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)


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!



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


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!


Recent Happenings

Raimo has 6 weeks of paternity leave– it has been divine. We’re at 4 weeks and it’s going to be rough when he has to go back. There are just so many little kids, and they’re all making messes! Giselle is doing great. She still sleeps a ton… I keep waiting for the ball to drop, but it’s been lovely. She loves to sleep on our bed and in our arms. She also loves the swing though I don’t use it as much because Berrett can reach her there

I finished painting and wallpapering the girls’ room. It was a tough project! This is one piece I’m particularly proud of:

This strip on the left goes too to bottom. See that strip to the left of the window? Yeah it’s connected all the way up and down, one panel, and I had to trim it down that small just by the window. It was ridiculously hard.

I’m in love with the end product! It’s gorgeous in person, my photos don’t do it justice.

I adore getting a baby girl dressed every day and putting cute headbands on herπŸ’•

We had visitors last Saturday- Ana Maria and her kids came by and it was so fun for all our kids to be together! We have successfully created a dance partner for everyone, my girl-boy-boy-girl for her boy-girl-girl-boy! The kids had a great time together!

The next day all our cousins came over: Kari and Sarah and Mikko and Nicole’s families. It was fun to have them all over. Rose and Finn were in heaven, and they got to go have a sleepover at the hotel with their cousins.

Finn and Parker have been little buddies, and this trip Rose and Parker finally got to know each other and played really well together and even held hands!

Giselle has her first bath in her baby puj tub. She has not had many baths since being born 🀣

I painted the girls’ room the next morning, and it kinda took all day. That night we met everybody at the Spectrum and had CPK. It was a whirlwind of a weekend but so many good memories.

Back to school shopping, all done online through Nordstrom Rack this year! So easy!

Rose had her first day of school on the 15th– she had a great first day with her TWO teachers! She got to play play dough and play bubbles so she was excited! Hopefully it will be a great year. The next day was Berrett’s birthday, and I already posted all about that. We did our back to school dinner the night before school started, and we kept it verrrry simple– paper plates, no pictures or even a theme (I’d still like to think of one, but I was low on brain power). We had watermelon and kabobs. We talked about our Love at Home theme from last year. Then Raimo gave each child father’s blessings.

Today we spent the day kind of catching our breath (and I painted a bit of trim and the closet door to finish off my project). In the evening we went to the beach. To be honest, it wasn’t great because Rose and Finn really complained about it, and when we got there (Cassidy St) the tide was so high there wasn’t much beach to sit on. But we set up, and it was a beautiful day. Of course, after an hour or so the kids were running in the waves and having a great time, but the initial grumpiness really spoiled it for me. Plus Berrett is not so fun at the beach. But the water was gorgeous. And it was Giselle’s first beach day! 4 weeks old and she had fun sleeping the whole time in the Solly wrap. I didn’t even have to feed her while we were there. We got some In N Out afterward and came home, washed up and made chocolate chip cookies. We’re reading parental books right now that came recommended, and I am hoping to learn some new things and fix some things. Wish us luck!

and this one still has the sweetest, longest baby toes in all the land!


8-16-18 Berrett turns 2!!!

Can’t believe my baby is 2! This post is to update all things Berrett. He is so adorable!

Chick-Fil-A lunch for our Ber. He got up extremely early, as he has been lately. Like 4:30 a.m. early. Raimo had to hang with him, and I had Giselle. It was Rose’s second day of school, so we were up doing that bustle. But I sang him happy birthday when Berrett came into my room. He was not sure if he should smile or not πŸ™‚ He was really tired, and hasn’t been eating much on top of it. We took him to lunch to try to help his sour mood. After that he finally had a nap. Look at him post-nap πŸ’–

Whenever I hold up my phone he says, “Cheeee.” Here’s his list of words:

Mama, Dadda

car sounds

“more” sign and recently he’s been saying it too

Nana=banana, all food

Hi, bye, waves

Diddy- Finn or dad in pictures



All done

Mamen (Amen)

After he drinks, he says Ahhh

He’s also babbling a lot and making noise to communicate. He’s done some speech therapy this year, and is now doing infant education which is in-home. It was recommended by his neurologist and has been good for him to have that one-on-one time and focus on him.

Here are some things he likes to eat:

Corn on the cob, applesauce, apples, blueberries, pears, strawberries, larabars, fig bars, instant oatmeal, cream of wheat, Cheerios, yogurt, pasta with red sauces, potatoes of all kinds, French fries, waffles

Some of his favorite toys are the little remote control fire truck that makes noise and that can be pulled around the house, his train with pop-ups and music, his “cookie jar” with music and shapes that fit inside. He loves to go outside so much. He can open the back door, and he’ll go out and play in the dirt and walk all over the yard. He’ll throw the dirt up and all over his body. He makes a ton of mischief.

He loves trash cans. One of his pastimes is taking household objects and throwing them away… Tupperware, my scriptures, remotes, you name it. We thought of getting him a trash can for his birthday… no kidding. We have to check the trash before throwing it out. He can open the oven door, stand on it, and jump on it. He was interested in playing with the gas burners, but thankfully has given that up with some knob covers. He climbs up my piano to reach things. He climbs on the countertops and gives me a heart attack. He loves the new baby and is also very curious about her. He makes kissy noises when he sees her and like to give her kisses. He also gets over excited and sometimes bites her. He also likes to grab her or pinch… he is mainly curious and pretty clueless about what a baby is. I don’t think he’s malicious.

Berrett has charmed us all with his big eyes, big cheeks, and little mouth and beautiful hair. He is so handsome! I’ve loved his innocent one-year-old expressions. He is truly sweet and has a big smile. Fun fact: he has an extra tooth! It’s a baby tooth so it will fall out. I have loved these two years with him. He has been my main snuggle buddy and spent many nights in my bed. He likes to look out the windows at the top if the stairs that look out to the street– he looks out for daddy!

He has a few favorite books: Pout Pout Fish (he gives kisses right in the pages of the book when he becomes a kiss kiss fish!), Baby’s First Words picture book, The Boat Book, and Goodnight Moon.

He enjoys books a lot, though they don’t hold his attention for long so you have to be quick!

He loves to march all over the house and explore. Hes been quite temperamental lately– acting very much the toddler that he is. I love him!!!!

For his birthday dinner I made some of his favorite foods– baked potatoes and corn on the cob. He had 3 ears of corn!

He also got some presents

I don’t have a picture, but it’s on the video camera. He had Better-than-anything cake and did not blow out the candles (but he started blowing when he saw me put them on the cake because he’d had a practice run on his pancakes the day before). I think he had a nice birthday.

Here are some photos looking backward on his life:


He always did have a beautiful head of hair

I am right in the same phase of babydom right now. Berrett was such a sweet baby. He loved to cuddle andΒ  was such a mama’s boy.


First birthday!


His spot in the bed


Love that Bear Bear!