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Journal Key:

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

4/3-4/6/14 (Thursday-Sunday)

Okay, so once again we have slacked off. What has been going on? Owen got sick, and a few days later Evelyn and I were also sick. Evelyn got it much worse than I did. On Friday--her birthday--the kids were whisked away by Grandpapa. On Saturday morning, Evelyn went off to retrieve Cara so they could go to Cara's dance competition (in which her team got first place in their group!).

Owen was delivered back to me, still a bit sick but perfectly happy. He was excited to watch a Scooby-Doo DVD that he'd brought back with him, but then we had to get ourselves ready to go down to his cousin Griffin's house for Griffin's birthday party!

Owen was very excited and enthused about this experience, and has told several people about it since. While he was actually at the party, he was I think a bit overwhelmed. There were a lot of kids there that he'd never met before, which naturally made him shy--and he's pretty shy to begin with. So he and I spent a lot of time wandering about the house trying to avoid people (which honestly is pretty much what I do when I go to a party--chip off the old block). He is even less interested in food than usual these days, and after a few tiny bits of pizza he mostly had popcorn--and of course, a donut for dessert.

Griffin has a great jungle gym in his backyard, and we went out there for a bit; but Owen wasn't willing to go on it with everybody else there. He preferred making me read books to him, or working on sticker book pages in the front room. We did outlast most of the other kids there, and then we packed ourselves up and went home.

In the evening it was more Scooby-Doo. The DVD he brought home has a picture from one of the episodes on the cover, and perhaps it is for this reason that he has become obsessed with that particular episode. We've been watching that one (which is called "The Horrible Herd," and is about a herd of mutant skeleton cattle) over and over this weekend.

Sunday Owen and I also spent a lot of time together. Cara had a playdate in the middle of the day, and we tried to get her to buckle down on some school work before then. In the afternoon, Aunt Claire came by and all the ladies went out to do some shopping--Cara's birthday is coming fast and she needs snacks for school. By this time, Owen and I had gotten ourselves outside.

Owen had watched an awful cartoon in which a little boy enjoyed playing with bubbles, so he wanted to also. We opened the shed and played with bubbles, which was more fun than watching an awful cartoon about someone else doing it. Then, since the shed was opened and it was a lovely day out, I took out a whole bunch of other things. The most popular thing was sidewalk chalk. Owen is very much into drawing and coloring lately--it's what they gave him to do at school to try to save his hoarse voice, because he will sit quietly and color for a long time--and the chalk was right up his alley. We drew all kinds of interesting things all over the sidewalk, the driveway, and even on the fence slats.

I also got out the whiffle ball set--which he was mostly uninterested in. I got out a badminton racket and practiced juggling a birdie for a while--this attracted him enough that he tried it himself a couple of times before going back to drawing. I got out our little croquet set, which he found very exciting for about a minute or so. We even took a turn at some bocce, because believe it or not I have a bocce set also. But by that time we were both ready to finally go back inside.

Tonight Evelyn's parents came over, in addition to Claire, and we all went out to dinner for Cara's birthday. Owen took a bag of little cats and dogs and a couple of little guys, and ate next to nothing. What he did eat, I had to stick into his mouth myself. "Come on guys," he said to everyone after dinner, "let's go home and have some snacks." Sigh.

4/7/14 (Monday)

It's Cara's birthday! I explained this to Owen on our way home (she was at dance already), and I mentioned that I was thinking about making brownies. He was very much in favor of this, because he likes brownies, and he wanted it to be a "secret" and a "surprise."

He claimed that he was interested in helping, but I was tired and just did it myself after he had wandered off. I got them into the oven and then had some dinner. I figured I'd take them out when they smelled ready. I had forgotten that I have a cold and cannot smell anything. Fortunately, I checked on them before anything bad happened.

After seven, Steve brought Cara home. Owen was thrilled and ran to meet her. "Cara! I have brownies! It's a secret surprise!"

4/8/14 (Tuesday)

At YBR today, the teachers mixed up a batch of gak. Gak is, basically, white goo. Owen naturally refused to touch it. He was happy, though, to bring a baggie of it home "for Cara to play with." I asked him, on the way to pick her up, how to make gak. It's made of white liquid. You mix it up.

At dance, Owen carried the baggie in and showed it to Cara, first thing. She was, as you may imagine, impressed. Fortunately, he was satisfied by her reaction.

It's been very windy out. "Mommy," said Owen, "I like it when the wind blows your hair. It's like . . . very funny." He's such a flatterer.

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