Saturday, May 30, 2009

Butterflies and Barracudas

Sounds like a funny combo, doesn't it? Well, I can tell you that both butterflies and barracudas have one thing in common...Little Miss A. She has been learning everything under the sun about butterflies since her class studied them in preschool. She even got me to purchase a Butterfly Garden for her, and I finally decided it was time to send off for the caterpillars a couple of weeks ago.
It seems strange to actually pay for bugs to come to your home, but that is exactly what I did. And about 10 days after my check arrived in California, a box with real live caterpillars landed in Austin. We watched as they grew every day until they finally wrapped themselves in their coccoons (Little Miss made sure I knew that those are called their chrysalis) and then I moved them into the butterfly tent.

Now, in case you have never had cause to move a piece of paper as thin as a coffee filter with 5 cocooned caterpillars hanging on it, there is something you should know. They squirm. I don't mean just a little movement here and there, oh no, that would be far too easy to deal with. They were wiggling like a bunch of showgirls in Vegas while I tried not to scream in terror. At one point one wiggled so hard it touched my hand and I think I might have passed out for a second or two. The end result was ok. I managed to attach the coffee filter paper to the side of the tent just like in the picture and we waited for the magic to happen.

A week later, we were rewarded with 5 butterflies that were all hatched out and pretty. After three days I was finally able to convince the tender-hearted child that if we wanted the butterflies to have full, happy, productive little butterfly lives we needed to release them into our yard. I promised we would take pictures so she could always remember them, so here they are:

This is the kiddo with the tent in our backyard, and the shot below is one of our butterflies before it took to the wind.

The cool thing is all this butterfly time inspired me to make a few butterfly cards, so I hope you enjoy them. I have to say that I have been having some lighting issues lately and the color in the embossed card is Kiwi Kiss, not River Rock (which is what it looks like in this shot).

Finally, the barracuda portion of today's post. Little Miss had an away swim meet today. Last year she could not swim a lick, and we had her take a couple weeks of swim lessons. My entire goal was to have her be able to make it to the side of the pool if she ever fell in, and we more than succeeded at that. This year she begged me to let her join the swim team so she could swim "like the big girls". I relented because she is so doggone persuasive and she looks too adorable in her purple and black (Barracuda attack!) swim suit. Here she is just chilling out today at the meet:

Next we have lining up for the ready bench, getting her goggles in place, and finally in the pool doing her best half-doggie paddle half-freestyle stroke. The funniest part was we have been really encouraging her to not hold onto the lane line like it is the last life preserver on the Titanic. Today she was within 5 strokes of the finish when she had to grab the line for a second to catch her breath. As she looked to her left, she saw her little friend behind her, so she starts saying, "Come on, you can do it!" to cheer for her friend, forgetting that she is racing at the time. She finished just before her little friend did, and although her times are nowhere near the "competitive" level, we all had a great day! And how can you fault a kiddo who stops swimming to cheer for her teammate? I think my little butterfly is coming out of her chrysalis, and what a beauty she is!
I hope you all have a great weekend, and until next time, Happy Stamping!

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