Archive for November, 2009

Going through old stuff

I’m getting the stuff out of my dad’s basement: my old stuffed animals (which need to air out for a few months before they go to a child) and boxes and boxes of things I loved when I was younger, before I had to be careful of how much stuff I had.

I’ve been through the stuffed animals and the bag of clothes. I don’t know how those clothes got to the basement — they should have gone to goodwill ages ago. But I’m glad, because there are a couple of baby clothes that I was thinking of the other day that I’d like to keep for my baby if I could find them again. Hopefully it’ll be a girl…though I would kind of like my daughter(s) to have at least one big brother.

The stuffed animals are more difficult. I have never been able to shake the childish feeling that anything shaped like a living creature has feelings and can hear and see what goes on around it. I still sometimes have trouble eating animal crackers; I can’t suppress a twinge of guilt, as if the damn cookie is aware by virtue of having been cut into that shape. It’s absolutely ridiculous, and it drives me batshit crazy.

The process of admitting that some of my stuffed animals are unwanted and putting them in a bag for Goodwill is made even more difficult by two things: the knowledge that they throw out some things if they don’t think they will sell or if they’re not in good condition (I hate destruction and can’t stand the thought of stuffed animals, especially mine, in a landfill), and a nightmare I had when I was 4 or 5 involving one particular bunny that rose from the floor every time I entered the living room of the townhouse we lived in at the time. I’m 30 goddamn years old and I’m still just a little afraid of the damn thing, as if it felt the years I kept it in the corner of my closet (and then in the basement) or would know that I don’t want it, which is not as easy to admit as you might expect, or would be able to do anything to me if it did. There are reasons why I don’t watch horror movies.

But it’s in the pile with the holiday animals, which I still haven’t completely decided on giving to Goodwill…I probably won’t, I think now, which makes only a couple of stuffed animals that will be given away. I don’t really have space for many stuffed animals, but I will later, and I would rather they be given to my own child than another’s. Even if my kids are likely to destroy them, which will be hard to watch.

And now: to go through the rest of the stuff.

My notebooks from when I was a teenager make me cringe all over. I read through some of them when I was downstairs, and I have a dilemma. Do I throw them out so no one can ever read them and discover (or be reminded, if they knew me then) what a damned fool I was? Or do I keep them for such time as I might have a teenage daughter who needs to know that her mom went through the same things (or, hopefully, that her mom was dumber than she is)?

I wrote constantly from the ages of 15 to about 19, and there are at least three boxes containing my journals and notebooks. I want to cut the used pages out of the nicer ones, but I’m afraid to write more in them because I might look back in ten years and cringe anew. And anyway, I’d much prefer to type.

So the question is: am I ever going to need them? I don’t really think so. And if I don’t need them and I don’t want them, there’s no reason to keep them.

But I’m still not quite ready to throw them out.


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Just not-squee :(

It’s a period.

I feel cheated. In school, they told me that if I had unprotected sex I’d get pregnant. They lied.

I’m going to go have coffee, and later I’m going to have sushi, and tonight I’m going to have a beer or three.

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Well, either I got my period almost a full week early, which I doubt because I think my cycle was longer than 28 days when I was not on the pill, or this is implantation bleeding. It’s just a little so far, about the same as spotting, but I don’t know if my period would go back to normal so soon after stopping the pill.

However, this comes the same day I learned something that makes me very sad. A fellow knitter and friend of mine who manages the local Stitch N Bitch, mother of a baby and a toddler, about 40 years old and a truly awesome person, just found out that she has breast cancer. She’s the kind of person who has tons of friends, total extrovert, sweet and interesting and I always look forward to seeing her on Sundays because we knit, talk, and laugh the whole time. I just love her.

I am upset. Of course now I’m all awkward because I have no idea what to say…

I do hope she makes it to SNB on Sunday.

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The Earth is going round the Sun and the Sun is going round the center of the Milky Way, which itself is careening through space at speeds we can only poke at with math, numbers we can write down but not even begin to comprehend. We are just one of probably billions of planets with life in the universe, almost certainly with religions of their own. We are nothing; the existence of our entire evolutionary line is an astronomical eye-blink. Ants live longer compared to us than we do compared to the most short-lived star.

And religions want to say that this universe was made for us?

It couldn’t find us if it tried.

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Moving slowly…

The pace of this is really frustrating to me. Usually when I decide to do something, it’s something I can start on right away, or something I can work on when I want to if it’s a long project. But aside from the obvious, which I can’t do just whenever, there’s really not much to be done when you first start trying to have a baby. I mean, I can do research, but I haven’t found anything new the last few times.

Plus, and this kind of bothers me, I start feeling like I’m going to be a completely different person while pregnant. This is a goofy idea. I’m me; I’m unlikely to change much even with pregnancy hormones, but every site warns about mood changes and I’m afraid of becoming a raging psychobitch as I have on some birth control pills before. I hated that feeling of deep-seated rage and I hated the actions I took while I felt it. It’ll take a lot of patience and willpower to avoid the same behavior if I start to feel the same way, and I’m not sure I have enough of those.

But if I am getting pregnant this month, implantation should happen sometime this week, as it’s the third week of the cycle. And then I will be pregnant for reals.

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Knitting for babies

I have three baby blankets to be done for babies that are definitely on the way and at least two to be made for my own future child (Charles and I have decided to start trying for our first). Each baby will get a blanket made of Cascade Superwash 128 (ours will also get a cotton/cashmere one which will be pretty expensive and smaller, but beautiful), which claims to be machine washable but I learned that you’d better make sure that your joins are well done and have long tails to be woven in, because when my mother-in-law washed it on gentle for the shortest time possible (4 minutes) and then tumble dried it (as you’re supposed to be able to), taking it out before it was fully dry, she found holes! Lots of them! In fact, almost all of the joins had come apart.

I took it to Brigitte at Klose Knit (my MIL could have fixed the holes, but I wanted to show Brigitte since she’d just started carrying the yarn recently), and we worked on it for a while and managed to fix the holes to where they’re not terribly noticeable. But they are still too noticeable for a gift. So she offered a deal: she’d give me another six skeins of the yarn in exchange for the blanket, which she would display in her store as an example project for that yarn.

Hmm, two weeks of work (probably about 20 hours in total) for probably about a full skein of free yarn (if in sections), not even including the swatch I did for the blanket (which I need to wash, and it can probably be used as a towel, or a doll blanket if I have a girl)? And the next one I make will be better since I already know how it’s going to wash up? And it’ll only take about two weeks to remake? Hell yeah! It didn’t take long to make that decision, and I think Brigitte was a little surprised at how quickly I agreed. (Maybe I should have bartered for another skein? I wouldn’t have felt right doing that.)

Such is the advantage of being a primarily rational person. I was sad to let go of the blanket — still am — but it’s a good deal, since the blanket can’t be machine washed and therefore isn’t suitable for use with a baby (even mine — I don’t hand wash anything now; there’s no way I’m going to do it when I have a baby). I comfort myself with the thought that lots of people will see my work, and the actual gift will be better than it would have been had I done the joins right in the first place.

So I learned a lot from this project:

  1. Always wash a project before you give it away. I did it because I was paranoid and figured that I’d rather it fall apart before I gave it to them than the first time they washed it, and I’m so glad I did.
  2. Do your joins well! Knot the strands together, leaving nice long tails, and knit with them a few stitches before and after the knot. Weave in the ends later. An inch is nowhere near enough tail.
  3. Always wash your swatch before you go using it to make measurements of stitches per inch! The blanket changed shape pretty drastically when it was washed — it stretched three inches across and shrank three inches top to bottom, so instead of being 37×35 inches, it became 40×32.

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How about now?

This is it: the week I should be ovulating. I keep thinking, “Am I pregnant yet? What about now? Now?”

…And now it’s even worse, because I have checked other ovulation calendars online and today is apparently the last day I’m fertile, not the third-to-last as I previously thought, if I have a normal cycle.

So, my future son or daughter (which is really weird to say): Are you started? If so, I’m still not yet pregnant, as you won’t implant in the lining of my uterus for another week or so. But I’m eagerly awaiting the first signs that your birth day will be in early August — should be two or three weeks, ish.

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