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 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 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


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 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


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...

Sunday, October 19, 2008

What is your favorite thing about fall?

What is your favorite thing about fall?

Food (apples, pumpkin pie, caramel corn)...1 (14%)
Colorful leaves...5 (71%)
Pumpkins, jack-o-lanterns...0 (0%)
Crisp air, warm clothes...2 (23%)
Hay rides...0 (0%)

My favorite season is probably summer. But I must admit that I do love fall. And it always reminds me of my mother...I think I may have been in elementary school when she told me that fall is her favorite season. I think fall is more beautiful in Indiana, especially with all the beautiful maple trees and the brilliant colors. But even here in Kansas, I am enjoying the mums and colorful leaves. This season, I have really looked forward to all the things that make fall special to me. I love food, and have always loved pumpkin and caramel...two foods definitely associated with the season! And hey, ever since I found apples like Honeycrisp and Gala, I really love apples too! I have purchased two big pumpkins to carve, which Tyler has also enjoyed bowling through the kitchen. Warm sun and cool air have made for lovely walks outside. Ahh, I'm soaking it in and enjoying it! I hope you are too.

A busy week...

I did not realize how long it had been since I'd posted! This has been quite the busy week. Monday and Tuesday, I presented in-services. Monday for elementary teacher's on Positive Behavior Supports - in four 90 minute sessions. Tuesday, we did a Nonviolent Crisis Intervention refresher course for our staff - two three-hour sessions.

Here are Tyler and Oliver enjoying the Wii Fit together. They tired quickly. I think this was Tuesday evening. That night, Tyler also fell and hit his head on the corner of the wall. He immediately had a purple, vertical bruise and a lump. Now it's a faded greenish color. He also fell off of the kitchen stool this week - I think it was on Thursday - which left him with some scratches on his cheek and chin and a little bruise. Poor little face!

Wednesday and Thursday I worked late because of parent-teacher conferences. This is an unusual week for me, thank goodness!

Thursday night to the present, Wayne has been running a low-grade fever. He feels okay with Tylenol, but when it wears off, he is not feeling so great.

Friday night, I had a girl's night out. Tyler was at first sad to see me go, but after we discussed it, he wished me fun at my "girl party." I made a yummy pumpkin dessert that I got from my Mom's blog.

Saturday evening, Tyler and stayed home and watched a kid's movie while Wayne enjoyed a guy's night out. Tyler and I also spent a good part of our evening with our generous neighbors who are cleaning out their basement. They have an 11 year-old boy who had outgrown many of his toys. In addition to toys and books, I'm excited to have a "new" Christmas tree, and a storm door (that I really hope fits our door). Now, if we can only find room to store such things as a Christmas tree and find places for new toys...

Here is Tyler struggling to blow up a punch balloon. Because of my not-so-great camera, it's a little hard to see how red his face got. You can also faintly see his greenish bruise on his forehead.

Ted and Sue came over tonight and took us out to Chili's. Sue brought her I-Spy game to play with Tyler. Here he is looking...

... and finding.

Here is the ant farm...again, because of my camera, it's a little hard to see. The ants immediately got to work and have been busily building a little world of their own.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Wii Fit

I recently read my Aunt Kathy's blog post about Brennan enjoying Wii Fit. Last night, I decided to give it a try with Tyler. He loved it. So, this afternoon, we tried it again. Today it's been cold and rainy all day. I'm excited about an indoor exercise option that he enjoys! Thanks for the idea, Kathy!

On a personal note, I'm kind of wiped out. I spent the day presenting Positive Behavior Supports to elementary teachers four times - in four 90-minute inservice blocks. I had a good time, but probably shouldn't have worn heels. My feet are tired. However, my last group applauded, so that makes my aching feet not feel as bad! :) Tomorrow, I will co-lead two Nonviolent Physical Crisis Intervention refresher classes. My presentations today used a lot of the same information, so I feel (mostly) ready for that. Then the rest of the week we have half days with our students and the other half with parent teacher conferences (Thursday is late conference day). It's a different week for sure!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Potty Party Time

Tonight I was busily working on Tyler's Halloween costume, when I heard quite the dialogue and singing from the bathroom. I forgot that I still haven't figured out how to adjust the view - sorry about that!

Ant Farm

Tyler received an ant farm for his birthday. Today, Wayne and Tyler went to the park to find ants for their new home. Tyler called them "fire ants." We're not sure if they are, but they are red.

Saturday, October 11, 2008


This morning, I came into the kitchen to make breakfast and was stunned to see that our blue lobster had escaped from the aquarium. For a second, I thought Wayne was playing a joke on me, then it sunk in. I yelled, OK I kind of screamed, for Wayne to come take care of it. (He's about six inches long - and his antennae are longer - ewww). Wayne thought it was pretty funny and joked about eating the lobster for breakfast.

As we sat down for breakfast, Tyler said, "Daddy, please don't eat the lobster."
Wayne, "What will we do if he escapes again?"
Tyler, "I don't fink it will never escape again. I don't fink it will escape again."
Let's hope not.
After the lobster was deposited safely back into the aquarium, he moved pretty slowly at first, then appeared to "come to" and is doing fine. :)

Thursday, October 9, 2008

New Presidential Candidate... It's someone we know!

There's an effort to elect an unknown random person as President... and it's someone we know! Watch this online video about the surprising new nominee:

Jot back a note to let me know what you think!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Tyler love

Tonight, Tyler told me, "Mommy, you're the best Mommy in the whole world...and Daddy's the best Daddy in the whole world."

Sigh, smile. I know we're not really the best parents in the world, but it's still nice to hear from our little guy. :) Especially since, sooner than I'd like to believe, he probably won't be spouting these nice words as often...if at all. I'll take them while I can get them.


Last night, Tyler was laying in our bed when I brought over his toothbrush and...oops, noticed that the toothpaste had fallen onto the comforter.

As I tried to quickly wipe it up, Tyler perked up, "Uh oh...Daddy's going to be proud of you."

He got a big hug and an explanation of what proud means. :) He agreed with me that Daddy would not be proud of me for that.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Happy 4th Birthday, Tyler!

Probably my favorite detail of this cake was the glitter. Unfortunately, you can't see it on the pictures.

Friday night, Tyler's friend, Abe, spent the night. They got along very well, easily went to sleep (well, at least Abe fell asleep quickly) and woke up bright and early. Like last year, we decided to have a joint party with Tyler and Oliver, who is a year older than Tyler. This year, however, we celebrated at Pat and Lisa's new house instead of at our place. So, on Saturday morning, we had a big breakfast, then picked up balloons and headed to Pat & Lisa's house.
Here are the men relaxing before the party.

Here is the moon bounce that the kids enjoyed.
They could jump, shoot baskets and slide.

Here are the birthday boys,
Oliver and Tyler.
(Brett, Oliver's cousin is cheesing behind them).

Coming down the slide.

The kids eating lunch.

The crazy-big lion pinata. We all had to smile about how big it was and how it looks like a person's body with a lion's head.

Tyler focusing on how he will blow out his candles while everyone is singing Happy Birthday. He was taking blowing out the candles seriously.

After his job was done, he could relax!

Opening presents.

Today, we celebrated again. :) We had Ted and Sue over for lunch. Tyler opened his presents from us and his Grandparents. Here is his Thomas DVD from Grandpa Miller's.

Working on assembling a dinosaur Playmobil set from Ted and Sue.

While it has tired us out a bit, we really enjoyed celebrating Tyler's birthday (weekend). Even though his actual birthday isn't until tomorrow. Tonight, I told him that he is a big boy. And he said, "but I'm not 4 yet." I guess I'm in no hurry for him to grow up anyway, these first 4 years have gone so fast!