Monday, August 31, 2009

Sibling Love

Is it just me or are the strawberries especially plump this summer?

My favorite 3 month old, 4 year old, and stuffed animal...all in one place. Lucky me.

I wish I could have captured how much Owen enjoyed watching "his shows" with June. He loves being near her...until she starts "talking" during the program. Those coos are distracting to me too, but in an "I'm so in love with you let me stop what I'm doing and cuddle with you RIGHT NOW!"

The Porch

My favorite part of my parents' home is their back porch, which was not there when I grew up. They added it on several years ago, and it is so area, dining room, sitting area, kitchen prep area, AND bath.

My dad installed a farm sink on the back porch, and it's June's favorite place to take a bath. And I must admit, I wish I could take a bath outside, but I pity the neighbor who catches that view.

Here's June, marveling the faucet.
Guess who's helping...
Big brother can help more here than inside, so that's a bonus.

Excited much?

Aaah, bathing near the flora.

The porch concrete was also a canvas for Owen last week. Joe left his shaving cream behind because of TSA regulations, and we put it to another use. Owen has been practicing writing his name (O-W-and then chicken scratch for now), and he had fun with a bigger space to write. Bonus, his hands and fingernails were the cleanest they have been in quite sometime. June was there for moral support!

Bonus: clean up is just a water hose away!

Here's June in the sink. Notice how big her eyes get when she first hears Owen talking. Other than that, it's mostly for interested grand- and great-grandparents. :)

Moral of this story: Feeling cooped up inside? Come join us on the back porch.

Toe Jam on My Toast

This is what you get when you're cooking and you ask Owen to please help June hold her paci in her mouth. Turn around and...
...but she was calm and was loving it.

Little Fish...

Last week, Owen got to reconnect with his buddy Ryan in Dallas...and I got to visit with Julie. June and Baby Chloe (due next month) are destined to be friends, but for this day, poor June had to be odd girl out. :)

Here are the boys jumping in from "the shore".

Psyching each other up for the big jump!
This is what joy looks like:

Ryan, focused on getting back to the side.

And of course, the question all week is "When will we see Ryan again?".

Thursday, August 27, 2009

To Good Food and a Better Friend

One of our favorite outings with Joe when we're in LA is Korean BBQ. After Joe's culinary tour of Fort Worth (Babe's, The Love Shack, Twisted Root, Spring Creek BBQ, BBQ in our backyard, Posado's, etc.), it was his turn to take us to BBQ in Dallas. Lee and Dad had never had the opportunity to enjoy it, and the rest of us are always up for more. So, off we went.

At this restaurant, the grill is in the middle of the table. You choose your meats and grill them at your table. There are a lot of side dishes to pair with the meat, and that's my favorite part. Kim-chi, glass noodles, bean paste, tofu, salted sesame oil, jalapenos, garlic, lettuce cups, rice and more are in little bowls all over the table. It's definitely a communal table, with people passing stuff all over the place. We were impressed with the quality (compared to LA's). The one main difference is that our place in LA is all you can eat. We had a variety of beef and pork, all delicious. And as if that wasn't enough, we had to stop by the Internet Cafe/Bakery/Boba Shop next door.
Dessert first?

Our primary destination:

Owen outside:

Yes, this signage was of no help to me.

No, she's not stuffing rice in her cheeks for later. They're that chubby.

My brother. Can you tell which one of us has been inside all summer? PALENESS!

Owen cleans up at any Asian restaurant, but Korean BBQ is one of his favorites!

Dad and his adopted son, Joseph. Mom and Dad almost offered Joe the guest bedroom long term.
Joe said he'd be tempted to move to D/FW, but he's afraid he'd gain 15 pounds the first month. I told him the humidity would be like him going to the sauna in LA, so what's the difference?
I'm craving it now, but would it be wrong to go without Joe? Not if you came too.

Coming Clean

In the spirit of coming clean, let me say that these first few days back in Texas have been more overwhelming than I expected.

Putting some stuff in storage and arranging a living space at my parents wore me out more than I'd like to admit. Or maybe it was the 4 year old who looks to me for most of his daily activities. Or maybe it was the 2.5 month old who likes to bond with me in the wee hours of the night. So, I'll admit that I've been online less than an hour in 2 weeks. For me, that's SO ODD. I won't qualify it as good or bad; it just is.

Thanks to you who have been waiting patiently for updates. I'll break them down into smaller parts over the next couple of days. For today, here's what's happening with housing and jobs:

Michael's internship with Kaiser was over August 7, and we loaded up the truck August 8. (Thanks to Nathan and sweet girlfriend, Gretchen, Matt, Detrah, Peter, and Jenn for coming by to encourage and/or take boxes to the Penske truck. It saved us HOURS of work.) Now that we're here, what's the plan?

Our work with Apartment Life (approx. 70 hours a month) begins when we are placed in an apartment complex. The length of the placement process can vary, depending on the availability of participating complexes and how accurate of a match it is with the team. And because it can take from weeks to (gulp) months, it would be difficult for us to find an apartment with a leasing agreement that flexible. What to do, eh?
Well, we're back with the best landlords we've ever had...Mom and Dad. Both sets of parents were willing to have Owen and June live with them, but we figured the transition would be easier for Owen back at my folks because he's lived here before. So, on the housing end, we wait...and pray...and wait...and pray.

And on the job end? Wait...and pray...and wait...and pray. Are you seeing a theme in our lives?

Michael does have a part time counseling job that he can build up through networking with other local psychologists, churches, schools, etc. Until those hours build up to full-time, he will need another job, so he is looking at more psychology jobs in the area. The paperwork side of Apartment Life (reports, etc.) will be my part time job as I stay home with the kids for now.

It's all good, but I must admit it's a little difficult for me right now. So, I looked for the rainbow amidst it all...and look, it was right in the backyard. ;)

For Wade (and Other Cowboys Junkies)

Here's the story that goes with the slide show.

Michael and Joe went on a tour of Cowboys Stadium last week, and the only other person I know that would not think Michael was a total dork is Wade S. So, for you I post a slide show of pictures Michael took while they walked the stadium.

Joe was patient to endure the tour AND the commentary on the ride home (he's a fan of many teams...usually choosing one that will intentionally annoy you...the Raiders, for example). God love them both!

I didn't label every pic, but unless you intentionally avoid all NFL-related news (like my mom), you've probably seen pictures or heard commentary. The tour was a lot cheaper than game tickets, and you get more rooms, luxury suites, etc. That's the last time I want to hear Michael's been in a shower with Joe.

And in typical dude style, Michael or Joe are in none of the pictures. Grrr. But it is a jewel in the City of Arlington's crown. Now, if only Jerry can manage the team as well as he does the stadium. GO COWBOYS!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

I Know, I'm a Tease...but

Several weeks ago, I presented the question "Sanity or Savings?". Should I save money and drive cross-country with Owen and June, or should I remain a (somewhat) sane person and just fly home?

Well, I'm delighted to tell you that we did both...we moved ourselves and stayed sane. Well, sane as we ever were.

The last week at a glance:

Saturday, August 8th: packed the moving truck.

Sunday: drove to LA to visit the Emmetts

Monday: picked up Joe in Pasadena and headed out

Tuesday: left from outside Pheonix

Wednesday: left from Van Horn, TX and arrived in Fort Worth at 8 pm

Thursday: unloaded stuff to storage and my parents' house

Friday: organized and begin culinary tour of Fort Worth (for Joe)

Saturday: Apartment Life training all day (first day away from June) and church

Sunday: Family Day

Monday: Organizing Stuff and Playing with Kiddos

Tuesday: Organizing stuff and playing with kiddos

Tomorrow: continue praying for placement in an apartment and a full-time job for Michael as I stay home with Owen and June

I'll post more about the trip later in the week; don't worry. I have to have a chunk of time.
Here are a couple of pics to tide you over, though:

Owen and June at the Super 8 Hotel. For all of you who like June's chubby cheeks, I wish you were there to lovingly clean out the drool that collects under those jowls after a 10 hour car ride. BLECH!

Look, who's happy? EVERYONE!

Inventor of the portable DVD player...I salute you!