Saturday, August 23, 2008

I'm one hot pepper...are you?

I thought this quiz was particularly fun. I'd love to see what spice ya'll are. I'm not sure mine fits me or not...maybe a bit more in my younger, more rambunctious days. It's amusing either way, though.

You Are Cayenne Pepper

You are very over the top and a bit overwhelming.

You have a fiery personality, and you can give anyone a good jolt.

You can easily take things up a couple notches, no matter what crowd you're running with.

While I'm posting, I thought I'd throw out a very happy birthday to my fabulous younger brother Jesse whose turning 20 today. He's a great guy-funny, smart, sweet (at least when he wants to be ;), and oh-so-good-looking. Jes and I have always had a pretty special bond and I love him like he was my own arm. Happy birthday, Handsome!

Disclaimer: I actually hate this picture (for some reason I look like a ghost-I swear my face isn't that white in real life!), but it's the only recent picture I have of my brother on my computer, so you'll have to cut it some slack.

Aubrey (my bestest girlfriend), Jesse, and I at the midnight release party for Breaking Dawn. He was such a sweetheart and let two old married ladies cramp his style. He even tried to convince some girlies (who were obviously oh-so-into him) that I was his very pregnant wife. I nipped that one in the bud as soon as I saw they actually believed him...eww.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Birthday Cake Blues

I'm sad.

So, Ezra started school at Presbyterian Preschool this last Tuesday. He goes twice a week (every Tuesday and Thursday) from 9:00-11:30. He absolutely adores it. My very grumpy non-morning person of a little boy turns all chipper when he has to get dressed for school. Overall, it's going really well. He loves his class, his teachers, his classroom, and the dreamed-of outside toy area he has yet to play on (it was raining on Tuesday). In our house, when Ezra's happy, we're all happy.

Now, let me emphasize that watching my little boy go to school is not the reason I cried the entire drive home from dropping him off this morning. It wasn't the fact I had only managed to slick down his cowlicks with water squirted from his sippy and not gel (darn these early-morning classes). It wasn't that he was still wearing old flip-flops instead of new school shoes (I promise I'm buying him some tomorrow, Steph ;). Nope, all those tears were over the snack-time equivalent of spilled milk. 100% whole, straight from a cow, normal milk. For snack-time today, someone's fabulous mother is bringing birthday cake. For most kids (and their over-emotional, hormonal, pregnant mommies), this is nothing but a good thing. Those kids don't have food allergies. I cried the whole drive home because Ezra won't get to have birthday cake with all the other kids. Heck, I'm still crying because of it. While I know it probably won't even be that big of deal to Ezra, my heart still hurts for him. He's never been able to have all the snacks the other kids do (at nursery, family gatherings, playgroup...) and he is usually fine with it, but still I'm sad. He knows he can't have all the food that everyone eats and will inform me that he can't eat X because it makes his tummy hurt, but still he gets bummed when watching others eat fun foods. I've always tried to minimize the differences between their treats and his-making sure he has his own cupcake at birthday parties, bringing italian ice for him at ice cream socials, giving him safe candy at Halloween, and all that. It's just the mental picture of his sad little face as they pass out the birthday cake and him understanding he can't have any, but still being disappointed at his measly pop-tart. I really, truly know this is such a little bump in the grand scheme of things and I thank heaven even night for my son's good health, without his food allergies even crossing my mind. Really, I truly try to look at his allergies in perspective. It's just that my heart aches for my poor 2 (almost 3) year old who has to watch his friends eat cake in front of him and is mature enough not to throw a fit about it. I know I can't protect him from this and that life is rarely fair, but he's just so little to be learning such a grown-up lesson. So, as is the way of mommies the world over, I'm crying over my child's pain, crying I can't protect him from reality forever, and crying because, for once, I can't kiss it and make everything all better.

Ezra on his very first day of school (August 19th). Isn't he just so grown-up!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

My Marathon Post

Sorry for all the super-long posts lately, but because of the crazy schedule, I've been having to catch ya'll up when I can. As I had so many trip pictures to sort through, this post took me like four days to joke. Are you man enough to get through it? ;) Actually, I promise it won't hurt my feelings any if you skim when you don't want to read real in-depth. Enjoy!

Happy Anniversary, Honey!

Ok, so maybe it's a bit on the tardy side, but better late then never, right...on August 7th, while we were down in Alabama, Spencer and I had our 4th anniversary. I can't even believe that I've been married to such a wonderful man for four whole years. It seems like a blink of an eye and forever all at the same time (although if it was only a blink of an eye, we'd have an awfully hard time explaining the 2.5 kids...). Here's just a few of the things I adore about my husband:

Spencer is easily one of the most patient, thoughtful, and genuine people I've ever known. What you see is really what you get with him. He's also one of the funniest guys ever (second only to my Uncle Eric and Spencer's cousin Zach...sorry, sweetheart, you can't win 'em all ;). While Spencer and I are so different in so many ways, instead of working against us, we've found that our differences really work for us. He's steady when I'm tumultuous, methodical to my spontaneity, logical when I'm illogical. Spencer's my rock. He's one of the best dads I've ever known-there's a reason why both of my kids prefer their father. He helps around the house everyday. He's always told me that taking care of the kids is my full time job, and if I manage to get anything else done (cooking, dishes, etc.), it's just a bonus. As an added perk, I think Spencer's pretty darn handsome. While I'm a firm believer that typically one does not have a soulmate they're supposed to go out, find, and marry, I know Spencer is becoming my soulmate everyday. I've said it before and I'll say it again-I've definitely gotten the better half of the deal with this one.

At our reception on our wedding day

Spencer being all manly and fixing a flat tire

Our happy family (minus Georgia...)

Spencer and the kids last Christmas

Sweet home Alabama...Where the skies are so blue

Earlier this week, we returned from our family vacay to visit my sister, Liberty, and her little family in Mobile, Alabama. It was a complete blast! First off, we got to enjoy seeing her three adorable little boys again, Josiah, Gavin, and Gunnison. They're getting so big and grown-up I can barely believe it. As an added bonus, Ezra and Gavin are only about two weeks apart in age, so they always get along really well (or at least as well as toddlers can get along;). It was a really laid-back, casual visit, which was just what the doctor ordered. Also, with having Spencer around 24/7, I was able to get a lot of help with the kids, which made for a nice break for me. Kit, Liberty's husband who's in the Coast Guard, had been called in for duty to help with an oil spill in New Orleans and was gone the whole time, so Spence was really good to help with her kids too. Even though we were only there for about four days (not including traveling time), we managed to squeeze a lot of fun activities into our visit, including a trip to the beach, a stroll on the boardwalk to see some alligators, lunch and playing in the park, an exciting dinner at Lambert's Restaurant (home of the throwed rolls), a quick trip to New Orleans to visit Liberty's husband, Kit and to see the sights, and of course, mounds of shopping. Hope you enjoy the multitude of pictures!

Georgia splashing in the Gulf of Mexico

Ezra, Gavin, and Josiah gathered around watching a hermit crab Spencer found

Georgia just rolling around in the sand at the beach. She adored it and ate a ginormous was truly disgusting

Ezra, however, was not such a fan of the sand.
He kept on trying to wipe the "dirt" off (he's a man of my own heart)

Jos collecting sand off the bottom of the ocean

Ezra was very frustrated when he stood near the edge of the water because the tide would pull some of the sand back with it. He kept insisting the "ground is moving"

Georgia and Ezra sitting on Spencer, whom they had buried up to his chest in sand

Mommy and Georgia splashing in the water. I'd take her in periodically to wash off all the icky sand:P

The kids enjoying themselves at Lambert's.
Ezra was particularly impressed that they "threw bread at [him]."

There's a huge wooden train out front of the restaurant that's a definite highlight to any Lambert's visit

Gavin digging in the sand at the park

Georgia and Daddy making beautiful music together

Jos rockin' out

Liberty and Gunner cheesin' it for the camera (doesn't he just look like another adorable little Applegate:)

Georgia managed to climb all the way up the wall completely by herself (don't worry, that's Spencer's hand you're seeing-he was keeping close watch)

And now for the Amazing Disappearing Gavin. I swear, this kid was nearly impossible to get in a picture. Here's the attempts:

I'm uber-impressed if you actually made it this far. Hopefully my future posts won't be quite so marathon-y. Have a fabulous day!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Cars and Skinks and Parties...Oh My! (but no giraffes)

If there's one thing I take with a grain of salt, it's "green" products. Frankly, I'm just not convinced that hydrogen fuel really will power the cars of the future, it took me years to conclude that solar panels might possibly be an economically sound investment, and I've yet to switch over to florescent light bulbs (although that one might be because I'm just cheap;)...just don't tell the people at the health food store that I buy some of the kids' allergy foods at. Having said all that, taking advantage of our new Netflix account, Spencer and I watched a documentary last night that has me all up in arms: Who Killed The Electric Car?. I couldn't believe the way the electric car was completely crushed by it's opposition. It didn't just die out as so many overly-optimistic environmentally-friendly alternatives do, it was literally hunted down and annihilated. Even watching this documentary with a heavy dose of scientific and political skepticism, as my moderately conservative, engineer husband did, still leaves the viewer shocked and appalled at the way the whole mess was handled. In my opinion, it's definitely Must See TV.

On a lighter note, Spencer and I took Ezra and Georgia to the Tulsa Zoo & Living Museum last Saturday. Ever since, on a whim, we mentioned going to the zoo and seeing some animals to Ezra, he'd been begging to go. So, when Spencer had to make a trip to Tulsa to pick up something for work, it was the perfect chance to go. Despite a heat index of 105, it turned out to be a lot of fun. Unfortunately our camera was doing funny things (turns out the batteries were low) and only actually took about half the pictures we attempted. Luckily, we attempted to take a lot of pictures. Here's the best of those we actually managed to get:

Ezra all reared up and ready to go at the start of our adventure

They had a petting zoo that turned out to be a lot of fun. There was mostly goats when we went since a lot of the animals were inside because of the heat, but the kids didn't mind any. Georgia liked the idea of the animals, but was too scared to actually pet any. Ezra, on the other hand, thought it was the greatest!

Spencer showing the kids how to softly pet the animals

Ezra petting a goat

Georgia and Daddy looking at the animals

Ezra petting...yet another goat

The rainforest room was, by far, one of our favorite exhibits. They gave you the feel of really being in the Amazon. You were able to get right up close to a lot of the animals and were surrounded by greenery on all sides. They wouldn't even let you have any open containers of food or drink in there for fear the animals would try to steal some. Ezra loved the monkeys, Georgia loved the birds, and they both adored the hunter orange and lime green tree frogs.

Daddy and Ezra in the Rainforest room

Georgia looking for tree frogs

Ezra watching the frogs (which we somehow never managed to actually get in any of these shots :P)

Near the end of our zoo visit, we decided to take a break and go on the train. Ezra adores trains, so he was especially excited to go. While Spencer and I weren't super-impressed with the train trip (it was on the shorter side and didn't really take us through any animals), the kids both thought it was the coolest.

Georgia all excited to go on our train ride (sorry about the color, the shade did something funny to this picture)

A few other zoo trip highlights...

When we were in the Discovery Center, they gave the kids a chance to pet a blue-tongued skink. Ezra, predictably, thought it was loads of fun, but, surprisingly, so did Georgia. Georgia usually is too nervous to pet animals, probably beause they're so much bigger than she is, but apparently the skink was just the right size. We couldn't pull her off of it! We were in a hurry at the time to make it to the train before it quit for the day, so we didn't get any pictures, but it was the funniest thing to watch. In a matter of minutes, Georgia made a new friend with a very large lizard.

Both Ezra and Georgia love looking at fish (it's my regular bribe to go see the fish whenever we go to Wal-Mart), and luckily the Tulsa Zoo had LOADS of them. Nearly every exhibit had some kind of fish. Despite the fact that fish are normally considered a, my kids thought they were the best. It was so fun to see Ezra get so excited whenever we saw some and Georgia would do her little fishy mouth whenever she spotted them.

As Ezra's gotten older and has become more familiar with animals, he's gained certain expectations of what we would see in the zoo. He was fully expecting to see a lion, bears, giraffe, monkeys, and turtles, specifically. We were able to fulfill most of those requests...although we just saw the lion's butt as it hid out in it's den away from heat, but Ezra didn't seem to mind, it still counted in his book. We however, did not see any giraffes. It was just too hot for them and they had all went back into their "house." Ezra was very disappointed. The entire way home and all the next day, whenever we talked about the zoo, he would mention that we saw a lot of animals, "but there was no giraffe."

So, I'm planning on going to the release party for Breaking Dawn tonight and I'm uber-excited. I've never gone to a release party before, or even pre-ordered a book, but leave it to Stephenie Meyer to get me out of my shell. My little brother, Jesse, wanted to go, so he invited me and my best friend, Aubrey to tag along with his oh-so-cool college-age self (inviting two moms to hang public...that really was self-sacrificing;). I'll have to let you know what I think of the book after I finish it. Heaven knows, I plan on being holed up for the rest of the weekend soaking it in like a sponge.