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Journal Key:

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

6/2/11 (Thursday)

Teaching Owen to go up stairs was hard because he really wanted us to hold him up so that he could walk. Teaching him to go down stairs is hard because he really wants us to hold him up so that he can slide and he doesn't want to go backwards and we can't put toys in front of him to entice him on because he's going backwards. Actually, that's just me being whiney. Yes, he's totally against going down stairs the way Karen showed us, but he was totally against going up the way she showed us, and now we can't keep him off the stairs! Today, with her here, he continued to be very unhappy about climbing down, but I'm sure he'll come to recognize how useful it can be.

He's a lot steadier on his feet now; he's a lot more ready to let go and walk to things. In the basement, Karen had to keep moving things farther apart for him. I brought the armchair from Cara's room downstairs, and Karen showed me and Owen how he can stand up from it. She brought out bubbles. "Bu-bul," said Owen. It's his first two-syllable word! Actually, it's not, if you count that he said "turtle" for a few days. Still, it was exciting. He also said "pop!" Karen is very good at blowing bubbles and then catching them on the wand so that babies can get them. I was impressed.

The Loefflers were playing outside when the kids and I walked home, so we went over to play for a few minutes. The slide on their swing set is just a little bit too much for Owen, but Em and I let him try it a few times. He really loves PJ; it's great that he has another boy to play with. He admires him very much. PJ ran around him a lot and showed him some very impressive tricks.

For dinner, for the first time, the whole family had hot dogs.

6/4/11 (Saturday)

Owen and I had some time to play in the morning, and I decided to teach him to feed his toys. We got out the Playmobil things, and the animals announced that they were hungry and then went and "num-num-nummed" on the food. We tried it with the Weebles, and later in the day Owen fed some of the Noah's ark toys, too. When we got those out, we found out that Owen can say "zebra!" Well, he's got a two-syllable sound in which the second syllable begins with B, and he says it when he holds up a zebra.

We went to Aunt Claire's for a cookout, and everyone had fun. Owen once again demonstrated how incredibly social he is; he talked to everyone, was willing to be walked by strangers, and was fascinated by Casie's dad's rendition of the elephant noise. He told everyone all about the zebra. We were there for about five hours, and Owen spent most of that time walking around. He's tiring to watch.

Cara had fun finding wild strawberries in the grass and bringing them to everyone. She waited patiently next to the grill for a long time before she got a hot dog, because we were grilling individual pizzas. She eventually ate three and a half hot dogs, I'm told. I didn't watch her. I cut up a hot dog for Owen, who ate the whole thing! Cara was very happy because later we toasted marshmallows. Grandmama gave soem marshmallow to Owen, who was not enthused.

6/5/11 (Sunday)

Ev started a new page of the words that Owen can say, which can be seen on the home page. He did say "turtle" to me again today, after a long period of not saying it. He is much better at imitating than he was even a week ago.

Today Grandmom and Grandpop came to visit and we reorganized the house a little to accommodate a new piece of furniture for our new TV. One side result of this was that we ended up getting into an old tub of kid toys, and Owen got some new things to play with. He gets to play in the basement more often now, as well, which is nice.

My favorite moment of the day was when Owen was busily cruising on our new TV stand, and we managed to convince him to turn around, let go, and walk to my arms. That is so great to watch! Though part of me is of course looking forward to the day when he does that all the time, it's very special now.

In the evening PJ and Casey came for a Date Night visit. Casey and Cara eventually decided to build a "circus" in Cara's room, which unfortunately meant that they lugged up her little chairs and her Elmo couch into her room. Cara already had all her dollhouses and buildings lined up across the room. Most of this I had to disassemble when I came up to put her laundry away and discovered there was no way to open her dresser drawers, and hardly room to open the door.

PJ of course spent a lot of the time playing Wii. The exciting part was that near the end of the evening he put in Cara's Tangled video game, which she has thus far not been interested in playing. But I think his playing it sort of convinced her to try, and after the Loefflers left we had some Daddy-Daughter-video-game time, which was productive.

Owen has for quite a few weeks now been unhappy in his bath, but lately he has been experiencing a renaissance. I showed him not too long ago how interesting it is when you place an inverted container in the tub and then flip it, so that the air comes out in big bubbles. He also rediscovered how fun it is to splash a lot. And at Ev's suggestion we have been using Cara's bathtub tea party toys. It was a splashy, happy bath tonight.

6/6/11 (Monday)

Yesterday we were reminded of the positive powers of peer pressure. The big kids were playing and snacking excitedly on cucumber and red pepper, and Owen became upset. He came scooting over, his hand out, crying. I offered toys, but it turned out that he would not be happy until he had some cucumber. I gave him a little piece and he liked it, and so I let him have a full half-moon. It was the first time he really snacked on produce! I sent some for his lunch, too.

Cara has two dollhouses and some sort of smaller play buildings in her room, and she's been getting out her tiny toys and playing with them lately. She likes to arrange the houses in a "street." The street can bisect her room. On Sunday she made little tiny signs and hung them (well, impaled them) on the flags of her castle. One said "no moms or dads." We had to knock on a tiny door and ask to come in. Another said "no babys." Today she built her street very close to her door, basically blocking off the doorway. The "no babys" sign was effectively rendered irrelevant. Owen could scoot in the door, but he couldn't get anywhere, and no tiny toys were within sight or grabbing distance. I let him have his tub of bath toys, and he happily stuck them in through the windows and doors of the dollhouse. Cara happily tossed them back out. They were both very content.

At dinner Owen tried some of everything and then got very fussy. Steve took him out and held him, and then he finished all of the asparagus that we had left and was very happy. We think we have to experiment with changing his seating arrangement.

6/7/11 (Tuesday)

Owen and Cara had fun playing before dinner. We read Owen'sQuiet LOUD book, and when I said "Screaming is loud!" Owen screamed. Cara also likes to scream. We may end up with screamy children. Owen was also saying something that I thought was "Hello!" Cara had other theories about it, which I don't remember now. The problem is that much of what Owen says can be interpreted in different ways. He could have been trying to say "Cara," for instance; or maybe he was just saying "Lala."

Tonight in the bath, for the first time, Owen managed to push down the drain lever, and drain the water out of his tub. Fortunately I wanted a quick bath tonight, and I was about finished by the time he managed to do it, so we sat and watched the water go away. Owen's main reaction seemed to be to keep standing up and sitting down.

6/8/11 (Wednesday)

Cara had a very fun day today, because at Discovery Time they got to play in the water. In their playground area they had a big inflatable water slide set up. Cara went in it twice, and it was "super fun." Then we had an exciting evening, in that Owen and Cara and I went to the doctor for Owen. Owen was tired and did not enjoy it all that much, but he did get a chance to show the nurse how he says "baa" and "grr."

Anyway it was a long evening for us all!

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