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Journal Key:

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

4/5/12 (Thursday)

This morning Owen's teachers told me that he had to get his first time out yesterday! They told me he had been lightly smacking Audrey and had not stopped when told to do so. Apparently Owen and Audrey are like "an old married couple" (though hopefully not with Owen in the role of abusive husband!). They are always chatting with each other. Sometimes (or so I hear) Owen decides that he doesn't want to listen anymore and puts his hands by his ears.

Owen got a nice bunny bag today with some candy in it for Easter. He also got two eggs, which somehow arrived home uncracked. He ate a lot of jelly beans. And tonight, at dinner, he ate yogurt again! So he's back to eating, which is nice. (Though we have to constantly remind him to say "please" instead of just, "Mommy, get me some yogurt.")

4/6/12 (Friday)

When I went in to get Owen out of his crib one morning, he told me, "Turn off the monster." Fortunately, he was pointing, so I could tell that he was talking about his humidifier, which we keep in his room for the sake of the white noise. I guess it has lights and kind of growls. He doesn't seem to object to it. When I put him down, I ask him, sometimes, whether he wants his monster on. He does.

The kids and I had off today, and we kept pretty busy! In the morning we went out and did some errands, including ordering balloons at the party store. I let Owen wander around. He liked the stuffed animals on shelves in front of the counter. He liked one in particular: "a panda bear!" He carried it around while we picked balloons, but when we had to go look for streamers in an aisle I made him put it down. He's very good about "cleaning up." While Cara and I picked out rock-star-themed decorations, Owen was on the other side of the aisle, the boy side, showing us animals on the paper plates. Back at the check-out, Owen found something astonishing: "a panda bear!"

Next we walked down to the grocery store. I was pleased to find a cart, and I popped Owen in. We ran into a couple of his teachers from the Baby Brick. As soon as he saw them and they started talking to him, Owen got shy and put his face down between my hands on the handle. He kept it there through the whole conversation.

Before lunch, we had some playtime. Owen is somewhat unpredictable with his He-Mans.

Man-e-faces: 'Scuse me, Triclops, I just give you the big hug.

Then he did. Many figures have also told me repeatedly, "I love you, Mommy." Other than that, they spend their time slamming each other.

When Owen woke up from his nap, Em and the kids had come over to play and help me make rock-star cupcakes. Owen did not help with the cupcakes, but he did help eat the pretzels that we were dipping in chocolate. Later, he helped to eat the ones we had dipped in chocolate. He was willing to help more.

4/7/12 (Saturday)

At Cara's birthday party today, Owen continued to help as much as he was allowed with those pretzels.

He got to see Griffin again, but they really haven't started to interact too much yet. He did have a great time with all of his grandparents. We got out the plastic Easter eggs and had an impromptu hunt. Owen and Griffin both got to find lots, partly because they wandered around finding them as we hid them, while the big kids had to stay downstairs!

While Cara was opening gifts, I noticed that Ron was reading to Owen. Later Ron explained that he had been lying on the floor (for his back) and Owen had come and lain down next to him, in the same position. Then Owen had gone and brought a book over.

I thought he was hungry when he came into the kitchen and started getting out bowls. He handed one to Grandmama and made her pretend to eat while he pretended to eat (all in one bite) from his bowl. I tried to offer him things to put into the bowls, but he really wasn't interested. Later, after cake, he came into the kitchen again, grabbed Grandmama, and said something about "going to find your bowl." He dragged her off to the living room, where they found her bowl.

While Owen is a very lovely person, he's also in a very contrary phase. He'll say "no" to almost anything. After the party, I was collapsed in the middle of the couch while he deliberately tripped over me repeatedly, landing on his face on alternate sides of the couch. It went on for about ten minutes. It was one of those great situations in which I was showing him a great time with very little effort on my part.

Owen: Bulla! I said "bulla!"

Me: Did you say "bulla"?

Owen: No, I not say "bulla."

Between them, Cara and Owen polished off the veggie tray for dinner. Owen had what must have been his first experience with celery. I didn't know what he was eating until he took his hand away from his mouth and I could see that he had half of a celery stalk with some stringy parts attached to it. He generously gave it to me. I put it in a handy bowl--possibly Grandmama's bowl! I was surprised that he took another one. The bowl ended up with about five half-stalks of celery in it. He finished with a smaller piece that he actually was able to completely eat.

4/8/12 (Sunday)

We had a very happy Easter. In the morning, all of the Nancy Circle kids met up in our yard for the traditional egg hunt. We'd spent a lot of mental energy working out how to make it possible for Owen to participate with the bigger kids, and we'd ended up deciding that all of the eggs in plastic sleeves would be his. (We'd also put a limit on how many eggs each kid was allowed to find, so as to keep things even. That was very successful.) Owen brought out his fabric bag from last year, which looks like a frog. He also brought out Merman and Triclops. That is, he brought out three things, and he only has two hands. That leaves zero hands to pick up eggs. He did find a couple and manage, by letting me hold the bag and putting Triclops into it, to free up enough hands to pick them up. Soon, though, he was standing up by the wall, playing with his guys, with three eggs beside him in the bag. The guys liked playing with the eggs.

After Owen's nap, we drove down to Deep Cut Park for a family photo session. It's funny to think that we took our wedding photos there ten years ago! We will definitely be taking the kids back there this year. It's a wonderful place to run around. First we all spent some time by the fish pond. I'm not sure whether Owen was saying "I see two" or "I see too!" In any case, he saw fish. When Grandmama showed up, he cried, "Grandmama, I am here!" When Claire arrived, he told her the same thing.

A few of the photos have Owen pointing in them, and several have him running away. He ran all over. Most of his time was spent in trying to get people to go where he wanted them to go. (The photos of him that do not involve pointing or running mostly involve him squirming to get out of the picture because he has someplace to go.) He got to run on grass and run on paths and walk on stone walls and sit on stone walls. He got to step over stones and sit on stones. Very often, after he put his hands on something, he had to stop and look at them to see whether they were "messy." It seems to upset him to have things on his hands. He tried rolling down a hill, but he really couldn't manage it.

Cara ran ahead when we were making our way back to the car, and she went to visit the fish. We took Owen over to see them again, and she took off for the car. We convinced him to leave. He got almost to the path and changed his mind: he had to go back to see the fish. Cara came back. We convinced him to leave. Cara and I headed out, taking a slightly different path. When I glanced over my shoulder, I saw Steve walking back to the fish. Owen had changed his mind again. Finally, Steve carried him.

When we all got to Grandmama's house, it turned out that the Easter bunny had been there! There were plastic eggs hidden outside, and some had little toys in them. Owen became very invested in this egg hunt, finding egg after egg and opening them on the front steps. Cara moved on fairly quickly, to see what the Easter bunny had brought her in her basket. She and Owen each got a lovely, big, soft plush bunny and some colored tootsie rolls, among other things, and they were very happy. Owen has already fallen on his bunny several times (recreationally) and gotten red pepper juice on its white fur.

The kids got to play outside with bubbles. Owen really can't make bubbles, but he had fun pretending that the big bubble wand was his "power sword" and turning into He-Man. He tried to turn Steve into Battle Cat. Grandpapa gave Owen a bath after dinner, and we popped him into the car well before eight. He was good and asleep when we laid him down in his crib with his bunny.

4/9/12 (Monday)

At YBR today, Owen had a toy train in his right hand. "What's in your hand?" the teacher asked him. He showed her his empty left hand. "No, the other hand," she said. He switched hands and showed her the empty right.

Cara and I parked over on 4th Street and walked over to get him. We had a long walk back. Having Cara there does help move Owen along, though. She ends up well ahead of us, and when he notices he starts to trot along, trying to catch up. It's kind of nerve-wracking, because at every crack in the sidewalk, every uneven joint, I'm ready for him to fall on his face. We made a few recreational stops. For some reason, Cara wanted Owen to reach up and touch some branches that were hanging over a fence. We stopped to look at a very lovely and friendly dog, and it was hard to get Owen to leave. He went back a couple of times.

Steve pulled up as we were getting out of the car at home.

Cara, bounding out of the car: Daddy's home!

Owen: We go see Daddy.

Me: Yes, your Daddy.

Owen: No, I not Daddy!

Me: No, you're not.

Owen: I'm Owen!

4/10/12 (Tuesday)

Cara liked the veggie tray so much on Saturday that we got another one for dinner last night. On Saturday, when we asked Owen whether he wanted to eat some carrots, he said, "No, I eat potatoes!" He meant tomatoes. Last night, when we told him there was a veggie tray, he also wanted potatoes. He can say tomatoes--he said it a lot while he was eating them, but it's a lot of syllables and it can come out all sorts of different ways. He woke up in the night, around quarter to four, and I went into his room. He sat up in the crib. "I eat tomatoes!" he told me. No, Buddy, not right now.

We parked a couple of blocks from YBR and walked there in the morning. Both kids seemed disappointed that the dog was not out. I'm not sure, though, that Owen understood that that yard was where the dog would be. He was still talking about going to see the dog as we got close to school.

In the afternoon Cara and I picked up Owen and took him down to Claire's house for the Seder (Cara read the four questions for the first time!). By the time we pulled into her driveway he had gotten used to the idea that we were not going to Grandmama's house. He wanted to see a dog. He wanted to see kitties. That, at least, was plausible. He calls Morgan, the black cat, "Buster," and he calls Tommy, who is grey and white and skinny and not fluffy at all, "Shelby."

For the first three or four pages of the Seder Owen sat in his seat looking at a Passover board book. After that, he was off to run around, returning occasionally for food or to, for instance, bring Grandmama the TV remote. He was happy with matzoh, liked matzoh balls, didn't get to try gefilte fish, had some chicken, and then thoroughly smeared his hands and face with chocolate during dessert. He was up until quarter to nine, but he was asleep before we got to the parkway.

4/11/12 (Wednesday)

Owen stayed home with me and Cara today, because in the morning we had a playdate with Nicole, Leah, and Katie! It was fun to see the two-year-olds play together, though their relationship was not without conflict. Owen developed very strong newfound interest in several toys that he never has played with before, simply because Leah was playing with them. Sharing with someone your own age can be pretty hard when you're not used to it. It made me realize how infrequently he's put in that position: PJ and Casey come over, but they're much older, and when Griffin is here there are usually grandparents as buffers.

Still, he liked having Leah there. When she got onto a ride-on toy, he got onto the other. "Leah and Owen ride!" he told us. They didn't get anywhere. Leah, Owen, and I played with cars together. It was sort of like bumper cars. Then Owen picked up Cara's two Polly Pocket cars, which she had taken Leah upstairs to get, by their roofs and he started slamming them together. They were fighting, he explained. The kids had a snack together in the kitchen. They ate a couple of bananas together in the living room.

The six of us went out to lunch at the diner; Leah is way ahead of Owen in the drawing-on-the-placemat category! She can draw the sun, complete with rays. She likes to sit and doodle. Owen had scarmbled eggs, which he ate with three forks. Sometimes he'd get two into his mouth at once, with some food, and sometimes I'd be able to snag one by reaching around him and load it up.

It was after one when we got home. Owen fell asleep on me as I read to him, and then he slept until three thirty. When he woke up, PJ, Casey, Cara, and I were playing Fireball Island. It was hard to wake up, but eventually Owen was ready to sit with me and watch the game. There are a lot of exciting things going on, and soon Owen had a collection of all of the fireball marbles pooled in one little area of the board. He didn't like it when we had to borrow one to roll, but he lived.

Dinner was here tonight, and we had birthday cupcakes afterwards. Owen was the only one who ate his with a fork. Afterwards, when I had cleaned the chocolate off of his face, I realized that the fork meant that his hands were fine!

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