Funny stories

With the 3-year-old it’s sometimes tricky to get him to do as I’d like. For example, going out or getting in, cleaning up his toys or brushing his teeth are quite often difficult situations.

I try to avoid yelling at him no matter what. I do not want to bribe him with sweets or screen time, and threatening him with restrictions also feels uncomfortable. Usually, I try to make up a play and get things done without him even noticing that he did as I told him to do in the first place. For example, “Let’s play that we are firefighters and we have to put on our overalls and boots and go quickly outside to put the fire out! Let’s go! There is a fire! We have to be quick!”

It doesn’t work every time but when I pull different strings I usually find something that works well enough. One thing that he finds hard to resist is if I promise to tell him funny stories. He usually starts to laugh already when I say something like “if you come to brush your teeth now, mommy will tell you three funny stories”.

The stories can be anything. He will laugh and ask for more no matter how lame the story was. In that way he’s the best possible audience. ๐Ÿ˜„ One of our classics goes like this: “one day mommy saw a man walking on the street eating a banana. Accidentally, he dropped the peels on the ground but didn’t see them. So he stepped on them, slipped and fell on his butt!”

Other’s can be something like “what is white and is peeking behind the corner? -shy sourmilk” or “what is red and goes up and down? -lingonberry in an elevator”

Telling funny stories or jokes is also a good way to turn negative atmosphere into a positive and relaxed one.

How do you get your kids to do what you want? Do you know some lame jokes that I could add to my repertoire? I would love to hear them!

Mannamaria

Mommy’s day off

Approximately once a month I get a proper day off. A day to spend with friends and do whatever I want. Our evenings are a one big holabaloo so I try to be back by 6 p.m but you can do a lot of things before that.

Last Saturday I met a friend in Helsinki centre and we went out to have some lunch and a glass of wine. I’ve told you before that I love my home town and here are some more photos of the beautiful Helsinki. 

This place is called ‘Lรถyly’. Impossible to pronouce for foreigners but one of the best places to visit in Helsinki right now. There is a sauna that you can visit and then swim in the sea of you like but I’ve never done that there. 

The day was sunny and warm. Food and wine were good, company was excellent and I came home smiling. I love days like these. They give boost to everyday life with kids for a long time. 

One thing I’ve noticed is that whenever I publish photos of my favorite locations, it’s always with a sea view. I really love the sea. ๐Ÿ’•

Have a lovely week!

Mannamaria 


Focus

This photo represents my focus right now. I’m enjoying the summer so much! Last week end we found a new ice cream place quite close to where we live. 

They make their own ice cream and it was so good! The flavor I chose was marshmallow. We’ll definitely go back some sunny day.

This is my take on the weekly photo challenge.

Mannamaria

What’s going on in the garden?ย 

Today I did little photographing in our garden. I don’t have a green thumb. Not even close. Last year, after living here for one year, our cherry tree died. I don’t know how that’s possible. How can a big tree that has stood there for years die all of a sudden? Oh well.. at least I get a chance to plant some new tree there. Something else than a cherry.

These little guys are some kind of Myosotis. They live wild everywhere but I think they are beautiful. When you look at them from far away they look like a blue sky or a ย sea.

We have two different kinds of Rhododendrons. Both of them are in bad condition. I should probably take care of them some way but I don’t know what to do with them. I think they might end up having the same destiny as the cherry tree if I don’t figure out something soon. They are pretty and I hope I can save them somehow.

I guess this next one is called English Hawthorn or Paul’s Scarlet. It will be very beautiful when the buds open but we’re not there yet.

This one you all know. It’s an apple tree. I took this photo couple of days ago. Our apple tree is the kind that has three different breeds in it. I don’t know what they are. It was in a bad condition when we moved in here and we have been cutting it a lot. I think it will either go with the cherry tree and rhododendrons or bloom amazingly in a year or two.

This is a ‘Bleeding heart’. It’s said to bloom very early in the spring but this year it’s blooming now. While googling the English name for this I learnt that it’s native to Siberia, Northern China, Korea and Japan. No wonder I don’t have any problems keeping this one alive.

Dandelion. I was actually planning a post “When your garden gives you dandelions – make an anadem”. I would like to learn to eat them and stuff but the only thing I use them for are anadems. Needless to say I didn’t have time to finish the anadem I started and the flowers went bad so no post about anadems this time.

In the last photo there is just some random tree that has white flowers. I tried to google it but didn’t find it. I kind of like it though.

I’m dreaming about a well kept garden that has some fruit trees and woody shrubs with berries. When the kids are older I would like to have a vegetable garden and a place to grow my herbs. Maybe even a small green house. Also I’d like to double the size of our terrace, have some part of it glazed and add a hot tub. Little this and that as you can see. ๐Ÿ˜€

One day, but not within the next couple of years, we will renovate this whole backyard and then I will make all of my garden dreams come true.

But before that I must learn to keep my plants alive. ๐Ÿ˜€

How is your garden or how would your dream garden be like?

Mannamaria

Lately

The boy started his summer holiday this week. It means I’m busier than ever at home and haven’t been able to update this blog as much as I had hoped. I don’t want to take extra stress about this so I think I will update it a little more seldom during the summer and get back to more frequent posting schedule in August.

Some things and happenings from this week…

Last Sunday I put the first baby items on sale. I photographed a changing table and a Manduca baby carrier. In four hours they were picked up. I was surprised how well it worked! Now I have looked for some other stuff to put online. I hope they sell as fast as the first items!

With the twins we don’t have much time to do any renovating. We should for example renew our terrace but maybe next year. Currently we simply don’t have the time or energy. That’s why I’m quite proud that we managed to build the sandbox this week. The boy has been really excited about it. He also got a big digger and he loves it. He has been very dirty every day when he comes in and we have sand everywhere in the house and garden. Oh well…

I have worked hours and hours in the garden fighting with weeds. We bought this house from an old couple who hadn’t taken care of the garden for years. It was in a very bad condition. We don’t have the energy to renew it yet but we try to keep it from getting worse. But even that is soooo much work! I had imagined that we basically just have to mow the lawn but I was naively wrong about that. For someone who has only lived in flats before (๐Ÿ™‹๐Ÿป), all this garden work feels quite exhausting.

We bought a new dining table and a hanging umbrella to our terrace. If only someone would renovate the terrace itself.

We have tested the new table many times this week and we love it.

The boy learnt this week that there is an ice-cream van. A van that drives around near our home and sells only ice cream! What could be better than that! Needless to say we had to visit.

One day we arranged all toy cars that we could find on the floor. Nearly 100. Not as bad as I had thought.

The baby boy got his first two teeth. I can’t believe he’s that big already!

I also took some photos of our garden and put them there at the end of this post!

Have a lovely weekend!

Mannamaria

I found that horse shoe last year from the flowerbed. In couple of weeks we found out we were expecting twins.

Live like it was the last day of summer

Since you never know what’s going to happen with the weather we have been trying to enjoy the sun and warmth lately. We have spent a lot of time outdoors, playgrounds and our backyard.

We made a sandbox for the boy and you should have seen his face! He was so excited. And sooo dirty afterwards. I’m not sure if we thought this whole sandbox in our backyard thing quite through. ๐Ÿ˜€ The mother-in-law was here to help for couple of days so we could do all sorts of things. This sandbox for example.


The summer could be over any day so now is the time to do all the summer things we want to do. Here’s another list I made. It’s about summer activities that I would like to do before fall.

  • Eat outside as much as possible
  • Have a barbecue as often as possible
  • Have a picnic in some nice park or for example Suomenlinna fortress island
  • Heat up the sauna (with wood) and sit outside in the summer night after going to sauna
  • Eat lots of ice cream
  • Make a strawberry cream cake using the first Finnish strawberries
  • Go out to have a glass of wine with friends and leave the kids home
  • Keep the garden neat
  • Let the boy play outside with water as much as he pleases
  • Go to the outdoor swimming venue
  • Go to the beach and swim in the sea
  • Swim in a lake
  • Go to the zoo
  • Go to the amusement park
  • Go to an domestic animal farm
  • … and a real farm, byre, barn etc.
  • Go pick up berries for freezer for winter
  • Spend some time at our summer cottage

We’ll need many sunny days to be able to do it all. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that we do. It’s kind of funny and sad at the same time to live in a place where you really don’t know about the weather. Literally everyone is excited when the sun is shining, and the atmosphere is great everywhere you go. People are really happy and smiling! But the reason for that is that this could end any day. Well anyways, let’s enjoy it while it lasts!

What are your favorite summer activities? Are there some must-dos?

Have a lovely day!

Mannamaria

This is our apple tree. I love those flowers.


 

Rhubarb – opportunity or challenge?

This year the spring was so cold that the rhubarb stalks were ready for picking only last week. I made a big rhubarb pie with my favorite recipe and invited people for a coffee.


I love rhubarb pie. Rhubarb is the first thing to harvest from the garden in the spring and in a way it symbols the beginning of the summer, and garden work, for me. Reminds me that “hey, we’re growing here in the garden. Please remember to take care of us!”


This is only our second summer living in a house so gardening doesn’t come naturally to me. I really don’t have a green thumb. I’m trying but with twins I don’t have enough time to look after the garden. Maybe next year it will be better.

The only problem I have with rhubarb is that rhubarb pie is the only thing I can make of it. And I can’t make that many pies ’cause somebody has to eat them too.


We don’t use juices and rhubarb jam sounds peculiar. My mother-in-law recommended making a kissel but I’m not too excited about that either.


For one or two weeks I’m really excited about rhubarb but then I leave it to the corner of the garden to wait for the next summer. Poor little thing. It deserves better but I don’t know what to do with it.

Do you like rhubarb? What do you make of it?

Mannamaria