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Scattered Sundays

I’m sure you’re all dying for details on Bennett’s trip to the feline Disneyland and Super Bowl, AKA the Neko Cat Cafe. First off, I want to say that we paid for it with a mix of a gift card (from a friend) and our cash. It wasn’t a sponsored trip or anything like that.

Our check-in time was at 4 pm on Sunday, which naturally meant that Bennett woke up at 2 am Sunday morning because he COULDNOTWAITTOGO. He was just too excited.

At one point, Troy felt his forehead and said he thought Bennett’s fever disorder was starting back up. Y’all, I have NEVER prayed for anything as hard as I prayed for him to not have a fever and make us cancel that trip.

He finally crashed at 4:30 am when I kicked Troy to the couch because of snoring and asked Bennett if he wanted to come and sleep in bed with me. A few minutes of snuggling and he was out like a trout.

a family in front of the pike's place market sign

We did some of the normal Seattle touristy things that the boys love – go to Pike Place for giant cookies at Cinnamon Works and hum bao at Mee Sum, and then take the monorail to the giant playground under the Space Needle.

We did a lot of walking that day and Bennett is um, slow. Troy and I got a big arm workout in a few hours. About 40 minutes before our reservation we met up with friends who were joining us for Cat-a-polooza.

Neko’s location is built into a steep hill so you have to step down to get into the cafe. This gives people on the sideway the option to look down into windows to see all the cats. Bennett and his little friend spent the full 40 minutes just staring and “awwwwwing” at the cats while we waited for our turn.

Bennett had been drawing his interpretation of the cafe for days leading up to our trip. I had posted one of them on Instagram and tagged Neko. They were so sweet and shared the picture to their stories and said that the kitties were excited to meet him and had a special treat for him.

When we checked in for the reservation, the “kitties” gave him a pin, a cat ear headband, and let him pick out three stickers. He was in heaven.

a boy in a cat sweatshirt in front of a cat cafe
And yes, Baby GG made the trek with us.

We got into the cat room and our cat bouncer (their term. Seriously, check out their website because the pun game is STRONG and impressive) told us the rules and then we were free to play, snuggle, and pet the kitties.

I honestly think that Bennett was a little overwhelmed at first. This day had been FOUR months in the making and it was all that he had been able to talk about for weeks. He had built it up so hard in his mind and heart and it was finally here.

a boy snuggling with a black cat.

He was able to quickly regroup and started petting any cat within arm’s length. He was desperate for them to play with the toys he was waving in front of them, but it was definitely nap time and they weren’t having it. I think when we go back we’ll opt for an earlier reservation time when the cats are a bit more awake.

He got his hat that he wanted so desperately and I bought his teacher a hilarious mug for putting up with listening to non-stop chatter about the cat cafe for the last four months.

a boy snuggling with a tabby cat

After the visit, we did something that Troy wanted to do – go to a restaurant that specialized in sandwiches. Troy loves sandwiches in the same way that Bennett loves cats. Except that Bennett doesn’t eat cats.

Playing with our friends, the early start to the day, and the excitement of it all, just did little Bennett in. He fell asleep sitting up in Troy’s arms after eating a little bit of dinner.

a boy asleep in his dad's arms

He stayed asleep as we left the restaurant and only woke up when we were standing in front of Salt and Straw trying to figure out what kind of ice cream he might like. He then perked up, ordered strawberry, and then promptly named his cone “Kevin”.

It ended up being a late night so that little “cat nap” (sorry not sorry) at dinner was exactly what he needed. And when he finally fell asleep in his own bed, he told did so knowing that he had the best day of his entire life.

9 solar panels on a roof
1 of 3 sets of panels on various parts of the roof

After three days of installation, the solar panels are up! The poor installers had ALL kinds of weather during those three days, including hail (twice), and 35-45 mph winds. In my defense, I told them not to come on the windy day. They did anyway.

We passed the state inspection on Thursday and on Friday morning we got an email from the power company about swapping out the meter. The email apologized for potential delays with the process and we were told to expect someone in 7-14 days.

Within four hours a worker was at our house swapping out the meter. I saw him on our street reading other meters, so I think it was just the right place right time. Either way, I’ll take it!

The solar team was so surprised it happened so quickly. Instead of wasting time scheduling time to come out and turn everything on, they walked me through the process via the phone. They also helped me set up our monitoring app so we can see what we’re generating vs. using. You know I am stoked about all that data!

On Friday it was activated for around 4 hours and we generated 4 kwh of power. I have no historical data to compare this to and we’re brand new to all this. So I’m going to call it a successful first day and say “go team”.

2 boys in front of a birthday cake.
13!!

Jack finishes up his cat sitting gig this morning. Unlike when this family was out of town over Christmas, there was no snow or ice to deal with this time! It was nice to not have to trek an hour each day to feed this kitty.

While Jack was the one tasked with feeding, watering, and poop scooping of the cat, I think we all know who appointed themselves Chief Cat Snuggler.

Due to the road conditions (and how slow of a walker he is…) Bennett hadn’t been able to come with Jack and I last time he was cat sitting.

He more than made up for it this time and was in his element giving Chester lots of loves. He also formally renamed him “Chester the Chonk” because this kitty is thicc.

3 photos of 2 boys in front of the space needle
This is a photo time capsule of the size of Jack’s feet

After two years of not having large family events, I finally decided last month that I was comfortable with hosting Easter dinner at our house this year. Of course, by that time, pretty much everyone in the family had already made plans. Doh!

Troy’s parents and aunt and uncle will be joining us for Easter on Sunday. I think maybe a smaller group is a good way to dip my toe back into hosting things. We’ll find out. 🙂

I’m keeping things simple with Instant Pot Ham, these Gluten-Free Scalloped Potatoes, homemade rolls (this honey whole wheat bread is the base recipe, but I brush butter on top when they’re done baking and sprinkle with garlic salt), and a salad.

Troy’s mom is bringing appetizers, and his aunt is bringing a side dish and dessert. I still need to think of another dessert to make to give everyone options. I should probably figure that out quickly.

We recently got off the waiting list for a very small community pool. And when I say small, I mean it’s TINY. Like 30×50 max. But it’s indoors, year-round, only 5-feet deep, a toasty 88 degrees (F), and dirt-freaking-cheap.

It was built in the 1960s and was originally intended for people living within a newly developed housing tract. But it was later open to other residents as long as you are patient enough to stay on the waiting list until a space is available.

We utilized it a lot this week because school was closed thanks to spring break. For essentially $1 a day (for the whole family!), I foresee this being a great cure for the “I’m bored” moments on the weekend and during school breaks.

In the Garden This Week

We finally had time to get pavers this week for the strawberry bed. I ran into multiple problems while placing the pavers, but what else is gardening without some problems and a kid getting hit in the face with a hockey stick?

The biggest issue I hadn’t thought about was the roots from our mini drawf apple trees. One of the trees I was able to redirect the roots. The other one is staying put and I need to get creative on how to fill this gap. Any ideas?

pavers on a garden path.

I still need a few more pavers to finish off this bed. In a perfect world, we’ll add another layer to make it even deeper. But those are 2023 goals because pavers are EXPENSIVE right now! “Kids, sorry you can’t go to college, mom wanted to make the soil in the strawberry bed deeper…”.

In the midst of this paver project, I had to help Jack set up a street hockey set he got for his birthday. And then I took a work call that got interrupted because (surprise surprise), Bennett accidentally got hit in the face with a hockey stick. It was a gong show.

WHAT I’M LISTENING TO THIS WEEK

If you’ve listened to Crime Junkie, we: A) might be friends B) should check out The Deck podcast.

From the website: Solving the toughest criminal investigations sometimes requires a game of risk. Each week, host Ashley Flowers tells you the story of a person whose murder or mysterious disappearance has gone unsolved for years. (source)

READER SPOTLIGHT OF THE WEEK

Mari left this five-star review on our Instant Pot Tortilla Soup With Rice {Pin this recipe}:

We had friends over with picky kids, a total of 4 adults and 5 kids, and everyone loved it. The kids named it Burrito Gut Soup!

a bowl of tortilla soup on a cutting board with cilantro and limes

ON SUSTAINABLE COOKS THIS WEEK

Taquito BakeThis Taquito Bake is a simple and easy one-pot meal that you can throw together in under 15 minutes. Taquito casserole is pure comfort food that the whole family will beg you to make over and over. {Pin this recipe}

a white plate with a scoop of taquito casserole and tomatoes.

Greek Yogurt Egg SaladThis Greek Yogurt Egg Salad is a delicious and healthier twist on the classic recipe. Mix up a batch of this no mayo egg salad for a tasty sandwich, salad, or snack. {Pin this recipe}

mayo free egg salad in a white bowl with brown bread and eggs on a white board

Air Fryer Bacon Wrapped AsparagusThis Air Fryer Bacon Wrapped Asparagus is an easy and delicious side dish that is ready in a flash! Perfectly grilled and tender, this asparagus in the air fryer is so tasty and easy to meal prep. {Pin this recipe}

a white dish with asparagus bundles.

THE FIVE MOST POPULAR POSTS THIS WEEK

  1. Air Fryer Egg Rolls – vegan and vegetarian as written but super customizable! On, and did you know you can FREEZE these? {Pin this recipe}
  2. Instant Pot Garlic Butter Rice – so easy and so comforting! {Pin this recipe}
  3. Homemade Pizza Rolls – freezer-friendly too! Basically, I think everything should be frozen. {Pin this recipe}
  4. How to Freeze Spinach – I can smell spring in the air when this post starts climbing the ranks! {Pin this tutorial}
  5. Air Fryer Cookies – for those times when you NEED cookies but don’t want to heat up your whole house by using the oven. {Pin this recipe}

MEAL PLAN

This week is going to be an utter gong show. I think we have something going on every single night. And that is with soccer practice being OVER for the moment.

Monday:: Retesting an old recipe to make sure it is perfect before taking new photos of it. Plus veggies on the side.

Tuesday:: Air Fryer Chicken Taquitos, Garlic Rice, and veggies + a t-ball game.

Wednesday:: Takeout to support a local small business and my sanity. Plus we have both a cross country meet AND t-ball practice.

Thursday:: I’m making Instant Pot Gnocchi Soup to bring to church for Maunday Thursday. We’ll eat some that I set aside at home because I’m still not in a place where I want to be maskless around a bunch of people.

Friday:: Popcorn, leftovers, and movie night.

Saturday:: Troy is making burgers, tots, and veggies.

Sunday:: Easter Sunday! Where I sweat over a lovely meal that we eat at 2 pm, my kids take two bites of, and then ask what’s for dinner later night while surrounded by leftovers. Childhood is magical.

What are you having this week?

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8 comments on “Scattered Sundays”

  1. So glad the cat cafe lived up to the dream!

    Can you cut a paver and put the pieces on either side of the root?

  2. Will you write a post with all the details of your solar panels? Please!

    • Yes at some point when we have more experience. I feel like right now it would be like writing a parenting book when I was 7 weeks pregnant with my first child. HA!

  3. So happy to hear that the cat cafe did not disappoint! As for Easter dinner’s additional dish, I vote for a fresh fruit salad. I always make one that has a honey and lime juice dressing that is always a hit.

    • I find most fruit in spring is sad and depressing. Lol. I’m a sucker for a summer fruit salad – peaches, berries, etc.

      The lime and honey would be fantastic though!

  4. So glad he enjoyed the Cat Café. I’m not sure what our Easter plans are. I think we’re going to go over to my son’s girlfriend’s house. I am always charged with making the desserts. But nobody likes coconut the way I do so that’s a bummer. I tried to comment last week but it turns out when you use the greater than and less than signs, your spam filter thinks it’s spam, and when I tried to go back and snort at buttheads without those signs the spam filter really freaked out and thought it was spam. Your writing cracks me up. Ciao.