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Journal Key:

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

9/15/11 (Thursday)

Owen was very glad to have Karen here today, after she came to YBR last week. He waited so close to the door that she could barely get in, and he got out all sorts of things to show her. We worked on putting words together to make little sentences; Karen's favorite was "neigh-neigh hop." I think he knows a lot of words that we can help him put together. I told Karen that Owen had called Steve on the phone last week, and a minute later Owen had gotten his phone toy out and was saying "al-llo!" Karen worked on getting him to say, "Hi, Daddy!" I told her about his gymnastics class, and we decided to work on his jumping. She was actually impressed by what he can do already: basically he bounces, sticking his little tush out behind and bobbing up. He sort of goes up on his toes sometimes. We took him upstairs and let him bounce on the bed. When we decided to do that, I hadn't taken into account his penchant for collapsing on his face on soft things. He did some almost-jumping, when he would let us hold him, but he also got to rub his face a lot.

We don't really put bibs on Owen anymore, but we still have them in a basket by the high chair. We use them to wipe things up. One was sitting on his tray when Steve put him in for dinner, and Steve took it to put it in the wash. "Biiib!" cried Owen. We gave him another, but it didn't seem to be as wonderful. We were getting done eating when Owen said, "wah-du! wah-du!" He had some in a cup, but that wasn't what he wanted. He was done. He wanted his bath, which I suspect he remembers that he didn't get last night, though he heard water running and went into the bathroom. He got a good bath tonight.

9/18/11 (Sunday)

It's been a busy weekend and coincidentally I also accidentally let our domain expire, so there was no journal yesterday for two reasons! On Saturday morning Owen had his second gymnastics session. The two of us both knew a little bit better what to expect. For Owen, mostly what he seemed to remember was eating a lot of mum-mums before class began, because almost as soon as we got into the building, that's what he started talking about. This time one of his "circuits" involved walking over a sort of wooden ladder laid on the ground--he had to place his feet between the slats. When I held his hands, he did this very well! The teacher and I also managed to make him do a forward roll a couple of times--after two of those, he still couldn't decide whether it was really a lot of fun or whether he should be crying. There was also a part of a circuit where the teacher suggested we have the children throw a rubber frog into a barrel. Sounds a little weird, right? Anyway, instead of doing that, Owen wanted his frog to go down the slide. He also wanted to carry his frog everywhere. I did convince him to put it into the barrel, but he wanted right out again. The most fun he had was with a sort of polygonal-shaped, thick mat. The children were supposed to get onto it and walk around the rim, but what Owen enjoyed doing was getting into the hollow middle part and sitting there, very pleased with himself.

The big trampoline was still not fun for him, but he consented to bounce on it a few times and was less traumatized than on his first visit. We are both of us having fun with it.

Saturday afternoon we went down to Middletown and left both kids with Grandmama and Grandpapa. Owen was lured upstairs so that Mommy and Daddy could quietly slip out the back way without him noticing--it was all so secretive that Cara was asked to go up to Grandmama and let her know that "m-o-m and d-a-d had l-e-f-t." We heard afterwards that Owen had a wonderful time, and he was not even all that desperate to tell us about it when we returned. He just wanted to show us a baa-baa he had found.

Today, I took Owen to the grocery store in the morning. Mostly what I remember was having to constantly feed him cereal bars the whole trip, out of a box I'd taken off the shelves while he was watching. By the time we got back home, Cara had returned from having had a sleepover, and we got ourselves going again, this time down south to see Grandmom and Grandpop. Owen had a blast, because first of all he got to see Rusty, the Greatest Animal That Ever Lived. Secondly, he got to visit with the small bunny lawn ornament in the back yard ("Munny! Munny! Munny! Munny!" and so on, and so on...). Thirdly, he got to play with Fisher-Price animal toys. We discovered, incidentally, that he suddenly says "Moo-moo" to refer to a cow! (Though it sounds more like "mow-mow.")

On the way home in the evening, we decided to feed ourselves at a diner. It was not busy and we were seated in an entirely empty section, where Owen was so loud talking about the owl in his book ("Whoooooo! Whooooo!"), yelling "Mommy!" "Daddy!" and "Elmo!", and various other exclamations, that I'm sure they heard him back in the kitchen. After managing to eat a pretty good dinner, he wanted "up" and out of his high chair, and spent the end of the visit wandering around our section of the diner, occasionally venturing out to check on other tables.

9/19/11 (Monday)

Poor Owen's sick! Miss Sandi gave him Tylenol and he was feeling pretty perky when I got there to get him this afternoon, though. We got Cara and came home, but Juliana was outside and Cara brought out the chalk, so we all hung out on the sidewalk. Owen was very busy making a mess. Once in a while he'd say "help" and hand a piece of chalk to Juliana. Cara made a very elaborate Halloween scene. We spent almost an hour out there. Owen got chalk all over his hands and pants, and he took a few very short walks, and he climbed up and down the hill and the wall. By the end, though, he was clearly tired. He just sort of sat there for a while.

I brought him inside, but he wasn't happy. He cried. He went to the door. "Outside!" he said. I was impressed, so I took him out a little more, but then I dragged him back in for good. He had a not-so-bad evening, for a sick little boy. There were some needy, cuddly periods, but he also sat with us for dinner and had a nice bath and played with Cara.

The exciting adventure: I forgot to give him more Tylenol before bed!

9/20/11 (Tuesday)

Owen and I had a mostly very nice day at home. He woke up hot in the night and we gave him Tylenol, but when he woke up in the morning he was normal. We hung out here for most of the morning, but then we actually went out to Target, where we were able to pick up a lot of things we really needed and where we also enacted a very absurd scene in which I attempted to buy Owen a pillow pet. I figured it made sense to get him one, because he keeps wanting Cara's and she keeps objecting. We found the pillow pet display, which was pretty heavily weighted towards people who wanted pink unicorns. There was a red dragon and there were a couple of sort of mottled T-rex-type things. I offered those to Owen, who did not want them. "Rhino," he said. There were no rhinos. "Hippo," he said. There was a large lavendar hippo. I offered it to him. "No." I offered him several things that I thought he might think were hippos or rhinos. I offered him several small pillow pets that were recognizable as animals that he likes: a monkey, a dog, etc. "No." I felt as if I were standing there trying to convince him to eat candy and he wouldn't! We must have been there for five minutes, considering our options. Eventually we gave up and left. "Hippo . . . " he said, wistfully, looking back.

He really was himself, playing happily and eating well and trying to get to stay up longer before his nap, but Owen woke up unhappy and hit 102 in the afternoon. Once his Tylenol took effect, he was fine again! We had to rush around a bit in the evening because I was going to Back to School at Lindeneau. While I was making dinner, Owen brought me Sammy the Seal. I asked Cara for help, and she brought him out to the living room, sat with him on the couch, and narrated the book for him. I'm not sure how much she was reading and how much she paraphrased, but it was pretty great. Then she got him set up with another book to look at and went back to whatever it was she had been doing.

9/21/11 (Wednesday)

Steve called me from upstairs while he was giving Owen a bath. "Ah-vie! Ah-vie!" echoed Owen.

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