Surviving the “Man Cold” without losing it! #YMCCommunity

So, hubby woke up the other day with the dreaded “Man Cold”!

The Man Cold

If you don’t know what this is…it’s a regular cold, but it’s “man-sized”.

By this, I mean, every aspect about the cold is exaggerated. Their temperature is “like a million degrees”, their heads are “practically exploding”, the bed is the only comfortable and warm place to lay, the kids are excruciatingly louder than normal, their energy is so drained that getting food or drink is nearly impossible, but going to the bathroom is easily achieved as long as there’s a clear path and no one disturbs him en route.

I figured out how to sort things out before the “milking it” got out of hand. As soon as the grumpy bear appears from his den, I immediately hand him a couple of Daytime Cold & Flu gel capsules and a glass of water.

Daytime Cold & Flu medicine

Wait about a half an hour and you are free of one more kid to take care of.

There, of course, is the lingering cough and runny nose still, but hand him a box of tissues and a handful of lozenges, and when afternoon nap time comes around, send him and the little ones off for a peaceful 2 hour break for Mom, so you can sip your cup of tea and catch up on your own stuff in peace.

Enjoying a cup of tea

Then at bedtime, hook him up with a couple Nightime Cold & Flu capsules, so you both can get a restful sleep. It would also be fantastic if they came with a snore suppressant as well, ’cause Cold Snores are the equivalent to a thunderstorm RIGHT. BESIDE. YOUR. HEAD, accompanied with the “Breath of Death”!

How do you handle the “Man Cold” when it rears it’s ugly head in your home?

Do you have the smarts to make your escape in time?! #Krakit

Have you ever had a dream about being trapped somewhere and you had to solve riddles and clues to get you out?

Trapped in a room

They always seem to be occurring in uncomfortable environments like decrepit mental hospitals, abandoned buildings or during an apocalypse.

Well now, you can make that dream a reality (without the impending death part).


Krakit is a new Room Escape experience, located in Burnaby. There are four theme rooms to choose from: Butcher, Asylum, Zombie Apocalypse and currently, Nightmare Before Christmas, where you get to test your thinking skills to successfully escape within 45 minutes before your fate is sealed.

Solve clues hidden right before your eyes to proceed throughout the experience. On occasion you may even have a visitor pop up while you’re concentrating on your task at hand.

Krakit is a fantastic addition to a night out before having dinner or hitting up the local bar. Grab your friends and work together as a team or organize a team building experience with your colleagues or community group.

My best friend from childhood joined me as we pursued The Asylum. She was “the friend” who, at every sleepover, insisted on renting Horror movies. She was the bravest of all of us back then, but now…mwah ha ha ha, it’s payback sista! She even wore a MASSIVE ring just in case we needed protection!


Together, we read clues, turned the rooms upside down and communicated with each other to try to solve the riddles. Throughout the game, you are allowed three “helps” in the event of getting stuck. With both of us being too stubborn to ask for help, we burned up a lot of our time in the first room. We did cave at one point and ask for help. Apparently everyone does it, so we really aren’t that lame ūüėČ

The second room was easier for us as we quickly made it through the clues, unlocking various objects. We even got spooked a couple of times, throwing us off our concentration and adding to the excitement!

In the end, we finished 5 minutes past the allotted time, but it was totally worth it. We had so much fun and learned how well we work together. I think we need to try out for Amazing Race Canada next! We’ve already planned to go back to try another room and we’re going to bring more friends with us.


Krakit Escape Game is located at : 4035 North Road, Burnaby, BC, V3J 1S3

Easily accessible just steps away from the Lougheed skytrain station

North of Lougheed Hwy on the West Side of North Rd

Phone: (604) 484-6552


REGULAR HOURS OF OPERATION: *bookings outside of regular hours possible please contact us for more info*

Monday-Thursday 3:00pm – 11:30pm

Friday 3:00pm -12:30am

Saturday 11:00am – 12:30am

Sunday 11:00am – 11:30pm


Each single Escape Game per person is $22.00 (taxes included)

Tuesdays all games are $10/person (NOT including taxes)

Is it your birthday? Then your game is free *the day of your birthday.

To book your Room Escape experience at Krakit, click here.

Visit Krakit on Facebook and Twitter too!

Kids ALWAYS have impeccable timing! #YMCCommunity

Just as you get that important call, the kids require your attention RIGHT NOW!



It never fails…

They could be playing nicely and quietly with their toys and each other for the past half an hour, then just as you answer the phone, the yelling and fighting begins.

Daddy mostly works from home, so he regularly makes and receives business calls throughout the day. His “office” is the door-less den near the kids bedroom, so it’s a little less than private.

Today, while he was on one of those “professional calls”, the kids thought that this would be the ideal time to start a “Fart War” amongst themselves and loudly announce every time one of them dropped a bomb.

What the...?

What the…?

I can only imagine what the person on the other end of the line must have been thinking hearing that come across the horn. Hopefully they didn’t catch it and there was too much noise on the line. Wishful thinking.

Our home seems to get smaller as the days go by, but we make due with what we have until it’s more feasible.

Have you ever had an embarrassing moment while on a phone call?

And just like that…another Christmas whisks by. #YMCCommunity

Another Christmas has come and gone…

Christmas is done for another year.

Kinda sad really. When December 1st hit, it was quite exciting to see the glow in our kid’s eyes as all the Christmas lights and decorations starting popping up. The holiday cartoons were in full swing and clogging up our DVR. The Christmas tunes were cranked in the van and our daughter participated in her first School Concert (queue sappy Mom getting all teary-eyed).

Christmas concert.

Note to self: taking a 2yo to a school Christmas concert when it’s supposed to be nap time, is not the best idea in the world. His teddy bear, soother and shoes became projectiles, beaning our fellow audience members in the heads. He pooped his pants 10 minutes into the hour-long performance and then had a temper tantrum and meltdown twenty minutes before it ended, causing us to make a hasty retreat to the lobby at the entrance of the school where he made short work of undecorating the school Christmas tree.

Cpt. Destructo

Our Christmas was pretty quiet. We got together with the family for a few dinners, visited with friends and absorbed as much of the festive displays and markets that we could possibly handle. Daddy even had holidays booked at the same time as school holidays, so it was even better that we could spend so much time together.

Now it’s time for all the Elves on the Shelves to go back to Santaland for another year and relieve parents from having to come up with yet another scenario to surprise this kiddies with.

Sparkles the Elf

The empty boxes and crumpled paper have filled the bins and the Christmas trees are being disrobed and put away, taken to the dump or chipped up for a local organization.

I remember when I was a kid, my friend’s Mom would leave a 6-pack of beer out for the garbage men so they’d take the entire pile of Christmas debris away, including the tree. I don’t think that happens anymore.

The kids toy bin is overflowing and they’re fighting who gets a turn with the new ones. I think it’s time to cull the bin of the forgotten toys and let them live their next life in a new home.

I’ve joined GoodLife Fitness and plan to go 3x a week alternating with running every other day. I plan to kick up my fitness level another notch to really get in shape for 2015. Hubby and I have made a pact to eat healthier and drink more water too!

I’ve stepped outside my comfort zone and got a new hair do. Something I’ve always wanted to do, but never felt brave enough to actually do it. I think it looks great and my friends have complimented me on it too! So there’s one step towards a fantastic new year.

My new do!

2015 is just a moment away and we plan to make it a great year for us! We have some plans in mind and we are going to make sure they happen ūüôā

What do you have in store for 2015?

This post was written as a part of the GoodLife Fitness Blogger Ambassador Program, however all opinions expressed are my own.

Making Memories the Modern Way {Giveaway} #OneDayKids

There are BOXES of photo albums that my parents established back in the day.

Photo Albums

They are mainly full of memories made by my Mum and Dad, pre-kids. The parties had with friends, Christmas get-togethers, vacations to tropical destinations and the “bragging” photos of my Dad’s catch for the annual fishing derbies that he always cleaned house at.

Then my sister came along, and there were loads of pictures capturing her first few years. She was in fact the first grandchild, so she was completely doted on.

When I arrived, there were still lots of pictures taken of me, but not nearly as many as Thing 1.

Mum, Dad & I

Back then, when you wanted to take pictures, you had a roll of film and a flash cube (I know, what are those?). And then, these usually maxed out at 12-48 exposures. Needless to say, it was time consuming and expensive to take pictures during the Stone Age.

Kodak Pocket Instamatic


When we eventually got a Polaroid camera, we thought that we had arrived!

Flash forward, thirty years and enter digital cameras with massive memory cards and filters that make photographing your life more enjoyable. And if you can’t afford one of these magnificent pieces of equipment, we are able to capture ANYTHING and EVERYTHING on our Smartphones. You don’t even need to be a professional photographer to grab some amazing images. And with the available apps, you can enhance your photos using filters and other tools to make them unique and mesmerizing.

Video cameras have also come a long way since the Super 8. No more film, everything is digital as well.


There’s even a fantastic new app called¬†OneDay, that you can download to your mobile device.

Using OneDay, you ask your child a variety of (age specific) questions that you capture through video on your mobile device and compile to create a mini movie that is so much fun to create.

My daughter and I had fun the other day while her little brother was napping…

Using the OneDay App, you can make memorable movies with babies all the way up to grown-ups. You can even create some of yourself to share with your children later in life.

Download the FREE OneDay App today, and start making memories that you will cherish forever.


Want to WIN a $250 Target GC?! Of course you do…silly question. Enter via the Rafflecopter link below. This giveaway is open to residents of the US & Canada (excluding Quebec) 18 years and over.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

OneDay App

Potty training boys! Where do I start? {Giveaway} #LilMarc #YMCCommunity

When our son was born, it was a fantastic surprise!

We didn’t find out the sex of either of our babies while I was pregnant because we wanted it to be a surprise! How many of those do you get in your lifetime.

Baby On Board

Our daughter came along first and we were so lucky that she was such a good baby, toddler and preschooler.

Potty training went pretty smoothly for us, with minimal hiccups. She was diaper-free by 4 years old.

Sitting on the potty

As soon as the Little Dude arrived, my first thought was, “What am I going to do with that?!” Referring to his penis.

I grew up in a house full of girls and had zero experience with boy’s “bits and pieces”.

Changing his diapers was a whole new experience.

I have been honoured by being “hosed down” a few times, but I must admit, clean up is pretty easy. No crevices for poop to hide in ūüėČ

He has now passed the 2 year mark and it’s time to pull on his big boy underpants. Little Dude needs to be introduced to the potty.

Boy peeing fountain

But boys are different. They stand to pee. It’s OK to sit to pee too, but why not show him how to pee like a big boy and Daddy. But when you’re only 36″ tall, standing to pee in the potty isn’t that easy. You have to pull out the step stool, and get your pants down before the front of the toilet and floor get hosed down.

Lil Marc

Searching the interweb, I came across Lil Marc.

Lil Marc is similar to a urinal that you would find in public restrooms, only potty training sized!

Lil Marc Training Urinal

Lil Marc Training Urinal

It can be used as a free-standing unit or you can mount it to the wall. Simple to use and easy to empty and clean.

Potty training our little guy is going to be a feat in itself, but I think it will be a fun and exciting time for him with the help of Lil Marc!


Lil Marc has generously offered to giveaway a Lil Marc Training Urinal to one lucky Raincity Parent reader! This giveaway runs from October 8th-17th, 2014 and is open to residents of Canada and the US only. Enter via the Rafflecopter link below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Baby & Tot Show, Oct 18-19, 2014 at the Tradex in Abbotsford {Giveaway}

Is there a new baby in your family?

If your answer is YES, then you’ll want to be sure to check out the Baby & Tot Show at the Tradex in Abbotsford on October 18th & 19th, 2014!

B&T Show

There will be over 150 exhibitors to shop and sample from.

If you have a crawler in your midst, sign them up for the Baby Races where you can WIN a prize for the first baby to cross the finish line.

And just for the Mommies, make you you pop into the Yummy Mummy Lounge where you can learn the latest make-up tricks, check out what’s hot in the fashion world, shop and save on beauty products and also WIN prizes!

Anita Alberto Photography will be on site to take photos of your little darlings for the Photo Contest, where you can enter to WIN a $250 gift basket and possibly become the face of the Baby & Tot Show 2015!

Anita Alberto

If you’re bringing your active kiddos along to the show, check out the Kid Zone,¬†sponsored by My Gym Children’s Fitness Centre.

My Gym

When it’s time to feed or change the little ones, there’s a Nursing & Changing Lounge available with complimentary diapers and wipes, courtesy of Costco¬†Wholesale.

The Seminar Stage will be featuring:

KristenYarker_squarecropped_medium (1)
Kristen Yarker, MSc, RD is a child feeding expert who helps Moms and Dads support their picky eater to try new foods on their own   (without being forceful or sneaky). A speaker, Author, and dietitian, Kristen is a picky eater turned food-lover herself. Kristen worked behind-the-scenes at the BC Ministry of Health to create many of the resources that health professionals use throughout the province. Since 2008 she has been working with families to support them in providing good food for their kids today…and, instilling in them a life-long LOVE of healthy eating. Following Kristen’s teaching, parents learn how to get their kids to try new foods on their own without resorting to the forceful methods of the past, negotiations, or being sneaky. Get a taste for Kristen at STAGE TIME: 2:15pm


Modern Family Expo (1)¬†Ricky Shetty is the owner and operator of the family-friendly website Daddy Blogger where he writes about parenting from a father‚Äôs perspective. Ricky will be sharing 3 Tips for Being a Better Dad. This will be a content-rich, engaging, and highly practical presentation. Ricky will be giving out a few copies of his Amazon Best Selling Book ‚ÄúWisdom from Daddies: What I Learned from Interviewing 100 Dads about Fatherhood‚ÄĚ to parents who will be attending.¬†To find out more about Ricky, check out his website:¬†¬†¬†.¬†STAGE TIME:¬†12:15pm




Marnie Huard ‚Äď CheekyChops Sleep Consultant

Having experienced the negative effects lack of sleep has on a family and a relationship, Marnie understands all the challenges that come with it. Choosing Cheekychops Consulting to help her son sleep better was one of the best decisions she ever made for herself and her family.

Marnie is originally from Newport, Quebec, and moved to BC five years ago. She now lives in Langley with her husband, their very active son, and their dog. They are raising their son in a trilingual environment: French, German, and English. Marnie is fluent in both English and French. Marnie will be speaking about the about the myths of infant sleep and explain why they aren’t accurate and what should be done instead.  Visit her website here. STAGE TIME: 3:00pm


square-photo-ginger500px (1) Justine Pearson, BA Psychology, CD (DONA) has been serving families over the past 15 years as a Birth and Postpartum Doula, Prenatal Educator, and Breastfeeding Consultant. She believes how a woman births her baby as well as her breastfeeding experience can greatly affect a family long term. She will be sharing practical ways to feed your baby with ease. Working with families, she regularly experiences how breastfeeding is most successful with up-to-date education and support. Justine has dealt with many difficult situations including; latch issues, breast and nipple pain, repeated clogged ducts, insufficient milk supply, multiples, and helping moms establish a stress-free pumping routine.  She is a passionate expert in the birth field who is gifted in what she does. Get her updates here. STAGE TIME: 3:45PM

Jaydene (1) 10 Reasons Why You Should Hire A Birth Photographer

Jaydene Freund is one of the first professional birth photographers in Canada. She’s been photographing births over 5 years and has captured nearly 70 births. Her photos have been featured in The Vancouver Sun, Globe and Mail, Canadian Family and Global News. After co-founding Canadian Birth Photographers in 2012, Jaydene has continued to establish birth photography as an accepted genre of professional photography.

10 Reasons Why You Should Hire A Birth Photographer will show incredible images that will promise to leave you inspired and wanting to birth again. See more at . STAGE TIME: 1:00pm

vanessa Vanessa Wideski is a qualified financial security advisor holding her LLQP certification, she specializes in helping families to plan for their children’s future and to save for their education.

RESP, TFSA, GIC; with so many choices available, it can all be quite confusing, but it doesn’t have to be! When you attend our workshop you will learn the difference between an RESP, TFSA, and a GIC. You will also learn about the three main government grants that are available for your child’s education, did you know that all residents of B.C. are eligible to receive up to $10,000 in free government grants!?

Lastly we will also introduce you to a concept that very few are aware of, we‚Äôve coined it ‚Äúthe million dollar baby program.‚ÄĚ This workshop will explain these facts in layman‚Äôs terms making it very simple and easy to understand. New parents have a lot to think about when they‚Äôre expecting a new addition, we‚Äôll take the guess work out of finances and help you make a well informed decision when choosing the best way to save for your child‚Äôs education and invest in their future. Click¬†here¬†to¬†view her website.¬†STAGE TIME:¬†11:30am


portrait Martin Sunderland is a Fire Inspector and Public Educator with the Abbotsford Fire Rescue Service.  Prior to joining the fire service he was a high school shop teacher working with inner-city teens, first in Ontario, then in Surrey.

Since joining the fire department, Martin has used his experience and training as a teacher to develop and implement a series of new initiatives designed to connect with youth and reduce injuries, property damage and other consequences connected with risky behavior.

He is a leader in the field of youth firesetting intervention and works closely with Abbotsford schools.  Martin has also found new methods of connecting with preschool and elementary school children about safety in ways they not only understand but remember long after he has left the classroom.

Martin is an experienced and passionate public speaker and has been a guest presenter at fire prevention conferences in BC as well as Washington, Oregon and Colorado. He is also a sessional instructor at the Justice Institute of BC. STAGE TIME: 1:30pm

Be sure to enter to WIN hundreds of prizes, including the Grand Prizes :  a Family Vacation and $1000 CASH PRIZE!

Ticket Prices

Ticket price includes: a reusable shopping bag (for the first 500 attendees in line each day), official show guide, access to all exhibitors, seminars, stages and meet & greets.

On-line admission rates:

Adults: $12

Children 12 & under: Free!

Click here to purchase online.

*Tickets will also be available at the door. Ticket sales at box office are CASH ONLY.
The Baby & Tot Show has generously provided Raincity Parent with a 4pk of tickets & a $50 Gift Certificate to give away to one lucky reader! The giveaway runs from October 5th-15th and is open to residents of the Vancouver, B.C. area and the Fraser Valley. Enter via the Rafflecopter link below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monkeying around Mommy-style! #WildPlay #YMCCommunity

When was the last time you acted like a kid?


Photo: Grown Ups the movie

I mean…not attitude-wise, but actually had fun and let loose?

Rode your bike and took your feet off the pedals? Danced or sang out loud to a favourite song that came on over the speaker system at the grocery store? Ran through the Spray Park laughing out loud? Or climbed a tree?

Last weekend, a bunch of fellow Moms and I decided to climb some trees!

It's a long way down!

It’s a long way down!


We threw on our big girl panties and tested our strength and courage as we navigated our way through a series of climbing skills, precarious bridges, ziplines, and nets. The harnesses that we doned, helped provide some more courage by adding extra security as we ascended higher at each level.

Getting warmed up.

Getting warmed up.

The great thing was, that if your inner chicken appeared, you could make your escape route at the end of the level that you were doing.


The course took us about 2 hours to complete and by the end if it, our hands and upper bodies were certainly feeling that they had been abused. A few of us even kissed the ground once touching down.


Here’s the 411 on Monkido at WildPlay Elements Park:

On the Kids, Buddy, or Classic series of games, guests navigate through the trees from two to eighteen metres above ground in ‚Äúmonkey-see, monkey-do‚ÄĚ style. The experience involves climbing, zip-lining, jumping, and swinging across sections of log ladders, cargo nets, rope swings, tightropes, swinging logs, wobbly bridges, and more aerial surprises. As the course progresses, the obstacles gradually become higher and more difficult, testing physical and mental limits, before winding up with a huge smile and sense of accomplishment.

WildPlay Elements Park

The Monkido¬ģ Aerial Adventure is an independent activity, appropriate for people ages seven to seventy-plus. No previous experience required. Equipment, demonstration, course monitoring, and encouragement are provided by qualified Element Guides.
Every Monkido¬ģ Classic, Buddy, and Kids adventure includes:
Harness equipment designed to work specifically with all our course games.
Risk management training on a demo course to teach independent navigation though games and zip lines.
Sixty (or more) suspended games and zip lines; grouped by height and difficulty into colour-coded course sections (with exit points at each transition to the next level).
Self-guided pacing that provides natural and comfortable movement regardless of experience.
Trained and certified Element Guides who monitor the course and provide helpful obstacle tips (and encouragement) – from the ground (Private guides are available with advance notice, call a Guest Service Agent at any Park for details).
Healthy outdoor playtime for individuals and groups.
Unleash healthy outdoor playtime for individuals and groups!


If you’re looking for a challenging, yet fun experience, be sure to visit Wild Play Elements Park and find your inner monkey.

WildPlay Elements Park

Take the kids out and have a ball watching the Boys of Summer! #YVRBloggers

Memories of Summer when I was a kid include riding my bike EVERYWHERE, freezies, running through the sprinkler, camping out in the back yard and playing baseball.


Baseball was was a big deal in my house when I was a kid. My Mum always watched the games on TV, I played in Little League and once, my Mum even scored us some tickets to go see the Vancouver Canadians play at Nat Bailey Stadium. It was a great day, sitting in the sun, cheers from the crowd and spending time together as a family!


Last week I joined the YVR Bloggers at a Canadians game.

Notice the handhelds in use.

Notice the handhelds in use.

The weather was beautiful and warm, the game was exciting and the crowd was awesome at cheering the boys on.

Throughout the game, we were treated to some extra entertainment:

The Sushi Races, featuring Ms. BC Roll, Mr. Kappa Maki and Chef Wasabi. These loveable mascots race around the baseball diamond trying to out run each other to the finish line.


The grounds keepers danced a little jig to “Cottoned-eyed Joe” as they tidied up the diamond after the 5th Inning. These fellas do this every game! Check out some of the footage on YouTube.

We participated in a few rounds of “The Wave” and the team mascot, Bob Brown Bear, led us in the “Chicken Dance”.

Bob Brown Bear

Bob Brown Bear

In the end, the Canadians beat the Eugene Emeralds 11-7, topping off a great night out with a fabulous group of fun people. I look forward to many more outings with this gang.

Next time you’re looking for a fun night out, be sure to check out the Vancouver Canadians game schedule, pack up the family, head on down to Nat Bailey Stadium and take in a game.

You can chow down on some Nathan’s Famous hot dogs, have a refreshing cold one, and expect an awesome night out with the family. It’s also perfect for a Date Night or getting together with a group of mates.


Tickets start at $12.50, so this definitely makes for an affordable sporting event to take in.


A little peace of mind for that “just in case” moment. #SafetyTat

Our daughter was a dream when she was a toddler.


Although she was very active, she always stayed near Mum and Dad when we were out and about. Even when we were at a busy place, like the playground or spray park  during the Summer, the grocery store on a weekend when everyone else in the neighbourhood was out shopping too, or a local attraction where there was lots of distractions, noise and what appeared to be a forest of legs in eyes of a person under three feet.

Photo credit : Pop Sugar

Photo credit : Pop Sugar

Now that we have two kids, our daughter is almost five and the little Dude is nearing the two year mark, whenever we head out on an adventure, I am more uneasy when it comes to keeping eyes on two mites, especially when they take off at Mach speed in two different directions. Our daughter still stays close and makes eye contact every so often so she knows where we are, but when you have to chase Captain “Watch How Fast I Can Run Away a From You”, you can quickly lose track of the other kid.


My fear isn’t that she will run off, it’s that a stranger could grab her and disappear.


With Safety Tat, my fears are more at ease during that “just in case” moment.

Apply Safety Tat to a clean, hair-free area of your child’s arm, where they’re not likely to remove it, write down your mobile phone number on the Tat using the enclosed marker and let your littles go play.

Watch the video on how to apply and remove Safety Tat here.


Safety Tat has a variety of products available, such as Allergy/ Medical Alert tattoos, pre-printed Anywhere Labels to label your kid’s things, Write-On Tats, multi packs, travel packs, Tat Kisses, Birthday packs and Tats for Seniors. Click here to shop online.

So, the next time you’re heading out with the kiddos and you are concerned that they could potentially get separated from you or their caregiver, be sure to apply a Safety Tat, just in case they do.