Friday, May 29, 2009

Kai's Advice

Before we go out anywhere, we always talk to Kai about behaving nicely. Here is what he said to Gary on the way out today...
Kai: Daddy, be a good boy at school today. Don't hit any of your students!

These boys are too cute

Last night Gary and I went to `The Vault' in Cloverdale. Awesome food. Gary had the steak and Alaskan crab and I had the ale braised short ribs. So good. We will def. go back (with our 2 for 1 coupon).

Getting up at 6:30am is easy when its so sunny out, I can't believe this weather!

Better get outside and play with Kai...

Thursday, May 28, 2009

4 Years

Four years ago, it was VERY hot out. Four years ago, I married Gary up at Green Lake. Our outdoor wedding was really simple (did I mention it was way too hot?!) and I really enjoyed it. If I could do on thing differently, we would've thought to have gotten some tents. We went to the Kingfisher on Vancouver Island for our honeymoon and we loved it; good food, massages and so nice to get away after all the stressful wedding planning. We were only engaged for 4 months and I had just returned from Kenya and had started a new job so it was a bit crazy. Our `official' honeymoon was a month afterwards where we drove to Alaska.

A lot has happened in 4 years and I'm happy to have gone through it all with Gary. He knows me, loves me, and is very patient with me. I am a little bit high strung sometimes and am easily irritated. He gets me, let's me vent, and listens to me well. We are a great team. We are together a lot. We work at the same place (when I'm not on mat. leave), we have a photo business together, and, we are both introverted so spend a lot of time at home. That's a whole lotta time together!

There's always stuff to learn about eachother too. For example, Gary recently learned not to give me money as a gift:) I feel like we've been married for 15 years already and I don't mean that in a bad way, I just don't think of life before him very often. It just seems like he's been around for all the big things in my life. Tonight we are going out for a yummy dinner and I'm super excited! Yay, eating a meal over an hour instead of 3 minutes! Yay for no clean up!

(Gary and I were playing around with the soft box last night so I was planning on erasing all the pictures but I don't really have any of just him or just me so I kept it)
I'm so thankful for having Gary in my life. I'm thankful that he came into my life when he did. We were both ready-ish. I wrote in my journal that first week that I knew I was going to marry him. I remember my heart beating so hard that first week we were dating, not because I was feeling in love or anything, but because it was so scary that this was it! This was the guy I would be with forever. Marriage is such a gift and I don't take it for granted. I just asked Kai what he thought about mommy and daddy being married and he just asked, `Who was babysitting me when you got married?'.
Gary, you are a wonderful husband and father. Happy 4th Anniversary!!

Koen aka Kokoes

Oh Koen. He is seriously such a good little/big boy. If you hold him, he's happy. I mean, he can play by himself for half an hour too but if he gets fussy, just pick him up and play/talk with him and he's good.

He's up way too much at night. He's up twice because he's hungry and twice because he's pooped. For almost a month he was sleeping a good 6-7 hours in a row. I'm hoping the rice cereal will slow him down in the department. I usually end up feeding him each time I'm in his room and I'm not going to feed him after a diaper change any more. He wakes up in the morning and isn't hungry because he's pigged out all night.

(Where am I? What is going on?)
He doesn't like any `solid' foods but I'm really encouraging him with this as one day he's going to have to take it:)
(Mommy, what are you doing?! )

I love this little guy. He makes me smile and never mad. He's just so squishy and yummy and silly. I can change him right after a feed now without him spitting up. I tried eating some yogurt and cheese and I noticed a bit more spitting up so I really don't know about him and sister and niece are lactose intolerant and I believe it's genetic so we will see.

He stares at Kai and yearns for his attention and I can't wait til these guys interact a little more, preferably in a positive way!

I guess this is the stage where an infant gets easy for me...around 5 months. This is where you forget about the morning sickness, weight gain, extreme fatigue, sore pelvis, contractions, C-section, engorgement, major lack of sleep etc and think...just one more...just one more:)

Kai Bear

When I asked Kai what he wanted to do today, he said `Take pictures!'. This pretty means he runs around wildly in the basement for about 5 minutes while I try to get pictures of him as he runs by the studio lights. We got a new soft box (happy anniversary Gary) so it was good to try it out. Talking about new purchases, we also got a new tripod as our old one was damaged on Gary's last hiking trip. Apparently it was damaged beyond repair. Hmmm. Tripods are not cheap. And yes Gary, I know I should've used the other light too as there are shadows on his face. Let's pretend I did it on purpose. So, here are some pictures of my cutie Kai.
The other day, we were driving home from the beach and Kai had to pee. We pulled over on a remote road and Kai got to pee standing up (he usually sits). When we got back in the van, he said, `I love peeing on the road. I am so happy about that.'
(Dressed just like daddy....sports shorts and a white T-shirt. These are his fav. shorts and he asks to wear them every day)
Gary asked what was in a gumbo I made this week and one of the ingredients was cayenne pepper and Kai said, `Ya daddy, I'm in there!' (Kai and pepper)

When I told Kai he was such a good pee-er (how do you spell that word?), he said, `Mommy, YOU are the best pee-er in the whole wide world!' Wow, go me!

Today he said, `Mommy, I'm very mad at you' when I didn't give him a banana. I wasn't upset that he said that because he said it very calmly and I liked that he was telling me how he felt rather than going into a temper tantrum. I LOVE that I can talk with him about everything.

I `caught' Kai rubbing Koen's head the other day. This is a big step. He never touches his brother or really talks to him all that much. He does love to go into Koen's room with me when Koen has woken up to go and get him. I look forward to the day when they can play together. Right now, Kai just takes Koen's rings away. What almost 3 year old wants to play with rings? Silly boy.

(This picture is my favourite)
We've been talking a lot about strangers. Kai is very friendly and loves talking to people and asking them questions. He is not shy at all. The other day Gary told Kai to go in the house and he went to the front yard and Gary found him talking to a lady about her dog. We were talking about how if someone takes him, he is allowed to scream and hit and punch and do whatever he wants to that stranger. Kai said he was going to pinch the stranger with his pliers. Whatever works.

Kai is so in love with his trucks, cars and trains. I would say this is the longest that he has been interested in a particular type of toy. I've had to learn a lot about various bulldozers, diggers, excavators etc. He knows the difference between a Dodge Caravan (Ani's van), a Toyota Sienna (Gramma's van) and a Honday Oddysey (our van) and likes to point it out everytime we see a van. This is something I never thought about growing up. This is very tiring.
In just a couple more months, Kai will be 3 years old. I don't think he wants to turn three because we've talked about how he might not be able to suck his thumb anymore when he's three. I think the next stage, preschool, will be an interesting one. He will seem so grown up to me then. Oh boy, and then kindergarten! Okay, one day at a time....

Week 7: Fit Journey

Weight Loss: 0.6lbs (total of 7.4lbs)
Body fat % loss: 0.2% (total of 1.4%)

It seems that for the past 3 weeks, I've just been losing half a pound per week so this is going to take a little longer than I thought but that's okay. I'm just really happy to be fitting into all of my old clothes so even if I didn't lose anything else, I would be totally fine with it. I have a feeling that once I'm done breastfeeding my body will change a lot more...
Did you know that you burn up to 500 calories a day breastfeeding? I'd say at the rate I'm doing it, I'm def. burning 500:)

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Chapmans at Crescent Beach

We tried to get some Chapman family photos yesterday at Crescent Beach. We did them at 4pm so here are some very sunny, bright, shadowy pictures:) Next time, 7:30pm...

Me and my boys

Daddy bear

Gramma and Grandpa

Todd, Karen and the kids

Brent, Pam and the kids

All of us

I'd say Kai is not the biggest fan of pictures. Could be his age or the fact that I probably take pictures of him every day...

Nine Chapman grandkids

Kai loving his blue mustache.

Gramma and Kieryn

My favourite of the kids (not edited, can you see my hand holding Kai's hands down? He kept trying to cover his face)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Week 6: Journey to Being Fit Again

Bad week. Can I make excuses? We were away all weekend. I did get a run and long walk/hike in while we were there but ya...not so good. Also, I have a nasty cold and I think the mucus alone weighs 1lb.

Weight lost this week: 0.4lbs (total 6.8lbs)

Body fat % lost this week: 0 (total 1.2%)

I'm not discouraged. I know that I need to run more. As soon as Gary gets home, I'm outta here:)

*there is another new post below*

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Marriage and Maternity Leave

Maternity Leave
I wondered when it would happen. When would I feel like I wanted to go back to work? I'm ready. Obviously I'm not really ready until Koen is ready which will be when he's one year old. However, I have reached the point where I'm ready for something different. It's really hard, with an infant especially, to have a lot of diversity in your day. Most of it is feed, change, play, sleep. Yes, we get out for walks and visits but that's getting a bit old.

(Kai always has several cars, trucks or trains in his hands)

I LOVE being able to be in my pj's til 9am, workout at 10am, shower at noon etc. I LOVE being able to take pictures of my kids during the day. I LOVE hearing the funny things Kai says and seeing Koen grow before my eyes. It is def. relaxing being home but it isn't always fun or stimulating. I am so thankful for maternity leave, I have seen the benefits that it has had on my kids and I am grateful. Maybe it doesn't help that we are all fighting a nasty cold right now. Koen is grumpy and congested which makes feeding him way more difficult (thank goodness for saline drops which he hates). Kai is just tired so I can handle that. I'm just tired.

(Today I said, `Oh man, what is so stinky in the fridge?' and Kai said, `Maybe it's dog poop or cat poop or something'. I hope not. Still haven't found the source)
Maybe I'm ready because Gary was gone for 5 days last week. I did it! He was hiking the Juan de Fuca trail (west coast of Vancouver Island) and I took care of a toddler and an infant (that got up at least 3 times a night) for 5 days. It was easier than I thought but I def. missed my `time outs' that I get when Gary comes home.

Okay, not really sure what to say here. Next week, Gary and I will celebrate our 4 year anniversary. We have a good marriage. We love eachother. We appreciate eachother. I know we could have a great marriage. The same thing happened when Kai was little and it's happening again. If you could break it down into numbers, I would say that the kids get about 80% of my energy and attention right now. I give myself about 10% (just working out really), Gary 5% and family and friends about 5%. I'm assuming that this is somewhat normal for this stage of life, but it isn't healthy. Infants require so much time and effort. I'm constantly feeding, changing and holding him. I'm busy playing with, teaching, and disciplining Kai. When Gary gets home, I just want time to myself. I don't want anyone touching me or talking to me. I need my time out.
I know we should get out with just the two of us but I really don't like leaving Koen very much at this stage. We do a lot of family stuff together. Gary and I do talk a lot each day. We communicate well. Next year, I'm hoping we will be able to go on a holiday together without the kids. It's just hard when you have kids because they just take, take, take (energy, time, attention). Obviously I love my kids and it is so worth it but I'm feeling a bit empty. Then it comes back to the fact that my mom is gone. The person who loved me the most is not here to love me. The person who cared about my day more than anyone else is not hear to listen.
(I LOVE his feet!!!!!)

Oh life. I love our lives. Always stuff to learn. Always stuff to work on. I need to be better at asking Gary about his day and caring about what it was like. I need him to continue to say `What can I do for you?' and `Go ahead, get out of the house. I've got the kids'. Always stuff to learn. Always stuff to work on.

And, on a lighter note...Kai is full of a billion questions, `Why can't we eat clouds?' `Why do we have hair?' and on and on. Goofball. He is obsessed with vehicles. He wants to know what kind they are, what colour car someone has etc. Going for walks with him has become mentally exhuasting as he needs to talk about every car we see.

Koen is cute and plump. He gets extremely frustrated when he can't manipulate a toy the way he wants to. And when I say frustrated, I mean, it sounds like he is in major pain. I can't wait until he has better hand eye coordination!

Anytime you touch near his neck, he giggles. Even if I'm changing him at 3am and I'm doing up his top button....giggles. Silly guy. Seriously though, what's up with 2 dirty diapers in the middle of the night, he's 4.5 months old!!! AND....I'm hesitant to say this but I think his reflux is gone! He has normal spitting up several times a day but I can even lay him down on his back and play with him now. His bed is no longer covered in regurgitated milk. He can wear the same outfit all day. Yippee! I'm still off of dairy so I'm not sure if he does have an allergy or insensitivity to it but we will see soon enough. He had some banana yesterday and didn't hate it so that was fun.
Okay, I better take the kids to the park, this weather is AMAZING!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Green Lake

This weekend, the entire Dekens family minus my littlest sis, went up to my dad's `cabin' (a 2 storey house) at Green Lake. Kai travelled amazingly well in the van and Koen, well, he slept a lot (phew) but when he was awake he was screaming. On the first night, my dad and my sis' went out for dinner at 100 Mile House and here we are pigging out on the best peanut butter pie we've ever had.

Kai LOVED Green Lake and didn't want to go home.

My first Seadoo lesson. I'll be honest, I was a little freaked out by the waves (which are not in this picture). Made me respect my dad taking it up to Alaska a little more (he took the Seadoo from White Rock to Alaska last summer).

My little boy loving the big boy toys.

We got pretty soaked in the kayak, he wasn't such a fan. He doesn't mind being dirty but does NOT like being wet.

Tons of hawks and eagles out there

Kai didn't want to leave this morning because he wanted just one more ride on the motorcycle.

Koen needed to be held a lot which made him seem like more work than he really is. The first night, he refused to sleep anywhere but on Gary's chest. Fortunately Gary can sleep anywhere at anytime. It was tough having all 4 of us in one room, especially because Kai, Koen and myself all have colds. Koen had to sleep in his car seat because he just couldn't breathe properly lying down. Poor little guy. The second night, Koen and I shared a room and Gary and Kai shared. Much better.

Gary's lesson. Later on Gary and I went out together. I have to say that I'm not the biggest Seadoo fan, although, I was not driving and usually I like the control:)

Kai LOVES his Opi

These guys had a blast together

I'm surprised Ani let him even get this close. She doesn't appreciate the hug from Kai. At least he wasn't tackling her.

Ani and Kai had so much fun on the lawnmower with Opi. They weren't even cutting the grass, they just drove around and around. They had to do it again this morning before we left. Good thing Opi has so many fun toys!

I haven't been on a bike since I was 16 but once I got going it was a lot of fun. Probably not appropriate footwear.

Auntie Jackie and Uncle Tyler with the kiddos.

Overall, great weekend. I really hope we get better soon. Looking forward to next year with the addition of Trish, Steve and Joanne!