Home Away From Home

It’s quite odd if you ask me.

As I write this, I’m sitting on my bed that is currently being held up by my first “big girl” bed frame, which is conveniently placed in my new home. It feels weird saying and it will for a while but, I’m home, in my apartment. The past week was filled with last minute packing, loading and unloading cars, unpacking, putting my first piece of furniture together, and trying to figure out how to organize my own place.

I spent the weekend just getting used to the feeling of being out of my parent’s house, but I caved today and went home because I was tired of being so bored. I’m lucky that I have the family I do. My parents have given me everything and more; they’ve helped me so much not just throughout the past year and a half with getting ready to move out, but for the past 19 years they’ve been prepping me for this. Now obviously they weren’t doing that so when I was 18 they could kick me out and get rid of me. They did it to help me because their experience of being moved out is on the opposite side of the spectrum I am on. They’ve done everything to help prepare me so that I could be ready and successfully move out and not have to struggle the way they did.

My brother has been my entertainment for 14 years. He’s always been under the same roof as me so when I need a laugh or a hug, he’s just a holler away (literally). It’s weird not hearing him slamming doors (by accident) or hearing his laugh echo through the vents from his room to mine. Those little things were what defined “home” for me. Having my brother and parents around me at times when I didn’t want to be around them or at times I desperately needed to be around of them was what helped me get through my day, whether I knew it or not.

Never Been Good at This “Adult-ing” Thing

Gus is here with me and as I’m typing away he’s snoring and making whimpering noises because even in his dreams he knows Kodee is at the gym and not home cuddling him. I can hear the washer and dryer, along with the dishwasher, gently thumping away across the hall. I’ve got Spotify playing my ‘Bedtime Playlist,’ with my essential oils being diffused to help Gus and I relax. I can also faintly hear the trains passing through town every so often.

With all the above going on, I’m also texting my mom because we’re getting better at not calling each other every hour. Now we’re just calling each other every other hour and texting the rest of the time. As I sit here telling you all about what’s going on, I’ve realized that this feeling I’m having right now is already starting to blend into the feeling of “home.” I am lucky to have such a loving family and supportive parents who’ve allowed me to go through this experience. I’ve always known that my family is the most important thing to me. The whole reason why I stayed home during my first year of college was that I knew I wasn’t ready to leave them. I’m still not ready to leave them, nobody is ever really ready, but now I’m a little bit more prepared to be on my own and only 45 minutes away from them. That’s all the “space” I need from my family, just those 45 minutes is more than enough for me. Where my family is will always be my home, but now this will just my home away from home.

Mom’s Day

If you’ve forgotten…

It’s Mother’s Day this Sunday! YAY! I LOVE MOMS! MORE SPECIFICALLY, MY MOM!! But mom’s in general, Dog Moms, Cat Moms, Human Moms, Second-Moms, and all the mom’s that there are, they’re pretty damn awesome. I’ve been trying to think of a post to write and what better to write about than Mothers! Moms day 1

Here’s to all you Moms!

I’m not an actual mom so I can’t speak on all mother’s behalf, but from the way my own mother looks at me, being a mom seems like the most rewarding job, until the cute little baby that once was suddenly learns the word “No,” or the phrase, “Hey Mom, can you just drop me off like a mile away from the school? It’s fine, really, I enjoy the walk.” My mom’s always played the role of mom first, best friend second. Every mom is different and I think that’s just a cool thing about moms. My mom learned from her childhood and shaped mine around what she thought was important. If you think about it, when you’re a kid/teenager/young adult getting lectured by your parents, your first thought after you walk away is, “I’m not going to do that to my kid,” but I would guess at one point or another, you did exactly that to your kid. Motherhood to me seems like that moment when all of a sudden your kid is sitting on your lap going, “Mom. Hey, mom? Moom. Mom. MOOOOOOM. Mom.Momomomomomomomomomomom! Will you tie my shoe?” and your mom sits across the room laughing at you because, well… Karma!

My mom happens to be the most incredible human being I know. I think one thing I’ll never be able to hide from the world when I talk about her is the fact she went back to school when I was about 10 and my brother about 5. She also happened to choose one of the hardest career paths to go down; nursing. I’ve had too many concussions to remember what it was like growing up with her going back to school, but I’m still alive so obviously, that proves my point! I’ve never looked up to someone as much as I do her! She amazes me with her strength, affection, and sass (Just remember mom, I love you and I got my sass from someone). Mom’s are incredible! Most moms are there for their families under any circumstance and they don’t ask for anything in return, except for the dishes to be put IN the DISHWASHER and the clothes to be put IN the WASHER AND DRYER. I mean there are other things they ask for, but moms are always there for you. I know mine is and because of that, I am forever grateful. Mother’s Day is always hard for me because for everything my mom does for my family, it’s always hard buying her things because what do you give the woman who has given you everything?

Thank You, Moms!

Moms day 4I know every family is different, but I think when I say moms are the best thing that could happen to us, I think I’m 98.99% correct. Your mom brought you into this world (and she could easily take you out of it, don’t forget that) and she helped form who you are one way or another. Moms are their children’s #1 fan and #1 reason why their rooms are clean when they want something. All you moms out there deserve so much more credit you’re given! So, thank you for waking up when your child climbs into bed and starts heavily breathing on your face until you wake up, thank you for staying in bed on Mother’s Day while you hear things being broken in the kitchen while your husband or wife tries to help your kids make you a peanut butter, ketchup, pickle, banana sandwich (just ask my mom how they taste, I wouldn’t leave her alone this morning until she ate the one I made her), thank you for wiping our tears and hiding your laughter when we faceplant into the ground after you told us to tie our shoe, thank you for listening to our endless stories because middle school gossip is your favorite way to spend the afternoon, thank you for doing our laundry and dishes and cleaning up our shit we left behind that you’ve told us 10 million times to pick up, thank you for loving us even after we broke your favorite clock, and most importantly, thank you for loving us, looking after us, and caring for us even when we don’t know it’s happening.

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Human’s & Puppy Training

Week Three

Gus started puppy classes, while Kodee and I began human training at the beginning of the month. We’ve learned a lot about each other and Gus in the three weeks we’ve been attending class. The class is once a week, but training is 10-12 times every day for at least 5-10 minutes every training session.

What the Dogs are Learning:

Now Gus is the puppy that attends the class, but we’ve taken the things we learn during class and teach them to the rest of the pack. They can never be too old to learn tricks and good manners. So here’s what we’ve been working on!

  • Week 1:

The Name Game- Getting the dogs to respond to THEIR name, not to the sound of us calling one of them and all three of them bombarding us on the couch.

Sit-Down-Stand (with hand signals but without verbal cues)- First the dogs have to learn what they are physically expected to do when you give them a hand signal, they don’t understand English the way we do (if that wasn’t obvious already) so we have to meet them halfway and start with hand signals.

  • Week 2:

Sit-Down-Stand (with hand signals and with verbal cues)- When you add cues there needs to be a pause between the hand signal and verbal cue. This is something that was necessary for Gus and Dusty, but not her royal highness Panda. Gus was able to associate the hand signal with the verbal cue quicker than we expected him to. By the end of the week, we no longer had to use both the signal and cue for “Sit” together, we only had to use one or the other.

The Elevator Game- Patiently waiting while treats or toys are being held above their head. All fours remain on the ground at all times and no reaching for the treats or toys early.

Eye Contact- This was a new concept for Gus because he’s always struggled with looking at us in the eyes. He’s so hyperactive he forgets that he has to “ask” for permission with eye contact. This was also something that Panda didn’t need any work on.

  • Week 3:

Name Game/”Leave-It” and Eye Contact- Working with associating names with eye contact or when we say “leave it,” it is simply for them to let us scope out what they’re going for or what he has so we can either give it back or trade the object they have with a toy.

New Trick- Right now Gus is currently teaching himself how to pretend fall asleep so when Mom and Dad aren’t looking he can scoot their way and eat whatever they have. Mom and Dad are currently teaching Gus how to shake and spin in a circle.

What the Humans are Learning

  • Week 1:

Humans have a lot to learn about their dogs and it’s not as easy as we think it is. They have their own personalities and needs, just like a child. Except children understand English and their favorite word usually is “No.” Dogs, on the other hand, can’t say “No,” so they just give you the cold shoulder after the vets or groomers (*hint hint* My mom might just know something about that *hint hint*).

  • Week 2:

Not a surprising week, Gus barks a lot at other dogs during class and doesn’t like any humans, except Dad, because it was most definitely Mom’s idea to put him in puppy class and Dad had nothing to do with that decision. Gus was learning quickly but with distractions around such as the littles (the little dogs Dusty and Panda), he is hesitant and uncomfortable. Meanwhile, Mom and Dad were struggling in class on how to handle a hyperactive dog.

  • Week 3:

Just like momma, Gus has anxiety. We were already aware of his separation anxiety. Little did we know his paranoia around strangers or other dogs is his form of social anxiety. As we look for ways to help him deal with his anxiety, he continues to learn quickly but now he needs to apply them outside of the house. The littles are fond of training because they know they’ll get treats just for being eight pounds of cuteness. Mom and Dad are also realizing that sometimes being a doggie Mom and Dad can be the most rewarding thing in the world or can make you wish your dog could speak English.

What to Expect Next Week:

  • Love and Training, Training and Love

Continuing with his training is a must since he’s made so much progress thus far, but I’m glad we’re taking this class. We’ve learned more little quirks about our puppers than we wouldn’t have without this training. The littles love their own time for training and we love it too. Ever since we got Gus, he rules the household since he just happens to be seven times the size of our littles. We get to spend time watching the littles do their head tilts and dancing to get a free treat.

After learning about Gus’ anxiety now we can fully understand how to help him day to day by properly catering to those needs in our training. It’s made me feel closer to him because now we have something in common, besides our good looks, and I know that I can be his human that helps him deal with being scared of other dogs. With that being said, I’ll sign off here by saying, I love him and I’m so glad now I have a deeper understanding and connection with him so we can work together on his training.

 

 

Let Me Remind You…

Let me remind you…

I do not need a 4.0 GPA to be wise or intelligent.

I do not need to wear a different outfit every day to look my best.

I do not need you to tell me what I should think is right or wrong.

I do not need you to look at me and wonder if I would look better with or without makeup.

I do not need to be the center of attention.

I do not need dozens of friends who tell me what I want to hear.

I do not need you to like me.

I do not need anyone to approve of my past. present, or future.

I do not need people to tiptoe around my life to make sure they don’t step on my toes and hurt my feelings.

 I do not need to acquire all the material objects so someone will change the way they think of me.

I do not need a boy to tell me I’m pretty for me to realize my self-worth.

I do not need money to be happy with my life.

I do not need you to judge my body, appearance, or choices.

I am not perfect.

I will never be perfect.

Let me remind you…

I am human.

I will make mistakes.

I am not everybody’s cup of tea.

Let me remind you…

The more you judge me for what I look like when I’m sitting in a lecture, the stronger I become. I will have mental breakdowns. I will give into society’s ideal’s every now and then. Every time you belittle me because I am only just starting my adult life and you think I’m doing something wrong, the stronger I become. I will cave and want you to like me. I will remind myself that you are stooping to a very low point and I am better than that. Whenever you brag about how easy school is for you and I should just take up your studying tips, the stronger I become. I will concede to your superior knowledge, but I will get back up and remind myself I am not you. I am me. School has always been harder for me so I will push myself to do my best, not to beat you. If you tell me my thoughts, morals, and beliefs are incorrect, I will submit to your thoughts, morals, and beliefs. Then I will realize, I was not put on this world to buckle under pressure.

Let me remind you…

My weakness is my anxiety and depression. My strongest traits are my anxiety and depression. Do not underestimate me. More importantly, do not underestimate yourself. We are stronger and better than our minds lead us to believe. There is more to life than what our minds lead us to believe. We will fall, but we will quietly get back up, steady ourselves, and move on. Every time we fall, the cuts get deeper and take longer to heal, but I promise that you and I will heal over time. We will overcome our anxiety and depression. We will be able to move on from that time that one boy laughed at us when we were sitting in class learning, but he thought we didn’t look pretty enough so he felt it was necessary to call us names. We will conquer our nightmares that never leave us alone. We will not let anyone tell us we are not good enough. We will bury our fear of not being liked because of a mistake we made ten years ago or ten minutes ago. Let me remind you, we are not everybody’s cup of tea.

Let me remind you…

Even if you feel like nothing in your life is going right. You must know that there are people who care, if you don’t think so, I do care. I don’t care if I know you or don’t, I do care. I have been in the place of feeling like nobody cares or understands. Nobody truly understands 100% but we can always work our hardest to help. Let me remind you, we are stronger than our minds.

 

 

 

What it’s like Living with a Cotton Ball for a Puppy

For most of you reading this, you’re familiar with Gus my fifty-pound labradoodle who’s a complete baby. For those of you who don’t know who Gus is, he’s my fifty-pound labradoodle who’s a complete baby.

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Gus on the first day we got to bring our baby home!

My family got Gus about a year and a half ago, adding him to the family of seven, that’s including my boyfriend and the other two eight-pound dogs we already had. Panda was about eight years old and Dusty was about five years old so bringing in a puppy, who would grow to be ten times their size, probably wasn’t an ideal situation for them.

First off let me say that having a bigger dog than what my family is used to was quite the transition. There are times that it’s extremely hard to live with him since he does have so much energy and he is so much bigger than the other two dogs.

With that being said, Gus will always be my little baby. No matter how many times he sleeps next to me on my side of the bed and heavily breathes in my face or when he wakes me up by army crawling on the bed and just to lay on top of me to lick my face, that’s my baby. He’s my favorite part about getting to go home after a long day. I’m lucky to have such a cute little bugger in my life… even though he’s not so little anymore.

He’s helped me a lot with my anxiety and with becoming more of a responsible young adult. After we got Gus I realized why my parents weren’t on board with my brother and I getting a puppy for our own. We would’ve never taken care of the puppy and it would’ve wound up being another task for my mom. I realized how big of a responsibility he is, but I believe that because I’ve come to terms with that, I appreciate Gus and my parents more. I’ve come to love having to take time out of my day to be his ‘human’ and take care of him. For my parents, I now sympathize with them for how many times they had to train a puppy (or a kid… yikes!). Now having to do it myself, it’s a lot harder than it seems. Also, they raised a puppy and me when I was a baby so shoutout to my parents because even though Bear isn’t around anymore, I think we turned out pretty great!

It sure will be interesting to see how Gus does when we move out to in a few months. No doubt, it’ll most definitely be an adjustment but for the both of us, but I truly can’t wait to start this new chapter of my life and say it starts with living with a cotton ball for my puppy. *heart emoji*

No Control

I feel as though the one topic I can talk about and know that I have business talking about it, would be anxiety and depression. I’ve struggled with comprehending how to live with anxiety and depression, more so when I was in my tween years, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have my daily battles anymore.

anxiety
Anxiety on top of more anxiety

I like to think that mental health has become more accepted within our society in the past 10 years. I wouldn’t know approximately how long it’s been, given 10 yeas ago I was only 9, but at least from what I’ve seen in my recent young adult life, I’d say it’s been 10 years.

It’s not easy having anxiety and depression. They love to walk hand-in-hand together no matter what the situation is. I’ll be honest and say that 60% of the time I feel normal, thanks to my anxiety medicine. Instead of worrying about how I’m running late by 30 seconds my scheduled time to leave, which is always enough time to be wherever I need to be AT LEAST 15 minutes early (yes, that’s actually something that caused me to have an anxiety attack), now I only worry if I’m actually 5-10 minutes behind schedule.

As a tween, I couldn’t fathom what was happening inside of my head. All I could understand was the fact that I felt insane. I constantly put myself down for not understanding what was going on in my own head. Panic attacks became a normal thing for me to deal with and if you’ve ever had one you can sympathize on how hard those can be on one’s mind. If you’ve never experienced one or can’t grasp how terrible they can be, I’ll give you an example. It’s like being locked in a jail cell, no way out, while the rest of the inmates are running around wild with weapons. They’ll run by your cell and start banging on the bars and all you want is to be left alone, but that’s not an option. You must sit there and watch them cause complete chaos while feeling helpless and alone.

I want others who struggle with anxiety and depression to know, it will get easier. I’m not saying I know how or when you’ll feel better, but I will tell you that I’m still here trying to improve my outlook on my own anxiety and depression. If you have any questions, comments, emotional outbursts, feel free to contact me, I’m just here to tell my stories to try to help, even if it’s only one out of the two that may read this.

Dear Mom & Dad

Dear Mom & Dad,

Thank you for meeting each other at work when you guys were 19. Thank you for sticking with each other through thick and thin. Thank you for struggling and giving up the young party teenage life to be with each other. Thank you for learning how to grow up quicker than most young couples.

Thank you, Mom, for wrapping me up in ten layers when I got to experience my first snow day. Thank you for playing multiplication M&M’s with me and helping me with my polar bear science project. Thank you for making me write essays when I got in trouble. I guess you must have known I was destined to be a writer when you thought of that as a punishment.

Thank you, Dad, for taking me to Meconi’s because that was our favorite place to go out to eat. Thank you for teaching me how to ride a bike so you could try to get me to go mountain biking with you later on in life. Sorry, I never really liked mountain biking as much as we hoped.

Thank you, both for giving me the best little brother ever. Thank you for relocating the family to Spokane where I met my lifelong best friend. Thank you for supporting me throughout my hip surgeries and through my choice of leaving behind a sport you guys invested so much time, energy, and money into, to take on a completely new sport.

Thanks for falling in love with each other and sticking with each other even when things were tough. Thank you for deciding you guys wanted to spend the rest of your lives together, through better or for worse. Because of you two, I will always have best friends for parents and role models for what I want in a relationship when I grow up.

I want to say thank you for everything you guys have done for this family to give Andrew and I the best childhood and adulthood, or whatever you want to call the stages of life we’re in right now. You’ve given us more than we deserve and we are beyond blessed to have you two as parents.

Thank you. I love you more.

Big sis, lil bro

img_2984 This post is about the infamous little brother I was blessed with. When I was five years old I got a Christmas present a few weeks early with this little gem. There was a complication because nothing can ever truly be perfect. Andrew was born with a hole in one of the chambers of his heart. The doctors never caught it, but thankfully my grandma did. At age four, my little baby brother went through heart surgery like a stud. So for that, I consider him to literally be my little miracle man.

My mom raised the two of us to get along. She didn’t take the “siblings are supposed to fight, that’s what they do,” bullshit. She constantly reminded Andrew and me how we’re stuck with each other for the rest of our lives, so we might as well make the best of it and just get along. So that’s exactly what we did and what we still do. It’s hard to believe that siblings could not argue and fight, but Andrew and I happen to just fight over who gets the last of the fruit snacks. I can’t say that there’s never a time where we don’t want to be around each other, but luckily that only happens every once in a while, usually whenever one of us is in a “mood.”

I like to brag about how amazing my brother is because he’s taught me what it’s like to love another person so much that you would in a heartbeat do anything and everything for them. He taught me how to be patient with someone who’s still learning how to go about life, and he showed me that I still have a lot to learn. Thanks to him I will always have a partner in crime and a best friend.

Andrew is in his tween years now which is really odd for me because I remember my tween years like they were only 5 years ago; I find it interesting how different he is compared to me in the tween years. He’s the most social butterfly I’ve ever met. He’s the smartest, wittiest, and most caring teenage boy, he puts his everything into the family and he loves making us laugh. I might be a little bias, but even looking at Andrew compared to his friends, he’s just got a little extra to him that makes him stand out.

Andrew loves basketball, biking, scootering (scooting?), shoes, drums, Kobe Bryant, Stephen Curry, Subaru’s, and gangsta music (as dad would say, word). I love watching him grow

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I swear he loves me!

up, even though I wish he would stay my little baby, that I could push around in my baby doll stroller, forever. I am so proud of the young man he has become and is still becoming. I can’t wait to continue to watch him accomplish great things, just from a shorter standpoint.