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Getting things done

We’ve been working on our girls’ room little by little–I spent the majority of my pregnancy sort of online “window shopping” for it. I was seriously excited to get to put together a girly nursery/shared room for Rose and the baby. We were too poor to really buy any furniture or decorate a room when Rose was born (we didn’t really even have a dedicated space for her–we moved 3 times the year she was born). And then we had a boy so it was a shared space and I couldn’t really go pink or feminine with anything, plus we were renting and saving for a house. SO anyway, it’s more for my own satisfaction than anything… We started by splitting the bunk bed, which I made Reed and Raimo do because I was pregnant. Here’s the before of the two rooms:

I bought a new crib this time around since Berrett is just 23 months and will continue to use his crib for the next year. It feels like a rite of passage to get to pick a crib for your baby.

Here’s the little gold crib I picked.

We got it up in June over our anniversary staycation. Next came the dresser. I was actually quite anxious to get this taken care of because I was nesting hardcore, and because all 3 of our children were sharing one dresser in the boys’ room, plus I had gotten out all my baby girl boxes and washed and folded all the tiny things, and they needed a home. We were getting close to the due date, and I was having a hard time choosing because the room doesn’t have a lot of space (initially I was thinking vertical dresser under the window between the two beds) but I wanted a horizontal dresser for more storage and so I’d have the option of putting a changing station on top of it. I picked this one from Joss & Main

I loved the gold knobs to match and the sweet details of the feet and the drawers. Luckily I got it on an even better sale than it’s listed here. It took hours and hours to put together but I guess that’s why you save so much money buying this way. We got the dresser built, and I went into labor in the middle of that night! It was physical work building the dresser, I tell ya!

Hi Giselle! 👋

So I’ve been a bit land-locked since then and haven’t had a chance to finish the room. My mom did come and help me sort and load all of the baby clothes, plus all the other kids’ clothes, and donate old things and put away too-small things. She also washed and put the crib bedding on which was gifted by my aunt! I felt much better about life once it was done and I could dress my baby in a myriad of adorable options! 🎀

I had to buy a bassinet while in the hospital (thanks Amazon) because I threw out my hand-me-down one that was kind of falling apart earlier this year. It was cheapish, but another thing on the list (ummm diapers??) We also realized I threw out the baby bathtub…oops. We’ve been making do, but just bought a puj today so it’s on the way. Sorry Giselle. No baths for you!!!

Next came blinds. A couple of months ago the blinds on the larger window fell down in this room, and since then a sheet has been hanging there for a window covering. I ordered some cordless blinds for the two windows (I hope to go cordless all through the house eventually–most of our blinds are extremely old and have very long cords, which is a child hazard. In fact, Berrett has actually had one of them around his neck before and luckily I was right beside him to remove it and put it it of reach. SO I hope to replace them, and in the meantime all of the cords are tied up high, and we’ve had talks with the older kids about keeping the cords up and telling mom if one is ever accidentally let down. Just realized this is the longest “aside” inside parentheses maybe ever).

I bought these cordless white faux wood blinds from selectblinds.com and they seem great so far. I should add that I also painted the interior of the window trims white because whoever painted this room light blue took the paint all the way in to the windows, and I don’t want the blue poking through after I change the room color (light, light pink or peach?!?) The blinds look really nice and are pretty easy to maneuver. My only complaint is that the website only specifies if they’ll be inside mount or outside mount blinds (I wanted them mounted inside the window frame) but the hardware didn’t allow us to hang them from the side, only from the top of the window. This didn’t work for us because there is an arch.

So I made Raimo buy a 2×4 and have it cut just the right size. Luckily he talked to a guy at Home Depot who recommended the perfect hardware to hang it with. I painted it white and he got it up this morning. It sounds simple, but it’s actually been a long delayed process and I’m really glad it’s done, and no longer have blinds sitting in the baby crib and screws lying around and tools all over. Raimo got the blinds to attach to the 2×4 and it all worked out. I already had this arch covering, and it sits nicely on top. Hooray! Do you ever have little projects like this that sit in your mind for a long time and nag at you?

So that was a big check mark on my list today. Next up is finding the perfect paint color to go with this wallpaper

The lighting is not very good in these pictures, but this is what the paper looks like in daylight:

I love love love this wallpaper and have had my eye on it for a long time. I caught it on sale 20% off at Anthropologie, and had to jump on it! Im nervous about the process of wallpapering because I’ve never done it before. Especially with the arch window and the angled ceiling! I’m going to put it on this accent wall, and paint the other 3 walls. This is what I have in mind for the wall color… a very very light pink or peach

I like how calming it is with such bold paper. Wish me luck in finding the perfect match!

After that, I think I’ll finally be at peace with the room for a bit. Of course, it’d be nice to have a soft rug underfoot (we have cork floors in the bedrooms) but that will have to wait awhile. I’d also like to find a new way to store all those children’s books, maybe get a bigger white bookshelf, or do some cute flat displays on the walls like this. Raimo will kill me when I show him the tutorial for making it–very overwhelming! But so cute!

I also really love the rolling acrylic shelf in this picture. It’s nice to have some books on display and some that you can roll right next to the bed. We have SOOoo many books though. They’d never fit. We need to move some over to the boy room. Speaking of which, the boys’ room kind of has a loose theme of sailboats with blue and navy and kind of primary colors. Eventually I picture moving the bunk bed in there for them and getting some cute navy and white striped bedding. The walls are dark grey with white beadboard, and I’m fine with it for now, but I would like to eventually paint it all white, or something lighter since there’s only 1 window. I used these fabrics to make their pillowcases at a Relief Society activity, and I’d love to make curtains or something to match

I’m also thinking about what I’d like to put on the girls’ walls. I recently found this girl on Instagram — she makes the cutest name signs

I love all my kids’ names so much and seeing them written out makes me happy. Maybe something like that above each head of the bed. The boy ones are cute too

And I’d love to put a rectangle one over our front door in the entryway for the Laitinens 06-07-08. Love seeing our date 💕

Other ideas: we got a ton of beautiful photos from Giselle’s newborn shoot, so I could put up a few of those over her crib and maybe a few other girly things. I also love this print. I’ve been starting to collect artwork that has mother/family themes

These are a few I have from Caitlin Connolly that I love. Everything she does is so good and meaningful

And I love this one

by Brian Kershisnik. I’ve been meaning to move it to my room over the white bassinet– I think it would be sweet there.

This post is full of TANGENTS! It feels kind of nice to get down all my thoughts about what I want to do with my house. I sit inside it all day long and come up with plans and ideas for it. I did the same thing when I had Berrett. Our house was a bit different then. We had no couch when he was born, no rug, lots of empty walls and spaces to fill and organize. It takes a lot of money to furnish a house, and it takes a lot of thought to make it the way you want it and to make it feel like home. It has definitely come a long way. I should probably take some pictures of what the house looks like now (when it’s all cleaned up!) just to record what it looks like… because I enjoy putting it all together. And I like pretty things 🙂

Another tangent: I went back to re-read this after posting, and my phone had corrected “I’ve been starting tonsillectomy artwork” in place of “I’ve been starting to collect artwork” and for some reason it is SOo funny to me right now at 10 pm. I’m still laughing! What would tonsillectomy artwork look like????? 😂😂😭😭I’m crying. So tired.

A few more baby girl room ideas:

I really like this statement closet door that Young House Love did in their girl’s room. After finding the perfect lightest pink for the walls, I think I’d like to do this with a bolder pinky coral. And add a crystal knob 🙂 Here’s some pink on pink for an idea

I like this shade on this dresser

Also, white curtains or window treatments. If we finish this room by the time she’s 18 we’ll be golden!! Lol. If I were Young House Live, I’d also put white shiplap on the ceiling. I think it’d be cool (or dool, thanks autocorrect) since the ceiling is an interesting shape.

Instead of working on my house projects, I’m usually just cleaning up and caring for my kids. I can’t imagine how that mess just builds up so many times each day…

I spend a lot of my time fixing things they break and just putting things back together all day long. There are also random House things we have to take care of all the time too that get in the way, and it’s annoying. Case in point, yesterday while sanding that 2×4 with an electric sander, something went wrong with 2 electrical outlets outside. One of them had my beautiful outdoor lights plugged into it (now not working) and one in our garage had our hot water heater plugged into it!!! 😱😱😱 Today I got the idea to hook the hot water heater to an extension cord till we can get an electrician here (and no, playing with the breakers didn’t work. I was standing barefoot outside with my newborn switching them on and off in the blazing heat… not what you imagine when you dream of home ownership). We spend a lot of our time trying to keep our house together and just doing upkeep. It’s rough. Also both of our ceiling fans now have various issues and don’t work.

This is getting boring. More artwork!

I bought this print a long time ago, and i still need to have it framed. I love it!!! I may put it over Roses bed if it matches the room. Everything this artist does is really whimsical and old fashioned

This one would be so cute in a bathroom

Some other art I love

Any seascape

And I’d love to do a DIY of this “do the cha cha” … I think it’s perfect for us!

I’m still loving our outdoor setup that I bought in the spring. I thought for sure I’d sit out there a lot in the summer. And we did before it got hot, but the last few months iVe just been staying indoors. But sometimes in the evening we’ll go out with friends. The other night we were playing Go Fish with Ben and Liz. The things Finn was saying were hilarious. He just doesn’t really get the game, for example he was too excited to hand over one of his cards when it meant someone else was getting a match. Yes I DO have a sea turtle!! Hooray here you go kind of thing. Too sweet. And an awesome use of this outdoor space. And I enjoy the lights every night. I think we’ll use it a lot again as it cools off in the fall.

All of the little details feel like progress. Yay for house progress! 🙂

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More on Giselle Juliette

As I mentioned in this post I have some songs that I would sing for each of my newborns. Maybe I am just too far removed from singing these days, but Giselle doesn’t really have a song. I need to sing to her more! I am binge watching Nashville, in which the main character is named Juliette, and I’m loving the name! Did we make the right name choice?! I mean, should we have saved her middle name, Juliette, for a future baby girl?!? I still love Giselle for my baby–I think it fits her!

She fits in the crook of my knee.

Little Elle hit her due date on Monday, August 6th. She is 2 1/2 weeks old, and still sleepy, but starting to wake up now and again. I love that she naps all the time–it is so easy, and one can only dream that we have finally had a child that will happily sleep on her own…

I’m not holding my breath.

Lately I’ve been noticing that my hands always smell amazing- like milk and babies. Seriously, it is so good. Giselle has such a good smell, particularly her hair! She has the silkiest short brown hair and I looove rubbing it. Will we have a non-blonde child??? We shall see! She also has long spider fingers, and she’s always doing things with them, curling them up by her face or opening and spreading them across her face.

We still delight in the funny ways she can wiggle her long toes. Hers are the longest of our children by far, and it is a moment of pride for Raimo that they’ve inherited the long toes 😂 Oh and the dimples! She has darling dimples that come through when she smiles! I die over them!

Rose is so funny– one day soon after bringing the baby home, I asked her if she wanted to help change the baby’s diaper and she totally freaked out! Like ran out of the room. Tonight I asked her again, and she didn’t want to even be present! I think it’s so funny, and we keep telling her that newborn poo is really no big deal. Otherwise, she is a highly devoted big sister, but that devotion has limits apparently! She is still always asking to hold The baby.

Baby’s knees are SO far apart– she’s a little cowgirl. I can still fold her leggies across each other and her little feet bend right into womb position. I’ll try to capture it in a pic. But I can totally see how she was folded up inside of me. The amazing thing is looking at her head (thought it’s really not that big) and knowing it was sitting in my pelvis, upside down for about 8 weeks… i definitely felt that weight and pressure, especially this time (maybe it’s increasingly lower the more babies you have?)

Fort builders:

Post nap

Pics on her due date:

Smiles!

The wallpaper I’m planning to put up soon– love this peachy wall color to match and still need to go paint shopping, and finish some projects in the girls’ room. Today I made Raimo buy a 2×4 at Home Depot and we got it cut to fit inside this really weird window that has an arch. The blinds I bought will be attached to the bottom of the 2×4 and an arch window covering will sit on top of it. We sanded and painted, and are hanging hardware… just tedious stuff. But it’ll be nice to have new cordless blinds that are clean and new and safe. All our house’s blind have extremely long cords and it’s really challenging keeping them out of reach of kids.

Sunday meeting her BFF Gwen

That’s all for now, folks!

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All is safely gathered in

At the end of the day, our house has a certain peace about it. Or maybe it’s that my heart feels at peace. A new baby brings a bit of heaven wherever she goes, and I think that’s got something to do with it. She is snuggled in the crook of my arm after drinking all the milk she can handle (milk drunk baby, eyelids floating up now and again) and all my wee bairns are sound asleep on their beds, and I feel happy. I know the dishes are in the washer, and the house is mostly picked up, and my outdoor string lights are still making me happy when they flick on each night and cast a romantic glow. Home. We have lived here 2 years, and the things inside our house evolve and move over time, but there is a feeling that pervades no matter what and makes it OUR home.

We had a busy day today, starting with newborn photos at 9 am. I got out of bed a little earlier today, bleary-eyed and quite hungry. Got all 6 of us (weird to say that) ready in time, and finished 3 hours later. It’s an endeavor, but so worth it to have those pictures later on. I can’t wait to see them–I know we got some beautiful shots! I promised the big kids slurpies if they did well during photos. They get excited about it, but always end up wanting gum or other things instead.

Then this afternoon Raimo aka super dad took the kids to the beach, and then to the pool at the Y afterward. Meanwhile, Giselle and I passed the freak out (hahah!) for almost 3 hours. We slept so long, the AC went into eco mode and stopped running because it sensed no one was home! I woke up in a sweat and had to crank it back down, or rather tap it back down on my iPhone app.

For dinner we went to Subway, and it was disappointing. Isn’t it always? But it was an easy outing and the kids were pleasant and Giselle slept in her car seat the whole time. My recovery has been relatively quick this fourth time around, and while I have not dealt with as much postpartum pain as I did previously, I keep realizing I’m still in recovery and need some rest. I’ll walk too far and realize I’m extremely sore, or I’ll move a new way and realize that that muscle still hurts, or I’ll sit straight down on my tailbone which still hurts. I also have that special pain in the middle of my back from breastfeeding so much (not to mention the actual “breast” pains). Again, I feel very lucky that I’m up and about so much more and feeling pretty well. Giselle and I are taking advantage of Raimo’s 6 week paternity leave, and we rest and cuddle and let dad be with the older kids.

It’s 10:45 so I really do need to get to sleep. When I feed her this late, Elle has been waking up around 2:30 or 3 and then 6 for feedings. It’s really not bad — I’m happy to get a 4 hours stretch. I think she’s adapting to “night time” sleep as opposed to daytime. I must say I’m getting pretty tired getting up at 6 because that’s an impossible time for me to fall back asleep. Hence the naps.

Also, here is the smiley face breakfast Rose made me all by herself yesterday. She has been delightful today. Being helpful, being nice to Finn and not trying to one-up him, waiting to eat her chips at Subway till he finished his sandwich like her. What a sweetie.

Also, Giselle weighed in at 6 lbs 14 oz at her second doctors visit yesterday, so she has regained her birthweight and is doing well! She is 12 days old!

Goodnight!

Zonk!

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In dreams

What are you dreaming about, little one? Your eyelids are fluttering, you smile occasionally, sometimes you breathe a little more quickly. But can you have any thoughts at this point? Do you know anything other than “milk” and the comfort that is mother’s voice? You startle so easily in your sleep. It’s incredible how you can sleep through the noise of your siblings and our hectic household, yet I bump a pillow a few inches away from you and your arms fly into the air. Dainty as the princess and the pea–you feel everything? I love your sleepy days and honestly dread the possibility of you waking from this coma and going into constant crying mode, as many newborns do. You are too perfect, too easy! Let’s keep it this way as long as we can! It’s unfair really because right now, of all time with babies, is the best time to take you out because you’re so easy. Trips to the grocery, movies, nail salon, you name it… are all so easy because you’re ASLEEP! And as soon as I start to feel well again postpartum, you will be crying! Okay I’m only half-serious. I do want you to wake up so we can get to know you even better. You wake up for little brief periods of time, and I try to bring my face in close so you can see me and start to know ME. Yep, it’s me. The one that gets up with you all night long, that speaks to you when you’re sleeping, that totes you happily all around the house like a trophy. I won this. I made this! Look how great she is! These are days that I spend wondering who you will become. You have already surpassed my wildest dreams, so really where can you go wrong? I already love you so much💗

Love,

Mom

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So Tired

I have been spending a lot of my breastfeeding hours catching up on blogs that I like. As in years worth of content because I don’t really follow any of them closely. But I love NieNieDialogues and she shared this quote by Neil A Marriott, and it rang true with me and my eyes burst into tears when I read just the first line (mostly because I’m just so tired, and will only become more tired in the coming days).

“My days were full of forgettable things like folding laundry,

reading children’s books, and putting casseroles together for dinner.

Sometimes in the harbor of our homes, we can’t see that by the simple,

consistent acts—including family prayer, scripture study,

and family home evening—great things are brought to pass.

But I testify that these very acts carry eternal significance.

Great joy comes when those little boats—our children—grow

into mighty seafaring vessels filled with gospel light and ready to

“embark in the service of God.” Our small acts of faith

and service are how most of us can continue in

God and eventually bring eternal light and glory to our family,

our friends, and our associates.

You truly carry a circle of influence with you!”

Neil A Marriott

Thanks Neil! Another favorite scripture that comes to mind is D&C 64:33 “Wherefore, be not weary in well-doing, for ye are laying the foundation of a great work. And out of small things proceedeth that which is great.”

Send me all the mom quotes! Diving back in with FOUR! 😘😨😜🤪🤩😍😍😍😍

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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 💕

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 🙂 Wish me luck in my shopping journey!