30 August 2012

Four years in the making

Paxlet has finally arrived!!!!!!!!

He arrived into this world with a very healthy pair of lungs at 10:31 this morning (Finnish time). (Was it really just over 10 hours ago!?) He weighed 3610g (7 lbs 16 oz) and 50 cm (19 ¾ in) long.

We're all doing will, if a bit tired. Paxlet is eating like a champ and is so darn cute. I can't stop looking at him and crying with happy hormonal tears.

I can't believe he's all mine (and Mr Siili's of course)!!

29 August 2012

My version of nesting

I have not found the desire to clean, organize or any other sort of household preparations in order for Paxlet to arrive. I just can't be bothered. Plain and simple. I'm lucky if I can even be bothered to do the needed daily stuff, in a timely manner. It's all I can do to make sure the cats get fresh water, food and cleaned litter boxes each day. In fact, it is now almost 2 pm and I've done nothing but get me some breakfast and play on the computer. Granted, I did actually sleep in until 11 am, so I haven't been awake too long. But, I've not accomplished anything so far today and I have no desire to.

What I have found as my own version of nesting is baking. I love to bake! And yesterday was no exception. Just before 8 pm, I started making Chocolate porridge (suklaapuuro) and at the same time I cut up my 4 ripe mangoes and pureed them. Next I made a double batch of Chocolate Chip Cookie dough, which I put in the fridge to be measured out and frozen today. Then I moved on to making waffles (from the Joy of Cooking cookbook) so that I could make a fresh peach topping which I adapted using fresh nectarines from Real Mom Kitchen's blog.

I ate my half of the chocolate porridge almost immediately and now, today, I'm eye-balling Mr Siili's portion of the porridge to eat too. Yes, I like it that much!

I froze some of the mango puree and will eat it as a frozen treat. Some of it went on top of a waffle this morning. The rest of it I think I'll use in a smoothie/lassi as soon as I go buy some plain Turkish yogurt. (Guess that means I should get dressed and head to the store.)

The nectarine topping is ok and does work well with the waffles, but I'm not sure I'll make it again. I'm not sure I like the almond or nutmeg flavoring for nectarines, at least not in this case. Fresh nectarines directly on top of the waffles is definitely preferred.

Today, I need to portion out the cookie dough and get it in the freezer. This is my favorite chocolate chip cookie from the coffee house I worked at in the US, many years ago and I know the recipe almost by heart nowadays.

Then, I'm thinking today I'll make some Glazed Lemon Biscotti, minus the glaze. I saw this recipe on Technicolor Kitchen's blog on Monday and it reminded me it has been ages since I've made biscotti, plus, it will help me use up the lemons I have on hand.

But, in the mean time, I'll leave you all with the chocolate porridge recipe I made last night.

Suklaapuuro / Chocolate porridge
4-6 servings

Ingredients:
1 liter (4 1/4 cups) milk (at least 2% is best)
1 dl (1/2 cup) cream of wheat
3/4 dl (1/3 cup) sugar
1/2 dl (1/4 cup) baking cocoa
1/4 teaspoon salt


Directions:
This needs to be watched and stirred the entire time so the milk doesn't burn.

In a thick bottomed saucepan, bring the milk to a boil.
Combine the rest of the ingredients and sift into the boiling milk, stirring the mixture uniformly.
Continue cooking at a low boil for about 7 minutes, stir with a wooden spoon so that it doesn't burn on the bottom of the pan.
Remove from heat, let the pudding set for a few minutes with a lid on it.
Serve with slightly warmed milk.

Tip: if you want, you can add 1 teaspoon of vanilla sugar (extract) to the porridge.

JustHeather's note: I added a little bit extra baking cocoa to make it even chocolatey-er!
I've never added the warmed milk to eat it, nor have I added the vanilla sugar/extract (yet).
And I like to eat it warm!

28 August 2012

41 weeks

One week past our EDD and I'm still at home, waiting. I'm feeling a bit less anxious right this moment, although the feelings come and go. I think part of the reason I'm a bit more relaxed is that I have gotten out of the house and spent some time with people. Saturday Mr Siili and I took a nice walk in the woods looking for more mushrooms, although we only found a handful more. Sunday I spent 4 hours at Ikea with a work friend. Monday, was the neuvola visit, which was reassuring in and of itself. And then today, I spent some time at a cafe and looking at wallpaper with my friend R. Having people to talk to is definitely helpful!

As for the neuvola visit yesterday, it was quite routine and standard. I was weighed, hemoglobin taken, urine sample given, heartbeat listened to, baby's position checked and we just discussed how I'm feeling, mentally and physically. Everything was right as it should be, except for the fact that I was at the appointment and not in the hospital giving birth. LOL

When I got home from the neuvola appointment, I had an invite letter from the hospital for next Monday at 9 am, if I don't go into labor before then, that is. At the appointment, I will most likely have an ultrasound along with the normal neuvola-type check up stuff. I'm not sure what else will happen there, but the paper's I've received said it will take 1-2 hours.
It's still just a waiting game.



Total Weight Loss/Gain: It seems I've lost an itty bit of weight this week. The neuvola nurse is attributing it to not as much swelling this week, which I do agree with as my ankles aren't nearly as swollen but, man oh man!, my fingers are as swollen as ever and painful (or at least uncomfortable) all day long.

Funny thing about getting weighed yesterday: As the neuvola nurse went to check my hemoglobin and urine sample, I hopped on the scales. The scales said I weighed 77.4 kilos, that's about 10 kilos less than last week! When the nurse came back in the room, I asked her if they scales are correct and should the screen be showing hyphens or zeros when I'm not standing on it. She said that my swelling must have gone down and that was the cause for the weight loss. With shock in my voice, I told her I can understand a couple of kilos, but not 10 kilos! The nurse then came over and turned the scales off and back on and when I hopped on this time, I'd only lost just under a kilo. Phew, much more logical results.

Sleep: Sleep is definitely not the easiest thing right now. I wake up much more often from having to go pee, just not being able to sleep, sore back and hips or for whatever other reason. In fact, this morning, I was awake from 5 am to 6:40 am. I just read some blogs on my phone until I could fall back asleep, but not before I came across one blog that had me giggling so hard I had tears in my eyes. I quickly crawled out of bed to go laugh (and pee) in the bathroom in hopes of not waking Mr Siili.

Movement:
Except for about 12 hours yesterday (midnight-ish until mid-day), Paxlet is moving just as much as normal. Lots of painful one, two Taekwon-do kicks and jabs. Depending on what position his little bottom is in, sometimes my belly button sticks out and other times it doesn't.

Gender: It's a boy!!  
Not sure if I've said this before or not, but we do have a few first names we like, but it is looking more and more like we'll wait until Paxlet is born before we choose a name. We still need to figure out a 2nd name though.

Symptoms: Sweating, swelling, hemorrhoids (these have only gotten worse and a bit annoying/irritated in the last couple of weeks), difficulty getting up from chairs & the bed and, as always, lots of trips to the bathroom.

I am still having quite a few Braxton Hicks, but still not always feeling them.

What I look forward to:
Same as last week: I truly look forward to finding out what real labor contractions are like. And after that, I look forward to having Paxlet in my arms and finally deciding on a name by which we will call him.

Moods:
This last week has seen me much more hormonal, moody and in tears a few times. It doesn't help that Mr Siili is a bit stressed about the arrival of the baby too.

Milestones:
Paxlet is now the size of a pumpkin (according to one of the news letters I get)! He's approximately 3 600 grams (7 pounds 15 ounces).

Medical concerns:
My hemoglobin is up to 113, from 99 a week ago (or was it two weeks ago?). In any case, this is a good thing.

Misc:
I've tried many things to get labor started... Eating curry, acupressure points (I'm not going to pay for acupuncture, as Mr Siili doesn't believe in it and I can't justify spending the money on it), walks & picking mushrooms in the forest, some cleaning, washing laundry, baking, driving over a bumpy road (ugh), sauna, 4 hours of wandering around Ikea and nothing seems to work. Mr Siili isn't too keen on trying sex, as last time we tried it was "just too traumatic", as per his words.

My dad most likely won't be coming until sometime early November. I'm not sure how I feel about it. The dates for his visit have changed several times now and I'm sort of worried that it might end up being that he won't come at all. I understand all the reasons for him not coming earlier, but that doesn't stop the fear of him maybe not coming at all from cropping up. I really want him here, as I know no one else from my side of the family will be coming to visit any time soon, especially with my mom no longer around.

This week's bump pictures can be seen in the Paxlet Pictures tab.
I still haven't posted the 40 week picture, but it was taken.
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27 August 2012

An afternoon at Ikea

So I've been quite hormonal, to say the least, these last few days. In my opinion, more hormonal and teary towards Mr Siili than I have most of this pregnancy. I just can't help it. I also know Mr Siili is a bit stressed about the arrival of Paxlet, especially as it can happen at any moment, yet nothing seems to be happening. But it would be nice to feel that Mr Siili would be a bit more supportive towards me and again, I know part of these feelings are hormones. Yay.

Yesterday, started off lazily enough. I hadn't slept too well with many wake-ups throughout the night, so I slept in a bit (10am or so). Once I did wake up, I read a book in bed for a while and then chatted with a friend when she called. After waddling downstairs, I made Mr Siili and I a smoothie for breakfast and then decided to tackle the bananas that were ripening and getting spots. I won't eat bananas when they get spots, but they are perfect for freezing for later smoothies or baking. While peeling and putting the bananas into the freezer, I decided to make some banana bread. It's a simple and totally delicious recipe that I've made hundreds of times before when I worked in the coffee house in the US. (See the bottom of this post for the recipe.) While waiting for the banana bread to bake, I sewed a button a pair of Mr Siili's pants, fixed a tag/hanging hook on a towel and then continued working on making a hooded towel for Paxlet.
The towel I'm turning into a hooded-towel for Paxlet.
Rusty helping me with said hooded-towel project.
A friend from work was supposed to come over in the afternoon, but I decided to see if she wanted to wander around Ikea instead. She was up for it! I was able to get out of the house and chat with a friend. Score!

I ended up buying more things that I had anticipated, but they were (almost) all things we needed or Mr Siili and I had discussed previously. Two of the items that Mr Siili and I had discussed the day before and that morning were a metal shelving unit to put under our stairs for storage and a night light I wanted for Paxlet's room, I got. The other items that weren't so recently discussed but I bought anyway were 2 duvet sets, a serving tray for under the cats' food bowl, some clips to hang our curtains, a bath mat and outdoor rug. The one item that I just had to buy, that we didn't really need, was a cute crib border that was a model piece and thus discounted. Long story short, we wandered around Ikea for almost 4 hours!!
Ghosty lamp @ daytime Ghosty lamp @ nighttime

The rest of the evening was spent idly around the house, going to sauna and video-Skyping with my family. All-in-all, it was a decent day, even if there was an under-thought in my mind most of the day wondering when Paxlet would make his entrance.

The Banana (sans nuts) bread, already more than half eaten.
Banana (Nut) Bread
1 cup sugar
2 Tablespoon soft shortening (margarine)
1 egg
3/4 cup milk
1 cup mashed banana
mix the above ingredients

3 cup flour
3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
mix

Add 3/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Pour into a well greased bread pan (bundt cake pan works too!)
Let stand 20minutes, if possible (I rarely, if ever do this)

Bake for 60-70 minutes (or until toothpick comes out clean) at 300F

Just Heather's notes: I quite often double this recipe. The loaves freeze well.
With the bananas, the more ripe they are, the sweeter they are for the recipe. In the coffee house (and even now), we'd use bananas so ripe that they were very brown and spotty. We'd freeze the 'nanas ('cause we'd get tons at a time) and then thaw them as we need them. The "banana slugs" mush easily and are great for baking. :)

25 August 2012

Waiting game

I feel as if my next words are going to sound ungrateful, but they are how I feel right now: I am so sick of being pregnant!

Don't get me wrong, I have thoroughly enjoyed this pregnancy. I have savored each and every moment of what has been happening to my body. I couldn't wait to have an actual bump (and not just flab), I impatiently waited to feel Paxlet moving, I've enjoyed reaching the 2nd and 3rd trimesters and I've even enjoyed the 'growing pains' that have accompanied the expanding hips and mid-section. I've been extremely lucky and had only one itty bit of spotting very early on, no nausea to really speak of, no health concerns or pregnancy concerns and not even gestational diabetes. This pregnancy has been text book perfect, in my opinion.

That is, I have thoroughly enjoyed this pregnancy, up until a few days ago. After arriving at the 40 week marker, I have found myself slowly getting fed up and frustrated with being pregnant. I just want Paxlet out! I want to meet my little guy! I know that it is 40 weeks, plus or minus two weeks, and that the due date the doctors give us is an estimated date, but I am so over it.

Each day that I wake up and feel no symptoms of impending delivery, I just feel myself getting a bit more anxious and unsettled, not to mention uncomfortable. It is getting hard to sleep comfortably at night and to get out of bed to go pee. It's not very nice to walk to the bus to take it downtown, but it isn't so nice to get in and out of the car, or driving, either. I'm definitely walking waddling much more slowly. I hate sweating, even when I just walk out to the car! Maybe all of these things have been happening for some time, but I'm only just now noticing them in a negative light because I want to be done with this part of the journey.

I'm tired of text messages, phone calls, FB messages and emails asking "How are you doing?" and "How are you feeling?" meaning they want to know if I'm still in one piece or have I given birth yet? I love my friends, but am a bit put off that they have asked for me to send a text message when we're heading to the hospital. They never did that to me when they went into labor. (Yes, I'm bitching, as Mr Siili puts it.) I appreciate that everyone is waiting for our little one to come into this world. They can't be half as excited and anxious as I am (and possibly Mr Siili). I will let the world know when Paxlet decides to grace us with his presence.

I'm sick of spending so much time at home and mostly alone. I know during the week that Mr Siili is working (thank goodness), but my own company is getting boring. There is only so much in the way of conversation that I can have with Rusty and Mansi. I know there are things I can do and should do around the house that would definitely help to pass the time,but I just can't be bothered to get up off my butt and do them. At the same time, I don't want to wander too far from home, because, well, you know...just in case.

I know Paxlet will come when he is good and ready. Unless it is getting closer to 42 weeks, then the hospital notify me to come in and start inducing me.

I'm just tired of this "waiting game".

24 August 2012

Happy Birthday, Mr Siili

Yesterday's post that didn't get finished:
My Mr Siili turns 38 years old today. He'd old, well at least older than me. *grin*

I know he doesn't care much about his birthday and sees it as just another day, but I like celebrating it and making something of it. I can't wait for him to get home from work and open his gift this evening. It isn't much, but I know he'll like it (a blue kitchen knife) because a few months ago we saw them in the store and he thought it would be cool to have one, but we didn't really need it. So, I made a mental note of it and got it for him. Bonus, it was even on sale!


Today's continuation:
Mr Siili's response about the knife was a grin and then he wondered why it wasn't glow-in-the-dark, "because a glow-in-the-dark knife would be cool". Uhm, ok.

Paxlet is still baking. I'm truly happy he is enjoying his time in my uterus, who knows if it will ever be used again. But really! I would love to meet my little guy now! I have now tried some acupressure (several times), ate curry for lunch yesterday with a co-worker (who was a bit freaked out at having lunch with an overdue pregnant woman) and I spent 2,5 hours out in the woods across from our house yesterday picking chanterelle mushrooms.
And nothing has changed!
Yesterday's catch, all clean. Approx. 6 liters of chanterelle mushrooms.

My good friend R sent me a message this morning that she had some painful contractions again last night. She's 5 weeks behind me in her 2nd pregnancy. With the way things are going, we might end up giving birth together, along with a co-worker whose EDD is 2 days behind Paxlet's (if she hasn't given birth by now, as the last time I talked to her was a couple of days ago).
I have managed to get some of the things done from my 'to-do' list on Wednesday, but I should try to get some more done today.
  • Wash some laundry, at least one load
  • Write something on Mr Siili's birthday card seeing as his birthday is tomorrow
  • Start filling in Paxlet's Baby Book that I bought a couple of weeks ago
  • Write the last Thank You-card for my Skype-video baby shower (it was a last minute addition, all the rest have been sent, except for the 2 that need addresses) 
  • Organize Paxlet's clothes in the closet. Right now they are just piled in there
  • Continue with organizing and arranging boxes and other stuff from the move (3 months ago)
  • Re-check Paxlet's coming home bag, I think I want to make a change or two
I think I'll go get started on some of it...laundry is the easiest.

22 August 2012

40 weeks, part 2

Well, I'm still at home, in one piece and no matter how you look at it now, Paxlet has been baking for 40 weeks.

Speaking of baking, I bought some lemons on Monday just in case I got the urge to bake something with them. And I did get the urge to bake! Yesterday, on the Technicolor Kitchen blog, after a bit of searching in her archives, I came across a Lemony nectarine cake recipe. It looked yummy, easy to make and I had all the ingredients. In fact, it only called for the zest of 2 lemons, so I still have the zest of 1 lemon and lemon juice of three lemons!

This cake was super easy to make and very tasty! Mr Siili and I ate half of it already last night, with a bit of ice cream, although it was yummy enough without it. I'll be making this recipe again.
But, what am I going to do with the rest of my lemons?
Seeing as how Paxlet really can arrive at any day now, I feel like I should be doing some last minute things, but I'm not.
Here's a quick list of some things I feel like I should be doing:
  • Wash some laundry, at least one load
  • Write something on Mr Siili's birthday card seeing as his birthday is tomorrow
  • Start filling in Paxlet's Baby Book that I bought a couple of weeks ago
  • Write the last Thank You-card for my Skype-video baby shower (it was a last minute addition, all the rest have been sent, except for the 2 that need addresses) 
  • Organize Paxlet's clothes in the closet. Right now they are just piled in there
  • Continue with organizing and arranging boxes and other stuff from the move (3 months ago)
  • Re-check Paxlet's coming home bag, I think I want to make a change or two

And this is what I am actually doing (with a sleeping cat on my limited lap space):
  • Reading & commenting on blogs
  • Playing Farkle (aka 10 000, a dice game) on FB
  • Thinking about getting out of the house, but I can't be bothered to get dressed and it's raining
  • Thinking about baking something else - What can I do with my lemons? Suggestions anyone?

21 August 2012

40 weeks aka Where's Paxlet?

I'll tell you where Paxlet is, right where he's been for the last 39 other weeks. And it doesn't look like he has any plan of coming out soon. Sure, I've been having a lot of Braxton Hick contractions this past week, but that's about it. I'm sure I'm not even feeling half of them, as I only notice some of them by feeling my tummy and realizing it is 'hard'. I know he'll come out in his own time, but I'm now at the point that he has made great use of my uterus for 40 weeks and I'd like him to now come out.

Also, I know today is Tuesday, but as I pointed out last week, the 21st of August is the official due date according to the doctors, hospital and government (where I'm getting my maternity pay). Because of this, I decided to give my weekly update today instead of tomorrow. I'm also sort of hoping maybe this will bring the real contractions on and I'll be in the hospital soon delivering my little one.

Total Weight Loss/Gain: At the neuvola appointment today, I'm up another kilo or so, most likely because of swelling. I'm at 88,1 kilos.

Stretch marks:
There was about 3 minutes this week when I thought I had 2 stretch mark lines, one on each side of my tummy. I say 3 minutes only, because that is how long it took me to waddle up the stairs and look in the full length mirror after Mr Siili mentioned the marks. It turns out they are not stretch marks, but scars from my laparoscopic surgery 2,5 years ago, to diagnose and remove the endometrisos I have.

Sleep: Still sleeping well, when I sleep. Although, the last few nights I have been having major dreams and nightmares.

Movement:
As usual, Paxlet moves like a wiggle worm. I've tried to take pictures of how lopsided he makes my tummy, but they just don't show up well. (See?) Basically the right half of my tummy is much larger and harder than the empty left half.
Gender: It's a boy!!
Symptoms:
Swelling is still my worst symptom. Having said that, I know I have it pretty easy, but I still don't like my fingers hurting like this.

I have noticed that if I don't drink enough water (like yesterday) I feel queasy and have a bad headache.

What I look forward to:
I truly look forward to finding out what real labor contractions are like. And after that, I look forward to having Paxlet in my arms and finally deciding on a name by which we will call him.

Moods:
I'm just trucking right along. I even sort of got Mr Siili to agree that I haven't been that moody or horrible during this entire pregnancy and right now is no different. Sure I've had my moments, but who doesn't?!

Milestones:
Paxlet is the size of a watermelon! Is there anything else bigger for Paxlet to be compared to?


My little boy has taken full use of my uterus! That's pretty amazing, especially since I've read about so many babies coming too early in the IF community.

Medical concerns:
The neuvola nurse and midwife student didn't see much of anything today to make them concerned. My hemoglobin did finally fall to below 100 (it was at 99 today), but the nurse said there wasn't much to be done right now this close to delivery. So, I'll just continue to take the iron supplement like I have been and hope I don't bleed too much during delivery.

Also, as today is Paxlet's due date, the nevola nurse and midwife student will be sending a letter to the hospital to inform them of my/our status. If I still don't arrive at the hospital within the next 10 days or so in labor, the hospital will send me a letter informing me when to come in to get this started manually. I really hope Paxlet decides to come on his own before then.

Misc:
This sight still cracks me up after all this time. Mansi is such a goofball, but she is our goofball that fits quite well into our family.


Does anyone have any suggestions to help get labor started? I vacuumed our entire house yesterday (ouch) and nothing more than a lot of BH. I've taken short walks. I will see if I can tempt Mr Siili for some "between the sheets" time, but after the major failure from a couple of weeks ago, I'm not sure it will work.

This week's bump pictures can be seen in the Paxlet Pictures tab.
 I actually managed to remember a 39 week picture. Let's see if I can remember to get today's taken this evening.

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20 August 2012

Fruit and more fruit!

The fruits pictured below are half of my food shopping today (minus one mango that didn't survive being home even 5 minutes). One of the grocery store chains is having their "super days" sales where many of the fruits are 1€ per kilo or container. I love it when this chain has this sale because I can get so many different fruits that I love for very cheap. Plus, the slightly more exotic fruits, such as mangoes, coconuts and sometimes pineapples, are brought in en masse and are fresher during this time as tons of them are brought in for the sale!

Now I just need to eat them all before Paxlet arrives.
15,00€ worth of fruit!
This past Saturday, Mr Siili and I went to a friend's house for grilled food, crepes, wood sauna, a swim in the lake and a few games of pool/billiards. The food was superb and we all ate way too much! The sauna was perfectly hot and the lake cool (20C / 70F) although it felt cold, which is why it was perfect to switch back and forth between the two. And once I warmed up, I wasn't too bad at playing pool. The only downside was that I was on my feet quite a bit, which caused my fingers, ankles and especially the tops of my feet to get very swollen and painful.

Sunday, Mr Siili and I slept in late, then lazed around the house on a rainy day. I took a 3 hour nap early in the afternoon and then Skyped with my family in the evening. My family is so excited about Paxlet's arrival. (We are too!) There was lots of discussion about labour, breathing, pain relief, nursing and so on. I can't wait for this next part of the journey to get underway.

Right now, this is what is in the chair next to me. I love these kitties!
Rusty & Mansi

18 August 2012

August 18 and no baby yet...

This post isn't a rant about me anxiously awaiting Paxlet's arrival or that I want him here now! His EDD isn't until this coming Tuesday/Wednesday and I'm perfectly happy to let him come at his own pace (for now *grin*). What this post is, is the results of a game we played at my Finnish baby shower.

This particular game that was played at the baby shower included a combination of questions that were asked of the participants about Paxlet's arrival and delivery. The questions were: When do you think Paxlet will arrive, his length (cm), weight (grams), up to 3 names the parents might use, Paxlet's Apgar score, What JustHeather might say during labour, JustHeather's expectations of birth/labour and Mr Siili's reaction to labour.

It was fun for Mr Siili and I to go over the responses together after the party and see what people said. Some of made us laugh (I hope I'm not that mean during labour) and others make me shudder (September 1st for Paxlet's arrival?!).
click picture for a larger view of the responses
Now it's just a matter of waiting to see who has guessed the most items as correctly as possible and we'll have a winner! But unless labour starts NOW and Paxlet arrives before midnight (less than 14 hours away), the first 3 ladies won't be correct on their date guess-timation.

I have been definitely having more Braxton Hicks contractions. Sometimes even several an hour. They aren't painful, only mildly uncomfortable or annoying, now that I know what I'm experiencing. Let the good times begin!
 

16 August 2012

My afternoon with a 3 year old

My friend R needed some help watching her 3 year old daughter today while an interior design planner came over to help her for two hours. She asked if I would mind watching S while this meeting happened, so long as I was still able to (you know, meaning that I wasn't on my way to or in the hospital). I gladly accepted and headed over there today at noon.

I took some coloring papers and crayons with me, thinking that this might keep S busy for a while. Boy (or rather, Girl), was I right! These papers kept S busy for almost an hour! She colored a butterfly (which when folded correctly makes an egg) and I colored some easter eggs with her help. S picked the colors and I asked her where I should color with that color. Perfect harmony.
At one point during our coloring, R's phone rang. (It was charging in the kitchen.) S shouted "Mom, your phone is ringing." To which R thanked S. As R answered her phone, S told her mom that she could go talk in the other room (as it was interrupting our coloring). LOL

When S got bored with coloring, I had her go get her favorite stuffed animal (Moomin troll) and some books so we could go read. The first book I was given to read was about a little chick who went outside to find a worm-friend to play with. The second book I was told I couldn't read the words, but we could only look at the pictures. (Was my Finnish that bad?) Except for one page where she said I could read the words (there wasn't that many).

By this point S got tired of the books and so I tickled her feet. She squealed. Next, I used my hands to represent little animals, with accompanying sounds, walking/wiggling towards her on the bed to tickle her. S loved this and kept asking for different animals to come get her. I finger-walked cows, sheep, badgers, frogs, rabbits, moose, a bird and many other animals to tickle her. When she got a bit too excited and started to smack my hands, I segued the game to the next activity.

This is when she told me that her doll, who has the exact same name as her newest cousin, needed his diaper changed. I asked S if she could show me how to change the diaper because I didn't know how. She gave me a funny looked and asked why I didn't know who to change a diaper. I told her I hadn't needed to do it yet. So, S told me you had to take the pants off first and I got her to show me how. Then she told me to take the diaper off. I half pulled it off and she did the rest. Then the diaper needed to be washed in the washing machine, where S disappeared to the other room for a second and then came back proclaiming that the diaper was now clean, but it needed to dry. S put the 'wet' diaper on the window sill and brought the new and clean one back to the baby where she proceeded to diaper the baby! This little girl is brilliant!

Next we had to feed the baby, but first she had to find the food jar. Once the food jar was found, food was put on a plate and fed to the baby with a spoon. But, the baby had to be in my arms and reclining back. It could not be in the car seat to be fed. The baby was very hungry and ate two plates full of food.

After the baby was fed, I finally got S to agree that she was hungry too. So, we brought the baby into the kitchen in his car seat, on the floor next to S, while we ate our lunch. S was very hungry too and ate two huge helpings of macaroni casserole, plus one slice of tomato and some milk. After lunch I gave her a zucchini cookie I had baked the other day. S commented on how soft the cookie was and then wanted to know why it was so soft. (Uh, how do you explain that to a 3 year old?)

At some point, R brought their kitty, Anku, into the kitchen for some love because he was helping R and the lady a bit too much.
S and I then colored a bit more and that was the whole two hours!

After the interior design lady left, R and I ate a bit of lunch and then got ready to head downtown for an ice cream. The weather was just beautiful to head outside! During the 2 km walk waddle to the ice cream cafe, R tried to get her daughter to sleep, but S fought it as much as she could. (Imagine two very pregnant women waddling down the sidewalks and through town and that is the funny sight you would have seen. We at least got a giggle out of it.) It was only the last couple of minutes before we made it to the cafe that S quieted down and fell asleep. This little girl has such a mind and will of her own. R and I were able to eat our ice cream in peace and then catch the bus back to their house, as there was no way we could have survived the walk waddle home.

After I used the restroom one last time and said my goodbyes, S started crying because she didn't want me to leave (and I think she was also still a bit sleepy from her nap). Aww, poor girl! R told her daughter that I'd come over again soon and that they could also come visit me and Paxlet when he's born. 

I loved my afternoon with S (and her mom). She's such an independent, spirited and sweet little girl. But, man oh man, am I exhausted now! I'd love to take a nap, but I think I'll just turn in early this evening in hopes of getting a good night's sleep.

I can only hope that my Paxlet grows up to be such a great kid like her.

p.s. All of the conversations with S are in Finnish as she doesn't speak English.

15 August 2012

39 weeks

I felt that were wasn't much to update with this week, but when I got down to writing, I had lots to say. Although, most of what I wrote last week is still valid, so I've only updated the sections that have changed or are relevant.

Total Weight Loss/Gain: No weight gain this week, in fact, my scales said I lost a kilo this week. That makes me weigh in at 85 kilos (+19 kilos total). I think this has to do with the fact that I wasn't so bloated this morning. Although, according to the neuvola scales, I have gained 100 grams.

Stretch marks:
In a week, my tummy went from 107 cm (42 inches) to 111 cm (43,5 inches). I'm not sure if Paxlet has really grown that much more, or if this 'growth' is due to his changing position in utero.

Sleep:
Sleep is getting a bit more difficult. I still sleep well when I am asleep, I just find myself tossing and turning and waking up more often. My hips also ache and swelling, especially in my fingers isn't so nice. I definitely feel more tired when I wake up in the morning.

Movement:
Monday morning I looked down to see that Paxlet had moved position! Instead of him being lumped over on the right side with his spine going down my tummy (just to the right of my belly button), I had a ridge going horizontal across my tummy (and belly button)! Now my tummy feels very different when I palpate around to see where Paxlet is sitting. I'm curious to see what the neuvola nurse says when I go in today. I so so hope he hasn't moved out of the head down position!


Update: No worries about Paxlet moving from the head down position! The midwife student said (with neuvola nurse confirming) that Paxlet is firmly head down and has even descended (I have no idea the correct term) a bit into the birth canal. The move I saw Monday was most likely Paxlet just changing where his spine is, more to the right, in relation to where it had been.

Symptoms: This week I've noticed little things are changing in my body. I'm not able to pin point what they are or even describe them all, but I just feel different. One of the changes is every time I bend over (to grab something off the floor for example), is a pain in my lady bits. I've had these previously during the pregnancy, but generally only every once in a while (growing pains, I'd think), but now they are almost every single time I bend over.

The midwife student wasn't able to get a good fundus measurement (from pubic bone to top of placenta) this week as Paxlet has moved down a bit and it skews the readings. She only got 31 cm today and last week it was 33 cm, so things have changed on the inside.

What I miss:
I'm still able to get around and do most of what I normally do, albeit at a much slower pace, so I don't really miss much. I'm still enjoying this pregnancy and everything that it is sharing with me.

What I look forward to:
The impending birth of Paxlet!

Milestones: Paxlet is the size of a watermelon! Being this far along is a milestone in and of itself. I'm just blown away!

Medical concerns:
This isn't a concern, but just something that was sort of confirmed to me today. I've never really felt that many Braxton Hicks contractions. in the beginning I was sure I wasn't having them and then at one point it dawned on me that the slight pressure and hardening I was feeling was a BH. So when the midwife student and neuvola nurse asked me today if I have been feeling any contractions, I told them I'm not feeling too many, but I am sure there are more than I am realizing. And to confirm this, when the midwife student was palpating my tummy, she told me I was having a contraction right then. I, of course, wasn't feeling anything!

Although, since I have gotten home after the appointment and food shopping, I have been feeling more tightening and cramps of sorts in my tummy. I hope these things are indicative of something more to come and soon!


Sex: One of the things I had hoped I would gain from being pregnant (along with funny food cravings) was an active sex drive. It has not happened and has in fact been one of the furthest things from my mind, most of the time, during this pregnancy. I mentally want to have sex, especially for Mr Siili's sake, but my body just doesn't quite get the message. So when I had a dream this last week about having sex with Mr Siili, I thought I would make it a reality and wake Mr Siili up in a very happy way that morning. Unfortunately, it totally backfired on me and I ended up in tears instead and then we just went to sauna. There is no problem with me getting Mr Siili turned on, but once again, my body just didn't want to listen and he got a bit frustrated at having to do all the work. I didn't mean for it to be that way and I do understand where he was coming from. It just frustrated me even more, especially since what my mind was thinking didn't translate into my body. I sure do hope that at some point (soonish) after Paxlet is born we can try to claim back a somewhat normal sex like. I really want to want my husband physically and not just mentally/emotionally.

Misc:
I had a dream last night/this morning that I was working at my old coffee house in the US. A bus load (=a rush of people) of people came in and it was insanely busy. I loved it!

I had lunch with a friend today. We went to an Asian place and I ate mostly sushi (no raw fish). Yum!

My next neuvola appointment is next week's Tuesday, August 21st, as that is Paxlet's official due date (according to the doctors). I know I have been using Wednesday as the weekly change over day. That comes from the very first ultrasound reading from the fertility clinic and it is what I have decided to go by. It's not like one day makes much of a difference.

This week's bump pictures can be seen in the Paxlet Pictures tab.

38 weeks
37 weeks
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14 August 2012

A day in the country

My great friend R has two homes: one in the country and one in town. During the summer she and her family spend most of their time in the country (an hour away from town). I've wanted to head out there this summer for quite some time, but either the timing just never worked or lately I had been a bit too nervous about my due date coming up to travel too far. But after another Skype video-chat with my family on Sunday and my stepmom and aunt saying that I shouldn't be too concerned with sticking near home until I'm down to a handful of days before the due date, I got the idea back in my head that I could still make the trip to visit R in the near future. So when I woke up early yesterday morning (just after 8) and the sun was shining bright, I impulsively gave R a call and asked if she was in the country and would she want company.

I got myself ready, filled the car up with gas, bought some vanilla sauce (for the dessert she was going to make) and drove myself out to the country side. It was a pleasant drive with the window down and Red Hot Chili Peppers' album Blood Sugar Sex Magik blaring from the speakers. We (Paxlet and I) reached our destination in an hour, just as we should have because Google maps (and R's husband) gave perfect directions. I think Paxlet was excited to be out in the country too, as he wiggled during most of the drive.

After quickly greeting R, I waddled as fast as I could to the outdoors toilet*. LOL. Then, R and I headed inside to get lunch ready. Actually, I just sat there chatting with R and her 3 year old daughter while R did everything. I did help keep R's daughter entertained by reading her a book. Lunch (and dessert) was delicious!!! And most of the food was from their own property: chicken, lettuce, tomatoes, black currents and rhubarb!

After lunch, R and I headed outside to pick some black currants from their bushes. Even though it was sunny and warm out, we were in pants and long sleeve shirts because of the stinging nettles (nokkonen) and mosquitoes (hyttynen). Thankfully the mosquitoes weren't too bad, but we were up to our  armpits and more in stinging nettles. These nasty buggers grow like crazy (although, if you pick them very young, they make a great quiche). The black currants were perfectly ripe, insanely sweet and huge! R attributes this to the "chicken shit and ash" she put on the bushes at the beginning of the spring. She's not sure she wants to try "horse shit", for fear of what might happen then!

When R's daughter came to show us the caterpillar she found, we decided to take a quick break from picking. R's husband brought us some adult water (soda water), as per the daughter's words, to quench our thirst. During this break, R's husband took some cute pictures of us three girls relaxing.
Yes, I'm almost 39 weeks pregnant and R is almost 34 weeks pregnant and we were both out stomping around in the bushes picking berries! It was so relaxing to be picking the berries while chatting away.


I took my camera with me, but never took it out of my bag. I did manage to take one picture with my camera phone though, of their cat Anku. Every time I sat down, he jumped up in my lap for some love or he laid in the rocking chair next to mine and begged for pets. He's such a soft and loving sweetie.

The original plan was to leave the country side around 4pm to head back to town, but the reality was that we didn't leave until around 7pm. R rode with me and R's husband, daughter and cat took their car. On our way back to town, R and I stopped for an ice cream and couldn't help but laugh at ourselves and the sight we must have made: Two very visibly pregnant women grunting as they try to climb out of the car and buy ice cream! We also got some funny looks from the neighbors as we dropped some juice and jam off at a family member's house.

I didn't get home until almost 9pm, very tired, yet very happy. It was an amazing day spent with my friend and her family. It was great to catch up on life, grumble a tiny bit about husbands (even though we both love our guys dearly, sometimes they are frustrating!), compare pregnancy notes, get some advice about labor and delivery (from R's view point and experience), laugh at R's daughter's antics, pick some berries (they were yummy on hot oatmeal this morning) and get some fresh air.

*They don't have an indoor toilet nor running water. All water comes from a neighbor's well until they get their own well drilled.

10 August 2012

Sharing the sweetness

The work week is almost over for Mr Siili and I know he'll be happy to have the weekend to rest. We don't have any plans, but I do hope we'll spend some quality one on one time.

I have been watching Taekwon-do in the Olympics the last few days. For the first time, there is a sport in the Olympics that I've participated in and still care about. Although, the Olympics uses World Taekwon-do Federation (WTF) rules and I have practiced under International Taekwon-do Federation (ITF) rules. The main differences, in competition, seem to be that WTF requires more/different padding & protection, no use of hands for punching and they are always screaming! The girly squeals are the most annoying. I have no favorites, it's just interesting to watch.

A friend of mine will be coming over this evening after she gets off work. It'll be nice to see her as I've not seen anyone I know other than Mr Siili for a few days. I really should go food shopping first, though.
As I said at the beginning of the month, I signed up for NaBloPoMo for the first time. I was quite excited because the topic was SWEETS and I love sweet stuff. Only 'problem' is, I haven't written much using these sweet prompts because I've had quite a bit of things I've wanted to say using my own topics and I try not to post more than once a day on most days.

Anyway, today is Friday and as I've not got much to say, I'm going to use the daily prompt because it fits quite well.
Today's NaBloPoMo prompt is:  What was the last piece of candy that you gave someone else?

When my MIL was over last Saturday, she was in the mood for a little something sweet, so I shared my stash with her. Specifically she tried a piece of candy I brought back from Shanghai last fall called White Rabbit. It's a simple milk candy that isn't too sweet and doesn't have much flavor, but it is quite yummy.

09 August 2012

Snugli carrier

One of the baby shower items that was sent from my family was a Snugli baby carrier.  As my stepmom tells me, my mom had used one of these with either one of or both of my younger siblings. And so my mom was quite excited to find one at the second hand shop.
This particular Snugli dates back to the 1970's, when this company was still small and making each carrier by hand (on a sewing machine). The instructions weren't sold with this, and I'm sure it isn't difficult to use, but this carrier is going to be used to carry my baby and I want to know I am using it safely. Which, led me on an instruction finding chase.

First place I looked was Snugli's website (now owned by Evenflo) to see if they had instructions there and if they didn't have them online, was there a contact number or email for them that I could use. I did find a 1-800 number and I called them (via Skype, because even though I live in Finland, using Skype to call 1-800 numbers is free!). The lady who answered my call was nice, but because this Snugli model is so old, they don't have any instructions for it and she wasn't able to find them online (from their own personal site?). Also, this version of the Snugli is too different from any of the current models for the new models' instructions to be of any help, so the lady said. I thanked the lady and said goodbye.

I next started Googling to see what I could find. It only took a couple of searches for me to find two potential hits. The first hit I found was a similar looking Snugli that had been sold on Etsy. I book marked this in order to come back to it later if I couldn't find anything else. The second place I found was a chat forum post from earlier this year where a lady's husband had found her a vintage Snugli at a second hand store, still with its original package and receipt! I signed up to the forum and private messaged the lady in hopes that she'd reply to me. And what do you know, in less than an hour she had replied and said she could scan the directions for me. How cool is that?!

I am now waiting for the instructions to arrive in my inbox. I'll keep you updated!

Edited: I have received the instructions. If anyone out there needs them, let me know and I can forward the pdf to you.

08 August 2012

38 weeks

No signs yet of impending labor, but it is getting down to the point that when I see people, it might be the last time I see them in one piece. I think this fact is slowly starting to sink in for Mr Siili also. Last night as we were trying to fall asleep, he was commenting that things will be changing soon and we'll have a little one in the house. Very true, Mr Siili, very true.


Total Weight Loss/Gain: I'm up 3 kilos this week, thanks to swelling. Ugh.
I have now gained a total of 20 kilos (44 pounds). OMG! That is an insane amount. Or rather, I am just thinking of it from the point of view of my 'normal' weight and how I've never in my life weighed this much. I am confident that much of the weight will go away without much trouble.

Maternity Clothes:
Always! One of my favorite (non-mat) dresses that I'd been wearing off and on during the pregnancy no longer fits and it won't be fitting for a while, plus even if it does fit after Paxlet is born, it isn't very good for breast feeding. (You can see the dress in question for week 37's picture.)

Stretch marks:
None. If I haven't gotten stretch marks by now, I'm doubting I'll get them at all.

One thing that has been bugging me is the many and often said comments about my tummy size. Most people keep commenting on how small and tiny my bump is! It might not be HUGE, but I'm not that small either. We measured my tummy on Saturday evening, for the virtual baby shower, and my tummy is 107 centimeters (42 inches) around, at the belly button. As Mr Siili has pointed out each time I grumble about this, and I do agree, my bump is quite proportionate to my body. I'm not a small/tiny person to begin with, so it isn't like I'm this petite thing with a mass sticking out of me. In the end, what really matters is that Paxlet is measuring right on target for growth and my nurses and doctors aren't concerned about my bump size.

Sleep:
For the most part, I still sleep quite well, although it isn't what it used to be. Sleep is more challenging, but when I am asleep, I generally sleep quite well. I generally wake up one or two times a night to go pee or my hip hurts or I'm just awake for no reason. Most often I'll play with my phone by reading FB or a book and then go back to sleep after a bit. Lately though, I've been having more than normal amounts of vivid dreams and even an occasional nightmare or two.

Movement:
After last week's minor concern that Paxlet wasn't moving as much as he usually does, he's back at it! Tons of wiggles and movement. In fact, each time I think to sit/lay and record his movements, he's does his 10-15 movements in less than 10 minutes, sometimes even in less than 5 minutes. So, I haven't even bothered to fill in the sheet of paper that the neuvola nurse gave me last week. When I told this to the neuvola nurse yesterday, she said it was ok that I hadn't filled in the paper, but just to keep track of movements still and write them down if I have any concerns.

Cravings/Aversions:
I've given up on having any sort of cool cravings.

Gender:
It's a boy!!

Symptoms:
Swelling, tiredness, achyness (mostly in lower back and neck) and a tiny bit of heartburn. Those seem to be my main 'symptoms' and the worst is swelling. In fact, my fingers were quite painful just this morning.

On a slightly gross topic, I know that food digestion has definitely slowed down (it's been this way for some time, I just haven't said anything). But, I don't seem to suffer from constipation. My stool is very dark and stinky, but it has also been quite soft, so no worry about more hemorrhoids forming, not that mine are that bad in any case.

What I miss: I'm so tired of my fingers, ankles and feet being swollen and painful. My ankles don't bother me so much, except for the fact they look ugly (vain, a bit?). But it's my fingers and the bottom of my feet that hurt! My fingers are hurting throughout the day. I can feel it in my knuckles and flexing my fingers might or might not help. My feet hurt the worst in the middle of the night when I get up to go pee or first thing in the morning. I have to just shuffle along until I can get my feet woken up and not so tender.

I'm also tired of getting sweaty so easily. I don't walk too fast any more, as it causes me pain if I do, but even at a snails pace, I get insanely sweaty (and stinky). Being sweaty leads to being stinky and feeling gross. I don't consider myself a very stinky or smelly person, normally. This is one part of pregnancy I won't miss.

What I look forward to:
I can't wait for Paxlet to arrive! Everything that I had planned to do (RHCP concert, baby shower) has been done, except for much of the baby stuff still needs to be washed. Paxlet is free to come when he wants, so long as he doesn't take too long after 40 weeks.

Moods:
I'm quite happy, although I've been more exhausted and a bit easier to cry lately. Mostly out of frustration or annoyance that things don't always go like I would like them to or that I just feel like something needs to be done and I can't quite do it the way I want to.

Milestones:
Paxlet is the size of a watermelon! He weighs around 3 kilos (6,6 pounds) and is approximately the length of a leek (purjosipuli). He's also still head down.

Medical concerns:
My hemoglobin was still low when it was checked at last week's neuvola appointment on Thursday. So, the nurse suggested that in addition to taking the iron tablet at a different time than the multi-vitamen, I try taking it with orange juice. At yesterday's neuvola appointment, it had gone up a bit, so I'm hoping that taking the tablet with OJ or other juices that have vitamin C is helping.

Misc:
Taekwon-do competition in the Olympics has started today and that's what I'm spending some of my time on today. Maybe the relaxing in a chair will also help the swelling go down in my ankles.

This week's bump pictures can be seen in the Paxlet Pictures tab.
I don't know why it is that these last week's I've found it so difficult to remember the weekly pictures. Again, I forgot to take week 37's picture in a timely manner. Instead, I have a cute picture of me posing with a watermelon a few days late.

37 weeks
36 weeks
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7 weeks

Best virtual baby shower EVER - photos


Below are the items we received from the baby shower* on Saturday from my family and friends in the US.

With many of the gifts my family sent, the items followed one of a few themes: lion, giraffe, elephant, green, frogs and basketball. The lion/Leo is for me and also Paxlet, if he is born before the 23rd. Giraffes are for Mr Siili, because when we first met, he made some silly comment about giraffes (which totally confused me at the time) and I started buying him giraffe stuff. Elephants are because my mom's maiden name sort of sounds like 'elephant' and she had a thing for collecting elephants for many years. Green and frogs, well I love both and Paxlet is going to have to deal with that until he can make known his own color and animal choices. Mr Siili plays basketball, so that one was easy enough.
My mom had found these bags at some point and was saving them for Mr Siili and I. I think I might frame them and put them on the wall.
This was my fall/winter/snow suit when I was first born. My mom had saved it and my stepmom and sister found it and sent it in the package. I was born about a month before Paxlet will be born, so I'm hoping he'll still fit in this when it gets colder out.
These were all items that at least one of us kids have used previously.
My mom knitted the bulk of each of these items, but didn't get them finished. My stepmom (top) and MIL (botties and bottom) finished them for us. All grandmothers have had a hand in these items and made them possible!
My stepmom crocheted each of these items with yarn from my mom's stash. The hat/beret in the upper left hand corner is for me to use on days when I just can't be bothered to wash my greasy hair. LOL Also, the sweater is the first my stepmom had ever done.
This bonnet and pants were made by my MIL. I think they'll go quite well with the sweaters shown above.
My aunt made this amazing fleece blanket.
Karen, a family friend, made these tye-die onsies and socks for us. They are all different sizes so we should have some amazing tye-die items for some time.
My sister found this cute lion puppet/washcloth a while ago. And the purple corduroy Sketchers are something my mom bought for my sister, so I only have them on loan.
These are all items my mom had bought in preparation for a grandchild (second-hand). The Snugli (top left) is handmade and is like the one she had for my younger siblings. She loved it so much that she wanted to share it with us kids. The food mill (top right), I remember us having one for my younger siblings and almost bought one here a week or so ago. So glad I waited. The white onesie is Baby Dior and from what my stepmom says, my mom was so excited to find that as every baby needs something uber brand name. LOL The white thing in the middle is just a thick cloth that can be used for whatever (for ex, changing blanket). The green corduroy pants are just amazing and I want a pair like that for myself. And the blanket (actually it is a duvet, but my stepmom and sister didn't realize that, tee hee) at the bottom is just cute, even with the itty bitty bit of pink.
A few more things my mom had purchased. The lighter yellow sleeper (middle top) has a giraffe on it. The two orange items (right hand side) have basketballs. And the Hawaiian shirt is in honor of my dad because he wears lots of these shirts. Now Paxlet will be able to match his grandpa.
 Pooh stuff is from long time family friend, Tess and her family. Mansi thinks these are for her and wants to play with them. Doh!
 My stepmom, sister and (step)grandma went on a shopping spree for these items. I love them. Especially the two onesies at the lower left hand corner (My auntie rocks and My uncle(s) is awesome).
And that my friends, is the other half of why I had the best virtual baby shower ever.


* There are a couple of items that my dad will bring when he comes in September: a breast feeding blanket/bib (to cover myself and child), a set of natural driftwood 'blocks' and a bright, colorful and whimsical painting of flowers.

07 August 2012

Best virtual baby shower EVER

My family and friends in the US hosted a virtual baby shower for me via Skype (with web cam) on Saturday (evening my time, early day their time). This party never would have been possible without Skype and our webcams. It was amazing!! I loved being able to see everyone while we chatted, they had coffee & cupcakes (we had just eaten dinner), opened gifts, played games and just hung out.

The start of the party was marked by everyone entering the party room, parading in front of the web cam with a balloon under their shirt. The guys were included in this stunt. It was pretty funny seeing my dad with a bit round tummy. Everyone was moaning, waddling and "complaining" about how tired they were from carrying their 'load'. It was funny and brilliant!!

As the US part of the party drank their coffee and at a cupcake, I started opening gifts. My stepmom and sister had collected gifts during June and then sent the package near the beginning of July to get it here on time for the party. The package only took 10 days to ship and I had it sitting in my living room for almost 2 weeks before the party. I don't feel I  can't do the gifts we've received justice by just describing them, so I'll post some pictures in the next post right after this.

A few of people in the US had their gifts there with them, so they opened them for us and showed them around. My dad will bring them to me when he comes to visit in September. After gifts we played a few quick games. There was guessing how many jelly beans were in a 120ml sized bottle (102), how big around my tummy is (42 inches) and a name game. Everyone shared their favorite name with us and Mr Siili and I picked which one, out of the list, was our favorite (Niklas). Although, it doesn't mean we have to name Paxlet that. *grin* The party ended with everyone in the US eating lunch and those of us in Finland going to bed. I dreamt about the baby shower all night.
I am completely at a loss for words of how amazed, humbled and thankful I am for my family and friends and what they have done for Mr Siili, Paxlet and I. I just don't know how to describe what I'm feeling. My family is so excited for Paxlet to arrive in this world. It is my parents' first grandchild and my siblings' first nephew. It's at times like this that I am a bit sad that we live so far away.

Not only did my stepmom, (step)grandma and sister go shopping together to get us some insanely cute stuff, but my stepmom and sister dug through my mom's stuff and found items that she had been saving for her future grandkid(s). Some of the items belonged to each of us kids when we were little and others were stuff she had purchased because she liked them and/or had one like that when we were little and liked the product. So I now have a full arsenal of amazing stuff!

What is killing me right now as I type this and has me in full out sobbing tears is the knowledge that my mom wasn't able to experience the baby shower. She will never get to meet her first grandchild and never see the stuff that she lovingly saved and gathered be put into use by her grandkids. And from all the stuff we received from my mom (Grandma Robbin), you can tell that she was so freaking excited to have a grandchild. The small comfort I have right now from this, is knowing how much she wanted a grandchild by the preparations she had already made, before any of us kids had ever even gotten pregnant. I am thankful that I had told my mom that we were trying to get pregnant and that she knew what we were going through in order to have a kid and give her a grandchild. (I've woken Rusty, the 'old boy' cat, up and he's come to see what is wrong.)

I know it's impossible and silly to think this, but I'd give up any and all of the material items we have received to just have my mom here. I know it doesn't work that way and that it's impossible, but I can't help but feel it and think it. At the same time I am thankful for my stepmom (and that or relationship has gotten much better) and my mother-in-law. I love my family and friends. I know I am not alone. Not in my thoughts, nor life, yet sometimes a girl just wants her mom.