After coming back from Vancouver Island we checked in to the hotel, which served as a base-camp for all the visitors of the wedding of Natalie and Bruce, an old school friend of Annika. The wedding was the initial motivation for the trip, so it was really nice to spend some time with Bruce and his friends every day we were there. And the resort hotel was fantastic. The suite we were staying in was actually bigger than our apartment back in the days in Leppävaara :) Continue reading
The last week was full of nice activities. We went to Kokkola last Friday to meet Annika’s family and to help a bit out at the cottage. Annika stayed the weekend and me until Wednesday afternoon. Even though there were a lot of mosquitoes in moments without any wind, it was wonderful to be there and enjoy the sun. Moreover Linnéa could spend a couple of hours with her aunt and grandpa, while I was painting and building up IKEA shelves. Even though I really felt that I was a bit tired, when I was explained to not paint one plank. I agreed, but somehow it didn’t reach my brain and the first thing I did when I continued painting was doing exactly the opposite – painting it :D Shit happens ;) I was by far not as efficient as I would have liked to be, but the sun was really tempting :) Back in town I met with my old colleagues, with a new colleague from BMW, who happened to be in Helsinki and one evening Inni came to visit us and she got to taste my first home-made sushi. All in all a really active but as well really really nice week.
AAAAND…finally Linnéa started to crawl :) That’s a big step we waited for. She is getting really active and I have to get used to the fact, that she doesn’t play in one place anymore, which makes my day a bit more hectic :) Out of this reason I put her into her baby bed to play one day, while I was going to the toilet. And when I was coming back she was standing in there and waving at me. I tried not to panic and smiled to reach her slowly, as there was the desk and wooden chest behind the elastic walls of the baby bed. We resolved the situation then without anybody getting hurt. I definitely learned out of that :) But the purpose of this post: Here are some…
Sitting at home, drinking an evening beer while Linnéa is sleeping. This might be the right point of time to look back a little and to think about the first part of my paternity-leave I longed so much for. So, while Annika is fighting with the European decision processes, I center my life for a short while around our little one.
But it didn’t start as expected, as I got a fever during one of the first nights, which didn’t let me sleep more than an hour during that night. Poor Annika, who had to handle an hypochondriac husband during that night. Luckily Soumya and Asko, two friends from the times back at Nokia, jumped in to support me throughout the following day. Thanks a lot for that! After a quick recovery and the move into our real apartment in the city, I could (re)start the time at home a week after. There we are now. It’s hard to explain, but the every-day life changes completely and the responsibility grows big time. I took care of Linnéa a lot before, but previously Annika was mostly there as well. She backed up every decision I made. It was mostly me observing, learning and adapting. Filling the gaps. I didn’t expect the change being so big. But being alone at home let me feel the responsibility I have much stronger. It maybe sounds funny, but even this can make you feel exhausted at the end of the day.
As said before, Linnéa and me spent together almost every free minute the work left us. But still I was a bit nervous, as Annika is THE person for her, being around 24/7. In Munich sometimes Linnéa didn’t allow me to hold her, when Annika was in the same room. But certainly we had a good start together. At the beginning the “goodbye mom” was still a bit tough, and some crying involved, but this changed already to a happy “goodbye-waving-kissing mom”. Phew! Otherwise we had to find our rhythm together, which works better and better every day. Until now we were really lucky with the weather and spent a lot of time outside walking and running. I love the liberty of being able to fill the day with nice and enjoyable things. We are a lot in the city, playing in the park next door or preparing lunch and dinner.
It feels great right now. And everything around Linnéa feels so much more intense. I think we are getting so much closer and understanding each other better every day. A nice story, which happened to me in a restaurant could be representative for the first few weeks. A couple was sitting next to the table, where Linnéa and me sat. The woman pregnant. The couple was dining in peace, talking, and enjoying the moment, while Linnéa was jumping up and down on my lap. At some point they started the conversation. We talked – of course – about being a parent. When I gave the advice, that they should really enjoy one of the last dinners in peace, the guy said: “You look so happy, so that I can bear with the change.”
That made me really happy :)
In two days Linnéa is already two months old, and she is already so much in the center of our life, that I can’t really remember how it was before she was born. She is the cutest thing ever. Ui, still feeling that some hormones put me on a constant high. But in the last two month I learned a lot about myself and I’ve never felt as happy, worried, confident, weak, needed, tired, strong, insecure and loved before. It’s mostly about happiness, but some moments are pretty tough too. So nice that Annika and me support each other so well and that the one pulls the other up when it’s needed. Together we try to find our way through the jungle of advices everybody has to offer, whether asked or not :)
It is wonderful to see how she develops, how her own personality gets visible more and more. She laughs a lot, when she is in a good mood and is a dream-baby, when we go out to see friends or have visitors. Last weekend Soumya and Matti – my former Nokia colleagues – visited us here, and we spent a really nice and relaxed weekend together. On Friday and Saturday we discovered the city and on Sunday we took a car rental to drive into the alps. The only bad thing was the rental. I booked the car on Saturday night for Sunday morning 8 o’clock. When I arrived on time at the airport, there wasn’t any car and when I booked I didn’t realize, that in the process of booking a rental car there is still some manual work to be done. Somebody actually has to click the OK button, so that the booking goes through. And this somebody comes to work at ten on Sundays, I had to wait a little there, having a breakfast at the airport, while the others took it at home. The lady at m-broker did the best to help me, but even she was pretty helpless. After ten everything went seamlessly though. And then we enjoyed the wonderful autumn-colors of the trees, went with the gondola on the “Blomberg” close to Bad Tölz, continued hiking onto the “Zwiesel” and hiked down to our car. On Monday they left us, but thanks for the nice time we had. Some photos of the last two month you’ll find here:
Now it’s already more than a month ago, that Linnéa was born, but still it is hard to believe, that she is actually our little one we longed so much for during the last couple of months. As hard as the headline is to understand for a non-Finnish-speaker as hard it was for us sometimes at the beginning to understand what she is telling us. It took a while to get into it, and I’m really grateful, that I could stay the first two weeks at home, so that we could support and learn from each other.
Slowly routines are helping in the everyday life. We are getting to know each other better and the relationship to her gets closer every minute she is in my arms, doing her little sounds while sleeping or looking into my eyes, while talking to her. We are a real family now, and it is already hard to imagine, how it was before, when we were just the two of us. Everything has changed and is settling right now. We walked already a lot of kilometers, enjoying the nice weather in the last couple of weeks, which seems to have come to an end now, as it’s colder now and it rains every now and then.
Further, we have quite some visitors here in Munich, so that Linnéa already met all her grandparents and her aunt, niece and uncle. As they all want to see a bit of the city and the surroundings, the little one made already quite some trips and we learn as parents with every journey, what we should not forget – for example extra-clothes, so that she will never have to wear a jacket as trousers again after a little poop desaster :) There is so much to tell and so many pictures to share, but so little time. We are sooo happy, that everythig went so well and about being a family. There is really nothing you can compare it to.