habits: these are mine, what are yours?

 

habits. quircks.

whatever you call ’em we all have them. some of them are healthy, some not so much. some are just weird routines we get into.

i used to have some really bad ones. i was a smoker in my youth. big time.

i would wake up in the morning, light up, get dressed, then head to work. the thought of that disgusts me now and horrifies the jeepers out of me! but, eventually i was able to stop that habit and move onto other vices, like drinking lotsa coffee. i actually quit smoking just over 10 years ago! woohoo me!

 

today one of my big habits is drinking club soda. weird, right? it all started with the kitchen reno in the fall when we wouldn’t have running water for long periods of time. i’ve been great at drinking water so it was tricky for me when i was home, so one day i bought myself a case of club soda. i was never a huge fan of it before, but thought it would be a good substitute for the time being… little did i know that i would become hooked! i am still completely hooked.

i crave it, look forward to cracking a not-so cold one open and taking that first super fizzy sip!

weird, i know!

i also have other habits, like drinking coffee in the morning, but only in the morning i can’t drink any in the afternoon as i get too buzzy! i brush my teeth in a very specific order, i walk through the grocery store in a very specific way, which helps not forget anything on my list. a lot of my habits keep my day, my thoughts, my responsibilities in order. i kinda get stuck in my ways of doing things, but if it ain’t broke, why fix it right?

my kids and DH have their own habits. when DH or lion are concentrating on a task they both do this weird tongue thing! so gross! bear has gotten in the habit of licking his lips when reading out loud. it’s such a funny little thing he does, i don’t think he even notices it.

i guess that’s the thing with our wee quirks and habits; we often don’t notice that we’re doing them!

what are some of your habits?

 

xo, mama lola

minimalism challenge, are you up for it?

the new year puts a lot of pressure on everyone. a new year, new chapter, clean slate so it’s time to get all those things on your to-do list done: lose weight, change eating habits, start hitting that hot yoga studio regularly, stop yelling at your kids, go to bed on time, stop drinking caffeine, stop eating sugar… blah, blah, blah! although, most of these goals are great, but when you start them all at once it is a bit overwhelming… right?

keep it simple, winter,

 

so one day as i was wasting time on pinterest, i saw this (see pink chart below).

a super easy, fun, DO-ABLE 30 day minimalism challenge from into mind!

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um, how much do you love the minimalism, the simplicity of this challenge?

anyone can do this. ANYONE.

are you in?

 

sometimes it’s the little things in life that bring about big change… right? i am starting this challenge tomorrow january 27th, 2015. i don’t want to wait for a new month so start when i am motivated NOW. i will of course share my successes and (epic) failures as i move through the days of this challenge.

let me know if you’re going to join me!

 

 

xo, mama lola

it’s a new year! i’m a year older, and possibly wiser!

three cheers are in order for all! surviving the holidays can be tricky!

i know we end up doing a lot of driving, which does take a toll , but it’s worth it as we love to spend time with our families. after christmas we then have two birthdays to celebrate; mine on the 28th and my mother-in-laws on the 29th. it makes the season that much more hectic with visits and excitement.

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now that january has rolled in with it’s wintry temperatures we are all slowing down and needing more quiet. the kids are somewhat happy to be back at school, but i think they miss the flexibility of the mornings without time restrictions and me screeching at them to get a move on! i am enjoying getting back into a routine. once the kids are in school i hit the gym, get the house organized, prep meals, run errands and spend time crafting or doing something creative. i need time alone, in quiet as a way to recharge and organize my thoughts.

i am looking forward to a new year, of the blank slate it brings along with it. it’s nice to feel like anything is possible! 2014 and the years leading up to it were a time for big changes with the kids hitting milestones and starting school. now, i feel like finally DH and i have time and energy to focus on our own lives. perhaps be a little selfish of our own needs, in turn increasing our expectations of the kids to step it up a little at home. ya know, really get them into a routine of completing daily chores, including them as participating members of this household. i’m tired of them expecting so much of us. it’s time for them to make breakfast, make beds, get lunch bags into the kitchen after school, set the dinner table, put dirty clothes in the hamper (and not in a ball all inside out!), tidy each night before bedtime stories… well, you get the idea!

i am in need of change. of inspiration. of creativity. of peace. kinda feels like not much has changed since last year… click HERE to see where i was a year ago!

this school year i will continue to send lion only part-time, but starting next week we are sending him to a forest school one afternoon a week. i am super excited about it! the kids in the group will spend the afternoon outside regardless of the weather exploring the forest with their facilitator who happens to be a friend of mine. i think my wee lion needs some creative time with peers that isn’t all about sitting on a carpet, listening to instructions. bear is still in grade 1 and will go daily as before.

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL! i have a million photo’s to edit, but i will share them… eventually!!!

xo, mama lola

x-mas countdown!


 

this morning i was out and about when i overheard someone say “NOVEMBER 25th” and my heart almost stopped. gasp!

is it really ONLY

a month until christmas?!?!?!?!

i don’t feel as panicked about the holidays this year, but truth be told i think i’m in denial. we are still doing renovations in the kitchen (c’mon IKEA deliver our cabinets already!), which has really thrown me off my game. my days are filled with pockets of time where i paint ceilings, or folds laundry, or clean away the drywall dust that is snowing at my house! i am not quite ready in my mind, and i’d love to pull out some decorations to get us in the mood, but with all the drywall dust that is snowing at my house it’s just not realistic… YET!

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source: painted pattern

as always, i have lots of ideas of what i’d like to paint, felt, sew or craft for gifts; i have projects i’d like to create with the boys, but there really aren’t enough hours in the day, or days in a week! bah!

that being said, i am cutting myself some slack this year.

and, i’m not just saying that. i really am.

no, honestly!

i get caught up in the to do list forgetting to enjoy things more. this year i really want to enjoy things… who cares if we end up buying x-mas cards instead of making them? does that make me bad mum? i don’t think so. i am the only one who sets these impossibly high standards for myself and sometimes it’s ok to do things differently!

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get this free printable from upcycled treasures!

so, bring it on, the countdown on… here’s what my to do list looks like this week. hoping to paint tonight, tomorrow after lion’s school trip to the grocery store i will check my gift drawer for advent calender items for the kids.

to do list

 

i will leave you with this silly…

 

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print by: stacy rajab

 

hope you are feeling on the ball this season! feel free to share your tip and tricks for staying organized!

happy counting down, friends!

xo, mama lola

self care & mothering: the honest truth.

self care & MOTHERING

 

when i had wee babes i was running on empty. i was tired, depleted and exhausted for years it seems. my kids were needy the way kids are, and i remember people constantly telling me to work on my self-care to help feel re-energized. so, i tried that. i’d join the gym, change my diet, go out with friends, i even hired a baby-sitter and implemented a weekly friday-night date night with DH. but, i still felt empty and tired.

 

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now that my kids a older (4 & 6) i have 20/20 hindsight. it’s not self-care that got me through those years and it wasn’t the lack of self-care that made my days difficult to manage… it was the simple fact that i’m a mum.

children are an enormous amount of work, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

 

i look back on those years with my two babes and wonder how i ever survived. how i mothered at all while sleep deprived, with headaches, hungry, angry, all the while feeling under appreciated and invisible. i tried to do everything the right way; we were avid cloth diaperers only doing laundry in the cheap hours and never using the dryer, i exclusively breastfed, carried my babes and toddlers (sometimes both at the same time!) i cooked and baked everything from scratch, i took my kids outside in all kinds of weather and in canada that can mean lots of layers on most days! i’m not sharing this as a way to brag or seek attention, but as a way to acknowledge that no matter how a mum mother’s, no matter what the choices she makes for her family she is going to be tired. and, yes she needs self care, but there isn’t enough time or space for good self care when the kids are little. the wee people take so much that it’s impossible to recharge yourself completely or effectively. regardless of the age differences in kids, the number of kids, every mother is going to feel guilty that they are not giving enough to one or all of her children at one time or another. oh, the weight of a mother’s guilt!

 

once all of the kids are out of babyland it is easier to create better self care routines, but only because the constant need for mum’s decreases with age.  children become more self-sufficient and independent, and all of those skills no matter how small, like putting on their own shoes, doing up a zipper, brushing their own teeth or my fave, wiping their own bums… all of those seconds and minutes add up in a day to less actual hands on time.

and, by hands on i mean literally touching! babies and toddlers need to be touched A LOT, and i remember at the end of those long days when DH would finally walk in the door feeling slight relief that he was home to carry, cuddle, or change a diaper. but, if DH tried to touch me, even to rub my achy back i would run screaming from the room, because i just wanted to be left alone, untouched, on the couch or wherever in my own space! sounds absurd, but i know many of you reading this are nodding. you know what i’m talking about!

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mothering, parenting is about giving. giving, giving, giving all day to these little, adorable people who just take. all they know how to do is take. they don’t know how show gratitude or acknowledge all the energy we as parents pour into them each day. but, there is hope… i am now talking to you, mum of tiny baby with a toddler hanging at your feet… there is hope. as your kids get older they will one day say “thanks for making this udon soup for dinner, it’s my favourite”. just like that out of no where, and don’t get me wrong, sentences like that happen rarely, but my point is that they do. a school aged kid will show gratitude on their own initiative, will (sometimes) help put groceries away when you ask, will always run and give you a hug after school because they missed you and are so happy to see you. happy to see you because there has been a solid number of hours of separation, of distance and space. those hours are golden. for you and for them.

bear & lion

i want to apologize to all my friends who i have kept telling to work on self care. how completely arrogant and cocky of me! it’s so easy for me to sit here in an empty house and preach about making time for yourself, when it’s the new norm for me. it’s easy for me suggest going for walk alone or joining a book club, when the truth of the matter is mothering wee people is so bloody hard that all you mum’s really need is to be heard. to be understood and validated that, YES, feeling chronically sleep deprived is awful, depressing and scary at times. that holding one sided conversations all day every day with a baby starts to make you feel crazy. that having these beautiful people to care for is also incredibly lonely.

 

i’m sorry for being a know-it-all bitch to you.

 

i remember so well how i felt. self care, i finally understand will not take away your twitching eyes, exhausted back or feelings of utter exhaustion. self care can help you cope in the moment, but only time will truly take away those feelings of depletion. that all being said, i do still encourage mum’s to do things for themselves, ask for help and support, and let the house be a mess. get a massage or whatever, because that hour away is golden too.

 

hang in there mum with very little people. babies all eventually grow into toddlers who will in turn eventually grow into kids. they learn to walk, talk, sleep, poo in the toilet and become better at expressing their needs. mothering is always hard, but at least as the kids get older you get to sleep more!

bear & lion

kids will always need their parents, their caregivers, and as mother’s we will always need our kids.

trust me, things do shift.

xo, mama lola

family camp nee kau nis.

 

family camp, it is something that almost everyone with kids seems to participate in somewhere, sometimes during the summer months. and, this year we joined the masses deciding to join friends at the family camp they have been attending for years. camp nee kau nis is a quaker based camp, but you don’t have to be quaker to attend camp, but you do have to know the right people! (wink)

 

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we arrived to a peaceful, beautiful place nestled in the trees overlooking a lake. most people had arrived the previous day and were settling into the routine. we arrived after lunch and were greeted by my dear blogging friend dilovely who tried on a new hat this year as co-director of family camp (which she wore stunningly, by the way). and, with wide open arms was my dearest, darling friend for a million years. it felt good to arrive.

 

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this cabin below, zavitz, was our home. it was clearly a space that had hosted many visitors in it’s day. i could just imagine young campers giggling away whispering in the dark with their flashlights about the silly antics they had gotten into earlier that day, who had a crush on whom and what swimming trick they had mastered!  the cabin was huge, with four beds (two sets of bunk beds) and a double bed perfect for this mama to stretch out it!

 

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our home away from home was a sweet space with lots of room for us to spread out. it had electricity, which was handy and a tiny corner sink behind the door.

 

once we had arrived, unpacked the van some people headed down to the beach. lion was excited and eagerly changed into his bathing suit, while my bear became overwhelmed by his anxiety. new places, new people, new routines, new expectations are all so difficult for him.

 

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all of our days started with the loud banging of a GONG! yup, the kitchen staff went around to each cabin and hit a horrible gong to make sure everyone was up n’ at ’em! all of the meals were communal events held in nelson hall. as you walk into this big room you could feel the history and friendship pulsing in it, there were posters and pieces of art lining the walls, a bookshelf tucked away on a corner with all sorts of books and lotsa tables with benches.

 

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in the mornings after breakfast was meeting for worship (read more HERE). that’s when we all came together as a community of friends and were together in silence. sometimes someone would share a thought or a feeling they were experiencing, but it was time of quiet, peaceful contemplation. usually it was done outside the meeting house under big shady trees, where we could listen and watch the splendour of the natural world surrounding us. sometimes if it was rainy or cold so we gathered inside the meeting house. i loved these times of quiet with so many people. people from all over canada and even europe; people of all kinds of backgrounds, ages, interests, passions and families. sometimes the most powerful communications with ourselves or others can happen in and through silence.

 

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well, meeting for worship was about an hour, but there was no way all of the kids could sit still and quietly for that long, so the hope was to share meeting with them for 15 minutes and then they could take off to the playground and participate in the children’s programming.

 

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the volunteers who ran the kids programming were AMAZING! the crafts were super fun for all of the kids there and they ranged from wee tots to tweens! there were toys and activities for the kids to busy themselves and a very friendly vibe. even i got my craft on!

 

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bunting collage

programming included story time and yummy snacks as well.

 

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tether ball… as an adult this was terrifying to watch as the near misses were astonishing! there were also lots of bang-on hits to the head, back, legs and kids crashing into each other. but the comrodery and team work this game brought out in the kids was really fun to see. initially not everyone knew how to play, so the kids taught each other the rules and would help out the newer players. sometimes there were big size differences between teams (that’s what happens when 6 year olds play with 10 year olds!) so the kids figured out ways to make things more fair and equitable… all without any adult intervention! oh, it was fantastic!

 

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tether ball always had a captive audience.

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every afternoon there was swimming down by the beach. oh, it was wonderful! i don’t really have any pictures from there, because i was having too much fun playing with all of the kids! the  beach was small, but the water was warm and shallow enough for kids of all swimming abilities to feel comfortable, play and swim. it was awesome! my bear and lion were super confident in the water, which is such a relief.

 

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this wee miss loved the beach!

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dancer mum’s rehearsing for talent night!

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all campers are expected to help out at camp, so we’re divided into teams that rotate through several chores. here some lovelies are washing the dinner dishes and below the kids from our team were helping out with the drying. chores are a way to contribute to the community living. nobody minded doing chores… well, except my bear. he sure did complain and put up a fuss, but when it time to work he was ready!

 

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we had a cook-out one evening, where everyone ate outside and then we roasted marshmallows! it was so fun (and buggy), and someone even brought out their guitar for a sing-a-long. who doesn’t love some yellow submarine and wheels on the bus with the mallows! then the skies started to darken and word got around that a big storm was heading our way, so we ended the night early and headed back to our cabins.

 

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we had some anxious times, some homesick moments, but they were perfectly rounded-out with the new friendships and the connections we re-established with friends. we laughed and cried, we ate yummy food until our bellies were jolly thanks to the amazing kitchen staff, learned bits and pieces about about the passive traditions and beliefs the quakers hold.

 

thank you so much having us camp nee kau nis.

xo, mama lola

toronto day : MRI results!

a few weeks back i blogged about my sad MRI friday, the worry that i carry before getting my results and the general anxiety surrounding my previous tumour…  read more HERE. well, i got my result mid-july.

on july 16th i took the bus into the big city where i met my mum as soon as i got off the bus. we had some time spare before my big annual appointment at the hospital, so we decided to meander our way there. we strolled along dundas street, weaving through the crowds. on my mum’s suggestion we popped in a some of the small galleries across from the AGO. aaah, we saw some beautiful, breathtaking art. art that makes you stop and really look at the details and soak them in. my mum is an artist and listening to her analyse the art was awesome; her attention for detail, eye for colour and knowledge of art was super educational to me.

 

then we contunied walking along dundas street heading west, through china town and the construction there, up into kensington market. i took a picture of courage my love, a store i visited regularly as a youngster growing up in toronto. i used to head down there on the spadina bus!!! remember those ol’ things?! in kensington i strolled through memory lane floored that so many of the stores are still there from 20 years ago!!!

we stopped in a tiny cafe for a snack. i was a nervous wreck and couldn’t really eat.

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1:30pm was my appointment time. once a month the neurology department holds a pituitary clinic, so people with specifically pituitary issues comes for follow ups then. they also have an aneurysm clinic monthly. so n that clinic day  i looked around the waiting room and noticed that everyone is of a very specific generation, they all looked like baby-boomers. there was nobody else like me there.

at 2:30pm we were called in for my appointment. my poor mum came in with me, because i had asked he to, but i’m sure she was just as terrified as me!  we walked into a room with a large table with various people sitting around it,doctors and med students. first my endocrinologist (hormone doctor) said my blood work came in clear and normal, which was a HUGE relief. she asked a few questions about my weight and my periods, finishing that she had zero concerns! woohoo! then it was time for my neurologist to look at my MRI images which they display on a  huge screen for everyone to see. she said calmly that everything looked great, no sign of any re-growth or tumour. she asked about the kids and if i was going to have more kids. she finished the appoitnment by saying she though i looked wonderful! phew! as my mum and i walked out of the office, i threw my arm around her and did a small jig grinning hugely, with tears in my eyes, no tumour, i am healthy and good to go!

 

after that my mum and i both had more pep in our step as we headed north along bathurst to bloor street.  our shoulders had dropped and smiles were on our faces; the honest kind that come from your eyes and your heart,not just your mouth. finally at spadina and bloor we found a lovely crepe cafe with an authentic french atmosphere. we sipped real espresso and ate delicious savoury crepes.  just as we finished and were ready to head to the bata show musuem it started to pour! so we tucked under a tiny umbrella, walking arm-in-arm trying to avoid the huge growing puddles! at the museum there was an exhibit called “fashion victims” about the history of the dangers of textiles. it was a small exhibit, but wonderfully curated loaded with interesting information and detail.

 

because it was wednesday and i was in the mood to celebrate, we heded back down to dundas street via the U of T campus. the rain had stopped and the streets were packed with young people rushing around. the air was fresh. at the AGO wednesdays after 6pm are free admission, since it was only about 5pm we first had a celebratory glass of wine. the exhibit we were going to see was henry moore’s sculptures and francis bacon’s paintings. again, my mum’s knowledge of art cameflowing out as she told all about the artists and their art. the special exhibit turned out NOT to be free, but the rest of the gallery was.

 

my bus was leaving toronto at 8pm, so slowly we made our way in that direction. we had walked a wonderful loop inside the core of the city that was once my home. i felt energized after a day without the kids, relieved about my health and reconnected to my mum. as the bus rolled out of the city heading down to the highway, i felt very nostalgic; i have memories from so many intersections and corners of this city with all sorts of people.

 

but, i was ready to go.

to go home.

 

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

mothering. harder than it looks.

we’ve been experiencing some tricky parenting times. there has been so much going on in our lives recently, and those busy times have taken a toll on our family dynamics. honestly, things have turned to$hit!

 

bear has been a lot to handle. his behaviour has been out of this world difficult. our mornings and evenings have book ended our days with all sorts power struggles masked under screaming and shouting and lotsa tears (and not just his)!

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when i am tired, i can lose my temper quickly, reacting poorly to the situation at hand. heading into this busy week i made a conscious decision to stay cool, offering instead extra love in hugs and kisses and other positive reinforcements. i have focussed on the beautiful, funny, intelligent and creative choices my kids have made, instead of attacking the ugly, messy and unsafe decisions. somehow doing that is harder for me, especially when we are all tired and feeling maxed out. i realize now that sometimes it’s as though i’m waiting for my kids to screw up, instead of expecting sweet success from them. i know that is a horrible thing to admit, but i think it comes from my own habit of yimmering on about stuff that doesn’t deserve my constant attention, rather than focussing on things that do.

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so, once i incorporated extra hair tussles, tickle times and just gentle loving touches into our day, we all seem to have cooled our jets and changed our attitudes. there has been an obvious decrease in the general volume at our house, which in turn has decreased tensions and tears. dear hubby suspected a while that a lot of bear’s “acting out” comes from good ol’ fashioned sibling jealousy and i think he is right. sibling rivalry is a powerful force, often appearing at the least obvious of times.

 

i wish, as a mama to these amazing boys, that i would just always remember to give more during the most trying of times instead of pulling away. when my kids are being jerks all day every day, that is when i must shower them with kisses and pull out some great thing did in between all the jerkyness, and focus on the good.  i know to some this may seem so obvious, and as i sit here and type this, it does seem so freaking obvious, but in those dark days of chronic power struggles it is impossible to see, never mind put into action.

 

i am only human and i too make mistakes when it comes to mothering stuff. i am constantly learning and trying to remember to be stronger and turn the volume down and to just SHUT UP sometimes.

 

this is so much harder than i ever could have imagined.

 

 

xo, mama lola

moving forward from my birth stories.

spring.

 

it is the season in between the births of my winter baby and my summer baby. it is a time of newness. new grass, new leaves on trees and new attitudes for me. this spring is not any different. i’m the kinda gal that tends to dwell on things, creating holes filled with self-doubt for myself to get stuck in. i think back on passed events coming up with different scenarios of how i could have dealt with specific situations differently; what if i asked this or said that, what if i had never gone there and so on and so on. it’s a useless skill, one that i have mastered and it can actually be quite detrimental to my mental health, because sometimes, i cannot stop.

 

but, there is one area where it seems like i am moving on in. the births of my children. the births of my kids were vastly different, each experience holds it’s own regrets and what ifs, and traumas. but, with time it seems as though i am able to move on from them and perhaps stop blaming myself for everything that didn’t go as i had hoped. to read the birth stories of my bear and lion click here >>> my birth stories.

 

every action and thought has a ripple effect in this world. so much of what happens in a day is the consequence of something else, and sometimes those consequences are things you can’t change or control, but have to just accept. both of my children’s births were complicated in there own way, and so much of what was happening in those scary days and hours leading up to their arrival was out of my hands. as so many mother’s do, i felt tremendous guilt for somehow failing my boys. for ruining their entrance into this world. i felt especially heavy about my lion’s birth as there were so many serious complications and mishaps. watching your child fight to stay here, to stay alive is a terrifying ordeal, but to feel guilty for it, even though there was nothing i could have done to prevent any of the bad things from happening, what a heavy load to carry.

 

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but, today things are different. a handful of years have passed and my heart has had time to heal. i have slowly come to terms with the past, because today i have two incredible little boys in my life. these boys keep me on my toes; everything they do is with all of their being, and with so much honesty. their child-like naivete is inspiring, their continued curiosity keeps me learning, which i am so grateful for!

 

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time has not healed my wounds, but it has instead given me an opportunity to grow and recognize my role and responsibility on those birth days.

i have been guilty for feeling guilty.

 

it’s time to move on!

xo, mama lola
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