Category Archives: weekly

Week ending 2018-04-06

A- settled back into Manila life quite readily. She warmed up to her cousins in a hours instead of a few days. She was initially scared of Lolo Frank, but now she knows him by name. She knows more people by name in the office, too. She’s still a little reserved, but that’s normal. It doesn’t help that people here tend to touch kiddos without asking. I’m getting better at heading people off.

She’s gotten better at exploring her environment and even indicating that she wants pictures or videos of a certain thing. At a restaurant, she crawled under a high chair, grinned, crawled out, and then repeated the process until I could take a proper picture of it.

She had lumpiang shanghai and said, “I like this so much.” She also liked mangoes, bananas, and chicharon. She liked ramen at Santouka and teriyaki at Pepper Lunch. It’s easy to tell when she’s had a good meal, because she gets so active afterwards.

She’s been learning how to ride a scooter around. There’s plenty of smooth floor space here, so that might be something to do during trips. A balance bike might be good for her too. I wonder if I should buy one locally or just ship ours back and forth.

A- really enjoyed playing with her cousins. They adapted to the gradual simplification of the living room as toys got packed for shipping. A- even asked G* to let her sit on her lap and read to her. We’ve been using the Little Engineer set to build shopping carts, flower gardens, chairs, and slides. She had fun giving the big teddy bear hugs, although I remain firm in my resolution to minimize the number of stuffed animals we have in the house.

I’m covered in bug bites, and so is A-. Mostly mosquitos, I think, although Kathy suspects additional bugs came in via the Ifugao doll house. Oh well! I’m doing a very bad job of resisting the urge to scratch, even though I know scratching just makes it worse. I brought hydrocortisone ointment this time.

John G. arrived. Home stretch for their family!

Week ending 2018-03-30

This weekly review is delayed because travel threw our rhythm off a bit, but my journaling system is holding up nicely.

A- ran/walked all the way to the subway station. I didn’t even have to pick her up once, although I did carry her bag after a short distance. She also had fun pretending to slide down a twisty slide at home, which consists of corkscrewing down a large pillow.

Lots of pretending to be a cat or pretending to be one of her cousins, with me also getting assigned an appropriate role. (“Pretend Tita Kathy feed pretend Ate G*.”) She also imitated the Mojo Jojo voice W- used for the fish in the Cat in the Hat, which totally cracked us up. She found a fancy dress in her closet and enjoyed dressing up in it too.

After tasting a little of W-‘s spicy pasta and spitting it out, A- has taken to asking me if things are spicy or plain before eating them. She usually believes me, but sometimes she’s still cautious despite reassurances.

Not much progress on gentle weaning, although one time she asked me to pat her back instead of asking me to nurse her to sleep.

The packing cubes were definitely a good idea. I felt way more organized.

The flights to Korea and the Philippines were okay. The car seat didn’t get used much after the first two minutes of novelty. The rest of the time, her stuffed sheep sat in it, strapped in and very safe. Sometimes A- wanted to kick me out of my seat and sit in the big seat all by herself. Mostly she sat on my lap.

We stayed at the Grand Hyatt Incheon for our overnight layover. The East Tower was not as well-appointed as the West Tower, but it was adequate. We woke up in the middle of the night and ordered room service. The omelette was generously-sized, and I ordered rice on the side in case A- wanted it. Room service actually works pretty well considering A- sometimes takes a while to feel hungry, and she likes eating every two hours or so.

Anyway, now we’re in Manila! We’ll be here until the 20th.

Week ending 2018-03-23

The big thing this week was the initial consultation with the dentistry department of Sick Kids. They plan to put A- under general anesthesia and fix her top four incisors. They said it looks like totally normal early childhood caries now, so no worries about enamel hypoplasia, and they strongly recommended night weaning as a way of reducing the risk of repeat dental surgery. Since we haven’t been able to be 100% solid on cleaning her teeth before bedtime, night weaning probably makes lots of sense.

Now that we’ve got A-‘s medical things scheduled for May, I decided we could squeeze in a quick trip to the Philippines so that she could spend time with Lola and see her cousins and Tita Kathy before they move to the Netherlands. If A-‘s teeth turn into an emergency situation, I hope travel insurance will help us sort everything out.

We took the ferry to Ward’s Island with Jen and E-. It was lots of fun even though everything was closed. The kids played with the pirate ship playground and had fun tossing leaves. A- favored Aunt Jen quite heavily, even telling me to stop. She also practised climbing up the ladder because she saw E- do it. It was great to see her becoming more independent.

A- was up early one day, so we made it out to Riverdale Farm in time for a farmer Q&A session. I learned a little bit about the sheep and the other animals at the farm. We got to touch the sheep’s nose and wool, which A- liked a lot. We combined that with a trip to Children’s Book Bank and the Regent Park playground, where A- had fun climbing up, sliding down, and digging in the sandbox.

A- was very interested in squeezing glue onto paper and sticking on pompoms, googly eyes, and ripped pieces of paper. She also liked playing with dough while I made breadsticks. Those and spinach pancakes were big hits. For gross motor development, she walked her balance bike up and down the sidewalk.

Lots of fun with language this week. She can use the word “sapatos” to mean shoes, and she can say the first two lines of Cattus Petasatus.

W- told me how she was jumping on the bed and he saved her from falling off head-first. He said she looked a little shocked, and then she said, “Nurse more, nurse more, no more monkeys.”

For my part, I’ve been trying to wean her with the help of timers on my phone. That prompted this hilarious attempt at social engineering: “Phone said it’s okay to nurse, beep beep.”

She really liked the Five Little Ducks song. I changed the lyrics to refer to Papa Duck instead of Mama Duck, and she insisted on changing the song so one little duck always comes back. She was interested in playing the recorder, and she actually listened when I asked her to play it quietly because people were sleeping.

Lots of pretending to be a cat qnd pretending I was Mama cat. She also enjoyed pretending to be Ate G* and pretending I was Tita Kathy.

On our side, W- fixed a leak in the dishwasher drain pipe, and I generated and printed labels for many of the toy bins.

Next up: travel!

Week ending 2018-03-16

It was March Break, so we wanted to avoid indoor crowds. Instead, we went to playgrounds, checked out High Park Zoo, and joined Jen and E- on a visit to the piglets at Riverdale Farm.

The 2-year-old sleep regression seems to have hit us hard. A- and I have been up in the wee hours of the morning. We did manage to have a video chat with Lola one time. A- had a lot of fun singing, dancing, and pretend-cooking for Lola.

We visited W-‘s parents during the weekend, too. While A- played, I filled them in on upcoming medical things and A-‘s development.

A- liked the ducks at High Park, too, so that’s what our songs and crafts have focused on as well. I stocked up on construction paper, felt, pompoms, googly eyes, mini popsicle sticks, and pipe cleaners.

Lots of spinning around with a tray and jumping up and down on the bed. She asked for “bubbles through the air,” and enjoyed catching and stomping them. She laced a belt through my belt loops and helped me buckle it.

A- has started saying things like “Oh my goodness” and “Good idea!” which amuses me. She picked up my She also started explaining herself, as in “I want to nurse in carrier because I tired,” and “I’m nervous about Luke.” We had fun singing her ever-growing repertoire of nursery rhymes.

Her pretend play has been split between reenacting the fun she had at the playground (sandboxes and twisty slides) and reenacting the long flights she took to visit Lolo and Lola. Aside from the occasional “I sit in bassinet a long time,” (which I wish she did – she spent most of the flight in my arms) she seems cheerful enough about the experience, particularly the bits about bringing luggage and asking flight attendants to bring food. She’ll need to travel in her own seat now, so we’ll see how she adjusts to that.

She played hide and seek in the bedroom. Mostly this consists of us hiding together, although sometimes she gets excited about finding me. Slowly practising separation!


  • I figured out how to make a small, captioned photobook using 4-up imposition.
  • I backed up photo highlights to the NAS and started tagging them with metadata.
  • W- kitted out the playroom with more Trofast drawers. It looks neat.
  • I tried out a paper lesson planner. The month view is good for remembering.
  • I set up scripts for backing up my server to the NAS.
  • We cleared another bookshelf for A-‘s use.

Week ending 2018-03-10

A- got a new conformer last week. Progress: she didn’t cry in the waiting room, although she still burst into tears as soon as she saw the ocularist. We’re continuing with the conformer approach instead of switching to a painted shell because A- still rubs the conformer out of her eye from time to time, and it’s easier to replace a conformer. Maybe we’ll switch when she’s closer to school age.

I asked her where she wanted to go for Field Trip Friday. She said, “Riverdale Farm. I miss that. I have fun. Big sheep make big noises.” So we went, and we enjoyed looking at the baby goats. We passed by the Children’s Book Bank, and I was delighted to find that you can take double the number of books on Fridays. I picked up a few more Seuss books.

We’ve been making more of an effort to explore and catalogue places so that we can make the most of Toronto’s resources. We checked out Baird Park, which has a playset with a short tunnel that A- actually worked up the courage to go through. She liked going down the twisty slide on my lap, and then graduated to going down the twisty slide at Lithuania Park with a little push. I posted a few park reviews in Google just in case other people find those notes handy, and I should find some way of organizing my own copy of the notes too.

A- has been having fun with both fine and gross motor skills. She practised using a ladle to pour and a butter knife to spread. She goose-stepped and danced.

A- can talk about more abstract things. She scribbled and said she was drawing “nervous.” One time, W- was carrying her up the stairs to change her diaper, and she was getting a little wriggly and distracted. He said, “Focus.” She said with enthusiasm, “Diaper!”

She likes being involved. When she was at the sink, she said with delight: “Yes! I’m busy!”

One time, she insisted that I carry her up bridal-style in my arms (which she accomplished by flopping in a certain way and protesting if I tried changing things). I was mystified, but it all became clearer once we got upstairs and she wanted me to read Emma to her. The Cozy Classics version has just twelve words, and “carry” is one of them. “Frank Churchill carry. Emma,” she said. Aha!

She often sings nursery rhymes and other songs. She sang part of “Mamma Mia” while dancing, and then obligingly repeated while I suppressed my laughter long enough to record her on video.

Little improvements:

  • W- set up a Synology DS718 network-attached storage server. Wheee! I feel more grown-up with proper backups. I set up borg backups for my server and my laptop. Next: Docker containers for testing the backups…
  • I set up lots of voice shortcuts to help me with groceries and with tracking. For example, I can say, “Okay Google, baby awake” and it will log that in my system. I explored Tasker’s Memento support, too.
  • I figured out how to use Org Mode and LaTeX to typeset drawing templates for children’s books, and I used that to make a book about smoothies. Next: photos, more layouts
  • Lots of tidying up in the basement, too. Whee!
  • I switched to writing in Markor on Android. I briefly enabled Markdown support in WordPress, but it was messing up some of my other posts, so I turned it off again.
  • I set up god-mode in Emacs, which does make phone use a bit easier.

Week ending 2018-03-02

We went to Riverdale Farm this week. A- was a little wary of the sheep, but she eventually got more used to the noise. We visited her grandmother. A- ate lots of strawberries and practised fetching things.

A- had lots of fun spinning around and around, whether it was on the platform at the Ontario Science Centre or in the kitchen at home. With a tray, too, for extra challenge points! She enjoyed rock-climbing, and so did I. She walked most of the way to the subway, too, and she walked astride her balance bike from the living room all the way to the kitchen.

She sang all of Humpty Dumpty and Hey Diddle Diddle, and has been dancing and playing instruments “just like music class.”
We played with catching and blowing feathers, too.

A- had a tantrum because she didn’t want me to go to sleep. I think adjusting her sleep schedule will have to be more about waking her up rather than trying to nudge her to sleep earlier. On the plus side, she echoed some of the sentences from the books we’ve been reading: “One step, another, fall down, and then pick myself up and try it again.” “I know it’s hard.”

I figured out how to make books! I drew a 12-page book about night weaning and an 8-page book about A-‘s conformer. I’m looking forward to making more, especially as I collect ideas and fine-tune my workflow. I managed to do Emacs News entirely on my phone, too, which bodes well for traveling without my laptop. I also worked on documenting files to back up.

Next week: new conformer, more books, and setting up some storage!