A natural birth control that’s been around since the beginning of man. 

I’ve recently discovered that I have been oblivious to a natural birth control that has been right under my nose…

I was totally unaware of it’s presence and the magnitude of it’s power.

This year, specifically, we have been very pleased with it’s capability.

“What is this amazing thing?”, you ask? And, “Where can I get it?!”

Well…it’s only good for one year, and it’s something that only you can provide.

Ready?

It’s a 3yo!

Our son is on the cusp of turning three, and “Oh Mylanta!” this is a trying time!

The temper tantrums, the throwing of things, hitting, back talk and, my favourite, the sheer volume of noise coming out of him, definitely quashes any random thought about having another child!

  
We were very fortunate with our daughter, as we never had any issues during her third year, but Karma’s a bitch sometimes. 

I’m still trying to figure out if it’s a “boy thing” and “second kid thing” or a bit of both. I guess it’s like trying to figure out the meaning of life…

No one will ever really know.

I suspect this next year to be very intense and I hope to heck, my patience will last and I won’t lose my mind. I find that my running helps and the occasional glass of wine.

Did I say “occasional”?

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{{Featured Post}} Volunteer Grandparents

I will always remember going over to my grandparents house for a visit when I was little…

My Grampa would make Pufferoo (this was an AMAZING baked omelet with only bacon in it) and potatoes for breakfast and my Gramma would pull out the Bunnykins dishes for my sister and I. After breakfast, we’d go down to the basement and pull out the old dolls that were stashed away and then run up to the attic and go into the games cupboard and play Clue, Dress Up dolls, and Monopoly.  

 

I will never forget the smells around their home. They lived in an old house in Vancouver and it had lath and plaster walls and probably asbestos insulation. My Grampa’s garage smelled of oil and grease, and he had a huge collection of tools. My Gramma always had fresh baked cookies in her St. Bernard cookie jar. These cookies were amazing…except for the walnut pieces 😜

I have some very fond memories of time spent with my grandparents. Kids need grandparents and grandparents need grandkids! 

 

Some families aren’t so fortunate to have these people in their lives. Perhaps the grandparents passed too soon, having children weren’t in some people’s cards, the distance is too great or family differences are the reason.

Fortunately, there is an organization out there called Volunteer Grandparents.  

 

Located in Burnaby, BC, Volunteer Grandparents is a program that brings young persons together with older adults. 

The intergenerational relationships created through our program are mutually beneficial. For children and families, a volunteer grandparent’s invaluable wisdom can be a positive guiding force in their life. The influence of a volunteer grandparent can help them through the challenges of school, peer group acceptance and self esteem building. 

For older adults, a strong relationship with a member of a younger generation can let them feel connected to a fast changing society, avoid loneliness and isolation, and allow them to have an influence on upcoming generations. In addition, seniors who volunteer often experience a great improvement in mental and physical health as a result of their active community involvement. 

If you are interested in finding a volunteer grandparent or if you are an older adult wishing to connect with families with children, be sure to visit the Volunteer Grandparent website to get more information about this great program.

http://www.volunteergrandparents.ca

  

{{Contest}} TUTS 4pk of tickets to Oliver! – The Musical or Hairspray – The Broadway Musical

Do you have a love for musical plays?

  
This Summer, Theatre Under The Stars is presenting Oliver! – The Musical and Hairspray – The Broadway Musical  running on alternating evenings July 10 – August 22, 2015 at the Malkin Bowl in Stanley Park. 

For their 2015 season – celebrating 75 years of song-and-dance filled summer nights – TUTS promises dramatic adventures, big hair, and toe-tapping tunes that are fun for the whole family.

  
 In Oliver! The Musical, directed by Shel Piercy and based on Charles Dickens’ iconic novel, this celebrated Broadway hit follows everyone’s favourite orphan, Oliver Twist, on a dramatic adventure through the underbelly of Victorian London. It will feature such instantly recognizable melodies as Food Glorious Food, Consider Yourself, I’d Do Anything, and more.

  
 Sarah Rodgers is back again this season to direct Hairspray. The triumphant musical with huge heart takes audiences back to 1962 Baltimore, where loveable, larger-than-life heroine Tracy Turnblad has one plucky dream: to dance on the local TV program, The Corny Collins Show. When this dream comes true, and Tracy is crowned Miss Hairspray, she finds herself transformed from outsider to teen celebrity – and realizes there are more important things in life than being in the limelight.

  
Theatre Under The Stars has graciously provided a Family 4 pack of tickets to either Oliver! or Hairspray to be given away to one lucky Raincity Parent reader! Contest runs from July 24th – August 5th, 2015. Enter via the Rafflecopter link below. Open to residents of the Greater Vancouver area.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

What’s for dinner? Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas

It’s raining today! 

We’ve needed this rain desperately! And it’s a nice, refreshingly excuse to stay in and eat some comfort food.

I had a hankering for Mexican tonight, so here’s what I made:

  
Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas

adapted from myrecipes.com

Ingredients:

2-1/2 cups chopped cooked chicken breast (I pulled a couple of frozen ones out of the freezer and poached them for about 20 minutes)

2 cups shredded reduced-fat cheese (I used medium cheese, but you could use a Tex-Mex blend)

1-2/3 cups 0% fat Greek yogurt

1/3 cup butter, melted

1/4 cup chopped onion

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 can condensed reduced-fat, reduced-sodium cream of chicken soup 

1 (4.5-oz) can chopped green chiles, drained

8 (8-inch) flour tortillas

1 tablespoon canola oil

Cooking spray

1/2 cup shredded reduced-fat medium cheddar cheese (you could use sharp, as well)

1/4 cup chopped green onions

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°.

Combine first 9 ingredients in a large bowl. Remove 1 cup chicken mixture; set mixture aside.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Working with 1 tortilla at a time, brush oil over both sides of tortilla. Add tortilla to pan; cook 5 seconds on each side or until toasted and soft. 

Remove from pan; arrange 1/2 cup chicken mixture down center of tortilla. 

Roll jelly-roll style; place filled tortilla, seam side down, in a 13 x 9–inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. 

Repeat procedure with remaining 7 tortillas, remaining oil, and remaining chicken mixture. 

Spread reserved 1 cup chicken mixture evenly over enchiladas. 

Cover and bake at 350° for 20 minutes. 

Uncover; sprinkle evenly with cheddar cheese and green onions; bake an additional 5 minutes or until cheese melts.
I chopped up some iceberg lettuce and halved some grape tomatoes and served them along side with a dollop each of salsa and guacamole.

This was a mega hit with everyone! Two thumbs up all around!


What’s for dinner? Easy Pad Thai and Stir-Fried Bok Choy

The weather has been pretty hot for the past couple of weeks, so spending time in a hot kitchen is not first place on the list of things I’d like to do.

I just wanted to make a quick dish that we’d all enjoy!

Here’s what I made:

  
Shrimp Pad Thai

adapted from myrecipes.com

Ingredients:

8 ounces uncooked flat rice noodles (pad Thai noodles)

2 tablespoons dark brown sugar

2 tablespoons lower-sodium soy sauce

1 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce

1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1 tablespoon Sriracha or chili garlic sauce

3 tablespoons canola oil

1 cup (2-inch) green onion pieces

8 ounces peeled and deveined large shrimp

5 garlic cloves, minced

3 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil.

Total: 25 Minutes

1. Cook noodles according to package directions; drain.

2. While water comes to a boil, combine sugar and next 4 ingredients (through Sriracha) in a small bowl.
3. Heat a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add onion pieces, shrimp, and garlic; stir-fry 2 minutes or until shrimp is almost done. Add cooked noodles; toss to combine. Stir in sauce; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly to combine. Arrange about 1 cup noodle mixture on each of 4 plates; top each serving with 2 teaspoons basil.

*you could top with 1/4 cup of bean sprouts and a sprinkle of chopped peanuts if you’d like as well, I didn’t have any on hand, but the added crunch is fantastic!

I sautéed some baby bok choy in sesame oil and chilli garlic sauce and served it up along side. The kids really liked this dish! Even the slightly spicy bok choy 😊

Stationary, artwork and decor…oh my! {PROMO CODE} #Minted

We are in the process of upgrading the “nursery” into a big kids room.

What was the neutral colorscheme that we chose for our little ones pre-arrival…has now served it’s purpose and needs to be refreshed.

The kidlets are room sharing and hubby is building them a bunkbed to accommodate the size of their room. We’re going to let them choose their new bedding and we’ll add some personal touches to make their “bed space”, their own. This will also be a fantastic improvement for our storage problem…

No more toys in the livingroom, WOO HOO!

I just ordered some sweet artwork for the kidlets from Minted. The pieces really reflect their personalities!

  
I also ordered a lovely piece for Mommy and Daddy. 

  
Just a little reminder to never go to bed angry.

Minted is a fantastic website that offers a vast array of art, decor, business cards, stationary and paperie for any occasion.

Their online order system is a breeze and their shipping is prompt.

I definitely plan to get some more items from Minted again in the future!

From now until July 13th, 2015, use promo code “RAINCITY10” at the Checkout, and you will receive 10% off your ‘art prints’ order!