Birthdays

To celebrate the February birthday’s in our family we all went to Little Italy for dinner. Although the food wasn’t anything to rave about, the company was well worth it. The best part of Italian food is that we know we can order the girls pizza and skip the dramatics. You guys, they are getting older, when does their pickiness go away?

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Later that night Kaili started to deteriorate and ended up with a bad cold. It has now hit the entire house, besides me; takes a bow while simultaneously knocks on wood. 

A week or so later we headed to Vegas. While we were waiting to check in, we saw Jesus, probably.

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We hit the arts district where we had an incredible lunch at Esthers Kitchen.

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So good in fact, that we went back once more before we left.

Once my brother flew in, we hit the town. Music, food, dancing and all the fun that we have there.

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The next day we decided to hit up Frankie’s Tiki’s Lounge before heading to the strip.

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We were almost committed to riding on the high roller, but then beer pong caught our eye.

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On the way back to the hotel, we saw the most amazing rainbow.

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With that we headed to a casino to test our luck. Some of us were luckier than others. We met some nice folks, crazy characters and spent the rest of the night singing and dancing.

A great birthday month in the books.

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Where do the days go?  One day it’s Easter and now I am rushing around to get everything for the almost six year olds birthday party.

Speaking of Easter, we had a pretty low key day. Early Saturday morning Kaili woke up sick. There is nothing like slipping in vomit with bare feet after you’ve taken half of a sleep tab, seriously the best! (keep that in mind my young friends.) She woke up with a fever and zero energy, unfortunately she missed her best friends birthday party that day. She seemed to pep up towards the end of the day and we were hoping she would be good for Easter.

The girls woke to their baskets delivered to our door step by the bunny, thank you for the one who gave me that idea. Kaili seemed a lot better, they tore through the baskets, ate breakfast and then set out on hot pursuit for hidden goodies in the backyard.

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The girls were invited to an Easter party by a school friend, once we decided Kaili was up for it we headed out.

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From here you’ll just have to take my word for it because I tucked my phone away for the entire party. The family was very nice, they had waaaayyy too much food, but they also had alcohol so…. We helped hide over hundreds of eggs for the hunt, which was over in minutes. All the girls had so much fun and there was a tad of resistance when we told them we had to go.

For dinner I made a fancy shrimp scampi that was a lot more work than I normally do and although the shrimp were plumper being poached, the taste was pretty much the same.  Maybe I will share the recipe some time. I do have a brilliant whole fish recipe for you, courtesy of Chrissy Tiegen! Coming soon.

 

Shrimp in Thai Coconut Sauce

Thai and Coconut, probably two of my favorite things but when you mix them together with some spice, its pure harmony. Most of the time we have a bag of Kirkland raw, peeled, tail on shrimp in our freezer. No fuss and cooks up in minutes, perfect for a weeknight meal. If you can prep everything, cut all the veg and make the sauce…. or as the French say, “mise en place” then this dish comes together in no time.

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Ingredients

1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined (tails on or off, your preference)
4 tablespoons coconut oil, divided (you can use vegetable oil)
2 gloves garlic, minced
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon red chili flakes
½ onion, peeled and sliced
½ red bell pepper, seeded and sliced
½ orange bell pepper, seeded and sliced
½ yellow bell pepper, seeded and sliced
1 cup coconut milk
3-5 tablespoons high quality fish sauce (start with 3 tablespoons and add more to taste)
2 tablespoons peanut butter
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 teaspoons fresh grated ginger
2 tablespoons basil, chopped
2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
1 green onion, chopped
Serrano pepper sliced for the heat lovers

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Directions

Place the shrimp in a bowl with 1 tablespoon of the oil, garlic, ginger, kosher salt and red chili flakes. Toss to coat and let marinade for 10 minutes to 30 minutes.

Heat a good sized skillet over medium high heat with 1 tablespoon of oil. Add the onion and peppers and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Transfer the peppers and onion to a bowl. Add 1 tablespoon of oil and cook the shrimp for 2 minutes, then flip and cook for another 2 minutes or until opaque, transfer shrimp to a plate.

In a medium bowl whisk the coconut milk, fish sauce, peanut butter, lime juice, brown sugar and stir well. Transfer the cooked onion and peppers to the skillet and pour the coconut milk mixture of the peppers. Bring to a boil then reduce to simmer and cook until reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Add the shrimp to the skillet with the basil and cilantro and toss to coat.  Garnish with more cilantro and basil, chopped green onion and sliced Serrano. Serve over rice, noodles or riced cauliflower.

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*Recipe adapted from Foodie Crush

Growing up

I have been talking to Kaili a lot about kindness and empathy. After showing her a few videos and having conversations she seems to really be absorbing the message. The other day she told me that a girl at school was crying in the bathroom. She asked the girl what was wrong and if she was okay, but the girl didn’t answer. I told her that was all she could do and a high five for being a caring friend.

I went to her class party yesterday and was able to observe since I was the only parent there..side eye parents. I browsed the kids work posted on the walls and watched the them finish their work and hand it in all while Kaili was still sitting, dilly dallying. I came to find that Kaili doesn’t have the best penmanship, isn’t the first one done with her work and isn’t the most mature girl in her class.

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One little girl wrote that her favorite thing to do will be playing with her granddaughters. Can we say wise beyond age?  All said and done, none of this matters. She will catch up on all of this! What does matter is kindness. Humor. Empathy, all the things that our world really needs.

Averi asked to go to bed a little early so I told Kaili she could stay up until A was settled. I put on Free Willy  a movie she hasn’t seen, just to see what she thought. It was towards the end with an hour left but she got sucked in. This girl doesn’t watch movies…like ever…and it’s because she isn’t interested. After 10 minutes she climbed onto the couch with me, snuggled under the blanket and we discussed everything that happened. When it came to the end and Willy was released back into the ocean, she was tearing up. ” This makes me sad mom.” Empathy! At the end of the movie she was snuggled in my arms crying. I asked her why she was sad. This was a happy ending and the boy did a great thing, Willy now had his family and freedom. She said, wiping her tears…” I am sad that the boy lost his friend.”

 

Disneyland Day 1

This year for Kaili’s birthday we thought we would take the family to Disneyland, you know while Averi is still free. We booked through Costco and got a 3 day park hopper package. That included the hotel stay, park tickets with 2 early morning entrances, one character dining and a $40 gift card.

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We left early on a Monday morning planning to meet grandma and grandpa at the Disneyland Pier hotel by 8:00 so we could be at the park when the gates opened.

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I got a ton of great information from people on what and what not to do with our three days there. I had a tentative plan in mind and so we started the day out hitting Fantasyland getting most of those rides done in a couple of hours while the crowds were sparse.

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For lunch we went to Downtown Disney and ate at Uva Cafe only because it was outside dining and the weather was perfect. That turned out to be my favorite meal of the trip.

After lunch we headed back into Disneyland and that is when the crowds started turn up. Averi met Goofy while Kaili was on a ride with Grandma.

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Later in the afternoon we got a text from our hotel letting us know our rooms were ready. After a few more rides and a lot of walking we headed to check in.

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The first day at the park was a success and the girls were amazing, and I don’t say that lightly.

After we unpacked our stuff we went to check out the pool and let the kids take a dip. The hotel had a waterslide and a kiddy pool that kept Kaili highly entertained.

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For dinner I wanted to check out Trader Sams in the Disneyland hotel. Although it’s a cool tiki bar, it’s more for drinks than it is dinner. Our food was good but the service wasn’t superb. My Mai Thai however was delicious.  After dinner we strolled through downtown disney in search of ice cream. As we ate the sun went down and we took that as a cue to go and put the kids down. They knocked out immediately and we weren’t far behind.  We had to get ready to do it all over again bright and early in the morning.

 

 

All About My Dad, By Kaili

My dad’s name is….. “Shane”

My dad is…. “3 years old”

He likes to…..”pack up and go to work.”

He doesn’t like to….”eat blueberries”

His favorite food is…..”Spaghetti”

His favorite drink is…..”coffee”

His favorite sport is…..”Seahawks”

We like to….”go in the hot tub together”

It makes my dad happy when….”I help my sister”

It makes my dad sad when ….. “I step on Averi.”

I love my dad because…..”He loves me.”

IMG_1075Happy Father’s Day!