Category Archives: weekly

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)

Weekly review: Week ending November 25, 2016

We had our family portrait in the same place we had a family portrait in 2013. This time, John V. was able to join us, so everyone was here. We also took advantage of everyone’s presence to have a family meeting, since there are quite a few decisions to make and things to do. I’ve volunteered to take on some of the paperwork and maintenance, since it’ll be easier for me than for my sisters. Time to learn about Philippine taxes!

The UP Singing Ambassadors graced us with Christmas carols, love songs, and a few songs for the kids at the party in Adphoto. Some of my godparents and my barkada made it to the party, too, so I caught up with them there. A- slept through most of the party, and W- took care of her.

Lots of cooking! My mom set me up with access to a local account, so we’ve been picking up groceries and making dinners. Best way to spend a vacation, I think. We’ve been doing a combination of our favourite meals and new recipes we want to explore. W- made couscous chicken and stuffed pork tenderloin, while I made a lasagna with bechamel sauce. Kathy normally cooks, so we’re glad to let her and the family have a bit more breathing room. Home-cooked meals are the best for times like these.

W- and I swapped our demonetized Philippine pesos for new currency, so that’s sorted out. My mom’s been helping me with the paperwork for getting government-issued IDs, too. Started working on Canada visa paperwork for my parents. There’s an online process now, so that’s more convenient than sending all the documents by mail. Yay!

A- has gotten quite comfortable with my family. When she’s in a good mood, she lets her Lolo or Tito John G. carry her, and she’s waved and smiled at my mom too. She often pulls herself up to standing, although she’s still quite wobbly, so we make sure to stay near. She also likes wiping the counter with a washcloth, which we enthusiastically encourage. She was a little jetlagged. In the beginning, she woke up at 4 AM or so. She seems to have adapted now, getting up at around 7:30 or 8. This is earlier than she used to wake up in Toronto, but she goes to bed earlier too, so it all works out.

Life is good.

2016-12-01a-week-ending-2016-11-25-journal-weekly output

Blog posts

Sketches

Focus areas and time review

  • Business (0.0h – 0%)
  • Relationships (12.4h – 7%)
  • Discretionary – Productive (0.7h – 0%)
    • Drawing (0.0h)
    • Emacs (0.4h)
    • Coding (0.0h)
      • ☑ Renew domains
    • Sewing (0.0h)
    • Writing (0.2h)
    • ☑ Exchange demonetized cash
    • ☑ Sort through clothes
    • ☑ Sort out bank accounts
  • Discretionary – Play (0.5h – 0%)
  • Personal routines (13.9h – 8%)
  • Unpaid work (81.9h – 48%)
    • Childcare (78.5h – 46% of total)
  • Sleep (58.6h – 34% – average of 8.4 per day)

Weekly review: Week ending November 18, 2016

The big thing this week was our flight to Manila. I had been worried about colds and pressure changes, but A- slept through her first take-off like a seasoned traveler. Baby food was a no go. Instead, she enjoyed tidbits from our bibimbap. Not much sleep in her bassinet either, except for maybe ten minutes after the bassinet was set up and before turbulence required us to take her out. Oh well. It was a good place for her to sit and play with cups, though.

A- spent most of the flight with me, sometimes hanging out with W- while I napped. We figured out how to change diapers in the tiny airplane bathroom. The stopover in Seoul was a good opportunity to have more bibimbap and check out their breastfeeding facilities. A- wasn’t able to sleep as well as she normally does, though. She was so tired that she was inconsolable during the second flight’s take-off, only calming down once we could walk around.

My parents picked us up from the airport and took us to Kathy’s house, where we’ve been staying. G* and A* have been very excited to see A- and play with her. Since they’re just 3 and 2 years old, they need a little supervision and guidance.

You can practically see the activity in A-‘s brain. There’s plenty of floor space and interesting things to play with. She’s a confident creeper now, quickly covering short distances on her hands and knees. She’s even getting better at taking small toys along with her. She freely goes from lying down to sitting up, which makes diaper changes more of a challenge. She’s starting to pull herself up to kneeling or standing with the help of furniture or nearby people’s legs. She’s been experimenting with different hand motions, too: patting Luke with the wooden turtle, waving at people, examining various things. I think she intentionally says “Baba” for W- now. She gradually adjusted her wake-up times to be more reasonable – no more 3:30 AM breakfasts. She has let Lolo and Lola hold her, and she has smiled and blown raspberries all around.

It’s so nice to spend time with family. All of us are here!

2016-11-20a-week-ending-2016-11-18-journal-weekly output

Blog posts

Sketches

Focus areas and time review

  • Business (0.0h – 0%)
    • Earn (0.0h)
    • Build (0.0h)
    • Connect (0.0h)
  • Relationships (12.8h – 7%)
    • ☑ Confirm weight, height, meals
    • ☑ Check in
  • Discretionary – Productive (2.4h – 1%)
    • Drawing (0.8h)
    • Emacs (0.4h)
    • Coding (0.0h)
    • Sewing (0.5h)
    • Writing (0.8h)
  • Discretionary – Play (4.6h – 2%)
  • Personal routines (12.8h – 7%)
  • Unpaid work (96.6h – 57%)
    • Childcare (45.2h – 26% of total)
  • Sleep (38.7h – 23% – average of 5.5 per day) – thrown off by flight, no tracking