road trip quickie #2

i have another window of time, one where i have been given treehouse to keep the kids still and quiet, and free wifi for me to quickly whip up a blog post.

our trip has been pretty amazing. i am feeling very fortunate to have this opportunity to experience this country with my family, driving from community to community. we have witnessed so many beautiful views, met the loveliest people and eaten some of the yummiest sea food ever. the kids have fared well, considering the aggressive schedule we have taken on. don’t get me wrong, we have had our share of meltdowns (adults included), but overall, we are doing well. but, a little tv in a cheap motel is fun and i can’t help but love the peace it brings.

a few more pics from our trip…

from the top, louisburg fortress in cape breton, nova scotia, and lunch in charlottetown, PEI.

now it’s time to go explore halifax, even though it’s super foggy and rainy.

xo, mama lola

road trip quickie!

on the road.

it’s hard work, but worth it in the end.
by tomorrow we will have slept in four provinces, in three different motels and two campgrounds, changed time zones, sailed in a (mock) pirate ship during a rain storm, climbed several cannons in various different cities, swam in freezing sea water, collected shells, inspected caterpillars, experienced the tide that is fundy, driven a 12km long bridge, eaten lobster chowder that almost brought tears to my eyes (that’s how good it was) and driven well over a 1000 kilometres! and it hasn’t even been a week!

just had a beautiful shower in our motel in PEI. our tent is now drying in the bathroom, as are our tarps. we woke up to rain and had to take things down pretty quickly. fun though! granola breakfast in the car! kids loved it!

i am too tired to upload more pics and the internet is quite slow here for some reason.
tomorrow we drive in the morning and hit the beach. then ice cream and a seafood dinner; and yes, in that order!

we’ve experienced hot n’ dry, and wet n’ cold!

xo, mama lola

simple and fun road trip activities for kids!

here are some of the funny and crafty activities i made or purchased for the boys for our upcoming road trip out east to the maritimes. the ideas are universal and not at all unique, but as usual i was inspired by pinterest. here’s a pretty extravagant activity board by one mama, which is beautiful, but way too elaborate for me. so i toned things down A LOT and made these two different activity boards.

felt peeps n’ animals on a felt board
i took a piece of cardboard and just started hot glue-gunning the felt on. i cut the green into a hilly landscape and the blues into skies. i tried to be meticulous when gluing so that the kids wouldn’t find a corner or loose felt to start picking at. i found some felt people from a thrift store, so i made them some summer clothes. 

then i headed to micheal’s and found a ready-made felt board for only $4 (regularly $14-$20), so i bought one themed “under the sea”. cute, eh?

magnets & magnet board
i went to the dollar store and bought two small cookie sheets. then i bought a sheet magnet, fancy stickers and then headed home. 

dear hubby and i spent a couple episodes of “mad about you” sticking the stickers onto the magnet sheet and then carefully cutting them out. 

we also glued some wee dino’s onto the magnet sheets to make some 3D magnets as well. i think they turned out really well!!! RRrrroarrRR!

dollar $tore junk
i am not a huge supporter of dollar store junk, but i have to admit for this road trip that place was kind of a toy haven. i don’t want to pack precious sentimental toys, in case they get lost or destroyed on the trip, so i stocked up on funny, cheap crap instead. the kids are going to be so thrilled; anything new is always fun for a bit. i also bought some glow wands, which will be exciting at bedtime when it’s dark.

i did also purchase some more wholesome activity books to round out the junk. i chose two kumon books for bear and some simple colour/ stickering books for lion. they both love their activity books, and bear especially will be kept busy by them for long periods of time.

now, it’s time to go pack some more!

have you made any fun travel activities for your kids?

xo, mama lola

time won’t give you time.

i am feeling a time crunch.
from a lot of sources.

we leave for our much anticipated family vacation in a handful of days and there are still things that need to happen before hand. things like, booking a possiblecamp site on cape breton in nova scotia, getting the car lightly cleaned on the inside, deciding if we need camping chairs, cancelling our mail delivery for the time we are gone, cancelling the newspaper delivery, laundry and so on and so on. aaahhhh!!!

when we return from our trip, we have a handful of days to prepare for the much anticipated wedding of bubba and patty. i am  co-MC and hopefully my partner and i can get some ideas going before our trip. i also have some sewing to do; i am making bowties for the boys, but i am waiting for the fabric which i was supposed to get at the beginning of july and still have not received it. yikes! luckily bowties don’t take long. i also have to make a pillow for the boys to carry down the aisle at the ceremony as they are the ring bearer’s. 

i also have some blogging i would like to get done before we leave. bear has been attending a summer camp and well, the drop off’s have been really difficult.

we had a fantastic cottage weekend with our dear friends. there were nine of us, and all the meal planning and event planning us mama’s did before hand worked out so well. everyone was happy and fed (for the most part) and we had an awesome time.

we visited a small amusement park called santa’s village where the kids were given silly elf hats upon entry.

we played hard, riding all sorts of fun rides, had lunch and then basically left. bear started to head down melt down road, so we decided to boot it back to the cottage for some relaxation, swimming and a beautiful, colourful dinner. 

the kids, all the kids were really into the water this summer. well, not lion really as he had a bit of a teething fever and was a bit dopey. but the three oldest kids were really working on their swimming. wearing life jackets or hanging around dad’s neck really boosted the kids’ confidence.

the cottage is such a wonderful place and we love going there with friends. not sure when we will get up there again. hopefully in september.

time to go make some games for the kids for the road trip. making some exciting magnet boards, felt boards and other fun stuff. i will post about those tomorrow!

xo, mama lola

camping. camping. camping.

we went on an overnight mini camping extravaganza vacation with friends this past weekend. it was one night of laughs, booze, camp food and lotsa fun!

because our area of canada is experiencing an unusually dry and hot summer, there was a fire ban at the grounds. there have been lots of forest fires, so i completely understand the ban, but i will admit i was slightly saddened. what’s camping without a fire?
It’s ultimately my own fault as I should of done more research into the camp ground. Lesson learnt. In future, I’ll definitely be reading up on how to find the perfect campground for your RV. No longer am I taking our RV and just randomly choosing a camp site in the hope it has everything we need.

we had meal planned our dinner to be cooked with the fire, but luckily a couple of weeks before we decided to purchase a stove top. After reading lots of camping products reviews, we have spent quite a bit of money upgrading our camping gear! So… we did it all stove top instead and it all worked out fine. our to be fire roasted potatoes, became stove top taters instead and were yummy as heck! We recently bought a new RV Battery which meant we could cook all this wonderful food. It saved the day!

[ new potatoes, garlic cloves cut in half, generous chunks of butter, cut yellow onion and a generous sprinkle of sea salt. i had wrapped them all in lots of foil as we had hoped to cook them in the fire. this is how we do taters at the cottage on the BBQ! ]

there were six kids and six adults so it all balanced out. the kids played in the woods where we set up dear hubby’s beloved brazillian hammock and as dusk settled in the kids explored everything with their flashlights. it was so funny and cute and hilarious to listen to their excitement. the little ones had a harder time getting to sleep. dear hubby walked around the campground with lion on his back, which worked out well. however, we got off to sleep absolutely fine in our RV as we have comfy beds and even an amazing skylight to which we can see all the stars glistening from. last year when we went camping our skylight was damaged a little from being so old, but luckily we had a dome skylight replacement to fix it on the spot so we didn’t have to panic about not having a view of the stars!

once the kids were finally asleep the real party started, and the booze came out in generous pours and were slurped in generous gulps. it was a perfect summer night for sitting around our pretend fire, where the chatter and drinks flowed and then as the night progressed the laughs became slightly louder and longer.
good times.

morning dawn brought with it a few rain drops that luckily didn’t amount to anything. it brought with it super hungry kids who had to have some fast granola and fruit to rid them of the morning grumps! just look the differences in the two pics of the kids… before granola and then after!

and then after some team work we all ate fantastic breakfast burrito’s and sipped on the best coffee ever! food tastes to great at camping, even if it car camping!
so yummy!

lots of summer love to our friends. we had a blast and can’t wait for next summer’s camping trip!
today is monday and incredibly hot. tomorrow they are predicting +36c, which midas well be the boiling point. we will hunker down inside with craft projects and friends and ice cream!

what’s the weather like where you are?

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

summer vacations can bring on stress, for bear!

about a year ago, almost to the day, dear hubby lost his job. it was a shocking blow, which shook the ground we were standing on, but we both decided it meant bigger and better things were coming. unfortunately, it also meant we had to cancel our family road trip out to the east coast with friends. we were literally hours from sending a deposit for a cottage we were going share on the eastern shores of canada. Our friends suggested that we use apartments from somewhere similar to DelSuites apartments during our stay but we had already decided on the cottage.

[ bear five months after his first swim at the cottage. ]

well, lucky for us we are back on the planning wagon and looking forward to heading out east to the maritimes this summer. we won’t be going with our friends, unfortunately. They have been looking to search holiday homes all over the world and see if they can explore abroad, which is fair. i’ve been told that they are even looking to hire a private air charter service as part of their travel arrangements, i wish them all the best on their exciting and luxurious adventures and wish we could have been joining them! i am looking forward to camping next to the ocean and listening to the waves; i am excited to go whale watching with my guys and feel the excitement of seeing those majestic mammals in real life again. i always thought that going whale watching was going to be something i would never be able to tick off my bucket list, but i can’t wait to actually experience it. if this is something you’ve wanted to do for a long time, a quick google search into something like whale watching california (if you’re looking to go here) could help you plan a trip of a lifetime and make memories with the family.

i am eager to see more of this grand country that i have lived in for over 20 years, and i am grateful i can share these adventures with my kids and dear hubby.

[ lion two weeks old here. his second trip to the beach. ]

but, when i mentioned our summer plans to bear at dinner the other night, his throat closed immediately and his chin went skrintchy and as he was desperately fighting back tears, he said “i don’t want to go. i want to stay home.” WHAT? augh, his friggin’ little anxious self had taken over, instilling fear into his mind about the family vacation. i tried to explain that we would all be together, as a family, as this is something that is very important to him. but, no matter what i said or explained he just continued to repeat his desire to stay home.

it’s distressing, heart breaking and agonizing to see him get so upset about our summer vacation!

what’s a mama to do?

xo, mama lola
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