Thursday, July 31, 2014

laying low

Chunglund family has been laying a bit low since our big friends and family tour. Of course there is always stuff to do, kids to entertain, parties to attend, etc. Here's what we've been up to for the past few weekends.

Celebrating my adoption day (fondly referred to as Nina's Day by my late mother) with some friends. We had so much fun (and summer beer), I barely took any pictures. Clearly the kids had a good time though ... and stayed up way too late.

Princesses Millie & Juliet

Ken & J2
Little Miss J has debuted her mini golf skills and got her new big girl booster for the car.

J2 has been working on his crawling speed. He's fast and it's pretty cute to hear his four-limbed pitter patter coming down the hallway. He's also been working on the whole walking thing.

And of course, we've been swimming!

1st time at splash pad

And in our world, this is laying low ... sigh.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

the final three

1) My parents. All four of them. I lost my mom more than a decade ago, but I am so grateful that she chose me to be her daughter. My stepdad, Ralph, is one of the best people I know. I am grateful that he loved my mom enough to love both my brother and I, as well. My dad and Amy have worked hard their entire lives to provide me with every opportunity imaginable growing up. I am grateful for their support through countless successes and mistakes. Over the past six or seven years, I finally feel like I have managed to get my shit together and I hope they are proud of me.

2) The selfie. As it turns out (and my mom used to complain about the same thing), moms end up taking most of the photos in our household. Thank goodness for selfie. It means this mama at least ends up in some pictures!

3) The Bishops. This family has made us feel at home from day one and we couldn't be more grateful. They have watched our kids, watched our dog, and are the kind of people who you can text from work and ask them to check to make sure you remembered to turn the crockpot on. Of course, I'm not sure how we couldn't be friends with a family who also names their dog after a Republican. RIP Bristol Palin. Carl Rove misses you.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

three more things

1) J1. Little Miss J is my favorite little girl. She is my greatest joy and my greatest challenge all rolled into one. She tests my patience and brings me peace. She is truly my mini me complete with the perfectionist tendencies and a love for fashion. I'm proud of the little girl she is and look forward with eager anticipation to see the big kid, tween, teen, and woman she will become.

2) J2. This kid lights up my life. The past 10 months with him have literally flown by. He's my sweet little angel that has developed a lightening fast crawl. I love his peaceful sleeping face and his crooked toothy grin. Some snuggles from J2 are just what the doctor ordered after a long day of work.

3) Nitrogenated coffee from Chocolate Fish. With two kids, caffeine is a must for this working mama. I discovered this at the East Sac Farmer's Market, and it may be my new guilty pleasure. $4 for a cup a coffee, but so so worth it.

Friday, July 25, 2014

three things

I was challenged by my friend, Wendy, to write down three things I am grateful for over the next three days.

1) Up first is Gus. We live together, work together, play together. We are together. A LOT. The other day, one of our clients actually stopped his car in the parking garage to ask, "don't you ever get sick of being together?" The sarcastic answer is yes, all. the. time. But truthfully, the answer is really no. Not only do I love my husband, but I actually really like him too.

2)  Next is my in-laws. I am grateful that they have been here to help us with our kids. I am grateful that my kids have such a close relationship with them, and I am grateful that I have gotten to know them better over the past year. And not gonna lie, the fact that the house is clean, the laundry is done, and there is dinner on the table doesn't suck.

3) Carleton Rover aka Carl Rove. This is the nicest dog EVER, who has endured about as many challenges as Gus and I - including being carried around in a gym bag in the condo where we were not supposed to have dogs. Being swept away from a house with a yard to a desert apartment. He is my constant companion, always underfoot. The kids are used to be whacked in the head by his crazy tail, and he's used to be climbed on by curious children. Everyone loves Carl.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Monday, July 14, 2014

nine months

My sweetest J2,
At this point, we are closer to ten months than nine, but we've been on vacation and recovering from vacation so you will have to forgive me. Over the past month, developmentally, you have grown by leaps and bounds. Just before your baptism you weren't quite crawling, but over our two week Minnesota vacation you started crawling for real, pulling yourself up on things and cruising around the furniture. You even learned how to climb up stairs at Jenn's house, which means you can now get on and off your futon mattress. With your new found freedom, this is the view of you that I get most often. Plus it was easier to put the sticker on your back because when I put it on your tummy you insisted on pulling it off.

You have nearly six teeth in your gummy little mouth - four on top and two on the bottom. You've started eating more finger foods - strawberries, puffs, watermelon, carrots, and rice. At your nine month appointment you were 29 inches long and 21 lbs 12 oz. You are feeling like quite the little chunk when I have to carry you around.
You continue to be a smiley baby much to everyone's delight. Everytime you saw your Grandma Amy, you gave her a toothy smile. I think my favorite face lately though is when you give me that impish little closed mouthed grin. You are so ticklish and I love hearing your little laugh. Your Appah has started brushing your teeth and in true J2 fashion, you take the poking and prodding like the chill little dude that you are. You've taken more interest in Carl lately. Just like your sister, you are after the rawhide, and the other day I saw you with dog food clutched in your chubby little hand.

As I see you standing up and cruising around, I am struck by the fact that you are turning into a big boy. My days of a snuggly baby boy are numbered. First birthday party planning is on the horizon. While with your sister, the first nine months was a mess of emotions, tears, breakdowns, etc. With you, I'm not quite sure where the last nine (almost ten) months has gone. I continue to enjoy each and every day with you. You truly make me happy when skies are gray.



Friday, July 11, 2014

let freedom ring

The 4th of July might be one of my parents favorite holidays. Traditionally, my brother and I spend some time at the lake. Since moving across the country, we try to spend a week there each summer during the 4th. Auntie Lori and Uncle Tim secure our parade seating in front of the old Tower Bakery the night before and Grandma Amy goes all out for the parade. J2 was in his first kiddie float and Little Miss J walked the entire parade route throwing candy. Trying to organize two 3 year olds, a couple of 11 year olds, and a 9 month old that craps his pants at the most inopportune times for float judging resulted in Gus banishing me from the parade lineup and Uncle Chuck buying me a much needed beer.

Farmer in the Dell
throwing candy. she walked the entire
parade route.
mommy's little firecracker
After the parade we head to the school for the sawdust scramble and the races. Little Miss J run her age group for the forward running race and was none to pleased with her 2nd place finish in the backward running race. Her displeasure was probably because her Uncle David taught her that 2nd place is the 1st loser. Thanks Dave.

sawdust scrambling

found one!

off to the races
winner winner chicken dinner

patiently waiting, as usual

Papa Roger's favorite part of this holiday is the FIREWORKS! Here's the pre-show. We don't take pictures of the actual fireworks in order to protect the innocent.
The fireworks show got a bit rained out and then both my munchkins were asleep when Papa Roger finally got to set some off. But when you're three year old is so tired that they fall asleep before you are finished reading one book, then you can be sure that enough 4th of July festivities were had.


Thursday, July 10, 2014

corrections and supplements

I previously posted that we had brunch with Nadia and Erica. One of my absolute favorite people in the world, Suzanne Jones was also in attendance. I apologize for the oversight, S.

Also, to supplement our vacation post is the photo documentation of our (mostly Gus's) bucket list of food ...
There is no Top the Tater in California (or perhaps anywhere outside of Minnesota?) and if you've never had it, you don't know what you are missing. Pretty sure there is crack in there or just MSG. It is addicting and delicious - especially with Old Dutch ridged potato chips (also not available in CA *tear*)


cheese curds & mini donuts (those were for me!)

chicago food (hot dogs and beef sandwiches)

hipster Korean food at The Rabbit Hole

My favorite ice cream at Sebastian Joe's
Where Little Miss J ate her own and proceeded to eat
1/2 of mine as well.
I don't exactly know what this next one is called, but it's from Uptown Diner and Gus got it for breakfast. He then brought me back one and the container it came in weighed about 10 lbs.

 And finally, White Castle. Gus is convinced he should win some award for traveling the farthest of any person to eat at a White Castle. He polished off seven sliders and Little Miss J was happy that she got her "own sandwich" and didn't have to share.

 Other food that did not get photo documented included pasties (and for those of you that don't know, no, these are not the things you put on your boobs) and rigatoni and meatballs from Pauls Italian Market and Auntie Lori's fruit pizza. The only things I think we missed off our list were the gyro pizza in Northfield and Mr. Eggroll at the 4th of July parade. There's always next time!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

friends and family tour

Probably should have added "food" to the title of this post. The Chunglund family has returned from a whirlwind two week friends and family tour of Minnesota. With the exception of not catching up with Laura Hughes and company and eating the beloved gyro pizza in Northfield (why aren't they open for lunch, WTF?), I think I can say that we did/ate/saw everything and everyone that was on our list.

Here's what we did in Minneapolis -

brunch with Nadia and Erica ... and
bottomless mimosas!
Northfield! But no gyro pizza. Grrr.
They weren't open for lunch. WTF. *tear*

MOAB (Mall of America, BABY!)
Como Zoo

first haircut in Uptown!
hanging out with my bro & family
 We also had dinner with the Red-Maups, for which there apparently is no photo documentation. But it happened. And it was awesome!

After a night at Erica's, we headed to Duluth where we ...

hung out with the Corbett/Galbraith clan

froze our butts off by the lake
froze our butts some more at the Huskies game.
thank you Pakou for the extra clothes!

saw some cousins
hung out with the Moses family.
they are both going the same height on that swing.
trust me.
Then it was time to head to Grand Rapids to see ...

Papa Ralph!
After which, we FINALLY made it to Lake Vermilion to see Grandma Amy and Papa Roger where there were ...

boats to ride, drive, and play in

fairy gardens to build
fish to feed in Papa's pond
bears at the North American Bear Center
crayfish to hunt
swimming in the freezing cold lake

And best of all - FAMILY! Lots and lots of family.

The Chunglunds had a wonderful tour. Thank you to everyone that let us stay at their house, fed us, hung out with us, took care of my children, etc. Until next year!