Category Archives: weekly

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.

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.