Category Archives: weekly

Weekly review: Week ending 2018-01-26

We started the week with some grandparent time, going out for lunch at Tim Ho Wan and spending time at Museo Pambata. A- also got into the habit of asking Lola to read to her and wanting to sleep in Lola’s room, so we did even though A- was a little bit hard to settle at night.

On Sunday, there was a big party to celebrate the completion of the novena for my dad and what would have been my dad’s 70th birthday. A- found it a little overwhelming, so we went up and down as needed.

We had a chickenpox scare that sent me Googling for information on breakthrough varicella and off to a pediatrician for an in-person consultation. Turned out to be just bug bites on A-, so we flew home on our scheduled flight.

During the layover in Incheon, A- munched lots of prawn and discovered the joys of swimming in the bathtub. The new Terminal 2 was large, airy, and well-equipped, although the amenities for kids were more geared towards screens than climbing or bouncing around.

The seats beside us on the 14h flight from Incheon to Toronto were empty, so we managed to stretch out and nap a few times in between the tours that A- wanted of the airplane bathrooms and galleys (“Not this one toilet! That one!”)

A- was firmly attached to W- as soon as she saw him, which was super helpful because I desperately needed to catch up on sleep. I’m just regularly sleep-deprived now instead of being exhausted, although I’m still dealing with sniffles and a cough, and we’re both jetlagged by quite a bit. Fortunately, we’d already sorted out enrichment at home and we don’t have any appointments next week, so I’m not worried about being out of sync with Toronto time.

It’s been amusing seeing A- apply what she learned on the trip. She insisted that W- sing part of Mamma Mia, and she figured out how to cross her legs when sitting on the floor. I hope that she’ll be on a padded surface when she decides to revisit pratfalls.

A- did a quick runthrough of her favourite activities as soon as she got to the house: putting away plastic bags, eating in her chair, reading books, standing in her tower, saying hello to the cats, playing with dough, painting… It’s almost as if she had a checklist and she wanted to verify everything still worked the way she remembered.

W- put in a smart thermostat which can control the fan and the furnace separately, and it had a surprising large effect on how the house feels. I wonder what other little upgrades are that useful.

I’m continuing to braindump lessons learned and things to take care of. Once I get things out of my head, they’re easier to prioritize and follow up on.

Next week is mostly about acclimating, and about learning to take advantage of our tech upgrades. We’re both checking out GoodNotes for sketchnoting. It’s fun to learn stuff together!

Weekly review: Week ending 2018-01-19

It was a lot of fun watching A- experiment with new concepts this week. She tried saying, “No play Ate A*, this mine!” This is great! She’s learning about owning things. I did point out that the toy she was clutching was actually her cousin’s, and we sorted it all out with a minimum of fuss. I look forward to helping her navigate this interesting time.

She also tried arranging her legs to sit like she saw Tita Ching and Tita Kathy do, and she promptly fell backward onto the bed. I successfully avoided laughing out loud. She figured out shrugging, though, and that got a few chuckles.

One time, she was looking for Tita Ching. She ran to the living room, but it was empty. She said, “Nobody!” and then looked for Tita Ching in another room. I wonder if that means I can introduce the concept of zero when counting, too…

We’ve been focusing on family time: lots of time with her cousins, aunts, and grandmother. Reading works out pretty well as a bonding activity, especially for those of us who aren’t up to jumping up and down on the bed.

Also, she seems to be okay with dolls now, hooray! She used to get quite anxious at the sight of dolls. She still doesn’t seek them out, but she doesn’t seem to be as bothered by them as she used to be. It’s probably due to seeing her cousins have lots of fun playing. Next on my desensitization list: dentists!

I managed to get the first set of paperwork out the door, hooray! We’re also working on sorting out bank accounts. Slow and steady…

Weekly review: Week ending 2018-01-12

My dad died on Saturday, Jan 6. He lived an awesome life. Many, many people shared their stories and pictures of adventures with him, and there was lots of laughter as we celebrated his life. It was about as good a life and death as one could have, I think, and that’s a wonderful gift. He was inurned in the pavilion at Heritage Park, so there are plenty of planes to watch, there’s plenty of light, and there’s plenty of space for the grandkids to run around.

It was good to catch up with a few friends who visited, and Diane did us a huge favour by staying overnight with my mom.

A- had a great time running around and bouncing on the sofa. She figured out how to jump using two feet. We went to Active Fun with her cousins, and she had fun climbing and sliding.

We saw W- off at the airport. He headed back following our original schedule. A- and I will stay until the 25th. A- misses him a little bit (“A- want go too!”), but she also enjoys spending time with her cousins, so it all works out. I’ve had to carry her out of their bedroom a couple of times now, since she’d happily play with them long past bedtime if she could. She also loves spending time with Tita Ching, who has read many, many books with her.

I like how A- is getting more involved in our daily routines. She likes squeezing the bottles of shampoo and body wash. One time, while I was rinsing off some shampoo with my eyes closed, she squeezed even more shampoo on my head, then said, “Mama feel better.” I guess it’s because I often tell her that I feel better once I’ve washed away the sticky feeling of perspiration.

Speaking of sweat – A- often insisted on going shirtless or pantless even in air-conditioned rooms. I managed to insist on diapers, at least. She had lots of bug bites. I’ve made my peace with using diaper creme instead of taking a risk with methyl salicylate.

One day, she insisted on wearing her winter jacket out of the blue. How odd!

I’m handling the insurance and estate tax paperwork, so I’m slowly putting those things together. The implementing rules for the tax reform haven’t come down yet, but I can organize the papers took make them easier to file. We’ve been preparing for this for months, and now that preparation can pay off. It’s nice to not be under time pressure.

We’re giving ourselves plenty of space to adjust to this new normal. I even had time to do a little consulting: checked on data extract, fixed blog comment export, and thought about templating.

Onward: more paperwork, more memories, more living!

Weekly review: Week ending 2018-01-05

It took two weeks of warming up, but A- now seems pretty comfortable with people at home. She loves toddling after Ate Jeana and asking if she can wash dishes at the same time, and she loves asking Tita Ching to read an endless series of books. She even insisted on going downstairs and out of sight with Tita Ching. She enjoyed playing with her two cousins, too. Yay independence and social interaction!

A- still spends lots of time attached to me, though. At one point, I said, “You love nursing!” She replied, “I love you.” Might be her just digging up the closest phrase she knows, but yeah, I’m totally fine with snuggling her more.

I like being able to offer her choices and hear what she wants. She’s figuring out how to think about the near future, saying things like “wait potty Tita Kathy finish bathroom.” She asks for what she wants (“More soup!”)

I went to the Bureau of Internal Revenue to replace my taxpayer ID. I started decluttering and organizing my mom’s papers. We met with a tax lawyer, too.

We had to reshoot the family picture because my dad insisted that we should all wear Columbia. Brand loyalty!

On the flipside, my dad slipped into delirium and the nurses advised us to take him to the hospital. We’ve already had all the big conversations, so at least we’re sort of prepared for whatever can happen.

Weekly review: week ending 2017-12-29

A-‘s now pretty comfortable with my family. On various occasions, she sat on Lola’s lap, gave people fist bumps, rubbed noses, and laughed when people made funny faces. She’s still nervous about my dad, though. Maybe it’s the coughing, maybe it’s the TPN, maybe it’s something else. Anyway, that’s just something we need to deal with.

We’ve figured out lots of things she can do to keep learning. She was interested in cutting toy fruits and vegetables, and she liked playing with the cooking set that Tita Kathy gave her. She wanted us to read the books she got for Christmas (lots of Tagalog books, also from Tita Kathy) and a few other books around the house (Little Red Riding Hood, Have You Seen My Cat?).

My dad insisted on giving us new phones and clothes. I’ve been making good use of the iPad and Pencil, too – at least, whenever A- will let me use them! She liked drawing on the tablet, which made my dad happy. I also bought a new backpack since my old one was starting to fall apart. Lots of upgrades. We’re also looking forward to playing the music that Tita Ching gave A- and hanging up the solar system mobile that Lolo and Lola gave her.

Lots of estate planning this week, too. I learned more about trusts and tax laws in the Philippines and Canada, updated our spreadsheets, and went to a couple of meetings. I feel reasonably prepared.

I might extend my trip. It’s good to spend time with my family, especially if my dad goes through surgery the day before my current departure date. A- is still top priority, though, so I need to think about what we can do if W- isn’t with us and A- is anxious around my dad. We’ll figure this out.

Weekly review: Week ending 2017-12-22

We flew on Sunday, arriving in Manila on Tuesday night after an overnight stopover in Korea. The flights were uneventful, and jet lag wasn’t too bad.

The descriptive language I read about in books on early art education seems to have clicked. A- said “Circle!” when she drew roughly circular things, “Dot!” when she dotted the page, and “Line!” when she slowed down to draw vertical or diagonal lines. She was interested in breaking crayons, so we broke a few. I wonder if I should redirect her to something with similar feel so that we can keep crayons whole.

She also started holding the knife perpendicular to the chopping board and cutting straight down instead of at an angle. Cucumbers and strawberries were just right for her to practice cutting on her own, and she was able to cut them into tiny tidbits. Working with playdough, she rolled clumps flat with a rolling pin and sliced the pretend-pizza with a spreader.

She opened a Vector bar wrapper all by herself. W- told me that she ripped the wrapper by accident and she put the bar down. Then she realized what she could do, picked up the bar again, opened it, and started eating the bar. Clever girl!

She often says five-word sentences now, like “no mama eat fried rice.” We packed three books for the trip, and she spent five minutes asking for the board book version of Pride and Prejudice before we fetched it from the overhead bin. She’s still scared of dolls and doesn’t like them even talked about.

She’s slowly getting reacquainted with my family, although stranger anxiety still sometimes gets in the way. She warmed up enough to take one of her cousins by the hand, play with her giraffe toy, and ask for that cousin by name. She also offered her sheep toy to Lola, and she accepted blueberries from Lola too. Lolo’s still waiting for his moment, though.

My sisters and I met with our dad’s doctor, and that conversation was very helpful.

One potty accident this week, although it was probably because she was hungry and distracted due to cooking. No worries!