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December 6, 2002
a year ago
two years ago
three years ago

The Beach, Shopping, and the Christmas Tree

9:30 pm: Kathy was very cool this morning. We'd talked with her, last night, about plans for today, and she showed up at a much earlier time than she would have preferred. I really wanted to get Jet to do stuff before his nap, make sure he had only one nap during the day, and, maybe, get a more regular sleep schedule thereby. We've had problems, in the past, with Jet having two naps during the day and having terrible nights.

Like last night. He had two naps, yesterday, and, sure enough, he was up six times. That made both John and I a bit bleary this morning, but I slept in more than John did, so I hadn't had breakfast by the time Kathy arrived. So I apologized, and she forgave me. I'm very glad.

But we were together in time to get out to the beach well before Jet's nap time. We went to La Jolla Shores as it was close, Kathy likes it, and Jet would have gone to any beach and had a blast. We got there, parked in the parking lot, unloaded, and when Jet got out he said, "Wow!"

We said, "Wow!" too. But possibly for a different reason. It was probably the highest tide I've ever seen. There was seaweed still fresh from being beached, and it was a vast, slimy track between the faint ribbon of drying sand right next to the retaining wall. Uck! But there were ways through it, though there were also shallow, beached, ponds as well, where the water was warm and slow and starting to collect bugs and stuff already.

One of the reasons for the high reach was 'cause there was a storm system blowing in. There was a giant pod of surfers just up the beach from us, trying to catch the big waves. There were big waves galore, too, nasty ones. Plus harsher rip tides, too. We actually saw the life guards go out twice to get people out of the rips and countless yelling at people to paddle parallel to the shore to get out of them. A handful of folks that had no clue among dozens and dozens that had some clue.

Jet, on the other hand, as soon as he got around the retaining wall, sat down and started digging in the sand. He liked just digging. We took his shoes off, got him settled, and he dug away happily. He also liked putting sand into his pail, and Kathy got some good shots with her new camera, not only of him, but the surrounding area as well. I brought Dad's camcorder and got some good shots as well, of the high tide, the waves, and the surf. It was fun.

Eventually Kathy started playing with Jet and his sand. They dug for a while. Then Kathy went and got a pail full of water and made a big, wet sand pile that they then used to pack into the pail and make sand castles with. Jet loved tearing down the castles as soon as they went up. Eventually, he got curious about where Aunt Kathy was getting the water from, and he followed Kathy out to the surf.

John went with him, and when the next wave came crashing, John would pick Jet up enough so that he wouldn't get completely doused, and pull him back up onto the beach a ways. Jet would stand and watch the wave pull out. Since it looked like the ground was going out from under him, he would fall backwards. John would catch him. When the wave went out, Jet would start chanting, "Go! Go! Go! Go!" And then he'd start running after the receding wave, again.

Go, Jet, GO!

They did this countless times. Jet loved it more and more each time. He'd laugh when the water would hit, and grin at the water going out. He had a constant grin on. He's splash around in the water when John had pulled him back to his depth, and he was completely soaked to the waist. John and Kathy were pretty wet, too. I'd stayed well out to get it all on the camcorder.

Finally, Jet was staggering even when there wasn't water dragging him around, so we headed for the showers. Jet had sand everywhere, but was happy as a clam. We got him stripped of his swim diaper, all his clothing, and rinsed as much sand off as we could. It was pretty cold water out there, so he was shivering like crazy when we were done, but we wrapped him up in a dry towel, dried him off as much as possible, and then got him dressed in dry stuff. He was warm as anything, in the sun in the car when we were done, and he went right to sleep on the way home. Very tired boy. Yay!

Dad was cool and made won ton soup for us when we got home. He cooked the wontons fresh, and we had them with pickles, chile sauce, and garlic chile sauce. Yum. It was good stuff, and we ate all the ones he cooked. It was very good to have hot soup and food after the wind and the water.

Since Jet was still asleep, Kathy and I headed out to do some shopping. I really wanted to get Sticky Toffee Pudding from a retail outlet while I could. I'd rather try the stuff without mail ordering it before buying more of it.

It was cool. The lady at the bakery had not only heard of it, but led us right to the refrigerator case where they stocked the stuff. I got two pans, one big and one little, one for here and one for home, afterwards. I knew that we could freeze it, bring it on the plane, and have it when we got home. I wanted to try some of it here, but only the large pan was really big enough for all six of us to try any. So I got both. I believed that we'd like it enough that I wouldn't regret doing this. We also got a few other things as well, including some on-sale Valencia juice oranges. I thought Jet might like the juice. I also bought straight peanut butter, just ground up peanuts. Whole Foods had the cool peanut butter machine in the produce area where you could see the peanuts and you just turn on the machine and put as much as you want into a tub. They sell the stuff by weight, so you only pay for what you get.

Kathy wanted some help with coffee at Peet's and we asked the guy behind the counter about his opinions and got what he recommended. I thought any of it should be good for a coffee lover, and the blend he recommended was something that only Peet's has. I know what I like, but it's hard for me to decide on what someone else might like, so it was nice to hand over the decision, though it did mean that my 'expertise' was kind of moot. Ah well.

When we got home, John, Mom, Kathy and Jet took off for 99 Market. Since there wasn't a car that could hold all six of us, Dad was going to just stay home and set up the tree. I offered to stay home and help him with it and I was glad of it. It is good to get a break from Jet, and it was really fun to do something constructive with Dad. It was fun to just deal with the problem of the tree, and we got it so that the tree was completely solid in the stand. It really did take both of us, and I was glad that I did it. It took someone to hold the tree, and the other person to position it or do all the fiddling to get the hardware to work. I'm very glad that we got it utterly solid, as I knew that Jet would be tugging on it at any possibility.

They'd originally assumed that John was going to stay and help Dad with the tree, but John wanted to go out, and I really wanted to stay in, so it worked out for us. The folks that went to 99 went and got big, fat, Dungeness crabs.

Dad was also cool and when we were done, he said that he'd clean up, so that I could shower. I needed it, as I was still mildly sandy and salt sticky from the beach. It felt really good to just enjoy the shower without having to wonder what Jet was up to.

It was pretty funny. While Mom was cooking mei fun and getting the crabs ready to go into the pot, Dad disappeared, and when they got to cooking seriously, Jet suddenly appeared in his high chair with a box of Chicken McNuggets. Mom said that he had to have something nutritious! John and I giggled. I really thought that Jet had a chance with the mei fun, as he loves noodles and these are rice noodles with bits of veggie and meat goodness hidden within; but Mom kind of pre-empted it all and gave him chicken McNuggets, of which he ate two, nibbled and destroyed two, and we saved the others for later.

I'm glad he ate something. And it was cool that Mom and Dad went to the extra effort to get Jet something familiar, that he'd like to eat. I really appreciated that. They care about him enough to go and do the extra things, and that's what I find really important. It's very cool.

After dinner, while Kathy watched TV, the rest of us put ornaments up on the tree. Jet was very gracious and handed out all the ornaments to everyone. He also liked watching John and Dad do all the lights and went "Oooo! Ahhh!" when the lights went on and started blinking. I was pretty impressed that Jet was actually very gentle with all the ornaments and was quite happy to hand them to someone else when they were very fragile. He did really well, I thought.

I then cut, nuked, and served the Sticky Toffee Pudding to all. Jet didn't get his own piece, and it was probably a good thing, as he wasn't that enamoured of it, sweet as it was. The icing melted all over the warm cake, and made a nice puddle of sticky, gooey sauce for dipping the cake in. It was really decadent, and I enjoyed it quite a lot. Everyone else was very polite about it, but I think it may have been a bit too sweet for most everyone. It certainly pegged John's sweet meter.

Sadly, Jet was so wound up that I finally had to ask everyone to go to sleep so that I could have even a chance of getting Jet to nurse and settled down to sleep. Once everyone was gone, Jet looked around and said, sadly, "All gone." He even walked around the house a little, and when he was satisfied that, yes, everyone was gone, he finally settled into my lap, nursed, and fell dead asleep ten minutes later. He was so tired. I was really tired, too. While he was napping, I was running around, today, and I really needed the sleep, too. Ah well. I can hope for tomorrow

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