Saturday, March 26, 2011

Starting again!

Here I am! Sorry about the absence, I lost interest and was focused on other parts of life. It happens. So onto the updates on our lives:

A few days after Charlie died we went camping with my mom, sister and grandparents for a whole week. It was a wonderful escape from my sadness. I hadn't been camping in years and I had been wanting to go so badly. We went to Woods Canyon up on the rim between Payson and Heber. Chloe had a ball! She was constantly covered in dirt and was always picking up rocks, pinecones, sticks, handfuls of pine needles, you get the idea. She played from sun up to sun down with a nap in the middle of the day. I chatted with my grandma (Nannie) and played cards till I nearly couldn't stand it anymore but I loved it! I had a giant 10 person tent for just me and Chloe and Preston too once he joined us for the last few days. My mom and Selena spent a lot of time fishing with my Grandad in his little boat on Woods Canyon Lake. Claire and Selena's puppy Scout ran and ran and ran all over the woods. We had them tied up but after the 45th time of untangling them during the first day there we just set them loose. Every once in a while we would call them back just to make sure they didn't get very far. They only didn't come back right away once and it turned out they were sleeping in a tent. Winston (my brother Josh's mini dachshund) was there too and he explored a lot but mostly slept the whole time. All together they were pretty cute and really fun to watch. It was all so relaxing and I cannot wait to go again. I was unplugged from all internets and phones (my blackberry died in the humidity up there anyways). We are going again in July but for 2 weeks this time. I've already got my packing list together and am remembering all the things I wished I had had while I was there last time. I am ready!

My latest "thing" that I've been enjoying the heck out of is cakes! I have been having so much fun with it, exploring my natural talent and expanding it. Turns out I have a knack for it. The funny part is that the part I struggle with is actually assembling the layers of cake. Everything else I've been picking up pretty easy without any previous practice or experience. My mom used to make cakes when I was little and I guess I watched her more than either of us ever thought. She's been helping me and teaching me with the stuff I'm more shaky at but is still always impressed with my final results.  

We started with my cousin Adam's wedding cake. My aunt actually asked my mom to do it but I came over to help because I was fascinated and wanted so badly just to touch and play with that fondant stuff. Turned out she hadn't ever worked with it and I had watched enough Food Network to know for the most part what to do. Together we figured it out and it came out decent but still amateur. The wedding colors were black and white and they didn't really care what it looked like so we decided on polka dots and the top layer looked like a small gift. I was HOOKED! I almost immediately found a reason to make another. I made one for one of my best friends who needed some special love on her birthday. It was sea foam green with pink feathers (I made by hand) on top to compliment a running joke between us from our dance class when we were little about an awful costume, and a dance recital gone wrong. Her mom loved it and asked me to make a birthday cake for her mom's birthday, I seem to have lost the picture of the finished cake all together but I have one of the top and one of the bottom. They were orange, white and a burgundy color with flowers and swirls. Selena loved that one so she had me make her and her friends make a cake for their homecoming dance. Their theme was something to do with Vegas so I made little fondant dice and hand piped a pair of aces with pink hearts. Next I made one for another bff Ciera for her birthday with a Dia De Los Muertos theme. Next was Chloe's 2nd birthday and I did a two tier white cake with green vines and pink flowers hand piped all over it. And my last one was my cousin Kyrie's wedding cake. Three pearly white tiers with a crisscross pattern pressed into it for a quilted looks and little hand made candy jewels in each intersection. Pics of each one, I hope you can tell which one is which:

In sadder news. We had a miscarriage at the end of September. I didn't know I was pregnant until it happened so other than hormones it wasn't too emotional for me. It was still hard because we've been trying since last February. I figured out I was only 4 or 5 weeks along. We are hopeful about continuing to try for our next little sweetheart, but, if not for the miscarriage I would be worried about infertility by now. I've had a lot of time to think about my next pregnancy and delivery and I for sure will be getting a new doctor and trying out some more holistic approaches for a v-bac. I feel robbed after not getting the chance to push out my own kid and Dr. Tutt doesn't do v-bacs and he doesn't believe I can deliver normally. I need some faith from my own doctor darn it!

We do have a new addition to our family, though, she's a little more canine than I had planned... Her name is Lucy. She's a lot like Charlie, part Italian Greyhound, part Chihuahua. Very very cute and has her own perky personality. We love her already. My friend Ciera gave her to us because she didn't have the time or dog friendly space she needed. This was a great option for all of us. She can visit her "baby" anytime she wants, Claire gets a new buddy, and I love the new puppy cuddles. We call Ciera the "bio-ish-mom" and I'm the "Foster-mom" hahahahaha! There's a picture of her on the right side of the page with our family pictures. 

Well I'll finish up my novel here. Sorry again for the lengthy dry spell. I won't promise to try harder to keep up with it, but I will try harder to at least post about the bigger stuff. Love you all! 

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Goodbye Charlie Dog

Charlie passed away on July 10th. My sweet little dood.

About 2 weeks before, we came home and found vomit all over the house. 4 or 5 spots. I figured he'd eaten something he shouldn't have and didn't think too much about it, though I started paying closer attention to his eating and drinking habits.

Over the next two weeks he was still eating and drinking and seemed a little more like himself but not that great.We went to Heber for the 4th of July and had a good time. He didn't hardly eat while we were there but I just attributed it to stress from travel, lots of people, and unfamiliar dogs. When we got back, he still wasn't eating very much and started throwing up again, about once a day. He was eating less and less for fear of just throwing it up again and staying in one place for long periods of time and by Thursday we were really worried.

We took him to the vet on Friday and they did an x-ray. They showed it to us and pointed out the very large mass that was not supposed to be there. They showed us that it was pressing on his organs and making him sick. He also had very bad pneumonia; one lung was completely filled with fluid.

They took some blood and called me the next day with the results. His liver enzyme count was 6 times the normal level. The large mass that was taking up more than half of his abdominal cavity was his liver. The vet said it was either a really bad infection or cancer. She told me to talk to my family about either hospitalizing him (which would have cost upwards of $1500) or putting him to sleep. We talked and cried and talked some more.We decided that putting him down was the best option all around.

After thinking about his behavior I noticed a pattern that had developed since January. He had been slowly losing energy. Sleeping more, and running around less. Hiding under the bed more and engaging us in play less. More easily irritated and he had less of that pure doggy joy he of which he always had too much. We didn't notice because we had gotten Claire in December and she had enough energy for both or them. We just figured she was wearing him out all the time. Poor guy. We told the vet this before Charlie was put to sleep and he was almost positive it was in fact liver cancer from the description of his declining energy.

He would have been 3 years old on the first of August. We are so sad to have lost him so soon. He was my first "baby". I got him about 4 months before I got pregnant because I wanted a baby so much. I needed to have something to take care of. I found him at the pound with the cats because he was so small. He weighed 4 pounds and he was the cutest thing I'd ever seen. I named him after Charlie on LOST, a stuffed monkey I had as a child, Charlie Brown, Charlie the Unicorn and well... he just looked like a Charlie.

I had so much fun with him. I dressed him up in sweaters when it got cold and a costume for Halloween. He would get sudden bursts of energy and run around the house as fast as he could, we called it his "nascars". I taught him to chase his tail for treats. He was the worst in his class in puppy training but still "graduated". He barked at everything that moved or made noise. And he hated water only a little less than cats do. He played tug of war like a big dog and never let go unless he was flying through the air and was an absolute riot when there was an air mattress involved. I took too many pictures of him and he quickly learned to hide when the camera came out because he didn't like the flashes.

My house is empty without him. Claire misses her playmate and I miss my little buddy. I'm so sad to have lost him so soon. He was a great little, too-hyper dog. Waking up without him standing on me to get me to let him outside is hard. Claire has been a wonderful comfort. I'm grateful we got her when we did. She cuddles like Charlie never would after I rolled onto him once or twice. Poor little guy.

I love you Charlie. I hope you've found Cassie (my first wonderful dog) in doggie heaven and that she's running nascars with you. See you later.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Are they supposed to know this much, this soon?

If any of you saw my facebook update earlier this week, that's just one example. If you didn't let me enlighten you.

My little newborn baby girl will be 18 months old on the 18th this month. I guess she's not really a newborn anymore. *sigh, lip quiver, tear, sigh* At the same time these last few weeks have been some of the most entertaining EVER! Her personality has been showing since she was pushing my lower right rib up and down with her little toes, but now it's really emerging!

They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but is it still flattery when all that's imitated is talking on the phone and watching TV?

Wednesday morning, Chloe decided to watch a little TV. So she walked up to the TV, turned it on and found the bluray remote. Then she climbed up on the couch and turned on the bluray player. Our bluray is a Samsung and has streaming Netflix on it, it's awesome. Once the bluray was on and at it's home screen she selected the Netflix button and when that had loaded she pushed play on the first show available on our queue.  When the opening credits started she started fake laughing at it. After a few minutes she somehow found the pause button and climbed off the couch to go play in her room.Two minutes passed and she came back to the couch and started it up again. It was something about Africa so they were showing some zebras and she started howling because they look like striped doggies!

Three minutes later she changed her mind about the whole thing, as girls often do, and turned it all off and went off to play. I'm grateful she hasn't learned that we should sit in front of the TV for hours at a time. Thank goodness for short attention spans... wait... no. There's a time and a place. 

Preston has a work phone and a personal phone, but no matter the phone he always answers it the same. I guess he's self conscious about being on the phone in front of me when it's business and when it's friends it's probably because he thinks I'll disapprove of the conversation material. When the phone rings he grabs the phone, hits answer, and as he says hello he's walking out the door of the room. After the conversation is over and he's finishing up the call he will be walking back into the room as he says goodbye, hangs up and stuffs the phone into his pocket almost in one motion. Yesterday we were in Chloe's room playing with her and Preston let her play with his phone. She put the phone up to her ear and said "Ah-ra? Ob-di-bara ya. Ha ha ha!", fake laugh and all as she strolled confidently out of the room. About a minute later she came back, "Oh-ru, ba-da-ya. Yah!", took the phone away from her ear as if to hang up, and I swear she would have tried to stuff that phone in a pocket if she had been wearing more than a diaper. I looked at Preston and said "That was you! Not me for once!"

It's so fun to see the things repeated that she watches us do. We can ask her to fold her arms and she will fold her arms and bow her head with her eyes closed. Sometimes she'll even go all out for us and hunch down as if she's sitting in a chair and bent over, squish her face into her little folded arms and make little whispering noises as if she were saying the prayer. If we ask her where her nose is she will point to it and then get carried away and stuff it up there and then we consider ourselves lucky if it comes back clean. She can use a fork to stab small soft bites of food like ravioli and feed it to herself, though she usually ends up poking herself in the face and I freak out and trade it for a spoon even though she has very little luck with them.

She tried to unlock the bathroom door with my car key once. She almost succeeded except she couldn't turn it all the way and it wasn't locked in the first place. When she can get into the bathroom, she opens my drawer and pulls out my hairbrush and brushes her own hair. She loves to play fetch with the doggies and empty baskets of clothes one article at a time at high speed. And she LOVES to give kisses! Her kisses are usually wide open mouth ones that sometimes encompass half of the rest of your face in drool. Whenever she gives one she always says "ahhhhhhh," while doing it, because it's not a real kiss if you don't. This is one of those things that you really don't want influenced by what they see. You see, short kisses are great and all but, long kisses? Those are better. They must be! Why wouldn't you want your daughter's wide open drooling mouth with a little bit of fishy cracker goop on her lips attached to your lips for at least 8 seconds? *eye roll* I guess the way daddy loves mommy shows and she wants share!

Chloe is the highlight of my life! I can't get enough of her and at the same time, I still love my breaks from her... like nap time, and date night. She's getting super tall too. I blame Preston. She can reach stuff off my counter tops now. Things that were once far out of reach are brought to me on a daily basis. Like the package that had gum in it from my purse, or a cup of water I filled 30 seconds earlier and set down to let the dogs out and by the time I turn around it's been dumped on herself, or the floor, or both. Sometimes it's a plate of food. Or my computer on which I am blogging, she can somehow highlight half of what I just typed and with a few presses of other buttons replace it with "nmm,/..;;;/..,mmmczcn,//.////". Yeah that's always fun! Most of the time it's just hard not to laugh.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Comfy Heels and Grown Up Coco Puffs

I'm sorry if I end up sounding like a commercial. I think I should get commissions for the stuff that I obsess over. A few years ago it was those tide pens... cause they are awesome! 

My current obsession is Crocs....

If you're thinking of those ugly nasty clog ones then stop! They actually make cute ones that you can wear in public and not look frumpy. Seriously. These were my present to myself for being me!

Aren't they cute? Well I think they are wonderful. They are cute, make me look taller, comfy (the brown ones are like having a foot massage attached to your feet), they go with everything I wear (at least I like to think they do), and they make me feel cute and a little sexyish (which I think is always important to feel that way whether you actually do or not). Chloe thinks they are cool too but she likes to wear them on her hands because they make her fall over if she puts them on her feet. She likes to put them on my feet and take them back off over and over again. I just had to tell you about them!

Grown up Coco Puffs... *impish grin* They are good for me AND they are chocolate. Have you tried the Chocolate Cheerios??? They seriously taste like Coco Puffs! I got a giant box (too big for the cupboard) at Costco on Saturday and they are almost all gone already and it's only Wednesday... I've been eating them for just about every meal because they are wonderful shaped like an "O". I figure it's better than eating a bar of Chocolate for every other meal. (I did that for about a week after my last chocolate party, my butt didn't appreciate that very much.) 

I just had to tell you about my recent favorite obsessions/things because a lot of the time other people turn out to like them almost as much as I do. They do make fun of me for being my own commercial but at least I don't irritate you or them about it in the middle of your favorite show, right???

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Turtle Man Returns!

Yes, he came back! The dummy!

So, on Friday of the same week of the first encounter, Preston came home to have lunch. When he came in the house he informed me that the red Cadillac was loitering in front of the second gate. (In case you've never been here: The property we live on is a long rectangular shape. There are two gates on either side of the property both facing South. The house is very close to the main gate on the East side of the property. The second gate is on the far end away from the house on the West side. Nearer to the East main gate in front of my house is a little walk though gate leading to "the front door" that we only use to let the dogs in the front yard. All clear? Well, moving on.) The news that he was nearby at all made me nervous but I decided that I'd give him the benefit of the doubt and assume that Grant was on his way over to meet him. It was decided on Monday during his first encounter that if he ever steps foot on the property again, for whatever reason, that he would be escorted by Grant. I later found out that he still has some stuff here that he wants back.

After Preston finished his lunch and left half an hour later he called me and told me that Turtle Man Turd was STILL sitting there and also that he glared at him as he drove by. Of course the wussy would wait till all the men were gone to make his move! After that long of just sitting there I'm thinking he can't be up to any good so I called Grandad, who called Grant, and then he called me back and told me that Grant had told Turtle Man repeatedly that he couldn't come that day because he was on his way out of town for the weekend. Grandad himself was in Prescott at the time too. Lucky me, I'm all alone with Chloe. Fortunately she was taking a nap during all of this. While I was talking to Grandad he asked me to check if the guy was still out there. When I walked out front through my "front door" and looked there was a black SUV sitting next to him. Upon closer inspection it turned out to be a sheriff. Grandad felt better and we got off the phone. I immediately wished I hadn't hung up yet when Turtle Man got out of his car and stared running towards me!

I started edging towards the door and trying to shoo the dogs back into the house (they were ignoring me because they had noticed the crazy person running towards us as well and were in the midst of barking passionately at him in what I think they see as a valiant attempt at being guard dogs). I was prepared to leave them there and go in by myself if I needed to. During all of this I was wondering to myself "Why, why, why is the sheriff not stopping him???" I almost got all to the door when the sheriff's SUV started to pull away. Again I'm thinking "So that's it??? That's all you're gonna do for me???" and he flipped a U and managed to pull up to my little gate before "it" did and asked if I knew the "gentleman running behind" him.

I replied as quickly as I could before "it" got to my gate. "Yes, he was escorted off this property by the police the other night." Sudden understanding dawned on the old mans face.

I then tried to tell him about the original run-in. I kept stumbling over my words and getting flustered because I wanted to be as close to the truth as possible so that "the idiot" standing there would have no reason to correct me or call me a liar. I needn't have tried so hard because he had made up his own bullpoo story anyways to make him look like the martyr he so wished he was. I managed to get out the basics and told the sheriff that everyone had come to the agreement that he could come with Grant to get his stuff. ONLY Grant. His crap was in fact inside of Grant's pod with Grant's other belongings.

During my rendition I was repeatedly interrupted whenever my own truthful story veered off course with his bullpoo one. Though he never actually spoke to me and I was grateful for that. The sheriff would interrupt him back and say something like "Be quiet, the young lady is speaking, you already had your turn." "I told you to be quiet." "Shut UP!" They got progressively more and more violent. Also, I noticed Turtle Man was wearing a shiny silver and orange hat that said "I ♥ Jerusalem". The heart was dark pink and the silver brim was blinding in the sun. He looked stupid.

Having had my say (which was obvious that the sheriff believed me miles more over "it") "it" tried to repair the holes in his once shiny and slightly incomplete story which at this point I had heard nothing of. These are his words in my best "stupid person voice" that you can't hear but it's how I tell it in real life: "Well that Grant person makes me uncomfortable because he assaulted me and hit me in the head with a nightstick. I called the cops that night. He harassed me and wouldn't let me get my stuff and was trying to make me leave and so he hit me on the head with a nightstick and I called the police. And I called him today and he wont come." Riii-iiiiiiight...

The sheriff then told him that he had two options: 1- He could wait and come with Grant ("but I don't like Grant cause he hit me on the head with a nightstick" "I told you to shut up") or 2- he could get a court order to be allowed on the property for 30 min to an hour with a police escort ("how do I get that?" "shut up and I'm gonna tell you").

For obvious reasons, I didn't favor option 2. Several things were repeated to "it" and the story was getting it's gaps filled in for the sheriff. At this point, the sheriff got a call on the radio and was trying to sort it out. In the absence of his attention "it" made his first attempt to talk directly to me. I didn't like that very much. "I just need to grab a couple things, it'll take me 10 minutes and I will leave and you'll never see me again." On principle, at this point, I had to decline, as tempting as it was for me to never have to worry about seeing him again. "NO!!!" I shouted, while stomping my foot like an angry 6 year old not getting her way, "You can come with Grant! I don't like you! You make me uncomfortable!" I realized as I said it that it wasn't really the wisest thing to say to a crazy person. "I don't want you on the property without Grant! How many times do you have to be told NO?!?" I almost cried but managed to cling to my keeping it together facade.

I needed to talk to Grant and KNOW exactly what Grant had said to him and why. We had been having what was becoming a circular conversation for about 15-20 minutes by now, it was getting old and I wanted to confirm with the sheriff the absolute truth. So I called Grandad for Grant's phone number. When he asked why and what was going on my brain shut off and I started crying because it was the logical thing to do. Anyways, me being unable to talk the sheriff offered to explain so I gave him my phone and he started to tell Grandad what was going on. When he got to the part about Grant needing to come with him, "it" interrupted him again, "I'm not comfortable with that Grant person because he hit me on the head with a nightstick." I love this sheriff for his final response to being interrupted yet again. In a loud, intimidating, reminds-you-of-that-bada**-old-man-in-the-movies voice, he stuck a finger in Turtle Man's face and shouted "If you don't SHUT UP I'm gonna SLAP you in the FACE!!!"

I have to say, that made my day, month, and possibly year.

I was given back  my phone and told Grandad that I would call back in a bit for Grant's number cause I still wanted to talk to him and we hung up. The sheriff told "it" for the last time that there was nothing that could be done today and that he was to get in his car, drive away and not to come back without Grant or a court order. He did and I sighed with relief. Once "it" walked away for his car the sheriff got in his car, didn't say anything to me but instead gave me an out of place cheesy grin with a double thumbs up. Needless to say, I wasn't crying anymore.

I did talk to Grant and he told me that he had been trying to meet up with Turtle Man all week long and that Turtle Man was the one that had been mysteriously unavailable until the day Grant was going out of town. I had to ask him about the nightstick and he laughed but never actually denied it and said "The guy is delusional" repeatedly. I decided that if he had hit him that Turtle Man deserved it, and if he really hadn't... well, he deserved it anyways.

Sorry this is being posted so long after the actual incident but the whole thing made me angry and I didn't feel like spending the energy on being angry. I feel better now, so the story is less angry sounding and more funny.

About a week later I saw him drive away from the property with his stuff followed out by Grant. I guess he wasn't THAT uncomfortable with Grant after all.


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Turtle Man...

Have you ever met a crazy person??? No, not like a PMSing chick kinda crazy. I'm talkin like real crazy; like crazy crazy! I have! Last night! On my property! Ok let me esplain...

So like a month ago, the dumb dog started barking at like 1AM and I heard the gate at my driveway open and a car drive in and stop. So I got up and looked out my window and saw a guy going over to the gate to close it behind himself. Fishy right??? So I passed the time until I fell asleep again being irritated and plotting the downfall of the other people with whom I have to share my property.

The next morning around 10AM the guy left, and I called my Grandpa (who is my landlord) and told him how irked I was at the other tenants on the property who don't actaully live here. I said I thought they need to have hours when they shouldn't be allowed to come down here cause they wake me up and have little respect for us. I told him that there is no reason on earth for any of them to be here at 1AM. That got his attention and he said he wished I had called him and told him about it. I was like "Well, I'm not really accustomed to calling people at 1AM but if that's what you want..."

A couple nights later he came at midnight, so I called Grandad. He went out to the guy and talked to him and felt bad for him and decided he could stay. I didn't like it and told him so but he was trying to be kind and help the poor guy out. He told me he was odd but seemed harmless enough but if anything happened to let him know or call the cops if needed. Once again, he left the next morning at around 10. The same pattern continued since then. He would come quietly in the late evening and always close the gate behind himself and leave the next mid-morning. I didn't like it but there was nothing I could do but say I was uncomfortable and dream of the day we finally met face to face and hope that afterwards I could have a reason to make him go and stay away.

Tonight I got my wish! Yay!-ish... Today I had a nice girls day with my good friend Ciera. We ate sushi and watched the Princess and the Frog. After the movie we chatted and then she left. Or she tried to anyways... She called me from my driveway saying there was a guy asking for us to unlock the gate (there's a shiny new deadbolt on it as of two days ago) and demanding to be let in. I went out and he tried to give me the impression that he just needed to pick up some stuff and he was gonna leave. I let him know that I knew what he was doing here and that I wasn't thrilled with the situation. After the truth was out he kinda lost some steam but restarted his story.

Then he let me know he was crazier than his first impression made him seem. Turns out crazy people can pass as normal for a few minutes at a time. He began to tell me that he was a good christian man and that he didn't have a home and was going through "trials and tribulations" and that once he sold his [nasty crappy red] cadillac that the Lord would provide him with an RV and he would have a home. He started making Ciera nervous so she came over and asked for his name. His response: "My name is, uh, ........................Chris, some people call me Hovah [yeah, like Jehovah? Riiiiight!] or Turtle Man." Turtle Man? Wha? This is when we realized he was maybe not all there.

I'm thinking "whatever, I need to get out of this situation" and opened the gate and told him he could go get his stuff and reiterated that I preferred him to sleep elsewhere. He got defensive at this point as if I had told him flat out to get lost and the "conversation" escalated as he continued to tell us how he was a good Christian and that everyone was against him except for the angels and God and that someday he would be blessed for being so faithful. He said "The words of Jesus roll through me and out of my mouth." At this point, I'm a little more than freaked and I figure I have more than enough grounds to get Grandad to make him leave. So I told him "Go get your crap," and took Ciera back inside and called Grandad.

Grandad called the tenants on the property that had initially told him he could stay here and they came to talk to him and to try to get him to leave. Wanna hear the irony??? Turtle Man called the cops on all of us! That was just the proof to add to the pile of crazy I had just gotten. He's trespassing on our property and called the cops because we were "harassing" him!

When I saw the flashing lights out my kitchen window, my first thought was that there had been some kind of violence and someone got hurt and I was like "Oh, crap!" But once me and Ciera got outside it was difficult to refrain from the giggles. It was almost too obvious to the police who was the crazy and who belonged here. We told our side of the story and got the rest of the blanks for us filled. One of the cops walked up to us laughing really hard and told us the guy had a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle costume in his car and asked if we had ever seen him wearing it.  I guess that's how he got the name "Turtle Man".

All in all, it was a really fantastic day for me. I got new shoes (post on those lovelies coming soon), sushi  and a fun movie with Ciera, and the bum off my property! I'm pretty happy, and feeling safer than I have in a month!

Chloe getting bigger by the month...