i love things in the basement.

kids really do say the darndest things.
we have gotten quite strict about some things around the house. i am trying to encourage bear to tidy up his toys after he is done playing with them. sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t, so now i threaten to put the toy in the basement if he doesn’t get cracking. it sounds harsh, even to me as i type this, but we live in a small house and things really need to get put away. and really, tidying train tracks means putting them in a bucket, or collecting all the itty bitty lego and putting them back in their designated bin. today bear wouldn’t help tidy the train tracks and he told me “i love things in the basement”. fine, if you insist kid.

we were back at the airport picking up mummo from her adventures in finland. we watched some planes land first, parking illegally on the side of a road that circles the airport. it was super exciting and both boys were thrilled to see the planes up so close.

first, look at the size of the cars then look at the planes. that british airways plane on the right
was HUGE and LOUD!
inside the airport all the little people lost it, because they were so over tired by the later than usual evening and the excitement of watching the planes. bear was actually a disaster and the only way we could contain him was by dear, dear, hubby carrying him up on his shoulders. but wait, he was already carrying lion in the ergo, so it was quite the endeavour!

look at that summer bouquet my dad is holding, you can almost taste the sunshine and heat in those yellows! we also made this beautiful sign for mummo. it’s a map of finland coloured and stickered boldly by the boys. the guy peaking from behind the sign is our friend, ironically visiting from finland!

mummo and her boys and a young girl staring blatantly. oh well!


here’s hoping for glorious weather this weekend. hurricane irene is doing her thang along the eastern seaboard, but i don’t want her to rain on us. we had such a tense night on wednesday with the tornado warnings that i am so over the storms. plus, we’re hoping to hit niagara falls.


xo, mama lola

one MAMA is 29, again!

i am lucky to belong to a fantastic mommy group. initially, we were moms who came together three years ago at a public health class called baby basics. the class itself was not very informative, but it got all of us out every thursday morning with our babies and into the world. once the 5 week course was done us MAMA’s kept getting together and formed our own private facebook group. there we could ask for advice, complain about the aches and pains of motherhood and share all the big and small events of our lives. having these eighteen strong, intelligent, beautiful and interesting women in my life is very important. at the end of the day we are all such different women, mothers and partners to our loves, but we continue to exchange concerns at play dates and online. our group and the bond we hold is unique and very special. we even do an annual group photoshoot with some local photographers, which i will talk more about after our september session. 


so, the other day one of the MAMA’s had her 29th birthday (again) and some of us got together to celebrate. ms. meow whipped up a last minute, but lovely, evening out for the ladies. we were at a fabulous, local pizza bistro listening to electric live jazz and enjoying drinks and conversation. 

then there were the “never ending” shots that the owner gifted to ms. 29 again. it really was a never ending shot, as after each of her head tilts back he would keep pouring more into her shot glass. it was hilarious (and delicious, i had a sip).

but, we all agreed the best part of the night was being able to chat without the constant interruptions from kids. although, there were two wee baby girls there, it was nice to have some mama hen time with friends.

there is no point in partying at a pizza bistro without some slices off a hot pan and then indulging in cake.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY SWEET MAMA!



on a side note…
dear hubby and i are starting regular date nights in the fall. this is where we’ll be going for our first night out in years. yes, i am sad and embarrassed that we have not enjoyed a dinner out just the two of us in years.

xo, mama lola

slumber party.

we had a family sleepover at our dear friends’ house. we haven’t seen these friends in a very, very long time and we were overdue for some quality time. they have three beautiful kids (18mths to 5yrs), so our kids were thrilled to have lots of company and new toys to play with.

we had our traditional evening dinner, which as always was exciting with all five kids and us four adults sitting down to the table to eat.  to my surprise it went remarkably smoothly, considering the details. i mean yes, oz fire did try to start a food fight by throwing random pieces of his dinner and our lion cried from the get go. but, us adults were able to chat and the big kids told summer stories and it felt really good to be with them.



then, the real party started after the kids were fast asleep upstairs.

we had one of those unintentional boozy, chatty nights that we used to take for granted back before the kids arrived. our conversations often have a reminiscent quality to them, but to balance things out we planned next summer’s adventures already! dear hubby and i are truly lucky to have such amazing, supportive friends like this. d’s the guy who hired dear hubby when he was laid off five months ago. and my sweet ray of sunshine is the voice i call during my life’s highest and lowest moments. we speak almost daily.




the following morning was tough. the men headed to their respective jobs, while us mamas stayed at home and mothered. luckily we had each other! it was a slow morning and we had big plans for the park in the afternoon, but just as ray of sunshine opened the door the sky, quite literally, dumped. oh, the rain. so, instead the big kids watched a movie and ate stove top pop corn.



cannot wait to spend a cottage weekend up north with them next month!
carling…..

xo, mama lola

wrap it up already…

i’ve been moving really slowly this week. i blame the heat and unbearable humidity; it goes straight to my head and zaps my brain. just like tequila shots. here’s a quick update on our goings on…

* saturday we hit downtown with the chariot and bikes to check out art on the street. it was a blazing hot day, but it was great event and we even bought a piece of art for the playroom (more on that later). then, we had bubba and patty over for dinner. the kids loved it. we miss ’em! we used to have dinner with them at least once a week before we moved.
* i have re-introduced coconut milk into my stir-fry recipe and am not sure why i stopped buying it. 
last weekend we hit our favourite beach for hours of fun. this weekend we’re going to hillside, a fantastic music festival close to home. 
* bear has been attending gymnastics camp with his buddy lil’C. they have gone every morning for three (glorious) hours giving this mama a small break. 
* bear is refusing to pee standing up at the toilet. not sure why. not sure how to rectify the situation as he was doing it just fine for a long time. 
* lion is teething his 7th tooth and wants to be held A LOT!
* i thought we were interviewing a potential baby-sitter today and after a quick tidy, dear hubby racing home, i checked my email and realized i got my dates mixed up. she’s coming next week instead apparently. shoot.


time to start drinkin’.
cheers!

xo, mama lola

love to bubba and patty-cakes!

bubba and patty are getting married next summer. we are all so delighted and excited for them! this past weekend bubba’s folks hosted a lovely engagement party at a local mill restaurant to celebrate this joyous occasion. it was a hot and humid summer’s evening, but with good wine and delicious food, well behaved kids and great conversations (with adults) it was easy for me to ignore the sweat beads forming on my forehead! 


this restaurant has special meaning for bubba’s folks; it’s where they held the reception for their wedding many moons ago. 

it was one those sunday evenings where the sun was perfect and the clouds magical and it made perfect sense to be celebrating the union of two people and the future union of two families. 

we are counting down to this beautiful wedding and are excited and honoured to a part of the special day. i can’t believe we have another 13 months to go…. tick, tock, tick….

so cute!



here’s a picture of me and my date. oh my, we clean well!



p.s. a BIG thanks to aunt R and uncle K for hosting such a wonderful evening. i wish i had gotten a nice picture of them, sigh.

xo, mama lola

we sang o’ canada countless times on friday.

canada day.
canada. hungary. anthems. music. noon. bourbon. tradition. food. trampoline. bacon. hot dogs. muffins. fire. conversation. beer. friends. hammock. trees. family. love. laughter. blue skies. sunshine. baseball. hats. smiles. 


cottage.
family. friends. traditions. swimming. splashing. playing. burning building. cabin. sunsets. sleep. water. loons. naps.  chipmunks. forest. trees. pine cones. sticks. waves. boats. canoeing. books. newspapers. conrad black. conversations. tears. memories. history. rock. beer. wine. shandies. food. bbq. deer. flowers. flashlights. walking. advice. raccoons. lost glasses. 
and then we’ll do it all again next year!




xo, mama lola

children of the forest.

we spent a wonderful weekend up at the cottage with some special friends. friends we haven’t seen in about two years as they live on the other side of the pond, in germany. 


we had time to chat and catch up on the important stuff, but also had time to just be together. the kids had an especially wonderful time together playing, running, reading and getting to know one another. 


the cottage is the perfect setting for all this catching up. there are few distractions, no internet or tv. instead there is plenty of nature to stimulate the senses.

 

there are also some funky, home made toys at the cottage, like this red wheel thinga-ma-doo-der (see pics below) that dear hubby’s grandfather made for him back in the day. it was touching to watch bear run and laugh, just as his dad had done many years before!


we frolicked in the water splashing and laughing, ran amongst the tall hemlocks, climbed over fallen trees and branches while looking for treasures and kept an eye out for the black bears. 


the bugs were almost non-existant, although looking at lion’s wee head that would be hard to believe. he has bizarre bumps and lumps all over his head from the darn mosquitoes!


i know this all sounds too perfect and as though i’ve sugar coated the whole weekend, but really, it was perfect. 


the muskokas have a reputation for being the playground of the rich and famous, but as you can see it’s also fun for the less rich and you certainly don’t have to be famous to enjoy its beauty.


even the kids were mostly smiles and giggles; there were only a few tears and only tiny tantrums, which for one 2.5 year old and one 3.5 year old is pretty amazing. they just wanted to play together and that is what they did!


bear is going to miss his new, lovely, lady friend. 



happy rest of the week everyone!
xo, mama lola

me first, yeah right!

my self-care is the pits. i joined the Y in the new year not as a resolution, but as a way to get my self-care started. some weeks i go more than others and then when dear hubby got laid off i felt guilty for wanting to hold onto my membership. the thing with the Y is this: it’s good for me on so many levels; it’s fantastic for my mental health, my physical health and my intellect. getting all that blood pumping and really surging into all the nooks and crannies of my body makes a world of difference. plus, it’s that always important alone time. i crank the radio and sing all the way there and all the way home, pretending i know the words to all the latest pop songs.


i have had two big ol’ surgeries this past year, four months apart. both times i was put under a general anaesthetic, which was quite stressful for my body. then, i was knocked on my butt to recover for a few weeks each time, while also caring for a baby and a toddler. it’s been tough to fit any real self-care into my life. but, after having the tumour removed from my head last november it really put things into perspective for me. i faced my mortality at the age of 31 and realized i wasn’t ready to die as i had not finished living yet. and a part of living meant putting my needs back on the priority list. so, i’ve slowly gotten myself out of the house and back into the world. luckily, i have a very supportive partner who understands this need and tries to be as accommodating as possible.

these guys are a lot of work. for me.

all that being said, sometimes it’s hard to find the motivation or the energy in the evenings to go out and exercise. and sometimes it’s not even an option. dear hubby has been doing contract computer programming work since being laid off in march, which means he is sometimes hunched over his laptop ’till the wee hours of the morning working (literally). 


the logistics of consistent self-care are difficult, practically impossible, in fact. i can’t put off dinner clean-up or vacuuming, because if i don’t do it when it needs to get done then when am i going to do it? i sure as hell am not going to leave my dinner dishes in the sink and food on the stove for the next morning. the recommendation that chores can wait, was advised by someone who is not responsible for running a household. sure laundry can wait, but only some laundry and only sometimes. if i don’t keep on it, it piles up fast and furious, creating more work for another day. and i’m not down with that!
but at least i have made myself somewhat of a priority again. i try, when i have to the opportunity, to do things that make me happy, healthy or are fun. often these activities are kidless, but as much as i love ’em i do need a break from mothering, regularly. as a stay at home mom, it’s hard to separate work from play, as playing with the kids often ends up being work, because they are still so little. i imagine that will change as they get older and gain more independence. right now, today, the key for myself is to strive for balance and not let one part of my life dominate the rest.

BALANCE.


xo, mama lola
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