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July 31, 2001
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Visiting The Neighbors

7:48 pm: I stuck with the usual daily plan and was well pleased with the results in my state of mind and with Jet's state by the end of the day. He was cheerful, I wasn't totally exhausted, and we were both pretty glad to see John when he got home. We ere all even happier to greet the big thunderstorm that brough wind, rain, and plenty of cold to combat the heat of this morning.

Last night it didn't cool off at all, staying in the high 70's for a great deal of the night. When I was up for Jet's 2 am feeding, it was still 76 outside, and that's fairly unusual. It's usually in the 60's by then, if not all the way down in the 50's. It was pretty warm for me last night, but Jet slept just fine. He stayed asleep until 2, got up the one time and then wasn't up again until 6:30.

So the heat didn't bother him at all.

He wanted to eat again at 8, so I fed him thoroughly and well relaxed. Then he played while I ate breakfast. John took him off to Joan's, and I settled upstairs to work away merrily, until it was time to get Jet. The day was hitting the mid-90's by 11, already, and the air conditioning was already kicking in because the house had still been so warm from the night.

Jet woke up when I got him, and he'd had a good time at Joan's. We nursed a bit, and then Jet played while I made my lunch of two corn dogs. It still amuses me that for all that I love all kinds of esoteric food, I also really love many dead-simple foods as well. They were even Foster Farm's chicken corn dogs, so I think they're supposed to be better for me, especially since I bake them instead of deep fry 'em. But I don't think, for an instant, that they're actually good for me. For that I'd probably have to try the Smart Dogs that keep looking at me from the meat drawer in the refrigerator.

I then had fun feeding Jet solids. I gave him the last of a jar of carrots and then started mixing oatmeal with apple juice. Just a little to start, but then he started making the sounds he makes when he really wants more. So I started mixing more, and then more and then even more. By the fifth helping, he finally stopped making the sounds, and I think he probably ate another jar's worth of cereal on top of the carrots.

We nursed again, only half an hour later, and this time Jet fell asleep, after a lot of playing, and I tucked him into our bed and left the door open so I could hear him if he cried. Then I went back upstairs and got another hour's worth of work in. That was pretty sweet.

Jet woke up a good twenty minutes before my meeting, and I changed him and made him comfortable and we played away cheerfully. Some of it was me finishing the things i was doing, upstairs, and then I attempted to settle everything downstairs so that I could nurse him while the meeting was going on. The problem was that Jet's started to grab things, in earnest, and that included grabbing at the wires to the headset whenever they got within reach and then yanking them back and forth so that he could see the wires move. There isn't anything of his toys that does quite that, so he just kept grabbing them in a very firm fist, and yanking them back and forth.

I did a lot of firm 'no's and prying his hands off them and then giving him another toy. But with the same intensity he's used, thus far, on this toys or on things presented him, he was determined to play with the headset. He wouldn't eat, he wouldn't play with anything else so long as the wires were within reach. So I finally had to set him down elsewhere, and just watch him while I listened to the meeting. I'm sure glad I didn't have to do much with it and it did end a bit early, even.

Jet didn't seem to mind the food delay, at all. I think he's bunching his feedings, gradually. After all that cereal and the earlier feeding, he didn't need the afternoon snack so much. I can see that he's gradually nursing less and less, given that we're often adding solid food meals here and there. Still doesn't mean he doesn't wake up for the middle of the night feeding.

The sky had been gradually darkening all this time, thunderstorms were rushing towards us from the south and west. The first drops of rain started to hit, so, of course, Jet and I decided to go out and take a walk. There wasn't any thunder or lightning, so I wasn't worried about getting hit. The rain stopped nearly as soon as we got out the door, and it mostly stayed away while we did our walk. It spattered us just a little bit on the way back, but that was all.

Jet did something I'd never seen him do before. Instead of sitting back and lounging around in the stroller's seat, he struggled, really hard, to sit up. So I helped him sit up, to start, and he leaned a little against the front tray, the side bars, and other stuff to keep himself upright. He leaned out to the side to touch things, and he really was watching stuff as it went by. The wind chime on the table on the porch really caught his interest, so I rolled him over to it, and he was exquisitly gentle in touching it to get it to ring. I guess that since it was so responsive, he only used very light touches to do what he wanted to do. I was very impressed with that.

Jet rode the whole walk sitting up and looking around. Sometimes he'd grab his feet, the tray, or something else to keep himself upright, especially when we were going over gravel. But he did it handily. I was so surprised.

The house next door to us has sold to a large family, with lots of kids. I saw them moving stuff into the house, so I wandered over, and did the unthinkable. I introduced myself. John had talked with them already, and it was actually an okay thing to talk with them, and show them Jet. The mom had already met Jet, but the rest of the family hadn't. Also, the dad's parents were here for a visit while they were moving stuff. A pretty busy family life, all in all, they seem to have.

From the notes John had, and what I saw, we think they might have at least five kids. They just bought a seven bedroom house, so that was a good number of kids to have for that size house. The teenage daughter, Alexis, does babysitting, so we may well have her take Jet for a while. Even in her house, so he can get more exposure to more kids, and she has all the things she is used to having when taking care of a baby, including her mom. They have a 16 month old, so the house is already baby proofed, which we haven't done to our house, yet. Then again, she may want some time away from her family, who knows?

John wants to do a bar-b-que this weekend and invite them all over, just to get to know them.

It was funny, I really felt socially inept when I did all this. It's just all not something I usually do, and I felt a bit like I was barging in... but John does this kind of stuff all the time.

We even exchanged phone numbers in case they needed anything they couldn't find while unpacking, and if I wanted Alexis to babysit Jet. Jet likes her already, but then he likes pretty much everyone. Alexis also has a lot of experience with the babies in her family, so I felt pretty comfortable with her, especially seeing her in her family situation. I really liked Protecting The Gift's whole thing about going with ones gut feel and then adding the logical things as well.

When I got back home, John got back home, and cheerfully took Jet while I worked some more. Jet did lots of siren noises, but John gave him his binky and then bounced him some and Jet went to sleep! That was pretty cool. I finished what I wanted to do, and then started our dinner. I put everything together, ready to go, and when it looked like Jet was going to stay asleep for a while, I dropped the spaghetti into the pot of boiling water.

Jet started crying two minutes later. I was timing the pasta, so I knew. Sigh. I finished off the sauce, chopping up some of the roasted vegetables from yesterday and getting it simmering in some of the bottled sauce. I told John to just put the spaghetti into the sauce and let it cook until it was done and then just cover it. Then Jet and I settled for a good nursing.

If I make sure that I don't feed Jet unless he's really hungry, then we don't have any problems with distractions and the like. He just gets down to it. I'll have to remember that.

Jet happily finished. We got to eat our dinner, and then Jet got his dinner solids. We gave him the last of the jar of peaches to see if he'd have another reaction. Then John thought peas would be a good idea. Jet didn't think they were such a good idea after the sweetness of the peaches. Jet made just awful faces with every spoonful, and spit them out a lot. Finally John opened a jar of bananas to coat the peas with, and that went down okay for a while until Jet got a lot of gas. John burped him cheerfully, and that was a lot better.

Then I took Jet while John got bath stuff together, as Jet's gotten all salty and sticky again with the last few hot days and nights. Jet kept burping, and when John set him down to wash his face, we saw a mild rash, again, but this time on the left side of his face. The last time it was on the right. So he may well get a skin rash from processed peaches. Eek.

We'll have to ask the doctor about that as a possibility.

After his bath, Jet was flailing around for a while when I got him on to nurse, but it was the 'don't want to go to sleep' flailing. A much milder version than last night, and without the TV on (John was reading Komarr) or any other noises, Jet settled down and half fell asleep while nursing. John got him to sleep-drink a few ounces of breast milk from a bottle, and Jet pretty much passed out as soon as he was done.

Whew. Much better than yesterday.

It was also early enough that I got to write something significant, and I may even have time for a bath! Yay! I'm so glad today was just that much nicer, all in all

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