Friday, October 17, 2014

Muddy Puddles

For the last four or five months, Owen has been, to put it mildly, a big fan of the Peppa Pig cartoon.  One of Peppa’s favorite activities, proper little piggy that she is, is to jump in muddy puddles.  And she is often getting admonished – and in turn admonishing her little brother, George – that if you jump in muddy puddles, you must wear your boots.

Owen has been quite intrigued by the whole idea of muddy puddles and jumping into them, and I finally got him a pair of rainboots so that he could do just that.  We had the boots, and now we needed the puddles!  “Luckily” (and please sprinkle a bit of sarcasm on that), our neighbors decided to drain their broken swimming pool on Sunday, and didn’t let the hose run out far enough into the lot that backs up onto both of our yards.  I was outside in the backyard with Owen at the time, when all of a sudden I realized that there was a steady stream of water running into it.  After hollering politely to the neighbor that his pool was ending up in our yard and could he please do something about it, we decided to make lemonade, so to speak, and I got Owen his rainboots.

Thus proceeded a good hour of muddy puddle jumping!  And it was just as much fun as Peppa had described.  Owen kept saying, Mommy jump in muddy puddles, too? Upon which I reminded him that if you jump in muddy puddles, you must wear your boots, and I was not wearing my boots.  Alas!  But Owen had a lot of fun, and by the next morning the puddles had been absorbed into our yard, as puddles are wont to do.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014


Owen is no longer crying or whining when he gets dropped off at his nursery school playgroup, which is nice.  He happily goes into his classroom and then is pleased to see Susan when she picks him up in a couple of hours.  I’m told he doesn’t always sing the goodbye song, but perhaps he prefers a handshake or some simple sprechtstimme.  Or even a see you later.  At any rate, school is going well, although we are all braced for Illness #2.

We’ve also seen some changes with Owen’s counting abilities.  He can count along with us – when we are walking down the stairs, say – up to twenty.  But until recently, when counting things on his own (something he likes to do), he would count thusly:  2, 10, 2, 10, 2!  So I started counting 1-2-3 to try to balance out all the 2’s and 10’s, and now he has started counting like this:  1, 2, Ghee, Pa, 15, 18.  Hmmmm.  I guess he heard “three” as “Ghee”, his nickname for his Granny, and then figured he should throw in a “Pa” so his Grandfather wouldn’t feel left out?  And then he's always been fond of reciting the teens.

We’re still working on his numbers!

He likes to tell us what colors things are, too, and gets them all correct except he can’t seem to tell the difference between pink and white.  All pinks are pink and all whites are pink too.  Perhaps that’s a remark on my laundry skills?  

Thursday, October 9, 2014

The Mosquito Buffet Is Closed

We have had many days with weather in the sixties as of late, which means that we can finally spend time outside without becoming a mosquito buffet.  It seems very freeing.  No smelly bug spray that doesn’t really work, and no looking down to find mosquitoes polka-dotting my legs.

When it stopped raining this past weekend I went outside with Owen and Dorothy and enjoyed watching the birds and occasionally pulling a weed while keeping an eye on Owen and his antics.  We have a little faded slide thingie that neighbors down the street passed on to us, and Owen enjoys climbing up it and sliding down while informing me that I am too big for the slide.  Yes Owen, I am indeed. 

He also can spend a very long time puttering about the yard, gathering sticks, and throwing pebbles in bushes and generally doing a good job of keeping himself entertained.  And of course the whole time he is doing so he is also making a running commentary that is often quite amusing.

And Dorothy loves nothing better than to be out in her yard with people on a cool day!  She takes a few big sticks and brings them under our largest tree and lies down and chews them.  

Every once in awhile she will bring a stick over to us to show us that she is a dog with a big stick.  She also likes to whip around and thwack us in the ankles with them.  And then she’ll return happily to underneath her tree.

We’re still trying to keep her from doing too much running and jumping, as she will get limpy after a session in the yard in which she is too active.  

This is precisely what she is not supposed to do:

She went on a neighborhood watch walk the other day and some policemen drove by, and then stopped when they saw her neighborhood watch bandanna so that they could meet their newest deputy!  They gave Dorothy much admiration, and she was very, very proud.  She has yet to report any suspicious activity, but that doesn’t mean she is not looking for it!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Fall Bullets

First of all, does anyone want to purchase some delicious fruit and for a good cause?!  If so, go to, and I kid you not, and then click on the button that says ship to anywhere in the continental US.  When you place your order, please choose “Lily Hunter” (my niece!) from the “Choose Seller” menu.  Yum!  You know you like to get fruit nestled in a crate.

I tend to get USA healthcare rage, and this tendency was only augmented the other day when suffering a bad sinus infection, I called my doctor to get antibiotics, and was told that she had to see me first, and then that her first available appointment was in the second week of December.  Keep up the good work, USA!  If only we had the same healthcare plan as our senators and representatives….

Martha came to visit a few weekends ago!  I haven’t been in a writing mood so have not yet recorded the visit on my blog (although Martha did so on her blog here).  For unknown reasons, Owen called Martha “Apple” and enjoyed bossing Apple around on Friday night.  On Saturday poor Owen came down with the First Nursery School Illness of 2014 (an illness with which I am still afflicted, sigh), so was feeling poorly all day.  But we did go to a playground and he had a good time swinging with his auntie.  Since she left, Owen has asked about Apple frequently.  The other day he asked me if Apple poops.

Owen is liking his nursery school and didn’t cry when Susan dropped him off on Thursday.  He brought home this lovely picture he made using fall leaves:

Owen talks A. Lot. these days.  He will chatter throughout dinner, not letting Sean or me get a word in edgewise.  He likes to point out what we are all having to eat and drink (Mommy wawa, Daddy beah, O milk), and then he likes to point to what’s on our plate and ask if he can “hold it”?  Not that I believe in the communal plate (and have indeed been known to use my fork as a weapon if someone reaches towards my plate when it has dessert on it), but since Owen doesn’t eat much variety, I’ve been letting him “hold it” and take a few bites of whatever it is.  

Owen will gladly tell you, if you ask, that Posy (Popey) likes cupcakes, Plum (Pum) likes o-gurt from a finger, and Dorothy (Dorty now, and no longer Dorr Dorr) likes a hamburger.  Yesterday Owen asked for candy corn in a cup for dinner, and had a tantrum when we said, um, no.

If Owen is mad at us, he will tell us bye bye.  Bye bye Mommy or bye bye Daddy means, please leave the room; you are dismissed.  Little tyrant.

Here he is playing with the Peppa Pig dollhouse he got from Susan and his grandmother:

Dorothy had her last laser treatment the other day.  We are still restricting her movement to try to give both of her knees more time to heal.  She actually doesn’t seem to mind spending most of her day lying on her back on the couch.


Owen’s been getting up at 4:00 or 5:00 in the morning and calling the night a day, so to speak.  This is very much not okay, and I absolutely refuse to let him get up before 5:15, and even that time makes me grumpy.  6:15 is a much more civilized time to get out of bed, if you ask me.  Anyway, after getting up in the wee small hours of the morning, Owen is often tired throughout the day (hello consequence).  Here he is pretending to sleep during music class.

Thursday, September 25, 2014


We are all in various stages of a headcold that pretends to be a flu for the first few days.  But let me back up.

Owen started nursery school three weeks ago!  He’s attending a playgroup at a nearby church two mornings a week.  The first day we stayed with him the whole time (as instructed).  The second class we left him, but he was too busy playing with the toys to notice.  By the second week, however, he was on to us, and cried when Susan dropped him off, and even when she turned into the parking lot.  However, the teachers said he didn’t cry long, and they and we thought he was really only crying in the first place because other kids were doing so.  Except for music class, Owen hasn’t been around other kids at all, so I can see how he would be disturbed to all of a sudden be confronted with screaming peers.  (Plus, he doesn’t talk much about school yet, but when he does he tells us that the girls were crying, so I can see that he is a bit fixated on this.)

Yesterday when Susan dropped him off, he cried a bit but had already stopped by the time she was a few feet down the hall, so I think all is well.  She also has heard him participating quite vigorously in the end of class song-singing, so it sounds like he is having a good time.

I was able to walk and  pick up Owen with the stroller during the second week, and the two teachers had brought the ten kids outside for pick up that day, and it was so cute to see Owen standing there in his little pants and sneakers and jacket looking all solemn yet content.  When he saw me he first told me that the babies had been crying, and then he said a friendly, “Bye, teachers!”

I am very pleased that he has the opportunity to attend this playgroup, as I think it is time that he branch out and also that he gets a bit of socialization.  He is happily used to being the “cruise director” at home, with adults to follow him about and do his bidding, so I think it is time for him to learn how to receive instruction as well as to give it.  Ahem.  And yesterday he brought home his very first fingerpainted art-woik!  A masterpiece, of course.

Anyway, at the end of his second week, Owen caught his first nursery school cold, and promptly passed it on to me and Sean.  Although while in the depths of fever I was tempted to have Owen live at home in a bubble for the next 16 or so years, I know that he is going to have to be exposed to all the colds and flus and whatnot either now or in kindergarten.  Let’s get it over with!  Sigh.  But let’s also wash his hands when he gets home.

Owen on the first day of school.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Maine, Again

One of Owen’s favorite vacation activities was helping Granny and Grandfather pick blueberries and blackberries in their garden.  (He is still learning how to talk, of course, and so picking blueberries and blackberries became picking boobies and blackbabies.  Oh dear.)  Anyway, he really liked the concept of picking food that he could pop in his mouth as well as place in his green bucket.  The blueberries he tended to take a tentative bite from and then hand the rest to me, but he quite enjoyed the blackberries.  Here he is picking berries in a hat borrowed from Granny:

He also helped pick cucumbers and squash and carrots, and was often redirected out of a post-nap tantrum by watering the tomatoes.  Or watering the moss on the front flagstones:

He enjoyed saying hello to my parents dog, Nellie, with a “Hi, Lellie!  Good girl, Lellie!”

Here's Nellie crammed where my feet were trying to be
on the long drive home:

And here's Nellie ignoring Dorothy and Plum in our home
after the journey:

Here is Owen cleaning the bathroom sink:

And stopping to admire himself in the mirror:

I’d have to say that a highlight of Owen’s trip seemed to be when one night Pa dropped a fork on the ground as he was clearing the table.  For reasons unknown, this made a BIG impression on Owen, and for the rest of the week he would hit his hand to his head and say, “Oh no! Pa dropped his fork on the ground!”  (I think this kind of incident OCD must be a 2 year-old trait?  For all this past weekend Owen told me over and over about how “Nanny had apple in her mouth” when he tried to give her a bite of his lunch.)  We are wondering if when he sees my father again at Christmas, whether or not he will bring up the Great Fork Spill of Summer ‘14.  I’m guessing yes, yes he will.

Sunday, September 14, 2014


We spent the last two weeks of August visiting my parents in Maine, and enjoyed every minute of it (except maybe for an hour or two of tantrum Owen had in the car on the way back).  Maine is beautiful, and both Sean and I would love to figure out a way we could live there permanently (so far we have come up with winning the lottery…but it hasn’t come to fruition yet.  I’ll keep you posted!)

It was sunny every day we were there, and warm enough so that we went to the beach about ten days in a row.  Owen, ever the cautious child, was not sure what to make of the ocean at first.  On our first visit, he gripped on to the sand with all ten toes and stayed in place as the tide came in around him, so that eventually he was in up to his waist, even though he had not moved his feet a centimeter.  During that time, however, he had a great time splashing himself with his shovel and chortling an enthusiastic and repeated wo-ho!, which amused other beach-goers.

Not the beach.  I didn't bring my phone to the beach because of how one of us tended to throw sand everywhere.  But this is an inlet where we went a few times so that Owen could wade and throw a few rocks:

He loved running back and forth from our beach chairs to the water, and loved even more throwing stones into the water – an activity he also did at rivers and bays and inlets (his arm improved, too, from practically hitting himself in the foot with the stone to getting it a few feet away from where he was standing).  I also got him to happily come in the water with me and “swim” on his stomach while kicking his feet.  Finally, he was allowed – nay encouraged – to kick!  Mind blown.  And of course he liked making sandcastles and digging watery holes, and following seagulls, etc.

Pemaquid River.  Sure it looks pretty, and it was all fun and games 
until we got attacked by a leech!

Lest you think that Owen’s vacation was all fun and games, however, here he is being put to work by his Granny and Grandfather (whose names he shortened to Ghee and Pa).  Vacuuming with Granny!:

Helping Grandfather weed!:

Wanting to help Grandfather on his tractor wearing, as he put it “Pa’s hat”:

Sean taught Owen the fun to be had in rolling on the grass, and although I would never partake myself, I did stand by nightly while he did his post-dinner rolling, and was able to get a few pictures: