Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Colouring and Cuteness

Michaels always has crafty stuff on sale so I bought this huge package of wooden ornaments that can be coloured and the boys and I had a good night decorating. There are a bunch of things that I cannot do for an extended period of time (play cars, lego, Chutes and Ladders etc) but I do love colouring!

{Below is Kai's}
{...then Koen's....}
{and mine.}
Then Daddy Bear came home and got a picture of all of us.

The next day, Kai woke us up at 5:45am announcing `Breakfast is served! I made you breakfast in bed!'. I took the tray and kindly asked him not to turn on the light and just go back downstairs. On the tray were two pieces of toast that were sort of covered in Nutella. I think he was just excited to use the Christmas tray. He wakes up soooo early and usually just goes downstairs and gets his own breakfast and just watches tv.

And another Kai comment today:
Me: Kai, before we go out, I need you to wash the marker off of your face.
Kai: Mommy, I really want to leave it on. It makes me look exquisite!

(I asked him later if he knew what exquisite meant and he said `beautiful' and then went on to call me exquisite all day. He is quite sweet. Sometimes:)

Gary came home as soon as he could today so we could try to get a family photo for our Christmas card. I didn't think he would make it in time so I didn't bother getting ready. Then, because we had 20 minutes before sunset we rushed around and got out the door in about 5 minutes. Little did I realize that Kai, Koen and and I are all wearing stripes. It's a bit wild (and my hair looks terrible) but it will have to do! I have such high expectations for them and it's never quite reached. Once baby is here, we will get someone else to take our family photos!

Hello December, so excited you are here. I have the snow tires on, the sun is out all week AND Gary is home for a two week holiday in just two more weeks!!!!

Have a great night.
Love, Louise

Monday, November 28, 2011

Swimming and Sisters

Kai had his last swimming lesson today and is officially a Sea Urchin. He was pretty proud of himself and I'm happy for him. Sea Urchin is just the second level and it's where they have to completely submerge themselves and do assisted front and back floats (he can do an unassisted back float). Not too exciting but he has come a long ways.
This weekend we got some pictures of all the sisters together and then also some of the 4 pregnant sisters. I'll have to post them later, there are some cute ones! Must edit client photos first....We found out what another one of my sisters is having (already knew that Trish is having a girl) and I'm so excited and shocked as I was completely wrong:) Not sure if we are allowed to share that news so I'll keep it to myself for now.

My belly has taken a break in the growth department so that's good:) I still get really, really bad headaches that bring on the worst feelings of nausea that last about 24 hours. I'm thinking it's mostly related to being overtired but I'm not sure. It happens about once a week.
I've realized this baby is going to cost us a lot of money! Usually I borrow a ton of stuff from my sisters but I can't this time around (nursing pillow, pump, bath, exersaucer) and also our baby car seat expired and someone stole the stroller that went with it. Also, I'm going to be buying a new white dresser (probably the Ikea Hemnes one) as we are completely re-doing the baby room:) I'm excited about that part!

We put up our Christmas tree and I like it. We don't do a ton of decorating but I like the simplicity of what we have. Gary just needs to put up the lights as I'm not going to attempt it this year. I love having Gary home on the weekends as I don't need to make a single meal. This weekend he made some fantastic french toast using croissants and yummy salmon cakes/patties (salmon/mashed potato etc). We both really, really love food. I think for Christmas, instead of getting each other presents, we will just use that money to go out for a fancy dinner and not feel guilty about it.

Kai and Koen continue to test my patience but make me laugh a lot. Today Kai showed Koen two letters, it was a capital and lower case `T'. He asked them what they were and Koen said, `T and t. Great question, Kai!'. Koen also calls bananas `bee-nanans' which sounds really cute:)

I hope you had a wonderful weekend.
Love, Louise

Friday, November 25, 2011

Love Amongst the Wrestling

I have realized that the days when Kai is home (and therefore there are many Kai/Koen interactions) are the hardest. The days are long and the fights are frequent. And today Koen decided to stop listening to me. What?! My hormones make me go from calm to crazy in an instant these days so that is bad timing on his part.

However, I got some loving moments out of them today as shown below. Oh, how I wish Gary had been there with me as I carried kids and props and cameras across a muddy field. It could have been a bit more of a relaxing situation. Oh well, I think I got a keeper or two for one part of our Christmas card. The family photo will be happening this weekend. Hopefully. It's going to be a different kind of one which I hope works out:)
{Hey Ali, if you're reading this, I used your Merry Christmas banner but the wind was CRAZY and it kept blowing inside out:) }

Have a wonderful weekend.
Love, Louise.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


This isn't well thought out but it's how I'm feeling.

The weather is not nice at all, it's just dark and gloomy. Cold and wet.

I have been home with the kids for 3 years. That, my friends, is a long time. It's a lot of changing, feeding, cleaning, refereeing, and all that jazz. Obviously I'm thankful for it but sometimes....

I feel like I want to go back to teaching part time but I guess I will need to wait about 2 years for that to happen. I would want to go back to the school I was at so there would need to be some sort of position open. Both Kai and Koen would be in school full time so that would be good, I would just need to ensure the greatest child care ever for baby Chapman.

I'm getting tired of these `Give me! Give me!' kids all day long. They are not really like this but when I'm tired and Gary isn't home for dinner and/or bedtime, it just feels like they are more ungrateful and demanding.

The kids have been getting up at 5:45am. This does not help my fatigue.

I sometimes miss the days where I could be selfish.

I'm feeling a lot of emotions about being pregnant. I wish I could explain them without sounding ungrateful. For two years, I imagined our child coming to our home by way of adoption. This is a huge change to my mindset. I really, really do want adoption to be in our future but I know that 4 kids is a huge, massive stretch for my husband. I'm sad that I lost the baby before this one, even though it was super early, it was still sad. It made me more hesitant and resistant to celebrate. Why does this one get to grow and the other didn't? Someone close to us recently lost their baby when momma was 8 months pregnant. It just makes your realize, again, that we really just have such little control over these little lives. Please know that I'm very thankful that growing inside me, it is very, very surreal.

Not sure why I'm feeling so unsettled. I think fatigue doesn't help right? Christmas holidays should be good. Gary will be home and there will be a lot of family time and yummy food. I'm seriously only buying my kids one present each. Not because I'm cheap but because I'm trying to get rid of this `Give me! Give me!' type attitude. They have way more than enough.

Well, that was enough rambling. I better get to work here while the kids have settled in front of the tv and aren't beating each other up.

Love, Louise

PS I love my boys. I love their cuddles and kisses. I love the conversations that Kai and I have at night when Koen goes to bed. Kai and I cuddle on the couch and just talk about life, it's really, really special. I feel like he actually really listens to what I have to say. Koen makes me laugh with all the names he calls me. Today he called me `little fella'.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Kai's Heart

On Friday night, I went to bed at 7pm for the first time in...ever. I was so incredibly tired and had such a bad headache that made me want to vomit. I finally got some tylenol on Saturday which did help things a bit. On Saturday, I was still so tired. I got out of the shower and went straight back to bed. I had two sessions to do and fortunately they were mini ones with a space in between. You know when you don't feel good but you have to work? It sort of forces you to forget for an hour that you feel terrible.

One session was in Fort Langley so Gary and the boys explored (it was a BEAUTIFUL day) and then we went to Wendel's afterwards where I had an autumn mocha and we shared a snack or two.
Then we picked up my adorable 1.5 year old niece, Sami. She was just with us for 24 hours but it was fun. She played well with the boys and is pretty easy going. The only hard part was at night because she would cry every 2-3 hours which meant I went in to lay her back down and give her her soother. Then, she was up for the day at 5:30am. It would be nice to have a 1.5 year old in our house right now, especially one sporting so much pink:) The one weird thing is that she didn't eat a whole lot. I'm just used to the boys inhaling their snacks/meals in minutes and I couldn't tell how much (if anything) she actually ate.
We had church and then Chapman birthdays in Abbotford so it was a busy but good Sunday afternoon. I may have picked up a Santa suit so the boys could have pictures with `Santa'. Gary was a good sport:)
This morning I went to Value Village's 50% off sale and bought the boys `new' pants and long sleeved shirts for the winter. I would say 80% of their clothes are second hand and it works so well for us. I just get the good quality name brand clothing and I paid maybe $2/shirt and $3/pants.

Koen is very, very physical. I'm not sure what to do with it. On Friday morning he tackled two smaller kids in the library (he grabs them from behind). It is because he is trying to have fun but they did not think it was fun. At all. The other day Izzy was laying down and Koen ran up to her and jumped on her. He mostly tackles Kai but we really need to stop him because it's happening everywhere (church, school, mall, pool etc). We're trying to explain that we can have wrestle time with daddy but otherwise, we should keep our hands to ourselves. Kai was never this physical and I think I need to get him tired out with an activity of sorts. Koen will start swimming lessons in January and Kai will go back to skating.

And to finish off, a cool story about Kai. About a week ago it was pretty foggy with low lying clouds. Kai asked if he would be able to see all the people in heaven because of it (heaven in clouds, clouds lower etc). I explained that heaven might not be an actual place, specifically in the clouds, as many books show it. He asked where God lived and we explained how he was everywhere but he wanted to live in our hearts. So, on Friday night, Kai said that he wanted to ask Jesus into his heart and live for Him. This is not something my family did growing up (we just sort of went from believing to doing public profession of faith in church) but many Christians have that experience in their stories. So we prayed with him (Gary said a line, Kai repeated etc) and he was very happy to have Jesus in his heart:)

I hope you had a great weekend!
Love, Louise

Thursday, November 17, 2011

5-7pm Time Slot

I need some advice. Gary is gone for a whole lotta evenings now (dinner and bedtime) and I have no idea what to do with the kids from 5-7pm. It gets dark before 5pm and it's really wet (and cold!) out. We usually eat at 5pm and they are done at 5:10pm. We don't do bath time every night so what can I do to fill 2 hours? Oh, and I really need to get out of the house or I feel like I'm going to go crazy.

Tonight I took them grocery shopping and then we did a loop around the mall. I wanted some exercise but chasing Koen around (or watching them tackle each other in the mall) is not my idea of fun. Also, the amount of energy that I have is not in abundance. I need something where they can get all their energy out but is low stress for me. Hmmm...maybe I should take them swimming?

Any ideas that don't cost any (or much) money?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

12 Weeks

I'm feeling okay. Tired and nauseated. The usual. Mornings are good, it's the afternoon/evenings where I'm wishing I could just curl up in bed. I don't crave anything but always keep crackers on hand because if I get hungry it makes me sicker. I'm hoping that the 2nd trimester brings more energy because Gary will be gone a lot more.
{Just a bit bigger than I was with Koen and a whole lot bigger than I was with Kai:) I'm assuming it's just a third baby type thing?}

I'm excited that in December, Gary and the boys will be able to go to my midwife appointment and the ultrasound.

I am thankful for this little one, whom I'm assuming is another little man for our household of wild wrestling. And seriously, as much as people assume a girl is all I want, I'm just hoping to get this baby to 38+ weeks and birth a healthy baby.

I'm not nervous about the Graves' Disease yet which will likely resurface when baby is 1+ month old. I don't know if it's because I just feel like it won't be as bad or I'll get it under control faster or I'm in denial.

And as a random side note, Kai and Koen have memory verses for church. I turn them into songs so they are super easy to remember. Then, for the rest of the month, Gary and I can't get these songs out of our heads:)

Have a good night.
Love, Louise

Sunday, November 13, 2011


Gary and I got away for the weekend and went to Portland. Yes, Portland. Why? We drove through it on the way to the Oregon Coast this summer and thought we would like to go back someday. Well, this weekend was `someday'. The boys had a great time at grandma's house and I love that we are able to get away one or two times a year as it will likely be closer to two years before we can do that again. Half the time I was thinking, `Oh, the boys would LOVE this' and the other half of the time I was thinking, `Wow, this is a billion times easier without them.' I love them like crazy, but man, was it sure nice to eat meals in such a relaxed manner!

I think we didn't realize that me being 12 weeks pregnant wouldn't be the best time to travel. I'm still quite nauseated and so incredibly tired. I'm hoping this gets better soon! It should, right?! Fresh air makes me feel the best so we did a lot of walking outside. I'm not sleeping super well as I'm already getting up at least 3 times a night to go to the bathroom and I already have heartburn. Craziness.

There are no pictures to post because I did not pick up the camera once and Gary literally took two pictures.

I bought some maternity clothes and am especially happy with a pair of jeans that I got that I just need to get hemmed. Looking forward to being comfortable and looking decent.

Gary is good with going somewhere new and just walking around. I, on the other hand, would like to know the top 3 things we should do there and then do them. I need a purpose and I need to feel like I saw what we needed to. We have learned this lesson for next time.

It was good to be `stuck' in a car with Gary. The last few months have been pretty busy and we aren't the best at setting time aside to catch up on life, dreams, plans, ideas etc. So, we were forced to share a lot of time and conversation together which is always good.

I am LOVING the look of my calendar this month. It is the emptiest it has been since January. Yay for rejuvenation! I need a good book to read because now is the time. Any recommendations?

Hope you all had a good long weekend.
Love, Louise

Thursday, November 10, 2011

TV Box

What's the best part about getting a new tv? The box it comes in of course! We bought a new tv because our old one (you know, the big old fashioned kind of tv) finally died on us. Over the past two days, the boys have been using it as a hideout, a cave and a slide.

What's new with the boys?

Kai is able to count quite high. He'll usually stop around 500 because we get so bored but I'm assuming he could go to 1000 or something. This week when I said we would be leaving in a minute, he counted backwards from 60 no problem. I had no idea he could do that. He has some pretty good math skills for a 5 year old (I think). He's a pretty easy kid to parent except for we are really working on the listening skills, particularly listening to mom and dad right away.

Koen is high energy in a way that Kai never was. He'll run around like he's on a major sugar high, even if he isn't. It's not all the time but it's generally when Kai is around. He will jump on Kai and chase him giggling with glee. He doesn't throw temper tantrums and listens quite well (when you have his attention). He does pull out the sad face a lot, especially when he will be separated from me. People generally assume he is older because he is quite articulate, just like his big brother was/is. He is excited to be a big brother and when he came downstairs this morning he said `Good morning, baby!' to my belly.

Every night we read a kids Bible story book and the boys love it. The questions and thoughts that Kai comes up with in regards to God and Satan, good and evil, choices we make etc are pretty awesome. Koen doesn't understand much but loves the pictures of heaven:)

My belly is growing big time and the reality of it makes me a bit nervous. I mean, obviously I'm excited about baby Chapman but at the same time, wow. Life changer! It's not having three kids that I'm nervous about, I don't think that will be the hard part. It's going back to the newborn stage and lack of sleep and having two high energy boys running around. Now that my friends, will be the interesting part. Fortunately Gary is home for the summer. What am I looking forward to? Oh man, holding a chubby, sleeping, snuggly baby in my arms again. Nothing better. Well, maybe hugs from the big boys with a big `I love you'. That's pretty good too.

Gary and I have fun plans for the weekend so I'm looking forward to it. Basketball season has started which means a lot of dinner and/or bedtimes for the boys by myself for the next four months. It's always a bit tough but I know Gary loves it and it makes me appreciate having him around more when he is able to be here. They should be able to make it a bit further this year which is good for them:)

Somehow my kids are pretty healthy! Maybe all those years of preschool illnesses really did boost their immune systems?

Excuse the randomness. I hope you have a wonderful weekend.
Love, Louise

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Big Day!

I had two big appointments today that I have been looking forward to for over a month.

Appointment #1: Midwife appointment. Really, all I wanted was to hear the heartbeat. Being that I am 11 weeks + 2 days, sometimes it can be hard to hear at this point. But, she said I was slim (ha, that's a first and last!) and we heard it within a minute. 170 beats per minute. There is actually a real baby growing inside of me! I somehow started crying (sobbing) immediately which made the doppler move around and we lost the heart beat. Koen thought I was laughing and said, `That's funny!'. She found it again while I tried to not cry so it wouldn't disappear again. There is something really special and reaffirming about hearing that beautiful sound. The rest of the visit was uneventful. She recommended Vitamin B6 for my nausea so I started that tonight. I always get nauseated after 7pm, you know, where you feel like you have the flu. Yuck. I can't complain though, this is the best I've felt of the pregnancies. Also, I've started being more purposeful with my exercising. I do 20 minutes of the recumbent bike in the morning and a 45 minute walk at night. So far, so good!

Appointment #2: TMJ clinic. I drove out to Chilliwack (an hour away) for this one. It felt good be somewhere where someone knows all about jaws. Immediately, based on my description and the way my mouth shifted when I opened it, he could see the problem. He showed me using a model of a jaw (with the disks and ligaments) what had happened. He did a great job of explaining it to me. Basically the disk between my two jawbones on the right side is displaced (moved ahead of my lower jaw) and now it's not allowing my lower jaw to glide open properly.

So, what is he going to do about it? Well, next month I go back and he is going to manually lower my lower jaw and try to place it back on the disk. Normally they do this with freezing or sedating but because I'm pregnant and relatively calm, he is going to do it without. He's just going to use some calming techniques and it shouldn't hurt. Now, the probability that this will work? 50%. He will then make a splint that I will wear at night (he will do this whether it works or not). Fortunately he will just adapt the mouth guard that I currently have which will save about $400.00. Also, because I can't have any imaging or sedation done, I will also save a lot of money:) All together, it should be about $1000.00. If his method does not work, then I believe surgery is in my future. One thing at a time. For now, I just need to work on remaining calm on December 6th!

And in other news. This is how ridiculous my husband is. He woke me up at 11:30pm and asked me where the sheets are as one of the boys needed a new bed sheet. WE HAVE LIVED IN THIS HOUSE FOR 6 YEARS AND YOU HAVE NEVER PUT A NEW SHEET ON ANY OF THE BEDS? WHAT IS A LINEN CLOSET FOR? WHY DID YOU WAKE ME UP WHEN I FEEL SO NAUSEATED? Oh Gary. Negative one point for you.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Grad and Bellies

This afternoon I attended the graduation of my brother in law and my sister. They were both graduating with their Masters (Tyler in Biblical Studies, Jackie in Science of Nursing) from TWU. They have worked so hard over the last 2-3 years and we are all proud of them!

Look below, aren't they cute? They are going to be parents in just a couple of months!
We went to dad and Joanne's to celebrate. Dad, you act silly, I will post it on my blog. He's just trying to fit in with all the bellies.
Below, my 11 week belly. I'm a little surprised how overall uh, large, I'm looking. Usually my tummy just sticks out and doesn't grow out in all directions. I've gained 2lbs but it looks like 20. I do need to start getting more exercise besides walking...hopefully with work slowing down I can work out a bit more. The reason for it would just to be in better shape because I haven't done much since running 5km in October:)

{Bellies from L-R: 34weeks, 32 weeks, 18 weeks, 11 weeks}
I was away from the boys for most of the day and it was kinda rejuvenating. It made me so excited to see them again this evening.
Hope you are having a good weekend!

Friday, November 04, 2011


This morning I spent time helping in Kai's classroom. It was really fun to see what his day is like and I wish I could do it more often. I am incredibly happy with where he goes to school and the support and love he has there. My dad was able to babysit Koen and they had a blast together walking to Starbucks and pretending to be airplane pilots. I have to say that I am starting to miss teaching. I got to help my niece out with her science 9 homework of naming ionic compounds. So fun! I really do miss that stuff. Maybe one day....

Then, in the afternoon, Koen and I ran around Derby Reach. Really, Koen just wanted to throw a million rocks in the water and I just watched him and replied to his non stop talking. He is a major chatterbox. I'm loving having this time of just one on one with Koen. I think that's the advantage to having kids spaced a little bit further apart...there's more time to spend with each one. That was a positive I thought of today as I always assumed our kids would be closer in age:)
{The look above is hilarious to me because he's never a fake smiler/poser. He looks so awkward which is just so cute to me. Doesn't he look so grown up?!}

I have a light blue frame and I need a new picture of Koen to put in it so I made him pose for me for a minute or two. I didn't get any keepers but every post needs a picture!
{I think this one is cute but I can't stand that I can see part of the white of his right eye. Maybe a little photoshop could fix it.}

And randomness....
I think the hardest thing about having two boys is the constant wrestling. I don't think it's going to get better anytime soon. They love it, but man, they are rough on each other. And, to be honest, it is Koen that initiates it 99% of the time. He is such a monkey.

As of an hour ago, I am completely caught up from my October sessions (go me!) and ready for a couple more this weekend:) I'll also be attending my sister and brother in law's Masters graduation as well as a baby shower. It will be a lot of time away from the kiddos which I'm not used to these days. Gary can deal with (and join in on) all the wrestling:)

Pregnancy wise, I'm feeling good-ish. Just sick from 7pm onwards. A cup of tea with honey always seems to help. This week I've been craving cheddar cheese. Belly is big. I don't feel the need to go to bed before 11pm but I am sleeping better than I've slept in years. Kai randomly turned to me yesterday and said, `You'll be breastfeeding again soon. Does it tickle to breastfeed?'. I love having a kid that I can talk to about uterus' and breastfeeding. Such a different experience from last time!

I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

Love, Louise

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Mario and My Pumpkin

The boys had so much fun on Halloween. My sister brought her three girls over and they went out for about 45 minutes and covered a ton of homes. We live in a densely packed neighbourhood so it really only takes less than 30 seconds to get from one door to the next. The boys don't even care about the candy so much, they were just into the dressing up and running around.
{I think Kai grew an inch since I bought this costume. We deflated his belly after this picture. He loved his costume and didn't care that he had a wedgie all night:)}

Then, the boys wanted to come home and hand out candy. So, like many neighbours, we sat at the bottom of our stairs and handed out candy. We had 300 kids in one hour and then ran out and turned off the lights:)
{Koen kept up with the big kids no problem and only walked into about 6 homes this year:)}

My friend Ali came over on Tuesday and we got a few pictures of our kids (and her nieces) trying on some of her creations. You can find her now on facebook at Cades & co. I liked the shirt Kai tried on so I bought it:) Great quality and super cute.
Great for Christmas and birthday presents and even stuff for baby showers!
{We have two aprons for the boys, different from the ones shown, which makes baking time a little more fun and clean!}

I also really love the bandana bibs and may have to buy one or two for the little droolers/nieces/nephews I'll be having in the next few months! How cute is her little Cole?
I registered Koen for preschool yesterday. He'll be starting in September and I put him in afternoons. He hasn't napped for a year and I don't want to be running around early in the morning with a little baby.

Basketball is now starting. Now we shift from a busy photographing season to a busy parenting season for me while Gary coaches and teaches. Gary puts in a lot of time and does a good job. We're proud of our Daddy Bear!

I am VERY hormonal these days. I am not neutral. I'm either super angry and frustrated or very sad. I'm not a very fun wife and I don't like it. Yesterday was a sad day for me where I missed my mom so much. There are just some days where it hits me harder because the person who loved me more than anyone in the world is just not here anymore. 99% of the time I can focus on all the blessings that I do have, but that other 1%, I just need to mourn what I've lost.

Kai has been in swimming lessons on Mondays and is doing so well (compared to where he was a year ago!). He can now do a backfloat and assisted front float. He has come a long ways and will likely pass Sea Urchin and be a Jellyfish:) He does want to do skating again so we will see. I do love part time kindergarten because it allows for extra curricular without being too busy.

Okay, better go.