Thursday, May 28, 2015

Butterfly Garden

MC got a Painted Lady butterfly growing kit and book as a gift for Christmas last year, and it has finally gotten warm enough here to order the caterpillars. The caterpillars come in a self-contained cup with food and instructions.

Day 1

The caterpillars eat and grow rapidly for the first few days.

Day 3

Then they attach to the lid of the container and begin to form their chrysalis.

Day 6

After their chrysalis is fully hardened, you move them to the butterfly habitat.

Day 8

Where they eventually hatch out into beautiful butterflies!

Day 12

You feed them fresh fruit and nectar for a few days.

Day 13

And then release them into the wild to continue their life cycle.

Day 15

We all thought the process was fascinating and educational. Each day MC was so excited to check in on her butterflies and see how they were changing.

I would highly recommend this for any age kids - even BD and I really enjoyed it! The book is also really great, especially for the younger crowd, to help explain what exactly they are seeing.

And now every time MC sees a butterfly she asks, "Is it one of our butterflies, Mama?"

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Memorial Day Weekend 2015

We had a lovely long Memorial Day weekend. BD took Friday off, and we went to the NC Zoo. The weather was perfect for a day trip to the zoo - sunny and low 70s with no humidity. There were a couple of school groups there doing end of the year field trips, but it didn't feel overly crowded.

(Excuse me, but who is this big kid and where did my little baby toddler go?!)

We saw all of the animals that we wanted to see except the polar bear and gorillas. The polar bear has a new, expanded habitat since our visit last year, but unfortunately she was no where to be seen. MC was really looking forward to seeing her, so we checked back twice, but she was never out. They are currently expanding the gorilla habitat as well as adding more gorillas to the troop, so it will be closed until the new exhibit is complete.

We also rode the carousel twice and had soft-serve ice cream - two of MC's favorite things from our trip last year.

Piper went to doggie daycare for the day, since we were gone from the house about 7 hours, and she is not used to spending that much time alone in her crate. She came home exhausted and happy, so we all had a fun day!

We were invited over to our neighbors' house for a cookout on Memorial Day. There are a whole group of us that have kids in the 5-and-under age range, so the kids had fun playing together while the adults chatted (and supervised). It's funny how although we all live right here together, we don't often see each other since everyone is so busy all the time. So it was nice to just slow down for a while and hang out with our neighbors.

Monday, May 18, 2015


Each season is sweet in its own way, and each will be missed when it's gone. Don't miss the beauty of the bud while you're waiting for the blossom. Each stage of a child's life offers us a chance to know him or her a little better and to grow a little closer. Each stage also gives us a chance to grow into a better parent as we learn the lessons they teach us about loving unconditionally, living wholeheartedly, and giving and receiving grace.


Friday, May 15, 2015

Last Day of Gymnastics

April was our last month at MC's gymnastics class; both she and I were getting bored with it, so it's time to move on to something new. We started the class when she was just barely walking, so she has learned a lot of important skills in this class over the last (almost) 2 years.

I snapped a few pics of her favorite stations on our last day of class.

Trampoline! She especially loved the trampoline when Ms. Amy got out the bouncy balls or the hoops.

Forward roll on the wedge mat! (Backward rolls, too!)

Bar hang! Her favorite hang positions are spider hang and possum hang. On the bars you can really tell how incredibly strong she is; she can almost do a full pull-up from this position. Ms. Amy would ask her to "sniff the bar" and she'd pull her nose up to touch the bar.  

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Take It and Pass It On

When I respond with kindness
You learn kindness is the way.
When I hold you through the tears
You see that sadness doesn't stay.
When you call me in the night
And ask if I can stay,
You learn trust when I lie down
And keep the scary stuff away.
As I speak to you gently
Rather than raise my voice,
You learn, my little one,
That you always have a choice.
And you will take this kindness,
And this gentleness we've shown,
The trust, the love, the hope,
And all that you have known,
You'll take it and pass it on,
The beauty in giving grace.
As fear is replaced by love,
The world becomes a better place.

© 2015 Rebecca Eanes, from the book Lasting Bonds

Monday, May 11, 2015

Conversations at 2.75

MC: Why I'm sneezing so much?
LA: I think you have a little cold.
MC: In my nose?
LA: Yes.
MC: *blows air out of nose* Is it gone now?


We are building a fort in the den. She's playing under it while I'm still trying to get the sheet up, and it keeps falling down on top of her.

MC: Dis is not very fun at all.


MC: I like your work shirt, Daddy. Dat's a pitty outfit.


MC, leaning over to give BD a kiss: Ohhhh! I feel your whiskers!


MC, to a friend's mom: Eva doesn't talk as much as I do. I talk a lot!


MC, handing me a cookie with one bite missing:  Here, dis one for you!
LA: Why does it already have a bite out of it?
MC: I started it for you!


MC is doing a fake whine/cry noise.

LA: What's wrong?
MC: I'm a little bit sad. But I'm not super sad.

Friday, May 8, 2015


Here are some recent pictures of our girl. These are from April 2015.

I...don't even know what was going on here.

Playing outside on a cool but sunny spring day. Stuffed animal bunny buttoned up inside her sweater.

Entertaining ourselves in the mechanic's shop with the iPad and Chick Fil A breakfast.

Breakfast in Mama and Daddy's bed - a rare but fun treat!

Serenading me with some acoustic guitar tunes.

Making the tough decision of which temporary tattoo should be applied next.

Using her overalls bib as a carrier for her baby doll.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Strawberry Picking 2015

A couple of days ago, MC and I went with some friends to pick strawberries at a local strawberry farm. It was so much fun! This is the same farm that we visited last year.

The day we went was the first day of the season that the farm was open and the first day of really warm, nice weather that we've had in a while, so I was expecting the strawberry patch to be packed. But it was surprisingly uncrowded, with plenty of room for a toddler to safely roam. We were there for a little more than an hour and left with around 7 lbs of berries!

She was much more interested in picking the strawberries this year, so I got her her own box to fill. There is an episode of Daniel Tiger where the Tiger family goes to the Enchanted Garden to pick strawberries, and I think that helped her have a frame of reference for what we were doing. (Once again: thank you, Daniel Tiger and PBS!)

We talked a lot about only picking the bright red berries, and she did a great job of not picking the green ones. She picked berries for a while but once she got bored with that, the strawberry eating began!

Our friend was having a hard day and wasn't feeling very cooperative for the group picture efforts. Some days it's tough being two!

Monday, May 4, 2015

Simply Peaceful. Simply Parenting. Simply Beautiful.

Give them grace.
Guide them gently.
Forgive their mistakes.
Apologize for yours.
Listen to their stories.
Accept their differences.
Respect their interests.
Share some of yours.
Choose your words wisely.
Never, ever hit.
Laugh at their jokes.
Tell some of your own.
Let them be silly.
Let them be slow.
Let them daydream.
Let them explore.
Accept invitations to their world.
Invite them into yours.
Share your thoughts.
Listen to theirs.
Sing often.
Hug daily.

© L.R. Knost

Friday, May 1, 2015


Here are some recent pictures of our girl. These are from March 2015.

We bought 2 child-sized chairs so we'd have an extra when a friend comes over.  Or for Piper.

Little artist at work.

We were pushing it a little too close to nap time after running a few errands, and she didn't quite make it all the way home.

We dyed Easter eggs for the first time this year!

Eating a snack, just up from nap - Mama taking advantage of the good afternoon light.

A custom-built fort in our den.

Playing in the fort with Daddy is so much fun! (Until Piper jumps on the sheet, and it all comes crashing down.)