Category Archives: weekly

Weekly review: Week ending June 3, 2016

A-‘s weight gain improved this week, hooray! 24g/day based on her measurements at the pediatrician (within the expected 20-30g/day range) and a slightly more sedate 16g/day based on the breastfeeding clinic’s measurements. It’s probably still too early to relax, but this is promising. Pretty normal results from genetics and hematology, too. Thrush seemed to be clear on Friday, but I saw two new white spots today, so we might see the pediatrician again for another look. Skating along between the 5th and 3rd percentile curves…

I managed to put together a short presentation on tracking baby-data for the Quantified Self Toronto meetup on June 1. I shared my experience wrapping a custom interface around the Baby Connect website so that I could track nursing and diaper changes despite being sleepy and easily distracted.

It’s been a good week for gardening. W- picked up three bags of composted sheep manure and two bags of black mulch. I planted the bitter melon seedlings that his mother gave us, and some Thai basil I bought on the way back from the breastfeeding clinic.

Barbecue season, too. I made chicken souvlaki to use some of the oregano that’s totally taking over one of the garden boxes, and there’s still more oregano for the picking. Continuing with the theme, I made Greek salad too. Mmm.

A- is getting better at grasping soft objects and manipulating things so that she can get them into her mouth. The crinkly book that Morgan and Cathy gave us is her new favourite. I should make more crinkly things, too! A- has also been blowing spitbubbles and flapping her lips at us. More interactivity, yay. She’s a little bit fussier than she was last week, but that’s normal.

I’ve been drawing late at night, after A- is in bed. This lets me keep my daily journal in greater detail, while the thoughts are fresh, and gives me more opportunities to learn and follow up. I’m going through lots of board books to get a sense of what I like, and I’m getting additional observation+drawing practice by copying drawings from the books. Multi-purpose!

I’ve been up a little earlier, too, since I can squeeze in a little coding or reading while waiting for A- to wake up. Starting to get the hang of what I can save for when she’s calm or playing with her book. Laundry and tidying up work well – easy to interrupt, and I can talk while doing things.

This week: See if I need to take A- to the pediatrician again, continue tracking weight and focusing on feeding, help Jen, and have pre-op anaesthesia nursing call.

2016-06-05b Week ending 2016-06-03 -- index card #journal #weekly output weight (9)

Blog posts

Sketches

Focus areas and time review

  • Business (4.7h – 2%)
    • Earn (3.6h – 76% of Business)
    • Build (0.2h – 3% of Business)
    • Connect (0.9h – 19% of Business)
  • Relationships (4.5h – 2%)
    • ☑ Make quick presentation for Quantified Self
    • ☑ Go to Quantified Self meetup for June 2016
  • Discretionary – Productive (12.0h – 7%)
    • Emacs (0.7h)
    • Coding (0.1h)
    • Sewing (0.0h)
    • Writing (1.6h)
  • Discretionary – Play (1.1h – 0%)
  • Personal routines (23.0h – 13%)
  • Unpaid work (66.3h – 39%)
    • Childcare (51.2h – 30% of total)
  • Sleep (56.3h – 33% – average of 8.0 per day)

Weekly review: Week ending May 27, 2016

This week was a busy one. We celebrated A-‘s 100-day party at a Chinese restaurant with W-‘s family and with Ching, who flew in from California to come and hang out with us.

I sewed a party dress for A- . It was my first time working with silk brocade, which kept unravelling at the edges but managed to stay together long enough for me to sew the elastic casings and the hems. Level up!

My family gave us a GoPro, and I’ve been using that to record short videos that I post to the closed group on Facebook for baby-related updates. I’ve got a backlog of videos because I haven’t had the time to review anything beyond a minute or so, which is why short videos work out better for us. Better to keep capturing, though. Storage is cheap, and there’ll be opportunities to review things later.

Speaking of time – I continue to be preoccupied with childcare, but that’s okay. I took A- to a lactation consultant who suggested some ways we could try to improve her latch, and recommended supplementing as many feeds as we can. She also diagnosed a case of thrush in A-‘s mouth, so we’ve been treating that too. I haven’t felt any pain yet, but the Internet has quite a lot of horror stories that I’d like to avoid contributing to, so we’ve been focusing on dealing with that and the supplementation. The lactation aid continues to be a bit too fussy for me to regularly use, although affixing it to a fridge magnet helps a little bit by giving me a way to adjust the level.

Since I keep bringing A-‘s weight history to different places, I spent a little time tweaking the display and the calculations to take into account only the weights at the same location. I’m getting more and more comfortable with d3 visualizations. My rate of improvement is still pretty slow, though. All these interruptions – but that’s a good problem to have. =) Here’s the latest section of the chart. She’s still gaining slower than the average weight gain for breastfed babies, but she seems to be skating along above the 3rd percentile line, so there’s that.

weight (8)

Slow coding progress on my consulting project. I need to think of a good way to deal with the limitations of the iframe around the add-on I’m building. I have a few ideas that I might get to test this week. It’s a bit difficult with the stop-and-go nature of being the primary caregiver for an infant, but fortunately my tracking system makes it easy for me to clock out when I need to change a diaper or when I notice my concentration flagging. I’ll just have to set proper expectations with my consulting client. I’ve checked in my code so they can take it forward if they want, and I can keep building on it here and there. Actually, it might be better to trim the functionality and do a smaller release – I’ll check prioritization and timing at the next team meeting.

I also want to make sure that A- gets plenty of stimulation. She’s becoming more and more interactive, yay! Lots of cooing and putting things in her mouth.

Next week: catching up on drawing and thinking, more gardening, and a follow-up with the pediatrician. Let’s see if I can make it out to the Quantified Self meetup, too.

2016-05-31b Week ending 2016-05-27 -- index card #journal #weekly output

Blog posts

Sketches

Focus areas and time review

  • Business (2.4h – 1%)
    • Earn (2.0h – 86% of Business)
    • Build (0.0h – 0% of Business)
      • Drawing (0.0h)
      • Paperwork (0.0h)
    • Connect (0.3h – 13% of Business)
  • Relationships (3.7h – 2%)
    • ☑ Take A- for more tests
    • ☑ Notes for Dr. Roth
    • ☑ Complete and fax pre-op questionnaire
  • Discretionary – Productive (7.1h – 4%)
    • Emacs (0.4h – 0% of all)
    • Coding (2.6h – 1% of all)
      • ☑ Improve weight display
    • Sewing (0.0h)
      • ☑ Party dress
    • Writing (0.8h)
  • Discretionary – Play (1.2h – 0%)
  • Personal routines (23.1h – 13%)
  • Unpaid work (67.7h – 40%)
    • Childcare (57.5h – 34% of total)
  • Sleep (62.7h – 37% – average of 9.0 per day)

Weekly review: Week ending May 20, 2016

A- is still not gaining weight or length well. The pediatrician thinks that she might either naturally be small (like my sister Kathy’s kids) or that there might be an underlying cause we may be able to address. I experimented briefly with fenugreek and blessed thistle to boost my supply, and have decided to skip them unless the lactation consultant tells me to go back on them. We’ll do a bunch more tests to see what we can find out. I’ll take her to Sick Kids Hospital next week, since the lab there has a lot of experience working with babies.

On the plus side, A- started waking up for long periods of time in the middle of the night. Could this be the 4-month sleep regression (that sometimes shows up earlier)? Neat! That means her brain is growing by leaps and bounds. We’re working on settling her to sleep earlier, so that she still gets all the sleep she needs.

A nurse from the Healthy Babies and Healthy Children program visited us at home. She’ll help me keep track of A-‘s developmental milestones so that we can catch things early, and she’ll also suggest activities to help A- grow. She might be able to pair us up with another neighbourhood family who can visit and share tips, too.

In terms of coding, I got my jive-angular workflow sorted out and have been using it to build a tool for my client. The npm install ran into problems on Windows, so I set it up manually by reading the source. I’ve been working on my personal tracker, too. I added more detailed logging for diapers and nursing, and I used the day view to print out one-page slices of data for the pediatrician, who seemed impressed.

I wanted to make a red jacket for A-‘s 100-day party, but the test pattern I sewed up wasn’t a good fit. I made a peasant-style dress instead. I’ve got plenty of practice sewing those! First time working with silk brocade. Pretty fancy. =)

My sister Ching is coming from California for the small party. How exciting! Next week: 100-day party with family – nothing too fancy, just a restaurant thing. More tests for A-, and a meeting with a lactation consultant. Onward!

2016-05-23a Week ending 2016-05-20 -- index card #journal #weekly output

Blog posts

Sketches

Focus areas and time review

  • Business (4.7h – 2%)
    • Earn (4.7h – 100% of Business)
    • Build (0.0h – 0% of Business)
      • Drawing (0.0h)
      • Paperwork (0.0h)
    • Connect (0.0h – 0% of Business)
  • Relationships (5.3h – 3%)
    • ☑ Research scholarships
    • ☐ Complete and fax pre-op questionnaire
  • Discretionary – Productive (13.1h – 7%)
    • Emacs (0.8h – 0% of all)
      • ☑ [#B] Do another Emacs News review
    • Coding (3.0h – 1% of all)
      • ☑ Add diapers to detailed timeline
      • ☑ Add supplementation and sleep toggles to nursing screen
      • ☑ Add diaper leak, open air accident options
      • ☑ Add small/medium/large option
      • ☑ Add start and end date
      • ☑ Update database for diapers and nursing
    • Sewing (4.3h)
    • Writing (0.0h)
      • ☑ Party dress
  • Discretionary – Play (0.0h – 0%)
  • Personal routines (21.0h – 12%)
  • Unpaid work (59.4h – 35%)
    • Childcare (50.9h – 30% of total)
  • Sleep (64.5h – 38% – average of 9.2 per day)

Weekly review: Week ending May 13, 2016

This week was mostly focused on figuring out some way to supplement A- in preparation for any fortification the dietitian might prescribe. She still doesn’t take the bottle and the lactation aid was a bit more trouble than I could manage, but we’ve had a little success with feeding her with an eyedropper while she’s breastfeeding. Her weight’s still up and down, but I hope the overall trend gets better. I added the weight standards from the WHO growth charts to my baby data visualizations. We can see her dropping through the percentiles (from 85% to 5%), but maybe she’s really just a small baby.

Lots of medical follow-ups, too. We saw the cardiologist on Wednesday. A-‘s ventricular septal defect is even smaller now (2.7mm), so the cardiologist doesn’t think it’s the reason for her slow weight gain. A- feeds a bit longer when we supplement her at the breast, so maybe it’s a matter of latch or flow. We’ll find out more once we sort out the referrals to a dietitian and a lactation consultant. We’re also going to be seeing a nurse from the Healthy Babies Healthy Children program. (Talk to all the medical professionals!)

I’ve been a little preoccupied with A-, but I managed to squeeze in a little time to do some sewing on Tuesday and some consulting on Thursday. I’m looking forward to getting even more done as we clear these challenges and I get into the rhythm of these weeks.

W- continues to be totally awesome. We were initially a bit tense about A-‘s poor weight gain, but his support has been helping me relax a little (or at least worry a bit less). Learning more about this parenting thing. =)

2016-05-14a Week ending 2016-05-13 -- index card #journal #weekly output

Blog posts

Sketches

Focus areas and time review

  • Business (4.9h – 2%)
    • Earn (4.7h – 96% of Business)
      • ☐ Earn: E1: 1-2 days of consulting
    • Build (0.0h – 0% of Business)
      • Drawing (0.0h)
      • Paperwork (0.0h)
    • Connect (0.2h – 3% of Business)
  • Relationships (3.2h – 1%)
    • ☑ Call pediatrician’s office regarding lactation consultant referral
    • ☑ Ask breastfeeding clinic about SNS, check weight
    • ☑ Call Eye Clinic and ask about anaesthesia scheduling
    • ☑ Follow up with cardiologist regarding A-‘s slow weight gain
  • Discretionary – Productive (12.5h – 7%)
    • Emacs (1.0h – 0% of all)
      • ☑ [#B] Do another Emacs News review
      • ☐ [#B] Do another Emacs News review
    • Coding (5.6h – 3% of all)
      • ☑ Add supplementation tracking
      • ☑ Add time span
      • ☑ Add weight standards
      • ☑ Clean up and print weight history
      • ☑ Allow nursing tracking without side specification
    • ☑ Update sach.ac and namecheap information
    • ☑ Set up Tangerine
    • Sewing (0.0h)
    • Writing (0.2h)
  • Discretionary – Play (0.7h – 0%)
  • Personal routines (21.5h – 12%)
  • Unpaid work (75.0h – 44%)
    • Childcare (68.8h – 40% of total)
  • Sleep (50.1h – 29% – average of 7.2 per day)

Weekly review: Week ending May 6, 2016

The week started with the 80th birthday party of one of our in-laws. It got me thinking about what I might like my life to be like when I’m eighty. I hope to still have the habit of reviewing my life and learning more. It would be nice to participate in a few offline and online communities (ooh, can you imagine how cool it would be to have a vibrant Emacs scene in the 2060s?). It would be great to keep helping people and accumulating good karma, and to see the effects of that help down the road – I’m sure I’d have learned a lot from those people, too. Looking forward to seeing how this turns out.

A-‘s 100-day party is coming up. I don’t know if I’ll have the time to sew her an outfit, so I bought a red blouse for her just in case. Could be a good excuse to learn how to make a teeny tiny cheongsam or jacket, though. Anyway, my eldest sister Ching is flying in for the party, yay!

I took A- for a follow-up appointment with the pediatrician, who confirmed her slow weight gain and started the referral process to a dietitian who can help us make a plan to fortify A-‘s milk with extra calories. Feeding A- will probably be my primary focus for the next little while. Gotta get her growing.

A little bit of coding here and there. I did a quick report for my consulting client, and I started thinking about the add-on they’d like me to develop. I’m not sure when I’ll be able to redesign the interface and port my code, but it’ll be something to think about here and there.

We reorganized our basement cabinets, and the new system feels better. Yay! I need to sort through my sewing stash and reduce the clutter there. Looking forward to more projects, especially once we sort out feeding. I sewed a baby sunbonnet following a free pattern from Purl Soho, and that’s come in handy for a few walks already.

Lots of drawing and thinking time this week, spurred by questions and planning. Good to be able to sort through my thoughts!

2016-05-08a Week ending 2016-05-06 -- index card #journal #weekly

output

Blog posts

Sketches

Focus areas and time review

  • Business (4.1h – 2%)
    • Earn (2.8h – 69% of Business)
      • ☑ [#A] Prepare invoice
      • ☐ Earn: E1: 1-2 days of consulting
    • Build (1.0h – 24% of Business)
      • Drawing (0.0h)
      • Paperwork (1.0h)
    • Connect (0.2h – 5% of Business)
  • Relationships (9.1h – 5%)
    • ☑ Go to W-‘s extended family thing
    • ☑ Take A- for vaccinations
    • ☑ Do midwife evaluation form
    • ☑ Inquire with Kindercare
    • ☐ Ask breastfeeding clinic about SNS
    • ☐ Call Lisa on May 10 to see if we can reschedule
  • Discretionary – Productive (15.7h – 9%)
    • Emacs (1.3h – 0% of all)
    • Coding (2.3h – 1% of all)
      • ☑ Main screen wet to cloth option
      • ☑ Add supplementation tracking
    • Sewing (2.9h)
      • ☑ Try the hat sewing pattern Kristina mentioned
    • Writing (2.3h)
    • ☑ Complete census
  • Discretionary – Play (1.3h – 0%)
  • Personal routines (18.9h – 11%)
  • Unpaid work (66.5h – 39%)
    • Childcare (55.2h – 32% of total)
  • Sleep (52.5h – 31% – average of 7.5 per day)

Weekly review: Week ending April 29, 2016

This week felt like a good one for making progress in a variety of areas. =)

We’ve been learning a little more about A- and sleep. I don’t mind letting her sleep whenever she wants, even if it means she might be up at an awkward time. It’s easier to deal with a well-rested and curious A- than a cranky and overtired A-, anyway! I can manage the occasional middle-of-the-night fussing. When I’m too tired or if W-‘s going to be up anyway, A- spends time with W-.

I’ve been researching flight options and tips for super-long-haul travel. It looks like getting a separate seat for A- could be worth the cost. I’m not sure about taking care of her on my own for the ~22+ hours it takes to go from Toronto to Manila, so any trips may have to wait until either W- files for parental leave or gets more vacation days next year. Anyway, we need more information about her medical needs first before I’d feel comfortable planning any travel. Hard to plan with all these uncertainties!

Speaking of medical stuff – after lots of research and calling, I’ve learned that our current situation (having a pediatrician) is actually pretty awesome and that it can be difficult to “shop around,” so we’ll probably stick with what we have. I got on the waitlist to switch my family doctor relationship to someone closer, though, in case I can find a good fit. We’ll find out more about A-‘s heart and eye in June. In the meantime, May will be busy enough with breastfeeding clinic follow-ups, routine vaccinations, and a visit from a nurse in the Healthy Babies Healthy Children program. (Talk to all the support organizations!)

I spent some time consulting, too. I finally figured out how to animate data in d3 by working on my personal visualization of baby data, so I felt ready to transfer that knowledge to visualizations of client data. Building up the skills on my own time meant I didn’t feel guilty about charging my client for fuzzy-brain-learning-time. =) I’m looking forward to tweaking the visualizations based on their feedback, and building some more.

Since I’m doing all this stuff at home and outside, I decided to leave Hacklab. I really like the community, but I didn’t think I’d make it out there often enough to justify the membership. I wasn’t quite sure I could make the most of the space while also taking care of a baby. It’s easier to code or sew at home, where I’ve got everything I need for A- and where W- can take care of her if I need to focus on something. I’d been mentally treating my Hacklab membership as more like a donation to support something I like. Now that Hacklab’s finances are more solid, I can turn that money to other uses. I might consider rejoining it if I figure out how to make it work, as volunteering to help make Tuesday open house dinners was lots of fun.

Slowly sorting out new routines. Yay! =)

2016-05-02a Week ending 2016-04-29 -- index card #journal #weekly output

Blog posts

Sketches

Focus areas and time review

  • Business (9.5h – 5%)
    • Earn (8.9h – 92% of Business)
      • ☑ [#A] Prepare invoice
      • ☐ Earn: E1: 1-2 days of consulting
    • Build (0.4h – 4% of Business)
      • Drawing (0.0h)
      • Paperwork (0.4h)
        • ☑ Check if I need to amend T5
        • ☑ Transfer from savings
        • ☑ Issue and print resolution
        • ☑ Write and deposit cheque
        • ☑ File dividend in Quickbooks
    • Connect (0.3h – 2% of Business)
      • ☑ Retrieve my things
  • Relationships (4.1h – 2%)
    • ☐ Take A- for vaccinations
    • ☐ Call TD and ask about RESP
    • ☑ Check with OHIP re name change
    • ☑ Braindump notes for flight
  • Discretionary – Productive (10.2h – 6%)
    • Emacs (0.6h – 0% of all)
      • ☑ Do another Emacs News review
    • Coding
      • ☑ Apply d3 update to histogram
      • ☑ Save last activity when we start nursing
      • ☑ Go to W-‘s extended family thing
      • ☑ Disable touchpad in init script
      • ☑ Fiddle with image composition
      • ☑ Figure out why ssh was asking for passphrase
      • ☑ Radial tree for status
      • ☑ Figure out what’s going on with BEGIN_HTML
      • ☑ Set up Tasker to forward to home phone when I’m on home wifi
    • Sewing (1.4h)
      • ☑ Peasant top
    • Writing (0.0h)
  • Discretionary – Play (0.0h – 0%)
  • Personal routines (15.4h – 9%)
  • Unpaid work (69.8h – 41%)
    • Childcare (62.4h – 37% of total)
  • Sleep (59.0h – 35% – average of 8.4 per day)