Thursday, February 28, 2008
Monday, February 25, 2008
Exhibit A. He can get himself standing, and then even slide around. Here is an actual photo of the very first time he got himself from his bouncer (which he never sits in anymore, but loves to stand against) to the couch, which is adjacent.
Exhibit B. He is now so fast at crawling that he's across the house in seconds, not minutes. He has developed a love affair with the blinds in our kitchen and finds them endlessly entertaining. Also he likes minuscule pieces of debris on the floor, cords and cables, the heater, stray papers, the list goes on and on.
Exhibit C. The aforementioned speed of the crawl means that Stellan has become an intrepid explorer. No longer content with his long-established play area in the living room, he darts about the entire downstairs area. The plus side: he entertains himself much more and concerns himself with us much less, resulting in Mommy and Daddy eating meals together and actually getting stuff done. The bad side: we occasionally get so caught up in the stuff we're getting done, we look away from the baby for a few too many seconds and the following happens...
Yes, it's true; today he climbed the stairs for the first time. This is the first time he's even touched the stairs of his own volition, so I thought we had a little more time to prepare (i.e. get a gate). Nope. My academic interest in purchasing the right baby gate became instantaneously urgent this afternoon as I was working on some Girls Camp stuff at the computer and heard a clomping sort of sound. Sure enough, he had gotten himself up one stair and was working for the next. And, as you can see, very proud of himself.
P.S. No need to concern yourselves, we are now in possession of a baby gate. Some wonderful neighbors acted quickly, and I'm sure we have them to thank for the narrow escape of either brain damage (Stellan's) or a massive coronary infarction (mine).
Thursday, February 21, 2008
Granny, you are the best at reading me books.
I feel so safe and happy with you I can fall asleep just about anywhere.
I love all of our special talks, just the two of us.
I listen very closely to all the advice you give me and try to be good for Mommy and Daddy just because you asked me to.
I wish every day was a Granny day.
I love you,
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
I have had several requests to post something about the total lunar eclipse on Wednesday night. So I contacted my insider at the local natural history museum, who gave me permission to post the email she sent out regarding the eclipse. Here you go!
I'm excited to inform you that the total lunar eclipse on February 20th will be visible from Santa Barbara (and the rest of the United States). The moon rises at 5:39 PM that afternoon in Santa Barbara, and the eclipse begins at 5:43 PM. Totality starts at 7:01 PM and lasts until 7:51 PM. Although totality concludes then, the eclipse continues until 9:09 PM. In case you have any questions, or you get questions from friends or family, here are some answers:
Where should I look for the eclipse?
The eclipse will be visible in the east at sunset. The eclipse continues as the moon rises that evening. If you want to see the eclipse from the beginning, make sure you have a clear view of the eastern horizon.
Is the Museum offering a public viewing?
Yes! We'll be at Shoreline Park for the duration of the eclipse with the Santa Barbara Astronomical Unit. This is a free viewing, and appropriate for people of all ages. You'll find the event listed on the Museum's calendar at http://www.sbnature.org/eventcal/index.php?calview=event&event_id=704&prevview=month&year=2008&month=02&day=20 .
Why aren't you doing the viewing at the Museum?
Because we're located in a canyon, the Museum is not a good viewing spot for this eclipse; the moon will be too low in the sky to be visible from our Mission Creek campus.
Do you need a telescope to see the eclipse?
No. Anyone can view this eclipse without a telescope or binoculars. And unlike a solar eclipse, you don't need protect your eyes with filters. We will have telescopes at Shoreline Park, but those will be pointed at Mars, Saturn and other celestial targets.
What causes a lunar eclipse?
Lunar eclipses occur when the moon passes through the shadow of the earth. You might think that this process would make the moon completely dark, as the earth is completely blocking direct sunlight. Not so! Some sunlight passes through the earth's atmosphere, which filters out most of the blue light; a small fraction of the remaining red light is refracted and then hits the moon. That is why the moon looks reddish during totality.
How often do lunar eclipses occur?
Lunar eclipses can occur anywhere from 0 to 3 times in a single calendar year. However, not all eclipses are total eclipses, and any eclipse will only be visible from the side of the earth facing the moon. The next few lunar eclipses visible from the US include this year's eclipse, a partial and a total eclipse in 2010, a partial eclipse in 2012 and two total eclipses in 2014.
I've seen this eclipse listed as occurring on February 20th and February 21st. Which is it?
Both. The eclipse begins at 01:43 Universal Time (1:43 AM Greenwich Mean Time) on February 21st. However, that's 5:43 Pacific Standard Time on the preceding day, February 20th. So if you're in Morocco, the eclipse happens on the 21st; if you're in the US, it starts on the 20th.
Krissie, this is the most fascinating thing I've ever read. How can I find out more about lunar eclipses?
I'm so glad you asked. For more information about lunar eclipses, the best website I've found is the NASA Eclipse Homepage - http://sunearth.gsfc.nasa.gov/eclipse/eclipse.html - and has a special feature section about this upcoming eclipse. You'll find diagrams, descriptions, photos and more.
I hope to see you all at Shoreline Park, but if you can't make it, be sure to go outside between 7 and 8 PM and enjoy this cosmic phenomenon. Don't forget to drag anyone you can along with you! Please feel free to contact me with any further questions you might have.
Krissie Cook, Astronomy Programs Manager
Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History
Monday, February 18, 2008
We invited the moms, Stephie and the Thomases to a barbecue in Janae's honor.
And it was good.
On the way back to our apartment, somehow the lighter fluid opened and leaked all over everything in the plastic bag we were using for transport. Mostly that included drinks, cups, paper plates, a few dishes, and most importantly, the lighter. Hmm. If only Matt (AKA Elder Steward) were here...
Thursday, February 14, 2008
But despite my best efforts to not think about it too much, we were naturally very apprehensive about just about every aspect of the trip: the drive there, the lines, the sun, the rides, naps, feeding, overstimulation, potentially explosive diapers, the stroller; the list could go on and on. Luckily, with all the other stuff going on in our lives, we couldn't really dwell on it too long.
Before you know it, Saturday came. We popped over to the moms' house to hitch a ride with them, and Stellan promptly fell asleep. It helps that we left right around naptime.
We arrived in the heat of the day and with tons of people waiting to get tickets. A word to the wise - Vons sells Disneyland tickets in their stores; if you're going, get them at Vons and save yourself 45 minutes in line before you're even in the park.
Once we got in the gates and found KK and Alex, the good times definitely got rolling. We went on Buzz Lightyear, where you get to shoot at targets and compete with your carmate. Stellan rode with the grandmas and did pretty well.
The main challenges of the day were keeping Stellan hydrated and keeping his hat on. We tried. And that's about all I can say about that.
In the end, I'd say the part I was worried about most was the part that ended up going the most smoothly. Waiting in line turns out to be pretty decent with an infant, especially if you have a group of devotees willing to help entertain the child. Below are some photos of Stellan being entertained (and course entertaining) while waiting.
We also tried to get a family photo at a variety of locations throughout the day. Stellan was less than cooperative. However, he did really well with his Winnie the Pooh and Friends photo ops - if you think that larger-than-life stuffed animals must be tasted to be believed.
1. Bring grandmas.
2. Bring your own stroller, especially with a younger/smaller child.
3. Bring grandmas.
4. Don't strategize your trip like you did when you were younger/hipper/less parent-y; you're not anymore! It's OK to plan around nap time, take a break to eat, step out of line and even (gasp) not stay until the park closes. Because, believe me, that 4 AM feeding will still be waiting for you at home.
5. Bring grandmas.