Blogger Boss needs to decide what this is going to say about how crazy her life is & how she loves coffee & walks with her hubby.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

House progress!! (YESSS!!!)

Well.  Rome wasn't built in one day, and neither was our house.  Things are however happening, to our great excitement.  I have to be patient.  Yupp.  One of my many strengths!! Not.
I don't want to focus too much on a specific date to be in there, it just makes it more crazy.
The sooner the better?  Duh.  Obviously.
But I also have to stay true to my motto  "Being as content as possible, each day, with what I have at each moment."  It helps me stay somewhat patient and focused.  I also like to compare myself with situations that would be HARDER to be in....  We COULD be living in a SMALLER apartment, with no new house on the horizion!
We could be sick, unemployed etc.  There are so many things that I can be thankful for each day, so why waste time stressing about "When THIS or THAT happnes, THEN everything will be so much better!"  Well, there's no guarentee for that!!!  I DO know that I will love my new house.  And whenever we move in there, will be the perfect time!

Here are some pictures for you folks to enjoy!!

So, here we have the chimney to the future fireplace, the windows/door that you see are in the kitchen.
The floor is poured, electrical and plumbing is done as far as it can be at this stage.

Chimney coming up to the 2nd floor, the horizontal window to the left will be in the bathroom, and the bigger window will be in a walk in closet.

Standing in one of the kids "bedrooms", looking towards our bedroom.  The windows that are at the top of the wall to the left, will be in our bedroom.  The area between our bedroom wall and where Mr. X is standing, will be cut open, so that you can look down into the diningroom.

Inside view of our bedroom.  Through the vertical window you'll be able to look downstairs.

Hmmmm.... Hopefully this made some sense!  I'm enjoying this housebuilding project immensely!  Today I figured out how much flooring we'll need... Tile, laminate etc.  I like being able to do something on the sidelines, since me being there with a gaggle of kids along would be "not so productive"!  The upstairs is being framed and drywalled (on one side), and as soon as that is done, the electrician will come and finnish off what goes inside the walls, before we add the insulation (you need to have that between the bedrooms here!!) and drywall for the other side..... Then... well, then I guess we'll keep plugging along till we can move in and call this place our HOME SWEET HOME!!!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Purse

OK. Here comes a warning.  I'm not a seamstress.  I am an impatient sewer who only wants to get the project done, and as with many things in my life, I have to practice at taking my time doing the task at hand... Anyway.

This fabric...
My daughter found it at a 2nd hand shop, and I decided to use part of it to make her a purse for her 13th Birthday....

I cut out some fabric... (no it's not gonna be an elephant!)

I didn't take any "in progress" pictures... But here are a  few of  the done deal

Fortunately my daughter really liked it, so if she's happy, I'm happy!!
(I made several compartments inside, and even a pocket for her cellphone)
It was super easy to make, even with 3 "helpers" at my side... the youngest would randomly push down the sewing machine pedal under the table for added excitement!
He, he... Nobody got hurt during the making of the purse, and any child labour was on a pure volunteer basis!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


Little Guy got chickenpox.  And sleep has been officially non existing since...  It started Saturday evening with Little Guy running a fever, I figured he was just "beat" from all the activitites in the last few days.  #1 had her Birthday party, and with an extra 6 girls in the apartment, I figured he had had enough!!  Well, during the night to Sunday he was awake a lot... More than usual.  He's almost 17 months, and still wakes up every night, that's normal, but this was an "every hour" type of thing.  Sunday morning he was pretty warm from fever, and acted very whiny (well, when you don't get enough sleep, that is usually what happens).  Big Guy took him for a walk, and he really enjoyed the fresh air and fell asleep, and stayed asleep outside in his stroller for 1½ or so!  Wow!! 

I had seen a little dot on his back, and one on his face, but didn't think too much about it, until later that afternoon when I talked to my cousin.  His little boy had broken out with chickenpox Saturday night.  Aha!!  In the next few hours he kept getting more "pox", and now he's pretty much covered.  Night to today I got 2 hours of sleep.  Yohooo!!!  I feeeel aliiiive!  Not.  Little Guy kept rolling and twisting and turning in our bed (after crying and fussing all evening).  Then from 2 to 4 he screamed more or less the whole time... (not really neat when you have neighbours living upstairs...)  He's not the quietest person either.  Around 5 he finally settled down, and I guess I slept a wink before the alarm went off at 6:45.  Now he's cruising around in his diaper looking like a white fabric with red polka dots...  I look like a white sheet with 2 holes for eyes... (ghost??)  Well, well... "This too shall pass", like some wise person said.  I'm praying for a big dose of patience and maybe a wink or two of sleep....  Yawwwn.... later friends!

Friday, March 18, 2011

#1 is a TEEN!!!

So.  The day is finally here.  She's a teen.  And Big Guy and I are officially parents of a teenager!  Let's take a walk down memorylane.... 13 years ago.  4 in the morning.  I wake up from a strong contraction, and go to the bathroom.  At the time we were sharing a house with Big Guys brother and wife, so when my sister-in-law hears that I'm up, she comes to see what's going on.  I'm hugging the doorppost of the bathroom as an other contraction comes over me.  She tells me that this is probably IT!  (I had LOTS of false labours with my 1st one, but this was different)  I figured I go back to bed and try to catch some more rest... Well.  The contractions kept on coming, close and strong, so within some hour, we figured we better go to the hospital to have a look.  It was cold and gray and a misty fog outside.  Driving down the main road going to the hospital, side by side with tons and tons of semitrucks (this is one of the busiest farethroughs in the world!), and the drowsy morning commuters... It felt like everyone could tell by looking at our car that I was in labour! 

Fast forward.... After a long and intense labour, that including most of the tricks in the book, our 1st girl was born, face up and weighing close to 9 lbs. (4 kg)  I was crying of happiness, not realizing that I had been very close to having a c-section.  Fortunately it all went well, and 40 hours later we headed home.  I begged to stay another night, since Big Guy had to work that evening (he was going to University and worked part time on the line for Chrysler, meaning you did not turn any work opportunity down!).  My in-laws were in Minnesota, as well as Big Guys brother and family.  So with a baby, just 2 days old, I was left alone, in utter cluelessness!!, to care for her...  If I remember right I just might have shed a tear that evening.  I was wondering how the hospital staff could just trust people to bring home these helpless little babies...  I guess there's the 9 months to prepare for the baby's arrival.  But nothing prepares you for what it's really like!  I was very sore after the long labour, and very bloated from all the IV, and was 100% sure that I could never do this again!

Well... After the 1st few sleepless weeks (baby cried a lot, nursing did not work, I got every piece of advice ever known. Yes they meant well)  We figured out that she reacted strongly to dairy!  I did not have energy left to exlude all dairy in my diet, I was already thinner than before I got pregnant!, so we put her on Soy formula.  Baby was happier, mom was relieved and happier...
This little girl had an agenda of her own.  I tried to wrap her up and cuddle my little bundle... but she had no part of it.  She'd push her way out of the blanket to look around.  At 2 months she was rolling on the floor, at 4 months she scooted and pulled things off of shelves, and at 6 months she started walking along furniture.
Wow.  At church she'd take off under the bench and crawl speedy fast several rows away, and people would pass her back to us.... she was 5 months old!!! 
How did people do this???  With your 1st baby anything it does becomes the "norm".  You use it as the normal pace of things to happen... Of course this lady did most things to the extreme, and I was worried green about having anymore kids.  I have learned, with great relief, that she was not the norm...  She was over and beyond in most aspects.  Of course being a 1st time parent magnified the experience.

And now, here we are.  Last year she told me she turned Twelveteen.  I guess so I could adjust to the idea of her becoming a teenager.  That year sure went fast!  Really, I'm not really worried about the whole "teen thing".  We just keep chugging along with our ups and downs.  I know we'll have our days when we pull our hair out.  Just as we have our days laughing, joking and having fun.  Just as we will cry and forgive and forget.  That's life.  I'm sending a virtual hug to my Big Girl, wishing her a beautiful, wonderful Birthday.  Thanking her for being such an awesome, fun, imaginative, intense, smart, nerdy, corny, loving, bossy, intelligent, beautiful, and last but not least HELPFUL daughter and friend.  I love you to Jupiter and back, and I'm "ploud" to be your mom!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Last day as a child?

I was just realizing something... I know there's no age limit to being a child, I think I'm still very much a child at heart, and I can act pretty childlike (good and bad!!) at times.  But when you become a teenager, are you officially "done" being a child?  Our oldest daughter turns 13 tomorrow, and as this realization came upon me, my eyes grew a bit misty...  It really seems like only a few days ago that I was 8 days overdue with her and went in to the hospital, but was sent home again... 13 years ago today.  Tomorrow is the big day, and on Saturday she'll be hosting a birthday party with a gaggle of other giggling girls about the same age.

Today she and her friend in school, who happens to be only 2 days older than my girl, brought in some goodies for the class to share.  They must be among the 1st real teens in their class, since their birthdays fall this early in the year.  Will they get a different status now?  I'm starting to realize how long ago it is since I was their age... The world has changed a great deal, and I really don't know what she is in for.  I try to be a mom with her eyes and ears open, but at times I know that I morph into a "Tyrannosauros Rex" right in front of my daughters rolling eyes.  I know she'll read this... and that she'll roll her eyes while reading it ;) 
Guess what thou?  I remember being 13 and 14, and I remember hurting inside, feeling like NOBODY understood me AT ALL!!!  And I remember vowing to myself that I would NEVER EVER forget what it felt like to be that age.  Never ever.  And I haven't.  Those feelings can still come up fresh and strong to the suface, especially when I see my girls feeling that way too... Sure, time has put a fuzzy blanket over the intensity, but I haven't forgotten...  I still get tears in my eyes thinking about that heap on the bed, crying her eyes out, feeling so lost and misunderstood... Me. 

So to my dear daughters and all you young girls out there!  We didn't forget what it was like being you.  We did grow up thou.  A bit stronger, a bit braver and a bit wiser.  Realizing that we didn't know quite everything...
I hope that I can be a mom who will never forget what it was like being a child, and how much it can hurt when the bud starts to blossom!!

Monday, March 14, 2011

I'm only as happy as I want to be!

About being content.  It seems like some people are surprised about me living in Finland.  And liking it.  I have lived in 5 different countries (some for brief times, but still), in 7 different cities or towns.  Some really small towns and others rather large.  I have learned new languages and cultures along the way.  I have moved because of school, work, and marriage.  And everywhere I've gone, I've always been with me.  In some places I felt happier, some were more fun than others, but always, I was me.  And every time I had a choice to make the best out of the situation.  I have always known that, but maybe not always tried my best.  You have to mature into the understanding of realizing that I can dare to do what's the best for me in each new situation.  I can choose to be happy and content.  Of course some surroundings, climates and friends will make this easier or harder to achieve, but if you are not happy with yourself and try to change the surroundings, you will have a really hard, never ending struggel ahead of you!!

If I complain about how "this or that" is SO different! HOW can they do that? Well.... Maybe that's how it's always been?  They have never questioned the patteren, because everyone has been fine with the way things have been done.  So what can I do if I'm not happy with it?  One way is to try to see it through somebody elses eyes.  To realize that things can be done in different ways.  When I moved to Canada after getting married to Big Guy, some people wondered how I liked it, and I said I liked it just fine.  Someone pointed out how fast I seemed to blend in, and I said that I felt it had been easier for me to change, rather than trying to change everybody else around me!

You might say "Yeah, but this one person that moved here tried to tell us how we should do this or that different, or how they didn't like anything, why don't they just move back to where they came from??"  Well. It's still all about choices.  You can always ask that person questions.  Be curious.  Don't jump to conclusions and think that "He or she is so negative!!".  Have you walked in her shoes?  What do you know of his background?  Ask,  "Where you lived before, how did they do......?  Why do you miss....? 
Also picture yourself moving to where the person came from.  Would you do that? 

It's never easy to uproot yourself, especially not when you have a family in tow, and sometimes I have to remind myself that our kids might not feel the way I feel about some things.  I can't lay a protective blanket over them and tell them that they like something they don't!  On the other hand, I can teach them tolerance, and remind them about the good and the bad in each situation.  For our kids the language barrier is still the biggest hurdle, as it is for me.  So at least we can relate on that one... And we know that as long as we get the yakking under control, we will be happy with most aspects about living here. Also,  If you like it in one place doesn't mean that you don't miss or like it somewhere else.

I heard about some "live well" expert saying that it's not good to get attached.  I'm not sure about what he was referring to exactly, but I felt that it hit home with me.  I have one lifetime of opportunites, and one day I'm hoping that I can look back and think "I did this and that, and I'm thankful that I dared!"  What's the point?  Well, for me it hopefully means that I have learned something about myself along the way.  And about others.  And always remember that my own happiness starts within me.  I can choose how I feel and how content I am with what I have at each moment!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

More Finland...

OK.  I promised some more about Finland.  With friends and family spread out over this planet, covering 10 time zones, it is hard to keep in touch with you all.  My one sister asks me occasionally how we are doing over here, because "so and so" was wondering!  Well.  We are officially doing really well!  So now you can share that piece of info with whomever your heart desires!  I'm glad to say that too btw!

Last fall was a whirlwind of activities.  It seemed like and endless stream of practical things that needed our attention.  Importing the cars.  Finding a new doctor for our diabetic daughter.  Planning for our house.  All school related things for our 4 schoolaged kids.  Getting in to the "system" in a new country.  Well, I'm glad to say that most of those things are now out of the way, and the wheels are turning more smoothly.  As all that went on thou, I never felt that I had the time to "feel" how I felt about living here.  It felt as if we were still in "moving mode".  Then Christmas came out of nowhere, and with that a nice visit from my parents.  Then we headed up to Northern Sweden and Norway to share the Christmas and New Year holiday with family and friends.  Coming back here after being gone for 11 days actually felt like coming HOME!  The kids felt that way too!  That was such a neat experience.... Driving down the main highway of our city, with all the lights and snow, feeling like home!  We all took that as a good sign!

January is January.  Right?  I never heard anybody claiming January to be their favourite month of the year, and for a good reason I think.... We did have a pretty mild January however, so that meant the kids were outside a lot! Yohoo!!! That pretty much saved us all from severe cabin fever!  Talking about which, we have been relatively healthy I feel.  We had a bout of some fever and flu, but that's pretty much it!
I can feel a difference in the air compared to Windsor thou.  Normally our kids have runny noses all winter, but here they have barely used a Kleenex!
Things to be thankful for.  Health!

Lately I've had the time to reflect on how we are all doing here.  And I've had some "heart to heart talks" with the kids as well.  After the obvious fact that we all miss many dear friends and family members, they have all said that they really like it here!
The school is a lot more relaxed as far as regulations.  They ski and skate and play freely in the snow.  They enjoy textile and woodwork class, and my oldest daughter told me that they are allowed to use paint here in art class "Becasue nobody is worried about making a mess!!!" (she's almost 13 btw...)
Wow.  I was a bit stunned that this had actually stopped them from using paint in the classroom back in Canada!  The language is coming along for all of us, although we sometimes wish we could fastforward the learning pace.  But, each day it gets a bit better!

Now we are looking forward to another summer here.  Hopefully in our new house!  The kids can't wait to pick blueberries and enjoy the beautiful nature that is right THERE!!!  So!  I'm happy to say that we are doing well and feel positive about the future in this new country of ours!
And Oh!  I almost forgot, there are many stores that I haven't visited yet.... for me to discover!!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Winter break

Yay.  It got milder.  I think we have officially pulled through our 1st winter here, (the worst of it, we still have several feet of snow on the ground).  Still alive and well.  I've cought myself having the desire to brows glossy travel magazines... pictures of sparkling water and silky beaches is starting to get under my skin... I confess, just between the 2 of us, that spring and summer has an appealing sound to it.  But for now, I'm just happy to be done with the below -20 C spell that kept us in it's frigid hold for about 3 weeks... Today it was sunny and the temperature hovered just below 0 C.  In the sun it crept up to a few +!!  The 5 oldest went skating for a few hours, and I packed up the 2 youngest ones and went for a walk.  It felt so good with that sun on my pasty cheeks!!  Yesterday we had similar temperatures, and I went outside with just kneehighs under my long skirt... Rebel me!!  I told my husband how nice it felt with summer finally arriving!  Yes.  I'm a bit looney...  

The kiddos have this week off from school, so I sure hope that the weather will stay sunny and mild.  So far so good.

Big news btw!  The floor got poured inside our house a week and a half ago, so as soon as Big Guy gets done with the out of town project, he can get going on our house again!

Anyway.... I've got a new addiction called the name of Spoonflower.com.  (you can design and get your own fabrics printed there....) My brain is in high gear with ideas.... Martha Stewart watch out!!!
I'm gonna get a Finland update to you all real soon! Maybe even some pictures... You never know!
Later folks!