The Hamptons

Thursday, May 19, 2016 by  

The Hamptons, beach house, beach, oceanside, ocean, Bianca Tyler, The Let's Talk Mom (22)In the 16 weeks since Phillip’s surgery, we’ve been back to the hospital 24 times including a 3rd full-body MRI and chemical injections. (To see the full story, click here: Kicking Cancer) By the end of March, Phillip’s PSA level was tested 4 times, and on each occasion the reading went up!! Having had the prostate removed, the PSA level should be undetectable. When the 4th result came in showing an increase of 77% from the first post-surgery reading, we were really unnerved.

So Phillip surprised me with a weekend house in the Hamptons. The Atlantic was our backyard! If you squint, you can see the kids looking for shells by the water’s edge in the photo above       . The Hamptons, beach house, beach, oceanside, ocean, Bianca Tyler, The Let's Talk Mom (6)

He wrote on his blog (Phillip’s Journey), “I wanted my wife to have some down time, as she has been carrying the burden greatly. The Hamptons, beach house, beach, oceanside, ocean, Bianca Tyler, The Let's Talk Mom (24)For those of you who know her, you know she loves deeply and has deep emotions. This journey has been tough on her, and I wanted her to unwind more than anything. I
didn’t realize how much I needed this, too. 
We spent the weekend in an idyllic beach home with glorious weather. We chilled, played board games, grilled fresh salmon & steak, we talked, we walked, we flew kites, we gazed at the ocean & listened to the breaking surf, we delighted in the laughter of our daughter & her friends playing in the sand, running down the beach, rescuing overturned horseshoe crabs, and we reveled in the pure joy of beach life.

The Hamptons, beach house, beach, oceanside, ocean, Bianca Tyler, The Let's Talk Mom (25)And the really good news… my latest blood test last week shows that my PSA is now undetectable. So, 40 rounds of daily radiation begins in June, then another round of chemical injections, and my plan is to have kicked it to the curb by then….Cancer out!”

To think Phillip was again worried about me when it is he going through all this agony! How incredibly loving, how completely appreciated!! This weekend was the respite we all needed.The Hamptons, beach house, beach, oceanside, ocean, Bianca Tyler, The Let's Talk Mom (4)

The Hamptons, beach house, beach, oceanside, ocean, Bianca Tyler, The Let's Talk Mom (1)The children made s’mores before watching family movies and Darling played her latest instrument, a Seagull Merlin she just stenciled.Seagull Merlin, stencil, stenciling, Bianca Tyler, The Let's Talk Mom

Smoked salmon for breakfast & chocolate-dipped strawberries at lunch. The Hamptons, beach house, beach, oceanside, ocean, Bianca Tyler, The Let's Talk Mom (13)More kite-flying, even by my Mom, exploring the Bay, The Hamptons, beach house, beach, oceanside, ocean, Bianca Tyler, The Let's Talk Mom (16)and proper burials & prayers for horseshoe crabs that were found washed ashore. The children crafted their own crosses from beach wood and sea grass. The Hamptons, beach house, beach, oceanside, ocean, Bianca Tyler, The Let's Talk Mom (18)a

The Hamptons, beach house, beach, oceanside, ocean, Bianca Tyler, The Let's Talk Mom (2)The Hamptons, beach house, beach, oceanside, ocean, Bianca Tyler, The Let's Talk Mom (21)    A little bit of shopping and a The Hamptons, beach house, beach, oceanside, ocean, Bianca Tyler, The Let's Talk Mom (3)REALLY windy ride back on the ferry completed the long weekend.The Hamptons, beach house, beach, oceanside, ocean, Bianca Tyler, The Let's Talk Mom (14)a

bright spot flowerThe Bright Spot – We all feel rejuvenated! The Hamptons, beach house, beach, oceanside, ocean, Bianca Tyler, The Let's Talk Mom (29)

Especially Phillip, he looks fantastic!!!!

The Hamptons, beach house, beach, oceanside, ocean, Bianca Tyler, The Let's Talk Mom (15)Thank you, my Love!The Hamptons, beach house, beach, oceanside, ocean, Bianca Tyler, The Let's Talk Mom (30)


Bianca

The 1-Eyed Teddy Bear

Monday, May 2, 2016 by  

The point of this story need not identify of the owner of the 1-eyed teddy bear, but rather WHO this fellow is made all the difference in saving our son’s cuddly animals.

The man actually cannot be identified because he is a secret agent on a very significant level. He is close to our family and we all adore him but we keep conversation limited to family stuff, old friends, or school happenings. He signs his holiday envelopes as James Bond. It’s all very cool in a surreptitious kind of way, the “secret” in secret agent makes it sound so hush-hush, and the undercover missions we are never allowed to know about are wrapped in clandestine mystery. All very exciting, so what does this have to do with stuffed animals?  Proud of our son, strapping young man, England, Abercrombie & Fitch

Our eldest is a strapping 24-year-old dude with beer posters in his room and a steady girlfriend at the helm.

Siberian tiger, blue-eyed tiger, white tiger, little boy, stuffed animals, cuddly animals, The 1-Eyed Teddy BearRewind about 14 years and here was a kid with a ton of stuffed animals, some from babyhood, others won at the amusement park, many from the big glass box with the grabber handle thingie at the diner. An admirer of big cats, one of his favorite was a huge white tiger with sharp blue eyes.

For a long time, my husband felt our son needed to unload his cuddly animals. I’d protest seeing the quiet sadness in our child’s eyes. The subject came up at significant milestones, like award ceremonies, moving from elementary to middle school, etc. I understood my husband’s point of view: he wanted to make our son grow up, be a man, get tough. I understood my son’s point of view: at that time he was still an only child and he wasn’t ready.

Then one year we visited Washington, D.C. and James Bond invited us to stay in his homThe 1-Eyed Teddy Bear, Steiff, Steiff teddy bear, old bear, loved bear, teddy bear, James Bond, James Bond's bear, James Bond's teddy bear, teddy on the bed, revered bear, revered teddye. He was away, as usual, and he couldn’t say where he was, except that he would leave the key for us under the mat. Under the mat?!? He lives with all this enigmatic secrecy but leaves the house key under the mat!

It was very exciting to walk around his home. Medals, awards, Christmas cards from the presidents over the last 20 years, and as we walked upstairs to pick out our rooms for the night, there, in the middle of the master bedroom, sitting proudly atop the big bed, was a 1-eyed Steiff teddy bear with a worn nose, an untied yellow bow & fur so loved-off and cuddled, it was a treasure to behold.

It was also ammunition to ward off any more attempts to clear out stuffed animals from our son’s room. “If James Bond can keep his teddy bear, so can I!” 
Tiger, Siberian tiger, blue-eyed tiger, students, enrichment program, enrichment school program, teacher with students, teacher and students and tiger, centerpiece of classroom, buddy for reading
So that was that. More than a decade’s passed and on his own, our son has donated his stuffed animals along the way – but that’s the important part of this story – it was on his terms, his timing and his choice of where they went. The huge white tiger is now the centerpiece & reading buddy in a fantastic enrichment school.Toys, princess dresses, dresses, playroom, play room, donation, giving (4)
I never take anything from my children without asking them. Together we donate what they choose to give up when they choose to. It teaches them to let go, to give to others and to stay organized. (Little One sorting>>)

Toys, princess dresses, dresses, playroom, play room, donation, giving (2)There is a marvelous organization called YoungLives which helps teenage mothers. Every 3rd Wednesday, the young mothers meet at a church in Norwalk, CT to learn about God and their children, plus, they can choose items they need that people have donated.

When our daughter was ready to donate her toys or princess dresses, etc., we would bring them to the church and she would see firsthand the children light up with joy as they pickedBarbies, mermaids, singers, butterfly fairies, butterfly fairy, Barbie mermaid out what they would like. She saw a little     2-year-old boy dive into her Elmo chair exclaiming, “That’s mine, I love this chair!” And little girls picking out sparkly dresses. Or Barbies. Or unicorns.Toys, princess dresses, dresses, playroom, play room, donation, giving (1)

The children were happy and it made our child well up with joy to see the kids’ faces light up while new life was instantly breathed into her cherished pieces. It deeply linked giving to pleasure. You can check out organizations in your area like YoungLives, Birthright, Hopeline or any organization that benefits a cause you believe in. We’ve also donated her crib, baby furniture and Pack-n-Plays.

Child donating stuffed animals, child donating toys, Africa, orphans, FedEx, FedEx box for donation, kindness, thoughtfulness, readiness of a child, giving

Our daughter has given up lots of her cuddly animals, even packing & sending many huge boxes to Africa.

The Bright SpotTM bright spot flower – The exciting thing about the missionary we shipped her stuffed animals toOrphans, stuffed animals, given with love, children snuggling new animals, Africa, love, swells our hearts is that they sent back photos of orphan children cuddling her animals! A fine day, indeed. Again, on our children’s terms while reinforcing a life skill of giving as a pleasure.

 


Bianca