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December 6, 2001
a year ago
two years ago

Toys For Tots

8:24 pm: A very exciting day today. Jet had not quite as bad a night last night, just two times up and then up for good at 6. Luckily John was up at that time, too, so they did famously together. I stayed in bed and tried to sleep a while longer, and got up in time to put myself together and nurse Jet while John showered, dressed, and ate breakfast. They left just a little bit early, as john had to be at work by 9:30. I took a little time and made myself some blueberry blintzes from the frozen crepes and a nice mug of coffee for my breakfast.

I ate while I worked upstairs. That was good. The house was filled with sunshine and with my slippers on it was nice to just get things done. Having uninterrupted time is always good for my brain and my self-esteem as I manage to get something done. I also had a 10 'o' clock meeting, and I worked away at stuff while it flowed through it's workings. It ran a bit late, but Joan's been happy for 8s to leave Jet at her place a bit longer, as she has to pick Alex up at 11:30 anyway, so the time up until then is mostly waiting anyway. She explicitly said it would be okay.

Today she had another three-year-old and a 2-month-old there as well, her old boss' kids. The ex-boss was on maternity leave and was looking for another job as the one she'd had with Joan was very, very stressful. She'd probably delivered her baby a month early and had problems with the pregnancy because of the amount of stress she was going through.

There are times like these when I really do figure I've got it tremendously lucky. I can work just half time. I get no flack for it. I am doing stuff that I know that I'm pretty good at doing and I'm interested, most of the time, in what I'm doing. That is pretty damned good. I get benefits. I get not only my half salary, but I also get options and my old options actually vest just as quickly as they did when I was full time.

I do only get half the options I would have gotten if I were full time, but that seems fair, as I really have given up doing half the job in order to have the time with Jet. It's right and fair.

Anyway, Jet hadn't napped. He'd also been mildly dubious when he'd seen Joan feeding the two-month-old from a bottle. It was like he remembered when she did that for him and it bothered him a little bit that someone else was in that place instead of him. He's not the baby anymore.

He came home, mildly cranky after a really good time at Joan's. He'd been up since 6, so I wasn't too astonished when he actually went to sleep when I fed him. I was able to tuck him into his car seat, put that into our room, turn on the humidifier to add some white noise so that whatever noises I might make could be mildly masked, and then made myself some lunch, and took that up to my office.

More work Then a 1 'o' clock meeting and exactly 10 minutes before the meeting is supposed to end Jet wakes up. I get him. He's mildly wet, but I just bounce him for a while, thinking the meeting is going to be over soon. It goes on, and on, and...

I run downstairs for a diaper, bring it up with me, but when I open Jet up, he's not just soaked, he's dirty as well. Agh! I am not being asked anything at this point in the meeting. I pick Jet up, loose diaper and all, and run downstairs and clean him up, dry him off, and change him and when I get back they haven't noticed a thing. Sometimes I wonder why I get invited.

Sometimes.

Jet's still grumpy, so I finally nurse him, as it's past time for him to eat something, but I'd wanted to feed him solids. Nursing works, however, as I can't go downstairs as the meeting's still going on, and finally, when the meeting's over, he's already done both sides and is a content and fairly full little boy. I try anyway, and get half a jar of pears and wild blueberries into him. He'd eaten the turkey and barley for John this morning, so I knew there was a pretty good chance he'd eat jarred solids.

We then pack everything up and into the car and race for the Longmont Target to arrive at 3:35, five minutes late. John is even later. Whew. We then pile Jet into a cart and we run off to the toy department and start pulling Cool Things off the shelves. We fill a cart and a half and take it to checkout and the checkout lady rings it all up and tells us we could get 10% off everything if we got a Target card. Given how much we bought it would be a significant savings.

So we apply and get accepted and I get a Target card, which I kind of assume is like a Sears card, i.e. no yearly fee and only interest payments when a balance is carried over. No one can tell me, though, and I have to read the fine print to find out that it is so. In the meantime, everything is transferred to the Customer Service stand, and rung up and charged and we're all set with yet another piece of plastic. Given that we do go to Target a lot, it might be handy once in a while if we get a discount.

It's pretty cool. We have a truck load of toys. We drive both the Passat and the Baby Buggy to the new site and there's a Holiday party going full blast with food, Santa, and the Grinch Who Stole Christmas blasting away in one hallway where nearly all the kids are seated, watching with open mouths. John gets help and three guys grab armloads of goodies and marches in to deposit them in the five foot tall toy box. It's nearly full! Yay!

More Toys for Tots! That's pretty cool. The whole party is just to get contributions for Toys For Tots, and it's going really well. They end up with more than $2000 in contributions which works out really nicely. The Santa was a co-worker, dressed up and posing for photos with kids. Parents were asked to contribute an amount for the photos. Jet went to Santa just fine, but after a little while he'd had enough and that was that.

The operations guy did several tours of the new facility for all the family members that were there. Folks got to see the new, luxurious accommodations, we'll be moving in in April because the tax reasons for staying out are pretty much done with. It wouldn't help the company anymore, to not have us move, so they might as well take advantage o the morale boost moving into the new place would give everyone.

It would be really cool to work there.

There's a meeting room upstairs that has a stone fireplace and everything. There's a view of the mountains, and a gorgeous view of the property. It's just amazing. The meeting rooms are numerous, spacious, and many of the big ones that are interior to the building and don't have windows DO have an entire wall of white board. The one thing that meeting rooms never have enough of is white board space, and now there are entire walls of the stuff for working stuff out on. That's pretty cool.

What was really nice was getting to talk to Debbie, Jenny, and other folks we hadn't seen for a while. I really do miss the time in the break room at work even more than just being at work with plenty to do. I do miss the little social life I had before. I'm very glad I didn't have a really active social life before Jet, otherwise it would really hurt to lose it. As it is, it's just a mild regret sometimes and a company party assuages it just fine.

I nursed Jet in one of the upstairs meeting rooms. The external wall is glass for an outside few, the wall to the interior is all glass, though the center portions have textured, hand made paper embedded in the center of it. So it's possible to see that people are in a meeting room without seeing any specifics. It also allows a lot of sunlight into the regular work area through the meeting room. I really liked that thought in the design. Tonight, it helped me see if anyone was coming without compromising my privacy while nursing Jet. That was very nice.

Afterwards, we sat with folks as we watched a raffle happen. The proceeds went to the Toys For Tots bankroll and there were lots of interesting things that went by. Some of the vendors that supply Xilinx with stuff normally gave some raffle prizes as well. We hadn't bought any tickets, but it was fun sitting with friends that had.

Afterwards we decided to go to Sakura and eat some dinner. I can see why some people just stop going to restaurants all together for a while. Jet has started to yell when he can't get something he really wants to have. When he's frustrated his voice will just start to rise and rise, but when we were able to give him something else that he was interested in as well he'd stop. So it was mostly a job of distracting him with something else.

He dug into a plateful of sushi rice with both hands, as much to play with it as eat it as it was a little hard for his gums. He would stuff a handful into his mouth, spit half of it out to look at it, spread some of it around on the table, and then eat a bit more. He made a very sticky mess on the table, but quite a lot of it made it into him. He also got bites of tofu from my miso soup and bites of unagi from my sushi. The sushi chef came by, bemused that we had requested sushi rice for Jet, and he gave Jet a cup of thin cracker sticks and some imitation strawberry dip.

Jet loved them. He liked sucking the strawberry stuff off the sticks when he wasn't waving the stick around and painting John with the strawberry stuff. Eventually Jet figured out how to munch on the stick with his gums and he ate them down happily. He had three of them, as they were basically crackers, and was really happy with them. The diversion alone was well worth it, as we got time to not only finish our dinner but eat our chocolates and tempura'ed bananas. Yum.

From there we headed home, tired and happy. We'll get to see if it was too much stimulus for Jet and if he's up a lot tonight. So far, he's already gotten up once just half an hour after getting put down to sleep. It doesn't bode well, but he's never responded all that well to bodes.

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Copyright 2001 Liralen Li. All Rights Reserved.