Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Weigh-In 29

Weighed in at 234.5 which is a loss of half-a-pound and puts me with officially less than 100 pounds left to loose.

Woot Woot!



Food:
8 glasses of water
1 cup of coffee w/creamer
1/2 serving sunflower seeds
1 serving leftover chicken tetrazinni
2 slices sourdough bread w/garlic powder
1 serving chicken and pasta
------------------------------------
Daily Caloric Intake: 1,025



Activity:
4 flights of stairs
Walking: Took just Vladdy on a walk because his walking skills were starting to get HORRIBLE due to lack of practice/training and Piper is just a distraction/frustration for both of us at this stage in his life.  IT WAS AWESOME, disgusting, frustrating, and an adventure all rolled into one.  More about "the walk" in tomorrow's post.  (3.4 + miles)

Monday, May 30, 2011

Rememberance

Today is memorial day and although it has become somewhat synonymous with grilling, playing, and having fun it is important that we remember the nature and purpose of this 'holiday'.  I am glad that I have today off of work and I am hoping to do something fun today, I'll be honest, but there is a long history of military service in my family and memorial day always reminds me of the stress, fear, and worry that my family experienced each time one of our loved ones has gone to war.

My oldest brother served in the army during desert shield and desert storm.  My other brother was serving in the navy when President Baby Bush declared war on terrorism.  My mother's father served in the marines during the Viet Nam war and my father's father served in the military but I'm not really sure which branch or whether or not it was during war time.  We have been very lucky that all of our loved ones who have gone to war have returned home without major injury but so many families are not so lucky and my heart really goes out to them, especially today.

May those who risk their lives in service of freedom and justice, and the families who support and love them, be blessed and respected by those they've sworn to protect.  May we all take at least a few moments today to remember those that weren't so fortunate and to silently thank them for their sacrifice.



Food:
6 glasses of water
1 cup of coffee w/creamer
1 egg scrambled w/blue cheese crumbles
1 crescent roll
1 glass of reisling
1 foot long chicken sub
>>the usual but w/o mustard (forgot it)
---------------------------------------
Daily Caloric Intake: 1,069



Activity:
4 flights of stairs
Swimming: Took Vladdy to the lake, left Piper home because she hates water.  Vladdy enjoyed it a lot but only liked the water in small doses.  He enjoyed eating ice a lot more and he was such a GOOD boy today!!!  We had a really awesome time.

Things that weigh 50 lbs

This is another mid-day post which I need to begin by saying this:  I forgot this morning that today was Monday so I got up and made/ate breakfast without weighing in.  Since I don't want to discourage or mislead myself by weighing with food in me when all this time I've been weighing hungry in the morning, I'm going to weigh-in tomorrow.

But on that note, Snackers and I were weighing our pets today just for kicks and here's what we realized.
  • Vladdy = 30 lbs
  • Piper = 10.5 lbs
  • Casper = 12 lbs
  • Total = 52.5 lbs
  •  I've lost as much weight as Vladdy, Piper, and Casper weigh combined!!!!
That lead me to start thinking about other things that weigh 50 lbs which, in turn, inspired this post:
50 lbs of dumb-bell
50 lbs of pig
50 lbs of dog
50 lbs of rice
50 lbs of fish
50 lbs of cat



50 lbs of fat






And Finally....
50 lbs of ME!
For that last image I took my starting pic and recolored it in green and blue so that when I layered my latest pic over the top it would show contrast; then put the whole thing into a quick and dirty animation.  Sorry it's kind of crude but I didn't really want to spend a lot of time on it. 

Sunday, May 29, 2011

An Indecisive Day

We had a lot of fun at the dog park last night but the day is kind of cold and windy so our plans to hit the lake are squashed pending a weather change and now we're not sure what to do with our weekend.  The house is still clean from our scrub session *singing* and we don't have a yard to BBQ in or do home improvement projects ... yet, but one thing is for sure, there is a very bored Dobie jonesing for a good time.

We are so looking forward to having a house with a yard where we can watch him run and play and we'll be able to personalize it and have a garden (provided either of us can actually keep it alive).  *sigh*  Is it August yet?

I'm bummed about the weather.  I really wanted to take Vladdy to the lake today but it seems like every single time we make plans to go to the lake we wake up on Sunday morning to crappy weather.  WTH is that about?  We both have tomorrow off so hopefully it will be nicer outside and we can do the lake thing tomorrow.  But what to do today ... what to do, what to do.   This blows.



Food:
8 glasses of water
1 cup of coffee w/creamer
1 bagel sandwich
>>corned beef
>>1 egg
>>pico
>>no butter/cream cheese
chicken adobo
1/2 cup white rice (dry)
1/4 cup macaroni salad (gross!)
-------------------------------------
Daily Caloric Intake: 875




Activity:
  • 5 flights of stairs
  • Playing: Took Vladdy and Piper to the dog park again this morning.  We went to the same one that we went to last night so I ran the agility course with both Piper and Vladdy again, then walked all over the park picking up piled of doo (from my dogs as well as other's dogs), and then played 'keep-away' with Vladdy.  Then we went to a different dog park and walked around but the wind got really bad so we left.
  • Shopping: We're getting super excited about the house and we can't really buy anything for it right now but we like to walk and dream and plan so we hit three furniture stores to look at bedroom sets, then we went to Lowe's and looked at lighting fixtures, carpets, barbecue grills, appliances, and paint samples.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Getting an Early Start

Snackers, Vladdy, & Piper @ the Park (he's not as mad as he looks, the sun was in his eyes)
Woke up this morning to Vladdy barking and howling to go outside.  As annoyed as I want to be that he woke me up I can't help but be proud of him for letting me know he needed to go out and considering how much he tinkled I think it's safe to say he waited as loooooong as he possibly could. lol  But I waited to feed him breakfast because it's ok to bark if he needs to go out but I won't have him waking us up when he thinks he's ready to eat.  He complained a little bit but then got quiet so I waited 20 minutes and then fed him, Piper, and the cats.  After that I gave Vladdy his medicine (the vet has him on an antibiotic for a little bit of an upper respiratory infection) and some water, then cooked up a couple of eggs for him and Piper.

Me, Vladdy, & Piper on the A-Frame
The egg is good for Piper because she has dry skin and allergies so it helps keep her skin moist and her coat shiny.  It's good for Vladdy because he is a very rapidly growing pup so the extra protein and calories will help him build muscle faster (it's like a protein shake for body builders) and it will also keep his coat soft and shiny too.

I decided that since I was in the kitchen anyway I might as well make some breakfast for Snackers and I so I cooked up half of an egg sandwich with balsamic and cheese (no mayo) and then I did the dishes from breakfast and from dinner last night. 

Vladdy & Piper on the see-saw w/Snackers and I
Now I'm sipping coffee with skim milk (bleh, I need to buy creamer today) and hanging out with Snackers before he leaves for work and it's only 8:15 a.m.  Damn I feel accomplished!  Snackers and I got all of the cleaning done yesterday other than the remainder of the laundry so after he leaves for work and I get done with my school work I think I might try some decorating ideas on photos of my soon-to-be-new-house and then after work Snackers and I have errands to run.  Yay!

P.s. I'm thinkin' I look pretty damn good in that see-saw pic huh?!  Wooot!



Food:
8 glasses of water
1 cup of coffee w/skim
1/2 egg sandwich
1 serving leftover turkey tetrazinni
1 turkey burger (from cook this not that)
---------------------------------
Daily Caloric Intake: 1,133



Activity:
  • 7 flights of stairs
  • Playing: Took Vladdy outside with a new rope toy we picked up at the dollar store and we ran around and played fetch for about 30-45 minutes.  Ok ... actually, I was trying to play fetch with him but really he was playing keep-away from me.
  • Playing: Took Vladdy and Piper to another new dog park tonight, that's three different parks in three nights.  This one had an agility course so we went through it first with Piper, who took to it instantly like she'd been doing it her whole life.  Then we slowly and patiently taught Vladdy how to do it and he didn't do too bad aside from the fact that he can't really do the jumps yet.  Then we ran around with them a little and played chase.

Friday, May 27, 2011

The Dog Park

I am kicking myself this morning for not taking pictures last night at the dog park.  It was Vladdy's first time ever because he got his last round of shots after work and was cleared by the vet to go.  When we first arrived there was almost no one there and he surprised us by paying more attention to Piper than to the Aussie Shepherd that wanted to play chase with him.  Then a Visla showed up and Vladdy got really clingy because she had such a high energy personality.  But then when the German Shepherd and Golden Retriever arrived he found friends in them and he chased them while they chased tennis balls.

We were also thrilled by a visit from an 8 month old Doberman, black and tan, that was absolutely STUNNING!!  He was HUGE and we're thinking 'Vladdy's only four months away from being full grown?'  It's kind of sad really but, at the same time, we're really excited to see what he'll be like when he grows into his paws and isn't as awkward and clumsy.  He took to the Dobe like it was a big brother and let it chase him and he would roll over on his back and show submission to it and everything.

Then Piper surprised us by rising to the occasion and actually playing with them too!  Now usually at the dog park Piper is one of those dogs that just wants to sniff the ground and ignore everyone.  It's always been kind of disappointing to us because we've wanted her to play and have fun but until last night she never would.  But last night she turned into a gazelle bouncing all over the park while the other dogs chased her and then she would jump on the table when she needed to take a little break and catch her breath.  Wow ... it was really super fun to watch her run like that, everyone there got a kick out of the way she runs because she has this very springy deer-like run that fits her size so perfectly.  It was a LOT of fun!

p.s. Ran out of coffee creamer this morning but wanted to still have coffee so I poured it over a bowl of granola with mixed berries and a splash of skim.  Surprisingly it's pretty good.  It's like a flavored coffee from starbucks and a granola bar all in one!




Food:
8 glasses of water
1 cup of coffee w/o cream
1 cup of granola w/skim and mixed berries
1 hot dog w/sauerkraut and mustard
1 serving chicken tetrazinni (homemade)
1 100 calorie snack pack
----------------------------------
Daily Caloric Intake: 957



Activity:
5 flights of stairs
Cleaning: bagged up trash, clean out the fireplace, picked up clutter, sorted and started laundry, dusted the living room, vacuumed the whole house, cleaned 1 of the bathrooms, washed windows, and cooked supper.
Playing: Took Vladdy and Piper to the dog park again tonight.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Accepted Offer

So Snackers and I went and looked at the "awesome" house I mentioned yesterday and it wasn't so awesome.  The tile was awesome but once inside we realized that the tile was about the only benefit it had.  The kitchen was smaller than the one we have now, the master bedroom was the only room with carpet and it had a square of urine stains where a dog appears to have lifted his leg all the way around the outside of a bed, and the stairs were very narrow and steep which, with tile, made them rather slippery.  The other three houses that we looked at were the same thing ... just not as good in person as they looked in the pictures.

Ironically, even as we were thinking that our original choice that we made an offer on was still the best house we had seen yet, we received a reply from the seller that they had accepted our offer with one exception: they don't want to pay for the one year warranty.  That bugged us but our Realtor said "I'll buy the warranty, don't let that be the reason that a deal doesn't go through if that's still the only house you've really truly loved" and I think she has a point.  We can't look the benefits of that house in the mouth over a $300 warranty ... just the fact that it is one of the only homes we've looked at that includes all appliances (good ones, I might add) counter balances the warranty because if we had to buy all new appliances it would cost us a lot more than $300.

After bidding our Realtor adieu we went and drove back through the community where the house is located to mull it over and all the reasons that we first fell in love with the house and the area just came flooding back to us.  It feels like a place where we could make a home in a community with like-minded dog loving people like ourselves.  It's a cute little house, small enough to keep us close and keep energy costs down but big enough to give us room for all four of our four-legged kids.  It has a very unique floor plan and a very comfortable, quaint feel to it.  Some of the other places we looked seemed ostentatious (including the "awesome" house from last night) and that's just not really our style so we called the Realtor last night and told her to make it happen.

Today we got news from the Realtor that she told the listing agent that we were on the fence and the listing agent said she would "make it happen" meaning she would talk the sellers into paying for the warranty so our offer is accepted, in full and WE GOT THE HOUSE!!!  Of course now it's all in the hands of our Lender.  I sent him all the paperwork that he requested from me today and my new boss called him to verify employment and offered to sign a certified referral letter if needed due to the ownership change.  My brother once told me that sometimes change, as scary as it may seem at the time, can be the greatest thing ever and I have to say that from my current perspective he was right.  As terrified as I was over work a few months ago, this change has brought gallons of support and piece of mind at work that I haven't had in a long time.  It feels really good!




Food:
8 glasses of water
1 cup of coffee w/creamer
1/4 serving sunflower seeds
1 Healthy Choice lunch
2 chicken soft tacos
-----------------------------------
Daily Caloric Intake: 899



Activity:
6 flights of stairs
Playing: We took Vladdy and Piper to the dog bark finally (Vladdy had his last set of booster shots and was cleared by the vet tonight) and Shawn and I ran around with him and showed him how to play with the other dogs.  He's soooo pooped right now!  I'm not pooped but I feel better about finally getting truly active.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Playing Hardball

Well the response came back on the offer we put in on a house.  We offered the asking price IF the seller would replace a broken window, carpet in one room that had cigarette burns in it, and a door to another room that had a hole in it.  The sellers came back and said that they would fix the window but we would have to raise the offer for them to fix the carpet and the door because, otherwise, they wouldn't be making any money on the sell.

Here's the really sad thing about that:
  • The seller told us that she bought the house in October of last year for $92,000 and is now asking $98,000.  You can't buy and sell a house in six months in this economy and actually expect to make any money off it.  This isn't exactly a "flippers" market.
  • The seller had already started to move her stuff out of the house and her dogs weren't there when we went to look at it the second time so we're pretty sure she's already got another house and, if she's not already, will likely soon be paying on two mortgages.
  • The seller admitted that the burns in the carpet happened when her daughter was smoking in the house and fell asleep at the computer and that the window was broken by her daughter as well.  You can't purchase something, damage it, and then expect to make money off of it.  Absolutely nothing works like that.
  • And finally, Snackers and I went house hunting again last night and we found a house with over 150 more sq feet that is in the part of town that we originally wanted to live in in the first place that is only $2,000 more than the house we put an offer on.  It just came on the market in the last week, it has black and white checkerboard tile all throughout the downstairs and is just a whole lot nicer.  The drawbacks are that it is in an HOA and the dues are $90/mo instead of the $20/mo that they were at the other place and although the front yard is huge and highly appealing, the back yard isn't quite as nice.  We only saw it from the outside because we like to go do a cursory look before having our realtor show us a house because Snackers has eliminated quite a few houses just by looking at them without even getting out of the car (and for good reason).  But I think we're going to see if we can go look at it tonight.  Based on the location of the home and the curb appeal that it has, not to mention the killer tile work, I think my resale value will increase a whole lot faster and higher than at the other house but I now have a whole new HOA to investigate which is not my favorite thing in the world to do.
At any rate, I think this seller is playing games still and I think she could quite possibly "play" herself right out of a buyer.  I'm really not the game playing type and I guess she's not getting that in spite of the fact that I've already called her bluff on the multiple offer situation she tried to throw at me last week.  It's a buyers market right now to be sure and I think she should just be grateful that she's found a seller before she's in the position that many people find themselves in, with no other choice than to walk away and let the bank take the home ... especially because we didn't try to low-ball her.  We straight up offered her asking price contingent that she sells the home in the same condition that it was in before she bought it.  She certainly hasn't made any improvements to it, after all.  *sigh*  This feels like playing poker and I hate playing poker.



Food:
8 glasses of water
1 cup of coffee w/creamer
1 Fiber One bar
1 leftover homemade turkey reuben
2 chicken fajita tacos (dry)
1 dinner salad (no dressing)
------------------------------------
Daily Caloric Intake: 1,067



Activity:
6 flights of stairs
House shopping: we went and looked at four more houses after work starting with the "amazing" house mentioned above.  It wasn't all that after all.  After being completely disappointed by all four houses we drove back through the neighborhood of the house we put the offer on, grabbed some tacos, came home and crashed for a nap.  *cue the choir of angels*  Vladdy woke me up to go out and I'm still tired but at least I got 3 more hours than I would have had otherwise.

Crippled Hands

So, like an idiot, I somehow managed to mess up both of my hands pretty bad on the same day in two different mistakes/accidents.  First, I decided after supper that it was time to trim the dogs' claws so I got out the dremel and Snackers held first Piper and then Vladdy while I did a quick trim.  Vladdy's were a lot easier to manage because they stay pretty trim just from going on walks but Piper's nails have really long quick beds in them so hers have always been tough to do.  The problem with Vladdy, however, is he's not used to it yet like Piper is and he's a big boy so Snackers had a harder time holding him for me.  At one point Vladdy had his hand over my mouth, not biting down, and I was just about to flick him on the nose for it and Snackers, who couldn't see because of how he was holding Vladdy, draped his leg over him to pin him down and ended up forcing his mouth closed on my hand.  No skin was broken but I felt a crunch in the bones on the back of my hand and I'm pretty sure something is either cracked or chipped because I can't make a full fist and it hurts like hell.

So then, last night, I was taking Vladdy out and I wrapped his choke chain around my hands instead of his collar, like a moron, and when he lunged after Piper it cinched up on my hand in a very bad way.  So the back of my left hand is now all purple and swollen around the thumb.  It's going to be an interesting day.

On the upside I couldn't sleep last night because I was in a really crappy mood and just couldn't turn my brain off so, after posting, I did end up going for a walk after all.  I can't even guess at how far (probably not very) because I just stormed around the neighborhood in random directions.  Some people drive angry, apparently I walk angry because I was moving my ass and when I got home I was breathing very hard.  Yay, not a completely fruitless day after all but I didn't take Vladdy because I didn't want to deal with his crap so I can't count it toward my weekly goal.  Oh well.



Food:
8 glasses of water
2 cups of coffee w/creamer
1 leftover turkey sloppy joe
1 homemade turkey reuben
--------------------------------
Daily Caloric Intake: 852



Activity:
4 flights of stairs
I'm going to straight up say nothing and not even feel bad about it.  My hands hurt so bad I can barely lift a glass of water to my lips and I'm typing with my index fingers only in a hen-peck fashion.  No way I could hold a leash right now and the ibuprofin isn't doing squat to help.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Weigh-In 28: SSDD

Loss: Yet one more lb.  I'm only .5 lb loss away from having less than 100 lbs to go!!!

Despite my late night jog just before bed I slept like crap again last night.  Snackers got up at 5 am this morning and his presence in the living room set Vladdy to barking and Kody to meowing so, to make matters worse, I was woken up at 5 am also and, despite 45 minutes of best effort, was unable to go back to sleep.

I'm really tired and would prefer to just go back to bed this morning as apposed to working and doing school work but I gotta do what I gotta do.  I have next Monday off for the holiday and all I can say is thank the stars for that because I need it!  It seems like I've worked every Saturday since the new boss took over and Sunday's consist of either spending the entire day running errands and cleaning the house or granting myself a day of rest and feeling guilty because errands need to be run and the house needs to be cleaned.  I really freakin' miss having a maid BAD!  As soon as I get into a house and have a month or two to acclimate to the new bills I am definitely going to find a way to put her back into the budget if I can because she was worth her weight in gold.

Snackers is working split-shifts again this week (night jobs) too so that is only going to make things worse and mean that I will have to step-up even more and carry the extra burden in the house.  I understand and appreciate his night work but if I don't find a way to start getting more sleep and a better quality sleep I am seriously going to crack up.  On the up-side I have been having a lot of positive mental moments when it comes to my weight and how much I've lost.  I find myself looking in the mirror and just being stunned by the difference that I can see or putting on clothes fresh out of the wash and relishing in the fact that they fit loosely.  Last night I was sitting in my recliner and realized that my hips no longer touch the insides of either arm on the chair and this morning I climbed up onto my smoking chair/bar stool and felt like it was a lot easier and less awkward than climbing on a bar stool usually is for me.  My mind is in a positive place ... I just wish my sleep habits could be too.



Food:
7 glasses of water
1 cup of coffee w/creamer
1/4 serving sunflower seeds
1 Healthy Choice lunch
1 slice sourdough
1 turkey sloppy joe (home made)
1 100 calorie snack pack
-----------------------------------
Daily Caloric Intake: 879



Activity:
Today was not a good day.  I did nothing and I don't even want to talk about why.

What A Walk!

So last night we found a house on the MLS website that was a definite plan B if things don't go our way tomorrow and it was just down the street so we decided to take the dogs for a walk to check it out.  We really didn't think it would be that far to walk but we had bought these sport bottles with straps on them because Vladdy always gets so thirsty when I walk him so I wanted to have some water with us and we took one of those.

Holy crap was that a walk!  It turned out to be over four miles and we were fighting Vladdy's bad behavior right out of the gate but about half-way to the house he was exhausted and, therefore, behaving.  When we finally got there we watered him, checked out the house and then started home.  The way there was entirely up-hill, though a very gradual slope we could feel it after the first few blocks.  On the way home, though, we could tell that both dogs were really dragging so we picked them up and carried them for awhile, then traded because Vladdy is getting so big and heavy.  His last round of shots are scheduled for next Friday and I am really eager to see what he weighs.  I weighed him on my scale by weighing myself while holding him and then weighing myself without him and he was 23 lbs but he seems so much heavier!  I think that's because he's so solid.  Bonus, I was at 235 so that was a lb down before the walk despite my stress-eating earlier this week.  Cross your fingers for me because I don't want to be back on the stall-out bandwagon.

I am reconsidering my next goal to ride a horse because it is going to cost money and right now Snackers and I are trying to scrimp and save every penny we can because we want as much in savings as possible when we go to the closing table on a house.  I know I swore that I wouldn't do anything out of order but I don't want to put off reaching my 75 lb goal just because I can't afford to ride a horse right now so I may have to take that one out of order.  I dunno, we'll see but I definitely realized on the walk last night that I need to get my ass back in gear and stop doing a half-assed job of this weight-loss effort.  I've been in "light" mode for months now and it's getting harder and harder to keep my motivation as a result.  The more I pick foods that I know I shouldn't be eating the more I want to eat them and the more I sit around at night stressing instead of exercising the more I want to sit around at night stressing instead of exercising ... not to mention I've started having trouble sleeping, again, which I know is partly due to the fact that I'm not exercising as much ... and partly due to Kody just being a pain in the ass.

Vladdy is getting better though.  Slowly but surely we're starting to see him calm down be less argumentative when he doesn't get his way.  We're both really excited to be able to take him to the dog park, finally, after his last round of shots and let him just tear it up with other dogs.  We both want to go do something, probably with the dogs, today but we don't really know what and after the walk last night I'm not sure how much energy Snackers has left.  He HATED the walk last night but something tells me he'll want to go again.



Food:
6 glasses of water
2 cups of coffee w/creamer
1 bowl of granola w/skim milk and mixed berries
2 jalapeno poppers
1 serving popcorn chicken
1 chicago style hot dog (home made)
>>all beef
----------------------------------
Daily Caloric Intake: 991



Activity:
3 flights of stairs (Snackers took over dog duty today so I could rest and take a nap)
1.5 hours grocery shopping
Jogging: About 15-20 minutes solid jogging.  (I waited too long to take Vladdy for a nice long walk like I wanted to so I figured I could burn as many calories, or close to it, by taking him for a quick 11 p.m. jog.  We ran without stopping all the way around the block and I was HEAVING for air when it was over but it felt good.)

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Shocking Transformation

So, I haven't really talked about this much but Piper has not been a fan of Vladdy since ... well, day one.  He has wanted to play with her all along but every time he gets near her she runs for her bed or my lap or the couch where he can't get to her and then she'll hunker down and growl or even snap at him.  She stopped wanting to go outside if he was going too which, of course, he always was.  It's been troubling to me because I've had Piper for such a long time and the last thing that I wanted to do was make her uncomfortable and insecure in what has been her home for so long.

Then last week I started recording Dog Whisperer reruns on TiVo because I realized I needed some help.  To my luck the third episode that I captured addressed the precise issue I was having.  Older dog is a good dog, younger dog comes in and he's neurotic and strong and overpowering.  The owner isn't doing what needs to be done to control and direct the puppy so the older dog goes through a series of emotions.  First she feels afraid and insecure because she can sense that the puppy is in an unhealthy, neurotic frame of mind.  Then she decides that if the owner isn't going to deal with the situation she has no choice but to take matter into her own jaws and she starts snapping at and attacking the puppy but then the owner stops her and basically undermines everything she tries to do so the last step is complete and total avoidance of the puppy.

In just two weeks Piper has gone through every single one of those steps.  My bad!  So we started taking more control of Vladdy, keeping him on a leash even in the house so that we can correct him when he tries to jump on her or chase the cats.  Correcting him faster and with a stronger energy when he starts to bark or whine when he's not getting the attention that he wants, and making him sit and wait for things like food, to come out of his kennel, and to go outside or come inside.  Well there has already been a significant change in Piper in relationship to us, she's less clingy and more confident, but she still hadn't really changed her attitude toward Vladdy.

So last night I had Vladdy on a leash and he was DYING to chase Kody.  No matter how many times I corrected him or told him no he would be lunging at the end of the leash seconds later.  Kody wasn't helping because he kept darting in and out of Vladdy's bubble egging him on but I'd like for Vladdy to learn to just ignore Kody no matter what he's doing like Piper does.  So I finally laid Vladdy down on his side, which Cesar Milan does from time to time as a show of dominance and assertion and to get a dog to relax.  Well ALL HELL BROKE LOOSE!  He started scrabbling and fighting and scratching and even tried biting me.  Wow ... no wonder Piper wasn't comfortable with him.  I had no idea he was THAT bad!  So I held him down, draped an arm over him and just wrestled it out with him for over 45 minutes of howling and fighting.  Every time he would stop and I would think it was over he would start right back up again so I just stayed with it and then it was like an almost audible "click" as his brain turned over.  He just ... relaxed.  His body, his mind, everything.  He just gave up and accepted it.  I could feel it but I wasn't ready to trust it because I wasn't sure how long it was going to last but Piper, apparently, knew something that I didn't know.

Out of the blue after an hour of completely ignoring the drama between Vladdy and I she suddenly jumped out of her bed, ran over, and started inviting Vladdy to play.  SHOCK!!!  GASP!!!  Well I hadn't officially released Vladdy yet so I told Piper to get back and sit and wait, which she did well because she's already a great dog.  When I had her calmly waiting at a comfortable distance I let Vladdy up, took the leash off and the two of them tumbled and wrestled and played for 20-30 minutes and then they both spent the night together in Vladdy's kennel and Vladdy was completely silent all night long and even after Snackers woke up this morning.  This morning started off with more play and then Piper went in Vladdy's kennel and laid down so I put Vladdy in there with her and they're laying silently together.  No barking or whining from Vladdy to be let out ... wow.  Life changer!




Food:
8 glasses of water
1 cup of coffee w/creamer
1 fish sandwich w/cheese
>>tartar sauce
>>tomato, onion, pickles
1 serving fries
-------------------------------
Daily Caloric Intake: 832



Activity:
6 flights of stairs
Walking: (w/Vladdy, Piper, and Snackers) 4.4 miles! WAHOO!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Sleepless Nights

So last night did not go well.  I was able to forget about the stress of putting an offer on a home for a few hours while we were shopping, particularly at PetCo because I allowed myself to become distracted by weighing the benefits of buying a better quality dog food over the price tags that are on them.  But once I got home and climbed in bed the mind games that I've been playing with myself started right back up again.  Eventually I started to silently imagine the best game plan for moving all of our stuff like what I should box first, the most efficient order to deep clean the new house before moving stuff in, moving stuff in the right order to minimize U-Haul rental time, and the most efficient order to deep clean this apartment in so that I can hopefully get my deposit back.

Needless to say I didn't get much sleep.



Food:
5 glasses of water
1 cup of coffee w/creamer
1 Fiber One bar
2 turkey links
>>no bun w/mustard, saurkraut
1 turkey & ham sandwich
1 order baked fries
--------------------------------------
Daily Caloric Intake: 1,267

Snackers offered me an ice cream cone tonight and I said "No thank you"!!!!!!!!!!




Activity:
4 flights of stairs
Training: 30 minutes working on "Sit", "Down", and "Roll Over"
Training: Working on calm-submissive (aka don't chase the cats, don't pester Piper, don't chew on the couch, don't bite feet, yadda yadda yadda) which led to an hour long wrestling match between Vladdy and I to determine which one of us is the pack leader and which one is the subordinate puppy.  I won but I am EXHAUSTED and COVERED in welts and scratch marks from his claws.  He is extremely headstrong and stubborn!  The result was a very interesting reaction from Piper which I'll tell you all about tomorrow.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Made An Offer

We went and looked at "the house" again last night and even though we went into the home with the intentions of being very objective and critical (which we were, I think) we still ended up finding even more things that we liked about the house than we had noticed the first time.  However, there was a cracked window and burns in the carpet in the master bedroom and there was a hole in the door to the office but with an FHA loan that stuff is going to have to be replaced before we can buy it anyway.  After an hour-and-a-half long conversation with my lender yesterday followed by another conversation with my Realtor, both of whom are people that I feel really good about and comfortable with, I decided that the asking price on the home was fair IF the homeowners are willing to replace the three items above so we put down the offer (with the seller paying our closing costs, of course).

My lender and my Realtor are now conversing with one another, which is awesome, and as it turns out my lender owns a home in the same community which he rents out so he was able to answer some very important HOA questions for me and he even served on the HOA board when he lived in the community.  So ... the offer is out there, the Title company has been selected, the earnest money has been given to the Realtor and now the ball is in the seller's court to see if they accept the offer.  I have never been so nervous or stressed out in my life but my Lender/Credit Counselor says that's totally normal and that he'd actually be more worried about me if I weren't freaking out a little bit at this point.  He said that freaking out a little just means I'm cautious and responsible ... it's the people who dive happily and head first without worry that scare him.  Of course that applies to first time homebuyers, I'm sure once you've bought two or three it might be less nerve racking.

This is going to be a very long day.

Update: The "counter offer" has arrived.  The seller's agent is claiming that they are in a "multiple bid" situation and need our biggest and best offer by Monday.  After a very lengthy conversation with our Realtor, our Lender/Credit Counselor, and each other Shawn and I decided that we don't think there really is any other offer.  We think we did a poor job of keeping our poker faces on when we went to look at the house and the seller is bluffing to see if she can get more money out of us.  Because we're offering they're asking price we're not really willing to go higher on it so we told the Realtor to tell the agent that our offer stands, take it or leave it.  I think they'll take it but if they don't, we have at least two other homes in the area that we're interested in so it's not the end of the world.  Still ... it's been a stressful, shitty day and I feel victim to it at dinner when I let Snackers suggest a buffet and I didn't even put up a fight.  I am going to be completely honest and say that for the second time in 7 months ... I have absolutely no idea what my caloric intake was today.  I'll post my intake before dinner but I think it's safe to say I fell off the wagon today.



Food:
8 glasses of water
1 cup of coffee w/creamer
1 Fiber One bar
1/2 serving home made pizza
--------------------------------------
Pre-Dinner Caloric Intake: 377



Activity:
5 flights of stairs
3 hours of shopping: first the pet store where we ended up in this rather insane comparison between dog food ingredients, feeding amounts, and prices.  We wound up in an empty isle with about 8 different 30 lb bags of food on the ground as we flipped them over to compare them.  We wanted a food that is better for Piper with her allergies and her sensitive stomach but wouldn't break the bank.  After that we went to GameStop because Snackers had a new PS3 game he just had to have and then to WalMart for basic supplies.  It's been a very long, very bad day that, for me, started at 5:00 a.m. courtesy of Kody.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

HOA Information

I was too tired this morning to write a post and, to my joy, my brother provided me with a giant email and suggested that I post it so YAY!  Today's post re: HOA concerns and precautions is brought to you by my brother.  Enjoy!

     When people buy their first HOA-property often they are more concerned about HOA-*RULES* than HOA-*SOLVENCY* and HOA-*ORGANIZATION* which in my opinion is a pretty big mistake (I've owned in 2 now).  The other common problem not considered enough is *SHARED-WALLS* (obviously doesn't apply if you'll be buying in an HOA with actual independent homes).
     Rules are a concern, for sure.  But from what I've experienced HOA rules are not usually as big of a concern as most people make them out to be.  We all want our property-values to stay high and we want to be able to enjoy the comfort of our homes in relative peace and quiet.  Most rules are there only to help ensure those factors.  To be sure, if a person doesn't care about the peace and quiet or safety of their neighbors or of their home-value, and HOA isn't for them.  But outside of that, I have found HOA-rules to be mostly-palatable.
     The bigger problem is HOA-solvency and HOA-organization.  If you have an HOA with a Board that is difficult to staff with volunteers, your HOA is going to have to fund more outside-experts to help run and manage things; that means higher-dues.  It also means it's tougher to resolve problems or improve things because there is less owner-managers to help the process.  A poorly-organized HOA can degrade into a place you don't really want to live and can't really sell.
     HOA-solvency is just as big a problem, and *extremely*-common.  It's caused by the fact that most HOAs are pressured by their members to keep dues as low as possible but most members don't realize (and many just don't care) that that's not fair to the future owners because they are currently slowly wearing-out the buildings (over time, things like roofs wear out) but in order to keep dues as low as possible they aren't putting any (or much, anyways) money aside into savings in order to fund these future repairs.  So, instead of accepting an extra $25/month over the next 10 years to make those types of big property-improvements that occur, most owners want the $25/mth to stay in their pocket and let whoever is living there 10 years later to deal with the problem.  What happens when something big like a new roof is needed, and the HOA didn't save for it, is that the repair-bill is estimated and then divided evenly in some way among all of the current owners.  The pre-determined amount is then "assessed" to each homeowner, giving each of them a term to pay it... which can vary anywhere from 30days to 1 year.  In our current HOA we usually do it on a per-quarter basis.  The amounts can be pretty large; ours has had to assess every quarter for the last 2 years in order to repair damaged stucco, mold inside exterior-walls, leaking patios, old rain-gutters, damaged concrete, and a few other things.  The quarterly-assessments have been $250 (on top of our normal-dues), $1000/year.  That's money a lot of people don't plan for when they buy, and simply don't have.  More than 1 unit in the last 2 years has been foreclosed on and though surely not the only problem, the assessments were certainly part of the pressure.  But, homes wear out, repairs can be costly, and a prudent-HOA will be saving for the future not doing everything they can to just keep dues as low as possible.  SO I STRONGLY ADVISE YOU ASK THE HOA-BOARD/MANAGEMENT-COMPANY (BEFORE YOU BUY) FOR A COPY OF THEIR MOST-RECENT "RESERVE STUDY" AS WELL AS A COPY OF THEIR FINANCIALS (they should provide that to you, or at least show it to you, it's pretty well public-info, it's not a person's private-info).  The Reserve Study highlights every major piece of property owned by the HOA in a detailed break-down, estimating how long each piece should last and how much it should cost to repair/replace that item at the end of it's life.  The study then uses those numbers to arrive at an amount the HOA should be setting-aside in savings every month/year.  Take that number and compare it to the HOA's financials and make sure they are setting (at a bare-minimum) at least 50% of that amount aside into savings each month (and have been doing so consistently from month to month).  The study should also have a number estimating how much total savings the HOA should have before they can stop saving (or throttle-back significantly) -- compare that the HOA's savings-account and make sure the HOA actual has a reasonable amount in savings as compared to what the study says they should have -- don't settle for anything less than 25%.  This is very important, if you don't do this and buy blindly, you could walk into a home today expecting $750/mth payments and $150 HOA dues and end up 6 months later paying an additional $250/mth assessments for unplanned-repairs.
     Don't say I didn't warn you.  Our first HOA, 9 months from us selling, discovered our roofs were totally shot and had to be fully-replaced.  At the same time, a large crack in the foundation fully gave-way and caused massive flooding inside our garages; massive amounts of mold was discovered growing in our grass and up our northern-wall and into people's windows.  Additionally, there were a number of unattractive eye-sores on the property that were deterring new buyers and threatening our property-values (old worn-out parking surface with some potholes, huge watering bills trying to maintain our grass in a desert, a ruptured water-line that was repaired but not properly re-surfaced, exposed utility meters constantly being damaged by "unknown" kids, etc.).  Suddenly the HOA realized pretty hefty repair-bills over the course of about a year, all while we were trying to prepare to sell.  Total savings: $25K.  Just the roofs cost us that.  At which point we were totally insolvent and had to assess each unit $1K with 60days notice.  We had to pay that ourselves because it's illegal to not disclose a known assessment and the market had just started to turn so we knew that the extra $1K price-tag would be a big deterrent.  Right after we sold and moved out the HOA had to drastically raise dues to cover the final ongoing repairs and start putting money back into their depleted account.  When we sold dues were around $150/mth, the new owner was probably surprised to see them jump to (as I recall) $225/mth after just living there 2 or 3 months.
YIKES!
     Finally, give due consideration to any shared walls you may have.  If your unit is immediately-adjacent to another, go next door and ask the neighbor if one of you can come in while another person goes into the unit you are interested in and then coordinate (via cell) to make moderately loud noise along the common wall and see what the perceived noise-levels are inside the unit you are wanting to buy.  Depending on the neighbor, they may or may not be kewl with that -- if not, just ask them (or other neighbors you see out and about) about the issue based on their own experience.  Most people living in properties with shared-walls hate it; unless they have neighbors who realize it's a problem and keep their entertainment-volumes down and keep their loud-talk down during sleeping-hours.
     Also ask about parties; some communities are strict on large parties (which in my opinion is a good thing in such close-quarters), others aren't.  There's nothing worse than a 4th of July when you have to get up early to work but your neighbors don't and they throw an all-night keg party.
     Finally, consider other sources of nearby interference.  In our current condo we didn't consider that we bought a unit right next to the main road, across from which is a huge county ballpark.  The road often experiences very heavy and very noisy early-morning traffic which can wake you up 30-60min. earlier than you like; wake up like that every morning and see how quickly that can drive you a bit insane.  The park can have screaming-fans until at least 11pm, making it difficult to fall asleep -- do that, followed by the early traffic, and see how utterly depressing it can be.  The park-staff can then leave their (literally) LasVegas-style lights shining in the park (through our bedroom window) until past 12am while they clean and maintain the grounds.  You literally can only sleep between 1a and 4a.  Try that on for size.  It sucks. 
     (fortunately, we resolved most of the park-problem by purchasing "blocking" blinds and then covering them with heavy suede dark curtains.  All light is blocked and a good amount of the noise is blocked.  But that requires we close the door to our master-bath at night and that we can't have the bedroom window open on cool nights, we have to continue to pay for A/C-costs and breath indoor-air, even at night)





Food:
8 glasses of water
1 cup of coffee w/creamer
1/2 serving sunflower seeds
1/2 serving leftover pizza
1 baja fresh bowl
---------------------------------
Daily Caloric Intake: 992




Activity:
4 flights of stairs
House Hunting: 1 hour (made an offer)
Appliance shopping: 1 hour

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Man On Fire

Last night was softball again and Snackers had the game of his life!  He played third and had some awesome defensive plays there but it was his hitting that was insane.  Three home runs, two doubles, two singles, and 12 runs batted in.  His team won both games by more than 10 runs so yay for Snackers.

We went house hunting before softball and I think we found a winner.  The first house that we looked at was owner-occupied but it's an older couple and the place looked really clean and well taken care of.  It has a gas stove, a gas fireplace, big bedrooms, a big back yard, and a lot of comfort.  The living room/dining room/kitchen area looked pretty small but I think that's just because they had a lot of stuff in there because we looked at two other homes that were the same sq. footage and they seemed bigger.  There is TONS of cupboard/pantry space in the kitchen, a HUGE closet in the master bathroom, and giant built-in shelving units in the garage.  We really loved it...and it's only 98,000.  We actually looked at 5 or 6 homes total but we picked three that we liked the best including that first one.  The other two are less money and slightly larger sq. footage but the yards are a lot smaller and they'll need some minor work like paint etc.  Still, they're on the list.

We're probably going to go look at them again tonight because our Realtor highly suggested we look twice before submitting an offer but I think we're going to offer 92,000 on the first home and see what the owner's reaction is.  They'll probably counter-offer but the woman has had knee replacement surgery recently and we kind of got the impression that they're eager to sell so maybe they'll take the 92,000 maybe not.  98,000 was their original asking price and a lot of homes in the area have come down 10,000 or even 15,000 but, at the same time, we can't sit too long or it just might be gone like those homes we looked at on Sunday.  This is where it gets tricky, I think.  One benefit of owner-occupied means owner-seller and that makes our chances of getting the closing date that we want a lot higher than if we were dealing with a bank, especially in this market.  But we have a really great Realtor that Snackers has known through his work for over 10 years and she's been in the industry in this area for over 25 years so my confidence in her is high.



Food:
8 glasses of water
1 cup of coffee w/creamer
1/2 serving sunflower seeds
1 serving leftover steak
1 serving home made pizza
----------------------------------
Daily Caloric Intake: 910



Activity:
5 flights of stairs
Walking: 2.5 miles
Sprinting: Piper doesn't know how to play "chase" with Vladdy.  When he chases her she gets mad and when he runs away she just stands there and waits for him to come back so tonight I tried to teach her by sprinting back and forth across the park with both of them.  After four sprints I was breathing pretty hard.  Saweet!  Then Snackers and I decided to take them on the playground equipment because it was after dark and there weren't any kids around.  We went up the stairs, through a tunnel, over a bridge and down a slide.  Fun times!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Weigh-In 27

Weight: 236.0 (-0.5) Not big but better than nothing considering I was feeling pretty bad about my intake and activity levels this week.  All the house shopping has made eating at home hard and Snackers LOADED up on some really tempting snacks the last time we went shopping which inspired me to get some 100 calorie snack packs for myself and I really shouldn't have gotten them because it's just unnecessary temptation that I must now deal with.

I think I found some real winners online and Snackers and I drove around last night looking at houses, peeking in windows etc.  It doesn't really feel like exercise other than climbing in and out of the car but it's time for us to find a house and it needs to be done.  We found one little nugget of a neighborhood that is just incredible.  It's called 'South Valley Ranch' but Snackers calls it 'The Loop' and it is in a part of town that we thought we wouldn't want to live but when we saw it we completely changed our minds.  It's this massive community, walled in on all sides with only two entrances/exits and a huge park in the middle.  The whole place is so clean and peaceful that, not only did we forget we were in a part of town that we thought we wanted to avoid, I could have even forgot that we were in Henderson/Vegas.  There were kids playing ball and riding bicycles in the streets and people walking dogs everywhere we looked.  The homes were nice the lawns were manicured, and the park had everything, even an area FOR dogs!

It's one giant HOA but we stopped and talked to a few people who lived there and they said it's a reasonable HOA that just wants to keep things clean and safe, the dues are way reasonable and judging by the Rotty and the two Pitts we saw I am fairly certain that they don't have breed restrictions.  I also saw a house painted the color I would want to paint mine so I know it's on their "ok colors" list and I saw several houses flying American flags so that's always good.  I mean, I'm probably being paranoid but I've heard a LOT of HOA horror stories and I am just afraid of someday being stuck in one of my own.  I don't mind an HOA that wants a clean, cohesive neighborhood because I want that too and I'm willing to weed/mow/etc.  I don't have cars that are going to be parked on the lawn or anything like that so considering that I'm already a very low-maintenance person I am thinking that I probably won't have issues but, at the same time, I don't want someone telling me what kind of dog I can have or stupid crap like that. 

So we'll probably be going to look at homes in that area tonight after work and I am really excited about it.  I have a great feeling about that area.  Standing in the park I was looking around and thinking 'this feels exactly like the environment that I grew up in' and that is precisely the kind of environment that I want to live in.  It was actually a little bit Stepford even, but in a good way.  There are a ton of homes in the area and the vast majority of them looked occupied so that tells me it is a good place to live.  I'm excited ... wish us luck!!!



Food:
7 glasses of water
1 cup of coffee w/creamer
1 serving sunflower seeds
1 leftover steak (lunch)
1 veggie croissanwich w/mustard
1 Klondike bar (booo me)
------------------------------------------
Daily Caloric Intake: 1,183



Activity:
6 flights of stairs
1 hour house shopping
20 minutes training/playing with Vladdy

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Wore Them Out

So last night Snackers and I went house shopping and we didn't really find anything that we were wild about.  The problem we had is that I've been pre-approved for $100,000 but I would prefer to only spend $60,000 - $90,000.  Snackers is more concerned about location, location, location ... which I can understand but he has very specific neighborhoods that he wants to live in and the problem with those hoods is that they're $120,000 and up on average.  I give major kudoz to our Realtor for being patient with us last night because she and I did manage to find some houses in my price range in the areas that Snackers picked out but the houses were completely trashed and Snackers quickly rejected them one after another.  So when it was all said and done I asked the Realtor to confirm what I'd been trying to tell Snackers all along ... with my price range we can get a great house in a nice neighborhood on the outskirts of town or, if we're going to stay in certain areas we're only going to be able to afford very old, very damaged homes.

So last night, after he finally got the point, we went back to looking online for homes in our price in areas suggested by the Realtor (areas she'd suggested in the first place but Snackers had originally rejected because they're not close to everything like we are now).  But c'mon, this is Henderson and there are three freeways so it's not like commuting anywhere really takes that bloomin' long and these areas are nice areas but they're just a little farther east or south or even north than where we're at now.

From the looks of the pictures above I must have worn him out.  I was talking to him and he didn't respond so I looked over and the first pic above was what I saw.  Yep ... kitten and boyfriend both out cold.  The flash disturbed them and they adjusted to the position in the second picture so then, of course, I had to take another picture.



Food:
7 glasses of water
1 cup of coffee w/creamer
1 yogurt/berry parfait
1/2 cup shredded pork meat
1 bento box (assorted sashimi)
1 California roll
1/2 cup frozen yogurt
---------------------------------------
Daily Caloric Intake: 1,333




Activity:
4 flights of stairs
1.5 hours playing with/running around with the dogs
3 hours house shopping

Totally Missed It

So yesterday was picture day and I totally missed it.  I had no idea it was the 14th until I woke up this morning and a blogger had commented on last month's picture which reminded me to check the date.  So I took a pic this morning and I am doing this quick mid-day post to show it.  Snackers thinks I look thinner in last months picture but I can see the difference in my arms and my hips and I think that's why I look skinnier in the previous pic.  I think that in last month's pic my waist curves in and then my hips curve back out but in this month's pic I'm practically straight down.

I also think I might be getting to the point where I need to buy a smaller pair of pants for these pics because these are so loose on my now that they fit me like baggy ass 1980's sweat pants which makes them comfy but maybe not so affective for progress photos. lol

Saturday, May 14, 2011

A Three Dog Night

So last night, after supper, Snackers and I took Vladdy and Piper over to our friends' house to hang out with their dogs Lola and Tillman.  Both of their dogs are large breed dogs but Lola is a bit older whereas Tillman is about Vladdy's age.  I was inside so I didn't get to see it but apparently, as soon as Vladdy was let off leash in the back yard he walked right into the swimming pool because he wasn't watching where he was going.  Snackers and our friend that was out there also both started to immediately take off their shoes and empty their pockets as fast as they could to jump in and save him but he surfaced, swam right over to our friend at the edge of the pool and, with his help, scrabbled out.

Now you would think, after that experience, that he would be scared of the pool right?  Nope.  He didn't voluntarily go in again but he continually went near the edge like he was thinking "that was fun but I don't want to be the only one in the pool".  Snackers put him in it a little later, on a step this time, just to see what his reaction would be and he didn't fight or spaz out at all.  I think he just might end up being a water dog ... YAY!  That makes me happy because we've been wanting to take him to the lake as soon as he's had his last round of shots in two weeks.

Lola, Tillman, and Vladdy played it up for several hours while Piper ran from human to human seeking refuge.  I don't know why but she has become so anti-social with other dogs since we had her spayed.  She used to get along with all dogs and now it doesn't seem like she gets along with anyone.  So it became a trio of good times, hence the name of this post.  It was very fun to watch and when we came home Vladdy went in his kennel and crashed hard.  He was out cold even before Snackers and I went to bed and he slept silently through the whole night.  Good times!



Food:
7 glasses of water
1 cup of coffee w/creamer
1 serving leftover steak
Sample Servings at Sweet Tomato:
>>1 cup Asian Chicken Salad
>>1 cup Peanut Salad
>>1/2 cup Chipotle Tomato Soup
>>1/4 cup Artichoke Rice
>>1/4 cup Three Bean Salad
>>1/4 cup Dijon Potato Salad
-----------------------------------------
Daily Caloric Intake: 1,252



Activity:
6 flights of stairs
Walking: Took the dogs around the block this morning so they would be quiet while we were out house hunting
Shopping: House shopping, 1.5 hours

Blogger Farted

Huh ... that's interesting.  So I guess Blogger decided to do some maintenance two nights ago and they must have royally messed something up because they went into "read only" mode sometime yesterday afternoon and stayed that way until mid day today.  Now that it's back up I can see that my posts for the last few days as well as many of the comments that have been posted during that time are kapoofy.

So I will update you on yesterday but if you missed any of the missing posts before that, alas, 'tis not my fault.
Yesterday I had 8 glasses of water, 1 cup of coffee, 1 serving of seeds, 1 chicken veggie wrap, and 1 sashimi special which included 2 pieces of raw tuna and 1 piece each of octopus, eel, shrimp, albacore, yellowtail, and squid as well as a california roll (for those of you not familiar with sashimi 1 piece is approximately a 1 oz slice of fish draped over a tablespoon sized glob of rice).  For desert I had 1/2 serving of Starbucks mocha chip ice cream which I shared with Piper and my total caloric intake was 1,039.

For activity I climbed 6 flights of stairs, spent 1.5 hours grocery shopping, and 1/2 hour walking/training the pup.  My post was all about how much I am loving my geology class but it's gone now so oh well.  HAPPY FRIDAY THE 13TH!!!




Food:
5 glasses of water
1 cup of coffee w/creamer
1/2 serving sunflower seeds
1 leftover chicken wrap
1 blue cheese steak (home made)
1 oz sweet carrots
8 oz white wine
-----------------------------------
Daily Caloric Intake: 1,163




Activity:
6 flights of stairs

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

TAPS

I received some sad news this morning and am not really in much of a mood for posting today.  A very good friend is mourning the loss of a very wonderful dog today and my heart and thoughts are with her and her family.  He was one of the best dogs I've ever known and he lived a long and wonderfully spoiled life but he will be missed to a degree that is beyond expression.  May he rest in peace.




Food:
7 glasses of water
1 cup of coffee w/creamer
1 leftover turkey burger
3 chicken soft tacos
>>w/salsa
---------------------------------
Daily Caloric Intake: 997



Activity:
5 flights of stairs
Training: Tonight I taught Vladdy that it's not polite to chase the other animals.  This is something I should have done sooner but I figured Piper and Casper, at least, would put him in his place.  Nope ... they're chicken so it's up to me to teach him manners.  I chased him around the apartment for about 30-45 minutes reprimanding him every time he became too focused on Piper or one of the cats.  It wasn't exactly a work out but it was active.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Weigh-In 26

I did it!  Oh you have no idea how nervous I was climbing on the scale this morning.  I thought 'what if it happens again?  What if I've worked hard all week and watched the numbers drop every day only to see them spike back up again today?  Can that even happen again?  I've been so careful!'

So I swallowed my courage, took a deep breath and stepped onto the platform of eternal torment.  I DID IT!!!  I have officially LOST OVER 50 LBS!!!  It seems like it took me forever to get here and at a rate of 50 lbs every 6 months I will just barely make my deadline so I need to try to step it up a bit more on a go-forward basis but more importantly ... I DID IT!  I set the goal for myself this week that I wanted to get past that 50 lb milestone come hell or high-water and I actually did.

I can barely sit still!  I still have a whole day of work ahead of me and yet all I want to do is run around outside telling everyone I see that I've lost 50 lbs!  I wouldn't actually do that because I'm too shy but I want to!  FIFTY MOTHER-LOVING POUNDS!!!!

So here is the new award ... just like the last one it is an honor system award so take it and display it on your blogs if you've lost 50 lbs or more and feel free to pass it on to anyone that you know who has lost 50 lbs also.  Now I have to ride a horse to accomplish goal number 5 on my list ... that's a tuffy.  That's going to cost some money because I don't know anyone anymore that has horses that they'll let me ride for free.  I can check with my dad though and see if he knows anyone these days but, chances are, I'm going to have to buy a trail ride.  I hate trail rides.  I would much prefer a free-range ride where I can gallop and really have fun.  Actually I'm starting to get a little bit sad because the thought of getting on a horse again is making me realize that horseback riding will probably never be as fun as it was when I had Honey, my Spanish Barb Mustang.

I had spent an entire summer when I was a teen teaching her to crow-hop, side-step, rear, and jump straight up in the air on command.  Just by squeezing my legs I could get her to prance around and act all wild and crazy and she could run like the wind!  I will probably never find another horse like her for as long as I live and that makes me sad.  I am probably going to get on a horse, finally, after all of these years, and be disappointed.  That's a very sad thought.  On the other hand it will be Snackers' first time ever getting on a horse so maby the joy that I will feel for him will fill the gap that I will have from missing Honey Buns.



Food:
6 glasses of water
1 cup of coffee w/creamer
1 serving sunflower seeds
1/2 serving spaghetti pie
1 homemade turkey burger
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Daily Caloric Intake: 840



Activity:
6 flights of stairs
Jogging: jogged lightly with the dogs at softball to keep them warm
Lifting: Carried both dogs, at the same time, and repeatedly picked them up and set them down throughout the softball game as we moved from jogging to bleachers and back again trying to keep warm.  That's 36 lbs of dog!!!!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mothers Day

Where's Cody?
Yet another weekend foiled by bad weather.  I don't get it.  We have hot, sunny weather all week long and spend the entire week looking forward to the weekend so that we can go out and have fun and then we wake up Sunday morning and it's overcast and windy.  WTH?!  This is like the fourth or fifth time that this has happened just this year!  Well I still don't plan on totally wasting my mother's day.  I am, after all, a doggy and kitty momma.  Hell I have FOUR kids this year!  Their birthdays are: Vladdy, January 25, 2011; Piper, February 28, 2005; Cody, March 5, 2011; and Casper, April 20, 2009.  I think I should get a mother's ring ... I've dropped hints to Snackers but I don't think he's going to make it happen.  I think it would be cool though, especially with their birthday's all back to back like that.

It's a Brady Bunch Moment
Snackers has wished me a happy mother's day today though so he does recognize that I feel like a mother because of my pets.  He took the dogs for a walk early this morning so that I could sleep in.  Then we got cleaned up and headed to CVS to get Piper some allergy medicine.  After that we hit Petco to see what they had in the way of ID tags for the cats but we weren't impressed so we headed to the mall.  We looked into getting Piper's and Vladdy's birthdates added to the backs of their tags because, with so many kids we're starting to have a hard time keeping them all straight now.  They wanted $30 to put 8 characters on the back of 2 $5 tags.  GIVE ME A BREAK!!!  I could go get brand new tags, dates included, for $5 each.  I guess that's what I'll do when we move and have to change the address anyway but, for now, it can wait.

After that we hit Wal-Mart because the water dish we have is completely insufficient now that we have a large dog and we're sick of filling it 8 times a day but the dishes at Petco were $20 or more.  I say again ... GIVE ME A BREAK!!!  We got the exact same dish at WalMart for $9.  Absurd!  While there we picked up a cat condo because it was on sale.  We didn't really need a condo before because Casper was always out on the bed or the sofas anyway , but with Vladdy around it has been clear that Casper and Cody need a place where they can get away from him and it was the PERFECT color so we figured, what the hell.  Now we're home again, relaxing but Snackers has promised we can go for a walk with the dogs later when it's not so hot.  That's one thing that sucks about Vegas weather.  It can be cloudy and windy and smoggy and yet still be 99 degrees. lol 


Today's Weight: 235.5 WA-FREAKIN-HOO!!!!





Food:
5 glasses of water
2 cups of coffee w/creamer
1/2 Wetzel's Pretzel w/o butter
1/2 serving spaghetti pie (lunch)
5 oz prime rib
6 oz crab salad (dry)
6 oz marinated mushrooms
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Daily Caloric Intake: 1,203





Activities:
5 flights of stairs
Shopping: 2.5 - 3 hours
Dog Walking: 2 miles (This walk would not have even dented me had I been walking by myself but with one dog that constantly pulls on the leash and thinks she can read my mind and anticipate my every move, and a puppy who is constantly either walking in front of my legs or stopping and laying down in the middle of the sidewalk every 1/2 block this was EXHAUSTING!  Again, I did a lot of quickly reversing my direction when I could tell one or both of them weren't paying attention, a lot of stopping and making them sit next to me and then waiting for them to pay attention to me and not everything else in the neighborhood, or making them sit and wait patiently as someone passed us on the sidewalk.  I was actually dripping sweat off my face every time I bent down to pet and praise them ... wow!)

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Errands to Run

It's only 6:30 a.m. and I've already made coffee, washed the toaster oven out, and started some laundry.  I have a Dr.'s appointment today for my annual check-up ... I hate those.  After that I need to clean the kitchen and then we'll see where I go from there.  I am really tired today and my Depo shots usually make me lethargic so I'm not going to hold my breath on being active today.  Yesterday's weight was 237.0 and I haven't weighed yet this morning but we're planning on going somewhere fun with the dogs tomorrow (provided Snack Monkey doesn't crap out on me) so I may be able to make up for not doing much today ... or maybe I'll have water retention again who knows.

I had mid-terms this week and I aced both of my math tests ... I couldn't even believe it this time.  There were some questions on both of them that were really hard and I thought 'I'll just go slow, be thorough, and hope I don't miss anything' but there were a few answers that, as I entered them, I was pretty sure they would be wrong so when I got 100% on the final scores I was shocked.

There is an interesting dynamic developing in my family that I would have never anticipated.  Piper, the old lady, actually wants to go on walks now when, for the last year, she just wanted to lay around and sleep.  I think the puppy is rejuvenating her energy.  Casper has gone from being the mouthiest, loudest cat I've ever known to becoming a silent and stealthy old "watcher".  He lays around and watches everything, never hiding, always out among the family ... but ever vigilant in his silent observation.  And even though I thought Vladdy, as the biggest of all, would dominate the hierarchy, it's Cody, the youngest and smallest, who seems to rule the roost.  He's completely fearless, lightening fast, and tough as nails ... who'd-a-thunk. 

It really is a lot like discovering the personalities of your children.  Piper is the smart, laid back, well behaved, responsible eldest sibling who tries to set an example and be the peacemaker for everyone else.  Casper is the college student still living at home but too cool for his family but not quite anti-social enough to hide in his room so he lays around brooding.  Vladdy is the happy-go-lucky, not-so-bright high school varsity jock who can't take anything seriously and thinks everyone likes him more than they probably really do.  And Cody is the pre-teen troublemaker who's always in the principles office and will probably have a Juvie record, a tattoo, and a probation officer by the time he's 16.




Food:
9 glasses of water
1 cup of coffee w/creamer
1 leftover serving spaghetti pie
1 serving cilantro lime chicken salad
1 slice of cheese cake
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Daily Caloric Intake: 1,169




Activities:
5 flights of stairs
1.5 hours cleaning the kitchen
Training: 30 minutes with the puppy working on sit and come

I've noticed that having a puppy leads to a lot of small motions that probably add up throughout a day.  For example, every time I sit down and put my feet up in my recliner I find myself having to jump up again less than 5 minutes later to take something away from Vladdy that he shouldn't be chewing on.  I've probably sat down and stood up 20 times tonight.

Panic Mode

I did not sleep well last night but I can blame no one but myself this time.  I fell asleep in my recliner while watching Mythbusters on Netflix and woke up suddenly at 11:30 in a panic because Piper had the hiccups and I thought she was going to vomit.  She had been sleeping my lap and in my half-sleep state I felt the jerk of a hiccup and jumped out of my chair and ran around frantically with her tucked under one arm like a football, looking for something to hold her over so that I wouldn't have a mess to clean up.  Finally as I am standing on the balcony, holding her over the wall I wake up enough to realize that she's looking at me like "what did I do to deserve being thrown off the balcony?  Can we talk about this?"  Truth be told I probably scared her half to death because I think she had been sound asleep when I suddenly grabbed her and bolted out of the chair.  She probably thought I'd completely snapped.

So I took the dogs out, locked them both up and went to bed.  Around 1 a.m. I woke up in a second totally unjustified panic because somewhere in my sleep I had convinced myself that I had killed Cody on accident when I jumped out of my chair earlier in the night.  See, Cody likes to sleep under my recliner and if I put the foot rest down slowly he's smart enough to get out of the way but I am always worried that I will accidentally smush him.  So I jumped out of bed and I ran into the living room to pick up the recliner and look under it only to realize that Cody wasn't under there at all.  So then, of course, half-asleep-me starts to freak out thinking maybe he ran outside when I took the dogs out so I started searching the whole house and finally found him sleeping quite comfortably on the floor of my closet inside one of my low-heeled dress shoes.

So I went back to bed again and at some point during the night after that Snackers came home.  I must have been sleeping light because I usually don't wake up when he comes home.  He's very good about slipping in quietly and climbing into bed without waking me up but last night I woke up just enough to sense him climbing in the bed and feel him snuggle up to me.  So imagine my surprise when, at around 3:30 a.m., I woke up in yet a third panic because I realized that someone else was in the bed and did not, at first, realize it was my Snackerpoo!  Green goddess on a cracker!  I'm a basket case!!!!




Food:
8 glasses of water
1 cup of coffee w/creamer
1 serving sunflower seeds
1 serving leftover meatloaf
1 serving leftover rosemary potatoes
1 serving spaghetti pie
----------------------------------
Daily Caloric Intake: 1,118



Activity:
7 flights of stairs
Walking the dogs: about 1.5 hours but distance totally unknown.  We took them to the dog-walk at the park.


Sorry for posting this today instead of last night.  I went to bed early and passed out.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

What A Walk!

I took both dogs out for a walk while Snackers got his pre-night job nap and it was really something special!  I put both of their leashes in my right hand and worked them out so that I could give tugs to Piper with my index finger without tugging on Vladdy, and visa versa with my thumb for Vladdy.  The walk began on a bit of a rocky start with Piper wanting to sniff everything instead of walking ... she's actually really good at walking but her sniff obsession is classic Piper.  Vladdy's big problem was that he was more interested in chewing on Piper while we were walking than he was in actually paying attention to where he was walking so I would give him light taps on his flank with my foot to get him to stop.  It was funny because the taps were so light that I didn't actually think they would do anything but because I was using my foot he seemed to be startled by them and they actually worked!  He would stop and look up at me like "hey, how did you do that without bending down?"

I also did a technique that Tia taught me for making sure that they're both paying attention to me more than everything else.  I would be just walking along and then I would suddenly turn and walk in the opposite direction.  With two dogs walking side-by-side this would cause some major mayhem at first but by the end of the first block they'd started to improve their response time and not get tangled up.  When we passed yards with dogs in them I would also do a quick turn because they would be paying more attention to the other dogs than me.  Then when I got them far enough away from the other dogs I would make them both sit, facing forward, side-by-side, next to me until they were both looking up at me for the next cue.  For the first couple of yards this had to be repeated several times and one woman came out of her house to find out what was driving her dog so insane.  I apologized for bothering her and explained what I was doing and she was really cool about it.  She said that her dog is a lot less likely to bark and go nuts when passing dogs ignore him so she appreciated my effort.  I thought that was pretty cool of her.

Once we'd passed the neighborhoods and were on a stretch of road the walk became super fun!  I felt like Cesar Milan!  I was the pack leader!  They were trotting along side-by-side, neck-and-neck, not pulling, not walking in front of my legs, not sniffing everything.  It felt great!

Vladdy started to pull on the way home, totally unusual for him to pull at all, so we did a lot more turning around and I ended up making him walk a block past our apartment complex and then brought him home a totally different way than we've ever come before just to teach him not to anticipate where he thinks we're headed.  I even had an opportunity to teach them to sit and be calm-submissive while a baby approached to pet them.  The baby's mom could tell I was training them and was very patient about letting me get them under control, approaching slowly, and backing off if they wigged out.  I wish more people, when they can tell that someone is trying to train their dog, would be like that.  I mean, for the most part we teach our dogs not to jump on babies for the benefit of the baby so the least a baby-momma can do is help us out by being cooperative during the training phase right? 

I gotta say ... walking a Min-Pin and a Doberman under low-stress was great.  I even had them to where they were sitting every time I stopped at an intersection, driveway, or just because I felt like stopping.  This is benefiting both of them but I have to give the gold to Piper for picking it up a lot faster.  She's learning some new rules of walking and she did amazing with them!



Food:
8 glasses of water
1 cup of coffee w/creamer
1 serving leftover meatloaf
1 serving leftover mac n' cheese (hungry girl recipe)
1 shrimp ceviche salad
1 pomegranate lemonade
-------------------------------
Daily Caloric Intake: 823




Activity:
  • 9 flights of stairs
  • 5 min literally chasing the puppy around outside because he thought it was effing hilarious!  (I didn't think it was so charming!)

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Giving Up

No, I'm not giving up ... Vladdy is.  He was a wealth of whimpering and whining all day long yesterday whether he was in his kennel, free roaming, eating, drinking, playing, you name it.  He barks and whines out of frustration when he's not getting what he wants, like one of the other animals to play with him or me to let him chew on my toes.  I got so tired of telling him "no" yesterday that I finally decided to just let him realize on his own that whimpering and barking will not get him what he wants in this house so I took him outside and worked with him on the leash, making quick turns that forced him to pay attention to me and where I was going (without dragging him, of course) and then I put him to bed.

I put ear plugs in, closed the bedroom door, and let him go to town.  Snackers has his night jobs this week so he wasn't home and even though I could still hear him with the ear plugs in they made it much easier to ignore him.  He barked and whined for about 30 minutes before he finally gave up and went to sleep and after that I was able to go to sleep and slept BEAUTIFULLY!  I didn't even wake up when Snackers came home!

I also attribute my fantastic sleep to the fact that I locked both cats in the spare bathroom and locked Piper in her kennel as well so I had a pet-free evening and I feel awesome this morning.  It is really amazing how much of a difference a good night's sleep can make and how easy it is to forget what a great sleep feels like after awhile.  I woke up this morning before the alarm went off because I was ready to wake up, not because someone or something woke me up.  I was so comfortable that I even laid in the bed for a few minutes after I woke up and just enjoyed feeling good.  The best part is, I definitely think Vladdy learned something because he started to whine and bark when I locked him up with his breakfast this morning but it only took him about 10 minutes to give up and eat in silence.  If he doesn't learn that barking is not acceptable I am going to have to get a bark collar but that is something that I really don't want to do.  However, they have bark collars now that make a high-pitched noise that surprises the dog when it barks instead of shocking him so if I do get a bark collar for him, it will be one of those.

Today's Wight: 236.5 HOLY CRAP!



Food:
10 glasses of water
1 cup of coffee w/creamer
1 serving sunflower seeds
3/4 cup granola
>>1/4 cup skim milk
1 serving roasemary baked potato cubes
1 serving chili meat loaf
1 piece of baklava substitute
-----------------------------------
Daily Caloric Intake: 952



Activity:
8 flights of stairs
Walking/Training: Took Vladdy and Piper out for over an hour tonight.  I spent a lot of time going back and forth in the same areas throughout the walk to teach Vladdy to pay attention to me and to teach Piper that pulling on the leash does not benefit her.  Also bending over every time we stopped to get them to sit down ... I must have done that 30 times.  (2.5 miles as the crow flies but more with all the backtracking).