It has been A Long Time.
Reasons for my absence are many and varied, but can be summed up in a short listical.
1. 40 whole sale felt ornaments- the time needed to make each one was, by me, dramatically underestimated.
2. A baby who does not feel the need to sleep for more than 20 minutes at a time.
3. A rambunctious 3 year old who’s new favorite activities include X-treme art with “washable” markers, leaping from high surfaces, being contrary and doing deathslides in the direction of her younger sister.
4. A part time job as a book jockey at the local book mega-mart.
All four factors combine for life circumstances that do not allow for time to scratch my arse, let alone sit in front of a keyboard to compose a blog entry.
As to the matter of number 1: I’ve been on the lookout for a bricks and mortar establishment for my crafty endeavors for sometime. Lucky for me that this particular area is a hotbed or sordid handcrafted madness, and, as if in answer to my prayers, I discovered The Muse. It is the shop that I always wanted to open, only someone has done it for me to save me the embarrassment of knowing nothing about running a business. I’m thrilled that the proprietress has commissioned 40 felt ornaments from Poor Robin, however, I have discovered why I have historically stuck to buttons- SEWING TAKES AGES. (Plus, it’s super pointy and I am really clumsy.) So, the last few weeks have been all about trying to cut out and piece together seemingly endless pieces of felt while simultaneously fending off cat intending buttony mischief and acquiescing to the whims of someone who will SIMPLY DIE WITHOUT APPLE JUICE RIIIIIIIIIIIIGHT NOOOOOOOOOOW.
As to the matter of number 2: While the Squidlette continues to be a problematic sleeper, I find that I’m actually enjoying her babyhood more than I did the Prawn’s as I’m no longer afraid of breaking/underfeeding/overwarming or generally doing her bodily harm just by looking at her sideways. However, having had a precious few full night’s of sleep since March, I find myself getting much more irritable and frustrated than I might be normally, which benefits no one. (The precious few I HAVE had have been courtesy of The Rock Star or my mother, who have taken pity on me when it looked like I was about to enter Bat Country.) I’m just hoping for a miracle in the not too distant future. I mean, I know from experience that It Does Get Better, but it’s hard to remember at 2 am when a small, squishy flesh-pod is waving it’s hands around rather than dozing peacefully.
As to the matter of number 3: The Prawn is now a mostly functional human being apart from occasional damp knickers and more than occasional temper tantrums. Since coming to Maryland and starting pre-school, she’s made vast leaps forward in language and comprehension as well as getting her inner teenager on. (a 3 year old shouldn’t know how to roll their eyes, should they? I’m thinking of leaving the country when she turns 13.) Now is the time when we must mind what we say, not for fear of her parroting it mindlessly, but rather will ask embarrassing questions. (“Daddy, why did you call that man and idiot?”) However, her greater conversational skill has also lead to more hilarity. During a game of “doctors and patients, she stuck her fingers in the Rock Star’s mouth to examine his teeth.
“Urgh!” exclaimed the Rock Star, “I hope you washed your fingers after seeing your LAST patient, Doctor!”
“Nope,” replied the Prawn happily, “AND they’ve been in my bum!”
Gods, kids are gross.
As to the matter of number 4: For the first time in 5 years, I am no longer employed under a comfortable family umbrella. Figuring I’d go back to what I knew, I managed to get a part time gig at the local book emporium. Things haven’t changed much since my first stint with the company in 1998, including the pay, which, as per usual in the booktrade, is laughably low for the amount of knowledge they expect from their employees. (Seriously, I’m only making 60 cents more than I was in 98, so obviously there’s been some sort of inflationary fail somewhere…) It’s fairly nice as far as retail jobs go- constant exposure to books, lovely smells of coffee, etc. However, long stints behind the register (I’m hoping I’m “paying my dues” at the moment) are deadly dull. I tell myself that this is not a “forever” job (The other day, I over heard a small boy tell his mother, “Buy me candy or I WILL DESTROY YOU!”) and in fact have a 3 year plan. Well, to call it a plan is somewhat charitable at this stage. It is more of a 3 year HOPE that by 2013, I will be able to make a decent, part time wage from my craft venture alone and will be forever free from the tyranny of name lanyards and a time clock. (And people who ask me where to find books written by Glenn Beck.)
Another thorny vine in my garden is the fact that I have totally failed to secure a driver’s license, which is a great source of great embarrassment and anguish to me. Following my successful British driving test, I rested cheerfully in the knowledge that I would never again be forced to take a practical driving test. OH HO, but I was wrong. I mean, of freaking COURSE I’d have to take another test. After my first disastrous attempt (I suffer from test-phobia which has only gotten worse with age) in order to maintain our freedom, the Rock Star hastily scheduled and exam at an MVA nearly an hour and a half away. (The waiting list at our local one was epic- I don’t test again til the 29th of October) While there, he had the amusing experience of hearing the mother of the girl who took the test after him ask, “Oh, did she pass?” only to be told by the examiner, “Well, ma’am, she would have if she hadn’t run those three stop signs.”
Luckily for the girl and myself, the state of Maryland chooses NOT to charge you money to flunk a test, so you need not feel stupid AND broke simultaneously.
The seasons are beginning to turn. Autumn takes it’s time getting here, but once it settles in, it’s time of unpack sweaters. Sadly for us, our sweaters are in a large cargo ship somewhere in the middle of the North Atlantic, so I’m feeling the nip in the air rather keenly. I am lamenting the cash I’m being forced to fork over for the growing pile of “just to tide us over” clothes ESPECIALLY for me: the woman with a wardrobe that filled about 20 of the 90 or so boxes of our possessions that were loaded onto said cargo ship. However, I can’t complain over much. Fall is a sunnier affair here than in the UK, so it’s terribly pleasing to wake up to sunshine most days.
The Rock Star and I are still struggling to sell our flat back in the UK. Partly due to what I imagine is a difficult economy and partly due to the fact that our estate agents seem more interested in cleaning stuff out from under their toenails than trying to sell our place. (This is why agents should work on commission- ours don’t) However, one way of sunshine breaks through the fog of annoyance- we discovered recently that the flat below ours, which up until recently was the home of the hideous troll of a woman who made our lives so unpleasant, is ALSO up for sale. Ergo, the troll, who was a tenant, is now homeless. (Schadenfreude is not pretty folks, but it is very, VERY human.) We were disappointed in a way- it ended our day dream of our flat going to a troupe of clumsy, 400 pound jugglers or death metal enthusiasts. At any rate, we’re hoping to take our place out of the hands of the current agents and place it in more competent ones shortly.
The clock has ticked around to 9.30pm and since I’m pulling the early shift in the morning, (and the midnight shift with the Squidlette, most likely) I should get my head down. I hope this missive satisfies those who have been asking after my whereabouts until the next moment I have to tip tap away.