With Easier Life Comes Lousier Blog

You may have noticed that I haven’t been fully present here in the blogosphere during the past weeks. It’s because I’ve noticed something that I didn’t expect: When my life gets easier after the colic time, I don’t seem to find time to update this blog. It feels strange. I didn’t think it would go like this. Not have time for updates when I have more time. 

People always asked me how I had time to start a new blog when I had newborn twins.

Let me explain you.

When the twins were born our world turned upside down. Everything I thought I knew about taking care of babies went out of the window. We felt like we were thrown into a merry-go-round that was spinning too fast and we were trying to hold on to it the best we could. The babies had our attention from the moment we opened our eyes in the morning until we closed them in the evening.

We had to leave our hobbies and everything extra that took time from taking care of the babies. Since the other baby had colic it meant that either me or my husband walked around carrying the crying baby and the other one took care of the other baby and the toddler.

So what did I do?

When I walked around with the crying baby I thought about this blog and my next post. How should I start it? What about the ending? Which photos I would use? Anyone with colic baby knows that there is absolutely nothing you can do to calm the baby. All you can do is be close to him and let him know that he’s not alone. I was physically close to him but my mind was somewhere else. It escaped to this blog.

In the evening when all the kids were sleeping I sat down to my computer and wrote the text. The writing was quick since I had thought it through before. Sometimes I fell asleep myself while I was putting the kids to bed but then I wrote the text the next day. I didn’t worry about it.

Many of the texts turned out bright and happy. Even if I was exhausted I often wanted to write something positive. I didn’t want to be stuck in that exhaustion. But often I also let it show through. I didn’t want to be fake.

I’m grateful for this blog. It’s one of the major things that kept me sane during the colic time. It was my own thing. My place. The only thing I did regularly only because I liked it after the twins were born. Not because I had to. 

Every comment, like and follow have felt sooo good. I’m honestly grateful for every visit this blog gets. I have found some new friends. Someone I have already met in person. What could be better outcome from blogging?

Well anyways. Now our life is easy. The kids are happy. They are learning everyday, sleeping and eating well. No drama going on.

What do I do now?

I have noticed that with this easy life I don’t have to escape to this blog during the day. In the evening when I sit down to the computer I have no idea what to write. Sometimes I write something quickly but regret it after publishing and often I write nothing.

I’m in a new situation and I don’t know how to continue. Since I’m not as tired as I used to be I have started to do things that I used to do before twins came. I have spent my evenings, for example, crocheting.

I don’t know if this is the end of this blog or if I continue but the way of making it has to change. I need to figure out how and when and what I write in the future if I write. And I have to find time to read other blogs, participate and be a better community member.

Maybe a little hiatus will do good.

Or maybe I’ll publish some texts that I still have in the drafts. I’m not sure. But I just wanted to let you what’s going on.

Have a lovely week!

Mannamaria

Our summer in pictures

Oh yes, let’s start with this one! It was the first of May. Vappu. When everyone goes out to have a picnic or start the barbecue season but this year our backyard looked like this. The spring was unbelievably cold and this was the crown of it all. As they say, summers in Finland are cold and have only little snow.

In May we had some nice visits to the Helsinki center, underground electrical station and to see presidential funeral among other things. The underground electrical station was so much fun and such a special opportunity but when my son was asked afterwards about the best part of that day he replied it was getting in to that digger you can see there. 😀

I also got out with friends a couple of times and had some dates with the husband. I ate some nice lunches and dinners and had an opportunity to drink my coffee hot for a change.

In June it was finally warm enough to go swimming outside and have some ice cream (like everyday :D). We bought new furniture to our terrace and used them regularly. I love eating outside. Everything seems to taste better there!

The boy got a new sandbox to our backyard and was extremely happy about it. 😊

The next picture was the story of my life this summer. I made this meme early June and sent it to the husband like every day. It says: all kids are sleeping … were sleeping. Since as soon as I got every one asleep and brewed a coup of coffee and was ready to sit down and take a sip, someone was already awake. Like every time.

I didn’t have time to do much in the garden this year. All the weeds were growing wild and free but I try not to worry about it. This is Midsummer rose and the photo is taken on Midsummer when it was blooming beautifully.

The summer was not only sunshine and happiness. First of all it was quite cold and rainy but we also had to take our babies to the hospital a couple of times since they were not feeling well but it was luckily nothing serious. I also took them to cafés and restaurants so that they would get used to it from early on.

Looking back this summer is actually quite emotional. The babies were so little. We did not do as much different activities that I had hoped for but we invited lots of visitors to our home which was nice. I learnt that you don’t have to be always going to places and taking trips and visits as I have done previously. Staying at home with friends and family members is also very nice. Actually we had a good summer. Very good one.

Here was our May and June! This one got so long already that I’ll continue with July and August later.

Have a lovely week!

Mannamaria

When Stay at Home Mom Is Ill

So I’ve been ill. Really ill. The disease knocked me down to bed over a week ago. If it was influenza season I’d say I had an influenza but since it’s not, I don’t know what it was. I thought it was just a cold so I didn’t go to the doctor right away. I waited for it to go away too many days. It got so bad I couldn’t get up from bed at all. I couldn’t even think about going to the doctor’s office for many days. Eventually I went to the doctor’s, got the antibiotics and started to get better.

What’s my problem then? Just get some rest mmmkay? Well if you have three small children to take care of it’s not that easy.

This all week I have been thinking about this. How are we supposed to handle these situations? It felt literally impossible for me to be ill. For days I used all willpower I had to continue taking care of children and doing the chores. I couldn’t think about being ill. Who’d take care of the children and everything if I’m ill?

But eventually it got me.

In our case the grandparents live far away and couldn’t help us while husband was at work. My friends work and those who are at home are there because they have children and obviously they couldn’t help us. We didn’t have any place were we could have taken the kids so that I could have rested. When someone told me “you really have to take care of yourself” I felt like punching her.

We are lucky that my husband’s employer let him stay at home to take care of the babies for couple of days. Not all employers allow that. We also had a nanny helping for two days and this way we got through this. Maybe everyone has some back up plan? We didn’t. We made one as we went on.

Even if we found a way to get through this I felt horrible when my husband had to stay at home so that I could rest.  I felt like a loser. I had one job, to take care of the children, and I couldn’t even do that.

But had my husband been ill he could have taken sickness leave and stayed at home and rested without further discussion. It’s just us moms who can’t be sick.

I don’t know if I had a great point with this text. I just wanted to point out this issue so that everyone would have a plan in case they get ill. Since it’s not easy for a SAHM to get that rest. Had we had a proper plan beforehand maybe I wouldn’t have felt so bad to stay in bed for a couple of days?

Anyways, now I’m back in business again and ready to take care of any family member in case they get ill. 🙂

Have a lovely week!

Mannamaria


Someone is already waiting for winter. 😊


Sauna at the Heart of Family Life – My Article

I have some exciting news! This summer I was contacted by Sutchitra Parker from phdmama. She asked me to be a guest writer in their new global and multicultural parenting magazine, the Parent Voice,.

I was excited about this opportunity and decided to write my first article about Finnish family sauna since it’s such an integral part of our culture.

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I have shown you photos of our sauna building and it has raised many questions previously.

In the article I write about my childhood memories and what traditions I want to transfer to my children. I have also included some fun facts there. Like, did you know that there are more saunas than cars in Finland?

You can find the full article here.

Have a nice week end!

Mannamaria

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Pretending To Be a Good Mom 

Now that I can finally say that the baby colic is behind us, I have started to reflect that time. How did we get through it? What kind of coping methods I used? Could or should I  have done something different?

Things started get harder with us later than in colic cases usually. We had first many good weeks. The twins were two month old when it turned hard. Right after this post. The hardest period lasted until the twins were 4,5 months old. Then it started to get better but we still had many highs and more lows. It took more or less 1,5 months until we got to the “normal” life. They were 6 months old that time. Now I can say that for about a month we have been back to normal situation. It’s still not perfect but it’s good. The baby boy’s stomach hasn’t been hurting anymore.

But back to my coping methods. The other day I realized that for me one key strategy of coping was pretending to be a good mom. I mean little like ‘fake it ’til you make it’ but still different. That saying suggests that you are aiming towards something you want to be but are not. In my case I felt like I used to be a good mom but with the colic baby was slipping away from it. Slipping towards crazy, screaming, insensitive character of a mom.

During whole this colic situation I had only one rule for myself. “The colic is not your children’s fault – make sure they don’t feel that way”. This may sound like an obvious and easy rule but I think that only a mother of a colic baby can really understand how hard it is.

When the baby cries hour after hour and nothing, and I really mean literally nothing, helps you end up walking a circle in your home with the crying baby. At the same time you should feed the toddler, change him the pajama, brush his teeth read him the bedtime story, do all other evening routines and try to calm him down to sleep. And there is this horrible noise. I’m grateful for my husband for standing by me those evenings and really doing his part.

And of course there is also the other baby. Who is also tired. And cranky.

I admit that I was frustrated. Irritated. Tired. And disappointed. Disappointed that our life was like that and I didn’t know how to fix it. I spent nights googling about gastroesophageal reflux, frenulum of tongue, allergies and all that I could think of. During the days I tried out everything that I found from Google and thought was worth trying.

Biggest task with my rule was to always speak to the kids with a gentle voice. That they couldn’t hear my irritation. (Harder that you’d think in my situation!) I wanted to speak nicely to not only my older son and the baby girl but also to the crying baby. Since it was not his fault either. Quite soon I realized that when I talked to them with a soft voice it soothed myself as well. I didn’t feel that irritated anymore.

I also tried to make sure that my older son would get to the playground and one kids’ club that he used to go as much as before the babies came. And that all the other activities and rules would stay as similar to him as they were before. Even if I was extremely tired and it would have been so much easier to stay on our backyard I tried to force myself to the kids’ club.

I pretended to be a good mom.

I did snap sometimes. I’m not perfect (though I wish I was). But I can count those times with one hand. I didn’t participate on my son’s play as much as I would have liked to. I didn’t cook as good meals that I would have liked to. We didn’t go to the kids’ club every time. But quite often we did. In my opinion I did pretty good job pretending even if I sometimes wanted to give the crying baby to our neighbors so that I could get some rest.

I thought, and still do, that looking back that time is hard but had I acted differently towards the kids it would be so much harder. I truly hope that this colic didn’t affect the relationship between my kids and me.

The point of this text was not to glorify how marvelous pretender and fake good mom I am but to tell one coping method in a hard situation.

This might work in many other situations too.

If you pretend to be a good mom, the odds are you probably are one.

Mannamaria

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