Monday, December 23, 2013

Happy Holidays 2013

Merry Christmas and Hyvää Joulua to you and your families from the Clan.

2013 has been a happy and exciting year. First of all, it's Pudding's year. We discovered we were expecting back in January and she's been on our mind and in our hearts ever since. My pregnancy went smoothly, the only hiccup was one slightly high result on the glucose intolerance test which meant they wanted me to monitor my blood sugars for most of the pregnancy. I was certain nothing was wrong and a later scan and consultant appointment agreed that everything was fine. 

Pudding's birth in mid-September went perfectly, helped by the fact that I finally had a midwife who listened to me when I said my kids come quick. She had read my notes and said to call her if anything happened. Sure enough, as soon as she left after monitoring me, my waters went and everything happened in a rush and even the midwife was struggling to keep up. I had to spend 24 hours in hospital to check on Pudding's blood sugars, but we were both fine and raring to go home. 

She's into her fourth month and already a character. All the kids love talking to her and trying to make her laugh. The first few months took some adapting for the family, but we're now working like a grumpy, old, half-oiled machine. We get there in the end. 

The summer before Pudding's arrival was busy with trying to buy our first Finnish home. It took the first half of the year just to find a house that suited our Clan and then a couple of months to figure out the Finnish housing market and to negotiate the sale with our bank. But once we committed it all happened within 2 weeks and we got the keys in mid-July. The Chief took some time off to get us moved and to do some work on the house. We now love our home. It has plenty of space inside and out for our crazy mob and has its own Finnish charm. Because it is over 30 years old it needs a lot of TLC, so we're learning the hard way the difference between new builds (our last house in Scotland) and older properties. 

Mormor stayed with us for 6 weeks around the birth, to help with the other kids. It was wonderful to have an extra set of hands, but also for her to get a chance to meet Pudding and give those extra-special grandma cuddles. 

Mouse started primary school this year, a nearby international school. One of our requirments for the new house was to be close to his school. It took him a few weeks to settle in, but he now has lots of friends and enjoys his time there. He is quickly learning to read and write and is enthusiastic to try it out with our books at home. He started out in his own room in the new house, but requested that his siblings come in his room. The new set up is a bit chaotic, but they love being together. Though it does make me wonder why we bought a 4 bed house if they're going to cram into one room. 

Foo has had a productive year with his medical issues. In March we were finally seen by the specialists at the children's hospital for his walking problems. He was getting weaker and his muscles tighter, so the physiotherapist recommended electric-stimulation therapy, night boots and orthopedic shoes. It took all summer to get that sorted, but in 3 months we have seen unbelievable improvement: he can now stand flat-footed for long periods of time and also walks normally of his own volition. We've been taken under hospital care so his treatments will be upped in the new year and hopefully we will continue to see more improvements. He's back at his nursery from last year, but is one of the big kids so has new friends and is putting time in on his fine motor skills so is learning to draw and sit and do exercises that require more attention. 

Bump started at the same nursery in August. She was really excited to go at first, but I don't think she really understood what going to nursery meant so after a week she was miserable every time I left her. Four months later she still has days when she doesn't want to go, but once there she loves it. She starting to make friends and is learning to speak Finnish like her big brother. She's happier when Foo is around though they have been put in different groups so they are forced to speak to other kids. She's a great big sister and loves to get down to Pudding's level and play with her.

The Chief has been busy with work and things are going well. He's even been given a prize for one of his money/time saving ideas being chosen to be implemented across his company. Hence our meal at a local Viking establishment, courtesy of his work. 

2013 was so eventful I have no idea what fun and excitement 2014 holds in store for the Clan. 

We wish you all the best for the upcoming year and hope you have a lovely holiday season. And our doors are always open to friends and family, hope you pop by some time soon. Tervetuloa.

Love from the Clan.

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