18 weeks, #2

After writing last week that I had definitely felt movements, I don’t think I felt movements, at least not for sure, most of the week. In fact, last night was the first time I was sure of movements. All other “movements” could have been gas or digestion. I know it is still early to feel movement all the the time, but even so I got myself so worked up and worried that I called neuvola. My neuvola nurse was very understanding and kind. She asked if I’d like to go in and have a listen for the heartbeat. I melted with relief and had appointment today. Let me just say that all my worry was for naught. She found the heartbeat immediately and clearly. Tadbit has got a steady and strong heartbeat.

I was also able to weigh myself while there. I have gained 1 kg (2,2 lbs) in the last 3 weeks. I have no idea if that is good or not, but according to this pregnancy weight gain tracker, I should gain between 25-36 lbs (11,37-15,91 kg) this pregnancy. Last pregnancy I gained 22 kg (48,4 lbs)! So far, I’ve gained 3,3 kg (7,26 lbs) and that is smack dab right in the middle of where I should be.

I have been quite emotionally…sensitive this week. I’ve felt teary-eyed quite many times and even cried at the stupidest things. There was something I read on FB, at work,  that had be almost bawling like a baby. But, because I was at work, I was choking it back the best I could. I mainly just hoped no one walked by and saw my red leaky eyes. LOL. Hormones, sheesh!

I also wrote last week that we were not going to see my family in the US before this baby was  born. Mr Siili looked for tickets one night, found some decent ones (18 hours of flights + 7 hours of car/bus) and forced us to buy tickets to see my family. We will be leaving in two weeks and leave for home the day before Thanksgiving. Maybe not the best time to travel, but it was what we could manage. I’m more stressed than excited at the moment. I will be happy to buy some Tom’s of Maine toothpaste, deodorant, Bonne Bell Vanilla chapstick, candies and undies, among other things.

Our anatomy scan is the day before we leave for the US. I hope it makes this pregnancy more real for me. I also think it will be cool to be able to tell my dad, siblings and stepmom in person what it’ll be. And, I hope we’ll be able to start making this baby-thing a bit more concrete for Paxlet by being able to use brother/sister instead of “baby”.

Waddling, already? Yes, I think I am waddling. If not actually waddling, then I am walking with my feet slightly farther apart than normal. I feel like I waddle. And I find it funny.

I brought out the tummy support the other day. My goodness, can you say relief? By the end of the day on Monday or Tuesday my tummy was so achy and painful. In the evening it felt like I had a TENS unit (low grade electrical pulse machine that helps with pain management) sending tingly-shocky feelings across my entire abdomen area. I used the belly band the next day and felt much better in the evening. I think it is going to be a regular part of my clothes from now on.

I still wish that I had some funny cravings. I just don’t think it’s going to happen this time either.

I bought a maternity shirt from a FB group last Friday. It arrived today in the mail. I’ve even washed it already!
I also went clothes shopping, in real brick and mortar stores, last Saturday. I went by myself and even accidentally forgot my phone at home! I bought 3 shirts and 1 long open-sweater-thing 2nd hand for 30€. None of them maternity, but they will definitely fit for a while. They are also something I would like to wear after the baby is born and I think they will still manage to look nice then (and not too baggy). Then I bought 2 more shirts, maternity, from H&M, for 30€. Now to find a proper winter jacket and a pair or two of pants, so I don’t freeze!

Little adventures cont.

I forgot my house keys at home again this morning! Along with my bus card, phone, work key and mittens. All in the same place, in one bag. Yes, that was my morning.
Thankfully, Mr Siili was still at home to open the door for me.
And! I was in plenty of time that I didn’t have to run to catch the bus.

Homemade play dough: better and cheaper than store bought

Two posts in one day!! And this is post #556.

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My mom used to make us play dough when we were little. In fact, I remember my mom making tons of it one year (at least) before xmas and selling it at the craft sales and bazaars. Some of the doughs were even scented! I remember there being little rolling pins and cookie cutters being sold with the 4-5 color set of play doughs. My brother and I were good marketers, playing with the dough and showing off its long lasting durability.

My mom gave me that recipe years ago. I made some for our niece and nephew one year for xmas. Another time I made it for my friend’s daughter and another friend’s son. But I never had a need to make it for myself or my own child. However, that has now changed!! After seeing FutureSoccerMom‘s post today about making play dough for her two, I had to make some for Paxlet. It was the nudge and reminder that I needed.

Needless to say, Paxlet loved the play dough! He loved it so much that he pitched a fit when we told him it was time to put it away for the night.

He chose green for his color. And then wanted all the other colors too. Next time, next time...

He chose green for his color. And then wanted all the other colors too. Next time, next time…

My mom’s recipe and Futuresoccermom’s recipe are almost identical. The only difference bring one uses cream of tartar (my mom’s) and the other vinegar. However, after trying out this new to me recipe with vinegar, I can say that they are both pretty much identical.  Maybe I’ll have to do a side by side comparison someday, but for now, I am thrilled to have this new recipe. Cream of tartar is almost impossible, if not totally impossible, to find in Finland. Now I can easily share this recipe with my friends and the daycare lady!

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Lions, dolphins, moose, angels, OH MY!

Homemade play dough (that is better than anything store bought)

1 cup flour
1/4 cup salt
2 teaspoons cream of tartar OR 3 teaspoon white vinegar (your choice)
1 cup water
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
food coloring (optional)

Mix the dry ingredients in a small bowl. In a medium pan combine the liquids. Add to the flour mixture. Cook on medium heat stirring continually 3-5 minutes until soft and mixed. Let it cool for a minute or two. It is ready to play with.

I pull my pan off the heat while it is still a tiny bit sticky/gooey and stir a short bit more. It will become a very soft dough texture that lasts a long time if kept in an airtight container when not in use.

Another fun thing that I always enjoyed as a kid, was to not add the food coloring until it was fully cooked. Then you can make more than one color and get the fun of mixing the colors in by hand. Warm (almost hot) play dough is amazing!

#MicroblogMonday – Little adventures

Yesterday Paxlet and I went to the Duck park, even though it was foggy, wet and misty. He needed to get outside and run some energy off. I peed before we left the house, twice. Yet, I needed to pee as soon as we arrived! I held it for as long as I could and then spied a free public toilet. It was clean enough, so long as I put tp on the toilet seat and sat carefully. It was also big enough that Paxlet could wander around looking at things. Especially the buttons on the wall. There was a “lower the toilet seat” button, a “flush” button and an “SOS” button to call for help. There also happened to be a second SOS button near the floor. Paxlet asked what the buttons were and I told him to leave them be. As I was standing up to pull my many layers of clothes back on, but still bare bottomed, Paxlet nudged the floor SOS button with his toe. It started beeping!!! As I frantically try to get my clothes back on, I press the SOS button and it continues to beep! Thankfully, no voice came to us over a speaker and no one broke the door down before I got decent. And the beeping stopped as soon as I pressed the “open door” button to leave.
*phew* What an adventure the park bathroom was!

Today, I forgot my house key at home. Only I didn’t notice it until I was trying to go home. As I was talking to a neighbor, thinking Paxlet and I had to go all the way back downtown to get Mr Siili’s key, I remembered a friend who live nearby has a spare key. She had thankfully just gotten home and we were free to stop by to get our key. Paxlet and I could have waited 10 minutes to take the bus that leaves in from in front of our house or walk down the road a bit to try and get the previous bus. Neither option worked, as I wasn’t going to wait 10 minutes and the previous bus left before our eyes. I did remember at the last minute that but 20 should be coming soon AND it goes right in front of our friend’s place. I started trotting towards the bus stop. Then I saw the bus and started running. I ran through a wet and muddy lot, waving my arm for the bus driver to see us, not that they will always wait for you. This time I was able to make it to the bus just as the last people were getting off the bus. Out of breath! (And in pain.) But on the bus. We made it to our friend’s place, got the key and took the same bus back towards home.
I don’t with to repeat that little adventure any time soon. My key is already clipped to my work key (and it should be in my bag too).

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

17 weeks, #2

My son made this for me and gave it to me last night. (6.5x5.5cm)

Paxlet made this for me last night.
(2x3in. big)

At 16+3, I am now sure I have felt movements for the first time. Those first movements felt mostly like a queasy stomach, without the yuckiness attached to it. They also lasted for quite some time. I felt more movement again the next day at work during lunch. The second time and all subsequent times I have felt movement, it has felt more like kicks and punches. It might have been wishful thinking, but I think I may have even felt a bit of movement on the outside.

I came home from work the other day to find cat puke at the bottom of the stairs. There was no way I could ignore it and pretend I didn’t see it so Mr Siili would have to clean it up later. However, having to clean cat puke up makes me gag. Like really really gag! Even 10 minutes after it’s all been cleaned, I’m still gagging at the thought. This has never been an issue (usually) before, but the last few weeks, my goodness!

On Tuesday, Paxlet had a tantrum of tantrums in the morning. It started with him wanting Mr Siili downstairs to “look at him”, then it involved a flashlight, his mitten, wanting to walk on his own and so on. Once inside, at daycare, I managed to get him calmed down enough to get his outer clothes off, but in between each item he screamed more. I eventually had to just give him a hug, tell him I love him and leave him in the arms of the daycare lady (K) screaming. That morning episode left an emotional drain on me that lasted the entire day. When my MIL called me later in the day at work, I broke down and had a huge ugly hormonal/emotional cry. I love my MIL. She listened to me and comforted me as I needed. When I picked up Paxlet in the afternoon, K told me that he stopped crying within minutes and had a great day.

I have made the decision that we are not going to the US to visit my family before the year ends. Which means, we won’t be going there before this baby is born. There are not as many flight options as there used to be years ago and the ones that we can get directly to my hometown are over 30 hours of traveling in at least one of the directions. Sorry, but that just ain’t happening! I am sad about this decision, but it was just getting to be to stressful and emotional for me. I dread telling me dad, just because I know how much he wanted us to come visit, not to mention the rest of my family.
I am hoping, however, to do a shorter trip, in duration and travel time, sometime before the end of the year. If nothing else, I will at least be taking some time off, as I still have 2 weeks of summer holiday saved up.

This week my tummy has started to feel heavy. And by the end of the day, I just ache. I think it is time to get out proper support.

A bit of vanity/silliness on my part: I don’t want to be pregnant during the winter! No one will see my bump because of all winter clothes.
On a serious note, all those winter clothes!! I just realized that I need to find some warm outerwear pants if I am going to be able to be outside with Paxlet this winter. The ones I normally wear just aren’t going to cut it for much longer. And, can we talk about ice and slipping? I’m not looking forward to that.

Winter coldness makes me realize that I need more than the few maternity clothes I do have. With Paxlet, I spent my big months in the late spring and summer. I could get away with skirts, shorts and short sleeve shirts. Summer clothes rocked! Being warm in the winter? It requires more clothing. Uh, oh.

My team leader laughed at me today, in a sympathetic she’s had 4 pregnancies sort of way, when I dropped a lid on the floor. Call me butter-fingers! I sighed and grunted as I bent to pick it up. Come on! I’m not even that big yet!!!

This week I actually craved something! I desperately wanted Juusto snacks aka cheesy poofs. (What are these things really called in English?)

In 3 weeks (minus one day) we have our anatomy scan. Holy cow! I/we hope to find out what gender Tadbit is.

#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.