Resolutions and new beginnings just seem to go together, as do the concomitant disappointment when keeping them is more difficult -- the pounds won't come off, the photos don't get organized, those pesky weeds just keep coming up, and who said twelve pairs of mittens in a year was doable?
I've managed this in years past by not making resolutions, other than the most general: "Eat breakfast. Walk occasionally. Eat kale a lot."
This year, though, I'm brimming with them. Maybe it's tipping well into my final half of life; maybe it's not having a truly little child of my own any more (thank goodness for a new niece!) that's freeing up some space in my head. And this blog is part of that. While researching when we got the cats for a pet insurance application, not only did I discover when we got the cats, thanks to the blog, seeing the pictures of the kids and reading about what we were doing was so pleasurable and not having it was an actual ache. So I resolved to post at least one picture of one kid per day and blog something. Alas, that's only one thing I want to do.
Some of my plans involve the kids in other ways:
And, as any parent knows, rearing kids means limits. Screen time is an ongoing struggle here -- in fact, many things about this child are struggles. Rarely do parents blog honestly about their challenges with their children, and the line between exploitation and sugar-coating isn't easy to find. I hope that this year, we're going to unlock some of the more difficult puzzles with our son, even though paying for the professional help to do so is going to be painful.
I'm also embarking on a self-taught course of dog training. Mikey, who recently joined our family, was trained to be a show dog and not much else. He's big, and mouthy, and not quite sure what's expected of him. He's also very lovable.
I love the look he's giving the kid here. "Squirrel? You call that a squirrel? Take me outside!" In researching training methods, I've fallen completely for Karen Pryor and her positive reinforcement classical conditioning clicker training. Her Reaching the Animal Mind book provided hours of entertainment for us, and then gave me a place to start when Mikey came home. As I've delved more into training, I'm feeling overwhelmed, so finding this website with its structured instruction has been a boon. I think it might also save me a few hundred dollars in private training lessons.
So what else? Um, study Italian, teach my courses, keep homeschooling as effectively as I can, walk briskly a few times a week - that leg is still not at all run-able - do some yoga, keep decluttering the house, and oh, yes, knitting.
I started working on the second of the Norwegian Snail Mittens a few days ago:
This would be great almost-two-years-to-a-finished-object stuff if I didn't also bite the fit-bullet and do this:
And it's not done. That "first" mitten was just enough too tight around the thumb area to make it not up to snuff. In a moment of strength, I figured, "I can do this" and just started ripping. When I get down below the tight part, I'll set it back on the needles and start over. By then the "other first" mitten will be done, and I'll be halfway to the first pair done.
As I mean to go on, I mean.
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