Just call me Mom of the Year.

Last night we were coming home late and it was getting too late to cook something for dinner from scratch, so I pulled into the local super market parking lot.

My daughter and I hopped out of the van and walked around to the other side to let the wee dude out.

I had noticed an older woman across from us getting into her car and another guy riding a shopping cart to his.

All of a sudden I hear the guy start laughing out loud and I look up to see what was so funny.

The woman that had gotten into her car and now had pulled along side our van. She wound down her window and started talking to me. I couldn’t quite hear her, so I leaned towards her passenger window and asked her to repeat herself. 

“Your sweet little daughter just gave me the middle finger!”


SAY WHAT NOW!?

I have NEVER given ANYONE the middle finger (in front of my kids), so as to where she picked that up, completely baffles me!

I turned around and my daughter apologized to me, but I had her immediately apologize to the lady. I was so embarrassed!

She wouldn’t tell me why she did it and stuck to me like glue while we grabbed our groceries.

Eventually, on the way home, she confessed and said that the lady made a mean face at her. Perhaps she did…she did look pretty scowly. An example of BRF (bitchy resting face).

Another lesson learned…don’t try to sneak something behind Mum’s back ’cause you’ll ALWAYS get busted.

Oh, and be kind to others. Sometimes it pisses them off more.

Better Together Hands On Cook-Off Contest!

Do you have a foodie family?

Hands On Cook-off Contest

For the seventh year running, Better Together is hosting their Hands-On Cook-Off Contest!

This video contest is open to residents of British Columbia and runs from April 20th until noon on May 20th, 2016.

Enter

There are two categories that you can enter in:

  • To enter the Multigenerational category, at least two generations must be involved in the making of the video.
  • To enter the Youth category, at least two youth aged 18 and under must be involved in the making of the video. Videos must be no more than three minutes long once uploaded online; this requirement will be strictly enforced.

Vote

Vote for the video you think is the best in each category!

The video with the most votes in the Multigenerational category will win the People’s Choice award in this category and $300 cash.

Videos submitted in the Youth category have a chance to win a prize for their team and a prize for their school or youth program. The video with the most votes in the Youth category will win the People’s Choice award in the Youth category and $150 cash for their team plus $150 cash for their school or youth program of their choice.

Win

There are great prizes up for grabs. A team of 6 judges will determine the Grand Prize winner and the Runner Up winner for each category:

Ethan Adeland, Managing Director of Partnerships and co-founder of Food Bloggers of Canada.
Alexandra Gill, Globe and Mail’s Vancouver restaurant critic.
Denise Marchessault, chef and author of the British Columbia from Scratch cookbook.
Claire Newell, official Travel Expert for Global BC and guest of CKNW radio 3 times per week.
Jennifer Pallian, Vancouver-based food writer and food photographer and owner of the Foodess blog.
Rola Zahr, Registered dietitian and Nutrition Educator Manager at BC Dairy Association.

Better Together BC

So grab your family, pick a favourite recipe and get those cameras rolling! Be creative, but most of all, have fun with your family. Making a memory together couldn’t be more fun and tasty!

Better Together BC

{{Giveaway + Promo Code}} Healthy Family Expo, Saturday March 6th, 2016

Healthy Family Expo 2016 Is Bigger & Better Than Ever!

I’m so excited for the Healthy Family Expo this year!

It will be my first year attending and I’m looking forward to seeing all the amazing vendors, as well as the activities and entertainment planned for the kiddos!

Healthy Family Expo

The 3rd annual Healthy Family Expo returns to the Vancouver Convention Centre on Sunday March 6th from 10am – 5pm. It’s a fun-filled day for Lower Mainland families with kids aged 0-12 offering small steps & simple solutions to healthy, active, eco-friendly living, including:

  • 100+ Exhibitors, Shopping & Food Sampling
  • Biggest Active Kid Zone in the Lower Mainland, with climbing wall, giant hamster ball track, fire truck bouncer, run bike & sportball areas, animal safari, DANCEPL3Y classes & more!
  • Bobs & LoLo concerts at 11 am and 12:30 pm
  • Jessie Farrell concert at 3 pm presented by Bolthouse Farms
  • $15,000 Grand Prize Showcase, including a 1-year lease on a Toyota Prius c
  • On-site hybrid vehicle test-driving with Toyota Canada
  • Seventh Generation Baby Feeding & Changing Lounge & Active Baby Stroller Parking
  • First 200 attendees receive child day ticket to the Sea to Sky Gondola
  • Advance tickets are entered to win a $200 shopping spree at the Expo!
  • $1 from each ticket sale supports the Canucks Autism Network.

RSVP that you’re GOING in the Expo Facebook Event to win thousands in prizing before the big day! Tickets: $12 in advance (www.healthyfamilyexpo.com/tickets or at Whole Foods Market or London Drugs) $15 cash at the door, kids under 12 are FREE!

Healthy Family Expo

To kick off pre-Expo celebrations, Healthy Family Expo partners have teamed up to give one lucky Lower Mainland winner a healthy family prize package valued at over $1000, including:

Enter through Rafflecopter below! Open to Vancouver Lower Mainland and Sea to Sky Corridor residents. Winner will be announced at the Healthy Family Expo Facebook Party on March 3rd , 2016, and must collect prizes at the Expo at the Vancouver Convention Centre on March 6 th , 2016.

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Just for you, my loyal readers, I have a special PROMO CODE to share with you! You can get 2 for 1 tickets by using PROMO CODE “RCP241”! Click on the image below and enter the code upon checkout!

HFE Promo Code

The Tooth Fairy cometh! #YMCCommunity

For the past several months, our daughter has watched as her friends started losing their baby teeth.

She has been pining and I think secretly wiggling her teeth in the hopes of one becoming loose enough.

Yesterday it happened. One of her bottom front chompers became loose!

She freaked out! “Mom! I taste blood!” And the tears began.

By the end of school, the tooth was super wiggly and bleeding more. She was panicking!

Within 5 minutes, one of her afterschool playmates came running over yelling at me, “Her tooth fell out!” And our little lady, tears streaming down her face and blood coming from her mouth, arrived at my side.

Losing her first tooth!

I wanted to do something different than just a Tooth Fairy pillow, like I had when I was a kid. It may have been more along the lines of…the failure of having the ability to channel my inner ninja after a glass or two of “the kids are finally asleep” wine, and not wanting to have to try to sneak into her room, get under her pillow and do the ol’ swapperoo without waking her.

Months ago, I bought all the pieces to create our own Tooth Fairy Door, but I thought that I had more time before we needed it. Apparently, time waits for no one, so last night I stayed up late painting and assembling it.

Taaa daaa!

Taaa daaa!

We’re ready for you Tooth Fairy!

So what’s the going rate for the Tooth Fairy these days? I’d love to see what you when your kiddos lose their teeth!

Sometimes the grey clouds just have a way of sneaking in. #TheGoodMotherProject

Post partum depression and anxiety suck!

I know, because I suffered first hand.

Feeling blue

When our daughter was born six years ago, I thought that being a Mom was the best thing ever! A few days in, I was a total mess!

I was uber tired, exhausted, and I felt so overwhelmed.

Hubby did what he could to help, but I was the food source for our little lady and the frequent feedings certainly occupied a lot of our time.

I recall sitting on the couch all day with our new baby in my lap or on my boob, tears flowing freely down my cheeks. I felt alone and at a loss of how I should be spending time with this precious little being. I had no Mom friends to talk to and no family members that could help me. My husband was so worried about my mental health and tried so hard to help me get my head above water. I just could not shake the blues and worries away.

So tired

Finally we went in to the doctor for a chat. She referred me to B.C. Women’s Hospital where I was assessed and it was discovered that I was experiencing post partum anxiety. I then saw a therapist who taught me the tools to handle my anxieties. I had to force myself to do the “Mommy Firsts”. Bum changes, feedings, naps outside of the comfort of our home, were some of the firsts that I struggled with, but once I accomplished these simple tasks, the worries began to ease off.

I had heard of post partum depression, but when I was feeling my worst, I had no idea what to do. I went online to look for support and discovered the Pacific Post Partum Support Society, but was too afraid to contact them. I really wish that I had at the time…it probably would have shortened my suffering and made my life more bearable.

Post partum depression awareness has really come a long way and the support available is fantastic.

The Good Mother Project

The Good Mother Project, founded by Eran Sudds, is a network for mothers to support each other going through similar hardships.

On November 14th, The Good Mother Project will be holding a photo event as a way to raise money for the Pacific Post Partum Support Society.

Mothers and their children are invited to attend and have their photos taken while holding up signs that read “You are amazing” and “You are a good mother” as a way of sending positive and empowering messages to other participants as well as those viewing the images.

The Good Mother Project Photo Event will be held in Vancouver at the Scotiabank Dance Centre at 677 Davie St. from 2:30pm to 6:30pm. To register for your session, please click here. Tickets are $50 per session with FREE makeup touch-ups, coffee and snacks.

The Good Mother Project Photo Event

Sleeping in the car, just became WAY more amazing!! {{Giveaway}} #SlumberSling

You’ve got everyone all packed into the “family mobile” and you’re off on your next journey to wherever…

Errand running, out and about for the day around town, or the epic road trip that will more than likely consist of multiple stops for potty breaks, snack attacks, the retrieving of “misplaced” toys, shoes, binkies or blankies, or, changing the DVD for the gazzillionth time.

Hopefully this will include an interlude of quietness from the backseat when the mites drift off into a nice slumber, so Mum and Dad can have a moments peace or, Heaven forbid, listen to some grown-up tunage!

I honestly don’t know how kids can sleep so soundly hunched over in their car seats! Necks craned over and heads rolling around at every curve. Clearly, their made of rubber!

Enter Slumber Sling!

Sleepy Dude

These fantastic straps to help keep your kiddos heads in the “upright and locked position” during those unexpected slumber sessions that can sneak up on them. They come in several cute designs, fit around car seats and are suitable for the bigger kids too. I think that for our next road trip, I might use one for myself too so I don’t end up with a sore neck myself!

Slumber Sling has passed safety requirements in a professional crash test. It is hand made from organic cotton in the USA. Click here to purchase yours today.

Slumber Sling

{{GIVEAWAY!!!!}}

Ash & Alys Babes has given Raincity Parent one of their fantastic Slumber Slings to giveaway to one lucky reader!!!

Slumber Sling Foxy Dots

Enter via the Rafflecopter link below. Contest open to Canadian residents only, excluding Quebec.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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”?

{{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

  

That’s my boy! #YMCCommunity

As parents, we try our best to protect our precious little ones from violence and swearing…

but on occasion, there is no avoiding exposing them to the ugliness around us.

We spell out swear words when their little ears are nearby, and fumble to change the channel when adult content, whether violent or sexual, shows up on the TV screen.

Recently, we were privileged to be witness to an argument in public where swear words were being thrown around. Ugh! No avoiding that one.

Our 5-1/2yo daughter has always been very good at not repeating “grown up” words, even when she’s angry. But our 2-1/2 yo son, OY VEY! He is the BIGGEST parrot and has the most impeccable timing when he chooses to share his new found vocabulary.

I was picking our daughter up from school the other day and I brought along the wee dude. We always stay for a little while to play with friends and chit chat with the others parents.

When it was time to go, I hollered for my munchkins to head to the van and Tyrannosaurus Toddler yelled back, “Shut the F*€% up!”

Face Palm

I nearly died!

The playground got quiet and I felt all eyes on me. I wanted to disappear. How do you react to THAT!?

I quickly went to him, advised him that these words were grown up words and not appropriate for kids to use, but the more I did this, the more he thought it was funny and shared this with the onlookers.

I scooped him up and we made tracks to the van. I’m sure a great discussion was had in my absence, but whatever.

No, I don’t teach my kids these words. Yes, I have occasionally let a few slip out. Yes, I try to correct them when they are used. No, I’m not worried that others think I’m a terrible parent.

Life happens…roll with the punches. Kids will be kids and parents will always learn as we go along.

PS- I’m sorry my kid taught yours to swear. Next up…arm pit farts!

What’s for dinner? Creamy Mushroom & Spinach Pasta

The kids were driving me crazy today…

They were both home, as our little lady had a dodgey tummy and needed to be kept close to the washroom. It was also an epic weather day consisting of rain, sun and even hail, so going out wasn’t ideal either.

It’s always a good day when you have bored kids and NONE of their toys are desirable, except the one that the other kid is currently playing with, then it’s war!

Here’s what we had for dinner:

Creamy Mushroom and spinach pasta

Creamy Mushroom and Spinach Pasta

Adapted from She Wears Many Hats

Ingredients:

8 oz pasta, uncooked (I used rigatoni)

3 tbsp all-purpose flour

1 cup chicken broth

1 cup milk

½ tsp salt

½ tsp black pepper

3 tbsp olive oil

8 oz sliced mushrooms

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 cup grated Parmesan or Gruyere

2 cups fresh baby spinach leaves

Directions:

Begin cooking pasta according to package instructions.

Whisk together flour, chicken broth, milk, salt and pepper. Set aside.

While pasta cooks, in a large skillet heat olive oil over medium-high heat. When oil begins to ripple add sliced mushrooms, sauté for 6 minutes. Add minced garlic, sauté for 2 more minutes until garlic just begins to brown.

Whisk flour, chicken broth, milk, salt and pepper mixture into mushrooms and garlic, bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally until thickened, about 3-4 minutes.

Add shredded cheese, stir until cheese has melted.

Mix in spinach, allow to wilt.

Add drained pasta to skillet, toss to coat.

The kids weren’t really fans of the pasta that I had chosen, so next time I might use rotini, macaroni or a long pasta.