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Journal Key:

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

12/15/11 (Thursday)

I got to YBR to pick up Owen today, and his early intervention therapist Karen was still there writing up her report on the day. She hadn't seen him in a couple of weeks, and was pretty flabbergasted at his progress! His stair-climbing is much better, his pointing is of course just great, and he was using two- and three-word sentences all over the place. She wrote a bunch in her notes to us, with lots of exclamation points. It was really great to get her perspective--and her excitement. (She mentioned one of Owen's current favorite phrases, which is "I did it!" usually combined with "Hurray!") Owen must have known what we were talking about, since the whole time we were talking he was happily running around the playroom at YBR and yelling nonsense.

At home, we managed to avoid watching the neigh-neigh movie, and somehow or other Cara ended up watching youtube videos without Owen plaintively requesting a "rhino." For dinner, Owen had some chicken and some pineapple, which he referred to as "apple." Cara and I both saw potential problems with this. So we both tried to get him to say the correct word, which I think he managed, but there's no telling whether he might not use the "short" version next time.

12/17/11 (Saturday)

Friday night we picked up the kids and went over to Em and Ron's house. Owen always loves to hear that we're going over there. The night before, when I'd put his coat on so we could go to pick up dinner, he'd started saying "Em, Ron," and I had to disappoint him. But Friday night I was able to say, "We're going to go to see Em and Ron and Casey and PJ," and he made a beeline for the front door. The two of us were waiting with our coats on when Ev and Cara came down. The kids had a good time hanging out. I was surprised to see at one point that Owen was sitting on the couch with Cara and leaning against her while they watched TV. This doesn't usually happen. (Cara is often trying to hold Owen or even help him get up somewhere by awkwardly picking him up, and Owen sadly never really wants her to. Today, for instance, Cara offered him a "huggie," to which Owen responded, "No huggie!")

Owen was crying this morning, and I went in to get him. We "read" books for a while, which at that point in the morning I do by holding open the book and every once in a while turning the page. Then eventually he got tired of that and said "down," so I started taking him down the stairs. Evelyn fortunately woke up at this point and informed me that it was still 3:30 in the morning! I turned us around and stuck Owen back in his crib.

Today was gymnastics day! Owen was glad to be back, so he could see the Hanta decorations they have up. (Aside: the same linguistic curiosity that turns "Santa Claus" into "Hanta" turns one of our favorite books, Sammy the Seal, into "Hammy.") For circuits, they also had one of his favorite things, which is a big curved mat, sort of like a C on its back, that the kids are supposed to get on and rock back and forth. There are three in a row set up and Owen loves climbing on them, sitting on them, and then moving onto the next one. There was also the balance beam, which he's pretty good at. He is always anxious to get out into the big room and go to the trampoline. I suspect that it's actually because he wants to look at all the bigger kids doing their thing out there. He does enjoy the "train ride" at the end but he still does not really jump or bounce, but lets Miss Melinda take care of that for him.

One of the kids on the trampoline today was moving on to more advanced jumps, one of which has them ending up on their hands and knees and is called "doggie." The teacher was using this word a lot, and every time she did, Owen helpfully barked.

When we walked outside, Owen wanted to see a bird up in the trees. This was because last week we'd seen a blackbird and heard it cawing. Too bad it wasn't still there!

Owen had a good long nap, but I resorted to his neigh-neigh movie at one point to make him feel better about life. We'd watched a lot of TV, so in the afternoon, even though it was freezing outside, we all went out for a bit. Owen didn't seem to mind the cold and had a fine time just toddling along the sidewalk and up and down the driveway, and trying not to get tangled in Cara's jump rope. Afterward, we went in and had hot chocolate, and I let the boy try some. "More chocolate!" he said, so eventually I gave up on giving him sips from a spoon and poured a tiny bit into a sippy. At which point, of course, he lost interest again.

12/18/11 (Sunday)

All day, Owen has been running around with the giant candy cane that I brought home from GiGi's house yesterday. He says something when he's got it, but we can't figure out what. Whatever it is, he really means it. Both kids love the cane. One or the other always seems to be carrying it.

I took Owen's booster seat off of his chair at lunch, and Buster the cat remembered that that was always her favorite chair. She settled in on it. Owen discovered her, late in the afternoon, and he was very disturbed by it. He would bother her and then go off and play but come back again. He petted her, but he also may have been pushing her, and he definitely was using the cane. She ignored him. When we wanted to put Owen's seat back Steve had to forcibly remove her from the chair.

Owen was hungry or at least enthusiastic when I called everyone into the kitchen. "Dinnertime! Hooray!" He repeated that a lot, because he knew we thought it was funny. Steve got napkins for Cara and for me, and Owen asked for one. He liked wiping his mouth with it. It was his first cloth napkin! He likes to contribute to the conversation, and tonight he did a lot of repeating what we said. When I noticed I tried saying "I love Mommy," but it didn't work. Cara asked him whether he could say " I love Mommy." "I love Mommy Cara Daddy," said Owen.

"I love Daddy best," Steve suggested. It didn't take.

12/19/11 (Monday)

You know how parents "translate" things for their kids? If someone says something to your toddler, you tend to repeat it for the kid. I've been noticing that Cara does this for Owen. She repeats things people say to him, I repeat things people say to him, she repeats things I say to him, and I repeat things she says to him. Owen repeats things we say to each other.

Dinner tonight was less exciting than last night: no hoorays! We did get him to stop running around with the giant candy cane and actually sit, though. We were having pasta, and we made Owen a couple of chicken nuggets. He wanted yogurt ("ho-dirt!"), but he needed to have some other food first. He's been hitting the ho-dirt pretty hard lately. Steve tried picking up a chicken nugget and taking a bite as an example. "Daddy eat it!" said Owen. Then he also said what really sounded like "I hate." We're hoping there's a reasonable alternative.

The bath was exciting. Owen headed upstairs on his own and I got the water started. I put bubble bath in, which I don't think Owen's had before. He was very interested in it. He was running back and forth from the tub, fully clothed, with his candy cane. He had pushed the big cup into the water, and I noticed him reaching in to mess with it. Somehow I didn't predict that he'd pull it out and dump a quart of water down his front. He was not happy with the result. I got him into the tub, though, and he was much happier. He said "I hate" again, soon after I dumped water on his head. It's vaguely possible that he might have meant "I sit," which he did shortly thereafter. His S has been coming out H lately. I think I'm grasping at straws.

12/20/11 (Tuesday)

So we may have been giving Owen too much of his video fix. This morning I let him watch a movie or two on youtube, but then I had to go and get the kids' stuff ready, and he was HORRIBLE because I wasn't letting him watch things. We might have to do what we used to do sometimes with Cara and make the mornings a no-screen-time part of the day. On the other hand, it's very tempting to just put on that neigh-neigh movie when Owen wakes us up at 5:15 in the morning.

Tonight when I went to get Owen at YBR he was very excited to see us. He was sitting at the bucket seat table, clenching his fists, and screaming "Owen! Owen! Owen!" He always likes to get taken out while I get his things ready: he runs around the kitchen area, pointing out the cabinets and the animal posters on the walls. Then he gets to yell "goodbye!" very loudly to everyone (a big change from how quiet he was this morning when I dropped him off).

Owen is very much into repetition of books lately. I finish showing him a book, and he jabs at it and commands, "Again!" The other night I read him the same Curious George book three times in a row. He may be doing it to Evelyn right now. He also loves the little Santa-style hat he borrowed from Cara and had to wear it through dinner tonight.

After dinner, we lit the menorah and told Owen to say "Happy Hanukkah!" It came out "Happy Ta-la-la!"

12/21/11 (Wednesday)

At circle time today, reports Miss Sandi, Owen started to do his "I did it! Hooray!" schtick. It went over so well that the other kids started to do it, too. I asked whether Owen had, in fact, done anything. No, nothing anyone else was aware of. He has also started to collect food in his cheeks. At first the teachers weren't sure whether it was food or just cheek, but they confirmed their suspicions. He seems to be storing it for winter. They have learned through experience to check him for hoarding before he leaves the lunch table to go down for nap.

When we got home, Owen found some cellophane on the floor and went around waving it. I asked him to throw it away. Off he went, still with his coat on, and climbed up the stairs to the living room. He turned and went directly up to the bedrooms, still carrying his cellophane. I had to go with him to turn the lights on. He threw it away in the bathroom.

Cara was a very eager and good helper when I was making dinner. She put the cheese on the chicken parm, and I was all ready to let Owen help too. He didn't want to. She insisted on helping with the spaghetti, too, first with breaking it in half and then, though I was not a fan of the idea, with putting it into the hot water. Owen also wanted to help with this. I had to hold him up and we let him try to toss his pasta into the pot. One piece may have gotten in. When Cara had left he demanded to get up onto the chair she'd been standing on. It didn't seem to bother him that I moved it about five feet down from the stove first.

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