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 – Told you so

I hope there is a day that someone can say “I told you so” in relation to my son, and probably daughter, speaking English. I just feel so deflated and disheartened when Paxlet doesn’t speak English. I know he could, if he wanted and tried, but he doesn’t want to and only randomly tries, so he doesn’t speak it well. Tadbit seems to be going the same way. She has been wowing us with many new words a week lately, but all in Finnish. In fact, if I tell her/use the English one, she disagrees with me on it! LOL

The kids are in Finnish daycare all day, have a Finnish dad and only me for English. Once they are in school, there are city run programs for multi-lingual families, but we’ve got another 1,5 years (only?! ack!) before he starts preschool/kindergarten (at age 6).

I never thought about languages this way. Nor that it would be so difficult to get my kids to speak my mother tongue.

I don’t really have much to offer or ask for. I’m just mussing and hoping (again) that things will change in the future.

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

#MicroblogMonday – When in Rome…?

Only 3 more sleeps until we start making our way towards the US to visit my family. I’m still stressed over this trip more than I am looking forward to it. I know that will change, I hope, once we board our first plane. Until then, I’ve got too much to do. Or at least it feels that way.

Mr Siili speaks only Finnish to Paxlet and I speak only English. I have no clue how it is going to work while we are in the US. My family, obviously, doesn’t speak a word of Finnish. And even if they do remember a word, I do NOT want them saying it to Paxlet as they will mangle it beyond recognition.
Should Mr Siili continue to speak to Paxlet only in Finnish? And then to everyone else in English? This is how I do it here in Finland, although most everyone understands English. However, if there are kids involved in a situation, I generally use Finnish, so that everyone understands what I am saying. Or should Mr Siili use Finnish only when directly talking to Paxlet (for example to impart some instructions or warnings), but English when other people need to know what is going on or being said? Or, or…? Or am I thinking about this too much?

What would you do?

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

Bits and bobs

I been gathering this post all week. It seems like my blogging thoughts are in random little pieces these days. I’m sure I could find something long and worthy to write, but I just can’t be bothered. Here are my thoughts as they are.

Earlier this week, Paxlet said “olet tuhma” (according to Mr Siili) and I thought Paxlet had said “tyhmä”.

tyhmä a stupid, unintelligent, foolish, soft-headed, brainless, dopey, obtuse, fool (yl am), daft (br), dim-witted, dozy (br), drippy, dumb (henkilöstä), gormless (br) Onpa tyhmä kysymys What a stupid question

tuhma a 1 naughty 2 bad (worse, worst) 3 rude, wicked tuhma vitsi a rude joke ■ a 4 (rivo) naughty, rude

As you can see neither word is very nice. And calling someone stupid just raises my hackles. I learned and experienced early on in my Finnish life that kids often call their parents, friends and just about anyone that displeases them “tyhmä”. And it irritates me to no end. I’ve tried explaining it to other Finns that calling someone stupid is fighting words. You don’t say that unless you really mean it. Does anyone else feel this way or am I a lone American on this feeling?

The next morning, Paxlet called his overalls “tuhma”. And then in the next sentence he said to me “Olet ruohon leikkuri” aka “You are a grass cutter” aka “lawnmower”. Now, at first I just laughed. But as I got to think about it during the day, he loves machines and he does like the lawnmower, so he must really like me. 😀 I know he likes me because he has told me so. He has also told me “Paxlet happy boy” and “Paxlet momma boy”.

Many of the buses, their routes and numbers changed at the beginning of the summer. The bus I take most regularly was #22, now #9. The other thing that changed was that once an hour, the bus actually comes past my house to its end spot and then turns around. All other times, it is a 7-8 minute walk to the closest stop. I love having a bus stop in front of my house, plus it works well for going to and coming home from work. However, since these stops are new(ish), many of the bus drivers still haven’t figured out where to stop or how to use the end turn-around. I’ve had to walk around the bus to get into (instead of stepping up into the bus from the curb) it a few times. And we’ve even had the bus driver go past our stop! Not that it is such a big deal, as it is only a 2-3 minute walk home from the end, but hey! the driver missed our stop, right in front of our house! After this last incident, I happened to take the same bus from the same driver the very next day and he recognized me. He even called out to me as I got off the bus saying as how our stops now have their official signs!

Living in a newly developed and developing area, there is still lots of construction going on. Across the street from us used to be a forest. Now most of the trees are cut down and the land leveled. The cool part is that we have 4 diggers across street from us. It is a young boys’ (and girls’) dream come true! They get to watch diggers, dump trucks and other big vehicles, come and go and work. We’ve spent quite a bit of time watching them this last year.

We’re planning on visiting my family in the US later this year. The tickets are expensive and the trip long. However, Mr Siili’s sleuth and research skills look like they have paid off and we’ll hopefully be getting a good deal on both. Well under 3k€ round trip and only about 24 hours of total travel time, each way.
I am looking forward to buying things from the US! And seeing family too. I need some more toothpaste, deodorant, underwear, some maternity clothes (much cheaper than here), candy (different than Finland) and other random things I think of while there.
My family doesn’t say Paxlet’s (real) name quite correctly. I know that I/we chose Paxlet’s name what it is so that it would be easily said and mostly correct the world over. But, I would have also hoped that my family would try to say it the way it is meant to be said: with an a (father) and not an ä (cat). I wonder if it will change when we are there and they will hear it more often from us.

Paxlet speaks more Finnish than English, but he understands both languages without a problem. Some things/phrases he says in English and when he spend more time with me, he will use a bit more English, but still the majority of his words are in Finnish. However, he does spit out gems like the following. I was putting my foot in the door way so he couldn’t slam close the door. He said: Momma foot way. Äiti väistä jalka. (Momma move foot.)

And last, but not least, I am halfway done with Written In My Own Heart’s Blood, book 8 of the Outlander series. I know I will feel lost for a bit after finishing it. Thankfully I have the TV series I can watch and re-watch if I have serious enough with drawls.