Monday, January 31, 2011

baby j on a plane

We had a whirlwind tour of the Phoenix area last week in order to secure housing for the big move.* It was Baby J's first plane ride and Mom was probably more stressed out than baby. Getting two suitcases, two additional carry-ons, baby milk, a baby, stroller, and car seat through security was a feat of epic proportions for me. Airport security in Minneapolis required the milk to be x-rayed (despite being told otherwise by the TSA agent who checked my ID) or for both me and baby to be patted down, which they assured me would take 20 minutes - time that we simply didn't have given our departure. Baby J was such a good baby on the flight to Phoenix. At one point the people in the row behind us joked that we just have put her in the overhead compartment because she was so quiet. She slept through takeoff and landing and was a happy baby for the entire flight. On the way back to Minneapolis, her demeanor was less than ideal. She must have been upset about heading back to the snow. Until the airplane started moving, she was pretty noisy and fussy. Once we were in the air, she fell asleep a couple times and wasn't too bad. Nothing like the angel she was on the way out there though. My only travel advice would be to suck it up, pay the $25, and check your luggage. I'm pretty sure I could have gotten Baby J and myself through security with less hassle, if I didn't also have a suitcase with which to contend.

*After three days of looking, we signed a lease at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, the day before we left. We leave the frozen tundra on February 19th and hope to be in the desert by February 22nd!

Sunday, January 23, 2011


Up until yesterday Baby J has been pretty ambivalent about the pacifier. It definitely wasn't the sure fire way to get her to calm down. Over the past 24 hours she's actually sucked on that thing pretty regularly. We stayed in a hotel last night while Gus was refinishing the floors in our house. She laid on the bed, calmly sucking away, and playing with her blankie. This morning I laid her down with the pacifier and her blanket and she eventually even fell asleep. It was kind of amazing. Usually she will get whiny and you'll have to hold her, rock her, walk around with her, tap her back, etc., until she finally falls asleep. Then the challenge becomes setting her down and having her stay asleep. This falling asleep by herself thing is sure going to come in handy. Since I'm blogging about it, I've probably already jinxed it. Going to knock on some wood now ...

Friday, January 21, 2011

facebook official

I made it Facebook official today. I submitted my resignation letter to the City and am prepping for a move to Phoenix. Shortly after Christmas I had a phone interview for a position in Tempe, AZ and then the company flew me out there for an interview. When the offer came, Husband and I had a long talk and decided that relocating to Arizona, despite leaving many friends and family in Minnesota, was the best thing for our family. Having just moved to Duluth less than a year ago, I'm a bit overwhelmed with moving again. This time we are hiring movers though, which will definitely help the process. I will be starting new job February 28th, so between now and then we are going to Arizona to find housing, finishing some house projects so we can put the house back on the market, packing our things, and trying to see family and friends before we head out. What a whirlwind!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

BBC Book List

Have you read more than 6 of these books? The BBC believes most people will have read only 6 of the 100 books listed here.

Instructions: Copy this into your NOTES.
Bold those books you've read in their entirety.
Italicize the ones you started but didn't finish or read only an excerpt.

Tag other book nerds. Tag me as well so I can see your responses! ( I'm betting that we're all well over 6 books, and I am curious to see the common ground). Feel free to add comments too.

1. Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2. The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
3. Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4. Harry Potter series - JK Rowling
5. To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6. The Bible
7. Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8. 1984 - George Orwell 
9. His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10. Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
11. Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
12. Tess of D'Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13. Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14. Complete Works of Shakespeare
15. Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16. The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17. Birdsong - Sebastian Faulk
18. Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19. The Time Traveler's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20. Middlemarch - George Eliot
21. Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22. The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald 
23. Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24. War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
26. Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27. Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28. Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29. Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30. The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31. Anna Karenina -  Leo Tolstoy
32. David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33. Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
34. Emma - Jane Austen
35. Persuasion - Jane Austen
36. The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis
37. The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38. Captain Corelli's Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39. Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
40. Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
41. Animal Farm - George Orwell
42. The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
43. One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44. A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
45. The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46. Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
47. Far From the Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48. The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood
49. Lord of the Flies - William Golding
50. Atonement - Ian McEwan 
51. Life of Pi - Yann Martel
52. Dune - Frank Herbert
53. Cold Comfort Farm  - Stella Gibbons
54. Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
55. A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56. The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57. A Tale of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
58. Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon 
60. Love In The Time of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61. Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62. Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63. The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64. The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65. Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66. On the Road - Jack Kerouac
67. Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68. Bridget Jones's Diary - Helen Fielding
69. Midnight's Children - Salman Rushdie
70. Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71. Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens 
72. Dracula - Bram Stoker
73. The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
74. Notes from a Small Island - Bill Bryson  
75. Ulysses - James Joyce
76. The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
77. Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome 
78. Germinal - Emile Zola
79. Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80. Possession - AS Byatt
81. A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
82. Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83. The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84. The Remains of the Day - Kazu Ishiguro
85. Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86. A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87. Charlotte's Web - EB White
88. The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
89. Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90. The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
91. Heart of Darkness - Joesph Conrad
92. The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93. The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94. Watership Down - Richard Adams
95. A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96. A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97. The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98. Hamlet - William Shakespeare
99. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
100. Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

9 to 5

It's been tough to get back into a working girl schedule. As much as I thought I would want to go back to work, now that I'm here I struggle with wanting to be at home enjoying the cooing (and even the crying) of my baby girl. Although, I imagine I would also grow weary of being the stay at home spouse and would eventually crave some adult interaction. I think it was ideal when both Husband and I were home with Baby J. It gave each of us a bit of a break from time to time and we could ask each other questions beyond "more milk?" and "diaper change?"  Of course, both of us sitting around oohing and ahhing over Baby J, isn't going to pay the bills.

I'm working on figuring out how I can feel more settled as the working mom. I am still pretty new at my job. I haven't even been here a year yet and I was gone for 6 weeks for maternity leave during which time there were some pretty big changes.  Becoming more comfortable here will help with job-related stress. Figuring out exactly what is expected of me and how I can meet those expectations and still be home at a reasonable hour with Baby J is a challenge that I'm constantly thinking about. I'm hoping that Husband can find some work even though it means that Baby J may end up in daycare. Despite Husband's exceptional skill set, it is not easy to find a professional job in Duluth. I think I would breathe a little easier if we had a second income to fall back on though.

While I often worry about the little things, I need to keep the perspective that despite any of the shortcomings in life, I have more than some and have plenty to be thankful for. I have to continually remind myself of this when I start feeling overwhelmed by the 9 to 5.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

working on my fitness

I didn't exercise as much as I thought I would during my pregnancy. I started out running/walking and using the Summer Sanders' prenatal workout DVD. I quit running in July due to bouncing baby bump and by the end of it all I was barely walking let alone doing squats with Summer Sanders. It took me several weeks to recover from the miracle of birth, but in the last three weeks I've finally felt good enough to run.

Running in Duluth in the winter is a new experience for me. Temperatures below freezing and sidewalks covered in snow are a little bit of deterrent for me, but everyday when I think it is too cold to go out running I see people trucking along on the slippery sidewalks. I've only been out twice to run so far, but I'm determined to toughen up and get out there more!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

happy new year

I can't remember the last time we went out for New Year's Eve. Oh wait. Yes, yes I can. It involved yakking in a taxi on the way home from Chambers, at least that is what I'm told. See? I don't really remember remember it.

For the past three New Year's Eves we've progressively scaled down the festivities. It went from a fairly family-oriented house party in the 'burbs to staying home with the new puppy, to going to sleep at 11:00 p.m. and waking up at midnight to ring in the new year attached to a breast pump. We said goodbye to 2010 with a marathon of The Office and a bottle of Veuve. And you know what? I couldn't have been happier. Husband and I have been blessed with the best (and cutest) dog in the world as well as the cutest (and best) baby. Bring on 2011!

new year new blog

What a difference a year (or a couple of them) make(s). Let Them Eat Shoes, 365 days, whatever you remember it being called is now defunct. My life no longer revolves around shoes, shopping, and fashion. Yoga pants and a hoodie is about as fashionable as I get lately. Over the past twelve months the Chunglunds have officially arrived. Our little family has expanded to include Carl Rove and Baby J, in that order, we've relocated to the Northland and purchased our first home. We're finding our way as new parents, I'm reconnecting with old friends, spending much more time with family and slowly eliminating the 94 year-old lady vibe from the house.  Over the past three years we've been on top of the world and we've pretty much hit rock bottom (in my sometimes overly dramatic opinion), but we always seem to figure it out. After all, We Are Chunglunds!