Friday, June 10, 2016

Mei Mei Turns Three/Mei Mei on kolme-vuotias!

And now she is three. On her second birthday, Mei Mei was still in China. We had cake anyway. But it wasn't the same. Our hearts were yearning to be with our little girl, and each delay was so painful. And now, here she is. Beautiful, spunky, so full of life and joy. We are so blessed.

Happy Birthday, sweet one. You are so loved.

She loved her Peppa Pig gifts, and her Petite Feet ballet dvd (thank you, Grandma and Grandpa!). She is mesmerized by the dance instructor, and is so adorable as she tries to do the ballet moves. We have a little ballerina!

Good thing we've celebrated all week - on her actual birthday she decided to try using the potty, and stayed dry for most of the day (evening was another story). A very appropriate way to celebrate a 3-year birthday! In the bathroom;)

I had hoped to do an update on her cleft clinic visit, but I haven't gotten the report yet. We think we are now doing annual check-ups, but we'll see once we get the report. The surgeon said her palate looks good, and the speech pathologists said she should be able to make sounds now that she isn't making. She needs a full speech evaluation, and we'll be starting speech therapy in the fall. No surgeries in the near future, probably nothing for another three years, or so.


Mei Mei on kolme-vuotias! Onneksi juhlimme koko viikon, sillä synttäripäivänsä neiti päätti viettää vessassa! Täällä on ollut hyvin hidasta kuivaksi oppiminen, mutta nyt onnisti, ja niinpä sitten harjoiteltiin koko päivä:)

Ihanaa oli viettää syntymäpäivä yhdessä. Ensimmäinen. Mielessä oli Pienin edelleen tuo paljon iloa ja hyvää mieltä jokaiselle ympärillään, hän on niin täynnä elämää. (Paitsi juuri päiväuniltaan heränneenä, heh.) Olemme onnekkaita ja siunattuja, kun saimme Mei Mein perheeseemme!

Halusin päivittää blogiin halkioklinikan uutisia, mutta edelleen odotan raporttia klinikalta. Kirurgin mielestä kitalaki näyttää loistavalta. Puheterapeuttien mukaan tiettyjen äänteiden pitäisi onnistua, mutta Mei Mei ei käytä niitä vielä. Syksyllä alkaa puheterapia. Tiedossa ei onneksi ole uusia leikkauksia, mahdollisesti seuraava(t) vasta noin kolmen vuoden kuluttua.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016


One day last week on my way out of the house I saw two little armadillos on our lawn, but as soon as they noticed me, they scurried off to the bushes, and I didn't even get a picture.

But I knew they were around, so I was more ready the next time we saw them, just a few days ago.

Armed with my long lens for keeping a safe distance I zoomed in and kept clicking. At some point they noticed us, but must have realized we weren't going to bother them, so they kept digging for grubs and worms.

At first we thought there were only two of them, but a third one appeared, too. Adult armadillos grow to be about a size of a cat. These were definitely young ones.

They were so neat to watch. And of course we had to google Florida armadillos, and found out some extraordinary things.

Mama Armadillo gives birth to identical armadillos every time. Boom.

They are almost blind, but have a very keen sense of smell.

When threatened, not only can they roll into a tight ball, but they can jump straight up into air four or five feet. Yikes!

They are not native to Florida, but can be found almost anywhere, and they can be quite the pests, digging up the lawn.

Armadillos can carry - are you ready for this - leprosy....!!!!!! Yes, I had no idea. Pretty horrible. As much as we enjoyed watching our little visitors, they can go away now.

To read more, click here.

Another Life In Florida experience!


Meillä oli taas erikoisia vierailijoita pihassa!! Vyötiäisiä. Täältä voi lukea lisää. Niin mielenkiintoista kun olikin seurata heitä, vyötiäiset levittävät lepraa, eli spitaalitautia. Riski on pieni, etenkin jos emme käsittele (tai kokkaa/syö! heh), eli en ole kovin huolissani, mutta saisivat kyllä löytää uuden asuinalueen, varsinkin kun sain nämä kuvat otettua, heh heh. Mielenkiintoista oli oppia, että vyötiäisemo saa aina neloset! Me ei nähty neljättä, eikä mammaa, ehkäpä he olivat viettämässä laatuaikaa kahdestaan ;-)

Elämää Floridassa!

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Life In Florida/Elämää Floridassa

For a gal who grew up in Finland, and then lived in New England for years and years, life in Florida continues to delight and freak out surprise. For the most part I/we really enjoy seeing the wild life around us, and as homeschoolers we take these opportunities to find out more about what we see.

Having baby raccoons at our Fort Desoto campsite was such an exotic experience (if I find the post, I'll link it later), and we love spotting manatees (and swimming with them!), turtles and dolphins. Seeing the sick whale washed up in Madeira Beach was sobering, yet an interesting experience - first time for me to see a whale!

Seeing snakes on our second floor deck was not a delightful discovery, at all. There will be no pictures of those creatures on our blog (and not of big hairy eight-legged creatures either, thank you very much). And yes, there have been more than one snake. Shudder. But apparently they are the good kind, locals tell me.

Anyway, let's move on. I'd rather post a cute picture of Mei Mei on the deck.

A week ago Little Miss was collection recycling and trash from the garage, when something made her jump. She quickly got Mr A to help investigate (and when I heard the commotion I showed up with my camera and long lens - of course - I knew I probably wouldn't want to get too close to whatever was in the garage.)

It was a crab! And not a small one either. Little Miss and Mr A decided to rescue it. It took quite a bit of coaxing and work to catch this creature, but they did it!

I followed my two crazy, brave kids to the river where they had decided to release the crab.

Happy crab. Happy kids. Happy mama.

There will be a part two to this post - we got to see yet something new yesterday in our yard.


Suomalaisena, joka asui vuosikausia Uudessa Englannissa (Usan koillisosaa), elämä täällä Floridassa jaksaa kiehtoa ja kauhistuttaa. Kaikenlaisia eksoottisia otuksia on tullut nähtyä, eilenkin jotain uutta, josta seuraavaksi tulee blogiin kuvia. Mutta tämä rapu löytyi autotallistamme viime viikolla, ja rohkeat Mr A ja Pikkuneiti kävivät sen pyydystämässä ja päästämäss vapaaksi. Hullut ja rohkeat:) Minä seurasin kameran ja pitkän objektiivin kanssa, heh:)

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Goodbye, April/Hyvästit huhtikuulle!


April brought finals for our four dual enrolled college students.

April brought a cross-town move, too. (Which is surprisingly a ton of work! And we aren't done, yet.)

So we are tired. Really tired. Fall asleep sitting up tired.

But only Mei Mei looks cute enough for photos when tired. (You're welcome.)


Huhtikuu toi mukanaan teinien college kevätlukukauden päätöskokeet (joo, täällä loppui college lukukausi aikaisin - lukio ei vielä), sekä muuton kaupungin toiselle puolelle. Mikä on edelleen kesken. Täällä on aika väsynyttä porukkaa. Vain Mei Meistä on söpöjä kuvia väsyneenä:)

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Daddy, Mei Mei, Mini & Mothership

Daddy had a great helper in giving the Mini Mothership (and the Mothership!) a bath the other day.

Washing vehicles is serious work!

Or is it? I think I saw a twinkle in the Captain's eyes....

All is well again.

Working together is so special.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

March Photos/Lisää kuvia maaliskuulta

One thing that has kept this mama busy this month has been photography classes. I am feeling a tug toward family documentary style photography, and watched Kirsten Lewis' both classes on CreativeLive (links here to class 1 and class 2). Which of course has led into practicing what I am learning (most of these photos in this post) , and taking steps into starting my own photography business in that genre.

Enjoy these little moments from this past month!

And a little story from this last photo... Mei Mei has had this little baby doll she has carried everywhere with her for months. Baby came with us to Atlanta, too. But Baby didn't come back from Atlanta. We somehow, somewhere lost her beloved Baby. On the car ride back when she'd ask for her Baby, I'd tell her I wasn't sure where Baby was, but I'd look in our luggage at home. Mei Mei was ok with that. We get home - no Baby.

I did, however, have a little Bitty Baby waiting in the closet for her birthday, and decided this was the day to give it to her. And while Mei Mei looks sad in this photo, she loves her Bitty Baby, and has not asked for her other doll. Little Miss wants us to go back to the store where we bought that first baby, and get her another one. Which we might still do...


Muutama kuva maaliskuulta vielä. Kaiken mahdollisen vapaa-aikani (mitä ei kyllä ole kovin paljon tässä vaiheessa perhe-elämäämme) olen käyttänyt valokuvaamiseen, ja valokuvakursseihin. Minua suuresti kiinnostaa dokumentaarityylinen perhekuvaus, ja melkein kaikki tässä postauksessa ovat harjoituskuviani.

Viimeiseen kuvaan liittyy tarina. Mei Meillä on ollut rakas pieni nukke, joka on matkustanut kanssamme kaikkialle viimeiset kuukaudet. Myös Atlantaan tässä kuussa. Mutta kotiin saakka ei nukke päässytkään... Onneksi kotona kaapissa odotti yksi synttärilahja, tämä kuvan Bitty Baby, jonka Mei Mei hyväksyi. Pikkuneiti tosin haluaa hakea kaupasta samanlaisen, kuin alkuperäinen nukke oli, ja ehkäpä sen vielä teemme...?