31 July 2011

3 posts in 1

My thoughts are of 3 different subjects today, yet they all are slighty connected, but I don't feel like writing them separately, so here it goes:

The best shopping spree
A second-hand store in town had a 1€ for any item of clothing sale today (Mon=4€, Tue & Wed=3€, Thurs & Fri=2€ and Sat=1€). They do this 2-3 times a year and normally I just stay away. I just hate the crowds, I hate waiting in long lines to try on clothes, I hate trying on clothes, I hate finding stuff I like AND hoping it is in my size. I just don't generally like clothes shopping. But today was different! I spent 12€ on 12 pieces of clothing today. Yes, that's right, 12€ total on 12 pieces of clothing, as a little birthday gift to myself.

The difference with today was that I wasn't there with the intention to buy clothes for me to wear, but to find some fabric to sew some stuff. I was looking at clothes as if it was just material. I grabbed a pair of yellow-green and black plaid pants (I had spied them a few days earlier and hoped they'd still be there), a couple of green shirts in different shades, a pair of red/orange/off-white hibiscus covered pillow cases, some orange shirts, a blue flowery shirt, a brown pair of pants and a grey/black/white skirt all with the intention of upcycling or recycling them into something else. I didn't have to think of what size the clothes were or how they fit me (although I did find 2 shirts for actual wearing), I just had to like the colors and material. It was the bestest shopping spree that I have gone on in ages. And the funny part, some of the clothes I bought actually fit me and look good on me! Especially the brown slacks. Go figure!

You just don't get it! or Why can't you just understand?!
I had what I consider a pretty big break down this evening. Mr Siili and I were laying in bed chatting. It got onto the subject of acupuncture and IVF. He doesn't believe that acupuncture will help with my endo nor help me get pregnant. If I like the acupuncture, as one would like a massage, then he doesn't see why I couldn't continue to go a couple of more times (but not 8 more times), but if I am going into the appointments with the idea that it is going to "cure" or even help fix me, I might as well not go because there are no known scientific medical studies showing that it actually does anything. This got me quite upset and sent me off on a tirade about how all of this IF stuff consumes my unconscious and conscious mind whether I want it to or not. I once again explained, between crying sobs, that I feel the need to try something more, that I am getting to the end of what I can try. (No, I will not buy some magical rocks to put around our bed to help me connect with ley-lines or a copper bracelet that does whatever, etc as Mr Siili facetiously suggested.) I see other pregnant women and it makes me sad. I hear of a friend/co-worker/acquaintance is pregnant or just had their kid and I'm again sad (don't get me wrong, I'm happy for them, but extremely sad for myself). I'm now 35 (stupid birthday, although I've never really had issues with my age before and all of this 35-stuff isn't really about my age but rather the whole "harder to get pregnant and higher risk" stuff) and getting pregnant is supposed to be harder, what the fuck has it been up to now? A walk in the park? Sure, I got pregnant once 13 years ago when I didn't want to and now that I want to get pregnant, I can't! I also didn't have endo then. I'm tired of the stupid people telling me to relax or trust in god or that it will happen when it is meant to be. I relaxed the entire first year, I don't believe in god and I hate hearing "meant to be". I just want to be fucking pregnant now! All of these thoughts and more plague me constantly. I can't lock myself in my bedroom to get away from it all because even in there I'd be reminded of pregnancy or my mind would wander to babies, etc. There is no escape from it.

We've tried a year and a half on our own, I've had laparoscopic surgery for endo, we've done several IUIs, 2 IVFs, 1 FET and not a single pregnancy. Not even a BFP which results in a loss, which sad to say, I'd dearly love even one of those right now. We have 1 more IVF try via the (less expensive) public clinic and then we'd need to transfer to a private clinic if we want to continue trying. Are we even going to continue if we have to go the slightly more expensive* route? I feel like we are getting to the end of what can be done to get me pregnant. Yet, if we stop now and don't try anything else, it is almost a 100% guarantee that I won't ever get pregnant and I cannot accept that yet. I am not ready to throw in the towel and give up. I am not at a stage where I can carry on with my life in a self-accepting and happy way. I NEED to get pregnant and have a kid. I can only hope this crying and ranting episode helped Mr Siili to maybe, even just a little bit, understand what it is that goes through my mind and what I've feeling.

*I feel a bit guilty talking about 'expensive' because I know it is relative and I am so totally thankful that I don't live in the USA where IVF is insanely expensive and to which I feel that if we did live in the US, we wouldn't be doing most of what we have, although Mr Siili seems to think otherwise.

My mom would have remembered
My birthday was a few days ago. On the day of my birthday, I had aprox. 70 happy birthday messages on Facebook, several more via sms, 1 package in the mail (a few cards beforehand), a sweet card from Mr Siili and promises for the actual gift later. Of all of those well wishes for my birthday, not a single one came from my immediate family members. Two days later, I call them via Skype and still not a single person mentions my birthday. I know I could have and probably should have mentioned my birthday myself, but that just feel so wrong. So, here I sit totally upset and crying that no one in my family remembered my birthday, or at least to tell me they remembered it. And I know that if my mom was alive, she would have remembered it. She always did!

Yikes, this turned out to be much longer than I had intended.

30 July 2011

Drum roll, please!

The random lucky winner of my Reverse Birthday Gifting giveaway is The Annoyed Army Wife.
A big THANK YOU to everyone who participated.

And that's all I'm going to post today. A very short one from me. Who would believe that I am short on words?! Not Mr Siili, that's for sure. Have a great weekend!

29 July 2011

HBD to me!

There is only 8 more minutes left of my birthday-day and I have to say, it's been a decent day. Definitely much better than I was feeling yesterday. Yesterday I was quite down and totally dreading my birthday. It's not that I am unhappy with the number 35, as I've never really had an issue with the whole age/number thing, it's more of what the number 35 means in respect to pregnancy. I just can't seem to get the number 35 out of my head as the magical age where pregnancies are supposed to be harder to come by (as if it hasn't been difficult enough already) and where they are also more likely to be considered high risk. Enough of that for now...

This day has been quite relaxing but very nice. I woke up this morning in a very warm bedroom. We get the morning sun streaming right into our bedroom. Generally I love it, but this morning it was quite warm, even for me! As I was trying to drag myself out of bed, Mr Siili mumbled 'happy birthday' to me. *big grin* The first part of the day was quite laid back. I dealt with some bank stuff and then sat outside reading for a while.When Mr Siili went to get his hair cut, he also got me a card for my b-day. It is a very sweet dragon and knight card. I love it and the words even more. That is the only gift I got from Mr Siili as I told him I didn't need or want anything today (except a baby and that can't be given on demand). I do know I'll get some late b-day snuggles tomorrow. *wicked evil grin*

I didn't want to just sit around all day, so I sent out a message to several friends asking if they'd like to go frisbee golfing with me in the evening. (Mr Siili had basketball practice.) Eventually 2 co-workers (plus a boyfriend) said they'd like to join me. Yay! But first, one of them and I went to the shore and hung out at the lake. The day was beautiful, even if a bit overcast, which actually made it much nicer as we didn't sit there and sweat the whole afternoon. At 19:00 we met up with the other two and played a round of frisbee golf. We all sucked! LOL. And at hole 7 (out of 9) it started raining. We got very wet, but thankfully it was a warm rain. I loved it! This evening Mr Siili and I watched a couple TV shows together.

All in all, today has been a mellow day, but a good one. I'm thankful for my husband and friends who've wished me many happy birthday thoughts (on facebook and sms) today. I know I'm loved.
p.s. Don't forget my Reverse Birthday Gifting giveaway! Only 24 more hours to sign up.

27 July 2011


This morning was my first acupuncture appointment, ever. I have no idea if it will actually help me to get pregnant, but the experience was interesting and I'm willing to still give it a go. Also, my back is feeling a bit better after this morning. Is it a placebo effect or is it really doing something?

The whole appointment took 1.5 hours. The first part of it was spent with the guy, MRJ, asking me questions about my health and body. And then he stuck me with 40-50 needles and warmed parts of me with a burning charcoal stick (it didn't touch me, but was near my skin). I barely felt most of the needles going in. Usually when the needle went in, it was just a tapping feeling or maybe a tiny pinch. The few needles that I did feel weren't that bad. The 2 worst ones were on the bottom of my feet and the one between my toes on my left foot, which are sensitive areas to begin with. Once the needles were in, I did feel pain in my left ankle area, but when MRJ touched it or put another needle in (I'm not sure which, maybe both), it did feel better. Although, now my ankle is feeling a bit strange. I realized I didn't tell him about my ankle injury years ago that still bothers me. I wonder if that could effect anything? In any case, I'll mention it to MRJ before we start next week's session.

As for what my "diagnosis" is, it seems I have a cold and most lower part of my abdomen. Endometriosis is considered cold and wet and so is the fact that my hands and feet are usually cold. I also told MRJ about my asthma, to which he said it was considered a warm-issue, but most likely an infection (not a good warm in any case). The mucus that comes with the asthma is cold (I think). In any case, everything in the body is connected and from some of the symptoms I have (endo being a big one), my kidneys and spleen seem to be mostly effected, which are also part of the body that is quite needed to help with producing a pregnancy. My body is cold right now and a cold body (especially in the uterus/ovary area) cannot produce a warm life. So, we need to get my body warm again!

He told me that I shouldn't eat cold foods such as yogurt, ice cream, salad and veggies or fruits without at least heating them up a bit first (the latter items, not the first two). I should also try to eat foods with spices in them, such as dried ginger (blech), clove, hot peppers, etc and also walnuts. Other foods also include salmon, some other fish and lamb. But I should stay away from foods that are salty. None of these food items are a must, but rather ideas on what types of things I should eat. So, after this evening's salad (we have to get rid of the food we'd already bought) and that I did heat a bit, I'll being trying to stick with warm foods. That means no more frozen juice! Or ice cream! And it's hot right now.

I have one more session paid for (with a Groupon type deal) and then we'll need to discuss the price and how many more times are needed. Mr Siili isn't really on board with this or any other homeopathic/holistic approaches, but he doesn't stop me from trying them if I think they will help.

Don't forget my Reverse Birthday Gifting! Two more days to sign up.

25 July 2011

CD2, cycle #38

I was just thinking this morning that I've been awfully quiet about all things TTC during the last month. And it all boils down to summer and the month long summer break my clinic takes during July. Yup, that's right, the public health care clinic I go to closes down during the entire month of July. So while I can't affect them closing down for the month, I did decide that I can affect how it effects me. I decided that I'd make this break into a good thing. My clinic is on holiday, so I'd take a holiday from TTC too (mostly).

So far, I think I've done quite well on this break from TTC. I'm not feeling bloated from meds, I'm not seriously thinking about getting pregnant (although I have convinced Mr Siili to BD at all the right times, just in case) and I'm really just trying to enjoy summer. Especially now that MY holiday has started! I've also had a good time writing about other things besides wanting a baby. It doesn't lessen the desire, but it sure it good to have a break from obsessing (all of the time).

I will admit that when AF showed her face yesterday, I was a bit bummed. I did get down in the dumps for a short while, but I bounced back quite quickly. August is coming soon and I'll be able to call the clinic on the 1st, let them know where I'm at in my cycle and see if we could try to get a natural FET in this month. If not, then I need to see what will happen next. Will the want me to do use our last frozen embryo before moving onto IVF #3 or will we be able to jump into IVF #3 as soon as I get back from my work trip to Shanghai late Sept/early Oct? At this moment, none of that matters as it is still July.

To carry on with the July celebrations, don't forget about my Reverse Birthday Gifting giveaway! You can still sign up (at the original post) until midnight July 28th local Finnish time (UTC/GMT +3 hours). And anyone from anywhere in the world can participate. Good Luck!

23 July 2011

Reverse Birthday Gifting

 As I said earlier this week, my birthday is July 28th. I'll be 35 years old/young this year. I'm not quite sure what to think about it, really. It seems that as I've gotten older, my birthdays cause me more confusion. I want to be excited about my birthdays like when I was a little kid. I have great memories of birthday parties, even if I do have a summer birthday. Yet, these days, it is rare I have a party. Most of my friends are off doing their own thing, especially being that it is summer. So, I try not to get up my hopes nor have any sort of expectations and still I can't get this sort of undercurrent buzz out of my system that my birthday is coming.

This year isn't any different. Up until today, I haven't really had time to consciously think about my birthday. Work has kept me very busy for the 3 weeks and after work I'm just so tired and hot that I don't think about much. But today marks the first day of holiday and I've finally got some time on my hands. Yay! But I have still had that undercurrent buzz I always have, but I also know this year's birthday will be a little different. The differences this year are my mom and my age. This is the first birthday without my mom. I'm a bit sad about it now, but I think it will effect me more on the day. As for my age, I've never been particularly worried about it. For the most part, age is just a number and some days (mostly) I feel younger than that number and other days older. But 35 seems to be the 'magical age' of when TTC gets harder and pregnancies become higher risk. But I've (we've) already been having a hard time TTC for the last 3 years, how much harder can it get?! This stresses me.

So, as usual, I'm trying not to have any sort of expectations for my birthday. I don't really want anything that can be bought. Although, it would be nice if Mr Siili would make dinner (or suggest going out without me having to decide where to go) and maybe a cake. Other than that, let's see what happens.

Now, about that Reverse Birthday Gifting (in other words, give away) I mentioned earlier this week and probably the only reason you've read this far... (hehe, I hope not.) I really liked what Mel at Stirrup Queens did for her birthday. She gave some games away instead of wishing for gifts. I've always liked giving and this seemed like the perfect timing.

I thought about this for quite some time of what I'd like to offer. I love doing crafts, but I wasn't sure what I felt would be worth giving away. I've made bookmarks, phone cozies, dream catchers, collage items and more. And then I also have glass jewelry that I make. I love making these items and I've gotten amazing compliments on them, so I thought I'd offer one (or two) up for the prize. Above you can see some (additional) examples of glass pieces I've made over the last 2 years.

The glass pieces I'm giving away are below. I have decided that the lucky person can choose 2 pieces of the following 12 items.
I know the picture doesn't do them justice, but I think I did pretty good at getting the colors quite true. But just in case the coloring looks different on your monitor than mine, I'll explain them quickly.
1. red & yellow base with a smokey-clear-black cover
2. black base with a blue metallic design and covered with clear
3. black base with metallic rainbow and covered with clear
4. white base with bits of metallic orange and covered with clear
5. red bits in the shape of a star
6. a see through grey stripe flanked by 2 green stripes and covered with clear
7. lime green base with a metallic clear/pearl strip and covered with clear
8. purple base with orange strips (same orange as in #4) and covered with clear
9. 3 stacked layers of milky purple, each one progressively smaller
10. lime green base with a metallic clear/pearl on top (no clear cover)
11. metallic turquoise base with a darker turquoise piece in the middle and covered with clear
12. black base with a metallic green/yellow piece and covered with clear
The 12 pieces above have not yet had their backing put on them (so you can choose which way you want them to hang). The backing will look like the following. A metal bit glued onto the glass and then a hoop for the necklace.
When signing up for my Reverse Birthday Gifting, I'd love to know your favorite color.

Please make sure that I have a way to contact you in case you are the lucky one to receive my gifting. (If you don't want your email here on my blog, you can email me at rowan6 at gmail dot com. Make sure you put Reverse Birthday Gifting in the subject. Sign-up for this will end at midnight July 28th local Finnish time (UTC/GMT +3 hours). I'll draw a name at random (using a random number generator thing online).
Best of luck and Happy Birthday to all!

22 July 2011

12 years ago today

As I said in my post yesterday, I arrived in Finland 12 years ago on this day. I had no idea what the future would hold, but I was ready to start it and see where it would take me. I can't believe I'm still here, yet I am. I'm still in love with this country and Mr Siili. ♥ So for this anniversary, I thought I'd share some things about my adopted country that I (still) like, one for each year I've been here, in random order (except for the first one).

1. My husband, Mr Siili 12 years of living together and we've managed not to kill one another, although I think at times it was close. He is my love. We still have a lot to learn from each other, but I think we're doing pretty good. The sex is still amazing too! (In fact, we agree it's even better.) I also want to include my in laws and our cats. They have definitely helped me to love it here and keep my sanity at times.

2. Summer There is no other quite like a Finnish summer. (Ok, maybe Alaska, Sweden and other northern places might be a tiny bit a like.) The length of the summer days are just amazing (around 20 hours of sun above the horizon near midsummer). It doesn't get fully dark and definitely no need for a flashlight when camping. And I can't forget the warmth! It isn't generally so very hot in summer, but it also isn't below freezing either.

3. Winter Finnish winters are quite nice too, especially when there is snow. Snow just makes the world beautiful. It turns dark and dreary days into blue tinted days and nights that are magical looking. It also means that the temperatures are below freezing, which is ten times better than just above freezing. Give me freezing any day! I really should pick up a winter sport. I do get sick of the long winter right around the end of February or March, the days are finally noticeably longer by then and we know spring will be on its way (eventually).

4. Nature In Finland, there is a concept called "everyman’s right". Everyman's right gives everyone
the basic right to roam freely in the countryside, without needing to obtain permission, no matter who owns
or occupies the land. With this concept is the ability to pick wild berries (lingonberries, blueberries, etc), mushrooms, go for walks in the nature and so much more, so long as you don't harm the surroundings.

5. Muumi/Moomin These Finnish characters are loved by many, myself included. I was introduced to Moomin during my first trip here and I've gone crazy over them ever since. Their stories and antics are fun to read. I can't wait to introduce them to my own kids some day.

6. Door handles & water boiler I know, strange things to take note of, but they are some of the things that just felt so right when I first came to Finland. The door handles are easy to open, even if you've got something in your hands or if your hands are wet. No round knobs to slip on. As for the water boilers, I had never seen anything like this before here. It makes boiling a cup of water for tea quick and easy. Plus, I don't have to stand around watching the pot, waiting for it to boil. Or worse yet, get bored of waiting and walk off with the stove on. *blush*

7. Sauna Finnish sauna is not about sex, as many people think (but it sure can be fun). It is a place for getting clean, relaxing, hanging out with friends and getting warm after time spent outside during the winter. One of the best things I can think of is having a sauna near the lake during summer and hoping back and forth between the two. You can't get any more relaxing than that!

8. Finnish (language) Tämä kieli on ollut haastava, mutta pidän kielistä kuitenkin. Finnish has been a challenging language, but I like it all the same. It has been said that it is one of the most difficult languages to learn, but I don't believe that anymore. I've seen way too many people learn it quite fluently in 1 year (with help of some courses, but still!) Finnish is unlike anything I've come across before, but I really do like the language. Now if I would only use it more often. Bad me.

9. Health Care While the public health care here isn't always the best and sometimes there are long waiting lines for procedures, it is quite inexpensive and accessible. We do make up for the low cost of public health with the taxes we pay, but it is worth it. Especially as a foreigner (I did need to have permanent residency, 4 years here, before I qualified to get it) from the US, I've found this system to be beneficial. Dentist appointments cost about 30€ and the same with doctor visits. And a major plus for Mr Siili and I are how much cheaper all of these IF treatments have been. I'm totally impressed and I know that my tax dollars have definitely benefited me.

10. Education Again, another one of those public things here. All education (except for a few private schools) from kindergarten on up to college doctoral degrees are free. Yes, I got my Bachelor's degree here in Finland for free!

11. My friends What would life be without friends? I never would have survived all of these years if I hadn't had the support, camaraderie and fun times with my friends. Many, not all, of them are foreigners also, so they do get the whole living away from your home country thing. My friends are my family!

12. Food A very important thing that I could never forget. I love my food, sweets, cooking and baking. One of my first traumas here in Finland was wanting to make my husband a nice meal, but I couldn't find all of the ingredients I need because I didn't understand the packaging and it was different than what I was used to in the US. That experience left me in tears and also taught me to bring a dictionary with me everywhere I go, because trying to read Swedish doesn't cut it.
Some of my favorite foods here in Finland are homemade peruna rieska, Fazer chocolate, salmiakki (salty black licorice), Karelian rice pies and the tons of different kinds of sweets I can find.


21 July 2011

How I met my husband

I met my husband (who shall be called Mr Siili from this day forward) back in 1997 sometime. He was in Finland and I was in the US. We met face to face at the beginning of 1998 for 3 days and then in the summer I went to Finland for a month. He came back with me for a few weeks and visited again later that year. I stayed with him for the first 3 months of 1999 trying to find a job. No such luck. But I did go back in July of 1999 with a residence permit and I've been here ever since.

That's the short of it. For the long and convoluted story, keep reading on.

We both played on an online text based role playing game (MUD) called Midnight Sun. A mutual online friend introduced us and we chatted some in the game. Some time just after New Year in 1998, Mr Siili was in the US visiting friends when they had a family emergency and he didn't want to stay alone at their house. I told him to hop on a bus and come visit me and my then boyfriend, who also played the same game at one point.

After ~18 hours on a greyhound bus, Mr Siili hopped off the bus and was immediately enamoured with me. (Seriously! He wouldn't stop looking staring at me his entire visit.) We spent 72 hours together and then he hopped on a bus back to where he came from and then onto a plane home to Finland.

After this brief meeting, Mr Siili and I started chatting in the game regularly. We chatted about anything and everything. There was even a few times where I stayed up all night chatting with him, only to have to head to work that next morning. I lived for chatting with this person. In fact, I was talking more to this guy halfway around the world than to the guy I was living with. I remember trying to figure out if this might be the beginning of love or if it was just an infatuation because someone was paying attention to me.

As 1998 progressed, things started getting worse with my then boyfriend. We argued more and had more issues about little things. I hated his drinking and especially his smoking cigarettes. But, as my then boyfriend said, he was doing this when I met him and I knew what I was getting into when we started dating, 4 years earlier. After one particularly bad episode of his drinking and doing some stuff that he shouldn't have been doing. And then bringing said stuff into our apartment, I lost it. I freaked out on him, cried hysterically and just couldn't handle it anymore. I see that as the last straw in our relationship, although it wasn't officially over then. I decided I needed a break and I was going to go to Finland for a month long holiday. 

My then boyfriend said that we could use this time as a 'break' and see how things were when I got back. My then boyfriend had also told me previously that if we ever broke up, there was no going back. We'd be done and over with, for good, permanently. I thought it was funny how things changed when it came down to it.

Late May of 1998 found me stepping onto Finnish soil for the first time. It was summer; the days were long, it was warm and Mr Siili and I had one month of no plans. We talked until 6am, slept until noon, left the apartment and wandered around town and did it all over again. I met his parents and most of his dad's side of the family at a cousin's confirmation party. I met some of his friends. We even stayed on an island for Juhannus (mid-summer) with one of the friends and his girlfriend. It was so light that we didn't even need a flashlight. (That still amazes me to this day.) I just fell in love with Finland.

Half way through my trip, I called my then boyfriend up and told him that there was no way we'd be together when I got home. We were officially over. I honestly wasn't too sad or heart broken over it. I had already been distancing myself for several months. Besides, I was in Finland with a great guy!

Mr Siili came back with me to the US for a couple of weeks after my visit in Finland. This was all planned before I even went there, but man oh man, was it awkward to be in the same apartment with my ex, a friend of his that was visiting from out of town and my current love. I ended up calling my dad one late afternoon in tears telling him I needed to move home now, today, this evening! I also had to call the coffee house I was working at and tell them that I was quitting, as of right then. No, I wouldn't be in in the morning to do my shift. I felt so guilty about that (and still do to some extent), but if they had managed to survive without me for a month, they could continue to do without me.

Mr Siili paid for the U-haul that afternoon (and my dad paid him back when we got there). We packed my stuff into the U-haul that evening and night. Drove the 1.5 hours to my hometown in the middle of the night, which took more like 2.5 hours in a huge U-haul I wasn't used to driving. We slept a few hours and turned around to take the U-haul back, picked up my car and the few last belongings I wanted and we left my ex, cat and apartment behind. I've never been back there.

After Mr Siili spent a couple of weeks with me in the US, he flew to visit our mutual online friend that introduced us. (Man, I was so jealous of that!) Mr Siili and I continued to chat in the game, write letters, some phone calls and anything else we could do to keep connected. I decided to go back to school to try and finish my AA-degree and then be ready to move to Finland after the New Year (1999). Mr Siili did come visit me in October. We saw One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and also dressed up for Halloween (I was a black cat and he the Grim Reaper, that smiled). I didn't finish my AA-degree, stupid essays! But I did go back to Finland in Mid-January of 1999.

OMG! It was snowy and -28C outside!!! Mr Siili had lured me to Finland in the middle of summer and now this! What had I gotten myself into. I had never been anywhere this cold or with this much snow. Or at least not with the intention to stay there for a long period of time! Mr Siils and I played house for 3 months while I looked for a job to keep me in the country. I didn't find a job, so when I had to go back to the US after my 3 months was up, I didn't know when we'd see each other again.

I filled out forms to get a resident permit in Finland. I was told it would take 10-12 weeks to get a decision. So, I reserved plane tickets for 13 weeks. Week 8 came and I called, no decision yet. Week 9 came and I called again. Still nothing! The lady told me to not call again until week 11. I had to call the airline and let them know that I still didn't know if or when I'd be flying out and would they still hold my tickets for me? (No airline would do that today.) I called again at 11 weeks, still no decision. Week 12 came and I went home on my lunch break and called once more. If no decision was made today, I'd have to cancel my reservation and re-plan things. When I got a hold of the lady, she said she still didn't have a decision. I was crushed! I dialed up to the internet (yeah, way back then) and emailed Mr Siili. I told him that I had no news and that maybe he should try calling the embassy from his side to see if he could get something done. When I logged off the internet, our phone beeped saying we had 1 new message. I dialed it up and it was the lady from the embassy asking me to call her back. I called the lady back and she told me she hadn't gone to the fax yet that morning and that my papers had arrived during the night. I HAD RECEIVED MY RESIDENCE PERMIT!!!! She would overnight my passport to me and I was ready to go.

July 21st I left my hometown in the US to start my new life in Finland. I arrived in Finland July 22, 1999 and I've been here ever since, 12 years later. 

And the story still continues...


International Comment Leaving Week (ICLW) is here once again! And this month, I'm ready for it. I have two more days of work and then I have 3 whole weeks of holiday (that's vacation for those of you in the USA. *grin*). This girly is going to do her best to relax and forget about work. But I also have a bunch of responsibilities that I need to take care of also. Such is life, eh?

The last day of ICLW also happens to be my birthday. I'll be 35 years old/young this year. I've decided to copy what Mel (from Stirrup Queens) did for her birthday and that is to have a reverse birthday gifting. That's right, I'd like to give some lucky reader/commenter a little handmade (by me) something. I'll post more about it on Friday or Saturday. So come back and check it out.

And, just for the fun of it, here's one of those "all about me A to Z" -things to help you get to know me a bit better. (I also think they are fun to do sometimes, although maybe not dedicate an entire post to them.)

Age - 35 years in 7 days
Bed size - Queen
Chore I hate dislike - Taking the garbage out
Dog - Had one growing up, but I only have 2 cats now
Essential start of your day - Going pee and petting Rusty-cat
Favorite color - Green, black & silver
Gold or Silver - Silver, definitely
Height - 173cm / 5'8"
Instruments - Flute in junior high
Job Title - Accounts Receivable Specialist
Kids - Trying for our first
Live - One day at a time
Mom's Name - River
Nickname - Heapher, Hessu, Battlefish, Ephalump
Overnight hospital stays - Once for my endo surgery
Pet Peeves - Noisy eaters, a dirty kitchen and paper clips, to name a very few
Quote from a movie - Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die. -Princess Bride
Right or left handed - Lefty / Southpaw
Siblings - 3 younger siblings
Time you wake up - Whenever my alarm tells me to, usually sometime between 6:30 and 7:30
Underware - Can't live with them and prefer to live without them
Vegetables you dislike - Asparagus!!!!
What makes you run late - Dilly-dallying
X-rays - Besides teeth? Ankle, back/neck
Yummy food you make - Brownies, Chewey Gooey Brownie Cake, Muzzy's Cheesecake, Pulla, and oh so much more!
Zoo animals - Big cats and ravens, even though I feel guilty that any of the animals are there.

So what about you? If you do the meme put a link to it in the comments. I'd love to learn a bit about you.

20 July 2011

Skype with my sister

It's 1:15am and I really should be in bed. But I just got done with a Skype call to my sister. My poor sister was in tears from the get go. She's hurting. Badly. Not only did our mom die a month ago, but her best friend was murdered a couple of months before that. She's having a really hard time with life right now. She's questioning life itself and what's the point of it? And the only thing I can tell her is that I've been there too. I know! We all just have to figure out what life means for us. I also know that in the mind frame she was in, those words weren't much help.

I feel so bad and guilty for being half a world away. I feel like I am getting off easy. I'm not there in our mom's (former) place every day, going through her shit and trying to figure out what to get rid of and what to keep. I so desperately would love to be there with her right now. But I can't and it just plain sucks. I miss my sister. I miss my mom. I miss my entire family.

19 July 2011

Why I started blogging

The end of this month marks 3 years since I started this blog. But this is not the first time I've ventured into this realm of online writing. Years ago, I had an online journal, which I wrote in for a while but got quite bored of it when it was only myself writing to myself. I had tried to write it so my family could read what was going on, but who was I kidding, my family just isn't that internet savvy (at least back then). So, that little project of mine sputtered out.

Then, while I was head over heals into posting on iVillage's message boards, they opened up a social media platform that was called iConnect and quite a bit like blogging. I started writing up a storm! I loved it there. All of my friends I chatted with on the message boards were there. They were writing on their own iConnect spaces, commenting on mine and we had so much fun. Then iVillage went and changed it all and closed down that platform. I saved all of my posts from iConnect because they were so much a part of who I was at that time. Plus, I didn't want to lose my good words. Looking back at those posts, I can see that the closing of iConnect coincides 100% with the start of my Blogger blog.

So, that leads me to where I am today. Here on Blogger, blogging away. But that doesn't really answer the question of why I started blogging. My main reason for starting to blog to just have a place to write my down. A close second for why I started blogging was in hopes that someone would read my ramblings and connect. I had hoped people would connect with my words, my situation, my thoughts and me.

Somehow, someway I did connect! During the first 2 years here I didn't post much, nor regularly and I only had 3 or 4 followers. But I loved the fact that I had followers! It didn't matter how many I had, it was just so cool that someone was reading my words. Then during the early part of 2010, after I had been going through IF treatments for a few months, I really needed somewhere to put my thoughts. I started writing here more and I attracted a couple more followers (how cool!). Finally, earlier this year, I ran across a post by Mel at Stirrup Queens and that is when I really felt like I found my place in the blogosphere. I have found so many wonderful women, unfortunately and fortunately, going through the same things I am. I follow their blogs and by golly, more people have started following me! At this moment in time, I have 19 wonderful followers!

So, I think I have achieved what I wanted in blogging. I get to write my thoughts down, others are able to find my words, read them and comment if they feel like it (I do love comments!).

18 July 2011

Let me introduce our fur-kids

I recently read about Carlia's fur-babies over at The Stork Drop Zone. They are beautiful kitties with sweet personalities! It got me to thinking that I haven't really mentioned, much less introduced my fur-babies in the 3 years I've had this blog. So, without further ado, here are my 2 kitties. The light and joy of my life.

Rusty is 11 years old and 100% a mama's boy.

We got Rusty (and his brother, ^^Kantti^^) when they were about 4 months old (2000). Hubby and I fell in love with them instantly. So much personality and 100% sweet! Rusty took a bit longer to open up to us, but once he figured out humans gave wuv (love), he was all over it. Especially with his mama, me. He follows me around the house, herds me to bed at the appropriate time, tells me all about his day when I come home after work and scolds me if I stay out too late. He loves to snuggle with me and most mornings is found laying right next to me. Rusty will snuggle with hubby, when I'm not around or if I'm too wiggly.

Rusty loves: snuggles, Treat time (yes, he knows the word 'treats'), salmon, avocado, brushing, the Cat Dancer interactive toy, strings, hairbands and being too darn cute (his mama taught him well)! Rusty also knows how to open cupboard doors. He hates traveling in the carrier, but doesn't mind sleeping in it before or after the trip.

Mansi aka Mansikki is ~1.5 years old and our spaz kitty.

About 3 months after the loss of ^^Kantti^^, we adopted Mansi from a foster home. She came to us with the name Basted (Bastet - a feline goddess of Ancient Egyptian religion) where we changed it to Mansikki (daily name Mansi), which is a common name for cows in Finland. It means Strawberry. So, this little girl went from worshiped goddess to a cow. Sorry, girl! Her personality is still developing, but she has definitely become much more comfortable with us. Mansi doesn't automatically run if you take a step in her direction anymore, unless she's in a mood to play, which is almost always. This little girl is full of energy. She tears through the house at an amazing speed, careening off walls, corners and human legs if they are in the way. We've accidentally kicked her and spun her around as we've walked from one place to another and she runs between our feet. She doesn't seem phased by it though. She definitely likes her older brother (but we don't always think the same is true the other way around). We're glad we found her, spaz and all!

Mansi loves to play with her cow, play with the Cat Dancer, play with shoe strings, hunt bugs, play with the piece of whatever she found on the floor, play with my Puff the magic Dragon (which I have hidden from her and hubby wants me to give back to her. I say no!) and she loves snuggle time on her own terms. She has also learned that licking hubby gets her attention (he hates it!).

Brother and sister spending time together.
This was only 13 days after we got Mansi. I'm not sure who was in the chair first, but I have a feeling that it was Rusty. Mansi doesn't understand personal space or boundaries, but they didn't seem to mind too much sharing the chair this day. Mansi loves to walk up next to Rusty and flop on or very close to him. Sometimes he will bite her a bit and other times he tolerates his younger sister.
We love our kitties so much. They give us endless hours of entertainment, unconditional love and kittie bonks or nose nudges. I know our lives wouldn't be as complete without them.

16 July 2011

3 events to recognize

I love July! not only is July during the summer, but it is full of milestones, events and anniversaries that I get to remember and celebrate.

The first of which, is the loss of our cat Kantti 1 year ago yesterday (July 15th). He was only 10 years old. His death was completely out of the blue and a huge shock to hubby and I. It was something we were not expecting at all. I still miss him and can't believe it's been one year since he took his leave of us. He and his brother were the first cats I had chosen from kittens to live with me in my adult life. They were (and Rusty still is) my babies. Kantti was supposed to still be here when I had my non-fur babies (just like my mom). Gosh, I miss him!
Kantti (background) with his brother, Rusty.
On a happier note, and the second event to recognize this month is my mother-in-law's birthday. It is her birthday, today!
I love my in-laws, especially my MIL. Both of them are great people and I am lucky to have them as part of my family. Many times I've left hubby (and sometimes cats) at home and I've gone to my in-laws house for the weekend. MIL and I go swimming, pick blueberries, mushrooms and just hang out. I'm glad they like me and I've told them how much I like them. We'll be making a trip to visit them during my holiday (starting in a week!).
Hyvää syntymäpäivää anoppi!
And the 3rd item to celebrate so far this month is that hubby and I have been together for 13 years today*! I sometimes can't believe how long we've been together. 13 years is forever! And it's basically all of my adult life! Time sure does fly. We a still happy with each other, still in love (maybe even more so now) and we still have a great love life (I know this is better than back then!). I love you, hubby!

A little something my husband left for me on our bathroom mirror several years ago.
*Ok, there was a discrepancy all those years ago as to whether it was actually the 6th or 20th, so I chose the middle ground and decided on the 13th. Hubby still gives me a bad time about it. LOL

Keep looking back for more anniversaries and events that I celebrate during July!

14 July 2011

Thankful Thursday

A quick blurb about what I am thankful for this week, as I should really be working right now. hahaha

A bit earlier today, I was thinking how I am very thankful to have a car. I had my official "group" invite pap smear for my 35th year of life on this planet. (Every 5 years starting at age 30, women are sent an invite to have a pap smear. At no charge to us women.) But I forgot my referral paper at home. If I didn't have my paper, I couldn't have my appointment. So, I took an extra long lunch break, ran home to get my paper, dropped a postcard for MIL off at the postoffice, spent 5 minutes in a second hand store (looking for long thin/filmy scarves, I've got a project I want to make in mind) and then drove my car back to work and walked to the doctor's office with 10 seconds to spare! Ok, 15 seconds. So, if I hadn't had my car, I most likley wouldn't have been able to get home and back in time for my appointment.

Other items I am thankful for this week:
- My Skype call with my dad last night
- My husband
- My cats
- Only one more week +1 day of work until my 3 weeks of summer holiday starts
- I'm going to leave work at a normal time and go to the gym today
- After said gym visit, I'm going to have tea with a very good friend that I haven't seen in a while (there will most likely be tears)
- Today is a good day

While it doesn't always feel like it, I really do have many things to be thankful for. And I know I need to try and remember it more often.

12 July 2011

grandma, mom, kids

First off, let me preface this by saying I know my blog has been a real downer lately. But I really need to work through my thoughts and feelings on losing my mom. I know that with time, wounds will be healed, or at least scabbed over a bit more, but right now these wounds are still so raw and the thoughts just won't stop going round and round my head.

As I mentioned of over at Mel's Lushary post, doing some of the most mundane daily stuff has become much harder since my mom died. Things like doing dishes, taking a shower, going for a walk alone and other brainless activities gives my mind time to wander. And when my mind wanders, it usually ends up on the subject of my mom. And eventually, if not immediately, my mind turns to kids and my lack of giving my mom grandchildren. Not for the lack of trying, but still, I wasn't able to give my mom any grandkids before she died. What's more, if I ever have any kids, they will never know my mom. And that's what this post is going to be about: my mom, her (not) being a grandma, me potentially being a mom and my potential future kids.

I know for a fact that my mom would have been a great grandma. How can I be so certain about this, you ask? Well, she played grandma to several other kids recently. At my mom's memorial, a girl that my mom had worked with has young twins came and talked to me. This girl told me that at a co-workers going away party, my mom sat with and played with the twins most of the party. She just loved holding them and entertaining them. Another friend of the family has a little boy and this friend told me that my mom was like a grandma to her kid. My mom was always nice to the little boy and gave him some of her knitted hats whenever they'd visit. My mom was supposed to do all of these things for MY kids and HER own grandkids. This will never happen now. And it kills me!

I also remember when I was 17 or 18 years old and someone we knew (I want to say it was a high school friend) was pregnant with her first kid. My mom went to the salvation army over several weeks and bought her 2 huge paper bags full of cute baby clothes! At the time, I was jealous of the attention my mom showed towards this girl. I know part of my jealousy was that my mom didn't want me having kids that young (she was 18 when she had me), but how could she support this girl who was doing just what she didn't want me to do? I also know/see (now) that we had a rough time in our relationship when I was younger. I know that my mom was just being the good and kind person she was. She helped others and she liked kids, especially when they weren't her own anymore and she didn't have to take care of them 24/7. LOL. But it still hurts that she'll never be able to do that for me.

For my mom to have become a grandma, it would mean that I would have had to be a mom. This hurts too. Hubby and I have tried for almost 3 years now (next month is the "anniversary"). Not a single BFP in sight, not even a false BFP or one that turned into a loss. Nothing! The only thing that I seem to be able to take comfort in my not being a mom before my mom died was that I finally started telling her what exactly we were going through. She knew about all of our failed IUI's, the two failed IVF's and failed FET. It was nice to talk to her about these things. Yet, there were and are still many things that I never got to ask and most likely won't ever find out. I'll ask my dad, but I doubt he'll know.
On a side note, my mom thought that maybe I should take out all my piercings. Maybe the metal bits were disrupting my body's normal flow of things. I told her I wasn't ready for that yet and besides, many Indian women have their noses pierced on the left side, as it is supposed to make childbirth easier. I'm still undecided about taking all of my jewelry out. I'd feel so naked and unrecognizable to myself.
I'm still quite upset that I was not able to be a mom before my mom died. She was supposed to come visit when I had a kid (she would have had 9 months to prepare, after all). She was supposed to be here and help me. She was going to come see me.

And then, there's my potential kids, some day. They will never get to meet my mom, their grandma. She will always just be stories, my memories, some words, a knitted hat or sweater and some pictures that we have laying around. But my mom will never be their flesh and blood grandma! (I know I have my stepmom. I am very grateful for her, but she will never be my mom.) This is not fucking fair!!

I wanted my mom to meet my kids. I wanted my kids to get to know my mom. I know that by living half a world away my mom wasn't going to see them every week or even every month, but we had Skype with a video (the video part wasn't yet set up, but that is beside the point). My kids would have gotten to know their grandma and we would visit. But now, that will never happen. Never! And it kills me. It is what eats me up inside the most. I'm not sure how to reconcile my thoughts and feelings about this. Will time just make it hurt less? Will I ever get over it? What do I do in the mean time? I'm tired of constantly going over all of these thoughts and scenarios in my head each time I have a quiet moment in my head.

10 July 2011

Heat, heat and more heat

Being that it IS summer and all, we have been getting some very nice weather here lately. The average temp this weekend been about 25C. And I am enjoying every minute of it, so don't get me wrong, but oh my gosh! the heat is just leaving me exhausted. I just don't have the desire nor strength to do anything. Not even to write here with some of the topics that have been churning in my head. I'm thinking they'll just have to wait and in the mean time I will just make a note of them so I don't forget them for a later date.
On a slight side note, I really wish my holidays were right now, but since they aren't, I hope the weather will be nice when my hols start in 2 weeks.

It's late and I'm tired, so I'll leave you with a picture of one of the bands, Jharys, I saw play on Saturday.

06 July 2011

Another positive out of a negative

As I mentioned yesterday, not all things about my the trip to my mom's memorial was bad or negative. In fact, my stepmom and I are on great terms again. It is totally unfortunate that it took something like my mom passing away for us to be ok again, but I am glad it came about.

My stepmom has been a part of our lives for about 22 years. (I can't remember if she came when I was 12 or 14.) In the beginning we had our ups and downs. I was at an age of independence and figuring out who I was. I was also the "adult" female at my dad's house and she came into my territory! I'm a Leo and she's a Capricon, talk about two strong personalities, even without the horiscopes signs we're just very strong personalities.

Over the years, we worked out most of our differences and learned to understand each other. When I needed spending money or she'd need help cleaning the house, I'd play "Cinderella". I learned to drive in her Ricky (a 1970's Plymouth Valiant). When I had teen-issues with my mom or dad, my stepmom was there to back me up. She even prepared my parents for the eventuality of me having sex, albeit much younger than I would have ever imagined or that happened!!

It was when DH and I got married, almost 5 years ago, that things went wrong. We exchanged some heated words, felt hurt by what the other said, did or didn't do. There really was a whole lot that went on, but I don't feel like hashing it out, espeically seeing that it is the past and I'd like to keep it that way. After our trip there that year, we just didn't really talk about it; to make things better or worse, we just didn't talk. So things festered for 4 long years. My stepmom and I started working things out a bit before we visited this last fall, but it still wasn't like it used to be.

And now that my mom has died, all has been forgiven and forgotten. My stepmom (and myself) don't want to not talk to each other. She also wants to be there for me (and my siblings, of course). As my stepmom said, my mom was her best friend and family. My mom also stuck by my stepmom when she was going through her crazy egg reacion (she's highly allergic to egg and reacts insanely when she eats anything with any amount of egg in it) and she didn't have to. That is what family does! Also, it isn't common for ex-wives and current wives to be friends, much less good friends. And throw into the mix my dad. It took many years after the divorce, but my dad and mom were good friends also. So when it came to pass that my mom died, my stepmom decided that everything in the past can stay in the past. I was and am much relieved by this and I intend to keep it that way.

To sum all this rambling up, my stepmom and I are on speaking terms and friends again. And for that, I am so so very thankful. She was so much help in getting the memorial preparations started, writing the beautiful obituary and just plain taking care of things that I never would have thought about. She is also there with my brothers and sister to help them as they need it. I am very fortunate to have the family I do (even if they drive me crazy at times). I love them all!
Electric Heart by Keith Haring

05 July 2011

Not everything was bad during our trip

Today has definitely been a much better day than yesterday.

Our recent trip to the US for my mom's memorial wasn't all bad. We did have some laughs and I did get to do a very tiny bit of shopping. We got to eat crab! Plus my DH packed our suitcases so well, I didn't have to leave much stuff behind (for a future trip).

The bit of shopping I did was for folic acid (much cheaper), an almost 3lb mix bag of Reese's pieces, cups, sticks & fast breaks, Tom's of Maine Wintermint toothpaste, some chapstick (Vanilla Lip Smacker) and Smarties (US kind, not Canadian kind). As I said, I only did an itty bit of shopping, but it was enough. DH did buy himself some books to bring back.

Another important part of visiting my family is food. Almost every (every?) trip we go out in the bay or ocean with my dad to get clams, crab and/or fish. This time there was only crab and muscle (clams) runs. My dad took people out two times for crab while we were there! (I'm sort of kicking myself at the moment, because I probably should have gone with him at least one of the times. Such is life.)  In addition, I have to eat at Taco Bell at least once when I'm in the US. Bean burritos just bring back great memories and I really do love them. But what I love even more is the Taco Bell sauce packets (mild is my favorite). I'm very lucky that my family is so supportive of my Taco Bell Sauce addiction. Whenever they go to TB, they take extra packets and save them for me. We were able to bring back another TB bag full of them with us!

In addition to those few things I bought, I wanted to bring back many of my mom's knitted items (hats, scarves, socks, bags, baby booties, etc), yarn, some of her knitting books (14 in total) and just books (about the same amount) in general along with some other miscellaneous stuffs. And because my DH loves me so much, we went and bought one more (used) suitcase to carry more stuff back with us. We came back home with 3 suitcases jam packed with stuff. Our total weight was almost 150 pounds of stuff! I know how much my DH hates packing our suitcases at the end of a stay, only because I find so much stuff to drag home with us. But I love him dearly for it each and every time. Although, I do like to think I've gotten a bit better about it over the years.

So while our trip was a difficult one, it wasn't all bad. I was able to stock up on some of my dear US products. *big grin* I also got to spend time with family.

04 July 2011

Tearful, bleh day

I have several ideas for posts that I want to write, but I'm just not in the mood today. For today has been one of those teary and bleh-type days. My own waterworks started this morning as I was taking a shower and have continued off and on throughout the day (sort of like the weather). I was teary as I arrived for work, but then threw myself into work and didn't really have time to think about much else. At lunch I saw my big boss for the first time in weeks. She gave me a hug and told me she was sorry for my loss. I told her thank you and then I just wasn't sure what to say, because all I could think of was telling her how today was one of the bad days. So, lunch time left me a bit down feeling. After lunch, my lack of a good night's sleep and the tail end of jetlag hit me. Yet I still had several hours to go at work. I was the last one to leave from my floor. On my way down the stairs, I stopped one floor below to see if a co-worker was there. She was. We talked and cried a bit. (She just lost her dad just before I lost my mom. She also lost her mom a year ago.) Once I got home, I just wanted to hug DH, but he was cooking. I tried hugging our cat Rusty, but he didn't want to be held, just petted. So here I am sitting in front of the computer, still feeling a bit sad. So, yeah, today has been one of those days. A teary, tearful and bleh day.
Tomorrow has to be better.


Yup! I've slept the weekend away because of jetlag. I sure hope I'll be feeling more awake and vibrant starting tomorrow. But I know I won't be doing too hot if I don't head to bed RIGHT NOW! It's almost 1:30am. Ack!

Happy 4th of July to all of my American friends and family.

03 July 2011

Where to start?

This is a long post and I'm not really sure I'm saying much in it, but I need to write it out anyway. Thank you in advance to anyone who reads it all.

So much, yet so little, has happened during the last 2 weeks that I'm not sure where to start. Two weeks ago, June 19th, at 6pm my time, I got a phone call that changed my life forever (not to sound cliché, but it is so true). I knew it was my stepmom calling and that there was something horrible in her voice, but our connection was so bad that I couldn't hear what she had to say before we got cut off. After about 30 minutes of trying to contact someone in my family and rebooting my phone, I was able to talk to my stepmom. My mom had died of a heart attack. She was only 53 years old/young. I was (and still am to some extent) in complete and utter shock. I needed to get to the USA as soon as I could.

I always knew and feared this day would happen. I just didn't expect it to happen so soon. I knew that by moving half way around the world from my family that if anything ever happened, it would take time for me to get there. But at least now I know that if/when something does happen they will call me immediately. I had fears/concerns that it would be some time before anyone would notify me that something had happened. Kind of an 'out of sight, out of mind' thing.

My husband and I booked flights to the USA. We left Finland early in the morning on Thursday June 23rd and we were due to leave for home again on the morning of Wednesday June 29th. Not much time for us (my siblings and I, with the help of our Dad and step-mom) to get everything done.

After 26 hours of traveling (door to door), we arrived in my home town, exhausted. We stayed at my mom's place (now my sister's). Friday we took care of bank stuff, got our copies of the obituary from the newspaper office and who knows what else. I have no idea what we did Saturday. I think my Dad, youngest brother and DH went crabbing. Sunday was my mom's memorial. And what a beautiful event it was! My mom touched so many peoples' lives and she was/is so loved.* The rest of our trip was mostly spent going through my mom's stuff and dividing things up. I think the 3 of us kids did quite well. Tempers only flared a little bit.

On our trip home, every single flight was late! From the first one from my hometown (due to bad weather at the plane's departure, I think it was fog), to a 2 hour wait ON the plane in San Francisco (the evacuation alarm wasn't working) which caused us to miss our 3rd flight in Frankfurt, but we managed to get another flight to Helsinki, 4 hours later. And even that flight wasn't immune from a late departure of about 40 minutes. The lateness didn't stop there. If our last flight would have been on time, we most likely could have caught the earlier bus to our hometown. Instead, we had to wait 50minutes for the next one. Thankfully the sun was still shining (gotta love Finnish summers) and it was a lovely 26 degrees outside with a bit of breeze.

We finally arrived to our town (at 10:20pm), got the car, loaded the suitcases and went to get the cats. Rusty came running at the sound of my voice. Mansi was her normal spazzy self. Both cats went into their carriers nicely, but Rusty made it be known that he was not happy to be in it, the whole trip home. Thankfully it was only 15 a minute ride. I didn't get to sleep until 1:30 and was up at 7:30 to go to work.

I worked a 9.5 hour day and was in bed by 10pm. I was so freakin' exhausted! I woke up around 4am, read a bit, chatted with DH and then fell back asleep until 9 or 10. We spent some special time "wiggling" together and then we went outside for a while to read. I did a quick food shopping trip then back home and slept some more. I woke up at some point, only to still feel totally exhausted. I think I finally woke up around 5 or 6pm. I was so thankful that DH made dinner the night before, so I only had to reheat stuff. We watched a bit of wacky colored TV (our TV is on the fritz again. The middle circle of the screen is red and the outer ring is green with the 4 edge corners something else). Then I played catch-up on the computer, where here I am writing now. It is 3:15am and I really should get to bed.

I sure do miss my mom. And my family in the US.

*I intend to do a separate post about her memorial.