Friday, September 30, 2011

Run for the Cure 2011

Just click on the `Donate Now' if you would like to donate:)

I'm so terrible in that I registered last minute for the run this year. I think we've been doing it for about 11 years so far so it is a wonderful tradition, a time where we can remember my mom. I know there is really only one full day left until the race but every dollar counts. No pressure, but please consider it! I have yet to make it through the run without a few tears but I think that's a good thing. Have a wonderful weekend. Love, Louise

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Something I Love

I never knew I would love Kai being in school so much! There are so many reasons and here are a few:

1. I really like the school he is at, his teacher, and the opportunties. I know he is safe and loved and having an amazing time.
2. I love that he is part time (all day T, Th and every other Fri). He plays hard and then gets to rest on the off days.
3. I love that Gary drives him to and fro and that there is before and after school care (that he loves). Saves me so much time and Gary is going that way anyway.
4. I get to do errands throughout the day without having to manage two kids (when they are together, they are WAY wilder). It's actually fun doing errands with Koen:)
5. I get to spend some serious one on one time with Koen. I never realized how much Kai took so much of my attention when we are together, he just asks soooo many questions! Koen is funny and energetic. And boy, does he love his letters!
6. I never realized how much Kai asks for food all day long. One little annoyance out of the way.
7. Koen and I get to go to Strong Start on Tuesdays and to Noah's Ark Library Program Fridays at the school. Both free and he loves them.
{I realize now that Koen really needs a haircut!}
So yes, I am loving Kai being back at school. Don't get me wrong, we miss him and eagerly wait on the front porch at 4:30pm to welcome him home with hugs! I love hearing about his day. Poor Gary, he just gets a `Welcome home, Daddy Bear'.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Storage Solutions Needed

So I've been trying to figure out the best way to maximize the use of the boys closets as they have minimal storage shelves in them but are actually a decent size. Looking at wooden organizers online, they looked pretty pricey! I'm specifically looking at Koen's closet, he has a decent sized walk in closet. Has anyone just put a dresser in the closet? Or, what about a bookshelf in there for clothing? I'm trying to maximize the room in their rooms as well as how well their closets are used, because right now, there are no clothes in the closet. I want it to look nice and yet be functional (oh, and not expensive!). For some reason, when I get something on my mind, I need it done yesterday:)

What I Need

My mom was a practical woman and she always thought she never had the right words to say, but you know what, she did. I think what I miss the most, and need the most, is my mom saying, `I'm proud of you.'. She used to say it all the time (dad did too, thanks Dad!). I'm a big `words of affirmation' type person and thankfully I have a lot of friends that are good at encouraging me. But you know what, sometimes I just really wish I could hear it from my mom. She was so good at being truly happy for us when we were happy. For being there for us no matter what (even in my terribly grumpy stage from ages 12-15). For understanding when we needed space but letting us know that she was there for us. I think that's it...that she just felt our happiness or sadness as her own. She loved us so much. So, so much. She just loved being a mom. I miss her. The sad thing is, I don't know what it's like to be a mom and have a mom at the same time. I don't know what that relationship could ever be like, but I can imagine it. It makes me sad. I wish she could see me. I think she would think I was a pretty good mom:) I would love to let her know how incredibly thankful I was for all she did for us, she sure did a lot. Five kids in eight years, and boy, did we have a great childhood.
Miss you mom.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

What's Going On

Not a whole lot:) I'm not very good at titles.

Koen is afraid of a lot of things. We made a spider out of a paper plate and pipe cleaners at Noah's Ark Learning Start this week and he couldn't even carry it to the van. Today in Sunday School, he was fine the whole time and then during story time, the kids all growled like a lion and Koen ran off crying and hid in a tent there. He is also afraid of swings and won't go on one. Meanwhile, he is fearless in so many other situations. I can't believe how big he's getting. He takes up his whole toddler bed. He is adorable. He also is helping me work on my patience. One more thing, he loves to play `camping'. Every day for a month now, he gets all the pillows and blankets from the couches and makes a `sleeping bag'. We are not allowed to touch it and we put it away when he goes to bed. He's cute.
Kai starts swimming lessons this week. One of the reasons I wanted to do part time kindergarten is because I wanted him to have ample time for extracurricular stuff that wouldn't be too much for him (or me!!). I think he'll love it and I'm thinking we'll do skating again this winter. I get to help out in Kai's classroom in two weeks, I'm totally excited about it. Can't wait to see what it's like (and what he's like!) in class. I taught Kai's Sunday School class all month so it was good to see him in that environment. He loves the singing with actions that we do each week.

I played two football games in a row yesterday. That's 4 hours including the warm up. It was humid. I did not stretch afterwards (I had to rush home, shower, and go to a photo session). I'm having a tough time walking properly today:) So sore. So fun though! I love being active. Also, we have one more wedding this coming weekend and then it's just family sessions. The perfect amount is 2 sessions per week, and that is what I have to look forward to. LOVE IT. Thyroid wise I am starting to feel better. Still shaky and `nervous'. I'm not really nervous, it's just how my body feels, does that make sense?

Gary is busy back into school (and watching football on tv). He does love his job so that's so good. Kai starts full time kindergarten this week so Gary will now drive him both ways, yippee for me! Gary and I have been writing up meal plans which has been great. We split meals so we do every other day. Awesome. I know I'm very fortunate to have a husband that not only cooks but kicks my butt in the kitchen:)

Have a great week!
Love, Louise

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Koen at Sunset

So much going on but here are some random thoughts...

1. Kai loves kindergarten. Yesterday was `the best day ever' because he played in the forest, painted, had music class and got to take out his first library book (it was about trains). I'm glad he loves it. He actually loves his before school care just as much (or more!) as he plays the game of `Life' there and apparently it's awesome.

2. Things are busy with life around here. Very. I am really, really trying to take it easy mostly because of my thyroid and how it can make me feel so jittery and sweaty and scattered. If I stay calm, I'm good:) I don't really agree with my endocrinologists advice on my medication right now but she is the expert so I will stay with what she says.

3. Koen is really testing my patience. At lunch today I was reading something with Kai and when I looked at Koen he had rice all over his head, his bowl was upside down on the table and he was beating it like drum while yelling out his ABC's. He is loud and wow, those two can fight. So tired of it. I took him to Strong Start and it was okay. I wish he could go to preschool.

4. I am very in love with the golden hour (hour before sunset) on a bright sunny day due to the warm backlighting. Yesterday was the perfect evening for it in terms of light so we tried to get some of Koen and I but alas, I didn't factor in Koen's monkey-ness. He just kept trying to shove a leaf in my mouth. I really, really hope we have some sunny days in October!!!

{An engagement session coming up wanted silhouettes etc so I thought this would be fun to try out!}
I hope you all have a wonderful week!
Love, Louise

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Teacher Visit

1. I love antique stores. I am currently looking for photo prop stuff (antique high chair, chair, cake stand and mirror). So fun. I bought something sweet in Fort Langley today for all my necklaces and bracelets.

2. Reason #2 why Kai's school is awesome...we had teacher visits this Tuesday! Kai's teacher came to our house to see Kai in his own habitat, get to know him better through his room, siblings, toys etc. They went over some worksheets which included randomly written letters (upper case and lower case) and numbers just to 20. Then he counted to 100 and had to do some rhyming stuff. He read about 5 of the 10 words and then he asked to do more but there was nothing left:) Kai asked the teacher to bring some worksheets for Koen next time because Koen loves his letters! We love Kai's teacher and Gary is actually teaching her son at the same time:)

3. I have realized my favourite things to photograph are: kids, babies, maternity and engagement:) You can see a session with my Kai Bear here.

4. Koen continues to test my patience with his `Don't talk about me! Don't look at me! Don't say that! ' etc all day long. It's the sort of behaviour that usually indicates someone needs a nap but if he were to nap, he'd be up until 9pm. No thanks! I love it that both kids are fast asleep by 8pm:)

Have a great weekend! I have a feeling that 2 of my 3 sessions will be cancelled due to rain:(

Monday, September 12, 2011


Had a blood test today. My TSH is 0.03 (normal is 0.5 to 5.5 and I'm usually around 2.0 or so) and I'm sure it's heading to non existence once again. This sucks, sucks, sucks. I knew that I was getting sick. I'm so frustrated. And not sleeping. And jittery. Not impressed. Guess I'll call my endocrinologist tomorrow and start back on my meds.


On Sunday morning I got a phone call from my sister Jantina. She told that Kienan (three year old boy who had been abducted from Sparwood, BC) had been brought home! I couldn't believe it and ran downstairs to watch the news. Tears poured down my face. I was so happy. My heart had been breaking for days. He was a little boy, the same age as my Kokies and yet looked like my Kai Bear. I thought of little Koen in his place and it was so painful. It gave me a little peace knowing he had his blankies with him as I know how my boys are with their blankies:) I know there were so many people praying so hard for his safe return, and boy, prayer was answered. I'm so thankful. Abductors don't bring kids home. And literally, to their home.

I have to say that over the past 5 days, I have spent a little more time with my boys as I kiss them goodnight. Koen has been running up to me throughout the day shouting, `Kienan's home! Yay!' (with the hands in the air). We have all been praying for this little guy.

And, just for some pictures...Kai extracted his dinosaur bones from the giant clay-ish mold today. It probably took him about 2 hours. Half the time Koen was just sitting there watching and asking questions while Kai `taught' him about being a scientist. It was hilarious and cute. Kai is a wonderful teacher.

{Flowers chosen by Kai}

Have a wonderful evening.
Love, Louise

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Baking With The Boys

It has been an adjustment having Gary back at work. Suddenly I'm a full time mom in the day and don't have any time to work. This means I back to full time `momming' in the day and then working at night. Totally not my favourite as it means there is no time for a break. Gary and I had a talk last night about how work is going to change and I'm looking forward to doing less after October and actually having time to do things I love.
For example, I would love to do some redecorating. If we do eventually get pregnant we will be redoing the boys rooms so that they are sharing and we will redo the baby room too. I would also love to put some photos up in the basement. I would love to de-clutter. I would love to browse pinterest and I would love to be able to read books.
Anyway, Kai had a great second day of school and got to play in the forest and cut out a sunshine. This reminded me that we should probably work on his cutting skills. That's all I got from him. When he came home we did some baking. Honestly, I do not enjoy having the boys help me make dinner. Gary loves it and always has them help him. Baking with the boys is okay and so we went out and picked blackberries and then decided to make a Blackberry Crumble. It was super easy to have them help me.
I just used my mom's Apple Crisp recipe and we'll see how it turns out. Before my mom died, she made us each a recipe book with all of our childhood recipes. It might not be the best apple crisp in the world but the taste of it brings me back to sitting around the table, with all 7 family members, having a good time. It's funny, I'm particular about certain meals. Spaghetti has to be just like my mom made it. Gary tries to make it more exciting but that's not what I like. The taste of my mom's homemade spaghetti just reminds me of the good old days. Coming home from cross country practice in highschool and just having serving after serving of that great spaghetti:)
{These aprons were made by my talented friend Ali. I love how the patterns are so `molecule-ish'.}
{Ali, if you ever start a business I will def get them modelling them nicely for some photos for you:)}

Love my boys even though they drive me crazy and I wish I could send them off to daycare sometimes. My thoughts and prayers are with the Hebert family right now as I cannot even imagine what they are going through. Little Kienan reminds me so much of my little boys. It's every parent's worst nightmare. I hope he is found quickly. In the mean time, I will hug my boys a few more times today.
Love, Louise

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

First Day Of School

Today Kai Bear went to kindergarten. For the first two weeks, they are just going for 3 hours each time which I think is a great amount. When he woke up and realized that today was `the day' he was pretty excited. He got dressed about twice as quickly than normal, which really, is still super slow. He gets so distracted. After the first two weeks, Gary will be driving Kai to and from school because they have an out of school care program. Should be good by saving gas and time! It is a new program and I'm so thankful for it.

At school, it was pretty chaotic with the number of parents and kids in the hallway. Koen was also trying to run away to the playground that he saw on our way in. So, amongst the chaos, I was unable to get emotional at all.
Kai is in a bigger class of 19 kids and I realized that I know the parents of 5 of the kids. Either teacher's kids or people that I have done photos for in the past. It's nice to have a connection already. I know his teacher as I taught her kids, and, I know the Educational Assistant in the class as it's my friends mother-in-law! Again, a lot of connections.
Conversations on the way to school:
Kai: Mommy, are you looking forward to me going to grade 1?
Me: Yes Kai, but let's get through kindergarten first.
Kai: Well, I think I'll pass. I'll pass the playground part for sure.

Kai: Mommy, are you going to ask the teacher to give me math homework?
Me: Uh, do you want me to?
Kai: Yes, I LOVE math homework.

I didn't ask the teacher and he didn't get any homework:) They read stories, played inside and outside and ate their snack. I have no idea what else they did because that's all I got out of Kai. He said he liked playing with his new friends (whose names he doesn't know), building a volcano of rocks, the best.

Koen and I went shopping for fruits and veggies and then played at home. What did I notice? Well, it was unbelievably quiet without them torturing each other all day long. I liked it. I'm thinking part time (every other day) will be perfect for Kai. And I. And Koen.

Hope you all had a great day!

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Good Things

A few good things:

1. The water slides. This will definitely be a yearly tradition. At first when we got there, they both refused to even go on the little kid slides and I thought it was going to be a terrible day. But, after 15 minutes of going down little slides together, we advanced to the intermediate! Kai did a whole bunch of the intermediate ones on his own too. We only stayed 3 hours because Koen's lips were blue and he was shivering so much, even though it was super warm out. I can see that in a few years it will be nice to just sit back with a book and let Gary and the boys go wild.

2. After 5 years, I have no more kids in the church nursery! Today Koen went into the preschool Sunday School class. He loved it and was totally fine on his own. He was such a big boy! I'm so proud of him. He made a sheep and a bear and was so proud of himself:) I got to teach Kai's group and when Gary asked him what they had learned about, he said, `I don't know'. Thanks for listening, bud!

3. I went shopping. I bought a new pair of jeans (regular $100.00, down to $35.00!) and I bought Gary a bunch of new shirts. I also bought a Purdy's ice cream bar which always makes me feel good:) Oh yes, I also bought Kai some back to school shirts and he didn't care at all. That is so different than when I was a kid. Well, for two reasons. We didn't get many new clothes when I was his age AND once I was older and we could afford back to school clothes, it was the most exciting thing EVER!

We walked a couple of blocks to a local field to try to get a few photos of the boys. I want to get a photo of them for our upstairs hallways but alas, yesterday was not the day to get the picture I was envisioning. I was hoping they would be happy and excited but alas, they were `just' somewhat cooperative.
{An outtake}
{I found this wagon at a garage sale and think it would be great for a little kid's photo session:)}

Guess who is going to kindergarten in 2 more sleeps?! I think I'm more excited than him! Actually, I know I am.

Happy Long Weekend!
Love, Louise

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Lovely and Not Lovely

Koen has been super grumpy lately. His screeching is non stop and drives me nuts. It's Kai that causes him to screech because as much as these guys are buddies, they know how to drive each other (and therefore me) crazy. Koen has not been friendly. If someone asks him what his name is, he'll say `I'm not Koen. I'm Nuffing' (nothing). Maybe the summer has been a bit too tiring for this little guy.

After dinner and bath time, Koen was playing with his cars. Suddenly it was quiet and that can only mean one of two things. Either doing something very naughty or sleeping. Fortunately, he fell asleep. I love seeing him sleeping.
He always needs his Bubi/Blue. He has a back up one that he calls `Bubi's Cousin'.
Koen always needs to wear socks to bed. He's very particular about it.
And then, he woke up.

Gary has been at work all week. I have now been home with the kids for 2.5 years. I have to say that there are days that I wouldn't mind escaping this house and going back to teaching. I have always said that I don't miss teaching but I think that now, I miss it a bit. However, I have to remember that when you're teaching, you can't sleep in until 8am and wear your pj's til 9am:) And that, my friends, is very lovely.

A couple things that are not lovely? One of our 5D's (camera worth about $1000.00) just broke. Lame. We have two back ups so we'll be fine in the mean time. Likely we'll get it fixed for about $400.00 as it has to be shipped out to Ontario.

What else isn't lovely? My stupid thyroid. Yes, I said stupid (a no no word in this house). The hormonal fluctuations from the miscarriage in July have caused me to verge on being back on medication for Graves' Disease. My next blood test is next week...we'll see what it says. I did take my meds today. Lame. I was off them for how long? 5 months? So frustrating.

Oh well, if that's the worst going on these days, I'm thinking life is pretty good.

Okay, time to get a Kokies off to bed!

Bon nuit.