Thursday, May 31, 2007

The bump

Wiggles has finally decided to show and here is visual evidence of it. Wiggles has reached the grand age of 24 weeks. We had a scan last week and we got to see Wiggles 4D at the end of it...they had a fancy machine. So we got to see a little face that looked like a little baby with a cute little nose. Still waiting for David to scan in the pics so I can put them here.

Wiggles has also started kicking a bit more and couple of days ago David felt Wiggles kicking for the first time which was very exiting. Wiggles is taking up a habit of having regular kicking and boxing matches in the morning...as long as they don't happen in the middle of the night I don't mind.

David wants to go to the beach so we are off.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Not much to say

It has been raining for the last couple of days which is not fun. The nice dry and warm winter lured us into thinking that it is warm up north regardless of what everyone else says...we have been wrong...it can be cold up here too! Last week and a bit have been colder than in April, we've had the heating on quite a few evenings because it has been that cold! It has also rained more in last couple of days than in the whole winter.

That is the official rain-moan over. Apart from that not much has been happening here. We had nice weekend, not doing much. Moses is still recovering from the limp he got at York couple of weekends ago. I have discovered there was a friends episode I hadn't seen (I didn't think it was possible). There is nothing on at the cinema but Paul & Nikke are coming up for the weekend so that's good :)

Monday, May 28, 2007

Shopping annointing

David has got the shopping annointing...for years he has been dreaming about a digital SLR and on Saturday we finally went and bought one. David was a bit undecided if he wanted to get one with a lense or not but it turned out that they didn't have the lense he would have wanted so he was just going to buy the body only.

The shop assistant boy disappears to get the camera only to come back to tell us that the one on the shelf is the last one in the shop and if David is happy to have it they will give him 3 years free insurance which David agreed to. So the boy disappeared again to look for a box for the camera. Quite a bit later he comes back very apologetically telling us that he couldn't find a box but if David was happy he would sell David the camera and a lense (better one than David had planned to get) just for the price of the body!!!

David quite happily said yes to this and we walked out of the shop with free lense and free 3 years insurance!!! And to complete my happiness we walked past Whittards and they had everything half price so I got this pretty little jug. To celebrate our successful shopping trip we went and had lunch in this funny little Italian place, it was delicious and we were very amused by the waiters shouting to each other in Italian, singing and generally larking around.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Horticultural notes

I follow a carefully regimented care plan for my houseplants...forgetting to water them regularly and it finally seems to be paying off...they are all starting to flower at once :) I am very pleased with this and thought I'd share my excitement with you all with these pictures. Even the streptocarpus (soilikki) I thought I manage to kill are flowering.









Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Mad hatters teaparty

It was Amy's birthday on Saturday so we headed of to York for the day. The weather was sunny but extremely windy. We got there about 1, went into town and had some lunch. As it was the FA cup final day David wanted to spend some quality time with the tv watching the match meanwhile Amy and I ate some chocolate and did some cooking. After the extremely boring football match had finished we took Moses for a walk in the park. We wanted to keep him nice and dry so we avoided the walk with the pond but somehow Moses managed to get into the river and went for a proper swim!

The theme for the party was mad hatters teaparty so I had spent last couple of evenings trying to make hats. Mine looked like a lampshade and David's was overly big pirate hat which didn't stay on properly. Moses had little antennas but after he tried eating them they had to be removed.

Amy went for the princess look.
Me and my lampshade.

David's pirate hat and Moses' antenna (the sparkly things that have fallen to his neck)

I baked a birthday cake

Everyone with their hats

Monday, May 21, 2007

We won

We have finally won the Saturday morning neighbourhood competition of who has their washing on the line first...

For ever since we have been living here the next door neighbours have their washing up on Saturday morning even before we get up! And we are not the greatest in sleeping late in the weekends, we are usually up and about around 9 or 10 after having had a cup of tea and read the paper. And regardless of what time we get up the neighbours washing is on the line before that.

I always assumed it must be because they have two young kids but as the neighbours on the other side have their washing regularly, but not always, up before ours that can't be the only factor. The other option of course is that the put the washing on the night before and then they just need to hang it up. (And i've tried that but our washing is still the last on the line!)

On Saturday morning I woke up at 6am mainly because of sun shining through the curtains and partly due to Wiggles pressing my bladder. I was quite sure that none of the neighbours would have their washing up this early and thought this was my one chance to be the first one to hang the washing in the morning (not that I am competitive). So I crept downstairs put the washing on and went back to bed to wait for the washing to finish.

And by 7.30 my washing was hanging on the line drying in the wind and sunshine and there was no sign of washing on any of the other washing lines in our street :) I was very happy. I have finally succeeded in being the first one to hang the washing on Saturday morning - not that it is a competition but I am still happy that I won :)

Friday, May 18, 2007

Friday morning

The sun is finally shining after unusually wet week but the garden and the woods are looking really nice and green so can't really complain. Yesterday when we took Moses out we saw a barn owl flying across the fields which was amazing. The woods were so lush and the fragrance of all the flowers so intense.

It is Amy's birthday tomorrow and we are suppose to be wearing home made hats so think my evening will be spend on trying my hands at hat making...any ideas are more than welcome.

On the news front, David's old school featured in the news yesterday as they have had to hire private detectives to make sure that the addresses parents claim they live in (to get the kids in to the school) are really the addresses they live in. Hmmm....maybe we need to set up a fund to send Wiggles into a private school or stay up north, I can't really imagine there to be similar competition for schools here than in Herts, for starters there are no grammar school to fight about!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

It's not only the Finns

Finnish people love sauna and for a reason...we did after all invent it. I read somewhere that there are 3.2 million saunas in Finland which is quite impressive as the population is just over 5 million.

Sauna is more than an institution in Finland, it is way of life. We use to have a sauna twice a week when I was little, mid week and Saturday. If you go and visit someone in Finland you can pretty much guarantee that Saturday evening the sauna will be on.

And you don't just go to sauna...there is more to sauna than just going in and sitting in the heat! If you have a wooden sauna you'll have to start heating it up an hour or so before you want to go. In the summertime you'll go and take a walk in the woods to collect birch branches for vasta.

Once you are in the sauna you sit and relax. If you are by a lake or in close proximity of snow (even better a lake with snow on!) you'll go and have refreshing dips from the heat in the course of the evening. In the summer you have birch branches essentially to hit yourself or your friend with...it is not as cruel as it sounds, it is actually really refreshing, feeling the leaves against your back and smelling the fresh fragrance they give. You can even by them dried in the winter time if you want but I think the summer ones are the real thing (David can't see the point in them full stop but he is forgiven for that).

Towards the end of the sauna evening you usually grill some sausages on the stove and have a refreshing drink with it. There is nothing nicer than sitting outside a sauna by a lake in the cool of the summer evening your skin still steaming from the heat and drinking a glass of granny's homemade juice and eating a sausage...hmmm I guess it would be even nicer if there weren't buzzing mosquitoes about ;)

The best sauna I know is in my granny's summerhouse. It is an old (closer to 100 years is my guess) wooden building by a lake. The walls are thick carved logs, the outside is red with white window frames. Inside there are two rooms, the dressing room and the sauna room. The log walls inside the sauna half are all black and ancient looking and the smell is incredible. There is a little window that lets in light, you can see up to the house through the silver birches. Many happy hours I have spent there with my siblings and cousins...those were the days...

One time I remember being their with my cousin and grandpa, we must have been around 7 or 8 so and running to and fro from the lake (and in the process letting the heat out) was much more interesting to us than enjoying the heat for a long periods of time. After enduring our behaviour for quite a while I seem to remember we got told to decide if we wanted to be in or out...and there is an other famous sauna occasion when we lived up in Lapland and my dad promised my brother and I double pocket money if we went and rolled on snow...which we duly did regardless of the temperature being minus too much and snow being up to our waist!

Ah, I could really do with a sauna now*...

This ode to sauna is because I saw this on the BBC website...some students in Japan have broken the record of most nationalities in a sauna at one time! And I thought it was only the Finns who would try such things. Apparently the previous record was help by Japanese as well...you always learn something new!

* maybe I could try to get David to build me one in the garden, I wonder what would the neighbors say ;)

Monday, May 14, 2007

Rain and shine

The weekend went quickly. Saturday was spend diying. The wall has completely disappeared and David has started plaster-boarding the edges. The room looks so nice and big and bright and everything lovely. We are thinking of putting spotlights in in the kitchen half and it would be easier to do it now as we can access the ceiling quite easily (thanks to it being lower than the dining room half...) so it might be a little while before it is all finished.

On Sunday we had Rachel & Ty and their little girl Lily from church over for lunch. We had lovely time and it was so nice having big kitchen dining area as it meant that I could chat to the others while I was getting the lunch ready.

Moses enjoyed his day as well yesterday. David took him out for a long walk in the morning in vain attempt to calm him down for the afternoon. He has never really been around toddlers so we thought it would be good if he was a bit calmer. But the walk didn't work...he still got very exited when we all got in after church! But Lily loves dogs so Moses had brilliant fun playing with her. It was very sweet, especially as Lily couldn't really say Moses, it sounded more like moped! He was exhausted in the evening and just slept...hopefully Wiggles will have the same effect on him.

Today it has been sunshine and rain intermittedly. The weather was really poor over the weekend so we had big pile of washing waiting to be done. I was working from home today and did some washing in the morning. I thought I'd take my chance to hang it outside. By the time the second lot was finished washing the first lot was nearly dry as it was quite windy but I thought I'd better leave it out there just to dry it a bit more. So I hang the second lot and came back in to read some more of my journal articles.

Couple of hours later I looked out of the window and it had started raining!!! I must have looked very amusing, trying to take the washing down as quickly as possible and trying to avoid getting wet. Thankfully the rain must have just started as the clothes weren't too wet :)

Friday, May 11, 2007

Long awaited pictures of my knitted masterpiece aka teddy bear fashion show

Here are finally the pictures of my knitting I mentioned quite a few days/weeks ago. It is a cardigan for Wiggles. I got the pattern from knitting book David got me for my birthday. It's the pattern with daisies but I left the daisies out as if Wiggles is a boy, he might not appreciate looking back on his baby pictures and seeing himself wearing a cardigan with flowers on it ;)
So here is the cardigan
Here is a detail of the front
Here is the cardigan modeled by David's teddy. The colour suits him very well but it is a bit loose around his waist.
Here the cardigan is modeled by Uppo Nalle, it was definitely too long for this famous bear.
The puppet teddy went for the cool look but the sleeves were too long for him as well.
But the sleeves were too long even for Iso nalle (my first teddy that I got on my first Christmas) so I think I'll just have to wait for Wiggles to try it on in order to see what it really looks like.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

What do you think...

Would this look good in our garden?

More pics of the dissapearing wall

Here is some photographic evidence of the disappearing wall...
This is the view from the dining room to the kitchen...there are some very interesting electrics, the light switch on the right is still fully functioning...
Here is a wonky picture of the view from kitchen to the dining room. You really start to get a feel for what the room is going to be like when the wall is all gone. It gets the sun all morning and early afternoon so it is very light and sunny :)
Here is an other interesting electrical feature which now has been removed.

Since the pictures were taking, all the laths (the horizontal wooden bits) have been taken away as well as some of the upright beams. When the extension was done to the kitchen (it is the tiniest extension anybody has ever done...they only extended the kitchen by a meter...1m!!!) the ceiling was lowered in the kitchen. The beams support some of the ceiling in the kitchen so we (David) need to support the ceiling some other way before removing all the beams but David has it all worked out and he is planning to start the operation support the ceiling tonight.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Busy bees

Despite the silence we are here. The weekend has been busy doing diy and gardening. The wall is getting smaller and smaller. I've taken some more pictures of it so I'll try to post them later today. I've been planting some seeds and plants and doing little bits and bobs around the garden. Moses has been lying in the sun enjoying himself...hard life for some. Todays bank holiday will be spent much on the same way, diying, gardening and sleeping. I'm off to put some washing on now.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Introducing Wiggles

Please meet Wiggles. S/he is 20+1 weeks old and expected to make an entrance to this world on the 17.9.2007. If Wiggles decides to arrive early s/he might have the honour of sharing a birthday with David's brother or if Wiggles opts for the late arrival the option are sharing a birthday with my grannie or my sister.

We have had a very easy ride with Wiggles so far. I haven't had any morning sickness or any other weird symptoms. Apart from heightened sense of smell (not very good when you are waiting for the metro starving hungry and someone walks past with a burger...) and having to go the loo at least once a night I have been pretty much normal.

The bump is taking a long time to appear as well. Some of my clothes are getting a bit tight around the waist but I am not very visibly pregnant yet. All the ladies at uni and church are telling me to be thankful about that...but it would be nice to look pregnant as I don't feel that pregnant.

Over the last week or so I think Wiggles has started kicking me, every now and then I get these funny sensations in my tummy which I assume must me caused by Wiggles as I have never had anything like that before!

We had the second scan this morning and Wiggles had reached the great length of 25cm which according to the scan lady is what it should be. I think Wiggles is definitely taking after David as s/he was cheekily sticking his/hers tongue out at us...I guess time will tell :)

The scan picture above is Wiggles at 12 weeks. It hasn't been properly scanned in so it is not the most amazing quality.