Saturday, 18 April 2009

Wee Bit of Misinformation

From my home yesterday, it took me just under two hours to reach Belfast in Northern Ireland. Five years living in this country and, yet 98 minutes, a thick dialog and funny looking coins can still throw me.

When can there ever be a coin system where size of coin is relevant to its value? The American in me will always spot a penny in a bushel, but never a pence in a pocket.

Also, tell me, people of world, how can we, collectively, allow one sound to have so many interpretations? Can this wee word we use have wee meaning outside of when my girls have to wee before playing their wii? Oui.

My hotel is actually very nice. The staff is mighty nice, but thus far they’re not the most informed on customers' needs and solutions.

Last night I was told WIFI in my room would be an additional charge, but that in the lobby and bar WIFI was free of charge. Funny enough, I booted up in the luxury of my room tonight and viola! the same free connection exists.

Though last night downstairs did work for me as I enjoyed a glass of wine. Going on the misinformation, this morning I did a sleepy walk down the many flights of stairs (they do have elevators here, but I’m trying to be good for the bod!). I logged into email and proceeded to have a tumultuous morning in the office, I mean, lobby bar turn virtual office.

I’m thinking now I should’ve had vodka with my OJ.

Anyway, showtime nears and I scurry up to my room via the elevator (yeah, I may be big on exercise, but I’m not out-of-breath-stupid. Six flights of stairs? Come on people!)

Preparing to shower, I, in my bathrobe, ring the front desk and request an iron:

“May I please get an iron sent to my room?” says me.

“Yes, you can. You’ll have to come to reception to collect the iron," says she.

Excuse me, but isn’t that a poorly disguised ‘no’ to my question? Just checking. Wee bit frazzled ‘cause I’m monitoring the time, but hey, I’m not a hotel snob, I’m above noone. And yet, I still I have my demands:

“Is there an iron there now? If I come down right now, will there be an iron?” Only a multi-tasking mother knows to ask.

I look at it like this: if you’re going to inconvenience me, please make it as painless as possible. Like his Friday-pint night when DH calls at 11pm looking for a lift home from the pub. My only question after I say yes, is, “Are you going to be waiting outside?”

And like my DH, only in her Northern accent, the lady at the desk complies with a friendly “Aye”.

So I redressed and once again took the stairs, this time, two at a time. Very soon, I found myself facing six hotel staff at reception. Six. Count ‘em. Focus, Sherry, focus. I asked nicely for the iron. The iron, that, clearly would’ve left this crowd of staff shorthanded had it been delivered to me.

The lady behind the counter looked around and in all of two seconds, she came back with this:

“We don’t have one right now. We only have a limited number of irons.” She says.

Now people, you can’t even ask DH what happens when he is not there when I’ve asked if he’ll be there. Because he knows. And because he knows, he's never disappointed me. Now I’ve been inconvenienced for no good reason and I’m tardy in a very wrinkly skirt.

I could drag on and on and tell you how it went down, but I won’t. Just know it involves a manager, an executive room with iron and an iPod streaming my favorites, including Bob Marley.

And yes, this time I walked up the six flights of stairs.

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Nothing Wrong with Being Prepared

Tomorrow morning...I'm headed here.

Meanwhile, my daughters are headed to Wexford to stay with Sue and family. Sue is a friend who would do anything for you. I am blessed with her friendship and we are equally blessed with children who adore each other. Often, she or I combine our children so the other mom has a little me-time or get-out-of-town time.

I don't know who gets more excited, me or the girls.

While I'm still putting out yesterday's fires, the girls began packing for this two-day trip about two bites into their french toast this morning.

Tonight before bed, I thought maybe I should put on my Mom hat and actually check their packed bag.

Sue's favourite pasttime is calling me and reporting that my daughters arrived with 6 toothbrushes, mismatched shirts, and a lonely sock. We end up snickering and laughing, cause it's usually DH who's the 'prepare for dropoff' parent.

But this time, as I zipped and pulled from bag, I knew the girls packed their own bag. And this is how I know:

Let's recap: 2-day trip. 4yo & 6yo girls. my daughters. four feet. sixteen feet apparel.

Suffice to say, these shoes don't fall far from the foot.

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Blame Him. He Told Me To Do It

People, tonight we make history.

DH said those three harmonious words: you should sew
In that order. In a complete sentence.

Well, I nearly dropped the baby! Ok, if I had a baby and if I was holding the baby, she/he surely would have fallen to the floor.

Today was a full work day, plus, kids home from school and that makes one tired mom. Yet, come evening, the girls in bed and I still debate. Should I do the numbers again? Should I do editing? Should I email? My mind so full, I nearly paralyze myself with indecision. And then he said it.

"You should sew."

It began on Easter Sunday. I'd like to credit DH entirely, but the truth be told, I slipped in some sewing relaxation over the weekend, and it would seem, he's reaping the rewards. Somethin' about happy wife, happy life.

I'm so trying to finish a Mystery Quilt I began with Bonnie Hunter a few months back. I'm only on step 4 (of 7?) and it involves 130 one inch nine patches--that's 1,170 1 1/2 inch squares for any non-mathmatical, non-patchwork types who might be reading. But don't scare easily, we're working with strips so the numbers are deceiving.

It's funny how nine months can change you. Unless, of course, you are having a baby--then it's less fun and more miraculous.

It's incredible how a new profession in that nine months can change a person. Before the magazine, I was a scrapaholic. Our house was a breeding ground for discarded fabrics. However, when we moved house last month, there were 9 bursting black bin bags set at the curb for Red Cross collection. Bags full of fabrics that either didn't fit the 100% cotton category, or if they did, they were in need of seam ripping...i.e. still in clothes form and would need to be stripped down for actual sewing use. Either way, too much time for someone with too little time.

So here I am sewing the gazillionth strip of light fabric when I realise I have no light fabric left for the gazillion-and-one light strip. *gasp* I'm just certain in those bags was one or twenty light fabrics. Frantically, I go to my now seriously-reduced stash in hopes of finding something which I know is not there. Spare light fabrics.

And then I see it. A little itty bitty cotton baby button-up shirt that Babydoll wore when she was 8months old. With pretty pearl buttons, she flitted in and out of my scrap boxes organised by colour. Never finding a home between the oranges, blues and most likely belonging to lights, this baby blouse escaped the purging of last month.

How? Who knows.

Why? I know.

Cause I'm a scrapaholic by nature. I do it for the nostalgia. I do it for the memories. Many of my scraps have meaning. This one certainly does. Like this quilt I'm working on, it's destiny remained a mystery.

Until now.

Sunday, 12 April 2009

Happy *yawn* Easter

What happened to the Easter mornings when I awoke to anxiety for the excitement of chocolates, jelly beans and hidden colorful eggs?

This morning I awoke to anxiety and fear. "Oh! Did we oversleep? Are the girls awake? Did we sleep through our responsibilities as an Easter Bunny?" Oh, the same at Christmas. I just know one day we'll be found sleeping on the job!

There were the many years of sleeping in, no care to either expecting an animated visitor nor to playing out a childhood fantasy as a parent. Sunny single days in San Francisco, where the biggest worry at 6am, was whether my car was parked on a street set for street cleaning, which quickly meant a $40 fine for sleepy, and broke, me.

It will be another 10 years before I'm facing those carefree mornings again--only without the urban parking. And another 20 years and my own daughters will be on guard and duty for Easter and Christmas, and all things that sparkle and shine in their own childrens' eyes.

Back to the present day, I tiptoed into the girls' room, gathered the empty Easter baskets they has set out the night before, filled them to the brim and relocated them and 25 colourful eggs all about the family room.

When I heard their stirring I went into their room to give 'em Easter hugs 'n kisses. Catching me and my greeting off guard, Babydoll gave a sour "Happy NOT Easter!" from her bed. When I asked what was wrong, she explained her Easter basket had gone missing.

Cutiepie, always our problem solver, quickly explained the Easter Bunny might have taken them to fill. With that, Babydoll quickly brightened and said, "Oh! Yeah! I did hear hopping in the hallway!"

Of course, you heard hopping in the hallway.
I guess we can keep our parental job another season long.

Monday, 6 April 2009

When Life Resembles A Circus

I’m back.

Catching up with blogs is a full time job. As I browse my bloglines and read posts, I contemplate: Do I read backward in time or do I scroll and read forward in time?

Either way, I’m glad to be caught up. Life is good.

The site is officially relaunched and Issue 3 is on newsstands, in Europe anyway. We’ve even begun an IQ blog. Because I’m so good at keeping up this blog. NOT. But we can always dream. In reality, though, we are chipping away at progress and what was formerly known as routine for us.

Heck, I may even get to sew an actual quilt soon. I have several baby quilts to finish and a great Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt. Until then, things move along at lightning speed.

Babydoll has her own sign of the times. Her baby teeth are falling out one at a time, and her smile grows gap toothed. It’s like knowing your daughter is about to experience a bad perm for two years of her young life.

Meanwhile 4yo Cutiepie is in love. She shows no shame in professing her love for him. This loverboy actually ‘loves’ three other school girls as well, and yet, Cutiepie remains loyal. She says he loves them all but he’s only gonna marry her. Well that's a relief, I guess.

The biggest problem with so many lovers, besides the fact that Loverboy doesn’t live in Utah, is kissing four people at one time. So says Cutiepie.

During a playdate, I cornered the 4yo beau, ”Tell me, Loverboy, did you kiss my daughter today?"

His reply: "No." Hold on. "I kissed her the other day." Just so we’re clear.

Playdate ended and off came the power ranger costumes they had put on in the playroom. Unbeknownst to this chaperon, Loverboy emerged stark naked from under the costume. Clearly, we have bigger problems than kissing.

Other strong signals, like Internet has set the world back on kilter at IQ headquarters and at home.

(Some of you may not know we moved house and office. Honestly? This move came out of nowhere and next thing I know, I’m cooking, sleeping and walking in someone else’s house. We thought our last house would be a permanent fixture for some time to come—or at least until we could figure where to begin transplanting our roots. And then the magazine happened. Took over. So we stumbled upon a house with an office. For the first 29 days, we struggled with no broadband and an AWOL real estate agent who tells fibs. Grrrr!!)

On March 31, Wicklow Broadband answered all my prayers. We now have a broadband connection that rocks. The second night, I actually worked all night, through the night with Sarah & Vinnie, DJs all the way from SF, tunes piping through my connection. It is bliss. I’m manic like that with work. So much to do. So little time. I spend my days regretting I took the time to sleep the night before. Imagine. If I had just gotten THIS and THAT done!

My mind is full of stuff. STUFF. My nights are sleepless fits of activity. When I’m not working, I’m sleep talking, walking and annoying the heck out of a startled, sleeping DH.

DH is now on the mag full time so at least he gets it. But then again, he also gets his sleep.

The other night DH exclaimed, “You’re like Las Vegas! Would you ever just shut down for awhile?” Vegas? Really? Oh, honey, I could be so many things, but Vegas???

QVC shopping channel. Internet. Emergency Room. DriveThru Fastfood.

All perfectly good, opportunists offering wholesome, well kinda wholesome, product to the wider public, twenty-four hours of the day. But Vegas?

Surely he’d rather compare his wife to infomercials or dotcoms than to the plastic material world of fast living known as Sin City?