Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Runny noses

We went to the doctors yesterday. Poor Henrik has an eye infection and an ear infection. He is better today but not yet 100% but at least he had a little bit better night's sleep so we slept a bit better too. David hasn't be too well over the Christmas either but he seems to be on the mend now.

It's our anniversary today so we are going out for a meal :) provided Henrik is better so that we know he is not going to cause too much trouble for his babysitters. We went to the national glass centre in Sunderland this morning and had a nice time pottering around, watching them blow glass and see the exhibitions.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Crash and bang

Last night we woke up at midnight to this huge bang. David's first thought was that the tv* had fallen of the wall. So off we went to investigate to find out the source of the great bang. It wasn't the tv, which we were pleased about but it was the mirror. The hook had just unbent itself and the mirror came down crashing and waking us up.
Miraculously the mirror didn't break! But it did break quite a few things on it's way down, a little robin figure now has no tail and pair of lovely glass tealight holder/candle sticks that Jersey grannie gave us couple of years ago for Christmas broke :( And my flowers got crushed too but the vase survived.
So there we were in the middle of the night in our pjs mopping up the water from the flowers and picking up broken pieces of glass wondering how amazing it was that the mirror came down in the middle of the night, not couple of hours earlier when it could have landed on Henrik or one of us!

* we bought a new tv this year instead of buying each other presents, so we've updated from the one we bought when we were students to the 21st century with a fancy flat screen that fits on the wall - very smart, but we've had to position the coffee table so that Henrik doesn't bang the screen

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Christmas smells

Paula and Nathan came over this morning and we had some fun baking ginger bread. The house smells all Christmassy now, cinnamon, ginger, cloves...The boys were pretty good, Henrik was more interested in eating the biscuit mixture and Nathan wanted to press lots of shapes out of the rolled out dough but he was more interested in pressing them out rather than making sure that the shape he was pressing did not overlap with another one! 
After a while they got bored with making and moved on to playing with the toys. They are both on a funny stage at the moment where they are to really playing together -  they don't even seem to notice each other, unless the other one has a toy they want.
I'll have to make a  new mixture next week to make a gingerbread house as I run out but at least we have lots of gingerbreads to eat now.

Monday, December 15, 2008


Here are couple of pictures of Henrik exploring the first snow this year from couple of weeks ago. He was not too impressed by the snowman and started to cry when I tried to take a picture of him with the snowman!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Thought for the day

The chief rabbi was doing the thought for the day on radio 4 this morning and I liked it:
Children grow to fill the place you create for them.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Weekend fun

David's parents came up for the weekend, they arrived on Friday afternoon and David took his dad on a tour around his work. On Saturday we went to Corbridge which was lovely, we had lunch in a pub and just wondered around. The weather was gorgeous, frosty and cold. We took Kinza up for a walk by the river Tyne in Corbridge.
Henrik had a field day with the Sunday paper. Before we noticed he had it all on the floor and he was throwing the bits around. It was very funny but yesterday I was trying to get him to leave the paper on the table and everytime I said no and he just threw it on the floor and giggled - he was definitely in a mischevious mood!
Other new developments is that we now have a stairgate at the bottom of the stairs to stop him going up. I did try to teach him to come down the stairs backwards but he was only interested in going up...

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Winter wonderland

It is snowing here. And the snow is actually settling for once. My plan is to build a snowman this afternoon with Henrik if it keeps snowing. 
We've had quite tiring week. Henrik has been poorly, coughing and sniffing and occasional temperature but according to doctors there is nothing wrong with him. He actually slept through last night without any coughing fits which was a welcome change. I had to go to Stirling (in Scotland north east of Edinburg) on Tuesday for the research project I'm working on for couple of months and had to get up at 5am to catch a train there and didn't get back home until 8.30 so it was a long long day. And the funny thing was that there was more snow in Whitley Bay than in Scotland and it was colder here too! 
But it's my 'day off' today so I've got tons of housework to catch up on so I better go and do some now...

Friday, November 28, 2008

Frosty morning

It is the first frosty morning for a long time. It is like winter morning should be cold and clear. David didn't cycle to work this morning so he had to spend some time scraping the windows. 

Henrik loves being outdoors so we'll make a quick trip to the park this morning. He is not so sure about walking on uneven surfaces yet and topples over regularly on the grass but it doesn't seem to deter him. 

On diy front, David took a horrible old ugly cupboard away from the bathroom and has been plasteboarding and plastering the wall for the last couple of weekends.

I've been busy at uni which is nice. I'm doing my PhD 2.5 days a week and one day a week I'm working o a different research project which is nice as it gives a bit of variety to my week.

Henrik and I are off to town this morning to see if we can find an advent calendar and couple of presents. I'm hoping it wont be too busy but I think that might just be wishful thinking!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Back in toon

We are back home after a lovely weekend in Liverpool with the Homans. We had really nice time with Olly and Becky and also managed to catch up with Heather and also to meet young Beniah West for the first time. On Sunday we attempted to go to the local park to try the steam railway they have for kiddie's there but unfortunately it wasn't open until couple of hours after we got there and weather permitting - it was hailing as we walked around the park so I guess it probably wasn't the best weather for it. Thankfully Henrik is too young to realise that he missed a trainride! So we had alltogether nice weekend.

The only other newsworthy item from the last couple of weeks is that Henrik is walking properly now, there is no stopping him! Outside he is still a bit wobbly but indoors he is fast.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

New skill

Henrik has learned to put the square block through the square hole on his sorter and it kept him amused nearly 20 minutes this morning! Very sweet :)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

First steps

Henrik has slowly been getting his courage together to take some steps on his own. Now he is quite comfortable with walking from the sofa to the coffee table and vice versa. Yesterday he took eight steps at Jeans. It's taken him a while to get this far, he's been up walking holding on to things since August but he's balance is pretty good now and if he doesn't realise he is walking he can actually walk for quite a while!
The lighting is not the best and there are some random videos at the bottom of it in the end but you see him taking couple of steps - very exciting :)

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

More of the wedding

I don't seem to have time to sit down on the computer long enough to write anything let alone upload any photos! I guess both uni and Henrik are keeping me busy...But here are some more pics of the wedding finally. Henrik is suppose to be having his morning nap which he by the sounds of it is not, all I can hear is him banging the sides of the cot and dropping his dummy etc out of the cot but he has not started to cry yet so there is some hope for sleep.

The photos are pretty self explanatory...but doesn't Hanna look pretty!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Getting ready

Here are few pics of us getting ready for the wedding:
Hanna having her make up done
Hellu doing Paivi's hair
Eppu and Paivi thought I needed a helping hand with getting ready
The finishing touches

Henrik despairing over how long it is taking for all the aunties and bridesmaids to get ready...

Monday, October 27, 2008

There and back again

So we've been to Finland and back to celebrate my little sisters wedding. Henrik behaved really well on the plane, the air hostesses commented on how well he flew. All apart from one flight we had a spare seat between us for him which was a great help. 

The change in Amsterdam on the way there was really good, we had quite a few hours to spare so we had a chance of using their baby rooms that have a little cots and shooting music for Henrik's afternoon nap. On the way back we were slightly delayed  because of strong winds and didn't have any spare time, we just about managed to grap couple of sandwiches to take away on route from one gate to the other - it took us 30 minutes to get from the gate we arrived on to the gate we needed to be...and it was all in the same wing!

We didn't really have time to see that many people or do that many things but we still found time for coffee and korvapuustis. We managed to catch up with Janne and Marianna and see their newest arrival (and Nelly of course). 

The wedding was really nice,it was really special to see Hanna get married. The couple of days leading up to it were slightly hectic but because of Henrik we weren't really able to help that much, I did so couple of hems on the bridesmaid's dresses. Hellu, my other sister, made Hanna's dress (as well as the bridesmaid's, my sister's and couple of the other girls' dresses) and it was beautiful. It was lovely to see lots of relatives we haven't seen for a long time.

Henrik also had his first sauna while we were in Finland. He seemed to enjoy it. From now on Hanna will be known as sauna-auntie as they have a sauna in their new flat.

We've got lots of pictures from the wedding so I'll need to upload them on the computer and post the best ones here when I've got time. 

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Quarries and what not

It is Sunday again. The week has flown by. Last night we had a fundraiser at church for breast cancer breakthrough. We had a pampered chef- demonstration in style of tupperware parties and a raffle and some food. I won the main prize in the raffle which was pretty exciting, a nice little stoneware pampered chef dish. 

We had a babysitter on Tuesday so I went to church worship night along side with David and it was brilliant. This morning was extended worship which we both really enjoyed. David shared a bit and got very excited about ephesians which was really nice, gave me the warm fuzzy feeling. 

We did have an outing to Ladycross quarry yesterday which was quite fun. Our garden gets quite waterlogged so we've been thinking of doing some paving by the side of the house where it gets the soggiest and thought that we'd look into how much the local quarries would be for tiles in comparison to evil B&Q. We had a fun time, the man in the quarry showed us around, it was very muddy but we were well prepared with our wellies (we were going to take Moses out later). 

It was really interesting to see the areas where they had stopped quarrying and were reinstating the area to nature. The quarry was located on a major route for bird migration and they had a 'sun dial' to show when a time for the different birds was to return and also a nice little seating area to watch the birds. The quarry was surrounded by forestry commission woods and we went out with Moses after the tour around the quarry. We (I) picked some mushrooms on the way but couldn't find them in my mushroom book so I didn't dear to use them. But after our quarry tour and a walk we stopped in a pub for lunch which was nice.

We've had a lovely time with the Browns this afternoon after church, just catching up. Henrik was fascinated by the boys and the boys were fascinated by him! But Henrik had a wonderful time being entertained by Joe.

Friday, October 10, 2008


I found this fun fleece months ago when we were in Liverpool to see Olly & Becky and finally got my act together and turned it into a little jacket for Henrik.

Monday, October 06, 2008

LaUnDrY tRoUbLeS

The washing machine retired on Friday morning. It refused to turn around. This is the second time it's happened, last time (in Plymouth 3+ years ago) the brushes were worn (or so the washing machine fixing guy told us) so we thought that was hopefully the case but were rather worried over the prospect of having to buy a new washing machine. 
This one has served us very well, we bought it when we got married with some money we were given by David's grannie. We bought it second hand and we've had it for nearly 8 years so it has served us well. The washing machine fixing guy we found in yellow pages came over this afternoon and he fixed it in no time and the problem was the brushes again, apparently the most common thing to go wrong in the washing machine...
So I'm catching up on the laundry now, I did take some around to Alice's on Saturday and Jean's on Sunday so I'm not completely inundated with it but I've still got bit to do. A new washing machine would have been nice but having this one fixed was definitely better for our budget!

Friday, October 03, 2008

Oh dear

Oh dear, the week is nearly gone and my blogging habit is definitely getting less and less frequent. Again, we've been busy. Hopefully next week will be a bit less hectic. The most exciting news is that we got cheap flights to Finland - prayer definitely works! But I'm off to bed now :) 

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Busy bees

We've had a very busy and productive weekend sorting the garden out. We have been in the process of building a raised bed along one of the fences as our neighbours garden is higher than ours and the soil keeps falling in from their side to our side. We must have started it months ago, around the time when David finished the decking but then we've either been busy or the weather has been miserable or we've been too lazy or tired to do anything about it.

But it is finished now :) We've had brilliant weather and the garden is all ready for the winter now. The raised bed is done, I emptied the compost into it (my first 'home made' compost - very exciting) It's all weeded and David even managed to destroy his block of concrete that he has been hacking away all summer much to the delight of the neighbours on Sunday afternoons ;) And David even mowed the lawn.

Now I just need to get some plants to plant in it. I've got a bamboo that I've moved into it and a forsythia that we bought months ago in a garden centre sale. There are few self seeded foxgloves as well in varying shades of white and pink but apart from that there are plenty of room for more plants. It doesn't really get much sunlight as next doors fence shades it most of the day so we'll probably get lots of ferns that love the shade to go in there. 

Henrik enjoyed the weekend as well. He spent a lot of time in the garden either walking around the decking holding onto the bench or sitting on a blanket in the lawn. He is getting more and more mobile but still likes to hold onto things while he is walking. This morning at church he was taking advantage of anyone who was standing close enough and moving from person to person holding onto their legs...he manage to startle quite a few of them - I guess you are not really expecting anyone to come and touch your knees when you are standing around drinking coffee!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Camping in the Lakes

We had lovely time camping last weekend. We were a bit late leaving so we didn't arrive to the campsite until it was dark but managed to get the tent up with no hassles. Moses enjoyed his camping trip as well and behaved himself very well apart from occasional growls when someone walked passed too close to the tent in the night. We packed in a bit of a hurry and forgot our camping chairs, pillows and couple of other bits and bobs but it wasn't the end of the world. 
On Saturday we had a little potter about Ambleside and then had pub lunch in Grasmere before tackling a mountain. We walked up to Alcock Tarn and skirted around the fells for couple of hours. The weather was gorgeous and walking up hill was hard work. Even Moses was tired after our walk!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

The week has flown by. It is nearly weekend :) I've been working the first half of the week and Thursday and Friday are my days but I usually try to cram everything in them so I don't actually have time off, I'm just not at uni. Today I had doctors, house work and meeting up with couple of friends (separately) for coffee, tomorrow is ladies prayer group, more house work and getting ready for a weekend camping trip to the lakes. We'll be back on Sunday as we've got some friends coming around for lunch.
Henrik is scootering around the house holding onto furniture and getting quite adventurous in leaning from one piece of furniture to the next. Today he managed to empty the cupboard that has the flour and tins in it...twice...
Above is a picture of Paivi and Henrik from the summer. It is Paivi's 18th birthday on Saturday!!!!! It was so nice having her here for the summer and to spend some time together :)

Monday, September 15, 2008

1st birthday

We celebrated Henrik's first birthday yesterday. It seems that the year has just flown by! He was not really interested in the presents itself but the ribbons on the parcels were fascinating...he got two pressies all the way from Finland and both had lots of ribbon on so he was very impressed. 

Here is the first present of the day from David and I that we found in Dijon, again the little ribbons were very very fascinating and without helping hand from us he would have been playing with the ribbons all morning. 

We had some people over from church and few other friends for cake and coffee in the afternoon which was really nice, the birthday boy didn't appreciate the significance of the occasion but seemed very pleased with all the people who were happy to hold on to his fingers and walk him around for much longer than mummy and daddy...

The cake
Singing happy birthday whilst Henrik is trying his best to get the berries of the cake
Picture of all three of us that Peter took

The last of the summer holiday pictures

So here are the last pics of our wonderful camping trip. They are all from the last day when we went for a walk up a gorge and spent some time splashing about in the water. It was about 35 degrees so the cool mountain water was very refreshing after the walk. On the way back we decided to save the hassle of walking up and down and waded up the gorge instead, in hindsight the up and down option probably would have been quicker but you live and you learn!

One of the things that kept Henrik amused for hours was pretending to drive the car. So whenever on our long drives we stopped for nappy change, bottle, lunch or for any other reason we gave him couple of minutes behind the wheel and he was in 7th heaven. On the last day he sat on David's lap when we drove up the drive of the campsite to our tent and he could hardly contain himself from the excitement!!!

Second to last of the summer holiday photos

One of David's early morning pics
Swimming in the lake near Veynes. Henrik learned to point during the holiday and much of our time was spent on trying to guess what he was pointing at...
Flying in the air...we managed to get a puncture to his little floatie thing in the car and tried to unsuccesfully fix it with some gaffer tape. The puncture was on the outer ring so we could still use the floatie but it needs to be fixed before we let Henrik loose with it in the swimming pool.
David and Henrik enjoying the lake

Friday, September 12, 2008

And still some more pics

It's raining here so I'm cheering myself up by looking at some sunny holiday photos when I really should be baking buns for Henrik's birthday. But here are couple of pics from our hike up a mountain. We parked the car in Col de Carabes and walked through forrest and up along the ridge to the top of a mountain that I can't remember the name of and google is not being helpful in trying to find it but I think it was +1.5km high and sounded like rocks... 

The walk was amazing. I have never ever seen so many butterflies in my life than we did there! It took us about 3 hours to walk there and back and it was boiling hot but once we were on the top the views were just incredible.

This photo is not actually from the top, still on the way tehre, but you can see the mountain we camped by on the left. There are green and yellow fields just by each other about half way across that mountain and that was were the campsite was, our tent is hiding just behind those trees :)
Me on the way down (hence big smile, no more uphill!) 
The ridge we walked along is on the left.
David & Henrik, it was difficult to get them smiling at the same time...

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Competition for Rudolph?

Henrik is very determined in his quest for walking. He can walk all the way around the kitchen holding on the cabinets. He can also walk pretty much all the way around the front room by holding on to the sofas, coffee tables etc. This morning he managed to pull one of my pot plants over that I had thought there was no way of him reaching it. He still ikes to hold on to things with both hands so if you only offer him one hand for support he grapps hold of your trousers or holds on to the same finger with both of his little hands.

His little adventures sometimes end in trouble...most often he has just got to a point where he can't go any further but he can't go back the same way he came for one reason or another...this results in whining until we come and reposition him! Or even more serious - he falls over. Sometimes he doesn't even notice and just pulls himself up, other times the world ends and there is nothing you can do to stop him cry.

On Saturday night his nose was little bit red but not that much so we didn't think anything of it. When I went to pick him up on Sunday morning when he woke up he had a bright red nose! I first thought that I must have forgotten to wash his face properly and he still had some tomato sauce or somethign on his nose...but it didn't come off. It turned out to be a carpet burn. So the poor little lamb has a red nose from falling over, hopefully it will get better by Sunday, otherwise we'll have pictures of him trying ot blow the candle out on his 1st birthdaycake with shiny red nose...

And still more on the holiday

So, haven't actually said that much about the holiday but you've seen the pictures!!!
We had a lovely time. Driving there took longet than expected but the good news is that we still talk to each other regardless of getting lost pretty much every single time when we tried to circumnavigate a bigger town or a city (the French don't have similar passion for building by-passes than the English do!)
The first day was long, we caught a ferry at 10 am which meant we had to be there at 9am which in turn meant driving around the M25 at rush hour and getting up at 5.30am...We had a brilliant fry up on the ferry and then drove for quite a few hours before stopping for lunch.
We didn't get to the the village of the first campsite until 10.30ish and it was dark. I was convinced we had found the campsite, it was by a lake, there was a gate, other tents and we had been following the signs from the village....David wasn't so convinced but we put the tent up anyway. In the morning it turned out that we'd been camping with a bunch of fishermen about 500 metres up the road from where the camsite we moved the tent and camped on the proper campsite with nice warm showers and english style toalets for the next night.
Drive down to the alps was gorgeous. The weather was beautiful and the roads were empty. We stopped in Dijon for couple of hours and had a wonder around. We found a lovely little toyshop selling the most amazing wooden toys and got something little for Henrik for his first birthday.
The second campsite was much easier to find. We even managed to have dinner before it got dark! The French holiday season was pretty much over so the campsite was nice and quiet. We spent a brilliant 8 days just going for walks, swims and sightseeing whilst eating lots of nice pastries and bread.
We discovered lots of nice thigns you can cook on the trangia, before we left we'd bought a gas converter for it which made life so much easier and cooking so much quicker. One thing we didn't have with us was a coolbag* which meant we had to go to supermarket everyday so next year we'll have to remember that.
We had originally planned to go to somewhere else for three or so nights before coming back but the weather was so lovely and there was so much to do that we just stayed in one place for the whole time.
On the way back we took the motorway for quite a few times and that saved us lots of time. We stopped at the same campsite again than the first two nights and this time arrived when it was still nice and light...
We both really enjoyed our time away. It's the first time we've really taken a two week holiday and we'll definitely do it again. It was very nice feeling after the first week to think that you don't have to be back at work for anohter week yet! We also really like our new tent, it's so easy to put up and really nice to be in, and what's even better, Henrik had his own little room where we put his travel cot up for him and he slept really well.
*we hadn't realise that the campsite owners were happy to freeze the blocks for the coolbags whenever we needed

Friday, September 05, 2008

And couple of more pics

I'm in the middlde of tidying up the house but thought I'd add these two pics before I forget so here we are - a random sunflower field near our campsite and some nice cakes from a market we went to in a small village up on the mountains. They did sell some sheep on the market but we settled for some macaroons.

Monday, September 01, 2008

And some more

Our little camp and not so little tent
How to have a bath when you are camping
On a little wonder around in Orpierre
Splashing about in a gorge
The gorge where we splashed about

So here are some pics

The lake by which we camped for the first couple of nights in Marcenay
Henrik and I trying out the swings
Morning porridge fed by very very sleepy looking mummy
On a walk with daddy
Testing out daddy & mummy's 'bedroom'