Thursday, January 31, 2013

Our First Date

My friend Ali recently had a picture on facebook of her and her husband on their first date.  It got me thinking to the picture towards the end of this post....

Okay, so this wasn't really our first date.  After knowing Gary for just over a year, I actually called him up and asked him out for sushi.  Aren't I brave?!   We had sushi and then we went to get a blizzard from DQ.  Afterwards, he parked in the driveway to drop me off and I said something like `Remember that conversation we had back in September?  I think we should revisit it'.  `That' conversation was where I said I would never ever date him and I thought he should date my friend Ali:) So funny.  Thanks for not dating him, Ali!  

So from that point on, we were dating.  I knew after a week that I would marry him.  He was so different than anyone I had dated before.  I felt like I was going to have a heart attack (in a good way) when I was with him.  Not because he was so great but because of the seriousness of it. I had never dated someone thinking `I'm probably going to marry him' right when we started dating.   This does not mean it was all roses.  We broke up at least twice over the next year.

Anyway, back to the `First Date'.
So, for our first real date, Gary planned it.  I have to say that I'm pretty sure this is one of two dates he has ever planned.   The other one was to watch airport arrivals as I had once said how much I loved seeing loved ones reuniting.  Who knew that a few years later we'd be doing a little reuniting at the airport!  

He said to dress for hiking which is why I look ridiculous and ugly.  At least he wasn't into it for my looks!  Who am I? Yes, I used to wear glasses and I guess if you're hiking you wear your hair in a bun and ya...I don't know.  I like to think I look nicer now.  At least I was comfortable.

This was his first time putting his arms around me and I'm trying to look off into the distance like he told me.  So awkward.  We had gone to Deception Pass and he made a lovely picnic.  I actually don't remember what was in it but I do remember yummy sandwiches and a huge bag of Jelly Bellies.   He also gave me a little stuffed bear and tulips.  I remember having the picnic on a blanket on the beach and it was really windy.  I remember thinking it was weird that he brought a huge knife to cut the fresh bread, why didn't he cut it ahead of time? Random thoughts. 

We went on a little hike and he took a lot of pictures.  Eventually he did show me how to use that `scary' DSLR of his:)
Gary, aren't you glad I asked you out for sushi?!  Look where we are now:)  Oh man, not the easiest road getting him down the aisle but glad we stuck with it!

If you are married, do you remember where YOU went on your first date?

Have a great weekend. Almost there!


Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Why I Blog

People often say, `How do you have time to blog?' `Why do you blog?' `Do you really think you should share that?'.  Well, let me tell you.

From 1991 until 2005, I would write in my journal almost every night.   At least 6/7 nights.  It was a way for me to share my deepest secrets with `someone' and also to process the day.  I'm a thinker.  All the time.  I'm jealous that Gary can seriously think about nothing.   If I were to look back at those high school ones, oh man, it would just be full of how I thought I was so fat and how I wanted a boyfriend. Lame.  But, at least I was writing out my thoughts:)  Seriously, I hated myself for about 3 years (12-15) and I wish I could go back and have a good chat with myself.  That's why I loved teaching the gr.8/9 age, I hope those kids know it does get better!

I also love to record memories.  I've always taken photos and kept boxes with special items in them (each boyfriend got a box) etc.  I might be a bit much but I scrapbook the kids first year, make a photo book each year and I blog:)

When I got married, I stopped writing in my journal because I would talk to Gary each night.  However, over time, I realized that it wasn't the same.  I was sort of processing but it wasn't like talking to myself. 

I really just spend about 10 minutes on a blog post.  I don't edit it, unless I read through it after it's been posted and notice something.   I already have photos uploaded on my computer as I upload them (and edit if  on the DSLR) the day I take them.  

I love looking back.  What was I doing a year ago? What was Koen like at 8 months?  What are some funny things that Kai has said?

I just made my 2012 book.  So easy to do as I have all the information here!  The boys LOVE looking through the yearly books.

Also, not to be morbid, but I want the kids to know all about their childhood.  If something happened, they would really have no memories of me.  Well, Kai would have a few.  Hopefully this would be something helpful.

I don't do it because I feel like I should, I do it because I HAVE to.  It's so nice for me to get stuff written down.  It is therapeutic.   I enjoy it.  It's my personal time.

It's also helpful for family and friends far away to keep in touch. Oh, I guess friends and family close by too:)  

It is also great for connecting to new people.  I have made several friends (real life and online) through blogging and I really do like that. 

The downside?  Well, I can't write like I would journal.  It's not that I'm not open with those around me. Seriously, you can pretty much ask me anything.  It's just not fair to those I love to put `that' info out there. Arguments with Gary, personal stuff about my kids, specific interactions with extended family and friends etc.  So ya.  Can't share that.  Also, it is sorta weird when someone very random tells you that they read your blog.  I feel like they are staring at me in a bikini. Now, after 3 kids.  That same feeling of `Uh, I'm uncomfortable!'.   But I do like that they find something in there interesting enough to read.  

I love that there are random things that cause people to email me `Thank you for sharing...' `My kid does the same thing...' `Have you thought of....' etc.  It is a great part of my community. 

People do read.  And I appreciate that.  There's something in there that they get out of it.  Maybe that we're in the same boat.  Maybe that they think the boys are funny or Nya is cute.  Maybe because they want a glimpse of married life with Gary.  Maybe because, I don't know, it's just something to read when you are breastfeeding at 1am:) 

Anyway, to those that read.  Thank you.  To those that comment.  Thank you even more!  This is a great outlet for me and I love it.

And now, from around here....
Gary and I went on a date!!!  We went for sushi and I had my first `Caterpillar Roll'.  So good!! Love avocado.  We walked and took Nya with us and were only gone one hour but we had an actual conversation and the kids had the best time ever.  The babysitter built a fort and they played shadow puppets.  Now I feel like the most boring mom ever.  She even drove to our house which in my opinion is amazing. 
Nya is really struggling with figuring out how to crawl. She rolls and planks and hurls herself forward.  She's getting there.  It's funny looking back over the first 6 months how much I would write about how awesome she was.  She still is, but the sleep deprivation has caught up with me.   Sick babies are sooooo tough and exhausting.  And she didn't even have anything serious.  We have been healthy for one week.  Well, now Gary is sick but at least I don't have to take care of him.  I just have to hope he doesn't spread the love.
I love being able to spend one on one time with Koen. I miss it.  When Gary comes home, Koen and I will often escape for a few minutes.  I feel bad that Koen doesn't have someone to play with all the time, he loves  interacting with others but I just can't risk the germs right now.  Not exaggerating, 10/20 kids have been sick at his preschool this past week.  There are some nasty bugs out there.
The picture above is of me and my sister Maria.  I'm the one actually praying.  My dad won a photo contest with it 30 years ago.  He says I got my photo skills from him.
Koen was gracious enough to allow Nya to suck on his cars.  This is a big step for him.  We learned a valuable lesson.  She shouldn't suck on the cars with stickers.  Oops.
Nya and Koen playing in the fort.  They are actually starting to play alongside each other, it's pretty cute!
Nya went on her 8th or 9th nursing strike yesterday. After 12 hours, I pumped some out and she pounded it back.  She was giddy as I was pumping...seriously, couldn't she just take it straight from the source? 
And below...this is often what's it's like to try to feed her.  I have to sing fun songs and dance to get her to eat.  How can she be a Chapman?!  We love our food!!  Nya baby, you are so skinny, eat up!
I do not like January.  I feel sad and gloomy.  Wondering what I should do with my life.  You know.  Looking forward to some sunshine one day.  Thankful for my little family.   Thankful that I had the best sleep I've had in two months last night.   It wasn't even amazing but it was good.  And I'll take it.

Have a good day!
Love, Louise

Friday, January 25, 2013

Post Dinner Antics

I do love the antics after dinner.  Reminds me of being a kid.   When we were little, we would turn the lights off and run the loop around the house chasing each other.

Kai's teacher told me today how much he adores his siblings.  I know. I love it.  Please let them love each other and remain close forever!!  After dinner is when there is the most `love' and craziness flying around.  I guess because we are all around. 
Koen's preschool teacher told me yesterday that Koen should be put in drama.  I know.  He loves it.  I'm glad they do a lot of acting stuff in his preschool.  Yesterday he was Mama Bear (from Goldilocks).
All three got their flu shots today.  My sister, Jackie, is a Public Health Nurse, so she was able to do it.  Not sure how much they love her anymore....just kidding.  Koen was amazing and wanted to show how brave he was and asked to go first.  What a monkey.  

 I won't talk about how ridiculous Nya was last night. I'm thinking that I don't have enough milk right now.  Well, when you are breastfeeding someone 7 times a day, how do you have any left?!
Kai loves to hold Cutie and feed her and play with her.  Kai is also huge.  I don't know when he grew but suddenly I had to put a bunch of pants away as they looked like capris and he couldn't do up the waist button.

If anyone knows about EC (elimination communication) I will tell you that I've sort of started it with Nya because she has been so successful with it.  For those that don't care about bodily functions, please skip this sentence:  She has pooped on the toilet every single time I put her on (about 3 times a day) within about 30 seconds. It's wild.  She loves it.
Koen went to the dentist.  No cavities. He did so well and eagerly awaited his prize (a truck).   He is such a chatterbox and talks everyone's ear off everywhere we go.  I love his confidence and hope it stays!
Nya's first time sitting in a grocery cart.  With a huge germ protector:)

What else is new?
1.  I got to talk to a Family Studies class about Natural Family Planning.  You know, ovulation, cervical fluid, all that jazz.  They liked it. I loved it.  I have realized that although I really do like photography and I LOVE that I can be a work at home mom, I miss teaching.  I LOVE teaching.  I LIKE photography.  You know?  I LOVE biology.  I LIKE aperture/lenses/lightroom/bokeh etc.   

2.  I am 100% booked until mid August.  I'm liking the once/week session and it's totally doable.  Less money for us this year but that also means less stress and more family/me time.

3.  I've been back at my old Book Club for a few months now. I love it.  I have missed reading.  It's the cheapest vacation I can take.  I just read `The Kitchen House' and loved it. So good. So sad.  Would be a great movie.  

4.  I've booked another flight....eek!  So fun.  The Cebu, Philippines to Bangkok, Thailand portion, if anyone is interested.   I just got the most direct one to save us about 8 hours and that one had a promo price too.  Hotels are going to be a bit tricky with a family of 5 as most are made for 2 travellers it seems.  I'm using and it seems to have great prices.  I'm so excited about our trip and can't wait to go.  Just, oh, five more months:)  We've been eating Thai or Filipino food every week now to get ourselves excited for some yummy food.  We love our food!!  I hope Nya loves her food too...

5.  I know I CAN run 10 km but I emailed and asked them to put me in the 5 km group.  I will just do a 10 km race next year.  I have a photo session the same day as the 10 km race so that would be too much.  Plus, the last run I did was really hard on me.  I wasn't sore afterwards, I was just so drained of energy.  One day.  Gary is still signed up for the 10km:)

All right, better get editing here....Babes is sleeping and Koen is playing cars....

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

8 Months Old

My baby is eight months old!  Here are all three kids at 8 months....
She sort of looks like a mix of the two right?

Weight: 17.5lbs

sits, rolls, worm/crawls around, says dada and baba
{People always ask if I'm going to pierce her ears..nope!  Not until she's in school at least!}
Likes pureed foods but you can sneak chunks into her applesauce.  Has tried salmon, egg, couscous, banana, squash, pear, rice cereal, mum mums.  She likes her applesauce and rice cereal the best.

Breastfeeds 5-7 times per day.  Only in her room.  In the dark.  So inconvenient.  Just started considering giving her formula during the day.  I don't think I will but the major convenience of breastfeeding is that it's always with you.  However, if we are out, I need to remember to bring a bottle of breastmilk with me.  I don't have enough to pump now so I need to use my stash in the freezer which is quickly dwindling....

{Totally Kai's fake cry face!!}

Um, ya.  She was sick for a bit but now is healthy so she should be sleeping better.  I feed her at 10/11pm and then USUALLY she just gets up once (around 3am) and then is up for the day by 6:30am (thank you boys for waking her!! Boooooooo).   I'm tired.
{Always sucking on her lips and drooling but I see no teeth yet}
Loves being in the action, seeing what's going on (hence no breastfeeding anywhere), relaxed, easy going, happy.  Loves her brothers.  Kai gets the best giggles out of her.

The Ergo (yes, I can get her to sleep in it if need be when we are out!!!), playing with drawstrings, people, being outside, her brothers, being held, rolling around, playing with cups and spoons, putting everything in her mouth.

Sometimes I think back to what life was like with just the two boys and how easy it was at the ages of 5 and 3.  Sometimes I wonder how life would be different if we never had kids.  Oh my goodness, two adults working full time?!  So much money and free time for fun on the weekends and trips and all that.   We would be hiking and running and camping and travelling and eating out and.....maybe sick of each other?  I have no idea what it would be like.  I'm happy where we are and I love my little family. I feel like we are complete.  

 It's not easy.  It's not always fun.  It's tiring.  

I look forward to sleeping more than 5 hours a night.  I think 8 months is as long as I can function on an inappropriate amount of sleep.

I don't mean to make this sound ungrateful.  I am thankful for what I have and wouldn't change it.  Well, maybe a free nanny that came twice a week to play with the kids and clean my house and make dinner.   I guess also, being so exhausted, it makes their growing up a little less hard because growing up means I will get more sleep soon!!!

Nya, `Cutie', Pya, Maya...we love you so much.  You bring our family so much joy.  You are the whipped cream of our family:)  I loved whipped cream .  The real stuff.  To me, that's better than `Icing on the Cake'. Yum. You make it all a whole lot better.

Monday, January 21, 2013


TIRED!!!!  Nya just had two ridiculous nights in a row of eating every 2-3 hours.  We pack her full of food during the day but I'm assuming it's a growth spurt or because of recent developmental changes?  Whatever it is, I'm so tired.  Oh please let her sleep tonight!!!  And by sleep, I just ask for 5 hours in a row.  I think that is what makes me nervous about our `big trip', it's Nya.  Please tell me she'll be sleeping by then!!!!

I'm also training for a 10km race that takes place in 4 weeks and I can't wait for it to be done.  I've decided it's not my thing at this point in my life...I've done about thirty 10 km races in my life but I've never done one after three kids, with an autoimmune disease and while breastfeeding a baby.   Too much.  5km is great and feels good but anything more feels like it takes away from energy reserves that I need.  Yesterday I did 8.8km.  The hardest were km's 5-7.  Hopefully next weekend is better, otherwise, not sure I will actually do the race.  Not worth it to make my body feel so `off'. 
This is the typical pre dinner scene; Kai reading his book from school, Koen racing cars, Nya safe in her jumperoo:)
Nya is now rolling and worming all over the house.  She's trying to crawl but really just pushes herself backwards all over the house.  I have no idea how I will be able to leave the room now:)  With all the kids legos and mini cars etc, it's not safe for her!
I gave her a pancake and she just ate it.  What?! Crazy.  She also had salmon and couscous this weekend.   On that note, one night we had maple glazed salmon and the other we had beer braised pork.  Yum.  Love having Gary home.  Love meat.  Love good food.
I wish you could see her dress, it was cute:)  Yesterday we went to Lauren's baptism.  So great.  Can't wait for Lauren and Nya to start playing together in 6 months or so.
Everyone has strict instructions to feed Nya as much as possible.  Kai loves it.  He loves `Cutie' (as he calls her) so much.  He is really good with her.   He `babysat' her in his bedroom for 1/2 hour on Saturday.  We just put her in a laundry basket with toys and she was safe:) 

And, wow, my hormones are crazy.  Normally when you breastfeed as much as I am now, you don't get your period but my body is out of control.   I feel like a 15 year old all over again.  I get super irritable, angry, stressed etc.  I realized when we were booking plane tickets that I haven't felt stress like that in a while...and then my iPhone was causing me problems...and then I couldn't find the kids passports...and all of those things made me feel overwhelmed when normally it's not a problem.  So ya, I hope my hormones figure themselves out soon.  

I hope you have a good week!  I accidentally did the first load of laundry without soap so this could be a long day...

Love, Louise

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Freaking Out A Little (Lot)

We just booked our tickets to the Philippines and Thailand.  I've been so stressed about it so we finally just did it.  There are still 4 more flights that we need to purchase (just short ones throughout SE Asia) which won't be more than $1,000 total, and only 1-4 hours each, so I'm not worried about those ones.  For now.

I'm not stressed about the money (I haven't worked my butt off for nothing!) but I'm stressed because about 95% of people think we are crazy.  I know it will be tough.  I know.  If I wanted life to be easy, we'd never go an hour from home:)  But what kind of life is that?  I want the kids to see the whole world out there.  I want them to see beyond their own home/community. When I went to Africa, it changed me so much.  I know they are young but hopefully this isn't the only big trip we do.  I would love to be able to take them to Africa and South America too...just have to save 5 years between trips.  Besides, we save about $1500.00 taking Nya before she's two:)

And yes, it would've been `easier' to travel without them but there is no way I could leave them for 3 weeks.  I've never been away from the boys for more than 3 days.  Nya? 4 hours:)   Besides, who would watch them?

I know it's often harder to take the kids along when we even do day trips (ex. snowshoeing) BUT seeing their joy in just the little things, brings me joy.  It will be crazy.  It will be wild.  It will be exhausting! It will be memorable.   Maybe we should drive for 20 hours straight to practice:)

What's next on the list?
1.  Nya and Gary's passports
2. Immunizations
3.  Book flights in SE Asia
4.  Book hotels

Oh ya.
5.  Figure out what camera and lens(es) to take:) ha.

Love, Louise

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

China, Pickle, China, Pickle

*I can never think of a'll understand it towards the end**

There is something so cute about about a baby in jeans, a hoodie and boots!!!!  It helps when her eyes are gorgeous:)  I love my little sweetie pie.  She is awesome.  I felt the same way about the boys and I love having this feeling back.  When they get older, they get a little more..uh, annoying (at times) and smelly and they fight and say `no'.  I still love them the same but their overall cuteness factor is kept in check.

{So bald.  Her brothers were too.  So was I.}

Last night was her best night sleep ever.  8 hours. Awesome.  Of course I had way too much caffeine to keep me functioning yesterday so I was up until 1am.  Still, 5.5 hours of straight sleep for me was AWESOME. 

Funny things Koen has said this week:
`Mommy that shadow is scary.  Oh wait, I'm four now.  It's not scary.'

Me: A pattern is when something repeats like `red, blue, red, blue'
Koen:  I have one!  China, Pickle, China, Pickle

Kai is now such a bookworm.  He walks around the house reading.  He's currently reading `Nate the Great' (one book each night)  and `Horrible Harry' (I think that's the name). I love reading and I really enjoy seeing him loving it too!!

Gary is exhausted and tired and not loving life as much right now.  He's just too busy and getting older.  I won't say much more as Gary is more private but basketball is not ideal when kids don't give 100%.   

Kay, it's work time! Better get to it!


PS I ran 7.4 km on the weekend and it didn't feel too bad!  I'm working on my distance first and then I have to figure out how I'm going to do hills.  I have one month left now before our 10 km race.  My goal?  To finish it:)  

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Being a Work at Home Mom of Three

This is so boring but one day I might want to remember what the good old days were like:)  This is so approximate but shows an average day of being a Work At Home Mom. I have to say that Kai taking care of himself (breakfast, dressing, showering, making his lunch etc) is awesome.

3:00 or 4:00am: Nya breastfeeds for 15 minutes.
6:30am: Kai and Koen head downstairs.  Kai gets breakfast (cereal) for both of them.
6:30am: Gary showers and then heads downstairs to make sure the boys get dressed and then he eats his breakfast.
7:00am: Nya wakes up for the day.  I take her into bed with me for 10 minutes while I sometimes check my iPhone (so embarrassing) for emails.  I usually have a few from my sisters by this point:)  She is so cute.  And bald.  I love her.

7:10am: Brush my teeth and breastfeed Nya and change her.
7:15am: Gary and Kai leave.  Yes, Gary drives Kai to and from school.  It's 15 minutes away, there's no way I'm doing it. Kai goes to before and after school care. Yes, so helpful.
7:30am: Breakfast for me. Nya plays.  Koen watches cartoons for 1/2 hour.
7:30-8:00am: Start laundry, clean, take a shower etc.  Koen plays cars for an hour or so.  Nya is in the jumperoo while I shower, keeps her safe from Koen. He would never hurt her on purpose but he has such terrible control over his body.
9:00am: Nya has about 1 cup of rice cereal. Switch over laundry, clean a bit more.
9:30-10:00am: emails, play with kids, Koen does his `school work'
10:00am: snack time for Koen.  My kids are so time orientated.  Wonder where they get that from...
10-11:30am: Nya naps and I work editing photos. Koen plays.

**about twice a week we have a playdate which means I will work an extra hour  in the evening**

11:30am: Lunch for Koen and I.
11:45am: breastfeed Nya.
12:00-1:00: Nya plays.  Koen plays.  Fold laundry and put away. Play with Koen and Nya.
{Nya giggles}
1:00: Feed Nya another cup of pureed food.
1:15-2:00pm: Play with kids, go for walk, get the mail or go grocery shopping.
2:00pm: Nya goes down for a nap
2:00-3:30pm: I work while Koen watches a movie/tv and plays with his cars at the same time.

**twice a week Koen has prechool from 12:30-3:00pm so no tv time.  Also, we have to move Nya's nap around**

3:30pm: Breastfeed Nya.
3:45pm: Get going on dinner, clean up some more.
4:30pm: Gary and Kai come home! Yay! Back up has arrived.  Now that we are in basketball season, Gary usually just brings Kai home and then heads out again either right away or 2 hours later.  If Gary is home,I try to go for a quick run several times a week.  Sometimes if Gary has a game right after school, I will go and pick up Kai.
5:00-5:30pm: Dinner time for all of us.
5:30-6:00pm: Boys chase each other around the house and I pray for no broken bones:)
{Post dinner wildness}

6:00-6:30pm: Reading together + Kai's homework + bath time for Koen and Nya 2-3X a week.
6:30pm: Koen goes to bed
6:45pm: Feed Nya in her bedroom and put her to sleep.
7:00-7:30pm: Kai makes his lunch, makes sure all school stuff is ready for school.  Three times a week he has a shower. He can do this himself which is awesome.
7:30pm: Kai goes to bed.
7:30-9:00pm: I work on the computer (sometimes later but I try not to anymore).
9:00-11:00pm: Read/watch tv with Gary/email/small group at church/hang out with friends etc.
11:00pm: Lay out the boys clothes for the next day.  Feed Nya and go to sleep and hope Nya doesn't wake before 4am.

What makes it all worth it?  Nya's giggles, Koen's `Mommy we haven't cuddled in a while!' (he does this twice a day), and the smiles Kai and I share in the review mirror when Koen says something hilarious in the van.  So much work.  So repetitive.  So worth it.  Usually:)

Friday, January 11, 2013

Our Life in iPhone Photos

Buddies!  Koen got this hat at preschool and wears it all the time.  Nya now sits up confidently on her own.
Her blue eyes and huge smile melt me over and over.  If I could freeze time right now, I would.  Well, maybe once basketball season was over I would.  Gary's team lost today by one point:(  Boo.  He's back out at a second game right now.
When I do dinner, bath and bedtime by myself, I feel like Supermom.  However, this is what dinner sometimes looks like when Gary is not around...
I've done two dinner and bedtimes in a row by myself.  All kids asleep by 7:30pm.  Yes, Nya too!!  
Oh man, she is like this all the time.  Melting. Again.
`Diary of a Wimpy Kid' is probably a bit too mature for Kai but it does lead to many good discussions.  For example, as I took this picture above, he said `I'm so hot'.  He learned that we don't talk like that when we are 6 years old.
Nya has discovered a whole new world of toys in the ottoman.  Such a great thing for all three kids.  Helps them learn to stand and walk.  Also, it keeps our house a little more toy free.
We won a free pizza from our neighhbour.  She was the `Hero on the Block' from Me 'N Eds Pizza.  I ordered a perogy one and had it delivered to our house.  It was my first time ever ordering pizza to our home.  I felt so mature:)  It was soooooo good.
This was Nya's face after discovering there is more to the world than pureed fruits and veggies.  She may have had a taste of soft serve ice cream from Costco.  Bad, bad mommy.  I figured I wanted to be the one to give it to her before Gramma did.

I hope you have a great weekend.  In the next week we plan to book our Thailand/Philippines trip!! Eeek!!  So nerve wracking because I want to make sure that prices don't go down by $2,000 or something after that.  Oh well. 

Love, Louise

PS I'm supposed to run my 7.5 km this weekend!!!  This is far for me.  I haven't run further than 6 km over the past 6 years.   I'm pretty sure that the last time I ran 10 km was in December 2004.  

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Someone Is Having A Baby!

Life is good.  I can say that for the first time in one month I AM HEALTHY!!!   Well, my thyroid is still out of range but other than that, I AM HEALTHY.

Poor Nya is so congested.  Her coughs are croup-ish but she's doing okay.  I have a feeling once she is better she will be sleeping through the night.  She is also now saying `dadadadada' all the time. It's sooooo cute!! (see last 10 seconds)

I am pretty proud of myself for running.  I ran 6 km for two weeks in a row and this weekend I will attempt a 7.5 km run.  I wish I could run more often but Gary is gone pretty much every evening and the sun sets by 4:30 pm.  I wish I had more time to just exercise in general but that will come.
I have committed to just one session per week so that I have more time for family and exercising.  I've said this before and am getting better and better each year.   We only `need' a certain amount of money so why would I work for more when that takes away from our family?  The hard thing is, when I work more, we have more money to do fun family things...oh the balance!

We have booked our Spring Break trip and are heading back to Ucluelet/Tofino for 4 days and then doing Green Lake with my sister Maria and her family.  It's our yearly tradition and keeps us under $1,000 with ferries, hotels, gas and food..  

We have decided to add Chiang Mai, Thailand to our SE Asia Trip in July.  We will have three weeks and go to Thailand and the Philippines.  Most people think we are crazy taking three kids with one being a baby.  I know it will be hard, especially the LONG travel days, but we can do it!  If you have any experience flying 16 hours with a baby, let me know:)  Also, is it best to book international flights early or closer to?  I've started looking at prices and they haven't changed much in the last few months.   Anyone wanna join us?:)
And, some exciting news that I can finally share!!  My littlest sister is pregnant!  Her daughter Hannah just turned one in December and she is due with #2 in July.  I'm excited and hope baby stays in a bit longer than her due date so I can be here for her birth!
{My niece, Hannah, is going to be a big sister!}

I guess I should include something about Gary too.  His basketball team won their first league game last night.  He had hoped that they would win so that was good!  He is also running the 10 km race in February so he is trying to run more as well....I think he's just up to 5 km right now.

Okay, better go!  Hope you are having a good day.


PS Koen is funny.  When I asked him on his birthday if he felt any different being four, this is what he said:
`I'm not afraid of anything anymore!  Not even of ghostes' (I know how to spell ghosts, that's how he says it).
Me: Koen, please finish your dinner.
Koen: Don't worry about it, sweetheart.

Monday, January 07, 2013

My Mom's Words of Wisdom

My sisters and I miss our mom.  It has been 6.5 years since she passed away from breast cancer that eventually spread into her bones.   The other day we were sharing emails that mom had sent us and it was amazing how at any point in our lives, my mom could tell you exactly what the 5 of us were doing in quite great detail.  Our classes, grades, friends, jobs, heath, fitness etc and how we FELT about it all.  It's not because she peppered us with questions.  She just asked us how we were doing and listened.  And affirmed.  And was empathetic.  And truly cared about what we had to say, more than anyone else.  She didn't offer advice unless we asked for it.  It's so hard to have that missing.  Yes we care about each other as sisters, but not to the same degree.  I didn't call Trish after her first day back at work (sorry Nut!) but mom would've for sure!  I emailed and facebooked her, but it's not the same.

My mom would always say `You go, girl!' `Bless you, girl' `Love you girl'.  Her names for me were Louisa, Louisie, and `Girl' (I guess that was easy with 5 girls!).  My mom had 5 brothers and no sisters growing up so she was soooooo happy to have so many daughters.

I miss my cheerleader.  I miss my support. I miss my mom.  After she died, every time something happened in my life, I would think `I have to tell mom!' and then realized I couldn't.  This took almost a full year.

My mom wasn't perfect, but she was an amazing mom.  Like awesome.  I don't know how she had the patience for 5 hormonal girls and me in particular.  I was ridiculous from the ages of 12-15 and she stood by me and loved me unconditionally, even if she didn't totally understand.

So often I hear her words coming out of my mouth.  Here are some things my mom taught me growing up that I hope to impart on my kiddos:
{Mom and dad way back in the day}

1.  If you're bored, it's because you're boring.  So true.  Be creative, find something to do.  Get outside. GET FRESH AIR.  I love, love, loooooooooooooooooooove the outdoors.

{Mom pregnant with me!}

2.  If you want your kids to share things with you, spend time together daily.  We ate every dinner together and then in the evening (this is soooo dorky), we would sit around the table and have a cup of tea (and a cookie!) and share about our  day.  Mom said she didn't have to ask questions, we would just talk.

{Mom and Me!}

3. Smile. Better than any make up or jewelry.  She had a terrific smile.

4. Be wise with your money.  A house is a great investment.  Pay off your debts ASAP.  If you get any money, put it towards your mortgage/debts.  Work hard. Share money with those in need. My mom dropped me off at the mall when I was in grade 10, and said she would pick me up once I had  delivered all 50 resumes. No joke.  I got a job at Purdy's and loved it.

{Always camping!}

5.  Be thankful for what you do have.  I don't remember my mom ever saying that she wished something was different.  Oh ya, except she thought she had big thighs which is hilarious because after 5 kids, she was still under 125lbs!    She was so incredibly thankful to God for all her many blessings. She was very simple.  Never dyed her hair once.   Got her ears pierced in her 30's.   Even when she was really sick, she was still so thankful for everything.  She would've liked more time to `finish her work' with my littlest sister but she knew that Trish was in good hands (ours and Gods!).
{Maria and I go snowshoeing with mom!}

6.  Don't waste time fighting/arguing.  Life is too short.  My sisters and I get along incredibly well now (maria and I fought like  CRAZY as teenagers).  There's just no point in getting worked up about stuff that doesn't matter.  I always think when having a disagreement with Gary, what the heck would I do if this was the last conversation we ever had?!  It's fine to disagree and argue and have conflict, but work through it.  Quickly!

7.  Homemade food is the best.  I don't think my mom every bought store bought cookies and our fridge was always full of fresh baking.  There was a warm homemade dinner for us every single night.  I'm soooo thankful that I married a man that can cook! And, no offense to my momma, but he has introduced me to tons of new flavours:)
{Always made us cakes too!  Happy 1st birthday Trish!}

8.  Gargle with salt water.  Any time you have a sore throat, that's the first thing you should do.  Also make sure to drink plenty of water to `get your kidneys going'.

{More camping.  Always.}

9.  Read!  Mom would take us to the library every week and I would check out the maximum number of books (13 I believe).  Mom would always find time to read in the evening or on holidays, even with 5 kids and a part time job.   She didn't play with us often but she would always read with us when we were little.
{Mom reading with Jan.}

10.  Approach everything with a positive attitude.  I remember, like it was yesterday, being a teenager trying to sleep in.  In the next room was my mom singing at the top of her lungs while cleaning one of our many bathrooms and scrubbing that tub.  On that note, she really taught us to take care of our stuff and to keep our house clean (not sure dad got that memo, thankfully Joanne is in his life).  She would come into my room and open my blinds and greet me with a cheery `Let the sunshine in!'.
{Up at Green Lake, one year before she passed away.}

I'm so thankful that I had my mom in my life for 27 years.  She was such a great model for me of what a wife and mother should look like.  I miss her so much but I know she's okay and I'm okay too.  I'm so thankful that I have the opportunity to pass on her love and words of wisdom.

What is something that you learned from your mom?

Love, Louise