July 6th, 2006


Kids Day

Today Jet got to play with a lot of other kids, and he really loved being able to play with them again. It was neat to have the kid visits all happen together, but he will have a day, on Saturday, where all the visits will be with big people, but hopefully over something he'll like doing anyway.

In the morning, John and I wandered around the Eastside trying to look at houses and what kinds of houses were available in what kind of ranges. That was really depressing, especially in the midst of the very new, very trending upscale Kirkland. Other points were mildly less depressing, but we were mostly looking at older houses with older trees and more character, which was nicer at least. There's something just wrong about a house development looking exactly the same in Washington as it might look in Colorado.

We got back just in time to pile everyone into the van, along with all our swimming gear and head into Redmond and the Redmond swimming pool on 104th. There we met anitar and her grandson and we had a blast swimming with them. anitar knew were all the good toys were, and the boys interacted really well as they both swam like fish and had a great time just going where they wanted to go. The grandson showed Jet how to stand on the floats, and Jet decided that balancing on them was like balancing on a log, and he started dancing on them. He was able to accommodate some very large direction changes, and then he started trying to stand on the smaller floats.

At one point Jet said, "Mom! Mom! Look, I'm dancing on a duck!" Hee.

It was great to talk with anitar again and see her grandson and talk a bit about some of the challenges and cool things about dealing with small kids. She got to meet the rest of my family as well. That was neat. The pool soon filled up, and by nearly 1 it was time to get out. Swimming classes were coming in anyway and I showered in a room filled with little girls all giggling at everything.

John pulled the van up to the front of the swimming building, so I gave anitar a big hug good-bye and a band-aid for the little tyke who was pretty tired from having had a class and a long swim. It was great to see them and it felt a little abrupt to leave that way, but there were so few parking spots it was hard to figure out how to find the time.

From there we headed down to the Tombo in Redmond, which used to be run by an old couple who had a love of their food and service and the menu had been absolutely excellent and executed in a delightfully short time. But when we got there we found that the shop had been chopped in half, the paper screens broken by some idle diner, a very young woman behind the cash register who spoke in Chinese-accented English, and the place filled with angry people who had waited more than half an hour for their chicken teriyaki. Opps.

It was not the place we knew.

But we decided to give it a try anyway. There was no chicken teriyaki and no tonkatsu to be had, so John and I settled on the short ribs, George had tofu stir fry, and Isabel had the beef teriyaki. Jet got a big plate of rice nearly immediately and he finished off the whole thing with teriyaki sauce, salt, and pepper. He also drank a big glass of water flavored with lemon and then asked for more, so he was pretty hungry and thirsty. The food took a while, but not nearly half an hour, and about ten minutes after we settled into our table, the angry mob got all their food and only a few asked for refunds.

George got his first. It was pretty obvious that the cooks behind the line were much happier wielding a wok than the grill. But when we got our short ribs they were deeply flavored, tender as anything, crisped just enough by the grill, and good and hot to go with the steaming rice. The salad was crisp and fresh and utterly green. It was good. It was nearly great, but for the sad shabbiness of the place itself. Everyone actually enjoyed their food, so that was nice.

We headed back to the house, and I really got going on palinade's socks. I worked though to the cuff and knowing she wanted short cuffs, I bound them off with just two inch cuffs. There were still the heels to go, but by then we had to leave to get to palinade and niherlas's house in time. So we did. And I finished the socks while listening to Nathan and Jet giggle like mad and cheerfully argue over toys and things. It was great. The boys got a good time to interact and play and do fun things while we just talked about stuff when we wanted to. I got to pull apart the afterthought part of the heel and then put needles into it and work up a heel. palinade tried to try on a sock as I asked her to, but without the heel in place it was pretty much impossible. I hadn't thought of that.

So I put a heel in and then the sock magically fit her exactly! Yay! Yay for the Sock It To Me list of lengths and my own understanding of how the human foot's proportions work. The card only gives lengths and no estimates on the width. It's pretty terrible, actually, for someone who hasn't made a few dozen pairs for people with really disparate feet. But I took the usual proportions and tried it out and it worked, wonder of wonders.

It turns out that the smaller a foot is, usually, the most like the length the girth of the foot is. For a kid with a 5" long foot, sometimes the foot is nearly 5 1/2" in girth (measured around the foot). For a woman's foot, often the girth is anywhere from a quarter inch to a full inch shorter than the length. For men's feet, the girth can be inches off the length. But knowing that it's kind of a sliding scale, I was able to get a pretty good estimate on the girth of her foot! I was pretty proud of that.

They then served us and the kids an excellent dinner. I was amazed to see Jet polish off three fish sticks and half a plate of rice with salt and pepper. :-) He loved it and liked watching Nathan eat as well. They talked and goofed off at each other. Then the two of them went to play and to let the adults talk for a while amongst themselves. They enjoyed that way too much and ended up doing Hide and Sneak. Then the ice cream came out and they ate much of that and then danced around and jumped about until we were all done.

After dinner we played some MarioSmash and the cart racing game. Jet's actually getting to be pretty good at the games, he won a few of the fights in MarioSmash, and he even gets all the way around the race track. I was impressed. He was pretty impressed by the games, too, and now wants one. Oops. :-)

In the midst of the games palinade made Jet and I some pretty magnificent gifts from her on-line store. She gave us some of her cards, and made a gift of "Seltzer" the magnificent Stuffy to Jet. Jet's now carrying Seltzer everywhere and won't go to sleep without it with him. He really loves the critter and the fact that he got to choose it from a bunch of others. Wow. I then cheerfully measured Nathan's foot, too. That should be fun.

By that time it was nigh on melt-down time as it was well past bed times. But good-byes were well said and hugs were given and we were thoroughly waved out of the driveway.

So it was a great day for all of us, and Jet said that he'd enjoyed it thoroughly. He proved it by going to sleep nearly instantaneously once he was through his bedtime ritual. Yay!