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


 

 

What a week

I’ve been alone with the kids for 10 day now. My husband has worked overtime and was working last week end as well. Yesterday was a public holiday and he was with the kids and I got some free time but today he’s working again and is gone both day and night.

The first week went quite well. We tried a new formula for the baby boy and it was not good for him so he cried a lot for couple of days but then it got better. Then came the week end and I was quite tired but I had known this for a while and thought I was well prepared for it so it went quite ok. Thank heavens the weather has been good so it’s been easy to let the boy out when the babies were sleeping outside in their pram.

But then the Monday hit. And it hit quite bad. These past days I’ve been tired. Maybe even exhausted. I’ve fallen asleep this week every night around 8 when I’ve been putting the boy to bed. I haven’t been able to keep the house tidy and we’ve eaten fish fingers and other stuff from the freezer. I’m not proud of myself.

Today when the nanny was here in the morning I cleaned the house and cooked something for the week end so don’t worry. We’re ok now.

I’ve written some drafts but nothing I could publish yet. I’m waiting for the week end anxiously.

I hope I have time and strength to write something more over the week end.

Until then, have a lovely week end!

Mannamaria

 

Below some wise words from our former president.

Starting The Baby Food Factory

The twins are 4 months old and it’s time to start thinking about solid food. With the older boy I waited until he was 6 months old but this time we’re ready earlier.

Stage 1 baby food is soft cooked and thinly puréed. This food is also lowest on the allergy scale and should be those veggies that are easiest digested by tiny tummies. You should start by introducing single ingredient at a time and 4 days apart with introducing new ingredients. (1)

This time I have started by making sweet potato and carrot purées. The babies will start tasting with such small amounts that I froze these self made purées as ice cubes. This way it’s easy to take one cube at a time and later I can mix and match different flavors.

Our girl is definitely ready for the purées. She seems excited to see the spoon and opens her mouth nicely. She doesn’t seem to get any stomach problems and is as happy as a baby can be.

Our boy on the other hand has always had problems with eating and he has had quite much stomach problems. I’m not sure if trying some solids has made it worse or not but with him I’ll take it slower. Trying even smaller amounts first and introducing new ingredients slower.

Next I think that I’ll try avocado (not frozen obviously!). Then maybe some fruit.. plum? I’m glad the summer is ahead and we have lots of fresh veggies available and even more to come. 🙂

Please share your tips and thoughts. 🙂

Have a nice week end!

Mannamaria

Oh Summer Let Me Hug You

Today it was 25 Celsius first time this year. We spent all day outside with the children. I hope that the weather stays like this for a long time but in case it doesn’t we wanted to make the most of it.

First time this year:

  • the boy wore a cap instead of a beanie,
  • he used his new summer shoes,
  • he didn’t have to wear an overall at the playground,
  • he got to water paint (do you do this? He loves it! Great recommendation),
  • he got to play other water games outdoors,
  • the twins were out on a blanket,
  • I had a problem of what the twins should wear so that it’s not too hot for them in the pram,
  • I had my morning coffee outside at the terrace,
  • It’s almost 10 p.m and the sun is still shining and I’m writing this post outside.

And the tulips finally blossom!

I would have had a lot of cleaning up and cooking to do inside but I decided to let that housework wait and spend the day outside instead. The day included also ice cream, lunch at the terrace and a nanny who gave me an opportunity to cross over at least something from my to do list.

More days like this one please! 🙂

Mannamaria

Summer Holiday Planning

I’m currently using lots of time doing summer holiday planning. With small babies and the boy it’s not that simple to find the perfect solution for all. To travel abroad or stay in homeland? Stay at home? Summer cottage? Hotel? Here are my current thoughts.

Travel abroad
I love travelling and there are so many places I’d like to go to.
This option has the positive side of
– finding new travel destinations,
– creating great memories for the older boy,
– relaxing is easier when you are really out of your ordinary life,
– better chance of good weather than at home.

On the negative side:
– it is expensive,
– travelling by plane with baby twins and a 3 year old sounds stressful to me,
– the twins wake up at night no matter where we are,
– they won’t remember it anyway.

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Travel in homeland
I have traveled quite much also inside the country and this country surprises me positively every now and then.
On the positive side:
– it’s cheaper,
– you can pack everything in a car so moving around is easier,
– there are lots of great family destinations like the Moomin world where we haven’t been to yet,
– we could visit friends and family around the country and spend some time in our summer cottage.

On the negative side:
– the new experiences would be limited,
– it’s not that easy to get to the holiday mood,
– we are a family of five so not all our friends could host us which means hotel nights which means spending more money (though I also love staying in hotels and especially their breakfasts :D)
– This is a big country and our family and summer cottage are far away. Driving for 500 km in a day with kids doesn’t sound like a lot of fun.

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Stay at home
There would be so much to do here at home!
– we could finally do something from the to do -list,
– that would lower my stress level
– I love Helsinki and we could do some summer activities here like go to the beach, zoo or amusement park,
– we have our friends close and maybe for once we’d have time to see them,
– this option doesn’t cost much! 🙂

On the negative side:
– Does it feel like a holiday if you don’t go anywhere?

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Combination
One thing we have thought of is travelling to Estonia or Latvia. This way we didn’t have to use the plane, we could drive. Those countries are close. It’s not very expensive to go there and we’d still be going abroad and that would hopefully give me the sense of holiday.

I love this part of the holiday! Planning and comparing all the possibilities. Summer is still ahead and everything seems possible.

If I was jealous to some people it would be those living in the central Europe since they can travel to numerous destinations by car. That would make life so much easier when you have small children.

Do you like planning? What kind of summer holiday plans you have?

Mannamaria

Mother’s Day Here And There

This is a post I have struggled with the past days. Written, rewritten and rewritten it. I had decided to send some photo to the weekly photo challenge and when I found these photos and couldn’t just pass them. They are from our trip to Gambia a couple of years ago. This post is not about a reflecting surface as the challenge suggested. It’s more about reflecting my motherhood and relationship with children, inspired by that challenge. I hope it’s ok.

First time writing this post I started by wondering what kind of Mother’s Day they had. Did they have cake and flowers as we did? Do they have a family to celebrate it with? But I realized I know nothing about their families.

I went on to ponder how I did absolutely nothing to be born in a country were I could give birth to my children in a safe and modern hospital instead of that one below. How it was pure luck that I can give my children a chance to live their childhood in a safe the way that we want and provide them a good education. Those kids in the last picture live on the streets and do whatever they can to survive. They did absolutely nothing to deserve that. How I wish I could save them all but I can’t. 

How the school kids seem so happy. With education their future seems bright. I wish they have the opportunity to finish school and get professions. And I wish the kids from the last picture could find a way to attend to a school. 

I wrote and rewrote and rewrote. Then I thought what they would say if a mother of some of the kids in the picture saw my text. I thought of them saying “girl, you know nothing about our lives, families or hopes for the future”. And that’s quite correct, I don’t. 

So I deleted my texts and without analyzing further the only thing I know for sure is that everyone deserves a good healthcare and education. These kids and everyone else. That’s my wish for them.

Other than that I hope they had a good Mother’s Day full of love and laughter and the kind of future they wish for themselves.

Mannamaria

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