costa rica : our family vacation

we went on an absolutely magnificent family vacation to costa rica in october.

it was a long time in the making, we had been talking about a vacation for a while, but life just seemed to get in the way. DH changed jobs several times in the last couple of years, we sold and bought a house; big things that make vacationing a little tricky!

> WARNING : this blog post contains millions of family vacation photo’s <<<

waiting before the sun had even risen for our flight at the airport.

not much to do or look at as shops and cafes were just opening up. i did enjoy a tiny cappuccino for $5! yikes!

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the view from our room! not bad at all!

looking at this scenery each day helped calm our everyday nerves, recharge our batteries and helped us really enjoy each other’s company.

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but, this october we finally hopped on a plane, flew south to the HOT and HUMID lush land of sloths and volcanoes! we stayed at a beautiful all-inclusive resort called dreams las mareas. we have never stayed at one before so we had nothing to compare the experience to, but regardless… IT WAS AMAZING!!!

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our room was big and bright, with an amazing balcony with a hot tub! we never used the tub, except to dry our wet bathing suits on it! every afternoon after spending the morning on the beach and poolside we would have a siesta during the heat of the day. and, boy-o-boy was it hot!!!

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the resort had a lovely beach on the pacific ocean.

we would head down daily after our delicious breakfast, with towels and books under our arms. at 10am bar service started and the lovely waiters would bring us all sorts of drinks to the beach!

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there were dogs at the beach. they were super social wanting to lounge with you. often they would crawl under various people’s chairs to hide from the sun and rest in the cool sand. they never barked, were threatening, begged for food… they just chilled with the tourists!

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the waves were big, strong and fun! the boys would jump into the waves for hours and hours. there were little fish all along the shallow shores and massive grey pelicans would dive-bomb into the water to catch them. it was impossible to get a picture of this, but it was wonderfully entertaining to watch.

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did i mention how beautiful and lovely our resort was!?

it was designed in a way with lots of lush greenery to create an intimate feel, separating various pools and restaurants. it was so easy to relax as we had nothing to worry about. our biggest concerns were when and where to eat!

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and the plants. the flowers. the trees. the foliage.

i couldn’t stop admiring it all. they were planted in a way to break-up sight lines, so it was easy to forget you were at a resort.

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this was one of the outdoor seafood restaurants we enjoyed for lunch. it’s hard to tell from the photo, but we were all dripping in sweat, kids included. but, it was fun to sit outside with the birds and lizards eating our yummy food. DH and i enjoyed all sorts of fancy alcoholic drinks, below i am devouring a strawberry daiquiri! 

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did i mention the beautiful fauna in costa rica?

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we went on one day trip. it was one of the funnest days we have ever had. the four of us were joined by two newly-wed couples who had just married 4 days before!!! it was so great listening their stories of their wedding days, how they had met, their future plans and so on. it gave me much clarity and reassurance on how far my sweet DH and i have come in our ten years of marriage.

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our day trip included zip lining!

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the kids were the first ones to go! lion went with a guide as he is so tiny still, but bear went on his own.

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it was super hard to take videos and pictures while ziplining! in fact i was the only one brave (stupid) enough to bring my camera and phone with me. because, i didn’t drop anything i am so glad i did!

there were 9 separate lines that whizzed along. we went over waterfall, rivers, jungle, fields with cows… it was completely unreal! i could be heard over the hills screaming with fear and excitement!

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earlier we zipped over this incredible waterfalls. we came here to swim, cool off and relax. we even walked under the falls, which was a loud, slippery but another amazing experience. even the kids ventured under there with us!

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we saw a sloth! and it moved! and it was much faster than we imagined! it was pretty high up in the tree, so getting a reasonable picture was impossible, but i took the one below for proof.

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below DH and lion can be seen relaxing in the volcanic hot spring. the water was very hot, but after ziplining it felt really good.

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after our long, adventurous day we had quiet ride back to the resort. quiet as in people slept, but the bumps were loud. they call the bumpy roads a costa rican massage! during our drive we saw lots of new infrastructure being built, things like more windmills and many improvements to the roads. the northern part of the country, where we were, is not as developed or touristy.

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thanks andre &  melanie and eric & kristy for spending the day with us and filling it with all your newly-wed love!  our new big nickle and georgia peach friends… how cute are they?

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this giant chessboard was a huge hit with our family, night n’ day!

the kids loved playing against their dad!

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on one day we decided to head up the hills to the nearest town. we were told that a local bus came by the resort. well, something got lost in the conversation between DH and a hotel employee, and the four of ended up running to try to catch the bus at the main gate of the resort. unfortunately the main gate was about a kilometer from the actual hotel, so we decided to run in the hopes to catch the bus we had missed t the hotel.

even though it was nine in the morning, it was already super hot n’ humid. 

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we ran and ran down this tiny road… that wee speck just passed the blue sign in the photo is DH, who ran ahead in the hopes to hold the bus for us. but, we still missed it. we walked back to the hotel, very disappointed and sweaty.

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after some discussion and problem solving we decided to splurge and took a taxi into town.

the road was windy and bumpy, but i was a lovely way to see the country. our driver was chatty, speaking english well telling us all sorts of things about his country. we were winding up the hills and mountains up, up, up.

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look at that view!

takes your breath away, doesn’t it?

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one of the first things we discovered while in town was a skate park! how cool?!dsc_0145 dsc_0151

the town was small. we were there to find souvenirs, which we didn’t find. but, we did buy some local coffee from the grocery store, which i have been savoring here at home.

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we found the kids these fun safari-style hats that said costa rica on them!

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back at the hotel we decided to have japanese for dinner.

we called it our family date night. first we went to the special lounge in teh main building that only privileged customers were allowed into. we’re still not quite clear how we managed to get those perks, but we did and we enjoyed them. the bartenders were hilarious showing all sorts of tricks to the kids and making fancy drinks for them.

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the chef below was learning the fancy tricks of the teppanyaki style of japanese cooking. it was pretty fun! 

oh and the sky. 

always beautiful.

always different.

always full of surprises!

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time to go.

after of week of relaxation, good food, swimming, sun and epic thunderstorms we were ready to say good-bye to the lovely people of costa rica and head home. we all missed our kitty-cats, our own beds and the cool breezes of october in ontario!

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HELLO TORONTO!

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if you have ever considered going to costa rica, GO! 

so much to see and do. a very beautiful country with lovely people.

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xo, mama lola

summah-mama burn out… i got it!


at the beginning of each summer season i have big plans on how to spend our time wisely, you know, sending kids to one day camp each for a week, visiting to the cottage, going on family camping trips, spending hours with friends laughing and enjoying uninterrupted play. i have visions of us running away from mosquitoes in the woods, jumping into the lake and swimming until our lips are blue. then enjoying time together in peace, while crafting something beautiful.

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well, we’ve done that.

a lot.

it wasn’t quite so romantic though.

 

there have been bumps along the road. we’ve all struggled in our own way.

what i struggle with is, maintaining any kind of self care for myself during our summer days. meaning, going to the gym regularly, blogging (again regularly), getting housework done (yup, again regularly) and so on, and so on. now let me clarify, doing housework isn’t a part of my daily self care routine, but getting stuff done around the house does keep my mind organized and sound! plus, if i don’t know where the wet bathing suits were left, then nobody will meaning chaos with ensue the next day!

having both kids around all day is exhausting to say the least. don’t get me wrong, we’ve had moments of fun at home but, often the boys revert back into their old bickering ways, antagonizing each other in every possible way! we went camping this passed weekend and DH said he loved our mini vacay, while i reminded him that a change in geography does not necessarily make a vacation for me. i am still with the kids, mothering, reminding, yelling, at them to stop fighting.

so now i am burnt out!

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i haven’t been to the gym in weeks, which is showing on my body, but mostly i can really feel it in my mental health. all those bad feelings come creeping back in, then the bad habits start all over again, first in very subtle ways… and then i just hate myself! it is such a terrible cycle i get caught in, even though it’s also so predictable and preventable.

i know i am not alone in this…

without wishing our summer away, i am going to keep on trucking, while trying harder to ensure that my needs are met as well. i am lucky to have a hubby who supports me in my self care, although i need to be more clear with him about what that means and how he can help specifically. 

i’ve been at this mothering thing for 7 years and i still struggle with making myself a priority!


 

p.s. more pics on my INSTAGRAM! check em out!

xo, mama lola

5 marriage saving tips!


they say that the first 7 years of a marriage are the hardest. they say that divorce rates decrease the longer a couple is married. i can only speak from my own experience, which statistically isn’t very much, as i have only been married to one man! but, we have passed the 7 year mark celebrating 8 years of marriage just a few days ago! i don’t often talk too much about my relationship with DH here on the blog as it feels quite personal, as it is OUR marriage.

it sure has been a ride with some super high highs contrasted by some super low lows… life is hard no matter what, but when you throw in little kids with their neediness and sleep deprived parents it’s hard to be happy in a marriage.

little people are exhausting, and all you folks out there living with super little people, hang in there! life does get easier once you’re sleeping more and not giving so constantly, ALL DAY, EVERY DAY!

i’ve talked before how with older kids i have more time for self care, but there’s also more time for my marriage. although, DH and i don’t do regular date nights anymore, as there really doesn’t feel to be the need, we are much more connected now than a couple of years ago. two years ago we were HERE. when i read about our life then, i remember how difficult and stressful it all felt.

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5 easy ways to save a marriage! *

1. date night: when the kids are little it’s important to date your partner, regularly. carve out time each week when the baby-sitter or nana comes to watch the kids for you. don’t just head to the grocery story store or run errands, because doing it kid-free is so easy, i know, but instead go out to dinner and talk. there’s something kinda hard about that. it forces you to look at each other, to talk to each other, to acknowledge each other. you don’t have to have deep conversations about your relationship, but it’s so nice to just touch base without being distracted by kids or other household things. communication is so important!

2. kiss n’ hug: but don’t all married people do this? um, NO! certainly not regularly and probably not enough. human beings need to be touched, it helps our mental health and receiving a kiss from your partner is very different than getting a smooch from your snotty nosed toddler! intimacy is not just sex, it is holding hands, caressing a neck or rubbing your love’s back. and, don’t wait for your spouse to start this habit… you have to initiate too! i’m not suggesting getting into a match of intense tonsil hockey every morning, but a sweet kiss is a nice way to start the day, right?

3. don’t have kids: yes, i am being sarcastic, but there is truth to this statement as well. having kids can really drive a wedge in a partnership, even a strong one. it is really hard to raise kids and give to them, and have enough to give to your partner at the end of the day. this is where that 7 years theory comes into play, i think. once you’ve been married 7 years, you’ve probably had a few kids and they are mostly not babies anymore, in school and independent enough in many ways. which, leaves time and energy and opportunity for enjoying your partner!

4. greener pastures: this one is hard, but so important! do not compare your relationship with anyone else’s. and, do not compare your partner with anyone else’s. you don’t actually know what’s going on in other relationships. people can be very private about the truth especially when it comes to their marriage. even the best of friends may not be be telling it quite how it is. marital relationships are complicated with years of love, experience and adventure built into them. people present certain sides of themselves to specific crowds, while sharing another with other people, and that’s ok. but, just cuz mr. smith is being super charming and affectionate with his mrs at a neighbourhood party, doesn’t mean he’s like that with her at home!

5. be patient: being married is hard work. and, sometimes for whatever reason you or your partner may not have the energy or capacity to work at it. and, that’s ok. loving people isn’t always easy either. people evolve with time and not always at the same rate, so giving space for your partner to grow is important. you also need to allow growth, space and time for yourself. life is hard. love is hard.

but also soooooooo good!

 

good luck with your relationship and marriage!

*please take all advice offered here with a grain of salt. i am no expert in marriage, but i am an expert in my life! haha! these are tips that worked for me, for us and i just want to share!

 

let me know if you have any great tips or advice you can add to this list!

xo, mama lola

july camping week: part 2

 

this is part two of our family camping trip from july (read part one HERE)! yes, i am late in sharing, but i have taken conscious time away from this space to vacation and enjoy summer with my family.

 

after surviving the bumps mac gregor point threw our way, we headed up to the bruce peninsula all the way to tobermory. there we were camping at a national camp ground called cyprus lake. we were excited, as we had heard wonderful things about this destination.

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remember how we had had issues with rain a few days earlier at our previous site at mac gregor point? so to combat fears, dear hubby climbed a few trees to attach the world largest tarp and try to protect the tent from flooding.

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our site surrounded by stunning tall trees. it was a large site perfect for the kids to ride their bikes around, it had a private forests all around where the kids busied themselves with all kinds of games. one thing this camp ground was strict about was keeping your site clean of foods and things that might attract wild animals. there were black bears around, and other animals like raccoons can cause real havoc to campers.

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we had fires each night, mostly for cooking things like baked potatoes and jiffy pop! but, having stories by the fire is never a bad thing either! our kids love camping, but sometimes bear struggles with finding space to be alone. he needs it to recharge his batteries.

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we hiked along a beautiful trail from our campsite to the famous grotto. the view was spectacular! it looked like we were on the mediterranean sea in greece somewhere!

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and then we woke up to rain. and, not nice summer rain that is refreshing and makes the forest smell amazing… no, no this was torrential and cold! luckily, i am married to a man who is not phased by these kinds of surprises, instead of getting upset, he just rolls into action! he backed up the van close to the tent, dragged a picnic table under the worlds largest tarp and started cooking breakfast for us as if it was any ol’morning! how awesome is he?!

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on our last day in tobemory we had to make it count after being rained out! so we took a super speedy boat ride to flower pot island. on the way there we checked out a few shipwrecks in the sparkling clear water. the boys of course thought it was all pretty darn cool!

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then we were off…. woohooo!!!! we all love being on boats and feeling the wind in our hair!

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we saw a snake quickly dash across the trail we were on.

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this was definitely a trying trip for us, mostly cause by the rain and the fact that i had strep, which meant i was tired. but, we saw lots of beautiful things and got to spend that oh-so-important quality time together as a family. being together just the four of us is necessary for us; we all yearn to be together and as the kids get older it’s going to be hard to always have that time.but, i’m hoping if we make these summer traditions now, they’ll become things we all look forward to!

 

well, here’s hoping anyhow!

hope you have been enjoying your summer! soon i’ll be sharing about our experiences at camp neekaunis, a family camp the boys and i attended. plus, some other summer adventures we’ve been fortunate enough to do!

xo, mama lola

my emotional MRI and more.

 

on friday i had an MRI done. it’s an annual one that gets done to see whether or not the pituitary gland tumour that was removed almost four years ago has returned. pituitary gland tumours are typically cancer free, as was mine, and usually quite simple to remove. my situation had a catch though, as i was pregnant with lion when my tumour was diagnosed, so i was treated at a special hospital with fancy specialists and had a nightmare c-section. all because of this dang tumour.

in the brain tumour community cancer free tumours are not described as benign. all brain tumours reek havoc on the lives of people living with them and their families.

 

my annual check-ups for my tumour always fall right around lion’s birthday, which makes this time of year especially emotional for me. this year i was trying to push away all of the scary memories and focus on all of the good that we are surrounded with. but, then on friday as my MRI time got closer, my anxiety started to increase, my throat got tight, and i felt completely alone in my memories and fears.  DH hadn’t acknowledged anything before heading to work that morning, so 45 minutes prior to my appointment i texted him an angry message “today is not a normal day for me“. and, maybe he was taking cues from me to be chill about the day,but regardless, i was hurt.

 

so, i arrived at the hospital, nervous as heck only to see DH sitting there in the waiting room. he squeezed me tightly, kissed my forehead and whispered sweet words into my ear . he left the hospital once i was checked-in as the kids were with various friends, so someone had to be available as our phones didn’t work inside the hospital.

 

i sat in a horrible vinyl chair listening to a conversation between old  friends who had randomly crossed paths there at the MRI waiting room.  they shared stories of the heartbreaking medical ailments that had brought them there. as i sat there my throat was still tight and i was fiercely fighting back tears. i was remembering my family’s own heartbreak on lion’s birth day; a day when he entered this world in terrible stress to strangers taking him and whisking him away to the NICU. i was under a general anaesthetic for his birth, because there were concerns about my tumour literally exploding and killing me if i pushed him out during a vaginal birth, or if i had an epidural for a c-section like most women.  so i was out cold. because of this DH had to wait outside the operating room for the birth, so that meant our wee baby was born alone. lion had complications and was kept in the hospital for a week. all because of that dang tumour.

 

four years ago when we got home, i had a baby, toddler and a tumour to deal with. i have never wanted others to think i was looking for pity or attention; so instead of sharing my situation and asking for support i have been very internal about most of it. after my surgery in november 2010 to remove the tumour i was back home mothering within days without the necessary recovery times. i never asked anyone for help, because i didn’t want to be seen as weak.  i was so tired, in terrible pain and overwhelmed, but i tried my best to hide all of that and just kept on trucking. part of it was  i also felt like a fraud; like our experience with my tumour wasn’t bad enough to warrant attention or support.

 

so, back to friday when all of these memories brought with them deep waves of emotions that came rushing through me as they prepped me for the MRI. my IV was placed, painfully, my contrast liquid tubes set, the mask to trap my head during the MRI was locked into place and then with a push of a button they put me into this dark terrifying tube. if you’ve never had a MRI here’s a link to what it sounds like… CLICK HERE.  i don’t suggest listening to the whole thing, but i do recommend turning up your volume and jumping ahead every so often to see the range of horrible sounds and noises that machine makes! my MRI’s last about 30 minutes. during those long  minutes in the machine on friday i cried. tears were gently streaming into my ears. i thought of my lovely boy; he exudes love and shine. he giggles easily and cares deeply for others. i thought about him when he was first born, how fragile he looked all wrapped in tubes that were attached to various beeping machines. i also thought of my bear, who in those early days of lion’s life was shuffled around from one house to another, to the hospital all in a blur of confusion and fear. he was only two-and-a–half. and, i was also thinking of my sweet DH who in those months and days was trying so desperately to hold it all together. he never showed his fear to me, always trying to put on a brave face even if i did see right through it. he had been standing outside the room where his son almost died watching the red lights flash in the hallway, listening to the alarms and then seeing the staff intubate him and rush him away. how completely terrifying. luckily today lion is healthy,vivacious and read to roll!

 

after i was done on friday, i got changed and walked to my car. drove home and didn’t want to see anyone. i sat on my couch and cried. i sobbed. my body shook as huge tears rolled down my face. i had to let it all out before the kids came home with DH. when they walked in the door they held a beautiful bouquet of flowers for me.

 

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sharing my story here is a form of therapy for me. i think of my blog as a journal where i record our favourite recipes, craft projects, summer camping trips and also some of the not-so-fun or glamorous health experiences. i hope that talking openly about my dang tumour will open the doors for other’s to share their struggles, even if they are not medical.

 

fingers crossed for wednesday! that is when i head into the big city to see my neurologist and endocrinologist toreceive the results of this emotional MRI and blood work done a few weeks ago.

 

xo, mama lola

lucky #13!

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source : loveiscomix.com

 

* luckily, 13 years ago i decided to go tree planting up in the clear cuts of northern ontario.

* luckily, i was ready to work hard, to learn new skills and live in the woods with 50 other strangers!

* luckily, i was cute and single and looking for love!

* luckily, my four person tent named hillary was a luxurious haven with lots of blankets, an air mattress and a sweet location.

* luckily, a super cute boy with twinkling blue eyes and a superb tan was there! (a tan as he had just returned from working on an organic farm in brazil).

* luckily, after a few small conversations at the breakfast buffet, our paths crossed one party night at camp and, well, the rest is history!

* and, luckily here we are today, married with kids living our lives.

 

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it’s amazing how much has changed in the years since we met, and it’s amazing how much things have stayed the same. dear hubby and i first met in a parking lot at the shoreline hotel up in thunder bay, on mother’s day in 2001. all of us tree planters were to meet at this location on our first day so we could be told how to get to our camp out in the woods of ontario. once my tent was set up, and the first few days of planting had been survived,  i eventually chated with a sweet guy who spoke in a quiet, mumbly voice. he told me not to pack banana’s into my lunch that i would take out for the day of planting, but instead eat oranges. mosquitoes you see, love LOVE bananas!!! he gave me good planting advice too, helped me improve my speed, my daily numbers and supported me through all the aches and pains tree planting threw at me!

 

we have had a great time together traveling, raising kids and just being together. of course we have had our share of stress, dysfunction and turmoil, but somehow through it all we are still here together and  holding hands. that’s gotta count for something, right?

 

(these snails were in our front yard, so i snapped their picture with my phone.  their togetherness inspired this post and reminded me of when DH and i met. sappy? yes, but that’s me!)

 

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happy thursday everyone!

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

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

welcome, november.

a view  up at the trees and the sky from my backyard.


we are shockingly now into the eleventh month of this year. 
a year filled with so much change but also sameness, a year with new habits, but with the old ones still clinging on. 
it has been a year of re-connection, of resurfacing. 

i have been feeling a little retrospective, nostalgic and sentimental as of late. last november was a particularly difficult time for me and my family (i will not get into any details). i know there are people around us who are holding their breath to see how we fare as we reach this new unremarkable, but painful anniversary.

and for anyone who might be wondering…
we are just fine. better than fine, in fact.
DH and i are splendid. just recently he brought home a lovely bouquet of fall flowers; a small token from his big, loving heart. sure, we have our ups and downs like all couples, but nothing we cannot handle.
our boys are better than splendid. they are growing and learning so much; all i want to do is push the pause button so i can drink up more of their childhood before it’s too late. 
time moves so quickly.

but, i welcome november with strong, open arms.
bring it on, i say.
i’m ready.

xo, mama lola

am i taken for granted? a mama vent.

as a stay-at-home-mum, i do a lot of stuff for other people. my days start early with thoughts of getting kids to school, what to make for dinner, how to dress my boys, remembering their vitamins and signing whatever form school sent home.

then, at school i kiss my eldest for the day and depending on if it’s monday or tuesday or wednesday or… well, you get the idea, i go grocery shopping, drop my youngest off at preschool, organize playdates, do laundry, wash floors, mend torn pants, make halloween costumes, or i think in detail what any of us may need depending on the season in regards to winter clothing, summer clothing, i book dental appointments, optometrist appointments, doctors appointments.

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and, where do i fit into all of this?
who takes care of me? who reminds me of my appointments, who asks me if i need new winter boots and then buys the for me?

there are days when i feel as though i am empty. as though i have given the last morsel of myself to my family. and, i don’t actually mind feeling empty and exhausted from giving, because i have chosen this role for myself. but, i am hurt by the lack of acknowledgement, gratitude and attention my continue efforts are rewarded. i am not asking for a parade, or gifts, but i do expect a simple thank-you, a hug or a nod in my direction. the thank-you’s and hugs are what re-charge my batteries and inspire me to do more. but, when i am continually what feels like ignored, i become filled with resentment.

clearly, i am feeling taken for granted as i write this.
i know my family isn’t hurting me on purpose. 
i know they love me with all of their hearts. they just forget to mention that they appreciate their dinners made from scratch, clean n’ fresh undies and my undivided attention.
i have not lost perspective.
i just need to vent.


thanks for listening.

xo, mama lola
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