Training Your Child to Walk

Our oldest child was a bit developmentally delayed in learning to walk.  She could stand and cruise along furniture, but she wasn’t confident walking more than a few steps on her own.  We decided to hire a physical therapist to come to our home and help her out.

What we didn’t expect is the therapist would actually be teaching us how to help our daughter.  We did about 95% of the physical therapy ourselves with tips from the therapist, and the therapist did the other 5%, plus evaluations.

I wanted to share one huge tip from the therapist that worked great for our child:

  1. Find something your child really enjoys doing.  In our daughter’s case, it was being read to – she loves hearing a story, pointing out objects and characters, and especially – turning pages.
  2. Get your child to participate in her favorite thing standing up.  In this case, we read from a standing position, three feet away.
    1. Ensure she is standing with support behind her.  Support meaning a couch, or a wall.
  3. Gently encourage her to step forward or to the side, to challenge her balance.  Ask her step forward and turn the page.  After she accomplishes that, hold the book a little further away from her, and ask her to step forward a couple more steps to turn to the next page.

We did this every night before bed for a few nights and she was walking on her own almost immediately!  She was so very proud of herself, smiling and laughing.

The book we read was Walk On!: A Guide for Babies of All Ages, by Marla Frazee.  Our child loves this book, and shouts “BABY YOU’RE WALKING!  BEA-UTI-FULLLLL!” right from the story as she excitedly toddles around the house.  It also teaches how to fall and get back up again, no fuss, no muss.

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Bonus tip: If your child only wants to hold your hand while walking, and refuses to move without your hand: Progress to letting her hold only a finger.  Then progress from just a finger to holding a shared object, such as a stuffed animal, spatula, or umbrella.  She will be walking in no time.

eBook Buying vs. Lending: How Easy Is It?

The eBook buying process is quite simple:

  1. You search Amazon or the Apple bookstore for the book you want.
  2. You hit buy and can instantly read the book in your Kindle or Apple Books reader app.

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The ebook library lending process is a bit more lengthy, but not as bad as it used to be:

  1. If it’s a popular book, you’re probably going to find that all copies are in use: library-all-copies-in-use.png
  2. Place a hold.  Note that two of the hold formats (OverDrive and ePub) are not readable in your preferred reader, but Kindle is listed, so that’s something.  Wait 1-6 months and hope you catch the email that says your hold is available.
  3. But not discouraged, let’s say you find another book you might like, and it’s actually available.  Hit checkout, and you’re presented with this screen:library-checkout-ebook.png
  4. Hit download, and select Kindle: library-longcheckout-process.png
  5. After you checkout, you’ll see another button.  It says, “Download Kindle”: library-downloadkindle.png
  6. Then you get shuttled to some contentreserve.com site, where you don’t stop, and are forwarded on to Amazon, where you have to sign in and hit Get Library Book:library-amazon-download.png
  7. Now you can open your Kindle reader or app and read the book.

The library lending process has gotten easier, but it’s not as fast as it could be.  You really should be able to checkout & download in 1-2 clicks max.  If the book is even available.  Let’s hope we see some improvement out of Bibliocommons/Overdrive!

MyFitnessPal (Premium) vs. The No S Diet

I needed to lose 10 pounds and tried out MyFitnessPal again, after several years of not using it.  This time, I tried the Premium trial, so I’m getting all the features and stats.

I’m reminded of why I quit using MyFitnessPal years ago.  If you’re not eating the same thing every day, MyFitnessPal is a time sink.  Expect to spend at least 5 minutes before or after every meal, scanning bar codes and weighing foods on the kitchen scale.  Then you’re worrying about what combo of nutrients you need or whether you’re going to exceed your carb/fat/protein quotas for the day/week.

As an aside, I’m reminded of Luke 12:22-23, [Jesus] said to his disciples, ‘Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat, or about your body, what you will wear. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing.”  Of course, if you continue reading, you’ll see Jesus is talking about finding food to eat at all, and trusting God to provide nourishment, rather than worrying about where your next meal will come from.

But I digress.  If you want to lose weight, or just maintain your ideal weight, you need something easy to stick with. Something that doesn’t require you to become a “full time calorie accountant.”  The free No S Diet, created by Reinhard Engels, does just this.  The whole diet is explained in one sentence: No snacks, sweets, or seconds, except on days that start with S.  That’s it!

You don’t need to buy anything to get started with it.  It’s not time consuming.  It’s easy to stick with.  No S really works.  It actually works a little too well – I lost 30 pounds the last time I used it, 15 pounds under what I wanted to be.  So I’m taking it easy this time.

I’m getting rid of MyFitnessPal again.  It’s neat to look at the stats, but Premium is not at all worth it at $50-$100+/year, at least for me.  If you really love counting calories though, it might work for you.

This time, I’m combining No S with aspects of the Shoku Iku Japanese food philosophy.  Basically, aim for 3-5 colors on every plate.  If you eat a heavy meal, balance it out with a light one the next time you eat.  Easy stuff.

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Poke Bowl

How I treated wrist rash after working out with Apple Watch

After working out with my watch, I started developing a slight rash underneath the watch, on top of my wrist.  It wasn’t nearly as bad or gory as some of the news reports on this, but it was uncomfortable.  The rash is often a result of sweat and bacteria interacting in the tight space underneath the watch.  If your watch band is too tight or too loose, or if you wear your watch in the shower, this can happen.  And it applies to any watch, not just Apple’s.  For example, Fitbit, Timex, etc.

After some research, here’s how I treated the situation:

    1. Clean the back of the watch with a lightly-damp microfiber cloth.
    2. Wash wrist and let it completely dry.
    3. Rub a tiny smidge of zinc oxide ointment in the affected area.  One common place to find zinc oxide is in diaper cream.  I used the tub of Triple Paste medicated diaper cream that we had sitting around.  Burt’s Bees ointment also works and may be cheaper.  Both are Made in USA.  You can also use calamine lotion (which is made with zinc oxide), but I find diaper cream less messy and faster.

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Then wait a few hours (or even a day) before wearing your watch again.  This worked great for me, and I haven’t had to re-do it.  (If you are allergic or otherwise sensitive to zinc oxide, you’ll probably want to talk to your doctor to find an alternative.)