Sorry about the silence. We've now been in Finland over a week. The last days in England were hectic but we got everything sorted. The flight over went well and Alex was such a good boy all the way!

We were planning on moving back into the house we lived in before moving to England but the house is in such a shape that you simply don't take small children there. We're therefore staying with my parents until we've figured out what we can do next. Should he sell the house and buy something else? Should we renovate the house? It would need new floors, new toiletseat, new shower, a fresh layer of paint... Is it worth the hassle if we need to be looking for something bigger or better planned in about a year anyways?

We also have Alexs christening on Sunday. So it's a bit hectic with all the planning, cleaning and so on. A positive thing about the week that's been is that Alex has found a good morning-mid-day-routine. He loves sleeping outside in the early afternoon. This gives me time to do all sorts of tasks, like cleaning the windows or fixing the planter boxes.

I'll try to snap a couple of pictures from the christening so I can update the blog with them.

This is the overgrown garden of the house. This is just one of the things that need fixing...

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It is 4 days until we fly to Finland. 4 days!! That's so little time! So weird and surreal! I want the time to go fast because I'm so excited and I also want the time to go slowly because I want to enjoy every second! Not that you can enjoy much of flat cleaning... Poor Alex doesn't know what's going on. He's enjoyed looking at my husbands Kansas City Chiefs flags on the wall but today we took them down. Everything is slowly disappearing.

I want it to be tomorrow because tomorrow I'll start packing our bags. I start a couple of days early because I don't want to sit here on Monday evening with a handful of stuff that doesn't fit. If that is the case we have time to repack or find other solutions. I don't like to stress but I do it anyways. I have enjoyed packing and clearing out the flat. It's the cleaning bit I hate! Thankfully I managed to trick my husband into cleaning the oven...

Alex got his first immunisations yesterday. He was such a good boy! He started crying of course when the nurse pricked him but during the doctor's exam he was perfect! He took both the oral vaccin and the paracetamol like the champion he is!

We also decided to visit Brockenhurst one last time. Alex rode the train for the first time! He is quite happy as long as he feels movement so the train ride both there and back went smoothly! He was also a very good boy the whole time. When I say he's been a good boy I don't mean that he doesn't cry. Because of course he does! He's a baby! Being a good boy means that he isn't extra fussy or unable to comfort. But he doesn't tend to be that way. I feel like he is more curious than anything. He's absolutely brilliant!

Oh, and Co-op has gone all Christmassy already...

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Today is precisely a week until the move. I've spent soo long trying to organise, fix, think, plan, Google, clean and stress over details about this move.

I've officially resigned from my work as well. Kinda funny to think that I have not worked since 29.5 and now it's mid-September. So much has happened but I have thoroughly enjoyed not needing to work. I plan to continue staying at home with Alex as long as he breastfeeds but that means I need to figure out the Finnish benefits as soon as possible.

Even though a week can be really long I still want to get as much done as possible. I have a feeling the same does not go for my husband. I'm saying this considering the only thing he has done today is taken our second moving box to the shipping company. Now this isn't a massive task when they have their business on the ground floor while we live on the first floor. Meanwhile I've almost filled the third box. I don't think he has put a single item in any of the boxes. We also have a lot of stuff that we won't take with us. Most of the stuff we are giving to my friend. I have packed those bags today. The things she doesn't take will go to other friends. Granted, everything can't be packed away today but I swear I will not use the hand mixer anymore. I will buy as easy food as possible and frankly if need be we order takeaway that does not require any cutlery.

Because I noticed that he is not doing anything to help with this move I also mentioned it to him. Did it help? No! Every time I've asked him to do something he says that he can do that... Tomorrow... Or in a couple of days... Soo frustrating! The more we do now the less we need to stress with when time is running out!

Because, fact of the matter is that it's already Tuesday night. On Thursday we have a doctors appointment for Alex and we are planning to visit Brockenhurst one last time. When agreeing to this I was thinking it can be a nice break with all the packing and organising and cleaning. For me this will still be exactly that. For my husband it will be a break from sitting on the sofa. It kills me but I don't want to fight! I don't want to look back at our final moments in Bournemouth and only feel regret and anger. So, I'm keeping it in. I keep breathing and keep cleaning, organising and packing.

I've told him that both the bathroom and the oven needs a proper clean before we go. Today, when I was packing and organising Alex was first with him, which was nice, then suddenly I find that after a diaper change Alex is lying on the bed, my husband is back watching TV in the lounge/kitchen (yes, the flat is small) and has no intentions of a) looking after Alex or b) clean. So, basically I was packing and looking after our two-month-old while my husband was watching Friends.

Arrgh! I couldn't help myself! While writing this my husband came to the bedroom with Alex, handing him over to me and said the TV program he's watching will end in 30 minutes and then he too will come to bed... He also grabbed a tea towel that was on the bed and asked if it was there for any particular reason... Two things with this annoyed me. First, he TOO will come to bed? Does he think that I'm in bed just because I'm on the bed? Second, the tea towel. Just leave the tea towel if you haven't done anything else either. It takes me longer to explain my thought with the tea towel than for me to put it where it should go... And this of course I said out loud...

Well, he basically threw the tea towel back on the bed and left. I guess I hit a nerve...

Damnit! I wasn't going to say anything. I was going to breathe, pack and organise. I hope tomorrow will be a more active day for him. Because... I mean... I too could just sit and do nothing besides the fact that I can't sit and do nothing when we are leaving in a week and there is so much to do!

I'll get back to you and let it know how it went.

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It's less than two weeks until we fly to Finland. It's starting to dawn on me what we will be leaving behind. Until a couple of days ago I have been so focused on what we will gain in Finland so I didn't think of what I was leaving behind in England.

The biggest, the only ones that really matters, are the friendships. Of course you can stay friends across borders! I've managed to maintain my friendships in Finland the last 3 years... BUT, it's not the same. There's something about being able to jump on the bus and meet up for coffee that just makes a friendship easier. But life isn't about easy. Leaving certain friends behind is probably one of the hardest things I'll ever have to do. Leaving my friends 3 years ago was easy because I knew we'd be back one day. Now we have no plans to return until we're retired. And it's a looooong time until then!

I've made many friends over the years. A few you can already tell will be for life, not only for Facebook. Just know that I love you, you are special to me and we will see each other again! 💜

I'll also miss trivial stuff like speaking English in the shop, the British TV channels, shops like Primark, Boots and our local Co-op. I wonder if they would think we were crazy if we'd like a picture of some of the staff before we leave. I'll also miss exploring new places, although we haven't been anywhere new since Alex was born. Unless you count walking down a street you haven't walked on before.

I'm going to miss the coffee places. There are a couple of cafés in my hometown that I will be visiting a lot but it isn't a Costa.

I'm not much of a drinker but I will miss the possibility of picking up a bottle of wine when doing a food shop, without going to a separate shop.

In another blog post I'll probably ramble on about all the fun and good stuff about Finland as well.

Until next time, folks! 😊

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This blog post I will be telling you about applying for a passport for a brand new Finnish boy born abroad. There are more than enough steps to do this as smoothly as possible. Also... While writing this my son is sleeping on my shoulder like this:

Right, step 1: Register the birth in England. You have 6 weeks to this. We did it when Alex was about two weeks old because frankly we wanted to do everything as quickly as possible to leave room for mishaps and waiting times. You need to call ahead and book a time. You will also need to bring both parents passports. Once there the process is simple. The lady asked for the paperwork from the hospital and our passports. She put in all the information and once we checked it over she was able to print out both the long and the short birth certificates and we were done.

Step 2: Register the birth in Finland. First you need to send a long birth certificate to be legalised. This can take about a week. Then you need to send this document along with a filled form and the photocopies of the parents passports to Finland. Once it arrives in Finland it takes about a day for the birth to be registered. I actually called to check as I was planning on going to London the same week. They were so nice and friendly!

Step 3: Passport pictures with a 5 week old. I found Columbia Photography (http://www.columbiaphotography.co.uk/)  online and as the website said that they were able to take infant passport pictures I decided to use them. I called and booked a time and he was able to do it whenever was good for me which I appreciated very much. We took the bus for the first time with Alex. First 5 minutes were fine but then he started to feel a bit insecure so he travelled the rest of the trip in my lap. The photographers was clean and tidy and the photographer was really nice and was able to capture a decent picture of Alex even if he was Mr. Grumpy.

Step 4: Book both the coach and an appointment at the Embassy. I didn't want to go too early as I'm not a human early in the morning. So I booked the coach for 12 and the appointment for 15.15. I was nervous as this was the first time leaving Bournemouth with Alex and I was travelling alone with Alex. I had decided that if need be he would be allowed to nurse all the way from Bournemouth to London Victoria. As it were he decided to sleep all the way to London!

When we came to London we had a nice stroll to the Embassy after using the facilities at the coach station. Alex was happy to get a clean nappy. Alex wasn't too happy at the Embassy but it only took about 10 minutes and we were done before it was even time for my appointment. Remember to buy a special delivery envelope from the post office beforehand. Otherwise you have to travel to London again once the passport is done.

We then had over an hour and a half before the coach back. We tried to find a nice secluded bench where we could breastfeed but all the parks were off limits and the benches on the street felt a bit too exposed. We ended up in Traveller's Tavern for a cappuccino and some boob. The guy in the table next to mine didn't know where to look. I decided not to care and most people gave me an approving look.

When we were done we popped into Sainsbury's to get me some lunch. A sandwich and a juice was the easiest option as Alex doesn't like when the pram stands still so finding food that you can eat with one hand is goals!

On the way home Alex was a bit unsettled so he spent most of the time in my lap and nursing. Someone complained about the warmth in the coach which led to a major draft onto our seat so it felt quite good to have Alex under my jumper and hopefully shield him a bit. Once back in Bournemouth we had to wait a while for the bus but I managed to entertain the boy by walking around in an 8-shape.

All in all the trip went well and I'm not worried about the trip to Finland at all because then we have daddy with us!

As I'm writing this blog so late we have already received the passport. We went to London on a Thursday and the passport arrived on Friday the following week. We have also booked flight tickets!! On the 19th September we are leaving this place. I'll write a different blog post reflecting more about that.

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It's been a whole week since my last blog post. So here it goes all downhill from here. I've never been good at keeping anything going for a longer period of time, not a diary or any blog that I've started before this. I will try as my thought is that we can go back and see Alex develop in this blog and I want him to be able to read about his early years as well when he is old enough.

So, topic of the day is breastfeeding. I'm currently writing this on my phone using one hand. The other one is busy keeping my boob up for Alex. Alex is now 5 weeks and is breastfeeding well. But that wasn't always the case. I want to share the struggles so if you who read this have problems with it at the moment I can assure you. It will get better!

I feel like the midwives at the postnatal ward could have been a bit more assertive and actually stuck to their guns when I basically brushed them off. They must come across women like me all the time. Women who are shocked to suddenly be a mother but at the same time think they know enough. If only I would've asked for more help during the visit I might not have needed to go through the following hellish days.

My colostrum came in fine but both me and Alex struggled with latching on. I can see that now when I know how it is supposed to feel and look. He was new at it and I didn't know how to help him. We were able to leave the hospital the day after he was born. Probably a bit due to a little white lie: "Yeah, no, everything is going well!" Well, it wasn't as much a white lie as it was my reality then. I just wanted to go home where there was peace and quiet.

Instead of feeding on every que we started looking at the clock. "No, you cannot be hungry again, you ate half an hour ago." Besides the fact that he hadn't eaten much as my milk hadn't come in properly and he was still a rookie at latching on. When I gave up any hopes for a routine and put the boy to the breast when he wanted to we had a happier boy.

We struggled. I don't remember exactly when it started to go downhill but it did. Alex took forever to latch on and I didn't know how to support him in the best way which meant that suction wasn't good and or didn't stimulate my milk production enough. This led to a very hungry boy who just screamed his lungs out every time he saw my breast. The feeling that your son despises you still hurts my heart.

The midwives who come and visit could thankfully pick up on our struggles. That I was crying and the boy lost weight was probably a good indication. They recommended pumping to stimulate the milk production and formula to top up. The formula felt like a blow to the stomach. I felt useless, inadequate and like a failure. Some of those words might be oximorons. And I cried some more. The ones who know me are aware that I don't cry. I am analytical and realistic in my thoughts and it takes a whole lot for me to cry.

Well, said and done. Daniel went to Asda to buy a pump and the project could begin. I tried breastfeeding and when we had struggled on both breasts for a while I pumped while Daniel fed the boy with syringes. We used syringes so that Alex wouldn't get used to a bottle and therefore get lazy on the breast. Feeding took hours and once done we started all over again. I was aware that I should stay well hydrated but it was thanks to Daniel that I actually was. He was my rock.

It didn't take long until Alex got sick of the syringes and latched on like he never latched on before and ate well for the first time in a week. That was a victory! For the first time in two days we didn't need to top up with formula or pumped milk!

And the process with cleaning and sterilizing the bottles, syringes and pump all the time! Blah! It just made me want to breastfeed even more. Saying that, there were times during these days when I just thought: "What is the point? Why not just shove a bottle in his mouth and never need to worry again?" Because breastfeeding is easy (once you get a hang of it), always available, convenient (no bottles to sterilise), cheap (I would free, but sometimes it feels like chocolate is the fuel that keeps me going...)

Fast forward about a month where latching on could take up to 15 minutes to get right and we could spend hours feeding or nursing. We tried to introduce a dummy to soothe his nursing need but he doesn't take it. My nipples can be very sore from time to time. Thank you Lansinoh! Now, Alex can still clusterfeed but most of the time it feels like it's more for comfort than hunger.

Breastfeeding isn't easy but so worth the struggle to get right. There are still details about it that can be discussed and we are still practising. Give it another month and we will be pros!

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Hubby is back at work since it's Monday. Even though being a mother is a full time job I do appreciate the support when he is home. It's the possibility to leave the boy with daddy while sorting yourself out.

During the week I feel so bad needing to use the toilet or make myself a sandwich unless the boy is sleeping or really content lying on the bed. It is due to the fact that we have nowhere to put him where he could look around. We almost bought one from a charity shop but one of them was missing a strap and the other one was too expensive. We will for sure get one when we are back in Finland. So about a month we need to manage somehow.

We should get some moving boxes as soon as possible so that I could pack the stuff we want to send to Finland. Once we know how much we want to send we can get a quote from different companies.

We should go to the store but Alex has one of his days where he doesn't settle without nursing. Today I am a boob...

I did manage to empty the clothes rack and put some dirty laundry in the machine while Alex was chilling on the bed. But I should get him to go down for a proper nap so that he doesn't get so crabby... He is sleeping on my lap now. Let's see how long that lasts...

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New kid - new adventures - new blog.

I'm blogging on my phone. I figured it could be easier.

The reason I'm blogging is because we are about to make a huge change in our living situation and with that and a new newborn comes a lot of stress so I figured I might as well share it if anyone's interested.

The last three years we've (me and my husband) spent in Bournemouth, England. 4 weeks ago our lives changed forever when our son was born. His birth also meant that we really needed to take action on moving back to Finland. (Our flat is tiny and our entire support network is there, alright?)

As with all kids you first need to register the birth. That was done on the 2nd August. But wait, the kid is only registered in England now. What about Finland? Well, then we sent a birth certificate to the Legislation Office where they gave it their approval. This document with an application and photocopies of our passports are now being sent to Finland. Once his birth is registered in Finland we are able to get him a passport. Which can only be done in London, BTW... Joy!! And I have not even touched on the subject of packing and sending all of our belongings to Finland... I'll get to that a different time.

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