Archived News


Friday 19 December: More new photos! From playing in the park and visiting Spiegeltent the other weekend.

Apparently he took twelve steps (in a row!) for his grandpa yesterday. Clever little man!

He's also got a little baby tricycle-thinggy, which is a nice sturdy four-wheeled low-to-the-ground contraption with a backrest and handlebars. He loves being put on it and being pushed back and forth. And he's now learnt to get himself onto it and push himself around a bit! Sometimes he'll stand on the seat, looking like he's doing bike tricks (or like he's about to plummet off it straight onto the floor, face first).

And the wheeled bee that he got for his birthday makes a great walker (there's a photo of the bee here). It goes a bit fast on the wooden floors, so he's practically having to run to keep up with it!

Since I probably won't be updating his website much for the next couple of weeks (annual leave is a wonderful thing), Merry Xmas, everyone!

Wednesday 17 December: Not much new news (although his walking is getting even better). Just lots of new photos, from the weekend! There's ones from the Kindi Farm and ones from a day at home and ones from his Grandpa's birthday bbq.

Yesterday was his last day at Day Care for 2003. And the carers gave us a fabulous Xmas card with a photo of Max dressed up as an angel on it. Wings and everything! I can't believe they 1) got him into that outfit; 2) got him to keep the tinsel halo on his head; and 3) got him to smile. It's brilliant! (And when I remember, I'll scan it in and put it up on the website.)

Tuesday 16 December: Happy birthday to Max's grandpa!

And, I forgot, last week Max's dad took him for a bus ride. Max entertained the entire bus by playing peek-a-boo and swinging from the railings (he didn't want to let go). Cheeky monkey!

And we've managed to get one whole decoration on the Xmas tree so far (see Thursday 11 December below). The tree and decorations are all ready to go, but trying to get the three of us in one room to do decorations is proving very difficult!

Monday 15 December: Well, he's definitely walking! Crawling is still more efficient, and he's pretty wobbly, but he's managing to get from A to B on two feet, although never on demand or if you want to show him off.

His day care had their Xmas party on Friday night, and there was a Kindi Farm. Max was a bit puzzled by the sheep and goats and calf and piglet, but he got his toes snuffled by a sheep, which we thought was cool. We also met Lilly, his little friend in day care. They like to play together, chasing each other and she cheers him up by laughing at him when he falls down.

The Kindi Farm had rabbits, a duck, a calf, a piglet, lots of goats and some sheep. One of the rabbits was in a box for transportation and I saw a kid bounce the box up and down while yelling "bunny!bunny!bunny!". Poor bunny. And (after one of the thunderstorms hit, it was very wet weather that day!), the piglet was wrapped up in a blanket and held in someone's lap. It looked just like one of the little babies. Another Lewis Carroll moment!

And last night he fed himself more! He's been very content to just eat off a spoon all the time, showing no inclination to feed himself finger food. (Even if any food falls off the spoon, he'll pick it up from the table and instead of putting it in his mouth, he'll put it back in his bowl, so we can spoon it into his mouth.) But last night (at his grampa's birthday bbq) he ate some bread and sausage using his fingers (although he didn't know to bite a bit of sausage off, so the entire thing got slurped into his mouth, which was a bit much, even for a bottomless pit).

And he ate more of the birthday cheesecake than I did. He got about two spoonfuls to every one of mine! And he demanded a share of his dad's slice as well! Piglet!

And he doesn't like bubble baths. At all.

Thursday 11 December: Well, Max's grandee is here in Sydney now, for the next few weeks. Max hasn't seen her for over 6 months, but he seems to innately know that she's one to butter up so as to get excellent Xmas presents...

I missed his swimming class this morning (traffic jam from hell around the pool, so I just dropped them off and went and parked by the Botanical Gardens and just enjoyed the weather and the bird song and the endless stream of tourist busses headed to Lady Macquarie's Chair, even at 11am on a Thursday morning) and apparently Max was determined that he have he have the full attention of his grandee at every moment, craning about, making sure she was watching and admiring.

And Don & I are taking advantage of having a babysitter in the house! I got to go and meet up with some other book nuts, and we both got to go to our first "Parent Teacher" night ever! Just a short discussion about Max's progress at day care. They think he's great, he likes it there, it was warm fuzzies all around. (I'm always rushing off to work or getting him home for bedtime, so I never really get a chance to find out more than whether he's slept or not [he never does], ate well [he always eats well, usually demanding seconds of everything] and whether he had a good day [usually, yes]. It was nice to actually discuss what and who he likes to play with, what skills he's been learning, etc.)

And we've got down my old Xmas tree and dusted it off, and we're thinking of helping Max put on a new Xmas decoration every night between now and Xmas. So long as he promises not to try to eat any of them.

And Fiona gave us an Advent calendar! I haven't had one since I was a kid! And, just like when I was a kid, we're already behind a couple of days in opening all the little doors. :)

Max is still in his almost-walking phase. But he did crawl down some steps today, all by himself! Proper technique and everything, and he worked it out without any help! Clever small boy! (And then he climbed up them. He could have gone up and down all day very happily, if we'd had the time.)

Monday 8 December: Another busy weekend! Max got to go Xmas shopping, have brunch at the cafe, play on the slide (and swing and the abacus) at the local park, visit the Art Gallery and have lunch at Speigeltent. Phew!

At the cafe, Max got a babycino and a whole (small) berry smoothie. He sat in my lap for the entire brunch, happily slurping up the smoothie through a straw. And whinging if I so much as thought of taking it away from him! He's a bottomless pit masquerading as a baby.

He wasn't so impressed with the Art Gallery (the philistine!) so next time he misbehaves, we can threaten him with the Museum of Contemporary Art ("you thought art was torture! Wait until you see modern art!"). Actually, we were hoping that he'd like the section with the really big installations, like that fabulous one with all the boulders suspended from the ceiling, but that section seems to be no more, now. Shame. The new Asian gallery was excellent, and Max loved the airconditioning vent (and if he could have wriggled out of the pram, he would have run amok in the Japanese tea garden...).

He liked the Speigeltent, however. The mirrors were great (and it's amazing how that mirror baby keeps on appearing wherever Max is). And I think he's one of the rare babies to be breastfed in the Speigeltent. And his mum and dad rather liked the belgian beer on tap.

He's taking more and more steps, and yesterday took five in a row, which meant that he travelled about 1 whole foot! Like with crawling, he's just getting better and better at an amazing rate.

Oh, yeah, and I've redesigned the website somewhat. (And found out that CSS positioning is a right pain.)

Wednesday 3 December: And what with all the excitment over walking, I keep on forgetting to mention his communication skills! He can wave bye-bye now (and generally says "da-da" when he does it), and he seems to be able to call us "da-da" and "mu-ma".

We got a note from his child care, asking what activities Max liked, and did we have any photos of it. We were wondering if eating counted as an activity (his next word will probably be "more"). We'll probably say "climbing" because put him down anywhere, and he'll instantly try and climb whatever is nearest. He's excellent at steps now, and has been spotted standing on boxes.

More photos! From his day at the beach, and a picnic in the Sydney Botanical Gardens.

Tuesday 2 December: And his dad saw definite walking yesterday! Several steps in a row, while Max was concentrating on getting to some balloons. Then Max worked out what he was doing and sat down out of sheer surprise. He's yet to walk for his mum, though!

And he was up all day yesterday at day care (he rarely sleeps there, and we ended up having to leave him for longer than usual) and he crashed when we got him home and woke up 15 hours later! (Not counting the demand for a breastfeed at 5:30am, which was fine as he'd skipped dinner last night.) He didn't get to day care today until he'd had a good morning nap, so he won't be too exhausted tonight!

Monday 1 December: Max met Santa Claus for the first time on the weekend! We were heading into Marrickville Metro and he was heading off for his lunch break (I wonder what Santa eats for lunch... venison sandwiches??) and Max was far more interested in the puppies in the pet shop window (and in the other kids who were looking at the puppies). But on our way out, Santa was getting back to work and he waved at Max, who stared at him in agogment. (And can I just say that Marrickville Metro's Santa was a lot better than their Easter Bunny who looked like something out of a nightmare.)

And he went down onto the beach for the first time! (photos) He wasn't impressed with sand between his toes, but he was fascinated by the water itself. Unfortunately, the water was too cold for a swim for him, although the weather itself was lovely.

And if you define walking as "lifting one foot up and putting it down in a different spot" then Max is walking. I would have thought that some mention of actual moving from A to B was important, but there you go.

Friday 28 November: Well! Max had a fabulous birthday party, he was a very social baby, crawling all over the place, looking puzzled at his parents ooohing and aaaahing over these strange things that came in boxes covered with paper, playing with the presents, watching the bigger kids, cuddling his grandparents, and just generally being cute. Thanks to everyone who came!

And his parents celebrated his actual birthday (20nd November) with lots of tapas and sangria. Oink.

The original birthday party plan was for a picnic with the other babies from the parents' group. I mean, we're in the middle of a drought, right? There's no need for a wet weather plan, right? Wrong. Last minute change of venue for Max & his family & friends to our house. Eleventh hour rushing around, making the house halfway presentable!

We're back at swimming lessons, after a couple of weeks' absence when Max was ill with giardia. He lost a fair amount of weight (250 g!), but is demanding lots of food now and steadily putting the weight back on. His chubby little pot belly is back already!

And back at day care, after a long absence (due to the illness) as well. We have Max-free time again!

Still no walking, although he does seem to be on the verge of doing so sometimes. (But we've seen that before, with the crawling, haven't we?) Still an excellent furniture surfer and a very good crawler. (He really has no need to walk!) He's also very good at climbing stairs now, we put him down and he heads straight for them and straight up them. His grandparents put him on a slide the other day (wheeeeeee!) and he did his level best to climb back up it.

More photos! Including some from the birthday party. And there are some very cool ones from when he got to play with Cath & Rob's cats (Plummet got photographed, Shadow got away in time) and from his first introduction to floor-to-ceiling mirrors.

Monday 24 November: The birthday party was great fun (more details later!), just a quick note to say photos from Paula & Jason's wedding are finally online!

Thursday 20 November: Happy First Birthday Max!

Friday 7 November: Damn, I wanted to get photos up and his birthday party invitation so I could kill two birds with one stone (or rather, email). But no time!

At any rate, view Max's invitation to his first birthday party! Hooplah!

And there will be photos, sometime soon, I promise!

Still no walking! And his first gastro bug, gross. For a sick boy, he's pretty full of beans, as usual. He's discovered the planes in the backyard and is fascinated by the big silver dragons that roar overhead.

Monday 3 November: I just realised, I didn't even notice when his back hair finally disappeared.

Wednesday 22 October: I think there's even an eight tooth on the way! Still nicely balanced, four top and four bottom.

And we think he's been walking a few steps without holding onto anything. Of course, he doesn't demand attention before he tries something new, so we see him do something cool out of the corner of our eyes, and then when we turn around, he's just sitting there, eating a dust bunny.

A couple of "words" as well! At any rate, some babbling that sounds like "banana" and "rattle" at appropriate times!

He's been unwell lately, a nasty ear infection. Which means he's been a little grotty and clingy, but on the whole he's not too sooky when he's unwell. Although I was a little sooky at missing his first swimming lesson (due to his sickness) this term! Dammit!

And plans are afoot for his first birthday party, with other babies from the parents' group. Keep 22nd November free in your diaries! (And don't worry, the timing doesn't clash with the Rugby World Cup final, the party will be on during the day.)

Monday 22 September: And the teeth just keep on coming! We're up to six now, three top and bottom at the front. He's got a real toothy grin now, when he wants to!

And our big news is: Max is in day care!! Several months before we expected any offers (if any were going to appear) we got an offer! He's in two days a week (perfect) just up in Newtown, near the train station (very excellent). He doesn't like sleeping there (too much to do and see!) but has fun playing with all the toys and watching all the bigger babies.

Other news is that he's standing on his own more and more, and everyone (including me, I must confess) thinks he's going to walk any moment now (he is an excellent furniture surfer, dude). But I do keep on remember that we thought he was going to crawl "any day now" for about six weeks.

And there are, naturally, more photos. Including ones of him swimming!

Current fascination is star-shaped objects (including a picture of a starfish). I reckon it's because they've got so many grabbable bits.

Monday 11 August: Phew! We've just had Max's first teeth appear! Three at once (one on front right and two on bottom right). And he's been a right grizzly guts about it! But they look so cute coming through, and so long as he doesn't decide to test them out when breastfeeding, I'm happy about their appearance. (He likes chewing spoons and his Dad's fingers best.)

I also keep on forgetting to mention, he can turn pages in books now! I have to feed each page to him, one at a time, otherwise he'll just grab the whole book and turn all the pages in one fell swoop and look happily at the back cover. He also turns very fast, so he gets "Red Fish, Blue Fish, Some are sad and some are glad, The fat one wears a yellow hat" etc instead of the full text! Wibbly Pig read at high speed is quite bizarre.

And Max stood for the first time without support for several seconds yesterday! No sign of a repeat performance, so it might have been a fluke. But I think he's quite determined to walk as soon as possible!

He's sleeping through at night very well. If I'm not careful I'll start relying on it, and then he'll start waking up again! Max seems to have a sixth sense for when we're taking good sleep for granted. :)

And there are more photos! Sorry it's been a while getting them online!

Tuesday 29 July: Well, the little guy's getting bigger! He's grown a whole 1cm in height, but put on 2kg in weight since he was last measured, about 5 weeks ago. Hmmm. Maybe I should say he's getting wider, not bigger. ;)

Max has started swimming lessons! At the Cook and Phillip Park in the city. The class is held in the hydrotherapy pool (mmmmm, warm!) and there's another Max in the class too! He really liked lying on his tummy and kicking, and just seemed merely politely puzzled for the rest of the class. :) The poor little guy has pink swimming nappies! The indignity! (Apparently the blue ones are nigh on impossible to get).

And, last night for the first time, he slept the whole night through! A full 12 hours without waking us up! (Although I was waking up anyhow every few hours wondering when he was going to start crying. :)

Saturday 12 July: More photos! Even one of him standing! Photographic proof!

He loves standing now, and crawling is merely a means of getting closer to something he can pull himself up on. He's also been spotted furniture surfing (once) and he once knocked over a packet of nappies and then stood up on them! Climbing already! The cat's feeling very insecure.

And his favourite toy is a roll of wrapping paper. (No, not the fabulous dragon, or the cool monkey, or the really plush teddy, no, a $2 roll of wrapping paper. Ah well.) If you tickle him with it, he giggles madly. And sometimes he waves it like a light sabre. The Force is strong in this one.

Saturday 5 July: Well, the little tacker's going great guns. He's getting better at crawling (he follows me around the kitchen when I'm cooking) and standing. Today I caught him trying to catch dust motes from the air.

I've archived the news section. All news more than 1 month old (or thereabouts) is off the front page and on the news page.

And there's a section on baby food.

Sunday 29 June: Gosh, you go and update a baby's website, and he gets all ahead of you!

Since last typing (just a few days ago!), Max has started to crawl, and can pull himself up to a standing position on the bars of his crib! Wow! Guess we put those safety gates up just in the nick of time.

Also, I forgot last time, he's discovered his shadow. (We sometimes do Deformed Rabbit for him as a special treat.) It's fabulous, because no matter how klutzy he is, he can always grab the shadow of his hand off the floor! Clever boy.

He also has discovered a fascination for panda bears. This may not last (like all babies, he has the attention span of a oooh, look over there!), but we're showing him pictures of pandas at every opportunity.

Wednesday 25 June: Phew, a long time between updates! Sorry, got busy what with a trip to Grafton for his six month birthday party (see photos!), and me returning to work. Wah! No more hanging out with Max all day! Now I get SMSs from his dad saying "feeding ducks in the park, then off to cafe for babycino". It's all too unfair.

Max now weighs nine kilos, and is 69cm long! You grow, boy! (Out of his clothes, mainly. At a rate of knots.)

He's also rolling into a sitting position on his own, and can maintain it for (what seems like) hours! His crawling is almost there, but still not quite - he still can't quite get his hands and feet both working at the same time. And he seems quite determined to pull himself up onto his own feet, using whatever he can to balance.

And now that he's sitting, his fine motor control is getting better! And he's discovered his feet! They're awfully fun to look at, or grab (which makes changing his nappy a little challenging at times).

And lots more babbling - "dadadada" is a popular one ("mumumumumuh" if he's upset; I have a feeling I should be somewhat miffed about that).

And there are more photos (apart from the birthday party ones mentioned above). Fiona's also got photos on her server of Max and of the new car (since the old one died on the way back from Grafton, leaving us stranded on the freeway in the rain! Thank god for grandpas with baby seats in the back of their cars and some free time! Thanks dad!

Sunday 11 May: And the little guy is now 8.125kg and 66cm long! He's gone up on one chart (weight) and not so quickly up on another chart (height). He's getting chubby! :) More photos! NOTE: some older photos have now been removed, as I was running out of room on the webserver.

His favourite game is now rolling onto his tummy (and he can do it from back to tummy and back again! in either direction!), getting up on his hands and knees and rocking back and forth. It looks like he's about to take off, and occasionally he does launch himself forward, to land with a distinct flumphf onto his chest. He's getting better at grabbing objects (although they often go flying as he grabs a bit too enthusiastically). He doesn't like his veggies much, unless they're mixed with fruit (a sweet tooth! the horror!). And he squeaks (not squeals, as the books say he should!) with happiness at times.

He's also been out to the Blue Mountains - furthest from Sydney yet! Nearly 8 hours out of the house! And he was beautiful, apart from some overtiredness and crying on the way home. Nothing a quick cuddle couldn't cure (in a McDonald's carpark, while pointing out all the trucks and cars zooming by). Looks like the trip to Grafton might run smoothly! *fingers crossed*

Monday 21 April: Max now weighs 7.5kg! No wonder my arms ache after flying him around! And he's 5 months and 1 day old today!

Tuesday 15 April: Phew! A long time between updates! More Max photos, naturally!

And Max has had his first illness, and first course of penicillin! Poor little thing! (Still, he loathed the penicillin less than he loathed the baby Panadol.) A headcold that morphed into a chest infection. All well now, but the house seems to permanently smell of eucalyptus!

He's also started to roll (one direction only, from back to tummy) and is desperately trying to crawl. Only problem is, he can get either his hands or his feet working. But not both. If it's his hands working, he goes backwards. If it's his feet, he faceplants. Ah well, he's determined. (And we must get around to baby proofing the house!)

And solids have now been started! A couple of weeks of rice cereal (aka "baby paste" since it tastes like cardboard and looks about as appetising), and now we've tantalised his tastebuds with pumpkin, peas, apple and avocado (in that order). He doesn't seem to like avocado, unfortunately. Ah well, the others are happily slurped up (and all the more guacamole for us!).

And sleep is apparently for loser babies, and Max is determined to prove himself a winner. (Sometimes a very tired winner.) A lot less free time for me, but a lot more fun time with Max!

Tuesday 25 March: New Max photos!

And he got weighed and measured this morning. Unfortunately, I then went and washed the shirt that had the measurements very carefully written on a Post-It Note in one of the pockets. Ah well. From memory, he's now 6.95kg, 64cm long. Still pretty much average for his age (if slightly above average).

Monday 24 March: And he's got a new cousin! Matthew Raymond Awad, born Saturday 22 March, 6pm. A whopping 4.05kg! Both mum and baby are doing well. Photos will be coming eventually. :)

Friday 21 March: Four months old (yesterday)!! Happy birthday to Max!

And he's dodging his first virus - both his dad and I have been whammied with a Headcold From Hell. Luckily Max seems to be happy and healthy still - not even a sniffle!

And there are some scans of his feet, from a trip into the office today. (I think we left tiny footprints all over the scanner. Whoops.) Not to scale, unfortunately.

Thursday 13 March: More photos added!

Plus, Max has recently experienced his first sunburn (mea culpa, mea maxima culpa) and got rained on for the first time. (Hey, it is autumn in Sydney!)

Wednesday 12 March: The eyes are definitely grey today. No wait, green. No, wait again, grey. With hazel.

Monday 3 March: More photos added! (Lots more photos!)

And he's smiling like a lunatic, we've got definite laughter, he's discovered his hands (but still tends to whack himself in the face with them, so no real control as yet) and has been seen to roll once or twice. And he's putting himself to sleep more often than not. What a clever little man!

Only he seems to be much better behaved when I'm not drinking coffee. Damn it, I had to go through caffeine withdrawal again. Hate that.

Wednesday 26 February: He's just got his measurements done again, and he's still plonk on average: weight 6.125kg, length 61.5cm and head circumference 40.5cm.

Shame his behaviour has taken a few backwards steps of late, leading to threats of giving him to the first traveling circus to go past the house. Harrumph.

Thursday 20 February: Happy 3 month birthday to Max!!

And remember, he's not the Messiah, he's a very snorty boy.

Monday 17 February: Wow! Busy weekend! Max's first political protest (the massive anti-war rally in Sydney), and his first trip on public transport (a very crowded train home). We had three generations of Duffields walking - my parents, myself and young Max. And at less than three months, Max was one of the youngest protestors there.

Oh, and Max can also be googled. Too cool, what a hip young man! :)

Saturday 15 February: Of course, not a single proto-giggle from him since last week's laugh. Yeesh. But he's beginning to notice his hands, which is dead cute. :) He's also being more sociable and (even) more alert! And he had his first trip into HCN, which included his first trip across the Harbour Bridge (he whinged as soon as we crossed over to the Dark Side and didn't fall asleep until we were headed back home, the little monster), his first trip in an elevator (whee!), and his first trip into a server room (which is very important, don't you know). He was much admired by all (of course!).

Thursday 6 February: Wow! First laughter from Max!! The clever little man! On his 11 week birthday too!

And, a new section for Babes in Arms sessions around Sydney.

Monday 3 February: Some sad news. Max is short a grandfather. Geoff Close died peacefully last night after a long illness. We are all very grateful that he got to meet his first grandchild last year (photos), and are saddened that Max will not get to know him outside of our memories.

Friday 31 January: More photos up!

And it's a red letter day! Max went to sleep by himself this morning! Huzzah! Okay, all the other times he's had to go down today have involved a lot of cuddling and patting and shushing, but we can see the light at the end of the tunnel...

Thursday 30 January: Some new photos up! Thanks to Fiona for the loan of her digital camera (okay, so I grabbed it while she wasn't looking).

A friend commented a while back on Max's twitching while dreaming. She reckoned he was dreaming of angels' kisses. This has prompted two (separate and completely independent) replies from us:
Tania: Yeah, the angels in the red suits with the pointy pitchforks.
Don: Yeah, and he's saying "It burns! It burns!!"

Speaking of burning, I'm trying to get him to say "It burns! It burns!" whenever he hears Justin Timberlake. Don reckons I should try for "Oh, my freaking ears!" instead, but I think I should save that one for Christine Aguilera. Or maybe "Oh, my freaking eyes!".

Wednesday 29 January: Phew! Max has been to two parties (New Year's Eve at Cass & James' and Australia Day at Rachel's), had his first visit to the pub, first visit to the cinema (we saw Chicago, and he was most fascinated by the moving lights), first visit to the art gallery, and first visit to the comic book store. We'll make a nerd of him yet. ;) He's outgrown some of his clothes, enjoys his tummy time, gives us a lot more smiles, and a lot more sleep. He can do no wrong (especially if he keeps on letting his Mum sleep overnight).