july camping week: part 2

this is part two of our family camping trip from july (read part one HERE)! yes, i am late in sharing, but i have taken conscious time away from this space to vacation and enjoy summer with my family. Planning a camping trip isn’t the easiest thing to do, but of course, it isn’t impossible. there are so many small campsites out there, that i knew that i would be able to find the perfect place for my family. i just have to take a day or two looking for it. so like i said, planning a camping trip isn’t impossible (it’s just a bit hard). butjust like with anything, this does take time and making sure that everyone is happy becomes a priority. from packing the right snacks and having a playlist that everyone is happy with, to checking out an indepth guide on dry camping (if this is something the family is considering) and planning the journey, there is quite a bit to think about. but once things start coming together, there is less to think about.

after surviving the bumps mac gregor point threw our way, we headed up to the bruce peninsula all the way to tobermory. there we were camping at a national camp ground called cyprus lake. we were excited, as we had heard wonderful things about this destination.


remember how we had had issues with rain a few days earlier at our previous site at mac gregor point? well we feared encountering the same problems. a friend had recommended that we use a solid heavy duty tent stake to keep the tent down, so we knew it wasn’t going anywhere. but we were scared it may leak again, so to combat fears, dear hubby climbed a few trees to attach the world largest tarp and try to protect the tent from flooding. We were originally going to buy an RV and some insurance from Good Sam but the hubby wanted to go in a tent… I think he regretted his decision after the rain!!

tarp 1b

our site surrounded by stunning tall trees. it was a large site perfect for the kids to ride their bikes around, it had a private forests all around where the kids busied themselves with all kinds of games. one thing this camp ground was strict about was keeping your site clean of foods and things that might attract wild animals. there were black bears around, and other animals like raccoons can cause real havoc to campers.


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we had fires each night, mostly for cooking things like baked potatoes and jiffy pop! but, having stories by the fire is never a bad thing either! our kids love camping, but sometimes bear struggles with finding space to be alone. he needs it to recharge his batteries.





we hiked along a beautiful trail from our campsite to the famous grotto. the view was spectacular! it looked like we were on the mediterranean sea in greece somewhere!

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and then we woke up to rain. and, not nice summer rain that is refreshing and makes the forest smell amazing… no, no this was torrential and cold! luckily, i am married to a man who is not phased by these kinds of surprises, instead of getting upset, he just rolls into action! he backed up the van close to the tent, dragged a picnic table under the worlds largest tarp and started cooking breakfast for us as if it was any ol’morning! how awesome is he?!




on our last day in tobemory we had to make it count after being rained out! so we took a super speedy boat ride to flower pot island. on the way there we checked out a few shipwrecks in the sparkling clear water. the boys of course thought it was all pretty darn cool!


then we were off…. woohooo!!!! we all love being on boats and feeling the wind in our hair!

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we saw a snake quickly dash across the trail we were on.


this was definitely a trying trip for us, mostly cause by the rain and the fact that i had strep, which meant i was tired. but, we saw lots of beautiful things and got to spend that oh-so-important quality time together as a family. being together just the four of us is necessary for us; we all yearn to be together and as the kids get older it’s going to be hard to always have that time.but, i’m hoping if we make these summer traditions now, they’ll become things we all look forward to!

well, here’s hoping anyhow!

hope you have been enjoying your summer! soon i’ll be sharing about our experiences at camp neekaunis, a family camp the boys and i attended. plus, some other summer adventures we’ve been fortunate enough to do!

xo, mama lola

weekend guilt.

my computer is STILL getting fixed. and now to my shock and horror the lense on my nikon is not working, so i have basically stopped taking pictures. technology and i just don’t get along!


it feels as though every day i fight the same fights with my three year old. every morning it starts with getting dressed and then it’s about getting shoes or boots on to go outside and then it’s about tidying up….. lately though things have gotten worse and this weekend i lost it. this mama of a pressure cooker lost her cool in a shameful way. every time i asked bear to do something he sat there on the floor and whined and did nothing. i tried threatening him, bribing him and nothing worked. i wanted to go to the new micheals in town and since we’re almost out of paint, i told bear we could go and buy some new ones. he shook his head and said “no. i don’t want to.” really? what kid does not want go and buy new paints? i was flabbergasted.
i just don’t understand the necessity to repeat each of these fights. i mean, i get it; it’s all about power and control and we’re both fighting for it. and i get that he’s feeling overwhelmed by all of the independence he has discovered as of late, but, c’mon, surely we don’t have to fight about getting shoes on every single effing day.
or maybe we do.

but this weekend clarified for me that i have lost my mothering ways in all of this. i have lost my solid ground as i am losing my cool too quickly. i need to revisit some of my parenting books, for the reminders i need to stay focused and present at the task at hand. when i point fingers and shout and say stupid things like “because i said so” (which is the dumbest thing to say in my opinion), i immediately feel guilty and like the worst mother on this planet. and as that self-hatred boils hotter inside of me, i shout a wee bit louder and emphasize my point even that much more. augh. this is not the kind of mama i want to be, even during my weakest moments.
i wish i was stronger. i wish i could climb into an armoured suit during some of these daily battles as a way to protect myself, but ultimately to protect my bear from the reaction he receives from me. the suit would hide my rageful face and silence my screams.
i went to bed feeling alone and empty.

this image is grainy and blurry; not sure if that’s blogger or the laptop i’m on. sorry. but, bear built this amazing barn with me and then wrote out a stop sign for the entrance, so funny!

this morning, to my delight i received a warm sunny call from a darling friend. it was as if she had heard the upset thoughts racing through my mind and decided to touch base. and that was exactly what i needed, to touch base and get grounded in my mothering. my friend talked me through the weeks events and listened to me vent as i complained about the struggles i have been dealing with.
after her words of wisdom, i felt stronger and wanted to have a better sunday than we had had saturday. we did a wee bit of christmas shopping, ran a few errands and actually had fun as a family while doing some mundane things.


then, there is tremendous guilt i feel for even complaining about my family and my life. at least i am alive, here and present at this time to mother. about a week ago a woman. jenna morrison, was killed while biking to pick up her son from school. she was 38 years old, a yoga instructor, a wife and five months pregnant. her death has been on my mind a great deal, even though the accident happened in toronto, but because she could have been a friend of mine or me. People I know could have had to contact lamber goodnow to get a case filed, and it could have been anyone I know. this is what so many of us mamas do, we travel back forth between schools, parks, grocery stores, doing what we do to care for our families never really thinking something like this can happen. her death was tragic.

there will be ghost ride for jenna tomorrow morning in toronto. please attend if you can.and demand your own community to create safer roads for cyclists.
stay safe.

xo, mama lola

meet tallulah.

about 12 years ago i was selling soap at LUSH in the big city. the job was great and i made some wonderful friends [props to sun], but as a poor twenty-something living on my own it was tough to pay for rent, booze and public transit. so, my mom bought me a bike from crappy tire. this supercycle and i spent years clocking gazillions of kilometres together. i named her betsy. i eventually spray painted her bright blue and added a basket decorated with dollar store flowers. but, unfortunately all good things must come to an end and it is now time to bid adieu to betsy. she rode well, but in her final years her brakes just stopped working, as did the gears and it seemed silly to invest money into her. plus, she weighs about 100lbs!
today is the start of a new era. meet tallulah, my beautiful new bike with a shiny white seat and gears built into the handles. she’s a perfect lady’s bicycle for someone like myself who likes to wear dresses and skirts. 

we went to crappy tire to get me another supercycle, but as we perused the bike aisle, that’s when i saw her. tallulah, sitting all pretty like with her pretty white paint and dainty curves; the opposite of the cheapo super with harsh angles. dear hubby saw how smitten i was with tallulah and told me that’s what we were getting. 
sweet hubby.
sweet bike.
bear told me i looked good sitting tall on tallulah! oh, that little cub knows how to sweet talk me!

can’t wait to start using tallulah and the chariot together. i’m hoping to hit the parks and trails with the boys this summer and this is such a fun way to do it!

there’s the chariot, tallulah and myself going for our first neighbourhood cruise.
heading to the park. lion was not impressed with being stuck next to bear,
so dear hubby carried him in the ergo!

xo, mama lola
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