sibling rivalry and who can roar the loudest.


we are not new or immune to the tension between the boys.
as of late, our house has become a popular place for sibling squabbles and brotherly fury! bear has become verbally quite aggressive towards his little brother saying things like “you’re garbage” or “you’re the worst brother ever” or “you’re stupid”. lion understands that these verbal attacks are exactly that, attacks, and responds by pushing his hand at his brother screaming and repeating “no garbage”. (on a side note, it is shocking how many kids shows say the word stupid! have you noticed?)

it’s exhausting and so upsetting to me. i get pretty mad when i hear bear say mean things like that, and now i just resort to immediate consequences, instead of dishing out any warnings. i’ve decided i can’t tolerate that kind of intentional meanness, even if it’s expected and normal between brothers. it’s not ok. and bear knows it. so does lion, even though he’s barely 2 years old. but, it’s not just about what someone says, it’s how they say it and their body language, which i think is why lion gets so worked up.

we talk a lot about being mean around here. because, being mean is behaviour that is purposefully hurtful to someone else. bear tells me that some kids at school are mean, providing a platform to talk about the feelings surrounding meanness; those belonging to the attacker and those of the target.

about two weeks ago bear told me he felt bad that lion gets to stay home with me, while he goes to school. bear’s mean behaviour has exploded and coincided with the start of school this fall. this new boom in his meanness has led us to talk about jealousy as well. it’s a tricky conversation to have with a four year old, but one that i think i’m getting better at. since bear has verbalized feeling left out, i have tried to make a conscious effort to spend a little bit of one-on-one time with him every day. even if it’s five minutes, because i think that’s better than nothing. sometimes we just chat about life, other times we’ll work on a craft, or watch a little tv and snuggle on the couch.

dear hubby and i are on a learning curve as parents when it comes to dealing with sibling rivalry. as long as we are consistent with our expectations and with the discipline equally with both kids then i think we will be able to cope with things better. it’s tough tho, it’s survival of the fittest and each child is fighting to be seen and heard, while knocking the other guy out of the game!

it’s all about even-steven around here; note that for this post i have included the same number of photo’s of each boy, just in case they check!

most importantly for me as their mama, the key is to recognize each child as an individual with different interests, different ways of learning or achieving things, and acknowledging that they express their needs in their own unique ways. it’s so easy to lump the boys into “the kids”, while forgetting they are bear and lion.

i missed blogging yesterday, i know. i’ve been at it daily for almost two months, and although i love my time blogging, i do get tired and feel like i need time away from this space. it’s not so much a question of writer’s block, but more about laziness!

hope you had a wonderful weekend!
we sure did. lots of visiting with all sorts of family and friends!

xo, mama lola

health update!

i am often sharing about the various health issues that we are struggling with and i thought i would give a brief update on things.

let’s start with bear’s eczema.
well, it’s gone and has been for months. we had some blood work done last winter though our naturopath and discovered that he is allergic to eggs. so, we stopped eating them. we also cut out peas, barley (for the most part) and red kidney beans, which are also some of his triggers. both kids now take a probiotic daily, and bear takes cod liver oil as well. taking these helps his belly digest and absorb the things he needs more efficiently.

we are all so happy with the care our naturopath provides. we do not have to depend on hydrocortizone creams at all anymore, which is a huge relief. those creams are great, but only for short term use! bear himself is proud of his body for working so hard to get rid of the awful rash; i am so relived that he his back to his old, beautiful self and not screaming and crying from the itching pain.

and, as for me… i mentioned seeing a chiropractor a few weeks ago and i’ve been seeing her regularly for a several weeks now. my body is feeling much better, especially my neck, which we discovered to my horror has signs of whiplash. no wonder it’s been stiff and hurting for a long time! this is not the most comforatble thing to live with, but as i know that there is treatment for whiplash, this has helped put my mind at ease a little. hopefully, it won’t be too long until i start to feel 100% again.

dear hubby is the healthiest guy i know! he suffers from terrible environmental allergies in the spring time and walks around with an epi for his walnut allergy, but this guys never gets sick. well, maybe he gets one cold a year, but he never even gets a headache! his constitution is amazing!

. . . . . . .

and here’s a quick update on our door. i painted it last weekend and it looks a million time better. what do you think?
i hate the colour purple or anything that resembles that colour. i’ve been wanting to paint over the ugly aubergine colour since we bought the house, but never got around to it, until last saturday! it still needs the kick plate attached.
next on the list, to paint the bathroom door.

hope you and your family are feeling healthy.
healthy enough to get to some projects around the house?
a healthy mind and body are not to be taken for granted!

happy saturday!

xo, mama lola

we are not farmers.

when dear hubby and i were younger, like other couples, we fantasized about the life we would live one day. we spent many hours discussing the possible locations for setting down roots, listing the pro’s and con’s of various countries and cities. like many young people, we had some romantic notions about what it was like to live on a farm, in the country and away from the city. and, that’s what we thought we wanted to do. be small time, micro farmers.

as our lives moved forwards and we had a baby, those dreams changed. first we thought, maybe we could live slightly out of town, straddling the line of town and country, enjoying the perks each has to offer. but then, things changed again when we found out about my tumour and appreciated the convenience of nearby medical facilities. but, having a second child sealed the deal for us; we quickly came to terms with the fact that unfortunately for us, we are not country folk.

[ look at those majestic sunflowers with their heads hanging heavily. ]

living in the country here means you can’t walk places easily and quickly, like schools or the post office or the market. having a farm, even a small one, means it’s difficult to go away for weekend getaways and holidays, as you always need someone to tend to the animals or crops. and asking someone to feed your chickens is very different from pet-sitting your domestic feline friend!

so, we’ve made peace with knowing we will never own llamas or goats or have a large vegetable patch overflowing with fresh produce and flowers. instead, we’ve embraced small city living. When we finally came to the conclusion that city living was the best choice for us, we then had to start the process of looking for a suitable place to live. I loved the idea of being able to live in a spacious apartment, and had even found a few that I liked on SPACE STATION and found myself fantasizing about them most of the time. Unfortunately, this wasn’t on the cards for us and we needed to find a bigger place that would be able to fit all of us with ease. Luckily we managed to find something after months of looking. we have a small veggie garden that produces mediocre food, a flower garden that needs more tending to than i have time or energy for, but at least we have some greenery around us that is ours. our small city is surrounded by all sorts of farms; animal, flower, vegetable, grain of all sorts of sizes, run by all sorts of farmers. which reminds me, one of our best friends is a farmer and has just purchased an exciting new tractor. if you are looking for a new tractor, you can find some amazing options online by searching for fastline tractors for sale in your area.

so, we took advantage of our country neighbours and joined the fun on saturday for a community RURAL ROMP, organized by our local food network. we visited a little micro farm, that looked like a private residence, but once you walked into their back yard, the sights and sounds changed. there were several different kinds of chickens in different coops and lovely shetland sheep, led by tom, the ram. his horns were stunning. and what’s a farm without a dog? they had a lovely canine perfectly named, beauty. she was a gorgeous dog, but her owner told me that she does get a bit nervous around new people so we got to feed her some cbd dog treats to keep her calm and relaxed.

then we headed to another farm, slightly bigger, but still small in the grand scheme of things. they had sheep and pigs. check them out below.

we rounded out our rural romp and farm tours with a visit to a local flower farm. unfortunately, the boys lost their steam and lost their cool and we left quickly so i didn’t get an opportunity to take any pictures. but, the sight of the colourful, stunning fields of various flowers, such as gladiolas, zenia’s, and more, was unbelievable. the farmer was explaining that they are hoping to keep the flowers in the ground for another week, before harvesting them for next weekend, which here in canada, is thanksgiving. and harvesting means, picking all of the flowers by hand! what a big job! fingers crossed for her that the frost holds off.

have you ever wanted to live on a farm?

. . . . .

tomorrow is the start of a new month and the official end of NaBloPoMo, so i’m not sure if i will be blogging daily. we’ll see how inspired i feel, especially as we get involved in more autumn crafts and treats.

. . . . .


xo, mama lola

fall wreaths.

i love wreaths on front doors. here are four of my faves that i found on pinterest. aesthetically, the cob one is not the best, but i love the idea. 

things to consider:

  • the gourds are probably quite heavy on a wreath, so when using them it’s important to attach them well. 
  • think about how much traffic is going in and out of your door. it’s important the wreath does not fall or bash into your door too much.
  • how much direct weather the wreath will have to endure when choosing which kind to make or purchase. the sun, rain, wind, varying temperatures and snow can all do a number on your wreath.

our front door has a large window, so i have to be mindful not to scratch the glass with wires or other materials. it’s also a good idea to make the back of the wreath pretty, so that it is pleasing to the eye from inside as well. 

1. floral wreath from here.
2. cob wreath from here.
3. gourd wreath from here.
4. floral/ leaf wreath from here.

we’ll be making a wreath this season, and my plan is to incorporate something from each of the wreaths above. i will post pics of the final product!

happy tuesday to you!

xo, mama lola

i am fortunate.

i am feeling rather happy in this moment right now.
i often whine and complain, and bitch and vent about the kids and life on here, but today i want to do the complete opposite. i want to send out some love and gratitude to my village.

when bear was a baby, dear hubby was a full-time student and i was new mama, and we were broke. so broke, that it kinda surprises me that we even survived! my in-laws gave us a house to live in, and we managed to get some geico homeowners insurance for it, but it was not in our own city, so we moved half-an hour away. the house was big and happened to be the house dear hubby grew up in, but it was converted into a rental property for students. I can understand why people decide to invest in rental properties as people are always in need of them, especially students. I think if I was to invest in a property, I would make sure that it was a turnkey real estate as that means all you’d have to do is “turn the key” to your property as it will be ready for your residents to move into. How easy? Anyway, we lived (without the students) there for almost two years. and although i am forever grateful to my in-laws for letting us live there so cheaply, i was very unhappy there. i had no community of my own there. i left my MAMA friends and that village of support behind, in order to survive financially. sure, i drove in sometimes to see people, but that was tricky and time consuming.

this is where my g-town lovin’ started!

[ this is my baby group. we would take over a cafe on thursday mornings for much needed coffee and support! look at all the strollers! oh my! so much has changed since this picture was taken. families have moved away, siblings added, various health struggles have come to light, more tattoos have been inked, hair colours changed and some of us have formed tighter friendships within the larger group. but a group we are, and we still hold a bit of a reputation in town, which i discovered last night! lucky ladies! ]

when we bought our house and moved back to our beloved city, i worked hard to re-create and expand my village and community here. now, i have lots of mama friends who expand beyond the baby group. mama’s i’ve scooped up into my network via activities the kids have been involved in.with kids at similar ages of development, who i can turn to for support in times of need. my kids have friends to play with and we have lots of other families to do various fun things with. as a SAHM i find the adult interaction vital to my sanity, and having different people to visit and see is such an important part of our lives.
we are so fortunate to have a village to help raise our boys.
we are so fortunate to be involved in a wonderful community.
especially since bear is starting school in a few weeks, and the transition is going to be tough for this mama!

i want to send a sincere and heartfelt hug to you all.


that being said, i do want to also send a shout out to my out-of-town supports as well. you are just as important and necessary to us.
we have enough love for everyone.

xo, mama lola

monday blah’s…

i watched half of “eat, pray, love” last night. i got to where she arrives in bali. the movie isn’t horrible. it’s just kinda blah and frustrating, because (thus far) it hasn’t really gone any where. i love the concept behind it; a woman travelling the world alone, finding herself (without a man), learning new languages, meeting new people and so on. but, the movie lacks any realism. the places she visits all look squeaky clean and too perfect and the people, well, they’re perfect too and none have any dimension to them. everyone and everything is flat. it all looks like a set designer or a make-up artist just touched things up, which i’m sure they just did! but i hate seeing it so obviously in my face! i haven’t read the book, and probably won’t.

hollywood needs to back off the whole perfection ideal and let a few eye brow hairs stray or a pimple blossom into a shiny whitehead, right?

it rained today and the kids got batty. lion has been crying off and on all day. i’m guessing it’s teeth related, but listening to his over the top dramatics is exhausting. doesn’t help that bear has been antagonizing his brother as well. 
i feel grumpy.

i’m not interested in making dinner at all tonight, but we did some grocery shopping this morning and our cupboards are full of beautiful, seasonal foods, so i must create something delicious for the dudes.
corn? and burgers? green salad?


i’ll be participating in NaBloPoMo via blog her this september. it means i will be blogging daily, hopefully. the theme for the month will be “eye“, which i think will be fitting as the upcoming month is filled with new experiences for us. let’s see, we’ll be starting full time school, swimming classes for bear, new daily routines, full on toilet training for lion (he started on his own in the beginning of summer, but with our trip and such we got side tracked), and us parentals will be going forth with various projects around the house and pursuing our own hobbies. 
good times! 

xo, mama lola

(back) to school.

that is the sound of time going by too quickly! my kid is starting JK in a matter of weeks and i feel like i am not ready.

he will be getting THIS bag as his backpack from mountain equipment co-op. it’s a bit pricey;

i’m justifying it with the expectation that it will last longer than the cheap ones with various television and movie characters on them. plus, the school is strict about the size of bag and i think it fits their requirements, although it is a bit big for my lil’ bear. If I hadn’t bought this bag for him, I would have probably purchased this personalized photo backpack, not only due to their quality but because of their unique and special addition of having either his or a loved one’s face on it!

For now, though, I told him we could get some patches to decorate and personalize the bag.

we also ordered him a subscription to chirp magazine. i bought him one issue for our road trip and he loved it, and i think it’ll be a great way to make him feel big and special. who doesn’t love receiving mail?

and finally, we ordered some labels for all of his stuff for school. bear is pretty meticulous about his stuff, but he is only four after all and so easily distracted! now i just have to figure what kind of lunch bag to sew him.

this september bear is supposed to attend school full-time, but with the disastrous experience we had with the summer camps, i have decided to only send him three days a week. i think this is more reasonable and c’mon, it’s JK, which is not mandatory in the first place! his anxiety peeks during stress and separation from me, and i think come the holidays we will re-evaluate his attendance at school. maybe he will need more, maybe less.

he obviously doesn’t know yet that he will be attending fewer days than his peers and we will broach that conversation after school starts, i think. i don’t want to plant ideas in his head, i just want to answer his questions. bear has friends who are not attending daily, so it’ll make the discussion easier, i hope.

all of these transitions are so hard.

xo, mama lola


we’re home.
finally arrived yesterday just before dinner.
the last couple of days of our road trip were trying to say the least. the kids, especially bear was feeling fatigued. and i get it, so that’s why we got home slightly earlier than planned.

our two week summer roadtrip out to the maritimes was such an adventure and i am so glad we pushed through with such stamina. even when the chips were down with rough weather or fighting siblings in the back seat, we got through it! dear hubby was the coolest of us all, but that’s just the kinda guy he is and anyone who knows him won’t be surprised to hear that! two weeks of just the four of us, all day every day, was a bit demanding at times!

[ Quebec City, Quebec ]

the kids did better in some ways than i had expected, but they did throw some wicked, earth shaking tantrums when i least expected it, as well. the routine of our home life was completely dismantled on this trip, which is the nature of a roadtrip, but that left my two little boys scrambling for regularity at times. plus, throw in a time zone change of an hour and well, as many parents know, time changes can be very stressful for kids.
that being said, dear hubby and i are already planning our next trip! we will take the lessons we learned on this trip and move on new adventures. (i will actually make a detailed list of what i would change in an upcoming post.)

this was our first real holiday as a foursome and what a thrill it was to explore new parts of our vast land with my guys. it was such fun watching them help set up the tent or snuggle close every night as family. although the kids probably wont remember much of this trip. i will and so will dear hubby. for us this trip, was about being a family, being in the moment and being together. I must admit though, as much as camping was a lot of fun, I think next time we would definitely take a caravan with us instead just because it does make life a lot easier and supplies some much needed comfort when everyone just needs to unwind. I’ll be looking at Auto Finance Online to see what deals we can get on a caravan big enough for us all.

[ St. Andrew’s, Nova Scotia ]

today is sunday and we are hunkering down, getting back into the groove of things. the boys are wild with glee as they rediscover their toys and are reintroduced to books left at home. i have been super aggressive about getting our laundry done, and with five loads already washed, folded and put away i am now left with washing three sleeping bags. phew! it’s been kinda wild! dear hubby is airing out our stinky camping stuff and will tend to our tent as it so desperately needs a good soak! and, the car needs a supernclean too. we may just take it in to for a partial detailing, as there is a slight odour lingering. yuck.

[ Random beach on the Atlantic, Nova Scotia ]

i took about 1500 photo’s and feel rather overwhelmed at the thought of editing and sorting them! obviously many of them are not worth keeping or posting, but stay with me as i eventually organize the photo’s into slide shows or something.

and our house. sweet, sweet peppermint patty as we lovingly named her, stood waiting for us when we pulled in the driveay. we arrived to clean floors, cupboards and fresh sheets on the beds, all things i carefully did before our trip. and boy am i glad i did! my garden outside is a bit of a disaster, though. while we were away there was lotsa rain and the weeds have taken over, making the front look very wild and unkempt. i will have to get out there for a few hours and atleast try to tone down the jungle!

[ Peggy’s Cove, Nova Scotia ]

the list of things to do is growing, as we have busy week ahead. bubba and patty are getting married next saturday, so we are in full wedding mode now. we all have various responsibilities at the wedding and reception, so not only do we have to look fancy and clean, we have to have our ducks all lined up!

happy to be home.
happy to have watched the closing ceremonies of the london olympics.
happy to see friends tomorrow.
just happy.

xo, mama lola

sofa shopping.

we had a wee mishap at our house the other day. our couch collapsed onto the floor while three adults were sitting on it. technically our couch was a futon, dear hubby and i purchased many moons ago before we were married, while living in the big city. it was the first big ticket item we bought together and i remember what a big deal it was!
this is how we’re living now. the kids LOVE it!

we have been very reluctant to buy a nice grown-up sofa. I mean we did take a look at some modern living room furniture but we decided to wait before we make that decision. It’s a lot of money, but really, it’s finding the one we like love enough to spend about a grand on. yes, we could go with buying second hand, but i worry so much about bed bugs (which are a problem not so much in out city, but in surrounding communities). plus, because our house is full of second-hand items we love, we thought it time to grow up just a tad and buy an adult sofa. its when i make big purchases like this im glad ive got a credit card i can pay back the costs to. if you dont have one then you might find yourself unable to afford big purchases like this so be sure to look for the best credit cards no credit so you’re about to buy the things you need.

so, we headed down to IKEA (so grown-up, i know!) and sat and chatted about the sofa we want.
it’s this one…

pretty, eh?
and look at how it open up…
the chaise opens up for storage, which would be the perfect spot for extra pillows and blankets for guests.
we haven’t actually purchased the sofa yet, but we’re feeling strongly about getting it. we like the look, the feel, the size and the price all fit our needs right needs. One thing we were worried about though is getting it home, Ikea does’t offer free delivery and our car isn’t big enough, we looked at the Ikea delivery costs and it was going to cost a lot more than we wanted to pay so instead I tried to find a delivery company here and found one at less than half the cost of what Ikea was going to charge, so now the only thing holding us back is putting together the funds which hopefully won’t be too long.

There is one other sofa that i would love to buy this from our local furniture store downtown..
but, it would cost about $2000 after taxes, we’ have to change the upholstery, and the chaise is fixed and it doesn’t open up into a bed. but, this beauty is made close to home by a danish company, which are factors i really appreciate.

maybe one day. when we have some more space fill and more money to spend!

on our drive home we had to detour due to a crash. the evening was beautiful as we watched the sun slowly set.

the kids just slept….
today was the first trip lion has experienced as a forward facing passenger. we turned him around so he’d get more A/C, he loves it so, so much!

good night!

xo, mama lola

a few good men.

hydro workers (electricity) were here for a long time today. they showed up right after breakfast, stayed through our playdate, lunch, lion’s nap, bear’s first ever trip to the barber and left about six hours after arriving. there was a pole that needed to be replaced and it took a lot of workers and a lot of trucks to get the job well done.

unfortunately for our friends, the trucks blocked our drive way for most of the day, so they had to park round the corner and then way up the hill, because the trucks had not only taken over our street, but neighbouring ones as well. like i said there were a lot or people on the job.

the kids, even baby G and baby K, were thrilled with the live cherry picker action out front! (and us MAMA`s had fun making completely inappropriate jokes about the whole situation.. um poles, cherry picking etc etc… yes, we went there!)

dear hubby came home during lion’s nap and took bear to his first professional hair cut at the barber. bear has been fretting about going for days, saying he’s scared and almost crying about it, but the kid hates getting his hair cut by me and it was getting too long and hence, too hot. well, he looks all grown up with his short do and his little neck is breaking my heart. he’s feeling pretty proud of himself for going and told his dad that next time he needs a haircut he wants go back there. fine by me!! It won’t be long until he will be going to the barber shop on his own, maybe one that is like this barber shop toronto where they give their clients beer. I guess it’s one want to persuade the men in your life to get a hair cut. I’m just so glad that he wants to go back there again as it would’ve been a lot harder trying to find him a new shop to go to.

lion is a bit of a mess, yet again. he’s teething and his nose is constantly dripping snot and he has that pesky cough that disrupts his sleep. it comes deep from his lungs and sounds awful. poor kid, hope he feels better soon!

it’s a long weekend here in canada; victoria day in fact, which is named after the queen. it’s the weekend for opening cottages from their winter slumber, and a time planting flowers and veggies into the ground, as the fear of frost has officially passed. we are not heading to the cottage, but are anxiously awaiting the arrival of dear hubby’s sister and her mister, and their sweet babyM. they are moving to this side of the border for a few months and tomorrow is moving day. can’t wait to hold my new niece and catch up with my SIL and BIL.

happy friday!

xo, mama lola
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