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Journal Key:

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

1/17/13 (Thursday)

Steve and I are both getting a little sappy because of Owen's birthday.

The young man himself is very excited. The teachers at school made a big deal about it. We have awesome superhero cookies downstairs, which he has not seen yet, some for him to take to school and some for the party.

Last night, Owen conked himself on the noggin. To distract him from being upset afterwards, I gave him one Starburst. He woke up at two in the morning. I really, really hope he's not THAT sensitive to sugar. We read a book, and he still wasn't ready for bed. I got ready to put him back, and he claimed to want a snack. Clearly, I have created a monster. We went and had a small snack and some water. With a minimum of tears, he went back into the crib.

He wore his Scooby pajamas tonight. He loves being Scooby. Sometimes he gets down on all fours and makes the cutest little puppy sounds, nothing at all like the real Scooby! I asked him for a hug. "I'll give you a big, painful hug!" he declared. Steve thinks it was a big Panthor hug. I think either one is pretty weird.

1/18/13 (Friday)

Hooray for the birthday boy!

Owen was very excited about bringing superhero cookies to YBR. He wanted a Flash one. They had made him a silver, sparkly crown to wear. When Steve brought Owen home, they got a phone call from Grandma Anne and Aunt Nancy in Florida. They sang Happy Birthday to Owen. "They said my name!" he exclaimed.

At six, we picked up Cara and went to Chili's. The challenge was convincing Owen that we had to go to dinner before we went to the book store. We managed, though. He was very happy sitting with Cara on their side of the booth, playing with his Vengers. At one point he stood up and carefully lined them up, leaning against the glass that separated our section from the bar, so that they were looking at whoever was sitting there.

At Barnes and Noble, we read a couple of superhero books. It was late, though, so soon we had to buy a book (as a special birthday treat) and go home.

1/19/13 (Saturday)

It's wonderful to have a three-year-old. A three-year-old doesn't wonder why you're cleaning the house for no apparent reason the day after his birthday. A three-year-old goes down for his nap on time and, when he wakes up, there's a party! Surprise!

Actually, I opened the door to his room ten minutes before anyone got there. He stirred, but he didn't wake up. I walked through the room a few times. People started to arrive. Cara and PJ started to be very loud and run up and down the stairs. Grandmom and I had a full conversation right outside Owen's room. We kept looking at him, but he was very much asleep. Finally, I took his blanket off of him. He woke up, and there we were. He was sleepy and a little clingy, but he was definitely ready to go to the party!

There was food and a big Spiderman balloon, but nothing was more exciting than playing in the playroom with the guys and Grandmom and Grandpop. With all of the floor space we've made by getting rid of the train table, there's plenty of room for all of the various buildings that the little guys play in.

It was, in a way, the perfect party. There was no one there he didn't know and like, so Owen got to just run around and have lots of attention. There was only one unhappy moment: I heard Owen crying and went upstairs, and he was in his room wailing. What was wrong? He couldn't go into Cara's room. The big kids were playing on their own. I brought him in, and he heroed some guys right up onto the floor and wanted to go get more. I convinced him to come play downstairs, and the girls came, too.

The big kids (Cara, Casey, and PJ) had some activities to do. They had made themselves a list. They had a treasure hunt, which was kind of cool. I'm so used to hiding things for preschoolers that it felt refreshing to really hide things. Eventually I had to go upstairs and tell them whether they were "hot" or "cold." They played a round or two afterwards without me, but I think then they forgot where they'd hidden things. Much later, Claire and I ended up playing "hot potato" with them in Cara's room.

It's tough having a birthday so close to Christmas. Well, right now it's just tough for the people shopping for someone with a birthday so close to Christmas. When we started to open presents, Uncle Jim issued a disclaimer about theirs: it's nothing he'll like, just clothes. Well, no, Owen will like clothes! He got a very cool T-Rex shirt, to which he gave a big hug. Then he got out of my lap and ran with it into the playroom, where he left it in a doll's high chair. It was hard to get him to come back to open more things! Eventually he got into the spirit of the experience. There were plenty of new things for people to play with: Steve got Owen some Transformers he (Steve) had been wanting. Claire got Owen a building set she'd been wanting to play with. Grandmom got Owen a Penguin little guy with a cool penguin vehicle that it turned out Grandpapa really wanted to play with. Owen got a LOT of cool new shirts, which he will definitely enjoy wearing. Two have superhero capes!

Once we'd started setting up for dessert, it became urgent that we sing happy birthday right away: people really needed those cookies! I'd bought a little cheesecake and stuck three candles in it. As we got to the end of the song, I started to wonder what Owen would do. It turns out he's quite capable of blowing out three candles! He got a bit closer to them than I'd have liked, but he was effective.

Owen picked out the cookie with Hawkeye's face on it, but soon he also picked out the Hawkman logo. Then the Flash. Then some fruit. Then he took one nibble of one cookie and proceded to eat all of the blueberries out of the fruit bowl. Then he left.

When the party was over, the kids went for a sleepover in Middletown while Steve and I got the house put back together and collapsed!

1/20/13 (Sunday)

The kids had a great day with Grandmama and Grandpapa. They did some art. I explained to Grandmama that Owen's goal as an artist seems to be to color "very fast." Today, she says, his goal was to use every paint brush. They also went to the playground, where apparently Owen is far more adventurous than he had been before. Cara reports that he went down the big slide! He didn't have much sand in his shoes, though, so I'm not certain he was able to enjoy the playground at its fullest potential.

They got home late in the afternoon and played with Steve for a long time. I made grilled cheese for Cara and lured Owen upstairs with the leftover fruit bowl from the party. As we hung out in the kitchen, he performed a running monologue about his fruit, of which we caught only snatches. One of the strawberries had "two humps. Like a camel!" I did find some more substantial food for him, eventually.

With the promise of popcorn, I got everyone to go and clean up downstairs. I was amazed that they actually came back up, but popcorn is a big draw. We all cuddled up in the living room to watch Spiderman and his Amazing Friends. When we got to the bottom of the bowl, Owen was very disturbed by the unpopped kernels. I told him they were yucky and he shouldn't eat them. Getting him to leave them in the bowl was more difficult. "They're not yummy!" he said, and he started to pick them up one by one to throw away. We let him take a few trips into the kitchen to put them in the garbage before we discovered that he was sticking them in the recycling.

Owen also pulled out a foam book, one of the ones that has animals that pop out. It was time, so I suggested taking it, along with a small foam puzzle, into the bath. That was an exciting enough idea to get him upstairs. It was more exciting than I'd realized: the wet foam pieces stick to the tile walls! It was an awesome bath.

Somehow, afterwards, we ended up all in our bedroom as Steve and I tried to fold laundry and both kids tried to jump in it. We sent Cara off to read to Owen, and then everyone was happy.

1/21/13 (Monday)

Owen wore the Batman shirt with a cape today. It was very exciting. Miss Kathy told Steve her son had had a shirt like that and had worn it until the sleeves only reached his elbows.

I picked Owen up early and took him to the pediatrician for his well visit. We had a lovely time. He let the nurse measure his head, and then I took his shoes off and we all went for a little walk. He was tickled by going around in his socks. He stood nicely to be measured: he's 36 inches tall. That puts him at the 25th percentile. He also stood on the scale like a big boy: 31 pounds. That's somewhere between the 25th and 50th percentiles. Everything looks good.

The nurse tested him for color blindness by showing him pictures that were circles with colored lines across them; he was supposed to trace the lines with his fingers. He's not a good tracer, but he sees those lines. He insisted on doing a few more pages than he needed to.

We worked on the milestones sheet. There were several things I was supposed to ask Owen to do, none of which he was willing to do right then. He did like scribbling with the pen. The doctor drew a circle on the paper of the examining table, and then Owen was happily scribbling on it for the rest of the visit.

We'll be going back in a few days to get a flu shot, when they've gotten more in. Over the next few months Owen needs to work on things like taking his clothes off by himself. I think he's a little disadvantaged by it being the winter right now!

There was crying in the next room as we were leaving. "That's a baby," Owen told me. "Because babies don't like the doctor." Does Owen like the doctor? Yes, he does.

1/22/13 (Tuesday)

Owen likes to spring his decisions on me. In the morning, he wanted to eat raisins, and denied wanting a bagel. When I brought out Cara's breakfast toast, it turned out he did want a bagel. When we got to Lindeneau, as usual, he claimed that he wanted to stay in the car while I went in to drop Cara off. Also as usual, as soon as Cara and I got out of the car, it turned out that he wanted to come with us.

Many of us were, to varying degrees, tired this evening. We had soup and grilled cheese for dinner. Owen dipped a hot dog bun into his soup, then eventually decided he wanted a "new bun" upon discovering just how icky it is to eat a bun that's been dipped in chicken soup. We all had an interesting time trying to interpret the noodles floating in the Scooby-Doo chicken soup that Cara and I had bought for the kids. We had a somewhat worrisome discussion with Owen, who wanted his drink in a sippy cup instead of a normal cup. I stressed that grown-up cups were better, and avoided saying "you can't have a sippy."

Up in the bathroom, we finally disengaged from the hot dog bun and had a bath with the animal shapes and little guys. We got into pajamas and read stories. I knew from recent experience that, even though I stressed our "last book," I was going to have trouble getting him into bed. Instead of wanting another book, however, Owen suddenly decided that he wanted "a snack and a sippy." Unfortunately for the buddy, he waited too long to make that decision.

1/23/13 (Wednesday)

It is so cold out. My car told me it was 12 degrees when I left Linwood. It did decide it was really 21 degrees by the time I'd gotten to YBR. I've been carrying Owen because of the cold, mainly because he's insisted on it. It makes things go a lot faster, too. Today, though, he decided he was going to walk. He went in corcles around me (holding my hand, so I spun) in the parking lot. He had to climb, slowly, into the car.

Sometimes, at Lindeneau, Owen asks whether he can wait in the car. I don't let him. Today, it was light enough out and we were right across from the door and it was so cold that I asked whether he wanted to wait for me. No, he didn't. I had to stand there while he climbed, slowly, across the car to "get out on Cara's side!" Argh! It's really hard to buckle him with gloves on, too.

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