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

Danger underground

Maybe the title is a little too heavy? Sounds like I’m going to talk about some bad working conditions of the miners or something?

Well I’m going to show you photos of our excursion to an underground electricity station. Station that transfers electricity to a big part of Helsinki. It is located quite close to the center of Helsinki and 30 meters under ground.

Disappointed?

Sorry.

It was a very modern and safe station but it did get me thinking about what would happen in case of emergency. Since there can be an emergency anywhere and if you happen to be at a big electricity station, 30 meters under ground, with huge transformers and electricity cables it would easily get fatal. And there are crazy people everywhere.

But we did go. Me, my husband and the boy.

I’m not going to bore you with any details about the station or it’s history. But you know electricity is very abstract. At least for me it’s very difficult to understand how the electricity transfers in a concrete way from the wind mill or nuclear power plant (let’s not go to the dangers of that) to my house. This excursion was very informative and educative for me.

The boy doesn’t really understand what is ‘electricity’ though we tried to explain it. He was excited to get into a tunnel and a cave. 😀 Everyone had to wear a vest and he was very proud of wearing it.

Here are some photos of our day!

Mannamaria

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Relaxing me time – my tips

I told you about the difficulty of relaxing previously on this post. After that I’ve become better at this. It’s not that difficult for me anymore and that’s why I wanted to share some tips with you.

Today I had some me time and decided to head to Helsinki center to spend it. We live in the suburbs and I find it easier to relax when I go little further away from home. And I love Helsinki. One day I’ll write an ode to Helsinki. It’s such a beautiful city (in my opinion). 🙂

This time I only wandered around. Stopped somewhere to sit in the sun and look at people. Did some shopping. Had lunch at my favorite Café. It was finally warm enough to eat outside.

It’s somehow easier to breathe when it’s warm. Relax your shoulders and walk a little slower. I don’t have words to start describing how happy I am that it’s finally warm. I waited for this for too long.

I didn’t do much but it was a beautiful and relaxing day.

The nanny asked me in the morning if I had any special wishes for her last day with us. I asked for cinnamon rolls.

It was great to come to a cleaned home that smelled like cinnamon. For the last time with her.

Here are my tips for relaxing me time:

  • Try to get the time regularly. Set the dates weeks or even months beforehand. It really helps when you don’t have to keep asking for help all the time.
  • Leave your kids with someone you trust.
  • Lower your standards. It doesn’t matter if the babysitter has different rules or if she does things differently than you. When it comes to raising kids it’s the big picture that matters.
  • Plan beforehand what you are going to do. So you don’t spend your me time planning but be ready to change your plan.
  • Don’t make too tight schedule.
  • Make a mental list of things you would do like to do. If the possibility to spend some me time comes unexpectedly you can pick something to do quickly.
  • Sometimes it’s good to spend your me time resting, sometimes taking care of chores and sometimes doing things that you love.

When you have me time regularly you can do it all.

Have a lovely weekend!

Mannamaria

Could Santa Claus Come to My Birthday Party?

Last weekend we celebrated our three year old little man. He was so excited about the party that he hardly slept the night before and didn’t take his nap on the day of the party. Even so, he welcomed every guest cheerfully and was such a good host.  He had had three wishes for the party:

Gift? – a car with a bow
To eat? – cake and only cake
Guests? – Santa Claus

He had wished Santa Claus already to twins’ christening and was a little disappointed that only priest came to that event. This time we didn’t get Santa Claus but fulfilled the other wishes. He did get a lot of presents so I don’t think he remembered to miss Santa that much.

He is a big fan of Paw Patrol hence I made a little decorating. I found these free printables from Nickelodeon: birthday banner, stickers, cupcake toppers (no affiliate) Especially the birthday banner was really nice and many people asked were I had bought it. There would have been so much more to print but our guests were mainly adults so maybe next year I’ll do more.

Being very tired with the twins I was grateful that our nanny did all the baking for the party and I didn’t have to stress about that.

The boy already had so many cars that I didn’t believe that he would possibly be happy to get more, but after receiving 13 new cars the grin on his face was wider than ever. He hasn’t left them for a minute. And during the past days, I haven’t heard even once “can I use iPad?”. He took one of the cars to bed as a bedtime toy and the first thing he told me this morning was “mommy, when I opened my eyes I saw this car and started to play with it right away”.

He really likes cars.

Here are some photos of the party. 🙂

Have a nice day!

Mannamaria

The boy who loves big machines and our trip to see them

Last week the boy had two big events. First, we went to see big machines, and on weekend he had his birthday party.

My boy loves all kinds of vehicles. Ambulances, fire trucks, buses, garbage trucks, tractors, sweepers, diggers, dump trucks, you name it. If we see some interesting vehicle while walking somewhere we have to stop to watch it go.

That’s why he was extremely excited to go see the big machines to a nearby vehicle depot. The trip was organized by an employee of a local playground and lots of enthusiastic children participated.

The workers were there to answer questions and lift kids up to sit inside the vehicles. My son is a bit timid and he only wanted to go sit in one small tractor. First he didn’t want to go even there but finally he was unbelievably happy when he found the courage to do so. Eventually we were last ones to leave the site since he didn’t want to leave the tractor!

For him, this trip was better than any amusement park. A real dreamland. He ran around from one vehicle to another and asked me all kinds of questions but was too shy to talk to the workers or let me talk to them.

The only thing was that it was really cold. This spring has been really cold. The workers at the site said that they still haven’t been able to wash the streets because the temperature drops below zero at night and the water they spray would freeze in the morning and make the streets slippery. The end of the week was warmer and I hope that it gets better now.

What is your children’s favorite attraction for a visit?

Have a lovely week!

Mannamaria