Monday, January 30, 2012

Messy Time

The tv has been going here non-stop over the last week.  This flu/cold combo has left the boys feeling quite lethargic, so we have been watching a lot of movies.  I am ready to go crazy if I have to listen to another episode of Diego or watch the Polar Express yet again.  Hunter will probably go back to school tomorrow, but he needs another day of rest.

This morning I wanted a change of pace and to do something fun with the boys.  A friend had done it with her girls a while back (thanks for the idea, Fawn!) and I thought today would be great to give it a try.

We made moon dough!  Or at least that is what we named it.  We mixed eight cups of flour with one cup of canola oil and mixed thoroughly.  The texture is really fun for the boys.  It is loose, yet if you squish it hard enough, castles and volcanos can be built!  Almost like having a little sandbox in your house.

Hunter played with it for 45 minutes and even did a good job at keeping it in the bin.  Cavan, true to his wild-man nature, thought it was a lot more fun to throw in the air/floor/his head/Hunter's head.  So after 10 minutes I found something else to entertain him.  There was a lot of clean up, but for 45 minutes of entertainment, I was fine with that!

I have been looking up fun craft ideas and fine motor skill building ideas through Pinterest.  My idea list is growing, but I need to get to town for supplies!

Moon Dough!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Sick Boys

It has been a tiring week in our house with sick kids.  Cavan started with a fever on Monday and by Thursday it was a horrible sore throat.  Advil and tylenol have been our best friends!  The sore throat has by far been worse than the fever.  He hasn't eaten since yesterday at lunch; it seems that everything he tries to eat hurts his throat too much and he just cries.  Poor kid.

Hunter's teacher told me he was complaining of a sore tummy at school yesterday when I picked him up at noon.  By 1pm he didn't want to move off the rocking chair.  He stayed on the chair napping on and off until we put him in bed at 7pm.  He was burning up at bedtime, so advil for him too.

I sure hope this runs it course soon.  One thing I am thankful for is that Matt is working in Faro right now!  I don't know how I would be managing this without him.
Here is Hunter asleep on Matt!  It was such a funny position I had to take a photo.
And here is a very upset Cavan.  A friend had just dropped off a cantaloup from Whitehorse; it is his favorite snack.  But every time he tried a bite he would cry because of his sore throat.  So sad to watch!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

On Vacation

How I wish it was me on vacation!  Instead, it is just my Etsy store that has been put into vacation mode at the moment.  A store in Whitehorse has asked me a few times to send stuff in there to be sold on commission and I am finally getting around to sending my crafts in.  However, that has left my Etsy site bare as can be!  So it will be on vacation mode for probably the next two months.

Whitehorse will be busy with tourists during the upcoming Arctic Winter Games, Rendezvous and Yukon Quest.  I am hoping to sell a lot of my stock in there since it has been quiet here now that the holidays are over.

So if you are in Whitehorse and shopping around for fur mittens, mukluks, hats, or even fur hair accessories, please stop into the Trapper's Cache on 2nd Ave.  It is pretty hard to miss; it is the little log cabin with fighting moose on top!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Lovely Moments

Once in a while the boys actually play well together.  Those moments are few and far between, so it is nice to document them when they happen.

Here they are playing a board game that we got out of the Faro Toy Lending Library.  It is called Snail's Pace Race and they love it.  It is easy to play; they roll two colour coded dice and then move colour corresponding snails.  They have to continually guess which snail will win the race! 

We have taken this game out three times so far and they have figured out how to play it all on their own now.  However, it always ends with Cavan stealing the dice or snails, running down the hallway, and squealing with glee as Hunter cries.  But there are some very nice moments before that point!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Canadian Rite of Passage

When I was six, my parents were inside my school attending my first grade parent teacher interview.  I had been kicked outside to play at the playground.  I don't remember much of that day other than how painful it was to pull my tongue off that flag pole.  I have no clue what convinced me to try it.  Perhaps there had been other kids there encouraging me to try; I don't remember the lead up to it at all.  But that cold metal stuck to my tongue and the pure panic of not being able to pull it off is still with me.  Then the embarrassment of thinking someone might find me stuck to the pole.  I ripped my tongue off on my own and bled everywhere.  A layer of my tongue was stuck to the pole and I am sure my parents were some unimpressed with me.

And now the next generation in my family has experienced that Canadian rite of passage.

While I was in the store picking up a few things on Friday, Matt and the boys were waiting in the truck.  The boys love to eat icicles off of buildings during the winter (they will even steal them off of trucks, but we call those exhaust-cicles and try to convince they boys they are not for eating) and they asked Matt to grab them some off of the store.  The boys discovered that at -37C icicles are not a good idea.  Hunter stuck his right in his mouth and closed his lips around it.  It stuck!  Matt had to go into the back of the truck and try to gently pry Hunter's lips off of the icicle.  Cavan was able to pull his icicle off of his lips on his own, so it must not have been stuck too badly.  When I come out of the store, Matt was shaking he was laughing so hard while both boys are crying and screaming in the back seat.  They were more upset about the icicles being thrown away than the pain!

When we got home and into the light I could see that Hunter had really hurt his lips.  A layer of skin was missing and there was blood around his lips.  They still look pretty painful even a couple of days later.  Still pretty funny to think about though!

I am betting this will happen a few more times before they learn!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Three Month Surgiversary

As of today it has been three months and two days since my bariatric surgery and I still feel that this has been best decision I have ever made regarding my health.

Since the surgery I have lost 44.5lbs and including the 11lbs I lost in the couple of weeks before the surgery I am down a total of 55.5lbs.  Absolutely unbelievable.  Each day I am now taking in 900 calories and aiming for 80 grams of protein.  My stomach will still only hold about half a cup of solid food at a time, or three-quarters of a cup of soup or other liquid.  I can finally manage to eat raw vegetables and I love having a few slices of cucumber or carrots with a bit of cheese for snacks.

It is still not without the struggles though.  I am going through a mourning period right now.  I miss food.  I miss eating an entire plate of homemade lasagna, a bag of chips, an entire apple.... that list goes on and on.  In the past I have always dealt with stress by eating, namely binge eating.  This week was very stressful for me and at one point I went to the store and bought a bag of cookies.  I ate two of them and felt sick.  So I took the bag into the rec centre and fed it to the teenagers!  Huge success for me; I got rid of those cookies and focused on proper food for the rest of the day.  I am learning slowly how to deal with my emotions, which means actually letting myself feel them whether they are good or bad.  There is no more hiding from my emotions and that is scary to think about, but it is also empowering for me.

I took my measurements for the first time in three months and was pretty astonished at the results there.

Chest has gone from 51" to 47.5" = 3.5" lost
Waist has gone from 52" to 48.25" = 3.75" lost
Hips have gone from 64" to 59" = 5" lost
Upper arms have gone from 17" to 16" = 1" lost

Woweeeee!  I did have a thigh measurement, but it says up one inch, so I think we just measured in the wrong stop! 

My goal is to lose another 10lbs over the following month.


Me at 319lbs back in August
Today at 263.5lbs

The day before surgery at 308lbs
Today at 263.5lbs

The day before surgery at 308lbs
Today at 263.5lbs

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

40% off!!

One day only sale at Went North Creations!!  Any ready made item is 40% off today.  Use coupon code: onedayonly

Mittens, mukluks, bags, hair pieces.....   Happy Shopping!

All items will be in the mail tomorrow.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Playing Out

The wind died down and we bolted outside to enjoy the gorgeous day!  Today it is -32C and the windchill is -40C.  Earlier that windchill had been down to -44.  A bit nippy!!

Staying inside all day with two energetic boys is enough to drive us completely mad.  The only factor that keeps us indoors is the wind.  I am thinking of buying goggles for the boys so that we could even get outside on the windy days.

Our gear for keeping the boys warm?  Not expensive at all.  They are both wearing Columbia jackets that we got for free at our free-cycle store here in Faro, $19 a pair snowpants from SuperStore (best snowpants ever!), toques that were made by our friend in Ross River, $24 boots from Walmart (they are both rated to -35C) and mittens and balaclava's from Mountain Equipment Co-op.  Even those couple of items that we got from MEC aren't that expensive.  Each pair of mittens was under $20 a pair and we just put a pair of $1 cotton mitts on under them.  The balaclavas, actually called ninja-clava's were our most expensive item at nearly $30 each.  At -40C, Cavan who is not even three yet, was able to be outside for 45 minutes before he was telling us his feet were cold.  Next time I will throw a pair of my wool socks on him so he can last longer.  It just goes to show you that you do not need the most expensive of gear on your kids up here.  Just layer them smart and look for hand-me-downs! 

Hunter is the king of the snow hill!

Toast warm under there!

Cute frosty eye-lashes on Hunter.

Monkey-man Cavan!

Another gorgeous day in the Yukon.

Matt pulling the kids on the sleigh.

My turn to pull!  This is one heck of a good workout.

I am nice and warm under all my layers!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Congratulations Jackie!

A fellow Faroite has just completed a huge project!  Have you been following it?  

Jackie Irvine set out with a lofty goal to paint 100 landscape paintings in 100 days.  Well she has completed her project and I am in awe of her dedication.

If you haven't already, please go and check out her blog where she has posted each of her paintings as she has completed them.  Her paintings show off the beauty of the Yukon, especially the areas around Faro.

Here is my favorite painting of the series and it is currently sitting in my kitchen window.  Every time I look at it I smile and feel thankful for good friends.

Jackie's email is on the side of her blog if you are interested in purchasing any of her paintings.

Congratulations Jackie!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

This week in sewing

My hands only had a short break from sewing over the holidays and now they have been right back at it.  This last week I have completed two custom orders for mittens and also my first pair of earmuffs.  I am pretty happy with my first try at earmuffs; I have enough supplies to make five more pairs so I know what I will be doing tomorrow!

I had quite the brain fart moment one evening this week.  I wanted to make three pairs of baby mittens.  I cut the leather, the fleece and then sat down on the sofa for an evening of sewing.  Well, to make three pairs of baby mittens you need twelve pieces of leather (four for each pair of mittens).  I had cut out six- enough for one and a half pairs of mittens!  I had done the same with the fleece.  Was definitely not thinking when I cut those out.

Wolf fur mittens.  Moose hide, rabbit trim and fleece lined.

Beaver mittens.  Moose hide, beaver trim and fleece lined.

Ear muffs!  Sheared beaver dyed red, red fleece inside.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

In all honesty

I follow an online forum for people who have had the same weight loss surgery as I have.  I have been surprised at home many people choose not to share their choice to have surgery, even with close friends and family.

I am guessing they chose not to out of feelings of shame or embarrassment for turning to surgery to help get their lives back.  There have been no lack of those feelings here either!  My concern is that it will give people false hope about weight loss.  I wouldn't want someone to think that I am doing this all on my own.  Sure I could keep it a secret and when someone asks me how I have gotten the weight off I could reply with, "Oh, just changed my eating habits."  But it just isn't honest and I know I couldn't do it.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Boys and Buns

Bun making with boys:

Cavan helping to knead the dough.
Whooops.  Forgot to get him to wash his hands first!!  Check out those marker coloured hands.  Ah well, the dough needed some extra colour, right?

Nice and squishy between the fingers.

Big brother has to get in on the action.
Hunter's expression here just cracks me up!

Dough has risen and time to grease the pans.

Punching it down is always the most fun.

Delicious cinnamon buns rising.

Fresh out of the oven and ready to feed our friends!  The boys and I made four dozen cinnamon buns and four dozen buns.  

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Resolutions and Three Month Report

I am a goal setter by nature.  There are to do lists that I have made up for the day, week and year.  In my head I have goals that I have for the next decade.  It all just comes with my personality and love of organization.  I always work best when I have a goal in mind.

So my goals or resolutions for this year:
1.  Do more crafting with Cavan.  Our little wild-child loves to paint and colour and we find time to do it every day already.  But it needed to be better organized.  To help with this goal I have re-organized our dining room to make space for a shelving unit to hold all of the art supplies.  Up until now they have been out in a wheeled storage tower, but it wouldn't hold much at a time.  Now that it is all out and organized it will be easier to do each day.

2.  Numeracy and literacy work with Hunter.  Hunter loves school, but so far the only focus there has been getting into routines and there has not been much focus on numeracy and literacy.  Matt and I believe in learning through play with young kids, and especially outdoor play.  I need to work at adding to his skill set through play.  We already know he has a love of numbers, counting, stacking and organizing so I will work to expand on that.  I want to start working on sight words with him too.  He has a fantastic memory and is recognizing words in the books that we read.  This month I want to create a sight word wall that he can add words to.  I love seeing his desire to learn and how quickly he takes in new knowledge!

3.  Find more free time for Matt.  Not for me, just for him!  He works a lot and by the time he gets home I am tired and want a break so I pass the boys on to him.  He is a fantastic dad and loves his boy time, but he needs some alone time too.  Time to work on projects that can be difficult to do with spirited boys underfoot.  I am not sure how I am going to do this one; perhaps I will just duct tape the boys to wall and then Matt and I can both work on our projects!

4.  Expand my sewing skills and my business.  This is an on-going resolution and has been for the last four years.  I purchased some books on sewing techniques and a projects and would love to dive right into them.  I made a good chunk of money from from sales over the last month, so I can easily replenish my supplies and get to work.  I am debating on buying a fur sewing machine as well, but that might wait until spring.  I am going to work at expanding my business through more free advertising and some different craft shows throughout the year.

5.  And something random for the list:  remember to water my house plants before they die.  I love my plants, but am not great at taking care of them.  Thank goodness they are hearty and most have done alright in the drought conditions in my house.

6.  Last one.  I saw this quote on facebook last week and I think I need to re-read it at least once a week to keep it in mind:  Life is too short to spend time with people who suck the happiness out of you.

And now on to my THREE MONTH REPORT!!

Three months ago, to the day, I started my pre-surgery diet in preparation for my gastric sleeve gastrectomy surgery.  I lost 11lbs prior to the surgery that I had on October 19th.  As of this morning I have lost a total whopping 49.4lbs.  Unbelievable!  I have just under three weeks until my three month surgery anniversary and I am hoping to lose another 5-10lbs in that time.  I will post pictures on the 19th of this month to show my progress.

Eating wasn't too bad over the holidays.  Having this stomach restriction makes it easy to not overeat.  I was still able to have some treats, but very small amounts.  I am consuming between 800 and 1000 calories a day and still with a focus on protein.  January will be a bit harder for me.  Matt is going to be away almost the entire month working in Ross River.  I tend to binge eat more when he is away.  I will have to distract myself with outside play, sewing and friends so I don't try heading down that path. 

My energy levels are still through the roof.  While I haven't started exercising formally, I am outside every day pulling the boys on their sled, climbing snow hills and shoveling.  I will have to start on my weight training soon though.  The trainer that I met with in Seattle while down there for my surgery gave me an easy to use plan.  I have the appropriate weights in the house and just need to set time aside a few times a week to give it a try.

I am also happy to report that I have recovered all of the weight loss and gain that I had in 2010.  I lost 50lbs on my own in 2010, but then gained all but two pounds back by the middle of 2011.  I am now into new territory with the start of the new year and I couldn't be happier.

Welcome 2012!  It is going to be one heck of an exciting year!