June 2018

  • Field trip
    • Jen and E- took us to the Lynde conservation area, where we saw deer, geese, ducks, red winged blackbirds, grackles, wild turkeys, and lots of curious chipmunks.
    • I went for a bike ride with A- in the trailer. Good thing I picked a nearby destination, though, since she insisted on walking on the way back. Even when she got tired, she still didn’t want to get in the trailer, so I put her in the carrier and walked the bike and trailer back.
    • A- wanted to go to the Ontario Science Centre. The field trip kids were a bit rowdy, so we hung out in the toddler play area instead. We read all their books and played with the rising toys. Outside, we played with bubbles.
    • We checked out the spider exhibition at the museum. It was pretty cool! A- pointed at the big spiders and asked what they were doing. I learned about lots of different types of spiders. The bowl-and-doily spider is neat!
    • We took the bike trailer to Vermont Square Park. One of the toys she was looking forward to riding was broken, but there were plenty of other things to play with.
    • We visited Ewan and E-. I took ingredients for one of the giant bubble solution recipes I found, and we experimented with that for a bit. Then we went to the park for lunch and playtime. Lots of fun!
  • Gross motor
    • A- wanted to practice with her balance bike, and to ride her tricycle with her backpack on.
    • A- practised going up the twisty slide with my help.
    • A- loved putting her feet on the wheel-mounted pedals of a tricycle while I pushed her around.
    • At the playground, A- was interested in climbing up and across the nets.
    • A- slid down the shed ramp backwards on her riding toy.
  • Fine motor
    • A-‘s gotten even better at playing with the bead maze at the library. She walked around it while pushing beads along the track, wove her arms around loops, and coordinated passing beads from one hand to another.
    • A- wanted to build a Duplo city. We pretended the blocks were houses. First we started with one line, then another, and then a few towers. Then A- focused on filling the space with blocks, butting them right up against each other. She was momentarily stymied by a small gap that she couldn’t fit a block into, but figured out after I asked a few guide questions.
    • A- insisted on locking the bicycle. She threaded the lock through the wheel, the frame, and the post, and I helped her close it.
    • A- started getting interested in fringing. She can also cut within an inch around a figure.
    • A- spent a few minutes methodically popping bubble wrap.
    • A- practised threading a few large beads. I should find or make a few more that would be easier to thread.
  • Sensory
    • A-, the babysitter, and I got drenched in a sudden downpour. A- was upset when she was in the rain, but we were able to reframe it as an adventure. Since the power was out in our neighbourhood, I took A- to a restaurant a little further away for dinner.
    • The sandbox had a faucet and a few toys for water play. A- filled the bucket with water and poured it down the ramp.
  • Language
    • A- postponed bedtime by cheerily insisting, “I want to talk.” She rehashed her hospital visit and other things that were on her mind.
    • A- quickly adapted to some wordplay: “I’m dizzy!” “Hello, Dizzy, I’m Mama.” “Dizzy has a pocket.”
    • A- talked about the letters on the babysitter’s shirt. I gave her a few magnetic letters, and she matched them up. I gave her a cookie tray so that she could play with the letters closer to the babysitter’s shirt instead of turning around to the fridge.
    • “Yes, ma’am.” “Yes, Ma’am? Where did that come from?” “From my mouth.”
    • “I want to eat a cookie outside. This is a good plan.”
    • A- successfully negotiated for a cookie by saying, “I want to brush my teeth after having a cookie.” Between that and using “I want to go outside” as a way to ask for an energy bar, I think she’s pretty good at figuring out how to work with our rules.
    • The alphabet molds and press-in letters arrived. They were larger than I expected – great! A- was interested in using them to cut out and stamp playdough.
    • A- took my phone and told it, “Please ask OurGroceries to add chicharon to the list.” She also wanted to add carrots.
    • “I want ice cream. The frozen one.” A- asked to buy ice cream and cones at the supermarket.
    • A- played with the -able suffix. She asked for something squishable, and she pronounced something doable.
  • Music
    • A- wanted to play the piano. She said, “Mama, listen to my song.” Then she banged on the keys a number of times. Then she said, “All done,” slid off the piano bench, and turned off the piano. Also, when the babysitter was there, she played faster or slower depending on the prompt.
    • A- sang and did the gestures for “Lost my partner, what’ll I do?” and “I’ll find another as pretty as you.”
    • A- played the piano while singing the cleanup song and the tiptoe song. She asked me to clean up, and then asked me to dance with a scarf.
    • A- participated in music class, running and jumping and tiptoeing along as we sang. She also shook the tambourine rhythmically.
  • Art
    • A- drew circles on paper and added lines. I cut it out and said it looked like the letter Q. She rotated it and said it looked like a tree. She asked me to draw and cut out apples. She pasted them onto the paper with the drawing side up, saying, “Just like Science Centre.”
  • Self-care and independence
    • We’ve been practising new bedtime routines, and they seem to be helping a bit. No food after evening snack. Bedtime activities: read books, nurse in the dark, or brush her teeth. Tapping into her desire to postpone bedtime seems to usually be a good way to get her to brush her teeth at least once a day.
    • She really took to the stroller. She likes singing to herself without us peeking in.
    • A- and E- played in the sandbox while Jen and I chatted on a bench a short distance away. It felt like a big milestone. We eventually moved closer to help them with social interaction, but still, this is a start.
    • We went to the ocularist. He pushed A-‘s conformer. A- was upset, but she calmed down right away when the ocularist asked if she wanted a toy from the treasure chest.
  • Eating
    • We had a Father’s Day dinner at Ka Chi. A- liked the dumplings and the bibimbap.
    • A- enjoyed her first ice cream cone. She experimented with eating it with a spoon.
  • Household
    • We got a new spray bottle. A- happily sprayed kitchen surfaces and wiped them with a towel.
    • A- helped cook a lot this week: banana bread, shake and bake chicken, sweet potato fries, and even wontons.
    • We helped W- clean the carpet.
    • A- wanted to fold laundry. She also liked answering questions such as: “Mama’s or A-‘s?”
    • A- picked out the house key from my key ring.
    • A- enjoyed harvesting basil for pesto. “Ooooh! So many basil!”
  • Social
    • A- is more aware of portions, and will defend hers by saying “That’s my moira. That’s your moira.” and making the appropriate hand gestures. Time to read Beyond Fate or revisit that Ideas episode…
    • A- asked me to transfer her to a swing closer to another kid.
    • I was looking for my keys, and A- helpfully piped up that they were on the floor. Yay! Later, I was looking for my headlamp, and A- got them for me. It was tucked into a corner, which was a little odd. Hmm…
    • We ate at a restaurant because power was out at home. We talked through the process, and A- practised what to say and do. I asked her to say, “Excuse me, check please,” and she tried that at our table a few times before we talked to the easier.
    • At the JFRC, I shared a large bunch of grapes at snack-time, and they were well-received. At circle time, A- brought over a stool and sat on it. She imitated the family support worker’s gestures and softly sang words too. She waved the scarf around, and she flapped the parachute up and down. Best circle time engagement so far!
    • A- and E- played in the sandbox…
    • We hung out with Quinn, Richard, and Linda at Vermont Square Park. We blew bubbles, ate snacks, and enjoyed chatting.
    • A- shared toys with a few daycare kids who were also playing in the sandbox. When it was time for them to go, A- helped put their toys in the bag. She even wanted to join them as they practised lining up, but we didn’t wander over in time.
    • I talked to A- about babysitting. She said, “Stop babysitting experiment. Mama play with A-.”
    • We ate at Swiss Chalet to celebrate W-‘s progress at work. A- wanted sweet potato fries. She also drank a lot of water. When we finished eating, we prompted A- to ask for the check. She raised her hand, and then when the server came over, she said, “Check, please.”
    • Martin kept A- happily occupied while I worked on some code for his project.
    • We went to a neighbourhood party. A- had fun with the neighbours’ playset.
    • We had Ewan and E- over. A- had a hard time waiting for a turn with her high chair and shopping cart, but she was okay eventually. Lots of fun blowing bubbles and feeding each other prawn crackers.
  • Pretend
    • We had a long pretend conversation with the electric fan. A- asked me to ask it questions, and A- told me what it answered.
    • We played pretend ice cream shop. I described the flavors. She asked for the brown one. I handed her some playdough and told her it would be $3. She fished a scrap of paper out of her handbag and said, “I pay with money.” I thanked her. She kept looking at me expectantly, then said, “Receipt.” I gave her a piece of paper. Then she said, “Napkins.” More paper. Then she said, “Money.” That cracked me up – she made sure I gave her change.
  • Cognition
    • We built two towers of Duplo, and then A- wanted to put a block across the top. We built a couple of other tower pairs. I started counting the blocks I added: sometimes one, sometimes two, sometimes three. When we got near the top of the second tower, I asked A- how many more blocks we needed to add. She said a number that happened to be the right answer. She was probably just lucky, but hey, why not incorporate more math into our activities..
    • A- wanted to carry my bag. She tried dragging it. Then she sat down and started emptying it. She said, “Take it all out to make it lighter.”
    • A- covered her ears in anticipation of the arrival of the subway train.
  • World
    • The giant bubble maker was a big hit.
    • A- liked stepping in puddles and leaving footprints on the dry part of the sidewalk.
  • Kaizen
    • We bought a bike trailer: Thule Chariot Cheetah XT.
    • I took the bike and trailer on a test ride around the block. After I built up confidence, I took A- around too. We survived!
    • I made Tasker scripts for adding descriptions to my pictures, logging them in my journal, and linking from my journal to the pictures. I learned how to call Java functions from Tasker and how to work with images in scenes. I want to use this to create more pedagogical documentation.
    • I wrote some code to watch a directory and add Org links to new files, managing them with Org attachments. I also experimented with org-download and dragging and dropping images into Emacs, and I wrote a command to read the caption from an image’s metadata and insert it into the buffer.
    • I installed Resilio and used it to synchronize my pictures with the NAS.
    • I added pictures and printed out last week’s review. I also replaced # with Unicode stars and labels in the image filenames.
    • I wrote a shell script to add photo captions for printing.
    • I migrated my blog database to utf8mb4.
    • I resized my Linode server, taking advantage of a cheaper plan.
    • I explored the YouTube Live / Hangouts on Air interface so that I could pass along tips.
    • I stayed up late to try the guar gum giant bubble recipe from http://soapbubble.wikia.com/wiki/Recipes_Guar . Very promising! It made a couple of big bubbles in the cool, still air of our kitchen. Next, I want to experiment with different frames and work on technique.
  • Us
    • W- and I actually managed to sit down and play Borderlands 2.
    • I helped Popo with her Android phone while she played with A-.