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A happy rainy weekend

Last night was Friday night and Rose’s Little Mermaid rehearsal was canceled, so we stayed in and watched a Halloween movie and I made homemade pizza. It was a perfect night. We watched The Nightmare Before Christmas and the kids were super excited. Rose was in the backyard wearing her roller blades when I told her the plan and she shouted, “You’re the best mommy in the world!!!” They were more than eager to shower and get in jammies.

That night we had the most wonderful rainstorm, starting with lightning and thunder, and then pouring rain. The kids were so excited, and it was so nice cozying up to the sound of the rain when the kids were in bed!

Today was Saturday. We had a slow day at home. It was still wet outside and the kids trudged the backyard in rainboots in their jammies, Raimo took them to the motorcycle shop, I took a nap in the morning (shocker), and we took the kids to play outside for about 4 hours in the afternoon to ride bikes and play and play with friends.

I think they were totally exhausted tonight because they fell asleep immediately tonight, even in sleeping bags on Rosie’s floor.

I love that we’re to this phase with Rose doing this elementary school stuff. She was also playing helicopter with the jump rope like I remember doing.

This is a little project I’ve been working on. Still haven’t found my perfect happy place, but I like the dark paint color a lot- it’s called In the Midnight Hour. I’d like to put some sconces on either side of the gold mirror. Maybe one day we’ll do away with the peacock wallpaper and just do all paint, but for now it’s very playful. Also the rug situation is going to change. Love that pinkish color, but it is a really different look from our other rug in the next room and I’m not sure I like them together.

Here’s a snippet of that. It’s wool, not shiny, and has more of a colorful southwest vibe. Hm.

A few more updates on the kids.

Thursday we had a follow-up appointment with Berrett’s neurologist. He has close to 20 words now as opposed to 2 in March. The plan is to stay on medication till January and do another EEG. That day, Finn got to go to Myles house after school. And we went out to lunch with Berrett– he was delighted.

And last week Giselle had her appointment with a cardiologist. So far it looks like good news and the hole in her heart/murmur will not be dangerous and could possibly close on its own. We have an ultrasound this Thursday to confirm this. I’ve had some moments with this (since they heard the murmur at the 1 month appointment) where fear just strikes my heart and I imagine the worst case scenarios. I just had to pull myself together and wait till we saw a doctor. The waiting game is so stressful with these kinds of things. This last year we’ve had a lot of scary things thrown our way. It certainly takes a toll. I’m so lucky and so grateful because I know many families are not so lucky. I’m reminded of that when we are sitting in waiting rooms with other babies and children and teenagers who have had similar diagnoses, but in a much worse scale and with much worse symptoms and lifelong problems. Thank the Lord my precious baby girl is okay and pray that all will be confirmed this coming week.

And a pic of Berrett falling asleep on the kitchen floor when I was trying to keep him up for Rose’s pickup at 12:50

My precious boys. I try to match them whenever they’ll let me. Here’s some purple lipstick Berrett got all over my bed. He’s a rascal!

I’m learning things about Finn. I’ve realized that “getting things” is really really important to him. I mean, he’s like all kids who whine for gum in the checkout line, but it really means a lot to him, and I don’t know if other adults get that. I think gifts are his love language. I decided to test it out. I never buy my kids toys for no reason– usually birthdays and Christmas, or as a reward… but I told him I’d buy him one car at Target. He picked Jackson Storm from Cars movie— and it hasn’t left his hands for 3 days. Unprompted he said, ” Thank you mom for buying something at the store.”

Finn says the funniest things these days. The other night he and I were sitting down to dinner alone (Raimo was picking up Rose) and we were talking about Heavenly Father. In fact, I think he had just prayed that He would help him find his Jackson Storm car that was lost. Referring to God he said, “we can’t see Him because He’s camouflaged.” Hahaha!!! It was so good.

I enjoyed Conference weekend. I wasn’t able to hear a lot but it was still great. I loved women’s conference. I am trying to break away from my social media. Rather than just doing a 10 day fast as the prophet suggested, I am trying to make a more permanent change. I just pull it up occasionally, like when the kids are in bed, and I am trying not to post so much and scroll so much. It’s a such a deep pit with so much material to get sucked into. I’m finding myself more able to focus on the kids and to feel incrementally happier. ( Although Instagram does make me happy– I like checking in to see pics of friends and family… but happy in a different way).

A cute girl in a cute bonnet! I simply adore her– she is such a blessing in my life!

A mischief making boy

And I love how Rose always RUNs to our car after school! It makes me so happy– I know she won’t always be so happy to see me as she gets older πŸ˜‰May it continue for a long time!

I have some new goals post-conference. I put them in my car so I see them every day πŸ™‚

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Last week of September (do you remember… when it was last…)

On Monday I ran to Lindsey’s because we needed to get out! We stayed for dinner

Tuesday, Berrett was having a fit at dinner as he often does, for no reason at all, but finally ate on dad’s lap.

Happiest girl!

Wednesday a new outfit

Trouble … with a capital T, that rhymes with P and that stands for… potty?

Thursday, my baby doll fell asleep in the boppy while I was getting some things done

Thursday night I got an impromptu girls night in at Kate’s with Lindsey and Alisha– lots of fun.

Friday, I got a lot of Costco clothes in the mail and posted about my “mom haul” on Instagram. Fun times. I’m trying to buy more clothes that work in my everyday life.

Berrett snatched this car from the Tanners and he’s been rockin out ever since!

This was a busy week, and ended with Raimo going out of town over the weekend. I decided to have some fun and invited the Eastburn and Tanners over for dinner and a movie since their hubbies were out of town too.

on Saturday morning, Rose somehow managed to get Berrett out of his crib, and took care of the boys for me so I could stay in bed. It was sooo sweet. Her thoughtfulness just shines through sometimes. We spent Saturday at Grandma Joan’s house– the kids has a blast playing and swimming in the spa. Berrett was giggling and completely overjoyed in the warm water. I was feeling particularly nostalgic in her house… 31 years of memories there.

We met my parents for Baker’s then I drove my baby chicks home.

Church by myself was interesting. We’ll leave it at that.

Another busy week has begun today, October 1st. Berrett had infant education with Ben, Rose had early day, and rehearsal for Little Mermaid, and I ran some errands and we got Five Guys for dinner. In other news, I ordered that aforementioned rug!

I was really hoping for a 5×7 to put in the piano room but they only had 7×10, so we’ll see what I think when it comes!

Here’s Berrett, who woke up from a nap after only an hour, then fell back asleep

and here is angel baby Giselle, or Elle as we sometimes say.

I have a little chuckle with myself every night when I take Finn potty at 10 or 11 pm before I go to bed

He’s sooo sleepy and it’s so funny. He never remembers it.

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Irony

This is the text I sent to my girlfriends this morning about last night:

“All between 3:30 and 6 a.m.

Berrett woke up 3x and cried/screamed… we had to let him cry it out the 3rd time. Finn woke us up to pee, then I woke up again because he had turned our bathroom light on and was sitting there. Giselle got woken up by Berrett twice and I fed her back to sleep. Also got a phone call at 5:30 from a telemarketer….. 😡😡😡 I think I’d sleep better in the garage!”

What a night! And yet, Giselle has been SO darling and smiley all morning. Her face just lights up and is so precious and sweet. It has me thinking “how did we ever live without her???” And I know everybody thinks their baby is the prettiest. But mine really is!

Every shot just delights me–how could I ever choose? I was changing her clothes just now (poop blowout) and was thinking how happy my 24-year-old self would have been to have that adorable little girl room. All we had was a crib, and all of Rose’s little baby clothes were stacked on the floor.

And then we went to lie down on my bed and I discovered that Finn’s rainbow lollipop mouth had touched not 1 but all 4 of my white pillowcases and white duvet, which have all been recently washed. And I thought of his splendid tantrum he threw because I gave him an orange plate instead of purple. And how Berrett threw a whisk at my face and didn’t eat the magnificent fried egg sandwich I made him.

And then I was thinking how happy my younger self would be, knowing that one day I’d have these 4 wonderful little babies. Somehow, amidst the exhaustion and disasters, I am the happiest I’ve ever been.

(Not so attractive picture of me by Rose for scale… Giselle is still tiny! 9 lbs and grown out of Newborns 😭 She turned 2 months on Friday)

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What a day

It started out as most days, with Giselle in my bed. Berrett came and found us around 7. I normally look forward to Saturday’s because I finally have Raimo home with me, but that was not the case today. He went to the gym and then to fill the font for a baptism, then had to stay with the filled font per church policy, then conducted the baptism. Meanwhile, I was in charge of some crazy kids!

So I packed up bikes and kids and we drove to a nearby trail to get out. Finn stopped at least 10 times to look at something. He says the cutest things. Rose was diligent about staying on the right side of the path as I had asked her to to avoid speed bikers, and Finn is just so oblivious and scootered right in front of a few. It was nice and beautiful and I thoroughly enjoyed my cute kids, and then we were super thirsty so we drove through McDonald’s afterward for waters and ice cream. Sounds simple, but all the steps leading up to this point so far were kind of exhausting– getting all of that gear in and out of the car and keeping everyone on task and happy. Motherhood is very physical work.

We had to park so I could feed Giselle. Then we got out and went to Target because I needed to replace some dishes that the kids broke. We also made a stop in the costume aisle.

I died over this. I bought it haha

My cute matching boys, and I captured Berrett’s curls, which are getting so long and shaggy πŸ™‚

When we got home, I was exhausted and it was only 11:30! I was crashing hard. Berrett had fallen asleep in the car so I put him in bed, fed myself as a pick-me-up, fed Giselle and took a shower. I finally laid down for a bit, but Berrett woke up unfortunately so no nap for me. I turned on a show for the kids and kind of half dozed through the next few hours. Raimo finally came home, and I told him I wanted to hit Nordstrom to exchange my new Anastasia palette (I just got it in the mail and two of the shadows came all broken up). So we ALL got ready and went to the Escondido mall. Can I just say how much I love shopping? I LOVE SHOPPING! And I don’t get to do enough of it. Seriously, it lifted my spirits just walking through all those beautiful things in Nordstrom even without buying anything. I think I also get stir crazy and enjoy getting out where the people are! (Up where they walk, up where they run..up where they stay all day in the … wait). We went to the food court and got some overpriced, disappointing Japanese food. Then walked around the mall– it is absolutely huge. The older kids were grabbing things off shelves and we kinda had to keep reigning them in. After about an hour, Berrett was absolutely done with the stroller and started screaming so we had to leave. As we were walking to the car, we said how NOT fun it is to go to the mall with kids and that we would not be doing it again soon. It was then we discovered Rose had a 24 oz bag of chocolate chips in her purse that she was sneakily eating. What?!

Berrett screamed the whole way home. 25 minutes. Fun.

At home, we did baths and put all our many many children to bed. Found Rose reading scriptures in her bed–what a girl– and I went back for kisses on Berrett a few times because he wasn’t falling asleep. And Raimo and I finally had some time together. Happy weekend!

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Plans…

I think it’s pretty clear I spend a lot of my time at home thinking about my set-up here, and all I’d like to do with my house. I’m especially bothered by this wall:

I bought this peacock removable wallpaper from Target on a whim back in June or July. It took me this long to decide if I liked it and where to put it. After doing the first strip, I thought I might paper just that wall as an accent wall, possibly the rest of the room if I really loved it. Something I really love is that the specks of gold in the design are reflective and pick up the light in the evening around 4 or 5 pm. It’s really pretty. I’m not sure the design is total love, but I’m committed because I paid for it, and it is so much trouble to get that paper lined up just right. I’d say I worked on it a couple hours just for two panels. (My Anthropologie wallpaper I did upstairs, however, is true love and I’d use it again and again!) Anyway, here’s the kicker. I need at least 2 more rolls to finish the wall– so I went to Target for more, and it’s out of stock!!! And I checked online and it is totally sold out all over and unavailable! I was able to find one more roll on a random resale website, and it just arrived yesterday. So I have some thinking to do as to how to make this work! I think it would look nice to do a strip of dark teal paint down the middle, and to center the gold mirror in the middle of it, with the wallpaper panels on each side. However I’m not sure if I’ll really be happy with it. The more I think about it, I think that room would look really nice painted very very dark teal or navy. There isn’t much variation in our house– all the walls in our living space are connected and go up to the high ceiling, so everything is the same paint color. But I think that might be a nice accent, with the two gold mirrors against it. I’ve been shopping Target to see what might go with this idea/ how I could tie the wallpaper in.

First, I’m in love with this rug! It also ties in with the barstools in the kitchen, and would even look good under a table in the kitchen! It would also be nice under our couch–our current rug is white and gets so much traffic and dirt from our backyard, so something darker would work well. Plus it’s wool so it’d be easy to vacuum and hopefully it’d hold up well. (Our shag rug gets food and junk stuck in it all the tiiiime!) A real Persian rug will never happen, but these look-alikes are pretty darn nice.

These prints are pretty large and would look nice flanking either side of my kitchen hutch. We’d be going strong with the teal and mint combo, but it’d look nice with the rug and tie things in. It also would be nice over the couch. I’ve been looking for some large- scale art because that living room wall is sooo tall and wide. It’d be nice to have a big statement there.

We’ve never had a coffee table. I’ve been so indecisive about it since we moved here and bought the sectional. A round shape makes sense to break up all the rectangles going on with our angular couch (it has 2 chaises). And this one kind of matches my lamp, is pretty and not too heavy-feeling, and isn’t too precious for match cars and toddler feet.

A few pillows I loved. The top one would be perfect on each end of the couch because they’re quite big- 24 inches. And they would tie in a bunch of different colors. Sadly it’s out of stock!!!

This also went into my cart because it’s pink and can sort of pull from the pink in the wallpaper–? Could be put slightly under the coffee table, or as a footrest with a navy or light pink chair.

I also came across this rug

I am never ever drawn to red. It is just not a calming or happy color to me and don’t really use it in my house, but a red Persian style rug has something warm and classic about it and I think it’s look good in our master bedroom. I once saw one layered on top of a striped rug like this, with about 6 or 8 inches of the bottom rug showing all around the red one.

Genevieve Gorder did this layering thing on a show years ago, and Ill never forgot how chic and cozy it looked. The rest of the room had a lot of white in it, and so does our bedroom. It’d bring some interest to the room. Speaking of which, I don’t mind the paint color of our room (it’s a grey-white, just a few shades away from the white trim and ceiling) but it just looks like it needs a fresh coat. And I would also love to do something cool with trim on the walls. And we could also use some fresh blinds (or Roman shades!) and 3 long curtain panels for each window.

I loved this cute pillow. I think 2 of these on our bed would be so pretty, and there’s a pop of blue in the rug… not sure if it would match though 😦

I also came across this picture on Pinterest, and saved it for the leather ottoman. I have no idea where I’d find something like that, but our couch is just this style and the ottoman just goes with that cozy, casual feel. It’d be good for kids to climb all over and for propping up feet in the middle. Here are a few other rugs I’m liking. They have a different color -way and vibe. I’m really hoping for something in the blue family for our family room rug, if you can’t tell. I just think it’ll match so many things.

This World Market chandelier is kind of a knock off of the expensive Pottery Barn wood bead chandelier.

It would look pretty hung all the way from the high ceiling down over our family room, maybe with two of these on either side of some artwork on the big wall.

Also, I fell in love with this wallpaper.

Like, more true love. There’s a little section of ceiling in our kitchen that goes up to the arched window… I think it’d be cute on the ceiling. Also, keeping with all the blue and mint. There’s also a version with yellow birds that I love too. I would definitely need to paint over the chalk wall… I have kind of been wanting to because it always looks so messy, plus black doesn’t make me happy. I think white shiplap all around it would look nice and draw the eye up to the paper on the ceiling.

More finds

These gorgeous Anthropologie mirrors for over Giselle’s crib!

I also love this butterfly print. I think it’d be cute over the fireplace, or in the girls room, or part of a gallery wall. I just discovered Sugarboo, and I’m into it! Lots of great artwork and quotes for the wall.

I love a colorful gallery wall! (And a bone inlaid dresser underneath wouldn’t hurt).

Obviously I love color. I think I’m still figuring out my decor style, but it’s becoming clear that mixing color really makes me happy. I like eclectic, global, glamorous, with a little bit of traditional mixed in. Kind of like this chair!

Still, every time I see a house that’s full-on coastal, I sigh a dreamy sigh because I love it. Love all the cool blues, greens and whites. But I can’t commit to it for my whole house. Plus I absolutely cannot have so much white in my house with kids! But maybe in my dreams. I love every room, every detail, in this woman’s house. Whenever it comes up in my Instagram, it makes me envious!

Coastal with mint, blue, and pops of pink, palest blue walls and lots of girly touches! Haha!

I would paint our main living space all white instead of the “greige” that it currently is, but I’d need scaffolding 😦

I also love this woman’s house- all her designs are so creative, colorful, and full of whimsy

It inspires me to mix and match

So that’s where I’m at today. Also with two babies in arms

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More about the kids… what else matters?!

Let it be known that at one month old, Giselle woke up. (Insert sad face). On Tuesday (August 21st) we hit the one month mark.

She has seemed to be a much sleepier baby than I remember my other newborns being. Maybe it’s because she was the earliest at 2.5 weeks early. Maybe it’s just part of who she is, and if so I’m jumping for joy because I have needed a nice sleepy baby!

First day going to church was at 4 weeks. Didn’t she look so sweet?!

And today she is 5 weeks old. This is always so sad for me, having my brand new baby become not so brand new. But of course I am still enjoying her so much, and she is still oh so very tiny! She still sleeps a lot, don’t get me wrong. But I’m finally getting to a stage where she’ll need a little help falling asleep, and she will stay awake for slightly longer periods of time. I have tried to be more intentional about having her sleep in her bassinet over the last few weeks because I formed such bad habits with Berrett sleeping in our bed. While I loved and savored his snuggles, I suffered the consequences in sleep loss. She has been waking up no more than two times a night. Sometimes she’ll sleep till 3 and wake up again at 6. Sometimes we have to do a feeding around 1 if I put her to bed at 9. I have been going to bed around 10:30, and try to feed her as late as I can so I can get more sleep, but it seems she is ready for nighttime sleep after eating at 8:30 or 9. Not every night is the same, but the great thing about baby #4 is that I don’t obsess about schedules, yet have the experience and know-how to kind of get through anything. I have more perspective, I think, and am content to just enjoy it no matter what. I used to think everyone loved newborn life as much as I do, but I’m realizing it’s more of a club that only some women are part of. Some of us love it, others kind of “get through it” so they can get to the other phases that they love. I am so glad I can truly enjoy it! Maybe I will be that parent that really struggles to love pre-teen or teen years… who knows? I definitely have beef with threenagers… but doesn’t everybody? Of course it all comes with its struggles. But thankfully this has been my fastest recovery and I am feeling much more myself 5 weeks out (even 2 or 3 weeks I felt pretty well) and I am GRATEFUL because I know what it’s like to be in so much pain and feel so drained that it’s a struggle to care for the baby. I have still been taking it easy. It’s been a huge blessing to have had Raimo for 6 WEEKS of paternity leave! We never had any at all the previous two times I gave birth. It’s been nice to have time all together as a family, it’s been extremely helpful for the transition with our older kids to still have parent attention and love coming their way. We’ve really been working as a team, switching off children (though I’ve had Giselle most of the time plus a few others occasionally). I’ve tried to make intentional connections with my other kids over these weeks to make things smooth. I remember it being pretty rough each time we added a new child to the family. It just takes some adjusting as there is a little less of me to go around. Raimo is so sad to be going back to work after Labor Day in a week. And I am so sad too- I know it will be a hard week for sure. But a week after that my mother in law is coming to help so if I’m dying at least I’ll have help on the way. We have our life pretty much on a schedule though. School has started and we just kind of go through the day and … you do the best you can each day. The breastfeeding night sweats have eased up. And I’m now in this strange space where I’m trying to figure out what to wear. Breastfeeding is really limiting, and I’m also trying to squeeze back into some pretty tiny clothes, most of which I’m realizing are at least 3 years old, some more like 5 or 8 years old. I need some new everyday staples. I’m also in this place where I would normally be trying to eat healthy and smaller portions, but I am HUNgRY when I’m breastfeeding. I have to eat 3 really solid, heavy meals plus snacks to not feel light-headed and to keep that milk going. This kind of makes it impossible to be super fit, but it’s always just a phase for me until the breastfeeding is over. I don’t have much to complain about… but it just takes some getting used to.

Family theme…

As I mentioned before, we didn’t have time or brain power to come up with our family theme for the school year … at least not in time for our back to school feast. But we did think of one– actually Raimo came up with it, and I said, “Done.” So here it is

Finish the job.

I love it! We’ve been saying it already. I think it will be useful to teach our kids to see a task through to the end, whether it’s finishing homework, a chore, something at school, or anything really… just making sure to do the job well and to finish strong. Hopefully it can kind of become a family mantra. “Laitinen’s finish the job!”

Hey, we always have good intentions.

Every day Rose has been looking so stylish for school! I enjoy it so much. Come to think of it, after mentioning my own wardrobe, maybe I am living through her! I have taken a few snapshots.

Model girl. Raimo has been so good at getting up when Berrett wakes up, then making the kids breakfast and getting Rose ready. I try to schlep myself out of bed last minute to do her hair, and sometimes to get the scriptures and prayers done, and they leave by 7:50.. There are a few more school pics of her in my last post. Here is Finn joining in with the new-clothes fun.

His second year of preschool started! He says he wishes he could go to school every day, and I could actually see him doing well in Kindergarten (his birthday is February- he’s not even close to being 5.) But that means he’ll just be super ready when next year comes.

There are 10 boys and only 2 girls in his class this year! It’ll be interesting to see how it goes!

Berrett fell on the stairs and hit the railings, as evidenced by this picture. He already had a big bump on his head before it happened. He is always getting owies.

I was feeling sorry for him tonight because he was just kind of walking around upstairs while everyone else was getting ready for bed, so I put down Giselle and tried to rock him. He resisted a little bit (he feels so heavy and thick!) but he let me hold and snuggle him with his binkie and beloved blanket. And I took his hand and touched my cheek with his finger and said, “Cheek” and then had him touch his own cheek. And then put his finger on my nose and said, “Nose” and then touched his. He started giggling 🀭! It was adorable! We went through all the things… hair and ears and fingers and toes. Oh! And today I swear I heard him say, “I want yogurt.” It came out kind of gibberish, but I think the words are almost there, and that a little it of it is about to spill out. He’s gained so many new words lately.

Tonight we ate dinner in the backyard. The kids were excited. Then we went for a bike ride to the basketball court. It was perfect weather. We kept it short and sweet and headed home for bedtime.

Life is so good

First time in the Ergo 360. It is sooo comfortable. Wish I could have had it for all 4 babies!

Cute story: I told Finn I was hungry one morning while holding Giselle in bed, and he came upstairs a while later with this lovely breakfast for me… cold leftover pasta with raspberries on top! Haha it smelled so strongly of garlic. He really wanted me to eat it, and I definitely had a bite.

Seeing Christopher Robin- way too slow for our kids, but we really wanted to see a movie. We went on a school night. Who says we aren’t fun parents??

Good night!