Tuesday, August 28, 2012

To the Island

After a lovely evening out with some new friends, I asked them where we should go this Sunday for a change. Make the most of the end of summer, I was told, go to Iso Vasikkasaari.

So to Big Calf Island we went. We didn't have much time as we started off late, not due to my small hangover, but due to the Chief making the most of his lie-in. And also a bit to our less than organised route-finding. Even with phone GPS we often get lost. 

The boat trip was surprising short on the way out, but long enough to get the Weans excited. Then there was woods and big empty expanses of road. 

I can't even try and keep up with them any more. 

We had a late lunch at the Vilan Gula, Finnish expensive, but lovely grown-up food. Again there was plenty of space for the Weans to play about and let us finish our meal in relative, but noisy peace. 
Bump still eating the dregs. 

All this fresh air and good food makes you want to dance.
If you're a Bumpshie Baby, that is. 

We weren't the only ones making the most of the nice weather. Thanks again, J, for the great suggestion. 

Thursday, August 23, 2012

School Daze

Back to nursery for my boys. It is not mandatory to attend nursery in Finland, but as most parents have to go back to work after 2 or 3 years due to the high tax rates, most kids do attend a nursery of some sort from 3. My boys need it to stimulate their brains and I need it to give me a break and to spend time with my little one. 

They attend nursery here until they are 7, but at 6 they go into a kindergarten year which preps them for school, which is what Mouse is doing. He's really excited to be the big kid at his school and they've started something cool where the older kids are Helpers with all kinds of responsibilities and he's loving it.  He's happy to be back with his friends and we already have two birthday parties to attend in the next week. 

It's also a big week for Foo as it's his first go at full time nursery. It's been a stressful month with our holiday and then straight into nursery, so he's been a bit stressed by the changes and lack of routines. It hasn't helped that he's had to restart his Occupational Therapy as well and there's been a teacher's meeting which meant a late start, so there's been no sense of repetition in his days' routines so far. 

So even though he's been super-excited to go to nursery, he's been a bit upset once he's there. Especially at transition points from one activity to another. The first day he wouldn't eat or go to the toilet, wouldn't stop crying 'I want to go home' except when he fell asleep on one of the teacher's laps. It's become his mantra when he's stressed, tired or confused this week, even when he's sitting in the house, he'll ask to go home. It breaks my heart as I just want to keep him with me when he cries, but I know he needs this as much as I do. 

But his teachers are brilliant and are handling it so well. They use a mix of sign language and Finnish with all the kids, but since he's been so stressed they've also been using lots of English to make him feel more comfortable. They have no qualms with cuddling him, picking him up, spending time on their knees talking to him, even pretending to sit on the toilet to show him it's ok.

He's been allowed to bring a toy from home, a special white tiger his Daddy got him after his first rough day, so that when they have to leave the toys to go to another activity he still has one with him.

He still cries every day when I drop him off and sometimes at transitions, but he does enjoy being there. He'll probably only attend 4 days for the next month as his OT appointments are at an awkward time and he will miss lunch and arrive in the middle of sleep time. I've managed to change his appointment times, but not until October. 

We'll get there. Hopefully next week will be better. Haven't really done much with Bump though, feel a bit bad, but I'm so stressed by the time I drop Foo off that I can't focus on anything and keep waiting for the phone to ring and the school to ask me to pick him up, though I know they never will. We have been singing in her microphone, playing with Playdough, reading stories, having lots of cuddles, so it's not all bad. 

Next week we'll be able to attend our Gymi club, so I know she'll be excited about that, but I won't be able to do our expat playgroup until Foo changes his OT appointment as they clash. I also need to get into a routine for me with cleaning and exercise as well as this has all fallen by the wayside with the holiday and back to school. 

So here's my gorgeous school boys. 

And here's Foo having survived his first day where he cried the whole time. Happy enough to go back. 

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Summer Catch-Up

Few random photos I've been downloading. 
Mouse getting driving lessons and a drivers' license while we were on holiday. He did brilliantly so doesn't take after his mum. 

Some photos for Mormor. It still fits, barely, but the season is now over. Yes, autumn arrived as we came back from holiday. I'm trying not to think about it. 

My own little accomplishment. And mighty tasty it is. 


Saturday, August 18, 2012

Back Home?

I know I should be uploading all the holiday photos, but feeling a bit less than enthusiastic. This trip home was odd, I never felt right most of the time.

I didn't feel properly at home. Maybe it was because we were staying in rented accommodation, not a friend's house nor our own house, but a very basic flat in the South Side, complete with noisy neighbours banging the close door and playing their telly too loud. It had a small infestation of ants and some strange big bugs with wings which wasn't fun. The boys were hyper at night from sharing a bed after they both fell out and hurt themselves on the side table when they were in the singles. So they were up 2 hours later than usual which made for a stressful evening.

We seemed to spend a lot of time on our own this time. While a few friends and family wanted to see us, others didn't seem too bothered or if they did come along were distant, making us feel less than welcomed. I know people are busy and their lives have moved on without us, but this time there was a definite feeling of detachment.

It got to the point I was actually looking forward to coming 'home', mainly to be in the comforts of our own house. But then the ride home from the airport was awful. Not only was it 3.30am and everyone was overtired, stressed and grumpy, but I had this overwhelming realisation that I was back in Finland. Back to the struggle with the language and to fit in with people, back to the upcoming winter, back to having little social life.

So I feel a bit lost between two homes. The Chief and I have decided once again that the only way to get on with things is to make an effort with our lives here in Finland. We have some new friends here that we really enjoy spending time with, we just need to make the effort.

So fingers crossed this will be the last depressing post on here, at least until it starts to snow. Insert a half-smiley.

So here's some photos. Didn't actually take too many other than the wedding, but once I find a good place I take tons.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

To Be Revealed

Still in Scotland, but here's a taster of some of the 500 photos I am trawling my way through. 

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