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Journal Key:

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

11/22/12 (Thursday) - Happy Thanksgiving!

For Thanksgiving, we drove to Aunt Sally and Uncle Ron's house in Pennsylvania. The kids had a nice time. Cara and Lily enjoy each other's company; there were predictions that in a few short years they would both be bossing around Owen and Griffin. The Christmas decorations were already up, so all the kids loved looking at the big tree and the train set underneath it. There was also a 3-D television. Owen likes to put glasses on upside down, and the 3-D glasses were no exception. He seemed to start a trend among the 3-and-under set.

Owen likes to get people to read to him, and one of the people he got was Uncle Jim. I think they both enjoyed that. Griffin found a remote control My Little Pony car, one of Lily's toys, that he very much enjoyed driving around. Griffin I find is more of a vehicles guy, whereas Owen prefers action figures (although they both liked the Matchbox cars by the train set).

At dinner, we went around the table saying for what we were thankful. Cara was fully prepared, having already created a turkey project at school listing the things for which she was thankful: Family, Friends, the USA, and Toys.

We had a long day, but a good one.

11/23/12 (Friday)

Evelyn's parents came and took the kids out for the day on Friday. They went to the Philadelphia Zoo! They had a lovely time. Cara got a really excellent leopard face painted on herself. Owen was very happy to see the animals, many of whom were active. When they got home, we topped off the evening with a playdate at the Loefflers.

While we were there, Owen was with his parents in the downstairs room. After spending some time charging at me, as he tends to do, he walked over to tell Evelyn (in a hoarse, dramatic whisper) that he was going to beat up Daddy, and that Mommy should tell him he was a "good boy" while he did it.

11/24/12 (Saturday) - Merry Fakesgiving!

Today was when we decided to celebrate Thanksgiving with Evelyn's family. It was at our house: we spent a lot of the morning getting ready, so that Cara became very anxious and spent a lot of time looking out the window. Owen, who was much less aware of what was going on, didn't have the same level of anxiety. He did, however, spend a good amount of time yammering on in his crib before he finally took his nap. When he woke up, Aunt Claire had arrived!

After Aunt Claire came Grandmama and Grandpapa, and then Uncle John and Aunt Theresa, at which point it was time to sit down and eat. For the first time in our house at least, we created a tiny little "kids table" using Cara's old tiny furniture. It may be a little too soon to have Owen over at a kids table; he wandered off after a few minutes and spent a lot of the meal playing in the playroom with his He-Mans. Occasionally he would wander in and try to tempt one of us into the other room. Eventually I came over and spent some time playing guys.

The evening wore on, until while washing dishes we realized that we hadn't given Owen a bath last night, and it was already about his bed time. With the help of Aunt Claire, I coaxed him up to the potty, and then into the tub. To spice things up, I gave him some bath toys he hadn't had in a while. A teapot, a teacup, and one plastic frog. An odd combination, I admit. I got him out and into his room while all of our guests were watching a movie downstairs; somehow, even though in retrospect I should have seen it coming, I was not prepared for him to go running out of his room stark naked and yell to everyone from the top of the stairs. Oh, well.

Of course one of the other things that happened today is that I finally got my computer back, which is what has allowed me to catch up on the journal.

11/25/12 (Sunday)

Yesterday, I was cooking while hanging out with the kids in the morning. Occasionally, I had to go and check on my onions on the stove. We were sitting in the living room when Owen stood up. "I have to go check my onions, just like you, Mommy!" This morning, he and I were playing downstairs. One of his little guys had to go check his onions.

Sometimes, Owen goes riding away on his little ride-on car. For quite a while, he'd announce that he was going to the library. In the past few days, I've noticed that he's been going to the hospital. Not sure what he's going to do there. He's quite cheerful about it.

Owen has been starting to use the Nook more. He's getting better at using just one finger, so a lot of the time he can actually tap on things deliberately. He's enjoying The Elephant's Child, which is basically the only book I have on there. He also likes the Barnyard Games. One that he's started doing is a little memory game with six cards. He started out by randomly tapping, but Steve and I agree that he's definitely making matches on purpose a lot of the time. I like the Barnyard Games, too.

11/26/12 (Monday)

Today I got the kids off to school about as usual. Owen had crackers for breakfast. (He also had some Cheerios.) Instead of driving to work, I returned home, because the big construction project at our house finally began today. A bunch of workers arrived to dig holes along the back of our house and drive long piers into them. The piers will be clamped onto the concrete footing of our house, to give it extra stability. Tomorrow they'll be driving some piers on the inside of the house.

At the end of the afternoon, the workers left and Evelyn arrived home. We went outside to survey the progress and found a snake in one of the holes. I had seen a snake outside our house once before, not long after we had our front yard landscaped (construction seems to drive them out of wherever they hide). Cara remembers this very well, even though she never saw the snake. So when I told her about this other snake on our ride home, she was very interested.

She is a little nervous about the snakes as well. But I explained that they only live outside and can't get inside, and they are also perfectly harmless. (Now that it's bedtime, I'm hoping very much that the subject does not come up again.) I prepared Cara ahead of time for how the house would look, and I showed her the basement, which we had to clear out pretty extensively in preparation for the inside work tomorrow. Actually I thought there would be more interest than there was: Owen, for one, was not particularly intrigued by the fact that half of the contents of our basement had been dragged up and piled in the dining room.

As it turned out, we had a fairly normal evening. The kids managed to have some dinner, watched some Spider-Man, and Owen tried many different methods for delaying all the steps of his bedtime routine. I managed to hold him to only one story before bed this evening--though I think I read him two stories while he was on the potty. In the bath, I gave him some bubbles and he tried very hard to keep me from washing him by pouring me cup after cup of "tea." I believe I "drank" about a dozen little cups of bubble-filled bath water.

11/27/12 (Tuesday)

Today was a busy day. Work continues on our house--today it was mostly inside, where the contractors were busy digging three incredibly deep holes in our basement, and dragging the dirt out in buckets but still managing to track large amounts of it on the floor. The three oldest humans in the house took a look this evening.

Also this evening, Evelyn went to Cara's school and had a conference with her teacher. Cara is doing really, really well. She has excellent grades, is very independent, and there was talk of the Gifted program. While Evelyn was hearing all this, I was at home with the kids, trying (mostly fruitlessly) to convince Owen to listen to me. Before dinner, all Owen wants to do is eat snacks. Come dinnertime, all he wants to do is stop eating and go back to watching TV. We were butting heads many times this evening. I stopped him from eating goldfish before dinner. At dinner, I tried to convince him he could use the cup I had given him to drink from instead of a sippy. I worked very hard to get him to eat one single piece of chicken. Later, I also tried in very harsh tones to convince him to stop throwing water out of his tub.

I found it somewhat amazing that, after all this tussling, he was still perfectly happy to have me reading stories to him, and that we still had our endless dialogue that we have every night when I put him to bed. As I leave his room I tell him that I love him. "I love you too, Daddy!" he says loudly. "I love you, too," I reply. "I love you too, Daddy!"


"I love you too!"

"That's good..." [I close the door and walk away.]

[faintly] "I love you too!"

11/28/12 (Wednesday)

Yesterday, running late and in rainy weather, I picked Cara up before getting Owen. She was disappointed; she'd rather not have to go through the hassle of going in to pick him up.

I'm not sure how Owen feels about the hassle of going in to pick Cara up, but I know it's more of a production, bringing him into ABC, than it is bringing her into YBR. I get out of the car, I unbuckle Owen, and he sits there. Eventually, he starts to climb out. Today, since he didn't seem to be getting anywhere, I suggested that he could get out on Cara's side of the car. He liked that idea. He headed over, and I went and opened that door instead. "No, Mommy," he said, "you close the door!" He was, fortunately, willing to be convinced that he wasn't going to be big enough to open a car door. Then he had to sit in Cara's seat. Then he had to pick out a book to bring in with him.

He brought Rockabye Farm. We got in, I signed Cara out, and Owen went and sat on the mats to read his book. Some girls came over and talked to him about it. I convinced him it was time to go. He came over onto the mats closer to the door, and then he sat again. I told him I was leaving, and he finally got down to come with me.

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