Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Pets Part 1: Introduction of the clan

I never thought I would have these emotions for a non-human.  When I was younger, I thought it was strange when people would say they love their pets or have them sleep in their beds or cry over the loss of their furry friend.  This was not because I was heartless. It was just a foreign concept to me for someone to have such deep feelings for a canine or feline or other "non-human species."

You see, growing up in Jamaica although we had several dogs, they were kept outside and we did not interact with them much.  They weren't really pets, they were just there for us to feed.  Their purpose was not for comfort but maybe to protect, ie. barking at visitors.  In the middle of the night when we heard them barking, we knew there was something wrong or at least different because it was not that they wanted food, attention or just to go for a walk.

My husband on the other hand had a different upbringing.  He raised dogs, cats, snakes, rats--you name it, he likely had it as a pet at some point.   He's always had a cat for as long as I can remember.  Anyway, just a few months into our marriage he wanted to get a dog.  I've never seriously considered getting a dog before.  I thought things were great with just the two of us and I didn't want any changes.

I worried about all the added responsibilities we would have.  I thought that we would not be able to travel anymore because we had to stay home with the dog, wouldn't have any money for "stuff" because we would spend all our money on taking care of it.  I did not want to change anything.  I'm a clean freak (as mentioned in previous post) so I worried about not being able to keep a squeaky clean house.

My honey was persistent and not only did he talk about getting a dog, he started talking about babies.  This was very early in our marriage and although I love children and always knew I wanted them I was like "whoa hold up, let's get back to the dog."

So, 7 months into our marriage we got Gideon (our Great Dane).  Wait, I'll back up a bit.  We started to research dogs about 2 months into our marriage.  We debated about small vs. medium dogs.  I wanted a small dog and he wanted a medium dog--so we compromised and got a very LARGE dog.  We thought about getting a Black Russian Terrier but they were too expensive.  We visited a farm that bred Great Danes and we decided to get one but I backed out at the last minute.  What can I say, I got cold feet.  So, we found Gid online months later and purchased him from a breeder in NC.

Gideon K was born in October 2008.  We got him at 9 weeks old and weighing only 10lbs.  I thought he was the most adorable thing ever and I was instantly in love.  He was so soft and cuddly.  The first night we got him, I of course had to give him a bath.  He was so tiny (with the biggest paws); he could not even go up the stairs.  It didn't take long for me to start calling Gid my baby and becoming super protective of him (not knowing that this would be reversed in the future).  We watch him rapidly grow from 10lbs to now 120lbs at 22 months old.

Gid is the best dog ever--more than I could have imagined.  He is sensitive, loving, protective.  Although he is so big he thinks he is a lap dog.  He is great with people and other dogs.  He is good with kids, usually approaching them with caution.  He's a little timid and he's not the best learner but I've read that the breed is like that.  Although we don't allow Gid to sleep with us, we do love him and I have cried when he was hurt or sick.

So, my husband being an animal lover decided to test the waters and request that we get another dog, a friend for Gideon.  Oh, no! I agreed with him that since we both work, Gideon was probably lonely at home.  However, I did not want another dog, at least I thought I didn't.  I came up with tons of excuses: no one will want to dogsit two dogs, more money, dirtier house, blah blah blah.  Basically, Eliza was added to our family as a result of this.  It didn't take too long to convince me the second time around.

We picked up Eliza K from the animal shelter in June 2010.  We went to visit the shelter a few weeks before and fell in love with her.  Someone found her in a Walmart parking lot (of all places) and brought her to the shelter.  They thought she was about 4 months old.  She was so scrawny and weak when we first met her, but yet so sweet.  We could not get her right away because the shelter wanted to get her a little healthier first.

We finally brought her home.  She is the only other female in our family.  Eliza is sweet and adorable.  She can be stubborn and naughty at times.  She is strong-willed and even more protective than Gideon.  At less than 1/3 Gideon's weight, she was bossing him around and seizing his toys.  When we first got her she would growl at Gideon whenever she is eating but we had to break her of this habit.  Now her and Gid are best friends.  They are so sweet to watch.

Ok, my husband would be mad if I didn't talk about our cat.  I've called him my stepcat in previous posts but he is our cat.  I've joked that he is my stepcat because my husband had him for a year before we were married.  His name is Sampson K and he is a Maine Coon.  He weighs over 20lbs and he too is very sweet.  He allows the dogs to man-handle him without retaliating (although sometimes I wish he would retaliate).  Sometimes to get away from the two canine tyrants, he climbs to he highest point in our house and naps there.  Sampson has an interesting personality also.  He wants to be loved on whenever he is ready.  During the summer months we shave him and he hates it.  After being shaved he stays mad at us for a few months and gives us an attitude until his hair grows back.  He is too funny.

So, I hope it's apparent how much our pets mean to us and how much they are a part of our family.  If you told me a few years ago that I would be crying in the vets offfice when told my dog may have bone cancer (thankfully that was not the case) I would not believe you.  Or if you told me that I would want my dogs to sleep with us and that I would I love them so much that I could kiss them, I wouldn't believe you.  Ok, so even though I've thought about the last two things, no matter how much I love my pet family I cannot bring myself to kiss them or sleep with them.  Some things just never change :).

Do  you have any good pet stories?  If you send me a pet story with pics, I will feature it in on my blog on a future post.

Mrs. K

Sunday, August 29, 2010

As Eminem says, "I'm cleaning out my closet"

Wooh! I'm still trying to recover from yesterday.  No, I did not go out partying or anything like that.  I did what I call my "end of summer cleaning."  As you know I had a house full of people over the summer, but now it's just me and my honey.

So, going back to my old clean freak routine, I turned on my TV to the Music on Demand channels and listened to music, while dancing around and cleaning.  Am I the only one who does this? A task like this one takes the whole day for me so I try to have fun while doing it.  To list a few of the things I did, I:

1) Washed the dogs: a huge chore.  The toughest part is getting them in the tub, but yesterday wasn't so bad.  Gideon (our Great Dane) just walked in the bathroom and stepped in the tub.  Wow, I was so surprised that it freaked me out.  It's usually a chore getting him in the tub.  He'll go sit on the couch or in his crate because he knows it's difficult for me to move him (he's 120lbs).  Usually after he's in the tub, he gives up and allows me to bathe him. Once Gid was "so fresh and so clean" it was Eliza's (pit-Dane mix) turn.
  Thankfully before I tried to scrub off every inch of dirt off her, my husband text me to remind me that she was spayed 3 days ago so she cannot be washed.  Crap, I was so mad.  I had planned on keeping them with me inside all day while I did chores and I wanted them to be clean.  That didn't change my plans too much.  I gave her a "sponge bath" and she was good to go.  Also, I cleaned both their ears with some homemade doggie ear cleaning solution.  They were both so good inside with me all day.  They did give me some funny and confused looks as I was singing and dancing around the house.

2) Laundry: yes, the dreadful laundry.  I think this is my least favorite chore.  I don't mind throwing some clothes in the washing machine and dryer, that's pretty simple.  I hate folding clothes and what I hate even more than doing that is packing them away.

The frustrations of socks being eaten by the dryer monster, me tripping over Eliza with the laundry basket and having to re-fold clothes, not having enough space to store all our clothes (our house does not have enough closet space).   It's a necessary evil and I'm glad it's all done.

3) Cleaning the house in general: now I don't mind doing this.  You name the chore, I likely did it: dusting, vacuuming, sweeping and mopping floors, cleaning the baseboards, changing bedding and curtains, cleaning bathrooms.  I started in the kitchen and worked my way to other areas in the house including, living room, bathrooms and 3 bedrooms.  Noticed I left out closets.

So, I have a confession: no matter how clean the entire house is, the closets in the bedrooms are usually atrocious.  I think that's partly because I can't stand seeing clutter and we have a lot of junk.  So, I stuff all that in the closets--"out of sight, out of mind."  When we move I hope our new house has better closet space and I plan to buy storage containers to help me organize better.  If you have any ideas about where I can find reasonably priced storage containers that are sturdy let me know.  Also, do you have any other organizing tips/ideas?
This is not my closet, I came across this on photobucket--pretty organized, huh?

I was glad to be done and although it took forever, I feel good because now the house is squeaky clean and I can relax.  Also, this will make it a little easier for future cleaning.  As I was cleaning I thought about how it would be even more difficult when we have children.  More laundry, dirtier more disorganized house.  I wonder how I will do it all and still have time to do simple things like feeding my family, making sure the kiddos are not getting into anything harmful, tending to my own personal hygiene.

Also, I'm a little type A personality (well, more than a little) so I like things organized and done a certain way.  I hear that all changes when we have kids.  How do I deal with that?  I picture myself running around crazy with matted hair.  I've heard people say that you shift focus and all those little things won't matter anymore.  Well, what if I'm different and they still matter? Then what?  What do mother's with type A, clean freak personalities like me do?

I have some friends who are done with training and are practicing full time who hire housekeepers.  Others hire nannies who do it all, take care of their children, clean house, make meals, do laundry, etc. My honey is a great help, when he is not on call (he was on call yesterday) but we both will likely be working full time when we have kids.

Do I want to hire a nanny?  Right now, I don't think so.  First, I would feel bad, like I'm letting someone else take over my obligations.  I know I will be paying them but that would be so different from the values I was raised with.  I'm not completely writing it off or bashing it--I'm just considering whether this would be a good option for me.

Also, I am sort of private and that would be weird--someone doing my laundry...but I have undies in there.  LOL. I don't even let my mom do my laundry when she offers.  I guess I'll find out what works best for me when the time comes.  What about you--do you hire help?  Would you hire a nanny that does it all?  What do you do to make chores easier?  Mothers--how do you do it all?  What's your secret? 

Mrs. K

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Some things that my close friends know about me that I would like to share

  1. I’m a Christ follower who is trying daily to be like Him
  2. My husband is awesome and I try to remind him of this frequently
  3. Jamaican by origin (and proud), but I don’t get upset when people think I’m from a different country.  I look black, so I don’t expect to be easily differentiated from someone from another majority black country/island just by looking at me.  LOL
  4. I have a strong sense of who I am and what I believe in
  5. Places I’ve lived: Jamaica, New York, Florida, Mississippi
  6. Countries I’ve visited: Canada, Israel, Panama
  7. Countries/Continents I plan to visit: Africa, Italy, England, Netherlands, China, India, Bhutan
  8. I have a large family who I consider my best friends and I only have a few friends that are non-family
  9. I have the best family and in-laws!
  10. I am a pretty private person, although you would never guess since this blog IS about my personal life and experiences (maybe I’m changing)
  11. I am truly a work in progress…I evaluate my self regularly and determine ways I can improve myself.  For example, I was a very unforgiving person and this was a problem, so I prayed about it and worked hard at it AND now I am much better.
  12. Overall, I am an optimist.  I try to see the good in people and situations.  I usually have a positive, upbeat attitude.
  13. I’m trying to enjoy life to the fullest (the good and the bad)—hence my blog title
  14. I love to laugh! [in general, at jokes, at myself, with people, at people (haha), for no reason]
  15. Most people would describe me as sweet.  Those who really know me would agree but also comment that I can unleash the beast when necessary. LOL
  16. I am deathly afraid of frogs/toads and I want to overcome this ridiculous fear
  17. I’m an athlete, well at least was.  I do try to stay in shape by being active
  18. Before I met my husband I was totally an indoor person, now you can’t keep me inside—I love the great outdoors!
  19. Gideon and Eliza are my babies (our dog children).  Sampson is my stepcat who I’m still trying to warm up to.  But, I love them all.
  20. Shopping sometimes serve as a supplement for chocolate when I’m feeling blue
  21. I’m cheerful, kind, honest, soft, caring most of the time, but occasionally my temper flares
  22. Both my parents are taller than me and I’ve always wanted to be taller.
  23. I have a lot of siblings (too many to count) but I was raised as an only child
  24. I really like what I do for a living—I feel it’s very rewarding and no matter how tough my day is I try to keep this in mind.
  25. I’m quickly approaching 30 years old so I want to start a family but I hesitate
  26. I love wearing heels but I don’t because I’m on my feet plenty
  27. Buying dresses is my new thing although I don’t wear them as often as I would like
  28. I forget my dreams although I want to remember them
  29. I have a sweet tooth and I love whipped cream on everything
  30. I avoid people who are too vain, mean or gossipy
  31. I’m not shy.  I am very outspoken and not afraid to state my opinion or concerns
  32. I love having natural hair—I like the freedom, the option to wear it out, twist it, or flat iron to straighten it, etc
  33. I usually stick to rules and guidelines, which is sometimes perceived as rigid and inflexible.
  34. I’ve never smoked a cigarette or done any drugs.  I also don’t drink alcohol
  35. Do I know how to cook? Yes, but I don’t enjoy cooking.  I hope this will change
  36. I’m not a huge veggie fan but I’m trying to incorporate them into my diet
  37. I hate taking pills—refer to a previous post regarding this
  38. I love learning about and talking to people of various cultures
  39. Indian food is yummy in my tummy.  Of course I also like Jamaican, Mediterranean, Peruvian, Puerto Rican, Italian, Chinese too.  Well, I just like food and I will try almost anything!
  40. I’m not a huge fan of rain but I’m learning to enjoy it.
  41. I speak patois when I’m nervous, tired, or angry
  42. Studied Italian for 6 years, American Sign Language for 2 years but I forgot most of what I’ve learned because of lack of use (so sad)
  43. I like almost all music—favorites are reggae, R&B, Pop, soft Rap, contemporary country
  44. I’ve never been on a cruise, although I want to.
  45. I’m a little competitive at everything.  Ok, that’s a lie.  I’m very competitive.
  46. My husband loves the “fly on my lip.”  So I know that sounds gross.  I have a beauty mark on my bottom lip that my husband loves
  47. I like things done my way, but who doesn’t?
  48. I’m sensitive but not overly and I like being that way.
  49. I talk gibberish when I’m falling asleep.
  50. Life is good and I am blessed and thankful! 

Is there something about you that you would like to share with me?  Any similarities or differences?  Feel free to leave comments/questions!

    Mrs. K

    Wednesday, August 25, 2010

    I hate taking pills but I'm freakishly attached to my OCPs!

    When it comes to taking pills I'm the biggest baby.  I whine and complain about the taste, the size, the smell, and even sometimes the color.  Unfortunately for me I have allergic rhinitis year round, have 2 dogs and 1 cat, and am allergic to everything indoors and outdoors.  I know it all sounds bad, but thank God it's not too bad for me anymore. 

    I have been prescribed medications to treat my allergies for years, I think since my sophomore year of college.  I have also been... non compliant for years then one day I woke up and decided I didn't want to suffer anymore so started taking my medications.

    Well it didn't really happen like that.  I actually started becoming compliant when I began taking OCPs--oral contraceptive pills.  Since, I was taking OCPs daily it made it easier for me to take my allergy medications too.  To my surprise, when I started taking my allergy pills, some of my symptoms decreased and most resolved.  Wow!  I could not believe that I suffered for all those years for no reason. 

    Although, I am better at taking my allergy pills, I do sometimes forget to take them especially on the days when I don't take the "inert (or sugar) pills" from my OCP packet.  I also neglect to take my allergy medicine when I have no water available at the time, but I still swallow my OCP without thinking twice about water.

    I say this all to let you know about my dislike for taking medications.  However, since I started taking OCPs (about 2 months before I got married), my OCPs and I have been best friends.  It goes everywhere I go.  I never forget to check to make sure everything is going OK.  I almost never miss a date with my OCP and when I do, I worry.  I seriously worry.

    I was inspired to write this blog today because I got up pretty early, went to the gym, grabbed breakfast then went to grab for my OCP and my little friend was not there.  I knew exactly where it was and I was so frustrated.  Partially freaked out, I tried to calm down as I thought about whether I should risk missing a pill or be late for work.  Pill vs. Work.  Ummm, let's just say, I did not want to take the risk so I had to go home and get my best friend.  Luckily, I also made it on time to work. 

    After this happened, I was thinking more about how difficult it may be for me to separate from/stop my birth control pills when my hubby and I decide to start trying to have a little booger of our own.  Man, I have been telling people over the last few days to weeks how mentally prepared I am and how next year will be a good year.  Does this mean, I may not be ready?  I don't think so, I am mentally ready but we do have a tentative OCP stop date in mind and it is not today or tomorrow!

    I would love to know your OCP story if you have one!

    Mrs. K

    Tuesday, August 24, 2010

    Just the two of us again, but not for too long.

    Just the two of us at our friend's wedding in Tampa, FL
    Those who know me joke that I should be a truck driver or at least make that my second job.  I've been giving this thought some consideration--well not really, but I realize why they say this.  I'm notorious for driving hours (most 21 hours in one day) alone or with company.  I guess I have family and friends in various places that I try to visit.

    I'll just get in my little blue car and start driving.  I will pop in a CD and just go!  What most people find interesting is that I can also drive for hours without listening to music.  During those times I am deep in thought (lol), planning or organizing, praying and talking to God, or talking on the cell phone (guilty!).  Nevertheless, I must say that for the most part I do enjoy those long (and some would say boring) rides.  It's of course, a lot better when my honey is with me so he can drive and I can talk his head off.

    Last week I took one of those trips.  If you've read my previous posts, you know that my mother and siblings were visiting for the summer.  Well, the children had to go back to school and I had to drive them (hubby had to work).  Fifteen hours later (with a car full of sleepy heads) we were in Fort Lauderdale, FL and my mom was headed back to Jamaica.  It was a nice trip, but I wished we had a bigger car like a minivan SUV.

    Anyway, I returned from my trip on Sunday (also 15 hours back) and was so happy to see my honey.  The house was so quiet and peaceful.  It was also clean, well his version of clean and i was happy to see that.  I almost forgot how quiet it was with only us two, although we are both pretty loud people.  I thought about how I can't wait to fill it up with our little kiddos in the future but also thought that I should just enjoy the peace and quietness while we have it.

    Mrs. K

    Tuesday, August 17, 2010

    From Seven to Two

    In less than 24 hours my household size will drastically decrease.  If you have been reading, you will recall that my husband and I are the only 2 people living in our home (except the dogs and cat).  That changed this summer when my mother and my teenage siblings were invited to spend the entire summer with us.  As I said in previous blogs, this has been an overall great and fun experience for us.  There were times when I wanted to disappear from all the chaos and be in a peaceful place but for the most part I looked forward to coming home daily to a house filled with wonderful people.  This will all end tomorrow.  My mother and my youngest brother will fly back to Jamaica and my other siblings will go back to Florida to live with their dad.  I must admit that it will be strange to have to come home to a fairly quiet house and I will definitely miss them.  Here are just a few of the things I will miss: 

    -Arriving home to smiling faces and loud laughter of my mom and the kids
    -Having a home cooked meal ready (some days)
    -Hearing my husband goofing off with my siblings and making fun of my brother for being so thin
    -Going to bed very late just so that I can spend some time hanging out with them
    -Blogging about them
    -My husband and I giving college tips to them
    -Things I wanted to do, but used them as an excuse to do them: eating cupcakes, cake and ice cream several times per week; frequenting the movie theaters; bowling; Gatti-town (similar to Dave and Busters); sneaking out a little early from work; tubing...(and the list goes on).
    -Playing Taboo, Mafia and other board games while eating chocolate fondue

    I agree with my honey when he says that this summer was a "trial run" for the future for when we do have kids.  He was so right.  I think I will be a WAHM and I've learned through my experiences this summer that it is very difficult.  At times I felt guilty and torn for coming in late from work, not having dinner ready and just not spending enough time with them.  I can't imagine how it will be when we have our own children.  My husband and I both work, in fact he is on call at the hospital tonight and is not at home tonight.  He is very optimistic that we will do fine when we have kids in the future but I can't help but think about all the future challenges.  I guess I'm a tad bit of a worrier at times and I want us to be great parents (although I know we will make tons of mistakes!).  

    So as we go from seven to two we will miss the crowded house but we will look forward to 1) having another reunion soon and 2) filling up our home with some kiddies of our own.

    Mrs. K

    Sunday, August 15, 2010

    I Kissed Weighing Goodbye

    Ok...so I have not weighed myself in about 3 months and that's a record for me.  I decided before the summer began that I will not weigh myself and obsess over my weight.  I'm a thin athletic female that tries to stay in shape, but the further I get away from my track days (umm...years ago since I left high school) I find myself more weight conscious.  I'm certainly not as active as I was in the past and I eat about the same as I did back then, but I guess the older I get the more  concerned I am about my weight, what I eat, my physical activities, etc.  Gone are the days when I could eat what I want and not worry about gaining weight or increasing my cholesterol.  Instead of worrying (which does no good), I've decided to act.  I've decided, it's not about my weight--If I look good, feel good and am healthy then that's great.  I don't know when the next time is I will get back on a scale, but it won't be anytime soon.

    I plan on having some bambinos in the next few months to years so I'm trying to get and stay as healthy as I can.  I've even started prenatal vitamins, which is surprising to my husband since I hate taking pills.  Even though I won't be focusing on my weight, I do plan to stay in shape.  Currently I sporadically run 3 miles and 1 walk mile a few times per week, but not every week.  I have not done much since the summer started--with a house full of family visiting it's difficult to stick to a routine.  However, after they leave I plan to work towards having the best pre-pregnancy body possible for me :).  I will let you know how that goes.

    Anyway I kiss weighing goodbye...well, at least for now.

    Mrs. K

    Tuesday, August 10, 2010


    So, in this post I will mention burning thoughts and feelings I've had for the past few weeks but could not share because I did not have a blog as yet.  Firstly, I am so thankful I have such wonderful in-laws.  I know that most people cannot say the same about their in-laws and most cringe at the thought of them.  However, that is not the case for me.  My mother in-law is the best (so far...haha just joking), but really guys, she is.  My husband and I love visiting his parents--not only will they have a favorite dish ready for him, but they will have one for me too.  Homemade ice cream, fudge, yum!  His siblings are just as great and they are so supportive and the entire family has such a great sense of humor.  I feel blessed.

    Secondly, my husband and I had a full house this summer.  My mother came to visit us from Jamaica (where I was born and partly raised).  She also had with her all my teenage siblings: 17, 16, 14, 13 years old.   Our house is usually fairly quiet with just the two of us, unless I'm playing music loudly while cleaning the house of course.  Needless to say it has been a noisy and interesting summer but so much fun.  I feel like a kid again.  They will be leaving soon and I will surely miss them.  Since having them for the summer, I have given more thoughts to us having our own children.  I am excited to have my own but realized how difficult it is to work and dedicate as much attention as I would like to children--not that it is impossible but it will be challenging.  I must certainly say I look forward to and embrace that challenge.
    My sisters and I

    Monday, August 9, 2010

    My First Blog Ever...

    Yippiee...it took me a while to enter my first post because I wanted to finish designing my blog.  I am no computer expert and neither is my hubby.  However, he managed to help me solve some of the problems I have been trying to fix for over one week in about 30 seconds.  I guess I should have asked for help sooner huh?  I tend to do that--try to figure things out myself, then end up soliciting help way later.  I must say I did learn plenty on my little adventure of creating this blog.  I am so excited to write my first post and I look forward to sharing more, as events unfold in my life.  I welcome comments and suggestions.


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