A Place At The Table // Cloud Placemat

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Over the summer I won a gift certificate to Design Boulevard and I finally got around to using it today. The weather has been so icky here that I haven’t really wanted to venture anywhere by bus, and neither Henry nor I am a fan of taking the car downtown. But today seemed like it was going to be the nicest day we’re going to be getting here for a while, so Hadley and I set out for a day on the town.

I was able to buy a few things with my gift card, among them being this adorable cloud placemat from KG Design Sweden. I’ve actually been looking for a placemat for Hadley for a few weeks now and have been hemming and hawing over a few, but then I stumbled on this and it was just perfect! The cloud shape makes it so sweet and just right for a child, while the colour makes Mama happy and fits with the decor. Win-win.

While we were testing the placemat out today it got me thinking about how happy I am to have Hadley sitting at the table with us. I love family meals and even at our tiny table they are so special to me. I have been enjoying motherhood so very much and it seems like every new stage is more wonderful than the last. Right now I’m enjoying how crazy interactive Hadley is and how I’m beginning to see more and more personality in her in those interactions. Having her sit up at the table with us while we eat really solidifies the fact that I have my own family now, and it’s such a wonderful feeling.

And, now that she has a bit of designated table space, I had fun letting her get messy and experience food all on her own today. Henry and I are usually trying to keep things with Hadley as neat and tidy as possible, but I do think that getting messy is good sometimes, and with this placemat being so easy to clean – why not? It actually took me a whole 10 seconds to rinse the placemat off. Hadley on the other hand, needed a bath.

Also shown: Marimekko bottle + Arabia Muumi bowl 

p.s. Haldey has a tooth! It’s still barely visable, but I’ll post photos as soon as I can actually capture it!

 

 

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Hadley // 6 Months

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Wow, so much has gone on since the last time I posted. Sorry, for that, by the way. Didn’t mean to neglect you. I thought that going home to Canada would mean I’d have lots of time to blog and share photos and be creative but – nope. Between all the things going on and a general laziness whenever we had free time, I hardly posted at all. And then I missed Hadley’s 5 month update. Whoops. 

Anyway, so my little Hadley Bear is not so little anymore. At 5 months she was rolling over like a pro and walking several meters when holding somebody’s hands and just beginning to sit unassisted. She also found her toes. Now at 6 months she’s able to sit all by herself and is beginning to work on crawling. It’s bit of a frustrating process for her as her big head tends to get in the way of forward motion. It will be a great relief when she does finally figure crawling out because her desire to move is intense. She actually NEVER sits still. Ever.

We had a wonderful time in Canada visiting with all of our friends and family and watching them fall in love with Hadley. She is a charmer, that’s for sure. We are glad to be back at home now, though and back to our normal(ish) daily rhythms. But we’ve been busy here too, going to a few weddings, road trips, and many days on the beach. We’re kind of in awe at the weather right now as it’s never this nice in Finland, especially for so long. A day or two here and there, okay. But weeks? This is amazing.

In writing these monthly updates I think I get a bit more sense of the time passing and how Hadley is actually growing. It’s a bit of perspective so I can see what I don’t notice in her daily growth and development. Today I looked at the photos of her still in the hospital and cannot believe how much she has changed since that day. She is growing more and more beautiful every day, stealing our hearts with the most beautiful smile and a sense of humour that needs no words.
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Happy (North American) Father’s Day

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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.

 

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Hadley // 4 Months

6875re6889re6947re6890bw,reGuess 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.

 

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This Is How We Picnic

This Is How We Picnic

This Is How We PicnicThis Is How We PicnicThis Is How We PicnicThis Is How We PicnicThis Is How We PicnicThis Is How We PicnicThis Is How We PicnicThis Is How We PicnicThis Is How We PicnicThis Is How We PicnicThis Is How We PicnicThis Is How We PicnicWe like to think of ourselves as picnic pros. Summer, winter – the season doesn’t really matter, we just love eating outside. And now that the weather has been so flippin’ beautiful we’ve been busting out the picnic gear as much as possible. Sunday we picniced twice. BAM. Here are a few shots from a picnic we had in the yard of our apartment – fancy glasses and all. And about 10 photos to remind you of how cute my daughter is, incase anyone forgot.

: )

 

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Mother // An Online Magazine

MotherAs 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.

 

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Hadley’s Nimiäiset

Hadley's Nimiäiset

Hadley's Nimiäiset

Hadley's Nimiäiset

Hadley's Nimiäiset

Hadley's Nimiäiset

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Hadley's Nimiäiset

Hadley's Nimiäiset

Hadley's Nimiäiset

Hadley's Nimiäiset

Hadley's Nimiäiset

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Hadley's Nimiäiset

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As you can see, Hadley was just a little tired out after everyone left.

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Happy Mother’s Day (To Me)

Happy Mothers Day (To Me)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.

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Hadley // 3 Months

Hadley // 3 MonthsHadley // 3 MonthsHadley // 3 MonthsHadley // 3 MonthsHadley // 3 MonthsHadley // 3 MonthsHadley // 3 MonthsHadley // 3 MonthsAnother 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.

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My Postpartum Wardrobe

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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:

  1. Does it cover the parts of my body that I’m not yet comfortable with after having a baby?
  2. Will it be comfortable in every single situation I may find myself in?
  3. Will vomit ruin this?
  4. 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.

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