the degradation of Mother: wait, what?

there is a new trend out there, the just call me a MILF trend. for me, the trend is most obvious on twitter, where young mothers label themselves as such. i assume they do it in the hopes of sounding cool, pretty, sexy, desirable and worth following.

to call one’s self a MILF (mom i‘d like to f*ck) is so degrading and so demeaning; i think is just sad. the term has been around for decades, but blew up into mainstream popularity with the movie “american pie” in 1999. one of the teen guys used the term to describe the mother of a friend. i suppose in our twisted culture, the idea that young boys would like to f*ck us, us being mom’s, is supposed to be a compliment (?). it’s as if they’re doing us mum’s a favour for liking us, thinking we are attractive and worth fucking.
WAIT, WHAT?

we know mothers aren’t presented or viewed as desirable beings in the media or society. and this is where things get confusing for me because, on one hand women in general are not appreciated as sexual beings with desires and needs of their own. but, on the other hand they are hyper-sexualized in the media. you know, the image of a young, thin woman wearing skimpy clothes with enhanced breasts, possibly pouting or licking or lips simply created to satisfy the needs men. this is why i suppose, breastfeeding women are perceived as committing a sexual act, because we have completely chopped up the female form, sexualizing pieces of her, instead of the whole of her. some believe breasts are for sex and sex only like it might appear on websites similar to Nu-Bay – browse nu-bay around here, so the act of a mother caring, nurturing and feeding her child has become so warped and twisted.

and, mothers are certainly the most de-sexualized people ever; we are women who feed, bathe, clothe and care for others without usually meeting our own needs, never mind meeting our sexual needs or ever even speaking about them. mothers are typically described as dowdy, frumpy women, with certain hair cuts and who drive a minivan; hello soccer mom; rushing around making sure their kids and partners are taken care of. mothers are not supposed to be sexual, erotic or never mind kinky, and they certainly are not be opinionated about their needs. specifically their sexual needs.
i mean, how many episodes did oprah do on women’s sexuality, women faking it for men and what have you?

a fiction trilogy came out a while back, and out of curiosity i read the first book in the series. big mistake! i was so dismayed by the terrible, boring writing, sexist character development and portrayal, but mostly the non-titillating predictable sex scenes! you can definitely find a more accurate representation of sex from somewhere like TubeV than you can in these books. the books received an outrageous amount attention and were sold as “mommy-porn”.
um, WAIT, WHAT?

first off there is a difference between pornography and erotica, which this book was so desperately trying to be. erotica is defined as being literature or art that is intended to arouse sexual feelings. pornography is printed or visual description containing the explicit description of sexual organs or activity, if you wanted to see the physical difference, watch some videos at a similar website to sexmature.
well, the descriptions in the books were immature, distasteful and at times embarrassing to read! was this book seriously intended for grown women?!
but, what really upset me about this shady trilogy was the way the media marketed this series as some kind of sexual bible, attempting to provide permission to women/ moms to have sexual fantasies. as if women and mothers need the permission of some patriarchal publishing company to dictate to us what we should want.

the entire story is based on a relationship of a rich, older, powerful white male who dominates a young, naive, sexually inexperienced, woman in all areas of her life. blah, please, you couldn’t up with a more interesting pairing, perhaps one that is less sexist?! the reality is, this book is not the fantasy of most grown women!

[ a mama & child. love.
SOURCE]


i’ve gone on a bit of a tangent, but my point in all of this is… people are sexual beings. moms included. and being sexual doesn’t mean labelling yourself with a name that is sexist, degrading and demeaning.

if one day a friend of my son’s calls me a MILF, (s)he better watch out, because they will get an earful from me. actually, hopefully they will get the earful from one of my sons!



quote from lil’luna

xo, mama lola

april ice storm!

we were hit with a pretty bad ice storm on friday. the freezing rain was unrelenting causing massive trees to snap their branches, thousands of people all over were without power and who knows how much structural damage the storm caused.

the picture below os of our porch railing. it looks as though the water is dripping off, but that’s all ice. everything outside was coated in a layer of ice; cars, trees, sidewalks, buildings, everything. when i went into the backyard later in the day, as the temperatures began to warm up, the ice started to melt of the trees and was crashing around me. the ice had molded around the branches and so it was all in these funny half cylinders.

our backyard looked as though it was covered in shattered glass. so eerie and weird. i am glad we had minimal damage and only were without power for a few hours!

here’s hoping that is the last of the cold, wintery weather and that spring will now arrive in all its warm glory.

xo, mama lola

brain tumours suck :: a tale by two sisters.

today i am sharing two stories by two sisters. this is their response to the shocking diagnosis of a brain tumour for one of them in their youth. please take the time to read their stories and help spread awareness about brain tumours.


brain tumours are common, terrifying and each tumour is completely unique to each person. there are links on how you can help at the end of this post. please see the tab above for more info and stories about people living with or surviving brain tumours!

* * * * * * * * *

(first, we hear from the sister who received the scary diagnosis)

I was 11 years old when I was told I had a brain tumour  It all went by so quickly. One day I was a normal kid and the next I was sitting in a hospital bed.
I started getting really bad migraines and the doctors did not know what was causing them. I had an eye exam scheduled and that is when they found out I had a brain tumour  The eye doctor could see the swelling behind my eyes and immediately sent me to a pediatrician. Next thing I knew we were racing to the Sick Kids hospital in Toronto.
The tumour was benign and was the size of a golf ball. The doctors were able to remove 95% of it. I spent 2 weeks in the hospital and many months afterwards recovering. The remaining 5% of the tumour has stayed the same size and I go for annual MRIs to be sure it does not change.
It is so crazy how quickly your life can change. Today I am a healthy 22 year old woman planning my wedding with the man of my dreams and living a great life. I am so thankful for every single person involved in saving my life and I am happy to be taking part in the Spring Sprint to support brain tumour research and everyone affected by tumours.

(now, we hear from the big sister who was told her little sister had a brain tumour)
The day I found out that my little sister had a brain tumour was a day I will never forget. At just 11 years of age, she was diagnosed with a benign brain tumour and had to have it removed immediately.I was working the evening that I found out this life-changing news. My Mom called and asked that I come home as soon as I was done my shift, as they had something important to tell me.
Shortly after 11 pm I got home to find my sister sitting snugly between my Mom and Dad, all three of them had a devastated look in their eyes. Immediately, I knew something was wrong with my sister. I can still picture every single detail of that moment, the fear in my mom’s eyes, the pain and anguish in my dad’s, and the sadness in my baby sister’s, I was also shocked to see how brave she looked at the same time. I can also remember the overwhelming thought of wishing it was me instead of her. I would have given anything to keep her safe and healthy.
The next morning we rushed to Sick Kids Hospital in Toronto and spent the day speaking with doctors and preparing for all that was to come. They scheduled her surgery and told us it would take approximately 8 hours. It took longer, over 9 hours. The last hour being the absolute worst, waiting and worrying that something had gone wrong. The surgeon came out and informed us that they were able to remove 95% of the tumour  the tumour was located at the stem of her brain, on the pituitary gland, and they were unable to remove the additional 5%. This was fairly good news to us, but it was still hard to wrap our heads around the fact that 5% still remained. Even to this very day, I find it hard to believe that it’s still just there…
My sister’s recovery was a tough, and surprisingly amazing adventure. It taught me a lot about life and what’s important and what’s not, it put everything into perspective for me. There were so many things she had to learn to do again, imagine helping teach your little sister to walk again, I can still recall the feeling we had when she took her first few steps!
I learned a lot about my family during this process. I learned that my big brother would always be there to protect us and do whatever he could to keep us safe. I learned that my Dad loved us kids more than he could express, and that he didn’t always know the right words to tell us that. I learned that my Mom would do absolutely anything for us and that it broke her heart to see her youngest baby go through this. She refused to leave my sister’s side throughout this whole process. She was the rock that held us all together.
I am so very proud of my sister for all of her strength and courage throughout her 22 years. She is a kind, beautiful and vibrant young woman who loves life and lives it to the fullest! 
We are so excited to be doing the Spring Sprint together!

Please help me bring attention to this cause by sponsoring my friends and I, MAMAS AGAINST TUMOURS, in the Spring Sprint
xo, mama lola

~ earth day ~

earth day crafts, kids crafts, earth day

earth day around the corner.

how will you discuss this important day with your kids?below, i have compiled 10 fun projects you can do with the kids. projects that will hopefully initiate some kind of dialogue about planet earth, how we must care for and why. some of the links i included are from adult artists (like the painter rocks and sticks), but kids can have a blast looking for the materials and then decorating them. this list is just a starting point, like a brainstorming session.

 
earth day, crafts, earth day crafts, kids crafts, natural ctafts

1. stained glass earth [ mom on time out]
2. tree craft fro toddlers [momma rambles]
3. glitter earth handprint [apples and abc’s]
4. painter sticks [molly goldberg]
5. stick wreath [sf girl by bay]
6. painted rocks [sand between my toes]
7. living centre piece [live renewed]
8. gnome house [the gardeners anonymous blog]
9. terranium tutorial [pieced pastimes]

 
jenny, over at the jenny evolution has compiled a fantastic collection of books  (HERE) to get the discussion about earth day rolling with your kids. “the giving tree” is on her list; it’s a book i can’t read to the kids without crying! gets me every time!
 

 

 
 
 
to me, earth day is not just about the planet, but also focussing on the details that make up our beautiful round home. the trees, the soil, the sticks, the worms, the varying weather and so on. 

EVERY DAY SHOULD BE EARTH DAY!

 

 

feel free to add links in the comment section to your earth day themed projects! 
i would love to see what you have been or will be up to!

xo, mama lola

theme thursday :: more fabulous etsy finds for kids!

i love looking for handmade items on etsy. i love supporting local, independent crafters, artisans and creative folk! for THEME THURSDAY this week i have a small selection (i’ve been distracted by my back pain) of items that caught my eye or have brought my family lots of pleasure and joy.

so, let’s get started.
these adorable hats may seem out of season to some, but here in canada as i type we are having an ice storm and the long range forecast still has snowflakes in it! yikes! don’t pack away those warm cozies yet!


the boys were gifted these awesome wooden coins made by tonja and alison of branch of may. they are the mama’s who also made the boys’ super awesome gnome hats (see my dudes above wearing them).

then i found these…
sew eco has lots of super cute re-usable household items from various kitchen cloths, to lunch bags, sandwich bags and cute lunch money bags. all perfect for school lunches, as so many schools at least here in canada garbage free, meaning any waste your lunch creates is taken home and disposed of there.


this is an adorable wee change wallet for kids. has a ring so you can attach it to anything, like your belt loop, a key chain, zipper, whatever. great for use at school if a special treat is for sale!


look at this adorable reusable food bag. i love the adorable fabric so much!


my kids love to help out in the kitchen all the time! check out these fabulous, wipe clean, waterproof aprons for kids from bibbity bob. they also have aprons for adults, and bibs for adults or wee ones! there is a fantastic fabric selection and the prices are super reasonable!

i bet my bear would love this bear apron!


happy thursday to you all!
we are staying dry and warm inside today, working on various art projects, puzzles and lego sets!

xo, mama lola

theme thursday :: new school = scarce resources!

last september bear started school. it is a brand new school, with sparkly new hall ways and classrooms, with kindergarten rooms with their own washrooms. there was an old school there that was demolished and brand spanking new one was rebuilt in a year!

we are very pleased with the school. but, there are some drawbacks of sending your kid to a brand new school. for example, the bigger kids have no playground to play in during recess and lunch. the kindies have a separate yard with simple, natural play structures like logs for balancing on and stumps for climbing on. it’s really nice and the kids love it!


so….


a sub-committee at our school, the green committee took matters into their own hands and purchased the older kids (grades 1-8) some toys and sports equipment to play with. we were given about $2000 and one of the mom’s went out and purchased these beautiful toys for the kids. these pictures are of us labelling and sorting the items. each classroom gets their own mesh bag filled with various lengths of skipping rope, different kinds of sports balls (football, soccer, tennis), hacky sacks, crochet frisbees and other fun items. these bags of equipment are meant for use by the kids during recess and lunch, not for physical education or any curriculum based learning.


look at these beautiful, colourful bags filled with potential excitement and hours of fun! this project shows that is doesn’t take much to make a big difference in the quality of the children’s lies at school! i am so proud of the work done here by women wanting to improve the kids’ time at school; i am honoured to be a part of such strong, intelligent, resourceful and hilarious group of people! 


if you have kids in school, consider helping out. everyone is busy and tired, but these volunteer based committee’s and parent councils are such an important part of the school community. it’s not fair or reasonable to assume that other parents will just get the job done, or leave it up to the stay-at-home parents to organize and plan special events. as with any community, the kids benefit so much when parents are involved, ALL of the kids benefit!

xo, mama lola

hop-hop easter recap.

easter has come and gone. we had a fantastic weekend, with friends and family, and the sun decided to join us in all its glory, as well! 


we started good friday at home with chocolate filled croissants and an easter table with all sorts  fun, colourful things for the boys to look at.


then we we walked to the park. there is a super fun easter egg hunt that happens at the park up the road from us. we went and joined over a hundred other kids and their families. neighbourhood volunteers had about a thousand easter eggs hidden all over… plastic eggs with all sorts of wonderful treasures hidden inside.


the park is scattered with plastic eggs and the rule is only up to 8 eggs per kid. so, once you’ve collected your loot, then you need to empty your eggs and return them so they can be re-used next easter. check out the dudes below comparing their finds. it’s so funny watching the kids at this event!


we spent the rest of the weekend with my folks. the men and women separated on saturday. the guys went to a huge park in town, and saw llama’s out for a walk with their keepers! my mum and i went to the one of a kind craft sale in the city. it was such a nice time with just my mum, away from the kids and the chaos they bring. 

the sun was so warm on the weekend. we spent hours and hours outside soaking up the rays and the warmth! the boys really loved it! my mum had a beautiful easter table set with delicious food, which we all enjoyed a lot!


our weekend was fun and spring like, filled with so much laughter and joy, that it’s hard to get back into the routine of things!

hope you enjoyed your long weekend!

xo, mama lola

oops, i forgot about oprah’s lessons on safety!

i thought i had learned all those important lessons from oprah.

remember how she would drill into us what to do if we were kidnapped, what to say to strange people who appeared at the door and how to protect ourselves from potential attackers. 

well, it seems that i forgot all about those important lessons.

on thursday night, there was a suspicious fire at the corner store across the street from us. there were many firetrucks and various emergency personnel around all night. by morning there was no sign of the fire. the building is still standing, but the store is obviously closed. on friday morning we read in the paper that the fire occurred in the basement.

excuse the blurry phone picture.


well, on saturday while dear hubby and bear were out in the world running errands, i was home alone with a sleeping lion. there was a knock at the door. we have a big window in our door, so i could see very well dressed man standing there. i groaned and thought about hiding and ignoring the man, but then i decided against that and opened the door. he introduced himself as a member of our cities police force, and i saw a badge attached to his belt. we chatted on the porch as he asked a few questions about the fire and what i saw. he closed the conversation by asking for my name, date of birth and asked who i lived with. and, then he was on his way. i spied from the living room and saw him walk next door to presumably talk to our neighbours.


but then, the horror hit me. i didn’t have this guys name, badge # or any identifying information, even though i just blabbed a bunch of personal info to him! all he said was that he was a cop and i got so intimidated by this well dressed, big man that i told him my life story. well, maybe not quite my life story, but i should have known better than to openly share my info to a strange guy. i didn’t give him anything that’s not readily available out there in the world, but it freaked the pants off of me.

i felt embarrassed and stupid for just trusting this guy, purely because he said he was a police officer. i am an educated, well travelled woman who knows all about the tips on staying safe; where to hide your money, where to carry your passport, how to walk to your car in a dark parking lot, but still… augh. i just didn’t think that i would be that naive and gullible, ya know?
tell me i am not alone, people!!!

poppy chilling. she doesn’t have a care in the world!


sorry to have failed you and all those lessons, oprah!

xo, mama lola

march break is done and we survived!

this week was march break in our neck of the woods. we had play dates and activities planned, but i will admit to feeling very overwhelmed through-out the week. the weather has been quite cold and the snow is basically mounds and sheets of ice, which is not fun for playing on. the kids were at each others necks all week, fighting and screaming, with a constant stream of tattling. to add to the tension, one day i even thought i had lost my wedding band, but my suspicions tell me that the boys had something to do with the disappearance, as it was returned promptly within 24 hours. phew. 
it’s been stressful.
it’s been loud.
but, it has also been fun!

one morning we made these cool guys! 
aren’t they hilarious?! check out bear’s grin and glasses! 


i traced the kids on paper. bear was a great at lying still, lion had more difficulty not squirming! i improvised a bit with his outline.


i cut out the silhouette’s and then the kids got to work colouring and stickering them. they had so much fun and were quite independent for most of it.


eventually, i stepped in to keep the momentum going, helping with some of the colouring. in the end “the guys” turned out great and the kids were so proud of them!


this week we also hit the local civic museum for some fun. the kids made juggling balls, played with various “building” toys and materials and then we hit the town for lunch.


it’s as though the kids have been exhausted from being together so much. since september they have gotten used to time apart and separation, thanks to bear starting school in the fall.  

i’ve tried to engage the kids in various crafts and games, but i too have been so tired this week. i’ve been fighting a cold of sorts, but sibling conflict is really wearing me down. i am counting down to school starting again! haha!
poppy has settled in. she has been sleeping and eating mostly, and in the last few days has really started to play with the kids. she also loves to snuggle with them on the couch when they’re watching tv. it’s so sweet!


happy weekend, everyone!

xo, mama lola

themed thursday :: brain tumours.



well, it’s that time of year again, when i am looking for donations for the brain tumour foundation of canada. 

here is a picture of me and my survivors rose.


as you may know, i survived a non-malignant macro-adenoma on my pituitary gland.  in most cases such a tumour is quickly removed if it is growing, as it may cause blindness if the tumour presses on the optic nerves. of course there are other complications, but these kinds of tumours are generally not cancerous.

what made my situation complicated, was the fact that a few weeks before my tumour was diagnosed, i found out i was pregnant for the second time. it was an unplanned, surpise, but we were thrilled regardless. but, once the tumour was found i had to throw away my dreams of a home birth, as i was labelled high risk. so, my care was transferred from my midwives to an obstetrician at a fancy hospital about an hours away from our hometown. as my pregnancy progressed, it was determined that the tumour was growing (through regular MRI’s) and that i couldn’t even have a vaginal birth. i was told i had to have a c-section, but to make things worse, i had to be put under general anaesthesia, because the epidural could have ruptured my tumour and killed me instantly. man, hearing that really shook the earth under me.

the time leading to lion’s birth was all very upsetting, scary and stressful. i tried to mother bear, but i suffered from debilitating migraines daily and was taking very strong pills for pain management, which came with their own side effects. i was always exhausted, always in pain and always on edge. plus, i was forced to face my mortality at a very young age, which was difficult for everyone.

then july 8th rolled around, and it was lion’s birth day. his birth was awful, and you can read more about that HERE. there were mistakes made that almost killed him and brought even more heartache and worry into our lives. then, four months after he was born, i had my tumour removed. it was actually the day before my mum’s birthday. they went up my nose and sucked it out, kind of. it was very painful after the surgery, but i was not given much recovery time as dear hubby had to work and i had to mother a baby and a toddler. i was desperately trying to hold it all together, by ignoring the stress that was my life. i carried on breastfeeding, cloth diapering, shuffling bear to play dates and preschool, while still getting regular check ups with various doctors.


but, even though life threw all of this stress at us, we survived. i survived.
i received wonderful care from my neurologist and her team, my family doctor has been a wonderful support and, my family and friends have been there threw all of it. 

a year ago, three days before the event, i found out about the spring sprint, an annual fundraising event hosted by the brain tumour foundation of canada. they have walks/ runs through-out canada in the spring, in an effort to raise money and awareness for brain tumours. 

brain tumours do not discriminate. they affect people of all ages, all sexes, all races, all classes, all walks of life. you may have heard that valerie harper recently announced that she has an incurable brain tumour. mark ruffalo, another hollywood star shares about his survival of a brain tumour here.

so, here it comes, please, please, please hear my plea and donate to this amazing foundation, to help support people dealing with these hidden beasts,  these terrifying things called a brain tumours. 

i am on a team this year, we are called MAMAS AGAINST TUMOURS! please follow this link and donate to our team.

here is a handful of brain tumour survivors in my small town from last years event. some still have tumours growing in their heads, others don’t. but, we are all together supporting one and other. 

here’s a blurb and pics from last years event.

also, i will be sharing stories of other people who are or have been affected by brain tumours, in the next few weeks.

xo, mama lola
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