Friday, May 30, 2008

First smiles

Suvi has been smiling for a few weeks, but now she will smile at you when you look at her and talk to her. She was smiling and even sounded like a laugh with Heikki the other day:

And here is when she got her first bottle on Wednesday morning. Markku was so upset: he thought the bottles and milk should be for him! I thought he would want to breast feed again, but he never has. Instead he wants her bottles!

We had a few tough days this week. On Tuesday we had to go get my signature notarized and some money orders for Heikki and the kids Finnish citizenship. Markku was a wild man at the post office and of course there was a long line. So afterward we were too tired to cook and decided to go out and get food. We used Markku's last diaper at the bank, but he went again! So Heikki left him without a diaper-very dangerous. We decided we had to get right home! But then I noticed Suvi had a poopy diaper and it was going everywhere. She hadn't pooped in a week, so imagine...It went all over her clothes and I forgot a spare outfit, so she left in justa diaper (after a washdown in the bathroom!) and Markku left minus a diaper. Could it get any harder? The next day, Suvi just wouldn't sleep and cried a lot. I was so tired and frustrated-I just didn't want to have to hold her all the time. I wanted a little time for myself. I sleep with her next to me, nurse her 8-10 times a day, and hold her in the sling up next to my body for hours. Heikki was home but both of us thought we would have a breakdown. Luckily Heikki realized I needed a break and watched both kids-yup, both of them for the first time- so I could go for a run. Of course it was 10,000 degrees outside but it was exercise and time alone.

I started running again about 2 weeks ago and have worked up to about 3 miles in 30 some odd minutes. Of course running involves feeding Suvi, then pumping then going for the run and having to hurry so I can get home and shower before her next feeding! It is hard to get going with the heat and humidity lately, but it feels good to be exercising. Yesterday and today Suvi slept well (in her swing) and was really good. Heikki asked if we switched babies! I think she is just good for Kiri, our nanny, as those are the days she was here! But, then again everything is easier with 3 adults when you have 2 children!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Laukkanen's reunite

We had a great time this past week with the Laukkanen side of the family. Mikko and his wife Joanna and son Dashiel were visiting from London. As we don't see them much, mummo Laukkanen and Bill, Liisa and her boyfriend Johan all came to visit as well. This is everyone above (except Johan was taking the picture). We were missing Heikki's sister Kaisa and her husband, who had school and another family obligation to attend to. We really missed them though.
We spent the first part of the week at a rented condo on Lake Travis (a dammed river here in Texas-it is a huge lake). I was still unable to swim and be in the sun-which was unfair due to the 90 plus degree temperatures. But no one else was used to heat so they wanted to stay inside most of the time anyways. And with two 2 year olds and a 4 week old baby no one gets anywhere on time or even gets out of the house some days!

Here is Heikki and Markku walking into the lake. It is a very warm lake as Texas lakes usually are. But no one went swimming in the lake (I wouldn't let Markku go under water as I heard that warm temperatures lead to bugs in the lake that can cause meningitis if swallowed. So they say don't swallow the water, but how do I make sure my 2 year old doesn't swallow water? I think everyone knows I am a worrier and perhaps a little over protective! But no one else went in either....). We did try to rent a boat, but that is very expensive so we gave up!

Then we went to my mom's house for the later half of the week. My parents moved out and we took over! We had lots of fun in their pool, hiking in their neighborhood, and those who could went tubing on the Guadalupe river! They had a blast (I couldn't go this time!) We also had Markku's third 2nd birthday celebration at the country club in my parent's neighborhood. It was really fun! Markku and Dashiel even started playing together and hugging each other by the end of the week! They are so cute together. Being that I was always holding Suvi and my husband almost never takes the photos-I have very few pictures of the best buddies. Hopefully Bill got some.

Markku and Dashiel hugging

Markku's beautiful Thomas cake and his even prettier face afterwards! The train actually moved around the track!

Family on the river walk in San Antonio
We did make it to the river walk for a short walk and dinner. It was so hot that the London Laukkanen's were melting! We had to limit our travels somewhat with 2 year olds and since we also got great news--Joanna is pregnant and due in November! It was so hard on her with the heat and all the walking and the time change I am sure. I remember being pregnant in London last year (at least she wasn't vomiting on the river walk like me in downtown London!). We also tried to be very efficient and pick a restaurant quickly-we chose a little too fast and found the only restaurant in Texas WITHOUT air conditioning!! No one wanted to be a bad sport and say we had to leave so we all sat in the unbearable heat and sweated it out-and then complained later as we felt the air pouring out of every other restaurant on our walk back to the car! Luckily I had to feed Suvi and we found a nice cold hotel lobby to cool off in.
I wanted to post more pics but the site won't let me. I will have some on the Picassa web site though. I wasn't the best at taking photos since Suvi is not letting me put her down very much. She is getting so much bigger and she smiles at us now when we talk to her. She turns her head to look at you-she definitely loves her brother's voice. She is holding her head up for a few seconds and can even stand on her legs for a few as well. She is even outgrowing her newborn sized clothes. I can't believe how fast time is going-she is 5 weeks old now. She had really bad baby acne this past 2 weeks so I didn't take too many pictures of her directly. It is starting to clear up now I think...she doesn't care but I sure seem too. She is so beautiful I want everyone else to think so too!

Thursday, May 15, 2008


Markku had his first dentist visit and first haircut this week! We have been busy. The dentist didn't go well-it started with dragging him from the trains in the waiting room. Then they wanted to see in his mouth which he hates to show anyone! I am not sure they saw much, but the dentist just looked in there and then said to come back in a year! They did tell me to brush and FLOSS! Is this a joke I asked? I can barely brush those teeth. But today, he did let me floss about 5 teeth!

Today we got his haircut! It was so hard because we cut off his baby curls! Of course I saved them, but it is very sad to look at him without the curls! But it was getting long. Last night he looked like Donald Trump with a comb over! (His hair is so thin). I have posted pics of the haircut, but forgot to take pics of the dentist. It was a fun place with cars to sit in and movies to watch, right inside toys R us. They even used clippers on his side burn areas and the nape of his neck!

Suvi smiles now-after eating, before sleeping and sometimes just because. She is so pretty. She is almost 4 weeks old! I never seem to have enough hands to take a picture when she smiles, but trust me, it is beautiful. I will try a bottle on her real soon and then I can have a little more freedom. I am supposed to go to a work conference in about 2-3 weeks or so. It is full day lecture with small breaks and 1.5 hr lunches. I will need her on a bottle then! (My mom is coming too so she can watch the kids-it is only in San Antonio). I can't believe how fast time is going.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Mother's Day and Markku's 2nd Birthday!!!!!

Well we have been busy! Yesterday was Mother's Day and we went down to Boerne to spend it with my parents (and because we had to pick up Heikki at the San Antonio airport). It was a good day with swimming and relaxing (a nap for me!) and a nice dinner. Markku actually ate meat (porkchops) so that was great! My mother's Day gift was a hand-made card by Heikki- he drew a picture of him with an aiprlane, Markku and Suvi-then had everyone on the airplane sign it (all the passengers!). It was very cute (lucky for him that they were cooperative-otherwise he would have been out of luck! His procrastination did benefit him this time. I took a photo of the card so you can see it...

Markku also had a very important day-his 2nd Birthday! (Suvi is 3 weeks old as of yesterday) We went to Dr. Patil-his pediatrician who we love- and he weighs 29 pounds is 35 inches tall-he is in the 90% percentile for height and 50-75% for weight (and >97% for head size). He is so big now! We celebrated with my parents last night and then with his nanny Kiri, and our friend's Jesse and Rachel and their 8 week old daughter Nina-seen in a photo above with Suvi. He got a garbage truck (a gu as he calls it), many trains and train stuff like a flashlight, blanket and T-shirt, some books and a play airport. He also got his first piggy bank-or rather an airplane bank! Now he can start saving money! He got 2 birthday cakes so far-yesterday and today. He learned how to blow out candles! I think he had a good day. We have another birthday party when his mummo Laukkanen and Bill, Uncle Mikko and Aunt Joanna return next week. He will think he always has birthdays!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Fears and follies

We are all still in 1 piece, yeah! I feel very drained each day but am making it through without crying. I can't say the same for my 2 kids-Markku cries more than ever these days. Over not getting juice, if he even slightly bumps his head, if I nurse Suvi on the "wrong" side. Suvi cries too, but I really don' t know why yet. Tonight we had a thunderstorm-there was a really loud crack of thunder and Markku jumped, started crying and literally flew into my arms. He was so scared. He cried for the entire 20 minutes of the storm. He has never cried during storms before-well, there was a night time one and he was crying but it was hard to tell over what as he was so sleepy. Tonight was just so sad. He cuddled up so close to me and would hide his head behind me with every clap of thunder. I tried to pretend nothing was happening-we watched Bob the Builder and sang songs but he (and Tillie) were both scared. It finally ended and then he acted like nothing happened. Lets hope no more storms for awhile!

Tonight when he went to bed we had 3 blankies, 1 towel (still damp from the bath), 1 stuffed kitty Allie and 1 stuffed Tillie dog, 1 school bus, 1 train, 1 truck (Bob the builder truck Scoop), 4 pieces of train track and his night light turtle in his crib. He walks around looking for that special "thing" to put in his crib and then he walks over to have me put him in! He was putting together the train track when I turned out the light! That was after we read 4 books (1 on tractors, 2 on trains and 1 Alaska moose book).

Suvi took her longest nap today- 4 hours. It was nice but I was wearing her in a sling so not as nice as if she were in a crib! She would have slept even longer but her Aunt Joanna from London was visiting and wanted to say hi! She is now asleep in the sling again. Dr. Sears would be very happy but Dr. Ferber would be saying I am stating bad sleep associations! (They are both pediatricians with differing opinions on how to have babies sleep). But if I don't put her in the sling, she won't sleep for even an hour! She only sleeps about 12 hours a day-supposedly she should be sleeping 18 or more! She is dreaming right now-she is making funny noises and fluttering her eyes and shaking her arms-like when Tillie dreams! She is so sweet. She smiles so pretty-not at things we directly do, but just at various times of the day.

I have to go and fold 2 loads of laundry now and make a mother's day card because of course I never got out of the house to go and buy one. I kept trying but it was always time to feed the baby! I really feel that is all I do. I wasn't quite ready to venture out with 2 kids to try to look at cards! Hopefully my mom will understand-she really does so much for me (painting Suvi's and Markku's rooms, hanging pictures, babysitting, cooking dinner while she babysits for me, gardening and being a really special friend to my son...) I really am spoiled. Thank goodness she lives so close. She certainly deserves a good mother's day. I am going to try to make it down there tomorrow morning, but we'll see what time I actually get there!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Surviving alone

Heikki was called in to work today for a 3 day trip. He will get home on Mother's day at least. I did have Kiri here this am to help ease me in to the transition of being a part-time single parent! She left at 2 pm-when I thought I had Markku down for his nap! Of course he took over an hour to fall asleep! But then Suvi and I managed to take a nap as well.
I was able to successfully make dinner (well-rice with veggies, applesauce), eat dinner, go for a short walk around the block with 2 kids and a dog, and then started bath time. Mostly our afternoon went well, but at one point at dinner both Markku and Suvi were crying-Markku wanted more rice- but not from my bowl. But of course, that was all that was left. Suvi was just hungry too I think. They settled down on their own after about 5 minutes thank goodness. (Just before I got stressed.) Then Markku was a doll for Suvi's bath. I use her bathtub in our kitchen sink and although I had put in a new DVD-Bob the Builder) for him, he carried over a little play vet office and sat at my feet playing. Then it was his bath time and I wish I could say Suvi was as well behaved. She cried, wanting to be held and possibly she was hungry again (how can it be, I had just fed her right?!). I had to let her cry while I washed Markku, brushed his teeth and got him dressed. It was very hard on all of us. Next time I will feed her immediately before Markku's bath I think. We read stories and put Markku to bed at 9 pm! I started getting ready for the baths at around 7:15 pm-it took forever! Suvi only just fell asleep after 10 pm. I am exhausted!

A few cute things before I go:
Markku saw Suvi lying on the floor yesterday and tried to pick her up-but he seemed to know he shouldn't and just looked at me and Heikki for help! We helped him get her settled on his lap. He really likes holding her and kissing her.

Markku has a funny habit of bringing things to bed with him. The other day he brought his 3 tillies (blankets), a stuffed cat Allie, stuffed dog Tillie, 2 buses, 1 airplane, about 5 trains, 1 large train book, a pick up truck, his night light constellation turtle, and his hair brush. There was barely any room for him. When he woke up I found most of the stuff piled on top of each other at one end and was sprawled in the other end with his feet on the big pile! I wish I had my camera there!

Suvi is opening her eyes more every day. She looks around in wonderment at the world around her. She loves to look at me! She actually slept in her crib for the first time today for a short nap (about 40 minutes), and in her bassinet for 1 hour last night. She usually sleeps with me (I know she isn't supposed too, but I am too exhausted to let her cry it out in her bassinet). She is still so tiny and really seems to need the closeness. Pretty soon she'll be slamming doors in my face and rolling her eyes at me, so I will spend the time with her now. She already has to cry more than Markku ever did as sometimes I just can't get to her or hold her when I have to work with Markku.

I sure can't wait till Sunday when Heikki comes home! He helps out more than I ever realized (although it is nice not to have to clean up after him and the 2 kids!). I am jealous of people whose husbands come home every night-but at least mine comes home for a few nights a week. I really don't know how single moms cope!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Heikki's last day off!

Today is Heikki's last day off-although is is only on call tomorrow. He may have another day off, but we will have to see! I am a little nervous (ok-a lot nervous) about tending to 2 children by myself! I do have Kiri's help some days, but will have to do it alone a lot of the time. I am especially worried about bedtime-the baths and reading books and all that. We may be up till midnight!

We went to see the photos that were taken last week. They are really precious-I can't wait to get them! You should see our new family! They are of course ridiculously expensive, but my mom bought a bunch so we can have some of them!

Suvi is crying with her dad now-so I guess I should get back to them before she wakes up her brother. I will try to post new photos of her later! It is hard because the ones I take are no where near as nice as the ones the photographer took. So I keep erasing thema nd trying again. I guess I have to not be so picky!).

Friday, May 2, 2008

Our first trip-12 days old

Well, we made it! We drove down to my parent's (Mummo and Ukki) house in Boerne on Wednesday. We filled the back of the passat with baby gear and our clothes (we were going to stay ONE night!) and then with the 2 kids in the middle and us in front we were fully loaded! It took forever to get out of the house with naps, packing, loading car, taking Tillie to boarding at work and then having to feed the baby-but we finally got there at about 8 pm or so (better 2 hours late than never, right?!).
We then had our professional photos taken on Thursday of our new family and mainly of Suvi and Markku. We spent 2 hours at the photographer's-but I am sure we got some great pictures of us and especially of the 2 kids and even Suvi alone. I am very excited to see them. It will be hard to choose only a few!
We were having so much fun at Ukki and Mummo's that we decided to stay another night and then that turned into another day as well! We finally got home around 5 pm today-and then had to do everything in reverse! Unpack, get Tillie, feed baby, feed Markku, get to grocery store, etc! It is 8:30 and I am utterly exhausted (and Heikki was here to do most things either for or with me!)
When I picked up Tillie, I brought Suvi into work and showed her off to my co-workers and also weighed her-she was 8 lbs! At least I know she is eating. She had not pooped in about 3 days so I had been worried, but then today she exploded-it leaked out the front AND back of her diaper and all over me and her outfit! She got an early bath today! At least I don't have to worry this weekend about her being constipated. Even though I had Markku just 2 years ago, it is easy to forget things like how much they should poop.
Markku is still doing well. He loves flowers-he picks them all the time. It started with dandelions so I didn't stop him. But now-it's any and all flowers he sees. It can take forever if we walk by a wildflower field! He then puts them in his pocket-or in mine. I sometimes forget to take them out before laundry-that makes a mess in the washer! Sometimes I find rocks or even broken pieces of glass or plastic he finds and thinks are special. He is my little collector.
Well, it is bed time and I better get both kids ready now!