Friday, December 28, 2012

39 weeks: update and thoughts.

Let me start this post by addressing my unborn son....I am sorry I have not even mentioned one thing about being pregnant with you up until this point.....39 weeks.  
I feel like a cotton-headed-ninny-muggin.  But you need to believe me when I say, it has nothing to do with a lack of excitement for your arrival.  That couldn't be more far from reality.  I thank Heavenly Father for you every single night in my prayers.  My dreams are filled with your addition to our family - you and your sister interacting.  My thoughts are often spent wondering who you will be.  I can't wait to meet you and learn about your personality.  And cuddles....I can't wait to cuddle and mug you!!!! No, no, the reason that I have not dedicated any posts to you, my son, is that your sister is crazy. Nuts. And this momma is TIRED! Time is so fleeting that I really never have any of it to dedicate to just sitting down and writing out my thoughts.  So here they are, at 39 weeks - better late than never!!

This pregnancy has been pretty similar to Hadley's with a few key differences. One, I have not gained nearly as much weight as I did with Hadley.  Which is odd because I have eaten worse this time around.  With Hadley I didn't so much as even want to see unhealthy food....the thought of grease made me want to vomit.  Where as this time around, I have been craving junk food.  Baked goods have been my weakness!!  But the pounds aren't packing on.  With Hadley I gained, this is embarrassing, 70 lbs!!!  And with this one right now I am at a 31 lb gain.

The second key difference is that with Hadley I had NO mood swings.  Seriously, I has SO many people tell me that I seemed happier pregnant than non-pregnant.  And I was.  Not so much the case this time around.  Ohhhh boy, my inner anger and rage have been hard to deal with.  Seriously some days I wake up and I just want to punch a wall for NO reason.  I have been trying really hard to keep that all inside though and not release the beast, and I think I have done an okay job.  Hadley really hasn't seen the mommy-beast, but poor Dman has on a few occasions. That's been a really tough struggle for me.

Everything else like the sickness, and insane back pain, and tiredness have all been the same.  Well, I am more tired this time around but I completely attribute that to having a toddler.

I really cannot believe that I am already at 39 weeks.  I try to wrap my head around having two kids, but I just don't think it will feel real until it actually happens.  Its like before you have your first, you really have no idea what to expect.  While I know what to expect baby-wise, I just don't know how I am going to handle two, how our family is going to change, and most importantly, how Hadley is going to handle a sibling.  I was scared, like really scared, for a really long time.  But just within the past few weeks Hadley has come out of her terrible two's (YAY!!! And knock on wood....) and so I have been able to get more comfortable with the idea of an addition.  

I am actually excited to have a baby around again.  While they are hard and pose some challenges to freedom, I love baby cuddles and smells. I love just staring at my freshly fed and milk drunk baby.  I love watching my baby sleep. Of course, I do realize that all of this will happen post 
7pm (the Hadster's bedtime).

I am getting nervous for the birth because I know what to expect this time!!  If I tear bad again, I don't know how I am going to function after with having Hadley.  When I had Hadley I could barely walk for a couple weeks after, not a luxury I have this time around. So I am praying that all will go well and that he won't be too big.

I am still questioning the boy factor.  I really would not be shocked if he came out a she.  Dman thinks I am nuts because we clearly saw that he was a he on the ultrasound, but I wont be convinced until I meet the baby.

I am just getting anxious.....excitement and nervousness all mixed in one.  Big changes, but exciting changes.  I can't wait to meet our new child.  I love that they come with different personalities, and I have learned a lot about myself and about Heavenly's father's trust in me with having Hadley.  I am excited to see what this child will teach me and who Heavenly Father sees fit to enter our family.

I guess I am technically full term now, so can I say any day now??  I don't know.  I was late with Hadley and I think I will probably be late again because that just seems to be what my body does, but we shall see!!  Maybe the next post will be an introductory one???  AHHHHHH so CRAZY!!

Until then, Leah.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Santa love.

Last year the Hads and Mr. Clause did NOT get along.  He freaked her out big time.

This year, totally different story.  She LOVES Santa.  Anytime she sees him she gets sooooo excited.  I think it has something to do with the chocolate advent calendar we got her this year.  It has a Santa picture on it and everyday the HIGHLIGHT of her day is getting her "Santa treat".

So I didn't know what to expect when we went to get pics with the old man this year, but I had high hopes.  And sure enough, Hadley did not disappoint!  She loved him and did so well.  She greeted him with a "Hi Santa" and as she sat on his lap and asked her questions she did her best to answer them.  It was so cute.

Thursday, December 13, 2012


I cannot believe how fast Christmas is coming!!  I don't feel prepared at all!  There is just lots happening right now it seems what with finishing up the basement (it is finally, yeah, 5 months after the flood!!) and with a baby due in less than 3 weeks!!! AHHHHHH

So I am trying my best to get in the Christmas spirit and have some fun.  Dman is done exams tomorrow and when he is we are hitting the Christmas activities hard!!

The other day Hadley and I decided to make a gingerbread house.....HAH!!!  Really, really messy activity with a 22 month old.  But she lovedddd it.....she was on a sugar high for a couple of hours! So I thought I would share considering I have to get something posted on this blog!!

After we made it, she decided to eat the candy right off the house!

Hahaha isn't it beautiful!!!  She had a huge hand in making this and I didn't want to squash any of her cute little creativity with my perfectionism so I let her go to town and we ended up with this beaut!

Love her, love it!

Thursday, November 8, 2012


Oh my Hadley, she is a character and this Halloween was the perfect example of why.

Let's start with the getup.  This year miss Hads was a cute little elephant.

Thank you Carter's - I love your $12 costumes!!!

We really didn't do a whole lot for halloween outside of trick-or-treating this year cause I had a bad case of the flu.  But we carved our pumpkins which we all got really into.

 I posted a "whose pumpkin is better" competition on facebook, and I am very happy to say that I won!!  Mine is the one on the right and Dman's is on the left.

Then we went out trick-or-treating on Halloween, and let me just tell you, Hadley was hilarious!!   Dman and I were seriously busting a gut laughing at her as she trick-or-treated.  It was -13C with the windchill but that didn't deter this girl AT ALL.  She went to over 50 houses and we were out for 2 hours!!!  She is 20 months!!!!  She caught on really quick to the fact that if you go to these doors, knock, and look cute, they give you candy.  So this was the drill: she would SPRINT from house to house, approach the door, knock, and when they came to the door say "I want treats" (pronounced "I wan teats"), as they placed them in her bag she said thank you every time, and then without hesitation waved and said "bye" as she headed off sprinting to the next house.

Every 10 minutes or so we would ask: "Hadley do you want to go home or do more?" and every single time her answer was "more!!!".  I finally had to call it quits when I was getting tired and cold.  I wonder how long she would have gone for.  People were giving us some disapproving looks towards the end when they opened their door and looked WAY down only to find a little toddler.  A couple people actually said, "oh don't you think she might be cold?". haha oh boy.

Here she is going through her loot after.  She got a full bag.  That's our girl!!!  Its a little known fact that Dman and I went trick-or-treating every year until we were 19!!! haha We even debated going when we were 21 and totally would have had we not been married.  That's what you can get away with when you are blessed with have a baby face!!

That was our 2012 Halloween.  It was soooo much fun thanks to our girl!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

A really late 18th month post.

So lets really call this a 19th month post.  The Hads is actually 20 months as of last week, but everything I wrote down is 19 month related.

Seriously, I know how crazy things are in my life by how frequently I blog.  I just can't find the time anymore!!  But I am taking a break from photography until after the baby is born so I should have a LOT more time on my hands now.  Man, I was busy!!

Anyway, onto miss Hadley.

Stats at 18 months were (I don't remember the numbers):
-20th percentile for weight
-60th percentile for height
-90th percentile for head

She loves:
-Her dogs (charlie in specific)
-Being outside
-Rice with soya sauce
-Her family
-Crazy playing with Daddy

At 19 months Hadley is a ball full of energy more than ever!!  Lets not sugar coat anything - this is a HARD stage!!  Especially being 28 weeks pregnant.  I find myself exhausted pretty much every second of the day.  Hadley has definitely hit the terrible two's.  Our sweet girl is still there, but mixed with an alter ego who I don't care so much for.  If she doesn't get her way, watch out!!  We are working on it with time out's and such and I am hoping it will end before the baby comes cause she has been at this whole tantrum throwing, bratty, whiny, crazy thing for a while now.

What's really helped though is that she is talking up a storm!!!  Right now we are at 70+ words.  She is seriously adding a new one (or 2) to her vocab daily.  And she can put some sentences together.  Its made life WAY easier cause now I can understand what she wants and I can reason with her.  She understands EVERYTHING we say.  Thank goodness!!

And its made her about 100 times cuter in my mind cause she is able to do things like greet daddy with a "Hi daddy" when he walks through the door each evening.  Or in the morning when she walks into our room its "Hi mommy!!".  Or at night when she is falling asleep and pulls up her sleeves and request "tickles".  Or when she helps me clean out the dishwasher and with each dish says "here you go mommy".  Or at bedtime when we read a story and she knows she is only allowed one so when she picks one out she puts her finger up to indicate one and says "only one" (pronounced "own waaah"). Ah, SO CUTE!!

Here is a video of her talking.  I only got a few words in cause I made the mistake of asking her to say "soother" and then she wanted it. haha But you get the idea.

She also moved to a big girl bed!  The first couple weeks went stellar (ie. went right to bed and never got out of bed) and then we hit a bit of a wall after the excitement of a new bed wore off, where she wouldn't go to sleep for nap and bedtime.  But we have that figured out now and she is back to sleeping great - despite the fact that she is trying to cut naps out - that's my next point.  I have to lay with her for about 20 minutes each night, but I kind of enjoy it.  I figure she wont be this little for long and pretty soon she wont want me to cuddle with her every night so for now I do it and I don't mind it at all.  Its our special time together.

Naps, now those are a different story.  She is trying to cut them out in a big way.  Some days if she is REALLY tired then they are super easy.  But on normal days I am currently resorting to allowing her to fall asleep on the couch watching Barney.  I have tried making her naps shorter, cutting them down earlier, and letting her cry it out in her room.  But NOTHING work other than Barney.  So, for now that is what we are doing.  At least she is still taking one everyday (with the exception here and there - like today) even if they are only a hour or hour and a half sometimes.  Ugh, that just about kills me going from a solid 3 hr nap.

She used to hate TV and wouldn't sit for more than 2 minutes to watch it but one day about a month ago, wham, she decided she loved Barney.  And now that's all she wants.  She is allowed to watch 2 episodes a day, which I feel is a bit much, but the break that it gives me is sooooo needed (an I know will be needed even more so when this baby comes) that I allow it.  At least she loves barney and not some of the other garbage out there. 

Have you noticed the trend with this post that I have?  It seems, as I am learning more and more each day, that parenting is a balancing act between my mental sanity and what she needs.  Its picking my battles and deciding when to just give in.  Pre-Hadley I never would have thought I would have given into anything, because what is that teaching them, right?  But now, I realize that you can't fight everything.  Its just not possible.  Or it is, but the only memory she will have of her childhood is "Hadley no", "Hadley, don't do that", and crying all the time.  I am super strict when it comes to manners and being nice.  There is no grey area there.  There is a standard that is expected of her and if she doesn't meet it then there are consequences.  But then, I find myself allowing cheezies at 10am sometimes, or maybe 3 episodes of Barney here and there, or fine, I will lay with you for 45 minutes tonight cause I know you just want mommy.  Those are the battles I choose not to have.

Its hard to think of specific changes because I feel like she changes in little ways everyday, but overall, she just isn't a baby at all anymore.  She is SO SO SO independent.  Like at the park, she climbs all over the things that only the big kids do.  Moms are always asking me how old she is and when I say her age they are shocked and I always get something along the lines of "that's it!?  She seems so much older".  Yup, tell me about it.  I am curious to see if that lasts or if it fades.  I think she is just smart - its who she is.  A little strong-willed, firecracker.

Anyway, now that I have written a book, there is a catch-up on the Hads.  We love her!!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

A trek back to my homeland.

For those of you who are parents, I am sure you will relate when I want to preface that this was our summer TRIP not vacation!! haha while we had tons of fun, I think we came home more tired that when we left! Furthermore, get ready for a lot of pictures....but blogger did something weird with the pictures so they all look a bit blurry to me.

Anyway, completely last minute we decided to go out to the coast because my family was already going and Dman found out that he didn't have any work for a week so why sit a home right!? 

We drove to Jasper on our first day and camped in the most beautiful spot ever. Being that I am 18 weeks pregnant and we have a 1 1/2 year old, we had to stop oh, about every hour and a half so it took us a while to get there!

Here's the Hads at a road side stop looking so cute that I just had to snap a few:

When we arrived in Jasper and hopped out of the van we realized that the mosquitoes were HORRIBLE and that our fearless girl has a fear....mosquitoes!!  She would freak out when they came near her and clap her hands together to tell me to kill it.  SO FUNNY.  I mean, sad, sorry Hads!

We got our campsite set up and went for a hike where miss Hadley and Dman spotted a glacier lake and HAD to go swimming.  So they both stripped down and went. We were in a secluded spot, don't worry.  And whilst naked on the beach Hads decided she had to poop and just let er go right there on the beach. We laughed. Hard. And then buried it in the sand.

Then we headed out to Vancouver the next day.  Hadley did stellar.  Between m&m's, one Barney DVD played over and over, and new dollar store toys she was distracted mighty fine.

We stayed at my (older) sister's house for a few days.  Went to the beach, got fish and chips, went to Belligham, and went to the fishermen's docks in Steveson where we bought us some fresh crab for dinner. Mmmmmm.  Hadley LOVED the crabs.  The Chinese lady selling them was so shocked by her because she kept wanting to touch the crabs and pull their legs.  She says "Oh, she so brave, other kids so scared!!".

While hitting up the beach we discovered Hadley's fear #2.....seaweed.  Everytime she would come near it she would stop dead in her tracks and say "ouuuuuu", "ouuuuuu". Hahaha poor kid - there was a lot of seaweed....cause it was a beach.  But she still had fun chasing the "birdies".

Then we headed out on my Dad's boat to my most favorite island growing up called Sucia.  Hadley is a sailor let me tell you, loved it and has sea legs, which in all probability made Papa (my dad) very happy!  We saw dolphins and had a nice sail out.

Just chillin' in her life jacket (on account of the fact that she couldn't move in it)

Then we switched her to a harness and she was back to herself.  As seen here steering the boat while sporting some seriously cool shades.

Dangling our feet into the water.

Once we arrived we camped on shore (setting up our campsite not once, but twice cause I picked a horribly hot campsite so I made us switch cause Hadley and I were DYING!!).

This is a view of the bay we stayed at.  Dadio's boat is the sailboat in the middle:

We had so much fun here.  Went on hikes, got really dirty, played on the beach, made yummy camp food, played games, and just hung out.

Throwing rocks into the water:

Daddy teaching Hadley how to become a hooligan:

Taking a bath:

And getting REALLY dirty!!

We stayed for 3 days and headed back to the mainland with another great sail:

Crashed on the way home.  The lulling of the waves did her in!

We finished up the week by celebrating our neice's birthday, going to Stanley park, Granville Island and the Vancouver Aquarium, and again, just visiting and making great memories with family.

Chasing and feeding the geese some cheerios:

I ADORE this picture.  She is not screaming in pain like it looks, but  rather in shock.  She laughed right after.

ADORING the "fishies" with her cousin at the aquarium:

And playing with her cousins:

We had so much fun.  I actually got teary when we left.  While Edmonton is my home now, I will always have a fondness for Vancouver.  A lot of my family is there and I miss it.  And Hadley aged like 3 months I swear!  She added so many words to her vocabulary and put her first semi-sentence together.  After going pee on the outhouse toilet she waved down the toilet and said "bye bye pee pee".  And she started walking down the stairs like a big girl, holding on to the railing as she goes.  What a  turkey, she is going to hurt herself, I know it!

We shall see what next summer brings.....a 2 year old and a 6 month old.....could be interesting whatever trip we decide to do!!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012


Alright, a pregnancy announcement and no comments??  Really?  I know I have totally been bad at updating lately so does anyone even read this anymore??  Family, friends?  Anyone?  Cause if not I am switching my journal to a word document.

Let me know?

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

When 3 became 3 1/2!!

This is the longest I have ever gone without posting.  Geesh.  We have been so busy and stressed out as of late that we seriously want to die.  Actually Dman might - Kidding, but half of his face is slightly paralyzed....he's going to the doctor tomorrow....he thinks it is because of stress.

But onto a much lighter note - the reason for my post.  Which is much overdue, because I am due!!!  We are expecting baby number 2 on January 2nd!!  I am seriously overjoyed at the thought of adding another little bean to our family.  I can't wait to see Hadley with a sibling.  I spend my time as I fall asleep most nights dreaming of meeting this baby, and watching her/him and Hadley interact.

My gut tells me we are having a girl.  We will find out in a month, but I would seriously be so surprised if it is a boy.  I have had nothing but girl dreams, the heart rate is 150, and this pregnancy is SUPER similar to Hadley's.  I even crave the exact same foods.

I have been mega sick but that is FINALLY starting to die down just within the last week.  And I have been soooooo tired.  Great timing with all that we have going on.  I am huge already, which I found out is actually due to a hernia that I got from being so big with Hadley.  Because of the hernia, nothing is really staying in place so I am just popping out.  So I will probably be even bigger with this baby than I was with Hadley.  And post-baby I will have to have surgery to fix the hernia before we can have another.  Weird huh?  My OB knew as soon as soon as she saw me that something was not right - "you have quite the belly for 15 weeks" she says.  Funny story - I totaled our car a few weeks ago (one of the reasons for the stress) and the guy I hit is a family doctor.  I tell him I am pregnant, he looks at me, says "yeah, you must be what, 26 weeks?". I laughed.....ummmmm nope 13 actually.  "Oh, you should really get in to see your doctor right away.  You are either having twins or something is not right." hahaha that's when it was confirmed to me that I am in fact large despite everyone telling me that I am not and that they were bigger with their 2nd too.

And on that note, I am 16 weeks along.  Almost half way!  It is crazy how fast this pregnancy is going compared to Hadley's.  I guess its because when I was pregnant with Hadley, that was my sole focus.  But this time around, I have a CRAZY 1 1/2 year old to chase around so I don't focus on the fact that I am pregnant so much.  The guilt has already begun.....I am nervous for that.  Splitting of my time and love and all.

We have told Hadley that there is a baby in Mommy's tummy and she has become INFATUATED with my belly ever since.  She is constantly wanting to lift up my shirt and point to my belly.  And she lays on it and pretends to talk into it like Daddy does.  The other day we were in a store and there was a newborn baby and she points to the baby and then comes up to me and points to my belly.  So I think she SORT of grasps it as much as a 17 month old can.

Here's a picture of me at 13 weeks. I am too lazy to take a new one.  But I am bigger.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

What a character.

Anytime I need a smile or laugh I look at this picture:


Works every. single. time.  I love this girl.  What a goof. We are so blessed to have her.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The big change

Remember that big change I talked about a while ago??  Well, its here, ready to be made public....

I quit my full time job, and started a real, full fledged photography business!!!!  Yikes.

It all started back in Decemberish when I had to make the decision whether or not I wanted to return to work in February when my mat leave ended.  I knew I couldn't go back.  There was no way I could leave Hadley everyday.  I just couldn't.  But we needed supplemental income.  You see, Dman works during the summer, but take away tuition and books off of his income and we aren't left with a whole lot.  And student loans aren't that hefty when one is "only" in a bachelors degree program.  So, after much prayer and deliberation, we decided that I would go ahead with making my hobby into a real business.  That meant A LOT of work.

We developed the basement and I now have a real studio!!  (pics to come later)
I have been getting a ton of training from world class photographers.
I created a website and new branding.
Registered my business.
And created a whole new business structure and prices that aren't a shot in the dark.....they are prices based on cost and work.  

Seriously, it has been SO MUCH WORK. We are absolutely beat around here.  No energy left.  But I will muster it because bring on the clients!!!  Here's hoping anyway! Yikes.

I have so many emotions about it.  Overall is excitement.  But there is a lot of apprehension mixed in too.  What if I don't succeed?  We invested SOOOO much money into the business, how could I live with myself if I can't make it back?  Not to mention how is a tough one cause it is a subjective art.  My style might not be your style, and so my style is left to people's judgements....and people can be harsh.  Have I said yikes yet??  SO NERVOUS!! new website is . Head on over and check it out. Especially because I am having a GIVEAWAY!!!  All you have to do is "like" Leah Karch Photography on facebook and you will be entered to win!

I appreciate everyone's support in this.  I NEED it!!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Mommy wow, I'm a big girl now!

Its been a while.  A long while.  I have completely fallen off the blogging train.  We are just sooooo stinkin' busy around here.  So this video is a month old but I thought it is too cute not to share, and I figured its about time I do a Hadley update.

Here is our little munchkin all grown up and using a fork!!!  Picked it up in a day and hasn't looked back since!

Other facts about Hadley at 15 months:

-goes up and down slides all by herself!! And says "weeee" on the way down. Talk about a 'oh my gosh my baby isn't a baby moment'!
-Screams "dad" when he gets home and runs to the door in excitement
-Laces her own shoes.......she pulls the laces out and then will sit and lace them right back up...perfectly joke
-Is constantly bringing me her shoes to go outside
-Waves and says hi to everyone, everywhere we go
-Waves her doll's hand and says hi for her doll

She is such an independent little girl.  Will walk off anywhere all by herself.  But she listens well so when I say come back or hold my hand, she usually obeys.  And she is turning into quite the little daddy's girl.  Its pretty cute.  And Dman loves it.

That's our Hads right now.  Growing and developing faster than I can keep up!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Easter (cause I couldn't think of a unique title)

It's been a while. A long while - a month to be precise. Too long.
That's because we have been SOOOOO busy around here!! My head spins most days with my overwhelming list of stuff to do.

But we did break just long enough to enjoy Easter.

Two yummy dinners with family and an Easter egg hunt at Grandma and Grandpa's. And lots of reflecting and thinking about my Saviour and how grateful I am for his atonement. Beyond how it helps me repent. I am most grateful for His sacrifice because before He died for me He went through the depths of hell, through every imaginable pain. Which means that when I am at my lows, I know that not only has He felt the pain I am feeling, but that He has gone through much, much worse. It helps me get through my trials. I am grateful for His willingness to suffer and die for ME. Plain, boring, old, Leah.

And for good measure, my girl and I in our Sunday best before church:

Happy Easter everyone!!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

We're back!!!

Although I don't know if I ever mentioned that we were leaving.

But we did. For 10 days to LA, Las Vegas, and Palm Springs.

It was a phenomenal trip and we had so much fun as a little family.

We arrived in LA and hit up the beach for Hadley's first trip to the ocean! She LOVED everything about it. From the sand to the water, and even chasing the seagulls. She would run away from the waves as they came in and then chase them as they went out. Inevitably a few caught her and she was soaked by the time we left.

We went to my favorite beach.....Venice Beach. It is quintesential California. Muscle Beach (outdoor gym), bikini clad roller bladers, hippies, a skate park, $2 giant slices of pizza, and street performers. Hadley ate the pizza, danced along with the street performers, talked to some locals, watched the skateboarders - this girl is a Californian at heart!

Then the next day we went to Disneyland.....literally one of my favorite places on earth. I might shed a tear or two reminiscing about it because that is how much fun we had. No joke, it was one of the best days of my life. All three of us couldn't have loved it more. Hadley's favorite ride was "It's a Small World", much to the distaste of Daddy's ears. We went on rides, ate yummy food, saw some princesses, watched a few parades, and stayed for the magical fireworks at the end of the night. While we were sitting waiting for the fireworks to begin, Hadley made friends with all those around us. She held hands with a little boy and gave unrelenting hugs to a couple cute girls. I guess the joy of Disneyland wore off on her. It was the cutest.

Totally tuckered by the end of the day:

Then we hit up Vegas where I attended photography training for the whole 2 days we were there so Hadley and Daddy spent some quality daddy-daughter time on the strip....haha what an oxymoron!! We didn't care for Vegas much. It really is the land of sin. Enough said.
So I only have 2 pictures - a spent Hadley and an aquarium viewing Hadley:

For the second half of our trip we went to Palm Springs and stayed at Family's house. It was the bomb-diggity. Yup, that's right. All we did was shop and swim. Each day was 30 degrees (celcius) so it was perrrrrfect for lazing by the pool.


Wonderful memories were made and great times were had.
Then we came home to lots of snow and -15 degree weather.

I wish I could go back.