And so it was Xmas

After the autumn we have had, I almost don’t have words to write down here.

Just gratitude that we made it to xmas and get to spend it with our special gang. Let the pictures speak for themselves.

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“Kuta pienempi itse, sita suurempi joulu tulee” – Tove Jansson 

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How to Grandparent from Across the Globe?

We are extremely lucky with both sets of grandparents. All four of them want to be involved in the boys’ lives, they are genuinely interested and incredibly loving towards the chaps.

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We definitely don’t take this for granted, as this is not always the case and frankly I believe it is every grandparent’s right to decide how involved (or not) they want to be. It is not always fun and games, especially with twins.

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The only problem with our grandparents is that they don’t live in the same country as us. My parents live a 3h flight away, and my husbands’ a 24h flight away. Yes, they literally could not be more far away. So in our everyday life we don’t have a so called safety network. If something unexpected happens or the boys get ill, we have to rely 100% on our wonderful au-pair and the ability to work from home.

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It is not easy, sometimes it terrifies me to think that there is no one to help and
also I feel sad for the boys. Sad that they don’t get to see their grandparents that often or their cousins, aunts and uncles.

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This also means that when we are all together, it is very intense “being together”. It’s not about getting together for a Sunday lunch or dropping the kids off to grandma’s house for a sleepover, it’s about living our everyday life with us, being together pretty much 24/7.

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But one of the reasons why I think they want to be involved, is because we let them. We let them come into our house and truly be “at home”. We let them do everything they want to do with the boys and participate in the boys’life in all possible ways, and we let them give advice and voice their opinions.

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Last year when the boys were newborns, our kiwi grandparents came over and stayed with us for three months. They helped us tremendously by participating in everything; feeding, bathing, night feeding, going to the doctor, keeping them entertained and happy. Being a new parent is a very overwhelming time so to have their support and experience was wonderful.

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When they went home they left behind two babies that couldn’t do much and when they returned this year they came to something completely different: two one-year-olds, who are walking and communicating and making a constant mess of everything.

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So what about in the meantime? A year is a very long time not to see each other, especially in the life of babies.

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I think it is the responsibility of us, the parents, to keep the grandparents in the mind of the boys. So how do we do it? We have grandma’s and grandpa’s pictures on the wall in the boys’ room and we look at them and tell the boys who is in the picture. We talk to the boys about grandma and grandpa and Skype regularly.

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And the other way round? Again, our responsibility. We want to keep the grandparents on top of everything that is going on in the boys’ life. What they are learning, what they are doing, who they are meeting.
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And how do we do this? About once a month I put together a Picasa “letter” from the boys with photos and stories about what has been going on. We tell them how much we miss them and love them.
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At the end of the day I try not to worry too much about our situation. This is our life and this is how it is. We are incredibly lucky to have such wonderful grandparents. And on top of the fabulous four we also have great bonus grandparents; my aunt and uncle, my sister-in-law’s parents, my husband’s lovely aunt and uncle. All wonderful people, there to help and form the village that raises our boys.
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Have a safe journey home grandma and grandpa. See you next year. Even if you are far away in distance, you are always close to our heart.

Life Is About

…finding a life partner who shares the same goals as you, but who is just a little different from you and pushes you to get out of your comfort zone.

And at first you go “blah, I don’t want to do this, what a drag”, but then you just go and do it, and you conquer your fear and you end up with an experience that exhilarates and amazes you, and catapults you up from the mundane everyday life and makes you feel really alive for a moment.

This was my high-flying little brother, somewhere near Munich, this weekend.

At Home – Part 2

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Well there you are my little warrior, what you doing? Hunting a dragon? Off to a battle?Breathing fire?

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You learn new things at such a pace, that we can’t keep up with you sometimes.

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You saw Dadda shave one morning and the next day you were doing the same. You want to show that you are a big boy.

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And you demand to do everything yourself. You used to find eating such a chore when it was just milk, but now that it’s different flavors and textures you love it. As long as you can do it yourself.

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The great lesson in life for you will be to learn about patience. I know, because you are like your mama bear, we are made of the same stuff.

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When you are angry the whole neighborhood knows. There is no negotiating with you when you are upset, but picking you up, holding you tight and giving you your rag and a soft toy helps.

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But when things are good there is no end to your joy and you charm your way to anybody’s heart. You little flirt.

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And we are so proud to see how you have become more social and accepting of other people. Now you approach other kids at the sand pit and you love your family.

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So our little Mr Fox Fantastic, be exactly how you are and continue to surprise, amaze and dazzle us like you do everyday; “Grow, far over your Mother”.

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At Home – Part 1

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You practically attached yourself to Ukki (grandpa) during our whole time in Finland. Was it because you share the same name or because you both are twins?

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We were so worried how you were going to manage without him back home in London that we took a couple of Ukki’s passport photos with us to show you if you needed.

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But we forgot how strong you are. Grandma says you are the mysterious one. “The silent fish with secrets” as the children’s song says.

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Just as it didn’t bother you that brother learned to walk before you. You weren’t stressed, you didn’t show that you were jealous. You took your time and started taking steps in your own time. With confidence.

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Now you reach for everything and climb on anything. Nothing can stop you when you put your mind to something.

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And most of all, you are happy. You smile when you see that brother is happy, you smile when you see mum and dad kiss, people who meet you for the first time say that you seem like you don’t have a care in the world.

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And you make us so happy. Our little lion.

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So go on, follow your own path. And we’ll just watch you from the sidelines, beaming with pride.

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