Wednesday, January 25, 2012

jenn's trip

Jenn captured all the highlights of her trip here. So I will just fill in with a few lessons learned - mostly food related.
  1. Tammie Coe's sugar cookies are really THE BEST.
  2. Joe's Farm Grill is the sister restaurant of Joe's Real BBQ. Therefore, if you've already had the BBQ, you don't have to order it at the Farm Grill. Gus was pretty happy about this because it helped him with the difficult decision of narrowing down his dinner selection. Oh, and their ahi tuna sandwich is BOMB.
  3. Little Miss J probably needs a sibling. She had such a good time playing with Jenn's daughter, Victoria. 
  4. Little Miss J will probably be jealous of above mentioned sibling. If I was holding Victoria, Little Miss J also wanted to be picked up. I got a chance to experience balancing two toddlers on my hip.
  5. If you cut your toddler's food on the same plate that also has spicy Chinese food, you might burn her little face off. Poor Victoria! The Chinese food was delicious though.
  6. Strawberry balsamic gelato with chocolate olive oil ... OMG. So good. Try it. 
  7. Earl Grey, vanilla syrup, and steamed milk = perfect afternoon treat.
  8. Jenn likes bruschetta - and by likes I mean LOVES.
  9. Our pack and play is of substandard size. I was worried that Victoria wouldn't fit in it, so I had to experiment with Little Miss J - who barely fits ... diagonally.
  10. Despite the distance, Jenn and I have remained close friends. I am so happy that she and Victoria were able to come visit us. We both have embraced motherhood and can't seem to ever get enough time with our little girls. I hope they will have many opportunities to play with each other.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

rock on

I completed my v. first half marathon on Sunday with Suzanne. The little amount of training that I put into this effort is embarrassing. Let's just say that my longest long run was 8 miles and I only did that once, the morning after too many glasses of wine at the office Christmas party. Next time, I would definitely get a bit more serious about the training. Wait. Did I say next time? I'm pretty sure I swore I would never do this again. I finished in 2:36.19 - just under 12 minute miles, if I did the math correctly which is questionable. Right on track with my training pace, so overall not bad results.

Here are the lessons learned -

- Leave your house before 6:30 a.m. Otherwise you will be stuck on the 202 for more than an hour trying to exit on Scottsdale Road. When traffic finally starts moving, you will realize that it is not because cars are exiting on Scottsdale Road, it is because they have shut down the exit ramp because the race has already started. Then you will have to jog 2 miles to the start in order to start running with the last corral.

- Run more, train harder. Download Hal Higdon's training program and actually follow it. On the day before the race, you don't want to have to say that your longest long run has been 8 miles. I'd blame my lack of running on my husband's work schedule, but even when I had the opportunity I sometimes opted for a nap rather than a run.

- Wait as long as possible to go to the bathroom. As the course continues, the lines for the port a potties become smaller and smaller. At mile 11 there is no line.

- Follow your favorite runner and sign up for text message alerts. Your loved ones, stalkers, mortal enemies, etc. can get your splits at 5K, 10K, and 10 miles. Then they can be waiting at the finish line to ambush hug you - saving yourself the craziness of the family reunion area.

- Practice your photo face. There are photographers everywhere. You will think you are JLo with that kind of paparazzi. Try not to look as ridiculously exhausted as you feel - or your utter lack of training will be written all over your sweaty little face.

Overall, I had a really fun time. There is some fantastic people watching, which helps with the boredom you might feel while running. The weather was perfect and the course was a nice loop, which went right by my office and (almost) made me wish I was sitting at my desk instead of running another 2.1 miles. I just may do it again. *sings* I will never say NEVER.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

15 months

Dear Little Miss J,
You are 15 months old today, and continue to be my little sunshine. You seem to have hit this phase where you are learning things so quickly - some things good and some things not so good.

The not so good - I mentioned to my Facebook friends that you have learned how to open up the front door and go outside on your own. At the very least you now know that you need shoes and a jacket on before leaving the house. When you decide you want to go outside, which is often, you bring me your coat and shoes so I can help you put them on. Unfortunately, you haven't quite learned that you need to be wearing pants to go outside. So often you can be seen running around the house in a diaper, a jacket, and your shoes. Last week while I was out walking the dog, I thought I had safely parked you in front of Sesame Street. But when Carl and I were walking back to the apartment, who did I see trucking down the sidewalk like she owned the joint? Now when I leave with the dog, the door gets locked.

The good - This weekend you learned two new words - "up" and "down" - and spent the good part of Sunday doing squats all the while saying "up and down." Daddy and I just love to hear your little voice. This morning you were sitting outside the shower with Carl jabbering away at him. Carl was nonplussed by all the banter, but you seemed pretty happy.

You've also been imitating things that you see Daddy or me or even Carl do. When Daddy is talking on his cell phone, you've go and get your toy phone and hold it to your ear. Last weekend when we were out to eat, you saw Daddy and Mommy dipping their naan and so you tried to dip yours in your cup of green beans before putting it in your mouth. You saw Carl lick my leg when I got out of the shower, and so this morning you got down on all fours and tentatively licked my leg, as well.

You are also quite helpful. You find tiny pieces of things in the carpet that really belong on the garbage. You've picked up Carl's food and now instead of eating it you place it back in his bowl one piece at a time. At the zoo you wanted to help push the stroller.
Your're still getting the hang of the steering part, obviously.

You get pretty frustrated when we don't understand what you want so your Daddy and I are trying to be very diligent about teaching you words. So far you know about eight words and six signs. Your favorite word is puppy - you really enjoy hugging and petting Carl. Carl might enjoy it less so, but you're lucky that he is such a nice dog.

Every once in awhile, I miss my cuddly little baby. But for the most part seeing you grow up and start to understand things is amazing beyond words. Daddy even said that some mornings when he thinks of you it makes him not want to go to work because he wants to stay home and play with you all day. You are the best thing and Mommy and Daddy love you so much.


Tuesday, January 3, 2012

new year staycation

We were lucky enough to have four whole days together as a family for the New Year holiday. On Friday, Gus and I got to see a movie together - a v. rare occurrence, and on Saturday we went to the kiddie New Year bash.

Sunday we took a trip to the zoo, where Little Miss J loves to pet the goats. We've taught her how to pet Carl gently and so she was really careful when petting the goats. On a side note, I've also learned that she thinks every animal is a puppy. If it isn't a person, it's a puppy. We're working on that one.

Little Miss J also had a good time trying out all the logs. Not too big. Not too small. This one was just right.

 On our last day of staycation we went for a hike at Lost Dutchman State Park. Hiking uphill with an extra 30 lbs on your back isn't easy. Neither is trying to take a picture of your toddler while she is on your back. Little Miss J found the carrier offensive on the way down and so Mr. Chunglund had to carry her on his shoulders, which she liked much much better.

When we started out, Little Miss J tried to do her part by hiking on her own. If we had let that continue, we'd probably still be hiking.

After our hike, we had a delicious south Indian buffet with a friend from work. We had a relaxing four days, and I am looking forward to more family weekends now that Mr. Chunglund has a new job!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

happy new year!

We rang in New Year's Eve with the tots at 1:00 p.m. MST, which we were told was midnight in Dubai. It was a fun party with lots of dancing and little ones running around. Little Miss J took a nose dive down the stairs shortly after arriving, but recovered quickly with no tears and was off and running shortly thereafter. Thanks to Andy, Tracy, and Cicily for a rockin' good New Year's afternoon.

After the little one was asleep, Mr. Chunglund and I put together a pretty delicious dinner of grilled steaks, mashed potatoes, sauteed mushrooms, roasted broccoli, and of course, a little vino.

I am looking forward to everything 2012 will bring us. Mr. Chunglund is starting a new job, and we are starting construction on the new house. More adventures with Little Miss J and Carl Rove. Happy New Year everyone!