We’ve arrived at the end of another month, and once again I’m bursting at the seems to share with you all of the obscure things I’ve learned over the last few weeks. From random trivia to personal insights, here is what has been filling my brain lately (divided into a few categories, since my mind works best that way).
- Egg consumption in the US is increasing: the per capita consumption of eggs in 2014 was 263, up from 240 in 1998. (The per capita consumption of eggs in our household is at least triple that number!)
- Mothers in the 1950s were given VERY different recommendations for feeding their babies! The following schedule was shared in a Mommy’s Group I belong to on Facebook; the poster said that she found this handout with her mom’s birth records from 1958.
- I’d always assumed that “stock” and “broth” were interchangeable terms for the same thing, but I recently learned that there is a difference: stock is made using bones and meat, while broth is made using only meat.
- In the late 1970s, Americans consumed 18% of their calories away from home; by 2008 that number was up to 32%.
- The expression “when it rains, it pours” originated with the Morton Salt Company. The catchy phrase was developed by ad execs in the early 1900s to promote free-flowing table salt.
- California produces one-third of our nation’s vegetables and two-thirds of our nuts and fruits each year, and we are the nation’s leading producer of numerous commodities including almonds, avocados, grapes, and milk. Living in suburban Orange County, I forget that so much of our state is devoted to agriculture.
- Influenced by her conservative father, Hilary Clinton was a Young Republican in high school and a “Goldwater Girl” in 1964. Her transformation to liberal Democrat took place when she was at Yale Law School.
- We love The Honest Company—their diapers are natural, absorbent, and adorable—and I was surprised to discover that the company was started by none other than Jessica Alba!
- J.K. Rowling’s first name is Joanne. Jo Rowling added a “K” in honor of her grandmother (“Kathleen”) after a request from her publisher, who “thought that a woman’s name would not appeal to the target audience of young boys.”
Bits and Pieces
- April 6th is National “Sorry Charlie” Day. And in case you were wondering, I do plan to celebrate this holiday with my Charlie every year; it will be like his own personal April Fool’s Day! (Sorry in advance, Charlie!)
- A Disney-themed magazine article I read this month opened my eyes to the astonishing fact that there are TWENTY-NINE hotels to choose from at the Walt Disney World Resort! I’ve never been to Disney World, and honestly I would jump at the chance to stay at even the most humble of the Disney hotels, but my top pick would be the Polynesian Villas (pictured below), followed closely by a villa at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. With Disney’s prices, I don’t see that happening any time soon, but a girl can dream!
- The Presidential Physical Fitness Test, which was founded by President Eisenhower in 1955 to encourage American children to be healthy and active, is now a thing of the past. It has been replaced by the Presidential Youth Fitness Program, which takes the focus away from measuring students’ performance and emphasizes students’ overall health.
- The “&” symbol dates back to Roman times, and at one time the sign was considered the 27th character of the alphabet.
Notes from the Field
- I’ve shared frequently in the past of my love for podcasts: there are a ton of great shows out there, and I’m constantly finding new ones to follow, but lately my queue has become a bit overwhelming. I’m learning that it’s okay to skip specific shows that I know won’t interest me, but I’ve also begun implementing a trick that Luke has been utilizing for some time now: listening to them at a faster speed. Luke likes to listen at 1.75x speed, but I’ve found that to be too fast for me to really absorb what I’m hearing; for me, 1.25x speed is just right—I get through podcasts more efficiently without missing anything in the speeding-up process.
- Regularly checking a baby’s temperature is a recipe for craziness. Around Easter, Charlie started exhibiting some signs that he wasn’t feeling well, and since he felt warm to us, we decided to take his temperature. It was in the high-99 range: higher than I would have liked, but not high enough to be considered a real fever. We continued checking his temperature at every diaper change (we were using a rectal thermometer, which is supposedly the most accurate) and his temps remained on the high end, even when he gave all appearances of feeling better. After over a week of obsessive temperature-monitoring (and worrying), Luke and I decided to put a stop to the “temping”: maybe this was an early sign of teething, perhaps our thermometer was off, or—the most plausible scenario—Charlie might just run warm. Whatever the reason, our constant monitoring wasn’t doing any of us any good, and it feels like such a relief to be free from the thermometer.
- By chance, I discovered this month that a walk through the mall is an excellent way to spend a leisurely day with a baby. There’s plenty to see and do, most areas are stroller-friendly, and it’s loud enough that I don’t feel conspicuous when Charlie lets out a cry here and there. We have some great outdoor malls in our general area, and those make a great sometimes-substitue for a walk in the park.
- Last week, I was driving on the freeway with Charlie in the backseat, and I realized that I could take the car pool lane. I had never personally driven in the car pool lane (I’m almost always the passenger), and I kept having to remind myself that Charlie and I really were carpooling and that I wasn’t breaking any laws by taking that lane.
- While we’re on the topic of driving. . . I learned the hard way this month that I should NEVER blindly follow my GPS. I’ve gotten into the terrible habit of plugging my destination into the maps app on my phone, and just following whatever it tells me to do. This tactic usually works out fine, but last week it led me straight to a toll road. I realized what was happening before actually entering the toll road, and immediately got off the freeway. Unfortunately, there was a checkpoint at the offramp—in other words, I was fined for NOT taking the toll road. Though my fee was under $2, it was a hassle to have to go online to pay it; hopefully the process was painful enough to teach me my lesson!
- Have you heard of the Baader-Meinhoff Phenomenon? Basically, it describes those times when you happen upon some new piece of information, and suddenly that subject starts popping up at every corner. I’ve been experiencing a riff on this phenomenon lately: since having Charlie, I’ve started to see babies EVERYWHERE! And I’m learning that I have total baby fever! One would think that living with my own baby would extinguish my interest in all other tiny humans, but the opposite has proven true—though I still love Charlie the most (of COURSE!), other infants are more adorable to me than ever! These frequent baby spottings also spark all sorts of baby-gear envy. . . have you seen how many awesome strollers and baby wraps are out there?! I want them all, and keep having to remind myself of my commitment to Operation Minimalism!
Each month I link up with Emily at Chatting at the Sky to share what we’ve been learning. Check out her site to see what other bloggers have learned this month.