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

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.


 

By your side

This week the weekly photo challenge is about friends. This photo was taken last winter before the twins were born. They’re such sweethearts.

Our cat’s name is Mona. She is a little bit timid and so is our son. They don’t play much together but they respect and defend each other. The boy never teases her. Once, when the boy was only couple of months old, he was crying loudly and heartbreakingly. The timid cat, who comes close to us only when she’s hungry, jumped to my husband’s thigh with her claws and didn’t let go. It felt as if she was really thinking that we were hurting the boy and defending him.

Sometimes we have to tell the cat to get off the dining table or something and the boy on the other hand defends the cat and starts yelling at us “let her stay at the table if she wants to be there!” or “let her go out to play if she wants to!”

Precious moments.

Mannamaria

 

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


 

 

Mother’s Day Here And There

This is a post I have struggled with the past days. Written, rewritten and rewritten it. I had decided to send some photo to the weekly photo challenge and when I found these photos and couldn’t just pass them. They are from our trip to Gambia a couple of years ago. This post is not about a reflecting surface as the challenge suggested. It’s more about reflecting my motherhood and relationship with children, inspired by that challenge. I hope it’s ok.

First time writing this post I started by wondering what kind of Mother’s Day they had. Did they have cake and flowers as we did? Do they have a family to celebrate it with? But I realized I know nothing about their families.

I went on to ponder how I did absolutely nothing to be born in a country were I could give birth to my children in a safe and modern hospital instead of that one below. How it was pure luck that I can give my children a chance to live their childhood in a safe the way that we want and provide them a good education. Those kids in the last picture live on the streets and do whatever they can to survive. They did absolutely nothing to deserve that. How I wish I could save them all but I can’t. 

How the school kids seem so happy. With education their future seems bright. I wish they have the opportunity to finish school and get professions. And I wish the kids from the last picture could find a way to attend to a school. 

I wrote and rewrote and rewrote. Then I thought what they would say if a mother of some of the kids in the picture saw my text. I thought of them saying “girl, you know nothing about our lives, families or hopes for the future”. And that’s quite correct, I don’t. 

So I deleted my texts and without analyzing further the only thing I know for sure is that everyone deserves a good healthcare and education. These kids and everyone else. That’s my wish for them.

Other than that I hope they had a good Mother’s Day full of love and laughter and the kind of future they wish for themselves.

Mannamaria

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Some days it’s hard to stay positive

When looking out of the window you see this


Or this


when it’s mid-May. Everyone is talking about the weather. Even the meteorologist burst out laughing when talking about the weather (clip with English subtitles). These pictures are from earlier this week.

The only person I know who is not horrified by this weather is my son. That snowy day I went to pick him up from daycare and told him we couldn’t go to the playground. He looked at me with puzzled face and asked “why?”. I told him that it’s cold and we have to go home. He asked if there are no toys at the playground and I said yes there is but there are no children. That puzzled face asked me again “why?”.

I wish I could be more like him. Not whining about something I can’t change but taking it as it is and making the most of it. Dressing up appropriately and going to the playground.

Luckily the sun is shining again and it’s getting warmer but this weather whining is something I fell too often to. I have to do something about it.

Do you complain about things you can’t change? Does it bother you?

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.

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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