Saturday, May 24, 2008

Happy Birthday Butterflies!

I guess it is technically not a BIRTHday, but today the second chrysalis sprang to life quite unexpectedly... speaking of unexpected, read on for the surprise twist in this story!

  Back in April, the first butterfly emerged from its chrysalis on a warm spring day.  It happened at Alli's preschool.  Alli's teacher sent the second chrysalis home with us so we could watch the other butterfly come out.  We waited and waited and waited.  Finally, I put the chrysalis out in the shed because I thought it was a dud.

Today I was doing some gardening, and I opened the shed door to retrieve some tools and there up on the shelf in the plastic container was a butterfly!  First of all, I felt awful not knowing how long it had been out of its chrysalis stuck in the plastic container all alone in the dark shed.  I was afraid it would be all starved and weak.  Luckily, this was not the case.

We gathered everyone around and opened the container.  The butterfly crawled around for a while stretching its wings and practicing its flutters.  Alli named it "Butterfly Princess."  It eventually flew up onto the building wall and then flew away.

I took a million-bazillion pictures... and you will see none of those because the memory card was not in the camera.  I found out moments after the butterfly flew away, when I tried to review all the wonderful images I had just captured.

I was moping a bit about that when we discovered a second-chance butterfly in the garden.  It must have been in a hidden chrysalis.  It had just emerged and was still working on uncurling and stretching its wings.

Hallelujah!  (Seriously, this was a miracle for me.)

butterfly 1 butterfly alli 1 butterfly alli 2 butterfly ruby 1 butterfly ruby alli 1

Alli and Ruby enjoyed observing this butterfly for quite a while.  Ruby gave it a little tough love which slowed down its escape from our patio.  Alli named this one "Queen of The Mall."  I asked why and she said "like the queen in Snow White"...ah yes... the Queen of them all.  This butterfly generously posed for several pictures (after I checked and double checked the camera card).  Alli went on a walk with it perched on her shoulder.  It finally recovered from Ruby's tough love and flew up and away.

I am relieved that those caterpillars from so long ago finally made it as butterflies.  Way to go guys!

We hope those black swallowtail butterflies will come back sometime soon and lay some eggs on our parsley plant.

More Zoo Fun... or Terror on the Carousel!

carousel lucas betsy carousel alli karyn ruby joyce alli ruby stroller ruby lucas tickets 1 zoo alli lucas ruby 1  sleeping cousins

Cousin Lucas went home today.  Ruby will miss her little friend and tormentor.  We had so much fun taking Lucas to the zoo while he was here.

The kids checked out the animals and made appropriate animal-sounds at them.  Very fun.  All three know their animal sounds well.

We went for a ride on the carousel which was very fun until the carousel actually started to move.  The kids were so excited to ride the beautiful animal carousel at the zoo.  They held on to their tickets and picked out their favorite animals to ride on.  Luckily we got a few happy pictures before the terror began.  As soon as the carousel lurched into action Ruby and Lucas simultaneously freaked out.  I was standing next to Ruby so I plucked her off of the tiger and headed for the stationery swan just behind us.  Betsy grabbed Lucas and moved him to an animal that wasn't going up and down.  Alli was left alone atop her rodeo panda.  I think it was more the being alone that upset her, but she too freaked out.  I didn't want to leave Ruby alone on the boring swan lest she try to follow me to Alli on the speeding carousel.  Grandma saw the panic in Alli's eye and heard her desperate cries for help and she came to Alli's rescue.  Like a speeding bullet, Grandma ran alongside the carousel and leapt up onto the revolving platform to Alli's rescue.  The ride operator was quite alarmed and he also dashed to the carousel just to ask if we were okay (and maybe to collect ticket fare from Grandma?).  Alli was swiftly snatched from her panda to the safety of the boring-bench-only swan... where we all calmed down.

Next time the kids ask for a ride on the carousel, I can give an easy answer. 

ducks 1

We saw the first baby ducks of the year.  This wood duck had seven little fuzzy squeakers.

We also saw baby pigs that were two days old.  Sorry, no pictures (the lighting was bad and I didn't want to disturb the tired mama pig).

The kids were so tired that they all arrived home asleep.

lucas ruby alli sleeping

Awesome. (Okay, so Alli wasn't quite out, she opened her eyes when we said she was alseep, but she posed for this keepsake picture.)

a sunny day in the park with friends

alli 1

I shot this picture of Alli at the park.  She is so growing so quickly.  She has opinions, questions, friends, humor, style... it's like she is a real person or something... go figure.  Oh, how I love this girl!

friends alli ruby 1 

Alli and Ruby and some of our neighborhood friends got together at the park this week for some bubble-blowing fun and a snack picnic.  The warm sun felt so wonderful, and watching the kids play was magic.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Cousin time!

Cousin Lucas is staying with us for a few days.  It is so much fun watching the kids interact.  Lucas is about nine months younger than Ruby, but they are the same size.  Lucas is fascinated by all the cool tricks Alli and Ruby do... like climbing and jumping and balancing in precarious positions, etc.  Lucas is learning lots from his cousins (sorry Betsy and Jory).  Today he tried to stand on the rocking horse like Ruby likes to do.

Lucas is being good too.  He and Ruby like to give high-fives and hugs to each other.  He is taking turns and sharing. 

lucas bubble 1 lucas ruby stroller 1 rocking lucas ruby 2 bath lucas ruby alli 1

The cousins have been to the zoo and the park.  They got dirty together... and they took a bath together complete with lots of bubbles.  In the top picture Lucas has a bubble stuck right between his eyes.  Ruby liked popping the bubbles on Lucas' head.

I hope these cousins stay close friends.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Busy, busy week o' fun!

Okay, so I play catch up quite a bit on this blog.  (That was not an apology, just a statement of fact.)

Mothers' Day was wonderful.  Alli's preschool class planned a special breakfast for the moms on the Thursday before M-Day.  Alli made a delicious yogurt-fruit-granola parfait for me.  She also made a fancy card for me with feathers, lace, ribbon, etc.  She performed a few mom-related songs with her preschool (note the variety of socks she is sporting in the picture of her sitting on the step... very festive).  Andy took the girls shopping for a few little things... like sunflowers and chocolate that I do not have to share (very special).  Alli sang with the Primary children at church on Sunday.  This was her first M-Day singing with the kids.  I was quite proud of her performance... she switched between singing loud and whispering.  Ruby took her crayon and wrote a Mothers' Day message for me on the door of the bathroom.  I'm pretty sure it says, "I love my Mom."

cards karyn alli mom breakfast 1 alli crazy socksRuby drawing flowers 

Grandma Utah came to visit us.  Betsy and Lucas are in town too (pictures of them will come soon).  We have spent much time outdoors at the park and zoo.  Ruby and Alli are really into feeding the birds by the pond at the zoo.  It is sort of fun to be surround by so many birds... then again, many of them look sketchy/crazy/dirty (like urban wildlife tends to be) and sometimes they get a little too close.  A goose nipped at Ruby's hand... ending our bird-time abruptly.

alli swing 1 ruby birds 1 Ruby Joyce 1 ruby alli swing

Anyhow, this has been a very busy, fun-filled week.  We are happy to have family visiting, and we are fully enjoying the long awaited warm weather!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

No wonder they are growing like weeds...

alli ruby water 1 alli water 1

Water.  Sunshine.  Dirt.

puddles and giggles

rain alli ruby 1

We were reveling in the warm wet weather today (say that ten times fast).  When the rain died down to a light drizzle, the girls geared up in their puddle-stomping shoes and we took a walk to find the best puddles on the sidewalk.

rain alli ruby 2

They splashed in every puddle up and down our block.

rain ruby 1

... and had lots of fun.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Weekly ketchup...

What an exciting week it has been! 

- Andy and I celebrated our seventh anniversary!  We had an awesome date.  We jogged to a Thai restaurant, and had a delicious healthy dinner.  Then we walked to a movie theater to see Iron Man.  (Very enjoyable.)  Then we jogged home.

-Alli had so much fun with the babysitters that she has asked that we go out more often.  I am happy to oblige.

- Ruby has discovered how to strip all of her clothes off... and her diaper.  Very fun.  And she does it several times daily.

- Alli had a field trip to the Museum of Science and Industry.  She was especially excited about the boxed lunch the museum provided.

-Ruby loves to sing.  This week she added "Hey There Delilah" by the Plain White Tees and "She's the One" by the Ramones to her repertoire.

-We went to Baskin Robbins for 31 cent ice cream night.  Alli and Ruby both picked rainbow ice cream.

-Alli and Ruby got all dressed  up for Sylvie's birthday tea party.  They love getting all done up for big events.

-Mike K. and the Drummonds came over for dinner.  We always love sharing a meal with friends.

-We got a new fish named "Yellow Lettuce."

-The other goldfish named "Quack" died.

-We planted a garden.  About five of the plants have had to be replanted due to a gopher... or Ruby.

-Alli said the spring-like arrangement of "Morning Has Broken" performed by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir makes her "heart grow so big!  Like as big as my tummy!" 

Here are some of the highlights in photos...

alli ice cream 1 andy ruby ice cream 1 ruby alli dressed up 1 ruby naked 2 sylvie party alli ruby 1  garden alli ruby 1