Bye Bye NDG – Top 10 Things I Will Miss

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So, by the time this post goes live I will already be living in Westmount but as of the time of writing I am still in my little corner of NDG.  I am excited about moving and, let’s not be dramatic here, I’m moving ten minutes away but I always get emotional about things especially in my 26-week pregnant state.  In total I’ve called NDG home for about 6 years and have learned to love the area.  Here’s what I will miss most:

1. My friends & neighbours – especially our little friend across the street Leo (and his parents!), Steve at The Italian Pantry, and the friendly faces I encounter all the time including the ladies at the Provigo checkout, the folks at Melk and the butchers at Le Maitre Boucher.  Everyone – I will be back!

2. Kefta Sandwiches at Akhavan and all the other exotic goodies they have

3. Walking to Girouard Park – where my son recently learned to climb the ‘rock wall’ and we spent so many hours

4. Benny Pool – I complained about you… until I went to the Westmount YMCA pool

5. Strolling Monkland and running into friends

6. The Italian Pantry – just around the corner and the provider of so many meals and ingredients

7. Cafe de Mercanti – amazing gelato on our doorstep.  My fave is the greek yoghurt.

8. TA Pies – for the easy lunch meals and delicious desserts

9. Le Maitre Boucher – for the great meat and fish

10. Spice Station – where I know I can get any spice I want!

And of course, there are some things I won’t miss such as the traffic/construction issues, having no real backyard and the too-high rent meaning survival on Monkland for any business is often short and brutal.

 

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A Holiday to Remember

Charlie & I

Our little family once again headed back to the wilds of Northern Saskatchewan to visit family and hang out at my parents cottage.  Getting there is a bit of a journey (which you can read about here) but once we made it we were welcomed with warm weather, cool water, and great times.  I got to meet my little nephew Charlie (pictured above) who came all the way from London which was a delight and visit with my sister and brother-in-law.

Bastien Kiddy PoolBastine & I Bastien Water

Bastien loves the water, although he did complain quite a bit when we tried to get him straight into the deeper colder water off our dock (it *was* freezing…)  Once he got used to the water he was all good.  Up on our deck he amused himself thoroughly with the water table and managed to get fully clothed into the kiddy pool a few times to splash around.  Let’s just say I was happy my parents installed laundry machines this year….

Bastien Boat

One of his favourite things was to drive the motorboat.  He learned how to go ‘faster faster’ pretty quick and loved to hit the boat up to full speed (which I did not love…)  To this day he will still pound things with his right fist and scream to go faster.  I think we have a little speed demon on our hands… (scary!)

Bastien & Grandpa

He had lots of fun with Grandma and Grandpa including heading to the sand hill, looking at trucks (which there are ALOT of in that neck of the woods), eating ice cream, watching DVDs in the auto as we cruised around Northern Saskatchewan visiting friends, climbing crazy playground equipment, eating sand, throwing sticks and rocks into the lake, drinking the kiddy pool water and tormenting the cat.

Bastien & Horse

On our way back we stayed a couple days in my hometown of Lloydminster where we hit up the local fair called Colonial Days.  A fair in that part of the world always includes agriculture and rodeos and we took Bastien around to see all the animals which he LOVED.  He also hit up a few of the kiddy rides and of course loved the mini-roller coaster (the fastest ride that he qualified for).  The mini-donuts weren’t so bad either.  There were a few bobos but the worst was a tiny little sliver which he probably got from climbing on all those wooden fences trying to get in with the sheep.  A quick stop to the first aid tent got it out…

Overall, a great holiday and lovely company.  I just visited my OBGYN and she remarked that I had a bit of a large weight gain since the last appointment so clearly we ate quite well too!

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Happy Birthday To Me!

rainbow_petal_cake_1

via The Cake Blog

Happy Birthday to Me!  And Prince George!  And little Charlotte!

ps I think I might treat myself with this…. or this

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Plane Ride with a 2 1/2 Year Old – Tips & Tricks

Plane 2No kiddo – we aren’t there yet!  We are just at Moe’s!  (shirt from Mini Mioche)

I’ve flown quite a bit with my son, both with my husband and alone, and have seen it go from easy to excruciatingly difficult to somewhat more manageable.  I’ve lost track of how many flights we’ve actually taken but all together we are probably in the high teens.  That’s what happens when Grandma and Grandpa live across the country!

Flying with my son when he was less than 9 months old was EASY (read my short post here).  I think our worst flight was to Whistler when he was 11 months old, I had a migraine, and we went on to have a holiday full of vomit… (post here).  This worst flight was closely followed by the one when he was 18 months old, especially when our first flight was 4 hours delayed and then we had to hang in the Calgary airport for FIVE HOURS (post here).

So how was it at 2 1/2 years old?  Well, I spent plenty of time preparing (and stressing!)  I did a post of what I packed here.

Plane 1The good news?  I can see the light at the end of the tunnel – sort of (remember we are having another baby!)

Here’s what worked for us, and what didn’t:

What Worked

  • iPad/in-flight entertainment (finally!)  I bought headphones similar to these which Bastien sometimes used.  Otherwise he watched the screen without sound or with the sound minimally on.  I bought Bubble Guppies, Mike the Knight, Toopy & Binou, and Octonauts and downloaded from YouTube BabyTV & BBC Kids episodes (you need a special app for this – google it)
  • SNACKS!  We ate almost everything we brought both ways.  Dry goods included raisins, graham cracker bunnies, yoghurt drops, goldfish, suckers (messy but good) and cheese dipping crackers.  Refrigerated food included grapes, cantaloupe, cucumbers, yoghurt, raspberries, and blueberries (I tried to pick less messy foods).  To eat, we chowed down on bagels with cream cheese – filling and easy to transport.
  • Sanitizer – OK this didn’t keep my child amused but after our Whistler fiasco where my kid must have picked up germs either in the plane or in a restaurant at the beginning of the trip I didn’t feel like reliving that again.  A bottle of hand sanitizer and some paper towel were used to wipe down screens, arm rests and drop down tray.
  • A cup of ice – I had read that some kids are amused by this and I think a cup of ice bought us 20 minutes of sucking and feeling it on the skin.
  • Books – OK only one book worked – an Elmo book where he has to pick Elmo from the crowd.
  • Toys – some worked some didn’t.  I didn’t even bring them out for the return flight.

What Didn’t Work

  • Toys & Books – as mentioned above these weren’t huge hits.  I’m not a fan of hours of screen time but for these circumstances he got as much as he wanted.
  • Ritz crackers – what.. a.. mess…  they just crumbled everywhere
  • iPad Apps – these had some amusement time on the flight there but fairly minimal.  His faves were the Duplo Toy Train and Tozzle.

Plane 3

Further Tips

  • Bring food.  You never know if your kid will like what they serve on the plane plus it has an amusement factor.
  • Board last. I sent my husband on with the bags to stow and then Bastien and I held out to board last minute.
  • iPad or inFlight entertainment may finally work!
  • Bring disposable diaper bags to collect garbage. You collect a lot of garbage flying with a kid and it’s probably best not to have it strewn about.
  • Be prepared!  I stress (within reason I believe!!) and the more I am prepared the calmer and more confident I feel about the flight.

ps BTW can you believe this kid fell asleep for the last 10 minutes of 3 out of the 4 flights we had to take!  (He didn’t sleep at all for the fourth..!)

 

What about you guys – any tips or stories?

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Little Houses Clothing

Little Houses Clothing Hooded Missy

 

The Hooded Missy (40% off at time of writing!)

I’m a stumbler, and I recently stumbled on Little Houses Clothing which is a cool Montreal-based clothing shop.

Little Houses Clothing The Missy Red

The Missy (25% off at time of writing!)

Little Houses Clothing Tank

Two Tone Tank (the back is brown)

I love the big collars and just how cozy it all looks!

Little Houses Clothing Jacket

Oversized Melton Wool Jacket – Cream

Check out the rest of her Etsy shop!

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