Sunday, November 21, 2010 Easy Task?

Okay, so most of you know how our Little Love is potty-training herself right now. It began when she was almost 19 months old on our trip to Finland. Her extreme love of red currant berries that grow wildly in Finland were visited multiple times a day- every time we went outside! She ate her belly full of 'em (great source of vitamins), but they also caused extreme diaper leakage. It got a little old constantly changing diapers and outfits so her aunt suggested she start potty-training. Hey, we had all the time in the world so might as well! First time she tried it, she went. Beginners luck? Second time she tried it, she went. Fluke? Third time, nope. Darn it! So it was hit and miss for the rest of the trip but she did go at least once or twice a day. Since then we haven't made a big deal about going. Sometimes in the morning, sometimes at Mummi's daycare, sometimes before bed, we would give it a shot. We've gotten a lot better about it the past few weeks because she isn't just sitting on the potty "for fun" anymore. She is recognizing when it's coming. If she says "Poo-poo" she really has to go! I know, long story for a LITTLE feat, but a BIG feat for us "new parents". So we are pretty much used to her going #1 easily and even #2 occasionally, but today was a BIG leap! We were at church in sacrament meeting and she says, "Poo-poo". I could already smell something so I take her out to change her diaper. Nothing there! They obviously don't have little potties at church and she didn't like the big potty when we tried it once before so we went back to sacrament meeting. Just 30 seconds later she says again, "Poo-poo". Paul decides he's going to try putting her on the big potty. I'm thinking, "Good luck, she hates the big one."

Paul and Reina both come back with big smiles on their faces. Here's a recap of what happened: He walks in the men's bathroom. He puts her on the BIG TOILET and is holding her armpits so she doesn't fall in. She adamantly says, "No daddy" and pushes him away as she's holding onto the big seat all by herself. She doesn't even want him in the stall so she says, "Bye-bye daddy." He closes the stall door (to humor her with privacy). About 10 seconds later he ask if she went potty. She replies, "No." He looks behind in the toilet and sees that she did go. He exclaims, "You went poo-poo!" "Yeah," with a big grin on her face!

I'm crossing my fingers that the last two Costco boxes of diapers that we have already bought will be the last? Probably not, but we are excited none-the-less.

P.S. She went both #1 and #2 again in her potty before bed :) Sweet dreams!

I need to give thanks to daddy for taking her potty on the weekends when mommy wants to sleep in; Mummi for taking time out of her busy day to "sit on" with her; and Grandma Guinn for helping out and giving great ideas from experience.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Our Halloween 2010

We went to my brother and his families house in Coeur d'Alene for Halloween as a 3rd year tradition. It was so much fun seeing the cousins play together! Especially Reina and Miia. They got along so well!I know...a little late, but still managed to get pictures up before Thanksgiving! Enjoy!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

You're 21!

I was laying in bed with my husband...a rare and wonderful occasion and realized that Reina has just turned 21 months yesterday! She totally acts like she is at least 2 1/2. I am hoping she already went through her "terrible two's" when for about three weeks she was into saying NO and hitting mommy in the face. By the way, this was during our Finland trip (although 48 hours and VERY little sleep can do this to most people, even 19 month olds). Since that bout of being hit in the face and told NO, she really has been a sweetheart! She still goes to her Mummi's childcare center and LOVES the action! Some of her best friends are 2-4 year olds: Abigail, Peyton, Ethan, and Trevin. Just yesterday they did some leaf imprints with paint to welcome the fall. When they have music time she takes center stage and really gets big and loud (definitely takes after me in this area). One day they were running back and forth in a race and Reina has learned that if she doesn't go all the way to the end, she can turn around and have a head-start to reach the finish line first! She has always been very coordinated, but since our Finland trip her vocabulary has really taken off. She understands everything we say, and can say many words. What's funny is that she kept saying "No fat, no fat." Paul and I could NOT figure out what she was saying for the longest time, then realized she was saying "No that, no that." Mummi reminds the kids "We don't do that," instead of "No" so she was just interpreting that phrase. We haven't been pushing potty-training but if we remember and feel like it, we ask her to go potty and at least half the time she does make something! In fact, grandma Guinn was getting Reina ready for bed one night and Reina told grandma "potty" and put herself on it and actually went! And last night we put her on (thinking it was just for fun), and much later when we got ready for bed realized there WAS pee in the potty! We didn't even realize it to congratulate her on her achievement! I'm thinking she will potty-train herself (knock on wood). So she has really increased in her vocabulary, molars, and sweetness! She gives scrumptious hugs and kisses, and always wakes up in the morning by talking and singing with her books. Some of her favorite things are shoes, especially boots, doggies, Dr. Laura soup (family joke), music and dancing, books, wrestling with mommy and daddy, coloring, anything outside. She still doesn't have enough hair to get into a ponytail, so she always seems to have a ball of fuzz at the back of her head. We think she is just perfect! Here are the most recent pictures of our "Sweetstuff" (20 months old):

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Back to our Roots

So we had the chance to go to Finland this summer! Well, at least Reina and I got to...Paul was busy at our chiropractic office. He probably would not have enjoyed having seven women in one house though. Infact, he could only watch about 15 seconds of some videos I took of the family because it was all in Finnish! I plan on putting together a little picture album for Reina to look through this week so that she may remember at least some of her relatives who live in Finland which include Reina's great-grandmother Isoaiti (this is not her name; it means big mom), Reina's great-aunt Marjatta, and her 2nd cousin Simo and his dog Pimu. She LOVED Pimu! She's a little white Ceasar dog (you know the one from the Ceasar brand dog food) who is playful, obedient, and never bites...perfect for a 19 month old who likes to grab her face. It was funny to see how Reina would watch Simo and his girlfriend Mervi give commands to Pimu, then imitate orders to Pimu.

I have already written details about our trip for our family memoirs, so I will give all of you who read this the pleasure of just seeing pictures of our trip and avoid the boring details. Enjoy! One thing I have to point out is that Reina really enjoyed the sauna. Finland is where saunas originated from. While people are building their homes, they build the sauna first so that they can use that while they are still in the process of building their homes. They go to sauna year-round, and even jump into the lakes when there is a couple or eight feet of snow! This type of attitude is where Finns live the phrase "SISU"....look it up.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

A Father's Day Gift from Reina

A Father's Day Gift from Reina

At the bottom of this post is the gift that Paul received from Reina. Before I share it here is a quick update of her development. If you want to skip this portion, then go to the bottom to the video.

Reina is 17 months and amazing. She goes to her Mummi's (my mom's) childcare center everyday and fits right in. She does get special treatment of course but that's what grandparents are for right? She spends hours playing outside riding on all the cars, especially the "roller-coaster" which is basically a long ramp that you ride the car down. She likes to play in the garden with Mummi and feel all the dirt and leaves between her fingers...and eat the strawberries :) When the music is on, Reina is right there dancing away! She's always the first to start moving and the last to get tired. Mummi teaches ballroom dancing and saw her practicing the Cha-Cha and now copies her by moving forward and back in the Cha-Cha motion saying in her not-quite-clear baby talk: "2-3 Cha-Cha, 2-3 Cha-Cha!" I promise I did not force this at all just because it's my passion; she picked it up all by herself- and she is GOOD for her age. I hope she will continue to like dancing as a hobby because if softball becomes her forte, I think I'd be snoring at all the games. I really did try team sports in school, but never liked them. I'm laughing thinking back when Paul and I were dating and playing the game HORSE in basketball, he'd have to copy my shot by twirling and split-leaping to make a shot!
If Reina is not busy running around in circles with her eyes closed (literally) or dancing or playing outside, then she is either "reading" or eating. Reina loves to move and she loves to eat. You can't ever sneak anything from the kitchen or in your mouth without her knowing. I think she inherited a natural LOVE for eating from both her parents, sorry Reina. At least she eats well. She eats just about anything except potatoes, meat, and pasta. If you sneak it in soup, she'll eat it all. Her favorite veggies are broccoli and cooked carrots right now, and tonight I had some brussel sprouts and she enjoyed them as well! She claps if she really likes something, like her almond butter and jam sandwich and milk...and her gummy vitamins. When Reina needs a break she grabs a book. She loves to point things out in books for her grandmas (Mummi and Grandma Guinn), so that they will say what it is. When I read to her, she especially likes how I make the ladybugs crawl up her arm and the butterflies fly into her neck- she comes to expect it at least 20 times per reading! Whew! She still has a thing for BABIES whether they are real (like the 10 month old at the daycare), in a book, in her bed, or crying on t.v.- she's got a heart for them and always treats them well. And yes, she flirts with the men...the more "mountain man" looking the more she flirts. She basically goes to nursery even though she's not quite legally 18 months, but fits in better there than climbing the piano bench in Relief Society.

Paul and I really couldn't ask for a better girl! She's got a sense of humor already with a "fake laugh" and knows if people are laughing to continue doing it- although will NOT tolerate being a puppet. She understands so well and either mumbles to respond or shakes her head yes/no. She sleeps through the night 95% of the time (since she's stopped nursing). She is happy with routine (which for now makes our lives easier). She's a trooper when sick. She is sympathetic if someone is sad. She doesn't like to get in trouble. She's a good eater. She's sharp; nothing passes her. She has rhythm. She's happy most of the time. She likes to sing. Can you tell that we are really proud parents? Here is that cute video for daddy's Father's Day surprise:

Saturday, May 1, 2010

My bedtime read for April

So lately I've been having a hard time sleeping because my mind is going in a million different directions and an hour has passed before I realize that I need to go to sleep! I'm not a typical "read-before-bed" type of person but lately I've been reading a few articles a night in the Ensign and have found them very rewarding...WHO KNEW? (read sarcastically please). March went by in a blink and didn't even get a chance to pick up that months Ensign so I read it throughout April and realized that it was from March 2007! If anyone is looking for answers to prayers or needs a spiritual lift, then I highly recommend that issue. It really helped me to put things into perspective and to find peace with the trials I am facing right now.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Pictures in the Park

Here are a few pictures that were taken of us in a park in Portland. These pictures were taken by a photographer who is a relative. He was able to squeeze us in before shooting for a wedding that day. If you want to see more of his photography go here:

The scenery was excellent with the moist air and the moss on the trees- perfect for a Pacific Northwest family!

Cute daddy and daughter!

It was a very cold day in January if you can't tell by our pink noses! Reina is one year old exactly in these photos.

And She's Off!

My favorite dress of hers. . . for now :)

Is it okay that all of our posts are about Reina? We just can't help it since she is soooo entertaining! Ever since she started walking (at about 12 1/2 months) our little Suvi has really taken off- physically, mentally, verbally, and musically. Okay, so we are still waiting for more hair and more than 3 teeth! Sheesh! The last month or so I have been quite busy at work, so she has been spending a lot of time at Mummi and Papa Will's house which she loves! She has space, toys and playmates who treat her like a little doll. She knows she's getting close to Mummi's house when she sees rows of trees along the street nearby and begins to giggle and "talk" to herself. When we pull up to the house she squeels and says "Oooh, baby!" Okay, baby is definately her favorite word, but I think she considers all of her contemporaries as "baby". She greets anyone she is comfortable with with a "hi" which is usually daycare dads. One of the children always greets her saying, "Look, it's Little Baby Reina. Hi Little Baby Reina," as if that is her full name.

Playing at Mummi and Papa Will's. Can you find Reina playing outside?

Reina's new favorite past time is the great outdoors. I think if it weren't for getting hungry or tired she'd prefer to play outside the whole day! She recently discovered the park and oh my goodness- loves it! Since we've had some great weather (i.e. no rain) we've taken this rare occasion to go often. She watches kids go up the slides and gets frustrated that she can't do it just like them, so I help push her up so she feels like she did it all by herself. She can walk back and forth across the "shaky bridge" and the bigger the slide the better! I haven't let her go down alone yet since she hasn't figured out how to keep her legs from splitting and getting caught on the edge of the slide- no broken legs please! It's amazing how much more brave she becomes with each trip to the park. She now can run on the bark dust and will let the dogs come right up to her face and lick her. Paul insists she needs a puppy to grow up with her, but I insist that I'm not ready to take care of another baby.

She got this tube for her birthday that attaches to a tent. She likes it as long as there's someone to play with her...but it will be great when she's a little older for a nice little "hideout" with friends.

This little girl just loves to move! She enjoys the feeling of the body in motion. I call her my little "yoga baby" because she has always enjoyed moving into different yoga poses. I think she subconsciously remembers how yoga felt while in the womb. She is very careful with each movement and does it with care and concern to make sure it is stable, no matter how contorted it may look.
Mummi has been doing a lot of singing with Reina. So now she not only imitates sounds but freely sings to herself while playing or reading a book. I would love to capture this on video but all you parents know how once the camera goes on, the cuteness stops.

I can't remember how to get videos from the camera to the computer to the blog all by myself, so maybe next weekend when Paul is home he can help me put some videos on to share all the cute things she's been up to. We've enjoyed the sun while it's lasted!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Steals for Storage

I got all of this (plus a few other things that didn't make it in the photo for $51.72. This includes some usually spendy items: 16 lbs. oranges, a large block of Tillamook cheese, two packs of double-12 pack toilet paper and two whole chickens! What a deal!
I sure do love WinCo and will miss it in Tacoma! They had a few special coupons, but the majority was without a coupon and no manufacturer coupons either, so this was just pulling what I needed off the shelf. Now Paul will have at least some chili, TP, and tuna on hand while he's gone all week long.

Friday, February 5, 2010

New Adventures have Arrived!

We thought 2009 ended in a whirlwind, but this year we haven't gotten a minute to catch up! I'm taking this Friday morning while Reina is napping to quickly jot down some major changes in the Guinn family!
1. We rang in 2010 with a road trip from Las Vegas to Vancouver with Grandma and Grandpa Guinn in their Honda Odyssey. We had a Guinn family reunion after Christmas and flew down, but saved a little by riding back home to Vancouver. This was two LONG days of driving. The first few hours were horrible as Reina was screaming in her car seat on and off. Come to find out she had a triple explosion which required a complete onesie change and rinse in the sink in a restaurant and then peeing on the seat in the car during the diaper change as the restaurant did not have a changing table. I told Paul I will NEVER do a long road trip again...but after that she was perfect the whole time! So maybe I take back the NEVER.
2. Reina had her 1st birthday party with mostly family and close friends. I made a princess cake completely from scratch and even put different flavors and fillings for each layer. This was my first attempt at a "pretty cake" so I am pleased how it turned out. She even got to eat the whole top layer (thank you daddy and Uncle Steve)! I had the hardest time watching her shove that frosting into her mouth (luckily she stopped and preferred to throw it over the highchair). Her favorite gift was definately the elephant chair that Grandma Guinn made...just her size!
3. Reina officially walks 100%. She started taking her first steps December 16, and has become more confident each day...then one day while at Mummi and Papa Will's house she spent the whole day walking from room to room, just like the rest of the kids. This was about 10 days after her birthday that she decided walking was so much quicker. I walked in after work and she usually walks about 7-8 steps then stumbles down and crawls quickly to me, but that day she looked at me, turned around and kept walking the other way. Kind of sad for me, but so rewarding as well.
4. We have no more savings:(.............................BUT that means that we bought a chiropractic office! The practice we were moving towards in Austin, TX fell through when the seller decided not to sell after we got approved for a small business loan. We got that news right after Thanksgiving, so we were disappointed, mad, sad, etc....back to square one. Paul kept checking for practices for sale and looked into a few in the area. Then on January 5th there were a couple postings for practices in Tacoma and thought we might as well take a look since I still had a break from work. We went and looked two days later and felt really good about it, as well as the sellers. Things moved RAPIDLY as we scrambled to get lawyers, accountants, business accounts, legal documents and all other sorts of grown-up things together. We had to learn quickly what documents were required for what and how I should have become a lawyer or accountant with the kind of money they make :) Phew! But alas, we signed our lives away and Paul officially started February 1. I will still be in Vancouver with Reina for quite some time as the business needs a lot of growth and we still need income to survive. Paul is up there during the week and comes home on the weekends. It's only been about a week so this is all new to us, but we are trying to put things into perspective and remember that some families live like this all the time.
5. We are very thankful! We have family who have been so supportive towards us and have helped us throughout this process. It has been a long road and it is still a bumpy and curvy road, but we are beginning to see glimpses of the sun and beauty at the end of the road. I have to remind myself not to forget how beautiful the path is on this journey; stop and look around at the perfect leaves, the smell of the moss, the trickling of the stream, the yucky bugs that are content in the dirt. There is joy in these things that take us to our goals. I have a lot to be thankful for and I let my Heavenly Father know daily, bi-daily, sometimes hourly how grateful I am for my life.
My greatest joy is Reina, so of course I can't post without some pictures of her sweet, sweet face. She is such a good girl in every way!

Cousin Christina and Reina in Henderson, Nevada for Guinn family reunion Dec. '09.
Reina and cousin Madeleine meeting for the first time! (Born 18 days apart). This is Paul's twin brother's daughter.

Reina was getting a cold for her birthday party, but she was a champ and enjoyed all of the toys and people. Her favorite words at age one are: Baby followed with an Ohhhh, Doggy, and Dada.

Eating her first sweets and feeding them to Uncle Steve. By the way, this high chair is the exact same one that Paul had for his first birthday cake AND in the exact same spot in the kitchen. (tear)