Ugly

I still hate pictures of myself. I hate that, when I see pictures of myself, I reflexively think “disgusting.” I hate that I don’t even think this about other fat women my size. Or fatter. I still sometimes blame the fat, but it can’t be the fat if I find other big round bodies attractive or neutral.

It’s me.

And I’m really grateful for the drugs that don’t let my mind jump to that and then stick there and worry at it until I hate my life.

And I’m grateful for the therapy that has taught me to demand my brain slow down and articulate how it’s feeling, really.

But I’m also really grateful for a little dude who genuinely delights in seeing me. To him, I just genuinely and value-neutrally look like myself, a person he likes.

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We were both covered in refried beans, because he likes them but can’t quite get them from his hand to his mouth without them ending up everywhere else.

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Working on the Other

If you constraint is “this motif, these two colors,” how can you keep it not boring for yourself? Also, I love that solid yellow motif so much that I kind of want to marry it.

A lot is going on here. I’ve got a lot of work stuff–moving warehouses, planning a book launch, getting a catalog out, getting a bunch of promotional postcards done, etc. This weekend I have to get my emissions tested, do my taxes, write a blurb for one book and a forward for another and go grocery shopping. Plus I wanted to pick up the sticks in the yard, but we’ll see if I get to it.

And April is full up. One weekend my cousin and her family are coming. Another weekend my parents are coming. I’m speaking to a women’s group about Fort Negley. I possibly have some other shit I’m just not looking at my calendar about right now.

I get this feeling that some stuff has happened this spring–the Fort Negley decision, the Post gig (even though it wasn’t the first time I’d done it), the Times interview–that makes my life slightly different than it was before, in ways that I don’t fully realize.

And it’s fun because I have a bunch of good friends with whom I can just be honestly “What the fuck?” and “This is so fucking surreal.” and they laugh and are delighted with me. And some of them are also doing delightful, surreal shit and I’m so happy to be able to help support them how I can.

But then I’ve also gotten some… I don’t know what to call them… connected people who have decided it would be fun to connect me with people who can help. And that’s nice and cool, though I have some anxiety about whether I have the right or enough social skills to handle that.

And then there are people who don’t know me or don’t know me very well, but they like what I’m doing and they sometimes tell me and that’s awesome.

Then there are the folks who come sniffing around. The “you’ve had some success I want to benefit from” folks. And it’s really hard, sometimes, to tell them from the folks I’m having positive, but new-to-me interactions with.

But other times, when now I’m worth your time, now I’m someone you’ll deign to talk to, it’s pretty damn obvious.

It continues to be amazing to me how often people demand that I have no history, no memories. That my job is to continue to be a blank slate upon which they can project their fantasies which I, then, in order to be perceived of as “nice,” must go along with.

 

The Times

A reporter for the New York Times interviewed me about Fort Negley last night. I don’t know if I’ll be quoted in his story or if he just wanted someone who could dump a lot of background information on him, but I dumped what I could.

And then I freaked the fuck out. I mean, I’m sorry, but what the fuck? How is this life?

They tell you “Act like you’ve been there,” but I haven’t. I don’t know people who have. I don’t have any idea what you do when the Times wants to talk to you.

For all I know, maybe George W. still looks at his wife in wide-eyed wonder every time someone from the Times wants to talk to him. Maybe freaking the fuck out is what people who’ve been there do.

The gulf is so big. The kind of person I am. The kind of life I’ve been able to lead.

I see why the myth of meritocracy is so important. The reality is nuts. The myth makes sense of a world that makes no sense. This shit just happens and you can kind of draw a line between “I did this” and “this happened” but I know a lot of people who are also doing “this” and “this happened” is not happening for them.

I am so very, very lucky.

And I can’t shake the feeling that I’m getting away with something. Not in this particular instance, but overall. That I was supposed to be a miserable, lonely outsider trying to be okay in some small Midwestern town. And somehow I escaped. And no one ever came to drag me back.

I was in college when I first read Adrienne Rich’s “Song” and I still think about it all the time. It still is deeply meaningful to me.

Sitting and Crocheting

I know it’s not the clinical diagnosis of “introverted,” but man, my life one-hundred percent improved when I read the internet meme definition of introverted as being someone who is drained by group events and recharges by being alone.

Because I had a wonderful time yesterday seeing friends and talking about music and just being a person in the world and I could have easily gone to bed at 7:30.

Anyway, this is the new afghan I’m working on.

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Vague

I remain somewhat frazzled with work. I wouldn’t call myself an emotional eater, but last night I had a salad and four Reeses’s Eggs for dinner. This morning I wondered if I would have been better off having a salad, one egg, and a Xanax.

It’s a weird thing to adjust to. I’m used to my anxiety being, on a scale of one to ten, at a baseline of five with easy spikes into the 15 range. Now being at a baseline of one or two, with spikes that only go to ten, it’s sometimes hard for me to recognize “Oh, this is a lot of stress and anxiety.” because it’s so much less than how I’ve lived up until now.

So I flounder around in this haze of “something’s not quite right, but I feel okay and functioning so I don’t know what it is. Maybe I’m still hungry? Maybe even if I’m not hungry, it would still be awesome to have candy for dinner?”

Which, don’t get me wrong, I am all for having candy for dinner if that’s what I’m choosing. But doing it because something’s off and I’m just trying to feel better isn’t how I want to do things. At least not without recognizing that’s what I’m doing.

Dreams

I have this recurring dream lately where I go to visit a couple of my friends, who live in an apartment complex along the interstate, and are history buffs.

And the husband in the dream is all the time telling me I need to go to the restaurant–sometimes it’s a Hooters, sometimes it’s called a guy’s name–down the street, if I can.

The restaurant is located where the interstate is. Except sometimes the interstate isn’t there and, if I can figure out how to get through the tall grass and the brush, I could go to the restaurant, which I can see through the weeds.

But I never can get there. Even though I know there’s something important, or at least interesting, inside.

Bare

Helen sent me an email about feet the other day, which I haven’t responded to because I keep thinking about it.

The gist is that there are all kinds of benefits to walking barefoot, especially on the ground, because it puts your brain to work in certain ways.

And today I was just feeling so grouchy, so I took my shoes and socks off and after about twenty minutes, I felt so much better.

I also stood out on my front porch in a t-shirt and underpants yelling at the dog to wait a minute and not roll in the mud after his bath, so I’m not claiming it’s a miracle cure for all that ails you. But I am thinking about how it is good for us to touch things, skin to dirt or wood or grass or whathaveyou.

Not a Nice Lady

Well, I had been a group of people. Now I’m “not a nice lady.” I think in the past this would have nagged at me. A little stone in my shoe.

But now I just find it curious. What does it even mean to be nice?

I have been on a tear lately. Fed up with some stuff and finally tired of pretending like I could make it work. I told the Butcher yesterday I feel like I’ve just been a monster bitch, but here’s the thing: it’s working.

And that feels like a hilarious, terrible lesson. Trying to be conciliatory and understanding and “nice” doesn’t get you anywhere if other people aren’t also trying that.

I also, though, feel like “nice” is often “lie to me in ways that make me feel okay.”

And, you know, being nice in that fashion if your friend has a bad haircut is okay. It’s the social lubricant that keeps the world moving. But being nice in that fashion when deadlines or money are on the line is not good.

You Can Take the Kids out of the Church, but…

I went to a poetry reading over lunch at Third Man. The boss also attended. Rule one in Nashville is “be cool,” so I tried to be cool.

But I was struck by how much his demeanor was like a minister who’s excited that the youth group meeting is going so well, but also knows they need that room for a board meeting right after.

So, when it was done, I felt this urge to help move chairs. I saw that one of the poets was also folding and moving chairs.

That was 15 seconds before we both learned that our dads were Methodist ministers.

And she also knew that hymn 88 is Amazing Grace, though that was two hymnals ago.

Good

It turns out that, if you have a rash and a persistent cold, they get you in to see a doctor right away. And it also turns out that I have a couple of spider bites, not a rash, and that the cold is actually a bacterial thing that’s probably the same thing that caused my sinus infection earlier this winter.

So, now I’m on antibiotics. And I got in to see the doctor right away and my trip to the pharmacy took literally ten minutes, if that and so I went and got my hair cut, which took no time, and so I went and got my dog’s prescriptions filled.

Which means all the chores I had for myself this morning are done and I can instead go see the Butcher and his family.

Everything worked so smoothly I kind of felt like it was a thank you from old Leander.

Also, you guys, my dad is delightful on pain killers. Funny and quick and smart and thoughtful. I’m a little bummed that I’m not going to get up there for his second surgery. I… wait for it… enjoy talking to him now.

A thing I’m glad about, though, is that it makes me feel less nuts. Why would I continue to let this dude into my life? Oh, right, because this is a facet of him and this used to be much more of who he was.

And I wonder if this is something that we can keep, without insulting him?

I don’t know. It’s just nice to talk to him now. Even if it can’t last.

The Tail End of the Cold

I felt better after dinner last night. Not great, but better. And this morning I got up and walked the dog for the first time in three days. That felt tremendous.

I’m still a little stuffy, but damn, I’m glad that’s over with. Now I have to go into work and deal with ridiculous stuff.

But, hey, I wrote a short story about a surprise new species of crawdads and it turns out the world made a surprise new species of crawdads.

There is No New York Times Cake

I kid because otherwise I’d have to sit with my pleasant feelings and just enjoy them and we all know how bad I am at that.

There’s no guide for this shit, you know? And I have friends, now, whose friends appear in the New York Times, who see the names in that paper and know those people and have their whole lives.

But my whole life, the New York Times was… I mean, if a small-town Midwestern girl ended up in the Times, either something very, very shitty had happened to her or she’d become famous. It just wasn’t otherwise a possibility.

I had dinner Saturday with some people who wanted to talk about being a writer and I realized that all the advice I had was insufficient, because you also have to be really, really lucky.

I am, in many ways, really, really lucky.

And I’m proud, too, that I’ve been working hard and trying to do good work and people have noticed.

I still had to clean the litter boxes last night, though.

Like with all formulations of “when x, then I’ll be happy,” the truth is that there’s no “x” that can do that.

You just have to figure out how to be happy independent of all the x-es.

My Plan Worked!

I did walk the dog when it got a little warmer and then I suffered from unimaginable cramps and then I felt better! (Every month. I’m almost 44 and every month I’m like “What is this weird thing happening in my abdomen?”)

I feel like walking sets me right. Like it allows unsettled things–physically and mentally–to work themselves back into place. I know it’s “exercise,” but it doesn’t really feel like that for me. It’s more like sleep. It’s a thing I do so I don’t feel like shit.

ANYWAY, I think the Bauhaus blanket is turning out even better than I could have hoped. I think I’ve decided to stair-step the red down. I’m not sure what I’m going to do for a border. But there’s time to decide.

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I started making my way, slowly, through Season Three of Someone Knows Something, but it’s so hard. I just feel so much stress and anger. And the kids who died were my dad’s age.

I don’t feel like Trump is some anomaly. I feel like I was lucky enough to mostly live in a slightly strange, better version of America that I was sheltered enough to not know didn’t really exist.

Seasons of Therapy

Yesterday was my last day at the therapist, at least until I need her again. A thing she said and has said a couple of times which I’m mulling over is that I find incongruity in my life very hard to deal with.

Like, instead of being all “I’m accomplished in x, y, and z, so that outweighs the fact that I can’t do a, b, and c.” I’m all “I think I’m accomplished, but I can’t do a, which means that my sense of self is false and I am secretly a failure.” But really, I’d be happier with a belief of “I’m accomplished in these areas. I’m working on these areas. I haven’t yet tried these areas.”

So, I was recounting how worried my dad is that with this Fort Negley stuff, I’m going to become too prideful, like turn into this ego monster. But really, I have that problem in the opposite fashion. When I feel fear/failure, it becomes monstrous to me. My problem isn’t that there’s some “I’m so great” monster waiting to be unleashed. It’s that a “I suck” monster is always ready to trample the shit out of me.

My yarn came in, so I fucking started the Bauhaus afghan. I do not have the motivation to work on those stupid mermaid tails. “How’s this going to turn out?” is an important part of crocheting for me and I already know that the mermaid tails will turn out delightful.

So, these are my inspiration.

And here’s my start:

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I think I’m just going to do five panels–three this size and two larger–since I don’t quite know what I’m doing. And if it’s not as large as I would like, I’ll just add a border. I have a red, too, so each panel will get one red stripe. My plan is to make it the same height on the small panels and then down from that just a hair on the large panels so that it looks kind of woven. But something to draw your eye all the way across the piece and make sure all five panels are tied together.

I need to go do some shit today, but I don’t have it in me. I think I’m going to downgrade my goals to “walk the dog when it gets a little warmer.”

Neither Brave Nor Unflappable

Tuesday night when I got home from work, it appeared that the neighbor’s shed was on fire. I went over to look more closely before calling 911 and it was just a fire in a barrel right next to the shed, which, considering that the shed has ordinary shingles, seemed like a bad idea. But I didn’t call the fire department because that would have meant interacting with the neighbor and, if it jacked him up? Well, he lives right next door.

But when I came home last night, there was a big moving truck in the driveway and he was going back and forth with a lantern on his head. It was too dark for me to make out if he was taking things out of the truck or putting them in.

But if he’s moved away, who will shoot my creek?

Maybe y’all saw that picture that went viral of the target against a fence with a house clearly behind it and the girl with the rifle about to go shoot? My neighbor’s propensity for shooting at my creek was not quite that level of stupid, but it was still stupider than I’d care for a person with a gun to be.

If you’re standing in the creek, which for some dumb reason is lined with concrete, shooting away from our houses, there’s a low hill in the pasture behind us and then a house, the roof of which you can see when the leaves are down.

Unless you’re a sniper, I guess I have a hard time seeing how you could hit something in the house, but it certainly seems possible to me that, if you got startled or, oh, I don’t know, slipped on the slick concrete bottom of the creek, right as you fired, the bullet could easily end up in those people’s back yard. And what if they or their dog were in that back yard?

Also, if the bullet hit the concrete sides of the creek, isn’t there a chance of ricochet?

The whole thing was just so stupid. But he was also very scary (or may still be, but I’m hoping the truck was a good sign) so I chickened out.

Plus, once he knew I knew he was shooting in the creek, he seemed to stop. Or become more stealthy about it.

I had a meltdown at work yesterday. I knew as I was doing it that nothing good could come of it and that, in fact, it would only lead to movement away from my goals instead of a hastening toward my goals, but I did it anyway, because I was tired of feeling like I was the only person actually worried about the thing going wrong.

I’m not proud of that. But also, I kind of am.

Do y’all still have an active fantasy life? Not a sexy fantasy life. I’m going to go ahead and assume you do. But I mean where you practice your Oscar speech in the car on your way home from work or where you go over all the ways you will let the dude you loved who didn’t love you back know what an awesome person you’ve become.

I have a fantasy that I come back to in various iterations, but the gist of the fantasy is that there are large forces working against me–like say the FBI and MI6 both want me dead because of my international terrorist deeds–and just at the moment when they think they’re going to reveal to me just how fucked I am, I instead reveal to them how all this time I have been playing them against each other and it would be far better for them to just let me go about my business–because, of course, in my fantasy, I am a good-hearted international terrorist just trying to bring some justice to the people–than to take me out and have all their various misdeeds come to light.

I think part of the reason this fantasy is so attractive to me is, sure, yes, I get to be powerful in it, but also I get to be very, very smart, the kind of smart that can think five steps ahead and place herself in a seeming position of weakness temporarily in order to have the upper hand in the long-term.

In my fantasy, nothing is mysterious to me. I am unflappable and cool. I know what needs to be done and I know how to do it.

In real life, I’m a tiny rowboat trying to get to shore fighting a storm coming in. In my fantasies, I’m a warship.

 

Tofu

Last night, for the first time in my life, I cooked with tofu. And it was easy and wonderful and yummy. And I wonder why I never did that before. People have complaints about tofu, but I like the texture. I like how it holds sauces.

I really hate how all the cooking videos on Facebook that stroll through my timeline seem to be about making cooking as hard and ridiculous as possible. Make this cake that is a pile of rainbow colored crepes! First of all, it’s a lot more work to make a huge pile of crepes than just a cake, but second, if that does sound delicious to you, the food coloring is just color. You could make a big pile of crepe cake without it, without dirtying up a million more bowls.

I don’t know. I’m just being grouchy because I have to do this thing for one person next week that requires me to not be available for another person and this other person is already being weird and upset about it and came very close yesterday to asking me not to do the thing.

I’m overly sensitive to it, but I get very tired of people assuming that I ought to be available to them whenever they need, while they’re often busy playing when I need them. You want me to put your priorities first? Then at the least, I need to see you putting your priorities that involve me before your priorities that make my life harder.

Anxiety, I am on to You

This morning, as I was walking the dog in the cold rain, I became convinced that, if we tried to go over the hill, we would slip. But I immediately recognized this as anxiety and not real.

Over Christmas, when I was sitting in my parents’ van, I caught sight of some crepe-y-ness on my neck. This weekend, I saw it in my regular mirror. Also, an old boyfriend of mine is about to become a grandfather.

And it just made me think about all the things I haven’t done. And whether I want to do them.

For so long, I wanted to write fiction. I haven’t done that meaningfully in a year. But also, I’ve done that. So… I don’t know if that’s a success or I’m failing. Duotrope wants me to reup my membership and I’m just like “Do I do this anymore?” Is it worth the money if I’m not writing?

Am I succeeding or failing? And, if so, at what?

For the first time in a long time, I turned my TV on last night to something other than Law & Order repeats. The Golden Globes were on, but I watched the last hour of Spy instead.

Worked some on the afghan. It’s not quite as fast as it was in baby size, but it’s still going pretty quickly.

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I’ll be honest, I think a lot of my free-floating anxiety revolves around whether I deserve to be loved. And the hard part about it is that I want to believe that, if someone so awesome came along and loved me, then it would prove to myself that I deserve it. But I also know that I have pushed people away, awesome people, or held it against them for being stupid enough to love me. I think I’m better about that in my crepe-neck old age, but maybe not as better about it as I’d like to be.

But, obviously, the outside validation isn’t the issue. I have to figure out how to accept and love myself. And I guess this is bugging me so much because I felt like I had kind of come to a frail truce with my body. I had gotten used to it, even if I can’t always see anything so great about it. And now it’s like “Love me with this skin, too” or “Love me with these weird bumps” or “Love me with a hair that sprouts here.”

And I just don’t know if I can. I was already doing as much as I could, which was not enough.

There’s a moment in Spy when she’s going into the casino and she kind of puts on a Mae West “kill them with charm and audacity” thing and it’s very attractive. And I guess I need to figure out how to strike myself as charming and audacious.

Anyway, that may be too much honesty for a Monday morning.

Fun History Stuff

I wrote about an ax murder! It still remains my favorite thing about living here that you can read about stuff and the just go see where it happened. Not that there’s much to be discerned from going to see where this ax murder happened, but whatever.

On the Scene‘s facebook page, someone complained about the graphic image, which made me laugh, because I thought there was never a more chocolate-syrup-y looking bit of blood in the history of stage make-up.

Also, a reporter from the Washington Post is working on a piece about Isaac Franklin. I know this because a Franklin relative told me and the reporter contacted my editor to ask where the portrait of Franklin we used came from. I then contacted the expert on Franklin to see if she had contacted him. She had.

So, this isn’t about her. I’m looking forward to reading her story and it sounds like she’s contacting the right people. It’s really about my own ego, because y’all, I was so butt-hurt yesterday that she didn’t contact me. Like I’m some Franklin expert or have ownership of his story.

And the thing is, I want more people to be interested in history. I want more people to talk about the ways the past still influences the present. I want people to feel like history is available to them without them needing to go through gatekeepers.

And yet, my feelings were still deeply hurt and I was mad and insulted.

There’s no lesson to be learned from that, I suppose, except one we already know–which is that wanting to be recognized and valued and important are some of the wants that most easily cause you to get in the way of your own better impulses.

Laundry Day

Today I attempt to do all the laundry. All the laundry. I’m literally in pajamas. Nothing else clean is left.

It’s kind of hilarious. But also maybe sad.

I hung out with the Butcher, his wife, and my nephew yesterday. Aside from accidentally seeing a man taking dick pics in a public bathroom, which was hilarious, it was nice and uneventful. The baby was cranky. But he slept a while.

I’m just savoring nice times. And, frankly, I guess spending all day in your pajamas is a type of nice time.

Another Reason I Would Not Care to Sell Crocheted Items

I’m making a couple of mermaid tails–one for a little girl who asked for one and one that actually fits my niece. And they’re not that fun. I’ve already made mermaid tails before.

I’ll do it, because I know the kids and I know they’ll like them, but in general, I wouldn’t want to have to do stuff I’m not excited about anymore just because that’s what’s selling.

I was talking to my therapist about my weeks-long panic attack and she talked to me at length about how to life your life while you’re having an ongoing panic attack. One of the important things is to do things that make you happy, at least one thing a day. Not for anyone else. Just for yourself. A good thing that doesn’t have a web of expectations or implications or justifications. Just “I’d like this.”

I was thinking about how my resolution for 2017 was to just like things, without feeling self-conscious about it or like it was necessary to couch it in sarcasm or irony or apologize for it or say things like “I know this may be stupid but…” and to share that like.

My goal for 2018 is to do more things I like just because I like them. I feel like I’ve been conditioned to believe that happiness is suspect, that orienting your life toward it is frivolous at best and dangerously hedonistic at worst. You can be happy, but only as a side-effect of doing shit for others.

I’ve had charity and obligation weaponized against me.

“Put others first” is a lovely sentiment and an important personal philosophy that I support if one has chosen that discipline. But it’s also damn convenient for some of those others, who aren’t doing the same.

So, I’m going to try to figure out what things make me happy to do. And I’m going to do more of them.

Bad

So, I wanted to say some things about my trip to the therapist, but I’m also not sure what I want to say. Sometimes I feel like the point is to just say some stuff, absorb some stuff, and let it work on me.

I told her about my unstoppable panic attack and she checked to make sure that I was still doing the things I needed to be doing in life and she gave me a hand-out to use to guide me through this stuff when it happens.

And then we talked a lot about the importance of happiness. How important it is to cultivate a habit of doing things that make me happy. Like, those aren’t just indulgences or spoiling myself, but making an effort, a habit, out of doing things I enjoy is crucial for my mental health.

Also, a thing I’ve been thinking a lot about is how we talked about how it’s okay for me to be bad at stuff and to not like stuff and to not have mastery of it. She said it can be very hard for people who have accomplished a lot (and lord, did I cringe when she said that, but also I’m working on accepting positive things people say about me) to have things they’re not good at, because the feeling is that if I set my mind to it, I should be able to do it and, if I can’t do it, then I’m a failure. Across the board. When really, we all have strengths and weaknesses and things we do well and things we don’t do well and it’s just normal.

Having weaknesses isn’t failing. It’s just being a person.

I’m trying to wrap my head around what it would mean to make a deliberate habit of doing things that make me happy. Not just stumble across them by accident or save it up for special occasions, but add it to the list of things in a day that have to happen, like lunch or pooping.

And I also wonder what it would be like to find something I enjoy that I’m not very good at and what it would be like to detangle mastery of it from enjoyment.

Happiness

I have a theory that, as we age, we distill down to our essence. So, if you’re a miserable person who just fakes being okay, as you get older, you’ll be less willing or able to fake being okay and your misery will come out.

One of the main reasons I’ve been trying so hard to get my shit together is that I want to be happy at my core. I want, when life has knocked all the extraneous shit off me, for me to be someone I can live with. Want to live with.

The Stairs

Yesterday the elevator was being serviced, so I used the stairs. I did not have a panic attack. I did not need anyone to hold my hand.

I can’t really describe to you how it makes me feel, to have lost the ability to do something and then, maybe (I’m going to take the stairs again today) regained it.

Also, because his collar is too big for him, the dog slipped off his tether last night. Moments later, I found him at the back door. And it made me so happy. Because I really want him to understand that, if something happens, he should come back here.

I ordered some new yarn for an upcoming afghan and the place I ordered it from had to send me part of the order from their UK warehouse. It arrived before the US part, so I went to talk to Angela at the Whites Creek Post Office about it and she had my yarn! The package had been damaged so she made me take pictures and then open it to see if anything was missing.

It contained three extra skeins of yarn. So… that was weird and nice. Oh, my package tore open and someone stuffed more yarn into it?

I’m loving this pattern I’m learning for the baby blanket so much, I have pretty much decided that I’m going to just use it for the big blanket, too. I mean, why go to the trouble of learning how to use two different hooks on the same square if you don’t do it at least twice?

Baby Growth Spurts are Nothing to Joke About

Y’all, I just saw this child on Friday and last night, he seemed a third again as big as he was on Friday.

Also, on Friday, he was still like “Eyes? Yuck, why do I have to see things? I will just shut these and hope for the best.”

And last night he was all “I will kind of look at you! Oops, my eyes slid over to this other thing to look at! Whoa, here’s another thing to look at.”

His mom said that he smiles at the tassel on the curtain by the changing table. She doesn’t know if that’s because the tassel is his friend or if he’s just pleased he recognizes something.

It’s weird when you think of how sight must happen. That at some point, you have to make the connection that you’re seeing actual things out there in the world that you can predictably see again, that the things you’re seeing are something and so looking at them is worthwhile.

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I’m also… ugh… this is stupid and uncomfortable, but I’m trying to get more used to how I look, to just be neutral to slightly pleased with it. So, that sucks and is weird, but I just can’t run around being all “I hate this meat sack.” I don’t need to love it, but I have to make some peace with it.

Anyway, look at those adorable tiny jeans!