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Journal Key:

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

8/4/11 (Thursday)

At five after seven this morning, Owen asked me to pick him up. "Bye-bye!" he said to Steve. Steve had to pack Owen's lunch, because he got upset when I put him down. We got into Highland Park early, so we took a walk to the bank and then moseyed over to YBR when it was open. Miss Carol told Owen that if he wants to come at 7:05, he has to pack his own lunch, get himself dressed, and then pick up the phone to call her and tell her to hurry up because he wanted to go to school.

For an adventure, Owen and I met Karen at Tiny Town at the Woodbridge Mall! I was a little nervous, because he's been so interested in sticking to his schedule lately, but he was quite willing to have our session in a different place. There were a lot of kids running around, which distracted him a lot, and he was a little overwhelmed at first, but soon he was toddling all over. Several times Karen wanted to work on getting him to stand up from the ground (which he did try on his own pretty recently, but that was on our bed), but he was too quick; he always found something close by that he could use to stand. She helped him climb up the little stairs like a big boy! The problem, chiefly, was that he kept trying to go up two at a time because he's so used to stepping like that at home. Once he got to the top, he liked to sit for a while before he would slide down. One of Owen's long-standing dreams came true: he climbed up a slide! It was impressive.

Eventually he was sort of done there, and so were we. We put our shoes back on and headed over a little way to where there is a gentle ramp next to some wide sets of shallow stairs. Owen loved walking on the ramp. He loved going up, and he loved coming down, and he loved finding the little openings in the railing that he could squeeze through, if he ducked his head, to get to the other side of the ramp. He was so proud of himself. He did some good work on the stairs, too, and some general wandering around, with the two of us following him. The only scary part was when he walked down the ramp, because it was a very different place to fall down from Tiny Town! He never fell, though.

Having run around for almost an hour, Owen was definitely tired. We went and sat on a bench to look at his car books, which I had brought in. The things that "hop" are definitely the prairie dogs. He had a sippy cup and revived, but he was definitely tired. After Karen left, Cara and Steve met us there and we headed to Friendly's. We've discovered the secret to eating out with Owen! Just completely exhaust him first, and he won't mind sitting.

Owen's been waking up awfully early for quite a while. I have a new theory. Tonight, I brought him home for bath and bed while Steve and Cara stayed to hang out at the mall a little. I put Owen to bed with his lion toy from the zoo, a new teddy bear, a big floppy lamb toy that Cara didn't want, and at least three soft books. I'm hoping that he can either snuggle with them and go back to sleep or play with them and amuse himself!

8/6/11 (Saturday)

Owen had a very long day today. Around eight he had me pick him up and tried saying "bye-bye!" to Steve, but there just isn't any daycare today, so he was stuck with us! We got into the car anyway about ten minutes later to go down to Grandmom and Grandpop's house. It was a nice ride, with Owen telling us "hi" periodically, except for when he was asleep. He had a good time at Grandmom's, and we were pleased because he was happy to show off all of his various "tricks."

Seeing Rusty is a very exciting thing. Rusty barks. Owen yips. Owen yips to tell us that Rusty is a dog and that Rusty barks. Owen likes Rusty. He likes Rusty's feet. Rusty leaves when Owen likes his feet too much. Rusty likes it when Owen is in his high chair. Then Rusty might get food. Owen actually did fairly well, eating-wise. Grandmom helped him spear fruit with his little-boy fork, which has a handle with an almost 90-degree turn in it. Despite its design, Owen managed to get it into his mouth at angles just as funny as he manages with regular utensils.

We'd had the old Fisher Price train out for hours, playing with the various animals, before Grandmom showed Owen that the engine was a pull toy! It took a little doing, but soon he was walking all over the place, pulling that thing behind him. We had to stand it up for him a few times, and sometimes if it got caught on something he'd just keep walking, apparently unaware that he'd lost it. It was exciting, though, and he was very proud of himself. I want to see whether, next time we go down there, he remembers about that!

Griffin came over (being dropped off by Jim) about an hour before we had to leave. He was sleepy and shy, but after a while we had both boys on the floor, playing. We got Owen to give Griffin a cow and say "thank you." We're hoping to get the boys together soon for a real playdate.

We left midafternoon to drop Cara off in Middletown. Owen was awake when we got there, so we all stopped in for a while. Grandmama and I took Owen to the park briefly, but he was pretty tired. He went down a couple of slides and he crawled through the tunnel a few times. We should probably work on his getting-out-of-the-tunnel technique--head-first may not be the best way. Owen was very happy to be reunited with the farm animal toys upstairs. As soon as he found himself at liberty in the house, he took himself up there to play. When it was time for his bath, he had brought a bull downstairs. He dropped it into the tub and then he went all the way back up and I let him bring down a few more animals. He didn't want to get out of the tub when he was done.

Owen stayed awake and happy in the car on the way home. He hadn't had a bottle all day, but he'd had plenty of milk, including a sippy in the car at bedtime. It was after eight when we got home. I made our first tooth-brushing experiment. He sucked on it and sort of fooled around with it, and he let me make a swipe at the bottom ones. Then I took him into his room, with just the night light, and we looked at a couple of books. It was probably quarter after eight when I put him down, bottle-less. He screamed for about twenty seconds. I have no idea what he's doing now. I thought he must have gone to sleep, but I just heard something. At least he's not screaming!

8/7/11 (Sunday)

Owen did fine last night, waking up at an (unfortunately typical) early hour. He was in a bit of a rotten mood, and Evelyn had decided to do some major reorganizing of the kid books and some of the toys, so I decided to take him out of the house for a while. We went down to--where else?--Barnes and Noble. Owen can say the word "book" now; he pronounces it exactly correct and perfectly, except that he puts a "t" on the end of it instead of a "k." We looked at many, many books. Of course we like the animal books best. There were some perfect books about dogs and cats, and some flip books that allowed you to build your own dinosaur or prehistoric beast in three different sections. Then we wandered over to the toy section for "choo choo!" We also spent a lot of time messing with Legos. There are big cushy stool-type things over by the Lego table, which Owen managed to climb up onto, but even sitting on those he wasn't at the best height for playing--standing on them was better.

By the time we'd returned to the book section and looked around some more, he gave clear signals that he was done. He wasn't upset, but he finished with the book he had, asked to be picked up, and when I asked if he wanted to leave, he said goodbye to the store in general. It was a short drive home, and I was sure he was still awake, but when I got out of the car to get him he was out.

In the afternoon we watched PJ and Casey. Before they got to the house, Evelyn took a quick trip to the grocery store with Owen, and then they went to the liquor store. Owen loved the liquor store, because there was a dog there! He got to yip at it. Then he was sad when the dog left, so he was given a pretzel as compensation. It was, apparently, a wonderful trip. Coming home and seeing PJ and Casey must have been somewhat anticlimactic. But Owen had an exciting time watching the other kids, when he happened to find himself in the same room as them.

We have now disposed of all of our bottles, and we won't be giving them to Owen anymore. We thought this would impact our nighttime routine pretty significantly, but it turns out that Owen is quite willing to pretend his sippy cup is a bottle.

8/8/11 (Monday)

I did Owen's baby book today! I went to my friend Hinda's house, because she has a lot of scrapbooking gear. She provided technical assistance as well as a lot of impetus and moral support. I'm very glad to have made sure that my kids both have good photographic accounts of their first years.

The seeing eye dog was there when I picked Owen up today. I put him down low and they looked at each other for a moment before the dog had to go. Hoping, I suppose, that the dog would come back, Owen yipped all the way to the car. Then he yippedin the car. I don't know why.

I took the kids to the grocery store. We walked through the produce section. "Apple! Apple!" Owen told us.

8/9/11 (Tuesday)

Owen finally had his 18-month checkup today! It went very well. He's growing appropriately in all ways, and the doctor was very impressed by the number of words that I told him Owen could say. I adjusted my answers on the milestones checklist that they give us, but I still said "no" to the one about whether he could get a toy from the floor. The doctor was suspicious about that, but I explained that Owen can't squat. "Let's try this," said the doctor, putting one of Owen's "guys" (a couple of Playmobil people came) on the floor. Owen walked over, bent at the waist, and got his guy. The doctor changed my answer.

There is a sign on the garbage cans at the pediatrician about not putting stinky diapers in. The sign has a skunk on it. Owen kept barking at it. He had some puffs, and one fell on the floor. I put it into the trash. Owen went over and put his in, too. He was very curious about the trash can, sort of as if he had never seen one before.

After the doctor, we stopped at the Farmer's Market. We strongly disagreed about whether several things were apples.

Our dinner tonight consisted mainly of finger foods. We also had asparagus, though, which (and I told Steve and Cara that we could never admit this to anyone) we decided to just eat with our fingers, too. Eventually, I offered Owen a piece. He was very excited, because everyone else was doing it. He must have eaten five or six full-length stalks by the time it was gone!

8/10/11 (Wednesday)

One thing I forgot about yesterday's appointment: when the doctor looked into Owen's mouth, I got a really good view of his gums. He has all sorts of molars coming in back there! I'd had no idea. Em tells me that the incisors usually come in last. Why hadn't she reminded me?

This morning I was very sad when I got out Clumsy Crab and Owen shook his head and put it back. He wanted Green Eggs and Ham. He also likes One Fish, Two Fish. I think he's heard Green Eggs four times today. Miss Sandi said today that Owen was so wonderful that she was considering taking him home; while the other kids were raising a ruckus, sticking books in her face and generally causing chaos, Owen was sitting nicely looking at books on his own.

Owen walked all the way down the street to the Loefflers', refusing to hold my hand and screaming and flailing when I carried him across the street. When we got out to the pool, the big kids of course were ahead of us. I let them go in as Owen and I were walking out, which may have been a mistake. I was carrying two bags, and Owen was walking and was very unhappy when I picked him up. He wanted to walk right into the pool. He was angry and tossing himself around. I was glad I'd gotten him into his swimsuit, so all I had to do was to take off his shirt and shoes! He was happy to get dangled into the water, but he got so angry and flailed around so hard when I picked him up that I had to have poor Em hold him while I got into the water, because I was scared to try to carry him down the steps.

Once I had him actually in the water, he was as happy as he had been angry before! He splashed and I swung him around and bounced him up and down. A few times I put him up on the ground and he turned around and walked fearlessly right back into the pool (it worked out great for him, because I hadn't actually let go). We must have been in the water for almost an hour.

By the end, I think Owen was exhausted but didn't want to stop. Fortunately, he was willing to get out and drink some juice. We were snuggled in a towel with a sippy when Steve got there. There was some flailing and screaming over going inside and getting dressed, but the rest of the evening passed in non-stop overstimulated motion. Owen was up the stairs and down the stairs (with a spotter), in and out of rooms, back and forth. I've realized that one of the things I love about cats is that they're all crazy in their own individual ways. The Loefflers' cat, for instance, as I learned tonight, doesn't leave when toddlers try to be friendly with him! That doesn't mean he necessarily likes the toddlers, but Owen's interactions with cats are usually less protracted and more straightforward. I think that's probably preferable.

When we got home, the first thing Owen wanted was his Playmobil vuh-vah! We found him his zebra, but then he found a book. I'm not sure how many Steve read to him before he got him into bed, very late and very tired.

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