Diapers, diapers, diapers

Baby Sophia is almost 5 months old, and she is on size 3 diaper (16 to 28 lbs). I recall she was born at 7 lbs and 3 oz, quickly reach 10 lbs which also outgrew new born size diaper. Similar thing happened to size 1 diaper, she reached 14 lbs at 2 month mark, and now we have both new born and size 1 surplus diapers :-)

Things slowed a bit since 2 month, she was about 15.5 lbs at 4 month checkup. Nonetheless we used all size 2 diapers (12 to 18 lbs), and started size 3 (16 to 28 lbs).

As to diaper brands and type, we used huggies natural new born, pampers swaddler new born, huggies snug and dry size 1, a store brand size 1, huggies little smuggler size 2, and pampers swaddler size 3.

Thinking switch to huggies snug and dry size 3 in the future, that’s what our elder daughter had most of time, and it sells for $39 per 210 at Costco. A bit cheaper than pampers swaddler.

How to set bluetooth on Toyota Sienna minivan

2012 LE, basic radio.

Set the language from Spanish to English
(it says Corolla, but it works for Sienna as well, as they have very similar audio equipments).

Setup bluetooth

My tip: so I followed the instruction 1 and set up bluetooth audio for my iPhone 5s with the minivan, and later on I tried to add the bluetooth phone, and I was not successful during the step where the phone tries to connect to the bluetooth audio (car multi-media). The fix is to forget the car multi-media in the iPhone, and set up again for both phone and audio (“device type” in the car audio prompt).

Trying to be frugal, ready for Kindergarden

I have been in “austerity mode” since late Sept., and so far my main approach is “shop at Aldi, and global food market”. I found Aldi has most of the grocery and basic daily stuff, while global food market has the fresh veggies and sea food. Occasionally I shopped at Sam’s club, Target, Trader Joe’s and Chinese grocery store for specific stuff: bottle water, paper towels and fruits at Sam’s, Hawaii King rolls and baby diapers at Target, pot sticker and beans at Trader Joe’s.

Aldi has changed quite a bit in recent years, when I first came to the US as a “poor” graduate student, sometimes we joked Aldi is for the “poor people” (it seemed we excluded ourselves”). Not anymore. I found a lot of people shop at Aldi nowadays, in the Aldi near our home (Olive and 270), which is previously a Borders’ book store. It was mostly busier when I go there. Sometimes I go there too much (like 3 times in one afternoon). It was almost like some people indulge on the trip at Costco. I do have the Costco membership, but found myself have not been there for months :-)

On a separate note, my elder daughter is 4 years and 9 months old, and we are getting ready for her to go to kindergarden in public school next fall. The school will be very close to our home (school boundary map). Our younger one, is already 4 and half months, and can stand her head up. In this holiday season, there are always friends gatherings, and we always talked about kids, education etc.

Not an easy week

It’s Friday again. I had to admit this is not an easy week for me. After a lot of back and forth, I finally decided to withdraw my elder daughter from Montessori school, mostly due to financial reasons. As a father, I felt I am giving up something for my daughter due to my limited earning power. Both of us liked the school, and we have been there for a little over 3 years since she was 1.5 years old. From toddler house to pre-school. She had some good friends there. My original plan was to bite the bullet and stay there until next May, but due to some costs associated with new baby, I decided to look elsewhere. I don’t feel comfortable to put all this in a credit card, and begin to pay back until next summer. This also bring up another point, about emergency savings, and life style choice. I felt I did not do my best job in this aspect during last 3 to 4 years. Now I learned the lesson the hard way. I guess there are two sides of an equation, save more (which is usually more meaningful), and increase earning power (not as efficient as government took a cut from any increase in paycheck).

I will share more when I give it more thought on this topic.

(11-5-14) Yesterday was serenity’s day 2 at new school. My wife already had second thoughts on this :-( But we think at this moment let’s stay put, rather than rush to conclusion. There is an old Chinese saying that is applicable here: it’s easier to get from poor to luxury, rather than the other way around. (need better translation here :-)

Big baby, little baby

My elder daughter Serenity finally used to sleep in her room recently. The trick is I decided not to co-sleep with her. Also, she still needs her mommy watch her falling asleep, which usually takes an hour or so, since she gets up sometimes: ask me questions, etc. (delay tactic).

Little baby Sophia is getting big, she weighs about 14 lbs in 2 month check up, which doubled from her birth weight. She likes to sleep on my shoulder. Today my coworker told me one reason is she like to feel heart beat. Also sometimes she sucks my neck or upper arm. It’s normal in baby growth, I just found out from web, although I am second time dad. Never stop learning.

Found out why I missed 25000 miles Alaska Airlines from credit card

I signed up the BoA credit card 50,000 miles promotion last Dec. But I forgot to spend $1000 in the first 3 months, I spent $995 in the first two months and then stopped. The reason was I thought I had reached this limit. But I forgot one thing: to check my spending at both BoA and at Alaska Airlines websites. I did not go to the latter because I thought I did not have the mileage plan number.

Today I found out on my credit card I do have the number. But the 3 months has long passed. They now offer 25,000 miles for bonus opening their credit card.

Chinese kids

Saw this discussion at mittbbs.com (发信人: waluzz78 (哇鲁庄镇), 信区: Parenting). I think I agree.

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最近跟国内来的访问学者或旅游的家庭往,感觉国内的孩子很活泼自信,跟大人打交道
也很自然。跟他们相比,我们周围在美国长大的10岁左右的小孩,包括我们自己的孩子
,显得更木讷,尤其不擅长跟大人打交道。我琢磨了一下,觉得原因是孩子在美国长大
,只想用英文说话,而在家里父母用中文跟他们交流,他们虽然能听懂,但不愿用中文
回答,久而久之,跟大人的交流也变少了,而中国父母跟美国家庭的来往有限,孩子们
也缺乏跟美国大人的来往,结果既没学会中国人待人接物的方法,也没学会美国人的方
式,基本上只会跟同龄人打交道,在成人面前就显得很木讷。想起夏天一个孩子班上搞
得跟老师告别的party上,美国孩子即兴侃侃而谈表达对老师的感激之情,几个中国孩
子唯唯诺诺的回避发言,当时以为是性格所至,现在看应该是生长环境造成的。国内长
大的孩子普遍就大方多了。现在很想亡羊补牢,改善一下孩子的社交能力,我能想到的
就是多带孩子参加活动,尤其是美国人为主的活动,因为让孩子学中国人待人处事已经
不切合实际了,只好人他们学习美国人的方式,自己也只好step out of the comfort
zone了.也许加入country club是个办法。以前觉得那里中国人太少了,加入是受罪.不
知大家有什么好建议。
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Trying to beat the coffee habbit

Lots of headache first few days. It’s getting better as time goes. The reason I am trying to do that is it (the coffee) appears to make me go to restroom much more often. I want to eliminate this one factor to see if things get better.

A second reason, is I don’t want to dependent on one thing (coffee is addictive). I recall last summer when I was in China, and I could not find coffee in my hometown and my wife’s hometown, and I got headache. Eventually I was able to find the “American style” iced coffee and a bakery and certainly at McDonald. I think I need to reduce my coffee intake, and if I can stay alert without it, that will be the best.

Made same mistake again: stocked up too much new born and size 1 diapers

When we were expecting the second baby, we vaguely recall the baby quickly grew out of the “new born” size diaper, so we did not stock up this time. When the baby came home with us, we already had a box of 88 pieces of Huggies natural, and being a person like to stock up things, I bought two 88 pieces Pampers new born. In about a month, our baby grew to 10 lbs, which is the upper limit of new born, and we still had about 40 pieces left.

Now baby is about 2 months old, and approaching 14 lbs (13 lbs 6 oz as of 2 month check-up), we still have a box of 92 pieces unopened. We bought a box (192 pieces) of Huggies little snugglers size 1 from Sams’ club before the baby was born. And a friend brought in 92 pieces Huggies, another friend gave us the “diaper cake” which probably had 50 pieces.

So here is our mistake again: stocked up too much new born and size 1 diapers. The good thing is we can always give it to friends who are expecting new baby :-)