Friday, March 30, 2012

Spring Happenings

Some of you know that I write a weekly column for Sweetspot and Sweetmama, with weekly happenings in Montreal. I write the articles two weeks in advance so sometimes I only find out about events when its too late to include them. This week I stumbled upon tons of cool things happening in the city (mostly sales) that I wanted to share with you.

1. Grumman78 opening - Yes, Montreal's one and only food truck is now accessible to all. Grumman78's tacos have garnered foodie praise even though food trucks are not legal in our hot dog cart-less city. So instead of seeking out events where the truck will be making an appearance we can now head over to the Faubourg food court to indulge in these delicious soft shell tacos. The restaurant opens on Sunday April 1 and you can bet there will be huge lineups.

2. Marcelle Sample Sale - Don't forget to clean out your makeup along with the rest of your spring cleaning. We always seem to forget that makeup has a short lifespan. This local company is having a sale March 30-April 1 at their warehouse at 9200 Cote de Liesse. Visit their facebook page for an additional 15% off coupon.

3. Anzie Sample Sale - Jewelry thats sold at high end department stores for a fraction of the price? Yes, please! Save up to 75% off at this sale that's on until tomorrow at 5490 Royalmount, #200.

4. Petit Lem Warehouse Sale - Save on French children's fashions at this sale happening April 12-14 at 275 Stinson.

5. Beyond the Rack Warehouse Sale - This Montreal-based flash sale site is selling off excess goods from designers like Marc Jacobs, Gucci, BCBG and more. Can't wait to see what find of goodies will be on the shelves! April 12-15 at 361 Isabey

Happy shopping and eating!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Hello Sleep

We finally gave in.

Alex had his first taste of formula last week.

I had to do a real convincing job on the hubby but I think my rationale of "wouldn't you rather he try a little formula than having to listen to him cry out it?" worked wonders!

Night one's results weren't so amazing, but night two yielded two 5 hour sleep batches. Woohoo! The 11pm/12am bottle of 4oz of formula has been going strong all week and we've been getting 4 or 5 hour stretches which is a huge improvement over 2.5-3.

So I'm happy to be getting a bit more shut eye but know that there is plenty of room for improvement. And maybe with the introduction of peas today (cereals weren't getting a warm welcome) we can push it to 6 or 7 hours.

So from an ardent breast milk mom...if you're up all night giving formula a try isn't such a bad idea. It's one step in the right direction that may have just avoided a lot of crying for this family!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Binding Baby

We started Alex on rice cereal this weekend.

Although he is just a week and a half shy of the 6 month mark, he has been eyeing our food for a couple of weeks now and is more than able to sit in the high chair himself so we figured we'd give it a try.

Day one was 1 teaspoon of rice cereal which he lapped up and cried a bit when it was all done because he wanted more. Day two was 1 tablespoon which he couldn't quite finish.

I thought the feeding was going well until I realized that at 10pm last night he still hadn't pooped all day. At that point he had woken up after just 2 hours after a previous night that was full of crying and hourly wake ups.

And then I made the connection. The rice must have been constipating him, causing a tummy ache and numerous wake ups.

So we promptly gave him a bottle with some water in it.

Finally asleep at 11 he woke up again at 2 and 5 (pretty normal for us) and his diaper was full both times.

Mystery solved.

So we're taking the day off from cereal today. I'm contemplating trying oats tomorrow.

And here I slightly believed that old wives tale of solids helping sleep :)

Friday, March 16, 2012

Trees Please

I just spent Alex's nap time on doody duty. Yep, picking up the remains of our dog Winston that we seemed to have neglected all winter long. Yes, spring is coming.

And while my hands were full of not-so-nice smells, I looked on the bright side of things (such an optimist) and spotted Hannah's tree that we transplanted when we moved to our new home.

I wrote about the Quebec government's free trees for 0-1 year olds a few years ago here. And Hannah's maple reminded me that our new backyard could be even fuller with a tree for Alex.

If you've got an under 1 year old at home I encourage you to do the same. The deadline is April 15, 2012.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Dollhouse Delight

Hannah turned 3 last Thursday.

It was a week filled with a Strawberry Shortcake ice cream cake, the Jewish holiday of Purim, class photos and lots of presents.

Hannah was truly gifted to receive presents from family and friends, who certainly know about her love for all things artistic and fun.

One gift definitely stood out.

Now, I don't want to sound like an advertorial here but if you're looking for a gift for a creative girl of any age, this one should be a must on your list.

(This gift came wrapped up as a surprise by a friend. I knew nothing about it before and have no ties to the company. The words below are written from a totally non-biased opinion)

We were toying with the idea of getting Hannah a dollhouse for her birthday but I am so happy she got this one instead.

It took me about 30 minutes to build but when she saw it assembled she was so excited. The dollhouse is basically white cardboard with plenty of room for creation. It comes with stickers for the interior and exterior of the house that can all be coloured to the owner's whimsy.

Once the interior design is done, its time to build some 3D paper furniture like a baby's crib, sofa and bunk beds.

The last step involves a 3D family, complete with a dog and cat that can also be coloured in.

Why do I love this product so much? A few reasons.
1. It is made from recycled materials
2. It allows any little girl (or boy) to completely customize their dollhouse
3. It is a never-ending activity that can take weeks to complete and then months to enjoy as they imagine their own little make believe world.

Granted Hannah probably did not appreciate it to its fullest extent as she didn't colour in most of the stickers. But she's still loving the element of creation and play. And I must admit, I had a lot of fun helping her out in the process.

Definitely a must-buy for any girl on your gift list.

Placing furniture

The dollhouse facade

Having fun with markers

The box folds out to create a backyard with swimming pool
What to look for in the store...

Monday, March 5, 2012

On My Radar

I was a single mom last week. Yes, my lucky husband headed off to Las Vegas for work (and fancy meals, and shopping and gambling). Can you tell I'm jealous?

Well, now that I've finally recuperated (how do single moms do it?!) I have some time to tell you about a couple of great new products/services that have been piling up in my inbox.

Yes! Lululemon has finally done it! They have created a line for girls. Hannah doesn't quite make the grade yet as the clothing is available in sizes 4-14. The site is labelled as"dance wear & activewear" and while there are plenty of leotards and skate skirts, I have a feeling that even those less active girls will be sporting the comfy pants and leggings. Warning: kids' prices aren't too far off from the adult ones, kaching.

This one is unfortunately just for my US readers.
Ever heard of Glossybox? This subscription based service sends members a monthly package full of cosmetics. for just $15.
Well, PetiteBox will soon be sending all moms who sign up a monthly package of goodies from their fourth month of pregnancy to baby's first birthday. No word on how much the cost per month will be but high end products, essential for new moms, are promised.

Our kids' spring wardrobe is about to get the designer touch as Diane Von Furstenberg collaborates with the Gap for a collection for kids. While there has been much press around the March 15th launch I got an invitation today to shop the collection first from 8am to 10am. Cannot wait...but somewhat hesitant about the designer price tags.