To anyone expecting twins, part. 2

I wrote a post called “to anyone expecting twins” three months ago when the twins were three months old. Now when I read it, it makes me smile. I’ll write a new one here and probably smile at this one later on as well.

Kirjoitin tekstin “to anyone expecting twins” kolme kuukautta sitten, kun kaksoset olivat kolmen kuukauden ikäisiä. Sen lukeminen hymyilyttää nykyään. Kirjoittelen tähän uuden version ja todennäköisesti hymyilen tälle sitten taas myöhemmin.


People will ask lots of questions. But it’s not annoying unless you let it be. You will learn the best way that works for you to react to them. Some like to get sarcastic, some get annoyed and leave the situation quickly. I think that questions like “are they twins?” “can I take a look?” are more conversation openers than anything else. With only one child I usually opened conversation by asking “how old is your child?”. Asking if they’re twins is pretty much the same in my opinion.

This being said, there are uncomfortable situations that you should be prepared to react to. For example I don’t want any stranger to touch my small babies (with their dirty hands) and if anyone tries that they’ll get a strong reaction from me. With one baby no one ever tried to touch him!

And also one time a stranger took a photo of them without asking me. I was so shocked in that situation that she got away with it without me saying anything but next time I’ll be more alert and prepared.

Speaking of the next time.. the older the twins get, the less people pay attention to us. I went to a flea market the other with only my baby girl and no one stared at us. No stranger came to talk to us and I couldn’t hear any one talking about us. It felt strange and it reminded me that this period when people come to talk us and ask questions and tell their own twin stories that seem never ending, is very short. Let’s not waste time getting annoyed by it. I may even miss it soon.

Ihmiset kyselevät kysymyksiä. Mun mielestä se ei ole ärsyttävää, ellei sen anna olla. Jokainen oppii oman parhaan tapansa reagoida näihin kysymyksiin ja kommentteihin. Jotkut vastaa sarkastisesti ja toiset ärsyyntyneesti lähtien tilanteesta mahdollisimman pian. Itse ajattelen, että kysymykset kuten “onko ne kaksoset?” “Saanko katsoa?” on tarkoitettu enemmänkin keskustelun avaajiksi kuin miksikään muuksi. Silloin kun mulla oli vain yksi lapsi, avasin itse keskustelun usein kysymällä lapsen ikää. Jos joku kysyy kaksosuudesta, se on mun mielestä hyvin samantyyppinen tilanne.

Tämän sanottuani pitää todeta, että epämukaviakin tilanteita tulee ja niihin on hyvä miettiä oma suhtautumisensa etukäteen. En esimerkiksi halua kenenkään tuntemattoman ihmisen koskevan mun pieniin vauvoihin (likasilla käsillään) ja jos joku yrittää, reagoin kyllä nykyään voimakkaasti. Yhden vauvan kanssa kukaan ei yrittänyt koskea häntä!

Kerran myös tuntematon ihminen nappasi kuvan kaksosista kysymättä lupaa. Olin niin järkyttynyt siinä tilanteessa, etten osannut edes reagoida mutta seuraavalla kerralla olen kyllä valppaana.

Seuraavasta kerrasta puheenollen… mitä vanhemmaksi kaksoset tulevat, sitä vähemmän meihin kiinnitetään huomiota. Yhtenä päivänä kävin kirpparilla vain tyttövauva mukanani eikä kukaan tuijottanut meitä. Kukaan ei tullut juttelemaan enkä kuullut kenenkään puhuvan meistä. Se tuntui omituiselta ja muistin taas, että oikeastaan tämä aika kun ihmiset tulevat juttelemaan ja kertovat loputtomia kaksostarinoitaan on todella lyhyt. Ei siitä kannata ärsyyntyä. Sitä saattaa tulla pian jo ikävä.


You may easily feel inadequate with twins. Holding them and comforting them at the same time isn’t easy at least when they’re small babies. The other one has to wait his or her turn in many occasions and even if they say that twins will learn to wait for their turn, they learn it by crying out loud for good many times.

What really helped me during those moments was remembering that even if in that particular situation they had to wait (alone, poor little ones), they will have the other sibling closer to them than any singleton will ever have their sibling. And I don’t meant that singletons can’t be really close, of course they can have tight relations, but twins can have their sibling right next to them in the same group when they go to kindergarten or school or take other big steps on their life path. They’ll always have a friend who is going through the same age and phase at the same time.

So even if they have to wait alone little now and then because of the other sibling, they will have a huge support in each other later in life.

As small babies when they both wanted to be held at the same time, I sometimes put them in the same cot facing each other and they calmed down looking at each other. Now it doesn’t work any more since they grab at each other’s face or roll over and kick the other one to the head or bite the other one’s finger. It always ends up to a massive cry.

Kaksosten kanssa tulee helposti riittämätön olo. Niitä ei ole helppo pitää sylissä ja lohduttaa samaan aikaan. Toisen pitää odottaa vuoroaan usein ja vaikka sanotaan, että kaksoset oppivat odottamaan vuoroaan, he oppivat sen itkemällä monet kerrat lohduttomasti, kun sisarukselta vaihdettiin ensin vaippa tai toinen pääsi ensin syliin.

Se, mikä minua on auttanut noissa tilanteissa on itseni muistuttaminen siitä, että vaikka näissä tietyissä tilanteissa heidän pitää odottaa (yksinään, voi pienet), heillä on kuitenkin sisarus lähempänä kuin yksösillä ikinä voi olla. Enkä tarkoita nyt sitä, etteikö yksössisarukset voisi olla hyvin läheisiä, tottakai voivat, mutta kaksosilla on toisensa esimerkiksi kun he aloittavat päiväkodin tai koulun ihan siinä samassa ryhmässä. Heillä on aina lähellä ystävä, joka on juuri samanikäinen ja käy läpi samaa kehitysvaihetta.

Joten vaikka he joutuvat vauva-aikana odottamaan sisaruksensa takia toisinaan, on heillä toisissaan valtava tuki myöhemmin. Isossa kuvassa he varmaankin jäävät voitonpuolelle läheisyysasiassa, kun saavat sitä toisiltaan niin paljon.

Kun he olivat aivan pieniä vauvoja ja halusivat olla molemmat sylissä yhtä aikaa, hoksasin jossain vaiheessa laittaa ne pinnasänkyyn katselemaan toisiaan. He rauhoittuivat usein siinä köllötellessään. Enää se ei oikein toimi, koska he tarttuvat toisiaan naamasta, kääntyvät ympäri ja potkivat toisiaan päähän tai purevat vaikkapa sormesta. Yritykset päättyvät aina valtavaan parkuun.


Accept any help you can get. This one I wrote already on the previous post and I’m glad I realized it already when I wasn’t too tired. With a heavy fatigue I’m not sure if I would have had the strength to search possibilities of getting help from the city. We’ve had a nanny helping every week, and my mother in law has come monthly for a couple of days. Now we have a nurse student coming for a training period and we’ve had friends and family helping regularly.

I’m not going to say that we could not have made it without them. It’s insulting for anyone who doesn’t get help. We would have made it even without any help (and so will you if you have to) but boy am I glad we got it.

Don’t worry about messy home. Everyone will understand. Invite them in anyways.

Ota vastaan kaikki apu, mitä voit saada. Tämän kirjoitin jo viime postauksessa ja olen niin tyytyväinen, että ymmärsin tämän jo ennen kuin olin ihan loppuunväsynyt. Jäätävissä univeloissa en olisi jaksanut alkaa selvitellä, mistä voisi saada apua. Meillä on tosiaan ollut lastenhoitaja joka viikko, anoppi on käynyt muutaman päivän kuukausittain. Nyt on tulossa opiskelija harjoittelemaan ja lisäksi on ystäviä ja perheenjäseniä ollut apuna tarpeen mukaan.

En tahdo sanoa, etteikö oltaisi selvitty ilman apuakin. Se on loukkaavaa niitä kohtaa, jotka eivät apua saa. Oltaisiin varmasti selvitty (ja niin selvitä sinäkin jos täytyy) mutta oon mä kyllä kiitollinen kaikesta avusta mitä ollaan saatu.

Älä murehdi kodin siisteydestä. Kaikki ymmärtävät kyllä. Kutsu apu sisään jokatapauksessa.


I wish I could tell you more general advice for twin life but twins are usually as individual as singletons. Some sleep well, eat well and develop as they should, others have their challenges.

But here is something I’d like to say to you:

Don’t worry, it will go well,
You can do it  and
You are enough, just try your best.

Have a nice week!

Mannamaria

P.s These photos are from our date last week.

Osaisinpa kertoa muita yleisiä neuvoja kaksosarkeen mutta kaksoset ovat yhtä yksilöllisiä kuin yksösetkin. Toiset nukkuvat ja syövät hyvin sekä kehittyvät niin kuin pitää, toisilla on oman haasteensa.

Tämän haluaisin kuitenkin sanoa sinulle:

Älä huoli, hyvin se menee,
Selviät kyllä ja
Sinä riität, yritä vain parhaasi.

Mukavaa viikkoa!

Mannamaria

P.S. Kuvat ovat viime viikon treffeiltä.

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

Beautiful lake views

The theme of this week’s photo challenge is ‘satisfaction’. I went through my photos trying to see if there was something I would like to post here.

First thing that I came up with were findings from the flea market. I love flea markets! I go there often and make great findings quite often. The thing is, I never take photos of them. But maybe I should! 

I did find two scenes that I find extremely satisfying. The first is Finnish lake view. I don’t know why but I calm down instantly when looking at this view. My heart beat slows down, my mind stops racing and my muscles relax. I could stare at this for hours. The first photo is from our summer holiday trip to Ikaalinen. The second one is from near our home.



But I can’t leave out the view of a field either. Part of this satisfaction is also the silence. You can only hear the wind moving the crops but other than that it’s silent. No traffic, no nothing.


This is my contribution to the weekly photo challenge!

I’ll see you soon!

Mannamaria

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