Saturday, July 30, 2011

Things I Learned From Butterflies

We bought passes to the Houston Museum of Natural Science last year and they have already paid for themselves. HMNS is second in attendance only to the New York Museum of Natural Science (where "Night at the Museum" was filmed). HMNS has a lot of really cool stuff in it, but for some reason we had never been to the butterfly zoo. It's not like we couldn't see it the giant 3-story glass building that houses the zoo...

Here is the satellite view from space (or Google Maps). I added the information on handicapped parking because I love how close it is to the entrance...
We finally took the time to go see the butterflies and after experiencing it, I don't think we can ever visit the museum again without a trip inside the butterfly zoo. There are lots of tropical flowers, trees, vines, plants, etc. growing inside the solarium(?). The simulated environment is supposed to mimic the rainforest so the temperatures are warm and the humidity high (hence my puffy hair). Strangely enough, on that July day in Houston, the temperature and humidity were higher outside than they were in the actual exhibit. And of course, there were lots of butterflies just floating around.
Enough with the talk already, or as Edna Mode says "Yes darling, words are useless! Gobble gobble gobble gobble!" Props to whoever can name the movie without the help of Google.

See the butterfly right in front of our faces?
Red Peacock Butterfly...


 Della thought it was the best thing EVER! You can tell pretty easily whether or not she likes something. But it is rare that you actually see her LOVE something...






 In fact, Della loved it so much, she wanted to eat the plants! We said no to that because we are mean...

 Notice how everyone is looking off in a different direction, there was so much to see...

As we sat on a bench a large Owl Butterfly landed on Chad's back. Della immediately wanted to swipe at it (and possibly eat it) but Archer's terrified shrieks of protest stopped Della's attempts...
Here are some shots taken by Archer:
Julia Butterfly...


This is a cool shot of some random kid holding a Rice Paper Butterfly...

Della climbing a tree...


At the exit there were butterflies being projected on the walls. Poor Della thought they were real and kept trying to catch one...



After a particularly rough weekend, it was nice to leave all the stress behind and enter this almost magical space. Watching the happiness on Archer and Della's faces as they chased butterflies or marveled at the 50 ft. waterfall, helped me to remember this quote from Pres. Thomas S. Monson: "Never let a problem to be solved become more important than a person to be loved."


Sunday, July 17, 2011

California Cousins + Texas Cousins = Lots Of Fun!

The Sanchez family came all the way from California to visit us here in Texas! Amy brought her three kids (Nathan, Tyler, and Mia) all by herself (bless her heart as we say here in the South). Initially I was worried that there wouldn't enough to do or that I had to plan some spectacular activity but that wasn't necessary. We had so much fun just being together. Archer and his cousins all lived within 10 square miles and hardly a week went by that they didn't see each other. They even went to the same Preschool.

 Here is an early picture of the boys together. Back row L-R: Tristan Plummer, Owen Calder, and Nathan Sanchez (who was having a hard time with the fact that his new brother was here to stay). Front Row L-R: Jack Plummer, Archer Calder (looking at Nathan and hoping that the new sibling thing never happens to him), and Tyler Sanchez. Oh, and on the right is the lovely Amy Sanchez...

 These three boys were all born in 2004. L-R Jack Plummer (who looks about 5 minutes old), Archer Calder (who was 7 months and 70 lbs), and Tyler Sanchez (who was 4 months old)...

Archer keeps this picture in his room. L-R Jack Plummer, Archer Calder, and Nathan Sanchez.


Archer not being able to see his cousins was one of the hardest things about moving halfway across the country. When the Sanchez family pulled up to our house it was like no time had passed at all! I did feel bad about one thing, it was so HOT! But the heat made playing in the water a lot more fun.

Mia picking tomatoes. Notice the shoes...






Thank goodness for the pool!

Mia is so cute but she has a killer "pouty" face that will pretty much make you give her what ever she wants. Watch out!

 Tyler explaining to his mom all of the reasons he would prefer not to go in the pool. About one minute after I took this shot his mom pulled him in anyway...

Love this one of Miss Mia...

 This is how you look when you have already had cancer and you feel like the sun is poisonous...



 Tyler said he hates being photographed in the morning...

Della pretty much bossed all the boys around as they played Wii...
 We had so much fun and it was so hard to say goodbye. There were plenty of tears shed by all, especially by the kids. Thanks for visiting Sanchez Family!

Friday, July 15, 2011

I Don't Blog Because I Have No Time. I Have No Time Because...

Here is an e-mail I sent to Chad. I thought it was funny so I am sharing it with you.




 Here is what I did today:

-Convinced myself to get out of bed at 5:30AM.
-Went on run (for the 2nd time in 3 years, maybe this time it will stick).
-Showered.
-Fed kids.
-Listened to Archer list 100 reasons why he should go swimming today.
-Put Della in bath.
-Got kids ready.
-Got myself ready.
-Answered 100 Archer questions (mostly about his ideas for using Ken Burns effect in cartoons).
-Went to Dr. appt.
-Explained to nurse that Archer was joking when he said he had a headache.
-Explained to Dr. that Archer was joking when he said his cough was due to "hot fruit punch I drank."
-Tried to shush Archer as he listed to the Dr. 100 reasons why he should go swimming today.
-Made lunch at home.
-Answered 100 Archer questions (mostly about Photo Shop).
-Helped Archer start chores.
-Picked up entire upstairs.
-Checked on Della.
-Listened to Archer list 100 reasons why he should go swimming today.

-Got the mail without the neighbor seeing me.
-Checked on Della.
-Noticed that she diarrhead everywhere.
-Cleaned Della with wipes (while simultaneously answering 100 Archer questions {mostly about diarrhea}).
-Gave up on wipes and put Della in tub (again).
-Get Della (re)dressed.
-Put poopy clothes in washing machine (my jeans are included in that).
-Listened to Archer list 100 the reasons why he should go swimming today.
-Put bleach in tub with potty seats and tub toys.
-Tuck Della in bed.
-Quality check Archer's chores while answering 100 Archer questions (mostly about sweating).
-Give back Archer's computer privileges, breathe sigh of relief (SILENCE AT LAST!)
-Take a break to write Chad this e-mail.


I think that is all,

Love,
Caitlin

Chad's Reply:

You're busy.

Love,
Chad