Monday, February 28, 2011

Happy Vegetarians

Ha! Ha!  I just have to toot the vegetarian horn a little bit.  Reasearchers often use Seventh Day Adventists as subjects because they tend to be the longest lived group of Americans (of any significant size).  Some have tried to claim that these people live so long because they follow a strict lacto-ova vegetarian diet.  Others claim this is not the case, and it is the lack of alcohol or tobacco, the sense of community, or the religious purpose that lead to longevity.  Along comes this study and a companion that compare meat eating vegetarians to the rest.  It seems that not only are the vegetarians longer lived, but they are also happier!  As far as I am concerned, a long and happy life is all once can hope for in the end. 

Friday, February 25, 2011

Baby's Favorite Toys --- Ten Months

Delphinium is a girl of many strong passions, but they are as changeable as the wind.  One moment she is in love with one particular toy, and then the next moment she's on to something else.  Therefore, I thought it would be fun to occasionally list her top favorites.  That way we can keep track of the way her tastes mature.  Also it will probably be hilarious to her in a few years to know what objects used to be so entertaining.  If only I'd done this four or five months ago!  Oh well.

10.Big blue spiky ball (she can roll back and forth to another)
9. Fluffy black and white doggie, Jack (thanks Grandma)
8. Books! (she will cheerfully sit through a dozen if you will keep reading)
7. Chewy raspberry binkies (thanks Auntie C.)
6. Bath time dinosaurs (sometimes they migrate out of the bathroom too)
5. Bug jar with fabric bugs (you can take them out and put them in and out and in and...)
4. Singing piggy bank (thanks again Auntie C. though at times I curse you! JK!)
3. Sophie the giraffe (in all her rubbery goodness)
2. Stacking rings (a true classic)
1. Tigger airplane walking/riding toy (it lights up and sings!)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Baby Wants a Duck

Two other activities we very much enjoyed on our trip to California were the San Diego Zoo and the San Diego Safari Park.  They seemed like a good choice for our little girl, and we were not disappointed when we got inside the gates.  As soon as we saw the first animals, the chattering and waving began.  Perhaps all kids love animals?  Ours is certainly a fan. 

Our very first display at the zoo was an enclosure of mixed water birds.  Ducks have always been popular with Delphinium, so she was very excited to see more.  We were able to push her stroller right up to the barrier, and she made all sorts of excited noises about them.  Then, all of a sudden, she noticed the flamingoes in the background.  Silence.  All wiggling and commenting stopped.  She just looked and looked with her mouth open.  Her attention was completely rapt, and it took several minutes before she started making "oooo" noises again.

Nothing else was ever quite as exciting as the birds.  Meerkats came a close second, but she also got a little mad because she couldn't actually play with them.  The lions were not at all interesting until one decided to get up and wander around.  That got her attention.  Those were some seriously big kitties!  It's such fun watching her discover things.  I hope that never loses its charm. 

Monday, February 21, 2011

Ten Things That Amuse Baby and Kitty

10. Small balls
9. Flashlights
8. Birds seen outside the window
7. Squirrels
6. Ribbons
5. Bugs
4. Dancing  rainbows thrown by a prism
3. Baby blankets
2. The vaccuum
1. Daddy!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Cute Baby Bits #5879

A few weeks ago Delphinium was the lucky recipient of a helium balloon.  It was shaped like a purple heart, and had a weight on the bottom to make it float around near the ground.  She thought this was pretty much the most exciting thing she'd ever seen, and she was especially thrilled when it got in the car to come home with us.  It had been a very exciting morning all around, so we weren't in the car for long before she was yawning and rubbing her eyes.  Nevertheless, the pull of the balloon was strong.  She kept chatting to it and trying to bat the string.  Finally, as we were about to get on the highway, I could see her giving one last little exhausted wave to the wonderful balloon.  It really looked like she was moving both chubby little hands in slow motion.  Then she conked out completely for the rest of the trip.   

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Miss Him

Yesterday would have been my grandfather's birthday, if he were still with us, and I still miss him ever so much.  He was one of those people whom everybody loves.  He always played up a loveable but slightly bumbling persona (at least with us grandkids) but his kindness and intelligence always came pouring through.  I'm still so grumpy that he's gone (he would have loved Delphinium) but I try to be grateful that I got to have him as a grandfather for as long as I did.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's '11

Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind, And therefore is winged Cupid painted blind.  (Shakespeare)

Happy Valentine's Day to everybody near and far, but most especially to my own sweet M.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011


In all the excitement of the last few weeks I've completely forgotten to mention the teeth!  Delphinium got to her nine month doctor check without a single one, and I was actually starting to wonder.  She's been drooling and chewing for months now, and I wasn't sure anything would EVER come of it.  However, just a few days after the doctor visit, she had a VERY bad night and wouldn't sleep from 1am to 4am.  I wasn't sure what it might mean, but then the next day M felt a tiny point in her mouth! 

She got a front bottom tooth first, unlike all her teething friends, she got a top tooth after that.  The second one was a big surprise for us since she didn't even get a bump on her gum before popping it through.  I should have known though because the night before was another no sleeper.  Now we are up to three teeth with a forth one very much in the offing. Delphinium may have started slow, but she's making up for lost time.

Monday, February 07, 2011

Top Five Movies? How About Fifteen?

In honor of the Oscars coming up at the beginning of March, some bloggers are putting out lists of their top five favorite movies of all time.  Now don't get me wrong, I love lists, they're just so wonderful and orderly, but FIVE!?  Really?  That's just way too hard.  How about the top five in a few different categories?  That makes it a little easier to swallow.  How about you?  Any great ones on your personal list?

Note:  We are playing with Elder Niece's rule: a multi-part series may be considered one entry (she loves list-making too)

Top Five Animated

1. Spirited Away
2. Howl's Moving Castle
3. Finding Nemo
4. Sleeping Beauty
5. Titan A.E.

Top Five Action/Adventure/Fantasy

1. The Princess Bride
2. Indiana Jones (the first three)
3. Star Wars (the original three)
4. Lord of the Rings (all)
5. Blade Runner

Top Five Drama/Mystery

1. Rebecca
2. To Kill a Mockingbird
3. Schindler's List
4. Good Will Hunting
5. Dead Poets Society

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Disneyland with Baby

Ah Disneyland, that famous landmark of childhood. I love to visit whenever I can (yes even as a young adult with no kids) but now I have a baby, and I wondered how things would be. Taking a nine month old baby to Disneyland may sound insane to some people, but I just had to give it a try. Lucky for us, we found that our little girl really seemed to enjoy her time in the magic kingdom. There are many rides and attractions that are suitable for babies, and several little perks that make taking a baby to the park a very reasonable proposition.

We started out by purchasing a three day park-hopper pass. These passes are often available for a discount, so it was not actually that much more than purchasing one day passes for each of the parks. The three day pass allowed us to break up our time into smaller chunks, just a few hours at a go, which was much more baby-friendly. When you have just a one day pass, one often feels like staying as long as humanly possible to get the most out of the experience.

Next, we rented a Disneyland stroller. Now this would not be necessary if we lived nearby, but since we had only our very small travel stroller along on this trip, it was better to pony up. The rental strollers are larger jogging type, and they offer much more comfort, storage, and sun protection that our little umbrella. Delphinium seemed quite happy to tool around in style. One stroller tip. Put a diaper in a clear plastic bag, and tie it to the handle of the stroller. There are so many of the same rental stroller around the park that some people make mistakes and take the wrong one. A seemingly dirty diaper keeps this from happening.

Now what did we do with the baby once we got into the park? There were two different approaches, and we used them both at different times. On our first visit, we had several other family members along as well. This is when we took advantage of the Kid Switch Pass. On a ride with Fastpass, go up to the castmember working this line, and ask for a Kid Switch Pass. Then, the group goes and waits in line and rides the attraction as they normally would. One adult remains with the baby, and then when the rest return he or she uses the Kid Switch Pass to go up the Fastpass return with one other adult. It's a great way to ensure that everyone gets to ride without having to wait in line twice. We got to ride Splash Mountain that way, and it worked perfectly! Wheeeee! We got soaked!

We took the baby on the haunted mansion (it was a little loud in the elevator, but I covered her ears) without any sadness, and then the Jungle Cruise got more than one "oooo" of appreciation from her. Adults also rode Space Mountain, Matterhorn, Big Thunder, and Pirate of the Caribbean. It was a great day, and our girl stayed awake the ENTIRE time. The last thing we did was visit Small World which is definitely a baby-friendly attraction if ever there was one.

Small World was, hands down, the baby's favorite ride. She was dancing in our arms while we were still waiting to get in the boat. The fabulous '60's era decorations, and the magical clock-work figures were just her cup of tea, and she made it clear to everyone in a ten foot radius how excited she was. It only got better once we got inside. She sat on Grandma's lap and watched it all with her mouth open. Anyone who says a baby can't really appreciate Disneyland is crazy.

Our very last day in the park it was only Mommy, Daddy, and Baby. On this day, we used the second approach to taking Baby to Disney. The whole day we did only things she could do with us. We rode the Finding Nemo submarines, went for a spin on the carousel (the only thing in the whole park that threatened to make her cry), rode the river boat (I haven't done that in years), and visited the petting zoo. Did you even know there was a petting zoo? Neither did I, but she had a ball meeting the world's cleanest goats. In short, we made it all about her. The pace was slow, the activities were limited, and it was such a wonderful time for all of us. I love seeing things from her perspective.

Some argue that babies don't really belong in Disneyland since they won't remember their experience. However, her enjoyment is something that will remain with her if in a less tangible way. Also, watching her enjoy the place is now one of my most memorable experiences there. I would take her back in a heartbeat.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Lunar New Year '11

Happy new year to all those who follow the lunar calendar!  I am told we are now entering the year of the metal rabbit, and this translates into a very polite and decorous time to come.  Diplomacy will be the order of the day, and we will all take time to stop and appreciate beauty in the world around us.  It sounds very nice.  Of course this is also supposed to describe the personalities of the people born in rabbit years.  Given that my eldest brother is a rabbit, I am really very suspicion about such predictions.  No matter what you believe; have a happy new year.  May it be a good one for you and yours.