Surprise trigger

Christmas is almost here and for most people, me included, it means family time. Mr Siili, Paxlet and I are spending Christmas with his family. And I hope to Skype with my own family in the US sometime during this week. Everyone but my mom, that is. As I’ve mentioned many times before, my mom died suddenly 2,5 years ago of a heart attack. I still miss her a gi-normous amount, but most days I am able to carry on like normal.

However, the other day while driving, I heard  Michael Jackson’s They Don’t Care About Us song on the radio and I got weepy. I then heard the song again a week later or so and promptly burst into tears. I’m not exactly sure why this song has affected me so like this, but I do have a couple of thoughts on it. I’ve never really heard or listened to this song before, but I do (did?) like Michael Jackson. And for as long as I can remember, I have liked his song Rockin’ Robin (released 1972 on his first solo album). My parents had the cassette tape, which I would listen to over and over. And Robbin just so happens to be my mom’s name. 🙂

But mainly, Michale Jackson was born the same year as my mom and I remember when he died (2009), I was here at my in-laws and called my mom to talk to her about it. I was shocked that he died and it also brought home how young he was because my mom was the same age. Two years later when my mom died, she was still young and it is still hard to think of her not being here. Especially when this time of the year is about family.

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Xmas 2011

Another xmas is done and over with. *phew* I’m not a religious person, so xmas doesn’t mean anything to me in that sense, but I like the family part of it and the food. Especially since we don’t have Thanksgiving here in Finland, I use our Finnish xmas as a way to eat way too much. LOL. This year though, I didn’t eat nearly as much as I have in past years. Being pregnant has affected in regards to food. I can generally eat, but some things at some times just doesn’t sound good. And I definitely can’t eat as much or I just feel sick. I also have a difficult time with sweet things most often, which is quite sad, because I love sweet things!

I enjoyed the few days away from work, the laziness and relaxing at my in-laws, but as always, it is nice to be home once again. And it’s back to work in the morning.

Here is how we spent some of our xmas at the in-laws.

Mansi chilling under the rocking chair where she can see all, yet still be ready to run after a toy or just run in general.

Rusty “shrimping” on the couch after the ‘traumatic’ trip to his grandparents.

Xmas tree, decorated by FIL & MIL. Santa had (mostly) arrived!
The sweets table.
Mansi being a typical kitty and attacking MIL’s yarn. It was very cute!
Old man Rusty chilling on the couch with Mr Siili.
The stupid angel bell-candle thing that bing-bing-binged all through dinner.

The traditional apple-candle stand that is on our xmas dinner table. (The horses will be the apples in the end.)
Typical Mansi pose. She’s always sitting next to toys and waiting to be played with. (Yes, I did play with her after I took the picture.)
Pieces of one of the puzzles we put together. We also played some games.
Finished puzzle. (I’ve outlined one of the funny shaped pieces.)
Beautiful sunny day today!! You wouldn’t believe how windy it was outside. The power went out 3 times last night (maybe more while we slept) and was still out for many people today. There were trees blown down our entire trip home and even some power lines were down.

untrained cats and dogs at xmas

 So, Mr Siili and I made it to his parents’ house yesterday. The drive was uneventful and the cats were actually quite quiet most of the drive. It took Mansi and Rusty some time to calm down and settle in at this “new” place, but after an hour or two, all was well.

In the evening, I made choclate chip cookies, took a nap and then I just couldn’t be bothered to do anything else for the day. We had take-away pizza for dinner and watched some TV.

Today, we had rice porridge for breakfast. It’s a traditional food that can be eaten any time of the year, but usually during xmas. In Mr Siili’s family, it is xmas eve’s breakfast. Also, one blanched almond is put in the batch of porridge and the lucky person who finds it is supposed to have good luck the upcoming year. I didn’t find the almond this year, but that’s ok. 🙂

One of Mr Siili’s sisters came over for some porridge and she brought her dog. Thankfully I heard her coming and was able to get Rusty holed up in a room (it was actually easy, because he was already sleeping in a chair there), but we didn’t know where Mansi was. I asked the sister to wait a sec, but that lasted maybe 30 seconds and in came the dog. Two seconds later there went Mansi running past me and the dog close behind.

The sister said it was ok if the cats’ claws were clipped. Uhm, sure, it might be ok for your dog if the cats’ claws are clipped, but we’d still like to have cats after you leave. Alive and in one piece (well, 2 pieces, as we have two cats). So, we got both cats, their litter box, food and water in the same room and shut the door. Rusty didn’t mind too much, as it was his nap time. Mansi, the ever curious and friendly one, just wanted to see what was going on. I moved a chair near the window so she could watch what was going on, but when the dog barked at her, she got a bit scared.

The sister and dog have left for a while, but they will be back for sauna and dinner. Same as last year, Mr Siili and I are left to figure out what to do with our cats. The dog is not trained at all and the sister gets upset when no one controls her dog or if her dog doesn’t listen to her. *sigh* And the cats, well, they are cats and they are not trained. We’ll either put them in a room again for the evening. 😦 Or, we’ll put them upstairs and find a way to block the entrance and I’ll be sitting at the bottom of the stairs to keep the dog from going up there. Mansi will get curious and come down the stairs to check out the main floor and it will rile the dog up. Mr Siili isn’t too happy about either option, but less so of the later one. But I’ve got to do what I need to protect my cats. If I try to say something to the sister, it will most likely create an unhappy political situation and we don’t want that now, do we? I totally forgot about this whole issue since last year, but I’ve got to remember it for next year. Who knows what next year will be like…

Anyway, I managed to finish baking the chocolate crinkles, coconut macaroons and assemble the pesto torta this afternoon (pictures later). My MIL and FIL have assembled the tree. The ham has been cooked (over night) and most other foods are ready, they just need to be re-heated and put in serving dishes. Pretty soon we’ll go to sauna and then have our xmas dinner. After dinner, Santa will arrive with the gifts. Then we can all relax, play games, watch a bit of TV and sleep until we feel like getting up on xmas day.

Xmas eve’s eve

It’s late and I’m exhausted, so a short post from me.

Tomorrow, Mr Siili, the cats and I will be heading to the in-laws for the next 4 days. I like my in-laws a lot, so it is generally nice to go and visit. I really want to tell them and my family that we’re finally pregnant, but being that it is too early, we most likely won’t, unless something happens that makes it necessary.

I still haven’t gotten my act together and actually made the cookies I’ve been meaning to make for the last week. I did measure out the ingredients and put it in containers so i could quickly make them up once we reach the in-laws. But I have a feeling the 1,5 hour drive is going to drain me something fierce. (When I don’t drive much, the longer than around town distances exhaust me.) Oh well…I can only do what I can do.

Most everything is packed, cats excluded. They’ll be packed just before we get in the car tomorrow morning. They are so not going to be happy about this. Hah, same thing every time. Rusty lets us know most of the trip the indignities he’s being put through and how undignified it is to be stuffed in a carrier and forced to ride in a car. Although, he does enjoy the end result. Mansi will squeak out a protest a few times throughout the trip, but I think it is more of a faux show in solidarity towards her bigger brother.

I’m planning on taking lots of pictures to share what a typical-ish Finnish xmas is like. Let’s see if I can get that done. (I still haven’t done a single thing about my Shanghai pictures from Aug/Sept!)

On holiday this week,

and so much has happened!

Saturday, hubby, a co-worker of mine and I went to Ähtäri for the day. Weather was great and we saw lots of animals.

Sunday was spent at home.

Monday, the cats and I drove to Pori. Hubbies parents live there. We all just enjoyed the warm summer day and kitties were able to go outside.

Tuesday, I woke up way to early for a holiday morning and went swimming in an outdoor pool. Then mother-in-law and I drove to Vanha/Old Rauma, a UNESCO site. We wandered around there for an hour or so. We ate some of the bestest vanilla munkki we’ve ever eaten. They were so good, we had 2! lol. After that we drove to Sammallahdenmäki, another UNESCO site. Sammallahdenmäki was very interesting to walk around and check the cairns out. I’d love to go back when there are guides to get a better understanding and hear about some of the findings.

Wednesday was just a quiet day around the house. Kitties were allowed outside even more. And in the early evening we came home. Upon coming home, I found an envelope that had arrived for me while I was gone. (That will be updated in the next post.)

Today has been a mostly quiet day. Hubby and I grumped at each other a bit. Tried to go to lunch out, but the place was basically done serving lunch already. So, we went food shopping for juhannus weekend and bought tons of food stuffs.

Tomorrow we’ll go to hubbie’s co-worker’s house in the evening to grill.

The rest of the weekend will most likely be quiet and restful. I will need to do some laundry before going back to work. Hopefully it will be sunny.

Me + 2 cats = in Pori

My husband has been working almost round the clock the last couple of weeks to get his thesis written. The poor guy does his regular work during the day and then deals with me and the cats in the evening, waiting for us to go to bed, then he works all night long on his thesis. Quite often he is just only crawling into bed when I am waking up to go to work. He sleeps a few hours and then is back at it all over again.
He was even doing this while sick with the cold that I gave him. (I didn’t try to!)

I know he is struggling, stressing and not getting enough sleep. But it is quite frustrating for me (and the cats too). 😦 We can’t really exist in our home either because we are trying to tip toe around him so that we don’t bug him. And I honestly am trying to stay out of his way and not bother him, but I also know that just by being in the apartment and existing is enough to bother him so he can’t get anything done until I am asleep.
 So, this weekend, I’ve taken the cats and gone to Pori.

Tons of hugs to my Love. I hope he gets some things done this weekend.