Weekly review: Week ending April 5, 2019

  • Kaizen
    • I finally got around to setting up LetsEncrypt SSL certificates for my blog, Quantified Awesome, and planet.emacslife.com.
    • I updated my ledger and added more balance assertions.
    • I set up HTTPS for my little tracker, too.
  • Us
    • I decided to spend a little time playing Borderlands 2 with W- while I backed up my files. It was nice to just relax and have fun.
    • I brought the prototype for Magic Books to the drop-in centre, and I sketched a few pages while A- played.
    • It was a little frustrating trying to figure out dinner plans with a friend who’s flying in for a few days. I wonder if it makes sense to meet her at the airport. Still getting the hang of having a kiddo in tow…
    • I managed to put A- to bed by 10 pm, so W- and I watched Deadpool 2.
  • Gross motor
    • A- wanted to go to the park, so I said that we could if she walked there instead of riding in the stroller. She made it!
    • A- was really interested in climbing the structures at the playground.
  • Fine motor
    • A- used her fingers and thumb to pinch the playdough out into a bowl shape.
  • Language
    • A-: “Even if it’s a dwarf planet, Pluto is still a planet.”
      Me: “Pluto isn’t a planet any more.”
      A-: “I’m just using my imagination.”
    • “Where’s daddy? I want to see him. I want to ask him for a little spent time.”
  • Self-care and independence
    • A-‘s been asking for a babysitter, so I booked one from the agency. Maybe I’ll be able to do some consulting, drawing, or organizing while A- practises being independent.
    • A- felt comfortable switching over to the babysitter as soon as I set them up, and she played happily with the babysitter until I came back up from the basement 3.5 hours later. I heard them read lots of books, play music, and play with other toys. It was nice to get some focused work done. When I asked A- about plans for next week, she chose having a sitter at home over going to pretend school or playing with me, so I booked the same person for another day.
  • Eating
    • We had maple-crusted porkloin and bok choy for dinner.
  • Emotion
    • Me: “I’m getting grumpy because I’m hungry, so I’m going to eat.”
      A-: “Snake breath or balloon breath.”
      Me: “…Yes, I can use snake breath to calm down when I’m frustrated.”
      A-: “I gave you choices. I’m a good mother.”
    • Lots of tantrums. Maybe A- was releasing the tension from behaving properly with a stranger all afternoon.
  • Household
    • A- helped spot-clean her stuffed toy Sheep.
    • A- insisted on returning the library books all by herself. She attacked the books on the floor, picked them up one at a time, and slid them through the return slot.
    • A- helped me cut carrots for duck pot pie. I helped her use a serrated steak knife.
    • A- checked out library books all by herself, too.
    • A- sliced the zucchini with a butter knife.
  • Social
    • A- wanted to read a few books while Lola was on video chat. She also wanted to play sungka.
    • A- asked W- to juggle for her. W- said he could only juggle one thing. A- said, “I can juggle two things,” and then proceeded to flail about. Then she said, “I taught Daddy how to juggle.”
    • A- established boundaries around her tower (she wanted to build it by herself). Later, she played together with another kid, even going with her back and forth across the room.
    • After music class, we checked out a protest, went to the Allan Gardens conservatory and playground, and got books from the library and the Children’s Book Bank. A- liked spending time with AW from music class. What a full day!

Blog posts


Category The other week % Last week % Diff % h/wk Diff h/wk
Sleep 34.6 38.2 3.5 64.1 6.0
A- 43.8 46.7 2.9 78.4 4.8
Discretionary – Play 0.4 2.3 1.9 3.9 3.2
Discretionary – Productive 1.8 2.9 1.1 4.9 1.8
Business 2.6 3.4 0.8 5.7 1.4
Discretionary – Family 2.1 0.2 -1.9 0.4 -3.1
Personal 8.6 4.7 -3.9 7.9 -6.6
Unpaid work 6.1 1.6 -4.5 2.8 -7.5

Weekly review: Week ending March 29, 2019

  • Kaizen
    • A- wanted to type on my laptop, so I quickly remapped her favourite key (F1) to show the hello file instead of help-on-help. W- joked that if I set it up to play Ode to Joy, I’d have a real winner. So I did, calling emms-play-file. And then of course it made sense to make F1 toggle playing on and off, and then A- had lots of fun making the music stop and go.
    • We raked the twigs in the garden.
  • Us
    • I booked our flights. I initially booked them on one airline, but I cancelled after a few minutes because I realized that another airline’s itinerary not only made more sense for our day but also came out a little cheaper.
    • We decided that spending on seat selection was worth it so that we could pick a row without any particularly bad remarks on the main seat review sites.
  • Gross motor
    • We put batteries into a tiny toy penguin I bought a long time ago, and A- had fun watching it waddle toward claps. She imitated the penguin too, holding her arms close to her sides and her hands out.
  • Fine motor
    • A- was fascinated by a small, clear hand pump floating in the water table at the drop-in centre. She spent most of the afternoon playing with it, filling the cups and bottles that I held for her. She also had fun stacking small wooden shapes, and got pretty good at building tall, thin towers.
  • Sensory
    • A- spent a long time at the water table in the drop-in centre. She liked pretending to give the frog-shaped watering can a drink.
    • A- liked being dropped while riding on my knees.
    • A- liked playing with her new sand toys in a big raised bed in our backyard. That raised bed gets pretty shaded, so we decided that was fine as A-‘s sandbox and “planting” zone.
  • Language
    • “Now baby is refreshed and rested.”
    • One of A-‘s long-term goals is to grow long hair. She said, “Someday I’m going to help J- clog up the drain.”
    • A- picked three bedtime stories and read them all to herself.
    • A- wanted to sing Bahay Kubo while reading through the book. She did it several times. Then she fell asleep snuggling the book.
  • Music
    • A- sat down at the piano. She started pressing keys and singing, “Bessie the sheep, Bessie the sheep…” I think she was making up a song on the spot.
    • It’s fun watching the progression in the kinds of games we play in music class. This week, the teacher introduced a game with songs that go like: “A- stands up, A- sits down, A- goes dancing all around the town. Tralalalalala tralalala, tralalalala tralalala.” (To the tune of Tommy Thumb Is Up.) We stretched out the last few syllables so each kid could make it back to their place in the circle right on time. When it was A-‘s turn, she stood up and sat down on cue, and then she went all around the circle by herself, even though all the kids before her had been accompanied by their grownups. Neato!
  • Self-care and independence
    • A- can put on gloves and mittens by herself.
    • During our bedtime conversation, A- and I talked about what if she had no seeing eyes, about being careful in the sandbox, and about observing other kids.
    • We went to Once Upon a Child to look for shoes. I brought along a paper cutout of her footprint. She preferred shoes that were a bit too big for her, but she’ll probably grow into them in a few months. I also got her sweatpants to match W-. I tried looking for a slightly larger rain jacket and a doll that she identified with, but no luck. I might have to look into repainting dolls if she wants a hard one instead of a soft one.
  • Eating
    • A- ate seven breakfast sausages in one sitting.
    • A- is getting quite good at eating cereal and milk by herself. She likes to add just a little cereal. I think it’s mostly an excuse to drink milk.
  • Emotion
    • A- had a big tantrum because she wanted phone time so that she could watch videos. We eventually redirected her to reading.
    • A- was in her carrier, slowly calming down from a tantrum. Tearfully, she said, “i want a book on emotional regulation.”
    • A- didn’t want to interrupt reading in order to start dinner. When she saw W- head out the door, though, she started crying for him. We quickly put our coats and boots on and headed out the door. W- was far ahead of us, but A- made a decent effort at walking most of the way to the library. We met W- on his way back. I offered A- a choice: we could all go home, or W- could go home and I could go with her to the library. A- kept asking if she could go with W- to the library. After telling her that wasn’t one of the choices and giving her a warning, I told her that we were going to choose for her. We carried her home in full tantrum mode. Eventually, we were able to help her calm down enough, and she ate dinner with us. She had probably been extra grumpy because of hunger, but at least we finally got that sorted out!
  • Social
    • We hadn’t seen Joy and J- for a long time. When they finally made it out to the drop-in centre, A- and J- had lots of fun playing together. A- said, “I love my friend.” They walked home, holding hands part of the way.
  • World
    • At the drop-in centre, the librarian did the circle time. She sang a song about weather and asked the kids what the weather was today. A- said, “It was raining.” The librarian thanked her. A- continued, saying, “That’s called precipitation.” Everyone paused for a few seconds trying to make sure they heard her right, and then we had a good laugh about that.

      I guess A- picked something up from all those times she asked us to read “The Sun is Kind of a Big Deal,” even though when I asked her what she liked about the book, she cheerfully told me, “I understand none of the words in it! Zero!” Huh.

      I wonder what else makes sense to casually introduce into our reading… I’m not looking for party-trick memorization or academic front-loading, but she wants to learn, so it might be fun to see what else catches her eye. Nature is probably a good place to start, and maybe simple physics and biology too. Maybe calendars, too?

  • Thoughts
    • Parenting reflection from Joyful Toddlers & Preschoolers: assume positive intent. I can see how A- wants so much to do well and be helpful.

Blog posts


Category The other week % Last week % Diff % h/wk Diff h/wk
A- 40.6 43.8 3.2 73.6 5.4
Business 0.0 2.6 2.6 4.3 4.3
Personal 6.2 8.6 2.4 14.4 4.1
Unpaid work 5.5 6.1 0.6 10.3 1.0
Discretionary – Play 1.2 0.4 -0.8 0.7 -1.3
Sleep 35.7 34.6 -1.1 58.1 -1.9
Discretionary – Family 4.9 2.1 -2.8 3.5 -4.7
Discretionary – Productive 5.9 1.8 -4.1 3.0 -6.9

2019-04-01 Emacs news

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

Weekly review: Week ending March 22, 2019

  • Kaizen
    • W- had a pair of jeans that were a little too worn out to wear to the office, and he already had enough pairs for working around the house. I tried them on, and they fit much better than my other pairs of jeans. I hand-sewed patches under the holes (“Visible mending is in!”) and shortened them, keeping the original hem. I broke a serger needle trying to finish the shortened part, so I switched to pinking with scissors and zigzagging it with the sewing machine. Yay me!
  • Us
    • I started planning a possible trip to visit my sister and her family.
  • Gross motor
    • A- went all the way to the basement to fetch another 3 lb. weight so that we could both have one. “I’m doing curls,” she said.
    • A- figured out how to jump and spin at the same time.
    • Me: Do you have a “let’s go swimming” dance?
      A-: No, not yet. I have to make it up first.
    • We went swimming. A- really liked it. She practised getting back into the pool, and she also liked dogpaddling around with a Puddle Jumper on. Afterwards, we went to the playground.
  • Language
    • In the car seat: “Why am I having no blanket? Silly Mama Pig.” (She was pretending to be a piglet that day.)
    • “Come with me, boy.” (A- has been having fun calling W- “boy”.)
    • A- asked clarifying questions about the words we used.
    • A- was dawdling, so I asked, “Are you going to brush your teeth?” A- replied, “I am going to in a minute.”
    • A- was interested in Tagalog books, and requested a few of them at bedtime.
    • I told A-, “Watch out for the seeds.” She said, “I’m not watching out.”
    • A-: I learned a Tagalog word today.
      W-: Oh really? Which one?
      A-: All of them.
      W-: That’s great!
      A-: That’s pretty good.
    • A- trying to wrangle a video out of W-: “What will you watch with me?”
    • A- was getting frustrated by how I was doing something. She said, “Follow your instructions!”
  • Music
    • Another of A-‘s songs: “Once I had a cracker, a cracker, a cracker. It had peanut butter. it made me eat it, eat it, eat it, because it had another layer.”
    • At music class, we did “Criss Cross Applesauce” on the kids’ backs two times. Then the teacher invited the kids to switch roles and do “Criss Cross Applesauce” on our backs. A- did!
  • Self-care and independence
    • A- pinched her finger near the hinge the tongs, slicing into her skin. Ouch! I put pressure on it to stop the bleeding, hugged her to help her calm down, and put a special bandage on it.
    • “I want a diaper,” A- said. “You’re going to have to wait until Mama comes out,” W- said. “I’ll get it myself,” she said, stomping off cheerfully.
    • A- actually let me spray her a bit with the shower head at the pool.
    • A- switched to showers instead of baths, even at home.
  • Emotion
    • A- had a tantrum in the supermarket, probably because she was tired and hungry. She kept running a little ahead of me. Lots of sympathetic looks from other people. Eventually she calmed down enough to want to be picked up.
  • Household
    • While I napped, W-, J-, and two of J-‘s friends made wontons. A- even got to try making some. Yum!
    • We all watched Jamie Oliver’s episode on salmon. When it finished, A- said, “Let’s go. I want to do it.”
    • A- helped make tonkatsu. She breaded six cutlets with just a little help.
  • Social
    • A- saw K- drawing. A- said, “I can’t draw. I can only scribble.” She got paper, scribbled something, and gave it to K-, saying, “This is for you, K-!” In turn, K- offered to draw her something. A- asked for a cow drawing, and after that, she asked for a pig drawing.
    • The drop-in centre we usually go to closed for a week for March Break. On the first day it reopened, it was amusing to see how everyone was glad to be back to the usual routines.
    • A- had fun playing the “not allowed up the hill” game. She ran up the hill and looked at me expectantly. I put my hands on my hips and pretended to be stern, saying, “You’re not allowed up the hill!” She ran down the hill and gave me a hug. We repeated this quite a few times. I think she knows she’s definitely allowed up the hill, but this lets her play with boundary-crossing and reconciliation.
    • After music class, we went to the museum with AO- and her grandma. Since her grandma couldn’t chase after AO-, we kept them company.
    • We bought a bag of Harvest Snaps snacks after a while of not having them around. A- said, “I want you to write my name on it.” She remembered when we accidentally bought two bags, and we wrote her name on one and W-‘s and my name on the other.
  • World
    • “We live in Canada. That’s our flag.”
    • A- was interested in sungka and pandanggo sa ilaw again.
    • A- wanted to go to the Ontario Science Centre instead of to the drop-in centre. She was fascinated by the conveyor belt in the construction area, and spent a while turning the wheel in order to bring blocks up our down.
    • While walking back from the playground, we saw someone tapping the maple trees for sap.

Blog posts


Category The other week % Last week % Diff % h/wk Diff h/wk
Discretionary – Productive 0.5 5.9 5.4 8.8 9.1
Unpaid work 4.5 5.5 1.0 8.1 1.6
Sleep 34.9 35.7 0.9 52.8 1.5
Discretionary – Family 5.0 4.9 -0.1 7.3 -0.2
A- 40.8 40.6 -0.2 59.9 -0.4
Discretionary – Social 1.2 0.0 -1.2 0.0 -1.9
Business 1.5 0.0 -1.5 0.0 -2.5
Discretionary – Play 3.2 1.2 -2.0 1.7 -3.4
Personal 8.5 6.2 -2.3 9.1 -3.9

2019-03-25 Emacs news

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

Visual Book Notes: Between Parent and Child (2003)

2018-08-08a Between Parent and Child

Between Parent and Child (2003) by Dr. Haim G. Ginott, Dr. Alice Ginott, and Dr. H. Wallace Goddard is an update of the 1965 parenting classic. The book covers situations starting from toddler tantrums to talking to teens about the facts of life, and it manages to do so without seeming scattered or too sparse.

A few quick reflections on life with our three-year-old:

A- definitely can’t hear me when she’s in the grip of strong feelings, so it makes sense to me to focus on reassurance. Sometimes when she’s really upset, she shows me that she wants some space by running away and crying, “Not Mama!” That’s cool. I say, “Okay, I’ll be right over there. Let me know if you want a hug.” Sometimes she wants to be close (“Up! I want to be in the carrier!”) and that’s cool too, although it’s a bit harder when I don’t have the carrier handy.

I like the point that the book made about helping kids learn how to appreciate music and use music as an outlet for feelings, since I tend to think of it in terms of cognitive benefits instead of appreciating it as a human art. A- and I have been going to music class since she was a year old, although I think that’s been mostly because I like singing nursery songs and enjoy learning more of them. As she grows, I want to model enjoying music around her, and maybe help her find something she likes to do too. We’ve got a piano, a toy glockenspiel, and a couple of ukuleles and recorders, so there’s plenty to explore. Also, A- loves dancing, so I should remember to put music on more often.

It might be interesting to experiment with the “Show me how angry you are” approach the next time A- gets angry. I wonder if she’ll take me up on drawing or dancing it out.

The parent-as-consultant approach for homework help and everyday living sounds really nice–almost too idealistic, but who knows? Anyway, it might be worth trying as A- gets older.

Overall, Between Parent and Child is probably the book I’d recommend as a practical overview of this parenting approach, using other books such as How to Talk so Little Kids Listen and No-Drama Discipline for deeper dives.

If you like this sketchnote, feel free to print, reuse, or share it under the Creative Commons Attribution Licence. Enjoy!

Tech note: I drew this sketchnote on my phone (Medibang Paint on a Samsung Note 8), so the handwriting’s a little shakier. It was great being able to read and sketch in little snippets of time.