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.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Happy 10th Birthday, Bug!!

We have another birthday to celebrate!!
Our 3rd girl is turning 10 tomorrow.
So.... let's take a walk down memory lane....

10 years ago I was 10 days overdue with this gal.  I remember a few weeks before when I went to one of my Dr checkups, and the Dr asked me
"How are you feeling?"
"Pregnant!!" I replied.
"You should, because you are 8 months pregnant!"
He, he... He was this older obstetrician, with a dry sense of humor and a great personality.
So, the day before she was born, I felt very ready.  I had a a Dr's appointment, and he told me that if I didn't have the baby by Friday, he'd induce me then. (this was on a Monday)
Well.... Tuesday early morning I went in to labour.
My Hubby was already at work in the States, since this was only 6 weeks after 9/11 2001, it took a LOOONG time to cross the border in to the USA, so he'd leave from home at 4 am to make it to work for 5 am.  If he left any later, the same drive would take up to 3 hours.
So... I called him around 6 to let him know that he needs to come back to Canada.

My in-laws came over and picked up our 2 oldest, who were 3½ and 2 at the time.
Then Hubby and I went to the hospital.
Of course when we got to the hospital my contractions became less frequent, I think it's a rule...
But since I was 11 days overdue, they kept me anyway.
We had breakfast in the cafeteria, and were excited about what the day would bring.  It was sunny and unusually warm outside.  My contractions came and went, and when they came they were good and strong.
Around 1pm they decided to break my water, to help things along.
Turned out I had so much water, I had to stay in bed after that, or the baby might have flipped around = c-section.  I got a bit frustrated since walking around had felt so good.  But I knew things were getting closer, so that was exciting.  I had made a decision to try to go without en epidural, since after my 2nd one I had quite a few complications due to it.

I had a fantastic nurse at my side, who kept me believing that I could do it!!
Shortly past 2pm, things got bad.... I started to have really strong and painful contractions, and I remember looking over at my Hubby telling him I was scared!  His face looked so helpless, it hurt me.
Good thing for that amazing nurse!
After about 40-45 minutes of pure ****, we were able to welcome a beautiful girl to our family.
I was so out of it I couldn't even hold her...
But amazingly enough, I felt WAAAY better within a very short amount of time.
I took a shower only a few hours later, and I had all the energy I needed to care for our little pumpkin!

Almost 2 years later we just about lost her to undiagnosed diabetes.
She had been sick, and slowly gotten worse, for about a month and a half.
We had a newborn baby at the time, and my brain was mush.
I averaged about 3 hours of sleep per night for a few months straight, and for several weeks I kept bringing our little sick girl to the Dr's, trying to figure out why she was disappearing in front of our eyes.
This smiley, busy girl, turned in to a shell of herslef.  She finally quit walking, talking and eating, and her bowels stopped moving...
My mother's instinct KNEW that this was more than a viral infection, besides non of the other kids were sick!  We finally got her type 1 diabetes diagnosed, just a week before her 2nd birthday.
I was relieved to know that she'd be fine, but devestated knowing that our baby had a chronic illness, that would change her life forever.

For the next 5 years we managed her diabetes via insulinshots, about 4-5 every day.
When she was almost 7 she got her insulin pump, which has made her life (and ours) a lot easier.

So, what is she like today??
Well, she's our Angelina Ballerina through and through.  She has the looks and built of a dainty fairy, she's fun and smart and at times a bit ditsy.  She plays great with her younger siblings, and most of the time she carries a smile on her face.
Knowing how close we were to losing her, and knowing what she has gone through with her sickness in her young life, makes her a bit special to us.
It's also a reminder of how much we should appreaciate what we have when we have it, and how quickly things can change.  It makes me love all our kids even more, because they are merely gifts for us to care for, and there's nothing that's for sure in life....

Bug, we love you so much, I admire your strength, and how you almost never complain about what you have to deal with on an everyday basis.  Like I've told you many, many times,
                                                               "You are the bravest girl I know!!"

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Happy 2nd Birthday Little Guy!

Happy Birthday Little Guy.  You are 2 now!!  Time has gone so fast, and now we have this little guy running around, ruling the household.  He gets into his fair share of trouble, but not any more than some of his sisters at the same age.  I bet when I have the baby, he'll make up for any wasted time thou...
Our Little Guy has been talking in sentences for many months now, and now he's starting to say the more "big kid" stuff, like : "No, that food is yukky!" , "No, I don't wanna go sleep!"
No is a very well used word.  If I ask for a hug he usually says "No!", then I say, "Please??", and he'll say "Tay!" (he can't say "K" yet), and come over and give me a snug.

He's starting to think that he doesn't need naps anymore!  Bad idea for a guy who likes to wake up 1st in the household... I try to be firm on this one, but you really can't MAKE him fall asleep!  He'll spend 1½ hours in his bed, talking, singing and playing games, but won't sleep.

So.  How was it the day this little guy entered this world?
Well, 2 days before, I went for my weekly pregnancy checkup, and my Dr said:
"You are due on Saturday, if you come to the hospital in the morning, we can induce you then!"
Saturday was my duedate, and he figured with baby #7, I had been pregnant long enough.
I agreed, although I wasn't sold on the idea of being induced... But to plan it on a Saturday was so convenient, since my Hubby worked in the States at the time, so if I went in to labour with him on the other side of the border, and a potential line up at the bridge coming in to Canada, I couldn't deny the offer.
We were also able to plan babysitting service at his moms, so that was practical as well.

Early Saturday morning, Oct 24th 2009, we piled our 6 girls in the Suburban and dropped them off at grandmas.  A week before, my hubby's brother and family had a baby boy, so of course we all wished for a boy even more now!
Coming to the hospital they hooked me up to antibiotic and IV, since I tested Strept B positive, and you need to have the antibiotic for 4 hours before the baby is delivered.  I walked the halls attached to the pole carrying the IV+meds.  We had a lunch at the hospital cafeteria, and I was kind of impatient getting into labour.  Nothing was happening yet.  Around 3pm or so, they broke my water (I had been at the hospital since 7ish, but things got really hectic on this day, with a few emergencies, so I was pushed down the priority list)  After breaking the water I had to stay in my room, and things were kind of draggy.  Nothing much happened.  I tried to stand and walk in different ways to get things going.  Nothing happened.  They put me on oxitocin (like the body's own hormone that puts you in labour), and they kept cranking it up....  Early evening I was finally getting some decent, but not very steady contractions.  I'm not a very patient person, so needless to say, I was getting frustrated.  The nurse told me to enjoy the rest...
She was really nice btw, and hung out with me and my Hubby for many hours, just visiting.  Since I was in a high risk unit (mandatory after having so many babies), I had my own nurse, so she wasn't wasting her time.

I finally got some good contractions going, and I needed some laughing gas.  1st time I used that, and I liked it.  (I was trying to go without an epidural)  I rocked in a rockingchair, which was soothing through the contractioins.  Around 8pm things strated to get intense.  I was still only 5-6 cm dilated, and wasn't sure how long things were going to take, and I felt like my bladder was going to explode from all the preassure... so I asked for an epidural...  I got it quite fast, and 20 minutes later our 8 lbs boy greeted the world.
There were cheeres from all the nurses, as well as the Dr and my Hubby.
"A BOY!!!"
Nobody could believe that this girlmaking machine was capable of this!
I had to ask them if they were SURE!!
"Yes, we are sure!"
Then my Dr asked Hubby to cut the umbilicy cord, and I'm sure he didn't mind, alhtough his vision was blurred from tears.  On his face was also a HUGE smile!  He had a SON!!!

Of course it doesn't matter what the gender of your child is, but there's a reason why there are girls and boys on this planet, and there are differences between the genders as well, so after having 6 girls in a row, although being very different from each other, having a boy was wonderful!
Coming home from the hopital, our livingroom slowly turned light blue... Cards and gifts were everywhere.  This was a special little guy!  Some people felt sorry for the poor thing, having to grow up surrounded by all those sisters (and at times I do too..., I worry he'll never get married, since he'll know WAY too much about women from growing up in this household)  But mostly he's a lucky little guy.  His needs have always been met, he's loved beyond words, and pretty much anything he does is cute and adorable.
HE is cute and adorable, with his round head, round blue eyes, and... yeah, everything.
And he's SO boy.  100%.  Amazingly enough!
He does have a really tender heart thou, and he loves his stuffed Winnie bear, and his sisters, and especially his mom and dad.
And we love him too.
So increadibly much, it almost hurts...  I have to agree with our 12yearolds comment:
"You just can't get mad at him!"
No, you just can't...

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Are you a Saint??

This morning our Little Guy (almost 2) was throwing a fit.  He was very upset that his older sister had the bowl of cereal that HE wanted.  I made him the same thing, to no avail.  I asked big sister if she would be so nice to give her halfeaten food to her brother in exchange for a brand new bowl of the same stuff. 
Obviously she did not go for that.  Too easy of a solution, plus watching little brother holler is somewhat amusing.
I walked away from the situation, telling my hubby I felt old, and added
"How hard could it have been for Mother Theresa to be a Saint, she never had kids!"
My Hubby chuckled and added
"And no husband!"
Now, don't take me wrong, Mother Theresa was in my eyes an amazing person, who probably spent hundreds of nights awake taking care of poor children who no one else cared about.  She was truly unselfish.
I by all means doubt that would have been me at any point, with, our without, hubby and/or kids.
At times thou it seems like we mothers (and yes, fathers!) of young children get tested to our limits, over and over. 
I have to remind myself about the good stuff, to help me out during the intense moments.
The cereal situation was solved, I guess big sister got sick of her brother screaming, so she traded bowls...
Then he wanted her cup of course.  Duh.
Good thing we had another one that looks exactly the same!!

When we lived in Canada I actually had people ask me on a regular basis, if I indeed was a Saint, when they saw us and our row of kids out in public.
"Of course I am, is it that obvious?"  Dressed in stained clothes, hair in some sort of creation, bags under the eyes... isn't that the registered Saint look??

Really thou.  Being a parent can bring out the worst in us.  It makes us feel guilty, impatient, immature... not all great stuff indeed.  I guess we really do get in touch with who and what we are.
Parenting also makes us patient, unselfish, full of love, understanding.
It makes us wear our hearts on the sleeve, and give us strength to stay up all night with a sick child.
It has made me more forgiving, and forever thankful over how forgiving kids are.

I strongly doubt I will gain Sainthood any minute now, but all the sweat and tears, and sometimes some blood, is sure worth it.
This morning my mother-in-law popped over to say goodbye before going back to Canada, and just as she was about to shut the door, Little Guy called out, while waving his little chubby hand,
"Bye, bye, see you soon!"  Granma melted a bit, and so did I...
Only 30 minutes before had he been acting very monster like, and now... he was almost like a Saint!

Oh, one last thing that I have to add.
When talking about gifts for her grandmas 60th birthday, our 8year old added
"Farfar (Grandpa) is Mummis gift everday, because he's her husband!"

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Maybe I'm cheesy??? Or maybe it's just LOVE!!

We had some fun plans for this weekend.  We were FINALLY going to spend a nite in a hotel w the kids, just chillaxing, swimming in the pool, enjoying the big breakfast buffee, then on Sunday go to church and see friends in a different city.  Well.  This horrible mom decided to come down with a cold!!!  Hello???  Bad timing anyone?  I felt really bad telling the kids that "Mom is too tired to pack up all the stuff for 9 people!"  Hubby was gone helping his brother repairing his car, that decided to come down with something too...

Well.  In the end the 2 oldest took the train to the city we had planned on visiting, they are spending the nite with their friends.  The rest of us hung out all afternoon, Hubby and I zonked out on one couch each, and getting up some time later, I found a smidgen of energy.
We loaded up the 5 kids in the car, and went to Hop Lop (indoor playground), followed by a late dinner at McDonald's.  Coming home the 2nd youngest was already asleep, and now it's only the oldest of the 5 that's still awake.

We had a nice day after all, and again I feel thankful for our "basic" family life.
I got to be with 6 of my 8 favourite people, and again I fell a bit more in love with my Hubby.
Just because it's so hard not to.... :)
I might seem ultra cheesy who is always gushing over him... but why not???
It's been over 15 years now since we started dating, and I know just how lucky I am to have him.
I'm too lazy to climb a mountain to declare my love for him from high up there.  I don't have the money to fully show him how much I think of him,  so this is a good way to share my feelings.
I love him. 
And every day I pray to grow old with him. 
Surrounded by our kids and their families.
Cheesy??  Maybe for those that are looking for something else, for those who are not happy about where they are...
But I am.  And I wouldn't want it any different.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

A special night

Now we've lived in our house for almost 3 months, and things are sort of falling into place.
I know where the things are in the kitchen.  At 1st you feel like a stranger in a new house, even if the things that surround you are yours, it takes some time to get used to where the new place to keep them are.  So... feeling more comfortable living here now, and not being as tired as in the beginning of the pregnancy, I wanted to have a ladies night.

My Mother in law is here for a visit from Canada, so it was a good time for her to spend a nite with some lady friends as well.
I prepped some yummy food, and sort of cleaned the house, put out a bunch of candles, flowers and napkins in bright orange colours.  I had about 20 ladies here, a nice crowd!
When the 1st ones arrived they brought along a beautful gift basket for me!  I was moved to tears as I read the card from all these new friends of mine.  I felt so blessed and thankful, not just about the thoughtful "housewarming gift", but the fact that they thought about doing this in the first place!  I also got a huge bouque of flowers (one of the ladies work at a flower shop, and she had put the arrangement together by herself).  Another lady gave me some pretty glass candleholders.  Wow, I felt spoiled! 

Moving somewhere new is always a challenge, feeling accepted and cared about is a great gift.
I feel humbled and blessed about all this, and my heart is so warm and thankful for these great new friends I'm surrounded by.
If any of you read this, Thank you!!!  I'm so very happy to have you all as a part of my life!
I hope I can be as good to you as you've been to me, you've made me feel truly welcome! :)

The Gorgeous Flowers

The Flowers and Mugs and Candleholders

These mugs are typical in Finland.  They show various "Muumin" characters (very popular here)
printed on "Arabia" china.  I can't believe we got 12 of them, as these are usually collectors items!
I know they'll be well used and loved by us all.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Hey! Who bumped me??

I know, I have written several blog entries lately... don't get sick of me quite yet thou, because this is pretty neat!
I'm pretty sure I can feel the baby now... some soft flutter in there...
It's our 8th baby. 
It's another miracle. 
It's amazing, and it brings tears to my eyes...
This person is already making me happy, and I love him or her already...
Only the size of an avocado, but with immense power over a mother's heart...
This is not a random happening. 
This is a creation of someone a lot greater than us.
It deepens my understanding for what I believe in....

Just had to share this milestone with you all....

Monday, October 3, 2011

15 months in Finland.

Time for another letter to America!!  To give an update on how things are going in the old world.  It's been 15 months since the boat arrived at the harbor... or I guess when our Finnair flight hit the ground in Helsinki.  A lot has truly taken place since...

The move itself.  Getting an apartment, and trying our first little jumps and hops, like a babybird learning how to fly, in a new country.  Starting to build a new house.  Starting a new business.  New schools, language, Dr's, blah blah blah....
We moved again, and now live in the house we started building, the new company is growing roots, things are picking up. 
A new baby is on the way.
The kids have a year of school here stuffed in their backpacks of life.

Lately there have been many things happening back in Canada and USA.  Some friends of mine are expecting babies right around the same time as I.  I'd love to "grow big" along side with them.  I miss them.  A dear friend has moved on to eternity, and she'll be missed.  One of my dear sister-in-laws won't be my sis-in-law much longer... and that hurts, but she know's she'll always be my special L.  I wish I could be there for many reasons at times.  I get "homesick" for people.  Sometimes for places too, but not much.  I don't miss "stuff", I miss people.

Here I have laid the ground work for new friendships.  Looking back in my life, I realize that I've "started new" many many times.  Becoming a new friend to someone does not scare me.  I love meeting new people, and I find that everyone is interesting in their own way.  One thing I miss here is my ability to talk to anyone I want to.  I like to talk to old ladies, but here the language barriare slows me down a lot.  Very frustrating at times.  After learning Swedish growing up, and now also being fluent in English, makes the road of learning Finn seem very long and bumpy at times.  (I know how much work is involved in becoming equally fluent in 2 languages)  I'm not 18 anymore either... The age I was when I spent 2 months in USA and learned English. 

Now I'm mostly at home during the weeks, so the opportunities to use Finnish are sometimes far in between.  Lately I've been to some "in home sales" parties.  Great chance to practice Finn!  And to listen to the person presenting their products.  I actually "get it" every now and then.  Finn  is very different from most languages, so it's not like it "sounds like" or resembles any of the common Europeean languages either (which would greatly help me out).  So.  I struggle.  And I'm taking small steps forward. 
At least I can relate to how the kids feel!  They are fortunately catching on faster than their mom thou...

We are going through our 2nd fall here, and it's interesting to experience the seasons change for the 2nd time.  I'm curious and a bit scared to see if this February will be as cold as last one.  Will we still have tons of snow at the end of March?  Right now the trees are all dressed in sparkling colors, but their gowns are falling rapidly.  Soon we'll hit that gray November... and I'll be looking forward to snow to brighten up the days.  It's already getting dark quite early, and it's only getting darker.  We are planning to spend Christmas at home.  I hope I have energy to bake all the traditional Christmas goodies, and spend the holiday relaxing in front of the fireplace.

So... the latest review of life here??  It's good.  I still like the fact that things are so close.  I still don't miss crossing the international border crossing between Windsor and Detroit.  I don't miss Detroit traffic, and my hubby stuck in it on the way home from work... We have seen each other a lot more this year, and that was one of our goals.  The kids are adjusting, and they seem happy over all.  Of course they miss their friends and realtives over there, just like I do!  But you'll always miss somebody... especially when your family live very spread out!  But as long as we are content in the moment, and with what we have each day, those things become easier to handle. 

Some people ask if we are staying here, we originally talked about living here for 2-3 years.  Some people said before we moved "Oh, you'll be back here in 2 years!" others predicted we won't come back at all.  (besides for visits)  At this point I think we are staying here for many years to come.  1st of all, I'm not interested in uprooting and moving our kids every few years, especially since moving back to where we used to live would not be an option.  So if we moved back, it would be starting new all over again, in a new city etc.  Does not sound appealing right now.  Some of the reasons that made us move in the 1st place, we really would miss moving back, and why "fix" something if it's not broken??
I like to tell the kids that this is where we live now, feel free to root yourself.
If they knew that "We might be moving back in 2-3 years", would they dare to fully spread their wings and embrace all the new?  And then after a few years, we aren't able to move back, and they feel disappointed? 

I don't know if there is a "right or wrong" way to do a big life change like this, but being honest makes it easier.  And I couldn't honetly tell them "in 2 or 3 years this or that will happen!"  That's impossible! 
Who knows what will happen in the next few years??  Besides, then our oldest kids will be in highschool, and highschool here and overseas is very different, so the older the kids are, the harder a move would be.

2 years ago it seemed very strange to move here.  I was almost due with our youngest, and our overseas plans were just starting to gain momentum.  So much have happened since then, and I guess time will tell how this move has changed our lives for better and worse.  I like to look at the good stuff thou, and so far, so good!  I realize that giving a timeline for a move like this is really quite pointless (unless you move on a one or two year work visa, where your company helps you with the moving costs, and you plan on returning to your old place, that's different).  We sold our house, brought all our belongings with us, my husband quit his job... so after cutting all the ties like that, it's a lot more work going back.

So.... now you know where that stands!  I guess we are Finns now!  :)

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Have faith

This is a true story, with a happy ending.

A bit over a year ago one of my favorite families had to accept the sad news that they had lost their home.  After the dad lost his job a few years back, and they fell behind on payments, this was the outcome in the end.  Far from the only ones these days.  He was working when they lost it, but the bank was not willing to negotiate.
This family had 11 kids at the time, and the hard task of finding a new place for them was on their "to do list".
It's not easy to tell a potential landlord that 13 people in your rental will not wreck it!

The months went by, and for Christmas gift they found out that God was again blessing their family with another child.  This incradible mom felt new strength from this, feeling that in this dark time of heavy trial, they had a light to look forward to.

Another month or so went by, and they finally found a rental place that seemed like a good place for them.  In March they were moved in, and things seemed OK, but sad news came around this time, the dad lost his job, again...
With a 12th child on the way, and living in a rental home that unfortunately turned out to NOT be a good one, losing his job felt like a terrible blow.
This mom who never complains, felt that this finally got the better of her.
Many, many friends prayed for them, and she got her strength back.
At the end of the school year, her parents opened their doors for them, and the 13 of them moved in to their house.  Still no work lined up, although the dad worked hard on finding one.

Summer break came, but before it's end, the dad lost his own dad.  His dad had been sick for  quite some time, but it's never easy to say farewell to one of your parents. 
Finally on the 1st day of September a beautiful baby girl was added to the bunch.  The family was extatic, and the mom felt that this is what life is all about.  A new baby reminded her to stay focused on the things that really matter.

About a year had gone by since they found out about losing their house, and God saw that it was time to end this trial.  At the end of September the dad got a great job offer, and now this wonderful family can start looking for a place to call their own. 

These are the kind of people I look up to.  Who don't despair in the darkest hour, but keep their heads high and keep trying, and who let God guide the their lives in a humble way.

Good luck dear friends, you are not forgotten, and God will always be with you.