Happy Blogiversary in Beijing

你好!Ni hao (hello)! I made it to one year! I celebrated my blog’s anniversary just as I touched down in Beijing, China. Enjoy the photos for now…I’m still waking from my Beijing dream 北京梦想. When I’m not ridden with jet lag, I hope to write some reflections down.

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Turon Saba Recipe for Tuesday

Filipino food

Filipino food, except for chicken adobo, has been absent from my family dinner table for far too long. A few weeks ago I made chicken adobo, lumpia Shanghai, and turon saba! Turon saba is essentially a plantain rolled into a spring roll wrapper and fried in sugar. I had only tried making turon saba once before without a recipe, so this time I googled a recipe and the result was fantastic! (The turon pictured here is without jackfruit). I’m so excited to make them again this weekend for friends. If you’re in Chapel Hill, come on over!

Top Ten Things to do in (or around) Chapel Hill

I can’t believe June is almost over! Here is my top ten list of things to do in or around Chapel Hill with your family:

  1. Rent a boat and go boating on University Lake
  2. Eat ice cream at Maple View Farm Country Store
  3. Visit Carrboro’s Farmers’ Market on a Saturday morning
  4. Find a family-friendly eatery on Franklin Street: Al’s Burger Shack, Buns, Mellow Mushroom, Jasmin, Mediterranean Deli
  5. Visit the Chapel Hill Public Library for movies and reading hours
  6. Mark your calendar for the Paperhand Puppet Intervention puppet shows
  7. Check out Kidzu, an indoor kid’s play museum with a new outdoor learning garden that just opened!
  8. Sign up for swimming lessons through UNC Chapel Hill
  9. Visit the Morehead Planetarium
  10. Visit the rose garden near the Chapel Hill Community Center and walk on a short trail or play on the playground.

Tips for Preparing your Tot for a Move

pool“It’s messy!” my son exclaimed when he saw the tiniest piece of tissue on his car seat this morning. Last night, when I was talking with another set of parents, the father mentioned that when the child wants something done a certain way, it’s because the child’s world is so small, a child tries to control it and have it exactly his/her ‘way’.

We recently moved to a new apartment in our town, and I have to admit it was a huge undertaking. The rental truck company told us the day before our move that they did not have a truck for us. In the end, we rented from a different company. And thankfully, several friends and family came to help us pack up, load, and unload…for four days! I can’t imagine what it’s like to move a multi-room household!

While we couldn’t prepare for last-minute changes, we did our best to try and prepare our son for the move for his own emotional well-being. Here are some suggestions that we found worked:

  • Have your child pack a box and allow him to open it at the new place (thanks to my co-worker’s suggestion)
  • Continue to repeat that you’re moving to a new home in a few days
  • Allow your child to say ‘goodbye’ to the old home (good suggestion, Daddy!)

What surprised us the most is that a few days after our move, our son used his wooden blocks to build a ‘new home’ for his stuffed penguin. We also pointed out the benefits to the new home: a turtle pond, a balcony, and the swimming pool! When we arrived to our new apartment one afternoon after work/daycare, Lucas said ‘I don’t want this one, I want the other one.’ He probably meant ‘I don’t want this ‘home,’ I want the other ‘home.’ I spoke to him, reassuring him that we no longer lived at the old home, but at this new one. Then I told him we could either go play on the balcony inside or see the turtles outside. He replied that he wanted to go play inside.

That tiny piece of tissue on my son’s car seat represents something that’s out-of-order to him; it’s something that’s not supposed to be there. Whether it’s getting into a car seat or changing apartments, transitions are tough on little ones. Sometimes the little things matter when you are going through a big change, and it helps to practice patience when dealing with them. Believe me, I know! I could have totally told him to just sit in his car seat and not worry about the tissue (I would have done this 9 out 10 times), but this morning I had a little more patience and made sure his car seat was cleaned just the way he wanted, which helped us get on our merry way!!!