Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

:: birthday t-shirts on etsy ::

Loving this number 3 monster birthday t-shirt on Etsy shop HappyFamily. Too bad my little guy is never going be that old though. He's promised me to stay a little baby forever :)

I also have my eye on the red T-rex shirt for baby H. What a wonderful shop with cool stuff for Mommies and Daddies too!

Great article about their business and family on Storque too!

Monday, June 28, 2010

:: outdoor photoshoot with michelle wells ::


Lovely and warm summer nights have finally arrived in Calgary and I am so pleased with the sweet moments that Calgary photographer Michelle Wells caught of my little darling. Who knew that overalls and nothing else could look so cute?

To see more images from this shoot - please visit Michelle's blog!

Friday, June 25, 2010

:: canadian cloth diaper week - more brands to try! ::



Eden Sustainable Cloth Diapering - Loveybums Wool Cover and Organic Cotton Fitted Diaper

There aren't any pictures of Baby H modelling these diapers, because they are currently on Mommy's wish list, not yet in our stash!

Baby Kangas are another great Canadian pocket diaper. Love the wide array of colours - especially the ladybug one!

Eden Cloth Diapering specializes in organic fitted diapers and wool covers. Something I have been a bit intimidated to try, but those Loveybums wool covers look SO cute!

I hope you have enjoyed reading about all the wonderful Canadian Companies out there producing cloth diapers to keep those bums fluffy! Through blogging (and Twitter!) I have found so many wonderful Canadian companies to support. Watch for an announcement soon about something new I'm working on in that respect.....

Before the weekend starts you might want to enter these great Canadian giveaways I spotted:

Bravado Summer Pampering contest - bras, mani/pedi, robe, candles, scented lotions - YES PLEASE!
Parade Romper Giveaway at True Cuddles - a cuuuuute outfit from a great Canadian company

Thursday, June 24, 2010

:: canadian cloth diaper week - easyfit diaper by bummis ::




Today H is wearing the new EasyFit diaper from Bummis. I won it on the Facebook page for Canadian store Snugglebugz. It's an interesting diaper because it is kind of a hybrid pocket and all-in-one. The insert is attached to the diaper and you tuck it in. This way, you can add more inserts for a heavy wetter or overnight, but you still have the convenience of an all-in-one. It's really easy to stuff too. The Hubs will like that. Who am I kidding though? He never stuffs diapers!

Things I loved about this diaper:
- cute colour, I love yellow!
- made the UK (not Canada, but close enough!)
- super soft bamboo beside baby's bottom
- really easy to stuff!
- good laundry tabs

Things I did not love as much:
- Velcro tabs seem like they could get scratchy after a while
- some polyester on the outer edges of the diaper. I really don't like polyester!




Wednesday, June 23, 2010

:: canadian cloth diaper week - happy heinys from chiquita baby ::


All stuffed with a microfibre liner and hemp stuffin, ready for sleeping!

Waking up dry = cute smiles!

Today little H is showing off his Happy Heinys diaper that was sent to us to review from Chiquita Baby. We were looking for a diaper to keep him dry from bedtime at 7pm to wake-up at 7am (no, he doesn't sleep through the night yet! He's up to nurse a couple times between those times!) and this diaper did the trick. We stuffed with one microfibre liner and a hemp stuffin.

Things I love about this diaper:
- great colour selection, including some cute prints. Love the monkey one!
- the velcro is covered by the tabs so it doesn't rub his tummy, and it's a bit softer than other diapers we use.
- the shell is fairly trim so even when it's super stuffed it's not all that huge.
- the elastic around his legs doesn't leave red marks.

Things I don't love:
- not a Canadian company
- the laundry tabs don't always stick that well!

This is a great pocket diaper, even nicer than (gasp!) my BumGenius diaper! I think it's because I have a chunky legged little guy and these are a nice generous fit. They might not work as well on a skinny legged babe.

Thanks Chiquita Baby for sending this to us to review!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

:: canadian cloth diaper week - bamboo babies all-in-one diaper ::



Today H is wearing another great Canadian Cloth Diaper - Dri-Line's Bamboo Baby. We bought this Made in Canada diaper from Calgary online company Bright Eyes and Bushy Tails. The bamboo inner is so so super soft and it dries faster than my other all-in-one diapers. I also ordered some Rockin Green detergent in the Motley Clean scent. It works wonders for our diapers in Calgary's hard water!

Things I love about this diaper:
- great fit on H's chunky legs
- fabulous velcro and it really sticks to the laundry tabs
- love that the velcro is covered so it does not rub on baby's skin
- flexible cotton tabs on the front for a better fit
- soft bamboo cotton inner

Things I don't love:
- not a lot of colour choices (trivial I know! I love colours!)
- AIO diapers take longer to dry

I really really love this diaper. It is a great fit and really is as easy as a disposable diaper. They get the Daddy stamp of approval for this!

Monday, June 21, 2010

:: canadian cloth diaper week - applecheeks ::


It's Canadian Cloth Diaper Week here at Mon Petit Amour! I have been wanting to dedicate a week to cloth diapering for a while and I finally have the pictures and diapers to blog about! Today little H is wearing his Applecheeks diaper, manufactured with love in Montreal.

Things I love about this diaper:
- Made in CANADA!
- Two size system for a better fit
- Very trim fit
- lovely colours!
- the insert goes in the middle instead of the back of the diaper
- the insert comes out in the wash (if you use a top loader) saving you from touching it!
- from what I've read on DiaperPin, they have great customer service!

Things I don't love:
- It's a tad bit feminine with the ruffled edges. But it's all that great elastic that gives it such a nice fit!
- After washing it a few times I find the edges of the fleece are pilling, probably from the velcro on my other diapers pulling at it though.

All in all, we really like this diaper and look forward to ordering a swim diaper from Applecheeks!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

:: these are a few of his favourite things! happy father's day ::





I felt inspired this morning and created a very manly centrepiece using two old hockey sticks, some baseballs, hockey tape, duct tape, some tools, old beer cans, xbox controllers, and golf balls. I think it turned out pretty well! Happy first Father's Day to my wonderful Hubs!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

:: dear redbook, please do better research next time ::

I recently read an article on Redbook.com chronicling a Mother's struggle with breastfeeding. The heated debate it stirred up in the comments was no surprise since the Breastfeeding vs. Formula debate is always a fiery topic. Personally, I did not find her article all that offensive (although the URL title “Stop Breastfeeding” was a bit strange). She had a really rough time, including multiple bouts of mastitis and switched to formula at 6 weeks. It's a familiar story which many women can relate to. Redbook listed two links below the story, one of which was entitled “Breastfeeding Advice”. I clicked on it expecting to read some familiar tips on how to get a good start breastfeeding and was surprised to read a ridiculous pros and cons list that for the most part did not even make a whole lot of sense.


Since I had some time on my hands (H had a 3 hour afternoon nap today!), I decided to respond to each pro and con with information that I have found since my little guy was born. Seems like the editors at Redbook didn't spend a whole lot of time researching the subject because they missed the chance to give a more balanced view of infant feeding. And I'm not going to call it a debate, because it really should not have to be! Babies get fed one way or another, but if a mother wants to breastfeed, she should not have to be scared by poorly researched articles like this.


My comments are in blue.


PRO: It's convenient. You don't have to buy breast milk or make up bottles, which saves time — and money. (Formula can cost from $1,200 a year up to $2,400 or even more.)


CON: It's not easy — especially at first. "There's a two-week learning curve," says Loretta McCallister, a spokesperson for La Leche League International. She encourages moms-to-be to take a breast-feeding class and line up a place to go for support. Some women have a harder time than others for a variety of reasons, such as little breast tissue, nipple shape, narrow ducts, or low production.


True, it's not easy at first, but there is a lot of support out there if you seek it out. And seek it out early, within the first couple of days. It only takes a few feedings with a bad latch to result in nipple pain. Getting the latch right very early can put you on a road to success. If you are in pain, something may be wrong. I experienced some pain and discomfort as I adjusted to having a baby suckling at my breasts and that eased up after about a week. We struggled a bit with latch but had wonderful midwives that helped us on our way. Certified lactation consultants can come to your home and help you and there are wonderful sites online (www.drjacknewman.com and www.kellymom.com) with loads of great information on breastfeeding. Please don't rely on fashion mags like Redbook for sound breastfeeding advice :)


A great place to start (before your baby is born!) is this page “Starting off Right"


You also might read through this article http://www.bestforbabes.org/breastfeeding-booby-traps/ on “Booby-Traps” or how the medical system (this is an American site, but still) has a difficult time actually supporting a mother becoming successful at breastfeeding. New Moms don't need a smug “breast is best”. They need time and hands-on support from the medical community and their own circle of family and friends, and that is not happening for many new moms.


PRO: It promotes bonding. "Women get a sense of well-being when they nurse," McCallister says. That's thanks to the feel-good brain chemicals called prolactin and oxytocin. But, adds Rebecca Booth, M.D., an ob/gyn in Louisville, KY, and the author of The Venus Week, "oxytocin is also secreted by touch, so the kind of contact you get from bottle-feeding works too."


CON: It keeps Mom hostage. Newborns tend to eat every two to three hours. Even if someone else handles occasional feedings, Mom's gotta pump.


I think I signed up to spend more time at home when I had a baby. I do sometimes get a bit of cabin fever, but with 2-3 hours between feedings, I can still get out for coffee or dinner with a friend and not have to pump. And in the first days when the baby was nursing all the time, I was not itching to get out of the house anyways because I was so so tired! Fortunately, I am not the Mom of a bottle-refuser, and I can get out for longer periods now if I leave a bottle. To moms of bottle refusers, I salute you and hope that once your little ones are on solid foods you can get out for a nice long spa day!


PRO: It helps moms heal faster. When women nurse, the release of oxytocin causes mild con-tractions that help the uterus shrink back to normal size.


CON: It can be extremely painful. One in four breast-feeding moms suffer bleeding nipples, uncomfortably engorged breasts, low-grade yeast infections on nipples, mastitis, and other complications, Booth says.


Back to my first point. You don't need to suffer through these things if you get proper support. Find a certified lactation consultant in your area and write her phone number down before you have your baby. You may need her! And if you experience any of these things (and not all women experience all these things!) and you don't have access or funds for a LC, check out these pages:


Sore Nipples - http://www.nbci.ca/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=48:sore-nipples&catid=5:information&Itemid=17

Clogged Ducts & Mastitis - http://www.nbci.ca/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=7:blocked-ducts-a-mastitis&catid=5:information&Itemid=17

Engorged Breasts - http://www.nbci.ca/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=83:engorgement&catid=5:information&Itemid=17




PRO: It prevents ovulation. If a woman is breast-feeding exclusively, she won't need birth control for the first six months. "As long as conditions are met, the chances of pregnancy are less than 2 percent," McCallister says.


CON: Mom must watch what she eats and drinks. Too much caffeine, alcohol, some fish, spicy foods, broccoli, and many medications are frowned on while breast-feeding.


Many professionals now believe that Mother's diet does not have an affect on her milk. Mothers in India eat spicy food and successfully nurse their babies, right? Some babies may react to certain things in your diet, but it is not the norm. Personally, I continued having a morning cup of coffee or tea, eat lots of fish, spice and broccoli (and onions too!) and have a very happy little guy. As for medications, Motherisk is a great resource if you need to go on antibiotics or take other medications. Many times, they may actually be safe to take and continue nursing. More information here.


PRO: It reduces the risk of some cancers. Studies have shown that for every year a woman breast-feeds, she lowers her risk of breast cancer by up to 10 percent. Breast-feeding has also been shown to reduce the risk of ovarian and uterine cancers.


CON: It lowers libido. Because a woman typically does not ovulate while nursing, there is no natural testosterone surge to stimulate sex drive. An initial dip in estrogen may also cause vaginal dryness.


These pros and cons have nothing to do with each other. All I can say is blah. Did a man write this article? I don't know a lot of women, whether breastfeeding or formula feeding, who had a super high libido immediately following birth anyways. It comes back in time once you are healed and you start getting some sleep!


PRO: It strengthens a baby's immune system — even if he gets only a few sips of breast milk in the first few days, says Mary Ellen Renna, M.D., a Woodbury, NY — based pediatrician and the author of Medical Truths Revealed! That's because colostrum, a thick yellowish substance that comes in before milk, is packed with immunoglobulins that kill bacteria and viruses.


CON: It derails your workday. Pumping is a must for nursing moms who work — but even if your job allows for pumping breaks, fitting in three (or more) of them a day can be challenging.


Again with the absolutely nothing to do with each other. Supplies your baby with immunity – but derails your workday?

Luckily, here in Canada, we have a one year maternity leave so I can't really comment on this other than to say that there are wonderful inventions out there for pumping these days. I recently saw this hands-free pumping bandeau (http://www.pumpease.com/) which looks like it could enable you to shut the door of your office and answer a few emails while you pump for 20 minutes. Of course, we don't all work in offices, but don't most people get some breaks during the day?


PRO: It boosts brain function, thanks to the omega-3 fatty acids in breast milk. (Although studies suggest that breast-fed babies might have higher IQs, the difference is not significant. Also good to know: Many formulas contain omega-3s.)


CON: It's no magic weight-loss solution. While breast-feeding does burn up to 500 calories a day, it also lowers estrogen levels, making nursing moms insulin-resistant, so they process carbs less efficiently. The result: They tend to keep on a little more weight than non-nursing moms — about five to 10 pounds — until they stop.


True, I am still holding on to 5-10 pounds 6 months into breastfeeding, but my weight would never be a reason not to breastfeed for me anyways. I am sure even when all the weight comes off that I will still have a very different body which I think I signed up for as well when I got pregnant. And I am pretty sure formula-feeding moms struggle to lose weight as well. Losing weight after baby seems to be a universal struggle – except for people like Heidi Klum of course!


At the risk of alienating any of my formula-feeding readers please know that I understand that not everyone can breastfeed, even with all the support available to them! I have seen a couple friends really really struggle and move to formula feeding and I know that as parents, they made the best decision for them and their babies.

Having a baby means making all sorts of difficult choices with the best information available to you. I just wish that large publications like Redbook magazine would print the best information available. This list was filled with tidbits of outdated and only partially true “advice” and paints breastfeeding with a scary and negative brush. I was so lucky to have the support of my family and midwives in the first difficult days of nursing a brand new baby and I know that their encouragement made all the difference in the world. The first few months were hard in a number of ways, not just the learning to breastfeed, but 6 months later I am so happy that we were able to stick it out because it's one of my favourite things about having my little guy now.

If you are a new mom struggling with breastfeeding I would encourage you to seek out assistance from a certified lactation consultant or online (on reputable sites like www.drjacknewman.com or www.kellymom.com) and the support of nursing friends. If you are expecting, read up on some of these websites - I sure wish I had done more reading about breastfeeding and newborns before H was born!

Friday, June 18, 2010

:: babybot - new calgary based online store ::





I am loving the fresh look and lovely layout of this BabyBot, a new Calgary-based online baby gear store. I love online shopping, but especially love a clean look and well organized website!

This website is as inspiring as the products it features! I am loving the princess and cars free toddler bedding and this lovely balloon mobile.

Especially love the gift guide. And free shipping - on anything! I am sure this is a limited time offer so get shopping!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

:: deal a day madness! ::

Baby H very excited about getting a deal online shopping.....or excited to play with socks.

I featured a round up of deal a day websites a couple months back and I have since discovered a few more! Too many temptations! Any more I should add to my daily list to check? Dare I even ask?

Big Baby Buy - bonus! It's Canadian!




Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

:: etsy nursery inspiration ::

Stunning Handcut Paper Banners - I am in love with this shop!




Naked Alphabet - I would leave them like this, but the possiblities are endless!

Another rainy day in Calgary. I'm working my way through a pot of tea and browsing Etsy while the little man naps.

I think any one of these lovely listings that could totally serve as inspiration for the rest of the decor. Oh Etsy, how I love you!



Monday, June 14, 2010

:: rainy monday diy ::

photo by Marichelle Burdman of LifeFlix blog

We are in for another week of rain here in Calgary, so why not make those grey clouds beautiful with this lovely DIY I spotted on Kenziepoo who spotted it on Lifeflix who was inspired by YoungHouseLove. Whew! This project is making the blogosphere rounds!

Friday, June 11, 2010

:: matt & nat diaper bags on beyond the rack ::




My son is 6 months old and (gasp!) I don't have a diaper bag. And yes, we go out a lot. Why don't I have a diaper bag? Mostly because I like to change purses a lot, and I never found one that was:

a) nice, yet not over $100
b) not so huge I would get indents in my shoulder from carrying it around
c) not like everyone else's

So, I'm browsing Beyond the Rack today and see that Canadian designers Matt & Nat have a diaper bag. And it's cute and trendy and decidedly un-diaper bag looking. And $79! I may have to eat my words and buy one. Isn't it nice? Which colour would you choose?

Thursday, June 10, 2010

:: letters to myself ::


Dear Pregnant Me,

It might feel like you'll have morning sickness forever, and you will feel queasy until about 5 months, but I promise it will get better. Also, food will start tasting good again once the baby is born. You will feel like you are eating everything for the first time again! You are going to get sick of people asking you "When are you due? Girl or boy? What hospital are you delivering at?" but they won't bother you near as much as the incessant questions once the babe is born. "Does he sleep through the night yet?" (No! Can't you tell by the bags under my eyes???), "Is he a good baby?" (Aren't all babies good?), "Are you loving it?" (Well, not every single poopy minute, but yes...). You'll never bother an expectant mama or new mama again with these questions I am sure!

A couple tips:

- dust off those books you bought about breastfeeding and taking care of a newborn and read them! You'll regret not doing it when you are cramming for the info once the little man is here. Trust me. The books about pregnancy and childbirth are interesting to you now, but they will be of no use once the kid arrives!

- Stock that freezer. Have as many freezer meals as you can make in there. Muffins and other healthy snacks too. You'll need them, and LOTS of them! You might feel like a superhero supermommy in the first weeks with that post-birth adrenaline rush, but when the exhaustion sets in you will be so glad for those ready made meals.

- stop buying all those cute newborn outfits! Buy cute things for 6-12 or 12-18 months instead. He's only going to wear tiny newborn clothes for a short while, and he'll be in comfy cozy sleepers most of the time anyways. Keep shopping at consignment stores though, you are very smart not to waste loads of cash on new clothes!

- ask your hubby to make sure there are pictures of the birth. He will be a bit hesitant, but you'll both wish there were more pictures once it is all over.

Ok, pregnant me....enjoy those last couple of weeks of huge glorious bump! You've been lucky to have an easy pregnancy, and you don't need to worry so much about the birth. You are exponentially stronger than you think you are. Seriously. Even a wimp like you will have a drug-free birth with the help of your awesome hubby and midwives. It will be the best night of your life.

I'll be back with a letter to you as a new Mommy next week!

Moi

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

:: rainy diy ::

My friend Sarah at Daffodil Designs has some lovely diy printable templates on her blog and I am loving these appliqued onesies as a rainy day project. Aren't they cute?

Monday, June 7, 2010

Thursday, June 3, 2010

:: bravado bliss bra ::


I have expressed my love for Bravado products before on the blog. I love this Canadian company and have been living in their bras and tanks since H was first born. Now that I am alllllmost back to my pre-pregnancy size, I am ready for a new and smaller nursing bra, and I am so excited to be reviewing the Bravado Bliss Bra for my readers very soon. Doesn't it sound lovely?

The Bliss Nursing Bra provides elegant shape and exceptional fit for everyday use with Bravado's proprietary Flexi-FitTM support channel. Featuring smooth, seamless and molded foam cups for discretion and comfort, a low neckline, and a luxurious satiny finish, Bliss disappears under clothing so all they see is your beautiful silhouette, and all you feel is blissfully comfortable and totally fabulous!

Features
An innovative firm, but flexible under-breast Flexi-FitTM support system that offers remarkable shape and lift, while maintaing comfort and good breast health.
Foam cups that are also seamless, offering discretion to hide nipples and breast pads, as well as having a seamless appearance under even fitted clothing.
Satiny fabric that clothing just glides over, a delicate center front detail, and embroidered straps that offer subtle, yet stunning design elements.
Gentle stretch in the cups to grow and contract with your changing shape, while maintaining support.
Easy nursing features, including cups that drop fully and easily away from the breast for skin-to-skin contact with baby, and signature Bravado B-clips that lie flat under clothing and provide one-handed access.

Head on over to Bravado's site to win your own Bliss bra, along with some other fantastic prizes!

:: tree bookshelf - love ::

Image via Inhabitots

I am SO in love with this bookshelf. My two favourite things. Trees and books! If only I understood Korean so I could buy it!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010