Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Outside the entrance is a large (possibly life sized) fossil look-alike. I would guess it was an apatosaurus. Right inside is a very large T-Rex. Tyler declared that it is bigger than all of the people in the whole world. He had been warned by Grandma Sue, so he entered a little tentatively, but later told her that he was very brave and was not scared. :) It roared and moved around, like most of the dinosaurs there. It was quite impressive. All I could capture on my camera was it's babies hatching from eggs and it's front arms.
They have a Build-A-Dino, so here is Tyler helping to push the pedal putting fluff into his T-rex. I was too late getting out my camera to catch him rubbing its heart on his arm to make it stronger, as the employee who was helping us suggested. Tyler was shy, as usual, and looked a little skeptical about the idea, but did as he was told.
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
When I called Mom last night and told her, she laughed. Hard. She remembers that when I was growing up, it seemed I always did something or come down with something right before a trip.
The things I remember are:
1) Crouching a little too close to the space heater after a bath...and ending up with grid marks on my toosh. I think that was right before a trip to Disney.
2) I broke my big toe - the only bone I've ever broken - right before a trip to Washington DC. (Where we anticipated lots of sightseeing and walking).
3) I remember getting strep throat right before a long road trip to see National Parks out west. I think they made me wear a mask and Dad took a couple of my antibiotics...just in case.
I guess in comparison, this isn't so bad! :) So, if and when you see me soon...just know that it's okay to mention it. I know you'll notice! :)
Monday, December 22, 2008
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Tyler woke up yesterday morning saying he could "breath like a dinosaur." Of course, getting out the camera means he will become shy, but he did eventually perform for me. Yes, he is sick. No, this is not good timing. But, hopefully he'll get well soon!
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Tyler found a clue on the piano...
and in the dishwasher! (Among other places, like the refrigerator, car seat, etc)
And, after 12 clues, his gift.
A new Radio Flyer Scooter!
He quickly located the bell...and loves it, as well as his new scooter!
He rode it around until bedtime, ringing the bell.
Monday, December 15, 2008
After the program, the man behind me told me I had done a nice job with the children's story. I have never seen him before. But, that's not saying much. And the fact that he knows that I did the children's story means he was at least at our morning service last Sunday or this one.
When we were ready to leave, he followed us upstairs and was putting his coat on. I was telling Tyler he needed to wear his coat because it is cold outside. (I don't understand why he has to be coerced into putting a coat on, but whatever).
Anyway, this man commented that he had to walk home.
At this point, I'm asking myself whether I should offer to take him home. But, I have a weird feeling about having a strange man in the car, and honestly really don't want to do so.
I asked how far he had to walk. He said about two blocks "into the wind."
I felt this internal struggle. As a Christian, I have many times heard the analogy of caring for one another like we are caring for Christ; or like we want to be cared for. But, on the other hand, what if he is not just an innocent man who needs a ride? (And here is where my worrying, paranoid mind started to get the best of me). I was alone with Tyler...what if he would do something to us?
Instead of offering, I just said something like, "Wow, it's really cold to be walking." And he left.
I keep replaying this conversation in my mind. Wondering if I did the right thing by not offering a ride...
I don't know why, probably just because I'm weird and think of such things, but I've often wondered what I would do if I was alone and a man needed help - or a ride. Now I know. I will chicken out. But, though I'm not proud of it, I honestly think I'd do the same thing again. I just hope I haven't hurt his feelings, or made him feel unwelcome by not offering.
What about you? Anyone else think they'd do something different, or the same? Anyone been in a similar situation? Any thoughts, any, are welcome. (I won't be offended).
Sunday, December 14, 2008
"You are ruining my angers. My anger is stronger than you-ers."
He is now calm...er, but we are definitely getting out the Wii Fit to burn some little boy energy!! This cold weather makes entertaining a little more challenging. :)
Saturday, December 13, 2008
After 2 weeks of Tyler going to sleep without me laying next to him, but me sitting in the glider until he fell asleep, I realized that Tyler thought I was sleeping in his room all night...in the glider... I know that's what he thought, because he told me so. :) So, I started leaving the room after his nightly routine. Since I have been leaving the room, he nightly wants to be a "baby burrito" (lightly swaddled), has music or a story playing, and has to have his teddy bear and his elephant to snuggle with. According to Tyler, he needs them, "in case I have bad dreams." But, after a few nights of needing lots of things after I tucked him in (different music, a drink, use the bathroom, etc), he has been doing great.
Last night at 2 (something) a.m., I awoke to Tyler standing quietly next to me. He gave me a kiss. I sat up and followed him to his room where he quietly said, "baby burrito." I tucked him in, we said I love yous and he was down again. (In the past, when he has woken up, he has usually just yelled for me from his bed - I thought the kiss was a sweet alternative).
Monday, December 8, 2008
Under an hour - 4 (26%)
1-10 hours - 7 (46%)
11-20 hours - 2 (13%)
21-35 hours - 1 (6%)
36-50 hours - 1 (6%)
50+ hours - 0
Our travel plans have not been finalized, so there may be a few more hours tacked on. But, at this point, we are looking at at least 35 hours of driving, assuming we have clear roads. I see that we aren't alone in our hours on the road. My goal this year is to make the journey less about merely surviving it, but for it to be part of the fun...and vacation.
We love seeing family over the holidays. In fact, the suggestion that we just stay home is not an option...at least not yet. We appreciate how flexible our families have been over the years as we try to coordinate schedules to see everyone that we can. This year is no exception. This year, however, we can't fit everyone and everywhere in...and it kind of breaks my heart. Lynette and Rusty are in Thailand, so we knew we wouldn't see them, which is hard enough. But, we also made the decision not to continue our trek across the country to see Tim and Carrie and their boys. :( (They'll be in Virginia for Christmas this year, which Carrie said is about another 12 hour drive, one-way, from Middlebury). We are especially disappointed that the cousins won't see one another...and haven't seen one another for over a year. And, we have yet to meet baby Zion. Hopefully we will be able to make something work before too long.
We are excited for the time we will be able to spend time with family. We will get to see Wayne's Mom's family in Illinois, his Dad's family in Indiana and my parents as well. We will miss those we don't get to see, but will relish the time that we do have together. We are thankful for that. I wish you all safe journeys this holiday season!
Sunday, December 7, 2008
We did a little shopping after church. After we ate lunch, and were on the way home, I thought of another stop we could make. I asked Tyler whether we should (whether he would cooperate with a) stop at [undisclosed location] to get a gift card for Hollins.
"No. Let's wait until I'm a grownup to do that."
Poor Hollins. That would be quite a long wait. :)
Saturday, December 6, 2008
Classic Bran Muffins
-Janet Kalman/ allrecipes.com
1 1/2 cups wheat bran
1 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup raisins (I didn't put these in)
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Grease muffin tin (12-regular) or line with paper liners.
2. Mix together wheat bran and buttermilk; let stand for 10 minutes.
3. Beat together oil, egg, sugar and vanilla. Add bran mixture. Sift together dry ingredients and stir into buttermilk mixture, just until blended. Fold in raisins. Spoon into prepared pan(s).
4. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Cool and enjoy!
Sunday, November 30, 2008
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Some follow ups and little tidbits -
1. Tyler did continue to sleep through the night when we came home from Hesston on Sunday. That was quite nice!
2. Tyler's using the word "excited" in place of "decided." For example, "I excited that I want to play dinosaurs."
3. Last evening, we bought Tyler a mattress and stuffed it in the Focus hatchback. :0) Not having a truck or van generally makes hauling bigger items prohibitive. (Thanks, Rachel, for the idea of trying the car). Tyler slept in his new bed, and didn't roll out!
4. The lobster has escaped again...but not with his life this time. He has officially expired. :(
Sunday, November 23, 2008
We spent today in Hesston. Tyler told me after church that he had made new friends in the nursery. "And they made a new friend too... me!" After church, we enjoyed a good lunch and dinner at Ted and Sue's and mostly relaxed in between. Tyler enjoyed vying for our attention and playing with toys.
He is also, by the way, sleeping...he fell asleep on the way home from Hesston. This is about 3 hours earlier than usual, probably due to his busy weekend. Hopefully he doesn't wake up soon after what would be a good two-hour "nap."
Saturday, November 15, 2008
I couldn't get him to look away from his movie to cheese for me. stinker.
Friday, November 14, 2008
Before Halloween - 1
Before November 15 - 1
Before Thanksgiving - 9
Growing up, it was our tradition to decorate for Christmas on Thanksgiving weekend. Many years, I don't really feel like decorating much before that, but this year, I have been itching. It probably has something to do with the Christmas tree our neighbors gave us. I'm curious to see what it looks like. I'm trying to hold out for Thanksgiving weekend...we'll see if I can resist it a little while longer. Of course, if not, at least a couple of you won't think it's too early. :)
Thursday, November 13, 2008
We've also been doing some focusing on Tyler's bedtime routine. OK, me mostly.
Both Tyler and I have long been in the habit of me laying down with him to put him to sleep... and I often stayed there for the night. I could attribute this on all kinds of things- the discovery of my ability to nurse laying down and therefore sleep through middle of the night feedings, Tyler's difficulty in sleeping as a baby, Wayne sleeping in with Tyler so he's not sleepy as early as I am, my body's need for zzzz's immediately, you get the drift. I can't say that I mind sleeping with him, except that many nights we play musical beds. (Wayne and I). I'm admitting this, recognizing that many of you out there probably think this is pathetic. I try not to tell too many people - I get the raised eyebrows, silence, the knowing looks... and, though I may be misinterpreting, I often get this feeling they think I'm less of a mother for doing so. In fact, why am I admitting this? :)
Within the last month, I decided that maybe it was time for Tyler to have a twin-sized bed. I figure, even if I can't wean myself of laying down with him, at least I won't be comfortable enough to stay there for the night. Last weekend, Nathan (a coworker) came to pick up Tyler's mattress. Tyler appeared fine, knowing that Nathan needed a new mattress. In the meantime, Tyler's been on the air mattress.
Last night, I moved it from the side of our bed, back to his room. I decided maybe I'd try out the idea of him going to sleep without laying next to me with the lure of earning a small reward for doing so. When it was bedtime, I laid down next to him without thinking about it. But, he kicked me out -
"Mommy, I want to sleep by myself!"
Oh yes, good, so I sat in the rocking chair. He laid there quietly, then cried out,
"I want my old bed, Mommy! Why did Nathan have to take both parts [box springs and mattress] of my bed?!" I started to remind him about why Nathan needed a bed, and he responded, "Oh yeah, because the spring was poking him!"
It didn't take long, and he was asleep. Whew. Much easier than when I tried this a few months ago when he just cried and pleaded with me to sleep with him.
Today, I kept my promise, and he was quite excited to pick something out (sour gummy worms tonight). He was so excited after perusing his future options that early in the evening, he declared,
"I want to go to bed now, Mommy!"
"If I win the race upstairs, that means I get to go to sleep by myself!"
Alright, I think we're onto something. Today reminded me of weaning from nursing and potty training... when we're both ready, it is easier than I expected. I'm not sure I was ready to give up laying down with him before either. I must admit, I fell asleep more easily when I was snuggled next to him. sigh.
Today, I bought him some dinosaur sheets and we ordered a bed...we're on our way.
Friday, November 7, 2008
Me: "I don't think that would feel very good."
Tyler: "Why do you not think it would feel very good?"
Me: "Because it would have eaten you all up."
Tyler: "What would you see if you were eaten into a million pieces?"
Me: "You couldn't see very much if you were eaten into a million pieces because you wouldn't be alive anymore, would you?"
Tyler: "You wouldn't be alive anymore? Then you would get a new body? Where do you get a new body?"
Me: "From Jesus."
Tyler: "From the police station? No, wrong answer. Try again!"
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
When I buckled Oliver in, he said, "thanks for buckling me in, Mel."
I said, "you're welcome, sweetie!"
I buckled Tyler in, and he said,"thanks for buckling me, Mommy."
:) Imitating nice manners is fine with me.
Oliver turned on the car light to look at a book. I didn't say anything.
Tyler: "Turn off the light."
Tyler: "You're wasting electricity." (Umm...what? That normally doesn't stop Tyler).
Oliver: "Oh." (Turnes it off).
Then I was listening to the radio when my thoughts were interrupted by their conversation.
Tyler: "I went to Florida and Myrtle Beach."
Oliver: "I wish I could have gone with you. Why didn't you invite me?"
Tyler: "Well, ...(pause as he is thinking)... you didn't have time to come."
After that, I was tuned in. (And I explained that I'm sure Tyler would have invited Oliver if he could have). :)
So, we'll see if this one is any better, if you're not voted out... When do you decorate for Christmas? (And really, when is it too early)? See the poll on the side.
Monday, November 3, 2008
Sunday, I got the cleaning bug. My original intention was to organize the computer room. Wayne reminded me that getting to the pictures would be a good task to tackle. So, I finally got to it. (I am not proud to say that the last time I organized pictures I was playing catch-up too).
I am happy to report that I am now totally caught up. At least for now. Of course, Tyler didn't get the attention or exercise that he needed yesterday, but I'm happy to have the pile of pictures out of there and put away!
Does anyone else have this trouble, or am I the only one?
Saturday, November 1, 2008
**Brief Side Note: We stopped for gas along the way - I needed to use my $.10/gallon off for spending $100 at Dillons before November 1 - I filled up for $1.87/gallon!**
Generally throughout the night when I asked Tyler to show people how he could fly and he quickly obliged. He also did a much better job of saying "trick-or-treat" and "thank you" than he did last year. I found it interesting that he was not afraid of people in Scream or skeleton costumes - he would just point out that they were skeletons. But, the two ladies dressed as witches who were sitting (and cackling) outside a bookstore in the mall, did appear to worry him a bit. At one point, Tyler said, "this is the best Halloween ever." Of course, when we had to go home and he wanted to keep trick-or-treating, it was the worst night ever. I'll translate that to mean that he had a good time and didn't want it to end.
Here is Tyler in his (homemade) bat costume. He was not a fan of the black paint on his nose. He begged for me to take it off and said that it looked like something for a girl. When we got to the mall, I washed it off. Little stinker. I didn't know he would be so concerned about such things at this age.
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Don't really care...1(11%)
When I was growing up, I had the distinct impression that my mother was anti-Halloween. I vaguely remember her explaining why we didn't trick-or-treat or recognize the holiday. One year stands out to me, though. I remember that Mom bought us masks to wear for Halloween. (I think they were of presidents or something). We got to go over to Grandpa Yoders and I got to help Grandma Polly pass out candy. I was so excited. Woo Hoo!!
So, when I went to Hesston College, my lovely friend, Joel Short, indulged me. We got all dressed up as a little old couple (complete with baby powder in our hair to make it look grey). I went trick-or-treating for the first time in my life. It sounds lame now. I mean, really, I was in college. But it was one of those things I had always wanted to do, but never had the chance.
In my memory, after I was too old to trick-or-treat anymore, my mom let Tim and Lynette go. This is one of those things that I wanted to check out with my Mom and find out whether I am remembering that correctly. Since I'm the oldest, I always thought of this as one of those times I was the Guinea pig.
This poll came about after a discussion at church. We were discussing how some parents don't allow their children to trick-or-treat and think of Halloween as an evil holiday. Then there are others who go all out and decorate more for Halloween than any other holiday. Those of us there were somewhere in the middle; we don't go all out and are not anti-Halloween. We plan to take our children trick-or-treating. I guess that since I've had Tyler, Halloween has become a special fall tradition when he gets to dress up and have a fun evening. Up to this point, I've either put outfits together for Tyler or borrowed a costume. Partly because of trying to save money, and partly because until this year, he hasn't been old enough to really care about his costume. I don't think I'll ever be able to allow Tyler to dress as something scary or death-related, like the grim reaper. Last year, Tyler had such a great time and didn't want it to end. I hope he feels the same way this year.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
I keep finding myself thinking about things I'd like to write about - like the Halloween poll, politics (or maybe not), life, and who knows what, I will do that later. When I have energy for such things. In the meantime, I'll just have to think about the things I'd like to write. :)
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Tyler was a little weirded out by the pumpkin insides. He ran away from us when we suggested he help, or even just touch it. So, here he is sitting at a good distance from us, and being "spooky."
Roasted pumpkin seeds - one with cinnamon, salt and a little sugar, the other with oil, salt and Italian seasoning.
Caramel apples, the easy way. (Unwrap caramel sheets, place over apples, insert stick, and bake for 5 minutes). I don't know if I can go back to the old way. This was so much quicker, easier and with no mess!
Tyler, enjoying dinner. He really worked on those caramel apples.
Our jack-o-lanterns after dark.
Later he was moving around in his seat. I asked him whether he was dancing. He replied almost angrily, "I'm dancing for all the other ladies but not you." :) I started laughing, and he did too.
On another voting note - I received my advanced voting ballot for the November 4 election in the mail yesterday!! I'm excited about skipping long lines and being able to do more research on the local candidates. I can't believe how close November 4 is getting!