these delicious little spinach crepes are a finnish staple and offered as part of the school lunch program. in finland children are provided with a hot, nutritious meal during the lunch hour as described here. i remember in primary school my friends and i would compete to see who could eat the most pinaattiletut; our teachers were thrilled! bear loves having these delights for dinner and i think one day he and lion will compete to see who will cram more into their bellies. pinaattiletut are traditionally served with puolukkahilloa (lingonberry jam), which luckily can be purchased at IKEA

and, what about that pan or lettupannu! my mom brought that heavy cast iron beast from our northern homeland and i just love it. reminds me of finland so much. this amazing pan is also great for cooking the perfect eggs for bagels!

*please let me know if you tried the recipe!

xo, mama lola

the eternal optimist

back in high school, one of my besties said she was amazed by my consistent positive outlook on things, and decided to call me the eternal optimist. i liked that description of myself and still do. but, optimism is hard to hold onto at times, even for me. over the last year and a half life has thrown some unthinkable obstacles in our way… BAM…BAM…BAM… one right after another. my optimism was truly tested. i had times of deep cynicism and days of darkness that were hard wade through, especially as a mother. there were times when there was no light at the end of the tunnel, only deep abyss and remaining hopeful was almost impossible.

it all began when, BAM, i was told i had a macro adenoma (a big tumour) growing on my pituitary gland; when i was popping prescription narcotics to help manage the migraines caused by the tumour, all the while mothering my sweet toddler bear and growing my little lion in my uterus; when, BAM,  i was told to throw away my dreams of a home waterbirth and plan for a ceaserian section, during which i would be completely under; when i was told my lion had had trouble breathing at birth and had to be intubated and then incubated as his lungs had serious problems; and then when our beloved family dog roo attacked a neighbour, again, and after crying for days we decided it was best to put him down; and finally (knock on wood) when just a few weeks ago my dear husband walked in the door and told me he had been laid off from his job. BAM!

our ferocious lion fighting at three days old.

sweet, sweet roo riggins. oh, how we miss you so.

the positive energy i carry in my self, hold in my soul and that rushes through my veins has been drained by all these events, but it has not disappeared completely. i consciously decided i can BAM back at life! life throws me a tumour? fine, but i’m not going to make lemonade with these sour lemons, but will throw them back at life as i don’t want remnants of bad times around. and since i received the all clear after my november surgery, all i see is a new chapter. BAM you life! this is my chance to better my life, our life, to do all the things we talked about doing, but got scared off by the risks. and when dear hubby was laid offf, well, again all i saw and continue to see is a new chapter. BAM you life! this is an opportunity for dear hubby to find a job with new challenges and perhaps take us on a family adventure. 

wedding day february 17, 2007

although our life has been quite stressful lately, i feel tremendously lucky. i am lucky because i have beautiful, healthy children and a kind husband. i have parents and in-laws who love to help with the kids and are forever supportive. i have amazing friends who i can depend on when there are joys to be cheered or sadness to be cried out. 

i am eternally optimistic for us.

xo, mama lola

bigger than daddy.

since i am nervous about writing on this blog today, i have decided instead to include some pictures that fit with the “bigger than daddy” theme.

bear and lion~ my co-captains for grocery shopping

bear always talks about the day he will be bigger than daddy. there is also talk of the day when lion will be bigger than bear… we’ll see if that day ever arrives. bets anyone? 

this is a drawing bear drew of himself.

fun in the snow.

a snow man built to stand bigger than daddy at about 8 feet tall!

xo, mama lola