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Journal Key:

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

10/27/11 (Thursday)

Tonight is evening conferences and Mommy is out. I was all set to take the kids to Wendy's, but after a discussion of the pros and cons of various options with Cara, we ended up staying at home and eating leftovers. Cara was perfectly happy and Owen had some ham and apple, both of which have the advantage of being words that he can say. I coaxed him up to the bathroom, where he seemed totally prepared to step into the tub with all of his clothes (including a jacket and shoes and socks) on. I managed to get his clothes off first, however. I left him for a moment with the tub running, and while I was down the hall I heard the noise of water running change perceptibly, and some noises of unhappiness from Owen. It turned out that he had accidentally found out how the shower worked! I rescued him and, after I convinced him that the water was off and that wouldn't happen to him again, he quickly forgot about it and had a very nice bath. I used a wash cloth on his face, and so let him have a cloth. He loves putting it around his neck like a sort of neckerchief: "On!" and smashing it into the water, which is an incredibly splashy thing to do.

Afterwards, Cara offered to read Owen a book while I dressed him, and started reading a Bob the Builder book. "Bop!" said Owen. Then he started saying something else, over and over. I realized it was "Hi Bob! Hi Bob!"

10/28/11 (Friday)

Therapy was good yesterday. We started trying to show Owen how to get onto the couch by himself, without anything to step on. He has to sort of put one entire leg up there, and then we cue him to shift his weight off of his other leg. Honestly, I just don't think he's tall enough. I'm willing to keep trying, though! Karen also encouraged us to use signs for "eat" and "milk," accompanied by the words, to encourage him to communicate those ideas, either through sign or just by saying them. I think, now that I've been working on "eat" for a whole day, that he does say "eat." I think he says a lot of things that aren't on the list.

At dinner I was the only one Owen wanted to load his fork, and Steve thought maybe it was just because Owen hasn't seen me as much lately since I was out last night. Steve doesn't recognize the skills. We're finding that while Owen doesn't always eat the things we want him to eat, he does try new things when they're things he sees other people eating. He gets jealous. Tonight was hot dog night. Owen ate one and a half hot dogs, part of a bun, some tortilla chips, and some sauerkraut. He insisted that he liked it. It may or may not have gradually dawned on him that he did not. He picked a little piece up off his tray when he was just about done eating, put it into his mouth, and started saying "out." Now that I think about it, that might have just meant he wanted to get out.

We've been getting suspicious lately, and tonight I think confirms something. In the past few months, I've explained to Cara that we sometimes spell things or otherwise avoid saying certain things in front of Owen. In particular, we didn't want to say "Dad" when we were almost home in the evening, because he would start expecting him. Cara took readily to the idea of spelling it, but she may have been too enthusiastic. She would sometimes chant "D-a-D! D-a-D!" I think that that is why Owen is up in his crib, babbling away to himself, saying "D-a-D!"

10/29/11 (Saturday)

Another gymnastics Saturday. Owen had a good time again, and gets more confident every week. This week we had a hand stand, which I knew he would enjoy, because it seems to be what he really wants out of the wheelbarrow. He really likes the "train ride" on the trampoline, and this week he climbed right onto the mat and sat there happily for the whole thing.

For lunch, Owen fed himself yogurt. A lot of yogurt. He was drippy enough afterwards that Evelyn took off his shirt. Then, when it turned out he still wanted yogurt, I found him in his high chair, shirtless, wearing a bib and continuing to feed himself yogurt.

This afternoon we had Casey and PJ over while Em prepared a surprise party for Ron. It was snowing, also, and Cara had gone outside earlier to make a "snowcat." The kids went out sledding and Owen had to go out with them. He seemed to be rather nonplussed by the actual experience of being outside in the cold and wet, but I don't think he would have wanted to be inside. He got a few rides on the sled before we took him back inside. When I explained to him that we had to go out again to go see Ron and Em, he started saying both of their names, especially "Ron."

10/30/11 (Sunday)

It's just occurred to me that I ought to send Owen's costume with him to school tomorrow.

Owen usually has lunch between eleven and twelve and then we put him down for his nap. Today, Grandmom and Grandpop came up and we deviated from our routine. Owen was in a very good mood, sitting with Grandpop and dropping an impressive number of pens onto the floor, and we decided to try something we haven't done in a long time: we took him out to lunch. He did well at the restaurant, and then on the way home he was still so happy that we felt guilty putting him down and making him miss the rest of the visit, so we let him stay up. It must have been two o'clock when I finally put him in his crib.

He had had a really good pre-nap day, but when Owen woke up we saw the down-side to throwing routine out the window. He was a very unhappy person for quite a while. What he really wanted was to be with Steve and to just keep on screaming. I was surprised that he didn't stop as soon as PJ and Casey came over. He did wind down eventually.

We babysat PJ and Casey again, and the four kids had fun. One game the older kids played involved taking turns getting on hands and knees on the arms of our couch and loveseat to make a bridge between them while someone else crawled underneath. Then showed Owen what to do and let him have a turn walking through. On the way back, with poor PJ making a bridge in the air above him, Owen decided to crawl. To crawl very slowly. To stop occasionally to look around.

When it was time for dinner, the three older kids came running in. We got them settled and then looked around for Owen. He wasn't in the living room. I went downstairs and Steve went upstairs. He was up in Cara's room, happily playing with the princess castle and the dragons that the kids had left out.

10/31/11 (Monday) - Happy Halloween!

We were all very excited about Halloween today. Cara got to trick-or-treat at school, and had her parade. And they probably got Owen into his costume at YBR and took some pictures. When the kids got home, Cara was much to excited too eat much of her dinner.

Owen didn't really know what was going on, so we told him he had to go get dressed up so he could see Em and Ron. Then he started wandering around the downstairs, saying "Em, Ron; Em, Ron; Em Ron," without stop. We really didn't think he would wear his Yoda ears for very long, because he seldom wants to keep anything on his head. What might have helped was that we gave him his lightsaber ("wee-wee;" yes, I know, but that's the sound it makes!), and he really latched onto it. I thought maybe it would be too heavy for him to carry around everywhere, so I offered to take it from him; but every time I did he said "NO!" So we lugged him along with his Yoda ears and his lightsaber, and he really loved it.

We couldn't get him to say "trick or treat," but he understood that he had to say "thank you" to the people who gave him candy, and "bye bye" after that. After a while we started asking him if he wanted to go home, but he always said "No." I think that honestly it's the longest we've stayed out trick-or-treating for many a year. I took Owen home a bit before Evelyn and Cara, when it was clear that he was done--there was yawning, blank stares, and he did at last take his Yoda ears off ("he's just a Jedi now," I said).

When Evelyn and Cara got home, they made a huge town out of all the candy. I feel a bit guilty that Owen's bag was totally full at the end (we stopped taking it up to the door eventually).

11/1/11 (Tuesday)

There's been so much excitement in the past few days, that I cannot blame Owen for being tired this evening.

11/2/11 (Wednesday)

I've been reminded lately of the times when Cara made us draw princess after princess, mermaid after mermaid. Owen has started to request pictures. The other day, he asked me to draw Batman! It was my first time. Fortunately, the actual Batman was there for me to copy. I thought it went well, but Steve was disgusted. Steve is, of course, far better equipped in these situations than I am. Today, I had to draw a rhino and a hippo. Those were far less daunting than Batman! None of it, so far, has really inspired my creativity like those princess dresses did!

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