Monday, August 23, 2010

American Dagger Moth

The girls and I found the caterpillar of the American Dagger Moth crawling up the side of the house today.  Since our street is lined with linden trees - I guess this is not too surprising, but this was the first one I'd ever seen.  At any rate, I took some pictures (not my forté), which will be posted later.  When we came inside, we all sat down and tried to identify the caterpillar in our book of North American Insects and Spiders.  We had no luck - but the process was very nice, and ultimately the internet came to the rescue.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Summer update

Oh my gosh, only three weeks to go!  Yikes, where did all the time go?

I didn't get in all the camping I wanted, or have as many play dates, or teach Rebecca how to ride her bike without training wheels yet.  Time just seems to evaporate around the ultra compact nuclear energy source that is my two little girls.

Rather than being comprehensive about all the stuff I've neglected to post about in the last few months, I'll offer a picture of the last couple days.

Yesterday I biked the girls out in the early afternoon to Agincourt Park, which is right behind Becca's school.  It's got a little play structure and a wading pool.  We met up with Becca's classmate Rachel (one of Rebecca's favorite people), Rachel's little sister Rebecca, and their mom Elizabeth.

Let me tell you, the whole Rebecca/Rebecca thing was a little trying for Lucy.  I think we got her sorted, though, without thinking that her sister split in two.  ;)

We spent a couple hours playing in and out of the pool, and really blew through a chunk of Lucy's naptime.

I noticed that they were having a 'Park party' type event today, though, so we made plans to return.

I'd seen one of these parties at the park at the end of our street a couple weeks ago, but we weren't able to attend.  There was music playing, games aplenty, BBQ and ice cream and bouncy play castles.

I arranged to meet with Rowan and Luka (and mom Sarah) as well as mentioned my plans to Rachel's mom, who suggested she might show sometime around 1pm.

The morning consisted of dropping Mom off at work, and heading out for groceries.  By the time we got back there was time to make a few phone calls and then pack up and head out to the Park again.

I got there a little later than intended due to an apparent slow leak in my rear bike tire, but it held up and we made it ok by around 12:30.

The event was a little more low-key than the one I had witnessed previously.  They had music playing, and 'BBQ' hot dogs (ok, they were wieners done on a George Forman grill, but they were only $1) and a cotton candy machine.  Things were less elaborate, but the various lifeguards were all very enthusiastic, some playing games and live music, and making things fun for all the kids.

Rowan had already had a taste of the water by the time we arrived (Luka too, apparently accidentally) and had decided it was too cold.  She was back in her dry clothes.  Lucy and Becca would have none of that, though, and went right into the pool.

I had to drag Becca out for lunch, after which they went back in the water, joined by Rowan.  Shortly after that, Rachel showed up with her dad.  She got in the pool, and came out pretty quickly after that.  Rebecca must really have a thing for the water, though, because she stayed in all by her lonesome for a while, when the other kids were off doing other activities.

Timing of bathroom visits meant some running around, and being pulled in different directions by the kids meant no chance to sit down and relax and socialize with the parents.

The kids were well sun screened, but my plan of finding a place in the shade to watch over them didn't really pan out.  No burn for me, but it made for a very tiring afternoon.

Lucy had had enough by around 3 and we beat our retreat.  As I was trying to convince Rebecca that we needed to leave the play ground she wiped out on the slide and bit her tongue.  Some cuddles and teary goodbyes and we were on our way.

Lucy went down for a nap fairly easily, and Rebecca put herself to bed too (!).  But it was less than an hour until we had to get out the door to pick up Mom from work and go to swimming lessons.

The lessons started at 5pm, and today was 'parent day'.  Lucy is in a parent and tot class, but this is the one class in the session where we get to go in the water with Becca.  So Mom and I both swam, and traded off a couple times to spend time with each of the girls.

Both girls are coming along in their own ways.  Rebecca seems to have this class mastered, happily climbing out and jumping into the pool unassisted, floating with her face in the water holding a pool noodle, and swimming around the pool on her back and front with a noodle.  Next level will introduce swimming with no flotation aids.  I'm interested to see that.

Lucy is a champ at jumping in the pool, kicks much better than Rebecca did at this point in her swimming career, and most importantly seems to love the water like big sister.  What she can't abide by, though, is back float.  Don't know why, but she freaks out about it.

Anyway, we were back home at 6pm, and Mom took off for a dinner date with a friend.  The girls and I shared some leftovers, and we were into bedtime routine shortly thereafter.  It took FOR.... EVER.  As I tried to get one room tidied up, one or both of the girls would destroy the other one.  Finally, I just got everything done for Lucy, and put her to bed.

Rebecca was supposed to be cleaning her room, but was so tired that she had the attention span of a chipmunk.  I stubbornly had decided to dig in my heels and make her clean her room by herself.  I would ask her to pick up a toy, and she wouldn't even make it to the appropriate shelf without starting to make up a little story, talking in voices and such.

All told, bedtime routine took the better part of an hour and a half between the two girls.

Neither of them were being particularly bad or trying at any point today, but it sure took a lot out of me anyway.

I'm pretty certain that they both had an awesome time, though, so I wouldn't have it any other way.

Monday, August 9, 2010