Yo-yo cookies

Last week I saw a very cute cookbook and just had to buy it. It had pretty colors, the recipes looked quick, simple and most of them something I would actually like to make. The book being on sale didn’t hurt or hinder either.

This book is called Pieni Leivoskirja (Little Cakes and Cookies to Bake) by Abigail Wheatley. There’s several pages of tips and tricks to get your baked goods to come out nice and how to decorate them cutely, which I love! There is also a page about allergies and substitutions (haven’t really looked at this yet). And each recipe is just laid out simply with pictures showing what  to do for each step. I truly fell in love with this book at first sight.

Never at a loss for helping hands/paws.

Never at a loss for helping hands/paws.

I have been itching to make something ever since I bought the book, but just hadn’t found the right time or energy, until today. I picked Paxlet up from daycare a bit earlier than normal, so even after us wandering around outside for a half an hour, it was still early enough to attempt a new recipe before dinner.

Yoyo cookies / Jojokeksit
makes about 12 filled-cookies

Ingredients:
175 g (3/4 cup +1/2 Tbs) room temperature butter
1/2 dl (3,5 Tbs) powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla sugar/extract
2,5 dl (1 cup) flour
40 g (1/3 cup) corn starch (I used half potato starch because I ran out of corn)
1 tsp baking cocoa

Chocolate filling:
40 g (2,86 Tbs) butter
75 g (1/2 cup / 2,6 oz) dark or milk chocolate

You also need 2 baking pans and sprinkles

Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 190C / 375F. Grease or put baking paper on the pan.

2. Measure the butter into a big bowl. Sift the powdered sugar in with the butter. Mix until fluffy. Mix in the vanilla. Sift the flour and corn starch into the bowl. Mix well.

3. Spoon half the dough into another bowl. Sift into one bowl the baking cocoa. Mix well.

4. Roll a teaspoon sized bit of dough into a balls’ and put it on the oven pan. Make more balls. Leave enough room around each ball on the pan.

5. Gently flatten the balls with a fork (like peanut butter cookies). Bake for 12-14 minutes.

6. While the cookies are baking, make the chocolate filling.
(Gently melt the butter in a pan, remove from heat and add the chocolate, mix until chocolate is melted and the two are well mixed. (I did this in the microwave.) Let the mixture harden for about 20 minutes in the fridge until it is thick enough to spread on the cookies.)

7. Let the cookies cool on the pan for a few minutes. Then transfer them to a cooling rack to cool all the way.

8. When the cookies have cooled and the filling is ready, spread the filling on one half of a cookie and then press a second half on top.

9. Put some sprinkles in a bowl and roll the cookies in the sprinkles.

The cookies aren’t too sweet, except for the chocolate filling. I used dark chocolate and now wish I had used milk chocolate (although I didn’t have any on hand). I think I might make these again, as they were quick, easy and fun.

Here’s a few pictures of Paxlet and I making the cookies. He really did help! He poured in some ingredients, helped me sift (by sticking his fingers in it and saying tap-tap-tap, more than anything), held the handheld mixer with me, stirred a bit and “rolled” the balls (again, more words were said than action done). He also threw a fit when we were all done rolling. Paxlet also helped with the frosting a bit, but really by that point he just wanted to taste/eat something.

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I’m a bit dissapointed; Paxlet isn’t dissapointed

I know this is going to sound silly, petty and a bit bitter (is that the word I’m looking for?), but I am only human with human emotions. I am mostly disappointed at my now former-ish* co-workers. Today was my last day in the team and it was like any other day: busy-crazy and not nearly enough time to do everything I needed. I expected that! However, whenever anyone else has previously left the team, we have always chipped in and bought them a small ‘thank you for being in our team, we’ll miss’ you gift. I didn’t get a thing! Not even a printed out at work and signed card. (Maybe no one will miss me?) I know one should not expect anything, but, but. But I guess the other lady who also left the team today didn’t get anything either. And neither did she bake any amazing dessert!

*Former-ish, because I will still be in close contact with them doing some of my old tasks and we are only just 2 floors away from each other (until they move and then they are 1 floor away in the other direction).

*****

Paxlet on the other hand, got a red balloon today and had a great time with it! He also learned a new word: balloon.

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The day has finally come and Apple Almond Meringue recipe

On Wednesday, after being home sick Monday and Tuesday, I finally learned that I will be moving to my new new position on Monday! I am excited and a bit nervous to be finally moving on. It’s only been 4 months since I should have moved to my previous new job, which I’ll never get to experience. In the 6 years that I have worked for this company, I have been in the same position (Accounts Receivable) the entire time, I’ve just worked with different regions around the world. My new new position (Contact Center) is going to be quite different, with a touch of the old, and fun, I think. I’ll have get to use my Finnish language skills more.

I’m not 100% sure of all my tasks in my new position. Part of that has to do with this position being new within the company itself and, well, I’ve not worked there yet. The tasks I do know, as I said, will be following me to this new position. Some of these tasks will be email monitoring/responding to certain types of requests, some reporting and for this month only some very basic account receivable work (processing of incoming payments) that has miraculously returned for a short period of time from the outsourced company.

The other news I found out when I returned to work on Wednesday was that the outsourcing company did get the go ahead on their handover/go-live, with conditions. Just like my co-workers and I expected. Part of this “condition” was that some work would come back to us for April. This is being done in the hopes that the quality of the work that stays there will get better and that when we do send the rest of the work to them (again) they will be better trained and more able to do their job.

Part of the work that came back, is my work! Yay! Actually, I did miss doing this part of the job and it is fun to be able to do it for a tiny bit longer. But with moving to my new position on Monday, it means I won’t have fully moved away from my current/former position just yet. Which, I don’t quite mind, but it means the business will continue for a bit longer.

*****

For my last day with my current co-workers, I decided to bake something for an afternoon coffee break. If possible, I wanted to go gluten-free and dairy-free so one of my co-workers could join in too. I think I found the perfect recipe, that I know is good normally, but should be easy to convert too! It’s an Apple Almond Meringue pie that we would make at the coffee house I worked at years and years ago.

Sorry for the poor quality, I'm too lazy to get out a real camera. Gluten-free on the left, "normal" on the right.

Sorry for the poor quality, I’m too lazy to get out a real camera.
Gluten-free on the left, “normal” on the right.

Apple Almond Meringue

Crust
Beat: 1 cube (1/4 lb or 1/2 cup) soft margarine
1 cup flour (here I substituted gluten-free flour mix)
When smooth, press evenly in a 9 inch spring pan. Bake at 325F until golden, about 15 minutes.

Bowl #1
Mix: 3 shredded Granny Smith apples (or 1 1/2 cups chopped apple)
2 Tbsp lemon juice
Arrange over crust (after baked).

Bowl #2
Beat: 2 eggs until foamy
Gradually add 1 cup sugar. Beat until thick
Mix in: 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup flour (here I substituted gluten-free flour mix)
Pour over apples.
Sprinkle on top 1/2 cup sliced almonds.

Bake at 325F until golden, about 30-35 minutes, or until done.

Haha, I’m pregnant! Oh, wait, it’s just an April Fool’s day joke

Why did I think my FB friends/acquaintance were above and beyond the whole “Surprise, I’m pregnant!” on April 1st? Maybe it is because I have suffered infertility and am entrenched in the community that I know how funny it isn’t. It was stupid and naive of me to think otherwise.

I saw not one, but two announcements. Who knows, they could still be real* announcements, but what a rotten and unreal day to post about them. If they are real, I’m happy for the ladies and their family’s. If not, I want to say I’ll be  hiding their feed from view or de-friending them, but when I think about it, it’s only hurting me by doing that. One of the announcements is from a high school friend who just had her first, about 9 months ago. The other is lady I met through her IF blog, who has since been able to conceive and deliver a healthy baby.

As I slowly type/peck this out on my phone, I’ve been thinking why this bothers me so much. It’s not just that it took us so long and hard to get Paxlet, that is a huge part of it. But it is also that I would love a second child and I honestly don’t believe it will happen for us. So hearing/reading others throwing these words around so “flippantly” hurts.

Infertility, you aren’t funny and you suck!! Happy Fool’s Day anyway.

Edited: I did post my own statement/status on FB about how hurtful “jokes” like that are. Most people who commented agreed, more people just liked my status and one friend said “there’s no way of other people knowing what will hurt someone’s feelings”. I told her, I agreed, you can’t know what will hurt someone or not, but no one will ever know if I don’t speak up about it. And she replied that she now knows something like this could hurt others’ feelings. While I have not educated the world, I have educated one person (maybe more), at least for this day.

*I have since had confirmation that the second announcement is real. I congratulated her.

1 day shy of 19 months

Paxlet is 19 months old today. And yesterday just before nap time, 1 day shy of 19 months, was our last breastfeeding attempt/session. At the beginning of this month, I wrote that I could tell my time breastfeeding Paxlet was coming to an end. I just didn’t realize it would be this soon.

For the last 6 months, Paxlet has really only been having milk in the morning when he woke up and just before going to bed. On weekends, that is how he would fall asleep for naps. But the last few days, when Paxlet would say that he wanted milk (boob), he has been biting after drinking for only a few seconds. (Not a full on chomp, but with enough teeth to give me a shock and ouch feeling.) When this would happen, I’d notice that he had stopped drinking, clamped his teeth on my nipple and then look up at me with a mischievous grin. Ugh! When I would yelp and tell him no, or all done, he’d just laugh. After this happening 3 consecutive times just before bed, I figured this weekend would be the last. I’d see if he wanted ‘boob’ for his nap times (only) and then we’d just be done. As it happened, he chomped on me already after only a few seconds of drinking while going down for his nap on Saturday. That was it! I was done. Paxlet has not asked for boob and I have not offered since. We are officially done.

I had no idea how long I’d breastfeed. I had originally thought at least 1 year and then see what happens from there. After the year ‘marker’, I figured Paxlet would let me know when he is done and that he has! I am just glad I realized we were coming to an end in this chapter of Paxlet’s life, so I could take the time to appreciate it and reflect on it.

I’m not quite sure how I feel about this change. On one hand, I am happy that I was able to breastfeed for so long and relatively easily. However, I’m a bit sad that this time is over. Paxlet is getting so big and doesn’t always want to snuggle as I put him down for bed. I’m also a bit…relieved, maybe? This stopping process, if you can call it that, was quite easy and painless (minus a few small chomps). I think I’m also a bit happy to get my boobs back. They are all mine (and Mr Siili’s) now.

Breastfeeding is done. I can go back to my regularly scheduled allergy medications and none too soon. Birch season is just around the corner!

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Some times, things just happen. Like yesterday’s post. It was not meant to be posted here, hence the use of real names(now edited). It was meant for Paxlet’s daily journal, also on WordPress, but private. Reading that post, I know my thoughts are all over the place and a lot of it doesn’t make sense to most people, but it makes sense to me and is mostly just a reminder of what had been happening lately. I truly and honestly hope my posts here aren’t that scattered in thought.

Some translation to the words I posted in Finnish:
ei ole = There/It is not    (Paxlet is using it as “X is not there”)
Miks(i) ei? = why not?
halua = to want    (
On? = Is?    Meaning “Where is X?” (not the English “on”, but with a long o sound)
Missä? = Where?    (ex. Missä on kissa? OR Missä kissa on?)

*****

Work…where do I begin? Or rather, it has never really ended from the last posts I have written. Really, the craziness has just continued. We’re told there is a light at the end of the tunnel, but I think we are all starting to think it is a train and not sunlight.

The people we trained in the outsourced company have gone home and “trained” more people and no one really knows what they are doing, so the work that is being done in the outsourced company is just not getting done correctly. It takes me and my co-workers ages to monitor their work and follow their path of (not) thinking to figure out what is wrong and why. To be fair, 90% of the work is getting done correctly, it is the 1o% of errors that are so blindingly and frustratingly stupid and annoying. We are just getting to our wits end! (One guy is still, 4 weeks later, on stress-sick leave.) My co-workers and I just don’t understand how the outsourcing people can continue to do these simple mistakes over and over when we have told them all several times in as many ways as we can what is the correct way. (We were told how smart and brilliant they are. The best of the best.)

Next week is month quarter end closing and after that is supposed to be the handover/go-live date, if it gets signed off. My co-workers and I will be hugely shocked if the handover/go-live happens on time (or would we be more shocked if it actually happens?). If the handover/go-live doesn’t happen, it means my co-workers and I will still be monitoring the outsourced work and emails (I haven’t even touched on the emails) for another month? two? We just don’t know anymore.

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Speaking of not knowing.  I obviously still haven’t moved to my new job within the company. As of the last time my start date was postponed, I wasn’t even given a date. Not that it matters any more, I won’t be going to that team anyway. I have a new NEW job within the company! I’ll be working in the Contact Center. It’s a newly created position within my company and I’ll be the 2nd employee in the team (in addition to the team leader). I’m excited to see what this job entails. My new team leader would like me to start next Tuesday, April 1st, but that ain’t going to happen. I can only hope for the week following that.. Time will tell.

Until then, work is going to continue to be insane. But I’m trying to leave work at work as much as I can. Life with Paxlet (and Mr Siili) is pretty good. Especially with the snow gone (not that we had much this year) and spring in the air. I could do without allergies, runny nose and swollen eyes though.

March 25, 2014

In the last week, Paxlet’s language skills have exploded! He’s gone from saying two words together, to trying to talk sentences. Sure, his sentences aren’t quite making sense to us at the moment, but he is saying sentences anyway. Some of the things he has been saying lately (a little bit jumbled, but we can understand them anyway):
- ei ole xxx.
- on? (Missä on xxx?)
- Meesha? (Missä?)
- Miks ei /
- Oh well
- ei ole halua (? we think something like this)

Today at his evening snack, he said “oh well” and then Mr Siili said he got this look of intense concentration/thinking on his face and then came out and said “miks ei” and started laughing. He really thinks that is just funny to say.

Sounds, sounds and more sounds! He is listening to every little noise around him and copying it. Usually there is a hand clap to go along with the bang/boom/clap/snap sound.
Today he heard some skateboarders, so we stopped to watch them for a bit. He was mesmerized. And then as he heard their boards hit the ground, he said “clap” and hit his hands together.

When Mr Siili got home, Paxlet got crazy for Mansi and chased her a bit, but then he began searching for Mansi. He looked in his Duplo box and said “ei ole”, then he looked in / pointed in the kärry and said “ei ole”. He did that with a couple of other things too.

When Paxlet and I were coming home from downtown on the bus, he stuck his straw down my jacket sleeve and then said “(Missä) on?” and then when I asked him the same he started giggling. We did this a few more times and he thought it was fun. Then when we got home, he put his toy phone in an egg carton, closed it and asked me “on?”. And when I asked him where what was? He repeated it and sort of pointed to the carton and then opened it.

I stuck a square of paper on the under-the-stairs doors and helped Paxlet (gave him the stuff) to put stickers and pieces of paper (with glue on them) to the paper. He loved it. And then later that evening/next day, he tore most of the pieces off. And in the evening we did it again.