Sunday, February 28, 2010

Look What I Lost!

Okay, I didn't exactly lose Cavan... but he does weigh 22lbs which coincidentally is how much weight I had lost when I weighed myself on Friday. It was such an exciting moment for me as I also made it under 300lbs (cannot believe I am sharing that number on here!) and breaking that barrier was such a relief.

I had been stressing quite a bit over the last two weeks because I had been unable to make it to the aerobics classes that are offered here. Between a trip to Whitehorse, sick kids, sick adults and Matt on-call the timing just hasn't been working. Plus our kids have been sleeping so poorly that I am heading to bed before 9pm now just so I can nab a few extra hours when possible. After seeing that the weight is still coming off just by managing my eating, I stopped stressing about the aerobics. I am still active because I am chasing two little boys all day! We usually spend time outside each day so I am always on the go.

The focus of this meal plan is measuring serving sizes. I bought a digital kitchen scale in January and it has become my best friend. It looks something like this and was about $50 from Walmart:

I weigh out most everything that I eat and some days it sure is surprising what I would have considered a serving size. Cheese is always the one that makes me sad. I could eat a whole round of brie if you let me. Anyone out there working on losing weight, go out and buy a digital scale and make it your new best friend.

Lots of people have been asking what a day of meals looks like for me, so here is a sample day:

Now where it repeats an item in a meal, what that is allowing is for me to switch out half of something with an alternative if I want more variety. The website also allows me to swap a meal out for something different if I don't like it or don't have the ingredients. It gives a list of alternatives that have similar total calories.

Most days I am not hungry and am finding some of the meals too large- especially the salads. On days when I am craving something sweet I have some of the ready made jello in the cupboard that is just 5 calories a portion. That seems to help me through the day!

Weekends seem to be my downfall right now. The week allows for structured days whereas the weekend has zero structure to the days and we are on the go a lot. I readily admit that for supper on Saturday night I ate homemade chocolate chip cookies. Yep, that was my entire meal. I was making them to donate to a couple of groups raising money around town and they are just so good! I definitely need to keep working on my binge eating episodes, although they are occurring with diminishing frequency, so I am not going to beat myself up over it.

I have now lost 2/5ths of my yearly goal and am almost to the half way point. With ten more months left in the year, I have high hopes of smashing that goal! By the end of March I would like to be down another 8lbs for a total of 30lbs.

As I have said before, and I have to say it again- THANK YOU SO MUCH to all of the people who have been offering encouragement, support, personal stories, recipes and so much more. Most days those little words from people are just what I need to keep going at it and I appreciate it so much.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Dreaming Big

Maybe we'll be hockey players when we grow up!

Or maybe we will ride the snowcross circuit... ohhh perhaps it will be an Olympic sport by then!
You can never be as cool as me and my bear toque.

I'm just dreaming about when I will be big enough to tear this damn turtle toque off my head!
But for now we will be content to drive our parents crazy and never, ever coordinate our smiles for the camera.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

When Brothers Attack!

Hunter came running into the kitchen on the weekend crying and holding his upper arm. When I asked him what happened he answered, "Mr. Wiggles tried to eat me!"

Yep, Mr. Wiggles (also known as Cavan) had tried to eat him. On Hunter's arm was the perfect imprint of Mr. Wiggles chompers.

Mr. Wiggles displaying his anti-brother weaponry:

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The House of Plague... Continued

I thought we finally had the disease in our house wiped out, but alas I was so wrong.

Cavan is bringing in some molars and what I thought was just the accompanying running nose turned into a full out snot-fest. The rubbing of the snotty nose resulted in both eyes full of goop so thick that whenever he falls asleep his eyes glue shut! What seems minor yesterday, turned into full out nastiness today so off to the health centre we went. Now he is receiving eye drops a few times a day along with some tylenol for his general crankiness. I got a requisition to send him in for allergy testing. The runny nose and puffy eyes just don't seem to go away, so I hope this provides some answers. Good times x 1.

Hunter had been disease free for a few weeks and I thought we had hit the light at the end of the tunnel. But today he just seemed out of sorts and getting into everything. Finally after a nap this afternoon (he usually doesn't nap anymore, but was out of bed just before 5am today so a nap was much needed) he awoke with a cough, runny nose, and intense crankiness which included wanting to be carried everywhere. Good times x 2.

Matt is exhausted. He doesn't deal well with being woken up throughout the night. Our boys are going through a period of horrible sleeping. Neither will sleep for more than 2 hours at a time before we have to get them back down again. Then yesterday when getting out of his work truck, he whacked his head off of our camper that is parked in the yard. He did it so hard I think it nearly knocked him out and he was even bleeding! I have also insisted that he get some allergy testing as well. Around his eyes is always puffy and there are other symptoms that seem like allergies could be the culprit. This evening he is just feeling off. Not good, not bad, but just not right. Good times x 3.

And the disease seems to have finally caught up with me. Yesterday I had zero energy accompanied by a sore throat and itchy ears. This morning I felt pretty good though, just the itchy ears were still irritating me. But by early evening I was feeling that sore throat coming back. I am lacking sleep, running out of patience with a busy toddler, and wondering if I will ever wear a shirt one day that does not have snot or barf on it. I have missed all aerobics in a week (once because Matt had a meeting, once because we were in Whitehorse, and twice because of miserable kids). Good times x 4.

Since I dislike having an entire post that is all negative, I will end with a positive paragraph. My eating plan is still going along great. I am thriving on the structure it provides. Last week I was down 16.5lbs and am hoping for another pound or two this week when I weigh myself on Friday, even without the exercise. Nice to see that 20lb mark approaching quickly.


Climbing at the school gym during a cake-walk fundraiser:

Trying so hard to imitate his big brother:

My super climbers!
And here is the cake I donated to the cake walk! It was a Miracle (has Miracle Whip in it) Devils Food cake with buttercream icing. Yum!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Checking Traplines

On Saturday we were invited out to enjoy the morning with some friends who live about 50km outside of Faro. The weather was perfect for an outing; it was -20C at 9am, but by noon it was nearing zero.

Matt and Hunter joined Luc and Quillian checking a trapline that is close to their home. Luckily for us they have two skidoos! That is one of the pricier items we have not replaced since leaving Kugluktuk. The boys had a great trip and were out for two hours and covered around 7km of trapline. Hunter returned with tales of the skidoo tipping over, falling into the snow and peeing in the woods. Definitely a good time, even if they did come home empty handed.

Cavan I stayed back at the cabin with Delphine and her new baby Lilou. We chatted, snacked, crafted and played with the babies. A perfect morning! Once the guys returned, Delphine cooked up a delicious lunch of fish and potato cakes made from the grayling they had caught this summer.

Halt! Who Goes There? (Quillian)

A gorgeous February day in the Yukon:

Stopping for the mandatory cookie snack break:

Big Boy Toys!

Quillian devouring a cookie!

Hunter looking very determined to drive the skidoo by himself!

There is nothing like spending time with good friends to liven up winter!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Me Update: New Meal Plans

I am two weeks into my new meal plan and I can report some great success!! Since the beginning of the month I have lost another 5lbs for a total now of 14.5lbs since the start of the new year.

For anyone who missed my last Me Update, I downloaded the meal plans from the Biggest Loser website (I did pay for this service; I signed up for three months). We hit Whitehorse and stocked up on the required groceries and got started.

I am loving the structure. A lot of my food related stress is gone because there is now a book in my kitchen that tells me what and when to eat. For someone who obsesses over food and what we are going to eat at our next meal, this is a huge relief. Every night I read through the next days meals and recipes and take the necessary food out of the freezer and do some prep.

Breakfast seems to be the biggest meal of the day, followed by lunch and supper is usually quite light. It is a real change from how we used to eat. There is very little red meat and potatoes which were some of our basics before. Once we get the hang of these meals, I will be switching some proteins out for our moose and caribou because they are healthy and my freezer is full of it!

All of the recipes are pretty idiot proof, but this is an American website. Not saying that Americans are idiots, but I have read that Americans cook fewer meals from scratch than Canadians do so perhaps that is why everything is so simple. I am missing some of our favorite meals, so I think once every two weeks we will make one of our favorite suppers. We did that on Friday night. We had a homegrown roasted chicken, salad, carrots and mashed potatoes along with a red velvet chocolate cake- yum!!! I made sure we had company to help us eat that so I wouldn't eat the whole cake myself.

So far only one recipe has been a complete bomb. It was a split pea soup that we found horrible. Luckily, the website allows you to swap out meals you don't like for a replacement that is similar in calories.

I made sure to take the time when we got home from Whitehorse to prep all of our groceries. I read through the recipes to see how many ounces of meat were required for each meal and then I divided up all of the meat into individual ziplocks that are labeled with their weight. It took a bit of time, but makes it so easy now! I also put all of our fruits and veggies into those Debbie Mayer Green Bags. They are working great as long as you remember to wipe out the condensation that builds up in the bags with a paper towel. I have strawberries, spinach, lettuce and more in my fridge that I bought two weeks ago that are still good.

Yesterday we were pretty much off the meal plan and I found myself stressed out all day! A late breakfast with a friend led to a quick, not healthy lunch and then a planned in advance supper out for Valentines Day with my husband for chinese food. It made me realize how much I like the structure of these meal plans.

I am really happy with my weight loss to date! And I was at aerobics twice last week and will be going tonight as well. Already I notice an improvement in my flexibility and endurance from attending these classes.

I have also signed up for Faro's Third Annual Biggest Loser Competition. We are in teams of four and will be weighing in once a week at the health centre over the next three months. I had my measurements taken down there so I can compare those in a few months and I am sure I will see progress there when I don't see it in the scale.

Matt is even enjoying our new meals, however he is still not a fan of beans or lentils served in any form. But he manages to eat them anyways. He is also happy because bacon and chocolate are in the menu. My husband without bacon and chocolate would be a very unhappy camper!

Thank you to everyone for the encouraging comments. I appreciate all of the support!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Chase Me!

I am finally getting a glimpse into the chaos that is to come. The boys have finally started to play with each other; usually they play a game of chase. It is nice to see them interact with each other in a positive way.

Cavan is also learning naughty tricks from his big brother. This morning he discovered splashing in the toilet and lately he finds joy in banging on our carving cabinet.

Here is a nice video to share the chaos:

Chase Me! from Kara Went on Vimeo.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

As Requested By Nanny

Today Hunter's Nanny called and asked for a video of Hunter going down the slide in the playground by our house. And I just happened to have one! So here you go Nanny. Sorry he isn't squealing with glee, but the look on his face at the end definitely shows his emotion!

Slide from Kara Went on Vimeo.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Boys At Play

The weather in Faro has been unusually warm for February. Yesterday it went up to -5C and the sky was so blue! The boys and I went outside to play in our yard for the afternoon and to meet dad once he got home from work.

Showing dad the cave mom made for him:

Not as impressed with the snow cave:
Inspecting the truck together:

Moving snow. Check out the concentration on the task at hand:

Monday, February 8, 2010

When Dad Attacks

Just playing in the snow... minding my own business....



Don't worry dad, I'll get even... one day when you least expect it!

My New Favorite Picture

Sunday, February 7, 2010

The Case of the Missing Potty

The potty piece has been found! Well actually Hunter found it under his puzzle pieces in a toy bin. I guess I didn't dig deep enough!

This is beyond odd.

Today Hunter yelled to me, "Mom, mom come see. I peed in my potty!" I hear this every time he uses his potty, and I go right over to grab out the little inner pot and dump it out into the toilet. So when Hunter gave the yell late in the morning I went over to do the routine.

Except the inner pot to the potty wasn't there. Odd, because I know I had dumped it already that morning and so had Matt. I had to take the entire potty to the sink and wash it all out. I searched the upstairs of our house and could not find the pot. Matt was at work, so I gave him a call; he was just as perplexed as I was.

When Matt came home a short while later we both scoured the house. Cavan has been launching everything he can grab through the stair rails to the floor below. Checked there and nothing. Checked the garbage where Hunter usually tosses items and nothing. I went through all my cupboards, the freezer (we have a bottom door one and Hunter thinks it is his own personal fridge), behind the sofas, the tub, the shower, under my bed, the closets, the ball tent, the crib.... NOTHING!

I have no clue where the damn thing is. And taking the entire potty to the sink is not fun. Thankfully he took a huge crap earlier this morning before we lost the inner pot. This is just nuts. Where should I check next??

Overprotective Parenting

This morning I loaded up CBC on my computer and watched last weeks Doc Zone called "Hyper Parents and Coddled Kids". Was that ever an interesting show! I recommend all parents go and watch it. The gist of the program was how Generation Y, or the Entitled Generation, has had their hands held by their parents throughout their childhood and now into adulthood. As kids they have very little freedom and free play since parents are in a constant state of fear for their kids getting hurt, lost, etc. There is the peer pressure that parents must enroll their children into as many activities as possible as well as the best schools and to ensure their children are the highest achievers in those activities and schools. Now these coddled children are growing up and unable to cope with the stress of real life. They believe (as their parents have instilled in them) that they can have, do, or achieve anything they want in life, but this isn't so! This generation is now having kids of their own and throwing birthday parties for 1 year old's with a price tag of $4000 (and the parents said this was mid-range).

I reflected on my own upbringing; I think I am on the cusp of this overprotected generation. I see it in a lot of people I know the same age as me, and I am thankful that my upbringing was the way it was (for the most part!). I don't think my parents held our hands too much and they definitely gave us a lot of freedom!

As children my brother and I roamed our property with bb guns, and then later .22's. My mom always told us to stay out of the house unless we were broken or bleeding! We were towed behind quads while riding car hoods, we drove quads way to fast when we could barely reach to shift with our feet, and we loved playing with matches! Now I find it hard to picture letting my boys do the same!! We were only allowed to be involved in one activity at a time. Winters it was Girl Guides for me, and summer was soccer when I was young. There was only one choice in school- nothing fancy for us! We wore hand-me-downs, thrifty store clothes and the ever classy Kmart or a step up to Zellers clothing.

I noticed the Entitled Generation when in high school. I saw my peers get brand new cars for their 16th birthday, whereas my parents paid for half of my beater. Then into University where many parents paid for absolutely everything for their precious kids. I saw the consequences of this as those who had been given everything struggled once setting out on their own. First they had no concept of money. They would spend before they had ever earned, racking up huge amounts of debt. Second they had no concept of making sacrifices and hard work. What? Move away from my home town to somewhere else because there are no jobs? Psshhh, no way! Now these people are in their thirties and struggling to make ends meet and many still having to turn to their parents to get bailed out.

Now I know that some people honestly hit hard times and need to approach their families for help, and those are not who I am discussing here. I am talking about those that are rescued by their parents before they have a chance to learn from their mistakes. They need to flounder and find their feet if they are to learn anything at all.

This documentary made me reflect on my own boys. What kind of men do I see them becoming? I want to raise independent thinkers, hard workers who are kind and honest among other attributes. I do not want to get sucked into the idea that I have to provide the best of the best to them in order for them to thrive. We have not fallen prey to the so-called educational toys such as Baby Einstein or the expensive clothing. I do splurge on books for our boys though, same as my parents did for us. We try to limit how many toys they have, however the grandparents are not quite understanding this and it frustrates us to no end. Our kids are not enrolled in so many activities that they have zero down time. Actually, my kids are enrolled in nothing that is organized at this point; we just attend our playgroup twice a week.

This is where I am extremely happy in our choice of communities. Living in Faro allows us to remain relaxed and stay out of the kiddie rat race. I will let my boys be rough and tumble, climb trees and play in the mud and will just have to ignore that raised eyebrow from the occasional person who thinks kids should stay out of trees and be clean at all times. They will be allowed to fail, to fall, to flounder so they can learn and grow from that experience. I am sure it won't be easy for me to stand back and watch them fall flat on their face, but I will have to remind myself that is how they grow! Hopefully how we are raising our boys will prepare them for real life.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Thursday, February 4, 2010

On The Go!

Cavan has been crawling for nearly a month, which is three months earlier than Hunter! He is a big fan of going along on his hands and feet and is picking up speed with each passing day.

Untitled from Kara Went on Vimeo.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Getting Back To Normal

Our boys finally seem to be over our bout with the plague.  Two months of them alternating being sick has exhausted us!

Finally last night Cavan had a great sleep.  Down at the usual time of 7:30pm, woke up twice during the night, and then up for the day at 6am.  Beautiful!  AND he had a two hour nap this afternoon in his own room!!  This kid never naps for that long.  He prefers two twenty minutes naps during the day, and never in his own room.  I have my fingers crossed that tonight will be even better!

Hunter is going down before 8pm, however wakes up concerned about either tigers or monsters by midnights and crawls into our bed.  We had him out of this habit a while back, but with us being so tired, we gave up for the last while and just let him sleep the rest of the night with us.  Last night though he kept fussing and fidgeting in our bed.  Then at 4am, he stood up in our bed and started screaming that he wanted pancakes!  Seriously, he was screaming at the top of his lungs for pancakes.  I sent Matt to the kitchen because I actually had a leftover pancake from breakfast.  He came back with that and a sippy cup of milk.  Hunter then refused the pancake he has insisted on, cuddled up with the sippy cup and fell asleep without even taking a sip.  My kid is so odd.

The boys are so happy when they aren't sick!  Destructive.... but happy.  Hunter spent the day emptying out my cupboards and making me cake. The cake usually consisted of cans of tuna or tomato paste in a bowl and was baked in the cupboard next to the oven.  He tried putting it in the real oven, and we had to have a little talk about that!

Cavan spent the day stealing the cans away from Hunter and trying to throw them through the baby gate and down the stairs.  I hope my poor tile stairs survive these boys.

I have my fingers crossed that we stay plague free for a long time!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Weekend Away

Usually trips to Whitehorse are not relaxing for us at all. We are in-out over one night and our time is just spent shopping and running errands.

This past weekend though, we opted to take two nights and do some fun things with the kids while in the big city. We went to the swimming pool twice and three times to the playroom. Matt went to see Ron James do his stand up routine with a great friend of ours. And we went on a horse drawn sleigh ride! The weekend was almost relaxing! Of course we still had to the do the usual shopping, but the kids were on their best behaviour. It was the best trip I think we have taken to Whitehorse since moving here two years ago.

I was even able to find everything I needed on my shopping list included a small steam cleaner. This weekend coming up I have a mission to get the smell of barf out of our sofas. Now doesn't that sound like a good time!

There were only two parts to the trip where I wasn't impressed. The first was when I realized I had forgotten my jacket at home. So I went to Walmart and bought a new one, wore it for the sleigh ride, and then promptly returned it! The second was my dental appointment on Monday morning. Fun times. And I have to go back again in just over two weeks for them to finish the work.

Oh! And we saw a beautiful Lynx on the drive home. Plus our kids were awesome on the drive home! Cavan only cried for 1/2 an hour while Hunter slept right from Whitehorse until we hit Faro nearly four hours later. What a great trip!

And people wonder why we live here...

Hunter eyeballing Rocky!

Rocky- the most photographed horse in the Yukon!

All ready for our ride!

Mike getting Rocky ready for the ride:

Matt and Cavan:

Having a great time!

Giddy-up Rocky!

Hunter thanking Rocky for the ride: