Celebrating spring

Welcome to March’s ICLW.

If you don’t know what ICLW is, check out the explanation at Mel’s Stirrup Queens blog.

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A very short bit about me: I’m an Oregonian born and raised, but I’ve lived in Finland for the last 15,5 years with my Finnish husband, Mr Siili. Once we felt we were ready enough, it took us 3,5 years with lots of doctors’ help to get pregnant with Paxlet (2,5yr). Since then we have been surprised with a 2nd pregnancy (15 cycles after AF came back after breast feeding) and Tadbit is due in a couple of weeks, around Easter weekend. It truly can happen after only one time, if everything lines up just right.

If you want to know more, check the “A bit about me” tab at the top.

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The eclipse today at 12:23pm.

The eclipse today at 12:23pm.

Spring is in the air! Well, maybe lots of dust from the graveled sidewalks with a bit of pollen from the south is in the air. But the sun has been out lately, the temperatures warmer (+10C during the day at times) and the snow has been melting! We can see grass poking through in some areas, but I haven’t seen any flowers yet, although I have read of others in my town seeing them on FB. Don’t worry though, we’ll most likely get snow fall again next week. I knew it was too good to be true.

I plan on making a few more of these in spring colors.

I plan on making a few more of these in spring colors.

We don’t celebrate Easter in this household, so spring time fanfare is what it is about for me/us. This will be the first year I’ve really done anything to celebrate spring with Paxlet. He is now old enough to truly understand what is going on and help more with the arts and crafts. To help celebrate spring, I have bought a couple of trinkets to give Paxlet in the next week or two, in addition to the crafts we have done and will do.

The little chicks are to be put in the grass if it ever grows.

The little chicks are to be put in the grass if it ever grows.

My stepmom has said a package is headed our way and she packed some plastic easter eggs in the box. (I hope it arrives quickly!) It’ll be fun to hide the plastic eggs around the house for Paxlet to find.

In honor of spring or Easter, you choose, Paxlet and I have been doing some arts and crafts to help brighten up our house. We have sown some spring grass seeds and are now waiting for them to grow. It’s been almost a week and I don’t see any starts yet, I’m getting concerned. (We bought more grass seeds today, let’s see if we need to plant them.)

Our non-existent spring grass.

Our non-existent spring grass.

We, okay okay mostly me, have made some colorful sheep. They too are waiting for the grass to grow.
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We have also made some stained glass (tissue paper) butterflies to put in our window. I think they have turned out beautifully!
butterflies

I also hope to dye some eggs in the near future. It’s been years! since I’ve done it and it wasn’t really that much fun dying eggs by myself the last time I did do it. I am sure Paxlet will enjoy the colors and messiness of it all.

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Directions on how to fold the origami bunny basket/lantern, check out Origami Spirit‘s page. There is a very nice video to follow.

The sheep idea was found at the inadvertent farmer‘s blog.

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6 years of blogging

I’ve had this blog for 6 years. It’s gone through several transitions and a name change, but I’m still here. I’ve blogged in other places (iVillage.com) and formats (my own webpage/journal/blog creation) before this, but this blog is the one that has stuck around. I started it around the the time I said good by to the Nuva Ring (birth control) for good. However, I didn’t start writing more regularly until a year and a half later when TTC just got me down and I needed a place to get it all out.

I may not be here as often as I was at some points, but this is still my little place on the web. I love the connections and friends I’ve made and the lives I’ve gotten to be a part of, even if only from a looking in through a window view. The ALI community saved me when I needed it most and felt like I was the only one, yet knowing I can’t be. I still remember it clearly: it was a post of Mel’s at Stirrup Queens who first showed me the ALI community (with her post about pomegranates) and that I didn’t have to be alone. I couldn’t get enough and stuck around.  And I’m still here.

Weekend waffles

I love waffles! Growing up, my dad would make us waffles on the weekend. He didn’t make them every weekend, but on enough weekends that it is memorable.

One of the things that made waffles so special was/is the waffle iron. My dad bought his waffle iron at a garage sale after he got married, but before I was born (that’s under a year apart). That was over 37 years ago and he still has it! It has been re-wired a few times, but that thing is still going strong. I know I have a picture of it somewhere, but I can’t find it, so these images will have to be enough to give you a rough idea of what it looked like.

Another thing that my dad would do, or rather encourage and allow us kids to do was color the waffle batter. Yes, we sometimes had green, pink, blue or even purple waffles. Green was my favorite, of course. My mom and stepmom would gag upon seeing colored waffles, but us kids and not so little kids loved this! In fact, I still love coloring food items just for the heck of it sometimes.

Lastly, I can’t forget the waffle toppings! When we were little, my parents didn’t have a lot of money so, we would make our own “maple” syrup (brown sugar and water, I think, boiled together). I don’t think I realized that this was anything different or unusual until I was much older and when my mom finally started buying real maple syrup “because somethings in life just aren’t worth living without”. Also, on the rare occasion, after we had eaten a waffle or two, my dad would allow us to have some ice cream and peanut butter on our waffle! To this day, ice cream and peanut butter, on waffles or not, is a combination that I love!

I hope I will be able to go home and experience my dad’s weekend waffles again. Until then, I’ll just have to make my own waffles and think of when I was younger. Although, these days, I make waffles more often in the evening as a dessert for Mr Siili and I. But I am thinking that as Paxlet gets older, I’ll want to share my love of weekend breakfast waffles with him.

Waffles
from Joy of Cooking cookbook

6 waffles
If used with savory foods, omit the sugar.
Sift before measuring:
1 3/4 cups cake flour

Resift with:
2 teaspoons double-acting baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar

Beat well:
3 egg yolks

Add:
2 to 7 tablespoons melted butter or salad oil
1 1/2 cups milk

Make a hole in the center of the sifted ingredients. Poor in the liquid ingredients. Combined them with a few swift strokes. The batter should have a pebbled look, similar to a muffin batter. → Beat until stiff, but not dry:
3 egg whites

Fold them into the batter until the are barely blended. Follow your waffle iron directions for baking. Good served with:
Maple syrup or Honey butter
Sweetened strawberries

September ICLW

Once again, it’s been ages since I’ve participated in International Comment Leaving Week aka ICLW.  Life is feeling a bit “normal” and I thought I’d be able to properly participate again. While somethings have changed a lot, most things are as they always are.

I’ve been back at work for 3 weeks now. Work is, well, work. Not too much has changed and I basically remember how to do my job. It’s sort of funny: I remember most of the keyboard short cuts I use for SAP without even thinking about it, but I can’t figure out how to use the printer/copy/fax machine.

My little boy, Paxlet, is now one year old (almost 13months). He’s a walking, talking (mostly chattering in nonsensical sounds) and loud vehicle loving boy. Dump trucks, motorcycles, tree-chopper-down things and diggers seem to be his favorites. He lights up my day and I am so very lucky to have him in my life.

Mr Siili and I have been trying to spend more time together. Although, after a long day at work, for Mr Siili, and work and being with Paxlet for me, we’re both quite tired in the evenings. Most nights we both play on our respective computers or watch a tv show together and then head to bed. I’m trying to want to have sex with Mr Siili more. While the idea of sex is nice and I enjoy it when we get going, it’s the getting going that I need to work on.

I’ve only seen one of my friends, in passing on the street, since going back to work. Not that I saw them too much during the summer, but I’m missing them. I hope to have a play-date/get-together very soon.

Fall is definitely making its presence known. Mornings are chilly, damp and several times times so far it’s been foggy (I love that!). The breezes and wind are no longer warm with summer. Hats are definitely needed! I’ll be bringing out the scarves and light weight mittens soon. This has been a nice fall so far. Not much rain, yet, and the trees are slowly turning their beautiful fiery colors. Being that I’m in Finland and listening to all the Finns around me, a small bit of me feels compelled to be doom and gloom and say: summer’s gone and winter’s almost here. But the non-Finnish part of me wants to acknowledge that we still have the beauty of autumn before the snow starts. Which reminds me, I need to remember to change my winter tires in time this year!

That’s mostly what is going on in my life right now. I hope you all enjoy this month’s ICLW!

January 2013 ICLW

IComLeavWeHello and welcome to this year’s first ICLW (International Comment Leaving Week). It’s been ages (one year exactly) since I last participated, but I’m ready to give it a go again.

A lot has happened since last January: I am now a very lucky mom to a sweet little boy who will be 5 months old at the end of the month. It took us (my husband,Mr Siili, and I) 4 years and 4 days since I stopped using birth control before our little guy came into this world.

In short, our journey consisted of 1 surgery for me to remove endometriosis, 2 medicated IUI cycles (clomifen & injectibles), 1 cancelled IUI, 3 IVF cycles and 2 FETs. With our 3rd fresh IVF cycle we were lucky and got our first BFP, which led to our take home baby. We have 1 frozen embryo left, should we want to try once more.

It was a long and heart wrenching journey at times and one I would never want to go through it again, nor wish on anyone else. I can only hope that if we ever decide to try for a second child, it will be a shorter journey. (We’re getting too old to wait too much longer!)

If you want to know more about me, just check out the “about me” tab at the top.

18 weeks

IComLeavWe

Update: Paxlet pictures are now updated.

Today is a great day, although work has been on blah, but I’ll get into that at the end of this post. The reason today is great is that March ICLW starts today and so does Spring! Today is the first day this year where the day is longer than night. Up north in Finland where we have looong dark winters, this is an important milestone each year. It means spring is on it’s way (if the snow will just stop coming down), the sun is shining more and it is actually warm when it shines! It was a balmy 6C (42,8F) and sunny outside at lunch today. Still needed to wear my earmuffs and gloves though.

And now for this week’s update. I still can’t believe I’m at 18 weeks (or 4,5 months!) and going into the 19th week.

Total Weight Loss/Gain: I’m up a kilo, so that’s 3 total so far this journey.

Maternity Clothes: I’m loving my belly bands and I think only 1, or two at most, pair of paints can be worn without a button and zipper undone. I’m really looking forward to spring so I can wear some lighter and stretchier clothes. I should go check out some maternity pants (I know I’ve been saying that for some time now…) I’m also concerned that I might need a new-new maternity bra. I’m thinking the one I bought is maybe (already) a bit too small. Ugh!

Stretch marks: Nope, none yet.

Sleep: I sleep quite well, even after getting up and going pee often. hehehe. I have noticed that my neck is a bit more stiff than usual when I wake up. I think part of that has to do with not flipping from side to side as much during the night.
I can’t remember if I’ve mentioned this before or not, but I have a “bean bag” that you can toss in the microwave/freezer that I have been laying out under my belly when I sleep. It is just enough support that my belly doesn’t feel tired already in the morning.

Movement: Nothing yet. My stomach and everything in that area is quiet!! No butterflies, no bubbles, no whooshes or other possible Paxlet movements yet. If there does happen to be movement, I definitely know it is gas or my stomach digesting.

Cravings/Aversions: The only time I seem to “crave” something is if I see it (for ex. on TV) or a group of us are talking about it. Sort of like last Saturdy when I wanted pizza (I can almost always eat pizza) and then seeing the green popsicle on Dexter, which led me to wanting one myself.

Gender: I don’t really have a feeling either way.

Symptoms: I’ve been definitely getting more round ligament twinges and pains. I’m even getting minute, yet sharp pains right in the pubic area. Those are uncomfortable. My tummy feels heavy quite often, especially as the day wears on. And I feel like I am waddling already, to an extent.

What I miss: Absolutely nothing. I truly am loving this, even when I’m “complaining” a little!

What I look forward to: Two more weeks until our 20 week scan when we’ll get to see Paxlet again and maybe even find out the gender. I’d so love to feel Paxlet move.

Moods: I think this last week has been great! I’ve been quite cheerful (spring coming doesn’t hurt this) and feeling quite energized and perky.

Milestones: Paxlet is the size of a sweet potato!
My tummy is definitely showing more and more, although I think if you didn’t know I was pregnant you might not be 100% sure if I was pregnant or just fat.

Misc: I know I’ve talked about the need to pee a lot! But I guess that is my biggest symptom or issue with pregnancy. And it’s more of an annoyance than anything else. But do you realize how much time a pregnant women spends in the bathroom just going pee? A lot!! I was joking with my co-worker today that we should just move our desks into the bathroom as it’d save us some time. Haha

And my gripe that I mentioned at the beginning of this post: work. I’ve been pretty good about staying stress-free and just going with the flow so far most of this year. But lately, it’s just been so crazy and hectic that I’m just not as happy. For example, yesterday, I went into work just after 8am in the hopes of leaving at 4pm. Well, before our meeting at 2pm our SAP program crapped out on us. Our meeting lasted until just after 4pm, which when I got back to my desk I found out some of the work in Shanghai wasn’t done, partly due to SAP crapping out on us. This isn’t my week to stay late (until 6pm), but the issues from Shanghai were a bit more complicated than normal, so I stayed to do it. And stay I did! I didn’t leave the office until 7:30pm!!! The issues really were more complicated and long winded, even for me who is an expert on this issue. On any other day it would have been fine to stay later, but I had really hoped to leave the office early. It just made me pissy! Not to mention I still didn’t get everything done and continued it this morning. And to make matters worse (or rather me more grumpy), our time-keeper-machine only calculated me for 2hrs 45 min extra and not 3hrs! I am fighting those 15 minutes, I deserve them. And then again today, I still had my own stuff to do plus more stuff from Shanghai, so I didn’t really get much of anything done (or so it felt like). And again I left later than I wanted, but still earlier than 7:30pm. Tomorrow I am only working my 8 hours and leaving when they are over no matter what is or isn’t done!

Paxlet pictures aren’t yet taken for this week, but I’ll have Mr Siili take them before I go to bed and update  soon.

17 weeks
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15 weeks
14 weeks
13 weeks
12 weeks
11 weeks
10 weeks
9 weeks
8 weeks
7 weeks

January ICLW

Welcome to January’s International Comment Leaving Week.

I’ve been playing FB games sitting here for quite some time trying to figure out what to say for this month’s ICLW intro post. And I still have no idea. As usual, I am amazed that 2/3 of the month has gone by already. Where did it go?

A bit about me for those who are new here: I’m 35 and a half years old, Mr Siili (my husband) is 37 and a half years young (or maybe it’s the other way around). We’ve got two furball cats, that are sweet, lovable and cuddle-bugs. I’m pregnant with our first kid and that is due in late August. It took us 3,5 years to get here and I’m beyond thrilled about it, now that I’m finally believing that I’m actually pregnant! We will be signing the loan papers for our new house on Monday (for real this time) and we move in in about 5 months. We’re both employed, finally! (I’ve been a the same company/job almost 4 years and he’s been at his job since the beginning of the year after getting his PhD almost a year ago.)
We’re just your normal average couple trying to live our lives.

Let me know you stopped by. A quick ‘hello’ will do. Or if you want to say a little something more, tell me what your weather’s been like lately.

Here in Finland, we’ve finally gotten winter weather: cold and snow, plus some winter storms with wind. It took a long time to get here, but it’s beautiful! Especially when I can choose to stay inside and watch it from the window or prepare myself beforehand to head out into it for a nice walk.

And just because, here’s a few photos I’ve taken during the last week or so. Excuse the quality, they were taken with my camera phone.

The bus coming to take me away to work.
Walking across the railway bridge to work after I got off the bus.
Attached to the railway bridge divider-wall. I walked past this for 2 weeks before taking a picture and the following day, it was gone. Hahah  
Walking home from the stores: by the little pond/lake. It’s 8pm.
Still walking home, but this is next to some buildings with light. I love these trees!