Saturday, January 29, 2011

Handsome Models and Heaps of Orders

Hunter and Cavan usually aren't the most willing of models. Yesterday I bribed them with letting them stand on the table to model this hoodie and they were both game. The hoodies seem to be a hot item! This one sold just a few minutes after I posted a picture of it on facebook and requests for two more just like it came in soon after. This week I need make five hoodies in a variety of sizes and colours.

Also this week I need to fill an order for a pair of baby booties all in rabbit fur. Then I will be waiting for a wolf to arrive in the mail to fill an order for wolf mitts! I am pretty excited about those. I have yet to sew with wolf and it should be interesting to see if they turn out as fluffy as the lynx mittens did.

This week I received a book I had ordered quite a few weeks ago titled, "How to Sew Leather, Suede and Fur" and after just a quick look through it I am already eager to try some new techniques. My ideas are always well past my abilities, but I am learning bit by bit mainly through trial and error. I have to say that the fur Trapper's Hats, after hat number four, are looking very finished. I had a number of suggestions from a friend on how to make it look better and they all worked (thanks Jilly!). The lynx hat has already sold and is on its way to Ontario and I am just waiting to hear back from someone else about a beaver hat.

So another busy week ahead for me and my sewing room!

Crazy grin:

I love how these look from the back:

Hunter was in love with it and was asking if he could keep it.
Don't worry- he has not been neglected- he has a lovely grey one already!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Fun with Friends

Winter Fun!
Lilou, Hunter, Cavan and Quillian.
Delphine and I were the sled dogs.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Hat Madness!

After the successful completion of the Wee-Trapper's Hat, I moved forward and attempted the adult hat. I am now a full blown hat sewing addict!

I have made three hats since Saturday and am working on the fourth. Each one is just a little bit better than the last. I am finding way to make them look more finished.

Matt modeling Trapper Hat number 1. Beaver fur and moose hide.

Side view of the a Trapper's Hat with lynx fur and moose hide.
This one is definitely my favorite!

Front view of the lynx fur hat. So much lovely fur!!

Side view of Trapper's Hat number 2.

And all hats are for sale!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Wee Hat

A dear friend in Whitehorse sent me a hat pattern and after much trial and error and nearly a bout of tears, I completed my first one!

Here is Lilou, a friend's daughter, modeling it for me:

Tonight I am working on an adult one in moose hide and beaver!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Playing Out

The temperatures are finally breaking out of our long deep-freeze! Today it went up to a lovely -20C, so the boys and I headed out for some driveway shoveling fun this afternoon. With the warm temperatures though has come the snow! By the time I was done shoveling, I probably could have just started doing it over again.

Furry, snowy and happy!

Cavan loves having me cover him in snow while I am shoveling:

Finally, after an hour outside, the boys were cold and insisted we all head inside for hot chocolate:

My rosy-red cheeks (and my first attempt at a fur/fleece headband- it was deemed a reject and now I wear it)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Any Dream Readers Out There?

I dream almost every night and have no problems remember what they were about. Last night's dream though was so odd that it makes me think I should be a writer for a show along the lines of the X-Files.

The dream was playing out like a clip from the tv show "CSI". They were showing people dead on toilets who had been drained completely of their blood. My co-workers and I were trying to figure out what was killing them. We came up with the obvious idea of vampires, but the mark on the persons neck didn't look like a vampire bite. After much discussion, we staked out a bathroom through surveillance cameras with a dummy on the toilet. We watched for a few minutes and slowly the lid to the water reservoir on the back of the toilet started to slide to one side. A black tentacle-like thing started to reach out to the dummy and attach to the neck. Somehow this dummy was extremely realistic and we had filled it with blood. We watched as the tentacle latched onto the dummy's neck and started sucking out its blood. Later we learned that it was a massive leech that lived in toilets and traveled through the sewer system feeding off of human blood.

HOW ODD IS THAT?? (Hey Stacie, I bet this dream makes you happy you still have an outhouse, eh?)

I also had a dream about a local teenage girl here in Faro stealing my car (I don't have a car in real life, just a big-ass truck). She ditched it in the bushes and I was going to tell her parents on her. She was upset that my telling her parents would lead to her not being allowed to attend a special school in Whitehorse and she would have to stay in Faro. Oh, and prior to finding my car I was learning how to play the cello (now that is really odd because I have NO musical talent; I can barely play my stereo). While playing the cello I was panicking because I though people might ask me to sing while I played and I sound like a dying cow when singing aloud.

And my final dream of the night was me watching my Grandmother wash her reading glasses in the washing machine and also run them through the dryer. They came out broken into a dozen piece, but they came out of the dryer in a box of Kleenex and those tissues came out untouched and perfect.

Anyone out there want to hazard a guess about my inner thoughts based on these dreams? I would love to hear them because I sure have no clue!


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Parenting Advice from Michael

Last week I was blogging about how the boys are in a constant state of war and I was nothing more than a referee.

One of the comments on the post came from the always entertaining and helpful Michael of Michael's Meanderings fame. All he wrote in the comment section was, "The trick is to leave the room." Now at first I just ignored his comment because he has two lovely little girls. How can a dad of two lovely little girls have any idea as to what I am going through? We all know girls sit and colour instead of stuffing markers up their nose and don't scream "attack" and leap teeth bared at their sibling. We all know little girls are perfect creatures that are never any trouble.

But then I remembered that Michael has a brother.... And him and his brother have both made it to adulthood.... so perhaps I should listen to his advice.

This weekend I started with operation "Ignore Fighting Boys". First I took all of the toys out of the living room and put them into their bedrooms. The boys have never had toys in their bedroom before and they always play in the living room. I was hoping they would spend a bit more time in their bedrooms playing together. Second, I really did ignore them. I walked away from fights. I told them to fix things or get things by themselves or ask their sibling for help. Now I did have to intervene a few times when the attacks came out of the rooms and there were serious tears, but overall the last couple of days have been better. And my living room has been so much cleaner although by the end of the day their bedrooms look like a bomb went off!

Thank you Michael for your parenting advice! And if you ever want to trade your lovely little girls for two destructive little boys for a week, I am game!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Boys At War

I am not really a mom. I am just a referee. Any other parents out there feel they have the same role?

Hunter and Cavan are constantly in attack mode. Cavan even yells, "ATTACK" and then leaps on top of his brother. I am at a loss as to how to deal with them. Most of the day I am pulling them off of one another, talking sternly to them, full-out yelling at them, smacking bums, smacking hands, putting them into their rooms, putting them into corners.... it just never ends. I have a nagging suspicion this is never going to change.

While in Ross River the boys took advantage of cushions that were able to come off the furniture to make landing pads for leaps off of the backs of the now cushion-less furniture. Cavan tried to make off with one of the cushions and Hunter retaliated with a chop to the arm. I was so mad! Hunter hasn't bit in ages and Cavan finally seemed to be getting past the biting stage. Hunter ended up with a smack on the butt and about 15 minutes in his room. Then just two days later Hunter did it again because Cavan wouldn't take the ice-cream cone (a hat with his stuffed squirrel inside) that he was offering. I was fuming!

I thought that a couple of days apart would do them well. Matt took Hunter into Whitehorse with him overnight to have the truck serviced. All Cavan did was ask for Hunter. And Hunter definitely missed his little brother. While Matt was getting his hair cut, the hair dresser gave Hunter two candies. I guess he ate one and then told everyone he was saving the other candy for Cavan! Matt said he told so many people about it- even an employee at Canadian Tire. He kept taking it out of his pocket to check that it was safe and then sadly he lost it somewhere and was pretty devastated. However, Hunter wasn't even in the house for two minutes before the fists were flying and both boys were in full on attack mode.

Gahh. How am I going to survive raising boys?


Sad little boy.
Yet, he kept asking me to let Hunter out of his time-out. I just don't get it.

Newton's Second Law

Here are the boys celebrating the New Year. Cavan learned the hard way about Newtons Second Law of Motion that day.
Hmmmm... what is this?

What the hell?!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Playground Equipment/Furniture

How do you entertain two little boys while visiting Ross River and it is a bit too cold to play outside?

Well you turn the furniture into playground equipment, of course!

My big leaper!

Check out the evil grin on Hunter's face. Then notice the bit of striped pajama in the bottom left-hand corner of the photo....

Ready, set, leap!

No fear here:

Monday, January 3, 2011

Food Wars

We have been cursed with a picky eater. It started around when Hunter was two with him refusing to eat foods. Prior to that, he was an amazing eater and would try anything! Slowly the list of foods he ate got smaller and smaller and our frustration level at meal time kept increasing.

When Hunter was two and a half I had a visit from the ladies who make up the travelling Child Development Centre group. They were stopping in because we were having problems with Cavan swallowing and I also asked them for suggestions on dealing with Hunter and his picky eating. Their suggestion was to just keep on putting food out at meal times and letting him pick what he wanted to eat from that. I combined that with a suggestion from a friend to have set snack times and to reduce the amount they eat for snack.

I have always worried about forcing my kids to eat. Growing up we were always forced to clean our plate and there was no real choice in what you had to eat. I developed serious issues with food because of this and diets that were forced on me at a very young age which all led to binge eating, bulemia, poor self-image, low self-confidence and of course obesity. I dread the thought of my kids going through these same problems.

But after a year, the list of foods that Hunter would eat was decreasing even more. It wasn't that these foods were unhealthy, just limited. Matt and I decided that after a year of trying the nice way, we were going the not so nice route. It started one night when Matt wasn't home and I made porridge for supper (Cavan's favorite). Hunter of course refused saying, "I don't like that" when he has never even tried it! So I took the spoon and shoved it in. Literally I held his head, pinched his cheeks and shoved that spoon in. What a fight! But surprisingly, I was able to shove spoonful after spoonful into his screaming gob and he ate the entire bowl.

I talked it up after that, telling him things like:
  • This is the year that Hunter tries new foods!
  • Don't be scared to try new foods Hunter.
  • You need new foods to make you grow big and strong.
Over the next week I continued to force him to try something new each day. Some days were more of a fight that others. And by fight, I mean fight. One parent holding him while the other shoves the food in. The first two bites are the worst. At times he has held a bite in his mouth for an hour. Yep. An hour. But it seems that once we get past those first two bites he is then much less resistant to eating the rest of his food.

So over the last week he has tried:
  • turkey noodle soup
  • turkey curry and rice
  • porridge
  • peanut butter and jelly sandwich
  • chicken with rice and tomato sauce
  • fish with rice and tomato sauce
  • cheesy quedadilla (which he loves but I added grated carrots)
  • french toast (which he loves, but added pumpkin puree)
  • hamburger helper with caribou
  • homemade moose sausage with mashed potatoes
This list is unbelievable. New foods everyday!! If you are a parent of a picky eater you will understand where I am coming from.

There was only one food that he truly didn't like and that was the fish night. He got one bite down the hatch in an hour and a half and that was it. So we gave in that night!

Today was the worst day, but it ended on a good note. Hunter seemed to enjoy the peanut butter and jelly sandwich a few days ago, so I made it again. Well after forty five minutes of him fighting with me, he still had the first bite in his mouth. I was tired and frustrated so he went to his room and wasn't allowed out until he finished what was in his mouth. I had to sit on the floor outside his room to keep him in. It took another 45 minutes. We were going to just put him down for a nap, but he cried and cried that he wanted to eat his lunch instead. So back out to the kitchen we went. And surprisingly he ate half of the sandwich. While he was eating, I was sitting next to him eating cucumber slices. He started asking questions about my cucumber- like if it was okay to eat the seeds and if it was supposed to be crunchy. Hunter used to love fresh veggies and dip, but hadn't tried them in close to a year and a half. Then he blew me away and asked for a slice of my cucumber. Then he asked for dip, so I brought out the ranch dressing. Well one slice led to another and another! I got out a yellow pepper hoping he would show interest in that as well- and he did! In the end, Hunter ate about six big slices of cucumber, about 3/4's of a huge yellow pepper, and then a few more slices of an orange pepper. Wow!! And he was excited about it!

I am hoping this pays off. Hunter is trying new foods and actually liking them. Yes, meal time is a bit of a war and it can last upwards of two hours, but I am hoping over the next few weeks or months we see more positive change. I am encouraged by the fact that we took a tough approach to getting the boys to sleep last year and it paid off as they now go to bed so easily every night and nap time. I am still using my friends advice on small and set snack times so he will actually be hungry at meal time.

So keep your fingers crossed and send me extra patience vibes as I keep moving forward with the food wars!