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Journal Key:

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

10/20/11 (Thursday)

We went to the park for therapy again today, this time solely because Karen is an optimist; I thought it was chilly! It was very easy to get Owen to give up the book he was holding at YBR: when I asked whether he wanted to go play with Karen, he immediately handed it off to a teacher. Ready! We practiced some more on the stairs and the ramps and running in the grass, and Karen had brought some books, which Shanda showed Owen. She's getting to do more of the actual therapy now, I think. It was chilly, but it wasn't all bad at the park. Shanda and I both got distracted, at one point, by a very large bird flying among the trees, while Owen took off after Karen, who had gone to her car for a ball. We also chased squirrels with great dedication. Owen seems concerned when they go up trees. He may have gotten used to the idea, but then asked me to put him up a tree.

Our goal for the week is to start playing hide-and-seek with toys, encouraging him to say their names. We can also play this with Cara, encouraging him to say her name, too! All of this, minus the speech element, is basically what we used to do with Rusty down at Grandmom's house. It should be good fun.

My non-therapy goal is to encourage cleaning up, which I think they do at YBR. I have high hopes. He sort of did some cleaning up in the bath. I saw him putting his shapes into his lidless shape sorter with great dedication. Steve says that when he had them all he may have said "Oh-ee all done!" (He's been calling himself Oh-ee on the rare occasions on which he refers to himself. Lately it's been happening when he sees his refletion on some chrome in the bathroom.) Within thirty seconds he'd dumped them all out again.

10/22/11 (Saturday)

Gymnastics day! Owen did his circuits with the usual amount of success. They were the same circuits as last week, so we got to try the wheelbarrow again. The results were much the same, though I may have gotten Owen to kind of shuffle forward a little bit on his hands, instead of just standing there. He did quite well on the trampoline, in that he stayed there the whole time and let the teacher bounce him, and then stayed on for the "train ride" at the end. He even seemed to want it to continue, since he kept sitting on the mat after all the other kids climbed off.

He had a good nap (for a weekend day), and in the afternoon Aunt Claire visited! We all went out to a restaurant. Even with a good nap in him, Owen seemed pretty tuckered. Towards the end of the meal, instead of getting tired of being in the high chair, Owen kept leaning over onto me and hugging my arm. It was a nice change.

10/23/11 (Sunday)

"GiGi," said Owen, "GiGi." We had just pulled up in Shadow Lake, outside of GiGi's building, which Owen has seen twice before. GiGi started hospice this week, and I'm trying to make sure the kids see her every weekend. She was actually outside taking out the trash when we walked up, which was nice. This was the longest that the kids have spent at GiGi's house since Owen was a baby, so there was a lot of exploration. They found two matchbox cars, a little wooden toy train ornament, and (it took them a surprisingly long time) the giant ficus tree. There are a lot of delicate things around, and every few minutes we found something else to tell Owen to be gentle with. The worst he did, though, was to spill some water and pull some leaves off of the tree. He brought most of those to GiGi. He helped wipe up the water.

Cara wanted to play hide-and-seek, which turned out to be a great idea. Owen and I counted. He didn't actually stay with me while I counted, but it wasn't as if his head start would give him an unfair advantage. GiGi started messing with the blankets on the couch, and I thought she was going to lie down. Instead, she put a blanket over her head and hid for Owen. The first time I had to help him find her, but after that he would go right over and pull on the blanket. Cara was a more unpredictable hider; once I actually needed GiGi to tell me where she was. After the third or fourth time around, GiGi moved from the couch to the loveseat. I counted, and off we went. Where's GiGi? Owen stood gazing at the couch, bewildered. It took some hints and then GiGi actually calling him before he went and "found" her.

We stayed for a couple of hours, long enough to tucker GiGi and possibly Owen out. Our next stop was Whole Foods, where we met Aunt Claire for dinner. We ate there, sitting in a semicircular booth. Owen enjoyed the bench to the utmost extent that it was possible to enjoy it. He was not actually able to climb over the back, but he sure thought about it. He did also eat a little. After we were done, Claire took the kids for a walk while I cleaned up. There were a lot of plastic forks under the table, for one thing. Cara came back, and Owen took Claire for more fun. When everything was tidy, Cara and I went to look for them. We couldn't find them. Eventually, we saw them coming back, Claire having had to manually extract Owen from the store. He had found the greeting card section, she said, and had started to take them all out, apparently under the impression that they were books. Yep. While Claire bought some mums, our original purpose for the expedition, I got Owen into his pajamas. He was very much asleep when we got home.

10/24/11 (Monday)

Tonight was breakfast-for-dinner. Owen ate eggs and pancakes and he really liked bacon. A scene, from the end of dinner.

Owen: Bye-bye!

Me: All done? (He's taken to saying bye-bye instead, which I'm trying to get him to stop doing.)

Owen: All done!!!!

Me: Do you want this? (I pointed out a piece of bacon on his tray. Why? I wanted to keep eating a little.)

Owen: (grabs bacon) All done!

Me: All done? Then put down the bacon.

Owen: (looks at bacon. takes a bite.) All done!

Me: Ok, just give me the bacon. You won't be old enough to walk around the house with bacon until you're . . .thirteen.

Cara: I think this age!

Owen: All done! (waves bacon)

Me: Will you give me the bacon?

Owen: (looks at bacon. holds it behind his head--not to hide it, but just because that's what he does.) All done! (takes a bite.)

Me: Look, Owen. (I took the tiny piece of bacon that was left on the platter, and I popped it into my mouth.)

Owen: (pops his bacon into his mouth, gleefully)

Steve: Ok, Buddy. (takes Owen out)

Owen: (reaching for platter) More!!!!

10/25/11 (Tuesday)

Lately I've been thinking about the If You Give a Mouse a Cookie books. After dinner I brought Owen downstairs to play. When Steve had brought him up, he'd been screaming about playing with his blocks. We got out the blocks, and he happily started to mess with them. Then he noticed Cara's building set nearby, and he got that out. He found a purple dowel in there, and that made him think of the colored pencils. He brought it across the room and tried to put it in the bag with them. Then he got out some colored pencils and when Steve and Cara joined us we had to draw for a while. Next, Owen started talking about Mat-man and I found the little Batman figure, who was attacked repeatedly by colored pencils.

10/26/11 (Wednesday)

Cara had no school today because of Diwali, so she was home with Steve. When I got home, around 4:30, we went and got Owen and all four of us went to the Donaldson Park. Cara was thrilled to try everything out, and Owen was thrilled to sit on a platform and look at a very small book for about ten minutes. He really liked that platform. Once he got off, he ran around and then, oddly, stayed on a swing for at least five minutes, a new record for him. He definitely remembers the playground and knows where things are.

We headed home in time to go over to the Loefflers' for Ron's birthday! Owen proved us wrong at dinner by enjoying pasta with gusto. He really feels comfortable with them, which is nice to see. He likes to have Em or Ron help him with his fork sometimes. My favorite part of the night was after dinner, when PJ and Owen were downstairs on their own. Owen was putting on a tiara, upside down, while PJ held a little pink mirror up to his face for him. The tiara became Owen's favorite toy for the rest of the night.

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