Eastern Tiger Swallowtail

We put the slip and slide on the hill on the side of the house so that the girls can get better velocity.   They seriously could do this for hours! 

My poor daughter unfortunately inherited this nice insect bite allergy from my DH!  This is now the 5th time this year that my daughter has got bit so much that she gets this nice reaction.  Even the best insect repellent in the world won’t keep them away.  Besides installing bat houses around my backyard, I am trying to convince my neighbors that they need bug zappers.  That way all the insects will go to their houses.  No such luck yet.  I’ll have to stick with the bat houses since they are supposed to be able to consume 300 insects per hour per bat!   I sincerely have my doubts since this nice breeding ground is my backyard. 

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Spring is here.  We are busily spending our entire days in the great outdoors.  Not much time for blog writing since I outlaw electronic devices (i.e. TV) for my own children once it is warm enough for short sleeves.  This time also coincides with TV Turn Off Week.  So, in honor of Earth Day, get yourselves outside and enjoy Mother Earth.  Or, find some form of other interactive way to play with your kids.  I will be updating from time to time, but I will be on hiatus from the blog world because we are too busy outside playing, as it should be!! 

Today was our first day that the temperature flirted with 60 degrees!  In Michigan it is a big, big deal.  We spent the entire day outside, literally.  From about 9:45AM until 7:15PM.  We even ate our lunch and dinner outside.  It was that nice of a day.  I cleaned and mulched my neglected flower beds.  My husband played with his cars, of course.  The girls rode bikes and ran around all day.  I knew from our wonderful meterologists that the temp was going to be warm, but I totally forgot the most important thing–sunscreen!  My poor fair skinned beauties got their cheeks, noses, and foreheads sunburned.  I am usually very diligent about sunscreen, but I totally forgot because it is spring, not summer.  Not an excuse for exposing them to future skin damage, but like my children’s natural consequences, I won’t forget tomorrow or ever again.  That is until next spring, I hope not anyways.  So, please learn from my misfortune, and lather up you and yours in a healthy layer of skin protection.  From now on my children will be sporting these lovely hats and lots of sunscreen.

FYI:  During a lifetime, 70% of total sun exposure occurs before the age of 17, this is why it is important to protect your child’s skin today to teach them to preserve their skin tomorrow. The skin has a memory, and damage caused by the sun during childhood is irreversible, cumulative and often only revealed during adulthood.

This post contributed to the Group Writing Project sponsored by MammaBlogga.


For the second time in two months, my oldest daughter has a stye in her eye.  The first time around I thought that her little sister just smacked her because they are known to have some good WWF moments.  Then it never really went away.  By the second day, it was starting to get swollen.  I took her in to the doctor and he said, “It is a stye”.  He gave me some antibiotic drops for it and told me to try and get her to put a hot washcloth on it for 3-5 minutes a couple of times per day.   I agreeably shook my head yes and knew that was never going to happen!  I was able to get a minute or two with the hot washcloth, but lucky for us, it was gone a few days later. 

Now Monday I noticed her eye getting red again.  I am again thinking that her sister scratched her.  However, it was getting worse.  So by Tuesday afternoon, I called her doctor and left a message, “Hi, this is so and so, and I think my daughter has a stye again.  Please call me back if you think that she should be seen”.  Isn’t it amazing how your perception of child emergencies evolves over the years?!  I didn’t hear from them, so I figured no big deal.  Then at 5:50PM, the nurse calls me and tells me to bring her in.  We live less than a mile away, so off we went.  Yep, it is a stye again.  However, this time it is starting to become infected and swollen.  So not only is she on a topical antibiotic, she is on an oral antibiotic.  Now for most people this would not be a big deal.  However, for me it is.  This is the first time in her entire 4-1/2 years of life that she’s ingested an oral antibiotic!  In the past, I would just use breastmilk on all of their ailments ranging from scratches to pimples to yucky eyes.  However since I am not lactating anymore, I felt a little uncomfortable asking my friends for some of their breastmilk for my daughter’s eye.  So my daughter is now on manufactured antibiotics.  There is nothing natural about them.  However, if it cures her stye in the eye, than I guess I am happy.  A little discontented, but happy, I think?



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There are days like this that I am so glad that my children are less than 20 months apart.  They can be the best of friends at times.  Today my oldest was showing my youngest how to trace her hand using markers.  She even put on finger nails!  Mind you, she also pretended that the marker was nail polish and proceeded to ‘paint’ her and her sister’s nails the most lovely shade of magenta! 🙂  I so remember doing that when I was a kid!  Unfortunately the markers were not so washable back then!  Anyways, sometimes the washable markers that I have at home are a bit more stubborn.  Here is my little trick for removing marker from skin:  Baby oil on cotton balls rubbed gently on the skin is a quick way to remove the marker.  If you’re really adventurous, you can also let them play with shaving cream on a table and just spreading it around cleans the skin.  Shaving cream is a little messy so I take a garbage bag, cut off the bottom seal and cut a slit all the way up the side of the bag.  Before putting down the ‘work mat’, I make sure that the table is damp to ensure the garbage bag stays on the table.  When they are all done, just fold the garbage bag up and toss!  For more ways to remove pesky stains, visit the Crayola website.


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