They’re Alllliiiiiivvvvvveeeee!!!!

I still have my Ladybug Corpse Hut on my desk because I’m lazy that way. I was trying to decide how I was going to get all the dead ladybugs through the tiny hole in the top. Originally I had considered flooding it, shaking it vigorously and then emptying it out. What I finally settled on was prying the ladybug husks of the side with the water dropper, turning it upside down, and then shaking it until everything came out.

Thank goodness I’m lazy though, because look what I spied out of the corner of my eye this afternoon:

Huh. That yellow guy is new.

Shortly after I noticed that guy, and while I was frantically soaking a raisin in order to feed him, I saw this guy:

That one looks like a real ladybug!

Guess what? There were FIVE ladybugs alive and waltzing around in there. Well, they weren’t waltzing until I reinvigorated them with water and soggy raisins, but before I knew it, they were charging all over the habitat. As I type, three of them are dining on delicious raisins.

The lesson here? Don’t count your ladybug corpses before they mature.

Or something.

Also? I’ve raised Zombie Ladybugs.

Disclosure: This habitat was sent to me free for review purposes by Insect Lore. However, the new set of larvae that I ordered after I thought I committed ladybugicide, I paid for myself.

Typhoid Stimey Strikes Again

Alternatively titled: “The Eradication of the Ladybugs,” “Stimey Continues to Cut a Swath of Death Through Hordes of Tiny Animals Everywhere,” OR “Oh. I Was Supposed to FEED Them?”

Well, it’s happened. The ladybugs are dead.

Evidently, this was not unexpected news.

I figure that this puts me in serial killer range. Not to mention that—and I’m not entirely sure about this but I think it’s highly likely—killing masses of ladybugs increases the likelihood that I’m going to hell. Or at least earning myself a decade of bad luck or something.

They started out so well. They bustled around in their little larval state, eating the food that came in the tube with them. They were fun to watch. I even put their little habitat on my desk because they were so cool.

However by the time I did that, they were probably already dead. I’m tres observant.

There was one little guy who never made it out of larva stage that had been stuck to the side of the habitat since we first got it. I was going to make a joke about Corpsey McLarvaBug as a grotesque reminder of the grim specter of death to the other ladybugs. Unfortunately, the adult ladybugs were facing an even grimmer specter.

Look at my cool ladybug!!

Look at me watering my cool ladybug the next day!!

Huh. That’s weird. He hasn’t moved.

After poking at the semi-mummified body with the water dropper, I realized that no one in the habitat had moved for quite a while. Even when being poked with a water dropper.

Here’s what I think happened. And by “here’s what I think happened,” I mean, “Here’s what happened.”

I was so excited watching the larvae turn into ladybugs that I totally failed to notice that they had turned into ladybugs and could no longer eat their larvae food. For want of one softened raisin, the colony was lost.

Here is Jack jabbing at the dead bugs.

I want another chance. I know I can do it this time. I’ve learned. I’ll remember to feed my pets this time. I swear. I ordered another tube of larvae. (Right now you should imagine dozens of ladybug larvae visibly shuddering and then fighting their way to the back of their holding enclosure.)

As long as the kind people at Insect Lore don’t regularly read my blog, my order will be filled and arrive shortly. I’ll keep you posted. Rest assured that I have a stock of raisins on hand waiting for the metamorphosis.

Disclosure: The ladybug habitat was provided to me free for review purposes by Insect Lore. I’ll be posting my review after my second batch of victims ladybugs grows to a ripe old age and flourishes as I release them into the spring sky.


* Camp Stimey Spring Break Sensory & Social Skills Special Session


Before I get into Day Four, I want to issue congratulations to my friends A & L on the birth of their very first baby. Congratulations, you guys! You are going to be a great mommy and daddy. I can’t wait to meet her!


Ah, Day Four. Well, this was quite a day. Day Four of Camp Stimey SBS&SSSS was Tree Felling, Ladybug Birthing, and MORE Playdates Day. Also April Fools Day, a.k.a. Stimey’s Favorite Day of the Year.

Let’s start with the tree. We have had this tree between my house and the neighbors’ house. And the neighbors really, really hated this tree. Like, really hated it. Like, have been bringing up how much they hate this tree for years. Finally we flat out told them that there are things we would rather spend our money on than taking down this tree. Turns out what they were really looking for was permission to cut the thing down with their own money.

And that is how we went from here:

…to here:

Sam was at a friend’s house when the tree cutters arrived, so he missed the climbing and the ropes and the oh so exciting first branch crashing to the ground. However, Jack and Quinn were there, attentive, and dressed for the dead of winter.

It was probably 65 degrees when I took this photo.

We watched the process for a good hour straight. Jack was extremely impressed by the spikes on the tree-climber’s boots and spent the rest of the day hovering around the guys’ feet in an effort to check them out up close.

Per usual, the wood chipper was also a pretty major draw.

I’m going to leave you hanging with this tree thing for a minute, because it was at about this point in the day that the delivery guy brought us a package. Now, in order to really set the stage for this, I’ll have to share a tweet that I sent out earlier this week:

RIP, ants and frogpoles.

Obviously I took the guy up on his offer. (FTC disclosure: He sent this to us for free to review.) Also? I’d like to apologize in advance to the ladybugs.

At Camp Stimey, “Open Immediately!” means “open this afternoon when our
playdate starts to get a little stagnant.

We picked Sam up from his playdate at his buddy’s house just in time for Jack’s friend T to come by. Now I’ve never talked about T’s diagnosis with his mom, but he and Jack pretty much share an aide at school and they are very, very similar. Consequently, playdates with the two of them are pretty tough. I tend to do a lot of trying to get them interested in the same thing at the same time and usually fail miserably and frustratedly while the two of them happily parallel play in adjacent rooms.

This being CSSBS & Social Skills SS, however, I had to step up my game. Jack and I sat down with his “social detective notebook” before T arrived. We brainstormed things that T likes to do so that we could have some ideas to come up with if they were having a hard time playing.

We came up with a lot of good ideas, none of which we used.

I spent the first half hour following them around and trying to find a common interest. Unfortunately there were only three toys that T was interested in playing with. Of course, I had given those three toys away that very morning to a charity who came by to pick donation bags up off of my porch.

At this point, it was Ladybugs Ho!

About a minute after that point, T declared, “I’m bored with your ladybug project.”


Jack was into it though. Although I’m a little worried that he buried all the ladybug larvae under the ladybug larvae food.

Fare thee well, ladybug larvae.

I know that you know that I couldn’t possibly introduce a bug into a habitat in my home without taking a closeup shot of said bug.

Creepy, huh? That thing is supposed to turn into a ladybug.

Around this time I remembered my bin of trains and tracks that was languishing in the basement. I opened it up and left Jack and T for a few minutes to play. When I came back, they were playing together and chatting. Afraid to jinx the situation, I retreated upstairs to leave them to it.

Much later it occurred to me that perhaps they weren’t actually chatting, but rather that they were both reciting complementary scripts. You say tomato, I saw to-mah-to.

Quinn and I continued to watch the tree guys work. I wish they could come back and take some more trees down tomorrow. I mean, I’m all for the preservation of the neighborhood tree canopy and all, but how often does Quinn sit like this for 20 minutes?

Answer: Not often.

I returned to the basement again to hear this Thomas the Tank Engine-related exchange:

Jack: “‘You’re a dirty, dirty liar and your pants are on fire,’ said Thomas.”

T: “‘I’m not on fire,’ said Henry.”

Jack: “No! Your pants are on fire.”

T: “But engines don’t wear pants.”

Ah, the literalism of autism. It’s good for a laugh now and again.

I spent the next several minutes running downstairs to make sure Jack wasn’t cursing at T and then running upstairs to make sure that Quinn wasn’t wandering under a falling tree.

This falling tree:

Goodbye, tree limbs falling on my car. Also shade and privacy.

That’s about it for Day Four. Except for the best part. The April Fools part.

The trick with a good April Fools Day joke, as I see it, is not to make a plan and then force it into your day. I tend to wait and see where the day takes me and then base my joke off of that. The victim? Oh, the victim is always Alex. It has gotten so Alex won’t answer my phone calls, listen to my voice mails, or read my emails on the first of April. I have to be very tricky.

I went to the doctor today for a physical and also because my lower back has been hurting. When I got home, I grumped around and refused to talk about my appointment in front of the children. Finally Alex chased me down and asked me about it. I told him that my back was really bad and that I couldn’t lift anything heavier than a gallon of milk until I got it fixed. (Details and acting are very important in April Fools jokes.)

He asked if I was going to need surgery. So I told him that it didn’t really matter because they told me that it is really hard to get an appointment with the doctor and they probably wouldn’t be able to get me in until, oh, say, next April First.

And then I laughed and laughed and laughed while Alex stalked off muttering something about hating me. I couldn’t quite hear because I was laughing so hard.

I’m a bad person.

Coming Tomorrow: Still MORE Playdates, Plus Easter Eggs!