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Journal Key:

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

5/26/11 (Thursday)

Karen walked in today to see Owen happily climbing up the stairs all by himself! That made her as happy as it made him. She was really impressed by his crawling, too. She says he's the first scooter she's worked with who's crawled significantly before he was walking. She brought a toy train for him to crawl after, but he wasn't interested. She showed him a book with "scanimation" pictures, those black-and-white pictures that seem to move when you move the page. For that, he would crawl. He liked that book.

The new thing we tried today was teaching Owen to climb down stairs. Because it was so hot, we used the basement stairs. Karen got him to turn around at the top so that he was on his knees on the top step. She moved one leg down, and then she showed him how to shift his weight and get the other leg down. He really seemed to get it. The hard part is motivating him to go down stairs at all. When I tried it, he had gone upstairs to get the scanimation book. Karen brought it down the stairs, but then he was just too upset at being separated from it to be willing to climb down. We're going to try it again this week and see whether we can do it without Karen.

We also worked on walking from object to object. Karen suggests setting things up so that Owen isn't standing with his back to whatever we want him to walk to. We tried it in the basement, but he stood up before she moved the toy kitchen closer to the couch. They were too far apart, so instead Owen walked to Karen and from her to the couch! He's definitely a lot more confident about walking to or from things that aren't people ready to catch him.

While Steve was grilling dinner, we put water in the water table and the kids dove right in. Cara went and put on a swimsuit, because Owen at the water table is just as good as a sprinkler. Cara splashed at him and tried putting water on his head, but really he did 90% of the damage himself. He ended up soaked from top to toe. His shirt had a dry patch in the middle of the back. Really it was nice, because it was so hot today that he'd been all sweaty, and I'd thought we'd have to give him a bath. He took care of that. I peeled his shirt off of him before I brought him in, but my clothes were still damp after dinner. His shirt was sopping. His socks were sopping. His shorts were less absorbent, but they did their best! He very happily ate dinner in his diaper.

5/28/11 (Saturday)

Aunt Claire came up, and Owen was very happy to have company. We're not sure whether he's figured out that nose-getting is a game, but he did like to take his nose away by turning his head. He also did some walking with her and some block-stacking and, of course, block-knocking-down. We went out to the running store to get shoes for Claire, and while Cara ran around with her aunt, Owen and I walked and walked. The store has a lot of signs with pictures of dogs on them, which he found very interesting. However, we were out until after noon, so Owen was exhausted. He almost fell asleep in the car, but I had Cara keep him awake so that he could have some lunch and a bottle before his nap. Oddly, for the first time in his life as a toddler, he was then unable to go down for his nap. After many adventures he went to sleep around two.

Cara went south for a sleepover, so it was date night. Steve and I were astonished that, at quarter to six, we had to wake Owen up. The three of us went out to dinner, which Owen enjoyed while eating almost nothing. He invented a really fun game: throwing things on the floor. After we "ate" we went to Barnes and Noble, where Owen did exactly what we had hoped he would. He ran around and had a very exciting evening, so even after his huge and late nap he was ready to go to sleep. He walked all over the store holding on to one of my fingers, and then for a treat I let him walk up and down the three stairs to the cafe. He did a lot of triumphant yelling. To quiet things down, we went and read some books. When he was too industrious about pulling them off the shelves, Steve took him off to the train table. Vroom, vroom! He liked that train table. Since he'd been asleep until almost six, we kept him out late. It was quarter to nine when he got cranky and Steve pointed out that it was because he was tired.

5/29/11 (Sunday)

We had a lovely trip to Grandmom and Grandpop's today. Cara, as she has been lately, was excited about seeing Rusty. Rusty was excited to see us, too. Owen was initially cautious, but he definitely liked Rusty. He petted him and followed him around and sort of head-butted him, which sometimes looked like he was bowing. We got out a farm animal set, and Owen showed Rusty the dog several times.

It's really funny to play catch with Owen, because he's very emphatic about yelling "GO!" We got him to do it on several occasions today. He's actually got a lot of words now. He says go, up, down, Daddy, book, ball, baa, and grrr, and there are a few others that he says that are probably just coincidence. He seems to be working on saying "buddy," which is what we call him. I'm not sure what applications he intends to use it for. He's also started saying "butt." This morning he was playing in Cara's room, climbing in and out of the little armchair, and I found him standing on it, slapping the wall behind it, yelling, "butt, butt, butt!" For a few days he would say "turtle," but he's now completely forgotten that. He definitely says "maa," but he sees no possible uses for that sound.

Owen loves playing with Grandpop's Ipad. There's an application where the screen shows a lot of pictures of animals, and if you touch one it shows you a big photo of that animal and makes its noise. There are lots of different photos. It would be a great time for Owen to practice "showing" us the animals we ask him to identify, which he can often do in books, but really he's pretty random in his swatting. He's enthusiastic, though.

He had a bath there, in which he stood up a lot but wasn't urgently trying to escape, and then he rode home in his pajamas, sleeping in the car.

5/30/11 (Monday)

There was a thunderstorm this morning, which woke us all up. Owen went back to sleep. It was quiet when I went in to his room, assuming that he was still up, and found him sitting up with his back to the corner of his crib, sound asleep.

Owen has been adding to his vocabulary. He says "uh-oh!" when he drops things. We're not sure what he means by it. He may be sort of making a monkey noise, though he's not accompanying it with the arm motions I've been trying to teach him. He's definitely making an elephant noise. Steve is able to make a sort of squeaking trumpet noise by putting his lips flat together and blowing. It's impressive. Owen is trying to do the same thing. If you ask him what an elephant says, he'll sort of blow a raspberry.

This afternoon we went over to PJ and Casey's house for a Memorial Day cookout. The big kids were running around outside in their swimsuits, and eventually Em and Owen and I joined them. There was a sprinkler going and a slip-n-slide that was covered with water, and we put Owen down near them. I remember that last summer I sort of dunked him in the slip-n-slide, and he screamed. Today was the opposite. He scooted all over, shrieking with joy and splashing and playing with the water. He played happily for a long time, while the bigger kids ran around and Em and I watched.

Eventually I called Steve to bring dry clothes, because Owen was sopping. We stripped him down, and then Steve and I, with some difficulty, hosed him off. He was not interested in cooperating in this. He flopped himself down to try to escape. Finally we got him into a towel. Still naked, he got down and sat on the ground on the rocks and paving stones among the adults. Strangely, all of the men just kept chatting while Em and I, horrified, stopped Owen from scooting around stark naked on the stones.

Owen was very interested in the swimming pool. That will be an adventure. I wonder what we have to take him in with. I wonder what we need.

5/31/11 (Tuesday)

Cara really does in many ways make life with Owen easier. When we got home today I brought the kids inside and had to go back to get the groceries. As I left, Owen was heading for Shelby, who was about to flee up the stairs, and I was pretty sure I'd come back to find Owen climbing. I hurried, but there was no need. Both kids were in the playroom when I got back inside; Owen was taking out some of Cara's old magazines and showing them to her.

Later, when I was trying to get dinner on the table and Steve was on the phone, Owen was scooting along on the floor and was probably about to become interested in the open gate, through which I needed to go to bring things to the dining room. Cara got his sippy cup and sort of dangled it in front of Owen ("Here, Owen! Come get your sippy!"), luring him past the gate and into the kitchen. Owen always loves his sippy.

6/1/11 (Wednesday)

Miss Gracie thought that maybe Owen was sassing her when they were reading their book about elephants, but then she figured out that the raspberries he was blowing were a legitimate attempt at an elephant noise. At playdate this evening, he added a new noise to his repertiore. We went out to the train table, and I worked on "chugga-chugga, choo-choo!" He's making a sort of "choo-choo" noise in his throat, without opening his mouth, but it's definitely his new train noise.

He is very much enjoying dropping things and saying "uh-oh!" He uses the phrase appropriately and also when he just wants to play the pick-things-up-for-me game. After dinner, Owen and I "chased" Casey upstairs. Their cat was lying near the top of the stairs. Owen, of course, was delighted. He went right for Sugaree, basically slapping him on his side. I tried to show him how to be "gentle," but Owen felt that I was just restraining him. I had hold of his right hand, so he went for it with the left, and when I took that one, too, he immediately tried to head-butt the cat. He was fairly successful. Frankly, I was surprised the cat took that long to leave.

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