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November 13, 2001
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A Day of Rest

11:14 am: So far it's been a very leisurely morning. Jet slept from 10 until about 5. I was waking up a lot from 10-2, whenever anyone woke up upstairs and walked around on the floor boards and I'd be awake and I actually would go up and peer around and find that it was just George or Isabel up for some reason or another. Sometimes pulling the blankets back on over Jet, as he kept kicking them off.

Finally, at 2, I talked with John for a bit and decided that I would tell my wake up alarms in my head that the only thing I should wake up for is Jet. That people just walking around upstairs was no reason to wake up. So at 5 am I woke up to the sound of the floorboards, but instead of the steady tread of adult feet, there was the odd bump bump bounce, thud thud thump, small bumps in irregular sequence that had wakened me and made me lie there wondering what was making that sound. I realized it was right above me, and with that I put my glasses and sweat pants and sweat shirt on and went upstairs.

Jet was awake. His eyes were open and he was just starting to be about to fuss. So I scooped him up and took him out to the livingroom and let him nurse. He nursed away happily and seemed to go right to sleep in my arms, so I let him sleep there for a while and then tried to put him down in his crib. The moment he was flat he convulsively tried to get up and woke himself up. He stayed awake, too. So I changed him, tried to bounce him a little and it was pretty much hopeless.

Isabel got up as soon as I approached their room, and she took him happily. He'd slept so much of the night that they were doing just fine, and they took over at a bit before 6. I went back downstairs and went back to sleep until nearly 9, when I showered. By the time I got up, Jet had already had a nap and breakfast with Grandma and Grandpa and was playing again. There was plenty of steel cut oats for everyone, and John and I had a good breakfast while reading the paper about the jet crash in Queens.

It's funny. For the folks that only cover U.S. news, this is the first plane crash they've had to deal with. In international news, there had been a jet liner that crashed in Sweden only a week after the September 11th happenings, so I'd already resolved, for myself, the whole 'flying is safe' even if there are normal crashes happening on top of the terrorist activities. What I hadn't needed was the additional detail of the babies riding in parents' laps on the plane that went down yesterday. Everyone on the plane died, a car seat wouldn't have helped, so why the reporter had to include how many babies were on parents' laps I'll never know.

That, along with all the stress and problems of this whole trip is really making me think twice of going anywhere for Christmas. While it would be cool for my Mom and Dad to see Jet for his first Christmas, there's something to be said for not stressing Jet to do that. There's also something to be said for celebrating at home and for making our own traditions for our own family. We're going to really have to think this through.

Anyway... Jet is mildly grumpy this morning, but not too bad. I have a feeling he'll go to sleep on the way to dim sum today and we'll just eat with him sleeping. Isabel's made an apple pie for John, as we're going to celebrate his birthday while he's here and can do it with his parents. That should be cool.

5:14 pm: Lunch was dim sum in Bel-Red. It was really, truly raining. Fat drops that were falling constantly. It was great. Jet went to sleep nursing before we left, and slept comfortably in the car seat all the way to the restaurant, amid all our conversations, and halfway through our meal in the midst of a very busy and very noisy restaurant that was running carts in all directions. He even slept through the transfer into the restaurant eventhough the rain hit his face as he was rushed into the building. He frowned in his sleep at the raindrops, but stayed asleep when John swung him a few times.

There were probably a good hundred or so Microsoft people eating a late lunch there in geek clothing and their badges talking about dialog boxes and possibly other proprietary or non proprietary stuff right there, and it was funny to see just how many were so easily identified as geeks of the finest water.

The food was excellent. We got a lot of really good stuff. Shrimp balls of two different types, steamed char shao bow, shu mai, turnip cakes that were crisp on the edges, cold taro balls crunchy and savory, a big plate of Chinese broccoli so brilliantly green it nearly hurt the eyes, creamy smooth egg custards, sticky rice fragrant from the lotus leaves they were steamed in, bright purple deep fried eggplant, creamy steamed silken tofu topped with shrimp and fish sauce, crunchy sweet candied walnut shrimp with mayo, and garlic chive 'boxes'. It was all really good stuff.

I was very glad I'd taken Motrin before going there. My teeth did pretty well even with all the chewing. I have to be careful to deliberately chew my food so that I don't just swallow it to avoid chewing. It's so bad for my stomach when I don't chew.

Jet had a great time. We discovered that the stems of Chinese broccoli are fibrous enough that he can't get chunks of it off. He can just suck and gum a stem for a very, very long time and enjoys the taste and the texture against his gums a lot. He munched happily away at a stem for most of the meal and then for most of the time in the car afterwards. It really entertained him steadily. Of course, after long, it looked a bit like a green slug, but I think that only added to the enjoyment.

After lunch we went to Victor's and saw Victor there, by accident again, and this time we got their phone number and address. Especially since Victor found that we had been in Portland. He and Jane were moving to the Oregon coast, and were building a house out there. The proceeds from selling half of their coffee business had really gave them plenty to setup a place out there and have allowed them to do the thing they love doing, i.e. roasting the coffee, instead of the leg punishing early hour work of serving customers all day.

He was very glad to see us. That was pretty cool. So we bought a bunch of coffee to take home with us and drinks for everyone. Yum.

Home again home again, and Jet fell asleep while we were driving home. He stayed asleep after we unloaded and I went downstairs and napped until I heard him wake up with a cry. Amazing that with all the other noises of all the other adults in the house I went to sleep just fine and woke up only at Jet's cry. Nearly as good as waking up just because I could hear Jet thumping about in his crib this morning.

I nursed him and he's been playing since. I then got to write here and watch the rain fall outside. It really is the first time we've been in Seattle and had it really rain. Brings back all kinds of memories, the sound and scent of the water, the sound of cars splashing through the water on the streets, the darkness of the sky and the deep darkness of a night without stars or moon. The early darkness and the humid cold and the trees all around. I kind of miss it all, and I kind of don't, in some odd way, now.

I think Colorado is growing on me. I would miss the thunderstorms, the Mexican food, the winter sunshine, the little yellow house on the prairie, and being able to walk Jet in the sunshine nearly every afternoon. No storm lasts more than three or four days, and when they do last a day or two it's such a blessing instead of something many folks would curse.

This surprises me. I'll have to think about this more.

Jet is eating solids very happily tonight. He chowed down like crazy, with me out of sight. It might have simply been because he hadn't had any solids for lunch other than the broccoli to chew on. It's good when he eats a solid meal in the evening, it really helps him at night, I think.

I am deeply grateful for all the sleep we've gotten while we've been here. This has probably been the most sleep John and I have had for a very long time. I'm very glad Isabel and George volunteered to take Jet the way they have. It impresses me, so much, that they're so willing to take the bad with the good, and are very willing to make the sacrifices to help us out. They can sleep when we leave, which is a good thing for me to remember when I do accept their help, as I don't have to be guilty at all in all this. It's just another element of what I really love about John.

John's love for me really is unconditional, and it's been exactly the model I want for what I want to try to give to Jet. I never really knew what it looked like before all of this relationship I've had with John, and after all these years and all the mistakes and confusion I've had and made and done, it's now pretty clear that John loves me and will stick by me no matter what I do or don't do. Good or bad, stupid or silly, intelligent or wise, and he will stick with me through anything and everything, even the hard, nasty, and tiring parts as well as the fun, adventurous and amazing parts. To be so sure of that is astonishing to me. As amazing as the feeling I have when Jet crawls up to me and pulls himself up on me to be held by me.

Dinner was a good bowl of salmon chowder with some of George's good whole grain bread. Jet, sitting in George's lap, stole half a slice of bread off George's plate and ate nearly half of it. He really liked doing that and mashed a lot of it before eating it and liking it a lot. I'm glad that he really likes whole grain breads so much just to start. We'll keep that up as he grows.

After dinner Isabel served everyone a slice of apple pie and some ice cream. John held him during eating dessert and fed Jet bits of apple off his fork, and Jet kept peeping for more. Finally, we heated a small bowl of applesauce for Jet and he ate all of that as well. Then we played on the kitchen floor for a good long while with a Tibetian bell and an Indian Elephant bell. Jet got to see all the balloon Fiesta pictures and all the pictures of all his uncles and cousins. They have a whole wall of pictures at various ages, and Jet's six month picture is up there now. He'll get another picture up there at a year and then when he graduates high school. All kinds of markers and the wall is filling fast, now.

Jet seemed to get another wind as we moved back to the livingroom, but he finally nursed and went to sleep and was happily asleep at 10. Yay. So he hasn't had a late, long nap like he did last night, and we'll hope that he actually will sleep until later tomorrow morning.

We had some good time talking through things for the next while. Catching up and doing a little bit of planning. They're all going to Oregon and Paul's for Christmas after a trip to the Far East. And while they can still travel, they're going to take a trip out to us again sometime in the spring. That'll be good. A break to look forward to in the coming months. Also realized that we'll probably have nearly two weeks off for Christmas, so we should be able to use at least some of it to sleep and just be ourselves for a while. I'm looking forward to that.

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Copyright 2001 Liralen Li. All Rights Reserved.