Category Archives: weekly

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)

Weekly review: Week ending April 22, 2016

Lots of medical-related conversations this week. I called the eye clinic to follow up on A-‘s timeline. She’s scheduled for an impression under general anesthesia in June. I also called the cardiologist’s office to ask about her slow wealthweight gain, and they recommended seeing the pediatrician earlier than our scheduled appointment. We saw the pediatrician, and she isn’t worried about A- yet (she’s in the 25th percentile for length and weight). A- was definitely not happy about the physical exam, though, and the vaccine injections didn’t help. She was a bit fussier for two days, and now she seems back to normal. We’ll see the pediatrician again in two weeks for another vaccine and another weighing. Sometimes I wonder if I should also be building up a record for A- at home, but since it doesn’t seem easy to get a copy of medical notes, I guess I’ll have to leave that up to her primary care provider.

The downside of all this phoning around was that I’ve been stuck playing an embarrassing game of phone tag. I’m currently looking around for more options in terms of pediatricians or family doctors in case I can find someone with excellent rapport. I forgot that I had meeting assist turned on and plenty of optional activities on my calendar, so I missed a few calls. I’ve set up call forwarding and I’m experimenting with a free service that provides voicemail (fongo.com), so we’ll see if that helps.

It was a good week for cooking variety. I prepared lots of ingredients last weekend for Cobb salad and an assortment of burger toppings, and we turned leftovers into pizza. I like this new habit we’re building. Cutting up ingredients in advance makes complex meals easier to throw together.

We took advantage of the warm and sunny spring weather to rake the yard and start the garden. The strawberries and sorrel have already started coming back. I planted some peas, bitter melon, and coriander. Maybe in a week or two, when frost becomes much less likely, I’ll buy a few cherry tomato starters. I wonder if I can get lettuce and spinach growing this year, or if there are other things I can grow for salads and herbs.

I joined the babywearing walk in High Park, but bailed halfway through because A- was getting a bit fussy. Good timing, actually, as she had one of those big poops when I got home. It’s starting to become hat weather, too. I tried making her a hat, but the dome was too shallow and the brim wasn’t stiff enough. Fortunately, I have lots of spare fabric, so I can just try again. I’ll probably start by trying a stiffer brim.

Quite a few other social things, too. W-‘s mom brought some soup over, and I visited Jen, Ewan, and E-. Lola and Lolo also virtually dropped in via Facebook video calling, and A- cooed at them for a while. =)

I took some time to systematically think about kaizen: continuous, small improvements. One of the little improvements I’ve been planning was making Emacs survive X freezes a little more gracefully. I got emacs --daemon working on my system and I managed to write a blog post about it. Hooray for being able to tinker! I also tweaked my tracker a little bit more. Now that I save the state on the server, I can use other apps without worrying about losing the start of my nursing timer, which means I can read stuff in Google Play Books or Overdrive while nursing. Yay!

Also, while updating some paperwork, I noticed that I’d used a 25% gross up rate instead of 18% for the past two years. It turns out that there’s a straightforward web interface for updating both T5s and personal tax returns. Yay Canada Revenue Agency!

I’ll probably pull back a little on social things next week as I sort out communications and return various calls, although I’d like to make it out to the Hacklab members’ meeting on Wednesday.

Slowly making things better!

2016-04-24a Week ending 2016-04-22 -- index card #journal #weekly

output

Blog posts

Sketches

Focus areas and time review

  • Business (1.3h – 0%)
    • ☐ Pay myself a dividend
    • Earn (0.0h – 0% of Business)
    • Build (0.6h – 43% of Business)
      • Drawing (0.0h)
      • Paperwork (0.5h)
    • Connect (0.7h – 56% of Business)
  • Relationships (2.0h – 1%)
    • ☑ Take pictures of baby clothes from Jen
    • ☑ Have W-‘s mom over
    • ☑ Maybe check out babywearing social
    • A-
      • ☑ Ask breastfeeding clinic for other places that take patients
      • ☑ Call cardio nurse and ask about slow weight gain and possibly fortifying
      • ☑ Follow up with Eye Clinic
      • ☑ 2-month appointment with pediatrician
      • ☑ Call Four Villages
      • ☑ Call midwives and ask for other referrals
      • ☐ Call TD and ask about RESP
  • Discretionary – Productive (15.3h – 9%)
    • Coding
      • ☑ Plot baby weight
      • ☑ Add bath note
      • ☑ Add duration column
      • ☑ Label axis nicely
      • ☑ Set up search engine
      • ☑ Add ending now / after start buttons
      • ☑ Move nursing timer to database
    • Emacs (0.6h – 0% of all)
      • ☑ [#A] Do another Emacs News review
      • ☑ Keep Emacs alive through X crashes by running it in the background with –daemon
      • ☐ [#A] Do another Emacs News review
    • Gardening
      • ☑ Clean up yard
      • ☑ Plant peas
    • Kaizen
      • ☑ Set up home screen shortcuts to things I’m reading, or organize them in apps
      • ☑ Line up better reading on my phone
      • ☑ Normalize recorded audio
      • ☑ Think about phone
      • ☑ Disable touchpad in init script
    • Sewing (2.3h)
      • ☑ Look for a baby sun hat pattern
      • ☑ Go to Fabricland
    • Writing (2.3h)
  • Discretionary – Play (0.8h – 0%)
  • Personal routines (31.1h – 18%)
  • Unpaid work (58.5h – 34%)
    • Childcare (50.7h – 30% of total)
  • Sleep (59.7h – 35% – average of 8.5 per day)

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

Sketches

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)

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

Sketches

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

Sketches

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)