flutter by

For the Mikey/Elia birthday we bought butterfly nets with real! live! butterfly! larvae!
I thought this was a good idea, you know, science, learning, good for the brain, connect with nature and all that, but have you seen butterfly larvae? Yuck.

Double yuck when they are in their little plastic tub contentedly munching on the beeswax looking stuff on the bottom and dropping copious amounts of beeswax looking pellets of poo. Those spiny little worms (caterpillars, Mom, Elia inserts with an eye roll), started out teeny and grew disturbingly fast. All on my piano in the living room.

Nature is ugly.

But the butterfly larvae happily ate their stuff-in-a-jar, grew big and fat, and did just what they were supposed to do. They built crysalids, a fascinating process, and then they sat there. And sat there. And didn’t move. And sat some more.

Really, it was only about 7 days, but that is a looooong time for a three year old.

We were rewarded though! Our patience, our willingness to beat back the shudders of revulsion and not drop the whole thing in a trash can just so I could get it out of the living room paid off! We had butterflies!

The literature warned us that not all the butterflies would emerge from their crisalids, but all of ours did! An example of fine parenting on our part, I like to believe. Did you know when they emerge that a red, blood like substance sometimes drips down the side of the netting? It’s not blood, it’s meconioum. Even in such beauty, nature is gross.

Our butterflies emerged! We gathered hyacinths in vases, we put paper towels drenched in a sugar water solution. We managed to keep all the butterflies alive until the outdoor temperatures hovered above fifty five. Well, we managed to keep almost all the butterflies alive.

When we unzipped the netting to release all our Painted Ladies, we found one floating in the water of one of the hyacinths. It must have been in there overnight. It wasn’t fighting, it wasn’t moving. Our first casualty.

I removed the flowers from the net and helped Del and Elia set them free while keeping a watchful eye on the Mikey, who sometimes likes to bat things out of the sky. I did not need our second casualty to result in the banishment of a brother. Josie fretted over her little dead butterfly the whole time, not able to watch the beauty of the others flying by. After the rest of us watched for a bit, I heard,

“Mom! Look! It’s alive! It’s alive!”

Josie had pulled the floater out of the water and was showing me how it was weakly moving it’s wings. Small signs of life indeed. Upon closer inspection, though, I found that the poor thing had been in the water long enough for it’s back legs to begin to disintegrate. The body looked a little gelatinous. I told Josie that the butterfly was suffering and the kindest thing to do would be to place it on the ground and step on it. *GASP*

Not the right thing to say.

So we delicately placed the wounded butterfly on a hyacinth. We watched it weakly flutter it’s wings and we prayed that it would get strong and fly away in the night. The butterfly was gone in the morning. I couldn’t tell you for sure what happened to it, I have my suspicions (no I did not go out and squish it, I’m not THAT mean!) but Josie insists that it got strong and flew off to warmer gardens.

And that’s my Josie.

And lest you think that everything around these parts is all maudlin sentimentality, I leave you with my favorite butterfly picture EVER.  Drawn by the Elia when she was just a few years old.  I’ve featured it on this blog before, but thought it was due for another round.  The beauty and sentiment in this simple drawing continues to amaze and delight.  I hope you enjoy it just as much as we do.

Are you ready?


Poetry Wednesday, Vol. 87

There were a good amount of thoughts in my head for this poetry day.  But as it happens, things get busy, we are a bit stressed, life is moving at the speed of light.  I need a mental break.  Thanks to the Writer’s Almanac, it has arrived.  Thanks to Billy Collins, I can look forward to another rainy day with a smile on my face. 

What She Said

by Billy Collins

When he told me he expected me to pay for dinner,
I was like give me a break.

I was not the exact equivalent of give me a break.
I was just similar to give me a break.

As I said, I was like give me a break.

I would love to tell you
how I was able to resemble give me a break
without actually being identical to give me a break,

but all I can say is that I sensed
a similarity between me and give me a break.

And that was close enough
at that point in the evening

even if it meant I would fall short
of standing up from the table and screaming
give me a break,

for God’s sake will you please give me a break?!

No, for that moment
with the rain streaking the restaurant windows
and the waiter approaching,

I felt the most I could be was like

to a certain degree

give me a break.

A Super-tastic time

On Saturday, we celebrated Mikey and Elia with a superhero birthday party.  We somehow managed to not take any decent pictures, and now Blogger/Picasa is not allowing me to post any edited pictures, so once again you get the grainy ones.  Enjoy.  
All the friends arrived and donned their super capes (courtesy of a a Super Grandma – she sewed up 20 capes, can you believe it!) and joined the festivities.  We played pin the rope on Wonder Woman, find the Kryptonite and bash the pinata.  

We did not take pictures of the fun, but we did take one hundred different pictures of the Suuuper Caaake! (sung out loud in a big Taaa Daaa!)  It was indeed super.  It was amazing…ly…

can’t.  look.  away….

What was I saying?
Oh!  Yes!
The cake!
It was awesome!

And also made by the Super Grandma.  Did we make anything for this party?  No.  We just decided a theme, then called up Grandma and Grandpa and had them make us stuff.  They ARE super heroes that way.
  You should get you some of them.
The little heroes of the day loved the cake.

We didn’t take any pictures of all the goings on, maybe because we were having too much fun celebrating two of our sweet kiddos with a great bunch of family and friends.  Thank you to you for coming out and joining us. A super time was had by all.

>No Respect


Also known as “this is what I wear on Wednesday”
Aaaargh! Queen! Gimme all your moneys!

I said, gimme all your moneys!
Or I will take it by force!
I have a knife!

Aha! I got the moneys! aaargh…

>Lonely Hearts Club Band

>So the girls were playing pic-nic in the porch and the dictator, I mean Elia, was commanding her subjects around. Do this, do that, wait here, pour me some tea, sit in that spot…

Something caught my ear, though. Did she just say that? There it goes again! Yes, yes, she Did just say that.

“Josie, don’t pour the tea yet, we have to wait for Grandma and Sgt. Pepper.”

>Happy Easter!


The girlies enjoyed their egg hunt. They found jelly beans, a few quarters and some fairy paper dolls. And lots and lots of candy!
While we were all distracted with the egg hunt, the Del Monster found some Peeps!
Mmmm! They are good!

After church, there were more Easter baskets.

There was Easter cake from Grandma. There was lamb and basket, both very, very good.

Some playing with Great Grandma. Mikey loves to steal her cane.

Deli also discovered Deviled eggs. Almost as good as the Peeps.