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January 31, 2003
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Oodles of Errands and Jet's Birthday Party

2:44 pm: A good morning. I went in for my half-year checkup, got my x-rays, got my teeth cleaned, got the gum line check (nearly all 2's and 3's), and got to talk with my dentist for a while. I liked talking with him and asking him questions and being a bit more persistent than usual. I was glad of that. It was fun to be a 'boring' patient and have nothing that really needed doing. I'm glad of that.

Boring is good when it comes to the dentist.

From there I headed into Boulder and did a big purchase. Last year, I decided not to buy my glasses as I didn't have nearly enough money to cover it in my medical pre-tax account. While there are a lot of things I'll do, passing up a thirty-three percent discount when I could just make use of my old glasses for a while just isn't one of them. These new glasses look really nice, and they actually have my real prescription, and I think that's going to be very important on our month-long road trip in July. There will simply be times when I have to drive at a time when my lenses are bothering me, and it'll be better with some glasses where I'm legal to drive.

Plus, it's just good to have a real pair of glasses for emergencies and when my eyes are too mucked up by the in-air dust around here. It'll be cool to actually look kind of cool in glasses again, too. I'll like that.

I also was able to pick up the replacement contact lenses for the two lenses that were munged up in the packaging the other morning. That was very cool and kind of decided me that I really should buy the glasses as well as spending on the contacts. I also saved something like 30 bucks by using my vision plan on my glasses rather than on my contact lenses, as there were some significant discounts on special items for the lenses. Thirty bucks is several books or a good night out to the movies with John for me, so it was worth the time and effort of asking the glasses lady to calculate the whole thing with me.

I was very pleased by a little old lady next to me being completely shocked by the optician saying that her glasses frames were $125!! She really wanted $35 frames, but the guy said that they wouldn't last as long. Hm. How long is long? Anyway, designer frames are expensive, and I knew that, but they just looked so good and the ones I picked were titanium, which should stand up to Jet's over-eager reach.

From there I headed to CompUSA and bought cartridges for my Epson printer. I really need to print pictures for a brag book before DunDraCon, just so that I can have something of Jet and John with me. It'll be good for the cruise, too, and it's worth taking some time to do it right. Kathy gave me the perfect book for the pictures, now I just have to get the pictures into it. The extended warrantee we bought for the printer also includes a rebate for inks, but we had to buy the ink in three months. So Jet's birthday is the end of that run, so I had to buy them before then. So it was good to just get them today.

I also got some rechargeable batteries, and realized that if my Nickel Metal Hydride batteries ever did wear out, they could be recycled the same way laptop batteries get recycled. 1000 charges. That's damned good.

Anyway, in the same strip mall as the CompUSA is a little Asian Market called The Oriental Market, which I can't type or say without wincing. *wince*. But they're a little place run by Malaysians, and they stock all kinds of things from Asia, India, and even the Middle East. It's pretty interesting mix, and it's as neat as a pin. Sauces, noodles, marinades, spices, condiments, rices, and all kinds of flours are available there. I like wandering through when I can, and I got really, really lucky this time and found, of all things, the No MSG packages of frozen, fresh ramen!!

Okay, I can't say frozen, fresh without giggling, either, but it is! The noodles are made fresh, then frozen to keep them and their soup packets good, and then I thaw 'em to cook 'em, and I always think these things taste the way Tampopo meant ramen to taste. The noodles have this exquisite texture, the soups are clear and clean and delicious, and since I make it myself, it's hot hot hot and the vegetables and toppings are as fresh as I can make them. It's great stuff.

I used to buy these things by the bale from Uwajimaya in Seattle. We had them stocked in the freezer for those cold days when nothing gets the damp and cold from my bones. It was wonderful stuff, and I keep planning ways to carry a sack of them back here; but now this market has them!! They had tonkatsu flavor, soyu, and the ever popular miso. Mmm.... I'm so stoked.

When I got home, though, I just put everything away, and went upstairs and worked for a while. Lunch was just some frozen Lean Pockets. I have to make sure that I have good green onions, the right pickles, and thaw some of my homemade char shao so that it'll slice nicely. Then I'll happily eat.

9:19 pm: The party was quite the success. The Goodells walked in right on time and had two large packages. Jet was flabbergasted.

He said, "Haley!!" when he saw her. He was very surprised. He then tackled the packages and started ripping them open. Haley tried to help, but was called off pretty easily by her parents. Jet then got to open his presents. They'd gotten him two extremely cool things, one was a Bob the Builder tent! He liked their tent so much that they thought they'd give him one as well. The other thing they gave him was a box with two trucks in it that could be taken apart by the power tool in the box as well. It worked as a screw driver, a Philips screwdriver, ad two sockets as well. So he was all set with that!

Both grandparents gave Jet a pile of T3 clothing, which is perfect, as he's definitely going to grow into them. Mom and Dad gave him a beautiful dragon shirt, that eventhough Jet was thoroughly captured by the trucks, he looked at and went, "Ooooo!" Very keen.

I'm glad that he liked it.

He then got to open our gifts, and I guess we were making up for Christmas. Jet got the box of Bob the Builder Legos we'd gotten on sale afterwards, and he also opened the easel, with one side with whiteboard and the other side a chalk board. Alex and Haley helped him with it. All three of them drew like crazy on it and then Jet discovered the eraser and they all thought that was the best thing in the world. They were soon all doing their best to erase each others' drawings. It was pretty interesting, especially with Haley deciding it wasn't important to put the lids back on the pens. But with plenty of adult supervision they all did just fine.

We broke out the cake at 7, as they had to leave at 7:30. John had spent the afternoon on the cake, using various recipes and he'd done a glossy cooked chocolate frosting that, at first, didn't thicken. It turned out that he'd put in corn syrup instead of corn starch, and when we figured it out we just started over again. I was very impressed with how, after whacking himself in the head over it, he just let it go and did it over again. It turned out butter smooth and delicious and it didn't have nearly the richness of a butter cream frosting. It tasted really well of chocolate, too.

I did the decorations, piping "Happy Birthday Jet" onto it in decorative gels and then sprinkling colored confetti candy between the lines of the letters. It was very homemade, but it's not like Jet would mind. Everyone got a big slice of cake and a significant slab of ice cream, and everyone downed what they could. Alex was still a little queasy after his recent bout with stomach flu, but he managed a good portion of his dessert.

Afterwards we talked, played, and had a good time. It is so comfortable to be with them, it amazes me mildly. It was just fun.

They left at 7:30 and Jet played for the next couple of hours with George and I on his trucks. He did the power drilling, and we set up what he had to take apart or put together, and he was happy to just do the power tool thing. He loved it. We had a good time taking apart and putting together both trucks, without instructions. Hee. Isabel was great and started reading him books, changing him, and getting him ready for bed when he climbed into her lap. That was cool.

And she had no problem putting him to sleep. He was pretty tired from all the evening's activities. Yay! I can pray that tonight will be better, as last night I took the two hour stint, and then John woke up early this morning and couldn't get back to sleep. I had a headache this afternoon, and finally had to take Motrin before Jet's party or I wouldn't have made it through without something happening.

I'm glad to have the chance to wind down a little earlier than usual. John made herb tea, and we enjoyed it while Jet drank his milk. It's a good common ritual. George went to sleep as Jet started going down, and since he'd done the lion's share of watching Jet during the day, I thought it appropriate. They'd also taken Jet to a local park in the morning, and they swung, slid, and had a great time there in the high 60 degree day while I was running around Boulder. That should have given Jet enough of a work out (which he hasn't had for a few days), to let him sleep better.

I've finally figured out how to cope with my breasts at night, and/or they've decided that it's not worth getting uptight at night anymore, as we've definitely weaned Jet for all night time stuff. It's time. There are moments while Isabel and George are here that I realize just how nice it is to have time away from Jet.

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