Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Quick Five

1.  After a ridonculous night with Nya on Monday (I went to bed at 11:30pm per usual) and she woke up at 1:19am and was up until 5am!!!!!  She then went back to sleep for 2 hours.  So ya, 4 hours sleep for me. Terrible.  It was because she was sounding pretty croup-ish/barking like a seal.  I have a feeling she has the same sorta respiratory system as Koen.  They just get colds bad. They last forever.  Last night I tried this with her (we had used it for Kai) and I loved it.  Can't say what her night would've been without it, but man, no barking.  It's homeopathic and all natural ingredients.  Sounds good to me!
2.  Usually for me to lose weight, it's a simple A+B=C.  Excercise + Healthy Eating = weight loss and fitness.  Well, I feel like it's now very complicated.  Like a quadratic equation.  The small issues are breastfeeding, a busted jaw (can't eat raw veggies unless I want even more pain), a chronic sinus infection causing fatigue and congestion (3 months!), and time.  The big issue is an autoimmune disease that creates havoc on my hormones/body/thyroid etc.    I'm weak.  I'm sore walking up stairs.  I'm still doing quite well in comparison to last time but man, I want my normal body back.  I think I need a fitness routine which involves minimal cardio and I don't muscle are weak.  I'm thinking yoga would be good.   Anyway, just frustrated.  Thinking it's time to get in shape but not sure how to approach it with all of these variables.  I've got 10 lbs that really need to go to be healthy and fit comfortably in my clothes.  I want to be able to whip out a 5km run and feel fine afterwards.    

3.  Gary and I are doing a fundraiser to raise money for Surrey Christian School as they are building a new primary campus.  For two more weeks, the donations are being matched by an anonymous donor so I really want to donate $1000.00 (and therefore it would really be $2000.00) through this workshop we are putting on.  We have 20 spots and so far 11 are taken.  If you know anyone who would like to get to know their DSLR a bit better, please send them my way!  It may be time to put it on my personal fb page which isn't my favourite thing to do...

4.  I go to a Mom's Group at our church once a week.  Child care for the kids!  Time to drink a coffee and talk with other momma's.  Love it.  We are doing `Grace Based Parenting' and although it's not earth shattering, there's always something to get out of it.  Love that time, once a week, when I get some me time during the day without the kiddos.

5. One of the things my mom gave us before she died was a recipe book with all our favourite recipes. Gary and I have great memories with various food and are planning on making our own little Chapman cookbook for the kids to have.    The problem is taking pictures of these meals (I want a lot of pictures in it!) as once the food is on the table, it's go time!  So ya, that is our plan.  Our goal.  Thirty recipes.  I think I'll just make it via shutterfly or blurb or something.  We'll see.  Maybe we'll have a new edition every few years:)  

All right, time to get to work!  


Monday, February 25, 2013

Nine Months

Wow.  This month was by far the wildest in regards to developments.  She is now sitting, rolling, pulling herself to standing (and then holding on with just one hand!), crawling and starting to furniture cruise.   And here I thought she wouldn't be walking before she was one...I was very wrong!  She is also the proud recipient of two teeth.  I'm thinking she is just a petite 18lbs. 
{Not a `good' picture but such a cute one!}
She loves:
-to chase her brothers
-to play with DVD's
-to try to get ahold of the remote and iPhone
-to try to stand up holding on to everything
-being held
-going for walks
-trying to rip your face apart with her ever sharp nails
-dogs, as long as they don't touch her
-BATHTIME.  Totally her favourite activity ever.  She LOVES the water.
-putting every single thing in her mouth
-to chat.  Dada, Hi-der (sounds like `hi there'), Lubda (we interpret it as `Love Ya')
-to shriek

{View from the Ergo.  Love the Ergo.}
She does not love:
-food (the boys were soothed and comforted and bribed with food, what the heck will I do with her?  Hopefully she likes stickers or something????). She does love rice cereal and yogurt but will only eat about 1/2 to one cup of food per meal.
-sleep.  Still gets up at least 2x per night.  Goes to bed by 7 pm though.  Two naps per day.
-looking at people (she never looks at their eyes, totally a Gary trait!!).  So hard to get her looking at the camera and I KNOW how to get kids to look.
-breastfeeding (still doing it though, not sure she can take a bottle..not trying)
-getting into her car seat (once in, she is okay)

She is on her 7th cold.  Seriously.  This reminds me so much of Koen, just sick all winter long.  She handles it okay and we just use the humidifier which helps.

I still put her on the toilet about 3 times a day.  Usually she will poop first thing in the morning and the other times she just pees.  Sometimes, when she's in one of her `moods' she refuses to sit on it so I don't make her at all.
Happy Nine Months Baby Girl!!  We love you.
A lot.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Nya Cutie Pants

I'm supposed to be working as Nya is napping but I just wanted to share some pictures of her:)  These were taken with the new camera in early morning/low light at ISO 1000.  That is a pretty high ISO and I wanted to see how much noise (graininess) there was...I'm impressed!  
{She got stuck under the chair.  I'm nervous for the day that she discovers the stairs to go to our upstairs.  We don't have a gate for that.  So far we are childproofed and she is pretty safe on the main floor.}
 I have changed my attitude about her not sleeping well at night.  My friend Tessa just said a few things about savouring those late night snuggle/feeds and it's good to hear.  It has gotten better (maybe up once or twice but then up for the day around 5:30am).  I'm taking this time to just hold her and love her and comfort her.  This won't last much longer as in just a few months she will likely stop breastfeeding.  And then, when she's big like her brothers, I'm thinking she'll be too busy for hugs.  She's not a cuddly girl.  At all.  So for now, I'll take our 12:30am and/or 3:30am dates and enjoy her cuddles as she holds my hand and rubs my arm and falls back to sleep while I feed her.  
Toesies.  Her baby toe lays on it's side like mine does.  If that makes sense.
Um, seriously, her eyes?!!  I can't imagine what she'd look like with hair:)
Each kid has LOVED standing at our ottoman full of toys and it has taught each of them to walk as they move from one side of it to the other. 
Below is a picture of `the teeth' for all my Nerd friends.
I hope you are having a great week. I should get back to work before Nya Cutie Pants wakes up.
Love, Louise
PS Crazy thing is that she plays cars.  Like, doesn't eat them but pushes  them around!! She's not even 9 months old. So crazy.  You can see it here.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Smiles Brought To You By...

Gary's smile is brought to you by: A new Canon 5D Mark III
He knows if he asks long enough (several years), I always cave.  Lucky, lucky guy.  
Now, who will get to use it when we are both shooting a wedding?  
This is our only business purchase of 2013, I can tell you that!
{PS This is probably the most excited you will ever see Gary.  Smile + thumbs up?! Wow.  He's very happy.}
Nya's smile is brought to you by Advil.  

Friday, February 15, 2013

Date Night!

Last night Gary's parents came over so we could go on a super speed date:)  So nice of them to give up part of their Valentine's Day to hang out with our crazy kids.   In two hours we went out for Indian Food at our local Curry Express, so fast and pretty good!  I love naan bread made properly!  Then went to Menchies for my first time (had a groupon), and then we shopped for half an hour at `The Shops'.  Gary got 2 t-shirts and a pair of pants, I got 2 t-shirts, and Nya got 3 shirts and a pair of pants.  Each item was on clearance:)  We also picked up a bottle of wine and had a glass while we watched `The Office'.  It is amazing how just two hours of `freedom' with just the two of us can be so good.  We really need to do that more often.  Maybe not the shopping part as that could really add up:)
{Yes, terrible photo but must document that we went on a real date!  Look how tired I look!!}
It's amazing how much we can catch up on our lives when we are not parenting.  We could just focus on ourselves/each other.  Miss that.
Looking forward to 9pm.  Shark Tank and another glass of wine:)
Have a wonderful weekend.  

Love, Louise

Thursday, February 14, 2013

My Loves

Love my family.  I don't know if we've ever had such a rough go as this last little bit.  It's Nya.  Thank goodness the boys are easy these days.  The nights are ridiculous.  She's not hungry, she's just in pain.  I can't let a baby in pain cry. On that note, I'm reading `Grace Based Parenting' right now and Chapter 5 has really been timely for me, I'll talk about it more some other time.  I'm going to try to take her to the doctor tomorrow to see if it's an ear infection or if it's just her chest congestion + teething which is making her really difficult at night.

This lack of sleep is not making Gary and I feel very lovey dovey towards each other.  In fact, a dream Valentine's night would be 12 hours in a sound proof hotel room.  By myself!!  Oh, I can't wait to sleep again!!!  I may have thrown a bag of potatoes in frustration last night.  So tired.
Kai.  My first born son.  He is awesome.  He loves hockey and plays it for at least one hour a day every day.  He loves reading and reads at least one hour a day.  His class did a play in chapel yesterday (which I missed due to a miscommunication) and he read out this prayer (sorry, hard to hear!) in front of the school.  He is so helpful and loves his siblings with all his heart.  I remember him being a baby and now he's in this big boy body.  It's so strange.  He doesn't like to cuddle with me (well, he pretends not to anyway) so I savour the times that I can get him to read with me.  I slow him down though because he'd rather speed read in his head.    He has taught me to wonder how everything works and if we don't know, we look it up.  He has made me even more interested in the world around me. 
Koen.  My big 4 year old.  I savour this time with him as soon enough, he will be away at school.  He is very good at independent play and will spend his time playing cars.  He does love playing board games with anyone who will play with him.  He does not love writing or drawing.  He will play hockey with Kai but prefers to be the Zamoboni.  He told me the low point of his day is when I work in the office.  Boo, I don't like to hear that.  He also told me that I'm beautiful and always happy.  Hilarious because I'm a grumpy zombie these days.  He loves to race to the couch and cuddle.  He is such a character and always makes us laugh.  Prayer is very important to him so if you have anything you would like prayed for, I'll let him know.  He prays with such passion, it's so cute.  He is our wrestling machine.  Watch out, he will jump on you.  He has taught me to remain silly.  Make up songs.  Do a dance.  Hug it out.
My petite baby girl.  I love her.  She is going to be uh, the most interesting child to deal with, I can tell already.  Although she is easy going, she has a stubborn streak and let's it be made known.  Getting her in her car seat is already a big chore.  Trying to get medicine in her, or a bottle, is impossible most of the time.   She knows what she wants and don't you dare get in her way.  She will keep me humble.  She is crawling everywhere and pulling herself up on everything.   She is sweet and happy and pretty cute:)  She has taught me that joy can return.  She is also teaching me to remain humble and I'm assuming teenage Nya will continue to do the same.  She has affirmed that I really need to trust God's timing.   
When I see these two together, it makes me smile.
When I see these three together, it makes me smile.
They sure love their `Maya' `Cutie'.  Koen can't pronounce Nya so he calls her Maya.  Kai just says `Cutie, Cutie Cutes!' and I tend to do the same.

And Gary.  We are not feeling the love right now, I can tell you that!  However, we are 100% committed to each other and do love each other.  We find moments to smile and laugh and hug.  Sleep deprivation is ridiculous.  (And, I don't need to hear about sleep training, I'm not about to do anything while she's so congested and sick and teething.)  

I appreciate how hard Gary works for our family.  I appreciate how he makes meals.  I appreciate how he wrestles with the kids.  I appreciate how he keeps his mouth shut when he really doesn't want to. Gracious.  I'm not myself these days and it's tough.   I see the light, I know we will get there!
We have so much growing left to do. Thankfully we (hopefully!) have another 40 years or so to learn how to work together and build each other up. 
I love my family.  I look forward to growing and stretching and experiencing life together.  And being well rested.

I hope you have a great weekend.  We're almost there:)

Love, Louise

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Our Weekend and Two Teeth

On Saturday, Gary and I had a wedding to shoot and it went well.  Phew. No rain and I loved shooting in New West for a change!  It was my first time leaving all three kids with someone (Gary's parents) for 8 hours and being away from Nya for that long.  What did I think of it? Well, I missed Nya so much!  I feel like she's still way too little to leave for so long.  She also refused the bottle but fortunately just ate food instead.
{Her eyes are so beautiful!!! They are starting to turn a bit greener.}

Our little Nya has changed so much this month.  More than any month in her little life.  She is crawling, sitting confidently, pulling herself up to standing and today she even let go! Crazy kid.  Full of bumps and bruises.  I thought she wouldn't be walking until after she was a year old considering how long it took her to start crawling but I think she's making up for lost time now!  She also has two teeth. Wow.  For each tooth, there was at least one sleepless night and two VERY irritable days.  Last night was the bad one.  Up from 3:30am onwards.  Not fun!  Not that the other nights are much better. Ha.  Doesn't help that she is on her fourth or fifth cold.
{Two teeth!}

On Sunday, we skipped church because Nya has a cold and the boys were going to the Canucks Super Skills competition.  Kai was soooooooooooooooo excited.  He is into any sport and throw in some competition and it's heaven for him.  Koen was just excited to see a Zamboni.  In the morning, I ran 5km, then Gary did.  It was easy enough to run but it took everything out of me energy wise, so, I'm not doing the race next weekend.  Lame. Oh well.  Health first.  Time to find a good yoga program.  Did I tell you that I have my third sinus infection in 3 months?  Who knew that it is common with those that have Graves' Disease?  Not me, until recently.  Boo.
{They went with Kris and my nieces, Ani and Izzy}
{Mascot Musical Chairs, another highlight for Koen}

{Apparently they had pizza afterwards}

Sunday night we went out for sushi with all my sisters, Joanne, and her daughters.  8 women.  All you can eat. So good!  Annelise and Trisha are both pregnant.  I was feeling terrible from my run so I couldn't eat very much:(  I think that I was dehydrated and then just had no energy.  It doesn't tire my muscles out, it's like it takes every last reserve that I have and makes me feel miserable.  Lesson learned.  Will wait until my thyroid is behaving.
{We all look like sisters, don't we?}
Monday was Family Day. So great.  Gary helped our friends move in the morning and then we took the kids to the pool in the afternoon.  We didn't even go when the deal was on and it was still CRAZY there.  Oh man, the change rooms make me want to vomit with the smell of urine and whatever else. Yuck.  Gary pretty much took the boys and I had Nya.  When Kai went to the waterslide, then I would take Koen too.  Nya was sooooooooo cute in her one piece blue bathing suit.  With yellow bows.  She was giggling and splashing and so happy.  Can't wait to see all the kiddos on a sandy beach in the sun!  Then, my dad took the boys out for `coffee' which they LOVED.
{Terrible picture of the boys.  I cut their hair this weekend and used a pinterest thingy for help.  Should've stuck with how I always do it.  Poor Gary.  At least he doesn't care.  And, just because I'm proud of Gary...he is now wearing a size smaller in his pants size.  This is the first time in 12 years! I likey!!}

I've been busy selling stuff.  Time to get rid of as much stuff as I can as I don't like clutter and if we need more clothes for Kai, I better make some money selling Nya's!

I know this is boring.  But, it's our life and I'm thankful for it.  And you know, it's a really good thing that my fallopian tubes are out.  I could not do this thyroid journey with a baby again.  If I had gotten Graves' Disease after Kai (instead of Koen), who knows if we would've gone for a third.  Who knows if we would have had our beautiful baby girl?

All right, kids are in bed...time to work!

Love, Louise

Thursday, February 07, 2013

We Made It!

1.  Hip hip hooray!!! I made it through another basketball season!  Gary had his last game this week. Phew.  The season could've been a month longer but they weren't very, uh, good.   This was the first time I did it with three kids.  Not terrible but not my favourite.  I'm so glad he's home in the evenings now.  It's not that I missed him (sorry Gary!), I just missed my partner in parenting!  It's so nice to be able to get out if I want to and so nice to have someone help with dinnertime/bedtime.  I'm proud of him for all of his hard work and I wish that teachers sometimes got more recognition for all of their extracurricular activity, whatever it may be. Not that Gary does it for recognition but it is nice to be appreciated.

{I love the after dinner time with Gary around.  All the kids together.  Full of cuteness and wildness and togetherness.  They LOVE Nya so much.  Kai especially.}

2.  My health has been sucky since October.  It's no fun having your chemistry off.  I'm not myself and I don't like it.  I'm in the hypothyroid/adrenal fatigue stage of `Oh I'm so tired and sad and fat and tired and sad'.  4lb weight gain in one week.  Lame.  You can't make yourself be normal and I know it will just take time.  Probably 6 months I'm thinking?  I won't dwell on how really sucky this is.  I know it could be worse, for sure.  It has gotten better this week so that is good!  I think last week was my low point mentally and physically.
3.  I received two unexpected gifts yesterday.  One being these beautiful purple tulips and the other was a lovely card with a pizza gift card! I love pizza and I love kind words!!!  I have wonderful friends in all different places and I am so thankful.  Yay for friends.
4.  Nya is full of tricks now! Clapping, waving hi/bye, being cute:)  Her personality is really coming out.  She's sweet, but man, she is going to be a bit of a handful I think.  Another Koen?  She is moving more and more each day.  She is still terrible at breastfeeding (really only in her bedroom in the dark) but I still love it.  I love looking down at her while I feed her.  I wish I could take a picture of it and have it painted.  Maybe I'll try to get Gary to do it (to get a photo, not the painting!).    I love watching as she goes from scratching my chin/face/chest to gently holding my shirt to falling asleep each night.  
{Eyes closed but you can see her clapping and her little tooth poking through}
{This is her new smile.  She sort of flares her nostrils and tilts her head back.  Not the cutest look but I'll take it!}
{Today Nya and Lauren, Lynette's girl, had a playdate.  Well, we kept them apart as Nya has a runny nose. But, very nice to visit with Lynette and our little girls!}
{You can see Koen biking `the loop' at the park behind Nya.  He loves it. }
{Below was Nya at 3am when she was busy teething.  Miserable.  Thankfully she is getting better and has started eating properly-ish again.  She loves feeding herself bits of food like bread and cheese so that's nice!  By the way, my favourite baby item?  The Sleep Sack. I never had it for the boys and just turned the heat up in their room.  So, so, soooooooooooooooooo awesome. Love it.}
{Have I mentioned how much the boys love biking?  Nya's hat might be a bit too tight hence the strained face.  She is now out of her bucket car seat and in a big girl one.  This means she is sitting up in a big girl stroller too:)  Our last single stroller was stolen and our neighbours were going to throw this one out so it's perfect for now.}
{Nya loves going on Kai or Koen's shoulders and running around the house.}
5.  Kai started skating lessons in school today.  They go for 4 weeks.  I went today at the start to make sure he got his skates on okay, and well, to make sure he was okay.  I really try not to worry about him and just let him do his thing but I always think `What if he's scared?' `What if nobody helps him with his skates?' `What if he forgets how to get up?' etc.  I really need to relax.  He's a big boy and he'll be fine.  I don't like worrying.  Probably not healthy for him either.  It's good for him to problem solve and be a bit nervous and overcome fears etc.  He was flailing all over the ice as it's been about a year since he's skated but he was totally fine with it.

I've always thought I was a good parent until I had a six year old.  Younger than six didn't seem like a big deal.  They were happy and disciplined and healthy and eating and loving life.  Now?  I'm still a good mom but everything I say or do will affect who he becomes!!!!  How do I help him feel confident but keep him humble?  How do I help him learn how to deal with failure?  How do I prevent him from becoming a perfectionist?  How much praise is appropriate? What kind of praise is best?  How much do I tell him when he asks questions about alcohol or how babies are made or about what struggles people may have?  What kind of interactions/disagreements with Gary are appropriate with our children around?  What words are okay/not okay to use?  Overall I feel okay in my parenting but I really feel like he is developing so much emotionally right now and everything we do/say is crucial.

6.  Koen.  He's great. And hilarious.  He says things out of nowhere that make me smile.  The other day I said I was going to cut his hair and he said, `Well, I'm racing cars so make it snappy!'.  Who says that? Or looking at cereal, `We should get Cheerios.  They contain oat fiber and oat fiber helps lower cholesterol!' (just quoting the commercial).  He  LOVES preschool.  He loves learning about letters and words.  Right now they are learning about Canada and manners and I don't know what else, but he loves learning.  He is very easy going but when he's tired he gets grumpy.  No meltdowns, just grumpiness.  I wish he could go to kindergarten in September because I think he is so ready.  So tough for January babies!

7.  Totally looking forward to our trip in July!!!  Can't wait!!!  We are doing the Philippines for 2 weeks (visiting our friends there) and Thailand for 1.  Yay:)  In the meantime, we'll just look forward to our Spring break of Vancouver Island and Green Lake.  I love travelling with my family.  They are exhausting but they make me smile.

8.  We have a wedding on Saturday and for the first time, I will be away from Nya for about 8 hours.  I am kind of nervous about it.  And sad.  My baby.  I know she will be okay but still, not something I want to do too often!

Hope you are well!!!

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Teething Sucks

Some people have said, `Does she ever cry?'.   I have never seen her this sad in her whole little life.  This is the reason why I'm not blogging today:)   She is sick and teething.  This was taken on Sunday.  I think.

PS Thank you so much for all of your comments on the `First Date' post, I feel like I learned something from all of you!  I have to do that more often!