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March 29, 2003
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Jet's New Bed

10:36 pm: My day started early. Jet got up at 5, and I went upstairs and it was actually light outside, a little. Enough that he felt it was light enough to nurse, so we nursed. He fell back asleep with me on the futon, and since he's had a habit of getting up as soon as I get up from the futon, I just stayed there and we slept in until nearly 7. There was some flipping and flopping, but that was about it.

It was enough for me to at least feel functional. So when John got up, I showered and we decided to do something. First, however, was breakfast. We still had the corned beef from last week, so I got out the little food processor and ground up lean trimmed corned beef, raw onion, and boiled potatoes from that dinner. There was liquid in the bottom of the containers that was from cooking the beef and vegetables, so I just used some of that to moisten the hash enough for it to stick together and fried it. I found a giant egg that I scrambled for John's scramble, and I fried the other egg for myself. Jet refused to eat any of it, so he got my buttered toast, which he ate happily with a bit of honey. Happy boy.

We watched cartoons while we ate and while I cooked, and when we were done, we all did a few things around the house before we packed everything up and everyone into the Eurovan.

The quest for today was to find Jet a new bed. The old futon we've been using for him has gotten really flat with old age. It's early fifteen years old and the cotton's just gotten more and more flattened with time and age and it's nearly like sleeping on the floor. He doesn't mind it, not really, but when John or I have to spend some time with him, it gets to make for a painful day the day after. I wanted to either get him a new bed where we could sleep near him or move the new futon into his room and see if he wouldn't sleep on his crib after we converted it into a toddler bed. Yeah, we'd actually bought the crib with that in mind; however, he hasn't slept for more than an hour at a time in that crib, so both John and I were half convinced that it's just cursed or doomed or something.

So we wanted look at options and see what was out there. See if any of it appealed to us, or if there was something we really wanted to get.

There were three furniture stores that John knew about, all in Longmont. The first was pretty fancy and everything was On Sale for just today and tomorrow. They did have a huge student loft thing with a bed below at a T to the bunk above. There was a desk built into one side, shelves and drawers built into the other, and Jet loved climbing all over it while we were looking at things. They had a rickety bunk bed, a Captain's trundle bed that was so tall Jet couldn't climb onto it, and a bunch of girl's beds with flowers and butterflies which even Jet disdained climbing on. The student loft was very tempting, very huge, and it had a 35% discount along with a "Balloon Special!!" of 8-50% off depending on the balloon one picked.

I'm glad we decided that today was just for looking, otherwise I would probably have been very tempted by the loft.

The next place was a little hole in the wall place with very sturdy, usable furniture that was about a third of the prices of the first place. It was extremely functional and gave good perspective on what we really wanted.

The third place was functional and good-looking, with a catalog of all the kid stuff they could order with dimensions and specs. It was nice but not too nice, and the prices were reflective of that. They also had a very, very dangerous theater chair set where each chair had a little electronic motor that could stop the chair at any position all along the analog track of recline. Ooo. There were cup holders and plenty of room for popcorn, snacks, and goodies. I could see getting that for our downstairs theater, someday. It was just so comfortable! Tempting and dangerous. We know where they are if we ever get the hankering, or a bonus of a few thousand dollars. Hee. Jet even liked the controls. He had this beatific smile as he got the chair to lean back and forth. Definitely the son of engineers.

The fourth shop was a mall furniture store and they didn't even have kids' sets. So we just bailed on them and headed to the play area. Jet had a blast running and playing, but he was so tired from a whole morning's explorations that he came to us to get his shoes back on pretty quickly, and when we got them on and headed to the snack area he was pretty happy.

Panda Express, and he ate a couple deep fried wontons, a bunch of chicken, and bits of fortune cookie. He refused both rice and noodles, so he might be getting overloaded on those or something. He drank a lot of root beer, and didn't mind when we decided to go home. He went to sleep before we were out of the mall parking lot.

We all went home and slept. Jet for 2 hours, me for three, John for less than either of us because his cough kept him up. It's the same cough that kept me up last week. Bah. So he's at that stage and it'll be a couple of days to get out of it, I guess.

When I finally got up, John and Jet were upstairs playing with one of Jet's computer games. For some reason Jet calls the computer his TV, and I guess that's accurate in some ways. We gradually drifted over to Jet's room and talked over all the things we'd seen today. It was a lot of stuff. John'd found a bunch of like furniture on EBay and various company sites, all for about two-thirds the cost but about $100 shipping. Not too bad. Still, was it what we really wanted?

From the measurements of Jet's room the student loft would just fit, and would cram the space with Stuff. He already had drawers, shelves, and even hooks for his coats and clothing. He has a drawing table in the livingroom, where we spend all our time. He doesn't really need a desk and we'd be stuck with it when he outgrew it.

Finally, John and I just picked up the old futon, wrestled it downstairs. Pulled the new futon from the office, where Dad had been sleeping on it, into Jet's room. We then took the front of the crib off, pulled off all the dusty bedding, and threw the bedding over the railing into the kitchen. I found fresh bedding, and set up the crib mattress. We hung Jet's toys in the crib, and put the futon right next to it as a good platform for climbing into the crib.

Jet immediately climbed in and lay down. Then he popped up and started playing with things. He climbed up and down a few times and then started jumping off the futon to the floor. Then he started jumping off the toddler bed to the futon and found the softer landing much to his liking. Whee! Whee! OWIE!! as he caught his ankle between the futon and the side of his bed. Oops.

A few hugs and kisses later and he was playing, more quietly, in the bed with his Symphony, Aquarium, and plush pull cow. The pull cow has a handle for pulling to wind up a music box. He liked that a lot. So I think it's a success. I guess tonight's going to be the real test. It took a while to persuade him to come back downstairs, as I needed to make dinner.

I thawed some shrimp, thinking that I'd make phad thai. But we don't have bean sprouts or eggs, so we decided to abandon that. That was when I remembered that I still had a small pouch of etouffe mix by Chef Hans' Gourmet Foods that I'd picked up when I was in New Orleans nearly four years ago. So John started some brown rice for all of us.

I remembered when I'd made the companion pouch early four years ago, and that I'd really loved the flavor of it, but that it was a very smooth sauce. I really wanted something a bit chunkier. So I cut up the last of a sweet pepper, a bit of onion, and soaked some dried celery flake to reconstitute it enough for cooking with. It wasn't getting any better and the dried celery flake is made for soups, stews, and things where it gets a bit of a simmer to let all the flavor out and the texture doesn't matter as much as fresh. Perfect for this.

I also debated a bit about the shrimp and finally just seasoned them in the shell and broiled them in the shells. When they were cooked through, I peeled them (ow ow hot! for the first half a dozen, and then it was easier), and after a good fifteen minute simmer of the sauce (with sweated vegetables) I added the cooked shrimp for just five minutes. Just as the timer went off for the etouffe, the rice cooker popped. Hoorah!

It came out wonderful. The shrimp were crisp and flavorful. The sauce was spicy and complex with a rich mouth feel. There was only a single tablespoon of butter that I'd added. The rest was starch-based richness that still felt very satisfying. Mmm...

Jet didn't touch the sauce, but he did eat a shrimp and half a bowl full of rice along with a dab of soy sauce. He loves rice, and I feel better about giving him whole grain when it's all he'll eat. I need to get more tofu and beans into his diet, but he's actually gotten better about eating chicken. He loves his iron+ vitamins so I'm not too worried about his mineral content.

He'd been asking for fruit snacks all evening, but was willing to hold off for dinner. Since he'd eaten so much, I was quite happy to give him his snacks after dinner when he asked for them again. Happy boy.

A tired boy, too. By 8:30 he actually started to ask to nurse! He hasn't done that for quite some time. I told him that he could nurse after he'd drunk his milk and gotten his teeth brushed. It took some convincing, but it finally stuck and he got his milk into him, got his teeth cleaned, and then nursed himself to sleep.

John took him upstairs, got him settled into the toddler bed, and that was good. As a baby, the moment he hit the surface of the crib mattress, he'd wake up a bit, see where he was and start crying. So this is a vast improvement. We'll see how tonight goes

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