Category Archives: weekly

Week ending 2018-08-03

  • Field trip
    • We took the bike and trailer to Vermont Square Park, where A- played with the tractor and other toys. We shared our sand toys with other kids, and A- practised taking turns. She also waded in the pool.
  • Gross motor
    • A- practised riding her balance bike. She alternated between walking it and asking me to push her, and she also practised walking it down a slope.
  • Language
    • W- told A-, “After we dry my glasses, I’ll brush your teeth.” A- replied, “Savvy.”
    • A- was interested in one of the books I borrowed from the library, and kept bringing it over to me to read to her even though it didn’t have any pictures in it.
    • “I don’t like going to bed.”
    • A- now makes up songs and stories while waiting. She sang, “Avocado, avocado, what do you see?” and a few other stanzas, and then said, “Once upon a time, there was a little girl named A- who wanted to eat an avocado but Mama said it was not yet ripe.”
    • A- was chasing J- to tax her pesto, but she got distracted by the bookcase and fell into the book trap. She ignored the food and brought a book over to W- so he could read it.
    • “I’m a messy eater.”
    • A- bruised her toe the day before. Right after she woke up, she said, “I don’t want to go to the hospital. I will try not to go to the hospital.”
    • “We can do kids’ yoga later.” “I want to do it now.” “You’re impatient.” “I wait patiently.”
    • On the way out, A- said, “I really need a walking stick.” W- said, “You don’t really need a walking stick.” A- said, “I doooo.
    • A- wanted another evening snack. I asked her what she wanted to eat. She said, “I want some of the snacks that I like.”
  • Art
    • A- made lots of handprints, even asking me to mix colours on her hands. We went outside and made footprints too.
  • Self-care
    • A- bruised her big toe by dropping a can of fish on it. The pain distracted her from playing a bit, but she felt better in the morning. We skipped nature class to let her rest, and she seemed back to normal by lunch.
    • A- practised separation by going up and down the stairs several times, saying “I will come right back downstairs just like I promised to.” She also pretended to go to school and come back, and to go to work and come back.
  • Eating
    • We tried frozen shelled edamame. A- refused to eat it, preferring the experience of eating edamame from the pod.
  • Household
    • A- got her broom and started sweeping the kitchen floor. She got the big broom and gave it to P-. We suggested using the dustpan, so she got the dustpan and the brush, and she showed P- how to use them.
    • A- helped collect and sort the laundry. She pushed the basket from room to room, transferred the laundry from her room and the bathroom, and helped me bump the basket down to the basement. She stood on a stool and asked me where each item went, and she put it in the appropriate compartment.
  • Social
    • We saw a couple of friends on their way home, so we invited them in and shared some of our red bean buns. A- thoughtfully cleared her play table and offered it to the other kid. After they left, A- spent quite a few days pretending to be the other kid and pretending we were his parents.
    • A- defended daddy time by telling me, “Private! Only Daddy and A-!” I let them play a little longer before starting bedtime routine.
    • A- was laughing. Then she said, “Hahaha, I’m laughing so loud, hahaha.” This cracked us up, of course. Then she said, “Hahaha, we’re laughing together, hahaha.”
    • A- played a game of hiding something behind her back, and bringing it out again.
  • Pretend
    • A- pretended to be a cat. She wanted to lick pretend wet food (yogurt) off a saucer on the floor.
    • Multiple levels of indirection! A- pretended to be S- pretending to be a cat, labeling herself as “S- cat” while eating pretend wet food.
  • Cognition
    • A- wanted to bring four bottles of paint to the kitchen, so she put them in a bucket and carried the bucket. “My bucket is heavy,” she said.
  • World
    • A- played with her reflection in a mirror. “A- is gone. A- is there. A- is gone.”
  • Kaizen
    • I made lots of red bean buns, and I experimented with making red bean rolls. The rolls were easier to make, but the buns were prettier.
    • I shifted to drawing more while waiting for A-. It’s a good way to use time.
  • Us
    • We met up with Linda Ristevski for a library tour. We went to Runnymede library and got our library passports stamped. I showed her the book return system, and the park behind the library. It was lots of fun hanging out!

Week ending 2018-07-27

  • Gross motor
    • A- was interested in yoga, imitating several poses from the Yoga Kids book.
    • A- wanted W- to help her do a popawheelie on her balance bike.
  • Fine motor
    • We went to the drop-in centre. A- took turns rolling cars down a ramp. She also played with playdough and threaded pipe cleaners through straw segments.
    • A- was fascinated by the magnetic buckle on her helmet, and got the hang of buckling and unbuckling it.
  • Language
    • “Ow.” “What happened?” “I want kneepads.”
    • W- was trying to teach A- knock-knock jokes. “Knock knock. Now you say, ‘Who’s there?'” “Who’s there?” “Interrupting cow.” “Moo cow!” … I guess that works too..
    • A- experimented with describing people, identifying herself as “someone in a yellow dress” and me as “someone in a blue shirt.”
  • Art
    • A- had lots of fun painting with blue, red, and green tempera paint. She liked using the dabber, and she also coated her hands with paint and slapped them down on the paper. While doing this, she pretended I was Maritza from the drop-in centre.
  • Self-care
    • A- insisted on wearing ten pairs of underwear at the same time.
  • Eating
    • Even though W- tried to get her to explore other flavours, A- insisted on chocolate ice cream.
  • Emotion
    • Suddenly a teenager! A- declared, “I hate everything.” Turned out she just wanted her own fish and her own beansprouts, not from my plate.
  • Social
    • Popo and Gunggung visited. A- enthusiastically showed them lots of toys and activities, including identifying playdough letters and reading books to them.
    • We had Joy and J- over for cat playtime, bubbles, and dog-watching. A- liked offering them toys to play with.
    • After J- and P- did the dishes, A- said, “Thank you for your help.”
    • A- playfully licked the palms of her hands and then touched me with them. Getting around the “No licking Mama” rule, I see!
  • Pretend
    • Someone had dug a small pit near the edge of the sandbox, so A- had fun pretending to be a dinosaur trapped in the pit. Also, we picked up a bunch of free IKEA kid’s cups on the way to the playground, and they made good sandcastle molds.
    • A- wanted to pretend that W- was the ocularist. The post-appointment toy chest was definitely her focus.
  • World
    • There was a severe thunderstorm warning, so we stayed close to home. We blew giant bubbles on the porch steps and watched them survive a light drizzle.
    • In nature class, A- enjoyed watering plants. We learned about water as a habitat for frogs, dragonfly nymphs, and turtles, and we walked down to the pond to watch ducks and dragonflies. A- jumped along a series of foam lilypads that the teachers set out.
  • Kaizen
    • I found out that I had accidentally muted one of my text conversations.
    • W- fixed J-‘s broken bubble gun. It didn’t look like it was designed to be refilled, though.
    • We spent the day mostly reading at home. I might insist on doing afternoon reading on the porch or the deck so that she gets more sunlight.
  • Us
    • W- repaired his glasses.
    • I returned my old work laptop after setting up the new one.
    • I made a book about asking for books from the library.

Week ending 2018-07-20

  • Field trip
    • A- wanted the stroller turned into a bike trailer, so off we went to Vermont Square Park. She really enjoyed riding around on a toy tractor, and she also played with puddles and the sandbox faucet. She waded in the wading pool while I hung out with Jen and E-. When my timer went off, she went for one last slide with me, then climbed into the trailer without stalling. This is promising!
  • Gross motor
    • After reading “Bigger! Bigger!”, A- wanted to wear a hard hat and knock down a tower made of stacking cups.
    • A- wanted to practise riding her balance bike outside. She walked it a little bit, but preferred to put her feet on the footrests and have me push it along quickly. W- played with the balance bike too, imitating various tricks.
  • Fine motor
    • To postpone bedtime, A- stacked the lacing beads. She paid attention to orientation, intentionally stacking them upside down all that the design was on the bottom.
  • Sensory
    • A- had so much fun wading at the wading pool, even though the water was so cold! She waded in and out, walked circles around me, asked to be swung around, and tentatively splashed around too. She also liked the splash pad.
  • Language
    • “I think I will have some blueberries.”
    • “Don’t worry, I got it.”
    • “I don’t want to do toilet training.”
    • I took A-‘s dry diaper off as soon as we woke up. A- said, “I am practising toilet training.”
  • Self-care
    • A- wanted to play with the forehead thermometer, so we took each other’s temperatures. She paid attention to the colour of the screen. I showed her how rubbing my hands together warmed them up.
    • A- wanted to brush her teeth with the purple toothbrush while I brushed my teeth with her blue toothbrush. She did a pretty good job at it, too. We also swapped so that she used my toothbrush to brush my teeth, and I used her toothbrush to brush her teeth. She’s gotten much gentler, whew! (5.2.3 Tool Use)
    • A- experimented with lying down on the crib mattress by herself for bedtime reading.
    • A- picked out a pair of jeans to wear to bed, and wanted to improvise a belt.
    • A- picked out a top and a bottom for herself, and asked for help putting them on. (5.2.1 Dressing)
  • Household
    • A- helped mop the floor. She was also interested in rinsing the mop and wringing it out.
    • A- wanted to water the garden, so we did even though rain was in the forecast.
    • A- helped me take the garbage cans in, and she watered the grass too.
  • Social
    • We went to the drop-in centre. A- said, “We made it!” She played with the latch board and used crayons to draw on the easel. People liked the red bean buns we shared. I chatted with Stacey and another parent about Reggio Emilia.
    • A- asked a librarian to request a book for her. “I want Cat and Bunny back.” She wanted to wait for the librarian to be done. The library’s copy was still out, though, so she eventually accepted that we need to wait several days.
  • Pretend
    • After we dropped off an envelope in a mailbox, A- wanted to go home and build a Duplo mailbox. We experimented to see which pieces fit into the slot.
    • A- wanted to make a pretend Duplo fire so that she could put it out. Fortunately, we had a fire piece and a water piece, so we were all set.
    • W- made a Duplo flower shop and roleplayed that with A-.
    • A- liked playing with the large shovel at the playground. She pretended to shovel snow.
    • A- pretended to be a dead bird, so I brushed her beak while she lay on the floor.
    • A- picked a Duplo figure to represent W- – the one with a cap. She pretended all three of us were on an airplane, and she also pretended he was pushing her on a swing in the playground.
  • Kaizen
    • I drew and printed visual routines for walking up, daily chores, and weekend chores on index cards. I covered the cards with contact paper to protect them.
    • We blew giant bubbles on the porch. I got better at doing the occasional bubble-in-bubble.
    • I added ELECT links to my entries.
  • Us
    • Good deed for the day: Got an email from someone trying to get a CC Attribution photo from ostensibly that person linked to a site advertising massage chairs. I tracked the original photo down on Flickr and notified the photographer, and left comments on the dupes linking back to the originals. The image equivalent of calling the number on your credit card instead of the one in the email, I guess!
  • World
    • A- lay down on the floor so that she could watch Neko eat.
    • A- was fascinated by a dead bug.
    • A- wanted to pick up stuff in pictures, and expressed a little frustration when she couldn’t.
    • On the way to the playground one late afternoon, A- stopped to observe, “A-‘s shadow is very tall.” We spent some time playing with our shadows before moving on.
    • Nature class focused on soil. We collected soil samples and used glue up make soil art on paper. We learned a few new songs: “Robin hopping, hopping, hopping, Robin hopping all around. Robin hopping, hopping, hopping. Stop! What have you found?” (With a grab bag of objects) “Leaves, branches, trunks and roots underground. (x2) Leaves grow up and roots grow down. Leaves, branches, trunks and roots underground.”
  • Sleep
    • A- fell asleep while I was reading to her, even without nursing. She had been awake for about ten hours.
  • Cognition
    • While playing with the Junior Engineer set, A- said, “I want to make a flowerbed.” She looked for the big hemispheres she used when playing with Tita Kathy’s set, but since we don’t have those, she settled for using wheels instead. (4.2 Problem Solving)

Week ending 2018-07-13

  • Fine motor
    • She liked spraying the playdough with water and working it in to soften it up.
    • A- liked chug-chug-chugging the Duplo train cars in a circle around me.
  • Sensory
    • A- stuffed plastic bags into the yogurt container and made a plastic bag sandcastle.
    • After class and our picnic lunch, we went to the playground to meet up with a friend. A- had so much fun at the splash pad. She kept constantly checking in with me and then going to the splash pad, getting progressively closer and closer to the jets of water until she got to the point of wetting her hands and then wetting me. She was so happy! She also spent a lot of time digging in the wet sand. (5.3 Sensory – Sensory exploration)
    • A- and I played with giant bubbles on the deck. I tried to make a bubble around a bubble, but it was hard.
  • Language
    • A- wasn’t keen on dressing up, but agreed to do it if I read her a book while she did so.
    • I’m not awesome. I’m brave.
  • Music
    • A- did the actions when I hummed the music for “See the Little Bunnies.”
  • Self-care
    • She skinned another knee while stepping off the sidewalk, so we patched her up with a bandage.
  • Household
    • A- helped water the grass. She did a good job of keeping the nozzle high above the soil.
    • A- helped me make red bean buns. She said, “Just like playdough!”
    • A- had fun blowing milk bubbles, modulating her breath so that they didn’t overflow the container. She also insisted on sorting utensils and playing in the kitchen.
    • When we were playing in the sandbox, A- wanted to use a stick to level the sand in the yogurt container.
    • A- helped sort laundry by colour.
  • Social
    • We made it to circle time at the drop-in centre. We donated the baby toys. A- followed along with the actions for See the Little Bunnies, which she hadn’t done in a while.
    • We invited Joy and J- over. J- was fascinated by our cats. I made a fresh batch of playdough and gave it to them after we all played.
    • I was talking to A- about having friends over. She said, “Mama, ask me what not to share.” I asked her, and she told me that she didn’t want to share her headlamp and her lights. That’s great, she can remind me to ask important questions now!
    • I experimented with bringing our giant bubble kit to the playground. Looks like crowd control might be an interesting challenge. This might come in handy later, when A- can play more independently and when she might benefit from observing kids work out conflicts.
    • A- noticed the lines on my knee from when I knelt on the bathroom tiles. She knelt down to try to get lines on her knees too.
    • We went to our first nature class. A- was proud about finding her nametag, and she asked me to write her name using crayon. She was too sleepy and reserved to participate in opening circle time, and the information on habitats was probably mostly for my benefit rather than hers. She walked maybe half of the trail going through tall grasses, though, which was a pleasant surprise. We avoided the poison ivy that they pointed out. Our bubble kit came in handy during bubble time. At ending circle, A- felt happy enough to follow along with the gestures. Yay!
    • We met up with Jen, Ewan, E-, Hala, Florian, and S- for dinner near the High Park splash pad. A- ate lots of bread, cheese, and watermelon. She had fun playing with the fountains, and she spent some time independently playing with the playset. She and I played with another two-year-old, who also enjoyed the “I’m Stuck / Earthquake” game.
  • Kaizen
    • I drew our bedtime routine, printed it on an index card, and covered it with contact paper. A- was curious about the card, and referred to it a few times.
  • Us
    • A- stayed up late, woke up early for class, and played a lot, so I figured she was in for a good long nap. I jumped on a web conference call with one of my clients, fixed some embarrassing bugs in my code, and got the prototype working again on his computer. I think I had some old code that was shadowing the error, and I could have tested more effectively. Anyway, great timing. A- woke up just as we succeeded in getting things to work, and she let me snuggle in bed with her while I leaned the laptop on the bed so I could keep an eye on stuff. That probably means I don’t need to get a babysitter for Monday. If I can set up more meetings or more coding on the fly around long naps, all the better!

Week ending 2018-07-06

  • Field trip
    • We went for a fish basket at a nearby fish and chips store. A- ate most of the shrimp, some of the haddock, and a small part of the fries. We liked watching the cook in the kitchen, too.
  • Gross motor
    • We had fun throwing, catching, and kicking the soft ball I made for A- up and down a flight of stairs.
    • A- worked on keeping the stroller in the middle of the sidewalk.
    • A- wanted to learn how to use alternating legs to go up and down the stairs instead of going one step at a time. She said, “Teach me other leg” and insisted that we steady her and help her move her other leg up.
  • Fine motor
    • A- loved drawing on my phone, scrolling down to have more space to draw on. In addition to drawing scribbles that she labeled verbally, she also asked me to draw various emotions.
  • Language
    • A- now reacts to hurts by saying “That hurt a lot. A lot a lot.”
    • “Not now. I’m busy doing something.”
    • On reading My World: “He’s looking at his watch to see if it’s bedtime for the kid in the crib.”
    • New protocol for reading: she signals when to turn the page. This gives her room for lots of observations when she feels like it. It would probably be better for her to turn the pages herself, but she’ll get there someday.
  • Art
    • A- used a stick to draw in the sand. She also liked making footprints and handprints.
  • Self-care and independence
    • We went to the dentist, who reassured me that the dark spot on the back of A-‘s tooth was not a cavity.
  • Household
    • A- helped sort laundry into darks, whites, and polyesters. We pointed to or named the appropriate compartment and she put the clothes in.
  • Social
    • We played in the sandbox. We found a small car, so we brought it over to the ramps and A- had fun taking turns with other kids rolling the car down the ramp. She also practised climbing up the slide and then going down again.
    • We went to Gabriel’s birthday party. A- had fun making lots of giant bubbles. She ate strawberries and pomegranate seeds. She skinned a knee while running around, but still felt good enough to go to the playground afterwards. It was great to catch up with people.
    • We went to the drop-in centre. I asked about preschool. A- insisted on sitting in a stool during circle time, and she had lots of fun participating.
    • After our nap, A- wanted to have a pillow fight. Then we pretended to be turtles, then we snuggled some more and read many books.
  • Cognition
    • A- helped me sort a large number of Duplo blocks by colour. She pointed out which pile each block should go to, and she named the colours too.
  • World
    • A- liked blowing bubbles in milk.
    • A- ate a strawberry from the garden. It was yummy.
  • Kaizen
    • W- added lights to the living room.
    • We spent some time decluttering the pantry, bookshelves, and toys.
    • I’m slowly sketching out a plan for possibly putting A- in daycare this October. I inquired about tours at a few daycares to see what our options are.
  • Us
    • Down with a cold and the beginnings of a sore throat. W- took over in the evening so that I could go to bed early.
    • Quiet recovery days at home. A- enjoyed lots of reading, bubbles, and building.

Week ending 2018-06-29

  • Field trips
    • 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- slid down the shed ramp backwards on her riding toy.
  • Fine motor
    • A- started getting interested in fringing. She could also cut within an inch around a figure.
    • A- played with more letters. She also wanted to paste paper apples onto a tree, and she wanted to make valentines.
    • A- used stickers to hold a piece of paper together after it had gotten a little wet.
    • 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.
  • Language
    • 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- 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.
  • Self-care
    • A- traced the starfish mold in the living room while we tidied up in the kitchen.
    • A- put on one sock all by herself.
  • Household
    • We helped W- clean the carpet.
    • A- wanted to fold laundry. She also liked answering questions such as: “Mama’s or A-‘s?”
    • I put the hoops around the tomato plants. We harvested all the basil. A- said, “Oooh, so many basil.” W- made lots of pesto.
    • A- picked out the house key from my key ring.
  • Social
    • A- wanted to call Lola, so we did.
    • 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.
  • Pretend
    • A- wanted to be a cat. She was about to lick her toes, but I think we’ve temporarily convinced her to clean herself the human way.
  • World
    • 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!
  • Kaizen
    • 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.
    • I skimmed “Building Healthy Minds: The Six Experiences That Create Intelligence and Emotional Growth in Babies and Young Children,” by Stanley Greenspan, M.D., and Nancy Breslau Lewis. I liked the detailed tips on building emotional experiences and expanding symbolic thought through playtime and in daily life. I’m looking forward to thinking about circles of communication the next time I play with A-. The book recommends organizing 4 or 5 one-on-one playdates with peers each week even at this age. That feels like a big challenge, but maybe I can find other families who want to hang out… It’ll be good practice for later, too!
  • Us
    • I helped Popo with her Android phone while she played with A-.