Sosiaalinen media ei-coolia ja teknologiakauhistus?

Kun Facebookin valtakausi alkoi oli coolia päivittää statuksia joka sekunti. Jopa äidit, isät, mummit, papat ja kummin kaimat liittyivät Naamakirjaan, koska se oli coolia. Sitten tuli Instagram. Google+ yritti kilpailla omalla vaihtoehdollaan. Tietenkin siinä sivussa Twitter sekä LinkedIn vain kasvoivat. Viimeisimpänä villityksenä tuli Snapchat.

Nyt huomaa ympärillä selkeän muutoksen ja ääripään, on tavallaan coolia olla kriittinen tai vihamielinen sosiaalista mediaa ja teknologiaa kohtaan. On coolia, ettei jaa yksityisyyttään internetissä vaan astuu sen ulkopuolelle. Deletoidaan Naamkirjan tili ja sitte elvytetään se takaisin, sitten deletoidaan puolet kavereista ja sitten taas lisätään osa takas, ei liitytä Instagramiin, boikotoidaan Snpachattia, suojataan profiilit. Ihan kuin kamppailua huonossa suhteessa kumppanin kanssa, bänät ja takasin yhteen ja taas erilleen.

Itse teknologian parissa työskentelevänä promoan paljon erilaisia teknologiaratkaisuja sekä pilvipalveluita. Itse bloggaan lähes päivittäin. Olen myös ahkera blogien seuraaja, päivitän yhä Naamakirjaa niin ei-coolia kuin se joidenkin mielestä on, olen Instagramissa -itse asiassa kahdella eri tilillä-, seuraan Twitteristä ja LinkedInistä oman alani kuumimpia uutisia ja linkkejä pysyäkseni ajan hermoilla päivittäin. Olen se kamala äiti, joka ottaa kuvan lapsestaan kesken herkän hetken eikä huomio lastaan sinä sekuntina, kun  postaa sen Instaan ja Naamaan!

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Tuntuu, että vihamielisyydessä on kaksi kuppikuntaa. Ne, jotka taistelevat teknologian läsnäoloa vastaan ja haluavat kännykät pois ja huomion ihmisiin, koska viimeisin tutkimus sanoo, että on pahasta olla kännykässä, kun on ihmisiä ympärillä. Sitte on se kuppikunta, joka ehkä vihaa sosiaalista mediaa kateussyistä. Onhan se kateellisen ihmisen kauhistus, kun jonkun Instatili tai blogi on täynnä mitä upeimpia kuvia paratiisilomista, postauksia merkkilaukuista ja vaatteista mallina bloggaaja täydellisine hiuksineen. Tästähän on kirjoitettu mediassa jo paljon.

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Melbourne

Itseni on ollut jotenkin vaikea ymmärtää tätä vihamielisyyttä tai kritiikkiä. Ehkä päällimmäisenä siksi, etten koe kykyni olla läsnä kärsivän. Tarvitsen aikaa itsekseni ja jos en bloggaisi, selaisi Intagramia tai lukisi blogeja vetäytyisin muin keinoin, luultavasti kirjoittamaan päiväkirjaa tai kutomaan. Sosiaalisen median aiheuttamaa kateutta tai ahdistusta en myöskään oikein ole ymmärtänyt, sillä en ole koskaan tuntenut kateutta ketään tai mitään kohtaan. Tiedän, kuulostaa ehkä tekopyhältä, mutten vain syystä tai toisesta ole koskaan halunnut kenenkään omaa elämää, kroppaa, omaisuutta tai puolisoa, vain juuri omani. (Edes jotakin vanhempieni kasvatuksessa siis meni superisti nappiin tässä heh.) Lisäksi en ole koskaan ollut mitenkään yksityisyyttäni suojeleva persoona, jos olisin tuskin pitäisin tätä blogia. Haluan heittää itseni likoon sellaisena kuin olen, ota tai jätä, inhoa tai tykkää.

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Sosiaalinen media näyttää toimivan kuin mikä tahansa addiktio, liika on liika, jotkut eivät hallitse mikä on kohtuullinen määrä saati näe milloin haittavaikutukset ilmenevät itsessä tai ympärillä.  Itse olen pieneltä Suomen paikkakunnalta kotoisin ja minusta on ihana seurata mitä omat alakoulun ja yläasteen luokkakaverit tekevät nykyään. Kaveripiirini on myös pirstoutunut melkoisen ympäri maailmaa ja näin ruuhkavuosien aikaan on kaiken kiireen keskellä vaikeaa löytää aikaa yksittäisiin viesteihin niin paljon kuin niitä suosinkin. On siis mitä arvokkainta seurata mitä ystävät ympäri maailmaa puuhailevat kuvin Naamassa ja Instassa. Tuntuu, etten missaa ihan niin paljon ollessani toisaalla. Parasta on Whatsup, jossa voi luoda ryhmiä ja viestittää kaikille kaveriporukan tai perheen jäsenille. Hauskimpia ovat viestit siskoni ja veljeni kanssa, kun ääniviestein mölisemme toisillemme jotakin päätöntä.

Ehkä arvostan tätä kaikkea niin paljon, sillä olen hyvin kaukana kotoa. Mieheni mummi saapui Britanniasta Australiaan hyvin nuorena ja meni kotiinsa Lontooseen ensimmäisen kerran yli 20 vuoden jälkeen. Puhelimella soittaminen oli liian kallista, kirjeet kestivät pitkään, sähkeet olivat ainoa pikainen keino ottaa yhteyttä. Muutto Australiaan oli tuolloin kuin katoaminen oman perheensä elämästä.

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Vanha sähketoimisto Beechworthissa Victoriassa.

Minusta on ihanaa elää aikakaudella, jolloin etäisyydet tuskin merkitsevät. Minulle sosiaalinen media ja teknologia on helpotus ei ahdistus. Jos ei kiinnosta olla online painan nappia ja suljen kännykän. Elämä jatkuu niinkuin ennenkin.

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Canberra Suomen Suurlähetystö

Sosiaalista päivänjatkoa missä ikinä sitä vietättekin!

Ajatuksia Onnellisuudesta

Lapsena oli jotenkin helppo olla onnellinen. Äitini kertoo minun usein sanoneen, että minulla oli ”riemukas olo”. Aloin miettiä onnellisuutta, kun viime viikonloppuna yllättäen kolmivuotiasta tyttäreni totesi ”olen onnellinen”. Vastasin, että ”sepä ihanaa vai onnellinen” ja tyttäreni jatkoi lausetta sanoen ”äiti on onnellinen”. Totta, olen onnellinen tajusin. Lapsihan huomaa tällaiset pienet asiat hyvin herkästi ja aistii vanhempiensa mielentilat joskus paremmin kuin he itse.

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Mistä tuo onnellisuuden tunne sitte tulee ja mitä se on. Ranskan vaihto-oppilas vuoteni jälkeen olin levoton sielu. Kotiin Suomeen palattuani haikailin vain paluusta Ranskaan tai ylipäänsä matkustelusta ympäriinsä. En ollut jotenkin tyytyväinen Suomessa. Kun tapasin nykyisen mieheni ja asuimme Suomessa me molemmat haikailimme muualle milloin Sveitsiin, milloin Ranskaan, Britteihin tai Australiaan. Muutettuamme Lontooseen ei tuo levottomuus meistä kummastakaan kadonnut ja yhä kaipailimme aina jonnekin muualle missä olimme. Usein puhuimmekin siitä miksi aina haikailemme muualle vaikka kaikki on todella hyvin. Minussa tuo levottomuus oli Suomessa kaipuuta muualle ja muualla ollessa kaipuuta takaisin kotiin Suomeen. Irrationaalista, mutta niin totta. Nyt jälkikäteen ajattelen, että tuo haikailu ja kaipuu jostakin oli ei niinkään onnettomuuden tunnetta vaan toisin päin, emme kokeneet täyttä onnellisuuden tunnetta päivittäin. Syytä tähän on vaikea määrittää, sillä kaikki oli niin hyvin kuin olisi voinut kuvitella, ei itse asiassa kovinkaan toisin kuin nyt. Alettuamme puhua muutosta Australiaan puhuimme myös jälleen tästä meissä molemmissa asuvasta levottomuudesta. Kai me molemmat tiedostimme, että oli riski, että muuttaisimme Ausseihin, toiselle puolelle maailmaa ja yhä kaipaisimme toisaalle ja pakkaisimme pienen kotimme jälleen muutaman vuoden päästä.

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Toisin kävi, kohta puolitoista vuotta on vierähtänyt täällä. Ensimmäistä kertaa tuo levottomuus on poissa meistä molemmista ja juuri täällä juuri nyt on hyvä olla. Aamuisin on hyvä olla, illalla voi mennä levollisena nukkumaan, päivisin hymyilyttää pienetkin asiat. Eniten tunnen kiitollisuutta. Kiitollisuutta olla tässä maassa, ihanien ihmisten ympärillä pienen perheeni kanssa. Onnellisuus ainakin minulle on tuon minussa asuneen levottomuuden ja muualle kaipuun poissaoloa, kykyä elää tässä hetkessä juuri nyt kiitollisena kaikesta mitä minulla on.

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Useana aamuna viimeisen puolen vuoden aikana olen kävellyt töihin ja kokenut tuon lapsena kokemani ”riemukkaan” tunteen jälleen. On tehnyt mieli tekstata omalle äidille.

Tämä äiti on onnellinen, riemukas, juuri täällä, juuri nyt.

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Onnellista ja riemukasta päivänjatkoa!

Parenting and toddler activities in North London -Taaperon aktiviteetteja Pohjois-Lontoossa

I have enjoyed my every day life in London with our little daughter since we came back from Finland. I have done something lovely every day, I have either seen my friends or taken my daughter to some activity, sometimes doing both. Usually every morning in the week I take my daughter to some class. They all vary from music and dancing to toddler gymnastics. She loves them all (and I love them too!). Our daughter is such a social little butterfly, active and adventurous. This morning my 20-month old daughter told me not to assist her as she wanted to walk on the beam all by herself. She did it without any mistakes, she confidently just walked  on the narrow beam and did not fall down once, my little gymnast! I know, how funny is this, when I did gymnastics and was in the Finnish junior national team I always swore that my child -if I was to have one- would never do artistic gymnastics, at least not at the competitive level as I did..and here I am seeing the same glow in my daughter’s eyes when she gets onto the beam as I did when I was taken to my first gymnastics training. How could I say no. I probably won’t.

Anyway, as a tip for you all, if any of you is living in North London the following classes are great: Movers and Shakers, Tumble Tots and Monkey Music. My daughter absolutely loves all of these activities. In general she is extremely kind with other kids, she is not possessive at all and even now when her ”mine” -phase is going on, she is always sharing toys with other kids. I have to say I feel extremely proud. I think this is not only a natural characteristic of her personality but also a result of her having been surrounded with other kids on daily basis since she was a baby, attending various classes or having regular play dates with other children. It was amazing to see when my Finnish friend was visiting us that her son and our daughter played hours and hours together, hugging and kissing and there were no sharing issues or toddler fights. We were both looking at our children with mother’s pride in our eyes.

I have been thinking of children’s social skills a lot lately and I have to admit I get very sad when I see toddlers who don’t know how to play with other kids or are extremely possessive or coping badly socially. It must be horrible, embarrassing and make parents’ life really difficult as every play date ends up being a nightmare and it is just easier to stay at home than confront the situation. I always thought that our difficulties with allergies were tough but now I see everything in a different perspective, allergies are a small little complication in our every day life compared to social difficulties toddlers may have. I think a socially difficult toddler would be my worst nightmare as I love being with other people so much and my husband is the same.  I cannot wait for us to move to Melbourne and hang out with all our dear friends with children. I love parties, hosting people and invite people with kids to our house and we genuinely enjoy family gatherings. This is why I feel blessed to have a daughter who loves it too.

One more activity trip. If it is a rainy day and we have no play date scheduled (which is rare) I take my daughter to Little Dinosaur. It is a wonderful indoor soft play adventure play ground. It has a cafe attached to it so you can sip your coffee whilst your toddler is discovering the play ground. When I went there my daughter was so fascinated with other kids that I was just looking, admiring and thinking I should have asked some of my friends to come to have a coffee with me!

Here are some pictures of Little Dinosaur.

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There are two areas, one for babies and younger toddlers and one for bigger toddlers.

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Our daughter was still in younger toddlers area as she is so tiny.

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These pictures were taken before it got so busy that there was no spare space on the playground!

Have a great Wednesday. Our nanny is looking after our daughter tonight so I am having a date night with my dear husband again! Such a treat!

Next recipe will be the pumpkin pie!

Walking socks -Tepsuttelua sukin

ca09e4fa-8adf-44d4-9260-4ae205172fc2_jpegIn England most of the mothers make their babies wear shoes all the time. Shoes? I could not believe my eyes when I saw some three month old babies in uncomfortable shoes. Do you know that babies are also force to wear shoes here in the nursery too?!!

I know if your baby starts walking early and does not wear shoes her feet will become flat and not beautifully formed. I certainly know that, I started walking super early myself and my sister even earlier and we both have what we call in Finland ”lättäjalka” – literally flat foot. Only thing my eight month old wants to do nowadays is walking. She wants me to walk her around the house and discover rooms and decide the direction herself. She pulls herself up and starts walking with support like a daredevil. I have been desperately looking for socks with rubber bottom but here in England it is not that easy to find those as instead of socks with grid the babies wear shoes. Luckily in Belgium I found amazing rubber socks, in fact they are so fantastic that I have not seen anything like that ever before. The socks have an actual thick rubber bottom that is flexible, bendy, folds with the foot and keeps the grid. I don’t think you can order them online (unfortunately) but if you end up in Belgium check out this store called Veritas. These baby socks are without comparison, they are wonderful! Plus they look cute!

Hope you have had a great Saturday, I had, our dear friends were visiting and it was so nice to see them!


Englannissa äidit laittavat vauvansa kulkemaan kengissä jo ennen kuin he ovat lähelläkaan kävelyikää.  Kengät? En voinut uskoa kun näin kolmekuiset vauavt kengissä! Tämän lisäksi, päivähoidossa täällä vauvat -jopa alle yksivuotiaat- pakotetaan pitämään kenkiä jalassa koko päivän.

Tiedän kyllä, että jos vauva lähtee aikaisin kävelemään riski lättäjalkojen kehittymiselle on suuri. Itse kävelin kymmenkuisena ilman tukea, siskoni yhdeksänkuisena ja molemmillaa meillä on lättäjalat. Oma tyttäreni on samanlainen, nyt kahdeksankuisena ainoa asia mitä hän haluaa tehdä on kävellä ympäri taloa! Hän vetää itsensä pystyyn ja kävelee pitkin tukia kuin mikäkin rämäpää. Olen siis yrittänyt etsiä hyviä jarrusukkia, mutta niiden löytyminen tästä maasta on lähes mahdotonta. Onneksi matkustinne Belgiaan ja löysin ihania jarrusukkia, joissa on superpaksu muovinen taipuisa pohja -täydelliset rämäpää tyttärelleni!!! Tsekatkaa siis kauppa Veritas, valitettavasti tuotteita ei voi tilata netin kautta, mutta jos eksytte Belgiaan suosittelen kyseistä putiikkia lämpimästi, siella on myös ihania naisten vaateteita, koruja, sukkia ym.

Toivottavasti viikonloppunne on ollut ihana, minulla on ollut rentouttava lauantai ja ihanat ystävämme olivat kylässä mikä piristi päivää!

Weekend getaway in Belgium – Viikonloppumatka Belgiassa

We left to Belgium on the earliest Eurostar on Saturday morning. We planned to do this as we thought if we woke up at 4.30 and fed the baby she would go to sleep and happily sleep until 7am when the train would already be departed. Everything went perfectly as planned -which is unusual with babies-  and our little baby girl slept even thorough the whole security check which was amazing! We knew she would be cheerful all day if she just got the sleeping right.

We changed trains in Brussels as we were heading to a small town called Mechelen. It was a beautiful Belgian town with small chocolate shops and boutiques. We stayed in an apartment hotel Vixx right in the centre of the town. Our apartment was huge, modern and really chic! If you go to Mechelen this apartment hotel is definitely a place to stay! Instead of going down to the buffet in the morning they brought all the breakfast to your apartment for request. This was of course perfect (and easiest) for us as we had a crawling little baby to look after so it was so much more relaxing to have our breakfast in the room.

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In Mechelen we caught up with my dear Aussie husband’s friends from Brisbane. We went for a few beers in the town. As they had two kids their own our timetable was very child friendly and accommodating. I have noticed that it is so easy to go out with couples with kids these days as I don’t feel guilty all the time for doing things according to our baby’s daily routines . All the people with kids understand that routines are just worth keeping to keep your baby happy! The great spot we went to was the Carolus brewery. This bar/restaurant served only the beers that were locally brewed. Have I mentioned many times enough that I am the biggest fan of Belgian beers, Trappist monastery brewed beers to be exact. I am not a lager kind of girl but dark Belgian beers (doubles and triples) just have something I so adore.  Later on after we got our baby girl to sleep our friends came over to our apartment. We ended up having a big night, chatting and tasting Belgian Trappist beers until 1am! It was great fun but we felt exhausted on the following day 🙂

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Despite our exhaustion we headed to Antwerp on the following day. It was such a gorgeous city! I will definitely return there.

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Antwerp train station was so beautiful!

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We had our lunch in a fantastic restaurant. I can warmly recommend it to you all. It was called Applemans and was just in the centre of Antwerp’s old town. I had a superb goat cheese salad and my dear Aussie husband had tasty seafood croquettes. So good! I totally forgot to photograph my dish which is a shame as everything was so well presented and flavoursome!

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On the way home on Monday we stopped in Brussels. I don’t want to sound mean but I didn’t really like it. It was over priced and quite ugly despite the old centre. I much rather go to Bruges, Mechelen or Antwerp for example.

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The food was excellent in the place we ate. It was a restaurant called Leon de Bruxelles. We ate curry mussels and fries -the classic! Still I have to say that you get much better value for your money in smaller towns in Belgium.

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The train journey home went so well that we were both really impressed how well our baby girl did even though it was a bit after her usual sleeping time. We were sneaky and circulated the toys and books and she was totally happy for those two hours that it took us to get back to London. We parents were munching wasabi crisps and Belgian chocolate. You should try wasabi crisps if you haven’t already, they are excellent! You can buy them in Switzerland and Belgium at least, I haven’t seen them in the UK unfortunately.

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We had a fantastic and relaxing trip. Our baby behaved well most of the time and we managed to get some parents’ time too! It is, however, lovely to be back home. We had chosen our weekend getaway well as it was the crazy St Jude storm in the UK whilst we were eating mussels and enjoying warm weather in Belgium. Our house was still on its place with the roof and walls 🙂

This is what it looked like this morning when I had a walk in the park. The storm did cause some damage even here in North London.

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Parisian chic -Pariisilaista tyyliä

One day the other week I just got the feeling that my wardrobe is full of boring mama clothes, practical shirts and flat shoes. I thought I needed something a bit more elegant and stylish. So I went for shopping with my little baby girl. She is usually a good shopping buddy -I need to teach her the enjoyment of fashion straight from birth 🙂

I guess after turning to 30 last summer I started to feel that I really have to pay more attention to my clothes. I wish to look elegant and classic not girly. I already get asked IDs every time I buy a bottle of wine here in the UK. I also get told by older English ladies how to take care of my baby. This happens everywhere I go whether being on the bus, on the street or in the store.  Usually they are commenting on my baby’s clothes saying how my baby is ”overheating” and has too many clothes on. Personally I know this is a cultural difference. As a Finn I want to dress my baby warmly so that she has a lovely cuddly warm layer on her to sleep better. Brits are a bit different with their babies . The babies here have no gloves and their noses are always runny, this was in fact noted in one Finnish article lately. There is no right way of doing things but with the baby dressing I am a Finn from top to toes. Anyway, I think I get so many advice due to my baby face. Those elder British ladies probably think ”oh poor young girl with the baby and does not know what to do with her”… so maybe it is time for change.

My favourite high street stores in London are River Island and Banana Republic. They have stylish and well fitting clothes. If I want to buy nice looking but super comfortable shoes I will always go for Clarks or Nine West.

Toissa viikolla tuli yksi päivä vain sellainen olo, että vaatekaappini on ainoastaan täynnä tylsiä ja käytännöllisiä äiti-vaatteita ja lättäkenkiä (tietenkään tämä ei ole koko totuus, mutta oikeuttaa ostoksille). Aloin kaipaamaan jotakin eleganttia ja tyylikkäämpää vaatekaappini (ja itseni) koristeeksi. Niinpä lähdin shoppailemaan vauvani kanssa. Hän on yleensä hyvä shoppailukaveri -täytyyhän tytär opettaa alusta saakka muodin maailmaan :)!

Viime kesänä kolmekymmentä täytettyäni alkoi tuntua, että minun tulisi kiinnittää hitusen enemmän huomiota vaatetukseeni. Haluan elegantimpaa ja klassisempaa Paris street style tyyliä tyttömäisten vaatteiden sijaan. Britanniassa viinipulloa ostaessani minulta aina kysytään henkiöllisyystodistus. Lisäksi meninpä sitten kauppaan, kahvilaan tai bussiin, vanhat englantialaisrouvat alkavat neuvoa minulle vauvanhoitoa. Yleensä he varoittelevat vauvani ”ylikuumenemisesta” sillä tyttäreni on puettu lämpimästi. Täällähän lapset kulkevat ilman lämpökerrastoa pakkasellakin, hanskoista ei ole puhettakaan ja lasten nenät valuvat valtoimenaan. kuten eräässä suomalaisessa artikkelissa lähiaikoina todettiin. Puen vauvani lämpimästi, mutta tämä ei johdu siitä etten tietäisi kuinka hoitaa lastani, olen vain päästä jalkopäihin suomalainen ja haluan lapseni olevan lämmin en paleleva. Kulttuuriero tässä asiassa on vain hyvin räikeä.  Joka tapauksessa luulen, että syy näiden brittirouvien asioihini puuttumiseen ovat lapsenkasvoni. Rouvat luultavasti voivottelevat mielessään kuinka tuo poloinen tytön hupakko tuskin tietää lapsenhoidosta ripaustakaan ja kaipaa neuvoja. Ehkä siis tyylini on aika muuttua. Tyttömäisestä olemuksestani huolimatta olen silti hyvin kauhistunut kuinka täällä niin hanakasti kommentoidaan toisten äitiyttä ja lastenhoitoa, Suomessa se olisi merkki tahdittomuudesta ja tiettyjen yksityisyyden rajojen ylittämisesta. Kulttuuriero, se se on.

Päätin siis suunnata ostoksille ja hankkia jotain klassista. Suosikki high street kauppani ovat River Island ja Banana Republic. Niistä löytyy aina tyylikkäitä perusvaatteita. Kenkien suhteen päädyn usein joko Clarkseihin tai Nine Westiin, sillä ne ovat tyylikkäitä mutta aina mukavia jaloissa.

I ended up buying nice shirts from Banana Republic:
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Ostin muutaman kauniin paidan Banana Republicista.

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I also bought a few pairs of nice new shoes.

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Ja muutaman parin kenkiä….

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I was very happy what I found and so was my shopping buddy!

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Minulla oli iloinen shoppailukaveri mukana, joka vahti ostoksiani silmä kovana 🙂

Seuraavaa shoppailukertaa odotellessa…

How to get your baby to take solids? -Kuinka saada vauva syömään kiinteitä ruokia?

Those of you who follow me on Facebook know that I have been struggling to wean my baby for three months now. I will not go into details as it will bore you all. It is enough to mention my baby girl is a fussy eater with the capital F. There were two months that she literally did not take anything and I tried so many lovely things. Due to her allergies (milk, soy, nuts, egg, gluten, coconut, carrot, banana, sesame, pulses…etc…) we have had crazily limited range of foods to choose from which has not made things any easier. My baby girl is not only fussy with flavours but also with textures. In addition to this she is moody and I mean really moody. She is worse than ladies in their menopause. She gets ridiculous tantrums like a two year old, throws herself to the floor, kicks her legs and acts theatrically without any reason. The better side of the coin is that she is intellectually very developed, alert and attentive. She is extremely mobile but slightly hyperactive -like her parents :)- which means she cannot concentrate on sitting down in her highchair for any longer than five minutes. Below you can see my list of things how I got her to eat..eventually. Of course we are still talking about spoonfuls. A huge feed for her is half of the regular size baby food pot which means half of the 125g. Her favourite fruit and berry flavours are pear, blueberry, blueberry-raspberry-lingonberry, rose berry-pear.  So my poor mother has dragged tens of pots from Finland to her as you cannot find pure blueberry puree in the UK. My baby girl’s vegetable favourites are potato-broccoli, potato-parsnip, cauliflower and sweetcorn. Pear and broccoli are perfect as they have a huge iron content. I also recently read an article about white vegetables. The article highlighted that cauliflower should not be overlooked as it is one of the healthiest vegetables and has amazing nutrients and vitamins in it, luckily my fussy baby likes it!

Before you start reading this I want to highlight that I am very much pro breastfeeding. I find myself belonging to the school of though that believes ”boob is the best”. I was dreaming of breastfeeding until my baby was one year old. I encourage breastfeeding on demand, I have never looked at the clock and thought ”my baby cannot be hungry”. I have always fed her whenever she has asked for it (this is why I woke up hourly for months and months..). So when I decided to quit breastfeeding it was mainly due to my baby’s allergies and bad excema. It was a difficult decision and I shed many tears for it feeling like I failed as a mother. During the first few weeks of formula feeding my bad mother syndrome got just worse and worse until I got over it. In the end I just felt I had no choice. Despite how carefully I looked at what I ate, my baby girl’s skin and tummy just reacted badly all the time. Now when she is on formula (special formula Nutramigen in which milk protein has been broken down) her skin has cleaned and she is pretty much all smiles. We were recently discharged from the special excema care and she is happier than ever which for me is more important than my ideal of breastfeeding. She has also finally started to sleep peacefully during the day. Now when I look back I almost think that the reason why I carried on breastfeeding after 6 months was not only that I thought it was best for her, I also did it for myself thinking selfishly that I would be somehow a better mother. I know it is naive, but I think this is quite typical for new mothers with their first child. What I have learned is that sometimes you have to forgive yourself and let your ideals go in order to gain something more profound and better.

Here you can see what helped me with my baby:

1. Starting mixed feeding changed my baby girl’s eating drastically. I started giving bottles during the day time (she was 7 1/2 months old) and I breastfed only at the night time. Suddenly she started eating during the day time as the breast was not available every minute. In fact she forgot breastfeeding and is hardly interested in it anymore so in the end the quitting of breastfeeding happened quite easily after she started to take bottles (it was a fight at first!!).  If you feel like you could do this I would say it is not a bad option.

2. Smooth purees. My baby girl was so fussy with the textures that if there was even one lump in it she spitted it all out. The food processor that saved my life was Tommy Tippee Explora Baby Food Blender. It was only £20 (now in fact even cheaper) and it makes the smoothest and creamiest puree textures ever! My baby girl loves those purees now. After your baby is bigger you can leave the purees lumpier. This is a very good blender so definitely worth every penny!

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3. Books and toys. Some people would say this is malpractice and that babies should not be taught to think eating time is play time. I can only comment on this by saying that you don’t care about good practice as long as your baby starts eating. I bought books that had textures on them hairy or scrubbily spots to touch, feel and experience and whilst she was discovering the book I scooped spoonfuls into her mouth. Works these days every time!

4. Distraction. If your baby gets tantrum and starts crying whilst putting her to highchair distract her with something unusual,  a new noise works quite often. I do drumming noises or I knock the table and suddenly the crying stops and she cannot even remember why she was crying. After the distraction you can finally start feeding her.

5. Timing. It is all about timing. If your baby is cranky (unless hunger crankiness) , don’t even try to feed her. If she is a fussy eater she needs to be cheerful in order to discover new food and flavours. Try different meal plans. Try Central European 3 meals plus snack a day, if that does not work for you, try Northern European 4 meals plus snack a day. For my baby girl who is very petite the English meal planner just did not work, the Finnish guidelines  have been the best. My baby could not possibly drink 210ml of formula in one go she would have popped as she has been exclusively breastfed so far and her tummy is a lot smaller than that of formula fed babies. By spreading meals and giving smaller portions in one go she felt better and she actually started eating more overall and what matters is overall, not one meal. So try smaller portions often. Don’t look at the clock, try to offer her food when she is cheerful and willing to experience new things.

Our sample day is:

07-07.30am breakfast: porridge with fruit or berry puree and 120ml formula

10-11am lunch: vegetable puree and 120ml formula (potato-broccoli,  potato-parsnip or cauliflower)

1.30-2.30pm snack: fruit or berry puree and 120ml formula (pear, blueberry or blueberry raspberry puree)

4-5pm dinner: vegetable puree and 120ml formula (potato-broccoli,  potato-parsnip or cauliflower)

6.30-7pm  supper: porridge with berry or fruit puree (and sometimes a tiny bit of formula)

7-7.30pm 150ml formula

01-02am 120ml formula

6. Good spoon. You need a really good spoon as you don’t want all the food to fall down or dribble out from her mouth. I found that OXO Tot Travel spoon has been super good. It is deep enough, the shape is good and with it I find it easy to stuff food into my baby’s mouth. She seem to like it too. This spoon comes also with a handy travel pack. At least John Lewis sells them in the UK.

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7. Patience. Babies can take a long time to taste and feel the food in their mouths. In the beginning our eating sessions took 20-30 minutes (long sessions do not work anymore). Try small amounts often if longer feeds don’t work for you. It feels like you are offering the food constantly but it does not matter as long as she takes some. I was a way too petty about feeding solids with the clock. In the beginning of weaning process it does not work, fussy eaters eat only when they are happy.

8. Sleep. I noticed that my baby started eating better if she slept better during the day time. Particularly after the naps she was very inclined to take solids and happily experience new flavours. For 8 months my baby hardly slept regularly. Between 6-8 months she stopped sleeping all together. She was cranky, frustrated and tired all the time but she did not understand to go to sleep. She fought back and just refused to sleep when she was put down. Of course this was related to her allergies as she was just feeling unwell and could not relax as she was scratching herself all the time. By establishing or even trying to establish a nap schedule will ease the weaning. My baby takes solids very happily right after her long day time nap which is usually between 10am and 12 or 1 pm.

9. Pep talk! Give yourself a good old fashioned pep talk. Imagine of coaching a rugby team. You can do it, you can do it, you can do it. Don’t give up. My GP gave me the biggest pep talk ever when I visited her tears in my eyes. She told me not to give up as ” if you give up now, next comes TV watching, then home works and then boyfriends!”. Be disciplined and strict but kind and patient. It is tough, I know, I have been going through this for almost four months now. It will change just do not give up.

10. Age. If none of my tips works I comfort myself by saying every baby learns to eat within the time. Some are slower, some love food immediately. My baby girl has not gotten teeth yet and she is almost eight and half months old. I see teething having a natural relationship to their ability to eat. If the baby does not have any teeth how could she possibly feel ready for chewing things, no she is not ready, she needs more time. Many people have told me when the teeth appear, taking solids takes a new turn. Whilst waiting for the first tooth, I keep on giving myself pep talks.

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Good luck!

Banana oatmeal -Banaanikaurakakkunen

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Banana oatmeal -Banaanikaurakakkunen

This morning my baby girl was a rooster, she woke up at 5.30am. Wow. Early start. I have been awake for so long now that when it approaches 10am I feel like it is a lunch time. I guess my dear Aussie husband likes when I wake up so early as it means he has breakfast waiting for him and we can enjoy our early morning moments together. Today I thought I would try my morning oatmeal but instead of raspberries I used bananas and yummy, it was tasty! I felt I needed something super sweet and energy rich to go on as the morning wake up was so early. Try this, it is a perfect sweet breakfast!

Two portions:

2 dl (1 cup) jumbo oats

1/2 dl (1/4 cup) rice milk or regular milk

1 tbsp date pieces

1 tbsp raisins

1 tbsp dried cranberries

2 tbsp honey

1 banana

1. Mix rice milk, oats, raisins, dates and dried cranberries. Let it soak for 5-10 minutes.

2. Add in the honey.

3. Mash half of the banana, mix it in. Slice the other half of the banana, mix half of the slices into the oats and pour the mix into small tart tins. Put rest of the banana slices on the top of oat meals for decoration.

4. Bake in 190 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

Tänä aamuna tyttäreni heräsi kukonlaulunaikaan klo 5.30. Wow. Aikainen aloitus aamulle. Olen siis ollut jo hereillä niin pitkään, että kellon lähetessä kymmentä tuntuu kuin olisi jo lounasaika. Rakas aussimieheni ei pistä pahakseen aikaisia aamyherätyksiäni, sillä se tarkoittaa yleensä sitä, että tuore leivottu aamiainen kahveineen odottaa häntä ennen töihin lähtöä.  Voimme aikaisina aamun tunteina nauttia yhdessä pitkän aamiaisen ja rentoutua. Olen ehkä hitusen epätavallinen suomalaisnainen siitä syystä, että rakastan hemmotella miestäni. Mikään ei ole mielestäni niin ihanaa kuin leipoa hänelle aamiaista, laittaa ruokaa, yllättää leivonnaisilla tai vaikka vain tehdä voileivät valmiiksi lautaselle. Joku voisi kommentoida minun olevan desperate housewife kandidaatti, mutta koska teen sen täysin vapaaehtoisesti rakkaudesta en näe toiminnassani mitään paheksuttavaa eikä sisäinen feministini koe arvojansa loukatuksi. Hemmottelu on rakkauden ele ja pieni lisämauste jokapäiväiseen arkeen. Tänä aamuna valmistin vadelma kaurakakkusten sijaan vastaavia banaanisia. Tarvitsin jotain super energistä ja makeaa, jotta pysyn liikkeessä aikaisen aamuherätyksen jälkeen. Banaanikakkuset olivat onnistuneita, jam. Kokeilehan, ne olivat täydellisen makoisia aamiaiskakkusia.

Kaksi annosta:

2 dl jumbo kaurahiutaleita

1/2 dl riisimaitoa tai maitoa

1 rkl taatelinpaloja

1 rkl rusinoita

1 rkl kuivattuja karpaloita

2 rkl hunajaa

1 banaani

1. Sekoita kaurahiutaleet, rusinat, karpalot, taatelit ja riisimaito. Anna imeytyä 5-10 minuuttia.

2. Lisää hunaja.

3. Muussaa puoli banaania ja sekoita kaurasekoituksen sekaan. Viipaloi toinen puolikas banaanista ja sekoita puolet viipaleista kauraseokseen. Kaada seos pieniin torttuvuokiin ja koristele banaaninpaloilla.

4. Paista 190 asteessa 20-25 minuuttia.

The Orange Tree Pub -Pubi Totteridgessa

We love to do day trips at weekends. My dear Aussie husband and I both love discovering new places in London particularly when new pubs are involved. On Saturday we went to this praised and recommended pub in Tottridge called The Orange Tree. I had heard it was good but never did I think it would have been this good. It was like a fine dining restaurant, fantastic atmosphere, beautiful decor and great location and yes, the food was top draw.

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Rakastamme  päiväretkiä. Minä ja rakas aussiemieheni yksinkertaisesti nautimme uusien paikkojen katsastamisesta etenkin jos kuvioon kuuluu pubiruokailu. Lauantaina vierailimme eräässä hyvin arvostetussa ja suositellussa pubissa Tottridgessa nimeltä The Orange Tree. Olin kuullut, että kyseinen pubi olisi hyvä. En koskaan kuitenkaan uskonut, että mikään pubi kauempana ”maaseutumaisemissa” voisi olla näin uskomaton. Ruoka oli kuin ”fine dining” ravintolassa, tunnelma mahtava, sisustus ja ympäristö hivelevän kaunis.

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ImageDecor was very impressive

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Everything was just so thought through.

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I had this amazing scallops starter. Scallops were seared in the top quality olive oil and served with pineapple salsa, sweet chilli sauce and balsamico. I got so excited about this dish so I prepared the whole fried squid with salsa in the evening. I will post the recipe later :)!

Tilasin tämän uskomattoman herkullisen alkupalan: oliiviöljyssä paistettuja kampasimpukoita, jotka tarjoiltiin makean chilikastikkeen, ananassalsan ja balsamicon kera. Innostuin annoksesta niin paljon, että valmistin samana iltana kokonaisesta mustekalasta vastaavantyylisen aterian. Postaan reseptin pian blogiini!

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For the main course I ordered a duck salad. I am getting used to ordering salads as my main. This is due to a fact that I know that every time the main arrives my baby gets hungry too and there is no way I am finishing my meal before feeding her, so the best option is to order something that tastes good even if being cold: salad. With the starter I had Australian Little Yerring Chardonnay. I am a Chardonnay girl from head to toes, but I ordered this wine due to the nostalgic feelings. My dear Aussie husband and I did a trip to Yarra Valley and actually visited Yerring station  a few years ago. In the winery I had this wine last time! With the mains we chose Shiraz-Viognier from the same vineyard. My dear Aussie husband had a seafood linguini as his starter and spit chicken roast as his main. Everything was so delicious that I warmly recommend you to visit this pub. It is like a top class restaurant. The staff is wonderful, food excellent, wine list very interesting and the pub is also very child friendly.

Pääruoaksi tilasin ankkasalaatin. Tilaan nykyään aina salaatin pääruoaksi. Tiedän kokemuksesta, että joka kerta kun pääruokani saapuu, tyttäreni tulee nälkäiseksi ja tämä merkitsee sitä, että oma ruokailuni saa odottaa. Tästä viisastuneena tilaan siis aina salaatin, joka maistuu kylmänäkin yhtä hyvältä! Alkuruoan kanssa tilasin valkoviinia, australialaista Little Yerring Chardonnayta. Rakastan Chardonnayta ja vannon sen nimeen aina, mutta syy juuri tähän viiniin oli nostalginen mieliala. Nautin viimeksi kyseistä viiniä Yerring station viinitilalla Yarra Valleyssa Australiassa, kun rakkaan aussimieheni kanssa teimme viinitilamatkan. Pääruoan kanssa päädyimme samaisen viinitilan Shiraz-Viognier punaviiniin. Meillä oli kerrassaan täydellisesti onnistunut pubilounas! Paikka oli mahtava, palveleluhenkilökunta hyvin ystävällistä, ruoka uskomatonta, viinilista kattavan vaikuttava ja pubi oli erittäin lapsiystävällinen. Suosittelen siis lämpimasti teitä vierailemaan kyseisessä pubissa, se on kaiken matkustuksen arvoinen!

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I hope you had a great weekend too!

Toivottavasti teilläkin oli onnistunut viikonloppu!

Mummy diet – Äitiysdieetti

I have often wondered how some women can have pregnancy kilos after being a mum for more than half a year. One of my friends commented on this question in one of the emails we sent to each others by saying ”I think those ladies who still have kilos left after mummy days must have boring babies”. I don’t know how fair this comment is but this applies to my situation at least!

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My ”mummy diet” is very simple. I wake up at 6am at the latest (after waking up 2-4 times a night). I prepare the breakfast for my restless baby. I bounce her in my arms whilst making the porridge, I feed her whilst entertaining her like a circus clown (believe it or not I am doing African drumming at the moment, it is the hit!). After her breakfast I manage to prepare my own breakfast but just when I am about to have it, my baby starts crying again and I cannot finish it as I need to breastfeed her…a new attempt..fails..a new attempt..fails..a new attempt..finally a success and I eat in a speed of a rocket. I take my baby upstairs, change her nappy, I put her to bouncer, I bounce her with my leg whilst putting on my make up.

I keep on bouncing her, entertaining her until it is her morning snack time..same show again..she starts to be tired but doesn’t know how to fall asleep. A new breastfeed, I call this a knock down morning feed..usually it works. I go for a pram walk in the park to keep her asleep then to supermarket to use this nap time efficiently by buying all the food for lunch and dinner. This includes some super heavy spring water bottles and vegetable bags. My baby wakes up just as I am about to start walking back home..she start with a whinge that turns to a cry and she cries and cries. I sing to her, no impact. She cries still so I have to pick her up and take her to my arms. I keep on pushing the pram that weighs like it was full of stones. I do this with one hand, holding my baby in another. Whilst doing this I regret we chose the house that is uphill from the supermarket as I need to always hike uphill with all these bags and baby in my arms. I look like a donkey.

At home I keep on bouncing my baby whilst unloading the shopping into the fridge. It is time to prepare her lunch, I repeat the bouncing, putting her down pattern, never works. I feed her, this time drumming doesn’t work so we need toys. A new game, my dear daughter throws the toys to the ground I pick them up, she throws them down, I pick them up. We play this game and I scoop food into her mouth. My back feels sore.  Finally done. I start preparing my own lunch (usually salad , it is fast to eat and not bad if eaten cold) and I reckon I have never chopped cucumber and tomatoes so quickly. I have no time to do any meat as my baby is cranky. I throw some leftover chicken on top of the salad, I eat it whilst holding my wiggling baby who does not want to crawl on the ground or be left alone with her toys. I have  a cup of coffee -surprisingly warm this time- and yay I got some lunch down. I am still hungry, salad whilst breastfeeding is not enough but there is no time to prepare anything extra as I really need to do some washing too. I carry dirty washing baskets up and down the stairs whilst holding my baby. In my mind I wonder why I let them fill up so full that they are heavier than my usual 20 kilo travel suitcase.

I try an afternoon knock down breastfeed, sometimes it works. I take my baby for another walk so that she would stay asleep even for half an hour. Same story as in the morning, she wakes up 15 minutes before we hit the home door and I end up carrying her in my arms whilst wheeling the pram uphill. It is time for her afternoon snack. This time we start with African drumming and end up throwing toys. I comfort myself, at least she ate it all. Now my baby starts getting her ”evening crankies”.  The alternating game begins. This means I move her from room to room, we have a mirror game in between, I put her to door bouncer, then to the regular bouncer and a new round again. As the clock approaches 5.30pm she gets manic. She wiggles and requires heavier bouncing. At 5.30pm I am too tired to bounce, my hands ache and eyes hardly stay open. I take one rice cake and stuff it into my mouth, some blood sugar.  I open a pack or crisps but manage to get only two into my mouth. I prepare her porridge whilst entertaining her, I sing, I dance and she still whinges. I feed her the porridge. This time no games, good eating, luckily.

I run upstairs to make the bath whilst holding her, I let the water run. I realise all her washed clothes are downstairs. I hold her  and I run downstairs to pick her night romper, I run upstairs with her. I bath her and entertain her by splashing the water and singing songs. I take her away from the bath and I wrap her with the towel. When I get to her room I remember her sleeping bag is downstairs. I run downstairs whilst holding my towel wrapped baby. I run upstairs with my towel wrapped baby. Suddenly I feel something warm against my skin. She weed. Well here we go again. I take her to bathroom and wash her again.  Whilst doing this I realise that all the towels are downstairs as I have not had a chance to bring them upstairs during this day long entertainment show. I take my wet baby to downstairs and wrap her in her towel. I run upstairs hoping she has no more wees to do. I start putting her nappy on. She hates it, she wants to be naked like Adam and Eve.  So I sing and I drum. Nothing works, I give up. As soon as I get her ready I start the knock down good night feed. I see her falling asleep, her eyes are slowing closing and after every minute I feel my body is getting more and more relaxed. Soon I will have my own spare moment. Win. Sleeping baby.

I run downstairs, I prepare a dinner for me and my husband. Usually this is something super carbful like risotto or potato dish!  I have my glass of white wine and take a breath. I haven’t had a chance to snack anything during the day, I have hardly visited a loo myself, I have run like a crazy chicken, I have entertained my baby like a jumping monkey. I reckon I have lifted up weights more than I could ever do at the gym. I have walked at least two hours outside, I have pushed the heavy pram and shopping uphill. I have run up and down the stairs all day long and not alone. No kilos after this. Does your baby not need entertainment? Mine does. All the time. This is my mummy diet. Does it sound familiar?

As crazy as it is I love it and I love her.

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If you felt like this could be a day of your life listen to this song on Youtube. This ”Motherhood feat” video was something that my colleagues told me to watch before going to maternity leave. I was laughing at it back then, now I know what they meant 🙂