Friday, June 21, 2013

When Did you Grow? and Coeur d'Alene

I asked Reina, "When did you grow up?" She replied, "I just did."

Everyone once in a while, Reina will pass by me and I am amazed out how grown up she is. Where was the in-between stage where she was not quite a baby and not quite a girl? Yet, I remember her always in that in-between stage. The other day she asked me a question (her big brown eyes staring at me), and I think my pause was unexpectedly long because it was that moment I realized she grew up. I looked at her not as a mom who is used to seeing her child everyday, but more as a relative who only sees her periodically.

Reina offers such sweet prayers. We rotate between the three of us each night at Reina's bed, until Baelor gets his turn. One of her recent prayers included...."thank you that I could have a LONG story tonight. And thank you for the beautiful flowers that we can smell and the butterflies." Life is beautiful in the eyes of a four-year old. Life is also devastating when you have to wear a long-sleeve shirt under your dress because it's still cold outside in the eyes of a four-year old.

Reina and neighbor friends made a "shrine" for the fairies to visit. Included: flowers, grass, cheese, bird nest.
I love how the simplest things that I do for her produce a grand appreciation, "I just love you so SO much. And if you are sick I will go find a rose and pick it to give for you." One of her most recent acts of appreciation is that while hugging me she will say "Hug, hug...Butterfly, butterly...Flower, flower...Heart, heart." Basically, she wants to give me all those things that little girls love.

We just started some early reading using Bob series books! Costco has them right now. My sister-in-law uses these books and her kids are excellent readers. Reina already knows the sounds that each letter makes, just not putting them together to form words. She is at the early stages of putting short sounds together such as bag, rag, dot, mat, etc. Reina is so happy when she reads through a whole book! We try to be very patient with her as she is learning to memorize words that don't make sense like "the". My patience was really tested when she kept sounding out G-O-T, but would then say DOG. It literally took 6 minutes for her to be frustrated, and me holding back just saying the word. Finally, after much coaxing and coaching without actually helping her with any part of the word, SHE SAID IT. We were both relieved. After the book ended, I went back to that hard word. It took her another minute to remember what it looked and sounded like. I think it's just hard for her palate to form words that start with G. Get used to it my little Guinn.
Update: Just before posting this, we read through a book with GOT and she breezed right through the word. Way to go girl!

Reina seems so grown up due to the fact that she asks to go "play with friends." This is what KIDS do. She would play everyday with our neighbors if allowed. We are lucky that they have 3 girls to play with. We just recently put up our $20 trampoline so this has been a fun addition to their play, until someone starts crying. I've been taking her friend (neighbor) Ainzlee with us to Zumba at the church Fridays for some extra play time and a break for her mom. Too bad her friend starts school in the fall. Reina is just SO ready to go. I really wish she could just go to kindergarten for 2 years (so to keep with her age group).

Another addition to Reina's growth is a weekly goal chart from Dollar Tree. She has a few bad habits that we're trying to work on by allowing her to set goals and keep them. We miss some days because I'm not that dedicated to charts and lists on a daily basis. Also I don't like to tally up out what she did to earn a star as I don't think children should only do something to get a reward. We don't have a reward for her earning stars. That is the reward. I think it is just a gentle reminder for all of us to do better- us parents included. It's gentle presence is working though.

We went to my brother and his family's house a couple of times this spring in Coeur d'Alene (a little dental procedure) and Reina got her cousins all to herself! Her and Miia (4 months older) played freely in their own way. No structure whatsoever. It worked. Every now and then, a little "vacation" is even necessary for kids.

We enjoyed some delish food like this meat and cheese meal called "Raclette"; a variety of fancy cheeses melted over chicken and buffalo meat and veggies. Coeur d'Alene recently got a "Cafe Rio" which I miss having in Utah, so we had to have that!

Most of our trips there involved eating and working while the kids played outisde. I helped get the garden prepared and dispose of dirt while Paul built a shed with my brother. It was a lot of hard work getting that foundation built, but they got the roofing and siding up as well!

We did get to have a little fun on our trips. One of the trips included shooting a variety of guns (both pistols and rifles). Another trip Paul and Teem (my bro) went paintballing at an old meat-packing building. I was invited but saw pictures of welts on a previous trip and chickened out. I will go if my sisters all go this summer.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

A Father's Day Riddle

Our yard has a garden box- recycled pallet wood
Some would say, "That is quite clever," but the question, "Who?"

You see this guy who's treating it meticulously so?
He labored hard, and filled with Earth to make our garden grow

This same man labored again, digging holes to build a shed
Two whole days of manly work with only food and bed

Not only is he strong for work, and lifting heavy things
He reads with us, and kisses us, and baths us while he sings

His favorite part about his day is when we visit work,
Then riding home in his "new" Jeep is just an extra perk

We love him so, and mommy knows nobody else would do
That's why we must be extra special to get a dad like you!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Dude is Seventeen Months

 I haven't posted updates on Baelor lately so I thought I'd jot down some milestones that have passed by too fast. We've been busy with a couple trips to my brothers house in Coeur d'Alene, and then nearing the end of school means squeezing in my last FULL class (always good), and finally getting to our outdoors. All of this will come in a post hopefully soon.
Baelor just barely turned 17 months (as of June 2nd). He is quite the GUY. I mean this because he totally looks and acts like a boy. He makes "dude" looks with his face.  I guess I have to post a little video to explain this. He is extremely expressive. He mimics what he is doing. For instance, if he throws a ball you can tell he intends to throw it very far with the amount of momentum that goes into his mouth dropping. Or if he is being funny, he really throws his head back, squints, and makes a cheese face. If something is difficult or requires concentration, he sticks his tongue out and grunts.

The day before his 17 month birthday he was in horrible pain for about an hour and a half. We couldn't figure out why. He had only napped for a short while when he woke up in pain. He had no fever, no visible anything, no poopie, NOTHING. What could be wrong? Oh, molars! He had at least two popping through at the same time (we believe the top two), but the bottom ones may or may not have been poking through as well. You can see them in the swing picture above. We tried the baby Orajel, that lasted a whole 2 seconds. We knew he was exhausted so we broke down and gave him baby Motrin just to tie him over. Our neighbor had a great idea- popsicles! He loved it and that seemed to occupy him for a while until the medicine set in. He slept for 12 hours straight, then woke up only to eat some dinner at 4am then back to bed and right on schedule. Reina never had such problems so this was a new experience for us.

We gave him his first "mini" haircut when he turned about 16 months. It was making a Dairy Queen sort of swirl on his forehead. Really my mom just cut a few scraps and saved it in a bag for me one day, so really not a true haircut. He still has what we call "Jonathan" hair; I'm not going to explain this but my family knows what this means :) Right now it is too long to do the bedhead look and not quite thick enough for anything else so it's just a Little Man cut right now. It is still so blonde though. I'm loving his Nordic tones.

Checking out what daddy's doing
 Favorites: Still loves balls and vacuums. He will make anything a vacuum and will always find that missing ball. He is actually very good at throwing balls straight and far with his left hand. Grandpa Guinn says that they always need a good left-handed pitcher. Baelor is not interested in books at all like his sister was at this age. He could be outdoors all day, rain or shine. Of course getting dirty and wet is even better! He is just so different in this respect than Reina. She was really clean outside and never ate dirt, rocks, small objects that you can choke on, dog food....just to name a few. Baelor tests everything out via taste sense.

Throwing potatoes with Nash, the dog
Of course he still loves his binkies, but only requires them at nap/bedtime. In this regard he reminds me of a teenage boy because if he wakes up at night and it has fallen out, he won't even feel around to put it in his mouth. Lazy. He is also a teenage boy because he has recently discovered what makes him a boy during bath time and laughs every time he rediscovers it.
Baelor has really taken to Reina's baby blanket that she never cared about that Aunt Tarja made her. Anytime he sees it he has to maul all over it and feel the ballies (which is also what he does at bath time).

Many people have noticed that his personality has really developed. He is a happy little jokester. He enjoys laughing and will easily find reasons to make something funny. He does not trust everyone though. You have to prove your character to him before he will let you in. Reina was the same way. I am okay with this as they will not trust all strangers. 

We are still a little tense when he goes up and down stairs. He can do it well now, but he is rather clumsy so we still use a gate; another opposite of his sister. He has had far too many bumps on his forehead that I fear he maybe be losing more brain cells than he is gaining. I think it may be the fact that he is rather stiff. His arms and legs just don't bend very easily. It's difficult to take shirts off him, not the head hole but the shoulder area. He does look a lot like his Grandpa Guinn who is also not very limber so it may just be the genes.

With Grandpa Guinn
Baelor is still a great eater but if he doesn't want it, he attempts to throw it while staring you down (waiting for permission). When we were in Coeur D'Alene, Nash the dog loved when Baelor was eating because he knew he'd get lots of crumbs. I don't think Baelor had many vegetables that trip. His favorite foods are blueberries, milk, cheese, green/fruit smoothies (only if they are daddy's), fruit, and meat. He eats pretty much everything though

Eating his first ice cream cone. Don't even ask me what Reina is wearing...this was not approved by me. (Don't blame me, either. -Dad)
Besides Mama, Dada, and Na (Reina), all words he's said since 15 months, Baelor's newest words are: blueberries, Baelor, shoes, socks, ball, doggie, light, kaka, M (milk), more. They aren't clear but enough for us to understand.

Baelor sleeps about 12 hours a night (maybe less), and one 2-4 hour nap. Pretty regular with this schedule. He likes his blueberries for breakfast, then an early and big lunch around 10:45 am. He usually is quite active all morning until a snack and milk before nap at 1pm. He goes down to bed with Reina at 8pm, although this has become later and later with the lighter evenings. We're somewhat flexible with this as they tend to sleep in a little later if they go to bed late.

He loves his mommy and daddy, but still prefers mommy for now. He laughs often with Reina. They already have a great relationship. He knows his Mummi will take care of his every need and has special moments with Papa Will. Everyone just falls in love with this handsome little guy. But not as much as me.