Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Spring Stay

My mom called this morning just to see how I was, which really means that I haven't blogged in two weeks and I actually have to tell her what we have been up to.

(Her flame of hair cannot be tamed.)

Sorry Mom.

Two weeks ago Ina was on spring break, but we are going on a big family vacation in May, so in an effort to save our vacation days (and vacation funds), we stayed put.

One night Ina and Cora stayed with Grandma Frankie, who likely felt like a hurricane came through her house.

We rode bikes and scooters, grilled dinner outside, swang our hearts out, and generally enjoyed not being locked up inside after work. In just a few weeks' time, Ina has mastered the bike without training wheels. I actually had to tell her to slow down once because I was scared she was going to fall, but she knew she wouldn't.

One Saturday we met my friend Liz and her daughters at Science City. I hadn't been there since I was a kid and boy has that place improved!

The optical illusions, magnets, puzzles, and water features of the building were very cool, but what stole the show and all three Kendrick girl hearts was the outside features. So many cool things to play on!

I  think they would have played there until they fell asleep. Mira was as pleased as punch to be playing with the big kids and didn't seem to mind that she couldn't climb past the first level unless someone helped her, and she found a lot of that. Thankfully there was always an extra mom to save the day when she tried to step off the spinning ball or when Ina tried to squeeze her onto the next level through brute force.

The final day of Ina's spring break I made the last minute decision to use a vacation day and take her and Cora to the zoo while Granny kept Mira. This was the first time I have been to the zoo since I had kids that I didn't have to worry about a baby and we all had an absolute blast.

We purchased a pass with unlimited rides and it felt so good for my typical NO-self to breezily answer YES when Ina asked to ride the sky tram (so relaxing!) or when Cora asked to ride the carousel (her absolute favorite thing there).

We were there from open to practically close and saw just about every animal in the place. We pet the sting rays, which, much to Cora's dismay, were swimming in wet water. We fed the goats, jumped with the kangaroos (who were a little too close for Ina's comfort), made faces at the orangutans (while I jealously eyed their piles of beautiful kale leaves), and counted the penguins.

My favorite were the kangaroos, that were roaming free and jumping about, almost like a cartoon.

(Fun fact - if it were up to me, Mira's name would have been Roo or Rue, but Dan wouldn't budge.)

Cora has been begging to go back soon and we will. Soon.

I will have another post coming up this week, but until then, here are a few links to share:

Books I listened to:

P.S. I Still Love You and Always and Forever, Lara Jean. I have to admit that I am re-living high school through these books. I can't help but love Lara Jean and Peter and am so looking forward to watching the movie on Netflix.

Murder on the Orient Express: I needed something not romantic and MMD listed this as a good audio book. I did not expect to cry during the end.

Veronica Mars Million Dollar Tan Line  I love the TV show and Kristen Bell read this, so of course it was great.

More than Words: a sweet love story, but a little more R rated than I am used to. You have been warned.

We also finished up Anne of Green Gables. Oh how we all adored those books. We watched and cried our way through the PBS videos as well. The girls just love her and we reference her often. For example, whenever Ina is being dramatic I asked her if she is in the depths of despair and she usually laughs and snaps out of it.

I want to jump straight into Anne of Avonlea, but Dan votes for Little House on the Prairie, so I have to wait. Or I might listen to it on my own. Shhh, don't tell.

Recipes to share:

Bibimbap bowls - a great meal prep recipe. Don't skip out on the kimchi.

Pollo Sabroso with green sauce - never ever ever gets old.

Herb roasted pork loin with roasted potatoes and brussels sprouts- make that sauce. Now.

Cheeseburger salad - I know you are sick of me posting this recipe, but I will never get sick of making it. #SorryNotSorry

Monterrey chicken pasta - I made the mistake of using a "weird" BBQ sauce on this and it changed the flavor of the whole dish. BUT, I think the concept of the recipe is good, so we will likely make it again.

Peanut dragon noodles (add whatever vegetables that need to be used in your fridge and you won't be disappointed. We used bell peppers, cabbage, and carrots)

Kale salad with a pecan parmesan topping as a side when Dan smoked meat and Danielle made these amazing parmesan sweet potatoes when The Champs stayed for dinner. Gunner sat down to the table and said, "Of course, there is kale salad," and I don't know if I have never felt more understood.

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