Category Archives: weekly

Weekly review: Week ending September 2, 2016

It's been a week of seeing people. A- was somewhat fussy during dinner with W-'s family. She might have been tired, overstimulated by the noisy Chinese restaurant, and a little intimidated by relatives wanting to pick her up. She preferred to stay with W- or me. Totally normal. Anyway, since this might be the usual stranger anxiety starting to develop (yay! W- is not a stranger!), I've been making an effort to take her to more activities at the Ontario Early Years Centre and the neighbourhood family resource centre. We finished the Peer Nutrition program, and we'll check out the drop-ins that follow up on that program. A- has been working on expanding her vocabulary. Recent addition: "Ba". She's also getting pretty good at sitting on her own, although I still stay close enough to catch her during those random topples. The pediatrician is no longer that concerned about A-'s weight gain, since she's been growing faster. Enough to inch back over the 5th percentile curve, yay! In addition to nursing, she also self-feeds a wide variety of solids. She's particularly fond of egg (breakfast), yogurt (evening snack), and raspberries (any time, especially with yogurt). I finally got around to printing a photo of A- so that the family home visitor can include it in the laminated foot print memento. A- has a passport now, whee! Got travel insurance that will probably cover things related to her heart, too. Next trip-related steps: sort out pet vaccines and boarding. In preparation for possibly leaving my laptop behind on our trip, I've been experimenting with drawing my daily journal and thoughts on index cards instead of on my laptop. Drawing is relatively unfussy except for dealing with wet spots, and I feel more comfortable drawing on paper around A- than having my laptop out. Deskewing and tweaking the image is a bit fussy, although I can do some of that on my phone. I might need to use different-coloured pens instead of adding colour in post-processing. Still need to tweak my workflow. It would be neat to figure out something that I can pull off with mobile devices and SSH, but it's also okay if I decide to stick with my digital index card workflow instead. Good to experiment, though. Also moved my library video tracking script online, so I can check the availability of new releases from my phone while we're out on a walk. I'd like to see if I can help my consulting client with something new. Might need to shuffle around my discretionary time activities in order to make space for it, or adjust expectations if this is what we have to work with. A- has been settling into a pretty regular routine. She wakes up around 9ish. Aside from nursing, we usually have breakfast, lunch, merienda, dinner, and an evening snack. We go out for a walk almost every day, and there's usually some kind of activity too. She settles in bed at around 10pm, although she tends to nurse on and off until about 4 AM before settling into a longer sleep. She usually has 2-3 naps during the day, although sometimes it's just low-power nursing mode. I've been prioritizing daytime activities that are stimulating for A-, so we've been going to neighbourhood resource centres. I feel less comfortable working on my laptop while she's awake, since it's important to interact with her and help her learn. I'm somewhat more okay with setting her down on the floor while I tidy or do other chores, since I can narrate those without verbal interference and it contributes to the household. If W-'s around, I'd rather spend time with both of them than go off to do my own thing. Drawing on paper might let me move daily journals to our after-dinner or before-bed play/reading session, because I can review the day out loud with A-. So my main computer time for writing, coding, or consulting tends to be between 1 AM to 3 AM. If I nap when she nurses/nap, that helps a little with energy and focus. I've been averaging 2 hours a week of consulting, which was enough to fill up the pipeline of stuff they wanted from me. The new thing I want to help with might be a bigger chunk of focus and energy, though, since it's something I'm less familiar with. Anyway, we'll see how it goes. Next week: cardiology, carpet-stretching, and lots of Toronto Public Health stuff: Make the Connection, the family home visitor, and a follow-up with the dietitian. 2016-09-07a Week ending 2016-09-02 -- index card #journal #weekly output Blog posts Sketches Focus areas and time review
  • Business (1.3h - 0%)
    • ☐ Earn: E1: 1-2 days of consulting
    • Earn (1.2h - 94% of Business)
    • Build (0.1h - 5% of Business)
    • Connect (0.0h - 0% of Business)
  • Relationships (5.3h - 3%)
    • ☑ Decide on travel insurance
    • ☑ Get eye report from eye doctor
    • ☑ Pick up A-'s Canadian passport
    • ☑ Check if hydro debit went through
    • ☐ Check on RESP to see if it's been set up; transfer if so
    • ☐ Print family photos
    • ☐ Check out follow-up session
  • Discretionary - Productive (8.2h - 4%)
    • Drawing (5.7h)
    • Emacs (0.8h)
    • Coding (0.4h)
      • ☑ Add movie script to web
      • ☑ Fix website
    • Sewing (0.0h)
    • Writing (0.3h)
  • Discretionary - Play (2.5h - 1%)
  • Personal routines (17.5h - 10%)
  • Unpaid work (75.5h - 44%)
    • Childcare (69.1h - 41% of total)
  • Sleep (57.6h - 34% - average of 8.2 per day)

Weekly review: Week ending August 26, 2016

A- turned six months old, hooray! She weighed in at 6.026 kg, so she's slowly catching up although she's still quite small for her age. Maybe she's just naturally small. =) We've been applying Ellyn Satter's approach to feeding dynamics and a little of baby-led weaning. A- has been self-feeding with gusto. She loves raspberries, grapes, and Greek yogurt, and gets along well with rice, fish, chicken, pasta, and other things we eat. We went on a couple of good walk this week: to the High Park zoo to see the llamas up close, to Best Buy to check out the Jot stylus (no palm rejection means I'm not yet comfy drawing on the Android tablet, so maybe I'll use paper instead), and the usual trips to the supermarket and library. The Healthy Babies Healthy Children nurse introduced us to the family home visitor who'll be seeing us weekly. She'll bring different activities for A- to explore, which is a great way for me to pick up ideas for the rest of the week. =) We also had a home visit from a case worker at the Canadian National Institute for the Blind. She took our details and told us about a few things we can check out. There'll be an assessment at some point, and maybe a family support worker can help us navigate other resources too. A- is probably pretty low priority for them because she appears to have good vision in her right eye. Still, I hope they can help us learn more about ways we can support her. I found some tips on helping children with monocular vision, and it's been good to read about other experiences. Anyway, the CNIB person said that when A- becomes more mobile, we should watch out for veering, cutting corners, bumping into things, and so on. It would be great to be able to ask questions about things I need to coordinate. I got slightly stressed sorting out the proper signatures for the assistive device program funding (needed Dr. Mireskandari, not our pediatrician), and also searching for a travel insurance provider that's okay with A-'s congenital conditions. I've been falling behind in terms of journaling. Some nights I work on my consulting project, and some nights I catch up on sleep. I catch up with my daily journal every few days or so, although this weekly review is a week late. I wonder how I can tweak this… My consulting clients are happy with the add-ons I made for them, and there are enough add-ons in the pipeline to keep them busy for a little while. Not bad for roughly two hours a week. Also, I cut my hair to slightly below shoulder-length. Turns out to be a non-scary process. One less service I need to pay for! W- and I have been discussing the possibility of travelling without our laptops. I don't think I've ever been away from my laptop for that long. It's an interesting challenge. I might be able to do most text-based things by typing up notes or SSHing to my server. I'll need to fiddle with my journal workflow, and maybe catch up on scanned stuff when I get back. Emacs News will probably be on hiatus for a couple of weeks, or I might set up the code I need on my server. Hmm… 2016-08-27a Week ending 2016-08-26 -- index card #journal #weekly output Blog posts Sketches Focus areas and time review
  • Business (2.9h - 1%)
    • Earn (2.9h - 99% of Business)
    • Build (0.0h - 0% of Business)
    • Connect (0.0h - 0% of Business)
  • Relationships (2.1h - 1%)
    • ☐ Check on RESP to see if it's been set up; transfer if so
    • ☐ Decide on travel insurance
    • ☐ Pick up A-'s Canadian passport
    • ☐ Get eye report from eye doctor
    • ☐ Check if hydro debit went through
  • Discretionary - Productive (6.5h - 3%)
    • Drawing (3.7h)
    • Emacs (0.6h)
    • Coding (0.1h)
    • Sewing (0.0h)
    • Writing (1.7h)
  • Discretionary - Play (0.7h - 0%)
  • Personal routines (23.9h - 14%)
  • Unpaid work (71.7h - 42%)
    • Childcare (65.8h - 39% of total)
  • Sleep (60.2h - 35% - average of 8.6 per day)

Weekly review: Week ending August 19, 2016

I bought a second-hand Manduca carrier. It's been a comfortable and secure way to carry A- on our many walks this week. I don't worry about A- slipping out of it, as I sometimes did with the ring sling. I'm back to holding hands with W- on walks, whee! (It's all about the little things in life…) The carrier came in handy when Jen and Ewan pinged me for a walk in the park, and when I visited them to help out with E-. We've settled into routines for enjoyable mealtimes with A-. She sits in her high chair and eats at the table, and I can usually wrangle all the things needed so that she and I eat at roughly the same time. The self-feeder that W- got for her has been great for avocado, peaches, and plums, and we've been loading purees and mashes onto spoons for her too. I've been staying up to 2 AM or 3 AM, since that usually gives me a few decent chunks of focused discretionary time. I used a few of those chunks to code an add-on for my consulting client, and now I'm waiting for feedback from them. That worked out well, although the downside of coding late at night is that my brain gets a little squirrelly and takes some time to settle for sleep. Drawing and writing work out a bit better, and stretching would probably work out well too. There's been a hiccup with the Assistive Devices Program funding for A-'s ocular prosthesis. The program will cover 75% of the expense, but they require the signature of a family doctor or opthalmologist to certify that the prosthesis is medically necessary. I asked A-'s primary care provider to sign the form, but it turns out pediatricians are no-go. Weird! Anyway, I'll work on getting this straightened out next week. We've got home visits from CNIB and the Healthy Babies Healthy Children program, too. I was getting a bit stressed over travel insurance and pre-existing conditions, but I was probably just being too anxious and things will work out just fine. Ah well, them's the breaks. 2016-08-21c Week ending 2016-08-19 -- index card #journal #weekly output Blog posts Sketches Focus areas and time review
  • Business (4.7h - 2%)
    • Earn (4.5h - 96% of Business)
    • Build (0.1h - 2% of Business)
    • Connect (0.0h - 0% of Business)
  • Relationships (12.2h - 7%)
    • ☑ Set up RESP
    • ☑ Simulate A-'s RESP choices
    • ☐ Check on RESP to see if it's been set up; transfer if so
    • ☐ Figure out ADP form signing
    • ☐ Pick up A-'s Canadian passport
  • Discretionary - Productive (5.5h - 3%)
    • Drawing (3.9h)
    • Emacs (0.6h)
    • Coding (0.7h)
      • ☑ Check free space on server, consider backup solution to there
      • ☑ Set up lastpass authenticator
    • Sewing (0.3h)
    • Writing (0.0h)
  • Discretionary - Play (0.7h - 0%)
  • Personal routines (25.4h - 15%)
  • Unpaid work (61.1h - 36%)
    • Childcare (53.4h - 31% of total)
  • Sleep (58.5h - 34% - average of 8.4 per day)

Weekly review: Week ending August 12, 2016

Somehow the following week ended up being too busy for writing, which is why I'm writing this entry almost a week late. Anyway, the week ending August 12 was one of checking things off and getting things done. We bought a second-hand Tripp Trapp high chair in the hope that the flexibility will make it good long-term value. A- has been getting lots of practice in self-feeding. It's still a super-messy process, but she seems to be getting better at manoeuvring the business end of the spoon into her mouth. We have a wipe-down ritual now, involving a small mixing bowl with warm water and a washcloth: wipe her face, let her wash her hands (and maybe do a little scrubbing for her), wipe down the chair, wipe the table, wipe whatever the cats haven't eaten off the floor… The twinginess in my wrist turns out to be de Quervain's tenosynovitis, a condition so common among new mothers that it's also known as mother's wrist. I wasn't too keen on the physiotherapist I saw, as he seemed more interested in selling me thrice-weekly ultrasound treatments and a custom brace than in discussing behavioural changes and self-care techniques, even though I mentioned that the pain was only mild and occasional and that I was more interested in making sure this didn't get to be a problem in the future. Can't blame him for trying to rustle up business, though. Anyway, I bought an over-the-counter brace from the drugstore, I'm using the non-prescription cream that my doctor recommended, and I'm being careful about the way I lift A- or use my thumb. So far, so good. W- walked around with A- while I had that 45-minute assessment with the physiotherapist. I think she got a little anxious and overtired, as she cried all throughout the (thankfully short) walk home. Good thing I didn't go for a massage. Oh, and I turned 33! We've settled into a comfortable routine of not making a big fuss of our birthdays, although I took some time to reflect on the past year and draw a summary. I haven't gotten around to writing it up yet. Coincidentally, the Ontario Early Years Centre that A- and I have been going to had organized a free field trip to the Art Gallery of Ontario, so we took advantage of the opportunity to wander around there. We set up A-'s college/university savings, booked flights to the Philippines, and applied for A-'s Canadian passport. I decided to pay extra and take the time to apply in person so that we can pick up the passport in person, too, since personal experience has taught me that it's a big hassle if Canada Post loses a passport. Anyway, I can always think of it as a small donation to the Canadian government. Slowly getting our act together! 2016-08-17a Week ending 2016-08-12 -- index card #journal #weekly output Blog posts Sketches Focus areas and time review
  • Business (1.9h - 1%)
    • Earn (1.3h - 72% of Business)
    • Build (0.5h - 26% of Business)
    • Connect (0.0h - 0% of Business)
  • Relationships (11.1h - 6%)
    • ☑ Set up RESP
    • ☑ Book flight by calling the call center
    • ☑ Look for high chair
    • ☑ Apply for passport at the Victoria office
    • ☑ Call cardiology to check follow up date, appointment info
    • ☑ Contact Dr. Selvi's office and see if we need to schedule a follow-up with her
    • ☑ Call in 72 hours to see whether bassinet has been approved
    • ☑ Ask about Living and Learning with Baby
    • ☑ Simulate A-'s RESP choices
    • ☐ Check on RESP to see if it's been set up; transfer if so
  • Discretionary - Productive (11.5h - 6%)
    • Drawing (8.5h)
    • Emacs (0.4h)
    • Coding (0.0h)
    • Sewing (0.3h)
    • Writing (1.5h)
  • Discretionary - Play (0.9h - 0%)
  • Personal routines (17.3h - 10%)
    • ☑ Book doctor's appointment
  • Unpaid work (68.5h - 40%)
    • Childcare (57.9h - 34% of total)
  • Sleep (56.8h - 33% - average of 8.1 per day)

Weekly review: Week ending August 5, 2016

Last week was all about talking to dietitians and improving A-'s feeding. After the previous week's stern lecture from the pediatrician about A-'s slow weight gain, I got a referral to a public health dietitian associated with the Peer Nutrition workshop I attend, and booked an appointment with the private dietitian my pediatrician had been recommending for a while. The public dietitian reviewed the specifics of A-'s situation and suggested that we try adding a couple of snacks to A-'s feeding schedule, perhaps incorporating calorie-dense foods like cream cheese. The private dietitian measured her length and weight, noting her as 61cm (3cm shorter than last week's measurement at the pediatrician, but measured in a different way) and 5.79kg (a gain of 220g in 7 days, wow!). Both dietitians reassured us that A- looks pretty good, and is maybe just a small baby. That's a relief! That means that instead of focusing on just trying to get calories into her, we can focus on helping her build self-feeding and self-regulation skills, and we can expose her to a variety of tastes and textures. The follow-up with the ocularist went well, too. He took out the scleral shell, examined it, cleaned it, and popped it back in. No fussing, whew! I took A- for passport pictures. I forgot to put her in non-white clothes (she's almost always in a white onesie), so we borrowed a red T-shirt from the photo studio. The picture was a little awkward since we didn't get her arms through the sleeves, but oh well. The important thing is that it's done, and the photo studio said the passport office will take it. I messed up by not checking my e-mail for the schedule for the appointment with the dietitian. It got classified as Updates instead of Important in Gmail, so I didn't get a specific notification for it, and I went a day without checking those folders. I should remember to star similar conversations, or maybe even whitelist/filter. Anyway, no biggie. The slot we had was just 1.5 hours after I thought the schedule was, so we went to the library and the drug store. We passed on some baby clothes to Mrs. Wong for the granddaughter they're expecting soon. Here's hoping we'll have a neighbourhood playmate! Mrs. Wong gave us lots of chives and a few plants from her garden (akajiso, and a plant we can't identify). W- turned the chives into yummy pork-and-chives dumplings. Jen and E- came over for a visit, too, and I met up with Rachael and G- at a park to say goodbye before their move to Missouri. J- had friends over, too. W- supervised them as they helped with her closet renovation, and I got them started with making pesto from the basil in our planter box. W- and I were pleasantly surprised that stuff actually got done. =) A- observations: She likes playing with water, whether they're jets from the hose as we tend the garden or streams from the holes in her stacking-cup toys. She's better at manipulating things to get them into her mouth: fancy teething rings W- bought her, spoons of baby food, rice rusks with cream cheese… She's also pretty comfortable rolling onto her tummy, and often likes to spend time that way. We're slowly developing a feeding routine of 2-3 meals a day and 2-3 snacks. She's an avid eater, and this is a great time to sample all sorts of fruits and vegetables in season. My left wrist started feeling a little weird, so I'm paying more attention to that. I'm not sure about booking a massage (hard to relax if A- is fussy) but maybe stretching and resting will help with that. I'll book a doctor's appointment or a massage if it gets worse or if it doesn't go away in a few days. In the meantime, it would be good for me to slowly explore what's going on there so that I can describe it to people. Hmm… Anyway, life is starting to get simpler, at least in terms of A-'s health. Hooray! 2016-08-08a Week ending 2016-08-05 -- index card #journal #weekly output Blog posts Sketches Focus areas and time review
  • Business (0.7h - 0%)
    • Earn (0.6h - 91% of Business)
    • Build (0.0h - 0% of Business)
      • ☑ Prepare invoice
    • Connect (0.1h - 8% of Business)
  • Relationships (3.3h - 1%)
    • ☑ Take A- for passport pictures
    • ☐ Call cardiology to check follow up date, appointment info
    • ☐ Apply for passport
    • ☐ Call to see whether bassinet has been approved
  • Discretionary - Productive (6.7h - 4%)
    • Drawing (3.6h)
    • Emacs (0.5h)
      • ☑ Do another Emacs News review
      • ☐ Do another Emacs News review
    • Coding (1.1h)
      • ☑ Make special feeding chart
      • ☑ Improve feeding display for days
    • Sewing (0.2h)
    • Writing (0.0h)
  • Discretionary - Play (2.0h - 1%)
  • Personal routines (23.1h - 13%)
  • Unpaid work (80.8h - 48%)
    • Childcare (66.3h - 39% of total)
  • Sleep (51.4h - 30% - average of 7.3 per day)

Weekly review: Week ending July 29, 2016

Good news from A-'s liver MRI: the weirdness was just capillaries, not liver cancer, whew. Her echocardiogram resulted in the same diagnosis the cardiologist gave us before, with no clear indications for or against surgery, so we'll just have to wait and see. Still, it's a relief to start closing some of those loops, downgrading things from ongoing concerns to less-frequent checks. There's still the matter of A-'s slow weight gain, which has been upgraded to something the pediatrician is Very Concerned About. She's catching up well in terms of length, but not in terms of weight. She seems fine - active, happy, adorably jowled and jelly-rolled - but it's probably a good idea to err on the side of supplying her growing brain with extra nutrients. We're seeing a dietitian next week in order to work out a feeding plan. It's not covered by either the public health care system or W-'s insurance, but that's okay; it's a good investment. It's time to get that going, instead of waiting for publicly-funded resources which are probably focused on people who need it more. In the meantime, our pediatrician has recommended daily servings of meat and rice cereal, so we introduced those to A- this week. I've started tracking feeding in more detail, too, because data and visualizations help me with those questions I never quite know how to answer concisely. "How's her nursing?" "As often as she wants, which is maybe… every two to three hours. Sometimes for five minutes, but often for thirty or forty minutes, or even longer." Might be better to show how our days are consistent in their inconsistency, bar-code-like graphs on a timeline. Also, since Sick Kids' wifi firewalls nonstandard ports, I finally got around to set up a reverse proxy for my tracker. I didn't make it to the Peer Nutrition program on Monday because of A-'s cardiology appointment, but I was able to catch the same class in a different location on Wednesday. It was interesting to taste the difference between commercial baby food and homemade baby food, and it solidified our decision to cook A-'s meals whenever we could. Also, there were extra vegetables from the follow-up program, so I went home with the unexpected bounty of kale, lettuce, a zucchini, and a cucumber. Yum yum! I reacquired Philippine citizenship and included A-, so now we're both dual citizens. We'll most likely stay in Canada, especially with A-'s health issues, but it might make some paperwork easier. Also, we visited W-'s mom for dinner. A- was fussy because she was tired, so I snuggled up with her while they chatted. My second set of peas is starting to grow, and the basil in the planters seems to have sprung back even though we harvested large chunks of it for pesto. It's awesome. 2016-08-01a Week ending 2016-07-29 -- index card #journal #weekly output Blog posts Sketches Focus areas and time review
  • Business (1.9h - 1%)
    • Earn (1.9h - 100% of Business)
    • Build (0.0h - 0% of Business)
    • Connect (0.0h - 0% of Business)
  • Relationships (10.9h - 6%)
    • ☑ Add medical summary for A-
    • ☑ Fill in paperwork for reclaiming Philippine citizenship
  • Discretionary - Productive (7.2h - 4%)
    • Drawing (4.5h)
    • Emacs (0.7h)
      • ☐ [#A] Do another Emacs News review
    • Coding (0.1h)
      • ☑ Make reverse proxy for tracker
      • ☑ Make special feeding chart
  • Discretionary - Play (0.0h - 0%)
  • Personal routines (14.0h - 8%)
  • Unpaid work (69.1h - 41%)
    • Childcare (58.9h - 35% of total)
  • Sleep (64.9h - 38% - average of 9.3 per day)