Weekly review: Week ending December 6, 2019

| review, weekly
  • Kaizen
    • I reviewed the photos going back to A-‘s birth, culling similar ones. This should make it more fun to review the photos for collections.
    • I started matching up my image backups with my archiving decisions on Google Photos.
    • I used React to display and filter my journal entries, including a calendar view.
    • I looked into ways to give A- more impersonal limits when it comes to using my phone. I wrote a Tasker script that locked the screen after five minutes, and another one that locked the screen if it detected switching apps. Pinning the app would work too, but it’s a bit of a hassle to pin an app (select, swipe, select, select, select) and a pinned app means powering off doesn’t lock the screen.
  • Us
    • I sewed a super simple skirt for A- (100x36cm rectangle, 1″ hem, 1.5″ fold-over casing). I enjoyed putting it together. If she likes it, I’d be happy to make her more.
    • I finished the bicycle print skirt for A-.
  • Gross motor
    • A- ran round and round her kitchen platform. She said, “My feet are singing a song.”
    • A- pretended the crib mattress was an emergency slide and jumped on it. I checked out my cellphone camera’s slow motion mode and shared the results with A-, who then jumped many more times.
  • Fine motor
    • W- bought A- two LEGO sets: a dump truck and a snow plow. We helped her build them, since she still has a hard time positioning and pressing the pieces together. She enjoyed using the snow plow to push around some snow that we brought inside.
    • A- had fun building two Duplo buildings based on the instructions.
    • I was curious about how A- would do with worksheets at home. She traced all the letters on the Aa worksheet when I held her hand lightly, and she cut and pasted too.
    • After dinner, A- asked for a worksheet on the letter B and a worksheet on the number 10. She did all of the first and half of the second, and she also experimented with different ways of holding her pencil.
  • Sensory
    • A- had lots of fun catching bubbles and trying to blow big ones.
    • A- had been looking forward to sledding ever since the first snow of the season. She finally got to go up and down the block, and up and down the backyard too.
    • A- was curious about the translucent blocks on the light table.
  • Language
    • A- was pretending to be AG*. She wrote a passable copy of her name.
    • “I share my resources with kids who are more young than me.” Resources!
    • A- swiped through the modes in the camera app on my phone. She stopped at one and asked, “Is this for extra slow video?” I asked her, “How do you know?” She sounded out each of the letters: “S-l-o-w.” She’s reading and figuring things out!
    • A- pretended to have a Latin songbook. She sang “Here Comes the Magistra” pretty clearly.
    • While carrying A-, W- said, “Wait, how did you get to be so heavy?” A- said, “Weight,” and then proceeded to laugh uproariously.
  • Music
    • A- wanted to play Old Macdonald on the piano today. I labeled the keys and wrote the notes, and she slowly followed them!
    • A- wanted to learn another song on the piano, so I wrote down the notes for Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.
  • Art
    • A- and I explored the pastels that were in the art drawer. She liked blowing the coloured dust away from her, and I liked smudging colours together.
    • A- wanted to make Tsuki’s Treehouse. We made a very very basic copy with playdough and a yogurt container.
  • Self-care and independence
    • We revisited the public/private/homeschool question based on what we’d learned from kindergarten readiness. A- was fine talking to teachers and following routines. She usually preferred to observe others or play on her own. She found circle time a bit loud with 14 other kids enthusiastically singing, and she didn’t really follow along with singing or actions. She also didn’t like having all those transitions, since the program was a pretty structured 2-hour mix of activities. She wanted more time to do her own things. The progress report said that she could use more practice holding pencils and using scissors, which was a little surprising because she seems to do fine at home. She doesn’t seem keen to follow the instructions on worksheets, though, so that might be a confounding factor. I’m a little tempted to homeschool because A- does cool things with focused time, but I’m okay with trying public school first, especially since junior kindergarten is supposed to be more play-based. She’ll probably grow a lot over the next six months, anyway. We’ll see!
    • A- had a peppermint candy cane. She liked the taste, but felt it got stuck in her teeth. I tried scraping some of it off, and she asked me to brush her teeth a second time in the evening.
    • A- and her classmates graduated from kindergarten readiness! A- worked hard on dealing with separation anxiety and managing her emotions in the classroom. I’m glad she made it to this point. Still more to do, of course, but good work!
  • Eating
    • A- scarfed down lots of kale chips and green beans. I also tried making shake and bake from scratch.
  • Sleep
    • After a conversation about her feelings about playing with friends, A- fell asleep while I snuggled her on my lap and stroked her back. On other nights, the rain-sounds-and-snuggling routine helped her quickly go to bed too.
  • Emotion
    • A- cried about going to school and needed W- to come with us to the bus stop. She kept crying at drop-off, and one of the teachers had to help pry her off me. They said she calmed down for snack time. I think this might be influenced by poor sleep due to our coughs.
    • A- was almost tearful in the morning, telling us, “I don’t want Mama to leave. I feel lonely when I don’t have attention.” She was a little calm when I carried her to the bus stop, and she played happily with me at the drop-in centre before class. She cried at drop-off, though, and had to be peeled off again. She calmed down by snack time.
  • Household
    • A- made up her own recipe: fish, mayo, egg, rice, and omurice filling, all mixed up and fried. Pretty good!
    • We made zucchini muffins. A- said, “Now I want to make my own thing.” She looked in the fridge and chose eggs, oat milk, and a lemon. I suggested making lemon muffins, and we did. I got a little frazzled fixing my omission of vegetable oil while A- played with the batter, but I remembered that we were doing it to have fun cooking together, so we were able to turn it into a sensory activity with yummy muffins as a nice bonus.
    • A- wanted to do another cooking experiment with milk, a banana, and an egg. She mixed those up in a bowl. I helped her mash the banana. It was missing a little something, so she added yogurt and applesauce. I asked her how she wanted to cook it. She wanted me to fry it in a pan, so I suggested adding flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. We made pretty passable banana pancakes with no measurements. Fun!
    • A- helped tidy up at the drop-in centre we go to. She’s becoming quite a good helper.
  • Social
    • “I’m not a big kid. I’m a big girl.” Gender is pretty important to A- at the moment. She wants to wear “girl colours” (pink and purple), takes some offense at other kids’ difficulties with appropriate pronouns, and thinks about whether other people will recognize that she is a girl.
    • My throat was dry after reading lots of books, so I told A- I had to take a break from reading. She got another book and said to the parent worker, “My Mama’s throat is dry. Could you please read this to me?” Yay for problem-solving and resourcefulness!
    • We had Jen and E- over. The maple-crusted porkloin was yummy, and Jen introduced us to chia pudding. A- was so excited to see Jen. A- kept bringing her presents, and she even asked me for worksheets (probably to show off). A- and E- played hide and seek. They tried negotiating other games (E- wanted to play cat and A- wanted to play baby), but they didn’t come to an agreement. They did have a moment of laughing uproariously together, though. With a fair bit of parental involvement, they practised taking turns with a ball.
    • I spent most of the day coding on the couch while A- played nearby with the babysitter. A- periodically checked in with me for snuggles or attention. I was still able to concentrate enough to put together a prototype for my consulting client, so it worked out.
  • Pretend
    • A- liked her red robot skirt a lot, so we made matching skirts for Sheep and Baby.
    • A- used the table as a bunk bed for Doll and Sheep.
    • At A-‘s kindergarten readiness graduation ceremony, the teacher called her by name to get her certificate. A- walked over while saying, “You keep forgetting my name.” A- has been pretending to be AG, but no one has gotten the hang of calling her that, so she’s a little grumpy about it.
    • A- pretended to be a sandwich.
  • Cognition
    • A- used a ruler to make two marks and draw a line between them, just as she saw me do while sewing.
  • World
    • A- was curious about the “Fire away!” scene in the “Eraser” book, so I showed her how you could balance a ruler on top of a toilet paper roll and use it to launch objects.
    • A- remembered that I once melted cheese for her in a skillet, so she asked for it again. Then she experimented with dipping the melted cheese into water. She drank a little and said, “Yuck.” W- suggested experimenting with adding lime juice to water instead, so we helped her try 0-4 drops. It’s great that she likes to play with things in the kitchen!
    • A- scrolled through the modes on the camera app. “What’s this one for?” she asked. I said, “Food.” She turned to the table and took a picture of the food.
  • Other
    • A- was excited about the snow forecast for today. She woke up so quickly.
    • The babysitter finished her large bottle of water, so A- repurposed it. W- drilled a hole in the cap.

Blog posts


Category The other week % Last week % Diff % h/wk Diff h/wk
A- 41.2 45.5 4.3 76.4 7.2
Discretionary – Play 0.8 3.3 2.5 5.6 4.3
Discretionary – Social 0.6 1.2 0.6 2.0 1.0
Sleep 31.4 31.5 0.1 53.0 0.2
Business 1.6 1.5 -0.1 2.6 -0.1
Discretionary – Family 0.2 0.2 -0.0 0.3 -0.1
Personal 4.1 3.4 -0.7 5.7 -1.2
Unpaid work 6.3 5.4 -0.9 9.1 -1.5
Discretionary – Productive 13.8 7.9 -5.8 13.3 -9.8
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