Category Archives: review

Week ending 2018-06-15

  • Field trip
    • 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.
  • Fine motor
    • A- was interested in making valentines, so we folded paper, cut out shapes, and glued them.
    • 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.
  • 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.
    • A- liked being swung up in the air, like in the book Nelly Gnu and Daddy Too.
  • Language
    • We read lots and lots and lots of books.
    • Talking about incipient actions: “I’m about to go down the slide.”
    • W- was counting out loud. A- smiled approvingly and said, “Daddy knows the words.”
    • 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.
  • Music
    • A- participated in music class today. She started off a little sleepy and reserved, but she helped clean up, and she let me put her on the floor. She liked hiding under the scarf and shaking the jingle bell sticks.
    • At circle time at the JFRC, 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!
  • Self-care and independence
    • A- didn’t want to brush her teeth, but she changed her mind when she saw the “Shiny smile time” page in a book.
    • 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.
  • Social
    • We talked to our neighbour about her experience with a Montessori private school. She gave a glowing review. I might be willing to give up having an extra year with A- if preschool is a good fit for her. I’m not worried about helping A- learn her letters, but I think preschool might do a better job than I might at arranging regular social interaction. I think Montessori is interesting. I like Reggio Emilia a lot too, and I want to explore options for that as well. We’ll see!
    • Together with a couple of other kids, A- scooped sand into the tube of this activity centre. They all took turns, and they managed to fill the tube all the way up by using wet sand.
    • A- asked me to transfer her to a swing closer to another kid.
    • A- almost wore just a diaper to music class. She relented and let me put pants on her. I brought a bubble wand, which helped keep kids engaged while waiting for class to start. Also, playing the excavator game got A- a little involved in cleanup, although she still mostly clung to me in class.
    • 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…
    • Because the power was out, I brought down my headlamp. The babysitter remarked that she had a similar one. A- blew the whistle cleverly integrated into the headlamp’s strap. The babysitter was surprised and thanked A- for teaching her something new.
    • 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.
    • I feel pretty good about how I’m playing with A- and helping her learn, and I look forward to getting even better at it. The babysitter experiment is also working out well. Even when we’re both there with her instead of my going off to do consulting or kaizen stuff, it’s a good opportunity for her to see social interaction and for me to pick people’s brains.
    • At the JFRC, I shared a large bunch of grapes at snack-time, and they were well-received.
    • A- imitated what I look like when I’m fighting the urge to sneeze.
  • Pretend
    • A- was interested in playing with the pretend kitchen at the JFRC and putting on the scrubs in the doctor kit.
    • A- liked pretending to be an excavator or a Bobcat. She also asked me to pretend to be an excavator.
  • 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..
  • Kaizen
    • I moved more winter things into storage.
    • 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.
  • Us
    • A city tree inspector came by. We had a pleasant chat about the permit process and assured him we would file all the proper paperwork if we decide to go ahead with changing the backyard.

Week ending 2018-06-08

  • Field trip
    • A- woke up early in the morning and insisted on going to sleep in the stroller. I managed to convince her to let me snooze, but she repeated her request after a short while. So I bundled her into the stroller and we went to Riverdale Farm, where she had lots of fun watching the baby goat.
    • 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.
  • 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.
  • Language
    • A- postponed bedtime by cheerily insisting, “I want to talk.” She rehashed her hospital visit and other things that were on her mind.
  • Music
    • We attended the first music class for the summer. She clung to me throughout class, but was positive about it before and after.
  • Self-care
    • 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- didn’t want me to brush her teeth, but she let me squirt water into her mouth.
  • Household
    • A- wanted to make the bed. She spread the blanket over the crib mattress on the floor. She also fluffed and stacked pillows.
  • Social
    • A- was a bit irritable in the morning, but she switched to being happy when the babysitter showed up. She wanted to show the babysitter the cool stuff she had. We experimented with having the babysitter over for 5 hours instead of just 4. A- was a bit attached to me, but once they were playing in the garden, I explained to A- that I would work downstairs and that I had full confidence in them. A- and the babysitter were able to play all afternoon. There was a brief moment when she was upset, but the babysitter was able to comfort her, so I didn’t need to peek out. Level up!
  • Kaizen
    • 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!
  • Us
    • I walked to the Stockyards with A- in the stroller. We made good time, but I didn’t find the other groceries I wanted, so I probably won’t go there much.

May 2018

  • Field trips: We made it out to Riverdale Farm, the Science Centre, and High Park Zoo. We also made it all the way out to Hamilton while hanging out with Jen and E-.
  • Gross motor
    • We’ve been practising going for walks in the neighbourhood. A- can walk to the supermarket or the playground now, although I usually need to carry her on the way home.
    • She enjoyed building sandcastles and swinging across the monkey bars with help.
    • A- has been practising rhythmically swinging her feet back and forth on the swing.
  • Fine motor
    • So much scissors practice!
    • A- wanted me to trace her feet, her hands, and her arms.
    • A- was interested in pushing and stacking large pegs at the OEYC.
    • A- had fun wrapping tape all around a column of Duplo blocks. She passed the tape from hand to hand and around all by herself.
  • Language
    • A- asked for and made up stories about everyday objects.
    • She referred to herself by a nickname and corrected me a few times.
    • A- is learning how to ask questions instead of just declaring that she wants something. “Can I have this?” She’s getting better at thoughtfully asking about other people, too.
    • A- and I took turns telling a story that ended up like this: “Once upon a time there was a little girl named A- who wanted to nurse. So her Mama set a timer.”
    • A- talked about something she wished we bought a few months ago: “I have no stars. I have a star at IKEA.”
    • A- lined up random magnetic letters along their baseline.
    • “I did not caught the ball.”
    • “Oh no, hair. That is from you.”
    • “I don’t know what that is.”
    • I made a quick book about going to the hospital, and one about babysitters.
  • Self-care
    • We’ve been trying lots of playful tactics to get A- to let us brush her teeth. Improvising silly songs, involving her toys, and playing dentist seem to work.
    • We went to Sick Kids for A-‘s dental surgery to repair cavities in her top four teeth.
    • Afterwards, we hung out with Popo and R-.
    • A- was okay with drinking 1.5ml infant Tylenol diluted in two small glasses of smoothie.
  • Emotion
    • A- got a little anxious about Mr. Potato Head and a monkey puppet.
    • A- wanted to play with dolls, and she wanted me to put on a hand puppet.
    • A- didn’t want to go to sleep. After trying to insist for ten minutes, I decided to give her suggestions a shot. We went downstairs, played a bit, and even practised a lot with scissors. Surprisingly focused time. Maybe I should trust her a little more when it comes to sleep.
  • Household
    • A- dropped a lot of breadcrumbs on the kitchen floor. Unprompted, she got her broom and tried to sweep it up.
    • A- and I made muffins, blueberry scones, and red bean buns, which we’ve been sharing with the neighbours.
    • A- wanted to water the lawn with the hose.
  • Social
    • We’ve been experimenting with having a babysitter over one afternoon a week so that A- can interact with people who are not me. =) A- handles the transition well, and I can usually get around two hours of focused consulting time. We’ve picked up a few new games to play, too. I’ve been working with a babysitter agency so that I don’t have to worry about scheduling or screening, and I might experiment with having an independent babysitter once we have more experience.
    • A- has started getting curious about other kids’ toys in the sandbox and wanting to borrow stuff. She often asks me to ask, and I also nudge her to try asking.
    • J- stepped in for emergency child care during my dentist appointment, since the independent babysitter cancelled the day before.
    • A- was okay with going to the JFRC, and even stayed there all afternoon one time.
  • Pretend
    • I stuck a twig in a sandcastle and pretended it was a flag, and then A- repurposed it to be a candle on a birthday sandcake.
    • A- liked helping her toy dinosaur have a bath, brush teeth, wear its conformer, and read a book. She happily took her turn, too.
    • A- loved pretending to order food from a restaurant.
  • Cognition
    • We stayed at the JFRC all afternoon. She played with cars and paint, a matching puzzle with three sets of 18 photos, and a playdough press. She even played with a facilitator while I interviewed a babysitter.
    • A- had fun spotting the cat in the Plume book. I think she’s starting to appreciate incomplete images.
    • A- paid lots of attention to stop signs and stop lights, and even insisted on following them while on the sidewalk.
  • Kaizen
    • We set up the sprinkler and the timer to help us grow grass in the backyard, and the grass has been doing quite well.
    • I worked on automatically filtering, categorizing, and formatting my journal entries.
    • We got a shopping trolley from Ikea so that we can easily carry more supplies.
    • I tweaked my Memento Database workflow to make it easier to edit the CSVs on my computer in case I have time.
    • I stayed up late to compare the numbers for hiring an experienced babysitter directly or through an agency. Along the way, I developed an appreciation for using Calc’s fsolve with org-babel. Nice way to quickly solve an equation.
    • I set up Google Pay and tried it out at the supermarket. It’s pretty handy.
  • Us
    • J- made chickpea masala. It was yummy!
    • I checked out Persona 5.
    • Lots of gardening: basil in the boxes, peas, tomatoes, and chives in the ground, more seeds started, and thyme and tarragon out back. W- has been putting a lot of work into the backyard. He built a ramp for the shed, a platform for the sprinkler, and three planter boxes.
    • Slowly getting back into consulting.

Thoughts for June:

  • Music classes start up again, so we’ll see about waking up early.
  • I might experiment with requesting the same babysitter again so that we can see what that’s like.
  • More neighbourhood walks, too, I think.
  • Maybe potty training?

Week ending 2018-06-01

  • Fine motor
    • A- carefully cut freeform spirals out of paper, turning the paper with one hand while cutting with the other. She also occasionally did a good job of following curves drawn on the paper, or cutting around drawings. She learned this from W-.
  • Language
    • “I did not caught the ball.”
    • “Oh no, hair. That is from you.”
    • I made a quick book about going to the hospital.
    • “I don’t know what that is.”
  • Self-care
    • Playing pretend dentist let me brush A-‘s teeth frequently.
    • A- didn’t want me to change her diaper, so I cheerfully changed Giraffe’s diaper. Then she decided it was her turn.
    • We went to Sick Kids for A-‘s dental surgery. Afterwards, we hung out with Popo and R-.
    • A- was okay with drinking 1.5ml infant Tylenol diluted in two small glasses of smoothie.
  • Household
    • A- wanted to water the lawn with the hose.
    • A- gently watered the seedlings.
  • Social
    • A- experimented with her excited voice and her normal voice.
    • A- was okay with this week’s babysitter, but she wasn’t as engaged as she was with other ones. She was a little more attached to me, and she wanted to end the babysitting session half an hour early. She kept saying, “Bye bye Priscila. Priscila go home.”
  • Pretend
    • A- liked pretending that she was stuck under the laundry basket.
  • Us
    • W- built more planter boxes. He planted thyme and tarragon.
    • I edited some text for my mom.
    • J- made creamy pesto pasta bake and a warm shrimp salad.
    • I realized that it’s okay to enjoy this moment as it is, instead of thinking of it as preparation for something else.

Week ending 2018-05-25

  • Gross motor
    • A- wanted to swing across the monkey bars with help.
    • A- enjoyed building sandcastles in the sandbox and rolling a truck down the slide.
  • Fine motor
    • A- was interested in scribbling in the doodle book.
    • A- had fun wrapping tape all around a column of Duplo blocks. She passed the tape from hand to hand and around all by herself.
  • Language
    • A- talked about something she wished we bought a few months ago: “I have no stars. I have a star at IKEA.”
    • A- lined up random magnetic letters along their baseline.
  • Self-care
    • A- got her own tissue, and then she blew her nose when prompted.
    • We got A- to brush by improvising silly songs.
    • We were able to convince A- to let Dinosaur brush her teeth.
    • A-‘s pediatrician said she had a mild cold and a low-grade fever. We’ll see if her dental surgery needs to be postponed.
  • Emotion
    • A- didn’t want to go to sleep. After trying to insist for ten minutes, I decided to give her suggestions a shot. We went downstairs, played a bit, and even practised a lot with scissors. Surprisingly focused time.
  • Social
    • A- has started getting curious about other kids’ toys in the sandbox and wanting to borrow stuff. She often asks me to ask, and I also nudge her to try asking.
    • J- stepped in for emergency child care when the independent babysitter cancelled.
    • A- had a lot of fun with Crystal the babysitter. They took turns role-playing restaurant scenarios. They practised with scissors and played with paint while I did some consulting. Then A- wanted to go to the playground with both of us, so I explored stuff on my phone while they played. Level up!
    • We visited Popo and enjoyed a nice walk down to Union Station.
  • Pretend
    • W- guided A- through pretending to eat at a cafeteria: getting a tray, loading up a plate, paying, eating, and putting away. More egalitarian than restaurants. :)
    • A- wanted to keep playing the order game. She liked ordering chocolate, cheese, and hot water.
    • A- bought pretend groceries and put them in a pretend fridge. (Duplo blocks, caves)
  • Cognition
    • A- had fun spotting the cat in the Plume book. I think she’s starting to appreciate incomplete images.
  • Kaizen
    • I wrote a bash+sed script to get mutual fund prices.
    • I looked into drawing on my phone, and prepared a few template files. The full version of Autodesk Sketchbook for Mobile is now free, but Medibang has a slightly customizable interface.
  • Us
    • J- made chickpea masala. It was yummy!
    • I went for dental cleaning and fluoride varnish while A- hung out with J-.
    • I chatted with Jessica Lee (@jessicaology) about portfolio careers, tracking, and experiments.

Week ending 2018-05-18

  • Gross motor
    • A- walked all the way to the JFRC.
    • We’ve been practising going for walks in the neighbourhood. A- wasn’t too keen on walking back from the supermarket, but when she focused on picking dandelion flowers instead, it was easier to nudge her along.
  • Fine motor
    • A- was interested in pushing and stacking large pegs at the OEYC.
  • Language
    • A- had so much fun in the Baird Park sandbox, she said “I don’t want to leave.”
    • A- was doing a pretty good job at imitating whatever we said. W- remarked, “Someone is parroting everything Daddy says.” A- said, “What a surprise.”
  • Emotion
    • A- got a little anxious about Mr. Potato Head and a monkey puppet. Later that week, A- wanted to play with dolls, and she wanted me to put on a hand puppet.
  • Household
    • A- dropped a lot of breadcrumbs on the kitchen floor. Unprompted, she got her broom and tried to sweep it up.
    • A- dragged the shopping trolley short distances.
    • A- and I made banana muffins. She liked pouring and mixing the dry ingredients. After we baked the muffins, we gave some to the neighbours.
  • Social
    • Babysitting experiment #2: success! A- made carrot muffins with Stephanie, then played in the play area before heading out to the backyard. It was nice of her to offer Stephanie snacks.
    • We brought the carrot muffins that A- helped make to the JFRC. They were well-received.
    • It’s interesting how powerful the desire to imitate is. A- usually doesn’t like the peel on fruits, so I was peeling pear slices for her and eating the peels as we went. She eventually got curious enough to eat one, then another, and then a pear slice with the peel on.
    • A- wanted to sit in the front yard and watch people.
    • A- liked watching the neighbours draw with chalk, so we played with chalk on the sidewalk too.
  • Pretend
    • A- liked helping her toy dinosaur have a bath, brush teeth, wear its conformer, and read a book. She happily took her turn, too.
  • Other
    • A- paid lots of attention to stop signs and stop lights, and even insisted on following them while on the sidewalk.
  • Kaizen
    • We got a shopping trolley from Ikea so that we can easily carry more supplies.
    • I stayed up late to compare the numbers for hiring an experienced babysitter directly or through an agency. Along the way, I developed an appreciation for using Calc’s fsolve with org-babel. Nice way to quickly solve an equation.
    • I set up Google Pay and tried it out at the supermarket. If this works out, it might mean one less card to carry or potentially lose.
  • Us
    • We lost one of A-‘s shoes. It fell off while she was sleeping in the carrier.
    • W- built and filled a garden box, and I planted cilantro and dill in it. We bought basil seedlings and planted those too. I gave up on the compost heap.
    • I actually gave myself permission to start playing a video game: Persona 5.