I want to remember…

These are the days, yet I seem to forget them all too quickly, so I decided to start writing a regular series here called “I want to remember”. It’s my way of documenting the feelings, thoughts, and memories of the current moment for years to come.

I want to remember how different this pregnancy is compared to my first. Back then, we took belly photos every 2-3 weeks, now I’ve thus far taken exactly one. Back then, I was so diligent to moisturise my belly every evening (and my husband would remind me when I forgot), but this time… I’m taking it easier. Once a week is pretty good, too, right?

I want to remember the little flutters that I felt so much sooner with baby girl #2. And the endless kicking, the hiccups, and the way my belly changes it’s shape when she starts rumbling around. She’s a firecracker and I can already tell she’ll challenge us in new ways.

I want to remember the little stabs into my bladder that feel like baby girl has a butterknife to play with inside there. I mean, how does she do that? Sometimes I wish I had a see-through belly, so I could look in and understand what different movements mean.

I want to remember playing the guessing game. Is that her leg? Arm? Bum? Did she kick me with her elbow right now? Or was it her knee? And how the hell does she reach so far to the side, when her body is clearly on the other side?

I want to remember how Heli Mai pats my belly when we talk about the baby. Also, she says “hello” to my boobs a lot… I wonder what that’s about?

I want to remember the hard bits, too. The exhaustion and the scary contractions after having to practically single parent Heli Mai for a while back in May. I doubt I want to ever raise a 12-month-old and be pregnant ever again. But, never say never, right? Thank goodness productions and school semesters have an expiration date.

I want to remember this time, right now. The last 2 weeks leading up to my due date. The time spent just the three of us, wondering how we’ll be able to add a new little one into the mix. The growing baby belly that’s getting oh-so uncomfortable. The wait for Heli Mai’s first babysitter to arrive, so that I can have Rein by my side for the delivery. Counting the days, the hours, the minutes in my head until my due date. I know it’s not a magic day when I’ll just wake up and go into labor, but it gives me hope that I’ll get to meet my little girl soon, and finally get to sleep without hoisting my gigantic belly from one side to another every time I need to turn. Well, obviously, I won’t get any sleep any time soon, but just the thought of one day having my body back to normal fills me with joy.

This is an incredibly challenging, yet exciting time for our family. We’re having a baby, moving and starting a new chapter in my husband’s career all at once. I try to keep the stress away by focusing on the things I can control. I want to remember packing up boxes, dreaming up the girls room, solving problems with the kitchen layout and making a decor budget for the new apartment.

Above all, I want to remember how special this time is – our last days as a family of 3. We can’t wait to add baby girl into our family, but these days are magic, too.

Photo by Taavi Paal

How to survive the first 3 moths of motherhood

how to survive the first 3 months of motherhood

In about two weeks, I’m back in the trenches of newborn-land. That unpredictable, crazy place where no sleep happens. Instead, there’s the postpartum emotional rollercoaster, the never-sleeping baby, lots of physical healing, and now, also a 16-month-old who’s trying to make sense of her changing world.

My first visit to the newborn-land was not easy. I spent the first almost 8 weeks of Heli Mai’s life single parenting her at my parents’ house while my husband finished off his semester 2000 miles away. My mom was a huge help during that very difficult time, but I still missed my husband so badly. I have so much respect for single moms after that (not that I didn’t before) and I can’t even imagine doing it all by myself for years.

Looking back, though, I realise that this time could have been so much easier and more enjoyable, if I had seen things a little differently. I wish I could go back and tell new mom Hanna what I know now.

  1. Listen to your instincts and intuition. While I was super confident before having the baby in my ability to care for her, I quickly lost that confidence when I was holding a crying baby who wouldn’t latch and everyone kept telling me what I should or shouldn’t do. I wish I had had the guts to tell them what I felt in my heart so strongly. In hindsight, I knew what was best for me and my daughter, but I didn’t trust myself enough. I’m not saying to ignore medical professionals or the well-meant advice of other moms, but voice your own thoughts first and make sure you are heard and seen. Because, after all, mother does know best.
  2. A crying baby is not the end of the world… although it can sure seem that way sometimes. Most of the time, though, they’re just trying to get what they need. So, be patient and calmly offer what she might need. Food, a clean diaper, sleep, connection, and love. Nine times out of ten, that will do the trick. And if not, keep calm and seek help. Sometimes, there can be other issues that are causing the crying. Heli Mai had reflux, so there was a lot of crying, very little sleep, and as a result, an overtired baby, who was very hard to settle. This is all a hindsight 20:20 thing, though, because back then, I took me weeks to figure it out, and I put some of the pieces together months later. For a very good overview of why baby’s cry and what we can do about it, read this.
  3. The sun will rise again. I felt the most lonely during night time, when I was walking round and round in my room with a crying baby who wouldn’t fall asleep despite my best efforts. She was overtired, and so was I. I think those were the times I cried the most in the beginning. What I’d love to whisper in my past self’s ear is that this too shall pass. After this night, there will be daylight again. The baby will sleep eventually and in a few weeks, she’ll have figured out this night and day thing.
  4. It’s just a phase. Every mom has probably heard this tip and given it to another mom, but while we’re in the trenches, it can be hard to remember. Everything is a phase with little ones. So, sometimes, the best you can do, is just ride out the waves.
  5. Know what to expect. I often wish I’d done more research on what to expect in the newborn phase (or even past that). Obviously, you can’t know everything and every baby is different, but what I learned is that doing a little reading upfront can ease a lot of fears and help figure out what’s not working before it drives you insane.
  6. Do things that make you feel normal. I struggled for the longest time to consolidate my past identity with my new identity as a mom. To be honest, I still do sometimes, but what has helped immensely is writing down when I feel most like myself and doing those things as often as possible. My life will never be the same, and neither will I, but motherhood should be an addition to who I am, not a substitute. Learned that the hard way.
  7. Ask for help. Can’t stress this enough! It does take a village to raise a kid, so don’t think you have to do it all by yourself. Ask your spouse, your family, or your friends to help out. It could be as simple as having someone to talk to when you’re covered in baby spit-up and in desperate need of a grown-up conversation. Or it could be a couple of hours of sleep or time to yourself. Have a friend do grocery shopping for you, or ask your spouse to take care of laundry. (Thanks, mom, for all those times you ran a load of dirty diapers at 10pm!)
  8. Relax into it. This is definitely the hardest to do, but makes all the difference. I still haven’t mastered it almost 16 months into motherhood, but those times when I’ve managed to slow down, breather and relax into it have been the best. Even when it happens as you’re trying to put your baby down and it’s been 50 minutes already. Especially then.
  9. Loosen up and let go. You’re bound to have spit-up on your shirt 24/7, your home will be messy, the laundry pile will be high, your hair will be messy and you may forget to brush your teeth. You could either stress about it, or just let it go. Don’t worry, one day you’ll discover you’ve worn the same shirt for the whole day. You will get back on track with your laundry. You most definitely will find time to brush both your teeth and your hair again. One day. I promise.

I felt I needed to write this post for myself. So I would remember to breathe and take it for what it is – a phase that passes all too quickly. The sleepless nights turn into nights with little sleep, and then to nights with enough sleep. Before I know it, I’ll have a smiling, crawling, drooling, grabbing baby. While the days go oh-so slowly, the weeks start flying by, and before I know it, I’ll be a mom of 2 toddlers.

And so will you.

If you’re down in the trenches right now, or about to become a new mom for the first (or third) time, I hope this post offered some support, understanding, and most importantly, a gentle reminder that the hard bits will pass, and the joy will only grow. You’ve got this, mama!

If you’ve got your own magic mantra or tip to share, I’d loved to hear it in the comments!

443 Days

Photo by Taavi Paal

That’s how long it’s been since I lasted posted in this space. After baby girl was born, I was just trying to stay afloat, settling into motherhood while building another business on the side. Crafting and blogging just didn’t fit into my already overwhelming days. After thinking I’d let the dust settle and come back to it in a couple months, I soon realised the dust would never settle in the same way again.

I remember feeling so torn back in September last year over whether to close this blog for good, or leave what I had created up in the interwebs for people to find and enjoy. Now, I’m so glad I decided to do the latter.

Because I’ve missed this space. And while the dust still hasn’t settled, I’m craving the connection this space gave me. To other crafters, mamas, DIY addicts – to you. So, I decided to start blogging again.

Without a content calendar, a plan, nor an objective. Just for me. Just for fun.

I want to document bits and pieces of our life, share my creative projects (if and when I get around to them) and our family’s journey towards a more sustainable lifestyle.

If you’re an old friend, you know I’m passionate about sustainable style and LOVE transforming old clothing into new (here’s some proof). Over the past few years, I’ve become more and more interested in the subject of sustainable living and making more conscious choices in our everyday life.

Obviously, this is a loaded topic for many, but my goal isn’t to shame anyone for not being eco-minded, but rather to share different ways in which we as a family of 3 (almost 4) try to make more sustainable choices in our life. We’re FAR from perfect, but that’s my point – it doesn’t have to be all or nothing, every step in the right direction is worth it.

Whether I’ll get around to sharing once a week or once a month, I do not know. Our second baby girl is expected to arrive around the 21st of September, so the dust will once again be up in the air. But thankfully, I feel a bit more prepared this time around, and hopefully, lightning doesn’t strike twice in our house and the second little one will be a much better sleeper than the first.

Here’s to new beginnings!

Celebrating 600 posts on Pearls & Scissors!

This is my 601st post on Pearls & Scissors! Wow. I think we need to stop and celebrate this for a moment. This means that I’ve spent over 3600 hours creating content for this blog. So, over the last 3 years, I’ve spent at least 300 days creating, photographing, editing and writing.

Blogging has taught me a lot, and opened up a whole new world to me. I’ve been incredibly inspired by all the other talented bloggers and crafters. I’ve been pushed to develop my skills and stretch my creative muscles. I’ve been motivated to discover new avenues and see new options.

Most of all, I have enjoyed connecting with all of you, my lovely readers. Some of you I know by name, and we e-mail from time to time. Some of you I know only from you blog comments. And some of you, I’ve yet to come to know. But, I hope to someday.

I’m not completely sure what will become of Pearls & Scissors in the future. I’ve went from an eager hobbyist, to doing it full time, to… well, finding a better balance. What I do know for sure, though, is that this blog is not going anywhere. It’s my passion project. My one little happy corner of the internet, where I can meet up with crafting friends, and share my inspiration, my creative successes, and failures.

So, to celebrate this incredible milestone, I thought I’d list 10 15 of my all time favourite posts on Pearls and Scissors.

  1. Being one of the very first posts, this maxi skirt refashion is still close to my heart. It’s definitely the most worn refashion I’ve ever made, and it still has a place in my wardrobe even today.
  2. I love this refashion because of it’s stroke of genius. I don’t come up with that cool of an idea every day, so it has a rightful place in the top 15.
  3. My very favorite men’s refashion. It makes my hubby look hot!
  4. This one is a no-brainer. I wore it to shreds, and it’s still the most popular post on this blog.
  5. I love how this belt turned out. It taught me that the skies the limit when making stuff.
  6. This is my favorite paper craft ever.
  7. My favorite blanket and knit project. I use it every day. In fact, I’m curled under it right now.
  8. I definitely have to include my concert gown in this list. It was actually a series of posts, but it was one giant project. It’s the sewing project I’m most proud of.
  9. This one is still my favorite wardrobe reinvention post of all time. I doubt I’ll ever be able to beat it.
  10. I love this outfit because it reminds me of how we had so much fun picking outfits for each other with Mari Krõõt (miss you, girl!).
  11. We’ve only done 3 couples style posts, but I love them all. Especially this one.
  12. This post was one of the hardest to write, but also the most freeing.
  13. I’ve struggled with finding my place as a psychologist for the longest time, and this post helped me take steps in the right direction.
  14. It’s almost impossible to choose one favorite from our wedding posts, since they’re all very special to me. But, if I had to, I’d go with this one because it sums a lot of the preparation together, and is hopefully also helpful to someone else.
  15. Last, but not least, my favorite quote. It helped me have perspective at a tough time and move on. So, if you’ve faced failure recently, I highly recommend reading it over and over again.

Thank you for still sticking with me and following along on this crazy journey!

Now I’d love to hear from you – what’s your favorite post on Pearls & Scissors?

xo. Hanna

 

We’ll be back!

coffee at werner

Sipping coffee and eating my favorite cake in my favorite Estonian town Tartu.

I’m popping online today from my majorly fun vacation to tell you that Pearls & Scissors will be in maintenance over the next two days (Wednesday and Thursday), so if you pop over and can’t access the blog, you’ll know why.

I’ll be back with a new DIY post on Friday.

Have a great week!

xo. Hanna

Call for Guest Bloggers!

Summer is in full swing and I’m planning my long-awaited Estonian vacation. I’m leaving at the end of next week (eeek!), and I’m looking for 3-4 guest posts to step in while I’m enjoying friends and family.

You can write on any of the following topics: self-development, DIY, home decor, or crafts. Whether you have an awesome set of thrifting tips to share, a cool DIY project, sewing tips, or practical guidance for productivity, I’d love to have you on Pearls & Scissors.

If you’d love to introduce yourself and your blog to Pearls & Scissors’ readers, submit your guest post idea before Friday, the 24th of July to hanna(at)pearlsandscissors(dot)com, along with a link to your blog. If accepted, you need to submit your finished post no later than the 1st of August.

Looking forward to hearing from you!

xo. Hanna

 

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