Category Archives: review

Weekly review: Week ending July 12, 2019

  • Kaizen
    • I rehemmed W-‘s shorts. The twill I had was heavier than the original fabric, so we’ll just have to see how it works out.
    • I think I fixed my link quoting when generating Emacs News.
    • I notice that when I feel time-stressed, I get scatterbrained, and I leave things unfinished instead of putting things away neatly. But slow is fast, so if I slow down and take the time to put things away, it will work out better for me. When I catch myself feeling hurried, I should breathe and slow down more.
  • Us
    • I put together our paperwork for the upcoming trip.
    • I used some babysitter time to do errands on my bicycle. I returned most of the library books, bought some fabric and elastic, and bought toiletries for our upcoming trip. It was pouring when I finished at the pharmacy, so I waited for the rain to lighten a bit before heading home.
  • Field trip
    • We went to the science centre today. A- played a lot with the water pipes, even building them up. She was also curious about building arches and rolling balls down ramps.
  • Fine motor
    • A- had fun with the playdough extruder.
  • Sensory
    • “What’s that funny smell? Is that chocolate?”
  • Language
    • W- asked if A- wanted to see the garbage trucks. She said, “I decide not to.”
    • W- asked A- a question a few times. She said, “No answer.”
    • A- wanted to know why we weren’t going to take the cats with us on our trip. I told her stories about bringing Neko to Canada and how Neko climbed on top of my head as we went through security. A- found that very amusing and kept asking questions about it.
    • A- was pretending to be a baby helping W- make coffee. She said, “The baby’s first word is ‘tare!'”
  • Art
    • A- wanted bath paint, so I mixed up a small batch of yellow bath paint.
  • Self-care and independence
    • A- opened the bathroom lock all by herself.
    • A- hung up her clothes on hangers. She said, “Hey! I’m busy organizing my clothes.”
  • Eating
    • W- and I had circumspectly talked about having watermelon after dinner, but we didn’t want to spoil A-‘s appetite, so we had just referred to it as a colourful thing in the fridge during our pre-dinner planning. We focused on our main dinner, and A- ate lightly. J- came home and A- ran to greet her at the door. A- announced, “Come in! Come in! I’m just about to have watermelon.”
  • Social
    • A- deliberately poked me. I asked her not to, and we kept playing. Then she said, “Mama say sorry.” I was a little confused about what she wanted me to help her say sorry about, so I asked her why. After some back and forth, she explained, “I pushed your arm.”
    • I used A-‘s Swiss knife to work on the cardboard ATM. She remembered that Lolo gave it to her.
    • We went to the last workshop session. A- wanted to play with me, though, so she stayed close all the time.
    • A- helped me build a helicopter using the Little Engineer set. She handed me the parts I asked for.
    • We made it out to the playground and wading pool. A- had lots of fun sliding down the firepole and also going in and out of the water. She eyed a group of five kids who were playing rIng around the rosy. I showed her how to stand close to the group, and I helped ask for permission to join. She played a few rounds with them, and then one of the kids got tired of the game and decided to run to the wading pool. Another kid from the group (probably his big sister) ran after him and brought him back. Halfway through another round of ring around the rosy, he ran off agan, and she brought him back. That repeated quite a few times.
    • At bedtime, A- asked lots of questions about why a little kid kept running away from the ring-around-the-rosy game they had been playing earlier. It turned into a long discussion about the games people are really playing.
    • I checked in with A- regarding the frequency of babysitting sessions. She prefers once a week instead of twice a week, so we’ll switch to that after we get back. Also, 9 AM might be a bit early, so we might go back to 7 hours.
    • A- and the babysitter improvised stories one line at a time.
  • Pretend
    • “Now I’m testing the acidity.”
    • A- was pretending to be a baby. She asked W- to pick her up. When W- carried her, she said, “The grownups have to support my head.”
  • Cognition
    • We built on A-‘s familiarity with Baa Baa Black Sheep with a pretend activity where I bought wool (cotton balls) with money (sticks). Lots of counting and fine motor, since she used tongs for the cotton balls.
    • A- remembered the names she gave the notes. We used those names when we tuned the ukulele.
    • I talked to A- about counting by ones and counting by tens.
    • A- counted by tens with just a little help remembering that 30 comes after 20. She remembered on her own that after 90 comes 100. At dinner, she was very interested in words about numbers, talking about ten groups of ten and so on.
  • World
    • We made the magnetic switch part of the cardboard ATM.

Blog posts


Category The other week % Last week % Diff % h/wk Diff h/wk
Discretionary – Productive 4.9 9.1 4.2 15.3 7.0
Discretionary – Social 0.0 1.2 1.2 2.1 2.1
Unpaid work 4.4 4.9 0.6 8.3 0.9
Personal 3.0 2.6 -0.5 4.3 -0.8
Sleep 31.1 29.6 -1.5 49.7 -2.5
Discretionary – Family 2.3 0.3 -2.0 0.5 -3.3
Discretionary – Play 4.2 1.1 -3.1 1.9 -5.2
Business 10.3 4.5 -5.8 7.6 -9.7

Turning 36; life as a 35-year-old

On the surface, this year looked much like last year did: drop-in centres, playgrounds and field trips, trips to visit family, and a little bit of consulting and Emacs. It felt so different, though. Of course, A-‘s a whole lot different at 3.5 years instead of 2.5. But since this is my yearly update instead of hers, I’m going to think about how I’ve been growing and what changed.

Last year, I said, “Bring on the ‘why?’ stage!”, and it turned out to be amazing. I’ve learned more about science thanks to her questions, and I’ve learned more about engineering thanks to watching How It’s Made videos and building cardboard machines.

There were many moments when I found myself thinking, “Wow, I like spending time with A-.” It’s great watching her grow. We can talk about so many things. She’s slowly becoming more independent. Sure, there were also times when I thought, “Darn, she has to learn about this the tough way,” but I’m getting better at setting my own boundaries and taking care of myself, and I’m getting pretty good at embracing the tantrums.

I’ve also gotten better at accepting the limits of this phase. I add more things to my list than I can cross off, even with focused time from the babysitting experiment that we restarted on A-‘s request. I often pick sleep instead of working on my computer, because I get grumpy if I’m tired. It’s okay. There’s next year (kindergarten is just around the corner!), and there are other people who can do things too. For now, I’m learning how to be here.

Or there–we squeezed in a trip to the Netherlands to visit my sister and her family, and another trip to the Philippines to see everyone. A-‘s becoming quite a seasoned traveller, although she still doesn’t sleep much on airplanes. It was good to spend time with people. A- had lots of fun playing with her cousins and with Lola, hooray!

Last year, I wrote:

I’m also looking forward to learning more about pedagogical documentation, drawing, taking pictures/videos, and other ways I can share things with her and with other people. Making books for A- is fun, so I’d like to do more of that too.

I really like the way my journaling workflow makes it possible to capture lots of little moments. I’m still not good at taking a step back and seeing trends over time, and my weekly review often falls by the wayside. It was nice remembering little moments in the process of doing this yearly review. Hardly any drawing, but I came to terms with that being a low priority for now. I started categorizing photos using albums in Google Photos, but it’s not quite as smooth or as regular as I’d like.

I made a few more children’s books for A-. “I Am Turning 3” organized highlights from her first three years. “Let’s Make Popcorn” was the sequel to “Let’s Make a Smoothie.” “Going on an Airplane” helped us get ready for the trip, and she loved that I illustrated it with her favourite stuffed toy. For my sister, I drafted a book called “Magic Books”, but I haven’t illustrated it yet. I improved my workflow, so now I can theoretically make longer books with better layouts. I look forward to trying that out as we move into more complex stories.

We’ve been using some babysitting time to work on household projects and useful skills. W- taught me how to use the sliding compound mitre saw and the table saw. We repainted and trimmed the insides of the upper kitchen cabinets, replaced the drawers, and built organizers and shelves. We decluttered and organized, and we even donated old bicycles. In terms of cooking, we’ve been shifting more towards fresh food instead of cooking in bulk, more towards vegetables and other recommendations of the new food guide, and more towards higher-quality groceries. We’ve been learning how to work with a sourdough starter that we brought home from my sister’s neighbour in the Netherlands.

Babysitting freed up some time to work on some personal coding projects for continuous improvement, too. I wrote functions to make it easier to prepare Emacs News by getting feed items, checking for duplicates, and assigning categories with a few keystrokes. I started hosting after the server at went down. I finally got around to setting up SSL. I moved my sketches from Flickr to my own, and I wrote a tool that rewrote most of the links in my old posts. I started using Docker to contain some of my services, including a new version of my library renewal script. I contributed patches to Org Mode and to Termux.

I got into sewing again. I experimented with a custom-printed headband that had letters, numbers, days of the week, and other useful things for preschool education on the go. I found out that W-‘s old jeans fit me quite comfortably, so I hemmed and patched them. I serged cabinet liners and washcloths. I made fuzzy hats in winter, and shorts and underwear in summer. I started to feel more comfortable sewing. It was even fun.

So yeah… A- grew a lot, and so did I.


Category % 34 years % 35 years Diff % h/wk Diff h/wk
A- 46.7 42.7 -4.0 71.8 -6.7
Sleep 31.2 33.8 2.6 56.8 4.4
Personal 6.2 6.3 0.1 10.5 0.2
Unpaid work 5.4 6.1 0.7 10.3 1.2
Discretionary – Productive 3.5 3.4 -0.2 5.7 -0.3
Discretionary – Play 0.7 2.8 2.0 4.7 3.4
Discretionary – Family 3.3 2.8 -0.5 4.6 -0.9
Business – Earn 1.1 1.1 0.0 1.9 0.0
Discretionary – Social 0.9 0.8 -0.1 1.3 -0.2
Business – Build 0.3 0.2 -0.1 0.3 -0.2

Huh. That’s interesting. Actually, most of the time change this year was about me getting more sleep. I like having more sleep. And I gave myself permission to play Borderlands 2 with W- in the evening, since it’s good to hang out as a couple too. I did a smidge more tidying, too.

Babysitting helped me shift consulting from late-night sessions to daytime (more alertness! occasional chats with clients!), improve my sewing, coding, and woodworking skills, and check off actual projects. That was worth it, although I’m not going to scale it up too much because A- prefers to spend time with me. She wants to have a babysitter once a week instead of twice or three times a week. If I can count on 6-7 hours of focused time a week, then, I’d like to spend an average of 2 hours a week on consulting, 2 hours on household prep, and 2-3 hours on continuous improvement. I’m not entirely sure how that time budget works, but we’ll figure things out. It might be more household prep until we can get things running smoothly, which should free up more time and energy for other things.

36 to 37: Looking ahead

A- will be old enough for kindergarten shortly after I turn 37. Big changes are up ahead! I’d like to stay flexible and be involved in the school community, since that seems to make a big difference. That’s for later, though. For now, I can focus on making the most of this phase and what I can do to prepare for the next one.

I want to make a children’s book about microphthalmia that I can share with A-‘s kindergarten teacher. I hope it will help answer questions and demystify things.

I want to put together a session for the Emacs conference in November, and to help with facilitating and following through. I also want to continue posting Emacs News.

I’d like to continue consulting, since I like my clients and I like solving the kinds of problems i do. I’ll probably focus on prototyping, robotic process automation, and analytics, since those are things I can squeeze into small time windows.

A- is starting to show interest in reading, socialization, and how the world works. I also want to help her develop physical literacy and emotional regulation, and I want to involve her more in preparing food and tidying up. I’ve got my work cut out for me in terms of doing preschool at home. It will be fun!

I want to learn more DIY skills so that I can help improve things around the house. I’m not sure how the time budget works out, though. Learning woodworking is definitely more of a nice-to-have compared to the other things we need to do to keep the house running smoothly.

I’ve got an even longer list of ideas. As always, priorities: sleep, self-care, taking care of A-, and so on. Let’s see how this year goes!

Weekly review: Week ending June 21, 2019

  • Kaizen
    • W- replaced the kitchen drawers. I helped take out the old rails and use the chop saw.
    • Baked rainbow trout: Yummy and easy.
    • I managed to put my bike on the hook again, yay me!
    • W- taught me how to use the table saw.
    • We cleaned the sauce cabinet in preparation for painting it, and W- trimmed it to fix the gaps.
    • W- and I built a kitchen shelf out of Baltic birch, and I applied a polyurethane coat to it.
  • Us
    • I booked our flights and bought travel insurance.
    • I booked hotels for our stopovers. I decided to stick with the hotel we tried last time. We’ll check out the train in case we need to take it to get to the airport early.
    • I biked to the pool with A- in the trailer. I managed to make it over the bridge on Dundas West, yay!
  • Fine motor
    • A- wanted to try sungka with four shells in each pot. She sometimes needed to use two hands, but she patiently did it even when her turns were pretty long.
  • Sensory
    • A- and I made sand angels.
    • A- enjoyed swimming with some floaters on. She imitated the other kids in practising how to get into the pool with my help. She also experimented with lying backwards while I supported her.
  • Language
    • “Who is my baby?” “Me.” “Who is my wonderful baby?” “Me.” “Who is going to bed soon?” “You.”
    • W- and I were talking about travel plans and whether I might want to spend extra to reduce hassle. He said, “X dollars? That’s not a lot.” A- chimed in with, “That’s a lot.”
    • “I’m not paying attention.”
    • “Wow, very cold.” – A- after splashing herself with a small amount of water which turned out to be cold.
    • I made small sandpaper letters: c, a, t, m.
    • “Whoa, such a cool thing.” – A- swinging around suddenly on some playground equipment
    • A- asked W- if she could climb the ladder, but W- couldn’t figure out which ladder she meant. Some time later, A- saw the platform. She gestured to it and said, “That’s the ladder I was talking about.” It’s nice to see that she can remember and politely clarify.
  • Music
    • I signed A- up for the Smart Start music classes at the Royal Conservatory of Music – the regular one, not the one with Suzuki piano. It’ll be her third year doing it, and I’m looking forward to learning more songs and games with her while I’m allowed to attend. It’ll probably be a good intro to independent classes, too.
  • Self-care and independence
    • Another kid accidentally threw sand in A-‘s face. A- cried the sand out of her eyes.
    • A- wanted to stay home instead of going to nature class or school, so we played at home most of the day.
  • Eating
    • We brought popcorn to the potluck. A- liked lumpia and watermelon.
    • I made heart-shaped pancakes. A- liked them.
    • A- liked the crusty part of the samosas.
  • Emotion
    • A- had a tantrum in the morning about not being allowed to help clean up cat poo. When she calmed down, I talked to her about how our brains flip out. At bedtime, she asked me why her brain had flipped out earlier, and we talked a bit more about emotional regulation.
    • At bedtime, A- asked me why she grabbed the kitchen towel from W- a few days ago. We talked about why she locked on to that and why W- decided to find something else to do.
  • Household
    • A- wanted to make her bed before getting into it.
    • A- started cutting up one of her old dresses to make a sleep sack for her doll, so I helped her make it.
    • A- was curious about caulking. W- let her squeeze some caulk onto paper.
  • Social
    • A- helped pack up at school. She put toys into bags.
    • A- wanted a twig that H- had. They had previously fought over other twigs, which resulted in us talking to the kids about grabbing and stuff. A- looked around and spotted some chalk. She successfully traded a piece of chalk for the twig she wanted.
    • A- approved of slurping noodles and disapproved of slurping applesauce.
    • A- didn’t want to go to the parenting workshop today. She wanted to stay home and make a sleep sack. I said we already had one, and she said she wanted to make her own. She negotiated, outlining her proposal with her fingers: “First, sew. Second, play. Then workshop. Those are choices.” We discussed material choices a bit before settling on salvaging the zipper from one of her sleepers. I broke my serger needles because I was rushing and a bit frustrated, so I put it aside and A- agreed to go to the workshop with me. She had a long nap in the stroller. After we came home, I replaced the needles and played with A- some more.
  • Pretend
    • A- pretended to be a pancake cooking on all sides at bedtime.
  • Cognition
    • A- did a good job paying for llama food and a temporary tattoo with the $3 I gave her. She felt brave when she fed the llamas, and she helped count up to thirty while waiting for the tattoo to transfer. She was curious about the chickens, but she was a little scared of them too.
    • A- did a good job solving the alphabet puzzle. She easily identified letters and matched them up with the slots with only occasional hints, and she took turns with another kid.
  • World
    • I made a cardboard conveyer and we mechanized it with a motor from the Technic set. That was fun!
  • Other
    • A- enjoyed picnicking with the babysitter. She also had fun climbing onto the platform we were using to work in the kitchen.

Blog posts


Category The other week % Last week % Diff % h/wk Diff h/wk
A- 39.0 50.2 11.2 84.3 18.8
Discretionary – Family 4.5 8.7 4.3 14.7 7.1
Discretionary – Social 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
Sleep 30.3 30.0 -0.3 50.4 -0.5
Unpaid work 6.0 5.6 -0.4 9.4 -0.7
Discretionary – Play 3.8 1.8 -2.0 3.0 -3.4
Business 3.4 0.4 -3.0 0.7 -5.1
Personal 5.7 2.2 -3.4 3.8 -5.7
Discretionary – Productive 7.3 1.1 -6.2 1.8 -10.5

Weekly review: Week ending June 28, 2019

  • Kaizen
    • I updated my duplicate checker to look at package names and allow me to see the next matches.
    • I wrote a batch script to rsync photos, and I freed up space.
    • I cut and glued a wooden organizer for the cutlery drawer.
  • Us
    • I applied another polyurethane layer on the kitchen shelf and on the drawer pieces.
    • I asked for cardboard boxes from the grocery store and cardboard tubes from the kids’ clothing store. That will be handy for crafting.
    • I dropped by Melissa’s place to water her plants.
    • Italian dressing: Went well with pasta salad.
    • I tried alternating 15-minute timers so that I could focus on her and also cook dinner. It was nice deliberately making time to focus on her, although she wasn’t keen on letting me focus on cooking.
    • I sorted and scanned receipts for our tax review.
    • CRA wants to review our tax return, so I made a cover letter in Org Mode with a table of the receipt information from my Google Docs spreadsheet. I cross-referenced them with the scanned receipts. Then I used pdfjam to make a new PDF with the cover letter and the cross-referenced receipts in chronological order, updated all the page references in my summary table, and recompiled the PDF. Yay!
    • We learned a little more about temperaments in the parenting workshop.
    • I updated my ledger.
  • Fine motor
    • A- wanted me to play the hot potato game the babysitter taught her. She was also interested in practising with scissors. We made hanging shapes and the Japanese lantern from Childcraft.
  • Language
    • A- followed along with the sandpaper letter activity, including the parts where I knocked on the letters and when I asked her to take the letters to different places. She was more interested in drawing squiggles on the salt tray than in reproducing the letters, though. I might treat the salt tray as more of a sensory activity until she’s more interested in writing.
    • “Daddy, I have a favor to ask. I want to make things.”
    • A- read the numbers on the scale: 11.
    • A- put a bag of cashews in the freezer to see what would happen. When she felt it had gotten cold enough, she opened the freezer by herself. W- asked her what she thought they would be like. She said, “Look, I’m going to test it.”
    • I asked A- if I could finish her food. She said, “But it has my germs!”
  • Music
    • I took A- to the open house for the Royal Conservatory of Music. We made it only to the demo class that I’d signed up for, but that was okay. On the way home, we talked about getting another ukulele. I think it might be fun to try a good make-your-own-ukulele kit, perhaps after the porch. I want something that sounds decent and is enjoyable to play. I could get an inexpensive ukulele that’s already made, but assembling it might give us more insights.
  • Art
    • A- got the Childcraft volume on Make and Do, and she turned the pages to the paper towel dipping activity. She got the hang of turning the paper towel to dip different corners.
  • Self-care and independence
    • A- got an insect bite on her forehead.
    • I took A- to the doctor because her forehead and eye were swelling up. The doctor said that A- picked up a secondary infection after scratching her bug bite.
    • A- started taking antibiotics and antihistamines for her secondary infection. She doesn’t seem to get unusually sleepy with Benadryl, and she even woke up in the middle of the night to share some of the things she learned about antihistamines.
    • A- asked me to scrape her teeth with the flosser. I usually just do the teeth I can easily reach, but this time, I pulled her lip back and scraped her back teeth too. Yikes! Tooth decay!
    • I took A- to the dentist. She has tooth decay. It’s not yet a cavity, so we’re going to start taking her in for tooth cleaning and fluoride varnishes, being stricter about not snacking throughout the day, and brushing more often. If she can tolerate being at the dentist and we can stop it from getting worse, we might be able to fix it at the dentist with some nitrous oxide. If not, she may have to go under general anesthesia again, which would be tough on her body.
    • I made a concerted effort to brush her teeth after every meal today, offering videos of herself as a distraction.
    • A- sharpened pencils all by herself.
  • Eating
    • We made vanilla ice cream using the bag-in-a-bag approach. The first ice bag tore, so I added another bag and wrapped a cloth bag around it too. A- approved of the ice cream and asked for lots of it. That was fun.
    • A- really wanted cartilage. She gnawed the ends off all the chicken wings from the sotanghon I packed for lunch.
  • Emotion
    • A- was grumpy. I asked her what could help her calm down. She said, “I want to dance.” She used the demo mode on the piano to select a piece, and we danced for a bit.
  • Household
    • A- wanted to help wax the new kitchen shelf. She and W- took turns applying wax and wiping it away. Wax on, wax off.
    • A- used a driver to screw in Phillips and Robertson screws. She liked how much faster it was with the power tool. She also had fun swapping the bits for the stubby screwdriver.
  • Social
    • “Don’t forget to say thank you.”
  • Pretend
    • A- figured out that the syringe plunger was just the right size to look like a seal for the squeeze bottle, so she liked pretending to make something new.
    • We had fun pretending she was a firefighter and I was a fire.
    • A- put a cloth book on her head and balanced other books on her hands. Then she waved her hands around, reenacting pandanggo sa ilaw.
    • Out of the blue, A- said, “Stanchion!” After I looked it up, I remembered it from the book on milking cows. A- asked me to pretend to be a stanchion, so we had a bit of fun with that.
  • Cognition
    • A- pretended to apply temporary tattoos, counting all the way to thirty with just a few hints.
  • World
    • We started making a bucket conveyor using the anti-slip mat and the egg carton.
    • We made a water dispenser from a bottle, some tubing, and cardboard. I didn’t need to worry about whether things were food-safe, as A- happily dispensed and refilled the water without drinking any.
    • I finished the bucket conveyor. The conveyor belt slips sideways, but it’s a good start. A- had fun conveying ping pong balls and cat toys into an empty yogurt container. I replaced the yogurt container with a ball return mechanism made out of a guacamole container and a cardboard ramp formed into a V with rubber bands. Yay!
    • We used a triangular prism to explore rainbows.

Blog posts


Category The other week % Last week % Diff % h/wk Diff h/wk
Business 0.4 5.4 5.0 9.1 8.4
Discretionary – Productive 1.1 2.2 1.1 3.6 1.8
Sleep 30.0 31.0 1.0 52.0 1.7
Personal 2.2 2.3 0.1 3.9 0.1
Discretionary – Social 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
Discretionary – Play 1.8 1.7 -0.0 2.9 -0.1
A- 50.2 50.0 -0.2 84.0 -0.3
Unpaid work 5.6 2.3 -3.3 3.9 -5.5
Discretionary – Family 8.7 5.1 -3.6 8.6 -6.1

Weekly review: Week ending July 5, 2019

  • Kaizen
    • Thanks to W-‘s tips, I found it much easier to hang up my bicycle on a hook.
    • W- built legs for the cabinet at the front.
    • I reglued part of the organizer. Since the 90-degree clamps couldn’t fit, I clamped it together using a couple of blocks.
    • I’m pleased with the evolution of my coding skills. I think I’ve gotten the hang of async, and my markup conversion functions even have Mocha tests.
  • Us
    • I hopped on my bike to do some errands.
    • We went for a bike ride. That was pleasant!
    • W- and I enjoyed homemade cake with homemade ice cream.
    • My neck was a little sore from working on the computer.
  • Field trip
    • I took A- to Home Hardware and Creatron so that we could get motors, gears, and a battery case for the ATM project. A- clutched her yellow dual-shaft motor all the way to E-‘s house.
  • Gross motor
    • A- really liked riding on my shoulders as we walked through the neighbourhood. I figured she was still getting balancing practice.
    • The babysitter took A- to the little zoo and playground.
    • The babysitter turned a large sheet of cardboard into a skee ball arcade game.
  • Language
    • A-: “Can I get a Mason jar? With a straw?” Me: “How does it fit?” A-: “Perfectly well.”
    • “We have to tidy up for the babysitter. Otherwise, the babysitter will see a mess. I want even the boys to clean up,” A- said, telling W- to put things away too.
    • We were saying goodbye to E-. He said, “No bye bye! No bye bye!” A- said, “Yes bye bye! I have to go home.”
  • Music
    • While having a bath, A- made up her own version of Hush Little Baby, Don’t Say a Word. My favourite lines: “If it breaks, don’t say anything.” “If you push the donkey, it may hurt.”
  • Emotion
    • A- climbed over my arm several times. As she did so, she said, “Brave A-.” She alternated that with sitting on my laptop and saying, “Scared A-.”
    • I absentmindedly hung my pants on the towel hook. When I returned to the bathroom with A-, she found that hilarious.
  • Household
    • A- was curious about the hand plane and the drill press. She also practised using the power driver.
    • A- helped W- unclog the drain.
    • A- and the babysitter baked and decorated sugar cookies.
  • Social
    • A- opened the cutlery drawer a few times, exclaiming variants of “Very cool!” I’m not entirely sure if she was buttering me up to get popcorn or imitating my satisfaction with the organizer I made.
    • We visited Joy and J-. We read books and made playdough. It was good to catch up. We swapped A-‘s wooden puzzles for a playdough extruder.
    • At the parenting workshop, we learned more about positive parenting and behaviour. A- played with the childminders for most of the session.
    • A- and E- played with a ball game, a hose, and a sprinkler.
  • Pretend
    • I made dust masks for A- and me so that we could pretend to be dentists.
    • A- said to W-, “Let’s play Dead Bird!” W- said, “Dear kindergarten teacher: it’s not what you think.” We had cleaned up a dead baby bird this week, so she wanted to pretend to pick up more birds.
  • World
    • A- enjoyed chasing rainbows made by a prism.
  • Oops
    • We forgot to round up all of our garbage. Oops!

Blog posts


Category The other week % Last week % Diff % h/wk Diff h/wk
Business 5.4 10.3 4.9 17.3 8.2
Discretionary – Productive 2.2 4.9 2.8 8.3 4.7
Discretionary – Play 1.7 4.2 2.5 7.0 4.1
Unpaid work 2.3 4.4 2.1 7.4 3.5
Personal 2.3 3.0 0.7 5.1 1.2
Sleep 31.0 31.1 0.1 52.2 0.2
Discretionary – Social 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
Discretionary – Family 5.1 2.3 -2.9 3.8 -4.8
A- 50.0 39.8 -10.1 66.9 -17.0

So much consulting this week! There was an interesting time-sensitive challenge at work, so I jumped on it.

Weekly review: Week ending June 14, 2019

  • Kaizen
    • Yay, my Philippine debit MasterCard worked for getting the Xpresspost envelope.
    • I organized my sketches and updated blog post references to use instead of Flickr.
    • I patched Termux to support F1..F12 in keyboard shortcuts, figured out how to build the APKs I needed, and submitted a pull request.
    • We donated a couple of old bicycles to Bike Pirates.
    • I serged cabinet liners and washcloths.
  • Us
    • W- and I checked out the new Borderlands 2 DLC, Commander Lilith and the Fight for Sanctuary.
    • Used some babysitter time to go to the Philippine consulate and get some papers notarized. I splurged on the Xpresspost International envelope so that they can mail the documents directly instead of needing to go back to pick things up.
    • I updated my ledger. Some negative productivity due to duplicate labels, but I eventually sorted it out.
    • We finished the Lilith DLC main story.
    • W- and I had fun watching a video about someone making beef wellington with an robot rolling pin.
  • Gross motor
    • A- walked around 1.4 km throughout the day, except for two very short rides on the stroller. She was pretending to be a firefighter.
  • Sensory
    • At school, A- played a lot at the sand table and at the playdough table. She was also interested in books and in water play.
    • I’m curious about helping train A-‘s ear, since this is a great window for doing so. She wasn’t keen on pointing to me with her eyes closed, but she likes watching videos about how things are made. I set a video to loop on my phone, hid it under the bed, and asked A- to find it.
  • Language
    • “What am I thinking about? Are those bubbles?” (points to her head)
    • I love how A- emphasizes the sounds in “Emergency LANNNNDINNNG!”
    • A- was curious about the increment in her Learning Tower. W- asked her how big she thought it was. “Two and a half inches,” she said. W- got the measuring tape from her toolkit and measured it. It was, in fact, two and a half inches.
  • Art
    • A- had lots of fun with S-. S- showed her how to staple paper rings together to make a chain, glue down pieces of paper to make a mosaic, and squish paint around under cling wrap to make interesting paintings. They also went to the playground and made sandcastles. What a full day! W- made dinner early while I took care of the evening chores, and we got A- in bed by 6:30.
  • Self-care and independence
    • To cheer A- up, I joked that I would snuggle her all day. She said, “No, not all day. I have to do my own things. I have to study.”
    • “I’m so tired. Why did we do eight hours?” She still thinks eight hours is too short, though!
  • Sleep
    • A- fell asleep at 6:30 while I was reading her a book.
  • Emotion
    • I asked A- what she wanted to help with her tantrums. She asked for a calm down surface with lots of blankets and one pillow.
  • Social
    • We visited Jen, Ewan, and E- because they needed emergency kiddo time. We had fun playing with water, bubbles, and chalk outside, and trains and ramps inside. Referring to E- and herself, A- said, “What are the twins doing?”
    • We went to the fire station near our place again. A- asked a few follow-up questions.
    • A- went out with the babysitter, and they didn’t get back until 10 minutes past the session’s end time because the babysitter lost track of time.
    • A- enjoyed doing crafts with the babysitter. She also went to the playground and splash pad, and slept in the stroller on the way back.
    • We went to the fire station again. A- asked lots of questions about the equipment. We saw them respond to an emergency call and then come back and do maintenance.
    • A- played lots of pretend with the babysitter. She also did a craft related to Rainbow Fish, improvised a temporary tattoo, and gave the babysitter a hug at the end of the session.
  • Pretend
    • A- wore her rain pants and rain boots. When she needed to take them off inside, she left the rain pants pushed down around her rain boots, just like firefighters push down their uniforms.
  • Cognition
    • We tried the colour sorting activity suggested by Playing Preschool, spinning it as Duplo block planes doing emergency landings. A- did it very easily. Maybe we’ll do Mouse Paint and colour mixing next.
    • A- delighted in building simple Duplo models by following the instruction cards with just a little prompting.
  • World
    • A- was curious about ice: how it cracked, how it floated, how it was made.
  • Other
    • We went to the fire station near Jen’s place. A- was brave enough to sit in the cab.
    • The workshop session focused on nutrition, health, and physical literacy. I asked the nurse about W sitting, and she encouraged me to keep asking A- to adjust. I also asked a few questions about milk, playground safety, and extracurricular exercise.
    • A- wanted to paint the planets in her mobile, so we did. She remembered that Lolo gave her the mobile.

Blog posts


Category The other week % Last week % Diff % h/wk Diff h/wk
Discretionary – Family 0.1 4.5 4.4 7.6 7.5
Discretionary – Productive 3.6 7.3 3.7 12.3 6.3
Business 1.8 3.4 1.6 5.8 2.7
Personal 5.4 5.7 0.3 9.5 0.5
Discretionary – Social 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
Sleep 30.3 30.3 -0.0 50.9 -0.0
A- 39.1 39.0 -0.2 65.5 -0.3
Discretionary – Play 6.6 3.8 -2.8 6.4 -4.7
Unpaid work 13.1 6.0 -7.1 10.1 -11.9