#MicroblogMonday – Foreign, Languages

I don’t consider myself a foreigner here in Finland anymore. I’ve lived here since July 1998 (15 years). I’m used to (most of) the ways of life, living and people in Finland. It just feels right. If anything, I feel more foreign when I am “home” in the US.

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This morning I heard two obvious foreigners speaking Finnish with each other on the bus. It makes me smile and I think it is great to hear foreigners speaking Finnish, at all levels. Especially ones you know are not native to Finland. These two now have common language between the two of them who normally wouldn’t have a common language.

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I am by no means 100% fluent in Finnish, but I do speak and write the language decently well. I get by, to say the least. I have done all of my IVF treatments in Finnish (with an explanation or two in English for further clarification, after it was said in Finnish), I go to doctors’ appointments for myself and Paxlet, the store, talk in Finnish at work in person and phone (although mostly in English). I survive.

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It may have taken me ages to get where I am in my language skills with Finnish, due partly mostly to laziness. Especially as I don’t consider myself to be good at learning languages. But I sure enjoy the little idiosyncrasies of languages.

Piece of cake = helppo nakki (easy hotdog*/wienie/fankfurter)

Okay, okie dokie = selvä pyy  (It’s clear partridge)

Slowly, little by little, bit by bit = pikku hiljaa (little quiet)

Kill two birds with one stone = lyödä kaksi kärpästä yhdellä iskulla (Hit two flies with one hit)

Like two peas in a pod = Kuin kaksi marjaa (Like two berries)

A slip of the tongue = Päästää sammakko suustaan (To let a frog out from oneself’s mouth)

*When someone says “hotdog”. What do you envision? The ‘dogs’ themselves or a ‘hotdog and a bun’?

MicroblogMonday For more microposts, go visit Mel’s blog.

A hunting we will go

I like mushroom picking. It is relaxing to be wandering around in the sun dappled and quiet forest. And to top it all off, I get to bring home the fruits, in this case mushrooms, of my labors. I have learned to identify several different types of mushrooms these days:
-Kantarelli/Chanterelle (Cantharellus cibarius),
-Suppilovahvero/trumpet-shaped chanterelle (Craterellus tubaeformis) – lit. funnel vahvero,
-Mustatorvisieni (Craterellus cornucopioides) – lit. black horn/trumpet, black chanterelle
-Herkkutatti/Porcine (Boletus edulis) – lit. goodie/delicacy/gourmet boletus,
-and several poisonous ones that we don’t touch!

Today, I took a co-worker out in the nearby woods to show her the suppilovahvero (the Finnish name is easier to remember than the English one for me). These mushrooms don’t come out until last summer/early fall. They like the cold and can even be found after the first freezes (today was a good example) and even after snowfall (I’ve been out picking in years past when it was snowing the first snow).

She was so excited to learn how to recognize them and pick them as she says they are expensive in the stores. I wouldn’t know how much they cost, as I have never bought any. We were out in the forest for just over an hour and got roughly 3 liters total. That’s a pretty good haul for the small forest we were in, that I know others go and pick there also. I gave my co-worker all of the mushrooms I picked, as they aren’t our favorite mushrooms to eat, although they aren’t bad.  It was fun and I am glad to share my knowledge.

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Earlier this this year when the mushroom season was in full swing, Mr Siili and I took Paxlet mushroom picking. It first started out as just some walks through the forest and that we happened to stumble upon some herkkutatti. Paxlet enjoyed us picking the mushrooms so much that he kept asking to go pick more. It was fine with us, because we loved getting these yummy mushrooms as much as we loved spending time together outdoors. As for eating the mushrooms, Paxlet will eat them sometimes.

Paxlet truly loved his mushroom experiences so much, that whenever they go into the woods at daycare, he get’s the other daycare kids to look for mushrooms with him. We have taught him well and he doesn’t touch anything he doesn’t know, which is all mushrooms. Well, that’s not wholly true because he does know the red Amanita (Amanita muscaria) with white spots as being poisonous, because he has a Moomin book where Nipsu picked one. Mostly, he just loves to spot mushrooms. Any mushrooms at all. And boy oh, boy! You had better not step on them!!

He talks about chanterelle and herkkutatti often now and asks me to find their pictures in our mushroom book. This is something I am happy to pass on to my boy. I hope he continues with this enthusiasm over the years.

15 & 16 weeks, #2

Last week’s Thursday came and I didn’t have time to blog at work, nor time before I had to get Paxlet from daycare and then I was just too tired in the evening. Friday was the same and after that I just couldn’t be arsed. So, here’s two weeks together.

Last week, I was just feeling fat! Not really pregnant… I still feel that way. Ugh.

It seems that last week was the start of me feeling an increased need to pee, now! I don’t think I really felt this at the beginning of this pregnancy, but now I definitely feel it. And I do not want to leave the house without stopping by the restroom first!

A week ago I had a neuvola/doctor appointment. Nothing special happened. My urine is clean, blood pressure is low (normal for me and no dizziness) and hemoglobin is very low (started taking iron). The doctor said no internal exam was needed as I’ve had no bleeding or strange pains. This pregnancy is quite “normal” and “boring”. Not that that is a bad thing, mind you.

My weight up 2 kilos (4,4 pounds) since my first appointment at almost 8 weeks. I was up just over 2 kilos at my 16 week appointment last time. However, I’ve started 2 kilos heavier this time.

She asked if I am feeling any movement yet. I told her I thought I might have felt something a while back, but I truly believe it was just gas and digestion. The doctor said that many can feel the baby move earlier with the second child. Yes, I too have heard/read that, so far it isn’t happening. I didn’t feel Paxlet until 18+6 (I just looked it up) and this time around my tummy is more active and noisy than it ever was with Paxlet. Then the doctor had me hop up on the exam table to listen for the heartbeat. She found it immediately. The heartbeat was around 137-140. And then Tadbit wiggled around and out of the way so that she had to follow it. The doctor asked me “are you feeling this?”. Nope, didn’t feel any of that movement.

However, I think I have now felt some movement 2 nights ago. As I was laying in bed reading, I felt some fluttery stuff on the right-hand side for a bit.

Back to the heartbeat and on to gender prediction, because it is fun to guess and speculate. According to Baby BPM with a heart beat of 137-140 and Tadbit’s age of 15 weeks, it means boy. I hope so! They stated on their website:

BabyBPM is based on the old wives’ tale that says heart rate predicts gender. However, BabyBPM is updated to reflect the fact that fetal heart rate changes over the course of your pregnancy. In other words, BabyBPM compares your baby’s measured heart rate with the average heart rate for a baby having the same gestational age as yours. From that comparison, BabyBPM predicts the sex of your baby.

More on gender prediction… I vaguely remembered reading something about the timing of sex to help you get the gender you desire and looked it up. It’s the Shettles method. Not that we did this, I just looked at the one time we had sex that month, the day before I calculated O in a 28 day cycle, and it looks like that would make a boy for us, it if works and all. However, according to the baking soda test, I will have a girl. My urine in baking soda didn’t fuzz one bit.
Really, I am and will be happy with either gender, this is just something on my mind until the (almost) 21 week scan.

The dentist was too early in praising my gums. They have started bleeding a decent amount when I brush my teeth, even very gently. Blech.

Stinky cat poo and puke are making me gag. :S

I feel bad for Mr Siili. I again (still) have no sex drive and he just ain’t getting much right now.

This week, I am truly loving my maternity pants! I put on a regular pair of jeans a few days ago and I can maybe take a walk in my regular jeans, but there is no way I can sit in them for any period of time, even with a hairband as an extender.

After going to the store and even just wandering around the house without any sort of belly support, my tummy aches a bit. Even if it is just my t-shirt tubes, they are enough support for now.

#MicroblogMonday – hair

I got my hair cut today. The back was cut shorter and the rest tidied. The right side (left in the picture) wouldn’t curl under for anything, it likes to push forward. Silly hair.
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As the hair dresser was putting tons of spray product on my hair, I started wondering what happened to Aqua Net hairspray? That stuff held your hair solidly in place and cost almost nothing (,99 cents, if I remember correctly) for a HUGE can.

MicroblogMonday For more microposts, go visit Mel’s blog.

#MicroblobMonday: If it’s really good

Nothing like a cat puking on my bag to get me to wash this bag, that most likely hasn’t been washed in the almost 20 years that I’ve had it. I love this bag. And it looks beautifully new and clean after a wash in the washing machine.
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Paxlet often gives me little toys in the morning when he is playing and I am getting ready. Sometimes he tells me I need to take them to work. This is what he gave me this morning.
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I was sharing some recipes (Pumpkin Pie + crust & Chewie Gooey Brownie Cake) this morning and one of them was form my coffee house days. Which reminded me of one of the ladies I worked with. I’m sure I’ve written this before, but it makes me smile, so I’m sharing it again. She loved Harlequin romance novels. If it was a good book, they kissed at the end. if it was a really good book, the kissed in the middle. It makes me wonder how badly she’d blush (or maybe even have a heart attack) at the books I read, such as  Outlander.

MicroblogMonday For more microposts, go visit Mel’s blog.

14 weeks, #2

Second trimester, now matter which way you look at it.

I feel the need to admit, I don’t feel so connected to this pregnancy or as jazzed this time around. In a miniscule way, it sort of bothers me, but I know I have time to get more excited as time goes on. I think the biggest issue is that no matter what happens, good or bad, I will still have Paxlet.

This last weekend there was a flea market and I bought 2 maternity shirts and 2 maternity pants for 11€ , for me! The jeans are a bit big and slide down a bit still, but they are comfortable and I am sure I will grow into them as my tummy grows. I also bought some things for Paxlet, as that was the main point of this adventure: a winter overall, spring/fall overall in the next size, some wooly socks and a magna-doodle (for .50 cents). I call this a score!

Paxlet and I stayed home on Tuesday. He had a low grade fever and a non-stop runny nose. I woke up with a brutally painful throat and not feeling so hot myself. It was a loooong day. Wednesday, Paxlet was feeling well enough to head back to daycare and I was able to take one more day to feel better myself. I’m feeling better, but still recovering. I’m very thankful this wasn’t worse and now I think I need to find out when I can get a flu shot for the season.

As for the other type of sickness, it is getting better and better. I think I only wore my Sea.Bands once this week, when it was really bad. Evenings are still the worst, if I am going to feel yucky. This evening it was very short lived. I “blame” it on the pickle juice I drank.

Ok, so I don’t really have any craving-cravings, but sometimes when someone talks about something or I see something, I just got to have it. This evening the pickles jumped out at me from the back of the fridge as I was making some mini-roll breads. As I opened the jar of pickles, I just couldn’t help myself and had to take a huge gulp of the juice (that is not uncommon for me). But it tasted so so so good! Enough so that I had to have a second sip. Ahhh! That truly hit the spot!

I  had a dentist appointment this week. It had been scheduled for 4-5 months, so I just couldn’t miss it (even if I was sick). The dentist immediately took me to his computer and showed me an x-ray of my teeth in question and said that he doesn’t think the spots are cavities and that he wants to take some x-rays. I asked him if my being pregnant would be a problem, knowing it would. He recommended getting the xrays after the baby is born. In the mean time, he explained why he didn’t think these spots were cavities and I was cool with that! He did get me in the chair, poked around a bit, checked a few things and was impressed with my gums during pregnancy (nice and healthy looking, not bleeding a lot). He also said that whatever cleaning routine I do is great, because there wasn’t any plaque or tartar to be found. The only minus he said was that I brush a bit too hard on my teeth/gums, but he does that too. I also totally forgot to take my tongue piercing out, like I usually do, but he said nothing about it. Not. A. Thing! I liked this dentist!

I generally sleep decently well. However, last night I had horrible sleep. Or rather lack thereof. If it wasn’t Paxlet waking up, the cats (meowing, jumping on and off the bed, puking, I think, I never did find anything), breathing through mouth and then needing a drink of water, then having to go pee because I drank so much water, a dream, or a nightmare (riding on top of a tourbus that crashes and survive, even though I was told I couldn’t/shouldn’t have survived), it was something else. Then Paxlet decided he had enough sleep 30 minutes before the alarm goes off and he won’t go back to sleep. Ugh! Phew, that makes me even more tired just typing it up.
I found the dream funny enough that I thought I would share it. In my dream, I was hanging out in bed with a former teacher. He’s an Aussie that was a teacher here in Finland and still a friend. We were both IN bed, chatting, laughing and talking, but there was nothing sexual about it. What, so, ever! We could have been sitting on a couch, but instead we were in bed. I have no idea where this came from and even remember questioning it in my dream.

This week I have been so happy, proud and excited that Paxlet has been telling me/us that he needs to go pee and poo. I know this isn’t baby #2 related, but it deserves a mention here because having Paxlet out of diapers when Tadbit arrives will be amazing!

I have felt all sorts of flutters, gurgles and wiggles in my tummy this week. However, I am quite sure most, if not all, of them have been gas and digestion movement and not Tadbit. Unlike with Paxlet and my tummy was almost 100% quiet, this time around it just won’t be quiet. I can’t believe how much gas I have had (both directions) and how much better I feel sometimes after releasing it into the wild. I do wish it would die down some so that I could hopefully feel some Tadbit movements sooner rather than later.

I have a doctor’s appointment next week’s Thursday. Or is it the week following? It is some time in the next two weeks. I hope to hear the heartbeat again.

2 years, 1 month, 1 day or better late than never

I never did update about Paxlet turning two. Here’s to better late than never!
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Paxlet’s birthday was much better than I had hoped for. Sure, we didn’t get the grandparents, all the aunts, uncle and cousins over, but we did have one aunt and a friend with her family over for the afternoon. And my very good friend R stopped in for a sec to drop off Paxlet’s present as her two kids were sick. Paxlet enjoyed himself. Especially the gifts, raspberry muffins (instead of a cake) and ice cream. Oh, the ice cream! This kid loves ice cream! It ended up being a relaxed day and afternoon. My boy was happy and therefore I was happy. We did Skype with Grandpa and Grandma S later in the evening.

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Sometimes it is truly unfathomable to believe that Mr Siili and I have a two year old boy. Not only have 2 years gone by with him in our lives, but he’s grown by leaps and bounds. In fact, he continues to amaze us daily. Just last night in fact, as we were putting Paxlet to bed, I sang him the Teddy Bear song upon request. When I was done, Paxlet stated it was his turn to sing it. He starts off with a few Teddy Bear’s and then I help him out by singing a line and waiting for him to repeat. Can I just say, we are some proud parents with hearts bursting of joy. It was the cutest thing we had ever heard.

I know we are biased as parents, but he really is smart and a well behaved kid. Paxlet talks up a storm, mostly in Finnish, but talking none the less. I wouldn’t even be able to tell you how many words he has because it truly is that many, plus more are learned each day. He really is saying “tuhma” and I still hate it. What’s worse, is when we tell him not to call us or the cats naught/stupid, he laughs and thinks it is funny.

He’s got many of his colors down (some in English, some in Finnish). This morning he pointed to his socks I held in my hand and said “brown socks” or was it “brown sukat”. Either way, he was correct. Mr Siili and I, and the daycare lady, mention colors quite often when pointing things out. It’s just a part of everyday life.

Paxlet seems to understand the concept of 1 and 2, but anything more than that is…difficult still. When we go out to the car, he quite often tells us how many cars are under the car park. Again, if there are more than two, he doesn’t quite get it and usually he counts the cars other than our car.
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Paxlet loves the letter S. It is the first letter of his first and last name and he wants it drawn all the time. He also likes X and O (sometimes called circles). He points out the letter S to us quite often these days, although, sometimes it isn’t an S.

Paxlet is mostly potty trained!! By mostly, I mean that he isn’t always telling us he needs to go and we have to ask or “remind” him most of the time that he needs to go. But even just in the last month since his 2nd birthday he’s gotten much better. On the times that we still have to remind him use the potty, he will generally go without a fight. When he does put up a fight, we tell him he doesn’t have to pee, just sit on the potty. It usually works. There are only a few accidents at daycare and home each week. In the last couple of weeks, he’s even started telling us more often when he does need to go. It’s great! Especially when it is a poo. His most recent finding is the “big potty”! He loves using the it. I love it also because it is even easier to clean!!! I love how this has worked so well for us and that there hasn’t been a horrible fight to get him to use the potty (it has been apart of his life since he was 4 months old). Nights and naps still require a diaper, although most of the time he is dry in the morning.

He loves the color orange, diggers, cars, motorcycles, bikes, Legos (Duplos), coloring, drawing, crafts, baking, daycare, the park, rides on the bus (even short, 1 stop rides) and so much more. Paxlet is an all around happy little boy and is so much fun to be with.
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Happy (belated) Birthday, Paxlet. I’m so looking forward to celebrating many more adventures with you.