Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Big Changes and Big Fun

Remember last week when I posted about Steven’s interview?  Well, he got the job. Special thanks to Catherine and her babysitter’s dad for remembering Steve’s job hunt.

Steven works for a law firm that is the house counsel for a supplement called Basic Research which markets things like makeup and supplements. He actually started Monday but I’ve been to busy to blog about it.  I am SO glad for such a positive change after 10 months of underemployment and 11 months of unemployment over the last two years---we’re back in the game! It’s a better job than we could have even hoped for---great benefits (even paid vacation!!!), great salary, nice coworkers, and regular 9-6 hours! This does NOT happen in the legal world (not unless you work for practically free). The only downside is that his office is clear out past the airport, so we’re not going to be living within walking distance and I’ll be without a car during the day. Hopefully a year or so from now, I’ll say it was worth the wait, though currently I’m just happy to have one less thing to worry about and glad that Steve has a full-time job.

Steven has also started teaching philosophy courses online for Independence University (they own Steven Henagar Colleges) on Monday, too. For the past month, he was doing legal temp work full-time, and we thought we’d just have to make do with the temp work, teaching, and Steve also interviewed for JAG so we could have benefits---we got lucky that this job is better than all that and a lot less complicated and much more steady work. So far, so good!!!

To celebrate, we all went out for frozen yogurt and Steve and I even snuck away to a temple session for the first time since the babies. It was my first time at a live session and was fantastic.

Steve’s temp job ran out of work last week, so we all took the opportunity to go to the zoo.  Yes, we even took Caleb and Lily, though they weren’t really impressed.


Even with a polar bear inches away.


We got in for half price since our LA Zoo pass was still valid, so we decided to splurge on a carousel ride.  Our good luck continued as the attendant decided to give me a 10-pass ticket for the price of one.Bug


And we all got to ride a time or two.


Since the zoo is so close, we left the twins home with Dad for their first nap, and Grandma Garff and I took cousin Daniel with us since his mom had just had a baby.

Monkeys at the zoo

Daniel was a little wary of both the gorilla and the polar bear (hence the picture in the stroller), but our Silly Billy was up for anything. I love his sense of adventure and excitement!


He seriously watched the polar bear for what seemed like forever.Polar Bear

And didn’t even flinch.

Polar Bear 2

I think the polar bear might have been his favorite. :)Polar Bear Ride

We’ve had lots of changes with the little guys, too.

Caleb has taken 3 1 hr+ morning naps in a row (I hope this is a new trend!) and also learned to sit up. His hair has also started developing a cowlick that looks like I style his hair. Notice our princess in the background eating her shirt?  Yeah, such a lady.


One of these days I’ll have to get a picture. He’s a darling little man.


Lily discovered her feet.




The first thing she does after waking up is to take off her socks and suck on her toes.  Not very ladylike, but adorable.P1030364



We’re just glad these changes don’t involve those big beautiful blue eyes.

Along with all these other changes, we’re hoping to add one more: a change of living space.  We’re looking to buy a place of our own, and are excited for that new adventure ahead. Owning a home has been my goal FOREVER (I think my goal at 14 was to have it paid off by age 35, though that’s not going to happen, lol) and I’m thrilled that it will hopefully not be too much longer.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Twin Photo Dump

I’ll be honest, we don’t take too many pictures anymore.  Our regular camera got broken, and our backup isn’t great.  Plus, I’m so busy looking at these cute faces to take many pictures these days.DSCN2614

Cousin Matthew came to visit after a doctor appointment.

Caleb has the funniest expressions.  And as long as he’s being held (all day long, mind you…) he is as happy as can be.


How can you resist that face?  With his chunky cheeks and drool-covered chin, it’s a hard face not to love.

Cute boylovey face

Lily’s a little shy, so we don’t get quite as many good pictures of her, but she is the sweetness in our lives.

Double babiesSweetness

And of course after last weekend’s game, both babes are now die-hard Ute fans.

Ute fans

Daddy had an important interview yesterday, so I cut his hair and picked out a tie. Lily and Caleb wore their favorite “I love Daddy” outfits to wish him luck.

Daddy Luck

Monday, September 10, 2012

Silly Billyness: Cars

Our little boy LOVES anything with wheels. He knows the difference between most construction vehicles (amazing what you can learn from library books) and also can distinguish between many different cars. Jeep, van, truck, vw bug, mini cooper, etc. On our walk to the park the other day, we saw a smart car. "Look, Mom," says William. "It's a baby car!"

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Silly Billyness: Jobs

Since Steven has been looking for work, there's been lots of talk about jobs in out family. William often talks about how we will get a new house and go to Disneyland when Daddy gets new work. We talk about how Mommy's work is to feed/change the babies and help William. And often he talks about going to work at construction sites with Papa, or pretends to work with Farmer, Pirate, and Puppy.

Even so, this morning's discussion took me be surprise when I got Silly Billy out of his crib.

William: "Me got a job, Mom!"

Me (interested): "Oh, really? Where do you work?"

William: "At the Bank!"

Me: "And what do you do at your work at the bank?"

William: "Eat suckers."

Well, I guess I've figured out why William doesn't mind running errands with me! It's funny how kids set their priorities and what they like to pretend about. I hope he still finds work to be so much fun when it comes his time to do it for real, but he'll sure be in for a shock when he finds out what they really do at the bank...I hope he'll be ok with it. :)


Saturday, we had to make the hard decision to put Kiki down,. Over the last few days, Kiki’s body finally gave out. She could no longer walk or use her back legs, her mouth tumor started bleeding, and she was being eaten by bugs because she couldn’t fight back. At nearly 13 years old, it was time for her to go.

Samoyeds 006


Surprisingly, we’ve all handled it better than expected. We had to get Nike some tranquilizers for his anxiety (which we’ve hardly needed to use, luckily) as he adjusts to life alone. Steve has been really sweet and sleeping downstairs near his kennel to help him adjust since he isn’t allowed inside.

It was really hard leading up to the decision, but since we left her with the vet, I’ve survived. I’ve been able to get almost everything done that was necessary, and have even managed to leave the house a time or two. It’s been harder than I thought on William, though. He keeps asking for us to go get Kiki and asking to play with her and give her treats. When he went to say goodbye to her, it broke my heart. They used to be such good friends.


I’m sorry the twins won’t know her as well as William did (though he may not remember her later either). They had SO much fun together and I loved watching their interactions. Silly Billy would hang out in their kennel, give way too many treats, and play in the water bowl.008_thumb

I have a lot of great memories of Kiki. I’ve had her since I was 14, so she’s pretty much my oldest friend that I’ve keep in regular contact with (so Angie’s probably the only real exception). I BEGGED my dad to let me get a dog for years. I even had a job and calculated how much time and money I would need to take care of one…including a very detailed shopping list. All my cute pictures of her as a puppy are in storage, due to our temporary living situation, but I did find a few gems of her legacy.

My best friend growing up, Anna, and I LOVED our dogs. We would hang out together all the time. We even once celebrated Nancy’s birthday.

Anna, April and their Dogs

Occasionally, I’d dress them up for Halloween. The devil/angel bit was always a hit, as it was particularly appropriate. Kiki got in way too much trouble over the years…but I even miss that part of her personality. She mellowed out a lot at the end and wasn’t ever quite the same dog, though she would still try to hold her own in a fight with Nike.Devil and Angel Dogs

And the time Kiki got stuck under the bed…man, that was hilarious.Kiki stuck

When we lived in LA, Steve saw the dogs more, since I was usually busy working and he studied at home. Kiki was a great study partner, and they loved to hang out on the couch with a big textbook or 5.

kiki studying

Kiki had several litters of puppies. I had lots of fun reading books about whelping and got good enough at it that I was able to make several thousand dollars that way. It was such a fun side job. Much more play than work, but I don’t think that matters. Who doesn’t love puppies, right? Nike is to the right of Barbie, the pup in the the pink collar.Puppies

Before she got too old, Kiki used to accompany us on lots of hikes---from Little Sahara to St. George, to Hollywood. When I had to start carrying her on the return trip, we knew her hiking days were over.Babymoon St_ George 016

On his birthday one year, my dad asked if I still wanted a dog. The answer was a resounding YES! My dad picked the breed, my sister Rosie picked out her name, but I picked her and she picked me. My first dog, she lived a good life full of puppies, dog sledding, and glorious SoCal. Kiki was a little mischievous, loved food, and too smart for her own good. I will miss her once feisty personality, cool tricks, and happy smile. Her body couldn't handle life anymore and she just wasn't the same dog, so we knew it was time for her to go. Hopefully this will be the last in our long list of trials over the past year and things will finally start to turn around. We miss you already, Kiki(especially Nike!).