Friday, May 29, 2020

Interacting Laughing Gas

Hello there and Happy Friday! I am home from the gym and typing up this post before I put my mom and scientists hats on. I hope you have a good weekend!

Memorial Day was a decent mix of rest and work. We sat around most of the morning, but then decided this was the day to power wash the pool deck, which of course led to three straight hours of power washing - the concrete patio, the side of the house, the pergola, the lawn mower, and the Barbie Jeep. Even the Traeger was sparkling clean by the end. Somewhere mid-wash, Ina crept away to her friend London's house, which is a block away. A few hours later, Cora joined her there.

When bath time rolled around, I stuck Mira in the stroller and put a leash on Lola and set off to pick them up. I arrived to Ina crying because she had fallen and opened up a scab on her knee and blood was dripping down her leg. Of course she 'couldn't walk', so I put her on my back. Cora also 'couldn't walk' so she sat on the front of the stroller. The three kids who were playing with Ina and Cora decided to escort us home.

This is how I walked by my neighbors' front porch happy hour - carrying a 7 year old on my back with the blood from her leg now smeared all down my side, pushing two kids in a single stroller, pulling a large dog, who is otherwise perfect but picked this moment to get out of her collar, with three other kids following behind. I am sure they enjoyed the parade.

Before bed, Mira lifted a booger covered finger to me and asked, "Here you go mom. Will you please put this in your nose?"

I barely made it to the gym on Tuesday because I had turned my weekday alarm off for the holiday and woke up on my own 3 minutes after I was supposed to be there. I rolled in caffeine deficient and hair a complete mess, and while my effort was not 100%, I was there and did better than if I would have stayed in bed.

Late Tuesday afternoon Ina's appointment to have her cavities filled finally was rescheduled and we tagged Mira's first check up to the end of it. Miraculously, I have never had a cavity, so I had no idea how invasive the process was. Thankfully, the dentist picked up on Ina's anxiety and gave her some nitrous oxide. Listening to Ina, who normally has little to no filter, blab on and on when the dentist kept asking her to stop moving her mouth was hilarious. She kept yelling at me to come "feel her tooth! It feels like rubber" and every once and a while would ask, 'When is this laughing gas going to start interacting?'

While Ina was in the chair, I was mostly wrangling Cora and Mira still(ish), so I was happy to take Mira in the other exam room to have her teeth counted. On a scale of 1 to 10- 1 being growling/biting and 10 being sitting like an angel, Mira was a solid 5. After a lot of coaxing and toy bribing, she finally agreed to sit on my lap in the chair, but what really won her over was getting to use the water gun. I remember Cora's first appointment and how she bucked like a wild animal, which gives me hope for Mira yet. Ha!

I am just now realizing that despite three different attempts, I didn't get a picture of Mira in front of the dentist height measuring wall. That poor third child.

Tuesday night I met Aunt Jenny to pick up our 1/4 cow! I also purchased a whole pig through Jenny, so now my freezer is full of high quality meat. Purchasing whole animals (or portions thereof) is something I have been considering for years, but finally decided to do. I love that we have so many choices for dinner and meat from questionable places is one less thing I need to worry about picking up at the grocery store. (Of course typing that on Thursday morning caused the refrigerator in our kitchen to stop working, which for us is a near tragedy. The pain of not making my weekly grocery run is nearly unspeakable, but I will survive. Ha!)

Wednesday we hosted yet another perfectly unperfect but amazing small group. The kids played, the adults had life changing discussions, and we ate some delicious food - see links below. 

Thursday Ina had her first in person, at the studio, optional mask wearing dance class. When she hopped in the van afterwards with a smile on her face she said, "Wow mom. I didn't realize how much I missed in person class until I came back." Girl, I hear you.

Then, at the time I would normally go to bed, Brooke asked if I wanted to go for a jog. Even though I had already been to the gym that morning, planned to go again the following morning, and had a glass of wine in me, I couldn't turn down the opportunity to run with a friend on such a beautiful evening.

See - proof I still occasionally run.

This weekend looks like a mostly chill one, but we do have one get together to look forward to. If you are interested in purchasing/renting a small camper, you should join us at the open house for Missouri Teardrops

Links to share: 
Greek chicken burritos/rice bowls/salads - what we fed our "small" group of 30 people, if you count kids. I love this recipe because it is so customizable and everyone walks away happy. I make the pickled onions and chicken as the recipe suggested, but bought the tzatziki sauce. I added a big pot of rice, kalmata olives, hummus, roasted cauliflower, and a few bags of chips. 

Curried garbage stir-fry: such a flavorful, fast, and healthy dinner. A great go-to for us!


Online purchases:
- These sunglasses are adorable and seem very durable.
- All of the sunscreen. WalMart's brand seems to do the trick, and will the pool open and summer camp starting next week, we need some in every corner.

Interesting Reads:

Monday, May 25, 2020

Memorial Day Weekend 2020

Hello! Happy Memorial Day!

Blogging in almost real time here!

After work on Friday I picked up the girls at Danielle's where Mira had a 100% successful potty training report (yay!) and the girls were giddy post golf-cart ride. Danielle and I sat on her beautiful patio and chatted while the kids jumped on the trampoline.

After dinner, Ina and I were sitting outside. I was sitting on the picnic table and she was laying with her long blonde hair in my lap. She looked up at our tree and asked if the berries on it were poisonous. I told her I didn't know. She looked thoughtful for a minute and said, "I think what I need to do is find a berry I know for sure is poisonous and a berry I know for sure is not poisonous. Then I will compare the data between the two berries. Then, I can take that data and compare to all the other berries to find out if they are poisonous or not."

I proudly sat there in awed silence with my little scientist and she said, "I don't know. It might just make me famous."

Poor Mira's perfect track record did not continue for the rest of Friday, but that could have been a little bit my fault for being distracted with dinner, cleaning, Marco Polo-ing, etc. BUT, the rest of the weekend up until now (as I am typing this while watching Descendants 3 late Monday morning) she hasn't had one single accident...unless you count when we were swimming and she looked at me with an ornery smile on her face and said, "Momma, I am NOT peeing in the pool right now."

Thank God for chlorine. One week of potty training and I can now send her into the bathroom on her own! She has been the easiest to train out of the three, and I think this was because I waited for obvious signs that she was ready.

Saturday morning I worked and shortly after my sister and her kids came over for lunch and swimming.

She brought some tie-dye, which was a huge success with my craft-loving girls.

I am slightly obsessed with my red, white, and blue tank.

For the rest of the afternoon and evening, friends trickled in for swimming, tacos, and games.

We stayed up waaaayyy past our bedtime and had an absolute blast with our non-party Memorial Day party. The cousins stayed the night and after my Sunday morning walk I brought home donuts to a still sleeping house.

Once everyone woke up it didn't take long before we were sitting in front of the pool again, which we did until Brooke invited us to her mom's pool. One would think that it wouldn't make sense for us to leave our pool to go to another pool...but Brooke's mom pool is heated, has a water slide, and is not positioned next to my house, which has the habit of beckoning me with pesky chores and responsibilities. I was able to mostly sit and relax at Brooke's mom's house, which the occasional sunscreen application or goggle adjustment.

We came home to even more swimming, frog catching, and card playing with Dan's boss (who just happens to also live down the street from us) and his amazing family.

The girls have been catching frogs all weekend and Cora is simply precious holding these slimy creatures. She giggles every time they hop out of her hand and then she patiently follows them around until she can scoop one into her hands again.

This morning started with a modified Murph at the gym - I did TRX rows instead of pull-ups and most of the push-ups were from my knees and it still kicked my butt.

After a late breakfast we are watching a movie and online shopping (swimsuits at primary are 50% off right now!). Ina is still wearing her swimsuit from yesterday, so things are moving pretty slow around here.

Recipes from the weekend:

I accidentally purchased grapefruits instead of oranges last week at the store, which I only discovered after I had peeled and separated three 'oranges' the girls refused to eat. So, I took this opportunity to create this grapefruit margarita on Friday. 

Friday: Vietnamese lettuce cups with roasted carrots- my current favorite weeknight dinner. I add coconut aminos (or soy sauce) for more salt/flavor.
Saturday dinner: taco bar (with double-decker making potential) with Mexican watermelon salad and slaw. Three different people texted me afterwards to ask for the watermelon salad recipe.
Saturday lunch: Grilled Asian Chicken
We had leftovers yesterday and tonight we are having burgers, roasted fries, and cucumber salad

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Emerging Back into Life

Hi there!
Potty training can wear a girl out!

I am catching my breath after a whirlwind of the past few days. I am continuing to work from home, with the girls mostly at Nonnie's house (Danielle's on Fridays) during the day. I have always thought that if I were to go 100% home based with work, my house and life would be a little more put together. Unfortunately, this has not been the case - my laundry pile remains high, my sink almost always has dirty dishes in it, and my closet is in desperate need of a clean out. Memorial Day project? Perhaps. Maybe now I can drop the unrealistic fantasy of ever having my house together. It just isn't in the cards for the Kendricks. Ha!

I found out my job is moving to permanently home based, which is not surprising. Then, the next day, my friend Ryann gave me her beautiful desk that was too big for her office. I know I said I was putting the paint away for the summer, but I am now motivated to paint those red and brown walls even more and I might actually purchase something to hang on the wall (versus accept whatever random picture Dan has brought home).

We have slowly branched out socially. I had happy hour at Danielle's on Friday. We went to Ryann and Kevin's house for dinner on Saturday. I am going to the gym every morning (and they are kicking my booty). We have also started in person, at our house, small group again. I know and acknowledge the risk of the virus, but I also know and have personally experienced the impact of social isolation, particularly on my marriage and my faith. Of course we are being careful and washing our hands constantly. When our door opened with guests for the first time in weeks, my heart soared. Our church continues to host services online, but some of the best small group meetings of my life have been over the past few weeks. I think we are all ready to make the most of our time together.

Mira woke up on Monday morning and told me she wanted to wear panties. Over the weekend she told me she "didn't want to pee in her diaper." The combination of the two led to the quick decision of starting potty training, even though I really wanted to wait until I was 100% sure she was absolutely ready before putting an ounce more energy into the endeavor. Nothing frustrates me more than working hard at something without success. Day 1 led to many tears and too many accidents to count, but Day 2 and 3 only had two accidents!

So thankful for Nonnie and her assistance in potty training!

Similar to Cora (<-- I was potty training two years ago on Memorial Day!), I think this is a control issue. She knows this is something she can still control and she doesn't want to give into me telling her what to do. She told me many times when I forced her to sit on the potty that "I am not the boss of her" and that I was "hurting her feelings" when I made her sit on the potty, but I held a stern face and didn't budge from her glares. I think she is starting to realize this is just the way it is. Prayers for the rest of the week and making #2 work itself out.

I am so thankful for the nicer weather and being able to tell the girls to go run around outside. We leave the back door and front door wide open and you never know what kid or creature is going to come inside. Yesterday the girls were flipping big rocks over just to discover what was living underneath. It started with rollie pollies, and then soon progressed to a newt and a large toad.

I so enjoyed watching them, fearless and strong, as they flipped rock after rock, even after I warned them that they might find a snake.

Ina continues to "distance learn" from home for the next month. I took Cora to her school to pick up her stuff and drop off her library books. She was so excited to see her teachers, but did not understand why she couldn't get out of the car and hug them. That girl is a snuggler through and through.

The pool should open up today and I am getting a much needed hair trim. We have a three day weekend coming up with the potential for nice swimming weather. So many things to look forward to!

Recipes to share:
Breakfast salad of kale massaged with olive oil, sea salt, and lemon juice, fried eggs, and pickled carrots.

Spaghetti squash pizza bake: I forgot how delicious this is- all of the kids, Dan, and even some unexpected guests loved it.

Braised kale and carrots- my current favorite side to grilled meat.

Sweet and salty broccoli salad - we brought this to a friends' house over the weekend and I think it will be a repeat pot luck accompaniment.

We have also had nachos, grilled chicken and pork chops, and kaula pig on the regular.

Have a good weekend! <3

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Shelter in Place Week 6, 7, and 8

Hello out there!

I am finished with work and the girls are amicably playing in the toy room. Dinner is simmering in the crockpot and all of my absolutely pressing to-do's are done - the sink is empty, the laundry pile is down to a reasonable two loads, and I am caught up on book club for the week. Dan doesn't get home for a few more hours, so I hope to turn on the second volume of Disney Family Sing Along and finally write on here.

One would think that I would have more time to write a blog post with staying home, but I have found that simply isn't the case. Per usual, I feel I need to justify my absence here with a list of excuses. They are as follows:
  • Made for This Podcast. I recently discovered Jennie through her most recent book, and I am devouring her content. I adore her.
  • Marco Polo. A few of my friends from high school and I have started a group video chat and we have been spending an unspeakable amount of time catching up with each other and I am just smitten seeing little tidbits of their everyday life. 
  • Anne of the Island - I am continuing to love Anne.
Otherwise, it is the typical work, parenting, life stuff that seems particularly on repeat during this time of quarantine.  Let's continue to summarize the last three weeks in bullet format:

-  Painting

We are FINALLY at a stopping point with painting the walls and ceiling of the living room, incredibly tall entry way, and upstairs hallway. This task took loads more time, energy, and patience than I could have ever imagined and the next time I tell you we are going to paint, get down on your knees and beg me to hire someone else to do it. I am hoping we can wrap up the toy room this weekend, which in comparison seems like a small and reasonable task, before we open the pool next week and want to spend the next four months outside.

We hung the sign to the hotel my grandparents and aunt and uncle used to own and holds so many of my childhood memories right in the entry way. 

I smile every time I walk in the door.

- Camping

We have visited the camper a few more times since we last talked. As we aren't able to do much else, the kids are loving going down to the farm to climb trees, fish, ride go-karts, eat s'mores, and sleep on super uncomfortable beds. 

One weekend was incredibly muddy. While I was thankful the rain only came down while we were sleeping, poor Mira couldn't stand her clothes getting wet and would immediately remove any article of clothing that bothered her. She blew through the four outfits I packed her within a few hours of the first day, so she spent most of the weekend donning only a diaper and a pout.

Please don't call DFS. 

- Mother's Day

(Trying to figure out how to take a picture with my watch. Ha!)

We went on a Mother's Day hike on a local trail. Ina rode her bike, Cora rode her scooter, and Mira rode in the stroller. We stopped off in a creek and Dan and I sat back in awe of our three brave girls, wading through the cold water in their non-water shoes, searching for treasures.

We made the last minute decision to stop by my grandparents' nursing home to talk to them through the window. Quarantine is difficult for so many, but watching them not be able to see anyone or leave is heart breaking. We have attempted FaceTime, but that didn't go so well.

Bless their hearts. 

We have slowly started to expand our social circle...slowly. Every time I see someone in person, my heart soars. I will never again dread hosting a big party.

- Organizing: I cleared eight trash bags of Mira's clothes and filled her closet with size 3T and organized Cora's 40 pairs of shoes.  I can now help them pick their clothes out in peace. Unfortunately, seeing all of her options has only motivated Mira to change her wardrobe even more often than before.

Next on the list is my closet. I still have my Christmas sweater hanging front and center. Ugh.

Pssst: I posted Week 5 here

Meals: we have mostly been repeating recipes we love, but here are a few that we particuarly loved the past few weeks:

- Chicken tinga tacos. YUM.
- Vietnamese Lettuce Cups
- Eggroll in a bowl - one of my all time faves.
- Chicken satay
- Yankee pot roast - fantastic.

Talk to you next week - pinkie promise! <3

Another Painting Weekend: Shelter in Place Week 5


I found this blog post in draft format, last edited three weeks ago. So, let's go back in time and I can hopefully get completely caught up tonight!

We painted most of the day on Saturday and rewarded ourselves with an absolutely fantastic grilled shrimp dinner and watching Swiss Family Robinson (I forgot how adorable that movie is!) and then The Disney Family Sing Along, which was even better than I could have imagined.

At some point during the day, much to the girls' delight, Brooke delivered ice cream cone kits from the local shop and I am fairly certain they now like her better than me.

Sunday we watched church online and then I helped with the church blog until the afternoon when we...wait for it...painted some more. Who knew this house had so many walls? Everyone else except for me, that's who.

While we were painting Ina and Cora planned a "show" for us that involved the tube Dan brought home from who knows where, a tree branch, and the song, Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.

It was so cute, even though it almost didn't happen because Cora didn't like how Ina "always gave her a job to do." While it was clear that Ina planned the entire thing, Cora added her own pizzazz in the form of silly faces and giggles.

Monday after dinner I insisted that we didn't turn on the TV, which resulted in 30 minutes of wrestling time and then me reading some of "Anne" out loud and laughing hysterically, to the point of crying, when she insisted her student throw a package of fireworks into the classroom stove because she mistakenly thought it was a cake.

I wish I had read these books when I was a girl, but I am loving reading them now to my girls.

...and that is where the writing ends. I will pick everything else back up on the next post!

Meals this week:

Saturday, April 18, 2020

Quarantine Easter

"Are we going anywhere TODAY?" - what Cora's asks, literally every single morning.

After I sadly answer, no, we are not, she replies with all of the sass she can muster, "Well then when will we go somewhere? And don't tell me you don't know. Please just give me a number."
Posing with Charlie - Nonnie's dog

Bless her heart, I have been asking that same question in my head, so I feel her pain in my soul. I too want to go somewhere, anywhere, but I don't even need to go to the grocery store this week, so here I shall remain.

I did two weeks' worth of grocery shopping last week, and ventured out to Costco, where I waited in a line outside wearing a mask and had to remind myself this isn't actually a dream or a dystopian novel, but a "normal" Friday.

I am currently in between patient phone calls, hiding in my office while Dan cleans up the breakfast he made (bacon and the most amazing scrambled eggs with garlic, ginger, jalapenos, and onion - the ginger makes them seriously next level) and I can hear Ina quizzing Cora with preschool brain teaser cards while Mira is doing her best to destroy any order around her. They will find me soon, but until then I am going to furiously type this post out.

We joined the rest of the world with celebrating Easter in isolation, which is just so weird. I am so thankful for the ability to watch our pastor and worship team on YouTube, but I miss being with my church on Easter, everything from seeing everyone dressed up to the worship music being extra loud. Next year is just going to have to be even more extra.

We dyed eggs on the Friday before Easter and only cracked half of them, so I consider it an overall success.

Just as we finished putting the eggs up, a dearly precious friend Charlotte sent me a text message to say that the Easter Bunny had stopped by our house and the girls ran outside to find buckets of treats and eggs scattered all over the yard.

The squealing went on for ages as they ran from treat to treat and they stayed outside the rest of the afternoon playing with their new toys and eating candy without me stopping them at once piece. This was such a sweet surprise and another reminder that although we are "isolated" our tribe is still showing up to support us. Other ways we have been so blessed:

  • My friend/neighbor Mallory gave me a pot of beautiful pink tulips. Ina even wrote a short story about them for school. 
  • My dad dropped off bouquets of suckers in the bushes for the girls to discover
  • My friend/neighbor Kim drops off treats for the girls on the regular, along with writing Ina letters. She also brought me an iced coffee that saved my day last week.
  • Brooke brought me over a drink and new nails! I can't wait to put them on.
  • My group chats with my friends have been much more active, sending memes and encouragement to each other. 
  • The girls' cousin gave them the mermaid section of the dollar store. I have not been to the dollar store in years, but I am certain that section doesn't contain one more thing that isn't in our hose right now.
As you can see, we have been spoiled beyond belief and this has me thinking of ways I can shift my time and energy balance to brighten others' days. 

I worked Saturday morning and then spent a good chunk of time in the kitchen, prepping food for the week. I made mayo, and, just like every week, a little jumps out of the blender onto me when I have the lid up during the loooonnnggg 2 minute pour/trickle time.

Dan calls it my weekly mayonnaise hair and skin mask. Lovely, isn't it?

After spending the day in my workout clothes, getting various things done, Brooke text me to let me know her family was outside playing corn hole and I should come down and chat, from a safe social distance of course. I left to join them immediately, but out of the confines of my house, my lack of a shower suddenly became very obvious to me. I excused myself and came back 40 minutes later a new woman with eyebrows and earrings.

After dinner I joined Brooke, Mallory, and new friend Monica for a drink while chatting in our four corners of the driveway. A storm was coming in, so I reluctantly peeled myself off the concrete around 8, but I think I would have stayed all night if they would have. I don't think I realized how much social interaction fills my cup.

Sunday morning, the Easter Bunny came and gave the girls matching Birkenstocks. That is one clever bunny!

The girls ate candy while I made bacon and eggs from breakfast, then we showered for our obligatory family photo.

True to their natures, Ina took her skirt off five minutes after the picture was taken, and Cora and Mira refused to remove their dresses. Mira even slept in her's.

Mira's newest saying of endearment is to say, "Mommy, I love you with all of your heart." Sometimes she follows that with a "poopy face," but only if I am lucky.

We watched church online and then a few Easter themed activities, followed by listening to worship music on YouTube while making a late lunch of steak, seared scallops, deviled eggs (salvaging the dyed eggs project) and broccoli salad.

The girls were full of candy, but I wasn't too upset when there was extra steak for me. After lunch we watched a recorded version of Sight and Sound Theater's production of Jesus.

The show was absolutely beautiful and had me regretting all of the times we have been to Branson and not gone to whatever show they were putting on at the time. That changes now.

The rest of the week went on as one would expect from a home schooling working from home scientist mom. Ina did the announcements for her school.

I started a new Beach Body program called Lift4 and I LOVE it (but am still looking forward to the day when I go back to the gym.) I met with both my women's and couples small groups on Zoom.

I had what I can only describe as a panic attack on Tuesday for no clear reason, other than that we had nothing planned to do and that nothing made me more uncomfortable than our normally stuffed schedule and I didn't know what to do with my energy. Don't worry, I haven't felt that way since and I texted my counselor, who I haven't talked to in months, to hash it out. After an hour long conversation, we came up with a plan and strategy for me to soak up and enjoy those times of "nothing" instead of running from them or finding something to do. I will let you know how it goes!

Ina has been staying with me during the day a few days of the week while the other girls go to Nonnie's house with her, and I am loving the one on one time. Thankfully, after a little guidance and direction from me, she can do her school work on her own while I work, and we take breaks to read together or go on a walk / bike ride.

We are continuing to eat so well, mostly because I have more time to cook. Some meals we had this week - I would recommend any/all of these recipes for your meal plan!

F: Marinated grilled chicken with my favorite Brussels sprouts salad
S: Ribs, potato salad, and slaw
S:  loved this sweet and salty broccoli salad!
M: Burgers, roasted potatoes, and salad
T: Dijon Chicken Thighs, carrots, and steamed asparagus
W: Kaula pig with cabbage (cooked in kaula pig juice) and beets - on a weekly rotation around here
Th: Moroccan meatballs (delicious!), cucumber and onion salad, roasted sweet potatoes

Have a great weekend friends! <3

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