Time for Vacation

I was only 15 years old when my parents brought me and my brother (he was only 7 years old then) to Hong Kong for vacation. It was our first trip overseas. I was very exciting as I had heard about Hong Kong many times from books and TV. It was an exciting trip and I really had a wonderful time there. My husband, on the other hand, has never been to Hong Kong before, so probably Taiwan is our next holiday trip. The next question is: should we bring the children? I guess it depends whether my in laws are willing to take care my children. If they don’t then we have to bring them along. Since you also can find Disneyland in Hong Kong, I guess our children will have a great time.

When I was surfing in the internet to get good deal for our accommodation, I came across this fantastic deal to stay in Accor’s Hotels (Sofitel, Pullman, Grand Mercure, Novotel, Mercure, All Seasons and Ibis hotels). Hotel rates in 27 cities across 10 countries in Asia Pacific are being reduced in Accor Hotels 3-Day Super Sale Asia Pacific promotion. Travelers will be able to take advantage of savings when they book on-line between 27 - 30 October 2009. Over one million room nights will be on sale, with rates starting as low as US$30 per night. Stay period Dec 2009 till Apr 2010. I think it’s a good deal.

Now, I have to find the best deal on the air ticket.



Potty Training

It seems like just yesterday that I changed my toddler's first diaper, and now I am wondering if it's time to start potty training. There's no magic age at which children are ready to start learning how to use the potty, but some develop the necessary physical and cognitive skills between 18 and 24 months of age. Many parents don't start potty training until their children are 2 1/2 to 3 years old, when daytime bladder control has become more reliable. And some children aren't interested in potty training until they're closer to 3, or even 4.

Use the checklist below to measure your toddler's progress toward readiness, and keep in mind that starting before your child is truly ready doesn't mean you'll finish sooner — it's more likely that the process will just end up taking longer.

You don't have to wait until you've checked off every item to start training. Just look for a general trend toward independence and an understanding of what it means to go to the bathroom like a grown-up.

Physical signs
Is coordinated enough to walk, and even run, steadily.
Urinates a fair amount at one time.
Has regular, well-formed bowel movements at relatively predictable times.
Has "dry" periods of at least three or four hours, which shows that his bladder muscles are developed enough to hold urine.

Behavioral signs
Can sit down quietly in one position for two to five minutes.
Can pull his pants up and down.
Dislikes the feeling of wearing a wet or dirty diaper.
Shows interest in others' bathroom habits (wants to watch you go to the bathroom or wear underwear).
Gives a physical or verbal sign when he's having a bowel movement such as grunting, squatting, or telling you.
Demonstrates a desire for independence.
Takes pride in his accomplishments.
Isn't resistant to learning to use the toilet.
Is in a generally cooperative stage, not a negative or contrary one.

Cognitive signs
Can follow simple instructions, such as "go get the toy."
Understands the value of putting things where they belong.
Has words for urine and stool.
Understands the physical signals that mean he has to go and can tell you before it happens or even hold it until he has time to get to the potty.


TV Can Be Good For Children

Where kids are concerned, TV and movies get a bad rap, but with healthy viewing habits and parental supervision, “screen time” can be a positive experience for children. For one thing TV can help kids learn about a variety of subjects. If there’s a subject your child enjoys, more likely than not, there is a TV show, movie, or educational DVD that explores the subject in detail. You might be even be surprised to find out how many kids watch and love educational shows aimed at adults. Most kids are not able to visit the rain forest or see a giraffe in the wild, but many have seen these things on TV. Thankfully, educationally minded producers have given us many shows and movies that allow viewers to see amazing footage of nature, animals, society, and other peoples. Kids and adults alike can learn from this type of media and gain a greater appreciation for our world and the animals and other people who inhabit it.

Talking about TV programs, you may not know it, but if you have Charter digital, you have On Demand and it’s free to access. Your kids probably don’t understand or have the patience for TV schedules. When they want their Little Einstein or WorldWord, they want it right then. This On Demand also helps me to arrange TV time for my children so it won’t collide with their nap time.

You can learn more at charter.net/ondemand or get updates and fun extras on Charter’s Facebook page.




How do I answer my toddler's questions about genitals?

As parents, we can get anxious when children ask about anything remotely sexual. But your child's curiosity about genitals is no different than her questions about eyes, ears, feet, noses, and other less private parts. And genitals are pretty interesting, as body parts go. Her questions are only natural — after all, she has to learn about private parts from someone, and it's best for that someone to be you.

How should you respond? Be direct, and stay matter-of-fact. Follow the rule of thumb: "Is this how I would tell her about elbows or knees?" Give her the anatomically correct name for the body part and avoid baby talk — using funny or silly words will just confuse her and, if anything, makes the discussion a bigger deal. If she asks what they're for, you can say that genitals are for going to the bathroom. If you feel comfortable mentioning that they're also used for making babies, that's okay, too. She may not get it, but a child this age has no understanding of sex and won't make that connection.

She may also ask why Daddy's or her brother's genitals are different from hers. Point out that each person is unique: Her best friend's eyes are blue while hers are brown, and Grandma's nose is smaller than Grandpa's. In the same vein, boys' private parts look different from girls'. Keep it simple, and if you don't act embarrassed, she won't be, either.




The US election has passed quite sometime ago, but the buzz of how Obama won the election is still around. People are still talking about how he won the election.

Why did Obama win the presidency campaign? Is he better than the other candidate? Or is he simply the lucky one? It is very interesting to learn that Obama actually focused on utilizing the viral and democratic nature of the web. We all know that the internet is a system that proves to be both a powerful tool and is inexpensive too. Obama focused on cheap yet effective resources, which mobilize huge fan bases that would generate buzz in their spare time for free. Thus the result is a very powerful word-of-mouth campaign.

There’s even a report called Obamanomics that studies this phenomenon. The whole exercise finally ended in a landslide victory for him even though he was up against the war-hero and experienced statesman John McCain.

If you are interested to read more details about obamanomics and want to learn something from it, please feel free to click on the link and read on!

After this phenomenon, it is interesting to see how the next USA presidential candidates will use the web or internet for the next election.



Hard Rock Hotel Penang

Hard Rock International and Hotel Properties Limited (HPL) are proud to announce the opening of the newest members of the Hard Rock family: Hard Rock Hotel Penang and Hard Rock Cafe Penang. Located in Malaysia, within one of Asia’s most popular island destinations, Hard Rock is infusing new excitement and energy into the market, underscoring the brand’s strategy to accelerate expansion worldwide.

Hard Rock Hotel Penang is situated on five acres along the famous beaches of Batu Ferringhi, on the northern coast of Penang. The six-story Hard Rock Hotel Penang recently completed a multi-million dollar renovation bringing together superb service, unparalleled amenities and well-appointed accommodations with a rock ’n’ roll edge. The renovation added additional rooms and suites, a full-service luxury spa and the highly anticipated Hard Rock Cafe Penang.

The newest hotel in the Hard Rock portfolio holds 233 rooms and 17 suites. All Hillview Deluxe standard guest rooms have 312 square-feet of living space, while the Seaview Studio Suites expand to 570 square-feet. Most of the guest rooms offer stunning beach views, and the ground floor rooms facing the swimming pool feature spectacular private swim-up patios with wood trellis covers. Hard Rock Hotel Penang boasts the only club floor in Batu Ferringhi, known as “Kings Club,” located on the top floor of the property. The Kings Club offers a private lounge with stunning sea views and personalized concierge service.

Bringing one of Hard Rock Hotel’s trademark experiences to Malaysia, the hotel introduces an oversized free-form pool -- the largest swimming pool in Penang -- totaling 26,000 square feet, equipped with sand islands and lush poolside cabanas. The resort also offers a main ballroom and three function rooms for a total of 6,650 square-feet for private events, weddings, meetings, and exhibitions.

The opening of Hard Rock Hotel Penang includes the famous Hard Rock Cafe Penang. Sure to contend as one of the city’s premier dining and entertainment destinations, the 3,175 square-feet cafe features a 140-seat restaurant, live concert venue and a Rock Shop complete with Hard Rock’s limited-edition merchandise. The cafe will be adorned with pieces from Hard Rock’s world-famous memorabilia collection, including items representing both contemporary stars and rock legends, such as Keith Richards, Stevie Nicks, Madonna and many more. Additional key memorabilia items on display include a grey felt Fedora hat worn by Prince when all live tracks for his smash hit “Purple Rain” were recorded, custom-made leather pants and Cruefest t-shirt worn by Vince Neil of Motley Crue on the “Cruefest” Tour, and an outfit by “Junker Designs” worn by Rob Nicholson of Rob Zombie fame during the 2005 OZZFEST Tour.

For more than 38 years, Hard Rock Cafe has offered guests classic American fare in a rock ‘n’ roll atmosphere. Hard Rock Cafe Penang features a hardwood smoker, which uses the very best Hickory wood chips to slowly cook Hard Rock’s classic ribs and chicken to perfection. Hard Rock’s Legendary Experience menu is just that – legendary – offering six different mouth-watering Legendary Burgers made from Certified Angus Beef. In addition to its food, Hard Rock offers unmatched specialty drinks from its award-winning bar menu, from Hurricanes and Margaritas, to its Alternative Rock non-alcoholic beverage menu featuring favorites like Wildberry Smoothies and Crushed Velvet “martinis.”

The Rock Shop offers an exclusive line of rock inspired items, including Hard Rock’s famous Classic and City T-shirts, as well as highly coveted accessories and pins, which reflect the spirit of the city and the authenticity of Hard Rock’s merchandise. Hard Rock Cafe Penang’s limited-edition and city-specific merchandise is now available on-site.


High School Reunion

I had a high school reunion last week, but unfortunately I could not attend it as I am living in another country now with 2 young children to care for and believe me travelling with 2 children is not easy (not to mention paying for the extra flight tickets).

Although I could not attend the reunion but I was still able to look at the photos of the event in the internet (how I love internet). It was fun to see all the familiar faces of my high school colleagues. Some are fatter and older (especially the men). However, most of the ladies haven’t changed much over the years. I guess, all that skin care does work.

Anyway, I saw the current pictures of some of my high school teachers also that attended the reunion. I was happy to see that my favorite teacher was there. He was my inspiration to become a better person. He was a dedicated teacher and always had time for all of us whenever we had questions.

I believe one way or another, we all had a teacher or a mentor that touched our lives and inspired us to become a better person. If you had one and have lost contact with him or her, you can try to find him or her using MyLife.



Top 5 things doctors wish you'd do for your toddler

1. Don't turn the car seat around on your child's first birthday
Many parents eagerly do, since some kids like the car better once they're facing forward and it's easier to see the child that way. But it's safer to hold off. Studies show it's safer for kids all the way up to 4 years old to sit rear-facing, thus it's better to keep your toddlers facing backward until they outgrow the height and weight limits of their convertible car seat (meaning one designed to face either backward or forward), usually sometime around 15 to 18 months.

2. Know this life-saving number
Make sure everyone who cares for your toddler knows this number: 1-800-222-1222 (for US only).
That's the nationwide number for Poison Control, and once you have a mobile, curious toddler, it's important to display it someplace prominent. Everyone caring for your child should have easy access to this number, including grandparents and babysitters. Program it into your cell phone, too, in case your toddler swallows something while you're out of the house.

3. Go easy on the juice
Many kids are getting way too much of it. It's leading to weight problems and cavities, among other nutrition and health issues.
Your toddler doesn't necessarily need juice at all, but if you do offer it, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no more than 4 to 6 ounces a day for kids age 1 to 6 so it doesn't replace other foods. A lot of toddlers start to fill up on liquids – they drink mostly milk or juice – and they have no appetite for meals. To prevent tooth decay, don't let your toddler wander around with a sippy cup of juice for too long, and don't serve it at bedtime.

4. Stay strong during food battles
Just continue offering healthy foods rather than just catering to your child's preferences. Food jags are normal, but that doesn't mean you should cave in and start serving, say, only white foods. If kids are hungry, they'll eventually eat at least some of what you serve. And remember, at this age, one day they'll love zucchini and one day they won't. Just because they reject it once doesn't mean they won't eat it the next time.

5. Drink a glass of milk


What is Torrent?

The other day, somebody ask me about torrent. I have no idea what is that, so I need to look up and search it in the internet. It turned out that Torrent is the most popular way of downloading large files, including movies and games. Of course you have to remember the legality of downloading. Downloading with a torrent is advantageous especially when downloading files, which are momentarily very popular and whitch lots of people are downloading. Because the more people download the file, the higher speed for everyone.

One of the new torrents site is called QueenTorrent.com.
Benefits of this site:
a) Simple interface
b) Powerful search engine
c) Opportunity to download lots of games, music, films for free in to time without the fear of downloading empty and not complete file.
d) Huge regularly updated torrent files base. Every day bots cover thousands of sites with torrent files and add them to the database.

You can go and check it out yourself!


How to protect your family from swine flu

•Get yourself and your children vaccinated as soon as a vaccine becomes available. It takes a while for immunity to develop after you get the vaccine.

•Wash your hands and your children’s hands frequently, including immediately before eating, after sneezing, and after going to the bathroom. Use proper hand-washing techniques, rubbing both sides of your soapy hands for at least 15 seconds and rinsing with plenty of water. When soap and water aren’t available, use alcohol-based gel sanitizers that contain at least 60 percent alcohol or disposable hand wipes.

•Don't cough or sneeze into your bare hands. That puts the virus is all over your hands, where it can easily spread to others. Instead, cover your mouth with your arm and cough or sneeze into your sleeve or cover your nose and mouth with a disposable tissue and throw it away after using. (Many experts say the sleeve method is better than using a tissue, because handling a tissue can contaminate your hands and spread illness.) If you inadvertently use your bare hands, wash them right away.

•Don't touch your eyes, nose, or mouth. You may think your hands are clean, but if your hands have touched a door knob, a cup, a refrigerator handle or any other item that someone else has touched with a virus-covered hand, your hands carry the virus and can infect you.

•Viruses and bacteria can live two to eight hours on hard surfaces. Wipe down surfaces at home such as toys, bedside tables, doorknobs, telephones, and bathroom and kitchen counters with a disinfectant, following directions on the label.

•Keep your children at least 6 feet away from people who are sick, including anyone in your household who is sick. Know the symptoms of swine flu and seek medical care if illness is severe. If you catch it early, antiviral medicines may help.