Bugs (Part 5)

November 14, 2011

So we waited and waited for this thing to hatch.. one day, Ms. Kaz went into my daughter’s room and said, “oh! It hatched!”

It was an exciting day. We took pictures and tried to learn what to feed it (sugar water) and tried to keep it alive until Baba arrived. I am not sure we were doing it right, or if the butterfly was “getting it”. It didn’t appear to be interested in eating. Part of its wing broke off (malnutrition?).

We managed to keep it alive a few days, then convince my daughter that we needed to let it go. We had a small Release Party for the butterfly. Somehow, when getting the butterfly cage from her room, the butterfly managed to escape. After chasing it around for 5 minutes, we were able to get it back in and down to the backyard.

The beautiful thing is that, after release, it flew directly to the butterfly bush my daughter had us plant a few years earlier. Maybe because it was starving, it spent plenty of time drinking (and posing for pictures) before flying off.


Talk

December 21, 2010

The Boy has been a little slow on the talking front so far in his life. He relied on signing for the most part.

We’ve gotten help for him, and he is finally starting to “open up” and try saying more things. And he is getting better. The better he gets, and the more he talks, the more we realize just how much language he was learning despite not talking much.

We always knew he was intelligent based on what he understood, and his creative use of signing, often making up his own signs to get the point across.

Now that he is starting to talk, he is quickly creating quite complex sentences. It helps us worry a little less. In fact, every day for the last week+, in anticipation of going to my mother’s for Christmas, he’s been asking, “Go.. Baba’s.. house.. now?” When I tell him, no, not yet, I always get a disappointing, “awwww!”

He still struggles sometimes with pronunciation, but his classes are helping with that. But we still see the frustration when we have trouble determining he is trying to say. Sometimes, he gets upset to the point of tears. We are lucky that his sister is often much better at understanding what he is trying to tell us.

Speaking of Baba’s house, we were creating a photo album (at her request) for a gift, and were looking at some other the things his sister was doing at his age, and wondering if he would be capable of the same. In one picture, our daughter was showing off a craft she did, and Ms. Kaz said, “can you imagine him doing that?”

And it made me wonder if, because he was not verbally communicating as well as she had, if we were treating him as if he were younger. It made me wonder if, because of this “issue”, we were not challenging him as much as we did her.

We know he’s intelligent, and we see how well his language is progressing. I have no worry he will get up to speed. But, for those who know me, you know I always need SOMETHING to worry about.

(like finally finishing that butterfly story!)


Bugs! (part 4)

July 13, 2010

More than once, our caterpillar would sit on the meshing of its home for long stretches of time. Each time, I thought for sure it was a goner, and dreaded the reaction my daughter would have. This last time seemed a bit longer than the rest.

One of the things about getting older is that my eyesight is… well, not getting worse, but different. One of the things I am sure I did as a kid was chuckle that “old” people had to take off their glasses to read something, or look at something up close. Unfortunately, this is one of the things I now need to do.

So, I took off my glasses, and suddenly noticed a thin “string” going from the mesh, around back of the caterpillars “neck” and back to the mesh.

Now, I am used to a chrysalis hanging straight down because, well, that’s what the ones we ordered last year did. But, checking the trusty Internet, I saw that a Black Swallowtail’s chrysalis hangs on the side in exactly the way this caterpillar was.

I called my daughter up to share the excitement (yes, Mom and Dad were getting excited, too!) of The Next Step. And within a day or so, the chrysalis was fully formed.

And not the waiting begins…

Next: The Wait


Father’s Day 2010

June 21, 2010

ps – happy belated Father’s Day to all the dads out there reading.

Hopefully, you got as much loving from your kids as I did this year. Hopefully, if it is your weakness like mine, you got enough candy as gifts. And hopefully you are fortunate enough not to get as many calls/emails from work as I did…


Bugs! (part 3)

June 21, 2010

Every year, we do a small box garden, and a container garden for some herbs. This year, we planted cilantro (yuck!) and parsley. My daughter likes to pick off the parsley and cilantro and eat them.

The other day, we were outside and she says, “Oh, cool!” and runs over the the parsley. I remember thinking that I’ve never seen her get that excited about eating the parsley before. Instead, she shows me a caterpillar she found on the parsley. We both got excited because she has been “hunting” for a caterpillar for months now.

So, we run and get the bug jar and go inside to find out what kind of caterpillar we have…

Read the rest of this entry »


Bugs! (part 2)

June 16, 2010

I never realized just how amazing kindergarten is until my daughter started school. I am simply amazed at how much better her writing, spelling and reading are compared to before she started.

And one of the cutest examples of her new skills was when she created her Bug Journal.

After catching several different kinds of bugs (moth, dragon fly, lady bug), she took it upon herself to create, illustrate and author her own bug journal. The pictures are adorable, and the writing is terrific (e.g. “he was a good bug. he was scared. I miss him”)

She has created many terrific books – about family, a day at the beach, etc. – carefully drawing, writing, and stapling them together. They are great to share with the grandparents when they visit to show off what she’s learned and what her interests are.

There are a lot of artists in her family (mostly Ms. Kaz’s, but some in mine), and I think she’s inherited that gene…

The only problem with the bug journal is that after she stapled the “The End” page onto it, she says she cannot add new pages. I need to get her to start a new bug journal so she can add the newer bugs she caught since then.

Next: Garden Bugs


Bugs! (part 1)

June 15, 2010

“Daddy! I caught a moth with my bare hands!

This was a big accomplishment for my daughter at the beginning of the summer. So, we got out a jar with holes punched out in the lid (I have no idea why we already had one of these…), and put the moth in the jar.

My daughter carried this around at the end of the day. Before bed, we made a big production out of releasing the moth, and, although she was sad and missed the moth, she understood we needed to let it go.

A few days later, we saw a bug net in the dollar bin at Target, and bought it for the kids (despite my daughter insisting she didn’t want it). As expected, the first couple of weeks, it was mostly, “Daddy, can you catch a bug for me?” We caught a good variety, including another moth, lots of dragonflies, and a lady bug.

The bugs stayed in the jar no longer than until bedtime, but sometimes just a half hour, or even a few minutes. Eventually, my daughter began trying with the net herself… and she got really good at it! And she had fun.

It was a great $1 buy!

Next: The Bug Journal


I Must Be Rich!

April 14, 2010

At bedtime, we sing The Boy a song or two, then place him in his crib and walk out, and he goes to sleep.

At bedtime, my wife sings my daughter two song, I tell her a Pokemon story (different combinations of the same plot lines over and over), do a nighttime dance, sing her songs, and we talk about what to dream about. The processes couldn’t be any different (especially in terms of length of time!). And this doesn’t even count the number of times she calls us back up.

Anyhow, she always complains about having trouble falling asleep. The reason we talk about what to dream about is because I taught her a trick I sometimes use, which is to think about what to dream about. I likely never dream the actual dream, but it helps me fall asleep.

Unfortunately, I am the one who needs to decide what she should think about.

So, one night, we have a dream which involves leprechauns and their pot of gold. This seemed to get my daughter’s interest, and lead to the following conversation:

Daughter: And leprechaun gold is like a THOUSAND dollars!
Me: Wow! Is that a lot?
Daughter: Yeah! We could buy lots of toys!
Me: Cool!
Daughter: No, we could buy a whole store!
Me: Wow!
Daughter: And I could still have enough left over to GET A JOB!
Me: Uh…
Daughter: I’m going to be a veterinarian!

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to get back to my job. You poor schmucks with no money probably have no idea what I am talking about…


Little Treasures

February 9, 2010

Last night, when getting ready for bed, my daughter took a paperclip out of her pocket.

“Where’d you get that?” I asked her. “From school,” she replied. I asked her if the teacher said it was okay, and she said she just took it.

Every few days, she comes home with what must be Little Treasures to her. Sometimes, it makes sense; a penny one day, a colorful bead another. Sometimes, it is a stick, or a piece of paper someone else wrote on. Or a paperclip.

We have a lot of paperclips in our house.

Little Treasure or not, I don’t want her to get into the habit of taking stuff from her class. “You really shouldn’t just take things from school, sweetie,” I tell her.

Her response?

“I only do it on days I have pockets…”


Buffalo

January 13, 2010

It is still weird for me, having lived my first 25 years in the Buffalo (NY) area, to think of my kids as not being Buffalonians or even New Yorkers. Every once in a while, something reminds me. The other night, it was my daughter saying something about a “Tag Sale.”

Another reason I think about this is that she is almost 5 1/2, and she doesn’t know how to skate. Part of that is my fault, but part is that we don’t have as many days where the ponds are frozen here in CT as we did back in Buffalo.

Well, all that changed recently when we finally got my daughter out on the ice at open skating.

I haven’t skated in, easily, 10+ years. I had no doubt I could still do it – I just knew I was in for some pain. My feet always hurt if I went too long without skating. But, out there on the ice, holding my daughter’s hands as she learned to skate (actually, just getting comfortable being on the ice), I didn’t anticipate my back and arms hurting so much.

I probably didn’t think I’d be that sore, because I thought my daughter wouldn’t like the lack of balance and the fact that learning to really skate takes a while. But she loved it. We were there almost an hour and a half. And she did really well for a first timer. She liked it so much, she still wanted to do lessons.

So now that we’ve got her signed up for lessons, it is time to get a hockey stick in her hands.

Speaking of hockey, she’s taken a bit of an interest in watching hockey with me. She mostly just likes when the Sabres score. The other night, they were playing the team we love to hate – the Maple Leafs, whom we seem to own lately. I went up to say goodnight to her and told her the Sabres were beating the Leafs, 1-0. Her response? “Oh, they’re so easy to beat!”

I guess she knows more about hockey than I thought!


Conversations With…: The Recession’s Tough on Everyone

December 19, 2009

I guess everyone has suffered a bit in this last recession…

Me: Do all birds hibernate (sic)? Or do some stick around in the winter?
Daughter: The snow owl does!
Me: Really? We’ll have to keep an eye out for one…
Daughter: They live in Antarctica!
Me: Really?
Daughter: Yeah! The have camouflage… to protect them from creditors.
Me: Preditors?
Daughter: No, creditors!
Me: Creditors?
Daughter: Creditors.

At least they didn’t get a loan from Big Tony…


Conversations With…: Holiday Spirit

December 16, 2009

Driving in the car last night, out of the blue…

Daughter: Hanukkah isn’t fair…

(I could see what was coming)

Me: How so?
Daughter: They get presents for 8 days and 8 nights!
Me: Well, you’ve already missed 4 days of Hanukkah.. you should wait until next year to convert.

Happy Holidays, all…


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