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Thursday, February 11, 2010
We got a babysitter in last night so Al and I could attend an
information session for Jack's childcare room. This is the first time we
have done that since Grace was born, and we were pleased with how well
Jack has been particularly good since going back to Childcare. He
complains a lot less around the house and seems happier within himself.
Grace isn't entirely pleased with the notion of childcare, and kicks up
a bit of a stink at drop offs and pick ups. The carers however report
she is doing well during the day, and she is eatting and sleeping as
much as she would do at home. Just recently she has really started to
"talk" to people and objects around her in a cute baby babble.
Posted by Doug at 8:05 AM
Saturday, February 13, 2010
It appears our Do No Call Registry entry expired. We went from getting
maybe 1 unsolicited phone call a fortnight to getting 3 or 4 a day.
There was no warning provided – we just suddenly started getting a flood
of calls. When I re-registered there was an option to have an email
sent when the entry was about to expire. Hopefully that will work as
intended in three years time.
Last night I had a gentlemen call to say he would be sending out a
shopping card. I asked what company he was calling on behalf of, but he
said he must tell me the benefits of the card first. I said I wasn’t
going to listen to the spiel unless I knew what company it was for. I
assume the poor fellow has a script he has had to read through time and
time again – and I could almost hear his brain attempting to wake up and
process the unexpected conversation. After a long pause he finally
responded with “Why?”
“Because I want to know if I have had a previous relationship with the
company, or if you are just cold calling.”
“What do you think?”
“I think you are cold calling, but I am giving you the benefit of the
doubt and politely asking.”
“Never mind, I am sorry to be bothering you, we will be removing your
phone number from our list.”
And then he hung up.
At least he was polite. The most common call we have received is from
people who say they are working with the government, and were booking a
time to come around and install insulation for us. As soon as you start
to say you don’t need insulation the majority of these callers
immediately hang up on you.
At least now we know the Do Not Call Registry did indeed work. Now I
just have to put up with another month of these annoying phone calls
before it starts working for us again…
Posted by Doug at 8:39 AM
Grace has now been at childcare just over a month.
The first week was 2 hours each visit; the second week 4 hours, then the
past few weeks have been full days. This was a much faster transition
than we did for Jack, and seems to have been a better approach. Grace
still cries furiously each morning when I pass her over to a carer - but
does not instantly cry as we enter the room. Similarly she melts into
tears as soon as she sees me at pickup time. Initially she wanted to
stay very close to the carers and cried or whinged any time they moved
away. She is now starting to crawl around the room more to explore and
follow the other babies about (although the carers still say she loves
their attention). They report she has mostly good days now.
Today they said she was laughing when Jack bobbed
his head up and down from the turtle room window playing peek-a-boo with
her. They also said she found the maracas hilarious at music time. She
is eating well and drinking all her expressed milk from the bottle. She
is only sleeping 30-45 mins at a time, but that isn’t much less than at
home. She does look very tired by the end of the day – but she is
otherwise her normal self when we get home and doesn't seem extra clingy
or different in her behaviour. So all up, it is about as good as we
could hope for at such an early stage.
Jack has now settled well into his Turtle room.
After some emotional meltdowns in his first week or so, he has really
calmed down and is for the most part is currently a happy little boy. We
don't know if this relates to feeling more settled in the room, or
strategies the carers have put in place around expressing emotions and
spending some one-on-one time with him each day, but it is most welcome.
He has also had a mostly good start to his activities. A school holiday
week-long swim program has really given him a burst forward in
confidence and skills. He was excited to go to his first gymnastics
class and gave everything a try, but a bit more anxious and cautious in
his second week.
My work is shaping up to be a busy year with the
initial large warehouse implementation I have been working on, as well
as a study project I have now been asked to manage on interim warehouse
solutions. Doug and I are feeling a bit tired as we adjust back into the
busy work and kids activities schedule after the summer break. I am also
finding the expressing 3 times a week time consuming and tiring. Doug
has been doing the beginning of the morning routine with Jack - while I
sleep in until Grace wakes up (usually around 7:30-7:45). I have found
this extra sleep very helpful, although Doug is finding his work day
extending longer as a result.
In the past month we have made it out to a couple
of local art galleries. Jack has shown interest in the visits, and said
after this latest visit that it is giving him ideas for his artwork. We
have had Grandma C and Pop visit for 3 days, much to Jack's delight.
They enjoyed getting to see the large award-winning park that was built
a couple years ago in our suburb. We had a trip down to Geelong to
visit one of my high school friends. This included a visit with Auntie
Lis to see the new marina at Queenscliff. Jack enjoyed a short walk on
the beach, as well as dinner with Auntie Lis, Grandma Q and Pop. Jack
also had fun playing at Dom and Bella's house on Australia Day.
Summary of Grace at 11 months
. has 2 bottom teeth
. has just started getting the idea of walking
while we hold her under the armpits (after Doug walked her between his
legs staying 'step, step, step' and she seem to understand what to do
now when we say step to her)
. done her first few laps of the lounge room
holding onto the walker
. enjoys crawling through her tunnel if we look
through the other end at her and put a couple toys in for her to collect
along the way
. within a couple weeks of starting childcare
started clapping her hands and pointing (both things picked up there)
. has started saying 'mum mum mum' (hooray!!) .
She says 'dis' (this) and 'dat' (that) when pointing at things. 'Door'
is another of her words. Her cute baby babble has increased markedly in
past month since starting childcare
. has started getting excited about pointing at
pictures on the walls and having books read to her
. at her recent pediatrician appointment (all
clear on the previous issues), she was 77cm tall (which he commented was
very tall) and 9kgs (which he commented was a bit under what he expected
given they generally triple their birth weight in first year, but still
indicated she looks healthy and happy is doing well)
. splashing and kicking excitedly at her baby
swimming classes. Cries a bit on the mat but still crawls across it
. when we go to playgroup she cries whenever I am
more than a metre or so away from her. Likewise if I take her somewhere
new (like her first music class) she is tentative and worried in case I
am going to leave her there (so probably a combination of separation
anxiety at this age, and a reaction to starting childcare)
. coped really well with being babysat for first
time by someone other than my mum (Jacqueline - Jack's previous carer
from his old childcare centre he no longer attends). Jacqueline had her
smiling and laughing within minutes.
Summary of Jack at 4 years 7 months
. is starting to play more independently at times.
He is enjoying some time playing by himself in his room each morning.
All his imaginext toys, train set, Bob toys, Lightning McQueen and other
cars and dinosaur toys all make for great imaginative play. We are
enjoying extra time playing in his room when Grace is sleeping or
watching baby dvds.
. tantrums have reduced considerably in past month
and he has returned to being a mostly happy, polite, delightful little
. is loving spending time on the computer. He now
gets to play computer games twice a day, and the extra downtime seems to
be helping him. For the most part he is getting off when asked without
too much fuss. Occasionally when he starts to melt down when told to get
off, he has had his privileges revoked for the next session - so he has
quickly come back into line again
. He has really enjoyed starting on 'reading eggs'
(a computer program designed for 4-7 year olds to encourage learning to
read, starting at a beginner level). We don't fully know how much he is
taking in of it (as any time we try to watch him he stops trying) but it
is good to see his interest. He has also shown some interest in the
'letterland' cd and book.
. is really wanting to interact a lot with Grace
at this stage. He wants to give her lots of kisses and hugs (although
Grace isn't always the happiest recipient of this). He does make her
smile and laugh a lot. He occasionally gets too forceful when trying to
stop her doing things, or testing boundaries with her when he thinks we
aren't looking, so we have to keep a closer eye on their interactions.
For the most part he continues to be a great big brother for his baby
sister. He loves having cuddles in bed with Grace and me in the
mornings and sometimes at night.
. has managed to tread water for 30 seconds
without any floaties. He is starting to jump in more without the
instructors holding his hands (but still depends on the day whether he
tries or not)
. continues to enjoy drawing, colouring, collage
work, stickers and activity books. Really enjoys being able to do
drawings or cards or collages for other people.
. has been enjoying playing with a water gun (late
delivered Christmas present) in the backyard.
Posted by Al at 10:10 PM
Grace did not cry when I dropped her off at
Childcare today - she just calmly watched me leave.
Posted by Al at 10:53 AM
For the third childcare day in a row Grace has not cried at drop off.
She has just surveyed the room and half watched mum as she leaves. The
carers say she is having good days, and enjoys wandering all around the
room, taking time to stop and play with the various toys. She also seems
to be interacting with the other kids, and likes her cuddles with the
carers. We have noticed she now seems more chatty when she is playing
Posted by Doug at 11:44 AM
Jack came into our room last night at 3am - extremely frightened. He had
had a dream where he was at childcare, and all of the kids were digging
a big hole. Suddenly a huge ladies head with big teeth came out of it
and swallowed him whole. He shivered uncontrollably for 30 minutes, and
chatted for a full hour because he did not want to go back to sleep. He
talked over things like us never getting to seeing him again because he
”would have disappeared and been dead”.
While I tried to calm him and repeatedly said it was just a dream, he
never really settled. In the end he cuddled up to me and went back to
sleep with his head on my shoulder.
This morning he was still very disturbed by the dream, has not wanted to
be away from us, and said he did not want to go to Ready Steady Go today
because of it. It is sad to see the impact on him, even now, just from
one vivid dream.
One small positive I guess was that he came to me instead of his mum
(who was in the nursery with Grace). Jack has always been very attached
to his mum – and for much of his life if he was really upset only his
mum could help him. I have noticed over the last 6 months or so that
Jack will now come to me as well, which is nice.
Posted by Doug at 9:44 AM