10 Fun Ways To Get Your Children to Eat Healthier

I don’t think we have much of a problem with this yet. Catriona tends to like the right foods, isn’t too fussy about meat, and can’t stand “yucky bubbles” (soda). For the most part she is an active and healthy young girl. This in contrast to the couple we had lunch with who were bribing their daughter with chocolate so she would eat her french fries. An article on Interactive Dad gives us 10 Fun Ways To Get Your Children to Eat Healthier. Advice we could all listen to.
“Parents and caregivers have the responsibility to introduce healthy food choices to young children. Children learn from the meals you offer, the way you serve food, the way you shop, and the examples you set. They develop habits early that, once learned, can last a lifetime. So it’s never too early to make a change. It’s important to take every opportunity to promote a healthy active lifestyle.”

Finding the Best and Worst Seats on an Airplane

The summer holiday season is fast approaching and many of us will be flying home with families in tow. In my experience Asian airlines are fairly accommodating to travelers with families but once you hit American and Canadian airspace all bets are off. LoveMySeat helps take the guess work out of choosing the carrier and seating that will give us the most comfort at the end of a long journey.
“Instantly locate the best and worst Rated airline seating locations on your flights with the air carriers such as Southwest, American, United and Delta. Access to color-coded seating charts, power locations, in-flight services and air travel resources.”
LoveMySeat.com Consumer Guide to Airline Seating

Breastfeeding Terms Intro.

I’m afraid I have only heard of one of these terms – do we make these words up for a purpose? Pretty fun I think. “If your wife is breastfeeding or plans to breastfeed, you will be barraged with new terminology. Not only should you know what they mean, you should be respectful of the implications they carry with them. For all you veteran Noodads, please add to this list so the newbies can be prepared.” The Noodad Breastfeeding Dictionary.

Desperate Housewife Gift Set

How to Run Errands with Kids at Your Side

I’ve never had much of a problem with this. In fact in this country bringing my daughter along is an asset to getting things done. There are times of course when some errands are best done with the kids at home but it’s mostly a matter of adjusting or compensating. If I get groceries with my daughter it means I can’t get as much or if I need to go downtown to a shop it means giving myself extra time. These suggestions from Modern Mom readers might give you some ideas if you find this difficult.
One of the suggestions: “… I park my toddlers on the carpeted floor with a mini-DVD player we bring with us. “. Don’t kids get enough TV? How about teaching our kids to sit quietly and read? I know TV is a great tool for us because our daughter watches so little of it she becomes completely mesmerized by the whole experience when she does.

Lush Bath Bombs

A stash of goody bags for portable entertainment

Great idea and very organized.
“About once a week, I prepare several “goody bags” for my 2.5-year-old daughter. Usually this is a ziploc or an envelope containing a sheet of paper, a few stickers, a crayon, maybe a page from a children’s catalog. When I get free address labels from charities, I put those into the goody bags. I stash the goody bags in my diaper bag and dole them out whenever needed: at restaurants, in shopping carts, in the back of the car. It always keeps her happy for at least a few minutes.”
Visit Parent Hacks

Bedtime battles: How to nip them in the bud

Here is something we have been going through and some good ideas for dealing with it from Parent Center.
“If you’re like most parents, you’re all too familiar with this scenario: You put your preschooler to bed at 8:30 at night, hugging and kissing her and wishing her sweet dreams. It’s been a long day, but still the dinner dishes await, you have bills to pay, the dog needs to be walked and the cat fed, and you haven’t had a spare moment to put your feet up. But instead of spending the rest of the evening catching up on your chores and clocking some precious time with your partner, you’re in and out of your child’s room, cajoling her to sleep. She finally nods off — about three hours after she first went to bed.”

Read the entire article

Calculate Your Sleep Debt

This might be a scary exercise for those with newborns who haven’t quite started to align their sleep habits with us adults. I’m sure most are not getting near enough sleep. I know for sure that lack of sleep hurts my productivity tremendously and even decisions like what kind of candy of candy to by my becomes a chore. British Airways suggests that you can figure out if you’re getting enough sleep and hurting your productivity by calculating your sleep debt.
“Less sleep = less productivity
Time zone changes, internal body clock disruptions and irregular food and exercise patterns can all result in a sleep debt. Making difficult decisions is not easy if you are sleepy, jet lagged and not at your peak.
Pay it back
Work out how much sleep you owe your body and find out how to recover if your sleep account is in the red.”
Are you getting enough sleep? Via Lifehacker.

Time-outs: How to make them work

One of the techniques we use when Catriona misbehaves are time-outs. Its a much ballyhooed, much negative it seems, discipline technique but generally I feel the way we use it makes it an effective tool. At least most of the time. Catriona is full emotion these days and seems to constantly push the boundaries of what we consider acceptable behavior. Taking her away from the place where she was “acting up”, letting her have a chance to cool down (and us), and discuss exactly what it is she is doing wrong seems to be effective to us. I really don’t see anything negative about it at all. She is never removed from us or sent to a dark place. Nor is she sent to her room.
Parent Center has Six strategies for making the most of time-outs which you might want to read, while Peter Haiman has a Case Against Time-out which offers a counter view. I think mostly about approach of which the Parent Center article seems to provide. The timer above is an Alessi Stainless Steel and Abs Kitchen Timer which might be an attractive tool to use to time the time-out.

My Daughters First Paintings

These are some Catriona’s first attempts at painting with a brush (she’s 2 1/2). She picks and mixes the colours, I clean up the mess.
I like to try different things with her. This time we would make sounds to accompany certain brush strokes. It’s fun and silly. Higher res. here.
To create these paintings we are using a Crayola Painting Set much like this but with a little bit of daddy voodoo to make the colors stand out. I can confirm that it does wash out.

Hospital WiFi

If there ever was an ideal location to have an open access wifi it is a hospital. This is one of the pleasant surprises that I’ve had with MacKay Memorial Hospital in Hsinchu this time around. Doctors like many professionals have a language all their own so having immediate and reliable access to information when you are trying to make health decisions is invaluable. Usually I do this whenever any kind of medication is prescribed as I want to understand what the medicine is and want to forgo any mistakes due to miscommunication. Of course a really fun part of having wireless internet here is that with my Powerbook and iSight camera we can have live video broadcasts/chats direct from our room. This allows our extended family around the world to share just a bit more of the experience. Kudos to MacKay Memorial.

Hello World!

Introducing Camren MacLeod, born 13:58 February 27th, 2006 weighing 4.46 kilos. We are “100” (good) as they say here – a girl first and now a boy. A very happy and exhausting time. It doesn’t get better.
Again the staff at Hsinchu’s MacKay Memorial Hospital have been great. Quite recommended if you are sentenced to work in this city and decide to deliver your baby here. This is why there has been a large gap in my writing here on Minzoo.

Hiding while she sleeps

My daughter is going through a phase where she wants to hide when she goes to bed. She will grab her blanket or pillow and try to hide her head from whatever imaginary character is in the room (or just dad). She does this now when she first is put to bed and at anytime later. It seems cute and sometimes fun but it freaks me out.
I’m not overly protective nor I am really all that gentle with her. I rough house with her and even let get her bumps (despite the heart attacks it gives me). But I have this innate fear that somehow by putting her head under her blanket or pillow she will smother. I don’t know if I am being rational but my frequent checks on her while she is sleeping have increased since she started.
Every night I check on her by placing my hand on her tummy or back, feeling the rhythm of her breathing. It’s always a beautiful moment watching her sleep. Now I keep pulling the pillow and blankets of her head, with her sometimes fighting with me even when she is asleep.

Photographs of “C”

I’m one of those who when it decided what the name of our daughter would be immediately went out and registered a domain name for her. Apparently it’s a popular trend these days. As we live abroad and are too far for any regular visits from the grandparents, I used her domain name to direct them to photos – a good tool to keep them involved in her life albeit in a pretty small way. I recently password protected her photo directory but would love to share with you some of the photos I have taken of her over the past couple of years. These can be found on 35togo, my photoblog. View the photos.