On Friday morning, I woke up with a fever. I took a walk around the block to see if I could snap out of it—not a chance. I made it back home and went straight back to bed, begging Feng to leave Mark at my in-laws. I slept most of the time, briefly felt better in the evening and went to bed again with a 39°C fever on Friday night. I spent Saturday in bed buried in my sweaty sheets.
I am not sick very often but when I am, I don’t do things halfway.
We finally picked up Mark from my in-laws on Sunday and I decided to stick with my original weekend plans—to check out the Ottawa Baby Show, the largest pregnancy and early parenting show in the capital.
Fear not, I am NOT pregnant (and not planning to be again anytime soon!) but I thought it would be the chance to discover new products and brands and learn a few things. Besides, it was held at Ottawa’s new Convention Centre which I hadn’t had the chance to visit.
Well, we were late for the party but we made it.
It started with a long escalator ride, much to Mark’s delight, to the last floor of the convention centre where we were greeted with a bag of goodies, including cream samples, wipes, baby food, discount coupons and more.
Then Mark spotted balloons. Of course, he got one (he can be charming when he wants something) and then it took me five minutes to 1) tie the helium balloon around his wrist 2) teach him to retrieve the balloon to play with it. I think I heard people laughing at us.
We walked around the different booths and explored. I love that it wasn’t cramped and that people were friendly but not pushy. The show claims to “have it all under one roof” and I can well believe it—clothing, childcare services, strollers, food, car seats, nursing and maternity clothes… the 150 exhibitors did cover everything.
I loved, among many others:
- The fun—but not tacky—maternity clothes from Belly Boom (they are a Canadian company and they have plenty of messages in French too!)
- Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula… I am a huge fan, still using it as a body cream. It’s not just for stretch marks, it’s super moisturizing and it smells great!
- The clothes from Peekaboo Beans, a Vancouver-based company. Colourful and fun!
- Kardish Health Food Centre for its natural care products.
The Baby Show, as the name suggests, is more geared towards expecting parents or parents with a very young baby. Mark is already too old (!) for most of the stuff. It was fun to take a trip down memory lane, though (“Do you think he could still fit in a bassinet?” “Not a chance!”).
This is a great event for new parents. Baby care is a whole different world with brands and products you wouldn’t even think exist before you have a kid. I remember how clueless and lost we were, wandering around Babies’r’Us, trying to figure out what we would really need and what was just gimmicky. This kind of event gives you a chance to see and test (and even taste!) the products and figure out what works best for you. It gives you options.
Since I am a cranky French (and even more so when I’m sick), I do have to mention something that annoyed me: a few exhibitors jumped on me (yes, Costco, I am looking at you) and demanded me to sign up for whatever membership on the spot. Geez, let me take a look first! I had a two-minute sales pitch before I could even say anything and apparently, “I don’t need a membership” is not a valid reason to decline an offer. Most other exhibitors were relaxed and let us browse in peace, phew!
All in all, it was a very fun experience. We discovered new local brands, we have a few products to test at home and it was a stress-free outing in a kid-friendly environment.
Definitely check out the Baby Show next time it comes to Ottawa!