January 2018

December 2017

January 1, 2018 - Categories: monthly, review

The big thing this month was flying to the Philippines to spend time with family. A- has mostly settled in. She gets quite anxious around my dad, who’s a lot sicker than he was when we visited in September.

This month, A- figured out how to sort cans into five groups by colour, label how she was drawing, cut with a serrated knife perpendicular to the chopping board, roll and slice play dough, drop coins into a slot, and turn doorknobs (!). She was interested in stringing beads with help, picking up plastic eggshells with her toes, cutting index cards all the way through with scissors, standing astride her balance bike, and lifting bags of lentils overhead so that she could throw them down. She loved getting shopping bags from under the sink, putting cans in them, dragging them around, and putting everything away. She also loved sliding down an inclined mattress and rolling things down to hit various targets.

We discovered a nice toddler pool in a nearby community centre back in Toronto. Despite the cold, we managed to make it to an outdoor playground too.

A- regularly uses four- to seven-word sentences. She seems to have a few favorite sentence groups – snippets from books, or connected thoughts such as: upset picture; cat pajamas; no wake up all; ni bed. She can name everyone she regularly sees, and she likes labelling their actions. When I offer her choices, she uses more words to describe what she wants.

She wants to be more independent, and sometimes even asks me to wait in one place while she goes and does something. She sometimes gets upset when I eat something she’s got her eye on or if I do something for her when she wants to do it by herself, so I’m happy to let her take the lead. She imitates what we do: washing dishes, carrying a stuffed toy in her sling, putting things away, strumming the ukulele strings. She’s doing all right.

I’m learning to make the most of the tablet and phone that my dad insisted on giving me. I’m a little intimidated by the thought of dealing with Customs on the way back to Canada, but it’s the right thing to do, so I’ll just keep a spreadsheet with the gift totals.

My dad might have surgery shortly before our scheduled return, so I’m thinking of extending my stay a few weeks while W- sticks with the original itinerary. We’ve had a lot of serious conversations just in case this is the end, and we’ve also had lots of storytelling and family time.

I learned more about estate tax law in the Philippines. I’m reasonably confident that we’ll be able to sort this out, especially with the recent tax changes.

We were in the middle of dealing with a flea problem in Toronto, so it’s been nice dealing only with the occasional mosquito bite here. We’ll just have to get back to vacuuming regularly once we’re in Toronto again.

The major upgrade at work went well. I helped with a few bugfixes and problem investigations. I’m glad I brought the work laptop, although it will be an interesting challenge bringing everything back if I’m traveling by myself.

2018-01-01 Emacs news

January 1, 2018 - Categories: emacs, emacs-news

Links from reddit.com/r/emacs, /r/orgmode, /r/spacemacs, Hacker News, planet.emacsen.org, YouTube, the changes to the Emacs NEWS file, and emacs-devel.

Replaced my Philippine taxpayer ID

January 3, 2018 - Categories: philippines

I needed two pieces of government-issued photo ID for Philippine paperwork. My Philippine passport counted as one. I decided to replace my taxpayer ID because the taxpayer ID does not expire, while the barangay ID and the postal ID do.

I had my taxpayer ID number (TIN), but I didn’t know which regional district office I needed to apply to. Once I was in the Philippines, I called the TIN Verification Office (63-2-981-7000 local 7030). I gave them my name, date of birth, and TIN, and they told me which office I was registered at.

There were no notaries in front of that office, but the security guard directed me to where we could find notaries working on the sidewalk about five minutes’ walk away. The notary stamped my affidavit of loss for P 150, which was probably higher than it needed to be, but which could definitely be considered a contribution to the Philippine economy and a vote of support for people willing to work in the hot sun.

We walked back to the BIR office. Both W- and I showed IDs to get in. A-‘s presence got us put in the fast lane and processed within five minutes or so. The BIR clerk updated my details at the same time. I should probably have brought my marriage certificate, but he was okay without it. He printed out a card right away. It’s a good thing I checked it, since it had a typo. After he corrected and reprinted the card, we were all set.

I needed a 1×1 ID picture for the card, so I got ID pictures taken at the mall near my house: P 85 for 6 2x2s and 4 1×1. I signed the card, and the people at home helped me get it glued and laminated. That’s another piece of ID all sorted out!

2018-01-09 Emacs news

January 9, 2018 - Categories: emacs, emacs-news

Links from reddit.com/r/emacs, /r/orgmode, /r/spacemacs, Hacker News, planet.emacsen.org, YouTube, the changes to the Emacs NEWS file, and emacs-devel.

Weekly review: Week ending 2018-01-05

January 12, 2018 - Categories: review, weekly

It took two weeks of warming up, but A- now seems pretty comfortable with people at home. She loves toddling after Ate Jeana and asking if she can wash dishes at the same time, and she loves asking Tita Ching to read an endless series of books. She even insisted on going downstairs and out of sight with Tita Ching. She enjoyed playing with her two cousins, too. Yay independence and social interaction!

A- still spends lots of time attached to me, though. At one point, I said, “You love nursing!” She replied, “I love you.” Might be her just digging up the closest phrase she knows, but yeah, I’m totally fine with snuggling her more.

I like being able to offer her choices and hear what she wants. She’s figuring out how to think about the near future, saying things like “wait potty Tita Kathy finish bathroom.” She asks for what she wants (“More soup!”)

I went to the Bureau of Internal Revenue to replace my taxpayer ID. I started decluttering and organizing my mom’s papers. We met with a tax lawyer, too.

We had to reshoot the family picture because my dad insisted that we should all wear Columbia. Brand loyalty!

On the flipside, my dad slipped into delirium and the nurses advised us to take him to the hospital. We’ve already had all the big conversations, so at least we’re sort of prepared for whatever can happen.

Wekly review: Week ending 2018-01-12

January 12, 2018 - Categories: review, weekly

My dad died on Saturday, Jan 6. He lived an awesome life. Many, many people shared their stories and pictures of adventures with him, and there was lots of laughter as we celebrated his life. It was about as good a life and death as one could have, I think, and that’s a wonderful gift. He was inurned in the pavilion at Heritage Park, so there are plenty of planes to watch, there’s plenty of light, and there’s plenty of space for the grandkids to run around.

It was good to catch up with a few friends who visited, and Diane did us a huge favour by staying overnight with my mom.

A- had a great time running around and bouncing on the sofa. She figured out how to jump using two feet. We went to Active Fun with her cousins, and she had fun climbing and sliding.

We saw W- off at the airport. He headed back following our original schedule. A- and I will stay until the 25th. A- misses him a little bit (“A- want go too!”), but she also enjoys spending time with her cousins, so it all works out. I’ve had to carry her out of their bedroom a couple of times now, since she’d happily play with them long past bedtime if she could. She also loves spending time with Tita Ching, who has read many, many books with her.

I like how A- is getting more involved in our daily routines. She likes squeezing the bottles of shampoo and body wash. One time, while I was rinsing off some shampoo with my eyes closed, she squeezed even more shampoo on my head, then said, “Mama feel better.” I guess it’s because I often tell her that I feel better once I’ve washed away the sticky feeling of perspiration.

Speaking of sweat – A- often insisted on going shirtless or pantless even in air-conditioned rooms. I managed to insist on diapers, at least. She had lots of bug bites. I’ve made my peace with using diaper creme instead of taking a risk with methyl salicylate.

One day, she insisted on wearing her winter jacket out of the blue. How odd!

I’m handling the insurance and estate tax paperwork, so I’m slowly putting those things together. The implementing rules for the tax reform haven’t come down yet, but I can organize the papers took make them easier to file. We’ve been preparing for this for months, and now that preparation can pay off. It’s nice to not be under time pressure.

We’re giving ourselves plenty of space to adjust to this new normal. I even had time to do a little consulting: checked on data extract, fixed blog comment export, and thought about templating.

Onward: more paperwork, more memories, more living!

2018-01-15 Emacs news

January 15, 2018 - Categories: emacs, emacs-news

Weekly review: Week ending 2018-01-19

January 19, 2018 - Categories: review, weekly

It was a lot of fun watching A- experiment with new concepts this week. She tried saying, “No play Ate A*, this mine!” This is great! She’s learning about owning things. I did point out that the toy she was clutching was actually her cousin’s, and we sorted it all out with a minimum of fuss. I look forward to helping her navigate this interesting time.

She also tried arranging her legs to sit like she saw Tita Ching and Tita Kathy do, and she promptly fell backward onto the bed. I successfully avoided laughing out loud. She figured out shrugging, though, and that got a few chuckles.

One time, she was looking for Tita Ching. She ran to the living room, but it was empty. She said, “Nobody!” and then looked for Tita Ching in another room. I wonder if that means I can introduce the concept of zero when counting, too…

We’ve been focusing on family time: lots of time with her cousins, aunts, and grandmother. Reading works out pretty well as a bonding activity, especially for those of us who aren’t up to jumping up and down on the bed.

Also, she seems to be okay with dolls now, hooray! She used to get quite anxious at the sight of dolls. She still doesn’t seek them out, but she doesn’t seem to be as bothered by them as she used to be. It’s probably due to seeing her cousins have lots of fun playing. Next on my desensitization list: dentists!

I managed to get the first set of paperwork out the door, hooray! We’re also working on sorting out bank accounts. Slow and steady…

2018-01-23 Emacs news

January 22, 2018 - Categories: emacs, emacs-news

Links from reddit.com/r/emacs, /r/orgmode, /r/spacemacs, Hacker News, planet.emacsen.org, YouTube, the changes to the Emacs NEWS file, and emacs-devel.