We had a mini-celebration for Ludi’s first birthday earlier this week. She turned one on Wednesday.
Unfortunately, late July and so far in August has been a time of hustle and bustle. We were in Houston the two days before Wednesday, staying overnight with our friends the Zanders so that we could do a bunch of paperwork at the Bolivian consulate in that city. Fortunately we completed everything we needed to, and now we are set for our trip to Bolivia at the end of August.
So Wednesday arrived and we knew we wanted to do something for Ludi, since it was her day. We had already settled on a trip to the Whistle Stop, but I thought it would also be fun to go to the Botanical Garden first.
It had been raining, so that scared away a lot people and we got a great parking spot. (This accords well with my “Six Flags Strategy”: Plan your trips to Six Flags on rainy days, that way the lines are short and you get to ride the rides more times.)
We visited the Climatron to see all the tropical plants (including many Yoli is familiar with). As we were making our way out, we noticed they had a new exhibit for kids, called “Exploring Trees Inside and Out.” It was a lot of fun, and very unexpected. (This was our third trip to the Garden in 2008 and we had been unaware of the exhibit’s existence. It started in May and ends Sept. 1.)
Among the highlights were dressing the girls up in bird costumes and letting them play in front of a blue-screen computerized background; a game where you smell different scents and try to guess which fruit, sap, etc. it is; building a birdhouse; and a very sharp microscope that lets you look at cool tiny plant things.
We also visited the Chinese and Japanese gardens. On our way to those gardens, Jadzia played on the sheep sculptures and some of the Niki sculptures.
This time I actually remembered to bring change so we could buy fish food at the bridge where the Koi fish gather. This is Jadzia’s favorite part, after all. (As a side note, this morning at the Farmer’s Market we participated in the peach contest. Yoli made some peach ice cream. She didn’t win, but that didn’t matter to Jadzia who was craving ice cream. When I was feeding her, she would open her mouth wide in anticipation of a bite, and she looked just like those Koi waiting to be fed.)
As we headed back to the car, it started to rain. Of course we didn’t bring umbrellas, but it was a light rain and not too bad.
At the Whistle Stop we enjoyed some ice cream but Jadzia did give us a little trouble eating a hot dog and then eating her vanilla. It was past her nap time. She saw that Yoli and I had chocolate, and she wanted it. I hadn’t gotten her chocolate because the previous night her Nanny told me that Jadzia hadn’t wanted to eat chocolate at Nanny’s house on Tuesday. Anyway, I offered Jadzia to trade my chocolate cone for her vanilla. But Jadzia refused. It was HER vanilla. She wanted to keep her vanilla and obtain my chocolate. A true Borg moment: trying to assimilate all ice cream in her path.
It was a nice way to spend the morning, and then I had to go in to work a rare Wednesday night (since I had been off Monday instead for our Houston trip). We are planning to have a more traditional birthday party with cake for Ludi next Tuesday.
And then comes the crush of August birthdays: my brother Jonathan, my dad, Yoli, Jadzia, my brother-in-law Juan, my sister-in-law Becca, and my niece Leya. It’s enough to make your head spin.