Certificate III: Provide Care for Children(1.1)

1.1 Organising opportunities and type of rest according to child's needs and context.

As a carer, it is important that you identify each child's sleep habits so that you can provide and meet each child's needs. Consult parents on how their child is sleeping at home, are there any recent changes to their environment, for example relatives visiting, child moved from a cot to a bed, child was moved to a different house/bedroom, separation anxiety, etc.

There are many factors that may affect children's rest/sleep patterns. Some of these include:
* age of the child;
* their surroundings such as family conflicts, hardship, etc;
* the climate/weather conditions;
* the people that the child is with;
* are they hungry or not;
* their energy level, e.g., physically active child or a docile child.

Certificate III: First Day on the Course.

Today, I received a package from Cengage Education to study Certificate III. In this package, there were:

# Despatch Note:
Booklet - Provide care for children;
Booklet - Support the development of children;
Booklet - Interact effectively with children;
Workplace Assessment Manual.

# My Student Card

# Order of Studies

I'm filled with excitement and can't wait to get started!

Motivation: Your Day - It's How It's Started

Life on Left Column Life on Right Column

0530 hrs, my alarm clock rung reminding me that I should go for run. Stuff it! It's Saturday I wanted more sleep.

0700 hrs, my kids climbed into our bed. Hmm that was wonderful. We hugged our kids for a while before the youngest one started moving around too much. Couldn't really blame him, his attention span was only about 3 minutes. So, I convinced them to go and play with their PS3.

1000 hrs, that was a nice sleep-in. My kids were still on PS3 and they were hungry. We all were. My wife cooked big sets of bacon, sausages, eggs, and toasts for all around.

1045 hrs, it's time to enjoy my cup of coffee. We just open a new bag of coffee beans. It's smell was so tempting. My boy asked if we could go to the oval, he really wanted to show me his new soccer moves. I told him that I wanted to catch up with the morning papers and beside my knee was hurt (wasn't that bad but it seemed to justify my excuse). I hated to see him sad, but it was too cold outside.

1230 hrs, the papers were interesting. Lunch time. I felt guilty so I told my kids that we could go to lunch at the shopping mall and perhaps some movie. I heard that the new Karate Kid was good. They cheered. I felt like I've done my job.

It's 0525 hrs, I turned off my alarm clock before it went off, I beat it again today. Rolled to the side of the bed and started my 100s push-up - a condition I set to not allow me to return back to bed. Crouch-up and some stretch and my wife and I were ready for our 8 km weekend run.

(Note to self, two chicks ran passed me, couldn't keep up with them. Have to work on this)

A good run today, 5 degree celsius, a bit of drizzle, we both loved it. We were back by 0700 hrs. Showered and I went to hug my kids for a while just to rough them up a bit to get them out of their beds.

0730 hrs, my wife cooked some bacon, eggs, and salad. Killing time, I grabbed the vacuum machine and vacuumed the house. I told my kids to go and tidy up their room instead of playing computer games early in the morning.

0800 hrs, breakfast was nice, I like the salad. New bag of freshly ground coffee was wonderful. I read some more papers to catch up with the news and told my kids that they were good kids and that their rooms were tidy, so they could play some games on PS3.

0930 hrs, we went down to the oval, my son couldn't wait to show me his new soccer move. Impressive. I, myself as a 2nd Dan Aikido, was trying to pass on some moves to him as well. But, he wasn't so interested. So I thought that may be Jackie Chan might do a better job. I told them that we might go to see the new Karate Kid. They cheered. My wife said that only if they finish their home work first.

1030 hrs, morning is still early. Kids in their rooms doing home work, I look at my wife and gave her a meaningful wink. She gave me a dirty look.

I love my Saturday morning.

I've spent 36 years of my life living on the left column of the above table. Only the last few years, I have discovered life on the right column. It sounds hard to achieve at first, but it is really that first 5 seconds when you wake up that determines the rest of your day.

Which side of the column on the table you'd like to live?


Apple Disrupted Space-Time-Continuum of My Life

Apple's way of naming their products has thrown my life into chaos! :(

This has been happening quite a lot now. Coming from a nerdy camp of being a programmer, I was taught to name my files/codes/variables/objects in a certain way - using a camel-case naming convention, like in Java programming language.

With the camel-case, you join all the words together, capitalizing the beginning of each word. This gives an appearance of up-and-down lumps like on the back of a camel. For example:

CustomerDeliveryAddress, or

You get the idea. I've been using this method for years. For years, I lived in harmony of seeing beautiful file naming convention. For years, I looked and am impressed with the list of filenames on my computer's folders or directories. I could spent all my morning, sipping my cup of Joe and said proudly to myself,

"boy! Look at that impressive list of file names!"
My harmony was disturbed and ended when I started blogging about Apple's stuffs. On many occasions, I had this problem when naming files:



They all look odd. The eccentric looking beautifully crafted filenames are gone. The space and time continuum of my life is disrupted. I had to come up with a new scheme. Something that will look equally good. Lately I started to name my files/objects/classes/variables as follow:


I cannot change one thing and not changing the others. So these days, I've adopted this convention when I code. I was almost contented and pleased with this new naming scheme. Almost back to the point where I can enjoy my morning coffee staring at these names with the new found beauty. Until I started looking at my old source codes.

No! No! No!

As I said, I cannot change one thing and not changing the others. The old source codes are still using the old convention. I am going to be busy this long weekend. I have to change them all. Maybe, I can come up with some program to do this for me. This is like writing a mini compiler.

I am going to be busy.

Very busy.

Better get start now.

(Updated: I had a brief moment of pleasure when seeing an odd *expression* on iCuriosity2's face when she approved this blog)


Working with iPad: Consuming the Internet and Social Network (2/2)

(Continue from the previous post where we looked at how iPad was put into use in semi-working life)

Application switching
This is a mix bag feeling, mostly it is down to each individual app. Most non Apple apps insist on displaying the flash screen and logos. Safari is an example of the good guy who simply restores you back to where you were. Dictionary.com app is an example of when I get annoyed the most, it does not remember the last word you looked up and neither restore you back there. How to write 'mississippi' again? Switch to Dictionary app and I'll have to retype part of that word in again. You know what I mean.

The iPad OS itself has this one flaw - each time I switch app it put me back on the home screen. This was where I had to hunt for where the next app icon was. On iOS4, double-tap on the home button will expose the list of apps in the last-recent used fashion. Easy for me to switch back to the previous app.

Creating artwork
Simply cannot be done on iPad. This is when I had to go back to my MacBook. Nothing can replace my Photoshop. Question is - how do I get my photos on my camera to the iPad in the first place?

Posting blogs
A bit disappointed on this one. I can not find one good app for this. BlogPress is only good for simple blogs. I had to resort to Evernote and did the final edit on my MacBook. Blogger.com's editor in "Compose" doesn't even work with Safari on iPad. I had to use "Edit HTML" mode.

Twitter, Facebook, and other social net
Disappointed again. I try to like Tweetdeck, but it is too buggy. In the end, I ended up with Safari. Accessing these social website through Safari allows me to switch around from one page to another or from one app to another easier. Switching to Tweetdeck is annoying as it displays the logo and refresh all the columns every single time. And it takes too long to do this. For Facebook, at the time of this writing, there wasn't any Facebook app available.

In summary
By the end of my second week with the iPad, I was quite well adapted and adjusted. Me grabbing the iPad before tucking myself down on the couch become almost my second nature. However, if you read all of the above (I hope), you will notice one consistent frustration - an annoyance of switching between non Apple apps. Will I take iPad to my real professional work? Hmm. I will say it's almost there. Maybe, just maybe, iOS4 will complete this.


Working with iPad: Getting Media Onto the iPad - Duh!

This coming weekend is a long weekend here in Australia. As a matter of fact, Monday is our last holiday we will have before a loooooong stretch non-stop working days until November.
"What a sad life", I hear you thinking.
As you can guess, I really look forward for this one and started planning for my holiday and, of course, to maintain my nerdy quality, there is no way I am going to leave my new gorgeous babe at home - the iPad.

The iPad seems to be one single device that can serve *me* in many purposes. On the long trip, I could listen to music, watch some movies, read some books. On a not-so-isolate areas, I could surf the net, send some mails, tweet, or update status on Facebook. The iPad's screen size would be perfect for reviewing all the pictures I take during the trip. And if I am in the mood, I may write some journal or blog about it. All on one device! :-)
Hang a sec. There is something not quite right!
Then, it hit me hard! There is no directly route to get my media files onto the iPad. Duh!

My usual gadgets to carry around during my holiday would be:
  • iPhone w/ charger
  • my Panasonic GH1 with lenses and charger
  • Tripod, camera cleaning kits, carry case
  • Some spare memory cards and card reader
  • Lots of spare batteries
The BIG question is how I am going to get my pictures and video files from my camera or iPhone into the iPad?

As you can see from the picture, there is no direct single route to do this. Apple makes sure that if you buy one, you'll have to buy the others suite of their products. So it seems that I will also have to bring my macbook along. And the battery. And the charger. And the bag (for notebook). And the security lock. Can you imagine a guy with two wives, one kid, and one dog. Opps! Sorry, a guy with 1 wife, 2 kids, and a dog going on a trip carrying all of his gadgets along?

Why can't my iPhone transmit files to iPad?
Why can't I just put memory card from my camera to the iPad?
Why can't I connect my gadgets to the iPad via USB?
Why can't the iPad tether to the iPhone and see it as hotspot?
Why can't...

Oh, well...


Let's talk about buying the new iPhone 4. ;-)


Working with iPad: Consuming the Internet and Social Network (1/2)

It has been almost 2 weeks with iPad. Two weeks of trying to use iPad for my semi-daily work. Sadly, I am still too shy to bring it to work, i.e., to meetings and jot notes. I've waited two weeks to write this article, just don't want to give judgement prematurely so I set to give myself 2 weeks to adjust and learn to live/work with the new device.

I started with somewhat set of simple tasks first, like surfing the net, and blogging.These involve:

  • researching. A lot of reading and searching also look up words and spelling
  • lot of typing and taking notes
  • switching back and forth between reading and writing
  • creating artwork. Download media. Crop and resizing images
  • posting blogs
  • posting to Twitter, Facebook, Digg, and etc
Safari is the best. In fact, on iPad, there is no substitute for that. With Safari, I can jump around between websites up to 9 sites. There is only one thing that annoys me. That is the limited amount of memory on iPad. When I opened many pages at once, the iPad tends to run out of memory. As a result, the visiting page gets to reload every time I switch to it. With wifi access, this is ok. However, it gets more annoying when accessing the net over 3G.

Taking notes
Maybe this is just me - iRobot. I adapted the new keyboard quite quickly. I've found typing on the on-screen keyboard is ok. The last thing I want from this uber mobile device is to always have to carry an external keyboard around. For the software, Evernote is king. I like their iPhone version, and Mac os x version. The iPad version is even better than the iphone one. *Love* how Evernote put me back to where I was after switching to other apps. [picture here] Having said that, it still displays that green elephant briefly each time switching to it. iOS 4 will probably fix this.

(This blog is getting too long. In the next blog(s), we will take a look at how I coped switching back and forth between apps, and the summary view of what I've found. Please check back again.)


Tips: Problem Getting Out of The Bed? - Try Push-Up

It was so dark. It was icy cold. Your bed was warm and the most comfy spot in the universe. If not because of that darn alarm clock that was blaring its butt off, you'd want to curl your body in, under the blanket and hugging that someone who is warm and cuddly. You reached your hand out, slammed hard on the clock, hitting the snooze button, and quickly retracted you hand back into the warm heaven.
"5 minutes more and I'll get up", you told yourself.
Sun came up! You sprang out of the bed. "Hooo leeee s#$@!!" You looked for the clock and found that you've tugged it in so deep in the bed that you didn't hear it rung. It was 8am. You are late! Really late!

Does that sound familiar to you? I don't know about you, but this scene has been played repeatedly again and again throughout my life. I have tried unsuccessfully many methods that will kick me out of the bed and into my day productively. The most daredevil one was setting the clock at 5am and hid it under my dad's bed. That worked well for a while, until one late Friday night that I decided to stay over at a friend's place - forgetting all about that magic clock under dad's bed.

Recently I thought up of a new tactic. Beside morning run, I visit gym later during the day - push-up, crouch-up, chin-up, and other stuffs were parts of the routines. The last time I checked, you don't have to do these inside the gym. So I started doing some of these exercises other time during the day - like in the morning.

*WARNING: Please check this with your doctor first. See warning note below *

It turned out this worked so well. I kept my exercise-mat under my bed. 5 am, before the clock went off, I rolled out and start doing push-up. This went in automatic mode, Don't let yourself time to think or to feel (the cold) or to find any excuse, just simply roll to the side of the bed and start pushing. I started off with 20s, then 50s. Four or five weeks later, I can do 100s.

Believe me, at the end of 100th push-up, you won't want to go back to sleep. These days, I simply continue with crouch-up and a morning run. Never miss a day.

If you'd like to try this out, please be very careful. If you have heart condition or not in a good shape, please consult your doctor first. Go slow. Do not rush. Try push-up 10 times first few days, then gradually increase it. If you feel dizzy or feel bad, stop.
(available under Public Domain license, wikipedia.org)

The Art of Surveillance

When I was young, I used to love reading detective novels such as Nancy Drew, Sherlock Holmes, etc., hence my interest in surveillance.

"The art of surveillance ... is being able to think on your feet, trusting your intuition, adapting to the case requirements, using unorthodox methods if necessary, but staying within the parameters of the law." Pierre A. McLean

The power of observation is also important. For example the ability to observe and memorise such that we can rewind what we observed at will.

What is Good Quality Childcare?

Many researches were carried out in the U.S., U.K., and Australia about childcare and they all have negative and positive feedback, but there's not a marked difference between the pros and cons.

Parents who are about to return to the workforce, looking for the best available childcare for their child is of the utmost importance. This is no easy task as every child is different and the younger the child the harder it is to find good quality care.

Having worked in the childcare industry for a number of years, I've noticed that children under the age of 2 should be cared for in the home environment and that the carer to child ratio should be 1:3. This gives the child a more personalised care but also with stimulation and socialisation with a small group of other children, and as such can only be found in a high quality Family Day Care.

There are a number of options of childcare available such as Long-Day Childcare, Family Day Care (FDC), Community-based Child Care, and Nanny.

Hiring a nanny is an alternative to sending your child to childcare, it's a personalised childcare but the child may not have any interactions with other children and this can impede their development.

I highly recommend that parents do a thorough research in the type of care that is best for their child as every child is their own person and have their own individual needs and as such should not be passed around between 2, 3 or 4 different carers in a day.

www.afr.com | Good Quality Is Key Ingredient for Effective Childcare :
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Dreaming - Optimization Process for *my* Computer

I had a dream.

Ahem, this is not the beginning of Martin Luthur King's speech, but I did really have a dream last night.

This morning while I was brushing my teeth, I could have sworn that I had a dream. But I couldn't remember what it was. Some how I knew for sure that I did dream. It was good and exciting. But I couldn't remember what it was about!


Being in IT and very nerdy, I was thinking if I were to design a brain computer, what I would design for it to do when it is idle.

Here are the list of tasks or high level routines for my brain computer:

Go over the cache and purge out-dated files or pieces of information

When the mind goes over these information, this is probably when flashback occurred.

As it tries to decide which pieces of info are still relevant, it probably tries with all possibilities to connect several pieces together and decides whether any of these make sense. This is the validation process and probably is when I experience weirdness or impossibility - like I could fly and etc.

Defragment chunks of information

Now it's time for shuffling pieces of info around to make room for new information. Many pieces of info would be rearranged at this time. As the result, the mind/brain would see stories from the past. For example, seeing great grandpa or ex-girlfriend(s) ;)

Re-analyze and re-indexing

Now that all pieces of info are in place, it's time to optimize indexes for search. This sometime involves simulating scenes or scenarios and try to determine or guess the usage. This is when the brain sees fantasy or the future.

Discarding all work files in the temporary areas

My program would create sandboxes or virtual areas to do all the above works.

Note that the brain (well, my brain) does some kind of verification and tagging of all info it receives. It tags each info with the source of the information: seeing, hearing, touching, feeling, tasting. Other pieces of information are production of applying logics: deduction, induction, heuristic (a.k.a guessing) and so on.

Since production of dreaming does not fit with the verification process above, therefore it should be done in the sandbox and get purged or discarded when done.

And this is probably why I could not remember most of my dreams. This probably answers, too, why my brain degrades in term of functioning when I don't have enough sleep - can't remember things, forgetful, or slow to retrieve info, and etc.

Anyway, finished brushing my teeth and it's time to actually wake up and carry on with the rest of the day.


Get The Best Carer For Your Child

How to choose the best care for your child is of utmost importance when parents are considering return to the workforce. Sometimes, we're biased in our decisions when visiting childcare centres that have flashy, new play equipments or those with the latest toys and forget to consider the interaction between child and carer.

When considering childcare, there are other alternatives to childcare centres such as Family Day Care, Community Child Care and Long Day Care (these are usually operating in centres).

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Ways of saving money.

As children we were brought up by our parents not to waste money. For example, turn off the lights in rooms that we don't use, or make sure that the taps are turned off properly, or eat every grain of rice in our bowl, so that not even one grain of rice goes to waste.

Now that I have my own children, I tried to tell them the same things about how to minimise waste and never take things for granted.

Waste Not ... Want Not.

Tips: Improve Memory Retention by Chaining

for-knight-to-won, for-once-one-fights. night-owl-to-tree find-three-eggs-too
It has been 15 years, since I left Singapore and to these days I still can remember my credit card number that I used there! The credit card account, which since I have cancelled, would have been deleted, shredded, and buried for eternity. But these numbers stuck in my head.

This is not a new concept. I have read it years ago (well at least 15 years ago) the technique of improving your memory by chaining things together. The idea is to associate things you want to remember with something else. Something else that will make you remember. Something that will catch your mind. Something interesting. I can't remember my boss' surname (there is nothing impressive about him) but I can still remember our tech guy - David "McGyver" McGhee. Yes, because I associated him with McGyver - he seemed to be able to fix anything in the company.

For numbers, I use the phonetic technique - a technique that links each number to its similar phonetic sounds, for example:

0 - zero, sorrow, oh, owl, none, awe, awesome
1 - one, once, won, ace
2 - two, to, too
3 - three, tree
4 - four, for
5 - five, fight, find
6 - six, sick
7 - seven, steven
8 - eight, egg, ate
9 - nine, night, knight

Then, base on each number's phonetic sound, you try to come up with some story. The one that makes sense to you. For example,

one-night-sick-knight sorrow-steven to-awe(some)
One(1) night(9) a sick(6) knight(9), sorrow(0) Steven(7) soared to(2) awesome(0). That is 1969-07-20, the date that man landed on the moon.

Now try again, and see if you can decipher my credit card number?

References and Reading Materials
  1. Image: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:PET-image.jpg
  2. memoryimprovementcentral.com | Boost Your Memory by Using the Link Method
  3. ezinearticles.com | Memory Techniques for Better Information Retention

Get Properties for Bargains!

Here's how to sell your properties for nothing.

Rule of thumb is: Don't unnecessary effort, time or money on anything and your property will be very attractive to buyers.

According to www.theage.com.au | Domain : How to get a rock-bottom price, follow these tips and you can't go wrong. LOL.

Tips: The 45-Minute Rule

The first day of the month, a good day to start something new. So, I set out to commit myself with the 45-Minute rule. That's right. 45-Minute rule dictates that you (should) never do any task for longer than 45 minutes. You break a big task into sizable chunks, each of which can be completed within 45 minutes. If any task takes longer than this time frame, I will take a break. 45-minute rule also promotes the idea of varying your tasks around. That is at the end of each 45-minute round, I will choose something else different to do.

This practice is based on 2 widely known observations:
  1. Human attention span is limited and varies from person to person. In addition, most effective (and less error prone) result is gained from this period. I picked 45 minutes because this duration suits me. For someone else, i.e. a child, this duration could be shorter, say 10 - 15 minutes.
  2. By varying your tasks, this allows different parts of your body to be utilized and rest respectively.
These are all the good benefits I've found (these are not exhaustive list):
  • By breaking big task down to sizable sub tasks, promote good discipline of think-before-you-do, a.k.a planning
  • You will be more focus
  • More effective
  • Less error
  • More interesting and less boring in what you do. I find I enjoyed my work more
  • I get to use/exercise different parts of my brain/body
  • Be more aware of your surrounding environment - that you don't bog down on the one task for too long
If you are interested in Varying Your Tasks, and Take Frequent Breaks concepts, here are more reference reading materials I've found useful:

[1] www.articlesbase.com | How To Increase You Energy Level at Work
[2] www.examiner.com | Work-life balance: taking frequent breaks throughout the day lets you stay alert, work less
[3] www.buzzle.com | How to Deal with Stress at Work
[4] helpguide.org | Stress at Work: How to Reduce and Manage Job and Workplace Stress