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.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Happy February 29th!!

Why not take the opportunity to celebrate this rare date?
I'm not planning a huge bash or anything.
Just had to point out that todays date only happens every 4th year.
That's all.
My parents are coming from Sweden to visit us for a week.
Will be fun!, I haven't seen them since Christmas 2010 (so over a year ago).
No big plans are prepped for their visit.
We'll be visiting friends, hang out and plan on heading out one day.
Maybe ice-fishing?

There's still lots of snow here, a few feet or so, and the temperature hovers just below freezing, so when the sun pops out, it makes for beautiful outside weather.
The kids have their winterbreak this week as well, so I hope to take the chance to enjoy the outdoors.
Yesterday I brought them skating, and on Monday they played in the snow and went sledding.
Today I'm gonna send them outside to practise their skiing skills!
Maybe I should join them...  Haven't skiied for many, many years, and the other week I found a pair of used skiis at a 2nd hand store... so I don't have any excuses not to ski.
Just a bit of pride... what if my neighbours see me?  They might chuckle at this uncoordinated mess...

Anyway.  I have a busy day ahead.
I'll let you know if I dared to ski or not!!
Have a happy 29th of Feb!
(as if February really needs to be any longer....)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

A year went by!

It's been just over a year since I wrote my 1st blog post here.
Man, did that go fast!
Today our 5th daugther is turning 6, and she's one proud and happy girl.
This morning the whole gang went to sing for her, while she was still in bed.
A slice of cake with a candle to blow out, a cup of chocolate milk and a handful of candy made up the nutricious breakfast in bed.
The new Barbie made her smile, in fact, her whole face glowed!
There's nothing like a brand new Barbie for a little girl.
The hotpink package, the beautiful gown.... Aaah!
Maybe it's not the perfect role model for a young girl, but I know that this unproportional, beautiful friend, will give her hours of fun imaginary play.
I can balance out the reality for her!!

Our 6year old is a fast thinker, and usually hangs out with her older sisters.
The best thing in the world for her is to have alone time with her 4 years older sister.
Just the two of them playing.
She says
"We need some alonetime!"
And then she and big sister spend half a day tucked away in one of the bedrooms, playing and playing...
You can tell she spends a lot of time with her older sisters, she sure acts like them!
When I was pregnant with our 6th girl, I could tell how much fun our 2 oldest had together, then number 3 and 4, so I figured girl number 5 also needed a sister to "team up" with.
Well, she did get a sister, only 19 months younger than her, and they are great friends.
But if she can choose.... she picks her big sisters any time.
Good thing girl number 6 and our little boy are BFF's.
Very much.
He even tells me "M is my best friend!" :) (he's just over 2)

So...  what do I wish for our birthday girl?
She's smart and whitty and cute, and she can really drive me bonkers at times.
She really acts a lot older socially, so when she uses all the same expressions and manners as her older sisters, it's hard to remember she's only turning 6.
I hope she takes her time being a little girl.  Big people life comes fast enough.
This fall she'll be starting kindergarten here in Finland (they don't start grade 1 before the year they turn 7), so in that way she gets to be little a bit longer.
I'm all for that.
So, to my lovely and fun "big" girl: "Have a great year!"
God bless and keep you.
And you know how much we all love you. 
That's the easy part!

Friday, February 17, 2012

be nice to yourself!

This is so so true.
Be nice to yourself, or you might make your life more miserable than needed.
I sometimes ask myself if I'd be my own friend.
There were times when I was younger when I desperately wanted to be like someone else, just not like ME.
After meeting a man who loves me for me, and raising 7 kids, who do the same... I've slowly tought myself to be kinder to myself.  More accepting of my shortcomings.  Less judging when I mess up.  I've always been good at saying the 1st thing that comes to my mind, and as a youth I'd many times literally cry over my own impulsiveness...  Wishing I could keep the cake-hole shut for ones!!  I have leared to stay quiet and listen more, and also made sure that when I say something, it's worth saying.  But I still kick myself at times... putting my foot in the mouth would be a useful talent!
I have to embrace this "flaw" I suppose, and accept that being me is sometimes embarrasing, comical, wierd, funny, nice, impulsive and many other things.
It's the same for us all.

I like the saying
"If you are happy with who you are, you are usually less judging of others"
That is so true.
If I start by being nice to me, a bit more patient and understanding, it's easier to apply this behaviour towards others.
And truly, I've given myself many chuckles over the years, while shaking my head wondering what I was thinking.  And that's ok.  I feel that I am my own friend, it's easier that way...

Saturday, February 11, 2012

3 months later

It's been a bit over 3 months since we lost baby Star.
It's been a busy 3 months, with Christmas and New Year coming and going.
The 1st month after the misscarriage was a rollercoaster of events.
To find out that the baby we thought was coming, died. To go through all sorts of medical procedures, getting an information overload, trying to process what in the world is going on, and then having a DnC.
Losing a fair amount of blood, recovering, having my hormones drop like a bomb, setting off a wildfire of emotions.
Going back for labwork on a weekly basis (now it's down to once a month)
Realizing that I had a type of cancer.
(all my bloodwork is OK now, and there are no signs of any hormone changes, I need to keep monitoring my HCG levels via bloodwork once a month until May this year, and as long as things stay normal, I should be fine)

Then throw myself head 1st into Christmas preparations.
Looking for warm and fuzzy feelings that I like to have while preparing...
They did come.  Maybe because all my feelings were so raw and on the surface, they actually came and felt really good and real.
There were so many things I felt happy and thankful for.
I think every humans most inner wish is to feel loved.  Loved for who they are.
And I felt so much love.  I felt loved.
Making little decorations with our kids.  Baking a few things.  Prepping yummy dishes to eat.
What a nice time to just be together as a family.
We spent very little time on gift shopping.  We kept things quite low key in that department.
But when we all gathered to celebrate Christmas, we all felt rich and very blessed.
Lots and lots of candles burning, a fire going in the fireplace, good food to enjoy, a safe home to be in.
And we remembered Star.

A few nights before Christmas I started to think back and reflect on the time that had past, about 6-7 weeks.
If felt like I had let Star down, not being a good enough mom for her or him.
I had spent so much time preparing for our family... but it felt like I was a bit lost inside.
I read one of my blog entries that I wrote right after finding out about Star dying.
It felt like I was reading something that someone else had gone through.
Had this actually happened to me???
I started to cry, and felt that I was able to let go of so much pain and hurt.
My husband found me in our bed, quiet and sad looking.
He knew.
He laid down next to me, and we hugged and cried.
He promised me I hadn't been a bad mom to Star.
Star was going to have the best Christmas of us all.

New Year we celebrated with a house full of friends.
I felt energetic and happy.

January came and went, just getting everyone back on schedule took a while...
I started to look at myself, and realize that it's time to take care of me.
I counted that I've been pregnant and nursing for a total of more than 130 months since I got married 14½ years ago.  I started Body Balance, and that along with some changes in my food habits, as well as added excercise at home, should help me on the way.
I don't want to forget about the me on the inside thou.
How long should I grieve Star?  I don't feel that I'm grieving anymore, but I can find myself thinking of Star, reminding me that I was supposed to be almost 8 months along now!!
A few of my closest friends back in the States are due at the same time I was, and when I talked to one of them a few days ago, it felt so wierd that she's still having a baby!!!
Of course that's great, but at times it feels like my whole time being pregnant with Star and the misscarriage, is a far away dream.
Like it didn't happen.
Is that normal?  Or am I pushing my feelings away, trying not to think about it?
I'm not sure.  I know I'm trying to be honest with myself, letting me feel what I want to, but it's hard to even find the time in this busy household.  Half the time I can't even hear my own thoughts!
At the end of each Body Balance class, when we do relaxation, I find myself thinking about Star....
I've been doing something for myself, pushing my body to get stronger, but mentally I think it's just as important.  Give time.  Give time to feel, think... and listen.  And slowly grow stronger.

The beautiful flowers one of my sisters sent when Star died
(thanks again!!)

My oldest daughter's drawing of Star

Monday, February 6, 2012

Work it out Mom!!

I've mentioned about Body Balance a few times now.  Hubby got me a 10 time giftcard to a local gym, and he had the BB class in mind for me.  A combo of pilates, yoga and thai chi.
Perfect idea for me!
So, two weeks ago I went to my 1st class, and again this past Tuesday.
I really, really like the classes.
They are almost an hour long, and because I live in the lovely land of Saunas, each time I reward myself with a nice and hot steam sauna at the gym.
(our sauna isn't done yet, so I truly enjoy every chanse I get to use one)

Body Balance works on your balance, your core and overall wellbeing.
It's finished off with relaxation and stretches.
It's funny how listening to the instructors voice, softly rattling off in Finnish (a language that to most people sound rather harsh and choppy) in a quiet soothing voice, at the end of the class, actually sound nice!!
When you are trying to learn something new, while following instructions, it's hard enough when you know the language. To then try to make sense of what she's saying, while attempting new stretches and poses, as well as keeping your balance... sort of makes you shortcircuit! 
After the 1st class I told her I don't understand much Finn, so the 2nd time around she threw in some English as well.  Thank you!!

Here at home I've tried to do some of the excercises as well.
Since I only go to BB ones a week, I figure I'll get more out of it if I try to keep up in between classes.
So... What do I do?
Just randomly I'll lay down on our kitchen floor, it's heated cork flooring, so it's warm and quite soft for being a floor.
One day I did some various excercises, amidst Little Guy's cars and random stuff.
Little Guy himself was playing in the kitchen and livingroom with those "Zhu Zhu" pets (looks like a hamster, and when you press its back, it rolls around on the floor and makes random soundeffects, and when it bumps into something, the little button on the nose activates and makes the animal turn around).
Well, one of those almost got tangled into my braid! :)
Nice effect that you never get to deal with at the gym!

My sister (who happens to be childless, but who greatly admires us moms), gave me a really cool metal sign to hang on a wall (I chose the kitchen).
It says "Motherhood is not for sissies!"
That's me, trying to do yoga poses, in my kitchen, surrounded by kids, toys and various comments.
Having a 13 year old daughter for your personal cheerleader, is not for sissies... ;)
Good thing motherhood also makes you very comfortable in your own skin!

Well.  It's been very very cold outside (I think we converted it to around -15 to -20 F), so taking walks is off the hook for now.  Some crazy people here actually ENJOY temperatures like that "Oh! It's so nice to ski in the woods in the fresh and cold air!"  Eeee...??? (how do you breath at all when your nostriles are frozen shut??)  Yeah.  I guess being a true Finn is not for sissies either... 

Tomorrow morning it's up and at them at 6:30.  I need to bring 2 kids to school, and then continue to the dentist with another 2, meaning getting all 7 kiddos out the door on time.... wish me luck.

Oh!  One more thing, because it's so cute. Tonight Big Guy went and played hockey, and for the 1st time he brought his son along to watch the game!!  Our oldest girl went too so she could take care of Little Guy while Hubby played... It was a proud dad who left with hockey gear and son in tow...
I'll post pictures of that later!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Winter and stuff

Well, not too much is going on, but I figured I'd add some nonsense here anyway.

January came with a load of much appreaciated snow.  The days here are so short, so when there's no snow, it gets very dark.  Now we have close to a few feet of fluffy sparkly stuff.
When the sun shines, which it has been doing quite a bit lately!, it's so so pretty out there.
The trees are weighed down heavily with thick layers of snow.
When you walk outside it creaks under the sole of your shoes (or heavy winter boots!)
It's alwyas a project getting out the door, since it got quite cold here in the last couple of weeks.
With the clear sunny sky, it gets a lot colder, so going out means bundle, bundle, bundle.
This morning we hit the coldest so far this winter, with -25C displayed on the thermometer.
February is usually the coldest month of the year here, and it looks like it'll stand up to that reputation!

I enjoy being back on a decent schedule again.  The holidays were sure fun, but after getting the daily routine messed up beyond recognizion, it feels good to get up at a normal time, send the kids to school and all that stuff.
Our 2 youngest daughters started daycare a few weeks ago, they go 2 days a week, 3½ hours each time, so they aren't exactly gone a whole lot, but it's a good start for them to get used to being away from mom a bit.
Our almost 6 year old had a hard time the 1st day, and cried at the window when I left.
I felt my own eyes welling up too.
My heart went out to her, being left at a new place, with new teachers and friends, not understanding hardly anything of the language.  Yukk.  But it had to come to this day sooner or later, and I think it was very much about time to get it done and over with.
Of course she didn't cry for long, and by the time I picked her up, she was happily playing, looking content.
Our 4 year old was easy, as she barely said goodbye when she went to join in the fun with her group!!
Now they both enjoy their days with their new friends, and here and there I catch them using some Finnish words with each other. 
SO.... for a few hours, 2 days a week, it's just me and Little Guy here at home!  Strange and wierd.
And nice.  Little Guy gets some alone time, and he truly seem to enjoy being left alone, playing with his stuff undisturbed.  He blabs away happily, building with his Legos, traintrack and cars.

It still amazes me when I think about all the comments I used to get before we had him, how boys are so much more difficult than girls, how they wreck everything, how they are loud etc.
Well, our little guy is one of the easiest kids we have had!!
Or maybe I'm getting immune to the messes, unrolled toiletpapers, toys in the garbage, marker on the walls, and made a bigger deal about it when the girls did the same things? 
I enjoy watching him running laps around the kitchen and livingroom, with a hockey stick in his hands (how do they just KNOW how to hold it in the proper way??), whacking away at anything that could pass for a ball or a puck, yelling at the top of his lungs
"Hockey playyyyeeeeeeeer!"  Then watch when he throws himself on the ground and groans.

Our 2nd oldest has had a bit harder time adjusting and wanting to learn Finn in school, so starting this semester she's spending her time 50-50 between her regular class that is in the bilingual Finnish-English program, and the other grade 6 which is a "regular" Finnish speaking class.  She already likes it, and in the Finnish class she has to use her Finn a lot more.  This will hopefully speed up the language progress!  (she says it already has)
This was a worry for me, and I'm happy to say it looks like things will work out better for her now.

What else??  Hubby is staying busy enough with construction, and looking forward, it looks like they'll have work for a while.  It feels stressful at times not knowing for sure how busy they'll be, but I guess there are no guarentees anywhere!  I'm glad to see him enjoying what he's doing!!

Our oldest and I just marveled at the fact that we've already lived over 1½ years here .
To think that this summer will be 2 years, and our 1st plan was to come here for 2 years....
I can't imagine starting to pack up and move again!  Hopefully not for a while in fact...
We still get asked if we are staying here or moving back.
Well.  I guess I can say we'll be here for the time being.
It is a huge project to move overseas, especially when you cut all the ties that held you down over there.
Then coming here, building a house, trying to adjust to a new country, language, starting a business etc...
2 years go SO fast!!!  Besides, while you are busy unpacking, adjusting, learning, you become attached to the new place and people.  So when you stop and react, all of a sudden you realize that
"I think this is becoming home!"
Our kids are happy too.  Our oldest got quite upset when she saw me getting homesick for all of our friends overseas while I was reading the Christmas cards.  She told me that if we move back, she's staying here!
I was a bit stunned.  Of course she wants to see her friends there, but she wants to live here.
And that was that.
I had to take it as a good sign thou.  How terrible it would be if she was still not adjusting to life here, missing her old friends too much, not making new ones here! 
So although I was a bit surprised about her strong reaction, I was also thankful that she's truly happy here!
Lets hope it stays that way...

Oh!  I almost forgot.  I have attended 2 Body Balance classes now. One word: Awesome!!
Hard enough to get a bit worn out, reminded about some muscles I forgot I had, but also relaxing, and FUN!!  In North Ameica Body Balance is known as Body Flow, in case anyone is curiuos!

Last but not least, some pictures from our backyard...  Enjoy!!

Our view from our diningtable

I LOVE the snow on the branches!!!

The "Giraffe" in our backyard!

Pretty fluffy snow....