Friday, March 26, 2010

Our new family member... a doggie! Fooled ya. ;)

We adopted her from the Animal Shelter yesterday. She is a Chihuahua-Dachshund Mix. When me and Kyler were driving in the car talking about names for her, Kyler called her a mexican sausage, and I immediately said "CHORIZO!!". We are both pretty amused with ourselves for coming up with that name.

She is one of the sweetest little dogs I've ever been around. She is so quiet, and never barks unless she sees another dog, or we leave. She loves to cuddle on the couch and play fetch with her tennis balls, and also to exhaust me on walks. She listens when we say no. Her tail wags pretty much as fast as possible when "daddy" comes home from work. She is basically my shadow now. If I walk into another room, I would bet you the million dollars that I don't have that she will be right behind me.

When she was taken to get spayed, it was extra painful for her because her spleen was enlarged and attached to her ovaries. They think this was because she was abused. She was also beat up and picked on by other dogs while she was recovering.

Here's where I start to advocate. If you are in the market to buy a new puppy or kitty, I highly recommend going to the local Animal Shelter or "pound". If you go to a pet store you could end up paying 400-1000 dollars for a dog that will be no better than the ones you can save from being killed, and you'll pay a lot less! Chorizo was only 85 dollars, and she was only that expensive because it included the cost of being spayed and the rabies vaccination.

I will admit when going to the shelter was suggested to me, I was very leery. I figured if a dog is at the pound, there's a reason for it. There is-people getting animals who shouldn't have, abusive people, or people not knowing how to deal with them. If you do some research you'll find that having a dog isn't just as simple as love on it and play with it every now and then. I was very surprised at all the things you have to consider. Here are some of the things I found that can help your "pound puppy" be just like a puppy you bought brand new from the store!

First, when you walk your dog, you are supposed to walk it, not the other way around. If the dog leads the way, they assume the "Alpha" position. Apparently this puts a lot of stress on dogs and they will also not feel the need to obey you. When you walk it, if the dog tries to take the lead, just gently bop it on the behind with your foot or poke it lightly in the neck and firmly say "no". Don't continue walking until it stops, calms down, and lets you lead the way. Walk it before you take it into your house, to get rid of all of it's built up energy. When you take it to the house, make sure you walk in first, and the dog walks in after you. Do this every time you go in and out...this estabishes you as the "alpha".

Second, dogs, especially small ones, need lots of exercise. Chorizo has shown me this! If they don't get the exercise they need, they will be hyper and have pent up energy, and will probably not behave the way you want them to.

I am definitely not a dog expert, but I was amazed at the things I read. I pretty much would have done the opposite of all of those things, just because I didn't know how dogs worked at all. We assume they are like humans, and they aren't.

So, if you want a cute new member to your family, go to your Animal Shelter! You can save a life and give a previously mistreated, abused animal a loving home.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Basic Training From the Wife's POV

*Advance warning. This blog is long. It will probably bore you, but I never wrote down anything about when Kyler was at basic, and I really, really felt like doing that tonight. If you trudge through, there are pictures at the end, and 3 are of attractive or muscly men in uniforms.*

When Kyler left for basic training, I had an extremely hard time. I'm sure the people who knew that thought I was being silly. He's not deployed, he's just gone for 2 months, he's in America and you know he's safe. But it was tough.

Ever since Kyler and I got together, we spent literally every day together. The only times we were apart were when he was flooded in at his house in Galena for 1 day. We lived 3 hours away from home together, in a huge town where it was really hard to meet people. We spent more time together than is probably humanly healthy, and lesser couples would have split as a result of being sick to death of each other. Not us...we loved that. He's my best friend. If he was gone for just 1 night at work, I missed him. We literally did everything together.

So, when I said goodbye to him and had to go back home knowing I wouldn't see him and would barely speak to him for 2 months, I didn't know what to do with myself. I lost 9 pounds in 1 week. I know that's extremely unhealthy, but I was very sad. When I am sad, I have no appetite. I didn't eat. I would have slim fasts every now and then to get some nutrients, and a few bites of whatever my grandma cooked for dinner to appease her. I just wasn't hungry. I layed around on my bed and watched TV. I hate crying in front of people and will honestly do whatever I can in order to not do that. I cried in front of more people than I'd like to mention. I knew 2 months was a short time, but I was thinking of how lonely and sad I was then, and that this was just the beginning. I didn't know when the next time I would talk to him would be. When it did happen, once a week if you were lucky, I could only hope for 5 minutes. Five minutes a week to talk to your husband. We had just got married and I was more alone then than I had ever been in my whole life. I talked to a woman on facebook who had just gone through it not too long before, and she told me she felt the same way but that it would get better in time. I didn't believe her. I felt like nothing could change the way I felt until I saw him again.

Another thing that made it so much harder was hearing from everyone I talked to, strangers even, that Kyler would not be the same man. This terrified me. I didn't want some stranger, I wanted the Kyler I love. I can't explain how many times people told me he would not be the same, and my heart sank every time.

After about 2 weeks, I realized the way I was handling things was not working out for me. Laying on the bed and moping and crying was making it seem like forever. Eventually, I got hungry again. I stopped crying. I was able to laugh and make jokes and be myself again. I had to learn how to be myself without Kyler around, and that was difficult after having him for 4 years. I realized that this had happened for a reason. I didn't and still don't understand why God chose this path for Kyler, or for me, but I realized He will not put you through anything you can't handle. I got off my bed and started looking on the bright side.

I learned to be independent. I learned to make happiness for myself and how to entertain myself without Kyler around. I read, I did craftsy things, I did things with my siblings, I baked, and I hung out with friends. I would have loved to hang out with them a lot more than I did, but they had lives of their own that they couldn't put on hold just because I was back around for a couple months. Getting out of my slump helped.

I focused on writing. I wrote Kyler letters literally every single day, at the end of the night. Usually about 5 pages, front and back. I have no idea where I found so much stuff to write about, but I wrote about everything and anything I could think of. For the first couple of weeks, I definitely edited and made myself be much more cheery than I felt. I wanted to support him, and not make an already tough time, tougher. I was lucky. He wrote me back, more than any other guy. He kept a notepad with him and whenever he had down time, he wrote me. I can't explain how excited I was to go to the mailbox and see envelopes with his writing on it.

As I counted down the weeks, I was happy to find that everyone who had scared me was absolutely wrong. I could tell in the letters that Kyler was exactly the same as before, if not even better. He appreciated me and we both realized how much we had taken each other for granted. As lonely as this life can be sometimes, I feel so much more loved now than I ever did before. I think if you have a good relationship, the military can make it amazing. Absence does make the heart grow fonder. Although, one thing did change a bit about Kyler. His vocabulary expanded to include some dirty words that he didn't used to say quite so frequently. ;)

I let myself have fun as time went on. I got some blonde highlights and took a sassy picture.

I went out with friends and did have fun, and those nights went by so much faster than when I sat inside and did nothing. I miss you guys a lot and I know that I at least have something to look forward to when Kyler eventually gets deployed, and that's seeing all of you guys again.

My BF Holly was a cat for Halloween and her tail got stuck in the car...completely not on purpose. I laughed till I cried. Thanks for your silliness :P

I went on a lot of walks with Shelby aka Shleby, who makes me laugh a lot by not even trying.

This was the last time I saw you girls for a while, and I miss you!!!

This novel coming to a close, if anyone reads this who is faced with a similar situation and similar feelings, know that it does get better-if you let it. If you lay on a bed and cry and don't get out and do anything, it will drag by like you can't believe. You'll be sad, you'll be lonely. There's good days and bad days, you just have to try to stay as positive as possible. You will learn to love your husband more than you ever though imaginable, and he will learn to appreciate all that you're going through to support him. You'll learn to be independent and stronger than you ever thought you could be. You will definitely want to slap someone in the face if their husband is gone for a week on business or for a trip and they act like they know how you feel, when it is just 1 week and he is comfortably sleeping in a hotel room, able to call or text whenever he pleases. People will say and ask ignorant things, such as do you miss him (obviously), or make a crass joke about him dying (regardless of his job, that is never, ever funny), or cheating. You will learn to not take their ignorance to heart. When you see people for the first time after hearing about your husband joining the military, you will be looked at as if you are already a widow. You will have to learn to not get angry about all of those things. You will learn to be lonely and you will learn to find ways to be okay with that. You will learn to sleep alone, eat alone, and never, ever, ever, forget to have your cell phone on you at all times.

You'll learn that there are positives!
1, you get free health care and cheap dental-hooray!

2, while the pay definitely isn't as much as they deserve, it is pay, and it is guaranteed. That's more than a lot of people can say right now.

3, your husband is forced to exercise every day. Enough said, no?

4, when your husband's away, you will lose weight. I'm pretty sure this is like 95% guaranteed.

5, you will cherish every minute together and never again sweat the small stuff.

6, he wears a uniform. Two uniforms actually, and they are both dead sexy.

7, the lingo is a lot to get used to, but once you learn it, you feel really cool saying things like "My hubby, the PFC, is going to get in his ACU's and go on Post to the PX, then go to Finance and make sure his BAH and BAS are right, hooah?" Okay...I lie. You will never say that. But if you can understand all of those, you know what I mean!

8, you get to watch Army Wives and know that it is completely not at all what your life will be like, except the times when they miss him. Also, please don't think any of the soldiers will look like Trevor. They don't. Except you Kyler!

9, you will have a great relationship because you will love your husband so much. You will be so proud of him and so happy with the time you do get to be near him, you will be amazed at how much love you possess.

10, and finally, you will get a picture like this in the mail after not seeing your husband for 2 months. You will have previously thought that time could not go by any slower than it already does, and then, after seeing this picture, it will. Your jaw will drop, your eyes will likely fill with tears, and then you may say "yowza".

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Operation fat loss, take two.

I fail. I remember posting a blog about a month and a half ago about how I was dieting, saying sayonara to the fat once again, but to be honest I'm pretty sure I didn't even make it a day this time.

I am a huge excuse maker when it comes to diet. Let's be real here, food is great. What's sad is, I actually really like a lot of healthy food. But I have a devil of a sweet tooth, and I like unhealthy food more. So I find any excuse I can to prolong a diet. "But Valentine's Day is 2 weeks from now, and I have to be able to have the chocolate you buy me and the dinner you take me out to, so I'll start after that". "But, we're having a party next weekend and I'm making red velvet cake from scratch and I'd really like a piece of that, so I will start after that". "But...I like food." I have made excuses long enough, I suppose. I want to live past 40 and I want my husband to live longer as well, which is a hard task set before me because he is a fan of pizza, fast food, and all things artificial.

So yes...I'm trying again. Yes, I expect a month from now to be sick of it and revert back to my old ways. I'm not kidding myself and saying "it's gonna happen this time!". But, I am trying.

Monday I started Slim Fast again. I have a "shake" for breakfast and lunch, 3 snacks a day, and dinner. This upcoming week I am making recipes I've found from healthy sections of websites, that I thought I could get Kyler to eat. I will share some if they turn out well. I am also doing "PT" the same time as Kyler. I am aiming for exercise at least 5 days a week. Every day he has to go in and do PT, so I either go with him and walk 4 miles on a track outside, or stay home and do an exercise video. Turbojam is my main video of choice. It is killer, but effective. I kind of want to smack the woman in the face when she says, "I bet you don't even notice you're exercising!" because let me tell you, I notice.

I will probably try to update for myself on here every week, to hold myself accountable and help keep me on track. I want to feel good and not sick to my stomach all the time. I want to be happy to wear anything. I want to have energy to be a better person and wife. If anyone else wants to give it a go just let me know and we can be accountable buddies!