Monday, December 19, 2011

A few Christmassy type things

Last week at Ajay's Cub Scout meeting all the boys put together ornaments for the parishioners who can no longer physically attend mass.  Afterwards, they got to make a treat for themselves.  Ajay was excited to bring it home and share with Alex.  In this pic, Ajay discovered that the purple gum-drops were not grape but were, in fact, disgusting licorice. 

The boys decorated the tree on their own this year.  I decided to keep my adult/organizational mind out of the process and just let the boys do as they please.  All I did was sit on the floor and hand them the ornaments.  I wish I had gotten a picture sooner than today - last week as I was sitting on the couch nursing Aren I looked over and saw three ornaments lined up on a single branch.  I chuckled.  The next day, though, I saw Alex "fixing" the problem because it was all too clustered.  Everything is still a bit clustered, honestly, but I like it!  (You can see the "Faith" cross ornament front and center.  I got that from our Bunco exchange and had put it off to the side but one of the boys thought it needed to be elsewhere.) 

They covered the front well but neglected the sides and back.

Ajay did a little gift shopping at school (as a fundraiser for the school) and could.not.wait to wrap everything up.  One night last week while Biju took Alex to his tumbling class and Aren was napping, we busted out the wrapping paper and egg nog.  Here is the first gift of the season under our tree!  (Oh, and Ajay is now missing the top four teeth, not just three!)

Yesterday our church had a little Christmas party.  The boys got balloon toys (Alex chose a sword and Ajay chose a dog); cookie characters (Alex chose an oreo dipped in chocolate and dressed up w/ M&Ms and Pretzels to look like Rudolph, Ajay chose a Nutter Butter, I think, dipped in white chocolate and made to look like Santa); paper ornaments; boxes of peppermints (won from the "cake" walk); and best of all - they got to meet Santa!  Those pics are on Biju's phone, so I'll have to post those sometime later.  I do have pics of their faces after they were painted, though:

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Makin' 'em last

One of the perks that drew me to cloth diapers when I was pregnant with Ajay was that I could use them with future children.  For part of my stash I bought 12 Chinese Prefold Diapers and 12 Indian Prefold diapers.  One kind was supposed to be more absorbent but not last as long and the other was supposed to be the opposite.  Now that we're using the same diapers with child #3 I can say that is true.  I don't know which is which style but I do know that half of our diapers look fairly decent and half of them look like they should be in the trash.  In fact, Biju keeps asking my why I haven't thrown them away.  I figure they're still soaking up pee, so why worry about what they look like.  But, really, it was starting to get more difficult to use the Snappi on them because they were so worn out. 

One day I had a thought.  (Hey, it happens now and then!)  I decided to cut off the outer layer that was so ragged.  Once I took that off it looked like a brand new diaper!  It certainly felt thinner - because in reality it was two layers - the outer layer from the front and back - but they still work and they look so much better. 

(I started this project back in September, as you can tell by the date stamp in the photos.  I got a few done and I have more waiting in a basket.  Maybe I'll get around to them after the Christmas season.  It's not like Aren is holding still for this type of diaper, anyway!  We've been using mainly our pocket diapers and sposies, lately.) 

And then out came the scissors......

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Recipe Wednesday: Parmesan Rice and Peas with Bacon

I love this recipe.  I got it from a book I checked out from the library years ago.  My apologies, I can't remember the title.  I haven't had this dish in awhile - I think it's time to add these ingredients to our shopping list! 

Parmesan Rice and Peas with Bacon

Prep time: 10 min Start to Finish: 45 Minutes Yield: 8

2 slices bacon, chopped

1 med onion, chopped (½ cup)

1 c uncooked long-grain regular rice

1 can (14 oz) chicken broth

½ c water

1 c frozen baby sweet peas, thawed

¾ c grated parmesan cheese

1/8 tsp pepper

1. In 2-quart saucepan, cook bacon over medium heat 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally until crisp. Stir in onion. Cook stirring occasionally until tender.

2. Stir in rice until well coated with bacon drippings. Stir in broth and water. Heat to boiling; reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer about 20 minutes or until rice is tender and broth is absorbed.

3. Gently stir in peas. Cover and cook 1-2 minutes or until peas are hot; remove from heat. Stir in cheese and pepper.

1 Serving: Calories: 160 (Cal from fat 40); Total Fat: 4.5g (Sat fat 2g); Cholesterol: 10mg; Sodium:430mg; Total Carbs: 24g (Dietary Fiber: 1g, Sugar 2g); Protein: 8g.

Monday, December 12, 2011

They played Taps.

A couple of months ago my mom informed me and my siblings that Grandpa wasn't doing well.  He took a few trips to the ER via ambulance, was fixed up as best as possible and eventually sent home time and time again.  At one point we were told he would live only another 2 hours, 2 days at the most.  That was a month ago. 

My aunt researched homeopathic medicines to give him for anything that ailed him.  She gave him medicines for the ringing in his ears - he suddenly went from needing the TV volume cranked up high to overhearing conversations that his children were quietly having across the room.  My aunt also gave him medicines to help with the pain in his joints and to help with his kidneys.  He had a perforated bowel and he also had kidney failure.  There were so many things that were hurting my Grandpa but I tell ya, the man kept his spirit! 
My two aunts and my mom stayed by his side as much as possible this past month.  As time went on and he still lived, vacation times were running thin so Mom and one aunt had to return to their full time jobs.  They lined up help from various places - Catholic Charities, other family members - like my sister-in-law Brandi - and friends of the family.  This past month my Grandpa didn't spend one minute alone.  He would call out at any hour of the day or night.  "Theresa Ann!"  was the most commonly used holler, but I do believe "Mary Christine" and "Cindy W." were used, as well.  I'm told he even called out for me once at the hospital - I think it is because I shared some of my coconut oil with him to use on some wounds. 

A week ago this past Friday Mom called me at 3:30pm.  She works for a bank and she has drilled into our heads not to call anytime around 3 because they are busy doing end of day business.  So when I saw her name pop up on my cell phone "around 3" I knew it couldn't be good news.  She told me she didn't want to worry me but my Aunt Tina had called her at work and told her to drop everything and come over.   I got another call about 15 minutes later.  Again, I knew it couldn't be good news because, well, "no news is good news" right?  
It turns out he had already passed before my aunt had called Mom at work.  But knowing that Mom would have to drive the 15+ minutes to Grandpa's house Aunt Tina didn't want to give her the news and have Mom drive while so upset. 
After I got off the phone with Mom, I got a little teary eyed.  But that was it.  See, I didn't break down and cry because I was actually happy for him.  I knew how much he missed Grandma, who passed 5 years ago, and I knew how much pain he was in.  I was excited for him because I knew he'd be busy getting reacquainted with his Home.  I imagined it to be like a big reunion party where you get to visit with a lot of people you haven't seen in ages and everyone is happy and slapping each other on the back and leaning back from an embrace saying "Man!  Look at YOU!" 

When Ajay got off the bus that afternoon (barely 45 minutes after I got the call) I met him halfway down the block so I could walk back home with him.  I held his hand and asked how his day was.  Then I said "Well, Kid, I have something to tell you.  Grandpa's soul went to heaven today."  He thought for just a moment before asking "When did he die today?"

As we walked along he looked down at his feet but when I peeked I saw no tears.  He and I had actually shed our tears a couple of weeks ago when I first told him Grandpa was very ill.  That was when we sat on the couch and held each other and cried.  I've worked very hard over the years to help Ajay (and Alex, now, too) to understand our beliefs in God and heaven.  I hope he feels the same joy I feel for Grandpa, despite being sad that we won't get to see him in this world again. 

Biju's company allows him to take bereavement days for the death of a spouse's family member, so even though Biju was actually supposed to be on overtime last week he was able to take some time off.  It was a real blessing to me because I was then able to leave Ajay and Alex at home while I went to grieve the loss of my grandpa.  My sister drove Aren and I the three hours to the visitation on Tuesday night.  We walked in and saw a lot of family members I hadn't seen since Grandma's funeral.  We prayed the rosary (during which I noticed some petals falling from a flower arrangement and I could just picture my grandpa standing there picking at them, causing them to fall) and then we continued on with our visitation. 
I kept my composure until I saw my brothers crying.  Logan, my 3 year old nephew, had asked a question which had my older and younger brothers in tears.  I walked up to my younger brother and slipped my arms around his belly (he's much taller than I am) and tried to comfort him.  I then lost all ability to keep it together.  I started sobbing and couldn't stop.  I tried to cry quietly but I just couldn't hold it in anymore.  I was actually quite glad that most everyone had left already and it was mainly family members around.  I was suddenly surrounded by several hands rubbing my back and loved ones crying with me. It was nice to let it all out.  Although, I do believe I might have stained my brother's shirt with my mascara.  I joked with him later that at least we now knew the wet spot was from my tears and not my snot. 

After the visitation we went back to my Grandpa's house where we ate from the casserole dishes that some kind people had brought over.  We talked awhile and got the whole business of seeing the house without him over.  We then headed to my parents to get some sleep.  Some of you may be wondering how Aren did this whole time - he screamed most of the car drive even though I was sitting right next to him trying to comfort him.  He's just not a big fan of long car rides!  Then he was a total sweetheart the rest of the evening - even though he refused to go back to sleep until we were headed back to my parents at 11pm!!  I can't believe he stayed awake for so long. 

In the morning we headed back to the church for his funeral. We pulled up and I said "Oh, I think I'm gonna cry!" - the sidewalk to the church was lined with American flags and there were men standing alongside them.  My grandpa had spent some time in the service and had even been wounded, earning himself a Purple Heart, so there were men at the funeral from both the VFW and the American Legion.
Father Mark did a really good job of eulogizing Grandpa.  Then as Father blessed the casket with holy water there was a song about angels coming to meet Grandpa and escort him Home.  Again, I broke down.  As I stood there holding onto Aren, crying, I couldn't help but think back to Grandma's funeral when I held a one-year-old Ajay and cried with him. 
After the funeral we started to head over to the cemetery when we were notified there was a glitch - something was wrong with the vault and we would have to wait a few hours before we could have the graveside service.  (We all chuckled a bit, saying Grandpa had his mischievous hand in this!)  We ended up having the luncheon before the service. 
By the time we headed back over to the cemetery (which is basically in my grandpa's back yard!) the weather had warmed up a bit - thankfully!  Aren fell asleep during the 3 minute drive so we let him snooze while we went graveside.  It's interesting how certain things trigger more emotion than others.  I cried thinking how Grandpa will never tug on my ear anymore.  I cried when they presented my uncle with the flag that had draped the coffin.  I cried when three men fired three rounds from their rifles.  And I sobbed when the trumpeter played Taps.  It turns out I wasn't the only one who was a tearful mess.  My brother, who spent three years of his young adult life in the Navy, said he was expecting the tune but it still got to him.  I was surprised to later learn that it was played in-person - I had assumed it was from a recording. 

Before we left we took another look at the headstone and we all gathered some of the cut flowers to bring home.  Here's my bouquet:

For those of you who managed to read this long post, thank you.  I think it helps me to remember if I'm able to get it all down.  I'm still sad we won't have any more Christmases or other holidays with Grandpa but I'm so happy that he is in a more glorious place. 

Monday, December 5, 2011


Alex just wanted to say "Hi."

Delicious Chicken Curry for our Thanksgiving meal. 

Sunday, December 4, 2011

All he wants for Christmas..... his three front teeth. 

Ajay lost his two front teeth within a week of each other.  The second one came out while we were visiting my parents for our Thanksgiving celebration.  He is up to a grand total of 5 that have come out.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Getting bigger!

Trying rice cereal.  Not too fond of it.  We keep trying, though!  (And he keeps refusing!  I think it's time to try something else.)

Lovin' the Exersaucer.  It's a great place for him to hang out and get a good view of everything.

Yum yum!!

Really gnawing on those toesies!

First time in the booster - he got a kick out of his new view.  (He's wearing his blanket and was ready for bed so this happy grin quickly melted into a cry that said "put me to BED!") - Oh, and thats drool rash on his face.  I alternate coconut oil and shea butter on it.  It looks better when he can keep it dry but he sucks his thumb so its wet/irritated much of the day.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Recipe Wednesday - A better day

This is a much needed recipe for myself.  Today was a rough day for me as a mother so I'm going to put this recipe up so I can come back here and look at it tomorrow.  And again and again as often as needed.

Ingredients Needed
2 Ears - to listen with
2 Eyes - to see the good
1 Mouth - to say positive things, not negative
2 arms - to give and receive hugs as needed
* May require the use of Mouth again to give smooches to little ones
1 Brain - to help keep you focused that the children are children for such a short period of time and you don't want to spoil this time by stressing out over the little things. 

I admit, this is a bit cheesy but don't we all need a bit of cheese now and then?  Nachos, anyone??

Do you have a good recipe for A Better Day to share?

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Fall = Leaves, Baking and Halloween!

Helping to make our favorite muffins (Zucchini/Carrot/Raisin)

Camera was on the wrong setting but I like the effect.

After going out Trick-or-Treating.  Alex had his costume off before I even made it in the door.  After pleading with him to put it back on for pictures, this is what we ended up with - put on backwards.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Aren: 6 months

Our youngest child turned 6 months old yesterday.  I gotta say, we really enjoy having Aren in our family.  The boys just adore him to pieces.  When Alex hears Aren waking from a nap he asks very eagerly if he can go in and visit him.  When Ajay gets home from school he comes up to Aren and starts talking in that high-pitched voice you use to talk to babies.  And Biju and I go all ga-ga over him, too.  I could just stare at him all day, with those dark brown, loving, sweet, innocent eyes.  Biju comes home from work, gets his afternoon tea and sits down for his turn at baby-cuddles and talks to him in Malayalam. 

Have I mentioned how much we love this little guy?

I'm really taking the time to enjoy the baby stage with Aren.  When Ajay was a baby I was so focused on what new developments were happening, what he would do next, and if he was doing them ahead of schedule.  When Alex was a baby he screamed and cried so much and slept so horribly that I wished (and cried) away the first three months.
Aren is a very happy-go-lucky baby.  I'm so glad he wasn't our first child because I would've been misled into thinking that all babies are this easy.   He is, for the most part, a wonderful sleeper.  He is extremely tolerant of the boys.  He takes it all in stride when Alex invades Aren's personal space.  ("Alex, everyone has an imaginary bubble that is their personal space.  You have to respect their space." "Alex, honey, please stop licking the baby."  "Alex, Aren's arms aren't supposed to bend that way.") 

Aren thinks his older brothers are hilarious.  A real riot.  He grins and giggles at them whenever they're around.  And believe me when I tell you the babe has an infectious grin.  It just warms your heart. 

He's been having some weight woes, however.  The little guy truly is a little guy.  He hasn't gained much.  I had him weighed earlier this week and he was only 12 pounds 1 ounce.  But the two lactation consultants I've met with and our pediatrician don't seem worried all that much.  He's meeting all of his developmental milestones (if you lay him on the floor expect him to be in a different position/location when you come back) and, as the pedi says "He doesn't look or act like a sick kid."  Plus there are smaller men in the gene pools on both sides of the family.  (Biju's father is shorter than I am and, if I remember correctly, it took my dad until his early teen years to even reach the 5-foot mark.)  So we're sticking to our regular routine of breastfeeding on demand with the occasional bottle of formula (if my sister babysits him, or if Biju wants to give him a bottle before bed).  He has his 6 mo. appointment at the end of the month so we'll see how he's doing then.  I think we'll try giving him some rice cereal today.  (We tried a month or so ago and he wasn't ready.)
So to round out my baby-brag-post I'll include a few pictures.  Because who wouldn't want to see more of those big brown eyes??

This one is his "official" 6 month photo taken w/ his buddy.  The onesie he is wearing is sized 3 mo. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Recipe Wednesday - Kettle Corn

I just made up a batch of kettle corn and I'm having a hard time keeping my hands out of the popcorn bowl long enough to type!  I found this recipe a couple of years back on  I've sorted through a few of the comments and figured out what seems helpful.

1/4 cup oil (I use either canola or coconut)
1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup popcorn kernals

Use a large pan (like a dutch oven) with a lid.  You'll certainly want the lid so your popcorn doesn't fly all over, right?  Put the pan over medium heat and pour in the oil plus three kernals of popcorn.  Once the three kernals pop the oil is ready - add in the sugar and let it melt (you might need to stir it around a bit with a rubber spatula).  The melting should happen pretty quickly.  Pour in the kernals, replace the lid and swirl to coat the kernals in the sugar/oil.  Alternate 3 seconds on the heat and then shaking for three seconds.  This is to keep the sugar from burning.  Continue alternating until the popping has slowed.  Remove the lid and sprinkle in some salt (to your taste).  Pour into another bowl - have it ready and waiting.  If you keep the popcorn in the hot pan, or take too long to transfer it to another bowl, the sugar and popcorn on the bottom of the pan will burn.  Lightly brown (carmelized) is yum.  Burned black is not yum.

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Pumpkin Patch

A few weeks back we were lucky enough to be invited to go to a pumpkin patch!  It was great fun.   
The kids first got to learn a bit about how pumpkins grow and the different kinds of pumpkins (and gords) there are.
Then we took a tractor and wagon ride out to the fields so all the kids could pick out a pumpkin. Here are a few of the kiddos discussing their finds.
Ajay in the air on the see-saw...

Alex in the air on the see-saw (although they weren't riding the see-saw together).

A little bouncing fun.  A big "pillow" filled with air.  Ajay tried to do a flip and landed wrong.  He was in pain for weeks afterwards.  I'm actually wondering if perhaps he cracked a rib!!??

Alex sitting on the ground.  (He had actually just come down a big slide
Here he is going back up the hill to slide back down - if that gives you any idea of how big the slide was.

We packed a lunch and enjoyed our meal in the fresh air.

The boys could.not.wait to decorate their pumpkins!  (I was the mean mommy who made them wait 'til the next day.)

The finished project on display on our porch.  Ajay's is on the left, Alex's on the right.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

A new bed

I've been having some major back pain recently (starting about 4 months ago) and Biju and I thought perhaps we could blame it on our bed.  It wasn't an old bed as we bought it new about 6 years ago, but it was still pretty smooshy in the middle.  We decided to buy a new bed to see if that was the problem.  See, I had gone to a chiropractor 3x with no ease in the pain, and I recently finished up an 8 course treatment with a Physical Therapist with still no ease in pain.  We were wondering if maybe all the good I was doing for my back was being undone each night as I slept. 

Also, even though it isn't a nightly occurrence, we occasionally end up with small children sharing our bed space. 

So we upgraded to a king sized Tempurpedic.  It has taken some getting used to and in the beginning my back hurt more when I woke up than before.  But from what we read and what we were told while out shopping, these beds are made to get you/keep you aligned.  I'm hoping that the new pain is only temporary as my back lines itself up and stays that way.  (I must say it is already starting to feel better here in recent mornings.)

And yes, there is a lot more room for children now.  No more fear of rolling over and squishing a little one.  No longer will a parent cling to the edge of the bed hoping a stray foot doesn't send them tumbling to the floor.  (Although for the first time the other morning we ended up in the H position .... Biju on one side, me on the other and Alex laying perpendicular in the middle!)

Here are the boys breaking in the new bed.  We were actually told to let them bounce on the bed the day it was delivered to "break open those cell walls" so the bed wouldn't be too firm.

If you're inclined to believe such things you might wonder if there was "someone else" bouncing on the bed with the boys that day!!  (See the orb to the left of Alex?)
Now, as it turns out, I had a physical recently.  Since I had had no relief in my back pain my doctor decided to have some X-Rays done.  She (and the radiologist who looked at the x-rays) discovered that I had some fusing going on where there shouldn't've been.  Something about my vertebra and sacrum.  She said sometimes it doesn't bother people with this same "condition" and sometimes it does.  I guess in my case, it does.  I can either continue PT or have some sort of shot administered.  I guess I'll have to do some research and decide which is the best course of action!

We're still keepin' the bed, though.

And here is my favorite picture that I took of the boys that day:

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Bug Lady - Part TWO!

As I mentioned in this post a couple of days back Ajay won a classroom visit from the Bug Lady.  Today was that day!  Ajay was out of school yesterday because he was ill. Sore throat, nasty cough, slight fever, so he stayed home to recoup.  We were both relieved when he awoke better this morning.  Still coughing, but better overall. 

He climbed into our bed this morning around 5:30am telling me he was worried the Bug Lady would forget she was supposed to come to do her presentation today.  And then he couldn't get back to sleep!  (He got kicked out of the bed around 6:30 because I was afraid he would wake Alex, who had come into our bed around 1am .... more on the bed situation coming up in a future post.) 

We got to school right on time and since Mrs. B had asked us to stay for the presentation we came prepared with our camera.  The bug-show was to begin 30 min. after the school bell rang so Ajay and his classmates sat down and drew on their dry erase boards while they waited.  Mrs. B even asked Alex if he'd like to draw, too, so he joined right in.  A trip to the bathroom and a drink was preceded by a firm yet gentle warning that anyone not behaving in the hallway or bathroom would not be able to see the Bug Lady.

When she arrived she had her dog with her.  What a sweet dog, he was, too!  However, some of the children (Alex included) freaked out when he came in.  Alex hid behind my elbow as I sat nursing Aren.  One little girl worked herself up into a right panic!  She actually chose to miss the whole presentation because of the pooch (who laid in the back of the room and slept through most of the show).

The kids were great.  I think they were very well behaved - it helped that the teachers stayed on top of things.  When the kids got to a level above a loud whisper they were asked to quiet back down again.  The bug lady also did a very good job of describing what the kids would be seeing, hearing and feeling.  And she demonstrated a sign to give if they didn't want to get close up with a creature (hand in front of their face).

Giving her introduction - which included how she got Henry, the dog, age 4.  Unfortunately, he was abused as a pup.  Fortunately, he was found and fixed up right and is now a "working dog" - he goes to schools with her and even has a job of his own - he works at a library at a school.  He wears a special vest and when children are done looking at books they put the books in his vest and he returns them to the front desk. 
All four 1st grade classes (over 80 students) were invited and there was also another special visitor - Daddy! He wasn't able to stay the whole time but since Ajay had asked him to come he took a little break from work.

The presentation we saw today was longer than the one we saw at the park last month.  There were other animals besides just bugs - such a great experience for all involved!

Ajay taking his turn to put his hand in the container full of big bugs.

Alex petting Sonic, the hedgehog.

One of the teachers wanted some baby cuddles.

Alex holding the parakeet.  Only one kid freaked out and yanked his hand back, causing the bird to jump to the ground and start walking around.  This kid was in the front row so the Bug Lady reassured the other children that the boy wasn't hurt, just tickled by the birds feathers. Almost everyone took the opportunity to hold this cute little lady.
We've enjoyed ourselves both times we've seen the Bug Lady.  If you're local and have the chance, be sure to check her out! 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Recipe Wednesday - Apple Crisp

It's that time of year!  It is pretty easy to get your hands on some apples right about now so I thought I would throw out this Apple Crisp recipe.  I always have to search All Recipes for an apple crisp style that I like.  I finally wrote one down with the changes I wanted - I made this version over the weekend and it was met with rave reviews.

I used a pie plate for my crisp - that seemed about the right size.  I used the trace amount of butter left on the wrapper to coat the pie-plate. Or you could use a butter/oil spray.

Preheat oven to 350F.

Apple Mixture
1/2 c. sugar (I used white this time, but brown might go well?)
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 c. water
3 apples (whatever your favorite kind is) - sliced, peeled

Mix together the sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg then whisk in the water.  Toss the apples with this mixture and set aside.

1 c. oats
1c. flour
1/3 c. packed brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 butter (one stick)

First, in a medium bowl, mix together all but the butter.  Then cut in the butter - use two forks to break the butter up and incorporate it with the oat mixture.  You should end up with pea-sized pieces. 
Take half of the oat mixture and pack it tightly into the bottom of your pan.  Add on your apples, then crumble on the rest of the oat mix. 

Bake at 350F for 45 minutes. 

Goes especially well with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. 
Just sayin'.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Bug Lady

As mentioned previously Alex is now in a class that is for three year olds, one night a week.  Biju and I take turns attending class with Alex while the other parent takes Ajay to a "Kwai Ton Do" class (although most of you would know it as Tae Kwan Do).  A few weeks back we were asked to go to one of the parks in town instead of going to our regular classroom. 

We were to meet....The Bug Lady!

The Bug Lady brought all sorts of bugs and creepy crawly things. It was nice, actually, seeing some of these things close up.  And it was really nice seeing some of the creatures close up while still in a container!  At least now I know what a Black Widow and a Brown Recluse look like!

A centipede
The underside of the ::shudder:: brown recluse.

Millie, the millipede. So big!
This container held a couple of butterflies.  The Bug Lady described how the butterflies have to flap their wings to get the blood flowing - and there was butterfly blood all over this net. 
Then all of the children were given nets to go explore the park and try to find bugs of their own.  They were also told that there were big plastic bugs hidden out there and if you found one you got a special surprise. 

 Ajay did find one, in fact, and his surprise was a free visit to his classroom by the Bug Lady.  How awesome is that??  He was so excited to give his teacher the news.  I do believe she has set up the visit for this coming Thursday. 

Have you seen any awesome bugs lately?