#MicroblogMonday – Summer’s over, back to the grind

Summer’s over, August is almost over and we are almost three quarter’s of the way through 2018. WHERE has this year gone!? Seriously.

Tadbit turned 3 (much) earlier this year. She’s funny, stubborn, independent, sweet and everything rolled into one bundle of energy. Mr Siili often remarks/asks if this is what I was like at this age. I don’t know whether to laugh or groan. We chopped her hair off in June. We are all much happier about it. For Tadbit, she hated hated hated having her hair brushed. I disliked the fight over brushing hair. And she’s pretty cute with her short hair. Even if many others thought she was a boy because of her short hair and non-pink clothes. Whatever.

Paxlet is 5 and soon to be a teen on Thursday. Some days…it seems like all we do is fight. I know I was like this with my mom around this age. Pay back is a bitch sometimes. Paxlet started preschool/kindergarten. (Yes, kids don’t start 1st grade until the year they turn 7.) He loves it! I have no worries that he will do just fine in school.

Do you remember my multiple posts the last couple of years about my kids not speaking in English and would they ever learn to speak English? It has finally happened!!! You all saw that coming, didn’t you?
We visited my family in the US in May and the kids’ language skills have just exploded! Paxlet had started to speak a bit to me in English before the trip, but during and after, he mostly speaks to me in English. He has even switched from Finnish to English, mid-sentence when he realizes he is speaking to me and not Mr Siili. There are some words he’s not sure of, but if he asks about them or says them in Finnish, I’ll repeat them or make sure to use them in my reply. Tadbit uses English now, but still a lot of Finnish also. What’s funny/cute is that she throws in Finnish words while she is talking to me as if she hasn’t switched languages at all. We’re not sure she notices the differences between the two languages fully. I love that my kids are speaking more English. And relieved my fears have been proved wrong.

I’m still doing Parkrun. I ran a new personal best this last Saturday of 32:44. That beat my old time by 2 minutes! I give credit to my running partner. She helped me keep a steady pace and to not walk even when I would have, if I had been on my own. My goal is to run 50 parkruns before October 2019. I don’t think it will be that difficult to do 29 more runs in a little over a year.
I’ll will also start an 8 week FitCamp program next week. I’m aiming to lose a couple of kilos and hopefully learn something new about nutrition that I can use in my daily life. I feel like I am slowly getting some of me back!

This summer was a hot hot one! By hot, I mean it was over 26C (78,8F) and many days closer to 30C (86F) for over 50 days. The last time it was remotely this hot for this long was in the 1940s. It was a humid too. We all just about died. LOL. I enjoyed it as much as I could, but I was more comfortable when it was closer to 20C (70F) again. Fall is definitely on its way. The mornings need a jacket and afternoons only a t-shirt.

As summer is over, we’re all back at work, daycare or school. This year is the first that our kids are going to two different places in the morning. Tadbit has a new daycare lady, which is 1km (0,6mi) away (compared to the 2 minute walk we had previous years). And Paxlet’s school is right in the middle of that distance. We’re finding a new rhythm to mornings and afternoons. I’ve also started working 6 hours days instead of 5 hours, which is taking time for me to get used to also.

How was your summer? Is life treating you well?

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

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Rough Morning

This morning started out like most: The kids woke up before 6:45 and went downstairs to play quietly (and not wake mom). I woke up at 6:45, looked in their empty room and called downstairs to tell them it was time to come upstairs and get ready for the day. Both called out a resounding “no”. *sigh* Mr Siili chimes in that it is time to get ready and to listen to mom. Tadbit comes upstairs a few minutes later and starts getting ready. When Paxlet comes up, his first words are accusatory and angry that I have moved his white paper. It is always my fault when something goes missing or wrong. Even if I wasn’t anywhere near the place or situation. (This time I had actually cleaned the area in question the night before.) Our words immediately become snappy, heated and not pleasant for first words on a Monday morning. Mr Siili comes and separates us and calms the situation down a bit. Once I’m ready, I head downstairs to help Paxlet look for his white square of paper that is “this big”. I find all sorts of papers and then some, but not the paper he wants, which is actually a ‘package’ with treasures/jewels wrapped in it. I vaguely remember seeing something like that, but have no idea where it ended up. I spend 5-10 minutes helping him look for his paper. No luck. However, other pieces of paper are finding their way back to the floor! Every time I turn around there is more paper crap on the floor that wasn’t there literally 5 minutes ago. Paxlet insists he needs a specific conglomerate of taped paper/plastic on the floor, but he can’t tell me why. Can’t? Won’t? Doesn’t know how? I have no idea at this point. More heated words from Paxlet and I. Tadbit is sitting at the table very quietly coloring. I eventually end up back stairs to get the hairbrush for Tadbit’s rat’s nest. I tell Mr Siili that this must be how I was with my mom at this age. And I start crying because I miss my mom. Both kids come up stairs and hug me. All arguments are forgotten and they are only concerned now. Paxlet asks, ‘why are you crying?’ I tell him I miss my mom and want to talk to her, but I can’t. His eyes are concerned and a bit teary. He knows my mom is dead. Tadbit just keeps saying ‘momma, mom-maaa’ over and over again trying to hold my hand. We hug and calm down. Then finish getting ready for daycare and work and head out the door.

This and that #5

*wiping off the dust* Hello again! As I have previously said, I’m still around, just not nearly as much. Here’s some of my current thoughts that I feel need to be said.

– Today marks what would have been my mom’s 60th birthday. I drew a little something for her, because she always told me that she’d rather we make her something instead of buying something.
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– I still worry that I’ll die young like she did and I won’t get to see my kids grow up. I don’t regret, as such, that I didn’t have kids earlier, but it crosses my mind.
– My sister had her baby girl! She was 15 days after her due date (induced and c-section) and over 10 pounds!
– We still have no date of when we’ll head to the US to see family. Ugh.
– Today is March 9th – #OwlBeKind4Thomas day. I made 8 little owls to send out into the world in honor of him.
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– It isn’t deathly cold anymore. We had over two weeks of roughly -20C. BRRRR! In addition, today is the first time in ages (this year?) that the temperature should get above freezing. The sun is actually warm again.
– I’ve started running. It’s not a fast run, but it is running. I’d probably be ‘faster’ if I didn’t stop and take so many pictures along the way. But the scenery is just amazing and different each week.
In the fall, ParkRun started here in my hometown. It’s a free weekly 5km run/walk event that is timed and operates solely on volunteers. My town is the first in Finland and the most northern one so far!
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– I’ve also started going to BodyCombay again. My old love. ❤ It feels good.
– I’m still working in the same company, but I’m in a different team on rotation. Originally I was only supposed to be here for 3 months, but my rotation contract has been extended until the end of August. This change of working tasks/team/environment has helped my mood and overall feelings. I was starting to think about moving on to a different company. Next month is 10 years that I started here.
– Next month Tadbit will be 3 years old. She’s stubborn, sweet, feisty, independent, talks if she wants to, snuggly, funny and a siren (man oh man can she sound the alarm when she’s unhappy).
– Paxlet is 5,5 years and still my baby boy. He’s challenging, independent, talks A LOT, clever and growing up way too fast. We’ve been having some issues with listening, following directions and the consequences. I hate getting to the point that he won’t respond until I yell. He starts preschool/kindergarten (esiopetus). I’m not ready, but he is. Isn’t that how it always goes?
– Mr Siili and I are still at it. 🙂 We’ve been together almost 20 years. We have our ups and downs, but I hope there are more ups, than downs. Life has definitely been more challenging since having kids.
– This summer marks 19 years of me living in Finland. Wow!

Life happens while we’re doing something. I hope you all are taking time to enjoy  your “somethings”. I know we’re trying to.
Take care and be well. – JustHeather

Back to work

The kids and I survived our 8 weeks of summer holiday. We even thrived during some of that time. But it sure was challenging some days. I then had one more week all to myself, with the kids back at daycare and Mr Siili at work. It was bliss. I was lazy, cleaned a tiny bit, got my hair done, ate lunch downtown, slowly.

I do wish some of the days had a been a bit easier during the summer. Paxlet will soon be 5 years old. He is in a phase of not listening to us. We say something nicely/calmly several times and  he doesn’t acknowledge us in any way. When we raise our voice or yell, he say “yeah yeah” or starts crying. I know he’s a little boy with big emotions, but this is draining! And little Miss Tadbit (2yr 4 mo), she copies EVERYTHING her big brother does. ‘Peat and Repeat’ comes to mind. A a much better description of them than ‘monkey see, monkey do’, although that is valid too. She’s full of personality. And even the annoying things she does at times are still pretty cute, just because she is still young. I love my kids an insane amount, but they are challenging for me at times.

On my first day back at work, I barely manage to remember my computer password. Then I was still deactivated in the system, which thankfully only took a few minutes to solve. I had over 300 emails to go through. And basically just took my time getting back into the swing of things.

After work, as I was on the bus home, when I saw my bus in the lane next to us! I had hopped on the wrong bus! Thankfully it was easy enough to hop off at the next stop, take a 2nd bus, which brought me back around to my intended bus line home.

Then, at the library, a man working there did a double take at me and wondered/asked if I was the same woman who was with her 2 kids during the summer who spoke to said kids in English. (My hair color had changed since I was last there and I wasn’t with kids at this moment.) When I said it was me, he asked why I was speaking to them in English. When I replied that I am American, a little light bulb went off in his eyes. I’ve been asked this question before and I find it interesting. Either I look very Finnish (which I’ve been told I don’t do a bad job of it) and/or my Finnish language skills are so good that they think I’m a Finn (maybe, possibly, depending on what I’m talking about). However, I don’t think this specific guy heard me speak Finnish. I’m not sure what to think about this. Mostly I’m just amused.

So, the kids are back in daycare. I’m back at work. And life is back to normal again.

#MicroblogMonday – Fender Bender

Tadbit cried screamed this morning when we dropped her off at daycare. I knew it would come at some point. Poor girl. I’m sure she only cried a few seconds/minutes, as breakfast was ready to eat and food solves everything for my kids.

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Mr Siili and I went to see the new Ghostbusters movie two weeks ago. I loved the movie! I laughed and giggled a lot. It was predictable, but it was still fun and sort of like a flash back to the original. Unfortunately, the few hours we were kid less were overshadowed by the fact I bumped another car’s bumper when I was trying to park. I’m kicking myself for it still, when I think about it. I know how big/small my car is, I was just frazzled about getting to the movie on time. I was inching forward, so the bump wasn’t so hard, but my car’s bumper left some dirt and minor scratch marks on the other car’s bumper. I rubbed the dirt off and left a note, in English, for them to call me if there was any problems. We’ve not heard a peep from them. I wonder if my note in English scared them off or if they just don’t see any marks/issues. I truly hope it is the latter.

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

#MicroblogMonday – 10 years and a first day

Mr Siili and I have been married for 10 years.

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I went back to work today. My day was decent; nothing out of the ordinary. Checking Deleting emails that had piled up while I was gone. I applied for program access rights again. Got my picture taken a new id card. Same ol’ same ol’.

Mr Siili’s day wasn’t so pleasant. He grumbled to me, for ages, about a project and a guy.

Paxlet whined about me not staying with him at daycare all day. But he did get dressed and teeth brushed in the morning without a hassle.

Tadbit didn’t cry when we left her at daycare. And she only had a little cry when she fell in the woods and then again before falling asleep for nap time. She seemed happy enough when I came to get her. No epic grin and slow-mo run to come greet me, but I did get a small smile and a request to come up to my arms.

I think we’ll do it all again tomorrow. How was/is your Monday?

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

4-0h and Chewie Gooey Brownie Cake

Updated with pictures at the bottom.

It was (still is for another hour) my birthday today. Mostly, it was a day like any other day: taking care of kids, food shopping, cooking, cleaning and eventually getting the kids to bed. Aaah! Silence. Evening silence is always nice.

I received the best gifts this year. Mr Siili bought me a new-to-me laptop. It was a complete surprise. I was happily plugging along with my very slow laptop. This former business-owned laptop is insanely fast! I got to test it out the last couple of nights, but Mr Siili and the kids wrapped it up this morning and made me a card to go with it. Paxlet covered it with stickers and wrote his own name. Tadbit even drew on it a bit.
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Also, I received a package from my family last night. In the package was the redwood desk my dad made me when I was a little girl. Oh my goodness! I love it and am so happy to have it here. I’ll take pictures of it and post them soon.

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During this evening’s peaceful silence, I’m baking a Chewy Gooey Brownie Cake for my “party” on Saturday. This cake, if you can really call it a cake, is everything the title says and more. It is a dense, chocolatey, gooey heaven with a cream cheese like layer on top. I remember when I first tasted this at GCC, the coffee house where I worked at when I was younger. I didn’t try it for a long time because there is nuts in it. I don’t do nuts. Not in my Banana Nut Bread nor my Chocolate Chip Cookies. But this, it works! And nuts aren’t so bad in the other two recipes either, just if I have the choice when baking them, I leave the nuts out.

Here’s the crust (right) and filling already prepared and the spring form pan waiting to be assembled.
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I have taken to doubling the topping (filling) because it is yummy! And in my opinion, there’s not enough of it as the recipe calls for. Here you can see some of the crust drowning peeking out from under the topping. When a regular amount of the topping is made, you want to spread the topping close to the edge, but not quite going over it or touching the sides. Once baked and cooled, it creates a pretty edge/rim.
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The cake is still in the oven. I hope to post finished pictures soon/tomorrow. In the meantime, here’s the recipe below.

Chewie Gooey Brownie Cake

Bake at 350F (325F) for 60-65 minutes
Use a toothpick to check for done-ness. The toothpick will come out clean when done.

Use a 9″ spring form pan. Put a layer of baking paper on the bottom of the pan. Cool the cake when done. Remember to remove the wax paper before putting it in the fridge to chill.

Crust:
Mix:
1 cup (8oz / 225g) melted butter
4 squares melted unsweetened chocolate (12 tablespoons baking cocoa + 4 tablespoons butter)
Beat in:
3 eggs
2 cups sugar
Stir in:
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup chopped walnuts (or pecans)

Filling: (I usually double this.)
Beat until fluffy:
8oz (230g) soft cream cheese
Add and beat 2 minutes:
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla

Drop large spoonfuls on top of the chocolate layer. Use a knife to lightly score, in a crisscross pattern. (I don’t do this when I double the filing.)

Topping:
Mix together and cover the top of the cake and drizzle some drips down the side:
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon baking cocoa
1 tablespoon butter
1-2 tablespoons boiling water
Sprinkle 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (pecans) on top

Update: here’s the finished cake on the left.
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And it cut:

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