Five-Coffee-Day

Today is a Five-Coffee-Day. The babies have been sleeping excellently the past few weeks, 11 hours a night without much interruption. Finally sleeping full nights again myself felt like the luxury that it was and I was appreciative. But now, for the past two nights, one of the babies has been feeling a bit off and crying unconsolably, waking up the other one who doesn’t cry but becomes completely alert and must think it’s morning.

Usually it’s just me and the babies, since hubby is at work all day long, but yesterday my mother took a day off to help out, and tomorrow a nanny will come over for a few hours. The nanny is paid for by a government benefit for twin families, recognizing the exhaustion that looking after two babies brings, compared to one. Of course it depends on the babies, too – I’m lucky and quite proud to say that my babies are happy campers – they eat well, are not fussy, and they have an awesome sense of humor! They are probably much easier to handle than one fussy baby would be. I acknowledge that!

I’m grateful for the nanny benefit, too, though I also feel I’ve well earned it, having spent decades paying very high income taxes from an average salary (like most people). Finland is not a country where working hard will make you gain wealth, but on the plus side, everyone gets certain benefits at certain points of their life. Even those who’ve never paid any taxes.

Speaking of taxes, our zero-year-old babies are already solid tax payers now that we opened them bank accounts! Where else in the world but in Finland?! The interest rate is a meagre 0,2% but the government is more than happy to take 30% of any profit the little babies will make.

Today, outside my windows, my California-designed iPhone says it’s “-19ยฐC, feels like -28ยฐC” and it must be as chilled by the thought as me. The “feels like” comes from the arctic wind. I haven’t been out since Sunday and have no desire to do so. Last weekend, I met up with a friend who lives in Brussels and then with another friend who I used to see frequently. In a cafeteria both times – there’s not much else to do around here. I wanted to take the babies along but it was too cold.

And then I read on a local newspaper site a quote from someone exclaiming how lucky we are to be having such awesome winter weather at the moment! Everything is relative, isn’t it? What feels awesome to someone, feels quite the opposite to someone else. But I know I’m in the minority here. Finland is full of winter lovers who like it just the way it is now. They belong here and I’m happy for them.

Look at me, writing about the random thoughts floating around in my head! I used to keep this blog and my opinions separate, wanting the blog to remain a complaint-free-zone, but now that I’m running out of photos I feel like writing. Well, I’m not exactly running out of photos, I still have hundreds of travel photos I haven’t showed you, but I’m just tired of the ones I have. Traveling doesn’t seem like a big thing to me right now, which must be entirely normal in this stage of life. I feel like I’ve traveled quite enough for now, having dedicated at least a decade to it in my twenties.

“Traveling twenties”, as I said in a comment earlier this week. But what I would like to do, is take all my stuff and loved ones, and park us in a beautiful beach house somewhere nice and warm. Australia comes to mind. We would stay there and live happily ever after. Did anyone else watch Melrose Place in the 90’s? Remember Dr. Mancini’s beach house? Something like that would do just fine for me, thanks! Another option would be a house in Tuscany with a pool and vineyard. Have you seen Under the Tuscan Sun?

A while ago, the blogger Manja worried her readers by announcing the disturbing news that she had run out of Tuscan door photos to post. She was waiting for better weather to take her camera out. After that, Tuscany received a snowfall – whether that makes for better weather depends on your point of view. I’m happy to see she found a solution. As for me, I’m waiting for better weather too, to take my camera out and my babies out. And myself!

Meanwhile, I have enjoyed comment-chatting on Marina’s blog. She is a Ukrainian living in Norway and we share many thoughts on Nordic life. If you are looking for something philosophical to read, head over to her blog!

I’ve been trying to cut online time a bit and focus on the here and now, being present in the moment, so I apologize for not being as active visiting other blogs lately. Your blogs. I’m still following you and I’ll be around!

For everyone who loves winter: enjoy your winter wonderland days! I’ll be staying inside with my Nespresso machine. The babies are napping with content expressions on their faces, so I might have a sandwich as well.

The photos have nothing to do with the text – they are from the other end of the world: Ushuaia, December 2014

71 responses to “Five-Coffee-Day

  1. Oh yes, five coffees a day make you chatty, good to see! I’m happy to hear that you’re content with your pack and machine. ๐Ÿ˜€

    Thank you for the mention. With my doors it’s a bit like you and your travel photos: I still have many I haven’t posted yet but they are hiding in my unsorted photo folders because I’m lazy.

    As for this winter – I’m as flabbergasted (sounds like a good word) by it as I was by the last summer. Something’s happening here and I wonder if anybody really knows what it is. 10 cm of snow in Rome and some even in Napoli and on our beach looks almost as dramatic as the drought we had last summer. Never a dull moment.

    I wish you are able to go out soon again and be happy you have your coffee inside. I saw a hilarious video of a cappuccino ordered and left outside a bar in Piran that froze while the guest went to the bathroom. ๐Ÿ˜€

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I so enjoy reading your posts Snow. It’s interesting to hear that if you have twins you are entitled to some nanny help, it doesn’t happen in the U.K. but it’s an excellent idea. We are experiencing heavy snow here now and it’s causing travel chaos and as it happens so infrequently we’re not equipped to deal with it as you are! The damp air and wind make it seem much colder than when I was in Tampere recently. Keep warm! M.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, Marion! I so enjoy getting comments from you! ๐Ÿ™‚
      We have nice central heating here and double windows and warm water… many other countries (outside the Nordic region) don’t, in my experience, and that makes it feel quite cold: when you return indoors over here, it’s warm and you instantly feel better, while in some other places I’ve just continued to feel cold without any relief.
      One winter in France, me and some other Finnish girls shared a freezing cold flat for a while and we had to wear our coats and scarfs indoors – we even went to sleep like that!

      Like

  3. Loved you thought flow! Yes ๐Ÿ™‚ you’re lucky you have two beautiful twins ๐Ÿ™‚ and regarding temperatures…well, it’s winter time, we will appreciate more spring ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

  4. It’s not just a Finnish thing; my parents also opened a bank account for me when I was born! (I’m American.) It’s a smart financial thing ๐Ÿ˜‰ Until our entire banking system collapses, that is ๐Ÿ˜›

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hahah, oh yes, what the world will be like in 20 years is anyone’s guess!
      Did you also have to pay taxes for every dollar on your account? (Don’t answer if it’s too personal a question!) I really feel there should be an age limit for paying taxes!!

      Like

      • What do you mean? In the US we pay taxes on salaries, so my parents would’ve paid taxes on it when they earned it, but I wouldn’t. They also set up a college savings fund for me which is tax-free. They could add money from their salaries pre-tax to it and not pay any taxes at all.

        Liked by 2 people

        • We pay taxes from our salaries and then some more taxes from our savings, and if we give money to anyone, our children for example, we pay taxes on that too…. tax upon tax… the same euro is taxed several times, leaving the taxpayer only a slice ๐Ÿ™‚ Yay!

          Like

    • Thanks ๐Ÿ™‚ Happy you still have those memories so clear in your mind. Hope I will, too. The babies rarely nap at the same time, so those moments really are peaceful when it happens. Their eyes shut, framed by such long eyelashes, their rhythmic breathing and little fists half-closed… so cute โค

      Liked by 1 person

  5. If I had a five-coffee-day, I’d be visiting the bathroom every 10 minutes! Living in Hawaii, one of the things I do miss is cold, snowy, but sunny days. It’s all relative I guess.

    Liked by 2 people

    • It is – what I wouldn’t do to swap where I am for Hawaii, permanently!!! ๐Ÿ˜€ (with my family of course!)
      Five coffees does seem like a lot but I’ve convinced myself that Nespresso capsules are probably less caffeinated than regular espresso… (?!)

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Brrrr, I’ve been reading about the Siberian and Arctic winds buffeting much of Europe these days, and I am quite happy to say that, for once, I was in the right place at the right time, weather-wise! I’d be inside with you, drinking coffee, and dreaming of a tropical isle. Your babies sound like sweethearts! (Even the sweetheart ones have a few cranky moments, I know.)

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks Lexi! ๐Ÿ™‚ They are sweethearts and all the company I need right now, hehe… Looking forward to spring, but it won’t arrive until April (if we’re lucky)……. trying not to sound so negative but that’s just how it is!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I love the flow in your post, itโ€™s a good read. Itโ€™s been very cold in Oslo these days with temperature dropping below minus 12-13, so I can relate to your thoughts about winter in Finland perfectly. Lovely to know you have twin babies. Having three kids myself, I know how hectic life might be taking care of a baby, and youโ€™ve got two. Have a rest and nap when you have the opportunity. Sufficient sleep generates more energy.
    I also dream of moving to a warmer place, I wouldโ€™ve done it if I wasnโ€™t settled here. Take care, and as you said, enjoy the moment. ๐Ÿ˜Š

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, Isabelle! You’re right! Though with the twins, there is rarely time for a break, much less for a nap ๐Ÿ™‚ But these baby months/years don’t last very long anyway, and I’m trying to soak it all in and enjoy it! I’d rather be tired from looking after my babies than from slaving away at an office job, which is my usual excuse for five coffees ๐Ÿ˜€ So things are actually quite good! (Apart from the eternal winter… I’m trying hard to adjust to that but honestly I don’t know if I ever will!) How old are your kids?

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Amazed to hear that you have two little ones – I missed that piece of information. This makes your regular blogging practice even more impressive (not sure what my excuse is, I donโ€™t even have a pet, not even a goldfish!). Enjoy the coffee – youโ€™ve earned it! Xx

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hahah! Blogging is a way for me to relax and reload – it’s not a chore and if it felt like one, I’d stop. But I’m much less inspired these days than I used to be: I’ve noticed that inspiration and creativity happen when I’m well rested and basically have nothing else to do. My mind starts wandering and I get creative ideas. Whereas right now, having quite a hectic life, all I seem able to write about are complaints and rants, heheh! But sometimes it’s good to get those out, too. And thanks, I’ll continue to enjoy my daily caffeine dose without any guilty feelings! ๐Ÿ˜€ Enjoy your day and thanks so much for commenting!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I know someone from up north who chased winter all year. I’m find with the three days of snow we had here. Been keeping up with the weather news in Finland though. And it’s amazing how quickly you can find a good side to Hungary given the right circumstances. ๐Ÿคฃ

    Liked by 2 people

  10. I’d love reading more from you, so don’t worry if you don’t want to post more photos! ๐Ÿ™‚ It is extremely cold here as well, it was -14 degrees this morning and I had to commute to work by tram.
    At least there are benefits in Finland for all the tax you pay – there’s a high tax rate in Poland too surprisingly. But not much of it is returned in the form of good infrastructures and benefits unlike Nordic countries. Your dream beach house sounds like mine! Australia is my number 1 choice too and I hope I will eventually move there, sooner than later ๐Ÿ™‚ Polish people love winter too – many of them love mountains and winter sports like skiing, snowboarding etc. I can imagine it’s even stronger in Finland, so I can understand why you’re in the minority. I remember the freezing days in Kokkola when I used to live there, and how much I preferred summers and autumns over the long, dark winters. Btw, Ushuaia looks so beautiful! In love with the last pic โค

    Liked by 2 people

    • So happy you understand Pooja!! Maybe we’ll run into each other in Australia one day?! Hehee! ๐Ÿ˜€ That would be fun! Seriously though, there’s no real chance of me getting a permanent visa so it’s just a dream. Maybe when I win the lottery…
      And yes, at least we get something back for our money – though from a taxpayer’s point of view, I’d like to have more control over what they use the money for. E.g. a new children’s hospital had to be financed privately because the government didn’t have the funds for it but at the same time they renovated the parliament house and President’s “Palace” with taxpayers’ money ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

      Liked by 1 person

      • That’d be fun! You can always escape to Australia during Finnish winters once the kids get a bit older hehe. Although the journey won’t be short..I do hope I’ll qualify for that permanent visa, we’ll see how it goes ๐Ÿ™‚
        Oh that is such a shame about the renovation of parliament house instead of a children’s hospital :/ That is the thing with high taxation and big government control. Sometimes I am glad I don’t understand the politics of this country too much as a non-local. It’s nothing but headache and I don’t need that right now heheh.

        Liked by 2 people

        • I agree – I’m trying to avoid following the news anyway because it makes me depressed and anxious! Always only bad things are reported. And politics the same.
          See you somewhere warm! And meanwhile, on our blogs! ๐Ÿ™‚ โค

          Liked by 1 person

  11. Ah, Snow, you baby boys sound like great kids. I imagine you, with you Nespresso machine, looking out of the window, recollecting all your photos from traveling twenties… I just miss IKEA rugs, iittala cups, hipster hairdo and a bearded husband, like Manja somewhere proposed :)))
    Thank you for mentioning, darling! The pleasure is all mine! Happy to have a chat with someone who knows Nordic life from inside out, not only those who go “wooo, but you have Aurora borealis” (though I love all the people, and everyone is welcome :))

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hehee, yes, I’m so happy to welcome everyone and every opinion, but sometimes it’s a thrill to see you’re not alone in your thoughts!! ๐Ÿ˜€ (Honestly, sometimes I think there’s something wrong about my feelings about winter and life here, so it’s reassuring to know some people, somewhere, do understand!)

      Liked by 1 person

      • I feel with you, darling! I come from the culture of complaining, and while I don’t want to go back, but I find sometimes the only-positive talk culture is not really better if it doesn’t allow on to express one’s feelings. In the end there can be no expression at all, neither bad nor good. And we cannot communicate only in rosy tones, it takes out the humanity out of us. We are not happy machines after all! But the balance way is good, and I am working on it :))

        Liked by 2 people

  12. It’s the thing that I absolutely find the hardest. My two are also happy campers and generally slept through for 11 hours solid from 5 months but since I’ve gone back to work R has decided that if she wakes in the night she can’t self settle, even though she’s always been put down awake. She cries and I have no choice to get her out of there and cosleep so she doesn’t wake E. It absolutely wipes me out when my sleep is disturbed. So hard when you’ve very happily been enjoying 8 hours undisturbed sleep per night.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Do you have twins too? Wait, I just checked out your blog, you do! How fun! Ours just recently started sleeping full nights, at around 7 months. I was so exhausted before, but at least I now know to appreciate it when I do get a good night’s sleep – or several in a row! It’s hard if they start to cry at the same time – especially if I’m alone (during the day) – but luckily they don’t do that often!
      Thanks for stopping by and commenting! ๐Ÿ™‚

      Like

  13. Aside from marvelling at how pretty the snow is here, most of the UK has been whinging about how cold it is here – and that’s only at around -4 or -3 here in London – I have no idea how I would even begin to process -19 but I guess I’d probably just need to invest in some better quality winter woolies & snow boots ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

    • Your face would still freeze, hahah! ๐Ÿ˜€ But yes, dressing right is important over here. Though surprisingly, I still see some women (often young girls) in high heels and without a hat, and teenagers with cut jeans and their coats open. It’s mind-boggling to me, but for them I guess looking cool is more important than staying healthy! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ
      Stay warm! ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Like

  14. I always remember when my daughter, as a baby, was a difficult sleeper, if I made a coffee and sat back to relax, she would almost certainly wake up. I used to wonder if it was the smell of coffee! It was a luxury I rarely managed ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

  15. I so enjoyed this post .. I too love reading about your lovely babies. And yes I bet you have paid more than enough in taxes. Easy to do isnโ€™t it! Thinking of you and hoping that it warms up ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

    Liked by 2 people

  16. PLEASE DO NOT keep this blog and your opinions separate,or want the blog to remain a complaint-free-zone!!!! I love your writing about Finland, about your memories, about your points of view!!!

    Liked by 1 person

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