Category Archives: weekly

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Weekly review: Week ending November 1, 2019

  • Kaizen
    • At the end of the family math program we went to, the teacher pulled me aside to give me some tips. She said that A- reminded her of her son because A- is pretty quick and knows what she wants to do. She shared how her son had gotten bored in school, so she asked the teacher to engage him by asking him to help some of his classmates learn. She also asked the teacher to borrow interesting books from other classrooms, since he had read all the ones in their classroom already. She said that teachers sometimes have their hands full with the other students, so it may help to have specific ideas to try.
  • Us
    • I did some more Python modeling and explored a few different scenarios.
    • I managed to work one and a half hours while A- was at her kindergarten readiness program. It’s not quite enough time to get deeply into a program, but because it’s during the business day, I can coordinate with people and do some troubleshooting.
    • I gave away 700+ temporary tattoos for Halloween, 2-4 at a time. I hope they survived the rain! We also gave away some sweet treats.
    • It’s getting quite chilly. Definitely time for thermals!
    • We had the Emacs Conf 2019 conference, hooray! We survived the inevitable tech hiccups thanks to our preparations and a wonderful community of patient attendees and volunteers. Lots of good stuff to learn from, talk about, and build on. I’m looking forward to actually being able to watch the talks instead of running around like a headless chicken. =) Doing it as a virtual conference worked out really, really well, and I look forward to doing that again next year!
  • Fine motor
    • I was sick, so I catnapped on the couch. When I checked on A-, I found that she had scribbled fairly recognizable letters on pieces of paper: B, D, C, R.
  • Language
    • On eating salmon: “I officially like skin.” I wasn’t sure if A- intended the pun or not (o-FISH-ally?), but it made me smile.
    • The Esso family math program reminded me to help A- practise using comparison words like big, bigger, and biggest. So when A- wanted to pretend to throw snowballs at each other, I told her I was throwing a heavy snowball at her. She echoed it back, saying she threw a heavy snowball at me. I said I threw a heavier snowball at her, and she said she threw the heaviest snowball at me. I then pretended to fall down and get trapped under the snowball, which amused her greatly.
    • A- negotiated for one more video by saying, “One more. it was a very smooth bedtime routine.”
    • A- spelled her name out with stickers.
  • Self-care and independence
    • A- and I were handing out candy for Halloween. We included some that A- had sorted out of her trick-or-treating harvest. W- brought out a container of Rockets that A- had collected. A- said, “Let’s not give those away.”
    • A- was interested in taking a Thermos food container to school. She asked if J- had grown out of them, and if she was growing into them.
    • A- and I got our flu shots. She was definitely not keen on it going in, but I insisted. She was still upset afterwards, although she calmed down after getting a couple of stickers. I wonder if I can try other ways to help her cope.
    • W- reinstalled the lights in A-‘s room. They’re placed low enough for her to turn on and off by herself. A- had asked for them back a week or two ago, saying, “Now that I’m good at listening, can we reinstall my lights?” We had experimented with them when she was much younger, but we took them away because she kept flicking them on and off when it was bedtime. Now it seems to be okay.
  • Eating
    • A- ate a lot of salmon. I found that eating pomegranate together with pomelo was a nice combination.
  • Emotion
    • A- was a little stubborn after her kindergarten readiness program’s Halloween party. She insisted on going all the way up the stairs, and wouldn’t come back down so that I could get our things. I didn’t feel comfortable letting her wait there, since she might wander off or make people concerned that she’s unattended. Eventually she got tempted back down by circle time, and that gave me a opportunity to collect our stuff. I wonder if the party had been a little overstimulating, as the music was a bit loud.
  • Social
    • A- was not getting along with the babysitter. She had felt self-conscious earlier because the babysitter had asked if her eye was okay when A- was rubbing it. A- had tried to change the subject with, “Let’s go play,” but the babysitter had persisted. The babysitter also kept calling her by a nickname even when she asked to be called by her full name. As a result, A- kept wanting to go play with W- or me instead, and that wasn’t working out. I also didn’t like how the babysitter preferred to sit by herself and be on her phone whenever A- wandered downstairs to look for us, instead of accompanying A-, narrating what was going on, helping A- stay safe and out of the way, and looking for something to draw A- back. So I dismissed the babysitter a few hours early and spent the rest of the time playing with A-. I also talked to A- about more explicit requests like saying, “I don’t want to talk about it,” and I started thinking about what tips to give babysitters to help the two of them get along. I know it’s pretty challenging because we’re all home. She likes her favourite babysitters so much that she asks me why I’ve come upstairs, but new babysitters are hit-or-miss. We’ll try a few more, and if that doesn’t work, then I’ll probably shift to only having weekend sitters when A-‘s favourite ones are available, and having weekday sitters otherwise.
    • I was sick and sleepy, so W- played with A- a bit at bedtime. He was trying to get her to stay in the room so that he could go downstairs and bring up some Duplo, but she wanted to stay with him. He told her that he could go faster if he went by himself. She said, “Together we have four hands.”
    • We were on the subway train home. I told A-, “I love you.” A- loudly proclaimed, laughing, “I love ketchup more than I love Mama.” I laughed too. She followed up with, “I love fries more than I love Mama.” Someone in the seat across from us was laughing and laughing at the conversation.
    • The kindergarten readiness teacher said that the kids had a hard time listening that day. I asked A- about it later. She said, “I listened to the teacher. She gave me a thumbs up.” When I saw the teacher, she confirmed that A- did okay.
    • A- was eating dinner while on W-‘s lap, and her hands were messy. “These were clean pants, honey,” he remonstrated. She picked up a kitchen towel and proceeded to dab at his shirt.
    • A- played I Spy with her grandmother over video chat. That worked out pretty well.
  • Pretend
    • A- wanted to be a kitty firefighter for Halloween, so I opened the face paint kit and painted her face.
  • Cognition
    • A- helped me make Halloween loot bags for a few kids we know personally. She distributed one of each kind of candy into the bags.
  • World
    • W- took A- for her first hair cut at a salon. We decided to go with a grown-up salon instead of having to fight with all the toy purchase temptations at the kids’ salon near us. The hair stylist probably got the better end of the deal, since she just did maybe 10 minutes of trimming and still got her full fee. Still, it’s a good way to slowly get used to things like that!

Blog posts

Time

Category The other week % Last week % Diff % h/wk Diff h/wk
Business 0.9 4.3 3.4 7.2 5.7
Personal 4.8 6.4 1.6 10.7 2.7
Discretionary – Play 1.5 2.4 0.9 4.1 1.5
Discretionary – Social 0.4 0.9 0.5 1.5 0.8
Sleep 33.2 33.5 0.3 56.3 0.5
Discretionary – Family 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
Unpaid work 3.0 2.5 -0.6 4.2 -0.9
A- 43.8 42.7 -1.1 71.8 -1.8
Discretionary – Productive 12.3 7.3 -5.1 12.2 -8.5

Weekly review: Week ending October 25, 2019

  • Us
    • It was really easy to use pandas in Python to pivot a table. I’m glad I’m doing this in code instead of in spreadsheets!
    • I drafted thank you cards on my phone at night and then wrote them while A- was at kindergarten readiness class. It was nice to put some thought into it.
    • While A- played with H-, I helped Melissa set up email and think about business.
    • We tested the streaming setup for Emacs Conf.
  • Fine motor
    • A- scribbled loops.
  • Language
    • “What do you want to bring for show and tell today? Sheep or water bottle?” “Both. Sheep is for show and tell, and water bottle is for snack time. That’s pretty reasonable.”
    • A- made up a rhyming song.
    • A- delighted in pointing out rhyming words.
    • A- looked at the sign on the streetcar. “Why does the streetcar have ‘POP’?” I explained that POP stands for proof of payment. She’s reading signs!
  • Self-care and independence
    • W- observed that A- gets a little more talkative when she’s sick. When the babysitter arrived, A- announced, “I’m more chatty than normal.”
  • Emotion
    • A- had a tantrum about not wanting to walk and not wanting to feed herself. She said, “I don’t like walking. it wastes my energy.” I held firm, and she eventually calmed down.
  • Social
    • We established firmer boundaries about picking A- up to calm her down when she’s upset. She’s getting heavier, so it’s not working so well for me, and I also want to help her get better at calming down on her own. I said I can snuggle her while sitting down if she needs a hug, but carrying her is for when we feel good about each other and I have lots of energy.
    • H- was having a hard time on the playdate. I asked A- if she wanted to wrap up. She said, “I want to wait for H- to calm down and then play after.”
    • A- often talks about bucket filling and bucket dipping. I’m glad we followed Kathy’s recommendation to check out “Have You Filled a Bucket Today?”, since it seems to give her useful words for describing social behaviour.
    • We made thank you cards and gifts for A-‘s teachers. A- insisted on giving them the gift cards herself, and she also dictated her own cards to give in addition to the ones I wrote.
    • “I want my fingernails to be pretty for people. I should paint my fingernails at home soon.”
    • We had a group video chat with A-‘s Lola and Tita Kathy. A- was mostly watching them catch up. Lola asked Tita Kathy, “Do you want me to send dried mangoes over for Christmas?” A- said, “Hmm. Of course.”
    • A- was really set on going on a car trip with W- and the babysitter, so they came along as W- took care of a few errands.
    • “Now that I’ve tried it, it’s my favourite.”
  • Cognition
    • The family math program session focused on comparison words (small, smaller, smallest; big, bigger, biggest; …). It was a good reminder to work those words into playdough time. There was a shape-sorting activity and a colour-sorting activity where kids picked one type of thing to collect and then they scrambled to get those things from a pile on the floor. The kids also glued paper-and-pompom fruit trees with sequences of numbers.
    • I asked the teacher about structured learning time. Seems like a good idea to start with something small (maybe 5-10 minutes), fun, and interesting, and then make that kind of planned activity part of the routine. I can also do a lot by infusing more learning into A-‘s free play time at drop-in centres. I wonder if I should have a little structured tracing time every day so that I can help A- learn how to write her name…
    • I thought the RelationShapes app was just a little too advanced for A- because resizing and rotating the shapes is a little hard for her, and she tends to move things around randomly or rely on the magic wand to give her clues. She revisited some earlier levels, though, and she was able to do them with just a bit of verbal prompting. She’s curious about the game, so it might be something handy to keep around. I wonder if there’s a dice-based board game I can have on my phone that requires us to move tokens, or if it makes sense to just have a random number generator and draw the board on my sketchpad.
  • World
    • H- and A- played with the screen door, pouring and spraying water on it. They tried many interesting things.

Blog posts

Time

Category The other week % Last week % Diff % h/wk Diff h/wk
A- 35.6 43.8 8.2 73.6 13.8
Discretionary – Productive 9.6 12.3 2.8 20.7 4.6
Business 0.0 0.9 0.9 1.5 1.5
Personal 4.1 4.8 0.7 8.0 1.1
Discretionary – Social 0.0 0.4 0.4 0.7 0.7
Discretionary – Family 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
Discretionary – Play 1.7 1.5 -0.2 2.5 -0.3
Sleep 36.1 33.2 -2.8 55.8 -4.7
Unpaid work 13.0 3.0 -9.9 5.1 -16.7

Weekly review: Week ending October 18, 2019

  • Kaizen
    • We passed down the potties and A-‘s old clothes to some neighbours. Yay clearing up space!
    • I made a ham and asparagus pizza to use up leftovers. The pizza crust I made was still a bit denser than pizzas made with supermarket dough. Ham and asparagus turned out to be a great combination.
    • I learned how to use the pandas library in Python to model our finances. I really like how literate programming with Emacs and Org Mode makes it easier for me to write notes or change assumptions along the way, and how working with pandas dataframes lets me slice the data more easily than with spreadsheets.
  • Us
    • I made red bean buns to take to Thanksgiving dinner.
    • I backed up my phone using Samsung SmartSwitch and adb backup.
    • I drafted a wiki page for the Emacs conference schedule.
    • I spent the whole day tweaking and recording my presentation for EmacsConf 2019 so that Amin can play it just in case A- needs me during that time on Nov 2. I also sent Amin some money for possibly upgrading a VPS so that we can self-host the livestream with free software.
  • Gross motor
    • W- made a simple hopscotch board on the kitchen floor with tape, and A- had fun jumping around on two feet.
  • Self-care and independence
    • Getting A-‘s clarithromycin compounded with bubblegum flavour worked really well. She even said, “I love my medicine.”
  • Sleep
    • A- wanted to stay up and play. I said snuggling was a limited time offer and that I could sleep on my own. She immediately said she was tired. She still took a while to settle down, but definitely got back on track to sleep.
  • Emotion
    • A- was upset because she accidentally popped her balloon by sticking tape to it and then trying to peel the tape off.
  • Social
    • We celebrated Thanksgiving with W-‘s family. A- ate a whole popsicle all by herself.
    • At the drop-in centre, A- played a lot with H-. I ended up just chatting with the other grown-ups. I wonder what an even better way to use this time could be… I like to check on her every so often, so reading is a little challenging. Maybe drawing, because I can switch between thoughts and drawing her? Crochet – maybe amigurumi?
    • A- had lots of fun with the babysitter. Maybe there’s something to that book I read that mentioned how 3.5-year-olds can do better with other people… A- still prefers me over school (probably because of the structure), but she definitely has lots of fun with babysitters.
  • Cognition
    • I checked out the Agam method mentioned in the early math textbook I’ve been reading. I downloaded RelationShapes on my phone, and A- tried it out. It seems to be an interesting challenge for her.
    • We talked to the kindergarten readiness program teacher about A-‘s progress as part of evaluations. She said that A- is a good listener who quickly figures out the new activities and games that the teachers explain. A- is highly verbal and is happy to contribute to the conversation. They’re working with her on getting better at tracing worksheets.
    • I finished reading “Learning and Teaching Early Math,” making a few pages of notes along the way. I’m looking forward to sneaking more math into our play. Yay!
  • World
    • A- asked W-, “Why are you XY?” It took W- a few seconds to realize that she was asking about chromosomes.
  • Other
    • A- really liked the sport water bottle that her cousin passed down to her. It was a freebie from an escape room and a little bit big for her, but she liked the spout.

Blog posts

Time

Category The other week % Last week % Diff % h/wk Diff h/wk
Discretionary – Productive 0.0 9.6 9.6 16.1 16.1
Unpaid work 3.8 13.0 9.2 21.8 15.4
Sleep 35.5 36.1 0.5 60.6 0.9
Discretionary – Family 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
Discretionary – Play 1.9 1.7 -0.2 2.8 -0.4
Personal 5.3 4.1 -1.2 6.9 -2.1
Discretionary – Social 2.4 0.0 -2.4 0.0 -4.0
Business 2.8 0.0 -2.8 0.0 -4.7
A- 48.2 35.6 -12.6 59.8 -21.2

Weekly review: Week ending October 11, 2019

  • Kaizen
    • I decluttered many of my clothes and a large part of my fabric stash. It’s nice to have several empty drawers and boxes.
    • W- helped me tape up my phone screen to deal with the crack.
  • Us
    • I made a Tsuki rabbit out of clay.
    • Either A- or I put weight on my phone, so the screen cracked. Oh well!
    • W- edited our Borderlands 2 characters to bring them over from the PS3.
    • I made cabbage stew. It worked out nicely!
  • Gross motor
    • A- climbed up the net and went down the big slide all by herself at Grange Park.
  • Fine motor
    • A- was curious about LEGO, so W- started bringing up parts of his collection. A- liked the train set and the vehicles.
  • Language
    • W-: “This has just the right amount of crust – i.e., lots.” A-: “It doesn’t do it for me.”
    • A-: “What’s a trackless train?” Me: (brief explanation) A-: “What’s a roadless train?” Me: (brief guess) “I think she’s making up phrases, generalizing from the foo-less train pattern.” W-: “It may interest you to know that words that start with di mean two.” A-: “Diamond.” J-: “She’s too smart for you.” W-: “Okay. Not every word that starts with di follows that pattern.”
  • Self-care and independence
    • The doctor diagnosed A- with bacterial pneumonia and prescribed clarithromycin.
    • We went to the doctor to get another prescription so that we could try getting A-‘s antibiotics compounded with a different flavour. The pharmacy said that their bubblegum flavour expired, so we opted for Tutti Frutti. After mixing it up, the pharmacist said it needed tweaking, so they tried a different formulation. We picked it up the next day.
    • “I’m going to take the easy way today.”
    • A- easily opened the childproof medicine bottle. She set a teaspoon of ice cream spoon on her saucer, where she also had a square of white chocolate. After I gave her the medicine, she considered her options and decided which one to eat first, washing things down with coconut water.
  • Emotion
    • “I’m not so happy. The reason is because of my meds.”
  • Social
    • We had Jen and E- over. A- had lots of fun running around with E- and playing with him, although she didn’t like it so much when he pretended to be a pouncing cat. We worked on a ghost costume for E-.
  • Cognition
    • A- made a paper pumpkin out of shapes.
  • World
    • A- turned the phone away from her when she noticed YouTube was showing an ad.

Blog posts

Time

Category The other week % Last week % Diff % h/wk Diff h/wk
A- 43.1 48.2 5.1 81.0 8.5
Discretionary – Social 0.0 2.4 2.4 4.0 4.0
Discretionary – Play 0.0 1.9 1.9 3.2 3.2
Discretionary – Family 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
Sleep 35.5 35.5 0.0 59.7 0.0
Business 3.0 2.8 -0.2 4.7 -0.3
Personal 7.2 5.3 -1.8 9.0 -3.1
Unpaid work 6.7 3.8 -2.9 6.4 -4.9
Discretionary – Productive 4.5 0.0 -4.5 0.0 -7.5

Weekly review: Week ending October 4, 2019

  • Us
    • I dropped off my laptop for the Windows 10 upgrade, and then I dropped by work to say hi.
    • I picked up my laptop and said hello to my coworkers.
    • I spent a long time trying to figure out proper retained earnings calculations for filing my taxes.
    • We dug through our camping supplies to find the lighter fluid for J-‘s handwarmer. In the process, we discovered a problem with mold in our basement.
  • Gross motor
    • A- ran and climbed so much while playing with her friends.
  • Fine motor
    • A- voluntarily traced letters with her paintbrush. We also painted lots of paper with orange and yellow paint. I’ll use that to make a hat for Halloween.
  • Language
    • A-: “Don’t duck into the kitchen! Come out!” Me: “I love your command of the English language.” A-: “Would you like to try Spanish?”
  • Art
    • We painted A-‘s rescue truck cardboard box. Acrylic gave much better coverage than tempera. After watching me mix gray from black and white, A- tried mixing up some pink paint.
  • Self-care and independence
    • A- explored the indoor playground by herself. She liked feeding balls into the ball machine, and she figured out how to climb up to the big slide and the high crawlspaces.
    • A- and I talked about being bored and finding ways to challenge ourselves.
    • A- practically skipped into class today. Quite a difference from having to peel her off me last week.
    • A- mildly resisted the idea of school this morning. When I asked her for details, she said that it’s because teachers tell her what to do. I asked her for examples. She said teachers ask her to read after finishing crafts. I asked if it was because she didn’t know how to read yet. She said yes, so I suggested looking at pictures and told her maybe we can learn more about reading. She also said she wanted to sing other songs at circle time, so I coached her on how to ask the teacher if they could sing Wheels on the Bus. A- had lots of questions on the way to school (mostly about woolly mammoths). After a little playtime at the drop-in centre, A- cheerfully went into the classroom and headed to the play kitchen. Maybe we’re slowly getting the hang of things!
    • I contemplated signing up for a co-op preschool program after kindergarten readiness ends, since A- is doing fine and it would be good to keep that going. I like hanging out with A-, though, so not going is okay too. It might be nice to learn how to teach her more deliberately.
    • We went to A-‘s ocularist, who encouraged us to keep trying to get A- to wear her shell.
    • A- got her first library card and her first allowance ($3)!
  • Sleep
    • A- was so tired after all that playing that she fell asleep on my lap while waiting for W- to come home.
  • Household
    • W- was working on the porch, so A- borrowed the mallet and hammered together tongue-and-groove board offcuts.
  • Social
    • J- got a really short haircut. A- told W-, “I don’t know that she’s my big sister now.”
    • I asked A- why she sometimes didn’t participate in activities or answer teachers’ questions. She said it was sometimes not challenging enough. We talked about how it can be good to demonstrate that you can do something so that teachers can give you more interesting challenges.
    • We met up with Popo at McDonald’s, and she treated us to a snack. Then we went to the ROM and looked at dinosaurs.
  • Cognition
    • At the family math program, the teacher showed us two buttons and asked the kids to tell her what was different between them. A- said that one had two holes, and the other had four. No one else spoke up, so A- said that one was big and the other was small. After another pause, A- said that one was a circle, and the other was a “four… five… hexagon.”
    • A- asked for yogurt with 1 gram of sugar, so we used the scale.
  • Oops
    • I accidentally left A-‘s backpack. We retraced our steps and found it at the cafe, yay!

Blog posts

Time

Category The other week % Last week % Diff % h/wk Diff h/wk
A- 36.1 43.1 7.1 72.5 11.8
Sleep 30.5 35.5 5.0 59.6 8.4
Discretionary – Productive 1.7 4.5 2.8 7.5 4.7
Unpaid work 4.2 6.7 2.5 11.2 4.3
Discretionary – Social 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
Discretionary – Play 1.1 0.0 -1.1 0.0 -1.8
Personal 8.5 7.2 -1.4 12.1 -2.3
Discretionary – Family 4.2 0.0 -4.2 0.0 -7.0
Business 13.8 3.0 -10.8 5.0 -18.1

Weekly review: Week ending September 6, 2019

  • Kaizen
    • W- experimented with the shuttle to work.
    • A- accidentally ripped a hole in our bedsheet, so I ordered two more fitted bedsheets.
    • We picked up the new lunchboxes (Lunchbots Quad and Lunchbots Trio 2). I like them.
    • I decided to order a bunch of temporary tattoos for Halloween.
  • Us
    • Amin and I sketched out the agenda for the upcoming Emacs conference. We also checked out the tech a bit more.
    • I drafted a rhyming book on microphthalmia. A- helped me decide between versions of different verses.
  • Field trip
    • The Science Centre was closed and Popo was out of town, so we went to the ROM today.
  • Sensory
    • We went to the EarlyON centre at the school. A- had fun playing with shaving foam and with the water table.
  • Language
    • A- interrupted her crying to say, “Baby is crying.”
  • Household
    • A- liked painting and stapling just like W- did.
  • Social
    • We hung out with Melissa and H- at the playground, went with them for groceries, and invited them over. A- had a hard time sharing, though.
    • A-: “Serve it with a cart.” W-: “You’re pushing your luck.” A-: “Okay.”
    • A- was in very good spirits. She had fun playing hide and seek with Lola over video chat.
  • World
    • We picked up the Snaptricity lot that the neighbours set out. A- had fun playing with the motor.
  • Other
    • A- had poor sleep because she had a bad cold.

Blog posts