Month: August 2017

Raising Monarchs: Our Family’s Adventure

I’ve always loved butterflies and teaching the girls the life cycle of a butterfly was seriously on like my top 10 reasons for homeschooling.

There are a million books, crafts and snacks having to do with the life cycle.

But actually watching one grow- that’s a little harder. Like A LOT harder than I thought it would be.

I was all, sure, let’s bring in some caterpillar eggs! Until NONE of them turned into a butterfly….cue new talk on death instead of a beautiful butterfly.

I bought milkweed plants from my local Lowe’s/ Home Depot and one more from my produce stand (which already had one caterpillar on it!)

I bought a mesh container for housing from Amazon, but for my first cats (butterfly lady speak for caterpillars), I used clear plastic cups from iced coffees, etc. and poked lots of holes in the top.

I have only collected (so far) much larger cats- they call them instars- 4th or 5th instars. They seem to be hardier.

I bring them in and put 2-3 milkweed leaves in with them to eat. Once they go through those, I clean out the frass (caterpillar poop) and give them new leaves.

Once they go into chrysalis (DON’T call it a cocoon!), ours eclosed right around 14 days.

After they came out, I waited 24 hours to release to make sure their wings were dry.

OH- and then there’s making sure the milkweed doesn’t get TAKEN OVER by aphids, aka disgusting yellow bugs that eat caterpillar eggs!

I’ve squished them (blech), sprayed the with water, insecticidal soap and in extreme cases (but also the most effective and quickest way), Sevin Dust. I’ve made sure there aren’t any cats on the plants when I use the Sevin.

I’ve also joined Facebook groups, where people have MUCH more experience than me and have been extremely helpful!

Life is All Rainbow & Unicorns

Birthdays are kind of a big deal for me.

So, this year, even though it’s not a milestone birthday, I threw myself (yep) a Rainbows & Unicorns pool party (my birthday is in the middle of summer).

First, I started a Pinterest board.

Unicorn door hanger, $3 Target Dollar Spot

IKEA

Unicorn Popcorn

Crescent Dog Twists

Unicorn Droppings
aka Jelly beans

Unicorn Horn Pasta Salad

Unicorn Bathing Suits, Target

Unicorn Wands

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1) Finding Unicorn/ Rainbow food that’s not candy/ donuts/ cake/ sweets is REALLY HARD! Here’s what I came up with:

Unicorn Horn Pasta Salad

Crescent Dog Twists 

Unicorn Popcorn (still had some candy drizzled on top)

Crescent Rolls with chicken salad

Unicorn Droppings (aka jelly beans)

Unicorn Farts were a huge hit with everyone at the party (cotton candy)

Unicorn Bacon was Airheads Rainbow Sour Belts

Rice Krispie Treats with Fruity Pebbles (LOVED this!)

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