Monday, December 24, 2012

It's Beginning to Look a Little Like Christmas

It's amazing what little Christmas decor I have. I didn't realize this until I pulled all two boxes out, hung everything up in 2 minutes and realized that I should probably get a few items to decorate our house. This lack of festivities is mostly due to that fact that we haven't had our own place since our newly married years in Utah. Yes.... crazy, absurd, unbelievable, but blessings have been had with not having our own place as well. So attempting to decorate while the house is still being fixed up from moving in, working a lot, a new calling at church, nursing and being a mom to a sometimes sassy three-year old, Christmas shopping and baking has been quite the feat. I am not complaining, in fact I do enjoy most of these things...yep, even the scary 15 1/2 year old drivers and the sometimes sour three-year old. I guess what bugs me is that I can't decorate how I envision. I don't have the time this year to make awesome Pinterest ideas and won't allow myself to spend that kind of money on decorations that are only up for a month. So after Christmas sales it is @ 50%-75% off. I don't like clutter but I would like to bring out some ideas I have next year.

Our tradition with the tree is that the kids get an ornament every year and labeled just for them. This has always been a fond memory of decorating the tree and finding "my" ornaments. Reina has already felt special in this tradition when she finds her ornaments.

I planned on finding a pattern and making matching Christmas stockings, just like we had growing up. I haven't seen any yet, so I found some random stockings at Goodwill that weren't exactly the same pattern, but I really like their old-fashioned uniqueness and go well together! Stockings are always hung in order from oldest to youngest (technically I'm older but Daddy looks older with his beard anyway so he is the Santa stocking). I even have two more I happened upon so I can have two more kids before I have to hunt again.

So this is exactly what it looks like. A picture of a tree on material. Inexpensive, simple and easy to store, perfect for me.

My first nativity....can't beat $6. Now if I could just find a stable.

My step-sister, JoNel makes these Santas. My step-mom, Connie Jo has hundreds of her daughter's creations on display. Luckily, I have a few. These are my favorite decorations and would love a hundred more. 

Reina helping make delicious Lucia cookies.
Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 13, 2012


 Our little guy is eleven months old! I think it is hard for us to believe this because he is TOO SMALL to be nearly walking! He can't officially walk all by himself, but he can stand all by himself and push walkers, toys, laundry baskets...anything light enough. Paul recently pulled out Reina's hippo walker/riding toy. He looks like a little old man pushing a shopping cart...and I do mean little. We look at him and say, "You're too small to be standing. You're too small to be walking." I am hoping that he is like his grandpa Guinn and uncle Bryan who were small but then grew in high school.

Since our move into our own house (post of all THAT will come after Christmas), he hasn't really been himself. First, with all the clutter, we've had a few mishaps. A large mirror was leaning against the wall in preparation for hanging. We were bad parents and were busy as our children knocked the mirror over and landed on top of them. Luckily I had placed an empty box in front of it (had a feeling to do so even though I knew there was no protection with an empty box). The box held the mirror up enough for our kids to have space and keep the mirror from breaking. Phew! Mother's intuition or what you wish to call it. Luckily Baelor was absolutely safe and had no idea what happened. Reina was just a bit shaken.

Showing off that he can walk on Thanksgiving (notice the gauze wrapping)
Second incident. We were getting the kids ready for bed. Our house was/is still in disarray. Reina's bedside lamp was on the floor (no table yet) and he grabbed the lamp and burned his hand bad. Not enough to go to the hospital but he screamed for at least an hour and a half as we tried everything to soothe a burn. This is agony for me as there is nothing I can do to take his pain away. I wanted to trade and take his pain upon me. I hate to see my children suffer.

He has not been sleeping well since the move. Partly because he is getting in a ton of teeth all at once. Four on bottom and three on top. Then to top that off he has a bad cold. Burned hand, uncomfortable mouth and a cold make sleeping a struggle. Oh, and he's transitioning to only one afternoon nap a day! I don't have good sleepers and am a little jealous of those who have the 3 hour nappers and long night sleepers. At night he wants to nurse NONSTOP and wants something (me) to chew on. He wants to nurse all night and since the move has managed to sleep from about midnight on in our bed.
We have always used a pacifier to soothe him and for us it has been a savior. But, since the whole teething thing, it's a "no-go". Only bouncing and mommy. I'm tired. He's tired. We'll survive.
He always gets a kick over his sister Reina. She is the light of his life and he is always happy to see her. We love to hear them laugh together.

Baelor loves to move and get into everything...pulling folded laundry out of the basket, getting into the xbox and dvd player, playing with the heater, toilet, garbage can. You parents get the idea. It's funny because when he climbs the stairs he gives you warning what he is doing...a squeal or holler to let you know. What a little smarty-pants.
He apparently can't stand formula anymore. So for liquid my mom (who takes care of him when I'm working) has resorted to pears and a little cow's milk.
His favorite food is probably cabbage soup and pears. Baelor will "say" thank you after about the 4th bite with a little "Ahhh". I've given him a sippy cup of water. He'll drink a little but finds more joy out of pinching the rubber sippy tip. I don't let him do that so he doesn't get any ideas.

He is at that age where he just fits in with the rest of the crowd at Mummi's daycare center. I'll walk in and almost miss him as he blends into the bustle of playing.

We can tell he has such a good sense of humor. He likes to make people laugh by making silly noises and faces, and likes to maul. As I am writing this he is starting to get over his nasty cold, teething ordeal and we are hopeful to have our easy-going baby back again.

Baelor still wears 6-12 clothes, depending on the brand. Carter's seems to run small, Gymboree big, and Old Navy just about right. He wears size 3 diapers and poops about once a day.

His hair is stilling showing as blonde as ever, and his baby blue eyes aren't going anywhere. 

I only snapped a few pictures this month as my time has been consumed with lots of other things. Although this cute picture is of Baelor with a chocolate mustache. He was going crazy with excitement and we didn't know why until we saw his chocostache!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Is He IN or is He OUT

One show that I enjoy watching is "Project Runway." If you have never seen the show, it's basically a clothing designer challenge show that begins with a dozen designers. Each week they have a challenge and one person is kicked off. As the weeks pass, they have challenge after challenge which ends with 3-4 who get to compete at Fashion Week in New York City. Anyway, Heidi Klum, the host always has her catchphrase- "In fashion, one day your IN and the next day your OUT."

What I mean by this post title is that Baelor has officially been out of the womb longer than in the womb. Yikes! I can not keep up with this growing boy! I can keep up with his physical growth i.e. not growing out of clothes or diaper sizes quickly, but the months are passing by too fast for my lack of sit-down documentations of Baelor.

Since his last 8 month post he has really taken off! It was September 24 (close to 9 months old) when his bottom two teeth poked through. He didn't appear to have any fever or insane amounts of drool before they popped through, so it was quite unexpected. Reina was much later in getting her first teeth at nearly one year old. Baelor decided that very same Thursday evening when his first two teeth popped through, that he was going to begin his crawling adventures. It took a week or so to really strengthen his crawling from an army crawl (using mostly upper arm strength with no legs), to the more traditional style of crawling more widely used among his contemporaries. I've read that babies who crawl in the most traditional form end up being more coordinated.


October has been the month for him to really show us how much of a BIG BOY he is becoming. On 10/11/12, Little Guy advanced from crawling to standing (while holding onto something). Baelor will pretty much find anything to crawl up to and stand against, but his favorite is probably the stairs. Of course! He tries going past the first step but it always ends with a BONK and a little cry. Luckily there is carpet and his short stature doesn't create too much of a fall. We try to steer him away from dangers like bar stools, fireplaces, and anything metal or sharp to fall on, but that seems to be just the right height for practicing. I get worried that he is going to lose too many brain cells, but Paul reminds me that babies are made to be quite resilient.

Baelor Leevi has always been a quiet, patient, happy baby. He still is, but he is starting to show us a little more of his funny personality. He likes to blow raspberries and create as much spit as possible. If you blow back to him it just promotes further blowing and added juices. Something funny that Baelor has been doing lately is shying away and diverting his eyes if you look at him too long. How does he already understand that staring is rude? I remember Reina at about this age would squeeze her eyes shut as tight as possible to show her pleasure. Baelor is doing the same thing. He'll squeeze them shut really tight if he finds something humorous.

I have always said he is a quiet, patient baby. This is some degree. He is beginning to take charge and show us who is boss- H.I.M. It's quite funny though. He doesn't necessarily cry when he wants to nurse or eat or get up from bed. He just let's out as big a noise as possible. It still makes us laugh. He can't just say, "Hey, I want this so give it to me." But we can tell it's implied. In some ways he just reminds me of a teenage boy...lounging, yelling, joking around, concentrating on electrical devices in his hands.

This guy loves to play! He understand humor, playfulness, silliness, joking around. Sometimes I just can't get enough of him so I attack him with hugs and loves and kisses and complete and utter attention. He eats it up- literally. I am actually a little worried that he is gonna become a biter. He bites everything...the bigger and harder the bite, the more he loves you. At least I know he loves my face, arm, neck, eyeball...
Everything goes in his mouth. I'm not used to this as Reina didn't eat garbage off the floor at any age. She seemd to know better than eating debris off the floor. So I am learning to pick up small pieces of carpet threads, crumbs, doll shoes and leaves.

He has been into squeeling. Some people might hear him and assume it is a cry or frustration, but he is just happy to be advancing. He is loving all the learning going on now that he is mobile. Hmmm...I guess that's how we feel about technology and our ability to do pretty much anything via mobile.

The night before he turned 10 months (November 1st), he crawled himself halfway up the stairs ALL BY HIMSELF. I suppose he would have completed the whole staircase, but my mommy instincts took over and grabbed him as soon as I saw the unsteady, backwards leaning action start to take effect. He now officially can crawl all the way up the stairs. Of course we try to "have his back" as he shows off his stair-crawling skills.

All of us have really enjoyed watching Baelor grow and learn. Sister Reina is excited to see him learn new things as well. She is excited to hear him say words like "Mama", "Dada" and "Baba" and especially that she can actually play with him and get responses back. She is so good with him. She has never tried to harm him ever, but is a protective, loving sister. Keep it up sweetie! We know we have been blessed with two happy, healthy, smart and sweet kids. Loves!

Growth stats at 9 months 4 weeks:
Height: 27.8 inches / 18th percentile
Weight: 17.2 lbs / 3rd percentile
Head: 16.7 inches / 1st percentile

Saturday, November 3, 2012

What were YOU for Halloween?

This past week we have done a lot of dressing up...well, at least Reina has. She dressed up as a princess not once, but TWICE. The first time was to see Disney Princesses on Ice with her cousin Heleena at the "Dare to Dream" show. Oh my, did they have a good time!  I was running late so of course there was a major accident on the freeway, but luckily we only missed the beginning of Princess Tiana (which Reina hasn't seen anyway). She was getting anxious to see Cinderella since she was dressed up like her.


 This is her current favorite princess of the week. I even put make-up on her for the first time...a little blue eye shadow that I happened to find from who knows when/what, and some blush. That night I could imagine what she will look like when she is sixteen.

Heleena dressed up as Rapunzel with pretty flowers in her hair. The three main story lines were Princess Tiana, Cinderella, and Rapunzel. Phew! Good thing the girls dressed up like the starring princessess. This was also my sister Sanni and my first time to a Disney Ice show. What a production!  The show began featuring Princess Tiana, then Cindrella, and ended with Rapunzel. They had amazing costumes and even did some trapeeze sort of stunts with Rapunzel's hair. Not a single triple-axle fall, only intentional "falls" from Cinderella's wicked step-sisters. I think they were my favorite characters along with dreamy Eugene from "Tangled". I also have a fascination with Rapunzel's "mother". I like to sing the "Mother Knows Best" song to Reina in a robust voice just like in the movie.

Heleena and Reina looking at all the overly-priced princess stuff during intermission
The final production had ALL the princes and princesses in their wedding gowns

Just a few days later we went to a ward "Trunk-or-Treat" that also had a chili and pie cook-off contest. It rained the whole night except for the 10 minutes of actually trunk-or-treating outside. We couldn't have timed that better! Reina really grasped the joy of trick-or-treating this year. I think she is more excited of the idea of having a bucket full of candy than the candy itself. In fact, someone commented "Wow, she has a bucket full of candy and instead she is asking for pumpkin pie." I'm crossing my fingers we've trained her to enjoy some sweets, but not to overly indulge. 

Our family at Mummi and Papa Will's Trunk-or-Treat along with friends Emily and Abigail

We have always enjoyed Halloween and theming up our family. This year, since I already had an amazing renaissance dress that Grandma Guinn made me years ago for a renaissance fair, I decided to go with it. Paul wanted a Sir coat, so I made one using a pattern and verbal instructions from the very talented Grandma Guinn. Reina's costume was luckily an already made/already had snow princess costume that fit the theme perfectly. So what could a little 9 month old be that would fit our Knightly theme? Link from Zelda! Paul's idea of course. I found a couple girls' green t-shirts at Walmart for $2.50. A little cutting and surging, and POOF! His costume was probably the best! The cheapy thrown-together costume was the best. I guess anything on this baby looks cuter though. Paul even made a replica Deku Shield and Kokiri Sword.

A "zombie apocalypse" t-shirt that Baelor wore on Halloween day. What a cute zombie!
Day of Halloween wear
Second-time around wig. Hehe!
On Halloween night we attended our ward's Trunk-or-Treat for the first time. Usually we go to Coeur D'Alene. It was a nice change. Reina's favorite part was the homemade glazed donuts and the gorilla that scared you when you reached for a treat out of the back of somebodies truck. Paul took Reina to a few houses up and down our neighborhood while I was putting Baelor to bed. Halloween ended with Reina separating her candy in little piles.....chocolate, suckers, boxed candy, gummies....reminding us of our past trick-or-treating years. I already have some ideas rolling around in my head for our theme next year. Hopefully it doesn't involve much sewing :)

Sunday, October 28, 2012

My First Horsey Ride

Family is a wonderful thing! This past summer my sister Tarja and her three children, Reagan, Kamryn, and Ethan visited. They love coming up north from California to enjoy the "woodsie" Pacific Northwest. One of the activities on their "to do" list while visiting was to go horseback riding. Luckily Paul's brother, Bryan and his family live on a nice little farm rather close. Yay! This was a first for Reina, and I think all of the kids!

The kids were anticipating their rides so I took a quick picture of what appear like "naturals" at farm life. Cousins Logan and Lauren (Bryan and Wendy's girls) are naturals of course.

Kamryn brushing the horse

Aunt Wendy grew up on a farm in Nevada and was basically raised on a horse. She was involved in farming, 4H, and barrel racing. She showed ya'll the basics of horse care. Ok, I just wanted to say ya'll, even if it wasn't following the laws of grammar.

Reagan looked as though she had been riding for years. Very comfortable. You could see the drive in her eyes.

Ethan enjoyed the horses, until Reina's older cousins Brecken and Degan came home and started playing video games


Reina wasn't scared of the horse at all! I expected she would be for a few minutes at least, but she was a brave little 3 year old!

I think my sister, Tarja was the most excited for this adventure as she literally squealed with delight when I broke her the news that we would go horse-back riding.