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:

Monday, September 8, 2014

Dorothy's Other Knee

Poor Dorothy injured her other back knee on Friday, and we are all feeling rather glum about it.  When Susan informed us that Dorothy was limping again, I figured she had re-injured her back right knee, but when I tried to help her over to her dinner dish that night, I realized it was the back left that she was holding up.

Luckily, our vet has late hours on Friday and we were able to get an appointment with the doctor who had treated Dorothy’s right knee.  It seems that she tore her left knee, after over-using it while the right one was healing.  She was more or less on bedrest all weekend and we are taking her leashed into the front yard to do her business, instead of letting her out by herself in the back.

It is all rather discouraging:  first, I feel sorry for Dorothy, a dog who loves to run and jump and wrestle.  But I also worry about the cyclical nature of the injuries – it seems to me that she could easily keep damaging the knee which is hurt the less at the time, and where does it end?  At the moment she is on an anti-inflammatory medicine and we are taking her for laser treatments, which are not cheap.  There’s a surgery that could be done, but outrageous cost aside ($5,000), she could have the surgery, recover, and then tear the knee again while barking at the mailman, so it doesn’t seem like the way to go, even if we could afford it.

Dorothy is thin and fit for a bulldogge, and is only 3 ½, so these ailments are surprising.  Ah well!  At the moment we are taking it one day at a time and seeing how the recovery goes.  I plan to perhaps call and ask the doctor a few more questions too, like can a dog wear a knee brace?  Should she not go up and down the stairs or onto her sleeping couch?

Poor Dorothy!

Feeling sorry for herself in her new bed: