Monday, June 22, 2015

June Update

I know June isn't over yet, but the rest of the month will be busy and worth a separate post. So here's a quick catch up of what we've been doing this month. 

We tried geocaching for the first time. It's basically using GPS on a phone to track down a 'cache'. Usually it's just a waterproof box with a logbook where you record your find, but sometimes there's a small item to trade for some trinket of your own. 

It was a bit of a last minute plan when the weather was too cold to play at the beach for long. Our first hunt was out in Vuosaari, starting near the sea, but we ended up on the edge of the forest near a housing estate. We did spend 10 minutes or so wandering around in circles while my less than exact GPS kept changing it's mind how far away we were, but eventually I noticed a chuck of stone in a weird position, tucked in a hole in a tree stump. Sure enough there was a small plastic box tucked inside with a plastic bag filled with paper and pencil. 

The kids were really patient with the long walk, just over a kilometre, for no real prize. It was too far for Foo and Pudding to walk, so it was just Mouse and Bump, though she got a coal-carry on the way back. I'd do it again with maybe a bit more planning so all of us can go. 

The weather has warmed up, but it rains for days after every decent day. And often if the rain stops, the wind picks up, so it just doesn't feel like summer. I look back of pictures of the past five years in Finland and the kids were down on the beach splashing about. It's just too cold for all but the hardest Foos (that boy cannot not go in water). 

Birthdays were a big theme in the early part of the month. Our traditional party was a bit of a damp squib, literally as it rained all day after the day before being the best day of the year so far, but also because so many of our expat friends couldn't come due to illness and other reasons, that we cancelled everything except the kids' nursery friends who came for a few hours. We'll try again in July to have a proper garden party, hopefully the weather will be up to it. 

I tried to take some birthday portraits. Easier said than done. 

Mouse learned to ride his bike without the training wheels. 

Garden games. I love Pudding's look in this picture as she waves her wand or sword, she's a bit of a clown, trying to copy her olde siblings. 

Mouse was off three weeks before the younger kids finished nursery. He had swimming lessons, but we had lots of errands and appointments at first, but we managed a bit of fun here and there. He got to show Pudding his favourite parts of the Natural History Museum. 

I've made it out to the allotment a few times and got everything dug over. None of my seedlings did particularly well, so I had to buy a lot of plants in. I have inherited some parsnips, but not sure when to harvest them. They seem to be out of control, probably too late. 

We've made some new friends at familiar haunts. 

Enjoy the rest of June. Hopefully summer has found you. 

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Fiercely Foo

June is our birthday madness month. In our house alone we have 3 birthdays in 2 days (there are about another 8 in the first 20 days of June with extended family). Poor Foo's is the last. It is so hard for him to wait that extra day when his sister and father are opening presents. He's getting better, but it's still a struggle. 

Seven is a big year in Finland. He'll start school this autumn, learn to read, write words and he's doing it in Finnish. He's finally excited about it after six months of stressing. We've started teaching him to read in English, well, the computer is, and he's keen. We're using Reading Eggs which he really enjoys. We're in no rush, but he's desperate to learn. 

He's grown so much in the last year. His motor skills have improved, his ability to deal with changes and lack of structure (though he still thrives in a more structured environment, poor child growing up in our crazy household). He enjoys colouring and crafts more, he even did a sewing project at nursery. 

He's still a super active boy, loves to run, climb and jump even if it's not easy for him at first. He's gained a lot of patience this year to keep trying until he can figure it out. 

He's become even more stubborn and will argue the sky is green if it suits his argument. But he has learned to deal with disappointment and frustration better. 

He's is a great big brother, able to play with both his sisters easily. He and Mouse are starting to lock horns a bit, but they still are very close and enjoying the same things. 

He is a charmer and easily fits into every group. He walked off with his new classmates at his school visit without a moment's hesitation or look back at his poor mum left wondering if he was ready. He's ready. 

Happy birthday to my forever Foo. 

And birthday wishes to the Chief. We don't forget, but there's less fanfare now amidst all the other craziness. Love you. 

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Blooming Bumptious

She's 5. I won't get into how hard that is to believe. 

Her birth is forever linked with our arrival in Finland, our new life. I am always reminded of how we have been here and how bumpy that first six months was. Everything seemed to happen at once including her. She was there in the midst of all the chaos, holding her own. Never silent and accepting, but always reminding us that she was to be reckoned with. 

I can do it, has been her mantra for years. Done her way. Always. Usually the battle is not worth it. She often wears clothes to bed, pyjamas out, party dresses to nursery. Her whim can be frustrating. Favourite foods change randomly, usually mid-meal. 

She's grown so much this year, especially in confidence at nursery. She's speaking Finnish now, after a year and a half of stubbornly clinging on to her English for her side of the conversation. She even tries to translate for me, but makes a lot of it up. She no longer needs Foo to play with, has her own friends and games. Hopefully this will hold her in good stead for next year as she will be on her own.

She still loves dancing, colouring, singing, princesses and dressing up. Her giggles are infectious. She is still girly with attitude, joining in all her brothers' games with her own twist. She loves having Pudding to play with now, running around with their doll buggies or playing doggies. 


Someone asked her to smile for her school photos. She doesn't perform on command. She loves singing at nursery, but at the shows she doesn't want to stand before the audience and sing. Her way.  

Happy birthday Bumpshie, always my big girl.
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