Huge Costco Run, Teriyaki, and Picking Raspberries
10:24 pm: The best thing about vacation is getting up late. I got up really late. Nearly 9, which would be 10 at home. I enjoyed it. Jet hadn't gotten up until nearly 7, and he hadn't woken up at night at all. That was quite the treat. I fed him and then went back to sleep and stayed that was as long as I could. I heard Jet and John make an excursion to Jet's room, probably to change him. So I got up after that.
The breakfast room was mostly deserted by the time I got there. I found everyone in Isabel and George's huge garden. They have an enormous vegetable and raspberry patch that extends around the house and takes up most of their backyard. It's gorgeous with zucchini blossoms, red raspberries, and huge bunches of lettuce in full leaf. I saw Jet on the far side, sitting in the dirt and flinging it in all directions. He looked pretty happy. John was using the video camera and laughing. I said hi to everyone and George came back in with me.
George was cool and showed me where the bran blobs were and helped himself to one while Jet and I tried one out. They'd found that cleaning the muffin tins was such a bother that they decided to just put a scoop of batter on a cookie sheet and let those bake. They baked in far less time, and the clean up was minimal. The bin was filled with bran blobs with just a bit of raisin, they weren't too sweet. Of course George put yogurt and raspberry jam on them. I followed suite and it was wonderfully creamy and sweet. Jet demanded mouthfuls. This after he'd eaten an entire banana and other breakfast goodies off everyone else's plates.
John and Isabel left to scope the church out for Sunday. I stayed with George and Jet and tried to get Jet to play with George; but Jet kept trying to climb me and he sounded angry and distressed. He really wanted a nap, but it was only 9:30! So I held him off until about 10, and then nursed him and tried to put him down on his mattress, but he'd have none of that. So I went upstairs with him, and tried to lay him in his car seat. I got to rock him a few times in the seat, and he passed out.
I left him in the office that way. He needed the sleep.
About ten minutes after that Isabel and John got back. The three of us then sat down for a powwow about all the food we were going to have to buy for Sunday and for the days up at the cabins. The trick was to whittle the list down to what we needed to get at Costco instead of the grocery store. We went through each item on the list and ended up with a list for Costco, and some of it was fiercely debated; but we ended up with a clear set of things at 11.
John and I then went through the list of things to try with Jet when he woke up. George listened very carefully. John got to do all the talking as how Jet wakes up and deals with being awake with him is very different than when Jet is with me. Which makes sense. Then John said that we'd be back by 1, and I stifled the urge to ask if that wasn't a bit optimistic. From past experience, shopping at Costco for that huge a list of things is going to take at least an hour, plus the driving and we had plans for lunch as well. I shrugged and let it go.
We also had two *other* stops I hadn't known about. I was pretty sure George would do okay with Jet, but I think I'll have to say something next time just for expectation's sake.
After all that talk about food, both of us were pretty hungry. We wanted teriyaki. The quick, fast, cheap teriyaki that can be had around here around nearly every neighborhood corner. Toshi's pretty much epitomizes the cheap, quick, low-fat meal that can be had anywhere, and when we walked in at 11:30 and announced that we were hungry, the proprietress took a liking to us. John got the special. I got something with beef and shrimp.
John got his meal first, and dug in happily. I had to wait a little while and she took enough of a liking to us that she gave us some deep fried fish slabs with a good squirt of tarter sauce and said, "You hungry! You take. Don't fight over them!" They were hot out of the fryer, crisp, and deliciously light. I nearly burned my fingers holding onto them, and ate them delicately to savor them and keep from burning my tongue and mouth. Mmmm...
The shrimp on my lunch had burnt tails, but were crisp, juicy, sweet, plump and redolent with smoke from the grill. The beef kabob was nicely charred around the edges, juicy on the inside, and sweet with teriyaki. The rice was a little overcooked, but soaked up the juices well, the salad was crisp and lightly dressed with their signature ginger dressing. It was a very good meal, filled with memories of the thousands of teriyaki lunches we used to have while working in the area. I missed them badly.
From there we hit the Party For Less, and bought very little. We found the Office Max after John drove around it and I finally spoke up and pointed out exactly where it was. We bought a great deal more there. And, finally, we got to Costco and bought enough stuff to make our Impala rental sag. Woo.
We even hit the restrooms before we started, and it was great to have the snacks along the way as we shopped. We're doing food for 80 on Sunday, and then for 20 for three whole days. So we had plenty of stuff to try and get. There are grocery stores up there; but we thought we'd get the base stuff down first. We also had to order cakes, deli trays and other stuff for the Sunday anniversary party.
One thing I saw and was fascinated by was one of those Polaroid sticker cameras. This one, however, also came with a 'scanner' that looked remarkably like a WebCam to me. It had three alternate body panel colors, and software to control it and the 'scanner'. The whole package was less than fifteen bucks. Woo. I'll have to ask Kathy how much the film costs.
Of course, it was nearly 2:30 by the time we left and 3 by the time we got back to find Jet playing happily with George. George had eaten most of his lunch before Jet got up at noon, and then fed Jet various things to see what he'd eat. They then took a walk up the hills and down the hills around the house and had a wonderful time of it. Jet had made friends with a bunch of construction workers, waving at them from below while they were working on a roof. They all waved back and delighted him. That started a conversation with George about what they were doing since the old roof was entirely composed of shakes. Jet went a good distance up and down. Yay!
They'd played ever since. So by the time we got home, Jet was pretty tired, and right at 4:45, he climbed into my lap and tugged on my shirt, and we went and nursed him and put him down for another nap. I guess with all the extra exertion, he's napping more and needs it.
I took a nap, too. I napped for the same hour that Jet did, and when Jet got up and I heard him, I got up as well. John had Jet well in hand with a bottle of milk. I heard Isabel, somewhat exasperated, say that she wanted to play with Jet, too, but she had to get the lettuce cut and the raspberries picked. So I volunteered to pick the raspberries. It's been a while since I've done that, and it felt good to be outside, by myself, picking berries from vines.
I love picking berries. I like picking them better than eating them, actually. I love the hunt, peering at the tangle of vines and finding the ripe berries hiding in clusters. Sometimes they're hidden behind each other, sometimes under the shade of leaves. In the warm benevolence of the summer sun, I relax while doing this slow, careful work. I filled most of a bucket, a few berries at a time, working my way down one side, coming back to the start to go around the row to look carefully at the other side.
I think that the sunshine is ripening them a little more quickly than before. They're really beautiful.
Paul, Jan, and Marina are flying into Renton today and George went to pick them up while Jet and I were asleep. Eventually the four of us ended up in the kitchen's livingroom, and we read the paper and talked as we waited for them to appear. It was good that Jet had his nap, as it wasn't until 7 that they got here. And then it was a spill of toddler energy.
Marina is three. She's very happy to be the big girl, and she cheerfully showed up Jet over just about everything. But he's used to that with Haley and Alex, so he simply watched, fascinated and glad to have someone his size to interact with. They got to play some before dinner, as Jan and Paul put stuff away. We set up the formal dining room table for dinner, and Isabel brought out a beautiful shrimp salad and a very nice rice salad as well.
This time Jet sat at the table. His chair had been modified to bring it up to table height and without the tray he actually ate from a bowl on the table itself. He sat next to Marina and was happy to talk with her and play with her and watch her eat. No coming over to me and demanding lap space this time. He just sat and ate bread in huge chunks while watching Marina talk.
The only things he'd eat were bread and, when the dessert came out, yogurt. He spit out rice. He spit out raspberries. He'd had a good breakfast, so I wasn't too worried.
Afterwards he and Marina ran around the livingroom, played with each other and with the adults, and had a great time. I'm glad he has someone to play with that's nearly his size, again. He is often the smallest in any group of kids; but that'll probably change as he grows up more.
Jet really liked climbing the footstool here, as it's a lot like the footstool at home. An important difference, however, is that the one here doesn't rock. Whew. He like showing off for everyone by climbing it and dancing like a mad man. John was there to keep him on.
Marina and Jet both loved pushing the exercise ball around. They would push orthogonal to each other and going in crazy paths around the livingroom. They bounced the ball together, until both mothers said, "No more of that." and then did it one more time just to see.
They played with the stacking toys, the barrels in barrels, and they had a great time driving cars around the table.
Then I saw Jet throw something once. I admonished him on it, and he threw something again. With the third throw, I picked him up gently and said, "Say good-night to everyone." Jet squirmed, but didn't fight too hard. It turned out to be exactly 8:45, Jet's normal pumpkin time. We went downstairs and Jet's dark eyes were wide open for most of the nursing time.
He watched the ceiling as he heard Marina and Paul and Jan going through Marina's night rituals. There was a bath, a story time, and singing. There were bumps, squeaks, yells, stomping, and the floor creaked every time someone moved. Jet simply listened. When we were done nursing, I decided to just lay him down on his mattress, and he went without protest. Gradually, as it got quieter and quieter upstairs, Jet's eyes started closing. I was bemused to find myself in lotus position and I simply sat and breathed quietly and Jet went to sleep.
Quite the contrast of methods, I guess. I am sure that in six months, Jet'll have his own routine. When I went upstairs, Paul was still missing and Jan said that he often fell asleep by Marina when he was putting her to sleep. Of course, right then we heard Marina yelling, "Mom! My nose is bleeding!!" It was just running, but she didn't know the difference. She came running out, and they took care of it. I winced a little at the thought of the pounding and yelling getting to Jet's room; but he didn't wake up at all. I'm very glad that Jet's inherited the boy-ability to sleep solidly and soundly.
We went to sleep soon after..