Category Archives: advice and tips

Airline and hotel credit card offers

I felt it’s easier to make money from those offers from writing iPhone, iPad and iOS apps. At least this is true for me so far. Another plus side people may not pay attention is the “no tax” benefit of the bonus miles/points. Also keep in mind if one needs to apply for home loan (buying new home, or refinance), he/she should be careful not applying too many credit cards in the near term to hurt his/her credit score (and potentially pay higher rate for home loan). With that in mind, I would describe some of the cards I applied this year.

Airline cards
United Mileage Plus Visa Signature Chase: earlier this year I applied this via my Mileage acct, received the 50,000 bonus miles. UA is doing 30,000 miles with $50 coupon now. Check united.com web site.

Continental OnePass MasterCard Chase: applied this after UA card. 50,000 miles. They are offering 30,000 miles as of now. One needs to sign up OnePass from Continental site first. Continental has merged with United, and the milage program will be merged at the end of 2011.

British Airways Visa Signature Chase: applied this in May. Got 50,000 miles with remaining 50,000 miles pending (needs to spend $2,500 in first 3 months).

Hotel cards
Marriott Visa Signature via Chase: 50,000 points worth about 5 nights at Courtyard. And one free night at category 4 or above. The link is here.

Intercontinental Hotel Group Priority Club: 60,000 points, worth about 4 nights at Holiday Inns. New account only. Link is there.

Currently I am thinking about two cards, the Amex HHonors (62,500 points for Hilton family hotels, as described by Loyal Traveller) and Chase Sapphire reward card.

Note compared to writing apps, one can not expect make this as a business, rather than a nice way (almost effortless) to complement income. I have used my bonus AA miles, and Marriott hotel points for my recent travel to Shanghai. Not to mention the convenience brought by my Amex SPG (Starwood Preferred Guest) when travel in the US.

(Update 07-09-11) I saw this Southwest airline reward card deal from myMoneyBlog. I jumped.

How to install infant car seat on Nissan Altima

I wrote the following a while ago (before baby was born), thought it maybe helpful for the dad-to-be’s, although not very comprehensive.

Nissan USA has published a PDF document on compatibility of car seats with some instructions on Latch (lower archor points and tethers for children. Personally I only found two latch points at my 2001 Altima (the manual comes with the car does not say where is the latch/lower arch points), and I used it. I felt this is tighter and secure than the seat belt comes with the car.

I also found quite a few video when I searched “graco infant car seat installation” at Youtube.

Baby becomes more active

Youyang is more active nowadays, she is about 8 weeks old. She smiles more, esp. after waking up in the morning. She has more energy and from time to time I was surprised by her voice and kick (legs). When I tried to lift her up, she struggles as if I am lifting a big fish (so I have to be careful not to let her slip :-)

Toy
Tiny Love Sweet Island Dreams Mobile
We bought this mobile (music with moving stuff animals) from Amazon (recommended by ToddlerRecipe). But she seems like the black and white pictures her mom printed off the web better. She seems don’t care too much about the music and the stuff animals. It’s interesting the free stuff works better than the $36 toy. I guess love is more important: her mom put a lot effort searching and print the black white pattern pictures. From scientific point of view, the baby of her age is more sensitive to black/white than the colorful stuff animals. The soothing music does calm her down.

Debating about air travel in May for our baby

I searched both google and bing.

It looks like it’s safe for our baby as she will be 3 months old (source: Indusladies.com). For new born, it’s almost a no-no (source: about.com). One factor, I saw from about.com and kidsgrowth.com, is the air quality in airplanes and the potential to exposed her to virus. Quote kidsgrowth:

The air in planes is not filtered and recirculates throughout the cabin. All the viruses and other nasty germs circulating through the cabin will increases your infant’s chances of getting an infection.

We also searched Chinese search site baidu.com keywords “新生儿 坐飞机”. And we got similar results, such as this one from pcbaby.

Considering all the risk and inconvenience, we pretty much settled on her not travel, another reason is the travel is non-essential.

Diapers, diapers, diapers

One of the main job for daddies is to change diapers. From my limited observations ladies are usually more sensitive to smells than men. I mean they don’t like that smell. For me smell is not a big problem. My only worry is sometimes during the change, when the new diaper has not been in place, she pees again (messed up the wrapping clothes etc.). In one case, when we just got back from hospital, she did both pee and poo, right on my T-shirt. After that, I am more cautious.

Another reason dads do this diaper thing more often, is they are more fearless. My wife is a little worried hurting the baby, not that I am not worried, but I learned the process quickly in hospital. Much faster then the “new parenting” class at St . John’s with the faked baby 😀

Last but not least, the cost of diaper. This thing is expensive, initially we bought some from wal-mart, but soon I realized that we need to buy bulk at Sam’s club or Costco. I just did that yesterday. Nice thing a friend who have the baby experience sent us a large box of diapers. Very thoughtful gifts indeed :-)

Burp, gas

Baby grows very fast, these days she eats a lot, and sometimes just cannot wait to eat when her mom starts to feed her. She probably swallow quite a bit gas in the process. But due to her size (2 weeks old tomorrow), she cannot get rid of the gas easily. Thus we can hear her colic from time to time (refer to Baby Colic from Wiki).

I was pretty nervous initially. As I learn more facts, think about it, and learn how to burping, I became more confident.

Other than that, she is doing well. Tomorrow, we will take her to see doctor (2 weeks scheduled visit).