the easter bunny dropped by.

we had a great time in the big city for easter. we had a nice dinner with my parents and then dear hubby and i went to a movie, while the kids stayed with my folks. we saw an iranian movie called, a separation. it was incredible, powerful and heartbreaking. i would recommend it to everyone.

then on saturday we headed to the famous st. lawrence market. the market was beautiful with shelves overflowing with bright fruits and veggies, with tanks crawling with lobsters and counters filled with yummy fresh, fish and various cuts of red meat. bear was very curious of the beat, since we’re vegetarian and never have meat in the house, seeing meat was so interesting for him.

the market not only had food, but lots of vendors selling colourful kitchens gadgets, wordly jewellery, and funky clothes. there was so much to see, but with the crowds and a four year old with a sudden case of spaghetti legs, it was difficult to navigate and take pictures!

then, it was off to the beach in the cities east end, where the outside space gave us lots of freedom and the earlier case of spaghetti legs suddenly disappeared!

the kiddo’s soaked up the warm spring sun, as they ran through the sand to the shoreline, where they threw stone after stone into the lake. it was so fun!

today we had a wee egg hunt in our backyard. i dragged my butt out of bed before everyone else and secretly hid some eggs around the yard. after breakfast the kids went out and found the yummy treats; mini eggs and small jelly beans in wee plastic eggs and one kinder per kid.

a lovely easter closing with a lazy-bum-day at home with my family.

how was your easter? did the easter bunny drop by your house?

xo, mama lola

starting new.

i don’t what happened to me. i’ve been intending to grow some easter grass this year, but somehow the time slipped away from me. so, i started it today. better late than never, right? bear was delighted.

then, my green thumb got an itch. so i started a few morning glory seeds and a few lupins. we’ll see if anything comes from them. i want to transfer them into my garden once the fear of frost melts away. i love morning glory’s. check out my stick markers. pretty clever, eh? idea from here.

kefir snack break. the kids love sippin’ away with their butterfly straws!

and finally, here’s tonight’s dinner. yum!

how was your day?
did you get outside and do any gardening?

xo, mama lola

last day of march.

this is the final day of NaBloPoMo, meaning i am no longer committed to write every day. i missed yesterday, so in total i skipped out on two days, and out of 31 i think that’s a pretty good feat. i ran out of room on my flickr account to post pictures (i only have the free kind), so that has somehow made it harder to come up with entries at the end of the month.

i enjoyed this experience and will certainly commit to another month, but not in april. we have a lot going on with dear hubby’s birthday, friends’ birthdays, easter and other spring time shenanigans. that’s not to say i will not blog, because i will, just not every day.
it snowed last night. so shocking and cold and confusing, especially after the heat wave we had week prior!
our lovely naturopath has been emailing me and told me to not worry about the barley sensitivity and focus on the eggs and peas. whew! that’s a huge relief and load off my mind! now that i have come face to face with just how much gluten and wheat my family consumes i am going to decrease those amounts anyway. wheat has been altered so much and gluten sensitivities run in dear hubby’s family, so i figure i midas well cut back for everyone’s benefit.

and avoiding eggs is easy. they have to be labelled as they are such a common allergen.
time to do spend time with my family on this cold weekend. we may head out and check out a maple syrup festival today. how canadiana of us! tomorrow is a family dinner with dear hubby’s folks and hopefully some other family.
dear hubby and i had a lovely date night. snow, a quick dinner, a movie and a bottle of wine!

[ source ]

have a wonderful weekend everyone!

xo, mama lola

barley depression.

i’m in a bit of a barley depression.

bear’s eczema was on fire, again today. his right elbow crease is the worst, but his left is flaring badly as well. it’s all raw and seepingfluid. plus, his belly is covered in spots. or polka dots as he called them. My friend suggested that maybe it would be a good idea to consider cannabis from suppliers similar to Bud Express Now ( to help manage my negative emotions. It can be frustrating having to deal with all of these health conditions so I thought about it and ultimately decided that it wasn’t for me but could see some of the benefits.

[ source ]

i now think he’s coming down with a cold. last time he was sick with the sniffles and a cough he got all rashy and the eczema got really bad.

[ source ]
i emailed my naturopath’s office with a few concerns. they phoned back immediately and offered an 15 minute consult with another doctor, as ours is on holidays. how sweet and lovely! then tonight, i received an email from our naturopath with suggestions on how to manage the flare-ups!

i feel like we’re in good hands. she’s on holidays and emailing us. that’s unheard of.
bear is cared for.
what a wonderful feeling for me in all of this helplessness.

barley research continues and seems bleaker each passing day.
[ source ]

just gotta get ‘er done.
figure what brands we can trust, where to buy them.

any suggestions?

xo, mama lola

one of THEM evenings with kids and tofu!

[ * FYI: in this blog entry i threaded instructions via pictures, 
a fast and efficient way to marinate tofu. ]

monday’s are a long day for me. i parent alone all day, from sunrise to sunset, until dear hubby gets home after eight o’clock. 

today started off so great. with a dramatic drop in temperatures a park play date was moved to our house. it was -3c today and after the high teens and low +20c’s last week it felt shockingly cold! so i ran around cleaning and vacuuming before everyone showed up. the kids had a great time and us MAMA’s had a chance to chat and drink coffee. it was a wonderful way to start the day and the week.

after everyone left, lion went down for a nap, i chatted on the phone (for what we call half time) with a dear friend and bear watched a DVD. once lion came down from his nap, a couple of hours later, the kids played and snacked and we had a quiet afternoon… 

until, just before i started to make dinner things turned. dramatically and quickly. bear became frustrated with a maze in his activity book and started to crumple some pages and cried and cried. i tried to calm him down, but i was also making dinner so it was tough. dinner was fast to make; a veg stir fry with tofu and rice. 

[ cut tofu into shape desired. ]
[ toss into a ziplock bag with tamari sauce (soy sauce). we use the tamari as it’s gluten free and generally healthier with less sodium and it’s organic.] 

then, at the dinner table both boys refused to eat. they both stuck their tongues out and complained the food was disgusting. this is where things went downhill fast, and i know it’s my fault. but, i was tired and hungry and fed up with the rudeness so i got mad, got the kids into their pj’s and had them lie in bed until 7pm. they complied, shockingly, and it was kinda what we all needed. some silence and stillness. eventually we got on speaking terms again and bear complained about being hungry so i let the boys have a second chance at dinner. bear ate like a bear, but lion still refused to eat. 

[ leave tofu marinating for a at least 10 minutes, tossing the chunks around every so often. ]
[ my secret ingredient in stir-fries. ]

anyhow. the boys were asleep by 7:45pm, which is kinda late for them, but i feel like i did the right thing letting them eat rather than starve all night. both boys also had a little bit of apple sauce before heading to bed.

i hate it when i lose my shit. i really do. my heart crumbles and i feel like the worst mother around. i know all parents and caregivers lose their cool, but i feel such shame and guilt for my own behaviour. 

[ dinner is served in my lovely teema bowls. does not look disgusting to me, what do you think? ]

hope your monday ended better than mine.
here’s hoping tomorrow will bring with it some peace.


xo, mama lola

barley, and it’s dirty little secrets.

i did not blog yesterday and missed a day for NaBloPoMo. but, i was so tired after a long day in the big city, that i decided rather than posting a terrible post, i would just skip posting anything. 
so, here we are a fresh new day… sunday. we are ending the week on a good note. or trying to anyhow. dear hubby is making the usual sunday feast. homemade pizza with dough from the bread maker! yum!

i have started my research into bear’s various allergies or sensitivities to be more accurate. it seems that egg, being a well known and potentially serious allergen is labelled clearly on packaged food items. although, things like bagels and pretzels may not contain egg, but they might instead be glazed with it, and so not sure if it then has to legally be marked. not sure where to find this information either…

but, barley…. oh boy! bear has a medium sensitivity to barley, which i didn’t really think much of, until i started to read labels and see that it is in everything. kind of like wheat or gluten. with my research i stumbled upon story after story of people, who thought they themselves or their kid had a gluten or wheat intolerance, but turned out to be barley! a barley allergy presents commonly with skin rashes, eczema, head aches, stomach problems, diarrhea etc., just like so many other intolerances.

i had never even heard of a barley allergy before thursday. but, dear hubby and i have decided to make our household barley free, because bear will be exposed to it out there in the world, without us knowing. barley can be mixed into wheat flours and does not have to be labelled; malt is most commonly made from barley and can be found in all sorts of foods, like cereals. barley may also be found in bear’s fave soup, miso. oh, dear!

allergen labelling is tricky business and the government has laws to try to protect the general public, but the rules aren’t air tight and the gaps can be dangerous for some. 

it’s time to put our homemaker aprons on and really get into the swing of making more of our own foods. with bear’s eczema it has become clear to me that we, as a family, have to take more control of what we eat. i have taken food for granted, assuming, all be it half-heartedly, that most foods are safe to eat. but, as evident by our govenrment, if manufacturers don’t actually have to include every single possible ingredient in their products, then there is potential for harm to my kid. luckily, luckily for him the reaction will not be dangerous or severe, but maybe one day it will develop into an anaphalactic allergy. 
nobody knows anything really, when it comes to allergies it seems.



our boys got a surprise toy from my parents… a hockey net and hockey sticks! i guess that’s what happens when you’re family is finnish/ canadian! the weather was wet and dreary for our visit, bt we had fun. earlier in the day we went to the out of the cold art show, my folks have been volunteering at. both boys came home with some well chosen art!

hope you’ll be back tomorrow!

xo, mama lola

thursday night quickie…

today we received bear’s blood work results from our naturopath and drum roll please… the kid is sensitive to eggs, the whole thing, and peas. he is disappointed he can’t eat eggs anymore, but that’s life, i guess. i am going to start researching what kinds of egg substitutes to use and for which recipes. i think it’s totally manageable for us to be egg free. there is incredible relief in me this evening as bear is not sensitive to a whole variety of foods; like gluten, dairy and eggs all together! whew!
the peas, um, well, it’s weird, right? we don’t eat a lot peas, but in the summer we’ll have to skip out on eating fresh peas straight out of the pods. so it goes!

here’s hoping that the tests were accurate and that eggs are the main culprit and we can get this terrible eczema off of his body. if anyone has any recipe book recommendations or websites, that would be great. the wealth of information out there is a bit overwhelming.

i love this boy so much.
look at his beautiful face, so easy to love.

xo, mama lola

smells fishy.

we had simply wonderful hump day, yesterday.

i started the day by baking muffins, while sipping my morning coffee. then after th eusual tears about leaving the house, we were off to the park with friends to enjoy the sunny morning. 

the park was fun and the sun was glorious in it’s warmth and cheeriness. it felt amazing to take advantage of mother nature’s vitamin D supply. later after getting home and after lion’s afternoon nap we headed outside into the backyard and spent another couple of hours enjoying the phenomenal weather. i even got a touch of sunburn on my extra pasty face!

then, i made a beautiful dinner for my family last night. we had rainbow trout with roasted leeks, apple and carrots, and a side of mashed potatoes with dill. i made a delicious tahini & yoghurt sauce for the fish and was looking forward to sitting down with my family for a lovely dinner. unfortunately for me, our lovely family dinner’s have gone to the pits recently.

[ ready to go.]

[ ready to be mashed. ]

bear also has his dinnertime antics. he used to be a wonderful eater; he ate everything offered. now, he has a long list of food items he adamantly claims not to like. like fish, to my chagrin. anyway, last evening and on many other evenings he comes to the table and immediately makes rude noises, “eww, ick, yuck…” which accelerate my blood pressure to rocket through the roof and i get mad. i hate that. eventually, once everyone has eaten enough and the boys are clearing the table, bear comes up to me, and in the sweetest voice says “kiitos äiti, for making such a delicious dinner. it was lovely”. 

[ rainbow trout with the works. ]

are you kidding me? 
that simply sounds suspicious, insincere and fishy to me!

xo, mama lola

almost half way and i hit a wall!

day 13 of NaBloPoMo and i’ve hit a wall. i don’t know what to write about. there are prompts to help, but i didn’t like today’s. 

well, spring has sprung early this year. we barely had a winter and are now enjoying plenty of sunshine and loading up on vitamin D. all sorts of things are pushing their way through the decaying leaves.

the boys and i had a nice day together. we did some groceries, had lunch, lion napped while bear watched some “bob the builder” and then we headed outside for a few hours.

i made a delicious alphabet-veggie soup with eggs, brie, pickles (thanks brandy), left over cabbage salad and bread on the side. here’s a picture of our spread; please excuse my dying tulips. i bought them for myself last week when i received my 5th strep diagnosis; i needed a pick me up. lovely!

cheers to a lovely tuesday! tomorrow we are heading to the park first thing with lots of friends to enjoy more of these warm temperatures! what a great march break!

what do you have planned for hump day?

xo, mama lola

making bread.

If thou tastest a crust of bread, thou tastest all the stars and all the heavens.”  Robert Browning 

a friend of mine gave me her used bread maker. i helped her pack a few boxes when she was moving. i was surprised and delighted as dear hubby and i have been considering buying one for a while. 

anyhow, yesterday dear hubby made our first loaf of whole wheat bread in it. i want to be a family that eats homemade bread.

the bread tasted great, but i’m looking forward to making some gluten free loaves and various dark rye breads. for dinner, we devoured super-fancy-avocado-tomato-brie cheese-sandwiches with a side of sweet potato fries. what a delicious way to end the week! 


xo, mama lola
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