Blessing Dress

I had a hard time finding any kind of blessing/christening gown for baby Giselle in stores or even online. It must not be as big of a deal as it used to be. However I came across one website that had the most stunning handmade gowns! They are pretty pricey and out of the budget, but so beautiful!

I love the pink underlay with this gorgeous long lace. The short version is still pretty stunning. And a flower crown would be so cute!

Another sweet one- this one has a vintage feel and is just so pretty. I maybe even like it better– tough choice between the two. I think it would suit Giselle πŸ’•

And another all lace and my third favorite. I love how they all have matching accessories, bonnets and booties and headbands. I definitely choose bonnet for this special occasion πŸ™‚ Wish me luck in my shopping journey!


Giselle Juliette

My beautiful baby is here! She was due August 6, but came July 21 at 4:08 am. Labor was only 3 hours from the time I woke up at 1 am till her birth. We flew to the hospital and it was all very fast. She came into the world sunny side up which explained some of the extra special discomfort I was experiencing! I was actually screaming/ making a lot of noise while pushing, which was totally instinctive and spontaneous, not something I was really conscious of. It was painful and made me all the more motivated to make it end. Funny how there are similarities between my girls–Rose was turned sunny side up too, and both girls seem to like having a hand up by their cheek all the time (Rose was even born that way, and we saw Giselle’s little hand there by her cheek in the 20 week ultrasound). And like Berrett, Giselle wasn’t breathing when she was born. I pushed both of them out as fast as I possibly could because I felt so much pain. The nurse said there wasn’t a chance for their throat to clear out during delivery so they had to do it for them. Things kind of righted on their own, and I was able to hold her soon– no NICU thankfully!

Baby was 6 lb 13 oz and 19 inches. Her head seemed so very tiny! I couldn’t get over it! Her tiny features and tiny face. Her little face was a surprise to me, as all my other babies have been. It’s so surreal to finally see them for the first time and see who they are, who’s been inside me all that time. They each have their own look, though they definitely look like siblings. She is soooo sleepy and has been sleeping nonstop all week. Today I would have hit 39 weeks– she is 9 days old! Better out than in! Love her so much and feel like our family is more complete with her in it! Her siblings adore her and so do I!

Now a photo dump of he first 9 days of life! I’m obsessed!

2 days old

1 week old and a vision in yellow πŸ™‚

RAIMO’S birthday was the 29th, just 8 days after Giselle. These summer birthdays are gonna give me a run for my money every year; July 6, July 21, July 29, and August 16. I better start saving up for next year!

I thought I was funny and put all 33 candles on RAIMO’S cake. Put out the fire!

These are beautiful days!


The Bookshop on the Corner by Jenny Colgan- 5 stars! This author has the most relatable voice and wonderful descriptions of life in the Scottish countryside and all things books. A great story of living out your dream, with a side of romance.

Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell- 4.5 stars. Very unique and exciting! Newberry Medal winner; Even though it’s written for children, I thought it was so interesting reading about a little Native American girl living and surviving all alone on an island. I read it in a couple of days

The Secret Life of Bees- 5 stars; loved it– kept me interested the whole time. Lots of beautiful imagery and interesting symbols and strong women. I know there’s a movie but I can’t imagine it being as good as the book.

Little Beach Street Bakery by Jenny Colgan- 4 stars; another nice novel by Jenny Colgan. So far, The Bookshop on the Corner is still my favorite. This one takes place on a remote island, and the woman finds herself through baking and starting a new life.

Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote- 4 stars; Kind of amazing that this same author wrote In Cold Blood. This story is such a different direction, and would have been more interesting I think if I wasn’t so familiar with the movie.

Cafe by the Sea by Jenny Colgan- 4 stars; I’m starting to see a pattern in these Jenny Colgan books: girl finds herself stuck in dreary job in the city, has an opportunity to move to rural country somewhere in Britain or Scotland and pick up a trade she is passionate about and fall in love. This one was pretty enjoyable.

I have a few more books that were in the works that I’m pretty sure will fall to the wayside since I just had a baby πŸ™‚


Saw Giselle the Russian ballet live at the movie theater. Loved it!


Rose turns 7!

Yesterday Rose turned 7! She woke up even earlier than usual at 6 am. We had lots of morning to fill, so she got showered and ready, and I let her open a present early so she could use her new colored pencils.Later we went to the library to check out some new chapter books for her and then to Old Navy to buy a new swimsuit. She ended up getting a few new swimsuits, a cover-up, and matching outfit for her and new baby sister. I spent the rest of the day getting some things ready for her party. She invited her friends Chloe and Nohea, but unfortunately Nohea couldn’t make it last minute so it was just Chloe. Chloe’s mom actually had a baby that day, so he will have the same birthday as Rose! We picked her up and had dinner: rainbow fruit and white pasta.Then we did a craft and made these magic wands. They turned out even cuter than I expected!They also did a rainbow scavenger hunt and looked all over the house finding little rainbow clues, finally finding the skittles at the end of the rainbow. We had cake and ice cream and presents of course too.She got a bunch of new summery things like a unicorn towel, goggles, and diving sticks (to go with the swimsuits) the She is suddenly seeming very old. I can’t believe how quickly these 7 years have gone. Rose is so fun and clever and has a very strong sense of making good choices. I love that she has never gotten in trouble at school and that all her primary teachers have adored her. She is becoming a really good swimmer, and loves to read (even staying up late in bed with her book light) and play with friends. We are so proud of her.


A little recap in photos

Rose’s recital was quite the show- check out all the costumes. She was in 5 numbers and says her hip hop was her favorite. The daddy daughter was very special and they made a memory. Plus they spent every Friday evening together for months practicingOur 10 year anniversary passed without fanfare on June 7th. But a few weeks later we celebrated with a staycation and did some serious relaxing and eating. We went to Red Robin for burgers and fries, saw Jurassic World, then went home for a nap at 6 pm. That night we went to Oceanside beach, then went home and went to bed.The next day we went to Sea Hive market to shop and to brunch at the Daily News Cafe, which I’ve been meaning to try since we moved here over 5 years ago. It was yummy but mostly nice to be out on a beautiful morning eating a peaceful meal.We also put our new crib together that night. I love it! Here’s a room I think is cuteThat very weekend we spent all Saturday morning cleaning and getting things done. In the late afternoon we hit Carlsbad beach and it was beautiful. We also stayed for dinner at Harbor Beach Cafe and got fried zucchini and fish n chips. It was one of those perfect happy summer evenings. It was a nice cap to anniversary celebrations, making a memory with our whole family.On July 3 we went to the veterans concert in the park. It was a nice night, and the next day we spent swimming with familyAlso we set Berrett free in the pool! He was swimming all over the place and would have happily stayed all day! It was adorable! 22 months oldHappy early birthday to Rose!


June 2018

A few memorable things in the last week:

Lately Finn has been requesting to get dressed alone– he doesn’t want Berrett or anyone else to see his private parts (totally laughable because he’s always mooning people and has no problem running around naked whenever it strikes him funny). So I said, “Finn, you never give me any privacy when I want to take a shower or go to the bathroom.” And without a beat he said, “But that’s because I love you too much.” Raimo started laughing in the next room and said, “Finn 1, mom 0.”

I’ve also gotta share these pics of Berrett on the Hummer– he was overjoyed!

Another thing that’s so hilarious is the joy he gets out of this ice chest, pushing it around with such seriousness. Like, why do we buy toys?

We also bought a minivan. It has been a long time coming and I have been shopping for months. This week we finally found “the one” and the kids are obsessed with opening and closing the doors. Rose and Finn wanted to be in the far back. It feels like we have SO much space!! I love everything about it. We had an exhausting couple of days going through the buying process, as I was sick along with the boys. But it’s finally done! We have a place for baby #4!

Speaking of which

New crib!

The kids are out of school and it’s great, but tiring. I am 33 weeks pregnant

I have been meaning to make jam for a while now and finally got all the errands done to do it

Rose is in 5 dance numbers for this year’s dance recital, and it has been consuming our lives leading up to it. It’s going to be a fantastic night though once we get there! And then summer can actually begin!


Books and Finn

Still on a reading kick here! I’m really behind in writing about them, so I’ll just list and rate them:

The Lemon Orchard by Luanne Rice- 4 stars; nice easy poolside read

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han- 5 stars; loved this Young Adult book, and the rest of the trilogy. I read each of them in like a day.

The Swans of Fifth Avenue by Melanie Benjamin- 5 stars; very cool book, made me interested in reading books by Truman Capote because this fictional story is all about him and some of New York’s elite women, sort of loosely based on truth.

Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood- 4 stars; this book took me a long time to finish. But it was interesting and chilling

One Hundred Birds Taught Me To Fly by Ashley Mae Hoiland- 4.5 stars; I read little snippets of this at a time. It’s great for moms/ women and has little insights and inspired thoughts

Movies: A Wrinkle in Time- meh

I Can Only Imagine- loved it!

Overboard – very cute remake

Tonight Finnie got out of the tub and wouldn’t put his towel on, climbed up on the toilet to reach his robe and slipped and busted open his eye. It was actually split pretty good. My poor angel baby!

Raimo said he was such a good boy at the ER. He was very still for the doctor, and he showed compassion for the neighboring little baby boy that was crying and had fallen off a couch. Also, while he was in the middle of getting his stitches, he told the doctor his daddy needed a bandaid on his forehead. He was more concerned about others. He said, “That one hurt a little bit daddy.”

Just the night before I had collected these Finn pocket treasures from the washing machine and was taking them upstairs to fine he was missing from his bed. I couldn’t find him!

Found him in Berrett’s room sound asleep

sooo funny. I loved it. Berrett was pretty excited.

Finn also graduated from his first year of preschool😊


Savoring Motherhood… or Sometimes Not

So the other night as I was doing our bedtime routine with the kids (which feels more and more like an Olympic event as the kids are growing in size and in numbers… Get to the finish line!) I remembered how it used to be one of the sweetest parts of my day, when I felt the duality of wanting to finally have some free time but also missing their little bodies immensely after getting them to sleep. Anyway, it used to be that way. I realized I had lost a little bit of the savoring of motherhood that I used to experience throughout the day. Maybe it’s just the specific challenges of the past few months and weeks (Berrett was diagnosed with infantile spasms, I had to give him 6 different doses of medication and steroids a day and cart him to many EEG and doctor appointments, even an MRI where he was put under General anesthesia). By all accounts, it was a tiring and trying few months and I felt the underlying stress of his future as well… will it continue with him as he gets older? Will Epilepsy be a diagnosis he and I have to live with for the rest of his life? This busy-ness and lack of sleep (oh yeah, he was also not sleeping much) forced me to be a little less focused on my other 2 children and I felt the guilt of that too. Then for the last week I have been very sick in bed with a terrible cold. Oh yeah… and I’m PREGNANT! I keep forgetting all these details. So by the time bedtime rolls around, I am so ready to get 3 little monsters into bed so I can just BE. And then fall asleep myself at 9 pm so I can do it all again tomorrow.

I was just reading a bit of One Hundred Birds Taught Me to Fly by Ashley Mae Hoiland–it is kind of poetry and prose combined and she shares thoughts about womanhood, experiences in mothering and just life. I was reminded of myself as she described reveling in the ordinary things her children would do, like climbing over a rock and picking up sticks… because who else would care about those sort of things? Only a mother. Just yesterday I was complimenting Rose on a drawing she made of her two hands on which she used great detail to depict the lines of one palm, and on the other hand, her fingernails and knuckle lines. I thought it was beautiful. Only a mother. And how many times a day do I feign excitement at Finn’s latest trick or treasure. Or how many moments do I spend poring over the dimples on top of Berrett’s hands, or nuzzling his scrumptious wavy hair, or examining the perfect lines and toes on the bottoms of his feet. It felt like a gift to collect those found moments again and enjoy them, because they are the things I live for at this stage of life.

I have also been reminded many times in the last few months of the parallels I’m experiencing in life/pregnancy now vs. exactly two years ago, as my due date now and then were both in August. With child 3 and 4 so much is similar, but a lot of things have changed. We were still living in a 2 bedroom condo then, wondering when and where we would move, living in limbo right up to three days before birth. Our activities were different, no kids were in elementary school yet, Finn took 3 hour afternoon naps (Berrett takes maybe 1hour). Now I have a beautiful house, I stay home a lot, my daily life looks quite different, I drive back and forth a lot to elementary and preschool. My days are filled with trying to find time for each child individually rather than trying to fill our time with activities. And I keep very busy trying to keep said house clean and fixed up– I’ve been doing projects constantly this week. Maybe it’s nesting, maybe it’s the fact that my house is totally trashed whenever I’ve been down sick for a day. Maybe it’s the fact that Berrett is suddenly old enough to get into everything- makeup drawer, the fireplace ashes, every bathroom and kitchen drawer, anything else he can get his hands on! It’s led to a big clean up for me.

Impromptu cleaning of the fireplace. I was filthy… Cinderella

Angel child, likes eating fireplace rocks and dirt

Another project I worked on- decorating this little entryway with art, decor, and fresh branches. I also hung those 4 baby pictures along the stair walls which took all morning and at least a dozen trips up and down the stairs (the newspaper templates are still taped behind them).

I also moved a rug from the entry up to the kids’ bedroom. I’m also reworking the gallery wall in the kitchen because I wasn’t totally loving it.


Books & Movies

5- The Tea Planter’s Wife by Dinah Jefferies; This beautiful novel is full of imagery, and that’s one of the things I enjoyed most about it. It tells the tale of an English girl who marries a tea planter and moves to Ceylon in the 1920’s. There are all kinds of twists and turns in the plot with her widower husband’s history and their life together. It was an endeavor, but I enjoyed it

4.5- The Boy is Back by Meg Cabot ; Loved this easy read- high school boyfriend returnsto small hometown, girl and boy have to overcome their history to get back together.

3.5- Attachments by Rainbow Rowell; This is a very interesting story– I LOVED the last book of hers I read, but felt this one took too long to get going. It’s largely told through emails of two best girlfriends, which are read by a handsome big guy in security. He falls for Beth through these emails and it takes a lot for them to get together in real life.

5- From the Mixed Up File of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E. L. Konigsburg; I loved this book! When I reserved it, I didn’t realize it was juvenile literature, but it didn’t matter. The story is gripping and quick. A brother and sister decide to run away from home, and they end up living in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It’s such a great adventure, and I can’t wait to introduce this to Rose maybe in 4th or 5th grade.


We’ve also seen a lot of movies since we got movie passes this month

Peter Rabbit (very cute kid movie)

Jumanji (loved it, super funny)

Early Man (kid movie, claymation- it was fine to see once)


Ninja Turtle Party! Finn is 4!

We celebrated Finn’s birthday a few days early. He wanted a ninja turtle party so that’s what we did. His friends Paddy, Rosie Kate, Miles, Ellana and Bethany, Savannah, Ben, and Evelyn came. They did ninja activities like bean bag toss and musical squares, and had pizza and Ooze, and learned how to use nun-chucks. It was a fun party, and he said his favorite part was the presents.