Saturday, December 24, 2016

Holly Jolly 2016 Christmas Greetings

Merry Christmas everyone,

It’s that time of year again for the Clan’s catch-up. All in all, 2016 was a pretty quiet year. No big holidays or adventures, no big tragedies, little victories and lots of time together. I guess you’d call that a win.

The kids are all doing well. Mouse is 10 and in 4th grade and growing up fast. He still plays guitar and is getting quite good. He’s also been doing well at swimming, passing his first techniques class. He’s a reading demon, always with a book stuck to his nose. He, Foo and Bumptious have all discovered Pokemon Go and quite enjoy it, though they don’t go on as many treks as they did in the first months, but the sub-zero weather might have something to do with that.

Foo is 8 and in 2nd grade. He’s doing well in school and has lots of fun. His Finnish is brilliant and he’s beginning to help me and Mouse improve ours. He’s struggled a lot this year with his legs. There was a big mix-up with the hospital that took me a while to identify and fix, but it meant that he was without physio from January until August, so his walking deteriorated a lot. To the point that he needed a Botox treatment in both legs to relax the spasming muscles. This was followed by 3 weeks in lower leg casts to help stretch them. He wasn’t allowed to jump or run, but it didn’t stop him getting around. The first thing he wanted to do after being allowed to walk in them was to go hunt for Pokemon. His legs have improved since the casts were removed, hopefully the benefit will last.

Bumptious is 6 and in her kindergarten year which is held in her same nursery. She’s keen to learn to read and write, but they don’t really start that here yet, though they help her do her own math and writing projects. She started ballet in January and performed in her first show last week. She was totally excited and did really well, smiling and waving at us. She also completed her beginners’ swimming course.

Pudding is 3 and started nursery in August. It was a big adjustment and it didn’t go smoothly at the beginning. But she is now very happy to go and learning lots of Finnish, though she won't speak it at nursery yet. She unfortunately just missed her first Christmas show due to a stomach bug, but I know she can sing all the songs. She has become a bit of a threenager with starting nursery which I guess is to be expected. And for Christmas she is getting Chicken Pox, poor soul. Not looking forward to this, but she's the last Wean to get them so that phase of childhood will be over in the Clan house.

As I said we haven’t really had any family holidays but spent the summer visiting local attractions. My mum came over in June and our friend C came over in June and October, so we tried to find new places to take them. I also went for a quick visit over to Ireland to visit C and do some genealogy research for the Chief. The Brexit vote (the UK’s decision to leave the European Union) left his job at risk, so he applied for Irish citizenship through his grandfather. We’ve actually just had news that his application was approved, so his job and our life in Finland is safe.
With Pudding going to nursery, I’ve been child-free for a few hours in the day for the first time in forever. I’ve continued to study Finnish and took an online creative writing class to work on my novel. Between those, Foo's physio and all the kids’ lessons I haven’t really had much time, but it’s amazing how much more you get done without a kid or 4 in tow.

We have no idea what the next year holds for us, but The Clan and I wish you a very Happy Holidays and a Happy 2017 where it may find you.

Lots of love from Finland.

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