Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Nanny rant (part deux)

It's been 3 weeks since our nanny arrived. It hasn't been smooth sailing. I guess the quick update would be that there isn't much change. Last week, G's mom arrived for a "surprise" visit. When she arrived, of course, g gravitated towards her immediately but something was off according to her. G told me that his mom felt that g had no connection with her. She said that usually when g felt like dancing, she would round up all the people in the house at the time and do a round of "ring around the rosie". g did her little dance, dragging G's mom with her but didn't bother bringing the nanny in. When G's mom arrived, the nanny just started to busy herself with things to do around the house, cleaning, gardening, etc.

Routinely we have just found that the nanny really prefers housework over dealing with g which is sad since that is what she is really there for primarily. However I am trying a new approach this week. Since I have had such a negative perception of her approach to childcare, maybe she has felt this. Maybe g feels this. I have noticed that g is more whiney when she is around. I understand how annoying it could be to care for a child who whines all the time, so maybe it could be it. It's hard to figure out which came first (the attitude or the behavior.)

So for the week, I am going to try to suspend my negativity and try to find constructive ways for her to become more engage with g. We have worked out one thing already last night with regards to her feeding g when G & I are around. Hopefully, a little positivity is all that is needed.

Monday, September 25, 2006

What would you do?

ThefamilyC did a mall trip last Sunday to pick up some shoes for the winter. Of course, being the dolt that I am, I forgot to check out the fact that the mall does not open till 11:00 AM on a Sunday. Thankfully there was a small play area in the mall for kids that was nice and cushioned. It was also fairly abandoned since it was only 10:00 AM (no wonder there were no cars...hmm...that should have been a hint.)

g was playing around. First on the slide. She was really intimidated by all the bigger boys playing the area. Thankfully the 2 brothers on the slide made it a point to avoid where she was. And after some prodding, g was climbing up and sliding down by herself. After a bit of this, she decided to head for the turtle. It's a cushioned turtle status. It looks like something that the kids could ride on which is exactly what g did. Before that though, she called G over with her signature "C'm 'ere" (ie Come Here). So G sat beside her as she straddled the turtle's neck. Meanwhile more kids started to appear. It wasn't overrun yet, but there were probably around 10 kids now. Suddenly this Chinese kid (~4-5 years old) ran up to the turtle and pushed g down. I saw everything happen and was so shocked. I didn't expect him to push her off. I thought that maybe he was just going to climb up behind her. Both G and g were shocked. Thankfully G was there to catch her because she would have fallen to the ground (padded) if he hadn't.

To their credit, the parents of the boy immediately ran up to the boy and gave him a talking-to. But I was still stunned. What should I have done? g was hysterical. So we just decided to leave the play area since g obviously didn't want to be there anymore. Was there something that I should have done differently?

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

More random pictures from Vermont

g trying out the bed with G


g amidst wildflowers


g swatting flowers


How is this supposed to work?

Testing out her sea legs or in this case lake legs....our cruise on Lake Champlain

the first "sisters" portrait


The familyC visit Vermont last weekend for some much needed r&r. We stayed at the Basin Harbor club with the H family. g had fun playing with Y. I think though she still does not know what to make of him. g is definitely improving in her ability to deal with other kids. She shared her toy once or twice during the weekend although that progress could be nullified by the fact that she did also at one point pushed him away. Oh well, there will be no choice soon but to adjust to a new sibling, like it or not.

It was a very relaxed weekend. We went hiking and ended up in someone's backyard. That was kind of strange for residences to be setup so close to a state park trail. It was literally less than a few paces away from the trail that we were on. The owner was very gracious about it though. She very kindly asked us to get ourselves off her property. She even took the time to give us good directions. To top it off, she went to the resort management and told them that the map they provided their guest is horrible. So horrible that we were not the only ones that wandered onto her property that day.

We had dinner at a town called Middlebury and saw this....

Take heart though... the Real estate office is actually beside the Holy Cow store although from afar, it does look like the Holy Cow Real Estate doesn't it.

All in all, it was good fun. Relaxing but a long drive.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

She's no Mary Poppins

So she is no Mary Poppins but our nanny finally reported to work this Monday. We have tried to make her feel at home. Although I do understand how it feels to start work at a new place. there have already been a couple of odd things that we had started to notice and I am not sure what to make of it. It is too early to make a judgment yet, but I can't help it.

- She doesn't like to eat with us. I guess I should not find this surprising. Our maids back home never ate at the same table with us. She said that she finds this odd and would prefer to eat elsewhere. But where? Our "spacious" apartment does not really afford another location to eat. Last night (her 2nd night), she finally sat with us as we were finishing dinner.

- She doesn't seem to have a "way" with kids. Considering that she had taken care of kids in previous jobs and she has a daughter of her own, she doesn't seem to be very warm with g. I arrived home a little earlier than expected yesterday and she was busy with cleaning up my under-sink cabinet. Not that it's a bad thing that she is cleaning but g was just sitting beside her playing with recyclable paper. I just found it odd that she would prefer to be cleaning the inner-lining of my garbage can than playing with g. When the nanny saw me come in, she picked g up immediately. What's that about? I know that thus far g's caretakers have been her grandmom, G's aunt, G's aunt's sister, my mom, my aunt, daycare workers, etc. All of these women have some sort of personal connection to g, but most people at least react to g. G's mom was grooming g for mayor and have been having her say hello to just about everyone they see on the street during their walks.

Usually as part of g's sleep routine, we take her around to everyone at home (whoever happens to be there) and have her say good night to all of them. We did this when my aunt was here, when my niece was here, etc. Everyone would at least turn around to say goodnight. Most would even ask for a kiss or give her a peck on the cheek. The nanny was in the middle of prepping for dinner but she barely even turned her head. This was so obvious that even G noticed.

Monday, September 11, 2006


g trying to going against the tide.

We went to the Children's Museum of Manhattan a few weeks ago. The place was small but decent. They had a great Dora mezzanine exhibit, but not that much outside of that though. g liked the big Clifford slide but was distracted at best. We were about to be disappointed when we discovered as we were checking our stroller out of the coat check that there is a small area outdoors. g had a wonderful time here, doing water painting, riding against the tide and just getting wet in general. By the end of the half-hour, her pants were sufficiently drenched. Thankfully, a large plastic smock was provided that saved her shirt. However since it was made to fit all sizes, the smock would have been too large to fit. Fortunately I found a rubber band that cinched the smock to fit her.

g on the water wall

g getting her hands wet

g painting her own hand

After CMOM, we proceeded to Central Park for an impromptu picnic and just let g roam around.

This was a picture of g after the long day.

g in hat

Here's little g modelling a hat that Auntie K gave G after one of her travels.


Originally uploaded by tychuaco.
Here's a picture of g & G going round and round in Victorian Gardens. Victorian Gardens is a seasonal mini-amusement park in the middle of Central Park (in the Wollman Rink) for mini-manhattanites. http://www.victoriangardensnyc.com/

We had passed by the rink and saw the setup a while back when we were just walking through Central Park with some friends. We didn't think much of it because from our vantage point, it looked like a small block party carnival. But we got good information (thanks, K) that it was really fun and that we should try it out. The other turn-off was the price. It's not cheap ($7.50 admission for the weekend, $2 per ride or $14 for unlimited rides). We would have opted for an unlimited but the mood of a toddler (especially this toddler) has become very hard to predict. So we decided to go per ride.

We met up with K and her family. It turned out to be a lot of fun. g loved the rides. She was squealing at every ride and never turned away from any of them. Her favorite is the rockintub, which is a boat shaped ride that spins. I think she latched on to this ride because it was in front of where we were sitting during snack time. If left up to her, we would have spent $50 on rides. But we kept that down to a minimum and just let her roam around.

This past weekend was the last weekend for the season, but I am sure they will be back next year. I would definitely recommend for toddlers and preschoolers especially on a weekend when the exhausted parents would prefer not to do a long drive to Six Flags or Sesame place. I think we will go next year and get g the unlimited wristband and just collect her at the end of the afternoon. However by that time, she would also have to pay for admission.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Vitamin D supplements should be given to Asian kids for 2 years from birth

Saw this item in the news today and thought of sharing


Vitamin D supplements should be given to Asian children from birth up to the age of two years, to curb the re-emergence of vitamin D deficiency in the UK , say researchers.

This press release issued by Eurekalert says that they base their claims on an analysis of cases of vitamin D deficiency between 1994 and 2005, which is published ahead of print in the Archives of Disease in Childhood .

Vitamin D deficiency can cause rickets, poor tooth formation, convulsions, general ill health, and stunted growth. And it has been linked to an increased risk of multiple sclerosis, certain cancers, and cardiovascular disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, and mental health problems in later life.

Increased skin pigmentation makes it more difficult to synthesise the vitamin.

The analysis covers patients at one health trust in north west England , which used to provide vitamin D supplements.

During the period under study, they identified 14 cases of vitamin D deficiency, 12 of which were diagnosed between 2000 and 2005. Virtually all those affected were of Asian ethnicity, and none had received vitamin D supplements.

The figures showed that rates of vitamin D deficiency were around eight times as high among Asian children, with one in 117 affected, compared with one in 923 children, overall.

But in recent years, health authorities have deemed the cost of primary prevention a needless expense, given that the overall levels of vitamin D deficiency in the population are low, say the authors.

Vitamin D supplementation has declined nationwide, with only 4% of babies given the supplement in 2000, compared with 12% so treated in 1995.

This is despite recommendations from the government Committee on Medical Aspects of Food and Nutritional Policy (COMA), which suggest that infants and young children should be given vitamin D supplements for at least the first two years of their lives, and more recent advice from the Chief Medical Officer.

But it costs more to treat the consequences of the deficiency than it does to prevent its occurrence, say the authors.

"We therefore suggest that supplementation with vitamin D of all babies of Asian origin for the first 2 years of life might be the economic answer to a growing problem," the authors conclude.

While people of Asian ethnicity are predominantly affected, there are cases of the deficiency among white populations, particularly among recent arrivals to the UK from Eastern Europe, they add.