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:


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: | 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!


Mom Life, Parenting

Happy 5th Birthday to Our Wild Child

Today, we celebrate you- Abigail Joann (Abby). Our Taurus baby. Our wild child.

For those of you that do not know Abby, here are some words to describe her character:

  • Stubborn = Determined
  • Loud = Rambunctious
  • Animated = Passionate
  • Hyper = Exhilarating
  • Chatty = Conversational
  • Wild = Free
  • Independent = Self Reliant
  • Personable = Charming

That’s just a few words to describe our powerhouse of a child. While some of her traits are as sweet as honey they can also be as sour as vinegar. Yet, every piece of her attitude and personality is what makes her, Abby. There is a positive behind every trait that she poses. However, sometimes at the age of 5 you haven’t quite figured out how to use your traits for the greater good. With continuous moral coaching and developing Abby will be able to use her traits in all positive ways in order to make the world we live in a better place. Her charisma will be inspiring to others as she exemplifies being determined, rambunctious, passionate, exhilarating, conversational, free, self reliant and charming.

Again, Happy Birthday to our powerhouse! Mommy and Daddy are oh so proud to be your parents.



Bedtime Story Time at our Community Library

Abby was super excited to visit the library tonight for bedtime story time. This is a great event that allows you to bring your children in their pajamas to listen to 2 bedtime stories while engaging in some fun listening and learning activities in a group setting.

The two books tonight were:

  • Pete the Cat: The Wheels on the Bus by James Dean
  • We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen & Helen Oxenbury

If you have children I highly recommend you get them involved in activities that will build their skills academically and socially. With Abby starting Kindergarten in the fall I have been taking advantage of every opportunity possible to prepare her. The best resource for safe and family friendly activities is your local library and the events are free. I have been doing a good job at keeping up with event dates to make sure we don’t miss anything.

Mommy and Daddy were so proud tonight seeing Abby participate in a group setting with kids that were older than her, although she looked the oldest as tall as she is. To be able to observe how well behaved she was compared to other children who are already accustom to a school setting was astonishing. I definitely reassured us that she is ready for school. Abby has always been independently strong willed and social and that can have it’s pros and cons. However, with a little coaching and discipline she can continue to use those strong skills in positive ways.

Here are some pictures from tonights event:

While at the library tonight Abby returned her books from last week and we picked up 5 more beginner reading books. One thing that I love the most about utilizing our local library is the amount of money you save by checking out books rather than purchasing them. At the end of our check out receipt it shows how much we saved during that visit and the total amount we have saved for the entire year. In just a few visits we have already saved $227.82 for the year. This is absolutely amazing!

Abby has been using Mommy’s library card but is looking forward to upgrading to her own library card when she turns 5 on April 30th. The excitement is real! Despite her using my library card she takes ownership over it like it is hers and she communicates the entire transaction when checking out her books. This has really improved her communication skills.

Side note:

I ordered the book, “The Jesus Storybook Bible” by Sally Lloyd-Jones, to read to Abby at night. I have been researching homeschool curriculum for Kindergarten and found that a lot of parents use this book to build a religious foundation.

We are a very spiritual family and learning about the bible and the goodness of Jesus is critical. This storybook is filled with beautiful pictures and very easy to read short stories that take you through the bible from beginning to end. This will be a nightly ritual for us before bedtime. Tonight was a success and Abby even tried to convince me to read one more story but I had to explain to her that despite her eagerness we must remain disciplined. I am very pleased and blessed that she is eager to learn more about the bible. This definitely gives her something new to look forward to at night before bed.


Pregnancy Journey

Wednesday Weekly Weigh-In: Pregnancy Edition – Week 34

Welcome week 34! Currently, 41 days to go until Jr. arrival. The last two days have been very eventful. Tuesday night around 8 pm, my husband and I went outside to walk our dog Roger for a final time before bed and my right knee gave out on me. (previous injury related to cheerleading) Luckily, I felt my knee pop out of place and was able to brace my fall in the grass. Honestly, everything happened so fast and my husband and I both were a nervous wreck. I fell more-so on my hands and right hip, but you can never be so sure in the moment.

The 35 minute drive to the hospital was nerve wrecking. My stomach stayed contracted most of the ride and I suspect that it was also a result of my adrenaline rushing in fear. It wasn’t until we were about 15 minutes from the hospital when my stomach began to soften and I was able to feel baby’s movements back to normal. Feeling that first kick triggered a slight relief. After triage and being hooked up the fetal heart rate monitor it was confirmed that baby’s heart rate was detected and normal. The on call OB/Gyn arrived about 20 minutes later to perform an ultrasound and that was the real confirmation that baby was doing well and there was no indication of separation of the placenta. Jr. even waved at us and it was such a good wave; you could see each of his 5 fingers on that hand. It was almost like he was waving to let us know everything was ok.

After a thorough exam and a few hours of monitoring baby’s heart rate, the on call OB/Gyn did decide to keep me for 24 hour observation to be precautious per protocol. This was the longest 24 hours of my life. I was miserable as they ordered me not to eat in case baby showed signs of not doing well and they would opt to do an emergency c-section. All I could do was eat ice chips and that was just not enough. I honestly don’t know how I survived not eating and I am sure how my husband Andrew survived being held captive as well. He absolutely despises hospitals. Over the 24 hours baby boy continued to be super active as ever and my contractions are occurring more frequently. The nurses even suspect that I will be back to deliver baby boy before 39 weeks.

Needless to say, we both made it and were excited to be discharged last night after 8 pm. I spent today resting and taking it easy. My left arm is still pretty sore and bruised after the IV. It didn’t help that I slept on it last night. But, it’s pretty impossible to find a comfortable position in your third trimester. I am constantly switching from my left to right side when sleeping, of course in between my bathroom breaks that seemingly wake me up every 40 minutes to an hour at night.

34 Week Milestones & Current Events:

  • Baby is the size of a Savoy Cabbage
  • Measuring about 18-19 inches long and weighs about 5 lbs
  • The slippery coat that protects baby’s skin from drying out in all the amniotic fluid is starting to fall off
  • Baby’s immune system is getting stronger
  • Baby’s lungs is in the final stage of development as we prepare for birth
  • Mommy is still feeling fatigued and battling with low iron
  • Blurry vision is occurring occasionally (I try to get up slow from laying down and sitting positions)
  • Contractions are becoming more frequent and are stronger
  • Cravings: Butter Pecan Ice-cream, Chocolate Pudding, and Oranges

At 34 weeks I weigh in at 173 lbs. I am really not surprised that I lost a few pounds given my 24 hour fast. I am not concerned since my appetite has been picking up in my third trimester. As baby boy continues to grow and pack on his baby fat I am sure my weight will increase in the coming weeks. Until next week…


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!



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

Mom Life, Pregnancy Journey

Wednesday Weekly Weigh-In: Pregnancy Edition – Week 33

Welcome week 33… another week down! Currently, 47 days to go … We are ready for you baby boy. This past weekend my mother in law helped me get everything ready in his room. Wall decals are placed, crib bedding is set, and all baby clothes are washed and put away. The carseat is out of the box and ready. Pampers are waiting on standby. I am even proud to say that I have my hospital bag packed and ready. Everything is ready except baby. But, that is ok he still has some time left to enjoy mommy’s womb (aka his womb-cave).

Don’t mind the butterfly decals. We were too tired to take down what was left over from Abby’s nursery. We will get to it sooner or later. =)
Pregnancy Problems

33 Week Milestones & Current Events:

  • Baby is the size of a pineapple
  • Measuring between 17-19 inches in length and 4 – 6 lbs in weight
  • Baby is rapidly losing that wrinkled, alien look, and his skeleton is hardening
  • Baby is extremely active
  • Mommy is feeling more fatigued
  • Mommy waddle is in full effect
  • Pelvic pressure is in full effect (It feels like I have a soft ball size yoni egg just sitting in my pelvic area)
  • It is getting even more difficult for me to sleep- tossing from side to side
  • Cravings: ice, water, almond milk, whipped butter, toast, oreo cookie

For the information you all have been reading for: At 33 weeks I weigh 175.4 lbs. Slight and steady increases in my weight. Less weight gained, less that I will need to lose in order to return back to my pre-pregnancy weight. I am looking forward to get back into the swing of working out after baby. I have some real goals that I will be working to smash before the end of the year.

(Stay tuned for a blog post on my fitness goals after delivery)

Week 33 Weigh In

I had my 33 week check up yesterday and my OB/Gyn is pleased with how well baby is growing according to the last ultrasound. Baby is still head down and deeply lodged into my pelvis so he is getting himself ready and is already in position for delivery. The amniotic fluid is decreasing as we near the big day so it is very important for me to up my water intake and be sure to remain well hydrated throughout the day. My next appointment will be in two weeks and then once a week up until delivery. We are betting that he will arrive any day between April 20th-30th. I told my mother in law that he will be either her’s or Abby’s birthday present. I guess the bet is on and we will have to just wait and see.


Pregnancy Journey

Wednesday Weekly Weigh-In: Pregnancy Edition – Week 32

7 weeks and 6 days to go until we meet our Prince (approximately 55 days to go). I really can not believe how quick time is passing. I feel like March just began and now here we are approaching April. I am still betting that Jr. will make his debut sometime late April. I am sure Abby would love to welcome her baby brother for her 5th birthday. (nice gift, right?) Just think about how we are going to plan and manage two kids with birthdays less than 30 days apart; could potentially be days apart. After this blog post I will be clicking over to Pinterest to look for party planning ideas for sister and brother birthday parties. 🙂

Sad to announce that I have yet to pack my hospital bag. Benefit of the doubt, this is baby #3 and I crown myself as a professional and Queen of childbirth. I know this baby is coming whether my bag is packed or not. I am nowhere in a frenzy like with our first. (carseat and bag was packed in the car since the 1st trimester) I honestly, am confident enough that my Husband Andrew will manage to locate all of my necessities if the time arrives earlier than anticipated and I am not prepared. (He is a professional too) Honestly, it’s on my to-do-list but I just haven’t gotten around to it yet. Fatigue is starting to plague me again in these final weeks and I rather take a nap than refer to my to-do-list for incomplete tasks.

Crib Linen Set

Thank you to our amazing family and friends who have been marking items off of our registry. Today, we received our carseat and crib set. For those of you that did not know we are registered at Target and we appreciate your support.

I cannot wait until I wash and put the linen in his crib. Everything is really coming together nice and we are definitely prepared for his arrival.

32 Week Milestone & Current Events:

  • Baby is the size of a Florida Pomelo
  • Measuring about 18 inches long and weighs about 4 lbs
  • Baby has fully developed fingernails and toenails
  • One of his favorite activities right now is sucking his thumb
  • Baby is head down and in the birth position
  • Mommy is experiencing fatigue (despite going to bed early and frequent naps)
  • Sleeping is becoming more difficult (need more pillows)
  • Contractions are occurring more frequently
  • Pelvic pressure is increasing as baby grows and pushed deeper into the birthing canal
  • Leg cramps plague me once again

This week I am 172.5 lbs. There is no significant change compared to last week. I am beginning to accept this as a blessing. Less weight gained = less weight to lose after baby. I am happy to hear that he is growing just right and even measuring bigger than expected. I definitely notice my stomach growing bigger each day. Baby is sitting very low as he is preparing for his big day.

This week my appetite has started to increase and I have been craving almond milk, sweet tea, greens, and oreos. Weird combinations.

My next appointment will be next week and I will continue to keep you all updated. Until next post. . .