26 May 2015

The mr Y grows - 10 months old - A mover and a shaker

little mister is a big boy now and he can move all on his own. it has brought him a new level of pride and happiness to be able to go and explore where he wants. he has his favorite things to play with in each corner of the house and he makes his rounds as soon as he gets up, the most exciting thing, that always gets him going, is when X wakes up. he gets to see her and go into her room. double bonus!

(cute little boy. dave calls the collared shirt his '1970s TV repairman shirt', i disagree)
(feed me please, so i can have energy to...)
(pull up to standing; swing)
(and play with my sister)
(because i love her)

good young picture books: betty goes bananas, dinosaur kisses

-teeth. top tooth (#6), bottom teeth (#7, 8)

-sick. he got pink eye in his right eye and at the same time an ear infection was discovered in his right ear. neither affected his mood. antibiotics for both things were taken. he finished them up without event (though he shared the pink eye with X). a week later he had pink eye raging in both eyes, a double ear infection, a runny runny green slime nose, coughing, and had a fever one day. fun. and he had ear pain this time. more antibiotics. and FINALLY we were rid of the merry-go-round plague(s) in this house!

-sleep. there seems to be little of this and less for me. he was absolutely all over the place again. my body had no idea what to expect and you can bet my patience was wearing thin. something like 4 months straight of this crazy stuff with only minimal recharge days where both he and i would catch up on sleep.

-eating. he loves it and is very focused and serious about it.

-making noise. he loves and is skilled in the art of banging, clapping, singing, shaking rattles. if he can scrape it, hit it, close it, or shake it to make noise, by golly he will. he will find all the noises in the world!

-mischievous. he tickles X through the back of her chair or bites daves toes. he will look at me before he does it and then giggles when i watch him do it.

-he doesnt seem to be bothered much by minor bumps and bangs.

-vehicles. he has an affinity for cars, trucks, and buses already. he bounces up and down when he sees a bus drive down the road.

-he waves

-he blows kisses

-he is vocalizing lots of sounds, and isnt shy about trying. he is refining his word for X, and i have to say it really is his first word. he can also pretty much say 'mama' and 'äiti' (finnish for mom. we did not teach him this. i now assume its one of those sounds all babies can make and the finnish language scooped it up to be their 'mama' word), though he doesnt really use them to ask for me (although we do get 'äiti' when he is tired and pissed. yay). he likes trying to say 'tree' and can almost perfectly say 'clock'.

-he crawled at 9.25 months

-he pulls up to standing and can (for short periods of time) stand solo. i even saw a half step taken once. and right at 10 months, he taught himself to sit down safely. that was nice.

14 May 2015

10th anniversary

happy 10 year wedding anniversary to us!

together for 15 years is even more startling to me, but i also cant believe its been a decade since we got married. we seem like wholly different people from that time, i mean, not at our core, but what we have experienced since then makes me not even remember the mindset of the two people who got married on this day in 2005. well, i do recall a lot of anxiety about being the center of attention during the walk down the aisle, toasts, and first dance parts. oh, and there was the bit of annoyance at the fluffiness of daves hair ;), but other than that it was a whirlwind of a day. i do enjoy looking at the pictures and seeing all the lovely people we care about, and feeling lucky we are still friends with much of our bridal party and extended wedding day helpers.

so the suggested gifts this year are tin or aluminum (or diamond, yawn, they list that for like every anniversary). and what do most people do with that? buy a six pack of beer and a can of tuna fish, to be consumed as your celebratory dinner? who comes up with these, really? eesh. well, this year weve spent more than i care to think about already on a new apple imac (lets say its made of aluminum) and plane tickets for a summer visit to the states (airplane bodies involve aluminum right?). i think weve hit our aluminum quota. you say those arent legit or romantic anniversary gifts? poo. well, does it ease your mind to know that we decided we will replate our white gold bands sometime soon (read: maybe within the next decade), or that we agreed that we will take apart my diamond wedding band that matches my engagement ring and have it reworked into something i can wear separate from the engagement ring (again, this might happen before i die). these actions involve metal, of some sort, and they are linked in meaning to our wedding. but, okay, if that still doesnt cut it...

i submit my abstract take on the 'gift'. its cheesy, and it borrows from the name of a season 2 episode of the tv show 'new girl' and the movie 'toy story'. its not really a gift so much as a catch phrase i could have scrawled in a card, had i taken the time. it does, however, capture the amount and endurance of my love for dave, and so, in the immortal (mostly) words of buzz lightyear,
i love you 't-infinity, and beyond!'
and then, to repost my facebook message about the occasion, another sentiment that is equally true:
thank you for all the gifts that money couldnt buy over the years. i look forward to a treasure chest filled with more.
end of gift. we laughed that we didnt really take this anniversary seriously enough. but Y is still nursing too frequently to properly get away at the moment and grand gestures of tangible items isnt something we really do. id love to have marked the occasion with some amazing travel locale, but we already have our trip to the states this summer. maybe we'll plan to do anniversary #13 up special, mess with the fates a bit. oooo, better yet, lets do something for #12, we will have been together 17 years at that point, my lucky number. at any rate there are other chances, other years, we didnt get to do anything memorable for #5 because X was a newborn, so weve made a habit of not doing the milestone years i guess. so, heres to anniversary #12 in 2017 that celebrates 17 years together. oh yes, i like this idea, i like this very much.

and finally, a collection of wedding photos of dave and i. well, one photo of us at our wedding, and photos of us celebrating other peoples weddings over the years. happy upcoming anniversaries to everyone!

(our wedding)
 (daves cousin adams wedding)
 (my friend lisas wedding)
(new mexican wedding celebration of friends angela and ben)
 (friends georgette and chucks wedding)
(friend missys wedding)
(my cousin alexs wedding)
(ready for friend julies wedding)

12 May 2015

May 12 - johan snellman flag day

aka, the day of finnish identity.

johan snellman was an political philosopher and an influential figure in shaping the finnish identity. he was born in stockholm on this day in 1806 but moved to the finnish territroy when he was young. he became a popular lecturer at the university of helsinki. he self-exiled from 1839-1842 due to the government trying to censor and control oppositional thoughts among academics. when he returned to finland he published papers encouraging the rise in the finnish language and culture from peasant status to a respected national language and culture. he apparently coined the phrase:

'Swedes we are no more,
Russians we cannot become,
therefore Finns we must be'

he did become a prominent finnish senator, however, he ultimately had to resign in 1868 due to his radical reputation and inflexibility.

11 May 2015

Liebster award

so, a newly blogging friend nominated me for this (shes over at michifornia girl), as she was nominated for it on her blog by someone else. i dont have the focus to go and nominate some other people for this to continue the circuit (sorry), but i will answer the questions posed for me.

here are my 11 questions (given to me by 'michifornia girl'):

1. How did you come up with the name of your blog?
ive loved the name lotus for a long time and after floating the idea of it for a childs name (and getting shot down) i decided to name this blog lotus. ive also seen the egyptian association of lotus with rebirth, and i like that idea that all of these travels or moves weve made to new countries have involved a reinvention of self in many ways. so its become a really appropriately named blog quite by accident. 
2. What is your favorite blog post you’ve written thus far?
geez, i dont know, thats too hard. but i suppose, stupidly, i really like the hollywood award season posts. i just like looking back at the pretty dresses and seeing a little part of me that has stayed the same amidst all the change of the last 7 years. i may not have the time to keep up on the latest shows and movies these days, but i do so love a celeb on the red carpet.
3. Name three things you would do if you won the lottery.
ive only really got 2 things. TRAVEL and put some away for the kids to spend as they like when they are old enough. boring? im okay with that.
4. What is the next big decision you have to make?
reentering the work force. im not sure who im going to contact, how hard im going to go after trying to create something for myself out of nothing before re-focusing and needing to look elsewhere, or how to keep myself upbeat and motivated on the unknown length of the journey to finding a job.
5. Describe either your most embarrassing moment or your biggest pet peeve.
for embarrassing moments, i dont know. nothing bubbles to the surface, in particular, when i think about the past. i know there are moments enough to fill a library, but nothing that has haunted me or that i carry with me regularly. so, then pet peeve...i guess it would have to be 'being a part of something that is disorganized or not well thought out'. i am most in my element being the leader of activities, life, whatever, but am quite happy to take a back seat to something that some other well organized person is leading, even if this is something spontaneous. it is really rough on me to have to take part in something i am neither in control of nor is running smoothly. i try to be calm at first but after a certain point, every misstep clouds my vision with red and steam starts coming     out my ears.
6. What is something on your bucket list?
i dont think i have one of these, except a nebulous one with only one thing on it: travel. otherwise i dont think in terms of bucket lists because it seems to me it leaves room for regret, or it doesnt give equal weight to surprising opportunities that happen along the way that are better than any goal or wish you had for yourself before.
7. What TV show/invention/etc. is most ruining the youth of America?
first, i dont know many 'youth' today. lol. but, it would be easy to say 'keeping up with the kardashians' or 'iPhones' or something, but i dont know, i mean there are tons of adults too with problems 'unplugging' or staying focused or understanding what is real and important in life and what isnt. teens just have it harder because they are newer to the wider world and of being in charge of themselves and their opinions. so maybe my short answer is 'adults' are ruining teens? i like how im doing really well answering these questions properly.
8. If you could pick one age to be for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?
this seems like a trick question. like, if i choose an age am i stuck at the level of maturity and looks and experiences only leading up to and including that age forever? if yes, well...let me see, i havent gotten to the age yet then. i suppose it would be best to freeze time at the moment i am an empty nester. i would have gotten to enjoy the kids at home for all their years and have those memories, but now im in a position to go out and live another adventurous chapter in my life in a body that is still useful, meanwhile getting to come back 'home' and have family experiences too. i would think that is the best of both worlds.
9. Who is your current celebrity crush?
how much space do we have? ;)
silver foxes: bruce willis, colin firth, gordon ramsey, max from the tv show 'catfish'
younger: joseph gordon-levitt, ryan gosling, jake johnson, sam claflin, nicholas hoult
10. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
i cant recall a real person who ever gave me great advice, but i know books and movies have always spoken to me.
'life moves pretty fast. if you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.' -- ferris, from ferris bueller’s day off
'don’t let anyone ever make you feel like you don’t deserve what you want.' -- heath ledger, from 10 things i hate about you
 'you can’t live your life for other people. you’ve got to do what’s right for you, even if it hurts some people you love. - from the notebook
11. What is the most surprising and/or rewarding and/or frustrating thing about being a mom?
{looooooong, slow chuckle} its surprising how shockingly frustrating some things can be on this adventure in parenthood. but. it is really rewarding to be able to watch a new soul arrive and to help that new person navigate the world. to get to be front and center to that show, to cheer them on to be their best self, while letting them know they are loved for exactly who they are. along the way, im also getting to find out more about myself, and am motivated to change and be better, and its like no level of motivation ever attained before. its quite a hefty reward, alongside a hefty mountain of work and responsibility. its a balancing act. :)

10 May 2015

A traditional mothers day

on my first mothers day as a mom of two i had perhaps the most traditional celebration yet, and it went for two days.

the saturday before mothers day was our 'real' mothers day i would say. i got to sleep in. there were pancakes cooking with i got up. i got flowers and copious amounts of handmade cards from X. we had a nice relaxing family day at home. we visited with our friends and neighbors who had had their son a week before Xs birthday (X loved meeting the new baby, Y slept right through it). and the pièce de résistance was daves lovely surprise of steak au poivre (pepper-crusted filet with cognac cream sauce) et pommes frites (fries). would have been perfect with a red wine, but alas, still nursing. maybe next year. :) X tried some of it and loved it, so perhaps it will be brought out for other special occasions...

(us meeting the new little mister of our friends and previous landlords. it hardly looks like our old apartment!)
(dinner. it was better looking in person, and way tasty. nom nom)

the actual day of mothers day wasnt so dreamy, Y kindly woke me up some time before 6a. i accidentally spotted Xs official mothers day card (made at daycare) which pissed her off when she woke up (early, some time before 7a). we had a light breakfast and then took a bus ride over to some friends house in the neighborhood called haaga. they actually had a nice vegetarian brunch all cooked up (waffles with all the toppings, GF pancakes, baked beans, fresh fruit, roasted potatoes). after food we played outside a little bit before we needed to get moving for Ys nap. he grudgingly fell asleep on the bus where X decided she should proceed to melt down (shock, she was tired!). we barely dragged ourselves home with our sanity. they were pretty grumpy for the rest of the day and we were glad to see bedtime arrive. so, i got a lovely idyllic mothers day and a classic, text book example of what its like when both kids are doing their best 'i suck at life' impressions. theyre always good for helping balance things out. :)

(a split second of zen on the bus. holding hands)

01 May 2015

May = Toukokuu

happy may day!

okay, its already getting hard for me to keep the finnish months in memory (april is a hard one!) but im still interested in the translated meanings, so here goes.

may = toukokuu. a found a few meanings for 'touko': planted, growing crop, and/or springtime field work. all rough equivalents. and indeed, it is a good month to get those seeds in the ground. we have crazy amounts of sunshine going already (i sit here at 9p and the sun is still streaming in. and the birds start singing at something like 3a) and the temperatures are starting to stay steady, and...well, our season just isnt very long here. grow little plants, grow!