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Journal Key:

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

10/6/11 (Thursday)

Going to the park for physical therapy today was a lot of fun. Owen was excited to see Karen and the student therapist who's working with her for the time being, and he was very excited to be back at the park. He did not want to swing. He wanted to slide. Instead of crawling up the stairs as he had yesterday, Owen had to walk up them. Shanda, the other therapist, took his hands. They walked up together, and then down Owen slid--whee! At the bottom, Karen worked with him on how to get off of the slide. After a few times, she showed him that he should roll over and get off backwards. That would be very safe and convenient, but I don't think that's what he'll automatically do on his own next time. He likes to slide off frontwards. It's not something he's particularly proficient at.

Owen also got to walk on top of the rubber border around the play area, holding Shanda's hands. When we went back to the stairs, Owen got distracted by little bits of mulch on the platform. Karen noted that when he picked them up, he was using just his index finger and thumb and just the tips of both; this was an improvement over what he's been doing before. He busily put the tiny bits through the holes in the floor, like a very tiny shape sorter. That was another good game.

It was very sad when Karen and Shanda had to go. Owen would not say good-bye, but just stared after them. We were left with two goals for this week. We're going to make sure to help him walk up stairs more. We've sort of let that go, since we've been working on other things, but it's time to get back to it. The other job we have is to try stretching out Owen's index fingers when he's asleep. I have to sneak into his room tonight and try them, to see how easy it is to straighten out those fingers when no one is fighting me. If it goes well, I should try stretching them for a bit every night.

It was a day of great exertion and excitement: Owen seemed tired at the park, but then we got Cara and came home and she wanted to take a walk. Up the street Owen got to see and talk to a dog, because one of the neighbors was out. We walked over to the house on Woerner that does a haunted house for Halloween, because they had their inflatable decorations up already. Owen was excited to see a neigh-neigh; Cara wanted to teach him to say "skeleton" because that's what the coachman was. Owen ate a very, very good dinner, and then he had a quick bath. He was tired. I put him down on the floor in his diaper, figuring he'd run around a little and dry off more before I put his jammies on him. Instead, he snuggled on the floor on his towel with a teddy bear.

It's kind of good that I have to sneak into his room, because I let him take Rock-a-bye Farm to bed.

10/7/11 (Friday)

Robin says that Owen did a great job today. She says that he understands everything: she asked him about his duck and he went over to the bulletin board and pointed out the duck that he had made yesterday; he also showed her a poster of a duck. I think that's pretty cool, because I hadn't really thought that he had much connection to the art projects that they do with him. I guess he feels some pride and ownership!

We ended up (due to Steve's sarcasm and Cara's enthusiasm) getting Taco Bell for dinner for Family Fun Night. Owen ate taco meat from a fork, neatly using his fingers to pick off any stray lettuce that clung to it and dropping the lettuce off the side of his high chair.

He had two rhino toys with him when I was reading to him upstairs, and I let him take them to bed. I put him down on his tummy. With one rhino in each hand, he snuggled his face into his toy lion to cuddle to sleep.

10/8/11 (Saturday)

Grandmom and Grandpop came up today--when they came in the door Owen assumed that it was Daddy coming in, even though Daddy was upstairs. I wonder whether he'd have understood if I'd told him in advance that they were coming. Anyway, he warmed up to them pretty fast, and soon he was playing an amazingly funny game with Janet and me. It consisted of us sitting in the playroom while he walked into the dining room and then came back in and then walked out again and came back in! It doesn't get much better than that.

He had a good lunch, insisting that Grandpop, not Mommy, load his fork for him. Grandpop then got to read to him before his nap, though I did have to administer a final book and complete the put-down process. After his nap, Owen was relieved that company had not left. We did some more walking around and a lot of snacking, and we played with cars.

Owen seems to have started counting. That is, he can count to one. "One," he'll say, putting down a toy, and then, "one," putting down another. He sounds exactly as if he meant it. I've actually heard him say "two," but that's pretty rare. He definitely can say three, though.

Owen was disappointed when everyone left, but I took him and Cara to the park and I think he finally got his fill of the playground. I took his hands and made him walk up the stairs every time, and he went down the slide a lot. He went down the straight metal slide a couple of times, with me catching him as soon as I could reach him to keep him in control. He's a little daunted by that slide, having gotten scared by it a few days ago. He walked around a lot and we played with a ball we'd brought. It got crowded, eventually, and there was a two-year-old girl there. "Baby," Owen said. I asked him whether he was a baby, too. "Uh-huh."

Later, I asked him whether Cara was a baby. I don't think he'd thought about that before. He seemed noncommittal.

10/9/11 (Sunday)

We asked Owen this morning whether he wanted to go see GiGi. "Uh-huh," he said, "GiGi." Then he went and pushed on the front door, crying. It had been kind of a screamy morning.

Fortunately, he felt a lot better after a nice nap in the car. Cara got out a lot of mardi gras beads, and Owen loved playing with them. He'd put them on and then have to ask for help to take them off. He put them onto toys. He walked around with them and gave them to people. There were green ones and yellow ones, and Aunt Claire was surprised to find out that Owen could say "yellow." He seemed to even know which ones were yellow, which surprised me.

While Grandpapa, Cara, and Steve were out at the store, Claire, Owen, and I went to pick up GiGi. Owen brought a book from Grandmama's house, which kept him very happy in the car. We brought him into GiGi's house, where he was a little shy and looked around solemnly at everything. He liked her collection of elephants, and she opened up the breakfront to give him one. He got a ceramic elephant that Claire made when she was a kid, so it has a lot of history.

It was time for lunch when we got back to the house. Owen sat in his high chair and played peek-a-boo with everyone while acting as a seemingly bottomless pit for tomatoes and peaches. After lunch, we went outside to sit in the shade and play bubbles. I was kind of surprised that we had to forcefully tell Owen that bubble solution is yucky and that he shouldn't be putting it into his mouth. We had to tell him several times.

It was a nice warm day, so Cara wanted the pool. We compromised by getting out an old Backyardigans sprinkler, which both kids loved. Owen kept walking up to it, getting wet, and hurrying away, laughing, then going back. I saw him standing there with a stream hitting him in the chest, laughing and clapping his hands in the water. He ended up drenched from head to foot and plastered with grass because he was so tuckered out that he was falling down. Then he decided that it was fun and started falling down on purpose in the grass, which we who were interested in getting him clean and dry really appreciated. Eventually we stripped him down and Cara used a nice gentle spray nozzle on the hose to wash him off while I warssled him to keep him out of the grass. He was not happy about going inside. (Once he was inside and was dry and dressed and playing, he was fine!)

We dropped GiGi off on our way home, and all four of us went in. Of course, Owen remembers that the glass door of the breakfront opens. I don't think he knows that about my curio cabinet. GiGi gave Cara a wooden mushroom from Krakow.

After a busy day of odd car-naps and exciting playtime (PJ and Casey came over in the evening to be baby-sat), Owen is up in his crib, talking to his Elmo and Zoe books. Daycare providers have said that Monday tends to be a tough day, because the kids are all tired from the weekend. In this case, I can see why!

10/10/11 (Monday)

Owen chatted in his crib for a little while before I went up to get him this morning. It's pretty dark in his room, so I couldn't see him and had to sort of listen for where he was. When I picked him up, it turned out that he had his lion with him. I turned the light on, and he immediately told me (by growling and reaching) that he wanted his bear, too. The four of us went downstairs, where our numbers were immediately swelled by Owen's two rhinos and then by a bunny puppet who was forced to give a lot of forceful hugs, just like the toy Santa who lives in the playroom.

We got home around six. There were two or three deer across from PJ's house, and we tried to point them out to Owen. He may or may not have seen them, but he did say "deer." Steve's car was at the house already, which of course we were excited about. "Daddy," said Owen, and then, "home."

Yes, we were excited that Steve was there, and Cara went right inside. Owen and I, though, went toddling over to see Juliana. Owen went right over to her and asked her about her bunny. Then he wandered happily around while we chatted. He found something in the driveway and brought it over, holding it out. I offered to take it. It looked kind of odd. He brought it to Juliana, though. It turned out to be a giant dead bee, possibly a hornet. He was able to identify it as a bee. He came back to see it several times and said, "oh no." I'm not sure whether that was because it was a bee or because of its state of health. I did suggest that it might be sleeping.

Last week, at the park, (I forgot to mention) Owen had a stick and broke it. Then he asked Karen for help to fix it. I'm glad he didn't want help with his bee.

10/11/11 (Tuesday)

Like yesterday, the kids and I got home a little after six and Steve was already here. Owen, though, was not ready to go inside. He was ready to go see Juliana. He made me put him down and started off in that direction, with me and Cara both calling him back. She went after him and caught him right at Juliana's driveway, picking him up and turning him around. She gradually coaxed him into walking back with her, but soon she bounded ahead, he stopped, and he did an about-face.

Juliana, it turned out, was across the street visiting a neighbor. She called Owen, and he lit up. We walked right over. The neighbor gave him a packet of cheese and crackers, which he liked very much, and he got to pet a kitty and show off for some ladies.

Juliana is thinking, and I'm thinking so, too, that she is going to have to make sure she's outside every evening now.

10/12/11 (Wednesday)

It was rainy, and Juliana was not outside. I carried Owen in, and once he had realized what had happened he was not pleased. Fortunately, PJ, Casey, Em, and Ron came over very soon. They were an excellent distraction.

I ended up giving Owen his bath this evening, and I am pretty sure that there was something funny about the water that made it naturally more splashy than usual.

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