Thursday, July 28, 2011


Is it really possible that I haven't shared these yet!? These were taken in May by Brian, and maybe that's my excuse. I wasn't there to witness it in person, and for that, I'm truly disappointed. From what I understand, he was showing off all of his superhero moves - they seem to be his new obsession. A couple of questions that come to mind when I look at these. First, how can he keep a straight face in that outfit? And second, how can he stand that wedgie?

Sunday, July 24, 2011

a lesson learned

We witnessed the process of metamorphosis with this catepillar/chrysalis/ butterfly, and I learned something more. We found the catepillar one day after art camp and brought it home with us. We left for New Jersey the following day, and it came with us. While the kids stayed busy playing and barely noticed the little guy, I checked on it frequently. I did this often enough to get teased about my "third child" by Brian and his dad. (I totally deserved it.)

So after a few days - when the catepillar attached itself to the top of the butterfly house - what do you think I did? Did I leave it alone, let it do its thing? No. Instead, I pulled it off, tried to feed it some parsley, and then worried for a day and a half that I had killed it. I kept poking at it to see if it was dead, and everytime I was surprised that it wasn't. Finally, it turned into a chrysalis, with no help from me.

(Side note - the chrysalis was fascinating. It changed color and size. And - if you (I mean I) poked at it, it would wiggle. I had assumed that a chrysalis was a hard shell.)

When we headed over to the lake, we brought the chrysalis with us, and on the first day we were there, it turned into a butterfly. We admired it, showed it to grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins, and then released it. I'm quite sure - if had any memory - that it was so glad to be done with us. (I mean me.)

The lesson I learned? Don't meddle so much. Sometimes things are meant to work out, without help (or hinderance). As a mom, I often revise, fix, or comment on what my children do. At times, they deserve a little space to figure it out on their own, to show what good people they can be. (And - I promise not to poke and prod so much the next time we find a catepillar.)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

a second (improved) cast

We were so excited on Friday, when Eric was scheduled to get his cast off. We've had a long few weeks, with Eric spending time out of the water at the lake and being reigned in constantly at the pool. The outcome wasn't what we had hoped or expected, but we're doing better this time around.

Eric appreciates funny - maybe above all else - and the woman who took his cast off was really funny. She had him grinning, chatting, and laughing the whole time. Like him, she enjoys life and (I'm guessing) can make even the grumpiest of us smile.

For a brief time, he was cast-free, but he was babying his arm and said it was sore. The x-ray showed that the fracture wasn't completely healed, so he got another cast. Thankfully, this time it was waterproof.

For the first cast, I chose dark blue. As the doctor was wrapping it, he pointed out what a good choice I had made by going with "Duke" blue. Hmmm . . . My choice had nothing to do with school loyalty, but rather my thought that dark blue might be a better choice for my "big boy" than light blue. Three weeks later, with the second cast, I made things right and chose "Carolina" blue. The medical student told me to make sure to get the Duke emblem in the picture, so I did.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

a little frog

This is an older picture - from May - I saw it recently and felt like sharing it (and the story behind it). During one of our spring visits to the farm, Sarah and Eric collected thirty or so little frogs in an empty egg carton. (How I wished I had brought my camera!!) I let them bring four frogs home, two of whom disappeared between the farm and our kitchen table.

Originally, I thought we could babysit them until the following week, when we would return to the farm. But, after losing a couple on the way home, I didn't want anything bad to happen to the other two.

We set them free at Ayr Mount the next day, but not before we lost one more. I checked on them shortly before we headed out, and I could only find one. I couldn't figure out where the other one went, and even googled "do frogs eat each other?" (They do - and that answer didn't make me feel better.) After a slightly panicked few minutes, we saw the other one hopping across the kitchen floor. He had climbed out of the hole at the top of the container and must have jumped down from the bookshelf. We scooped him up, put him back in his "home" and then set both of them free.

After the disappearing frog act, we decided that perhaps snails might make better pets. I'll tell you that story soon . . .

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

water play

I was told earlier today that the heat index was 114 degrees. And - just after we learned that lovely fact - I told Sarah and Eric that even my knees felt hot. In the summer heat, water makes life sweet, and this project has saved the day many times already. We modified the design - we didn't feel the need to add all the accessories and a "door" didn't seem necessary either. They've enjoyed it with their friends and without, with their swimsuits and without. (This has become our summertime bath, and thanks to Aunt Christine's suggestion, we don't bother with modesty. However, for the sake of my children's future embarrassment, I won't share their cute little bottoms here.)