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Archive for the ‘Life’ Category

Lists of lists

I’m not kidding. I have a list of lists that I need to make…general unpacking/moving-in, baby prep (divided into “baby’s room prep” and “other baby prep”), furniture we need, groceries and other stuff we need, errands to run…

And some of them overlap. In order to install the car seat in the van, we have to put at least one seat back in. In order to do that, we have to vacuum the van out first (which is on the general unpacking/moving-in list); it’s just easier that way. But before we vacuum the van, we should move the dresser(s) for the baby’s room and probably our room (the dresser for the baby’s room is on the baby’s room prep list, and the dresser for our room is on the furniture list). And that won’t happen until probably Sunday night, so it looks like we won’t be putting the car seat in this weekend. But that’s okay; the baby’s still pretty active, and decreased movement is one of the signs that she’s getting ready to be born, so it will probably still be a little while.

Tomorrow marks the end of week 37, and as of then I am considered full term. Given my family history (as far as I know it) and that this is my first baby, chances are good that she’ll be late rather than early.

I have a list of things I might spend my birthday money on (thanks, Mom and Grandma!) but it consists of only one thing: yarn. Brigitte (the owner of Klose Knit) has some colors of my favorite yarn in the whole wide world that I love but don’t have yet. What will I make with it? I don’t know, but it will be soft and gorgeous! And there are a few other yarns I would love to have…I’d like a skein or two of solid-color sock yarn for lacy socks from the sock book I have. I also need to find a nice shawl pattern for one of the yarns that C’s family has given me — I may make the Adamas shawl with it.

Course, that first requires that I finish my current shawl, Kiri (.pdf), and I figure I’m about 1/4 of the way done with it…maybe. Hard to tell on triangular shawls, but I know I’m not anywhere near halfway done. And it requires concentration, so if I don’t finish it before the baby comes (which I won’t), I’m not sure I’ll have the brainpower to work on it for months afterward.

But we’ll see. I do love that shawl and I miss working on it (I haven’t had time lately to knit anything that complicated). I’m going to try and work on it for a few hours this weekend.

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She’s active probably most of the time. It’s amazing to me how much she moves. And she gets the hiccups every two or three days, too: a little bounce in my belly that I don’t even notice if I’m not paying attention to her kicks. I only know it’s hiccups because it’s regular.

I’m stiff in the hips and around the bottom of the belly when I get up from sitting for an hour or more. The amount of activity I’ve been doing for the move each of the last two nights is not helping, though this morning I was less stiff than I was the morning before. I don’t really know why — I thought I did about the same amount of work — but maybe vacuuming the carpet took more out of my back than I realized. It did cause a fair amount of strain; pulling the vacuum backwards over the carpet is harder than pulling it around over the floor.

The heartburn is still going strong, but maybe it’s because a small curly fry is not really enough but I can’t resist eating an entire sandwich with the fries…and I digest so slowly that I’m full for hours and hours. On the other hand, eating that much for lunch at 3 pm means that I don’t need dinner…not that that stops me.

One more evening to move the rest of our stuff to the new place. Then we can start arranging things and figuring out what furniture we need. The living room floor is covered from wall to wall with only two passages; some of it is baby stuff that should be in the baby’s room (I wasn’t done vacuuming it when that stuff was being unloaded). The kitchen things have begun to be unpacked but there’s a long way to go, especially since trash hasn’t been arranged yet so the pizza boxes and other stuff are still on the counters.

Ah, the counters. There’s actually enough counter space in my kitchen for a change — we can have the blender, toaster, espresso machine, and probably even the microwave on the counter and still have plenty of space for making meals. And don’t even get me started on the cabinets — there’s more cabinet space in that kitchen than I know what to do with! All the pots and pans, all the small appliances that we don’t use regularly, everything will have a place and I’ll still have extra room. Glorious!

So yeah, that’ll be my weekend…and on Monday will be my reward: August’s knitting night, possibly the last one I’ll make it to for a while, depending on when the baby comes and how easy of a baby she is.

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I don’t know how I managed to go so long without realizing this.

The other day I had an epiphany — not a huge “OH!!!” moment, but a little one. A little realization that was really a big deal, but it kind of slipped into my brain while I was doing other things, and rattled around in the back of my thought processes until a related discussion brought it to the forefront.

My awkwardness around other women has almost nothing to do with my sexual orientation, as I had previously believed. Part of this is that I’m not even sure of my sexual orientation any more. I went through bisexual and lesbian phases as I tried to figure myself out; they were originally triggered by the fact that I was constantly tearing my eyes away from other girls’ figures. But in the last year or two, I’ve gotten involved in a subset of Reddit.com — a subreddit — that is designed for geeky women to discuss “girly” things. What you find there basically includes everything you’ll find in every women’s magazine ever, from Cosmo to Bitch and beyond, but the discussions are intelligent.

One of the things I learned in that subreddit is that even straight women check out other women all the time. And I started to wonder about my own sexual orientation; I based that part of my identity on where my eyes went, and for the most part I didn’t look at guys, only at other women. But how much of that was comparing myself to them, rather than sexual attraction?

I really don’t know, but I suspect the answer is “a lot” if not “most or all of it”. So now my identity is more “I don’t know” instead of “bisexual.” And I’m okay with that; for one thing, it doesn’t change what I do. I’m with the only person whose physical attractiveness hit me like a bus. That alone would rule out any possibilities that didn’t include his sex.

Anyway, since I had that realization, that left open the question of why I’ve always been so awkward around women. If it wasn’t attraction plus never having to learn how to interact with them (because it was easier to interact with guys, who were more likely to be attracted to me, so I had the upper hand in many interactions with them), then what was it?

A few days ago it occurred to me that I never really got crap from guys. There may have been a few critical comments or some instances where a guy messed with me, but the vast majority of shitty comments and mean behavior directed at me has been from other girls. Even several of the girls that were my friends from 3rd grade through middle school, some of whom I kept closer contact with than others in high school, were often mean to me (well, one in particular was mean to everyone, and sometimes the others followed her lead). Add to this the fact that my instinctive reaction to being treated badly is to duck my head and ignore the behavior, and it’s not surprising that I have what seems to be an instinct to stay away from women in general.

I’m so glad I’ve finally figured this out. I feel like a block has been removed and I can now finally make progress on this thing about myself that I’ve wanted to change for a long time.

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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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Epiphany

C sometimes asks how I know that I won’t get bored with raising kids. He’s right to ask, given the capriciousness of my interests (I lose interest in most things within a year) and the fact that it’s not like a job where you can leave and go do something else. I just realized the answer to this question. I’m going to take a brief detour on my way to explaining it.

I do not find my job fulfilling. I haven’t been able to put my finger on why — I figured, well, I guess I’m the kind of person who needs to make a difference in other people’s lives after all. But that didn’t ring true with me, deep down. I’m a pretty selfish person; working with people wears me out and I never had a lot of interest in helping strangers for helping’s sake — I feel like I should, sure, and I do here and there, but if I don’t have interest in something I just can’t do it. I thought maybe urban planning would be a good field to work in because I’d be planning things, which I like, and then I’d be able to go out and see the work that I’d laid out but I wouldn’t have to do a lot of the actual construction, which I’d quickly lose interest in.

The problem with urban planning is that after a master’s degree, you make less than I’m making now (and jobs are fairly scarce even in good times), so I can’t really justify it financially without being absolutely certain I’d love it, which I can’t say about anything. I’m applying to library school for many reasons, but I don’t expect to love the job; I expect it to be something I can do without going batshit crazy while I work with people I will probably like in a place I already know I’ll like. Plus, “librarian” is a very flexible job; many librarians work part-time, so I’ll probably be able to keep my skills up-to-date while the kids are growing up, which will give our family a backup plan in case C becomes unable to work.

Anyway, all this is to say that raising kids has one thing that my search for a tolerable job does not: a pretty much surefire investment in my future happiness. I’m counting fairly heavily on biology here, and I’m assuming I’m going to be a decent parent, but I don’t think these assumptions are unreasonable. And yeah, shit happens, but it’s a lot more likely that I’m going to turn out good kids and have that accomplishment for the rest of my life than it is that I’ll find a job I love for more than 30 seconds.

I don’t know if that’s a rock-solid reason, but it feels right to me.

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