Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Enjoying the snow!

It was snowing last night as we drove in. This morning, when we woke up, the snowflakes were huge. So, we had to take advantage of the snow on the ground. Wayne and Tyler went sledding.
Walking up the hill...

and coming back down.








Waiting for Grandma Sue to have a turn.




Watching Grandma go by. (See if you can find her in the picture).










Grandma Sue, Wayne, me and Tyler
\

Tyler checking out the Gingerbread Church under the bird feeder. We've seen a lot of pretty birds - including lots of cardinals and blue jays.

Hotel

Here's Tyler enjoying breakfast at the hotel Tuesday morning before we took off.

Ted and Sue met us at the hotel around 9:30 in the morning and we were off. We were anticipating snow and ice for the majority of the trip. But, we were thankful that it didn't start snowing until we were almost into Illinois. It was, gladly, an uneventful trip. Isabel had a nice meal for us and we relaxed, happy to be here for Christmas!
Here is my nasty cheek...By the way, last evening, Isabel gave me some hydrocortisone cream which took away the itch. I think it's getting a little better.


T-Rex Cafe pictures

Here are some pictures from our visit to the T-Rex Cafe. In retrospect, I would have taken more pictures. Oh well, maybe there will be a next time.

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.


The finished Dino.



Here is a brief video from the upstairs. (Upstairs we are standing in an Ice Age room). You can't see much on the video, but it's the best view that we got.



video

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

red scratch

Yesterday, I woke up with what I thought was a large scratch on my face. I thought it was weird, but just figured I had scratched myself with my ring, in my sleep. Well, by last evening, when I got a closer look at it, it looks like a (large) line of red raised bumps. And it's a little itchy. And, of course, it shows up when we're on a trip and I can't just go see the doctor. Yes, as a little worry wart, I've thought of such things as the MERSA virus, a mutant allergic reaction, ...

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).
And finally,
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

We're on our way...

We are officially on the road. I am currently writing from the Drury Inn hotel in Shawnee Mission, Kansas. Hooray! After spending Sunday packing, doing laundry and taking down the tree, we had a leisurely start to today. (Especially compared to most years when we are leaving as soon as I get home from work on Friday or at the crack of dawn). We arrived in the early afternoon to check in, then headed to the T-Rex Cafe. It is an impressive place! They have an array of animatronic dinosaurs, lights, aquariums, etc. They also have Build-A-Dinosaur, and Tyler built a T-Rex, who he named "Rexy." We had an early supper at Dave and Buster's, which also has arcade games. We are now relaxing at the hotel. When I can, I will be sure to upload pictures too. We are hoping all the snow and ice hitting the country will miss us on our journey tomorrow...soon we'll know!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Dinosaur

video

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

treasure hunt

Last night, Ted and Sue braved the snowy roads to be with us. First, they took us out to eat at Lee's Chinese Restaurant. Then, Sue had planned a treasure hunt to help Tyler find his Christmas gift from them.

First, she explained what a treasure hunt was.

Then, they were off!



Daddy helping Tyler read a clue.



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.


video
Then, he had to have it by his bed for the night. Wayne said Tyler woke him this morning by riding his scooter into the bedroom, and ringing the bell!
I think the gift was a hit, Grandpa and Grandma!

Monday, December 15, 2008

What was the right thing to do?

Last night, Tyler and I braved the cold and trekked across town to the evening children's Christmas program at church.

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

Ruining angers

Just now, Tyler was being taken (ok, carried unwillingly) to time out, and he yelled,

"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

My little sleeper

I know that this may be boring reading...but to me, who wondered whether getting Tyler to sleep without me in the room would ever happen, and never thought it would be this painless, it's pretty exciting.

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

Traveling, traveling through the snow...

How much road time, to visit family and friends, do you expect during this Christmas season?

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

Wait...and wait...

I know we're in the season of advent. Waiting and anticipating. But not quite like this.

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

Bran Muffins

Wayne found a bran muffin recipe that he wanted me to try because he needs "more bran." :) It was delicious. I especially love the crisp top. It probably comes from the sugar...which isn't the point in a bran muffin. I keep telling myself that they have to at least be a little better for me than a chocolate or blueberry muffin, right? But, who needs an excuse? These are the fluffiest, yummiest bran muffins!


Classic Bran Muffins
-Janet Kalman/ allrecipes.com

1 1/2 cups wheat bran
1 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
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

traveling, traveling through the snow...

I'm curious about the traveling plans of my family and friends. We're trying to figure out what we can fit in during our yearly trek to Indiana to celebrate the holidays. Some years it's harder than others... Please vote in my poll on the right to guesstimate how far you'll go this year.

Fort

Yesterday, Tyler and I built a fort in his room. In the evening, he said that he wanted to watch a movie in his fort, and sleep there for the night. (He didn't end up sleeping there, but did watch his movie). We had fun and it reminded me of being little and building many "forts" out of blankets and chairs.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

a crack up

"I crack myself open."

too young

One more brief thing. I have had a lot of trouble sleeping the last couple of nights because of my carpal tunnel syndrome. On Thursday night, I woke at 2:30 am and had to sleep in the recliner for the remainder of the night because I had too much pain to lay down. My best guess is that it was worse because I put up decorations during the day. I feel like I'm too young to have difficulty sleeping due to pain! At 80, yes, at 32, no! OK, I have now vented. Thank you.

Dorky

Our holiday break has been very relaxing. We've enjoyed being with friends for a play date, shopping around for new carpet for our basement (which is still yucky from when our sump pump failed this summer), and saw the movie, Bolt.
On Thanksgiving, in addition to having a nice meal at Hesston College, we spent time decorating. "We" meaning, Tyler and I. Tyler got quite excited about it all. This is really the first year he seems to have been interested in such things. This fall, our neighbors were cleaning things out and gave us an "extra" 7-foot tree they had, which is much bigger and nicer than the 3-footer we've always used. Tyler wanted to get multi-colored lights for our 3-foot tree, that I decided to put outside this year. (Though Wayne and I prefer white lights, I thought it'd be fun for Tyler, and I was not disappointed). When Tyler first saw the tree, he tried to give it a hug and a kiss, declared his love for it, and named it,..."Dorky." Ahh, what a lovely name. Here's a picture of Dorky.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

bed

As Rachel requested, here are a few pics of Tyler's new bed. (He is posing for me...he doesn't sleep in his jeans). :) He has been sleeping by himself since my post a couple of weeks ago about this - and that's been quite nice!



Tuesday, November 25, 2008

update

Well, even though Thanksgiving has not officially arrived, having Hollins and Rachel (and Ted and Sue) around last week made it feel like it had. Yesterday and today have held some post-holiday blues at my house. Wayne has been kind of moping around. Both Tyler and Wayne have said that they miss Hollins and Rachel. Being with family always makes us wish we all lived closer together.

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

Ty

I forgot to add that, according to Tyler, he is the "ferocisist."

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."

Thanksgiving...early

We have really enjoyed our Thanksgiving week early this year. Hollins and Rachel came out Wednesday in the middle of the night. I had to work, but Wayne and Tyler (and for much of the time, Ted) enjoyed their company during the day. I was happy to spend time with them in the evening. But, Saturday was much more fun. We had a fun, relaxing day together. We played board games, and took a nice walk outside to enjoy the sunshine. Later in the day, we pulled out corn hole again.

Wayne and Hollins

Rachel and Ted


Tyler, Sue and Caesar


Rachel and Hollins


Hollins and Rachel treated us to a delicious meal at the Olive Garden.








Several evenings, Guitar Hero was played. Hollins had rocked out :) so much the night before, he lost his voice before this performance. I really enjoyed this snippet. (And several others).


video

Saturday, November 15, 2008

our afternoon

This afternoon, I finally got out of my pajamas and took Tyler to the park. It was in the 40s, so we bundled up. He rode his trike a little over a mile (one way) from one end of Sedgwick County Park to the playscape, then back again. (He did not want to take his bike because he insisted that he could ride much faster on his trike). We detoured for a bathroom break and then I stressed the rest of the way to the playscape as Tyler swerved around on and off the road.


We were barely at the park, when he got hit in the face by a swing. His lip immediately swelled up and blood was dripping down his face and onto his coat. When he saw the first wipe with so much blood, he said, alarmed, "why am I bleeding so much? I don't want to die, Mommy!" (Obviously, my child has not had any major injuries).


After much reassurance that he would not die from a bleeding lip, he said, "the next time that swing comes close to my face, I'm just going to run fast away from it!"


On our ride back, we enjoyed a beautiful (though cold) sunset. Brrr.

I couldn't get him to look away from his movie to cheese for me. stinker.

Three Movie Night

Last night we had a family movie night. (Or second ever). The first time, we watched Flight of the Navigator. Last night it was E.T. I prepared our popcorn, apples, cheese, etc, and we settled in. Tyler informed us that this was called "three movie night" because, in his opinion, it's only family movie night "when there are four or five people."

Friday, November 14, 2008

How early is too early?

How early is too early to decorate for Christmas.

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

dirty little secret

I guess I've had posting block this week. I had not realized how long it had been. We've been excitedly thinking about Wayne's sister, Rachel, and husband Hollins's upcoming visit.

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

Conversation from the bathtub

Tyler: "Mommy, what if a shark would eat you into a million pieces?"
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

Conversations from the back seat.

Tonight Oliver came over to play. On the way home from picking Oliver up, I enjoyed listening to their conversation:

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."
Oliver: "Why?"
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). :)

Voting poll.

OK, so all 4 of you who responded to the poll, voted in the booth yesterday. Wayne told me I picked a boring poll.

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

Pictures

Somehow, time just gets away from me and sometimes I just avoid doing certain tasks. I do both of those when it comes to taking care of pictures. (Printing them, organizing and scrap booking or putting them into an album). This summer, I printed the last 2 years' worth of pictures with intentions of organizing them. That didn't happen. Instead, I had a nice big pile of pictures (including Tyler's second birthday pictures)!, our card table, and scrap book supplies in a big pile in the computer room. After awhile I sort of looked past them without seeing them...

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

Halloween

Last evening, Tyler and I started our evening trick-or-treating at the mall. We had a good time there. One of the masseurs handed me his camera and motioned for me to take his picture with Tyler. I obliged, though I'm still not quite sure why he wanted it. Ah, well, we had fun. Then we headed Oliver's house and trick-or-treated with Lisa and Oliver.

**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

not so sick

Just an update after all of my whining yesterday...Today, after lots of sleep and medicine, I'm feeling much better!

Halloween Poll

Where do you stand on Halloween?
Anti-Halloween....3 (33%)
Don't really care...1(11%)
Enjoy it...4(44%)
Love it...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

sick and tired

Yesterday afternoon, my left ear suddenly felt like I had stuffed a cotton ball in it. I came home and took Sudafed and Zyrtec...no change. This morning, I took a Benadryl. No change, and I was still very tired. I don't have the other symptoms that I usually have when my ears plug up, but my ear was bothering me and I felt so tired that I could hardly keep from staring blankly and wishing I could just climb into bed. I figured it was allergy congestion that maybe turned into some weird ear-thingy. (It's a good thing I'm not a doctor, huh)? I saw my doctor this afternoon. Apparently I have fluid in/on my ears (not sure how you're supposed to say that) with no ear infection. Yay! But, I have the start of a viral infection, which she believes is the early stages of a sinus infection. Boo.

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

calm down

Just now, Tyler announced:

"I think I'm calming down."

"I don't want to calm down."

(yelling) "Body, don't calm down!"


I'm trying to send my body a similar message. Something along the lines of, "Please don't feel so tired. Please." :)

Sunday, October 26, 2008

More questions

Last night Tyler asked,

"Do Grandpa Norm and Carol eat granola bars in the rain?"

Saturday, October 25, 2008

A fall evening

Today was gorgeous. I think the high was 70. Tyler and I took a nice walk, then went to the park. (Then ran some errands). At one store, he asked me what "or" means and later asked what "super different" means. He keeps my brain going. :)
This evening, we enjoyed some fall traditions. Since Wayne and I have been married, most years we have carved pumpkins and we try to have caramel apples at least once if we can. So, we decided tonight was the night.

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."


Showing us his aversion to the pumpkin insides.




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.




Dancing for the ladies

Today, Tyler was running errands with me. By our last stop, he said he was tired of "this." I think he meant that he was tired of shopping. Later I asked what he meant and he said, "I'm tired of those balloons over there."

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.

the week

One of the things our neighbors gave us is an inflatable Hot Wheels toddler bed. I thought this would be great for the times we have company. Usually, Tyler sleeps on the floor beside our bed - and it is generally difficult to get him to sleep there because it feels so different for him. So, I thought we'd test out the new bed this week, and have Tyler sleep in it so that it's not so new when we have company. (Hollins and Rachel are visiting the weekend before Thanksgiving - yay)! Anyway, Wednesday night, I worked and worked to blow this thing up. I found that the caps kept coming off, but that was easily fixed by taping them down. Here he is, all snuggly. He was quite happy and had no trouble going to sleep.



However, in the middle of the night, I woke to a "thwump" of Tyler rolling over and smacking into our bed frame. While it didn't wake him up, it woke me up, and I repositioned him back onto his deflating mattress. By morning, it was totally flat. He loved sleeping there - and the last two nights I've tried other options, which have not worked out very well. So, I guess I'll go on a mission to find a replacement. I'd take suggestions if anyone has any. :)
Last night, we had the Pankratz's and Jaberg's over for dinner and Trivial Pursuit. The boys played very well together...at least for most of the evening. (When they can stay away from playing dinosaur and wrestling). Here they are watching a movie. I just love Leo's big grin! He told me, "I say cheese, Melody."


Oliver, Leo, Abe, and Tyler

DeFlocked

I received a lovely email from Jeff Corriveau this morning. Apparently he is a cartoonist and writer for the newly-syndicated comic called "DeFlocked." He, apparently, found my blog and also appreciates how few movies one is able to see after the birth of a child. However he has Netflicks which seems like it could be a good idea...only most of the time I can't stay up late enough to make it through a movie anyway. He wrote to say that the Wichita Eagle is looking at the possibility of adding new cartoons to their paper (including his fairly new cartoon, DeFlocked) and are conducting a survey...voting will end November 2. I figured - hey, he sought me out and even wrote a personal email...I can give him my vote! If you want to do the same, go here to vote. You can complete the whole survey or just vote for DeFlocked - and you can vote as many times as you want.

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!

Happy Voting!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

organizing

Thanks to the generosity of our neighbors, yesterday, we had a lot of toys in our house...mostly sitting in the living room. When I got home from work yesterday, I commented that it looked terrible around here. Wayne agreed and also told me that if I wanted to keep the Christmas tree from our neighbors, I was going to have to find a place to store it. Tyler was enjoying the boxes and spent quite a bit of time bringing down his little pillows and an elephant to stuff into the box with him. He would then request for me to cover him up. He was frustrated that the quilt didn't block out all the light and that it got hot in there. Ah well, he'll learn.


Luckily, our next door neighbor Bailey (a second-grader) came over and asked Tyler to play. I think that's a first (for Tyler to have a friend show up and ask him to play). Tyler and Bailey played quite nicely.
In the meantime, Wayne and I decided which toys we were going to keep (relatively few), which I was going to take to work (most of them) and which I was going to return to the neighbors(which I did today). I was inspired to organize things in the garage, play room and storage room. While there is still more work to be done, I did find room for the Christmas tree and got some other things cleaned out!! Bailey's (pregnant) mom was also happy to borrow some of Tyler's baby things, which freed up more room for me. After I was done I felt quite satisfied! :)
Today, when I got home from work, Bailey rang the bell asking to play with Tyler again. It was cold and rainy today, so they spent most of their time inside. While she was over, they enjoyed some yogurt (Gogurt). Tyler insisted on opening his own and it went all over him and the kitchen, as you can see...