Friday, December 23, 2011

I Am a Proud Mommy!

At the beginning of the month, the Vice Principal called me in the middle of the morning. He had Emma Rose in his office, and she had somerhing to tell me. "Uh-oh" was my response, and he did nothing to contradict me! Emma Rose got on the phone, and she told me that she had been chosen to be the student of the month!

I am so proud of her! She is pretty excited about it, too! The principal announced that she was chosen the day during the morning announcements, and she led the school in the pledge the next week. She has her own bulletin board right outside the Media Center, and her name is on the marquee outside the school.

Hooray Emma Rose!
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Monday, August 29, 2011

My Princess Baby is 4!

Anabelle became a 4 year old today. I have no idea how it could have been four years ago that we saw her pretty little face for the first time. She is growing up to be such a fun, sweet little girl. And a sassy one sometimes, too! She is growing and maturing entirely too fast for me.

We had a fun little party for her at the pool yesterday. She was very happy to play with her friends and her daddy (especially) and to have cake and ice cream! I have more pictures from the party, and I'll post them as soon as I have time to upload them to Shutterfly and share the link.


Monday, July 11, 2011

My Sweet Anabelle

Anabelle really loves the pool! When she's not wearing her froggy float, she is now holding her breath and swimming about a foot under the water. Both my girls are growing up way too fast!
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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Witch & Ladybug at the Library

The girls wore costumes to the library last week just because they wanted to! All the other children seemed to wish they were in costume, too. Maybe the girls will be little trend setters. Emma Rose didn't want her picture taken, but I caught enough of her in this one to record them together! They were so cute!
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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Jacob Cline Monarda


This is the first bloom of one of my new flowers. The plant is suppose to attract hummingbirds!
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Sunday, June 19, 2011

Yellow Pear Tomatoes!

It's so hard to wait for them to get ripe! Once they do ripen, they may not make it in the house.
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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Peas and Bugs

Last night we had the first veggies out of the garden: peas. They were delicious! I steamed them with a sprig of the lemon thyme from the garden and felt totally gourmet. John & Emma Rose liked them, too. Anabelle tried a pea but spit it out! I was very glad she at least tried it. Maybe by the end of the growing season she'll change her mind.

Yesterday, I also found squash bugs and their hatchlings on my squash plants. GRRR! I was able to capture all of them and destroy all the hatchlings and eggs. I found another batch of eggs this morning, so the war is officially on. Sadly, they won last year, so I'm hoping that I will win this year!
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Thursday, June 2, 2011

Gummy Candy: Dye Free

In March, we discovered that Anabelle has a bad reaction to dyes. At first, I just thought it was only red dye, but after removing all dye from her diet and then letting her have half of a cookie with green sprinkles, we quickly realized that all dyes should be off limits. There was a negative change in her behavior about 20 minutes after she ingested the cookie.

I first realized what was happening when we ran out of milk. Both Emma Rose and Anabelle love pink milk, aka Nesquick strawberry milk. I think they became enamored with it because Lola, from the Disney series Charlie and Lola, has pink milk on every episode. I would only give them just enough to make the milk change from white to the lightest pink, and they were very happy with it. One week, John was out of town, and I ran out of milk, so neither of the girls had pink milk for a week.

We had been struggling with Anabelle's behavior at preschool. It seemed that everyday, she would do something that she knew she shouldn't. One day, she would push a child for sitting in her spot and the next day, she would suddenly take off running from walking in the line. I would often leave preschool in tears because I couldn't understand why she was misbehaving. We would talk about, she would be very upset because of her bad choices (and getting in trouble). I tried everything to encourage good behavior, including bribes and various punishments. Nothing worked until the week we ran out of milk.
I didn't see it at first. That first week without pink milk, she didn't have any behavior issues. The next week, we went to San Jose without pink milk, and she didn't have any significant behavior issues. Then, the next week we had pink milk again. The preschool behavior issues started up again. In the words of Gru: "Light Bulb!" After that week, I began taking all red dye out of her diet. It wasn't too difficult as we normally don't buy a tremendous amount of candy, and I make a lot of our food from scratch. It was during that time that I realized pink milk is made mostly of red dye; it's the third ingredient listed. I also began to log all the food she ate along with her behavior. This confirmed what I thought. We have now removed all dye from her diet.

It's certainly not a panacea that ends all bad behavior. She is a three year old! John, who was a skeptic at first, is now a believer. We can see a big change, and her teachers saw it, too. She had nearly perfect behavior in preschool since omitting the dyes with only 3 exceptions in 3 months. Her dance teacher told me one day that she was one of the best behaved girls in the class. (I almost fell in the floor!! Let's just say that wasn't always the case in dance class.) She is also so much more affectionate and tolerant. Her patience has increased, and she's able to focus longer on specific tasks. From now on, she will be dye free.

It's a little sad when other children are eating the brightly colored candy, and Anabelle asks, "Mommy, does it have red dye?" I can tell that she would love to have a piece, but she knows what red dye does to her. In Anabelle's own words, "Red dye makes me a little crazy."

Today, I made gummy candy for her. It's not as sweet as the gummy candy from the store, but she seems to like it. I'll work on it to make it a little better. I think boiling down the juice to make it more concentrated will be a huge help with the flavor. My next experiment is going to be Lollipops!
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Friday, May 27, 2011

The first bean flowers!

One other little plant has blossoms, too. We had rain last night, and all the plants in the garden needed it badly. It will be a great day to weed unless it turns out to be a great day for the pool. :)
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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

One Tooth Less!

But she is still so, so cute! The tooth came out yesterday, and number two is just barely hanging on.
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Saturday, May 14, 2011

First zucchini flower!

I'm getting so excited about fresh veggies!
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Friday, May 13, 2011

We have butterfly!

She has just emerged from the chrysalis. The girls are so excited!
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The Chrysalis is Changing!

The outer part of the first chrysalis is becoming clear and wer are starting to see the wrind of the monarch butterfly. From what I read, we have about 24 hours from when this process started until the butterfly emerges. It's so exciting!
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Sunday, May 8, 2011

Monarch Caterpillar Pupating!

I was able to get some pictures of the caterpillar pupating last week. This is the link to the pictures: share.shutterfly.com/action/welcome?sid=8QYs3Ldo5aqICw. The time that passed during the pictures was less than 5 minutes! Emma Rose was totally engrossed in the process and watched with me the entire time!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Butterflies: Day 20

The second caterpillar is getting into position to pupate! He has chosen the spot on the opening.
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Sunday, May 1, 2011

We have a chrysalis!

Emma Rose was able to see it change!
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Butterflies: Day 18

The largest caterpillar is beginning to pupate! He is in the "j" position and hanging from the top of the container.
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Black Widow in the back yard

She was squished!
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Friday, April 29, 2011

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Monday, April 25, 2011

The Big One

This is a picture of the big caterpillar and his old skin. He molted today! I hope I can catch one molting before they pupate.
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Butterflies: Day 12

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Sunday, April 24, 2011

Butterflies: Day 11

They are each on a different piece of milkweed, and they are eating and growing faster now. I read that when the caterpillar is about 2 inches long, it will form a chrysalis. We still have a bit to go!
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Saturday, April 23, 2011

Butterflies: Day 10

This is the medium caterpillar today.
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Butterflies: Day 10

This is the largest of the two. The small one is still MIA.
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Friday, April 22, 2011

Old Skin

This is the large caterpillar's old skin. He molted today!

(At first, I thought it was poop.)
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Butterflies: Day 9

This is the latest picture of the two large caterpillars. I haven't been able to find the smallest one today. He has either expired or become a victim of some cannibalistic caterpillar ritual. I couldn't find a carcass after a pretty thorough search. I guess he could be hiding, too.

These two are still alive, eating, and growing. They are lethargic this morning but were pretty active last night. It seems like they have a long way to go to get as big as the caterpillar in Emma Rose's classroom!
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Thursday, April 21, 2011

Tomatoes, One Yellow Bell Pepper, & a Row of Cucumbers

So far, so good. The cucumbers are still tiny seedlings and can't be seen in the picture. The other little beds are growing, too. I keep "looking" for a spot for the pumpkins, & John is not taking the hint. I may have to hint a little harder!

We've also planted some peas, basil, scallions, green beans, yellow squash, zucchini, and one green pepper. (I accidentally picked up green instead of red!) In another bed, I am trying to grow some cilantro. I'm not overly hopefully with the cilantro, but I thought I'd give it one more try. I cannot wait for fresh veggies!
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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Butterflies: Day 7

This is a picture of the two largest caterpillars. The tiny one is on the back of a leaf, & I couldn't get a good picture of him. He is still tiny and does't seem to be growing. He is also eating the least.

The two larger ones are eating more and more every day. In the picture, you can see the spots on the leaves that they have made.

The girls are still looking at them every day. Emma Rose is looking forward to seeing a chrysalis from our caterpillars. I can't wait to hear what she thinks about the butterfly coming out of the chrysalis at school! I'm not sure Anabelle will be impressed, but I just never know!
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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Butterflies: Day 6

I was able to get all three of the caterpillars in the picture. They are still small, medium, and large! The smallest one doesn't seem to be growing, but he still wiggles when I touch him with a leaf. He's not dead. The other two appear to be getting larger and larger! They are sluggish again this morning, so I hope that means they'll be more active later in the day.
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Monday, April 18, 2011

Perspective

I took a quick picture of the largest caterpillar next to the smallest. It's amazing that the big one has grown so much in just 5 days!
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Butterflies: Day 5 (Part 2)

This little guy is the largest of the 3 caterpillars. He is eating the most of the three.

The large caterpillar in Emma Rose's class is now making a chrysalis!
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Butterflies: Day 5

These are the smallest two of the three caterpillars. The tiny guy was very sluggish yesterday, but he seems to be much more active today. The other one in this picture is the medium caterpillar, and he is really starting to eat more!
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Sunday, April 17, 2011

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Caterpillar from Emma Rose's classroom

He is much bigger than our little guys!
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Butterflies: Day 3

They're growing! I heard that the caterpillars will grow 3000 times their original size in about 10 days.
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Friday, April 15, 2011

Butterflies: Day 2

Yesterday, we had 4 babies. This morning, we have 3. One of the big ones dehydrated and died while John was desperately seeking milkweed. They look a little sluggish this morning, but we now have fresh milkweed in the container. (And maybe they aren't morning caterpillars.) I also saw evidence that they had eaten some more of what was in there, too. The largest caterpillar looks like he has already gotten a little larger, and that's a good sign!

We're going to plant the milkweed plants in the back yard this weekend. I was told if we plant it, the monarchs will come. The place where we ordered the eggs sent some milkweed seed, and those will go in the ground, too. How fun would that be for the girls!? Well, and me, too. I'm very excited to see the metamorphosis and wouldn't mind having our own little butterfly nursery in the yard!
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Thursday, April 14, 2011

Butterfly Eggs

Our eggs have hatched, and we have 4 baby caterpillars. They just arrived in the mail today, and I was shocked they hatched so quickly. There might be one or two more eggs on the little leaf, but I can't tell for sure. My plan is to take pictures as they grow and change into adults! The girls are very excited!

Emma Rose's class is also doing butterflies, and Mrs.Turner has two large caterpillars and one chrysalis. I think her class is going to be very interested in watching the change, too. It will be so much fun to hear about it from Emma Rose and her class mates!
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Sunday, April 10, 2011

Anabelle helped us plant the garden

She has just a little dirt on her face.
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Emma Rose and her Daddy

We just finished a little planting in our garden.
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Thursday, March 10, 2011

Emma Rose has a loose tooth!

She is very excited but keeps worry about how she is going to look with a missing tooth. She is such a girly girl!
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Friday, March 4, 2011

Both of the girls in sponge rollers!

It is becoming a ritual every night to put curlers in the girls' hair. Emma Rose reads to us while I roll Anabelle's hair, and Anabelle works on her letters on my phone. We haven't had time this week to paint nails, but I think that's on the agenda for this weekend. They are both getting to be so girly! I love it.
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Thursday, March 3, 2011

From Dr. Seuss's Birthday Celebration Yesterday

She loves the hat!
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Princess Tiana Impressions

Emma Rose and Anabelle have been watching The Princess and the Frog movie a lot! They love Princess Tiana. Here are their impressions of Tianna (during her time as a frog) saying, "There is no way I'm kissing a frog and eating a bug on the same day!"  The movie is set in New Orleans, and they are using their best New Orleans accents!

Emma Rose's impression: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yKyTyzKQKjQ

Anabelle's impression: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6sUIr_F63X4

Monday, February 14, 2011

Rosie's Curls

She was very happy with the curls, but she did not enjoy having her picture taken. By 10 this morning, all the curls were in little ringlets and she was enjoying bouncing around her classroom. I think she is so cute!
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Anabelle's Toes

Anabelle had her nails painted on Saturday, and she also has flowers on her middle fingers. Tonight, we painted her toes red and added the white flowers. She did not want to sleep in the rollers!
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Emma Rose's fingers

We had spa night, and Emma Rose has red nails with a flower on her middle fingers. She also is sleeping with sponge rollers in her hair for the second night in a row. I think she likes the curls!
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Saturday, February 12, 2011

Anabelle after the foam rollers

She couldn't keep the rollers in for more than about an hour and a half, but she did get some curl. I also took the girls to get their hair cut today. It has been a day of beauty!
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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Tellus Science Museum

Last weekend, John discovered a jewel in Cartersville: Tellus Science Museum. At about 9:30, he says, "Let's Go!" And we went at about 11:30. I was skeptical because it was Cartersville. I was so pleasantly surprised! The museum was really wonderful, and the absolute best part was that the museum had a lot of hands-on activities for the girls.

On our way in, a very grumpy lady told us the visit was not worth the money we had to pay to get in. She had salt and pepper waist length hair that was tied loosely in a ponytail hanging a little to the side of her head. She was wearing what I think may have been hospital worker pants and a hooded, zippered sweatshirt. I didn't get a look at her feet, but I suspect she may have had on crocs. Then she told us that security threatened to "call the cops" on her twice "for nothin'." Also, she insisted that there was nothing for the children to do despite advertisements. I was a little nervous about going in at that point.

On the way in, John asked a security man about her. He started to apologize profusely and say that she was causing some problems. The lady selling tickets said the same, and added that in two years, they had only asked two people to leave. This woman happened to be number two. Throughout our visit, all the museum personnel approached us to see if we were having a good time. They were very concerned that our time there started that way. They were great!

The hands on activities were a big favorite with the girls. They got to pan for minerals, dig for fossils, and play in a very large learning room containing specialized areas for magnets, gravity, etc. It was a great day! These are pictures of the visit: http://picasaweb.google.com/PLC730/TellusScienceMuseum?feat=directlink

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