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December 3, 2001
a year ago
two years ago
three years ago
four years ago

Minor Miracle

John's humidifier created a minor miracle last night. Jet actually slept from 9:30 to 6 without drinking anything, and then, after I fed him, he stayed asleep until 8:30 and was almost too late getting up to get to Joan's comfortably. John managed it, and then came back home and we worked away cheerfully for the two hours Joan had Jet.

John woke up before Jet did, completely caught up on sleep. I got up a bit before Jet did as well, as I was feeling really good. The humidity in the air was the big factor, I think. I didn't ache, my eyes didn't feel like they'd been sandpapered, and my nose, for once, didn't bleed at night. So I was doing really well. It's good to know that some of what we'd thought was sleeplessness was actually just dryness. It's something we can fix. That's important.

The day was good. Work in the morning, and John and I each fixed our own lunches. I had my leftovers, and John ate turkey enchilada casserole, and Jet ate bits off of our plates. He really enjoyed that and then ate his baby food, somewhat reluctantly. I think he's getting to the point where table food is far more interesting to him than the food from jars, and we're probably going to have to strip him down to his diaper, lay out the plastic mat and just let him go at it for a while until the texture and play aspects of food are less interesting and he'll just eat when he's hungry.

I think I'll have to bring in a space heater or only do it on a warm and sunny day.

I spent the first part of the afternoon with Jet, playing with him. He liked playing with the low hanging ornaments from the tree. We set up a couple of them so that he could pull them off and play with them and not bother the rest of the tree. He really likes putting the jingle bell into his mouth and crawling around with the red yarn sticking out. That's pretty funny to see.

He was exploring and happy, pretty much. He was crawling everywhere and getting into everything. One thing about having a baby is that the floor has to stay pretty much impeccably clean, as he'll pick up anything bigger than a pinhead and eat it.

We also went outside for a walk, half of it with John, half of it on our own. Since it was so sunny out, I decided I might as well water the trees a little, and rolled Jet around to watch while I wrestled with the hose and tried to water every tree that was close to the hose by the kitchen. It was hard work in many ways, but Jet was pretty fascinated at first by the whole sight of running water, getting it to puddle beneath all the trees, and the whole exercise of getting the hose to the trees.

At one point he started looking really bored, so I set him down on our driveway to see what he would do. Of course, the first thing he did was pick up a pebble and pop it, instantly, into his mouth. I should have known that was going to happen. But then he ignored the other rocks and started patting the concrete to see what it was like and when he was satisfied with that exploration, he started to crawl along the rough surface and peer at the grass but leave it alone and then went over to the dirt part of the driveway and immediately tried to eat part of that. I stopped him from doing that, but let him stay there, and he started digging into the dirt with one hand, just exploring the feel of it.

I admit to being anxious about the whole thing. I didn't like the idea of him being out where he was just going to eat everything. I know a little dirt isn't going to hurt him, or grass. But I wasn't sure of the cottonwood leaves, and the other leaves from all the other things we have in the yard. We also don't really have any lawn to speak of, it's all either mountain grass or weeds, some of which are very prickly, thorny and nasty weeds. I think I might have to take him next door and let him play on the lawns next door on the warmer days.

He really liked being able to explore. So much so that when I tried to put him back in the stroller, he struggled a lot. I got him in, and had to move the hose. The next thing I know I hear this 'pop' and he's gotten one half of the restraining belt undone in the stroller and he's half hanging off the side of the seat, trying to do his damnedest to get out of the seat. Of course he has no fear of the drop to the ground or the fact that the super light weight stroller is starting to tip.

I think any new mom can sprint faster than the fastest world time holder in the 50 yard dash. I caught him before he pulled the whole thing over, and took him out and put him on an open part of the concrete driveway, and let him play as I turned off the water and started pulling the hose to put it back on it's rack. Of course Jet was most interested in what I was interested in, so he started to tackle the hose. He even pulled himself up to a standing position to tug-o-war with me, and I gently let him back down to a sitting position before detaching him and turning him in another direction. He got the hint and went off after a rock, which he immediately put in his mouth and, luckily, then took out to look at it.

Or, maybe, in baby parlance, he'd looked at it with his mouth and was now looking at it with his eyes. I decided it wasn't going to kill him to look at it and finished my job and let him finish his job of learning more about this weird world outside.

Eventually we made it back in and I collapsed and let him nurse and we both rested until my meeting.

John took over Jet, and they went to Big O to get the Passat's back left tire fixed. So I had my hour of meeting time and an hour after that, which I used to work and actually get all the November entries up to snuff. I am behind by an entire month, though all the entries are writing, it's interesting realizing that I've been putting off posting them.

Just before 5, I called CeLena to double-check that I had my appointment with her, and she said it was good. My nose just suddenly started bleeding spontaneously, and I had to mop it up before going to her place. She did her usual magic, though I could tell that I'd skipped a week what with the jury duty stuff, and there were areas that were super tender again. I really need to schedule a little extra time with her to get some of that put back into working order. My knees keep warning me that I'm just going to pay through the nose if I put off giving them some relief any longer.

When I got back home, John was feeding Jet solids. He hadn't had any time to get around to any dinner, which was a good things as I'd been thinking about that when I was being massaged. The latest Cooks Illustrated had reminded me of a childhood food that I actually kind of missed. They were the tenderloin sandwiches Mom used to make when I was little. It turns out that they're somewhat of a Mid-West phenomenon and are usually sold as breaded pucks in the grocery store that get pan fried and put on white buns with mayo and lettuce and are just eaten that way. They're a little dry, but I remembered their crispness and their distinctive pork sweetness.

Of course Cooks Illustrated had the way to make them from scratch, and it looked pretty easy, though they called for a whole tenderloin to be cut up and pounded into disks. I had loin chops from the huge loin we'd bought and parted out, so I got a couple of those out, thawed them, cut out all the hard fat, and then pounded them into disks. The little pieces between the fat could be pounded together, the magic of proteins. When breaded with a bit of flour, egg and fresh bread crumb, they fried up quickly and easily and in one piece. They came out super crisp around the edges, and tender in the middle, and on buns we'd had for nearly half a year in the freezer, they actually tasted really good with a bit of mayo and lettuce.

It was a yummy dinner and fairly quick. The meat was far more tender than the pucks I remembered as a kid, and more flavorful too, but they still had the characteristic crispness and pork flavor that I remembered. John was cool when he heard that I was chasing another childhood memory and told me that he wanted to eat them the way I used to eat them. He liked it, too. Yay!

I sometimes wonder if I chase these childhood food memories down so that I can share them with Jet. Sometimes, though, just sharing them with John is enough.

We then sat down to chase down plane tickets to go to San Diego after Christmas and ran into the reality that it was going to cost us $1200 for the three of us to go there for three days. Given our part time salaries and everything else that has been going on with costs at the end of the year, we're thinking that it's just going to be way too much to spend. It's a hard thing to think through. If the airlines were having anything like a price war again, it would be easier for us to do, but these prices are just crazy for us. I know that some of it is just that DIA charges an arm and a leg to fly in and out of there, which just raises prices, but this is probably a bit of Christmas gouging as well.

Part of it is knowing that my parents expect us, and, for all that I've been away from them for years and years and years, I'm still afraid of disappointing them. I'm still really afraid of telling them stuff that I know is going to make them mad, sad, or upset with me.

So John and Jet and I tried to call them to tell them and only got their answering machine. They'd actually called earlier to wish Jet a happy 10th month birthday, but I'd been at CeLena's and they hadn't said that they really wanted to talk with me afterwards, either. So it looks like they'd gone out, and I was pretty much left with it all unresolved.

Ah well.

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Copyright 2001 Liralen Li. All Rights Reserved.