Category Archives: weekly

Weekly review: Week ending January 6, 2017

It got a lot colder this week, so A- and I mostly stayed indoors. Not a bad time to stay close to home, anyway. W-‘s knee flared up again, so he spent a few days resting and icing it.

We did make a few trips out. We took A- for a routine checkup at the eye clinic in Sick Kids Hospital. Her right eye seems to be developing normally – 20/80 vision based on 7.1 on the Teller acuity test. It turns out that both W- and I have large optic nerves, so that might explain hers too. They gave us a prescription for safety glasses for A- to protect her vision as she becomes more mobile. I’ll probably get her a pair of Miraflex frames once the weather warms up.

A- got a little overtired while waiting at the hospital, but she recovered after a good nap in the afternoon. Between that and the gradual emergence of her first tooth, sleep has been a little irregular, with occasional late-night wakings and lots of nursing in bed. That’s okay, it’s just part of life. I’ve been able to write a lot on my phone, thanks to my new workflow with Google Tasks and Org Mode, so it’s easy enough to make use of all that time in bed.

When she’s not asleep or nursing, A- is curious and active. She clearly enjoys the somersaults that W- guides her through, and often tips her head back to signal that she wants another turn. She’s also getting better at signaling when she doesn’t want any more food. She’s probably trying to figure out how to shake her head for “no”, but at the moment, scrunching her eyes and nodding sharply will do.

I tried following up on some paperwork (T4 and T5 slips, my parents’ visa applications), but the government systems were down for scheduled maintenance. Next week, then. Paid myself dividends and reimbursed my company for my part of split expenses. I also filled my TFSA for the year, hooray!

I also fixed my evil plans Org Mode file so that it worked with the lexical scoping in Org 9. I changed the code that produced my graph to explicitly invoke Org Babel with parameters instead of trying to piggyback on the parameters passed in the original block. I also updated a few of the goals. I broke a few links in the process, but fortunately org-lint helped me quickly identify them.

A- and I video-chatted with my mom and with Kathy, with brief appearances by G* and A*. Also, It was J-‘s birthday, so we celebrated with some tarts that Y- bought.

Odd moment: Neko fell into the shallow bath I’d washed A- in, and had to be rescued by W-. The poor dear.

We reviewed our emergency preparations, moving food past their best-before dates to the pantry and restocking the bags with new snacks. We added diapers, wipes, and baby clothes, too. Good to prepare for winter storms or neighbourhood gas-leak evacuations.

Jen and E- dropped by with more clothes for A-. It was awesome to see E- toddling around. So independent! A- will get there some day.

I made shepherd’s pie for our lunch, and that worked out surprisingly well. W- spent an afternoon making lamb korma – so nice! – and some banchan too. The roast veg recipe from the science of cooking book was yummy, although I’m not sure about the value of using aluminum to steam the veg in the pan instead of washing another pot. Washing is easy enough, anyway.

What a full week! Next week: another conformer for A-, slightly warmer weather, more paperwork, and a return to consulting.

Blog posts

Sketches

Focus areas and time review

  • Business (0.1h – 0%)
    • Earn (0.0h – 0% of Business)
    • Build (0.1h – 100% of Business)
      • ☑ See if I can downscale my Linode
      • ☑ Write the business a personal cheque and deposit it
      • ☑ Pay myself dividends
      • ☐ Issue T4
      • ☐ Issue T5
    • Connect (0.0h – 0% of Business)
  • Relationships (2.1h – 1%)
    • ☑ File photos of borrowed clothes
    • ☑ Follow-up at eye clinic
    • ☑ Follow up on visa
  • Discretionary – Productive (3.7h – 2%)
    • Drawing (2.0h)
      • ☑ Review month
    • Emacs (1.2h)
      • ☐ [#A] Do another Emacs News review
      • ☑ Org effort filtering
      • ☑ Fix evil plans
      • ☑ Help with table issue
    • Coding (0.0h)
    • Sewing (0.0h)
    • Writing (0.1h)
    • ☐ Rebalance CAD to US
    • ☑ Move money to TFSA
  • Discretionary – Play (1.3h – 0%)
  • Personal routines (10.9h – 6%)
  • Unpaid work (80.0h – 47%)
    • Childcare (76.1h – 45% of total)
  • Sleep (69.9h – 41% – average of 10.0 per day)

Weekly review: Week ending December 30, 2016

We lost A-‘s ocular prosthesis again, this time somewhere at home. It had been slipping out once or twice a day, sometimes even when she wasn’t touching it. People in the online support group said that’s often a sign that it’s too small. We’re going to see if the ocularist can step up his game and make one that’s a better fit, or if it’s time to shop around. 75% government funding and additional help from W-‘s health benefits soften the blow a little, but if a replacement isn’t eligible for coverage, it’s a lot to pay for something that might not fit well. We’ll just have to see. I don’t think it would be practical to patch her eye 24/7 to help keep it in, so we’ll just have to work on finding it whenever it comes out – at least until she becomes responsible enough to keep track of it herself, which could take several years. Anyway, that’s life.

On the plus side, we’ve been enjoying the Junior Engineer set that my sister and her husband gave us. It’s a collection of beams, plates, axles, pins, nuts, bolts, cubes, triangles, and wheels – a bit like LEGO Technic, but for the younger crowd. A- likes pulling things out of the basket and offering them to W-, who then figures out how to incorporate those things into whatever he’s building. I’m methodically working my way through the models in the instruction manual. 3 down, 85 to go.

A-‘s play area in the living room is shaping up nicely. The Junior Engineer set is there, as well as the toys W-‘s family gave her at the Christmas get-together. W- installed a ledge for displaying a few books. We have a bin for rotating toys so that we don’t have too many out at once. This also makes clean-up easier. It’s become a nice place to hang out with A-, and we’re developing a good rhythm of playing, doing chores, and going for walks.

We were out for a walk almost every day, except for that time there was a lot of freezing rain. We’ve been skipping the snow suit for walks in the neighbourhood – the blankets and scarves I wrap around us seem to be enough to keep her warm in 0-degree-ish weather. This means it’s easier to get out of the house, and to come back in after. Yay walking!

The Junction Family Resource Centre turned out to be open, so we dropped by for snack time and circle time. A- was a little quiet – once again getting used to the stimulation of having all those kids around, I guess – but she seemed to have fun taking all the rattles out of one of the bins, and putting them back in again. She ate two apple slices and three slices of cheddar all by herself. Such progress since the last time I had taken her to the JFRC!

We chatted with my mom on Christmas and she gave us a few updates on the health issues that she and my dad are dealing with. Ah, life.

Lots of cooking. We made a number of banchan to accompany roast beef in bibimbap bowls: spinach, mushrooms, carrots… Congee made with mushroom soaking water picked up a deliciously earthy flavour. The roast vegetable techniques from the science of cooking book – cutting the vegetables into batons, steaming them in the roasting pan under a tight cover of foil before uncovering and browning them – resulted in tender, sweet roasted veg. The meat-stuffed vegetable recipe from the visual cookbook J- gave me didn’t turn out as appetizing, but maybe I just need to double the filling and add more salt. Hmm… I want to get better at capturing and building on our cooking notes, too, so I might write more about cooking here.

Capturing ideas and fleshing them out on my phone is working well. I’ve been using Tasks Free to jot down ideas for sketches, and that makes my limited computer time more efficient. I like its drag and drop capabilities and synchronization more than I like Orgzly. There’s a script to synchronize Google Tasks with Org Mode, anyway. As a result, I drew quite a few non-journal sketches this week.

I also managed to do a little coding. I finally got around to adding a date filter to my theme. While testing it, I realized that my blog had been quietly dropping paragraph breaks – how embarrassing! I discovered that just as A- woke up crying from a nap, so I was rather frazzled, but W- stepped in and took care of her. Fortunately, I managed to quickly narrow down the problem and fix it by upgrading a plugin. Got two blog posts out of that, too.

And I even got to play video games with W-! A- had been going to sleep at 9 or so, which gave me some time to join W- on a new playthrough of Borderlands 2. Whenever A- woke up, I put down the controller and dashed upstairs to spend time with her. It usually took a short time to settle her back down. Sometimes W- dropped my character out so that he could keep playing, and sometimes he filled in the time with other activities. He’s a couple of levels ahead of me, but it all balances out with the way Borderlands 2 handles experience. Anyway, spending time with him is on my priority list too – video gaming time is cheaper than therapy. :) It’s fun to be able to team up again.

Next week: more writing and playing, perhaps!

Blog posts

Sketches

Focus areas and time review

  • Business (0.5h – 0%)
    • Earn (0.0h – 0% of Business)
    • Build (0.0h – 0% of Business)
    • Connect (0.5h – 100% of Business)
  • Relationships (3.1h – 1%)
  • Discretionary – Productive (6.4h – 3%)
    • Drawing (2.8h)
      • ☑ Braindump a bunch of sketches
    • Emacs (0.6h)
    • Coding (1.3h)
      • ☑ Investigate WordPress date filter, add to theme
      • ☑ Fixed paragraph breaks in WordPress, no more wall of text
      • ☑ Set up inbox
    • Sewing (0.0h)
    • Writing (1.8h)
  • Discretionary – Play (10.7h – 6%)
    • ☑ Play Borderlands
  • Personal routines (15.3h – 9%)
  • Unpaid work (74.3h – 44%)
    • Childcare (61.9h – 36% of total)
  • Sleep (57.6h – 34% – average of 8.2 per day)

Weekly review: Week ending December 23, 2016

A- has been hard at work devising little games for herself – amusement and exercise all together. She spent an afternoon clapping and blowing happy raspberries, and then graduated to moving my hands to clap instead. She practised putting things on top of other things: blocks on a book, orange segments on W-‘s hand, bubble wrap on top of a very patient cat. She took stuff out of and put stuff into laundry baskets.

She’s gotten more comfortable with wandering a little away from me. Sometimes, when I’m in the kitchen, she creeps over to the living room and plays with a small collection of toys that we keep on a low shelf.

Her growing independence and ability to entertain herself meant that we were able to do a lot of cooking: another hunk of roast beef, an array of banchan, two pizzas, congee, and even a side-by–by- side comparison of Glico Premium and Vermont curry. (Glico was spicier and Vermont was sweeter; both had nice depth.)

We’ve also been figuring out our sleep and home routines. During her first awake period, we have breakfast and play a little. Depending on how much sleep I got, I might share her first nap with her. Then we have lunch, do chores (usually folding laundry), and go for a walk. After a snack, she has another nap while I write or play on my phone. More play time, then dinner, which is easy with a well-stocked fridge. Then we hang out with W-. She might get an evening snack depending on how things go. Then bath time and bedtime for her – maybe 8 or 9 in the evening, and sometimes earlier. After I settle her into bed, I can usually get 2-3 hours of discretionary time in the evening. I’ve even been able to catch up with my ledger, write posts, and make an adjusted cost base spreadsheet. (Although it turned out I’d wasted some effort – I’d forgotten that I had already made a spreadsheet like that a couple of years ago, which I found only when I started an index of important files. That’s why I need an index!)

W-‘s been busy, too. He spent some time painting, finishing, and lighting the front part of the living room in order to turn it into a new play area for her. It took a while to find a shade of paint that he liked. So many different kinds of neutrals out there! The results look great, though, and with the new flood lights he bought from Home Depot, the space feels much more usable. I snagged a set of elephant decals that were marked down to $2, and they make A-‘s room look a lot more fun and nursery-ish.

Little improvements!

Blog posts

Sketches

Focus areas and time review

  • Business (0.9h – 0%)
    • Earn (0.0h – 0% of Business)
    • Build (0.4h – 47% of Business)
    • Connect (0.5h – 52% of Business)
  • Relationships (0.7h – 0%)
    • ☑ Download low-res pictures from FB
  • Discretionary – Productive (5.4h – 3%)
    • Drawing (3.1h)
    • Emacs (0.8h)
      • ☑ Investigate effort filtering in Org Mode
    • Coding (0.5h)
      • ☑ Fix quantifiedawesome account deletion
      • ☑ Fix Yahoo account
      • ☑ Tweak tracking interface
    • ☑ Make ACB spreadsheet for US
    • ☑ Set up individually encrypted files
    • Sewing (0.0h)
    • Writing (0.1h)
  • Discretionary – Play (4.3h – 2%)
  • Personal routines (13.9h – 8%)
  • Unpaid work (89.0h – 52%)
    • Childcare (73.4h – 43% of total)
  • Sleep (53.8h – 32% – average of 7.7 per day)

Weekly review: Week ending December 16, 2016

The forecast called for a lot of snowfall, so we suited up and got groceries before that happened. We made a respectable array of Korean side-dishes (banchan), and we had bibimbap all week. It was awesome. There were so many options, we had to practically empty the fridge every time we assembled a meal. I started setting up two portions of sides at dinner – one in a bowl, one in a food container – and that made breakfast bibimbap so much easier, since I could just empty the container into a bowl, top it with rice, and reheat the whole thing. Yep, that’s going to go into our regular rotation of recipes.

I took A- to the ocularist for a clear conformer. It’s less expensive than a painted scleral shell, so we don’t have to worry as much about her losing it. Her skull has grown a fair bit in the last few months, so the new conformer does a better job of supporting the growth of her eye socket and filling it in. She seems to be okay with it, although she’s been popping it out every other day or so. I’ll ask them if we need another fitting.

W- has been working on setting up a play area in the front part of the living room. That way, A- can hang out on the main floor. Little by little, we’re reshaping the house to fit our changing life. I’ve been decluttering her room, too, putting aside the clothes she has outgrown. I thought about scavenging sewing materials from the pile, but I don’t think I’ll have time to sew soon, and I still have a backlog anyway. So the clothes can go to other places: friends, Facebook groups, or Value Village if no one needs them.

I’m not too keen on Value Village as a donation destination, but since I’m rather less keen on Salvation Army and the other options are a bit out of our usual errand routes, Value Village will do. I suppose that even if clothes end up as recycled fabric, that’s still better than them ending up in landfill. I’d like to eventually clear my time and pipeline so that I can upcycle some of the outgrown things into small and useful things around the house, but I’m not going to hold on to things just in case.

Speaking of errands, A- and I made it downtown together with W-. He had something to return to MEC, and he wanted to check out some of the shops in the Eaton Centre. I didn’t get anything, but it was a pleasant enough outgoing just as it was. We visited W-‘s mom while we were downtown, and she got to see A- practise standing and walking with help.

I’ve been slowly working through my backlog. I posted a bunch of journal entries I’d written on my phone, and I did some consulting before the contractor shutdown over the holidays. We’ve mostly settled down into a routine of two naps and a decently long sleep, so I feel more confident about using the naps and a little of her long sleep to take care of stuff.

Since we were slightly jet lagged and kept waking up early in the morning, I decided to do more household chores with A- around. That way, we could take advantage of cheaper off-peak electricity rates. It’s not the same as focusing on her and playing with her most of the day, but then again, it’s probably good for her to see us doing chores and even to get involved here and there. It’s easy to keep her interested and engaged while we’re doing laundry or peeling potatoes. Some recipes give me plenty of time and flexibility to play with A-, while others can be safely interrupted when A- needs attention. I want to figure out a good set of things that work well, and then we can add to that as she becomes more independent or even more able to help.

Small, continuous improvements…

Blog posts

Sketches

Focus areas and time review

  • Business (2.1h – 1%)
    • Earn (1.7h – 82% of Business)
    • Build (0.2h – 11% of Business)
      • ☑ Amend last year’s tax return
    • Connect (0.1h – 6% of Business)
  • Relationships (5.3h – 3%)
    • ☑ Take A for second part of flu vaccine
    • ☑ File insurance claim for clear conformer
  • Discretionary – Productive (3.1h – 1%)
    • Drawing (1.9h)
    • Emacs (0.1h)
    • Coding (0.3h)
    • Sewing (0.0h)
    • Writing (0.1h)
    • ☑ Make ACB spreadsheet for Canadian index
  • Discretionary – Play (0.2h – 0%)
  • Personal routines (11.8h – 7%)
  • Unpaid work (69.0h – 41%)
    • Childcare (60.8h – 36% of total)
  • Sleep (76.4h – 45% – average of 10.9 per day)

Weekly review: Week ending December 9, 2016

We hosted a get-together at Kathy’s house for my friends. W- and I made a double batch of pork buns, Papa brought bibingka and other desserts, and we had green mangoes and bagoong too. It was nice chatting with everyone and seeing how they are now. It feels just as easy to chat with them as it did when back then, and it’s great to see people figuring out ways of life that fit them better.

We also went to Tim Ho Wan for more of G* and A*’s favourite shrimp dumplings. There was nearly too much food, but W- and I managed to finish all those scrumptiously soft pork buns ordered. In the name of research, of course. So much yum. I wonder how they make that dough…

It was a bit of a mad scramble to pack all our luggage. We ended up taking a balikbayan box because of all the gifts and hand-me-downs. W- was amazing at wrangling everything while I took care of A-.

The flights back went pretty smoothly. We managed to get lounge access in NAIA, so that covered snacks and a place to stretch out a bit. Switching to the child meal instead of the baby meal worked out okay. I gave A- the bits she wanted, such as rice and eggs, and I polished off the leftovers. This also meant that I could eat a little something while W- held A-, then we could swap while he ate, and then we swapped again so that I could eat my main meal.

We had a six-hour layover in Incheon airport. A- enjoyed crawling around the play area on the fourth floor. There were recliners in the rest area, and we all got some sleep – even A-! It was pretty good. That made the 13-hour flight back to Toronto a lot more manageable. We took a cab home because of the luggage and the cold weather. It turns out car seats aren’t required in public utility vehicles, including taxis, so I just held A- on the way home.

We spent the next few days restocking the fridge and settling back into our household routines. Our trip reminded us how nice it is to keep congee and banchan on hand, so we’ve been cooking that. Yum yum!

A- was almost completely flipped in terms of day and night, and with the short sunlight hours, I hardly got to see any sun for the first little while. I managed to get us to the appointment with the pediatrician for the second half of the flu vaccine, though. Kathy’s hand-me-down snowsuit certainly came in handy – it was -5C and A- had outgrown everything else!

I submitted my business taxes. Nice to get that out of the way. I noticed I made a mistake in the quick tax calculation for HST last year, so I amended both my HST return and my T2. I also managed to squeeze in a little consulting (one report and a small tweak to my code).

I’ve been prioritizing sleep and important tasks over writing or drawing in my journal, at least while jet lag makes our schedule awkward and unpredictable. We have a few daytime appointments next week, and then things should probably settle down a bit.

Blog posts

Sketches

Focus areas and time review

  • Business (5.0h – 2%)
    • Earn (0.8h – 16% of Business)
    • Build (4.2h – 83% of Business)
      • ☑ Filed taxes and amended previous tax returns
    • Connect (0.0h – 0% of Business)
  • Relationships (8.1h – 4%)
    • ☑ Do second part of flu vaccine
    • ☑ Made biscotti
  • Discretionary – Productive (1.8h – 1%)
    • Drawing (0.8h)
    • Emacs (1.0h)
  • Discretionary – Play (3.0h – 1%)
  • Personal routines (11.9h – 7%)
  • Unpaid work (60.7h – 36%)
    • Childcare (49.8h – 29% of total)
  • Sleep (49.0h – 29% – average of 7.0 per day)

Weekly review: Week ending December 2, 2016

The pool party with the Valdezcos was a busy one despite a morning that started out gray and drizzly. The kids were in the pool as soon as the sun came out. W- and I were in the kitchen making Momofuku-style pork buns, which turned out to be so yummy. He also made Vietnamese bun with calamansi at some point during the week, and that was delicious too.

A- spent a lot of time with us in the kitchen. She also got comfortable with being held by Papa and John G., both of whom quickly figured out how to bounce her for her maximum amusement. Yay! Mission accomplished: A- comfy with people who are not us. We also discovered that A- likes green mango. Whee! She’s also been learning how to put things back into containers, which is a totally awesome development.

I enjoyed playing with G* and A*. They were fascinated by A- and graciously shared their toys with her, needing just the occasional prompt to be gentle with A- or to keep small things away from her. They’re both quite verbal, and I was relieved to find out that I could keep up a running commentary with on-demand word definitions and explanations. I had been worried that our generally quiet nature might affect A-‘s exposure to words, but we’ll probably be okay.

The kids opened their gifts early so that Ching and John V. could be part of it before they flew back to California. It was nice being all together for a week, and we hope to coordinate vacations with them in the future.

We had lunch with a few of my godparents: a beautiful spread of cold cuts, cheese, bread, and a few nicely cooked steaks. They cooed over the kids, commiserated over various health issues, and discussed politics at length. W- and I swapped off every so often, since A- was sleepy. Then we headed back home with the kids while everyone else took care of other errands.

I started working on lots of paperwork: helping my parents with their Canadian visa applications, accessing my Philippine bank accounts, learning more about estate planning… There was a surprising amount of paper involved in updating our local bank accounts, but that’s just life.

I wrapped up the week by freezing lots of lumpia for Saturday’s party with the barkada. So much cooking, yay! Best vacation ever.

Blog posts

Sketches

Focus areas and time review

  • Business (0.1h – 0%)
    • Build (0.1h – 100% of Business)
  • Relationships (17.9h – 10%)
  • Discretionary – Productive (14.0h – 8%)
    • Drawing (2.4h)
    • Emacs (1.8h)
    • Coding (0.0h)
      • ☑ Renew domains
      • ☑ Fix Mysql issue
    • Sewing (0.0h)
    • Writing (0.0h)
  • Discretionary – Play (2.0h – 1%)
  • Personal routines (8.1h – 4%)
  • Unpaid work (66.5h – 39%)
    • Childcare (54.4h – 32% of total)
  • Sleep (59.4h – 35% – average of 8.5 per day)