Category Archives: review

Weekly review: Week ending April 15, 2016

Graduated from midwife care this week. A-‘s slow weight gain is something to keep an eye on, but we’re not going to worry until the pediatrician tells us to worry. Might be related to her ventricular septal defect, since that’s a common symptom. She’s alert and looks happy, though, so that’s good.

I made it out to Hacklab for Eric’s practice talk on his Epic Quest of Awesome. It was great to hear the update to his talk, and I picked up a couple of new tips (including an impressive chart from the Actionable Gamification website). We gave him some feedback on his talk, too.

It finally feels like spring, so I’m working on making salads part of our household routine. Lots of walking, too: 37k steps over 5.5 hours total over the whole week, including a nice walk to the midwives.

Filed our personal taxes, yay! I did most of the data entry last month, and I doublechecked everything this week. I compared it to 2014 for extra safety, too. Nice to still be able to crunch the numbers!

Kaizen tweaks this week:

  • Adding buttons to my tracker makes updating baby-related data much easier (nursing, mood, sleep).
  • If I brush my teeth and shower after dinner instead of before bed, then that gives us more flexibility for A-‘s bedtime routine.
  • Wearing cargo pants or scrubs means that I can keep a notepad and a pen handy, which lets me jot down ideas while nursing or settling A-.
  • Using peep-dired and writing an Emacs Lisp function to rename files makes organizing photos easier.
  • Red peppers do okay in the freezer, so I put together a bunch of fajita starters to make future dinners smoother.
  • Grapes and celery can be pre-sliced for Waldorf salad.

2016-04-17a Week ending 2016-04-15 -- index card #journal #weekly output

Blog posts


Focus areas and time review

  • Business (1.1h – 0%)
    • Earn (0.0h – 0% of Business)
    • Build (0.5h – 50% of Business)
      • Drawing (0.0h)
      • Paperwork (0.5h)
    • Connect (0.5h – 49% of Business)
  • Relationships (4.9h – 2%)
    • ☑ Add more functions to baby tracker
    • ☑ Hang out with Jen
    • ☑ Check out Eric Boyd’s talk at Hacklab
    • ☑ Midwife final checkup
    • ☑ Maybe check out babywearing social
  • Discretionary – Productive (9.5h – 5%)
    • Emacs (1.1h – 0% of all)
      • ☑ Fix evil plan SVGs
      • ☑ Write some Emacs Lisp to help with organizing photos
      • ☑ Keep Emacs alive through X crashes by running it in the background with –daemon
    • ☑ Update credit card for Paypal
    • ☑ Clean up yard
    • ☑ Plant peas
    • Sewing (0.0h)
      • ☑ Look for a baby sun hat pattern
    • Writing (0.3h)
  • Discretionary – Play (1.7h – 1%)
  • Personal routines (21.1h – 12%)
  • Unpaid work (76.2h – 45%)
    • Childcare (66.8h – 39% of total)
  • Sleep (53.6h – 31% – average of 7.7 per day)

Monthly review: March 2016

March was all about adjusting to life with a newborn. Sleep is still a little patchy, but our routines are gradually getting smoother as we figure out little improvements. I’ve been able to do some cooking and go on various errands. I was pleasantly surprised to find that I was still able to do a little bit of coding, writing, and sewing. I got back to posting Emacs News after a short hiatus. I even managed to check on my consulting clients: they’re doing well and things are running smoothly, hooray. =)

A- was officially diagnosed with microphthalmia, and we’re waiting for the ocularist to schedule the next steps. She also has a medium-sized ventricular septal defect which may or may not resolve itself over time; we’ll see. Thank goodness for public health.

This April, I’m looking forward to:

  • working more closely with the healthcare system and learning more about what to do
  • improving our routines and tools
  • gradually building a habit of going out (parent/baby groups, exercise, etc.)

2016-04-03b March 2016 -- index card #monthly #review output

Blog posts



Category Period 1 % Period 2 % Diff h/wk Diff h/wk
Business – Build 0.8 0.2 -0.6 0.3 -1.0
Discretionary – Play 8.6 1.5 -7.1 2.8 -11.9
Unpaid work 17.9 41.6 23.7 74.6 39.9
Unpaid work – Childcare 3.8 35.6 31.8 63.9 53.4
Discretionary – Social 1.2 0.7 -0.5 1.3 -0.8
Discretionary – Family 2.5 0.7 -1.8 1.2 -3.1
Sleep 34.9 36.9 2.0 66.1 3.4
Business – Connect 0.7 0.5 -0.2 0.8 -0.4
Business – Earn 4.0 0.3 -3.6 0.6 -6.1
Discretionary – Productive 8.8 6.5 -2.3 11.7 -3.9
Personal 20.7 11.1 -9.6 20.0 -16.1

An average of 9.4 hours of sleep a day still feels a little short when it’s broken up into 1-2 hour chunks, but that’s okay, I’ll adapt.

Weekly review: Week ending April 8, 2016

This week was a busy one in terms of talking to medical professionals. Met with genetics to kick off the process of testing, met with cardiology for an update, and went to a Toronto Public Health breastfeeding clinic to pick up some tips. It’s so nice to have all these resources.

I’m getting better at getting out of the house for discretionary stuff, too. I made it out to the La Leche League meeting and another session of Baby Time at the library. I even went for a long walk all the way to Dufferin, yay! The ring sling came in handy for that one, since it meant I could keep A- tucked in her snowsuit.

Back to basics this week, I think. I’m going to focus on feeding A-. It looks like A- can take in a little more milk than she gets from nursing, so we’re going to try supplementing (eyedropper, cup, and/or bottle), and increasing skin to skin contact. Her weight gain hasn’t been flagged as an issue yet, but I want to keep on top of that. Once we’ve gotten that sorted out, I can go back to working on improving other parts of our routines. =) Kaizen all the everything!

2016-04-10a Week ending 2016-04-08 -- index card #journal #weekly output

Blog posts


Focus areas and time review

  • Business (6.8h – 4%)
    • Earn (0.0h – 0% of Business)
    • Build (0.0h – 0% of Business)
      • Drawing (0.0h)
      • Paperwork (0.0h)
    • Connect (6.8h – 100% of Business)
  • Relationships (3.2h – 1%)
    • ☑ Return carrier
    • ☑ Call genetics and note clinodactyly
    • ☑ Follow up with aboutface for connecting with other anophthalmia/microphthalmia families
    • ☑ Ask about lactation consultant referral
    • ☑ Follow up with cardiologist
  • Discretionary – Productive (8.0h – 4%)
    • Emacs (1.3h – 0% of all)
      • ☑ Do another Emacs News review
      • ☑ Set up Emacs as a daemon
      • ☐ [#A] Do another Emacs News review
    • Sewing (1.3h)
      • ☑ Prototype arm warmers
      • ☑ Mend pants
    • Writing (1.5h)
    • ☑ Set up phone as remote keyboard
  • Discretionary – Play (0.4h – 0%)
  • Personal routines (16.0h – 9%)
  • Unpaid work (76.5h – 45%)
    • Childcare (64.5h – 38% of total)
  • Sleep (57.2h – 34% – average of 8.2 per day)

Weekly review: Week ending April 1, 2016

Achievements unlocked:

  • You Mean There’s Another Stanza?: Learned a variation on Row, Row, Row Your Boat
  • That’s the Painkiller Talking: Prematurely declared myself back to normal before the ibuprofen wore off and I realized I needed more rest

This week was a little rough in terms of sleep. A- seems to be getting better at telling the difference between night and day, at least in terms of not cooing adorably for playtime at 3 AM. She’s still feeding every hour or so, but we’re getting better at side-lying. I’ve gotten better at burping her while half-conscious.

Tracking has been a little fuzzy. Now that I have a library of functions that wrap the web-based system we’ve been using to collect data, I can start building a friendlier interface for tracking those middle-of-the-night feeds. I’ve added a few more visualizations and moved it to my private server so that I can use my tools from my phone instead of just my laptop. I’m still puzzling over what kind of visualization would help me answer my questions, though. Also, I’ve started taking notes on how long it takes to calm her down when she’s crying (it seems like eternity, but usually she settles down within ten minutes) and what seems to work (feeding, burping, diaper-changing, etc.). It might be interesting to make another mini-tool that reminds me what to try.

I started looking into various activities for parents and babies. I’d like to eventually build a habit of going to those “baby and me”-type exercise classes so I can improve my health and make more parent friends. I’ve got a few possibilities to check out in my neighbourhood. There are also quite a few free social things, like the Baby Time session I went to at the public library.

Also, we made stuff! W- and I made a simple baby gym for A-. He did the woodworking and I did the sewing. Hours of fun and enjoyment – and eventually A- will figure out what it’s for and have fun with it too. =) I’ll write a blog post about it eventually, so I can link to the tutorials we used and add our observations.

W- took J- along to the gym twice this week, so I was responsible for getting dinner sorted out. Which I did! By myself! Yay!

It was a good week, although I felt a bit run-down at the end of it. Could be accumulated sleep disruption plus a plugged duct. I got plenty of rest this weekend, and that helped a lot. I think we’re mostly back to normal now. W- made roast beef and roast turkey this weekend, so we have plenty of leftovers to help us get through next week.

This week we have three medical appointments. Looking forward to learning more!

2016-04-03a Week ending 2016-04-01 -- index card #journal #weekly output

Blog posts


Focus areas and time review

  • Business (0.5h – 0%)
    • ☐ Earn: E1: 1-2 days of consulting
    • Earn (0.0h – 0% of Business)
    • Build (0.0h – 0% of Business)
      • Drawing (0.0h)
      • Paperwork (0.0h)
    • Connect (0.5h – 100% of Business)
  • Relationships (1.6h – 0%)
    • ☑ Add relative times to visualization
    • ☑ Wrap website with library functions
    • ☑ Research bike trailer strollers
    • ☑ Visualize sleep on timeline
    • ☑ Decide what package of diapers to buy
    • ☑ Create calendar of baby activities
    • ☑ Research night-time cloth diapering options
  • Discretionary – Productive (12.8h – 7%)
    • Emacs (1.5h – 0% of all)
      • ☑ Do another Emacs News review
      • ☐ Do another Emacs News review
    • Sewing (3.7h)
      • ☑ Stuffed tetrahedron with taggies
      • ☑ Stuffed sphere
    • Writing (0.0h)
    • ☑ Fix rotation
  • Discretionary – Play (3.1h – 1%)
  • Personal routines (24.1h – 14%)
  • Unpaid work (79.3h – 47%)
    • Childcare (71.0h – 42% of total)
  • Sleep (46.6h – 27% – average of 6.7 per day)

Weekly review: Week ending March 25, 2016

A- was more awake this week, which was great. A lot of that wake time was during the graveyard shift, though, and some cluster feeding meant that my sleep’s been a bit more broken-up than last week. Still, I’m more comfortable with the idea of on-demand feeding than the idea of making her get on some kind of schedule, so it’s a trade-off I’m willing to accept.

Singing is turning out to be good mental exercise for my fuzzy brain: it’s stimulating for A-, I train my memory by learning lyrics, and it’s fun challenging my brain to think of the next line as I’m singing the current one so that everything flows smoothly. Both the hearing test and the 4-week checkup went fine.

I sewed another soft cube for the newborn of some friends, and I’m looking forward to dropping that off. I picked up some fabric, too, and I’m looking forward to turning that into clothes when things settle down.

On the non-baby front, I learned more about d3 visualizations and drawing graphs with a shared axis. I also checked in with my consulting client. We’ve got some ideas for visualizations I can noodle around here and there, so that should be fun. Managed to fit in some cooking, too – hooray!

This week’s achievements:

  • Sic Transit: A- and I took public transit to the 4 week checkup with the midwives, yay!
  • 9 Pounds of Awesome: What it says on the tin. And the scale.
  • Just Don’t Let Me Near Production Servers: A little bit of consulting. Seemed fine, but there might be a catch 22 there – am I too sleep-addled to tell if I’m sleep-addled? Playing it safe.
  • Cluster F: Frequent feeding. Early in the morning, too!
  • Open Air Poosplosion: Possibly related to the previous achievement.
  • Break Out the Carpet Vacuum: Definitely related to the previous achievement.

2016-03-28a Week ending 2016-03-25 -- index card #journal #weekly


Blog posts


Focus areas and time review

  • Business (5.3h – 3%)
    • Earn (2.4h – 44% of Business)
    • Build (0.3h – 5% of Business)
      • Drawing (0.0h)
      • Paperwork (0.0h)
      • ☑ Check images for Quantified Awesome
    • Connect (2.6h – 49% of Business)
      • ☑ Help OAFB
  • Relationships (2.0h – 1%)
    • ☑ Trim Neko’s claws
    • ☑ Call Eye Clinic and ask about referral to CNIB
    • ☑ 4-week appointment with midwife
    • ☑ Take picture with Tracy
    • ☑ Check re genetic testing referral
    • ☑ Thank you notes
    • ☑ Take A- to hearing test
    • ☐ Check with OHIP re name change
  • Discretionary – Productive (12.3h – 7%)
    • Emacs (1.0h – 0% of all)
      • ☑ Do another Emacs News review
    • Coding
      • ☑ Dump SQLite as CSV
      • ☑ Add button for refreshing data
      • ☑ Add wrapper functions for website
      • ☑ Display latest status
      • ☑ Add relative times to visualization
      • ☑ Add relative time to API
      • ☑ Add a note input to my-track.html
      • ☑ Add visual feedback on successful track
      • ☑ Get childcare to open babyconnect
      • ☑ Fix X server
    • Sewing (0.8h)
      • ☑ Make cube for Jen and Ewan
    • Writing (1.5h)
    • ☑ Research bike trailer strollers
  • Discretionary – Play (0.9h – 0%)
  • Personal routines (15.7h – 9%)
  • Unpaid work (66.6h – 39%)
    • Childcare (58.4h – 34% of total)
  • Sleep (65.2h – 38% – average of 9.3 per day)

Weekly review: Week ending March 18, 2016

I found time for a little bit of coding, sewing, and cooking this week. Awesome! I set up a backup of my sketches on my server, learned more about d3 visualizations by plotting nursing sessions on a timeline, sewed a soft cube with a rattle inside, and got around to cooking the sweet potato I asked W- to pick up. =) I also did some paperwork, posted Emacs News (yay!), and followed up on some things. We went for lots of good walks around the neighbourhood, including an extended walk to Home Depot in the Moby wrap. I’ve been practising with the ring sling and with a different hold for the Moby, too. Progress!

2016-03-19a Week ending 2016-03-18 -- index card #journal #weekly


Blog posts


Focus areas and time review

  • Business (9.2h – 5%)
    • Earn (0.0h – 0% of Business)
    • Build (9.1h – 98% of Business)
      • Drawing (4.0h)
      • Paperwork (1.0h)
    • Connect (0.2h – 1% of Business)
  • Relationships (4.2h – 2%)
    • ☑ Buy rocker
    • ☑ Check re hearing screening
    • ☑ Call SickKids about doctor notes
    • ☑ Child benefits application extra info
    • ☑ Book tentative vaccination appointment in case pediatrician referral falls through
    • ☐ Trim Neko’s claws
    • ☐ 4-week appointment with midwife
  • Discretionary – Productive (3.0h – 1%)
    • Emacs (0.3h – 0% of all)
    • ☑ [#A] Do another Emacs News review
    • Baby viz
      • ☑ Click on a dot to go to the record
      • ☑ Add timeline view
      • ☑ Cache data in a local SQLite
    • ☑ Check expiry and create tasks
    • ☑ Set up sketches directory on my web server
    • Sewing (0.4h)
    • Writing (0.0h)
  • Discretionary – Play (5.6h – 3%)
  • Personal routines (20.3h – 12%)
  • Unpaid work (77.2h – 45%)
    • Childcare (59.4h – 35% of total)
  • Sleep (71.4h – 42% – average of 10.2 per day)