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Journal Key:

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

4/18-21/14 (Friday-Monday)

Just when you think we've given up on this thing, back to the journal! I'm skipping some days as it's been so very long since we wrote in here. Our weekend was very exciting. On Friday, Owen had off, so Evelyn was at home with both kids. She was also sick again, which was rotten. We were going to have Passover seder at our house, but in the event it was switched to George and Janet's house at the last second. When I got home from work, we packed up all our Passover things and drove to Middletown.

The main part of the Passover seder is when you sit around the table and read out of a book. This was hard for Owen, as he wanted to do what he usually does at Grandmama and Grandpapa's house: go downstairs and eat in front of the TV, which should be playing Scooby Doo. But we did manage to hold him at the table long enough to get through all of the haggadah-reading up to the meal. What helped was that there were many visual aids, including ten plagues finger puppets of two different kinds and a set of ten plagues masks, which Ev had purchased at our local Jewish store in Highland Park.

Owen also enjoyed the wonderful moment when Grandpapa went to wash his hands and the children had to hide the afikomen. He got a real kick out of it this year, because he knew he was being sneaky. It was very hard later to actually motivate the children into telling Grandpapa where it was: Owen was happy to hide it but didn't understand the bribing part of the tradition.

Another part of the dinner that got Owen very engaged was the "dayenu!" recitation. You go through all of the things that the Lord did for the Jews, and say, if he had only done this thing, It would have been enough! Dayenu! And we all yelled dayenu each time. Owen is all about yelling, so he very quickly got involved--except that, for most of it, he was pumping his fists and yelling, "Meow!"

On Saturday our holidays continued. We drove to Aunt Claire's house for our first Easter celebration. Casie and Jason were there too! Grandmama delivered some nice big Easter baskets for both kids. Owen was thrilled to find a small pile of tootsie rolls, and he began eating them, one after another, the little scamp. Eventually when he realized he probably shouldn't have anymore, he started nipping them out of the basket and trying to hide them behind his back. Then he was trying the candies that Claire had put out on a dish on her coffee table.

I forgot to mention until now that this weekend Owen was given a sacred duty by his teachers at Yellow Brick Road. The Lollipops, we discovered, have a "class pet." His name is Oliver Fritz and he is a big stuffed frog. Every once in a while, a Lollipop gets to bring him home for the weekend, and this weekend was Owen's turn. Oliver came with his own nap bag, filled with various changes of clothes (Oliver is a NJ Nets fan), a toothbrush, a blanket, and a journal, which we are to fill with tales of his adventures--and photos. So all weekend we were bringing Oliver around and taking pictures of him. It didn't look good at first, because on the first outing with Oliver, at Barnes and Noble on Friday, Owen very thoroughly beat and punched Oliver, admonishing him with phrases like "Leave my sister alone!" But really Owen loved Oliver and was happy to have him around.

Oliver joined in the Easter egg hunt which took place in Claire's backyard. Owen requested and received a lot of help from grownups, who helped him find the eggs and often then had to help fetch them for him.

On Sunday we had one more exciting party to go to, because it was actually Easter Sunday, and I took the kids to the celebration at my cousin Cheryl's house in Norristown! Poor Evie: we decided she really shouldn't be going on the long car ride, so she stayed at home. The kids and I packed up the car with Oliver, some toys, books, a camera, crayons, and lots of other things. We had a lovely time at the house. It was a beautiful day, and the kids were absolutely spoiled, because everyone gave them a basket or some candy or a present of some kind. Griffin and Xavier and Lily were there too, so there were lots of other kids--enough to warrant an actual "kids' table".

Owen showed off his coloring skills when he took out a coloring book he'd brought and spent quite a while just sitting at a table coloring--and making other people color, of course. I remembered fondly the last time when he'd been at Cheryl's house, barely a toddler, taking his shambling steps across the deck in the backyard.

All of these parties left the boy quite often too excited to eat anything, but in between that he has actually been eating pretty well lately. He has been clearing his plate without needing to be threatened, which is quite a load off. Tonight Evelyn decided we should use our grill, so we fired it up and the kids spent some time playing outside while the food was cooked. Cara created a sort of obstacle course out front, which Owen was eventually led through.

In his bath tonight, Owen had one of his dollar store ninjas. He was making the ninja scream in a high-pitched shriek that only Owen can achieve. I tried to explain that ninjas are supposed to be quiet and sneaky, and therefore shouldn't be announcing their presence to everyone by screaming. But Owen insisted it had to be so: "He's a [something] ninja!" Neither Cara nor I could tell what kind of a ninja he was, until perhaps the twelfth repetition, when I finally realized he was saying "earthquake ninja." So he would say, "I'm an earthquake ninja. AAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!" Presumably his screams cause earthquakes. Probably it's all these super hero books we let him read...

4/22/14 (Tuesday)

Owen: Mommy, you know who I want to come to my house? Miss Sarah!

Me: Oh! Um . . . does she go to people's houses?

Owen: Yes. Today she went to Emilio's house.

Me: Really? Why?

Owen: Because he wanted her to.

Me: Oh, I didn't know she made house calls.

Owen: She doesn't.

4/23/14 (Wednesday)

Owen interrupted me in the middle of dinner. "Mommy, would you please talk about my day?" I explained that, because I had not been there, I really could not. He really wanted me to. I suggested that he should talk about it and reminded him of something that he had told me earlier; he'd told a story that had to do with Sophia. "I already told you that!" he complained. I suggested that he tell everyone else. That was no good.

In the car, on the way home, we had had the following conversation.

Owen: Sophia came back!

Me: That's good.

Owen: I was glad when she came back.

Me: Yes. I didn't know she had left. Was she there yesterday?

Owen: Yes.

Me: Oh. Um, when did she leave?

Owen: Her mommy came and got her and (garbled).

Me: Ohhhh, so she left and then she came back?

At some point, I took Owen to the bathroom. As we walked out, he remarked that, when I needed to go to the potty, I should just let him know. I thought that was very fair of him.

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