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April 4, 2002
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three years ago
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Packing Day

Today was, very clearly, packing day. Isabel and George packed up to go on with the rest of their trip. Isabel did, not only all their laundry, but all our laundry as well. She also did a lot of small jobs around the house while George did a lot of work helping to clean up the dead trees out of the yard. I think he also replaced a seal on a leaking toilet and other things around the house that John hadn't gotten to.

I got a full morning's work in and regretted volunteering for the extra job yesterday. During the team meeting, I got volunteered for a job related to another job I was doing, and I thought it would be doable, but realized, today, with much more thinking, that it was going to be much harder. Ugh.

I wrestled with the problem in the office while Isabel and George had a great time with Jet. He went with them when they went out to Wal-Mart to get some film and light bulbs for us.

The Molly Maids came as well, and they came when I finally gave up and decided to go on a walk with Isabel, George, and Jet. It was in the high 60's, sunny and warm, so we had a wonderful, long walk, through the neighborhood. We visited a construction site along one of the finger roads.

I've always felt odd about visiting a construction site for someone else's house. It always felt like trespassing to me, and today there were a bunch of folks building on the house while we wandered onto the site and George chatted about how he'd become friends with the foreman and they'd gotten to know the 'big black dog' that turned out to be a cute little black lab. The foreman didn't recognize them at all, but he was friendly enough and admired Jet's seat in the backpack.

Jet was fine while we were walking, but after we'd stood around watching the crane throw some pre-constructed sections around, he got antsy and started bouncing and grumping in his seat. So we moved on and I was relieved. I wonder if he picked up on some of my discomfort. Anyway, he was much happier to be on the move and bounced in his seat and crowed while we went cross country to the next finger road and as we walked Jet gradually fell asleep under his sunshade.

He napped in the basement with George and Isabel when we got back home as the Maids cleaned up the house. It kept him well away from the vacuum cleaner and all the clatter and chatter. He slept for a good half an hour after we got home, in the pack.

When John came home, I nursed Jet and then we all loaded up in the car and went to the SoupRSalad. Five dollar buffet, and they no longer separated the potatoes from the rest of the buffet. You pay up front and then get to go through the salad bar and the soup buffet. Most of the breads were sweet, but they had an additional foccoccia that was savory and had actual rosemary and garlic and olive oil on it. Yum.

At first, I thought the salad bar didn't have spinach, as the spinach didn't show up with the initial greens, but the first container was packed with baby spinach! Yay! I filled my plate with spinach and probably ate as much baby spinach as five dollars would have bought, cleaned and ready for salads, in a grocery store. I would never lose weight on salads. I put too much of the 'good stuff' on them, bacon bits, crumbled egg, salad dressing, croutons, sunflower seeds, cheese, carrots, garbanzo beans, etc.

I had relatively little bread. I had a taste of the spinach soup and a bit of the beef vegetable soup, both of which were pretty good. But I'd definitely filled up on salad. Jet ate bits off everyone's plates until he was full and then he started throwing stuff on the floor. I think I should really work on a better sign from him for when he's full or done. He did, however, have room for dessert after that when I showed up with a sundae with chocolate and strawberry sauces. He ate a profound amount of ice cream. He's a real Rostykus.

After we were done, I had to use the restroom and when I came out, Jet was out walking around with John tagging along behind him. He'd stopped to study a mom and two daughters, one of whom was mugging at him. She was grinning at him and making faces at him and he was staring at her with as much seriousness as I've ever seen. He was also stock still, and John later told me that he'd just been walking along until he saw her and then he'd just frozen. He'd stopped with every limb in exactly the same place while he stared and for the whole time he'd stared he was in the same position.

Finally, when she started shaking her head at him, Jet cracked a grin. Then he started laughing, and when I got back and looked over, the whole section of the restaurant was grinning at him and/or laughing with his laughter. I could hear his distinct laughter from across the restaurant, and it was pretty cool. He had everyone's attention and he didn't really notice. He was just watching the girl making faces at him and he was laughing with everything he had.

Eventually he studied all the other people that were looking at him, too. He looked quite a few people up and down and grinned at a few of them. He also took some time to peer at a four-month-old girl who was fast asleep. He got one little boy to just stare at him as Jet scrambled around trying to walk everywhere with both George and John going after him.

I was really glad John let Jet do all that. I would never have let Jet be the center of attention for that long, or I'd have worried or something stupid. Jet did great, and John let him do whatever came naturally so long as it didn't infringe on anyone, and Jet got the fun of interacting with a very large bunch of people who really liked him. That was really cool.

When we came home, Jet didn't go to sleep at the usual time. Instead, he rode in the sling for a while, as he was kind of clingy. I packed while he rode, and that seemed to help. He really liked playing with the clothing in the closet. He likes grabbing armfuls of the clothing and then falling into them and letting them swing him around. Occasionally, he'll pull something down and that'll be even better. He did manage to whack his head into the wall behind the clothing once, but after crying for a bit, he went at it again, laughing hilariously.

We got everything packed, and everything we're going to pack tomorrow is written down. That's good enough for my peace of mind. It also helped to have the mantra, "It's only one night. It's only one night. It's only one night." It helped me pack a whole lot less, and helped even more to stress very little about what I might have missed.

Whew

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