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Journal Key:

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

7/24/14 (Thursday)

Because it's summertime, Evelyn has kindly taken over a large portion of child-related tasks. This means that in the mornings I have gotten to the point where almost all I do a lot of the time is smile politely at the kids and then leave. Sometimes I will make them breakfast, if it so happens that they figure out what they want while I'm still there (Cara is very indecisive when it comes to breakfast). On some very rare days, I have assisted in packing their lunches. When Evelyn's (actually very busy) schedule requires it, I have been known to drop them off once or twice.

This morning though was just one of the lazy ones. I saw the kids and then wandered off. Then I worked late and came home late. Both children came outside to meet me when I exited the car. Cara gave me a hug; Owen really couldn't, because he had both of his hands wrapped around a great gob of plastic animals, and was intent on playing outside. No one else, sadly, was at all interested in doing that--I wanted dinner--so I coaxed him back in.

Owen expressed an interest in having the actual book of The Wizard of Oz read to him, so today Cara actually started doing it, using her own very fancy illustrated copy that she recently got as a gift. For whatever reason, they ended up pausing to draw cyclones on a piece of paper. Owen contributed by drawing a thick-trunked tree near one of the scribbly twisters. Tonight at bedtime, this time with Mommy reading, they finished the first chapter and started in on the second. Owen remembers the movie fairly well and is already comparing the story to it. He expected the good witch of the north to get into a bubble and fly around--in which expectation he was disappointed. He also seemed to think there weren't nearly enough munchkins in the town when Dorothy arrived.

7/26-7/30/14 (Saturday-Wednesday)

You may have noticed, loyal readers, that we have seriously slacked off on the journal. Our excuse this time is we had a long trip to Florida, and both Evelyn and myself have been very busy at work, and we have another vacation coming up soon.

Our trip to Florida was preceded by many, many days of Owen asking us if it was time to go to Florida yet. Finally it was! We got an excellent parking spot at the long-term parking lot and began our long odyssey with an always-fun trip on the Newark Liberty International Airport monorail. We met Grandpapa and Grandmama in the terminal.

The way the seats had ended up, we were mostly split up: Evelyn got the fun duty of wrangling both kids while the rest of us sat and read or slept. Even Ev got a chance to nap a little! The kids were good, so far as I know. They had sticker books, which kept them pretty busy.

This Florida trip was very busy. We went to the pool several times. The last time I remember Owen going to the Rainberry Bay pool, he was still wearing diapers--it was a nice change! The kids made up strange stories while they were in the pool, like they were both pirates and Cara had to swim off and find treasures. I think the Loch Ness monster was involved also.

One of the first things we did was Anne took us to the library and the kids got a huge pile of books and DVDs. We did read quite a few of the books we got for Owen, but we didn't watch all of the DVDs--once they had found one or two they liked, they just watched those a whole lot.

On Tuesday Uncle Arnold took a lot of us to the Palm Beach Zoo, where the kids had fun playing in their water park/fountain. Owen discovered the carousel, which he absolutely adored. He went on several times in a row, and we returned to it before we left. We also heard a couple of animal talks, saw a jaguar getting fed, and saw a nice little animal show. We had lunch there, got some stuffed animals to remember it by, and Owen was pretty exhausted by the time we left.

On Wednesday there was a visit to a nature preserve, followed by a big breakfast. I think it was that afternoon that Arnold took the kids to Boomers. It's sort of a Chuck E. Cheese whose activities are skewed more towards the casino-like games we saw in Great Wolf Lodge. The kids played air hockey but also discovered a very frenetic Pac-Man themed version of air hockey which involved like two dozen little pucks being shot back and forth at the same time. That was fun! Owen tried skeeball and I don't believe the poor guy managed to get a single ball all the way up the ramp. Cara was convinced by her great uncle to try climbing the indoor rock wall--she got halfway up (very impressive, considering she's never tried anything like that!) before she looked down and decided to return to earth.

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