Sunday, July 31, 2011

my sunday by Baby J

We had such a busy Saturday that Mommy said we would stick around the house. So this morning, I decided to do some light constitutional law reading. I managed to rip out a page, which apparently I wasn't supposed to do.
I helped Mom make some cupcakes for Dad's coworkers - red velvet with vanilla buttercream. She assures me they are delicious.
While Mom was finishing up the cupcakes, I thought I'd do a little electrical work and fix the night light.
After I fixed the night light, I played with Carl a little bit. I really like his toys, but Mom (or Carl) is always taking them away from me.
So, I thought I'd go for a little stroll with my dinosaur. Unfortunately, we had a little accident. Hey, I'm still learning! Gimme a break!
Then we went to the pool. I had a lot of fun walking back and forth holding onto the steps. There aren't any pictures of the pool because Mom was making sure I didn't drown. After the pool, I took a bath, had a bottle, and took a nice long nap.
So far, it's been a fun day. I think I'll be ready to get up and play again when Daddy gets home.

Friday, July 22, 2011

After Baby J was born, I had a very tough time getting back to good. I wasn't enjoying the things I used to enjoy. I was exhausted all of the time. I was feeling anxious and having panic attacks. I visited the doctor several times and finally after moving to Arizona found a great doctor who has really helped me get my mojo back - with a little help from anti-anxiety meds. I'm happy to report that my desire to read, shop,exercise, reorganize my closet, bake, and knit have all returned. With Baby J sleeping better and Mr. Chunglund working 70+ hours per week, I'm excited to have some time to do the things that I had been missing. I've started a new knitting project - a shawl wrap for one of my coworkers, who is always cold at the office. This evening, I'm catching up on my Tudors and baking lemon olive oil cupcakes with strawberry cream cheese frosting. Mr. Chunglund's new coworkers love baked goods so they will go to a good cause. After feeling so awful for several weeks and months after Baby J's birth, it is a relief that I feel so much better and can finally catch my breath and relax.

Monday, July 18, 2011

global citizen

Not going to lie, I'm not really in love with my job - although the increased income certainly helps ease the pain. However, one of my favorite parts about my new office is the cultural diversity. There are so many different ethnic backgrounds here and everyone is always willing to share their culture through food.

For instance, a couple months ago, one of the traffic engineers from China brought us to the Phoenix Chinese Cultural Center where we had Of course this probably isn't saying much from a Minnesotan, but literally this was the most delicious Chinese food I have ever tasted. It was very different from the sweet and sour chicken, lo mein, etc. on a typical buffet. My favorite item was pork boiled in spicy sauce, which doesn't sound all that appetizing, but was deliciously spicy and bright. Other items we had were kung pao chicken, chicken with jalapenos, and eggplant. It was a brand new experience for me since most of my Chinese food has been Panda Express or New/Old/Panda (or some combination thereof) China Buffet.

Next up, I'm taking some friends out for Korean food. Of course, I'm relying mostly on Mr. Chunglund to help people order. After which, one of the bridge engineers from India has offered to take us to his favorite Indian restaurants - one with northern cuisine and one with southern cuisine.

So while the actual job may be less than desirable, I have been having some fantastic food experiences!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

change of pace

Gus started his new job and is working 70+ hours per week, which leaves me and Baby J on our own for the evenings and weekends. It's a huge change of pace for us. Being a working mom is tough and it's even tougher when dad isn't around to help out. Getting dinner ready and a baby ready for bed all before 8:00 p.m. during the week is tough. On a more positive note, I've enjoyed menu planning, grocery shopping, and trying new recipes. I highly recommend the Barefoot Contessa's gazpacho and Rachel Ray's roasted jalapeno poppers were delicious.

Weekends are spent cleaning, grocery shopping, swimming lessons, play dates ... we've got plenty to keep us busy. After my great experience with Meetup groups in Duluth, I joined one here in Arizona. Today we had a play date with 5 other moms and their little ones ranging in ages from 6 months to 3 years. I didn't feel like I really clicked with any of the ladies, but it was the first time. Everyone was very nice though and I'm hoping that as we get to know each other better I will have some new friends! Having such a busy Saturday leaves me pretty wiped by Sunday and I think we're staying home tomorrow!

So while it isn't always easy carrying a baby, the groceries, and letting the dog out - all at the same time, I'm starting to get the hang of it. I even managed to change Baby J and myself in the locker room after swim lessons without having to put her down. It wasn't pretty, but we got it done!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

vacation, all i ever wanted

We had a fantastic time visiting with friends and family in Minnesota over the past week. Baby J was a rock star little traveler and really enjoyed her time with her cousins, grandparents, and aunts and uncles. Here are some photos from our trip.

Playing with Uncle David in lake

Queen Juliet on Grandma's first place float!
Sitting like a big girl with her cousin Lilly
Playing with cousins in the pool
Grandma and Grandpa really enjoyed their time with Baby J and are already planning their visit to Arizona in October for her first birthday. See you then!