Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Birds and the Bees...and the Butterflies?

So. We have had much a do with birthdays over the past couple of weeks. Lots of fun, too much cake, and tons of birthday presents. Wow, I'm exhausted. Glad it's all said and done and now we can sit back and enjoy the gifts that were so graciously bestowed upon my kids. Did I mention that we have a new addition to the family? Oh, well, not a new addition, try 8 new additions to the Balentine blissful household.

Daylor is TOTALLY into science these days and as a gift from Mimi and Papaw, we received a butterfly habitat and 10 accompanying caterpillars. VERY KEWL. They were little buggers and everyday they continued to eat and grow and eat and grow. About 8 days later, they encapsulated themselves into chrysalis. Nearly a week after that, we had some lover-ly butterflies (a.k.a - "boo-flies" as Perri used to say when she was about 18 months old) fluttering around.

This had been a very interesting science experiment in many ways for D, because, first, we are learning about animal science right now in school and he has gotten the opportunity to see first hand the amazing change that a caterpillar makes into a butterfly. (Quick note - just a FYI - these caterpillars were nasty with a capital N. Pooped everywhere and looked like something that you would take on a fishing trip to catch the biggest bass in the lake with. BLICKA!) They did, however, turn into some purty boo-flies. Pretty nifty how God does that, huh?

Secondly, Daylor loves the responsibility of taking care of them. We are unable to release them because it gets too chilly at night here this time of year and they wouldn't survive. Sooooo, that means I now get to feed my family of 5, my 2 dogs, and Daylor's 8 butterflies. That makes 15 hungry mouths to feed. Move over Jon and Kate!!

We even have one "special needs" butterfly who can't fly because his wings are folded over, so I get the fun responsibility of making sure the goofy thing doesn't flip over on it's back as well as making sure it gets it's turn on the watermelon slice at least twice a day to eat. I know, go ahead and laugh. Every time I flip it back upright, I fuss at myself over the guilt trip I get for thinking about just letting it die. Hmmm, to flush or not to flush? Oh! There I go again!

And lastly, did you know that butterflies, well, let's say are "in heat." ALL THE TIME! Well, that has made for some interesting conversations around the dinner table. Things like, "Mommy, the butterflies are wiping each other's boodies again," and my personal favorite, "Hey, Mom, one of the butterfly's butt is eating another butterfly's butt." (Ahhh, my tactful Duglin.) And what is more fascinating is that when they mate they stay, umm, attached. For hours. Seriously. Hours. Wow. So not only are we getting great lessons in creation, science, and responsibility, we are also getting a little sex education, too.

Thanks, Mimi and Papaw. Really. (By the way, don't think I can't hear you laughing.)

The Fabulous Boo-Fly Habitat
The Chrysalis (EEEEEEEW!)

Our "Special Needs" Butterfly, Ricky

Don't worry. I'll spare you any mating pictures. For that, get your own butterflies!

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