Monday, January 30, 2012

Ani's Appendix

My sweet little niece, Annnika, is in the hospital. Ani, not quite 6, started feeling sick on Thursday. Maria brought her to the doctor because it was not going away (flu like symptoms with abdominal pain). The doctor wasn't too concerned although he did run blood and urine tests. On Sunday night Maria took her to the ER. Ani had appendicitis and they removed her appendix last night at 11pm.
They will be at the hospital until Wednesday because they weren't able to do it laparoscopically and we're just hoping and praying that there are no complications so that they will be able to go home. She did just go for a little walk and is eating a popsicle so that is all good news:)
Poor Maria is running on little sleep as she is staying there (and also 18 weeks pregnant). We are glad Ani is okay and I'm so glad Maria took her in when she did.

Hope you are all healthy:)
Love, Louise

Saturday, January 28, 2012


I am thankful for a lot, but especially these two today:

1. Gary and his students are okay after their Winter Campout. There was an incident while sledding where two girls ran into a tree and Gary actually ran into one as well (almost at the same time). Nothing like going to bed assuming you will see your husband the following evening and waking up to your husband limping beside your bed at 4am saying `Don't worry, everything is fine but....'. They packed up their camp stuff, dug out the bus from the snow, and drove home in the middle of the night to ensure the girls were truly okay. So, I didn't really sleep after that. Fortunately there are no broken bones.
2. My ultrasound report says baby girl is normal for everything. This is a first for me as Kai had several issues on his (ex. enlarged renal pelvis) and Koen did too (CPC's in brain). Midwives were surprised that Dr. P said no to a VBA2C for me and are looking into other options for me (other hospitals etc). Thank you for all of your encouragement in this department. I have been really confident about it up until this point and I know that with a little more research we will figure out what will be best for Baby Girl Chapman and for me. I would LOVE to naturally birth this little girl but I will be okay with a repeat C-section as long as I have time to mentally prepare for it. I really would love to see an ultrasound at about 37 weeks or so and see where baby's head/weight are at. I know it's not super accurate but I'm thinking it will give a picture of whether baby is closer to 8lbs or 10lbs:)
{Koen colours for about 1-2 hours every day. He doesn't draw anything, he just makes blotches of colours everywhere.}

Hope you are all having a wonderful weekend. I had my second massage therapy session (note: not a nice massage, it was a painful but good massage) for my sciatica. I do think it is getting better so I'm hoping that it continues to improve.

Love, Louise

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Thanks Team!

Wow team, thanks for all the love!! I have to say that through blogging and facebook, I have realized that I have a lot of really cool and supportive people in my life:) Thank you!

This will be brief as I have a long list of household chores to get to in the next couple of hours...
1. So I've been reading on VBA2C's and was all ready to go until I met with the OB I would use at Surrey Memorial Hospital. He refused to take me because I've had 2 C-sections. I do understand his point because they no longer have an anesthesiologist on call on the labour/delivery ward at all times anymore and if there is an emergency, you have only 20-30 minutes to get baby out via C-section. The reason I was surprised is because based on the books I've read, it just seemed like such a realistic option. My success rate with a VBA2C and having a 9+lb baby would be about 66%+ which was totally high enough in my opinion to try. I meet with my midwives tomorrow and I'll see what they say. I believe I still have the option of meeting with OB's at the Women's Hospital in Vancouver but even then I have a low chance of them accepting me. I'm not sure if I want it THAT badly as I sort of felt really defeated after the appointment on Monday. He is quite convinced that I truly do have CPD (cephalopelvic disproportion aka head too big for my pelvis). Obviously, the safety of the baby and myself is #1 and there is definitely a higher maternal risk if I end up with another emergency C-section. Also, with two previous babies in the 9.5-10lb range, without gestational diabetes, it does make things a bit more difficult. I just really, really, really despise the C-section recovery. Especially the first 2 weeks.

2. Kai loves watching sports. He likes to record who scores in hockey and is downstairs as soon as he is allowed (6:30am) to watch sports highlights. He had his last skating lesson today and he ended up not passing. He was pretty upset. I thought he met all the criteria but he is still doing too much `running' rather than skating around. I was a bit disappointed with the teacher because she didn't work on it with him once. I understand there are 4 other people in the class but I wouldn't mind if she took a minute or two to focus on him individually. So, Kai's dream of being a goalie for the Canucks is maybe getting a dose of reality:)

3. This is usually the toughest week of the year as Gary has basketball games (8-10pm), Winter Campout and a Staff Retreat. This means doing it all on my own and missing certain activities (like aquafit) and having to get babysitters for certain appointments etc. I'm thankful the boys are older so this year it's not so tough:)

Okay, off to laundry, bathrooms, and dishes:)

Have a wonderful week and again, thanks for the baby love!
Love, Louise

Monday, January 23, 2012

Baby Chapman Is....

All right, folks! I didn't make you wait until Monday because I'm mean. I made you wait because I booked another ultrasound for today to confirm the results:) Seriously, that UC Baby 3D ultrasound is the coolest thing. Quite a fan. So, without further ado....


{Thank you to my sister for getting the balloons and taking the was not ideal in the pouring rain and freezing cold and only minimal balloons fitting in the basket but it sort of worked:)}

I don't look that surprised in the photos because I was in shock and also I didn't believe it (hence the ultrasound booked for today). The boys are super excited to have a sister and Gary thinks it's great (Gary thinks a good meal is great too though, so I asked for more descriptive words from him but that's all I got). Although, Gary did say that I shouldn't expect him to learn how to braid and put in bows. I reminded him that if I had to learn how to do a level 3 Transformer, he can braid:)

How do I feel? I'm sort of in shock. When we found out Kai was a boy I felt the same way. I knew nothing about raising a boy as I grew up in a house full of girls. This time around, all I know is how to raise a boy! I'm really excited and very emotional. I feel that a third boy would've been awesome and sort of `easy'. However, I'm extremely grateful that I get to have a mother/daughter relationship and somehow it makes me feel more connected to my mom. Which makes me more emotional.

And dudes, seriously, the pink!!! My sister Jantina is having a boy so we swapped a bunch of our clothes for 0-12 months! I did three loads of pink sleepers/dresses/tights etc today and you know what? The lint catcher had pink lint in it! I always just thought lint was grey/blue because that's what it's always been here.

Oh, I should mention about the ultrasound today...I should've invited so many more people, it was a huge room with couches and flat screen tv's and we got to see everything in just 10 minutes. My beautiful daughter was yawning and swallowing and waving. The tech was showing all the parts, `Here's the heart, here's the bladder...' etc and Kai pipes up, `Yes, but where's the vagina?' (we were there to confirm that, he knew our purpose!). It was funny.

So there you have it folks! I am 22 weeks pregnant with my daughter. Kai and Koen will have a little sister. Gary will have a baby girl. Crazy. Awesome. By the way, do you know how much I love to braid hair?!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Boy or Girl?!

**I will update at about 4pm. I'm not trying to keep you in suspense, there is a reason! So, you don't need to check back until then:)**

Guess what we did yesterday in the pouring rain and freezing cold?
It was definitely not ideal for my balloon releasing idea but we still went ahead with it. Based on the weather outlook for the next two weeks (rain/snow/ice pellets) there was no good time. Besides, I kind of wanted some pictures in the snow before it all melted away. So, I will let you know the results on Monday but in the meantime, take your best guess and let me know what YOU think baby Chapman will be:)

PS With Kai we found out he was a boy and kept the news to ourselves, with Koen we didn't find out and with this one we are finding out and sharing it. All different but good.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Snow Day!

After all the snow and freezing temperatures we had this week, Gary and Kai had a snow day today! The roads were actually fine but some were closed closer to the school so that is why they cancelled it.

Anyway, to start, I got to sleep in! I ended up having to change Kai's bedsheets at 4am and then was up for 2 hours after that. By the way, nothing like a pregnant woman changing the sheets on the top bunk while her sciatic nerve is acting up.

Okay, on with the day:) We went to Greenaway Pool where I used to go sledding as a kid. The boys had so much fun.

At the end, when I said they could do two more runs, they wanted to do one without Gary. We did one half way down the hill so that they didn't go too fast and Gary could stop them. Then, for the last run, they wanted to go from the very top. I'm a `safety first' kind of girl and Gary is more of a risk taker. It's good Gary is around or my kids would be in helmets all the time (sort of kidding:). Although I wasn't so sure it was safe enough, I let them go. Oh my. They were so out of control and going so fast. I was half way down the hill and went in front of the tree they were headed towards as I couldn't stop them but I could possibly divert them. Had they hit the tree, we definitely would've needed an ambulance. They missed the tree by a foot and then crashed down further where Gary was. Fortunately they were both okay but Kai was devastated that his brother got hurt because he didn't steer properly. Totally not his fault at all. Koen had a bloody face but it cleaned up okay. It's now a lot more red like road rash...poor Bubba.

I have to say that seeing my two boys hurdling towards that tree was the scariest parenting moment for me in the last 5 years. (Previously it was when I was running with 6 month old Kai in the stroller and he fell out and landed face first on the pavement...bad, bad mommy). I'm so thankful they were okay. Gary apologized to the boys and me and I know he felt so bad. Such a balance, hey? Between letting them take risks and sheltering them. I know it's only going to get harder as they get older:)

Have a great weekend!
Love, Louise

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

21 Weeks

The funny thing about blogging is that it feels like everyone knows how you are doing and what you are up to so they never ask:) Anyway, I know I already blogged in the wee hours of this morning but my friend Ali pointed out that I haven't shown my new haircut yet. I guess because I don't look too different, I never remembered to do it. This sounds weird but I'm not sure what's going on with my face...I'm assuming it's pregnancy but my face looks different to me these days. Maybe rounder? Maybe older? I'm pretty confident and always think I look `nice', but these days, I feel a little less nice looking:) Oh well, I just won't look in the mirror. At least I know that my husband always thinks I'm hot, no matter what:)
I took the boys sledding this morning but it was cold. I mean, only -7C but with the wind it was chilly! I wish I could have taken my camera but I didn't want to have to deal with two kids, sleds, my own comfort and a camera. However, they went down head first lying on top of eachother and it was pretty cute:) Maybe we can go with Gary later.

{Kai not happy to have his picture taken because I'm interrupting his practicing. He has great dreams of playing every sport well...}

I'm hoping the roads are okay because we're headed out to skating lessons soon. Kai has done 4/7 lessons so far and I asked him what his favourite part was. He said that it was when they skate around the whole rink. I was so surprised he said that because he is always last by about half a rink length. I'm proud of his perseverance. We go a bit early and last time I asked him if he just wanted to sit down and relax but he said he wanted to practice. He went out and practiced his skating and then gliding while touching his toes. He is a hard worker:)
{21 weeks}
In regards to this pregnancy, I'm feeling good. I've been walking less and my sciatica has gotten better because of that. Not ideal as I feel lazy but fortunately the recumbent bike works by not putting pressure on it. We had two weeks of sugary baking in this house and that is stopping today. If something is in the house, I eat it. My husband loves having homemade cookies in the house so I've always done it for him but I think we'll hold off on it for about 4 more months. Gary says, `Well, just don't eat them!'. Ya right. I've got to get back to those healthy muffin recipes and Gary will just have to `suffer':)

Have a wonderful day!
Love, Louise

Restless Legs

They are driving me crazy!! This is the second night in a row that I'm up until 1:30am because I feel like I need to run. So annoying. In other news, life is good. I got to cuddle one week old Isaac for a couple of hours today and it felt like I was holding one of my own babies due to the fact that he's a boy:) I can't wait to meet the little one that is growing inside of me. I can't believe a little person who could be just like Kai and/or Koen is in there.

I love the snow but can't really do the cold. Especially since I can't really zip up any of my coats.

Oh ya, and here's Kai's `great idea' of a game to play:
Kai: `Mommy, you close your eyes and I'll hold up some fingers. You have to guess how many I hold up. If you get it wrong, I get to throw all the pillows at you.'
I got it wrong. Three times. I could have peeked but he had a lot fun throwing them at me.

Finally, Kai and I have been playing a lot of UNO lately. I have to say it's a billion times better than Chutes and Ladders or Candyland.

And, taken from the book `Weird' by Craig Groeschel, `If the Devil can't make us really bad, then he'll try to make us very busy.' I've been a lot less busy these two weeks of 2012 and I have to say that it feels really, really good.

Bon nuit and safe driving tomorrow.
Love, Louise

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Baby Dream!

Had my first dream about the baby:) Well, I didn't meet the baby yet but I was at the hospital three weeks before the due date and apparently I was in labour. The doctor asked if I had girl and boy names picked out yet and I said just the girl one. She said, `I think that's all you need!' after looking at the ultrasound. She also said the baby would be in the 8lb range:) I said `Not likely!'.

In other news, this snow is awesome!! I'm so glad we have winter weather. Finally. I love that we have snow tires. I love that the boys love the snow. I'm hoping to get some good photos of them in the snow because I love it as a backdrop.

And finally, my sciatica is seriously a pain in the butt. Yesterday afternoon we went for a walk and I had to lay down for 2 hours afterwards to actually be able to walk around again. If I'm sitting or laying, it's fine. I'm not a sitting/laying type person. Thank goodness I'm not teaching. I went to chiropractor but I'm thinking I would have to go every week for relief? I did not like the experience at all and was cramping for 4 hours thank you. My sister recommended someone else so we will see. I'll see how a massage therapist does with it this week. I wish my body would behave. To anyone who has ever had sciatica, I feel your pain. It sucks big time. I don't know how I'll do 4.5 more months of this with an even bigger baby belly. Sorry to be all `woe is me', but I feel like I'm falling apart from head (jaw) to toe.

Off to church and then...taking the boys sledding!! And then, snuggles with my new baby niece and nephew!! Woohoo. (**I added some pictures from this afternoon**)
My two little (sleep deprived) sisters with my newest niece and nephew!
Hannah-the expert sleeper and farter. Three weeks old.
Isaac-the `I wanna stay awake' guy with the heavy breathing. One week old.
Both super cute and such a gift. Oh, and both filling up on momma milk and gaining some serious poundage! Both are about 9.5-10lbs each:)

PS Have I told you that three year olds are possibly the cutest things ever?! Koen's two huge dimples and silly personality bring me so many smiles. He is adorable.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Yoga and a Haircut

Things here have been good. My sciatica has started getting worse again so tomorrow I have a chiropractor appointment and then I have two massage sessions booked over the next two weeks. I'm hoping it's a quick fix:) Sometimes it's fine and sometimes I can't even walk. It feels like a horse kicked my left buttock:( Have I ever told you how much I dislike spending money on things like this?!

I went to aquafit on my own yesterday and I have to say I now love it. It took 4 times but it is seriously the best exercise for me (especially with my sciatic nerve). Today, as soon as Gary got home, I went and got my hair cut at the spa (aren't I fancy? Yay for mastercard points!) and then went to my first prenatal yoga class. It was good and definitely interesting doing some of the positions with my belly. I am not flexible and I'm not good at just thinking about my breathing but it was good. I think it will definitely help with strengthening and flexibility. Although I'm due in about the middle of everyone, I think I have the biggest belly. When I got home, Kai gave me one of his apple slices for `all my hard work':)

We might be able to find out the gender tomorrow. The ultrasound location we went to is very strict on not releasing it until 21 weeks so it depends when they think I'm 21 weeks. If we do get it tomorrow (written down in an envelope), we would do the reveal on Saturday. I'm very nervous as this will sort of determine our family. Will we be a `boy family' that is just 100% into sports, wrestling, farting and talking about male genitilia? Yikes. I love my boys and I think I am a pretty good momma of sons but ya, you know. If you are a momma of all boys, I think you know where I'm coming from. You wouldn't trade them for anything but a mother/daughter relationship is pretty special and seriously, girl clothes? ADORABLE!!!

Anyway, better hang out with my husband now as he's actually home:)
Love, Louise
PS Pictures of haircut to come...I should've taken a photo when I got home but alas, I will have to figure out how to do it myself:)
PPS Apparently I'm measuring small (ha ha, right...according to the ultrasound) so gender will be released NEXT week. I absolutely know their dates are wrong if they think baby was conceived a week later but oh well:)

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Baby Isaac Elliott

Yay!! My sister Jackie, and husband Tyler, welcomed 8lb 8oz Isaac into their lives just before 7am on Sunday. I was just giving them time to inform everyone before blurting out the exciting news myself:)

The plan was for a home birth but after stalling at 8cm for a long time (and a lot of Scrabble playing), they went to the hospital at 1am and got some oxytocin to help out. Just before 7am, after about 3 hours of pushing (I think), and two sleepless nights, out came baby Isaac! It was hard for me to not have a clue what was going on after about 9:30pm so I only slept a few hours that night. There are very few people that I worry about to such a degree but obviously my sisters are way up there. I'm looking forward to getting to know my first Dekens nephew! Isaac, you are loved and auntie Louise is ready for another cuddle soon!

{Koen came with me to the hospital to meet baby Isaac (Gary and Kai were at the bball game) and even asked to hold him. We sang `Happy Birthday' to him. It was cute. Koen will be a great big brother! It was pretty busy with all my sisters in there so we didn't stay long and therefore didn't get many pictures.}

Jackie is recovering well and now my heart can relax for a bit before my next nephew is born in April! The number of boys may even out the girls soon enough. You can read my brother-in-law Tyler's thoughts on it here.
Yay for babies:)

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Mini Coaches

Today Gary had a tournament, yes, on Sunday. He just finished his previous tournament yesterday. So, we all went as a family so the boys could help `coach' and I could take photos of Gary's team in action.
The boys had a lot of fun cheering `Defense' and stressed me out by wrestling on the bench during the game. Kai liked drawing in the white board too.

Gary's team lost big was not fun to watch. I'm usually quite encouraging but in this case, ya, they have a long ways to go. Looking like another short season, folks:)

What else is new?

Kai has started skating lessons two times a week. Poor guy, it's been a year since he skated last so he's one of the wobbliest in his class. They go much faster and Kai is so competitive that it is so hard for him to be last or second last. But, I truly admire his determination. He just kept getting back up and giving it 100%. Couldn't be prouder. I think it's a great life lesson for him.

Also, Kai is big into watching sports. For example, he gets up at 5:45am to watch sports highlights. We can hear him cheering. He's always asking Gary if they can watch a football, basketball or hockey game together. Doesn't take much for Gary to agree:)

I have the perfect amount of sessions right now at about one per week until I'm 37 weeks pregnant. So perfect for balancing life (boy and home) and work. I love it!

This week I start my prenatal yoga class. I signed up for 10 weeks as I'm hoping it will be beneficial. I'm also hoping it works with Gary's schedule. I'm trying to be much more active this time around (with the other two, I just walked a lot and did some swimming and biking). The reason? I want to be strong for labour, and also, I want it to be an easier process to get back into shape afterwards. Also, I'm hoping it will lead to less discomfort towards the end as I really do not do well in that 9th month. Today Kai and I went for a little run, it felt really weird as it was more of a fast walk/waddle:) The easiest things to do are ride the recumbent bike at home and walk with the kiddos, so that will continue to be my biggest source of exercise. I did three weeks of aquafit with Jackie which was awesome (I slept so well afterwards!) but being that her baby was due 9 days ago, she likely won't be doing aquafit with me in the future!

I believe that next week I can find out what we are having!! I will be 21 weeks excited! Not sure if we will be sharing the info but my sister Jan is adamant that we are having a girl based on the Chinese gender predictor calendar:) I feel really good. Baby is moving a lot more and I love it. I can't wait for the boys to feel it too, they really want to.

Some bad news is that we got an email yesterday saying that the adoption agency we are with has closed down due to financial reasons. I have many different emotions. First off, I am heartbroken for the families that have been waiting to bring their little ones home, some have been waiting years. I think especially of those who are waiting for their first child. There was very little information given but I really hope and pray that they are able to transfer their files (home study, educational component, birth letters etc) to another agency with minimal cost and time involved. I know we still would like the option of adoption after this babe so I will have to look into it this week (if we can transfer our files). If we cannot, I will be pretty upset about the investment we had made (time, money, emotional) and I don't know if we would go through it all again.... I am so thankful that we are pregnant because I don't think I would've handled this news well at all. In fact, it would have broken my heart. At the same time, I feel guilt that we are pregnant and therefore, this does not affect us as much right now.

Totally changing gears here...I just read `Heaven is for real' and I liked it. It takes less than 2 hours to read but it made my heart happy thinking of my mom in heaven with a grandchild (the early miscarriage we had this summer), her dad and brother. If you haven't read it, it's about a 4 year old boy that nearly dies when his appendix ruptures and he says that during the surgery, he went to heaven. It talks about the people he met and also his experience of being with Jesus. Sounds a bit crazy, I know, but I'm glad I read it.

I hope you had a wonderful weekend.

Love, Louise

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Party and a Lens

We had Koen's 3rd birthday on his actual birthday. It was hard planning a 3rd birthday because he doesn't really have any friends yet:) So, we just had his 4 girl cousins who are closest in age to him. He wanted a `Space Party' so we decorated star cookies and painted rockets. We also had pancakes and cupcakes:) Koen had fun but it was weird to have such a small party for him.

{My mischievous niece Sami}

Kai gave Koen one of Gary's old basketball trophies and proclaimed that it was a trophy for being the `World's Greatest Little Brother'.

And what else is new?

I'm so thankful that Kai went back to school today! For the first time in his life, I found him annoying this weekend. Isn't that mean to find your child annoying? He will just blab on about the same thing for 20 minutes straight (some Mario game) and will purposely do anything to drive Koen crazy (walk on his toys, take his blankie etc). Also, he bites his nails like crazy. I am not a fan. I made him wear socks on his hands. It was the first time I've ever felt annoyed by him so hopefully a little space will cure that:)

Also, as the end of 2011 approached, we made just a few business purchases as we won't be making many in 2012. Baby is coming in prime photography time (beginning of summer) and we'll likely be making only 40% of what we did this year. So, I bought this antique stroller (which I will use this Thursday for a a newborn session), a laminate `section' for indoor studio photos (in stroller photo), some newborn props, and....a new lens:) We ordered the 85mm f/1.8. I couldn't justify spending an additional $1000.00 for an f/1.2 so hopefully it is as good as all the reviews said! Can't wait for that package to arrive in the mail!

No idea why I'm blogging so much but I have to say that as I make my 2011 photo book, it helps to have everything recorded via the blog. That's how I remember what we did each month of the year.

Went to the TMJ specialist in Chilliwack this morning. Had my mouth splint adapted again but really, it is not hopeful. Once baby is born, he may try another manipulation with anesthetic but likely I will have this forever. Great. I know it could be worse but it is frustrating to be `falling apart' at this age (thyroid and jaw). Truthfully my life isn't much different, besides pain from chewing and having to cut my food up smaller, but I'm worried what the bone on bone will do as I age. Can't be great. Oh well, again, could be worse.

I'm loving this one on one time with Koen again. Yay for school:) Hope you are having a great start to 2012!
Love, Louise

Monday, January 02, 2012

19 Weeks

I am feeling really good. My sciatic pain has gotten much better. I just sort of feel it in my butt when I walk for a long time but it's not painful, just a bit uncomfortable. I'm at the stage where I totally forget I'm pregnant until baby kicks me or I try to bend over. On New Years Eve, the baby kicked or punched so hard that I could see it on the outside for the first time. Gary got to feel it which was cool.

The baby room is painted and the dresser is assembled. Now, we await the gender to finish decorating it. It's looking good!

I haven't been sleeping as well lately which is annoying. It's not that I'm not tired, I almost always feel sleepy at 7pm but then get a second wind and usually head to bed at 11pm. However, I don't fall asleep until midnight or so.

I've been reading a lot of birth books. The plan is a VBA2C unless something comes up in the meantime (placenta previa, breech etc). I know you can deliver breech but that is not something I'm willing to do with a big baby, especially if it has a Kai size head. I'll be seeing the OB on the 23rd so we'll see what he thinks about me doing a VBA2C.

I'm thinking I should do aquafit each week but not sure if I'm motivated or not:) Usually motivation is not a problem for exercise but when it's not as convenient (drive to the pool) it's harder to do.

So far I have gained a total of 7lbs. The reason I haven't gained anything in the last week is because I've just been putting on all the weight I lost with the flu. I know I will be packing on some serious pounds in the last trimester:)

I feel like I've been pregnant for 2 years just because we have waiting for a baby since we started our adoption process in Jan 2010. We are ready and eager to meet this little babe...once he/she is ready:)

Love, Louise

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Koen Turns Three!

My baby is three (tomorrow). Wow. I can't imagine our lives without this easy going and mischievous boy. He makes us smile each and every day. Kai and Koen are best buds, playing together all day, although, at least half of that time, they are fighting about something. They wrestle and chase each other and I've learned to not look.

I always find the day before their birthdays the most emotional. Thinking about the day before my life was changed forever...again. Koen loves being with us and trying to be helpful. A song, especially `Jingle Bells' can usually cure most owies (or a kiss from mom). He loves going on errands. He loves eating anything and everything. I cannot think of one food he will not eat. He likes to be the one to pray at every meal. He does not like being interrupted at all. He loves his bunk bed.
{I love this picture of Gary and one week old Koen. It sits beside my computer. He was SO chubby!!}
{These pictures were taken when we went to Boundary Bay to see the Snowy Owls a few days ago.}
Koen is very physical, well, more so than Kai. He needs to jump on people and pull on their shirts to try to pull them down. He loves using markers and colouring with his big brother. He mostly loves to draw about 20 circles on a page.
I'm so thankful for Koen. He just has to flash me those dimples and I melt. Or sing me `Jingle Bells' or `My God Is So Big'. I'm thankful that I still get some really great cuddles out of him.
He is still very attached to his blankie, Bubi. We all love Bubi. Bubi makes him so docile and content. When he sees baby pictures of himself without Bubi, he gets tears in his eyes wondering where his Bubi was when that picture was taken.

If I let him, Koen would watch tv all day (obviously we don't let him!). He gathers about three blankets and four pillows and makes a `sleeping bag' and then he settles in to watch his show. He loves wearing socks to bed.

I look forward to seeing what sort of young man our Kokies will be. I'm thinking he will be a bit more of the `funny guy' with the sweet, sweet heart. Who knows, I'm in no rush to find out. I'm loving where we are at right now.
Koen, I hope you know how much mommy, daddy and Kai love you. We love you so much, forever and ever. You are so sweet and caring, and at the same time, you know how to drive us bonkers in just seconds. Thanks for keeping us on our toes.
Love you, Bubba.
Love, Mommy, Daddy, Kai and Koen
PS We took some photos of him today and you can see them here.