Friday, January 29, 2016

Fantastic Four

When decorating Baelor's doughnut cake with candles, I perfectly placed three candles on top. Minutes later I realized I had forgotten one! That's right, Baelor is FOUR! Since it was just a couple of days after the new year, we still had family in town to celebrate with. It was a dry and super-cold day so I made five different flavored soups: Chicken noodle (for the kids and non-risk takers), Curry Lentil (one of my favorites), Split Pea with Ham, Potato with Sausage and Kale, and Tomato Bisque. I honestly had only made the curry lentil before so I wasn't sure how they would turn out. They were definitely full of flavor and seemed like everyone liked them. Although the kids weren't too thrilled about soup, but were happy when Baelor's doughnut cake was ready to be eaten. Since I spent the whole day making the soups I had to go easy on the cake!
We tested out "Pie Face" game that the kids got for Christmas. It was funny how both times around it splattered Baelor! I guess it knew who the birthday boy was! It was a lot of fun for everyone actually.
Probably his favorite gift was the package of various sharks. He is totally into sharks, whales, fish, boats- good thing I decorated his room in a fishing theme!
The next day we got to extend his birthday celebration by going to G6 Airpark- a trampoline park. It was a BLAST. I have always been a fan of trampolines and gymnastics so this was super fun, especially with so much family to play with. They even had a section for dodgeball!
Baelor has had quite the year being a 3 year old. I would definitely have to say this past year has been THE MOST CHALLENGING for us as parents in so many ways that I can't even really pinpoint all the exact things that made it so challenging. The most obvious one is that he did not potty-train easily. This boy was totally fine if he was sitting in his poop all day. We couldn't bribe him with candy or toys or punish him with time-out, a swat on the behind, taking something away, or even sitting in his poopy pants. It really had to be on HIS timing...apparently just a month before he turned four was the answer. Had I known we wouldn't have even tried, ugh!
Finally in junior Primary with Reina
Baelor is a very adventurous boy; as boys often are. He enjoys his own little world and doesn't have the need to want to do what everyone else is doing. I feared he would not follow directions when he goes to school but since he just upgraded to primary this month, he actually is doing FANSTASTIC! So we are not so worried anymore. There are just aspects about Reina and Baelor that are just SO different. Reina wanted to be involved with lots of people and was very quick to learn a new skill (like potty-training) whereas Baelor really enjoys each moment and doesn't really care who it pleases. This kind of makes it sound like he is not socially aware. He totally can fit in and responds very well to his peers, he just has preferences and you may or may not fit in with his agenda.

Mealtimes are also a challenge because he does not prefer to eat meals but rather a snack every two hours. I guess this is normal? Reina was a mealtime girl and not picky either. We are happy that Baelor does like vegetables though, of course when HE decides he wants them though. Some of his favorites are raw cabbage, kale, radishes, celery, cooked carrots and beets. Some of his least favorites are potatoes and corn (weird huh?). Some other favorite foods are: fish, fish sticks, gum, milk, parmesan cheese and other stinky cheeses like feta and goat, chocolate and plain raw oats with brown sugar on top.
This past year he learned quickly how to ride his big boy bike (with training wheels) but it's not his "go-to" toy. He goes about a week focusing on one toy, then will switch with something else the next week. Currently it's his Warhawk fighter airplane. Last week it was his sharks, especially his whale shark. Before that was the plastic boats for the beach or bath. Baelor's favorite color is GREEN, espeically when it comes to his Ikea plasticware and plates.
We love Baelor so very much. We have seen him really grow up the past couple of months. He will always be the kind of kid who will keep us on our toes. Not because he is mean or vindictive. In fact, he is super sweet and loveable to everyone. We call him our "guileless guy" because he really hasn't a desire for anything mean; just wondering which leads to wandering. He is super fun and full of personality and makes the cutest expressions. His latest is his little Elvis lip that curls when he's trying to get the point across of something unpleasant. You can read him with his expressions. Baelor gave us a scare this year but we are so grateful that we get to tuck him in at night, and then re-tuck him in again when he sneaks out of his bed...and then tuck him in when he decides to sleep on his floor...and then finally back in his bed when he is officially asleep.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Merry Christmas 2015

If we sent Christmas cards this year they would have looked like this:
The picture actually turned out better than expected after we set the timer and got just five quick shots on a super cold and windy day.
 And of course Rowen had to have a classic "Santa hat" picture. I'm loving the bloopers as well...
"I hope I'm not on the naughty list"
"Too much eggnog"
Christmas party for Clear Choice Chiropractic on the Sternwheeler downtown Portland
 Early Christmas eve day, we caught up with one of my best friends Jessica and her daughter Isabella who is also friends with Reina. Our tradition seems to be swimming at the hotel pool she stays at.
 Christmas eve was spent with Grandma and Grandpa Guinn and all the siblings that live in town. We had FANTASTIC hors-d'oeuvres (yep, had to look up the spelling for the umpteenth time!) that Grandma Guinn made. She's a great party-thrower.
Did I ever mention Grandma Guinn can sew? "Sew" she made Katie and myself a pair of gardening coveralls with built-in knee pads and pockets. Hot pants huh?
Aunt Katie and Uncle Steve adoring Rowen
The kiddos wore Christmas jammies and put out exactly nine carrots (the biggest one for Rudolph since he has to work extra hard according to Reina) and cookies for Santa. Reina said I should be nicer to Santa because I said that maybe we should give him something healthy to eat instead of cookies to fill his fat tummy. Rowen got his own candy-striped stocking this year.
 In the morning we had our traditional thin Finnish pancakes and bacon. Everyone has their favorite topping: Baelor prefers white sugar sprinkled on top, Reina likes jam, Paul likes syrup and I like butter or whip cream.
 Santa gifts this year were a color-yourself messenger bag with the exact raccoon keychain she wanted and bonus fox keychain. Baelor got a pretty slick remote control viper in, of course, green. And Rowen got a classic Fisher Price record player- a fond memory of mine.
 Each of the kiddos with their piles. Rowen doesn't look too pleased with his two presents!
 I like to spice up gifts for my hunk a bit, so I gave him two options: he could only choose one of the options BEFORE unwrapping. Luckily, he got the better of the two options- a "wench" hehe for the 4-wheeler.
One of my gifts was a selfie stick! First selfie stick photo...and possible the last?
 After testing out all the presents, making Finnish lucia cookies and finally getting dressed, we went to my sister Sanni's house for dinner with Mummi and Papa Will and Grandpa Scarborough. I was very pleased to have steak instead of ham or turkey as I enjoy a good hunk of red meat over others (although I think fish is my absolute favorite).
 After Christmas, my brother and his family joined us for the rest of winter break. They brought all the crazy fun toys like a raceway that uses your phone to control it and the infamous "hoverboards". We all had a good time testing these "Back to the Future" machines out. I think everyone became a pro at them except me! I just couldn't seem to go fast on them!
Our family time during the break also included game nights, date night at Mio Sushi, burning off energy at the church gym, a trip to OMSI and sledding. Rowen and I skipped this trip- it would have been too cold for him as it was very cold!
New Year's Eve ended up being VERY low key as our planned game night with family ended early with Baelor having multiple bloody noses that ended up on my sister's carpet and a poopy underwear incident. We celebrated by peeking in on each of our kids with kisses all around.
Our family did not really do too much as far as events and vacations. Looking back, 2015 was quite low-key as we continued to plug along with family, work, church callings and time together. It always seemed like we were tackling one project after the next and found it very rewarding when we would all be home together which wasn't as often as we hoped. I remember last Christmas being very tender with the desire to be a mom again. Getting pregnant is quite challenging for me and I could not have asked for anything more than having another baby. Rowen has been my greatest blessing this year. Baelor being healthy again is my greatest blessing this year. I tear up every time I think back of him in the hospital and how helpless I felt. Answers to prayers and the power of the priesthood is my greatest blessing this year. A smart and powerful daughter to build a lasting relationship with is my greatest blessing this year. My very best friend and sweetheart to share all my life with forever is the greatest blessing this year. I am only in the beginnings of understanding how much love our Heavenly Father has for each of us. With each of my children I feel that love grow. I am blessed to know of this eternal truth. I am very blessed to have a testimony of the Savior and of the plan of salvation. My testimony is firm and I am only going to strengthen it and understand more of God's plan for me.