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July 28, 2003
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Portland

11 pm: A very successful day, all in all, as it ended up.

John and I spent the morning packing up everything into the car. After breakfast George and Isabel took Jet for a walk, and John and I worked pretty hard to get all the things we'd spread all over the house into the van and ready to go. It took a while. When they got back, we were still working away at it, and Jet helped with some of the latter things. The three of them ended up sitting in the van while John and I worked and they played and talked and generally visited until it was time for us to go. Jet got to play with the car-powered fan for quite some time, turning it on, off, and faster as he wanted.

I did some of the fringe findings. I found Jet's tooth stuff in the upstairs bathroom, our swimsuits and one set of Jet's PJs hanging in the laundry room, and some Rainier cherries hiding in the back of the fridge that we'd bought earlier in the week. Isabel packed us blueberries and cantaloupe for Jet's lunches or breakfasts when we were in strange places. We were very well supplied in chocolate and bath products. Hee.

All of it fit, no problem, and we said our good-byes around 11 am. Jet fell asleep soon after we got on the freeway. i got to work on the journal a bit and backfill in the forty minutes he was asleep. Then I went back and sat with him and we talked, and observed the world rushing by. Tom called us as we were driving and we setup a meeting with him when we got to Portland. The roads were good, and we got there in about three hours, and went out to lunch with him and talked about his life with him. I've always loved Tom's sense of humor and wry acceptance of life. When we were almost done with lunch, his ex-wife Jenny arrived along with their two kids, Betsy and Lily. We last saw Lily when she was two, and Betsy when she was five. We used to play with them all the time, and they loved Fezzik a lot back then. Betsy remembered John as a guy that was funny. Lily didn't remember us at all, which isn't all that surprising. But it was fun talking with them, walking around the restaurant's grounds with them and having them pick blackberries for Jet.

Jet, of course, wouldn't eat them, but he was very happy to give them to John to eat. The girls liked giving them to Jet, too. So that meant that John was well supplied. After the walk, we went back to the cars and said our good-byes. Jenny was kind enough to give us a hunk of lemon cake. And we all went our separate ways.

Our way led to Bernard C. We stopped there to let me buy some chocolates. John changed Jet in the car. Jet, when changed, decided that he had to walk around. The sunshine was terribly hot, so we finally persuaded him to go in the shade, but there was a Starbucks there. He had to go in. So we bought him a chocolate milk and each had iced lattes. They were good in the heat, so we took them with us to the QFC grocery store that was right there. John wanted to get more real estate pamphlets, so he got those while Jet and I explored a bit and discovered balloons, flowers, and other things to see. It was a good break but it tired Jet out even more, and the chocolate milk filled him up.

Jet fell asleep on the way to John and Johanna's. and we carried him into the house when we got there. It was blazing hot out. The house was cool, so we put him in the coolest room, cracked the door, and let him sleep while Johanna and Cian greeted us. We'd last seen Cian when he was still in Johanna. He's now eighteen months old, very cheerful, and very happy. A happy boy. *grin* Johanna was doing well, and it was fun to catch up a little, let John and Cian play, and just relax a bit after the push to get down here.

I went and woke Jet up after an hour, and nursed him a while to make him a bit happier about waking up. He heard Cian in the other room and got up himself to go see what there was out there. Johanna's John arrived while we were nursing, and soon the house was filled with wonderful dinner scents, lots of laughter, and two little boys just playing like mad. That was very cool.

Johanna served a chicken and rice noodle dish with lots of yummy vegetables and a peanut sauce that went very well with it all. Yum. Cian stuffed himself happily. Jet was too busy with the toys to stop and eat. It was quite the contrast, and I remember when Jet used to do that, too. Not that he's starving or anything, but it's frustrating when he just won't eat.

After dinner, we all strapped into John and Johanna's car, and Jet ate half a dozen of Cian's low-sugar graham crackers. Not a bad thing, as at dinner he'd only have eaten refined rice noodles. So the whole grain meal wasn't a bad thing. He then rambled along with Cian to Powell's. Cian's dad, John, had a college friend that was doing a book signing and reading and they had to be there for it. So I got to wander the hallways, picking up random books that I bumped into . John and Jet rambled as well. I found them, for a while, in the map section, and I took Jet while John found a Thomas Brothers' guide for Portland. Then they found some train books on the cashier's level, and stayed there, looking at choo-choo's while I wandered some more. I could hear Jet's voice from pretty much any level when he said things. We're going to have to work on a library voice for him.

I got lots of random stuff. One SF book, two food adventure books, one movie book, one book about forest fire fighters, and tow fantasy books that had been nominated for the 2004 Hugos. I might as well read them and see what I think. It was a relatively small pile for me, for going to Powell's. I'm used to having two armloads of paperbacks every time I go there, but this time I kept it a bit more reasonable. I seem to be reading more non-fiction than before.

When the reading was done, we all checked out, and as we were walking back to the car, we saw a streetcar come by. Jet was enthralled, and actually called it a streetcar. "Hi, streetcar! Hi, streetcar!!" The conductors would wave back and ring their bells when they saw him waving at them so enthusiastically. That was very cool.

The J's then took us to a kid-friendly fountain. It was built as a sprawling series of stone steps, and the water would come from them in small waterfalls. First a middle section, then moving out to the right, then the left-middle section moving out to the left. When all the blocks were running water, the water volume would suddenly increase. All this went into a 'pond' at the center of the structure, and the pond would fill with all the water that had spilled, being, at most, eight inches high at the deepest part. Then the water would stop and a grill in the center of the pond would open up and the water would fall away, only to spring out of the rocks again.

We got Jet into a swim diaper, and let him loose. Cian just went in his overalls. They both had a blast. Jet started by exploring the water falls, climbing up into them, ducking under them to see where they were coming from, and generally getting soaked that way. The stones were warm from the hot day, and we were even hotter, and the water felt so good. Jet and Cian each found a water ball that had been left there, and they played with them for a while, throwing them and then retrieving them.

Jet ended up loving the pond. He went down on this hands and knees so that he could 'swim' through it when it was deepest, then he'd run around in it when it was shallower. Cian watched him a lot of the time, sitting for a while in the water just to keep cool. It was funny seeing the energy difference between Jet and Cian, and remembering that Jet used to be more sedate and could only toddle places instead of out and out run. He was slower and he was more watchful when he wasn't as coordinated. Now Jet just zooms everywhere.

It was something of a fight to get him out of the water, but the mention of ice cream finally won him over. We got him changed, dressed, and I dumped diapers while everyone else got organized. We got back into the car and headed back to their house.

There they served up sorbet for everyone. Jet got a double dose, or nearly and adult serving, between eating off John's and my bowls and then having his own bowl with seconds. He loved the raspberry (pink!) and also enjoyed the mango tangerine. We probably should feed him more sorbet, he'd get more fruit into his system that way.

After dessert, Jet and Cian played for a while as we talked. But since it was 10 when we got back home, both of them were pretty punch drunk from tiredness. Jet got gradually more and more aggressive to the point where we had to just call a halt. I went out and got the medicine chest, Jet's PJs and clothing for both of us for tomorrow. I let John get his own stuff along with our pillows for the bed. I needed to know that it was our pillows, no cat dander, for sleeping.

I brushed my teeth while John brushed Jet's teeth and that made it far easier than it's been for quite some time. Jet even played with a piece of dental floss while John and I flossed our teeth. We may have to introduce him to having it used on him sometime. Or just teach him how to use it himself. That would be good. He seemed pretty determined with the bit of floss as it was.

When I got him settled to nurse, he kicked his way through the first side, but finally settled for the second side. He went to sleep almost immediately once he was still, eventhough the room was still beastly hot. It had been 98 today, and it's really like the Colorado weather followed us. In the Northwest, both John and I expect a week or two in that temperature range, but that's all. In Colorado there's a whole season of that kind of weather. Ugh.

We may well have missed a month of it, though, which is all to the good.

We went to sleep the same time Jet did. We no longer have the luxury of someone else taking care of him at night and in the mornings. Still, it was good to be with him again.

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Copyright 2003 Liralen Li. All Rights Reserved.