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2018-02-26 Emacs news

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

Acceptance and toilet training

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We’re in the middle of toilet training following the Oh Crap approach. It will go easier if I embrace the fact that there will be accidents instead of worrying about things like A- resisting diapers. My job is to help A- learn her cues and to keep toileting pleasant instead of turning it into a power struggle.

She’s starting to resist diapers, which is a good thing actually. If we move the potty to her room at bedtime or get another one, then she has the opportunity to take care of her own needs if our bedtime routine takes a while. I can do the double-sheeting trick to save myself a midnight bed-making, and we have backups anyway. Even if she pees, it’s just laundry and a little effort. No big deal. It will happen many times before we get the hang of this. Once it’s okay to get deliveries at home again, I’ll order a second mattress protector for the other room too, so we can rotate as needed.

I prompt her to potty a bit too much, I think, so I’m going to dial it down in terms of frequency and attention. She initiates well enough, but if I tell her it’s potty time, it’s a toss up whether she’ll go for it or refuse. I’ll still pay attention to see if I catch her signs, but I don’t have to direct her. Maybe I can say things like, “Potty time in five minutes.” or “It looks like you need to pee. Pee goes in the potty.” She knows where it is and what it’s for, so I need to trust her and let her learn.

For the past couple of days, she hasn’t been interested in going out. This is pretty convenient for toilet training. I probably don’t need to worry about under-stimulating her. There are options for almost all our other errands.

I would like to get to music class sometime, but that’s probably more for me than for her at this point. If learning more songs is what I enjoy about the class, I have two textbooks and I can teach myself using the piano or ukulele.

I want us to get used to spending a couple of hours outside even in cool weather. Maybe I can put off thinking about that until toilet training is well-established, so there’s no pressure to get out the door. I also liked how she walked a lot in the science centre and at the playground, but we’ll get back there eventually. When I want to make those more appealing, maybe I can put up pictures and talk about them. If that doesn’t do the trick and we’re still mostly homebodies, maybe I’ll frame it as something I want to do.

She doesn’t like wearing clothes at home. I wear layers because I feel cold. I should trust that she can figure out whether she feels cold or not and what to do about it. She knows how to ask for shirts, pants, and jackets. Sometimes she gets a bit fussy at night and then settles down once we’re snuggling or when she’s wearing pajamas. She knows how to ask for a snuggle, though, so that’s okay too.

I guess this is what toilet training will look like for us, at least for the next little while. I’m becoming more comfortable with following her lead. She’s got this.

Weekly review: Week ending 2017-10-27

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Because A- has been interested in a book about animal noises, we went to Riverdale Farm so that she could see farm animals in person. It was busy because of a Halloween event, but the barns were manageable. A- liked looking at the chickens and ducks.

We went to the ROM with Jen and E-. The coat check person still recognized us even though we’d been focusing on the science centre for the past few months. The kids had lots of fun pushing door buttons, swapping food in the lunch room, walking, running, and jumping in the hallways, although there weren’t as many things to interact with at the ROM as there are at the science centre. Still, it’s a good place to walk around indoors. A- wanted to push the stroller, so Jen helped her. I accompanied E- while he checked out the automatic doors.

When we went to the science centre this week, A- spent quite a fair bit of time dropping my cards through the slats in the bench. She also played with all her usual favourites: the water table, the ball maze, and the pretend supermarket.

We passed by the Children’s Book Bank before the Make the Connection parenting workshop at the Parliament Library. I was delighted to find toddler-oriented versions of “Pride and Prejudice” and “Emma” in a series called “Cozy Classics”, so I snapped those up.

Last week’s parenting workshop focused on language. We’ve been doing a good job at labeling things with simple, clear words, and A- has about 140 words that she regularly uses. I’m going to work on remembering to keep adding more advanced words as she uses words correctly.

At the library, A- liked checking out books by herself. She brought the books to the express checkout, climbed up on the step stool with some help, put my library card under the scanner (with a little help), put the book on the pad, tapped the right buttons on the screen, and put the book in my backpack.

One of the books that she loves reading is “Into My Mother’s Arms.” She’s gotten really good at pointing out things in the background when we ask her to: the shopping cart, the watch, the swing… She even labels some of them out loud, like the way we’ve been doing while reading.

She gestures along with me for songs like “The Grand Old Duke of York” and “Three Little Monkeys Juming on the Bed,” and she even chimes in with the words she knows.

I learned a new song at music class: “Down by the Station.” Also, she’s starting to warm up to music class again. She shook the shakers and waved the scarf around during the dance activity, yay! I picked up another song that’s season-appropriate, too: “Down, down, yellow and brown, the leaves are falling all over town.”

A- likes riding in the laundry basket. She can now climb into the laundry basket all by herself.

I don’t have to worry about reminding A- to go to bed. There were a couple of times last week when A- initiated our bedtime routine (bath, brush teeth, story, bed) all on her own.

Speaking of routines: I brought blueberries as a snack, and she asked for a spoon. She’s getting the hang of things.

She’s getting better at rinsing and spitting. One time, she started shaking her head after dinner, and she shook her head all the way up the stairs. It turned out that she had taken in some water and was rinsing her mouth, and she spit out the water after I lifted her up to the bathroom sink.

I checked out Once Upon a Child, a consignment store. Value Village is closer and easier to browse, though, so we’ll probably do most of our thrifting there. I’ve also checked out Salvation Army and other thrift stores in the past, but Value Village seems to have the biggest selection even though the prices are a little bit higher.

I cooked risotto for the first time. It was a lot of stirring, but it was an interesting texture to add to our food vocabulary.

I sewed a yellow vest with reflective ribbons for A-‘s Halloween costume. I made a cardboard bulldozer to wear as a hat for mine. W- helped me hot-glue and paint it. It was much easier to work on the workbench than on the floor. Good height, and I didn’t have to shoo away cats or worry about leaving things around that curious toddlers might get into.

My brother-in-law’s dad passed away. We sent our condolences, and Kathy helped us send flowers to the wake.

Our sleep and routines have finally settled down enough for me to carve out time to do Emacs News. Yay!

Back in Toronto!

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Still alive. Looking forward to clearing my backlog of journal entries and Emacs News once things settle down!

2016-12-19 Emacs News

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Links from, /r/orgmode, /r/spacemacs, Hacker News,, Youtube, the changes to the Emacs NEWS file, and emacs-devel.

Past Emacs News round-ups

Yay! I rocked

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I've been working long hours over the past few weeks, getting ready for an event that wrapped up yesterday. It worked out really well. Yay!

I picked up AngularJS for this, and I'm glad I did. Angular made it really easy to update parts of the page with data and bind various events to clicks. It would've been pretty hard to do it without a framework like that, I think, what with all the changes.

My brain is still a little frazzled from the concentration. We did a lot of prep leading up to the event in order to prepare for stuff, and I did some quick fiddling during the event to troubleshoot. Good to make things happen!

It's nice to downshift from the intensity of the event. We have a few things to take care of, but now I can carve out more time to cook, to write, to draw. It was great to know that even with the long days and focus, I had enough sleep and enough energy. =) W- kept things going at home, and I trimmed practically all the discretionary stuff. Now that my schedule's loosened, I'm looking forward to picking up what I temporarily put aside.

On to more adventures!

Gardening update: Reviewing my goals for this year

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It's September, which means fall will be here soon. Time for a brief review of my gardening plans for 2014, so I can squeeze in any last-minute learning I need. Here's what I drew in November last year and May this year:

2013-11-08 More garden plans for 2014

2013-11-08 More garden plans for 2014

2014-05-23 Gardening - Things to learn more about or try

2014-05-23 Gardening – Things to learn more about or try

I got all our seedlings from the plant shop a few blocks away. The seedlings grew well, and dividing them up worked. Some of our bitter melon plants died, though. (Damping off?)

For the plants I started from seed, I planted in mostly neat rows this time and I watered frequently, so it was (mostly) easy to tell which ones were weeds and which ones were the ones I wanted. We found a spot in our bedroom window that might accommodate a few small plants during the winter and Hacklab has a space with a skylight, so I might be able to grow tomatoes and bitter melon from seed next season.

Regular watering worked well in spring and early summer, but I fell out of the habit with the rains and the heat. Then the garden got straggly and overgrown, so it wasn't as much fun to maintain. I pulled up the dying plants and put in some peas and beans. We'll see how far those get before the winter sets in.2014-09-01 15.58.27

Still planting things I don't end up eating. I had salad for a while, and then stopped when the leaves got somewhat sluggy and insect-infested. Next time, I should just pull up the plants and start again.

Tried squashes. The zucchini, bitter melon, and winter melon produced lots of leaves and flowers, but weren't as productive as rumoured. We'll keep trying. We did get one zucchini out of it, though. (Whee!) The Internet says you can cook the squash flowers, so we might try that towards the end of the season.

The bright spots: peas and cherry tomatoes were popular, as always. =) Yum! The tomato plants were quite prolific this year. Last year, we got hardly anything. Hooray for cherry tomatoes! We also got a few handfuls of blueberries from the bushes too.