Photo Haul

Little Finnie on the night of Daylight Savings. He put himself to bed because he was so tired! California just voted Yes on this prop, so maybe it’ll finally stop next summer!

I started a new job this month with VIPKID


Soccer moms! Finn has his first season! He also scored his first goal and he was sooo excited! He covered his face and tipped his head back going on tippy toes!

Rose was in her first play, The Little Mermaid! She was an amazing crab!


Letter to Giselle


I am sitting here rocking you to sleep and wondering who you’ll be when you grow up. You have so many wonderful and exciting things ahead of you in life! I’m thinking about how one day I’ll put pigtails in your hair, how you’ll learn to ride a bike and swing on a swing, go on adventure with your friends, how one day you’ll start liking boys and go on your first date. I’m wondering what your personality will be like and what interests you’ll have. Your personality so far is just peaceful and sweet and JOY! You light up our lives with your constant big smiles and happy face! You bring peace into our home. I love being your mother– I am certainly very blessed to have been chosen to have such a sweet daughter who already radiates peace and joy. My life is filled with busywork, from the moment I get up till the moment I lay down again at night. Children are needing me constantly, especially Berrett, and you. But I have never been happier! I love my life with my children. Sometimes days will pass before I have an adult conversation, and I’m okay with it. And sometimes I do get a little stir crazy, so we go out on an adventure– just me and my wild kids! Today was Veterans Day, and Dad had to work, but that didn’t stop us. We went to the Oceanside Pier and walked out to Rubies and got French fries and shakes. You slept in my Ergo baby pack the entire time. You wore a little embroidered bonnet and a green checked dress (getting you dressed in the morning is truly an highlight!) You are my rubies and pearls. I love you so much. I love snuggling with you in my bed in the middle of the night, and I usually let you stay with me after I feed you. I will miss those cuddles and your perfect baby breath. Speaking of sleep, thank you for being such a wonderful sleeper!!! May it always be one of your gifts! I do have to go put you down in your little gold crib now and do some laundry, but I love you so much. Even for my fourth child, my love has no bounds!




A little study on parenting

I picked up a few parenting books at the library, one which was recommended by Everyday Reading

It’s called Ignore It! By Catherine Pearlman. I picked up some good tips for getting your kids to behave, and also some ways to inspire positive change. I’m taking some notes, mostly for me look back on and remember… because most things that go into my brain go right back out! 😬

The main concept is that parents can eliminate bad behavior by ignoring it and not giving it attention. There’s positive reinforcement (encouraging behavior by offering something desirable like food, attention, or toys) and negative attention (encouraging behavior by simply taking away something undesirable). For instance if a child is screaming in a restaurant and you give them an ice cream sundae to make them pipe down, that’s positive reinforcement that will teach the child they’ll be rewarded for their bad behavior. Negative attention might be giving in to a whining child who is resisting doing their chores and not making them do it. The child wins in both scenarios, not the parent, and the bad behavior continues because he child knows it will work!

The 4 steps of Ignore it!

1. Ignore —ignore the bad behavior

2. Listen —listen from a distance and observe cues from the child without interacting

3. Reengage —when the bad behavior stops, reward the child by reengaging and communicate with them about actions

4. Repair — help the child repair any damage they have done/apologize

I’m also really enjoying Gentle Discipline by Sarah Ockwell-Smith.

Note to self :

Rose is motivated, ambitious, determined, and tenacious! Finn is a free thinker, brave, and resilient. Berrett is resourceful and eager to learn!

I really like this concept of reworking what traits might seem negative about your child into a positive.

The book doesn’t let parents off the hook. It was interesting to read what I can do better. Good discipline is about flexibility and humility. As a parent, my role of student or teacher might flip throughout the day. What are my children teaching me? What can I teach them?

Discipline is simply teaching and learning

I loved this breakdown of the word discipline back to the Latin, and how it’s root is connected to disciple. Disciples of Christ were humble followers, and constantly being taught. I also like thinking of discipline in the context of different disciplines, as in avenues of learning. What a good reminder.

“Gentle parenting is not about settling the scores, being right, or maintaining the ‘upper hand.’ Gentle discipline is about conscious, mindful decisions. Whatever situation you find yourself in, it is imperative that your actions are performed mindfully.”

She also suggests to watch for children’s triggers (hungry, tired, too much screen time, even possibly events at school such as with friends). I definitely notice a big difference in my kids behavior sometimes based on these little things.

I’m enjoying the chapter in Ignore it! on rewards/ encouraging behavior. I think this is something we can do more of in our home because we’re always harping on our kids for so many things, and they need that uplift from their parents. Kids get a lot of instruction and criticism all day long at school and at home so I hope I can be better at reinforcing what they are doing right.

We have done tons of sticker charts and reward systems. Here are some ideas and categories that help me make sense of how to acknowledge the kids for doing something good

Also interesting is that she said don’t ever take away a reward the child has already earned. I’m totally guilty of that and Raimo totally is. He always jumps to taking something away. She suggests a sort of system with point (or stickers) and a few points get a small reward like a few chocolate chips or a lego, and a large amount of points gets them a big reward like dinner at their favorite place or a new toy they’ve been wanting. I liked the point idea.

The other book I’ve been reading is called Gentle Discipline, but I haven’t gotten very far.

I am wanting to be a better teacher to my children. I loved this introduction.


Baby “Gisellie” turned 3 months on Sunday

she’s 10 lbs 15 oz, as we found out at the cardiologist’s

Bonnet baby 😍

Finn started soccer and he is number 7. It’s fun watching the kids run back and forth. He’s not super aggressive, but this was only his second game ever! He kicked the ball a few times and I could see he got excited!



O hushed October morning mild,
Thy leaves have ripened to the fall;
Tomorrow’s wind, if it be wild,
Should waste them all.
The crows above the forest call;
Tomorrow they may form and go.
O hushed October morning mild,
Begin the hours of this day slow.
Make the day seem to us less brief.
Hearts not averse to being beguiled,
Beguile us in the way you know.
Release one leaf at break of day;
At noon release another leaf;
One from our trees, one far away.
Retard the sun with gentle mist;
Enchant the land with amethyst.
Slow, slow!
For the grapes’ sake, if they were all,
Whose leaves already are burnt with frost,
Whose clustered fruit must else be lost—
For the grapes’ sake along the wall.

A happy rainy weekend

Last night was Friday night and Rose’s Little Mermaid rehearsal was canceled, so we stayed in and watched a Halloween movie and I made homemade pizza. It was a perfect night. We watched The Nightmare Before Christmas and the kids were super excited. Rose was in the backyard wearing her roller blades when I told her the plan and she shouted, “You’re the best mommy in the world!!!” They were more than eager to shower and get in jammies.

That night we had the most wonderful rainstorm, starting with lightning and thunder, and then pouring rain. The kids were so excited, and it was so nice cozying up to the sound of the rain when the kids were in bed!

Today was Saturday. We had a slow day at home. It was still wet outside and the kids trudged the backyard in rainboots in their jammies, Raimo took them to the motorcycle shop, I took a nap in the morning (shocker), and we took the kids to play outside for about 4 hours in the afternoon to ride bikes and play and play with friends.

I think they were totally exhausted tonight because they fell asleep immediately tonight, even in sleeping bags on Rosie’s floor.

I love that we’re to this phase with Rose doing this elementary school stuff. She was also playing helicopter with the jump rope like I remember doing.

This is a little project I’ve been working on. Still haven’t found my perfect happy place, but I like the dark paint color a lot- it’s called In the Midnight Hour. I’d like to put some sconces on either side of the gold mirror. Maybe one day we’ll do away with the peacock wallpaper and just do all paint, but for now it’s very playful. Also the rug situation is going to change. Love that pinkish color, but it is a really different look from our other rug in the next room and I’m not sure I like them together.

Here’s a snippet of that. It’s wool, not shiny, and has more of a colorful southwest vibe. Hm.

A few more updates on the kids.

Thursday we had a follow-up appointment with Berrett’s neurologist. He has close to 20 words now as opposed to 2 in March. The plan is to stay on medication till January and do another EEG. That day, Finn got to go to Myles house after school. And we went out to lunch with Berrett– he was delighted.

And last week Giselle had her appointment with a cardiologist. So far it looks like good news and the hole in her heart/murmur will not be dangerous and could possibly close on its own. We have an ultrasound this Thursday to confirm this. I’ve had some moments with this (since they heard the murmur at the 1 month appointment) where fear just strikes my heart and I imagine the worst case scenarios. I just had to pull myself together and wait till we saw a doctor. The waiting game is so stressful with these kinds of things. This last year we’ve had a lot of scary things thrown our way. It certainly takes a toll. I’m so lucky and so grateful because I know many families are not so lucky. I’m reminded of that when we are sitting in waiting rooms with other babies and children and teenagers who have had similar diagnoses, but in a much worse scale and with much worse symptoms and lifelong problems. Thank the Lord my precious baby girl is okay and pray that all will be confirmed this coming week.

And a pic of Berrett falling asleep on the kitchen floor when I was trying to keep him up for Rose’s pickup at 12:50

My precious boys. I try to match them whenever they’ll let me. Here’s some purple lipstick Berrett got all over my bed. He’s a rascal!

I’m learning things about Finn. I’ve realized that “getting things” is really really important to him. I mean, he’s like all kids who whine for gum in the checkout line, but it really means a lot to him, and I don’t know if other adults get that. I think gifts are his love language. I decided to test it out. I never buy my kids toys for no reason– usually birthdays and Christmas, or as a reward… but I told him I’d buy him one car at Target. He picked Jackson Storm from Cars movie— and it hasn’t left his hands for 3 days. Unprompted he said, ” Thank you mom for buying something at the store.”

Finn says the funniest things these days. The other night he and I were sitting down to dinner alone (Raimo was picking up Rose) and we were talking about Heavenly Father. In fact, I think he had just prayed that He would help him find his Jackson Storm car that was lost. Referring to God he said, “we can’t see Him because He’s camouflaged.” Hahaha!!! It was so good.

I enjoyed Conference weekend. I wasn’t able to hear a lot but it was still great. I loved women’s conference. I am trying to break away from my social media. Rather than just doing a 10 day fast as the prophet suggested, I am trying to make a more permanent change. I just pull it up occasionally, like when the kids are in bed, and I am trying not to post so much and scroll so much. It’s a such a deep pit with so much material to get sucked into. I’m finding myself more able to focus on the kids and to feel incrementally happier. ( Although Instagram does make me happy– I like checking in to see pics of friends and family… but happy in a different way).

A cute girl in a cute bonnet! I simply adore her– she is such a blessing in my life!

A mischief making boy

And I love how Rose always RUNs to our car after school! It makes me so happy– I know she won’t always be so happy to see me as she gets older 😉May it continue for a long time!

I have some new goals post-conference. I put them in my car so I see them every day 🙂


Last week of September (do you remember… when it was last…)

On Monday I ran to Lindsey’s because we needed to get out! We stayed for dinner

Tuesday, Berrett was having a fit at dinner as he often does, for no reason at all, but finally ate on dad’s lap.

Happiest girl!

Wednesday a new outfit

Trouble … with a capital T, that rhymes with P and that stands for… potty?

Thursday, my baby doll fell asleep in the boppy while I was getting some things done

Thursday night I got an impromptu girls night in at Kate’s with Lindsey and Alisha– lots of fun.

Friday, I got a lot of Costco clothes in the mail and posted about my “mom haul” on Instagram. Fun times. I’m trying to buy more clothes that work in my everyday life.

Berrett snatched this car from the Tanners and he’s been rockin out ever since!

This was a busy week, and ended with Raimo going out of town over the weekend. I decided to have some fun and invited the Eastburn and Tanners over for dinner and a movie since their hubbies were out of town too.

on Saturday morning, Rose somehow managed to get Berrett out of his crib, and took care of the boys for me so I could stay in bed. It was sooo sweet. Her thoughtfulness just shines through sometimes. We spent Saturday at Grandma Joan’s house– the kids has a blast playing and swimming in the spa. Berrett was giggling and completely overjoyed in the warm water. I was feeling particularly nostalgic in her house… 31 years of memories there.

We met my parents for Baker’s then I drove my baby chicks home.

Church by myself was interesting. We’ll leave it at that.

Another busy week has begun today, October 1st. Berrett had infant education with Ben, Rose had early day, and rehearsal for Little Mermaid, and I ran some errands and we got Five Guys for dinner. In other news, I ordered that aforementioned rug!

I was really hoping for a 5×7 to put in the piano room but they only had 7×10, so we’ll see what I think when it comes!

Here’s Berrett, who woke up from a nap after only an hour, then fell back asleep

and here is angel baby Giselle, or Elle as we sometimes say.

I have a little chuckle with myself every night when I take Finn potty at 10 or 11 pm before I go to bed

He’s sooo sleepy and it’s so funny. He never remembers it.



This is the text I sent to my girlfriends this morning about last night:

“All between 3:30 and 6 a.m.

Berrett woke up 3x and cried/screamed… we had to let him cry it out the 3rd time. Finn woke us up to pee, then I woke up again because he had turned our bathroom light on and was sitting there. Giselle got woken up by Berrett twice and I fed her back to sleep. Also got a phone call at 5:30 from a telemarketer….. 😵😵😵 I think I’d sleep better in the garage!”

What a night! And yet, Giselle has been SO darling and smiley all morning. Her face just lights up and is so precious and sweet. It has me thinking “how did we ever live without her???” And I know everybody thinks their baby is the prettiest. But mine really is!

Every shot just delights me–how could I ever choose? I was changing her clothes just now (poop blowout) and was thinking how happy my 24-year-old self would have been to have that adorable little girl room. All we had was a crib, and all of Rose’s little baby clothes were stacked on the floor.

And then we went to lie down on my bed and I discovered that Finn’s rainbow lollipop mouth had touched not 1 but all 4 of my white pillowcases and white duvet, which have all been recently washed. And I thought of his splendid tantrum he threw because I gave him an orange plate instead of purple. And how Berrett threw a whisk at my face and didn’t eat the magnificent fried egg sandwich I made him.

And then I was thinking how happy my younger self would be, knowing that one day I’d have these 4 wonderful little babies. Somehow, amidst the exhaustion and disasters, I am the happiest I’ve ever been.

(Not so attractive picture of me by Rose for scale… Giselle is still tiny! 9 lbs and grown out of Newborns 😭 She turned 2 months on Friday)


What a day

It started out as most days, with Giselle in my bed. Berrett came and found us around 7. I normally look forward to Saturday’s because I finally have Raimo home with me, but that was not the case today. He went to the gym and then to fill the font for a baptism, then had to stay with the filled font per church policy, then conducted the baptism. Meanwhile, I was in charge of some crazy kids!

So I packed up bikes and kids and we drove to a nearby trail to get out. Finn stopped at least 10 times to look at something. He says the cutest things. Rose was diligent about staying on the right side of the path as I had asked her to to avoid speed bikers, and Finn is just so oblivious and scootered right in front of a few. It was nice and beautiful and I thoroughly enjoyed my cute kids, and then we were super thirsty so we drove through McDonald’s afterward for waters and ice cream. Sounds simple, but all the steps leading up to this point so far were kind of exhausting– getting all of that gear in and out of the car and keeping everyone on task and happy. Motherhood is very physical work.

We had to park so I could feed Giselle. Then we got out and went to Target because I needed to replace some dishes that the kids broke. We also made a stop in the costume aisle.

I died over this. I bought it haha

My cute matching boys, and I captured Berrett’s curls, which are getting so long and shaggy 🙂

When we got home, I was exhausted and it was only 11:30! I was crashing hard. Berrett had fallen asleep in the car so I put him in bed, fed myself as a pick-me-up, fed Giselle and took a shower. I finally laid down for a bit, but Berrett woke up unfortunately so no nap for me. I turned on a show for the kids and kind of half dozed through the next few hours. Raimo finally came home, and I told him I wanted to hit Nordstrom to exchange my new Anastasia palette (I just got it in the mail and two of the shadows came all broken up). So we ALL got ready and went to the Escondido mall. Can I just say how much I love shopping? I LOVE SHOPPING! And I don’t get to do enough of it. Seriously, it lifted my spirits just walking through all those beautiful things in Nordstrom even without buying anything. I think I also get stir crazy and enjoy getting out where the people are! (Up where they walk, up where they run..up where they stay all day in the … wait). We went to the food court and got some overpriced, disappointing Japanese food. Then walked around the mall– it is absolutely huge. The older kids were grabbing things off shelves and we kinda had to keep reigning them in. After about an hour, Berrett was absolutely done with the stroller and started screaming so we had to leave. As we were walking to the car, we said how NOT fun it is to go to the mall with kids and that we would not be doing it again soon. It was then we discovered Rose had a 24 oz bag of chocolate chips in her purse that she was sneakily eating. What?!

Berrett screamed the whole way home. 25 minutes. Fun.

At home, we did baths and put all our many many children to bed. Found Rose reading scriptures in her bed–what a girl– and I went back for kisses on Berrett a few times because he wasn’t falling asleep. And Raimo and I finally had some time together. Happy weekend!