beijing

Songs for Little Horses

singHello Song

Hello, everybody, so glad to see you!
Hello, everybody, so glad to see you!

Hello to SOPHIE so glad to see you!
Hello to SOPHIE so glad to see you!

Repeat for all kids. Maybe pass a ball or drum to signal who’s turn it is. Also, there is a quick moment between each verse where we call out the next kid’s name to make sure we sign the right name. End with greeting MOMS, DADS, GRANDMAS, or just repeat first EVERYBODY verse.

Source: Music Together

Open and Shut

Open and shut them, open and shut them!
Give a little clap, clap, clap!
Open and shut them, open and shut them!
Put them in your lap, lap, lap!

Creep and crawl them, creep and crawl them!
Right down to your toes!
Creep and crawl them, creep and crawl them!
Right up to your nose!

Source: Kings County Library System

This is Big

This is big, big, big. (arms wide) This is small, small, small. (hands almost together)
This is short, short, short. (hands low) This is tall, tall, tall. (hands over your head)
This is fast, fast, fast. (roll yours quickly) This is slow, slow, slow. (roll slowly)

Source: Mel’s Desk via Jbrary

Row Your Boat

Row, row, row your boat GENTLY (QUICKLY, SLOWLY) down the stream!
Merrily, merrily, merrily! Life is but a dream!

Source: Jbrary

Hands are Clapping

Hands are clapping! Clap, clap, clap! Hands are clapping! Clap, clap, clap!
Clap your hands my darling!

Toes are tapping! Tap, tap, tap!…
Fingers are wiggling! Wiggle, wiggle, wiggle…
Eyes are hiding! Peek-a-boo…

Source: Jbrary

Switching from Marvelon to Mercilon

Mercilon_PackshotOk, so I’m making the switch from Marvelon to Mercilon. It should be ok, since it’s the same contents just at a lower dosage. As I said previously, they both contain ethinylestradiol and desogestrel but Marvelon has 30 micrograms and Mercilon has 20 micrograms. I talked to my sister and she seems to remember that this was the pill she was on for awhile without major problems — and she’s more sensitive than I am to headaches, bloating, and stuff.

I messed up the switch though. When starting this new pill, I should have skipped the “off” week. These packs contain 21 pills and after you complete a pack, you have 7 days where you don’t take anything. However, if you are starting a new pill you should go ahead and start the new pill, so there is no gap between the pills. Now that I’ve started Mercilon essentially 7 days late, I have to follow the instructions for 7 missed pills and wait 7 more days until I’m fully protected from getting pregnant. Here’s what I found online:

What do I do if I miss a pill?
If you forget to take your pill at your usual time, take it as soon as you remember. A missed pill is one that is 24 hours or more late. If you miss a pill, follow the instructions below.

One pill missed
If you forget to take ONE pill, or start your new pack one day late, you should take the pill you missed as soon as possible, even if this means taking two pills at the same time. Then continue taking the rest of the pack as normal. You will still be protected against pregnancy and you don’t need to use extra contraception.

Two or more pills missed

If you forget to take TWO or more pills, or start your new pack two or more days late, you won’t be protected against pregnancy. You should take the last pill you missed as soon as possible, even if this means taking two pills at the same time. Leave out the other missed ones. Then continue to take your pills, one every day, as normal. You should either not have sex, or use an extra barrier method of contraception, eg condoms, for the next seven days.

If there are fewer than seven pills left in your pack after your last missed pill, you should finish the pack and then start a new pack straight away without a break. This means skipping your pill-free week.

Source: NetDoctor

I wish there wasn’t such a significant difference in price. These pills cost 68 rmb, I think, and before I was paying less than 30 rmb for a pack of Marvelon. Oh well. It’s the fucking evil pharmacy companies taking advantage of a corner on the market here.

Another Birth Control Pill: Yasmin

YasminToday I stopped by another pharmacy to ask for Marvelon and the pharmacist was eager to sell me on Yasmin. Also a Bayer product and even more expensive than Mercilon at over 100rmb per box (i.e. per month). What gives?

Anyway, another google search and here’s what I found. It’s a combination pill with drospirenone and ethinyl estradiol. And some disturbing headlines like this: Bayer sued in Germany over contraceptive pill after health scares (December 2015).

Name: Yasmin
Chinese: 优思明
Pinyin: Yōu sī míng
Some more info in Chinese: http://www.mama.cn/z/18736/

I think I’ll pass on this one.

Indispensible Chinese Apps: WeChat, Dianping, Sogou, JD.com …

Found my phone! (Stuck on the couch with a sleeping baby.)

Found my phone! (Stuck on the couch with a sleeping baby.)

Well I just misplaced my iphone and turned my apartment upside down looking for it. My phone is virtually attached to my body, but somehow it went missing and the panic that ensued now seems pretty ridiculous. But really everything I need is on it. Anyway, I found the phone and noticed an email notifying me of a new comment on this blog. I replied to the comment but then seeing the front page reminded me that I haven’t posted here in ages and it’s hopelessly out of date. My tag for “social media” hardly makes sense. There’s still no facebook or twitter here behind the Great Firewall, but there is a rich life of apps that are China-specific. There are almost too many to mention.

  • WeChat (微信 Weixin) is your group chat, your newsletters from businesses, your facebookesque wall to share links/photos with friends, and it is your virtual wallet. This last feature is crazy cool. Of course it can do as you might expect — payments for online purchases, but I just used my phone to buy a milkshake yesterday! You bring up a barcode on your phone and the shop scans and processes it like a credit card payment. You get an instant confirmation message on WeChat. Also, it was a 59 RMB milkshake which makes it a stupid purchase.
  • Dianping is your Yelp but also insanely good for coupons and can do delivery. They take WeChat payments.
  • Sogou is your Google maps, because Google is fucked here. If you try to rely on Google maps the coordinates are always off just enough to be totally confusing. And that’s only if you get Google to load. Most Google products are all strangled by the GFW.
  • JD.com is maybe not as big as Taobao but it works better for me. It takes WeChat payments (woohoo!) but also has vendors that will accept cash on delivery! And some products if ordered before 11am will arrive THE SAME DAY. Crazy.

So anyway I’m sure I was looking for my phone to use one of these apps. But now I’ve forgotten what I was doing…

Dragon Boat Festival for One

Today is the Dragon Boat Festival, a holiday about villagers celebrating a corrupt official.

Jeremy and I have inverse holiday schedules. My employer follows the official Chinese holidays and Jeremy has mostly U.S. holidays. This means that most of my days off I’m left on my own. I’m grateful for the time alone, but I’m not always as adventurous when I’m on my own.

Greenpeace published this nice graphic (© 绿色和平/Tai Wang) for the holiday to draw attention to water pollution in China.

Dragon Boat Festival 2013

Toxic chemical pollution is a real and deadly danger for many people in China. Some 320 million people here lack access to clean drinking water, while 700 million more are drinking contaminated water. [Read more…]

[Wikipedia: Dragon Boat Festival]

My Beloved World, by Sonia Sotomayor

My Beloved World, by Sonia Sotomayor [Amazon]

Recently I finished Sonia Sotomayor’s autobiography, My Beloved World. Her voice is so refreshingly understandable. I didn’t really think there was much that I would get out of her story, given her current position of power and privilege. I am usually baffled by the ambition that drives people to serve these kinds of roles, but she is very convincing in presenting her love and dedication to improving the world. I had some idea that she came from a modest background, but humble beginnings don’t always guarantee a continued connection to the inequity and disadvantages that remain in many people’s lives. Anyway, she is amazingly articulate beyond what you might expect from a highly skilled lawyer. She is precise in her language (that’s the educated lawyer in her), but she is also a thoughtful storyteller. I am impressed.

[Wikipedia: Sonia Sotomayor]

Rita Moreno: A Memoir

Rita Moreno: A Memoir [Audible]

At the same time, I finished listening to Rita Moreno’s memoir. Her family is Puerto Rican, like Sonia Sotomayor, but she is from one generation earlier. (Moreno, b. 1931. Sotomayor b. 1954.) Fun to hear the difference in their experiences of PR and growing up in the Bronx, but also many similarities! Moreno immigrated with her mother when she was five, while Sotomayor was born in the Bronx.

[Wikipedia: Rita Moreno]

An Enemy of the People by Arthur Miller

An Enemy of the People by Arthur Miller [Amazon]

Back to the issue of water pollution, I came across a play that Arthur Miller updated from An Enemy of the People by Henry Ibsen about a man exposing a local water pollution scandal. I cannot find an ebook version of the Arthur Miller edition, so I downloaded a free version of the Ibsen original — translated from Norwegian.

From the description on Amazon.com:

Dr. Stockmann attempts to expose a water pollution scandal in his home town which is about to establish itself as a spa. When his brother, the mayor, conspires with local politicians and the newspaper to suppress the story, Stockmann appeals to the public meeting—only to be shouted down and reviled as ‘an enemy of the people’. Ibsen’s explosive play reveals his distrust of politicians and the blindly held prejudices of the ‘solid majority’.

Sigh. Ibsen published this in 1882. Miller updated it in the 1950s. Still topical in 2013.