Fun and Fascinating Ways to Celebrate Dr. Seuss’ Birthday

Dr. Seuss Day is tomorrow, March 2. On this day in 1904, the beloved children’s book author Dr Seuss was born Theodor Seuss Geisel in Springfield, Massachussetts. He adopted his pen name Dr. Seuss when he was still a university student in Dartmouth. That’s what he is most known for, although he also used other pseudonyms such as Theo LeSieg, Rosetta Stone, and Theophrastus Seuss.

From his name, Dr. Seuss is obviously of German descent, and if you know the most basic of the German language, you’ll know that Seuss should rhyme with choice and not choose; however, Dr. Seuss didn’t mind the anglicized pronunciation it popularly took on since it rhymed with Mother Goose. 🙂

I grew up loving Dr. Seuss books, even if the Cat in the Hat often stressed me out. 😀 Now, I’m happy to share the “obSeussion” with my kids. My 10-year old daughter, who’s all about being silly, can’t get enough of the rhymes. The two younger boys love the cadence of these rhymes when being read to, and they definitely also enjoy flipping through the pages and looking at the illustration.

In our family, children’s books do not remain in pristine condition. They also usually don’t stay in the bookcase either. I’m not one for keeping things that were meant for my kids out of their reach. Unfortunately, this means that some pages have rips, scribbles, drool marks, etc. Even the board books are far from damage-proof. This means that our Dr. Seuss books all bear the evidence of my kids’ fondness for them. See?

seuss books

And I wouldn’t have it any other way. But that’s just me. Different families, different values, different ways of doing things. 🙂

To celebrate Dr. Seuss’ birthday, the US assigned the date National Read across America Day. We’re not in the US, so we can’t observe that. 😀 Having said that, we’d definitely be reading our copies of Dr. Seuss’ books. We’d do other activities as well.  The day’s going to be pretty full. I should’ve made it Dr. Seuss week instead. Here are some of the things I’m including in the day’s program:

green eggs

  • Breakfast of green eggs and ham while listening and probably singing along to songs from Seussical the Musical. (I can paint the ham, but I think I’ll limit the food dye to the eggs. If you want to use something natural – although mine is store-bought “natural” food color – you could puree broccoli and mix it with beaten eggs for a green omelet.)

  • Dr. Seuss books read-aloud from my ten-year-old and our homeschool puppets. (save One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish for later)
  • Visit to Seussville.com for games.
  • First movie (Cat in the Hat).
  • Crafts: truffula trees (pipe cleaners and yarn pompoms), oobleck (homemade slime, basically), Cat in the Hat mask (construction paper and markers).


seuss-oobleck

  • Afternoon snack of homemade goldfish crackers while reading One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish. (makeshift mold using a strip cut from a foil dish or soda can)
  • Second movie (The Lorax).

That’s going to be it for our Dr. Seuss Day, which I think is already plenty, but we love Dr. Seuss, so it’s all good.

Do you plan to celebrate Dr. Seuss’ birthday? What activities will you do? How do you make your green eggs and ham? What’s your favorite Dr. Seuss book? Mine is Oh, the Places You’ll Go! Let us know in the comments section.

 

6 Excellent Reasons Why Birdwatching Is Worth Your While

Java Sparrow in Intramuros

We went birdwatching in Intramuros the other day. This was the third time we took advantage of the free guided birding trips periodically offered by the Wild Bird Club of the Philippines. Not only that, I finally signed up to become a member. I’ve been wanting to join the club for the longest time and I finally did it. Yay, me! It only took me seven years.

My primary reason for joining is that I’ve always enjoyed birdwatching. I’m as much a “Look at that bird” person as a “Look at the moon” one, I suppose. 😀 My spark bird (the one that ignited the interest in birdwatching) was a bee hummingbird I spotted one morning while I was vacationing at my aunt’s home in Southern California.

During that trip, I also frequently saw bluebirds, seagulls, crows, and Pelicans. For a girl who’d never seen anything but Eurasian tree sparrows (maya) and pigeons freely flying about (I was wrong about this, btw), seeing different kinds of birds in the wild (well, suburban wild) was a huge deal.

Birdwatching is definitely an activity that I want to share with my family. It’s my own interest, but I believe that my kids can benefit so much from engaging in it as well. Let me list the obvious perks that come with birdwatching.

  1. You learn about nature and appreciate how full of wonders it is. Different aspects of nature are intertwined, so the knowledge gained won’t be limited to birds. The impact on your kids could also be that, from being exposed to nature, they won’t be easily impressed by materialistic goods. If you’re a homeschooler, you could also integrate birdwatching into nature walks, make creating a safe habitat for birds a project, etc.
  2. You get yourself outdoors. Have you ever heard of Nature-Deficit Disorder? Child advocacy expert Richard Louv coined the term, which refers to the condition in which human beings, particularly the young, spend less time outdoors, resulting in various behavioral problems. It’s important to get yourself and your family outdoors. If you’re kind of a homebody, you can start with your backyard, gradually move on to the park, and then move on to easy nature hikes. Perhaps you can venture farther and attempt something even more outdoorsy from there. You get to enjoy the fresh air, soak up the recommended daily dosage of Vitamin D, and have an adventure.
  3. You get some great exercise – So engrossed in watching birds, you won’t notice that you’re walking miles at a time. This gives you a solid cardio workout. You also build up the strength of your upper arms, having to lug around spotting scopes as well as lift binoculars and hold them steadily.
  4. You effectively develop skills necessary to slow living. You learn to be more patient since birdwatching is not an exercise in instant gratification. Sometimes you have to wait hours (or years) to spot the bird you want to see. Besides that, birdwatching can also be a meditative activity and provide you with plenty of opportunity for contemplation and introspection.
  5. You hone quick reflexes and mental alertness at the same time that you develop patience. Birds won’t stop and pose for you while you scramble for your binoculars and focus them accordingly. You also need to be fast at spotting clues of a bird’s presence and identifying its kind based on the features you saw, no matter how fleetingly.
  6. You become a member of a special community. By becoming a birdwatcher, not only do you gain the physical and mental benefits of the activity, you also boost your social health. It’s a great way to meet kindred spirits, both offline and online.

Do you love birdwatching? Do you find it interesting and see yourself taking it up? Or do you think it’s, well, for the birds? Let us know your thoughts on this and tell us which birds you frequently see in your neighborhood.

*This post has affiliate links.

Are You a “Look at the Moon” Kind of Person?

View of Moon from Kombi

Somebody recently tagged me on an image shared on Facebook. It mainly had the text, “I’m such a ‘Look at the moon’ kind of person.” She was probably alluding to that time I urged people to take the time to look at the full moon. It was really big, round, and bright that night.

I was certain that there were people who were kindred and would appreciate a beautiful moon like I did. In Anne of Green Gables-speak, we’d all belong to the race that knows Joseph. I suppose that would be the race that got excited over seeing Venus in the sky even if it’s pretty much there every night, that flipped over the promise of a meteor shower, that noted down all the predicted celestial events in her planner…

In any case, if you’re a backyard astronomer like me (that’s an astronomy enthusiast who’s too busy, too tied down, or too lazy to properly pursue the interest – I’m all three. I’m a backyard birdwatcher too, btw.), you might be interested in noting down the following dates. This list is not the most detailed. It’s basically just the dates and the corresponding celestial body or bodies of interest. Check out this 2017 astronomy calendar for a more comprehensive list.

I’m skipping January since it’s over.

February
• 11 – Snow moon/penumbral lunar eclipse/New Year comet
• 26 – New moon/annular solar eclipse
March
• 12 – Full moon
April
• 1 – Mercury after sunset
• 7 – Jupiter at opposition (note four moons with strong binoculars)
• 11 – Full moon
• 22-23 – Lyrids meteor shower
May
• 6-7 – Eta Aquarids meteor shower
• 10 – Full moon
• 17 – Mercury before sunrise
June
• 3 – Venus before sunrise
• 9 – Full moon
• 15 – Saturn at opposition (note ring and moons with strong bins)
July
• 9 – Full moon
• 28-29 – Delta Aquarids meteor shower
• 30 – Mercury after sunset
August
• 7 – Full moon/partial lunar eclipse
• 12-13 – Perseids meteor shower
• 21 – Total solar eclipse
September
• 5 – Neptune at opposition (tiny blue dot with strong telescope)
• 6 – Full moon
• 12 – Mercury before sunrise
October
• 5 – Full moon
• 7 – Draconids meteor shower
• 19 – Uranus at opposition (tiny blue-green dot with strong telescope)
• 21-22 – Orionids meteor shower
November
• 4 – Full moon
• 4-5 – Taurids meteor shower
• 13 – Venus and Jupiter conjunction before sunrise
• 17-18 – Leonids meteor shower
• 24 – Mercury after sunset
December
• 3 – Supermoon
• 13-14 – Geminids meteor shower
• 21-22 – Ursids meteor shower

* I didn’t limit the list to only those that are visible in Southeast Asia, so you may want to confirm the hemisphere/s in which they’re supposed to manifest.

The way I obsessively track full moons, you’d think I shifted into a she-wolf or something. Nothing so supernatural. Like somebody implied, I’m just a “Look at the moon’ kind of person. Although you should probably expect me to act crazier than usual on these nights – but only because I get excited over a pretty moon. 😀

And shooting stars! That night in college when a bunch of us UP French Club folks were treated to a plethora of shooting stars while we were hanging out at the roof deck of one of our alumni is one of my fondest memories from that time. Alongside that time when I walked out of my husband’s (then-boyfriend) house and the whole yard was twinkling with fireflies. I’ll have to write about fireflies too…

Okay, now, I’m just geeking out, so I’ll go back to the original topic.

Are celestial events of interest to you? Have you gone past the backyard to pursue the hobby? I might have to and you can find out the reason by reading this blog post. Are you another kind of backyard enthusiast? Let me know. 🙂

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