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Journal Key:

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

6/12/14 (Thursday)

Owen has proposed that we should rename the cats. He would like us to call them Joseph and Owen. I asked him which should be which, but he protested that I was boring him.

6/14/14 (Saturday)

This morning the kids and I went out to do errands. Owen brought a coloring book. He colored while we were in the car. He colored when we stopped at the dance school to make a payment. He agreed to leave it in the car while we stopped at Home Depot.

We got a cart. When we got into the store and stopped to ask the greeter where to find the three items on our list, both kids wanted to push. Cara wanted to push standing up. Owen wanted to push crouching down to hold the bar across the bottom to he cart, which was the best place he could reach. This was a problem. "Do you want me to get (garbled)?" the woman asked. "OK," I said. We waited, still discussing who would push, while she disappeared to parts unknown. She eventually returned with one of the big carts that had a big plastic seat for Owen, with a steering wheel. After initial rejection, he was very happy to sit in it and steer. He also insisted that I buckle him in. It was a successful trip. Among other things, we got a very nice push broom for our June mulberries, which have taken over the driveway once again.

Owen colored on the way to Barnes and Noble. He obediently left the coloring book and crayons in the car. Cara still had a gift card from her birthday, and she was delighted that I said she and Owen could both get things. She found a very nice Greek Mythology sticker book. Owen wanted the same thing, but there was only one. I managed to find him a Wreck-it Ralph coloring book, which came with four crayons. We paid and went to the cafe for a treat. Cara worked on her stickers, and Owen colored. "Do we have to pay again?" Owen asked as we left.

At home again, we spent the afternoon outside. We used our push broom. We trimmed bushes. We weeded. The kids did some vague helping, but they also played together. When Steve and I were done working, they were still in the front yard. They had gotten all sorts of odds and ends out of the shed, and those were their weapons. Owen was Glasses Man, who helps you when you trip. (Cara kept tripping and protesting that he hadn't saved her.) I'm not sure what Cara was. Ninjas and other bad guys kept coming into the yard, and the kids would describe the ways in which they were fighting them.

Later, Grandmama came and picked them up to go for a sleepover.

6/15/14 (Sunday) Happy Father's Day!

At Owen's suggestion, we had a cookout for Father's Day. Grandmom and Grandpop, Grandma and Grandpapa, Aunt Claire, and Uncle Jim, Griffin, and Xavier came. We spent most of the afternoon in the back yard, where the kids played with the sand table. Owen tattled on Griffin for getting sand into the water side by washing cars; then he described the way that he himself liked to put water onto the sand side. I explained that both were fine.

Eventually, the kids started to disappear. The three older ones had made their way to the front yard, where Owen was, once again, Glasses Man. Cara was Glasses Girl. Griff, with Cara's bow and arrow, was Arrow Man. He couldn't really manage the bow and arrow. I tried helping, but soon he found some frisbees instead and decided to be Frisbee Man. There were many bad guys, and our heroes beat them soundly. They fought until it was time for cupcakes.

Xavier is about nine months old now; he crawls and pulls himself up and is generally cheerful and curious and lovely. The kids were both curious about him, too. They liked to sit with him and show him things and talk to him. When he pulled himself up and my mom and I helped him walk across the yard, Owen protested : "Let that baby go!" So that he could run free? We were cramping his style? Hmmmmm.

After everyone left, Steve and the kids played out in the front yard some more. They were waiting for the ice cream truck. Strangely, it never came. After I'd gotten things cleaned up, I came out and let Cara water the landscaping. Then I let her run through the hose on its mist setting. Owen, who had been in the bathroom, came out. He was skeptical but soon decided that this was a wonderful idea.

Cara went inside and put on a swimsuit before we put the sprinkler on, but I let Owen stay in his clothes. The two of them had a blast! They pretended that the jets of water were a jail, or turned them to gold statues, or were a tunnel to crawl through. They fought bad guys. Owen was a bad guy. They got frozen in ice and I had to go unfreeze them. Eventually poor Owen basically was frozen. I stripped his shorts and shirt off of him and snuggled him in a towel until he stopped shivering, and then he wanted to go back in. We let him have a few minutes in his underwear before carrying him inside for a much-needed bath.

6/16/14 (Monday)

Aunt Claire came up to spend the evening. She points out that Owen is "full of talking." He certainly is. On our way to the car, he told us all about his day. Miss Angela's daughter came to his school. Her name is either Anna or Elsa (I don't remember), but he told us first off that she was not the one from Frozen. She and her mother take turns cooking dinner. Yes, some day perhaps we will take turns cooking dinner. When he is bigger. Maybe tomorrow. He also told Claire the thrilling story that he told me last week, in which one of his classmates attempted to hug a bird, which flew away. He then basically continued talking all evening.

On the way home, the kids asked whether they could go in the sprinkler. I grudgingly said yes, but then it didn't happen. After dinner, they remembered. I've promised to pick them up somewhat early tomorrow for outdoor water sports.

Tonight, Steve told Owen that if he doesn't brush his teeth, he'll get rabies.

6/17/14 (Tuesday)

I picked the kids up early today so that we could go in the sprinkler. They both got into swimsuits, and then I managed to talk Owen into coming outside with us. He felt that he needed to color for a bit first.

He got to water the plants with the hose, though, and then we set the sprinkler up. After I'd swept up the two gallons of mulberries that were on the driveway, I was ready to join in. We played freeze tag and superheroes and just generally ran around for a long time. It felt really good, in the horrible heat.

When Steve got home, we came inside and both kids showered the grass off. (They both get grassy. They could have been grassier: Cara and I both refused to wressle with Owen.) We had leftovers and colored and went to bed.

6/18/14 (Wednesday)

Because it was Cara's last day of school and because the fridge is broken (not only is it not cold in there, it's also chirping. A lot. Since last night. I'd unplug it, but the freezer still works), we went out to dinner. Steve worked late, so the kids and I went. It was definitely supposed to be up to Cara where we went, but Owen wanted Chili's and she very nicely agreed to go there.

She wanted to know whether she could bring her Nook. I explained that I was saying no because I think we should actually talk to each other over meals and that I'd vowed that my kids would never be those kids in a restaurant glued to electronics. She left the Nook at home. Chili's, though, provides touch-screen devices at the table, which have games on them. Argh!!

Owen colored.

Cara did detach from the device, eventually, when I told her I was bored.

The other day, we were discussing last days of school.

Owen: How many days of school do I have left?

Me: Forever!

Owen: But how many days?

Me: ummmm . . . . ummmmm. . . . seven. Then, you will go to camp!

Steve: Yeah, you'll have other kids at your school who are there for camp.

It works! Today, he told me, right off, that there are kids at his school for camp.

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