Monday, July 28, 2008

Good Times

On Friday, I spent all day cleaning the house and packing to go visit my parents in Heber. When Preston got off work, he changed his clothes there and we got on the Beeline Highway. This was my first time driving on this specific highway and of course there were some really pretty but angry looking clouds way of in the distance. I told Preston we would switch in Payson because I didn’t want to drive in the rain on the rim. Neither of us thought it would rain before we got to Payson though and didn’t really think it would hit us on the way to Heber.

So of course when we were almost to Payson (like 5 miles to go) I start getting these large rain drops hitting the windshield. At first it was cool, they were like tiny bombs exploding and the thunder made for fun sound effects for them (yes we could hear it in the car!). Then they sped up. Then it started hailing… So with like 2 or 3 miles to go I can barely see 15 feet in front of me because of the sheets and buckets pouring down on us. There was lighting hitting right next to the road and the thunder got louder and louder.

Finally we made it into Payson and parked at the Sonic right there. We sat there for half an hour and ordered snacks while we waited for the rain to calm down. Charlie kept looking out the window and shaking off like he was wet from watching the rain hit the car. Of course the way the rain was falling on the car made it look like we were sitting in a car wash.

Please don't put me back in the car!

Once we made it up to Heber, needless to say, we were happy to be out of the car. The girls were happy to see us and Charlie was happy to be on his feet again.

Was that a squirrel? Can I have it?


At 5 am the next morning I woke up to the sound of a rooster crowing… And this wasn’t your typical sounds like we’re in a movie crowing. This one sounds like it’s crower has been run over by a car. I couldn’t go back to sleep. It was somewhat irritating and I hadn’t gotten the best sleep in the first place because our mattress decided it doesn’t want to keep the air inside of it anymore. So here we have a stiff, sleepy irritated pregnant woman… I told dad I wouldn’t wake up to that the next morning, so either he needed to kill the rooster or I would.

Guess what we had for dinner?!? The freshest chicken I’ve ever eaten!

Before... noisy...

After... quiet, mmmm...

Watching dad kill this thing was interesting. He didn’t want it to watch him kill it so he strung it up by its feet in an effort to render it unconscious. That didn’t work the way he thought it would, so 20 minutes later... I’ll spare anyone reading this the gory details but in the end it was a bit disturbing to watch or even hear. I didn’t watch in an effort to keep my latest snack in my stomach. But poor Kayla poked her head out the back door at the wrong moment. She went into tears when we offered her the tail feathers but cheered up about the whole thing when she smelled it cooking later. Oh it was good!

The long final walk... Muah ha ha!

Hanging out...

The next morning Dad and I started putting our chilies together for the 21st Annual Pitterle Family Chili Cook-off. Last year I entered with my very tasty chocolate chili and placed third (don’t say yuck until you’ve tried it!). It’s a favorite in the Foster home. I also made the mistake of telling Uncle Brian, who liked it the most, what was in it. This year he sent an e-mail to the family that said he was bringing his chocolate chili. I hadn’t been planning on bringing one at all because I was so satisfied with placing third with mine, but when I saw that e-mail I had to do something and I couldn’t bring the same thing again. So I adapted my favorite Jambalaya recipe into a chili and won FIRST PLACE!!!!

The prize for winning first place is always an apron. My dad won the one for the 11th annual chili cook-off so now we both have one! It was really exciting for me! Coming from a family of cooks (good cooks) I knew I had talent but I never thought I could win. The apron now has a place of honor in my home and Preston is so proud of me!

Crockpots of chili...

Tasting the Chili

Still tasting...

Narrowing down the favorites...

And the winner is.... me!

Dad's cheesecake flan, mmmmmmm!

Recovering from all that chili, ha ha!

To finish things off, when we got home that night Preston and I sat down to watch some Star Trek DS9 (I know, I know) and the baby started kicking really hard. Harder then ever! I grabbed Preston’s hand and put it on my belly... nothing. It was kicking but Preston couldn't feel it. He gave up. After a few more minutes it started kicking harder! I told him not to touch this time but to watch. He paused our show and we stared at my belly. Like an alien inside of me my tummy started wobbling around and bouncing. Finally, Preston got to experience the baby! He said it was cool but creepy. After seeing it he was able to put his hand on me and feel it as well. We figured out that he had been pushing too hard to feel the small little bumps, but it was so cool!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Peanut butter!

I love it when people put peanut butter on the roof of a dogs mouth. You discover how long their tongue really is and it's just plain funny to watch! We did it to Charlie yesterday, ha ha!

And this picture had such great timing!

I love my puppy!

Monday, July 14, 2008

The rain rain rain came down down down and flooded into the office!

For anyone who has ever really lived in Arizona rain is like crack for an addict who's been without a hit for a week! But in a good way! And we don't get to wait just a week for the next big storm, sometimes there's a year in between them! But inevitably we all turn into little kids and watch in awe like it's 4th of July when lightning strikes, play in it when it's daytime and raining at the same time, and none of us can get enough of that wet creosote smell!!! We walk around inhaling as deep as we can like a bunch of idiots! We don't even inhale that deep for the doctor when he asks for a deep breath, ha ha!

Only in Arizona is the weather not considered a lame topic of conversation. On the contrary! If you know about a storm heading in our general direction that the rest of us haven't heard about, you are considered knowledgeable and popular (till the storm misses us by several hundred miles, of course, then you are considered a liar or an idiot). In other words we live for those two words that say the meteorologist might actually be right this time "Monsoon Season"!

It's like Christmas! But instead of pine trees with presents under them we watch out the window as roof tiles fly past palm trees that are doubled over in the gale force winds! We also like make fun of our fellow Arizonans who while they are driving seem to forget that rain happens occasionally and yes the sky is falling! And to those same people, yes you should use more caution but please move faster than 5 miles per hour on the freeway and if that's too hard pull over! The rest of the people on the freeway? When water is on the road you do NOT have the same traction as you did for the last 18 months, so when you hydroplane and spin out try not to hit me OK?

My family is a prime example of those crazy Arizonans who love the rain maybe a little too much. Namely the Pitterle side. When we get together for a family party and there is any kind of evidence for the possibility of rain the whole party shifts onto the nearest porch with the best view of the sky. We will chant the names of family members who live in rainier parts of the country to tempt the clouds towards us and none of us are above a good old fashioned rain dance if we think it will help! We melt when we hear thunder and get giddy when it takes less than 5 seconds for the sound to follow the lightning. Needless to say, this Arizonan love of rain is in my blood to stay!

When Preston and I moved into our house we knew it was totally awesome entirely for the fact that there are NO neighbors to drive us crazy. I never realized that it was the best place to watch dust storms roll in from the north! The last time I had a view this good I was living with my dad before I got married. It was before the Riverview project got approved and we had an awesome view from our porch just off 8th street a few hundred yards east of Dobson towards Red Mountain and directly north. From there me and my dad would watch monster sized dust storms come in from the Northwest and wait till the last possible second before clamping our eyes and mouths shut before we started getting pelted with tiny little rocks flying at about 100 miles per hour. Occasionally I would wait a second too long and end up chewing grit and crying dust. After the dirt wall would pass we would watch the wall of water come and once that hit, we were in heaven! From that front porch swing we would just sit watch the rain fall till either the storm passed or bedtime came.

In my new place I happen to have the same sights out my back door. I can see Red Mountain,

sunrises over Four Peaks, and even Camelback mountain off in the distance.

Us being the only house in our "neighborhood" we discovered that you get the full force of the wind and rain no matter what direction it's coming from. We also end up with what we can only describe as a small version of the Great Lakes in our backyard.

Our latest slightly upsetting but also somewhat amusing discovery (that will also explain my choice of title) was that when it rains hard enough and the water level starts to rise we get a half circle of dirty water on the carpet surrounding the office door or aka the back door. Accompanying that water is a lovely, musty, stale water, smell to go with it as the office doesn't get great air circulation. Not that I'm complaining or anything!!! I wouldn't trade this house for anything! I just thought it was funny and that I would share the humor.

On a baby note and also speaking of humor, I found a comic that describes my essence as a pregnant lady to a T! It also made me laugh for a long time. Probably because it is so me! So of course I have to share it!

Oh yeah and we also found out that Charlie is a punk about getting his feet wet when we let him out to go potty. We had him litter box trained in our apartment and he did so great switching from that to going outside that we never considered the rain. He wont even step on damp dirt. He just stands on the sidewalk and gives me this look that says "I'll hold it, thanks".
This was our latest battle of wills...

And just so we all understand how weird this picture is, I have never seen or have been able to get him to lay down on anything harder than padded carpet. This look of defiance says "I would rather lay down on hard cement with little sharp rocks all over it and hold it than put one paw on that wet dirt." He didn't move till I did to let him back in the house! Pain in the butt!

Friday, July 11, 2008

We are having a (drumroll please)................. baby... Let me esplain. No, there is too much, let me sum up.

On the 8th we made yet another trip to see Dr. Tutt. Last time we were there he told us that we would do another ultrasound so see if it was a Parker or a Chloe. I was so excited that I was doing everything about an hour early, like picking up Preston from work, ha ha! I knew I was early so I brought the latest Stephanie Meyers book that I was halfway through (The Host, and I highly recommend it to anyone!) and ended up chatting with Preston's co-workers as it wasn't very busy in there anyways. The funny thing about me getting there 45 minutes early to pick him up is: 1) He gets off at 3:00 and 2) my appointment was at 4:10. Hey I was excited, what do you expect???

After what seemed like forever Preston finally clocked out and we left. We drove to the county library to drop off and pick up some stuff then headed for the doctors office and got there at like 3:30. All prepared to sit and read we got called in like 3 minutes later. We were actually out of the office before my appointment was actually scheduled, ha ha! But I'm getting ahead of myself!

We went in with a nurse, I got on the scale (I've only gained like 5 pounds, neener neener neener!) went in the room, took off my shoes, sat on the table with the butcher paper, and got cold goop squirted onto my belly (again, I guess I can't complain, there were no needles to speak of). We listened for the heartbeat but once again couldn't find it (turns out the placenta is on the front) wiped off the goop and prepared to wait for the doctor. Two minutes later Dr. Tutt comes in and squirts more goop on my belly, but this time... it was warm! Yay for heating pads!

And there was the baby. The baby had the hiccups. It was so cute! I always think the baby looks so squished whenever we see an ultrasound but it never fails to be one of the most peaceful looking places to be.

The doctor measured the baby's ribs and leg bones and head and confirmed that it weighed 1lb and that my due date is still November 12th. We found a cute little profile with a nose.

And a cute one with it's arm and hand over it's face like it forgot something, ha ha!

Then we tried to see WHAT it was, other than just a baby... Unfortunately the fetal position places feet in front of strategic areas... Little punk. The doctor said he thought it looked like a girl but it wasn't for sure cause of that foot.
So before anyone goes out to buy us some pink frilly stuff for Chloe, keep in mind you could still be buying that stuff for Parker. And while he wouldn't care or even really notice until he was at least a year old or more, he would mind when we show his baby pictures to the first girl he decides to bring home to meet the crazies. I mean the parents!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

4th of July in Heber, AZ

This weekend Preston and I drove up to Heber to spend the weekend with my family. There was a small chunk of my family hedge here. It's not a family tree because there is extended extended family and when we try to draw it out, instead of it going up and down into roots and branches it just keeps extending sideways. Hence the hedge. Altogether we had Grandma Jean and Grandpa Butch (Patty's dad and step mom) Benny, Samantha and Jamie (long story but they are part of my extended extended family) Miracle, Mikayla, and Anya my youngest sisters and my dad and Patty. It was a last minute decision. We weren't planning to come at all but Grandma called at like 10 AM and begged us to come on the the 4th, she even offered to pay for gas (which was our reason for not coming in the first place, gas is ridiculous these days!!!) So we came! I packed up the puppy and left after Preston got off work.

Dad made all sorts of yummy food. Pork chops and mashed potatoes the first night, the best french toast the next morning, brisket barbecue and beans, then salsa and chopped up watermelon for during fireworks that night. This morning is fast Sunday so I helped myself and the baby to some leftover tasty pancakes for breakfast but we did weasel him into making some ice cream for us before we left. The girls were jealous cause they are old enough to fast now. As always we had some fun times.

When we got there the girls and Preston thought it would be fun to introduce the cat (who is deathly afraid of dogs) to Charlie (who has never seen a cat before). When the cat saw the dog she hissed and her striped tail poofed up to the point where she looked like a raccoon. The girls were squealing and laughing so hard! Miracle felt bad for the cat so she closed herself in the bathroom where the litter box and food for the cat was and loved on her. About an hour later I went in to use the facilities, lol, and could only open the door part way because Miracle had fallen asleep on the floor with the cat. Laughing my head off, I ran to another bathroom cause by then I was about to pee my pants. I ran back to get a picture but Miracle had moved by then and instead I found this...

On the morning of the 5th we went to the annual Heber/Overguaard 4th of July parade. I never got around to taking any pictures of that but for the record Preston and I got our arms sunburned sitting out in the sun. The best part was when the fire truck drove by with a guy on top squirting the water high into the air and when it came down, it came down in droves! I had an umbrella for the sun but still managed to get wet, ha ha! It was also the best part cause it was like the second to last thing before the end of the parade. Which meant we got to get out of the heat and I wanted a nap!

Charlie made friends with Buddy (Grandma and Grandpa dog)

After that everyone but Preston and I left (Grandma and Grandpa back to California, Benny, Samantha and Jamie back to the valley). Around seven that night we piled into the van supplied with dad's homemade salsa, watermelon, water bottles, blankets, chairs, and dad's ginormous wagon (which can seat three like a bench when you put down a side flap). Dad had scouted out a nice hillside with a perfect view in the direction of the fireworks earlier so we made our way there.
Once there we set up to wait and then waited... for 2 hours... and 2 hours with those girls when they are cold or uncomfortable or just don't get their way can feel like 5.

Grumpy Kayla

Waiting for fireworks, Anya was a little grumpy too, lol!

Preston looks like the girls here ha ha! Sleepy or grumpy? What do you think?

When they finally started it had gotten so dark that my eyes were not prepared for the bright flashes. It was kinda comical and painful. The first flash made me tear up and for about first 5 minutes I had one hand in front of my face to dim the light hand the other was wiping the tears off with my shirt, lol! Though, it was worth it. The fireworks there are the best! It's so dark and the town turns off the street lamps so all you can see is the sky filled with the biggest explosions ever! I got a few pictures of them too!

This morning was nice and lazy though. I was tempted to go back to bed after I got up but our mattress was deflated just enough to make it really uncomfortable. Oh well... I hope everyone had a safe weekend!

Happy Independence Day!

Chloe getting bigger by the month...