Sunday, December 30, 2012


Today we went up to Seymour to go snowshoeing!  Gary, Kai and I got our own snowshoes last year and then this year I also bought some for Koen.  We totally do not go enough to get our money's worth but oh well.  If you would like to borrow them, let me know!  They are currently being borrowed until Jan. 2nd:)

We left at 8:30am and got up there by 9:15am.  We had to park soooooooo far from the trailhead.  Lame.  It was a sunny day but I didn't know it would be that busy.  We would've gone on a weekday but `someone' has basketball practice tomorrow.  Anyway...
{Minutes before falling asleep}
The boys were excited to be in snowshoes and Nya seemed comfortable (and warm) enough in the Ergo.  After about 10 minutes of walking alongside the parked cars, Koen had enough and laid down.  Great.  
It took a lot of perseverance (and two granola bar breaks) but after 45 minutes, we reached the trailhead.  We only hiked in the forest for about 15 minutes.  So beautiful in there.  We needed to head back as Ms. Nya was going to need to eat soon and the boys were so done.  Koen also had a `lister' as he calls them (blister).  At this point Koen just walked in his boots.
So, we hiked the 30 minutes down hill back to our van.
{Go Koen Go!}
I'm glad we persevered.  It was not super fun but it was so beautiful out there and so good to get some fresh air.  Nya did SO well.  She actually fell asleep as we were walking back.  I had sold Koen's baby snowsuit which would have fit her perfectly so she was crammed into a 0-6 month one but it worked and she was nice and warm.
I love our Ergo.  I had her in it for almost 2 hours and it was so fine. It helps that she's probably only 17lbs:) As we left the mountain, the cars were lined all the way up the whole road and there was a 2 hour wait to get a parking spot!
Last night we walked  to Tim Hortons to get a donut.  I can tell you that not one sprinkle was wasted on Koen. That kid.  Wow.  He is a vacuum cleaner/garburator.  Kai  now savours food. Kai is huge and I don't know when that happened.

And, before I forget to include them, here are some pictures from our Chapman Christmas aka Christmas #3.
{The cousin table}
{Koen checking out `Angel Judy/Grandma' attached to grandpa's helmet}
{Grandma with Nya.  Nya just wanted to eat her bracelet.   It used to make me sad every time I saw Judy with our kids because I thought of what my mom was missing out on.  However as time passes I am just more thankful for the role that Gary's parents play in our kids lives}
{Nya loves her new doll.  Well, she loves eating it.}
{I know I'm dorky but we've always had `school books' around for the kids.  They love them.  I love that they love it:)  I usually get them from Costco and we usually do them over the holidays.  Kai got a new Grade 2 one today.}
{Kai loves teaching Koen}

And this is what our evenings look like.  Every. Single. Night.  This is just a snippet and it's usually much rougher.  It usually goes on from 5:30-6:30pm. 

So ya, it has been busy!!  How is it New Years Eve tomorrow already? I used to have such big plans for it, and now?  Not so big.  We always go out for dinner as a family and then Gary and I watch a movie at home.  Boring but good guess.  We almost had a party once but then we got sick.  

So much to be thankful for this year.  So much.

Oh yes, I must add that I ran 6 km's on Thursday!  Go me!  I'm still sick but I'm getting there!

Have a safe and happy New Years Eve!

Love, Louise

Saturday, December 29, 2012

7 Months Old!

Yikes, I'm a week late on this!  I love looking back on these sort of posts to see where the boys were at and  it helps when making their baby books:)  I just do a scrapbook for their first year of life, although, I think I'm about 4 months behind on Nya's....

7 Months.  Wow.  Time has flown. I don't remember being pregnant with her really but I sure remember her when she was little and that feels like yesterday!
{She is truly a very happy and smiley baby}

Nya got sick with the flu this month which was so sad and terrible.  She barely ate for two days and was up most of the night.  Recovering from it has been brutal too!  She's back to eating like a newborn; every 3 hours 24/7.  She also has 3 meals a day of pureed pears, apples, carrots, sweet potato etc.  This is so not normal for a baby to up so much in the night but I think she's just recovering and hopefully it doesn't last too long!

Nya goes down for her two naps very well but does not enjoy going to bed at night.  She loves to suck on a receiving blanket for comfort.  She sleeps in a sleep sack and loves to bang her legs against the bars of the crib.  She always rolls onto her tummy to sleep now.

She will only breastfeed in her bedroom, in the dark, right when she wakes up from a nap.  So not convenient.  When we go out, I need to take a bottle of frozen breast milk along and I'm so thankful I have a bunch stored up and thankful she now takes a bottle!

Nya is so relaxed and easy going.  She just loves being where the action is and has no problem with over stimulation.  She loves her family best but is not yet afraid of strangers.  She may have gotten her first doll for Christmas (from Gramma Chapman) and she loves sucking on her dolls hands and feet:)
She can sit (not very well)  and roll but that's about it!  No crawling. No standing.  Makes life easy for us in regards to safety:)  She is still very long and lean.

She is a very happy girl.  Happy and content.  So easy to calm down (well, I can always do it, not sure if others can as I am always the one around!).  She makes soft little sounds like `Ah' and `Oh' and `Ope' but that's about it.  They are just so....girly:)

We love this little girl and cannot believe how old she is getting!! She is still super bald but the boys were too.  One day she'll have hair:)

Happy 7 Months Baby Girl!!!  We love you so much!!

PS I also made Gary take some pictures of me with the boys so you'll be seeing those too:)  I am so annoying to take pictures of because Gary doesn't notice things like neck fat (like the 3rd picture) and that's all I notice.  So we always argue about it and it's not very fun but I'm glad to have them (the pictures, not the neck rolls).  Oh well.  I guess pictures don't lie and he's capturing me as I am:)

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas Part One and Two

So.  We are healthyish.  Something is plaguing our digestive systems but it's not terrible.  Nya has a cold again and is miserable at night (Gary and I each took a one our shift last night) BUT Gary and I are feeling quite a bit better.

On Sunday, I had a photo session in the afternoon and then we went as family to Green Timbers Park to check out the lake for an upcoming wedding.  It actually looked pretty good, and if it's snowy, it will look extra good:)  It was almost dark by the time we got there but we still managed to get a good walk in.  I don't know if I've said this before but Koen is so excited about everything in life.  He's like a puppy.  Snow! A puddle!  Boots!  Lake!  Dog!  Mommy!  He lives his life in exclamation marks:) 

{I apologize in advance for iPhone photos in the dark....better than nothing?!  }
I love our Ergo.  Wish I had it when the boys were little.
I asked Kai to write a Christmas card and he asked me what it should say.  I said....
That is such a Gary thing to do:)  But pretty smart for a 6 year old!  

On Christmas Eve we had Christmas with my side of the family.  Maria and Kris hosted.  We ate good food, the kids performed some songs, and we exchanged a few gifts.  Gary and I got a cook book, and gift certificates to Denji Sushi and Cold Stone Creamery (all in our neighbourhood).   We also did a white elephant exchange and fortunately we did not end up with the expired box of condoms that has been in the exchange for a couple of years now (hence all the babies! just kidding).   The kids got gifts from Nana Jo and Opi which they were excited about.
Afterwards, we went to our church for their Christmas Eve service and everyone went to their own churches or home.  No staying up too late with so many little ones!  I find get togethers so exhausting.  Not sure why.  I guess I want to make sure my boys aren't destroying other people.  They love to be rough together but other people do not appreciate it so much.  Came home exhausted and with a headache.  I'm sure the excess of food did not help that.
The boys wanted to leave cookies and milk for Santa.  Kai is the kid that has to know everything about everything so I don' t know why he did not question for a second that Santa would somehow get into our house and deliver gifts and eat cookies at everyone's house and somehow do the whole world in one night.  We don't even really talk about Santa but whatever, they were excited.  They know that Santa has a $20 gift limit and the rest of the presents were from us:)
So, Christmas morning, Kai got Star Wars Lego, a watch, and the 7th Wimpy Kid book.  He was happy with his gifts and played with them for hours but he was nowhere as excited as his younger brother:)
Koen got Cars stuff.   Undies, cars, stickers etc.  He was so thankful for each item. `RAMONE!  THANK YOU MOM AND DAD! THANK YOU MOM AND DAD! '  'CAR UNDIES!  CAR UNDIES! THANK YOU MOMMY AND DADDY!'.  
The boys spent a good amount of time playing with their old Trick Track tonight which kept Nya occupied too:)

I was able to go for a run today with my new Lifeproof iPhone holder (went 4.6 km).  I also got beer and underwear (tradition) and wine (oh my goodness, it sounds like I drink a lot but I want to see if I like wine!) and Purdy's chocolates. 

Gary got pistachios and a Cuisinart Immersion blender.  Yup, that's what he asked for:)  Oh ya, he got a Star Wars sticker book from Kai and a  Styrofoam snowflake from Koen.

Today we have the Chapman Christmas celebration.  Everyone always stays way later than we do but it is so not worth it with three young kids.  We still push it a bit and stay until maybe 8pm, and I feel bad leaving, but seriously, we are the ones that don't sleep through the night and have kids up and ready for the day at 6:30am every day!

Hope you had a very Merry Christmas!
Love, Louise

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Terrific 24 Hours

{Koen in the stripes in front.  You can see the boy behind him yelling even more loudly.}
1.  Went to Koen's prechool Christmas Concert.  He was just as entertaining as the last one but this time it included dance moves (Gary-esque) and apparently he had the role of Joseph and never told me?  His first line in the mic was `I don't know what I'm supposed to say!'.  His lines were mostly `Do you have a bed for Mary?  The baby is about to come!' which he said three times super loudly:)  So cute!!   The video I have is terrible as I'm rocking a flu-ish/grumpy baby  in the back of the church in the Ergo throughout.  I'll spare you the seasick feeling.

2. Nya stopped puking on Friday night. Phew!  Yesterday she ate food and breastfed and my milk came back. Yes!!!!

3.  Saturday morning I went for a 3.5km run.  I have such a long ways to was my heart that stopped me from going further as I couldn't get my heart rate below 190bpm.

4.  Had a Starbucks drink (white chocolate mocha!).  Thank you, Kelly!

5.  Went to my niece Hannah's first birthday party!!!  Gary stayed home with Nya because I didn't want her residual germs out there. Everyone was there except for dad and Joanne so it was nice and busy there with both sides of their family.  The boys behaved decently.

On the way there:
Me: I don't want you boys running around.
Kai: Fine, I'll just sit there.
Koen: I'll just copy Kai.  But if he twirls on one foot, I can't.

Someone commented to me `Your boys are a handful, I bet you wish you were the one with four girls'.  Nope, I love their energy and physicality!  I've heard girls can be whiny and I don't do whiny:)

{My niece Hannah, we did a cake smash/tasting last week...}

6.  I got to meet baby L (Lynette and Bryan's baby girl!!).  Oh my goodness.  Have you  ever been so excited about something that you almost didn't want to go?  I was just too excited.  I ran to the door and as soon as I saw her in Lynette's  arms, I was a mess.  Like you know when you can't even look because you're crying and it's too much to look at something so awesome? Then Lynette put her in my arms and I got to hold her beautiful daughter as she slept.  The whole time.  What a gift any baby is, but in adoption, I feel like there's just this added appreciation with the selflessness of the birth mom (not in all cases I guess).  I won't be posting any pictures, but believe me, her chubby face is adorable:).  What a very special Christmas gift!!  This was def. the highlight of my weekend:)

7. Went to see `Life of Pi' in 3D with my friend Leah.  Yup, I got out for the evening.  Nya took a bottle.  I had popcorn and pop. Oh my goodness, I am one big ball of butter and sugar and can't wait for the Christmas goodies to be gone.  So nice to be out and Leah even picked me up and dropped me off:)  By the way, you can buy the movie bundles at  3D movies + concession (2 pops and 1 popcorn) costs just $30 instead of $40.00. Just print them at home!  You obviously have to be a member.  They have the cheaper one for regular movies too ($25).

So ya, appreciating the small things in the day to day.  Gary took the boys to church and I stayed home so that Nya could nap. I have 2 hours to myself!   Love having Gary around to help out...wonder if he has noticed our overflowing laundry hamper....:)

Friday, December 21, 2012

And The Bright Side

{Poor Nya already had the flu here, can you tell? Poor bubba}

1.  Nya has breastfed 3 times today already.  I don't really have any milk as it's been days of her not really eating but I'm trying to avoid giving her frozen breast milk because I want her to get my supply back up.   She is currently GIGGLING in the next room and hasn't vomited since 9pm last night. There are still some major digestive issues but we're definitely past the worst of it.  Phew.

2.  I have fluid draining from my sinuses.  If you've ever had a really bad sinus infection,  you know this process is disgusting but so good at the same time.

3.  Kai and Koen are healthy!!  Gary is almost 100% as well.

4.  Koen has his preschool Christmas concert this evening and I'm thinking it won't be as enthusiastic as the last one but I hope it is:)

5.  Gary is home for two weeks!!!  The reason this is awesome is that I can escape the house. Ha. And run.  

Thank you all for `listening' over the past month or so of sickness...I seriously have great friends (here and online).  When Gary is gone so much during basketball season, I have this need to vent and share and therefore blogging picks up the pace.  Gracias!!!  

And now we will avoid everyone until spring comes:)

Love, Louise

PS Thank you to Leah for bringing me a beer:)  I shall drink it tonight!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

I Quit!!!!

I've been trying to get Nya to sleep for about 2 hours now...oh my goodness.  She's had the flu for 36 hours now.  She only vomited twice today so that was good?

And, I'm still not over my sinus infection (major pain in the left side of my face) and my throat feels sore and my lymph nodes are large and tender.  Can I be getting sick again?!!!

In the past two months, Kai has lost a rain jacket and two toques at school.  Not in the lost and found.  Makes me mad.  I will be the crazy mom asking for a label maker for Christmas and  labeling everything.

Oh man, she is screaming in the monitor still...I gotta get her.  And hold her.  I'm pretty sure I'll get the flu after this.  Anyone wanna hold a pukey baby?!

I didn't get to meet Lynette and Bryan's baby today:(  I didn't want to bring any germs her way.  So sucky:(

Gary's at a basketball game.

Tonight Kai asked why my belly was still so big.  He now knows that you never say that to someone.  Really I just wanted to yell `BECAUSE I'M SICK AND HAVE BEEN SICK FOR SO LONG AND I JUST TAKE CARE OF YOU GUYS AND EAT CRAPPY FOOD BECAUSE I HAVE NO ENERGY AND I CAN'T GET OUT TO EXERCISE AND THAT IS WHY MY BELLY IS HUGE'.

I can't wait for summer.

Love, Louise

PS I can't quit though.  And deep down I don't want to, I want to be the one caring for my baby.  I guess all I want to say is `I WANT US ALL TO BE HEALTHY!!'

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Days 17-19 and a Grumpy Santa

Santa was pretty grumpy in this photo.  Apparently he was too hairy.  I'll share a few more over the next few days:)
{Please forgive all the dark indoor iphone pictures.  Most convenient these days!!}

Day 17: Go for Sushi!!  It was their first time going out for sushi and it was awesome.  So fun! We just walked to Denji Sushi, they have good sushi!   Kai tried everything and loved it (california, tuna, bc, dynamite and salmon rolls).  He did not love wasabi.  Kai's digestive system has been so much better (we cut out dairy and fat) but after the meal he didn't feel so good ...probably the spicy wasabi?
Koen liked his teriyaki chicken.  It was Nya's first time in a high chair at a restaurant.  I was so not prepared and really should've brought something for her to eat...chopsticks are not baby friendly!  She ate the wrapper. So fun to go out as a family and seriously not chaotic or anything, they did so well!
As a side note, she is now eating pears, sweet potato, banana, avocado, rice cereal, apples, carrots and pumpkin.  She likes it all.  She does not like breastfeeding and is on her 3rd or 4th nursing strike.  She'll go 12 hours no problem, today was 14 hours (although I did get 2oz of breast milk in a bottle in her).  I can only sneak it in at night.  Thank goodness it hasn't affected my supply yet as I try to pump during the day.  So frustrating.  The boys ate all the time.  I wonder if it's my thyroid? My meds?  I did start antibiotics last week.  Does she feel sick?  Soooooooooo annoying.  I feel so rejected!  Thankful that at least she will take a bottle if need be.  I'm not ready to stop breastfeeding, I really want to go til at least a year.  It's my last baby!

Also, I don't know why this is so surprising to me, but the boys LOVE Nya so much.  They think she is adorable (she is!), they love to give her toys and tickles and they are not jealous at all.  I've said it a million times but I'm just surprised!  Kai was jealous of Koen a bit.  Maybe because he was only 2.5?  Maybe because he had no one else to play with?  Regardless, it's AWESOME.

Day 18: Build a fort and have a snack in it (copied you Kelly!!). Gary was gone and I needed something last minute.  No picture of it.

{Nya can finally sort of sit up?   She just needs the breastfeeding pillow to do so.  I think Koen loves her toys more than she does.  She'd rather play with the remote or my iphone. }

Day 18: Build a Snowman!  Yay for a snow day.  Really just because that means Gary is home to help out.  Nya also slept until 5am which was awesome!!  

In other news...I'm still feeling kinda crappy.  At least I'm not contagious anymore.  My sinus infection moved and there is major pain in my jaw.  My good side (I always have pain on my right side from when it came off the disk one year ago). I got a sinus rinse and started taking Tylenol Sinus and Cold.  I'm just still exhausted from it.  I'm on antibiotics.  I've done such little activity for 3 weeks, I'm probably in the worst shape I've been in besides post C-section.  I want to run so badly but am exhausted.  We have two months until our 10km was doing so well up until a couple of months ago:(   Gary is doing much better (yay!).

I'm all caught up on photo sessions!! Yahoo!! I have one over the holidays but then that is it until our first wedding in January.

I get to meet someone really special tomorrow:) Lynette and Bryan's baby!  Yay!

Hope you are having a good week.  Although, it seems like most people are struggling with colds and flu's and all that loveliness right now.  Boo.  Seems like an extra bad year for it.

Bon nuit.
Love, Louise

 PS Koen has his preschool Christmas concert on Friday and he asked if Oma (my mom) was coming to it.  I wish, buddy, I wish.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Bowling Night and an Animated Koen

Our Family Advent Activities

Day 12: Go biking (again).  They LOVE it.

Day 13: It was supposed to be Games Night but I was sooooo sick and tired still so I changed it to `Open A  Present'.   I had found a Star Wars Lego pack at Costco for $16 (regular $32) and it kept Kai busy for 3 hours straight when he got home from school!!  He has been playing with it every single day. Awesome.  Big thanks to my friend Estelle for dropping of a meal that night, it was sooooo good and so appreciated!!

Day 14: Smoothie Night.  Then Gary and I went to his staff party and had a babysitter!  We were just gone 2 hours (as Gary and I were so tired) but Nya was SCREAMING when we got back. Not sure if she didn't recognize our niece or if she was just over tired but I felt bad for her:(   So funny to go to the staff party where your child also attends school.  I heard some great stories about my Kai Bear.  Brilliant and funny:)  

Day 15: Go to Grandma and Grandpa's House. I had two sessions and then stayed home with Nya while she napped.  We are now at the stage where it's not worth it for her to miss her  naps...

Day 16: Go bowling for Jackie's Annual Bowling Party!!  In the morning, we had Kai and Koen's Christmas concert at church.  They both did so well.  Koen was loud and animated.  Kai sang and did all the actions and his tummy is behaving!  Seriously, soooooo thankful that he hasn't had an episode since Friday!!

I don't ever include video but you sort of have to watch Koen.  He really wanted to make sure that we heard him:)  Kai did the exact same thing when he was four years old. 

{Kai with the tie in the middle}

Koen's Videos: There are two songs.  Each one is hilarious:)  Seriously.  His teachers told him to sing loudly and he followed instructions!

Off to the bowling party!  We've been doing this annually for about 5 years.  Usually it's on Jackie's birthday (the 23rd) but with so many kids and the busy-ness of Christmas, we moved it up.  You would think that with the 9 adults and 10 kids (5 being babies) it would be a bit wild but it wasn't bad at all.  The kids had their own lane with the bumpers up and we were good to go. 

{Below, Nya and Little Jack...buddies!  We call them Jack and Greta as those are my parents names and Nya's middle name is Greta:)}
Team Dekens 2012

Then, everyone came back to our place for dinner and dessert and it was pretty laid back as the kids could just play in the basement.  Missing was Doug (with a sick Sami at home) and dad and Joanne who were coming back from holidays.

I have been on antibiotics since Thursday and feeling much better.  The kids are all healthy (well, Koen has a cough but he pretty much does for 4 months straight during the winter) and I'm ready to get my body back in shape.  I have 2 months left before my 10km race so I need to get my butt in gear!

Love, Louise

PS Yesterday Kai said, `Who came up with this whole `Ladies First' thing anyway?':)

Thursday, December 13, 2012


Okay, so I have THE MOST EXCITING thing to share which I've been holding in for a week and I'm finally able to tell the world!!  I dislike keeping secrets so much so finally I can let it all out.  My bestest friend of 20 years, who I consider my 5th sister, started the adoption process with her husband Bryan just after Gary and I stopped ours. Well, you know that all of my sisters had a baby in one year and now Lynette has too!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  She's a momma!!!!!!  To Nya's new best friend!!!!!!
Today she met her ONE MONTH OLD DAUGHTER and I cannot wait to meet her too.  I don't know if I can explain how joyful this makes me.  I've been crying (for happiness) every day.   Like, what in my life has been more awesome?   This is way up there.  Way up there.  Like when her brother George had his double lung transplant, that was awesome and amazing in a similar way. Adoption is awesome and amazing.  So thankful for it.  Such a selfless gift and what a gift it is just in time for Christmas!!  It's seriously so overwhelming for me and I'm just the friend!  

The pictures below are of Lynette with baby Nya, not her daughter, just to clarify!   
{Lynette with baby Nya}

I was just able to see a picture of Lynette with her baby girl and let me tell you, she is the cutest little girl I've ever seen.   She already has more hair than Nya:)  I will wait to share the details until she can share them all but wowsers, I can't wait to get to know this little girl.  I know I'll have to get in line, there are a whole lotta people excited to love her.  

Yahoo!!!!!!!!!!  Lynette and Bryan will be amazing parents.  Their hearts are huge. Huge.  I would want them to be my parents:)