Saturday, October 31, 2009

My Little Pumpkin and Bear

Tonight we took the kids trick or treating for an hour. Kai was LOVING it. After each house he proclaimed, `Trick or treating is so fun!'. He was def. ready to head home after going up and down so many stairs. We ended up handing out half of his candy because there's no way I'm letting him eat all that junk:)

(Kai trying to get the picture over with so we could head out)
Kai really wanted to be a butterfly but I kind of convinced him to wear a costume that we already had. I would've made him one but he was adamant that it had to be pink. I guess I could've done it but ya, a pink butterfly?
Our neighbourhood is crazy over Halloween. Some families spend over $100.00 on decorations! With our little scarecrow and pumpkin out, Kai asked when we were going to decorate. Um ya, that's enough decorating for me!

(Rar! I'm going to get you...if I figure out how to move in this thing!)

(He had just seen himself in the mirror)
The next pictures are from Kai's party day at school. They asked the students what they were thankful for and Kai raised his hand and said `Going to gramma's house'. I think this made gramma (Gary's mom) very happy as she had come along.

After singing all their songs, Kai said loudly (several times), `We didn't sing the car song!'.

He did a great job again and I'm impressed that he does the actions and sings along. He is not a great lover of anything artsy...he is a great lover of cars. And that's it. Cars. Kai is now 39.2lbs. He gained a pound in about a month, I can tell that he is def. growing up and out:)

This morning, I had to set my alarm (which I NEVER do since Koen is my alarm) to get up for football. Had to be in Vancouver by 8am. We won our first game of the day and then I came home to take the kids to the pumpkin patch. It was a beautiful day out, maybe one of the last good fall days? I decided today that fall is my favourite season. The leaves are just so amazing and everywhere I drove today looked spectacular. We were only there for about 10 minutes since it was so windy, and Kai spent 99% of that time splashing in mud puddles, so we didn't really get any good pictures (and they were both wearing terrible clothes for pictures) but at least we went!

When I came home from football, Kai said `Mommy, I missed you! I'm so happy to see you!'. I told him that I got hit in the head today and explained that it was an accident and that the girl said sorry. Kai said, `Did she give you a kiss better too?'. Uh, no. We only kiss our family kiddo.

On the way to the patch, Kai was being so sweet. He started saying,`Mommy, you are my (he didn't want to say friend because Ani is his best friend), you are the best adult in the whole wide world!'. I'll take it!

(isn't he cute?)
Had another football game in the afternoon. We were down to just 5 players (normally 7 on the field at a time) so it a tiring game but a fun one. Obviously we lost but ya, fun to play the last game of the season! I am so thankful that today was a good healthy day, I was able to play both games the whole time! Yippee!!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Koen Walking

Our little monkey starting walking at 9.5 months. He is going to be a wild one:)

Honeymoon, Take Two!

I'm so excited. I booked a trip for our 5 year anniversary which is May 28th. It's a ways away BUT there was a deal on so we did it! We are going back to where we went for our first little honeymoon, The Kingfisher. This will be our first time away from the kids and we are going for 3 nights! They have some of the best food we've ever had there and awesome massages. It was a little pricey but is totally worth it...I have such a hard time spending money so I'm trying to relax on that a little more. Did I mention that fixing our van ended up costing $5440????!!!! Okay, won't mention it again. Maybe you're not supposed to talk about money on blogs. Oops. We'll be going a couple months before our anniversary when we have time off for Spring Break. Yippee!

(Kai wanted a mohowk for picture day so we tried it out)
Kai has his party day tomorrow, in his pumpkin costume! Should be adorable.

Koen is a bit of a grumpus but I would be too. Teething can't be fun.

(Both boys have Gary's eyes)
I feel about 75% today. In the back of my head, I have this fear that it is Graves Disease (80% of all cases of hyperthyroidism are Graves). The reason I don't want it to be Graves is because it is lifelong. My weight has been very consistent. My newest symptom is itchy palms. So annoying. I seem to have levelled off at 10lbs lower than when I started. I've really been craving veggies, I had three bowls of salad for lunch!

(I'm trying to get Kai interested in writing his name and this is what he does with the crayons)
And, in regards to vaccinations, I have finally come to a decision. Due to the fact that Gary and I are teachers, Kai is in preschool, and both kids will be in daycare, we are all getting vaccinated. It took me a long time to come to this decision but am finally comfortable with it.
The cheap baby gate option and teething bar? He's just looking longingly upstairs where Kai has run away from him. You should've seen Gary wrestling with the boys tonight. What almost 10 month old knows how to wrestle? This one apparently! Koen is a very wild and adventurous boy, he is going to keep me very busy!
Bon nuit.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Roller Coaster

Today was my favouritist (pretend it's a word) weather of all...a beautiful, windy, sunny, fall day. I wish the weather was like this every day of the year!

I was doing so well last week that I thought I was all better. Nope. There are still bad days. I don't know if there's anything I can do to control it, I think it just happens. I just need to make sure I stay with my regular does of medicine, regardless of how I feel.
(We took pictures at the fall carnival at our church this year...they didn't turn out the best but oh well, it was fun to do. It was a western theme, hence, the plaid.).

I think I fluctuate from about 65%-85% health. I honestly forget what it's like to be 100% but I really hope and pray that I will be back there one day. I used to be sad that I couldn't run anymore and I don't really think about it now because it seems like an impossible feat. I can't imagine myself being at 100% ever again. Oh well, enough of the `woe is me' attitude:) If you saw me, you would think I was normal, but, pretending to be normal takes it's toll on me. I'm a bit of a disaster inside. Appreciate your thryoid, people!

Koen is getting his first tooth and he's having a rough go of it. Fever, irritability, chewing on his hand etc. It's still about a week away from popping up but it's coming! Poor little guy. It seems to get worse from 4pm onwards. He is a walking machine. He generally walks instead of crawling now. Often he will walk along the wall but he can take 10+ steps on his own! It's so strange to see my baby walking. I guess that means he's a toddler now?!

Kai is really growing up these days. He's growing out of his size 3 clothes and is a lot more rational. He is having fewer meltdowns and he always seems to be throwing out lines to me about knowing the rules and showing good behaviour etc. He says he wants to be a daddy when he's older, but, he doesn't want any kids. He wants to be a daddy because daddy's fix things:)

Looking back, this is such a boring post but too bad, it's all I've got:) Bon nuit.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Pure Joy

Today we went to the park, along with Kai's loader and dump truck, in our fabulous stroller which I LOVE. Love the double jogger. We use it almost every single day. Whenever it stops raining, we head out as soon as we can.

(You might be asking, `Why isn't Kai walking?'. Sometimes he does but that usually means he wants to push the stroller which means that he is pushing Koen into everyone's fences etc. If I want some exercise and low stress, I push the stroller:)
What could be making Kai so happy?

What is he finding so fun?

Being allowed to push his brother around and not get in trouble for it!

In this case, Koen loves being pushed around by his big brother. Check out the grin!

This guy is one happy camper.

He is just so happy with life. Imagine if we all found every single thing we did in life so fun? Oh wow! A dishwasher! I wonder what happens when I move this tray in and out? So cool! Woweee! Stairs! Kai's room is up there, it's fun! I'm going to go! It's what he does all day long. He approaches everything with a giggle and smile.

Kai does not approach everything with a smile:) His vocabulary, inquiries, and knowledge shock me. Today he said, `Mommy, isn't this impressive?'. Impressive? He is learning a lot at preschool and things I wouldn't think to teach (like green=blue + yellow which they made with paint today). He asked today how God takes us to heaven when we die...try to explain that one! He is VERY passionate about cars. I wish I knew more so that I could teach him more parts etc. I am actually hoping he starts thinking about other things because it's almost all he talks about:) Random tidbit: Kai says `Lellow' for yellow.

Kai is reminding me more and more of a mini Gary.

Koen chilling in the stroller with his leg up on the bar.

I told Kai he could not go upstairs to bed when he got home from preschool. While making dinner, I noticed that he was a little quiet....

Finally, we had some SUPER DUPER YUMMY Falafel's for dinner. I made them from our Moosewood Cookbook (vegetarian). I'm trying to eat a lot more vegetarian meals. The boys both loved the falafel's. It is a perfect way for Koen to get lots of protein. Soooooo easy to make. Yum. Yum.
*health update: so, um, ya. Had to go back on a minimal dose of beta blockers as my body fluctuates. So hard to know if its the meds making me better or my thyroid doing it on its own. My meds change daily. I still feel fabulous. Taking kids to the park + making a yummy dinner= Louise is back!*

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

I'm back!

I feel so good. I'd say I'm at 85% of normal Louise. I have baking in the oven, I started a load of laundry (the first laundry that I have done in 6 weeks, Gary has been doing it), and I have plans to make a wonderful salmon dinner (I think I made maybe 2 dinners from scratch in the past month). I am so, so, so, so thankful. I can carry full laundry baskets from upstairs down the basement while breathing normally!! Woohoo!! Last night, while praying with Kai, we finally prayed, `Thank you that mommy is feeling better' and Kai was so pumped. He was like `You're better? You're not sick anymore?'. The doctor warned me that there would be good and bad days but I'm not on my beta blockers anymore (as of last night)!!! I'm still on the other one which has a side effect of the metallic taste in my mouth, but yes, I'm feeling great.

(Kai putting his favourite's out of Koen's reach)
I feel very bad for my body. It has been so stressed for so long and it feels week and fragile. I need to make sure I take it easy but more than ever, I want to fuel my body with healthy foods. Last night I made a creamy spinach soup full of pureed veggies. Sure, I'll still eat my homemade cookies but I really want to make sure I'm eating tons of fruits and veggies. I'm also going to start eating less meat, other than salmon. So yes, I'm working on rebuilding my body back to 100% health and I just hope my thyroid continues to cooperate!

(Koen's pretend whiny face....pick me up! pick me up!)
I've realized that everyone thinks Koen is so young because he is so bald! Kai was too, at least they are boys, I think that's easier! Koen is maybe starting to work on his first teeth, but they won't be making an appearance anytime soon. I'm thankful. I've never actually breastfed a baby with teeth and I know tons of people do it but I'll admit that it freaks me out:)

(Koen's favourite thing to do; stand and clap. He claps all day long as if he's really proud of himself).
I'm really evaluating my priorities in life right now. I'm trying to decide how to have the most balanced life with minimal amounts of stress and anxiety. I think I'm getting worked up about returning to work in just 1.5 months. I feel that it's a lot harder getting 2 kids out of the house by 7:30am for daycare, especially since Koen normally sleeps til almost 8am.

After preschool, Kai is so tired and just wants to sleep but I don't want him to nap because then he won't sleep at night. It's so strange to hear him crying `But I just want to go to bed!'.

(Koen is going to develop some serious stability. Kai always `accidentally' walks by and tried to knock him over)
I really wanted to make it to the pumpkin patch to get our yearly pictures there but it's raining. Like crazy. I'm not sure that it will stop before the 31st. We may have to venture out there with umbrella's and rainboots:(

Koen feeding himself a bottle. I was on my way out so I saw him taking the bottle which I never get to see because the only reason he gets one is if I'm not there! I've got tons of milk in the freezer which I may give him when I go back to work. Haven't tried formula since the puking incident months ago.
I'm currently in the basement with Kai. I don't know why I didn't think of bringing the laptop down here before! Kai loves to just have me around while he plays, this worked perfectly:)
At lastly, Shaw sucks. Seriously. They shut off our modem yesterday because we owed them money. What? We owed them money? Thanks for the letting me know! We got the notice that we owed them money AFTER they did it. So mad. Why did we owe them money? We pay on our mastercard and Gary renewed his mastercard with a new expiry date so they stopped accepting it WITHOUT LETTING US KNOW.
Oh yes, one more thing, we should get our new and improved van back tonight!!! Woohoo!! Let's see what $5,000 added to van can do! It better last us another 10 years:)
*Note: van will be back tomorrow night...apparently we needed a new water pump too? Basically a whole new van it seems.*

Monday, October 19, 2009


That's how Kai introduces everything and it's so cute! Okay, I'm just gonna update on our family:

-his behaviour has really improved recently, the only thing that has gotten worse is that he will cry when I leave now. So strange.
-Kai was on the couch last night and he clenched up fists and shook them. I asked him what he was doing and he said, `My hands are shaking, I'm sick like you mommy!'.
-He likes to tell me what to say. The other day he said, `Mommy, say `you're so smart Kai!''. So I did and he said, `Really? I am? Thank you!'.
-Kai is getting to be a bit pickier with his eating. He doesn't like cheese or whipping cream.
-Kai and Koen are getting along much better, I'm LOVING it.
-Kai loves having Curious George read to him, especially `Curious George and the Dump Truck'.
-He is currently playing outside with the sand and water table...I said `Don't get dirty!'. Ya, right.

-I am so in love with this guy!
-He sleeps from 7pm-8am every night. He was pretty sick this week so he did get up at 11pm sometimes with a coughing fit and I fed him to settle him down. Poor little guy. He even vomited up mucus and it was a lot. Gross.
-He is absolutely comatose around other people. He doesn't move, doesn't make a sound. As soon as it's just us in the house `dada aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah oooooooooooooooooohhhhhhhh mama buh buh mama'. And crawling, climbing, walking, wrestling away he goes. Silly guy. This guys does not perform for others, that's for sure!

(Walking at Mundy Park with friends. Yes, I wore rubber boots:)

(Just editing pictures from our shoot in Langley, aren't these guys cute and apparently much taller than I?!)

(Up at Grouse Mountain for a wedding last month)
-was on a hike in Manning Park for 4 days last week. Yes, I did it on my own! Go me!
-he was supposed to be sending me `ok' messages from his GPS and he thought he sent about 12 but I received none. I wasn't concerned. I assumed he had no reception or he didn't know how to work it and um, I was right:)
-he is a busy guy with work, photos, and life.
-he is now carpooling as our van is still in the shop:)
-he can get the best Koen giggles ever.

LOUISE (Yup, my turn!)

-went to the endocrinologist today and they were with me for 1.5 hours! First, the resident did a full physical exam which was very cool. Various tests for my muscle strength, reflexes, palpitations, etc I enjoyed talking with them (both resident and endocrinologist were females) and they made me feel so comfortable.
-my heart rate, which as been lower the past 3 days (by low, I mean about 88bpm), decided to go down to 60?! I was like `Please believe me, it hasn't been this low in 6 weeks!'. She believed me. At least I have other symptoms that she could look at (trembling hands, sweaty, weight loss, hair falling out, easy bruising).
-So, likely I have Post Partum Thryoiditis. It is possible that I have Graves (life long hyperthyroidism) but they are not testing because I would need to stop breastfeeding. I would've stopped if necessary but the dr said there was no need to do the test because the treatment is the same and she said it was better for me to continue breastfeeding. Nice lady.
-so, when will I be better?? Well, I have been steadily getting better. Likely, if PPT, by 3 months (January), I will be better. It will take one complete year to be `normal'. If I have another child, which I really would like, there is a 50% chance this will happen again. I guess the positive side of it happening again is that I will get it treated immediately AND I would lose that baby weight:)
-walking is all I should be doing now and I am okay being patient with that now.
-finally, one major concern (for me) with the thyroid, is depression. I have been super conscious of my mental state and have done okay so far. The doctor was like, `Some people even cry during commercials!'. Uh, I do that anyways:)

Okay, better play with my Kai bear.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Dr. Hormone

I'm so excited to see the endocrinologist tomorrow. She's a she! I'm so excited. I'm so hopeful. I walked for over an hour yesterday and today and am so exhausted. It's not tiring at the time but as soon as I stop, wow, ready for bed. You know, whenever I've had to teach about the thyroid, I never found it that interesting. Now it is very interesting to me. Thanks to those who have commented on previous posts. I will have pictures of the kids and info on my appt tomorrow.
We had a photo shoot in Fort Langley today and this is what the ground looked like. Absolutely beautiful. By the way, if you are ever taking pictures there, or want to see something different, head over the bridge and walk along the sandy shores (Brae Island). Very picturesque. Okay, maybe today was exceptionally beautiful, but still, what a wonderful location!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Top Three

Just a warning, no pictures in this post:) WHAT? I know. Two reasons. I'm at my sisters house babysitting AND I post some of the cutest pictures EVER without any comments. BOO. Yes, to all you, you non commenters! My kids are cute. I get some good pictures. Ya. Kay, done venting:)

During my nights, when I lay there for hours, I come up with `top 3' lists. I often ask Gary what his answers are but he is asleep.
So, the top three life changing things for me, IN INCREASING ORDER, are:

#3: Quitting my job and moving to a remote village in Kenya. I volunteered, teaching and living at a primary boarding school. I also spent some time in the orphanages in Nairobi, feeding and holding the beautiful babies. I was only there for 6 months (came back early because mom got sick) but it was something that I think about every single day. It was so challenging as Gary and I were almost engaged and we had no Internet access, we just depended on our once a week cell phone calls. I would sit in the middle of the cow pasture, where there was actually reception. I ate the same food, ugali and sukuma wiki, every single day. But it was amazing. Beautiful. Sad. Eye opening. Touching. I really hope that one day, Gary and I take the kids to Kenya to do some volunteering.

#2: My mom getting cancer and passing away. This was the first time that something really bad happened to me. I feel like since that point, I can never achieve the level of happiness that I once had. Gary thinks that is sad but I just think it's realistic. My life will never be as full, there is a piece missing. My mom was the greatest support of my entire life (even though she didn't want me to quit my job and go to Kenya, she supported me:) and let us know that we were loved and that she was proud of us. Another thing that this has done, is made me realize that death is now a reality. I don't think there is one time that I leave the house by myself where I don't think `What if this is the time I don't come back?'. Or, if Gary takes one of the boys, I think, `Good thing he didn't take both in case something happens'. Isn't that terrible? HOWEVER, with this sadness, I do have the peace of knowing that my mother is in heaven. And I guess in that comes a huge part of my relationship with God and how that has helped me during this difficult time. I don't think I was angry with God. I was confused. I thought I knew what was better for me. BUT, I truly believe that He grieved with me and that he didn't want her to get sick or to die. She is with Him now. I am certain.

#1: Having kids. Wow. Nothing has changed my day to day and my view of life, as my babies. My life has changed forever in the sense that I think about these 2 little people more than myself. I have to try to make sure that their every needs are met; nutrition, physical health, emotional being, spiritual growth, etc. Together, with Gary, we have been given these gifts. They are such precious gifts and I don't want to mess them up! I want them to be happy and nice and loving. I find them hilarious and adorable. Gary and I have to work as a team, more than ever before, to raise these beautiful boys. I think more than anything else, this has stretched Gary and I, but has made us, as a team, stronger. The biggest thing is that for the most part, I have had to learn to truly put others ahead of myself, whether I like it or not:)

AND you might be saying `Well, what about getting married?! What about Gary?'. I guess marrying Gary was easy. It was just so right. To anyone who knows us before we started dating, it sure didn't feel right when I met him:) I don't know that he has changed my life as much as he has been there for the changes and supported me and loved me and helped me. He has made my life more full and as I know him longer, our love runs wider and deeper. He knows me so well. When I think back to when we first started dating, and his limited knowledge of women, it makes me giggle. I remember when he broke up with me after dating for 4 months and I started crying. He was like, `Why are you crying?' and then, he wanted to still go to the BC Lions game that I had just gotten tickets for. So we went. Yes, 5 minutes after breaking up. AWKWARD. Oh man. We've come a long way!!

What are your top life changers, you non commenters???

Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Crazy Voice

This is a bit disjointed as I wrote it at random times throughout the day and don't have time to fix it.
First off, I'll start with the good news. My resting heart rate has been below 100 for 2 days now. I feel....relaxed-ish.

We have had more and more of these beautiful moments where they play nicely alongside each other. At one point, they were playing pass with a ball...sort of. More like, roll the ball and both crawl to it as fast as you can and then collide with each other. I am so happy to see them getting along better than before and I'm very thankful for Kai's patience with his little brother.

Koen is such a goofball. Maybe all kids are. He just makes me smile. Look at his goofy grin:)

Okay, I have gotten some really funny pictures of the kids with this magnifying glass.

Koen walking. Terrible picture but I never know when he's going to take more than the regular 3 steps. He has gotten up to 6 steps or so. My big little boy!

This is more of what I normally see throughout the day. Kai colliding with Koen and then Koen pulling his hair and jumping on him.

So, crazy voice. Maybe you've never had this but once in a while, the kids hear my `crazy voice'. I used to drive my mom nuts and then once in a while, she would yell at me with this low voice where each word was pronounced slowly and scarily. I found myself using this scary yell when Kai was about 2.5 and it usually shows up every couple months. Today, they heard it twice. `STOP. HEAD. BUTTING. YOUR. BROTHER.' `STOP. PUTTING. LEAVES. IN. MY. HAIR. AND. DON'T. TOUCH. THE. CAMERA. LENS!'. Eyes bulging, heart racing, body shaking. Not sure if it's my hormones or the fact that I am truly stressed about the van. My dad always said that `it's just money'. As long as we're all healthy-ish, then it's okay. I do agree...somewhat:)

Exibit B of playing nicely!!

Koen's favourite activity in the world. As soon as he hears my voice, coming to get him, he goes into high gear giggling away.

What is prettier than fall leaves? Maybe a beautiful sunset. Maybe. Love them.

Okay, so the van. Apparently everyone in the world (besides me) knows that a 10 year old minivan requires a new transmission. A good new Honda transmission costs $3450. Oh, and there are `suspension linkages' that go along with it for $151.00. Oh, and while we are at it, there are about $700-$800 more repairs needed like the timing belt which should have been replaced at 95,000km. So, we are looking at about $4,200.00 worth of repairs on our $7,300.00 van. Guess the guy knew what he was doing when he sold it at 9 years old. However, a total of $11, 500 is not bad for a Honda Odyssey. Better than $30,000 new. Right? Right? Right? The only other thing that could go, which shouldn't, is the motor. So, this should be it.

I guess you really shouldn't wear the same jeans you wore when you were 15-20lbs heavier!

Did I mention I love fall leaves? I walked to preschool to pick Kai up. It's a good 30 minute walk each way, with most of it being up hill on the way back. The kids did not love it which means that I did not love it either. I think I will sleep very well tonight because I was really exhausted from it. I have improved so much in 6 weeks. From not being able to walk a block to now being able to walk for 5km.

Gary and I were planning a little getaway for Spring Break, but now, I'm not so sure. I know we should, especially since it would be our first time away from the kids AND our 5 year anniversary. We will see. Just money Louise, nothing serious.
Finally, we somehow have to find time to go to the pumpkin patch. We go every year but somehow our October weekends are so jam packed. Maybe we'll go on a week night?

Guilty confession of the week
: we let Kai have a personal DVD player in his room so when he wakes up at 6:45am, he knows how to put in a DVD and watch it for 45 minutes so I get to sleep in a bit!
Bon nuit.