CAMPING WITH DINOSAURS BIRTHDAY

Thank you @laylaimperatori @popandcinfetti @tipienfete @sweetbite.bakery for sponsoring this post.


As you know, I love hosting, organizing get-togethers and planning parties. I really enjoy being able to get creative and to search for the perfect items and have good that makes me feel content.


I can’t believe Vera is already 3 years old. I am so lucky to have been able to stay home with her for the past 3 years. I love watching her grow and change. In the past year, she has developed so much! She is so happy, always singing and running around. She is such a bright little girl and I am so thankful for her. This birthday was very exciting for Vera because she could really understand the concept. As her birthday approached, we talked many times about what theme she would like. She had so many ideas but the one that always came up was the dinosaurs. Vera loves dinosaurs so much. Every night we read dinosaur books and sing dinosaur songs. Finally, we decided this would be the perfect theme.


When I started to plan the party I found Claudia, the owner of @tipienfete. She organizes theme tipi parties. When I saw her safari theme, I had to incorporate it to my party. This summer we took the kids camping for the first time and they loved it so much. I decided to create camping with dinosaurs theme. She has the perfect military style tipis, wood-like cushions to sit on, a toy camping fire set, flowers and vines to decorate and a picnic table set up for all the kids to sit at. It was perfect to create a cute and girly camping atmosphere.

We also set up a table for the cake, food and tableware. The center of attention, of course, was the dinosaur cake Vera had been asking for. But the table would still be incomplete without the perfect decoration details to finish it off.

Angie the owner of @sweetbite.bakery was the creator of our cake. The cake was not only beautiful, but it was also so delicious. She made us a 3 tier cake, vanilla flavour with confetti inside. It was such a cute cake, she made the colours match the rest of the decorations perfectly. Luckily, we had enough to take home so we could eat after!

@popandconfeti is one of the first stores I started to follow when I moved to Montreal. They are owned by 2 mothers, Anna and Sophie. They have the nicest party supplies! It was always a dream of mine to be able to use their plates for my parties. They supplied us with our birthday supplies. Since we had the dinosaurs and army tipis, I wanted to add a touch of pink. We got all the decorations and tableware in pink. I love how they chose the confetti plates as a special touch to the pink. They can also do customized orders.

We had a party at the park and it rained on us 3 times. Everything was amazing. All the details came together to have the perfect camping with dinosaurs theme party. We were surrounded by our family and our best friends. We had so much love and happiness and Vera had a great time. This was such a special day for us to celebrate Vera. I wanted to make sure we could save it so when Vera is older she could see how much she means to us. Thank you @laylaimperatori for capturing this day and showing all of the beautiful feelings we shared at Vera’s party.


HOW TO CHOOSE A DAYCARE?

I can not believe this time has come! There are only a few more weeks before school starts. This September, Vera is starting daycare full time. Vera is turning 3 years old this August. We’re planning to send her to pre-kindergarten next year. So, it is time for her to start preparing.

As you know she has been attending the child stimulation and playgroup program. These classes were only part-time. This has been preparing her to take the next step to go to daycare. I want her to attend daycare for 1 year before she starts school. Going to daycare will help her to get used to her new schedule and being alone longer. At daycare, they will prepare her to start school. The program focuses on helping the children learn the motor and academic skills they need for kindergarten. Here she will also learn the social and emotional skills she needs.

Finding a daycare can be a little tricky and maybe emotional. Finding the perfect nursery might feel like a big task because there are so many things to explore and consider. This time can also be emotional because you have to trust someone else to take care of your child and you finally part ways. 

Choosing the appropriate daycare for my family was crucial. I had so many questions prepared for our interview. I also had things wanted to be observant of during our tour. Knowing all this information helped me to decide on the daycare we chose. Something that is really important to me is knowing other families who attend there. This helped me to know more about the environment and the teachers. It is important that it has a good reputation, qualified teachers and a secure environment.

These are the questions I asked:

1. What is the staff to child ratio? How many children are in a class? How many teachers are in a class? You want to make sure that they are in standard. It is even better if they have fewer children in the classrooms.

2. What type of curriculum system do you offer? You want to make sure that your kid is being taught what you believe in and what you think is important in the way you like.

3. What kind of qualifications do the teachers have? How long have the teachers been working there?

4. What does the schedule look like? You want to know what routine do they follow and the activities they do. How much outdoor and gym time do they get? Do they learn French? Do they have art and music time?

5. What kind of food do they serve? At what time do they have their meals? Do you need to pack snacks or lunch?

6. How does naptime work? Where do they sleep? At what time do they sleep? What do they need?

7. What do they need to bring or keep at daycare?

8. What are the policies regarding immunization? What are the rules for children and teachers who are sick?

9. How do I know my child’s progress? Are the parents involved? Is there a committee? I love being involved in my kid’s schools and to have a close relationship with the staff.

What about you, have you gone through this process yet? What were your main concerns? I would love to hear more about it and maybe add your questions to my list

LOVE

XXX

ELA

POOL SIDE LIFE

Today was our last day of school, and summer is finally full on in Montreal! I wanted to share some of my pool tips to stay safe and have more fun this summer.

One of my favorite things about living in a condo is having a pool. I love how convenient it is! We spend almost every sunny afternoon at our pool. We like to go after the kid’s nap. It is great because the time between nap and bed time is so difficult and tight. Usually the kids wake up in a bad mood which makes it hard to plan anything. Time wise, we have to do dinner, bath time and clean up so we don’t have a lot of time to get ready and go out. With a 1 year old and 2 years old, post nap time everything takes forever and it is a struggle to get out the door. It is so easy to be able to just wake up from our nap and take the elevator to be somewhere fun.

Staying safe in the pool is super important so we can have fun. When I had Hunter last year, I started to think. How will I manage at the pool on my own with two children? They both are so little and they don’t know how to swim. I was really afraid of one of them falling into he pool. My nightmare was that one of the would fall and the other one would follow. Okay, I know it sounds like a movie. But really, with my kids… you never know what they are planning!

My number one rule is that we can not leave the house unless they both have their floaties on. I like to make sure that they are on because this way if they want to jump right in the pool as soon as we arrive it is okay and it will be safe. This is something that has actually happen with Vera. She is so comfortable in the water and she is definitely not afraid. This also helps me not to have to fight by the pool because they don’t want to wear their floaties. Also, we have the rule that once floaties come off we will go home. This really helps us to keep them on since they never want to leave!

We started Vera in swimming classes so she could have more freedom and independence. This has helped me and her so much. She has so much fun and doesn’t need me to hold her. She does her own thing now and I can just watch and hold Hunter. I can not imagine having to hold both of them! Ha, I just don’t think I would go to the pool.

As you know change is usually very hard for everyone, specially for children. Not every kids is as simple as you tell them things once and they magically listen and do it. Obviously leaving the pool to go get ready for bed is less than ideal for any kid. Who wants to stop their fun to go to sleep?! To help to make this transitions easier for my kids I started to set up an alarm. When the alarm goes off it means it is time to go. This helps children to get emotionally ready to go and minimize … tantrums! We actually implement this method for a lot of our daily activities. It is something that has helped me to have an easier day.

I decided to establish these ground rules for the kids. They have really helped us this summer. We have less fights and more fun. Most importantly these are our pool safety rules! The best way to make sure it is easier for the kids to follow these rules is by staying consistent. This way, the rules becomes a habit! They will know what to be expected and it will just be part of our routine.

How do you stay safe by the pool? Make sure to tell me your tips in the comments bellow.

LOVE

XXX

ELA

LITTLE PILLOWS

Thank you Headleveler for sponsoring this post.

I am so happy to be partnering with Headleveler and bring to you Headleveler / Ortho-Cervorthopedic pillows for our children. Headleveler is a family owned company based in Montreal. All their pillows are made by hand and designed diligently for each person.

I want to discuss the importance of having an appropriate pillow for our children.

Why is it important that children have a kids pillow and not a regular pillow? All pillows are different, some are bigger some are smaller. Some are thicker some are thinner. Some are stiff and some are soft. Just like pillows, children are different too. Different sizes and weight. This is why Head Leveler makes orthopedic pillows specially designed for our children.

The pillows are designed according to the child’s size. The pillow size and thickness is very important for the delicate neck and posture of our children. Not having the right pillow will give them discomfort which can turn into sleepless nights. If they are not comfortable they can have a hard time falling asleep or staying asleep. The correct size pillow will give them the right support for their head and neck. They need a pillow that is small enough for their body and wide enough for their shoulders. This will help their body to be able to recover during their sleep. The kids will wake up well rested and ready to take on the day.

This is where our children rest their face every day and every night. I really love that these pillows are washable! Just like we wash their sheets, and pillow cases, it is also important to wash their pillows. How many times do their pillows go on the floor, or they spill food or drinks on them? They get sick and sneeze, cough or vomit on their pillows. So, this is great because it can help you to keep their bed cleaner.

As a mom and a Registered Massage Therapist choosing the right pillow for my children is very important. When children sleep it is the time when they grow and develop. The kind of pillow that they use will affect their posture and the quality of sleep they get.

Vera and Hunter are already using theirs. They are loving them! When Vera saw the pillow she knew it was just for her. Just like when we got their little table and little chairs. She knew that the little pillows were for her and Hunter.

Make sure to check out their page and get your kids their perfect children size pillow, the A really fun way to get them involved in the process is allowing them to choose their own pillow cover!

Make sure to check out their page and get your kids their perfect children size pillow, the Headleveler / Ortho-Cerv pillow. the A really fun way to get them involved in the process is allowing them to choose their own pillow cover!

KEEP A LEVEL HEAD WITH HEADLEVELER ORTHOPEDIC PILLOWS

XXX

Love

ELA

THE 1ST YEAR THE 2ND TIME


Another big mile stone! Hunter has turned 1. He has officially enter the toddler phase and he is a big boy.

I can not believe this time has come. I must tell you, this year has been the fastest year in my entire life. Hunter turning 1 was a different experience compared to when Vera turned 1. Even though it was filled with much excitement and happiness it was also very sentimental. 

If you are a mother of more than one and you stay home with both of them, maybe we feel the same way. 

I felt nostalgic that his first year went by so fast. Almost as if it was not long enough. It is hard to have to share my time instead of having all my attention for him. Even though we did classes and activities together, it was simply, not the same. 

We didn’t have enough time to do all the classes and activities we did with Vera. Play dates were also not the same. Most of our play dates were with Vera’s friends doing big kids activities. 

However, every time Hunter has a great time. I can see how excited and interested he is. Being around the older kids and doing these activities are very beneficial for him.

Using the word compare is not fair because every child is different. It could be personality, interests, it could be that they are developing in different areas. 

However as hard as I try, mom guilt always tries to sneak in. I think, is it because I don’t dedicate enough time or pay enough attention to these details. Constantly, I try to find the balance. Paying enough attention to Hunter so he can learn but continuing to give Vera a toddler the interaction that she needs. On top of that, I have to make the time to keep up with the household. But most importantly never to forget to take care of myself.

I guess, motherhood is different every time with every kid. And so I remember all the parenting classes I attend and tell myself. You are enough and you are doing great. This year went fast, was busy but above all was incredible. 

I have never felt or witnessed so much love. Watching Vera and Hunter grow together has been amazing. The way Vera loves and takes care of Hunter is the most special feeling. Every time I see Hunter trying to do what Vera does and how quickly he learns from her is incredible. I am so thankful because Brandon and I are able to work as a team and support each other. This has made this journey easier.

All of this experiences and feelings have made our family grown closer and stronger.

NESTING FOR SPRING CLEANING

There is nothing I love more than deep cleaning my house. Before, I would do everything in a weekend. Now, it takes me about a week. This year, spring cleaning is right around the corner from my Baby’s birth! I am going to be combining my spring cleaning with nesting.I love cleaning so much! Since Vera was born, it is not as simple or fast. I try to schedule the work through the week to get everything done. I work with a room per day plus another big chore. For example Monday, I clean the kitchen + wash Frodo and all his stuff.

I use the same list to tackle everything there is to do in each room. I like to use a list so I don’t forget anything and so I do not get side track. I have a basket for the random things that don’t belong in the rooms. I put these things away once I’m finished everything.

When I clean, I like to start from the top down to the floor. That way things don’t get dirty again. I start with the fans, lights, mirrors, windows, furniture or cabinets, baseboards and last the floors. Before vacuuming and washing the floor, I make sure everything is in its place.

Once every room has been finished it’s time to do the things that take the longest, clothes and documents. I try to leave this for the weekend so Brandon can go through his stuff too. We change our clothes and shoes for the new season. We store away what we’re not using under our beds in storage bags. When I organize these, I also try to de-clutter! We get rid of things that we didn’t use the last season and know we won’t use again. I love folding everything into standing rectangles in baskets instead of piling up things.

To finish we do our balcony. We start by washing the windows and rinsing the furniture. To wash our windows we use the same brush we use to clean the car windshield. It’s perfect because it’s long to reach all the way up. To rinse the furniture we bring it into the shower. We just water it with the hose and run a brush over it. Once everything is dry we put down the rug and set up the furniture and Vera’s toys.

This year while I do my spring cleaning, I will also set up everything for Baby Hunter. This time is really easy because we are not using a lot of things. I am only decorating a corner of my room where he will be set up for the first few months. I am setting up a bassinet with a canopy and some basics like diapers and wipes under it. They will share closet space with Vera. He will have his toy basket in the living room.

LOVE

ELA

XXX

5 LEARNING GAMES FOR TODDLERS

I think the best way for kids to learn is by discovering and to have fun. If they are not interested, the activity will not last long enough to understand and to actually learn. Everyone learns through different methods, Aural by listening, Linguistic by speech, Spatial by watching, and Kinesthetic by doing. I try to implement all of these principles in Vera’s activities.

I love it whenever I have a chance to paint or do crafts. This 18 month milestone and development gives me the perfect chance to get creative and put together a few new activities for Vera.

Puzzles keep kids occupied for a while and it’s great for them to develop problem solving, patience, concentration, motor skills and vocabulary. If you are like me, you don’t want to have to buy a new one every time your kid gets over it and has mastered it. Making your own puzzle at home is really easy. All you need is thick paper, a marker and a few objects you have at home. Trace the objects on the paper and you are ready to go. I like to use objects of the same category so we can also use it as an activity to learn new words.

A great way to get your toddler thinking is by sorting. This can teach them to match and to learn the purpose of things. I made a few color flash cards and matching squares for Vera to separate and to match to it’s color. You can also use blocks or balls. A discovery box with 2 or 3 different categories of items would be great too. An example can be, play food, doll clothes and books.

I watched an amazing video of how difficult it is for toddlers to learn to use and coordinate their bodies. Not being able to control your movements perfectly can be really frustrating. Since this, I always try to provide Vera with activities that will develop her motor skills and hand and eye coordination. She has come a long way and we are now ready to start trying to string. We are going to start by stringing shoe laces in pasta and work our way to putting fuzzy wires in the strainer holes.

An activity that is super easy and fast to put together is letting them play with bottles and containers. They can learn to open and close containers and to screw lids on and off. This will help them to problem solve, to match and improve hand and eye coordination.

If you are feeling brave and don’t mind the mess I have a super fun activity that kids love. Filling and dumping! There are so many options. You can use 2 of the same size containers or 1 large and 1 small. You can use liquids like water or milk. I recommend putting a towel under to keep the mess under control. You can use small grains like rice or beans. You can use both and also get them to separate them!

Join your kids and help them to learn by talking them through the activities and showing them how to do it. This will strengthen your bond! Our kids are always looking for our approval and encouragement. Being there for them and showing them positive reinforcement and reactions will make them more secure and proud.

LOVE

ELA

XXX