Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Praying Mantis Pagoda

Today was an extremely exciting day--our praying mantis egg case finally hatched! We received the egg case on Mardi Gras--I remember because we arrived home from NO after a morning of parades. I thought it was still too cold in the house for it to hatch, but apparently not. After 6 weeks of checking on it, today, as I was changing Lila, I noticed hundreds of little nymphs crawling all over their little house.

You can't see in the video, but you can in this picture T.J. snapped. Click on the picture to enlarge it.
She doesn't look as excited as she was...
Bronwen sets them free:

Well, almost all of them--I was proud of her for letting them crawl on her arm. She actually had practice yesterday, when she let a ladybug crawl on her finger.

I wanted to join in the fun too.

I kept two in the case so we could watch one grow up. They are so tiny, and I have to find food for them to eat, which may be difficult at first. I am trying now to lure some fruit flies to a mason jar full of banana peel. Wish us luck!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Spring Days, waiting for Daddy


Spring fever has set in, and coupled with the motivation to clean up our gardens for the forthcoming birthday celebrations, we have been planting up a storm. T.J. and I spent a couple of weekends ago fixing up the back garden, and I have been very pleased with the results. The tree in the center is our Texas Lilac tree which has just started to bud. In a few weeks it will be full of wonderful leaves and bright purple flowers.
Wait a second...who is in the garden?
And in the tree?
Yesterday afternoon, I finally completed the front, planting some impatiens and vincas. I did have a little help.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Treat Time

Yesterday began in a great way--Bronwen kept her diaper dry all night again. This is the third time, but not in a row. I am waiting for the "in a row" part before we try panties only. This is the final frontier in potty training, and I feel we are approaching the dawn of a new day.

Anyhow, I have to pull out the big guns, treat-wise when Bronwen succeeds. I've been able to use popsicles the past couple of times, but today, since we were going to Target anyhow, I bought actual ice cream cones. The funny thing is that I had been promising her an ice cream cone, and she was so excited, despite never having one before. Wish that enthusiasm would translate to Asparagus.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

While Mama's Away...

While Mama was away at her spa-pampering, haute-cuisine-indulging, God-only-knows-what-else bachelorette weekend, Daddy took the girls to the park to play. Bronwen drove:

Lila really enjoyed the swing.

Bronwen wanted the playground all to herself, but Lila insisted on joining the fun, and even climbed some of the stairs up to the slide. Then they took turns going down the slide.

As soon as Bronwen took her turn on the slide, Lila sneakily reclaimed the prime spot in the lookout bubble.

Catch me if you can, Aunt Jana!

Swamp Adventure Pt IV

Swamp Adventure class was really great today--the topic: fish. Bronwen first made a fist with button scales:
Then we went on our hike. It was the most eventful hike to date, despite not seeing a single fish. We got to see a bunch of animal tracks on the wooden walkway above the swamp. First we noticed huge tracks that were probably a dog, then we saw raccoon tracks. Further up the trail we saw where the opossums had been frolicking as well. Bronwen was in hog heaven--she has been extrememly interested in tracks ever since we saw a Sesame Street where Little Bo Peep loses her cow (don't ask) and Elmo and Telly track the cow down by using the prints left all over "the Street."

I tried desperately to snap a photo of Bronwen pointing to the tracks, but, as you can imagine, that didn't go too well.

As we were walking we also saw two fairly large snakes hanging out on the side of the trail.

Then when we returned, we had a snack of goldfish. The animal Bronwen got to touch eats fish:

A baby alligator! I couldn't help but think the little guy was plotting his revenge.

Easter Pics are in!

Go here
Click on "Proofs and Pricing" at the bottom
Email: jenniferstromain@cox.net
Password: stromain

(you can turn the music off at the top left)

Friday, March 19, 2010

March 19

I felt a toooooooth!
It only took 11 months, 2 weeks.
Go Lila!


While Bronwen was napping, Lila decided to frolic in the wilds.

Movie Star:
Neighborhood gardener/greeter:
Happiness personified:

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Swamp Adventure III

Our Swamp class this week focused on mushrooms. We started class just coloring some pictures of mushrooms, then we got to work on our project. The kids sponge-painted a piece of fabric. The teacher called it a placemat, but since it's washable paint, I don't think it is feasible to use it as such, since I can't wash it.
We went on the usual walk through the woods where we got to see all sorts of mushrooms. Miss Kate, the teacher, found this awesome snail--a rosy wolf snail. I loved that Bronwen got to see her teacher wasn't afraid to pick it up!
After our long walk, we returned for our "mushroom snack," which was a muffin (supposed to resemble a mushroom, a tasty stretch). I like how Bronwen drinks her juice box with her pinky up.
And finally, Bronwen shows off her masterpiece!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

March 17

Bronwen walked into the den after dinner tonight and told us to come and "do the elevator dance." She was in Lila's room, we were intrigued, so we followed.

The dance involves spinning around and around...until you get the sensation that you are on an elevator. Bronwen would spin and spin and hold on to the crib bars saying, "Whoa, I am riding the elevator!"

I cannot make this stuff up.

Playing Around

I have discovered that the girls and I really love playing on my bed. Bronwen, Lila and I will bounce on our knees--Bronwen will do it in front of the mirror so she can watch her hair going up and down. I can't really video that without making everyone seasick, so this is a taste of our bed-game shenanigans.

Garden Project

After two babies in two years, our poor little garden project has definitely suffered major neglect. It was time to remedy the situation, so this past weekend, T.J. and I embarked upon a major backyard overhaul.

Phase 1: Add new soil:

Step 2: Find a way to make your toddler do all the work:

Step 3: blow bubbles:

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Spring Days

While it never stays cold long down here, I do admit that I still appreciate and welcome the spring. It was picture perfect these past few days, and the girls have spent quite a bit of time outside. I had a few errands to run the other day, so T.J. got Bronwen's old bike down from the attic to let Lila give it a try.

I just want to add that Lila had on matching pants earlier, but she had a slight accident, and someone decided these were acceptable. Not only do they not match, they are too small...
Bronwen looks on:Bronwen takes some pictures of her daddy and sister:

T.J.'s turn:

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Learning New Things

Our sweet Lila has been gathering information at a breakneck pace as of late--I have mentioned before how she is waving and clapping. As of the 11th she can stand on her own--briefly so long as she doesn't realize it.

I decided to make some strawberry shortcake last week, and T.J. and I discovered that Lila has learned some other new things.

She can climb to the bottom step of the step-stool:

She can climb to the top step too:
She revels in the view for a bit, until...
She learns about whipped cream!

New Assistant

The rocking chair in Bronwen's room has a wobbly arm, so T.J. dragged it into the living room for some repair work. Lila was kind enough to allow him to assist her in her work.

Before Lila could get to work, she had to gather her various tools (T.J. is not being referred to as a "tool" in this context):

Next Lila had to figure out the problem:
She patiently instructed her assistant in the proper repair procedures:
In the end, Lila seemed quite pleased with the quality of his work:

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Swamp Adventure--Chapter 2

Our second day of Swap Adventuring started off a bit rocky. Little Lila awoke with a fever and general malaise, so I decided to bring her to class with us rather than putting her through the separation anxiety. She was a super star, even though I had a time hauling her around on what can only be described as the world's longest toddler hike ever.The class today was about rocks. I know. Exciting stuff. They did give us free sippy-cups to start, so Bronwen was stoked about that. Here she models the cup while also showing off her rock creature:

After the craft we went for our walk--Bronwen didn't know I was taking this picture...
And this is her saying, "No, no don't take my picture!"
Someone was kind enough to snap a photo of us, despite Bronwen's dislike of the paparazzi.
We went back and had a snack and Bronwen got to pet two box turtles.

Bronwen's friend Owen was there too. Bronwen was so tired after class she refused to walk. Owen's grandmother told him to give her a helping hand, so Owen took Bronwen by the hand and the two of them walked the rest of the way to the parking lot. Now I know someone will comment about Bronwen's scrunched up face, but that was only because the sun was in her face, and we were taking pictures on the sly. Apparently Owen doesn't like his photo taken either. Bronwen at one point got scared of some bug, and I asked Owen if he would scare the bugs away for her. He started waving his other hand saying, "Go away bugs!" After that Bronwen was fine.

It was so cute, I almost couldn't stand it.
After we got to the car, Bronwen and Owen hugged and said goodbye.
Can't wait to see what we do next week!