🐒Look Who’s 1 🐒 

Thinking about last year today, I didn’t expect that you would be here quite yet, which was painfully obvious in my lack of organization around the hospital part of labour and delivery. Your father and I were supposed to start prenatal classes at the hospital the evening you were born and I hadn’t met my delivery doctor yet… actually they called to book my first appointment about an hour after you were born. But none the less you came into the world in your very special way and this last year has taught me that life doesn’t always go as you planned but God certainly has a plan and lesson for you in all the unexpected journeys you take.

At 2:50pm you were born 5lbs 6oz, 18 3/4 inches of “HERE I AM WORLD!”, and from there the adventure began. 

First Day Without CPAP

Your Father and I spent every single one of the 36 days you were in the NICU there with you. Even my birthday!

This cute smile was the best Birthday gift ever

But like the nurses told us every day, babies do go home from the NICU and not a single one would do so while attending kindergarten… as much as it felt like that is when you would be discharged. And after passing your car seat test you went home on the day that would have been the first day of my maternity leave.

First time in the car seat

When you arrived home you had so many visitors. Good thing you love snuggles so much because there were lots to go around.

Family snuggles

Not long after you got home you had some amazing adventures, like when we visited the ocean 

First day at the beach

And the north

You  even flew business class before you were even 6 months old!

Flying in style

Even with all this adventures and exciting things you continued to grow and learn so many new things like jumping

Jumpin’ jumpin’ jumpin’

Sleeping in your own bed


Look at him go!

Feeding yourself 

Nom Nom Nom

And standing

This is what happens when you take your eyes off an 11 month old for less than a second

Seeing how much you have grown I can’t help but wonder who you will become over the next year. What adventures will you take? What will you like the most? But one thing I know for certain is that it will be a wonderful ride because you are the brightest light in our lives. 

Happy First Birthday My Monkey!

Going on an adventure

It’s almost Monkey’s Birthday, Michael wrote the most important exams of his career, Auntie “Isabet” is visiting and I have one week left of maternity leave (4 days to be exact), and that means it’s the perfect time for an adventure! Knowing that we had all this excitement surrounding the week ahead we decided to take a little day trip to the Telus World Of Science in Edmonton.

One of the great advantages of living in Central Alberta is that Edmonton and Calgary are easy destinations for day and weekend trips. You have the feeling of being so far away and can experience so many new things in a short hour or two drive. This weekend’s trip was an even shorter one where we traveled to Edmonton during Monkey’s morning nap, played during his play time and drove home during his afternoon nap.

Before looking into our trip there I didn’t expect there to be much for Monkey to enjoy or do because he’s so small. I looked anyway because I hoped a new environment, even though a little mature for him would be fun and stimulating for him hanging out in his stroller. Well was I ever wrong! Not only are games and activities for all ages scattered throughout the science centre there is a play area that caters specifically to children ages 0-8! When I read this there was no way we were heading back to work without going.

We arrived on the first Saturday of Spring Break at about 9:30am this was a perfect time! All the locals are still getting ready to head out I think because no one was there, but soon after… like by the time we took the elevator up to the second floor they were lined up out the door. If I had seen that line I would have changed plans and we would have gone to West Ed to wander instead. 

When we got upstairs we found all these fun experiences that demonstrated magnetism, optics, sound, mathematics and most importantly ELECTRICITY. 

After playing with the demos for a bit we headed to outer space 🚀 

After returning to earth we went to Discoveryland, the part of the centre for the youngest learners. In this special area we played piano

Learned about whirlpools

And walked on the surface of the sun

And looking at this face, I think he enjoyed Discoveyland

While heading to lunch we decided to avoid the cafeteria crowd and visit the Environment Gallery. This was something I wish we had visited when Monkey was less tired and hungry because I think he would have really enjoyed it more that way. But he did enjoy mama teaching him about the surgeon fish Doc

And playing in the tornado with dad 

But then the sillies set in and it was time for lunch, a trip to the gift shop and a nap on the ride home.

I think this was a great way to start off my last week of maternity leave, and I’m sure we will be back again soon to visit all the exhibits we didn’t see today. If not for the fun times but for the easiest bedtime ever… 6:30 and out like a light. Good night Monkeys everywhere.

What are some special ways you spent the end of your maternity leaves with your little? 

Spring Project

It may have snowed enough to shovel twice last Friday and  -23C with the wind chill on Saturday but that didn’t stop Monkey and I from heading to the garden centre to start buying a few things for out spring project. This spring/ summer we will be growing a Salsa Garden! 

This past fall I tried my hand at canning for the first time. I did very basic things like tomatoes in all forms and salsas. We have used a ton of what I canned, we ate all the Salsa Verde, only a few bottles of regular salsa are left and we have a healthy supply of tomatoes to see us through the spring and summer but will need to can more in the fall. This summer I hope to grow enough to make a little more so we can make it through the year without having to buy any. 

So this week I picked up seeds and started looking into supplies. In order to make my salsas mostly from the garden I bought the following seeds

  • San Marzano tomatoes
  • Tomatillos 
  • Pepper Hot Early Jalapeños
  • Sweet Salsa Peppers

And  in order to can enough tomatoes while also having tomatoes to enjoy throughout the summer I bought

  • San Marzano Tomatoes
  • Heirloom Crimson Cushion Beefsteak Tomatoes 
  • Heirloom Yellow Pear Tomatoes 
  • Sweetie Tomatoes

I will need garlic, onions and cilantro to make the salsa but I am planning on planting a smaller raised garden this year so those will have to come from the market in the fall. 

Awww! Look at how cute they are!

If these plants yield fruit then our tomatoes and salsa for the year for $22.20 (excluding the cost of soil and fertilizers).

Each step I take in this project I will log what I did and how the plants are coming along. 

Have you ever planted a garden from seed? How did it work out? Let me know in the comments below!

Time to Shake Things Up a Bit

One of the sage pieces of wisdom you get when you are preparing for baby is “Don’t worry they will fall into a routine, but they will change it up as soon as you are comfortable” (insert laugh track here). And this for the most part is very true. For example Monkey was basically sleeping through the night 7p-7a from December when we sleep trained until mid February when he started cutting his top front teeth. Now he is up once or twice a night for a quick snuggle and sometimes a Tylenol top up. This is becoming our new routine until those babies actually break through the gums and he is more comfortable, and then he will hopefully give me a solid 12 hours again. And that sounds wonderful except that will probably be just in time for Mama to throw a huge wrench in the routine because it’s time to go back to work!

Nothing will disrupt a little ones routine who has spent every waking moment of the last 52 weeks with you like only being home with them 3 hours a day. So in order to soften the blow we decided that March would be a transition month, where he would go to his day home a few days this month in order to get to know Miss J, and for him to spend a little time away from me so he knows I am coming back when I leave him there in the morning. And so far so good!

Leaving for his first morning at day care

He goes the Miss J easily when I drop him off and he is always happy when I come back. But he has never done consecutive days… or full days for that matter. That will only start in April when I am back full time which could make for an interesting transition for both of us!

How did you handle your transition to day care and back to work? I would love to hear your stories of encouragement in the comments below!

Michael’s #1 Pet Peeve…

When Michael and I first started sharing a kitchen space I learned very quickly that  Michael’s  #1 pet peeve was something that for some reason I had not thought too much about, and that is FOOD WASTE. Which is crazy that this is something that I didn’t think about before. I was a university student on a budget once, and I am aware of the many who have little to eat and how food waste is one of the many ways I would be highlighting my privilege. But it was something I never really thought about before, and I decided to try and remedy and after 5 years I think I may have stared to get better at it!

I’ll walk you through this weeks journey of no food in the trash! 

It all started on Saturday when we had roast chicken and vegetables for dinner. We had just enough potatoes and carrots for 1 person left but 1/2 a chicken. 

On Sunday we were having pizza and as Michael resquested MEAT pizza. Sunday morning I fried up 3/4lb of ground beef and some Italian sausage for the pizza took about 3/4 of a cup of the sausage out and reserved it for dinner and used the rest to make buiscuits and gavy for breakfast (I wish I had snapped a picture because it was so good). 

I made 2 pizzas the first with meat leaving most of the ground beef unused.​

The second I used enough of the roast chicken to have 1 serving left to go with that one serving of vegetables!

Monday we had left over night where we ate the chicken and pizza for dinner to clean that up.

Now to tackle all that plain ground beef, so Wednesday I mixed it with some pasta and a can of tomato rice south make a goulash for lunch. 

And now my fridge is Tupperware free and no food went into the trash!

How do you keep your left overs from getting boring? Let me know in the comments below!

My “I’m too busy” dinner

Yesterday was a very busy day, between getting Monkey ready for day care and trying to get groceries done during the two after nap times the last thing I wanted to was spend more time than I needed to in the kitchen. But I have a Monkey who needs to be fed 5 times a day and puffs with a side of clementines just doesn’t cut it for supper. So I resorted to my tried and true “I’m too busy to cook” meal that looking back makes me wonder when I was ever too busy to cook… but I digress. 

After plating up my meal I thought it looked so pretty I just had to take a picture for Instagram (@the_mcgills2015). So I posted this:

And I received a few comments about how yummy it looked and how people wanted to join us for our too busy nights to which I need to respond… THIS ALL CAME OUT OF A BOX!!! So that means you can do this too! 

It’s just McCain sweet potato fries, boxed chicken burger and boxed salad greens…. the rest are just things I had around the house like provolone sliced cheese, buns and left over onions from Sunday pizza. 

Makings of I’m too busy minus the sweet potato fries and onions…. because we ate them all

Everything goes in the oven at the same time for 15-20 minutes, place the greens on you plate with some optional tomato/cucumber etc. and That Is It!

And the best part is it’s not that bad for you at 550 Cals and 39g of protein.

What is your go to dinner when you are too busy to cook? Let me know in the comments below!

Danger Danger Electricity Danger

How is it that you can baby proof your house and the second you put your little one down they are instantly attracted to the one thing you missed while going through your home with a fine toothed comb? This is the phase we are in right now with Monkey or as we like to call him “Danger Danger Electricity Danger” for all the mischief he seems to find himself in at the moment. 
Michael and I are certainly not helicopter parents but we also don’t prescribe to free range parenting philosophies either. We strive to allow Monkey the freedom he needs to learn and grow, but in a safe environment. Or at least what we think is safe until he quickly shows us it most certainly is not safe at all, not even a little. 

My cousin Nathan is a volunteer fire fighter and gifted us with several baby proofing tools at our baby shower which we promptly installed as soon as Monkey was rolling twice in a row, because he’s the kind of kid that will not learn a new milestone for months, I will set up a reassessment with a therapist and while I’m on the phone booking the appointment will make the next 3 milestones and skip ahead and do one he shouldn’t be doing for another month or so. Needless to say we needed to be on top of this baby proofing thing as soon as he showed any interest in being mobile. 

Along with Monkey’s new found mobility came along his sense of curiosity and love of danger. He can spot and uncovered plug across the house, and will fearlessly climb a flight of stairs to retrieve a rogue paper airplane. 

If there is danger in close proximity that is his obvious first choice in a toy, like the day he had an accident in his tub at bath time so I had to quickly move him to our bathroom where there are about a million lotions and potions with secure lids he could play with but grabbed my razor off the wall of the tub while I was putting him in the water. This kids has ninja danger reflexes.

Or how he can look out the kitchen window by just standing on the floor, but instead he insists on stand on an old wobbly shoe rack that is usually holding a few too many pairs of shoes. 

But probably his number 1 danger move since being confidently vertical is his one foot on the floor and the other on a magazine, slippery toy or other unstable thing and then bend over to pick up a toy and face plant into the floor. How this child has yet to get a black eye is beyond me and a true testament to his resilience… because this happens about 10 times a day

And playing looks a lot like this

And this

One things for sure this little Monkeyseems to have a love for adventure so I am sure we will have some amazing stories in the years to come! 

How did you baby proof for you little? What is your favourite “danger baby” story? Let me know if the comments below!

Lenten Letters

As I have written about before, I am a practicing Catholic and today is the first day of our season Lent which prepares us for our most important feast day Easter. Many people may know that a big part of the season is to give something up, because this is a season of fasting. The typical go to is chocolate, or candy, or junk food and some even cut out any unnecessary meals (like snacks) by eating only 3 meals a day with purpose. These are all good options and allow an opportunity to reflect on Jesus’ 40 days in the desert and on the sufferer groom of those without adequate food to eat, but this year I want to do something a little different. I really want to try something that will change my heart a little more than my fasts have in the past.

I decided that this year I would write a letter every day to someone in my life after praying and mediating on this person for the day. I don’t know how this will change my heart, but what I do know is that it will be a challenge. 

What are you giving up this year for Lent this year? Have you ever tried something a little unconventional for your Lenten Promise? How did you grow from that experience?