Stumblings & Sunshine

Hi everyone. I know it's been awhile. No doubt you've noticed there hasn't been a lot on the blog in the past month. Between my DSLR acting up, my card reader being lost (guess which little toddler lost it!), my new card reader refusing to work (note to self once again: take that darn thing back to the store), having to fight with the computer in order to get a single thing done (anyone have a sledgehammer I could borrow? Anyone? No?), and a whirlwind of paperwork and immigration related fees for my husband... I haven't had the time or inclination for writing. The warm weather has subdued winter at last, and this week is the first where I haven't seen a single patch of snow anywhere in the city. The signs of the cold, long winter are ebbing away, and the sunlight it makes way for is very welcome.

May is finally here, and the coming of June, which is only a short while away, will bring me to 5 years in Canada. Winter has never had much of an affect on my mood, nor did I ever allow it to hinder me. But this winter was a little different. The slow and frustrating immigration process is wearing on me, and with each day I feel my patience wearing out. Where once I had so much hope, excitement, and anticipation, it seems like I am now reaching into a well for water, even though I know it has been dry for months.

So the past few months I've just been trying to take things slow, refocus, and enjoy the little things. When I think about it, I realize how much I've lost of the things I love over the years. Listening to music, reading books, going for long walks, low-key dinner dates with friends, absorbing myself in arts, crafts, and writing. All of these things have always been my ways to cope. They are my therapy. How have I lost these things? I used to listen to music on my iPod while cleaning up around the house for several hours a day. But since having Baby E, I don't, due to the worry that I won't hear him if he falls. Or, if he's asleep, I'm worried he'll cry and I won't hear him. Besides, if I'm being completely honest I also like to sing along, pretty loudly, and goodness knows that would wake up my sensitive toddler who has the ears of a cat (heck, maybe better). While I was pregnant and when Baby E was a newborn, I found time occasionally to read through parenting books when I wasn't busy cleaning the house or trying to catch up on lost sleep. But when the newborn stage passed, so did that sense of some sort of free time. On the few occasions where I've tried to read a book, I'd get no more than a page along before Baby E was demanding my attention, or the phone rang, or I realized I had something else that needed to be done. Long walks in Alberta winters are simply unrealistic, since pushing even my amazing BOB stroller in nearly a foot of snow in a block feels about as challenging as hiking up Mount Everest. As for friends, all of my nearest and dearest friends live far away (with the exception of one who actually lives within 15 minutes of me but is always very, very busy). And then when it comes to art... who has the money? Art supplies don't come cheap, although I really wish they did!

Immigration especially is a source of a lot of stress for both me and my husband, J. But things are finally progressing again, and although there is no set date for when it will all be over, we have hope that it will be over soon. That at least we're getting closer. It's the standing still or floating aimlessly that frustrates us both so deeply. The good news with immigration arrived along with the sunshine, finally bearing the promise of spring. Along with the sunshine, the sheets of ice and blankets of snow have receded. Finally, I can exhale. Things are not perfect (and probably never will be), but things are going in the right direction. And there is so much to look forward to. Baby E will be turn 2 in August, my 5-year anniversary with J is next month, moving back to a place where all of my family and friends are, and there is a whole summer of festivals, events and family activities I welcome.

Hard as it is to believe, I've read two books in the last two weeks. Some days, as I'm cooking or baking I play music on the computer that Baby E will dance to, and it makes me happy that we both can enjoy it together. Baby E becomes more independent by the day, and where even a month ago he wanted me by his side every moment, playing as he played, he is now happy to explore and create fun of his own---on his own. Many days I take him out for the afternoons and we give ourselves little things to do that are excuses to go out and enjoy the fresh air, and soak up the sunshine. Slowly, things are falling into place, and it makes me feel free.

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