On the mend…

December 6, 2011

Thankfully everyone in our home is on their way to being healthy again. Both boys are still coughing, but I remember with past colds/flus this is what hung around the longest, sometimes even weeks. Harold also quickly recovered, and thankfully so far, I’ve managed to stay healthy.

Christmas is in full swing in our home. Each year I patiently wait until December 1st to roll around before dabbling in anything Christmas (okay…except for Christmas shopping…I’ve started doing that year round!). But since this past weekend marked the first weekend in December it was full of everything Christmas.

On Friday night we watched Mission’s Candle Light Parade. It was beautiful. The night sky was clear, it wasn’t too cold, and the boys loved seeing each float go by. The 10 or so fire trucks at the start of the parade were definitely a favourite of both boys. Caleb was still feeling a bit under the weather, and snuggled up with Daddy during the last half and fell asleep.


Saturday was getting the house ready and decorated for the holidays. This year we started off with a huge pre-Christmas decor clean. We vacuumed all our nooks, crannies, dusted baseboards, washed the floors, etc. It felt so great to have Harold’s help in tackling this task and in no time the house was spic and span. After the boys’ naps, we decorated the Christmas tree as a family. Unfortunately, they both lost interest really quickly and I was left to put all the decorations on by myself, while Harold distracted them with books. Otherwise they were acting like hooligans – jumping on the couch, kissing, hugging, and running around like crazies! Maybe I’ll have to try this: http://pinterest.com/pin/698154646/ with the boys  🙂



Last night, I participated in my first bake exchange of the season. Anyone want to come over for coffee – I have WAY too much baking, and unless I want to visit the gym every day the week of December, I can’t eat it all…



Round 1

November 29, 2011

Ding ding ding. Round #1 of cold/flu season has hit the Louwerse household. Unfortunately it’s only November, it’s going to be a long winter!

Lucas started off with a nasty cough at the end of last week. The first morning he thought the sound of his own voice was funny, and every time he coughed he said “I like hurt” Ha! He thought being sick was all fun and games at first. He had a couple of rough nights and one or two super long naps, but thankfully despite being sick for over 5 days, he is in pretty good spirits and is on the mend. He knows how to work the system though and frequently says during the day “My tummy hurts, I need to watch a show”

Caleb got his first taste of this cold/flu last night when he woke up hoarse and coughing. He is in much worse shape than Lucas was. He’s been battling a high fever 101-103, a nasty cough, almost no voice, and yucky diapers. We are very thankful for Tylenol and Advil, as they give him bouts of happiness throughout the day. Today he even asked to go to bed, bringing me his sleep sack, I asked “Do you want this on?” “Ya” he nodded. “Do you want to go to bed?” “Ya” he nodded again. Thankfully he is still eating and drinking, and is perfectly content to sit on my lap and cuddle.

Last but not least, Harold’s symptoms appeared today as well 😦 He has more of the sneezing and runny nose right now – more a head cold than the boy’s chest cold?flu?  Hopefully it’s not a completely different virus and round #2 is actually knocking on the door.

So far, I’ve remained healthy. I was sure to take some Vitamin D this morning, and think it’s time to restock on Echinacea and Vitamin C as well.

Hopefully this round has our free pass through the Christmas season and we can make it to January healthy!

Family 2011 Photo Shoot

November 2, 2011

A couple of weeks ago, my amazing sister-in-law Karin Louwerse took some amazing photo’s of our family, and I just HAD to share!! I love them all. She captured our little family to a tee.

Despite it being dinner time, the boys (yes including Harold) did great. Caleb was a little stinker and kept running away or doing his own thing, but I think overall it contributed to some amazing pictures.



Check out the full blog post here!

See previous post here for a bit more background on this project.





In the past few weeks, I have been alarmingly disappointed with the store-bought rice cereal.

My first disappointment came when I got a good taste of the Heinz Oat Cereal and realized how sweet it tasted. Sure enough, after checking the label found out it is full of sugar. Ack! Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind giving my kids a little sugar now and then, but I ate least like to know that I’m putting sugar in their little tummies.

Next time I opted to buy Nestle, I was in a huge hurry and had a fussy baby, so there was no labeling checking that day, and sadly, it isn’t any better. After using it only a few times, I noticed it had a distinct smell deep-fried foods – mmm…I wonder why? Nestle lists four different oils used in their Oat Cereal!

After spending only a few minutes on Google, I was very disappointed to find both the Heinz and Nestle cereals are made up of oils (although Nestle seemed worse listing 4 oils in its ingredient list) and artificial sweeteners!! Ack. So much for the claim, no sugar added.

What makes me the most frustrated is how naive I have been, and how much trust I put in the food industry. I always just assumed that the most recommended first food for babies would be very healthy, safe, and gentle on their little tummies. My doctor recommended rice cereal as a first food for both my boys, however, now I wish I had skipped it all together. Thankfully, after a conversation I had with a friend, I was directed to a Homemade Rice Cereal (and/or Oat/Barley) and am very happy to have found an alternative. Here’s what I hope to try in the VERY near future: Wholesome Baby Food – Homemade Cereal

Seriously, why haven’t I thought of this before. Not only is this obviously the healthier option, I can only image it is a way cheaper option as well.

Wondering what to read??

January 12, 2011

I absolutely LOVE reading. It doesn’t matter what it is, I’ll probably read it and enjoy it. I love getting book recommendations. Lately I have noticed on Facebook that people request for good book recommendations. These status’ and their responses are like gold to me. People always suggest their favorites, and definite good reads. So this evening, I decided instead of letting these “lists” drift into the archives of Facebook, I would compile a list for myself to keep track of what I want to read. Then I thought, this is a great thing to share.

So here you are. I can’t promise they are all good, or worth the read, however they have all been recommended to me, or to someone else via Facebook. If you do, or have read any, input would be greatly appreciated. Also, have anything to add to my list?? Happy reading!

Oh…did I mentioned I joined a book club. I am SOO excited. I have always wanted to be a part of one, and now I am. First up on my list of reads is “The Forgotten Garden”, I plan to head to the bookstore sometime this week to pick up my copy. Can’t wait!

Title Author
Crow Lake Mary Lawson
The Glass Castle Jeanette Walls
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
Pillars of the Earth Ken Follet
World Without End Ken Follet
A Thousand Splendid Suns
Khaled Hosseini
Sarah’s Key Tatiana de Rosnay
Emma Donoghue
The Book Thief
Markus Zusak
The Calligraphers Daughter
Eugenia Kim
Stones from the River Ursula Hegi
Fall of the Giants
Ken Follet
The Poison Study series
Maria V. Snyder
The Hunger Games (Hunger Games Trilogy) Suzanne Collins
Catching Fire (Hunger Games Trilogy)
Suzanne Collins
Mockingjay (Hunger Games Trilogy)
Suzanne Collins
These Is My Words
Nancy E. Turner
Sarah’s Quilt (sequel to These Is My Words) Nancy E. Turner
The Sugar Queen Maria V. Snyder.
The Kitchen House Kathleen Grissom
Secret Daughter Shilpi Somaya Gowda
‎The Post Mistress Sarah Blake
Sweet Dates in Basra Jessica Jiji
Women of the Silk Lisa See
Snow Flower and the Secret Fan Lisa See
The Lost Highway David Adams Richards
Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet Jamie Ford
The Quincunx Charles Palliser
Gilead Marilynne Robinson
Half Broke Horses Jeannette Walls
The Forgotten Garden Kate Morton
The House at Riverton Kate Morton
The Distant Hours Kate Morton
Secret Daughter Shilpi Somaya Gowda
East of Eden John Steinbeck

5 drafts and no new posts

January 11, 2011

Blah!! I have been terrible at updating my blog. Life has been chaotic and very busy. I think I’m finally realizing that life with two kids is not just busy but INSANE at times. Christmas was busy busy busy, and I’m happy that life is settling back into normal routine. I crave routine, and by default so do my kiddies.

Caleb has transitioned from being a content newborn baby who sleeps anywhere, to being more demanding “older” baby. He needs toys to play with, gets frustrated when the fall or are out of reach, the jumperoo which used to be a constant joy is boring, and he’s just not quite ready to sit yet. Sleeping has also become a bit of an issue. One of my “drafts” was a post on Caleb doing his first 12 hour stretch. That lasted a whole month before he started getting up earlier and earlier, and now he is waking up 2-3 times a night, sometimes for up to two hours! Napping is also becoming more difficult. He used to head to bed and go straight to sleep, and now he fusses and needs to be cuddled before he falls asleep for his token 40 minutes. Tsk tsk.

However, the intention of this post is not to complain, or have a pity party. Looking back at my journal of when Lucas was this age, he did the EXACT same thing, and by 6 months he was sleeping through the night and consistently have 2, 2hr naps. So, I’m waiting patiently, and trying not to stress about it. Knowing that this too will pass, and that I better enjoy the snuggles I get because before I know it Caleb will be crawling and too busy to cuddle with Mommy.

Lucas is being a typical 2 year old. Pushing boundaries, being silly, and learning tons of new things. We’ve had some regression in the potty training department, but I’m not too worried. I think the busyness of Christmas/holidays are still taking their toll as we still have yet to have a completely normal week. Lucas is starting to understand consequence though, which adds a whole new dimension to discipline. It’s nice knowing that your child understands fully why they are being punished, and realizes by doing the same thing over will result in the same punishment.

Harold is SWAMPED with work. Every 10-14 days he heads up to Penticton. He usually is only there for a day, but a long 14 hour day! He was able to take some much needed time off around Christmas. Lucas loved having Daddy around. After some long nights with Caleb I was able to sleep in a few mornings, and we were able to have some nice family time.

So, back to the title of my post, I have 5 drafts waiting to be posted. None of them are finished, but all are great recipes that I tried leading up to the holidays. I will try do my best to finish them in the coming week and post them here. I also have a bunch more ideas of recipes that I want to post as well. Let’s just say its on my “to-do” list.

Also on my “to-do” list is a bunch of new recipes that I would like to try. My cooking lately has been slapping something together to eat for dinner. Sometimes I look at the clock and it’s already 5 o’clock and I’m at a complete loss as to what to serve for dinner. I hope to sit down, make a meal plan, do a big grocery shop, and get back to some regular cooking.