Tuesday, December 31, 2013

New Years Resolution

All right, want to know what my New Years Resolution is?  I'm generally a person who loves lists and loves to make them realistic so that I will likely not be disappointed.

I have one thing on my list.

Make Gary a greater priority than my children. 
{This is from August}

It's hard because we are coming out of the stage where the kids just need us so, so much.  They are cute and little and I find them very easy to love.  Gary and I were just married a little over a year before Kai joined us so he's never really had my full attention.

Gary and I have always been a great team.  I think it's important for our kids to see us in a great marriage.  So this year, it's time to move him up in the ranks.

How am I going to do this? Hmmm....not quite sure.

It will start with me asking (and caring) how his day is/was.  So easy, I know.  You would think I would do this all the time but sometimes I feel jealous that he gets to leave the house (and fighting kids and toilet cleaning) so I don't want to hear about any fun stuff he has done.

So, if you see me, ask me how it's going :)  Keep me accountable.

I have loved 2013.  My highlights were; sleeping through the night and our trip to SE Asia.  My lowlights were; being sleep deprived for 3/4 of the year and  two 24 hour travel days with Nya...it was the airplane portion that was so tough.

I hope you have a safe and wonderful New Years Eve.  Our plans are small but the kids will love it.  It involves sushi and Menchies.  And then putting the kids to bed and Gary and I enjoying a movie (and some wine for me).  My belly is already full of Oliebollen. Yum.

Any New Years Resolutions for you?

Love, Louise

Monday, December 30, 2013

19 Months

Yikes. So I'm a week behind.  I realized I did the monthly updates for the boys up to the age of two so I better continue with that!!  

Miss Nya is 19 months old now.  She is still teething and has a cold so she is a bit grumpier than normal but who cares, she still sleeps through the night!! Yahoo!!

She loves:
-going outside.  She `must' be wearing a hat, coat and shoes.  If you don't let her wear these things, you will hear all about it.
-she needs me to validate what she's saying or she will repeat it louder and louder (like our very own Koen).  Lights. LIGHTS! LIGHTS!  Yes Nya, there are lights.
-she loves to play with her dolls pushing them all over the house in the stroller.  They need to have a blankie on them.  
-she loves her My Little Pony underwear but hasn't played with her actual Ponies that she got for Christmas.
-dips (ketchup, mayo, sour cream etc)
-cheese and fruit
-to say people's names.  She especially loves saying `Hannah' `Georgie' and now `Joshie' after she just met her new friend.
-to be held.
-the boys pushing her around in the shopping cart.  As seen here:

She is still quite thin but healthily so.  Her hair is slowly coming in.  She naps from about 12:30-2 pm and then sleeps from about 7 pm to 7 am.  She still breastfeeds once/day.  She has her nap and goes to bed at night with a warm bottle of milk.  I know we should change this but it just helps her to calm down.  Otherwise, she is wild in her bed for about an hour.

We are so thankful for her.  I can totally see Kai's observant nature in her and then also Koen's goofy silly side.  Love you Miss Nya.

Love, Louise

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Thankful Thursdays

**There is a Christmas post below this one **

Thankful for...

1.  Christmas walk with the Chapmans to look at lights.  So nice to just have fresh air, exercise, and conversation.
2.  My parents camping with us all the time when we were younger.  And apparently some pretty sweet sunglasses!
3.  Christmas party with friends!  I may have enjoyed a glass (or three) of wine.
4.  Good movies.  I saw `12 Years a Slave' with Lynette.  It was such a powerful and sad movie.  I also saw `Catching Fire' with Gary.  Another good movie.  And, with two movies this past month, that is my yearly quota :)

5.  Twenty seven Christmases with my mom.  Well, I guess twenty six as I missed one when I was in Kenya.

6.  My dad making an effort to see my kids once a week.  So appreciate it.  Also, look at this picture of my dad at Kai's age!  See the resemblance?
7.  Koen's preschool.  So glad we found it.  It has been a perfect fit for him.

8.  Making it to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro exactly 9 years ago.

9. Gary putting together our Amazing Race Canada video!  Lynette and I may have just applied :) Nope, not sharing the video:)

10.  The fact that I went to Kenya in 2004.  Changed my life.  If you ever have the chance to travel and experience other cultures, go for it. Do it.

Happy Thankful Thursdays!

Love, Louise


We had a wonderful Christmas with our immediate and our extended families.  I can say that we are all very exhausted but looking forward to some family activities and visiting with friends and Koen's birthday.  These pictures were over two days but here are some from our Christmas festivities.  

On Christmas Eve morning, we let the kids open one present each...
Nya got a baby stroller ($4 off the swap site :)
Koen was excited to get Power Ranger Super Samurai
Kai giving Koen a hug for the latest `Diary of a Wimpy Kids' book
We then went to my sister  Maria's house for Christmas Eve.  Here is the table for the `big kids'
and the table for the little kids.  They were so quiet!!
Georgie and Nya had matching dresses that I may have picked up for $2 each :)
Joanne's two daughters, son in law and granddaughter celebrated with us this year!  15 adults and 13 kids.  It was a house full of laughter and chaos.   The kids exchanged names with their cousins for gifts and the adults did a white elephant gift (we did soooo well in that exchange this year!)  Then, after dinner and presents, our family went to our church for the Christmas Eve  service.

Christmas morning and the boys were very excited!  Yes, I put them in the same clothes two days in a row.  Do you know how much laundry I do????
Nya opened her big present; a run bike!
Our boys never had one but I have heard great things about them.  Nya wasn't going to get a present beyond the stroller but then I saw them at Costco this week :) It's a 12" one and she can just touch so hopefully by the spring she will be good to go!
Kai and Koen play Amazing Race all the time so they were excited to get an official Amazing Race mat!

They also got tickets to the Canucks Super Skills competition to go with Gary (and their cousins) in a few weeks.  
Gary's shirt!  We didn't really spend any money on each other since we've had a few expenses this year (our trip, new van, microwave and vacuum!!).  
Then, we packed up and went to Gary's parents to spend the whole day with his whole side of the family.  Again, another house full of 8 adults and 10 kids. Nya got My Little Ponies.
Kai and Koen were excited to get their first Beyblades.  On each side, the kids did a gift exchange with one cousin.
I don't have many pictures of the Chapman family because Gary was taking video on his GoPro (which he has figured out how to sync with his camera which is exciting for him).

We had dinner, the kids went in the hot tub, and then home we came.

Today is just cleaning up and relaxing.  Exhale.

I guess it also involves me riding my stationary bike.  

I hope you had a very Merry Christmas!!

Love, Louise

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Lyn and Lou

This is a picture that totally makes me laugh.  Lynette and I have been best friends since grade 8.  Twenty three years of friendship.  Look at us back in the day.  So funny, yet awesome.
PS. Sheer sleeves were cool in 1992, I'm sure of it.  Also, bold and bright floral patterns. Obviously.
PS again: I hope that my kids make great friendships that last a lifetime. 
And again: Lynette, don't get mad that I posted this...you're beautiful!  Then and now :)

Friday, December 20, 2013

My Loves

Gary and Kai had a `Snow Day' today and the most amazing thing happened.  After Gary told me at 6:30 am that it was a snow day, I went back to sleep UNTIL 8 am.  That has got to be the longest sleep in for the past 1.5 years for sure! 

We took the sleds out, we made snowmen, and I went back into the house with Nya.
Gary is fighting a cold so I hope he gets better soon.  At least there is no vomiting in this house.  Colds are not really a big deal anymore as we are out of the baby stage.  Oh man, please let us avoid the flu!!

These kids are great. Seriously.  The fighting drives me bonkers, but other than that, pretty fun to be with them.  I cannot believe how much Nya is changing.  She just repeats everything we say and follows instructions amazingly well.  She loves to wear pretty dresses but refuses to wear anything in her hair (she has some hair, folks).

Totally looking forward to having two weeks off of work!!  

Have a great weekend.  Drive safely.

Love, Louise

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Thankful Thursdays

**I have three Christmas concerts today!!  Totally forgot about this until my friend Ali reminded me!!**

Thankful for...
1.  Gary's parents taking our boys to go pick a Christmas tree and then go to McDonalds.  The fact that they get a Happy Meal from McDonalds is the highlight:)

2.  The book `The five Love Language of Children'.  I've gotten a few great tidbits from it on how to fill your child's `love tank'.  I would recommend it, especially if your child is 4 and up.

3.  Tim Hortons Donuts.  YUM.  I took the kids to get one and crazy Nya only liked the sprinkles so I may have helped her with the rest.

4.  Summer vacation!!  I booked our camping trip to Nehalem Bay State Park. Such good memories and this time two of my sisters and their families are coming along!! 

5.  Spring Break!  This week I booked our stay in Ucluelet.  We've been doing it since Kai was 1.5 years old, such a great tradition!  This year we are staying in a cheap place so we can stay an extra night and we are taking Gary's parents with us!

6. Koen passing `Sea Urchin'in swimming lessons.  Love the teachers he has had.  They really `get' him and he has them laughing a lot :)  I have Kai and Koen signed up for January.  We'll see how it goes taking all three kids while Gary has basketball.  We celebrated by going to the Tot Romp at the community center right afterwards.  Koen was a bit old for it but had fun:) 

7.  Gary being so great at spending quality time with our kids.  Totally one of Kai's love languages.

8.  Being able to take the kids to Gary's game!  It was totally last minute.  His games are usually at 8pm but this one started at 6:15 pm so we got to watch the first quarter which started with a slam dunk by his center! Pretty great.  They have started the seasons with two wins and zero losses in league games! Yay! 

9.  Finding a second hand size 18-36 month sleep sack for Nya.  $5.  Yahoo!

10.  My new exercise bike!  From Costco.  Delivered to my door.  Less than $200.  This is the worst picture of me ever but when you're in a hurry to get to a Christmas concert, you will post a bad picture of yourself to get the list done!!

Enjoy that snow that's coming tonight!
Love, Louise

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Safety: Too Hot For Tots

At a time when gas and wood fireplaces are burning, and hot beverages are aplenty, I just wanted to give a reminder about safety.  Last year we turned off our gas fireplace because even with the pilot light on, it was too hot and Koen had burnt his hand on it once.  I can't have my eye on that fireplace at all times so off it stays (and we save money...and are cold. ha).  Although your kids may be responsible, what about guests?  What about that `one time'?

This week after church, it was busy as usual.  The adults drank coffee and the kids ran around.  Gary went to pick Kai up at the same time that grandpa went for a hug.  Coffee spilled on Kai and he started crying immediately.  I arrived at that point seeing Kai crying and coffee all over his shirt and arm.  I didn't think and went straight into reacting.  I gave Nya to Gary, grabbed Kai and whipped off his shirt (the fact that he let me do this in public made me think even more that it must be serious), and ran to the nearest sink so have cold water running over his arm/neck.  Upon assessment, I saw that his neck and shoulder were just red and there was no serious burn but we kept the water running.  I asked if grandpa had cream in his coffee and he did which had brought the temperature down significantly. At this point, I thought I was possibly overreacting.  However, I think it's safest to assume the worst right? I don't know.

The thing that confused me was why Kai was crying.  He was saying that it hurt, so I'm sure it did.  I think some of his tears came from being afraid.  Just last week, his teacher had coffee spill on her face and arm that was very serious.  She ended up in the ER several times.

I watched this video last year which made me be aware of the cords in our kitchen and our gas fireplace.  I'm sure no one wants to watch the 17 minute version but you can watch that website.  Instead, here is a 3 minute version. Take the time. Please.

And on the note of safety...please read my friend Tessa's blog about their recent serious scare regarding pool safety.  


Monday, December 16, 2013

Christmas Bowling and Concerts

On Saturday we had our annual Dekens Bowling Party.  It's to celebrate Jackie (and now Hannah's) birthdays as they are just the days before Christmas so it's fun for them to have a special birthday.  We don't get together to celebrate anyone other adults birthday or there would be way too many get togethers but this is a good tradition!
This year we rented out the party room to have pizza first.  Great area for the kids to just run in circles.  Everyone was able to attend except for Doug and Jack Jr as they were at Dougie's work party.
I wish I had pictures of bowling but it was Cosmic Bowling!  I should note that meant that we all had bumpers up preventing the dreaded gutter ball.  First three places?  Gary, Tyler and Kai!   The five 1.5 year olds just ran up and down the ramp most of the time.  And yes, both Kai and Koen beat me.  I'm a terrible bowler.  Although, maybe if there was money
Sunday morning the boys had their church Christmas Concert.  Gary's parents (and one niece!), came to watch.  Nya LOVES grandpa so much (although you can't tell from this photo) and just stayed cuddled in his lap for half an hour for the performances and then I took her to the nursery.  
Koen was animated as always.  He wanted to ensure that Grandpa could hear him because sometimes grandpa's can't hear so well (that was what he told us).
He bowed after each song too (I think he learned that from preschool).
Here's a video.  He's on the far right.

Kai is definitely more serious and he may have yawned a time or two while singing :)  I have to say I'm sorta glad it's done because we listened to the same songs over and over in the van in order to learn them.  

Kai and Koen each have another Christmas concert this week.  Busy, busy!!

Love, Louise