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August 30, 2001
a year ago
two years ago
three years ago

Juggling While Groggy

Ugh. Jet got up five times last night, so I was pretty groggy today as I tried to work. Decided, a while ago, that it would be cool for Mom and Dad to take care of Jet while I worked today. I'll be taking tomorrow off, as it's kind of a plant shut-down day, and I don't remember, at all, what dates I told Bill I would be taking off. So it seemed right to take some time with my parents.

Mom and Dad had brought presents. The first of them, a Sesame Street activity box, woke me up quite handily. There is nothing quite as penetrating as Elmo's voice. Ugh. They also brought Jet a very nice suit of clothing, a nice t-shirt and an overbib that were both really bright. Pretty cool. We'll get to see if he fits tomorrow.

Mom and Dad had to relearn how Jet worked, today. He was a whole new baby to them. Bigger, stronger, faster, able to eat whole jars of baby food at a single feeding, and much more mobile and harder to hold than before. During my ten o' clock meeting, I heard Jet getting louder and louder and louder until I could barely hear myself think in the office upstairs and Bill noted that it sounded like I had my hands full with Jet. I finally muted my phone and suggested that my parents try changing Jet's diaper. They were pretty focused on how tired Jet seemed, but the additional suggestion helped. When Jet got cranky again, I said maybe you should feed him some solids... and when they were done with that, I suggested that Dad, not Mom, who might have mildly confusing equipment for Jet, bounce Jet for a while on the exercise ball.

They did it all, and ended up with a sleeping baby for all their work.

That was a good thing.

He napped for a while, and I fed him when he got up and then the three of them went off to Safeway to do some grocery shopping while I kept on working.

I am flailing at work.

Truly flailing. Mostly because it's all out of my control, somewhat because I'm burning out for other reasons, and some of it is because I'm starting to not care because this managing of resources and figuring out what we can do dependent on what other people are doing is just such a fucking pain. It also sometimes feels like by being removed from being on-site, I just don't run into people into the hallways and I can't just nail things with a quick talk. I have to use email, the phone, or documentation that isn't quite as up-to-date as I could hope. That's just frustrating. Plus I'm basically having to swallow the whole of the Xilinx tools structure whole, having to figure out what plays with what where when I haven't had to pay attention to that since... uhm... the early 90's when I actually worked with the chips directly.

Crash course in modern techniques and tools and flows. The amusing thing is that it actually all looks, remarkably, like it did a decade ago, just more things that are possible and much, much bigger chips to stuff circuitry into.

I didn't get done all that I wanted to do. I finally quit from frustration, and then played a little with Jet and watched Mom and Dad interacting with Jet. It was very interesting to watch and listen.

It was also mildly amusing to realize that they'd gone grocery shopping without asking us what we needed, without asking us what we had, and without consulting me, in the least, about food plans for the coming week. I started off kind of frustrated by that, too, but I think some of that was a holdover from all my work frustration as well, or at least amplified by it. They didn't do anything bad or terrible, it was just not something they thought of doing, especially since I was busy with work. So they were actually trying to give me some peace.

Like the last visit, there was some negotiations to do, but it was much easier than the last time because we had that as a basis to work from. There were things we'd already learned and that was useful in and of itself. They had taken the table by my nursing area last night, and apologized about it this morning, though it had been a bit of a shock when I woke up in the middle of the night to feed Jet and found all my stuff moved to where I couldn't really reach it easily. Mom needed the table to have stuff by her bed and since we didn't have any better replacement, there it stayed, and I kept my stuff on the coffee table the way I used to do.

Mom and Dad also took over making dinner, and they'd brought the sticky rice bundles and bao and Trader Joe's corn bread, all at my request. They brought Chinese spaghetti for dinner, and along with it they had brought a really cool vegetable that they'd grown in their own garden. The American name for it is Coyote Squash, the translated Chinese name for it is Buddha's Hands. It's a very odd, green vegetable that looks like two hands pressed together at the palms and then blown up, balloon-like. Dad peeled it and slivered it into a very fine julienne, and it was crisp and sweet and just a bit raw-starchy while it was raw. We just ate it raw with the spaghetti and the fried sauces and pork with scallions, carrots, and peas sauce. All together it was quite good.

It also was quite the contrast to when they'd come when Jet was two weeks old. This time I've had a few months of being used to making our dinners myself or with John's help. We weren't used to having someone cook for us, and it was kinda cool to have that luxury again for a bit.

After dinner, on the very first night, Mom wanted to give Jet a bath. It was so different from when they were first here and also really different from when we went to visit them in San Diego. Jet can sit up, now, he doesn't have to have his head supported as his neck's strong enough to do that himself. Now he gets his bath in the bathtub and we found his bath seat for the bathtub, so he could sit with support while Mom did stuff to him.

It was really fun to watch. I also got to use the video camera to take pictures as they did the work. Jet is really fast now. He grabs things, sucks on things, tries to wrench away from certain things, and he's so quick he surprised Mom numerous times. We really have to work out a better way with the hair washing. Sudsing him up and pouring water over his head is workable, but he just hates it enough that it would be cool to figure out another way. The thing is that Mom sudsed him up, poured water over his head, and he squalled, so she tried to divert him with the plastic cup she'd used to pour the water with. I didn't know it, but Jet really knows what to do with cups, and he raised the cup that was about half his size to his lips and was about to pour bath water down his own throat when Mom managed to get it from him. Everyone was dying of laughter at this point. Mom then tried to dry Jet's eyes off with a dry washcloth, of course, he grabbed the washcloth before she could totally get his face dry and he dunked it in the water. Wrung out it worked just as well.

But now I know what I look like when I'm trying to do stuff with Jet, like feed him or wash him. It really is a juggling act and it's really entertaining and mildly awesome to watch someone else try it with him. Mom did great. What helped as the rubber ducky and the colored toys on the edge of the bathseat. She also didn't have to make sure he didn't fall over, which was useful, and she got him clean in good time.

Of course, she tried to keep Jet's hair in place the whole rest of the evening, with plenty of brushings. Also, of course, Jet's hair wisped up like the raising of old ghosts, and had a will of its own. Mom wanted to have Jet looking good for tomorrow's dim sum run. We also did a load of baby laundry to get Jet's new clothing clean for tomorrow. Lots of stuff done and to do.

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Copyright 2001 Liralen Li. All Rights Reserved.