Category Archives: review

Week ending 2018-02-09

Gross motor: A- practised walking forward on her balance bike. It was just a few steps, but hey, progress! She also enjoyed swimming. We had the toddler pool all to ourselves for a while, and she enjoyed walking in the shallow water and even kneeling just enough to dip her ears into the water. At the Science Centre, she had lots of fun following E-‘s example and running up and down corridors, climbing stairs, and so on.

Fine motor: She can screw together the oversized nuts and bolts in her toolkit. She was interested in the Duplo blocks. She liked adding a paper butterfly to the ROM exhibit.

Language: She used the word “need” to ask for something. Her first request? “I need a hug.” She thanked me afterwards, too. She’s getting pretty good at talking about recent events, like pointing to the fridge and saying, “Daddy bought new eggs.” Ithink she can talk about how she felt, too. For example, a kid accidentally knocked her down at the Science Centre. When we were chatting about the day during her bath, we got to that part and she said “A- sad.”

Household: She insisted that we make muffins, and she even brought out the muffin tin.

Social: She had such a great day on Friday hanging out with Jen and E-, and she was so excited to see W- that she was squeaking as she ran to the door. Joy gave us a kitchen playset, which A- liked. A- also put up with me having coffee with Eric and chatting about leadership. We made it out to music class, but she was pretty reserved. At home, she loved playing games with me (peekaboo, moving tunnels, fall down, toss hair/pompom).

Independence: She insisted on privacy while using the potty. She wanted to do most things by herself. She put on her own coat a few times.

Other: She passed her eye exam – perfect vision and healthy pressure in her right eye so far. Amusingly, she was indifferent to the first sheet of stickers offered by the doctor, but she quickly snatched the second sheet. She enjoyed hanging out at the family centre afterwards.

Us: I donated more clothes through the EarlyON family and child centre. We got a couple of IKEA Trofast units to organize A-‘s clothes and toys. Gradual decluttering!

Week ending 2018-02-02

(I hope this image gets properly sized – still working out my mobile workflow…)

We were mostly at home this week while A- gradually adjusted to Toronto time. We made it out to visit Jen and E- on Friday morning. A- also enjoyed going outside to play in the snow.

It was delightful to hear all the phrases bubbling up from A-. “Thank you” was her favourite phrase this week. She also got the hang of sequential requests with “And then…” and tried her hand at persuasion with “That’s okay.” She congratulated herself with “Good job!” “You did it!” and dealt with the occasional oopses with “Try again.”

She didn’t want to wear her conformer for a few days. I didn’t force the issue. No point, anyway, since she could just take it out again right after. I made my peace with possible long-term refusal, but kept trying with liberal use of “Please” and some discussion of why it might be worth the short-term discomfort. She eventually let me put it in, hooray! She removed it again a couple of days after, though, so it might be getting a bit uncomfortable.

We’re back to being able to do neighbourhood errands. A- often wants to go to the supermarket, where she insists on carrying her own basket or riding in the shopping cart.

A- was interested in stacking cans, so I suggested that she stack wooden blocks too. She built a tower out of eight blocks, and then delighted in knocking them down with various body parts.

As for us: I’ve been following up on my resolution to be more organized. I ordered a bunch of pouches from MEC. I sorted A-‘s clothes and donated another bunch of 18mo clothes to the EarlyON child centre. Continuous improvement!

Weekly review: Week ending 2018-01-26

We started the week with some grandparent time, going out for lunch at Tim Ho Wan and spending time at Museo Pambata. A- also got into the habit of asking Lola to read to her and wanting to sleep in Lola’s room, so we did even though A- was a little bit hard to settle at night.

On Sunday, there was a big party to celebrate the completion of the novena for my dad and what would have been my dad’s 70th birthday. A- found it a little overwhelming, so we went up and down as needed.

We had a chickenpox scare that sent me Googling for information on breakthrough varicella and off to a pediatrician for an in-person consultation. Turned out to be just bug bites on A-, so we flew home on our scheduled flight.

During the layover in Incheon, A- munched lots of prawn and discovered the joys of swimming in the bathtub. The new Terminal 2 was large, airy, and well-equipped, although the amenities for kids were more geared towards screens than climbing or bouncing around.

The seats beside us on the 14h flight from Incheon to Toronto were empty, so we managed to stretch out and nap a few times in between the tours that A- wanted of the airplane bathrooms and galleys (“Not this one toilet! That one!”)

A- was firmly attached to W- as soon as she saw him, which was super helpful because I desperately needed to catch up on sleep. I’m just regularly sleep-deprived now instead of being exhausted, although I’m still dealing with sniffles and a cough, and we’re both jetlagged by quite a bit. Fortunately, we’d already sorted out enrichment at home and we don’t have any appointments next week, so I’m not worried about being out of sync with Toronto time.

It’s been amusing seeing A- apply what she learned on the trip. She insisted that W- sing part of Mamma Mia, and she figured out how to cross her legs when sitting on the floor. I hope that she’ll be on a padded surface when she decides to revisit pratfalls.

A- did a quick runthrough of her favourite activities as soon as she got to the house: putting away plastic bags, eating in her chair, reading books, standing in her tower, saying hello to the cats, playing with dough, painting… It’s almost as if she had a checklist and she wanted to verify everything still worked the way she remembered.

W- put in a smart thermostat which can control the fan and the furnace separately, and it had a surprising large effect on how the house feels. I wonder what other little upgrades are that useful.

I’m continuing to braindump lessons learned and things to take care of. Once I get things out of my head, they’re easier to prioritize and follow up on.

Next week is mostly about acclimating, and about learning to take advantage of our tech upgrades. We’re both checking out GoodNotes for sketchnoting. It’s fun to learn stuff together!

Weekly review: Week ending 2018-01-19

It was a lot of fun watching A- experiment with new concepts this week. She tried saying, “No play Ate A*, this mine!” This is great! She’s learning about owning things. I did point out that the toy she was clutching was actually her cousin’s, and we sorted it all out with a minimum of fuss. I look forward to helping her navigate this interesting time.

She also tried arranging her legs to sit like she saw Tita Ching and Tita Kathy do, and she promptly fell backward onto the bed. I successfully avoided laughing out loud. She figured out shrugging, though, and that got a few chuckles.

One time, she was looking for Tita Ching. She ran to the living room, but it was empty. She said, “Nobody!” and then looked for Tita Ching in another room. I wonder if that means I can introduce the concept of zero when counting, too…

We’ve been focusing on family time: lots of time with her cousins, aunts, and grandmother. Reading works out pretty well as a bonding activity, especially for those of us who aren’t up to jumping up and down on the bed.

Also, she seems to be okay with dolls now, hooray! She used to get quite anxious at the sight of dolls. She still doesn’t seek them out, but she doesn’t seem to be as bothered by them as she used to be. It’s probably due to seeing her cousins have lots of fun playing. Next on my desensitization list: dentists!

I managed to get the first set of paperwork out the door, hooray! We’re also working on sorting out bank accounts. Slow and steady…

Weekly review: Week ending 2018-01-12

My dad died on Saturday, Jan 6. He lived an awesome life. Many, many people shared their stories and pictures of adventures with him, and there was lots of laughter as we celebrated his life. It was about as good a life and death as one could have, I think, and that’s a wonderful gift. He was inurned in the pavilion at Heritage Park, so there are plenty of planes to watch, there’s plenty of light, and there’s plenty of space for the grandkids to run around.

It was good to catch up with a few friends who visited, and Diane did us a huge favour by staying overnight with my mom.

A- had a great time running around and bouncing on the sofa. She figured out how to jump using two feet. We went to Active Fun with her cousins, and she had fun climbing and sliding.

We saw W- off at the airport. He headed back following our original schedule. A- and I will stay until the 25th. A- misses him a little bit (“A- want go too!”), but she also enjoys spending time with her cousins, so it all works out. I’ve had to carry her out of their bedroom a couple of times now, since she’d happily play with them long past bedtime if she could. She also loves spending time with Tita Ching, who has read many, many books with her.

I like how A- is getting more involved in our daily routines. She likes squeezing the bottles of shampoo and body wash. One time, while I was rinsing off some shampoo with my eyes closed, she squeezed even more shampoo on my head, then said, “Mama feel better.” I guess it’s because I often tell her that I feel better once I’ve washed away the sticky feeling of perspiration.

Speaking of sweat – A- often insisted on going shirtless or pantless even in air-conditioned rooms. I managed to insist on diapers, at least. She had lots of bug bites. I’ve made my peace with using diaper creme instead of taking a risk with methyl salicylate.

One day, she insisted on wearing her winter jacket out of the blue. How odd!

I’m handling the insurance and estate tax paperwork, so I’m slowly putting those things together. The implementing rules for the tax reform haven’t come down yet, but I can organize the papers took make them easier to file. We’ve been preparing for this for months, and now that preparation can pay off. It’s nice to not be under time pressure.

We’re giving ourselves plenty of space to adjust to this new normal. I even had time to do a little consulting: checked on data extract, fixed blog comment export, and thought about templating.

Onward: more paperwork, more memories, more living!

Weekly review: Week ending 2018-01-05

It took two weeks of warming up, but A- now seems pretty comfortable with people at home. She loves toddling after Ate Jeana and asking if she can wash dishes at the same time, and she loves asking Tita Ching to read an endless series of books. She even insisted on going downstairs and out of sight with Tita Ching. She enjoyed playing with her two cousins, too. Yay independence and social interaction!

A- still spends lots of time attached to me, though. At one point, I said, “You love nursing!” She replied, “I love you.” Might be her just digging up the closest phrase she knows, but yeah, I’m totally fine with snuggling her more.

I like being able to offer her choices and hear what she wants. She’s figuring out how to think about the near future, saying things like “wait potty Tita Kathy finish bathroom.” She asks for what she wants (“More soup!”)

I went to the Bureau of Internal Revenue to replace my taxpayer ID. I started decluttering and organizing my mom’s papers. We met with a tax lawyer, too.

We had to reshoot the family picture because my dad insisted that we should all wear Columbia. Brand loyalty!

On the flipside, my dad slipped into delirium and the nurses advised us to take him to the hospital. We’ve already had all the big conversations, so at least we’re sort of prepared for whatever can happen.