Monday, November 28, 2011

little miss j's top 10

Little Miss J is really soaking everything in. She is learning new stuff every day. Here's the recent top 10 -
  1. When you ask her where her toes are, she grabs her foot.
  2. She claps when people on TV are clapping and cheering.
  3. She loves rocking horses. She loves Carl. She loves climbing on Carl and trying to rock him.
  4. She says "bubbles," when we are blowing bubbles.
  5. Last night when we were singing a song, she started doing the motions all by herself.
  6. When she's hungry, she walks into the kitchen and tries to open the refrigerator. So much for the sign language.
  7. This morning she said, "puppy."
  8. She waves and says "bye-byeeee."
  9. She loves to play outside. Every morning while still wearing her pajamas, she gets her shoes and brings them to me. After we put them on, she runs to the door and bangs on it to get outside.
  10. She knows where her diapers go. The other day she took a clean diaper and tried to put it in the diaper pail.

Friday, November 25, 2011

happy thanksgiving!

It is our first Thanksgiving in Arizona. When I called home late this morning to say hi to the family, I got a little homesick. Most of my family was either gathered in Duluth at my aunt's house or in Big Lake at my brother's house. I miss seeing all of my aunts, uncles, cousins, and nieces.

We did manage to have a lovely little Thanksgiving here though. This morning I ran the Turkey Trot in Mesa with my good friend, Suzanne. She's in town for Thanksgiving and I'm so thankful she comes to Phoenix often because otherwise I would miss her terribly. We had our Korean food early for lunch and then piled on the traditional Thanksgiving goodies later at an early dinner with some friends.

Our new friends also have babies born in 2010-2011, and all the babies had a fantastic Thanksgiving. Little Miss J ate all here vegetables - roasted carrots, potatoes, cauliflower, and even brussel sprouts! Her Papa Roger would be pleased to hear that. She had a bit of turkey and a few bites of pumpkin pie. Between dinner and dessert, the mommies took the babies for a quick stroll through the neighborhood. I do enjoy the temperate weather. Dessert was pumpkin pie, homemade vanilla frozen custard, and a delicious apple blackberry crumble. Good friends, good vino, and some delicious food. We were all stuffed to the gills and Little Miss J was so exhausted from playing with Thomas and Madeleine that she passed out in the car on the way home.

So much to be thankful for - mostly my perfect little family! So happy we got to spend the whole day together before Mr. Chunglund goes on a work binge. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

arizona balloon classic

Little Miss J and I headed to the Arizona Balloon Classic last night. We went to watch the "desert glow," which was described on the website as "a field full of illuminated, tethered, hot air balloons will glow in time to music." Sounds pretty cool, no? Unfortunately, either we missed the actual "glow[ing] in time to music" or it actually wasn't this impressive. We were a bit late due to the parking situation, which was a bit of a nightmare, and this is what we actually saw:

I do have a tendency to over exaggerate, but really there were only about 5 or less balloons, and I didn't hear any music unless you count the radio station DJ with which the balloons were not glowing in time. While I may have been a bit disappointed, Little Miss J seemed to be having a pretty good time! Don't worry that is actually her happy face.
Oh yes, and there were fireworks that I described to Gus as being 30% better than the ones my Dad lights off illegally at the cabin every 4th of July. We started the long trek back to our car as soon as the fireworks started and still hadn't arrived by the time they were over. Of course, it is always good to hang out with the other mommies, daddies, and babies - that part never disappoints - and I like to take Little Miss J to things even though it is probably more for me than her.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

oh christmas tree. no christmas tree. aka the christmas tree saga of 2010

I am obsessed with the holidays. I love Christmas decorations, Christmas cookies, Christmas carols, Christmas trees, peppermint mochas from Starbucks, and the list.goes.on. Last year, it was our first Christmas with Little Miss J and our first Christmas as owners of the home that will go down in history as one of the biggest wastes of money we have ever known (another story entirely).  Anyway, I wanted an upgrade from my $29.99 6-foot pre-lit Charlie Brown looking tree.

After an hour of pushing my newborn through Menard's, looking for the best tree for the best price - we Chunglunds are all about BEST VALUE, after all - I managed to convince Mr. Chunglund that we should have a 7-foot pre-lit tree. Not the skinny 7-footer either, I wanted a nice big fatty one. Oh and did I mention I hate multi-colored lights? Yes, my tall fatty Christmas tree must be pre-lit with only white lights. We got it home and Mr. Chunglund set it up. To my dismay, my new tree was so robust that even I had to admit it had a life of its own and was overtaking our living room. So back in the box it went.

Mr. Chunglund and his brother returned the tree and brought a new one home ... with multi-colored lights. Did I mention already that I hate multi-colored lights? Yes, yes, I think I did mention that. Mr. Chunglund convinced me that he got such a good deal on this tree and I being a sleep deprived nursing mother crazed about having the perfect Christmas tree agreed to give it a go, multi-colored lights and all. Well, this tree was no better. In fact I would venture to say it was worse because half of the tree lights didn't even work properly. Not going to lie, it was a bit manic - blinking like crazy on one half while the other half remained completely dark.

In the end Little Miss J's first Christmas was celebrated with the $29.99 sad looking Charlie Brown tree. Oh.the.horror. Much like the time I sold our couches on Craigslist so that Mr. Chunglund would get serious and buy a new one or face a fate of sitting on the floor in the living room, when we moved to Arizona I threw out the Charlie Brown tree with hopes of the perfect tree to be found in Phoenix. With Black Friday approaching, I have high hopes for finding a new tree!

Monday, November 14, 2011

our weekend

We had our typical busy weekend, and now I feel like I need a weekend to recover from my weekend. Friday night we drove to North Phoenix for dinner with some friends. Little Miss J stayed up way past her bedtime, but had fun running around and smiling at everyone. Saturday, we went out for pancake breakfast and then stopped by a coworker's house for a little visit. We all walked (or sat in a stroller) to the park where Little Miss J loved the swing. I wish I had had a picture of it - she was smiling and laughing the whole time. Saturday night, it was Mom's Night Out and I joined a few other moms at a wine bar. Delicious food and wine along with some great company - plus home by 10:00 p.m. Can't beat that! Sunday a photographer came over and we got some one-year photos of Little Miss J. I think there will be some good ones so can't wait to see how they turn out. After a little nap, we took Little Miss J to Gymboree to play and then we looked at a couple houses with a potential realtor. We'll need to keep looking, but we've got the ball rolling, I think. Today, I am back at work and already looking forward to next weekend!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

a sunday well spent brings a week of content

Mr. Chunglund and I don't get many days off at the same time so we try to make the most of them. My Sunday Funday started with some delicious Bloody Marys. We had dim sum for brunch and then drove around looking at some Phoenix neighborhoods while Little Miss J napped. This afternoon we went to Gymboree so Little Miss J could play and then hit the mall for some walking around. We even let Little Miss J ride the merry go round.
She loved it so much that when we took her off after her first ride and started walking away, she made a break for it - running straight back toward the merry go round. So, being the softies that we are, we let her go again. I mean really. How do you say no to that chubby little face?
 Well, we obviously had to draw the line somewhere ... and this is what happened. I guess we now know that Little Miss J likes the carousel.
Tonight we are chilling at home watching football and I'm making caramelized onion stuffed BBQ meatloaf with mashed potatoes. A perfect fall Sunday!