Focus

This photo represents my focus right now. I’m enjoying the summer so much! Last week end we found a new ice cream place quite close to where we live. 

They make their own ice cream and it was so good! The flavor I chose was marshmallow. We’ll definitely go back some sunny day.

This is my take on the weekly photo challenge.

Mannamaria

Rhubarb – opportunity or challenge?

This year the spring was so cold that the rhubarb stalks were ready for picking only last week. I made a big rhubarb pie with my favorite recipe and invited people for a coffee.


I love rhubarb pie. Rhubarb is the first thing to harvest from the garden in the spring and in a way it symbols the beginning of the summer, and garden work, for me. Reminds me that “hey, we’re growing here in the garden. Please remember to take care of us!”


This is only our second summer living in a house so gardening doesn’t come naturally to me. I really don’t have a green thumb. I’m trying but with twins I don’t have enough time to look after the garden. Maybe next year it will be better.

The only problem I have with rhubarb is that rhubarb pie is the only thing I can make of it. And I can’t make that many pies ’cause somebody has to eat them too.


We don’t use juices and rhubarb jam sounds peculiar. My mother-in-law recommended making a kissel but I’m not too excited about that either.


For one or two weeks I’m really excited about rhubarb but then I leave it to the corner of the garden to wait for the next summer. Poor little thing. It deserves better but I don’t know what to do with it.

Do you like rhubarb? What do you make of it?

Mannamaria

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


 

 

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

Have you ever heard of emotional hangover?

I actually thought I invented that term myself. 😀 emotional hangover. After a quick googling turned out that one form of social anxiety is often called emotional hangover or social hangover. (urban dictonary)

So here’s what happened this week..

After the boy’s birthday party I was happy. I wrote a blog post and told my husband that for once I felt good when thinking about that party. Everything had gone well. Everyone enjoyed themselves and I can easily forgive myself the little errors that happened. But the next day it hit me again.

Why did I serve those pastries that didn’t have enough filling? One cake was not moist enough and the paw patrol cake was ugly. The home made juice that I served for the kids was not good enough. Some people had to come to the kitchen to ask for more coffee and I didn’t notice immediately that coffee milk had finished. They must think that I’m a horrible host. I failed my son.

That really is how felt. Now it seems ridiculous. But I cried for two days over this.

It didn’t help that the boy seemed to love the party and kept talking about it in awe. That my husband said that guests did like the cakes and everything. He also said that no matter what they would have said I would have turned it into a negative. You know the “they didn’t really mean it” argument. At the end he said that I have been like this as long as he can remember. I didn’t understand. The boy turned three. We hadn’t had that many children’s parties. But…

We met when I was a freshman in the university. That year involved lots of student parties. Every time the morning after was horrible. Sometimes in a physical way but every time in an emotional way. Did I do something stupid? Did I say something stupid? They must have understood me wrong. Why did I have to say something to someone? Next time I’ll stay silent.

I started to stay more quiet. I stopped using alcohol. Friends started to talk behind my back and laugh at me about that. I started to hear rumors. What kind of freshman doesn’t drink and party? Someone even told me I was nicer when I was drunk. Eventually I stopped going to parties.

One character of phobia is that it affects your everyday life. Controls your choices.

Well, I didn’t go to student parties, I haven’t celebrated my birthdays (even when I turned 30), my graduations (I have two higher degrees) or had any house warming parties. I didn’t want to have a farewell party at work when I started my maternity leave. Actually, we even got married abroad and one reason was to avoid having a party. Avoid being the center of attention.

Now that I have kids I have to organize parties. I can’t get around it. And I do love it. That’s why this feels so contradictory. BEFORE the party I’m excited and happy and love the planning and doing part of it but AFTER the party I feel devastated. Even if all the guests are close friends and family members. Even if I told myself that if all my nightmares came true they still wouldn’t leave me.

What’s going on? Do I have some sort of party phobia? That would be a weird one. 😀 Now that I finally noticed this pattern I have to start working with it. I don’t know how yet but I’ll figure out something.

If anyone has experienced anything like this or has any tips, I would be happy to hear them!

Mannamaria