Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Kai: Mr. Dramatic

(Kai isn't allowed Bubi downstairs because then he sucks his thumb. His excuse this time? `But mommy, I made a thumb sucking machine!').

First off, I just need to say a huge `YIPPEE!!!' as my sister is home from the hospital. I won't share too many details but she had a super, duper, tough first two weeks with Kenzie which included being hospitalized for 4 days with post pre-eclampsia. Kris totally took care of Kenzie and brought her to and from the hospital for feeds and snuggles with Maria. Thank goodness they live close to the hospital and that there they could get the care they needed.
(Opi's idea of babysitting 4 kids...stick them in a box)
Today was Kai's first party day. If you don't know Kai, he is very friendly and outgoing and confident. He totally displayed that all today. When the teacher told them to sing loudly, all I heard was him.
(He had some interesting moves!)
He did all the actions and did them..uh, with vigour. The parents were all smiling and laughing with him. At one point the teacher said, `Does everyone want to sing the warm up song?' and of course all the kids are like,` YA!!' and Kai says, `Well, actually, that song is too long for me' (aka too boring).
They are learning a different letter each week and so he recited the `B' poem loud and clear when the teacher asked for someone in the class to say it.
Kai had `Happy Birthday' sung to him as his birthday was in the summer. At one point, a mom turned to me and said, `He is so freakin' cute!!' Now, I know Kai is cute but I don't hear that often. Usually everyone just thinks Koen is cute and that Kai is well spoken. But yes, my Kai bear is such a character. I wonder if he'll be into drama. He would do anything in front of any size group and loves to be the center of attention.
Koen now cries every time we leave Kai. They truly are great buddies and I love to see their brotherly love develop daily. Can't wait to add a brother or sister into the day!!

Have a wonderful day.
Love, Louise

PS Renos: the mudder will be here until Friday Oct. 8th which puts us right on schedule!! We are actually finishing a week earlier because we have hired someone to do the finishing work right after thanskgiving weekend. Just have to make sure the carpet comes in time or I may freak out:)

Monday, September 27, 2010

Kai and Koen

Something other than renos...
(The boys both sitting=100% unnatural photo:)

Sunday, September 26, 2010

We Did It!

So, Gary and I worked our butts off this week and we have hung all the drywall! Woohoo! Special thanks to the guys from church for doing the ceiling, my dad for working with me and doing such a diligent job, my bro in law Tyler for helping Gary several days in a row (and walking one hour to our house each time!!), and to Joel for finishing the bathroom with Gary today. I have to tell you, Gary did not complain at all and I've never seen him so focussed and hard working on something. I'm so proud of him!
Gary sealing off the basement for the mudder tomorrow. Please do not notice the terrible full length seam on the far wall, that was my bad, you are supposed to stagger them so there are no full vertical lines. We rented a drywall screwdriver from Home Depot, it was awesome. Today I went back and forth on doing the playroom with laminate flooring (better for studio) but I think we will go with carpet. It's just warmer and safer for the boys....I think.
The bedroom which will be Kai's eventually. He wants to move into it ASAP but I'm going to hold him off until he's a bit older. It has a great walk in closet and is right next to the bathroom.
The bathroom. The coloured drywall is the waterproof stuff. It should be all around but the other drywall was already there when we moved in...
The mudder comes tomorrow and does his thing, hope that goes according to plan!
I had 4 photography cancellations in the last 8 days. I never have more than one in a month so you can imagine that the weather has been sketchy!! We could've made it work on several of the days but oh well. So, now they are rescheduled which just means it will be a bit busier in the next few weeks. That's okay though because until we paint (in two weeks) I don't have a lot going on! For the first time since May, when Kai goes to preschool tomorrow and Koen naps, I have nothing to work on. I think I will just bake and make a nice meal. CRAZY. I'm excited.
Today while steam mopping the floor (for the second time in one day, the drywall dust is driving me CRAZY), I noticed fresh drops of blood on the ground. I checked Koen's mouth and nose out but couldn't find the source. As he was heading to bed, Gary held him upside down and I found the source. Koen had fallen (aka pushed by Kai) about an hour earlier and the back of his head had been pierced by a sharp toy. There was a small, deep hole that was still bleeding. The back of his head was all red with blood, boy, heads sure bleed a lot! He is one tough cookie:)
Me (I said a sentence with the word `stupid' in it which is a major no no in this house)
Kai: Mommy, you said a bad word!!
Me: You're right Kai, thanks for reminding me, I'm sorry.
Kai: Koen, do you forgive mommy?

Kai: Mommy, I had a bad dream last night.
Me: That's sad Kai, are you okay?
Kai: Well, you should've come into my dream.
Koen can now say `Happy birthday' and it could be the cutest thing in the world. He was even singing it today. CUTENESS. Actually, that's tied with him counting to three in swahili (I always say moja, and then he says mbili, tatu).

Friday, September 24, 2010


I left Gary in the basement, on his own, at 10pm tonight. I can't touch another piece of drywall. I am so done. The basement is so NOT done (probably 10-15 more hours to go). We have to have the drywall done by Monday morning and Gary and I are soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo exhausted. I'm glad I've learned a lot but I wish there were 2 Louise's and 2 Gary's so that we could've had it done by now. We are only doing the painting ourselves after this. The rest we will hire the experts. Yes, it will cost $1500.00 more than projected to do the finishing but I don't care. I'd rather be editing pictures than cutting electrical outlet rectangles from big pieces of drywall. The idea of cutting the drywall for the bathroom and laundry room makes me want to vomit...all those circles to cut out....
And to let you know, I am pretty cool. I can cut drywall and then get up on a ladder and drill it in AND it will fit perfectly. I can carry a 4X8 1/2" sheet on my own. Now that I know I can do it, I'm never doing it again.
And seriously, I am so done with drywall dust all over our home. Oh, and the four couches in our living room (two belong in the basement).
Once Monday comes, we have 2 weeks `off' while the mudder is in there. All I need to do is buy a couple of light fixtures, doors, bifolds and carpet. Easy right? Better be!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Kenzie (and the basement)

I went to visit my nieces today and it was the boys first time seeing baby Kenzie. Kai just whispered around her (I told her she was sleeping) and then ran outside. Koen spent a good 10 minutes staring at her saying `baby' over and over.
I had to take a few pictures of her but will be taking some better family photos in a few days. Here she is!
She is sleeping so well at night, maybe getting up to feed once or twice. I know that this can change, but for now, I'm happy for Maria!

She just looks like a 2 month old to me, just like my boys were....big!
And for the basement, sorry, I think every post will have a basement update.
Last night we had six guys over from church and for four hours all I heard was the sound of drills and it was awesome!! Who knew it could be so exciting? They finished the ceiling! I love people willing to help, especially when they have cool tools. I did learn a valuable lesson. The basement was not sealed off so there is now drywall dust everywhere upstairs. I steam mopped 3 times already and it's terrible. Let's just say it's sealed now. Not so great for our lungs. I did one piece of drywall today (cutting and hanging it) by myself and it took half an least I know I can do it!

(The finished ceiling!!)
I'm thinking of moving our studio into our garage so that I don't have to store it in the playroom and transition the playroom to studio any time that we want to use it. We'll see once it's done. Too bad the bedroom is to small to use as a studio, it's nice and out of the way.

Tonight I am taking the evening off to watch `my' two shows; Criminal Minds and Modern Family. So excited!!

Love, Louise

Monday, September 20, 2010

Insulated and Life

After one week, we have finished the framing, plumbing, electrical and insulating. Gary and I insulated Fri, Sat and Sun evening. Phew, done!! Not a difficult job but a kind of itchy one. We had to do a lot of tuck taping (the red tape) because the vapour sheet was half done when we moved in so we had to seal it all off.
I realized something. I like things to look nice and fit perfectly. Gary likes things done quickly. So far, we actually have gotten along pretty well working together but I'm trying to be a little more `cool' about mis-measured things and Gary is trying to be a little more patient with my `that's not how they did it in the video...' comments:)
Tomorrow night is our drywalling `party' and I am SO nervous for some reason. Gary and I will do a bit tonight but save all the ceilings for tomorrow (ceilings are supposed to be first but the walls were partially done when we moved in). I just want the guys to do a really good job on it and I think I will be such a stress case if I'm around...I'm thinking of just leaving and letting them do their thing. We'll see! Our mudder is going to have to work over a 2 week span (due to holidays) which puts us back onto the original schedule, even though currently we are one week ahead. I have to say that I am learning a ton and it`s interesting. Just time consuming.
I had to get a picture with these shoes. I have to throw them away but they are special to me. They are Kai and Koen`s first walking/running shoes. Good old brown Dr. Scholl's shoes. I bought them secondhand for $5.00, 4 years ago, they have done well!
This box remains in our living room and has provided oodles of entertainment for the boys.

And Koen, my monkey. Seriously, isn`t he gorgeous? He can climb up into his booster seat (we have pub style chairs), walk down stairs with or without the rail, climb up the climbing wall at the park, climb into his own carseat...he keeps us busy:)

In photography news, we are pretty much booked up until September 2011 next year as I am cutting down my bookings to half. We got asked about 3 weddings (for next year) on Saturday alone...I am getting so much better at saying no. As much as I want to take everyone's picture, I can't. There is no way I could repeat this years work again. I want to have a lot more family time. This year we have 20 weddings and next year we already have 10-12. We will see. Interesting balance though, life and work, with kids and a husband in there.

Okay, time to work!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Hot Date Night | Insulating the Basement

Yesterday our drywall was pouring so we improvised. I'll be honest, I only carried 3 single sheets down (they come in packs of 2). Gary and Tyler were machines!
Tonight I went to Home Depot to get the last of our supplies for insulating. I kind of felt cool buying my own T square. Last night we watched a super dorky DVD: `So You're Renovating: Insulating Your Basement' in preparation.

I made it just 2 hours down there before I felt like I could no longer breathe. I think we are about 1/3 done the insulating. Guess it's back down there tomorrow after we pack up our van full of insulation again (we can only buy 6 bags at a time). I started out pretty excited as I love learning new things. And then, well, it got a bit At least Gary does the ceilings and I just have to do the walls:) And let me tell you, the walls look nice. We're getting there!!!! Just have to plan our drywall party....


This weeks random jabbering on our adoption journey.

Here is a conversation I had with someone this week:
Person: You have such a glow! Are you pregnant?
Me: No, but we are expecting through adoption.
Person: Oh, that's great!
Me: Ya, we're really excited.
Person: Well, aren't you trendy! (75% joking, 25% serious)
Me: That's why were doing it! (100% joking).

I'm not trendy one bit. Look at my hair, my clothes, my car. Ya. I do not do things to be cool. We are obviously not doing it to be cool. I'm so thankful for the people that we have in our lives who have brought children into their homes through adoption. We do not have adoption in our families, anywhere. However, we do have friends that have like Melissa and Brent, and now, Jen and Andrey!! I'm so thankful that their journeys have helped bring us to where we are today...they have made something so unfamiliar to us, familiar.

And this is my guilty confession: I have not read one book on adoption. This is 100% the opposite of normal Louise. I have attended the conferences and spoken to a lot of adoptive parents but I have not read one book. I have asked for recommendations of good books but I haven't actually read any. I did go to Chapters and to the library and found out that there are maybe 2 books somewhat related, that I would never read.

I read a ton about parenting, babies, and kids, before we had kids and when Kai was a newborn. I found the books stressed me out and made it worse. Too many different opinions, I didn't know who to listen to! I will seek the advice of those that have gone through it before. I will seek the support of others around me. Maybe if something specific comes up, I will look for a book on that topic.

Our first month of actual waiting went well. We are so insanely busy that I don't have a lot of time to focus on it. Although I'll be honest, one of the major reasons why I want to push through this basement reno so quickly is just in case, by some teensy tiny chance, we get matched in the next couple of months, I want the basement done. There is no way I could finish the reno while bringing a newborn into our home! I want that time to just be us. Our family.

Okay, Koen is awake and we need to get Kai from preschool. Have a fabulous weekend!!! Gary and I are going to spend any free time insulating the basement! Woohoo?!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Renovations | Day 6 (and Koen)

The schedule for week one went right according to plan! Our wonderful electrician (nicest guy ever?!) is coming back tonight to finish his job. I mean, the plumber and electrician will come back after it's almost done to put all the fixtures in etc but for now, all good!
(The tub is in!)
(We'll have 6 recessed lights in the playroom...and really nice ones at that:)

Today we are having 45 sheets of drywall dropped off which means hopefully we can start on that soon. Gary needs to put in a vent to the outside (you know, drill through our wall...eek!) with his dad (for the bathroom vent) on Friday and then we will insulate away.
Koen is actually really stressing me out. We put the baby gate back up because I can't risk him getting into the basement these days. Yesterdays activities included eating 1/4 cup of margarine (using the butter knife) and picking every last unripe tomato off our vines and throwing them all over the yard. We have a lot of various tomato plants. This is what happens when he's unattended for 5 minutes. I love him like crazy and especially love the cuddles when he drinks his milk, but unless I am playing with him, he's causing trouble. I'm sure renos during this `monkey stage' are not helping. I have been off beta blockers for months but yesterday, I took two. I feels like my blood pressure is super high, even though it probably isn't. Love you Kokies!

Okay, that's my 5 minutes and I had to go get him twice (once for taking my entire purse apart and the other time for pulling a chair over to the edge of the basement to try to get over the gate). Gotta go!!!

PS When talking to Kai about Kenzie being born at Langley Memorial Hospital...
Me: Kai, do you know where you were born?
Kai: In a stable!!
Pretty sure that wasn't you buddy:)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Kenzie Joanna

Yippee, I have another niece! Maria was overdue by 10 days and was given the midwives concoction several times, then was induced by the gel 2 or 3 times and finally, at 5:11am this morning, Kenzie arrived. Maria managed to labour at home until about 7cm and then once she was at the hospital, had Kenzie just 1 hour and 15 minutes later! Maria def. had a bit of a rough go by not being able to sleep very much the past few days (or at all last night) and then just you know, pushing out a 9lb 7oz girl:) I'll let her blog the rest of the details.
She is a perfect little girl. Like a lot of big babies (both of my boys), they are concerned by her lower blood sugar levels and are `making' her feed every three hours (and with formula too) and pricking her heel every three hours to check if it's improving. So frustrating!! I remember with Koen how exhausting and unnatural the whole thing was. It took Koen 24 hours to be `normal'.
To me, this sweet little girl reminds me of Annika but she is def. her own little person:) When I told Kai her name, Kai said she be called `Meatball' (although Rose Petal was his first choice). I asked why. He said, `Because meatballs are just to nice and yummy!'.
I'm so excited for a new little baby in the family, gotta keep em coming with 4 sisters around:) My sister Jackie was there for the birth. I don't know that I could do it. Seeing people I love in pain just hurts my heart to the core...thank goodness I'm the one that went into labour and not Gary, I couldn't bear to watch him!
I just had a short visit as I had my mother in law at home watching the boys. I may have snuck in another visit this evening. A short one.
Proud auntie Louise!!

Suddenly Sami looks like a super cute giant next to Kenzi. These two are going to be super buddies, like Kai and Ani, being that there are just 6 months apart.
Yay for babies! Yay for family!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Life Around Here

1. Babies: for some reason, every time I see a pregnant woman, or a baby, I get teary eyed. Not because I'm jealous but because it's beautiful. I'm so happy for them. I saw a friend at church who is due in three weeks and tears fell from my eyes when I asked how she was doing. I guess it doesn't help that my sister is 10 days overdue and there will be a new baby here soon! I look forward to our baby to be but know that now would not be the best time.

2. Renos: the plumbers were here for 5 hours today (and probably 1 hour tomorrow)and our bathroom is all ready to go! Well, you know, tub is in and the plumbing is in. Ha, it has a long ways to go! Great plumbers (one is my bro in law)! So far, so good! I think in our first week of renos, we will put in $2000.00. Wow. Framing, Plumbing and Electrical (that includes parts and labour). I have ordered the drywall (and about 10% more than I think we need) and will go pay for it tomorrow (okay, add $500.00 to the total!). It will be delivered on Thursday. Does anyone know a good drywall mudder? I have one lined up for a quote but would like one other one, just to compare. Organizing all this is like another full time job. Thank goodness I don't have to actually do any of the framing, plumbing or electrical...I'm already losing one precious hour of sleep each night just thinking about the renos.

3. Work: I have been working way too much. I know. However, it is paying for the adoption and renos so it's necessary. And, let's be honest, I enjoy it, I'm learning a lot and I love feeling productive. I stopped accepting bookings for 2010 a while back and am already booked up several months for 2011. I have 4 shoots this week, then 3, then 2, then 1. Ah. Can't wait!! Although then we are doing the photo directory for never ends! November. Yes, then I will relax. For sure. No matter what!!! I have decided that next year I am going to have a monthly max of 2 weddings and 2 regular sessions. That's it! I will stick to it.

4. The Boys: Kai already has his first back-to-school cold. Took two classes to get it. So awesome. I think Koen must be getting it because along with being a monkey today, he was a bear! I had my two nieces over today to give Maria (my 10 day overdue sister) a break and it was a little busy. Ani pointed out `Four kids is a lot, especially when one of them is Koen'. SO TRUE. The older three, no problem! Actually, I shouldn't complain, Koen played nicely with them for a whole hour while I worked. AWESOME. I know that Ani would tell me in a second if anything was amiss.

I know this is boring. This is my life right now. Kids. Renos. Photos. I think we will book off the two weeks of spring break to do a fun family trip, maybe Tofino? The boys would LOVE it. Maybe just Green Lake, that's the easy thing to do:)

And some random Kai comments from the last week:
1. Kai: Mommy, smell my belly.
Me (smelling): Uh, what am I supposed to smell?
Kai: I ate some ham!

2. Kai: Mommy, I made this picture for God. How can he reach it?

3. Me: Kai, you may not not call Koen a penis or any variation of it.

4. Kai: If I eat the salmon, I will die for sure.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Renovations | Day 1

Phew. I'm exhausted and I wasn't even the one with a hammer in my hand:) Today a lot was accomplished! Our wonderful framing team finished framing in about 7 hours and did a great job.

My job for the day? Buy a right hand bathtub ($300) and buy the shower/bathtub ($120) kit. I thought I got a great deal on a bathtub but now I'm not so sure. It had a little, itty, bitty ding on the corner so I got $100.00 off. He was trying to tell me that it was originally an $800.00 tub but now I'm not so sure about that...sketchy dude.

So, some before and after's:
BEDROOM (looking towards the bathroom) BEFORE AND AFTER FRAMING
(Please note the plum paint on the ground, thanks Koen!)
Please note our lovely tub in our bathroom. Our plumbers are coming on Monday and doing all their plumbing stuff (and putting in the tub). Wednesday and Thursday is when our electrician comes in (dudes, quality recessed lights are PRICEY and we are getting 6 of them). THEN, it's up to us to insulate and drywall. YIKES!!!!! Right now I'm trying to figure out what to do for drywall, like, how many sheets and how to get it to our house:) Dude at Home Depot recommended just doing 4X8' sheets, thoughts?

I have learned so much already. I can't say I'm loving all these facts but it's probably good to learn sometime in your life...right? Like tonight (on my 5th trip of the week to Home Depot) I learned that the ceiling drywall should be 5/8" not the 1/2" that you put on the walls. Good to know. Too bad it's like twice the price. Yuck.

We have decided on carpet and now just need to make sure it's all ready to go in about 3-4 weeks:)

All right, that's it for now! Bon nuit.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Fish Sauce and Olive Oil

Today was actually quite tough. Koen is driving me crazy and then I take it out on Kai too. I thought our house was pretty kid proof but it is not monkey proof. Today he got into my scissors, my computer desk (a MAJOR off limits in our house), poured juice all over the kitchen floor (which had been washed the day before), dumping a box of cereal into our shag carpet, and the worst was opening bottles of fish sauce and olive oil all over himself and the carpet. I don't know how you get oil out of clothes and just washing it did not do the trick. He can wear his oil stained clothes and stink like fish sauce because I'm sure he'll find something else to add to it. And added to that, he just makes a huge mess wherever he goes. Every. Single. Room. Must. Be. Destroyed.
You would think I wasn't watching him. This is what happens when I leave him for 3 minutes.
I am trying to get Kai on board with helping me instead of laughing and encouraging Koen. I think that is our new plan.
Do they have preschool for 1.5 year olds?!
We need this basement finished ASAP.
I usually enjoy cleaning my house but not at this rate!!

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Back To School

I am loving the back to school routine. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE having Gary home for 2 months with a ton of family activity but there is just something nice about routine. I am so thankful that Gary brings home the bacon for our family. Ten years at one job could get kind of boring but he does what he can to spice it up (like teaching his favourite course; LEAD).
Kai's `Just take the picture so we can go to preschool' smile:) He was so happy to be back there again. We found out that one of his best friends is moving away in a month and he was very upset.
I had to pretty much shave his head yesterday to try to fix the haircut he gave himself.
Koen wanted to be in a picture too.
His cheese face is hilarious. And...just to see the fun they had minutes before leaving for preschool, a diaper (and dirty laundry) party. Apparently it makes the room more comfortable?

Koen has been a full time job these days. He got into the paints in our basement and made a lovely mess. Plum paint, all over. Today he got back into it. Great. I don't remember Kai being this monkeyish but I guess he was, it's just a stage. Right?!

In other news, which is way more exciting, our very good friends who have been in the adoption process for over 2.5 years have been matched!!! I'll wait until they blog about it but ya, so very cool. They are now the parents of a beautiful two year old girl!! Gary and I were giddy when we got the call from them. So exciting.

Bon nuit.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Our Wonderful Basement-to-be

Okay, so this will probably be extremely boring for 95% of you but I want to record this for me:) Besides, if you are ever finishing your basement, you could be interested! Also, I do want to know your opinion on two things:

1. What is your favourite warm looking basement paint colour? Kai says he refuses to use the basement unless it is purple but I refuse to use the basement if it is purple:)

2. Basement carpet with two lively boys...should we go with berber? (our stairs to the basement are berber)
(This is Koen's bedroom for the next two months...he has a fort made with the toddler bed and foosball table. All of our rooms look a little chaotic because we want to be able to park in the garage during the basement reno).

(We had our last studio session on Monday, which was a very fun Smash the Cake for a one year old, and have packed everything up)

So, here is our tentative timeline starting this Saturday. I could be way off because I have never done anything like this before. Here we go:

Week 1: Framer, Electrician, Plumber (done by professionals who we are connected to). Get tub put in.
Week 2: Insulation (done by Gary and I, shouldn't take this long but giving him lots of time!)
Week 3: Drywall (Gary and 3-4 drywalling buddies who will be paid in pizza and beer. Should be done in one day as our basement is half done already. Ceiling should be the hardest cutting around all the `stuff'. I will probably try to do some of it with Gary and have his friends aid with the ceiling.).
Week 4: Mudding (will take at least a week, possibly more. We are hiring someone for this for sure!!)
Week 5: Painting (Gary and I). Anyone have a paint sprayer?
Week 6: Carpet and plumbers/Gary put in bathroom fixtures (toilet and sink). We already have our sink and toilet and just need to find a well priced tub. I'm going to check out `Andrew Sheret' at Splashes this week and see if I can find a good one. We were going to put in a shower but alas, the drain size and location of the drain will only allow for a tub. Currently deciding on carpet and then getting a couple of quotes. Need to get on it ASAP as it can take a month to order it. At this point, the kids will be able to play downstairs again! Woohoo!!
Week 7: Put in floor in bathroom and laundry room (we are doing the floating floors that you can buy at Home Depot). Looks super easy and they look great! (us). Put up cabinets in laundry room and bathroom.
Week 8: Put in doors to bedroom, bathroom and closets. (us)
Week 9: Put in baseboards and crown molding around doors etc. (us)

This takes us to basketball season when we will no longer see Gary so hopefully everything happens according to this schedule. I feel that as long as I have people booked for the appropriate time and the supplies available when needed, we should be good to go! If it is way over our heads, I will bring in some finishers to do week 9's job.

My budget for this is $9,000.00 but I'm thinking it will be closer to $8000.00. We'll see!! If we had it done before we moved in, they were going to charge $20,000 and I know it will be nowhere near that.

And, the final thing that I am keeping track of? Number of visits to home depot:) So far, we are at two.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Run For the Cure

This year, like every year for the past 10 years, I am doing `Run For The Cure'. I actually started doing the run on my own, before my mom was ever diagnosed. My mom passed away 4.5 years ago from breast cancer that had metastasized into her bones. This run is a time of celebrating her life, remembering her, and celebrating those that have beat cancer. It is also a time to reflect on our health and work towards not having this disease ourselves. This year I plan on running it, which will not be as easy as it may have been for me in the past. If you would like to donate, please click on this link. Hopefully it works. Thank you!
I better get Kai some pink this year, he will LOVE it!!
It is so important to me that the boys do this run each year. I want them to connect to their oma this way and it's something we can do to remember her.

Friday, September 03, 2010


Just an update on various aspects of our life:)
I wish that I knew that we were 3 months along in this `pregnancy'. I feel like that would be perfect in so many ways. I think Koen will be a little less monkeyish, our basement will be finished, and we have no weddings booked for February 2011. I'm currently not impatient to have a baby right this second, I feel like 6 months from now would be so perfect. I'm assuming that it will be about 2 years but who knows? I talked with a guy this week who has a biological sibling and then his parents adopted 3 more kids. He said the hardest part was the age difference between the oldest and youngest. The parents had to spend almost all of their time/energy/attention on the youngest ones. I really, really want to keep our kids ages close together. It worked so well to have Kai and Koen 2.5 years apart.

(Gary with my niece, Sami. I did a photo shoot of Sami and her mom and and dad this week. Pictures will be posted on Sunday:)
Okay, so I know other people do renos all the time. We are not handy. I do not do well with chaos and mess. However, in one week, we are starting!!! I'm so excited! We will be adding 700 square feet of useful space to our house by finishing our basement. I don't know how long these things take but I'm giving it two months and hoping it will be done sooner. I'm excited to set up the best playroom ever and have the kids playing down there this winter. They do play there already but I think it will help to have carpet everywhere etc. You know when you just need an hour to yourself? I can say, `Go play in the basement boys!'. So looking forward to it! I'll have to take before an after pictures. So far we have just been getting rid of the mass amounts of stuff we have stored down there. So, if you come and visit in the next two months, you are not allowed to look in our garage or our bedrooms.
My sister is due with her third child this week. I am SO EXCITED. She has had two great natural childbirths already and this time she is using a midwife, I'm so excited for her. I wish I had used a midwife with my Kai bear!!
Gary is back to work which is nice. I can get back to my regular routine with the boys which I have missed. I can't wait for preschool to start!! I think I get more exercise when Gary is at work. When he's home, I mostly work. When he's at work, the kids and I play, go for walks etc. Kai told me today that he wishes he could go to daycare everyday. Too bad buddy, you're stuck with me!! This is the first September that I am not going back to teaching (besides my maternity leaves). It is a strange feeling. I don't know what the future holds. Back to teaching? Continue with photography? I don't know. In the meantime, I'm so thankful to have a job that works so well with our family! Oh yes, on the topic of Gary, he shaved his head today while I was off doing a photo session. He hasn't had a shaved head since we were dating. I think it will take a bit to get used to it!
For the first time since 2005, when we started, we are not having a football team this fall. Amongst all the babies and injuries it was going to be tight on players. I look forward to having Saturdays free-ish and now I just need to make sure I work out on my own!!

Have a fabulous weekend everyone!
Love, Louise

Thursday, September 02, 2010

20 Months

Oh Kokies, what a loveable monkey you are. Go, go, go all day long. This month, Koen ended up in Time Out about once every other day. And to be honest, he's really cute there:) For the first 2 weeks or so, he would run away but with a little persistence (aka holding him there) he now stays. The best part is when we talk about what he did that was naughty. He will say `Sushi' (sorry) and then, `Huh' (hugs). I love it when he's says sushi and don't know if I should correct him because I love it so much:)
I love him so much. I feel like I know Kai very well but I'm still getting to know Koen more and more. I guess he is just changing and developing so much of his personality at this age. When Kai was 20 months, he was more verbal but less coordinated. It's interesting how they are so different! I shouldn't say Koen isn't verbal, it's just that his words are usually only understood by Gary and I:) Example: Miw=milk, Hoe=hose. He did say three words together though yesterday, and clearly too: Hot tea mommy. (No, not hottie mommy, I was actually drinking hot tea:).

He loves riding his bike (us pushing him on his bike), playing hockey, running around the mailbox, going the park, Blue (which he now calls Bubi to be like Kai..and it's head is about too fall off), eating, drinking milk, climbing, and emptying everything around (especially if it's hidden/forbidden/makes a big mess). His favourite word is `dirty' and he loves the throw things in the garbage. Oh yes, Kai and Koen love it when I have a shower. They take all the blankets off our king size bed, turn the lights off and our bed side lamps on, turn on the radio and have a dance party. Every. Day.

Koen will not drink water and does not like having dirty hands.

Kokies, you bring so much sunshine into our lives. I can't imagine our family without you. I remember when I was pregnant with you thinking that I could never love another kid like my Kai Bear, but boy, do I ever. Your goofy grin makes my day and I hope you always keep smiling. You are so loved.