Body image

Whoa, the big one, the subject most womens magazines make their ka-tsching on. “How to look fabulous”- “Loose a few pounds, look great”, “How to get that beach body in three months” and so on.

I have never been happy with my body. When I was around eight I was allready teased because I had some junk in the trunk, a big ass. Luckily, thank you Jennifer Lopez and Kim Kardashian, I’m off the hook with that one now, but I wasn’t then. I also was the tallest in my class, a little clumsy, never the sporty type and I felt like a walrus, all the time. The thing is you can have a self esteem like million dollars and have low self conscience at the same time. Fake it til’ you make it so to say.

After high school, getting rid of my childhood traumas of being bullied for my weight, never really finding a path to a good me my weight slowly but surely started to rise. It came sneakly, and since I felt bad regardless my weight I didn’t see it. I remember me being 72kg back in 2005, and then feeling as big, as fat as I felt at my pregnant max at nearly 100kg! Now looking back I bang my head against the wall because 72 is now my goal weight, I was there then, I was there two years ago in July. I have gone from 86 to 72 to 99 to 76 in three years, talk about yoyo dieting! Haha, in between was some crazy ass workout, dieting and a baby, a Crohns diagnosis and , well, me! The point is, it doesn’t matter what your body looks like unless you feel good about yourself. There are gorgeus fitnessmodels in my gym that compare their invisible lovehandles, and I want to punch them 😀 no one is more insecure than them!

Pregnancy and being a mum has made me become more forgiving towards myself, and now training isn’t mandatory and a chore, it’s a way of self expression, and a way for me to clear my head. I’m also able to laugh at myself more than before and see the good, not the bad. Like today I saw I had a waist and boobs! Yey! That evens out my pick up truck wide ass 😉 more squats it is! And I bet your ass (or mine as it’s a bigger bet) I will be back at 72, and this time feel damn good about it!

Here’s me 2014, just found out I was preggers:

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This was me a year ago:

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Yes, it’s the same person! And I felt the same! Crazy huh!

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Make it count

Mulla on kaksi beibiĂ€, firma ja oma lapsi. Yhdelle kun annan aikaa toinen jÀÀ paitsi. Molemmat vĂ€lillĂ€ kiitollisia ja vĂ€lillĂ€ kiittĂ€mĂ€ttömiĂ€, vĂ€lillĂ€ riitĂ€n ja vĂ€lillĂ€ olen riittĂ€mĂ€tön. Annan molemmille kaikkeni mitĂ€ pystyn, tasapainottelen. Sen ajan kun vietĂ€n jommankumman kanssa annan 100%. On hellyttĂ€vÀÀ ja samanaikaisesti sydĂ€ntĂ€sĂ€rkevÀÀ kun rakas ClĂ©oni halaa, pussaa, pitÀÀ minua kĂ€destĂ€ eikĂ€ pÀÀstĂ€ minua mihinkÀÀn kun tulen duunista. Samalla minua tarvitaan siellĂ€kin. On ihana tunne olla tĂ€rkeĂ€, samalla hyvinkin ristiriitainen tunne. Sanon tĂ€mĂ€n työkavereilleni nyt: lupaan antaa kaikkeni, ja suosikkimottoni mukaan “get shit done” kun olen tehdĂ€, tehdĂ€ oikeita asioita ja asioita oikein. Aion make it count. Toivon vaan ettĂ€ te teette saman, ettĂ€ firma ja sen ihmiset ovat sen arvoisia. Koska jokainen minuutti kun olen pois tytöstĂ€ni kaipaan hĂ€net suunnattomasti, ja syy olla hĂ€nestĂ€ pois better be good!

Childhood memories

I was doing a trip down memorylane yesterday, remembering things from my childhood. I always felt I have very few memories, because as a child I was bullied in school and many memories are either bad or behind shut doors in my mind to where I cannot reach consciously. I was thinking of my first childhood home, in which I lived before I was seven. And the memories are so random.

I remember exactly what the home looked like, the floorplan, where the furniture were, the stairs and the terrace, the view, the kitchen, everything. I remember when I was caught eating butter straight from the package. I called the radiostation once when no one was looking. I remember my nanny stepping out for a cigarette and how I would give her hell for it through the shut front door.

I remember when I fell in the bathtub and how the blood mixed with water and how I was fascinated and terrified at the same time. I used to be so scared of a painting in my parents room. I remember how I would run to my neighbor and ring his door, and the joy I would feel when I could see him approaching the door through the stained glass.

I used to love watching Dexters laboratory and Johnny Bravo. I loved to listen to english, and I spoke it by the age of five. I once tried to demolish the radio because I thought there were little men trapped inside. I also thought that the world at some point had been black and white and then one day everything had been color and I used to try to imagine how it would be to wake up that morning.

I loved my neihgbours backyard, it was full of statues, and we would sneak in to look at them. I also remember being scared of airplanes, hiding when they flew over. I remember how frustrating it was not being able to communicate in finnish with the neighbor kids. I remember the squirrels we would see on our way home from kindergarden. I remember the first death in the family, seeing my mother cry for the first time when her cousin died. I remember a birthday and one particular boy, or not the boy, but his bowtie. No one else had a bowtie.

I remember when my brother brought us a game console, the first ever. And how he built a indestructible lego airplane. I remember when my parents went to australia for two weeks and how we would look at the map to see where it was and how there was a long lag when they called. I remember how I learned to go to the toilet in the night and stop bedwetting and how proud I was. And how I would tell stories about how I would fly away on my toy horse in the night and my sister believing me. My best imaginery friends were batman and robin. And I loved playing Zorro, sword and everything. I remember a curtain that got a fair share of Z drawn all over it.

So random, like fragments. My sister remembers so much more than I do, but these are just a few memories I remember and have stuck for some reason. I wonder what memories will stick with my daughter!

Friendship

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What if everyone you meet is someone you are conntected to, linked to through past lives and future lives, that friendships and meetings are all an intricate web that connects us on our journey from one life to the next?

A very wise woman and a good friend of mine presented this idea to me once and it stuck. I believe in reincarnation so for me this made sense. Imagine DNA chain or a chain, it is made of loops where the loop opens and closes only to be separated again, on and on.

She explained that people are somehow connected to eachother and that their meetings are like loops, some loops are small and tight meaning that the frequency of their meetings is high, while some loops are loose and large, which means that they’ll meet perhaps once in one life and still feeling a weird notion of familiarity. It is thought, she said, that going through the lives to learn all that is to be learned it is easier if we have people with us who we know, makes it easier and more comfortable. It is also thought the sould chooses into which family it is to be born, looking for a loop in which that soul is comfortable.

I don’t know how widely spread this idea is among those who believe in reincarnation but it would explain how some people become friends so fast, like they’ve known eachother for a lifetime allthough they just met. Well it might be you have, in another life.

Another add on on this idea I’ve heard and I think in Coelhos writes about it in Brida (correct me if I’m wrong), that after each life the soul is divided in two. So in the next life there will be someone carrying a part of you, a piece of your soul, a soulmate.  I remember Coelho saying that once you meet your soulmate you’ll know by looking after a small glowing dot above his shoulder.

These two ideas are two of my very favourite ones when it comes to friendship. Friendships are loops, where you meet, travel a distance together only to split and then meet again as the loop is closed. Some loops last one lifetime, and some shorter in this life and maybe longer in another.

But I also believe in evolution. And I believe that friendships evolve too. Some bear the pressure of life changes like moving away, new spouses, career change or having kids – and some don’t.
I have lost and also knowingly left behind many friendships, life just happened. I have also, and very recently felt, that some of my “loops” have reached the separationstage. It is sad and I’ve been broken up about it, as the calls get fewer, meetings are more seldom and suddenly there is nothing to talk about anymore. Some might say that maybe those friendships weren’t built of solid material, that real friendships should last. Maybe so, but I have also realized that there is a limit to how many friends you can have at once, because you wouldn’t be able to take care of the all at the same time. And if you do believe your friendship is to withstand all the changes, then a little separation is only temporary and the loop will close eventually again. From old to new, this year has been filled with new loops, new friends, and new paths to walk on with them. In finnish valentines day is called “friends day”, and it is with both sadness and joy that I celebrate this day today.

Love you, old friends and new. See you in a loop 😉

Baby love

My darling, my little one, just ten months have passed since I held you in my arms, and yet it seems like lightyears away, and at the same time like it was yesterday. It’s a clichĂ© I know, but you are growing up so fast, learning new things everyday. I remember when I was packing boxes in our old flat and all what was left of your things unpacked was your playmat and sitter, and yoy were perfectly content with them. Then, a month later you rolled over, and then you sat up by five months. A month later you were pulling yourself forward and by eight you were crawling, and fast. And the speed picks up, since november you have learned how to take support and moving sideways along tables, you no longer fall down to sit, you squat dowb, balanced, controlled. As you reach for things to hold on to, there are a few seconds in between when you stand on your own. And when I let go of me and stand for a second two you give that cunning smile of yours, like you know what’s coming next.

It’s not only motoric skills like balancing, walking supported or the fact that you can pick up the tiniest of morsels, it’s so much more. Less than two weeks ago you started pointing at things, and listening carefully to what we say the objects are. You have a stronger will than before, like the yesterday as you tried opening a sliding cabinet door and it wouldn’t open. You are talking, we do not know what you say but you are practicing. I’ve heard you whisper “sassy”, “lampa”, “pappa” like you want to keep them secret until you are sure you manage the words. You also know the word no, and you know what it means, and you are allready testing mummys and daddys willpower. We know you know. As I’ve been working since january I come home and see you do yet another newly learned skill almost every day. It is honestly heartbraking for me to know I’m missing so much, and at the same time my heart swells with pride. You are such a good girl and I love you.

It is a rare moment to have you in my arms, you want to wriggle free and explore all that the world has to show you. If I try to hold you you get mad. The only times is if you need comfort or food, and I love those moments, and I know they too will fade away in time. But everynow and then in the middle of your adventures you come crawling, climb up on me and give me a kiss. Please never stop doing that. It means I matter, even though I’m not there every single day. And your smile when I come get you in the morning, as you jump up and down in excitement, there is no better way to start a morning, no matter how badly the night has been.

I love you ❀

Potty training

Apparently you can teach your baby how to go potty way before they can walk! My ĂŒber trendy mother picked up this new or actually old but reinvented technique few months ago but due to sleep deprivation and our newly started baby led weaning we postponed it. But today we put her on the potty for five-ten minutes so she would get used to it. Nothing came out but it was a brief introduction. But from now on we will put her on the potty when she wakes up from naps, has eaten or whenever she needs to go. We have no clue on her cues yet. The idea is you follow your child closely and see when she relieves herself and then quickly put her on the potty. In the weekend I’m going to stay with her in the bathroom and follow closely. Anyhow, it starts now, we’ll see how it goes!

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The modern parent

I have officially returned to work for three days a week. It took two hours into my first day and the first project landed on my table, so I’m swept up again in my very weird but best ever position at my family business- jack of all trades, master of none.

But going back means leaving something behind, a 10 month long period of being at home with my baby. Thanks to the Finnish healthcare and social security system I was able to do so without having to do it with no income. We are extremely fortunate, (and honestly if you plan on breastfeeding for longer than six months like I did, it’s almost a must, at least it was for me)

But being a modern parent, or actually a modern mother, there is a lot expected of you. You are supposed to be main caregiver AND main or at least co-provider. If you decide to stay home you’ll have a hoard of feminists hoovering over you and lecturing you about traditional gender roles, and if you go back to work you are heartless and cold and even admired by some for some sick reason. And god forbid if you hire a nanny! I was once told that “people who have nannies shouldn’t have kids at all”. It’s a very cruel thing to say to someone like me who has commited herself and her life to her familybusiness and just because I happen to be a girl also would be the one giving birth and nursing my child to be. 

And the poor men, a few dare to go on fathers leave or let alone become a stay-at-home dad, only to face the scrutiny of other men and future employers. I am so proud of my husband who took the leap and is staying home for a while, because in the midst of work he kind of missed the first half of our daughters exsistence, well maybe I’m exaggerating, it wasn’t that bad, but still!

I sincerely believe that it takes a village to raise a child. The more people who are involved on a regular basis, the better, grandparents, nannies, kindergarden you name it. I also believe that women need a home-something else balance. For some this something else can mean the gym, going to work, a hobby or all of the above. Point being, getting away from the baby, the four walls of your home, frenetically googling and pinteresting baby stuff, reading baby books, shopping baby clothes, babybabybabybaby! 

For me being able to balance these two, home and work is a blessing. I came home filled with energy, having to be able to sit for a whole day (!) but letting my brain do the work. As I came in my daughters sparkling smile met me and as her nanny let her down she crawled to me as fast as she could and gave me the two biggest kisses she could with her minimouth and let out the happiest Geeeeh! (Her excited sound). Nothing beats that feeling, of being so loved and getting such a warm welcome. 

What…just…happened!?

You might have read my previous posts on sleeping and sleeptraining. Long story short, my baby girl says “I ain’t got time fo dat!” to sleeping.

Well.. I was desperate, on brink of madness. And then I stumbled upon a really nice blog by a Finnish mum living in south of France. Check it out here: https://minililli.blogspot.fr/?m=1

So I read about her daughters sleeping problems and that they went to sound healing. And I thought, well, we’ve tried almost everything else there is. So I get her contacts from the blogger mum and the next thing I know I find myself in a cozy room on the second floor above a restaurant in the centre of old Antibes with my daughter in my lap. The lady, Louise, was very friendly and has an array of knowledge up her sleeve and she gave me some good tips to try. 

Then the sound therapy started. I cannot really explain what happened but I could feel areas in my body, like deep in the chest and forehead vibrating from the sound, later I found out it was my third eye chakra and heart chakra. So weird. I’m open to everything but this was something very special and a little too weird. And trust me, I have been to healing, acupuncture, reiki, met shamans and seers and you name it. 

But I came home feeling at ease, like I had gained a new secret knowledge about something. My mother said she felt lighter at heart and Cleo was her happy self, she slept for two hours when we came home.

Then came the much anticipated bed time. I did as I usually do, and added the tricks she told me. I then put her to bed. She protested a bit but then settled down… And…. 

Slept for six hours straight!! 

A-m-a-z-i-n-g!

At 2 she woke, and started stirring and tossing. Her nose was runny and she was coughing from the cold she caught a few days ago, and I am positive she would have slept even longer if she hadn’t had had those problems. She tossed and turned and fell back a sleep, waking again and so on for an hour. Then I fed her and she continued sleeping until six. From 6-7 she did the same but finally settling and sleeping until 8. 

I am in awe. And I do hope this continues like this, fingers crossed and knock on wood! And thank you Louise for at least one well slept night!

Greetings from the bedroom

oh yeah, I know what you’re thinking.. You naughty you! And oh I wish that was the case too but oh no. I’m referring to my baby daughters bedroom, in which I spend hours of each day, or night actually, from 7pm to 7am. She is not sleeping. She sleeps for maybe two hours tops and then wakes. Then she takes good time to fall back asleep and at the same time drive me insane. 

This has gotten to the point if ridiculousness. We have spent the last week with my parents in France and even they are getting desperate for our sake. Friends and business associated too try to pitch in woth words of advice. Here are some of the things I hear my self and others saying:

(We have tried almost all of them)

– Give her solids during evenings

– Don’t give her solids

– Feed her during the night, she’s must be hungry

– Stop feeding her during the night, she isn’t hungry

– Give her water

– Give her tea

– Co-sleep

– Put her in her own bed

– Maybe her bed is uncomfortable

– Maybe the bed is too big/small

– Restrain her movements with a sleepingbag.

– Maybe she shouldn’t wear that sleeping bag

– Pick her up if she’s crying

– Do not pick her up, let her cry

– Put on some music for her

– Music will only wake her

– Maybe the room has wrong chi?

– Could there be a ghost?

– Is it too cold, too warm?

– Is it her pyamas, maybe it should have been softer?

– Maybe it’s her diaper?

– Maybe she’s teething?

– Is too light? Too dark?

– Maybe her toy smells wrong after washing?

– Is her pacifier dirty, clean, too small?

– Maybe she’s hungry again?

And so and so on 😂

Here’s a normal process of thought during the night:

“Okay, she’s fed, gently put her down in the bed, okay fast where is that pacifier! There okay, quickly, aim for the mouth! Pheww okay. Let’s get the sleeping bag zipper fastened.. Shuffle shuffle.. Okay done. Damn, she’s turning around, maybe I’ll try stop her gently. Damn, now she’s mad. Okay hush her. She’s settling, good. Maybe I’ll stroke her nose, no, that didn’t work. Maybe her back, okay, that seems to do it. Sush her again. Okay, I’ll sing her a lullaby. Yes! She turned on her side, where is Snutte (toy). …five minutes later…okay now she’s standing up, great, and waving at me. Now she want’s a kiss. Okay one. I’ll gently put her down. Oops! Shouldn’t have done that. God, stop screaming! Shhh! Sleeep! Comoooon. Sigh…” And start over 😂

The big B

The big one, breastfeeding, a delicate subject that is a much discussed subject between mothers and has recently also gotten some media time in Finland. 

I thought I’d share my story.

 I remember when I was pregant and my friend dug out her boob for her hungry baby, and I felt awkward. We have n-e-v-e-r discussed breastfeeding at home so don’t ask me where that feeling came from but it’s the closest I can get to describe how I felt. 

As Cléo crawled up to my breast the first time the feeling was overwhelming, this little one had been born a minute earlier and here she was, eating to gain strength, grow, the beginning of her story.

But having said that I had felt awkward before, that feeling didn’t wash off quickly as I became a mother. I was suddenly supposed to be fine with digging out my boob wherever and wherever my baby wanted some. 

In the beginning I wasn’t comfortable breastfeeding in public, “lactivists” on all kinds of forums urge women to breastfeed in public, and for me it felt like it wasn’t even okay to say that you felt uncomfortable with it, let alone feel uncomfortable. Not all mothers feel comfortable, and that should be okay too, a ship isn’t turned around in one go and neither is peoples attitudes. It takes time and some valuable lessons to change one opinions.

The feeling of being uncomfortable and breastfeeding uncomfortably in a public toilet quickly put things into perspective. There was never a chair anywhere, the restrooms are dirty and stale, I mean would you eat your dinner there? I would go in with a screaming hungry baby and sometimes I ended up sitting on the bathroom floor as it was the only position that worked, yummy huh!

Another thing that made me change my views was the fact that she wanted milk every two hours. It would have made it literally impossible for me to leave the house if I wouldn’t have loosened up a bit with my attitudes. Before I got pregant I had absolutely no idea that a newborn is hungry, all-the-time!

My baby was at some point like an owl, turning her head at anything or anyone she saw while nursing, which would result in her letting go and me sending a jet of milk over everything within 20cm. Caffe Latte anyone? So a shawl or scarf came in handy. It also let me be a little less uncomfortable and still being able to breastfeeding in public. 

Then came the day when my baby started ripping the shawl off and exposing me to the world, but by then I was way over my idiotic ideas. I wear nursing friendly bras and tops and I still always carry a shawl in case I end up feeling like people are staring or see them flinch. Because the truth is I kind of get them, because there is no denying that I used to be one of them. 

Breastfeeding is a very delicate subject because it involves so many feelings, love, success, failure, worry, stress, grief and everything inbetween. It’s a very brief moment in time, a bond and moment between a mother and a child that no one else has, and it only last for a little while and it should be treasured. Now that my baby is a little bigger it is the only time of the day when she settled down in my lap, for the 3-5 minutes I get to hold her, whereafter she squirms herself free again to explore the world she’s been born into. Now at 9 months breastfeeding has become something of a farce, her squeezing my boob and as the milk shoots out she lets out a delighted scream, the she latches on and tries digging my nose or puts her whole hand in my mouth or tickles me. I try not to laugh but it isn’t easy. So now I relax and just let her do her thing, and the looks I thought I saw in the beginning, I’m starting to think they were all in my head, because no-one has ever given me a negative comment! So Teri Niitti and all other haters, talk to mums and the reality of being a breastfeeding mum, and then reconsider, like I had to.