Monday, June 16, 2014

exhausted and elated

***DISCLAIMER*** I am EXHAUSTED. I am literally, just went through 18 hours of labor and pushed a baby out tired. Every once in awhile my eyes go kind of blurry and I'm counting down the hours until I can go home even though I'm sure once I get home there will be an excited three year old wanting to play, dance, sing, etc. So anyway, you'll have to excuse the spelling/grammatical errors. We had a busy busy weekend with friends and family.
My brother, David and Avi arrived on Thursday morning. On Friday, David stayed home with Little Miss J, while Avi and I did about 8 hours of power shopping and got our hair blown out. An entire day of kid-free shopping is pretty unprecedented these days.

Friday night we headed to food truck Friday at McKinley Park, because unlike Wendy & Co. we had not had our fill of bounce houses on Thursday night.

This month they even had kiddie go-karts. Bonus! She really wanted to do it, but both Gus and I were a bit hesitant. Our hesitance was completely unfounded.

Saturday morning the Little Miss J fan club (including Auntie Rachael and Uncle Randy) packed up and headed to see her dance recital. She did such a good job, I was actually really proud of her. She sat backstage without her parents and did the dance with Gus and the finale dance - quite the little performer.

In the afternoon, while Grandma Amy was taking Little Miss J to the dance store to continue spoiling her, J2 got some one-on-one time with his Papa Roger.

deep in conversation
Saturday evening we packed up and headed to "Palmer's house" aka Sutter Lawn & Tennis (or something like that) for swimming, a little pole dancing, beer, cake, and good times with friends. As soon as we arrived, Little Miss J handed over the birthday present to Palmer's mom and said, "here, it's Spiderman bubbles!" It was also cute that Little Miss J gave Palmer a hug and a kiss on the cheek when she first saw him and then excitedly told him, "I got you Spiderman bubbles."

On Father's Day, we baptized J2. Pastor Todd had recently led a trip to Israel and so the water was from the River Jordan, which was some pretty cool symbolism. Little Miss J being the little attention whore seeker that she is, danced, twirled, splashed in the baptismal font all while getting "the look" from Gus. David and Avi served as the godparents.  We were so blessed to have so much family here for the occasion.
After church, more friends and family came to fete out little J2. There was brunch, swimming, sprinklers, and mimosas (my personal favorite). Even Carl got in on the swimming action.

Little Miss J had so much playing indoors and outdoors with all her friends, and J2 got some quality time with Grandma Amy.

sleepy baby
We closed out the weekend with a trip to Old Sacramento and dinner at Rio City Cafe, which reminds me that I need to write a Yelp review because while the food was pretty decent, the service was awful. The menu indicated that an 18% gratuity would be charged to parties of 5 or more. We had four adults, Little Miss J, who, for the most part, slept through the entire meal, and J2, who didn't eat anything. WTF. I probably would have let the front of the house rudeness go, but that was sort of the icing on the cake. I digress.
David, Avi and my parents all left this morning. It was so much fun having them here even though I am totally exhausted today, and my kids are so lucky to have so many people that love them.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

throwback thursday

A classmate of mine recently posted a link to the commencement address President Clinton gave at our graduation. Reading it was both a fun trip down memory lane and a good reminder of all the things I loved about Carleton - "... a school that celebrates diversity, a school whose students exemplify excellence without elitism, a school where the president of hte college gets to sing like Elvis." During New Student Week, when Skeech said "You are a part of Carleton, and Carleton is a part of you," I didn't think too much about it. But after all these years, his words still ring true and I get a little chill everytime I hear/read them. We may be the small liberal arts school in Minnesota of which you may or may not have heard - but this small liberal arts school and its students and faculty have left an indelible impression. Lifelong memories. Lifelong friends. College was good. There is truly something special about Carleton.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Monday, June 9, 2014

damn, it feels good ...

"Appah, I look like a rockstar!"
To be a gangsta Chunglund. Or more precisely - to be Little Miss J. Her weekends are filled with swimming, playing, carousels, fun with friends, and good food. She's got it pretty good. Poor J2 just gets dragged along for the ride but he's a good sport.

Saturday we grabbed some lunch and ran some errands at the mall, which of course means Little Miss J gets the traditional carousel ride and three games at the arcade.

It was over 100 degrees so later we met up with some friends at the pool.

sorry for the gratuitous nipple shot
all cried swam out
In spite of no nap for Little Miss J, we managed to power through dinner with 6 kids. The little guys all lined up on one side of the table was pretty darn cute.

"I want it!"

Bex, the ladies man
photo credit: Carol Gleeson
 See my big smile? It is because of how delicious that frosty Blue Moon tasted after a few hours at the pool. It's not so bad to be me either.

We shut down the weekend with Sunday happy hour at Zocalo - blackberry margarita, guac, empanadas, and carnitas tacos. Look how happy J2 is about HH!

Another perfect family weekend - food, folks and fun. Couldn't ask for anything more!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

on being an AK

I am an adopted Korean (AK). The concept never really phased me. I got a few "chinky eye" related comments throughout my formative years, but nothing that really scarred me. I look nothing like my very Scandanavian parents. Pretty sure that didn't phase either them or me. It was just the way of the world - white parents, Asian kids, and a host of white step-siblings. As a kid, my mom offered a few times to send me to Korean culture camps - but I was too busy playing the piano, going to swim camp, being a Girl Scout, etc. that I never really identified with my AK status. With the exception of my brother, I didn't have any Asian friends, I only dated white guys, I was only mediocre at using chopsticks, knew absolutely zero about martial arts and I figured I was your typical All-American girl.  In fact, I thought it was so normal to be an AK that it never really dawned on me that there were actually Asian kids that were not, in fact, adopted until I went to college and I met my now-husband. Throughout college, I identified more as a swimmer than as an Asian and I definitely didn't join the Korean Student Association. I just didn't get it. I never felt the desire to only hang out with people that looked like me, figuring that I would just hang out with people that I liked regardless of what they looked like.
It wasn't until law school that I really started embracing my Asian-ness or lack thereof. As it turns out, those Asians, especially us adopted ones, are a pretty fun bunch with many similar war stories - like when people ask you, "how do you say 'hello' in your language?" I joined the Asian Law Students Association, the Asian Bar, and I even managed a position on the Board of Directors for AK Connection, a Minneapolis based non-profit for adopted Koreans. My "real" Korean husband also seemed to add to my legitimacy. He was very useful giving a kimchi-making lesson to the AKs.  In fact, most of my close friends in law school were Asian, and even my white friends would joke that they were more Asian than I was. While I never really identified with the need to seek out my biological parents or live in a place where everyone "looked like me," I made some lifelong friends through these organizations. 
These days, people see my last name and then are surprised when they meet me in person. They are even more surprised when they know my last name and see a family photo. A former boss even asked me, "how did that happen?" Well, it's kind of a funny story ... actually it isn't. My last name doesn't match my surficial ethnic background. I'm adopted, and as my good friend Wendy would say, deal with it.
In terms of being adopted, I can only speak on the basis of my experiences. And my experience tells me this - regardless of what color your parents (or your kids) are or whether you pushed that kid out or that kid came escorted via airplane the love between a parent and child is profound. The struggles and challenges that come with having children whether they be morning sickness or immigration laws, the parent-child bond in my opinion is the same. My parents would have done anything for me and I would do the very same for my kids.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

a sofa-king long time ago

A long long time ago, I met Carrie and Kristen. Carleton Class of 2000, baby! I have known these ladies since freshman year in college and after four years of swimming together we've had our share of fun and could probably tell a few war stories. None of which shall be disclosed here to protect both the guilty and the innocent, but I will let this photo speak for itself. In all honesty, I had totally forgotten this photo even existed.
Last weekend we had the pleasure of reuniting for the day at Carrie's house with our three little girls. We've gone from bonding over our swim team escapades to swapping mommy stories. We were all pregnant about the same time and our girls were all born between August and October.

the littlest relay
 It was fun to catch up and to see all the kids play together, thanks for hosting, Carrie!


Monday, June 2, 2014


Dear my sweetest J2,

You are officially 8 months of Jonah-licious-ness. I love your two little teeth and your sweet little smile. But more importantly, I love how you win the gold medal for sleeping babies in our house. You officially hold the Chunglund Family Record for the baby independent sleeping event. The past few nights you've slept 8 hours on your own, in your own room, in your crib on on a futon mattress. As a side note, I am fully convinced that the crib is cursed, but I'm looking forward to repurposing it into a bench for our front porch.

Yeah, I'm pretty over these
stickers as well.

You are growing so fast - weighing in at about 21 lbs. You literally grew out of your 9 month clothes in about five minutes and I've had to start putting you into 12 month clothes already. The family record for fastest growing baby, however, is still held by your heavyweight champion sister. But hey, you can't win 'em all!

You like sitting and playing with toys - balls, stacking cups, etc. We still keep you surrounded with pillows on the off chance you face plant, but those moments are becoming fewer and farther between. No forward crawling yet, but you can move backwards and you do roll pretty efficiently if you need to get something, which really isn't often since you have 2-4 people surrounding you at all times all willing to heed your beck and call.  You've learned how to clap and you like to "talk." I love all your little faces - the big smile, the smirk, the tongue sticking out, etc.

You are eating pureed foods and you are much pickier than your sister. You actually threw up the pre-packaged cheesy potatoes, which in your defense, I think sounds pretty gross too but you can blame the food choice on your Appah. You tend to like things with banana, sweet potato, or some other fruit and you tend to like things with spinach less unless they have any of the formerly listed items mixed in.

I have no words for how cute you are! You are my most sweetest and snuggliest baby and I love you to the moon and back.