Monarch update

I have 6 caterpillars ūüźõ currently. My oldest one I think is close to making its chrysalis. I will admit I have had a few casualties. (This is frustrating but I have to remind myself only 10% of eggs in the wild make it. And none of the eggs I left out on their own have made it.)

One I accidentally touched cleaning the cage (when it was newly hatched).

One escapee got smashed when I was looking for him.

One failure to thrive.

One fell into a tiny crack and I fed him for days he wouldn’t come out and I accidentally poked him with a lifeline. This one upset me the most. We were so close to a rescue.

I have definitely learned from my mistakes. And the second batch has faired much better.

Here are some photos.

The last photo is my big guy just a couple days ago. I do fear I may run out of milkweed. The 6 of them ate 3 decent sized leaves yesterday.

*update* 9/1/18

He/she is starting!

And the “littles” started or are about to molt I’m not positive bet they are somewhere between 3rd and 4th instars.

That’s all for now!


Birthday Gifts

Little E is going to be turning 2 this summer! Wild. Like every parent I want to give him everything. However, he doesn’t have wants just yet, nor does he truly NEED anything. ¬†You know besides food shelter love and clothing.

I have been paying close attention to things that interest him, including cars. Although, that one as been obvious since what feels like forever.

We try to get out of the house a lot to get him socializing, since we don’t do childcare. So a lot of these ideas have come from the public library and the discovery center. They do a great job and utilizing educational toys and rotating them in and out! ¬†Back in March I did a Montessori purge of our own toys here at home based on this blog post. Now I didn’t remove all of our plastic toys or EVERY toy with batteries but it did help me purge (read as, box up) baby toys and things we have duplicates of. ¬†Our house stays so much cleaner now! Also, I noticed he started playing with toys I’d never seen him play with before, at least not without prompting from us.

Something’s he tends to play with while we are out and about are on the following list.

  1. Animals and barn
  2. Melissa & Doug Doorbell House
  3. Melissa & Doug Latches Barn
  4. Play food
  5. Kitchen sets
  6. Puzzles

We have gotten him a few, probably too many of the little schliech animals but I bought them on sale at¬†Orschlen’s. Otherwise we’d would have spent a small fortune on them. People that have kids who collect the Dinosaurs definitely have put forward some pretty pennies. ¬†I saw him eyeing the dinosaurs. I wanted to get one but, I was buying animals to work on his sounds. He hasn’t cared a whole lot for talking. So I was/am desperate for anything to help.

Other things I think he’d love

  1. Dinosaurs
  2. Cars toddler sheets
  3. Toddler table
  4. Building set/table
  5. More cars, <a href=”http://5 1954 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Coupe 1:36 Scale (Beige). by Kinsmart“>cars, & <a href=”http://Dodge Ram Quad Cab In Green Diecast 1:44 Scale By Kinsmart“>trucks, & more <a href=”http://5″ 1957 Chevy Bel Air Coupe 1:40 Scale (Black)“>cars, & another <a href=”http://New 1:44 KINSMART DISPLAY – SILVER COLOR DODGE RAM PICKUP TRUCK Diecast Model Car By KINSMART“>truck & more <a href=”http://2014 Chevy Silverado Pick-up Truck, Black – Kinsmart 5381D – 1/46 Scale Diecast Model Toy Car“>trucks & a <a href=”http://Kinsmart 1/38 Scale Diecast 1953 Cadillac Series 62 Coupe in Color Creme“>car
  6. A<a href=”http://Bachmann Rail Chief Ready To Run Electric Train Set – Ho Scale“> train!

Birthday Gifts

Eventful day 

So today was a bit above average. ¬†Started out with me waking up before E. I’d say 7-10 he’s awake before me. I’d showered gotten dressed and had my coffee before he woke up. AND mopped my bathroom!

Most all of this happens during nap time. He naps sort of early for most kids but not always. Day I want him down at 11 he’s up till 1. Days we have things to do around 12 he’s ready to go down by 11. Without fail.

So I had an informal interview or meet and greet if you will. So E got to hang out with his uncle. I thought this would be a half hour max thing and it was nearly an hour and a half. It was fun? It was an adult conversation without interruptions and it had all of my focus! So that was interesting. Haha.

I almost forgot I picked up a hitchhiker on my way! ¬†It sorta stressed me out but this poor little high school girl was walking because she missed the bus. She actually almost caused a wreck or I wouldn’t have noticed her. ¬†I’m not in the habit of picking up hitch hikers. Anyways she made it to second period. I did my best non-lecture lecture. “Missed the bus?” “Yeah.” “What time does the bus come?” “6:40.” “Do you walk often.” “No.” – pause- “I didn’t want to wake my papa up and get in trouble again.” “You miss the bus a lot?” “Yeah (sheepishly and embarrassed).” “You stay up late?” “Yeah (slightly annoyed and embarrassed but also acknowledging my fair point).”

Lecture over. She was grateful she was excited to make it to part of her first class. She was still nearly an hour late!! I would have died! I loved school! Anyways, I still made it fifteen minutes early to my interview.

Then I hustled to pick up E relieve my brother it was 10:30 ish when I made it there and guess who was looking pretty sleepy?? You could guess both and be right. Lol. Sorry E we had a meet up planned! Not sure I’ve mentioned it but I’m in a family group and there been some push by the leadership team for members to create some meetups and some of us met at the strawberry fields to pick your own strawberries ūüćď!

E picked some! That was exciting for me!! He really liked chasing some of the big kids the most and seeing the kittens they have. He liked the kittens a bit more than my moms puppies. But the kittens were a bit older I’m guessing. Plus we have a cat. Not that he’s not around dogs because we is a lot. We went back to my moms for lunch and nap. I can help my other brother in his boat shop if E naps at my moms since it’s just across the driveway. There whole set up is super complicated to explain, so I won’t bother but if you saw it you’d get it. I want to call it a compound but then you’d think it a cult. Manor sounds way too fancy but the alliteration their last name makes with it is very nice. Organized cluster f*ck? It’s way nicer than that. Rental repair and renovation?. That’s actually not half bad and tells you a lot about what goes on at my moms house and all the shops on their property.

Okay so back to the day.

More puppies. E got to play with his friend Alexander. Dirt more dirt he did very good sharing a little tikes car. He got to play outside with his grandma. I guess he even made it in bed early. ¬†I stayed behind to help finish working on a boat. It’s so close to done I can’t stand it but my brother isn’t feeling great and couldn’t stick around anymore and of course it’s stuff I can’t do without minimal but still needed help. So back tomorrow we go! After we go to the park and rode trains of course! ¬†Another adventure awaits! ¬†


14 Mostly kids movies for family night ÔĽŅ

It’s the weekend! We love movies here in our house. ¬†Besides Sunday after E goes to bed we really don’t watch TV anymore. ¬†<a href="http://Join HBO Free Trial“>HBO is our guilty pleasure. ¬†However Sunday’s are usually also our family movie night. ¬†Yes we do watch movies during the week. ¬†Especially during the day, because we just don’t really do TV. ¬†And sometimes mama needs to shower, or clean house. ¬†So bad mom here, lets the baby watch a movie. Anyways go ahead and judge all you want, but just don’t throw stones in glass houses. ¬†Or however that saying goes. ¬†Those of you non-judgers can read on for some suggestions or just to get to know our family by the type of movies we like. ¬†Shoot you judgy ones can read to, some of these may make you like me even less. ¬†xoxo Anna

Really any Kung Fu Panda movie is awesome. Although, I think 3 is the full favorite. I say that but yet I still choose to watch the original quite often. It’d be a toss up between one and three. One might win now that I think about how much E giggles at Po struggling to make it up the stairs.

Hands down 3 all the way. I don’t love how mean the bear is but I like that more than the creepy man stealing Woody and waayyy more than the torturous neighbor brat. I’ll say it, the original is my least favorite.

Yes. It has a bad guy in it. It’s always the bad guys that I don’t like. Go figure. E thinks the tiny “baby” who toots his trunk is hysterical. ¬†His sense of humor makes my heart so happy.

Love this movie. Love the singing. Love the adventure. E gets a kick out of me singing to this movie. It’s actually pretty cute and full of wonder, the movie not my singing. But we have to fast forward through the realm of monsters after she jumps. He likes that she jumps but that black thing ruined it the scene. He doesn’t like the crab being mean to Maui. Even though I kinda think the crab is funny. We also enjoyed the bonus features for this movie and we don’t watch most movies bonus features…so yeah we liked this movie

This is the first movie E ever giggled at. He giggles at the same part every time. ¬†I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again, We love Dragons. This just fueled the dragon loving fire at our house.

E’s first movie! He watched pretty much the whole movie in the first shot. This is a favorite of both the hubs and I. E loves it. LOVES IT. ¬†I dare you not to at least like the Jungle Book.

So the Bee movie took a few views for me to come around and actively like it. D loved Seinfeld so that explains this movie. I was fun that this movie made E want to look at insect books and we did check out quite of few bee books that he was super interested in after we watched this movie. It also has some sort of cult following status now too? What?! It’s pretty silly funny. Bees are important you know.

This one has a special place in my heart. One of the only kids movies I actively went out of my way to see as a child free adult.  Not much dialogue per se but yet still so much you can understand between the two main characters.

Gus Gus should I say more? Yeah this movie had a nice pretty girl and a Prince Charming. But, I love all animals. I know E does too.

Ugh I did not want to like this movie. ¬†I repeat I did not want to like this movie. ¬†E loves cars, really he loves anything that goes. ¬†Maybe excluding planes? ¬†I feel like we’ve watched this a zillion times. We’ve tried Cars 2 but E just didn’t like it as much even though he thinks Mater is hilarious. ¬†He might like Mater as much as he likes Doc. ¬†I love that he loves Doc. ¬†We think we might take E to see Cars 3 in theatre, which would be his first theatre movie. ¬†We’ve watched the trailer enough to know about the crash. ¬†I’m sure they’ve done it tastefully.

I turned the TV on one day and this movie was just playing. I was about to turn the channel when I remembered it had “cars” in the movie so I left it. ¬†It was the one kid movie Dane and I rented and watched while I was pregnant with E. ¬†Maybe this is why he loves cars so much. ¬†Anyways its pretty funny. ¬†About a bad guy who so badly wants to be good. ¬†It’s won my heart.

Yeah not exactly a kids movie. ¬†Hubs apparently watched this with E quite a bit while I was working. ¬†WHAT? ¬†I would say its a kids movie if there wasn’t chicken killing and gun shooting in it. ¬†But we’d already seen a few disney movies with guns and death in them so I figure the harm has already been done. ¬†Plus he rarely makes it to see the end of this one. ¬†I think that he likes that the animation is different. Of course he likes ALL the scenes with trains. ¬†Which I think is only two but man does he zone in.

I was unsure about showing him this movie, because monsters. ¬†It was given to us by a family member. ¬†I think I viewed it before we showed it to him. ¬†I do fast forward to the second scene. ¬†I mistakenly just played it once and he did indeed get frightened. ¬†The rest of the movie doesn’t have a lot of scaring. ¬†There are a couple scenes that he doesn’t seem to put off by but I don’t know that I’m in love with him seeing. We also really like Monster’s University probably equally.

Old favorite. ¬†Maybe I like the “little guy” too much. Old Disney is hard to beat and apparently so is new Disney. ¬†E even went as Robin Hood for his first Halloween we love this movie so much.

We’ve tried a few other movies some were fine just not worth mentioning, because they didn’t capture the whole families attention or hearts.
We originally wanted to only do old Disney movies and go in sequence of release date. Several I would say are too scary or plain mean for his age. I know he’s not supposed to have had screen time to begin with but it was a battle I was already losing so I decided to at least control as much as I could what he was watching. Maybe one day we will watch them with him but for now these are the go to family movie night movies

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14 Mostly kids movies for family night ÔĽŅ

Yard play day 

Little man and I played in the garden this morning. He was getting his new clothes dirty so I stripped him down to his diaper. We (he) made dirt angels and we (I) checked all my newly blooming flowers. ūüĆļ He’s only interested in my flowers when I’m not looking. He’s even more interested in getting filthy and hiding his chalk. It was a good day. Cars were raced, animals were transported, in said cars. Zootopia played.  Songs were sung. I’m so lucky that snuggling is one of his new favorite things. Mama needed a nap after all the go go go. Maybe tomorrow. 


Yard play day 

That’s MY Toothbrush¬†

I’m so so so happy you like to brush your teeth. You love to brush your teeth. I can’t make this up. We lucked out, I know. You loved watching me brush my teeth as a tiny baby.

I know I started it. This thing that I now complain about. You were so curious about my tooth brush. So willing to let me brush your gums with my tooth brush. I figured it was good you were so willing to brush.

You have 4 tooth brushes that I can think of. You’re favorite, is mine. It is not among those I count as yours. Because it’s not, it’s mine. If only you could use your own. I even tried switching our tooth brushes just to give you the color I mistakenly assumed you wanted. Your favorite color is which ever color I use.

I’ve tried bright new fun colors. Giving you my “old one”. A lighting McQueen tooth brush that the two of us bought to make it more exciting and hopefully effective. You couldn’t care less about it.

So my last resort is to get matching toothbrushes for you and I. I’ll try it all, just so you DON’T USE MY TOOTHBRUSH!¬†

That’s MY Toothbrush¬†

Children’s Book Suggestions


We have checked out many of these books. Many of them were suggestions from friends or family.  Some we found, some were gifts, many on this list are authors and illustrators we now love! Others are our own childhood favorites and old childhood books.  Look & read on for over 60 book suggestions and almost 20 different authors and/or series to choose from! Come back for more as I may update from time to time.  Also, check out more of our family favorites here. I hope you find some new books and probably some old books on this list that you will love as much as we do.

Our families two thumbs up books:

Little Books by Amy Kroger Rosenthal & illustrated by Jen Corace

We happened upon this series at the library I love the illustrations and the simplicity.  The humor is sweet, maybe a little corney but great visuals none the less.

Critter Books by Mercer Mayer

These books bring back book-it memories! I was shocked at how much E loves these. His favorite is Just For You, it makes my heart melt.

Mac Barnett

These books are probably more for the adults.  Not that they are adult humor, but maybe for those with humor that is a little more advanced? Either way they are cute books and both of them, although, separate illustrators have interesting visuals as well.

Renata Liwska

We LOVE books with Wagons in them. ¬†I think these books are stink-in’ adorable. ¬†I love her illustrations too. ¬†Can you tell we are a lot about the visuals in this house? They are fun reads with sweet messages!

Janell Cannon

I had not heard of Stellaluna until this year. ¬†Such a beautiful story, I can’t thank my friend Kennedy enough for suggesting this one. ¬†I liked it so much I checked out Verdi too. ¬†I liked Verdi but E man wasn’t into reading much that week, we will try again. ¬†She has one other book,¬†Pinduli but I haven’t read it yet. ¬†If you’re looking for a book that teaches a kid about learning who THEY are these might be some good books to get!

Elephant & Piggie by Mo Willems

These are cute books. We Love, I Will take a Nap.  Thank you Brooke, my pre-school teaching, S-I-L.  Check out all the awards! Great for beginning readers! Repetition is helpful for word recognition which is why these books win their awards.

Bear on Chairs Books by Shirley Parenteau

Sweet books.  I have a small inside joke about Bears on Chairs.  Maybe that will be a post for another day.  I saw Bears on Chairs in the library and I did indeed HAVE to check the publishing date. It was well before my inside joke, but it would have been awesome if I had inspired a book! That is probably why I like these books.  E likes books with bears.  Win-win in our house.  These are a few she has written. They have nice messages about sharing, caring and being kind.

Gosling Books (& others) by Oliver Dunrea

We received Gossie as a baby shower gift. When I was having a baseball themed b-day party for E’s first birthday, I wanted to give him some baseball books as gifts and double as decor. ¬†I found Peedie, its more just about him wearing a baseball cap, cute still. ¬†Gossie started me reading books in accents. ¬†This series I read in mostly a British accent ¬†(That’s about the only one I have). Also, this series made me fall in love with illustrators. ¬†He also has a few bear books as well that are just as good if not more character depth. ¬†I figured you might get tired if I keep plugging all the bear books. Although, we really like them in this house.


Bear Books by Karma Wilson & Jane Chapman


How Do Dinosaurs… by Jane Yolen & Mark Teague

My cousin Meg suggested these.  I like them. They have great illustrations of all kinds of dinosaurs! So if you have a dinosaur or dragon lover like E, these may be good ones for your little reader.

Tatyana Feeney

Okay this is a hubs love. ¬†He likes this illustrator. ¬†Small Elephants Bathtime is my favorite, ¬†Little Frog’s Tadpole Trouble is good for a soon to be big brother or sister. ¬†If we had read the title I’m sure we would have known, before we read it. ¬†I guess we were rushing that day. ¬†I’m not sure I loved Little Owl’s Orange Scarf but its the one we read first of the series and we sought out the other two!

Little Blue Truck books by Alice Schertle

Parents of truck lovers get your series here.  These are also great for learning animal sounds! The Halloween one is a lift the flap book, probably my favorite of these two that I have read.  Although, the first is great for learning about the importance of being nice having friends and being helpful.

Pout Pout Fish by Deborah Diesen

I read a mini-adventure of this series first and just wasn’t sold. ¬†Although, people rave about the Pout Pout Fish books and after reading this one I get it. ¬†It’s cute and fun to read out loud. ¬†Hard not getting into it while reading this, which I’m sure your kids would just love too.

Llama Llama books by Anna Dewdney

Love. Fun to read, rhythm and rhyme. Llama Llama Sand and Sun is short but is a touch and feel book. E sometimes goes in spurts of reading 6+ books a day to not wanting to read for a couple days. ¬†Having a book like this or a lift the flap, and sometimes just an old favorite we haven’t read in a while, can get us back on track.

Pigeon Books by Mo Willems

These are popular. ¬†The Duckling get a Cookie is probably my favorite of them that we have read. ¬†I’m not sure I love all the squawking/yelling but, I think its because I’m not good at reading this series out-loud. ¬†Good reads, with an endearing little anxious Pigeon.

Sandra Boynton

Books for littles! Great little board books.  Short and sweet.

Eric Carle

Don’t forget about the oldies. ¬†We love Pandas specifically at our house. ¬†So that is why I included this book on here. ¬†It’s pretty much the same as Brown Bear but with endangered animals instead.

Pete theCat by James Dean

Suggested by my cousin V! Who’s neighbor or friends kids loved them. ¬†And now my friend K’s little guy loves them, after I tipped her off to them. ¬†I know the Pete the Cat series started off with one author and is now written by the original illustrator. ¬†Some people I know, have more love for the old ones but I don’t think I’ve read one from the original series. ¬†We’ve read these two and a couple others. ¬†E loved Go, Pete, Go because it has wheels. ¬†I loved Rock on Mom and Dad because after we read it he went to his guitar. Swoon.

Curious George by Margret & H.A. Rey’s

I sure hope nobody dislikes George.  E loves things that go and some how also seems to like George.  I can usually capture his attention with a Curious George book especially if it involves something he already has an affinity for, like wheels.  But sometimes I can also sneak in another subject like sharing or thanking or listening if I show him a Curious George.

Walter the Farting Dog by William Kotzwinkle and Glenn Murray

I laughed out loud reading this book. I know, its bathroom humor. But, I thought this book was hilarious! I’m sure you’ve met a “Walter” before in your life and can feel for this poor family and their plight. Thank you for the laughs Uncle J.


Check Back for more. ¬†I’m sure I will think of too many that I have left out. Night.

If you’re checking this out because you read one of my other blog posts about baby items and haven’t created a baby registry I completely recommend you put some books on your registry! It may spark the idea that guests get you a book instead of a card as it did some of mine! We were gifted many of our family members cherished books. ¬†Create your amazon registry here.

Children’s Book Suggestions