a cloth bum.

i’m spring cleaning and getting rid of stuff. there is a local kids clothing swap coming this weekend, so i’m getting my bag of goodies ready to go. 

then i started sorting through the diapering supplies. oh, my! we sure have accumulated lots of different kinds of cloth diapers and accessories over the past four years. we started using cloth right from the beginning with bear. his wee bum would get lost in all the fabric and folds of the diaper and he was more diaper than baby in those days! we’re still going strong with the cloth diapers on lion’s bum. many of the prefolds we were gifted for bear are so old and torn, so we had update and get some new ones (new ones meaning they’re second hand! new to us i suppose.)

i’m feeling ready to start potty training lion. it seems absurd on one hand, i mean, the wee dude isn’t even two yet! but, i think it’ll be easier with him than it was with bear. lion already wants to sit on the toilet and likes to talk about pee and poo. and with the warmer weather it’ll be easier, from what i remember, although it won’t be easy.

but back to the diapers. i feel quite happy and even proud that we can confidently say we cloth diapered two babes. that’s not to say we haven’t used disposables, because we have and i have no shame in admitting that. but, we are mostly a cloth bum family! it was and still is a commitment, but in the long run it’s better for the environment and better for your baby. cloth diapers have come such a long way too, even since bear was born four years ago. they just keep getting better and cuter!

looking at the small diapers in our basket, i am hit with waves of nostalgia and memories of my guys as tiny wee babies. bear, now four years and lion now 21 months, are far from babies. where did the time go?

i wonder if we will ever have a third… so much depends on what my neurologist and endochronologist say in july.

today we went from this…

to this….

to this….

i am grateful today is almost done. now, off to the Y for my zumba and a break my guys.

xo, mama lola

maple syrup festival.

saturday turned out to be a wonderful day. we headed to a maple syrup festival at a local conservation area and enjoyed our afternoon immensely. although the day started out cold and cloudy, by late afternoon the sun was out recharging our batteries in its warmth. 

we walked through the woods and checked many buckets slowly filling up with sap, later to be made into syrup. 

we enjoyed a wagon ride, pulled by two beautiful percheron horses, each weighing about 2000lbs. odessey and ollie. the kids loved the ride and we learned about the impending doom and gloom waiting the sugar maple trees in the near future. basically, thanks to climate change the sugar maples will start to move north looking for cooler temperatures. so sad.

we didn’t eat any pancakes as they contain eggs and we are officially egg free, but we did nibble on our own snacks and sipped hot apple cider. the boys ran and walked and frolicked the way kids should out in the fresh air. we checked out the birds of prey section, and saw some stunning snowy owls and two massive bald eagles. 

then home for nachos and some bob the builder!

what did you do this weekend?

xo, mama lola

spring sprung, i think.

bear received some flower seeds for his birthday. it was a whole set that came with plastic pots he decorated with a special marker and colourful stickers. since planting the seeds, bear has been planning what kinds of flowers he wants to grow in our garden this summer. definitely sunflowers, they seem to be his favourite!

i love that he has this strong desire to learn about flowers and growing things. these new curiosities have provided great opportunities to chat about growing food, farmers and what they do for us, about the environment and how we can take care of it. 

[ L-R sunflower, zinnia, marigold ]

lion also wants to be involved, but mostly just because there are fun tools involved. once it’s safe to plant seedlings outside i’ll let him plant a few himself. 

i’m trying to decide what plants i want to plant in our backyard, as well. it’s fairly shaded, which is great with the kids, because they can run around for hours back there. but, it’s tough to grow stuff. i’m hoping to get my hands on some giant or jumbo hostas to fill in some of the dull holes in the back. last mother’s day i received a hydrangea, so i hope it thrives this season. my mom gave me some ferns from her garden, but our friendly four-legged visitor loves to poop on them, and in doing so last summer he bent some of the pretty badly. hopefully they too survived horatio and the winter.

thanks to pinterest, i’ve found some great ways to take advantage of the limited amount of direct sunlight we get in the back.
like this vertical garden for our fence…

[ source ]
i like these pots, but would prefer just unpainted terracota pots with herbs growing in them.
[ source ]

i am eager to get digging and have dirty fingernails (well, not really dirty), but it is only march 14th and up where we live the rule is after may-2-4 long weekend it’s safe to plant stuff in the ground. that midas well be a million years from today.

what kinds of things will you plant this growing season?

xo, mama lola

looking for fairies.

we went on a fairy hunt on saturday with friends. it was an exciting trek through the the wilds of high park, in the big city. it was organized through the nature centre. and although bear had a difficult time initially, he eventually warmed up to the two hour hike looking for these magical forest dwellers. 

we waited for chickadees to come and eat seeds from sassyS’s hand. along the hike we collected materials to build fairy huts and learned about the wonders of nature. there was also some tree lovin’ and hugging!

we had a guide, john, who was wonderful. he taught the children (and adults) all sorts of details about the environment we live in. it was great!

at the end, as we were heading back to the car, i fell on a super muddy hill and slid down a few metres in the grossness. i didn’t know whether to laugh or cry, so i grumbled through smiles.


xo, mama lola

hump day!

bear is officially registered for school! his upcoming fourth birthday and getting him signed up for school are all coinciding, which emphasizes his growing up faster than i can keep up. we’ve had some long in depth conversations about what school is, what he’ll do there, who will be there and the purpose of it all. he’s worried that he doesn’t know how to read or that he doesn’t have a lunch bag. sweet bear! i think i will make a simple velcro bag for his lunch and then i can personalize it to his taste. i’ll also make some more reusable baggies so we can do the whole garbage free lunch, which is so easy to do and such an important lesson for the kids.

today bear zipped up his own jeans. what? are you kidding me? i mentioned to him last week that he will have to learn how to do all of these clothing things on his own in preparation for school. last week he unbuttoned a dress shirt on his own. he really isn’t three anymore and has moved onto four.
i am bursting with pride!

i’m getting my hair done this friday. it’s a big deal and worth writing about, because i so rarely go to the hairdresser’s. i am so excited as i will get my hair done and then for date night dear hubby and i will go see pina!

i get goosebumps watching the trailer. 
i love dance. 
and bikers.

it’s supposed to snow on friday. going for bike rides in february seems ludicrous… in canada! and looking at our dismal backyard, i really hope we get some big ol’ white flakes.  If so, it would be just in time for bear’s birthday!

happy hump-pa-di-hump day to all!

xo, mama lola

alive, but not always well.

how do we know we are alive?

we’ve had many conversations about death at our house. it’s one of those tricky discussions that i don’t want to tip toe around, but finding age appropriate descriptions of death is tricky.

but, bear has never asked what it means to be alive. and i’m not sure how i would describe it either. things that are alive, grow, change colour and, um, die. some things that are alive think, feel, bleed, swim, fly, move, dance. others chew their food, hunt, etc, etc.

“Dip dip dive so-socialize
Open up your ears and clean out your eyes
If you learn to love you’re in for a surprise
It could be nice to be alive” 

                                              from: Alive by: Beastie Boys

we just enjoyed a beautiful weekend up at the cottage with dear friends feeling alive. the big kids frolicked amongst the trees building fairy huts and keeping their eyes peeled for bears. they discovered all sorts of wonders that mother nature creates and presents. the little kids explored closer to the adults, tasting various pine cones and sticks, while soaking in the warm september sun. 

more pictures to come.

we found out today that young WJ is unwell. he is the spirited son of our friends, seen here with bear and his big sis. we wish him all the health in the world to get him back home where he belongs. i am also sending his mama sunsun, all the strength to stay positive. 
we love you all. 

xo, mama lola

where i’m at.

ok, so i set some goals this summer for myself and the fam. i love to things to work towards and plan for. here’s where i’m at…

family dinner: well, we haven’t even started, but the plans are stewing and brewing in my head. summer’s been a bit too hectic to start new routines and family traditions. after failing to start in august it provided me an opportunity to re-think some of the family dinners and decorations i want to make. i have also assigned thursday night dinners to dear hubby, as he’s around and needs to help out at home more. we’ve arranged that he needs to give me a shopping list, so i can get the necessary ingredients, meaning he has to do some planning. i’m quite excited about this!

going green(er): the goals i set can be seen here. this is where i’m at:

  • grey water collection went well, but dear hubby didn’t really jump on board with it. it was tricky to get in the swing of things and find a groove, but eventually i did. i’m not sure if i’ll continue in the winter though.
  • i have improved with buying local and have found some interesting gifts, but i can not go into detail about them at this time. SSsssshhhhh!
  • paperless billing: done! I recently decided to invest in some document management software since I spend so long trying to find random documents. Now that they’re all on my computer I can easily search to find the documents at the click of the button. It’s great! And I’m saving the planet too!
  • this fall i will be biking to and from preschool with the kids and plan to do errands downtown while bear is in school. dear hubby has increased his bike use as well, which makes us feel good.

i still want to improve on buying in bulk, baking and making more foods from scratch and unplugging more small appliances. but the ball is rolling and we are getting better.

our friend from finland left, so on his final night we strolled along the boardwalk in the beach and enjoyed a cider at a local pub. great evening guys!

the beach in toronto.

the winds of change have certainly swept through this weekend. we went from a balmy +35c on saturday to a frigid +16c today (tuesday).
from this….

sweaty baby.

to this…

cords overalls and hoodies!

fall has arrived and while some kids headed back to school today, we have one last week of free time and we are taking full advantage of it. today we enjoyed a spontaneous play date with friends we haven’t seen in a long time. tomorrow we’re off to the park with other friends; the park without shade which is perfect now that the temperatures have dropped! friday we have another playdate and nature hike with friends!

a raging good time thanks to sweet malibu!

xo, mama lola

camping quickie!

i had this whole camping entry planned, with stories of the fun we had and pictures capturing small moments of our good times weekend. but, somehow with so many pictures to edit i felt overwhelmed and left the whole blog world for a few days. here are a handful of pics from last weekend, as we head into a brand new one.
checking the tent at home and finally putting it up. daddy and his helpers.

the camp ground was on a first nations reserve.
an after dinner stroll down to the beach. the water was shallow and warm.
a lake front area on the reserve. beside the dock the view was magnificent and the rock beach was fun. bear found a rock that looked like grandpa E’s iphone!

this was a view from a lookout stop. obviously no photograph can capture the beauty and wonder of the view. it was beyond spectacular!

this weekend and next week are packed tightly with more summer adventures that include sailing, visiting best friends in the big city, play dates galore and sending my mom off to finland for a two week holiday! once things slow down a bit i am hoping to write some more thoughtful posts about community, poverty, pregnancy, health, post-partum, money; basically about things that i have witnessed or experienced this summer and made me think. think twice, even.

happy week-ending everyone!

xo, mama lola

going green(er).

i am always looking for ways to be a little more environmentally friendly.  there are some things in our household we can’t change, but there are so many little things we can do to make a small difference. i was inspired while reading this list, so i compiled my own. i chose ten things we could change or improve at our house. 

  1. start collecting “grey” water in our kitchen. i have wanted to do this for a long time, so here’s my moment to start. “grey” water for us means, dish water or left over sips of coffee or water in mugs etc.
  2. buy more in bulk and bring own bag or container.
  3. only buy local produce and product when possible. although there are some items we ALWAYS buy that are local, i want to make more of an effort to keep our local economy thriving. this includes food, but also purchasing gifts from local artisans or crafters or independent sellers. 
  4. ride my bike more. poor tallulah doesn’t get the pedal time she deserves!
  5. when driving use the car more efficiently by getting more errands done in one trip.
  6. sign up for on-line billing and see how much of that junk the bank mails out can actually be eliminated.
  7. waste less food. this is becoming an issue for us that fills me with guilt. 
  8. re-use, re=use: do more crafts with cereal boxes or sour cream containers, make grocery lists on used paper, bird feeders out of cartons (*send me your suggestions!)
  9. make own food: i could bake bread, pickle things more often, dry more herbs….
  10. unplug small appliances so as not to use “ghost” electricity.

i think that is a very doable list and one that i can always add to or edit as needed. what do you guys think? i would appreciate any feedback. 
i will update you with my goings-on. wish us luck!

xo, mama lola


the day was far from perfect, but it was a fabulous day anyway! we all struggled with the unrelenting sunshine pouring down on us. we hit the beach for a quick splash, food and a break from the stimulation. then we headed to the island stage for some shade where lion napped on the ground and the rest of us enjoyed some spoken word. very cool.

our chariot only has a jogging wheel, so dear hubby did some magic and attached two ghetto wheels from an umbrella stroller on the front of the chariot. the retro-fit worked like magic on the paths, grass and asphalt. saved us a bundle too! 

bear was a grumpy grouch during by dinner time. i will summarize with the three words: screaming, barking, whining. so, we strapped both kids into the chariot and strolled around. bear fell asleep quickly (yippii) and stayed asleep for hours! so great! lion fell asleep soon after and we set him down on the grass as we settled in by the main stage. dear hubby and i grooved to serena ryder, danced and ate some AMAZING ginger-flavoured ice cream.

at around 10pm, when the last act was about to go on, bear woke up! he danced and danced to the indie rockers, sloan. dear hubby and bear were jumping and kicking to the tunes and loving every minute of it!

can’t wait to go back next july!

xo, mama lola
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