Friday, April 29, 2016

Post 10. I jinxed it!

If you saw my blog yesterday, you are awesome! Also, you will know I put away all the snow gear and clothes because it's spring, damn it!

I jinxed it! 
This was my view when I looked out my window this morning. The streets were covered in sludge and our feet were soaked  by the time we got to the kindergarten, no thanks to my youngest since she kept stomping her foot down, splashing me with extra sludge. Thankfully, I brought along extra socks. That's right, weather! I'm Icelandic, you can't fool me. 
Weather: What? Who dat be? 
(No, I don't know why the weather would sound like that.) 
        So when I got home, I'll admit, I took off the wet clothes and lay on the floor of the heated bathroom. Aaaaaaaaah! 
I seriously considered staying there today. Just put on a summer dress and pretend I was on a beach somewhere. 
        Which is what I would do when I lived and worked in Iceland. No matter how cold and windy and snowy and rainy it was outside, I would pretend I was working in Mexico or Spain, on a beach somewhere. It's my favourite happy place when the weather isn't co-operating.
I couldn't even rouse up enough energy to get my workout on. I skipped it (GASP!) today and already, I feel hideously guilty about it. I might just have to get to it tonight after the kids go to sleep. 
Yes, I'll do that. Guilt be gone!
Things are looking up already, this is the  view from my window right now. Let's hope it will last this time :)
This week the weather has been very Icelandic in nature. 


Have a great weekend and I will see you Monday! 

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Post 9 Accidental spring cleaning.

In other words: What have I gotten myself into?

I made a mistake this morning after my workout and subsequent shower. After having completed my chores I was putting one of the girl's bikes away and noticed a pair of winter jackets in the way. Realizing we probably (knock on wood) won't be needed any winter gear until next winter, I decided to put it away.

        Like a good little housewife, I collected the jackets, suits, pants, boots and all things winter-related and got them into the itty-bitty-storage place I made for them in the cubbards. I found one of my favorite sweaters up there and decided to put it in the wash so I could actually wear it every once in a while.
         Only to notice my bathroom looked a bit dusty and the mirrors weren't super shiny. Well, I could fix that in a jiffy. Which was why, when the light over the bathroom sink started flickering, I flicked the screen/lampshade ever so gently, to have the damn thing fall off and onto my face! That's right, my face! At least it was made of plastic but the problem was I couldn't get it back over the light. While trying to fix it with various tools to no avial, I remembered I still had to fix the handbrake a little on my daughter's bike.

          So, with the appropriate tool in hand I go to fix it. This is when my son, who stayed home today because he wasn't feeling well, reminds me of his presense by asking for food. As if I have time for this? I am in fixing mode, so I have a quick AHA! moment and remember I have left over fish from last night's dinner.
I quickly pop it into the oven to warm it up and get back to fixing that bike. Putting the tools away I noticed a pair of socks I must have dropped when putting the clothes away so I quickly picked it up and deposited the socks into my kid's sock drawer. As I'm standing there, feeling a bit good about myself, I remember how I always meant to re-arrange their closet. Take out clothes which got too small, sort costumes from summer dresses, find all the underwear and put them in a reasonable spot, place the clothes in appropriate heights for each kids and so on and so forth.

       I really should have known better. 30 mintues later I have a massive pile of clothes to give away on one bed and a kind-of neatly arranged piles of of clothes to keep and sort out. This is when my son pipes up again, wondering what's taking so long.
The fish!!

      Like a ninja mom, I rush out of the room and into the kitchen, sliding on the floor as I go and rescue the now crispy fish out of the oven. As if this is all according to plan, I splash some sauce on it and thankfully, my son decleared it tasty and then went back to lounging on the couch, as sick boys do. Or so he tells me. At least he remembered to clean up after himself.
I realize I have to go pick up the girl's in an hour and hurry back to finish my closet project. The light from the bathroom was glaring at me because I still hadn't gotten the light screen up but I ignored it. There would be hell to pay if the girls came home and found ALL their dresses displayed on the beds. It would be the MOTHER of ALL dressups!
        Quick as I could, I cleaned out the closet (better use the time while it was empty) and returned the clothes. I won't know where anything is tomorrow (if it stays as neat as it is through today) but at least it looks great.

        Bagging the give away clothes and realizing it's too big to carry to the clothes container, I throw the bag in the car. Which was when I noticed how much junk was in the car. Before I knew it, I was cleaning out the car, wondering how I got to this point.
I'm exhausted, starving (because I forgot to grab me some of that crispy fish), and my bathroom is too bright when I turn the light on.
       What in the world possessed me to start this? Also, I started to feel the extra push ups and squats I did this morning.
Now, all I have to do is pick up the girls, get dinner started, bathe the brats, eat dinner, clean up afterwards (which said brats will help with), make sure homework is done, entertain kids until bedtime, read bedtime story, get oldest brat to bed and convince him he's fine to go to school tomorrow (there's even a school dance) and then, THEN, I can have some me time.
        Maybe I'll do my nails, put on a mask and edit my novel and catch up on Unbreakable and....
YEAH! Cut to me passed out on the sofa with Netflix on in the background. I am going to stay awake to see the new Supernatural show from yesterday. Yes! It will be my treat for this mess of a day. A mess of my own doing.

Crap, the bathroom light is bright! Bright light! Bright light!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Post 8. Iceland vs. Norway

As I've mentioned before, I think, I am born and raised in Iceland. I recently moved to Norway and as with any move, things can take a little getting used too.
First things first, Icelanders are notoriously impatient. We don't really think we are but when we hear about it taking two weeks to set up a bank account somewhere in another country (not including getting card and such) we are outraged.
              In Iceland, you walk into the bank with ID and you have an account and access to your internet bank when you leave. Basically. (It might take a day or two now, it's been a while since I actually went to the bank in person for any other reason than to get foreign currency.) 
             When we came to Norway it took 5 weeks to get our social security numbers, not the three we were told to expect. Once we had those, we could get a bank account. Well, ze man could because they don't give you an account if you don't have a job.
As an Icelander, it was hard to wait. It's hard to wait for takeout, let alone a bank account.We want what we want and we want it now. (That's a lot of W in one sentence.)
We've learned a lot of patience since moving here.

Then there are the TREES! Glorious, big, bushy trees!! We don't have a lot of them in Iceland.

As a parent, I find there are all kinds of things people do differently here with their kids. For example dinner time.

In Iceland, the classic dinner time is around 6.30 - 7.30. In my household dinner is usually at 7, it was the time of day which worked best for everyone.
However, in Norway, dinner time seems to be between 4-5. Needless to say, this has left us scrambling when it comes to my son's friends coming over at the Norwegian dinner time. All I'm serving at that time are cookies, fruits or toast.
Or when they come over and ask my son to come outside and play and he can't because it's his dinner time.
I am told Norwegians will have a lighter meal later in the evening, which makes sense. At least my kids would be cranky AF if I didn't feed them from 5 to bedtime.
So, I am trying to move family dinner time up a few hours and let me tell you, it's hard! I find myself constantly munching on something in the evening. (So not good for my workout!) The kids don't seem to care either way so we will see. Meanwhile, I will stay away from snacking and munch on apples and peanut butter in the evenings.

Then there's school system. When my son started school, in October, I asked the school for a list of things I need to buy. The look I got from the woman was comical as she asked me what I meant.
I told her again I needed a list of what my son needed, you know, like in his bag when he comes to school.
Again, she shook her head.
"You know, pencils, colors, notebooks, those sort of things?" I tried again and she smiled at me.
This time, she explained to me all these things were provided by the school. I tried one more time.
         "But there has to be something I am supposed to buy, right?" Now I was the one starting to sound slow. This time, the woman outright laughed at me and asked me if this was not the norm in Iceland. This is the point where I should explain there were three other people in the office and they all laughed when I told them NO, it wasn't.

This is one of the coolest things ever, because in Iceland, every year, parents are sent a list of supplies their kids must have. Including pencils, erasers, sharpeners, colors (wax, pencils and so on) and then notebooks for math and writing, folders for this and that and on and on and on.
Needless to say, I left the school office with a massive smile on my face.

The kindergarten also surprised me when they informed me I could bring my kids whenever I wanted, as long as the school was open and pick them up, whenever I wanted (again, provided the school was open) All I had to tell them was what days they should expect the girls.
In Iceland, you tell the school what days and what time they arrive and leave. You can, and will, be fined if you are more than 15 minutes late in picking up your children, regardless if the school is open.
In Norway, my girls arrive when we are ready and I don't have to panic if I'm running late with the chores or shopping or whatever. It's so nice.

Of course, these differences are just a few of the many we've noticed here and they are only my point of view.

Feel free to tell me what differences you've experienced after moving. :)

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Post nr, 7. Vacation in Soulless

It's snowing again over here in Norway. The weather is quiet Icelandic today. One minute it is sunny, the next it is snowing. Aaaah, what ya gonna do? I need a vacation. 

Can you vacation in a book world? If so, which world would you choose?

Yes, please. I know we can visit Hobbiton and the Wizard world but I mean actually dive into the world within your favorite books?

                I think I would love to visit my girl Alexia Tarabotti, in Steampunky 19th century London.

As a soulless person, she can neutralize any supernatural foe but, of course, admitting to such a thing would be crass and unladylike. I would love a jaunt through Hyde Park along with Alexia and Ivy Hisselpenny, even if she does wear hideous hats.
Most of all I would like to dine on the fanciful food, treacle tart, sandwiches and tea, yes, please!

               Of course, come to think of it, I believe Alexia wouldn‘t actually be too keen on showing me, a touristy Icelander (barbarian) from our time around. Nope, I think she‘d be most put upon. Or at least, until she realized she might get a whole lot of information about my time and the way  we do things. Her intellect and blunt approach to gathering knowledge are one of the things attracting me to it. Well, her and Lord Maccon, yum!
                But most of all, I would love to meet Lord Akeldama, the most fantastic vampire I believe I‘ve ever come across in all my years of reading. He, his dandies and his abode are simply too wonderful to forget or ignore.

                It would be fun and pleasant, even a bit hard to follow the social etiquette but I‘d love to try. Also, I wouldn‘t mind skipping the more dangerous business Alexia seems to get herself into all the time but if it can‘t be helped, then I shall like to bring my own parasol.

So, please, please, please!!! Can I go? Can I? 

Please, feel free to tell me where you'd like to vacation, in a book as it were. :) 

Monday, April 25, 2016

Post Nr. 6 Monday baby!

All righty then! Monday... The day most of the internet loves to hate, am I right?
Being a stay at home mom, however, this is me on Mondays

I'm also like that meme when the kids go back to school after summertime, just on crack! By crack, I mean I will manage my chores in under an hour and watch Unbreakable while eating snacks which I told my man the kids ate. YEP.

         Not to worry, today I worked out when I got back from the school run, I cleaned up the apartment and then got myself clean and got my butt to the store to get groceries. Once I got back home, the plan was to edit my novel and write this blog.

        I had an hour before my son was due home from school and I'll admit it, I was exhausted already. I've been home alone with the kids for over a week now and I think any stay at home parent will agree with me, the weekends are very taxing. So, for the hour I had, I sat on the couch and watched Netflix for an hour while eating lunch.

        Son came home on time and we just finished homework, where I almost got into an argument with his math project. Ended up sending a picture of it to his father, who's much better at math than I am, because I'm sure I'm right and the math is wrong. (Either way, the example didn't add up to what we needed it too.) 
        So, I am looking forward to an evening of editing, not complaining because I've set myself a goal to finish this revision next week. When it's ready, I'll start submitting it and carry on writing my other novels.
Anyone else out there, with more than one book/story they want to finish, cause I have a list of them at this point.

         Now, on the other hand, I have to start getting dinner ready since I'm trying to get the family to eat at Norwegian dinner time, but more on that later. Like tomorrow!


Friday, April 22, 2016

Post nr. 5. I drive to Oslo for the first time.

Today, I drove to my sister's place in Oslo. I live about 50 minutes (by car) outside of the capital and I have never driven there myself before. That's right, I make my man drive while I nod off. I mean, take care of the kids! You believe me, right?
Que awkward silence.

       Today's visit wasn't planned, not as such, but when my sister Snaps me a picture of a cake and asks me over, I'm going!!
Waited for my son to finish school and he joined me in picking up his two sisters from kindergarten early.
       Of course, I figured, since we weren't traveling at the height of traffic, we would be fine! I had my TomTom (GPS, which we've made to sound like Sean Connery. Mostly so I can argue with it when I feel it's not taking me to the right place. Where are you taking me, Sean?)
       Now, there's one trick to get to my sister without trouble and it is to skip a famous Interchange called.....

       Many times have I been warned, do not go there! It's too crowded, too loud and too complicated!!!
So naturally, I've been told to ignore my GPS, my Sean, at one place so I can avoid going through the horrible Sinsen.
Now, here's where you need to know something about me. Something shameful and un-womanly! My sense of direction is only so-so, especially when I'm driving. I've gone this way quite a few times but I still wasn't sure exactly where to turn. (Sometimes, I can't even tell you where I park.)
       So, in my effort to avoid the dreaded Sinsen I take a different lane then the one Sean tells me too.

I ended up stuck in touch-and-go traffic heading for Göteborg! Seriously, it took me about 20 minutes just to get out of the lane and into a small district so I could turn around.
(This is not the actual photo of the traffic I got myself into but it gives you an idea. Also, image about 30 trucks in there too.)
The kids were surprisingly calm about this delay. Well, one of them fell asleep and was none the wiser. The girls complained about the lane (going the other way) was much faster than ours. I tried to explain this to them but, in their opinion, they were right, I was wrong.
        My car is not an automatic, so MAN, was my left foot tired. I learned my lesson, though, and found the right place to skip Sinsen.
Thankfully, I ended up where I was supposed to be, sans a small detour.
The cake and the company made it so worth it! Mmmmmm cake.

        The travellers came home much too late to make dinner, so mom, covered in Bubble Soap and various food products, made Pizza Sandwiches and managed a chilly dessert as well. Afterwards, my son read to my two daughters, while a proud mama listened in.
It's an hour since my son went to bed, I'm wrapped in a blanket, armed with Peanut butter (crunchy, since I am starting to believe they simply don't have smooth here in Norway) and apples about to watch a show before I pass out!

So, to you, I bid a good night :)

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Post 4. Moms Assemble!

 All right, post number 4!

Yesterday I tackled the assembly of my girl's bikes. Figured, how hard can it be? (I should have known better)
       First, these boxes have been waiting for summer and since it's basically here in Norway, I decided to get cracking. I fetched the toolbox and opened them up.

Looked pretty basic, yes?

Okay, so I got it out of the box! Score! Found the manual. Double Score!
This is where things got complicated. Since the manual wasn't actually for this bike. I figured, no biggie, it's probably all the same anyway.
       Which would have been fine if the manual had actually shown me how to assemble! Seriously, why even have the damn thing?
Turns out, after googling my way through most of the Norwegian section of the manual, it only told you how to keep your bike running smoothly.
         So I figured, okay, so it's supposed to be obvious how you do this? Let's do it.
A second later, I was unwrapping the pedals and saw with them came 7 items ( a mix of screws and bolts) and I thought 7? For 2 pedals? Shouldn't it be an even number?
          Of course, I figured out soon after the pedals were simply screwed in.
That meant I actually had the mixture of screws and bolts without any clue as to what they were for.
So, like any 34-year-old mom, I got my tablet and youtube-ed the sucker!
         Thankfully, most (if not all) these kid bikes are similar in assembly and I quickly found a lovely gentleman putting a kid's bike together and I stumbled my way through.

This was the almost finished product. All I had left to do was get some air into those tires and a few adjustments according to the girls height.
Of course, they tried the bikes and within 2 minutes, the training wheels fell off!!! Oops, sorry, my bad! 
After about 10 minutes, I had them back on (properly this time!) and they love them and have barely gotten off them.

So, HA! I did it :)

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Post nr. 3 Mommy musings.

Why won't housework go away? It's like every day with these chores. 
I really need Disney to step up their game, stop making stuffed toys and start making robots who clean up when I sing to them. When that happens I'll be first in line, screaming "TAKE MY MONEY!"
      Of course, I could get one of those Roombas but I have a sneaky suspicion I would find my youngest riding it all the time. Not a very long life for the Roomba. 
Most of my chores are simple, so why isn't there a robot to do them? I mean, didn't they just invent a robot kitchen!! 
      P.s. Totally need that. I hope they will have a talking version, cause I'd like mine to sound like Gordon Ramsay. 
      Then there's the dreaded "Folding laundry" chore! Since having three kids, this particular chore has become the bane of my existence. I want a robot!
Where is Rosie, the Jetsons robot maid, when I need her? Which is all the time. 
Think how fun the world could be if we weren't weighed down by these chores all the time.

There is, of course, a valid argument against robot maids and such. 

       Technology moves too fast for me to really keep up with and I love shouting at various electric gizmos when they do things I have only read about in Science Fiction. Just this morning I found out (and freaked out) about my phone being able to not only count my steps but, also measure my heart rate! All I had to do was press my finger over the back camera for a little while.
       It glowed like the eye of the Terminator and then told me my heart rate. I half expected it to speak to me in Arnold's voice, telling me I needed to exercise more, I was so puny!
In which case, my inner bitch would come out and I would curtly inform my Skynet phone I DO plenty of exercises. At least, that part's true. 
       I am forever fascinated by Siri and Hi Galaxy. I love making them repeat tricky Icelandic words and names. I've also been found guilty of telling these apps to be quiet (not so politely, though) and one actually told me to calm down.
      Even A.I. isn't smart enough to know never to say this to an agitated person. :) 

Well, my phone is telling me I have to drink more water now, so see you later. 

.......Wait... What?... Did I just do what my phone told me to? Oh, no. 

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Post Nr. 2! While on hold...

      Let's face it, most of us don't like the whining instrumental music. Especially when we're on hold.

I was on hold with my bank earlier today and all the while I was listening to the unbelievably boring, staticky instrumental music (honestly, who picks these things?)
Maybe it's just me but, my mind wanders when I'm put on hold, A LOT.
      I wonder what's taking so long, how much time I have before I need to pick up the kids, did I press go on the laundry machine, what shall I have for dinner, etc, etc. When I've run through the usual train of thoughts, I start wondering what kind of character could do the job of a phone operator.
Of course, for me, Deadpool is a dead ringer (get it?) Although, I doubt he would be very helpful.

To make it more interesting, I continued with this line of thought while the instrumental of the Titanic (seriously?!) whistled in my ear.
      What would happen if Sherlock Holmes himself answered the phone? Most likely he'd explain to me as if I were an imbecile why I was having troubles with my cards and then want to know why. I wanted to buy makeup on sale online, but I'd rather die than admit THAT to Sherlock.
Certainly, such a job would be beneath him.

What about Gandalf? Sure, it would take forever since I can't for the life of me see Gandalf picking up a phone, let alone type in some random numbers on a computer. My money (HA! Cause I'm calling the bank!) would be on the scene ending in Gandalf bringing his staff down on the computer, shouting something like: "YOU HAVE NO CASH!"
Not looking good for me, or the fellow employees who witnessed it.

Of course, eventually, I got through to a lovely lady but by that time I had forgotten why I called in the first place. Feeling disoriented, I finally managed to tell the very real human being on the other end what I needed and she quickly told me the problem and helped me fix it. So perhaps, I didn't actually need a fictional character to help me, but it sure was fun imagining it.

Monday, April 18, 2016

OK! Post Nr. 1!!!

Hi there! You, the person reading this! I like you already.
I have been wanting to make a blog for what seems like forever and I finally decided to simply go for it. I mean, how hard can it be?

I want to start by introducing myself. My name is Gunnhildur but I usually go by Gunna. Born and raised in Iceland, I loved music and writing from an early age and became obsessed with English as a byproduct. I have published one book and am working on a few other things. Not signed anywhere, though, trying to fix that.

What I really want to use this blog for is connecting with ze people of ze web who love reading like I do. I read a lot of fantasy, thrillers, romances, historical fiction and some Sci-fi, I am currently reading the Hammered, book 3 Iron Druid Chronicles by Kevin Hearne on book 3 right now. Love me some fantasy involving Icelandic characters but then, I might be biased.
If these aren't your game, feel free to tell me about some good reads anyway.

My family and I have been living in Norway for the last 6 months and so far we are loving it. We are already looking for a place to buy as we are renting a very small apartment right now for the five of us so we can save up some money.
Norway is beautiful and the weather is awesome here. The kids have adjusted pretty well, all three. My fiancé loves his job and gets to travel all over the place for work.
I am currently looking for employment between drop-off and pick-up of my kids but we'll see how that goes.

Well, that's enough of that. You want to know anything else about me, go ahead and ask. :)