Friday, September 17, 2004

List of finger foods 

My friend Quyen has a great blog about her experiences with her baby daughter Madison, who is 4+ months older than Isabella. I like reading how she dealt with many of the same issues that we're facing now, and it's always reassuring to know that I'm not the only person who feels a certain way. Anyway, here is a good list she had on the finger foods to introduce to babies. I'll have to try these with Isabella since she always likes to feed herself and make a huge mess!

• Tofu
• Pancakes
• Waffles
• Toast
• Mac N Cheese
• Breakfast Cereal
• Bananas
• Peaches
• Grapes, quartered
• Green Beans
• Peas
• Bagels
• Pears
• Small slices or cubes of cheese
• Grilled cheese
• String cheese
• Sandwich meat (good idea!)
• Noodles
• Cooked Pasta with a little bit of sauce
• Baked Potato or mashed potatoes
• Fruit/grain bars
• Cooked, cut carrots
• Broccoli and cauliflower pieces
• Beans
• Fruit - bananas, watermelon, apples (smashed up)
• Wedges of fruits (apples, nectarines, peaches, seedless watermelon)
• Small pieces of banana, papaya, canteloupe, honeydew
• Small, soft pieces of fish, chicken
• Tiny chicken or ground beef pieces
• Crackers - saltines, graham
• Frozen veggies - cooked up and cooled - peas and carrots mixture
• Pizza crust
• Meat loaf - turkey and beef
• Turkey and Swiss
• Rice - brown and rice pilaf

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Don't be a packrat 

I'm cleaning house before we move. Here is my guideline on the save or shred decision:

Keep for 1 month until checked with monthly statements
- credit card receipts
- sales receipts for minor purchases
- withdrawal and deposit slips

Keep for 3 months
- monthly bills, in case you run into any billing snafus (longer if you're using this for tax deduction on a business)

Keep for 1 year
- paycheck stubs
- canceled checks
- monthly bank, credit card, brokerage, mutual fund and retirement account statements

Keep for 3 years (3 years is the statute of limitations on regular audits UNLESS you didn't mention >25% of your income, then it's 6 years)
- tax returns, W2s, 1099s and other guts of tax returns
- year end credit card statements, brokerage and mutual fund summaries

Keep indefinitely
- receipts for major purchases
- real estate and residence records

Keep in safe deposit box
- birth certificates
- marriage licenses
- insurance policies
- will and trusts

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Jackie's recommendations 

My agent gave these recommendations for painting and roofing guys:

Victor Park 390-2100

Rogers 652-7960

Metro 881-2640

Anidas 483-5242

These may be a bit more expensive and clients have used for their new homes

Painstaking Painting Partners 925-594-0078 Pat, Clyde 925-348-3615

Guitierez 638-9180

Roofers: (used a lot in this area)

Nicholas roofing 848-443 booked out about a week for doing estimates and repairs

Atlas 562-1441

Ideal 536-1111

Interstate 601-3639 booked out until Feb 2005 (good prices)

2 brothers 527-8015 did your inspection

Russ Elliot 763-1300

Barbara Van Maren 510-655-9297 drainage engineer


R.J Clark 510-278-2468 pest reports and drainage. (they did French drains for our house which had soaking floors when we moved in and has been dry ever since)

They could also give you a bid and another opinion on the pest report work.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Escrow closes! 

Woo hoo! We have keys and are the official owners of the house now! I can't believe that we finally bought a new home! Move in date is set for Sept 23 - my Mom says that the lunar calendar reads it being a good move day. But now I am getting sentimental over our beloved condo...

Interestingly, my agent and mortgage broker noted how impressed they were by what a calm, mellow and collected new mom I was, and that I seemed to manage it so well that I could easily handle more????!! I can't believe they think this. I must hide it well because little do they know stressed out I really am!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, September 03, 2004

The Internet collapses? 

Too much oya-baka according to The Onion?

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Infant temperament 

A fellow Mom suggested a website called Preventive Ounce to help me further understand Isabella's temperament. Here is some info that sounds pretty spot on Isabella:

Adaptability To Novelty

Some children adapt quickly to novelty. In fact, they seek it out. Others startle, pull back.

Both extremes, the approachers and the withdrawers, create management issues for parents.

Infants and toddlers who are sensitive to small differences are more likely to startle, become tense, then withdraw initially from anything new. Strange places upset them; they won't eat in new homes, on vacations. They reject new foods or old food prepared in new ways, mixed with something new or served at a different temperature. They also shun strange noises, new people, different clothing.

The key is managing your child's reaction to novelty: know your child!

The novelty-sensitive infant and toddler needs a balanced approach. Too much novelty at one time can be overwhelming. But too much shielding robs the child of experience with life... and movement ahead.

Parents of the novelty-sensitive child need to introduce novelties gradually. They need to give time for their child to warm up, remembering that their child's initial reaction is not to the object itself, but to its strangeness.

Adaptability To Restrictions And Intrusions

For some infants, being picked up is an intrusion, being held is a restriction. So too are diapering or dressing. Even spooning in food is an intrusion. In each situation, several minutes (or longer) may pass before they settle down and accept these common procedures.

Your child's adaptability to restrictions and intrusions will affect two other areas of temperament downstream: regularity and soothability. Slower adapters reject spoon-feeding, so they take longer to feed. They stiffen when picked up and put down for a nap/bedtime, so take longer to relax and drift off to sleep.

When upset, these infants are also harder to comfort, since picking up, holding or stroking often are experienced as additional intrusions or restrictions. Distractions are more effective.

Slow, gradual movements... and patience... are the keys to managing mealtimes among high scorers on this scale. Hurried meals don't work, but shared control does. As soon as the infant can participate by holding finger foods, mealtime battles subside.

Adaptability To Transitions

Some infants and toddlers take longer to make transitions, even if they are routine and expected. Before regular naps or at night, they fuss longer, need more help from parents to get to sleep... or to get back to sleep if they wake at night. Even waking from naps or in the morning can produce an initial, fussy period. When apparently hungry, they take longer to settle down and start eating. Parents get confused. Are they hungry or not?

For these reasons, adaptability to transitions will primarily affect another area of temperament "downstream": your child's Regularity. But there are other routine transitions that can produce long protests: occasions when you start to dress, wash, or put your child on the floor or in a play pen.

As with other events where children must adapt, the key to managing transitions is to be patient-but-firm. Rushing through transitions just prolongs them.


Infants who are in constant motion protest more when playpens are used or play is stopped. They are more likely to fall off tables and beds. And to get their day moving, they wake earlier in the morning. The key to managing infants always in motion is: be sure to get your rest! That way, you can stay alert for tumbles and manage sleep or assertiveness issues without getting upset!

Frustration Tolerance

When obstacles or delays occur, some infants easily become upset and disorganized. Others stay calm and patient.

Your infant's frustration tolerance is an important dimension. It strongly influences other areas of temperament downstream, such as regularity and soothability, as well as the occurrence of a variety of issues.

For example, active (high movement) toddlers with lower frustration tolerance often see bed times as frustrating limits on their continued enjoyment of life... and resist going to bed. When they get hungry during the day, they don't like to wait till mealtimes, prefer to feed-on-demand as infants and as toddlers, snack or "graze" through their day. So sleep and mealtime regularity is lower.

Slower movement into independence is also more common. Infants with lower frustration tolerance quickly realize that adults are useful when obstacles or delays occur. So their attachment to parents grows stronger. They don't want parents to leave, protest when left alone on the floor even for a few minutes.

These stronger attachment lead to various sleep issues. They often want one special person to get them to sleep... or if they wake at night, back to sleep. Since sleeping alone is a form of separation, they may prefer crawling into parents' bed.

Frustration with limits leads to assertiveness issues. They protest when asked to stop playing or their movements limited by playpens, high chairs. They become particularly fussy just before acquiring a new skill, when they just..can' As they start to engage with other children, they can be egocentric, insisting that their own needs be first. If they also are intense reactors, temper tantrums are likely.

Raising infants with lower frustration tolerance requires re-defining "good parenting". Parents who get into difficulty are those that are too "good", too accommodating. Their short-term "solutions" (moving in immediately at any sign of frustration, avoiding separations, feeding on demand, taking their child into bed with them at night) lead to long-term problems.

More successful parents maintain a better balance between meeting their own needs and those of their low-frustration-tolerance child.