a bad monday.

today both boys woke up with boogers ga-lore! 
that means no play dates or anything fun outside the house. i didn’t want to push their wee systems, as they obviously need a rest after our busy weekend. 

we played cars. decorated a box and made it the playdo box. the boys watched netflix. we ate. they horsed around. then as i was making dinner i seriously sliced my finger. let’s just say i found a huge chunk of nail on the cutting board and a part of my nail bed is exposed. there was blood.
it hurts to type.

that’s all i’m going to say for today. this mama has got to relax and wait for dear hubby to get home and do the dishes….

[ source ]

see you guys tomorrow. i promise to have something more interesting then.

xo, mama lola

i am content.

i feel very content right at this moment.

this weekend was one that was filled with emotion, laughter, friends and family, and sun!

i have been able to release some of the stress related to my tumour, that i guess i continue to carry. the walk on saturday, provided dear hubby and i with an opportunity to re-visit some of those emotions and talk about things. it was easier to talk, because we aren’t in the mess of things and have had a lot of time to reflect and move on. 

today i hosted my NORWEX party, which was such fun. if i invited you and you didn’t come, make sure3 you come next time. terri-ann did some amazing product presentations and not just blabbing about the stuff, but she took a fist full of vaseline and smeared it on a window and then cleaned it off in like a second. it was amazing. she also cleaned my oven without any toxic stink or much effort. it was incredible!

i have that feeling of peace and calm and contentment in my core. life feels like it’s moving the way i have yearned it to for so long. it has been too long since we’ve been able to just enjoy life, but here we are. the kids are thriving; bear’s eczema seems to be getting better and lion is turning into a chattering wee fella. dear hubby’s job is going well and keeps him busy, but not overly stressed or away from home like other jobs have in the past. 

looking forward to summer…

[ source ]

here’s hoping the upcoming week is a good one!
see ya tomorrow!
xo, mama lola

i am a brain tumour survivor.

it is really hard for me to admit that. that i am a brain tumour survivor. 

today was the brain tumour foundation of canada‘s walk/ run in our town. it was an incredibly emotional morning for me, as i met other survivors and people living with various brain tumours. the event was lovely and had such a relaxed mood, that the down side of the reason we had all come together was easy to forget.

[ cheerleaders providing entertainment! ]

i am realizing that my tumour didn’t have to be so scary, but because i was pregnant with lion, my situation was made that much worse. because we had to wait to remove the tumour until after lion’s birth, it provided it time to grow bigger and cause lots more terrible headaches, which consequently meant i was popping more prescription pain medication, which in turn meant i felt tremendous guilt and fear.

if only my tumour had made itself known before or after my pregnancy with lion, i don’t think i would get so emotional about it all. 

in case you are new to my blog, for a birth stories go here. but what happened was, lion was born via scheduled c-section and i was under a general anesthetic, so i was not awake for his birth and dear hubby had to wait outside the operating room. they were supposed to put me under and cut me open, so that lion wouldn’t get much of the anesthesia, but they screwed up. i was under for almost 20 minutes before lion was born, because the placenta was right at the incision site, which they were not expecting and i lost a lot of blood. lion lost all vitals at birth and was rushed off to be resuscitated, while i lay there completely out of it and dear hubby stood outside. then, a red emergency light turned on and an alarm went off outside the door to my operating room and that’s how dear hubby knew something awful had happened.

after five days at the specialty, fancy hospital lion was transferred to our local hospital, where he stayed another few nights before coming home. 

i couldn’t have a vaginal birth, because they thought the pressure of pushing the baby out could cause my tumour to explode. and, i had to be put under, because the epidural (which is the norm for a c-section) is placed into your spine, the specialists were concerned that too might cause the pressure to change in my head causing the tumour to explode and kill me instantly. 

and here we are today, healthy and happy. 
many brain tumour patients are in fact dealing with cancer and i feel like a bit of a fraud with non-malignant macro adenoma. but still, i am so grateful i have found this group of brain tumour survivors and will start attending their support groups monthly. i wish so much, that i had been aware of their existence back when we were dealing with the tumour stuff daily. perhaps, my story can of help to someone else, maybe even another pregnant mama.

[ there were only 16 of us in blue. blue shirts meant we had survived or were living with a brain tumour.]

if you would like to make a donation click here click here, the deadline is july 31, 2012.

i will leave you with this to think about…
“in canada 27 people receive a brain tumour diagnosis a day.”

[ we, survivors walked together before joining our friends and families for the main portion. i cried and cried, as i was held by other survivors. i realized for the first time ever that i was not alone. we were all handed roses.]

xo, mama lola

fundraising for a vacation.

i have decided to do some spring cleaning in the basement and am purging, purging, purging! we are over flowing with kids clothes, toys that the kids have out grown and stuff that has been stashed downstairs for too long. i decided i could use this as a way to start making some extra money, so i took to LeoList and have placed lots of kids items up for sale. after i sold a few pieces, i decided to keep the money in a jar and put those dollars towards our family vacation this year. i’m not getting as many hits as i would have hoped; my one friend keeps answering the ads, but i don’t think she realizes it’s me until i respond back to her! so funny!

here’s a family picture of us from dear hubby’s birthday, last sunday.

i’ve taken a bit of a break from here. dear hubby and lion have been sick, and lion has been teething and we had a busy weekend and now this week i all of a sudden have a million things to do. that’s life i guess! i’ll be back later this week with details of may’s NaBloPoMo.

xo, mama lola

spring cleaning: my insides!

i start a liver cleanse in a matter of hours. it’s going to be a tough 14 days, let me tell ya!  i gave up my most special vice, coffee, last week in preparation for this cleanse. i have no shame in admitting that i love a good cuppa coffee first thing in the morning and will hold on to it as my vice for the rest of my life.  i have some last minute cleanse shopping to do for myself tonight. luckily, the lovely expert who has developed this particular cleanse has also included a meal plan and a grocery shopping list, so getting ingredients will be easy.

i am already a grump, though. no coffee makes me super cranky, which i didn’t know! i wonder what will happen after i cut our dairy, breads, fruits… oh, boy! look out family!

but, i think i really need to get my body balanced inside. i had strep throat five times this winter and the amount of antibiotics i consumed is ridiculous and kind of gross. plus, with all the surgeries and T3’s i was popping while pregnant with lion, i think is still just stuck in my organs jamming things up. i good liver cleanse is exactly what my body needs and deserves.
had a frolick through the woods with good friends today. kids loved it, so did us mama’s!

for tonight’s dinner i tried something new, rice paper wraps with veggies. 

i took one tomato, one perfect avocado, asparagus, green onions and some left over green pepper, chopped them up stirred them around in my cast iron pan until warm.
then, i placed the veggies on the softened rice paper with a piece of seaweed and sprinkled some sesame seeds for good measure.

they were easy to make, but a bit time consuming and the texture wasn’t the kids’ favourite, but dear hubby and i loved them. i will definitely be making these again, since i can’t use wonton wraps anymore due to bear’s egg intolerance. we also had some quinoa-chick pea salad and sweet potato fries! yum!

ok, time to shower and binge on some fantastic treat once dear hubby gets back from the store!
i am so scared of this cleanse and worry that i will not have the discipline to follow it, although at the same time i feel like it’s exactly what i need.
wish me luck!

xo, mama lola

anniversaries: some are harder than others.

anniversaries are tricky events. many anniversaries are occasions for remembering and celebrating achievements, family, love or whatever. dear hubby and i don’t really celebrate our wedding anniversary. not because it’s not special, but because february usually becomes about bear and his birthday. the two events are three days apart. 

on our first wedding anniversary, when bear was three days old we were quarantined in the emergency department at the local hospital, because i developed a raging fever and on the advice of my midwives went to the hospital. dear hubby and bear had to join me, because i was nursing like every half hour or whatever. not the most romantic of anniversaries. in fact it was very stressful and i was quite down about the whole ordeal.

lilac out front budding. soon to be blooming. can’t wait!

some anniversaries are even harder.
it’s been just over a year since we put our sweet, squirrel loving roo down. his death is something that gets discussed a lot around here. bear will tell me he misses roo, just randomly when he sees other dogs. it shatters me when i hear him say stuff like that. i too have a huge hole in my heart for roo. i miss him so much, even though he was such a pain sometimes.
he barked and jumped around every where; hunted and killed squirrels; was very anxious in certain situations, but man, that dog loved us. i mean, he LOVED us. he was always looking out for bear and then lion when he was wee. 

he had had a rough life. moved from home to home to home to home. he just wanted to be loved. and we did just that. 
we loved him. boy, did we ever LOVE him. 
still do. so much. 

on a happier note, this blog, my BEAR & LION will be celebrating a year of online success tomorrow!! i’m not sure how success is measured in the cyber-blog world, but i have acquired a following of faithful readers from all around the world, some who read out of obligation perhaps, others out of curiosity. i actually don’t care why people come by and read, i just love that you do. 
my first entry was just a photograph, as i was too scared to write anything, in fear of judgement. now look at me, spilling my beans regularly!

i have found writing on my blog to be quite therapeutic in many ways. i started writing right after we put roo down, right after dear hubby lost his job and four months after my tumour was removed. it’s been a wonderful place for me to vent about some of life’s tough moments and share in some of the joys. i am grateful for my life, but it sure is harder than i ever could have imagined. and quite frankly, other people have it harder, much harder than me and i want to make sure i acknowledge that, but that does not take away from my hardships. i guess it’s like comparing apples and oranges; everyone’s life is hard to them and that’s what needs to be legitimized. 
we’ve come a long way, baby!

anyhow, thanks for reading, please stick with me and my family to see what the future holds. as we all know far too well, we really have no idea what tomorrow may bring. that’s the point in life i guess.


xo, mama lola

coffee drip.

Nothing beats a fresh cup of coffee. My friends know I’m a bit of a coffee addict and can’t start my day properly without a good cuppa java. One of them recently told me that the espresso grinders at Helix Coffee are all solid choices
but I’m not looking for a new coffee machine at the minute. There’s not much purpose considering how I choose to take my coffee. To be honest, I drink it like a teenager, with plenty milk and sugar, and i’m not too picky what from – though a Mugs Photo Personnalisés, or custom photo mug, is always a great option! In any case, I am currently on the road to decrease my caffeine intake and the amount of sugar I put in. I hear, coffee tastes great black, but I’m not quite ready for that yet!

For christmas my sister-in-law got me a lovely grinder and yummy beans to go with it. the taste difference between freshly ground and already ground beans, is always such a wonderful surprise on the palette! It was such a thoughtful gift, I am going to get one to give to a friend of mine for her birthday next month. At first, I was not sure where to look for a coffee grinder, but after reading some reviews here, I feel a bit more confident that I know what I need!

Looks like it’s going to be a lovely warm day here today. With my morning coffee drunk and play-doh cleaned up, I think it’s time to get dressed and head to the park.


xo, mama lola

game on.

NaBloPoMo: I’m in!

Via the blogger world, I have taken on a blogging challenge. To write an entry daily, with a specific theme. The theme for March is Weather. It’s day one and it feels easy, but with thirty more entries to type out, I think I may need some encouragement, love and ideas!

Wish me luck. Keep reading! If any fellow bloggers out there are able to advise me on the best affiliate programs too then I would be extremely grateful! I’m also hoping to raise the income I generate from my blog and feel this is the best way to achieve this goal!


So as I was reading the blogher site for “blogspiration” (blogging inspiration), I stumbled upon this challenge of writing an entry each day of the month. obviously, there was some serious thinking as to whether or not to take on this challenge. Blogging daily is a lot of work. But I figured, with the help and encouragement of services like hostiserver, I can totally do this.

first, you have to have something to write about. second, you have to edit photographs. well, not all bloggers have photos, but I like sharing our life with pictures of our shenanigans. sometimes it’s easier to tell a story with a picture. But, photo editing takes a long time and I don’t even do very much, but with all the different programs and websites that I use, it takes a long time. It’s the price to pay to get more instagram followers isn’t it?

But, here I am. GAME ON! I am up for a challenge, and it feels like my blog needs a little kick in the butt. My readership has actually not dropped, the way I feared when I stopped using facebook as a place to notify of new entries. My readership continues to expand. Slowly. Hopefully this daily blogging effort will inspire more comments. I am so curious to hear what you, YOU, my dear readers have to say in response to my rants or raves.


xo, mama lola

duck in rain.

there are days when i feel raw.
raw and vulnerable to the world. to its people, judgements, and words.

today, someone close to me said things that were hurtful. this person made judgements about me and how i mother. i was deeply pained by the comments and now in hindsight wish so desperately i could have returned with some hefty comebacks. instead, i stuttered something pathetic and felt doubt creep into my mind about how i mother.

i must be stronger and stand like a duck in rain, allowing the negative comments roll off of my back and shatter on to the floor into millions of insignificant pieces.

[ sad eyed lion ]

i will end on a lighter note…

to help clear my mood i stumbled upon this, while checking facebook. artist simon beck walked and created these awe inspiring geometric shapes into snow. follow the link to find more pictures.

happy saturday night, folks!

xo, mama lola

welcome to my pity party.

it’s been a terrible year for health for the kids, but me in particular. the kids were sick the past two weeks with colds that are still clinging on with pesky coughs at night. i got strep (again!) about two weeks ago and did a round of antibiotics and then a few days after they were done got hit by the strep pain once more. this time my doctor is wondering if something else is going on so i had some blood work done on friday. let’s just say she mentioned mono…augh!

[the sickness allowed us to order in some food, like this yummy sushi!]
i had a bit of a pity party for myself on friday. feeling sorry for myself for having received a strep diagnosis for the fourth time since november; worrying that i would have to miss bear’s 4th birthday party next sunday; and just feeling pathetic that at 33 years of age it seems i am always sick, when i so feel like i deserve a break. ya know? it doesn’t help that dear hubby is never sick, even though he is a poster boy for computer geek unhealthiness!

my new year’s resolution is “clear eyes, strong hearts, can’t lose” (from friday night lights), but it feels like that’s not a goal worth working towards. even with the best of intentions things are looking bleak. i started journaling what i eat and was going to send it for analysis to a friendly expert in women’s health. now, even that kinda seems pointless…. it seems as though i am doomed to forever be unwell.

[finnish camping mugs]

but really, can i actually live my life thinking that, can i? i’m typically looking for the positive in things, even in the darkest of days, so why am i feeling so defeated now? i think it’s partly, because i feel like i deserve a break in life. and i guess this string of strep is a sign that life does not work that way. and being sick a lot tends to beat down on one’s optimism after a while. i will finish up journaling for my friendly expert and send the embarrassing details off in hopes she can guide me. i will also continue going to the Y when feeling healthy enough. 

i will try my darnedest not feel sorry for myself, but will hold my chin up and keep moving.

xo, mama lola
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