Okay, now that THAT'S over... here's my ramble! ;-)
I suppose part of it is that I'm reconciling myself to the idea that there are various priorities and I need to really rank them in terms of most to last and will have to compromise some of them for the others because the Ideal World isn't where I live and it seems this one is being rather stubborn about rearranging itself to suit me! ;-)
I do have more research to do... yup, heaps and heaps. Not just about Laurent's education and college requirements but about my own and where I want to go in this new year and in the years beyond it. While I definitely love being a stay at home mum, I know at some point in my life I want to resume pursuing my own outside interests as well. Most likely that will be in the realm of dog training, as it's been a life-long passion (...shocking secret there...) and I think I have a lot to offer, though I still have quite a lot to learn as well. In terms of qualifications, I'd like a good hard-science grounding... theory and research is the part of dog training I'm most passionate about aside from the dogs themselves. ;-) I'm really fascinated with the work done in the States and the UK and I would adore being involved in something like this over here. (I know... ambitious much?) This is of course, still a year or two off because it would be too much to take on something quite so time intensive and attention demanding with what I've already got on my plate at the moment. When I do it, I want to be able to focus on it and that means not right now. This year and the past few have been ones of major upheaval and adjustment, mostly one right after another if not on top of each other, so I'm planning to take a little break from the major life-changing stuff for a little while! ;-)
Have been working with the dogs quite a bit in short little bursts. Some of it's just memory games, seeing how fast they can whip out a behaviour on cue, rewarding the really fast responses big time, rewarding the slower ones less and with lesser value goodies. Working on distractions with Sierra, seeing how many different variations I can get her to ignore, which is probably convincing the neighbors I've well and truly lost it. ("Hey look, it's that crazy dog lady... why on earth is she doing jumping jacks in a circle around the poor dog with a santa hat on her head?!?") Also finding 'heel' position no matter where she is relative to me. For Hope I'm trying to stick with teaching her to stand, to stack, to gait, to make and hold eye contact and put up with exams. I'm also having to watch her like a hawk as the little termite decided chewing up bits of the window frame was a grand idea despite ample chew-bones!
Yawning now, have been EXHAUSTED with L's cutting 2 new teeth! Playgroup was really nice today, even if I was nabbed by the NH volunteer and had my head crammed with more information than it ever has hope of holding in my brainless state! Had two new mums who were really nice, one of whom was very much a country girl from NZ with a city slicker husband and could really relate to my, "OMG, I'm in the city! EWWW!!!" reaction to moving here! LOL
Anyhow off to scan those pics! :-)