Thursday, July 18, 2013

Tall Ships Race

While the Chief battled overgrown trees, bees and the roof at our new home on his first day of holidays, I took the Weans to the Tall Ships Race. It comes every three years, alternating between Turku and Helsinki. 

The Hietalahden Harbour was full of sailing ships, food and souvenir tents and people. We went aboard one ship, but there were plenty to visit and some even offered to let you sail with them. The kids walked for about 4 hours but really seemed to enjoy themselves. We eventually found the children's area which was in a park, so we rested the last hour with pancakes and jam, some games and Circus Helsinki. Though they'd seen them before at a couple of events, they were mesmerised by the circus, but I think they were just happy to sit down and relax. I know I was. At seven months pregnant, pushing a buggy with one child, sometimes two is no longer much fun. Luckily, it wasn't as roasting as it has been the past few weeks. 

A few photos of our adventures. 

Not sure what she's doing here, I swear I don't teach her these things. 

Most of the ships were modern, but I really liked the Götheborg which actually looked like a proper pirate/sailing ship. 

Mouse wore his pirate hat the whole day and Bump has suddenly decided she wants her hair in a pony tail. 

A sign of a good day out. Glasses added and picture taken by Mouse.

The Chief got a lot done as the Weans were not underfoot and I'm not sure who is the more tired tonight, me or him. Fingers crossed, it means I'll get a good sleep tonight as they are few and far between just now. 

We've got a painter coming in to help with the massive job of painting the wooden ceilings and other woodwork upstairs in the new house. Hopefully I'll have some before and after photos of that soon. We hope to move in end of next week if he can be finished by then and if we can finish the rooms we're doing. 

Still more work to be done and an ever-growing list, but we'll get there. 

Friday, July 12, 2013

Welcome to Our Finnish Home

After three years and three rented houses, we have finally taken the plunge and bought our own home here in Finland. Well, in reality, the Chief has done all the heavy lifting and shouldered all the responsibility, of which I am eternally grateful. It's in a different area than we have been living, but it's closer to Mouse's school, so hopefully he'll be able to get there on his own in the future. I'll still have a bit of a commute to get the little ones to nursery, but hopefully we'll sort something new for next year. 

We had some bumps getting here; figuring out the bank and mortgage systems, dealing with an agent who doesn't speak much English, trying to translate surveys and contracts from Finnish, worrying about repairs and future expenses, but today was the perfect day to get started with our move.

We have our rented house until the end of the month, so we're going to move some things now, try and do a bit of work on the place before we move the big stuff. Today I took a few things over and spent the afternoon in the house, letting the kids run riot and just trying to figure out where to start. I sat on the floor of the living room for ages, at a loss. 

And then did what I do best, attacked the garden which is huge, overgrown and in need of serious TLC. I pulled down a bunch of Virginia Creeper that was growing over the front porch and upstairs porch. The Finns seem to love the stuff, but it can really damage a house as it almost burrows into the crevices of the house and roof. We'll need to cut down a lot of the bushes, small trees, etc that are growing too close to the house as well. 

But the best part of the garden is the four apple trees, lots of berry bushes and tons of space. Mouse spent hours getting himself in all sorts of contortions to reach and devour most of the raspberries so I haven't gotten more than a wee taste. The Chief has been told all the different apple types, but I need to write it down. We supposedly will get a good crop every other year, maybe not this year though as they had a good one last year. 

I want to strip some wallpaper, do some painting, etc. The Chief has taken some time off from the end of next week to help move and do this work, so hopefully we'll have a chance to get some of it done with three kids in tow.

Foo has decided the green windfall apples are yummy, that's not going to end well. 

Berry bushes

Unpacking our first meal in the house.
Our first day in our new house, full of sunshine, berries, running and day-dreaming (we'll ignore the hard work, back ache and occasionally grumpiness). May it be the first of many. 

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Summer Holidays

Two weeks into the summer holidays and we've been very busy at parks, beaches, berry picking, parties - most of it with our expat friends. The weather has been glorious and we've really enjoyed ourselves.  

It took a week to get the Weans, especially Foo, used to the new routine, but now they're enjoying our new adventures and are shattered every night. To the point we have to take a day off during the week just to chill around the house. 

Berry picking - strawberries and wild blueberries.

Feeding the ducks

Rainy day craft activities

Beach Birthday Party with friends

Superhero Games - The Flash and Super Fast Girl

More house news later in the week once we know exactly what's going on. Sorry to keep you hanging. 
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