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. 😄 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

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 (🙋🏻), 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. 😀 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.


 

How does it feel to be a big brother?

Ok, I’m back. It took me couple of days to recover and get back on my feet after the past weeks but now I feel good. The other day I complained to the husband that I had lost the joy or fun in my days when he was working so much and I felt like I was just carrying out tasks one after another after another for so long that it felt endless. But anyways I’m glad that things are back to normal. The joy has made a comeback into our lives.

Today I thought I would talk about our older son and how he has reacted or accepted the new siblings.

How does it feel to be a big brother is a common question for older siblings. My three-years-old is not very keen on talking about his feelings so when one asks him that question he usually rolls his eyes and leaves and I’m left there explaining if there has been jealousy. If the person asks “is it nice to have a baby sister and a brother?” one may hear a yes before the boy is gone.

I know that the situation may change at any point but the first four months have gone surprisingly well. He is a proud big brother, always ready to help with the babies. It’s lovely to see how he takes care of the babies, kisses them good night and always makes sure that I remember to mind the babies too. Couple of weeks ago he did something that he was first very nervous of doing. Afterwards I told him “mom is very proud of you”. He thought about it for a while and said “mom is very proud of the babies too”. “Yes, mom is very proud of all of her children”.

He wants to know where the babies are at all times and if one starts to cry and I can’t get there immediately he runs to the baby saying something like “don’t worry baby, mom is coming, it’s gonna be OK, don’t worry”. The babies start to smile when they see their big brother and I think that’s all he needs as a reward.

I know that the biggest reason that everything has been so well is his character. He’s very kind and caring and always wants to do the right thing. I can’t take credit on this good situation. It’s all his own merit. But there are things we try to keep in mind.


I think that in our case, involving him to take care of the babies has been the most important thing for us to remember. He doesn’t feel left out but very important when we give him tasks. Those tasks involve for example measuring the temperature of babies’ bath water. Sometimes he doesn’t want to help because he’s playing and that’s ok. On the the other day I asked him to bring me a pacifier and replied “mommy I can’t do that right now, can’t you see that this boat is just about to get through a canal” . “Ok, hon”.

Another thing I try to keep in mind is giving him one on one time without the babies. Every evening we read a bed time story and that is a moment he gets alone with mom or dad. Once a week the nanny is with the babies and I go to the playground or do something else alone with him.

There are many things in our life right now that I’m hoping are just phases and I hope will pass quickly but this one I hope stays the same for a long time.

Have a lovely day!

Mannamaria


 

 

Oh Summer Let Me Hug You

Today it was 25 Celsius first time this year. We spent all day outside with the children. I hope that the weather stays like this for a long time but in case it doesn’t we wanted to make the most of it.

First time this year:

  • the boy wore a cap instead of a beanie,
  • he used his new summer shoes,
  • he didn’t have to wear an overall at the playground,
  • he got to water paint (do you do this? He loves it! Great recommendation),
  • he got to play other water games outdoors,
  • the twins were out on a blanket,
  • I had a problem of what the twins should wear so that it’s not too hot for them in the pram,
  • I had my morning coffee outside at the terrace,
  • It’s almost 10 p.m and the sun is still shining and I’m writing this post outside.

And the tulips finally blossom!

I would have had a lot of cleaning up and cooking to do inside but I decided to let that housework wait and spend the day outside instead. The day included also ice cream, lunch at the terrace and a nanny who gave me an opportunity to cross over at least something from my to do list.

More days like this one please! 🙂

Mannamaria

Summer Holiday Planning

I’m currently using lots of time doing summer holiday planning. With small babies and the boy it’s not that simple to find the perfect solution for all. To travel abroad or stay in homeland? Stay at home? Summer cottage? Hotel? Here are my current thoughts.

Travel abroad
I love travelling and there are so many places I’d like to go to.
This option has the positive side of
– finding new travel destinations,
– creating great memories for the older boy,
– relaxing is easier when you are really out of your ordinary life,
– better chance of good weather than at home.

On the negative side:
– it is expensive,
– travelling by plane with baby twins and a 3 year old sounds stressful to me,
– the twins wake up at night no matter where we are,
– they won’t remember it anyway.

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Travel in homeland
I have traveled quite much also inside the country and this country surprises me positively every now and then.
On the positive side:
– it’s cheaper,
– you can pack everything in a car so moving around is easier,
– there are lots of great family destinations like the Moomin world where we haven’t been to yet,
– we could visit friends and family around the country and spend some time in our summer cottage.

On the negative side:
– the new experiences would be limited,
– it’s not that easy to get to the holiday mood,
– we are a family of five so not all our friends could host us which means hotel nights which means spending more money (though I also love staying in hotels and especially their breakfasts :D)
– This is a big country and our family and summer cottage are far away. Driving for 500 km in a day with kids doesn’t sound like a lot of fun.

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Stay at home
There would be so much to do here at home!
– we could finally do something from the to do -list,
– that would lower my stress level
– I love Helsinki and we could do some summer activities here like go to the beach, zoo or amusement park,
– we have our friends close and maybe for once we’d have time to see them,
– this option doesn’t cost much! 🙂

On the negative side:
– Does it feel like a holiday if you don’t go anywhere?

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Combination
One thing we have thought of is travelling to Estonia or Latvia. This way we didn’t have to use the plane, we could drive. Those countries are close. It’s not very expensive to go there and we’d still be going abroad and that would hopefully give me the sense of holiday.

I love this part of the holiday! Planning and comparing all the possibilities. Summer is still ahead and everything seems possible.

If I was jealous to some people it would be those living in the central Europe since they can travel to numerous destinations by car. That would make life so much easier when you have small children.

Do you like planning? What kind of summer holiday plans you have?

Mannamaria

Sunshine and happiness

What a difference some warmth and sunshine can make! I wish I could move this country to the equator where it’s always sunny and warm. 🙂

Now it’s cold again but the end of the week was nice and warm. For anyone wondering what ‘warm’ means at this time of the year here in Finland it was +17-19 Celsius.

On Saturday we visited Helen Electricity Ltd in Helsinki. The ‘family day’ was planned for kids but I think my husband an I enjoyed it as much as the boy. It was also nice to spend some time with the boy without the babies. He really enjoyed the attention he got.

At Helen we had brunch and there was many info and activity spots. The husband and the boy built a windmill, we watched some info videos and there was a photo booth and sort. At the end a bus took us to an under ground electricity station which was exciting. It was such a well organized and fun day!

On Sunday the mother-in-law was visiting us so we stayed at home and only did some walks outside. It was sunny and warm and people were smiling and eating ice cream. The boy loves soap bubbles so we made tons of them.

The spring has been so cold that our garden is only now waking up. The growth is behind in nearly everything. Daffodils and wood anemones are in bloom. My rhubarbs are growing slowly but surely and I still believe that my tulips will blossom before Mother’s day. They are already so close!

It was such a nice weekend. I wish the weather would stay good since there is so much more to do when it’s warm.

How was your weekend?

Mannamaria