Category Archives: review

Weekly review: Week ending June 16, 2017

This week’s warm and sunny weather prompted us to play with water outside. W- dangled A- over the sprinkler, and she stretched her legs out towards the spray. She also had fun pouring water from one measuring cup to the other. We went to the sensory play day at the JFRC, where she played with water, pasta, and Cheerios for a bit before wandering off to the main room for some more paper-dot scooping. She played with play dough for the first time, too, squishing it in her fist and even imitating how I cut it with a wooden knife. She played with sand at the OEYC as well, scooping it up and pouring it into the sand wheels.

She crawled through a small tunnel set up at the OEYC. She’s getting more comfortable with exploring, yay! She warmed up enough in music class to shake the bells to various songs, walk around, and stand up or sit down at roughly the right places in “Ring around the roses”. At home, she put the jingly cat toys in the egg carton and shook it, smiling widely, and she took turns giving it to J- and Y-. (But not me – I got “gaaah!” and a smile.)

We followed up on Nilda’s suggestion to let A- try painting with a brush. A- took to that and to the paint dabber right away, dipping the brush in the tempera and swiping it across the paper. I mailed the first batch of her paintings to my parents and sister in the Philippines, so they can get in on the fridge-art action.

She’s definitely keen to imitate us: ripping lettuce for salad, washing and drying spinach for pancakes, trying to wear our shoes, asking for a kiss by making smooching sounds.

I’ve been working on getting more vegetables into our daily routines. The sale on bell peppers got us into the habit of accompanying breakfast with sliced peppers. A- likes feeding us while occasionally snatching the food away, and that’s encouraged her to try peppers from time to time too. I’ve been mixing spinach into scrambled eggs, snacking on silken tofu, and generally expanding our repertoire. Eating better little by little!

I dusted off the source code for Quantified Awesome. I’ve been working on getting a development environment up and running again, since coding can become casual fun if I have a safe place to try things out without worrying about messing up my main system. As for consulting, I’ve been working on improving the organization and maintainability of our data extract script, and that will probably pay off later on.

For next week, Nilda suggested focusing on counting, and letting A- practise fine motor skills with stickers and puzzles. I’ve got a dentist appointment on Friday, so we’ll see how that goes too.

Blog posts

Sketches

Focus areas and time review

  • Business (7.0h – 4%)
    • Earn (0.9h – 12% of Business)
    • Build (6.1h – 87% of Business)
      • ☑ Get tests to run again
      • ☑ Figure out how to run the system
      • ☑ Deal with package changes
      • ☑ Don’t log ActionController::RoutingError
      • ☑ bundle update
  • Relationships (0.4h – 0%)
  • Discretionary – Productive (6.7h – 4%)
    • Drawing (4.3h)
    • Emacs (0.9h)
    • Writing (0.3h)
  • Discretionary – Play (2.8h – 1%)
  • Personal routines (21.7h – 12%)
  • Unpaid work (77.3h – 45%)
    • Childcare (67.8h – 40% of total)
  • Sleep (52.1h – 31% – average of 7.4 per day)

Weekly review: Week ending June 9, 2017

The big thing this week: A- took a few steps on her own! She still holds onto our hands almost all the time, but there have been a few times she wanted to carry the mini-basketball, so she needed to use both of her hands. A few tentative, wobbly steps – but progress!

I took A- for a new conformer. She’s got a good memory. She started crying as soon as we got to the waiting room, and she ended up crying for an hour. As soon as the new conformer was in, she stopped crying. Anticipation is the worst part, I guess. The poor dear! I took her for a blood test on the same day, and she cried as soon as she saw the nurse. Oh well, some things must be endured.

She’s pretty resilient, though. She slid down a bit too fast on the slide in the park and cut her lip a little, but she bounced back after some nursing, and then we went down the slide together a few more times.

We attended the Early Abilities orientation, since our home visitor had been concerned about A-‘s speech and language development. A- was a bit sleepy, so she was fake-snoring throughout the presentation. I got quite a few stares across the room, which turned into smiles when people realized I wasn’t the one snoring, it was A-. I picked up a few tips on modeling play and language for A-, to help her ease into a place when she’s slow to warm up. I tried it out at the JFRC, and she ended up having lots of fun with the play kitchen and the sensory play area. She even crawled a short way into the tunnel.

We started music classes at the Royal Conservatory of Music. She mostly snuggled with me, but that’s okay. It was still a good opportunity to learn new songs, pay attention to the concepts being used, and get a sense of how that paid program differs from the free circle times we’ve been to.

We made it out to the ROM for our Fieldtrip Friday. A- pointed to lots of specimens. She was fascinated by the benches in the bird gallery, and delighted in being pulled up on them so that she could pull herself forward and down. She tried drinking from the drinking fountain, too.

Nilda came with a brush and a bottle of tempera paint. Just like last week, A- spent pretty much the entire time snuggling with me, so I took the opportunity to ask Nilda about snack ideas instead. I think I’ve been too conservative. A- can probably figure out how to eat all sorts of things, even with only six teeth. Time to try sweet peppers, liver spread, and other yummy things.

I’ll help A- learn how to paint when she’s more relaxed, as it’s good for fine motor skills. I tried to sew her an apron, but she didn’t want to have the loop go over her head. Maybe we’ll paint without that first, and then introduce an apron or a smock when she’s more interested.

A- helped pick up maple seeds, putting them in the medium-sized recycling bin we’ve been using to collect yard waste. She’s taken to trimming the bush on the side of the house by pulling handfuls from it and dumping the leaves in the bin. After a few trips back and forth, she decided that it would be more efficient to lug the bin (with my help) next to the bush, and that worked out very well. The gears are turning!

She also insisted on emptying our small recycling bin into the large recycling bin that we take out to the curb, and she sorted out the minifigs that she had mixed into the shape sorter. Something something sensitive period for order indeed… Good to keep improving our processes and routines, then, so that she picks those up as she learns.

Other notes:

  • W- spent the weekend pouring concrete for the stair footing. Lots of hard work!
  • Discussed trip timing with my family.
  • Consulting: exported follower info, reorganized SQL extract script.

Blog posts

Sketches

Focus areas and time review

  • Business (1.5h – 0%)
    • Earn (1.4h – 93% of Business)
    • Connect (0.1h – 6% of Business)
  • Discretionary – Productive (4.6h – 2%)
    • Drawing (1.8h)
    • Emacs (0.1h)
    • Sewing (1.3h)
    • Writing (1.0h)
  • Discretionary – Play (0.8h – 0%)
  • Personal routines (18.4h – 10%)
  • Unpaid work (82.2h – 48%)
    • Childcare (66.4h – 39% of total)
  • Sleep (60.4h – 35% – average of 8.6 per day)

Monthly review: May 2017

There were quite a few sunny days this month, so we spent lots of time outside. At the playground, A- kept signing “more” while riding the swings, so I decided to do a little exercising myself while pushing her. She also figured out how to go down the slide by herself. Wow!

A- worked on carrying things while walking with help. She imitated household routines, helping us wash dishes and load the dryer. She experimented with the arms-first way of putting on her T-shirt, and only needs a little help to get the openings lined up. She went up and down the stairs at the ROM, and we checked out the Family Camera exhibit while we were there. We attended a parenting workshop on resilience, and I’ve been working on being even more specific when I encourage her or acknowledge her hard work.

We focused on language, since we were a little worried about her progress in that area. She picked up the hang of imitating animal sounds, and seems to enjoy looking at picture books and hearing names for things. I’ve been learning more names for things, too: different types of latches, flowers around the neighbourhood, and so on. A- has also gotten the hang of associating songs with gestures, and often does a gesture from a song in order to ask me to sing it. She also spent some time experimenting with the fridge magnets to see what they stuck to and how they behaved on different surfaces.

She passed the developmental screening at her 15-month checkup, and has been growing at a good clip. I took her to the dentist to check her teeth again. They’re okay. It was probably just a little staining.

Other things:

  • I transplanted the tomatoes and a few of the basil seedlings.
  • I read quite a few books while A- was asleep:
    • The Reflective Parent: More of a background on mind-mindedness
    • The Importance of Being Little: play
    • How to Talk so Little Kids Will Listen: problem-solving
    • Child of Mine: feeding dynamics
    • Week by Week: observing child development
    • Mind in the Making: skills
  • I used ffmpeg to automatically extract short video clips, which made it easier to review my video backlog. I also backed up the photos and videos to more places.
  • W- upgraded to the PS Vita Slim and gave me his old PS Vita. I’ve been playing Trails of Cold Steel on it.
  • I replaced my credit card and library card. Turns out they had fallen between the drum and the case of the dryer.
  • I spotted a coyote and a beaver (separately) in our neighbourhood.
  • For consulting, I created a hierarchical JSON for data analysis, fixed old data, and tweaked some SQL.
  • W- demolished the concrete pad and poured a concrete door sill.

Blog posts

Sketches

So much drawing this month! I got back into the swing of drawing one or two thoughts a day.

Time

Category Previous month % This month % Diff h/wk Diff h/wk
Unpaid work – Childcare 36.2 42.1 5.9 73.2 9.9
Unpaid work 43.4 47.9 4.5 83.2 7.6
Discretionary – Play 2.3 4.0 1.7 6.9 2.8
Discretionary – Family 0.1 0.2 0.1 0.4 0.2
Business – Earn 1.0 1.1 0.1 2.0 0.2
Business – Connect 0.0 0.0 -0.0 0.0 -0.0
Business – Build 0.3 0.0 -0.3 0.0 -0.6
Discretionary – Social 0.8 0.1 -0.8 0.1 -1.3
Discretionary – Productive 5.1 3.5 -1.5 6.1 -2.6
Personal 11.9 10.2 -1.7 17.6 -2.9
Sleep 35.1 33.0 -2.1 57.2 -3.5

Weekly review: Week ending June 2, 2017

A- passed the developmental screening at her 15-month checkup. She weighed 9.11 kg (25th percentile, up from 15th) and was measured at 74 cm in length (15th percentile), with a head circumference of 44.5 cm (15th percentile). We hadn’t taken her for a weight check in a while, so it was reassuring to see that her self-feeding was working out the way it should. She also got her MMR and varicella vaccines. The nurse was definitely her least favourite person in the world, although the pediatrician seems to be a close second.

We attended a parenting workshop on building resilience. It was a good reminder about the importance of language in cultivating a growth mindset, and of modeling self-care and asking for help. The workshop was held at the Children’s Book Bank, which is a beautifully-organized place with children’s books where people can take one book home per visit.

A- seems to have focused on gross motor skills this week. She figured out how to pull the laundry basket in addition to pushing it, so now she won’t get stuck when she runs into a wall. She put a lot of effort into walking with help while holding a bag and, later, a heavy water bottle. W- saw her turn around while standing independently. At the playground, she figured out how to go down the slide by herself, too.

It’s been an interesting mix of independence and closeness. I showed her how to spread peanut butter on bread, and she spread quite a few pieces for me even though she preferred to eat other things. She imitated wiping with toilet paper, tossing the pieces into the toilet, and even flushing. One evening, she seemed to want to keep reading – she protested when we turned off the lights. When we turned the lights back on, she spent a few more minutes with her book. (“I was just getting to the good part!”, probably.)

But she was also very snuggly this week, even before the stress of the injections at the doctor’s office. She shifted back to two naps a day, with the second nap in the evening, so her bedtime has been quite erratic. Nilda shared some tips on helping A- through this cycle of dependence and independence.

A- figured out a new sound, the ending “p”, and experimented with babbling “hep” and “pop”. She definitely uses “mah” to approximate “meow” when referring to the cats, and occasionally blows raspberries to imitate their purring.

Other stuff:

  • For consulting, I tweaked a SQL script for slightly better performance. It turns out NOT IN is faster than NOT EXISTS.
  • I updated my ledger file and found an account maintenance fee for TD Waterhouse, which I’ve asked about.
  • I read a few chapters of Week by Week and Mind in the Making.
  • I backed up videos of A- to our home server and photos to Google Photo
  • Lots of cooking: pizza, fried rice, shake and bake, congee
  • I transplanted the tomato seedlings and some of the basil.
  • W- poured the concrete for the door sill.

Blog posts

Sketches

Focus areas and time review

  • Business (1.4h – 0%)
    • Earn (1.4h – 100% of Business)
  • Relationships (0.0h – 0%)
  • Discretionary – Productive (6.5h – 3%)
    • Drawing (2.7h)
    • Emacs (0.6h)
    • Coding (0.9h)
  • Discretionary – Play (4.6h – 2%)
  • Personal routines (17.1h – 10%)
  • Unpaid work (84.4h – 50%)
    • Childcare (74.3h – 44% of total)
  • Sleep (53.9h – 32% – average of 7.7 per day)

Weekly review: Week ending May 26, 2017

This week, A- picked up lots of gestures for the songs we’d been singing at circle time. She not only gestures while I sing, she also gestures to ask me to sing. “Rain is Falling Down” and “The More We Get Together” seem to be her favourites at the moment. She sometimes asks for those three or more times in a row.

She seems to take a lot of pleasure in imitating us, and has been paying attention to our household routines. She joined me in washing the spinach for banchan, loading the dryer with laundry, and putting away the stack of freshly-laundered wipes. It’s fun looking for ways to involve her in more of our chores.

The Duralex Picardie tumblers I ordered for A- arrived. She now uses proper glassware (shatter-resistant, yay), so her snack cup can be restored to its original purpose. She’s been having fun offering us food and snatching it away at the last minute, complete with a delighted “Gyah!” She spent quite a few minutes experimenting with the fridge magnets. They stick to the fridge, but not to the wall, and they stay on the window sill if she lets go of them. Wow! She also practised pouring with the small pitchers I borrowed from the JFRC. She still spills a bit, but that’s to be expected.

For our field trip this week, we checked out the Gooch family drop-in. It was a quiet afternoon and A- was the only kid in the main area, but she still mostly stayed close to me. The Gooch drop-in is in a building’s rec room. It’s a larger, more brightly-lit space than JFRC, with quite a few scheduled programs. The parent relief service might come in handy when A- is older. In the meantime, we might check out the main site at Shaw to see if that’s worth taking the TTC to every so often.

I need to be more careful when it comes to A- and the cats. She had a couple of run-ins with them this week. Fortunately, it was a light scratch, but still.

W- did lots of work around the house. He tuckpointed the bricks, filled in a large gap with expanding foam, built a step for the shed, and showed me how to use a hammer drill to help cut a brick to the right size. Neat!

More updates from family, and a video chat as well. Speaking of video, I figured out a way to deal with the video backlog that we’ve been accumulating. I used ffmpeg to grab the middle 3 seconds of each clip and stitch them together into a quick movie. This lets me appreciate A-‘s growth without doing a lot of editing. I got my Bluetooth headset working with my laptop, too, so I can listen to things late at night.

Other tidbits:

  • If I crack two eggs for my breakfast into a bowl after I pour out the scrambled egg for A-‘s breakfast, it’s easier for me to deal with any shell fragments and to cook the eggs evenly
  • If I do jumping jacks while pushing A- on the swing, she finds it amusing and I get more exercise
  • Now that the weather has warmed up, I’ve been setting the seedlings out. Might plant them next week.
  • Watched a bit of Orphan Black with W-. Played Trails of Cold Steel and a bit of Borderlands 2 as well.
  • Consulting: put together a hierarchical JSON file for someone doing data analysis.

Blog posts

Sketches

Focus areas and time review

  • Business (2.1h – 1%)
    • Earn (2.0h – 93% of Business)
    • Connect (0.1h – 6% of Business)
  • Relationships (1.0h – 0%)
    • ☑ Order glasses
  • Discretionary – Productive (7.3h – 4%)
    • Drawing (5.0h)
    • Emacs (0.3h)
    • Coding (0.8h)
    • Sewing (0.0h)
    • Writing (1.0h)
  • Discretionary – Play (10.3h – 6%)
  • Personal routines (11.2h – 6%)
  • Unpaid work (79.5h – 47%)
    • Childcare (67.9h – 40% of total)
  • Sleep (56.5h – 33% – average of 8.1 per day)

 

Weekly review: Week ending May 19, 2017

A- had a fever, so we took it easy for a couple of days. It was great to have a digital forehead thermometer that we could use to check her temperature. W- bought it during her last fever. She’s gotten pretty used to it, and will lean in and position her forehead as we bring the thermometer close to her. We checked each other’s temperature so many times that I think we may need to replace the batteries.

As A- cooled down from her fever, the weather warmed up, so we went to the playground for plenty of outside time. I pushed her in the swing for as long as she wanted, and we went up the stairs and down the slides a few times. We also went to the JFRC for their sensory play day. She splashed the water around for a bit and sampled the cereal that was in another bowl, but was far more interested in emptying and refilling my bag.

I took A- to the dentist for a quick examination. The dark spot that I had noticed on her right central incisor had lightened up, but it was a good idea to check anyway. The dentist confirmed that everything was still okay, and that we’re doing pretty much all the right things as well as we can. I asked the dentist about fluoride varnishes and other recommendations from AAPD, and she explained her reasons for minimizing additional fluoride exposure considering the fluoride that A- probably gets in her diet. Makes sense to me. Home care is the main thing. A- is definitely keen on imitating us (brushing teeth, flossing, etc.) and not too keen on us doing things for her, but she’ll let us wipe her teeth and gums with washcloths a few times a day. I hope it’s enough.

A- is quickly picking up other household routines, too. If we pull the dining chair up to the sink, she can stand on it and imitate how we wash dishes. She seems to enjoy the water play. Laundry is fair game, too. Most of our clothes are too unwieldy for her, but the small flannel wipes are just the right size to unfold and shake out, and then I smooth and re-stack them after her interest wanes and she moves on. She has also gotten pretty good at looping a long towel behind her neck and snuggling into it, almost like a boa.

A- continues to practise standing in short bursts on the mattress. Once she stood for a count of 60, which was the longest I’ve seen from her so far. Lots of snuggles and shared time with W- and A- this week, too, including some adorable turn-taking around hugging A-‘s sheep.

I asked Nilda about feeding dynamics. It turns out to be good to wait for A- to agree to sit in her high chair instead of occasionally giving in and letting her snack while sitting on the floor. I’m also feeling more confident about resisting what seems to be A-‘s requests for a snack a short time after a light meal, although I’ll let A- have another bedtime snack if our evening routine stretches out a couple of hours longer than I expected. Nilda also shared some sun safety tips: light long-sleeved shirts and long pants will help keep A- safe from both sun and bugs this summer.

We were planning to host W-‘s family for Mother’s Day. Since we were in a tidying-up mood, I simplified A-‘s play area and the diaper setup in her room, rotating out many of the toys and putting other things closer within reach. The party got cancelled, so W- wrapped most of the steaks and put them in the freezer. More for us, then! I’ve also been able to squeeze in some cooking, including a graveyard shift banchan-making spree.

W- bought a PS Vita Slim and passed his old Vita down to me, so I started playing Trails of Cold Steel. I enjoyed Trails in the Sky, and I’m looking forward to exploring this one’s world. I’ve also made sure to mix in some productive graveyard shift time, including a few chapters of the Week by Week textbook and a bit of reporting for my consulting client. W-‘s been busy, too. He broke up the concrete pad and buried the rubble. Level up!

Blog posts

Sketches

Focus areas and time review

  • Business (1.0h – 0%)
    • Earn (1.0h – 100% of Business)
  • Relationships (0.0h – 0%)
  • Discretionary – Productive (5.9h – 3%)
    • Drawing (2.9h)
    • Emacs (0.8h)
    • Writing (0.8h)
  • Discretionary – Play (8.4h – 5%)
  • Personal routines (18.1h – 10%)
  • Unpaid work (83.7h – 49%)
    • Childcare (73.9h – 43% of total)
  • Sleep (51.0h – 30% – average of 7.3 per day)