Saturday, June 15, 2019

Dance Recitals, T Ball, and Swimming

Hello and Happy Saturday!

When we last talked, the girls' spring dance recital was hours away. Then last night we went to our sweet friends' recital. I am quickly becoming an expert on a the subject of tights, costumes, and ballet shoes.

Except not really. BUT, let me say that this recital was leaps and bounds more enjoyable than the previous two. Cora willing went on stage with a smile on her face 7 out of the 8 times she was expected to. Ina and I only had one tiff over her hair and another over her tights, but only one each. Bless her sensory issue heart - tight pony tails and dance tights aren't her favorite thing.

Then there was the cheap red lip stain I purchased, thinking I wouldn't need anything high quality for just one day. Boy was I wrong. Let me just say that I would have paid anything to not be scrubbing lip stain off of Cora's entire face seconds before she went on stage.

I was so thankful for Granny and the girls' cousins Brook and Lindsey for staying back stage with them the first performance, so I could enjoy the show.

Ina's skills and confidence on stage are improving and she even did a little tango bit by herself. Cora is just as cute as she could be up there, with a huge smile and determination on her face, and her tongue sticking out in concentration the majority of the time.

Except when, during their song class's last performance of The Rainbow Connection, the sweet girl before Cora froze during her solo, blocking Cora from the microphone and preventing Cora from singing her line. Cora was so upset she tried to push the girl out of the way and then, when unsuccessful, she proceeded to pout with her arms crossed the rest of the song, until the first girl tried to sing again and Cora covered up her mouth with her hands. I was mortified and laughing at the same time. We will be purchasing that DVD.

We had so much family come watch the second performance, but my photo brain was off by 9 PM. Next time I will make sure to get a picture of everyone!

Oh! Before the recital on Saturday morning, Cora had her first t-ball practice.

The coach didn't show up and there were many bouts of 3 year olds crying, but overall I would say it was a success. Cora was so proud to finally be able to go out on the field like her big sister.

Sunday morning came bright and early with an equally full day of hosting. I started the morning in the kitchen, prepping the necessary dishes and starting the slow cooker. Then we went to church and came home to have the Nybergs over for swimming and lunch.

When Chessa and I were studying organic chemistry together, I doubt we ever saw this as our future 15 years later.

Minutes after the Nybergs left, I started cooking again, just in time for small group to come over to wrap up our study of 1 Corinthians and eat some dinner and, of course, swim.

The rest of the week closely resembled the weekend, with T-ball games on Monday and Thursday, having friends over to swim, and cooking.

Due to vacation and dance recitals, Ina had two weeks off from t-ball, which apparently is enough time to completely forget how to play the game. However, once Thursday rolled around, she appeared to pick everything back up again and then some.

Two of our neighbor friends joined us for the game, so her improved skills may have been from all the extra cheering.

I have some great recipes to share this week:

Spiced shrimp with homemade naan and cucumber tomato salad

Italian Beef sandwiches with these rolls (plus all the sides that small group brought)

BBQ chicken quinoa salad - my new favorite thing

Mexican rice - loved the recipe, but I would put about half the tomato paste in next time.

Rosemary peach chicken - Dan couldn't stop saying "mmmm" and Mira was dancing between every bite - make this now.

This weekend is so full of birthday parties and swimming and Father's Day. Coffee cheers! <3

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Back to Reality

(We travel with basic necessities only)

The night before we left for vacation, we had a blast at the preschool's carnival.

Although we technically don't currently have a child in school there, our participation in Parents as Teachers scored us an invite.

Cora and Mira couldn't be drug away from the bubbles and Ina hung around the slime station, which was luckily being run by her old preschool teachers, who she absolutely adored and misses so so much.

Much to the girls' dismay, we had to leave a few minutes early to make Ina's first t-ball game of the season.  The jury is still out as to if Ina actually enjoys t-ball, but sitting in the stands seemed to at least fill some sort of internal summer obligation. Next time we will bring sunflower seeds.

The next 10 days were spent on vacation mode, but because Mira wouldn't sleep in the hotel room on the way back, we left Nashville at 3:30 am and made it home in plenty of time to run to Aldi, finish up laundry, and cook a tasty dinner for friends.

Ina went with my friend Brooke and her friend Holland to swim, as if the last 10 days of swimming wasn't enough.

Monday morning was a rough one when we all realized we had to go back to real life with school, work, dishes and dance, but we made it through and by Monday night the pool was completely open and ready for business! After dance lessons the girls and Dan made the chilly decision to take a short dip.

The absolute best decision I have made this year was hiring a company to open and maintain our pool. Budget be damned, if I spent 30 minutes vacuuming that pool only to realize the hose wasn't connected ONE MORE TIME, I was going to pull all of my hair out.

We have swam in the pool every night this week. That darn thing is so much money and work, but man do we have fun with it.

(Yes, that is an adorable Mira booty. Pretend like a made a good transition here)

Our childcare situation is a unique one in that Granny watches Cora and Mira 4 days a week, with Danielle anchoring Fridays. This usually works in our favor with sick kids and rides to swim lessons, etc. However, unfortunately Dan's grandma, Granny's mom, has cancer and is getting chemo treatments, which Granny takes her to.

An infusion center isn't the best place for two little girls, so I try to work from home on those mornings every other week until Granny returns. I use the term "work" very freely, because in reality I try to log on early and stay on later and while the girls are with me I mostly fight email fires and attend meetings while heavily counting on Paw Patrol for help. During one such meeting, Mira found my nail polish bag.

I still haven't found the bottle she used and am a little scared to look much further.

Last night was dress rehearsal for Ina and Cora's dance recital and despite my dramatic dreading of the day, it went fairly smoothly. Cora went on stage for every single song with a huge smile on her face while I enthusiastically smiled, clapped, and thumbs-uped from the audience. This was a drastic contrast to the rehearsal 6 months prior, when she absolutely refused to get on stage.

As usual, Ina shined her heart out and only one of the EIGHT wardrobe changes caused a fight, and, surprise, surprise, it involved tights. Tights, ugh, the bane of my existence.

The recital is today, so many pictures are to come!

Here are some recipes to share:

For lunches this week I have made eggs in a basket - an old favorite, so healthy and filling.

Another old favorite - overnight oats! Equal parts (I used 1/2 cup) of oats, almond milk, and plain full fat Greek yogurt, mixed and left in the fridge for at least a few hours and up to a few days. Top with fruit and enjoy!

Dan's turkey burgers with roasted sweet potato fries and cucumber/tomato salad- the girls devoured these, so they are happening again soon.

Cashew chicken lettuce wraps with rice (packed in Pyrex and shuttled to dance practice, because after a week of vacation I refuse the alternative drive through dinner). This recipe is becoming another staple in our house - so easy and so tasty!

Grilled pork chops, fried cabbage and potatoes. Dan was in charge of dinner this night and he delivered. He grills the best pork chops.

Green chicken with green sauce, grilled corn on the cob, roasted broccoli and cauliflower.

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Myrtle Beach 2019

We are back home after a 10 day trip half way across the country to the land of sunsets, sea shells, and tropical drink concoctions.

I don't know what we were thinking when we decided to drive the 17 hour journey, but we were very lucky.

The girls did as well as can be expected and there were only a few minor hiccups. Once was when Mira absolutely refused to stop screaming unless we took her out of her car seat. In her defense, she had been sitting in it for almost 12 hours, so we made the very wise decision to stop at a hotel at 1:30 am and then immediately decided to book another for the way home.

The other was when Granny forgot her purse at a restaurant and realized it 30 minutes down the road, adding another hour to our drive. In her defense, it is hard to remember everything when there are three small human tornado distractions around.

Thanks to Children's Dramamine, Ina didn't get car sick once. She had been dreading the trip due to the long drive, and was convinced the fun wouldn't be worth the time in the backseat. She quickly ate her words once she saw the beach, pools, and - the Kendrick girls most favorite part of the trip - the hotel elevators, with all of their button pushing potential.

As soon as they gave us our key cards, we barely had a chance to enjoy the amazing ocean front room we were upgraded to before we threw on our swimsuits and headed to the pool.

I woke up every morning and immediately dressed in workout clothes and no shoes for a walk or jog on the beach to watch the sun rise.  This, my friends, walking next to the water as the sun rises or sets, is my favorite place to be.

Those few hours alone were worth the trip. I even did Murph on Memorial Day, minus the pull ups because the beach was fresh out of racks.

We played in the sand for a few hours one morning, building sand castles and sifting for shells.

Another morning we mastered boogie boards, Dan standing next to Ina as she bravely attacked each wave and Cora on my back as we flopped along.

Mira firmly decided she wanted nothing to do with the ocean early on, so she mostly stayed in the stroller, which she climbed into herself, puddle jumper and all, when I suggested she join me in the water. Because of this, the determination of sand to get everywhere, the choppiness of the waves, and the general safety threat of the ocean, we spent the majority of our time at the pools.

One pool had a splash pad and a water slide, which we never could convince Cora to go down. Another pool had a bar that made the best virgin "volcanoes", which Ina conveniently learned to charge to the room.

Ina and Cora made the sweetest friends and swam with them a lot while Dan and I sipped on our margaritas (made in the hotel room blender) and played with Mira, who mastered the puddle jumper.

Cora thoroughly enjoyed switching back and forth between pool and hot tub, but repeatedly told me that I was wrong when I had previously said Myrtle Beach would have a lot of hot tubs because it "only" had five, that she could count.

We left the hotel a few times, mostly for food. Dan and I enjoyed a date night at Sea Captain's House

(highly recommend - the scallops and grouper and she crab soup were everything) and we had a family date at Bimini's (also a strong recommendation - I wanted to order 10 pounds of the shrimp), but Ina and Cora were so tired from swimming all day they could barely keep their heads off the table.

We also went to Margaritaville and Pier 14, both of which were just okay. We did, however, meet a very fun family the last day and after Dan didn't give them much of a choice, they joined us for dinner!

We cooked most of our meals at our hotel - grilled hot dogs, steaks and corn,

made nachos and ate multiple rounds pool-side,

spaghetti, tacos, biscuits and gravy,

and kale salad (you know I had to).

After a lot of persistence on my end, we rode the Ferris wheel/Sky Wheel, which the girls and I loved and Dan (who isn't a fan of being off the ground) merely tolerated.

The view of the ocean was beautiful from way up high, although I think rebel Ina was more excited about the fact that the conductor told us we were allowed three times around and we went FIVE.

I surprised Granny, Dan, and Ina with a deep sea fishing excursion, but forgot to send the Dramamine, so poor Ina was only able to catch one fish before they spent the rest of the time grabbing their stomachs and trying not to puke.

We ended most of the days with a leisurely walk on the beach, walking in the waves and looking for seashells and/or sea creatures.

Ina and Granny found many beautiful shells and we saw many (likely deceased) jelly fish, baby fish, crabs, snakes, and name-unknown-shell creatures.

We had an all around wonderful time, but I also have to say that there were some tough moments, as I assume all family vacations have. There were a few arguments, a lot of whining, and sun burns despite the 4 bottles of sunscreen we went through.

There was also an incident that involved a hot tub, a swim diaper, and a zip up swim suit that made me so jealous of the kid-less people lounging at the pool and reading a book.

That jealousy, however, was fleeting as I reminded myself that I will likely have years to read books and only a few precious to enjoy my family.

We are now home and back in the full swing of things with an open pool (woohoo!) and dance recital week. As my anxiety is directly proportional to the number of outfit changes requiring my supervision, and Ina and Cora are each in four dances in two shows, pray for me on Saturday.

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