The Week #140

  • Spring is on its way and it couldn't have come soon enough. Especially after getting so many warm mid-20's days in Texas. My inner-Dutchman is be proud that the tulips we planted are coming up. They're my favorite and for 3 years in a row I said "I'll plant some next year" and thanks to Yumi, we actually did. I'm looking forward to seeing them bloom.
  • Leo came home from school on Tuesday early with a small fever and not feeling so well. Naturally when I go to pick him up, he's fine and bouncing around. He wasn't sick, but with spring in the air, he has allergies now. The next day we took him to the doctor and they confirmed this and gave us some allergy meds/eyedrops for Leo to drink twice a day.
  • While back from school, he played a bit more switch than usual. He somehow discovered the e-store and downloaded the demo of Kirby. I haven't played much Kirby in my time, but it's a lot of fun. It also supports two-player mode, so we can play cooperatively. I wish more games had a cooperative story mode (I used to play Quake-2 pretty often in cooperative mode back in the day).
  • With Spring means the end of school year and the start of a new. Next year Leo will be in his final year of pre-school, which means it's time to start preparing for a year from now: elementary school.

    We went and looked at randoseru, the traditional Japanese leather backpack that kids use throughout elementary school. It used to be there was only two colors: black and red. Now days there's heaps of colors, though mostly for girls. I wish I could find it to link to it, but there's an episode of Japanology Plus about school satchels that goes into the history and how they're made and is really interesting.

    Why are we looking now, a year before he needs it? Basically they're all handmade and you need to order it about a year in advance. They're also quite expensive. The bags we were looking at ranged from $500 - $1,000 dollars.

    The $1,000 backpack. One day I hope I'm adult enough to use something this nice.

    We decided to buy from was Tsuchiya Randoseru in Kamakura, where Leo's cousin bought from, so we know it's a quality product. We decided on one of the less-expensive ones in a nice olivey-green that looks great on Leo. Thankfully it's one of the few options remaining for boys πŸ˜€.
  • On Monday had a bit of a meltdown before going to pre-school. We have a car, but try to use it as little as possible. It's a 7 minute walk / 3 minute bike ride to his school and he refused to sit on his seat my bike and instead take the car. I told him no, the weather is nice are taking the bike or we could walk. He had a meltdown and in the end I carried him while he's crying and screaming the entire way to school.

    He's 5 years old now, this isn't acceptable behavior, so he lost his switch privledges for the night. Which he didn't realize until he got home from school where he promptly had another meltdown for 30 minutes.Β 

    There's a number of behavioral changes I'd like to address with Leo and habits I'd like him to form. Getting upset / fighting about them isn't fun and isn't solving them. You catch more bees with honey than with vinegar.

    I'm thinking about creating a chart with various changes / things that Leo needs to do. e.g. go to school without fighting / having a meltdown, putting his bento box in the kitchen when he gets home from school, going to swimming with a smile (he's not a fan of the current teacher), trying to eat new foods, quitting the switch when his time is up etc...

    Each time he does the desired change he gets a gold star to stick on the chart. When he collects enough stars total he gets Kirby. And to maintain access to Kirby, he will need continue those practices. My hope is that they'll become habit along the way and life becomes less stressful.
  • Recommended podcast this week is The Beanpod Podcast. It's life updates from @tbeanpod on twitter (and, but he doesn't seem to post there 😭 mastodon needs his Ishikawa vibes). He often includes a song he wrote himself and sings them while playing guitar. A great listen while walking the dog.
  • @jamesvandyne Reading this and thinking about what my life will look like in a couple of years. Hope that stage doesn’t last long.