Category Archives: weekly

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Weekly review: Week ending December 7, 2018

This week was about connecting with people. I figured out that one of the things I can learn while hanging out with A- is how to make friends, since it naturally immerses me in a world with other people, excuses to talk and get together, and common ground. A- gets jealous when I talk to my friends, so we’ll probably need to practise with other parents before I get to hang out with childfree grown-ups.

We’ve also been dealing with more tantrums around overtiredness, bedtime resistance, and mealtime delaying tactics, probably exacerbated by teething pain. We’re getting better at calmly setting limits and remaining empathetic. We’re going to get through this.

  • Kaizen
    • We decided to prioritize cooking fresh food often instead of bulk-cooking and reheating.
  • Us
    • I broke my server during an upgrade, so I stayed up late getting nginx, PHP, passenger, rvm, and the right Ruby version working again.
  • Field trip
    • What a full day! We went to music class. Then we visited Tita Joy (A- mostly played with J-‘s toys). Then off to the drop-in center, the dollar store, the organic food store, and the supermarket…
    • We went to a drop-in centre about an hour away by transit because it was open in the afternoon. A- liked the snacks and circle time songs. She also played with the dollhouse.
  • Language
    • “What’s the monkey doing? Not really a monkey.” A- now provides her own verbal footnotes!
    • “Today is experiment day!”
    • A- loved asking, “Ok Google, what’s the weather for today?”
  • Self-care and independence
    • The dentist reassured me that I don’t need to worry about the bonding peeling away a little from her capped tooth. A- lay still enough for the dentist to “count her teeth” carefully. After the visit, she picked a ball from the toy bin.
  • Eating
    • At school, A- ate lots of pear and Shreddies cereal.
    • W- made steamed fish and A- ate lots of it.
    • A- really liked chicken adobo. She ate basically a drumstick and a half.
  • Social
    • We had Ewan, Hala, Jen, E-, and S- over for dinner. Chicken soup, pot roast, and pumpkin pie worked out wonderfully, even though the kids were all a little grumpy at various times.
    • We invited Melissa, H-, Barbara, and J- over for pumpkin pie. H- and J- mostly played with each other, and A- sat on my lap and asked me to read books to her. Still, a good first step!
    • When we visited Jen, Ewan, and E-, I cooked honey glazed wings, and they made tomato au gratin, sweet potato mash, and baked apples. A- liked playing with the owl puppet, so we borrowed it. This weekly rhythm of social interaction feels nice.
  • Pretend
    • A- wanted to sleep on the folded up comfort (her “bassinet”). She asked for the gum massager (her “baby toy”) and chewed on that for a bit before going to sleep.
  • Other
    • A- found the meh dai carrier and we tried it on. She’s a little too big to safely or comfortably carry in it, I think.

Blog posts

Time

Category The other week % Last week % Diff h/wk Diff h/wk
A- 40.8 47.2 6.4 79.3 10.7
Sleep 29.4 31.0 1.6 52.2 2.7
Discretionary – Play 1.5 2.9 1.4 4.8 2.4
Business 0.0 0.6 0.6 0.9 0.9
Discretionary – Productive 3.0 3.3 0.3 5.5 0.5
Discretionary – Social 3.0 2.4 -0.7 4.0 -1.1
Unpaid work 8.0 6.7 -1.3 11.3 -2.2
Personal 6.5 4.7 -1.8 7.9 -3.0
Discretionary – Family 7.7 1.3 -6.4 2.1 -10.8

Weekly review: Week ending November 30, 2018

A- seems to be a bit more irritable. Maybe teething – her last set of molars? Anyway, lots of tantrums, so we’ve been prioritizing sleep and patience lately.

  • Kaizen
    • W- and I are making an effort to become more social, and it seems to be working out nicely.
    • We moved A-‘s table into the kitchen to see what that’s like. It works well with her chairs and with the blue stool.
    • I worked on learning a new knot: https://www.fieggen.com/shoelace/ianknot.htm
  • Us
    • I felt grumpy and frustrated because I couldn’t make it out to a friend’s mother’s funeral, and because A- wanted me to talk to her instead of thinking out loud about friendship.
    • I reflected on my priorities, and decided I was okay with our choices.
    • W- let me have a much appreciated nap one morning.
  • Fine motor
    • A- now asks to play patty cake, and she alternates the motions pretty well.
    • We borrowed a pair of dressing practice shoes from the JFRC. A- easily buttoned and unbuttoned the shoe, and she did a decent job of tying a bow too.
  • Language
    • A- said, “It’s raining.” I said, “That’s okay.” She said, “It’s part of life.”
    • “I want to be a baker.”
    • “But I’m still, like, two.”
    • More Twenty Questions: “I want something to chew on. Something with two ends. Something with two openings.” “Is it a straw?”
    • A- didn’t want me to think out loud, so she said, “No mama talk to her heart. Talk to me.”
    • “Do you have your membership card?”
    • “I love love love dinosaurs.”
  • Self-care and independence
    • A- slept in the middle of the bed after asking me to give her more space. She’s becoming more independent.
    • We went for a meet and greet with a family doctor taking new patients. A- was initially hesitant, but she warmed up after getting a not-entirely-necessary ear exam, a definitely unnecessary bandage, and a bunch of stickers. We’ll check out a nearby doctor first before deciding on one and sending the records over.
    • There’s a rough spot on one of A-‘s teeth where the bond seems to be peeling away. A- patiently let me look at her tooth.
    • A- can handle chewable acetaminophen.
    • A- announced, “I need to go to bed.” Then she went upstairs and got started on the bedtime routine.
  • Sleep
    • W- managed to insist on A- having a nap by being quiet and in a dark room. I think he sat in front of the door and patted her back. She fell asleep on the carpet.
  • Emotion
    • A- probably felt a bit overwhelmed and overtired after the party at Uncle Jason’s. After we had settled in at home, she had a tantrum. She tried exercising too much control over play, so W- took a break, and then A- got super upset and didn’t want to be touched or consoled. Eventually she wanted me to pick her up, and I snuggled her and helped her calm down. I told her my best guess of how she was feeling and why, and she said, “Yeah.” She also asked me to talk about the day, so I reviewed it with her, and we talked a little about the fun she had as well.
    • I forgot the carrier at a friend’s place. A- had a big tantrum because she wanted to be carried in it.
    • To help A- with her emotions, we talked a little about breathing.
    • The daily review sometimes triggers tantrums. I wonder if I should avoid talking about the things that might upset her, or maybe move our review to when she has more energy…
    • A- tried tipping chairs over to express her frustration.
  • Social
    • Hala invited us for an impromptu get-together along with Ewan, E-, and S-. I was a little worried about A-‘s energy level because she hadn’t napped, but she was just fine. We all had lots of fun. A- particularly liked playing with toys and watching the other kids. I brought the garlic mushroom and broccoli dish I’d made just that afternoon – good timing!
    • We shared some of the pizza we made with a friend who lives nearby.
    • A- was getting fixated on Facebook video effects, and I didn’t like how it distracted from our conversations with Lola. I’m going to nudge us away from it.
    • We visited Joy and J-. It was good to spend time with them, especially as they’ve been avoiding drop-in centres in order to minimize the risk of getting sick.
    • A- is becoming more social. She often talks about friends, is excited about seeing people, and asks to invite people over or visit them.
  • Pretend
    • A- put some playdough in a cup and told me that she made halo halo for me.
  • Cognition
    • A- liked the bunny filter in Facebook video chat. The filter made a carrot fly in whenever A- opened her mouth, so A- asked for a real carrot and munched on that too.
    • A- looked at the clock and announced it was quarter to eight, which it was.
    • A- completed the ring puzzle in order of size, correcting herself along the way.
  • Other
    • A- found the baby hat I made her. She had fun wearing it again, and the sight was very amusing.

Blog posts

Time

Category The other week % Last week % Diff h/wk Diff h/wk
Discretionary – Family 0.3 7.7 7.4 12.9 12.4
Discretionary – Social 0.0 3.0 3.0 5.1 5.1
Sleep 29.2 29.4 0.3 49.4 0.4
Personal 6.8 6.5 -0.3 10.9 -0.6
Discretionary – Productive 3.9 3.0 -0.8 5.1 -1.4
Unpaid work 9.2 8.0 -1.2 13.5 -2.0
A- 43.0 40.8 -2.1 68.6 -3.6
Business 2.7 0.0 -2.7 0.0 -4.5
Discretionary – Play 5.0 1.5 -3.5 2.4 -5.9

Weekly review: Week ending November 23, 2018

I only get a sense of how full the week was when I look back. There were so many little moments, so many things to learn and try.

  • Kaizen
    • I sketched a thought on my laptop. Later, I opened the drawing on my phone and typed accompanying text on the tablet with a Bluetooth keyboard. Lots of tech, but this workflow might actually work well for me…
  • Us
    • W- showed me how to replace the humidifier filter and turn the furnace on.
    • I was feeling a little left behind professionally, since I’ve been getting worse as a programmer (not up to date on tools, not writing tests, etc.). A- is doing so well, though, so this is probably a good path.
    • Four fillings at the dentist! Oh well.
    • I was thinking about the individual development plans I did during my corporate life and how to create a sense of growth in parenting. I made a list of the big things we’re going to be working on over the coming year, and I realized that there’s actually lots to learn and many skills to work on. Whee!
    • I started working on a way to put my sketches on the web in a form that makes it easier for me to search through titles or refer to them by ID. It felt great to work on a personal project.
  • Language
    • A- is learning about indirectly asking for things. She said, “I want something from the big freezer. Something cold. Something hard. Something that needs a scooper. Something that has a container. Something that needs to soften. Something that’s not round.” We were greatly amused, although we were firm that ice cream wasn’t one of her options for breakfast.
    • While we were out, A- said, “I want something with nuts.” I said, “I thought your tummy was all full.” She said, “My tummy is not full already. My tummy has space for the energy bar.”
    • We reread “Betsy Goes to the Doctor” after maybe six months of not checking it out. A- still remembered a few of the words.
    • I forgot to ask A- for permission before planting a kiss on her head. She said, “No Mama germs on me. Wash it off.” I rubbed the spot. She said, “Not pretend, real! Wash with water!”
    • I asked A- to play by herself while I washed dishes. She wandered about, then said, “I’m wandering about.”
    • A- wanted me to pretend to be a nurse. She said, “Mama take care of me. Mama keep me healthy.”
  • Self-care and independence
    • A- voluntarily brushed her teeth, and for a few minutes too. I suggested different areas to brush and she did it all by herself.
    • A- had some quiet independent play time while I did some consulting and W- read. She said, “I don’t want to be independent. I play with Daddy.” After a short while, she was quiet. We looked over and found her napping.
    • A- wanted to go to the library bathroom. When we finished, she took the key back upstairs all by herself while I stayed on the ground floor with the cart.
    • When we were done at the organic food store, I offered to help A- return the small child-sized cart she had used. She pushed me away and said, “I do it myself.” She headed out the first set of doors, pushed the cart back into the corral, came back into the store, and looked at me proudly.
    • A- was recovering from a stomach bug, so we set timers to help her pace herself while eating toast and bananas. She patiently waited for the timer to go off, even refusing when I offered food a little early.
  • Eating
    • A- is still teething and often insists on crunchy food.
  • Emotion
    • A- wanted me to take her in the stroller to the supermarket, but she didn’t want to ride the stroller on the way back. I hadn’t brought my carrier along, and she was too slippery in the snowsuit for me to comfortably carry her. We were both a bit tired and hungry, too. After a long tantrum, we settled on my trying to awkwardly carry her and push the stroller at the same time, taking frequent breaks along the way. I got pretty frustrated, so when we got home, W- took her for a bit while I had some hot water and a snack. Once I calmed down, I apologized for being grumpy. Some time later, A- said, “Daddy is not grumpy. Daddy is a bigger adult.”
  • Household
    • W- showed A- and me how to spread wood filler on the cracks in the floor.
  • Social
    • J- had a few friends over for a study group. Before they arrived, A- declared, “I don’t like J-‘s friends. I want J- to play with me.” They set up their laptops in the kitchen, and A- and I had our evening snack in the living room. A- kept going to the hallway right outside the kitchen to chat with J-‘s friends or show off things.
    • Lola slept early, so A- chatted with her cousins G* and A* instead. G* showed us her room, A* drew, and A- jumped up and down.
    • A- playfully pretended to whine, peeking at our reactions.
    • We had a muffin at the coffee shop outside music class. A- shared food with her classmates. She accepted seaweed and she offered her orange segments. I chatted with the other parents about activities.
    • We experimented with a Facebook group video chat so that Lola could talk to all of her grandkids at the same time, and so that the kids could hang out with each other too. We were having some problems with video orientation, so we might tinker around with that a little more. G* got a little frustrated and wanted some one-on-one time with Lola, so we took turns. Still, this is quite promising!
    • We chatted with Lola and A-‘s cousins, went to music class, then pretend school (the drop-in centre at a school), then another drop-in centre, and then the organic food store. Full day! A- fell asleep on the way home.
  • Pretend
    • A- enthusiastically joined us on a trip to the hardware store, since the hardware store has a few special carts that has steering wheels for kids. She said, “I often like to drive a cart.”
    • A- pretended her stuffed toy had lots of pee accidents all over the place.
  • World
    • A- spent some time typing on the Bluetooth keyboard. She held down keys and said what they made, and she used the Enter key to “wash away” what she typed. She liked toggling Caps Lock so that she could type big or small letters.
  • Oops
    • I forgot to bring my credit card to the dentist. Fortunately, I’d asked J- to hang out with A-, and J- brought her debit card.
  • Thoughts
    • If I consider this as my current career, what are the skills I’m working on building?

Blog posts

Sketches

Time

Category The other week Last week Diff h/wk Diff h/wk
Unpaid work 6.9 9.2 2.3 15.5 3.9
Discretionary – Productive 2.2 3.9 1.6 6.5 2.7
Business 2.0 2.7 0.6 4.5 1.1
Personal 6.8 6.8 0.1 11.5 0.2
Sleep 29.4 29.2 -0.2 49.0 -0.3
Discretionary – Family 1.1 0.3 -0.8 0.5 -1.3
Discretionary – Play 5.9 5.0 -0.9 8.4 -1.5
A- 44.3 43.0 -1.3 72.2 -2.2
Discretionary – Social 1.5 0.0 -1.5 0.0 -2.5

Weekly review: Week ending November 16, 2018

Lots of teething-related disruption this week, but still pretty good. I actually managed to do some consulting this week, hooray! Lots of social time, too. I’ve been working on building my own social links too, since one of the ways A- learns about friendship and interaction is by watching us grown-ups.

  • Us
    • We actually managed to stay up late and watch a DVD.
  • Gross motor
    • When she woke up from her nap, A- really, really wanted to go to the organic food store. Even though we were already home, we dressed up in our winter gear and she walked all the way to the store. I ended up carrying her all the way home, but I expected that.
    • A- was playing on the carpet at the drop-in centre. She stretched out into a downward dog pose. The family support worker took that as an opportunity to call the other kids’ attention and encourage them to try doing a downward dog too, modeling the pose herself. A- grinned, stood up, and shifted into a very wobbly but still recognizable tree pose. The other grown-ups laughed. A- went through a few other poses that she remembered from the Yoga Kids book.
  • Sensory
    • First big snowfall. A- loved playing on the snow, so I dressed warmly and helped make tiny snowmen.
  • Music
    • Another parent brought a violin to music class and played a piece for us.
  • Self-care and independence
    • We went to Value Village to get some second-hand winter clothes for A-. Slim pickings, so I might buy things new. She likes the bathrobe I got her, though.
  • Eating
    • A- and I enjoyed an almond croissant from the cafe outside music class.
  • Sleep
    • A- had an overtired tantrum because she resisted my suggestions for helping her sleep. She ended up falling asleep on the floor under a shelf.
  • Emotion
    • A- was extra cranky in the morning. Maybe it was a combination of teething, tiredness, hunger, and separation. The poor dear!
    • A- got overtired and had a big tantrum. She was also teething and hungry, and settled down after a snack of frozen blueberries and crunchy crackers.
  • Social
    • We invited Jen, Ewan, and E- for a simple Sunday pasta dinner. A- was so excited, she had a time waiting all day, and she was hopping up and down with energy when they came. They made bread pudding, and it was yummy. Lots of fun!
    • A- was so disappointed that she woke up too late to go to the drop-in centre, so I looked around for another program that was open late on Monday afternoons. We went to More Than Child’s Play. It was a bigger space with better facilities (a slide with a playhouse, a dishwasher so we could use actual saucers for snack, etc.), but the atmosphere didn’t feel as calm as our usual drop-in centre. Hmm…
    • A- was happily practising on her balance bike all around the schoolyard. One of the other kids wanted to borrow her bike, but she stood firm. When I checked on A- because she was frozen in place, A- told me she didn’t want to be touched and she didn’t want her bike to be touched. I reassured her that she didn’t have to, and the other mom talked to her kid too. She was a little preoccupied with it on the way home.
    • We visited Popo after music class. A- had lots of fun bouncing balls, rearranging magnets, and playing with letters.
  • Pretend
    • A- corrected herself several times as she remembered which name she was using at the moment.
  • Thoughts
    • Quick thoughts on how parenting is really good Stoic training: deo volente, amor fati, premeditatio malorum, focusing on things I can control, separating things from my perception of things.

Blog posts

Sketches

Time

Category The other week Last week Diff h/wk Diff h/wk
A- 45.6 44.3 -1.3 73.9 -2.2
Sleep 28.5 29.4 0.9 49.1 1.5
Unpaid work 6.7 6.9 0.2 11.5 0.3
Personal 7.8 6.8 -1.0 11.3 -1.7
Discretionary – Play 5.6 5.9 0.3 9.8 0.5
Discretionary – Productive 5.2 2.2 -2.9 3.7 -4.9
Business 0.0 2.0 2.0 3.4 3.4
Discretionary – Social 0.0 1.5 1.5 2.5 2.5
Discretionary – Family 0.7 1.1 0.3 1.8 0.6

Weekly review: Week ending November 9, 2018

This week, A- was interested in telling time and following routines. She’s getting pretty good at it, and it makes household routines smoother.

Keeping a book in the bathroom seems to be working out well. I managed to finish a book over several sessions of waiting for A-.

I’ve been playing a game late at night since it’s easy to do on my phone when A- insists on lying on my arm. I think I’ll step back a little and shift that time towards writing or reading instead.

  • Kaizen
    • We borrowed lots of origami books from the library. I learned how to make a hen and a cat finger puppet.
    • I worked on making the tablet more comfortable for typing notes and syncing with my phone.
    • I mended a small rip in my pajamas. No sense in throwing them out when I can make them last longer, and that lets me show A- thrift.
    • I dusted off the Sony Vaio U1 and considered setting it up for A-, who’s interested in letters at the moment.
    • We donated lots of books and clothes.
  • Us
    • We swapped Japanese curry for embutido.
    • Ran into Mike Fletcher while walking to school. Chatted about parenting, people, machine learning.
  • Gross motor
    • A- walked all the way to the subway station while wearing her own backpack.
    • A- loved building tall houses with foam blocks and then knocking them down.
    • A- liked tossing a beanbag into a plastic bag.
  • Sensory
    • We had fun banging wooden blocks in different ways.
  • Language
    • “The downstairs sink is friendly.”
    • “I’m building a problem,” A- said while making things with her Little Engineer kit.
    • A- playfully knocked down the house I made for her with foam blocks. She said, “Accidents happen. Mama, build me a house again.”
  • Self-care and independence
    • I’m working on slowing down dental erosion by brushing our teeth at least thirty minutes after eating, despite my occasional urge to brush earlier. We’re trying out brushing after dinner and then after snack, which might make it easier to deal with days when A- decides not to nap.
    • A-‘s pediatrician suddenly closed her practice, so I’m scrambling to find another doctor.
    • “I want another blanket to support my head.”
    • I think A- is probably teething.
  • Eating
    • A- liked licking the leftover tomato sauce when we made pizza.
  • Sleep
    • A- resisted napping, and I remembered not to try to insist. Instead, I declared it was quiet cleaning up time. After I tidied up, we read and snuggled. She had a few tantrums that sounded like she was overtired, but she did actually make it all the way to a reasonably smooth bedtime.
  • Emotion
    • A- had a big tantrum in the stroller because she wanted to get out in order to push buttons and to walk, but it was too windy for me to let her do that, and then she was too upset for me to let her walk. I pushed the stroller home and snuggled her on the porch.
  • Household
    • A- helped us rake and bag leaves. She liked jumping in the pile.
  • Social
    • We didn’t get to chat with Lola in the morning, so A- asked me to try again. She chatted with Lola for an hour in the evening. Lots of interaction!
    • A- wanted to show the teacher the new toy car she got from the ocularist.
    • “I have something for you.” “What could it be? A beanbag!” We roleplayed giving and receiving presents.
    • A- enjoyed sort-of chasing another kid at the drop-in centre.
    • When A- woke up, she asked me to turn on the lights and call Lola.
    • A- had so much fun playing hide and seek with all of us. She loved running around and looking for us.
  • Pretend
    • A- was playing pretend hospital, with her as the patient. I asked her how she was feeling. She said, “Overwhelmed.”
    • A- pretended to cook for Lola. She also read part of a book to her.
  • Cognition
    • A- is learning how to tell the time. She can usually tell the time if it’s close to the hour and a number she’s familiar with (1-9). She’s also slowly learning to say things like “half past eight.” A- looked at the clock and correctly said “It’s 9 o’clock.” A few minutes before 8 PM, A- started singing, “We’ve come to the end of another day…”
    • A- missed W- and J- while they were at the dental surgeon for a consultation, so she asked me to print out a new copy of our little book on dental surgery at the hospital and read it to her several times.
  • World
    • A- loves watching garbage trucks. I was still in my pajamas, so W- and A- followed the garbage truck around. Later in the morning, we saw a garbage truck followed by another.
  • Oops
    • A- accidentally knocked my glasses off, and they chipped near the bottom. Fortunately, the chips don’t interfere with my vision.
  • Thoughts
    • Things I’m working on: letting go of the desire for external validation and visible progress; being present; equanimity; switching perspectives; sharing my thoughts; listening
    • Parenting is pretty good training for letting go of the desire for external validation and focusing on processes instead of outcomes.
    • I like to feel competent and I like to improve.
    • Both “Mommy Burnout” and “Time to Parent” emphasize the important of modeling friendship in front of kids, so I’m working on being more social.

Blog posts

Sketches

Time

Category The other week Last week Diff h/wk Diff h/wk
Discretionary – Productive 0.9 5.2 4.3 8.7 7.2
A- 43.4 45.6 2.2 77.1 3.7
Personal 5.7 7.8 2.0 13.1 3.4
Discretionary – Play 4.3 5.6 1.3 9.4 2.2
Discretionary – Social 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
Business 0.2 0.0 -0.1 0.0 -0.2
Discretionary – Family 1.1 0.7 -0.4 1.2 -0.7
Unpaid work 9.4 6.7 -2.7 11.3 -4.5
Sleep 35.1 28.5 -6.6 48.1 -11.1

Weekly review: Week ending November 2, 2018

This week felt a little bit smoother. We’ve been working on making routines more consistent, and I’ve been using A-‘s nap time to tidy up and get things ready. I’ve even been able to play a bit, although I should shift some of that time towards more productive use. It’ll be fun to see how we can improve things.

  • Kaizen
    • W- and I discussed ideas for kitchen kaizen. We’ll try doubling recipes and either freezing right away or trading them with other families.
    • Some thoughts about getting ahead on house stuff: Move more cooking and cleaning to weekdays, double quantities for favourite recipes, prep ingredients (always need chopped onions, garlic, carrots)
    • I minced most of the garlic and stashed it in the freezer.
    • W- and I discussed other kaizen opportunities and how to make time to do things.
    • I put a book in my bathroom drawer so that I could read it while waiting for A-.
  • Us
    • A- has been very interested in folding things, so I learned how to fold an origami box.
  • Fine motor
    • A- was interested in imitating the pictures from the book “I Can Do It Myself.” She wanted me to cut various shapes so that she could arrange them, and she practised holding a pencil.
    • W- ordered origami paper from Amazon, but 6×6″ feels a bit too small for our fingers.
  • Self-care and independence
    • A- walked on the wooden bench in the hall outside music class. She misstepped and fell maybe two feet onto the concrete floor. She was upset, but was okay enough to walk back to me. She told me that her elbow hurt, and she cried quietly for about twenty minutes. She could still move her fingers, hand, and arm, so I wasn’t too worried. When I offered to take her home, she said she really wanted to go to school, so we did. (“Especially pretend school.”) By the time we got to school, she was all sorted out again. She had fun playing with big foam blocks and listening to storytime.
  • Eating
    • There was a Halloween party at the drop-in centre. A- liked the chocolate cake, so she asked for another serving. She also ate lots of fruits and cheese.
    • A- liked the cheese and sausage stacker. She also told us she was a big kid and asked for Japanese curry sauce on her rice, which she pronounced yummy.
  • Sleep
    • A- usually settles into bed around 11:30 PM, maybe a little earlier or later. I wonder if I can start nudging wake up earlier, maybe with video calls to Lola?
    • A- slept late after much grumbling, possibly influenced by her pretending to be a baby.
  • Emotion
    • A- worked on testing my boundaries by pulling my hair and touching my face. She had a tantrum when I was firm about what I would not allow, but eventually subsided.
  • Household
    • A- was interested in spraying water and wiping spots, so we cleaned the kitchen floor.
  • Social
    • I asked A- what she wanted to wear for Halloween. She consistently said, “Zebra!” We painted black stripes on one of her old flat diapers and I made headgear with zebra ears out of a cereal box. She was pleased with her costume and asked me to help her wear it. She walked up and down stairs to go trick-or-treating – mostly silent and wide-eyed, but occasionally braying like a zebra when prompted. I went ahead and modeled language for her (“Trick or treat! Happy Halloween! Thank you!”) instead of prompting and waiting for her. I carried her basket when it got heavy (should’ve brought another bag to dump things into), and she clutched a red lollipop that had caught her fancy. She also helped me hand out treats. She was okay with putting the red lollipop and most of the treats back into the bowl for giving to other kids, although we kept a few treats for her to explore.
    • A- can independently sit in a circle during storytime and follow the teacher’s instructions while I clean nearby. Sometimes she still insists on being close to me, but it’s nice to see her growing independence. She’s also starting to want to interact with teachers, asking for a hug or standing by to show something to the teacher. I’d still rather take her to the drop-in centre instead of enrolling her in preschool, since I enjoy spending time with her and she’s more oriented towards grown-ups than other kids. Eventually her focus will shift, but in the meantime, there’s no rush.
    • As a reward for helping tidy up, A- received a magnifying glass and a color changing pencil from the Ontario Science Centre staff member.
  • Pretend
    • A- pretended to be Mr. Webb, her ocularist. She refers to herself in the third person and narrates her actions when she wants to make sure we know who she is, leading to statements like “Mr. Webb crawls around.”
  • Cognition
    • A- asked W- to reach for bubble solution on the top shelf. It was hidden behind something else, but she remembered that it was there.
    • At the Ontario Science Centre, A- was fascinated by the telephones that distorted voices or added echoes.
  • World
    • A- was fascinated by the clock, and wanted me to arrange magnetic numbers into a clock face on the freezer. We’ve been telling her that dinner is at 7:00 and snack time is at 9:00, and helping her read the time. We moved the hand on the magnetic clock face to 7:00 to reflect the current time. She moved it to 9:00 and said, “It’s snack time!”
  • Oops
    • I almost lost one of A-‘s gloves when I left it in the shopping cart. W- couldn’t find it when he circled around, but A- insisted that we look again. I found it trapped against the side that was pushed in by the cart behind it.
  • Thoughts
    • I thought a little bit more about making the most of scattered thoughts. I created a journal category for them and will think about how to tie ideas together.
    • After we went to music class and the drop-in centre, A- wanted to go to the library (where we borrowed two books), the organic grocery store (where we bought three apples), and the supermarket (where we bought a bunch of bananas). She’s got this neighbourhood circuit she loves doing, so I go to those places practically every weekday. I don’t mind. It gets us walking outside, we talk about stuff on the way, and she practises interacting with people too. If I let her take the lead, then she usually walks around until she’s tired enough to nap. She falls asleep when I carry her, and then I set her down for a nap while I tidy up at home. I wonder how I can tweak our routines to take advantage of this time. Maybe I can make a visual grocery list for us, so we can plan our purchases better. Maybe I can plan a simple meal to cook with her after she wakes up. Maybe I can line up things to write about if she’s still asleep. Hmm…
    • What do I want to do with fragmented thoughts? Observe, remember, synthesize, reflect, build up.
    • My mom told me about some of the challenges that are getting in the way of her writing. That reminded me that it’s important to write about things along the way instead of leaving it for later, because later might not work out.
    • I’ve been thinking about what I want to make time to learn. Some ideas: home economics, parenting, child development and psychology, decisions, Emacs (to tickle my brain), automation and other ways to make the most of snippets of time… I can make more time for reading by getting A- used to my reading grown-up books in front of her (one book for you, one book for me), I can listen to podcasts and videos while washing dishes or walking while she naps, and I can use her nap time and sleep time more effectively.
    • I wonder how I can get better at working with fragmented thoughts. Maybe outlines? Quick drawings?

Blog posts

Time

Category The other week Last week Diff h/wk Diff h/wk
Unpaid work 7.3 9.4 2.0 15.7 3.4
Discretionary – Play 2.8 4.3 1.4 7.1 2.4
Sleep 33.8 35.1 1.3 58.9 2.1
A- 42.8 43.4 0.6 72.9 1.0
Discretionary – Social 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
Business 0.3 0.2 -0.1 0.3 -0.1
Discretionary – Family 1.3 1.1 -0.2 1.9 -0.3
Personal 8.2 5.7 -2.5 9.6 -4.2
Discretionary – Productive 3.4 0.9 -2.5 1.5 -4.3