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Journal Key:

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

1/5/12 (Thursday)

Karen was here when Owen and I got home from YBR, waiting with Daddy and Cara. There was a lot of excitement, but Daddy got the hug.

Steve had told Karen how Owen had walked down the stairs on his own, so we did some stair work. Owen really wants to put his hands on the stairs as he climbs, but once Karen convinced him to stand upright he was very impressive. He climbed up into Cara's bed (going to Cara's room is much more exciting than going to Owen's room) almost on his own, with me just steadying his foot on the rail. We had a tough time convincing him to come out, because he had found a book and told us he was reading it. Once he had come down and chased Shelby under the bed, though, he walked down the stairs to the living room all by himself, holding tightly to the railing.

We had been planning on working on teaching Owen to use a ride-on toy, so we got our two out and Cara took off on one. First Owen wanted Batman to ride, but we got him to let Batman ride in the shape-sorter in the front. We got Owen on, and Karen sort of showed him how to use his feet to propel himself. Then, slowly, he just kind of did it. Karen doesn't think he needs her help for that.

Owen has the idea of jumping, he's just not very good at executing it. When Karen asked him to hop like a bunny, he bounced up and down, bending his knees, and sort of pushed off with his feet. Then he refused to hop like a bunny anymore and he and Cara ran some races instead.

Owen's six-month evaluation will happen in a month or so. Karen agrees that he will no longer qualify for intervention. We're kind of feeling ready. When we think back to how badly he needed help a year ago, it's absolutely amazing!

1/6/12 (Friday)

I told the story at YBR of how Owen had been using his Playmobil people to beat Batman and then having them ask him what hurt when he was crying. He clearly followed what I was saying and it was something he had to think about. All the way home, he kept talking about how the "people hurt Batman." I thought maybe he would metaporphose into a kinder, gentler diety in the playroom, but that's not happening.

1/7/12 (Saturday)

I took Owen to gymnastics today! He actually did really well on several parts of the first couple of circuits and did the circuits more than once before running off. The part I'm proud of is that I put him on a little trampoline, maybe six or eight feet in diameter, that's in the back of the room. Karen has suggested that we work on having him jump on a bed or a couch or something, with us holding his hands. I tried to get him to hold my hands and jump, but he wasn't interested. He did clearly find the surface interesting, and soon he was walking around on it in sort of half-bouncy steps. He didn't really jump, but he had fun.

Steve had been at the dentist in the morning and gotten home just as Owen and I left. Owen was not pleased about not getting to be with Daddy, but I whispered to him that we were going to see PJ and Casey and Em. They started gymnastics today, and so when we went out into the big room, carrying our steering wheels, Em was watching and the kids were in warm-ups.

Owen is not particularly adept at most of the gymnastics activities. There are a few areas, though, in which he excells. One of those is the train ride at the end of trampoline time. When Miss Melinda pulled out that mat, Owen went right out and sat up on it, nice and straight, ready for his ride. A couple of other kids got put onto it and squirmed around, and a couple more entered various phases of meltdown. There was Owen, sitting on the mat. He was ready. I don't think he actually got a ride today, but Miss Melinda gave him a high five or whatever it is she does at the end of a train ride, told everybody it was time to get stamps, and headed back for the KidFit room. Owen followed right behind her; getting stamps is one of the other things he's very good at. When I got there he was following her around like a little duck.

In the afternoon, the two kids hung around with Grandmama while Steve, Grandpapa, Claire, Casie and I moved furniture from GiGi's house. They had some kielbasa (hot dog!) for lunch and watched He-Man, but they also got some things done around the house and, after we had stopped off and Owen had gotten to see the rhino on the side of the truck, went to the park. At the park, Grandmama followed Owen so closely that when he sat down on an edge and swung his feet over, intending to follow where four-foot-tall Cara had led, she was able to take his hands and lower him to the ground.

Everyone's favorite moment was when Cara went into a tunnel from one direction and Owen from the other, and in the middle she'd managed to raise herself up and he had crawled underneath.

I picked up Grandmama and the kids, and we all convened up here, where poor Owen was not able to immediately absorb all of his daddy's attention, in spite of not having seen him almost all day! As soon as the heaviest moving was done, they were reunited.

1/8/12 (Sunday)

We went down to Grandmom's house, where Grandmom and Grandpop and Rusty live. Rusty! Rusty! It's Rusty! What a great dog! Did you know Rusty lives there?

What with Rusty and playing with lots of toys and having a good lunch, it would already have been a fabulous day even if we hadn't gotten the old He-Man figured down from the attic! While we cleaned them and dusted and set up Castle Greyskull, Owen clutched He-Man and Adam and sort of made big pile-ups of the various guys. Eventually He-Man's leg (the legs are all held on by twenty-five-year-old rubber bands) fell off. We're hoping to sort of save them for Owen's birthday party.

One thing Grandmom does that I never do is to encourage Owen to pull pull-toys. He was delighted with himself when he was running up and down the hallway, pulling the Fisher Price engine behind him. It was hard, at first, because he had to walk backwards. It was also hard when he held the string only six inches from the engine and it dangled. When it all came together, though, it was magic.

1/9/12 (Monday)

Owen was very happy to see me when I got to YBR to pick him up. "Dee-Man! Dee-Man!" he cried. I was so proud . . .

At home, fortunately, he played nicely until dinner. When he was done, we let him out and he went off in search of He-Man. It was bath time, though. He wasn't interested in a bath. "Buddy, do you want colors and bubbles?" asked Cara. Yes, he did. He went and started to head upstairs, but he didn't want me with him. He wanted Cara to give him a bath. In the end, she was a bath helper.

1/10/12 (Tuesday)

At YBR today, the ladies (and Robin, who was there to see someone else) amazed Owen once again by demonstrating that they, too, were familiar with the wonder that is He-Man. They gave him a "magic staff," really a toy flower with a mirror in it, and they taught him to say "I am He-Man; I have the Power!" Apparently he was saying it throughout nap time. He would not say it for us all evening, but when I put him into his crib he did tell me that he was He-Man.

He likes Skeletor, too, and went running around with the figure. He can't say Skeletor very clearly; it comes out more like ke-too. I started to wonder, though, and Steve confirmed that Owen is imitating Skeletor's evil laugh. He goes wandering around, chortling.

1/11/12 (Wednesday)

Owen has his own He-Man coloring pages at YBR now. He was sitting at the big-boy table working on them when Cara and I got there. He had made vague scribbles in a variety of colors, about four inches below the actual pictures. Everyone was very proud.

We were in the car on the way home when Cara told him we'd be at PJ and Casey's house for dinner. Personally, I'd have waited until it was time to go. However, I was able to get him to come into the house willingly, and he played with Skeletor ("I'm Skeletor, He-Man! He-he-he!") while she finished her homework and we got ready to go.

I have two favorite moments from tonight's playdate. One was looking over and seeing Cara coming up the stairs. "Come on, Casey, let's play in your room!" She was carrying Owen, her arms locked around his chest from behind, hauling him unprotesting up the stairs.

The other great thing about tonight was how invested Owen was in playing with the guys. He suddenly decided he was done with dinner, and we let him go. It turned out that it was because PJ had left; Owen went off searching for "P-day!", who had gone to the bathroom.

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