Category Archives: weekly

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Weekly review: Week ending August 11, 2017

A-‘s liver ultrasound on Wednesday was the last of four hospital visits in three weeks. Hooray! We got through them without traumatizing A- (or me). I couldn’t restrain her well enough for the exam, but she calmed down enough while nursing, so that worked. We decompressed to the family centre afterwards, and she was in good spirits by the time we headed home. Her sleep was a bit disrupted the following two nights, though, and she had a stronger preference for W- (even pushing me away sometimes).

Another big milestone: we went swimming for the first time! The Regent Park Aquatic Centre was remarkably pleasant, and it was great going with Jen and E-. We checked out nearby playgrounds, too. A- and I caught up with Ian Garmaise over a muffin and a stroll through the ROM, and Ewan and E- visited us at home. I brought A- with me to the client’s office so that I could pick up a VPN token, and she did fine there as well.

“Sleeping Bunnies” was the song of the week. A- got the hang of lying down and getting up. Then she started saying “No” at the right point, and then she figured out she could say “No” in other contexts. (She usually says it so calmly, too!) She lets us know via gestures that we should get our own books instead of reading hers during family reading time on the couch. She doesn’t need me to go down slides with her now; she can go down slides if I hold her hand. Yay!

A- started using the word “Baa” to refer to her stuffed sheep. She likes buckling it into the high chair and giving it food and water. As her comfort object, it’s now subject to the “Stay home except for important trips” policy. Good to see the development of more pretend play.

Since I couldn’t connect to my client’s VPN, I used some of my discretionary time to work on timeline support for Quantified Awesome. I’m not sure I can flesh it out well enough in time for Will to use it for baby-tracking, though, so I recommended baby-connect.com instead.

We made pesto from the basil in our garden box, and we gave a few jars to the neighbours who helped us pour the concrete piers for the porch. I also made a batch of zucchini muffins and banana bread. Following up on a few conversations with W- about household assistance and time, I looked into various options such as housekeeping, meal prep, and childcare. We decided to keep things simple and do things ourselves, though.

We have a few weeks until the next medical things (pediatrician, Healthy Babies Healthy Children). Time to check out the Ontario Science Centre and other resources around the city!

Blog posts

Sketches

Focus areas and time review

  • Business (3.9h – 2%)
    • Earn (2.6h – 65% of Business)
      • ☑ Earn: E1: 1-2 hours of consulting
    • Build (1.4h – 34% of Business)
  • Relationships (6.6h – 3%)
  • Discretionary – Productive (8.1h – 4%)
    • Drawing (5.0h)
    • Emacs (0.6h)
    • Coding (1.1h)
    • Writing (0.8h)
  • Discretionary – Play (0.3h – 0%)
  • Personal routines (11.5h – 6%)
  • Unpaid work (20.1h – 11%)
  • A- (Childcare) (66.0h – 39% of total)
  • Sleep (51.4h – 30% – average of 7.3 per day)

Weekly review: Week ending August 4, 2017

Big week for medical things. A- needed to be sedated for a heart exam, which meant no solids past midnight and no nursing four hours before the exam. We had a relaxed evening of eating her favourite foods, and she ate almost until the cut-off time (last cracker at 11:57 PM). She woke up as soon as she wasn’t allowed to nurse, and cried for a while until W- and I managed to distract her with songs and attention. It was still tough going at the sedation clinic, but she settled down twenty minutes after the chloral hydrate was given (and, possibly coincidentally, once I started on “How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight”). The cardiologist said she looks okay so far, so we might be able to stay with A-‘s regular cardiologist for routine monitoring instead of coming to Sick Kids.

A-‘s eye exam on Friday involved pupil dilation. She was too upset for the pediatric ophthalmologist-in-training to do the exam, but the main ophthalmologist suggested waiting until A- was asleep, so that’s when he had a look. So far, so good. Yay!

Creating positive associations has helped a lot. We’ve taken to decompressing at the family centre in Sick Kids, playing one of their ukuleles and reading books. I brought her stuffed toy sheep, which has become her favourite comfort object. Liberal use of upside-down time has also gotten her to let me clean her teeth, which is a relief.

It’s fun watching A- become more independent. A- started doing the actions for “Slice, Slice” and “Sleeping Bunnies”. She insisted that we mime the slicing and spreading on our own bodies, which is cool. “Sleeping Bunnies” now often elicits a “No” at just the right spot. She’s carried that over to saying “No” in various situations, including refusing my help and asking for W-‘s. Whee! Our kiddo’s becoming more opinionated, and she’s developing the tools to express what she wants. That should help minimize her frustration. She won’t be able to get everything she wants, of course, but at least she can differentiate between things she’ll get after waiting and things to which I have to say no. (Especially since she managed to disable the microwave child lock before…) She has free rein of the notebooks and pens I keep stashed around the house, which she has started fishing out of drawers and doodling in. Maybe we’ll get her sketchnoting someday!

It was great catching up with a friend and her kiddo at the ROM. I also spent some time reflecting on impact, following up on a conversation with a few other friends last week. A- had fun during a video chat with Lolo. She pointed at body parts when prompted, and walked around a bit too.

The VPN token I use to access my consulting clients’ network expired, so I’ve been focusing on personal projects while waiting for a replacement. I added category and tag exclusion to my WordPress theme. That lets me make a bulk view of my non-Emacs-News posts so that I can reread them during my annual review. I started working on multiple timeline support for Quantified Awesome so that I can move baby data tracking there, but progress is slow. I finally downscaled my Linode plan, too, accepting that I probably won’t have the mental bandwidth to make the most of its capacity until A- is in school or something like that.

We’ve been shifting towards more vegetable-based proteins because of the draft recommendations for Canada’s food guide and for other health reasons. I stocked up on dried spices and herbs for Mason jar soups, since they’re easy to prepare even when hanging out with A-. The Moroccan lentil soup was a good first try; next time, I’ll grind the spices. A- liked the lentils but not the wild rice in this curried lentil wild rice soup, but we’ll give that a few more tries. too. I feel pretty good about the change in our eating habits. I’ll need to read up more on nutrition to make sure we’ve got all the important nutrients. We still eat meat, just less than before. I might be developing mild lactose intolerance, too, so that’s something else to consider.

W- spent the weekend pouring concrete piers for the porch with the help of a couple of neighbours. It was a lot of work even with the electric mixer. Recovering from that and a sore throat took a while, but fortunately, we can take things pretty easy.

Next week: one more Sick Kids appointment, and then catching up!

Blog posts

Sketches

Focus areas and time review

  • Business (1.9h – 1%)
    • Earn (0.3h – 16% of Business)
      • ☐ Earn: E1: 1-2 hours of consulting
    • Build (1.6h – 83% of Business)
      • ☑ Consider fiddling with Linode payment
      • ☑ Transfer credit from Paypal to Linode
    • Connect (0.0h – 0% of Business)
  • Relationships (6.5h – 3%)
  • Discretionary – Productive (7.7h – 4%)
    • Drawing (5.1h)
    • Emacs (0.9h)
    • Coding (1.4h)
      • ☑ Tweak my WordPress theme to allow category exclusion
    • Writing (0.4h)
  • Discretionary – Play (0.7h – 0%)
  • Personal routines (13.5h – 8%)
  • Unpaid work (9.9h – 5%)
  • A- (Childcare) (72.2h – 42% of total)
  • Sleep (55.5h – 33% – average of 7.9 per day)

Weekly review: Week ending July 28, 2017

I took A- for a blood test. As soon as we walked into Sick Kids Hospital, she started crying. We’ll be there a few times in August, so I asked a child life specialist for a few tips. She can’t avoid the pain and anxiety, but I can still help by bringing comfort items and adding a few positive associations. We spent some time at the family centre at the hospital playing with books, toys, and ukuleles, and I think that helped a little.

A- likes saying “da!” for “down” and “up!” (for “up”, of course) when she’s on the stairs, and she sometimes says “baba” for “bye-bye”. A- has been practising getting down from the bed, and can usually do it with a few reminders. She’s been getting more involved in household routines. For example, she wanted laundry tucked under her chin because she sees us fold laundry that way. She likes washing her face and reminding us to wash ours, and she mimicks how we moisturize our feet. She washed berries with surprising carefulness. She occasionally lies down to have her diaper changed. In terms of fine motor control, she seems to occasionally use a pencil grip when working with a paintbrush or pencil. Not actually a tripod grip as I wrote down here; more like a 5-point pencil grasp? It’s still early for that in terms of development, but it’s great that she’s practising different grips. She likes scribbling in notebooks, which she sees me do occasionally. Time to let her see more of that!

We had our last music class for July. A- seems to be smiling at tickling songs and rhymes now, and she also waves a scarf around to music. It’s so much fun watching her grow. I read the Music in Preschool textbook that the teacher recommended and asked some questions about the Kodaly method’s concern about didactic songs. The teacher said it’s okay to have practical songs in combination with music education that focuses more on the aesthetic sense.

We hung out with Jen and Eric at the park for a great discussion about impact. We had Jen and E- over for dinner on Tuesday. I also took A- to Tim’s retirement party, where she managed to nap for thirty minutes amidst the hubbub. We checked out the trains and playset at Roundhouse Park while we were down there.

The building permit inspection went well. W-‘s research and hard work paid off, yay! Next step: concrete and framing. As for me, I lost my library card somewhere. (I wonder if it’s in the dryer…) Fortunately, it’s easy enough to replace.

A- has a bit of a runny nose, so we’ll see if that clears up by next week or if we need to move her Sick Kids appointments. Ah well!

Blog posts

Sketches

Focus areas and time review

  • Business (1.6h – 0%)
    • Earn (1.6h – 99% of Business)
      • ☐ Prepare invoice
      • ☐ Earn: E1: 1-2 hours of consulting
    • Build (0.0h – 0% of Business)
      • ☑ Consider fiddling with Linode
      • ☑ Transfer credit from Paypal to Linode
    • Connect (0.0h – 0% of Business)
  • Relationships (7.2h – 4%)
  • Discretionary – Productive (7.2h – 4%)
    • Drawing (4.6h)
    • Emacs (0.8h)
    • Writing (0.5h)
  • Discretionary – Play (3.0h – 1%)
  • Personal routines (19.0h – 11%)
  • Unpaid work (9.8h – 5%)
  • A- (Childcare) (65.8h – 39% of total)
  • Sleep (54.3h – 32% – average of 7.8 per day)

Weekly review: Week ending July 14, 2017

A- and I went to the Maker Festival at the Toronto Reference Library. It was great to see so many people enthusiastic about all sorts of things. We had a 3D portrait taken by Alan Majer, which was pretty cool (even though A- was crying). I’ve backed up the object model along with the rest of A-‘s pictures. Might be fun to review in the future. I took A- to the ROM twice this week, too: once with some people from music class, and once with a mom and a kid from the JFRC.

The Learning Tower turned out to be a good platform for gross motor development. A- has been very interested in climbing into and out of it with the help of a step stool. She’s also been walking a fair bit, especially when she has her backpack on. I got her soft Tickle Toes leather shoes in size 6, and she prefers them over her other shoes. She went down the big-kid slide with W- quite a few times, which involved climbing up ramps and short walls with a little help.

Lots of egg-cracking practice. Only little bits of shell! I also got A- involved in making shake-and-bake chicken, gyoza, and banana bread. She practised transferring yogurt from one bowl to another using a spoon, and she’s also been working on spreading peanut butter on crackers.

A- was not particularly interested in the craft activity involving feathers – not anxious, but not keen on touching the feathers unless it was to put them away. She was scared of a hand puppet at the ROM and a stegosaurus figurine at the JFRC. Ah well.

It’s amazing how much she observes and imitates. She put playdough into small containers, smoothed pieces of tape onto the lids, and carried the containers to the freezer, like the way we put away food that we’ve prepared in bulk. She tried tying her hair with a rubber band. Hard with such short arms! I looped a ponytail band around some of her hair so that she could try that out, but her hair’s fine enough that it was easy for A- to pull the band off. I think she wanted to do it herself, though. Someday!

Misc:

  • W- spent 2.5 hours turning $18 of basil, three packages of pine nuts, a wedge of Parmesan cheese, and some olive oil into lots and lots of yummy pesto.
  • A- and I were late to music class because I forgot to set an alarm, so I’ve set a recurring alarm now.
  • I helped J- file her taxes for 2015.
  • We had W-‘s mom and one of his nieces over for dinner. Gyoza, yum yum!
  • I cut my hair back to shoulder-length. Nice and light for summer!
  • Consulting: I worked on exporting data.
  • I’ve been experimenting with an outline in my journal. Promising, although a little more work.

Blog posts

Sketches

Focus areas and time review

  • Business (4.0h – 2%)
    • Earn (4.0h – 98% of Business)
    • Build (0.1h – 1% of Business)
  • Relationships (7.6h – 4%)
  • Discretionary – Productive (8.3h – 4%)
    • Drawing (5.4h)
    • Emacs (1.9h)
    • Coding (0.6h)
    • Writing (0.3h)
  • Discretionary – Play (1.4h – 0%)
  • Personal routines (21.8h – 12%)
  • Unpaid work (9.1h – 5%)
  • A- (Childcare) (64.0h – 38% of total)
  • Sleep (51.8h – 30% – average of 7.4 per day)

Weekly review: Week ending July 21, 2017

A-‘s first two upper molars have partially emerged. Our sleep’s disrupted by middle-of-the-night wakings and she’s a bit more irritable (and drooly) than normal, but that’s okay, it’s all part of life. I’ve been prioritizing sleep, but I still feel a little fuzzy. 

At Jen and Ewan’s party, A- was pretty relaxed. She played with her backpack, and she shared some cereal with E-. At home, we had a fun video chat with my parents. A- showed them that she could point to her nose, ears, mouth, and so on. She also did the gestures for a number of songs. My mom started teaching her how to blow a kiss. As it turns out, A- can imitate even things she’s seen in video chat, which is neat.

Lots of other imitations: turning keys in a lock, washing bottles with a brush, wiping her nose with tissue or a hanky, washing her face, brushing her hair. More egg-cracking practice, too. When she cracked two eggs for banana bread, she left the yolks whole and there was only a tiny bit of egg shell in it.

Nilda suggested an activity involving gluing foam shapes to paper, which gives plenty of opportunities to name the shapes and colours. A- was more interested in rolling up the paper, though. I wonder if A- wants sushi…

I cut two scarves out of some translucent fabric from my stash and quickly serged the edges, so now we have scarves for doing circle-time songs here. A-‘s been pretty keen on scarves during circle time, and she often asks me to do “Popcorn” when we’re at home.

We’ve been going to the playground more often, since the drop-in centres can be a bit overwhelming with the bigger kids. A- enjoyed playing in the sandbox. She also liked splashing through puddles in the rain. A- picked up the “Soft kitty, warm kitty” rhyme from music class, and I’ve been practising “Alouette” too.

Consulting: after a couple of false starts, I made some progress on data extraction and updating the admin report. The first time I tried working on those tasks, I couldn’t remember where some of the data I needed was, which was frustrating. It’s also a bit challenging to work at night if A-‘s waking up frequently, since I need to keep the state in my head throughout quick interruptions. Still, A- is higher priority. While it’s nice to feel like I’m getting stuff done, I won’t always be able to get quick wins or feel brilliant, so I shouldn’t get attached to that. It’ll be all right as long as I manage expectations properly.

Other:

  • I lost my Presto card in the dryer, but W- retrieved it for me.
  • I bought several bunches of chives, chopped them up, and froze them, so gyoza should be a little more doable.
  • I watched a few movies at home: Fate of the Furious, Moana, and Beauty and the Beast.

We’ll probably keep taking it easy, at least until teething subsides.

Blog posts

Sketches

Focus areas and time review

  • Business (4.8h – 2%)
    • Earn (4.8h – 100% of Business)
  • Relationships (1.9h – 1%)
  • Discretionary – Productive (4.8h – 2%)
    • Drawing (3.3h)
    • Emacs (1.3h)
  • Discretionary – Play (0.7h – 0%)
  • Personal routines (15.7h – 9%)
  • Unpaid work (11.1h – 6%)
  • A- (Childcare) (70.9h – 42% of total)
  • Sleep (58.0h – 34% – average of 8.3 per day)

Weekly review: Week ending July 7, 2017

What a week! All of a sudden, we have a toddler: one who walks a little unsteadily, but with great enthusiasm. W- discovered that you can nudge A- to walk on her own if you give her something to carry and ask her to take it to someone. After a few trips back and forth, A- got the hang of it. She still cruises from time to time, and she prefers to walk holding our hands, but she’ll also toddle towards the sprinkler or across the deck. Whee! She also managed to put her shoes on by herself, and practised putting on her glasses in front of a mirror. (Which she can recognize herself in, yay!)

We got a second-hand Learning Tower, and A- has been making great use of it in the kitchen. She imitates the way we wash dishes, scramble eggs, and cut (she has playdough and her knife). New words: Gyo(za), ham, noo(dles). Also exciting: A- has been working on rinsing and spitting, which is an important precursor to being able to use fluoride toothpaste!

Nilda brought glue, pompoms, and glitter. A- particularly enjoyed shaking glitter all over the glue-covered piece of paper. I followed up on Nilda’s suggestion of plaster of Paris, and we’ve been making casts of A-‘s hand print. A- got to the point of waiting for me to press her hand into the playdough to make the hand mold. Our field trip to AGO was practically a footnote to such an eventful week.

We’ve been working on helping her practise waiting, too. Sometimes it’s easy to keep her occupied with songs and sometimes she’s harder to settle, but that’s normal.

On my side: analytics SQL, some time visualization, nd lots of revving up of my early childhood education research. A-‘s learning tons, and I remember there were quite a few resources I came across early on that looked like they would be more useful around this age. So much to learn for all of us! =)

Blog posts

Sketches

Focus areas and time review

  • Business (8.6h – 5%)
    • Earn (3.8h – 43% of Business)
      • ☑ Update data extract
    • Build (4.9h – 56% of Business)
      • ☑ Prepare invoice
      • ☑ Batch edit for categories
      • ☑ Check infinite loops for get_color
    • Connect (0.0h – 0% of Business)
  • Relationships (0.5h – 0%)
  • Discretionary – Productive (8.1h – 4%)
    • Drawing (3.8h)
    • Emacs (0.4h)
      • ☑ Set up Cron
      • ☑ Try out planetplanet
      • ☑ Figure out how to blacklist
      • ☑ Fix unicode
    • Coding (0.5h)
    • Writing (1.1h)
  • Discretionary – Play (0.9h – 0%)
  • Personal routines (13.9h – 8%)
  • Unpaid work (10.8h – 6%)
  • A- (Childcare) (72.1h – 42% of total)
  • Sleep (52.9h – 31% – average of 7.6 per day)