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Sunday, January 01, 2006
New Years Eve started with a shopping trip to Baby Bunting. Why not end
our year much as we started – spending money on Baby items. Jack now
has a high chair. He starts solids tomorrow, just shy of 6 months.
(That is, if you call a teaspoon of watery Baby Rice Cereal solid…) The
Maternal Health Nurse and local GP had suggested we wait until 6 months
before starting Jack on solids – due to his early reactions to what Al
eats, and tendencies to rash up. He has his 6-month check up in a week,
and Al wanted to start him on solids now so that she could ask questions
at the check up if needed.
It got to 42 degrees on New Years Eve – but we were able to keep the
house nice and cold. As Al said, the air conditioners have already paid
We spent New Years Eve at the same Friends place as last year, and the 6
odd years before that. We only stayed a couple hours – Jack hadn’t slept
for 5 hours by the time we arrived, and 7 hours by the time we left.
However we had a great BBQ, a good catch up, and Jack was on his best
behaviour the entire night.
Al has been extra tired all day, and her mood reflected that. Jack has
also been a touch out of sorts – his usually state the day after a big
outing. They had a long 3-hour nap this afternoon, but neither was back
to 100% after it.
I’ve had a good relaxed day. I finally finished updating all my blog
entries from the time we learnt Al was pregnant. Now I have to go
through all the notes Al has given me, and update hers. It has been
quite a task, but we already appreciate the memories this blog holds for
Posted by Doug at 10:24 PM
Monday, January 02, 2006
Was nice to continue our New Years Eve tradition
of at a BBQ at a nearby friend's place. While we didn't stay through to
seeing in the New Year, it was good to be part of the celebration. Jack
put in a good performance at this, as well as the previous night when
Doug's friends were over. It is great that other people are hearing his
happy little noises as well, and seeing him playing and interacting.
The only downside was being up late by my current standards for 2 nights
in a row. With no daytime naps either, it meant I was feeling pretty
tired and grumpy to start off the year. Thankfully Jack complied with a
3-hour nap yesterday afternoon, a sleep in till nearly 7 this morning
and a 4-hour nap this afternoon so I'm feeling much better again.
Obviously Jack was also in need of some catch up sleep.
Today was Jack's first try of 'solids' - if you
can call a teaspoon of rice cereal mixed in breast milk into liquid form
'solid'. He seemed very interested in it, and swallowed most of it. The
main difficulty was trying to get his hands out of the way as he was
excitedly grabbing for the spoon. So far no negative side effects (and
the 4 hours sleep followed it so maybe the food helped his sleeping -
who knows!) It feels like a big milestone to reach, and another
indicator he is already moving away from full 'baby' state towards
'little boy' state. I think Jack will enjoy the sensations of tasting
different foods and it is exciting to be watching him go through this
process. It will also help in making Jack more independent of me in that
Doug or other minders can participate in feeding him.
I have been really happy with how the
breast-feeding has gone to date. I hope to continue until he turns 1 -
so long as I can manage while returning part time to work. Breast
feeding is one of the 'big unknowns' before the baby is born - everyone
I know hopes to do it, but a large number seem to have problems so
either don't at all, or only for a short time. It has been a big relief
to me to be able to breastfeed at least this long, and has been a nice
bonding time with Jack. Already this first feed is a reminder that
breast-feeding is convenient – without the preparation time required for
I have been slowing down Jack's breast feeds in
past few weeks in anticipation of reaching the 6 month milestone and
starting solids, and will continue to do so to get down to 3 feeds a day
that is recommended from around 6 months. It almost feels strange not to
be feeding him so frequently. It does become habit forming after awhile
so it has been a conscious effort to try and slow them down rather than
Posted by Al at 8:18 PM
Tuesday, January 03, 2006
Jack had his first teaspoon of "solid food" yesterday, and two more
today. One of us had to hold his arms back (otherwise he grabbed at the
spoon), while the other fed him. He seemed to like the sensation of
being spoon feed, although we had to keep re-feeding him as most of the
Rice Cereal was pushed out of his mouth by his tongue as he subsequently
"played with it". We think he ended up with the full measures in the end.
A picture speaks a thousand words...
While we were trying new things, we also gave him half a feed of his
breast milk in a bottle. He consumed that quickly, and then demanded the
second half of his feed. I guess he won't have a problem having a bottle
while in day care!
He also seems happy in his high chair. We have reclined the chair to
make it more comfortable for him - he can’t hold himself straight for
long periods of time yet. He seems to like being up higher and being
able to see what we are doing.
Posted by Doug at 10:43 PM
Thursday, January 05, 2006
The small amount of "real food" saw a small difference to Jack's nappy I
changed today. I called Al over to see.
So there we were. Jack on the change table, nude from the waste down. Me
holding a very dirty nappy open, and Al looking into it with interest.
No one warned me about this before we had Jack...
Posted by Doug at 12:37 AM
Sunday, January 08, 2006
Jack has continued to be a touch antsy, prone to complaining, and being
unsettled. Not sure if it relates to the food, teething, a growth spurt
or what. His sleep patterns are also more unusual. He had a five and a
half hour afternoon nap the other day for example.
We went out to a Restaurant today with Al’s mothers group (all the Dad’s
included). The place was only 20% full, and we were situated at the far
end away from any one else. It took a while for everyone to get there;
we ordered food in dribs and drabs, there were prams all around the
table, and every so often one of the babies would be grumpy. Pretty
standard I would have thought for a table with five babies at it, and
with our location and the loud background music, we would not have been
annoying other patrons, and only been a mild inconvenience for the
Someone should have told the staff that – since they were out and out
rude. One woman rolled her eyes any time a baby made a noise or someone
asked her a question, and would give a second serving girl a look of
distain that was reciprocated. I got the distinct impression they felt
put out by having us there.
I’ll be sure never to go there again.
Posted by Doug at 6:43 PM
Jack has different cries for whinging, complaining, unhappy and tired.
For the most part you just take them as communication. Tonight we are
hearing another sort of cry that communicates all to clearly. Jack’s “I
am in real pain” - cry. It hit two-hours after a feed – the time it
generally takes for a meal to affect his stomach.
The other cries you can generally answer and plicate fairly quickly.
With his stomach aches all you can do is sooth him, carry him, tell him
that he is loved, and wait for it to pass.
Jack had his second type of food two hours ago – pureed cooked sweet
potato. He didn’t seem that taken with the taste, but took down a couple
teaspoons. Now we are left to wonder if it was that, or something
unrelated that left him feeling so bad. Hopefully this will pass as the
previous episodes have – after around 30 minutes. I hope so – these
periods are long and hard on child and parent alike.
We were discussing how interesting it is to introduce Jack to all these
new tastes and experiences. This isn’t the sort of interesting we were
Posted by Doug at 10:30 PM
30 minutes in and the cries of pain had reduced to a whimper. From the
silence upstairs I think Jack must have then fallen asleep soon after my
last check in. That pattern almost guarantees it relates to something
in his last meal.
Al seems to feel in part responsible. We fed him; hence we helped
caused his pain. She knows the logic is wrong, but hearing Jack in pain
rips at your emotions.
Only 6 months old, but you would do anything for them, and distress at
any time you feel you have let them down.
Posted by Doug at 11:51 PM
Tuesday, January 10, 2006
The happy Jack seemed to be returning yesterday, and he was almost back
to his normal self today.
Speaking of today, he has been busy with three outings. It started with
his 6-month visit to the maternal health nurse. He hadn’t put on much
weight – the nurse suggesting it might have related to starting on
solids late (which we were told to), and I guess still being on breast
milk instead of formula. Al will keep taking note of feed frequencies,
but Jack feeds well, and looks so alert, healthy and happy that I don’t
think it reflects a problem. I feel instead the weight reflected the big
nappies he did in the hours before!
During the visit the nurse indicated she thought she might have heard
some clicking from Jack’s hips. She wasn’t sure, but suggested Al take
him to a doctor to check just in case. So Jack’s second outing was to
visit one of our local doctors, who quickly indicated there wasn’t a
The last outing was just a little time ago – where he went out for his
six-month immunisation needles. The last two times we went the community
centre was packed and we had long delays. This time we got in and out in
only around 15 minutes. Jack stayed pretty happy right up until the
needles went in, gave a sharp pain cry, but was back to normal within
seconds after some distraction and hugs from his parents.
There was one interesting point from the day. During the movement tests
the Nurse commented on how flexible and how well Jack moved. Al
mentioned that she gave him yoga sessions every day, and the nurse
indicated that you could always see a difference in a baby that does
Posted by Doug at 8:03 PM
Wednesday, January 11, 2006
I was in my study this evening typing away on my laptop for a change
when I heard Jack crying upstairs. I wandered up to see if I could
help, finding Al in the middle of changing his nappy. Jack was halfway
through a feed, and was protesting extremely vigorously about the
temporary halt. I tried to distract him, but he was having none of
that. He had had a very heavy wet nappy, but it didn’t seem to factor
into his equations. Al reminded me that he does this every time she
changed him at night. It has been some time since I had heard it, so
obviously I sleep through most of his worst, totally undisturbed. Once
Al picked him up and restarted the feed, he was all smiles, and even let
out a couple happy squeals.
Posted by Doug at 11:52 PM
Friday, January 13, 2006
Parenthood can feel like a roller coaster ride at
times. In the past couple weeks we have had highs of Jack reaching the
six month milestone and reflecting on where he is at and how far we have
all come, and watching him experiencing solid foods for the first time.
At the same time these have been accompanied by worrying. He had his
six-month injections, which turned out fine and he coped with well. He
had his six-month check up - but had only put on a small amount of
weight over the past month. I worry I might have slowed his feeds too
much, but the health nurse indicated it just showed he was well ready
for solids. I also had to take him off to the doctors to check his hips
after the nurse suggested it, but that also turned out fine. Last of
all was worry about his reaction to the solid food we are introducing,
particularly after a bad reaction soon after his first try of sweet
potato. So in the end all is going well, but it has felt like a lot to
deal with in a short space of time.
We do try ensuring we take a moment to stop and
appreciate each milestone - even amidst all the busy times. They are
such fleeting moments.
The past couple weeks have continued with plenty
of social activities also. Jack's Auntie Lis came to stay and Grandma
Quinn has visited. We went to visit 2 of his little friends (Mattie and
Claire) and he enjoyed being bounced on their trampoline. The mother's
group started back for the year with a lunch including all the fathers
for the first time. He has been to lunch with some of my past and
current work colleagues and been into see his dad's work and join his
dad for lunch in the city. He has also been on several outings to the
sales. While this all sounds a lot, it has felt a slightly more relaxed
pace without all the additional baby activities.
He certainly makes it easy to take on so many
social outings, since he enjoys looking around and seeing different
people and places, so most people comment on what a happy contented baby
he is. He also gets plenty of comments about how cute and gorgeous he
is, both from people we know and shop assistants or passers by.
He had another more unsettled week last week
(which is an expected time for a growth spurt) but has been mostly back
to his happy self again this week
Posted by Al at 9:41 PM
Saturday, January 14, 2006
Al loves Christmas Lollies. I’m not entirely sure why – they seem to be
oversweet sugarcoated sugar. The local supermarket had them on special
the other day. Maybe not yet ready to part with the 2005 festive season,
Al purchased a packet. She put them in a bowl on the Kitchen Bench. They
are pretty safe lollies to leave out in our household – Jack can’t climb
yet, and I can’t eat more than two at a time without feeling sick.
Al on the other hand can eat lots of them.
At 9:30pm tonight Jack was extremely tired. He had had a busy day,
including a relatively long shopping trip with his parents. He really
wanted to fall asleep, it was two hours past his bed time, but his body
wasn’t allowing him to. For some reason it had lots and lots of energy
I was alerted to the fact things were not going to plan upstairs by the
“tone” of Al’s footsteps. Normally I don’t hear her as she moves around.
Tonight it went like… thud thud thud, pause, thud thud thud, pause,
thud, pause, baby whine, thud thud thud…
Posted by Doug at 11:04 PM
Tuesday, January 17, 2006
Jack seems to have really taken to his solid food, eating the full
serves in relatively quick time. He has picked up on the mechanics of
eating (mush) without any trouble, and as a result I've noticed him
swallowing and moving his tongue in, around and out of his mouth a lot
more than he used to. He actually seems to like the taste of the Rice
Cereal and Pumpkin, although his facial expression while being feed
Sweet Potato seems to say "ok, I'm eating it because you are giving it
to me, but I'm not convinced it is worth the effort."
The last few Day's Al has taken to putting Jack down in the Cot during
the day. The trick was to halve the time she held him after he fell
asleep. He's had a couple sessions for well over an hour during the
day, although wakes up upset to find himself there. She has also been
working on getting him into the Cot at night. More often than not each
attempt lasts 2 seconds to 40 odd minutes, but she has got him down for
(I think) 3 to 4 hours on a couple occasions in the last week. Again,
he doesn't tend to wake up happy, but it has been a small but promising
The little weasel (Jack's name at sleep time) is currently sleeping
tucked up against his mum, but he has had a 40-minute and a 2-minute
session in the cot so far tonight. Here's hoping for another longer
Posted by Doug at 12:03 AM
Continuation from yesterday…
Al put Jack back in his cot at 1am last night. He was up for a feed at
3am, and then went back down in it until 6:30am. Al slept in the single
bed in the nursery during that time, which seems to help.
The pair of them did their normal morning routine, which includes Al’s
shower and breakfast. As usual, by 8:30 Jack was ready for his next nap.
Al walked him until he fell asleep, and then put him back in his Cot
where he slept for another hour.
On that last time he actually woke up happy, and called for his mum
without getting upset. All told, a good effort.
It is not uncommon for Jack to sleep on his side, arm draped across his
mum, snuggled up under her arm like a little koala. With the effort to
move him back into his nursery, we are noticing he often rolls and
sleeps on his side in his cot now. It is a cute look.
I was holding a squirming and antsy Jack this evening as Al cleaned up
after our meal. He’d been whinging a lot in his rocker as we ate, so I
had picked him up as soon as I had finished my meal. He eagerly watched
his mum moving around - each time she came close he would reach and lean
out towards her. Whenever she moved away Jack would twist around and
grab, pinch, and hit me, until he heard his mum moving close again.
I had the sudden realisation that I often made this mistake – picking
Jack up during his witching hour, when the only person he was interested
in was his Mum.
This was reinforced tonight while I tried to distract and keep Jack
company while Al got changed for bed. He was ready to go to sleep, and
when left alone in the room with his Dad, a frown quickly rolled in,
followed by a loud whine. I tried to placate him, but he pinched,
clawed, scratched and forcefully squirmed and kicked to get away from
me. As soon as Al returned he gave a couple indignant whines, and
promptly got comfortable in her arms.
You certainly feel as if your efforts are distinctly not appreciated at
Obviously the person at fault here is me. I’m forgetting that it is
Jack’s witching hour, and that to him I’m an impediment in the way of
what he wants. It seems so obvious when you stop and think about it.
Posted by Doug at 10:35 PM
Wednesday, January 18, 2006
We have a large collection of baby face washers. Strangely enough, I
don’t think we have ever used them for that purpose. Instead they
reside next to the change tables, and are draped over Jack’s privates
during nappy changes. A tip a number of people gave us that is
generally an effective guard against errant wee.
Tonight Al stripped Jack off in preparation for his bath. Jack promptly
took the baby face washer that was laid on him and waved it vigorously
over his head, as he is prone to do. Al casually reached over for
another one while rabbiting on about some topic.
I was sitting on the bed in the nursery, and noticing the signs, issued
a polite “Ahhh, Wee Alert”. Since I was apparently not meant to be
involved in the conversation, she didn’t take any noticed of what I had
said. Instead she paused in mid reach, bringing emphasis to whatever she
was talking about.
A little louder this time, I remarked “Errr, Wee Alert”. Al picked up
the replacement baby face washer and half turned to face me, still
talking on about the topic. I made one last attempt. “You better be
quick with that…”
She got a “Whaah..” out of her mouth before being hit by a steady stream
Jack continued twirling his baby face washer around.
I laughed heartily.
Al forgot what she was talking about, and issued a few quiet words of
Posted by Doug at 11:42 PM
Thursday, January 19, 2006
Within a week of his birth Jack broke out in baby acne. He went a month
where he was all blotchy and red. The moment that cleared he had a
massive attack of cradle cap and all his newborn hair fell out. That
went on for over a month. Once that finally cleared he went through a
period of scratching his head and face. People who met Jack for the
first time would say "Oh, how cute", with a slightly strained smile and
look that suggested they thought otherwise. When I looked at Jack I
always saw his alertness, an inquisitive mind, growing personality and
character, and thought he looked like a little champion.
Be it short lived or the new normal, for a few months now Jack's skin
and scalp have all cleared up. With his big eyes, good behaviour and
willingness to interact, when people say "Oh he's cute", they now seem
to genuinely think so. When I look at Jack now I see his personality,
his willingness to laugh and show love, the stubborn streak, the mind
that often knows exactly what it wants, his inquisitiveness and a
surprisingly patient good will he extends to his parents. To me he
looks like an even bigger little champion, and is gorgeous for who he is.
Posted by Doug at 8:59 PM
I just bit the inside of my lip so hard while eating cereal that I
gave myself a large blood blister. I then had to spend 5 minutes
searching the house for something suitably clean and sharp enough to
pop it with. Whenever I am not 100% well I seem to bite the hell
out of the insides of my mouth. I don't know why my jaw
coordination is the first thing to go. I bet I drool a lot in old
And eating cereal at 10pm? I just felt like it.
Jack's routine was out today. He had a quick exit from the house
this morning to miss the cleaners, visited a Friend of Al's, and had
a two hour afternoon nap. His feeds got out of sync with his nap
times, and by 9:30pm he was 3 hours overdue for sleep. He was
suffering a major dose of the over tired, I don't know what I want,
grumps. From whine to giggle to whine in 2.7 seconds. A reminder
that he is of course only 6 months old, and very much a baby.
Al was looking foward to having an early night with him. I find it
is never a good idea to look forward to anything too specific like
sleep when a baby is involved. By 9:30pm she had her own case of
the over tired grumps. Instead it was more like groan to moan to
groan in 10 seconds. She didn't look or sound very happy.
Thankfully they both finally collapsed a little while ago, and are
asleep in our bed. I was hoping for an early night, but since me
climbing into bed often disturbs Jack, I'll have to stay up an extra
couple hours to ensure they get a reasonable sleep. As I said,
never look forward to sleep when a baby is involved.
Posted by Doug at 11:26 PM
Friday, January 20, 2006
Jack and I have had another busy week of outings.
We went to the hairdressers to watch Doug get his hair cut. Jack loves
grabbing both our hair, and has seemed particularly interested in
pulling Doug's hair since it was cut.
At the mother's group afternoon tea he and Lachlan
played side by side in the playpen. At one stage, Jack had his foot
kicking into Lachlan's side and Lachlan was laughing as if being tickled.
Yesterday we went to visit a friend who just had
their 2nd baby (first child aged 2). Jack was amused by their rooster
hand puppet with all of us including the 2 year old taking in turns to
do 'cock a doodle do' to him. Speaking of hand puppets, Jack and I went
on a toy-shopping splurge this week, and picked up a duck hand puppet.
He smiles and laughs when I hold it over him waving it, making quack
noises and doing 'peek a boo'. He also gained new dinosaur bath toys and
an octopus shaped first keyboard that have also been hits with him.
A bit spoilt perhaps to be getting new toys so
soon after Christmas, but it's hard to resist and it helps keep him
entertained when at home. A few new bibs were also purchased - with the
introduction of solids; they require a lot more changes.
Jack really is a pleasure to take out and about at
Posted by Al at 3:04 PM
Sunday, January 22, 2006
My parents visited this weekend, and one of my sisters and her partner
dropped in as well. It is interesting to see and reflect on what other
people see in Jack's development. Both days got to over 40 degree's, so
we stayed indoors.
Jack has found that raspberries, when added to food, are a great deal of
fun... His parents are not so enthused about his discovery.
Posted by Doug at 8:12 PM
Tuesday, January 24, 2006
Al put Jack down on the bedroom floor while she got changed tonight.
When she returned he had rolled himself over and moved a little way.
She stopped a little in front of him and spoke. Jack was upright on his
hands, and had his legs splayed out flat behind like a frog. He moved
one hand forward, then the other, then pushed himself forward with his
legs. He dug his big toes, or sometimes the sides of his knees into the
carpet to get leverage. He moved over a meter this way, then gave his
parents a strange “what are you carrying on about” look, as we clapped
and cheered him.
He’s not there yet, and it might take a while longer, but he seems to be
on his way towards real mobility.
Oh crap. Baby proofing the house…
We are all suffering from a stomach bug at the moment. Jack seems the
most resilient of us. He has had a mild temperature on and off over the
last couple days, been prone to mini vomits after eating or strenuous
leg kicking, and is wanting extra comfort from his parents. We have
been keeping a very close eye on him, increased his feeds, and are
giving him extra hugs. He is coping well. His parents on the other
hand have been moping, complaining, and feeling very sad and sorry for
Posted by Doug at 12:03 AM
If I were to describe Jack’s crawling attempts, I’d have to say a mix of
Praying Mantis and Crab. He seems to scoot sideways just as much as
forward, and when he gets up on is arms and pushes up on the sides of
his knees, he sways backwards and forwards like a Praying Mantis. He
seems to be pretty happy with the effort so far.
While forward movement isn’t too crash hot, he can turn himself around
on the spot easily. (Spinning on his belly.) Now that being on his front
is so interesting, he has also taken to rolling over more frequently.
I don’t know how long it will take him to get the required coordination,
strength, and stamina to crawl properly, but we are certainly enjoying
watching him as he starts trying.
Posted by Doug at 11:43 PM
Wednesday, January 25, 2006
Working from home for the 3rd day in a row - still haven't shaken this
stomach bug. Off to the doctors later.
Above you can see Jack's frog form. He more leaps forward in little
amounts than actually crawls, but he is heading in the right direction.
Posted by Doug at 12:36 PM
Thursday, January 26, 2006
Al doesn't get weekends or public holidays off at the moment. You know
that before the child is born, but you don't really understand what that
means. This morning Jack insisted that he have his nap in his cot. Al
now has a rare hour to relax and do whatever she wants.
Jack is being introduced slowly to childcare, starting from Thursday
next week. It is a reminder that Al's return to work is not that far
off. We are both a little hesitant thinking about that. We have been
motoring along pretty happily for the last six months. When Al returns
to work both of our daily workloads increases dramatically. I wonder at
how well we are all going to cope.
My work has indicated it should be fine for me to cut back to 4 days a
week, and is already working towards ensuring resources are available.
Al's work has also indicated in principle her plans to work part time
are ok, and she is having a phone conference with them next week to set
some dates and timeframes. There is going to be a lot of adjusting for
all of us in the coming months.
Posted by Doug at 11:10 AM
Friday, January 27, 2006
Past couple weeks have been difficult with varying
illness to deal with. Firstly, after Jack’s introduction to solids I
found it painful on one side while breastfeeding. Thankfully I managed
to recover from this without it developing into mastitis (something I
would not like to go through again). While still recovering however I
was hit by a weeklong stomach bug. Once over the worst of that, Jack
showed signs of not being well - some vomiting, possible mild
temperature and being more clingy. Thankfully he is very resilient and
recovered quickly. Finally the bug then hit Doug. It is bad enough
feeling sick yourself, but having the whole household sick is very
I quickly decided to cancel all my appointments
for the week to allow us a chance to recover. (Plus I did not want to
risk passing the bug on to anyone else.) It was a good decision,
although I realised it would probably be the last such quiet week before
I return to work, given all of Jack’s activities start up next week. It
was sad that I was not able to fully appreciate it. It is also sad that
this time of being a full time stay at home mum is rapidly coming to an
end. (Only 2 hectic months to go.)
After all of this Jack then had a restless night –
which kept me up for half a night for the first time in a while. The
following day Jack had a long nap to catch up. I tried to make the most
of a few rare hours to myself – despite being tired and battling a sore
throat. Throw in some PMS, and all this led to me being grumpy and out
of sorts by the end of the day.
Sometimes it is a tough choice between sleep and
getting a few things done, or taking the chance to relax (somewhat)
without the constant demands of motherhood. That is one of the difficult
aspects of parenthood. Beforehand you know that it is a 24/7 job, but
even knowing that it is impossible to fully prepare or appreciate what
it is really like. Most of the time I feel on top of it, but there are
moments, and days, where it is a struggle. Again it makes you more
appreciative and understanding of everything your parents went through,
and more sympathetic to other parents.
Another thing I have noticed is that you feel much
more affected when hearing about serious illness or death in children,
whether people you know or things you hear in the media. It has always
been sad to hear such things, but now it is easier to relate to, and
your empathy increases dramatically.
On a more positive note, we have been very excited
this week to watch Jack's first early crawling efforts. He has not yet
fully mastered the art, but has already progressed from the initial
commando type position and frog legs approach to at times getting fully
up onto his knees. It is funny that beforehand I kind of expected
milestones like sitting and crawling to just happen overnight - one day
they aren't doing it, the next day they are. In reality they are more
of a gradual process, which makes a lot more sense. They are skills
that require a lot of practise and mastering, and emerging physical and
mental capability. It was great that this development coincided with
Doug being at home to see it. (Although it wasn’t good that he was home
because he was ill.)
Jack now moves his whole body around when we are
carrying him, to look at whatever he wants to, or to try and reach for
things. He can start off looking over one of my shoulders, then quickly
move himself so he is looking over my other shoulder, or twisted around
looking back the way I am facing, etc. All of a sudden he can also go
from an upright position to launching forward into a 'superman pose'
trying to grab at something. It is great seeing him so interested in
everything around him and being able to actively try and gravitate to
what interests him, although it makes him increasingly difficult to hold.
Jack seems to have developed an early 'TV
addiction'. When we are carrying him and moving away from the TV, or get
in between him and it, he frantically tries to move himself back into a
viewing position. Not only that, he seems to have developed taste in
what he watches. The other day he was happily watching the tennis with
me. When this finished a game show came on and he cried. I put on a
'baby development' video I have purchased for him (that I just see as
another form of stimulation for him) and he was instantly happy again
and watched with interest for quite awhile. He does seem to enjoy
cartoons, and kids shows such as Play School, Sesame Street (both of
which I remember watching when I was a kid - amazing they are still
going!), and The Wiggles. Not that I want to over-use TV, but often he
is watching it while having quiet time on my lap or while playing in his
Posted by Al at 11:41 PM
Saturday, January 28, 2006
Jack’s crawling technique is continuing to improve, and he is obviously
really enjoying himself. He was holding himself up on his hands and big
toes on several occasions, like a commando push up. I’m not certain I
could do the same! He seems really happy with himself, and is rolling
and moving all the time.
This morning also saw the arrival of a number of new noises, which he
has been repeating continually all day. The first once is a rather nice
Daa Da Da Da Daa, which he is particularly pleased with. (And of course
we like, since it sounds like he is saying Dada.) There are also
versions of hello (halloou) and hooray (hooowaay) (with the help of
fingers in his mouth), and new brrrrrr’s (by vibrating his lips) and
very clear long gurgles (using the back of his throat.)
Obviously – and again, these are all noises, not words. They are however
certainly delighting both him and us.
We purchased a cage (play pen), and a gate for the top of the stairs
today. Hopefully (if the saleswoman got it right on the fourth attempt)
they should be delivered on Monday. It is only the start – there seems
to be so much more to do. We are even in the process of moving the
downstairs change table and shifting furniture to give Jack more room,
and us areas we can try to fence off.
Posted by Doug at 11:50 PM
Monday, January 30, 2006
The cage arrived today. Here Jack practices his… errrr… I’m not sure
what you call it. The 4 legged spider?
He seems happy enough in it, and we think it should work out ok.
The gate for the top of the stairs also arrived. Mmmm. The gate fit the
post I measured... but it did not fit the post that I did not measure.
It never crossed my mind they would be different. Blah. Off to the
hardware store for some planks of wood.
Posted by Doug at 9:54 PM
Tuesday, January 31, 2006
Many people (mostly other parents) ask me how Jack is going. It could be
a dangerous opening to give a recent father - so I try to keep the
answer short, and make a point of mentioning both the good and the bad.
Some days I succeed, some days I don’t.
One of the things I often bring up is how Jack wakes up every 3 or 4
hour over night, and insists on sleeping next to Al half the time. A
common response is a look of sympathy, then a remark of “my little one
sleeps 12 hours straight”. Wow – how lucky are they? I then mention I’m
not sure Jack could go that long without food – only to be told their
child still gets fed every 3 or 4 hours overnight.
Apparently there is sleeping, and then there is sleeping.
I guess the most important thing is that our household seems to be
coping well with Jack's night routine at the moment. A good night is one
in which we all come out the other end ok - be that with Jack in the cot
with no feeds, or attached to his human mattress and having three feeds.
Luckily we seem to have mostly good nights.
I have also recounted Jack’s new da da da noise to a number of people
recently. Some responded with a fond smile and indicate “Dada is often
their first word.” I make the point of saying that it wasn’t a word for
Jack yet, just a noise that sounds like one. I don’t always get the
chance to say that. Some people quickly, almost sharply, interjected to
say “Oh, that is just a noise. It isn’t a real word yet.”
Apparently you are not meant to delight in your six month old saying
"Bob Bob Bob Da Da Dada <happy squeal>" when you first get home from
Of course, sometimes when people ask me how Jack is going, they don’t
really want to know. They are just after an opening to talk about their
own children. I try to make a point of being interested, ask about the
good and the bad, and be positive about what they say.
Posted by Doug at 12:45 AM
NSW Chief Justice James Spigelman said in a speech last night that he
deplored the state of manners and respect in today’s society. The Prime
Minister John Howard came out in agreement, saying Australians were not
polite enough. He suggested that the television networks and parents
had the responsibility to help people mind their manners.
The poor media – it is kind of like shooting the messenger. And those
parents - sheash, don't they seem to be blamed for everything now a days.
Personally, I wonder at the improvement we would see if our politicians
changed their own behaviour. What would happen if they stopped peddling
to the lowest common denominator of greed and self-interest when buying
people’s votes? What would happen if they stopped the practise of
division politics – pitting the high-income earners against the low, the
retiree against the youth, families against singles, tax payer against
unemployed? What would happen if they stopped undermining the authority
and freedom of parents through their increasing volume of meddling and
interfering laws? What if our schools spent less time informing children
of all the things they should expect and have right to in life, and put
priority on teaching responsibility and respect? What would happen if
they taught our children how to think for themselves, instead of just
want to think?
I wonder at how much of an approvement we would see with all of that?
Interestingly enough, some of the key areas that stood out in the
Private Schools we looked at were the importance they placed on respect,
responsibility, and development of their student’s into individuals.
Posted by Doug at 10:58 PM
Every time I look at how Jack is moving, he is doing it differently. He
still primarily uses the frog jump to move forward, but tonight he was
holding position in the traditional crawling stance – being up correctly
on his knees. I guess he found it was easier to hold himself up that
way. He hasn’t got the coordination between arms and legs, and left and
right going yet, but he is on his way.
Posted by Doug at 11:31 PM