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Journal Key:

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

1/24/13 (Thursday)

Yesterday was playdate night. The kids had a fun time doing...whatever it is they do. Actually after dinner PJ lured me downstairs to help him defeat a monster in a Wii game, which as it turned out he was able to do himself while I watched. That worked out well for both of us. When we got home, it was on the promise of a treat. Fortunately our children are both still young enough that one Starburst each was a sufficient prize. We worried about Owen, since on previous evenings with even the smallest amount of candy he has awoken in the night.

It may not have been just this that caused it (he didn't have much for dinner and playdates are always very exciting), but he did make sure that his parents were up several times. Before we even got to sleep, in fact, Evelyn went up to see him. I got up with him around midnight, mostly unconscious, and listened to him scream with hysteria for a while before he was able to articulate which book I should read. I decided after I put him in the crib that I was going to be very firm and ignore him if he woke up again.

Guess what! He woke up again. Evelyn and I listened to him for a good while before she gave in and went to him. That, as far as I know, was his last adventure. He certainly slept late afterwards!

This evening we made sure to get him to eat his dinner. He even had a snack afterwards. And even though Cara was very entertaining at dinner, making faces and hiding under the table, I hope that's not enough to keep him awake at night.

1/27/13 (Sunday)

So, time to recap the weekend! Friday was a stay-inside Family Fun Night, moreso than usual, because it was snowing! I took Owen home and we hung out on the couch until Mommy and Cara showed up. Saturday there was a white coating on the ground, not enough to really play in, but enough to keep us all inside in our pajamas, watching various screens for most of the morning. Owen will bounce from the TV to the Nook and back--my only concession was to try to make sure he didn't have both of them on at the same time. In the afternoon, Grandpapa swooped in to scoop up the children and whisk them away for a sleepover!

In the morning, the kids went out for breakfast with their grandparents. They went to Atlantic Highlands and were able to have breakfast at their favorite dockside restaurant, Sissy's, for the first time since Hurricane Sandy hit. We had heard that, while there, the kids were excited to see a large construction vehicle (a front loader). So when Owen arrived home in the late morning, we asked him what he had seen while he was there. "....Bacon," replied Owen, who had had bacon and eggs to eat.

It wasn't long before I bundled the kids back in the car again, to drive south and visit Uncle Jim and Griffin. As it happened, we had an unfortunate bit of timing and Griffin was asleep when we arrived. So Uncle Jim got into our car and the four of us went out to lunch. Uncle Jim got to see the way Owen behaves in a booth. Basically he climbed and laid on me throughout the meal. He had neglected to sleep in the car on the way, and as it happened decided to poop at the restaurant, so he didn't really eat much lunch. This didn't slow him down when we returned to Jim's house, however, and found Griffin just waking up.

After a tiny bit of TV, the kids were coaxed into the play room, where they went to town with the cars and train set. There were also some bouts of reading. Owen wanted to be read to, and I obliged; but Cara also read some books to Griffin, which was very nice. Griffin likes Cara. He periodically would ask where she was, and wanted her to sit with him when he was at the table. But also this trip Owen and Griffin really interacted for basically the first time. They shared toys with each other, which was a little difficult for both of them but didn't result in any hard feelings. But they also spent some time basically screaming and/or laughing at each other at the top of their lungs. I'm not sure what prompted it but it went on for some time.

On the way home, Owen finally did fall asleep, and slept for the whole trip. When we got home and he woke up, he was very traumatized. We parked in front of the television for a while. I'm still not quite satisfied with the amount of food he ate, and have my fingers crossed for an uneventful night.

1/28/13 (Monday)

Today was a chilly, rainy day.

"Somebody spilled water," Owen concluded when we came out of YBR. I explained about the precipitation. He was willing to be convinced. We walked through the parking lot to the car, holding hands. He walked sideways, though, to edge around (very small) puddles.

At Lindeneau, Owen took a somewhat roundabout route to the door because he had to walk around several more very shallow puddles.

I was amused because Owen wanted to watch the Superhero Squad "episide where the Hulk turns into the gay Hulk." I know he must mean "grey," but my mind boggles at the possibilities. "It's kind of weird," Owen admits.

The kids got a package from Grandma Anne and Aunt Nancy in Florida. Each kids got two books--Cara is delighted with additions to her Goddess Girls collection, and Owen loves his Ten Little Fish counting book. He also got a dinosaur pop-up book, which I had to read to him twice in a row this evening. There's a page with a mother triceratops talking to her two little "tricera-tots." Owen insists it's actually a daddy.

I also read him his DC Super Friends book for the thirty-fifth time. There's a page on which Green Lantern (my personal favorite) has clearly used a green baseball bat created by his power ring to knock away some asteroids that would have hit the Earth. "I got you, space meatballs!" Owen has been declaring for him.

1/29/13 (Tuesday)

One of the things I brought home with me from Jim's was a bunch of old toys that got taken out of my parents' attic. I chose to bring home a back of 28 "M.U.S.C.L.E." figures (Millions of Unusual Small Creatures Lurking Everywhere, is I think what it stands for). These were an endless array of tiny little rubber wrestlers, with very imaginative bodies (one that I can think of off the top of my head has a body that is like the chassis of a motorcycle). I should have realized that Owen would really take to these new "little guys" (they are even littler than our previous Little Guys). Tonight they went in the bath with him and then went into bed with him.

1/30/13 (Wednesday)

Tonight was playdate. For a change, Ron picked up all the kids at Lindeneau. It then eventually occurred to Evelyn (not me) that we still needed to pick up Owen (!), so I went to get him. He was right up in front of all the kids, waiting to hear a story, when I arrived. He immediately gave up on the story and ran off to get his lunch box out of the fridge. As we were in the car and very slowly making our way out of Highland Park on main street, he saw a store and requested that we go inside. I'm not sure what store; from his side of the car, the only visible stores were (I think) a computer repair store, a laundromat, and a fancy restaurant. He may have been seeing the reflection of interesting light fixtures in the Judaica store across the street. Regardless, we decided to go home and see everyone else instead.

Owen enjoyed showing his MUSCLE men to PJ. He hasn't decided what to call them yet; when he asked me to play with them, he referred to them as his "other little guys" or "different little guys." He also liked showing PJ his other toys. PJ, however, wanted to get on the computer and play World of Warcraft, as he has been doing on his last few visits. So I set him up with that and Owen watched the Avengers on TV.

The girls, meanwhile, decided to play "bears," and built a "cave" under our dining room table by pushing a lot of furniture along the edge and filling the underneath with blankets and pillows. I think it involved Casey being a baby bear and crying a lot.

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