Jude and Sebastian

Jude is sick – still asleep at 9.04am – so I am at home with him this morning. James had stayed home yesterday, but he really has to be at uni at some point this week to get his materials organised for the commencement of classes next week, so I volunteered to stay home. All the meetings I had this morning were able to be cancelled or at least changed. And I'm in Sydney on Thursday and Friday, so I really needed to do my time at home this morning. But hopefully another day at home will mean Jude will be fine by tomorrow.

He is very cute when he is sick – he becomes so very very polite, although a little imperious at times (Put my cover on me, Me-Me!). when we went for a short walk to the shops on Sunday and I had brought him a tissue, he said 'Thanks for bringing extra tissues Me-Me.' He is enormously grateful for everything and thanks you in a very solemn and earnest tone. Makes you want to cuddle him tight!

Last night Sebastian came out wiht a very interesting demand for lunch. We had been talking about the need for green foods and a variety of colour in your foods in general. After pondering for a bit, he asked if we had any lettuce, and we said no, but we did have baby spinach leaves. He then asked if he could have a ham and baby spinach sandwich for lunch the next day – and for the rest of the week. This is not a request you need to make of a parent twice!

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Seb’s First Footy Training

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Seb started AFL (Australian Football League) AusKick training today. He had is new footy boots and Adelaide Crows' footy socks on. He is doing various drills here – hand-passing, dribbling, hand pass dodg 'em.

We expect that there will be a lot of kicking practice in the back yard now…

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Atlas – Southern USA

In our most recent culinary challenge, last ngiht we focussed on the Southern states of the US. So we drank mint juleps and ate a large amount of protein and carbohydrates….

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James made Louisiana gumbo, Rachel whipped up some Southern Fried chicken with whipped mashed potato and creamed corn, Cat and Burke brought some Hoppin' Joe's black eyed peas, Bronwen made dirty rice and beef ribs with watermelon and Kellie did BBQ'ed corn on the cob and bourbon pork ribs. For dessert we had sweet potato cobbler prepared by Rachel and cajum syrup cake which I made, but which proceeded to fall apart.

Bronwen brought White Trash Cooking along for our entertainment, but we didn't have easy access to any 'gator….

The small people definitely enjoyed the food. Zac came back for about four serves of ribs…

And it was flannels all round afterwards…Jude still had rib sauce on his face this morning….

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Big brother duties

Jude has been taking his duties as a big brother seriously lately. He holds hands with Zachary on the way in to childcare and helps him walking up and down the stairs. it is seriously cute.

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Extraction difficulties

One of the biggest frustrations of having Sebastian at school is the difficulty in extracting information from him about what he has been doing. Today he had his "PIP" test. Of course, I can't remember what the acronym stands for and have thrown away the brochure, but it is testing of basic skills and literacy, numeracy etc in order to be able to assess where a new student is at. They apparently do it for all kinder students across the ACT. In the past they provided the information to parents – telling you where your child was in relation to everyone else, but then I think they decided this probably wasn't healthy and now don't tell parents. I agree philosophically with this, but of course I actually really want to know how well he did. Apparently the testing works along the lines that they keep asking questions until the child can't answer one. So tonight Sebastian's parents were asking leading questions like "were there lots of questions?" and "what was the last question?" Pathetic really. Anyway, sounds like he did a fair few questions, but who knows. A 5 year old perception of lots is quite different from that of an adult! Not that it matters, but it is so hard not knowing. At childcare one gets pictures of the day and has a fairly good understanding of what is going on each day, but at school it is a slow process of extracting relevant information from Sebastian!

PS: It is friday night so I don't have to do any work tonight – Hurrah!- I have a whole weekend to catch up 🙂

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General stuff

All right, I just navigated away from this page after having written all this stuff about how busy I am and how my time for blogging has already been eroded and then it disappeared! DUFUS!

Anyway, as I was saying, I may be a bit intermittent with posts for the next three and a half weeks because, on very short notice, I am acting in my boss' job for the duration. And it is a very busy time. we have to establish a new program and get it kicked off and negotiate 11 separate contracts for my 11 Industry Skills Councils and it is all election commitments and therefore highly visible. and all this before Suzi gets back…. So I am taking my lunch each day to ensure I have some! But I am still trying to leave work between 5 and 6pm each night so I can spend some family time at home – it just means that I do a couple of hours of work after the boys have gone to bed when necessary. Of course, that eats into the blogging time….

Today was the first set of Senate Estimates for the portfolio post election. while everyone marvelled at the sight of Kim Carr, the Department's old Estimates foe, sitting next to our Secretary and agreeing with her, it wasn't long before the new players decided to raise their heads. i had Estimates on in my office because I wanted to follow it if they got to vocational education, and besides, who doesn't love a bit of blood sport. Today it would appear that Senator Brett Mason fancied himself as a new John Faulkner, the former king of estimates, but mostly he just sounded like a d*ck. [very unparliamentary Melissa] But honestly, asking about who will pay for the rewiring at schools who receive new federally funded computers or ridiculous scenarios about students trying to access trade training courses at schools which have only received generous funding to provide them with one, but not all, trade training centres, was just horrible and pointless nitpicking with no real or sensible aim or result. And to then try and patronise our Secretary, who was maintaining a sensible and even approach at all times, with stupid comments like "this isn't a very good start" when she had answered his questions as well as any reasonable person could, just reinforced the whole he's-a-tosser thing. I've always admired our Secretary, but watching her keep her compsure while dealing with such a total bozo increased that admiration further. Senator Mason, get off the island.

In news closer to home, James and I went and met Sebastian's teacher on Monday, Emma. She seemed very nice and was able to report that Sebastian is settling in well at school. On friday Sebastian had told us, very matter-of-factly, that "Oscar" was his best friend. I have since identified Oscar, but Emma did say that indeed that were becoming friends. She was also saying that Sebastian was asking lots of questions – while other children were marvelling at the concept of a full stop, Sebastian wanted to know what an exclamation mark was, and an elipse…. She also showed us a picture he had drawn of a man standing at a podium, and next to it had written "kevin Rudd says sorry." He is such an information sponge – we had discussed the apology at home, and they had also watched a small part of it at school, but it is fascinating that he had understood it and that it seemed important enough to him to draw. usually his pictures are of rockets!

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