Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Get Fit: Week One Check In

How did you all do? What kind of exercise did you do? Meal changes? What did the scale say (last night or today?)
Exercise: I worked out a minimum of 40 minutes per day, for 6 days. It was mostly elliptical as we have one in our house and I'm trying to work up some kind of fitness level before running more and getting back to my Jillian Michael's workout:)
Food: I thought a lot more about what I was eating and was pretty smart about it. I snacked on carrots, apples and oranges instead of cookies and muffins. I did allow myself one small `treat' per day (home made hot chocolate, piece of chocolate etc).
Fitness: I feel much better already. Running up the stairs feels easier already. I went for a 15 minute jog and it was great!
Scale: Okay, so you first have to understand that I'm not normal. My Graves' Disease makes my body weight fluctuate drastically depending on my hormones. For example, in two weeks from now, I will normally put on about 5lbs so it will be interesting to see if I can keep it off/prevent any weight gain. From one week ago, I have lost 4lbs. This whole trying to get fit while having GD is going to be a whole new experience for me, that's for sure!

Can't wait to hear about your week!! Let me know!!

Sunday, November 28, 2010


No more blog posts about cuteness...the boys/men in my life are just plain old handsome:)
{Koen wanted gel like Kai...awww, his hair is so fine but we managed to get it a little spiked up:)}

My husband is particularly awesome as he spent all day in the kitchen (he loves it) and made 5 meals for the week.
You know how people are passionate about their jobs or hobbies or whatever it might be? The greatest joy I get is from being with my boys (Gary included!!). It must be because I always get a good 8 hour sleep that they seem so awesome. I know once a newborn comes along, they may seem a little less fun:) They make us laugh all day. Kai's conversations, Koen's goofiness. Seriously, life is good. I am so blessed.

Love, Louise

PS I had to call poison control on Friday. Koen got into the toilet cleaner and I couldn't tell how much (if any) he had ingested as it was all over him. They were super helpful (asking about symptoms..can he drink milk? Is he complaining about a sore mouth? Is he irritable? Is he salivating a lot? They told me to give him a bath to get it off his skin and then they called half an hour later to see how he was) and he was totally fine. Oh Koen. Good reminder to make sure all of your cleaning products are locked up, even if your kids have never seemed interested in them. We always have it locked up but it was recycling day and the recycling container is below the sink and we had just taken it out...

Friday, November 26, 2010

Kai on Breakfast Television

If you missed it, you can check it out here! He is on at about 2 min and 50 seconds in. His favourite part is at the very end so don't stop it:)
Fortunately the roads were good and we made it there in about 45 minutes (we were super early). It was really cool to see how it all works and we had a great time. We had gone into the studio for a run through but then went right to the real thing instead of a practice, good thing he was okay with that! There was a moment when he was about to go on when he did his whole `collapse on the floor and act like you have no energy thing' so I had to remind him that we were going to be going to Subway if he had good behaviour. Phew. He didn't get to keep the clothes:(, but it was still fun and he really enjoyed it. He especially liked the orange juice in the green room and his new friend, Jaclyn, the 4 year old girl. He was actually smiling most of the time which I had encouraged him to do, but I forget to tell him not to wiggle so much:)
Have a great weekend!
Love, Louise

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Lego & Cuteness

Thank you to all of you that are joining in a 5 week challenge of trying to get fit (and hopefully lose 5lbs!). I'll be honest, I think making smarter eating decisions will make a world of difference. I'm eating a carrot as I'm typing away:) I've exercised 1 hour each day for the past 3 days. It's not easy to find the time but I feel better already. Hope you are all finding ways to get fit too!
I was going to buy them this for Christmas but I have such a hard time waiting when I know they could use it now, especially now that it's so cold out! This will be moving down the basement soon...but for today, they played on it for half an hour while I did the elliptical. AWESOME. I just need to give the disclaimer now: I know Koen's hair is hideous, it will grow back. It's just sooooo thin and there were some super long pieces so now it looks super choppy. I think it will look much better in a week or two. When I cut it, I realized he has the skinniest head ever.
Just a reminder that Kai is going to be on Breakfast Television on Friday at 7:40am (City TV, channel 13). We went in for a fitting and they need to get a bigger outfit for him as he's grown so much lately. It's a Columbia rainsuit and Sorel boots. I'm nervous that he will just lay down on the ground and have his grumpy face but I'm hoping that because they have us come 40 minutes early, he'll adapt and be his normal self!!
When I took Kai to the fitting, Koen slept at my sister's house. Kai actually cried in the van because he was sad to go somewhere without Koen. These two love being together so much, it seriously is the greatest thing.
I feel a little `off'. Not sure if it is because my friend is having her third boy on Friday and we've always had our kids together (and all C-sections). Not jealous, just wishing I knew how close we were to having our baby. So thankful for my boys and for baby nieces to hold. I just know that our family doesn't quite feel complete. Feeling a bit like I wish there was some way for people to know we were expecting without the belly, you know?
Basketball has started. This means that Gary is gone for many dinners each week. Dinner time is family time so that's a bit harder on the boys (and me!) Do you want to know my trick for relaxing dinners? I put on the `spa music' channel on the tv during dinner. It totally calms them and me down, I love it!
Okay, I've only got 45 minutes before I need to get Kai so I better get to work. In the meantime, aren't they cute?!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

`Get Fit' Begins

I have been challenged by several people, particularly my brother in law, to join in a 5 week, 5lb plan. I really need to lose a lot more than 5lbs but I'll start with that. I will weigh in each Monday and let you know how it's going. To start with, I weigh a billion pounds. Really, I weigh as much as I did when Koen was born. Yuck. The past two days I have worked out for 1 hour, but it has been indoors due to the weather (oh my goodness, I am not a person who enjoys weather below ZERO degrees, this is RIDICULOUS!!!). Elliptical, push ups, sit ups, weights etc. There's no prize (except for pride!), but you know, you could comment and let me know how your 5 week challenge is going! We will do the final weigh in on December 26th:) Both Tyler and I weighed in last night and the scale wasn't pretty for either of us. Being that it is over the Christmas holidays, it will be trickier, but I think that means we will just make wiser decisions. Right?!

No more excuses. It's time. I need to feel healthier because I know it translates to all areas of my life. Even if I don't lose 5lbs (yikes, I hope I lose at least 5lbs), at least I'll feel better.

Happy exercising!!
Love, Louise

Sunday, November 21, 2010


1. Great weekend of family and friends! These pictures are all taken at my sisters' house where we were celebrating Kenzie's baptism and Izzy's 3rd birthday. When you don't have your mom around, it sure is great to have 4 sisters. As we are all in the same `place' in life (married, kids or thoughts of kids in the future:), careers), have similar personalities, and there is no drama, it sure is wonderful to have each other close by!
2. I cut Koen's hair. It was his first hair cut. Someone asked Kai what his sister's name was, so it was time. I left it long enough that hopefully his curls will remain!! (I used the #8 on the buzzer).
{Dad and Joanne, it's nice having you close by too:)}
3. I have started `Operation Get Fit'. It's time. For the first time in my life I have no desire to exercise but I know it is important. I have so much motivation for other things (photos, the boys, taking care of our home) but none for exercising. I know that I need to for several reasons. I would love to build up enough strength to be where I used to be at. To be able to do any hike. To be able to do any hike with a 50lb back pack. I guess I just feel overwhelmed with how far I have to go. My body has really been run down and has a long, long ways to go. Also, I have 10-15 extra pounds which just aren't healthy. I was talking to my sisters about how I need a small exercise machine so that I can work out in front of the tv. That way I can watch my one hour of nightly tv AND work out at the same time. Well, I found a small elliptical, in fabulous condition in front of our neighbour's house! I think that was a sign:) I don't like that it takes up space but with Gary full out into bball season, I need something I can do at home at night. I need something to keep me accountable. Maybe I need someone to say `I bet you can't lose 10lbs in 10 weeks' or something like that:)

4. Kai has a growth chart in his room and I measured him last night. In one month, he grew 1.5"!!! No wonder he is full out into size 5 pants now and was eating up a storm all month. He kept saying he was hungry and would eat an extra 2 meals per day (2 breakfasts and 2 dinners). He has his fitting for the fashion show this Tuesday. Hopefully the clothes fit him! I said he was size 4. Yikes! Don't forget, Friday on CTV at 7am (I don't know the exact time he's on, sometime between 7-9am). I'm sure they will have the clip online afterwards so I will link that on here:)

5. I had 3 studio shoots this weekend. No more studio for the rest of the year! It was nice to just set it up and then pack it up the next day. I don't love doing things in studio but when you can control the light and the temperature, it sure makes things easier! I only have one more family shoot this weekend (I have a feeling it will be raining) and then in December we have 3 weddings. One is a wedding in Pemberton so Gary and I are going to go for 2 nights and having a mini holiday:) Hopefully the weather behaves.
6. We did a tour of the Christian school and loved it. I'm going to try to get a tour of the local public school (do they do that?) and see what we think. I need to find a carpooling buddy in our neighbourhood to keep the Christian school option alive. Finding the right school for my boys is such an important decision, Gary and I have been discussing it since we were dating:) We LOVE our preschool and I would love something similar to that. Once I get the info on the public school, I'll let you know the pros and cons of each just because some people have been asking me:)

Have a wonderful week!!
Love, Louise

Saturday, November 20, 2010


What a perfect day! There was a perfect amount of snow (fun to play, safe to drive). The kids are at a perfect age where life is just easy and fun. They are seriously hilarious. All day long, Koen cheers for Kai, `Go Tai Go!'.

{Koen is so upset because he wanted to go on the sled with me:)}

{I'm going to get so much use out of my `new' North Face winter boots this winter! I got them at VV, great find!}
What isn't perfect is the size of Koen's snowsuit. It is much too small (18 months). I think I will try to put him in the size 3 snow pants we have and just roll them up. Kai wore size 7 snow pants and it actually worked totally fine.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Looking Forward To...

1. Snow this weekend. We'll see if the boys love it as much as they think they do. We tried it out this morning (had just a dusting) and it was cold! Keeping mittens/gloves on Koen will be a cause of stress.
2. Celebrating my niece Izzy's 3rd birthday and Kenzie's baptism! I got Izzy the CUTEST clips off of etsy. I love etsy. If we ever have a girl, I know that I will spend WAY more money on clothes etc:)
3. First photo sessions in the studio since the reno. Hopefully snow doesn't cause a problem for them getting here! I've decided to only do studio shoots once a month and set up the lights during that time. That way it's mostly playroom downstairs for the kiddos.
4. Renewing our mortgage. I am SO excited about this. I've been waiting and waiting to be within the 90 day window to lock in a rate and we are there! I've been shopping around and trying to find the best rate etc. Our rate for the last 5 years was 4.75%, and now, it will be about 3.45%, do you know how awesome that is?!! We'll keep our payments the same so that we can pay off our mortgage even earlier. Which makes me excited about retirement, I know, I'm crazy. Praying that Gary and I can enjoy many wonderful retirement years together!! (Please note that I love where we are right now and am in no rush to be 55 but I do look to the future with excitement too...hopefully Gary and I remain in good health and we can travel and continue with photography in some realm and eventually have some grandbabies:))
Have a cozy and safe weekend!!
Love, Louise

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

I Want My Mom

Sometimes it just really sucks. Sometimes I think about it and it's so surreal that she's been gone for 4.5 years. Sometimes it makes me mad. Sometimes I wish she was here to cheer me on through life. Sometimes I wish she was here to watch the kids for me. Sometimes I wish she was here so I could see her play with my kids. Sometimes I imagine what it would be like if she still lived across the street. Sometimes I just want to tell her what she's missed in my life. Mom, did you know that we finished our basement? Did you know your house is no longer there? There are 6 houses in it's place and the people there don't understand the unspoken rule about parking in front of their own house (they park in front of ours). I'm a photographer, I'm not teaching anymore! I have Graves' Disease but I'm getting better. I have two beautiful boys that talk about oma in heaven but will only know you by my words. We are adopting a baby, can you believe it? I miss my number one fan and supporter. I want my mom.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Kai Bear

Kai's latest loves are the following:

1. Numberjacks. It's only on from 2:15-2:30pm daily so Kai wants to skip preschool to watch it. We are old fashioned and do not have a PVR. I ordered Numberjack books off of Amazon and Kai loves them.

2. Transformers. I just bought him a Transformer bathing suit and am the coolest mom in the world.
3. Dinosaurs. He has a Dinosaur Train colouring book and he will sit and colour for about an hour a day. Awesome!
4. Food. By the time I come downstairs at 8am, he has had two breakfasts already. He likes everything except for cream sauces and cheddar cheese.

5. He still loves Koen a lot and they love being silly together. Especially running around half (or not) dressed.
6. Preschool. He loves it. He has been writing his name for a few months but recently started putting more effort into the `k'. It was always `Xai'. He is so social and loves that aspect. We are currently making our biggest parenting decision; where to send him to school. The local new school just one block away OR the Christian School which is a 20 minute drive away.

7. Sleeping. He loves his bed and his Bubi and loves sleeping alone. He falls asleep about 2 minutes after laying down. I wish I could do that. He has been potty trained for 1.5 years but not at night. We have tried with some fantastic incentives, and even bringing him to the bathroom at night and restricting drink after 5pm, but it hasn't worked. I guess his body is not ready and I'm okay waiting 6 more months or so. I know he has tried his best.
Overall, Kai is an energetic and sweet boy. I'd actually consider him to be quite gentle as well. He is cautious but confident. As a former teacher, I'm uber sensitive to `acting out in class' type behaviour, but as my sister pointed out, I need to look at the whole picture. He is a wonderful little boy, who seems like he is more like 7 years old, than just 4. He is a big boy. A month ago, he weighed 44lbs. His 4T pants are now too short.
Kai Bear, mommy, daddy and Koen love you soooo much! You are so helpful with your brother and we love to see you include him in all you do. You are loved.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thoughts On Having A Baby

First of all, Kai does not colour. In Sunday school, where they `make them', Kai will do a quick scribble and then have his snack. I thought he actually didn't know how. Well, I was wrong. He has been very interested in Transformers lately. He watches with Gary from 7-7:30pm every night. Anyway, printed some off and he coloured. For one whole hour. Wow!! So awesome. I can't believe that construction vehicles, dinosaurs and Transfomers are such a big part of my life. Never imagined it, but I love it.
Okay, on to having a baby. My sister Jantina and her husband went on a holiday. My dad and Joanne had Sami (7.5 month old) and then I had her for about 24 hours. I really love spending time with her, the boys (and Gary) love her, AND I wanted to see what it was like to have a little one in the house.
She didn't want to be put down on the ground to play. We don't have our exersaucer right now so I carried her a lot. The boys, especially Koen, were so interested in her and entertained her. I have to say that because I was carrying her, dinner did not go so well (Gary was gone). I did manage to get some work done when they were all in bed at night, but it was impossible to do during the day due to napping differences.
It reminded me that when you go from one kid, to two, you have less time for yourself. Then, going from two to three kids, you have even less. I was also reminded how time consuming it is just feeding and changing and holding a little one. My boys are so incredibly easy right now and it will be quite the adjustment to go to the sleep deprived state AND running around more each day.
When I was outside with Sami, several neighbours asked if it was our new daughter:) When we first started the adoption process, we were going with the mindset that we would like a baby that was closer to the age of one. However, in most cases, the child is a newborn so that is just where are heads are at right now. I kept imagining if Sami was my daughter, how it would be to have her in our lives, almost 8 months old. It would be good.
Sami gets along well with the boys because she has the perfect pteranodon call:) Koen tried to copy everything she did (jump in the sink to have a bath, try to eat her yogurt, test out a soother...). I did have one hour by myself, with just Sami. I took her on a nice long walk and she almost fell asleep in the Ergo. That was nice. When I was with the boys, I was feeling bad that I couldn't give them 100% of my attention as my hands were full. That will be tough, but they are quite understanding.

She slept in our room and slept for 11 hours straight. I could hear her soother fall out, then she'd search for it and I could hear her put it back in. She did this every two hours or so. My kids never used them so it's a whole new thing to me. She was up for the day at 5:30am. I'm tired now. I think I will remember to appreciate my full nights sleep now!!
So ya, not too many thoughts except:
1. I totally look forward to having three kids.
2. It will definitely take some adjusting to think about meal times. Right now, I just think about it at 4pm and put something together. Not so easy when you have a newborn strapped to you and you're super exhausted and your kids are whiny because you haven't given them enough attention.
3. Totally trusting God on the timing of this. I know we could do it, and do it well, now. But, it's likely not the perfect time and it will happen at the right time..whenever that is. I keep wondering where I will be when we get `the call'. Will Gary get it? Will I? Will there be a message on the machine?
4. I'm a bit nervous about the first 6 months. The sleep exhaustion mostly. When I'm tired, everything that Gary does it super annoying. Maybe we'll get a super sleeper?! I think I will be asking family and friends for help, especially the first month or so. Just helping with the big boys, meals etc. I want our transition to go as well as possible.
Looking forward to it but doing well where we are right now!
Love, Louise

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Kai; The Model

Okay, so, a friend sent me a link to have your 2 or 4 year old model some clothes on City TV's Breakfast Television. I sent in a picture of Kai and some information about his personality and he was selected. He will be modeling winter wear:) The thing is, I got more information today and I WILL BE WALKING OUT WITH HIM. So, this is good news in the sense that I will be there to support him. The bad news is that I will be on tv. I know, no big deal right? Now I have to figure out what to wear and I think I will start running again tomorrow:) Kind of fun though!!
I'll remind you closer to the date, but in the meantime, mark your calendars for Nov. 26th 7-9am!

Monday, November 08, 2010

Skipping Church...

and going to the beach. Both kids are still sniffling away so we decided to have a family day on Sunday morning. We went to Crescent beach because it was a beautiful sunny day. The sun was deceiving, it was FREEZING! The boys still had fun.
Kai dug for treasure and found some money (later I found out Gary was the one providing the treasure).
We threw rocks.
Gary took 100 pictures of my butt...I cropped this one so you can just see Koen and I holding hands:)
Koen got to hold a crab.
The boys fell in love with balancing on logs.
We held hands.
We enjoyed the sunshine.
It was good.
Crescent beach was a special place for my parents so I always think of my mom when I'm there.

It was a great weekend. Gary and I had an engagement session at Granville Island and then went to the Keg for lunch afterwards with a gift card (thanks Jen P!!). On Sunday, I had a great family session after our time at Crescent Beach. I think the weather totally contributed to such an enjoyable weekend.

Work wise I am having to say `no' to everyone for the rest of the year. It's hard, especially for people that I know really well. I would love to but I just can't. I feel so much guilt when I say no, but I'm learning. My calendar is good right now, the perfect amount. I'm really trying to learn how to set boundaries for myself so that I don't get stressed out, so that I have ample time/energy for my kids and husband, and so that I don't sit at the computer all night. Next year, I have guidelines/rules (hmm...what's the word?) for photography. We're already completely booked for weddings (we're stopping at 15 weddings in 2011 as opposed to the 22 this year..YIKES) and I'm only doing 2 family sessions per month. I have it in place because I have no idea when our baby will be coming. I think that when the baby does come, I might hire someone to watch my kids once per week so that I can work specifically on that day. We'll see...one day at a time:) So interesting having your own business! I'm loving it and learning so much.

Hope you all had a great weekend! My kids didn't do the time change so well. I've never seen Koen so upset over nothing. Rolling on the ground screaming. Totally not his style.

Have a great week.

Friday, November 05, 2010

22 Months

I'm a few days late..oops! Koen is now 22 months old. My baby is almost 2. Wow! I have no exciting pictures but I'll throw a couple in from the last couple of days. Koen is now using a lot more words, although it's not understandable to everyone:) The most he has said in a row is `Happy birthday to you' and he says it when he's playing with his toys and it is oh so cute. He also says, `Lud you mommy'. Awwwwww!!! Whenever he wakes up in the morning and I bring him downstairs, he says `Morning Tai!' and Kai ignores him so he says it over and over and over until Kai finally says `Good morning Koen'.
He totally talks the way I would talk. He'll say, `Baby! Awwwwww! ' or `Stinky! Oooooooooo!!!'.
He is strong. Very, very strong. The boys love to play with extra pieces of wood we have in a bin outside our house. Koen can carry a crazy amount, the same weight that Kai can carry, no problem. It's pretty unreal. To me at least.

He is still climbing on and in everything. He loves to hide in our ottoman and then pop up and say `a-boo!' (peek-a-boo). He eats more than Kai, especially at dinner time. Piglet. He has discovered the whole whiny, repetitive thing. `Mommy! Teat (treat)! Mommy! Nack (snack)! Mommy! Mommy!' etc. So annoying...good thing he's cute!

He loves babies. He gets huggy and kissy and snuggly before bedtime and I LOVE IT. He loves playing with Kai but is definitely his own person, he won't let Kai tell him what to do. His favourite word is `No'. Even if he does want something, he'll still say no.

My sister mentioned that Koen has a mullet. As soon as anyone thinks he has a mullet, it's time to cut it. I have no idea how to go about it but I will.....soon.

I love him to pieces. I can't believe he is almost two. So awesome but a little bit sad..my baby is all grown up! You should see him run, it's so adorable. He brings me so much happiness and I continue to be extremely thankful for his presence in my life.

I think I will do a little post about Kai in a few days because he too, is an incredible boy.
Have a wonderful weekend.
Love, Louise

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Feeding Birds

Yesterday was a gorgeous day. As soon as Gary got home, we picked up Subway (Kai's favourite `restaurant') and went to Campbell Valley Park to feed the birds.
It was soooooo good. I am being more intentional about having more fun family activities. For the past two months, family time was a group trip to Home Depot. BORING.

We saw ducks, squirrels, birds and lots of dogs:) The boys love it there.

The first time a bird ate from Kai's hand, he dropped all the food because he was freaked out. I'll be honest, it does feel kind of creepy!
So, here is just watching Gary do it and trying to get his confidence up again.
Koen was holding just one seed and calling `Birdie! Birdie!', so sweet:)
They loved Gary, I think he could hold his hand up the highest which freaked them out the least.
Gary and Kai working together to feed the birds...perfecto!
Kai LOVED it. He did say afterwards that someone should cut the birds nails as they were too scratchy.

Koen's turn!

I love how Koen and the bird are looking at each other:)
Okay, my turn. Trying to be brave...
Kids totally pick up on your actions so I was just trying to be calm but in my head I was like, `Don't bite me! Don't hurt me! ahhhhh!!!' for a silly little bird.
It was fun and so nice to get some great fresh air and exercise.
We packed the boys into the stroller and quickly did the whole loop as the sun was setting and I really wanted some exercise.

A wonderful evening with my boys...and some birds.