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November 29, 2002
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John's Adventure Day

8:29 pm: I was very glad when John said that he had a great birthday today. All of his family called sometime during the day. It was fun following all the conversations. I love that they all call me on my birthday as well and really make me feel as if I'm a real part of their family. George even asked me how my bean sprouts had done. That was cool.

Jet was up five times last night. I was up with him four of those times as two of them were immediately after other times I'd been awake. I also got John's birthday presents out during the night and set them up at his place at the table. So John got up with Jet when Jet got up at 7. I slept for another two hours. John had discovered his presents and was pretty happy with them. He asked for pancakes for breakfast. I made banana, pecan pancakes, and we cooked the last of the pepper bacon. Jet ate bacon alone for a while, and then dug into part of his pancake. He hasn't been eating all that much lately, so it was cool that he had some.

After breakfast, we played, ran around the house, went outside for a bit, and Jet got to climb his mountain, jump on couch cushions, and we wrestled for a while as well. At 11:15, he nursed and went to sleep and napped for a good hour and a half. I was still so tired, that I slept out in the livingroom with him, and John slept in the bedroom, so that he could get a longer nap if he needed one.

When everyone was awake from their naps, we had lunch. Jet really likes the alfalfa bean sprouts. He took handfuls of them and munched away grinning at me. He also stole some stuffing from my sandwich and ate that and, later, ate another fistful of the stuffing as well. I put stuffing, sprouts, and a few potato chips on his plate. He ate pretty much everything. John had a turkey sandwich with cranberry sauce and crisp, crunchy alfalfa sprouts. I had the same thing, but I added a good amount of warmed stuffing as well. I love stuffing, and I'd seen a sandwich on Food TV that had stuffing in it and I had to try it. It was very yummy.

From there we started loading up bags with swimming equipment, loading the car with recycling, and then added a few other errand things we had to do. The lawnmower's battery was dead, and we had to get a new one. We got the battery, the recycling sent into the center, things mailed, and then headed to the Longmont Recreation Center.

It's a brand new center. Xilinx gets a corporate discount for long-term cards and plans; but for a one-day walk in registration it was just five dollars for the two adults, and Jet, being less than two-years-old, was free. The main entrance opened to the registration desk, to the right was a huge TV, pool tables, air hockey games, and some video games. There was a small cafe and food bar with a good selection of sweets and healthy snacks and drinks. Upstairs was the weight room and aerobic exercise equipment. We hit the family locker rooms, found an enormous locker that could hold all our stuff, and locked it in. Then we took a little walking tour of the lower level.

Turns out that little kids aren't allowed upstairs. Which is smart as all the dangerous equipment is up there. Right next to the locker rooms was a basketball court area that had two full courts and lots of kids playing on them. Around the corner from that was the Climbing Room, which had about four stories of climbing holds with bars at the top to hold belaying lines for anyone that was climbing. The floor of the room was completely spongy and soft. A good thing.

Next to the climbing room was a huge play room and area for the day care. They provide day care for two dollars an hour, with a one hour minimum and a three hour maximum; but it looks like a very open and fun area. They're open from 8 am to 1 pm and then from 4 pm to the close of the Rec. Center.

The cafe and food bar area was set up next to some windows where one could see the whole pool area. Jet had his nose pressed up against the glass and he so wanted to go in. It took a little while to convince him that we had to go in a different direction in order to get through to the water.

The family dressing rooms were really nice. They had a shower, a changing table, hooks for towels, a bench, and a restroom all together. I was able to get Jet on the changing table and we got his swimsuit on. It was pretty easy as he was doing his best to shuck all his clothing as quickly as possible. He then got down on the floor and stomp-splashed through the shower puddle on the floor while we changed.

Then we headed out to the water area. There were four pools. One was an Olympic sized lap pool with a diving board and a water basketball hoop on the other end. One was a slide pool, where two enormous slides end up. Both slides have great streams of water going through them, and the sheer momentum of the slides makes that pool move in constant motion. One slide is wide and loops out around the corner of the building and can be seen from the outside. The other, thinner slide tube, goes around in two loops before finally hitting the water. Next to the slide pool is a beach-like play area, which is very shallow, has its own kids' slide, and a number of squirt works. There's also a five fountain setup where the fountains are all connected, so if you block one, the others get taller. The fourth pool is actually a hot tub. Mmm...

We tried them all.

Jet started in the wading pool. He has always gone swimming with his floating tube, and this was so shallow that it wouldn't have been of too much use. He, therefore, went in without. Jet had, however, never had to walk in the water before. He, therefore, kept losing his balance and landed in the water. He held his breath just fine, though, and got back up onto his feet pretty easily.

It scared the heck out of me having him go under, repeatedly. But he never sputtered, never coughed, and never cried. He always managed to get up, too, though occasionally, he had to struggle a bit to do so. I helped him a few times; but he got gradually better and better at not only walking through the water, but correcting for the waves, the currents, and when he tripped. Tripping on land requires very different reflexes than tripping in water that supports ones body weight. Jet learned them all very quickly. I was impressed.

Jet hit the slide, the various squirters, and the played for a while with the fountains. He loved seeing all the kids around him laughing and playing. Even when he was fighting waves, he was grinning hugely. He loved it.

Eventually he started heading towards the deeper end of the wading pool. At three feet, it was over his head; but he didn't care, he wanted to be over there. Finally, John was cool and got the tube and brought it over. So we put it on him and Jet started swimming. He loved that, too. He danced the crazy-leg dance and paddled over to the separation between the wading pool and the slide pool.

John and I thought about taking Jet down the slide and I took Jet up with me with one of the single person tubes. They provided single and double tubes for the slides. Big, clear plastic tubes that were very good and bouncy. It turned out, however, that we couldn't have Jet in my lap to go down. So we didn't do that. John took him back down while I went down the wide slide.

It was a blast. It was pitch dark in there, and the huge round was astonishing to ride in the dark with nothing but the roar of water all around me. It leveled out at the bottom, with no problem, and I enjoyed a flying glide across the pool to the steps. Wow. That was very cool.

John went down without a tube while Jet and I went back into the wading tube. Jet, however, saw the flags and floats in the lap pool. So he had to go over there, so the two of us headed over. The water in the big pool was probably ten degrees cooler than the wading pool, but Jet jumped right in, and in his floater, he started paddling around. He looked at the ball hoop, the separator floats, and finally ended up at the stairs. He liked the stairs. He wanted to climb them. So I helped him up them, and he turned around and put his hands out for me to help him jump back into the pool. He did that a few times, then went back over to the wading pool just long enough to get into the warmer water, and then he struggled to climb back out to go to the big pool.

John and I helped him with it several times. Eventually, all three of us hit the hot tub. Jet protested for the first minute of being in there, but then he smiled and relaxed. He got kind of dreamy and paddled around and got pushed around by the jets. He liked that. We didn't stay long as we didn't want him to get too hot, but we wanted him warmed up enough to get to the showers without getting too cold. So we stayed a while and then hit the showers. He got cleaned up, thoroughly, and then lotioned and put into his clothing.

From there, we went to Old Chicago, had a chopped salad, some pizza, and I got two specialty root beers. One Thomas Kemper and one Henry Winehearts. The Kemper was shaper, clearer, and crisp. The Henry's was creamy, dense, with a huge head. I liked them both even against each other. That was pretty cool. Jet had some root beer, drank his cranberry juice, snarfed up half a dozen cheese crackers he had in his bag, a bunch of my chopped salad's pepperoni, and then the sausage, black olives, and pepperoni off his slide of pizza. He did pretty well, though after the folks left the booth next to ours, he hung out under there, looking like he wanted to go to sleep. When I picked him up he wanted to nurse pretty badly, but I didn't let him there.

From Old Chicago we headed over to the Cold Stone Creamery, and we got ice creams. Jet refused to eat his ice cream and only picked the M&M's out of it and ate them. He stole some of John's waffle cone, and dreamily licked the ice cream from the last two inches of cone. Hee. I had banana ice cream with pecan pralines, and John had a cone with peanut butter ice cream with Oreos crushed into it.

It was good. On the way home, however, Jet fell asleep, and is now completely asleep. I guess he'll just go to his room this way, and we'll see how well we get to sleep. He's a pretty tired little guy.

John had a great day. He said that he enjoyed it all. He especially liked seeing Jet's face after he's taken a header into the water and had come up grinning and *happy* to be in and even under the water. Jet is so not afraid of the water it's really cool. He also wanted good pizza, and we got it. Yay

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