Thursday, December 28, 2006

I know how it looks, but, it wasn't me!

Peanut had gotten this little gingerbread house ornament as a Christmas gift. We never discussed the fact that it was edible and hung on the tree like all the other ornaments.

One day, Peanut's papa noticed that there were tiny bites missing from the base of the house. Hmmm....

Later, we found Peanut standing very close to the gingerbread house. "Oh O!" we exclaimed "What happened to the house, peanut?"

She glances around. Spots Pooh Bear at her feet. Picks him up, holds HIS mouth up to the gingerbread house and explains "Pooh!".

Saturday, December 23, 2006

ICE, choo-choo trains, kippis with Auntie Em

Auntie Em finally made her way from Denver for a short, pre-Christmas visit with us. Peanut & I picked her up at the airport and decided to start the day at the Gaylord Texan resort to look in on the ICE! show.

We arrived ahead of any crowds and so had plenty of space to shiver in the frigid air. Fortunately, the handed out complimentary parkas and blankets or else we wouldn't have lasted very long. Even with the parkas, we were all wishing for hats, scarves and gloves. Peanut got to stroll in tucked under an extra blanket. I was shocked at how cold it was - after all, they advertise its only 9C. Why that's like spring in Helsinki, I thought, no big deal.....

I wonder if there's any truth to the idea that your blood thins/thickens in response to the climate where you live? I know my body has somehow adapted because really 9C used to be light coat/spring gloves weather to me. Now, my teeth were chattering and I just wanted to get in front of a warm fireplace!

We didn't spend any longer in the ICE show than was necessary to admire the wintery nightscapes and snap some photos.

Out we headed to explore the massive resort centered around its miniature version of the San Antonio Riverwalk and Alamo all decked out for the holidays. Naturally, Santa here is a cowboy and longhorns were more common than reindeer, but Peanut did get her first sightings of railroads and choo-choo trains. They seem to hold universal appeal to toddlers as we could barely pull her away. Only the well-placed and HUGE koi fish in the river around the restaurant tempted her to the lunch table.

Peanut had learned how to toast with the Finnish "kippis" at Thanksgiving and was quick to enjoy the toast with Auntie Em who somehow added a crazy laugh at the end, making it all the more fun!

Tex enters his third trimester

We marked the beginning of Tex's third trimester with a test-filled visit to the doctor. Auntie Em happened to be in town and got to experience it all first-hand....

My appointment included the one-hour (non-fasting) glucose screen test for gestational diabetes which is given to all pregnant women here. I had eaten an small omlet with some cheese and ham in the morning, and tried to avoid all sources of sugars to make sure the test result was as clean as possible.

We arrived on time, but sat around waiting for 30 mins until I re-checked with reception. In a rather unfriendly way, the receptionist said she'd check with my nurse to see what was happening. 15 mins later, she called me back to drink the 50 grams of sugary, room-temp glucose. I had 5 mins to get it down and then we ran through the other usual check-up measurements after which I was shown to a room to wait for the doctor. His visit was also quick once he arrived - a check of the heartbeat and measuring my abdomen.

From now on out, we'll be back every two weeks.

I still had 30 mins before it was time to draw blood for the glucose screen so we took a fast driving tour of downtown Grapevine. At the appointed time, I went back to the lab so blood could be taken for the glucose screen, an anemia test and and Rh antibody test. Results later though I get the Rhogam injection pretty much regardless of the Rh antibody test outcome.

Back in Helsinki with Peanut, it was nice that our neuvola was never very busy. We would arrive and go directly to the door of our mid-wife and usually had no wait. Sometimes she was wrapping up a previous appointment, but then it would be 5 mins at the max. She handled all the measuring, most tests and appointments herself. The anemia test consisted of a pin-prick to my finger and she had the results immediately from a gadget on her desk. I did have to go to the lab downstairs for Rh antibody tests though never was given an injection since the results were always negative. There was never any mention of a glucose screen test - I don't know if they profile the mothers and test only those who seem high risk or if some sort of diagnosis can be made otherwise.

Oh, the weather outside is delightful!

Christmas is nearly here - I'm at home, blogging! Not shopping, not cooking, not decorating and its a beautiful sunny day, not much more you could ask for.

The nesting instinct is kicking in this time around not so much as a clean and prepare the nest, but as a "craft your way to readiness". Yes, Michaels, JoAnn's and Garden Ridge have become all too regular places for me to visit. Sadly, I'm not very gifted in the crafting sense as the number of "I'll just try it again" projects around here will attest to. But, its not the final outcome that counts, it the process!!

Since Christmas arrives before Tex, my family gets to be the lucky recipient of all manner of crafted gifts. I've made braclets, picture galleries, hand-printed sweatshirts and then there was the finally abandoned attempt at a hand-painted tea tray. It really wasn't pretty and I had to buy one in the end. Some of the more successful gifts I created with photos on Snapfish. I figured what could a grandparent love more than a coffee mug with their cute granddaughter or a calendar that features more adorable pics of her every month.

Inspiration hasn't yet struck me for Tex's craft projects, but I'm sure his room will be full of them!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Sweet Dreams

With Tex on the way, we decided to move Peanut out of the crib as everyone recommends doing that well in advance of a new baby's arrival and move into the crib.

So, this past weekend, we went headed out to IKEA to test out beds. Fortunately, Peanut was as excited about a toddler-stretching bed as her parents. In toddler mode, its slightly longer than her crib with much more side-to-side flipping space. In full-length mode even I was able to lay down comfortably in it. This style had the bonus of have very low railing on the sides with a small toddler-sized entry slot.

Our biggest concern though was Peanut wouldn't want to stay in her bed. Yesterday as she climbed in for her first nap, I tried laying down next to her to show her it was time to sleep. Soon little fingers pried my eyes open and I had a small hand waving in my face. "Bye-bye mama," said Peanut giving me a rather insistent nudge to get out of her bed.

Five minutes later, Peanut is standing at the door. "Oh-o," she says and pulls me in to her room by my hand. She points out that all her stuffed animals had climbed out of bed! We put them back, put Peanut back and mama leaves again. We do this about four more times. Then, its quiet in there and Peanut has fallen asleep.

In the evening, papa & mama escorted Peanut to her room. She climbed straight into her bed, turned back and leaned out so we could kiss her good night. That was it. She drifted off to sleep and we didn't hear from her until morning when she called for mama as usual.

When I went to her room, she again said "oh-o" pointing to the little gap in railing to show how Witch had gotten out of bed.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Santa's smaller helpers

On Saturday, Peanut's Grandy and Nana were busy at the dog park in Gulf Breeze, FL, taking pictures of Santa's four-legged helpers to raise money for the American Cancer Society.

About 100 dogs & owners stopped by to have a photo taken and printed at the rolling stand. Grandy reports all went well and there weren't even any dog fights!

They raised more than $600 during the afternoon and will be back at Shoreline Park for more photos next weekend.

'Klaas visits Dallas

'Klaas, as Peanut calls Sinterklaas the Dutch variant of Santa Claus and Joulupukki, arrived in Dallas over the weekend to celebrate his birthday which is on December 5th.

All Dutch children know that Sinterklaas (the name is a corruption of Sint Nikolaas) lives in Spain. Exactly why he does remains a mystery, but that is what all the old songs and nursery rhymes say. Whatever the case may be, in Spain he spends most of the year recording the behaviour of all children in a big red book, while his helper Black Peter stocks up on presents for next December 5th.

In the first weeks of November, Sinterklaas gets on his white horse, Peter ("Piet") swings a huge sack full of gifts over his shoulder, and the three of them board a steamship headed for the Netherlands. Around mid-November they arrive in a harbour town - a different one every year - where they are formally greeted by the Mayor and a delegation of citizens. Their parade through town is watched live on television by the whole country and marks the beginning of the "Sinterklaas season".
Here in Dallas, Sinterklaas arrived at the Dutch Barn House where the Holland-America Club of Dallas had gathered to enjoy seasonal cookies, hot chocolate and other treats. As Sinterklaas rounded the room to greet the children, his helpers - the Piets, tossed out candy coins and chocolates to the little ones. Then, everyone gathered around as Sinterklaas opened his big book to read how each child had been behaving over the year. If they were good, Sinterklaas had some gifts for them.

Peanut was excited to see 'Klaas and the Piets until it was her turn to get a bit closer. She quickly tucked her head into mama's shoulder and looked everywhere, but at 'Klaas. Not too bad for a first meeting - at least she went close and didn't cry :-)

'Klaas from the Netherlands had also dropped by our home with some gifts, chocolate letters for mama & papa. Peanut had the hang of tearing open packages so she took care of opening everyone's presents.