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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Hey Moomins! – Visiting the Moominworld

As a child my generation watched the Moomins. The Japanese style (anime) version of the Finnish Moomin cartoons was seen on TV once a week if I remember it right. Everyone had their favorite character. I think most people liked little My. A fierce and impassioned little girl who was very adventurous and loved catastrophes.

My favorite character was the Snork Maiden. She was a sensitive lady who liked nice clothes and jewellery. She was also a little moody and could change her mind in an instant.

There she is!

My son hasn’t watched the Moomins. We tried it for a couple of times but they were surprisingly scary for a three year old. We do have couple of books that we have read and they are suitable for a small child. The Moomins are, in my opinion, an essential part of Finnish children’s culture and I think it’s a shame that they are distant to my son.

Well, theme parks are always good fun anyway, so we decided to head to the Moominworld this summer. We were supposed to go there earlier this summer but had to delay. Last weekend, when we finally got there, was the last one it was open this year. (Winter is coming!)

Moomin world is a small island. They sell one or two days tickets and before I didn’t understand why anyone would pay for two days. It’s such a small place that there cannot be enough to see for two days.

But boy have they built it brilliantly! There is not much to see but there is so much to do! They have really understood what kids love. Activities! We attended Little My’s birthday party (twice since my son loved it) and went to another play.

The character’s were there to be hugged and photographed all the time and they also had a little performance going on so we could just sit and watch them do stuff for a long time. We visited the characters’ homes and there would have been activities as well but we didn’t have time to attend! We should have taken two days tickets.

Next time we go, we have to stay for two days. It was lovely!

Do you know the Moomins and who’s your favorite character?

Have a nice day!

Mannamaria


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

A moment in my twinlife – crispy morning 

Crispy morning. The air is clear and cool. I breath in and out. It smells like autumn. I’ve put the babies in their stroller for their first nap. 

I have a cup of hot coffee in my hand. With the other hand I push and rock the stroller back and forth. Back and forth.

In a distance I hear the highway humming. People are rushing to work. But my backyard is calm and quiet. It’s so early that the birds must still be sleeping. No wait. They’re up. Singing loudly now that I’m listening. Maybe it’s not that early.

Some children pass by. They’re going to school. They are carrying their too big backpacks and have messy, too long, hair under their caps. They’re looking down and kicking rocks. They seem sad. I wonder if everything is ok with them.

I push the stroller. Back and forth. Back and forth.

I take a sip of my coffee. It’s not that hot anymore. Some days this is the only moment when I can drink my coffee in peace. I try to enjoy it slowly. 

I wish I had dressed up already so I could go for a walk. But I’m still wearing my pajamas. I had slept 4 or 5 hours the night before. It’s too early for me  to be up but the babies have already been awake for about an hour and a half. I’m tired but the fresh air helps me wake up.

The morning is cold so I have put my woolen shawl on for the first time this year. My toes are getting cold in my slippers.

The babies fall asleep. I finish my coffee. I go in and start the day.

Mannamaria

Little Accomplishments

Sometimes, especially when you feel exhausted with life, it’s good to stop and look around. Concentrate on the positive. And see the things that we’ve accomplished instead of all that we still have on our to do lists.

Toisinaan, erityisesti silloin jos elämä tuntuu hengästyttävältä, on hyvä pysähtyä ja katsoa ympärilleen. Keskittyä positiivisuuteen. Ja nähdä saavutukset tehtävälistojen sijaan.

Maggie from the blog Dreaming of Guatemala has been doing these Little Accomplishments posts for some time now and I have admired her positivity in them. Here is my SAHM version of little accomplishment and as Maggie says it: “Let’s celebrate all of life’s joys – no matter how small!”

Maggie blogista Dreaming of Guatemala on tehnyt kirjoituksia pienistä saavutuksistaan jo jonkun aikaa ja mä olen ihaillut hänen positiivisuuttaan etäältä. Tässä tulee mun kotiäitiversio näistä pienistä saavutuksista. Niin kuin Maggie sen sanoo: “juhlistetaan elämän pieniä iloja – riippumatta siitä, kuinka pieniä ne ovatkaan!”

It’s only Tuesday but this week I have already… On vasta tiistai mutta tällä viikolla olen jo…

Bought the first Christmas presents! There was a move out sale in one book store and I found some children’s book classics that I got for all of my children. And my sister’s children. And my godson. And.. ok, that was it.

Ostanut ensimmäiset joululahjat! Kirjakaupassa oli muuttomyynti ja löysin joitain lastenkirjaklassikkoja, jotka ostin kaikille meidän lapsille. Ja siskon lapsille. Ja kummipojalle. Ja.. no ok, siinäpä se olikin. 

Harvested the first zucchinis! I told you before (here) that I have hard time keeping my plants alive. But I have found the one plant that survives even at my care. It’s zucchini! My mother planted me a small zucchini sapling this spring and told me to water it well. I didn’t water it. Even once. But thank you rainy summer! I have so many zucchinis I don’t know what to do with them.

Keräsin ensimmäiset kesäkurpitsat! Kerroin aiemmin (täällä), että en tahdo saada millään pidettyä mun kasveja elossa. Nyt olen kuitenkin löytänyt kasvin, joka selviää jopa mun hoidossa. Se on kesäkurpitsa! Äiti istutti meidän pihaan kesäkurpitsan taimen keväällä ja sanoi, että muista vain kastella. En kastellut. Kertaakaan. Mutta kiitos sateinen kesä! Saatiin tosi paljon kesäkurpitsaa. Pitää vaan keksiä, mitä näistä kaikista tehdään. 

Cooked two healthy meals for the family. I mean two out of two days is quite good? At this point of my life, cooking well is not always an option. But here it is, as a proof, my simple chicken salad.

Kokkasin kaksi terveellisestä ateriaa perheelle. Kaksi kahdessa päivässä on aika hyvä, eikö niin? Nykyisessä arjessa ei oikeasti terveellisiä ruokia ehdi aina tehdä, joskus mennään kalapuikoilla. Mutta tässä on todiste, mun simppeli kanasalaatti.

Picked some chanterelles. I have been wanting to go mushroom picking for a month now and today I finally got to the forest. Ok, I had only 15 minutes and I only found some handfuls of them but they were a great base for my second healthy meal of the week which was vegetarian pasta. (I know, pasta may not be the healthiest choice but it didn’t have any cream or other unhealthy ingredients in it)

Keräsin myös kanttarelleja. Oon halunnut mennä kantarellimetsään jo kuukauden mutta tänään vihdoin pääsin. Kieltämättä se oli vaan vartti ja löysin vaan pari kourallista mutta ne kävi hyvin viikon toiseen terveelliseen ateriaan, joka oli vegepasta. (Tiedän joo, että pasta ei ole kaikista terveellisin vaihtoehto mutta tässä ei kuitenkaan ollut kermaa tai muuta epäterveellistä)

Downloaded an app called Momzie. It’s like a Tinder for moms. 😀 I have been chatting with some very nice moms there. It’s such a great idea and a great way to meet new mom friends nearby.

Latasin sovelluksen nimeltä Momzie. Se on niin kuin äitien Tinder. 😀 Olen jutellut muutamien mukavien äitien kanssa siellä. Tämä sovellus on hauska idea ja kiva tapa tutustua muihin lähistöllä oleviin äiteihin.

 

Emptied the laundry basket. It’ll be full in an instant again but I have been doing soooo much laundry the past days that at least at this moment I can say, it’s empty!

Tyhjensin pyykkikorin. Toki se täyttyy hetkessä mutta olen pessyt niiin paljon pyykkiä tässä pari päivää, että ainakin just tällä hetkellä voin todeta, se on tyhjä!

Found some great stuff from sale and flea market! Finding high quality clothes for a low price always makes me unbelievably happy!

Löysin tosi hyviä juttuja alesta ja kirpparilta! Laadukkaiden vaatteiden löytäminen edukkaaseen hintaan saa mut uskomattoman hyvälle tuulelle!

Please let me know your little accomplishment! Jaa ihmeessä omat pienet saavutuksesi!

Have a lovely week! Mukavaa viikkoa!

Mannamaria

Ooh, Shiny!

I shared some of these photos before but here’s a story behind them. Sea view is something that always caughts my eyes. Commuting to work I see the sunrise over the sea every morning and I never get bored to that. I have taken hundreds of similar photos of the sea from the same bus stop. I get excited about the sea and the sunrise, take photos and then realize that I have taken the same photos over and over again. 😀

Jotkut näistä kuvista jaoinkin jo aiemmin mutta nyt tulee myös stoori niiden takaa. Tykkään merestä. Jään aina tuijottamaan merinäköalaa, jos sellaisen huomaan. Työmatkallani ihailen merta ja vuodenajasta riippuen myös auringonnousua joka aamu enkä kyllästy siihen koskaan. Mulla on varmasti satoja samanlaisia kuvia siitä auringonnoususta siltä samalta bussipysäkiltä. Ensin mä innostun siitä, napsin kuvia ja hetken päästä tajuan, että mulla on jo niitä samoja kuvia vaikka kuinka paljon.

When I get to decide a place for a date night or a hangout with friends I always choose a place by the seaside.

Sillon kun on mun vuoro päättää paikka treffeille tai voin vaikuttaa ystävien illanviettopaikkaan, valitsen aina merenrantapaikan.

Little while back we had a date with my husband and I chose this place called Nokkalan Majakka in Espoo. First we had dinner and while we were finishing our drinks we saw a small ferry come to the pier. We asked if we could get to some island with the ferry but they said we would sure get to some island but he was going for his last circle around the islands so if we went to some island we wouldn’t get back.

Vähän aikaa sitten me oltiin miehen kanssa treffeillä Nokkalan Majakassa Espoossa. Ensin syötiin ja just kun oltiin lopettelemassa juomia, huomattiin että laituriin tuli sellainen pieni saaristovene. Me kysyttiin, että pääseekö sillä vielä jonnekin saareen ja saatiin vastaus, että pääsee toki mutta enää ei pääse pois, koska hän oli tekemässä viimeisen lenkkinsä.

Since it was a date, we were not busy and we had already had our dinner, so we hopped on to the ferry and got a sightseeing island tour for free. (Though that might have been an error)

Me oltiin treffeillä, joten kiirettä ei ollut, oltiin jo syöty, joten hyppäsimme lauttaan ja lähdimme saarikierrokselle. Se ei edes maksanut mitään. (Joskin siinä saattoi myös tapahtua virhe)

I love (and miss) that kind of small ex tempore things we used to do before kids. Here are some photos from our sightseen tour!

Mä niin tykkään (ja samalla ikävöin) tän tyyppisiä pieniä ex tempore juttuja, joita me tehtiin ennen lapsia usein. Tässä hieman kuvia meidän turistikierrokselta.

This is my take on to the weekly photo challenge.

Greetings! Terkuin

Mannamaria


My favorite: GUGGUU (kids clothing)

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Ok, so I had decided long time ago that I wouldn’t talk about brands in this blog. If I don’t have collaboration with any brands, I shouldn’t talk about them either. Right? 

No niin, olin siis päättänyt jo kauan sitten, etten ota brändejä käsittelyyn tässä blogissa. Jos en tee yhteistyötä minkään brändin kanssa, ei minun pitäisi tuoda niitä esiinkään? Vai? 

I write this because I really like kids’ clothing, brands and products. I have chosen to this post series those companies that I use myself and like the most. We are no fashionistas and I can’t buy everything that I want but I buy some and try to find others from online sales groups and flea markets. Now is the time when companies release their new Autumn/Winter collections. I wait for them. I look through them. I talk about them with friends. But I’m not sure if I should bring my love for kids’ clothing and products to this blog? Or should I leave this to other forums?

Kirjoitan tämän, koska aidosti pidän lastenvaatteista, -brändeistä ja -tuotteista. Olen valinnut tähän sarjaan niitä brändejä, joita käytän itse ja joista tykkään eniten. Meidän perheessä ei aina pukeuduta viimeisimpien trendien mukaan. Minulla ei ole varaa ostaa kaikkea mitä haluaisin mutta ostan jotain ja yritän löytää muita netin myyntiryhmistä ja kirppareilta. Tähän aikaan vuodesta yritykset julkaisee syksyn ja talven mallistojaan ja mä odotan niitä innoissani, selaan into piukassa ja pölisen kavereiden kanssa siitä, mistä tykätään eniten. En ole kuitenkaan varma pitäisikö minun tuoda näitä asioita blogiin vai jättää muille foorumeille?

The brands that I thought of featuring are Finnish since I’m most familiar with them. They are ethical, they have nice story behind them and the products are of good quality. They are some of my favorite brands. Please let me know what you think of this kind of posts.

Brändit, joista ajattelin puhua ovat suomalaisia, eettisiä, niillä on kiva tarina takanaan ja tuotteet ovat laadukkaita. Nämä on on suosikkibändejäni. Kertokaa ihmeessä, mitä mieltä olette tämän tyyppisistä postauksista!

The first collection that I will talk about comes from Gugguu.

Ensimmäinen mallisto tulee iki-ihanalta Gugguulta. 

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I fell in love with Gugguu in 2014 when my first son was born. The brand was new, the first collection had been launched in 2013, and it was very hip. What I really liked about them was their bright colors. Earlier I had been really bummed to see the limited choice of colors in boys’ clothing. Everything seemed to be blue and grey and very dark. Gugguu’s colors were bright and happy. My all time favorite color from them has been beautiful lemon.

Ihastuin tähän brändiin vuonna 2014, kun ensimmäinen lapseni syntyi. Yhtiö oli uusi, ensimmäinen mallisto oli julkaistu vasta edellisenä vuonna ja se oli välittömästi menestys. Gugguussa ihastuin ensimmäisenä heidän kirkkaisiin väreihinsä. Olin ollut harmistunut siihen asti siitä, että pojille tuntui olevan tarjolla vain sinistä ja harmaata tummina sävyinä. Gugguun värit olivat kirkkaat ja iloiset. Tähän asti suosikkivärini heiltä onkin ollut heleä lemon.

One of my favorite product from Gugguu are their slim tricot pants. The pants are comfortable material but the cut is slim so they look stylish. My boy also loves them!

Yksi suosikkituotteistani on aina ollut heidän trikoohousunsa. Housut on mukavat jalassa mutta kapea leikkaus on tyylikäs. Poika tykkää niistä kovasti.

My absolutely favorite products from Gugguu are their accessories, beanies especially. I have beautiful light lemon cotton beanies for the babies for autumn and I think I will buy merino wool ones for winter. They look amazing in my opinion!

Ihan suosikkituote on kuitenkin Gugguun asusteet, lähinnä pipot. Mulla on keltaiset puuvillapipot nyt syksylle vauvoille ja valkoinen vanhemmalle ja yritän löytää merinovillaiset talven varalle. Nämä on minusta hurjan hienot!

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In this autumn collection they use colors like vanilla, lilac, smokey blue, grey and mauve. I love those colors surprisingly much. Ok, they are quite traditional after I just said how they have other colors than blue and grey for boys but this time it’s very fresh. Especially mauve and smokey blue caught my eyes as you can see from tho pictures I chose here.

Tämän syksyn väreinä on vanilla, lilac, smokey blue, grey ja mauve. Tykkään näistä väreistä yllättävänkin paljon. Ne on kieltämättä aika perinteiset, kun juuri pääsin sanomasta että alunperin ihastuin heidän väreihinsä. Erityisesti smokey blue ja mauve on mieleeni, kuten kuvista näkyy.

Wednesday they had the first drop of their merino wool products. When I tried to get to the website I had to queue! And it was hours after the launch. The products are very popular and sell out fast but I’m not quick when it comes to making decisions. I have to wait and see what is left little later when I have decided what I’d want from this collection.

Keskiviikona, kun heillä oli ensimmäinen merinovillatuotteiden droppi, jouduin jonottamaan, että pääsin edes nettisivuille sisään. Olin siellä kuitenkin tunteja malliston julkaisun jälkeen. Suositut tuotteet myydään nopeasti loppuun mutta itse en osaa tehdä nopeita päätöksiä tämäntyyppisistä asioissa. Mun pitää vielä miettiä, mitä oikeasti haluan ja toivoa, että niitä on vielä jäljellä kun olen valmis tekemään päätöksen.

All photos are from gugguu.com with permission.

Kaikki kuvat ovat Gugguun ja julkaistu luvan kanssa.

What do you think of this collection? It’s odd to look at these winter photos while it’s still summer!

Mitäs tykkäätte tästä mallistosta? Onpa outoa katsoa näitä talvikuvia, kun vielä on niin kesäistä!

I’m always looking for new practical yet beautiful brands to follow so please share your favorite!

Etsin aina käytännöllisiä mutta tyylikkäitä uusia brändejä seurattavaksi, joten jaa ihmeessä suosikkisi!

Have a lovely day! Mukavaa päivää!

Mannamaria