Sweet Eliza. I love this girl. She is growing up so fast. Months ago we were in St. George and I was watching her color with crayons at the kitchen counter. I noticed how well she was drawing and how perfectly she positioned the crayon in her hand. I said,
Eliza – you will always be my same Eliza, eternal in nature, no part of you taken away or lost – just changed, developed, as you pass through another stage. You will always be you. And it will all be as it should be. I only wish I was better at capturing this time together – when you are small, pure, seeping with innocence and love. So I can return to it when I want to. So I can handle this grain of time in the hourglass once more. The tiny sands of motherhood are precious, unscripted, undiluted. They feel of pleasure, wonder and awe. And I don’t want to miss a single one.
In prep for Eliza’s birthday I ordered a butterfly garden from Amazon (I have to thank my friend Saydi for the idea. I watched the progression on her blog and thought it was a great learning project for kids). Eliza LOVES Butterflies. So what could be better than the real thing? In the above picture she is feeding our butterflies. They drink from cut oranges and sugar water on fresh flowers.
These are our caterpillars! We had five and all five (even the slow-poke) eventually hatched. They came in this little jar with their own food (the brown stuff) and for a week they simply ate, and ate, and ate. Just like The Very Hungry Caterpillar. Until they were colossal caterpillars!
Then they spun their chrysalises (not the best picture – sorry!). I tried so hard to watch this happen, but it seemed to occur in seconds. One minute I noticed them hanging from the top of the jar. The next time I checked, a chrysalis had formed around them. I missed it every time!
I also missed all five of their coming outs! I’d check them in the morning then an hour later, like magic, another butterfly had emerged. Seemed to happen so fast. Bright orange painted ladies. We kept them for a couple weeks, then let them go in the backyard (after the babies were born). Eliza named them all “Sparkle” “Rainbow” “Eliza” “Heart” or a combination of these words. (My Little Pony must have been her muse).
Our darling Mickey from Virginia sent Eliza a package. Here is Eliza clutching the card to her chest! Mickey – the look on her face is all about her love for you!! Thank you!
Voila! The much-anticipated Butterfly Cake! Eliza helped me put on the gumdrops. She was so excited about all the rainbow colors!
Grandma Nae and Poppa Jim gave her a children’s karaoke machine. Total hit! After opening presents we followed her lead and sang and danced to Loggins and Messina. “Your Momma don’t dance and your Daddy don’t rock and roll…”
It’s Friday afternoon. The table is set and in a few minutes 10 little “butterflies” will flutter in. (The peonies are from our backyard).
The “Momarch” Butterfly (me) read them Are You a Butterfly? by Judy Allen. The girls acted out the story with my instructions. We had them start out as caterpillars, then eat and eat and eat until they were stuffed. And then we had them eat some more. (It was all healthy – lettuce, oranges, apples, crackers).
Abby, Emily, Lizzie, Emma, Eliza, Katherine. With tummies full we had them crouch down and form their chrysalises while we covered them with blankets (they giggled and thought this was so funny). Finally they burst out of the blankets and stretched their wings and flitted around like brand new butterflies. They loved the pretend-play.
Then we stashed little butterflies of every color around the yard for the girls to capture with their own nets (great deal on createforless.com). Kind of like a treasure hunt.
My helpers were Mom, Rachel, Deb! Wait! Deb – where are you? And Kara! I didn’t get a picture of you! I couldn’t have done it without you guys! Thanks!
Then we played musical flowers (like musical chairs – except no one “got out” – we just kept hopping from flower to flower when the music was on. The girls took turns staying in the middle in lieu of being out.
Our final activity was the butterfly pinata. Eliza helped me stuff it with candy. This is Lizzie’s stash after the the pinata went down. Do you think she likes starbursts?
Eliza took the first whack. We ditched the blindfold after her turn. It was hard enough for the girls to just make contact. Except for Emma…
Eliza’s friends. Delaney, Katherine, Emily, Caroline, Eliza, Emma, Abby, Sami, Ali, her cousin Lizzie, and cousin Ty. The lone boy! But we’re so glad he came! It was Ty who finally took the pinata down. I guess we needed a little testosterone to do the job!