Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Catch Up!

Merry Christmas!

Well, it has been awhile since I posted an entry, and we sure have been busy! I still have issues posting pictures on this blog and then easily moving them around, so I am going to tell the storey not necessarily in order, a little backwards so I do not have to move the pictures around! Pay attention!
Well, Christmas has just passed. It was so much fun this year. We had our new house and Santa still managed to find us-both at our home and at mummo and Ukki's! Lucky kids! We had cookies and orange juice for Santa-that is what Markku says Santa likes to drink. Guess what?!-Santa did drink his orange juice! We also left out Reindeer food, a tradition I had never heard of before this year!
Suvi got Baby dolls, cribs/cradles, high chair for her babies, a cool tea set and lots of Little People to play with:

Here she is sitting in her toy high chair-playing with her little people's car and her new doll.

Cup of Tea anyone?!

Markku gots lots of great toys-back hoe loader, tonka tow truck, pirate ship, race cars and even a new camara:

He LOVES his new camera and took 480 or so pictures the first day! Here is a sampling:

One of his first-very blurry. I think it is Mummo

then later this more in focus one of Isa

And still blurry but a favorite of mine: Suvi

Today Mummo came to babysit while I did some errands. Things always get a little crazy with Mummo around. Markku found some Styrofoam and had an indoor snow storm:

He said, "uh-oh we better clean up. Mommy will be mad! And it was so staticky they had to vacuum it all up!

Here is Suvi braving the cold snowstorm! (Actually she is trying on her snow suit we rented for our upcoming trips to the Oregon Mountains and Finland).
Ok, back to Christmas: Here is the Jumpy house our family in Denmark sent the kids! It was a favorite as well. These are action shots!

Markku and Suvi spent a night in San Antonio at the Riverwalk with Mummo and Ukki to see the lights and right the boat and trolley. They had a great time and Mommy and Isa had a date night!

Dancing on steps at SA Riverwalk

Snuggling with Ukki
Markku had a school Christmas program. They had each class of preschoolers and Moms Day Out kids sing a song and tell the story of Christmas. It was really great-if you knew a kid in the class!

Markku was a shepherd
Since we last updated you, Markku learned to ride his bike (well, it has training wheels). He rides very well, up and down hills, on the trails in our neighborhood and even at Mummo and Ukki's. He even rode 2.3 miles with me and Heikki one day!

This fall we enrolled Markku in a soccer league in San Marcos. At first, he wouldn't leave the bleachers. Then the next week he stood there while Heikki moved his foot for him! then finally he figured it out and had a great time! He will kick the ball into the net and yell "I win!"

Turns out Suvi loves soccer as well.
Ok, so I know this was a little out of order and all, but at least I posted something! Next year I will try to be better about it. My christmas gift was a new laptop-and since my keyboard no longer works on my other computer....I guess that is a good thing!
We are off to spend New Year's with my in-laws in Oregon. The kids will see snow for the first time-well Markku saw it in Alaska when he was 4 mos old, but I don't think he remembers it very well!

Happy New Year everyone!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Halloween 2009

Halloween started off with Suvi being sick-she had a fever of 101.8 in the morning. She stayed home, got some motrin and Markku and I went to swim class. Went I returned, she still had a fever. So, with all the hullabaloo about swine flu (she is not yet vaccinated), we headed out for the doctor. Being a Saturday, I was limited to the ER or urgent care. We spent 3 hours at our local urgent care-she tested negative for swine flu, but that apparently means nothing as the swine flu bedside test is about 10% accurate! But she was now 102.8 and really not feeling well, runny nose and cough. So they wanted to take some chest x-rays and monitor her until her fever went down. Chest rads were clear so then we just had to wait until she acted like a toddler. Once the doc saw her running around the room, even with a 101.6 fever, he was convinced she could go home. They have no idea if she has the flu. She how she does they say.

Of course now we were late for trick or treating! We rushed home and luckily mummo and Isa had Markku really excited and ready to go. Markku was Thomas the train-he picked it out-and Suvi was supposed to be Dorothy from Wizard of Oz. Suvi was feeling a lot better after motrin and Tylenol, so we dressed her up and let her walk around to a few houses (we were bad parents I know. But we didn't let her touch any kids!). they really loved trick or treating! It took a while for them to get it, but they sure liked it after the first few houses gave them candy! We didn't see any other Thomas' but we sure did see a million Dorothy's. So much for original!
Here she is with Toto and her ruby red slippers! She and Markku loved those shoes! I made them by gluing red sprinkles over the top of red satin shoes. They looked awesome!
Here we are ready to go out trick or treating.

I had to work the next 2 days, and Heikki was babysitting. When I came home after the first day, about half the candy was gone! I had said that morning that Markku could have 3 pieces of candy that day-boy oh boy someone didn't listen! After Monday at work, there literally was no candy left! I was so upset-no one needs to eat that much candy in 2 days! Especially since I wasn't home to eat it too! Markku did point out to me (after I told him how upset I was) that "Isa ate some too!" Well, I am glad it wasn't only the kids!!!

Suvi got better after 2 days of fever so I doubt she had the flu after all. Now we must wait and see when and if she can get vaccinated for swine flu. She is under 2 so she cannot get intranasal like Markku got and then our doctor does not want to use the multi use vials as they contain some thimerosal (even though it is reportedly safe!). So we are still waiting! I know many children have gotten the flu and parents say symptoms are mild, but I have hears accounts of perfectly healthy children dying. I am not willing to take that risk, it really does alarm me! So more vaccines for the kiddos!

Markku has started soccer. He was so excited to play. He would run around and kick the ball and say "I am a winner!" I do not have photos yet....mainly because he refused to even walk onto the field the first day. He just sat by the sidelines saying " I don't think so. I don't know how. I am so tired." I was so mad at him for not trying...but then he did fall asleep on the short car ride home! He really was tired. Then the next week I was working and Heikki took him and literally moved his foot for him to kick the ball. He eventually got into it, but mostly just ran around after the other kids. His first game was Saturday, but I was out of town so Mummo Frederick took him. He did sit on the bench with kids but just stood still when it was his turn to rotate onto the field! But it is a start. Unfortunately they did not have the game schedule out when I signed him up and we will miss all the rest of the games due to them conflicting with swimming! Oh well. It is just exposure right now anyways.

Suvi, now feeling much better, is really turning into a book lover. See her with her book? She almost always has one in her hands and reads to herself or brings it to use to read to her! It is very cute.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Big boy firsts

Markku is a school boy now! He goes to First United Methodist Church preschool in San Marcos on Tues and Thurs. Here is a photo of his school- they have a pumpkin patch in October.

Here he is walking down the hall on his own to get to his classroom. He has his race car lunchbox by his side.

This is his classroom and his teacher, Ms. Melissa:

He was very excited to go. Here he is with Suvi, waiting to leave for his first day of school. He picked out his own clothes too:

Of course, with school comes homework (yes, preschoolers have homework!!!). He had to decorate his pumpkin. We were at our new Target in Kyle (that was one happy day for me when they finally opened! My own Target only minutes from my house!!!!!) and Markku spotted some firetruck stickers and said "we need to buy them for my pumpkin". He remembered he had to decorate it! So we bought them and he has the only pumpkin with firetrucks on it! There is a mouth, nose and eyes as well, but they are just randomly stuck on so it just looks funny! He is very proud of his pumpkin.

The end of Sept/early October also brought us some much needed rain. We are in such a drought here that even with tons of rain this month we are still in a severe drought in Kyle/Hays County. It is amazing how much it can rain here! One of the rainy cold days was the day we had tickets to go see Thomas the Tank engine. I was not too prepared and forgot to charge my batteries, so I only got a few pictures before the camera died. But here is one of Thomas arriving:

Markku and Suvi were both tickled beyond belief to see him. They were in awe! Suvi just pointed and screamed! It was like seeing a rock star... We did have fun with Mummo, Ukki and Isa so it made for a great day out. The rain even stopped for us for our visit, thank goodness.
One beautiful fall day I decided we would finally go visit the Austin Zoo. So Markku, Suvi and I went to feed the animals and see rescued wildlife. The Austin Zoo is a rescue zoo, so it's animals are limited to those that they have had to rescue. They have goats, llamas, pigs, chickens, peacocks, lions, tigers, wolves, turtles and birds. And a few monkeys too. It was small but a nice place to visit for the afternoon. The lions were roaring when we got there...it was a little freaky, like maybe they had escaped and were about to hunt us down. But we actually never even saw them stir as they were either asleep in the grass or inside (the inside one was making all the racket). The kids got to feed the goats and llamas. They loved that. And there was a small train to ride as well.

Markku is also learning to ride his bicycle with training wheels. He is actually riding it! He can't turn yet or go up even the slightest hill, but he is pedaling.
He is going to start in an indoor soccer league this week as well. We are trying to get him involved and playing with other kids and learning how to be on a team, etc. He is not quite getting the idea of sharing...we are battling it out at our house right now. His teacher told me he was a little worse at sharing than most of the other kids in his class...great! I am definitely seeing that at home as well. But hopefully we will get through this phase soon, and maybe even Suvi will learn how to share with all our training, fighting and taking toys away since no one wants to share!
We have had a busy month with Heikki going back to Corpus Christi for his 2 weeks of active duty and me working at the emergency clinic and one clinic in San Marcos/Wimberely.
We are getting ready for Halloween. I think our new neighborhood will be really busy with trick or treaters unlike our last ones....I wonder how much candy I need to buy!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Big Boy

Well, our last month has been exciting around here. Markku is now almost officially potty trained! He started in August (on his own) and then took a little back slide after our vacation to Park City. He decided it was too easy to pee in pull ups (still went poop on potty). But then we got a call that he got into a part time preschool in San Marcos--but he had to be in underwear! So we bit the bullet and, while I conveniently went out of town for a weekend, had Mummo, Bill, Isa and Uncle John potty train him fully! It went great (even Mummo and Isa say that and they were here with him!). So now he hasn't had an accident in quite awhile, (but still sleeps in pull ups). He did discover one day that peeing in the yard was fun. I am not such a fan, but his mummo thought it was ok so he did it a lot. He would run outside naked and pee, then come back in. One time, he was wandering around with the underwear around his knees. I went out and asked him to get dressed. He told me I needed to wipe him because he went la (poop). Sure enough, I saw poop that looked just like his in the yard! I think we may have broken that habit, but am a little fearful I will get a phone call from his school...

So now that that has been tackled, he gets to start school on Tuesday. I am so sad because I will miss it, I actually have work scheduled! Mummo Frederick will take him and I know she will take plenty of pictures for me! Then I will take him Thursday and hopefully he still likes it! He went out and bought new underwear and a lunch box and is ready to go to school. He was a little worried the other day. I told him that he would go to school by himself and that Suvi and I would be at home waiting for him. He looked very worried and said, "Will you drive home? I do not know how to drive the car!"

I am not sure I mentioned it earlier, but he is in a big boy bed as well (well still his crib but no side on it, so he can get in and out!. What a big boy I have now. I can't believe how fast he seems to be growing. He did ask for the crib rail to be replaced the other night because his toys kept falling out of bed.

Suvi is starting another tantrum/screeching phase. It is lots of fun. Her scream can wake the dead, so I figure she is practicing for Halloween. I am wondering what developmental phase she is going through-what milestone we may soon see since her tantrums had calmed down quite a bit during the summer, but have returned full force now. She is also eating me out of house and home. She eats about twice what Markku eats!

I have been filling in shifts at the emergency clinic and am trying to find more daytime work. I start at a new clinic tomorrow and work Tuesday, but then only have emergency shifts the rest of the month! Yikes. We see interesting and complex cases. The one that stands out most for me was a 6 month old puppy that came in Friday night. He had been vomiting/diarrhea and not eating for 3 days and was diagnosed with a GI parasite 2 days before. He was not responding to treatment so was referred back to us. He was very sick. He was extremely dehydrated, vomiting, very painful in his abdomen, had a heart arrhythmia and had enlarged lymph nodes. He had what appeared to be a large kidney on his x-rays. I did some blood work and found he was in kidney failure, anemic and had very few blood platelets. He was only 6 months old! Our best guess was something infectious, we worried about leptospirosis ( a bacterial infection found in water sources, carried by wildlife) or a tick borne disease. We started him on fluids and found he did not produce any urine. His owners will not give up. He is on fluids, receiving blood transfusions, had in a urinary catheter and many medications (antibiotics, drugs to stimulate him to urinate and kick start his kidneys). Nothing was working, so he is now receiving peritoneal dialysis. I had never seen that done before so it has been very interesting from that point of view-a drain was surgically placed into his abdomen so fluids can be flushed in, set for a while and then drained out. This helps relieve some of the toxins that are building up in his blood stream since he cannot produce urine. It is trying to buy him some time while we try to fight the underlying infection we think he has. His bill is likely to be $7-10000 . Most owners are not willing to pursue this type of therapy. I really would love for him to make, but really do not have much hope that he will. He is one of the sickest pups I have seen in awhile.
Another crazy case was a 10 yr old iguana! He got into ant poison and was very lethargic. He would take one breath every 5 minutes or so, we always thought he was dead. He had blood drawn (a tech actually knew how to draw blood from an iguana!!!) and a interosseous (bone) catheter placed so he could receive IV fluids. That was crazy and am happy that he was actually someone else's case. I would have had NO idea how to treat him.

Heikki is working lots and will be spending 2 more weeks in the Coast Guard at the end of the month to help us pay our bills while my job is in transition. He does enjoy his time there and has lots of time to play out in the gulf even. Since Suvi has not been sleeping through the night I am sure he will enjoy his sleepful nights away-even though he will miss us.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Park City Utah

We just returned from a week in heaven! We were in Park City, Utah. The mountains were beautiful, the temperature perfect, and we had great friends to spend it with. We stayed in a gigantic 5.5 bedroom log house in Deer Valley. It had a beautiful view of the valley. See photos for proof!

The house belongs to a friends company and she gets to bid on vacation weeks and decided to invite us (as well as several other families. These are Heikki's friends from King's Point, the Merchant Marine Academy). Thank goodness she still has her job! It was actually very interesting that of the 4 families present, one of the spouses from each family was unemployed/laid off in the past year. Another family who could not make it had both spouses lose their job in the past 1.5 years (they both have new jobs thankfully, which is why they were unable to take vacation time).
We spent the first day exploring Park City where the kids met a (fake) moose and lovingly walked together nicely with their new best friend Ava.

Heikki tried hula hooping with Suvi. Markku was too shy to even try. This was at their Park Silly Sunday Market.

We went hiking at Sundance Resort-a breathtaking place. We rode the ski lifts up and then did a 1.5 mile hike with the kids, then rode back down. It was a fun day.

Look at these giant dandelions!

We went back to Sundance the next day and rented bikes for a ride down the Provo River into Provo Utah. Tricia and Cesar went with us, and it was hard work pulling the bike trailer back up the river path on the return ride. Cesar, me and Heikki all took turns. Tricia, who is 5 months pregnant, still beat us all!

This is Bridal Veil Falls.
We also drove along the highest paved road in Utah-up to 10,500 feet or something like that. It was a beautiful drive with a pretty alpine lake at the top and the Provo waterfalls were beautiful.

Right after taking this photo Markku went in for a swim unexpectedly, and luckily Heikki caught him before he slid down or went over the rest of the falls! I was so scared for that second that he was in the water! Suvi then went running into Mirror Lake. Keep in mind that the water temps were likely in the low 50s or something. Very cold! I guess that is their Finnish blood.

We did a few more short hikes. One at Wasatch State Park where we walked to an old pioneer farm and picked apples. Markku really liked that part, although he complained a lot while hiking that he was soooo tired. Poor guy, he was at altitude and only 3 years old. Suvi got to ride in a back pack!

Markku and Heikki went river rafting (Suvi was too young to go so I stayed with her). No pics as Heikki did not bring the camera. It was more of a float since it is so late in the season. But they still had lots of water, and coming from central Texas and the drought this place was luscious and green and had so much beautiful water!

Markku finally rode the Trolley on our last night there. He kept asking to and we kept expecting to have more time. Look at that face...I am glad we made it before we left. He had a blast and it was just a quick loop around town. Suvi was home sleeping already!
We spent time eating, reading, playing at the house and just having a really nice time.

This is our friend Rachel and her daughter Nina. They used to live in Austin, but now California. You can ask Nina: "Where are you from?" She says "Texas". She also says "Hoo Koo" She is a true Texan even at 17 months.
Markku would fall asleep exhausted while still playing!

Heikki too was exhausted-Heat exhaustion hit him hard when he tried mountain biking at Sundance. No pictures of this, but afterwards, when he was better, I was wishing I had for this blog! He was pale as can be and very sick! Luckily we caught it early and were able to get him rehydrated and cooled down. He is fine now.

It was great to see these old friends again and to spend time with the kids together. Soon enough the trip was over, and we were packing to go home. We are looking forward to our next trip, maybe in the winter?