Monday, September 17, 2012

We Have Takeoff!

Our first butterfly has emerged from his chrysalis! When we got home from church yesterday, the punk came running downstairs to let me know that we had a butterfly!

The punk and his pet.

The basher examining our specimen.

Come out, little guy!

He stayed on the grass for over an hour, presumably hardening his wings to prepare for flight.

The next chrysalis, waiting for his turn.

Goodbye, Friend!

Sunday, September 16, 2012


This weekend, the Bells have been sick. Both boys had double ear infections in addition to their colds and, even though my man was out of town, he and I had similar symptoms of sore throat and general ickiness. I reluctantly cancelled all my weekend plans - work and play - to take care of the little guys and try to rest myself. It's fortunate that I had already made arrangements for someone to cover me at work on Saturday morning because at about 5:30 am, after getting up to change the basher's diaper (he was crying, "oooowww... oooowww" from his bed, and it turns out he had a very red bum bum), I actually passed out and bashed my face on the toilet. I have a big red, scabby nose to prove it. It's pretty.

Don't worry, it's nothing serious. After visiting an instacare the next morning, it turns out I was probably just dehydrated. Ridiculous.

Anyway, while I was sipping my hot water with lemon and honey the night before the face-bashing incident, I was thinking to myself that I wish my mom were there to take care of me. I'm 31 years old. I have a husband and two children of my own. And I still want my mom?

When I texted my parents that morning that I needed their help, my dad immediately texted back, "We're on our way." He took me to the clinic while my mom stayed with the boys. After I came home, she took the boys to a park so I could take a nap. Later that evening, my mom- and dad-in-law picked up the punk and the basher and took them to the State Fair so I could rest some more.

It is incredibly comforting to know that I can count on BOTH my parents AND my in-laws anytime I really need help. Not only are we geographically close to both sets of parents, they are both supportive and loving and involved in our lives.

After the boys came home and I had bathed them and put the basher to bed, I was tucking in the punk. We read a book and he said a prayer, then as I placed the covers over him, he asked me if I would rub his back. This took me back to my childhood when I shared a room with my brothers. Every night, we asked for a back rub, and my mom would make the rounds. We all got a minute or two of the best kind of comfort there is. Tangible love from our mama, through her fingertips. So at the punk's request, I smiled and tickled his small, smooth back with my fingertips, and found comfort myself in knowing that I was able to show this kind of love to my sweet boy because I had been taught by my own mom what it means to take care of a child.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

12of12: September (Wednesday)

Today was a tough one. The boys and I like to get out and do things most days, but today we stayed in. All the live long day. Both little guys were not feeling well. The punk seemed to improve as the day went on, but the basher was pretty miserable. Hoping for clearer noses tomorrow.

[Click on the block of photos to enlarge.]

1. After bathing the punk in an attempt to clear the kid's stuffy head, my man took off for his annual golfcation. 2. Breakfast. 3. We spent a lot of time cuddling today. 4. Washing our hands before we make cinnamon rolls. 5. One dose for each boy. 6. The finishing touch: maple icing. 7. "Special piano time." That's what we call practicing. 8. What? Doesn't everyone place their multiple windows exactly the same distance apart at a 45-degree angle? 9. More cuddling. I actually fell asleep like this for a few minutes. 10. Poor sicky. 11. The only way I could play frisbee with the punk while holding the basher. Rolling it! 12. Late night pasta: linguine with lemon cream sauce.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

The Only Pet I'll Ever Love

I've done it. I've found the impossible pet. One that I actually like!

Yes, it's true. I am evil. I don't like dogs. Or cats. Or ferrets or guinea pigs or hamsters or horses. I am not a pet person. I've had every opportunity to become a dog lover. I grew up with dogs; my parents have a dog now and so do my in-laws. Although the former is a bit scraggly and the latter is slightly neurotic, these dogs are nice enough. But I just don't have the animal lover gene - the one that encourages people to snuggle their smelly animals and allow themselves to be licked and scoop their poop and nurture and train and care for these creatures.

But now... I have found the ideal pet.

 My parents brought three caterpillars from the ranch for the little boys to observe. Calvin named them Milkweed, Jady (because at the time, he was in the shape of a J), and Idy. (Can you guess which letter he resembled?) Shortly after these little guys received their names, Jady moved and became Ody for a minute. But then he moved again and his former name was restored.

Jady has already spun his chrysalis. I think Idy will spin tonight. Milkweed is still chowing down on his... you guessed it... milkweed.

Listen to me! I am just as invested in the happiness and wellbeing of these striped worms as the little boys of the house. They don't leave hair on my furniture or poop in my grass. They don't require love and affection, nor training, nor exercise. As long as I keep a constant supply of fresh milkweed coming, they are content. And, in a week or two, after the novelty of having real live insects on our kitchen table wears off, they will emerge from their green and gold enclosures and we will set them free!
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