Hello, Finland! Looking back on some of my more difficult days here, I never would’ve thought I’d miss it so. After a solid month of being back in the US, I must confess, Helsinki is now home. And it’s always nice to come home.
Let me catch you up on my doings: The family and I flew to Oregon at the beginning of February to visit my parents. Husband’s parents live in Colorado, so after adjusting to the ten hour time difference (or four days later), we flew out there to visit for a few days.
Little Man was a champ, as usual, and only passed out completely once. He slept a solid twelve hours, staying asleep even while we went out to dinner.
After the flights back to Oregon, I was done with planes for a while, so it was a good thing Little Man and I were there for almost three more weeks. Husband had taken two weeks off work and went home two weeks before I did. I figured if we were going to mess with the little ones body clock, we might as well make it worth it. Plus, with more time to visit, my days wouldn’t be quite as cramped as in the past.
All in all, it was a good visit. I saw most of my family, and a lot of friends, including a couple new arrivals. It was amazing to be able to read signs again! And all the labels on food! The one thing that really stuck out for me was how much we had to drive. I think when we first moved to Helsinki, it shocked me how much I was walking. This was just the reverse. It got to the point that I walked around a fairly industrial neighborhood while waiting for my mom just for the sake of walking. It’s not that walking is frowned upon, simply that it’s much more convenient to drive everywhere. Unless you have a baby, that is. I definitely do not miss having to install the car seat every time I want to go somewhere. Strap that baby into his stroller, and away we go!
The downside of Husband leaving before me, was that I was alone with a nine month old on a nine and a half hour flight. Amazingly, it wasn’t too bad. The were a few rough moments when he refused to sleep, as babies will, and again when another child screamed and awoke the finally-sleeping baby. (I was not happy with that child, but put any three-year-old on that long of a flight, and you better believe there will be a meltdown.) All things considered, it went better than I thought it would.
Of course, after the long flight, we had another two hour flight to get to Helsinki. Little Man managed to sleep for most of that, for which I was very thankful. After collecting my ridiculous amount of luggage (let’s not even talk about that), I stepped forth to finally see Husband. Ah, sweet reunion! Two weeks is a long time to be away.
I thoroughly enjoyed the train and bus rides back to our apartment, loving that no car seat was involved. I was struck on the short walk to our building by a fierce gust of wind and was reminded just how bitter that can be. But oh, the fresh Baltic air! It was good to be home. Even more so when I stepped inside.
Apart from readjusting to Finnish life, jet lag is a bitch! I’m confident that I would be over it by now, a mere three days after arrival, if it weren’t for the little one. He seems keen on staying on US time. That being said, it’s incredibly difficult to wake him up before ten am when I haven’t been able to sleep that late since before he was born. But watch as life unfolds, folks! I started this post at six am because I couldn’t sleep. And much to my surprise, the baby woke up at seven. Perhaps today is the day we get back on track.
Needless to say, a nine month old on the brink of walking keeps me pretty busy. I’m resolving to do better on the blog front, however, and will aim for one post a week. We’re planning to travel more in May, so that might help as well. I hope you enjoy my American view on Finnish life! I’m excited to continue learning about the Finn’s, their culture, and this beautiful country.