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August 16, 2002
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Running Around and Popeye's

10:22 pm: An unexpectedly busy day today. The extra things started at 10 in the morning when the boss of all the landscaping guys came by to show us around our new yard. He not only went over all the new plants and asked if it was what we had wanted and if there were any questions about what had happened, but he also went over the entire new drainage system, how to add onto the watering system, and how to control the whole watering system as well. I was pretty impressed with all the controls.

There are four different programs that can be started or stopped any given day at any time and they can water for any given amount of time. We have four sprinkler systems for the not-yet-there lawn and two drip systems: one for the trees and one for the new plants. The new plants get water every night, which they really do need to get established.

The cool thing is that I recognized many of the plants they put in the landscaped areas from our drives around Colorado. They're native daises, wild grasses, and sage. All of which grow abundantly by the roadside even in this drought year. So I know that they'll do just fine after they're established. A little extra water will only help them grow faster if anything.

At 10:30, I had my 1:1 with my boss, as usual, and we went over quite a few things. At 11, I ran over to Joan's and got Jet, and he went right to sleep when he got home. He was pretty tired. But he only slept for an hour when he woke up yelling "Owie!"

I think it might have been his teeth, but I nursed him some more and he went right back to sleep. I guess if I nurse him he's distracted long enough to get over the painful parts and go back to sleep. He slept nearly another hour and woke up unhappy again. This time, though, John was able to appease him with some juice. So he wasn't doing too badly. He did cheer up pretty quickly.

I fed him a strip of turkey bacon from breakfast, a cookie and some fruit snacks. He also drank quite a bit of juice. So he was set when we loaded up the car and headed out to a place just south of Denver.

Ever since we got the new swing frame, we've been looking for swings. They're much harder to find than we thought, and John found this place that was well south of Denver. It took us an hour and a quarter to get there. Ouch. Jet was okay for the ride, but only with a lot of distractions. He ate the juice snacks, drank stuff, and played with his magnetized drawing board. When he actually got into the toyshop, he happily ran wild.

We let him go with some of the small toys downstairs and then took him upstairs to see all the playhouses and play sets. There were slides, big playhouses, and all kinds of equipment upstairs. Jet had a great time ducking into all the playhouses, twiddling play stove tops, and banging on play workbenches. It was kid heaven. He played like crazy up there and then came back down when we were figuring out exactly what we wanted.

Jet then went through a whole bin of small cars, dollar toys, and balls. He would pull one out, look at it, and put it back when I reminded him to put it back instead of giving it back to me. He ended up a tiny, clear VW Beetle with a tall suspension and huge turquoise wheels. Inside the Beetle were gears that were all interlocking, and when one turns one of the tires, all of them turn. There was also one heavy gear inside that, it turns out, gives the Beetle great momentum. When Jet really put some force into pushing the truck forward, the gears ground and the whole thing would keep going well after Jet let go and it could go over things while under its internal power.

We bought that car for him. It was on sale for ninety-nine cents. He played with it the whole way to a Wild Oats on the way home. There he ran around getting into everything while I bought some bran, some brown short grain rice, and two bunches of green onions. Yes, a strange collection, but it's for Sunday morning's treats after church.

We also stopped at an Albertson's and I bought bleached all-purpose flour because, of course, Wild Oats didn't have any. They only had unbleached flour. Quite a difference in protein content between those.

Then we hit a Popeye's I'd found on the Web. We haven't had Popeye's fried chicken for a very long time and we hit it at the perfect time for dinner. John and I each got dinners. I got a two piece, John got a three, and part of the dinner was a medium drink. Along with the usual fountain drinks, there was a separate fountain that had two spouts and the twirly apparatus of a frozen drink! Turns out that they were frozen juice drinks, though the one I picked certainly didn't look like it had real juice in it. It was a blue raspberry that was remarkably blue. One excellent property of the frozen drinks was that when I put it in the usual soda cup, capped it and stuck a straw in it, when Jet lifted it like a sippy cup, nothing dripped out from under the lid! Hoorah!

Jet did drink a good deal of it. He also surprised me mildly and dug into my mashed potatoes with Cajun gravy. He usually doesn't like mushy things, but he enjoyed these mashed potatoes. He also gnawed my chicken bones, and ate as much chicken skin as he could get his hands on. So Jet actually ate quite a bit during dinner. I was glad of that.

He enjoyed talking with a couple across the way, who thought he was really cute. On the way out, he was walking around, drinking from the drink. The cup is about half his height, so he was holding it with both hands. When he knew that we were going bye-bye, he carefully wrapped the cup up with one arm, up against his chest, and used his right hand to wave bye-bye to the couple. They were delighted. He then made a round of the entire restaurant's eating area waving at everyone. That delighted them as well, and Jet had this huge grin as we carried him out of the restaurant, in state.

It was all enough to send him to sleep on the way home.

It was nearly impossible to wake him up when we got home. He did nap for about half an hour. Not enough to completely mess with his sleeping pattern, but enough that I really wanted him awake when we got home.

Of course he didn't get to sleep at his usual bedtime, then, either. It wasn't until ten that he climbed into my lap and asked to nurse to get to sleep. John went to sleep at nine, which was wise of him, as he was really tired from this week, and it's good if he can catch up a little. I'm only awake because I have to get some of this out of my brain and into text before I explode from too many days unwritten.

The wind is howling at the moment, and I hope that it doesn't wake Jet up by rattling the windows too much. We really do need to set up the sprinklers over the dirt area to keep the dust down for when the wind really does blow. I'm really glad that that is all done and done so well. It's beautiful around the front area, now, and it's obvious where the front entrance is. I'm glad it worked out so well, too

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