Happy 1st fathers day to the most amazing Dad on the planet. As we approach our third anniversary I look back on the ups and downs of marriage and marvel at how we’ve grown and changed, both as a couple and as individuals. We have made each other better in so many ways, but nothing compares to seeing this man in action as a father. He loves Hadley fiercely and is so active and involved in her life each and every day.
Today especially I am amazed by this man. On his first father’s day, the day he should be able to rest and be treated, he was understanding while we focused on celebrating the other fathers in our lives, knowing he was going to get his real fathers day spoiling in Finland in the fall. And when I got a nasty stomach bug that removed me from our company and rendered me useless for the better part of the evening he totally stepped up and took complete care of her while I rested. And when Hadley threw the worst fit she’s ever had he handled it with patience I have never seen in him before.
Fatherhood suits Henry better than I ever could have dreamed. The way he looks at our girl melts my heart and makes me the proudest wife + mama on this earth. I am so thankful to God for giving me both of them.
Guess who’s 4 months old today?
I have to say that the opportunity to stay at home with your child and see them learn and grow is the most amazing thing I’ve ever experienced. I know not everyone can afford it, and others may prefer going back to work, but I am absolutely loving it and feeling so blessed and grateful.
I’m quite certain I got the cutest baby on the planet – in my completely unbiased opinion. She’s just unbelievably smily and funny and perfect. I want to eat her cheeks. I find myself constantly looking back at the photo from these past 4 months and marvelling at how much she has already changed. She is growing more and more beautiful by the day and it’s all happening way too fast.
Hadley’s now rolling over. She’s pretty much a pro at back to front, but has only rolled front to back a handful of time. It’s quite cool to see how fast new skills develop. It was no more than 4 days from the first time she rolled to being able to do it at her will. She’s also become much more in control of her hands and is able to grab things with far more precision. I used to joke with Henry that watching her try to grab something was like playing one of those animal grab arcade games where the claw is 100% useless. She’s improved a lot from that.
We bought her a jolly-jumper a few days ago and while she hasn’t exactly got the hang of the jumping part yet it has been fun to see her learn how to use her feet more. She kicks back a little but mostly just uses her legs to spin in circles. Whatever floats your boat, I guess. She absolutely loves it though and squeals very loud while in it. Lilu is not so sure what to think of all of this. Great Danes are a bit emotional.
Only a week now until we go to Canada and Hadley gets to meet a long list of people who are already in love with her. I’m so excited to be going home and to be able to shoe off my wonderful little family. I am so proud and so full of joy.
As if I needed another addiction. But fo’realz, this online magazine is my new go-to site. When I’m breastfeeding. When I’m eating breakfast. When I’m on the bus. I love it.
MOTHER is the brainchild of blogger James Kicinski McCoy (Bleubird) and Katie Hintz-Zambrano, previous Senior Editor at Refinery29. It’s a “one-stop destination that covers everything from fashion, beauty, home, food, travel, and beautifully shot profiles of mothers around the world”. It’s also my new browser homepage.
I highly recommend all you mamas go check it out. You won’t be sorry.
I think this is going to be my new favourite day of the year. Sleeping in until 9 (which to my childless friends may not actually seem like sleeping in), breakfast in bed and the freedom to do whatever I want just because I want to – I think this is the definition of perfection. No wait, that’s Hadley.
A little while ago I received a message from a dear friend living abroad. After replying as to how her and her husband have been doing she asked me a question, “How have you changed since Hadley’s been born?” I didn’t have an immediate answer. She didn’t mean the changes to my body, my sleeping pattern or my ability to be on time as most people ask. These sort questions I am prepared for and have a nice stack of memorized answers to dish out. Not that these sort of questions are bad in any way, but this new question was from a true friend – a woman who has on more than one occasion baffled me with her wisdom. A woman who has shared with me the joys and struggles of living in Finland as a foreigner and who I have the ability to be completely transparent with. How have I changed as a person? As a woman? Who am I now that my world has been flipped upside down in the most amazing, perfect way?
I have thought about this for several weeks now and have come to this conclusion: I have no idea. I suppose in time I will gain a better sense of my new self but right now I’m so wrapped up in being Hadley’s mama that any concept of self is a bit lost. In some ways I am no different. I’m still the creative, slightly sarcastic, people-loving person I was before. But things are changing. I’m becoming more patient, I’m being forced out of my night owl tendencies and into early morning routines, I wear a lot less makeup.
Perhaps the one change that is most clear to me is that my insecurities about the relationships in my life are not as strong as they once were. I have struggled for a very long time to feel valued. I don’t always believe that I am important or a priority to others and that has been a very difficult hurdle in my life. There are other moments in my life that have had a similar impact on me. Becoming a Christian. Marrying Henry. And now having Hadley, my new best friend, I am much more secure in the fact that I will never be alone and that I am, in fact, very vital in someone’s life. I don’t confess this as a means to gain pity but to say that motherhood has completed me in a way I didn’t really expect. And now I have one day a year where I will always be reminded that I am completely irreplaceable in one little girl’s life.
Over the past few months I have had the privilege of meeting so many other first-time mamas and I wish you and your littles the most wonderful mother”s day. Enjoy your ‘you’ time and get refreshed for tomorrow’s 6 a.m. wake-up call.
To my own Mama Bear, who has been the most amazing example of the kind of woman I want to become, I can now say that I appreciate you in a whole new way. Especially having been a single parent to me and Chris – you are a superhero. I don’t even know how you did it. I wish I could hug you today. I wish Hadley could see you everyday. I cannot wait to see you this summer. I love you.
Another month has come and gone and my love for this little girl is fierce. She is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. Her smile is the best part of my day.
This month she has started moving more and more. I rarely leave a room and come back with her in the same spot. She’s not exactly crawling and she hasn’t rolled over just yet, but by a combination of wiggling and and pushing back off her feet she can certainly relocate herself quite efficiently.
We’re just starting to put away some of her smallest clothes that don’t fit anymore and it’s both an exciting and saddening task. I’m excited to see her enter each new stage and to learn and grow, but I’ve also been blessed with a wonderful (and easy) baby who has brought me immense joy in the stages that have now passed. I will miss these.
Last weekend we had her nimiäiset / naming party and we got to celebrate Hadley with lots of wonderful family friends. I’ll be posting photos from the day soon, but it was so lovely to see how many people love her so much already and that she has entered a world surrounded by friends. She also got a ton of presents, among which was this adorable baby ring that cracks me up every time she’s wearing it. It’s just too precious. Thanks Mummu!
Lately our days start at about 6:30 when Hadley wakes up and decides it’s time to smile. She will laugh and squeal so loud it’s impossible to sleep through, and she’ll just kick me continuously in the stomach if I try to ignore her and sleep for an extra 10 minutes. We spend time under her play gym which is still a big hit, and she’ll sit beside me in her sitter while I eat my breakfast and talk to her about our plans for the day. She loves to talk.
She loves when the dogs kiss her toes. She loves getting her diaper changed. She loves her new zebra toy that she got as a gift from Mummo. She loves dancing with her daddy before bed. She loves showering with Mama.
When I got pregnant I put a lot of thought into developing a maternity wardrobe. I wanted pieces that would fit my growing belly but were still true to my lifestyle and taste. I didn’t, however, give
much any thought to what my postpartum wardrobe would look like, and how I would be choosing the pieces it includes. In the first month and maybe a bit into the second after Hadley was born I really don’t think I even thought about my clothing other than a quick, “Am I wearing pants?” before walking out the door. It was just that low on my priority list. But now that I’m getting the hang of this motherhood thing I’m able to think about how I look and feel in my clothes.
When I began to think about how I was dressing postpartum I found that my go-to outfit / uniform was becoming over-sized dresses and leggings. The fact that it covered all the bumpy bits and gave the illusion that my legs are slimmer than they currently are is probably the main reason I’ve gravitated to this outfit combo, but the fact that it’s just ridiculously easy and comfortable is a very close second. But I was finding that I had about three dresses on repeat, and with the amount of vomit that I get covered in on a daily basis 3 dresses was just not going to cut it. So this past weekend I set out to find a few more pieces that would work with this new phase of my life. And as I searched the racks I found I had 4 criteria for the pieces that ended up in my bag:
- Does it cover the parts of my body that I’m not yet comfortable with after having a baby?
- Will it be comfortable in every single situation I may find myself in?
- Will vomit ruin this?
- Can I get to my boobs in under 30 seconds?
Life changes. Priorities change. So will your clothing requirements.
All that said, I know this is a temporary phase. I’m working hard to get a body that I’m both comfortable with and proud of. I’m not trying to “get my body back” because that body was in another life. A life much less full. My new body has some scars. My new body doesn’t have the greatest bladder control. But my new body also does really amazing things like feed my daughter and perform quite well on very little sleep. I am excited though to be a size and shape that feels right for me. I’ve been collecting some really great vintage pieces for the summer that I’m very excited to wear and are motivating me to exercise daily and eat healthy.
This past weekend Henry and I went to a flea market where interior design bloggers were selling some of their previously loved items. I was able to pick up a few treasures for Hadley Bear, despite how crazy it was to move around in there. Design lovers be fierce. And pushy…
Anyway, I got this beautiful wooden bear, a Life Factory bottle + lots of accessories for a really great price, and a secondhand Mini Rodini onesie still in good condition. I’m not sure it was worth the stress and nausea that the experience caused me, but I’m quite happy with the items I walked away with.