Tuesday, February 25, 2014

down by the bay

The Chunglunds took a road trip to Monterey last weekend to go to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. We managed to get there despite our littlest navigator.

The aquarium is pretty amazing. It is right on the ocean and there are viewing decks all around.

I spy ... dolphins!
There were really dolphins out there. So cool!

sea otter feeding
Little Miss J was more interested in "How that man get in there?" than what the sea otter was actually eating.
J2 feeding
Even J2 enjoyed the aquarium.
Jonah and the fish
We saw big fish, little fish, sea otters, penguins, lots of jellyfish, turtles, an octopus, and sharks, among other things.

There were several "touch pools" and Little Miss J touched seastars, kelp, and held a hermit crab.

It was a short little getaway, and both kids slept almost the entire way home.


wordless wednesday

Monday, February 24, 2014

chunglunds in the city

We arrived in San Francisco and

Hopped on a cable car near Ghiradelli Squire

to Chinatown

After some shopping we stopped for
crepes & cappuccino, and
then hopped back on the car to go ...

 back to Fisherman's Wharf for ...
delicious, delicious cioppino.

Then it was time to head home
on the new bridge,

while looking at the old bridge.
Happy Presidents Day!

confessions of a backseat driver


Saturday, February 22, 2014

tea for two

Little Miss J, princess that she is, loves a good tea party. I found a place close by that does high tea so made us a reservation for tea and scones this past Sunday. I typically pride myself on my amazing time management skills, but every once in awhile a 3 year old foils my plans and Sunday was one of those times. Managed to get Little Miss J a nap in the car, but our reservation wasn't until 3:00 p.m., and well she woke up at 1:30 p.m. So, here's to the staff at Dash of Panache (terrible name, IMHO) for seating us early!

Upon being seated we ordered our tea - Bubblegum for Little Miss J and Earl Grey for Umma, and then headed straight for the dress up closet. Here was her first take ...

Of course in typical 3 y.o. fashion, Look #1 didn't last long and we were back in the closet conjuring up Look #2.

Not my best look, but I was taking one for the team. We got tea, scones, cinnamon buns, and fruit.

Little Miss J was a fan of the fruit, the rest of it not so much. After a few sips of tea, I ended up putting water in her teacup.

Oh yeah, and after the tea came she had to go back and put on yet another outfit. Overall, I think the highlights were spending some special time with Umma and the dress up closet - the latter was probably more impressive for a three year old.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

what i needed wednesday

I guess you're just what I needed. And by "you" I mean, one sassy pants Little Miss J. Work has been completely suck-worthy lately. We've been working until at least 6:00 p.m. every. single. night., which often leads to working in the middle of the night after you've fed J2 and gotten him back to sleep. It got so bad that I spent both Saturday and Sunday in the office. *grrrr* Getting home so late every night and having very little time to spend with the kids last weekend has made me sad, to say the least. I did, however, get some quality time with my Little Miss J yesterday.

I left work early to take the munchkin to her Valentine's Day party at school, where thankfully there was no f*%!ing glitter to be seen anywhere. We took a rather unsuccessful selfie while we waited for things to get set up.

Little Miss J got her face painted, decorated cookies, played with Play-Doh, did some painting. Ella's dad somehow always gets volunteered to do the face painting. He's actually not bad and he's a great sport.


After the party, we headed back to the office to pick up Gus. On the way we had one of the more rational conversations I have ever had with her where I managed to convince her to not bring her bracelet for show and tell and instead pick something larger that she would be less likely to lose. She agreed to bring her teddy bear instead with little to no whining. Then we talked about how tornados are formed and I also tried to convince her (to no avail) to say, "My name starts with J" rather than saying "I start with J-U-L-I-E-T." We saw a protest on the corner, which she informed me means "you hold signs," and even recognized the "J" on the street sign and told me we were on J Street - all correct statements. That 20 minutes of whine-free conversation made me realize how much I have been missing by coming home from work so late, when she is already tired and prone to whininess.

We got to the office and she charmed everyone by telling them that "Umma and Appah are building the fastest train." Translation - we work on the California High-Speed Rail Project. She was more than happy to sit in Gus's "room" aka his office and play with his toy train.

Spending some extra time with Little Miss J was just what I needed to feel a bit more balanced. Because as they say, no one is ever going to say they wished they had worked more.

Monday, February 10, 2014

birthday boy

We celebrated Gus's birthday last Tuesday. Little Miss J and I made a carrot cake with cream cheese frosting to bring to work, which unfortunately meant that Little Miss J didn't get to eat said carrot cake. Needless to say, she was miffed and felt the need to remind me that "You have to share, Umma!" In my defense, I did share - just not with her.
For our at-home celebration I found a bakery that makes a cake similar to Gus's favorite cake form Jarosch Bakery with fresh strawberries and bananas and whipped cream frosting. And I also found an errand running business and managed to get the cake delivered so I would haven't to leave work to pick it up.

I picked up some party hats, party blowers, plates and napkins at the Dollar Store - and upon our arrival home we were greeted by Little Miss J all decked out for the party.

We tried to get a family photo, but in true Chunglund form we couldn't seem to get our sh*t together. I think this is as good as it gets.

Not gonna lie, my favorite part of this entire birthday celebration was one J2 decked out in a party hat chilling out.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

J2 x 4 months

Dear J2,
You are four months old! Today was your doctor's appointment and you weighed 16 lbs 1 oz and are 25.5 inches tall. These past four months have literally flown by. Seeing your little smile and hearing you laughing and "talking" bring me so much joy each and every single day. Going back to work and leaving you home has been much harder with you than it was with your sister. I see you sleeping so peacefully as I am about to walk out the door and all I want to do is scoop you up in my arms and crawl into bed with you for some snuggles. On the weekends, your Appah is good enough to leave you and I home for some mommy/son bonding, while he and Little Miss J have their adventures at the mall, the grocery store, skiing, ice skating, the park, etc. During those times, you and I usually cuddle up in bed and catch up on the DVR. I just really cannot get enough of you. You are baby crack, and I am addicted.
You remain a champion sleeper. The other night you set a personal best of 7 straight hours. Followed by the next night when you were up every three hours. Even during those middle of the night feedings, when I am bleary eyed and about to wish that you would go the f*#k back to sleep, you have the good sense to flash me one of your gummy little smiles to melt my heart.
You are rolling over both directions already and also doing such a good job of holding your little head up.
I was told that I would begin to learn what the different "cries" of my baby mean, and to be honest with Little Miss J I couldn't tell one from the other - which of course made me feel like a maternal failure at the time. Your cries, on the other hand, are easily distinguished. If you are hungry, you cry like you are being stabbed repeatedly with a sharp knife. If you want to be held, you fuss a bit, there's some grunting involved and lots of arm/leg waving. When you are tired, you actually cry when you are put down and then we pick you up and pat your back until you drift off to sleep.
You love it when we kiss your little hands, blow raspberries on your tummy, or pretend to eat your face - and we are rewarded with laughter and smiles. You definitely like to be where the action is. You sat contendedly in the Bumbo on the kitchen floor while Little Miss J and I made brownies. The other morning I put your bassinet in the kitchen with me while I prepped food for the work potluck. Since your nursery also doubles as my closet, you will sit in your crib and watch me while I organize my closet or find just the right outfit or pair of shoes. There are no words to adequately describe just how much we love and adore you. Gathering you up in my arms and hugging you tightly is just want I need after a stressful day, and it is often what I do first (well, after jumping up and down with Little Miss J while she screams, "mommy daddy you're home!"), upon my arrival home.
Love you forever and like you for always,
PS And some outtakes because I simply cannot get enough of your adorable little face!


Wednesday, February 5, 2014

wordless wednesday


Monday, February 3, 2014


It is not often that both Gus and I have the day off and childcare is still open. Although, with your inlaws living close by, the childcare thing is less of a limitation. Those two are wonderful and deserve their own dedicated blog post - but this is not that post.

For our annual date day, Gus and I headed back to Napa for some wine, food and shopping.

First stop, Peju Winery. 2 for 1 tasting thanks to a Yelp check-in. I somehow ended up on their email distribution list so I thought we might as well stop in and see what it was all about.

Second stop, Mondavi. The weather was gorgeous and we split a tasting out on the patio to enjoy the scenery and the sun.

Third stop was for a snack at one of my favorites, Bouchon Bakery. Even at 11:00 a.m., the line for this place was still out the door.

They were all out of the ham and cheese croissants, which are to die for so I settled for some really expensive cookies ($3.50/piece! WHAT!) and water. The caramel macaron one was the best by far.

Our final stop before heading home was some shopping at the Napa factory stores where good deals were had by all. Gus got Brooks Bros shirts for $20/piece, which more than makes up for having to pay $3.50 per cookie right?

After shopping, we headed home intending to take his parents and the kids out to dinner. Unfortunately, when we arrived home, Little Miss J had just woken up from her nap covered in barf. Magical date day, officially over. In hindsight, I definitely needed the adults day out considering how awful work has become. And now we have no office holidays to look forward to until May. Sigh. Good thing we will always have Paris MLK Day.