Tuesday, January 31, 2012


What I'm loving now:

These SUPER chubby cheeks

My two babies in their jammies

Green smoothie face...and the fact that she'll drink it!

 Reina's Yo Gabba Gabba Vans...LOVE

Jelly Bellies. I'm embarrassed to say how many I've inhaled.

 This photographic little chicka

 Matching Mummi with stripes and color! Really was a coincidence

 Checking on her before we go to bed and ALWAYS finding her facing the wrong way...

 Knowing how much fun she has with her friends...DRESS SILLY DAY.

My two sleepy guys


Monday, January 30, 2012

Projects on a Budget

I don't consider myself "crafty", yet I seem to set myself up for doing projects. Is it because I can envision what the final product should look like, or because it seems so much cheaper just to do it myself? In any case, here are some of my more recent projects. The pictures don't do justice. It's not as cluttered as it appears in the photos. Probably due to the writing. Reina's artwall is actually the door to the attic, so it is rather cluttered but an easy place to put all of my favorites!

With Reina's "big girl" bedroom, my inspiration piece was the picture above her bed. I found this at Goodwill. I I like how whimsical it is, simple, yet kid-like.You can't tell, but this cute little thing was a monster of a problem ....too heavy! It took 5 brains and two frame stores to hang this thing. We thought of all sorts of options, but none of them worked until we discovered an "EZ-bar". Apparently this is something you use to hang large/heavy items like mirrors when sheer weight is too much for just the studs and anchors. Can you believe it took 5 brains to discover this? And you would've thunk the first frame store knew about an EZ-bar! We don't plan on living here for too much longer so I chose not to repaint the walls and decided to just make it work. Surprisingly, the wall color fits in rather well. I have labeled the picture like HGTV to give you an idea of how much everything cost. I like to see what I can create on a very small budget. I do have grander ideas, but maybe for her next room and a little more to spend. The bed was mine growing up...kind of outdated brass so I am debating on painting it, but sometimes original is better. Haven't decided yet. Also I am still on the hunt for a cute comforter. I have seen a few that are cute, but are $100 as well. So we'll just have to wait...or make a duvet cover. The white dresser in Reina's room was probably the ugliest color brown you can imagine...oh, and it was a fake wood veneer. It had no hardware which made it even more ugly. I learned what kind of paint goes on "fake wood" and it turned out great! The dresser came with another matching larger 6-drawer dresser that is used in our bedroom. I painted it black and added hardware. It also serves as a dresser and for holding our T.V...sorry, no pic.

Baelor's room is actually inspired by what was supposed to be Reina's room as a baby. She never actually got this crib until she was close to 2 years old, then only months later got her "big girl" bed. I had originally decided on the red/black/white motif because when I was pregnant with Reina I learned that babies really gravitate towards these colors. It intrigues their eyes and strengthens their mind (supposedly). Instead, Reina had a pack-n-play and she slept in my "walk-in-closet". She never had a baby room. Everything in Baelor's room I made except for the two pillows and animal pictures. The Ikea chairs are mainly in Baelor's room because we currently have no other place to store them. I do not sit there and rock him, but the thought is nice. The curtains were from the chiropractic office in Tacoma, so we reused them...they are the exact same color as the walls in fact. I have just a few more finishing touches to put up (i.e. mobile on crib, an empty wall to decorate), but otherwise have 2 rooms done for 2 kids! Yeah!
Here is a chair I re-cushioned (cut the foam), and completely new material. Thanks to the verbal instructions of my mother-in-law, I was able to redo a once horrible ugly Goodwill find (so ugly I didn't take the cushions home...I don't like unknown bottoms sitting in my house). I even put zippers in so I can wash them. I'm kind of a germaphobe.
I have extra material for two matching pillows that I will make for whichever room this goes in. The wicker chair is definitely "retro" but I thought with the right modern touches it will do just fine.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Happy Birthday Reina!

Reina celebrated her 3rd birthday in style. I say this because it was bigger and better than anticipated. We thought since we just had a week old baby that her birthday would be overshadowed by the birth of her little brother. I didn't have time to plan for a big party with family, so I thought this year it would take place at my mom's house, where she goes everyday. We dedicated 2 hours for her party starting at 10am. All of her friends from daycare were there. We also invited her cousins Logan, Lauren, Heleena, and Ashton.
Her party was actually quite amazing! We borrowed a blow-up house from Paul's brother Bryan. A jumpy house is always a favorite among little-legged people. Add in some requested pink and purple balloons and cupcakes and you have a great party! Reina was such a sweetheart for sharing her balloons with her friends.

Here are some of the things that Reina loves by her 3rd birthday:
-dancing; she often will show off to friends and family that come over with cheers that she has learned from her 1st grade friend Elizabeth.
-singing; one of her favorite songs is a song she made up about underwear! Maybe sometime I can capture it on video..."Oh underwear, Oh underwear..."
-books; still one of her favorite past times is reading. We have recently started learning stories from the scriptures. It's rewarding to hear her recall a story about Jesus. Mummi was the one who started reading these stories to her, so we finally got some scripture story books to read before bed as well.
-obedience; she does not like to be wrong or be in trouble. Sometimes if she makes a mistake and gets in trouble she feels really bad about it. It's hard to explain, but she realizes when she makes a mistake and doesn't want someone else to notice the mistake she made. I totally get this aspect as I think she inherited it from me. Some people think I may "baby" her in getting in trouble but I know how it hurts her feelings.
-skirts and short sleeves; if it were up to her she would wear skimpy skirts and short sleeves everyday. I never let her get away with this because if I give in one day, she will expect it the next. I am adamant that she stays warm at all times. I hate it when kids get sick.
-Yo Gabba Gabba; she still loves this show. This might have to do with the fact that we DVR it, so every once in a while if she watches TV, it's this show that we have already recorded. I think Paul loves it and so encouraged her to like it. It's a positive show though, so I much prefer this over the Disney Channel. I do really like The Backyardigans though....fab show.
-She hasn't had a check-up for some time, but I'd say she is average in everything...height/weight. Although I do think she is advanced in her learning, memorizing, and motor skills. She still requires a pull-up at night though...hasn't had consecutive dry nights.
-pink and purple; what girl doesn't like these colors?
-The girl loves her milk!
-Prefers soup at most meals unless it is junk food night of french fries and fish sticks. Other favorite foods are nuts and seeds, cottage cheese with yogurt, banana with almond butter, broccoli, and blueberries.
-Best friends are Owen, Abigail, and Trevin

Thursday, January 12, 2012

24x7= 1 week old!

Our baby boy is one week old! I am posting this when he is actually 10 days old, but the pictures are true to age. I don't remember it being this easy with Reina. Was it her strong-willed personality, that fact that we were new parents and didn't know the huge commitment we just made, or because my milk didn't come in for almost 5 days and she was screaming for food? Golly, I still can't believe I made her starve because the lactation nurses would have scoffed if I fed her formula. This time around is so much easier! My milk came in right away in the hospital, just as Baelor latched right away. He didn't latch unusual like Reina did and cause bleeding for weeks, just a hardy latch. I'm kind of waiting for the "hard part" to happen. If it's this easy now, when is it gonna get hard? I felt like Reina has gotten easier every week of her life...yes even with her being a sweet and sometimes sassy 3-year old. Is Baelor going to start out being sweet now and go downhill from there? In any case, I'm totally in love with him! He has the BIGGEST newborn cheeks I've ever seen (except for cousin Lucas Mitchell), and squinty eyes. I haven't seen much of his eyes as he still prefers to leave them closed, or partially closed when he isn't sleeping. His left eye still gets goopy though, no matter how much I wipe it clean.

The only thing we have really been battling is his jaundice. He had medium/high bilirubin levels when they checked in the hospital and went down to just medium bilirubin levels while still in the hospital. He had his levels checked again at the doctor's office and found them to go back to high levels. Ugh! He is nursing great and pooping great so why the high levels? He has been pricked on his feet at least 5 times now, so his cute little heels have needed lots of kisses. He still hasn't reached critical levels where he needs an ultraviolet bed, luckily. I think we are in the clear now as he is over a week old and appears to be looking less and less yellow each day. We have had a few sunny days so I've tried laying him in the light in hopes of soaking in some rays, although the sun was moving so quickly he's probably only had 2 hours of sunlight. The only thing I can do to help him get rid of the jaundice is to keep nursing him. I have been on the ball with nursing him every 2-3 hours...yep, even waking him up to eat. I just hope he doesn't get used to eating this often as we will eventually try sleeping longer in the night.

I was going for one of those cute, sleeping baby on their tummy shots...he was flailing around instead
I've found that Baelor sleeps much better in bed with us, at least at night. He sleeps pretty well during the day in his own crib, or wherever I happen to set him down. But for some reason at night, he knows it is my sleep time and likes to be curled up right next to me. Baelor likes to feel my belly expanding next to him...I can't blame him since it was his home for 9 months. I've tried quietly laying him down in his bed after a feeding and rubbing his back, but he already catches on to the fact that he's not in our bed. That little stinker! So with our last doctor's visit, being 9 days old he has already reached his birth weight, plus one. He is 7 lb. 8 oz now! Hurray! He is starting to pack on the pounds already. Get ready for even chubbier cheeks! Baelor already takes a pacifier. I've resorted to this as he nurses sometimes both sides and still wants it in his mouth...sorry dude, not gonna be your pacy.

We're not sure who he really looks like yet...hard to say when they are this little. Sometimes I see Reina, sometimes I see a complete stranger. He's gotta perfectly shaped head, and soft, silky hair like Reina had. I call it Pepe hair as it feels like my dad's hypoallergenic cat, Pepe. His eyes and mouth are smaller than Reina's were, but so is the rest of him. He definitely looks like a boy though. I don't think people will mistake him for a girl unless he enjoys Reina's dress-up clothes more than she does, which should be easy. Minus a full night of sleep, I don't miss anything before Baelor joined our family.
Oh and the name....how did we come up with it? Well, I thought that I had made it up years ago...yes, before Reina was born. I thought Reina was gonna be a boy so I've had this name for a long time. I asked Paul if he thought it sounded "made up". Come to find out, Paul's absolute favorite author had a character in one of his novels named Baelor...so Paul, or I guess his favorite author came up with the spelling. The middle name is Leevi. This is Finnish spelling for Levi. In Finnish it is actually pronounced Leh-vee, but we are going to go with the English pronunciation of the name. For those of you who do speak Finnish, I am perfectly happy with you pronouncing it properly though :)

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Baelor's Birth Story

Baelor is our New Year's baby as he was born at 3:23pm on January 2, 2012 (1.2.12). He was 11 days early, but only 4 days earlier than planned. I was to be induced on January 6th due to gestational diabetes the 2nd time around. He decided he didn't want to wait that long. Actually, I think Reina inspired or conspired with him to have him come early. She wanted to be sure he was there for her birthday on January 8th. She said many prayers for this to come true! He came a few extra days early due to the fact that I had been battling low amniotic fluid levels since the 19th of December. This was quite scary as some special care doctors thought it was better that I be induced right away "just in case". I wasn't ready at all! I had barely finished teaching on that Friday, then had to prepare and give a talk on Sunday, and received this news on Monday. Here I thought I would enjoy a couple of weeks to prepare for our baby boy, but of course I couldn't have a break. I had an option to try rehydrating with IV fluids, which did seem to show some progress, but would go down after a couple of days. I did this twice and knew on Christmas Eve if it was low once more that I would have to be induced for the safety of the baby. Christmas Eve came and I was hoping I wouldn't be Mary. My fluid levels were just high enough that we could safely wait until the day after Christmas. Somehow with this stress off of me, I was able to maintain my fluid levels until I delivered in the New Year. I know, tax purposes I should have delivered in December, but I'm happy with another January baby.
 I went into the hospital all by myself at 7:30 on Monday, January 2nd...day of induction. Of course Paul would have been there, but I thought Reina should sleep in as much as possible as this would be a rough couple of days without her parents...although discovered she was great for my sister Sanni and Mummi who watched her. After paperwork and boring hospital stuff I wasn't officially put on Petocin until about 9am. They slowly increased the dosage by increments of 2 so as not to shock my system. Paul arrived a little after 10am and was my support. Not too much was happening yet besides my cervix starting to soften and dilating from a 3 to maybe a 4. I was already a 3 when I arrived but not soft at all. Dr. Virgin broke my water (at least thinks she does) at 10:32. I had such a low fluid level that the leakage was minimal. First uncomfortable contraction at 10:52.
Continued to increase Petocin until at 8 units. Started walking the halls at 11:30am to get things moving along quicker. Had to stop every 2-3 minutes to let a contraction pass. Not too bad yet. At 12:30pm tried the ball for 10 minutes. Didn't like it and contractions were getting worse. 12:43pm, 75% effaced and dilated 4-5 cm. 1-1:20 pm contractions became more uncomfortable; dilated 5 cm. 1:32pm finally asked for epidural. Epidural administered at 1:50pm. I asked them to go light on it since last time with Reina I couldn't feel my legs for 18 hours and didn't know when to push as I could feel nothing. Much lighter epidural this time. I could still feel every contraction and still painful, but tolerable...no I'm not sleeping in this picture, this was me focusing as contractions were just barely tolerable.
At 2:30pm, I was dilated to 6cm. By 3:15 pm completely dilated and baby at +1 (which means head showing). I pushed for 3 contractions (6 times total). I imagined him moving down with each contraction, which I think helped push him down quicker. Mind over matter, right?
 Welcomed Baelor Leevi Guinn into our family at 3:23 pm weighing 7 lb. 7 oz, 20.5"

 What an amazing delivery! I only hope for all of them to go as seamless as this one.

 My mom was there to see the worst of contractions and the best part, seeing the birth of her 16th grandchild.
Reina FINALLY meeting her new baby brother! So many nights she would give my belly a hug (her brother) when she would go to bed, or when she was sad. It was amazing to see what a GOOD big sister she already is to him. Love between siblings is amazing. I haven't felt greater love for my family than I have now. I love you Paul, Reina, and Baelor more than I can say, smile, or cry. Thank you for letting me be a part of you.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Christmas Season 2011

Christmas family photo...Reina almost 3, me 8 months pregnant
We stayed home this Christmas season. I was 8 1/2 months pregnant so traveling wasn't an option anyway. We were lucky to have Thanksgiving with Paul's brother Bryan and his family at their beautiful home in Brush Prarie with Grandma and Grandpa Guinn. Reina doesn't see these cousins too often so she thoroughly enjoyed all the attention and toys they shared with her.
Christmas was a little shaky this year because an ultrasound appointment just one week before Christmas showed that my amniotic fluids dropped to a critical level and could prove the need to be induced even earlier than expected. We chose to try rehydrating with IV fluids which did show drastic improvement the next day. But just a few days later had dropped once again. Christmas eve came and I had to get my fluids checked once again to determine if this would be a Christmas baby or not. Luckily they were just high enough to wait until the day after Christmas to recheck. I didn't want to be Mary this Christmas. So as expected, I was a little nervous this Christmas season. I tried hard not to exert myself too much (this was VERY hard for me), as my fluid levels needed to remain high. So no working out, no running around too much doing errands. With amazement, my fluid levels continued to stay at a reasonable level until the doctors chose to induce in January. Yippee! I just wanted another January baby like Reina....even if we didn't get the tax break.

I love Mummi and Papa Will
Family prayer
Jumping on the bed at Grandma and Grandpa Scarborough's...oops!
Reina with cousins Riley and Heleena
Christmas Sunday dresses with cousins Kaija and Miia

Family hug after prayer with Uncle Richard
My brother Teem and his family came for Christmas this year from Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. This was a treat since they stayed for nearly two weeks. Most days were spent just hanging out and playing games. One afternoon we took all the kids swimming at Firstenburg. This was fun for everyone. Even the very pregnant lady! We also took the kids to see the new library that opened up downtown Vancouver which includes a discovery area for children to tinker around in. We did have one "date night" with the adults in which we went to a great Thai/Laotian restaurant and to see "Sherlock Holmes 2". Paul and I had just seen this a few nights earlier when I learned my low fluid level and needed a little stress reliever. So we saw "Mission Impossible 4". Definitely liked the Sherlock movie more, but fun to be out with my babe.
One of the big Christmas items this year is remote control helicopters. These little things were EVERYWHERE. Age didn't matter as I saw little boys getting them, big boys getting them, and old boys getting them. Almost all the boys in our family got one except for Paul, so he had to order one on Amazon which is in transit now. Since the guys had time off work and there was no snow on the mountains to go play in, they made a pretty awesome obstacle course with landing pad and all for the helicopters to fly through!
For Christmas, the little girls got an extra special gift this year- doll beds! These are extra special because Grandpa Scarborough made them and Aunt Tarja made the bedding. They are perfect size for American Girl dolls which Reina will get in a few years when she can really appreciate their quality and expensiveness.

Another great treat this year was the traditional Finnish dinner that Uncle Teem made. When he and Sanni were on their missions in Finland, they enjoyed this meal as part of the Finnish Christmas tradition. The meal includes: cured ham, liver casserole, rutabaga casserole, a carrot/rice casserole, potato casserole, and lingonberry sauce. I liked most of the dishes, except for the liver casserole. I really tried hard to enjoy it's uniqueness, but the strong flavor and aftertaste was too much for my palate. Probably my favorite was the ham that is naturally cured and cooked with a rind of rye bread to infuse into the meat.
 Spending time with family just hanging out and playing games was a great way to enjoy this Christmas as we anticipated the big bang of a new addition to our family for the new year! Next post will of course be the newest member of our family...