Adventures, Parenting

The McKinney’s Week/Weekend in Review 4/29-5/5

Cheers to another successful week and weekend! On Tuesday, we celebrated Abby’s 5th birthday and she even had her physical completed for the year. A good bill of health for a very smart girl. Abby is officially registered for Kindergarten in the Fall; she is excited and so are we. (Proud Parent Moment)

~

On Thursday, we enjoyed bedtime story time at our local library and picked up some new books for the week and week to come. Abby was even able to sign up for her very own library card and was very proud to sign the back of her card. This moment was sacred to her, as if it was a passage to her independence.

I have created a Goodreads account for myself and Abby to log our books for the year. Abby’s goal is to read over 100 books for 2019 and my goal is to read at least 50. Goodreads is a good site to log your books read and add books to your list in which you would like to read. The app even allows you to write a brief review on each book. This is perfect for tracking our books read for the year.

Be sure to check out the app and website: http://www.goodreads.com

~

This week I have been connecting with other local runners in my group, Moms Run This Town. I am too pumped to begin training for my first run. I was recommended to use a app, Couch to 5k. This app is designed to condition you into shape starting off walking- jogging-running in order to build your endurance to complete a 5k run. I have preregistered for a few upcoming races in July and will be creating a section here on my blog to log my races and run data.

I have even challenged Andrew to participate in this years 2019 Great Cycle Challenge USA in order to ride to fight kid’s cancer. It’s about 4 weeks left to go until this challenge kicks off, so he has plenty of time to condition his bike for the season. This challenge will be continuing throughout the month of June and you can ride from whatever location you like and just log your mileage.

If interested you can register at: http://www.greatcyclechallenge.com | Join us in the fight against Kid’s cancer.

~

There will be no meal prepping for the upcoming week. I will cook each day to prevent waste. For those wondering why, it is because Jr. still has not arrived and it can be any moment/day now.

I have been following doctors orders and increased my walking and squatting but Jr. is simply not ready. I don’t know how much lower he can drop at this point since he is already sitting in and over my lap. Contractions are becoming more frequent but I am not too bothered by the intensity. I shared with my followers on twitter that my biggest fear is not being able to detect that I am in active labor. My pain tolerance is pretty high and with Abby she was crowning and delivering herself before I mentioned to the nurses that I felt some pressure. I hope my mother’s instinct kicks in and indicates to me that something is not right so we can be settled in at the hospital before he makes his debut. Even though, I think Andrew manage delivering baby boy at home. He is such a expert in so many areas I am confident that he could master delivering a baby. He is a great coach. =)

I will continue to keep you all updated as the week progresses. Wishing everyone a successful week ahead. Conquer those goals. Each day is a fresh start. Take no days off!

FLWE ❤

Adventures

The McKinney’s Weekend Adventures: Grocery Shopping, Family Time, and Library Fun

Finally, a weekend filled with beautiful weather! Hubby and I woke up early on Saturday morning and completed all of our grocery shopping for the upcoming week at our two favorite grocers, Wegmans and Lidl. Grocery shopping has been something we now do together but independently since we both are following two very different diets. I plan on writing a post in the near future going in to more detail about our diet differences and how we grocery shop and plan our meals. In brief, Andrew follows a strict no carb diet and I, in contrast follow a low carb diet. I focus primarily on portion control and reducing sugar consumption in order to manage and maintain my weight. I have altered my meals slightly to incorporate more carbs because I am pregnant but in small portions.

After grocery shopping we spent the remainder of Saturday with family and enjoyed a mini pre-summer cookout. As you can see from the picture above crab legs was on the menu. I definitely enjoyed my crab legs. I have been craving seafood lately in my pregnancy and the majority of the meals I prepare have had some sort of seafood in them. Despite, my cravings for having less than 5 weeks left until Jr. arrives I think I am maintaining my weight and figure well. The only place I seem to be growing is right where is should (my belly). Jr. definitely will be packing on more weight in the coming weeks as he prepares for his arrival into the world.

Today is Sunday, and we made our weekly weekend visit to the library (Abby’s favorite place). Together, we are working to complete 100 books before Kindergarten. Our local library actually has a reading list available that we have been following. Abby is doing a great job in checking books off her list. I am positive we will have exceeded reading all 100 books and more before the start of Kindergarten in the Fall.

Once we arrived back home from the library I immediately began my meal prep for the week. Now, everything is packed and ready for the week. Hubby spent a short time searching for my breast pump in storage and to his success was able to find it. That was the last item we needed to locate in order to be prepared for Jr. I refused to have to purchase a new pump. I am so grateful that Andrew was able to locate my breast bump and all of my supplies/equipment.

As Sunday comes to a close, I hope all of my readers have a blessed and successful week ahead. Remember to take some time out before bed to review your calendar for important events and tasks. Be sure to also reflect on your goals- new and current.

FLWE ❤

Adventures, Mom Life, Parenting

The McKinney’s Weekend Adventure (Recap)

With the summer approaching- the weather is getting nicer and I have been planning a lot of fun filled learning activities for Abby. Abby will be entering Kindergarten in the Fall and as parents it is our job to make sure she is prepared.

Saturday we surprised Abby and took her to her first planetarium show, Sesame Street “One World, One Sky”.

Abby did not know what to expect and was amazed once we took our seats under the dome, as we waited for the show. She enjoyed learning about the starts and planets. Her bedtime story Saturday night was a book about stargazing and the different galaxies [Stars! Stars! Stars! by Nancy Elizabeth Wallace], which she had picked out the weekend prior at our library visit. Lately, she has been very interested in the solar system and airplanes. It’s pretty safe to assume that she gets those interests from her Daddy.

Honestly, Andrew and I were pretty excited about visiting the planetarium ourselves. We both enjoyed field trips in elementary school to Owens Science Center.

A weekend ritual for us has also been our weekly visits to the library. Sunday we took Abby to the library to return her books from the week prior and allowed her to pick out some new books. Grandma joined us on this visit and helped us pick out some beginners reading books with sight words. Abby has grown to love the library and enjoys meeting new friends.

Last night for bedtime Abby picked out the book, Stop, Train, Stop! by Rev. W. Awdry. She learned several new words to add to her vocabulary and was able to spell those words out-loud with a closed book. The benefits of reading aloud stories each night to your babies and toddlers are significant as it helps build their vocabulary, comprehension, and grammar. I can definitely see an improvement in Abby’s vocabulary and she is so eager for story time at night before bed which makes bedtime more pleasant.

While browsing at the library on Sunday I passed by the book, How to Raise Kind Kids by Thomas Lickona. It caught my attention and after reading an excerpt I had to check it out for myself.

I am always reading for information and I find enjoyment in self development and parenting books. There are so many theories when it comes to how to parent and how to be a better parent. This book discusses how to teach manners to your children. Just in the first few chapters of this book I learned that the teaching of character development and education was a major area in American school systems many years ago. With time and culture changes we have weaned away from that. Politics is blamed for the change and it’s often harder to find schools that emphasize the education of character development. There is an estranged disconnect between whether character development should be taught at home or in schools. I personally believe that it should definitely start at home and should not fall on the responsibility of teachers.

Andrew and I observed at the playground this past weekend a young girl being a bully to multiple kids. We had no clue of who her parents were and felt really bad to see this happen but it is a reality that our children will face at the playground and even at school. This event struck a nerve with me and made me self reflect on how we are doing as parents to instill kindness in our children. This all ties into prepping Abby for school and teaching her the importance of acts of kindness and how to respond in situations where someone is not being so kind.

While at the playground Abby handled the bully well and ignored her. I want her to be able to recognize situations like this and build her character by responding positively. As parents we have limited control of the situations that our children face when interacting with other children. However, what we do have control over is what we are teaching our children about having good character and the importance of kindness.

Bullying is a serious issue and is plaguing not only schools but social media. It is important to work with your children and discourage and correct this type of negative behavior if you are observing it. If we all take the responsibility of doing this we can gain better control over bullying.

If you have a child that is struggling with poor character or lack of kindness this would be a great book to checkout from your local library. I would even recommend it to every parent whether there is a problem or not. The book just provides overall good and useful information on the effects of culture, how to cultivate kindness and gratitude in your children. These concepts are extremely important in the development of your children as they transition into the many phases of life.

Book Excerpts:

“The bottom line: whether we reverse the destructive trends that are bringing out the worst in many Americans, and make progress towards a kinder, more respectful society, depends on each and every one of us– and starts at home” (Lickona, 2018, p. 22)

“Responsibility– in the literal sense of ‘response-ability’– has everything to do with kindness. To the degree that kids practice kindness, they’ll think of others, not just of themselves. They’ll make an effort to be helpful and considerate of others’ needs and feelings” (Lickona, 2018, p. 22)

Favorite quotes from the book:

“Three things in human life are important. The first is to be kind. The second is to be kind. And the third is to be kind.” -Henry James

“No act of kindness, however small, is ever wasted.” – Aesop

“We are called to do small things with great love.” -Mother Teresa

“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.” -Dalai Lama

Share your comments and thoughts below!

FLWE ❤

References:

Lickona, T. (2018). How to raise kind kids: And get respect, gratitude, and a happier family in the bargain. New York: Penguin Books.

Adventures, Married Life

Date Night with the McKinney’s

Date Night with the McKinney’s

Just making it in after a wonderful night out with Hubby. We had tonight planned in the books for some weeks now and definitely have been looking forward to it. When you are married with children it can be more challenging to set time aside for you and your spouse but it is very necessary and is not impossible. Plan something and make it happen.

I literally woke up so excited this morning about our planned evening ahead of us. It’s funny how after all these years I still get butterflies when it comes to him. It felt great to get off work and meet my husband for a couples massage. I was gifted a prenatal massage from my sister for my birthday earlier this year. For Andrew I purchased a Groupon for a deep tissue massage for our anniversary this year and it was great that we were able to use both of them in conjunction for a couples massage.

My sister had previously shared with me about her prenatal massage experience at Natural Healing Massage Services in Alexandria, VA and highly recommended it for me. I am so grateful for her gift and really enjoyed my experience. Most specially, I am happy I could share this relaxing experience with Hubby right beside me as he received his first professional massage.

Natural Healing Massage Services
Alexandria, VA

Natural Healing Massage Services was local and parking was convenient. Upon our arrival we were greeted with warm welcomes. The facility was clean, and relaxing from the moment we walked in. Soon after arriving and completing our paperwork we both were greeted by our Therapists, Arian and Hope. After a brief introduction we were walked to our room which was set up romantically.

My Therapist, Arian was amazing! Very knowledgeable and skilled. During the beginning of our session she made me feel very comfortable by talking to me and building a relationship. She inquired about my areas of concerned. At 30 weeks pregnant I told her that primarily it’s my lower back and hips that are causing me the most discomfort.

After some small talk she left me to doze off and enjoy my session. As she would move on to another portion of my body I would wake up to adjust as needed but my light nap was much needed and it was all thanks to her touch. Arian made sure she focused on my areas of concern and this session was very successful in relieving tension for me.

Hubby’s Therapist, Hope did an amazing job as well. He left feeling relaxed, as she was able to work out some knots in his upper back and neck area. He had tension in areas that he did not even realize. We definitely will be returning soon in the coming weeks. I highly recommend Natural Healing Massage Services in Alexandria, VA. If you call to schedule please be sure to tell them that Erica sent you.

Carlyle
Arlington, VA

After our couples massage we had reservations at the Carlyle in Arlington, VA for dinner. The food was amazing and did not disappoint. I enjoyed a crab cake platter with a side of cauliflower mash and fries. I really enjoyed that they served shoestring fries because I really dislike fat fries. Hubby ordered a hanger steak with cauliflower mash, and bacon brussel sprouts. We both throughly enjoyed our meals and time together at dinner.

Yogi Castle
Arlington, VA

Of course, what’s dinner without desert? Nothing… absolutely nothing. Hubby convinced me to try frozen yogurt. A few blocks down there was Yogi Castle, a ice-cream and frozen yogurt shop. I didn’t realize how many options they give you when you build your own cup. I am telling you there were too many options to chose from. After a few minutes, I finally decided on strawberry and euro tart yogurt. For toppings: strawberries, pineapples, and chocolate chips. This was a perfect desert option since I have been craving something fruity.

As the night is coming to a end… today was another great date night in the books for us. I am blessed beyond measure to have such an amazing man to call my Husband and he is an even more amazing Dad. If you are reading this Andrew- know that you are loved and appreciated more than any words could ever express. I look forward to spending the rest of forever with you.

FLWE ❤