Thursday, March 22, 2018

Thankful 3.22.18


Thursday:
  1. My friend Brandi from the gym brought us some freshly laid eggs from her chickens. I already get more joy out of breakfast than a person should, so adding 2 fresh eggs to my sauteed kale and avocado toast (made with homemade sourdough!; topped with crushed red pepper!), seriously took my joy to the next level. I would love to have chickens, but I also know that my patience/energy could not bear the weight of a single additional life depending on me (seriously, I don't let plants in the door unless someone else agreed to water them), so I will have to reap the benefits of someone else's hard work. BUT, when these children of mine can start earning their keep, bring me all the chickens. 
  2. Mira's 6 month check up was great. Her doctor had some real talk with me about sleeping, nursing, being a human pacifier, etc. At one point she put her arm on me and said, "I hope you know you are a really good mom, but you also need to take care of yourself." She might not have known that I was tearomg up a little because my pink eye is still raging. Ha! 
  3. The birds were singing in the morning and the sun was out to play all afternoon. This of course required sunglasses for all. We all sat outside on the back patio, I enjoyed a cold drink, and Mr. Kyle grilled up a feast while the kids ran around the back yard playing. When the Champs told us they were moving in, this was the night I envisioned on repeat. It was amazing. 

Friday:
  1. We put Mira's newly recommended sleeping/eating strategy into effect and I slept all. night. long. I can't say that the strategy was perfectly implemented...we had a comfort feedings right before I went to sleep, but once I was out, that was it. Yay! Getting six hours of uninterrupted sleep is a game changer in the mothering world. (I might add more details about this later, but basically she was nursing almost three times as many times a day/night as a 6 month old needs to. This was okay when she was younger because she needed to stimulate my supply, but now that we are introducing other foods, we can put her on more of a "regimen." I remember hearing this advice with Ina and Cora and not really listening...but this time I was desperate.)
  2. My pink eye finally started to improve. Thursday and Friday were a little rough. 
  3. The Bible series on Netflix. I don't know why it took us this long to join the party, but we are loving watching an episode or two here and there. Ina even loves it, but (willingly) covers her head under a blanket during the more intense parts. 
Saturday:


  1. Danielle and I went shopping for Easter baskets for the kids while the dads stayed home with the kids. We came home to an interesting scene that included a gigantic fort and the two younger children's faces, arms, legs, feet, and ear insides covered in green marker. Coincidentally, it was St. Patrick's day, so it ended up working out. 
  2. We had a blast at our town's little St. Patrick's Day parade on Main Street. The kids caught candy, saw lots of loud vehicles, Irish Dancers, politicians, etc. I love doing stuff in our town! I was reminded that we actually have businesses that we should support just a few miles away.
  3. Our friends Justin and Angela made us the most amazing fajitas and guacamole at their house. They have an older daughter, so of course Ina was mesmerized by her bedroom, loft bunk bed, foot spa, sparkly pillow, and desk. 

Sunday:
  1. Dan took Ina with him to serve at our church's growth track in the afternoon and I successfully laid down both Cora and Mira in their respective rooms for a much needed nap. After I vacuumed, swept, lightly cleaned the kitchen, and folded laundry, Danielle and I sat down for a little pre-bible study. This was really nice and even though our Sunday seemed full schedule-wise, having this little time for quiet made all the difference.
  2. Our small group stayed after bible study for dinner. At one point I had to go upstairs to feed Mira, and hearing the conversation, laughter, and merriment coming up the stairs made me so, so happy. The conversations ranged from sports to parenting tactics to travel to food (always food). This is what doing life together feels like. 
  3. River Monsters is on Amazon Prime. When we gave up satellite, missing out on River Monsters was one of Dan's biggest concerns. But not any more! My fears of swimming in any lake/river/ocean can now be re-born. 
Monday:


  1. Birthday cake at the gym. Liz's carrot cake is oh so good.
  2. Mira has finally started eating food. A few tricks - putting peanut butter in her cereal and not pureeing her food. She doesn't prefer to eat off the spoon and purses her lips together when I try to feed her, but hold a piece of zucchini or tomato in front of her face and her mouth opens wide. 
  3. Cora said the prayer at dinner, and it was just about the cutest thing I have ever heard. She balled up in hands and held them close to her mouth with her eyes squeezed shut and in her little voice said, "Dear God (pause), thank you for this dinner. (pause) Thank you for my daddy. Thank you for my sissy." (at this point Ina hugged her and made her mad, so she had to start over.) Dear God, thank you for lunch. Thank you for my mommy. Thank you for The Champs being here. Amen." I might have cried. 

Tuesday:


  1. Listening to Cora scream/sing to Down to the River while I am upstairs in my office working. I can't help but smile.
  2. Stitch Fix (<--referral link; use it and your $20 styling fee will be waived) has exchanges now! My most recent fix had the perfect Easter dress, but it was a little too big. I unsuccessfully tried to find a bigger size online and was so bummed. But, then I checked out and realized I could go a size down for free. Yay!
  3. Self love. A constant work in progress. 

Wednesday:

  1. This idea of leveraging time constraints to get more done. (I am absolutely mesmerized with The Frugalwoods blog, but the way. I am finding myself spending my free time reading old case studies on how to live as frugally as possible. When I am not reading it, I am daydreaming about what Dan and I could do with our lives in 10 years if we started living extremely frugally today. But, honestly, I also daydream about the new FitBit, Kate Spade sunglasses, and grocery shopping exclusively at Whole Foods, so there's that.)
  2. A new (to us) basketball goal. I see lots of time spent in the front yard and driveway this spring.
  3. An honest, real conversation with Dan while the girls were watching a movie. 
Recipes- just a few:

I love this kale salad. The few extra steps make it feel special. It was my contribution to our pot-luck dinner for small group.

Zucchini lasagna with roasted brussels sprouts and green beans- amazing. Danielle just peeled and chopped the zucchini and we made it more like a "casserole" than lasagna. Regardless, I loved, loved, loved it and honestly didn't miss the noodles one single bit.

Honey glazed chicken with steamed (buttered/and lightly brown sugared) carrots, roasted asparagus, and brown rice- a favorite in our house, but I always forget how long it takes to make.

Have a great end to your week/weekend! We are on spring break next week and I have a nice little staycation planned. Yay!

Friday, March 16, 2018

Mira Belle 6 Months

At six months Mira is a delight.


She simply wants to smile and laugh and giggle. Her toothless grin forms so easy. Any time her eyes meet mine, she almost dares me to do something silly.

She is good sized (93 percentile for length and 83 percentile for weight) has rolls on rolls (the wrist roll is my favorite), a decent amount of hair, and some killer abdominal muscles from the constant v-up she holds while observing the craziness around her.

Mira can roll over, but doesn't very often. She has tried a few foods, but isn't too interested in them. She can sleep for long stretches of time, but usually doesn't.

She often squawks like a bird or squeals to get our attention. She rarely cries, unless she is hungry or wants to be held. Unlike her older sisters, she is happy to be held by anyone, and only has a slight preference for me.

She sings herself to sleep, unless she nurses herself to sleep, which of course is her preference.

When I hold her on my hip, she lounges back and lets her arms fall to maximum relaxation.

She loves when I kiss her neck, belly, or cheeks.

She loves her older sisters and is usually happy if I tell Ina or Cora to go sing her a song. She tolerates their faces very close to her's, the pushing, prodding, and yelling very, very well.

If she slept through the night she would undoubtedly be the perfect baby.

Can you tell that I fall more in love with her every day?

The physics of the heart continues to baffle me. When Ina was born, I had no idea my heart was capable of that much love. (I literally dedicated love songs to her.) When I became pregnant with Cora, I honestly felt guilty because I just knew I wouldn't like her as much. Then I met her and couldn't help but adore her fiery soul just as much.

It is no secret that Mira's pregnancy wasn't planned, so I was too busy freaking out to think about how much I would love her. But oh man, love her I do. So much, in fact, that the surge of affection I feel when I see her often surprises me.


I know that life is crazy right now, and I know that I didn't plan our current circumstances. But I am oh so grateful for God's plan to trust me with these three little girls.

Just for fun: Ina at 6 months; Cora at 6 months.

Have a great weekend! <3

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Thankful 3.15.18

Thursday:
  1. Ina's teachers are helping her with a project. One day she asked her teacher what the most popular color in the school was, and that led to her surveying every kid in the school, asking each one his or her favorite color, and tallying up the results. I cannot tell you how much my heart soared when I saw that they were fueling her curious heart and showing her how to conduct research. Her last day is in May and I don't want her to leave that place. 
  2. Our taxes are done, even after the initial rejection because I miss-typed Ina's SSN. I am so excited to get that checked off my to-do list.
  3. Getting started on Cora's big girl bed! The crib is disassembled, but we hit a few kinks in getting the full bed put together. Who knew that this would take more than a few hours? Dan. Dan knew and protested when I suggested that we make it a week night project. Sorry Honey.

Friday:

  1. Ina and Cora slept in Ina's twin bed all night long. Waking up to them cuddling together is one of my favorite things ever. My sister and I shared a room until I was around 10 and we moved to a house that allowed each of us to have our own room. However, we still slept in each others' rooms, because we were so used to that set-up. I hope Ina and Cora (and Mira!) are that close.
  2. Facebook Marketplace is awesome yet again. In two days I sold 3 different things and didn't even have to go out of my way to meet up with any of the buyers. 
  3. We met our friends the Bartletts at the fish fry down the street (YUM) and then they came over to hang out afterwards. They just had a beautiful baby girl that I was so excited to snuggle.

(Mira brought her own hot sauce to the fish fry)



Saturday:
  1. Cora's big girl bed is finally put together! This has been on my weekend to-do list for about a month. Now Dan can lie down with her on a bed while putting her to sleep instead of making a blanket pallet on the floor in her room that I constantly feel the need to clean. 
  2. The thoughtful and challenging questions that Ina asks. Man, she has come up with some doozies lately. On Saturday she asked me if humans will ever be extinct AND if the devil could be saved by Jesus. Someone should have told me that parenting involves lots and lots of pop quizzes. 
  3. Resisting the urge to clean the toy room and instead sitting down and enjoying some family time. 
Sunday:

  1. Eating lunch and chatting at the Nybergs' house while the kids play together. I love bouncing our thoughts on family dynamics and how to raise our children off of them. 
  2. Daylight savings time is hard in the morning...but I do love how much later it stays light outside. I am saying goodbye to SAD this year. 
  3. Cora in Gibson's spider man costume. She won't stop flexing her muscles and "spraying webbing" at me. She is so cute that I seriously have to resist the urge to purchase every costume that Marvel makes.

Monday:

  1. Logic tests. I just love them.
  2. Antibiotic eye drops, and my sister for calling them in for me. Pink eye will not stop attacking our house. 
  3. The beautiful weather and Ina wanting to get outside and play and ride. Now if we could just convince her she doesn't need training wheels on her bike. 

Tuesday:

  1. Danielle for having a birthday that gave us a reason for mid-week pizza and hot fudge sundaes. Ina sang happy birthday to her at least five times. 
  2. Cora was the only kid in her swim lesson class. She soaked up the private lesson and the one on one attention. That girl loves nothing more than swim lessons and literally starts begging to go again when I am changing her out of her swimsuit. 
  3. New sunglasses. I really want these...but I know the fastest way to lose a pair of sunglasses is to spend more than $15 on them.
Wednesday:

  1. Dan's cousin Kiley is here helping Granny watch the girls over her spring break and Ina is loving having her here. I think she is a 30 year old at heart.  
  2. Cora's mattress came in. Sorry, I know this single thing is taking over this blog post, but it is my life right now. We tried out one of those box mattresses and are still waiting for it to expand all the way. We will report back. 
  3. Mira only ate 2 more oz. than I pumped. That might sound bad, but it is coming back from an 8 oz. deficit. I'll take it!
Recipes - not much, as we have eaten leftovers three times and went out to eat twice - very rare in our family! 

Smoked corned beef with roasted potatoes and roasted cabbage. Have you tried smoked corn beef yet? It is next level.

Veggie sloppy joes on top of sweet potatoes with roasted broccoli. Everyone loves these except for my two girls. They are ornery.

Oh, and just because I love you, if you also have something to celebrate - make these epic brownies.

Have a good end to your week! <3

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Thankful 3.8.18


Thursday:
  1. I worked from home with the girls (because I gave their caregiver strep). After dropping Ina off at preschool I tried to put the other two girls to sleep, but neither of them was cooperating and I had work to do and lunch to eat. So, I did the unusual and put them both in their cribs while they were still awake and went downstairs to eat. I checked on them once I was finished and they were both asleep. (!!!) That was mom magic right there! (This is mostly why I only write once a week. If I wrote daily, the only thing I would write about is how my children slept the night before...because...well...that is all that really matters to me right now. Ha! I need my sleep.)
  2. The treat of going out to eat with one of Dan's cousins and his family who we very rarely get to see. Ina was pumped to learn all the tricks that can be played on your parents with straws and their wrappers. Let's all hope she forgets those tricks the next time we visit a restaurant.
Friday:
  1. A full to-do list at work with lots of checks by the end of the day.
  2. We had some mentor/coaches from our church over for dinner. They took the craziness of our family in stride and gave us so much wisdom over a few hours' time. We are so thankful for their influence on our lives. 
  3. Cowboy cookies. Oh man. I will need to have Danielle share the recipe. 
Saturday
  1. A beautiful and refreshing run/walk with Danielle. After a week off from exercise due to being sick, I was happy to get my legs moving again.
  2. Dan cut his hair and saved his beard! Our opinions on facial hair differ greatly, but he mostly wants to keep his beard to not look like a 13 year old. I told him lots of people want to look like a teenager again. Ha!
  3. Every single article of Kendrick clothing was clean and put away for a few hours. I told the girls they weren't allowed to take their clothes off. 

Sunday:
  1. Dan's dad, step-mom, sister, and brother-in-law came over for a visit. We were all so excited to see them (Ina particularly), but I have to admit that I was just as excited that they were taking a boat of a car out of my garage. Now the challenge will be to prevent something else other than Danielle's van from filling that space. I am just ignoring how often Dan has been perusing Craig's List.
  2. My living room full of people reading The Word out loud together. The power of that simple act surprises me every single time.
  3. Even though my day was pretty full, I didn't feel rushed or stressed. This had some to do with the day at home on Saturday, but also to do with my new determination to not feel that way anymore. 

Monday:
  1. Back at the gym after a week off. I love those people.
  2. Mira smiles. She is just the sweetest baby.

Tuesday:
  1. Danielle's old neighbor gave us a sourdough start. Danielle fed it overnight, so I am looking forward to some freshly baked bread around here. (Edited to add that it is ah-mazing, specifically as avocado toast in the morning. 
  2. Ina's swim teacher's patience with her spending more time under water than above it. I know that not swimming while in a pool is pure torture for a kid, but she still needs to pay attention and listen. 

Wednesday:

  1. Mid week morning coffee talk with Hannah and Danielle. There is just something about sitting around drinking coffee and talking to loved ones early in the morning. It is amazing. 
  2. Bonus day at work. Always a good day. I tell myself that I am so blessed to have a job and anything on top is really great icing on the cake. 
  3. Granny stayed for dinner! She usually leaves when I get home from work, but it was lovely to have her there. Of course she also did the dishes and extra laundry. 

Recipes:
Monterey Chicken (again- even better the second time because I let the chicken marinate for close to 24 hours) with Mexican brown rice, roasted green beans, broccoli, and salad

Carnitas with cabbage slaw and "refried" beans. I love those carnitas and the leftovers make a great salad with the slaw and bottom of the tortilla chip bag for lunch. The kids ate them quesadilla-style. Tamales may have been involved.

Coconut curry chicken with brown rice, broccoli, and naan. I only had one can of coconut milk and couldn't double the recipe, so I improvised and combined a few different recipes. However, the one linked is great.

Asian glazed chicken legs with veggie/egg fried rice (made by Dan) and roasted green beans. I always forget that the glaze takes a lot longer to boil down than the recipe indicates, but it is so worth the wait.

No bake energy balls: trying to increase my milk supply with the healthy fats, oatmeal, and seeds. Mira eats quite a bit more (like double!) than I pump on the days that I go in the office. I find this interesting, because she doesn't act hungry on the days I work from home and the weekend and obviously my body makes the same every day. My frozen supply is almost gone...so I have to do something. I never had this problem with Ina or Cora, so I am hoping it will work itself out eventually. I added an extra pumping session to my calendar at work and am chugging water like crazy.

Have a good end to your week! <3

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Thankful 3.1.2018


(Mira is meh about avocados.)

Thursday:
  1. Breakfast bars, because making my children a healthy breakfast sometimes isn't all its cracked up to be. We attempted smoothies. Cora's was first. I made the one she always likes, which was fine until Ina wanted something different and then Cora wanted the one that Ina had. Then Ina spilled her's all over the carpet. #breakfastbarsforlyfe.
  2. Our PAT teacher Miss Tricia. God knew what He was doing when she was assigned to us. I love her with my whole heart. She talks to us about tough stuff like potty training and sleeping, but also encourages us in what we are doing right and forgives me when I tell her stories about kicking trashcans, all the while entertaining my children and having them create great things, like Ina's self portrait below: 

Friday:
  1. Going out to lunch with my friend Kathleen from work who is on maternity leave. She brought her most precious month old baby girl, who made Mira look like a giant. Seeing her put things into perspective a ton. Time goes by so so fast. We also ate Indian food, which is never a bad idea.
  2. A co-worker (who happens to be from India) gave me some mung beans to try. They were delicous, but oh so spicy.
  3. Going to Costco by myself- such a treat. 
Saturday:
  1. I finally made getting the girls' hair trimmed a priority. And by that I mean that at 12:30 I realized we had no plans for the next few hours, so at 1:00 I took them to Great Clips where Ina charmed the socks off her stylist, sitting perfectly still and maintaining a wonderful conversation. Cora, well, she didn't bite or kick her stylist, but wasn't the most excited about having a stranger come near her head with scissors. He did a surprisingly good job considering her head was buried in my chest during the five minute ordeal.
  2. Dave and Busters and Scheels - two great places to take the kids to play after a week of being stuck in the house. Over two different days at Dave and Busters our score card had 152 tickets on it, which at first sounded like a lot, but we quickly realized we couldn't even afford a roll of smarties for 152 tickets. Sorry girls. 
  3. A 7:15 bedtime. I tried to pretend like I wasn't sick all day, but in reality my body was aching and my throat was on fire. A full night's sleep (10 hours and 12 minutes, with lots of Mira interruptions) was exactly what I needed. While Mira and I were sleeping, Dan and the older girls stayed up late with the Champs watching movies and painting their nails. 

Sunday:

  1. Listening to an awesome, awesome sermon about marriage. If you are married, or ever want to be married, listen to it
  2. An awesome small group, finishing up our Daniel Plan study.
  3. Daniel and Dan for holding down the fort and handling dinner/clean-up/bed time while I went to bed at 7 for the second night in a row. During the day the naproxen helps me pretend I am not stick, but once 5 PM rolls around, in come the chills and aches general malaise. 


(our beloved Miss Emily took Mira outside with the big kids <3)

Monday:

  1. Danielle for making me chicken soup for my pathetic throat. I am telling you, every woman needs a sister wife. 
  2. Granny for taking the kids to her house so I could rest in bed while watching training modules for work (spoiler: I ended up getting Granny sick. Ugh.).
Tuesday:
  1. The garage is now cleaned out enough for both Danielle and I to park our matching Odysseys in there. What did I do before I had a mini van?
  2. Cora and her general silliness. She loves to be funny and makes her voice sound different and her facial expressions change depending on what mood she is trying to convey, which is weirdly not the mood she is actually in at the moment.
  3. Curtains at swim school - so much entertainment.

Wednesday:
  1. Mira stayed in her crib all night after a two week hiatus. This was most likely because I accidentally forgot to plug the baby monitor in, but we all survived and she didn't appear too traumatized when I finally came in at 3 am to feed her. I am calling it a win.
  2. Hannah for confirming the white spots on the back of my throat with her cell phone flash light and my sister for calling me in some amoxicillin. Note to future self: pretending like you are not sick doesn't get you anywhere but 5 days wasted and the potential of infecting everyone around you. Sometimes I seriously question my thought processes. 
  3. The book Food: What the Heck Should I Eat? I love Dr. Hyman! 
A few recipes -

Monterey Chicken with black bean soup and roasted cauliflower. Do yourself a favor and make that chicken. It is already on the menu plan for guests next week. I subbed honey instead of brown sugar and it still came out fantastic. I really wish there were leftovers.

Shashuka with quinoa tabbleouh: the kids LOVED the shashuka, which cracked us all up.

Smoked chicken legs with salad, roasted broccoli, and parmasean roasted sweet potatoes (<-- a repeat for sure)

Need a quick workout? Try these Fitness Blender arms + abs videos.

Have a great end to your week! Muah! <3
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