Google+ Bree Bronson's Babies: 2012

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Bree has been nice

This year I didn't have enough time or money to buy the christmas gifts I wanted although I got something for everyone. Normally I enjoy shopping gifts if I manage to do it on time. Some years I've made chilli olives myself and given them as gifts. I told everyone it won't be happening this year so I wasn't expecting anything myself either. I just tried to make sure the kids would have a blast, which they fortunately did.

I got such nice gifts anyway, my nearest had been really thoughtful. It was still Husband who took me by total surprise. We haven't got any extra money right now and all bigger purchases have been really carefully planned during the fall. After all this Husband had gotten me a treadmill. I was so astonished I cried for 10 minutes. Luckily the kids were sleeping already.

I've been hoping for a treadmill for a long time already but it's been a distant dream that I've thought will maybe come true after many years if I would have the money for it. I would never, ever have believed that Husband would even consider getting me one. He's always been the kind of guy who gets me something for christmas because he wants it himself. Or a Hello Kitty pyjamas as a joke. But now, a treadmill. I had to go to the garage and see that it was really true. It was, and I can't figure out how I haven't noticed it standing there.

I have no idea how I can ever thank him. Especially as I didn't get him anything special. Thank you, honey, I love you!

P.S. Sister got, of course, a Vuitton bag.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Survival!

It's done now!

All the gifts are bought, wrapped and mostly delivered as well. After a huge hassle we're (surprisingly, again) spending the christmas eve at my parents' place. We've cleaned the house and even carried in the christmas tree (maybe we'll even get Son to decorate it later on, he thought it doesn't require anything...).

Now I'll just cook a rice porridge and hope everything will go smoothly tomorrow.

Happy xmas all, see you after the holidays!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Your place or mine?

Photo: keeppy.com
When the kids were born I noticed a dramatic change in the expectations about where and how we should spend our christmas. Both our parents would "love to see the kids on christmas" and "grandma would love it too" but it is or course "totally up to us what we do". I get it, kids are fun on christmas. What's not so fun is that we're supposed to spend the holidays driving around Finland with cranky kids on the backseat (they can't of course get any sleep wherever we are because the house is packed with people). I call this pre-christmas process "the christmas games".

The christmas games are opened in September at the latest. That's when my parents start asking how we're planning to spend christmas this year. When I escalate the issue to Husband he basically tells me to go to hell. Everyone in his family does everything on the last minute or couple of minutes after that so he doesn't even know christmas exists at that point. At some point during the fall Husband's parents will start some vague planning for a huge christmas party and Husband tells me that we'll need to go since we spent last christmas at my parents'. I have no choice but to say yes. Couple of days before christmas their great plans will be cancelled. That's the point when Husband comes to me and expects a ready plan christmas plan.

This year I went on christmas strike. I refused to hassle back and forth with our christmas plans and just said "I don't know" to everyone. I still don't know. Let's see what Husband comes up with.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Big fat lie

Photo: turnbacktogod.com
I stopped believing in Father Christmas last year when Sister got a Vuitton bag from her boyfriend and I had to settle with Hello Kitty PJs from Husband (this is true and I don't even like Hello Kitty). Son, however, is waiting for the guy in red like nothing else. He won't be disappointed either because Husband loves to play Father Christmas.

I wasn't sure in the beginning whether I wanted to start the christmas storytelling thing with the kids. It felt like lying. Husband wanted absolutely to do it so I played along but I still left most of the storytelling to Husband. And sure enough, it's fun to watch how enthusiastic and happy kids are about the whole thing.

Couple of days ago Son was watching a kids' program where one of the characters claimed that "Father Christmas doesn't exist". Son came to immediately after the program (the issue wasn't finished in the episode he saw):

- "Mooom, does Father Christmas exist? He does, doesn't he...?"
- "Eeeerrrrr......yes he does, it's him who makes sure that good boys and girls get presents on christmas eve." (Oh fuck, I'm such a huge liar, he's too smart for this and he'll never forgive me when he finds out the truth!!!)

I feel awful. Help!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Good night everyone

Daughter has been sick for some time now. She just recovered from one flu and caught another one at once. I feel sorry for the wee one, she has't really been able to sleep either.

Holding a crying girl in my arms after midnight made me think what a rare occasion it was. Normally both Son and Daughter sleep in their own rooms and beds through the night without waking us up until morning. Many people have asked me how I've made it happen. I'll tell you. First, though, the obligatory disclaimer about how children are different, how I'm not a professional and how I lack scientifical proof for my method. And I'm not even entering the conversation about how and where kids should sleep in general.

I would be insane by now if the kids would keep me up in the middle of the night. The reason is very simple: I'm a poor sleeper. It takes me at least an hour to fall asleep in the evening and two to wake up in the morning. I can't take naps during the day - I can't get any sleep and if I miraculously do I'll be dead tired for the rest of the day and awake the following night. When I've been breastfeeding Son and Daughter as small babies they've of course kept me awake in the night. Those months have been pure torture for me.

Having all motivation in the world to get the baby to sleep throughout the night I've made it happen with the following steps when the dwarf is about six months old:

1. Make sure the baby eats enough solids during the day and in the evening so that he's not hungry in the night. I've reduced the amount of milk/breastfeeding to make solids more appealing.

2. Make a decision: the milk bar is closed from 10.30 PM to 5 AM (or whatever times suit you). Later I extended the service break to 6 AM. Stick to the decision.

3. Recruit the dad or other reliable person to do the sleep schooling. Make sure you're on the same page about the project plan. It's better for you to stay away because you smell like milk or the baby expects service from you. He's been keeping you up for six months and knows no other way. (I didn't succeed with this one and ended up doing the sleep schooling myself. It was horrible.)

4. Put the baby to bed and go to a hotel to have a good night's sleep.

5. Meanwhile at home when the baby wakes up and cries: pet him gently with your hand and say "ssshh". Give a pacifier if he uses one. Go away. The crying will continue so repeat after couple of minutes to signal the baby isn't alone. The crying will still continue most probably, repeat the ssshhing and other stuff after a bit longer time every time.

The baby will scream a lot. It will not harm him. This will work. After one week you'll achieve your goal if you remain tough. Avoid going back at any cost.

So this is what has saved our nights. The sleep school week was horrible but nothing compared to what kind of monster I would have become without it. I genuinely believe that I can be an astronomically better mom during the day if I can get proper sleep during the night.

Sleep tight everyone.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Handy Housewife wraps christmas presents

This is not how I do it. Photo: blog.lostwindowspassword.com
I was late this year. I normally have a great strategy for surviving all christmas preparations (I wish I could enjoy them but no way): do as little as possible, buy all presents in October at the latest and stay out of the shops for the rest of the year. Has worked beautifully for me every year because I'd rather shave my head than shop in the packed malls listening to christmas carols (I don't like them either, go figure). The cherry on top with my strategy is that in October every shop happily wraps the gifts for me. I have two left hands what comes to - well, anything you do with your hands.

When I realized how desperately late I was this year I first tried the obvious with everyone: "let's not exchange gifts this year, good idea, huh?" That didn't work out at all. Everyone replied about the same way: "Oh, I'm not expecting any gifts from you guys but I already have such a great idea that I'll get something small for you anyway". Read: "Don't you dare leave me without gifts".

Right. So I had little choice but to go shopping. The amount of people, non-service and stress that's present in the stores in December is just overwhelming. I ran home as soon as possible and faced the fact that I need to be the gift-wrapping fairy myself this year. So for the last couple of nights I've been sitting in the closet (literally so the kids won't bust me) creating one ugly package after another. I envy and so don't get the people who happily make the presents themselves from the beginning. For the record: I didn't punish myself (more) with shaving my head.

If I'm this late next year as well I'll shop everything at Vuitton's. I'm sure the vibes are better in there and they'll wrap everything for me. First I'll just have to win in the lottery.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Master Chef

One thing I really don't appreciate about being home with the kids is cooking. I don't hate cooking per se, but the fact that I have to somehow come up with five meals every single day is exhausting. I'm no David Copperfield! And if cooking would be up to Husband we'd eat microwave oven meals or takeaway until we dropped dead from all the fat and artificial flavors.

This means that I've had to adopt a whole new mindset for cooking. I had to learn it from the start so I'll now share my aha moments in case they would be of any help to anyone. I'm no expert in nutrition or cooking but I assume I'm not the only one. So if I can do this, you can too.

1. Drop all the fancy stuff. Stick to basic food that requires reasonable effort. When the kids are at the grandparents and your friends are coming over you've got time to bake that fabulous cheesecake and all the other stuff you're brilliant at.

2. Make sure you got proper equipment. Good knives, pots, blender etc. make your life much better.

3. Cheat: frozen veggies, canned beans and so on will save you tons of time and are still fine and nutricious.

4. Kitchen is a cooking sanctuary. Cooking needs space. So do the ingredients. Choo computers, newspapers and what have you so that there's space to do the cooking work and store your indredients.

5. Be a bit of a hamster. Make sure you have basic ingredients in the cupboard (and freezer) for some quick meals. Will save your day, many times.

...says the lady who has just cooked three meals in two hours. That's food for us for the whole week. I mean for me and the kids - Husband never touches anything I cook. But that's another story.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Toy story

The upcoming christmas makes me think the huge amount of toys the kids will (again) get. In three and half years I've developed an opinion about which toys are good, which are simply rubbish and which are something between. Sure enough, it depends a whole lot of the kid what's interesting to them and what's not but I think I've got a clue on the basic idea.

What I've noticed is that many toys don't interest the kids more than five minutes after which they don't simply play with them or they use them in most creative ways to do something else than the manufacturer intended. These toys don't leave any room for imagination and they're planned to do one thing and one thing only. Surprisingly many are also of horrible quality and I'm not even going to mention here the dozens of chemicals many toys release.

So here are my tips for the thinking adult who would like to invest in a good toy. These ones work nicely with both our three-year and one-year-old (who are animal enthusiasts, so that theme is present a lot in everything).

Photo: duplo.lego.com
1. Duplo/Lego

Leaves all the room in the world for imagination, although many of the packages are planned for building a sadly limited setup. Luckily the kids don't have a clue about this.

Photo: thisnext.com
2. Wooden Brio train

As a kid I envied everyone with the wooden Brio train. I still love them and the kids do too. There's a huge variety of different parts and track sets you can buy or just to stick with the basics. The nerdy parent (read: me and Husband) can also get a battery-driven locomotive. Sweet.

Photo: smalldreams.com.au
3. Schleich animals

For any animal-lover kid these animals are a real treat. We have dozens of them and the kids (ok, me too, I'm bad at biology) actually learn a lot when playing with them. The animals are well made, they look good and the selection is huge.

All the above-mentioned are in brilliant shape after years of active usage (some Duplos and Brio trains we actually got second hand) and parts that are bought when I was a kid are compatible with ones Father Christmas brings with him this year. That's something I put my thumbs up for. On top of these we have a lot of books, some cars, two dolls, some teddy bears, puzzles and a few other toys. One of my guidelines has always been that there mustn't be too many toys lying around. Somehow the kids don't know what to grab if they're swimming in a toy sea.

This year Father Christmas will bring at least books, Duplos, snow shovels and clothes. And a lot of crap I wish would have stayed in the store. Then, when the kids are tired of playing with the plastic monsters and they're just in the way I will donate them to charity or the children's hospital in all silence. Buhaha.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Thank you, Mr. Freeman

I was planning to blog about something else today, but recent events made me change my mind. Today all I want to share is something I came across in Facebook. I fully share Morgan Freeman's thoughts about what happened:

"You want to know why. This may sound cynical, but here's why.

It's because of the way the media reports it. Flip on the news and watch how we treat the Batman theater shooter and the Oregon mall shooter like celebrities. Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris are household names, but do you know the name of a single *victim* of Columbine? Disturbed people who would otherwise just off themselves in their basements see the news and want to top it by doing something worse, and going out in a memorable way. Why a grade school? Why children? Because he'll be remembered as a horrible monster, instead of a sad nobody.

CNN's article says that if the body count "holds up", this will rank as the second deadliest shooting behind Virginia Tech, as if statistics somehow make one shooting worse than another. Then they post a video interview of third-graders for all the details of what they saw and heard while the shootings were happening. Fox News has plastered the killer's face on all their reports for hours. Any articles or news stories yet that focus on the victims and ignore the killer's identity? None that I've seen yet. Because they don't sell. So congratulations, sensationalist media, you've just lit the fire for someone to top this and knock off a day care center or a maternity ward next.

You can help by forgetting you ever read this man's name, and remembering the name of at least one victim. You can help by donating to mental health research instead of pointing to gun control as the problem. You can help by turning off the news."

I have nothing to add to that.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Kling!

I love Carly Rae Jepsen's song "Call me maybe", it always puts a big smile on my face. So now she has made a "classroom instrument version" of it with Jimmy Fallon and The Roots. It's just hilarious, watch it! I can't say anything else than... Call me maybe!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Waiting patiently

Photo: blog.jetbrains.com

Three-year olds understand a lot of things already. Concept of time doesn't seem to be one of them. At least not for Son. He seems to be just old enough to expect, remember and wait for things he wants but he doesn't get the proportions of time at all. If and when the things he wants don't happen after a while (say, 5 minutes in his case) the disappointment is astronomical and the following yelling opera galactic. My best and only trick is to patiently explain him how clever it would be to concentrate on something else. And whenever we're going somewhere we tell him on the very last minute.

The following topics have ruined Son's days this year. On most days he will naturally go through several points on the list and be multiply unhappy.

January: I'm sure the amusement park is open already! (It opens in May.)

February: My birthday is certainly today! (It's in June.)

March: Let's go swim in a lake! (In June, most earliest.)

April: There's a baby cow in the farm! (Yes, might be in August at the place we often visit.)

May: Is it going to snow today? (I bloody hope not.)

June: Let's go skiing! (Let's see after six months.)

July: I want to build a snowman! (I don't.)

August: I want strawberries! (I'm sure there will be some again next July.)

September: Is Father Christmas coming today? (Aargh.)

October: Today is the fireworks day! (On new year, honey.)

November: I want to ride my bike! (You can give it a try in the snow, good luck.)

December: Can we go to the beach? (Technically, yes.)

Every fucking day: Is Daddy at home? (He never is.)

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Round, flat Italian food

Photo: kasolispizza.com

We sometimes need to discuss something with Husband in front of the kids that's not meant for the their ears but we can't wait until the kids have gone to bed. You know what I mean. Should we eat pizza for dinner today (imagine the protest if we decide not to after all)? Did you buy the Lego zoo for christmas already (that's Father Christmas' business, not ours)? And so on.

We faced this problem around the time when Son had his first birthday. He understood what we spoke and had a stong will of his own so we had to start thinking seriously what to say in front of him. First we tried saying the key words in English. Soon we found out it's not really helping since Son understood both Finnish and Swedish and is nowadays fluent in both. Too many English words are so alike the Swedish equivalents that we had to abandon that method for the most part. The next trick was spelling. How about p-i-z-z-a for dinner tonight? Works rather well if you're good at spelling and the kids aren't. It is so time-consuming though that we didn't quite like it.

I know this will get harder and harder all the time until it becomes impossible. Then we'll probably need to start SMS:ing to each other. I think we came up with a quite good method for now anyway: for the most part we use creative describing. How about watching a Holliwood production from TV tonight? Should we visit the hall where we get wet?

What's your method?

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Helpful people

Photo: mediacriminaljustice.blogspot.com

I'm sitting on a bus thinking how many of the co-passengers would be willing to offer their seat to an elderly or handicapped person. I sometimes do if the bus is crowded and I'm not too deep in my own thoughts to notice what's going on around me. I should do that more often though.

I often hear from mostly middle-aged ladies how "today's young" have poor manners. The same people complain about strollers in buses and generally hate everything and everybody. I've developed a technique to tackle that behavior since I know there's no way I can please any of those sour faces. As soon as someone comes to me with an unfair complaint I take a sad puppy face and say: "I can never please everyone so today I've chosen to act this way which unfortunately doesn't please you". It generally works rather well.

The funny thing is that I've gotten to try myself who are the gentlemen and gentlewomen out there - when I was pregnant there was no doubt about my condition since my belly was big as a VW Beetle. Every now and then someone (mostly men) would offer me a seat, a place in the queue or open a door for me. It felt fantastic. Same thing when I was going around with the pram later on. I've always made sure that when someone is paying me such attention I will look them in the eyes, smile big and say THANK YOU. And return a similar favour whenever I can.

A note I made is that never, ever a middle-aged lady would help in any way no matter how pregnant or stuck-in-snow with a pram I would be. Instead an 80-year old lady offered me her seat in the tram when I was 8 months pregnant. She insisted I would sit. Go figure.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Big question

To be read selectively
We were having lunch the other day when Son started questioning me:

- "Was I in your belly when I was small?"
- "Yes you were and so was your sister when she was really small."
- "And then I came out?"
- "Exactly, when you were approximately thiiiis tall."
- "How?"

Timeout. I knew this would come sooner or later, but this is definitely a sooner! He's three! I don't have a clue why he started wondering this now. He's had big questions in his head lately though, and we've talked about death and other big issues.

Luckily I wasn't unprepared for the "where do babies come from" talk. I've had this book (image) in store for a long time already waiting for the very moment. I think it's a great book that explains everything from sex and conception to giving birth and adoption. It's simple and no-nonsense in a way that I think suits kids well and it's also well illustrated. It's not a book that I keep available for the kids to read by themselves but I've always planned that I'll read it to them in a selective manner.

So I suggested Son that I'd read a book to him that would show how he came out. He was fine with it and sat like a statue when I read sections that described pregnancy and giving birth. After we were done...nothing. He was happy with my explanation, no further questions! Hooray, I did some good parenting!

I think I'll have to rely on the book soon again though. Husband told me that Son asked about the meaning of his own testicles a bit later. And he didn't seem quite satisfied with the two-sentence baby seed explanation. Clever, clever boy.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Sick

The Finnish independence day was on Thursday. It's a national holiday and this year many people chose to take a long weekend. We were planning that too. It ended up being the longest weekend ever, because we got what so many others do this time of year as well: the flu.

I've never caught flus very often and if I did, they didn't last too long or weren't too bad. I've very rarely needed to slow down because of a flu. This fall I was mentally prepared for being sick because Son started at daycare. Everyone with a bit older kids was telling me that we would most likely be sick *a lot* during this first winter and that the flus would be strong. I should have listened or believed better because this is the truth. It is, believe me.

The kids had been ill already the previous week (they weren't sick too often before either) and Son had to stay at home because of an eye infection. He looked like a vampire and both kids were tired, cranky and had to take several medicines. I was totally relieved when they started to get better and me and Husband managed to avoid the illness. Except that we didn't, it just caught us a bit later. And this one is truly designed by the devil himself judging by the throat soreness that's been my companion for the last week. I'm basically out of power. And guess how much fun the kids are having because they are of course not sick anymore but we're still staying inside because me and Husband are down. Blessed Father who came and took the kids out every now and then.

The note I'm putting up for myself is that every flu now takes at least double the time and effort than before. Most likely the pattern is that the kids are sick first after which they contamine us. I counted that this fall we have so far spent two months being sick.

So, I had a long weekend. How was yours?

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Handy Housewife makes guacamole

I adore guacamole. I don't mean any of that stuff you can buy from a store in a can but real guacamole rich in avocados, lime, onion and tomatoes. Avocado is otherwise also something I love so I buy some often. The only problem is that they're often raw in the store so I have to find a way to ripen them.

I once heard a hint that a good way to ripen an avocado is to put it in the oven (power off naturally) for a couple of days. I decided to try. It's just that I forgot the darn avocado when I started baking a pie the next day. It was way too late when I started wondering what's in the way as I tried to put the pie in the oven.

The mess? Astronomic. Guacamole? Don't even think about it. The pie? Didn't turn out to be any good either.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

She thinks she's made of candy

Mom has a bad, bad habit. I don't smoke, I don't drink too much, I'm not even addicted to chocolate. But candy, oh my gosh! I could live entirely on candy and coffee.

I'm talking about candy I've only seen in Finland. The one you can pick yourself at the store, weigh it (I always end up taking way too much) and stuff the car-, monkey- or crocodile-shaped sugar bombs in your mouth. I love it. And it's completely unnecessary. I eat way too much candy, at least 15 kilos per year.

Oh please, can someone forbid candy by law. Or at least regulate my consumption heavily (so far I can still fool the kids so I don't even have to share). Me and my dentist would be ever grateful!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Who's in the mirror

I used to like my body as a teenager. I wasn't a showoff but there wasn't anything I wanted to complain about. Same thing when I turned 30. I was happy with how I looked. Those were the days. After two pregnancies I hate my curves and looks in general too.

There was recently a photo challenge in Finnish blogosphere where bloggers were encouraged to post a portrait photo of themselves without makeup. I didn't consider it for one microsecond. Couldn't just do it and left myself wondering why. Where the heck did my body confidence go?

The confidence boost I had lately made me also think big time. If someone like that finds me likable it can't be that bad, right? So is the real problem between my ears? I may be having an aha-moment right now realizing it's just my self-esteem that's non-existing. Oh gosh, how am I ever gonna fix that...

Thursday, December 6, 2012

When hell freezes over

I'm not a fan of Finnish winter. Last week we got a jaw-dropping amount of snow and now came the coldness. Today it's been -16 C.

All the skiers, snowboarders and other winter enthusiasts are celebrating. Everyone else is wondering how beautiful and clean everything looks under the snow and how fantastic it is that we got a white christmas.

All I'm doing is putting on ugly, Michelin man like winter clothes and envying Sister who's on her way to Thailand.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Confidence boost

Me and Husband took a little weekend trip with friends. I didn't know that many people from our group but decided to go with Husband anyway. I thought I would have a quiet evening - early dinner and reading a good book in bed. How wrong could I guess again.

After dinner the group wanted to hit the bars. I wasn't too excited but the girls insisted that I would go with them. Husband decided to go to bed. One of the guys joining us to the bar was in his twenties and as soon as we took a taxi he started to flirt with me. I couldn't believe my eyes. The guy wasn't only more than ten years younger than me but also nice, really fit and goodlooking. I was overwhelmed.

Husband isn't really a guy who compliments me a lot. Quite the opposite, he has had a habit of picking on me about my looks and he dropped it first when I told him that I felt really confused about other men complimenting me when he didn't seem to appreciate me at all. So I thought I was at least in outer space when the 20-year old hunk wanted to dance with me. Dance! It's been ages since I danced in a disco last time. But now I did, for a long time.

I don't think dancing does any harm to anyone. I had a blast and so seemed the hunk. Still the biggest treat to me was the gigantic confidence boost I got from the flirt and dancing. It's hard to describe how good the positive attention felt. I'm still sky high. That's something I didn't mention to Husband.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Daddy's at work

Son broke my heart the other day: "I'm sad when daddy's at work". Son gets to be sad a lot in this house. Husband is an entrepreneur and comes home around 8-8.30 in the evening. In other words when it's bedtime for the kids. Often Husband won't see the kids at all before they have gone to bed.

The one suffering most is Son. He is three and would desperately need a dad around to show how to be a guy. I won't obviously do as a male role model and my Father is often the one Son wants and gets to spend time with instead.  I deal with daily temper tantrums when I have to tell Son that I don't know if daddy's coming home today.

I do understand that work is important to Husband. They run a family business that their whole family depends on. What I don't accept is that his own kids (and wife for that matter too) are always the last ones on his priority list. He becomes a huge drama king if something comes up so that he gets to work less (like couple of days ago when he needed to take Daughter to the doctor).

I have confronted Husband about this many times. All my efforts have been less than useless. As soon as I mention the issue (believe me, I've tried dozens of different approaches) the drama king comes along and says how I "make him feel like a criminal about going to work and supporting for the family". And how working around the clock is a necessity because he's an entrepreneur.

I would understand occational urgent projects and such, but the situation has been the same since I met Husband six years ago. It was the same even when he still worked for another company. And Husband is somehow the only one in their family who needs to stay late at work. So projects come and go, Husband has his own business or works for someone else but work is always his priority number one. I can't find words to describe how sad I feel for Son and Daughter. They barely see their dad at all.

Where I have basically given up every bit of my life for kids (work, hobbies, apartment...) Husband has barely adapted his lifestyle at all. And I think the reason for living in the office is not flattering for me: being at work is easier than balancing the daily routines with two wee ones and a tired wife. The current way Husband has to do very little at home which would not be the case if he came home earlier. I would probably be tempted to do the same if we switched roles. And by being the one going to work Husband has much more money than I do. Talk about the amount of power that gives him.

Apart from feeling sorry for the kids the thing I'm most worried about is our common future. Or whether it exists. I'm an underdog now; there's little I can do to make Husband change his lifestyle. But the time will come when I have money of my own and more choices to make. I wouldn't be so sure our marriage will live through that.

Monday, December 3, 2012

The thumbsucker

Unnecessary
Daughter was one of those babies who never needed a pinkie fairy to give up her pacifiers. She never wanted one in the first place. When she was newborn I tried giving her one and offerede a couple of different models. The pacifier helped us so much when Son was a baby so I thought it would be useful this time too and prevent Daughter from sucking her thumb. Which she obviously started doing after my failed attempts to give her a pacifier. She became a world class thumbsucker.

First I was too tired to worry about it. I was just overly happy that she could fall asleep by herself in the middle of the night without me breastfeeding her every two hours. After couple of months of better sleep I realized that I would probably need to do something one of these days to make her stop. When Daughter had just had her first birthday one doctor mentioned her bad habit. By that time Daughter was sucking her thumb almost all the time. I decided that was enough.

Daughter got gloves in her tiny hands. That did it. As simple as that. First she had the gloves on all the time, then only when she went to bed. In two weeks she was thumbsuck-free. Fantastic!

But that little monkey is sneaky. It's over six months since my intervention and now she has come up with a new trick. She bites her nails. All the time. I have no clue how she developed that habit, nor do I know how to make her stop. Gloves? She's bigger now and can probably take them off. What can I do about it?

I think she's too small for gel nails. Help!!

Update 25.3.2013: I disabled the comment function for this post because spam started flooding in. If it happens for other posts as well I'll have to put the password feature back.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Keyport

Photo: Flickr.com / theKeyport
I'm a nerdie girl and I love anything that's practical for its purpose and looks nice. Multi-purpose stuff makes me even happier. So when I saw a program about technical gadgets in Discovery Channel that featured Keyport I loved it instantly. These guys have invented a key holder that has basically six keys in one small holder. It looks nice and is soooo compatible. I'm sick and tired of my huge key set that doesn't fit any of my pockets so I want one yesterday!

Husband pointed out though that modern car keys won't most probably fit in there. Blah. Ok, I don't have a car. Neither will the keys for our home alarm system, he added. Blaah.

I thought I could order one anyway. Then came the final blaaah: everyone outside US or Canada must send in the physical keys for getting a holder made for them.

Dear Sirs, that's too complicated! Please do something about it! Blaaaah!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Introducing Handy Housewife

I admire good housewife skills, really. I'm talking about those women who bake and sew, decorate and give self-made Christmas presents. I've never been one of those housewives. When it comes to other than basic cooking I become desperate. I'm clumsy, I have no idea if I'm right- or left-handed and I solve every sewing- or scrapping-related problem by running to the store. Which is fine per se.

My non-handiness often leads to a lot of laughing. I laugh at myself and everyone else is happily joining. I've decided to share the fun from now on and tell about some of the incidents under label "Handy Housewife".

Stay tuned!

Friday, November 30, 2012

No ads please

Merry bloody christmas
Ads never used to bother me. I had a "no ads please" sign on my door that kept most of the spam away and the rest I happily discarded. I've never thought that the pile of colourful paper would have anything of value to offer to me. Quite the opposite; I've always thought they are just an attempt to direct my consuming habits (which they of course are) and nothing else. So when some of my friends would cut coupons and choose where to eat or shop based on the offers I always announced how happy I feel to be able to go where ever I want. I have always been quite stubborn about this because I truly think that if an ad makes be buy something it might not be the thing I truly want or need. I might end up buying something I regret in no time. On the other hand, I find it really valuable if a friend or someone else whose opinion I trust recommends a product or service.

When Son was born the art of personalized advertising started to open up for me. Just a couple of days after we arrived home with him from the hospital the samples and "invitations" started pouring in. My immediate reaction was disgust. I had just given birth to my first child and felt mentally extremely vulnerable wanting to do exactly the right thing about everything. Thousands of questions were circulating in my mind and I was hugely unsure about myself and my fresh motherhood. That was the moment that diaper manufacturers, baby food manufacturers and children's book clubs chose to tell me how they "want my child's best". I was stunned.

I ended up buying very few of the products that I received advertising for. Instead I continued to be disgusted. Now towards christmas there are again hundreds of businesses that want my "children's best". We receive those ads directly with mine, Husband's and the kids names. I throw them into the recycle bin directly.


The kids can come up themselves what they want for christmas. And mad men behind the toy catalogues can go to hell.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Have a cookie

Photo: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angry_Birds
Daughter was the crankiest little girl yesterday. Nothing would do for her and everything was wrong. After some time I realized that she hadn't really slept well, she had eaten quite poorly and she was slightly fluish as well. Not the nicest combination, and with a vocabulary of couple of dozens of words it's no wonder all she could say was AAARGH.

I'm often having hard time not to laugh when the kids are moody. They don't know what to say or do so they express themselves with funniest ways. And after a proper meal or some sleep the world turns into a better place again.

But you know what, adults are no better at this. If I'm tired or hungry I hate everything and everybody. Husband can turn into a real mean machine if he comes home from work late after a tough day. And we so called grown-ups don't always even recognize the state of body better than the kids do. Snappy Husband can say he's absolutely not hungry and it's just me who's being a bitch if I ask him whether we should do the groceries today. I've learned already how it goes. Nowadays I just tell him to have a cookie. Usually he does.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Where are YOU from?

Me as a 1-year old
I've been blogging for about a month now. In case you're wondering why, this might explain a bit. I've loved it: I can write about whatever I want and suddenly I have a whole new getaway for myself. I feel like I can be a bit better person thanks to this new rabbit hole I can vanish in. When I come out again, I've got much less negative stuff on my mind.

I took a festive look at my blog's all-time statistics and noticed that I'm not totally alone here either. I've noticed sometimes that there's been visitors from a little bit here and there. I haven't realized though that you people come all together from nine different countries. At the moment. (I had to edit this post in the middle of writing because a new country popped in the stats.) Here's the current readers combo in order of amount of pageviews:


United States
Finland
Germany
United Kingdom
France
Italy
Ireland
South Korea
Canada

You go girls! I'm so happy to have you here! Or are you all girls? I don't know a thing about you except from the countries you read this blog from. I must say I'd really like to know who you are and what do you think about the stuff I write. The reason why I'm so dead curious is that no-one has ever commented anything.

So be the first one and say something! And if you make a wish about a possible topic, the blogger fairy can make it come true.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Little boxes

We have just moved. Or actually: I counted that I have moved 8 times since 1999 when I first moved out from my parents. That's a whole lot of moving, I think. On top of that comes moving in and out some boyfriends.

I hate moving (who wouldn't). Especially with small kids it's truly agonizing. Before moving into our current house we lived almost 8 months out of suitcases and moved two extra times because the house was under renovation. I can't find words to describe the chaos. Half of our stuff is still missing and the other half is something I'd like to get rid of.

The cherry on the top was that the last three months before the renovation was finalized we lived with my parents. They were extremely nice to let us stay there and we didn't have to pay any rent. I remembered soon though why I moved out in the first place thirteen years ago. See, whatever I did was wrong in Mother's eyes because I would do it differently than her. I soon realized that I can't do laundry or the dishes (there's a dishwasher but I operated it *all wrong*), take care of kids or even make a sandwich to Son. Mother must be wondering how I'm still alive after thirteen years on my own. Things went much better when I learned to do everything like Mother wanted.

Husband didn't have a blast at my parent's place either so he finished the renovation quite rapidly. After this eighth move I'm now thinking of living here for some time. We returned the moving boxes yesterday, the same boxes that I have borrowed at least five times already. I hope not to see the little boxes again very soon. After the huge renovation we have pretty much all we need in the house so we don't need to move soon either. And my parents are helping with the kids a lot because they live basically next door.

Eight moves in thirteen years. Is that normal? And I ended up next door with my parents. Is that common? I think I should blame myself at least partly: who else than a restless soul moves that often? Maybe I shouldn't have returned the boxes at all.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Pink ladies

I mentioned that I run. That obviously means I spend a lot of time in running clothes. I pick up Son from daycare daily so that I run there and back so I'm even kind of representing myself in them. I've always loved clothes and had my own, picky style which has made me import most of what I wear from different travels.

First I thought that good running shoes would be all I need. They took me a long way for sure but, of course, the more I ran the more I started wanting proper gear in the clothing area as well. So I headed to a large sports store to buy stuff that would allow me to run through the autumn months.

Instant problems.

Once the friendly lady started showing the shirts and pants she thought would suit me I had to stop her immediately: I don't want anything pink please. I don't mean the light baby pink colour but the bright pink I think is also called fuchsia. Almost neon-red to me. I'd already noticed that all ladies running shoes were pink. Other running gear made no exception to that. After leaving out all the pink stuff in the store there was't much left. All of it was black. So the goth girl out there running is me.

So I've tried my best to avoid pink running gear. With good luck you can find something nice like this:




















This is ok as well:


This I can somehow live with (especially if I run somewhere where I need to be seen well):


But this:



GIVE ME A BREAK! And why I bought it? There were no options. I really needed long, warm running underwear. Every single piece of them: pink. This really makes my day every morning when I put it on.

And poor Daughter isn't better off. Pink, pink, pink. I recycle most of our children clothes with my friends and I'm more practical than picky. So as long as she doesn't care she gets to wear what we get for her. And I'm doing my best to minimize the Miss Piggy effect.

Now may I suggest something to Adidas, Nike, Puma, Asics, Icebug and all other manufacturers that consider chicks like me as their target group. Check out the stuff Cedella Marley designed for the Jamaican olympic team. It is just the coolest I've seen.



So THIS is what I want to look like when I run:

Photo: Globalgrind.com



Sunday, November 25, 2012

A girl in da house

Serving the second generation
I didn't play with dolls as a kid. I really don't know why. I had dolls, I didn't dislike them, but I just didn't play with them. I didn't play too much with other girls either but spent quite much time by myself building Legos. Not surprisingly I didn't turn out to be a great caretaker when I grew up. I can't imagine being a nurse or working at a kindergarten. For me working with processes and systems has always been more natural. And I still don't play with other girls that much.

For some reason I expected Daughter to be like me. First she showed indeed some similar qualities being a fast as lightning, cheerful terminator. But then she found a doll. She had gotten one for her first birthday and soon afterwards she realized how much she liked it. Suddenly she was carrying the doll everywhere hugging, feeding, changing nappies and putting it to bed. I was amazed: we have a girl in the house! (And she's the only one of her kind in here.)

When I realized what a great nanny Daughter is I gave her my old doll as well (it's in a brilliant condition because I didn't let my Sister play with it either). And Daughter is happier than ever. She has twins now!

Note to self, lesson million in parenting: although she's a girl, it doesn't mean she's like me. It can also mean she really is a girl.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Good company

Photo: wikipedia.org
I had a rare treat yesterday. I was home alone in the evening. After getting all the work done I had planned I felt a bit strange. No-one pulling my sleeve, no Husband sitting on the sofa. Then it struck me: I can do whatever I want!

After getting used to the thought of being alone I wanted to do so many things I didn't know where to start. Finally I spent a long time in hot sauna and took all the time in the world afterwards to blow-dry my hair. I ate, opened a bottle of red wine. Just when I sat on the sofa with a gigantic bowl of ice cream and thought of watching a no-brainer documentary on TV...Husband came home.

He was supposed to be at a christmas party. I was expecting him around 1 or 2 AM. It turned out he had skipped the party because he had a big argument with his dad. So he had worked until 10 PM after which he drove back home. And he was angry. Oh boy, he was angry. So much for the peaceful me-time. Donald Duck is back in the house.


Friday, November 23, 2012

The sophisticated laugh

Photo: homersimpson.es
 I've always been a friend of sarcastic and a bit twisted humor. I'm laughing my butt off when watching The Office or United States of Tara. Not so much when Mr. Bean comes along. Quentin Tarantino's movies have always made me laugh big time in the middle of all the slaughtering. Rob Schneider - not so much. I've always thought that my humor is somehow...adult.

But now. The kids have changed this too. I guess I have to create the comedy in my life from where I can in the middle of all dirty nappies and food-throwing but quite often I find myself thinking "seriously, am I laughing at this?". And yes, I am. I'm worse than Bart Simpson. I have the funniest time when Daughter tries to wipe her butt (she can't, her arms are still too short). I'm biting my toung when Son rushes to the toilet shouting "I have fart in my butt!!". And in the evening when the kids are asleep we have a huge laugh at all this with Husband.

I've also noticed that my humor is nowadays sometimes a bit ill-willing. I'm amused when I should be greatly compassionate. When Son tried to flatter a girl three times his age (seriously) and the girl just suddenly left. When Daughter is hugely angry at something that doesn't go as planned and lectures her Duplos. And I try my best to keep a serious face in front of the kids.

I don't know if it's just me and whether my humor will recover. Or is there a comedy rehab I should visit? Just in case? So the kids won't end up being ashamed of me when they start liking Tarantino and the Coen brothers.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Montezuma's revenge part 2

Montezuma (or Moctezuma) was an Aztec emperor who was killed by the Spanish conquerors. A story tells that the Spanish got hugely stomach sick under their travel and still today tourists that get traveler's diarrhea in Mexico are said to have caught "Montezuma's revenge".

Now the mighty Mexican has come up with a new, equally frightening thing. I visited a local eco store here in Helsinki and got to taste something that is called "Chilli&Lime chocolate snowballs: a smooth milk chocolate chilli&lime truffle wrapped in a thin white chocolate shell". Oh. My. Goodness. They're so good. The first taste is sweet, then the lime kicks in and finally the chilli. Anyone who likes any of the ingredients: taste them. I took one, then (making sure nobody was watching) couple more. And bought a box of them as a present to my friend. This was five days ago, now the whole box is gone. So much for that present.

Thanks a bunch, Montezuma's Chocolates.
Beware these!


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Whose money

Being a home mom isn't really a big cash cow to a job. In Finland we're quite well off though: a parent can stay at home with the kids without losing her job until the youngest child turns three. And there's some financial support from the society as well. But still: now that Daughter is over 1,5 years old I get around 500 Euros per month. That's basically nothing. After all the necessities I have to buy there's no money left for myself.

Husband, on the other hand, goes to work and gets his salary and bonuses. Sure enough, he gets to pay most of our bills and groceries as well but we have never had a common bank account for the family's expenses. I've suggested it, in vain. This makes Husband an ultimate financial king in our family. And me - I feel like a teenager who needs to beg money from the parents for every movie or new pair of socks.

Possessing the majority of family's funds actually gives Husband a position to decide about surprisingly many things: when do we go to the grocery store, where do we travel (if we do) and all in all what is necessary to buy and what's not. And we do not always agree. As I told you, Husband wanted a snow thrower. I thought it was unnecessary and stupid. At the same time Son needed a new bed, he'd grown out of the old one. I wanted to get him an expensive but a stylish one which can be converted for example to a loft bed easily. One that he could take with him when he moves out one of these days. Husband thought it was unnecesssary and suggested a 50 € bed from Ikea.
In these situations I can either shut my mouth and let Husband decide, whine and beg or somehow find the money myself. The last option won this time. Just guess how happy Husband is, I could see it in his face that he thought I made the stupidest purchase ever. I didn't remind him of the snow thrower, I'll save it for later in case the conversation continues.

I'm wondering how other parents solve the financial dilemma. I mean really, what do you do so that another of you (read: the mom) doesn't feel like a slave worker? And how do families solve the puzzle of taking care of small kids in other countries than our small happy Finland? Does the mom always lose her job if she stays at home?

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Wanker

Party party
I went out with Best Friend on Friday. We do that as often as we can and it's one of those things that keep me sane. Our lives are at similar stages so we never run out of topics to chat about. And we chat a lot.

When we have a girls' night out we normally go to a nice restaurant for a dinner - such luxury when all we do on a normal day is serve small people - and maybe a drink afterwards. We tend to choose places where we can talk without shouting at each other over the music so a cosy pub was our choice this time.

It's been ages since someone tried to hit on me in a bar. I really can't tell when it's happened last time, not that I've gone out a lot either. But sure enough, on Friday we heard a sudden "suri to interubt ya gals" (the guy turned out to be Scottish) from the other side of the table. The two guys had been sitting there for a while and obviously didn't mind our wedding rings. I can't put a finger on what exactly triggered the she-devil out of me but I couldn't keep my mouth shut when the Scot tried to be funny:

- "It seems like you're angry at your friend when you talk, what has she done to you?" (He didn't understand Finnish I guess)
- "Yeah, I can't stand her guts, she's so annoying. Luckily she doesn't speak any English." (Best Friend's English is better than mine)
- "??!!??"
- "Come on, she's my best friend. I love her."

Luckily he didn't get angry, but after that Scotland's gift to the world didn't want to talk to me anymore but tried to impress Best Friend instead. It was ok to me and I followed the conversation trying to understand his accent.

I guess it was first when I told him he looked like Richard Hammond and sounded like Colin Farrell when he got a bit angry. I was told that I'm a wanker. I told him to bring subtitles with him next time.

Monday, November 19, 2012

A bit longer

After some wondering we decided with Husband that I'll continue being a home mom for still some time. You never know, maybe we'll get a third child, and Daughter is still quite small too. It was't actually an easy decision for me especially when they called from work and asked whether I'd come back when Daughter turns two.

You know, I'm lonely. Bloody lonely. When I stayed at home with Son first I thought it would be easy to hook up with other moms at playgrounds or different activities. Would be lovely to have grown-up company. I'm talkative, shouldn't be a problem. Wrong. I realized very soon that I have absolutely nothing in common with the other females sitting by the sandbox. The kids of course, but that made a nice conversation for 30 seconds. First I tried to chat about something else to make friends. Bad idea. I somehow managed to find moms whose only feature was motherhood. We just were from different planets.

Another thing is that I constantly get the impression that Husband values my input to zero. He'll say things like "how can you be tired, you can do whatever you want all day long and the kids basically take care of themselves". I confronted him about this when we were discussing whether I'd still stay at home with the kids and he assured me how very important my work is. But his chauvinistic attitude can still be seen between the lines. Or more visibly. So it's actually quite unclear to me whether Husband appreciates the hard work I'm doing.

So I've noticed recently that I miss work. I miss talking and working with adults, being appreciated for what I do, receiving some positive feedback every once in a while and earning money of my own.

Bloody hell, what did I promise?

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Good wife

 I own a small apartment in Helsinki where I had a nice, young couple as tenants. After two years they moved out as they wanted to buy an apartment of their own. When I visited the place to see what it looked like after they lived there, the interior was just jaw-dropping: the whole design was true super romantic Laura Ashley style, something I would never create myself. They (ok let's face it: she) had done a good job though. Every detail was carefully planned and done with great devotion.

My first thought when I saw the place was somewhat surprising: what a great wife she must be! She seemed like just the type of woman who will wake her husband up in the morning with fresh coffee, a newspaper and home made croissants. And sure enough: when they moved out, she handed me a bottle of home made blackcurrant liqueur as a memory.

Thank you, you sweet lady! It's such a pity you moved out! And sir, make sure to keep her happy, there ain't no many girls like that. At least not in our house, haha.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Middle finger

There are days when I feel like a complete loser. Everyone hates me, I can't do anything right or at least it's not enough. On one of those days I came across this:


This is bloody brilliant. Many times I have realized that people around me are actually acting like assholes and I don't deserve it.

So hello world, I'm trying my best here to please you! If I'm not succeeding today so go to hell by all means!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Learning to love

Helsinki City Run 2012
I mentioned earlier that I put on some weight during my pregnancies. Mildly put. I realized very soon after Daughter was born that minimizing my candy consumption wouldn't do the 28" waist wonder for me. Sports would if anything.

I like sports, I even used to compete in figure skating as a teenager. But I'm picky. Anything that would require going even near a ball is a no-no to me. I don't like going to the gym. And I'm absolutely no weight lifter, Son's 17 kilos are almost too much for me to carry. I loved going climbing both indoors and outdoors before the kids were born but right now that's a way too time-consuming hobby for me. My sister had recently run a half-marathon and suggested the obvious: start running! It's cheap, fast and sooo rewarding, she motivated me.

I hated the idea. Running was mandatory training when I used to skate and I wasn't even too bad at it. But still: I never liked it. It was boring, not rewarding. In the lack of better ideas I decided to give it a go anyway.

I hated it. I felt like a whale, old grannies in wheelchairs would pass me and after three runs my knee was so sore I could hardly walk. Today I thank my luck I didn't give up. After getting a pair of proper running shoes and dozens of whale runs I actually started to like it. After just two months I ran my first half-marathon. I was stunned.

For anyone who would even consider running I can warmly recommend these:

1. Shoes. Proper running shoes that fit you, your foot and your running style. Get a professional to evaluate what kind of shoes you need (they'll know at a proper sports store). I can't emphasize this enough. Not a peep from my knee after taking care of the shoe issue.

2. Pole pole (swahili: take it easy). Start with walking speed so that you're actually comfortable.

3. Motivate. Need a target to train for? Sign up for a running competition. Brag about it so your friends will come and watch and you'll have to do it. Need concrete tools to keep you going? Get a nice running computer or use a mobile software that'll track your route with GPS and help you keep a training diary (Sports Tracker works at least ok).

I haven't used a personal trainer, at least not yet. Because Sister was right: it became rewarding. My waist size started shrinking, I got faster and more motivated. I started rewarding myself with cool running gear and thinking about another half-marathon. And a marathon. I surprised myself with learning to love it.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Scissor bros

Son fell the other day and broke his pants. Luckily he didn't hurt himself at all. At least this is what I thought had happened.

The same thing happened a week later. Another pair of pants broken at the same spot, Son didn't luckily get a scratch. I was wondering what the little genius is up to in the kindergarten.

The third pair of similarly broken pants was too obvious: they were cut with scissors. Son gladly admitted it when I asked what had happened. Luckily I didn't take up the issue with the ladies in the kindergarten. I would have barked the wrongest tree.

It came up that when Son is visiting my parents my Mother has a habit of giving him a paper and a pair of scissors to play with so she can sit by the computer undisturbed. And when she's not watching...you know.

Geez, Mother! First of all: he's three years old so Son+scissors is a combination to be supervized at all times for the time being. And second of all: do you really need to surf the Internet when the kids are visiting your place? Facebook will still be there a couple of hours later.

We had a good chat about the scissors gate with Son and he seemed to be truly ashamed. I get him, I cut my skirt as well as a kid. Some things you just have to try out. But Mother, what am I going to do with *you*?

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Four wheels

My Father, me and a car early 80's
Husband has always had a car. Me, never. I don't want one.

Sure thing, he's from the countryside and I've always lived in Helsinki. The difference is massive and I've always been spoiled with the good public transport here. And now when we moved to the suburb a car is handy quite often.

But. Husband still drove everywhere when we lived in Helsinki city center. The real difference there was the mindset. I've always wanted to build my everyday life so that I don't need to drive. I don't like cars. Husband loves them and is convinced that I need and would like to have one too.

So what does Husband do? He regularly suggests different car models to me: "This one would suit you! You'd like this one. This car's image goes together with your style great! This one is eco-friendly!!" I've told him probably thousand times that *I don't want a car*. No effect.

So what is it, honey? Do I need a ride too often? I'm trying not to. And I really like to walk or take the bus, I'm getting free excercise that way. So the only flat tyre I care about is the stroller's. Those four wheels I can't live without.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The third round

Congrats

After we got our first child the questioning started quite soon: when will he get a sibling? I didn't have a clue and didn't like the topic either. To everyone else it was crystal clear that we would have another child. Then we did. The questions stopped.

See, we now have the usual combo: two kids (boy and girl, such a cliche!), a house, a car. A friend commented after we moved into our new house that the only thing we're lacking is a dog. True. Now everyone's asking when I'll get back to work. I have absolutely no idea, because we would like to have a third child.

My Best Friend is the only one who knows about our plan. She was somewhat surprised and seemed to wonder why. I don't know that one either. If we'll get a third kid it will be hugely interesting to see how people will react to the baby news. Is it one kid too many?

When I talked about having a third kid with Husband and Best Friend they both seemed like I was pregnant already. Sure, it has happened fast before but I don't take that for granted. Many things can go wrong and I'm definitely not getting any younger. So suddenly I'm unsure about the whole thing. Nice.

It isn't really helping either that Husband is asking me every other day "Well, feeling anything yet? How about now?" I told him friendly that he will soon feel a kitchen sponge in his mouth if he won't shut up. He was sure I'm pregnant.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Mom looks like a lady

When Daughter was born I was hugely tired and somewhat depressed as well. My Sister came up with a fun idea to cheer me up with and invited me to join her for a visit to her friend who makes gel nails as a hobby.

I loved them instantly. My hands and nails have always been ugly, but with the gel nails my hands looked great and were practically care-free. I kept my nails quite short most of the time but still they looked classy. This was my unnecessary and luxury treat every two or three weeks that I loved. Until she hurt her hand and paused her hobby.

But now:

I strongly recommend this as a treatment or preventive action to bad mood. Note: will work only on needy females!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Dunno

Photo: Suomela.fi

Husband wants a snow thrower. I'm not too keen on the idea (they're noisy and polluting) but he motivated his need  with the exhausting amounts of snow we've gotten the last winters. He's right, there's quite much to shovel on our yard.

So when a gardening chain had a great offer for Father's Day we drove there to see the man machine. We didn't find any. A conversation followed between Husband and an Employee:

H: "I read from the newspaper you have this offer for snow throwers."
E: "We don't have any. No room. Maybe some of our other stores has them."

Right. We drove further wondering why there wasn't any info about where the machines are sold and how the personnel can be so poorly informed and uninterested. At the next store we found the snow throwers but there was no info about how long the offer is valid. Another conversation between Husband and another Employee followed:

H: "Um, how long is the offer valid, there wasn't any info...?"
E: "Dunno."
H: "Oh. I'd like one but we don't have a van right now...?"
E: "Oh. I don't know."

Ladies and gentlemen: that wasn't poor service, that was non-service. How poorly does a chain have to treat its employees so they start treating customers like that?

So Husband will need to settle for a book for Father's Day now. We'll go and wake him up soon with the kids. Hope he likes the book at least.

Happy Father's Day!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

My traditional hair


I've had long hair most of my life. By long I mean a length somewhere between my waist and hips. I've also cut it twice from that length to an almost boyish cut and had a really short hair in all imaginable colours in between.

My non-average hair (not only long, it's usually been red as well) has often generated comments and many people have (to me) surprising views about it. I've always thought it's fun to hear what people think when they see my head. And, sure enough, the comments build a pattern from country to country.

Here are some of my favourites:

Finland: "You're the Evil Hair Lady"
Kenya: "It's amazing, what's your secret? How come it's so long and healthy?"
Spain: "It's so red!"
Thailand: "It's so soft!"
South America: Nobody cares. They've seen it all.
Italy and the US: "Aren't all Scandinavians blondes?"
India: "Oh, long hair. So traditional!"

Different views on the world, I'd say. Have a nice weekend everyone!

Friday, November 9, 2012

M I N E !


Son and Daughter were having a slight disagreement yesterday:

- "THAT'S MY GIRAFFE DON'T TAKE IT NOOOO!!"
- "NO GIFA MEEAARGH!"
- "MOOOM SHE TOOK MY GIRAFFE! IT'S MINE!"
- "GIFA ME OOGGA BOOGGA MOM!"

Familiar? Thought so too. I read from somewhere that children are "helpful and friendly" by nature. If I'd still remember where that was I would read that aloud to my kids. Ok, I get it, fighting is a way of learning social skills and so on. And sure, very often they're so sweet to each other that my heart melts. But I still find it quite funny that kids don't seem to want to share anything. If Son plays with animals he will absolutely need each and every one of them (we have like 50 at least) and Daughter can't come even near him. And that's all Daughter wants to do at the time.

Then it struck me suddenly: adults are no better. My money, my computer, my house, my car, my phone, my food, my this and that, mememinemine. Where else would kids get that mindset if not from their own parents? I've heard my own Mother talk to the kids tens of times like this: "Don't take that, it's my newspaper. You can't touch my computer!". And so on. Of course the concept of mine, yours, theirs etc. is important so the kids will understand why we can't take whichever car from the parking lot or why we need to go via the cashier in the grocery store. But in general there's a lot of room for improvement! So I made some decisions regarding this:

- I will genuinely try to share more and be helpful so the kids would learn the same mindset
- If the kids can't touch or take something I will come up with a fair explanation: you can't take mom's reading glasses because they break very easily, you can't use dad's chainsaw because it's very dangerous and you will most likely hurt yourself
- I won't use reasonings like "because it's mine" or "because I say so"

Let's see how it works.

On the other hand I understand very well a guy I know who was once building a simple outhouse to his summer cottage. Someone tried to help him out but he firmly told him "no" and said it was "his playground". We all need our own space and our own playground. Me too: I like to run. It's my thing and I don't want anyone to wreck it for me.

And then there's another thing too. This blog. I haven't told anyone I'm writing it. And I don't know if I even will. Because it's MINE!