Sunday, January 30, 2011

Treasure Hunting

The weather today was AMAZING. It was so good to wear sunglasses and see our shadows. We skipped church as Koen still has a cold so it would've just been one of us taking Kai. We went to walk the Shoreline Trail in Port Moody. I love it and Gary had never been! I would love to run there, bike there....such a great place.
We found two geocaches which Gary and Kai love. I do enjoy it, as long as we actually find it. There were some good ones today, I love the genius ways of hiding treasures!
The sun was deceiving as it was super chilly but the boys just ran and ran so they stayed warm. I love family days. So good to have Gary home the past two days! To go for walks as a family, to have Gary play tons of Chutes and Ladders with Kai, for Gary and Kai to go biking so I can work for a bit...just so nice.
{Kai using the GPS to find the geocache)
I actually have a family session at this park next week so I'm really looking forward to it. Hopefully it's a day just like today.

I know spring break is seven weeks away but I am soooooooooooo looking forward to it. No work, just hang out with the family and maybe read a bit too! I finished the Hunger Games trilogy and it was so good.

Oh, I'll finish with a story. I have started taking melatonin to sleep at night and noticed that I would wake up abruptly at 5am and really have to pee. Totally weird and I attributed it to the melatonin. Realized this morning at 5am that it's because our neighbours just got a puppy who cries to go outside and pee at 5am. In my sleep, I was hearing `Go pee!' and it woke me up and made me have to go:)

Have a wonderful week.
Love, Louise

Friday, January 28, 2011

The Hardest Week

Every year, I find this week a bit tougher than most. The reason? Gary has had basketball for 2 months now and the past two weeks were pretty much every day. It just means that he can go 3 days without seeing Koen (and I'm doing a whole lot of dinners/bed times on my own). Then, this week? Basketball, winter campout and then a staff retreat. And that's just his schedule. Koen just says, `Daddy basketball practice.' `Miss daddy'. Oh well, we always get him back in March:) It's a lot better than 2 years ago when Gary had this schedule, plus Koen was a 3 week old baby, and we all were sick!

Well, we made it. I was not a very fun mom but we went to go to my sister's house twice so the kids have fun playing:) I even got a run in there while the kids played.
{They wanted their hair spiked. Kai spiked his with deodorant and mascara. I added some gel to fix it up a bit.}
I'm half way through the third book in the Hunger Games trilogy and hopefully a good four hours tonight will allow me to finish it:) As long as I finish some work first...
My goal this year is to work on my newborn studio photos. Well, it's just too stressful managing both boys down there but I tried to get some updated photos of them anyway. I have a couple of studio sessions this weekend so hopefully I will be able to spend some great quality time with the little ones. I like ones that are more natural with mom and dad, but, I also LOVE some super posed ones and that is something that I haven't worked on before. We'll see:)
Kai is currently having `Space Day' at school. They had to wear their pj's, bring flashlights, blankets etc. He was so excited. He keeps spouting off facts about planets and I just have to assume they are correct because I don't know a ton about them and it's been years since I've taught it.
{Koen loves his hair straight up like this...he looks so funny to me:)}
I'll have to get video of Kai skating next week. It's really just fast walking but that is what they are supposed to do. He is very determined to be the fastest in his class and it's pretty funny to watch.
Koen is still sick but he sleeps really well at night. I think the Oil of Oregano is helping but man, that nose of his will not stop running. At least he's not grumpy. Well, he's only napping every 3rd day so he gets a little irrational in the evening:)
Kai has started a new stage in development. It's not telling the truth or being deceptive. Quite interesting since he is such a rule follower so we've never had to deal with it before. Nothing major but I'm glad that we have addressed it and hopefully he understands it.

Okay, must work so I can relax and read tonight:) Have a wonderful weekend!
Love, Louise

PS We started our adoption journey exactly one year ago! I wonder where we will be one year from now....

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

My Kids Will Eat Anything

{`Eating' the gingerbread house on tv. I caught them at the end of it, they had been doing it for several minutes.}
video

And just a picture of my friend Leah playing `Chutes and Ladders' with Kai. I feel that by playing it so much, it really kind of ruined all the great memories I had of it as a kid. Too bad Koen isn't old enough to play. He likes the spinner but that's about it!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Ready To Fall In Love Again


{Uncle Tyler reading to the boys tonight. It's Kai's new favourite book all about the human body. Kai is specifically fascinated by white blood cells and I love how nerdy he is.}

Just a few random things first:
1. Had a great wedding on Saturday. It involved tractors and semi trucks. Can't wait to start editing tomorrow!
2. The Oil of Oregano seems to be helping Koen. I don't know how he drinks that stuff but we just put it in some juice (okay, so he never gets juice, that must be why he's drinking it). It seems as though his cold/cough/stuffiness is not as extreme now and he seems to be moving through the cold more quickly. I'm very hopeful!
3. Gary is going on his winter camp out this week.
4. I ran 5km today. Go me!
5. Totally looking forward to spring break. Fun times with our family (Tofino and Green Lake).
6. I've been working on our 2010 photobook and trying to finish it by Feb. 13th so I can get the `buy one get one free' through photobookcanada.com. I have a groupon for it so I'm trying it out as I would normally use shutterfly or blurb.
And now. I've reached a new stage. Maybe I'm just hormonal these days but man, seeing a pregnant belly makes me teary eyed. I think it is the most beautiful thing in the world. It's not that I want that baby belly, I just am so ready for a baby. I am not so ready for the sleepless nights (Yikes! I'm a little nervous for that!), but, I am so ready to fall in love with a new member of our family. I remember when I was pregnant with Koen and I was worried I could never love baby #2 as much as Kai. Boy, was I wrong. The amount of love that I have is more than I ever imagined, I can't even explain it. It's like my heart just grew, bigger and deeper, and I know that it will continue to. I love getting to know the boys more and more each day. I am just really looking forward to getting to know another little guy/girl and having our family grow. I seriously have no idea how my body will even function when we get `the call'...I have a feeling that it will be the highest high filled with a mass of nervousness. I feel like that will be one of the greatest days of my entire life.
{With baby Sami back in May)
There are moments of fear. What if, over time, we find out that this child has needs that stretch me beyond what I feel capable of? What if it never happens? What if we are never, ever chosen? I know that with any child, adopted or biological, there are things we can't control and we just have to trust that each child is specifically placed in our family for a reason.
I really want to breastfeed our baby. I think that I miss that part of having a newborn the most. Just the one on one time and the ability to soothe them almost instantaneously. Maybe I just feel more ready for the baby now because Koen is out of the crib. All that `stuff' is just waiting to be used. When Kai was Koen's age, we were pregnant already.

That's where I'm at. Gary is different. I think about it every single day. Gary doesn't. I know he will be over the moon when it does happen, but in the meantime, he just goes about his day focusing on the here and now. I wonder if I should call the agency this week... I'm trying to give about 6 weeks in between each call/email as I don't want to drive them crazy:)

On Friday, it will be exactly one year ago that we began our journey. I love where we are and look forward to what's ahead. By the way, when `it' happens, I will likely change this blog to private for a month or so. The reason would be for privacy while the adoption process is actually being completed.

I hope you all had a fabulous weekend! We did.
Love, Louise

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Oil of Oregano

Please give me your best tips for fighting a cold! Kokies has had a cold since the beginning of December. I think they have been three separate ones. The antibiotics might have helped with the first infection but I'm not putting him back on those again, especially since I think this one is viral (clear mucus). I'm going to get some Oil of Oregano today and see if that works. He is just super, super, super stuffed up. I've been wiping his nose all day long, for about 8 weeks (minus the two days he was healthy). I am so incredibly thankful that they haven't turned into ear infections, I think the chiropractor really helped him last year.
{big flakes this morning!}
The other day I said to Koen, `Another boogie? How many boogies do you have?' Koen said, `Nine boogies':) When I saw the big mess he made in the living room I said, `Who made this mess?' and Koen said, `Ellen (Degeneres) did it.'.
Kai had skating yesterday and even managed to skate (walk) backwards. When he got off the ice he said, `Mommy, could you believe your eyes?'. He did so well again and probably only fell five times this week...mostly because he is determined to be the fastest in his class which makes me laugh:) Gary was able to make it to his lesson again this week so that was awesome. Gary is usually gone at least 4 nights a week so I'm glad that the last two weeks it's been Wednesday nights that he's been home!
Reminder: tips on how to help a kid fight a cold!!!
Love, Louise

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Santa Claus and Darth Vader

I don't know if you remember but there was a boy at preschool that I wasn't really loving Kai playing with all the time. They just really encouraged naughty behaviour from each other. Well, last week the other boy punched Kai in the eye (Kai was playing with something he wanted). Kai responded by staying calm and telling the teacher. I can't imagine him ever hitting someone back. Even when he gets mad at Koen, or if Koen hits him, Kai just gives a `squishy hug'. The teachers dealt with it and Kai is now keeping some distance from his friend.
Kai is really looking forward to having a baby brother or sister one day (hopefully!). We were talking about how he was born and why men can't have babies which led to having a fun conversation about my uterus:) I love that my 4 year old knows about the uterus. Later on he was wondering what we can do to get his baby brother or sister and I said we just have to pray about it. He then said, `I think we should ask Santa Claus too!'.

{He melts me!!!}
On Sunday I went to get Koen in the morning but he wasn't in his room. I assumed Gary got him already so I proceeded to get his clothes ready for the day. Suddenly, his closet door opened and Koen announced `Hi Dere (there)!' Freaked. Me. Out. What a monkey. He is obsessed with a Darth Vader kids halloween costume in his closet and had been in there for a while checking it out. He is such a monkey and based on his wild antics during `nap time' (aka run around your room time), we probably should've kept him in his crib until he was 5 or so:)

Have a great day.
Louise

Monday, January 17, 2011

11 in 2011

My friends, Terri and Lana, have recently blogged about their goals for the year. I have decided to jump on board. I find that blogging really helps to keep me accountable. These may not be exciting, but, they are some of my goals for the year. Please note that they are not in any particular order.

1. Volunteer for `Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep'. I am completely nervous about it (if they'll accept me) but I know it is such a good cause. It is an organization that offers `remembrance photography to parents suffering the loss of a baby...'. My main concern is that I am such an emotional person that I have no idea how I would keep it together. However, I know that these pictures will be cherished. I have done photos before for those that have terminal cancer (because I know how much I would've loved even more photos with my mom) but the idea of a baby breaks my heart.

2. Also in the photography realm; increase the cultural diversity of my photography. I was recently able to attend an Indian bridal shower and it was awesome. I would love to do a henna ceremony or something of that nature. Gorgeous colours and experiences.

3. Read at least one good book per month.

4. Fall asleep by 11pm most nights. I know this is a weird one but for 1.5 years, my regular time to fall asleep is 1am. This is not healthy and it is totally due to my thyroid. I generally go to bed around 11:30pm and it takes me 1.5 hours to fall asleep. I recently started taking melatonin and for two nights in a row, I fell asleep by 11pm. I don't know if it's `okay' to use it but I need to figure out how I can get more rested.

5. Run. I'm not quite sure what I want to say here. If I say `Run 5km's', I know I can do it. If I say `Run 10km's', I doubt I will do it. So, I will leave it there that I need to run 5-10km:)

6. Play football. I love it. We took last season off and I miss it.

7. Use my breadmaker at least once/week. I've been using it every other day but I'm sure that will slow down soon.

8. Get away overnight with Gary at least once this year.

9. Have a professional photo session with Gary for our anniversary (it's booked and we are doing it and I'm soooooooo excited!!!). We're just doing it with the two of us!

10. Go camping with the boys this summer. In the tent. Survive. (It's Koen that makes the nights so difficult as he will stay up for forever).

11. Really, really try to stick to my limits for photography in regards to number of bookings. I love it. I have a hard time saying no. However, my number 1 passion and priority is my family. I want photography to stay fun. I want so make sure that we have fun family adventures every week.

That's it! I hope you had a wonderful weekend.
Love, Louise

Friday, January 14, 2011

What's Up?

KOEN
Kai is at preschool and Koen is just busy running around in his room. My dear sweet Kai napped until he was three. Koen? He just turned two and has decided he is done. I'm still making him go to his room for 2 hours each day because that is when I work (although I have very little photo work to do today, so I've just been baking/cleaning instead). Koen just pooped (is there a blog friendly way to say that?) on the toilet for the first time today. I'm not potty training him now but if he wants to use the toilet, I'll definitely encourage him! Koen had a runny nose for 5 weeks. I would say that today is the first day I'm not wiping it. Let's hope he stays healthy for a while now!!
KAI
I just need to make a note about Kai's skating. So, the first week...he could not get up on the ice (from kneeling to standing) and he could not skate without holding onto bars. Even then, he didn't really move. At all. This week was CRAZY. Gary was able to come along so I'm so glad that he saw it. Kai was accidentally placed in a more advanced group and I knew he must've been in the wrong group the second it started. I tried to be cool about it but when the teacher came close to the stands, I let her know he was in the wrong group (she thought he was `Ty' not `Kai').
Okay, so what did he do once he was in the right group? Well, they showed him how to stand up and he did it. I couldn't believe it when I saw it. He proceeded to fall probably 20 times in the next half hour but each time, he got back up on his own! Then, without bars, he skated from one blue line to another (skating=walking with their arms out). Back and forth he went. I was so proud! Kai is not what you might call a `natural athlete'. He's not super coordinated and he doesn't have a great love for sports. However, he does have determination which counts for a whole lot. At the end, he skated from the far blue line all the way to the end of the rink, where I was, and only fell once. I was so proud of his hard work. At one point when he fell down, he looked at me and gave me the thumbs up. That's my boy!

When he got off the ice, he said, `I don't like skating' but I think he just says that because he likes to hear me gush about how great he is. Every day he asks if it's skating day because he truly does like it. I'm so glad that he likes it and that he didn't give up.


GARY
What's new with Gary? Well, he's busy into basketball season. I think he had it for 13/14 days in the last couple of weeks. I don't know if this is good news or bad news, but, well....his team isn't very good. I think they've won one game. This means that it's a whole lot of work put in to lose game after game. But, it also means they won't make it very far and we'll have daddy bear home soon!

It's hard because he often won't see Koen for days in a row. Kai sees him for maybe 20 minutes. I'm fine with Gary gone on weeknights but it's the weekends that are tough. Gary has been teaching at the same school since 2001 (when we met!). I'm proud of him for working so hard and thankful that he goes each and every day without a single complaint. It is a pretty great place to work, although, I'm glad I'm not teaching right now:)

LOUISE
Nothing new here. I'm feeling pretty good and am excited about that. I've been working out about 4 or 5 days a week for the last 2 months so obviously that helps. I'm not losing any weight (just the initial 5 or 6 pounds) but I am getting in shape which feels so good. My upper body and endurance have a ways to go, but I'm getting there! Football season starts in a couple of months and I want to be in good shape for that.

I bought a bread maker just before Christmas (half price!!) and I have been using it every other day. I LOVE IT. I'm currently making pizza dough in it for dinner. I LOVE FRESH BREAD.

It seems like every day someone asks how old my kids are and I will say, `Kai is 4, Koen is 2, and we're actually adopting a baby as well'. I just feel like I'm expecting and I want people to know it. I don't have a big belly to show for it so I just need to use my words. They should have a specific colour bracelet that you wear when you are expecting through adoption. You know, like the yellow livestrong ones. Then, everyone would just know. I'm excited about it. I'm praying that it happens this fall. I don't know how I will feel if it's 2012 and nothing has happened, but, I'm thinking I won't be feeling too hot about it. Trying to trust His timing. We've talked about baby names (which is so hard to do when you aren't sure it's ever going to happen, or if the baby will already have a name, or if you don't know the cultural background) and we have a girl name. No boy name. I'm a sucker for names that start with `C' or `K' but I don't want all three kids to have the same sound:) Don't you like the name `Cole'? I do:) Koen LOVES babies and I know he will be such a fabulous big brother.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend. I've got a few photo sessions and a birthday party. Should be good!

Love, Louise



Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Reading Irresponsibly

I stayed up until 3:30am last night reading, `The Hunger Games'. I started the book at 11pm and I meant to read until 1am (because I never fall asleep before 1am) but I couldn't stop! It's so good. It is the best book I've read in the last 6 months, although, I'm not done yet, so I can't make a final judgement on it! I have about 2 hours left of reading so I hope to finish it tonight! Normally I would make myself stop at 1am but I was pretty sure Gary would have a snow day, and he did! That allowed me to sleep in until 9am:) He still had to go into work though...good old basketball tourney today. I have to say that my favourite hobby growing up was reading. My dad used to let us stay up as late as we wanted, as long as we were reading. I would take out the maximum number of library books and read, read, read. This past year, I have not read as much and I have missed it way more than I realized. I've realized I need to make room for reading as it makes me so happy and helps me to relax.

Our neighbourhood is TERRIBLE in the snow. I am so thankful for snow tires. Driving Kai to preschool was a breeze. We had about 10cm last night and the kids and I had fun in it this morning!
(I think I need to do a photo session in the snow as colours just pop out. Hopefully there's another snow fall this winter!)

I had a photo session at the Christian school yesterday. All three campuses. Three and a half hours. 700+ photos. Two large, heavy cameras (battery packs, huge lenses, external flashes). I was TIRED. It was a lot of running around but I think I got some good images. Just being there made me realize again how much I love the school and the atmosphere it fosters. It is a very good place. I will be posting images later this week...
(Kai's third written word. First was his name, then `Opi', and now...Optimus. I should've known that if I wanted to practice his writing, we need to involve Transformers! Kai is getting so old so fast. He seems like he's 8 years old. I really love him and I love to see him develop and grow each and every day. He is a good kid.)
Well, better get Kai from preschool! It's skating lesson day and he's looking forward to it! Gary should be able to make it too which will be great.

Have a wonderful evening!
Louise

Monday, January 10, 2011

Party Animal

Yesterday had a crazy start but ended wonderfully. I won't talk about how Gary had a basketball game and I had a photo shoot, both ending at 3pm when Koen's birthday party actually started. However, we were prepared, we had a babysitter, and once everyone arrived, I just sat back and relaxed:)
It was sort of animal themed, hence the piggy and sheep cupcakes. Noticing now that there is not enough icing on the piggies!
This party was an immediate family one...and with both of our families, and just two people missing, we had 30 people in attendance! Just some of the food laid out...Gary made a great variety of dips (I made bread for the dips..love my breadmaker!).
Kai was pretty jealous and had a really, really difficult time restraining himself from opening all of Koen's presents.
Koen loved all of his gifts and I was just so happy to have so much love for a little boy in one place. Sounds cheesy hey?
Just have to show you that my sister put a barrette in my nieces hair. She has no hair!
While opening presents I pretty much had 4 kids in my lap the whole time:)
Koen loves singing`Happy Birthday' and to have 30 people singing it to him was a taste of heaven. He loved it and it was my favourite moment of the evening. PS I got a new shirt, like it?
He couldn't quite blow out the candles.
The kiddos ate up all the cupcakes so I guess those marshmellowy sheep tasted okay!
Koen enjoyed his piggy.
Gramma spiked his sippy cup with punch....that had pop in it. Three times. Koen was up, running around his room, until 10pm last night. That, my friends, is why we only give him milk and water.

Usually we just do big family parties for the first couple of years...our house can barely contain us all! Thank goodness for the basement!! The kids all played down there (and in Kai's room upstairs) so that the adults could hang out on the main floor.

So thankful for this boy and a great extended family that supports us.
Love, Louise

Friday, January 07, 2011

Two In Time Out

I'm not meaning to post every day...I'm just in the busy process of burning disks, uploading, backing up etc which is a bunch of time spent at the computer. Two things:
1. Koen showing some two year old attitude by refusing to look at the camera. This was such an overnight change and totally makes me laugh. When I asked Koen what he wanted to do when we dropped Kai off at preschool, he said, `Subway. Eat fresh!'. As of yesterday, Koen confidently knows his colours. Oh yes, and he looks for the letter `S' everywhere.
2. Kai was in time out. When I came to get him, I found Koen had joined him to keep him company. He had also brought their blankies to bring him comfort. Sweet heart. I should also mention that Kai was so excited the other day when Koen had his first time out as a two year old. `He gets two minutes now!!' he shouted over and over (as opposed to the 1 minute for a 1 year old:)

Have a wonderful weekend! I won't post again until Monday as I've got to madly prepare for Koen's bday, celebrate his birthday (farm animal theme), Gary is at a basketball tournament, and there is a photo shoot in there too:)
Love, Louise

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Koen's 2nd Year Slideshow

For their first year, I always make a scrapbook for them and then Gary makes a video/photo slideshow to be shown on their birthday. However, I'm trying to figure out best how to document their lives (besides blogging...something that they will have when they grow up). I print up a book each year but am now wondering if I should print one for each of them? Growing up, my parents always made sure we had our own photo albums that were packed full of photos:)

Anyway, this is just a slideshow of pictures from his second year of life....you really don't need to watch it as it is 9 minutes long and you've probably seen all of the pictures before. Next year I will cut it down to 5 minutes:) I will say that all the pictures of the two boys together makes me teary eyed. Especially when Kai reads to Koen. Yes, I am a baby.
PS The pictures of the two homes are the ones that my family members moved away from this summer and he'll probably never remember them otherwise. I would never include house numbers normally:)
PPS When we showed this to Koen, he watched it 4 times in a row. He LOVES pictures:)
PS How do YOU document your life/kids lives?

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Go Kai Go!

Kai had his first skating lesson today. I am so glad that for two things:
1. That we took him last week so he was familiar with the rink and how difficult skating can actually be.
2. That we bought a helmet with a cage (great idea, Terri!!). I feel like he would've knocked out every tooth today.

I was nervous all day. I didn't let him know. He wasn't loving skating after we went last time but we talked about how he wasn't good at riding his bike at first, and then he got better. How he couldn't dress himself, but with some practice, he's now an expert. I talked about how I didn't love skating lessons but I was so thankful I had them because now I can skate. Kai is very good about talking through things and I know what works well with him.

The lesson was good. Phew! They all started on chairs and then the teacher had them get on their knees and practice standing up. Hilarious! Sort of, also a bit sad. They all looked like fish out of water. I can't imagine teaching that class! Basically 3 of the kids got up right away and the rest seriously flailed around. I wish I had it on video. Twelve kids flailing all over the ice. Kai tried getting up once or twice and then just stayed on his knees until a teacher helped him up.

Then, they were allowed to use the chairs to try to move from one line to another. They were kind of teaching them to take steps instead of pushing and Kai seriously moved his feet back and forth 100 times and moved 1 inch. He didn't lift his feet off the ice:) I wish they had given him a little tip....I can't even imagine the calories he was burning! I wanted to yell `lift your feet' or `push!' but I'm guessing that wouldn't be cool.

I saw him fall a lot. And often he would look towards me in the bleachers and I gave him the thumbs up and cheered him on (I know, I'm so dorky and I knew it) and he kept trying over and over. I was so proud of him for not giving up. He didn't move far and he collided with a million kids but he didn't give up.

Afterwards he said he didn't like skating at all but I said there are only 9 more lessons and he was okay with that. I asked him what his favourite part was and he said, `Smashing chairs into other peoples chairs'. I don't think he was doing it purposely but I'm glad he found some fun in it:)
And to finish the day off...look who got the listening award today! This is the major thing we are stressing with him as he may have had to be removed from circle time before Christmas. He was removed for not listening and being silly with a friend. This was my largest frustration as a teacher so Kai will definitely get a reminder or two about this over his academic career:)

Goodnight from the proud momma of a Kai Bear.
Louise

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

COLD

I feel like BC (oops, I mean the Lower Mainland) isn't normally this cold. I went for a jog (25 minutes! Go me!) yesterday morning and it was -3C. I know, not cold for the rest of Canada, but for us it is!
It was great having Gary home for 2 weeks. I was able to work, we had fun family times (probably too much `Chutes and Ladders'), we finally found a lamp for our family room (after returning several to Home Sense and Home Depot...who knew finding the `right' lamp would be so hard?!), we watched some movies (saw `Despicable Me' the other day and I loved the scene where Gru is reading a bedtime story to the kids), read some books (I read `Sarah's Key' which I thought was really good and educational), and now, we are finally done with the antibiotics! Koen is still sick (runny nose mostly) and Kai still has large red patch on his eye that is probably a burst vessel.
I am really looking forward to what is ahead this year. I just feel positive about my health (if I can stay in the normal range for just 3 more months, I will be med free!!), my kids, my marriage, my work, and the possibility of another little one joining our crew (hopefully!!).
Koen has now fully transitioned to the toddler bed which means we have a crib just sitting there. We also have a whole closet of baby clothes and carriers and cradles etc. Time for them to be used!!! Soon we will move Koen's toddler bed into Kai's room and attempt them sharing a room. I would love to do this way before the baby comes so that there is less transitioning for them later, and also, I don't want Koen to feel `kicked out' of his baby bedroom. I'm hoping the baby will be in our bedroom for the first several months but still want the baby room for all the baby stuff etc.
We had a bean spread on our sandwiches today and it was super easy to make and a great source of protein (in a food processor: can of canellini beans, some olive oil, salt, pepper an garlic). Koen and I loved it:)
We have been having to say `no' to all requests/inquiries for weddings in 2011 as we already have 15 and we won't take any more after September. It is so hard saying no. I think of the cool experiences and locations we are missing out on, the money, the growth...but I just know that more importantly, this year we want to spend more fun family time together AND we need to have a clearer calendar `just in case'.
I've been planning/booking our trips for 2011. We will be going to Green Lake and Tofino for spring break. Then, Whistler and Oregon for the summer. Should be fun! The boy are at SUCH a good and fun age for travelling. I love it.

And ending with a photo that makes me smile.
Have a wonderful day.
Love, Louise
PS Kai starts skating lessons tomorrow! I really hope they start super slowly with them. He is such a perfectionist and any feeling that he hasn't done it right and he just wants to quit.

Monday, January 03, 2011

Mac and Cheese

(Koen's present: a singing and dancing elephant. If you know Koen, you know he loves to sing and dance!)

I thought I would share a few more recipes this year. We eat out maybe once per month (like last night!) and the rest, we make at home. Why? It's a billion times cheaper, generally much healthier AND my husband is a fabulous cook and can pretty much make anything that a restaurant could make. I'm pretty decent too:)

Macaroni and Cheese (from Double Delicious where they put pureed carrot or sweet potato etc into everything. Super easy recipes. We just spent an afternoon pureeing carrots and sweet potatoes so we have them ready whenever we need them). I would give it a 8/10. It was pretty good and I would make it again for sure.

1lb whole wheat pasta
2 tbsp butter
1.5tbsp flour
2.5 cups of skim milk
1 cup cheddar cheese
1tsp salt
1/2 cup carrot puree
1/4 cup whole wheat breadcrumbs
2tbsp grated parmesan cheese

1.Boil pasta until al dente
2. Preheat oven to 375F
3. Heat butter and whisk in flour. Slowly whisk in milk. Bring to a boil and cook about 5 minutes. Add cheddar cheese, salt and carrot puree. Whisk until smooth. Stir into pasta (which has now been drained:)
4.. Transfer to a 9X12 baking dish. Sprinkle bread crumbs and parmesan cheese on top. Bake about 20 minutes

**I would've added sauteed onion and garlic to the sauce**

Koen's Cupcakes (okay, they look ugly...the cupcake tin is supposed to be the shape of an ice cream cone and then you put icing on that looks like soft serve OR you put actual ice cream on. I will make it look more real next time!! However, they tasted delicious!!)
Frosting: Martha Stewart's Fluffy Vanilla Frosting (I usually make her Swiss Meringue Buttercream but the vanillla frosting is a lot faster:)
Cupcake: Martha Stewart's Banana Pecan Cupcake. It was really good....less sweet and more filling. You could eat it as a muffin.
For dinner, we went out as it was Koen's birthday. I have always wanted to try `Vancouver's Best Hamburger' from Vera's Burger and they just put one in by our house. We bundled up and walked there. The boys enjoyed some hamburger sliders and Gary and I shared a turkey burger and the leftover sliders:)
Koen loved it because he thought he was sitting on a cow (note the benches). I wouldn't say it was the best burger I've ever had but it was still good. I like the idea that the boys could just have one slider each (comes in a group of 4). Hmmm...give the burger a 7.5/10:)

I can't believe Gary is back to work tomorrow. And, he is really back. He has basketball every day this week, including Saturday and Sunday. I know he loves it but....ya. I don't think that it should take up evenings AND weekends.

Have a great week!!!
Love, Louise