Friday, December 31, 2010

2010: A Great Year

The year began with the start to our adoption journey,
And now we wait, with excitement, to meet our baby!
Some fabulous road trips we did take,
From our vacation to Drumheller to relaxing at Green Lake.
Koen melted our hearts with his `I Lud You',
We loved his non stop cuddles, hugs and kisses too.
Kai decided that he loves to ride his bike,
Transformers, puzzles, and dinosaurs are also amongst his likes.
I started the year with hormones way out of whack,
But for the last two months, they have been right on track!
Gary and I had a nice getaway in Courtenay,
We enjoyed the spa and great food for our anniversary.
The basement was a huge undertaking,
And the drywall portion was extremely painstaking.
We finished it all and I think it looks great,
It cost a bit more than we wanted but we didn't finish late.
There were a lot of sicknesses amongst Koen and Kai,
Like hand, foot and mouth disease and pink eye.
We took well over 50,000 photos for GC Photography,
Being able to run a small business has been such a blessing to me.
We are so thankful for our health, friends and family,
What's in store for 2011? I can't wait to see!
We were supposed to have a party here for New Years but cancelled due to our germ infestation. Koen's birthday party is also pushed back another week. Today we celebrated New Years Eve by taking Kai skating for the first time! He starts lessons on Wednesday so I really wanted him to know what it would be all about. We bought him skates and a helmet (Sports Replay...second hand). Kai is fearless in social situations and could speak in front of thousands of people no problem. However, he is afraid of new activities and so I was just hoping he would stay on the ice for more than one minute. I think he lasted 15 minutes or so. Although, at one point he was lying on the ice saying `I'll never ice skate again', I know he can do it.

I don't think I've skated for about 5 years and I had to rent terrible skates. Next time I will rent hockey skates instead....or, if Kai enjoys skating, I will just buy some hockey skates to go more often.
We figured out the best way to put drops in Kai's eyes and now I can do it by myself! Basically the Decepticons are in his eyes and we need to add some Autobots to destroy them. Works perfectly. Thank you, Transformers. This afternoon we added Bumblebee to destroy Starscream.
(Koen pretending to be Uncle Steve with his tool box)
A boring video but sort of shows him skating:) The goal this year is to learn how to make good videos and add music and photos etc. I know I can do it, I just feel that I don't have time to do it.

So, I need to go play Chutes and Ladders (I hope I lose!) so I will just finish by saying that I hope you have a wonderful New Years Eve and I look forward to seeing what 20111 has in store for all of us! Hopefully a baby for the Chapmans:)
Love, Louise

Wednesday, December 29, 2010


Gary and I had a wedding just past Pemberton (which is a half hour past Whistler). We had about an hour to spend at Whistler on the way up and again on the way down. Obviously it would be nicer if we had a free day to ski or snowshoe or just hike day.
We definitely need to get away, just the two of us, at least once per year. The last two times have been for weddings (which doesn't count because we are just working and exhausted), but in March we did have a holiday. I guess we should make sure we get another in before we bring home a baby (which I'm thinking will happen October 2011...not for any reason, just a feeling.).
Gary's parents had the kiddos and they all had a good time. Kai has an extreme case of pink eye and I brought him to the doctor right away. They made us wait in the car and they let him take home the toy he had picked up at the doctor's office because they didn't want his germs. Kai was pumped about that as it was an Optimus Prime that lights up. Getting drops in his eye is a two man mission. He screams like we're torturing him but there's just no other way. We tried it the nice way and it didn't work. I'm assuming Koen will get it too as Kai is contagious for another 5 days still. Kai looks terrible but fortunately he feels okay. I'm so sick and tired of our family being so sick and tired. I'm still not completely over my cold that I started 3 weeks ago.
Anyway, so happy to be home safe and sound. There's no place like home. I missed home cooked meals. I missed my boys.

Have a wonderful evening.
Love, Louise

Get Fit: Week Five Check In

Sorry to do this one day late! Gary and I were working in Pemberton and just got back.
The final results for the 5 week challenge (which I'm actually just going to keep going on) is:
Weight: total loss of 6lbs (very happy with this! Would like to lose about 4 more just for some wiggle room). This was on Monday before we left on a three day trip with zero exercise besides walking around.
Fitness: no where near where I would like it to be. I can run 20 minutes comfortably but would like to continue exercising (elliptical, 30 day shred, yoga, running) so that I can run at least 30 minutes comfortably. I also want to get into shape for football which starts in just a few months.
Food: this is the biggest thing for me. I want to continue to make smart decisions while allowing for a small daily indulgence. This has made all the difference to my weight loss.

How was your weigh in this week? Your activity level? Boy, was it a food filled week! I am going to continue trying to get healthier but I'm not sure if I will have `Check Ins' each week. I'm thankful that a bunch of you were on board with getting healthier, it def. made me stick to a plan. Yay for getting more fit and losing a few pounds!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas | Part II

Kai's favourite gift: A Trick Track. We have been checking it out every time we go to Costco and finally his dreams came true:) Kai also got 1000 piece lego set which we have been working on. It's really above his age level but Gary and I have had fun with it!

For Christmas I got a cookbook (Double Delicious...made the cookies already which have a whole can of chick peas in them!), boots from Gary (I'm such a sucker for boots..these are some nice brown leather flat ones with a few buckles) and some other great things (gift card for spa, money, Purdy's English Toffee).
Opening presents at Gramma and Grandpa's last night. Had another fabulous meal (where I exercised some great self control!).
This morning our friends Tessa and Simon dropped by with their super gorgeous son Riley. We tried out their new Ergo and he looks pretty cute and comfy in there! Did I mention how adorable he is?! I think I need to take about 500 more pictures of him...hopefully soon-ish:)

Gary and I are shooting a wedding in Pemberton in the next couple of days. I'm hoping that we are able to have some fun amongst the work as we will be without the kiddos for 2 days. I don't like leaving Koen while he's on antibiotics but I know he will be fine. Gary and I haven't been to Whistler for at least 4 years so I'm looking forward to it...even if it is work related.

I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas. I know I am so blessed to have my husband and boys and our extended families. I'm thankful for this year, it was a gooder.

Have a wonderful week!!
Love, Louise

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas| Part I

Just a few things from the past two days...
{An attempt at a family picture before heading out for Christmas Eve festivities with my side of the family. Poor Koen just woke up.}
{All the Dekens grandkids. I can't imagine how many more there will be in 10 years from now...5 girls with maybe an average of 3 each...I guess 15 kiddos!}
{Finally put up my Uppercase Living thingy. Cute huh?}
{Giant cupcake I made today (using a mold from Bed, Bath and Beyond). I put Kai's head in there so you can see how big it actually is!}
{Sami. Cute.}
{Koen's first time bowling. He doesn't have an ear infection but is on antibiotics for his chest infection. I really dislike what it does to his digestive system but so far we are not having too many crazy diapers by giving him lots of probiotics. He has slept through the night the last two nights so that is a relief. I think Kai might be getting sick again. I'm so tired of germs.}
{Opi and Nana Jo with the littlest girls.}
{About a year ago, Uncle Steve wouldn't even come within a foot of a baby and look at him here! Good job Uncle Steve.}
{She's too cute.}

Now, I must rest up for all the festivities on the Chapman side! I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas!!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Happy Birthday Auntie Jackie!

Have a good birthday! Looking forward to celebrating by bowling tonight:)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Get Fit: Week Four Check In

Well. We've been sick here. I've pretty much been sick for 2.5 of the 4 weeks that we've been doing this. I managed to exercise 5 days this week so not bad. I lost that last 0.5lbs for a total of 5lbs. I'm no where near as fit as I would like to be as this whole chest infection turned into a mass buildup in my sinuses that feels like it's coming out of my ears. Anyway, I'm liking the way I'm looking and thinking that 10 more pounds isn't really realistic (my married weight) so in the end, I'd like to just lose 5 more. That would be easier to maintain.

I have no idea how I'm avoiding most of this amazing food out there. This will be the most challenging week by far. Two huge Christmas dinners in a row (the week after has New Years Eve and then Koen's birthday party). Why wasn't this just a 4 week challenge? If I can be healthy these next two weeks, I will be my own hero:)

{this is from a few months ago but every post needs a picture:)}

In other news...Koen is sick. For two weeks he has been coughing and super congested. The problem is that he can't get a good night sleep so I've been holding him, in the recliner, for an hour or two each night. He's been up since 4am today. We are tired. In his crib, he will just cry and cry for me (which is NOT like him at all). I keep thinking that he will get better so I never booked a doctor's appointment. Besides, what's he going to say? Yes, it's going around, nothing you can do. I don't want Koen on antibiotics because last time he was on it, it was terrible. We have an appointment in two hours, we'll see what he says. We bought a better (super expensive but on for half price!!) humidifier today so hopefully that helps. I'm just worried because Gary and I are going to Pemberton for a wedding next week and I want Koen to be all better before we go. Also, I'm nervous it's going to turn into an ear infection.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

My Donkey and My Assistant Coach

Yesterday was Kai's Christmas Party at preschool Gramma and Grandpa (Gary's parents) came to watch.
Kai was the donkey. He actually did have a line (they all did) and he did a good job:)

The picture below is funny, they are singing `Feliz Navidad' and they are at the `...from the bottom of my heart' part, but it looks like they are all choking.
Then I quickly went to watch a bit of Gary's bball game. It's the annual Christmas Bowl against another Christian school. It was great for Koen to see a bit of what daddy does!
The next pictures are just cute because Koen is acting as the assistant coach. He loved it! Drinking from the water bottle, holding the clipboard, and giving out high fives.

They lost in double overtime, good game though!

Well, off to a wedding! Have a wonderful weekend everyone!
Love, Louise

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Christmas Tree Cake Pops

Made these for Kai's preschool class. They are supposed to be Christmas Tree Cake Pops. I like it because then it won't make a mess when the kids take them home. However, cupcakes would be much easier. Next time, messy but easier is the plan. There are some gorgeous Christmas cupcake ideas out there. I made the cake yesterday and had left over frosting in the fridge, so today was assembly day.
{The boys just played upstairs in the car bed and downstairs in the castle while I worked on them. So awesome.}

Now, just need to figure out a theme for Koen's birthday party in a couple of weeks. My baby is turning 2!!!! I'm thinking it will be farm animal cupcakes...we'll see!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Adoption Update: Still Waiting

{My friend, Melissa, and her beautiful baby belly}
We have almost been active for 4 months. They (adoption agency) have told us nothing. This is normal. I have emailed and called them several times for updates and all I know is that one person has looked at our profile (at the beginning of Nov). No feedback on it. No other information. It's hard. I feel like calling them every week to ask what's new but I'm restricting myself to every 6 weeks:) It's not that I feel that I `need' a baby right now, but I have the desire to know that we will be bringing home a baby in 2011. When I hear the news I will be the biggest emotional mess of my life and I can't wait.

I've tried to discuss baby names with Gary but he is not helpful in that department. I basically have to think of them and then ask his opinion. I get a `that's okay' or `not my favourite'. Not a whole lot of help. I do have a couple of boy names that I like but not a single girl name:) I also don't want to get set on a name because I would love to have that conversation with the birth parents and also take ethnicity into account.

The other thing I've been thinking about is that I am planning on breastfeeding our baby. I wasn't sure if I wanted to share that information right now, but I think it's good for people to know that you can do it! Some might think it's a little weird but I think it's beautiful and I really hope it works out. If you have done this (breastfed a baby that you did not birth), please let me know how you did it! My doctor has given me domperidone to start taking as soon as I hear any news and then I plan on pumping several times throughout the day (I'll be desperately looking for a double electric pump at that time). I'm not sure about taking medication...I may want to try more natural remedies like fenugreek. We'll see. With both boys, the first 2 weeks (or 2 months in Koen's case) were pretty rough breastfeeding but I'm glad I stuck with it. I really, really hope that I can do it again. It's weird. I don't have a desire to be pregnant, but I do have the desire to breastfeed a baby again. I really enjoyed that bonding time with my babies and I think, that for me, it will be another great bonding time at a time when we may really need it. I think that I will be quite upset if it doesn't work out, but at the same time, I am realistic. My doctor pretty much said that it is rarely successful BUT I have done it twice before so hopefully my body can do what it's done before!

So ya, no news. Just waiting and praying...what else can you do?

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Get Fit: Week Three Check In

I don't really want to let you know how this week went because it was bad. I was sick. Like, only worked out 2 days this week. Fortunately I am feeling quite a bit better, maybe 75%, so I'm back at the elliptical again. I do 20 minutes during the day with the kids awake (their limit of behaving nicely while I work out) and 20 minutes at night while they are in bed. Not ideal shower wise, but it seems to work best. I'm not ready to run yet. It's hard for me mentally because I was supposed to be so much further along fitness wise at this point but that week and half rest was detrimental to that. Oh well.
Scale says I lost 0.5 lbs and I'll take it. At least there was no gain. So far, in three weeks, it's been 4.5lbs. I'll take it. I just really have another extra 10lbs on me that I would love to shed over the next few months. I would also love to be able to do 5km no problem at all. Just takes time. Need to be patient. Need to stay healthy!
I'm making cake pops tomorrow so let's see how strong my will power is then:)
How was your week?

Monday, December 13, 2010

Looking Up!

I'd say we are all well on the road to feeling better, except for Koen. He is in the depth of it right now, poor bubs. He is handling it well but looks like a mess with his runny, raw nose and eczema covered chin:)

We did go to church for the first 30 minutes so Kai could sing with his class and we could see our nephew's baptism. Kai spoke into the microphone and LOVED it. He said a few things in the mic to Jayden (nephew); `J-dog, I hope you weren't scared when you went in the water!' `I'm proud of you' `Everyone is so happy, I wonder why?'.
{He's doing `Go Tell It On the Mountain' here. They also did `Mary had a baby boy' to the tune of Mary had a little lamb.}
I went on the elliptical for 20 minutes this morning, the first time in almost a week. It sucks being out of commission for a week. Oh well, that's life and it could've been worse.
I went through some old posts and have to say that I'm pretty proud of myself/us for the basement reno. Seriously, that was a whole lot of work!!! So glad it is done (few odds and ends still) and now we just get to decorate that blank canvas down there.
{Not quite done...need to hang up the toilet paper holder and get a garbage can etc.}
Tomorrow I am getting snow tires put on the van. It is soooooooooooooooo much money and normally I just wouldn't drive if it was snowing, but, we still have two more December weddings and one in January so there isn't an option. If it's snowing on the day, we still gotta do it! I did get them on sale through Costco's website but still...yikes. It is a write off for the business so that helps I guess.

Question for you: Kai has been watching Transfomers every day with Gary at 6:30pm. Do you think he's too young? I never watch it because I find it so boring but last night I watched for a minute and realized it's actually all violence (dude, I grew up with 4 sisters, so I've never seen it before!). Now when Kai says `Destroy!' all the time, I know where it comes from. He loves, loves, loves it (because the autobots save the day) but I have mentioned to him that we might need to wait until he's six to watch it. Thoughts? Sounds dorky but should I ask Gary to debrief with him after each show? To the guys: how old were you when you started watching shows like that?

Time to get to work here. Have a great day!!
Love, Louise

Saturday, December 11, 2010

On Being Sick

So, we all have the lovely virus that is going around. Nasty colds with terrible coughs...can't stop them and they are just deep in the chest. Kai had to miss `Gingerbread House Day' at preschool and may have to miss singing in front of church tomorrow. He doesn't care about not singing in front of church, but I do:)

Anyway, I wouldn't mind the suckiness of it except for the fact that my kids and husband (and perhaps I) are grumpy. And seriously, all I want to do is lay in bed with a book, movie, and non stop warm beverages (rotating between tea with honey and hot chocolate). You cannot just `lay in bed' when you have two kids and your husband is at a basketball tournament. I tried laying in bed today for 20 minutes and the kids jumped all over me having a `dance party' and then when I kicked them out, they destroyed Koen's room.

Also, the fact that Gary just broke off the turn signal/headlight handle thingy to the car doesn't make me any less grumpy.

Hope you are all healthy!!
Love, Louise

Friday, December 10, 2010

What It Would've Been Like...

My mom would've had her 58th birthday and I'm pretty sure I can picture what it would be like. We would all meet for dinner at mom and dad's house and gather around the large table. That was where we spent a lot of time. Family meals every day. Tea times every night. So dorky, but when you have 5 girls, if you all sit together and have tea and ONE cookie, you'll share about your life. (How do I have no pictures of tea time? And I emphasize one cookie because Gary can't believe we were only allowed one cookie per day:)
(I'm the one with the white tank top and cool plaid shirt around my waist)
We would've each brought a dish and mom would be so proud of our cooking and baking abilities. And probably just laugh with Jan about whatever she brought:) She would compliment our cooking by saying something to each of us throughout the night.
(I'm the one in the Esprit a stage when I accidentally cut myself some bangs)

The kids would run to oma for a hug and my mom would have the biggest smile on her face. They would probably all tell oma what they had been up to and Ani and Izzy would give her some princess colouring pages and Kai would give her a transformer one. Mom would joke about how Sami had such a mischievous smile, just like her momma. Then, they would find their seats around the kiddie table (and they'd likely all have `their cups' as we always had designated cups:).
(I had been dating a guy who was chinese for a while so I made my family some chinese food to work on our chopstick skills:) I'm on the far right..our designated cups went darkest to lightest for oldest to youngest).
After dinner we would have a homemade birthday cake (always!!) and mom would open her cards and presents. No idea what we would've bought her but she did like shopping and could never figure out what to buy, so maybe we would buy her clothes or plan on a trip of going to get something.

At the end of the night, after we all went home, mom would probably call her mom and brother and share about what a great night she had with us:)

Miss you mom. You were a super awesome mom and I'm so thankful that you were mine.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Kings of the Castle

Gary, Kai and I all have a virus of some sort. Congestion deep in the chest that is just not fun. You would think that if you were sick you would sleep in, but no, Kai was up by 5:30am. I'm so tired. That's two days in a row of early wake ups. The advantage is that I get in a workout or I work for 2 hours before Koen is up. The disadvantage is that I rarely fall asleep before 1am so I am TIRED. Trying to remember how precious and cute my kids are, but today, they are exhausting me and it seems like they are purposely tearing the house apart. Praying that Kokies doesn't get it...then it will really be a test of patience around here.

{I didn't purposely do a side mohawk...his hair just does whatever it wants:)}
{And, you know how I was looking for a tent for the basement? Found one at Costco for under $25.00! Awesome.}

Gary coached his first basketball game of the season this morning so I wonder how it went! Let the craziness begin...
Love, Louise

PS I had a whole post about where we are likely sending Kai to school but it was boring. Answer: Christian School. Reasons: Part time (M, W, Fri...this was the biggest attraction), more resources/time spent on electives, smaller classes, great community (parents I talked to said they LOVED it). We'll try it and see how it goes. I think the school here would be great if it wasn't so overpopulated. It is 1.5 years old and is full of portables and they are starting an addition in January. Crazy hey? I also went to Christian school from K-12 and I loved it. Maybe everyone loves school? Maybe I would've loved the public school too? Who knows. That's the scoop.