Saturday, November 1, 2008

Educational websites

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This is related to my previous blog, "Computers on kids". I’m surfing the net for some educational stuffs that I can use to entertain Clarence. This is an idea I’ve thought that will make me free from him and do some chores. Then I accidentally discovered this really cool website of Sesame Street, http://www.sesamestreet.org/games. I found out that all the games from the CD we borrowed from our friends can be played in this site. It actually offers more educational games than I expected. If you will just browse the whole site, there is an option for more games. They also have videos from Sesame Street episodes which are really great to watch, suits for all ages, I may say. Popular singers can be seen jamming along with the Sesame Street monsters. Games can be played by big and little kids since there are selections for keyboard and mouse activities. It’s really good, your kids will learn how to sort and pile up things of the same shapes / colors and to clearly observe patterns. They can also create their own monster character by dragging parts of the monster such as eyes, nose and mouth to the preferred body and face. Just right under the game you're playing, there are other choices of games of the same category (i.e. numbers, seasons). At the right side of the game window you’ll see some parenting tips and advice that changes from time to time. And one of the best features for me is the PlaySafe button where your child cannot navigate the web browser away from your selected Sesame Street content when you are away from him. Try it and I know you’ll love it!

You may want to try the following websites as well:
http://www.sproutonline.com/SPROUT/home/default.aspx
http://funschool.kaboose.com/
http://www.starfall.com/

Friday, October 31, 2008

Computers on kids

While doing some of my computer works, Clarence gets into my lap and started asking me to pull up his Elmo games we installed in our PC. He quickly pressed the window button and the start menu came up. I remember that I put a shortcut of the game in that section, he grabbed the mouse and clicked on the picture of Elmo. There’s Elmo again, waving at me, giving me a look that says, better luck next time!! I don’t blame my son, the game is really good and beneficial. It teaches letters, shapes, numbers, music, colors, and a lot. It’s kind ‘a annoying though because I’m in the middle of doing something but I guess that’s my fault as well. First, I know that I can work when he’s sleeping but I didn’t. Second, I taught him how to become expert in using the keyboard and the mouse. He knew most of the functions of the keyboard. I will not be surprised because I’m so addicted in the internet, what else could he get from me but to learn the computer. He knows ESC, Enter, arrow, page Up/Down, windows, and space bar keys. And for the record, he became good at it when he was just 2 yrs/ 5 mos. old. He can control the mouse with ease, I remember my sister was struggling with the mouse when I first introduce the computer to her. But Clarence is different, it was like just few hours were spent for him to master all the controls in the mouse. When I instructed him to click or press on something, he’ll do it without me asking for the second time. I’ll just say some clue words for him, like ‘X’ for the close window button, ‘OK’ for the option OK, Escape when he mistakenly clicked on something, and Enter to allow whatever tasks are displayed on the screen. I’m so proud of him.
By the way, we got the Sesame Street game from our good friends who originally bought the cd and let us borrowed and installed it in our computer. Thanks to Melvin and Coni for their concern when they told us that the CD will be useful for Clarence like it did to their toddler. I believe that choosing the right computer games for our child is really important, knowing that there are a lot of junk games available in the market, we should be selective. We all know that we can’t avoid the rise of technology, we’re silly if we think that our kids will not be interested at this. We can’t deprive them from using the computers but we can set limitations and their options. The good part is we can reassure to ourselves that they’re learning while also having fun.

video

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

What to consider in buying gifts

We went to Toys R Us to look for a birthday gift for Aidan, one of Clarence's friends. We take into an account that whenever we buy something for someone, we should also buy something for Clarence. I think it becomes a rationale for us asking ourselves, how can we buy other people expensive gifts and not our own son. It might be a wrong principle for others but that’s how we deal with it. Our goal is to make our son happy, we don’t like him to be in a toy store and seeing us buying things that are not meant for him. Before we go there, we already know what to buy for Aidan because his mom said he wants Lego. I thought Lego was just the simple old traditional blocks that I used to know so I said it’s easy to get one. Then I was surprised to see so many styles of it all in different forms, like Batman, cruise ships, racing cars, and etc. We almost spent an hour looking for the right Lego gift for Aidan, because whenever I see one that fits my taste, my wife will tell me that it’s inappropriate for Aidan’s age, its small parts are hazardous for it could choke, or it could hurt Aidan or his playmates because of the flipping pellets included as a weapon feature. It didn’t come in my mind that choosing the right gift will be more complicated than getting my wife a pair of shoes. After filtering all their stocks, we finally got the one that suits my wife standards. I don’t blame her for being picky because it only shows her concern to the recipient of our gift which made me admire her more. Well, I think that should be our objective in giving gifts, to buy what we know is the perfect one and not just to get anything for the sake of saying, ‘at least we have a gift’. This will somehow show to our friends that we value them as they did in inviting us.


When it is time for Clarence’ toy, I realized that the store is so big for we’re looking for the best toy for him. This time, my wife’s criteria had increased. We’re now looking for safe, best-quality, age-appropriate and most of all ‘educational’. We found a lot but we promised to buy just one. We checked almost all the corners of that store, we compared this and that, read all features and benefits it can give. I almost even pass out for I forgot to take my lunch on that day. Till we finally get two of our choices because we can’t decide which one to get. After we checked out everything, we immediately went to Fuddruckers for snacks. At the end of the day, we didn’t feel any wasted time for we know that we used it in the right way we believe. Giving gifts is also a way to show our appreciation to the people who have offered their friendship to us. So if you’ll gonna buy one, think of the person as yourself getting the right gift with your exact preferences.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Power of tongue


Sometimes you can't just control words coming out from your mouth because of anger or insecurity. You tend to defend yourself without considering the feelings of the one hearing you. Your aim is to be at the top of the argument that made you shut your mind to everything but only to what you believe is right, whether it's reasonable or not. And what’s this can cause you? Nothing good. You made yourself terrible by getting into a bad mood which is so stressful, you hurt someone by not meaning to do it at all, and you will feel the guilt once you calm down. But the painful part is the fact that the damage has been done. It’s like a permanent record between you and the one you hurt. It’s like you cannot change that particular moment when you did a significant scar in your relationship. It’s worse if you did this to a loved one. In situations like you feel you can’t control yourself, try to stop and think. Know all the consequences of your actions. Will this help or not? Will this do better or make it even worse? What if you try to calm down and listen? It’s better to communicate when both of you are considerate hearing each other out. Both of you will allow each points of view to be well understood. Because one of the good rules is “Shut your mouth if you don’t have any good thing to say”.

Mars Vs. Venus





Source: marsvenus.com

This is just one of the behaviors of women that drive the men away.

Telling him what to do

Are you constantly telling your man how to drive, how to dress, how to behave? Women are good at making improvements, but this highly sensitive area is off-limits. The most important thing to a Martian is doing a good job. Question his competence and you'll not only hurt him, but you'll meet a wall of resistance. Instead of telling him what to do, try to ask for his opinion. Martians thrive in an environment where they are the experts, so help him be the expert. Instead of saying, "Honey, you should do this." Ask his opinion, "Honey what do you think of this?" This allows him to share his thoughts and you get him involved in a conversation about whatever issue is on your mind. This simple trick is how you can help bring about improvements in your man without telling him what to do!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Having friends around


Last week 2 of our friends visited us from Pennsylvania. They stayed in our apartment for 3 days. We really enjoyed their company. They didn't know how they made our lives easier for those days that they were here. Our daily tiring routine suddenly changed and the frustration from boredom was treated. They are my wife’s colleagues back when they’re still working at Phil. Heart Center. Actually they are love couple who are together for many years. Ace and Tintin are both younger than us but then the childishness of my wife made us all meet at the same level. They brought with them their Rockband Wii which entertained us a lot especially my wife. Almost 6 hours of play and if it’s not for me, it might not end forever. So happy, that you will not notice that the day had just passed. My son had a lot of fun playing with them, which I took advantage to do some of the house works. We went to Washington DC to check out some great museums as well. Having friends around is surely helpful in both physical and emotional sense. You know that there are people who care not only for you but also for your loved ones. And I only mean this for ‘real friends’. They are also a good cure for stress. It’s important for us to have some break from the adversities of the world. We consider them real friends for they are the kind of people who will not leave you no matter what happen. If there are real friends, definitely there are also fake ones. These are people who only remember you in their time of needs. They are the ones who will just listen to those things you say which will benefit them. Who only wants to hear what they want. We have few of those here, very unfortunate. There are 3 things I’ve learned from living here in US (and mingling with fake people) (1) Trust no one but yourself. (2) The only one who will help you is yourself. If you ask it from others and you didn’t get it, that’s okay for they don’t have obligation to you. If they offer-be thankful. And (3) to fight for what you know is right, since some of the people we met here are not just racist but also didn’t finish school which made them disrespectful. The message is, know your friends, the ones for keeps and the ones for kicks.


Sunday, October 26, 2008

Don't Let Stress Get the Best of You

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I got this from Clarence' school. It's worth sharing since every word in it applies to me and I'm thinking that this could help others as well. The source is from "The Family Tree", I think this is an organization in Maryland where they focus on child care, parenting and some family matters. Their articles are really great. We have the same objective so I wanted them to be known for their good cause. Here are the articles: http://www.familytreemd.org/default.asp?location=news_and_articles

Stress may separate you from your loved ones, you should know how to deal with it before it's too late. Always remember that your family is the source of your strength and not should be the reason of your stress. Value your family as you value yourself.