erik say HE won, LOL...

This is Bryn wrapped in one of the gorgeous tie-dyed wraps the Kate and Leah sell at The Cauldron at www.ozebaby.com.au

Here's the other one I got, isn't it BEAUTIFUL!!!


Here's a perty, perty nappy I got called, Lemon Twist.

And here is a set of longies and matching hat that I just finished with some of the wool I bought through the NZ wool co-op and picked up on Saturday... I'm so proud of these. I knit both the hat and the longies on a magic loop. It was my first attempt. The wool is called Watermelon, and is absolutely scrumptious...

Anyway, this'll probably be my last blog for a while. Very early tomorrow morning Dave, the boys and I are all going to Adelaide to visit my mum... I'll probably have LOTS to blog about when I get back...

As an aside, you know how one of my grandmothers was on her deathbed last week after a quadruple bi-pass, well, she's doing a lot better now... However, now my other grandmother is knocking on deaths door. She has emphazema, and has developed pneumonia, so the outlook is definitely grim. She is holding steady at the moment, but seems to be waiting for something. We're thinking maybe it's to pass all the birthdays in the family (yesterday was mum's dh's birthday, today is Dave's and tomorrow is one of my uncle's), or perhaps she is waiting for the 14th, with will be the 22 anniversary of my Afi's death (her deceased d-ex)... I'm glad I'll be in Adelaide this week, and therefore most probably when Amma dies, so that mum has some family around her. It must be so hard to lose a parent when all your family is overseas :(...

I will blog about my Amma when I get back, she is a remarkable woman. Not a sweet nanna type, in fact, she's more like one of Marg Simpson's sisters, LOL, but a real character, who oozed sensuality well into her 70s... She mothered me from when I was 10 months until I was 20 months, and we co-slept, which is probably where I first experienced co-sleeping... I was like her youngest daughter, and I have always had a lot of time for her and her wry wit!

You will be miss, Amma!

Friday, April 07, 2006

Drac Boy and Super Dude


My boys love winter and this week has really seen the first run of colder days since last winter, so we broke out the woolie hats and finger gloves, and I bought them new winter pjs with motifs of Drac Boy and Super Dude!


So, this is how they've been running about the house since late this afternoon! The only got the ts from the pjs today, and will get to where their pjs when we visit Amma and Grandpa next week. I really hope my parents don't take issue with Erik prancing around in blood red, dracula emblazoned pjs, hahaha!!!

Rockin' Socks

Ok, trying to extend my knitting repetoire a bit, I knitted a couple of pair of super simple booties the other day...

It started out that I was looking for sock patterns that I could follow, but being a knitting novice, I don't even speaka de language, and so I had NOOOOO idea what SSK or SSO meant, or "turning the heel" meant or anything...

So, I started ot with super simple booties found here:
http://www.bevscountrycottage.com/bevs-stay-on-booties.html

But, what I really wanted to knit was socks, so I had to find a site that could explain to me what all the weird abbreviations stood for, and better yet, what they actually translated to in real life knitting (how to do what the abbreviations said to do)...

I found this site, which was excellent:
http://www.knittinghelp.com/

And from there, I just had to give it a go...

First I knit one baby sock (would fit a 2 year old, I think...

After that, I had a go at a pair of women's sized bed socks - yes, this is a pair, but I was using the very last of my NZ wool (using it up, because tomorrow I'm getting a whole heap more, YAY!)...

These are affectionately called, "The Odd Socks"...



There are three points of "sameness" in this pair, just to make them a pair - the cuff, the toe, and the stripey bit in the middle...

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Coping without comfort eating...

I realised the other day that I've been having to learn how to cope with stress without my usual coping mechanism, and while I haven't thought about it, I can see I've struggled with it to varying degrees over the past few months...

Usually when I'm stressed out I turn to food to numb my feelings of stress. I've always been one to reward myself with food whenever I've had a tough day. Always, the argument has been that after such a trying day I REALLY deserve this family sized block of chocolate and this 200gram bag of potato chips, and this litre of Coke... I eat these things and I feel comforted for the stress I've been through...

I still do this to some extent, but these days the chocolate and chips have been replaced with Light'n'tasy cereal and D'lite yogurt...

But, yeah, these days I'm not able to numb my feelings of pain readily through the day the way I used to... In light of that, I think I've done well to cope they way I have these past few months.

Another thing that occurred to me was, I heard a while back that when you put on weight, along with the fat you store, you also store the hormones pumping through your body at the time of the weight gain. Now, most people gain weight when they're stressed and/or depressed. Certainly, I do...

Anyway, so THEN when you lose weight, those hormones are released as the fat is burnt off your body. This means that when we start to lose weight, we often incur this stressed/depressed hormonal dump! The faster you lose weight, the more hormones get dumped in a shorter period of time. So, then, if like me, you're used to coping with stress by numbing it with food, and you suddenly *can't* do that anymore, you really start to suffer, don't you!

I think THIS is why so many people crash and yo-yo diet. Dieting is physically and emotionally soooo painful to the person, they'd rather just do it really quickly and get it over with.

Losing weight more slowly and allowing yourself a small amount of comfort food is then going to be the least painful way to lose weight for most people, but also it's so important to recognise and deal with stressors even before engaging in a weightloss program...

Of course, I've been losing weight for three months now, without ever reflecting on this stuff before this week, so it can be done without dealing with the stressors, but wow, what a hard way to go about it, basically it's pretty sadistic, the way we torture ourselves...

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Compulsion, not Addiction...

Just got back from visiting Jen at her place this morning (got in a lovely walk, met her half way to her house, debriefed about Y chromosone carriers, and felt a hell of a lot better)...

Somewhere in our ramblings we got onto the topic of addictive personalities. I've always thought I had an addiction prone personality, but today it occurred to me that I'm not really prone to addiction so much as compulsion.

Yes, I might say I'm addicted to crap food, or I was addicted to cigarettes for 13, or I'm at risk of becoming addicted to drugs or alcohol, if I consume them regularly, but truth be told, I don't suffer with addictions as such. I smoked regularly and at times heavily for 13 years, until I was 26, but at the age of 26, having met Dave, who never smoked and really hates the smell of smoke, I decided to stop smoking, and I did just that, cold turkey, with no REAL cravings.

Once I moved in with a friend and smoked pot every single day for a month. Now, if I had an addictive personality, you might think I'd become addicted to pot, but then I decided it wasn't a good thing to do, so I moved out and haven't touched the stuff since (12 years)...

Meanwhile, I can taste a new kind of chocolate once, and then HAVE to have it every night for months, and if I don't have it, I'm worse than a little disappointed. I CRAVE it...

Same goes for many things, if I decide I need to walk everyday and find a path to walk, and do it for a few days in a row, I find I come to rely on that walk, and I'm compelled to walk the same path at the same time of day every day, or I feel like something is seriously wrong in my life...

This last week I nearly passed out because I'd decided to weigh myself that day, and so I didn't want to eat until I weighed myself, and of course, I had to wear the same clothing I always wore, even though it was cold out, and I had to use the exact same scale. That day things took longer than I planned, and in the end it was past 5pm at night, I hadn't eaten a thing. I didn't end up weighing myself on the scales I'd used before, so even though I got a great result from the weigh in, I HAD to go weigh myself again the next day on my preferred scales, in the same clothes, having not eaten yet...

It was compulsive behaviour that I was prepared to go to fairly extraordinary (self-torturous) lengths to make it happen "just so"...

I have a lot of compulsive behaviour when I think about it...

I could just cry...

It's been a tough couple of days here at home (though going to Audrey's birthday party yesterday was a pleasant respite)...

Bryn has a cold, and basically neither Dave nor I have had any decent sleep in the past 48 hours because of it. Yesterday, I felt quite sick from the sleep deprivation. I've been more sleep deprived in the past, but I think I'm feeling pretty stressed right now as it is and so I'm reacting more intensely this time that I have before.

We are also having MAJOR issues with Luey atm. Partly, this is a 4 year old thing, and we went through this with Erik to some degree. In addition to that though, I believe Luey is reacting to the general underlying tone of aggression in the house, mostly stemming from us all adjusting to Dave being home all the time, and just not coping with life with kids on a 24/7 basis... Dave tends to badger the kids, to try and "keep them in line". They're really not used to that. Dave has always policed the boys, and I've always given them more space (within fairly strict limits), right now they don't have any space at all.

Erik reacts to this in his usual quiet, passive way, but Luey is fighting tooth and nail, and more than that. It's bringing out real defiance in Luey. Luey has that classic stubborn streak often attributed to redheads.

A few weeks ago we caught the boys playing a game in the bedroom that they thought was very amusing - namely peeing up against the wall. It was, mostly likely, at Erik's iniation - being that he is the one who tends to think that sort of thing is funny to do... We reacted fairly strongly, mostly out of shock.

Anyway, yesterday Dave caught Luey doing this again. Luey was doing this within a minute of me telling him he couldn't bring out a big plastic truck to the loungeroom where I was trying to get Bryn to sleep, and it really did seem like an act of defiance. Now, the thing is, we had noticed a scent of urine eminating from the boys' room over the past few days, and it did seem unusually strong, but we thought it was because the room had been shut up with the recent cold that's come across Melbourne.

Anyway, now we're thinking Luey has probably peed on the wall/floor in there a few times in recent days. The smell is shockingly bad. The carpet needs a professional clean, and we're about to go away for a bit and probably won't get it done before we go. I've just sourced a product of the net called "Urine Off" that is used for pet urine and in hospitals and care homes to removed urine stains and odours. I can buy it at a pet store locally according to their retailers guide, so I'll pick that up this morning and apparently it contains enzymes that will break down the insoluable uric acid crystals (something household cleanser don't/can't do)...

But how to get Luey to stop peeing on the carpet??? Especially if it is an act of defiance?

Sometimes I feel so useless as a parent. Like, I can see the problem, I can sort of see how to fix it, but I just can't quite make it happen.

I firmly believe that people do mean things to each other out of personal pain. This is something I've REALLY started to understand deeply, and it makes it very easy to have compassion, but at the same time, I also have my own pain (we all do, right?) and so I know I like to "share the misery" as much as anyone else. Luey is obviously feeling pain to be acting this way, and I think we (his parents) are the main creators of his pain through our own actions which are based in our own frustrations. We need to rise above our need to make others (our kids) feel our pain, in order to prevent them from feeling pain themselves, which they then also want to share with the people around them (it's such a vicious cycle, isn't it?)... Oh, but how. It's not a matter of will. It's a matter of empathy and compassion, and having the resources to give those things...

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Erik's hat completed...


As per his instructions, thin stripes, purple first, red last... He decided at the last minute not to have a "pigtail", and to just go with a short stalk instead...

Blown Away!!

(first off, double checked my weight this morning and was 89.5kg on the regular scales, so the others must have been right, yay!)...

Now, Leah and Kate were so generous as to offer to sell some of my hats on their new WAHM shop which opened last night as part of ozebaby.com.au (online mall for WAHMs)... They listed five of my hats, and three have sold already - within 24 hours of the launch! I'm rapt, of course, but really just so surprised that they've sold so fast! I suppose because I know so many people who knit, it surprises me that people would pay for someone else to knit something so relatively simple, LOL...

I'm, nonetheless, thrilled to bits!!!

Here are some of the hats I've knitted over the past couple of months - three of which are now sold!!!


Teenagers and the failing parent...