Saturday, February 26, 2011

Cinnamon Buns

To be honest, I really need to get out of the house. I am home most of the time and it's not healthy for me. I need to exercise, socialize, and take photos of others:) This last week was a whole lotta time in our house due to the cold and sick kids. Football practice was cancelled due to the snow. I know that to be the best me I need to get out of my house, without the kids, for a few hours each week. I need to exercise. I also need work to do.
{I made our 2010 book and got two extra copies for the boys to have. Not sure that I'll continue with that but I had a groupon:)}

This week I read `Somewhere Inside' by Laura and Lisa Ling. I liked it because I really didn't know much about North Korea. Tonight, Gary and I went and saw `The King's Speech' and I liked that too! It was a last minute decision to go on a date and I'm glad we went. My sister got sick so arranged for the babysitter she was going to have (my niece), to come to our house instead! I even dressed up a bit which is always fun:)
These cinnamon buns are so good. My bread maker makes amazingly perfect dough. I leave some without icing because Kai doesn't like it, and to be honest, I don't like cream cheese (gasp!). The amount of calories in one is CRAZY so I make 16 instead of 12 so they are a bit smaller. I made 2 batches this week! If you want to gain 5lbs, make two batches of these and stay inside because it's freezing out.
Today we went swimming as a family. By swimming, I mean Gary and I sit in a foot of water while the kids splash us. Not so fun in my opinion but they loved it. I did get a chance to swim some laps which felt really good. Next up is family skate night and I am looking forward to that a lot more!
Kai has a lot of questions about God. He asked what God was made of and whether he had bones. I said I didn't know but that he wasn't a person like us. He asked what He looks like. I said I didn't know but I pictured him as an old man. Kai said he pictured him as a clown. I hope that's not sacrilegious but he thinks that God is happy and fun. He proceeded to tell God a knock knock joke. Kai also asked if we could pray for his invisible friend, Nobody, who has pink eye. Kai's appetite is back in full force which is so great to see. He eats more than me all the time and his favourite things are fruits and veggies. If I ask if he wants a cookie or an apple, he'll choose an apple. Crazy kid:)

And for some reason, I really love the picture above. This is what I came downstairs to this morning. The boys watching Saturday morning cartoons together. As much as the kids (and Gary!) can drive me nuts, I wouldn't change it for a second. Life is good.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

You Know You Have A Two Year Old Boy When...

this is what your mantel looks like any given day. These were all taken away as weapons used against Kai yesterday. Although I have to say, Koen can tackle Kai to the ground with his bare hands. If I say `Koen, are you being naughty?' he says, `No, mommy bear. Good boy now!'.

And in other news, although I have an great amount of determination and will power, I have given up on Koen's quiet time in his room. I think every family has it's monkey. In my family, it was my sister Jantina. In this one, it is our Kokies.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Kai Bear

Kai's almost healthy. Koen is now sick. Again. He lasted 2 days without a cold.
I wish I could say that we were non stop fun over here but we are kind of the opposite. I'm just trying to keep the kids rested so that they can get better. Koen's quiet time is getting pretty ridiculous. After ripping up several books, I removed a lot of things from his room. I have to run up there several times throughout his quiet time as he will run to the bathroom and flush the toilet or he'll start the water in the bath. However, I need him to have that quiet time!!
Kai is a good kid. He says he wants to be a science teacher when he's older so he can teach kids about the human body and space. Gary and I smiled at each other when he said that:) Those are the topics they are learning about at preschool right now and he LOVES it.
Kai said I can take his picture tomorrow so I'm looking forward to it. I think he's pretty cute.

Monday, February 21, 2011


Such a great weekend. The sun was out and Gary was home. So good.

On Friday night we went out for dinner. I don't actually enjoy going out to eat as a family because you basically spend 4X the amount of money that you would to make that food at home AND eating out with the kids isn't what I call relaxing. Anyway, Kai has his first Pirate Pack and only ate the grapes. Immediately I knew he was pretty sick because not eating is the biggest indicator for him. The next morning he woke us up saying `I just threw up'. Great. All day Saturday he just laid on the couch and ate nothing except for a bowl of ice cream at dinner time. He had a fever on Saturday night which always stresses me out so I didn't fall asleep until the meds brought it down. In positive news, Koen is now healthy-ish!
{Getting Koen in the morning. One hand on `Blue' the other on his sippy cup with water. Always.}
Koen and I ran spent Saturday together buying him some used ice skates and then going to Riley's first birthday party. I probably should have brought my camera. I can never decide whether to take it or not but after seeing Riley's gorgeous eyes in the natural light, I knew I should've brought it:)
On Sunday morning we skipped church due to Kai being so sick and I went to Queen Elizabeth Park for a family photo session. How have I never been there before? It was gorgeous! After that, I went to our first football practice of the season. It was so nice to be outside exercising, with friends, and playing football. So good for the soul, ya know?

When I came home, Gary had done 3 loads of laundry, washed the van with the kids, and made dinner and dessert (chocolate mousse!!). Wow, it sure was nice to have some time away and come home to that! Having Gary home every evening is so awesome.

So many photographers are at the WPPI (Wedding & Portrait Photographers International) conference in Vegas right now which is for photographers of all levels. One day I will go. One day. I would really love to go with Gary but he is always working during that time.

Okay, time for tea:) Hope you all had a lovely weekend!
Love, Louise

Friday, February 18, 2011

Eye Cream and Cuddles

It all started with this photo which I was never planning on showing. We were demonstrating some of the headbands I made (inspired by Megan!) and the boys were so not into it. Wonder why. Oh well, my nieces love them. Anyway, I realized at this point that the bags under my eyes are terrible. I'm not sure why I haven't noticed it before but wow. I think it's a combination of age, Graves', insomnia for the last year (now mostly gone!!!), and not drinking enough water. Since this photo I have now started using under eye concealer/illuminator and I just bought eye cream. I wore it last night and felt like my mom. Every night she would come and kiss us goodnight with her Noxzema covered face. I miss that smell. I went to sleep with a smile on my face. Anyway, I now feel like an old lady but it's probably time I start taking better care of my skin!
(Probably didn't help the circles under my eyes to have the flash bounce off the ceiling).
The last two evenings have been fabulous. For both evenings, Gary and I cuddled on the couch for 2 hours just talking and watching tv. It's so great to just have him home and have someone to talk to at night! Before, during basketball, when he was home for the one night a week, I would run out and go shopping for some `freedom' but just ended spending money. That kind of has to stop:)
My niece Sami is almost one and I tried to take some pictures of her but she wasn't loving it:) This next week I have a family session (please let Sunday be the nicest weather day of the week!), an 18 month old (the winner of a session), and a newborn. I am also awaiting the birth of another baby, so exciting! Although weddings are the bread and butter of our business, I am thankful to be doing less this year. It just frees up so much more time for a variety of other sessions and just life in general:) Don't get me wrong, I love them, but more at a rate of one per month rather than five!
Gary and I are so excited about the prospect of a romantic vacation but I'm sort of losing hope of it ever happening. No family members can watch our kids (spring break is a busy time, everyone works etc) except for possibly Gary's parents who will hopefully know in a week or so. Even if they can, a week is too long for them. Anyone have some wise solutions that are not expensive?
The weather is gorgeous today. The boys played in the backyard for an hour. Kai is now sick with a really bad cough which means Koen will get it in a few days and then he'll be sick for about 3 more weeks after that. The fun doesn't stop! I bought Koen one of those shopping cart covers. You know, the ones so your kids sit in this cute cloth compartment rather than touch all the gross germs on the cart? I am now one of `those' moms. I don't care. I am so sick of Koen being sick all the time. Also, the other day at Costco I saw the most disgusting runny nose ever and the kid wiped it all over the cart handle. It made me want to vomit.

Anyway, time to do my taxes! I love it. I did our business ones yesterday and today I'm doing mine. I'll wait a while on Gary's until we get all of our donation receipts in. It just reminds me of school (which I loved):) By the way, people assume that I miss teaching. I'll be honest, I don't miss it at all. I think it's because I'm doing another job that I love and every single moment with your kids is teaching, it's kind of exhausting!

Have a wonderful weekend.
Love, Louise
PS On Sunday I have my first football practice in about 8 months!! Wow am I going to be sore or what!!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

I Love Peanut Sauce

We are well. Gary has his last bball game today. Boys are relatively healthy.

A beautiful, big baby boy was born last night and I had the privilege of photographing him. I'll have pictures on our GC blog once mom and dad have seen them etc. and share details of his arrival! I am so ready for our own little baby. Really, really ready. I just wish there was more (aka ANY) information from our adoption agency. I really feel like this adoption journey is right where we are supposed to be and I feel so excited about it. I keep wondering if I'm going to get the desire to have another biological child but so far, it's just not there. I'm thankful that we are so sure about where we are...just wishing that I knew how close (or far) we are. Wishing that someone could tell me `Yes Louise, it will happen this year!'.

By the way, I was thinking about know when someone is pregnant, you ask them how they are feeling/doing? I think I would like it if people asked me how the adoption was going. I mean, I don't really have anything to say but at least it acknowledges that Chapman baby #3 is on the way. Just a thought in case you know someone else who is adopting.

Gary and I are thinking of going somewhere tropical for the second week of Spring Break (if we can find someone to watch our kids!). We might as well go now because once we have baby #3, it will be another two years before we can think about it. Besides, the only romantic trip we have done is go to the Kingfisher on the island. Gary says that our camping trips to Alaska etc were romantic but I think we sort of have different ideas in that department. There are some good deals out there right now so we'll see!!
Found out the boys don't like homemade sushi. They did like the gyoza and satay chicken with peanut sauce though. I love that my husband loves to cook. We all love to eat!

Football starts this Sunday afternoon (so excited!!!!)...time to get another jog in this week!

Have a wonderful weekend everyone.
Love, Louise

PS Kai's library books for the week; `What the Moon is Like' and `The Sun: Our Nearest Star'.

Thursday, February 10, 2011


This is a bit of a slow time as I have my calendar pretty clear because I am just awaiting a hard to predict these things:)
People often ask me my favourite things to photograph and I would say that I love engagement sessions and also photographing kids of all ages.
So, in order to thank everyone for their support, and for me to do a session that I love, we are having a Valentine's Giveaway!
It will be a giveaway for a free mini photo session (30 minutes) either in studio or in your home. Your choice. The session is for a child (newborn to 12 years of age). Only one entrant per person please.
The session needs to take place this month, yes, in the next 2.5 weeks. I know that is soon but then things get busy again:)
If you are interested in entering, just go to our facebook page where you can comment under this Valentine's Giveaway Promo. You just need to tell me which little person you would want photographed and I will randomly pick an entrant on Sunday, February 13th, at 1pm.

NOTE: You will not be entered if you comment here, go to the facebook page:) I want to keep track of them in one place!

Have a wonderful weekend.
Love, Louise

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Eyes and Ears

This is how I see Koen a lot of the time. He rubs the doggy's ear (`Blue') under his nose.

I went to Value Village's 50% off sale yesterday and got the boys a bunch of great clothes. Technically they don't really need anything but it doesn't hurt when each item is $1-$3! Six shirts, 2 jackets, 3 pairs of pants, one pair of boots...for $25.00. I only buy stuff that is in perfect condition and a good name brand. Pants are usually a bit sketchy as they tend to wear out but I got some gooders! The shirts below are just a couple that I bought. I also need to point out that I took both boys with me which is extremely brave on a day like that!
Koen bruised his ear after running into the storage ottoman yesterday. Haven't seen that before!

I have put Koen back in cloth diapers a few weeks ago. It sure is easy at his age (as a newborn, he had 14 dirty diapers a day!). He has used the toilet successfully at least once every day...I think he's just about ready but I don't think I am! He will do anything to get a chocolate chip.

I love Kai's eyes and need to convince him to let me take some photos of him outside:)
Today was gorgeous and I was all ready to run 5km when Gary got home from work, but alas, he had a meeting I didn't know about, so it was dinner time when he got home, and now he's off to basketball. Guess it will be me on the elliptical tonight. The good news? Gary only has one more week of basketball unless something miraculous happens. They will likely win two more games but that won't be enough to continue on. I look forward to being able to more family walks, Gary having more energy, and someone else putting Kai to bed (although really, he only takes 3 minutes to put to bed:)

In the meantime, just waiting for a baby. I am photographing a birth and she was due yesterday so I'm basically attached to my cell phone at all times:)

Have a good week!

Friday, February 04, 2011

My Helpers

Kai: "Mommy, I'm doing the laundry so it's less tiring being a mommy." They have worked as a team twice this week switching the laundry over and although it's a long process (they put it from the washing machine to the basket and then the dryer), I think it's cute that they `need' to do it together.
Koen usually makes a ton of noise during Quiet Time. Suddenly it was quiet and I thought maybe he had fallen asleep. I went to his room and couldn't find him. Checked the closet and he made himself a bed out of boxes of clothes that I have stored there. Actually looked kind of comfy.
And some Kai comments from the last week or so. They all pertain to the human body:

Kai (overheard sharing info with Koen): Imagine the size of God's femur!

Kai: Hey lunch, I'll see you in three days!

Kai (after Koen hit him with a truck on the right side of his head): I hope I can still sing! (note: the right side of your brain is involved with singing).

He loves learning. We went to the library and all he wanted was books about the human body. Nothing else. He got one about the heart and another about the journey from conception to birth:)

{Annika-now 5 years old!}
And finally, a very happy birthday to the first born niece on my side of the family. I remember Ani being born like it was yesterday. It was such a joy filled time amongst the sadness that was filling our lives. Ani was born just 3 months before my mom passed away and my mom was actually in the room when she was born. It was amazing to feel such happiness and hope in a time when I didn't know it was possible.
Ani: A message from Kai. The first one actually had Koen and Kai singing together but it was sideways and I don't know how to turn it around so here is just Kai....

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Not Too Nice

1.First off...just a short little video of Kai doing his penguin walk today:) He's in the middle of the screen in the black camouflage jacket and black helmet. I'll have to bring my 70-200mm lens next time to get a closer look...

2. I got my hair highlighted this evening. I got home and Koen said `Nice hair!' (Gary told him to say that). Kai added, `But not too nice'. He thought it would be better curled and in a pony tail. It was down and straightened.
{Big baby Kenzie, 4.5 months old}
3. We've been seeing a lot of my nieces lately... play dates with the cousins are soooo easy. They just all play nicely together and we don't have to watch over them or anything. They love playing `Numberjacks' together which is based off the tv show that no one knows about. They are all assigned a number and they solve mysteries. All four of the big kids play together nicely, it's awesome!!
4. Kai loves school. A lot. More than anything. He gets so excited every day about what he is going to learn about next. They just finished their Space unit and now they are moving on to the Human Body unit. They also just finished learning about Vincent VanGogh and next up is Michelangelo. I'm learning a lot by just talking to him:) On party day, he was the first one to answer the questions and was so confident. He also asked the teacher if he could say something and she gave him the go ahead. He said, `When I'm older, I want to be a famous artist!'. One thing he does NOT love is practicing his writing.
5. I'm working on finishing the last wedding we did. Editing weddings is mentally tough because by the time you get to editing the reception photos, they just don't seem so exciting and it's easy to put them off and move on to other photos:) So far, I am really loving just working 20-ish hours a week. Much better!
6. Koen is so incredibly chatty. Non stop. This is what dinner was like last night as he was trying to tell us about the doctor's office having a different Blue's Clues book than we have.
`Daddy doctor. 'Nother Blues Clues. 'Nother Blues Clues. Mommy, doctor. `Nother Blues Clues'. Daddy Blues Clues'.' NON STOP. It's really annoying in the van when Kai is chatting about his artists and Koen is repeating something over and over (`Mommy, man doing? Man doing? Mommy, man doing?' HE'S BUILDING A HOUSE! `Mommy, man doing?). Even if I answer Koen's question, he still keeps asking it. I don't remember Kai being so repetitive.

7. Koen now watches tv. It took Kai until he was 2 years old to be interested in it too. Kai and Koen will cuddle on the couch and watch a show together. It is sooooo cute.

Okay, must get back to work. Have an excellent evening.
Love, Louise