Sunday, June 29, 2008


I've been a delinquent blogger recently, as much has happened, and I've written little. So, it is time for a brief update!
Tuesday morning, I left early to get a haircut and returned to discover that my dear son had a very red, swollen left ear. It was not only significantly larger than the other, it flopped when he touched it. I described it as a Snow White's dwarf ear - dopey, or whoever had those big, floppy looking ears.
I was barely home before I had to leave to go have lunch with my former supervisor from Healthy Beginnings (in Elkhart). On the way, I called Tyler's doctor's office in Wichita and explained what Tyler's ear looked like. I was guessing it was a spider bite and just wondered if there was something they suggested to put on it...and how to tell whether I needed to take him in to be checked (what was unsaid in my mind - to prevent it from turning black and falling off or to prevent it from causing his death - I'm always good at thinking up worst-case scenarios).
Anyway, the nurse didn't offer any calming words - only suggested that I contact the insurance company to find out where the local contracted urgent care centers are located and suggested that I take him in. So, I pretty much panicked!!! But, in the meantime, I tried to relax and did have a great time seeing my former coworkers, most of whom are the same as when I left!!
When I got home, and freaked out even more, Dad and Wayne calmed me down a bit, and talked me out of taking him to the urgent care center that evening. However, in the meantime, I applied every home-remedy I could think of or read about. Tyler took an antihistamine, we put on hydrocortisone cream, crushed aspirin and mixed it with water to put on his ear, gave him colloidal silver (a natural antibiotic), and ice packs. Ironically, that morning, I had just told my cousin Katrina that I think I'm becoming a less paranoid parent than I used to be. Wah ha ha ha.
Here is what the ear looked like from behind:

and in front:
Luckily - by Wednesday morning, it was much less red and swollen. By Thursday, it was nearly back to normal. (Big sigh of relief).
Tuesday evening, Dad flew Wayne, Tyler and I down to Rochester, IN for supper. Rochester is the chosen spot because you can walk from the airplane, across the road to a family-style restaurant.
Here are the boys pulling the plane out of the hangar.

Tyler, completing the pre-flight check. (wink wink)

Tyler loved the headphones, and the microphone...sometimes a little too much.

After the flight down, posing for me.

I think we were chatting about behaving, but we could pretend we were just engaged in deep conversation. :)

On the way home, Dad let Wayne fly (from take-off to landing) 95% of the time. Thankfully, Dad helped some with the landing. (I had put my mouthpiece away from my mouth so that my gasps of concern would not distract the pilot! :) No, actually, he did a great job and it was neat that he had the opportunity!

This picture is to document Tyler getting a little squirmy on the trip back.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Light Show

Uncle Max gave us this "Stringin'-it" toy when we were visiting in Decatur last week. It is a string that is rotated quickly with a flashing LED light show. It's actually quite fun to play with and has already given us hours of fun.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Dirty Jobs

It all started innocently enough with a can of peaches (yucky, grayish-brown canned peaches) that I came across in Mom's canning room. I looked around and saw there were more jars that probably needed to be emptied and washed. I asked Mom for permission and got started, keeping many jars aside for recycling.
It was when I got to the canned grapes and grape juice that my suspicions were confirmed. I'd seen these jars many times before. At our "old" house, we had a long chain-link fence covered with concord grape vines. These jars of grape juice would have been canned before the move to this house in 1989. Yeah, that's right, nearly 20 years ago. I didn't check to see whether it had turned into wine. I was too scared to try it. While Mom has canned since then, everything but several jars of tomato juice was pitched into the woods. Sorry lovely animals of the forest! Here is a picture of some of what was removed from the canning room. (I didn't have the energy to compile it all merely for the sake of a picture).

As you can see, I got distracted from my original goal and started removing other items as well. I swept up and we took a big load to the recycling center, and still forgot a pile of jars. I could hear Mike Rowe, Dirty Jobs, giving his commentary as I worked. It was definitely a dirty job. I'm glad that it's done. And my hands are still sore (I did this on Monday) from twisting the lids off so many jars. That makes me feel old! But it was worth it!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Back in Middlebury

Tyler no longer trusts us when we get into the car. He never knows whether we're going for 10 minutes, 3 hours or 17 hours. While it took many explanations and several days of living proof, he finally seems to trust that we aren't leaving Wayne behind, but now he tells me we live in Indiana. All this driving hither and yon has really confused my boy.

Yesterday, Wayne, Mom and Dad, Rusty and Lynette, and Kathy and Wil went on the Pumpkinvine fundraiser bike ride for 40+ miles. They all handled it well. Only some sore tooshies today.
Kathy, Wayne and Wil pulling in for a little break so that Dad, Rusty and Lynette (who rode a tandem bike to Shipshewana before wearing out) joined them.

Here are the crazy bikers!

I lucked out and instead of biking, spent the morning with Matt and Monica (Tyler loved playing with Brennan). I was happy that Carla and Greta were able to join us for part of the morning too.

In the evening we enjoyed eating at Hacienda and The Chief with our family, Matt and Monica and Kathy and Wil. Two places I haven't been to in a long time. We had a great time!


The day after we returned from Florida, we packed up again and drove to Indianapolis to visit Wayne's sister, Rachel, her husband, Hollins, and Caesar (beloved dog). At this point, Tyler was becoming very confused about where he lives, where we were going, how long it would take and was vocal about missing his Daddy.

Uncle Hollins was very kind and invited Tyler to help him feed Caesar and give him treats. Tyler was a little cautious about the whole thing, but loved Caesar's tail sweeping his face and his kisses.

We enjoyed relaxing, shopping, and on Wednesday, went to the Indianapolis Children's Museum. It was impressive. We decided that if we lived in Indy, we would have a season pass. Tyler could probably spend several hours in one exhibit alone. We all had a great time!
In the center of the museum is this impressive Dale Chihuly blown glass sculpture.

Tyler pointing at the bat mobile. (In sepia tone because it was such a dark picture, you couldn't see it otherwise).

The Curious George exhibit was lots of fun for Tyler. Here he is holding his head because he hit it as he was getting ready to go down the slide. Ouch!

Loading parcels was lots of fun.

Making designs.

This was one of Wayne's favorite. It's a contraption that moves billiard balls around. Kids got to be part of keeping things moving along.

Wayne and Rachel enjoyed putting this arch together. Tyler then enjoyed knocking it down.

Rachel and Tyler

I believe that Tyler's favorite exhibit was the dinosaur exhibit. He is really into dinosaurs anyway these days, and it was very impressive.
In this picture, you can barely see Tyler's head sticking up in the bubble.

Dinosaurs to play with.

Tyler "excavating."

Tyler in the race car.

The playscape was a special exhibit for kids 5 and under. Tyler basically stayed at the water and sand stations. He had a great time.

Tyler was very sad when it was time to leave. He had a great time. The vast majority of exhibits were hands-on and great fun! We will definitely have to go back.
Thursday we spent the day with Wayne's grandparents, Wayne and Willa Mae (Billie) and his uncle, Max, in Decatur. On the way there, Tyler was distressed because he didn't understand that his Daddy would stay with us. He was a lot happier once he understood that Daddy was going with us. While we were there, I failed to take any pictures :( but I promise we had a great time! They served us two wonderful meals and we enjoyed chatting outside as it was a beautiful day.


These last few weeks seem like a whirlwind. Time is going so fast. After we left Kansas from the funeral, we drove back and arrived late Thursday night. Saturday we left for Florida.

Lynette, Tyler, Mom and I went together. We missed having Carrie and her boys!

We were relaxed which was just what we needed.

Eating at Turtles, a restaurant on Turtle beach, and a traditional stop for us.

Playing shuffleboard. I played (horribly) against Lynette and Mom.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

More photos from the week...

Grandpa's funeral

We learned that Grandpa David had passed away on Saturday, May 31. We packed our things, and waited for Lynette and Rusty to drive in from their weekend visit in Ohio. We traveled out with Mom, Dad, Lynette and Rusty.

Tyler enjoyed playing with Grandma and Lynette in the backseat during part of the journey.

It was touching to see the overwhelming numbers of people who came from near and far. The viewing was like a reunion - many people were there that I had not seen in awhile and it made us feel loved and supported. Dad and his brothers loved and respected their father deeply. I think that they honored him well with the service and burial. It may be morbid to think about, but I hope that it's a long time until I have to bear the death of a parent.

Lynette and Tyler enjoying the Kansas prairie.