Monthly review: July 2017

Suddenly a toddler! A- got the hang of walking independently. She still holds our hands sometimes, but she’s also just as likely to want to walk on her own. In the kitchen, she’s been climbing in and out of her Learning Tower to wash dishes, sort utensils, and crack eggs.

August has a number of medical appointments that involve fasting, so we’ve been working on helping A- learn how to wait. We got the blood test out of the way, and we picked up a few tips from the child life specialist on making the hospital experience a bit more positive for A-. Getting ready for all those follow-ups!

She’s been working on lots of self-care skills: rinse and spit practice for brushing teeth, brushing hair, wiping her nose, washing her face, and wearing glasses. (She wanted to wear a ponytail, too.) She gradually got the hang of playing with feathers and gluing things onto paper, and she seems to be developing a pencil grip. Lots of new words: gyo(za), ham, noo(dles), da (down), up, baba (bye-bye). Because we’re not going to music classes in August, I bought bells and made scarves so that we could do some of the activities at home. She seems to like them, and sometimes asks me to strap the bells around her leg so that she can stomp or walk with them.

I managed to go to a couple of grown-up hangouts, not just baby-related things. I spent some time in a park with Jen and Eric, and I attended Tim’s retirement party. A- came along (of course) and stayed close. For A-‘s part, we checked out the Art Gallery of Ontario, the trains at Roundhouse Park, and Maker Festival (where we got a 3d portrait thanks to Alan Majer). Video chats with her Lolo and Lola are more interactive now, too: songs, rhymes, pointing, walking… I made handprint casts using plaster of Paris and a playdough mold. They turned out well. I just need to figure out how to mount and keep them so that we can get all misty-eyed when A- goes off to university.

We’re getting ready to transition out of the Healthy Babies Healthy Children Program. I feel more confident about doing early childhood education now. I still want to set up something like the suggestions I get from Nilda, as I’m often pleasantly surprised by A-‘s capabilities when we present her with the opportunity to explore.

Other things:

  • The 18-month sleep disruption plus teething (upper molars) meant I got

little focus time this month, but that’s okay. I’m looking forward to finishing the data exports and SQL improvements next month.

  • W- passed the building inspection for the porch rebuild, yay!
  • I helped W- and J- with their taxes. All sorted out.
  • I found a decent source of basil, so we’ve been making pesto. Yum yum yum.

My birthday is next month, so it’s time for another annual review and planning session. It’s been a terrific year. I’m learning a lot, and I’m looking forward to learning even more!

Blog posts

Sketches

Time

Category Previous month % This month % Diff h/wk Diff h/wk
Sleep 30.8 32.6 1.8 56.5 3.0
Business – Earn 0.7 1.9 1.2 3.3 2.1
Discretionary – Social 0.4 1.4 1.0 2.5 1.7
Discretionary – Family 0.2 1.0 0.9 1.8 1.5
Discretionary – Productive 4.0 4.5 0.5 7.9 0.9
A- 40.6 40.8 0.2 70.8 0.4
Business – Connect 0.0 0.0 -0.0 0.0 -0.0
Discretionary – Play 1.1 0.8 -0.3 1.4 -0.5
Personal 11.3 10.4 -0.9 18.1 -1.4
Business – Build 2.7 0.7 -2.1 1.2 -3.5
Unpaid work 8.3 5.8 -2.5 10.1 -4.1

2017-08-07 Emacs news

Links from reddit.com/r/emacs, /r/orgmode, /r/spacemacs, Hacker News, planet.emacsen.org, YouTube, the changes to the Emacs NEWS file, and emacs-devel.

Past Emacs News round-ups

Weekly review: Week ending August 4, 2017

Big week for medical things. A- needed to be sedated for a heart exam, which meant no solids past midnight and no nursing four hours before the exam. We had a relaxed evening of eating her favourite foods, and she ate almost until the cut-off time (last cracker at 11:57 PM). She woke up as soon as she wasn’t allowed to nurse, and cried for a while until W- and I managed to distract her with songs and attention. It was still tough going at the sedation clinic, but she settled down twenty minutes after the chloral hydrate was given (and, possibly coincidentally, once I started on “How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight”). The cardiologist said she looks okay so far, so we might be able to stay with A-‘s regular cardiologist for routine monitoring instead of coming to Sick Kids.

A-‘s eye exam on Friday involved pupil dilation. She was too upset for the pediatric ophthalmologist-in-training to do the exam, but the main ophthalmologist suggested waiting until A- was asleep, so that’s when he had a look. So far, so good. Yay!

Creating positive associations has helped a lot. We’ve taken to decompressing at the family centre in Sick Kids, playing one of their ukuleles and reading books. I brought her stuffed toy sheep, which has become her favourite comfort object. Liberal use of upside-down time has also gotten her to let me clean her teeth, which is a relief.

It’s fun watching A- become more independent. A- started doing the actions for “Slice, Slice” and “Sleeping Bunnies”. She insisted that we mime the slicing and spreading on our own bodies, which is cool. “Sleeping Bunnies” now often elicits a “No” at just the right spot. She’s carried that over to saying “No” in various situations, including refusing my help and asking for W-‘s. Whee! Our kiddo’s becoming more opinionated, and she’s developing the tools to express what she wants. That should help minimize her frustration. She won’t be able to get everything she wants, of course, but at least she can differentiate between things she’ll get after waiting and things to which I have to say no. (Especially since she managed to disable the microwave child lock before…) She has free rein of the notebooks and pens I keep stashed around the house, which she has started fishing out of drawers and doodling in. Maybe we’ll get her sketchnoting someday!

It was great catching up with a friend and her kiddo at the ROM. I also spent some time reflecting on impact, following up on a conversation with a few other friends last week. A- had fun during a video chat with Lolo. She pointed at body parts when prompted, and walked around a bit too.

The VPN token I use to access my consulting clients’ network expired, so I’ve been focusing on personal projects while waiting for a replacement. I added category and tag exclusion to my WordPress theme. That lets me make a bulk view of my non-Emacs-News posts so that I can reread them during my annual review. I started working on multiple timeline support for Quantified Awesome so that I can move baby data tracking there, but progress is slow. I finally downscaled my Linode plan, too, accepting that I probably won’t have the mental bandwidth to make the most of its capacity until A- is in school or something like that.

We’ve been shifting towards more vegetable-based proteins because of the draft recommendations for Canada’s food guide and for other health reasons. I stocked up on dried spices and herbs for Mason jar soups, since they’re easy to prepare even when hanging out with A-. The Moroccan lentil soup was a good first try; next time, I’ll grind the spices. A- liked the lentils but not the wild rice in this curried lentil wild rice soup, but we’ll give that a few more tries. too. I feel pretty good about the change in our eating habits. I’ll need to read up more on nutrition to make sure we’ve got all the important nutrients. We still eat meat, just less than before. I might be developing mild lactose intolerance, too, so that’s something else to consider.

W- spent the weekend pouring concrete piers for the porch with the help of a couple of neighbours. It was a lot of work even with the electric mixer. Recovering from that and a sore throat took a while, but fortunately, we can take things pretty easy.

Next week: one more Sick Kids appointment, and then catching up!

Blog posts

Sketches

Focus areas and time review

  • Business (1.9h – 1%)
    • Earn (0.3h – 16% of Business)
      • ☐ Earn: E1: 1-2 hours of consulting
    • Build (1.6h – 83% of Business)
      • ☑ Consider fiddling with Linode payment
      • ☑ Transfer credit from Paypal to Linode
    • Connect (0.0h – 0% of Business)
  • Relationships (6.5h – 3%)
  • Discretionary – Productive (7.7h – 4%)
    • Drawing (5.1h)
    • Emacs (0.9h)
    • Coding (1.4h)
      • ☑ Tweak my WordPress theme to allow category exclusion
    • Writing (0.4h)
  • Discretionary – Play (0.7h – 0%)
  • Personal routines (13.5h – 8%)
  • Unpaid work (9.9h – 5%)
  • A- (Childcare) (72.2h – 42% of total)
  • Sleep (55.5h – 33% – average of 7.9 per day)

2017-07-31 Emacs news

Links from reddit.com/r/emacs, /r/orgmode, /r/spacemacs, Hacker News, planet.emacsen.org, YouTube, the changes to the Emacs NEWS file, and emacs-devel.

Past Emacs News round-ups

Weekly review: Week ending July 28, 2017

I took A- for a blood test. As soon as we walked into Sick Kids Hospital, she started crying. We’ll be there a few times in August, so I asked a child life specialist for a few tips. She can’t avoid the pain and anxiety, but I can still help by bringing comfort items and adding a few positive associations. We spent some time at the family centre at the hospital playing with books, toys, and ukuleles, and I think that helped a little.

A- likes saying “da!” for “down” and “up!” (for “up”, of course) when she’s on the stairs, and she sometimes says “baba” for “bye-bye”. A- has been practising getting down from the bed, and can usually do it with a few reminders. She’s been getting more involved in household routines. For example, she wanted laundry tucked under her chin because she sees us fold laundry that way. She likes washing her face and reminding us to wash ours, and she mimicks how we moisturize our feet. She washed berries with surprising carefulness. She occasionally lies down to have her diaper changed. In terms of fine motor control, she seems to occasionally use a pencil grip when working with a paintbrush or pencil. Not actually a tripod grip as I wrote down here; more like a 5-point pencil grasp? It’s still early for that in terms of development, but it’s great that she’s practising different grips. She likes scribbling in notebooks, which she sees me do occasionally. Time to let her see more of that!

We had our last music class for July. A- seems to be smiling at tickling songs and rhymes now, and she also waves a scarf around to music. It’s so much fun watching her grow. I read the Music in Preschool textbook that the teacher recommended and asked some questions about the Kodaly method’s concern about didactic songs. The teacher said it’s okay to have practical songs in combination with music education that focuses more on the aesthetic sense.

We hung out with Jen and Eric at the park for a great discussion about impact. We had Jen and E- over for dinner on Tuesday. I also took A- to Tim’s retirement party, where she managed to nap for thirty minutes amidst the hubbub. We checked out the trains and playset at Roundhouse Park while we were down there.

The building permit inspection went well. W-‘s research and hard work paid off, yay! Next step: concrete and framing. As for me, I lost my library card somewhere. (I wonder if it’s in the dryer…) Fortunately, it’s easy enough to replace.

A- has a bit of a runny nose, so we’ll see if that clears up by next week or if we need to move her Sick Kids appointments. Ah well!

Blog posts

Sketches

Focus areas and time review

  • Business (1.6h – 0%)
    • Earn (1.6h – 99% of Business)
      • ☐ Prepare invoice
      • ☐ Earn: E1: 1-2 hours of consulting
    • Build (0.0h – 0% of Business)
      • ☑ Consider fiddling with Linode
      • ☑ Transfer credit from Paypal to Linode
    • Connect (0.0h – 0% of Business)
  • Relationships (7.2h – 4%)
  • Discretionary – Productive (7.2h – 4%)
    • Drawing (4.6h)
    • Emacs (0.8h)
    • Writing (0.5h)
  • Discretionary – Play (3.0h – 1%)
  • Personal routines (19.0h – 11%)
  • Unpaid work (9.8h – 5%)
  • A- (Childcare) (65.8h – 39% of total)
  • Sleep (54.3h – 32% – average of 7.8 per day)

2017-07-24 Emacs news

Links from reddit.com/r/emacs, /r/orgmode, /r/spacemacs, Hacker News, planet.emacsen.org, YouTube, the changes to the Emacs NEWS file, and emacs-devel.

Past Emacs News round-ups