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Journal Key:

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

5/5/11 (Thursday)

Apparently at YBR there is a little girl to whom the staff refer as "Owen's prom date" because they like to spend time hugging each other. This is a different little girl from the one who was singing about him.

Today was Steve's last day of jury duty, so it's the last time he's likely to be here for physical therapy. Unfortunately, Owen was just not a happy camper while Karen was here. He certainly likes her, he just was on strike for some reason. We weren't able to do much of anything with him, but she does see that he's starting to bend his knees a little to sit down and perhaps to squat slightly. She gave us a very cool idea: she tied one side of the tunnel together, so that it's just sort of a half-circle tunnel. It's much more manageable, and we can put toys into it and have him bend and reach in to get them. That'll get him used to going in. I do think the cats will be disappointed; they'd been enjoying it very much.

5/6/11 (Friday)

Tonight Owen actually crawled all by himself for the first time! He was sitting by the high chair, and I guess he couldn't scoot under it, so he tipped over forwards, gradually got his feet sticking out the back, and crawled in. He sat himself back up, picked up a Cheerio from the floor (we keep the best ones there), ate it, and then crawled back out! Steve and I were both there, and neither of us touched him or helped him in any way. I hope he understands how proud and excited we are!

5/7/11 (Saturday)

Just a few highlights:

We have read the first 5 chapters of Charlotte's Web. Cara was in an agony of worry during Wilbur's escape from his pen - he shouldn't have done that - and properly ambivalent about Charlotte as a new friend.

Cara has introduced us to the hilarity of Phineas and Ferb.

In the park we ran many races, all of which she won. (Most of the time both the course of the race and the finish line were unknown to me. )

It was an exciting day. Cara got to dance class, where Owen and I met her, and from there we went home, picked up Mommy, and went straight down to Grandmom and Grandpop's house. Mostly we just had to see Rusty, but also we wanted to celebrate Mother's Day with Grandmom. It was a nice time. Owen got to play with the Matchbox cars, which he mostly enjoyed pulling out of their container and throwing into a big pile. He ate bits of a grilled cheese sandwich and other small things for lunch. (We are convincing ourselves that he is almost converted to grown-up food now.) Cara was still on her racing kick, so when we went out back, she forced me to run race after race with her. Our very first race almost ended in a horrific collision, because I assumed we were just running straight to the fence and back, but she curved over into me in order to go around behind the shed. Fortunately we both survived. To spice things up, I tried running backwards, and soon Evelyn instituted such innovations as the side-by-side race (in which Cara and I joined hands and hopped sideways around the shed), or the super-slow race.

Owen meanwhile enjoyed watching this, and a few times Grandpop took him along with us, which he loved. He also loved chasing after Rusty, who was more amenable to it than the cats, but who still managed to avoid being grabbed. The poor little guy had a very hard time scooting on the concrete patio with his jeans and sneakers on. He also had a hard time walking on the grass. But he still had a fine time.

On the way home, we figured Owen would fall asleep in the car again. Instead, he spent a good half hour of the beginning of the trip babbling very loudly in the back seat. Evelyn and I could barely have a conversation with all the "Baah! Baaaahhhhh!" coming from back there. He wasn't upset, just loud. Then he finally did fall asleep, and we got to read our Oz book.

5/8/11 (Sunday)

Happy Mother's Day! Today we went to Middletown for a nice brunch. Cara, Evelyn and Aunt Claire went off to see a movie, and Owen, George, Janet, GiGi and I stayed back. All of us except Janet went out to Holmdel Park. Owen finally got to see some of the many farm animals he's been told about incessantly. He saw pigs, sheep ("Baaa"), cows (from a distance), chickens, mules, and horses. Not much reaction to any of them, except maybe the horse, which he found somewhat alarming because he was so close to it.

Owen had a very nice afternoon. I think the girls did, too.

5/9/11 (Monday)

Poor Owen got up on the wrong side of something today! He was very needy and clingy all morning, but then he was fine at school. Miss Sandi claims to have had a mental list of children who had partied too hard for Mother's Day, and she says that Owen wasn't on it. Back at home, he was fine for about ten minutes. He and Cara shared some toddler fruit snacks from a bag he found in the playroom, which was adorable. Soon, though, he hit her with a wooden flute that has been very much prized by both children, and she got upset and then he got upset, and then nothing I could do would make him truly happy again. We had to go outside.

Outside, of course, everyone was fine. Cara messed with anthills on the driveway while Owen and I walked, and then Daddy got home and we all went over to see Juliana. When we came in for supper, we got to discover all over again what a wonderful view of the bottoms of Owen's feet we get when he scoots. I don't think we've let him walk around on the driveways so much barefoot before.

5/10/11 (Tuesday)

Juliana came out with us to the diner tonight. I momentarily worried, as we got out of the car, when I realized that we hadn't really brought any toys for Owen. There was no problem: he had so much to look at and eat and say and do that he had really no time for toys! He snacked on puffs (Cara had some, too) and drank milk from his sippie, and then he got to eat french fries and toast and even drink water from a cup like a big boy! He played patty-cake and peek-a-boo, and when Steve drew some animals he told us that they said baa. I'm excited because (this sounds kind of pitiful) he was reaching for the puffs container to let us know he wanted them, and I think that's a sort of step on the road to learning to point.

5/11/11 (Wednesday)

Today started with an adventure: I left Owen on the floor in his room while I went to help Cara, and when I came back he had scooted over, shut the door, and gotten in front of it, where he was being very unhappy. I couldn't tell whether he was lying down or not, so I tried telling him to roll over, but there was no response. Eventually I decided he was sitting up, and I figured out how to get him to move: I told him to go get a book. Within seconds I could open the door.

Robin came to YBR to work with Owen today. I confess that I'm surprised by her report! She says that he made good animal sounds, not just BAAing and roaring (If you've seen Young Frankenstein, you've heard what Owen's roar sounds like. Remember how the monster groans?) but also quacking! She was impressed that he pointed to animals in books spontaneously and made their sounds. They did "ready, set, go" and he said "go" many times. He did it for us tonight, too. Of course he said "up," but he also did a little bit of walking.

At playdate tonight he played happily with the other kids. In fact, I started to wonder where he was and went to look for him. He was sitting nicely, taking out all of his books and looking at them. All around him, chaos.

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