Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The long nightless night.

It has been a while, where to begin? I'm not sure whether to attempt a big catch up, or to just skip straight to the nightless nights of northern Finland. I'll try for both.

We left Colorado for Edmonton, Alberta, where we attended the beautiful wedding of S and M. Or I should say, attended in a relay fashion, passing our (remarkable baton shaped) baby back and forth. It was beautiful though, and fun to dress up. Not to mention being reunited with all my super-favourite Toronto and Australia ladies, that right there was the highlight.
Then, on the YEG --> YYZ flight (Edmo to Toronto) Heiko suddenly started a burning fever. That kicked off a challenging week of nursing my sick baby boy, with the cherry on top being catching the dread illness on the day before our huge Euro travel departure!!!! Still, it was a good week in Toronto, spent taking long walks, catching up with friends, watching heiko play get to know you with uncle G, and enjoying the good company and food all around.
Heiko is going through an interesting and kind of challenging developmental phase. He still isn't walking on his own, but prefers to guide an appropriate adult around my one finger, on which he tugs really remarkably hard. In other words, he doesn't really need that support, he just wants it. And I should emphasize the appropriateness of the adult. Basically it was only mum or dad, with a very strong preference for dad. Sadly the grandparents were lovely for smiling at and waving to, but not for much else, according to this opinionated little boy. Dashed were my big plans of taking advantage of such loving and willing babysitters to attend numerous yoga classes and linger over baby-free (and hopefully baby-unfriendly spicy food themed) meals with old friends. Instead it was nursing and walking, nursing and walking. In fact, I didn't even pull out my camera for a full week after our arrival in Toronto, as my hands were literally always full. However, while they were not really able to do much in the way of taking care of Heiko, Grammie and grandad were able to take care of me, which was totally essential.
All told, not exactly the Toronto vacation I had imagined, but it was still good to be home, although as usual, more than a little heartbreaking to remember how much I miss the city and the very dear people who live in it.
That brings us to a week ago, when we boarded a plane bound for Northern Europe. Heiko slept happily through the whole transatlantic flight, and napped throughout our connecting flight to Finland. We spent a night in Helsinki before jetting further north to Inari, north of the arctic circle. From there, a bus brought us to Saariselka, where we are presently stationed.
 
Yes, here we are, in the arctic. Apparently the sun rose sometime in May and won't set until sometime in July. The nightless nights are not exactly ideal for getting over jet lag, however. It really is bizarre to glance at the windows with the curtains drawn and always feel that it is morning, that the day is getting started.
We've been seeing a lot of reindeer, and <ehem>, eating even more of it. I thought that eating reindeer would be kind of a novelty thing, but in fact it seems to just genuinely be a staple of the Lapland diet. So, I can say that reindeer are both cute and tasty. Strange.
 
OK, I fear the nap time draws to a close, so I will basically save the photos for other posts. Meantime, here is a showcase of the pro walker. And finally, post walk, enjoying the nightless night. I think this was taken at about 10pm, or, 22:00 I should say.
 

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