Category Archives: review

Weekly review: Week ending September 13, 2019

  • Us
    • First day of the drop-off kindergarten readiness program. Another parent and I spent the two hours chatting about math, parenting, and other activities.
    • On the second day of the kindergarten readiness program, I went to the library and drafted the text for my Emacs presentation.
    • I used some drop-off time to catch up on email.
  • Gross motor
    • A- walked all the way home from the UPS store. We both got a bit hangry on the way, but she persisted, and I was able to stay patient because I remembered that my long-term goal is to encourage her independence.
    • A- had so much fun running ahead and then coming back whenever I blew my whistle.
  • Fine motor
    • A- liked tying bows on her shirt. She was even able to do them with rabbit ears.
  • Language
    • “Did you want steamed buns for lunch, sticky rice, or both?” “I want sticky buns.”
    • A- had a cold, so we spent most of the day reading.
    • A- and I talked about the things we like to do and what we want to get good at. A- said she likes writing.
    • We read lots of books at the library.
  • Self-care and independence
    • A- used a book to turn off the lights in her room.
    • A- did really well at her first day at the drop-off kindergarten readiness program! When I picked her up after two hours, she was happy.
    • After kindergarten readiness, A- asked, “Why did other kids not listen?” and “Why was one kid crying?” We talked a bit about the skills they’re working on. She said she’s good at listening to the teacher and that she enjoys playing at school.
    • A- used the bathroom independently at the EarlyON centre.
  • Household
    • A- practised using the mini vacuum.
  • Social
    • At kindergarten readiness, A- glued paper candles onto a paper birthday cake. They talked about age. For snack, they had cheese and crackers. At home, A- told us about circle time and how she did what other kids were doing.
    • At the drop-in centre, A- was interested in playing with the teacher. She made presents for the teacher and had fun giving her stuff.
    • A- helped sweep and tidy up at the drop-in centre. I like helping out with clean-up time because A- gets to see how we help with common spaces.
    • As we were getting ready for the kindergarten readiness program in the morning, A- said she didn’t want to go to school and that she wanted to stay with me. I explained that it takes some getting used to, but that she’ll eventually find it fun. We made it through the morning routine and to school on time, and she walked into the classroom after a big hug.
    • A- ran to the door because she wanted to give W- a goodbye hug.
    • A- wanted to wait for Daddy for her bedtime routine, even though she was a bit tired.
    • A bigger kid wanted to grab a toy that A- was playing with. I intervened by calmly holding on, but I might look for other ways to respond so that I can help A- learn how to deal with things herself.
    • We spent the afternoon hanging out with someone I know from the Emacs community who had flown in for the Toronto International Film Festival. A- asked lots of questions about stuff she saw around her, and we spent some time at the playground too. Maybe 10% grown-up small talk, 70% small kid small talk, and 20% independent play? Progress!
    • A- was curious about the can of sparkling water. She set out a tray with two small glasses and a bowl of peanuts. She tried talking W- into opening the can (“Would you like sparkling water?”), but he wasn’t interested in having it at that moment. J- didn’t like sparkling water either, but she acquiesced when A- asked. A- carefully poured equal amounts of sparkling water into the glasses. She drank a little of hers, and then proceeded to experiment by putting peanuts in.
  • Pretend
    • At the playground, A- pretended she was a piece of luggage going around the luggage carousel.
  • Cognition
    • A- can stack conversations. I asked A- if she knew what her sister’s name was. She didn’t know. I asked her if she knew what Daddy called her. She turned to W- and asked him. He said j-. She turned to me and said J-.
    • A- asked for a temporary tattoo. She counted to thirty during its transfer. She asked to have it removed during bathtime, so we used mineral oil.
  • World
    • We drafted the text for the kids’ book on microphthalmia, and I started sketching some art. I talked to A- about the different art styles in the kids’ books we read. She wants to paint with “messy paint” (tempera).
    • We went to the orientation for the kindergarten readiness program. It ended early, so we even made it to the first music class of the term. After music, we went to our favourite drop-in. Then we went to the playground, grocery store, and post office. What a busy day.
  • Other
    • A- got a bug bite that really bothered her.
  • Oops
    • Darn! I lost the backpack with the new lunch box. I probably left it on the bus. Anyway, I’ve been using it to help both of us learn more about looking behind us. A- wasn’t too bothered. She wants me to order another one of those lunchboxes, though.

Blog posts

Weekly review: Week ending September 20, 2019

  • Us
    • Facebook login stopped working on Quantified Awesome and I don’t have the time to deal with it, so I removed it.
    • I finished crocheting my hat!
    • W- found an iPad on the train. He brought it home to try to locate its owner. At first, it wouldn’t connect to the passwordless WiFi network he set up. When we changed the SSID to mimic Starbucks, it connected. Siri hadn’t been set up with contact information, but having it on the network allowed the owner to send it a message to display contact information, so we messaged the owner. Good deed of the day!
  • Gross motor
    • A- walked with me as we did neighbourhood errands.
  • Sensory
    • A- loved playing with water. She also pretended to go camping.
  • Language
    • On getting soap in her eyes: “I’m not so keen on that. I’m not so happy!”
    • A- pretended to talk to the person doing the video of a cardboard candy dispenser. She said, “Guy, you’re having a lot of candy.”
  • Music
    • A- preferred to watch at music class.
    • A- pretended to play the ukulele and have circle time. When I started playing the recorder, she said, “It’s circle time, not band time.” She sang The Good Morning Train, pausing to gesture at things and say, “And we say hello to… What’s your name?”
  • Art
    • A-‘s school activity was to draw a picture of her family. She drew W-, me, J-, and herself with abstract circles.
  • Self-care and independence
    • W- asked J- to wash her face, and she did.
    • A- was a little clingy at school drop off, but she responded to the teacher’s invitation to check out new puzzles.
    • A- cried a lot at drop-off. We eventually had to peel her off me. The teachers said it took a while, but she eventually settled down.
  • Sleep
    • A- wanted to wait for W- to get home before starting bedtime routine. She lasted throughout dinner / evening snack, but fell asleep while we brushed her teeth.
    • A- slept in the presence of a babysitter for the first time!
  • Household
    • A- saw the lights we removed from her room. She said, “Can we reinstall that? I promise not to turn it on and off.”
    • A- figured out how to to fold a blanket neatly by asking me to hold up the other corners.
    • I cooked a lot while A- helped. I baked sausages, barbeque chicken drumsticks, and pizza.
  • Cognition
    • A- participated in an experiment at the Royal Conservatory of Music. Today’s session was about establishing a baseline, and there will be a follow-up session in April. The researcher and I were impressed by how A- patiently followed all the instructions. I think the researcher said most 3-year-olds usually have a hard time sitting through the session, but she did fine. On the receptive vocabulary test, she was able to handle things all the way up to adult level with a few guesses. She was able to subtract words from two-word phrases, and even some sounds. She combined words and blended many sounds. She repeated 4 random digits, but 5 was too tricky. She repeated sentences and made-up words. She matched most starting sounds (m/n and c/g confused her a little).
    • “I know! I have a solution! I can sleep on the crib mattress.”
    • A- picked up a ribbon. W- asked, “Is that longer than you are tall?” A- dangled it over her head and said, “Yeah.” She’s slowly getting the hang of measuring and comparing!
  • World
    • A- examined her tongue in the reflection from the faucet.

Blog posts

Time

Category The other week % Last week % Diff % h/wk Diff h/wk
Unpaid work 1.5 7.2 5.7 12.1 9.6
Discretionary – Family 0.6 2.3 1.8 3.9 3.0
Discretionary – Play 1.6 3.3 1.7 5.6 2.9
Business 0.7 2.1 1.4 3.5 2.4
Personal 8.5 8.7 0.2 14.7 0.3
Discretionary – Social 1.2 0.0 -1.2 0.0 -2.0
Discretionary – Productive 5.5 3.6 -1.9 6.0 -3.2
Sleep 37.4 34.7 -2.7 58.3 -4.5
A- 43.2 38.1 -5.1 64.0 -8.5

Weekly review: Week ending September 27, 2019

  • Gross motor
    • I helped A- climb up the ladder and go down the banana slide a few times.
  • Fine motor
    • The babysitter took A- to the library and borrowed a few books on Halloween crafts. They did a little tissue ghost.
  • Language
    • A- proudly mixed the pasta salad. She said, “I’m a chef. My food tastes yummy, you know?”
    • “Sheep is not a fan of getting wet.”
  • Music
    • A- mostly watched during music class.
    • A- made up her own counting down song about puppets on a wall.
  • Self-care and independence
    • After a little grumpiness about privacy, A- relented and let me go to the bathroom by myself while she waited in her room.
    • A- had a lot of separation anxiety at school drop-off. She wasn’t even looking forward to the watermelon snack that we saw her teacher prepare. It’s okay, I know she’ll get the hang of it. She knows how to be away from me, so this is probably mostly a reaction to how school is structured and how the teachers tell kids what to do.
    • Separation anxiety continues. Actually, it’s probably not about being away from me, but about dealing with more structured time.
  • Sleep
    • A- was practically falling asleep at the table, but she still wanted W- to help brush her teeth. She ended up going to bed at 9.
    • A- and I talked about how she resists going to sleep.
    • I had the energy and patience to gently shepherd A- through bedtime.
    • A- was so tired after school that she slept for the first two hours of the babysitter’s shift.
    • A- was getting cranky and resisting sleep, so I eventually set a limit on entertaining her. She was upset for a bit, but she settled down.
  • Emotion
    • A-‘s been a little contrary lately. After doing some research, I decided to think of contrariness and defiance as requests for reconnection. I ask her if she’s feeling disconnected and I snuggle her more. Now she’s taken to telling me that she feels disconnected and wants more connection time…
    • While A- was at school, I learned more about separation anxiety. I liked being able to reframe this as practice cooling down on her own, which makes me feel quite positive about it.
    • A- was upset at school drop-off, but she calmed down in time to join snack and crafting. The teacher reported that A- knew that she could go to the cool down couch to calm herself down. A- mentioned blowing some kind of green balloon.
  • Cognition
    • We checked out the Esso Family Math program at an EarlyON centre about 40 minutes from our house. It was a great reminder that I can talk to A- about math concepts like estimation and graphs. I think we’ve got a long way to go, but I’m glad we’re looking for more ways to make math part of everyday life.

Blog posts

Time

Category The other week % Last week % Diff % h/wk Diff h/wk
Business 2.1 13.8 11.7 23.1 19.6
Discretionary – Family 2.3 4.2 1.9 7.0 3.1
Discretionary – Social 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
Personal 8.7 8.5 -0.2 14.4 -0.3
Discretionary – Productive 3.6 1.7 -1.9 2.8 -3.2
A- 38.1 36.1 -2.0 60.6 -3.4
Discretionary – Play 3.3 1.1 -2.2 1.8 -3.7
Unpaid work 7.2 4.2 -3.0 7.0 -5.1
Sleep 34.7 30.5 -4.2 51.2 -7.1

Weekly review: Week ending August 30, 2019

  • Kaizen
    • We donated some of A-‘s old clothes to the drop-in centre, since people there also help young families.
    • I saw some network and CPU activity on my server that I wasn’t sure about, so I enabled longview and set ufw to deny all incoming and outgoing by default.
  • Us
    • I posted my backlog of journal entries.
    • A- told me she doesn’t want to wear her ocular prosthesis in winter because it gets cold, so we bounced around the idea of making a winter hat that has ear flaps and an integrated eye patch. Time to learn how to crochet again! It will give me something to do with my hands at the playground or at the drop-in centre, too. A- picked out brown yarn, and her Popo showed me a few things.
    • I updated my ledger.
    • I rewrote my yearly review to focus more on how I changed.
  • Gross motor
    • A- walked to the library.
    • A- had so much fun on the monkey bars. She swung across them with just a little help. She also figured out how to hook her knees over a bar, and she asked me to take pictures of her hanging all on her own.
    • We played at the playground. I helped A- climb. I noticed how much younger kids were more independent at the playground.
    • We thought about getting a scooter for A-.
  • Fine motor
    • A- made a cereal necklace. She also strung large beads together.
    • I experimented with doing planned activities after breakfast. We tried painting upside down, and we also used toothpicks and playdough to make a porcupine.
    • A- liked tracing shapes on my phone.
  • Language
    • “Are you alright?” I asked. A- replied, “I didn’t die. I’m still alive.”
  • Self-care and independence
    • We went to A-‘s cardiologist. The hole in her heart and the muscle bundle are about the same as last year, which is good news. We’ll see them again next year.
    • A- played while I washed dishes.
  • Eating
    • A- really liked sockeye salmon. She ate most of one fillet.
  • Emotion
    • A- and I had a small fight about wearing her conformer. She didn’t want to put it in, so after around ten minutes of trying to convince her, I gave up and put it away. Then she threw a tantrum about wanting me to put it in, but I told her that I didn’t want to play that game. I hugged her and helped her cry out her frustration. She asked me to read books, and that helped her settle down. I told her that I would put her conformer in if she asked me nicely and we didn’t fight about it, so she did.
  • Household
    • I brought a paper notebook to the playground. When A- saw me drawing in it, she came over and sat on the bench with me. We thought about chore day improvements together.
    • I wanted to try knitting while out and about. A- remembered that I had put my knitting kit on top of the bookshelf months and months ago.
  • Cognition
    • I tried the math fairy idea that I picked up from a Reddit parenting thread. A- really liked it. I changed the antagonist to a slightly grumpy fairy instead of a bad fairy, and we started by counting on fingers. A- soon graduated to being able to hold up the correct number of fingers for simple addition problems.
    • At the drop-in centre, A- wanted us to serve each other pretend food. I turned it into a memory game. I served her several pieces of pretend food on a tray. Then she closed her eyes while I added a new piece. When she opened her eyes, she identified what I’d added. We did quite a few rounds of this.
  • World
    • We went to the science centre to see the special exhibit on space. I like how they had lots of interactive exhibits, even though some of them didn’t work. A- liked being wrapped up in the sleep module. On the way back to the bus stop, we got to try out water bottle rockets. A- had lots of fun and went for several turns.

Blog posts

Time

Category The other week % Last week % Diff % h/wk Diff h/wk
Sleep 31.1 34.2 3.1 57.4 5.2
Unpaid work 2.7 5.5 2.9 9.3 4.8
Personal 3.0 4.1 1.1 6.9 1.8
Discretionary – Productive 3.3 3.6 0.3 6.0 0.5
Discretionary – Social 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
Discretionary – Play 1.2 0.7 -0.5 1.1 -0.9
Discretionary – Family 1.0 0.5 -0.5 0.8 -0.9
Business 1.5 0.4 -1.1 0.6 -1.9
A- 56.3 51.1 -5.2 85.9 -8.7

Weekly review: Week ending August 23, 2019

  • Kaizen
    • I sorted A-‘s old clothes by size and season.
  • Us
    • I filled in the jury questionnaire.
  • Gross motor
    • We spent the morning at a playground. Since A- seems to be well on track for literacy, it makes sense to focus on physical literacy too. Mens sana in corpore sano and all that. She had lots of fun climbing posts and sliding down the banana slide.
  • Fine motor
    • A- imitated me as I signed the alphabet, and she asked me to do it again.
    • A- liked using double-sided tape. It might be a handy way to stick things together, if I help her peel it off.
  • Sensory
    • We checked out Chelsea Playground. The sandbox has shade, water, and two counters for pretend. A- had fun playing with sand and mud. Worth the walk!
    • A- wanted to go swimming today. We got to the pool two hours before the preschool swim time. She found it to be a bit too cool to play outside with her summer clothes, so she chose to wait inside and read my phone copies of the books I made for her. When the pool opened, A- had fun experimenting with turning around, jumping, and floating on her back.
  • Language
    • I put some magnet letters on the fridge, and it turns out that A- can read the word “cat” and “top.” I asked her, “Are you learning to read?” She said, “No. I know how to read. My Mama reads books to me.”
    • A- read the following words using fridge magnets: cat, hat, sat, mat
    • W- on how to eat watermelon: “What some people do is they eat down to the part that has seeds and then they take it out.”
      A-: “I don’t want to do that. I have a different temperament. Different people have different temperaments.”
  • Art
    • I cut squares and equilateral triangles for A-. She decided to make them into houses for Duplo minifigures, and she asked me to add a chimney and a window.
  • Self-care and independence
    • At the playground, A- was able to independently get water from the fountain and carry it back to the sandbox. She did that several times. She liked looking for J- and sliding down with her, although she got jealous of my attention when she was got tired.
    • A-‘s mosquito bites bothered her. She asked me to look up what to do about them. We put on hydrocortisone, and we also tried an ice pack.
  • Eating
    • I made a watermelon sorbet. A- said, “My tongue likes cold things.”
  • Social
    • A- asked J- for a little A- time, and tried teaching J- how to spin around.
    • A- needed to be picked up and carried yesterday, and I didn’t have the energy to do so. Fortunately, W- stepped in.
    • We went to the IRC EarlyON parents’ potluck at the park. A- played pretend with other kids at the playground.
    • “I’m busy playing with other kids.” A- spent much of the afternoon playing with another kid around her age. She imitated how he climbed and jumped, and they took turns filling a bucket with sand.
  • World
    • We hooked up a button to the deposit module and A- played with it a bit. The gears have a tendency to go out of alignment.
    • I made a cardboard ball maze. It didn’t work very well, but it was able to demonstrate the idea.
    • I showed A- the rubber band game that Lola played when she was a kid.
  • Oops
    • Oops, I may have left the freezer ajar again (or at least someone did). We’ve made A- in charge of checking if I’ve closed it properly.
    • I dropped my keys while helping A- change out of her swimsuit. I recovered them from the lifeguard.
    • I was so worried about getting the bicycle and trailer down to the sidewalk without turning over the trailer that I left the shed wide open with my keys still in the lock. W- had to drive them over. I need to practise looking behind me even when I’m distracted.

Blog posts

Time

Category The other week % Last week % Diff % h/wk Diff h/wk
Discretionary – Productive 0.3 3.3 3.0 5.6 5.1
Sleep 28.8 31.1 2.3 52.2 3.9
Unpaid work 0.8 2.7 1.9 4.5 3.2
Business 0.0 1.5 1.5 2.5 2.5
Discretionary – Play 0.0 1.2 1.2 2.0 2.0
Discretionary – Family 1.0 1.0 0.0 1.6 0.0
Personal 3.1 3.0 -0.0 5.1 -0.1
A- 57.5 56.3 -1.2 94.6 -2.0
Discretionary – Social 8.7 0.0 -8.7 0.0 -14.5

Weekly review: Week ending August 16, 2019

  • Us
    • NAIA Terminal 1 had pretty short lines, so we got through security and immigration in 25 minutes.
    • I finally got to watch Captain Marvel and Avengers: Endgame on the plane.
  • Gross motor
    • A- worked hard on climbing a playground climbing structure. She also had fun sliding down a pole.
  • Fine motor
    • A- put several Duplo plates together and connected them with other pieces.
  • Sensory
    • “The water is so cold. So cold!” Despite the chill, A- waded in and out of the water many times.
  • Language
    • Someone asked me how our flight went. A- said, “Apparently we have a baby who doesn’t sleep much on airplanes.”
    • W- brought down a cardboard creation from the shelf so that we could reuse the material. A- said, “Oh, that’s the automaton!”
    • This week, A- began frequently saying things like “I’m so funny” and “That’s so funny.”
  • Art
    • A- likes disassembling pens so that she can glue the parts to cardboard.
    • A- and I talked about the balance between making random things out of cardboard and making planned things, since working on specific projects often involves my asking her to wait for me or not use a piece I’ve been working on. Following up on our conversation, we tried a crafting session where I focused on cutting squares and rectangles for A- to use however she liked. I’m totally okay with loose parts and process-oriented art, so this is cool.
  • Self-care and independence
    • A- picked her nose so much that it bled. We both have slight sniffles.
    • While we cooked, A- played with cardboard, skewers, and white glue on the kitchen floor.
  • Eating
    • W- splurged on grass-fed steak and I cooked cauliflower. Turned out really yummy, and even a small portion of it was satisfying. A- really liked the steak too.
  • Emotion
    • A- was overtired and frustrated, so she hit me a few times. I’ll look into gentle ways to handle situations like that.
  • Social
    • A-‘s cousin was a little grumpy and wanted to play on her own instead of with A-. A- said, “You don’t want to play with me. What can I do to make you feel better?”
    • “Ow, that hurt!” “I don’t want to say sorry! I’m too little.”
    • When A- got home, she said, “Hello, Luke. You’re such a sweet cat. Hello, Neko. I missed you.”
  • Pretend
    • A- talked to J- about her day and pretended to write a journal entry.
    • A- pretended to be Kendra.
    • A- liked tumbling her shoes down the slide before coming down. I started pretending that I found shoes that looked remarkably like A-‘s. She found that really amusing and asked me to say that again, and we roleplayed it several times.
    • A- said to W- and me, “We’re having a family picture. Gather all up and I’ll take your picture. Chk chk chk chk. Here’s your picture!”
  • Cognition
    • A- made alternating patterns with Duplo, and we talked about different Duplo brick types.
  • World
    • I made a flap-based salt dispenser using part of an egg carton. A- liked using it.
    • I tried making a glue stick dispenser, but it wasn’t precise enough or worth the hassle.
    • “I want to make the thing that Daddy has.” A- made a compass using craft sticks and a pen, all by herself.
    • I finally figured out how to build that coin-operated dispenser we saw in the video. The mechanism isn’t perfectly reliable, but it works decently well. A- had a lot of fun demonstrating how the machine behaved with and without a coin.
    • A- was curious about how the pedal on the bathroom trashcan worked. We looked at the mechanism, and I built a simplified cardboard pedal trashcan that worked.
    • I started working on the coin-operated vending machine mechanism.
  • Other
    • “I’m playing with the dog. Turns out Kaya is not scary.” A- and G* had lots of fun throwing a ball to the chocolate Lab.
    • We got lots of sunshine at the park. I like the redesigned park. It was pretty neat to see most of the things I asked for at the community consultation!

Blog posts

Time

Category The other week % Last week % Diff % h/wk Diff h/wk
A- 55.0 57.5 2.5 96.6 4.2
Personal 0.8 3.1 2.3 5.1 3.8
Discretionary – Social 7.0 8.7 1.7 14.5 2.8
Unpaid work 0.0 0.8 0.8 1.3 1.3
Discretionary – Family 0.5 1.0 0.4 1.6 0.7
Business 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
Discretionary – Play 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
Discretionary – Productive 0.5 0.3 -0.2 0.5 -0.4
Sleep 36.1 28.8 -7.4 48.3 -12.4