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July 4, 2001
two years ago

Small Ice Cream Party

8:46 pm: Today was a day of rest. The only one, so far, without a party. Since we didn't get to bed until midnight last night, Jet actually did really well. He slept until 4:40 and then didn't get up until quarter till 8. We sent him up to his grandparents, and John went with him, as he was pretty much awake. I didn't get up until nearly 10, as Jet needed to eat again.

I had my breakfast, then fed him again and John and I went out to the Pike Place Market to look at old memories. It's been so long since we've been there. I also wanted to see if I couldn't eat some Dungeness crab, but nearly all the restaurants were charging more than $25 for a single crab. Most of the fishmongers were closed for July 4th, but one was open that was selling live crabs for $5 per pound. A full sized Dungeness crab is usually more than two pounds, but even then it didn't come close to the restaurant prices.

It was really nice to just wander around the Market. To walk from one end to the other, looking at all the booths, seeing and hearing the huskers. The rows of flower arrangements inspired us to buy one for Isabel. The row upon row of fruit stands was enough for me to buy a handful of Rainier cherries, yellow, crisp and sweet, to munch as we walked. The sweetness of Market Spice in their store was wonderful.

It was just a lot of fun to walk among all the things we'd been without for so long. The tiny donut shop, the wind-up toy shop, the shop that sold crumpets and everything that went with them, the cafes and coffee houses, and the dozens of seafood restaurants out by the waterfront.

We walked down the Hill Climb on the way down to the waterfront and all the places we'd liked in there were long gone. The kite store and the Italian gelato store were now Mexican kitch stores. At the top was still World Spice and Tea and the Spanish Table, though, which was nice to see. I didn't go into the spice and tea shop as I didn't need to cart that stuff home and I haven't been drinking tea for some time. I'll sneak a cup or two here or there, but it's a guilty thing while I'm breastfeeding.

We found the Crab Pot down by the waterfront, and they had a variety of 'steam a mess of stuff' for pretty good prices. The crab price was still $25 and from what my mom said, crabs aren't all that good during the hottest of the summer months. So we decided not to do crabs. Instead, I got a mess of steamer clams and a cup of clam chowder. I also got a loaf of sourdough bread and butter to soak things up with. John got fried clam strips with chips.

The waitress was pretty amused by our predilection for clams. When they came I was glad of the choices we made. The steamed clams were sweet, tender, and juicy. They also gave me a whole lot more than I thought I'd be getting. I was expecting only a dozen or two and I got nearly four. A whole, large soup plate mounded with clams in their light steaming broth. It was really great. The clam chowder was fragrant with rosemary and wasn't nearly as salty as the canned varieties. It was also the nice lighter thickness of starch thickened soups rather than the cream thickened ones.

It was fun to just eat out by the Sound. The seagulls, the scent of the salt on the air, and the ships floating by majestically all helped with the ambiance of the meal. Folks all around us were getting the bucket meals, i.e. if two or more people decided to go for it, they'd get a whole bucket of seafood. The prices started simple with shrimp and fish and went up to large amounts of crab and other shellfish. They were all steamed with lots of spices and then dumped out onto the table while the eaters had mallets and boards to crack things with.

That was pretty fun to watch. We didn't have the room to eat a whole one of those, especially since they included sausage and red potatoes in a good amount with the seafood. But it was cool to see people diving into them.

We went back through the Market, to get one more glimpse of all the flavors, scents, and colors of the place. We got Isabel a bunch of colorful flowers and headed back to the car. From the parking lot by the Market we then proceeded to zig zag through the city and just look at all the things that were there. Downtown proper isn't all that different than downtown propers everywhere. Denver's flatter than Seattle, but there were all the same kinds of shops, buildings, and restaurants on the most part. There are a few individual gems at each city, and I'm biased in saying that Seattle has a far more diverse representation with better overall quality in restaurants.

We went back along 520. We'd gone in on I-90, because it was right next to Bellevue and went right into the city. In the tunnels our rental car had turned on its headlights and the lights of its dashboard. That was pretty amazing. It was very fast to get into the city from there. 520, however, is open, almost totally, to the air and sky. We got to see Mt. Rainier looming over Lake Washington, filling a chunk of the sky.

We drove through Bellevue along Bellevue Way and saw all the changes to Bellevue Square. There was new construction throughout the city and lots of new shops and businesses in old places. Not a lot of the favorites were displaced, DeLaurente's still held it's small shop space, and the Greek restaurants were still in their corner. The King and I was still as florid as ever, though their Thai food was always as authentic as their exterior was cheesy. The Pancake Corral was still slumped in its lot.

It was fun to see it all in place and we went home through the Tyee neighborhood. Quiet and tree filled it was fun to just wander through all the old houses and see the new community gym and center. Once home, I heard Jet yelling from the kitchen.

I thought he was hungry, and it proved to be so, and he ate happily for about five minutes before he suddenly turned onto his back and started to just yell and wiggle frantically. He eventually got back on, but it was an on and off thing for most of the feeding. I got tired enough that I decided to just take a nap after all that. It was a solid, hour long nap and Jet wasn't screaming or unhappy for nearly all of it, but at the end.

I thought it was because he was hungry again, but we had a bunch of that yelling stuff again. He did play for the whole time I was asleep, which was good, and we had some fun out in the livingroom where I'd place him down on his front. The very first time it took him a while to remember how to turn over. Then, three or four times in a row, I would put him on his front and he would immediately flip over onto his back. He even, once, went from his front to his back and kept going back onto his front again! He was playing and happy for a lot of that, but every once in a while he would just scream again.

I have no idea why, but he hasn't pooped all day or all yesterday, so there might be something going on there. He also had half a jar of green beans this morning, and he seems to have had more problems with the green beans than he's had with the carrots or peas.

By late evening, we had and old-fashioned Fourth of July dinner of hotdogs in buns with potato salad. It was very good and very simple. John had mixed up some vanilla ice cream as well, and they churned it before dinner and let it ripen in ice and salt while we ate. Jet got to eat nearly a whole jar of peas while we waited just a bit longer. It was really fun to see him really enjoying that and he went from trying to strike the spoon to finally sitting back and allowing himself to be fed at a more leisurely pace.

The ice cream was wonderful. It was nicely frozen with the time in the ice, and it went really well with yet more raspberries.

The plan for tomorrow is for Adams to come with a main course and we'll do salads and dessert and Gail, Sue's sister, to come with some side dishes and then we'll all just have dinner together. That should be fun and quite another party for Jet. Isabel is also going to take Jet to her Ladies' Breakfast. I decided that I really wanted to sleep in and not go in the morning, but Jet really was fine in the morning, so he would have fun on the adventure.

So it's good that we had a relatively quiet evening. Jet's stomach problems didn't go away. He was just screaming periodically with something that really sounded like a lot of pain. We'd bounce him, carry him, play with him on his back, but he was just having real problems. Finally, for his last feeding, he just seemed so tired that he finally settled in for a solid feeding and ate steadily.

John then gave him his bottle after changing him and putting him in his sleeper. It took the two of us some trading off, though, to actually get him to sleep. It's been a while since he didn't just go to sleep in his car seat and then have to be nursed a bit before being allowed to just sleep in his crib again. So it took us a while to get him to sleep, especially since there were fireworks outside, all booming and thumping, whistling and banging away. That was pretty amazing in and of itself.

I half wondered if I shouldn't get up and watch them if they were going to keep me awake. It turned out, though, that I was so tired, that they really didn't keep me awake after Jet had nodded off finally, so I went to sleep too.

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