Green = Steve | George = navy | Janet = Purple | Evelyn = Black
It was Cara's big summer camp show this afternoon! Evelyn and myself and Grandmama came to see it. PJ and Cara did their song-and-dance number from Aristocats, "Everybody Wants to Be a Cat." Having seen Cara diligently "practicing" her number for weeks, it was a little funny to finally see her, since pretty much all she had to do was walk around the boy cats in a circle and pretend to snap her fingers (or possibly swing her tail). But she was very cute and did a great job.
Afterwards, there was a fair of sorts at the college, and Janet and I led Cara around to various stations. She was wearing a Hello Kitty shirt, so the face painting woman cleverly painted a bow on Cara's forehead like Hello Kitty (Cara already had whiskers painted on her face for the show). The girl got to make a Froot Loops necklace, got a tattoo on her hand, decorated a foam door hanger, had an ice pop, popcorn, lemonade, saw little animals (but didn't go in to pet them like she could have), and determinedly refused to go on a pony ride. By this time, it was only about an hour after her show, but we had seen it all, and so went home.
Even after all this, our action-packed day was not done. Owen had his therapy session and Cara and Mommy went off to Cara's dance class (they are rehearsing for her recital). Karen worked with Owen on climbing up and down stairs and on pointing at things. As it worked out, we would force Owen's hand into a pointing pose, and make him point at things in books. Eventually, when he was tired of being manhandled in this way, Owen would shout "Yay!!" and close the book. Then we would make him climb up and down some inverted bins and tape-wrapped phone books that Karen brought. He did a very good job, though he was still holding onto one or the other of us for support. Karen also had a pole that Owen had to step over--this he seemed to like better than the improvised steps. We were both pretty sure we heard him say the word "over."
After his session, Owen and I hung around the house. There was a whole lot of book-reading, and then we had a fun tub. When Owen holds up the clear plastic container we use to rinse him in the tub, he can look through the bottom. If I put my face on the other side, it is very funny. It turns out that if I stick my mouth right there, it is very funny. It's also very funny when we dump water out of the cup very quickly. It's also very funny if I pretend to sneeze out a piece of his pajamas. There was a lot more reading, including "Ham!" (which he's definitely getting bored with, since that one ended quickly) and "Go!" (which we still go all the way through).
One of the signs that we've all been working on with Owen is having him tap his chest, indicating, depending on the circumstances and who is talking, "I want," "please," "give me," or "my turn." Today, Owen sat in his high chair with some of his Playmobil animals on the tray. He tapped his chest and indicated them, and Steve is pretty sure he said, "mine."
I've been reading him The Big Honey Hunt, a Berenstain Bears book which I have to say I read better than Steve does. (It's one of perhaps four books of which I can say that.) He says "honey!" He's got a few other books in which bears eat honey. Yesterday I let him try some honey on a spoon. It was unclear what he thought about it.
Grandmom and Grandpop came up today, and one thing Grandmom did was to sing some songs with Owen. Owen likes the part in "The Wheels on the Bus" where the horn goes beep. "Beep! Beep!" says Owen, beeping his imaginary horn. Later, I found him in the playroom alone. He was sitting on the Elmo couch, and he'd gotten out our Wheels on the Bus book. He was sitting there by himself, turning the pages and going "beep!" He did also make the lights blink when he got to that page, but otherwise it was a lot of beeping.
I took the kids to the park for the first time in quite a while. The last time Owen was there he bloodied his nose twice going up the stairs to the slide! This time he's older, of course, and steadier, and he was very driven. Once he found the bottom of the stairs, he crawled straight up, up, up, hands slapping away at the stairs, not pausing to look around, right to the top of the slide, where he sat down and scooted himself off and down! Cara was very helpfully at the bottom to catch him, but it took him a long time to get down. He wasn't in a hurry, once he'd gotten started. He loved it; he went around several times. Each time he tried to climb back up the slide afterwards, with very little success, even after Cara showed him how.
The kids and I went to the twins' birthday party today at a Chuck E Cheese down around Princeton. Cara liked playing games and climbing around, and Owen liked walking around waving tickets in the air. Just as they've been sharing kids' meals at other restaurants, they shared lunch. Cara had her two pieces of pizza and one of Owen's. He astonished me by sitting in his high chair like a big boy (is that a contradiction in terms?) and behaving throughout the meal; I was able to walk away! He ate his pizza and watched everything. After lunch he went back to walking around. There was a big clear cylinder that birthday kids got to stand in for thirty seconds while tickets swirled in the air around them and they grabbed whatever they could. Owen really liked the cylinder and kept walking around it and mashing his face on it. He also walked around with a sippy cup for a while and then with the souvenir Chuck E cup that he got and then with his goodie bag that had a balloon tied to it. It was a good party!
In the afternoon, Cara and Owen went to play at PJ and Casey's house while Steve and I went out. Poor Em! Poor Owen had only napped briefly in the car going to and from the party. He was inconsolable for half an hour after we left. Then he was fine! He was happy to see us, though, when we got back. We parked the car in their driveway, because it was raining. It was pouring when we came out, and we got drenched just between their front door and the car. I popped Owen into his seat, exhausted and wet. "Book!" he cried, as I buckled him in. Steve drove once around the block, so that Owen could read.
According to Miss Sandi, today Owen called the seeing eye dog by his name, Tad. According to me, when we got home and Owen saw his stroller in the dining room, he went over to it saying "ride, ride!" He really wanted a ride. Cara and I convinced him to just come play outside. He brought his Playmobil horse, his "neigh-neigh." We went out with some balls, the horse, and a jump rope and had a great time. Owen walked all the way up the hill to the wall without falling more than once, and once he even walked down by himself. He liked to throw his neigh-neigh and then go get it. Once he threw it and then almost fell over because he was putting his head so far to the side. He was making what I thought were pig noises, but then I realized that he meant that the horse was sleeping. Cara did a lot of funny tricks with the balls, which Owen loved; he's a wonderful audience for her, though he doesn't always pay attention when she wants him to. He does think she's pretty amazing.
Owen and I went back inside to get his zebra, but he decided that what he really wanted was a "ride!" So I put him in the stroller and took him out. On the way out, he dropped his "vuh-vuh" because he saw some "boo-ts" on the floor. I took him outside in the stroller, and he sat and read a board book about farm animals.
I took over Owen's bedtime routine after his bath, and it's pretty obvious that he's growing up. I wanted to sit with him in the glider and read while he had his bottle. We sat down with the Billy Goats Gruff, which I'd just read and he wanted again. He shook his head at the sippy cup, refusing to even start the real bedtime portion of the evening. More books! He carefully put down the Billy Goats on the ottoman and said "George!" Curious George Goes Fishing was on the dresser, sure enough, and we read that and then the Billy Goats again. He was thinking of some Ham next, but, honestly, it was eight o'clock and enough was enough. After I turned the lights down, he was perfectly ready to take his sippy and snuggle.
What an exciting day! Miss Sandi called me mid-morning to report that Owen and Zachy had been involved in a head-bumping incident on the way in from the playground, where they had had a lovely time. Owen had "an egg" on his head, which she was attempting to ice. The other car was undamaged. Around quarter to two, we had an earthquake! I was on the couch and wasn't sure whether I was crazy or the house was going to dramatically fall into the gully or what. Cara, PJ, and Casey were upstairs and didn't notice a thing! I opted not to go into Cara's room and ask the kids whether there had been an earthquake. Fortunately, Ron came down the street. At YBR, Miss Sandi reports, they got to practice their evacuation procedures, which went well except that she thinks she drove all the teachers crazy by randomly yelling out, "How many children are in the building?!"
Cara and I got to YBR around five to get Owen. The toddlers had just gone out to the playground. We got a lovely greeting. When he finally noticed that we were there, Owen was as glad to see us as the other kids had been. He came over to say hi, carrying a toy camel. "Humph, humph!" I put down my arms to pick him up. He shook his head and walked away. This went on for a good ten minutes, until I finally just had to pick him up and take him. Before we got back inside, he'd become accustomed to the idea.
We had a mid-week Family Fun Night at the mall. Steve got there very soon after we did, and we met in Tiny Town. It's only a couple of weeks, I think, since we've been there, but what a difference! Owen was almost completely independent. He walked off on his own, he was able to go up stairs (crawling) and down slides and under arches. Steve and I actually got to sit down and watch as Owen and Cara played all over the place. She was wonderful. She mostly stayed with him and kept an eye on him, and when he toppled over at the bottoms of slides, as he sometimes did, she was there to right him. He loves playing with her. She got some nice hugs, mostly in the form of head-butts. One thing Owen got a huge kick out of was going back and forth under one of the slides, which is shaped like a bridge. He mostly crawled, but he also did some scooting, which several people found very funny. Interestingly, he scooted through backwards at least once.
After dinner, we went to play in a courtyard with a fountain. For the first time, Owen really got the idea of throwing pennies into a fountain. One, two, three!
We left the mall in two cars, the kids going with Steve. We pulled out at the same time, and all I could see of Owen was the big book he was holding up to read in the car. At home, it was after eight. I took him upstairs with The Little Red Hen and his sippy. He wouldn't take the milk. I read him a quick version of the book, and he picked up The Billy Goats Gruff. I read a very quick version of that. I offered him his milk again. "Ah-da! Ah-Da! M-aa-aaaa! M-aa-aaa!" He wanted the goats again. I cracked up and waited until he aquiesced and took the milk instead.
We went to the Loefflers' for playdate. We'd left the booster seat at home, so Owen sat on a big chair. Actually, he mostly stood on it while he took food from his plate. After dinner, he walked around playing. I was in the kitchen talking to Em, and Owen kept walking in, "Mommy, Mommy, Mommy, Mommy!" I'd pick him up and snuggle him a little, and then he'd leave. Then he'd come back and we'd repeat. Eventually I started to wonder what was up. What did he need that I wasn't providing him? Oh. It was ten of eight. Yeah. I took him home and (with much reading) put him down.