painting easter eggs!

 

my mum is an artist. she is the most creative person i know. everything she touches turns into art; paintings, cards, pottery, even the meals she prepares has some artistic flare in it. so amazing!

she has a stunning collection of hundreds of easter eggs she has decorated over the years. my kids know their mummo has special talents and love getting artsy with her. during easter we invite good friends over to my parents house and my mum lets the kids (all 5 of them) use her various art supplies. she patiently guides the budding artsists on how to get the paint to stay on brushes, how to colour blown eggs with markers or pencils. it’s amazing seeing them in action.

 

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here are some of the beautiful eggs the kids created for easter. so lovely! my mum attaches the beads and ribbon, so the egss can be hung for decorations.

 

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here are the kids with their art teacher. look at all of those adorable smiling faces!  i feel like bursting when i look at this photo!

 

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we are of to celebrate easter with family today. it’s a beautiful day outside, the kids have made their cards and dear hubby is doing some yummy easter baking! he’s trying out a finnish recipe, which is tricky as some of the ingredients are hard to find. anyhow, more to come on that later!

 

HAPPY EASTER EVERYONE!

 

xo, mama lola

where is spring: i am losing myself.

I know much of the talk recently for so many of us has been this epic, long winter. It has been cold and snowy, and when I say cold and snowy I don’t mean your typical winter freeze! I mean exceptionally cold temperatures that have dragged on for months, topped off with exceptionally high snow fall, which has led to a winter of great efforts! Initially, we all loved the winter activities we were able to jump into so quickly but, now I think my mental health is on the edge. I am trying to hold on, but i feel myself slipping into a sadness, a lethargy and a feeling of total, blah. I’m wondering whether I should take a look on the budbuddies.ca website for anything that can help me before my mental health deteriorates further. I think there are certain strains of Cannabis on this website that are excellent at making you feel rejuvenated and beating away the blues. Obviously, I’ll do my research before taking it but I’m feeling positive about any sort of treatment that can banish this cloud hanging over my head.

My insomnia is back. Last night I was up until 2am, thinking about all sorts of things. I tip-toed downstairs, found my computer, sat down to blog a little, then I checked-out pinterest and after an hour decided to go back to bed. Recently, the pain in my neck that travels all the way down the right side of my body is back, as well. I had it last spring and it completely immobilized me for a few days. I am trying to keep my head up, but sometimes it feels as though I am fighting against my own body. My friend recently told me about some different products which might be able to help with the insomnia and the pain. She suggested I visit this website to see if they had anything that may help ease the problems. Alternatively, she said that maybe a visit to the doctor’s for some advice is a good option too.

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The kids are exhausted by the weather as well. Last year at this time, we had enjoyed many warm spring like days wearing only raincoats or sweaters, instead of still piling on our woolies, snow pants and parkas. They are completely disinterested in tobogganing or going on winter hikes or going ice skating; they want to run and play without the restrictions of snow. I get it, because SO DO I! On the weekend is was pretty cold on Sunday, but dear hubby got the kids out to play after some serious convincing, and the guys had a great time! I think their mental health is affected by this long, never ending winter as well. They are eager to get back on their scooters and bikes, fly kites and make some awesome mud pies!

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Check-out their amazing work in -10c conditions, where the snow is covered with ice making it hard, instead of compact and easy to build with. They really got serious about building their igloo; bear stayed inside organizing ice blocks that his little brother was delivering to him. The team work they demonstrated was quite touching.

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I am hoping to find some energy and motivation soon.

I want to play outside, get dirt under my fingernails and watch as the trees all come back to life. It is impossible to even think about gardening, as there are snow mountains 2-3 meters high in our front and back yards. It will take a long time for all of it to melt!

How are you coping with this winter?

What’s the weather like where you are?

Happy tuesday to you!

xo, mama lola

this moment.

as inspired by souleMama; one photo from our week, no words, only an image to sum up our time as a family. one that captures a moment in time and is a visual reminder of where we were at this time in our lives.

this moment

please feel free to leave a link to your this moment from this past week in the comments.

xo, mama lola

a weekend getaway… without the kids!

HELLO OTTAWA!

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we were invited to a family wedding in our nations capital. after lots of humming and hawing, and figuring out how to do it all without the kids in tow, we came up with a rather exciting plan! the wedding also nicely landed a week after our 7th anniversary, so it was a great excuse to celebrate US! dear hubby and i decided to fly to ottawa on porter airlines, stay in a lovely hotel in the center of the city, celebrate the beginnings of a beautiful marriage, take in a few sights, and then hop on a train to come home. it was a great trip filled with delicious foods, lots of walking and a calm that is hard to find when the kids are around.

we climbed onto our wee plane at 9:30am in toronto and landed in ottawa at 10:15am! AMAZING! i barely had time to read my book!

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we arrived at our hotel early, but luckily we were able to check in early. lucky, because the finnish men’s hockey team was stomping all over the american team and ultimately won 5-0!!!! it meant bronze for my finn’s! then we had to rush to eat, as we had a wedding to get to!

and, this was our lunch. we found this awesome deli where the “bread” part was made of scones. i had this yummy salmon scone sandwich with a salad.

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unfortunately i have no pictures of dear hubby and i looking dapper at this wedding. but, boy did we look great! dear hubby wore his gorgeous black velvet blazer, which was perfect for this winter wedding setting! i wore a sparkly grey dress, but i was warm enough because, i wore the wrap my mum made me for our winter wedding on 2007. one side of it is a beautiful green/ purple silky material, but the other is a natural white wool where my mum embroidered the leaves all sorts of trees. it is unbelievably beautiful, and i was so happy to be able to use it again!

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it was a splendid wedding! lots of laughter, great stories and piles of love! congrats sarah & mike! xo

mello’s diner was an awesome breakfast spot for the morning after from the wedding! yummy food with fast and courteous service!

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once our bellies were full we started walking through ottawa. we soaked in the sun and enjoyed the seasonally warm temperatures. we walked from ottawa, ontario to the hull area of gatineau, quebec. look at that glorious sun!

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after walking we arrived at the canadian history museaum also known as the canadian museum of civilization. i have to admit this is one of the best museums i have ever experienced. everything about it was fantastic! please, go check it out if you can!

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this is the grand hall. and, WOW is it ever grand! it is a hall will enormous totem poles that were carved by strong, creative hands. the totem poles  stand proud holding onto the stories their makers wanted to share. they are breathtaking.

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at the far end of the grand hall has a set of curvy stairs. above the stairs high on the ceiling is a stunning mural “morning star” by alex janvier. the colours, the energy and the rhythm was exhilarating. it was impossible to get a good picture of it, but trsut me when i say, it was stunning!

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canada hall is one of the permanent exhibits at the museum. it is this fabulous meandering walk through the thousands of years of history our land holds. the layout is unbelievable, as you walk from one century to another, it feels as though you are outside walking along the streets of a prairie town during the 1900’s or strolling through a 60’s airport waiting lounge littered with ashtrays and funny payphones! it is great for people of all ages and i look forward to the day i can take my boys there!

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ottawa is a wonderful city. not too big, busy or overwhelming the way many big cities are. so much history, beautiful architecture and plenty to see.

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this is our parliament building. it’s where the big wigs make, um…. mostly terrible decisions on our behalf. haha! but, it is a beautiful building with lots of history.

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and, rideau canal.

daytime.

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nighttime.

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this was the hotel we stayed in. the lord elgin. it is in the center of town walking distance to the byward market, parliament hill, rideau canal and so much more! it was built during the war in 1941 and there are so many wonderful details left from that time period.

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on the morning of our departure, we went to the byward market to load up on delicious goodies like montreal style bagels, bearvertails, coffee, and lunch for our train ride back to toronto.

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this was our lunch on the train. a couple of different deli salads and some yummy grilled veggies with rice ‘n beans.

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on the train i was feeling super anxious about seeing the kids. i have never been away from them for so long and i was missing them deeply. this three day, two night separation felt like an eternity, but i know it was something we all needed. the kids had a wonderful time with my folks, which i knew they would!

here we are arriving at union station in toronto.

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on this mini-getaway we traveled by car, ferry, plane, city bus, taxi, train and subway! oh, and let’s not forget by foot as well! with our trusted pack from our worldly adventures from way before the kids were ever even thought of, we did what we do so well together. we traveled. it may not have been to another country, another continent, or anything super adventurous, but it was a trip where we arrived at our destination hand-in-hand with big smiles on our faces eager to explore. there were no strict schedules or time constraints, no kids begging for attention or melting down from low blood sugar. although, dear hubby was hit with a cold, we still had a great time just the two of us.

HAPPY 7th ANNIVERSARY to US!

xo, mama lola

this moment.

as inspired by souleMama; one photo from our week, no words, only an image to sum up our time as a family. one that captures a moment in time and is a visual reminder of where we were at this time in our lives.

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please feel free to leave a link to your this moment from this past week in the comments.

xo, mama lola

my kids are so different.

i am coming to some big realizations about who my kids are and how i parent them.

my oldest, bear, is an anxious kid. he has struggled with his anxiety for as long as i can remember. because, he is my first borne, i didn’t realize that what he was presenting was in fact anxiety, i just thought all kids had epic meltdowns around new things. People have been recommending that I try sabaidee cbd oil for him, as it has been shown to be effective in lessening anxiety symptoms. It’s definitely something I’ll have to do more research into. My heart aches for him, for me; i wish i had known then what i know now. things could have been so much easier and less stressful for all of us. when bear was 3.5 years i sent him to morning gymnastics camp with a friend from preschool. he screamed, cried and was a mess when I dropped him off at the gymnastics training center, while his friend was eager to join the fun and learn some tricks. at another camp that same summer, his screaming was even louder and his grasp around my leg was even stronger, but still i just left him. everyone around me told me it was just separation anxiety and that it was normal. even though nobody else’s kid was having the same severe reaction to being dropped off. (and to clarify, i don’t blame anyone for saying this, it just was what everyone thought at the time : 20/20 hindsight is so clear.)

since that summer, i have stopped pushing him, and only sign him up for things that he specifically asks for.

we have tried slowly transitioning him into things, but that doesn’t always help either. or, not that it doesn’t help, but it often backfires eventually. it has gotten so bad in the past that I have found myself looking into the xanax price, but I think I will speak to a doctor about it and leave it as a last resort. it’s really hard to mother a child with anxiety, because i know people judge and blame me; especially since i am a bit of a worrier myself. i am the easy scapegoat, as all mother’s (and parents) are.

but, here’s the thing, my second borne, lion now 3.5 yrs has no sign of anxiety. he is definitely sensitive child, but when he gets nervous in new situations his behaviour is never as extreme as his brother’s. but, he is not anxious. on his first day of preschool he skipped away into his classroom with a huge smile n his face. he just started swimming lessons and happily went into the pool alone with his instructor, put his face in the water and blew bubbles. there were NO tears, no thigh clinging and no verbalization that he was scared. as i watched him this passed monday in the pool, i was overcome with relief and ridiculous amounts of pride. relief, because he was calm and willing to try something new, even though he was a bit unsure. within minutes of his lesson he was fearless, listening to instructions and clearly feeling pretty proud of himself. as he should.

i should add, that bear started Tennis Lessons the following day, and he too was brave and didn’t cry at all. but, leading up to the lessons my stomach was in knots on fear of his transitin into this new extracurricular activity.

all of this to say that as a mum to two very different kids, i have to remind myself that they will probably always respond quite differently to new things in life. they will transition into hobbies, school grades, summer camps and whatever else in their own individual ways. they will both need my love and nurturing, but clearly even at this young age they are expressing their needs differently. i must become more cognisant of their differences in our daily lives; pushing lion more and pushing bear less.

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i am still learning on how to become a good mum. i am work in progress.

what are some of your challenges in mothering/ parenting? share in the comments.

xo, mama lola

valentine’s day treats!

valentine’s day is all about sweets and treats! to get inspired for valentine’s day i looked for fun baking and treat making ideas i could get the kids to help with. some of these goodies are more time intensive than others, and some will definitely require adult super vision. i can’t wait  to show my after school girls these delights and they too will love making these treats with us!

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valentine’s day also happens to be my bear’s birthday, so i think i’ll make some of these for his party. i especially like the arrows! which one is making your mouth water?

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heart shaped rice krispy treat from the magazine

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cupids arrows from organize your stuff now

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marshmallow valentine’s day treats from the sweet life

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valentine’s day donuts from love from the oven

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valentine’s day cookie from haniela’s

valentine's day treats, XO's, cookies, red and white

hugs n’ kisses treats from delish.com

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chocolate dipped wafers from flour on my face

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chocolate cake mix cookies from sally’s baking addiction

 

so, which valentine’s day yummy-goody-treat will you make for your loved ones?

or maybe you’ll make all of them! haha! either way, ENJOY!

valentine's day, treats

 

 

xo, mama lola

nobody listens to me.

i am experiencing some mama-rage and need to vent…

so, i think my family is somehow confused, because when i speak, instead of pausing whatever it is they are doing, they walk away, talk over me, start another conversation with another member of our family, start singing, fall asleep, or just blatantly ignore me. the continued lack of listening is starting to really wear me down. i mean sure, not everything i say is interesting or funny, but maybe if i wasn’t always repeating myself a hundred million times a day, then i’d have time and the brain capacity to be hilarious, ya know? every day my kids and i go through the same motions when getting ready for school. every day the volume increases at the same points and every morning i list off the things they have to get done; brush teeth, get your boots on, get your backpack, stop fighting with you brother…

this astounds me, i mean c’mon, how is this my life?

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i am not quite the mother i always dreamed i would be. but, in my own defense, my kids aren’t quite the way i had fantasized either. in all honesty, in my pre-mothering days, i thought my kids would be better at listening to me, but to my utter dismay, i am a mama who has to raise her voice in order to see results happen around this house. and let me clarify, it’s not as though i raise my voice and say “get your outside stuff on” and then the kids do it. no, no, i have to crank the volume of my voice and hit repeat; i say the same $hit to them over and over again, until i feel like i am going to explode. it seems to only be getting wore with age… gah!!!

and, my sweet DH? well, some days he’s not any better…

please, PUH-lease tell me i am not alone in this…

xo, mama lola
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