What’s Up Wednesday | Mar. 2018

Hi friends!

It’s been a bit!  I have had such difficulties finding time to write blog posts recently with moving, work, and school.  I haven’t even done a “What’s Up Wednesday” since January, so I thought this would be the perfect time to catch up!

I had originally posted my WUWs on the first Wednesday of the month, but I’ve decided to join everyone else on the last Wednesday, because that makes so much more sense, lol. 😉

It’s officially been a month since we moved, and it doesn’t feel like it at all.  Things are just barely slowing down and settling in now, so it’s hard to imagine how it’s already been a full month.

Anyway, today for “What’s Up Wednesday,” I’m joining Shay at Mix & Match Mama.

Here’s what we’ll be chatting about:

WHAT WE’RE EATING THIS WEEK

This week I’m making some slow cooker chili, slow cooker whole chicken & veggies, stuffed shells, and also ravioli.  🙂

WHAT I’M REMINISCING ABOUT

Back when I didn’t work 11+ hours a day and actually had full evenings with my love.  But I’m trying to rearrange my schedule to get close to that again!

WHAT I’M LOVING

Our new apartment!  I especially love how the sun streams in through the sliding glass door each morning and bathes the living room in warmth.  It’s not just me loving it either–Zelda and Kona both lay in the sun all morning long. 😉

Also, I was assigned to a new project at work, which means I no longer have to work weekends!  It has been absolutely AMAZING to just work Monday-Friday and have full two-day weekends free. ❤

WHAT WE’VE BEEN UP TO

Apartment improvements!  Shocker, lol. 😉  We’ve actually gotten a lot done and I’ve saved a lot of photos for a dedicated post about what we’ve done.

WHAT I’M DREADING

Currently, the fact that my latest paycheck for last month’s wages hasn’t shown up in the mail since we moved.  The company is stupid and won’t do electronic transfers with my bank, so I have to get paper checks.  I changed my address with them as directed by their website, AND we have an address forward set up in case something still goes to our old address, and yet, my check is about a week late and not at either address. :/  I’m starting to get anxious about first of the month bills because I don’t know how we’ll cover them without my paycheck.

WHAT I’M WORKING ON

Rearranging my work + school schedule so I can still get everything done in a week, but reclaim my evenings. 😉  I’ve been working from around 6:30 AM-8:00 PM (or later) and it’s wearing on me.  Joshua works from 7-4, though he often has to work through his lunch, so he’ll get home at like 3:30 and I still have numerous hours of work left ahead of me.  It’s frustrating and stressful and I’d just love to finish a full day and have an evening again instead of eating a quick dinner and heading to bed to start it all again.

WHAT I’M EXCITED ABOUT

We were able to get someone to take over our lease at our old apartment!  It blows my mind that it actually worked out, because it was a bit of a gamble.  I’m just so thankful that God worked it out for us!  Also, I’m just excited about settling into our new apartment and having this become our home. ❤

I’m also excited that we finally have enough space in our living room to play our Wii U!  It was impossible at our old apartment, so we’ve been loving being able to actually bowl and play tennis, not to mention Wii Fit U!  It’s really such a fun way to spend a Sunday evening together.  🙂

Finally, I mentioned in my past two WUW posts about doctors appointments due to Clindamycin back in August damaging my body.  My doctor gave me a different medicine at the beginning of the year and it has all cleared up now!  It just required the right medicine and giving it some time, but I feel pretty much completely better now!  My goodness, I’m so grateful!!

WHAT I’M WATCHING/READING

Watching:

Once Upon a Time!  Joshua and I finished The Office back in January, I think, and since then, we’ve been working through Once.  I had actually started watching Once before I met him in 2015, so we’ve been working on it for a while!  Until the past couple of months, we’d only been watching it sporadically, so that’s why it’s taken us so long, lol.  This show is so addicting and I unashamedly love it!

We also just watched the new Jumanji and ADORED it!  My goodness, that movie was hilarious on so many levels.  It’s definitely a new favorite of ours.  Jack Black was the best.

Reading:

I literally just finished “The Girl on the Train” last night.  I have to say, that was a depressing book and those characters are really screwed up.  It was well-written, and kept my attention in a “Whodunit” way, but the story was just so depressing and heavy that I don’t think I’ll be watching the movie.

My next book is “Room” by Emma Donoghue.  I haven’t watched the movie, but I’ve wanted to read the book for a while, so I’m looking forward to it!

WHAT I’M LISTENING TO

I know this sounds basic, but Joshua and I have recently been enjoying the Christian radio station.  For the longest time, I didn’t listen to it because I found other stations more interesting.  The songs on lately, though, have been catching our attention more.  Also, we are trying to find a new church since our last one was a small home church that recently disbanded when the couple hosting it needed to move out of town.  All the churches in town sing songs from the radio, so we are trying to learn them, lol!

WHAT I’M WEARING

The same old, same old.  I never buy new clothes, so I just wear what I have.  High-waisted jeans and boots are the most interesting aspects, lol.

WHAT I’M DOING THIS WEEKEND

Not sure!  Joshua was given a comic book store gift card for Christmas, so we might head over there.  I want to explore a trail with Kona again since we haven’t done that much since moving.  Also, I’d love it if we could finish the final layer of plaster on the holes in our apartment and install a new towel bar in the bathroom.

Our neighborhood exploration from almost two weeks ago 🙂

WHAT I’M LOOKING FORWARD TO NEXT MONTH

Being one month closer to finishing class!  I can’t wait for summer, haha.  It hasn’t been a bad class, but my schedule is just so full; I’m drained and can’t wait for break.  I didn’t even get a spring break because my teacher had two papers due by the Monday following spring break, so I obviously needed to write those.  I can’t wait for May 12th!

WHAT ELSE IS NEW

–We got a table & four chairs for $50!  If you’ve been reading my blog for a bit, you’ll know that I’ve been wanting a table for awhile, so this is just wonderful!

–I’m not sure if we’ll be keeping our rowing machine.  Every time I start getting into a schedule with it, I’ll do like one week of solid rowing and get sick, ugh.  It’s like I just can’t get into it.  Further, I pulled a muscle while using it in December and it still hasn’t healed.  It doesn’t hurt regularly, just when I row.  I guess the bottom line is it doesn’t seem like it’s working out, which is a bummer, because we were so excited for it and really liked it!

–I’ve gotten cold sores pretty bad on my lips for as long as I can remember (just being honest here).  Since we’ve been married, it seems like I’ve had an outbreak every few months.  I went on Facebook asking for any “magic” cures/preventions and a friend recommended coconut oil.  When I felt the tell-tale tingling of an oncoming sore, I applied it liberally and kept it covered and it never broke out in blisters.  I am amazed!  I don’t know if this will always work, but I’m thankful it did because I just had a cold sore the week before!  Another friend also recommended tea tree oil, so I’ll probably get a bottle as well to keep on hand.

–Oh, and one last thing.  We switched Kona to a salmon grain-free diet and took her to the vet because she had an eye infection from scratching.  He gave her antibiotics (which cleared it up) and an allergy shot.

Since starting the grain-free diet, her bald patches have grown back in and her fur is definitely softer!  The down side is, it’s been maybe 2 1/2 weeks since the shot and 3 weeks since the diet change and she’s starting to scratch more again.  She’s so high maintenance.  I don’t understand what it could be or what we need to do.  Apparently, the expensive salmon grain-free food helps a lot, but doesn’t eliminate the problem (or at least it hasn’t yet).   I’m out of ideas and kind of out of energy with trying to figure this out.  I mean, the scratching is definitely better, but it’s still more than it should be.  Maybe it’ll just take longer than one month to show the best results from the grain-free diet?  I sure hope so!

Anyway, that’s about it!  I hope you enjoyed this little chat.  Happy March and happy early Easter!  (Can you believe it’s on April Fool’s Day this year?  That just makes me laugh whenever I think about it.)

Until next time,

-Tialla ❤

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Our Move

You guys…this has been the craziest week of probably my whole life.

(FYI: this will be a very lengthy post.)

To start with, I have to say that I recommend not doing a lease takeover.  There’s always the possibility you’d have a better experience than us, and that would be awesome.  Even though there are pros to a lease takeover (such as not having to worry about first & last month’s rent/security deposit, etc), there are definitely cons.

For instance, the previous residents of our new apartment completely screwed us over.

The frustration with them began the week of our move, when the resident absolutely stopped communicating with me.  We had already seen the apartment (with rose-colored glasses for sure) and been approved through the office, and then she just stopped even looking at my messages.  She still hasn’t looked at them and we’ve been moved in for a week now!

Since it was a lease takeover, I was trying to communicate with her about when/how we would get the keys, when their utilities would be shut off since the office required our utilities to be activated before we moved in, etc.  And, she just ignored me and completely checked out of the conversation.  She basically abandoned the apartment–even flew off to Florida–before we even signed the lease.

Random, but Zelda loved all the boxes as we packed to move!

The frustration continued when it was the day before our move and I still hadn’t heard anything from her and this girl’s roommate was supposed to drop the keys off at the office for us to pick up the morning of our move.  All day, we kept calling and checking in, and yet there were no keys.  We asked the office to contact them since I didn’t have her roommate’s info or anything.  Ten minutes before closing, we called the office again and they let us know that apparently the roommate wasn’t moving OUT until the next day–the day of OUR move!  So, lots of stress and frustration and we had already reserved the U-Haul and everything because we all agreed (and signed!) that our lease began on that day.

Needless to say, we had to rearrange our plans for the move because we didn’t want to waste anyone’s time since we had no idea when we would even get the keys (or how).  We still picked up the U-Haul that morning since it was previously reserved, and Joshua’s family and a coworker helped us pack everything.

We arrived at our new complex at about two in the afternoon, and when we went to the office, they still didn’t have the keys.  By that time, just gonna be honest, Joshua and I were royally pissed.  We decided to just knock on the apartment door.

Thankfully, they answered and we explained that we were supposed to be moving in today and asked when we could get the keys.  Just another hour, we were assured.  I gave her my number to make sure we would have direct contact.  Relieved that we finally had an answer, we walked back to the car and ran out to get some lunch.

By three or three-thirty, she texted me and handed over the keys.  That was supposed to be the end of the issues, but that really was only the beginning.  We walked inside and stood there in horror, staring at the apartment.

They left it FILTHY.  Like, you guys, they lived there for three years and I’m convinced they never cleaned an inch of it.  It was disgusting.  The ceiling and baseboards were BLACK with built up grime and dust.  The walls were splattered from top to bottom with mud, dirt, and grime and who knows what else.  Cobwebs hung in numerous corners.  Grease coated the wall behind the stove and the backsplash.  The bathroom was nauseatingly disgusting and there were strands of hair stuck everywhere–even in the oven.  The yard was piled with three years of dog poop and trash.

Who leaves an apartment like that?!   I don’t care if you don’t have to deal with the apartment complex holding you responsible.  You just don’t leave that filth for other people!

When we had originally toured it, I at least noticed the place was dusty, but it hadn’t been a concern for me because I thought surely they would clean it–that’s just what you do.

I haven’t even gotten to the damage yet.  There was a gaping hole in the bathroom wall from a towel rod being torn out, which I had asked for them to fix before we moved in.  They assured us it would be fixed, obviously lying.  There was a six-inch hole in the bedroom that they simply plastered over instead of patching it, so it simply sank into the hole.

They damaged/bent the dead bolt so we literally got locked out of/inside our apartment until we could get emergency maintenance to fix it because it simply wouldn’t unlock.  Beyond that, the bedroom blinds are trashed with nearly half a side missing (something we wouldn’t have seen because she had the curtains closed when we toured), there are numerous big nail holes and other cracked and spackled places that we never saw when we first toured the apartment.  Admittedly, we weren’t looking at the details, but rather, the big-picture.  (Though to our credit, I did ask to tour it again so we could look more specifically for damage, but the resident stopped responding to me.  With a lease takeover, the complex automatically makes us responsible for all existing damage, so we have a lot to fix.  No wonder these residents did a lease takeover instead of finishing out their lease with the complex so they wouldn’t be accountable for their actions.)

We had no choice but to scrub every inch of the apartment.  Before we could even move our things in, we had to first spend hours scrubbing the living room so just had a clean place to put them.  It was dark before we finished unloading the U-Haul.

I promise I had fully planned on taking pictures of the empty apartment to post on my blog for the exciting moving adventures.  However, that was definitely not happening with how disgusting they left it.

This entire week has been spent scrubbing the apartment from top to bottom, inside and out.  I have discovered that bleach water is literally the best thing EVER for getting anything  off.  There are numerous areas of grime that multi-surface cleaner couldn’t even touch but it would come off with a scrubbing sponge and bleach water.  Bleach water also puts my mind at ease because now I know everything is sanitized.

We finally tackled the yard this Saturday and it was even more disgusting than I imagined.  They had a full trash can of poop and trash outside, yet, the yard also had layers upon layers of dog poop and trash–like they just gave up even trying years ago when the trash can got filled.  We started with filling a kitchen size garbage bag just with trash and random dog poop.  Then, we went out and bought shovels and work gloves.  For the next several hours, we shoveled and dug and filled fourteen garbage bags with dog poop.  FOURTEEN.  They were ridiculously heavy and I’m not sure my arms have ever felt more sore than after that.  There was even dog poop in the fire pit! -_-  Joshua’s coworker has recommended we pour hot bleach water on the dirt to kill any bacteria leftover from the poop so our dog doesn’t possibly get sick.  Do you think that is a good idea?  I’ve never heard of putting bleach on dirt, but the logic makes sense to me.

On the upside, the apartment and yard is now sparkling clean.  ❤  We are considering throwing the grill out since it was never cared for, covered, or maintained, so it’s corroded, rusted, and just not safe to cook on.  We plan on, instead, purchasing a $70 brand new charcoal-grill and calling it good, lol.  (However, Joshua’s coworker is confident he can get it looking brand new again and completely disinfected, so if they want to put in the work, we might just keep it.)  I guess we will see what happens.

Even with all this, we love our new apartment.  It’s SO much better than our previous one and it actually feels like we can make a home here instead of at our studio–which, let’s be honest, isn’t anything more than a glorified room.  I also love that this apartment doesn’t have any carpet, which reduces pet damage. 😉

We still have the living room to finish organizing.  We found out that we can’t put any indoor objects in the outdoor storage because there’s all kinds of spiders and creatures in there and I wouldn’t trust bringing anything back into the apartment.  It makes for a great place for outdoor items, however, like shovels, firewood, charcoal, a trash can, etc.

I am totally LOVING having a washer and dryer and dishwasher. ❤ ❤ ❤  It may have taken us five days to fill the dishwasher between the two of us, but those five days were the easiest days of dishes ever!

On top of everything with the apartment this week, I found out that my current project with my job is ending, so I’ve had to start training for a new one.  We also had to switch internet companies because our previous one didn’t get hardly anything at our new place.  That’s actually a good thing, though, because we are now saving money.

Oh, and about three days after we moved in, the management for the complex changed, so we haven’t been able to set up anything for paying rent or seeing our bills, which has added stress to the existing situation due to it just being the 1st of the month.

It’s funny, when I think about it, this has been one of the craziest and most stressful weeks in my life, and my face broke out in response.  Yet, I’m just so happy and excited to be here at this apartment!  I pretty much despise the previous residents with every fiber of my being, but that doesn’t diminish my joy of having this apartment.  Weirdly enough, all the cleaning for this apartment has kind of made it feel more like ours.  It’s a fixer-upper rental, lol.  I told Joshua that for all the work and money we are putting into this place, I sure hope we can keep renting here for years to make it worthwhile, haha!

I can’t even express adequately how awesome it has been to have a yard for letting Kona out!  It’s absolutely amazing to not have to walk her out whenever she has to go–especially in the early morning and at night.  On that note, we have such plans for this yard.  We are hoping to get solar string lights to hang along the fence, as well as put in a kind of roll-out walkway for the grill & by the gate to reduce bringing in mud and dirt.  We have to build up the fire pit a bit more and I have plans for a tiny garden this summer. ❤

Kona and Zelda have adjusted well to the move, though apparently Zelda now thinks there aren’t any rules since this is a new place.  We had so few rules before anyway (I mean, what cat truly listens?), but she at least knew she really wasn’t supposed to get on the stove or lick out dishes left on the stove.  Now, any existing rules are out the window and she is just all over the place.  It cracks me up.  That’s a cat for you, I guess!  Oh and even though they are adjusting well, it’s easy to tell they miss carpet.  They find anything to lay on to avoid the hard floor!

As for our improvements so far, we have re-patched the hole in the bedroom wall (which was already on the list, but Kona made it a priority by eating through the existing spackle, the bad dog) and patching the hole in the bathroom.  We still have to texturize them, but at least they aren’t gaping holes any longer.

We also replaced the shower head, which wasn’t damaged, but it just didn’t work well.  It basically didn’t have any water pressure so it took like five minutes to just rinse shampoo from my hair.  I bought a handheld sprayer with great reviews off Amazon for $16 and Joshua just installed it!  I’m super excited about it, especially since it will work great for bathing Kona as well.

If you made it to the end, I’m super impressed!  I wanted to share this with all of you, but I also needed to work through it all and chronicle it.  I’m a writer at heart, and writing helps me sort through events and emotions–especially when it’s been so much happening at once.

I hope all is well with you guys and I’m working to catch up on blogs whenever I have the chance.  🙂

Until next time,

-Tialla ❤

We’re Moving?!

If you have been reading through my blog for the last few months, you’ve probably noticed that I keep talking about moving.  Back in December or so, I was very excited thinking about moving when our lease is up in 2018, yet in January, I talked about how we pretty much decided not to move due to finances and simply rearranged our apartment to make it easier to stay.

Well, our plans changed again.  While I feel kind of annoyed at how back and forth we’ve been about this, we honestly always wanted to move, and we were just trying to make the right decision for our situation.  I’m reminding myself that nothing was set in stone, so it’s totally fine to change our minds. 😉  Through a series of events, we’ve come to realize that moving is definitely in the cards for this year and everything has aligned rather quickly.

In fact, we have taken over a lease at another complex and will be moving this Saturday, the 24th!!

Now we’re just looking for a lease takeover on our apartment, but we’re moving regardless of someone taking it over or not.  (We’re not breaking our lease, just not going to live there for the last couple payments.)

We are so excited about this new place, you guys.  Let’s look at the stats of the differences between our current and new apartments:

Current Apartment:

  • 450 sq. ft.
  • $1176/mo
  • No outdoor balcony/patio/yard.
  • No storage.
  • No dishwasher.
  • No washer/dryer (or hook-ups).
  • Utilities included.
  • Studio floor plan (aka no bedroom).
  • No A/C or air ventilation since there are two windows on the same wall.
  • Non-smoking building with a smoking neighbor that the complex does nothing about (aka the smoke comes into our apartment!)
  • No parcel locker
  • 15 minutes to hubby’s work

New Apartment:

  • 611 sq. ft
  • $1130/mo
  • Private fenced yard (perfect for our dog, plus it comes with a grill and fire pit!)
  • Private outdoor storage unit
  • Dishwasher
  • Washer & dryer in-unit
  • Utilities separate.
  • 1 bedroom
  • A/C!!
  • I don’t know about non-smoking, but the windows are set-up differently so neighbors can’t stand directly in front of them. 😉
  • Parcel locker
  • 15 minutes to hubby’s work

Any tips for moving?!  This is our first move together!  To be honest, I will say that I’m slightly saddened at the thought of leaving this apartment, not because it’s great or anything, but because this has been our first home together.  Still, it will be even better than what we have now, so that’s what I’m reminding myself of.  🙂

We’ve reserved a U-Haul for Saturday, and have already packed up a few things, but still have the kitchen and other random items to pack.  We have set up a forward for our address, contacted our internet and insurance, and called about activating utilities.  Can you think of anything we are missing??

Thanks guys!!  I can’t wait to take you along this adventure with us. 🙂

Until next time,

-Tialla ❤

“What is your…?” Q&A

I realize I didn’t post my “What’s Up Wednesday” this week for February’s edition. :/  Let’s suffice it to say that this week was completely swamped with work and class for me, so I didn’t have a chance to write the post.

However, I finally finished all my work and homework for the week, and I’m waiting for my hubby to get home from work to start our weekend, so I have some time to get this post up!  I tried putting on the Olympics, but our TV service is pretty bad if lots of people are on the same channel, so it’s blotchy and not working.  Instead, I put on HGTV, and I’m kicked back on our reclining love seat.  HGTV has been my addiction lately when I have downtime, so it’s not a bad substitution in the least.  😉  As I type up this post, I’m just excited and grateful that the weekend is finally here.  It’s been a week, you guys.  But right now…this moment is fantastic.

Allie over at Living My Full Life posted this a few weeks ago and I loved it, so I wanted to write one as well!

What is your…

Worst habit?

Procrastinating exercise.

Best habit?

Being productive with daily to-do lists.

Favorite part of your job?

Working from home!

Least favorite part of your job?

Long hours for less pay.

Cure for sadness?

For me, cuddling with my husband with chocolate milk and a great show on the TV.

Dream Job?

I pretty much feel like I do have my dream job with a full-time income at home as a writer, but I have always had dreams of being a book shop owner or librarian.

Favorite food?

Seafood.

Least favorite food?

Beets or sauerkraut

Favorite room in your house? 

We live in a studio, so it’s all one room.  But if I were to narrow it down to an area, I would say our “bedroom.”  It just feels so cozy since it’s tucked away and we hung fairy lights on the ceiling.

Dream travel destination?

Italy!  Specifically Rome, Venice, Cinque Terre, and Florence.

Cinque Terre

Go-to meal?

Probably Sloppy Joes. 😉

Passion?

Writing!  Bet you didn’t see that one coming. 😉

Happiest memory? 

All of the wonderful memories with my love. ❤

Favorite way to spend a day off?

Doing anything with Joshua!  Whether that’s just relaxing at home, hiking, or a day trip out of town.  Whatever it is, I just want to be with him.  🙂

Feel free to post your answers to these questions in the comments or write your own post about it!  I’d love to read your responses. 😉

Until next time,

-Tialla ❤

Class Struggles: Online Student Edition

I started my first for-credit college class on January 16th, and I have to say…it’s been a bit of a struggle.  It’s an online class, and though I’m used to doing everything online (I was homeschooled and I’ve been working from home online for years), this is just so different!  I audited an in-person college class last semester, which I thought would give me a feel for college, but I was wrong–at least for this situation.  I realize this is just a learning curve and I will figure it out eventually.

However, I was wondering if you guys could help me out with a question.

Is it typical for an online class to not have lectures?  I took an online workshop a few years ago and we had a weekly lecture to read, yet this class doesn’t have lectures at all.  So far, my instructor just has us read the textbook, and then complete several assignments and quizzes on subjects unrelated to the textbook readings.  Currently, my grades are fine, but I can’t help but wonder how I’m supposed to continue doing well when we aren’t being taught the subject matter before turning in assignments.

For example, we are supposed to write an essay by the end of February.  This week, we need to turn in our essay intros, with instructions to “review the introduction strategies in Module 1.”  However, we were never taught introduction strategies.  I have scoured my course syllabus and modules, but there’s nothing.  Something just doesn’t seem right, and I feel like I’m missing something.  I emailed her about it and she said she will get back to me, so I guess I’ll see.

I’m wondering if this kind of experience is just this particular class, or typical for online classes.

Definitely not accurate for my husband, but it makes me laugh all the same, lol.

Also, peer-to-peer discussions and reviews suck.  This is more of a rant/vent than anything, so feel free to skip over it, lol.  I’ve always been the person that was excluded or criticized by kids in school and social groups, and for some reason, that even continues in college.  I don’t understand why we can’t just be adults.  “Constructive feedback” doesn’t mean to completely tear apart my entry and try to make me feel like my work is worthless.

Even though I’m only taking one class right now, it has been exhausting figuring out how to balance 11+ hour work days, class, keeping up on things around the house (such as cooking/meal planning/budgeting), working out, and taking Kona on her daily walks.  Since starting school, more of my work days have ended close to midnight than not, with a wake-up call at 6:20 the next morning to start it all again.

Again, I know this is a learning curve and I’ll figure out how to balance it.  In the meantime, however, I feel pretty thinly stretched!  “Like butter scraped over too much bread…”  (Sorry, couldn’t resist the nerdy opportunity!)  Thank goodness for my husband being so supportive and helping out however he can when he’s home from work.

Kona and Zelda help me destress, though, so it’s definitely not a bad experience, and I’m so grateful to be able to work and attend college all from the comfort of my own home!  😉  I expected starting class to be a challenge, but I suppose these particular struggles are just different than I anticipated, lol.

Can any of you relate?

Also, random question that I’ve been meaning to ask all of you lovely bloggers: Are you on Snapchat?  If you are, I’d LOVE to connect with you.  I use it more than Instagram and I’d enjoy how “in the moment” it is.  Add me @tiallarising and I’ll add you back (or comment your username and I’ll add you)! ❤ 

Until next time,

-Tialla ❤

Life with Kona

Tomorrow makes three weeks since we adopted our sweet Kona and I wanted to share an update about how it’s going with her!

Crate training: She is SO good in a crate!  You guys, she never whines, and she will stay quiet for as long as we are in bed…even when sleeping late on Saturdays.  The moment we are up, she’s dying to get out, but I think that’s pretty natural.  I’ve never had a dog be so patient in a crate.  She certainly doesn’t like going in her crate, though, so we try to minimize how often she needs to go in there.  Typically, since I work from home, she only needs to be in the crate at night and when we’re at church on Sunday mornings.  We’d be setting ourselves up for big problems if we let her roam the apartment while we aren’t there. 😉

Kona & Zelda: These two have become best buddies!  It melts my heart to see how far they have come since we brought Kona home.  They play together all the time and cuddle with each other.  It’s amazing to see how Zelda has realized the pros of having another animal friend to play with instead of just Mommy & Daddy.

The upper respiratory infection:  All cured!  The antibiotics from our vet cured it up within just a couple of days and after the full dose, she hasn’t had any symptoms at all!

Scratching:  Continuous.  I’m starting to wonder if she just has allergies or something preexisting that was aggravated by the malnutrition.  Her scratching does seem better, as she used to scratch anytime we paused for just a second when walking outside, and now she never scratches outside.  Maybe it will still just take time.  I’m thinking I’ll give it a full month of good nutrition with olive oil & coconut oil to see if it gets any better before I contact the vet.  For now, though, we’ll be getting her a pair of booties to help her not hurt herself when she scratches and to protect her paws (which she chews on religiously).

Leash training:  When we got her, it was obvious from the start that she had never been trained how to properly walk on a leash.  She loved to constantly walk from side to side, cut in front, and go as far as she wanted.  However, we’ve been taking her on daily walks with strict “heel” training, and just tonight I saw huge progress.  I didn’t have to hold the leash taut, and with simply telling her “heel,” she walked beside me the entire way–even with cars driving by and other dogs out in the neighborhood.

Social training: We have been doing our best to train her not to bark, growl, or even whine when she sees other dogs or people (unless of course, this dog or person is a threat).  We want her to be well-behaved so we don’t have to worry about her going frantic if another person or dog happens to show up wherever we are.  When we first brought her home, she growled or barked at other dogs on occasion, but she doesn’t do it at all anymore.  She might whine as she walks away, but most of the time they don’t even phase her, including if they are barking directly right at her.  Now, she might get scared and slightly jump up on our legs for comfort (which totally melts our hearts), but other than that, she handles other dogs superbly.  I’m so proud of her!

Baths:  She is petrified of baths.  I’m pretty sure she was somehow abused with a bathtub because the two times we’ve needed to put her in it (once was for her initial bath when we got her home because she was filthy and the other time was to rinse ice melt off her paws), she has fought it and then been paralyzed with fear.  Terror literally freezes every muscle.  The first night we had her, she didn’t even want to go in the bathroom, and whined when I was just brushing my teeth because she was concerned about me.  She will go in the bathroom just fine now, but the horror of the bathtub remains.  Poor thing.  😦  We avoid the bathtub as much as possible, though baths are inevitable, so I’m hoping with time she will grow more comfortable.

Brushing:  Though she might not like baths, she loves being brushed!  I don’t think she was ever brushed before because she thought it was a toy at first and didn’t understand what I was doing.  However, when she realized how good it felt, she went mellow and let me brush her all over for a good twenty minutes–even asking for more by putting her paw on my arm!

Car riding:  When we first got her, she was apprehensive about riding in the car, but now she looks forward to car rides since we take her everywhere.  She even heads over to the parking lot after our daily walks because she wants to go in the car.  However, mommy does have to ride next to her in the back seat because doesn’t like being alone–so we both get chauffeured. 😉

Chewing:  She’s definitely a puppy and loves to chew, though thankfully it was been fairly contained to her toys or Zelda’s cat tree.  She did chew through two charging cables and one of my items of clothing I left on the bed, but overall, she’s really not a bad chewer.  We bought her a Lamb chop, which she has destroyed, as well as one of Zelda’s toy mice, and today she chewed away on Zelda’s cardboard box.  I’m thinking that when we pick up her little booties, we’ll be getting a rope or some other less destructible chew toy for her to gnaw on since she obviously needs something to chew.  If we don’t give her something satisfactory, I’m sure she’ll find something we’d rather she didn’t chew, lol.

Potty breaks:  Since we don’t have a yard, I was apprehensive about all the times I’d have to walk Kona out to potty during the day.  Thankfully, she has a good size bladder and only needs to go out about every five hours.  She doesn’t mess in the house between potty breaks, nor does she even whine or stand by the door.  So for now, I take her out at 6:20 AM, 11:30 AM, 4:30-5:00 PM for our evening potty & walk, and then daddy takes her out before bed.

Learned commands:  She has learned “sit,” “shake,” and to not chew on our hands when she is playing with us.  She already knew “come” but we have expanded it to “come here” and “c’mon,” both of which she recognizes now.  She has selective obedience, but there’s no doubt that she fully knows and understands these commands.

We like luxury in this house. 😉

What are we working on:  Not jumping on everyone who wants to say hi, “lay down,” (also simply “down” for that matter), and to ring a bell to potty.  I’m not sure the bell will actually work, but we are keeping up with it consistently, so I guess we will see if it sticks.  The only problem is Zelda occasionally wants to play with the bell, so that confuses Kona. 😉

The hardest part:  Honestly, it’s just not fun at all to take her outside first thing in the morning as soon as I get out of bed at 6:20 AM.  Maybe that’s not early for you, but it’s early for me, and it’s difficult to not only wake up, but take her out immediately, down our apartment stairs in the chilly darkness…while I’m still half-asleep, lol.  She’s totally worth it and everything, but it is a struggle.  Can’t wait until we can eventually find a good place with a small fenced yard.  I’ll take any patch of dirt, haha!  However, Joshua & I have come to a bit of an arrangement that I take her out during the week since he has to get ready for work, and he takes her out on the weekend, so that’s nice.  🙂

It’s not uncommon to find that she has flipped down a pillow for herself. ❤

Great find: We were looking for the best place to get her pet ID tag, and were shocked at how expensive they are!  The cheapest is Walmart, and that’s still about $10!  I guess that’s normal, but it seemed like a lot to me, so we looked around more and found we could get one personalized on Amazon for only $3.25 with free shipping!  It came in a few days ago and it’s great quality.  I highly recommend getting your pet tags on Amazon to save several dollars.

We have a full name for her now: Kona Rose Newman.  Our Kona Rose is just such a sweetheart!

And that’s about all for now!  Do you have any doggie “tried and true” tips, whether for training or anything else?

Having Kona has reminded me of just how wonderful it is to have a dog in the house.  She’s been so much fun and such a blessing!  ❤

Until next time,

-Tialla ❤

Our First Dog!

I considered titling this post “An Addition to Our Family,” but then I realized most of you would probably think it’s a pregnancy announcement, lol.

Anywho, I mentioned last week in my “What’s Up Wednesday” post that we were hoping to adopt a dog soon.  Little did I know it would actually happen the very next day!!  Introducing Kona, the newest member of the Newman family!

Joshua and I were planning on waiting until I settled into a good schedule for balancing school and full-time work before adopting a dog, but…that didn’t happen.  😉  I think it’s a good thing, though, because it’s an adjustment either way, and perhaps it’s best to get the biggest adjustment out of the way before I add in school!  This is such a fun way to start off the New Year as well!

We had been actively avoiding looking at the pets section on Craigslist or at the shelter’s listing of dogs because we are huge suckers and wouldn’t resist their cute faces.  If we could, we would adopt allll the animals.  However, on Thursday, I felt such a strong pull to look at the pets section on Craigslist despite knowing better, haha.

Well…long story short, I happened upon a dog who looked like such a sweetheart and fit the age we wanted and our budget.  After discussing her with my husband, a few back and forth texts with the people who had her, and a meeting with her that night, we adopted her!  She’s the sweetest thing ever!  I just know it was meant to be…I totally believe God picked her out for us.

She’s already spayed, has all her shots, microchipped, house trained, rarely barks, and is only about a year old.  She’s friendly, cuddly, and does well with cats and other dogs.  Additionally, she’s only about thirty pounds full-grown, which is perfect for our small apartment.

We honestly don’t know what her breed is.  Obviously, her coat is brindle and most people think that means she has some pit bull or boxer in her, but our vet says brindle could actually come from any number of breeds.  He actually thinks she may be a mix of a brindle mountain cur hound or black mouth cur hound.  Either way, she’s super sweet and adorable and that’s all that matters!  I’m convinced mixes have the best personalities anyway.  😉

She’s doing so well already and learning fast.  Unfortunately, her previous owners neglected her, so she’s undernourished and has an upper respiratory infection.  We immediately took her to the vet and she’s doing significantly better with just a few days of antibiotics.  She scratches a lot because of how damaged her coat is from being malnourished, poor thing.  We have to constantly tell her to stop scratching because she has scabs from the scratching and keeps making herself bleed.  Our vet recommended putting olive oil on her food to give her coat extra fatty acids, so hopefully her misery will let up soon!  We’ve also been using a bit of coconut oil to give her an extra boost.

It makes me so upset to think about people who don’t treat their animals right and don’t care that they are suffering.  It’s especially upsetting that they neglected this sweet girl.  I just don’t understand how someone can say they love a dog, yet not give them the basic care they need like adequate food, water, and medicine.

So far, there haven’t been problems between Kona and Zelda, other than Zelda acting like she doesn’t live here anymore and hiding under the bed for most of the time.  It breaks my heart to see Zelda so disturbed since she was our baby originally.  She is coming out a little more each day and I’ve heard it just takes time for cats to get comfortable around a dog, so we are trying to be patient and encourage her whenever she does come out.  Kona even sleeps in her kennel at night, so Zelda has free-reign of the house at that point.

Huge progress! This is the first time Zelda chose to be near Kona at all.

We want to socialize her as much as possible, so we bought a seatbelt safety harness and take her in the car with us whenever possible.  We want to make sure she experiences a variety of environments so she’s friendly and comfortable with people and other dogs alike.

It’s definitely a big adjustment having a dog since we are used to just having our cat who stays to herself and pretty much takes care of herself, lol.  We’ve both had dogs before, but this is our first dog together, so it’s a big change!  There’s much more to think about, but it’s totally worth it.  She’s just the best!

Any tips for adjusting to a new dog in the house, whether for us or for the cat?  Thanks!

Until next time,

-Tialla ❤