Wednesday, March 30, 2011


Gary and I just got back from a two night getaway without the kiddos. We had a great time and two nights was the perfect amount of time. I am so exhausted. From what? Shopping and eating:) Tough life! We had a very healthy budget and spent some money at the outlet stores. We also stayed in a beautiful hotel that I got through (Usually $190/night that I got for $82/night!).

The downside of our time away? Two hours into our trip, while trying on clothes, I popped my rib out of my upper back leading to immediate muscle spasming. I was in quite a bit of pain and wasn't sure if we would have to return home or what. I was desperately hoping there would be a massage therapy/chiropractic clinic nearby but alas, I just downed some ibuprofin and was super careful with my neck. It was, and is, quite painful. Two hours after returning home, I went to the massage therapist and hopefully he fixed me. I am still in quite a bit of pain. I have a football game to play on Saturday so I have to be better! Who messes up their back trying on clothes? Grrrrrr. The other downside is that I split a huge hole in my favourite jeans. I had to leave them behind in Seattle.

What did we do? We walked through Pike Market and waterfront, we shopped, we ate excellent food (sushi, pho, seafood etc), we worked out, and we read books. We also visited REI which a very cool version of MEC. Oh ya, we took some photos too. It was a great time and I'm so thankful that Gary's parents could watch the kids for us.
{We watched them make cheese at Beechers...and then Gary had a fresh grilled cheese sandwich.}
{The wall below is actually a building covered in gum. So gross but it actually looked kind of cool:)}
{We went the first Starbucks and I got a drink...}

{We ran into friends while walking by another Starbucks. Such a small world! I like that you can see Gary and I in the reflection.}
{We ate seafood at the Crab Pot down at the waterfront.}
{We walked through Pike Place market and I made it all the way through only buying one item; some beeswax chapstick. So good.}

{We took some photos of each other...I was excited to find a wall colour that was my eye colour. I like this picture.}
{Gary doesn't love being in front of the camera but he let me take a few photos of him:) }

{I felt like I was trying to be 19 or something...this picture is for my sisters since they love seeing Gary and I kiss:)}
{Great time. So good to get away with Gary once in a while. When we were sitting in the hot tub, there were two little boys in there that were the exact same age as our boys. Made me miss them. However, I can't imagine dragging them around everywhere that we went. They had a fabulous time with the grandparents so it's good all around.}
And now, time to watch survivor and put a heating pad on my upper back.
Love, Louise

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Lotsa Thoughts

No pictures today (but lots in the last two posts)! Just a few things going on these days....

1. Just read `Still Alice'. It only takes a day to read it and it is so sad. I don't think I have ever cried so much reading a book as I did with this one. However, it taught me a lot more about Alzheimer's and sometimes, well, it's just good to have a bit of a sob fest.

2. I always think I have the body I did 10 years ago and so when I see a picture of myself, I'm a bit shocked. I'm about 20lbs heavier but I don't ever realize it. I don't want to be a person who obsesses about their body (aka myself all through high school), but it's just so strange that I'm eating and exercising the same I did 5 years ago, and yet my weight is so much higher. It's not muscle either. I feel like my fitness level is definitely getting back to where it once was so that is encouraging. I know I can work hard for 2 months and lose 10lbs, but then it would come right back on. I feel like my body is comfortable where it is at, so I sort of feel like I should just be happy with me at this weight. I can't blame this on my thyroid, my hormone levels have been normal for about 4 months. I wonder if it has to do with the job change...when you are teaching you are on your feet running around all day, and now, I spend at least 3-4 hours sitting on my butt working on the computer. If I could work out while editing photos, well, then maybe I'd be set. Might have to find that old thigh master I used back in grade 10:)

3. Adoption. For the first time I'm starting to feel very content with our family of 4. Like, if this is the way it ends up being, I'll be okay with it. I think it's because we're out of the baby stage and it's a bit scary to think about going back into it. In no way am I saying I don't want another baby, I truly, truly do. My heart hurts a little every time that I see a newborn baby, or a momma breastfeeding. I don't know if hurt is the right word, but I yearn for it. I still feel, 100%, that this is where we are meant to be; on an adoption journey. We recently got some new information from our adoption agency and things are very slow. It would seem that at this rate, it could take 3-4 years. Many adoptions take place through direct placement (where the birth parents choose to place their child with someone they know and the agency will facilitate it) so this could be a possibility too.

4. Photography. It's going super well. I LOVE that we have fewer weddings this year, it makes life a lot more flexible. I was only planning on doing 2 family sessions per month (alongside 1-2 weddings) but it has turned into more like 4-6. I start with two and then when it's obvious that no baby is going to be joining our family that month, I fill up the rest. Gary and I are always in discussion about possibly changing the name as I would like to be part of it:) When we started, Gary was the main photographer and I wanted to get started right away and not spend months trying to come up with a name. So, I just sent away `GC Photography' for approval and that's just the way it is. We are also always in discussion about getting an official website and of course, more equipment. Our 5D has not been 100% reliable lately (something with the battery connection) so we may need to get another. We are also sending our 70-200mm lens to Canon (in Ontario) to get fixed. So annoying, wish it was local. Therefore, we just bought another one off of craigslist to carry us over until we get it back. Then, we'll just sell one of them:) It's Gary's favourite lens.

5. Gary. Dude, spring break is so good for the marriage! Gary isn't tired and busy and it's so great to have someone else cooking and helping with the kids and cleaning etc. Obviously going on the two trips (so far) has been so good and fun. I find that I forget how cooped up I feel being in the house with mostly sick kids all winter. So great to get out! We are doing a four week marriage workshop in April and I am looking forward to it. We are also going to Seattle this week, just the two of us, for some photo taking and food eating.

6. The boys. Koen has started going on the toilet about once a day. He lets us know when he has to go but he's just a bit confused about whether he just has to fart:) I wanted to wait until the weather was a bit warmer to potty train him so that he can just run around in underwear. I'm thinking that I'll probably start after spring break though, we'll see how he does! He is hilarious and awesome. Kai is also doing well and I know I've said this before, but I just feel like he's 7 years old. He is great to talk with, although if I ever have to talk with him about `Balloon Tower Defense 4' again, I'm going to run away. Thank you to Gary for introducing him to his `favourite game ever'. Dare I say that although Koen still has a runny nose (for 4 months now), they are both healthy!!!! So great.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Green Lake

Awesome trip!! Just got back from my dad's `cabin' (house) at Green Lake. We went with my sister Maria and her family. Basically the kids just played, played, played. Such a great age. We were without internet which meant that we couldn't do the geocaching we wanted to but we did have two locations stored in the GPS so we did those two. Ashley W, if you're reading, I was going to email you to see if you wanted to geocache with us (I think your kids would love it!) but our wireless connection wasn't working.
Enjoy the photos....Ani helped me pick which photos to post and which ones to put together:)
(Koen actually napped! Kenzie, 6 months old, has a terrible cold but she did super well!)
We took the four big kids geocaching...
You can see that Izzy did not love her first geocache (below). It may have had something to do with the long hike along snowmobile trails, falling through deep snow, and not finding the actual geocache (likely buried under the snow).
We did find another one and Ani and Kai got to sign their names in it.
There were some great workouts for the parents:)

Gary and I actually went for a nice jog together. We never go up in the winter/spring, isn't it gorgeous?
Gary and I went back to the spot where we took an engagement photo on January 22nd, 2005 (we got engaged on the 21st). We got engaged and married up at Green Lake. We did a little updated photo at that spot:)

Great trip. Last time we were there, Koen had the flu so this was much nicer:) The kids all got along so well, so fun to see!
Such a great first week of Spring Break. Looking forward to week #2!!!!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Long Beach

What a fabulous trip to Tofino/Ucluelet!! The only thing that would've made it better is if we had stayed one more night. Kai said that he can't wait until he's a dad and then he can take his kids there too:) I love that this is becoming a bit of a tradition with us and you can see our trip with Kai there, three years ago, here.
This time, we stayed at the Water's Edge Resort. It was perfect for us; a separate room for the kids, a kitchen, internet/tv, ocean side, free kayaks and bikes, affordable, etc.

The second day, we spent time at Big Beach in Ucluelet (you can see day 1 in the previous post). Yes, I'm wearing a scarf as a hat.
The whole beach is made up of shells like the shot below. So fun to look at everything!
We went geocaching here and I'm the one that found it. Kai said, `You're getting better at geocaching mom!', like I'm normally terrible at it. Thanks bud. We were trying to find a second one on an island with steep cliffs. Kai is quite unaware and would just follow the GPS's arrow right over a cliff if I didn't have my hand on him. He did end up walking right into the water at one point. We had to go back to the resort and change.
We spent the majority of the day at Long Beach. If you've never been, you might have to. It's gorgeous. We used to go there a lot when we were kids and Gary and I have been there three times together.
We got there about 10 am and spent a couple hours just exploring. There was no one else there when we arrived. Whole place to ourselves!

We were just moving the seastars into the ocean because the seagulls had started picking at them in the low tide. Koen was soooo excited. The tide pools on Long Beach are pretty much non existent so there actually weren't too many things to look at.
We went back to our place to try to get the boys to nap, but only Gary fell asleep:)
Then we went to Romano's for dinner where we had gone three years ago with Kai. Super yummy pizza and another little tradition!

This morning we went to Wickaninnish Interpretive Center and beach since I had never been there. It was pouring pretty bad so we didn't stay long. I would really love to go back to that beach! We stopped by oma and Uncle Al's place in Port Alberni on the way back and had a good visit. Koen had lots of kisses and hugs for oma and uncle Al. At least uncle Al and I are smiling in this picture:)
What a great trip. I'm really just savouring and enjoying this time with our family of four. I love it. The boys got along so well and amazed me with their behaviour. So proud of them. Time to do some laundry, some grocery shopping, and prepare for our next trip; Green Lake! Yippee for Spring Break!!!!!!!!!

Love, Louise

Sunday, March 20, 2011


We have started our holidays! Yes, I'm blogging because I like to stay on top of our pictures (we take a lot). If you could've heard Kai for the first 2 hours of our day, you would be laughing non stop. He was unbelievably excited. Constant exclamation marks:)
We walked though Cathedral Grove and above is the `big tree' (800 years old). We then had a visit with my oma and uncle Al. Oma (my mom's mom) turned 88 today!
We got excited about our hotel room (this was Kai and Koen's room but Koen is now sleeping in the kitchen after his many shenanigans). Our place is so fantastic and is right on the ocean. We have a huge kitchen to make all of our meals which is a major plus for us.
We hiked to the lighthouse in Ucluelet.
We saw grey whales (a lot!!) and celebrated the Whale Festival with balloons, spotting scopes, and even a hands on display of sperm whale teeth and baleen plates/mats.
We walked around our resort (I love little fishing towns!).
We geocached in a cool location (WWII bomb shelter) and Kai actually found it on his own.
And now we are going to sleep since we started our all day adventure before 6am:) Vacations are exhausting! The boys are doing so well. I can't believe how easy this stage is and they can just go, go, go. So much fun. Long Beach tomorrow! Bon nuit.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

What I Woke Up To

My sweet little boy did this for me this morning. Kai Love Mom. Life is good.
Here you can see the rash on his face...I kept him home from preschool even though he apparently isn't contagious. I feel bad because it's so itchy but he's being such a good boy about it. Kai is wonderful. He has grown up so much in the last month or so and I cannot remember the last time he was in time out. He is so kind and inquisitive and understanding. I think he's fabulous, rash and all:)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Itchy Kai

**UPDATE: Doctor says it's an unknown viral infection. Apparently not contagious anymore. Jackie: he could get measles even though he's vaccinated, it happens in 5% of cases. Yay, we can still go on holidays!!!**

Someone is sad.
He has a rash from head to toe (I overexposed his face so you can't really see the rash on his face...he wanted to have a sad face:)).
It started on Saturday and has gotten progressively worse. I can't think of a single thing that could have caused it. He hasn't eaten anything new and the only place he went that Koen did not was the hot tub (but he's been in there many times with no reaction). It's itchy.
Heading to the doctor this afternoon because I want to make sure he's not contagious AND we leave on holidays soon!!
Has anyone seen a rash like this on their kids before? Head to toe?