Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Kai Bear

I thought I would post this in case any of your kids go through this, or, if your kids have gone through it, maybe you could add some advice/thoughts.

Kai is 4.5 years old. He is a happy kid. A couple of months ago he started saying some of the following things while crying:

You don't like me
You wish I wasn't born.
I wish I was dead.
I don't want to be alive.
Being alive is terrible.
I want to have cancer (This one made me cry both times he said it. Hurt me to the core.).

So, I asked my friend (who is a child psychologist) about it. I wanted to know if this was normal. I wanted to know if I should respond seriously or not give it too much attention. She indicated that it was important when he was saying this. If he is saying this in quiet contemplative moments, like before bed, then that is a concern. However, Kai is saying these things when I say `no' to him or when he's done something to disappoint me. Therefore, this is more attention seeking. So now, I just say something like `Kai, I love you. Being alive is awesome.' and then change the topic and don't allow him to continue down that path. This worked really well today.

There are so many people that I know who suffer from anxiety and/or depression which made me concerned with the way he was talking. Mental illness is so serious and not talked about very often. I can't imagine what I would do if teenage Kai thought those things. I hope he would tell me.

Oh parenting. Always keeping us vulnerable.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Nerdy Science Guy

1. Kai ate two bowls of cereal and two pieces of toast for breakfast. That means he's better! Woohoo! He has never had digestive issues like that in his life and I've never seen him eat so little for so long. Phew.

2. Marriage workshop got posptoned to the following week due to the Canucks game tonight. Good thing because I don't know what Gary would've chosen:)
3. I love cleaning our house. Our house is not spotless but it is neat and organized (except for our garage and my bedroom closet!!!). I know it's weird to like cleaning. My mom did such a great job of keeping our house clean and I'm glad she passed that on to me.
4. Kai can sound out and spell three letter words and can recognize numbers up to 100.
5. Koen can recognize about half of the upper case letters and count to 10. Potty training is a little more work with this guy...he is dry all day as long as we take him to the bathroom every hour or two. At least we're just down to one diaper a day now (at night)!
6. No pictures of the kids today but here's a video I found from a few weeks shows a bit of Kai's nerdiness:)

(When he says `bones that connect when you're old' he's referring to the fact that babies bones are not completely fused when they're born.)

Have a wonderful week and enjoy that hockey game tonight!
Love, Louise

Saturday, April 23, 2011


So tired. Kai Bear still sick and on day 4 of not really eating. Here's some of our weekend...
{Doing a play with the Chapman cousins..a sort of modern day bible story. Kai was Jesus' guard and didn't have too many lines so he made some up:) I think he looks so much like his cousin Jayden who is sitting beside him.}
{Koen thought Kai was funny.}
{Koen joined in the play.}
{There was the yearly massive Easter Egg hunt at gramma and grandpa's house. I know I'm a party pooper, but I'm not really a fan. Gary would say that it's because we didn't do it as kids but I feel like it really takes away from what Easter is about. Also, the last thing we need in the house is a giant pile of candy. I know, I'm ridiculous.}
{The kids loved it. Although, Kai hasn't eaten any yet. I may have to help him out.}
{And random but I LOVE it when the boys wash the van with Gary. It means it's sunny, the boys are with Gary and my van gets clean:)}
{In other random news...we bought another 5D this weekend. Our 7D was not cutting it. Nothing beats a full frame. The 7D is now a back up. I still like the 7D, just don't love it. I don't know how Gary talks me into these things but when you have two photographers, you sort of do need ample back up equipment:) For moments that can not be re-done like births and weddings, you can't mess that up!}
{Today, we have been waiting 8 months for a baby. I guess it just means we're getting closer. No new news.}
{You can't tell, but Koen is wearing undies in these photos:) He still has a ways to go but my baby is growing up!}
{Kai's eye using a lens extender.}
Tired. So tired. The boys haven't been sleeping well and we had a wedding today. My dream is to sleep in until 8am.
{Koen's eye using one. So hard to get him to sit still:)}

Oh, I forgot to mention that I was accepted by Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep (photography provided for families of newborns that have passed away or are dying). I'm totally nervous about the emotional aspect, but, I really feel like I have a bit of a gift and I'm glad that I will be able to potentially help a family through the grieving process through photography. I'm also flattered that they think I'm `good enough'. I still have some paperwork and training to do before I'm `active'...likely in a month or so.

Hoping to spend a bit more focussed time talking to the boys about Easter Sunday tomorrow...

Thursday, April 21, 2011


Last night I realized Kai had a fever. At midnight he called us to his room because he was puking. He handled it all quite well and for the rest of the night, he managed to use the bucket but still called me in. So gross but he didn't complain. Well, that's one way to get out of today's swimming lessons. He has decided that swimming lessons are terrible and that he just wants to be an ice skater. This is all because he is too scared to put his whole head under.

Koen is doing okay potty training wise. As long as we take him to the toilet, he'll pee on it but he still won't go on his own. We're sticking with it, it's not really a big deal. If he pees his pants, we just change him. No biggie.

Gary and I had our second marriage workshop and this one was on communication. Considering that we are very, very different communicators (I need to talk about every single thing, Gary would like to talk sports), we do communicate quite well. We do have conflict, often, but that's healthy because we deal with it. It's interesting to see how the families we come from play into it. I'm the oldest of 5 girls (a whole lotta talking all the time about everything) and he is the youngest of 3 boys (not so much talking from the boys). Anyway, we took a test on our communicator styles and were able to recognize our strengths and weaknesses.
This Saturday is when the crazy busy schedule begins in regards to photography. I'm as booked up as I would like to be until September which is awesome. I have recently raised my prices a bit because being so busy indicates that I probably wasn't charging enough:) I'm waiting until closer to the fall before I start accepting any more family sessions because if we do bring a baby home then, that is all I want to be focussed on. It does make me a bit nervous every time we accept a wedding because what would happen if we were chosen on the weekend of a wedding? Yikes.

Nothing new on the adoption front. Just waiting:) There have been a whole lotta pregnancy announcements lately which is always awesome and at the same time, a reminder that this is so out of my hands. I have to say though, that for being a major planner/control freak, I am shocked by how relaxed I am about it. I feel so much peace about where we are and I feel like we are totally where we are supposed to be. Yes, hard to wait, but I know this is right.

Well, I've got couple of kids yelling for me. Let the fun begin!
Love, Louise

Monday, April 18, 2011

Kai's Prayer

Kai's prayer at lunch today:
`Dear God, thank you for the yummy food and thank you that mommy dropped her plate on the floor. That was funny. Amen.'

Saturday, April 16, 2011


My littlest sister just added to her family. This gorgeous 3 month old Swiss Mountain Dog is so adorable. Koda is going to be a good 120lbs when she's all grown up. I think big brother Niko is excited to have a new friend:)

Koda-0020 Koda-0006 Koda-0004 Koda-0010 Koda-0012 Koda-0028 Koda-0036

Thursday, April 14, 2011


Gary and I are attending a 4 week workshop put together by Family Life called `First 5'. It's a marriage workshop for couples in the first 5 years of marriage (actually, we are in the pilot group!). When we were getting married, we had just 4 months to plan everything and attended a Family Life conference as premarital counselling. I remember saying that we had to do something like that again in 5 years and this worked out perfectly! We can never attend weekend conferences as pretty much every weekend is booked up. It's just over an hour long and just 5 minutes from our home. Perfect!

Okay, so although we've been married for almost 6 years, we were `allowed' in and are the longest married couple there. So strange to be on that end of things:) I'm so glad we are doing it. It is so good to have that time set aside to work on us and to just take home a few things to think about each week.

One thing we had to write about our hopes and dreams for 20 years from now. Okay, sounds dorky but it made sense in the context (we have hopes and dreams that become expectations which can lead to disappointment.). When writing it, it's pretty much how our life is now, except with one more kid. I guess I am living my dream! The one thing that Gary and I both mentioned is that we want to have an overseas trip with our kids (Africa, South America etc). I would def. like more than one. I cannot wait. I just want to wait until we have our whole little family together and then we can start planning:) To be honest, I'm not trying to sound dramatic but my greatest hope/dream for 20 years from now is that I'm still alive and healthy. That was the age my mom was when she died.

I'm really glad that we are doing this and I would highly recommend it for other couples out there. Whether it's a counsellor, workshop, conference, mentor couple...whatever it might be, it's so good for your marriage and therefore your family as well. I'm so thankful for Gary in my life. Don't get me wrong, he can drive me crazy, and he does. Daily. But, we are a great team and I love where we are and the direction we are heading.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


Oh man, these kids can drive me bonkers. I'm so glad that I get to be home with them but that doesn't mean I love every minute of it. Sometimes it's very monotonous. Sometimes they fight all day. Sometimes they say I'm grumpy and mean (Kai drew me as the grumpy one in his latest picture, so nice.). Sometimes I am tired of cleaning urine off of the toilet/floor etc. Sometimes I'm so tempted to say, `Sure, eat whatever you want! Go wild!' (Kai asks for food all day long). But, when I get to look at this, it makes me day:)
Could he be cuter? Not so sure:)

I love my boys. Gary, you're included in that too:)

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Potty Training Advice Needed

Okay, so, we started potting training this week. Koen is so different than Kai so I need some advice on this:) Kai was 6 months older than Koen is now, so that could have something to do with it. Kai would just go to the toilet on his own, whenever he had to go. He was totally trained in 3 days.
Koen will go on the toilet only when we take him. We have to take him every 2 hours. He is having about one accident per day. Will he eventually (like soonish) go on his own? Or, are we tied to taking him every two hours. If we don't take him, he will pee his pants and it doesn't really bother him too much. Thoughts?

Heart Smile of the Week

{Heart smile=warm and fuzzy feeling}
Kai is not a fish. Kai is in the beginner class at swimming lessons. The teacher asked him to put his forehead in and he said he was scared and just put his ear in. Five minutes later, she asked him to do it again. He looked way across the pool at me and I pointed at my forehead and gave him a huge smile. He proceeded to put his forehead in the water. He looked back at me with a huge grin and a thumbs up. I gave him the same thing back. Something so small, but still, I'm proud of my Kai Bear.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Back To Reality

I went from having such a Spring Break high to reality hitting on Tuesday. In the grand scheme, it's no big deal, but for our daily life, it hasn't been all roses. I've been trying to potty train Koen and he's not napping anymore. He would nap, but then he's up past 9pm. To ensure that Gary and I have our evenings together, I am putting up with a crazy monkey in the afternoon, without a break. At least he watches tv while he plays with his cars so that I can still get some work done in the afternoon! Koen used to sleep in until 8am, but now, he wakes up around 6:30am and goes into Kai's room to wake him up too. Great.

I tried taking both boys to swimming lessons but having Koen run around the ladies change room (family ones all full) and trying to find out what locker he's hidden himself in while I help dress a soaking wet Kai bear was so not fun. I turned into `mean mom'. Today I brought Koen to my sisters house during that hour and it was a billion times bettter.
(I'm sad that Koen's curls are all gone and his has the same straight hair as Kai. I've just always found curly hair to be so cute:)
In regards to potty training, he's sort of at 50%. I'll spare you the details but it's really that he'll go if I take him at the right time. Otherwise, he'll pee his pants, no problem. Of course he doesn't love it when I take him to the bathroom so that's really fun. I think I'll try for 24 more hours but I have a feeling he'd be more ready in a few months. If you haven't trained a boy before, it is important that they push their penis down when they are peeing. Koen has no idea why this is important and today he was holding it up and peed all over his face. Yes. He didn't even mind.
Kai is doing so well. He has started sounding out words which is really fun. Yesterday we were reading a book and he would sound out ever 5th word or so (and, led, hit, sat, etc). He is a really good kid. The only thing that has changed a bit is that he gets upset a little more drastically when he feels that he did something naughty or if he really wants something and I say no. He never used to get upset by those things but now he will cry and cry and just say he is so sad. I'm thinking that it's because he's so tired from our holidays but maybe he's just getting older and expressing his sadness a bit more? The other day Gary told him a bedtime story that was `too scary' and he was pretty upset. So strange to see him so emotional. Maybe he'll be like me:) His favourite thing to talk about these days are infections/immune system. He said the dryer ball looked like a virus which is so true. Because he has a cold, we get to talk about it a lot.
Gary and I did another `Insanity' workout last night (hence the sweaty thumbs up photo). It is seriously the highlight of my day. I missed working out with Gary so much and I didn't even realize it! When we were dating/first married (aka not pregnant), we would always go hiking, biking, running etc. The best part is that my body is doing what it's supposed to. A year ago, my heart rate would be up to 200bpm within a minute of running. Now, I did the whole 40 minute workout and didn't hit 190bpm until about 10 minutes in. I didn't get higher than that and easily came back down during a water break. I am so thankful to have a properly functioning body. I only take my meds every 4 days or so, yippee! By the way, we didn't buy the Insanity program, we are borrowing some of the disks from friends of ours who are doing it 6 days a week. It is so great to sweat so much and work so many muscles at once. You know when you can feel sweat running down your back? Awesome:)

Have a great day.
Love, Louise

Monday, April 04, 2011


Four Things:
1. My blog list is not updating for some reason. People have updated their blogs but it's not showing. I'm assuming this is a blogger gadget problem but if anyone has a solution, please let me know!
2. Gary and I did the `Insanity' workout tonight. You are supposed to do it 6 days a week for 60 days. We are going to do it 2-3 times per week and see how it goes. It was a great workout and probably produced more sweat in 42 minutes than I've had in a long time! I love working out with Gary. It's great to have someone to keep you company, to keep you accountable, and, I don't have to impress him as he already thinks I'm awesome:) The only part I am not a fan of is the plyometrics. Give me cardio and strength exercises any day.
3. It felt really good to get back into routine today. I'm sure it will get old fast but Spring Break was so incredibly rejuvenating for me.
4. My back was better-ish in time for football. I put A535 on it which really helped. We won our first game! It felt so great to have our whole team there, in the sun, and have everyone participating. There were a whole lot of completed passes which made my day:) It feels good to QB again and I'm so happy that I'm healthy enough to do it as well as I want to!

Friday, April 01, 2011

Update on the Boys

KOEN: 27 months
-He can play on his own for 1-2 hours no problem. Just give him a bin of cars and trucks, that's all he needs. Anyone would say he's the easiest kid to babysit.
-He can count to 10 (so cute!)
-He knows all his colours and anytime we are in the car or on a walk, it's `Two white vans! Big red truck! Where green car going?' etc. My favourite is when he sees a silbeder (silver) car. Kai was the exact same, I remember being pregnant with Koen and hearing Kai go through the same routine.
-His sentences have gone from: `Look. car' to `Look at that car'.
-He is so close to saying the alphabet and often we hear him singing his own version.
-He does not nap although we give him one about twice a week. On those days, he is up until about 9pm and then we find him asleep at the top of the stairs. He doesn't complain, he just lays out in the hall and will sometimes ask what we are watching on tv.
-Even when he doesn't nap, he is such an easy going kid. We have yet to experience a full on melt down and crying is very unusual. The only time I've seen him `lose it' is about 3 times in the church nursery which was months ago. He does so well on little sleep, better than anyone in this family! I do try to keep him very well rested because he has been sick for so much of his life (not trying to sound dramatic, it's always just a cold but it lingers and lingers and lingers).
-He likes to do things on his own. There's a whole lot of `Koen do it!'.
-Kai and Koen are closer than ever. When I get Koen in the morning, his first question is `Where's Kai Bear?'. They are so silly together and for 90% of the time, there are non stop giggles between them...running around with boxes on their head, trying to push Gary off the couch, building wooden ramps, making recipes using dirt, water and sticks. It's awesome. The other 10% of the time, there are minor squabbles fighting over a toy or Koen may have hit Kai with something.

KAI: 4.5 years old
-loves school. A lot. If he misses a day, he needs to find out exactly what the kids learned about and if there's something he needs to catch up on.
-he is confident and loves in depth conversations.
-he is so excited that he can be whatever he wants when he's older and we aren't going to be the ones to tell him what to do. These days, he wants to be a builder, famous painter, teacher and photographer.
-he will now confidently write letters and is on the verge of reading. I think I could spend some time to seriously work on this but I am so hesitant to push him on it because I want it to happen as naturally as possible. Does that make sense?
-he can count to 100 (but usually forgets `20')
-extroverted. Loves playing with other kids, especially older ones. On holidays, this is how a conversation would go with him: `I'm four, how old are you?'. No name or anything, just interested in how old kids are. He made friends with a seven year old girl on the ferry and at one point when she was jumping off of something, he turned to me and said, `This is what seven year olds act like!'.
-he is in swimming lessons. He's a giant in the beginner class:)
-Kai is up before 7am each day and goes hard all day long. He falls asleep soundly within 5 minutes of going to bed (sometime between 7-8pm). He is an amazing sleeper.
-Kai loves Transformers and has recently discovered computer games. He loves treasure hunting (geocaching) and eating. Oh man, can that kid eat. Both of them can.
-He loves talking about the day when he will be taller than me.
When we talked about having kids, I had no idea how all encompassing it was. Like, your entire life and your whole heart. It has been such an amazing experience and I'm so thankful that I have been able to be a mom. These boys have changed me and made me experience so much joy. Not that I didn't have joy before, they've just allowed me to find joy in new places and in a new way. Losing my mom changed my life forever and I wasn't sure that I would ever be this happy again. I thought I could never reach that 10/10. I'm getting there. I still miss my mom all the time, but I'm happy and content. I am so thankful for the gifts that God has given me. For bringing Gary and I together, he is such a loving and supportive husband. For blessing us with two goofy and adorable kids. For providing a way for me to stay home with the kids and maintain a lower stress lifestyle. For restoring my health. For bringing us on an adoption journey. For peace.
Thank you Kai and Koen for making momma smile. Koen with your kisses to make mommy feel better. Kai for making me laugh with your eagerness.
Thank you Gary for really trying to understand me and support me. I know I am loved no matter what.
Not sure how this got so cheesy, I was just trying to update a little on the kids:)
Love, Louise