Wednesday, November 28, 2012


Nya's 6 month stats:
Weight: 15lbs 10oz (soooo little!!! The boys were about 20lbs).  50th percentile. So easy to carry!
Height: 27". 95th percentile.
Head Size: 44cm.  95th percentile.
Long and lean:)

It's not just Nya's fault that I"m not sleeping. I can't fall asleep before midnight and obviously won't take melatonin now because I need to be getting up for Babes.  Last night she fed at 4am (yay, I got 4 hours straight), and then after that, she was up for 2 hours straight.  She had a fever from her immunization so I gave her tylenol.  At 5am I made Gary take her for an hour so I could go back to sleep.

One month ago, I ran 6km.
Three weeks ago, I couldn't even run 2 blocks.
This week, I can run 4km.  It's my heart rate that is preventing me from going further as I don't like it to go above 190bpm.  My muscle weakness is almost all gone. SO THANKFUL FOR CATCHING IT EARLY WITH BLOOD TESTS.  That reminds me, must go for a blood test. So forgetful.

We might be doing a fundraiser for the school (they are building a new primary building) in the form of teaching a photography class to a larger group.  We will see, just need approval as we would want to do it at the school.  Hoping to raise $1000.00.
Three sessions will likely be postponed this weekend due to rain.

Kai has been invited to so many birthday parties.  We have realized that it seems like everyone just invites the whole class.  We have just said `no' to his first one because really, do I want to pay $20/party on a gift each time?  It's about 3 parties per month and that's just him...what about when Koen and Nya start going?  I felt really bad telling him no but if he wants to use his allowance to pay for it, he's welcome to:)

Kai and Koen are getting a weekly allowance now (we started in the summer).  It is soooooo small but I think it's good for them.  Kai makes his own lunch for school every day and he takes out the recycling.  Koen assists him with the recycling),  Kai gets $1 a week and 25 cents goes into the church offering.  Growing up, we were allowed to spend half our money (giving 10% to church too) and the other half went into the bank for university.  We do have RESP's for them and contribute each month (just $25/kid/month).  We do not plan on paying for their university/college/trade, just helping them out.  I think by the time they graduate it will be less than $10,000 per kid but every bit helps!

Spring Break:
We are planning on doing something fun.  Not sure what that will be yet.  Could just be Vancouver Island, could be Disneyland, could be Mexico, could be?????  We just really `missed out' this summer on any sort of trips because Babes was so little.  I know we have a big trip next July but it doesn't hurt to look forward to something just a bit closer:)  Besides, I didn't start working again when Babes was just 4 weeks old just so we could never do anything work money goes mostly towards vacations and school tuition (oh, and our savings account, boring but necessary!). Ideas for something between $1000.00-$3000.00 for a family of 5?

Hope you are having a great week.
Love, Louise

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Good Thing She's Cute

SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO TIRED. SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO TIRED.  I'm too old for this. I need a good nights sleep.  Well, more than one and I want to sleep at least 6 hours straight.  For more than one night.  One day, I know.   It's hard to have an illness that makes you tired and then have a baby that takes every last ounce of energy you have.   I think I will get Gary to do Friday night now that she takes a bottle.  We'll see if that works.  But ya, she's so cute:)

Monday, November 26, 2012

My Thoughts on the iPhone

You have to understand that I came from having a regular old cell phone and rarely texted or had any data etc.  I wasn't sure whether I wanted to have the ability to text and go online because I'm at my computer enough as it is with work.   I don't care for myself, I just care for my family and how I spend time with them. So, in the three weeks that I've had it, here are my thoughts!

Overall, I love it.  A lot.  It is the first `splurge' item for me.  It's something I don't `need' but just wanted more for fun.  It's something that was all mine.   Gary does not understand this.  Everything in our house is `ours' and I just wanted one thing for myself.  When you get married, you give up a lot (like even your name!) and when you have kids, you give up all that's left of you.  Seriously, all I do is for them.  Well, that's how it feels.  Anyway, now I have something that I don't need but is all mine.  Gary did put ESPN on it without asking and I didn't really like that.  Then he went on it again without asking and ran it right out of batteries watching ESPN.  I know I might sound ridiculous and I'm not trying to share all our marital arguments or put Gary down, but I just feel like I want something that is my own.  If he wants to use it, just ask.  Or get his own. He thinks I'm being selfish and maybe I am.  I JUST WANT SOMETHING I DON'T HAVE TO SHARE.  Yes, I'm yelling that.  Maybe I'm irrational or crazy these days  as my hormones are SOOOOOOOO CRAZY!!!  I feel like I'm 14 again.

PROS (I have an iPhone4S)
1.  I now am able to check my emails and facebook in the morning while breastfeeding Nya.  I can also check it at night when I'm feeding her.  Or, when I'm in the kitchen I can just check if there are any new messages. This saves me time. (PS I should note that there are between 5-30 emails a day between my sisters and I so ya, there are always a lot of messages!)
2.  I can text.  Unlimited.  I can even use the option to dictate it which I love!  I can even send emails while feeding her, I just read it out and feel a bit ridiculous:)
3. The phone was free but the cost of my plan has gone up to $50 a month though (so almost $60 with tax). I was at $28/month before so really just $30/month more.
4.  I can use it to cook and bake without dragging the laptop into the kitchen (online recipes).
5.  If I need to use a map or check my emails or anything for work, I can do that on the road.
6.  I now use my time in the office much more productively.  The office is for almost all work now.
7.  I can run with music!!!! And, once, I called Gary mid run to tell him he could put Nya to bed because I was going to keep running.  So fun.  I know there are good running apps out there so I should probably find one.
8.  I rarely use it without wifi so that has helped me not use when we are out as a family.
9.  We only have huge DLSR's so it's hard taking a camera with you to the park etc so it is so fun to be able to just whip out your phone and take a quick picture.  That is one of my favourite things, although, the pictures aren't as good, I just have to suck it up.

{I can show the doctor what happens to Koen's face when he has certain foods....this was from red food dye I believe}
{I could look at this picture all day....SUPER CUTENESS!!! Taken with the iPhone, not bad}

1.  It uses so much battery life...I recharge it every day.
2.   I often read the emails but don't respond right away in case I have a lot I want to say.  Usually I try to respond immediately, so with the phone, it does delay my response.
3.  It is in an ugly case to make it Koen proof.
4.  I have the smallest data plan so I don't use it a lot when I'm out unless there is wifi.  This is good for me.

Anyway, I'm thankful I got it.  So far, so good.  Well, babes is up from her nap already, better go!  By the way, I had to visit my friend in the ER last night and I was gone long enough that Gary had to give Nya a bottle and she took it!!! 4oz. Awesome.  So glad she takes one now.  I feel a huge sense of relief in case of emergencies like that.

Hope you have a wonderful day. I'm thankful the sun is shining...this weekend exhausted me and not from fun stuff:( boo.  I did have two great sessions in the SUN though so that was awesome:)  Okay, ya, gotta get her.

Love, Louise

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Six Month Super Cutie

I love this little girl so much, you know, in case you didn't get that by now.  And I know the pictures are super girly, but you know, it's cute:)  The grey lace romper is actually a size 1-2 but I wanted to try it out on her now.  And for those who don't remember, I was super lovey dovey with my boys too when they were little.  

What is my beautiful baby girl like at 6 months?
She is super laid back.
She is happy and happy and happy.
She does not like going on car rides and that is the only thing that will make her cry/scream during the day.
She is very loved by her brothers and they are so gentle with her.   Even Koen thinks that she is the cutest thing in the world.
She  does not go to sleep very well at night but is usually asleep by 8pm.  She feeds at 11pm and 4am.
She has 2-3 naps during the day which total about 2-3 hours.
She can't quite sit up on her own yet...after about 5 seconds she flops over.
She now rolls over onto her tummy when sleeping at night.
I think she will be a thumb sucker which is totally fine by me!
She loves being in her Jumperoo.
She has tried rice cereal, sweet potato, pears, pumpkin and banana.  Loves them all.  I should probably get some veggies in her too.
She takes a bottle now (this is the most surprising thing to date)!
She loves being thrown up in the air.
She just stopped spitting up.
She always needs a receiving blanket in her hands to go to sleep.  Just like her brothers, she needs a blankie in her hands!
She loves anyone holding her and doesn't care who it is.

I'm going to wait until she's sitting up a bit better before I get her `official' 6 month shot for our office wall, but here are some for now:)  I know I'm a bit ridiculous (my sister has pointed it out), but if I have the skills and equipment and love for it, why not?!
{Her thighs look so chubby, I love it! I wish the headband matched the romper better...}

{Gary totally thinks the nest is too much, I might agree.  Still cute!!}
Oh my dear Nya Greta Chapman, I hope you always know how thankful we all are for you. I hope you always know how much we appreciate your joyful spirit.  You are so loved.
Love, Mommy

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Kai's Class

This morning we went to Kai's class.  They are learning about families and communities and so we had half an hour to share about our family.  Wow, seriously, I am so thankful for our family.  Thankful for our health (I ran for 18 minutes (6 min run 1 min walk X 3) yesterday without taking any beta blockers and my heart rate was NORMAL!?) and for each other.  Gary did a small demo involving an exothermic reaction (gives off heat) with some gas production and a nice `pop' at the end which they loved.  I really should've taken my camera but I did have my hands full with Nya.  
Last night I gave Nya a bottle and then breastfed her (if she's sleepy enough I can switch her over from one to the next) and she slept from 8:30pm until 5:30am!! Awesome.  Not expecting it again but still, so great!  I am planning/hoping to breastfeed her longer than I did the boys, if she'll let me.  The reason? Well, she's my last AND I would like to breastfeed her in the Philippines.  She will be 13-14 months old then.   In regards to her being our last, I may have looked up information about adopting from Uganda as we are thinking about teaching there for a year in 2014ish.  We'll see:)  We do still have all of our adoption info with the ministry (as our adoption agency shut down) and it's always a possibility...

 I bought her pants/tutu from a store in Langley called `Once Upon A Time'.  I've sold a bunch of stuff there too. That way I can spend what I make by selling stuff and don't spend any money:)  I bought Kai a new raincoat (he lost his other one...what a punk) and winter boots there too.
Seriously, this picture is terrible (iphone pic)!!  I should remember to take my real camera but its hard when juggling kids.  One thing I was thinking was that Gary was the cool scientist doing the demo and I wish it had been me.  Why? I think it's good for them to see women being scientists too.  

And Koen.  Wow, he is at a tricky age.  He is our most difficult child these days.  He just doesn't seem very happy.  I mean, he does have a non stop cold but still, he's just grumpy.  You can see it in the picture.  He's still pretty easy going but just not happy.  He does love preschool and Sunday School though so that's good. He also enjoys going for bike rides and going on any errands with Gary and I.  Maybe he's just not happy because he's stuck at home with me all day:)   And truthfully, maybe he's just more like Gary.  Gary doesn't really smile and that doesn't mean he's sad, it's just him. 

All right, better go hang out with that grumpy boy of mine.  Thankful for so much these days.  Today, thankful for Kai's teacher, his class, and his love for school.  

Love, Louise

Sunday, November 18, 2012


For six months, Nya has refused a bottle.  Well today, Nya went on a nursing strike.  I did get one feed in her in the 12 hours when she was so sleepy and didn't know what she was doing.  Finally, because my chest was exploding, I pumped out some milk and put it in a bottle.  I gave it to her and SHE TOOK IT.  WHAT?  SHE CAN DO IT?

{Koen feeding her some yummy sweet potato the other day}
She is so confusing to me.  This is not the first time I've struggled with her refusing to breastfeed.  It's hard because the boys just fed non stop.  It settled them, it made them happy when they were hurt, it put them to sleep etc.  Nya couldn't really care less about breastfeeding and does not eat a lot.  I don't know how she is growing so much.  Girls, I tell ya....(ha, anything different than the boys and I'm just going to say it's because she's a girl even though I know that's not true:)
{PS One thing I am an advocate for is homemade baby food.  A lot of the stuff that comes in the jars is just really disgusting.  If you don't like the taste of it, then seriously, why would you give it to your kids?  If you want them to like food, make it yummy!  I do buy rice cereal (and mum mums) though because I haven't been able to make it less glue-ish.  It's way cheaper to make your own food and it tastes so good.  All you need to do is boil or steam your veggie, put it in the blender with some of the water it was boiled in, puree. Eat fresh or place in ice cube trays until frozen, place in a ziploc bag in the freezer and then you have the perfect serving size for later!}
{Added: Taken Monday  morning with my iphone.  She took 2oz again in a bottle.  Never thought I would see this picture!  Still no breastfeeding during the day.  PUNK!!}

I hope you had a great weekend and hopefully Ms. Nya is back to normal tomorrow!
Love, Louise

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Being Married To Gary

Marriage.  It's good.  I think it's hard to have a great one.  Gary and I hover around 72% most of the time in regards to how we feel things are going  in our marriage.   I know, I'm absolutely ridiculous to put a number to it but that's how I gauge things and that's how I get an idea of how Gary's feeling.  If I ask him, he'll always say `fine'.  Fine?  Fine like `I'm going to make it' or `It'll do' or `Almost really great!' or what?  I guess the good thing about 72% is that there is always something to work towards and we can have a better one.

What stands in our way?  Exhaustion. Kids. A house that needs to be cleaned. Work. Exhaustion.  A calendar that's too full (did I mention that basketball season has started?).  Exhaustion (Nya was up every 2 hours last night!).  A tired wife doesn't feel very loving.  In my opinion.  Oh ya, did I mention that I often find him annoying?   It's probably mostly my fault that I am annoyed with eating sounds (mostly crunching, oh I can't handle it!!),  moving slowly (you would think that because he played basketball for years he could hustle if need be...), different timelines and driving styles and....ya.   As Gary points out, we can't all be as perfect as me:) ha.

However, looking back at these photos that were taken 1.5 years ago, it makes me thankful and happy.   We have two of these as huge prints in our bedroom, above our bed.  It makes me smile when going to bed and makes me a little less frustrated on those days when he drives me crazy:)   I wish I was a little better at following Kai's memory verse from a few months back:
`.... Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.' (James 1:19).  

I am thankful to have such a solid husband.  I am thankful that he is hardworking and that he is a wonderful father.  I'm thankful that he supports me in what I want to do.  Well, except for having a 4th kid...he's not as supportive in that department:)   I'm thankful that he has made the choice to love me forever.  
 I'm also thankful that he can cook so well and does it often.  Seriously, such a bonus!  Yesterday I had salmon covered in bacon.  Yes.  Two of my very favourite things together. Yum.
And, I'm thankful that he vacuumed the stairs this week without me asking him too!  I may have left the vacuum at the bottom of the stairs but still...
I mean, there are a few things I would change.  For example, I wish he was a bit more emotional.  I have seen tears in his eyes three times in my life.  Note, I'm pretty sure that the tears did not leave his eyes.  Watching `Blood Diamonds', when Kai was born (it could've been that he was really tired too...longest night of our lives!), and when I left for Africa.  At the same time, I'm thankful that he's not overly emotional because it helps to balance me out.  
I love Gary.  I am thankful for him.  I wish I was better at telling him every day.  I'm terrible at it.  I remember when we were first married we said that we would say `I love you' and kiss each other every night and somehow, well, that doesn't even happen anymore.  However, he reads my blog daily, so Gary...`I love you and I'm thankful for you!'.
Love, Louise

Monday, November 12, 2012

Christmas Cutie

Yes,  a Christmas picture already:)  We did our family Christmas picture this weekend too, and ya, it wasn't great.  Oh well.  The kids sort of behaved but somehow it was super sunny on Friday so we had to go find some shade...and it was cold...and we used our remote trigger.  Oh well, at least we took one!
By the way, the reason I took this picture is because I ordered this hat from my friend Melissa.  If you are interested in purchasing one (I love the material, sooooo soft!!), you can do so at her Etsy shop.  I love it when momma's can make some money while staying at home with their kiddos so if you're looking for a cute winter hat....Also, she lives in Langley so you could always save on shipping by picking it up!

Quick recap of the weekend:
1.  Wedding on Saturday.  Loved it.  So many people that I know (lots of old students which I love!) and the weather was great!   My friend Leah babysat Nya and that worked so super well as she lives 2 blocks from the church.  Nya had fun and Leah had to change a diaper or two:)  That little monkey still won't take a bottle so I need her close by to feed her....
2.  Sunday: babysat in church and then went to Gary's parents house with the whole extended family to celebrate birthdays.   We were there super early to change the brakes on the van so it was a long night but it was good.   Thankful for new brakes!
3.  Monday: errands and a mini session and photo editing and hanging out with the kiddos.

How am I feeling?
Well, not bad!  I would say my only complaints are exhaustion and muscle pain/weakness.   I don't know the reason why but you lose your muscles and they hurt when you have Graves Disease.  Anyway, it feels like the day after you go to a step class when you haven't gone in forever.  Just sort of achey everywhere.  I took a beta blocker today to keep my heart rate down and went for a run.  It was hard because of my sore/weak muscles.  I just ran 10 minutes:(   I do think that starting medication early has really helped me and I feel like I'm not getting worse which is fantastic.

Nya update:
The little monkey does not go to bed at night very well.  It usually takes about an hour of putting her in bed, then her screaming for a while, then us getting her, then her screaming etc for about an hour.  Also, during the day it takes her a while to start breastfeeding and I sort of have to force her.  However, eating solids is still quite a messy endeavor and breastmilk just creates less gas and digestive issues:)  She still eats at 10pm and 4 am every night.

Oh wow.  This was so boring!!  I wish I had something fun to say.  I don't.  Life is good.
Love, Louise

PS When talking about Christmas presents, Kai said that I don't need any because my kids are gifts from God and that's good enough:)  True enough!

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Smiley Cuteness and Frustration

Nya wouldn't nap this afternoon so she was just laying on the carpet while I worked and I realized that with all that bright natural light coming in our family room, I had to take some pictures of her.  I REALLY wish I had a natural light studio as I don't really like working with studio lights (but am thankful for them on rainy/dark days).  I keep waiting for her to sit before I get some more pictures of her in her new etsy outfits (oh man, it's a business write off right?!).  But, I think this age is sooooo cute to get pictures of too.  Besides, I hadn't used this purple blanket yet:)  So here she is on our living room floor....
**I do want to say that although the pictures are almost always of Nya, it's because she's so smiley and she doesn't run away when I pull out my camera!**

Isn't she the cutest thing ever?!    I've said that a million times:)

Other things to take note of:

1.  I bought an iPhone.  Yup.  Go me!   And without a warranty, which is maybe not the smartest thing with Koen in the house but I couldn't justify it.  Also, the cell phone people may have said my phone and plan were dinosaurs.   PS Gary fixed the laptop he broke.  Took it apart and put it back together (minus 3 screws) and it worked.

2.  I did a photo session during the day today and I loved it. Hired a babysitter (sister).  So nice to get out during the day by myself!!

3.  I've been on meds since Monday.  I'm mostly frustrated that all the work I've done with running since July has gone down the tubes.  I ran for 2 minutes yesterday to try it out and my heart rate went over 200 bpm.  Not really safe.  I'm thankful that so far I'm not that bad just soooooo exhausted as though I'm pregnant with triplets or something.  Just frustrated to start this process all over again.  Boo.  It's the worst in the morning.  I wake up sweating, heart pounding  and feeling really anxious.  Boo again.. Oh well, could be worse!

I hope you've had a good week!
Love, Louise

Monday, November 05, 2012

Pumpkin Scones and Grumpy Me

I cut up and pureed our  pumpkins that we had out for Halloween.  Gary and I only got  around to carving one this year (boo for us, bad parents!) so I used the rest for food!  I made a ton of baby food for Nya and she actually likes to eat pumpkin.  I'm trying to get her to eat some things so that it gives me a chance to get away for more than 3 hours if need be. 

{Can you tell that she tried to feed herself?!  Oh also, her eyes are turning hazel...}

I've used the rest of the puree to make pumpkin scones.  Yes, the ones you may have seen on pinterest  (the `Starbucks Clone Pumpkin Scones').  They are really good and I actually don't even do the icing on them and the boys LOVE them.  I think Koen is very sensitive to sugar and so ya, less is better for our crazy boy.  
You may remember that Koen broke our flatscreen tv that was just a few months old.  Well, yesterday I had the laptop sitting beside me on the couch and he jumped on it and it won't even turn on.  Good news is that it is our back up laptop that we use for travel/baking with online recipes etc, but still, what a punk.  That kid is costing us a lot of money.

{Her cute outfit for church yesterday:) Booties are so cute and from Simple Things Patterns.  I don't know how to sew so I was able to buy a pair that were made already:)}

We had a playdate here on Friday so I did some Christmas photos of my nieces and nephews.  Too bad my two littlest sisters are almost done their maternity leave:(

And my It sucks.  I went from running a total of about 14km over a week ago to ZERO this week.  Well, I ran 2 blocks, does that count?  My heart rate went through the roof and I was so out of breath.   So ya, just waiting for 9am so I can call my endocrinologist and get a prescription.  I haven't lost any more weight (just 8lbs) and I am sleeping well still (phew!) but I am really tired and weak and grumpy and spacey.  Don't I sound fun?:)

I had three sessions for this past week but just did one due to weather.  Oh well,  this Thursday and Saturday are looking good so that's awesome.  I especially hope Saturday is good as we have a wedding.  It's been a while since we've had one and I'm looking forward to it!

Well, time to make my third batch of pumpkin scones.   Not only do the kids love them, I do too!  

Oh man, I hope I can take me meds today and feel better soon.  I know this may sound weird but I just want to run again.  It not only feels good but it is my `health monitor'.  It tells me how I'm feeling.

Okay, pumpkin scones.....

Love, Louise

PS Kai would like to take us all on his honeymoon.  I said that he probably wouldn't want his parents along so he said then he would just take Koen and Koen's wife along:)

PPS We started using soap nuts as laundry detergent.  You can get them here.

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Pumpkin, Mario and the Dinosaur

Yesterday the kids had a fun time trick or treating.  Koen could've kept going forever.  Kai just wanted to get back to hand out candy.  Koen engulfs food, Kai savours it.  We had about 350 kids again this year and then ran out of candy and turned off our lights by 7:15pm:)  
Isaac came with us.  It was hard for the littles because it was raining so hard they had to be all covered up.  Uusally I get a picture of them outside but it was very wet and dark.  
Every time someone guessed that Koen was something other than  a dinosaur, he would freak out on them.  This kid isn't afraid to speak up.  Can't say he wanted to be a dinosaur but it was one of the 8 costumes that we own so that was his choice:)

I have a feeling that all three of my sessions are going to be postponed for today and this weekend.  I don't mind except it gets really hard to reschedule....

Kai saw that a pumpkin of ours had been smashed last night and he said, `Should we call the police?':)

Gary's basketball has begun.  Let me tell you, it's not fun for me.  There goes any chance for me to get to run.  Not sure how this is going to work.

I feel myself slowly getting sicker and have a feeling I'll be on my medication by next week.  I have lost 8lbs total which is obviously really nice (although I still have 10 lbs more before I'm pre Nya weight).  However, the rest of the symptoms are not fun or healthy for me.

Hope you all had a safe and fun night.

Love, Louise