January 31, 2011

Reunited with the slow cooker and it feels so good :)

I still remember 8 years ago registering for a slow cooker at the Bay with my then fiance Saj. I wasn't quite sure why we were registering for this item, but I've seen it on so many other friends registries that I followed suit, plus I felt like it was something we should register for. Growing up my family had one, but we didn't use it all too often (at least I can't remember it being used all that much). Looking back now, I'm really happy that we did register for it and that we did get it as a shower gift from Mr & Mrs Lalla (yes I still remember who got us that gift :)

This past week I had the joy of using it once again. I made a chili and then a soup - boy was it good. What I love about the slow cooker is that you literally fix it and then forget about it. I've been realizing that as a new mom the slow cooker becomes your best friend. You get so busy with your little one during the day that cooking can be something you just don't have the energy to do in the evening. I usually try and prep some things the night before so that first thing in the morning all I have to do is simply put the items in the slow cooker and then I can go about the rest of my day without having to stress out about dinner.

If your a soon to be mom I strongly encourage you to get reunited with your slow cooker. If you don't have one, its definitely a worth while purchase :)

January 30, 2011

Perfect Strangers

Yesterday Saj, Isaiah and I went out to the mall to check out the sidewalk sales. Its always so much fun going out as a family, plus Isaiah just loves being out and seeing new faces. While we were leaving the Best Buy and heading out to another store a young couple (probably very early 30's) called out to us from behind. We didn't know that they were trying to get our attention right away. Finally - a bit startled we turned around. At first I thought to myself, "do we know these people." And clearly we didn't. The reason why they stopped us was because they saw that we had the exact same stroller as them and they had no idea how to put the car seat into the stroller. The poor guy was carrying around the car seat with his baby inside the mall- talk about tiring. They didn't want to risk putting the car seat incorrectly (which I completely understand). So we took our car seat out of our stroller and showed them how to hook in their car seat. They were so grateful to us for showing them how to do this. They were 1st time parents too and trying to figure out things along the way. They had a beautiful baby girl just 3 weeks ago and are adjusting to life with an infant.

Even though we haven't been on this new journey for very long, it was really nice being able to offer advice and help out to perfect strangers:)

January 29, 2011

Happy 4 Months Isaiah

Today our precious Isaiah is 4 months. I know I say this every month, but its really hard to believe how quickly the time has flown by. I do love that he's getting bigger, but it also makes me a bit sad because he's not a little baby anymore. He's doing so many fun things now. Here are some of the highlights:

He smiles a whole lot

He makes a lot of fun noises/babbling (he squeals in delight)

He rolls over a bit more

He laughs out loud

He's grown - 16 pounds 13 ounces, and 26.5 inches long

He really loves to stare at his daddy

He goes down to sleep now without having to be rocked

He loves to stand up (you have to hold him of course. his legs are so strong)

If he's fussy, singing calms him down (especially when daddy sings :)

He continues to enjoy stories

He loves being out

He reaches for objects

He reaches for his toes now (especially when its time for a diaper change)

There have been so many delightful changes during this past month. I love seeing him grow and discover new things. Its really amazing. We have been blessed so much by this little guy, and we look forward to seeing him grow even more. Happy 4 months Isaiah :)

January 28, 2011

Pete the Cat - I love my white shoes

This Christmas Saj and I bought this really cool story book for Isaiah called "Pete the Cat - I love my white shoes." The author is Eric Litwin. Saj found out about this book from youtube. We watched the live story telling and just loved the simplicity of the story and the songs too. We decided that we just had to get the book for Isaiah. The book came with a gift card so that you could download the story and song to read along. Check out the live story telling on youtube:

January 27, 2011

Starbucks Visit

I’m sitting in Starbucks and taking in my surroundings. Isaiah is visiting with my mom and brother, so I thought that I would sneak out for some “me time” which is nice every once in a while. As I sit here the snow is falling down softly. It’s really beautiful and I’m not a snow lover by any means.

I’m currently next to a loud table of teen girls and 1 guy (there were no other tables). They are talking about prom, P90x and some shoe store place. Oh the things they talk about are so funny. To be a teen again :) It feels like just the other day I was a teen hanging out with my friends like how they are (mind you we never did the Starbucks thing or had blackberry’s or iphones). It’s wild how much life has changed especially in the teenage world. I’m really happy that I grew up as teen back in the 90’s. Things were simple; at least it felt that way to me. If you wanted to connect with your friends you actually had to do so by calling them on the phone or plan to hang out (not talk on messenger or facebook, or twitter). Now it’s so easy to be connected to everyone (whether you want to be or not). It makes me wonder what life will be like when my son hits the teen stage. Will facebook or twitter still be around? I think it will, but it will be called something else I’m sure. Technology is pretty cool, but at the same time it can consume our days - I know this. I like doing old school things still like writing out a card and mailing it out. I actually really love doing that. It brings me great joy to send out well wishes to friends and family. Now that’s very old school, but there’s something really nice about getting a letter or pictures in the mail from a friend. I personally love it.

So that group of teens have left, and now I’m next to a mother and her 2 children and 1 baby. It’s actually really neat to see her with her children connecting with them and giving them advice as they share about their day from school.

You never know what you’re going to experience when you’re out at a Starbucks. It’s definitely a fun place to come to be refreshed and chill. Now that my hot chocolate and cookie are done, I think it’s time for me to head on out to see my baby. I miss him already!

January 25, 2011

Isaiah's Doctor Appointment - Needle # 2

Today Isaiah had his 4 month check up (even though he's officially 4 months on Saturday). I had mixed feelings about this appointment. I was excited to see how much he has grown and how much he weighs now, but I wasn't loving the fact that he had to get another needle - poor guy. Well I'll share the good stuff first.

Isaiah has definitely grown. He is now weighing in at 16 pounds 13 ounces, and he's 26.5 inches long. His head circumference has grown to 17 inches. Its still so hard to believe how much he has grown. The doctor is impressed with his head strength and his alertness. He's following the growth chart really well. Hearing these things always make me happy :)

The second part of his appointment was the hard part for me. I had to watch as they gave him 2 needles (one in the left thigh and one in the right thigh). I know that its good that he gets them, but its also hard to watch as a mom. There's nothing I could do for him other than comfort him right after. The crying didn't last too long thankfully, but its still hard.

Right now the little guy is resting. I gave him some Infant Tylenol to help with the pain. Although it was hard to watch, I know that in the long run getting these needles are good for him and will protect him from things. Its never easy watching the one you love go through some pain (even if its just for a few moments). One of the things I love about Isaiah is that he is so strong and he'll bounce back from this before you know it!

January 24, 2011

Collaborate - Children's Ministries Conference

This past weekend Saj, Isaiah and I attended a children's conference that was held at our church called "Collaborate - parents & leaders shaping the next generation." I wasn't too sure what to expect, but we did want to go because now that we are parents and we are involved in our church we wanted to get a better understanding of where the children's ministry is heading. I am so happy that we went, because it was really a great time of hearing from great speakers, and being inspired and encouraged to go out there and make a difference in your child's life. Pastor Carey Nieuwhof was the guest speaker, and he brought up some great points. Here are some of them below:

"put yourself first when it comes to personal growth."

"put more quantity in the quality of your time"

"we have 3000 hours a year to invest in our children's lives"

"a 15 year old child is not looking for a 45 year old best friend" (this point made me laugh)

"we are the most influential person in our children's lives well into their 20's"

"we have to be in Christ what we expect them to be in Christ - kids have fake detectors"

There were so many other great points as well as breakout sessions led by other good speakers which we had the chance to go to. I wish we could have gone to them all, but really that wasn't possible. What this conference did for us was really empower us to go out there and be the best parents we can be for our son. Its not always going to be an easy road, but we do have the support of our church family, and the support of our immediate families around thankfully. I am so happy that our church did something like this. I am really happy about the direction that our children's ministry is heading in. I also must mention that I am really impressed with Pastor Laura Bogner who is our Team Leader for Children's Ministry. She has such a gentle spirit and a big heart for our children. You can feel the passion that she has for them in the way that she communicates. Our church is truly blessed to have her and the whole team.

January 23, 2011

A Year Ago Today :)

Its so hard to believe that a year ago today I found out that I was pregnant. I still remember that morning and taking the test. Here's how it went (I remember in full detail because I have a sticky note and wrote down some notes as I went through the experience - haha)

8:00 am - went to the bathroom and started the test (dollarama test)

8:02 am - noticed that the lines were changing

8:03 am - realized that the test was positive (2 lines). went into our bedroom to inform Saj of the amazing news

8:04 am - SO EXCITED (Saj and I continued to talk, we were in shock, so happy, too many emotions). I remember telling Saj that I thought it was a boy right away.

9:10am - prayed together about this new journey

Its so amazing to see that 1 year later we are parents to an almost 4 month old. Isaiah continues to amaze us everyday. We are so thankful and we are blessed!

January 19, 2011

A Co-Sleeping Night

Well as you know, I've been trying to get Isaiah use to the crib. He's been doing fine for the most part - except last night was really strange. Every time I put him down in his crib while he was sleeping, he would wake up shortly afterwards and cry, and cry (and really - I can't take the crying). After about 4 or 5 attempts of trying to get him to rest in there, I gave up. It was about 4am and I decided that we should do some co-sleeping on the couch instead. In the end, I got sleep, he got sleep, and all was happy again in the McKenley home. I'm accepting that there will be days when things don't go so smoothly, and you just have to do whats going to get your thorough the night. This morning of course, he took a nice long nap in the crib, and now he's back down again for another nap - go figure.

January 15, 2011

Isaiah's first full night in his crib

Last night for the first time Isaiah spent the night in his crib in his room. For the past 3 months we've had him in the pack n'play in our room. Its been great - especially for me with night time feedings. As he continues to grow, and sleep longer its really best for him to be in his own space. I laugh at what my husband said the other night- "we didn't spend money on the crib for it to be just decoration -haha." I agree.

How I've eased Isaiah into the transition was by having him take naps in his crib. He was great at doing that thankfully and didn't cry. Realistically he could have been moved into his crib sooner, but I liked the convenience of having him close by. I could hear him breathing, and it made night time feedings easier like I mentioned before. All in all, his first night went pretty well. I did check up on him a lot. We do have a monitor, but I actually hate having it on. Every little sound makes me jump sometimes. We've also picked up on another baby before. So right now were not using the monitor. We just sleep with our door cracked and his door cracked. Our rooms are right next to each other so there's no way we won't hear him -plus he has a loud cry.

I'm happy that we've started doing this now. Isaiah seems to be doing really well with adapting to change, and he goes down now without me having to rock him to sleep. I've been picking up on his sleeping cues so as soon as I see that, I swaddle him up and give him a soother and off to sleepy land he goes.

Here's hoping for more restful nights in the McKenley home :)

January 7, 2011

New Blog Layout

Since joining the blogger world I've kept the same template. Today I've decided to change it up. Not too wild or crazy, but more true to my style (simple and to the point).

Here's hoping to blog more in 2011.

January 4, 2011

Isaiah & Sleeping

Since Isaiah hit the big 3 month mark - I decided that January would be the time where we try out some new things with his sleeping. I'm not into "letting them cry it out," especially in the early weeks when he got home. We were big into cuddling him and rocking him to sleep. That's what worked for us. On Sunday night after he was fed, burped and changed, we swaddled him up, gave him a soother and put him down. I was expecting him to fuss or cry, but to our pleasant surprise that wasn't the case. He just turned his head from side to side (that's how we know he's tired -lol) then he fell asleep. It took less then 5 minutes thankfully. On Monday we did the same thing with his naps - and it worked again. No fussing. Going to bed though, I may have put him down too early because he was crying. It took a bit longer, but I believe it was because he wasn't fully tired at that point. If he rubs his eyes, or starts turning his head, or pulls at his hair - those are the signs that he's getting tired. It took about 30 minutes, but eventually he did fall asleep. This time we did make him cry it out for a bit - but I was in the room with him and kept on putting that soother in his mouth whenever it came out. Thank God for the soother - it really helps him when its time to sleep.

Today has been pretty good so far. He's on nap number 2 and went down without fussing. We really want Isaiah to learn how to fall asleep on his own without having to be rocked all the time. So far its been going well and we couldn't be happier :)

January 1, 2011

Happy January 1st!

Today marks the beginning of a new year. Its hard to believe that 2010 is gone. What a year it was though -filled with God's blessings :)
Here's my top 10 highlights for 2010:

1. Finding out I was pregnant on January 23rd
2. Seeing our baby for the first time via ultrasound on March 6th (a hook up from my ultrasound tech friend Jodi)
3. Finally meeting our baby on September 29th and hearing the words "its a boy" from Saj - best day ever :)
4. Celebrating 7 wonderful years of Marriage to my best friend
5. Being blessed by many baby showers from family and friends
6. God blessing us with a new place to live in
7. Having our 1st thanksgiving dinner as a family with Isaiah
8. Sharing in Isaiah's first Christmas
9. Being on maternity leave
10.Giving my parents a new title "Grandparents."

As we've entered into this new year, I'm really excited to see all that the Lord has in store for the McKenley family.
Today is a new day - a day that I'm so happy to see.
Happy New Years Friends!