Monday, February 16, 2015

Baby C - 10 months

10 months, baby C, where has that gone? I had been meaning to write you a 9 month post and then I realised that today you are 10 months old.

You can crawl all over the whole house. Nothing is safe from your fat hands or your sweet mouth. You will eat anything - a foam penguin's foot, a dried up leaf, cotton thread. We need to do some serious baby proofing, because you can open drawers and jam your fingers in them, chew on the bin bag, tangle yourself in an iPhone cord, pull up on the tv cabinet. Your big sister is extremely excited that you can stand and desperately wants you to be able to walk - she insists that by hefting you about she is "helping" you to learn faster. Just like your big sister you have discovered that the bath is a great height for pull-up practice and bath times have become even more heart stopping than previously.

Although you're happy to eat whatever you find on the floor you're also doing pretty well with the real food. Yoghurt and avocado are good enough that you're willing to eat them from a spoon, everything else you want to cram in yourself. Homemade hot chips, fruit, cheese on toast, pasta, bits of chicken - you want it all. The four new teeth that have appeared rather suddenly over the past two months have helped - now there's four at the top and two at the bottom. You're still having milk four times a day and we somehow need to get that down to just morning and night over the next few months in time for me to go back to work two days a week at the end of April.

Full time school for E has meant we've forced you onto two sleeps a day. Fortunately going to school each morning is a good distraction for being tired, because you would rather go to sleep at about 8.30 but that is just when we need to arrive at school and so you have to wait until 9.00 when we get home. Exhausted by your admiration of the four and five year olds you've been coming home and doing some great morning sleeps. You're still perfect at night time - either feed to sleep or almost, you're then out for 11-12 hours.

E is also desperate for you to talk. You can babble what sound like real words (da-da-da, mum-mum-mum) but I'm not convinced you know they mean anything. D insists you said "ca-ca-ca" when pointing at the cat the other day but it hasn't been repeated.

I am very conscious of only having two more months of you full-time. You are still a daily delight to us, precious girl.

23 February: proud mama footnote: Daddy wins, the "ca-ca" is now distinct, spontaneous when you see the cat walk by, or upon seeing a picture of a cat in a book, or if we ask "who says meow"? So sweet and smart.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Quokka money

E has several money boxes and at various points (birthdays, Christmas etc) has been given money to put in them. She hasn't yet learnt the names/value of the different coins and notes, doesn't have any understanding of how much different things cost, and to date her only shopping has been with the toy cash register, plastic/paper money and pretend food. However, prior to our recent trip to Rottnest she begged to be allowed to take some the money from her money box "in case I see something I want to buy." I thought "why not" and so we stuck all the coins from her various money boxes (about $13) into a little hand bag and packed it amongst her clothes.

When we got over there she was desperate to spend up! Fortunately the general store had a range of souvenirs, toys and magazines as well as food and groceries. After deliberating at length (and lots of mental arithmetic on my part - "if you want the magazine and the magnet, you can't afford the pencil") she chose a quokka snow dome and a fridge magnet with a quokka on it. Surprisingly, she also elected to keep about $3 to spend another time. She was very pleased with herself and since returning home has insisted that anyone who enters the house admires her purchases, and took them to school for news.

D and I have been wondering for some time when we should start giving E pocket money and when we got home decided to take advantage of her sudden interest. We decided that pocket money is a reward earned in exchange for chores, and that the chores should be things that help the whole family, not just things she needs to do to get through a day such as getting dressed, brushing teeth, putting on shoes. We dithered over how much is an appropriate amount, and settled on $2 (maximum) per week. So we now have a chart on the fridge where we record the following:
  • Putting dirty dishes in the sink
  • Putting dirty clothes in the laundry basket
  • Sweeping under her and C's chairs after meals
  • Putting toys away
  • Dusting
The first four are worth 5 cents each time, dusting 15 cents (partly because if she dusts the whole house it takes longer, partly because we wanted to make the weekly maximum $2). We're nearing the end of the second week and so far the chart has been an extremely good motivator. In the first week she earned $1.65 and is on track to earn something similar this week. I detest sweeping under the table after meals and am very happy about only having to do that once or twice a day whilst E is at school! We haven't been to a shop since we started the new system, and I am not sure if finding out how much stuff costs will be a motivator or discouraging, seeing as she isn't going to be able to afford much for a while.

As to why it's "quokka money"? We're not sure if E misheard us, or if it's because she spent her money on quokka related items, but we think it's very funny and so haven't corrected her.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Rottnest holiday

We spent five nights on Rottnest Island over the Australia Day long weekend. 

Packing up was a bit of a hassle, and we went from Hillarys rather than Fremantle which I had not done before, but as soon as we handed our bags over at the edge of the carpark it was all easy. There was much excitement about the ferry ride, and once we arrived, much excitement about everything.

Our house was a "premium view" cottage in Bathurst, near the lighthouse. It was far enough outside the main part of town but still close enough to the shops and eateries to be convenient. We walked and/or scooted everywhere, and it was a lovely break from folding the pram, managing seatbelts and listening to complaints.

View from the front gate
The amount of walking we did was really pretty amazing, given E is not yet five. On our second last day she managed the trek from our place all the way to Geordie Bay via the salt lakes, and back via the Basin, with minimal complaining.

In between all the walking was plenty of beach time, playgrounds, ice creams, beers and barbeques. Good thing we were doing all that exercise!

So many beautiful beaches
E's favourite playground, conveniently situated right next to the bakery and coffee shop.
 Fearless, senseless and straight to the top!
The Rottnest version of child supervision: taken from the wall of the Rottnest Hotel.
The water is about 50m away and is knee deep. E is the pink dot on the far left!
Whilst we were there C conquered crawling and began trying to pull herself up on furniture. We returned home to pull out the baby gates!

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