Saturday, August 30, 2008

My Baby is 1!

Gunnison Michael Applegate was born August 28, 2007 at 6:58 pm. He weighed 7 lbs 7 oz and was 20 inches long. Our little warrior arrived after a not-too-difficult natural 7 hour labor. When I thought I couln't handle the pain anymore, out he came! He has been the sweetest little man since he was born. He has stolen our hearts with his big blue eyes (Papa was SO excited to have an Applegate with blue eyes) and his thumb in his mouth. Crazy little boy has been sucking that thumb since before he was born (he was even sucking his thumb during the ultrasound).

Gunner was a big surprise. We had decided we would wait to get pregnant for another 6 months or so, due to some ovarian problems of mine and I was in school at night trying to get my nursing degree. The Lord had other plans for us. I went in for a pre-op ultrasound and imagine my complete surprise when there was a little someone on the screen with arm and leg buds! I was 8 weeks pregnant! (I REALLY didn't think it was possible-I was on the pill for my o-problems and took it faithfully! My doctor laughed (HE DID!) and told me I must be that 0.01% ...haahaa). The problem now was adjusting my way of thinking to the Lord's way. I am so thankful for the priesthood in our home so Kit could give me blessings. I needed quite the adjustment in my plans-and Kit and I found how special this little boy is. He is a latter-day warrior, chosen for this exact time and a very special purpose. Sometimes I laugh at our warrior and how un-warrior like he is, but I understand the bigger picture now.

Kit and I were very excited when we knew our boys would have another brother and fell in love with him when he arrived looking like Yoda with reddish-blond fuzz up top. No, I'm not one of those mommies who think their baby is the most beautiful thing of all when they arrive. I think they were all cute in their own way, but Josiah looked like Yertle the Turtle, Gavin looked like a little Troll baby and Gunner arrived looking a lot like Yoda. Thankfully my children get prettier as they get older ;).

Gunner is curious and loves to point and look around. He is rather content, however with spending most of his time in his Mommy's arms and sucking his thumb. He crawls and cruises everywhere, but is not really anxious in taking the leap from a few steps to walking. He loves his brothers and can't get enough of their antics. He adores his Daddy and hurries to him when Kit comes home. We all love our mellow little Gunner and thank the Lord for seeing fit to place him in our home.
Happy Birthday, Gunnison!!!
Kit wants me to add the disclaimer that he sounds like a dork in both the videos and his real voice doesn't sound like Big Bird's.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

New Orleans

Kit has been pestering me to get blogging already about our visit to New, baby, here it is!

Disclaimer--This post is LONG

Kit was called out to help in an oil spill (quite large, actually) on the Mississippi River in New Orleans, LA. He was gone for a total of 3 weeks, with a series of night-duty watching an oil spot on the river and making sure it didn't get larger, then day-duty watching the spot on the river and finally doing what he loves to do-overseeing clean up efforts in the swamps off the river. He missed us, but enjoyed the stay and the opportunity to visit the city. We missed him tons, so last weekend the boys and I decided to head west to visit. With it being only 2.5 hours away, the drive seemed a breeze and we got there Friday evening. We brought our belongings up to the hotel room then headed out for dinner-FABULOUS barbecue at Voodoo Barbecue. Yummy! I love me some barbecue. Seriously, their pulled pork was yummmm...just thinking about it makes my mouth water. We then went walking around and enjoyed the evening.

Kit was able to take Saturday off, so we grabbed some breakfast then headed off to take a tour. We walked through the French Quarter and learned some cool things I wouldn't have known without a to recognize Creole cottages, slave quarters and of course the beautiful french work. We then headed for a cemetery and learned about entombing and were able to visit the tomb of Marie Laveau, the Voodoo Queen, and Edward Degas 's grandparent's tomb. We visited one of the beautiful cathedrals and just enjoyed the 2 hour tour, or at least Kit and I did. The boys protested most efficiently. Of course, the latter part of the day was for our boys when we visited the amazing Insectorium. We got caught in a rainstorm between lunch and the Insectorium. Not much fun, but quite the experience. We were soaked even though we huddled under the eaves of the shops while Kit dashed to the car to rescue us-always the hero! We cleaned up at the hotel and headed back out. The Insectorium was so much fun! They had awesome exhibits where the kids could look at, touch and learn about all sorts of bugs. Kit and I even got to taste some. Gavin was all talk about eating some until he saw the bugs, but seriously, the crickets I ate tasted like a spicy crispy piece of bacon. Not too bad...if you don't think about what you're eating. Kit tried a number of dishes, french-fried mill-worms, Cajun crickets, mill-worm marmalade, and a crispy piece of mill-worm quesadilla. I stuck to the crickets, since they didn't look so...crickety. It really was a wonderful experience and I would suggest it to anyone traveling there to visit.

On Sunday Kit had to go back to work (at 4:30 am...uggh) so the boys and I decided to go exploring on our own. I swear I walked a zillion miles. It wasn't easy pushing my two boys in our giant double-stroller and wearing Gunner in his sling, but it sure was fun! We garnered many smiles and a few comments. Together we explored the River Walk, the French Quarter, the Warehouse district, etc. The boys were really good and we were out and about from 9 until Kit got off work at 4. I absolutely loved walking the housing areas of the French Quarter. They were so quaint and beautiful with their hanging gardens and iron work. It was such an interesting walk, seeing the beauty and the filthiness of the city. Not just in the physical sense, but also in the moral sense. Once Kit got off work, we rode a street-car (one of my boys' favorite memories now) back to Voodoo Barbecue for dinner (my choice) then caught one back to the hotel. It really was so much fun, I loved it! We were all set to go home, much to my and the boys' sadness, when our car wouldn't start. Not something great to find out at 8 o'clock on a Sunday evening. Hmmm...our battery was dead and wouldn't jump. So the boys and I headed back into the hotel (gosh, weren't we sad ;)! ) and off to bed. Kit went into work the next morning, but they allowed him to take time off to come back and fix our car. He took care of business (thanks honey!) while the boys and I went to the French Market-bought sunglasses for me and tasted Pralines (I wasn't too impressed). We then met up for lunch at the River Walk. After enjoying our stolen day, the boys and I headed home to get ready for school the next day.

It really was a fun trip-almost a mini-vacation. I can't wait to go again, but maybe next time Kit and I can go alone...we'll have to see!

I know...and I'm sorry for this LONG post. As you can see, though, we had a lot of fun and made great memories! Anyone wanting to come visit us, we'll pop on over there for an experience!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Growing Pains

My baby, or I should say my big-boy, Josiah, started kindergarten today. I definitely had mixed feelings. I was SO excited contemplating this blessed event through-out summer. I mean, how can I not get excited having my son learning (which he loves), one less beastie under-foot, more one-on-one time with my other two beasties and less fights to break up. (It IS nice chasing after only 2) Yet as the day neared, my heart hurt and my eyes would tingle. You have to understand I have had Jos with me since he was born. We haven't sent him to pre-school since it didn't seem necessary and when he tested too high intellectually for state-funded pre-K, we decided not to send him private. He has been my little right-hand man for almost six years.

I am so excited for him, because he is so excited. He LOVES learning. From the beginning (just as his blessing proclaimed) he has been filled with a burning curiosity about everything in life. How does this work? How do you spell that? He wants to know everything. Crazy little boy has been writing notes to me on his chalk-board all year long (some are nice such as "I luv yoo mom", or "Im sore"-translated I'm sorry-but many are "yoo r meen"). He is so friendly and loves to make others smile. He chatters and beams. Will he listen? Will he follow the rules and come out on top? I love him, will his teacher love him? I know everything will be just fine, but the questions still bombard.

I want him to keep on growing, but who knew growing pains could be so hard for the Mama? I was one thankful Mama when he clung tightly to my hand down the hall to his classroom-enjoying the fact he needs me and realizing how much I need him, but so happy when meeting his teacher he felt comfortable enough to let go and explore his desk and room. My throat is tight writing this, it could be raging hormones, but my heart feels like it could burst with love, pride and the loss of what was. However, with my eyes to the future I can put aside the pain and I enjoy the growth and development I can see him making with leaps and bounds.

I love you, Josiah. I am proud of who you are and what you will become.

Gotta love this picture. You all can get the full effect of Jos AND experience the viewing pleasure of his school uniform (white shoes???)

His first school paper, crumpled in the bottom of his new red (his favorite color) backpack, of course

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Mama Mia!

No, this isn't about the movie, play or ABBA song (although I have been known to dance around the house to said tune), this is about the fab visit of my mom, my dad and my little bro, Mack. Funny title I doesn't really fit, but I love catchy titles and this was all I could come up with. Family visit...again, just doesn't seem to work, you know?! dad had a conference/class in Florida and was able to drive here, stay a couple of days, then drop my mom and Mack off and head on to his class. We really had a lot of fun. I know I always say that, but it is true! I love spending time with my family and my boys absolutely adore their Uncle Mack. He is a wonderful uncle to them. He spent a lot of his time helping/playing with Josiah in Lego StarWars, wrestling with them and carrying them around. He mowed my yard, fixed up a couple honey-dos around the house and even combated a few ugly bugs for me. He was a fun addition to this visit. He's such a sweetie and I love spending time with him. I know he was a little bummed Kit got called out to New Orleans to aid in the oil spill there so I was glad they had a couple of evenings to go cast-net fishing and play a few video games before Kit had to leave. He left with Mack's new addiction-Kit's Patapon game for the PSP. Poor Mack-he had to make due with playing Lego StarWars and Facebook! Paltry in comparison, I know.

We did the usual: Tanger, my thrift store and etc., but I got a few extra perks out of this visit. My mom, Craft-Queen, vamped a wreath we bought at the thrift store for a couple of bucks and re-covered my two captain's chairs for me. It is fun to have bright reminders of their visit. You will notice both are yellow, a favorite color of mine. Aren't I lucky to have her come?! We also figured out where to hang pictures of my boys (my family will be receiving theirs shortly, I promise) and came up with a couple of decoration ideas for me for the holidays. I feel like we accomplished a lot this visit while still having time to just relax.

My dad made it back safely and was made a believer of GPS systems after borrowing mine to Florida. It was fun to be able to have my dad around just for relaxing for a couple of days. We went to the beach together and he built an awesome sandcastle for my boys. He also shared what he learned at his conference (acupuncture treatment for animals-with pretty cool results) and just relaxed. For any of you who know my dad, you'll understand why this was a fun visit for us. We even decided to be brave and attempt a shrimp boil without my hubby around. My dad and I de-headed them ourselves (I will note here my mom offered to help, too) and after a couple calls to Kit, we made it through the process. They turned out fabulous-not rubbery at all and wonderful for peeling, for those shrimp-knowers!

I am truly blessed to be able to have family come visit as often as they have and now truly spoiled since my little sis and her family are coming to visit for a few days! Seriously, I can't wipe the grin off my face.

I think I'll dance around to ABBA now...