Updated September 27, 2021 Changing jobs? Open enrollment? Recently, we were choosing between a variety of health insurance plans, including ones with HSA options. Before I thought to look online, I had already made my own comparison spreadsheet, but I guess that’s all well and good because it was a nice, eye-opening experience to think through the ridiculous rules of each of the health insurance plans myself. Even the plan representatives barely understand the rules. Later on, I found a few different health plans spreadsheets online that I thought were helpful and collected the links below. There are also various … Continue reading Health Insurance Plan Comparison Spreadsheets
I’d been sniffing the hair on my children’s heads – yes, moms do that. And found that they smell very different. I can’t even describe the smell though – one like vanilla soup and the other like citrus tea. That got me wondering what they might smell like as teenagers and then adults. Would my deliciously smelling kids become stinky people with various body odors? Would I need to arm them with deodorants? Was I going to need to do a 3 week research project on finding the best, non-toxic deodorants? I’ve noticed that men and women and folks of … Continue reading Got Body Odor? And Will Your Child, Too?
Updated 4/14/22 This is a niche post for those of us trying to explore the causes and cures for myopia. Since the causes of myopia are not fully understood, the treatments are still under discovery and experimentation. If you search online, you probably won’t find much evidence that the axial length of the human eye can be reduced – this is a key measurement that folks are using as an objective way to determine if axial length myopia can be reversed. However, I suspect that there exists some evidence – it just hasn’t reached Google’s top search results. I discovered that … Continue reading Can Axial Length Be Reduced?
Just to be clear, this post is not about bashing doctors! We see many amazing, caring doctors. This post is about an over-reliance on what doctors in our healthcare system can do and taking charge of our own health. Maybe you already know different, but I grew up thinking that the doctor’s word was the final word. Unsure about anything? Go see a doctor. Nowadays, I still see a doctor, but I go online, research some more, and I take the doctor’s opinion into consideration as I decide what to do. Here’s why: #1 They’re not always up to date … Continue reading 5 Reasons Not to Rely on Doctors
There are, in fact, nuances to the common allergy medications that are prescribed like Zyrtec and Benadryl, that are worth considering when deciding which to use and when. Continue reading Best Allergy Medications for Kids
Having children with severe food allergies can be very difficult on the parent as well as the child. However, other than plain avoidance, there are now actually a number of different options for families to consider. If you have a child under 5, you have a particularly good chance of using some of these options (particularly OIT), to cure (not just desensitize!) your child’s food allergies. Researchers have found that the younger kids have much more lasting benefits of immunotherapy – meaning they could actually be cured(!) rather than just desensitized. My kids were unfortunately past that age when I … Continue reading 6 Treatments for Food Allergies
Updated as of 11/2/2021 My child sprained an ankle and immediately, every well-meaning person around us kept at us with ice, and more ice. The day after the injury, our sporty, super-fit friends quizzed me, double-checking that we were continuing to ice the ankle. All this emphasis on ice gave me pause, because in traditional Chinese medicine (whose philosophy I have followed growing up), ice is never used for an injury. These opposing views sent me running to Google. It turns out that recent research suggests icing an injury may not be the best way to heal an injury. In fact, … Continue reading To Ice or Not to Ice Injuries?
In another post, I wrote about how I decided to lean towards minimalist footwear for my kids and for myself. Well, I didn’t realize that finding children’s minimalist, athletic footwear (and there are definitely degrees of minimalism here) would be so difficult! In fact, most popular brands had very thick soles and were heavy. Others were too rigid and narrow, particularly in the toebox, and even others also had positive inclines, so much that I was effectively putting my child in a slight heel. None of those made any sense to me and yet those were the majority that I … Continue reading Minimalist, Athletic Shoes for Kids
In my quest to quell my child’s myopia, I discovered the myopia reversal community online. It seems there are many adults who are trying to improve their vision naturally. Yet while the medical eyecare community has not reached the point where they will even consider that myopia reversal is possible, myopia control for children is a growing sub-specialty and reaching mainstream eyecare practices in the US. In Asian countries where myopia is unusually high, myopia control is already a common practice. Considering that myopia control didn’t exist when I was growing up, (and yet here it is), I’m wary of … Continue reading Can You Control or Reverse Your Myopia?
Recently, we decided to have our children try oral immunotherapy (OIT) for nuts. OIT is just one of many treatment options emerging. This was a huge, agonizing decision for us and we went back and forth several times for months before we finally committed. Read this post, “Stopping OIT at One Nut,” for where we are with OIT today. My takeaway This post is a summary of the key information (but a long list, nevertheless) that I found helpful in making our decision and knowing what to expect once we started OIT. I gathered it through reading online resources, quizzing … Continue reading 10+ Things to Know About OIT for Food Allergies
After a lot of searching the Internet and asking around for best practices, we settled on a few key resources for teaching Chinese to our children. The amount of resources and choices online can be really overwhelming and paralyzing if you don’t know where to start. There are a lot of good options and none will be perfect. I was definitely in the “paralyzed” category for awhile. Now that I’ve done the research, I realize that the key is to just pick a strategy and structure and get started. Below are the five main resources we use: Resource #1: A … Continue reading Top 5 Resources for Teaching Chinese to Kids
Once you become myopic, is it possible for your vision to improve? Ophthalmologists and optometrists say NO, and rather emphatically so. However, welcome Internet research, pseudoscience, and anecdotal evidence. Even the burgeoning science found in myopia control methods has many theories in common with the myopia reversal movement. After a lot of reading, it seems like it may be possible to reverse some myopia and that it’s worth giving it a try. (As of 8/16/20: My one year progress update.) My takeaway: the basic method of reversing myopia The basic method of reversing myopia looks like this: Reduce your … Continue reading Reversing Myopia – My Experience So Far
Do you want to share your language with your child? Have you wondered if you’ll be able to teach your kids your own language despite living in a foreign country? You absolutely can and there are benefits. Many studies have shown a cognitive benefit to bilingualism and it’s a great way to strengthen the bond with your child throughout their lives. The question is how will you be able to do it? Despite living in the US and having English be our shared family language, we have been partially successful in teaching our children three different languages. They are now … Continue reading How to Raise Bilingual Children
Updated 5/7/21 It’s great to try and prevent myopia, but what if your child is already myopic? Or what if your child becomes myopic in spite of all your attempts to prevent it? Did you know that there are now ways that you can try to slow down your child’s myopia? Below I summarize the options that I researched and what we decided to try for myopia control. When I was growing up, anyone who became nearsighted just got glasses and were told that there was nothing to be done to either improve or slow down their myopia. However, now, … Continue reading Myopia Control Options and Our Choice
Screen time is great! It immediately distracts my kids and gets them to stay still. They love the screen so much that they’ll watch videos in languages they don’t know just to have the right to the screen. For me, when I’m standing in line at the grocery, I can check my emails or run through my grocery list. I can leave work early and be with my kids more often since I have email and text access to stay caught up with the office. It’s so efficient, time is never wasted, and dealing with the kids could never be … Continue reading The Slippery Slope of Smartphones and Screen Time
I’ve been nearsighted since I was eight and I’ve always hated that. Contacts or glasses – it’s just one extra thing you have to do. Plus, I can hardly do anything without them. Ever read “Lord of the Flies”? Remember Piggy and how useless he becomes without his glasses? Don’t worry if you’ve never read it, but if you have, then you can know that I have recurring nightmares about becoming Piggy. Children’s vision at highest risk Kids are usually born with perfect vision and we should help them preserve their vision for as long as possible! Our eyes are … Continue reading 6 Habits to Fight Myopia
I never would have thought that buying shoes for children would be a complicated matter. But one day in my early shoe-buying days, I wondered how much space there should be between the top of my child’s toe and the top of the shoe. I looked it up and the search results opened a Pandora’s box of other considerations that changed the way I thought about footwear. Trends in Children’s Footwear My major takeaways on footwear in general: Research in this area is slowly emerging and evolving https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2010/aug/09/barefoot-best-for-children https://lermagazine.com/cover_story/thinking-small-making-strides-in-childrens-footwear There is a movement away from stiff and over-supportive shoe towards … Continue reading Best Shoes for Children
Updated 9/30/21 I was horrified one day to find black stains all over my then 2 yr old’s teeth which I couldn’t remove with a toothbrush. I thought they were cavities and brought him to the pediatric dentist right away. Surprisingly the dentist didn’t know what caused the stains or what the black stains were even called. After ruling out foods, iron intake and poor brushing habits, he suspected something had changed the flora in my child’s mouth. Perhaps the Xoponex (an asthma medication) that he had taken for a cold a few months earlier. A few other pediatric patients … Continue reading Black Stains on Teeth in Children
Hi there, I’m a mom to two kids in a bi-cultural household. I’m sharing everything I’ve learned about kids, OIT, allergies, health, parenting, myopia control, education, and more. As someone who is obsessive about doing my best to make good decisions for my family and myself, I’ve spent a lot of time researching the various things that life has thrown at me – everything from how shoes should fit a toddler to why the whites of my eyes are no longer white. When reading about these different topics, I often learn things that I wish I knew before. And I … Continue reading About Me