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

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

All I need is sleep

When our first child was born I came home from the hospital feeling exhausted. I started the life with him extremely tired. I actually didn’t realize back then how tired I was, but now looking back the tiredness was quite bad. I wasn’t thinking straight. For example I couldn’t come up with ways to ease the baby’s stomach pain. Going to the doctor’s didn’t come to my mind. Almost like I didn’t remember there is someone called doctor or a place called pharmacy. Back then we didn’t get any help from anywhere.

At night when the baby was sleeping I couldn’t sleep. I kept thinking that there is no point in falling asleep as the baby will wake up shortly anyway. I hated the sentence “sleep always when the baby sleeps”. As if it was that simple.

This time I have focused my energies on trying to avoid ending up in that kind of situation. No one can choose to have a child without any stomach problems, allergies or other things but I will try my best to get enough sleep to act when needed. Luckily our babies haven’t had any bigger problems but I want to be aware of the possibility of seeing the doctor or going to the pharmacy if things change. I want to remember the possibility of getting help. Because if you are really tired you may forget that. You just try to survive from one day to another without thinking anything else but surviving that one day.

I really want to enjoy this baby time. This will be the last time we have small babies and I would like to look back to this time period smiling and cherishing the memory. I’m hoping it’s possible.

When it comes to sleeping better, here is what we have come up with so far…

  • We analyze every evening how did the day go. How much did the babies sleep? Did they have stomach or other problems? What do we expect for the following night? Then we make a plan.

  • We update the plan before going to bed and make a plan b usually for a scenario that the babies don’t sleep as expected.

  • The other parent starts the night with the babies and the other one sleeps in the boy’s room with ear plugs. At some point during the night we make a change. This way we both can have one longer sleeping period every night which we find important.

  • We have asked for help. Mother in law comes once a month for a couple of days and other friends and family members come every now and then for a day.

  • We hired a nanny. She comes once a week for couple of hours. I can either sleep or do something fun with the older boy.

  • We don’t go to grocery store. We order groceries home delivered from a super market. It saves so much time!

  • We lowered the standards. Before I couldn’t think of letting anyone in our home if I hadn’t cleaned it up recently. Now I realized that I can’t always clean before the nanny comes for example, and when she’s here it’s often better to go to sleep than start cleaning the house.

  • I read all the books I have considering baby’s sleeping already before we have problems. Last time when I bought the books I was too tired to read them so I didn’t get any help from them.

I am tired, yes. I will probably look back this time and think “how did I ever manage and survive?” but right now I feel like I can do this and it’s a good feeling.

Any tips except “sleep when the babies are sleeping” are welcome!

Have a nice day!

Mannamaria

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5 Educational plays

I like the idea of learning through play. I don’t want to set any goals or train the toddler but just play some fun games and maybe learn something while doing it. Here are some of our favorites right now.

  1. Memory game. Choose a number of toys depending on your child’s age. You can start with three. After choosing the toys name them together “so here we have a bus, a garbage truck and a Beetle…”. Then cover the toys with a blanket and tell your child to close his eyes or look away. Take one toy away and let your child guess which one is missing.

  1. How many..? Maybe this should not be called a play but every day I ask him something like how many cars do you have there? How many meatballs you have on your plate? How many crayons? First we did the counting together and now he does it by himself. He is very interested in numbers so now I have started to ask follow up questions like “take two more crayons.. how many crayons you now have altogether?”

  2. Labyrinth. Draw a labyrinth and ask your child to draw through it. Start with an easy one and make them more difficult little by little. This improves his fine motor skills.

4. Guess what color…is the next car you see?  Or just just ask the child to name what color is the car or other toy he’s holding or paw patrol dogs’ vehicles or what ever. Probably everyone does this but it’s still useful.:)

  1. Basketball. I read from somewhere that kids can’t throw balls well anymore. I’m not sure if it’s true but we play often “basketball”. The idea is simply to try to throw a ball into some basket. We also throw the ball to each other. He’s good at throwing it but not very good at catching. But we keep playing (and learning). I should probably buy a bigger ball that would be easier to him to catch. The first version of this game is to sit on the floor and roll the ball to each other.

Do you play some good games that I should try?

Have a lovely day!

Mannamari

Surviving the winter weather with a newborn

Our twins will be born in January or February which are the coldest months of the year in Finland. The spring is coming soon but I don’t want to stay inside with them for the first weeks or months and I’m also a firm supporter of babies sleeping their naps outside (also during winter).

So here are some of the items I have gotten for them to get through the rest of the winter.


Propably my favorite winter gear are these down sleeping bags. I had one of these already with my first born son and now we bought another one. You can use them either in a car in child’s safety seat or in a baby carriage.

Last time I used it in a baby carriage and it was perfect because most of the time I just put a beanie on to the baby and he stayed warm in the sleeping bag. If the temperature dropped below zero I put a merino wool overall on him but it was not necessary usually.

To be honest I’m not quite sure if I need these snow suits. Since I’m planning on keeping the sleeping bags in the baby carriage I think that I’ll use these on children’s safety seat in a car. They’re adorable and warm. 🙂

These windfleece overalls I got for hanging out in the mall or super markets and if they still fit during the spring these  are perfect for sleeping outside. They keep wind and some rain but are breathable. You can also turn over the sleeves and legs first and leave them open later when the baby grows. Absolutely wonderful. 🙂

Soft merino wool overalls go under any of the previous overalls. They are extremely soft and warm and can be used in various weathers. Combining these overalls and the ones above and sleeping bags I believe that we’ll survive any weather conditions.

Then we have all the woollen blankets, mittens and woollen socks and beanies and other winter hats and…

And the weather men are laughing at me since now that I have bought all this winter stuff the temperature is +4 c. 😀

But at least I’m prepared for any weather!

Love,

Mannamaria