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Journal Key:

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

9/29/11 (Thursday)

Owen woke up very happy this morning. He had refused, last night, to give up his hard plastic dinosaur toy, and when Steve and I went in there this morning he was sitting in his crib talking, very possibly to the dinosaur. He brought his dinosaur and his lion when he came out, and they all seemed to have a wonderful time. This evening, I put him down with his lion and the little purple plush hippo that Cara loved when she was little; I'm hoping for a little of the same magic!

Karen is a woman on a mission: she is very focused on convincing Owen that it's worth his while to point with his pointer fingers. Today, she brought finger paints. Owen sat in his high chair watching while we got things set up (he must have been very curious, because he's not a sit-in-the-high-chair type of guy). Cara and Karen started first, and Owen admitted that he wanted to try it, too, but he kept his hands very much to himself. Finally, he let me take his hand and hold it, with his pointer out, and dip it in the yellow paint. We made some smears. Did he want to do more? Uh-huh! We tried red and more yellow and blue.

Owen wanted his rhino, too, and the rhino tried some paint by sticking his face into it. Eventually a neigh-neigh got the same treatment. Owen also, very clearly, said "yellow" and "red." Karen tried for green, but we're sticking with the primaries for now, thanks.

When he was done and we'd cleaned him up and set him free, Owen wanted bunnies. To turn in into therapy, we gave him a snack trap of them. Karen took his hand and held his other fingers back so that he couldn't just jam his whole hand in, and Owen was able to get bunnies out with his thumb and pointer. After Karen had done that a few times, he would go and ask her for help when he wanted a bunny. After she left, he asked me.

Owen is fascinated by forks. He loves forks. At dinner, we have on occasion had to rip bread up into little pieces so that he can eat it with a fork. We had corn this evening, and for a bit it seemed that his plan was to knock it off the fork I had it on so that he could pick up the pieces with his hands. Mostly, though, he just worked on getting them, one by one, from the high chair tray to his fork and then either to his mouth or his lap.

9/30/11 (Friday)

This morning Owen was playing happily downstairs, and I heard him calling for Steve. I went down and found that he was in the playroom with the door almost closed! When I opened it he was pleased to see me. "Up, up!" he said. I was able to reconstruct the events of the past few minutes: he'd closed the door because he'd had to go behind it to get the big foam blocks that we keep there. (He refers to blocks as "up.") Then, there he'd been, with a door he couldn't open and a case of blocks that he couldn't open either! I unsnapped the blocks and we sat down to play.

10/1/11 (Saturday)

Gymnastics again today! (No class next week, sadly, as the place is closed for Yom Kippur.) Owen progresses every week. He was much more willing to be led through the circuits than on previous weeks, and the rolling and flips that we put him through were definitely fun for him. He did better on the trampoline as well, though he still hasn't made it through the "train ride" at the end. This is where all the kids are supposed to get onto a mat that's on the trampoline, and sit down, and the teacher makes it bounce along like they're on a train. Like some of the other kids, Owen tends to wander off the mat as soon as he's placed on it. I worry a little bit because all of the surfaces at the gym are so soft and cushy. It's easy for him to roll around and fall over there, so I hope it doesn't give him the idea that he can fall onto things in the outside world.

Today we went to Claire and Casie's house in Middletown and then went apple-picking! First me and the kids ended up in a field of pumpkins. Owen kept wandering around saying "Oh no!" He likes to say that a lot lately. In this context, I could only assume he was disturbed because some of the pumpkins were on their side instead of standing right-side-up. Then he found some tiny gourds: "Ball!" he said, and tried handing them to us. He understood right away when we got to the apple trees: "Apple! Apple!" Though he was not able to do any picking.

He had slept a little on the way to Claire's house, and he also fell asleep on our way back to her house after apple picking. We were able to keep him asleep when we got into the house, and he spent some extra time napping on Mommy in the living room. When he woke up, he was crabby, so we turned on Phineas and Ferb. Mommy and Cara left to go visit GiGi, and Owen and I stayed at the house with Claire, Casie, and a few other friends. Owen took a while to warm up but he eventually started his flirting techniques: smiling and hiding his face. He discovered that the kitchen and living areas were connected just like at Grandmama's house, so he spent some time wandering in circles, very content. Claire also cleverly made several batches of pigs-in-blankets. When they were just out of the oven and still somewhat hot, Owen force-fed me three or four. But then he started eating them himself and had a lovely time.

On the way home the kids had grapes to eat in the car, and they both stayed awake. Owen was awake and kicking when Mommy put him into a full-body set of dinosaur pajamas. When we showed him the dinosaur stitched onto his belly, he smiled a big smile and said "Rawr!" After I'd read a couple of books to him and put him in the crib, he spent quite a few minutes yacking away in his room, and I spent a few seconds complaining to Evelyn about whatever natural sugars are in grapes.

Another thing I should add: Owen is definitely working on putting words together to make sentences. He can say "Hi, Daddy!" and for some reason he was saying "Mommy, oh no!" today.

10/2/11 (Sunday)

Several of us here in the house would like to have our opinions heard: we think it is a bad idea to only nap for an hour and then spend the rest of the day complaining because you're tired. We will admit that we do not know everything, necessarily, and we concede that there might be other points of view, but we urge you, if you are someone who followed the short-nap-long-complaint path today, to reconsider! Also, please understand, if you are one of those people, that that is why you were put to bed early tonight and we hope that you enjoyed the 45 minutes that you spent chatting with yourself as much as we did.

10/3/11 (Monday)

Many of us seem to be happier now that we're back to the routine of the working week. The kids were good this morning. Cara reminded me that she had to brush her hair and her teeth, and went and did it. Owen was in a good mood. I sat him in his high chair and he noticed the bibs, so I put one on him and gave him a drink and a biscuit. “Bib, off,” he said, so off it came. He only took one bite out of his biscuit, so Cara ate the rest of it. He was sitting there saying “Wuh-wuh. Rhino. Nay-nay.” So I decided he wanted to go play downstairs.

Tonight was Taco Night, which was good for all of us except perhaps Owen; but he ended up eating a lot of fruit instead, and enjoyed himself. While in the bath, Owen got a big kick out of my pouring water out of his cup from a height. He would giggle and cackle and back himself into the stream of water, so that it would run down his back and sometimes tickle the back of his head.

Owen is learning that when there are no more books at bedtime, it's time for bed. The result is that he has a maniacal desire to read the same book over again as soon as we finish with it. Tonight he was very much stuck on a cushy Elmo book. It is about four pages long and consists of one sentence. After I put him down, he spent quite a long time in his room going on and on about "Mommy" or "Daddy." He's taken to saying something like "Ahh-Mommy" or "Ahh-Daddy." His nighttime chatting sessions seem to be part of his routine now.

10/4/11 (Tuesday)

Cara was upset when I came to get her at school today: she hadn't had a chance to start her homework yet. Fortunately, she finished it quickly when we got home. It involved her drawing two teams of soccer players and coloring them. She got a perfect score on a test, and her name is in the school newsletter because she won the reading challenge! Right now she is reading a book to Mommy.

Owen does look forward to his bath. When he's done in his high chair at dinnertime, he says "Wah-duh!" because he wants to get in the water in his tub. Unfortunately, he continues his routine of yammering on and on in his crib after he's been put down. He may finally be done now.

10/5/11 (Wednesday)

On Monday, Cara wanted me to take her and Owen to a park to play. It just wasn't happening, so I promised to leave work early today to take them. By five, the three of us were at the little park up the street. I remember Cara wanting to swing and swing and swing when she was little, but Owen isn't really into it. He had had enough of that in a few minutes; he could see the playground.

Owen is very confidently able to climb up the stairs and get to the top of the slide, and with some coaxing and some back and forth (he was distracted by a dog) he actually scooted over and went down the spiral slide by himself. I follow him up and Cara waits at the bottom. Once he'd done it that first time, he had no hesitation at all. He would climb up and scoot right onto the slide. He really wanted to climb up the slide, though, and he really pretty much can. Once he made it and Cara was there to meet him. She took him into her arms, but she was too far out and they slid back down together. Another time he almost made it but slipped at the very top and went down on his tummy (feet first). Cara had gone back to the swings at one point when he slid down, and he tried getting off by himself. He nearly did it, but then he fell face-down in the mulch. It was one of those times when the kid just gets dirty and not upset, though, so it was fine. I dusted him off, and he headed back for more.

He's also having an interesting relationship with the rubber borders around the mulched play areas. He likes to put one knee and both hands on them and "crawl" along. Then he sits on them. He can step over them but isn't quite strong enough or balanced enough or something to step up onto them. Anyway, he thinks it's all very funny.

Eventually, all good things must end. It was very, very sad when Cara and I had to make him leave the park.

Dinner was down the street tonight. The kids ate first; Em called them and we got PJ, Cara, and Casey settled and eating, and Em said to me, "You want to go get one more?" and I was like, "One more what?" Then I remembered and went downstairs to where Owen was happily playing by himself in their playroom. I had to drag him upstairs, but then he was very happy to eat. He ate blueberries and raspberries and red pepper and some chicken, and then he wanted more. At Ron's suggestion, I put a little bit of taco meat on his fork. Then more. Then more. Then more. We figure he ate the equivalent of a taco.

We brought them home around seven thirty, and I brought Owen upstairs. Steve brought up the box of bunny grahams, and Owen ate and ate and ate and ate. He got to eat some in the bath, even. He's not one to waste an opportunity.

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