Category Archives: weekly

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Weekly review: Week ending December 27, 2019

  • Kaizen
    • We talked about declining, surviving, and thriving when it comes to our household.
    • I re-hemmed the curtains. They’re a little better now, although still not perfectly straight.
  • Us
    • I updated my investment records and did some analysis. I’m starting to feel more comfortable with using Pandas than with firing up Calc for pivot tables. :)
    • I sewed reusable produce bags from 17×20″ gauze pieces.
    • I added elastic to the waist of the peasant dress I made for A-, so now it doesn’t feel too big.
    • I felt so sleepy because of a bad cold and interrupted sleep. “Now it’s time for our traditional Christmas nap,” I declared. And wonder of wonders, A- actually joined in, even though it took her a little while to settle down. It felt great getting a bit more sleep.
  • Sensory
    • A- enjoyed catching medium-sized bubbles that W- blew. After I finished cleaning up the kitchen, we went outside to play with giant bubbles. A- was very amused by how W- kicked some of the bubbles.
    • We had fun figuring out how to blow bubbles within bubbles.
  • Art
    • We painted a small Christmas tree. I painted the outline, and A- and I filled it in. We also glued paper ornaments on.
  • Self-care and independence
    • A- was very proud of how she figured out how to deflate and inflate a beach ball.
    • We’re slowly practising having me step away and check in on A- from time to time. She was okay for the first few rounds of 5-10 minutes being away, cried the next two rounds of 10-15 minutes, and now seems to be patiently playing with Duplo. I’m getting sleepy, but I’ll check in with her a few times more.
    • A- asked to practise me going away and coming back.
    • I checked on A- because she had a hard time going to sleep. After I settled her down with hugs at 1-minute, 2-minute, and 5-minute intervals, I sat beside her to say goodnight. She patted me and said, “Go to sleep, go to sleep, go to sleep.”
  • Eating
    • A- was curious about the cheese samples at the grocery store. She also proudly bought her own chocolate with her allowance.
    • W- made lamb korma. A- liked it.
  • Sleep
    • We had a rough night in terms of sleep, since A- got a bit handsy. I think it might be time for me to stop co-sleeping.
    • More work on sleeping on her own. We’ve been experimenting with my going to sleep early while W- deals with her tantrums. The first night, she tired herself out crying, accepted some comfort from W-, and slept until 7. It was glorious! The second night, she was inconsolable at 3 AM. W- tried to settle her down, but reached his limit. I tagged in and worked on helping her wait quietly in bed (and also have the sense to be under a blanket).
  • Emotion
    • I got so tired and cranky that I had to ask W- to take over while I slept. He helped A- settle down. He thinks part of this might be boundary-testing, since she’s also a bit pushy with him.
    • A- was upset about sleeping on her own. “The room is so empty,” she cried.
    • A- woke up in the middle of the night and cried. When I checked on her, she said, “I just want company.”
    • One of A-‘s aunts gave A- a Blume doll. She was curious about it and wanted to open it right away, but needed a cuddle when she found out it could only “bloom” once. We spent a lot of time reading and rereading the books they gave her, though.
    • The day was a little tough due to some grumpiness about W- throwing things away because he had been grumpy about things on the floor, but W- helped make things right.
  • Household
    • Busy cooking day! I made lentil puree, falafel, and lumpiang shanghai. A- tried wrapping lumpia too.
    • Another cooking day! A- and I made bao following the recipe in Amy Wu and the Perfect Bao, and W- made molasses sugar cookies since A- liked them. A- made her own experimental dough.
    • On her own initiative, A- collected the discarded wrapping paper and put them into a large plastic bag as people opened gifts.
  • Social
    • “I will send you home with some lumpia.”
    • A- was a bit tired, but she still enjoyed playing with Ana, the babysitter. After Ana left, A- asked why Ana had to go.
    • A- had been talking to me about how she didn’t get along with Gung-gung because he kept asking her for snuggles. It was amazing to see her make an effort at the Christmas party, though. A- and I were playing with the kit of origami paper that we’d brought along. She decided to offer him something that she made, which he received with the appropriate gratitude. She asked him to make something for her. He was initially reluctant (probably trying to get her to teach him instead, but that wasn’t the game she wanted to play), so we coached him to just make something and give it to her. After a few exchanges, they were now on good enough terms to play patty cake. They did that for a bit, and then A- gave him a hug when I pointed out he was in hugging range. A- continued playing with him throughout the day, and even pulled him over by hand to sit beside her at dinner.
  • Pretend
    • A- had fun pretending she had different dials: silly/serious, awake/asleep, roly-poly/floppy, loud/quiet, and so on.
    • A- has been pretending to be A*, to the extended family’s amusement. When they asked when she would be A- again, she said, “Maybe when I go through puberty.” She gave the same answer when asked again towards the end of the day.
    • A- wanted to push a button, so I hung a measuring cup from a hook. She pushed it and said, “I requested Mama.”
  • Cognition
    • A- completed a 100-piece jigsaw puzzle with some help. Neither W- nor I had been sure about opening the puzzle, but A- was determined to try it, and she was proud of being able to finish it. I helped her figure out where most of the pieces went, and she put the pieces together and figured out a few pieces on her own.
  • Other
    • We bought some more red robot fabric. A- wants me to make a dress this time.

Blog posts

Time

Category The other week % Last week % Diff % h/wk Diff h/wk
Sleep 31.9 40.2 8.3 67.5 14.0
Discretionary – Family 0.6 4.8 4.2 8.1 7.1
Unpaid work 3.7 6.0 2.2 10.0 3.7
Personal 5.0 4.8 -0.2 8.0 -0.3
Discretionary – Productive 6.1 5.2 -0.9 8.7 -1.4
Business 2.7 1.6 -1.1 2.7 -1.9
Discretionary – Play 1.8 0.0 -1.8 0.0 -3.0
Discretionary – Social 3.2 0.0 -3.2 0.0 -5.4
A- 44.9 37.4 -7.5 62.9 -12.7

Weekly review: Week ending January 3, 2020

  • Kaizen
    • W- got an undercabinet light from IKEA for the kitchen. Nice upgrade. We experimented with adding lights over the sink, but we didn’t find a setup we liked.
    • We talked about learning more about photography and making good use of the lenses we have. It makes sense to focus on doing that this year.
      • It was so cold at the playground. I was glad to have brought a camera with physical controls, since I could use it even with my gloves on.
      • I experimented with focus bracketing. It doesn’t work so well with moving animals, but it’s handy for relatively still things.
    • Journal app
      • I updated my React app to use the Material UI toolkit and use functions instead of components.
      • I switched to using docker-compose. I also mounted folders instead of files, since the file contents weren’t getting updated due to changed inodes.
      • I added a navigation bar and an edit form to my React journal app.
      • I added picture linking to my journal. I learned the React way of keeping the state in a parent component and passing the props downwards.
      • I exported my journal entries for easy reading on my phone.
      • I learned how to use MongoDB to save and retrieve entries.
      • I added an “Other” field to my journal.
      • I added the ability to delete journal entries.
    • I read “Fair Play: A Game-Changing Solution for When You Have Too Much to Do (and More Life to Live)”. It echoed some of the things I’ve heard other parents talk about. I’m pretty okay (W- does so much!), but I want to make sure W- doesn’t feel overloaded. I like its four rules: all time is created equal; reclaim your right to be interesting; start where you are now; and establish your values and standards. I also like the point it makes about keeping concept, planning, and execution together as one person’s responsibility for each task. At the moment, my Unicorn Space is coding, and I’m getting better at giving myself permission to spend time on that.
  • Us
    • Cooking day! I made sticky rice, which turned out all right (even the dried shrimp). I tried a new ice cream recipe, and decided that the ratio of 1 cup cream to 200ml condensed was too sweet. I made fudge with leftover condensed milk. The baked ham was a bit overcooked but not burnt. Decent cooking day.
    • I sewed a dress for A- out of red robot flannel. I guessed the length of elastic for the casings at the neckline and waist, and I left myself a bit of extra in case she wants it widened.
  • Field trip
    • We met up with Melissa and H- at Riverdale Farm. A- liked watching the horse get groomed. She also enjoyed watching the pigs play, and she was very curious about why one pig licked the other pig’s behind. She liked watching the sheep, too.
  • Gross motor
    • A- pretended to be a can of milk being dispensed down a chute. She rolled and rolled down the crib mattress.
    • Luke threw up on the platform, so we needed a ladder to get up there to clean it. Naturally, A- wanted to climb the ladder too.
    • A- swung herself on the big kid swing.
    • A- dropped a stuffed toy from the tower. We declined to pick it up for her, so she figured out how to pick it up with her feet.
  • Fine motor
    • A- wanted to play the Boo and Aaa ticket game again.
  • Sensory
    • A- fidgeted a lot. I wonder if her hair is bothering her… She doesn’t want us to ask about it, though.
  • Language
    • “Speaking of…”
    • “I escaped pants. Now I’m over into the summer wear.”
    • “‘Vale’ to you, Mama, ‘vale.'” A- said goodbye in Latin.
    • “Merry Christmas. Good night. Thanks for visiting.”
    • “Did you capture my mo(tion)?”
    • “Why doesn’t J- see her little sister more often?”
    • A- was very interested in spelling A*’s name. She noticed that the letter E was missing, and spent some time puzzling over where it would go. She eventually figured it out when I pointed out that there was another label with A*’s name on it. She looked at that and promptly put E in the correct place.
    • I tried showing A- Anki flash cards based on a Reddit post I came across lately. She got some words very quickly (cat, A*), while other words took a while. I ordered a bunch of reading resources, and I’ll probably change the deck to be mostly based on those books and her other interests.
  • Music
    • We played with the sounds that rubber bands made.
  • Art
    • A- wanted me to rebuild the Santa LEGO thing.
  • Self-care and independence
    • A- cut her own breakfast sausage with a fork.
    • A- kicked me out of her room so that she could sleep.
  • Eating
    • I cooked salmon and yu choy today. A- liked it.
    • A- liked biting the heads off the anchovies. W- took pictures, and A- mostly followed his posing instructions.
  • Sleep
    • Woohoo, A- slept from 10pm to 8:30am without waking up! She had needed a second settling down.
    • A- was a bit clingy at bedtime. Eventually I got grumpy too. I stayed in the room with her and she cried to sleep (not intense crying, though). Might need to work on it some more.
    • I set a timer for 15 minutes of focused time. After that, I hugged A- good night. After I left, she cried for about 5-10 minutes, then fell asleep. I think it’s hard for her to sleep while I’m there, so we just have to get used to this.
    • A- had a hard time settling down to sleep. After my first goodbye, she cried and cried. I checked back in with her, read her a book, and left again. Eventually, I refused to read her another book and told her that it was okay for her to be bored. After I stepped out of the room, she cried for about five minutes. I think it will be easier if she just gets used to my being okay with her crying.
  • Emotion
    • A- played with H-. Every so often, A- took a break by asking W- to read to her. It’s interesting to see her go between being social and being more focused.
    • It’s surprising how powerful the fear of missing out is. It got A- to finish the vegetables, get into the bath, and so on.
  • Household
    • We went to IKEA to check out beds. We couldn’t decide on a bed frame, but A- liked the duvet cover and canopy on one of the display beds, so we got a twin duvet, the cover, and the canopy.
    • I was getting a little tense about A-‘s cooking experiments. W- reminded me that an egg is just an egg. I calmed down and remembered that buying lots of groceries is just like tuition for raising a cook, so it’s all good.
  • Social
    • We found out that A-s current favourite babysitter will be scaling back her availability. Need to try a few more people again!
    • Lola felt lonely. She said, “The house is too quiet.” A- said, “Our house is noisy. You should transfer to our house.”
    • We emailed thank you notes for the gifts that A- received.
    • We met up with Melissa and H- at the playground. H- and A- sometimes had trouble taking turns, but for the most part, they got along very well and were able to manage playing together and playing apart as needed. A- had so much fun, she invited them over afterwards.
    • We visited Joy and J1 even though we hadn’t coordinated before dropping by. The kids all had fun. J1 was fascinated by the camera and wanted to use it everywhere.
    • Although A- got a little jealous around H- at the farm, she still wanted to invite them over to our house afterwards. We had an impromptu dinner party with a good spread (lumpia, scrambled eggs, bitter melon, stirfried veg, carrot sticks). Melissa and I even got to read a little.
  • Pretend
    • A- waited patiently for her turn with the photo cut-outs at IKEA. She wanted to play in the indoor play area there too, but it was full.
    • A- pretended to take a spam phone call and had a long conversation.
  • Other
    • A- decided against trying the play area at IKEA. Instead, she ate a pizza slice while W- shopped for lights for the kitchen.
    • A- was proud of her camera. She took a few pictures with it, enjoyed feeling it dangle from her wrist, and mentioned it several times to Melissa.

Blog posts

Time

Category The other week % Last week % Diff % h/wk Diff h/wk
Discretionary – Productive 5.2 14.6 9.4 24.5 15.7
Discretionary – Social 0.0 1.8 1.8 3.0 3.0
A- 37.4 38.9 1.5 65.4 2.5
Personal 4.8 5.7 0.9 9.6 1.5
Discretionary – Play 0.0 0.6 0.6 1.0 1.0
Unpaid work 6.0 5.0 -0.9 8.4 -1.6
Business 1.6 0.0 -1.6 0.0 -2.7
Discretionary – Family 4.8 1.3 -3.5 2.2 -5.9
Sleep 40.2 32.1 -8.1 53.9 -13.6

Weekly review: Week ending December 20, 2019

  • Kaizen
    • I worked on putting my journal thing into a container and creating a form for new entries.
  • Us
    • I went to the dentist. One tiny new cavity – oh well!
    • While the kids played, Melissa and I talked about copywriting and pitches.
    • I filed HSA claims for some of our expenses.
    • I cooked falafel.
  • Gross motor
    • We made it to the drop-in centre before the first circle time and stayed until closing. A- was fascinated by the pool noodles in the gym.
  • Fine motor
    • A- was interested in some of the wooden building toys at the drop-in.
  • Sensory
    • A- liked swishing the dried navy beans around.
    • A- had fun dancing with W-.
    • A- liked being rolled up and down.
    • A- enjoyed sledding down the tiny pile of snow in the backyard.
    • A- had so much fun with the cushion-and-scarf fort that one of the other parents of 3-year-olds organized. It was all one big wriggling pile of preschoolers for a little while.
    • I made a batch of giant bubble solution and A- had fun catching them on the deck.
    • A- kept fidgeting today. I asked her about it and she said her dress was too big, but she kept fidgeting even after she had changed into a T-shirt and shorts for bed.
  • Language
    • “I’m not a big fan of gray and black.”
  • Self-care and independence
    • A- really wanted a lollipop. She asked me several times throughout the day. In the evening, we all discussed it. I explained I was concerned about how lollipops mean teeth are exposed to sugar for a long time. We settled on three licks before rinsing the lollipop and freezing it for next time.
    • W- trimmed A-‘s bangs.
  • Eating
    • A- learned about dipping cookies in milk to soften them.
  • Sleep
    • A- was motivated to go to sleep because she wanted to wake up early the next day to see W-. She whispered a song to herself (Tommy Thumbs are Up, complete with hand motions), tossed and turned a little, and fell asleep.
    • I reminded A- that if she wanted to wake up to have breakfast with W- (and be well-rested enough to avoid having a tantrum), she should sleep early. And she did!
  • Emotion
    • A- had a tantrum about not wanting her cantaloupe cut into chunks. (“I don’t want lines!”) After some time crying on the floor, she accepted our suggestion of trying it with her eyes closed. She ended up calming down completely and having lots of cantaloupe, savouring the experience of eating it with her eyes closed.
    • A- was a little grumpy today, hitting me and reflexively negating what I said. We experimented with me translating her “No, you do…” negation as “I need love!” instead, and she seemed to respond well to that. She invented a hand signal for it too, and she used it throughout the night. I guess I need to get better at paying proper attention to her and maybe having a routine of special time / independent time.
  • Household
    • A- insisted on buying Raincoast Crisps with her allowance. The crackers were pricy, but she decided they were worth the expense.
    • So much cooking! We made baked beans, arroz caldo, applesauce, and ice cream in a bag. All of us spent the whole day cooking or eating, and it was great.
    • A- gleefully used the apple corer to help make applesauce.
    • A- helped tidy up the the water table. The tray was on a chair, and the kids went back and forth as needed. Maybe next year we’ll help her learn to set up the tray.
    • A- can seal some kinds of Ziploc bags now.
    • A- took the initiative to wash the mirrors in the bathroom.
  • Social
    • I got really grumpy about feeling touched out in the middle of the night, when A- woke up and kept asking for snuggles. W- woke up to help. Having a bit of alone time helped a bit. A- was calm enough to plead with me, saying, “Please don’t push.”
    • We had another problem-solving conversation over dinner. I suggested seeing if spooning would meet A-‘s snuggling needs without triggering my aversion to being handled. We also talked about the idea of using a timer.
    • A- was asking the same question again and again, so we talked to her about different ways to keep the conversation going when she can’t think of something to add. W- suggested talking about the weather, and I suggested saying something she observes or saying something positive about the other person. A- took W-‘s suggestion and started talking about the nighttime sky, which led to a conversation about seeing stars.
    • A- was really excited about getting face paint on Sunday morning. She sprung out of bed when our alarm went off at 7. When we went to check on W-, I crawled into bed for a snuggle and a nap. A- turned on the lights and loudly sang a song about asking for face paint.
    • After the drop-in program ended, Melissa and H- joined us at the library, and then came over to our house to play. The kids were having so much fun playing games like hide and seek that I was even able to cook dinner for all of us.
    • “I’m wearing a dress my Mama made!” A- proudly showed it to Mrs. Ewa during Music class.
    • After the drop-in program, we joined Melissa and H- for a trip up to a craft store in the Stockyards. A- and H- were able to stay close, be careful with things, and not have tantrums. After that, we visited H-‘s house, where the kids played all afternoon.
    • On our way home from playing with Melissa and H-, I asked A-, “Were you and H- good friends today?” She replied, “She’s becoming one.”
    • A- cheerfully greeted many people merry Christmas. She also sang Skinnamarink to the parent worker (complete with hand gestures). She was in great spirits.
    • A- noticed Lola sounded sad. A- said, “Don’t worry. It’s okay. We’ll always be here.”
    • We chatted with Lola, Tita Kathy, and A-‘s cousins in the morning.
    • “Ana is on the yes list.” (talking about babysitters)
  • Pretend
    • A- asked for astronaut face paint, so that’s what we did.
    • After reading Amy Wu and the Perfect Bao a few times, A- and I made playdough bao.
    • A- was really interested in modeling a toilet connected to a septic tank, complete with having a sewage truck come by, empty the tank, and go to the treatment plant.
    • A- enjoyed the big cardboard box at the drop-in centre. “A cardboard box can be anything!”
  • Cognition
    • It’s pretty amazing to see A- becoming more reasonable. Yesterday, she was on the verge of a tantrum, but she was able to calm down because she chose to keep playing with her friend. Today, she went to sleep because she wanted to be able to wake up early tomorrow.
    • A- asked for bedtime stories about a little fairy named A-, so the little fairy helped a Christmas tree by doing addition and the Mama fairy helped the little fairy fix the moon by doing subtraction.
  • Other
    • A- hummed as a way of trying to whistle.

Blog posts

Time

Category The other week % Last week % Diff % h/wk Diff h/wk
Discretionary – Social 0.0 3.2 3.2 5.4 5.4
Discretionary – Play 0.0 1.8 1.8 3.0 2.9
Unpaid work 2.0 3.7 1.7 6.3 2.9
Personal 3.5 5.0 1.4 8.4 2.4
Discretionary – Family 0.1 0.6 0.5 1.1 0.9
Business 3.3 2.7 -0.6 4.6 -1.0
Discretionary – Productive 6.7 6.1 -0.7 10.2 -1.1
Sleep 35.3 31.9 -3.4 53.5 -5.7
A- 48.9 44.9 -4.0 75.5 -6.7

Weekly review: Week ending December 13, 2019

  • Kaizen
    • I wrote some code to help me categorize journal entries by regular expressions.
    • I learned how to use this.props to pass data to React components, a Chrome extension to save the rendered HTML, and pandoc with a template to make it a two-column file that I could edit a little more in a word processor. This allowed me to experiment with grouping journal entries by month or by category, making PDFs and HTML files that I can flip through on the tablet. My journal entries since July 2017 fill about 120 pages in two-column mode with 9pt font. I wonder what format might be worth printing it in as an extra backup, and how I can make it easier to map things to the ELECT framework or my own outline. So many moments! Oh, I should totally make something that shows the same week in different years, and something that shows me random entries…
    • My new glasses arrived!
    • I figured out how to add thumbnails of the day’s images to my LaTeX export of journal entries.
    • I wrote a script to download this year’s non-archived photos from Google Photos.
  • Us
    • I finished the bicycle print skirt for A-.
    • I fleshed out a few more journal entries for this year.
    • I made a jersey dress for A-, using a fabric marker to draw purple hearts on it as she requested. I still have a lot to learn about making dresses, but it’s a good start.
  • Field trip
    • We went to the science centre. It was pretty quiet, so A- got to play with all of her favourites easily.
  • Fine motor
    • 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- used the water gun to in the bathtub. She also wanted to be shot with the water gun.
    • A- wanted to put some paint on my nose, so I smudged it on her via my nose.
  • Language
    • While carrying A-, W- said, “Wait, how did you get to be so heavy?” A- said, “Weight,” and then proceeded to laugh uproariously.
    • A- tried on the sunglasses that Joy put into the loot bags for J2’s party. I tried them on too, and they fit me. A- said, “Looking good, everyone!” (She picked it up from the Eraser book.)
    • “I sneezed and farted at the same time.”
    • A- liked the idea of a book tree from Yoko Learns to Read, so we made one for her.
  • Music
    • After the teacher led the class in singing the alphabet song, A- sang the Latin alphabet song (it skips J and W) and then told everyone what it was. Later that afternoon, she sang Here Comes the Magistra too.
  • Art
    • “Look at what the sunshine drew!” A- liked how the yellow pastel looked on a black background. She drew a rectangular frame and lots of lines passing through the center.
    • “Look, I put dustings on the table. I’m making a lot of dust.” A- wanted to play with the pastels again.
    • “Look at what I’m making, but don’t help me.” A- made up her own origami, folding and refolding paper.
    • A- and I talked about the art in Eraser. She was curious about why Eraser looked bigger in some drawings and smaller in others, why Eraser was drawn with glasses and ponytails, and so on.
  • Self-care and independence
    • A- wanted me to stay in the classroom during music class. She was still able to follow the teacher’s instructions, checking in with me only two times during the class. It was nice hearing her sing.
    • A- had a 38.3C fever, so she snuggled up and got plenty of rest.
    • A- talked to me about how she doesn’t want to go to school because of teachers, and how she wants to be left alone to do her own thing.
  • Eating
    • A- really liked the fish.
  • Sleep
    • A- was a little out of control at bedtime, trying to climb up my shoulders even though I said no. She just needed help going to sleep. She quickly fell asleep when I snuggled her with rain sounds.
    • It took a long time to put A- to sleep tonight, probably due to a combination of birthday party sugar and an afternoon nap. I resorted to insisting on doing my own things while in the same room, so I updated my journal and selected posts for Emacs News.
    • A- woke up quickly but missed W-.
    • A- and I had a serious problem-solving discussion about our cosleeping arrangement, since I’ve been getting grumpy about stuff. She said, “We have two problems. One is I don’t want you to leave.” I dutifully wrote it down and prompted her about the second problem. “I keep touching Mama.” We fleshed out the considerations. Sshe doesn’t want to feel all alone, and I don’t want my sleep interrupted by fighting her hands. We sketched out some ideas. She suggested that I sit up all through the night. I wrote that down. She suggested having a mesh divider between our beds, so that she could still see me but wouldn’t just sleepily crawl over. We dragged a laundry basket over to try it out. I asked what I should do if she came over anyway, and we talked about whether I should keep putting her back in her bed even if she cried. I suggested my being in a different room but coming back when she needed me, since she was actually able to deal with that last night.
    • I’m trying the laundry basket idea so that I can show A- that I take her suggestions seriously.
  • Emotion
    • A- was a little grumpy about not wanting to be on her feet.
    • A- had a huge tantrum about not wanting to go to school because teachers tell her what to do, which morphed into a tantrum about not wanting to be on her feet. However, she was still able to let go of me when I pointed out that if I didn’t pack lunch, we would have to come home after school instead of going to her favourite drop-in.
    • A- had a tantrum about wanting to pay at the grocery store because I tapped my credit card on the terminal instead of letting her go it. After she calmed down, she picked a package of chewy ginger candy and paid for it with her allowance. I had warned her that it would be a little spicy, but she said she liked a little spice. She found it too chewy, though, so maybe W- will have it instead.
  • Household
    • A- wanted to make up a recipe involving two eggs and a large splash of oat milk. We ended up turning it into blueberry-apple pancakes. She was so proud of her creation.
  • Social
    • 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.
    • A- and I went to J2’s birthday party. Joy had made so many crafty decorations. I kept the kids occupied with songs and hide-and-seek until the meal started, and then there was an entertainer who did party games, balloon animals, and facepaint. A- hesitated a little, but she joined the group when she saw J-. She had so much fun that we ended up leaving only after an oops and a meltdown, and she napped on the way back.
    • It’s wonderful seeing A- so keen on interacting with J-. She’s always happy to see J- and has many things to say to her.
    • One of the greeters at the science centre drew A- into a conversation by asking her name and introducing himself. After the usual pleasantries, the greeter waved her in and wished her a good day. A- paused and asked, “Why do you only do kids’ names?” She noticed that I hadn’t introduced myself.
  • Pretend
    • A- pretended to be a sandwich.
    • “Look at all these vegetables I harvested.”
  • Cognition
    • We attended a session of the Esso family math program at Scadding Court. It was pretty similar to the one we attended at the centre on Dufferin, so we emailed the teachers to let them know we will just go to drop-in centres instead of completing the workshop series. I really liked picking up math tips from the workshop series we went to, so I’ll review my notes while A- plays.
  • Other
    • The babysitter finished her large bottle of water, so A- repurposed it. W- drilled a hole in the cap.
    • We tried looking for fabric for a dress for A-, but she didn’t like any of the choices. She wanted something with pink and purple stripes (and no other colours). I guess this will either be a good opportunity to learn how to use fabric paint or Spoonflower, or to learn how to choose from what’s available!
    • We bought a pair of toddler size 7 winter boots and a dress from Once Upon a Child.
  • Oops
    • W-‘s door came off its hinge, probably because of A-‘s tantrum this morning. Oops!

Blog posts

Time

Category The other week % Last week % Diff % h/wk Diff h/wk
Sleep 31.5 35.3 3.7 59.2 6.3
A- 45.5 48.9 3.5 82.2 5.8
Business 1.5 3.3 1.8 5.6 3.0
Personal 3.4 3.5 0.2 5.9 0.3
Discretionary – Family 0.2 0.1 -0.1 0.1 -0.2
Discretionary – Social 1.2 0.0 -1.2 0.0 -2.0
Discretionary – Productive 7.9 6.7 -1.2 11.3 -2.0
Discretionary – Play 3.3 0.0 -3.3 0.1 -5.6
Unpaid work 5.4 2.0 -3.4 3.4 -5.7

Weekly review: Week ending December 6, 2019

  • 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

Time

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

Weekly review: Week ending November 29, 2019

  • Kaizen
    • I went through the Google Photos archive, deleting or archiving photos that were similar to other photos. Now the photos after Dec 2017 should be easier to skim. I’m thinking of writing a small tool that will make it easy for me to match up photos with journal entries from a CSV.
    • I used opencv to try to detect spans and reshape my long sketchnotes into other shapes. That would make it easier for me to review notes from Samsung Notes.
    • I dug deeper into Samsung Notes, Autodesk Sketchbook, and Medibang Paint. I think I’ll try making my next few notes in Medibang Paint, since I prefer its smoothing, colour selection, and PNG export.
  • Us
    • I uploaded the Emacs conference videos to Youtube, added links to the description, and replied to the Reddit thread asking about them.
    • While A- and H- played, I helped Melissa with Inkscape and Canva.
    • I made a React and Express thing to display pictures and journal entries.
    • I read “The ‘Me Me Me’ Epidemic” and took notes on my phone. I liked how it had practical tips on establishing boundaries and encouraging self-efficacy.
    • A two-book day! I skimmed “Practical Wisdom for Parents” while A- was in class and “Teach the Whole Preschooler” while A- played with playdough and while settling her into bed.
    • I gave some feedback on an application to an entrepreneurship program.
    • I was a bit inefficient on the bicycle today, going back and forth for things I’d forgotten. Still, it felt great to be out.
    • I sewed some shorts for A-. They’re a little too loose, so I need to adjust the elastic.
  • Gross motor
    • We swam at the community centre near St. Clair and Lawrence. A- wanted me to bike there, so I did.
    • I realized I had a library book that was due that night, so A- and I went for a walk. She made it all the way there and back!
  • Fine motor
    • A- practised snapping her fingers close to our ears so that we could hear her. When she did it, she opened her hand and said, “Magic!”
    • A- wanted to juice some oranges. I said it was okay as long as she squeezed them herself.
  • Language
    • A- was curious about Tsuki’s diary entries and came up with some of her own.
    • A- picked up some words from the Song School Latin book and CD. She said, “Salve! Salve!” to people walking by.
    • A- can use long phrasal adjectives: “That’s a turning-lights-on chair.”
  • Self-care and independence
    • A- started off a bit scared at the playground. “I don’t feel very safe,” she said, and she needed help navigating the playset. She eventually regained her confidence.
    • A- reminded me to bring her indoor shoes, so we went back. Still made it to school on time!
    • A- wanted me to stay close by as she played with the babysitter, and she occasionally needed cuddle breaks. That’s okay, it’s a long-term investment. I worked on my laptop on the sofa, and then I cooked dinner.
    • A- didn’t want to wear any of her other clothes because she wanted something with “girl colours.” She asked me to make a skirt for her, so we went to the fabric store. She ended up picking a red version of some robot flannel we had used for her bibs long ago.
    • A- used some of her allowance to buy Ritz crackers and chicharon. She also insisted on buying two types of pasta herself, even going so far as to take them back out of our basket when we offered to pay for them. I decided to reimburse her when we got home, though, since she’s saving up for a LEGO kit.
  • Sleep
    • A- was bothered by some sounds, so we tried out using my phone to play rain sounds. She eventually fell asleep. Throughout the week, I experimented with sitting up and pattting A- to sleep instead of lying down with her. It seems like a promising way to help her sleep while still having some time for myself in the evening. I explained to her that I tended to start falling asleep if I lay down with her, and since she still falls asleep slowly, that sometimes meant I got cranky, and I didn’t want to get cranky. She seems to accept that reasoning.
    • I experimented with just patting A-‘s back and shushing if she woke up in the middle of the night. She kept waking up, though, and eventually insisted on snuggling with me. Maybe she got cold? She didn’t want a blanket, though.
    • Rough night. A- was too awake after a late afternoon nap, so she kept fidgeting in bed. I was getting crankier and crankier because I was tired and feeling sick. Eventually W- had to step in. He played with A- while I napped in our room, and then he woke me up when A- was more ready for sleep.
  • Emotion
    • A- had a tantrum about wanting to make rice. W- had been a bit frustrated from that morning’s slow start, so he ended up flipping his lid a bit too. Fortunately, I stayed calm, so we were able to deescalate.
    • A- and I talked about school. She said she wanted only mommy all the time.
    • A- had a tantrum about being on her feet. W- picked her up because she was having a hard time.
  • Household
    • A- helped rake the leaves.
    • I was worrying about finding an uncatalogued library book that we needed to return. I read out the numbers I was looking for. A- held up a book and asked if it was it, and it was! It was probably coincidental, but still much appreciated.
    • A- still had plenty of energy after our bedtime routine, so she helped me wash dishes, sort laundry, and tidy up. Then we painted together, and she independently played with playdough for a bit.
  • Social
    • H- painted A-‘s nails.
    • A- asked, “What kind of water are you giving me?” I answered, “Coconut.” A- deliberately turned away from me as I poured it, saying, “I’m making it a surprise.” When I finished pouring, I said, “Surprise!” She asked, “What kind of water is this?” I said, “It’s coconut!”
  • World
    • A- and I talked about Santa and presents.
  • Oops
    • I accidentally knocked my glasses off my face and onto the road, so one of the lenses chipped. Since my emergency pairs are in worse condition, I ordered two more pairs from Zenni.

Blog posts

Time

Category The other week % Last week % Diff % h/wk Diff h/wk
Discretionary – Productive 3.1 13.8 10.6 23.1 17.9
Unpaid work 4.4 6.3 1.9 10.6 3.3
Personal 4.1 4.1 0.1 6.9 0.1
Discretionary – Social 0.6 0.6 -0.0 1.0 -0.0
A- 41.5 41.2 -0.3 69.2 -0.5
Discretionary – Family 1.1 0.2 -0.9 0.4 -1.5
Discretionary – Play 3.8 0.8 -3.0 1.4 -5.0
Sleep 35.2 31.4 -3.8 52.7 -6.4
Business 6.3 1.6 -4.7 2.7 -7.9

I stayed up late a few nights to do some coding, I read while A- was at kindergarten readiness, and I prioritized personal projects instead of consulting. That’s why Discretionary – Productive had such a big jump. It felt good to work on my own things, though.