Saturday, January 30, 2010

It's Saturday Night

January has been kind to us. Anyone who knows me knows that I am not a fan of winter, but January this year has strangely been more than bearable. My health finally returned to me on Saturday, January 9th. And I'm not kidding. It was that dramatic. From the end of November I had struggled with extreme tiredness and then a horrible pattern of cold-coldsore-cold-coldsore. At one point, I had four coldsores on my face...right over Christmas! Not exactly an opportune time for placing a paper bag over your head.

But on January 9th, it was like a switch went off. I suddenly and quite dramatically felt back to normal. MORE than back to normal. Since that time, I have had energy and awareness that I don't think I've felt quite possibly since sometime before Kaiya was born! I remember that on the 9th we spent around 4 hours tromping through Ikea, and I wasn't tired at the end. In fact, we had friends over that night, and then Jeff and I played tennis on the Wii after they left till around 1 in the morning. And I still wasn't tired! I really thank God every day for this blessing of health and strength. I was afraid the sickness cycle would carry on all winter.

January has also brought changes to my work, as each new semester does. I'm finding myself with an even easier teaching load than I had last semester, meaning that my evenings are pretty much always completely free. But it's the mornings that have been the most special, as I almost never have to get into work till 11:00 or so. This means that Kaiya and I always have long, lazy stretched-out mornings together, eating oats, drinking milk and tea, reading books and playing with balloons (she's still obsessed with them!) Not being much of a morning person, I really appreciate these slow starts to the day. And we're always all home by 5. It is simply a perfect schedule for me, the perfect balance of me-time and us-time, of work time and play time.

Most weeknights are spent quietly, reading, knitting (more on that later), possibly planning a class, or catching up with someone on the phone. The way I see it, the only thing missing this winter is a fireplace! I've been reading a book on Sabbath rest, and I feel like this has been a bit of a Sabbath time for me. More time to rest, think, meditate, and pray. I've been more aware than usual of the people around me and their significance in my life. It's been good.

I'm very thankful for my health and for the quiet. I certainly could use a little more motivation to get my butt moving somedays... to wash up after dinner, mark assignments, sheesh! - even write a blog post! For the first time in a long time (in my life?), the rocking chair is winning over the endless puttering. What a good way to spend the winter.

I hope all of you can experience a taste of the rest and peace that has come my way this January.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Why I Love You So

Kaiya is two years old today. Two! It's hard to imagine that two years ago, I was lying in bed, totally giddy and unable to rest, with a brand new, tiny, tiny baby girl in my arms.

We had a party for Kaiya yesterday with the people that she is closest to and most familiar with. It was a wonderful mix of family, neighbours, and friends. She was so excited all day, and she still is. She has been carrying around her little helium balloon bouquet for two days now, and she still giggles at it and does her little "balloon dance." It's so sweet and funny.

For Kaiya's birthday, I wanted to write a list of all the things that I love about her. I know the list will be incomplete, because it's a never-ending list, really, and I reserve the right to add to this list at any time. Who knows... maybe this will become a yearly ritual, and down the road, Kaiya bear will be able to read the list and remember that she is deeply loved. Feel free to add your own comments.

***
Oh dear Kaiya, here are just some of the reasons why I love you so...
You greet me every morning with "Hi, mommy," and then proceed to dump all of your stuffed animals out of your crib, one by one.

You're a funny mix of serious and laid-back.

You always want to help me and your dad. You help me cook, unload the dishwasher, load the washer and dryer, hang clothes, sweep, wash the floor, and make the bed. You helped your daddy put together the table and chairs we bought you as well as the storage system we got from Ikea.

You're so easy to leave with a babysitter.

You still often say "peadadow" when you mean "peanut butter." And if we tease you and ask you to correct yourself, you say, very loudly and forcefully, "PEA-DUT BUH-DAH!!"

You demand that we "hugkiss" you every night and sing "Jingle Bells" as we put you to bed. And if you ever wake up crying in the middle of the night, you demand the whole procedure all over again.

You repeat absolutely everything we say. This is particularly hilarious when we say things like, "You're aggravating me!"

You love to play the nose game with us, and you randomly toss your nose into the washer/freezer/microwave and then ask us to get it for you. And if it's been in the microwave, you make us blow on it before we put it back on your face. After all, it's hot.

You take yourself very seriously.

Most of your expansive vocabulary is still missing initial consonants. This makes it especially cute when you sing, "Oh what fun it is to ride on a one horse open sleigh!"

You have a whole lot of personality.

You, of course, have to be the center of attention. If your dad and I dare talk to each other during dinner, you exclaim, "Mommy! Daddy! No talk! EAT!" Somehow this rule doesn't apply when we are talking to you...

You like to put your diapers on all your teddy bears and then sing them to sleep. You used to sing "Night, night teddy," but now you usually sing "Jingle Bells."

You know what you want in life.

You are strangely obsessed with reindeer and love to tell the story about the reindeer on the ice and the ice crack, crack, cracking, complete with hand gestures. And you think "Bambi" is a story about reindeer.

Daddy taught you to do a marvelous cow laugh...mooo-ah-ha-ha...

You have wonderfully chubby Epp cheeks, and you look a lot like your aunt Karen did when she was a little girl.

You have the deepest most gravelly-sounding voice I have ever heard on a little girl.

You walk into daycare as if you own the place and greet all your friends with an attitude of "Okay, the party can start now. I'm here."

Although we often have to work for it, you have a deeply infectious laugh and giggle.

You want to do everything by yourself, and when we try to do something for you, you loudly yell, "Aiya do-do!!"

You always want to read a book or two before you go to bed, and you love to tell us the story and point out all the different pictures.

I have never seen any child be so excited about (and possessive of) four helium-filled balloons.

You're such an amazing sleeper, and you often sleep in till 8 o'clock.

You know who your "peeps" are, and you love them fiercely.

You are very sensitive to others' needs. When you see other kids cry, you often hug them or pat them on the back with a concerned expression on your face. You have also given me kleenex when I have cried and a glass of water when I was coughing. You really like to see everyone being "happy."

You are a very focused, industrious girl.

If we forget to pray before dinner, you yell out as us, "Pray!" and reach for our hands.

You're so stubborn.

You LOVE to eat. And if there are chips lying around, the rest of the world somehow fades away.

You are a fiercely independent girl. And while this trait sometimes scares me and makes me wonder about the future, I know it will serve you well.

Happy birthday, little one.