A Few Good Days

It’s nearly the weekend! And it will be a busy one…

The hubby and I have been sleeping on a broken bed for about a month so we’ll be spending Saturday night building a new one. Chloe’s new cot has also arrived so we’ll be building that, too. I hope our flat pack construction skills are up to the job, but considering we’ve built shelves, chests of drawers, wardrobes and a sofa between us I can’t imagine that won’t be the case.

On Tuesday I’m going in to work to discuss plans to move me into a new role doing more involved web development work. A couple of people have left our team so it seems they want to promote from within the company first. I’m very grateful as this means the company must be keen for me to return and take on more responsibility. A lot of women don’t get that opportunity straight away after being on maternity.

I’m feeling a bit nervous about it as I know my skills are lacking at the moment. I know training would be provided but I’m worried I’ll be left to my own devices and not have very much support. The one member of the team I would have gone to with queries has left so I’m not sure who I can go to if I need help. I suppose I’m worrying about things that are far in the future. My (new) manager knows I’m not quite there yet in terms of skills but seems to think I have the ability to learn and grow into the role.

In domestic news, I’ve been having a few really good days in a row. The time seems to be passing more quickly for me now, though I still count down the hours before Dave gets home so I have someone to chat to. I nipped out to the Sainsburys this afternoon which was a nice little detour. Chloe was ever so good in her pram and just kept playing with her teething keys. These are all boring little tasks, I know, but they keep my mind occupied enough to stop me feeling that cabin fever.

I have one month and three weeks to go until I’m back at work. That’s a nice amount of time, I think. It means there’s enough time to savour Chloe being small, but it’s also close enough so I feel I’m working towards something.

I might do a bit of music recording this weekend. Yesterday, when I went to the mood management group I go to at the hospital, both ladies running the group told me I should do something for myself, so I suppose I must! I do find it difficult to take time for myself at the moment since I’m attentive to the needs of the baby and hubby. It’ll be nice to just be me for a little while.

Wish me luck for Tuesday…

Back again…

Hello all!

It’s been more than a year since I posted here (apart from the last post which has been waiting in my drafts for several months). You might have guessed why by now. Yes, it did turn out I was pregnant, and now I’m on maternity leave looking after little Chloe Archer.

I’d like to start posting in here again now because I need something to keep my mind occupied while caring for the little one.

There’s a lot that’s happened since I gave birth. I’m not sure how I feel about talking about it here in detail, but I will explain a little. About a week after the baby was born I started with something called postpartum psychosis. I had to be hospitalised in a psychiatric ward for ten days while I acted out whatever confusion my mind was in. After this I was moved to a mother and baby unit and Chloe joined me there. A few weeks later I was discharged and lived at home again.

I still have some residual depression which is very typical after an episode like I had. I’d say I feel quite normal in general these days. Now I’m just very keen to get back to work and be back to normal.

I go back to work two months today, but for me it can’t come soon enough. I know I’m supposed to enjoy this time with the baby since she isn’t going to be small for long, but she’s such a clever and a alert little thing that spending every day with her is massively draining. She’s also at a stage where she moans and grizzles pretty much constantly. It’s probably a good indication that she’s developing well, but it’s incredibly wearing.

Thankfully she does this thing called napping two to three times a day which gives me just a little bit of ‘me time’. She’s made me realise what a solitary person I am and what solitary hobbies I have. I really miss my time being my own. I suppose that’s all part of the experience of raising a child. I’m not just me any more, I’m also mum. But, oh, how I long to just be me for a little while.

Dave’s mom and dad have been stellar these past few months. They looked after Chloe while I was away in hospital. Every fortnight since then they looked after her over the weekend. It’s been a massive help to me. Unfortunately I still have to wait for the best part of two weeks before Chloe goes to visit them again. Eventually the time will pass. It’s tough now, but it’s not forever.

That’s the way I have to look at things; it’s not forever. Two months isn’t a long time. But it feels that way when the day stretches out so far. I just have to keep plodding on…

Plod, plod, plod.

The last five years

No, I’m not referring to the emotionally charged musical of Jason Robert Brown, The Last Five Years. I’m talking about the last five years of my own life.

I’ve been a bit down in the dumps lately about my lack of creative output. I seem to have forgotten that the ‘creative process’ of carrying a mini-Archer is a completely valid excuse for this, but there’s more to it than my pregnancy.

Dave reminded me last night of a few if the things that have changed for us since 2009.

I’ve moved six times across four cities and towns, had four different jobs and several bouts of unemployment, lived with a roommate, my family, my husband, and my husband’s family, got married, released solo and collaborative music projects, produced arty video series’, worked in various church roles, made a couple of patchwork quilts, written a few chapters of a novel, visited some of Europe, and of course, gotten past the half way point of my first pregnancy.

It’s no wonder I’ve skidded into the summer of my 27th year feeling somewhat exhausted.

The Late 20s Ritual

Every three months or so, a woman in her late 20s might go through the following thought process.

For she was due, but she was late, and every day that passes brings a new question.

Was it really supposed to be today?

Is it stress?

Was it illness?

Did anything change recently?

How many days before I can start asking the real question?

Am I, could I possibly be, is there a chance I am..?

Then, invariably, the day arrives and all uncertainty is dispelled. As well as any hopes you had that maybe your life was about to take on a new kind of meaning.

Of course, that’s a selfish thought. We are talking about a new individual, a separate, independent entity, not some cure for quarter-life crisis.

Still, it’s hard not to hope that it’s finally time to see that look in your husband’s eyes, time to use your body to the potential it has been granted, to complete the circle and try that whole motherhood thing for yourself.

It’ll probably be tomorrow, won’t it?

Song Seedlings and Proto-Rapping

Yo, peeps!

Husband-me-down band hoodie

Husband-me-down band hoodie

So, I’m chillin’ like the illest villain right now (because I’m actually ill), wearing yoga pants and a husband-me-down band hoodie, chewing gum and waiting for the Archer crowd to get home from my Grandad-in-Law’s 80th birthday party (happy birthday, Derek!).

I thought I’d take this rare opportunity of night-time stillness to have a little natter about what’s being going on in my creative sphere of late.

You may have noticed that I’ve started posting little snippets of songs up on my Soundcloud. The aim of making these is to practice my music production skills and to get me out of this self-imposed rut where I need  to be writing and releasing concept albums, deadline: never. It takes the pressure off since they’re just little sketches, and while I might be forming some complex future song in my mind’s eye, to the listener they are quick, fun little ditties that don’t take much effort to digest.

One problem I’ve encountered while doing this is that I’m veering sharply through the electronic genres and towards… *gulp* hip hop. Now, I’m certainly not unhappy about this development, but it has lead me into the very scary territory of learning to rap.

You may have heard some proto-rapping of mine on the Glitter Punch track, Candy Rock Funk. If Matt hadn’t immediately said he liked it when I had first recorded it and shown it to him I doubt I would have even attempted to write any sort of rap-like rhymes ever again. Of course, when I was laying down said rhymes, I like to think I was somehow channeling this ‘Sister Sparkle’ persona we made for me. But how do I learn to rap as ‘normal’ me..?

Tonight I’ve been mumbling along to yesterday’s Beta Male Beat. I have written lyrics for it (a few lines off finishing!), but I wonder if I’ll ever be brave enough to record what I’ve written – let alone post it publicly!


In fact, I wonder where all of my song seedlings are going to lead me in terms of stretching myself as a recording artist. There are all sorts of possibilities with sound and delivery that I will need to explore to make these songs flourish.

Oh, and just as an aside, I had quite a lot of interest in my instrumental for Anxiety Trip. This is a track I’m certainly looking forward to recording some vocals for! Just some good, old-fashioned singing this time around, of course…

Fairwell, sound-listeners!