Friday, September 30, 2011

What Will Tomorrow Bring?

The countdown is now on:  19 days until my weight loss surgery!

For the last couple of weeks I have been eating everything in sight.  I have been doing the usual coping with the stress of this life changing event by eating.  Plus it is as though I have been going through a mourning period with food.  I have been wanting to eat foods that I will no longer be able to eat once I have my surgery.

Tomorrow though, everything changes.  I have to start my pre-surgery diet plan tomorrow.  The diet is two parts leading up to my surgery.  The first part consists of 1600 calories a day (high protein, low carb, no caffeine, no sugar, no fruit, no alcohol) and then for the second part I go down to 1200 calories with the same restrictions.

I have joined an online weight loss surgery forum so I can learn from others who have had the surgery.  I filled up my kindle with weight loss surgery reading and workbooks.  Every day from here on out I will be keeping track of everything I eat and it will be reviewed by my nutrition counselor.  The kitchen cupboards have been cleaned out of food that I would pick for binging.  Small plates, spoons, protein powders and a mini blender are going to be my best friends in the kitchen.  I have hopefully put everything in place to help ensure my success.

This is going to be one heck of an exciting month!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Newest Creations

Check out my newest creations from the last few days of sewing.  I have been trying to come up with ideas for items that are smaller and cheaper than my normal stuff.  I have found that at craft shows people aren't quite as willing to part with $300, but they will happily hand over $20 for a little thing.

This November I will be taking part in the Spruce Bog Craft Fair in Whitehorse.  I am busy getting ready for it now!

Seal Fur Wrist Band

Oodles of Seal Fur Wrist Bands!

Zipper Pull Mini Mittens!

Muskrat Fur Boot Cuff!  This is my first one, and hopefully by Wednesday I have another pair done to match these shoes a bit better.  And this are definitely not my shoes!  Thank you Erica for being my foot model!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Cutting Up Moose

And yet another fall tradition- cutting up a dead animal in my garage! I have been doing this since I was old enough to hand crank the meat through the meat grinder and I look forward to it every year!

Yep, me and a dead animal in the garage. Good times in the Went household!

Never too young to get in on the action:

And never too old to learn! Erica gave up her lunch break to help put meat through the "Moose Meater" as Hunter calls it:

After seeing this photo I was thinking of renaming Hunter as Dexter:

Don't worry, their hands were sorta clean!

Saturday, September 24, 2011


Faro offers kindergarten for kids aged 4 and 5 and this is Hunter's first year! He started a week late due to our hunting trip, but we figure that is part of a well rounded education.

He was super excited for the first day, as was his little brother! We had a hard time convincing Cavan that he was not going to school as well. My mom had sent the boys up matching backpacks and they also have matching jackets. They looked so adorable!

Hunter has shed no tears and can barely manage a good-bye when I drop him off. Cavan keeps trying to sneak into class and tells me a number of times that he will be starting school soon. Cavan even remembers the teachers name (Miss Evans) while Hunter just calls her "Teacher".

And everyone asks if I cried when dropping him off for the first day.... NOPE! I did a little happy dance. I love my kid, but wow having three hours a day without him is sure a great little break!!
Posing for first day of school photos:

And they're off! Notice who is in the lead?

Faro school:

And all ready for his first day:

And it only took four days for our first meeting with the teacher and principal! Hunter hit another kid (he was upset over having to put away toys) and all I could think was how many more times am I going to get a call like this over the next 14 years! It was all fine with everyone involved and the other parents and us had a good laugh over it all.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

I love mail!

My mail has been pretty fantastic lately. There was a birthday card from high school friend, a thoughtful card from a friend who has moved away and then a parcel from the always entertaining, Tina.

A musical card (which Cavan has claimed as his and I am pretty sure I am going to toss it out the window after another couple of hours), a signed copy of a Robert Munch book (he even wrote, "To Hunter and Cavan" inside!!) and then a freaking awesome book called, "It's a Book" that any computer junkie should have. I laughed so hard when I read it. The boys loved the Munch book and we have already read it a couple times this morning.

Today I am yet again thankful for the friends I have in my life! Thank you for making my mail box light up.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Embarassing Moment #3027

I have a long list of embarrassing moments. Looooooooong. Oh so long.

Today I added another entry on to that list, but thankfully I was the only person around to witness it. I debated on keeping the event to myself, but really it is too funny (and gross) not to share.

I had just finished a number two in toilet (surprisingly there were no kids in the bathroom at the time- that never happens!) when I realized there was no toilet paper. So I did a quick stand and reach to the shelf above the toilet to grab another role. While reaching for the role I bumped a bottle of shampoo. Yes... I think you know where this is going now.

The shampoo fell right into the toilet full of poo. Poo water exploded all over the toilet, the wall and me. And there is no flushing away a bottle of shampoo. So I had to reach in and rescue the bottle and wash it off. Yuck!

I am pretty sure that tops the list of disgusting embarrassing moments for me!

And then there was a moose

So we spent five days and four nights in the backcountry and only saw a cow and calf moose. The very next day after we came out, Matt and Luc quadded into a small lake by Luc's house early in the morning. By 11am they had got a moose! Luc shot it and this is his first moose! They were close enough to Luc's house that they drove back to get the quad trailer as well as Delphine and the kids to help skin and quarter it.

Our freezer now has half a moose in it. Thank you Luc for shooting such a tasty moose!

The successful hunters:

The Lefebvre Family and their first moose:

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Our Back Country Adventure

Last week we spent five days and four nights on a hunting trip in the back country behind Faro. The trip was amazing! The boys loved all of the quadding and adventure time.

We did come home one day early. After a night and day of rain (snow up higher), it just got very cold to have the boys on the backs of the quads. The next day was gorgeous, so we came back while it was nice.

For all the time out there, we only saw a cow and calf moose. So no dead critters came home with us. We were out there with fantastic friends who made the trip so memorable! I would do it again next year for sure; perhaps up the North Canol road next time!

We found the perfect camping spot- it is a spot that Hunter use all of the time. It even had an open air outhouse! We were right by a creek and Cavan spent all his time getting wet. Thank goodness I brought three pairs of boots for him. Three of the nights we spent in our own tent, but the rain got our gear wet on the third night. On the fourth night we stayed in our friends big canvas tent to keep warm and dry. The nights were very cold, but we stayed toast warm in our sleeping bags.

Each day we would all head out to look for moose. The kids snacked, looked for moose, explored and napped. I cannot believe how the boys would nap! They would sleep on the quads so easily. Cavan even slept through me getting stuck in a mud hole and having to be winched out. Good northern kids!

The evening were spent drying out clothes, eating our freeze dried meals, reading books in the tents and then going to sleep very early! Surprisingly both kids slept well in the tent as did we.

Here is a slide show of pictures we took from the trip followed by some videos. Definitely a memorable five days!

Friday, September 16, 2011

The Blog That Keeps On Giving

I am about 10 posts behind on events going on in our lives right now (all good events!), but I just had to get this up tonight.

My blog is just the gift that keeps on giving. I write about our lives and somehow through that, I meet (online and sometimes in person) the most amazing people. I have formed close relationships and friendships with people I have never met in person. Many of these people now connect with me through email and facebook and I have come to depend on their friendship and support in so many ways.

Tonight I received a gift from a one of those readers- a beautiful woman with a lovely husband and two little boys the same ages as mine. We have never met in person as she lives on the far side of Nunavut. But tonight she felt compelled to send me a gift as encouragement and support for my upcoming weight loss surgery. I am not going to share what the gift was, but I will let you know that it made my cry and left me completely overwhelmed by the generosity and love that a friend, I have never met in person, has for me.

How did I become so lucky in life to have friends like this?

In Iqaluit- you are so generous and kind. Thank you for the friendship we share. I truly hope I can be as supportive of you as you are of me. I am blessed to have you in my life.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Adventure Time!

Tomorrow is the big day! My family and another couple with two young kids are heading out into the bush for a week. Chaos!!

Hopefully in a week I am posting pictures of the moose and caribou that we shot and perhaps a wolf as well. I would love to fill my freezer and my sewing room with goodies from this trip.

The boys are so excited, however they have been sick the last couple of days with a fever that will not go away. We have our fingers crossed that by morning they are feeling 100% and off we will go. Tylenol and Advil are our best friends right now.

I have been packing for a couple of weeks and the lists have been crossed off item by item. I only have about 6 things left to do or round up tonight after the kids go to sleep. Most everything is already loaded into the quad trailer or quads. Now I am frantically trying to think of what we are forgetting. There has been snow back in the area we are heading, so we have packed winter gear along with snow gear. And with my boys and their love for puddles, I have packed two pairs of rubber boots plus a pair of winter boots for each kid.

Both batteries for the camera have been charged and I have two 32gig cards ready to be filled. I am so excited to get going tomorrow; I doubt I will sleep much tonight!

And more good news!

The contractor has set up the scaffolding around the house to start painting. I should come home to a lovely red house with white trim if all goes well.

Then this afternoon I sold a pair of mittens from my Etsy site. I am thinking of buying some more sheared beaver pelts with that cash.

AND! My parents have graciously provided almost off the travel that I will need to have my surgery done. They are flying us to Edmonton where they will take the boys off our hands for nearly two weeks. Matt and I will then continue on to Seattle where I will have my surgery. Then we will return to Edmonton to pick the boys up again and then back to Whitehorse. I would like to thank everyone who offered their help! All of the support has been amazing. Thanks mom and dad for the travel and kid care. That was really unexpected and we are very thankful.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Weight Loss Surgery

If you know me in person or have been reading this blog for any length of time, you will know all of my struggles with weight loss. I have been obese my entire life and it has not been an easy road.

Losing weight is tough. It is especially tough when you have a diagnosed eating disorder. I am a binge eater/compulsive over-eater. Last year I lost 50lbs and have already gained back 40 of it. It is heartbreaking. Right now I am very lucky in that I have no health issues other than sore joints. I do not suffer from diabetes, high blood pressure or other weight related illnesses. However, I know that I am right on the cusp of becoming very ill. I will be 32 in just a few weeks and I have two little boys that need their mother to be around for a long time.

Over the last year I have been researching weight loss surgery options and for the last couple of months I have jumping through all of the hoops to be approved for surgery. On October 19th, I will be heading to Washington State to have weight loss surgery. A huge decision, and one that I am finally feeling good about.

For a number of months I just felt like such a loser for turning to medical intervention to help me. But after talking with the surgeon, a number of other people who have had the surgery themselves, and my close friends I finally feel good about my decision. I need help to lose the weight and keep it off and this is a good option for me.

I have opted to do it through a private clinic. Wait lists in Canada can be very long for having it done in the public system and you do not have a lot of say in timing or type of surgery. There is only one clinic in Canada that does the type of surgery that I want and it is all the way out in Montreal. So for ease of travel, I found the best surgical centre in Washington that will do the surgery for me. Yes, private means we are paying out of pocket. Curious? It will cost me just over $16k for the surgery plus travel, accommodation, etc. My total cost will be around $20k (so if anyone wins the lottery and wishes to send money my way, I would not turn it down!).

I spent a lot of time feeling bad about spending our money on this surgery. I worked hard to make sure my hobby money is self-generating so I wouldn't take away from our family money and then here I go spending $20k on myself. However, spending this money is about my health and me being around for a long time.

So about the surgery....

I will be having Gastric Sleeve Surgery. The surgeon will actually be cutting off most of my stomach and tossing it in the garbage! I will be left with a stomach that is shaped like a banana and it will only hold about 8oz. This type of surgery has a very low rate of complications, there is no re-routing of the intestines and no foreign items left on my stomach.

After surgery my life will be very different. I will be on liquid/puree diets for a number of weeks before I start re-introducing food. When I do start back on food it will only be a few bites at a time, lots of chewing, and there will be a lot of foods I can no longer eat. I know I am going to go through an extreme withdrawal and a long adjustment period.

Am I scared? Yep, scared shitless. Nervous, anxious and excited too.

Am I worried about gaining it all back? Of course I am. Anyone who has lost weight in any way has that fear. What will I be doing this time around to make sure the weight stays off? Well the clinic that is doing my surgery offers two years of aftercare with nutritionists, the surgeon and personal trainers. That can be extended too. I am also going to be seeing the mental health worker that comes to Faro once a month. We will be working on dealing with my emotional eating issues. I am hoping that this support along with being able to get off my excess weight will allow me to finally have long term success.

What can I expect in terms of weight loss? On a phone appointment with the surgeon, he said I can easily lose 100lbs in the first 9 months. That would have me down around 200lbs. I haven't been 200lbs since I was 15 years old. I have no clue what it will be like. No clue at all.

Right now we are just trying to coordinate travel and child care for my time away. It is proving to be very difficult! So if there is anyone who wants to come to Faro for two weeks to stay with our boys (completely paid for) or would like to come and babysit me in Washington (completely paid for), let me know.

I will of course be blogging about all of my experiences. The support I have received in the past because of what I write on this blog has been phenomenal. I hope you will all support me through this journey!