The swinging spring

Here in Finland we have a saying that the spring comes swinging. It means that one day the weather can be sunny and warm when the next day it can swing back to the winter weather. It usually happens when you think that it won’t happen anymore. When you have sold the snowsuit and other winter clothes and have put the snow shovels to the storage. When you have started planting seeds and thinking about gardening.

And here we are. Today I woke up to this view.

I am anxiously waiting for the summer but the boy was excited. We can make one more snowman! So now we’ll head outdoors to play with snow. One more time.

Have a lovely day!

Mannamaria



The magical bedtime story

Have you heard of the book Rabbit Who Wants To Fall Asleep? Did you try it and did it work?

We didn’t have big problems with falling asleep but after the twins were born the evenings got worse with the boy. Nothing serious but it took 30-45 minutes and some arguing for him to fall asleep.

I wanted to find a gentle way to ease our evenings. I found this book and ordered it to a book shop but before I got it I found it on sale.

This book is written by a Swedish behavioral scientist Carl-Johan Forssén Ehrlin. It’s meditational and written in a specific psychological techniques that will help your child to relax and fall asleep.

The author claims that the book will help anyone nod off instantly while listening the book.

We’ve been reading the book for the past week. During the weekend we advanced clocks by one hour.

Did this book work for us?

First night the boy was confused and kept asking why am I saying his name, as the book suggests using the child’s name in some parts of the story. “How does the book know my name?” I didn’t have a very good answer to him. I also read it too loud and fast. The boy did relax while listening and after I got to the end he fell asleep.

The second and third night were worse and it took quite a while after finishing the story that he fell asleep. He wanted to comment the pictures on the book and ask questions.

Then I decided that he can pick up a story that we read before the rabbit story. I was thinking that he might relax during that story and then fall asleep during the rabbit story. I also kept trying new techniques with my voice and my way of reading.

Nothing seemed to help. He wanted to listen the story to the end.

Then I decided that I will stop reading when I see him calming down and looking like he might fall asleep. If I continued reading at that point he continued to listen. And that worked quite well. He fell asleep half way through the book.

With us the book didn’t work as well as I had hoped but I like the idea of it so much that I will continue reading it. Maybe after reading it time after time it will get so boring for him that he will fall asleep instantly.

Good night every one!

Mannamaria

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picture from here

The difficulty of relaxing

Yesterday I got couple of hours to myself. A friend came over to look after the twins and the husband headed to the Angry birds park with the boy. I planned on going for a long walk and maybe having a cup of coffee somewhere in peace and quiet.


When the friend arrived I rushed out of the house waving cheerfully. This me time was something that I needed so bad! I started walking and came up with an idea of going to a shopping center nearby. There are lots of coffee shops there, I was thinking.

On my way there I remembered that the boy needed new shoes so when I reached the shopping center I went to look for them in couple of stores. While I was looking for the shoes I remembered that the twins needed new windfleeces and actually there was something I needed from the pharmacy. My head was spinning when I thought about all the things I should do while I was there and had the opportunity.


I spent so much time on shopping that when I eventually sat down to eat a salad I had to hurry to get back at home in time.

Not relaxing me time at all. I couldn’t calm my mind when I should have.


While eating the salad I messaged the husband and the friend at home. Everything was fine with them. It was sunny and warm and the boy was having fun at his favorite playground.

I felt stupid having spent all that time inside in the shopping center. After finishing the salad I bought a coffee and let lady Starbucks accompany me home.

On my way home I breathed in and out, enjoyed the sun and the coffee and relaxed a little.

It was hard to get to that point and now I need to find ways to relax when I can. Calm my mind every now and then. In the evening I tried meditation but I’m not sure about that yet. I need to do it a couple of times more. Any tips are welcome!

Have a lovely week!

Mannamaria

 

Lazy weekend

This weekend I’ve been so tired that I decided not to do anything more than the obligatory. No cooking, no cleaning the house, no visitors, no nothing. Our nanny made us lasagna and ground beef soup (and cupcakes!) on Friday which meant that weekend without cooking was possible.

I also asked the husband not to talk about any chores that should be done in near future. The list is too long and I needed a break from worrying of all the things we haven’t done.

We have stayed inside in pajamas, watched Netflix, eaten cupcakes and relaxed. I joined an online yoga school and  been doing some yoga and pilates classes as well. Yesterday I drove (I’m still practicing!) to a flea market nearby and found this unused  Le Creuset -pan for a couple of euros. It’s really cute and hopefully also practical! 😊

What a wonderful weekend!

Today a friend of mine is coming over to look after the twins for couple of hours and I’m planning on going for a long walk and maybe having a cup of coffee somewhere in peace and quiet.

Enjoy your week end!

Mannamaria

Our favorite everyday food

Our most often made everyday food is macaroni casserole. I think it’s probably the most often made food in any Finnish family. The boy loves it, it’s easy and fast to make and it’s cheap. The only problem I have with this dish is that it’s not very nutritious. I usually make a side salad with it.

The only thing that can go wrong with this dish is that you don’t add enough salt. Just remember to add salt and other spices and you have a perfect everyday food here.

Writing this post I looked for some help from food.com though the recipe itself is mine.

Ingredients:

1 onion
400 g ground beef
1 tbs oil (for frying)
400 g macaroni (uncooked)
7 dl milk
3 eggs
Spices (salt, pepper, herbs, nutmeg, curry, paprika, whatever you like)

Instructions

  1. Cook the macaroni. (remember to add enough salt to the boiling water)

  2. Heat oil in skillet and brown the ground beef with the chopped onion. Add spices that you like. I usually go with salt, black pepper and some dried herbs.

  3. Preheat oven to 200 c and grease an oven proof casserole dish.

  4. Add the macaroni and meat/onion mixture.

  5. Whisk together milk and eggs. Add spices that you like. I usually use salt, black pepper and curry. Pour this mixture over the macaroni and meat in the casserole. Bake in the preheated oven for approximately 40 minutes, or until the casserole is heated throughout.

Tips!

  • You can add grated cheddar cheese in the casserole before baking it if you like.
  • Sometimes I add grated carrot or chopped zucchini to the meat/onion mixture in skillet but that’s not the traditional way of doing this dish. It’s just my way of adding vegetables.
  • If it lacks taste add more salt and spices next time.
  • My grand mother adds small pieces of butter on top of this dish before putting it in the oven. That adds for taste but makes it less healthy.
  • Serve with ketchup.
  • Traditionally there is grated carrot as a side salad.

 

What we ate at the party

The week before the party was busy. We had invited only 20 guests but with the nanny we made two salmon quiches, spinach and feta quiche, quiche Lorraine, cinnamon rolls, two different kind of cookies and a layer cake. At the table we also had a sandwich cake that my sister made, brownies that my husband (!!) made, a mousse cake from a bakery and carelian pies with spread made of butter and hard boiled eggs.
We actually made two layer cakes but the other one is still in the freezer since we had toooo much everything to eat.
Here are some photos from the party!

Mannamaria

Our lovely nanny drives me crazy

We have a new nanny. She is a lovely 62-year-old lady. She is a former cook and has lots of experience as a nanny. She’s been with us now 3 times and made cakes, cinnamon rolls, cookies, salmon pies and lasagna and lots of cleaning the house. I’m very grateful for her.

The problem is she does too much. For example she looks into all of our cabinets trying to find something, she eats our food (which is obviously ok but I think it would be polite to ask), she washes my laundry without asking and ruins the clothes, she empties the dishwasher without asking and I can’t find anything in the kitchen. She even takes photos of the babies without asking me first. She really makes herself at home.

I know that she wants to be useful. Women of her generation didn’t play with their kids. She seems to think that the kids should play alone while she does domestic work. A woman should keep her home clean at any time. She means well and she is very kind.

At the same time she drives me crazy.

I hope that she would ask me first. I could tell her “please don’t touch my laundry” or “here you can find this and this”.

I don’t know what to do. It’s really hard to think about a way to talk to her without insulting her. In a way she’s like my mom. They do their best. But I can’t go on like this much longer.

Any tips?

Mannamaria

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