Thursday, October 29, 2009

Great Gramdparents!

Over the last several weeks we have made an attempt to see my grandparents a little more often and let them get to see Luke a little more often too. I try to go to alternate weeks, so sometimes we are at my Bartel Grandparent's house and sometimes at my Regier Grandparent's house. Unfortunately I always forget my camera!!! My Grandma Bartel has a pretty good camera that she let me borrow the last two times we came over and today I brought it home and uploaded the pics to my computer so that I could share them with all of you! These first pics are from probably about three weeks ago??? My Grandpa took Luke out to play on the swing set that has been there as logn as I can remember. The swings have wooden seats and I think Grandpa has replaced them several times already. In the beginning Grandpa got on the glider with Luke, but I didn't have the camera out yet then so I missed it.


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Today (10-28-09) at Grandma and Grandpa Bartel's we played in the leaves and spent time running, throwing balls, and rolling down the hills!





















Here is a quick video of Luke enjoying the leaves. He was squealing a lot, but as soon as I turned on the video he stopped squealing so much. Still cute!



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Luke knows where all the toys are at Grandma Bartel's house and as soon as we got to their house he ran straight down stairs to get them out. These pics are from after we had gone outside a bit, hence the order. He also knows which drawer in the kitchen has toys!








Grandpa took him outside for a quick wheel barrow ride....





I think in the end he was tired and ready to go because the wheel barrow ride didn't last long.






We weren't able to visit my Regier Grandparents this week because my grandma isn't feeling great, and I think it will be a while before she is feeling well enough for little visitors, so today we just talked to her on the phone. Luke showed her his Veggie Tales video by holding it up to the phone and gave her two or three kisses to help her feel better!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Lions and Eeyore's and Witches, oh my!

Last Friday, the 23rd, Greg and I took Luke and met Amy, Derrick and their son Glen at the zoo for Night of the Living Zoo, an event they hold every year around Halloween. Luke was a lion (for a $1 from Etc. Shop) and Glen was Eeyore (also from a second hand shop!).


Luke wouldn't wear the lion mask so we pained his face and I wore it, at least for a little while anyway.



Cute kiddos!



I think they both had fun running around but in general it was definitely a little beyond them. Luke was really excited about the candy but he was too little to understand that you were not supposed to eat all the candy as soon as you got it. He knew he was supposed to ask for candy and that the were giving it to him but why didn't he get to eat it?!? We didn't stay too late and headed over to Amy and Derricks house for apple cider and a little play time for the boys.



(Luke is pushing Glen in he stroller with Amy)





Somehow I never got Derrick in a picture, but I did catch Greg relaxing on a KU bean bag!




Boys are still little enough to think kissing is cool! I love it!




On the way to their house Luke was drinking some water and when he wasn't thirsty anymore he decided that it would be fun to spit it all over himself. By the time we got to Amy and Derrick's he was soaked so we had to take his shirt off. (-:


Luke loves Veggie Tales and Glen loves Baby Einstein.




On Saturday the 24th my mom and I went to see the musical Wicked on tour here in Wichita at Century II. I knew most of the story from my mom and from hearing the soundtrack but I hadn't had a chance to read it yet so I didn't know exactly how everything happened or how it ends. I know the tickets were expensive, but it was soooo worth it!!!







Row R was right about the middle and our seats were just a little to the left of center, not bad at all!



It was incredible! I was blown away by it all, the costumes the performers and the performances they gave! I was on the verge of tears most of the way through, just so overwhelmed by it all, and I bawled at the end! I wish I could see it again, but I don't think I can afford that!

Afterwards I took my Mom to one of my favorite restaurants, Bone Fish Grill! I am not a seafood kind of girl, but I always love whatever I get there and I always get something different because I always order off the specials menu and we don't go very often.

Mom and I both got the same thing from the specials menu, Reah's Mahi Mahi! It was excellent. I also got a pomegranate martini which I love and we shared a creme brulee for dessert, scrumptious with whip cream and blue berries on top!



The pictures don't do it justice. I just wish my sister could have been there to share the afternoon with us! I know she would have enjoyed the whole thing and I miss her. It seems like so long since she was here this summer and we don't get to see her again until January! The other day Luke and I were looking at pics on my camera and I still have several of my favorites from when we went to Colorado with her, pics of her holding Luke and playing with him! I miss you sister!!!!
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When I got home Luke was being supper sweet and giving me lots of kisses so I took a few more pics. He is such a loving little boy, I hope he stays that way. We spent the evening snuggled up together on the couch, reading books and watching a movie while we ate Kettle Corn (from the microwave). Maybe I am turning him into a couch potato, but I guess that is part of why it is sooo good for him to go out to Grammy and Grandpa's to play on the farm a few times a week!




I love him so!!!
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Today, the 27th, he and I walked down town for lunch and we had so much fun together! Every time we walked through a bunch of leaves he would squeal and laugh as though he were being tickled or something! Also the first semi truck to pass us honked at us so I taught him how to do that sign that all kids and truckers know means to pull the horn and the whole rest of our outing anytime he saw a semi truck he would do that and they ALL honked for him! It was so cool!
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We had a really good lunch together too! We ate at a place called Prairie harvest, which is mostly a small local/organic/whole foods grocery, but it also has a nice little deli with really good, interesting, and tasty food to choose from. We got the Borscht, a slice of whole grain bread, an orange cream soda, and a little square of chocolate for dessert! Luke really ate very well and sat down for most of the meal! (something I have a hard time teaching him since we don't eat at the table due to ongoing construction in our house and a little laziness on my part).
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Just so you know he can throw a pretty good fit too. The other day when I took him to my mom's he was hungry when we got there and couldn't handle much of anything well. I don't remember what the fuss was all about but suddenly he was very upset with me and he threw himself on the ground several times in a row while screaming right in front of Grammy! We both laughed, he is so dramatic, and he did better once we got something in him.
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Tonight he didn't have a long enough nap and woke up hungry to boot so I got another really good fit out of him, but this time with no Grammy to watch it went on quite a bit longer. He was trying to play with something dangerous and kept moving his stool around the kitchen so that he could get to wherever I had moved it away from him. I was trying to warm up some lentil soup for a quick supper since I didn't think he could last, and sure enough he only made it about two minutes before he'd had enough of me pushing him around. (-; He started screaming at me and I finally picked him up and took him into the living room away from whatever it was. He was so angry, nothing could distract him, if I left him be he tried to go back to the kitchen and I had to stop him. Finally I told him that I thought he needed a nap, I had tried to feed him and he wouldn't take a bite, so I picked him up and carried him up stairs kicking and screaming the whole way and lay down with him and offered to nurse, nothing worked. Suddenly through his tears he started signing that he wanted to eat. I asked him if he really wanted to eat and he nodded so I took him down stairs again and tried to feed him but again he tried to go to the kitchen! I picked him up and gently said, "Sweetie I think you are tired and hungry so you can either eat or I am taking you upstairs to sleep." After a couple more sobs he quieted down and sat down next to me at the coffee table, I tried to help him sit on my lap but he wasn't going to go that far for me so he sat next to me. He sat and ate a large amount of soup while sniffling and watching Veggie Tales, which I had turned on earlier in an attempt to distract him, and after that he was a new boy, happy and willing! Unfortunately not too much longer after that I got called into work so he went to Grammy and Grandpa's and I headed in. One of these days I'm going to get a fit on tape for posterity!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

More recent news...

So we have been home for a while now, Luke is still being supper cute, and a little bit ornery. Last week right after getting back from Indiana Greg had to go to Cleavland for a week for work so Luke and I spent a couple of those days at my parents house while I was on call or working. Luke is so sweet at their house, but he knows how to make Grammy laugh! One night he spent about twenty minutes spitting as hard as he could! Thanks goodness he doesn't do that all the time or it wouldn't be so cute!



It is definitely fall now. My dad and uncles harvested some early milo and some corn already and are busy planting wheat whenever it is dry enough to get into the fields. It will be a few more weeks before the late milo is ready, but Luke and I already got in one short ride with Grandpa on the combine!



My sister mentioned in her blog that Fall makes her feel like a Susie Homemaker, and it does that to me too! Suddenly I want to make all kinds of thing, applesauce, hummus, soups of various kinds, and lots of knitting!!! I have three main projects going right now. I have a pair of socks I started back in the spring, but other projects have kind of edged them out for now. I am working diligently on a pair of leg warmers for my sister for Christmas! They are turning out really nicely I think. I am enjoying them. Most recent of all I decided to go to the store yesterday and get yarn for a new hat and mittens to go with my brown wool coat that I got last winter. The colors are a burnt fall orange and lime green! I am not using a pattern but am kind of winging it. I think the mittens will be mostly green and the scarf mostly orange, but I am planning on putting at least one stripe of the other color on each item to help them tie in together. The yarn was on sale 2.50 a skein, not bad at all, and it is supper soft, pima Cotton and tencel. I already have about half a mitten on my needles! I just hope I can figure out the thumb right!



Another neat thing that has come with the fall is a new happier relationship between Sam (our dog) and Luke. Until now they would very cautiously occupy the same space when they had to, and most of the summer Sam stayed outside all day so that was pretty rare. But now with the cooler weather Sam is back to being a mostly indoor dog and suddenly he and Luke are best buds. The first day Sam was inside all the time I came down stairs in the morning and sat down to eat breakfast and Sam was lying on the living room floor. Luke came in and decided that looked like fun so he lay down next to Sam! Something that never would have happened before! Later on something even more amazing happened. Sam is head shy, he doesn't like anyone coming directly towards his head, I think in his previous home he was used to getting smacked by a lot of special needs kids. Sam was lying on the couch at the time and Luke came over and put his face right down in front of Sam, nose to nose, and just sat there like that for about two minutes before going back to his play. I have to admit that I was terrified that Sam would snap at him, I have heard of even very gentle dogs snapping at people who blow in their faces and Luke was definitely in Sam's space! Once Luke went back to playing I breathed a sigh of relief and then immediately wished I had caught the precious moment on camera!



Things I am looking forward to... Mom and I got tickets to see Wicked on the 24th! I am so excited!!! Halloween. We have been invited to my cousins, Mark and Amanda's, house for a costume party and I think it will be a lot of fun. I am also thinking it might be fun to take Luke to the zoo's trick or treat thing the week before. I got him a lion costume from Etc Shop but so far he is afraid to put on the foam lion mask! As much as he liked hats I thought that would be a breeze, it really doesn't cover the face at all, just goes around it and the lion's snout sits on top of the head. We'll have to wait and see what happens I guess.

Indiana Wedding

We recently took a trip to Indiana to go to the wedding of some friends of ours, Matt and Erin, whom we knew from Greg's work at Oaklawn. Most of Greg's co-workers have moved to other cities now but a few still work there. Anyway, we left Tuesday night Sept. 29th after Greg got home from work, thinking that maybe Luke would sleep the whole way and make the trip really easy... Boy were we wrong!

I think it was the worst overnight drive we have ever done!!! Luke maybe slept a total of three hours at best. The rest of the time he either cried or watched Veggie Tales like a zombie with his eyes half open, refusing to let them go all the way closed. I think Greg and I each got about two hours of sleep as well, but we did get to IN by around 11:30 am their time and after sitting around a bit, giving Mimi some time with Luke and eating lunch we took very nice long naps!!!

That night Kent and Kathy's came over with the kids for supper and Luke had a blast playing with them but I didn't get any pics because the battery in our camera was dead and needed charging.

The next day Greg and Luke and I went out to breakfast with Greg's mom and her sisters who live close by, and then Luke and I dropped Greg off for a trip to Chicago with the Groom and a bunch of other guy friends for the Bachelor Party!


I think they had a lot of fun in spite of the fact that the Cubs game they were intending to go to got rained out. )-: I let Greg take the camera along because he was going on this big trip with his friends and said he wanted to take lots of pictures and then he only took two! On the train! How exciting is that?
Mean while Like and I got caught up on our sleep and went to Greg's aunt Glenda's house for a family reunion and I wished I had the camera there... Oh well, that's the way things go.
The next day Luke and I grabbed the camera and went to visit my good friend Jen and baby Nolan while Greg got caught up on his sleep. Luke was sooo happy to see baby Nolan and did a really good job of being gentle. He REALLY wanted to hold Nolan so this is how we managed it and he did so well! It did make me really glad I don't already have another baby, it would be much easier if Luke was older and able to follow directions a bit more consistently and not be a baby himself still. He looks like a big boy and he is definitely getting there, but he still needs me so much and some concepts are still way beyond him at this stage. It is still very much all about him and what he wants and needs, so as long as what he and I want coincide he listens perfectly, otherwise not so much.


Aren't they sweet together! Ever since we got home Luke has been playing with his babies a LOT. He likes to put them to bed together on a pillow and then carry it around. So cute! Someday he will be an excellent big brother, but not yet!



we actually brought one of his babies with us to Jen's house so that he could play with it instead of Nolan, and he did! He put the baby in Nolan's bouncy vibrating seat and had a lot of fun learning about all the sounds and movements that seat could do.
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He also had fun playing with Jen's camera which she had been using to take pictures of him with, and the two of them took several pictures of baby Nolan with one of his uncles. I don't know if any of them actually turned out or not.



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We actually got in a good amount of family time while we were there, you always want more of course, but for the amount of time we had everyone was available. Greg's Aunt Sharon was even there from Texas and we spent some time out at Greg's grandma's farm painting and getting everything ready fro the next renters, as well as eating some amazing Mexican food at his aunt Glenda's house. Unfortunately I didn't get pictures of everything because I didn't always have the camera with me.




Kent and Kathy!




Anna playing dress-up.

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Luke learned a lot from his older cousins and we had to really be careful this time what the bigger kids did, because he would try to do just about anything. Here he is watching Isaac do flips over the couch in the basement...








It wasn't too long before he figured out how to do it too, but I don't have that on camera unfortunately!


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Anna loves playing dress up and has a great imagination and direction. If you don't know what to do she can help you out!





Anna decided we should have a tea party!







What can I say, my boy loves hats!!!













The main reason we got to go to Indiana in the first place, Matt and Erin's wedding!!!





Everyone waiting to see the bride! The look on Matt's face was priceless!







It was a really nice simple wedding, very beautiful!




This is Tom, Dori's sweety, we think he is pretty sweet too!



How I miss Dori!!!




Since Kevin was part of the wedding party Jen had Nolan all to herself while he performed his groomsman duties, or so she thought!




Dori's turn with Nolan!



Time to cut the cake, is anyone paying attention???








My turn for Nolan!




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Kevin.... I hope he never stops being Kevin!






Our last day there was Sunday and we went to church in the morning to get in a little time with our old Sunday school class. Luke did really well. He was so enthralled with all the cool toys in their nursery that he didn't mind a bit being left there to play while we stayed in church and Sunday school. Afterwards we went back to Mimi and Papaw's for lunch with Kent's family and Luke showed off his new trick. In the video below is a cookie monster toy that Luke enjoyed playing with and half way through our visit we saw him doing this, but we only just caught it on film before heading home. It was so cute that Mimi sent the toy home with us!



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Before heading out we took Luke outside to play a bit and get in some last minute time with Mimi and Papaw. Papaw has four little ponds in his back yard, beautiful garden, and the largest has fish in it. It has always been a grandchild favorite activity to help papaw feed the fish...


















One last chance to play with Mimi before we hit the road!


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On the way home we stopped by Dori and Tom's to see their new house and eat supper as well as to give Luke a chance to run off some energy.





Luke ran around their big back yard, went for a short walk down the street with Dori and I and took a tour of their beautiful four bedroom 2 1/2 bath house and still had energy to spare. So what does one doo when one has seen the whole house and isn't allowed back outside??? If you are Luke you turn in circles!



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He also enjoyed a chance to learn the ins and outs of Tom's camera. Everyone has a nicer camera than mommy!




One more of Greg's famous scarry faces for the road.




The trip back wasn't quite as bad as the way up, I think Luke slept a little more, but I don't think Greg or I really did. It was a long, long, long way home, and boy did our bed feel good when we finally fell into it at 8:30am!!! both Greg and I had to work that evening, but I think we both got enough sleep to be ok after we finally got home.