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Happy birthday, my little man

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

In case you landed here hoping for a cute kid story, sorry. Today is Chester's birthday.



Altho Chester is 4 today, we haven't had him quite 4 years yet. We got him at 10 weeks; he was a rescue dog. Above is after his first bath; he was 4 months old, and boy oh boy was he soft after that bath (altho none too pleased with the process).



There's been kind of a love/hate relationship between him & Simba from day one. Notice Chester's tail in this photo -- his rat tail. Boy, were we surprised (but pleased) when it began to unfurl.



Yo quiero taco bell!

We just couldn't resist that photo. We did actually take him into a fast food restaurant once, and he rode a cart thru Target once, too. Life was simpler with just one dog.



He graduated at the top of his class at Petsmart! No, really, they had a little contest and he left everyone in the dust.



Ironically, Lola came into his life 3 years ago on his birthday, right after his knee surgery (I am not kidding -- and yes, it was expensive, but necessary). He wasn't real sure about sharing my lap at first, altho he liked having a playmate; still not so sure about sharing my lap, but he's a good boy, and actually nowadays he's not so into playing anymore either. Unless food is involved.



When we were in Austin, I did agility, which is sort of like an obstacle course for dogs -- but way more complicated than you'd think -- with both dogs. I miss it. I'm sure they miss it, too.

I'd wanted a dog for years and years. It was something we couldn't do for a long time for a variety of reasons, one of them being that we'd always had cats. After the last of my first cats was gone, we started to look.

I'd had one dog growing up, and he was already an adult. So I'd never had a puppy, never housetrained a dog. I wanted a dog, not a puppy. We even had a trial adoption of one dog, but it didn't work out. So after a lot of meet and greets, I finally decided that maybe I could tackle a puppy.

My husband feel in love with Chester at first sight. I wasn't so sure. We adopted him, and then my husband went on a 10 day business trip to Europe, and it was freezing. No really, literally freezing even for Austin -- in the 20s. I still remember that week to this day.

Bonding wasn't easy for me for a long, long time. I knew raising a puppy was hard, but even tho I'd done lots of research, I didn't know what I was getting myself into. I'd just come thru 5 years of caring for elderly, sick cats. Chester required a lot of care that first year -- he came with mange, he had digestive issues for a while, he had severe separation anxiety (couldn't leave him alone at all, basically), and then there was the knee surgery.

Somewhere along the way, tho, we bonded and now you couldn't pry him lose from my cold, dead hands. He still overly attached to me. I wish I could help him with that, but at least now I can leave him. In fact, thru much hard work & training, now he gets really excited if he even thinks I'm going out (he gets a kong, which is stuffed with treats, when I go out).

Altho last weekend, my husband actually found him on top of the couch -- first time ever. I'd gone out on one of my many Target trips, and he was apparently watching for me.

My slim connection to weight loss? Sometimes the hardest things you do are the most rewarding.





  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

STARTSPARKING 9/7/2009 5:26AM

    Sorry I'm late to Chester's birthday celebration, but I wish him a very Happy Belated Birthday! What an adorable dog.
emoticon

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SUZY6281 9/2/2009 10:52AM

    Happy Birthday Chester!!! Loved this blog. And I can so relate!!! We have a very similar picture from Petsmart of my chihauhau's graduation. Love the Taco Bell photo.

suzy

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MTER67 9/1/2009 9:52PM

    Great pictures! What a cutie-happy birthday!

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ANGELCOWBOY1 9/1/2009 2:42PM

    What a cutie - Happy Birthday Chester!

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MOMMA_GRIZZ 9/1/2009 1:43PM

    Happy Birthday Chester! emoticon

What a sweet blog - thank you for sharing. It made my day even more special to know I share the same birthday with your lil sweetie Chester.....



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What I did for my weekend

Monday, August 31, 2009

A year or 2 ago we talked about getting me a new cell phone, but I never did get around to it. I rarely use mine, but I was just hoping to get one with a memo function so I didn't have to waste paper with shopping lists all the time. I used to have a PDA, and used that, but it became so outdated.

Anyway, DH's nephew put his cell phone thru the wash. For the second time -- and this time killed it. DH got the bright idea that we could give him mine (in fact, that cell phone he killed was DH's before he got one from work), and I could get myself a new phone. Only I had to do it ASAP.

So I went out & got one that had more bells & whistles, mainly because it included an MP3 player. Only because DH was rushing me, I didn't do my normal research and only found out after I got home that you need a memory card to put your music on in order to use the MP3 player. Since we're going on our mini-vacation in a couple of days, I really kind of wanted to have some music with me.

Went back to Target (where I bought the phone, where I'd looked at the phones just a couple of days previously). Got a 4 GB card. They came in 2 GB & 8 GB cards too. 4 GB seemed like a nice compromise.

Got home, put it in the phone, the phone recognized the card, put it in my computer . . . nothing. Did some troubleshooting . . . nothing. DH "helped" me by going over the same troubleshooting . . . nothing. Put it in his computer . . . nothing.

Got onto the card's Website . . . no useful information. Started doing some googling, and came up with a potential answer: my older computer couldn't read a card that large. The memory card I use with my camera is 2 GB, and that works fine. So I went back to Target that evening, and bought a 2 GB card.

Voila! Copied an album, put it in my phone . . . nothing. Wasn't finding anything. You can't just copy the album folder, you've got to copy the songs into the My Music folder & apparently that's the ONLY way it will recognize that there's music there. But it worked, finally!

Oh yes, and DH was getting mad at me because I wasn't immediately putting in my phone numbers so he could immediately send it to his sister. I quoted one of his favorite lines to him (I think I mentioned this already) -- that a problem on his part doesn't make an emergency on mine. I was tired, considering I'd been taking care of him all weekend & had been tired even before he got sick.

He decided he would do it, since he was mostly just laying around anyway. Only he got frustrated & didn't finish. I told him it takes a fair amount of time. He did come up with a good compromise: I can write down the info from the old phone & enter it into the new phone, and then he can mail off the old phone.

So, what has any of this to do with weight loss? Took me a while, but you know me -- I came up with a connection. I truly believe that weight loss is about more than just counting calories and eating the right foods in the right amounts.

I think you have to dig deep -- if you never figure out why you overeat in the first place, how will you ever truly overcome it? How will you change? How will you even know what you need to change? I had to dig deep to find out what the heck was going on with the memory card -- heck, even just to load the music; they don't make it obvious. It would have been so easy to say "well, it's just not working. So sad, too bad". Weight loss is like that too -- it can be so frustrating when things don't work out as we expect them to, and it's so easy to throw in the towel.

And I still have to go back to Target yet again . . . to return the card that wouldn't work in my computer. Plus all the getting-ready-to-go-away stuff. Ah well, DH is better, my phone now has an MP3 player . . . life is good.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUZY6281 9/2/2009 10:56AM

    I have to resort to my teenage nephews to figure out these new devices including my cell phone. I still don't have my ipod figured out.

Good for you for sticking with it.

suzy

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KEAKMAN 9/1/2009 12:11AM

    Funny story and great blog - as usual. I am struggling with the "why" of my overeating...trying to figure it out so I can stop it. I appreciate the reminder that others have to do this too, and the belief that it can be done!

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DDHEART 8/31/2009 12:06PM

    Glad you stuck it out to get your music into your phone....and you're so right....if these things were easy and instantly obvious, we would have no struggles. I think the hardest thing for me to learn has been/is the whys of my eating....I like food, sure some of my eating is about hunger and enjoyment, but I also have deep emotional connections with food such as ice cream=love and comfort comes in a chocolate wrapper etc. etc. The self knowledge is the only way to fight the battle. emoticon

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SEKSUNSHINE 8/31/2009 8:15AM

    Isn't technology wonderful?! You know there is a way to get the two phones to read each other and send the info instead of manually putting it in. Mine is dead. As soon as it get charged I will drop you the instructions in an email! Glad hubby is better. Have a great week!

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KARBIE18 8/31/2009 8:07AM

    Glad to hear DH is feeling better, and that you got your music working on your phone. I love my ipod (as I'm sure I've made perfectly clear), and I'm sure you'll enjoy your mp3 player just as much. It will be well worth the effort.

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The Flat Belly Diet

Sunday, August 30, 2009

In one of my recent trips to Target (about 3 trips in the last 3 days for various reasons, and I still need to go back!), I did have an impulse buy: "The Flat Belly Diet", from Prevention. I used to subscribe to Prevention, and still pick it up now & again, so I'm familiar with it.

But I was there getting other stuff, stopped, browsed it, and thought these recipes look yummy. I've already tried a couple of recipes, and they've been a hit even with my husband. The basic premise behind it is to eat good fats (from sources such as avocado, olive oil, nuts -- even chocolate!) at every meal. What really strikes me after buying the cookbook is that it's basically a Mediterranean diet. Which is great, because I love that sort of food.

My only problem with it is that the recipes are, understandably, high in fat. It's the good fats, but when you're on WW, that equals high point meals. I'm used to 5 meals a day -- 3 main meals & 2 snacks. With these recipes, I'd have to pretty much lose a snack. I might be more satisfied overall, but that remains to be seen. So I'm trying to figure out how to work this into my own personal eating style.

So far I'm definitely enjoying the cookbook. Oddly enough, it's supposed to get at that belly flat, and I could swear my belly looks flatter . . . which is more likely due to the fact that I've been really pushing water & my period is over, but hey, I'll take it either way. I know I've got to be careful, tho. Another healthy guideline from WW is to get 2 tsps oil -- NOT used in cooking -- a day. I already include lots of healthy fats in my diet, and when I tried to do that -- even staying within my points -- I started to consistently gain weight. Which only proves too much of anything, even a good thing, will make you fat.

Now for some rambling. We think DH has food poisoning. Supposedly his mother does, and they ate the same suspect thing: hamburgers. He's refusing to see a doctor. Thank God he was ok coming home on the plane -- I can only imagine how miserable it would be to fly cross country that sick.

He was ok that first night, but I never sleep well when he comes home late at night. Oh, I fall asleep just fine, but I have so much trouble getting back to sleep after he gets home. The next night he threw up for most of the night, which kept me up most of the night. I am sooooo tired. Of course, he's even more tired. As far as I know, he didn't throw up last night -- or if he did, I slept thru it, but I'm a very light sleeper.

He only had a few glasses of juice & a few crackers yesterday. I gave him some ginger tea in the morning, but he threw up after that. Hopefully we've turned a corner. If he hadn't started to keep liquids down, I would have dragged him to the doctor despite his protests. He's actually pretty good when he's sick -- not whiny, not demanding, and he's usually good about going to the doctor.

I went to Target again yesterday because DH wants to give my cell phone to his nephew (who ran his thru the wash . . . again), and he wanted me to get a new cell phone ASAP -- because he'd left with his mom's keys to her house, and wanted to mail it all back together. He's very fond of saying that a problem on your end doesn't make an emergency on my end, until it comes to him, apparently.

So I didn't research the phone as much as I normally do. I bought a more expensive one this time because it has an MP3 player in it. Only you need a memory card to get your music into it, and because I hadn't done my research, I didn't know this. So now I need to go back to Target & get a memory card, because it would be nice to have some music on it when we're on vacation (hopefully Target has what I need, or I'll never get it in time).

And I did buy the black shoes. Funny, everyone thought I should -- granted, it's only $60 for both pairs, and people spend 3 times that on must one pair . . . but I didn't need it; I wanted it. Oh well, I will definitely enjoy them.

Here's hoping DH can start keeping some food down today. Here's hoping he recovers enough to actually enjoy our vacation.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DDHEART 8/30/2009 6:05PM

    My sympathy to your hubby....I had it once and was so very sick for 24hours then sore but better...hope by now he's feeling better too.

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SEKSUNSHINE 8/30/2009 8:05AM

    Let's hope he gets better soon. If it is food poisoning it should run it's course in just a few days. I had the book you are talking about and it didn't do anything for me. The beginning of the diet plan is so rigid. I like planning and routine but I like more freedom with food. I hope it works for you, I know it has for tons of people. I was a little put off on all the fat even if it was good fat. Have a great Sunday!

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My new guilty pleasure

Friday, August 28, 2009

I've watched TLC's "What Not to Wear" now & again, but suddenly I seem to have become addicted to it. Maybe because we cut back on our channels a while back: we got rid of all the premium movie channels. We had a free 3 month trial when we moved in here, but it's expired.

After months of not spending anything much beyond the basics, the shopping genie has been let loose. Some are things I really need: new private stuff, for instance. They say you should replace your bras every year, but I never do; still, it was time for some new ones (and I swear that I am in between cup sizes -- why don't they make half cup sizes?).

Others are things I could use, but don't necessarily need. Some new workout clothes, mostly. Most of the tops I have are at least 10 years old. I've bought just a few here & there over the last year, but while it wasn't a pressing need, I could have used more. One of my favorite online stores for workout wear, www.athleta.com , is having a sale.

One of the things I wanted was a skort or two. It's a real gamble buying something like that online, but I took it -- and I really like it. Unfortunately, the skort isn't on sale, and I'd really like to get another one.

Yes, I've actually found that cute workout clothes make me want to work out more. It's amazing how when you like the way you look, you feel better, and that just makes you want to do all the things you know you have to do to keep feeling & looking better. Don't wait til you've lost the weight to get yourself some cute workout clothes! It really can be motivating.

But the other thing I've been buying lately are shoes. I'm shopping at Marshalls, so I'm getting awesome deals (like a pair of Cole Haan shoes for $15), but they aren't really something I need. Once again, I'm struggling -- shopping can be just as much an addiction as food! I found a plain pair of aerosoles with cute little kitten heels that are soooo comfortable -- but they only had them in brown in my size. When I went to a different discount store, after I'd bought the brown ones, they had my size in black. They also tend to sell out of shoes really quickly. What to do? They're cute, they're comfortable, they look so much nicer than running around doing errands in sneakers, but do I really need a pair in brown & black?

And I swear, when I'm shopping, sometimes I hear Stacy & Clinton's voices in my ears. I think I have a pretty good sense of style, altho I absolutely know they'd make me get rid of some of my sweatshirts & tshirts. Like my healthy lifestyle, my overall style is ever-evolving.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DDHEART 8/29/2009 9:19PM

    This is so funny 'cause I watched the show last night and as I watched it I was thinking how the story was such a spark story...the gal they were working with had never felt pretty or worthy and rather than dress nicely, she shlepped around in baggy stuff since she felt her body wasn't slim enough or whatever.....Stacy kept trying to tell her she should never wait till she thought she was thin enough and if she dressed more nicely she would feel more worthy 'cause she is worthy....now if that isn't a spark story...and here you are saying some of the same things. It's fun getting some bargains and yes we do have to watch the shopping too but I love TJMAXX and Marshall's....I have to check out your site for athletic wear....I love skorts...my problem right now is I don't really know my size since everything has changed so much. Have fun!

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STARTSPARKING 8/29/2009 7:02PM

    Ah... the joy of clothes shopping! I haven't bought anything in awhile because I regained weight. However, I finally broke down recently and bought some workout capri pants... in a larger size. I needed the comfort of exercising in clothes that fit properly, so I gritted my teeth and bought them resentfully. However, I don't plan to wear them for long. Soon I will go back to my smaller size ones... or buy NEW ones in the smaller size.

My vote is to enjoy BOTH pairs of shoes, my friend! emoticon

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KEAKMAN 8/29/2009 3:24PM

    I agree...cute workout clothes make me want to workout. I tried on a bunch of skorts, noted sizes and styles, then bought 4 of 'em on eBay for under $30 total....Love 'em and they all fit.

As for comfy shoes - you can never have too many of those!

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KARBIE18 8/29/2009 8:54AM

    I watch that show, on occasion, and am always amazed at the difference properly fitting clothes can make. I don't shop much, but when I do, I refuse to buy anything that I don't love anymore. I really want a new jean jacket, and I found one recently that ALMOST fit right. It was perfect in every way, except a little large in the shoulders. I was this close to buying it, and I, like you heard a voice that said, "You will not be happy with this. It does not do your figure justice." I've bought some really ugly work clothes in the past, just because they kind of fit me. Not anymore, thankfully.

I don't really have any workout clothes. I wear shorts and tank tops. I have no real problem motivating myself to move anymore, but I think it is something to consider. It might be just what I need to push myself a little harder.

Yes, a pair of black shoes, and a pair of brown shoes is always handy!

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Who are you, and what did you do with my husband?

Thursday, August 27, 2009

I have on more than one occasion suggested to my husband that he might want a pedometer, too. That I bet he'd be surprised by the number of steps he gets in a day. He thinks he moves around a lot -- on days he mows the lawn he certainly does, but that's usually only once a week. We barely rack up 2000 when we walk the dogs at night (and that's because I do at least double that, if not more, when I walk them in the morning). Which reminds me that I think I forgot to enter my cardio yesterday . . . oh well.

Anyway, back to the title. He calls me one day & wants to know if I have an extra pedometer, which I don't. I, apparently, am not terribly inspiring, but his family is. Which sometimes makes me nuts. What I say isn't important, until someone else says the same thing to him.

Apparently his sister wants to lose weight. She's a couple of inches shorter than me, but she weighs a whopping 113 apparently, so why she wants to lose 10 lbs is beyond me. I'd be overjoyed to weigh what she weighs. And she was trying to challenge him, I guess.

So now he wants a pedometer. Don't get me wrong, I think it's a good thing (assuming he doesn't lose it right away, which knowing him is a distinct possibility).

And speaking of walking, I read a tip yesterday about why counting steps is more important than doing exercise for a certain amount of time. According to some study, people who were asked to get 10,000 steps a day got roughly 2,000 more steps in than those who were simply asked to walk 30 minutes a day.

Stay tuned: will her husband beat her in steps? Or is he about to have his eyes opened to just how sedentary he really is? Can this be the start of other healthy changes? Will he even actually remember to wear his pedometer?

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

STARTSPARKING 8/28/2009 2:16AM

    Although it is infuriating that your husband valued others' opinions more than yours in this case, I'm glad he is taking this positive step (pun intended). emoticon If he is serious about adopting a healthier lifestyle, I am certain he will find lots of inspiration from you because of all that you have accomplished.

I sent you a pedometer SparkGoodie in the hopes that this will be the beginning of your husband's healthy changes. That will be so awesome!
emoticon

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AINTSKEERD 8/27/2009 10:54AM

    I think that is one of the rules of being a spouse. I always say Kristy only listens to others, and she says I don't listen to her input...even though we both eventually come 'round to the other's side. I know it doesn't matter how they get to our side, but it is pretty darned annoying at times!

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GRANNY1972 8/27/2009 10:48AM

    I'll suggest something to my hubby and get a shrug of the shoulders or no comment at all from him. Then a few days later it's "Why don't we---------" from him like it's a whole new idea and he came up with it!!!! AGGGGGHHHH! Very frustrating at times! Hope your hubby sticks with the walking and using the pedometer.

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KEAKMAN 8/27/2009 9:10AM

    Take whatever you can get. You can force an admission of your original suggestion later - but for now, be glad that he wants to exercise. I am sure that seeing his dad in such poor shape, and perhaps strting to think f his own mortality, had more to do with his change of heart than anything skinny sis said....she was just an excuse or reason to offer, so that he doesn't have to admit that he is worried about his own future body. (just my guess, based on my own hubby)

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SEKSUNSHINE 8/27/2009 7:54AM

    So is there going to be "Film At 11:00"? That's what you questions reminded me of. Advertisements for the nightly news! LOL!!

Men are exasperating! I really don't know why I have one around. Oh, I know, he's building a new sidewalk!

Look at it this way, at least he's making an attempt?!

Hang in there.

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SLCB1023 8/27/2009 7:47AM

    I have always found that to be true too. I tell my kids something and they ignore the advice until one of their friends says the same thing. LOL Happens at work too on occasion. I tell them something for FREE but they have to hear it from a high paid consultant. Ya just can't win. But at least your DH will be out there moving and I am betting he will be looking to you for support. LOL Thanks for sharing

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MRSTEDDYBEAR 8/27/2009 6:35AM

    Yeah mine too, if I suggest something he's like i'll think about it. If he suggests something it's the best idea ever! Even if it's the worst idea...lol

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ZEE1960 8/27/2009 5:59AM

    I have a husband who dismisses my suggestions until someone else suggests it too, they are infuriating!

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