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.


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

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


January 13, 2009

It is always interesting the watch (listen?) as my daughter’s language skills continue to develop. It really helps you see how the English language can be a little messed up. The one thing my daughter seems to struggle with the most is the past tense.

Early on, she was able to pick up the adding of -ed to verbs to make them the past tense. Which is great 90% of the time. But it also leads to a lot of “I knowed” and “he runned”. One thing I’ve always tried to do is to passively correct her. I will repeat the word back to her the correct way – “Oh, you knew that?” or “He ran where?”, etc.

I don’t know if this is the right way to do it, but I know she isn’t actively trying to do anything wrong, so I feel better “guiding” her to the correct way of saying these thing.

The thing I love most about her growing language skills is the way her mind puts things together. This process makes for some cute results, such as:

  • My daughter calls her big toe the “thumb toe”
  • We were playing with her dolls the other day, and she made me make the child doll run away. The mother dolls warned that if the child doll ran away, she might “die to death”
  • And last night, she told Ms. Kaz that she had an itch, and when Ms. Kaz asked where, she said in her “knee underarm”

There are other examples, but these are a few that stick out in my mind…

The Election and My Kids

November 11, 2008

One more thing on the election…

At first, I was a little disappointed that the historic nature of this year’s election would be lost on my kids, what with them being 4 and 1.

However, the more I thought about it, the happier I was that they would grow up thinking it was perfectly normal that anyone, not just white males, could run for President and that anyone, not just white males, could potentially be elected.

And that’s the kind of world I want my kids to grow up in.


November 5, 2008

I have to say that, in general, I am proud to be an American. I may not always be proud of some of the things my country has done, but I don’t think that makes me any different than most other Americans, or most other people in the world.

Last night was a proud moment.

I know a vast majority or people voted for one candidate or the other because of what they stood for, and what they wanted to do. But I think I would be naive to deny that there was probably some people who refused to vote for one candidate because of the color of his skin. Heck, I would probably be naive to believe that there weren’t some that voted for Obama solely because of the color of his skin.

But I like to believe that most Americans who voted chose based on their belief in who was the better candidate. The fact that Americans were able to look beyond skin color, and not have it affect their opinions is, in my book, something to be proud of.

It is something that would not (and did not) happen 40, 30, even less years ago. And I hope that my kids will grow up in a world where people will look beyond what a person looks like, and focus on who they are.

So, yesterday, Ms. Kaz took our daughter with her to vote, because, being 4, we think it is time to start teaching her about such things. She and Ms. Kaz talked all about what a President is, what voting is, etc. in the car on the way there. Our daughter was all excited. She and Ms. Kaz went and voted (well, Ms. Kaz did, not my daughter) and afterwards, my daughter’s opinion? “That was boring.”

But, I am proud to say (although she is free to have her own opinions) that, in her preschool election, she voted for, “Rock Obama”.

Ms. Kaz said they talked in class a bit about the elections and the candidates. I asked my daughter if she learned about Ralph Nader, and she said, “What’s Ralph Nader?”

In other news, my daughter goes for her Peanut Challenge today. The docs think she might be over her peanut allergy, so they are going to expose her, little by little, to peanuts, stopping if they see signs of a reaction.

With any luck, they will be gone a long time…

Change of Scenery

May 21, 2008

“I need to talk to you…”

This is what my daughter’s Teacher said to me when I went to pick up my daughter from Big Girl School yesterday. “Uh oh, now what did she do?” I thought to myself.

“I have to close.”


“I’ve been doing some consulting,” (we knew this), “and I was made an offer I just cannot turn down.”

“Okay,” I said, “uhm… when?”

“My license expires at the end of the month,” she told me, “so two weeks.”


So, we’re looking for a new place to send my daughter. Ms. Kaz is working a couple days a week, and, for now, the woman who watched her when she was younger, and who now watches The Boy, can watch her while we look.

Of course, it may mean the end of being with her friend Timmy, whom she’s known since she was 8 months old. The same little boy who helped ease the transition between care providers last time, as we at least knew she’d know someone there.

And this place was highly recommended to us, so it wasn’t like we did a huge search last time. It has been over 3 years since we’ve really had to search and evaluate daycare. Or maybe preschool. Who knows where she’ll end up.

She seemed okay with it as I discussed it in front of her withe her teacher, then with Ms. Kaz. But, at some point, for some reason, she had a breakdown about not wanting to go to a new school. I mentioned earlier that she’ll need to find a new school for big kids, and she seemed okay with it. I guess it didn’t really sink in until later.

Here’s some of the comments we heard:

“I wanna just stay home with mommy all the time!”

“I’m going to become a teacher and go to the school and open it up!”

and my favorite:

“I don’t care! I’m going to go in to the school anyhow!”

So, if anyone has advice on (a) explaining the need to switch to my daughter, and (b) easing the transition to a school where she could potentially not know any of the kids, that would be great.

On the plus side, since my daughter wanted to invite only certain kids from School to her birthday party, and the school has a “rule” that all kids have to be invited (to spare hurt feelings, I support) or none at all… we no longer have this problem!

In The Olden Days (Part II)

January 27, 2008

We continue to learn a lot about history…

No Air Jordans?

“In the olden days, people used to wear blankets on their feet when they went out.”

Not just the missionaries…

“In the olden days, people used to sleep like this [on their backs], because they didn’t like to sleep like this [on their sides].”

Well, it is an improvement over blankets…

“In the olden days, people wore big pillows on their feet, and on sour days, they wore cups on their feet.”

Twenty years of schooling, and I feel I know so little about history.

(Previously: In the Olden Days (Part I)”

In The Olden Days (Part I?)

January 6, 2008

My daughter has been offering up some history lessons as of late. Here were our first couple of lessons:

  • “In the olden days, people used to get diarrhea a lot.”
  • “In the olden days, people used to hit each other on the [behind] with rattles.”

We’ll keep you posted on future lessons.


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