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June 19, 2001
two years ago
three years ago

New Work Possibilities

7:57 pm: Jet did a whole lot better last night. He only got up twice, and at 4:45, John was able to go up, change him, bounce him a little and he went back to sleep. The 1:45 waking included being fed and it only gook forty minutes, as Jet went back to sleep really quickly. So it's not the crib. Thank goodness.

I got loads of work done today. Even feeling as tired as I was, I did pretty well. Doing half an hour before John left, the two hours while Jet was gone, another half an hour after lunch because Jet was sleeping pretty well then. Then I had a half hour one-on-one with Bill while Jet played in the background. Then there was the hour-long Arun's staff meeting. So I had a lot of time in today, and that might make up for some other day when I can't cope as well.

I even got half an hour nap when John came home and I made a tiny bread pudding because I was craving it and wanted to do something with the ends of the Texas Toast loaf. The thick, chewy textured bread was perfect and I added blueberries, cut the sugar down a bit. and used my new Oxo grinder to grind up cinnamon bark for the pudding. The fresh cinnamon made quite a difference. It was also really good as a scent in a cup of cocoa. I got the idea from Williams and Sonoma, as they sold a cocoa package that included cinnamon sticks.

Real cinnamon is pretty rare in the U.S.. Most cinnamon sold in grocery stores is actually cassia, which is sharper and stronger than actual cinnamon. I had bought a bunch of sticks form Penzey's because in bark form they last a lot longer, because when the bark is ground fresh it releases the oils right then instead of letting them evaporate from the powder. I think we still have a can of cinnamon powder from before we got married... and it's very sad.

John made fish slabs, onion rings, fries, and French cut string beans for dinner. It was good, even though John kind of burned the bottoms of everything and set the fire alarm off. Yes, food that is cooked for me is always good. And it was definitely edible, still. I tried my hand at trying to make pureed vegetables for Jet, in this case peas from frozen peas. It's a *lot* of work, especially in small amounts as the small amount just splattered up against the sides instead of falling back into the blades. So I resorted to a mortar and pestle and even then not a lot of it went through the fine mesh sieve.

It's definitely worth buying the ready-made stuff. It's just so easy. I might, however, get a food mill with a fine mesh and see if we can't use that instead. I'll probably have to cook the vegetables a bit more than I'm used to doing to get it through, but it would mean I'd have absolute control over what goes into Jet's mush. He got just a few spoonfuls of the peas, but he was too tired by then to want to make the effort of eating a lot of them.

John read Jet his books, and Jet actually got really quiet to listen while John was reading. That was really cool. He likes getting read to, even now. I'm pretty amazed and happy about that.

Work is getting interesting. I've set up the harness and I'm finally able to just plow through all the tests we wanted to start with. Just a minimal set that should prove to be good examples that can be copied for everyone else to use as a basis for developing their own tests. I had an interesting point of contention with Bill in that I thought the tests should be designed before the implementation of a new element of the design. That in order to prove that it worked the test had to be in place first. Clearly it's an X-treme Programming paradigm, but it's also something that's just good design sense, in the long run. if it can't be tested, how do we prove that it works?

Now that other people can use the harness, I'm nearly done. I just do the very basic functions, first, and it'll provide a basis for other people to build on. Bill offered me a spot to pretty much define the user functionally of the new projnav. not in the sense of 'how to do it' but 'what needs to be done' and even 'what it does' from the perspective of users.

I would have full authority to contact people and being the central contact as to defining things that engineering is going to do. Marketing may do the one line descriptions of individual features, but I'd get the job of tying it into the whole system and making it all-over consistent, It's a huge task, in some sense, but it's also something that's best done by one person to insure the consistency across the system.

It's scary and exciting and it would be something that could be done with the ragged schedule I have. I just have to write everything and if I write it clearly, then it'll be done. The communication needed to make it all come together and the record trail of it would make the document as well. It's really an interesting problem, too. And it does have a lot to do with usability, and since marketing isn't doing it someone has to do it.

Besides it's what I'd much rather be doing rather than code. It's at the level I'm best at thinking in and I wouldn't have to translate it, directly, into code. I'll likely be in on the design reviews for a lot of the new things that were going to be done. That might be a lot of fun as well as a lot of responsibility. So there will be more reasons for me to stay instead of quitting just to take care of Jet.

Which is probably a very good thing for Bill., all in all. I'm also glad that I never really told Bill that I'd be back full-time, that I just didn't know. So it's okay to plan on being just back part time. That'll be useful in the long run.

Jet nursed hard last thing, so I'm pretty much set for the night. He left the last half ounce again, so I'll likely be making four ounce bottles, and if they're all formula, like tonight, then there's no guilt or sorrow over him not drinking it all. With him drinking off me first thing in the morning and in the middle of the night, there's no reason to pump which is very good indeed. With the extra formula, he should do okay for a while so we can sleep for a good long period if he doesn't wake up for other reasons.

Beth gave me a really cool article that confirmed something I'd thought but hadn't really carried through. That unflavored, whole milk yogurt is good for populating a baby's gut with good flora, i.e. good digestive bacteria. It's supposed to be good for adults, but I'd been warned off cow's milk for babies so many times I thought it might also apply to yogurt; but the article pretty clearly said that even newborns can eat yogurt if you can get it into them and it'll help out with digestive problems.

I might try that as the next 'thing' in Jet's slow accumulation of things he can eat. Peas are the food of the moment and I'll probably try and buy more on the way home tomorrow. It's just too hard to prepare them at home right now, when the kid needs really finely sieved stuff. But yogurt would be something that would reassure me for other reasons, too, if he doesn't have allergic reactions to it.

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