welcome spring!

welcome spring 2

i know, officially, spring started eons ago, but here in south-western ontario nothing has sprung, and we have enjoyed some very wintery days this spring. today is april 1st and i will formally welcome spring in the hopes of increased temperatures and plenty more of sunshine!

 

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found this on facebook, y’all probably saw it too!

 

i love our four seasons, but this epic winter has been unrelenting and has not loosened it’s wicked grip for any relief. i feel restless for a new beginning; i want to change our daily habits to ones where we get to unzip our coats and throw them aside while we run around. i can’t wait to eat outside, even just snacks or small bowls of ice cream in the sun.

 

the thing i LOVE about spring, is that it is the start of so many new things. it’s as though we all get a clean slate to start fresh after a long dark winter. we are gifted with new grass for playing on, with new leaves that create lovely shade at the park, with dazzling new flowers to fill our sight lines with amazing bursts of colour, and new bumbly bugs flying around doing their thing (hopefully not bugging me, haha). the winds change from arctic harshness, to warm breezes that make me run around the house opening all of our windows letting in the warm gusts of fresh air! aahhh, i am so ready spring!

 

i heard this tune on the radio on my way home from my monthly blogger brunch, and i just had to blast it as i sang my heart out! CLICK HERE >>> bedouin soundclash and sing along! it’s hard not to feel cheerful from this song!

 

so, WELCOME SPRING, INDEED!

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.

 

my insomnia is back. last night i was up until 2am, thinking and 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.

 

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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, cuz 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

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. 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 and cried and was a mess at drop-off, 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’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 swimming 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

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

a new year.

i am a little late in sharing about what this new year means to me. i’m late to the game, because i can’t actually decide what i want this new chapter to look or feel like. i’ve been really trying to think of resolutions that i should make and try to keep, but nothing really feels sincere. in years passed i have tried to really make my own needs a priority, which now that the kids are bigger is just happening. all i can say is, i want to be stronger emotionally, which as a resolution will be almost impossible to measure. does that matter?

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as humans, we are all in a steady flow of change; we are always evolving, gaining strengths, acquiring knowledge, and moving forward. knowing this helps me move on from the burdens of my past and try to maintain a flow towards more positive thinking and living. my ego and esteem have taken a heavy beating, and coming out of that is much harder than i thought it would be. i am always second guessing myself, and i find it difficult to truly like myself. self-doubt has been eating away at me for far too long.

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lucky for me, i have wonderful love in my life. i have people in my village who accept my weaknesses and do not judge me. and honestly, if they do, well, i can’t really do anything about that. i will continue to try to hold my chin up as they say and move on. i have a pretty good life, and i know this. so, i am going to try to control my anxiety, my self doubt and not let these parts of my self control my life.

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i am going to try new things even it scares me, reach further out of my comfort zone and accept who i am.

once and for all.

xo, mama lola

35.

i will be 35 on the 28th of december. happy birthday to me!

this is the first year in a while i don’t really feel like i’m getting older. turning 30 felt like a huge deal, and the birthdays proceeding that one have all had an aging quality to them. but, this year something is different. but, i’m not really sure what.

it’s been a year of great personal growth for me. i have come accept many qualities about myself rather than focusing on how to change things, i have learned to live with them. for some, i guess that kinda thing comes easily; not for me.  don’t get me wrong, there are still plenty of traits and quirks and details i would love to improve about myself, but there are some things that just are the way they are. which is ok.

in the past i have blogged a lot about focusing on myself and learning how make myself a priority. this is a skill that i have made leaps and bounds in this past year, clearly made easier as the kids get older. hard times forced me to really look at myself, how i make decisions, why i do the things i do, say the things i say and so on. i have come to understand that i have great deficits in my confidence, self-esteem and belief in my own abilities, but i trust that with time those will improve. to balance out the hard stuff, i have placed great efforts into my personal relationships. i have tried to be social and active within my community and make connections with people. i have tried to be good friend, giving more of myself to people outside my family. i am a work in progress, and some areas require more work than others.

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as i enter the second half of my thirties, i feel optimistic. the first half was filled with babies, illness, tremendous worry, sleep deprivation, anger, and enormous stress. i am hopeful that i can leave those aches and pains behind me and move on towards new, perhaps a slightly less bumpy road. i feel grateful for so much, especially after the ice storm that hit southern ontario. with so many people freezing in their homes for days (my parents included), surviving through the holidays in unexpected ways, i will continue to try not to take my life for granted. i have said it here before and i will say it again, and i will keep saying it, because taking ones family, friends, home, cars, food, running water and everything else for granted is so easy.

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i love my birthday and this year my three guys have all sorts of secrets tucked up their sleeves. my mummo shared my birthday with me, and since she has passed there is a loneliness about it. even though my grandmother and i weren’t very close, because she lived in finland while we were here, and trying to have a telephone conversation with someone losing their hearing was next to impossible!  i will remember her fondly on the 28th and share stories about her to my kids.

i am excited to turn 35 and look forward to the adventures this new age brings.

 

 

xo, mama lola

this moment : bear & lion part deux

welcome! welcome! welcome!

i have brand new, shiny home for bear & lion!

it’s been a long, confusing, uphill, bumpy, grumpy  road to get here, but it’s been so worth it.

 

welcome 2

 

i have to thank my dear hubby as he’s the geek behind this new WP site. he has spent many, many hours tweaking and customizing this new space, all the while trying to make it what i want. even though he’s a master programmer, it’s been hard. so, thanks babe!!!

i’m still learning the ropes at my new home. all the shiny bells and whistles are a little overwhelming, but with time i’ll be jingling n’ angling all the right things, i hope!

WOOHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

 

 

 

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.

just a little humour from pinterest!


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

the blah’s.

it is mostly dark and grey outside, with spurts of warm sun here and there. the temperature is dropping outside and we are down to single digit temps now. fall has wrapped it’s soggy, wet arms around us tightly and will not let go.
fall is here to stay.

this time of year is a time for transitions. we are shifting seasons up here in canada, and at home we are shifting gears. my kids are slowing down, sleeping a little longer, wanting to play inside more and i’m just waiting for the sickness to kick in. i have brought out extra sweaters and layers to help keep the chill away. we turned on the furnace, as +16c seemed a little cold as an inside temperature!

and, me? well, i too am slowing down, wanting to cozy up inside and i too am feeling lethargic. actually, i have felt tired and not quite myself for a couple of weeks now. i have started to take an iron supplement, a multi-vitamin, i exercise somewhat regularly, eat pretty well, but something is making me super exhausted. there are days where i feel like i am a narcoleptic, doing everything in my power not to pass out.
sounds funny, especially since i’m only 34 years young!
but, quite honestly, it feels unsettling.



my friends are suggesting i go see my family doctor, just to find out exactly what is going on. but, when will i find the time? between school drop-off’s, grocery runs, vacuuming at home, nap time, it’s really hard to squeeze in an appointment for me. also quite frankly, i am a little reluctant. the last time i felt crappy for a long period of time and talked to my doctor we discovered my pituitary gland tumour. now, i don’t want to sound dramatic, but i am a little nervous about what she might tell me. is it better to know, of course it is, because knowledge is empowering, but i feel like we are finally finding some kind of peace and calm at our house. i don’t want to stir the pot.
i don’t want to go looking for a problem or issue.
and, i don’t want to seem like i’m wanting attention or sickness…

maybe it’s just the fall blah’s.
yeah… it probably just is.





xo, mama lola
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