I don't think I've taken a photo all week, must be unheard of in the past few years. I've been a bit preoccupied. It's been a busy week getting back into routine, starting some new projects, settling down into a new year.
I started a writing group with some expats mums I've met online and we had our first meeting this week. It has been a very long time since I've been in a group or run a class, so it felt like I was dipping my toe into familiar but uncertain waters again. It was really nice to mix a bit of friendly chat with creative writing. Our first meeting was intimate, only 4 of us, but it meant we could spend plenty of time on each piece and still have some time for a blether at the end. I hope it's a stepping stone to getting back into work this year. Already putting out some feelers.
My big job this month is getting Mouse and Bumpshie into school and nursery. My big boy will start primary school next August and Bumptious will start at nursery. So I spent last weekend filling out application forms for all three Weans, in Finnish and English. Turns out I didn't need to apply for Foo again as he has a guaranteed place until he's ready for primary school at 7.
I took his and Bump's form into his nursery on Monday all proud of my accomplishment, only to be called back into the office on Wednesday and told that I'd filled out the wrong one. I constantly get päiväkerho (dayclub) and päiväkoti (dayhome) mixed up. Päiväkerho is a part-time day care system and päiväkoti is full-time nursery, pre-school. Foo goes to päiväkoti and I filled out a kerhohakemus. Well, I tried. So I filled out another form and was told she'd be pretty sure to get a place as Foo is already there. She's so excited already and dying to go.
I was then asked to get Foo a referral for his place in the specialist unit. Turns out he was given a place without an official referral as the local head special needs teacher and his OT recommended he needed a place. Now we need a proper referral from a psychologist by March. And she of course wants to meet with him three times before then and see all the paperwork I have on him. So more running to appointments.
I also applied to the European School for Mouse. It's not our first choice, but he gets a guaranteed place due to the Chief's new job, so we our using it as a fall back place in case our other two choices don't come though. It's a good school, but it runs the International Baccalaureate program which I'm sure would stand him in good stead in the future, but the Finnish education system is the best in the world, so it seems a shame not to take advantage of our life here.
Our top two choices are international schools that run on the Finnish system but in English: Maunula and Ressu Primaries. We have information evenings this upcoming week and then we'll have to decide which is our first choice. Ressu will be easier to travel to as the Chief could take Mouse in the morning when he goes to work, but it's very popular among the Finns who want their children to have an English education, so we may struggle to get in even though Mouse will do really well on the English language exam. Maunula is further away, but we'll probably have a better chance to get in as it's not as desirable to the Finns.
I think I'm more excited about Mouse going to primary school than he is. But I would like it settled soon as I'm nervous as well. We all want the best education possible for our children, and even though it doesn't end with getting them into a school, it's a big nerve-racking first step.
So big moves into 2013, hope they bear fruit.