a wild birthday weekend!

saturday was a wild, bow-la-li-cious 5th birthday party for our friend wild, wild west. check out the slideshow i made of the good times had by all at the always fabulous bowlarama!
(music: duran duran, “wild boys”, 1984)

{* there seems to be some audio problems that dear hubby is trying to resolve! 
sounds fine to us, please let me know if you have any problems. thx.}



today, we had a small family party for dear hubby for his 36th birthday. we made a delish, three layer ice cream cake (thanks for the inspiration dear sun) and some afternoon nibblies. 



i bought dear hubby a weed wacker as a way to keep the romance alive in our relationship! seriously though, this way he can keep up on yard work and hopefully i won’t get as frustrated with him! 


always looking for ways to help my marriage!

[ birthday ring. ]



a peaceful evening now. two little boys tucked in bed, one already in dreamland, the other almost there, so it’s time to sit back and relax. birthdays are fun, but exhausting as well. a family portrait was attempted tonight too, we’ll see if i can post one up tomorrow!


HAPPY EARTH DAY!
g’night moon.



xo, mama lola

way up in a tree!



we LOVE this little gem of a book!


the renowned canadian writer, margaret atwood wrote a delightful chidlren’s book called “up in a tree” (1978). our boys love this book and bear can read it to his little brother now. when we went to the park with friends on friday, the big kids found a tree they could climb on their own and it reminded me of this book.



look at these cute dudes up in a tree! i have always encouraged my kids to climb, because it is helpful skill to have and i think it has helped shape bear’s confidence. 

the missE enjoyed her first spring swing and loved it. look at all the kids! Wweeeee!!!

today it has been raining all day, but nobody seems to mind. last week we played outside a lot and yesterday was a super busy day for all of us, so it’s nice to take it easy for a change. 

are you enjoying a lazy sunday as well?
xo, mama lola

spring cleaning: my insides!

i start a liver cleanse in a matter of hours. it’s going to be a tough 14 days, let me tell ya! i gave up my most special vice, coffee, last week in preparation for this cleanse. i have no shame in admitting that i love a good cuppa coffee first thing in the morning and will hold on to it as my vice for the rest of my life. i have some last minute cleanse shopping to do for myself tonight. luckily, the lovely expert who has developed this particular cleanse has also included a meal plan and a grocery shopping list, so getting ingredients will be easy. I’ve also thought about looking at a foot bath detox, I have heard that they can be beneficial for body cleansing so it might be a good idea to try! I’ll check it out with my doctor first to see what they say.


i am already a grump, though. no coffee makes me super cranky, which i didn’t know! i wonder what will happen after i cut our dairy, breads, fruits… oh, boy! look out family!


but, i think i really need to get my body balanced inside. i had strep throat five times this winter and the amount of antibiotics i consumed is ridiculous and kind of gross. plus, with all the surgeries and T3’s i was popping while pregnant with lion, i think is still just stuck in my organs jamming things up. i good liver cleanse is exactly what my body needs and deserves.
*******
had a frolick through the woods with good friends today. kids loved it, so did us mama’s!

*******
for tonight’s dinner i tried something new, rice paper wraps with veggies.

i took one tomato, one perfect avocado, asparagus, green onions and some left over green pepper, chopped them up stirred them around in my cast iron pan until warm.
then, i placed the veggies on the softened rice paper with a piece of seaweed and sprinkled some sesame seeds for good measure.

they were easy to make, but a bit time consuming and the texture wasn’t the kids’ favourite, but dear hubby and i loved them. i will definitely be making these again, since i can’t use wonton wraps anymore due to bear’s egg intolerance. we also had some quinoa-chick pea salad and sweet potato fries! yum!



ok, time to shower and binge on some fantastic treat once dear hubby gets back from the store!
i am so scared of this cleanse and worry that i will not have the discipline to follow it, although at the same time i feel like it’s exactly what i need.
wish me luck!

xo, mama lola

anniversaries: some are harder than others.

anniversaries are tricky events. many anniversaries are occasions for remembering and celebrating achievements, family, love or whatever. dear hubby and i don’t really celebrate our wedding anniversary. not because it’s not special, but because february usually becomes about bear and his birthday. the two events are three days apart. 


on our first wedding anniversary, when bear was three days old we were quarantined in the emergency department at the local hospital, because i developed a raging fever and on the advice of my midwives went to the hospital. dear hubby and bear had to join me, because i was nursing like every half hour or whatever. not the most romantic of anniversaries. in fact it was very stressful and i was quite down about the whole ordeal.

lilac out front budding. soon to be blooming. can’t wait!

some anniversaries are even harder.
it’s been just over a year since we put our sweet, squirrel loving roo down. his death is something that gets discussed a lot around here. bear will tell me he misses roo, just randomly when he sees other dogs. it shatters me when i hear him say stuff like that. i too have a huge hole in my heart for roo. i miss him so much, even though he was such a pain sometimes.
he barked and jumped around every where; hunted and killed squirrels; was very anxious in certain situations, but man, that dog loved us. i mean, he LOVED us. he was always looking out for bear and then lion when he was wee. 

he had had a rough life. moved from home to home to home to home. he just wanted to be loved. and we did just that. 
we loved him. boy, did we ever LOVE him. 
still do. so much. 



on a happier note, this blog, my BEAR & LION will be celebrating a year of online success tomorrow!! i’m not sure how success is measured in the cyber-blog world, but i have acquired a following of faithful readers from all around the world, some who read out of obligation perhaps, others out of curiosity. i actually don’t care why people come by and read, i just love that you do. 
my first entry was just a photograph, as i was too scared to write anything, in fear of judgement. now look at me, spilling my beans regularly!


i have found writing on my blog to be quite therapeutic in many ways. i started writing right after we put roo down, right after dear hubby lost his job and four months after my tumour was removed. it’s been a wonderful place for me to vent about some of life’s tough moments and share in some of the joys. i am grateful for my life, but it sure is harder than i ever could have imagined. and quite frankly, other people have it harder, much harder than me and i want to make sure i acknowledge that, but that does not take away from my hardships. i guess it’s like comparing apples and oranges; everyone’s life is hard to them and that’s what needs to be legitimized. 
we’ve come a long way, baby!

anyhow, thanks for reading, please stick with me and my family to see what the future holds. as we all know far too well, we really have no idea what tomorrow may bring. that’s the point in life i guess.


xoxo, 
lola

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

to trust or not to trust.

it’s been a tough week for me as a mama.


bear has been exhibiting behaviours that are uncalled for, which combined with his social anxieties, make him tough company to keep. last week during a play date at our house he and his buddy dumped (and when i say dumped, i mean emptied) three big bottles of kiddie paint all over the art room table, which then dripped in chunks onto the carpeted floor. the whole situation was shocking and took forever for my friend to steam clean the rug. (luckily she lives close by and was able to hop in the car and get her machine in the first place! thanks mamaS!) I was thinking about buying Bazaar Velvet: Handcrafted Designer and Custom Rugs from London, UK but I’m scared they’ll get ruined last our last rug did!

[post painting lunch]
[baby A, about 10 days old. i was trying to take his picture with one hand i was holding him with my other.
he is precious.]

that incident made me realize, that although it was out of character for bear, that maybe that’s the whole point of behaviour like that. kids are given too much trust or freedom and then they push the limits with obscene behaviour like paint dumping or hitting friends or slamming doors or whatever. bear is working on earning his trust back and is allowed limited time alone upstairs unsupervised whether alone or on a play date, at home or someone else’s house. i think it’s the only way to really make him understand what trust and freedom actually are.

[play date fun with friends]

but, it’s tough for me as his mama. i never thought that would be my kid, right? and everyone i talk to about these behaviours echoes their surprise “oh, that really doesn’t sound like bear”. it’s hard to know who he is sometimes. he is this growing, evolving person who is learning how to navigate the world and tests the boundaries in all sorts of ways. i guess this age also includes being intentionally mean, whether physically or verbally.
i feel sick just writing about this.

[beautiful missE]

my gut says some of this is related to his anxiety. he always, ALWAYS has various sized meltdowns in new situations and unfamiliar places, but also just places that are not our home. this weekend we went on the fairy hike, where he cried upon arrival, and here’s how our conversation sounded the following night at dinner…
bear: i cried yesterday at the new place.
me: yup. you did. it’s ok to cry, do you know why you cried?
bear: because we were at someone’s else’s house and i wanted to be home.
(the hike started at the nature centre, which is looks like an old house)


i’m hugging him more. picking him up and whispering sweet nothings in his ear.


i’m going to stop here…
i’m tired.
i obviously need some ideas on how to deal with all of this, i would love to hear your opinions. and any book recommendations would be appreciated as well.









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.





HAPPY FAMILY DAY LONG-WEEKEND!!!!

xo, mama lola

valentine’s day birthday.

today is bear’s fourth birthday.


i have travelled down memory lane several times today and have had tears rolling down my cheeks as i remember the day my sweet boy was born. that was the day that i was thrust into motherhood; the day i became ÄITI. after a long labour, my midwives finally said “reach down and grab your baby”, and i did. there he was all 8 pounds of baby already in my arms and lying so comfortably on my chest. i couldn’t take my eyes off of him. i was quickly falling in love with this precious little person.


>> fast forward four years >>
it’s kind of nice to have a birthday on a regular ol’ weekday day. this tuesday was and is like so many. in the morning bear was off to preschool, while lion and i did some grocery shopping and ran some other errands. but, then for lunch we did something EXTRA special as a family. we went out for lunch at a local sushi restaurant, which was so much fun. the kids love sushi and to be in a restaurant during the day with all of us was so special. 


i made bear a special shirt with a big 4 on it. he was quite pleased to wear out, with his bow tie of course! 



a friend sent me this, 100 ways to be kind to your child. sometimes, even during the best of times a gentle reminder of kindness is welcome.


HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!

xo, mama lola

i feel the love.

today we celebrated our sweet bear turning four. we had a small handful of friends and family over. we munched on dear hubby’s delicious homemade pizza, soup and of course birthday cake! 

last night bear started to express some anxiety about turning four and the changes that would take place. he sat in my lap, holding back a cry as he told me he didn’t want to have a party or turn four. bear was worried about his clothes not fitting him anymore, and going to a new school in the fall. oh my! such real worries, and tough for someone so little to process alone. luckily, bear was able to overcome his worries, at least for today, and enjoy his party.


so, today we celebrated. it was such a wonderful party; the kids had fun as did the adults. lion fell asleep in his mummo’s arms just after everyone arrived. 

this wee fella was a big hit with everyone. he was so quiet and sweet. i was lucky enough to hold him for a few minutes and his tiny body was such a delight in my arms. he really made my uterus ache!

our youngest guest at 9 days of age. what a delight!

the cake was designed baked by bear, with some assistance from dear hubby and the two of them decorated it together. bear decided after his third birthday that for his fourth birthday he wanted a triangle cake. all year he has been reminding us of this request and today it came to fruition. such a funny request!

what a (chapped) smile! 
today i felt the love for my boy from so many people. it is a wonderful thing to witness your child interact with his peers in a respectable, kind, and loving way. bear has some friends now. real friends. friends whom he asks about, actually remembers, and looks forward to spending time with. 

do you see the bow ties the kids are wearing? i made them for the kiddos instead of handing out loot bags. they all loved ’em! i posted a tutorial, because they are super easy to make!


G’NIGHT!

xo, mama lola

oh, fire!

ozfire turned two this weekend. he’s the youngest son of friends and we had wonderful time at his birthday party this morning. i brought my camera, but completely forgot to take any pictures of the beautiful people there. 


as i was remembering back to his birth it made me think about my life and wonder where we were two years ago in january of 2010…

  • i was about three months pregnant.
  • i had just found out about my tumour and on the morning of ozfire’s birth, i had my second appointment with my neurologist.
  • i was on tylenol 3’s for the headaches and feeling so guilty while thinking about my unborn babe, my wee lion.
  • i was being referred to a high risk OB at the big hospital out of town, but i was able to keep my midwives on for support… LUCKILY!!!
  • we were living in another city, anxiously saving money for a down payment for a house in the city we currently live in.
  • bear was almost two, still in diapers, learning to talk, napping in the afternoons and clueless about the baby who was coming to rock our world.
  • dear hubby was working at a fairly new job and things we’re going well. 
  • unbeknownst to us, it was the beginning of the most stressful year of our lives. 

all of the above pictures of bear were taken in january 2010.
today, in january 2012, two years since all of that, i am truly coming to terms with all of that. dear hubby and i have come to the realization that we were in a fair bit of denial with the tumour situation and the specifics of the scary birth which brought us our wee lion. although we felt the seriousness of each situation, only now are the finer details settling into our consciousness. i am reminding myself that my focus should not be on the details of the past, but instead on the details of the future. 
happy birthday sweet ozfire! we love you so, so much and are looking forward to more shared adventures with you. choo-choo fire! 
xoxo

xo, mama lola
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