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Thursday, May 08, 2008
This term is feeling a bit less hectic with one
less activity to fit in. Jack has adapted well to the new timetable, the
new locations and the new teachers for his activities. He seems to be
enjoying himself more overall and regaining confidence. He has been
mostly happy this month, although has had a cold on and off, and has a
ringworm infection in the process of being treated.
This month we had young Lachie come to visit at
our house. We caught up with Uncle B, Auntie Dee and cousin Ryley at
Grandma Q's house, and with Kiara at a Play Centre. Jack also had lots
of fun playing firemen during a visit to Damon's house, and is playing
with Rebecca at a Play Centre after Ready Steady Go each week. We found
a new park with a life size train replica (painted red so Jack
immediately identified him as 'James'), so Jack has had fun climbing in
and out of that. We have also tried out a couple new libraries for story
Summary of Jack at 34 months:
. Jack has had a major growth spurt recently so is
suddenly reaching many things he couldn't previously reach (stereo, soap
in bathroom, etc)
. After a hesitant first term, he has regained
confidence back at swimming, and has started blowing bubbles, putting
his face in the water to reach items, and kicking more when swimming on
. Jack loves zooming around on his scooter
including having 'races' with me. He is now able to turn it around by
himself. His bike riding skills also continue to improve
. Jack has renewed interest in dancing to music,
and often turns the music on and demands I dance along with him
. This month has seen more imaginative play
emerging. He loves playing fireman and pretending to put out fires. He
has also asked to dress up as a clown, and wear his party hat and sets
out his tea cup set for a party
. Jack continues to love playing with his trains,
'reading' his Thomas books in the car, and now knows the names of many
of the trains. He also enjoys having conversations with his trains.
. Jack is pointing out other kids at childcare by
name to us more regularly
. Another favourite activity for this month is
being carried over Dad's shoulder and touching the roof
. We had a first this month - being his first wee
while sitting on his toddler toilet seat! He has shown some interest in
this and his potty (but interest is very on and off at this stage)
. Ready, Steady, Go introduced the concept of
waiting for a whistle to be blown to throw a ball, and then wait for the
next whistle blow to collect the ball. Jack now asks for his whistle at
home, and enjoys controlling our play by blowing the whistle and telling
us when to stop and start activities.
Posted by Al at 9:31 PM
Sunday, May 11, 2008
For the last three days Jack has slept through the night in his own bed.
We appreciate each and every day that happens.
I started at a new Job last week – the same type of work and similar
conditions (still part time) as for my last job, except now I mostly
work from home. It has been interesting seeing how Jack has noticed and
commented on the slight change of pattern.
Posted by Doug at 9:10 AM
Just a quick blog to say I have had a really
lovely mother's day today. Last night Doug and Jack went out shopping
and surprised me with a big bunch of flowers when they came home. It was
beautiful to hear them come through the door and Jack yell 'Mum, are you
up the stairs? We have flowers for you mum!' When I came down he was
holding the bunch (which was nearly as big as him) with a beaming smile
on his face.
Jack has slept through the last 3 nights in a row
by himself (a rare thing to date) so that put my day off to a great
start. Jack then gave me two presents he had made at his childcare
centers - a cardboard jewellery box with painted handprint and plastic
necklace from one, and a painting and picture of him on a key ring from
the other. I also received some new shoes and a book. Doug then made us
all bacon and eggs for breakfast, and afterwards we had a lovely drive
through the Dandenongs (with all the autumn colours) to visit the
William Ricketts Sanctuary. It has lots of sculptures set in beautiful
gardens, which Jack had great excitement in finding.
He was running a slight temperature, so he had a
long sleep in the afternoon which allowed me to leisurely and completely
read the Sunday paper (sometimes it takes me all week to get through),
catch up on emails, and phone my own mum. He seemed to feel much better
after his nap and was in a cheerful mood for the remainder of the day.
I am now going to finish my day by reading a book in bed. All in all a
very enjoyable, relaxed and peaceful mother's day (not quite perfect
since Jack not fully well, but close enough!)
Posted by Al at 9:58 PM
Monday, May 12, 2008
Our visit to the William Ricketts Sanctuary
Posted by Doug at 7:40 PM
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
Tonight while Jack slept soundly, Al and I poured over news reports on
the 2008 Budget. It was comforting to see that we were part of the
nations hated wealthy.
The budget leaves us $2,800 a year worse off – the tax cuts swallowed up
by the loss of childcare rebates. Or to put it another way, Al and I
will need to earn around $5,000 more next financial year to stay at the
same position we were this year. Double those figures when we have a
second child, and you realise the budget cost us some serious money.
The sanctimonious government however indicated we did not need or
deserve that money – so we should find moral comfort in its loss.
Speaking of a second child – the $5,000 baby bonus will require some
creativeness to get. As we did with Jack, Al has been saving up her
annual leave so that - in conjunction with her company’s generous
maternity leave, she can use it while she is off work. It seems liked a
responsible way of ensuring our budget wasn’t stretched too badly.
Tonight it is apparent that we will be better off taking periods of
unpaid leave in the 6 months after a birth.
And that is what gets me about all this – you are rewarded for earning
less. All my life my father has wanted his children to do better than
him, earn more money, have more options and be more financially
comfortable. Al and I went to Uni, managed our careers and experiences,
worked hard and in relatively stressful jobs, and got ourselves into a
reasonable house, with reasonable cars, and a reasonably comfortable
budget. What will I be telling Jack in the future? “Be careful with
how much you earn. You are often better off earning less, so don’t
stretch yourself too far. If you want to earn good money, make sure it
is REALLY good. Oh – and if you do, keep quiet about it. Australian’s
don’t like people who try to do well in life.”
Posted by Doug at 11:02 PM
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
One of the first articles we read last night on the budget stated “All
of the Family Tax Benefit Part B payments - that includes the baby bonus
and child-care benefits - will be means tested and capped at $150,000 a
Today some of the articles we read had disappeared or been modified, and
it now appears that the child-care tax rebates will not be means tested
as first reported. It is thought of as workforce participation incentive
– and not welfare. (Then again, the Baby bonus was considered a baby
creating incentive initially, and is now suddenly classified as
welfare.) Anyway – that obviously makes quite a difference, and instead
of being thousands out of pocket, we should end up being about $1,000
better off next year.
That is a relief – not financially, but morally. It had seemed bizarre
that you would in effect be punished for having a family while on a good
I remember my own Dad on budget nights when I was young – and how he
would demand we keep quiet, and then how he would often be grumbling and
in a very bad mood afterwards. I understand now. I hope Jack enjoys the
blissful ignorance of youth for a lot longer.
Aunty Melissa stayed with us last night and through much of today,
spending some quality time with Jack and attending his ready steady go
class this morning. Jack was rather taken with her, calling her Aunty
Liza and enthusiastically involved her in his play. I am really pleased
with the efforts Jack’s Grandparents, Aunts and Uncles make when they
are around him – he really seems to associate family with fun and good
times, which I think is fantastic.
Posted by Doug at 10:38 PM
Thursday, May 15, 2008
It has been quite an extraordinary week on the Jack sleeping front. He
has slept through the night by himself four times, and only transferred
to his mum very late (after 4am) twice. The only night he stayed with
his human mattress for the majority was when Al fell asleep.
You never know however if this is the start of a new phase, or just a
tantalising taste of how most other people live, which is about to be
dashed by Jack getting overly stubborn again.
Posted by Doug at 7:53 AM
Friday, May 16, 2008
Another good sleeping night, with Jack only transferred to his mum at
6am. I know he is waking up at times during the night, because he pulls
blankets up over himself at times.
On the down side he had an afternoon nap the last couple days, and
hasn’t been dropping off to sleep until well after 9pm. He is a sly
little boy – and uses lots of tricks to extend his awake time.
“How bout Dad read Jack a book?”
“Ok, but only one book – Jack needs to go to sleep.”
“How bout 10?”
“No – just one book”
“How bout 10, alright?”
“No – Dad said just one book”
“How bout 2?”
“No – just one book”
“How bout Dad plays cars with Jack?”
“No, Dad is going to read just one book”
“How bout play with parachute man?”
“Jack, do you want Dad to read this book or do you want to go to bed?”
“How bout Dad read that book”
“No, I am going to read this book”
“How bout that one”
“How about you go to bed?”
“NOooo. Dad read book”
“Ok. There once was a….”
Posted by Doug at 9:07 PM
Monday, May 19, 2008
Walking in the rain yesterday.
Posted by Doug at 11:42 PM
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Yesterday while Al was reversing her car out of the garage, the window
next to Jack started to do down. What followed next was a comic minute
where almost every window in the car went up and down as Al tried to
find the right switches. After thinking it might have been a sticking
switch or a fault with the car (a rather common one for Ford), it proved
to have a far simpler explanation. One of us had mistakenly deactivated
the window child lock – so Jack was putting the window up and down using
his foot on the door switch.
Posted by Doug at 9:27 AM
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Building Train Tracks
Posted by Doug at 8:30 PM
Thursday, May 22, 2008
Out of the blue he came up and said "You take photos of Jack, ok?"
Posted by Doug at 3:48 PM
Friday, May 23, 2008
I learnt today that Jack has an imaginary friend called Alwyn. The
friend came up in conversation regularly, and the question “Where’s
Alwyn gone?” was invariably followed by circuits of the house loudly
calling for them.
I asked my mum tonight, but she indicated I never had an imaginary
friend as I was growing up.
Jack appears to understand Alwyn is imaginary. When we asked Jack to
describe them, we were told ‘he looks like a girl”. Allison has
immediately leaped upon it as a new distraction method. Jack’s crying
about not getting his way could be diverted into two laps of the house
calling for Alwyn. I indicated I wasn’t entirely sure we should be
encouraging it so actively.
Another first today – while I was speaking with Grandma C, Jack asked to
talk to her. I held the phone to his ear like I normally do, but he
told me “I hold it all by self.” And he did – perfectly.
Posted by Doug at 10:14 PM
Saturday, May 24, 2008
I taught Jack how to say Tryannosaurus Rex the other night – and was
surprised at how quickly he picked it, and several other dinosaur names
This morning Jack told us that he had a bad dream, and that a
“Tryannosaurus Rex ate my hand off”. I guess he was trying to pat it…
Posted by Doug at 10:56 AM
Sunday, May 25, 2008
It was our 12 year wedding anniversary today – which means we have been
together for over 16 years. How quickly the time has flown. We had
hoped for a peaceful and relaxed day – but it wasn’t to be. Jack was
very out of sorts for most of it.
Posted by Doug at 10:08 PM
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
I’ve noticed Jack can lack a little perseverance, and tends to give up
quickly on things that might be a little difficult. He’ll remark -
“that’s a bit hard for Jack”, or “Daddy do that”. He seems to suddenly
get very self conscious, and backs away from whatever task we were
completing. Instead of just allowing this (which is historically what we
would do), I have been recently encouraging him to return to the task,
even if just for a few more steps.
The human mattress seems to be getting overly tired of being the human
mattress. Even though we have had a great month on Jack’s sleeping
front, he will still often require a long period cuddled up with his mum
before he drops off to sleep. This time is often filled with Jack
tossing and turning, asking for water, and pulling on Al’s hair.
While in hindsight there were valid reasons for Jack initially having
difficulties sleeping, we could not have envisioned just how long,
tiring and drawn out this whole process would be to get him sleeping the
night by himself – and we are still not there.
Posted by Doug at 12:09 AM