WELCOME!!

this blog is a place for me to empty my brain in a diary sort of way, but also to share various family news, house building progress and whatever happens to pop into my mind! a place to ventilate! since I live in a country where I haven't grasped the language all that well yet, and I happen to be a person who really likes to socialize, I guess here I can get the "yakking" out of me! if you happen to have a good time "listening" - I take that as an added bonus! have a good day - it will only be as good as you want it to be!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Spring is here!!!

Spring is here.  Not really.  But it sounded good, so I wrote that.
It's actually snowing as I write.  But 1st day of spring did arrive last week, with no signs of it at all.
Our snow is more or less gone though, so bonus to that.

But, let's not talk about weather, soon enough we'll be complaining about the heat and humidity.

On another note, today I have 6 more weeks to go to my estimated due date.  Not bad!
I waddle forward and am feeling more and more ready for this new person to make its entrance.
I have more and more discomforts and sleeping is kind of a joke.  I am out of breath and get very light headed when I try to do stuff.  Good thing I can just sit on the couch and stare while my house takes care of itself ;)
He, he, he.  Super funny.

Last week our oldest daughter turned 16.  SIXTEEN!!!  What???
It feels way more recent than that.  I very clearly remember a bright eyed little bundle, full of joy and poopy diapers, that we brought home on a cold March day.  I felt absolutely and utterly clueless.  I felt that the hospital staff was incredibly irresponsible for allowing me to take her home, as if I knew what I was doing!! But sure enough, at about 40 hours young, they sent us out the door, wishing me luck as a first time mom.
My husband had an evening shift and all his family were out of town, so there we sat, the new baby and I, trying to figure out how this baby business worked!!
Somehow we survived those first few weeks.  Our baby cried.  A lot.  And nothing fell smoothly into place. I kept looking for an instruction label on her, but all in vain.

And now, our little guinea-pig, turned 16.  I don't know how, but she actually turned out quite OK!
Now she's getting ready to get her beginners licence and looking for a part time job.  She's kind of almost grown-uppish.  

It gives me hope to see my big kids grow up and becoming decent young people, knowing that I still have many more to raise.  I very much enjoy my younger ones too though, realizing how fleeting their "little kid" stage is.  Our 4-year old keeps me laughing every day, he's a hilarious kid, and he knows so many things, I can't help but being impressed.

We are all looking forward to meeting the baby.  My hubby is worried he'll be at work (2 1/2 hours away), when I suddenly have to go to the hospital.  It's actually quite likely to happen, but I am not worried.  It will work out somehow.  I kind of hope I get to shock the socks off of him and interrupt his day with a "My water broke" phone call :)
He has promised to drop his tools and run when the time arrives...
I can totally see him doing that, and the image makes me smile.  He's so excited, like we've never had a baby before.  Or maybe it's because we've had babies before that he's so excited??  Regardless, I love seeing dad's so excited about becoming a dad again.

Well.  As you can see, the new baby is what's on our minds most of the time these days.  I pray for strength and patience these last weeks.  At times it sounds soooo long, and then I'm all "WOW!! it's really coming up!! I wonder if I'll remember how to take care of a newborn again!!"
But at least we had our guinea-pig 16 years ago, and a "few" after her, and they have all taught us something, so I bet I just might catch on again.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

The longest, coldest winter!!

I can't get over this winter!
Where we live we typically have a few weeks of snow, sometimes barely that.  Some winters it's slush and rain and wind.  This winter??  We got snow in mid December, and it has more or less stayed since then.  The temperature has stayed mostly below (or well below!) freezing.  Still!!  At the end of February!!  This is when spring usually starts to show subtle hints of its arrival...  This year, not so much.
I don't MIND winter.  I actually appreciate living where there are 4 pronounced seasons, but now I am ready for spring!!
Bring it on!!
Maybe the most comical part of this is that where we used to live, in Finland, they've had a record mild winter, with way less snow than usual!
Strange world.

Enough about weather.  I just realized I haven't been on here for a while.
Not tons going on I suppose.
Kids have had/have colds and sniffles.
Hubby has been working out of town, but has also enjoyed some much needed time at home with us!
I have less than 10 weeks left till my estimated due date :)
I still can't believe we are having a brand new baby join us soon, it'll be so much fun, and also a big adjustment.  Mostly in a good way, of course, but it'll "slow us down" a bit, that's for sure.
I've gotten used to the care free life with no diaper bags, diapers, bottles, pacifiers, extra clothing, night feedings, teething babies etc.
I am however looking forward to little tiny newborn snuggles.
To see a little wrinkled face for the first time, to hold that new person for the first time, to smell the sweet smell of a brand new baby.
We are so excited!!
The kids have felt the baby's kicks from the outside of my belly, and we try to figure out a suitable name.

So the main focus right now is prepping for baby.
I have done "some" shopping as well... There are so many things you need for a baby, and well, many things that are "nice to have"!
Over all I am doing well with this growing bump, but slowly I am getting more and more "done" with being out of breath, bulky, clogged sinuses, running to the bathroom non-stop, hungry, and in pain for various reasons.  I know many women have far more difficult pregnancies, and complaining won't change anything.  I am thankful that my body is holding up at this "advanced maternal age" (that's what they call it when you are over 35, and I turned 39 a few weeks ago!!), and I hope and pray that all goes well and that I will be able to carry the baby to full term and have a safe and healthy delivery.
Those things you can't take for granted.

One bonus with this cold winter is that I've stayed comfortable!  Many of our kids are born in the late summer/early fall, and that usually makes for a very miserable summer, feeling overheated and sweaty.

Not too much else going on here, so let the "baby count down" begin!!

Friday, January 24, 2014

An average day...

January is racing towards the finishing line.
One week to go.
Last I wrote about starting this new year, and already a month is almost past!

Today is a regular day.  I need to catch up on laundry, dishes, vacuum, pick up stuff from all over the house, pay bills, maybe even make some dinner.  I had a shower.  I picked up our 2 oldest from school at 11.00, since today was the first day of "exam week" and they were done already then.
We got take out pizza for lunch.
My 6 year old wanted to be picked up early from school, her belly was hurting a bit, so I picked her up.
(she's fine now, playing a board game with her brother)
It's windy and very, very cold.  We have some snow.  It's been a cold and snowy winter here so far.
Hubby has worked A LOT.  But this afternoon he took a few hours off and will be coming home for the night, and then head back in the morning.

My belly has grown a lot.  The baby is very active in there and the kicks, flips and punches are becoming quite strong and powerful.  I love it.
My old mommy body has some aches and pains and discomforts brought on by this pregnancy.  Every time I'm pregnant I'm a bit older and every pregnancy takes its toll on my body.
Sometimes I really understand why people stop at two kids... partly to keep their bodies in good shape longer.  But then I look at my kids and realize how worth it is to have varicose veins, a lazy bladder, an achy pelvic and tired looking skin....  At one point this body will no longer exist.  And no matter how good shape I am in when I take my last breath, it will decompose just the same.
Sounds a bit morbid, but it's the truth.
I do like to know that this body will have carried many children, and hopefully my family will keep on growing for many years to come, so in a way, my hubby and I will never die.

This is my everyday life.  Daily chores, thoughts about the new baby, homework, nagging on the kids, missing my husband, wasting time doing nothing...  And these days become a long string of days, and one day I'll look back and realize that those days were my life.
I try to fill them with as many hugs and kisses as possible. I try to laugh a lot.  I try to appreciate growing another baby in my belly.  I try to be positive and happy.  Because when I look back at that long string of days, I want them to make me smile.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Happy 2014!

Happy New Year everyone.
2014!!

It's funny, when I was younger a new year seemed to mean so much more.  I'd have big dreams and elaborate plans and each new year seemed "magic" and exciting.
I don't know if this new way of feeling comes with age and maturity, but for each year, New Year seem very much like any other day.
Sound kind of pessimistic when I write that down.
But I don't feel it in a pessimistic way.
It's more like a "matter of fact" feeling.

A new year is to many a "new beginning".  Promises are made, and within a few weeks broken... ;)
I have learned that changes that I NEED to make, is something that has to happen, regardless what day of the year is.  I won't focus on a certain day or hour, I try to make small changes each day instead.
Sometimes I succeed, often I fail.  But failing to succeed doesn't hurt as much if you weren't too hyped up about the change in the first place.
Sometimes things just don't work out.  They weren't meant to be.

I write a journal, one page per day, and at the end of each month there's a full page where you can add notes.  I just did my final notes to 2013, and wow!!  It sure made me reflect about our past year.
One year ago I started 2013 with a hope and prayer in my heart.
A big wish was sent above.
The wish really burned in my heart, and I was quite scared that our goal for 2013 would not be met.
The big plan was to move back to Canada from Finland.
When you stand on the threshold and sway back and forth, waiting to take a step towards a new adventure, so many, many thoughts and feelings are present.
When there's a big change you are about to make on behalf of your family, you want to get it right.
Times like that it's easy to be humble and remember to pray.
But it is Oh so HARD to be patient and not doubt.

Last spring was a blur of activity.  Getting our house "ready enough" to be put up for sale.
Did we list it at the right time?  At the right price?
We felt nervous and excited and impatient.
The months went by, too fast and too slow at the same time.
I wanted time to move forward, so that we would be back in Canada as soon as possible!
I wanted time to stay still, so I could enjoy our last months in Finland, making the best of it, but also so that we would have time to get everything done and ready to go!!!
I stubbornly prayed.  And pleaded.  And doubted.  And stressed.  And somehow, survived.
To me the unknown is the worst.
If someone would have told me
"It won't happen, give it another year!"
I would have been fine.
All the reasons I had for why this last year would have been a good year to move, would have seized to matter.  I would have steeled myself for another year and made the best out of it.
The not knowing ate me alive though.

At midsummer we still didn't know.  We spent the weekend away with many dear friends, and I totally disconnected from the house selling and the whole move.
I embraced the thought of maybe staying another year, and truly felt it wouldn't be so bad.
Besides, how would we even have time to get everything ready to move in just 6-7 weeks?
There was still a lot of work left to do on our house.
I stopped stressing and let it all just "be".
The Monday after we'd been gone, we got a call.
Some friends of our neighbors who had viewed our house a week and a half ago, called back.
"Can we come and see your house again this weekend?"

Saturday came, and it was my Hubby's grandma's funeral.
Our thoughts were so far away from earthly worries or concerns.
We spent precious time with friends and family, bidding farewell to a beautiful soul.
In the evening we came home to meet the prospect buyers, and Hubby and I felt so at peace.
We knew God had walked ahead of us and prepared the way.
After showing the house again, and a brief conversation with this very nice couple, we decided on a price and closing date.  We were really selling our house!!!
I had thought this moment would bring me such ecstatic feelings.
But mostly I just felt a silent prayer of gratitude.
This was not our doing.
There was no room for patting our own backs.
Things fell into place at God's time.
When our frame of mind was just right.

We had 5 weeks to get the house ready, have it inspected, book tickets, order a shipping container, pack everything up... Prepare many things in Canada.
We rolled up our sleeves and went to work.
Hard work.  Many, many long days.
At times I almost felt exhausted to tears.
I promise you, those are the times it is EASY to remember to pray.
Before getting out of bed in the morning, I prayed.
And God gave strength, sanity, health and enough energy.
Our kids were so good and helpful.
The weather was amazing!!
We had a wonderful guy work for us, he'd stay late many nights, helping my Hubby with construction.

Somehow... it worked.

There are so many details I could add, but mostly I look back and think "Wow".
It sure wasn't our own doing.
We could have gotten sick.
It could have rained every day.
There could have been delays.
The tickets that I booked for our overseas plane could have been gone (we found some really good deals, and when I booked them, there were only 12 tickets left on that plane, and we needed 9 of them!!)

So what have I learned from all this?
It doesn't matter what day it is, what year it is, or what time it is.
What matter is that things will happen in God's time.  And with this knowledge in my heart I greet 2014.
With a prayer that I will try to stay humble and remember this, also this year, regardless what our future has in store.

Friday, December 20, 2013

First fall behind us...

I can hardly believe we are already off to Christmas break!
The kids have finished their first fall back in school in Canada.
Over all it's gone well, readjusting to living in Canada has been WAY easier than when we first moved to Finland.  But it hasn't only been easy.
Our 7 year old has been homesick for Finland quite often.  She was only 4 when we moved over there, so almost all of her memories are from there.  She had several friends living on our street, and she loved school there.  Lots of time outside, and lots of free play.
Now she's in 2nd grade and the workload is quite a bit heavier.  She's catching up with her friends here, but since she was only in Finnish Kindergarten last year, it's a big jump to go straight in to grade 2!
One evening we were sitting in our living room, listening to Finnish Christmas songs, and she started crying.  I did too.  We hugged, and cried, and missed Finland.
It felt kind of good in a way.  Quite a few times while living in Finland I was very homesick for Canada, and I wasn't sure how much I'd miss Finland when we moved back here.  I am glad to realize how many good times and memories we have, and to anybody who asks me, I tell them that I'll never regret our time over there.

Our 2 oldest still LOVE high school.  I hear new stories every day.
So much fun!  People would often tell me "Wait till they are teens!!"
Well, now they are, and I think it's great.
Of course there are times when I think they'd be better off in a zoo, but that hasn't changed since they were 4 and 5...
Our other girls are doing fine as well.  They like school and enjoy being together with their cousins.
Our little guy is one of the most animated kids I have ever met.  He's hilarious and very intense.  He sure makes my days go faster!
Hubby has now been working out of town for the last 3 months.  It's gone fast, but at times the weeks feel long.  We only have Sundays together, and often that feels like too little time to catch up on everything.  He's taken a few odd days off, in order to take care of paperwork, run errands etc.
Next week he'll be off for 6 days straight!!  Can hardly wait.
We sure are looking forward to Christmas and a break away from everyday life.

I am past half point in my pregnancy, and over all I feel good.  I can tell my body is getting older though, with veins bugging me more and more.  Not fun.  It's actually quite painful.  Yuk.
We had some snow, actually, last weekend we had a storm and got around 20-25 cm dumped in our area.
Here that means chaos, since most people don't have winter tires on their cars, (us included).
Now it's raining and melting away though... Too bad.  But supposedly another storm is on its way, so we MIGHT still have a white Christmas.

Looking back at the 4 months we've now spent here, I must say it's gone really well over all.
It's easy to forget to be thankful for being healthy, having enough food to eat, a warm house to call home, great friends and so many other things that make our lives smooth to live.
We are looking forward to the coming year, there are many things on our agenda, but meeting our new baby will surely be the highlight of 2014!

Wishing all of you a blessed Christmas and a very Happy New year.




Sunday, December 8, 2013

7th princess on her royal way!

We are excited to announce that according to yesterday's ultrasound, we are having another GIRL!
We are thankful, happy and feel very blessed, that this baby looks healthy and perfect in every way.
She was a busy little one, moving non stop!  

I grew up with 6 sisters, and 3 brothers, so I know what life with lots of sisters is like.
It's sort of like this....



Looking forward to many crazy, hormonal years, ahead :)

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Greetings!

Wow, it's been almost a month since I last wrote.
It doesn't feel like I have a whole lot to share, but at the same time I know I've been plenty busy.
When making such a big move, there are so many things that need to be attended to.
And I am still tying up loose ends here and there.
The first month back, I didn't even feel like thinking about anything that involved any kind of brain activity.  I managed that basic stuff, like getting kids on the bus in the morning, keeping up with laundry, unpacking the most essential of our stuff, and making sure that everyone was fed and reasonably clean.
Now I'm slowly getting back in the groove of doing a bit more.
I want to find some energy to prep for Christmas!!

Last Saturday Hubby had the day off.  The first Saturday in a long time that he didn't work.  So, the two of us went Christmas shopping, grabbed a nice lunch together, and just spent time catching up with each other. When he's gone all week, and only at home on Sundays, there isn't much time left for us as a couple.
We both truly enjoyed a day to ourselves.
The kids decorated a gingerbread village at home, so they had fun too!

Earlier this month we celebrated our third daughter's belated birthday.  She is 12 now, and is really getting in to science.  Weird to think she'll be a teen in another year!!  She's so sweet and fun, and she really enjoys being back here.  But she also misses her friends in Finland.
One day she told me how she miss walking home from school!  It was a 20-25 min walk, up a long hill, but I can see how that time outside was relaxing and refreshing.

Last Friday I went on a field trip with daughter #5.  She's in grade two, and it was so much fun to go with her and her friends!  They are so cute :)
Last week I also had another visit at my midwife's and we could hear the baby's heartbeat!  It made me so, so happy.  At the end of next week I'll have another ultra sound, and we might find out the baby's gender :) Very exciting!!
Our little kids have so many questions about the new baby, and they are very, very excited.
Our youngest daughter, she's six, told me one morning:
"Mamma, I hope this baby doesn't die!"
I agreed with her.
For each week I am getting more and more excited, and if we find out the gender... I just might shop a tiny bit...
Some days I'm pretty tired, but over all I feel good.  I'm an oldie being pregnant, but I don't feel OLD!
I guess that's a good sign!!

Well, there's not too much to write about.
Life is moving along, it feels good to be here, but at times I have moments when I really miss some of my friends from overseas... wishing it wasn't so far away.
I will miss Christmas there as well.  It's so cozy with the snow, tons of candles in the windows and, well, the yummy chocolate and treats :)

Hope you all are hanging in there, and not stressing too much during this time of year!