Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Family Yoga

Well, I can tell you I never did yoga with my mom. The kids were so cute trying to copy me. I do have to say that if my body feels sore, a good half hour of prenatal yoga makes me feel so much better. Half an hour to an hour of stretching and strengthening? Awesome. I would rather be at my class (which I still have for 3 more weeks) but a DVD works well too.

In other news, I know I've said that I've been crying so easily these days but it has gotten so much worse. Last night I was reading Kai his hockey book and I couldn't read the last page because I was crying so hard. It was about a mom giving her hockey sweater to her daughter. I'm not crying because I'm sad, I'm just feeling my feelings so strongly. I feel like I'm 14 again:)

Monday, February 27, 2012

Friday Night Without Kids

Life around here has been good. Gary and I had a wedding on Saturday so we asked his parents if they could take the kids from Friday night until Saturday night. It was great. They are usually able to babysit during weddings, which is awesome, the only thing is that it's an extra 3 hours of driving in the day.

So, what did Gary and I do with our Friday night without the kids? This may sound boring but to us it was fun:) We walked to three different restaurants/stores and picked up sushi, sweet and sour pork and cupcakes. Then, we brought them back home and ate in front of the tv while watching a Criminal Minds episode that we had missed. We went for another walk after that. I LOVE being able to walk and talk without the kiddos. I have always wanted to try the cupcakes from a local cupcake shop and although they were good, they weren't great. I'm a cupcake snob:) Please note that I have actually been eating pretty healthy, that was sort of an, uh, special treat:)
I babysat Hannah for a couple hours on Friday and it was right during her nap time so I didn't get any photos in as she just wanted to nap in peace.
(I wanted to see how white on white looked, I decided I don't really like it.)
I'm 27 weeks! Got all my blood tests back and they are good. Slightly anemic but I'm not taking iron for it because I feel fine. Also, free T4's are out of range but not too much so hopefully thyroid behaves! I don't have Gestational Diabetes so that is good. Baby is transverse and I'm pretty sure she has been the whole time. She just lays horizontally on the bottom of my uterus. There are many inches up top that she is not utilizing so I look forward to her going head down at some point! I have my Langley OB appt on Thursday and if they say no to a VBA2C, I will go to the Better Birth Clinic at Women's and see what they say. Just trying to cover all of my bases. Braxton Hicks are way more frequent with this little one so my uterus is really working out in preparation:)
My dad has always wanted to be a pilot. My mom said he could go for it once the kids were all out of the house. So, he has been taking flying lessons and done a bunch of ground school work and I believe he will be able to fly solo sometime this spring. The kids are not allowed to go up with him even though they really want to (I won't let them!). Way to go, Dad.
There was a freak hail/snow storm yesterday.
Fortunately it wasn't raining/snowing/hailing on Saturday for the wedding we photographed. Unfortunately it was REALLY windy and cold so it made it a bit challenging.
{Hannah and Isaac smiling at about 6 weeks old. They both look like their daddies but you can tell they are cousins!}
This morning was the sisters playdate morning. I had gone to Value Village for the 50% off day first and got Kai a few things (mostly pants as he wears through the knees so quickly).

I should mention the boys current dream jobs:
Kai: be a professional hockey player (or ref) that also works at Subway.
Koen: be a big man that is a swim teacher who also works at McDonalds.

And now, laundry is done, bathrooms clean, dinner is in the slow cooker and I better get to work:) I hope you had a wonderful weekend!
Love, Louise

Thursday, February 23, 2012

New Louise

For some reason flickr (where I post our pictures from) isn't working right now so I will just post one picture. Last night I got Gary to take some studio type photos of my belly. We are going to be having an outdoor maternity session as a family next month but I thought we should try to get a few studio-ish ones too. I am very excited for our family photos as they will be in Victoria and taken by Megan again:)
{26 week belly}
So, Gary and I are a great team but I have realized a couple of things. I don't take direction well from Gary when he is directing me in something I feel like I know:) Also, Gary doesn't ever do maternity sessions so it was interesting. Regardless, I am thankful that he is so patient with me and that we got a few.

I got to cuddle baby Kivani today. She is adorable and squishy and curls up so perfectly on your chest. There's a serious dose of happy medicine in that.

I'm not sure why I'm suddenly so much more aware of money we are spending. We are totally fine financially but I think the idea of having a baby and not being able to work as much worries me. Kai's tuition doubles and Koen starts preschool. So, we cut our cable in half and our internet speed as well. We save $50/month there and I haven't noticed a change at all in the internet speed. I also changed Koen's preschool from 3 days a week to 2 days. Although I will use his preschool time to work, I'm sure on the other days he can watch a little tv:) So, that reduced the cost by $45/month. I guess my concern also comes from the fact that this is the first time I will not be getting maternity leave when baby comes. It doesn't help that our van is in the shop (this is day 3) which I'm sure will cost a few bucks!

We are photographing our first wedding of the year on Saturday. I'm looking forward to it. It has been a while and the couple is wonderful. I'm hoping the weather behaves! We have 5 weddings booked before baby comes and I'm hoping that the one at 37 weeks isn't too hard on my body:)

I know I've said this before but I have made a conscious effort to really slow life down. Old Louise would probably find New Louise lazy. Truthfully. My whole life was about go, go, go. Produce, produce, produce. I'm in a stage now where I have forced myself to slow down and it has been so good. The hard part is saying `no' to sessions that I would love to do. Realistically, 1-2 play dates per week is my mental maximum. I really want my life to have as little stress as possible. This is for the health of my family but also for my health. I love not having to rush here and there. Not having hours of editing hanging over my head. I have time to exercise every day. I have time to meal plan and make meals. I have time to just watch tv guilt free at night. I have time to read books. I have time for relaxing family days (where I'm not worried about all I have to do). I have time to watch my nieces or nephew if need be. I feel that there is no stress hanging over me. It feels good. And strange. But good.

Gary and I get another date night tomorrow night. That's two weeks in a row! Might as well get them in now:)

I have to say that the hardest thing about the boys at this age (3 and 5) is that if they are in the house together, and bored, they fight. A lot. Screaming, crying, chasing, the works. It is exhausting. If we get out of the house, they are totally fine. Or, if I'm involved in an activity with them, they're fine. If that's the hardest thing, then life is pretty good. It just wears on you with all the `Stop chasing your brother', `Leave your brother alone' etc.

And finally, Koen has had 4 swimming lessons so far and he is adorable. He is confident and loud and happy in the water. Now, he's no swimmer but still, I don't think he could be any cuter in that class. By the way, he has the best teacher ever. She is so encouraging and engaging. I wish she could teach him forever. Yay for good teachers:)

This was random but that's what has been going on. Midwife appt tomorrow, with both boys along, and then date night. Oh ya, and I get to babysit Hannah for a couple of hours!! You can bet that I'm going to be taking a picture or two of my niece:)

Have a great night.
Love, Louise

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

98 Days

I will blog more soon (not that there is anything special to say!) but just want to write a quick message that I AM SO EXCITED TO MEET THIS BABY IN 98 DAYS OR LESS:) With the boys, I was excited but mostly nervous about the life change. With this pregnancy, I just feel like I've been waiting for so long. I long to hold my baby in my arms and it actually brings me to tears. Well, let's be honest, my hormones are CRAZY right now and almost anything brings me to tears. I forgot my wallet in the van the other day and had to leave the kids in the grocery check out line to run and get it and I cried. So funny. I don't even know why that made me cry.

I've been having braxton hicks every night now and it makes me even more excited. We're getting closer to the end and somehow I'm 26 weeks pregnant already:)

In sucky news, our van is in the shop. $$$. Lame.

Have a great night and I will blog soon. With pictures and substance. Hopefully.


Friday, February 17, 2012

Quick Five

Just a quick 5 point update of life around here:)

1. Gary and I get to go on a date tonight! And, we get to use a groupon for it with a free babysitter (my sister and I exchange babysitting evenings). Win win.

2. Koen has started swimming lessons. I was so nervous! How would my baby do with a teacher? In the water? So far, he's doing well! He is not scared of the water but he does not like getting water in his ears which I'm assuming is related to all the ear infections he's had over the years. I'm thinking he likely won't pass but boy, is he cute:)
3. Kai got his first report card and I was so excited to see it. I will try not to brag but I will say that I don't think we need to have any concerns about him school/social/emotional wise at this point. There was one thing that he needs to work on a bit more and that is his fine motor skills. No surprise there. Mr. Kai isn't a bit fan of detailed drawings or making his letters perfect etc. Although, according to wikipedia, fine motor skills includes video games and I do have to say he excels there! Anyway, I'm so happy to see that the boy we know and love is a pleasure at school too. Some of the comments were things like `eager and inquisitive learner and grasps new ideas quickly' and `contributes thoughtful ideas and questions..' etc. I went on a field trip with him yesterday and his buddies were so happy to see him and put their arms around him etc. He loves school. I am happy that he loves it so much. It will be interesting to see what Koen thinks of school but he has such a long ways to go. He starts preschool in September and he is soooooooooooo excited about that.
4. We have the smallest yard in the world but the boys use it (this picture shows 1/4 of our yard). They will play soccer for an hour a day, either indoor or outdoor. Kai continues to encourage Koen all the time to ensure he always has an active participant. I think all of the sports play with Kai has definitely helped Koen develop his athletic skills, that's for sure!

5. Now, all of this is not to say that our kids are perfect. They were both up for the day at 5:20am. Fortunately we do not have to get up with them, but still, they are going to be tired!

I hope you have a wonderful weekend.
Love, Louise

Monday, February 13, 2012

My Love

A day early but here is a random post about the most important guy in my life; Gary. I am so thankful for him. Seriously. We are a fantastic team in whatever we do and I look forward to many more years together and the adventures ahead. In this day and age when so many marriages do not work out, I am so thankful for our commitment to each other.

You know how people talk about `love goggles'? We never really had that. When I met Gary, I never thought he was good looking or funny or anything exciting. I don't mean that in a mean way, that's just how it was. He didn't try to act on his best behaviour with me, he just was himself. I found him irritating and annoying but at the same time, I totally respected that he was very comfortable with himself and wasn't trying to impress anyone. I knew from day one what I was getting into:)
{This is what he looked like when I first met him. He was this sarcastic guy that I didn't really understand.}
{This is Gary looking like Shaggy. He dresses like Shaggy every Halloween.}
Our dating story is not clear cut but once I did decide that yes, I did want to date him, I knew right away that he would be my husband. Gary wasn't so sure and broke up with me once or twice. It wasn't until I told him I was going to Africa that he decided that he did want to date me and marry me. Great timing, Gary:) So, we spent the 6 months before we got engaged, doing a very long distance relationship. It was actually really good.
{This was before going to Africa and I really though he would've proposed, but nope.}

I always thought we were so different but really, we're not. We have a very similar background in that we came from conservative Christian families with great childhoods. We both loved school and went into teaching. We both taught high school science. We both love the outdoors and eating. I don't know if you know how much we love good food but we would rather go to a good restaurant than a concert or movie or anything else. We never argue about disciplining the kids or money because we see it the same way. We have a photography business together. So really, we spend a LOT of time together:) We would rather spend an evening watching tv together than going to a party or something of that sort.
There are ways that we are different but it's good and I think some of it is just male/female differences. I'm hormonal and irritable. He feels the same way day in and out. I think about a million things all the time and Gary can think about nothing for hours. When I see that something needs to be done (for example:if the car needed an oil change), I would do it immediately. Gary? He'd wait and wait and wait. I've realized that the best way to handle this is to say, `Gary, can you please do __________ by Friday?' and that works best. I'm not being bossy, I'm just saving us both the stress of me getting frustrated and him being nagged.
Also, I love to talk through feelings, memories, hopes and dreams etc. Gary? Not so interested in it. He will take part in these discussions if I ask at a good time but otherwise, they are not his favourite conversations.
{The day after we got engaged up at Green Lake.}
Gary loves watching sports. A lot. They were a big part of his childhood and still are today. Sports were not seen as important growing up in my family and I think I missed out a bit because of it. Yes, we did go hiking and camping and all that outdoorsy stuff but team sports weren't really seen as important. Besides, who has time to drive 5 kids around to all their sporting events? That is something that I would like to encourage more in our family and I just love being active together.
Gary also loves the food network and browsing through cookbooks at night. Seriously. It's great, we eat well:)
{We were broken up in this picture but due to the fact that we worked together and were part of the `Outdoor Society' together, we still spent time together.}

I remember talking to Gary about how we were never really lovey dovey. He didn't even tell me that he loved me until he proposed. Yup, I waited a long time for those words. Gary told me he made the choice to love me and I was sort of offended. But you know what, I love it. He has decided to love me forever and I will also love him forever. He still annoys me every day (I'm easily annoyed), but I would rather be with him than anyone else. True, I wish he smiled more often, but when he does smile or laugh, it means a lot more I guess:)
{Again, we were still broken up before this hiking trip on the Cape Scott Trail but still went on it.}
{We celebrate our birthdays just 10 days apart}
{On the hardest hike I have ever been on: Stein Valley. Now that is a time to test your relationship. How will you do hiking through Grizzly territory without seeing another person for over 3 days? Oh, and how about the fact that it's the toughest hiking you've ever done and you have the biggest blister on your heel? }
{We like hanging out with the same people:)}
I don't mean to make it sound like we're just together because we decided to. There are a ton of things that I do love about this husband of mine:
-his calves, the little brown spot below his left eye, and his eyebrows (so random, I know). Oh yes, I also love that he is tall. I never dated anyone tall before and who knew how much I would love it? I feel so protected and safe:)
-that he is an amazing father. Seriously, what is more attractive than your husband reading books and wrestling with the kids? Well, maybe when he washes the kitchen floor too. That's pretty hot:)
-he let's me plan everything and goes along willingly
-that we can pray together
-that he is very giving (I can take anything I want off of his plate or I can order two two dishes I would like and then eat half of each.)
-he loves the outdoors
-he's a fantastic cook
-he's good with my family (his too, but you know, that's usually easier).
-he's wise with his purchases and not a big spender. He would be fine living in this house for 20 years (actually, I probably would be too:)
-he is confident in who he is and what he looks like. Although, he is willing to listen to constructive criticism:)
-together we promise to raise our kids in a way that honours God
-he doesn't care that he has to drive an ugly car (my first car!) to and from work:)
-he is patient (letting the kids help him with everything!)
-he is silly with the kids and loves nicknames
-he knows how to just let me vent
-he is 100% fine taking the kids anywhere on his own so that I get free time. I know that next fall, he will be able to handle 3 kids so I can play football again (hoping and praying I don't get sick!!).
-he is a hard worker. Teaching full time for 10 years and still going strong. I really, really admire a hard worker. He doesn't ever complain about going to work.
-he takes care of his health by drinking tons of water, eating properly and getting enough exercise.
-he doesn't complain. Isn't that weird? Who doesn't complain?!
-he knows me and loves me. He thinks I'm beautiful regardless of what I look like and tells me so. I really do love that. A lot.

Happy Valentine's Day, Gary. I love you. Can't wait to see you holding your daughter in just a few more months!
Love, Louise

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Family Day

We had a good old family day today.
{Kai wanted me to take a picture of him with his first project from school. They are learning about how God made them unique and special.}
We went to the Serpentine Wildlife Management Area and went for a walk. The boys loved checking out all the dogs, racing, and throwing rocks in the water. Can you see how much they love each other? They really have so much fun together, I love it.
25 week belly below. Wow. Time is flying! The only thing I'm currently worried about is the major sleep deprivation that comes with a newborn. I'm not ready for it:)
We may have stopped in at DQ to redeem a groupon I had. We haven't eaten there before (besides blizzards) and have to say that I don't think we'd eat there again!
The boys got to play some hockey with Gary. Right now I get to be the ref and basically that means I get to drop the ball for the face off. Koen has improved so much since the summer...he's growing up so fast. I hope our little girl likes playing because I sure do! I love that the boys see me playing football and hockey, and that they see daddy spending a whole lot of time in the kitchen.
We finished off the day with a great dinner (thank you Gary and Jamie Oliver) and then watched `Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs' with popcorn.

Sometimes I wonder how we got here. Wasn't I just 20 years old? Now we have a house, 2 kids with another on the way, and I drive a minivan (which I love driving by the way). I love it. I especially love it when I get little breaks from these monkeys once in a while.

Let the weekend fun continue.
Love, Louise

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Life Around Here

Quick update:

1. My sciatica is bad. I almost cried two nights ago because I was feeling sorry for myself and I don't ever do that. I have massages booked for the next two weeks. I'm fine if I don't walk more than 5 minutes. Or wash the van. Or do a lot of bending. What does it feel like? It feels like someone is stabbing me in the butt and it just happens whenever it wants to. In the evening it is the worst so I spend a lot of the evenings on the couch. It is really important to me to exercise and normally I LOVE going for walks but that just isn't ideal these days. So, what works well? Deep water aerobics, prenatal yoga and the recumbent bike. I highly recommend them! After the baby is born I'll be normal again, right?!! By the way, if anyone has 2 for 1 Langley adult swim admission coupons they are not using, let me know! That way, my sister and I can each go for $2.50:)

2. Today Jackie and Isaac came by unexpectedly as they were without power. Nice to cuddle with a baby. I bounced on the exercise ball with him in the bjorn...felt good for my sciatic nerve. Koen has a pretty bad cough so he had to stay far away.

{Isaac loves auntie Louise! Brought back some great, and not so great, memories bringing out the bjorn again!}

3. Gary has his last basketball game tonight. Yay!!! The main reason I'm excited is because then my evenings are free to go out if need be. I'm also happy for Gary that he'll have some down time.

4. I had to pay for our business insurance today. I wonder how many photographers have business insurance. It cost over $600.00 for the year. That's a lot. But, when you have a business, your equipment is not covered by house insurance so we don't really have a choice. And also, there's that whole liability thing too.

5. Doing one session per week has been dreamy. I have time to relax, visit with a friend or two, still feel busy enough without getting stressed, keep everything under control at home etc. It's perfect!! So thankful for this job. Not sure how shooting weddings will be with my sciatica but we will see:)

6. Went to Winners today to buy a baby gift and I did check out the baby girl clothes. SO CUTE. I resisted. But, I can't tell you how long I will actually be able to do that for:) No matter what anyone says, girl clothes are 1 billion times cuter.

7. Made something cute for the baby room today! The paint is just drying so I'll have to show you once it's dry and up in the room. Now, to start on the owl mobile. I don't sew anything more than buttons on so this will be a bit of a stretch:)

8. I have an appointment with a Langley OB in 3 weeks to see what her thought on a VBA2C will be. I'm anticipating a big fat `NO' and therefore if she says anything different, I'll be pleasantly surprised. Looking forward to it!

9. I was reading our 2011 photobook with the boys and I have to say that for me, the highlight of every year is when we go on vacation. Last year it was the Oregon Coast and Whistler and Tofino. This year will a lot less exciting but still, I CANNOT WAIT FOR SPRING BREAK!! We'll be spending time in Victoria and Parksville and Green Lake. I love family holiday time. One more month!!

All right, time to get dinner on the go.
Have a wonderful evening.
Love, Louise

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Different Kind of Playdate

Gary and I attended a memorial service for our friend's dad yesterday. It was a beautiful service. I always feel so bad for the kids as I know how bittersweet it is. Thankful that their loved one is not suffering anymore, thankful they are in heaven, and thankful for the awesome example of parenting they had. However, it sucks too. As Andrew said, and I've said of my mom, his dad was his biggest fan and supporter. It's tough. Really tough. However, hopefully my kids will see that I am their number one fan and that example that I was given will be passed on.

I am very appreciative of my family and close friends. I know I have a lot of really solid people in my life and I am so thankful. I don't know how to say this but I'm very hesitant to make new friends because I feel like I can't even invest enough in those that I do have. Does that make sense?

So talking about those we are close to, today we had our first sisters playdate with all sisters in attendance and just Kai was at school (Ani is still recovering from her appendectomy). That means 5 mommas and 7 kids (and 3 in utero). The `big kids' just played upstairs and the little ones just got cuddles while the mommas chatted. Good times. We are planning on getting together weekly so we'll see how it goes!
Sami's `cheese' face. She's adorable. And a monkey. I love it. She will be a big sis in April!!!
The `little' ones. With lots of aunties to hold and cuddle them, it was a fuss free time:)
There was a whole lot of kids clothes swapping going on. A whole lot. I think we're all good for a while!
Hannah is about 5 or 6 weeks old now. So strange to be thinking I will be having a girl because it does feel more `normal' to be holding Isaac. I'm just used to lugging around big chunky boys.
Tummy time for two!

I'm thinking that by the time Maria and I have our kids, no one will want to hear anything about diapers or breastfeeding or sleep as our conversations are just saturated with it these days. So thankful for these babies, those inside and out. Praying for health all around.

Hope you had a wonderful weekend.
Love, Louise

PS Did you know Gary is pretty much done basketball after this week?! Yippee!

PPS Kai and Koen are playing together so well these days! They play soccer or football for about an hour every night after dinner. Kai is so incredibly encouraging of Koen (mostly because he knows he has to or Koen won't play with him). This isn't to say that there isn't a lot of contact, because there is, but I love to see them playing sports together:)

Sunday, February 05, 2012

Baby Shower and A Great Husband

Today, before the Superbowl, we had a baby shower for Isaac at our house. It went really well (I think) and all three babes in attendance slept almost the whole time.
Below, Jackie is getting a little emotional over the Ergo they were given. They have been utilizing `The Backbreaker' (a terrible carrier) and are excited for some relief:)

Below, Hannah and Isaac. Pretty much the same size and just snoozing away.

I have to say that my husband is pretty awesome. I warned him that I would be bossing him around a bit over the last few days as my hip/butt/sciatica started acting up again. Totally my fault as washing the van was not ideal for my sciatic nerve. But seriously, the van was so dirty. Anyway, back to Gary. So, Gary just went and did everything I asked and then some without complaining. He helped clean the house, shopped for food, prepared the food, took the kids out for 2 hours during the shower, and then came back to clean everything up. He's a pretty great guy, in case you were wondering.

Yay for babies and for great husbands.
Love, Louise

PS Today reminded me why we never have pop or junk food in our house. I indulged and feel disgusting! I have no control over chips or pop. Fortunately my kids don't like pop and they would rather have a bowl full of fruit and veggies:)

Friday, February 03, 2012


I'm a planner. My calendar is very important to me. I have realized over time that I can only plan so much. Thought I would be teaching forever. Guess not. Thought I would be healthy forever (well, at least til I was 70 or so). Guess not. Thought we would be adopting our third child. Guess not. Thought my mom would be an oma to my kids. Guess not. So far, I have adapted to all of these changes and I'm pretty certain there will continue to be a few more valleys along the way. My main hope and prayer is just that Gary, myself, the boys and our little girl will remain healthy. Oh ya, and I really do hope we get to go to Africa as a family for 2 months to a year at some point!

We needed to make some decisions with our adoption paperwork. Not just with the agency but between Gary and I as well. We decided to have our files sent to the Ministry and if we do want to go ahead with an adoption down the road, the agency we would be working with would request the files from the ministry. We would still have to do a ton of updating stuff as that would be quite some time from now.
{Our `Dear Birth Parent' booklets were mailed back to us today.}

In regards to our family, I still have that deep desire to adopt. Gary is so good with the idea of adoption but he is not so open to the idea of four kids. I totally understand it and respect it. It's a lot of kids when you are a dad working full time (plus another part time job on the side) and you are an involved father. Oh, and when you're a bit older than your wife:) Likely what would happen is if an adoptive situation `fell into our lap' then we would seriously consider it. However, we will not actively search it out. If that makes sense.
{I had to buy hangers because seriously, the boys had maybe 3 dress shirts each hanging up. These are outfits from my sister Jan who is going to be having a boy.}

In the meantime, we are eagerly awaiting the arrival of our baby girl. Kai and Koen are amazingly gentle with my belly/their sister and are very excited about her. Koen is particularly gentle and will rub and kiss my belly while singing songs. It is so sweet and I do need to get it on video. The other day he was playing with my outtie belly button and asked if I could pee out of it:) We have a name for our little girl and you will be happy to know that it does not start with a `K' or a `C':)
You can see the wall colour in the baby room and I liked this pillow so I think there will be accents of these colours throughout the room. I'm trying to keep it pretty simple because I don't want to have to redecorate in 2 years again. I think I'm going to attempt to make my own owl mobile.

Life is good. Thankful for where I am. Okay, I have a little monkey glued to my chair and swinging me around so I better go!

Love, Louise

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

View From Up Here

Everything is going well pregnancy wise and I'm at 23 weeks. My sciatica has been non existent for 2 days now which I'm hoping is the new normal!! Yay for massage therapy:) I'm also excited that I get to go back to aquafit tonight as Gary's assistant coaches will finish practice for him tonight. I've missed it. My dad babysat last Thursday so I could go to prenatal yoga which has been good. I think he's babysitting again tomorrow night. Thanks, dad! I NEED my exercise or I feel terrible. I've gained a bunch of weight, maybe almost 15lbs total, which happened all of a sudden. I think it was related to catching up after my flu and also a little more limited activity due to the sciatica.

Here are some belly shots from today. We have actually booked a maternity session over spring break which I'm really looking forward to. Trying to take photos of our family by ourselves is so not worth it.

{I kind of like my belly button sticking out:)}
Life has been good but busy. We have activities almost every weekday morning for the kids and I have my social/exercise activities 4 nights a week.

I'm getting a bit nervous about finances this year. We are totally fine but with me unable to do more work (for my health and sanity), things will just be a little tighter. I know it will be fine but in our 7 years of marriage, this will the least amount of income that we will be bringing in.

I'm also a bit nervous about getting sick once baby comes. I know it's far off but I really, really hope that if/when I relapse with Graves' that it holds off until babe is just a bit older. Koen was almost 8 months which was `ideal' as he was able to have solids along with breastmilk and also, he was sleeping more at night than a newborn. According to studies, my likelihood of relapsing is high after just one month. Yikes. Thankfully Kai and Koen are old enough to take care of themselves in some ways and also, Gary will be home for the summer. Good timing:)

Okay, I promised a certain boy that I would play Skip-Bo with him. Have I told you how math minded Kai is? We don't ever really practice math but he can mentally do things I never taught him. Two days ago we were talking about 4 groups of 4 and he figured it out to be 16 in no time all. At his age I would've been counting my fingers or drawing pictures to figure it out.

Oh yes, Skip-Bo. Gotta go.
Love, Louise