Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The Days are All Go

Sorry, I haven't been around much. Trying to get things done. The Chief took a week off work so he had an extra long Easter holiday so we spent hours working in the garden, fixing things in the house, cleaning, taking naps. It's amazing how much you can get done with a second pair of hands to watch the children, make a school run, hold something. We took turns running off to do a task while the other entertained the troops. Still so much more to do, but felt like we made a start, especially in the garden. 

Then this week rolled around and the Chief went back to work and Foo and I discovered we are allergic to birch pollen. After four years here, living in a country full of birch, buying a house with at least 6 birch trees on the land, we got hit hard. Especially poor Foo. We thought it was a cold at first so didn't think anything of a runny nose. But on Sunday Foo was playing in the paddling pool and with the water guns and must have got a concentrated dose of pollen in his eyes because the started itching, leaking, became red and eventually swelled almost shut. It took a long visit to the children's hospital and another a few days later to the docs to get the meds level right so that he's almost back to normal. I got it easy compared to him, but am still itchy eyed and leaky nosed. 

It put garden work on hold which is annoying as I was told the Finns use the birch trees as a signal of when to start planting out. Once they're in leaf, get going. So though the days are long, my time is short. I think I have my meds levels as good as they're going to get, so I'm going out this weekend regardless. 

Tomorrow is Vappu, May Day, so we have the day off, but haven't decided on our plans. It's supposed to rain which might put off an outdoor picnic, but will calm down the pollen, but we'll see how we feel. We might just risk it. 

Here's some photos from the boys' and my visit to Fallkulla Animal Farm last week end. Bump had one of her fevers again, so she and the Chief chilled at home. Pudding came along for an outdoor snooze. 

The kids spent most of the time running about with a new friend they made there and did the tour of the animals at a blur, so there's plenty of scope for another visit. Most of the babies were away but we got to see a few. The place was super busy being the Easter Monday, but I could see it being more lazy on a normal day. 

Hauskaa Vappua!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Long Awaited Spring

After a relatively mild, but long winter I have been itching for Spring to put in a proper appearance. It's been hovering around zero for weeks - too cold to work or play for long in the garden, still requiring a proper coat in the morning, but not in the afternoon. Frustrating. 

This holiday weekend it finally arrived - it's been around 15C, bright sun, absolutely wonderful. We opened the porch door, bought Mouse a bike with training wheels and that was it, the kids have been outside for most of the day ever since. 

I've been taking advantage of having the Chief home for the holiday weekend to get as much done in the garden as possible and he's been trying to get wee jobs around the house done as well. The house is actually a tip because the kids have been running from one door to another with shoes on, water pistols dripping, I've been leaving trails of compost, moss and grass here and there. It'll take me the rest of the week to tidy up, but honestly, who cares, it's been a long winter. Nice to be able to breathe, play in the dirt and just run about.  

And today was Easter. Mouse had built himself up into a frenzy of anticipation over the egg hunt. He had seen some movie about the Easter Bunny and was educating his siblings on how the EB worked. He had practice hunts inside and out, made lots of Easter themed crafts at his after school club. He spent days before painting his eggs. So I felt a bit under pressure to make it special, but it was over in a blink, as it always is, the eggs all found, the chocolate oohed over and split up. We're attempting to spread it out over the weekend, but there's already not much left. 

Mouse didn't seem disappointed about the brief Easter fun, he has moved on to bigger games. He's in love with his new bike and the extra freedom that has come with it. He's allowed to ride in front of the house and around to the two houses on either side of the dead end at our end of the street. His siblings usually end up chasing after him, so they're all off out of my sight quite often now. We'll have to reestablish boundaries a bit once the Chief goes back to work next week and there's just me watching them. But they're growing up and, in a way, it's nice to let them stretch the cord between us a bit.

They all seem to be falling prey to yet another cold, so we'll see if we get out and about as planned tomorrow. But so far this weekend has been glorious. 
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