Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Friends, Food And Fun

We really had a great time in Finland. One of the high points was that I actually spent the first night away from Fräulein since she was born!

"She was almost two years old!" I hear you saying. Yes, that's true. But we really had had neither the chance nor the need to do this earlier. 

But now I had a great reason to leave Fräulein with my mother for two days. I was going to meet my friends from the university after a very long time. Yay!

On Saturday morning, I left Fräulein sleeping and took a bus to Helsinki. For the first 15 minutes of the bus ride I felt a bit funny, but after that I was so distracted by the other passengers and looking forward to meeting my friends, that I did not worry about Fräulein at all.

In Helsinki, we ate chocolate for lunch at Chjoko. It was a nice brunch, but having eaten breakfast five hours earlier, I might had been a good idea to eat something 'real' before all the sweet things...

Afterwards, we checked into our hotel suite and, well, what do six ladies in their thirties normally do when they see each other after a long time? :)

We enjoyed dinner at Farang. Now I know the difference between a restaurant and a good restaurant! The food was marvelous and the waiters (which were many!) were genuinely nice and helpful. It was just the perfect way to eat great food and to spend time with a group of friends. Unfortunately I don't have any photos to show you - I was too concentrated in enjoying the company and the food to take any.

Before heading back to our suite, we had some drinks at the lobby bar. But as most of us are mothers of small children, the night ended already at midnight (although there might have been some gossiping talking going on after the lights went out...).

But how about Fräulein? I only sent one SMS to ask how everything was going and apparently she hadn't asked about her mum even once! After some consideration, I decided that was a good thing. Fräulein and her grandmother had spent a lot of time outdoors. And the best part: they had baked buns!

On Sunday morning, I had breakfast with my friends at the hotel and then we all went to our separate ways. I had such a long bus ride back to Western Finland (not to mention the fact that the bus broke down and we had to wait for a replacement), that Fräulein had already waken up from her nap when I got back there. We were both overjoyed at our reunion and she very proudly presented the buns she had baked!

These are the buns Fräulein had baked especially for me and Herr Welle.
Unfortunately there is no cue in this photo to tell you how HUGE they were!

All in all, what a nice weekend for both of us!

Suomi-lomamme aikana vietin ensimmäistä kertaa yön poissa Fräuleinin luota. Tapasin opiskelukavereitani Helsingissä. Kävimme syömässä suklaabrunssin Chjokossa ja illallista Farangissa - molempia voin suositella tämäntyyppisten treffien ohjelmaksi! Pienten lasten äiteinä päädyimme aika ajoissa unille, mutta hyvin saimme juoruttua päivitettyä kuulumisemme.

Samaan aikaan Fräulein nautti äitini täydestä huomiosta. Tyttö ei ollut yhtään kysellyt perääni, enkä ihmettele, sillä Hammu oli keksinyt kaikkea mukavaa puuhaa, kuten pullien leipomista. Sunnuntaina jälleennäkemisemme oli riemukas ja Fräulein esitteli leipomuksiaan ylpeänä. Mahtava viikonloppu molemmilla!

Monday, October 29, 2012

The Perfect, Lazy Weekend

Sometimes the only thing you need is some lazy time with your family. That's what our weekend was all about.

On Saturday, we had slow breakfast and played with Fräulein. After the family nap time, we went out for shopping.

We enjoyed our Saturday dinner out in a restaurant. Well, to be honest, we went to Burger King. But at least we were more happy with the choice of the venue than some of the other customers seemed to be. Although we felt ourselves a bit underdressed in this company:

If only I had been brave enough to photograph the expression on her face...

Sunday was the perfect, crisp autumn day. So what would have been a better way to spend it than going out to the playground. As Herr Welle travels a lot, I could clearly see how Fräulein enjoyed having her daddy around and playing with her for the whole two days.

Viikonloppumme oli ihanan rauhallinen. Päikkäreitä, shoppailua, ulkoilua. Ja lauantaipäivällinen Burger Kingissä, missä tunsimme olomme vähän alipukeutuneiksi ;)

Friday, October 26, 2012

Where To Start...

OK, we are back in Wiesbaden. And we will stay put probably until the end of the February 2013. By then we will have a new baby. And she should have a passport so that we can fly to Finland for her christening.

While we were in Finland, autumn had arrived to Wiesbaden.
We really enjoyed our two weeks in Finland. Those were pretty active two weeks, so I have a lot to report about. I don't really even know where to start...

For now, let me just show you a picture. I'm not a very photogenic person so I don't like to show you pictures of myself. But there was a promotion of H&M autumn collection going on in Finland. And every time we passed by a picture with Lana Del Rey on it, Fräulein pointed at the picture saying "mummy!".

So, I'll leave you with a picture resembling myself. Or maybe it is just the Lederhose... ;)

No nyt olemme palanneet takaisin kotiin Wiesbadeniin. Ja seuraava visiitti Suomeen taitaakin olla ristiäisreissu helmikuun lopussa. Suomi-reissustamme onkin paljon raportoitavaa. Mutta ennen pidempiä postauksia, yllä kuva H&M:n kampanjasta, jota Fräulein aina kaupungilla nähdessään osoitti ja sanoi kuuluvasti "äiti!".

Monday, October 8, 2012

Escort Service

If you have ended up in this post with Google search 'escort service', you might be disappointed: 
I do not provide any 'friendly' services nor maintenance for old Fords. 

The life of an expat is sometimes a bit lonely, as your family lives in a different country and you are not able to see them as often as you would like to.

I often read from the other expat blogs, how people miss their family and try to gather the finances to be able to meet them every now and then.

So, I must admit that being an expat within Europe is a "light" version of expat life. The flight from Germany to Finland takes just over two hours and by choosing a cheap airline (read: Ryanair), the expenses of the traveling aren't too high.

For example, during September, Herr Welle was traveling for two weekends. But my family was able to rush in and keep company to Fräulein and myself. First my grandmother was here, then my mother. For both of them, the costs of traveling were less than 100 euros.

On Wednesday, I will be flying to Finland for a couple of weeks together with Fräulein. Unfortunately, Herr Welle is traveling on business, so he cannot fly with us or even give us the ride to the airport.

If you have ever travelled with a toddler, you know that two hands are just not enough. First, I must get myself, our 20kg luggage and Fräulein in her buggy from the parking lot into the airport building. Then I must let Fräulein run around and consume energy before boarding the plane. And at the same time, I must take care of our belongings. The flight is scheduled so that Fräulein will (hopefully!) take her nap there. But as she is under two years old, she won't have her own seat and must sleep in my lap. Again, two hands won't be enough for me to, for example, reach my bag for a bottle of water, while she is sleeping. And then there will be the same problem with the luggage, the buggy and the toddler, when we will land to Tampere, Finland.

But to my great relief, my grandmother promised to help us! She arrived yesterday (her second visit within a month!) and will fly back to Finland with us on Wednesday! I couldn't be happier!

This escort service will definitely be worth the 100 euros, which her plane tickets cost!

Expat-elämään liittyy monenlaisia hankaluuksia, kuten läheisten ikävöiminen ja lentomatkat naperon kanssa. Täytyy kuitenkin myöntää, että kun asuu suomalaisena Saksassa, nämä asiat ovat helpommin hallittavissa kuin jos elelisi jossain valtamerten takana.

Esimerkiksi pelkästään syyskuun aikana saimme sekä äitini että mummoni meille kylään. Ja nyt kun aiomme lentää Fräuleinin kanssa keskiviikkona Suomeen, mummoni riensi meille taas avuksi. Kuinka paljon helpompaa onkaan matkustaa, kun on kaksi paria käsiä huolehtimassa Fräuleinista ja matkatavaroista! Ja tämän seuralaispalvelun hinnaksi tuli vain noin sata euroa - todellakin sen arvoista!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Odd German Way #11: Don't Mind the Muddy Clothes

In an earlier post, I was surprised how the Germans aren't too concerned about the purple fingers of their children and don't make them wear gloves or mittens in winter.

My latest astonishment falls into the same category.

Fräulein's wardrobe consists mostly of leggings and tunics. I think those are nice clothes for a child to play inside in. And when we go out and it might be a bit wet or muddy on the playground, it easy to pull an overall over these clothes.

Fräulein in her overall last January
I thought this would be a great combination of clothes for her to wear in the Krippe, too. But one day, when I was picking her up, one of the teachers wanted to talk to me. She asked, if I could dress Fräulein with a separate jacket in future, as "it is so impractical, if all the kids wear overalls".

Yes, I get the fact that it is easier to dress the kids with jackets than it is with overalls. But isn't it even more inconvenient, when their trousers get all wet and muddy on the playground and then they have to wear the same clothes inside the whole afternoon?

Visit to H&M to buy some new trousers...
And I cannot even imagine, how this will work when it gets colder outside. How can I find any trousers, which are light enough to wear inside, but warm enough when it gets below zero outside?

And no, I don't think this is only the way things are done at our Krippe, as I have heard similar stories elsewhere, too.

The odd German ways...

Oh, and no wellies needed, either.
Must go and buy some 'all-weather shoes'

Olen aiemmin ihmetellyt, miten täällä Saksassa ei lapsillekaan pueta hanskoja tai vanttuita kun säät kylmenevät. Ja vielä kummallisemmaksi menee: minua kehotettiin pukemaan Fräuleinille päiväkotiin erillinen takki haalarin sijaan! Ymmärrän, että haalarien pukeminen isolle joukolle lapsia on varmasti hankalaa, mutta eikö hankalaa ole myös se, että lapset ovat sitten loppupäivän kuraisissa housuissa sisällä? Eivätkös haalarit ole suomalaisissa päiväkodeissa ihan arkipäivää?

Monday, October 1, 2012

The Return Of the Energetic Guest

We were very lucky last week and got my mother to visit us for a few days! As I have told you before, she is a very energetic guest!

Herr Welle and I have been thinking about changing our study / guest room into a room for Fräulein for a while now. However, during the end of last spring I didn't have any extra energy to make that happen, so Fräulein's bed is still in our bedroom.

But as there must be something for my mum to do while Fräulein is in daycare and taking her nap, I thought we could move our desk and bookcase from the study to the corner of our living room.

But we ended up doing a lot more than that! We even visited Ikea and bought some new furniture for Fräulein's new room. And as you saw in yesterday's Silent Sunday picture, we had some help in assembling them.

Helping grandma

Testing (no, this is not her new bed)
Moving books to the new room
I don't have any nice before and after pictures,
but here you can see some of the new things we got for Fräulein's room

But the visit was not just hard work. After many days of rain and autumnal weather, we were able to visit our favorite playground, too.

Äitini oli meillä loppuviikon kylässä. Kuten olen kertonut ennenkin, hän on kovin puuhakas ihminen. Tällä kertaa olin ajatellut hyödyntää äitini paikallaoloa siihen, että siirtäisimme kirjoituspöydän ja kirjahyllyn pois vierashuoneestamme. Tarkoituksenamme on nimittäin ollut tehdä huoneesta Fräuleinin oma huone. Huonekalujen siirrot oli kuitenkin niin ripeästi tehty, että ehdimme vielä Ikeaan ostamaan uusia huonekaluja ja saimme jopa koottua ne valmiiksi!