Mornin' from China... We're taking off a week from tomorrow. I'm taking today (Sunday) off with my kids. Off from work and off from packing. Just need a day with my kiddos and a day of belly rest. I think I've got a bit of food poisoning (again, for like the 40th time in 4 1/2 years :). Hopefully it will be shortlived. My husband has two orchestra concerts as soloist this weekend and next - so he is off to Shanghai today. Our church said a blessing on us last night at mass, as it's the last time we'll be at church together as a whole family. We've gone to mass with the Korean community here for about 3 1/2 years - beautiful community and we've even learned a little Korean. It's been a really busy finish to our time in China, and it's hard to believe we're leaving!
Allergies - interesting topic! We have none in our family, so I never bothered to follow any restrictions - my kids had peanut butter and nuts prior to age 2 (more like shortly after age 1) and I broke all sorts of other food rules with them. I'm sure I wouldn't be so relaxed if we did have a family history. I will say though, it's really hard to follow any rules in China. Peanuts, soy, and eggs are everywhere. I feel really bad for any expats who come to China with allergies, because it's so so tough to eat anywhere - you're basically restricted to eating at home.
As for toddler advice - I've had one really tough high-needs little guy (still is) and one easier going little gal. Without knowing your situation, it sounds like he's a normal, high needs toddler - and that while he needs love and affection lavished on him - he also needs some positive discipline. So, for example, if my little girl doesn't want to get dressed in the morning, I just say, "Sure, no problem, but you'll be in your room until you'd like to put your clothes on. Bye bye!" and put her in her room and close the door (if you don't have a room, you could use a playpen - I did that with my son when he was little as our apartment wasn't as big). She pretty quickly realizes that's not where she wants to be and decides to get dressed quickly. I need quick solutions and have no time to coddle my toddlers - I have to go to work, I have other children, and I need them to respond. That said, I am not a spanker, and I try not to be a yeller (although late in pregnancy I'll admit my patience can wear thin). I like Love and Logic. So - those are my tips! Toddlers are complicated and tough... hang in there! But do try to outsmart him - he's not in charge!