About Helen

I'm Helen, a mama, writer, weaver and jewelry designer. I am an Australian living in Massachusetts with my older man + three much younger men.

BACKUP BUNNY

By | October 8th, 2016|BLOG|

Bennett loves his stuffed animals, one in particular. His name is Big Bunny and Bennett takes him everywhere. If Big Bunny isn't in bed with him there's going to be a problem. A few nights ago Big Bunny was in the three seasons room. I couldn't find him anywhere. And for a horrifying five minutes, [...]

DESIGNER DIAPER BAGS 2017

By | October 1st, 2016|GAZETTE|

We can thank mainstream designers who have dipped into the baby market for the best designer diaper bags 2017. Sophisticated classics and French Riviera stripes that don't scream "I'm packing diapers and wipes!" are utilitarian and gorgeous. Ditch the garish mummy handbag because leaving the house with a baby shouldn't have to be an [...]

FIVE GUYS (FOUR GUYS AND A GIRL)

By | September 30th, 2016|BLOG|

I've been back for a week and I'm still unpacking from my trip. When Virgin finally found my bag, it was in New Jersey. I've never been to New Jersey but at least my toothbrush has. They delivered my bag on Sunday night and I was totally expecting a note stuffed in the side pocket [...]

JETLAGGGGG

By | September 28th, 2016|BLOG|

I'm running on about two hours sleep as I write this so if you want a meaningful, reasoned, intelligible blog post you're out of luck. What I can give you is tired and emotional. Will that do? The Australia trip isn't out of my system. I'm still on Sydney time (oh jetlag!) but there's so [...]

POSTCARDS FROM DOWN UNDER

By | September 18th, 2016|BLOG|

I'm in Australia! Sorry I just up and left, I hate good-byes. I arrived in Sydney on Thursday last week after 20 hours in the air with Jules. Turns out, four month old babies make the best travel companions. I left Robbie to look after Finn and Bennett with the help of his amazing mom [...]

ALL THE PRETTY GADGETS

By | September 9th, 2016|BLOG|

A couple of weeks ago, Comcast put on an Xfinity event for Boston influencers to learn about their X1 platform and Xfinity Home. I left Jules with Robbie for the first time and it felt so good to be out meeting adults. The Comcast staff were so nice. They ushered me from my car. They [...]

LITTLE WORKS

By | September 4th, 2016|BLOG|

After discovering that I could be making thousands of dollars just by taking a photo of a friend wearing flippers on a horse, I have decided I should start selling Finn's art work. Student loan debt be damned. "Traveling Polar Bear" "Crown" "Crown II2" "Kandinsky + Warhol Love Child" "Untitled" #592

THE DANISH WAY OF PARENTING GIVEAWAY

By | September 1st, 2016|BLOG|

➕ WINNERS HAVE BEEN CROWNED ➕ The winners of two signed copies of The Danish Way of Parenting were drawn this morning, all the way away in Rome, Italy. Congratulations to @yesteacher (Instagram) and Lauren Gordon (Facebook entry). I will be in touch shortly! Thank you to everyone who entered!! As promised, I've teamed up [...]

BUSH-WALKING WITH SOLLY

By | August 25th, 2016|BLOG|

Bush-walking is Australian for hiking in the woods. I was never much of a bush-walker in Australia until my friend Sam got me into it in the summer of 2006. Sam is a bush-walking kind of girl. She's also a baby-wearing kind of girl. I've been living as an ex-pat in the USA for nearly [...]

BUY THE BISSELL

By | August 18th, 2016|BLOG|

Yesterday I left Finn painting in the kitchen and Bennett watching Max and Ruby in the lounge room while I nursed Jules. Five minutes, max. I felt secure knowing that law and order was in the hands of my very capable four year old. I Instagrammed the aftermath of that decision and I'm re-posting the [...]

FEVER + THUNDER + NURSING = NO SLEEP

By | August 16th, 2016|BLOG|

On Saturday night we had a storm here. The regular 9 to 5 folks of the south shore mightn't have noticed it come through around 2am but we did. Bennett has had one of his fevers since Friday and he was burning through the night, which meant I was making visits every three hours for [...]

MATERNITY GIFTS

By | August 16th, 2016|GAZETTE|

Baby shower gifts are easy. Baby booties, teddy bear, done. Maternity gifts can be a little more tricky. The best products for the mama to be can be used while she's still pregnant. If you are close with the mama-to-be, go ahead and give her the perineum massage oil, but if you're not on the [...]

FINDING THE WORDS

By | August 7th, 2016|BLOG|

Finn told me that last night he had a dream about a sad train conductor. Said he couldn't get his sad face out of his head. I didn't know what to say because sometimes the things he says catch me off guard. We ended up with an Inside Out analogy about sadness being an important [...]

JESSICA JOELLE ALEXANDER INTERVIEW

By | August 3rd, 2016|GAZETTE|

Residents of Denmark continue to rank as the happiest people in the world - why? What makes Danes so well adjusted compared to the rest of us? I interviewed Jessica Joelle Alexander, the author of The Danish Way of Parenting, which looks at the Danes' use of respect, empathy, reframing and authenticity to foster trust [...]

THE HAPPIEST CHILDREN IN THE WORLD

By | July 31st, 2016|BLOG|

I love the Danes. Back in 2007 to 2009, I was reviewing foreign films for the World Movies Channel in Sydney and my favorite films were from Denmark, Norway and Sweden. I saw in these films, cultures that were both gentle and intentional and I dreamed of living my life that way. (Mads Mikkelsen played [...]

HAPPY BIRTHDAY BENNETT

By | July 23rd, 2016|BLOG|

Bennett George Thompson is 2 today. This boy is a big ray of happy sunshine. He always has been. I'll do anything to make him smile. Like letting him "paint" with our 11 year old mother's helper. Today I'm tired and I have to clean the house before a friend from Cali arrives this afternoon. [...]

OUR BABY BJORN BOUNCER

By | July 19th, 2016|BLOG|

This cute little thing that Jules is bouncing in is the Baby Bjorn Bouncer Mini. It arrived at our place a few weeks ago and it's making me wish I had one when Finn and Bennett were babies. This is my Baby Bjorn Bouncer Mini review. Robbie told me, while I was assembling this beauty, [...]

PADDLE FEET + A FRESHLY PICKED GIVEAWAY

By | July 11th, 2016|BLOG|

When we brought Jules home from the hospital, things at home looked strange. My mother was staying with us and she had tidied areas of the house I hadn't touched for a year. Also, Finn's vocabulary had increased and he was somehow more well behaved. But the most profound change was in Bennett. It seemed [...]

WE’RE JUST HERE FOR THE SEX

By | July 11th, 2016|BLOG|

When they hear that we have three boys, more people than you would think ask me if we had a third child because we were "going for a girl". We weren't going for anything. Jules is our sweet, smiley, roly-poly bonus-baby. But can I just say that if we were going for three children - [...]

AT HOME SWIM LESSONS

By | June 28th, 2016|BLOG|

I'm in love with my pool. It has an old-school diving board and a pool house and all summer long I feel like I'm living in a Slim Aarons photograph. I saved a mole from drowning in the pool this morning. A mole!! America has the cutest animals. I've never seen a mole in real [...]

POTTY TRAINING 101: WHAT NOT TO DO

By | June 20th, 2016|BLOG|

June is Potty Training Awareness Month! And before you say, "hey! that's not even a thing", Let me assure you that it is in fact, a thing. In this house, every month from March to September 2015 was Potty Training Awareness Month. Because from March to June we were talking about potty training Finn and [...]

A TRIP TO HORNSTRA FARMS

By | June 11th, 2016|BLOG|

Today we went to Hornstra farms for ice cream and to see the spring calves. Luna and Sol are twins that were born a couple of weeks ago and those two cuties alone are worth a trip to the farm. Three teenagers were standing on the fence in the barn looking at the new calves [...]

CAPE COD PART II – THE FLATS

By | June 8th, 2016|BLOG|

Twice a day, once at around sunrise and once around sunset, the tide goes out on the Brewster flats and this happens. People walk out to explore the sandy banks, collecting razor clams and shells and the smoothest tumbled stones and other treasures from the sea. For a few hours, oyster farms are exposed. You [...]

CAPE COD PART I – HIGHLIGHTS FOR THE UNDER 5’s

By | June 5th, 2016|BLOG|

While I wouldn't necessarily suggest living on Cape Cod in winter with kids... visiting in summer? Definitely. Brewster is probably my favorite town on the Cape. We got married in Brewster, in a cute little church that Rob's grandmother built. (Well, she didn't build it. She had it built. She was rather well to do [...]

A FAIR BIT OF PINK AND A LITTLE BIT OF BLUE

By | May 25th, 2016|BLOG|

Hello again! I know it's been a while. It's the whole newborn baby thing. Some stuff that's been going on lately: Baby Jules is packing on the grams. His month long feeding frenzy broke last night when he went FOUR HOURS without nursing! That's a win in my book. And his name is still just [...]

HUBBUB IS COMING TO BOSTON!

By | May 15th, 2016|GAZETTE|

Makenna from The Boston Book Festival contacted me last week to tell me about a kids festival that is coming to Boston on June 4th. She asked me to share the love with you on Les Petits Gazette. If you live in or around Boston and you have kids, this is definitely worth checking out. [...]

A RECIPE FOR BANANA BREAD

By | May 12th, 2016|GAZETTE|

This recipe is for anyone who has over ripe bananas on the counter, but especially anyone who has just had a baby or is breastfeeding. Because it's ridiculously quick to make and hard to mess up. Which is important when you're not getting any sleep. Note: Using Cup4Cup gluten free four will deliver an equally [...]

WELCOME BABY JULES

By | May 9th, 2016|BLOG|

Hey, we had a baby! He's super cute! His name is Jules Milan. Jules as in Jules Verne. Or if you'd prefer (as Robbie does), Pulp Fiction's Jules Winnfield. We didn't name him after anyone, but it helps people with the concept that Jules is a boys name and not just a nickname for their [...]

STRAIGHT TALKIN’

By | April 27th, 2016|BLOG|

Me: Please ask me before you break anything or tear anything, okay? You won't know if I need it for something if you don't ask. Finn: The reason I didn't ask you is because I thought you would say no. Me: I would have said no. That's the point. I needed this and now it's [...]

A WINTER STUDY

By | April 16th, 2016|BLOG|

'WINTER STUDY' - Natural Elements on Construction Paper This is a selection of the winter offerings brought in from the yard by Finn and Bennett. Care of the Thompson Gallery. WE ARE PRETTY BORED UP IN HERE. This is actually a post about pregnancy symptoms. So, you know, read it or don't. The past few [...]

WAITING…

By | April 14th, 2016|BLOG|

Earlier today I thought maybe I was in early labor. Yesterday I thought I might have been in labor too. Over the weekend there were several times that I thought I was, you know, maybe in labor. Because this baby boy is doing flips in there lately that don't feel like the usual pains of [...]

THE SWEATPANTS OF CARS

By | April 6th, 2016|BLOG|

On Saturday Robbie and I left Mum with the boys while we went shopping for a minivan. Yep we sure did. The sweatpants of cars is in our garage as I write this. We're doin' it for the kids. And say what you like. That we gave up - that we don't care anymore. I'd [...]

TAKE ONLY WHAT YOU NEED

By | March 31st, 2016|BLOG|

Before I fell pregnant with Finn, I had no concept of the world of unparalleled opinion and judgement I was about to enter. As a mother you will be judged. And it begins pretty much the minute you announce that you are pregnant. Because when you become pregnant, you suddenly realize that about 10% of [...]

MY AESOP COLLECTION | A REVIEW

By | March 30th, 2016|BLOG|

My Aesop collection is growing every day thanks to the gorgeous Newbury Street signature store being so close and the gifts from the people who know me best.  Aesop's botanicals smell divine and are effective. Which is an increasingly hard to find combination. EYES + FACE I [...]

SOME FOR YOU, SOME FOR ME

By | March 26th, 2016|BLOG|

Bennett has been helping with my belly balm routine since about week 30. "Beh" (Bennett for belly) is one of his favorite words. He'll see me getting out of the shower and say it over and over until I go and get the belly balm. Then he knows I've understood. He sticks his hand into [...]

A WEAVE A WEEK

By | March 23rd, 2016|BLOG|

Meet Baby Alpaca. She is the first wall hanging to be made especially for the Les Petits Gazette Shop. I wrote about my weaving class in San Fransisco on the blog a while back. Since San Fransisco I've made a few weaves and sent them to close friends. I started getting emails and texts from [...]

WINTER IS OVER + SPRING IS HERE

By | March 20th, 2016|BLOG|

The robins and bluejays are back in our yard and my mother in law tells me it means spring is officially here. Winter was short and sweet this year in New England. I'm so happy for the return of warm days because there's fun to be had that can't be had when it's 30 [...]

BIRTH PLAN

By | March 15th, 2016|BLOG|

This is the birth plan I wrote up four years ago. If you don't know what a birth plan is, it's a document that mothers-to-be write up to give their OB, midwife or medical team when they go into labor. It's basically a guide that lays out in detail, how she wants her labor and [...]

BABY BONNETS

By | March 8th, 2016|BLOG|

I'm not embarrassed to admit that I have a little thing for slow living mommy bloggers' pretty Instagram feeds. I love a farmhouse lifestyle where milkmaid apron wearing mamas potter around in their rustic kitchens with their vintage French wooden chopping board collections and horse hair scrubbing brushes and milk-pails full of dried flowers. I [...]

BIRCHER MUESLI

By | March 5th, 2016|BLOG|

Let's hear it for Bircher Muesli. In my twenties I dated a guy who worked in the travel industry. It was one of those relationships that you chalk up to a really important and valuable life lesson because the alternative is admitting you wasted six of your best years with nothing to show for it. [...]

ON NOT HAVING ANY MORE

By | February 29th, 2016|BLOG|

The thing about having babies is that once they start sleeping through the night and you start to feel  like yourself again, your body tricks you into wanting more. Desperately. Wanting. More. We never wanted more than two. When I was 20 I didn't even think I wanted children, so the fact that we made [...]

AESOP BIBLIOTEKSTAN

By | February 20th, 2016|BLOG|

My obsession with Aesop is paralleled perhaps only by my obsession with all things Scandi. I guess then, the synthesis of these two things should be enough to make my head explode. I love every Aesop store I've ever seen, so when Aesop posted a video about their Stockholm store, Bibliotekstan - my head actually [...]

HOME OFFICE UPDATE | BEFORE + AFTER

By | February 16th, 2016|BLOG, HOUSE|

UPDATE: For those who have asked, the rug is from Arhaus but I can't remember the name of it! We've been doing some re-arranging of furniture at our house. Mum is coming from Sydney to stay for a couple of months in March, so we've made the office into a guest bedroom. [...]

THIS IS MY HOSPITAL BAG

By | February 15th, 2016|BLOG|

Months before Finn was born, I had my labor plan written and my hospital bag packed. I was taking birthing classes and listening to hypnobirthing CDs. I bought anything that anyone suggested and ignored anyone who started a sentence with the words, “you really don’t need a…” With Bennett I was a little more relaxed [...]

WEEKEND WINTER WONDERLAND

By | February 8th, 2016|BLOG|

Watching my husband being an awesome dad is about the best part of every weekend for me, but snow weekends take the cake. On those weekends, Robbie is up early carving up sledding trails and building snowmen and carrying my munchkins up the hill like a human ski-lift. And loving every second of it. This [...]

WHEN YOU CAN’T DRINK COUGH SYRUP, DRINK LEMONS, HONEY

By | February 2nd, 2016|BLOG|

When you are pregnant and you get sick, there's not a lot you can take to get you through. And when you already have kids, there's no such thing as a sick day. Staying in bed with friend-bought chicken noodle soup and back-to-back Bravo network shows is not an option (I totally would do that [...]

TREES, SLEDS & TOUCHING TONGUES WITH GIRLS

By | January 18th, 2016|BLOG|

These trees had me at hello. The day we walked into this house, having just decided in the car on the way over that it was over our budget, I walked into the kitchen, looked out the window and saw these trees. I saw the swing and the little bench and that was that. I [...]

THREE THINGS

By | January 17th, 2016|BLOG|

1. Dear New England: it's the middle of January, you can pack away your window candles and fairy-light lawn deer now. 2. Like Finn at his age, Bennett has become obsessed with The Wiggles (circa 1992). It hurts my head. But when he does the actions to "Rock-a-bye Your Bear" it hurts my heart. 3. [...]

THE NORDIC EXPERIMENT

By | January 10th, 2016|BLOG|

I have a not-so-secret desire to live in a Scandi country. When I reviewed foreign films, my favorites were from Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. I dig the way those people live (and raise their kids). The boys' names list for every baby we've had or are about to have is heavy on the Scandi names, [...]

LESSONS IN HOLIDAY PLANNING

By | January 4th, 2016|BLOG|

Maybe I'm being precious, but being pregnant at Christmastime with an almost 4 year old and a sick 18 month old was kind of a challenge. Finn is at an age where he's still all about himself and the presents under the tree that have his name on them. I'm hoping next year he'll be [...]