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Journal Key:

Green = Steve | George = navy | Janet = Purple | Evelyn = Black


7/1/10 (Thursday)

Miss Jane reported today that Cara has "made another conquest." Apparently Max was upset that she sat with another young man during story time. Cara may not have noticed. Adrian, meanwhile, is away on vacation. All I can say is, this isn't what preschool was like for me!

Cara asked, when I picked her up, whether we could go to the park. It was a really nice day, so we did! I told her it might be a brief visit, because all I had for Owen was the bottle he'd started at daycare and the stroller. We ended up staying until Steve, on his way home, stopped an hour later.

Owen sat and watched Cara swing and then he took his bottle while she was running around playing tag with some other kids. She mainly hung around with a little girl, while the two slightly older boys amused me very much by frequently calling "time out" because they had received minor injuries.

When Cara went back to swinging, I tried a couple of experiments. First, I put Owen into a swing! I think he must be bigger than Cara was, her first time. He enjoyed it for quite a while. After that, I sat in the grass with him and put him on his tummy, propped up a little over my leg. He'd never touched grass or even seen it so closely before! Before I picked him up, I let him get hold of a little of it. While he was down, he briefly looked like he was going to roll again.

After eating our regular dinner, Cara and I had a culinary adventure. I boiled up a couple of artichokes! Cara absolutely demolished hers. I believe she described it as her favorite part of the day. Since this was splish-splash day at preschool, that's high praise! After she'd eaten it, I re-explained what it was called. "I'm glad I didn't choke!" she said. I explained what a pun was. She was very proud.

In the bath:

Cara: Look, I got a little scrape! (Points to small red mark on her leg.)

Me: Oh.

Cara: But it doesn't hurt!

Me: That's good.

Cara: Because I got some stuff to put on it to make it feel better.

Me: Who gave it to you?

Cara: Me!

Me: The stuff to make it feel better?

Cara: That's right.

Me: . . . but, where did you get it?

Cara: The playground.

Me: ?

Cara: . . . a leaf, and one of those pods with seeds in it--they're cuddly!

7/2/10 (Friday)

Today I left the stroller at YBR, and Claire and I walked into Highland Park to pick up the kids and take a hike with them back to the car, which we'd left on that side of Route One. It was a good long walk, even though it was a little warm. Claire and I told Cara the story of The Pirates of Penzance. Owen had had a surprising day: he took three six-ounce bottles. The second and third have exclamation marks after them. When he got home, he had another. Then he drained a two-ouncer before bed.

For dinner, we got Indian food. We were all in a mood to experiment, and we got some things that are in Cara's book. It was fun, though Cara didn't try everything we got.

7/3/10 (Saturday)

After a long day of discussing when we were going to go and whether it was time to go yet and whether we should be getting ready, we got into the car to head to Middletown a little before four. PJ, Casey, and Em joined us. Em had sprained her ankle a couple of hours earlier, so she had to take it easy while the kids ran around. And ran around. And ran around. Grandmama's house is always fun for Cara, but it's never as much fun as when there are other kids there!

They played outside for a while, squirting each other with the hose and running through the wading pool. We got out some toys, and Casey and I played "ball fight." The way this went was she would yell, "ball fight!" and I would run away while she chased me, holding a small rubber ball. We did this several times. I'm pretty sure she wouldn't have known what to do, had she caught me.

We ate dinner downstairs, where the grownups sat at the big table and the kids had a little one all to themselves. They did eat, sort of, but they seemed to spend most of their time playing dress-up with the hats and accessories my mom has in some big baskets. PJ looked great in gold high heels, a white hat, and black gloves, carrying a purse and a long-stemmed plastic rose. We've noticed very frequently the kids do not eat enough when they're together, just because the excitement levels are too high. After dinner, for a special treat, they got to watch Grandpapa feed the fish.

PJ particularly enjoyed his visit. He grabbed Steve's leg and got dragged around for a while. They even went up the stairs like that, though PJ politely loosened his grip for that part. Finally, he demanded and received a ransom and released the limb. He went off, talking about how he was really going to get to keep this penny. (It was more than fair, because when he got out of the car the first thing he'd done was hand my mom sixteen cents.) Soon, though, he'd clamped onto my dad's leg. This time, through some sort of teamwork, they made it down the stairs together. I think that the promise of dessert may have led to Grandpapa's release.

It was already getting dark when we got out to the park. As usual, we had many glowing things to play with. This year, though, we had a greater appreciation for their resemblance to light sabers. I got each kid a larger glow stick with a plastic top; PJ's was a trident, and Cara and Casey seemed to go back and forth as to who got the flower and who the heart. The best thing, though, was probably the bendable necklaces! We shaped ours into a heart for a while, and a spring, but then Cara shaped it into antlers and went running around claiming to be an antelope. This went on and on.

Owen, meanwhile, was still wide awake. He was quiet and polite but definitely awake and watching; he knew something was up! I held him, and I wondered whom Cara would sit with for the fireworks. When the time came, it turned out that she wasn't going to sit with anyone. She barely sat down. When we pointed out the fireworks, she might glance at them and say, "wow!" but then she'd keep going. PJ ran around with her, too, but Casey sat for a good part. Owen seemed to watch. He got fussy, so he took his bottle while staring at the lit-up sky.

It was really hard for him, but he went to sleep after crying in the car for over ten minutes. When we got home, we were able to transfer him right into his crib for the night. Cara, on the other hand, was wide awake. She was hungry. I was basically asleep, so I gave her a cookie, which she ate on a plate she'd gotten herself at the table. She was upset that she couldn't have a bath. We washed her feet and a knee she'd scraped, I had to read her a book, and, at about eleven fifteen, I turned off her lights.

7/4/10 (Sunday)

Cara slept late in the morning, but the little bean decided that all was back to normal and woke up at 5:30. After getting over this particular disagreement with him, I had a lovely baby morning. Owen tried some apple sauce, with much ambivalence, but he tried a lot of it. He was happy and handsome and a good little bean. Then I had to go, because I was going to try to go into my office and do some work today (of all days). As it turned out, however, the old key that I had from several years ago no longer worked to open the building, and there was certainly no one else there to open it, so I went to the supermarket instead and drove all the way back home.

Owen and Ev were napping on the couch with Star Wars. When the baby is fussy Ev puts on Star Wars. It really does work. We watched Star Wars twice today. We decided to have our Independence Day cookout early in the day, so we got out our little charcoal grill and we got out a big pack of hot dogs, and we got out Cara's water table and put Owen out back in his bouncer under a tree. Cara had fun for a while with her water table, though she got bored when no one else managed to play with her. Owen enjoyed his time under the tree--we think he was fascinated by the waving branches and leaves over his head. It was hot out, even in our shady back yard, so we went inside to eat. But after our hot dogs, we all went outside again to toast some marshmallows and make some custom s'mores (Cara did not want chocolate in hers, for instance; and for those of us who wanted chocolate, all we had was a back of Hershey's kisses). It was a nice cookout.

As the afternoon wore on, the bean became less ideal. Perhaps his long night before was beginning to toll on him. He took small naps but was kvetchy when awake. Hopefully Cara's afternoon was better since we were all there and had nothing better to do than to play with her. I helped dress some girls, both plastic and flat paper varieties. The child also decided at one point that she wanted to play by herself, and went off downstairs to play "Family." Mostly this involves finding a bunch of dolls and putting blankets over them, as far as I can tell.

Owen is down--hopefully for the night--and Cara and Ev are off outside with the Loefflers, watching for our local neighborhood fireworks and no doubt playing with glowy things. It's the land of the free and the home of the brave, baby.

7/5/10 (Monday)

We spent most of this very hot day over in the Loefflers' pool. In fact, I dug out a swim diaper and Owen went in, too! It was, of course, much too large for him, but I did manage to find one that didn't have princesses on it. We dunked mainly his legs in the water, and he found it rather upsetting. He was happy to have Daddy hold him while standing in the pool, though. Afterwards, while we ate, I held him while wearing a nice, cool wet bathing suit. He spent most of his day inside.

The girls wanted to play train in the pool, so we tried that for a while. When it got boring, they wanted to play Family. We were a mermaid family. I was the mommy, Cara was a sister, and Casey was the baby. I dropped them off at mermaid school, took a break, and went back to pick them up. Cara told me she'd learned about fish and seaweed, and Casey just opened and closed her mouth a lot. I remembered that she was the baby; she was very much in character. After a while I got to sit around while they continued to be a mermaid family and then a fairy family or something.

We've miraculously managed to finally get all of the parts of Owen's mobile in one place and install it. We tried showing it to him yesterday, but he was very much against being put into his crib when he wasn't sleepy! Tonight, I'm trying to get him to watch it and peacefully drift off to sleep. So far, I'm not sure how well that's going.

7/6/10 (Tuesday)

Owen does seem to be starting to like his mobile. This morning he was up at 5 (which, once again, I liked because I had to go to work and we got a nice morning together before everybody else got up) and when I made it to his room, while his bottle warmed, he was lying there happily looking up at the fish, which were trembling because he was kicking in the crib. This evening I put him into the crib a couple of times and instead of protesting at being there he just watched it quietly. He talked to it a little.

This morning I fed him a little and gave him a bath. At daycare, he ate a lot in the morning and then slept all afternoon. In fact, they woke him up to feed him! He slept through the diaper change and snored while taking the bottle. He woke up for the trip home, and then he finished the bottle and went back to sleep. Half an hour later, he woke up hungry and angry. He took part of another bottle, and then he felt more human. He ate nearly a whole jar of applesauce! It was thrilling. His hands, alas, may be becoming his enemies once again. I think that sometimes he gets excited and wants the spoon in his mouth and sticks a hand in instead, by accident. They also spend a lot of time in front of his mouth, just hanging out. Sometimes, he focuses on the food, opens his mouth, and then his hands, which were clasped together on his forehead, slam down on the spoon just as it's going in! There are really fairly few opportunities to get the spoon in. We took quite a while. I think that, by the end, he was getting the hang of things more. He was also coated in applesauce. Bath time!

7/7/10 (Wednesday)

Today was playdate, and Ron went out. Em and I were left with dinner to prepare, three kids who wanted to go in the pool, and a baby to feed. In the ninety-degree heat. Sadly, it was much easier than we'd expected and went quite well. The kids went in the pool. Em grilled meat. I held Owen. She jumped in the pool. She got out. She held Owen. I jumped in the pool. I got out. I fed Owen. She got dressed. We got the kids out of the pool, everybody else got dressed, she finished dinner, and we were all set!

When I started feeding Owen his applesauce outside, all three kids had to get out of the pool and come over, dripping, to see. They had a good time in the pool on their own. Towards the end they started to try to play train. Cara took my part and held on to the fronts of the noodles. Casey was definitely on the back. I never got to find out whether Cara could actually pull her.

I told Cara a joke this evening, the one about why six is afraid of seven. I have no idea whether she got it or not. Then she told me a joke, partly as a delay in going off to brush her teeth.

Cara: Why did . . . the man and the lady stay together all day?

Me: Why?

Cara: Because they were in love!

Me: (expresses general mirth and vague approval of this clearly home-grown joke)

Cara: (running off on mission of oral hygiene) . . . and they were friends!

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