Weekly review: Week ending February 3, 2017

Another week of big leaps. A- can crawl up the stairs, so we should probably look into getting baby gates soon. About half the time, she’ll indicate when she wants to nurse by squeezing her fist or curling her fingers. (The rest of the time, she just goes and helps herself.) The horse and the harness are definitely her favourite Duplo pieces. She picks them up whenever she plays in the living room. If they’re apart, she’ll look for both pieces and hand them to me so I can reassemble them.

The biggest thing I’m happy about, though, is that A- will let me reinsert her ocular prosthesis by myself, without any fussing or crying. This had previously been a two-person operation – I’d restrain her while W- put the conformer in, usually over her tears. Sometimes it took us several tries, since she’d turn her head, wriggle, and buck. W- started rewarding her with upside-down swinging, which is something she enjoys a lot. She eventually let us pop it back in quickly (promptly followed by a swing, of course). This week, he tried putting the conformer in by himself. He managed it, so I tried it as well, and I managed it too! That means that even when W- goes back to work, if A-‘s conformer pops out, we won’t have to wait for him to get back home. I can just clean it and put it back in by myself. Level up!

The nurse from the Healthy Babies Healthy Children came for another play evaluation. A- wasn’t interested in stacking blocks, though. Ah well! We’ll try evaluating feeding next. We also talked about developmental screening. I read some research on microphthalmia that said one in five people with it have learning difficulties, and that even if there don’t appear to be related symptoms in the first year, additional things often come up when the child is three or four years old. It turns out many children don’t get routinely seen by medical professionals outside the usual vaccination schedule, so a lot of developmental delays are caught only when school starts. Since I have limited experience with children, I’ll need to keep on top of what’s considered normal and what might be a cause for concern. The Nipissing developmental screens go up to 6 years old, so that helps. We’ll stick with the Healthy Babies Healthy Children program as long as they’ll have us. It’s so nice having that regular check-in with a nurse who can monitor A-‘s development, and the family home visitor suggests lots of great activities too. The Junction Family Resource Centre and the Ontario Early Years Centre also have people I can ask, and the parent advocacy workshop I just registered for will probably be quite helpful.

We took A- to the JFRC this week. She mostly stayed close to me, although she was a little interested in the bin of musical instruments. She’s a bit keen to snatch things out of younger babies’ hands, so I redirect her with other fun things to explore instead.

We’ve been making an effort to incorporate more vegetables into our meals, and that’s starting to feel more natural now. Vegetable-heavy pizza, roasted vegetables, yum yum. A-‘s been eating pretty lightly, but that’s okay. As long as we keep modeling good eating and putting healthy choices in front of her, she’ll be fine. She likes feeding us whatever’s left on her saucer, and we don’t mind eating the extra veg and meat. We tried the pouch food we bought for emergencies, and we’re definitely not keen on it. Home-made food as much as possible – just have to keep exploring new recipes!

A-‘s bottom teeth are definitely out now, and her top incisors are beginning to emerge. Her sleep has been more messed up than usual – evening naps, late-night bedtimes – but we can adapt to that. I might try waking up with an alarm as a way of nudging her to keep a consistent bedtime instead of letting it get later and later, though. Anyway, this is temporary. I’ll get more time for thinking and writing later.

I still managed to do a bit of consulting – a small NodeJS server that parsed and displayed some content from a different system. I should probably follow up on that this week.

W- has been working on a jig for making mortises and tenons. He’s planning to replace the coffee table in the living room with one that’s a bit wider and with rounded edges. It’s more work baby-proofing than the usual “stick corners on the thing and call it a day”, but it builds skills, so I’m all for it. He’s getting a lot of good use out of the basement workshop he put together during parental leave, yay! Only a few weeks left before he goes back to work. It’s good to do what he can now so that woodworking can be an enjoyable hobby even in small chunks during regular weeks.

My discretionary time is all about the small chunks, too. Someday I’ll have bigger chunks to play with again, but in the meantime, this is cool.

Blog posts

Sketches

Focus areas and time review

  • Business (2.7h – 1%)
    • Earn (2.4h – 90% of Business)
    • Build (0.2h – 9% of Business)
      • ☑ Prepare invoice
      • ☑ Check out SimpleTax
    • Connect (0.0h – 0% of Business)
  • Relationships (0.0h – 0%)
    • ☑ Check RESP ledger
  • Discretionary – Productive (2.8h – 1%)
    • Drawing (1.9h)
    • Emacs (0.6h)
    • Coding (0.2h)
  • Discretionary – Play (2.1h – 1%)
  • Personal routines (11.7h – 6%)
  • Unpaid work (80.9h – 48%)
    • Childcare (73.2h – 43% of total)
  • Sleep (67.7h – 40% – average of 9.7 per day)

2017-02-06 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

What makes my week satisfying?

It makes sense to reflect on time in week-long chunks instead of day by day. A span of 24 hours is dominated by sleep and childcare, but over the 168 hours of a week, I might have enough discretionary time to feel more balanced.

What makes a week satisfying? How can I prepare so that I can enjoy satisfying weeks more often?

Enough rest to engage A- with energy and responsiveness
Mostly this is about being in tune with myself and understanding my energy levels, so I can make better decisions about staying up late or being on my phone while A- nurses. It’s also good to not be distracted by other needs or desires, so I can be more present.
A couple of walks and baby activities
I prefer to stay home when it’s cold and windy, which is okay. When the weather is mild, we usually go to neighbourhood centres so that A- can play with different toys and be around other people. As the weather warms up and A- grows, we’ll expand our range.
Little stories to share with W-, especially involving close observation
Helped by energy and rest. Can encourage this by planning activities as well as following A-‘s interests. This will get even better as A- grows, of course.
Contributions to household maintenance
Sometimes cooking, if I can pull it off while W- is around. Might be better to focus on cleaning and groceries, though, since those fit better into our current routines.
Relaxed conversations with W- during evening playtime with A-
Helped by stories and finished chores.
An updated journal and weekly review
Caught up every couple of days, if needed. Helped by text notes and by doing interesting things.
Emacs News posted
Monday or Tuesday discretionary time. Pretty straightforward, but I need to spend about 45 minutes of computer time on it.
Yummy food, no mealtime scrambling
Could use a little work here. We’ll probably make this smoother as we figure out a new rhythm, especially with batch cooking.
A little consulting that helps my clients a lot
Helped by having well-defined, useful, tiny chunks. Best done late at night, maybe sleeping in a bit the next day.
Thinking through stuff using my phone, not just reading social media updates
The payoff for reading social media is mostly chatting with W- about tidbits, occasionally interacting, and sometimes hearing about interesting things. Not that much, so I don’t have to scroll down the feeds looking for more. Writing is better for me, although I sometimes get stuck if I haven’t balanced it with some discretionary time for doing things. There’s always more to write and plan, though.
Maybe even a couple of blog posts, a bit of code, or a small improvement
Helped by thinking on my phone and by having clear, motivating questions.
Stretching
Helped by doing the routine together with W-.

Last week was a satisfying week. If I put some thought into it, I might be able to have even more of them. :) Some things are outside my control, but I can probably stack the deck. Hmm…

Weekly review: Week ending January 27, 2017

I took A- to the ocularist to check the fit of her conformer, since she’s been rubbing it out pretty much every day (sometimes even twice). The ocularist thinks it fits fine and wanted to start working towards a painted shell. We’re more comfortable with conformers, though, because of the risk of losing her prosthesis and because it sometimes prompts useful conversations. We’ll revisit painted shells when she’s ready for school, or if the white conformer bothers her.

I flipped through the book “A Singular View” while at the ocularist’s office. There’s a useful chapter on practical adaptations for pouring and other tasks that are a little harder with monocular vision. The book’s pretty short, though, so it might be something I’ll review there whenever we go for a checkup instead of buying a copy myself.

A- is getting better at communicating. She lets us know when she doesn’t want any more food by closing her eyes and shaking her head (a little randomly, but we get her message). She often insists on feeding us any food left on her plate. She gestures at pictures in books. One time, she even handed W- a paper diaper and flopped onto the bed – probably telling us to get on with the bedtime routine.

She was freaked out by the blood pressure cuff that J- was measuring me with as practice for J-‘s nursing exam. W- and I reassured her that everything was okay, although she still shouted at it when J- removed it from my arm. So much courage.

W- kept A- occupied while I went for my own eye exam. I hadn’t had my eyes checked in years, so I figured it would be good to update my prescription before ordering a bunch of glasses online. A- had broken one pair of glasses and scratched a lens in another pair, so I’m wearing my backup backup pair. Gotta be firmer about keeping A- away from my glasses!

Managed to squeeze in a little computer work. I dusted off and improved the first part of an A/B testing prototype for my consulting client. I also did some more work on using Ledger for my business books so that I can get a tax-line summary. I even set up a Ledger file for the investments in A-‘s college fund. Whee!

The world’s getting a bit crazy, but I remain optimistic.

Blog posts

Sketches

Focus areas and time review

  • Business (3.2h – 1%)
    • Earn (1.7h – 51% of Business)
      • ☐ [#A] Prepare invoice
      • ☑ Earn: E1: 1-2 hours of consulting
    • Build (1.5h – 46% of Business)
      • ☑ Get bank balance to agree
      • ☑ Do GIFI mapping
    • Connect (0.1h – 1% of Business)
  • Relationships (2.5h – 1%)
  • Discretionary – Productive (3.4h – 2%)
    • Drawing (2.5h)
    • Emacs (0.7h)
    • Coding (0.1h)
      • ☑ sleep/wake toggle
  • Discretionary – Play (3.5h – 2%)
  • Personal routines (16.7h – 9%)
  • Unpaid work (76.9h – 45%)
    • Childcare (70.9h – 42% of total)
  • Sleep (61.8h – 36% – average of 8.8 per day)

2017-01-30 Emacs News

I shuffled the sections around a bit to emphasize Emacs Lisp and Emacs development, based on John Wiegley’s suggestion. Enjoy!

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 January 20, 2017

The ocularist is trying a different style of conformer. It has a ridge and a curve to catch her lower eyelid. The new conformer has been coming out a little less frequently, but it’s still every day or so. I try to keep A-‘s hands away from her face, although sometimes she really insists on rubbing and scratching when she’s sleepy or just waking up. I also took A- to the eyeglasses store to try on pairs. She’s in between sizes in the Miraflex line, so we’ll try again in a few months.

I took A- to the JFRC and the OEYC for socialization. She’s back to being comfortable in those spaces, I think. I also took her to the breastfeeding clinic to check her weight. 7.84kg puts her comfortably over the 15th percentile curve, yay her!

Since A- has been so interested in our forks and spoons, we got her a fork, which she enthusiastically mashes into her saucer and manoeuvres into her mouth. Sometimes she even manages to pick up food with it. We also got her a toothbrush and a hairbrush. She seems to enjoy using the toothbrush after meals. We haven’t added any baby toothpaste yet – it’s more for getting her used to stuff in her mouth. I brush her hair after brushing mine. Sometimes she tries to imitate me, and sometimes she just plays with the brush when it’s her turn. She’ll get the hang of it eventually.

We’ve been encouraging more physical activity as a way of helping her build up her appetite and take in more nutrients. This usually takes the form of hide-and-seek, which gets her crawling after us at a decent clip. She’s also been working on fine motor control: stuffing Duplo into various containers (including sleepers and pant cuffs), emptying and filling the toy egg carton, and playing with books. She was a little interested in the crayons brought by the family home visitor, although she doesn’t seem to deliberately make marks yet. Anyway, since we want to model what to do with them, I’ve been able to sketch a little – mostly the back of her head while she plays with W-.

I’ve been drawing more on my tablet PC, too. This little experiment of drawing a memory in more detail and colour is helping me observe more carefully, and it’s fun. We’ll see if it’s worth the additional 10-15 minutes or so.

I did a little bit of consulting – a couple of SQL queries and a little Node script to analyze a thread. Thought about a bigger project, too, but I’m not sure I have the brainspace to build something custom for them.

I’ve been working on moving more things off Windows so that I can stay in Linux more often. After looking into alternatives to TurboTax for my corporate income tax returns, I decided to convert my QuickBooks records to Ledger. I’ve been using Ledger for my personal finances for more than a decade, and I like how manageable plain text is, especially with report command lines and commentary in Org Mode. I found a Perl script to convert QuickBooks data to Ledger format. After modifying it to deal with Canadian spelling, I converted my data and started reviewing it. So far, so good. My bank balances match up, at least. There are a bunch of other things I want to pay close attention to (year-end entries and so on), but overall, it looks promising.

I also cleared out the tablet I was using as a baby monitor, replacing it with W-‘s old phone. That works just as fine as a baby monitor, and it works out better than the tablet did as a backup device for when my phone’s battery runs out. The phone is easier to hold and type on, and it’s less glaring. More writing, yay!

While I’ve been taking care of A- and writing while nursing, W- has totally taken over cooking for dinner, which is awesome. Pad thai, pasta, shepherd’s pie (with ground lamb, even) – yum yum yum. Life is good.

Blog posts

Sketches

Focus areas and time review

  • Business (3.9h – 2%)
    • Earn (1.9h – 48% of Business)
      • ☑ Thread analysis
      • ☐ Earn: E1: 1-2 hours of consulting
    • Build (1.2h – 30% of Business)
    • Connect (0.8h – 21% of Business)
  • Relationships (0.1h – 0%)
    • ☑ Print prescription for A-
    • ☑ Try another conformer
  • Discretionary – Productive (4.3h – 2%)
    • Drawing (3.5h)
    • Emacs (0.4h)
    • Writing (0.1h)
  • Discretionary – Play (1.8h – 1%)
  • Personal routines (21.6h – 12%)
  • Unpaid work (73.2h – 43%)
    • Childcare (63.6h – 37% of total)
  • Sleep (63.1h – 37% – average of 9.0 per day)