Category Archives: weekly

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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.

Week ending 2018-05-11

  • Field trip
    • We fed the llamas and then went to the Jamie Bell adventure playground. A- experimented with going up the stairs and wandering around a little out of reach, although she wasn’t too keen on going down the slides.
    • We went to Riverdale Farm. A- spent a long time looking at and talking about the horses. They have a new pig and a new goat, too.
    • A- wanted to go to the Children’s Book Bank. We picked up several books and a set of jigsaw puzzles.
    • For fun, we met up with Jen and very E- and took the train out to Aldershot, then the bus to Hamilton. We walked around a bit while Jen told me about Hamilton’s recent history, then snacked at a cafe, then headed home via a bus to Pearson airport and the UP Express.
  • Fine motor
    • We made sandcastles in the backyard. Actually, we made sandcakes, complete with a pretend-candle that A- pretended to light and blow out.
  • Language
    • A- is learning how to ask questions instead of just declaring that she wants something. “Can I have this?”
  • Music
    • A- started singing the “Eeny, Meeny, Miney, Moe” song.
    • I caught a large spider in the basement. A- sang The Great Canadian Spider while we ceremoniously carried it out to the backyard and released it.
  • Social
    • W-, A-, and I checked out the cherry blossoms with Jen, Ewan, and E-. We also spent a lot of time at the playground and at the pond. We saw the cherry blossoms with Popo too.
    • A- had lots of fun dancing with J-.
    • The babysitting experiment was a success! A- had a grand time with F- M-, digging for worms in the backyard, playing in her play area, and dancing in the kitchen.
    • A- remembered the names of the facilitators at the JFRC, and wanted to draw them.
    • K- taught A- how to make onigiri.
  • Kaizen
    • I learned how to use Autoshare to simplify exporting drawings from my phone.
    • We went to the OEYC and I asked lots of questions about screening babysitters.
  • Us
    • J- and her friend P- made salmon bulgogi and couscous salad. Yum!
    • I started consulting again. We talked about the requirements for this app they’re planning, and I investigated a few ideas.

Week ending 2018-05-04

  • Field trip
    • We went to High Park to feed llamas. A- liked it and asked to do it twice.
    • We checked out Grange Park. A- liked the rock-climbing section.
    • We had fun at Baird Park despite the drizzle.
  • Gross motor
    • She walked all the way to Lithuania Playground.
  • Fine motor
    • A- was interested in using scissors to cut along lines.
    • A- peeled mandarin oranges and put the peels in the lunchbox. She removed seeds from her mouth. She also shared some with other kids.
  • Language
    • She still mostly demands things (“I want a orange!”), but one time, she requested it: “Can I have an orange, Mommy?”
    • A- asked for and made up stories about everyday objects.
    • “Daddy, help find my glasses.”
    • “What else does Daddy have?”
  • Self-care
    • A- is starting to be able to stand and let a doctor measure her height and weight, and even listen to her heart. Progress!
    • Night weaning progress: A- can wait to nurse at night. As soon as she notices it’s getting lighter outside, though, she says, “I want to nurse. Sun is up.” Then she sleep-nurses for another hour or two.
    • We went to the pediatrician. No worries about her cough or growth at the moment. The substitute doctor asked if the resident could listen to A-‘s heart, since her murmur is easy to hear.
  • Emotion
    • She had a tantrum about wanting me to keep playing with her in the bathtub. I switched to setting a timer for myself, and she seems to tolerate that.
  • Social
    • She was worried about a crying kid in the waiting room. While the kid wailed, she furrowed her eyebrows and twisted the playdough in her hands. When the kid calmed down, she smiled and relaxed.
    • W- pointed to a bit of food on A-‘s plate and said, “I found that on your chin.” A- promptly took it and stuck it back on.
    • W- offered to trade a fork for the butter knife A- was playing with. A- said yes. The moment she held the fork, she said “No,” and refused to give up the knife.
  • Pretend
    • We had fun building sandcastles at Lawrence Park. I stuck a twig in the tower and pretended it was a flag, and then A- repurposed it to be a candle on a birthday sandcake.
    • I bought a bunch of farm animals.
  • Kaizen
    • I’m dipping a toe into babysitting waters and have booked a babysitter from an agency for an afternoon next week.
    • I worked on automatically filtering, categorizing, and formatting my journal entries.
  • 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.

Week ending 2018-04-27

We’ve been slowly recovering from jet lag and some post-trip under-the-weatherness. A- and I both threw up, but that was pretty manageable. I’ve been dealing with a dry cough. I found that I like honeyed water more than having an endless stream of lozenges, although the lozenges are handy when I’m not in the kitchen.

I realized that one of the things I was missing from the day was a sense of personal experimentation and growth. I’ve been making an effort to try little ideas every day, and I’ve been spending more time, attention, and money on new experiences. So, even though I packed snacks for A- and I could have waited to have lunch at home, we had huevos rancheros at The Beet. While waiting for our food, I helped A- peek into the kitchen and I narrated what was going on. I liked the results of preparing for playground trips. I’m looking forward to tinkering with more ideas.

We made it out to both the Annette family centre and the one at Dundas West. A- seems more comfortable with drop-in centres now, hooray! She used to cry a lot, but this time she got interested in the sandbox, the tunnel, the stickers, and the puzzles on the table. I borrowed a wooden mix-and-match animal puzzle to see if she can decide based on pictures when the shapes are identical, since she can do shape puzzles pretty well now. It seems to be at just the right level for her. She names the animals as she completes them, and

As for me, I picked people’s brains about child care, toddler activities, free play, and dealing with sick days as a stay-at-home parent. Whee!

Other moments:

  • A- can now peel die-cut foam stickers.
  • She walked most of the way to the library.
  • She wanted to help me trim Leia’s nails.
  • She liked the Winnie the Pooh book collection.
  • I was trying to get her to change “I want Nanay to carry you” to “I want Nanay to carry me.” (She confuses “me” and “you,” which makes sense.) After two attempts, she said, “I want to be carried by Nanay.”
  • She makes up her own phrases now. “Finger bread” – baguette.
  • She can talk about things that are missing. “Where’s the red one goes in here?”
  • She likes singing nursery rhymes as well as made-up tunes.
  • She had a long pretend telephone conversation with her tower.
  • We checked out the pop-up adventure playground and A- had fun digging in the dirt.

I started looking more seriously into having a mother’s helper or babysitter in case that capability is a useful addition to our toolkit. It’s hard to imagine occasional childcare since A- is hilarious and we all benefit from the time I spend with her, but it’s great for her to interact more with people who are not me (especially if I get to eavesdrop and pick up more play ideas), so we’ll see. J- is with us this week, so maybe they’ll play a little too.

Also, we’ve all filed taxes, hooray!

Week ending 2018-04-20

It was great to spend time with family and friends. We ordered pizza, caught up, and took turns watching the kids. A- alternated between having lots of fun with Diane’s kids and heading upstairs for some quiet play time, occasionally joining the main party to snack on chips. I guess group parties are doable with the right mix of people!
We stayed in Hotel Queen during our overnight layover. We were pleasantly surprised to get upgraded to a suite. For dinner, we had bibimbap at a restaurant around the corner, and the kind waitstaff gave us extra rice cakes to take home.
A- was assigned a window seat on the long flight between Incheon and Toronto, which made for a lot of awkward trips over the other passenger who really wanted to sleep. Oh well. On the plus side, A- actually voluntarily spent a little time in the car seat, which was great at snack time.
A- has really taken to the book that I drew about the Ifugao dollhouse that Kathy bought for G* and A*. She even describes her drawings using the phrases from the book.
I got lots of value out of a sheet of embossed number stickers and a pack of coloured paper. That kept A- occupied for a couple of meals.
Lots of time with Lola. A- really enjoyed their one-on-one interactions: not just ube ice cream, but also books and made-up games. Success!
Other moments:

  • A- was interested in 12-piece puzzles, even though she needed lots of help to complete them.
  • A- tried French onion soup and crepe, and liked both.
  • A- can say pretty complex sentences like “A- home has Daddy in it.” She also started asking questions like “Why Mama say excuse me?”
  • A- can say a few sentences about prospective events. “I want to go to Mind Museum. See big dinosaur. I need a wrist band. Mama need wrist band too.”
  • A- can fill in animal names during the song “Old MacDonald.”
  • A- can explicitly play games and change them. She liked playing a balloon game with Lola.
  • A- started learning how to gently touch someone’s arm to get their attention. She really liked Nana Shirl and wanted to keep talking to her during dinner.
  • A- independently climbed the stairs and slid down the slide at the playground.
  • A- liked scooting closer to Lola on the big cushions at Sofitel.

All in all, an excellent trip.

Week ending 2018-04-13

Kathy and her family left for the Netherlands on Thursday. It was great to spend time with them while they were here, and we look forward to syncing up with them when they can take a vacation. A- enjoyed playing with her cousins, and she even played peekaboo with Tito John while they were packing.

A- has gotten more interested in drawing and writing. She drew lines up and down while naming them. Then she progressed to saying “W” while drawing a wavy line. She’s also had lots of scissors practice, and she can now easily cut across a sheet of paper. She often likes cutting narrow strips.

She still prefers to be carried when we’re outside, but happily runs around and around at home.

This week, she started spontaneously saying “Sorry.” Spilled something? Sorry. Dropped something? Sorry. She even said sorry when I accidentally bumped her with a broom. She also talked to herself a lot more while playing: naming tile colours while walking on them, referring to herself by a nickname while drawing, musing “How can I figure this out?” while building, singing “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” in full.

I dealt with a plugged duct in addition to the maddeningly itchy flea bites. Cleared up the duct, waging war against the fleas. We’ll get the hang of this.