Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Failure, Anxiety, Death and a New Handbag

The blog has been darn quiet on the weight loss front this year. After last years huge success of a 50lb loss, this year has been a complete bomb.

I had a goal of losing 50lbs a year for three years. Hurray for year one! But then I was overcome with anxiety on year two. So many people were congratulating me, saying how I have inspired them.... but instead of it helping me, it seemed to throw me into a downward spiral that I am still trying to recover from. I don't know how to take compliments. And I have a debilitating fear of letting people down.

And what do I do when I am anxious? I eat. What do I do when I feel like a failure? Or am even afraid to fail? I eat.

Last month, had my children been chocolate coated I am pretty sure I would have eaten them too.

So how bad is it? Shall I share the embarrassing news? Well I have gained back 23.5lbs. Actually, I gained back 30lbs, but I have lost 6.5lbs since getting back from our trip to Cape Breton. Failure.

Wonderful friends have told me not to worry, this is a journey. But serious, would someone just had me a fracking GPS already??

I have even exercised more than I ever have in my entire life! However, the more I exercised the more I lost focus on my eating. I can eat that... I worked out today.

It was getting better.

I had a beautiful email from my friend Indigo saying that I had inspired her to lose some weight and she herself had just hit 50lbs. Ten days later she was dead and I was a wreck. I consoled myself with food instead of learning to grieve.

I feel like I have wasted the last six months. The more I let myself feel those emotions, the more I eat to numb them. Why can't there be a magic pill for this?

I don't know how to fix it. I don't know how to reduce my anxiety. But I am going to find some good out of it.

I know that if I am sewing, I am probably not eating. So not eating means new sewing projects. So to end this embarrassing post of my weight loss failure for 2011 on a positive point... check out the new bag I made out of a leather coat:

Saturday, May 28, 2011

I think he needs a bigger bed...

Cavan has taken to hauling every stuffed animal he can find into his bed with him at night. Hunter does the exact same thing. Check out the photo, there is barely any room for him in the bed! He hauled in his Marno (the stuffed martin), a little puppy, a huge teddy bear, a rather large polar bear and then a big puppy stolen from his big brother. There is also a regular pillow, his moose pillow and his favorite blanket. Definitely time to get him a bigger bed.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Bad Ass Squirrel Hunters

The boys and I spent the day with a good friend of mine and her two young children. These kids have all been playing together their entire little lives and it warms my heart to watch them together. Of course it still also gets my blood pressure up when they all start beating on each other with sticks or throwing sand/rocks at each other, but that is just normal kid stuff, right?

My friend had her .22 out to get rid of squirrels around their cabin. At one point we thought a squirrel was hiding in the wood pile, so she grab her rifle and went to find it. The boys didn't want to miss out on the action. They picked up their own guns (pieces of 2x2 and a super-soaker) and headed out squirrel hunting.

I loved every single moment of it. My brother and I started using our guns (bb guns and then .22's) first on squirrels. My mother had it out for all squirrels since we lived in a cedar house and they loved to chew on it. By the time I was 10 and my brother 8, I am pretty sure there wasn't a squirrel in a five mile radius of our home. We moved up to grouse and I shot my first deer when I was 14. Since then I have shot a number of deer, a moose and even a caribou.

It won't be long before these boys trade out pieces of wood and super-soakers for bb guns and my friend will never have to worry about a squirrel again!

Quillian taking a break while hunting:

BadAss Cavan looking for action:

Hurry mom! We hear a squirrel!!

Over the bridge and out into the wild:

Trouble comes in three's:

My friend Delphine and her trusty .22:

The Value of a Dime

or even a nickel.

There are a number of values that we are working to instill in our boys. One that we wanted to start working on with them at a young age was the value of money. Hunter is nearly four and he is starting to ask about money and buying toys.

Matt and I both grew up in families that worked hard for everything they had. There were no handouts and no welfare cheques. We did without a lot of extras and learned to save our pennies if there was something special we wanted to purchase. Those values have followed us into our adult lives. We manage our money very well now, have little debt, invest ten percent of our income and are also able to live comfortably off of just Matt's salary. I am proud of our accomplishments and am thankful my parents instilled these values in me.

As a kid I started making extra money by picking up pop cans in the ditches. Sunday drives with the parents were also bottle gathering expeditions. I have many a memory of digging through garbage cans in the campgrounds too! Just like a raven. So this is where we decided to start Hunter off. I am sure most people start by paying their kids to do chores around the house, but we believe that those chores are just part of being a family and you don't receive money for that.

On our last trip to Ross River I told Hunter that all of the beer and pop cans that he saw in the ditch could be turned into money if he picked them up and took them to the recycling depot. And that later that money could be used to buy a new toy that he could take on the plane for our vacation to Cape Breton. Well he was hooked right away! He walked 2km picking up pop cans as we went. Cavan even pitched in! Over those 2km of picking up only the cans easily in reach, he had filled two of the white Glad kitchen garbage bags. When we returned to Faro, we told him he could have all the cans from our house if he helped load them into the truck.

So with the truck loaded with cans, we took him down to the recycling depot to get his money. Hunter also had to unload all of the cans off of the truck. Hunter had actually took me literally when I said we would turn the cans into money. As Peter, the man in charge of our recycling centre, sorted the cans, Hunter kept asking how he would turn them into money! So cute.

In the end, Hunter ended up with $17 from all of his cans. We held his money for him for a few days until we got to Whitehorse. In Walmart he picked out a toy and one for his little brother for the plane. We had the most fantastic cashier that day too. Hunter took the toys and money up on his own, told the cashier about all the cans he picked up and even remember to say thank you as she passed him his change.

It was one of those proud parent moments for sure.

So what are you doing to instill the value of money in your children? How was it instilled in you?

Watching intently as Peter sorts the cans:

Let's tally this up:

Receiving his money:
And a huge thank you to Peter Kazda at the recycling depot for making this such a fun experience for Hunter!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Headbands and Bracelets

I have been coming up with new ways to use the little scraps of fur I have left. Furs are so expensive that I really hate wasting any little bit. While out on vacation in Cape Breton I picked up a few headbands and bracelets and thought I was add a bit of fur to spicy them up a bit. I have done a few so far, and am really happy with the results!

Lynx fur puff:
Lynx fur puff:

Seal fur flower:

Seal fur bow:

Seal fur flower on a bracelet:

Lynx fur puff:

Monday, May 23, 2011

Neat Shot

The big red dump truck at the entrance to town has this Faro sign on it. I took a photo of it this weekend and just really like how it looks.

I don't want to jinx it, but....

I am pretty sure we have a potty trained kid!!

Over the last three weeks Cavan has only had three accidents. Twice due to diarrhea from too much rich food while on vacation and the other we were outside too long in the rain and just forgot to take him in to pee.

He now tells us when he has to pee or poo. If Hunter is using the bathroom, Cavan insists on going then as well. This has been an incredible easy process! He also loves peeing outside and so far we have peed on fire hydrants, garbage dumpsters, trees and dad's truck tires. He is wearing his big boy underwear during the day and a pull up at night even though he has woken up dry for a month now.

Soon this will be a diaper free household. Not bad for a little guy just 25 months old!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Backyard Progress

Take a tour around my backyard! We are on year two of our landscaping projects. I am pretty sure it will last another five years, but I am so impressed with the progressive we have made in such a short amount of time.

Top level.
Today I put down grass seed and we still need to build planter boxes around the edges of the walls to keep the kids in. And by the end of the summer, the spot that I stood in to take this picture will be covered by a huge back deck!!

The sandbox play area:

Fire pit and our free score benches:

Hunter helped me sprinkle grass seed and then told me we needed to make a scarecrow to keep the birds from eating our seeds. He picked out the clothing and I put it together. He told me to give it an angry face so the birds would be scared. As you can tell, my artistic abilities are nil:

The new slide! I had wanted to connect the levels with slides ever since we started working on the back yard. Matt's folks thought they would make great birthday presents! So thank you Nanny and Poppy for funding the slides. We are still waiting for the second slide to arrive in Whitehorse. Since the planter boxes/kid retainer aren't done yet, we put a couple pieces of plywood up so the kids don't fall over the edge when getting on the slide.

Matt extended the wall to join with the upper wall and then added some stairs. This level is still just gravel and hopefully next year we start hauling dirt for it.

This is our awesome score from last fall. The daycare in Faro hasn't run in years and the equipment was put up for silent auction. We got this piece for $500 ($400 more than the next closest bid- damn!). Matt and the neighbour got it up and ready to go! Thank you Jim!!

The boys love the new equipment!!
Hopefully in another month you will see a slide coming down off of the second level. Still a heap of work to do, but I am pretty sure at the end of it we will have the best backyard in Faro! And that window on our house on the right? That will be a glass door and big window opening up to the back deck. Sigh. I cannot wait to sit up there!!

Trying for a nice photo....

Trying to convince two little boys to sit still for 10 seconds so mom can take a nice photo of them is impossible. One looks while the other looks away. Switch. Switch. Then one nearly falls off the bridge. Finally, dad takes control of the situation....

Thursday, May 19, 2011

My Little Dreamer

The night before we left Cape Breton I discovered that Cavan is a vivid dreamer just like me.

Cavan and I slept in the same bed most of the vacation. That night, Cavan sat straight up in bed and yelled, "Squirrel!". I thought he was asking for Hunter's stuffed squirrel that he carries around everywhere. I told him squirrel was with Hunter and he said, "Squirrel chase me!". He was looking very upset, so I asked him if he was dreaming about squirrels and again he told me, "Squirrel chase me. Chase me outside. Squirrel try get me." It took me quite a while to coax him back to sleep.

The next morning I asked him if he had a bad dream and his eyes got huge, his expression changed to a look of fear and he told me about squirrels chasing him again. This time he added that the squirrels chased him and Hunter and that he was "scar-it". Poor kid- the squirrel dream really scared the crap out of him!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Holiday so far...




Sidways rain.








Movie theatre!







Everything other than the rain has been absolutely fantastic! We head home to the Yukon on Wednesday, so give me a week and I will get some photos up of our rather wet vacation.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Northern Boys

While travelling, I really notice the difference in how we are raising our northern boys.

Our small town northern boys say hi to everyone they see when we walk around Faro (and whenever we are in Whitehorse too). They stop and wave to every vehicle that drives past during our daily walks around town. And they run.... far out of reach of our hands... because it is safe in our small northern town.

I am pretty sure our boys have said hi to a thousand different people in two days while in airports, planes and now here in Cape Breton. They are confused when people don't say hi back! Their little arms are tired from trying to wave to every vehicle they see. They readily tell everyone their name and where they are from. And they still run.... far out of reach of our hands... and I hate having to yell to tell them to come back.

People seem genuinely surprised when our kids wave and say hi to them. Is it that odd?

Hunter and I walked to the grocery store today and he had about 10 little grannies all fall in love with him there. The store was filled with seniors and Hunter waved and talked to each and every one that we passed. A couple of them looked like they would have loved to have pinched his cheeks as he grinned for them.

I am so glad we are raising our boys in a small northern town.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

And We're Off!

We are leaving for the land of lobster, liquor and Liberals.... hmmmmm... Well at least they got the first two right!

Today we are driving into Whitehorse and tomorrow we will be flying out to Cape Breton for a two week visit with Matt's family. I am pretty sure my mother-in-law's head is about to explode with excitement!

And remember, if you are looking for something to do this weekend, head over to Faro for the 8th annual Crane and Sheep Festival! The cranes have been flying overhead all week and the sheep are hanging out on the hills. Don't miss this fantastic event!!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Passing on those genes

My mother scanned a family photo and emailed it to me this week. She is sure she sees a resemblance between my grandfather and his uncle with my two boys. I think I see it a bit too. Check it out for yourself!

My great-grandmother (father's side) with her three boys (l to r) my grandfather Hugh, little brother Allan and big brother Frank.
Gotta love how the little guy is dressed!! I wonder if she was hoping for a little girl on their third try.

We think my grandfather resembles Hunter and my great uncle looks like Cavan. What do you think?

Sunday, May 1, 2011


Trains. All day we talk about trains. We watch Thomas the Tank Engine, the train episodes of Might Machines and Dinosaur Train (when in Ross River where there is satellite). Meal dishes are lined up as trains, pillows are lined up as trains, kitchen chairs are lined up as trains, anything that can be moved is lined up like a train. We sing train songs- Thomas the tank engine rolling along du du du du du..... Misty Island rescue here we go HERE WE GO... Little boys crawl on their hands and knees making wheeshing, wooshing, peep-peeping, chugging sounds.

Oh my.

I know a lot more than trains that I ever though I would.

Last week another blogger posted a video of the White Pass train route being cleared of snow by the steam train and this amazing snow clearing gadget that goes on the front. We have watched that video over and over.

Last year we took them on a six hour train trip on the White Pass train over the Skagway. Hunter was in heaven. We plan on doing the trip again this year and I think their little heads will explode with glee.

And of course, every day we go down to the basement to play trains. The boys have two wooden track sets that we put together in every possible combination. The train table was too small for our ideas, so we took the building to the floor. I am a master train track builder- enough so that I would call it my third degree and probably my useful to date.

Oh the life of a mom to little boys.

I wouldn't trade it for the world.

Yet another fantastic track built by mom: