Baby experts give bad advice

Sometimes, people think waaay too much. And, I bet the people who came up with this idiotic idea don't even have kids. 

Before you read the portion of the ignorant story, please know that my philosophy is:

Kids need parents to make decisions because they are not developed enough to make them by themselves.

Expert: ask baby before changing nappy 
By CATHERINE WOULFE - Sunday Star Times
Parents should be treating babies and toddlers with more respect, a visiting academic says, and that means talking to infants as if they are adults, never putting them in high chairs or leaving them in car seats, and steering clear of many popular toys.
From day one, early childhood expert Polly Elam says, parents should also consult their baby before picking them up, changing their nappy or taking them on outings. That means talking the baby through what you are about to do, before you do it – and waiting for their response.
If parents skip this consultation, they should later apologise to the baby and explain why they acted hastily.
Critics say the strategy, called Resources for Infant Educarers (RIE), is a waste of time for busy parents. But Elam says it leads to confident, happy children with high self-esteem who can solve problems....

I cannot imagine speaking to a toddler like an adult. What sort of reaction is s/he going to give me...a fart? ...a burp? ...a two-minute diatribe about why s/he doesn't want to be picked up?

I believe it was a very slow news day....


For my American readers

I got this in an email today and thought it was a really great idea!

Want to have some fun this Christmas? Send the ACLU a CHRISTMAS card! 
As they are working so very hard to get rid of the CHRISTMAS part of the holiday season, we should all send them a nice, CHRISTIAN card to brighten up their dark, sad, little world.
Make sure it says "Merry Christmas" on it.
Here's the address:
125 Broad Street
18th floor 
New York, NY 10004
[Just don't be rude or crude.]
Two tons of Christmas cards would probably slow down their operations a bit because they wouldn't know if any of the envelopes contained contributions, but it's such a nice gesture to let them know you care.
So, spend 44 cents and tell the ACLU to leave Christmas alone!  You can also include the facts that there is no such thing as a 'holiday tree'--it's always been a Christmas tree!
Pass this on, if you like. We really want to communicate with the ACLU! They really deserve to hear what Americans really think!

For those of you who aren't  aware of them, the ACLU, (the American Civil Liberties Union) is suing the U.S. Government to take God, Christmas or  anything Christian away from Americans. They represent the atheists  and others in this war. Help put Christ back in Christmas!


Chocolate and sweet memories

Milo is the best selling brand of chocolate drink mix here in NZ. The brand was launched in 1934, although I barely heard of it before I moved here. It is owned by Nestles, [ which has its own interesting history, starting in Switzerland.]

Nestles Quik is also sold here and, while the kids were having some for breakfast this morning, I regaled them with my imitation of Farfel. Remember him?

So, I just had to show them the 'real' thing--as I'm convinced they think I have lost my mind and make up most of the 'facts' I shower upon them. This is the first video I came across...

After they left for school, I did a bit of research on good ol' Farfel and found out that he was created in the wee hours of the morning in Wichita, KS, when comedian Jimmy Nelson picked up a stuffed dog to entertain a rather small audience. His name came from menus from the Catskills (a type of noodle). [If you want the whole story, click here].

And that, my dear readers, is how a legend was 'born'.


More trivial things

Rangipo hydroelectric station is completely underground.

The Chatham Islands are the home to the taiko, the world's rarest sea bird.

The Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) was introduced in 1972. It covers all injuries except those that are self-inflicted or suicide attempts.

Pai Marire, a Maori religious movement, was based on the belief that Maoris were one of the lost tribes of Israel.

Kokako is a native NZ bird that seldom flies more than 100 meters at a time. It usually scampers up a tree then glides where it wants to go.

Moawhango tunnel on the Tongariro River is the longest hydro tunnel in the world. It took 10 years to build.

In Onehunga, in 1893, Elizabeth Yates became the first woman elected mayor of a municipality of the British Empire.

The katipo spider is the only dangerously poisonous creature in NZ.

Nightcaps, a coal mining town, is named after the conical hills to the north of town.

There is a pacifist commune in Lower Moutere, Atami Village in the Motueka Valley, that has been ongoing since the 1940's.

NZ boasts the longest place name in the world:
Click on the name for the story behind the name.

Maoris used the ash from burnt gum for dye for tattoos.

Annaliese Coberger was the first southern hemisphere athlete to win the Giant Slalom in the 1992 Winter Olympics.

A giant snail called the kauri snail, or pupurangi, is found on the Hen and Chicken Islands and nowhere else in the world.

Dunedin streets were the first in NZ to be lit by gas.

James Ward won the Victoria Cross in WWII for climbing out onto the wing of a burning Wellington bomber to plug a hole near the engine to keep leaking fuel from destroying the plane.

The first productive oil well in NZ--and the British Empire--was in New Plymouth.

Ferries leaving Wellington on the north island must travel north to get to the south island.

The only NZer to win a world title in boxing was Thomas Murphy in 1890. He was once expelled from school for hitting a teacher.

Mount Ruapehu is an active volcano that has seven small glaciers on its flanks.

General Motors opened a plant in Petone in 1926. It produced GM cars, including the first Holden in 1957, until 1984.

Musick Point, near Auckland, is named for Edwin C. Musick, the American who pioneered commercial air flights between the US and NZ.

Kate Evans was the first NZer woman to earn a BA degree.

The only residents on Little Barrier Island are the park ranger and his family.

For more NZ trivia, click 'NZ trivia' in my label cloud.


Whoda thunk, Mr. Wilson?!

I only remember "Dennis the Menace" as a TV series back in...well, a long time ago, but it looks like the Brits had an infatuation with him long before and long after the American version was done.

I was over at kiwi thoughts on life..... and there was an article that says that Dennis was based on a Kiwi kid! Click here for the article from The Telegraph paper.

Whoda thunk, Mr. Wilson?


A bit of maori...

When I lived in Kansas, I thought the few Native American names for places were interesting and I tried to do a bit of research on the meanings, but to little avail.

Now that I am in a country where the indigenous folks are not as suppressed, I find the native (Maori) language more accessible. It is, of course, related to the Hawaiian (Polynesian) language and has 20 letters, the 'wh' being pronounced 'f'.

This is just for fun and they are not an exact study of the language, so please take it for what it's worth!!
  • tai - coast
  • wai - water
  • ika - fish in general
  • kai - food
  • tau - you or spouse
  • ua - rain
  • pori - people
  • whare - house
  • wake - walk
  • naka- there (near you)
  • po - darkness, sunset
  • nui - big
  • taraki - land breeze 
  • rewa - mast, high
  • tau - age
  • aroha - love
  • hoa - friend
  • maru - gentle, sheltered
  • wanga - wait or bay
  • whanga - await
  • koura - shrimp, crayfish
  • tara - peak
  • wa - time, season
  • rei - pursue
The next time you look at a New Zealand map, you can figure out the meaning of some of the place names!

Many girls are named Aroha.


some observations

I find it totally cool how I can see the moon almost every night. It comes up over the neighbor's house and before I go to bed--which is rather late most nights--it has passed over the house and is shining on the pond. When it's full, it lights up the whole side garden and peeks through the glass on that side of the house.

I don't ever recall any rules about kids having sunhats before they can play at school in the States. But, then, I guess the pollution takes care of most if the sun's rays getting through. Here, the kids are required to have sunhats at school or they are not allowed to go outside to play.

When toast is involved for breakfast, the family serves it under the eggs. They think I'm weird to have it buttered and on the side.

I never would have thought that things like cheese or wine would have completely different names from one country to the next.

TV here is strange different. With MySky (tivo) we record things on a whim that we wouldn't ordinarily watch. Many times, we find a new program to look forward to.

Mythbusters, AFV and the Simpsons are on a LOT of channels. M/B is good but the Discovery channel started repeating the same program, as they did with Dirty Jobs.

The X-files finished the series and started over a couple months ago.

Dexter finally got to the next series.

Murder, She Wrote just started. Yay!

House is repeats, but I can deal with it since his clever sarcasm is the best part.

I guess it's good that I'm not a hard-core TV fan because I'm sure that some of the American programs that we get are old before they get here. But that's OK. I didn't have any TV (by choice) for about a year before I came to NZ, so I'm obviously not that picky!


The bees find a new home

A couple of posts back I showed you a hive of bees hanging off my rhododendron.  Personally, I was a bit worried about them because people would be passing close by. So, I called the council and such folks to see what our options were. It seems we'd have to pay someone to get rid of them if they didn't leave on their own, which would be a shame since bees in NZ are scarce.

Then my really smart Hubby said he was going to call the local apiary and see if they wanted them (and that's why I keep him around). The apiary said people were lining up queuing for hives and gave him a few names and numbers. He called some and the first one to answer said he would be here that evening to get them.

We were excited that we would be able to watch him in action, removing this dangerous  horde of wild bees!

Well, so much for the excitement. He just lowered the branch until the hive was in his basket, snipped off the branch and covered it with a sheet.

It was a bit of a let down that there wasn't more to it, but I'm glad they found a nice home where they can work for their room and board.


trivial things

  • Store being open for business on Sundays only started in 1989. Most small town places are closed up on Saturdays.
  • In the first 4 years that Te Papa, a large museum in Wellington,  was open, there were more than 6 million visitors.
  • 'Velvet Face', 'Minstrel' and 'The Herald' were three of the first recording labels in NZ. 
  • In 1938, a cloudburst hit Wairoa and 21 people drowned.
  • Charles Darwin was responsible for the first recorded cricket match played in NZ, in 1835.
  • In 1923, divorce was possible only after three years of living separately. Now it's possible after one year separation.
  • Experiments in aerial sowing of farmlands were made from a hot-air balloon near Blenheim.
  • NZ logged the first UFO encounter by radar and camera.
  • Car registration became compulsory in 1905.
  • The streets of the town of Stratford are all named after characters or places from Shakespeare plays. It is located on the Patea River, hence it calls itself Stratford upon Patea.
  • The first functioning electron microscope was set up in NZ in 1949.
  • NZer Lorraine Downes was Miss Universe 1983.
  • In 1869, prostitutes had to register with the police and were examined regularly for contagious diseases.
  • NZ had the first women police officers in 1942.
  • There were no radio broadcasts in NZ prior to WWI. After the war, NZ and the Falkland Islands were the only countries in the world where locals were banned from owning a radio receiver.
  • High winds blew a passenger train off the Rimutaka Rail incline in 1880, killing 3 children and injuring 21 others.
  • In 1906, basketball rules were misinterpreted and netball was born in NZ.
  • Trains crossing the runway of Gisborne Airport have to give way to landing planes. Only cars must give way to planes in Ohakea.
  • In 1942, Japanese reconnaissance flights were made over Wellington and Auckland.
  • Cecil Wood build NZ's first motorcycle in 1901. He also build the first motorcar that he drove around in Timaru.


Betcha don't have one of these!

Yesterday, I found this hanging from the rhododendron bush!

I'd never have thought that the center of a rhodo bloom would be a good place for a beehive! When I enquired as to what to do about it, it was suggested that they are only here temporarily and  will move on soon. I sure hope so, since it's next to the sidewalk footpath.Weird.


Look what the cat dragged in

The family keeps trying to tell me that 'Bubba wuvs me' but I still have my doubts. They say the stuff he leaves outside is proof. He has killed birds and mice and left them in the driveway or the yard, but this time, he brought this HUGE rat into the house and dropped it about five feet behind me then waited for me to turn around and notice. YUCK!  I'm just glad it was very dead!

Don't you wish you were so wuvved?!!


More NZ trivia

My first post of NZ trivia can be found here. I thought I'd give you a little more to wonder about marvel at from this strange interesting place.

  • NZ has about 600 museums and art galleries.
  • The first white women to arrive were escaped convicts from Australia in 1806.
  • 'Cervena' is the trade name for farm-raised NZ deer.
  • Prostitution was decriminalized in 2003.
  • In 1898, 'old age pension' was introduced in NZ, the first of it's kind in the world. 
  • The 'widow's pension' became law in 1911.
  • There are 30 species of fleas here.
  • NZ's first record-pressing plant opened in Wellington in 1948. The first record produced was 'Buttons and Bows' by Dinah Shore.
  • Leonard Deogood was a Charlie Chaplin impersonator who starred in several NZ comedies in the 1920's.
  • Color TVs came to NZ in 1973.
  • 23,000 NZers worked on the Lord of the Rings movies.
  • The international date line passes about 160 kilometers from Gisborne.
  • Gavin McCormick formed his own political party, called "The Pull Yourself Together Party".
  • New Zealand was the first country in the world to give women the right to vote.
  • Pygmy pines grow in the alpine regions of NZ.
  • Kaimanawa horses are a feral breed that roam in the Kaimanawa mountains of the northern island.


Flashback time!

vibration 600 exercises
I would be curious to know of the vitality600 is being advertised in the US. 'They' (whoever 'they' are) say that there has been just oodles of research gone into this 'new' way to exercise. You can exercise every part of your body, apparently, as long as you can fold yourself up like a pretzel and still put some part of your anatomy onto the vibrating pad.

We have been seeing ads for this vibrating machine for a couple of week now and, every time I see it, I get a flashback to the '60s that looks something like this:

My problem with the whole thing is this: If vibrating your body without exerting any effort was such a terrific way to lose weight, why did it die in the '60s? *shakes head and walks away*