Starting The Baby Food Factory

The twins are 4 months old and it’s time to start thinking about solid food. With the older boy I waited until he was 6 months old but this time we’re ready earlier.

Stage 1 baby food is soft cooked and thinly puréed. This food is also lowest on the allergy scale and should be those veggies that are easiest digested by tiny tummies. You should start by introducing single ingredient at a time and 4 days apart with introducing new ingredients. (1)

This time I have started by making sweet potato and carrot purées. The babies will start tasting with such small amounts that I froze these self made purées as ice cubes. This way it’s easy to take one cube at a time and later I can mix and match different flavors.

Our girl is definitely ready for the purées. She seems excited to see the spoon and opens her mouth nicely. She doesn’t seem to get any stomach problems and is as happy as a baby can be.

Our boy on the other hand has always had problems with eating and he has had quite much stomach problems. I’m not sure if trying some solids has made it worse or not but with him I’ll take it slower. Trying even smaller amounts first and introducing new ingredients slower.

Next I think that I’ll try avocado (not frozen obviously!). Then maybe some fruit.. plum? I’m glad the summer is ahead and we have lots of fresh veggies available and even more to come. 🙂

Please share your tips and thoughts. 🙂

Have a nice week end!

Mannamaria

To anyone expecting twins

Or to anyone meeting someone who is expecting twins.

I wanted to make a list of things I wish someone had told me when I was expecting my twins. It got too long so I split it in half. 

Here is the first part of it. I hope you like it!

1. People will ask you very intimate questions. Prepare to have an answer at least to the following: Were they conceived the natural way or via infertility treatment? Did you have a normal labour or c-section? Do you have twins in your family? That is not a very intimate question as long as the answer is yes. Answering no causes a bunch of new questions. And a bonus question: Are they identical? I have a girl and a boy.

2. It’s not a good idea to buy them similar clothes. I have a boy and girl. I didn’t think I would have trouble remembering who I last fed or changed the diaper to. But when you are tired and keep feeding and changing their diapers all the time you do forget it. As annoying as it is, it helps if you have color coded them. The older boy started to call them “the blue baby” and “the red baby” when I stopped using similar clothes on them. This way I have a better chance remembering if it was the blue baby or the red baby I last fed.

Vs.



3. Give a real chance to the things you think are important. Things are probably not going to go as you planned anyway but pick the ones you wish to work and make your best effort at them. For example, if you would like to breastfeed them, buy a good breastfeeding pillow and a pump while you are still pregnant. When I was pregnant I thought “we’ll see how it goes. I don’t want to worry about it.”.

But by thinking like that I never learnt for example to breastfeed them at the same time. Having a proper pillow would have helped a lot but after a while I started to think that there is no point in buying an expensive pillow now when I don’t know if it would work out anyway. And now I feel bummed because I don’t think I gave it a proper chance.

4. Try to get some regular help. Having a nanny once or twice a week has been a real blessing. It feels easier to stay up at night with them when you know that in a couple of days the nanny will come and let you sleep for couple of hours during the day. Or you can clean the house while she’s there. Take care of the things that you never have time to do. Have a lunch date with your husband. Update your blog. Get a reminder that there is still other life than the babies. Or just get some rest.

5. Don’t listen to other people too much. People will give you many advice concerning how to raise twins. Of course you are the only one who knows what works for your family. For example, you say that you are tired and get a response “you should keep them in the same sleep cycle and wake the other one up to eat at the same time with the other one”. They mean well but it can be hurtful if you have tried it and million other things but still feel tired.

This is it for now! Do you have other tips, questions or comments?

Have a lovely day!

Mannamaria

Our lovely nanny drives me crazy, part 2

You can read the first part of the story here.

You remember the time when you had to break up with a nice boy? Someone who tried his best, bought flowers and took you out to dinners. But you knew something was missing. For quite some time you tried to make it work but eventually you knew it would never work. You knew breaking up was the right thing to do but it was killing you knowing how much it would hurt him. You knew that he didn’t expect it and for weeks you thought how to do it. What would be the least hurtful way to say it?

And then one day you just did it. Made some excuse like “this is not a good time”, “I’m too busy right now” and of course that “it’s not you, it’s all me”. Afterwards you second guessed yourself. What if no one will ever treat you the way he did again?

Well I broke up with our nanny.

Tomorrow is her last day with us.

She worked for us for three months. Ever since the twins were born. We had some ups and downs but right now I’m convinced that this is the right thing to do. This decision has been a hard one. I’m still sad I had to make it. She is an absolutely wonderful person. Very nice old lady.

But every time she came by there was something I had to point her out. I decided that I would give max one negative comment per visit to keep the good spirit up and have her motivated. But the things started to pile up and I couldn’t keep up with them. To give you some examples, I’ve talked her about the following:

  • not doing our laundry (she ruined lots of clothes by putting whites and blacks and everything together in the machine)
  • not using metal tools on Teflon pans (still she ruined two pans, a cake tin and a cupcake pan)
  • to not put clothes from washing machine to the dryer (since not all clothes can be put there and she couldn’t sort the clothes)
  • not putting wooden tools or sharp knives in to the dishwasher
  • showing up on time

After that I gave up.

One time she asked me how to use an electric steam sterilizer for bottles and I was happy. I explained it in detail and thought that for once she didn’t just do as she pleased. When I was about to use the bottles I noticed that she hadn’t washed them before putting them in even though I had explicitly told her so.

I knew it was time to let the winds of change blow.

Sometimes I think about all the good times and start second guessing myself. She does the best cinnamon rolls ever! I loved coming back to a clean home that smelled like cinnamon rolls and I didn’t have to start cooking since she had cooked us meals for many days.

Next week we’ll have a new nanny. She won’t cook us meals, bake bread buns and cookies and it won’t be clean and all. But I don’t also have to worry about broken things.

Now I’ll head off to buy her a thank you gift and hope that she finds a lovely new family.

I hope we can still stay friends.

Mannamaria

The first 3 months with the twins

The twins are now three months old. Time seems to fly faster than ever. I’m still waiting for the spring to come. I can’t believe it snowed yesterday. Snow! At the end of April? On New Years Eve the husband raked the yard and now that the barbecue season should start we get snow. Oh well. Sometimes I feel like moving somewhere warm.

The past month brought some hardships when the boy got colic right after the christening party. I wrote about that here. The refloxologist really helped and situation has been good after her visit. I still have some worries but everything is pretty much ok right now.

The babies have started to “talk” with us. They babble back when you talk to them and they smile that big smile that lights up their whole face and makes it impossible not to smile yourself.

The boy learnt to turn from stomach to back. He also tries to pull himself up to sitting position when I’m holding him. The girl likes to have her service and is not that eager to practice moving or other skills yet.

In many ways they are really different. I don’t know why that surprises me since it’s obviously the case with nonidentical twins but one thing they both like is hanging out with each other. Before I felt like they didn’t even realize there was someone else next to them but now that they have started to get more interested in other people they also notice each other.

One day they were both awake at the same time and both wanted to be held. For a while, I carried them around in turns until I finally decided to put them on the floor facing each other. And it worked! Ever since they have been keeping each other company every once in a while. This realization made my life a lot easier.

The big brother is still only happy to have little sister and brother. Every day he wants to hug them and kiss them and help looking after them. We have paid a lot of attention on giving him enough time alone without the babies and I think this is something we have done right. He hasn’t acted out or been jealous in any way.

The babies sleep their naps outside but other than that we haven’t been out much because of the cold weather. For the next month, I’m hoping that we could move our life little more outside and the weather finally gets better.

Have a nice first of May!

Mannamaria

A wonderful surprise

There I lied in the doctor’s office.

“Are you sure?”

“We have to wait until week 12 to see if they both make it but at the moment I can see two heart beats.”

It was midsummer 2016. A sunny and a beautiful day. I had gone to the doctor’s to hear the bad news. To hear that I had miscarried. Again.  All the symptoms referred to that.

I had wanted to face the news by myself so after the shocking news I quickly messaged the husband: “everything ok x2”.

“Good”

“Oh wait”

“X2?”

“Twins????”

“Yes!”

“Omg”

“Omgomgomg”

“We have to buy a bigger car!”

Not even in our wildest dreams had we believed that we could have twins. I had said it out loud though. That I would like to have twins. And now my husband could say you should be careful with what you wish for. It really can come true.

After the doctor’s we met with the husband at a restaurant. We kept spluttering and could not have a real conversation. We just kept repeating phrases like “is this really happening?”, “how is this possible?”, “we need to buy so much stuff”, “we really need a bigger car” and “ohmygod ohmygod ohmygod”.

Thinking back that day I’m smiling. We were excited and terrified. Happy and nervous. Already planning the life with them but at the same time worried that we might lose the other one or both of them.

And here they are. Three months old. Our bundles of joy. Wonderful  surprises.

Mannamaria

For a weekly photo challenge.

A story of a crying baby

First weeks our baby boy was as happy a baby as one can be. I was even a little worried because he slept a lot and seemed almost phlegmatic. We kept saying that he is a very laid back and easy going boy.

After a few weeks he started to stay up in the evening for a couple of hours and we were happy since it usually meant the he would then sleep almost full night. He would eat a lot during the evening which we thought was good since it would then help him sleep a longer period.

Sometimes he would eat so much that he would cry because of stomach problems but after carrying him around the situation would get better and he would end up falling asleep happily without any problems.

Quite soon we were carrying him around all evening trying to help the stomach problems with good success on some evenings and not so much on the others. Often when the baby boy was crying the baby girl would do the same only out of empathy. She didn’t seem to have stomach problems of her own and she would fall asleep immediately after the boy calmed down. With two crying babies we tried to put the first born son to bed. This was nearly impossible mission in such noise and the older boy would be cranky since he didn’t get the attention during the bed time he deserved. Every one in the house suffered from this heart breaking crying.

After a very bad evening the baby boy sometimes slept for 24 hours only waking up to eat. That’s when the others could rest a little too.

Eventually we got to a point were the crying started every evening at 6 and ended around 9:30. It was heart breaking and frustrating not being able to help the baby. I felt also like a horrible mom not being able create a calm environment for the older boy to fall asleep in. The crying started regardless of our eating or not eating before it and also if we were not at home. And absolutely nothing helped with it. We tried everything we could think of or find from the Internet.

We read that baby colic starts always before the age of three weeks. If it’s true this was not colic though the other symptoms would indicate so.

During the day the babies were happy and I kept thinking that I had imagined the whole thing. That it really was not as bad as I thought it was. That I just had a wrong attitude and I was being negative and finding and creating problems when we really didn’t have them. I blamed myself for the situation.

It didn’t seem to get better and after a couple of weeks I contacted a refloxologist who came for a visit. The baby was in a very good mood smiling and babbling for her when she treated him and again I was thinking that she must think that I asked her over for nothing.

After the visit the crying stopped. We still have to hold him all evening but that calms him. It’s such a good feeling to be able to help him. I felt really helpless a while back. Maybe we’ll do a couple of treatments more to really normalize this situation but I’m already happy with this positive turn. Our evenings are quiet again.

I will update the story later when we know if this was a permanent solution.

Please share your story and tips.

Have a beautiful day!

Mannamaria

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The baby box 2017

In Finland we have this thing called baby box. The state has given it to all expectant mothers for more than 75 years and the program (enabling also free prenatal care and parenting information) has helped Finland achieve one of the world’s lowest infant mortality rate.

New updated box is revealed every year. It’s still considered a valued asset and the new box is even featured on national news.

Here is the baby box 2017: 2017_Kaikki_tuotteet
It contains lots of clothes, blankets and other new born necessities. When our son was born in 2014 I ordered the box and waited for it anxiously. When the box came I carried the box (it’s big!) to the living room and spread the clothes on the floor. 😀 My mom saved my baby box from the 80’s for me and I will save this box for my son.

Mostly we used  the sleeping bag, winter clothes and the small necessities like baby scissors, hairbrush, thermometer and the little book there is.

This time with the twins we didn’t take the box. We chose to take the money (which is approximately 30 % of the value of the box) instead.

I really like the new box though. It’s just that the winter clothes would have been too big this winter and small next winter. Also now that we already have those small necessities we don’t need another set.

But the new box! My favorite products this year are the sleeping bag, light snow suit and the jumpsuit.

sleepingbaghaalarijumpsuit

Every year the clothes get critic for the colors being more for boys. I get this but I would wear these also for girls. Finding fresh unisex patterns and colors is not easy and these are quite bright and happy.

In 2014 the box didn’t contain a cuddly toy and I find this puppy adorable. The towel and the bib were useful as well.

What do you think of this box?

Have a lovely day!

Mannamaria

 

More info and sources:

BBC: Why Finnish babies sleep in cardboard boxes
Independent: ‘Every child is equal’: How Finland’s baby boxes changed childhood
NY Times: Why Finland’s Newborns Sleep in Cardboard Cribs

Info source
Pictures