Weekly review: Week ending January 17, 2020

| review, weekly
  • Kaizen
    • I updated my Tasker task for creating journal entries.
    • I updated my library script to write an Org file with the due dates so that it's easier for me to check.
    • I ordered a balloon pump and twistable balloons. It might be interesting to do balloon animals with A-.
    • I played around with Google Sheets to try out one of W-‘s tips, and ended up just updating my shell script to add to my price file.
    • My new workflow for rating, filtering, and syncing photos seems to be working well. Linking is all right, but could be even smoother.
    • My Bluetooth speaker arrived. W- was unimpressed by the sound, but it might be a portable, inexpensive option for me to have background music.
    • I tinkered with my LaTeX template for the journal entries.
    • I rated the photos from 2019.
    • I figured out how to add text to the table of contents in LaTeX. I can use that for monthly summaries in my journal.
    • I researched print-on-demand options. I'm strongly tempted to print my journal entries and even my photo book at home. I want to typeset everything in LaTeX so that it's easy to keep around, since I don't like being dependent on photobook sites. It's hard to find printing options in Canada that will let me upload a PDF, and I'm a little leery of how import duties will skew the pricing of US-based printers. I'm curious about DIY bookbinding anyway. Anyway, I'm having fun learning more about LaTeX in the process of compiling my text journal entries, and maybe I'll even figure out how to use it for the photo collection. Wouldn't that be neat?
    • I used exiftool to extract the rating and tags I set in F-Stop.
  • Us
    • We watched John Wick 3: Parabellum.
    • I renewed my business mailbox.
    • I linked all the photos for 2019 with journal entries, adding quite a few entries along the way.
    • I'm still not sure what I want in terms of a journal layout.
    • I used ffmpeg to combine burst shots into a video. I reversed the video as well, since A- had been having fun running backward in order to make the playback look like she ran forward.
    • I felt sleepy because I stayed up late tweaking LaTeX, reviewing journal entries, and writing monthly summaries.
    • I was somewhat burned out by a rough day, but W- got the evening back on track with A- with lots of playfulness. He's awesome.
    • I learned how to make balloon turtles, and I practised making balloon dogs too.
  • Field trip
    • Joy, J1, J2, A- and I went to the Royal Ontario Museum. A- had been curious about armour because of “Digby Dog Saves the Day,” so we visited the European gallery first. The docent shared interesting stories and facts about armour, adding his personal experience with historical reenactment. We followed up on another of A-‘s interests by checking out the bows in a nearby gallery. Then it was off to see the dinosaurs, play in the play area, and have lunch. We went to the biodiversity section, and then we went home.
  • Gross motor
    • A- did a good job remembering to stretch up before forward rolls. She had a harder time taking turns towards the end, maybe because she was hungry.
    • A- did well in gymnastics class, although she still wanted me to wait in the gym. It was great watching her bear-walk quickly across the mat. She remembered to stretch up before starting a forward roll, and she enjoyed doing the circuit.
    • A- wanted to go to the castle playground in High Park, so we did. After a good nap, she swung on the swing, climbed stairs, slid down slides, swung across bars (with help), and explored the playground. There were very few other kids there, so it was easy to explore at our own pace.
    • A- had so much fun running up and down the hallway in Melissa and H-‘s condo. I took burst photos to increase the chance of getting a nice picture. When I showed the kids the pictures by scrolling backwards, they had even more fun running backwards so that it would look like they were running the other way.
  • Fine motor
    • We folded origami: shrimp, swan, and pig.
    • We practised with training chopsticks and playdough.
  • Sensory
    • A- made another mystery experiment recipe.
    • I looked up a bunch of playdate/sensory activities as part of my resolution to get better at playing. We ended up going through a whole bunch of ideas all in one day: watching dish soap interact with food colouring; bubbling that up and making prints; doing a rainbow with baking soda and vinegar; wicking water up paper towels to spread ink; spearfishing crackers with cream cheese and carrot sticks; painting with cars (and washing them); and painting with string. A- liked the different activities I suggested, although she told me that she prefers just playing.
    • A- had fun catching bubbles.
    • A- really enjoyed squishing her hands through shaving foam. She liked swirling food colouring through it and piping it through a bag with different tips.
    • A- spent a while cutting the playdough.
  • Language
    • A- enjoyed doing Anki flashcards. She was a little less keen on phonics practice (ma, me, mi, mo, mu). She read through the Mat book slowly, with just a few hiccups.
    • A- wanted to play with H-, but H- wanted to take a break from playing. After some frustration, A- settled down listening to (of all things) Song School Latin.
  • Music
    • A- was curious about the ukulele.
  • Art
    • We did some bubble painting with tempera paint, dish soap, and water.
    • A- used a straight edge to draw lines on a white J that a babysitter had painted before. She said it was a candy cane.
    • We tried out marbling paper with shaving foam and food colouring. A- made a couple of prints, but she was more interested in playing with the foam.
    • The balloon pump and twistable balloons arrived. A- and I had lots of fun pumping balloons, twisting them into shapes, making balloon rockets, and sharing balloons with our friends.
    • A- suggested tempera painting with plastic bags and cling wrap. I let her take the lead. Process-oriented art for the win!
    • A- went to the living room to inflate and play with balloons. She played independently for a while. After I cleaned up, I took the opportunity to pick up tips on making balloon dogs, and I also learned how to make balloon monkeys and swords.
  • Self-care and independence
    • A- got pretty good at using the valve to inflate and deflate the beach ball.
    • A- found it a little hard to separate for music class, so I hung out near the wall. I stepped out a few times, and she immediately cried.
    • I took A- to the doctor because she's been complaining of cough and cold, although she seems okay. The doctor said she might have a cold related to her allergies, but is otherwise fine.
    • A- wanted to be J1's classmate in gymnastics more strongly than she wanted to wear a dress, so she agreed to wear a shirt.
    • I took A- to the dentist. She was able to sit still for scaling, but she started crying when the hygienist started the vacuum. A- didn't want polishing or fluoride varnish. She did keep still long enough for an X-ray to check on the work done on her front teeth. The dentist said that the pain might be due to sensitive nerves, and that she's continuing to keep an eye on the tooth decay we noticed on several of her teeth. I'm getting better at not panicking and at keeping the long game in mind.
  • Eating
    • Steamed buns: A- had a few buns at dinner.
    • Shamrock Spinach Crepes • Curious Cuisiniere: A- had some.
    • Spring rolls: W- liked the banana rolls. A- liked the cheese in the cheese rolls. I also mixed soy beef and chickpeas for a third type of spring roll.
    • Homemade Breakfast Sausage Patties – Easy Recipe | The Worktop: Okay. Easy to make.
    • Shrimp risotto: Yum! W- isn't sure about the cheese, though. A- skipped it in favour of cheese and yogurt
    • Falafel: Finished frying it. A- had a small bite.
    • For A-‘s lunch, I packed carrots, tomatoes, blueberries, cheese, egg, and apple chunks. W- said, “There's nothing green!” So I put in a bit of falafel too.
    • We were hungry and hadn't made proper plans for dinner, so W- decided to get pizza and wings. W-, A-, and I picked up the order and tucked the boxes into the stroller, under a blanket. When we got home, we all devoured the pizza. A- had one and a half slices.
    • W- had the brilliant idea of making a chart of his and A-‘s thoughts on the food he brought home. A- tried all the vegetables and the chicken, and she liked them.
    • A- liked eating pasta off her fingers.
  • Sleep
    • A- went to bed pretty smoothly after I reminded her that she wanted to wake up in time to have breakfast with W-.
  • Emotion
    • H- wanted to take a break from playing together. A- was a little frustrated, but she came and snuggled with me. A- asked for the Hokey Pokey song, so we had a quick dance break. Yay, she's slowly getting the hang of emotional regulation when it comes to playdates!
    • We started the morning with lots and lots of snuggling.
  • Household
    • A- wanted to garden, so W- bought seeds, starter pots, and potting soil. They planted a bunch of herbs and vegetables, and A- played with mud.
    • A- experimented with standing on her tower while sweeping the floor.
    • A- helped clean the bathroom mirrors.
  • Social
    • A- wanted to feed W-. She insisted on giving him carrots with ketchup.
    • We invited Melissa and H- over for a playdate. I experimented with having a planned activity. I picked up shaving foam and set up trays. The kids had lots of fun adding food colouring and swirling or piping the foam. They also enjoyed blowing and catching bubbles, playing with the cats, pretending to be cats, and other fun things they came up with.
    • A- complained that other people called her a boy. It turned out she was complaining that other kids used “he” instead of “she.” I explained little kids are still learning how to speak English. After more complaining from her about how it's not fair, I gave her a quick lesson on making conversation about the weather or things we like instead of things we don't like.
    • A- invited H- over for a playdate after the drop-in centre closed. We swung by the organic grocery store and the supermarket to pick up some food. I set up carrot stick and cream cheese spearfishing for A- as an afternoon snack. H- skipped it because she had already had quite a few Goldfish crackers, but she was keen on the salami that Melissa bought. After the snack, we did some painting. The balloon kit arrived, so we played with it too. We had lots of fun. For dinner, I threw together octopus hotdog pasta. The kids pretended for a while. Cats seem to be a recurring theme. They also played with bubbles. A- wanted to teach H- sungka, but H- was more interested in just playing with the shells, so both of them got pretty frustrated. They were probably quite tired at that point, so we wrapped up.
    • A- practised taking turns at the drop-in centre. There were about five kids who were interested in going over a series of pads on the floor. The kids had a hard time managing turns, so I sat close by and nudged them into the right order. It was a little hectic, but worthwhile.
    • Towards the end of gymnastics class, I think A- got a little hungry, so she wasn't as good at waiting for her turn. She cried a few times and had to come in for cuddles.
    • A- sat with a few other kids and pretended to eat and drink. There were occasional tussles over pretend food or plates, but things went smoothly when I nudged them. I haven't quite decided how much I want to intervene when it comes to these things. I can see how helping them play together smoothly (especially when younger kids are around) gets them used to what needs to be done for smooth play. On the other hand, there's some value to letting them solve their own problems.
    • H- invited us to a playdate after the drop-in centre closed. After some calming-down time (during which A- got better at waiting patiently), they had lots of fun. They dressed up, ran up and down the corridor, checked out the lounge, tried out the machine in the Mousetrap game, and did circle time. A- ate some of the chili that H-‘s dad prepared. She also did a good job at listening to H- and giving things back when prompted.
    • At the drop-in centre, A- and the other kids practised taking turns. I stayed close by to nudge them towards proper turn-taking, which was a lot smoother than waiting for them to erupt and then trying to calm them down. They were interested in keys, so the parent worker brought out a basket of coloured keys to play with.
    • A- enjoyed dancing with H-.
  • Pretend
    • “Can you please offer me a tray? Can you please put many things on it?”
    • A- and H- pretended to push babies around in strollers.
    • We wrapped up our playdate with circle time, just like in school.
    • We chatted about balloon animals over dinner. A- pretended to be on a Youtube video, saying, “Hi, I'm A-. I'm a teacher and an entertainer.”
  • Cognition
    • A- matched up felt mittens. She also grouped magnets by colour.
  • World
    • A- joined the Duplo trains in a circle. She found that she needed a large number of trains in order to get them to all hitch up.
    • A- made a stand for her spray bottle, and she sprayed the playdough so that I could knead the water in.
    • A- shone the flashlight right next to her hand. I explained why it made her hand look red. She was very proud of her flashlight. “This is the flashlight I got from my grandfather,” she announced a few times.
    • A- was amazed by how tall the cat grass was.
  • Other
    • The cat grass has started sprouting.
    • I decided to return the Bluetooth speaker because the lights are too bright. W- helped repack it properly.

Blog posts


Category The other week % Last week % Diff % h/wk Diff h/wk
A- 44.3 50.0 5.7 84.0 9.6
Discretionary – Productive 5.8 7.0 1.2 11.8 2.0
Personal 4.6 5.4 0.8 9.0 1.4
Discretionary – Play 0.0 0.6 0.6 1.0 1.0
Discretionary – Social 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
Unpaid work 6.7 6.0 -0.7 10.0 -1.2
Discretionary – Family 1.9 0.6 -1.3 1.0 -2.2
Sleep 31.6 30.3 -1.3 50.8 -2.2
Business 5.2 0.2 -4.9 0.4 -8.3
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