Category Archives: weekly

Week ending 2018-02-23

What a week!

A- was so active. She liked dancing by herself or with us, sometimes inviting us by singing part of “Shall We Dance.” When we went swimming for her birthday, she picked up rings with her arms and feet, happily wore a flotation device, and kicked in a reasonable approximation of swimming. She walked astride her balance bike out of arms reach and all the way from the living room to the kitchen. She was interested in rockclimbing, especially after we strapped on the smallest pair of shoes at the climbing gym. (Still a bit big, but manageable.) She liked the new lights from IKEA, and got the hang of turning them on and off by herself.

A- regularly used prepositional phrases, saying things like “A- put fish cracker in mouth.” She went through a phase of saying “I don’t like it,” but is back to asking specifically for what she wants. I can say “Show me sleepy” and other adjectives from her favourite books, and she’ll do it. She picked up more social graces, too – she said “Excuse me” after passing gas. She talked about things that happened and how she felt, like when she accidentally dropped her potty and she was upset. We went to the Children’s Book Bank and picked up a nursery rhyme book and a book about Chinese ceramics by the artist who drew McDull.

It’s been a musical week as well. She was looping over “Happy birthday to you” and “Muvili zuma zuma.” She arranged chairs like in music class, had us sit in them, and did a few of the songs and rhymes. She was interested in banging on the piano, tapping the rhythm sticks, playing percussion on the table, and blowing on the recorder. “Just like music class,” she said.

A- enjoyed the Chinese New Year party at Uncle Morgan and Auntie Cathy’s. She loved going up and down the stairs with Uncle Morgan. She even have everyone goodbye hugs. During the week, we visited Popo for a relaxed afternoon. A- ate lots of grapes and learned a few Cantonese words. We went swimming with Jen and E-, and we had a late lunch with Eric afterwards. A- ate lots of fries. We also went to the Science Centre with Joy and J-.

The pediatrician is going to see about referrals to Sick Kids dentistry and endocrinology. More tests ahead, but that’s okay, we can handle this.

Week ending 2018-02-16

The dentist recommended taking A- to an anesthesia dentist because she’s concerned that A-‘s teeth are worn down to the pulp and that there might be a hole that affects a nerve. The dentist she referred me to has an 8-hour no food or liquid fasting requirement for treatment instead of allowing breastmilk up to 4 hours before and clear liquids up to 2 hours before. A- still nurses through the night, so I may have to find another dentist, night wean her, or put all of us through a very miserable day. We’re hoping to get a referral to Sick Kids, since with all the other things going on with her, we want the anesthesiologist to have lots of experience with toddlers with other conditions.

The ocularist appointment was more straightforward. A- will get a new conformer in two weeks. We’re going to continue with the conformer approach instead of getting a painted shell because A- still takes her conformer out every so often. We nearly lost her current one. Conformers are cheaper and easier to replace. We’ll just put up with the occasional question from curious strangers (who can sometimes be a bit awkward or even rude, but I’ll just chalk that up to them being off-balance).

We visited her Po Po and Gung Gung for a Chinese New Year party. She had lots of fun hanging out with her Uncle Morgan, Auntie Cathy, and M-. We bought a Japanese cheesecake to serve for her birthday, and she actually blew the candle all by herself. She was very chatty and interactive, hiding jigsaw puzzle pieces in her sleeves and distributing or collecting them as directed, giving people high fives, playing with trucks, and scarfing down a decent amount of food.

We also visited Joy and J-. We all read books together and played with the toy kitchen. A- shared her cereal with J- and sampled her quesadilla, although she wasn’t particularly curious about the pinakbet.

A- easily named and inserted shapes into the sorter. It’s been quite a while since she last played with it and she used to need regular hints, but I guess something just clicked. Duplo clicked for her, too. She got interested in building tall towers (even standing on a chair to do so) and in simulating playgrounds.

Language highlights this week: “Wow” (in reaction to the printer and other awesome things), and “Give it a try” (which she said to me when I told her the bananas were still green). She’s been singing a lot, too. Muvili Zuma Zuma, Humpty Dumpty, Happy Birthday to You, even the song I made up for the swing… We made it to music class and picked up a variant of “Love My Baby,” and we went to the ROM afterwards because she wanted to see the animals.

At the playground, she wanted to be bounced up and down very quickly on the spring toys. She’s getting pretty good at asking for what she wants!

Week ending 2018-02-09

Gross motor: A- practised walking forward on her balance bike. It was just a few steps, but hey, progress! She also enjoyed swimming. We had the toddler pool all to ourselves for a while, and she enjoyed walking in the shallow water and even kneeling just enough to dip her ears into the water. At the Science Centre, she had lots of fun following E-‘s example and running up and down corridors, climbing stairs, and so on.

Fine motor: She can screw together the oversized nuts and bolts in her toolkit. She was interested in the Duplo blocks. She liked adding a paper butterfly to the ROM exhibit.

Language: She used the word “need” to ask for something. Her first request? “I need a hug.” She thanked me afterwards, too. She’s getting pretty good at talking about recent events, like pointing to the fridge and saying, “Daddy bought new eggs.” Ithink she can talk about how she felt, too. For example, a kid accidentally knocked her down at the Science Centre. When we were chatting about the day during her bath, we got to that part and she said “A- sad.”

Household: She insisted that we make muffins, and she even brought out the muffin tin.

Social: She had such a great day on Friday hanging out with Jen and E-, and she was so excited to see W- that she was squeaking as she ran to the door. Joy gave us a kitchen playset, which A- liked. A- also put up with me having coffee with Eric and chatting about leadership. We made it out to music class, but she was pretty reserved. At home, she loved playing games with me (peekaboo, moving tunnels, fall down, toss hair/pompom).

Independence: She insisted on privacy while using the potty. She wanted to do most things by herself. She put on her own coat a few times.

Other: She passed her eye exam – perfect vision and healthy pressure in her right eye so far. Amusingly, she was indifferent to the first sheet of stickers offered by the doctor, but she quickly snatched the second sheet. She enjoyed hanging out at the family centre afterwards.

Us: I donated more clothes through the EarlyON family and child centre. We got a couple of IKEA Trofast units to organize A-‘s clothes and toys. Gradual decluttering!

Week ending 2018-02-02

(I hope this image gets properly sized – still working out my mobile workflow…)

We were mostly at home this week while A- gradually adjusted to Toronto time. We made it out to visit Jen and E- on Friday morning. A- also enjoyed going outside to play in the snow.

It was delightful to hear all the phrases bubbling up from A-. “Thank you” was her favourite phrase this week. She also got the hang of sequential requests with “And then…” and tried her hand at persuasion with “That’s okay.” She congratulated herself with “Good job!” “You did it!” and dealt with the occasional oopses with “Try again.”

She didn’t want to wear her conformer for a few days. I didn’t force the issue. No point, anyway, since she could just take it out again right after. I made my peace with possible long-term refusal, but kept trying with liberal use of “Please” and some discussion of why it might be worth the short-term discomfort. She eventually let me put it in, hooray! She removed it again a couple of days after, though, so it might be getting a bit uncomfortable.

We’re back to being able to do neighbourhood errands. A- often wants to go to the supermarket, where she insists on carrying her own basket or riding in the shopping cart.

A- was interested in stacking cans, so I suggested that she stack wooden blocks too. She built a tower out of eight blocks, and then delighted in knocking them down with various body parts.

As for us: I’ve been following up on my resolution to be more organized. I ordered a bunch of pouches from MEC. I sorted A-‘s clothes and donated another bunch of 18mo clothes to the EarlyON child centre. Continuous improvement!

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…