Tuesday, July 30, 2013

These days

Usually when I am stuck in the bed with sleeping baby draped on my legs, this is going through my head, "I wonder if I can wiggle out from under her and not wake her up? I need to get some laundry going! Who am I kidding, I need a shower. I need to unload and load the dishes....except I promised myself that the next time the baby was asleep, I would spend some quality time with Anna...or Laney...or SOMEBODY! Dear Heaven. My kids are neglected. They must think I only love the baby. Man. I really need to shift my weight. My legs are going to sleep and I haven't been able to feel my butt for the last 10 minutes. Maybe I should just try to fall asleep, they say that you should sleep when the baby sleeps...HA! Hilarious. I really shouldn't move at all. Numb legs are a small price to pay for a few quiet moments. OH NO....one of the kids is coming up the stairs. They are coming to tattle and they are going to be too loud or they will try to climb up on the bed and they are going to WAKE UP THE BABY! Pleeeeaaaaase.....pleeeasse.....don't talk loud. No no no no no no no....don't climb the bed! Shhhh! Mommy will make you a treat if you back out of the room very quietly."

This method of bargaining never works. Because 1) Anna is incapable of stopping herself from doing anything at this point.  2) She knows perfectly well that the chances of getting a treat anyway are 100% anyway.

The caterpillars in the dill

A couple of years ago, we grew a nice fluffy patch of dill in the garden. I always grow a few things that I have good intentions of using and then never touch.  Such was the fate of the dill patch in 2012. But we noticed that there were several of these green caterpillars in there:

With a little research, we learned that they are Black Swallowtail caterpillars and we decided to bring one inside and feed it in our big neglected sprouting jar. We made sure it had plenty of air flow and heaven knows we had ample dill...

Then we watched and waited and we got a big beautiful butterfly!

So this year we were ready...we watched for the dill to grow and we planted parsley (which we actually do eat) because we also learned that Black Swallowtails are particularly partial to it as well.

You heard me...Particularly Partial to Parsley.

We may have gotten a little carried away... at one point we had 12 chrysalises in 3 separate jars. 

You gotta know that is a lot of caterpillar poop.

We adopted several out to the neighbor kids...and we sent a few home with the McCauley boys.

We even found one on the leg of a plant stand in the piano room:

We learned oodles about the way that they eat and how they climb up a stick and get really still when they are ready to go through metamorphosis. We watched them curl into a comma shape and weave 2 stabilizing threads. We thought we would be able to watch them weave a cocoon....but we kept missing it! We wondered how they were able to do the spinning so fast. Then I was in the kitchen making dinner and a little wiggling in the jar caught my attention. I stopped to watch and called the kids in. ITS SKIN WAS SPLITTING OPEN to reveal the chrysalis inside! 

Who knew? 

Not us.

Soon there were butterflies hatching every couple of days. 

And it was pretty dang magical.

And eventually we found a butterfly in the piano room.

It was definitely one of my favorite activities of the summer.

And you can bet we will be planting lots of parsley and dill next year.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013


Some days I need photographic proof that they can get along.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

They can spell it....

There are days as a parent that you barely make it to the end of the day and you feel like crawling into your closet to have a good cry because it SO CRAZY HARD.

And then there are days like this:

And I think to myself...

This is a pretty sweet gig.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Fourth of July 2013

A few dollar store decorations can go a long long way....

She is ready for the neighborhood bike parade!!!

Ethan is entering a supporting role in these types of events. Gone are the days of proudly parading in your Fancy Freedom Tophat. Now he pushes the car and where's a hat in a middle-school-ironic kinda way.

And I will take it.

Because somebody is gonna need to push Anna and her tricycle all the way home. (It was DAD!)

Laney is ready to set those streamers a flyin.

Mathew has decorated and undecorated his bike multiple times.

Megan hates that flower shirt...but I think it is ADORable.

And I think she is adorABLE.

One of our first family photos!

Later we relaxed and had a bite to eat at the Taylor's BBQ. I let the kids go through the food line with minimal supervision, so mostly they ended up with a hotdog and many types of brightly frosted desserts.

Sweet Freedom!

Then we drove over to a big field on Lone Elm Rd to watch the city fireworks on the top of the van. But not before we accidentally left Mathew in the cul de sac with the neighbors and had to be alerted that we had forgotten one of our children.


Such a fun day.

And I am exhausted.