#MicroblogMonday – This and That #5 aka Mind-dump Monday

Welcome to the next year, everyone! I hope 2017 is kind to you and that it lives up to your expectations.

Sorry for the long post today, but this has all been percolating in my brain for some time.

I learned about my good friend’s daughter’s diagnosis of depression last week. It’s sad to see it affect someone so young. She’s only 7. If you have any book suggestions or resources where they can look, I’d love to be able to pass it on to them.

I’m glad Xmas is over. Such a build up to the event and then it’s over in an evening/morning. Many years it feels as if I stress and stress and it doesn’t really go like I planned or thought it would be in my head. This year was no different. Both kids were mildly sick (fever and snuffly-coughs), so we didn’t make it to the cousins for Xmas. It would have been the first time, ever. We didn’t have a tree, but we did have decorations we made and lots of Xmas food I made. I don’t know what exactly it is I expect of or from Xmas, but I was bummed. However, as I drove to the cousins’ house to drop off/pick up gifts, I cried and worked out my stress and frustrations. Xmas is about being with family. This year it was going to be with the cousins, instead of at my in-laws (or my own family, which has been waaay too long). When that didn’t work out, I was upset. But then it dawned on me, I have my own family now! A family that I have longed for and wanted for so long. That realization helped me calm down and mostly remain focused on what I wanted from Xmas this year: to see my kids (and Mr Siili) happy and loved. It worked.

I did get to Skype with my family on Xmas eve (their morning). It was great to see them all in one place at one time. I still missed my Mom.

I’ve been feeling quite down on myself lately. I feel like I am not good enough. At many things. Being a mom, wife, worker, person. It sucks.

I got my Mirena IUD, had a week of nothing and then I started spotting/lightly bleeding, which has now lasted for 2+ weeks. Yay.

For 3-4 weeks leading up to Xmas, I had excruciating back pain. I’ve had back pain off and on since I was 14 and a passenger in a car wreck. This time, however, it was bad, very bad. Many days a paracetamol would only take the edge off. The pain was bad enough I went to the doctor for it. She prescribed me a week’s worth of mega-pain meds and some muscle relaxants (I only took a couple day’s worth). After the week of mega-pain meds my back was fine for a day or two and since then the pain has crept back. I head to the physiotherapist tomorrow morning. If he can’t help, I’ll head back to the doctor in another couple of weeks to see what happens next. I’m tired of back pain.

I need to stop eating so much sweets. And not just for the holidays, but all times.

When I was at the post office before Xmas to mail my cards, there was an addressed post card that didn’t have a stamp. Someone dropped it and didn’t notice. I felt bad that the receiver wouldn’t get their card, so I paid for the postage (,80 cents).
Then the next day, I found 24 euros worth of stamps on the ground. There was a receipt in the bag with them, showing that they had been paid by a debit card. I returned the stamps back to the store in hopes that they would be able to return the money to the card. I’m assuming it happened like that because the store never contacted me to come get the stamps. I would have felt guilty every time I used one of those stamps if I had kept them without trying to return them first.

I love my kids! Even if they drive me bat-shit crazy at times.
Paxlet is so smart, inquisitive and observant about the world around him. He loves his little sister. He tells her “Sä ot mun pikku sisko” (You are my little sister) and it melts my heart every time. Yet, he whines and moans about everything I do or don’t do. (Why is putting one’s clothes on such a difficult task sometimes?)
Tadbit is the cutest and most stuborn drama queen there is. We’re going to be in trouble. For now, it’s just cute when she dramatically pouts when we tell her to not hit the cat, take a smaller bite or not throw things. She’s consistently saying 2 words together and more and more 3-word sentences every day. She also growls. I think she might have gotten some of that from me.

Our house NEEDS to be de-cluttered. I need to just give up on the idea of trying to sell things on FB and donate the stuff. We need it out of our house more than we need the money.

We crafted quite a bit during December. But those were kid-friendly crafts. I finally got my sewing machine out yesterday and did some adult crafting! I made two reusable veggie-fruit bags. I had only been meaning to make these for a couple of months. They are from all recycled material. I can’t wait to try them out next time I go food shopping.

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And that’s some of what has been in my head. How was/is your first Monday of the year?

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

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#MicroblogMonday – Xmas glass

I’ve almost got my baking sorted for gifts. This year every cookie/sweet recipe I think of making has chocolate in it.

This year, we’ll be going to my BIL and SIL’s for Xmas. We’ve always gone to my in-laws (for the last 17 years, minus one year in the US), so this is going to be…different. My kids will get to see and meet Santa for the first time. (Paxlet doesn’t believe in him. Thanks Mr Siili.) However, Santa won’t be showing up until 8:15pm. My kids are usually asleep by then. It’s going to be a looong Xmas eve.

Here’s some glass stuff I’ve finished, just in time for the holidays. I have a couple more of these hearts finished, in different colors, and many more waiting to be soldered.

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These Santas/elves and stars I made 5 years ago, but only just got the beads put on them to hang them. I had sort of procrastinated on it, but in the end it was good I did. My current glass “teacher” has this ultraviolet glue thingy that can attach beads to glass and they stay put much better than epoxy and metal clasps.

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These angels are another thing from 5 years ago. I had everything soldered together except the heads and halos.

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

#MicroblogMonday – Bah hum…Merry Whatever

I was going to write a post today about how both kids got sick and had ear infections (Tadbit’s first and Paxlet’s second), I’m feeling under the weather, there’s no snow, I miss my family and friends, how I don’t like xmas and I’m not in the mood for it and how I feel even worse for it because I always said once I had kids I’d actually do something for xmas. But I’m over that now. I think I thought it out too much.

In reality, I have it pretty good. I have a good home, Mr Siili who loves me (even if we grump at each other at times), two kids I love more than anything (even if Paxlet tries my patience more often than I care to admit and Tadbit has found it is fun to bite me now that she has two teeth), family-in-law to bake xmas gifts for, two relatively healthy and alive cats and whatever else I’m not thinking of right now.

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Paxlet made these for his daycare provider. He did it all by himself, I only closed/looped the metal so they stayed on.
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I’m still not over my bah humbug-ness, but I’m in a better mood this evening than I have been the last few days. May you all have a merry whatever you celebrate!

 

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

Acrylic painting on cloth – update

I went ahead and tested one of the wash clothes/sponges with the acrylic paint. Rather, I gave Paxlet the brush and paint and let him have at it.
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I’ll use this one at home and see how it holds up. If it keeps its colors well, then I know we can use the paint for other wash clothes. If not, the paint will continue to be used with paper and possibly cloth that won’t be continually washed, because I am sure it will stick to an extent. Acrylic paint isn’t water soluble once dry, that much I know.

And because I found our cloth markers*, I let him decorate two more of the wash clothes. These two, along with the rest we have will become part of this year’s xmas gifts to family.
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*4,5 working markers out of 8 ain’t bad for 16 year old markers. The black half works.

Cookies as gifts, Xmas 2012

For the last few years, I’ve been giving my in-laws (MIL, FIL,SIL*2) cookies for xmas. I just got tired of stressing over what to get them and giving them something that they probably didn’t want anyway. So, they now get cookies. I figure that even if they don’t like all of the cookies, they will hopefully like some of them. Plus, they can pass them on to someone else and they won’t be stuck with yet another thing that collects dust.

This year I made 4 different types of cookies and they are not something I have gifted before.

In the top left corner (clockwise) are the original Kellogg’s Rice Krispie Treats, Holiday Pinwheel cookies from Christmas Your Way blog, Chocolate-Marshmallow-Fudge-thingies from my friend and White Chocolate & Raspberry Cake Pops (without the sticks).

The recipes for the first two can be found by following the links. The recipe for the chocolate-thingies from my friend can be found below. And the cake pops were sort of my own creation using a couple of sources for hints and tips and a cupcake mix & topping packet. I know there are many recipes out there for them right now as there are the ‘in’ thing, but if someone would like more details on what I did, I’d gladly share my process.

All of the cookies were easy to make, some of them just took a little bit of time, such as the pinwheels and cake pops. To help things along, I made cake pop innards on the 21st (Friday) and they firmed up over night, the chocolate-things on the 22nd. The pinwheel dough was prepped (rolled & cut) at the beginning of December and then frozen until I wanted to bake them on the 23rd (Sunday). The cake pops were rolled in melted chocolate on Saturday so that they could set up over night. The Rice Krispies were fully made on the 23rd.

Chocolate-Marshmallow-Fudge-thingies recipe
(I have no idea what these are called, except for yummy!)
Ingredients*:
325g (11,5 ounces) Chocolate
3dl (1 cup) marshmallows (They are different than the ones you can roast over a fire.)
1,5dl (1/2 cup) Vanilla Fudge squares
15 x 30cm (6 x 12 in) pan
parchment/baking paper

Break the chocolate into pieces and put in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring in between until all the chocolate is just melted. Don’t over heat the chocolate. Stir in the marshmallows and vanilla fudge squares. (If the chocolate gets too hot, you have to wait a bit before you can add the marshmallows to the mix or they will melt.) Spread the mixture into your lined pan and let cool. If you want it cooled faster, stick it in the fridge for a bit. Once the chocolate is hard again, break it into pieces and serve!

*All measurements are rough estimates and you can substitute or add different items into this.

Now that that’s finally over, we can get back to normalcy

Finally, xmas and all this ‘merry making’ is done and over with. This year’s christmas has just left me in a bad mood. I can’t quite pinpoint what it is that affected me so, but I’m just feeling bleh and a bit BattleFish-y. I could make all sorts of excuses as to why I’m not in the cheeriest of moods, such as:
I didn’t get any candy for xmas,
We were horrible first time parents and didn’t take any “baby’s first xmas” photos,
I’m missing my mom,
I only got a couple of gifts,
We left our cats at home for the night so that there wasn’t dog drama,
Mr Siili and I argued more than I’d like (over mostly stupid crap) and
the whole trip to the in-laws was rushed and stressful.

But really, those are just sorry excuses, well, all except for missing my mom. What I really should be thinking and remember is the following:
I have the happy and healthy baby I’ve been wanting for years!,
My dad and sister visiting earlier this month was a wonderful early xmas gift. Not to mention the brand new laptop and other items they brought for Paxlet and I,
I have my health,
I have a great husband (most of the time),
We spent time at my in-laws, who made wonderful xmas food and even sent some of it home with us, including candies, brie and blue cheese!,
Paxlet inched his way across the bed by himself for the first time (butt up in the air and then pushed himself forward, face down leaving a “snail slime trail”) and
I Skyped with my entire family in the US this evening.

Tomorrow’s just another day and for that I’m very thankful. I hope everyone has enjoyed their holidays, whatever it is you celebrate. I’m just read to go back to my normal everyday life, starting right now, by going to bed.

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.