Saturday, July 30, 2011

Fartie Blizzard

Today it was summery!! We had a beautiful engagement session in West Vancouver that Gary and I did together. It's a fun date for us when we have an exciting location to check out. Good thing Gary came as I needed him to hold the diffuser half the time, it was super sunny out! Thank you to Jackie and Trish for babysitting last minute!!
{Isn't that so cute? Should have this session posted at the end of the week on our photo blog:)}
After meeting with some other clients, Gary painted and the boys played with the slip and slide. It has been confirmed that Kai is not the most coordinated person in our family:) Also, check out his swim shirt. It's supposed to be size 8. Seriously? I bought him a size 10 one so hopefully that fits better:) He got his kindergarten shot on Friday and he weighs 52lbs. I actually shed two tears while he was getting his shot and he was totally fine. I blame hormones.
Kai had a fun date with Opi on Friday night. They went to check out the Red Bull racing car, but more importantly, they went to McDonalds where Kai got a Happy Meal:) I realized, with Kai gone, how much the boys actually bug each other when they are together. It was so quiet for the two hours he was gone!
It is a strange feeling that Kai is so independent. He really doesn't need me for anything and I can't explain how it makes me feel. I want to be needed but I appreciate the independence. It's a strange feeling to go from being someone's whole world to just being a part of it. I guess I'm glad it happens slowly.

Koen is a goofball. He is way more out of control than I remember Kai being. However, he is the sweetest little boy and I love him so much.
Tonight we went to DQ and the boys got their first blizzard ever (snack size). Koen at the counter?
`I WANT A FARTIE ONE PLEASE!!' Apparently he can't say `smartie'?! The girl at the counter thought he was pretty adorable. I guess he is:)

I'm looking forward to Kai's birthday party on Wednesday. I know it's a random day to have it but it's his actual birthday so why not? We are doing a super simple one this year and I hope it goes well. We're just meeting with 6 of his friends at a local water park. The kids will run around and then we'll have dinner and dessert together there.

I can't wait to show you the before and after of our house! We (Gary) should be finished up in two more days. We just had a slight change of plans so need to buy some new paint:) Goodbye green stripes!!! They have driven me CRAZY since the day we moved in.

Bon nuit.
Love, Louise

PS It seems like all 300 friends of mine on facebook are pregnant or having babies. When I found out I was pregnant this last time, it felt like the same feelings as when you fall in love. Just giddy and excited about the future. Like my heart was smiling non stop. Now that it's gone, I just want that back again. We've got to be patient with it though as we have 3 weddings in 9 months from now:)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Boys

I take about 1,500 to 2,000 photos a week for work so I'm not pulling the camera out so much for the day to day stuff:) Here are the boy pitting cherries. Koen's job was to pull off the stems but I think he thought his job was taste testing too. Kai loved using the `gun'.

Gary is busy painting the trim of our house (goodbye green!!!) and I'm busy working. I just have two more sessions, then we have one more wedding, and then it's time for holidays (Oregon Coast)!! I will be taking my editing with me but I won't be doing any sessions for two weeks.

Kai is turning 5 in one week. So exciting for him and I just feel like he's been 5 for a while, he just seems so grown up to me. He is a good kid and has definitely distanced himself from me a bit this summer. Not in a bad way but I'm not really his #1 anymore. Friends are just as good. He's pretty independent and loves to know everything about everything. It's great but exhausting. He is pretty close to three neighbour boys which is so awesome...always a friend to play with! Gary has been reading Tin Tin to Kai each night.

Koen is getting a bit more of the stereotypical terrible twos. Often he acts out (starts saying words he's not allowed to or running away) when he's tired but we can't let him nap or he's up too late at night. He is doing okay in underwear and usually will pee his pants when he is tired around dinner time. Kai has taught Koen all of the sounds for every letter. Kai didn't learn that until he was 4 so it's pretty crazy to me! I can sound out a word like `bug' and he will spell it. Another thing I've noticed about Koen; he has Gary's calves. Big strong calves. I know, random.

So great having Gary home. We are getting so much done and the kids get to have fun with one of us, or both of us, every day.

Okay, time for dinner and Gary made it, that means it's bound to be very good!

Love, Louise

Monday, July 25, 2011

Photo Time!

Hey team, thanks for all of the support and prayer. We are doing well.

In other news, today was a day that I was waiting for for a long time! This afternoon I had my make up done at Spa Utopia, then I came home and Kim did my hair. Then, Gary and I went to Granville Island for a photo session with Megan. It was so good in so many ways. First, it was fun to feel pretty. I have decided I love my hair curly. Secondly, it was good to see what a client feels like. Thirdly, it was great to see how other photographers work. Such great professional development! I am really looking forward to seeing the photos and I'll let you know when they are posted.
{Quick picture of me before we left.}

Sunday, July 24, 2011

GC Photography

Hey team, you may have noticed that the link for GC Photography isn't working. What a fiasco. Our account expired without letting us know. So, for now, you can find us at or
Hopefully that works for now! If you have a link on your blog to GC Photography, thank you, and could you please update it. For some reason the feed isn't working but hopefully it will soon. I need a vacation:)
PS Can someone tell me how I can get it to show blog feeds, what I mean is, how to show that a session has been posted.  I don't have time for this stuff!!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Some Personal Stuff

Gary and I have been on a bit of a roller coaster ride over the last few weeks. I don't want to share too much info because it is so deeply personal, but, this is one place where I like to journal and process and just share life.
In this picture, I was ecstatic. I had a baby on my back and one in my uterus! Gary and I got pregnant right when we started trying. Unbelievable, shocking, and probably the greatest surprise of my life. Our week in Whistler was amazing and I felt the stereotypical pregnancy symptoms immediately and strong. It made me feel reassured that all was well. I was so excited that I would be having a baby just 3 months after two of my sisters. Did I mention yet how incredibly excited I was? I wanted to shout it to the whole world.

Last weekend, I started bleeding. I knew immediately it wasn't good and emailed several friends that had gone through it to get an idea of what was ahead. I don't know why I always assumed a miscarriage just lasted one day, because it doesn't. It was a long, tiring week. Sunday was the hardest emotionally and I felt quite empty...sort of like after my mom died. The boys helped me more than they'll know. They cuddled with me, were extra cute, and just made me smile. At one point, I was going through the toughest part and Kai was in the adjoining room just singing songs for me. He had no idea what was going on but it was so sweet and helped me through. I am so incredibly thankful that Gary has been home. It allowed me to just step back from a few things and he picked up those pieces.

How do I feel now? I'm doing well physically and emotionally. I just needed some time to myself. I am really hoping and praying that it wasn't my body that did it. What I mean is that I hope it didn't have anything to do with my hormones, due to my thyroid. We are looking forward to hopefully being pregnant again (and remaining so for 9 months!!) one day.

In the meantime, I'll just cuddle a little more with those extra cute kiddos of mine.
Love, Louise

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Playdate with Micah

After a stressful weekend, we are taking this week easy. Just spending time as a family at home. On Monday we had our new little friend Micah over for the day. His mommy is on bedrest so it was great for him to run off some of his energy with our boys. The kind of crazy thing is I taught his dad when he was in grade 9. That makes me feel like I'm 100 years old:) Anyway, Micah is the sweetest little boy and Kai and Koen had a good time with him. It was really fun having three boys in the house.
{He's so adorable! I think the cutest thing about him is that if you are holding him, he will play with your hair.}

{He loves balls and actually napped with this dryer ball!}
{Koen and Micah probably `fixed' things for an hour straight.}

I think it was really fun for Koen to have a friend over, even if he was a year younger. They are both monkeyish in their climbing so we had to keep a close eye on them.

I cannot believe how busy our summer has been so far and that we're only 1/3 through it. I'm looking forward to our trip to Oregon but hoping the weather drastically improves before then as we are planning on tenting.

It's late. I better head to bed. The benefit of having Gary home? I get to sleep in until 8am every single day. So awesome, I love it!!!

One last thing...the other day I was wearing a dress and when Koen saw me, he said, `Mommy, you look so funny. I like it.'.

Bon nuit.

Friday, July 15, 2011

My Love

My partner in so many things; parenting, life and photography. Go Team Chapman!
{Thanks to Andrew for sending me this funny photo:)}

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Whistler Cont'd

We finally got home today. I have decided that Whistler is very much a dream place for Gary and I. I mean, if we are talking romantic getaway, I would take it over Hawaii or Mexico. I'm crazy, I know. The only thing I would want to do in a tropical place is go snorkeling or scuba diving. We will definitely go back, just the two of us, to do a bunch of mountain biking, hiking, and eating.
{My dad, covered in kiddie tattoos, with the youngest two grandkids.}
My highlights: mountain biking with Gary and doing some single track. I am so rusty as I haven't raced in about 7 years. Gary patiently did a green trail with me:) Also, seeing Kai become so much more comfortable in the water, I'm really proud of him.
Gary's highlight: spending time with me (so he says!)
Kai's highlight: the waterslide and being in the pool with cousins
Koen's highlight: the pool
{Nana Jo and Opi took the big kids swimming last night. Our room was right next to the pool, it was perfect!}
{Yummy bbq time! We had fabulous weather the whole time.}
{I don't know how many times Kai did this waterslide, but he sure loved it!}

I could've stayed a bit longer and I wish we had done a bit more switching with childcare so that Gary and I could've had more than one date. It's okay, great family time with the kiddos. And, for the first time, we are the ones that were actually healthy! Three other people caught the flu while there, yuck!

A bit hard being back and trying to get into editing mode. Looking forward to our next vacation! I feel like we are getting every bit out of this summer that we can:)

Have a great week!
Love, Louise

Monday, July 11, 2011


(**First off, thank you so much for all of your comments in the last post! Now you'll just have to see whose advice I take...ha ha!**)

Oh my goodness. So much fun over the last two days. I am so happy and so tired:) Whistler with my side of the family. The days have consisted of; exploring nature, hiking, geocaching, a whole lotta pool time, biking, seeing bears, and eating together. Good times.
{Brandywine Falls. Koen stayed asleep in the Ergo, so unlike him! Kai's `I'm totally not going to let you get a nice picture of me' face.}

{Murrin Lake Provincial Park}


{Lost Lake Loop where Maria led us power walking around it this morning:)}
{Kai is suddenly so comfortable in the water! He'll jump in (without a life jacket) and go under. He'll go down the waterslide on his own. He's working on his back float and swimming (with a life jacket). I'm so incredibly proud of him. He learned a valuable lesson that you must tell an adult when you are going down the waterslide without a life jacket as it's over his head.}
{Koen is fearless in the water and doesn't realize that he needs to make sure we're paying attention when he wants to jump in.}

{Our family takes up the whole pool. Please note the waterslide, it is Kai's highlight by far.}
{I think we found 3 geocaches so far...}
{We are staying at a beautiful place and each have our own suites which keeps us all from going crazy in the chaos:)}
{Giant family photo that kind of worked out?}
Thanks Dad and Joanne for such a great trip!
Bon nuit.

Friday, July 08, 2011

Outfit Opinions Needed

This is really embarrassing but I need your help because Gary's fashion advice is questionable (love you!) and my sisters, as much as I love them, aren't super helpful in this department. Please don't make fun of me!! I always remember as a kid, the night before the first day of school, I would go into my parents bedroom to ask my mom her opinion of about 10 different outfits. She would usually just pick the most conservative one:) Now, I usually only take 2 minutes to figure out what to wear each day, but, there is a special day coming up!

Gary and I are having our photos done in two weeks and I want to pick two outfits that are flattering and cute. I'm going for a fun and romantic type look...I think. These are not the finished outfits, just a start to some possibilities. Would love your feedback...favourite one? Wear jeans in the first one instead of brown leggings (Gary likes the leggings but I think it makes me look like Robin Hood), obviously I wouldn't wear a black bra with that last dress, flats for the dress? Belt for the dress? etc. I don't have any jewellery on the last two but just imagine that I'm wearing a necklace in the middle one and nicer earrings for all of them. Oh yes, and no watch and yes to bracelets.

Normally I would tell people not to wear such light colours (like the tops in #1 and #3) especially since I am so pale and have blond hair. I bought a nice purple shirt but realized it's not as flattering as I thought it was. I love, love, LOVE purple. The backdrop that we are going to be at is Granville Island which is super colourful so I sort of wanted to be a bit more neutral for that.

Finally, I would never stand like this, I'm just trying to get you to see me straight on (so not flattering!!)

If you have any opinions on where I could buy a cute outfit or dress that would be flattering for my size 11 frame (including football playing shoulders and arms), please let me know! Also, it can't be too hot because I sweat easily. Ha.

Any feedback is helpful! Thanks, team. I'm so nervous to press `publish' because this is so dorky, but I need your help:)

Love, Louise

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Baby Plans

So. Where to start. I don't want to share too much but we have shifted gears in the baby #3 department.

We still want to adopt. For sure. We are still on the list and plan to stay that way. The only way we would put our adoption on hold is if we get pregnant. That is now an option. Crazy. So yes, if we got pregnant, we would put our adoption on hold and then once our baby was a year old, we would re-open it.

Why a change in plans? Well, I really want a baby. Also, because I feel so healthy I'm starting to feel more of a desire to try to be pregnant one more time. Local adoptions are very slow right now. The only way we could probably be matched is if we were connected to someone in our community and then went through our agency with them. If we waited to be matched within the agency, I'm thinking it would be at least another 2 years. They have encouraged us to try other options. We have only been looked at (profile presented) once in the last 11 months.
We considered international. I just really, really want to have an open adoption (which I know is possible with international) that includes visiting if desired. That is much easier if in the same province!

I talked to my endocrinologist about a biological child. First off, if we are to have one, now is the time. I'm stable and in remission and off all medication. My first concern was that of the baby. There is only a 1-2% chance that he/she would have transient hyperthyroidism. This means that the first 6 months of their life, they would be hyperthyroid (shaky, skinny, terrible!). My kids all carry the genetic possibility of having Graves' disease themselves, although, their chances are lower since they are boys and it's generally brought on after childbirth:)

In regards to me, I should be fine during pregnancy but will be monitored regularly and if need be, there is safe medication I can take. The biggest problem is that once the baby is a month old, I have a `relatively high risk' of relapsing. This sucks. However, I will be monitored and I feel like I know my thyroid better and can monitor my meds. My body responds strongly to PTU and I had too much medication last time. I know I will get through it and most likely reach remission again. When I think of Koen, he was so worth it so I just need to make sure I get support if need be. This sucks in a way because my mom would likely be my main support.

The reason I want to share this is because I feel like i'm hiding something if I don't. Also, I didn't want any surprises for everyone down the road (no, we are not pregnant yet). I also want to clarify that it's not because I'm impatient. The situation with the adoptions through this agency is much different than when we first signed up. Had we known what it was going to look like, we may have gone elsewhere.

This is hard for me. I feel like we are grieving in a way. I feel like I'm quitting. I'm wondering what God's plan is here. I mean, we could still possibly be matched in 6 months from now and all will be well. I don't like people knowing that we are trying to get pregnant now because then everyone just looks at my big belly and assumes I am:) It took a year with Koen so I'm assuming it will take a long time once again.

So, that's the scoop. If you don't know what to say, I understand. I don't know what I want to hear! Again, I really do feel like adoption is so right for our family and if we do have another biological child, I guess we're heading towards having 4 kids!

So ya, that's where we're at. For some reason this was hard to write because I'm not good with change and this is definitely a change of plans for now.

All right. Good night!
Love, Louise

Monday, July 04, 2011


I think Gary and I have gotten into our summer groove. There's always the awkward, frustrating start trying to figure out who makes what meals and what our routine will look like, but, we're all good now!

Basically each day we play at home for a few hours (I get to sleep in until 8am which is the best part of the day!), I do two hours of photography work in the daytime while Gary takes them to the park and then they have quiet time, we do a family outing before or after lunch, and then after dinner and bedtime, I work another three hours.

Today involved a family 5km jog in the morning (even though Gary pushes 80lbs of kiddos in the stroller, he still beats me by a block), and then this afternoon we went out to Steveston. I haven't been there in over 10 years so it was fun to explore a bit. I don't love taking our heavy cameras on day trips but alas, I do want to capture memories for the kiddos. I don't try to get them to pose, look or dress cute, we just are as we are.
Koen pumped for the fish and chips! Really, he just loves sucking ketchup off of the fries.
Such a great spot! We saw the crabs that the boats brought in and then enjoyed our dinner of Fish and Chips. Yes, we brought our own juice boxes, fruit and veggies:)
We looked for three geocaches and found two of them.
We explored Gary Point Park which I've never been to.

{Picture below of Gary and Kai geocaching}
The boys walked so far, I was so proud of them! However, we will definitely take a stroller on our vacations to alleviate back pain from shoulder rides:)
Koen was desperate for a playground and they sure had a good one there. This slide was great practice for when we go to the waterslides in two weeks!

Great family day. This summer is going to be awesome and I've enjoyed it so much already. I do have to say that I think it will be very exhausting:) The next two days we have berry picking and Science World on the calendar....good times!

Friday, July 01, 2011

Happy Canada Day!

For the third year in a row, we went to celebrate Canada Day at McLeod Park in Langley. Just like last year, we started off watching Bobs & Lolo which was a lot of fun, as always!
My sisters Maria and Jantina were there with their families which is so fun for all the kiddos.
My niece Sami, below, is a red head! I love it:) She lives out in Mission so we don't get to see her as often. I love that she is the monkey that her momma was/is.

The kids got to pick two rides and Kai and Izzy rode together, and then Ani and Koen. I was surprised that Koen loved it so much. Apparently I loved it too:)

Kai (4.5) and Izzy (3.5) have really gotten a lot closer these days. It's weird for me because Kai and Ani were always so close. I think Kai likes that Izzy is a little bit less princess and a lot more mischevious:)
This was the first year we didn't bring a stroller. I can't believe our boys are so grown up.
So much fun! Such a a great start to summer holidays.
The boys also got to go in a firetruck which they thought was pretty cool.

Happy Canada Day everyone!
Love, The Chapmans