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.

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#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.

*****

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.

*****

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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#MicroblogMonday – This and That #4

It feels like forever since I posted when I miss a week of #MicroblogMonday. Thankfully Monday comes around again each week.

This is the last week of holiday for us all. Paxlet goes back to daycare and Tadbit will start daycare. Mr Siili heads back to work and I will be heading back to work for the first time in just under a year and a half.

We’ve gone to a lot of parks the last few weeks. It keeps the kids entertained and they can be as loud as they want.

Paxlet has taken to whinging. About everything and nothing. Literally. I put his dinner in front of him and he whinges he doesn’t like it. I don’t give him food, he whinges where is his food. Please tell me this is only a phase! In the meantime, how can I keep my cool and not want to strangle my kid. I’m sort of joking.

Tadbit is very much into Monkey see, monkey do. It’s laughable and frustrating. She loves her big brother.

I colored Paxlet’s mohoawk with Peacock blue/green. He loves it.

I bleached and re-colored my hair. This time it’s half Bella Blue and half Patsy Purple. A fun change!
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I trimmed Tadbit’s bangs for the first time. *sniff*

We stayed at the in-laws for a few days. My MIL turned 70 and had a great party while we were there. I made this as her birthday card. Can you tell what it is? It’s a chanterelle mushroom!
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We stayed the night at a friend’s house in the country. Then the next day we went to Ponimaa (Pony land). There is lots of animals, some of which you can pet. Kids get a pony ride.
This year, Pinto the Falabella horse performed.
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I’ve found some clothes at a second hand store. One skirt was only 7€, brand new it would be around 40€. And most recently, one shop had their 1€ day and I found 2 skirts and 3 shirts for 5€ total! I even found a couple of cute things for Tadbit. As if that is hard to do.

Tadbit is still having issues falling asleep at night. I can handle the wiggling and playing around, usually. It’s the screaming that starts to frustrate me. I hope this passes soon.

I’ve lived in Finland for 17 years.

I turn 40 on Thursday.

Mr Siili is buying me a new, to me, laptop. It’ll be much faster than this one.

I’m having a party on Saturday. I’m not really looking forward to it. So many people have canceled for one reason or another. Bleh. I’m still going to make my Muzzy’s Cheesecake and Chewy Gooey Brownie Cake.

Life sure is…everything.

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

I loved Moominworld!

I think the kids loved the trip too. It was a long day, but we all survived and had lots to see.

This is a picture intensive post, with a couple of stories thrown in.

Tadbit, on the bus ride there, wearing a Moomin Troll (Muumipeikko) onsie. She’s playing with a tic-tac-toe set I made.
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Paxlet wearing a Moomin shirt. Never sitting still.
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Our view as we walk across the bridge to Moominworld island. It was the most beautiful, sunny, warm day. At times almost too hot, but then we’d get in some shade and it was perfect.
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The Moomin family house. I wish I had more time and a slower pace, instead of chasing after one or both kids, to check out all the details in this house and every other place. The few I did get to see were amazing!
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Moomin Troll’s play house (next to his parents’ house). There’s a slide on the right hand side to get down.
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Moominmamma.
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Moominpappa. When Tadbit first saw Moominpappa and touched his nose, she giggled. A bit later, as he gave us his full attention, she squeaked a bit in fear.
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View from the island.
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Moomin Pappa’s ship/boat.
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Hemuli.
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Hemuli’s house. He has collections of stamps, butterflies, plants and more in there.
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Snorkmaiden.
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Snork (Snorkmaiden’s big brother).
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Resting (with a wiggly Tadbit on my lap) in a hammock that oh so love-ily matched my hair!
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View from said hammock.
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Mr Siili and Paxlet “resting” in a hammock, with Tadbit wanting to join in.
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Hattifatteners (Hattivatti).
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Snufkin and a goofy me. He walked by me and commented that my hair color matched his clothes color. I replied and said it is a great color. 🙂
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This toy ship was a common sleeping room in the Moomin family house. Just one of the many details.
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Nipsu.
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The backside of Little My (Pikku Myy). She’s always been one of my favorite characters. A bit naughty and definitely mischievous. I unfortunately didn’t get any pictures of her front side.
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Stinky (Haisuli) and a police. Stinky is a troublemaker and often in jail. He causes trouble wherever he goes. Just before I took this picture, the police asked Stinky when was the last time he had taken a shower, because he stunk. The little boy leaned in to smell him! Hahaha!
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Here are some links if you want to see more pictures of the Moomin and learn a bit more about the characters.

Many characters with their names in English. And Finnish. I personally like some of the names better in Finnish, as they make more sense. Or maybe I am just used to them that way.

A list describing who is who and their personality.
This link has the Swedish names along with descriptions.

#MicroblogMonday – Moominworld

We are headed to Moominworld (Muumimaailma) on Wednesday, with a parent (mom) “club” I go to. I fell in love with the Moomins all those years ago when I first came to Finland. The creatures are cute and their stories are fun. What’s not to love? I have never been to Mooninworld, so this is going to be a fun first, with kids included!

It will be a loooong 12 hour day, including a 1,5 hour bus ride there and back. I’m excited, so is Paxlet. Tadbit has no clue what is going on. Mr Siili is stressed. And my MIL will be joining us. (It’s a good thing!) I know we will all be fine, except for maybe Mr Siili’s stress.

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