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Journal Key:

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

4/28/11 (Thursday)

Owen has started a trend at YBR. Some of the other toddlers have started to try out scooting! My son is a bad influence.

At therapy today Karen took advantage of Owen's book obsession, having him "crawl" to get them and putting them on the furniture so that he would stand up. First, she was very pleased with the way he crawled up the stairs, and then at the top she was able to help him crawl away from the edge a little. In his room, she had him crawl more. She held his legs, and he moved his arms. He did make it a couple of feet once or twice. For homework, we're supposed to try practicing that (I'm excited), continue to practice climbing the stairs, continue to practice rolling over, and try out something cool: having Owen stand at the fridge, move the magnets low down so that he learns to crouch a little to get them. I've been realizing how resistant he is to squatting; I don't think he even bends his knees when he walks down the stairs!

Owen was playing downstairs this evening, and I caught him starting to climb the stairs. Fortunately, he announced himself. Up, up, up!

4/30/11 (Saturday)

Today was Ag Field Day at our local Rutgers campus, and Uncle Jim and Aunt Sarah were in the area to see it. We decided to meet up with them, but first we went out for lunch, where Owen had a quesadilla that he mostly threw on the floor. As it turned out, it took us so long to meet up that Cara and Evelyn had to leave for a birthday party at the Jumping Jungle. So Owen and I got to hang out with Sarah and Jim and Griffin and a few of Sarah's friends.

Evelyn and I see more and more that Owen dislikes being stuck in the house and is much happier going pretty much anywhere else. Today was a perfect example of this behavior. He had been fairly miserable at home, but was perfectly happy in the restaurant, and a cute little cherub at the Field Day. We spent some time sitting on the grass and Owen scooted about, looking at all the people and balloons and tents and dogs, and trying to grab people's purses and strollers, and trying to eat grass. Then we started a long trek to see some farm animals. Mostly we saw pigs, but I couldn't get Owen excited about them. We also saw some horses from a distance, which he may or may not have noticed. He spent a lot of time in the stroller and was perfectly happy, getting very comfortable by pulling his feet out and resting them on the front tray, sometimes lying back and taking some pulls from his sippy cup. He also spent a lot of time sitting up and saying "Bah, bah, bah!" to anyone who would listen.

When we finally got home, Owen had fallen asleep; enough so that I was able to carry him inside and put him in his crib for a rare second nap of the day (his first had been short). Cara and Evelyn came home and I assembled my new lawn mower before Owen woke up again. Unfortunately, he was stuck at home, and not very happy with the situation. Evelyn eventually took him outside for a while. In the evening he did have a pleasant bath. Mostly by accident, he picked up a cup and poured water directly into his own face. I'm not sure what he would have thought about it, but I laughed heartily at him, so he decided it was funny.

Evelyn reports that she had trouble putting him down tonight, not because he was wakeful or upset, but because he wouldn't let go of his bottle. Eventually she just had to yank it out of his hand, after having already put him into the crib.

5/1/11 (Sunday)

Grandmom and Grandpop came up! Thank goodness. If they hadn't been here, it surely would have been far too boring in the house for Owen. He was very glad to have a larger audience for whom to babble and bang on things. He loves playing with Grandpop's IPAD; the touch screen device has a game that shows him pictures of animals and plays recordings of their sounds. He did some walking and some cruising, and he was very lucky to have new people to read to him. He wasn't very interested in eating; he even refused to try the birthday cake I made Grandmom! We attribute that to bad judgment.

In the late afternoon, Cara, Owen, and Steve went out and bought a tent and tunnel for the playroom. Owen was delighted by them both. Cara and I got him to crawl a little way into the tunnel; it's really longer than I'd like for him, but he's getting more independent about crawling. When he decided he was done and had to sit down in the tunnel, it was a great adventure. He walked (holding my fingers) into the tent; he's just short enough for the entrance. Sitting inside, he loved playing peek-a-boo with the flaps and peeking out the window. Eventually he scooted out.

Steve had also picked up several new sippies for Owen, and we'd unwrapped them. Owen scooted over and tried them out, one after another, repeatedly, sure that one of them would have something in it.

5/2/11 (Monday)

Today Owen was a toddler! I sent in a little cardboard mortarboard for him. I wasn't going to try to put it on him, but I figured that his teachers like to experiment with things like that! I got to meet his girlfriend, Laura, and her parents. Apparently she spent the weekend saying, "Owen, Owen, Owen, Owen, Owen." Her father asked Miss Sandi whether perhaps there was a song they sang that had Owen's name in it. He gets a lot of girls. I can only assume it's the scooting.

He must have had a very exciting day, because he was exhausted this evening. He was quite willing to play, but the idea of dinner was mainly very upsetting, and so Steve "gave him a tub," as he puts it, and down he went.

5/3/11 (Tuesday)

Owen has been waking up rather earlier than we would prefer. By six ten this morning he had demonstrated that he can say "baa" for a sheep, point out fishies and birds in books, and say "aaar" for a bear. Downstairs, he came scooting at me with his hands held oddly together. I realized that one of his toys was playing "The Itsy-Bitsy Spider."

He hasn't figured out yet about transferring objects from hand to hand when we're putting shirts or coats onto him, but he has figured out that when we're walking him, holding both of his hands, he can let go and use one hand to push a door open or move the baby gate out of the way.

Owen and I got home early, and so we got out the stroller and went to walk to DT to get Cara. He hadn't had his YBR snack, so I gave him the chicken and stuffing that I'd packed and sent for him. He definitely ate some. He was very happy to be out in the stroller; there was applause and a lot of joyful noise. I'm not sure exactly what made him so happy. It could have been the food or just being out in the stroller, but I have a theory that his bursts of applause corresponded to our being passed by automobiles. The best news: one of those automobiles was Daddy's car! He got home about two minutes before the rest of us.

We all played outside; Owen scooted on the grass, walked all over, and actually, as Cara pointed out, got himself into crawling position. "He's doing one of his tricks!"

I've been noticing a sign that Owen's growing up: he's started to almost throw tantrums when he doesn't get his way. He's beginning to do that throwing-himself-backward thing, and he squirms and fights and yells. So far it's not terrible. I distracted him from one tonight by putting him on Cara's bed. That was way better than whatever it was he'd been upset about. He could bounce, and there were big stuffed animals, and I lay along the outside. He bounced around, planting himself face-first and shrieking with glee into the animals and me in turn. I brought him afterwards to my bed, which was not nearly as exciting, but he did almost manage to do his face-plant-and-shriek thing on Shelby. He just got her tail. I'm not sure whether this is worse than how Cara used to run at the cats, shrieking.

5/4/11 (Wednesday)--May the Fourth be With You!

The toddlers were all sitting in their bucket seats when I came in to get Owen. He didn't notice me, so I got to chat with Miss Sandi and Miss Camille and watch him a little: he sat up very straight, with both hands on the bottle that rested in front of him. He was very attentive; the whole time I was there he was staring at Miss Gracie. "You see how he gazes at me?!" Miss Gracie is another of Owen's girlfriends.

This morning Karen did a preemptive makeup session at YBR, showing his new toddler teachers all of what Cara calls "his tricks." When she was there he crawled about three feet a few times, and later in the day, the teachers report, he got stuck under a toy! The story seemed to pause there, but it turned out that, with encouragement, without crying or being distressed, he crawled his way out.

At home, Owen is continuing to work on his tantrum technique, which does consist of throwing himself backwards. Nothing exciting has happened, but this is really not a good thing to do when people are picking you up. He has also figured out that if he sticks up his arms straight in the air he can make it very hard for people to pick him up. Good luck, Owen!

His hunger strike continues; the report on the fruit I sent in with him today is that he "threw it on the floor."He may, at least partially, be swapping venues: he's been eating a lot better at YBR than at home. At dinner, though, he actually ate what, for him, is a lot of meatloaf. He liked it! There's something both of my kids like! I'll send it in with him tomorrow, and he can throw it on the floor.

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