Friday, February 25, 2011

The Friday Round-Up

THIS is Kaiya's favourite outfit right now:


Very bohemian-chique, don't you think?? She would wear this get-up every day if I let her. Today she has the pink & white giraffe dress on over a black and white striped shirt and black tights. In this picture, we were playing, "Let's walk me to school, mom." Hence the backpack and pink "lunch bag."

She told me this week that when she grows up, she's going to drive a car just like me.

Take your time, sweetheart.

*****

Time for some random thankfulness.

Today I am thankful for the heavy, thick snow that is blanketing our city. I'm thankful for the Starbuck's coffee I convinced myself to stop for in the midst of my morning rush. I'm thankful for Jian Ghomeshi, even though I can't say his name, as well as the Canadian Songwriters channel on CBC radio 2. I'm thankful for time to clean the house and time to blog, even if it means I won't have time to prep my class. I'm thankful that I've discovered yoga, and that it calms and focuses me while busting my butt and stretching my body in ways I often don't think are physically possible. I'm thankful that I realized the St. John's Wort I was taking for my winter blues was for some reason giving me crazy anxiety. And now that I've stopped taking it, my week-long anxiety attack is done! I'm thankful that instead of enforcing Kaiya's bed time last night I pulled out the camera, engaging her wacky mood while snapping some crazy shots that we giggled over like two silly teenagers. I'm thankful that instead of going to bed early last night, Jeff sacrificed his sleep to sit on the couch and connect with me like I needed him to. I'm thankful for friends, old and new, and that I get to spend much time with them this weekend while sharing good food and drink. And as I posted on Facebook, I'm thankful that my future involves the purchase of a number of pairs of sandals and sunglasses, and some fun bathing suits too. :)



Life is full. All it takes is a weekly commitment to yoga (me) and another weekly commitment to volleyball (Jeff), and we are booked solid. Something has been up every single night of this week, and that's not generally how us Epps like to roll. Family time has been in short supply. I am sure that's why Kaiya's door swung open at 6:10 this morning. After checking on the status of mom and dad (sleeping), she politely played in her room until Jeff got up, but once that happened, it was a done deal. She was all over him until he finally scooted out the door an hour later. Morning breakfast-time with daddy has become one of Kaiya's favourite times of the day. Jeff both loves this chattery time with his adoring little girl, and stresses about how it pinches short his morning prep time.

Gone is the sleepy baby who once blessed us with two to three hour naps every afternoon, as well as a morning wake-up time of 8:30. To think I used to feel guilty for sometimes having to wake her up so that I could get to work! Oh no, that sleepy baby and toddler has been replaced with a giddy, giggly ball of energy who races through life from the moment she bounces out of her room in the morning till the blessed hour when we finally wrestle her to bed at night. As she informed me yesterday, quite seriously, "Napping is not a fun game for me." No kidding, darling.

Here's a couple other funny Kaiya-isms for the week...
1. While reading "Franklin Fibs," a very dozy mom, with eyes half closed, read, "His friends were astonished." To which Kaiya replied, "You mean, astounded." Um, yes dear, you're correct. The book does indeed say "astounded."
2. While driving to Zehrs with Jeff, Kaiya said, "Daddy, I want to go somewhere where there's no snow or ice." (Ah yes, a girl after her mother's own heart!) Jeff said, "Well, where should we go?" And she replied, "Let's go to Qatar!"

Oh, little one, you make your mommy smile.

And now, for the best part:











Have a great weekend, everyone!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Where it's at.

It's a beautiful night. Really perfect. There's something about having a family day off together tomorrow, and then knowing that I still have reading week to follow.

Tonight, while sitting around a table with some friends at 145 King Street, I found myself absolutely unable to concentrate on the discussion as my daughter twirled and danced and giggled with her 5-year old playmate. They played "hide and seek" together, and I'm thankful that my conversation partners found it as amusing as I did to get lost in their antics. Kaiya, hiding again and again under the same table until her playmate said, "Don't you think you should try hiding somewhere else?" But her friend playing the part, saying again and again, "Hmmm... where could Kaiya be??" Kaiya barely counting to six before madly dashing off to find her friend, and then squealing in delight and jumping up and down whenever she found her. I was so proud of the way she played tonight. So very big girl of her. But still with all the idiosyncrasies of a 3-year old who doesn't quite get the point of the game yet. Beautiful and free.

Earlier in the day we hung out at Auntie Dagmar's, and I felt a peace I haven't felt for days as I sat nibbling on good food while chatting it up with Dagmar, Jeff doing likewise with Dave, Kaiya happily playing on the floor in the middle of us. "Uncle Dave, play with me!" A simple game of "chase" had her in fits of giggles and screams as Dave lazily pursued our squealing little firecracker around the kitchen and through the living room. And a Bailey's on ice while hanging out in the hot tub is just what this mama needed.

It's the first time in many days I have felt this calm and peace. The anxiety squeezing my chest and the dark, doubtful thoughts finally gave me a break today. Winter is not kind to me. Call it what you will... Seasonal Affective Disorder, the winter blues, the winter blahs... it's not fun. And it's not something I like to talk about. Because I'm often met with one of two (very unhelpful) responses:
1. The "ya, winter sucks, Canada sucks, life sucks" response. While I like people to understand and identify with me, I certainly don't need them to depress me more!
2. The uncomprehending look followed by comments that clearly show me to be inferior because I struggle with ANY form of depression. Depression is for weaklings, don't you know? For those who can't hack it. These comments/glances lead to one of two undesirables: I either wish pain on my conversation partner so that they too would know the bitter void of depression, OR I eagerly bring to mind all of said partner's inferiorities and weaknesses, all whilst drumming my fingers together.

I never said I was perfect. ;)

Today gave me what I need, on any day really, but especially in the months of January, February, and March: companionship, good food and conversation, lots of laughter, honesty, and transparency. And a very healthy dose of rest and DISTRACTION.

I just want to keep being the same old me. Laughing, reading, talking, eating, drinking, sharing, creating, writing, relaxing, reflecting, envisioning. But winter has a way of paralyzing me and making me anxious about things that wouldn't normally bother me, to the point that on bad days I feel being a mom is 100% chore, 0% fulfillment, and I lose my temper easily, wishing only for free time, alone time. When I invariably end up falling asleep or staring at a wall because there is just nothing else I want to do. Creativity zapped. Initiative out the window. Ya, it ain't pretty.

But today was a blissful reprieve. Yes, I will continue to struggle this winter, fighting the deadening moods that knock on my door each cold, grey day. But today was very good. I remembered what a transformative time these past few months have been, and I remembered to get excited again. The fear is still there, deep within, but I remembered today to just keep putting one foot forward, taking one step at a time. And the rest... the beautiful and the not-so-beautiful, will continue to unfold around me. I'm not in control anyhow, right?

And thank God that on the bad days there's GLEE, and CBC radio, and Ingrid Michaelson, and red wine, and a warm bed and an understanding husband. Yes.
(oh, and the promise of no winter for at least 2 years!)

Monday, February 14, 2011

And Now...

In the spirit of Valentine's Day, here's one of my latest and greatests.

For all you cheeseballs out there.
But mostly for my favourite-est cheeseball. Sorry hon, it isn't Journey or Genesis or Yes or Peter Gabriel or even Kelly Joe Phelps, but it'll have to do.

OneRepublic - All This Time

Sunday, February 13, 2011

I know it's been a bit...

But surely the following picture can make up for the lack of posts? ;)



This was the only picture we took the entire Kingston weekend. I'm so glad we stayed in a hotel that has such a rigorous global conservation plan. Ha.
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