goodnight moon.

“Goodnight room. Goodnight moon. Goodnight cow jumping over the moon. Goodnight light, and the red balloon…”

goodnight moon” is one of the favourite bedtime books at our house. i love the slow rhythm of the book and the simplicity of the lines. i love the illustrations and the details in them.

our bedtime routine has been the same for years now. dear hubby and bear were solid in the evening routine and when lion was born, he jumped into the rituals as well. first there’s a bath, then iltapala (bedtime snack), then hugs and kisses for me and upstairs for teeth brushing. the boys each choose a couple of books and the the guys all snuggle on the bottom bunk for stories. 

bear crawls up to his top bunk where lion joins him for brotherly hugs and kisses and then it’s lights out. lion needs someone to stay with until he is asleep. being in the bottom bunk makes it tempting for our littlest one to get up. 

dear hubby and i have gotten back to the habit of reading in bed before sleeping, which i find is the most relaxing thing to do. i have a tall pile of books on my night stand of books i want to read. they include parenting books, novels and one autobiography. 
what’s your evening routine like?

goodnight. sweet dreams.
hyvää yötä. kauniita unia.

xo, mama lola

hear lion roaring.

lion has arrived. ROAR! 
2012 is going to be his year to shine, roar and get noticed. being second born is tough work, with big shoes to fill and high expectations to meet, but i can already see that glint of attention seeking talent in his eyes. i can’t wait to watch him!
he’s bursting with growth right now. he is finally out of 9 month clothes and pretty much in 12-18 month stuff exclusively, which is a big deal as he is 18 months old. he’s always been teeny, but this past week he’s put the rest of us in our places by eating more than anyone and sleeping two naps a day: GROWTH SPURT anyone?! 

lion has always been determined to be like his big brother, but since the holidays he’s actually been requested to participate in games and even given responsibilities. it breaks my heart that my littlest guy is growing up so quickly. to be honest, i actually think i’m in a bit of denial about it. for some reason in my mind he is a baby, who is only one or so and not capable of much, but in reality he will be a toddling two year old this july, who is so capable of doing so much. his comprehension shocks me daily, as he responds to my words or recognizes and initiates daily habits we motion through during the day. things like getting his boots from the shoe rack or getting his toque and putting it on. or pointing enthusiastically to his toothbrush when we’re all huddled in the bathroom. or helping set the table for dinner and then running to his chair when dinner is about to be served. 

we went to the park the other day. lion swung, had a snack and then fell asleep in my arms. when it was time to go home he wasn’t ready to wake-up so i lay him on our stuff in the wagon. he slept the entire way home, even though the wagon was bumping around on the sidewalk! so sweet! later that afternoon he had a second nap in his cozy bed.

when bear was this age, i was already pregnant with lion. that realiz
ation blows me away, as back then i saw bear as a big kid not a baby like i see lion. i suppose i am not the only one who has done this. it’s hard not to compare your kids, especially when they are close in age and the same sex. 

how do you feel about your kids growing up?

xo, mama lola


wishing everyone a happy holidays!
we are in the midst of our christmas celebrations. last night with my folks, tonight at home, tomorrow with dear hubby’s family. so far santa has been very impressed with the kids and they have received lots of wonderful new toys and books and things!

here are a few pictures from our jouluaatto with my parents. it is tradition in finland to celebrate x-mas on the 24th, so we always enjoy a beautiful meal prepared by my mom. after dinner santa comes and while i was growing up he actually came into our living room and i would sing or dance for him. he then passed out our gifts. for our boys, we always seem to just miss joulupukki, he knocks on the door or window, but by the time we get there he’s gone. luckily however, he has left gifts under the tree for us!

tonight we are all heading to bed early, so that we can celebrate lots tomorrow!

xo, mama lola

holiday magic.

i am a real fan of christmas. i have such lovely memories from my own childhood of holidays spent with my family back in finland. my mom would cook an amazing dinner for us to enjoy on christmas eve. we never had turkey, like they serve here, but instead we had a multiple course meal which included glazed ham, fresh fish, possibly some smoked reindeer meat, various vegetables cooked in a variety of ways and of course ample desserts and treats to be nibbled on.  as an adult today, i recognize the efforts she made each year trying to create some holiday magic at our house. and not just with food either; my mom was into making our own decorations and collecting natural treasures, and still is. (*note: i was speaking with a friend who fondly remembers last year’s holiday magic at my parents’ house, so it’s not just me).

joulutonttu, or the christmas elf left some chocolates for the kids in the advent calendar. it was messy and joyful. bear waited years before we gave him chocolate, lion is so lucky to be the second born!

i want my kids to feel the magic of the holidays too. it’s hard though, because my kids are still particularly little and their enthusiasm is very limited. but, still i plough on forward.

today bear and i made these cookies.

i’ve always been terrified of the ready-made doughs you can buy at the grocery store, but when i saw this recipe and saw how cute the cookies were i made an executive decision to ignore my fears and bake on. the simplicity and ease was shocking, but the chemicals still kinda freak me out. that being said, i think we created some holiday magic with this easy baking recipe, no clean up, all around hassle free.

this is the original recipe via pillsbury.
all you need is the cookie dough, they recommend the gingerbread one, but my local store didn’t have any so we used the albino sugar cookie stuff instead. various candies depending on the look you’re going for. we used various M&M colours for eyes and noses etc. the original recipe calls for chocolate chips for eyes, but we like colour in our cookies! also, make sure you get small pretzels. bear was so pleased in the end!

tomorrow i’m taking the kids to see the muppets! can’t wait!
i feel nostalgic already!

xo, mama lola
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