This year I hosted my first ever Thanksgiving. Yes, hosted. my friends and I already celebrated it this evening, one day early. It only took me 16 years to have a turkey-day party and I have no idea why. The was a huge success. Everything was just so right! From finally setting a date, everyone (but one gal) being able to make it, the food prep the day before with my great friend R, cleaning the house today and eating all the yummy foods today.

We had just the right amount of food with only minimal leftovers. There is enough for me for lunch tomorrow and then some turkey to be frozen for turkey-noodle soup in the future. I can’t believe how easy stuffing, cranberry sauce, green bean casserole and candied yams are to make! My good friend R came over yesterday and it only took us 3-4 hours to make all of those, plus a pesto torte. This 3-4 hours included a cheesecake breakfast break to plan our day and a lunch break. Tadbit slept most of the time, which helped a lot too! Having R over was so much fun and it was the perfect thing to get me already in the holiday mood. Today I cleaned and tidied the house (downstairs) a bit and popped the turkey in the oven. I even made gravy with the turkey juices and bits. Oh my goodness, it too was easy and tasted delish!

To continue the “just right”-feeling, everyone arrived on time. That’s a pretty big feat if you know some of the gals in our group. It was great to have us all together again. We laughed, cried and laughed some more. I can’t believe I’ve known these girls almost my entire Finland-life. We have been through so much and I know we will go through so much more. These girls are my friends that are family. For their friendship and more I am ever thankful.

#MicroblogMonday – Hosting Thanksgiving

I have lived in Finland for 16 years and only ever once been to a Thanksgiving celebration here. And that was during the second year I lived here. This year, I have finally gotten my act together and I am hosting a Turkey-day celebration in my home!

Mr Siili isn’t too keen on having a 3-4 kilo (6,6-8,8 pound) bird in the house, but I don’t have 20 friends that I would want to invite nor do we have the room for that many. So it looks like I’ll either buy some turkey breasts/legs or frantically freeze what doesn’t get eaten of the whole bird.

Our menu will looks something like the following, as it’s what my family does for Thanksgiving.

oyster balls (stuffing)
corn bread stuffing
pesto torte
candied yams/sweet potatoes
green bean casserole
cranberry sauce
pumpkin pie
crudités tray (gherkin sweet pickles, black olives, green olives, stuffed celery, pickled okra)
potato rolls

What’s your favorite dish for Turkey-day? What makes the meal for you?

MicroblogMonday For more microposts, go visit Mel’s post at Stirrup Queens.

#MicroblogMonday – “I got a lot”

Shortly after Tadbit was born, 30 weeks ago, I took Paxlet out one morning to burn some excess energy. During this outing, we looked for can and bottles that we could return to the store for coins. I thought it would be fun for Paxlet, but I never thought it would be this…successful.

We have got a bottle/can hound on our hands! He is constantly on the lookout for them, wanting us to look in every single trashcan we pass and even telling us about the “squished” ones he sees in the middle of the road or while he was walking somewhere with the daycare group. He even wants the Estonian cans, which don’t have a bottle return here. In fact, the entire family has gotten in on it. Mr Siili will pick up bottles and cans he sees on his way to/from work. And I also tuck them in the bottom of the stroller when I’m out and about during the day.

For Paxlet, it’s the little things! He loves finding the cans/bottles, putting them in the machines, pressing the green button that spits out the receipt, handing said receipt to the cashier and then getting coins. Yes, these coins go directly to him. Paxlet loves it when he gets more than one coin. For him, ,45 cents (,20 + ,20 + ,05) is more exciting than a 1€ coin.

During these roughly 30 weeks, he has returned more than 60€ worth of cans and bottles. Fifty euros of that has been put in his savings account to await some future purchase when he realizes that he has money and what it can do. But for now, he can continue to have fun putting the coins in his frog bank.

MicroblogMonday For more microposts, go visit Mel’s post at Stirrup Queens.

#MicroblogMonday – Root canal update

Almost 6 months ago I asked about a root canal vs. getting the tooth pulled. I opted to have the root canal and it is finally done today!!!!

After 3-4 appointments (plus the couple before the actual root canal treatment started), around 1 000€ (roughly the same in USD) and not being able to properly chew on the right side of my mouth this whole time, I now have a ceramic crown in my mouth!

The process to get the crown was pretty cool! The way the dentist got the 3D modelling of my tooth reminded me of the behind the scenes explanations for movies using a green screen and object mapping to create special effects. Next the tooth was milled (high water pressure cut/carved, then baked in a kiln and finally glued in my mouth.

I can chew with both sides of my mouth again!

MicroblogMonday For more microposts, go visit Mel’s post at Stirrup Queens.

Parenting follow through or something like that

Before I was a parent, I said I would never take my kid(s) to the store or out in public when they are having a tantrum or in a visibly bad mood, as long as I had a choice about it. (I get it there are some times where you absolutely have to get something from the store or do an errand.) And today, I am proud to say, that I recognized my kid was being horrible and I didn’t drag him to the store. Even if we didn’t have any bread, milk or fresh food in the house.

But let me go back a bit with where this all began. Years ago, my good friend R* and I were talking about kids and tantrums in public. Most likely after seeing a kid doing just that while we were downtown. She explained to me that if she had a choice, that she would rather keep her ill tempered kid at home than to subject herself, her unhappy kid and any bystanders to her child’s bad mood and most likely screaming. R consciously does/did not want to have an outing or trip to the store leave a bad taste in their mouth. Why make a bad situation worse, if you can avoid it all together? If the trip to the store, or perhaps pharmacy, was not a must, she would rather wait until her kid was in a better mood or wait until she could go without the kid later.

We’ve only ever had a couple of small tantrums with Paxlet when we have been out and about. One of them I can remember clearly: he was about a year and a half old, still toddling (wobbly walking) about and we were in a local mall. For some reason, he didn’t want to walk anymore and flopped down on the floor. I scooted him out of the main walking path and let him do his thing. He wasn’t screaming and wasn’t really disturbing anyone. In fact, I got many smiles and he got some laughs. Another time, more recently, he wasn’t listening to me and so I put him in the shopping cart. He started screaming! I kept my cool, talked to him and managed to get him to stop screaming within a couple of minutes (or I would have walked out of the store with him and left the shopping behind, although thankfully this time my MIL was with us). Other times, he has cried or screamed a bit, but it was short lived and he calmed down quite quickly. So maybe they were full blown, down on the ground, kicking and screaming tantrums, but they were his type of tantrums. I would like to take the credit for the lack of tantrums in public, heaven knows we’ve had plenty of them at home, but I think a lot of it has to do with Paxlet being a pretty mellow and easygoing kid.

Back to today… The morning started off quite good. Then as the day progressed, Paxlet started getting a bit restless, not wanting to listen to a thing I said, acting reckless and wild no matter what I said (remember, he wasn’t listening to me). Once Tadbit woke from her nap, we all eventually got ready to go to the store. Paxlet didn’t want to go to the store and was fussing/crying for one reason or another before we even got into the car. He then unzipped his jacket seconds before I put his seat belt on and then started crying that he was cold and wanted his jacket zipped back up after I had started driving. He screamed/cried for several blocks, at which point I said, forget it, we’re going home and turned the corner to head back home. I too started to cry a bit. Paxlet then started crying that he didn’t want to go home, he wanted to go to the store. I tried to tell him why we weren’t going to the store, but it didn’t matter, he continued to cry. He didn’t want to get out of the car or go inside, but did do them even if he screamed and cried the whole way. He finally calmed down when I asked him if he wanted fish sticks and pizza for dinner.

*Her oldest daughter is now 6, 3 years older than Paxlet.

#MicroblogMonday – In the country

The kids and I drove to the country to visit some friends yesterday. It was a beautifully sunny day and not too chilly (9C).







Pole dancing and Aurora Borealis

These two things have nothing in common except for the fact that I did former and saw the later tonight!

This was me second time ever trying pole dancing. The first was at a bachelorette party years ago.I’ve thought that experience over the years and longingly watched the studio near my work for some time. Finally I went at a friend’s urging. We had fun! But I am going to hurt from the tops of my fingers all the way down to the tips of my toes. And some new bruises to boot. I can’t wait to go back and do it again.

Before tonight, I have only ever seen the northern lights once. And that was up in lapland, as we were getting on the train to head back home. Most nights when the lights have been visible in my town, I either don’t hear about it until the next day, it is cloudy or I can’t be bothered to stay awake and go outside in the middle of the (cold) night. Tonight, I went out there! I drove 3 minutes away (literally) to get to a bit darker place to be able to see the northern lights. And I did see them! They are strong, moving and all over the sky. Amazing!