Wednesday, December 26, 2012

my bike-icle

Halmoni and harabogee got Little Miss J her "bike-icle" for Christmas this year. She has been talking about wanting a bicycle everytime we go to the store, so we thought a balance bike was the way to go. Being the good overprotective parents that we are, we also got her a bike helmet for her gigantic melon. She disliked wearing the bike helmet so much that when we told her either helmet or no bike riding she chose the latter. Fortunately, it was short lived and now she puts the bike helmet on before she scoots her bike around the house. Given her vehement dislike for wearing the helmet in the first place, I'm just glad she's getting used to having it on her head. One step at a time ...

a very merry christmas

After moving across the country from most of our family, holidays have been a much much quieter affair. I miss the giant family get togethers where there is nowhere to sit and you are often left eating your Christmas dinner on a TV tray. I don't really miss the souffle salad, but I do miss the comraderie that comes out as my generation discusses the gross-ness of that which is the souffle salad, and by gross I mean green jello, mayo, olives, and green peppers or some other type of vegetable.

Souffle salad or not, our little Chunglund family enjoyed a quiet little holiday. We attended the kids service at church on Christmas Eve and Little Miss J sat mesmerized by all the singing and dancing. She was so sad to leave church ...

I wanna go to church!
Gus got her to stop crying in the car by saying he would get her a bike. Little did she know we had this waiting for her at home.

We opened our family presents after church. Socks and underwear for Dad. A new printer for Mom. A rawhide for Carl. And an easel and a balance bike for the good little girl.

After we all played with our gifts for a bit, we bundled up and headed to Raley's Theater of Lights in downtown Sacramento. The light show included Samuel Clemens reciting 'Twas the Night Before Christmas and a visit from St. Nicholas himself.

After the light show we took our little girl out for her favorite dinner ... crab legs. We endure the noise and the dancing of that which is Joe's Crab Shack because the crab is actually pretty good. This time the munchkin managed to eat her weight in crab and calamari.

It's not the typical crazy family Christmas that I am used to, but I am so grateful to celebrate with my little family.

the kitchen

Our neighbors tuned us in to The Kitchen, and we thought we'd give it a whirl for our anniversary. I had to make reservations back in October because the place has only one seating per night for 60 people. The restaurant is nestled behind a Taco Bell in a non-descript building, but what an amazing meal and event. The chef describes it as a dinner party and that is exactly what it is. We sat around the bar that surrounds the kitchen and watched as Chef Selland explained what he was making, where it had come from, and what he was doing to it. It was six courses of deliciousness.

the view from our seats

meal prep

salad course - nantucket bay scallops, crab, pork belly, & fennel three ways
audience participation
sushi course
montana ranch beef tenderloin with duck fat fries and porcini mushroom truffle butter
dessert - french toast with maple syrup foam, caramel ice cream, and bacon nut brittle
If you are good at counting, you will notice that we missed taking pictures of the poultry course and the soup course. Our apologies. We got a bit too excited about the eating and missed a couple photo opportunities. Right before the dessert course they did a tea service, which was different from anything I had experienced before -

There had fresh herbs, lemongrass, lemon zest, cloves, cinnamon, honey and all sorts of other lovely things. They would make your tea to order and then deliver it to your seat in a cute little iron pot.

It wasn't a meal that we would indulge in very often, but it was a whole lot of fun and quite the experience.
Thanks to our friends Rachael and Randy for entertaining Little Miss J. She played with Tinsel the cat, watched movies, and made mini pizzas while Gus and I enjoyed our four hours of eating.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

happy anniversary!

Once upon a time a little more than five years ago, a couple got into a car accident in downtown Minneapolis. When they discovered that the car rental agency would not let both people be drivers of the rental car because they were not married, they flew to Las Vegas to tie the knot. They decided on a Little White Chapel, because if it was good enough for Britney, Michael, and Joan ... PLUS it's open 24 hours and there's a drive thru! And so the nice woman leaned out the drive thru window and married them.

Thus, the Chunglunds were formed and they lived happily ever after ...

Today, the Chunglunds are celebrating their fifth wedding anniversary. Five years and it feels like FOREVER, but not in a bad way. It is amazing how quickly life has changed in those five years. We've moved four times and lived in three different states in the past three years. We've lived in a downtown condo, a swanky loft, an old house where I relied on Carl Rove to catch the squirrels that somehow kept sneaking in, a desert apartment, and finally in another really old cozy house with no squirrels, thankfully. I can't say there is nothing I would change about the last five years. We've definitely had our share of challenges, but I am blessed with a fantastic partner, husband, and father with whom to stumble through this journey. And yes, we got married in a car. And no, we did not get fries with that.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

girl's best friend

Little Miss J has been learning shapes. This morning she was pointing to the shapes on Gus's necktie, and I told her those were "diamonds." To which she replied, "I like diamonds, Appah." The rest of the morning she walked around the house asking, "where are my diamonds?"

all dressed up and no diamonds

Monday, December 17, 2012

adventure at adventure mountain

getting ready to hit the road
We went to Adventure Mountain to take Little Miss J on a sledding adventure. There was a ton of snow and it was even snowing while we were there. The munchkin didn't think much of walking uphill in the snow and much preferred to be carried. As such, the number of times she went up and down was limited by how many times Gus and I could haul her up the hill. She's not light. Little Miss J was not all that keen on wearing her hat or mittens either and there were at least one or two threats of being "ALL DONE," if she didn't put said articles back on. At the end of every run, she'd say "one more time." If asked how many more times she would like to go, the standard answer was "three!"

To finish our adventure we stopped at a Korean BBQ place and had some yummy food on the way home.

Gus cooking some meat for his women.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Monday, December 10, 2012

twas the morning of December 10

and all through the house, was a Little Miss J running around like a crazy mouse ... trying to escape her Appah who was threatening to put socks and shoes on her so we could go to school and work, respectively. When down the hall, there arose such a clatter - I continued to lay on the bed reading US Weekly figuring that if something really was the matter I would find out soon enough.

When what to my wondering eyes should appear, but one Little Miss J with a mini Poang chair in tow. "Look Umma, I found a chair." Clearly, we didn't learn our lesson after the pre-birthday incident. That chair was one of her Christmas presents and it has been "hiding" in our spare bedroom along with her other Christmas presents one of which is a balance bike. It's just so much more convenient to "hide" things in the house rather than in the garage - but we clearly aren't fooling anyone least of all Little Miss J.

Merry early Christmas, Little Miss J! Stay out of umma's room!

what a difference a year makes ...

Last year Little Miss J, apparently lacked the wherewithal to be wary of strangers, and perched on Santa's lap with no fuss at all.

That same Christmas while visiting the tree at Tempe Marketplace, she willingly let a stranger pick her up - so I'm happy to report that with her second year of life has come the development of a stranger danger instinct.

This year, we did breakfast with Santa where she wasn't quite so willing to sit on his lap. She wouldn't even take the candy cane from Santa, which was unprecedented as the girl sometimes wakes up asking for candy making us look like the parents that dole out candy for breakfast, which we don't! I guess her hesitation to take candy from a strangers is also a good thing. Overall, I was happy that Santa didn't make her cry.

Little Miss J finally warmed up to Santa after he played the guitar and sang some of her favorite Christmas carols, including Jingle Bells. By the time we were ready to go home she was yelling "bye bye Santa" and wanting to go shake his hand.
My favorite part of the Santa breakfast was defnitely not the food, which was kind of gross - but instead taking pictures of Little Miss J in front of our Christmas tree.

she loved showing me how her dress twirled

eat your veggies

We let Little Miss J do the grocery shopping this week at Trader Joe's. She picked -

  • organic romaine hearts
  • butternut squash
  • broccoli
  • 2 pre-packaged salads
  • cheese tortellini
  • carnitas
  • carrot applesauce and banana applesauce
  • tofu
Looks like some healthy meals are in order for the Chunglunds this week. Watching her pick things and put them in her cart saying, "I want this" was cracking me and her Appah (and everyone else at Trader Joe's) up. We indulged her choices because really? Was I going to tell my kid she couldn't have broccoli and squash? Not likely. We are lucky we got such a non-picky eater, who often asks for grape tomatoes as a snack. We might struggle with sleeping - nearly every morning at or around 4:00 a.m., I can be heard telling one Little Miss J that it is the middle of the night and she MUST go back to bed. But thankfully, we rarely have to tell her to eat her veggies!

The picture below was taken last summer. But since Stacey said that blog posts without photos of Little Miss J were strictly prohibited, it will have to do.

August 2012