Little Accomplishments

Sometimes, especially when you feel exhausted with life, it’s good to stop and look around. Concentrate on the positive. And see the things that we’ve accomplished instead of all that we still have on our to do lists.

Toisinaan, erityisesti silloin jos elämä tuntuu hengästyttävältä, on hyvä pysähtyä ja katsoa ympärilleen. Keskittyä positiivisuuteen. Ja nähdä saavutukset tehtävälistojen sijaan.

Maggie from the blog Dreaming of Guatemala has been doing these Little Accomplishments posts for some time now and I have admired her positivity in them. Here is my SAHM version of little accomplishment and as Maggie says it: “Let’s celebrate all of life’s joys – no matter how small!”

Maggie blogista Dreaming of Guatemala on tehnyt kirjoituksia pienistä saavutuksistaan jo jonkun aikaa ja mä olen ihaillut hänen positiivisuuttaan etäältä. Tässä tulee mun kotiäitiversio näistä pienistä saavutuksista. Niin kuin Maggie sen sanoo: “juhlistetaan elämän pieniä iloja – riippumatta siitä, kuinka pieniä ne ovatkaan!”

It’s only Tuesday but this week I have already… On vasta tiistai mutta tällä viikolla olen jo…

Bought the first Christmas presents! There was a move out sale in one book store and I found some children’s book classics that I got for all of my children. And my sister’s children. And my godson. And.. ok, that was it.

Ostanut ensimmäiset joululahjat! Kirjakaupassa oli muuttomyynti ja löysin joitain lastenkirjaklassikkoja, jotka ostin kaikille meidän lapsille. Ja siskon lapsille. Ja kummipojalle. Ja.. no ok, siinäpä se olikin. 

Harvested the first zucchinis! I told you before (here) that I have hard time keeping my plants alive. But I have found the one plant that survives even at my care. It’s zucchini! My mother planted me a small zucchini sapling this spring and told me to water it well. I didn’t water it. Even once. But thank you rainy summer! I have so many zucchinis I don’t know what to do with them.

Keräsin ensimmäiset kesäkurpitsat! Kerroin aiemmin (täällä), että en tahdo saada millään pidettyä mun kasveja elossa. Nyt olen kuitenkin löytänyt kasvin, joka selviää jopa mun hoidossa. Se on kesäkurpitsa! Äiti istutti meidän pihaan kesäkurpitsan taimen keväällä ja sanoi, että muista vain kastella. En kastellut. Kertaakaan. Mutta kiitos sateinen kesä! Saatiin tosi paljon kesäkurpitsaa. Pitää vaan keksiä, mitä näistä kaikista tehdään. 

Cooked two healthy meals for the family. I mean two out of two days is quite good? At this point of my life, cooking well is not always an option. But here it is, as a proof, my simple chicken salad.

Kokkasin kaksi terveellisestä ateriaa perheelle. Kaksi kahdessa päivässä on aika hyvä, eikö niin? Nykyisessä arjessa ei oikeasti terveellisiä ruokia ehdi aina tehdä, joskus mennään kalapuikoilla. Mutta tässä on todiste, mun simppeli kanasalaatti.

Picked some chanterelles. I have been wanting to go mushroom picking for a month now and today I finally got to the forest. Ok, I had only 15 minutes and I only found some handfuls of them but they were a great base for my second healthy meal of the week which was vegetarian pasta. (I know, pasta may not be the healthiest choice but it didn’t have any cream or other unhealthy ingredients in it)

Keräsin myös kanttarelleja. Oon halunnut mennä kantarellimetsään jo kuukauden mutta tänään vihdoin pääsin. Kieltämättä se oli vaan vartti ja löysin vaan pari kourallista mutta ne kävi hyvin viikon toiseen terveelliseen ateriaan, joka oli vegepasta. (Tiedän joo, että pasta ei ole kaikista terveellisin vaihtoehto mutta tässä ei kuitenkaan ollut kermaa tai muuta epäterveellistä)

Downloaded an app called Momzie. It’s like a Tinder for moms. 😀 I have been chatting with some very nice moms there. It’s such a great idea and a great way to meet new mom friends nearby.

Latasin sovelluksen nimeltä Momzie. Se on niin kuin äitien Tinder. 😀 Olen jutellut muutamien mukavien äitien kanssa siellä. Tämä sovellus on hauska idea ja kiva tapa tutustua muihin lähistöllä oleviin äiteihin.

 

Emptied the laundry basket. It’ll be full in an instant again but I have been doing soooo much laundry the past days that at least at this moment I can say, it’s empty!

Tyhjensin pyykkikorin. Toki se täyttyy hetkessä mutta olen pessyt niiin paljon pyykkiä tässä pari päivää, että ainakin just tällä hetkellä voin todeta, se on tyhjä!

Found some great stuff from sale and flea market! Finding high quality clothes for a low price always makes me unbelievably happy!

Löysin tosi hyviä juttuja alesta ja kirpparilta! Laadukkaiden vaatteiden löytäminen edukkaaseen hintaan saa mut uskomattoman hyvälle tuulelle!

Please let me know your little accomplishment! Jaa ihmeessä omat pienet saavutuksesi!

Have a lovely week! Mukavaa viikkoa!

Mannamaria

Ooh, Shiny!

I shared some of these photos before but here’s a story behind them. Sea view is something that always caughts my eyes. Commuting to work I see the sunrise over the sea every morning and I never get bored to that. I have taken hundreds of similar photos of the sea from the same bus stop. I get excited about the sea and the sunrise, take photos and then realize that I have taken the same photos over and over again. 😀

Jotkut näistä kuvista jaoinkin jo aiemmin mutta nyt tulee myös stoori niiden takaa. Tykkään merestä. Jään aina tuijottamaan merinäköalaa, jos sellaisen huomaan. Työmatkallani ihailen merta ja vuodenajasta riippuen myös auringonnousua joka aamu enkä kyllästy siihen koskaan. Mulla on varmasti satoja samanlaisia kuvia siitä auringonnoususta siltä samalta bussipysäkiltä. Ensin mä innostun siitä, napsin kuvia ja hetken päästä tajuan, että mulla on jo niitä samoja kuvia vaikka kuinka paljon.

When I get to decide a place for a date night or a hangout with friends I always choose a place by the seaside.

Sillon kun on mun vuoro päättää paikka treffeille tai voin vaikuttaa ystävien illanviettopaikkaan, valitsen aina merenrantapaikan.

Little while back we had a date with my husband and I chose this place called Nokkalan Majakka in Espoo. First we had dinner and while we were finishing our drinks we saw a small ferry come to the pier. We asked if we could get to some island with the ferry but they said we would sure get to some island but he was going for his last circle around the islands so if we went to some island we wouldn’t get back.

Vähän aikaa sitten me oltiin miehen kanssa treffeillä Nokkalan Majakassa Espoossa. Ensin syötiin ja just kun oltiin lopettelemassa juomia, huomattiin että laituriin tuli sellainen pieni saaristovene. Me kysyttiin, että pääseekö sillä vielä jonnekin saareen ja saatiin vastaus, että pääsee toki mutta enää ei pääse pois, koska hän oli tekemässä viimeisen lenkkinsä.

Since it was a date, we were not busy and we had already had our dinner, so we hopped on to the ferry and got a sightseeing island tour for free. (Though that might have been an error)

Me oltiin treffeillä, joten kiirettä ei ollut, oltiin jo syöty, joten hyppäsimme lauttaan ja lähdimme saarikierrokselle. Se ei edes maksanut mitään. (Joskin siinä saattoi myös tapahtua virhe)

I love (and miss) that kind of small ex tempore things we used to do before kids. Here are some photos from our sightseen tour!

Mä niin tykkään (ja samalla ikävöin) tän tyyppisiä pieniä ex tempore juttuja, joita me tehtiin ennen lapsia usein. Tässä hieman kuvia meidän turistikierrokselta.

This is my take on to the weekly photo challenge.

Greetings! Terkuin

Mannamaria


First signs of autumn

There it is. Autumn. Lurking behind the corner. Sending its first signs. Whispering “Here I am. You don’t see me yet but here I am coming. Sooner than you’d think.”

In some parts of Finland school started today. Most pupils will start their school year on Thursday. Even if this doesn’t impact my life, with small children, in a way it’s been built to my dna. That is, the summer is over when the school starts.

N went back to kindergarten after a long summer holiday. In the spring I felt bad at times when we decided that he’d go there even since I’m at home with the babies. Now I think it’s good for him. He goes there 3 days a week. He can play with his friends and has more activities when it comes to arts&crafts, gymnastics or musical education than I could ever offer him at home with the small babies. And he likes to go there. He’s now in the group of big children age 3-5. He’s very proud to be big. 

I have also been preparing for autumn and winter for some weeks now when it comes to clothing. Ok, something I bought already last winter but now I have been going through our stuff. What do we have? What do we need? What sizes we’ll use during the cold season?

This year we had good summer sales. I bought lots of good stuff with great discounts. I have also made great findings from self service flea markets, Facebook sale groups and online market places. I have found most of the things that we need but there are still some items on my list. For example, I’m looking for another pair of Stonz and an overall from the baby box.

Many kid’s fashion brands have also released their AW collections and I have looked them through wishing I was a millionare. I think many brands have very nice collections this autumn! I thought of making a post series of my favorite Finnish (and maybe Nordic) kids’ brands and their new collections.

Today I went swimming in the morning when babies were with the nanny and N was at kindergarten. Sooooo refreshing!

Have a lovely week!

Mannamaria

Pärnu, Estonia – How was it for a family holiday?

I wrote you about our summer holiday plans here. As it turned out we ended up traveling in Finland and also went to Pärnu, Estonia by car for a couple of days.

We stayed there for only three nights since we thought it would be a tiny village with not much to do but if we went there again we would stay a full week. Not only because there is lots to do but also because when you get this caravan (family of five) all packed up and moving it would be worth to make the most of it and stay a couple more nights.

About Pärnu

Pärnu is the fourth largest city in Estonia with the total population of 40 000 inhabitants. It’s located in the southwestern part of Estonia little over 100 kilometers from the capitol, Tallinn. Pärnu is famous for being a rehabilitation and holiday resort and most of the tourist are Finns, Swedes and Russians.


Getting there

From Helsinki with a ferry and then drive. If you are feeling more adventurous or if don’t have children it’s also easy to reach by bus from Tallinn.

The ferry itself was part of the fun! Driving in there was exciting but the ferry has great facilities for families. We took the newest ferry Tallink Megastar that has started to operate only this year. It has good shopping facilities “largest mall on the Baltic Sea” and the children’s playroom was very good! It has surveillance cameras in there so parents can sit outside and monitor their kids from tv screens. Our son ran there first thing when we got to the ferry, got new friends and we could hardly get him out of there to drink or eat.

At the harbor we had gotten a “family”-tag to our windscreen and could skip the lines, made it to the front in the ferry (which meant that we got out fast) and they left us enough space to be able to move around with our twin stroller. If you are nervous about travelling by ferry, don’t be! They have organized it very well for families.


This is already from the Pärnu beach.

Where to stay?

Everyone said that Pärnu is so small village that all hotels are close to the center. Well.. it’s not that tiny. Our hotel was quite far away. The hotel itself was not bad. Our room was two floors which was beautiful but not the most practical solutions with children.

There are many hotels with spas and waterparks. Also Air bnb might be a good solution. If I went again I would look at them. During the holiday season Pärnu is quite expensive and it’s not easy to find good price-quality ratio in hotels.


Cows between the hotel called Tervise Paradiis and the sea.

What to do?

This was the surprising part! We thought that ok they have the beach and then they have waterparks and spas.

But the whole beach boulevard was filled with activities. Nothing spectacular, to be honest, but all in the same area and on holiday we had time to try it all. They had very nice playgrounds for children, mini golf, tivoli, carousel, bouncing castles, pedal go carts and more. With only three days we only got to the beach and this beach boulevard area and visited the Pärnu center. The beach itself was amazing by the way! The water was shallow and warm and perfect for small children. We were also lucky with weather. Sunny and warm weather every day. We could have spent every day at the beach.

If we’d had more time I would have liked to take a boat ride, visit an alpaca farm and go to Estonia’s largest theme park Lottemaa.


To eat?

This one I really don’t know. With the the older boy we have gone to the restaurants since he was two months old but with twins it feels stressful. That’s why we got our meals to go and ate at the parks which they have many and they are beautiful!

This was a stress-free solution which is always good on holidays.


Best in Pärnu?

It felt like a true summer city. People walked around in beach wear holding their swim rings. They were in a relaxed holiday mood. No one had to hurry anywhere. This was a location I could see myself going back to.

Have a lovely week end!

Mannamaria 

Twins 6 months – eating more, sleeping less

So they are 6 months old already! Many things are easier than before. We have finally figured out why the other baby was crying so much and have that under control.

They eat better and more all the time and we have started to give them some fingerfood along with the purees. Cucumber and banana have been great successes. Family dinners are getting a lot easier when they learn to sit in their own high chairs and can concentrate on their own food.

We gave up the pram and started using the stroller (it’s the same Bugaboo but still). They like it better since they can now see around. Ok, in this picture they sleep but you get the idea.

They laugh and take more contact to people around them. N loves it since now the babies respond to his funny faces and other attempts to play with them.

They have started to crawl and like being on the floor more than before. It makes it easier for me to do stuff when I don’t need to hold them all the time.

But here we get to the negative side of this all and it’s that they don’t sleep well anymore! Until now the boy usually woke up once or maybe twice a night to eat and then he continued sleeping. The girl has always waken up twice a night to eat but other than that slept full night. But now.. they eat 3 or 4 times a night each and also wake us up to put the pacifier back on multiple times. Needless to say we are tired. But we’ve been tired all year.

It’s just different. Before our days were hard when the other baby cried a lot and we had to carry him all the time. It was also very stressful when we could see that something was wrong but we couldn’t figure out what it was or how we could help him.

Now that our days are getting better our nights are getting broken. We know that it’s probably about learning to move. Learning new skills. In a way I would like to start some sleep training thing but then I think that what if due to the crawling they need more energy (=more food) than before? Maybe I’m not able to offer that during the day so they demand it in the night?

At the moment my plan is to increase the amount of solids during the day so that we can train them to sleep better as soon as possible if this phase continues for a long time.

Sleeping problems aside, we are doing good. Summer has been great! People complain about the weather but for me it’s been ok. I have learnt not to worry about it, not to spend my energy on this negativity.

At 6 months the twins:

  • smile, laugh and scream loudly
  • turn around and roll over. The boy also crawls.
  • In the morning they eat rice porridge with mango/pear/plum/apple puree, afternoon they have carrot/sweet potato/cauliflower/parsnip puree, then cucumber/carrot/banana/apple as a fingerfood and again rice porridge with fruit puree in the evening. They don’t always have this many solid meals but this is my plan at the moment.
  • they put everything in their mouth and teething toys are pop. Sophie la giraffe is our favorite!
  • they are learning to sit and we have put them in high chairs and a swing for couple of minutes every now and then.
  • they don’t sleep well and we’re thinking what to do about it. I hope it’s just a phase that will pass without further drama.

I welcome all tips concerning how to get babies to sleep! 🙂

Next post will about Pärnu, Estonia!

Have a lovely week!

Mannamaria

Car trip with kids – my tips and thoughts

Our family vacation is coming to its end. Four weeks together traveling and renovating the house. At the same time it feels like we have spent the whole summer together and that time flew faster than ever.

This summer we made two trips by car. First we visited the grandparent, 500 kilometers one way. Then we went to Estonia which meant first a two hour trip by a ferry (we drove our car to the ferry) and then driving for another two hours.

With our first born son we made the long drive to the grandparents when he was 2 months old. We got only one advice: drive as long as the baby sleeps. As a first time parent I had read that it’s not good for the baby to spend many hours in the car safety seat. It would be bad for his back so we had thought that we should have a stop after about two hours and take him out from it. Then drive for another two hours and have another long break. I’m glad we didn’t. Drive as long as the baby sleeps was a great piece of advice. He fell asleep right after we started the engine and slept for about 2 to 3 hours. Then we stopped and after a good break we drove another 2 to three hours and we were there. It didn’t take much longer than our trips before kids. And since that was a very rare occasion, nothing happened to his back.

This summer we have three kids. Twins are about 6 months and the toddler is 3 years old. Since the other baby suffers from stomach problems and cries a lot anyways, we had done some back up plans before the first long drive in case he would start to cry at some point. We had called a family member half way and asked if we could spend a night there if needed. We had checked the train stations and time tables to see if it was possible to continue by train (where I could hold the baby) in case the car seat was too uncomfortable for him. And we had the mindset of spending all day to this trip.


The first half of the trip went well. Drive as long as the baby sleeps was our motto and so we drove. As fast as possible, as far as possible. Half way the babies woke up. We stopped, fed them, changed diapers and ate our self. It was a good stop. We decided to continue our trip but after about 20-30 minutes the crying started. We were middle of nowhere. We stopped by the road side to calm the baby. We realized that we hadn’t hold him in the upright position after eating long enough so he had gotten stomach problems. We held him, carried him around, watched the cars that were bypassing. After some time we decided to continue. Maybe 2 or 3 time we stopped by the road to calm him before arriving to the next town.

We had bypassed the family member where we could have spent the night at and there was no train station nearby. After arriving to the town we parked our car and decided to spend as long as we needed to normalize the situation with the baby. We spent there little over 2 hours. We ate dinner at a restaurant while holding the baby. When he got tired we packed everyone back to car and drove to our destination. The trip took us nearly one full day.


I had this chicken&goat cheese waffle while we stopped for a few hours..

What I learnt from that trip is

  • Know your kids. My baby needs to be hold up for about an hour after eating. Rushing with this one backfired big time. Most kids don’t need this and in that case..
  • Drive as long as the baby sleeps.
  • In case you are not sure make many backup plans (can we spend a night somewhere if needed? Are there nice hotels, amusement/water parks, family members on our route? What sights or cities there are on our route where it would be nice to stop for a couple of hours if needed?).
  • Be ready to make a plan on the go. The odds are, you are going to be in middle of nowhere when all hell breaks loose.
  • Try to make the new plan sound like fun for the other kids. “Let’s have dinner in a restaurant/Let’s have a picnic! We have never stopped in this city before! That amusement park/zoo sounds like fun, let’s go there!”

When we were coming back I tried to book train tickets but since it’s the summer holiday season all the seats where you can take a pram nearby were taken. Our plan b was to book a hotel night somewhere on our route so we booked a night at a spa hotel. It was fun for the older boy who loves water parks and hotel breakfasts and the trip was less stressful to us.


The spa hotel was by a beautiful lake.

Our next trip was easier. We knew what our baby needed. We were better prepared. The maximum drive was two hours. At the ferry he didn’t need to be on his car seat. We held him up as much as he needed, we had some medicine in case he needed it. We were well prepared.


Driving to the ferry was exciting especially to the boy!

I have heard many parents, especially twin parents, say that they are scared to go because so many things can go wrong. I would like encourage them to prepare yourself well, be ready to be spontaneous if needed but don’t be afraid to go. It’ll be worth it and it’ll go well! 

Have you done long car trips with kids? How did it go? Do you have any tips?

Have a nice week end!

Mannamaria

Summer parties

This summer has been great. We have enjoyed it every day to the fullest. The weather has not been great every day but somehow we’ve managed to keep the atmosphere warm and happy. And luckily it hasn’t rained much. Maybe it’s the kids. They are always happy to play outside. No matter how the weather is.

Last week end we went to a birthday party. Little girl turned two years old. My son got to choose a present for her. We bought a firefighter’s helmet and a story book about rescue vehicles. 😀 She loved them.

The party was beautiful. They had done well with decorations and catering. Our kids enjoyed it. And the birthday girl enjoyed it. The kids played well together.

No we are at the countryside but I’ll write you more about that later.

Have a lovely week!

Mannamaria