Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Bartel Grandparents

Today we went to my Bartel Grandparent's house for a few hours in the afternoon.  They are moving soon so every time I go to their house now I feel like I am trying to soak it all in, just one more time!  I love their house and their beautiful yard and have so many good memories there.  My parents were married there and so were my uncle Larry and his wife Alyce, and Greg and I were married there 10.5 years ago.  This has been the only house I have ever known them in so it is going to be a big change.  As kids we spent many over nights in the bedrooms my aunts and uncles grew up in and were amazed at how Grandma could hear us whispering (they have an old intercom system).  As a teen I sometimes retreated to their house after getting back from an emotional week at camp (when I would otherwise be very grouchy and hard to live with) and they provided a buffer for me before I returned fully to normal life with my large family.  My Grandma has always made huge meals for our family and rarely accepts help with food prep.  Both my grandparents have worked hard over the years making their yard and flower beds look beautiful and be functional.  They have always had a huge vegetable garden that has supplied multiple families including mine.  They are amazing and loving people, and this house and yard are just beginning to get to be too much work for what they want to do.  They haven't slowed down on keeping it up, but just are ready for a little less to do.  Since where they are moving to will do all the yard work for them they will have a garden to work at my parent's farm instead and I know they will keep on working hard and loving well in so many other areas.

Anyway, part of my excuse to go to their house was to give my Grandma a pair of socks I had knitted for her.  I realized around Christmas time that I hadn't made socks for either of my Grandma's so I decided that was my next project and I finally completed both pairs this morning and couldn't wait to give the last pair to my Grandma!

Aaron wanted to be in the pic first of course...

They fit!

Then after trying them on Grandma took the boys to play, first down stairs and then outside so I could ask Grandpa to tell me some of his childhood memories!  I am working on a project for the boys of recording memories from their grandparents and great grandparents of their childhood memories.  As my grandma says, you get my grandpa started and he can talk all night, and I have lots more questions to ask him.  My grandma says she doesn't have any stories to tell like Grandpa but I am sure she does!  My Regier grandparents have been writing letters for me about their childhood memories and after this year is done I hope I will have lots of memories to put into a book for me and the boys and any other family members that want a copy.   

When we were done we all went outside for a little walk around the yard.

My Grandparents have had solar panels as long as I can remember, not sure if they got them when they built the house or not, but how cool is that?

As kids we always loved to play by the water, of course my boys do too.

Aaron loves airplanes and pointed this one out to me.

birthday present from Mimi and Papa!

Luke got his second b-day present from Mimi and Papa in the mail last week and it was a big hit.  Here are a few pics!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

bubble bath

After eating birthday cup cakes last night both boys were in need of a bath so I decided it would be a good night to fill the tube with bubbles.  Luke has been begging me but Aaron has never been in a bubble bath, or at least not one that he or I remember, so this was a little scary for him!  He couldn't quite decide what he thought about the whole thing.  Here is a link to a video I took of them.

Luke is still in the funny face picture phase as you can see...

Aaron didn't like that the bubbles stuck to him when he would take his hand our foot out of the water.  He kept shaking whatever limb he had out of the water but those bubbles just wouldn't come off.  Pour guy!  He was mostly ok with the bath, but we did get out after about 15 minutes instead of the usual 30!

Luke of course stayed in until all the bubbles were gone.

Birthday presents!

This is Luke opening his b-day presents this year. We tried taking a video but Aaron woke up in such a bad mood that he screamed through the entire thing and then the battery pack started going low so we gave up and just made sure we got a pic with Luke and his present from Mimi and Papa!  (-;

So far he and Aaron both have enjoyed the cupcakes we got him, we haven't tried any of the recipes in the box because we need to go to the grocery store but Luke is very anxious to get started with that, Luke has mastered most of the magic tricks already and won't let Aaron touch them.

His favorite present though, I think, is from Mimi and Papa, the Harry Potter lego board game.  We put it together yet Sunday afternoon and we have already played it 4 times, one of which Luke just played it by himself because Aaron needed me so he just took turns for all of the game pieces.  I barely beat him one time, but he is pretty darn good at it already.  I told Greg tonight that I think he will really love playing this game with Luke because it definitely involves some strategy and Luke has already got it figured out pretty well.  Luke also has his dad's competitive nature and can be quite ruthless, making moves not because he needs to make a move but because it will mess you up more!  

We are still waiting for the first Ranger Rick magazine to come in the mail and Luke is checking the box a couple times a day! He is one happy boy! 

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Happy Birthday Luke!

Today my sweet baby turns 5!!!  I can't believe he is so big.  Every day he seems more and more ready for school and I can hardly believe that soon he will be spending a good chunk of every week away from me and not at my mom's house either.  I'm not sure that I am ready for that yet, but I know it is coming whether I am ready or not.

Unfortunately Greg had to work all this weekend so we planned to get up early and eat a special breakfast together and open presents before Greg went to work and we needed to go to church.  Luke and I made cup cakes together last night to take to Sunday School and I stayed up late wrapping his presents.  We ended up getting up even earlier than expected when Aaron woke up screaming at 6:30 am!  I think he was hungry, but he was too angry to eat anything for quite a while and just screamed the whole time Luke was opening his presents!  Not so great for video taping it, but my battery was dying anyway so we mostly just took a few pics.

I was really excited about Luke's presents this year.  I have found that as he gets older and has more defined interests and abilities I have more ideas for things he will enjoy.  We got him a box of recipes called Kids Kitchen that I am excited to start looking through and using with him.  He loves to help in the kitchen and he is finally old enough that he is able to do more too.  We also got him the Mellissa and Doug cupcake set, you can decorate the cupcakes with these dry erase type markers as many times as you want, and Luke has been saying for a couple of months that he wants to be a cake maker when he grows up.  His final gift from us was a magic set also from Mellissa and Doug.  He generally loves anything magical and always wants to "play powers" and when Haig was here for Christmas he was enthralled with his magic tricks and quickly got the hang of performing them.  I think that was his favorite gift from us.

From Mimi and Papa he got a Harry Potter lego board game, very cool and can't wait to try it out later today!  From Gammy and Papa he got a subscription to Ranger Rick magazine, something I grew up with and he has been pouring over old copies at my mom's house lately and wanting to read the whole thing and cut out pictures from them.

Aaron's birthday is coming up too and while I am happy with the gifts we got him I don't have this sense that he will really love them the way I do with Luke, he just isn't old enough to have really strong interests yet.  I definitely think he will enjoy them and play with them, but he plays with everything, especially anything that is Luke's or that Luke is playing with.  I might not get him presents because we have plenty of toys, but I think for Luke's sake he needs a few more of his own toys so that maybe he will leave Luke's alone a bit more.

Luke made me so proud today, really showed how much he is growing up.  After church we went to Burger King with my parents, siblings and one set of grandparents.  It is the only place that has a play area and I was sure that after getting up so early and being in church all morning both the boys would not be able to handle any other kind of restaurant, plus Luke had asked for chicken nuggets for his birthday, even wanted them for breakfast!

Luke spent very little time eating and mostly just played with the other kids there.  At one point shortly before we left I suddenly heard him crying, hard!  He came down and tears were streaming down his face and he was holding his nose.  He told me that another little boy had punched him in the nose.  I was floored. Immediately I was remembering when I was 4 and our next door neighbor boy came over to our house and punched me in the stomach just to show my little brother how strong his new wrestling wrist-bands made him.  I remembered my mom telling me how angry she had been and how she had told him, "You do NOT hit my kids!" and sent him home.  I didn't know what to do.

I kept glancing at the table where the other little boy's parents were sitting and they were either unaware or just didn't care about what had happened.  I comforted Luke but he was really upset and just wanted to curl up and cry.  I asked him more questions, did the other boy hit him on purpose? was the other boy mad at him, why was the other boy mad at him, what were they doing before the other boy hit him?  Were they wrestling before the other boy hit him?  Luke told me that the other boy had hit him on purpose and was mad at him but he didn't know why.  They had been play wrestling and then the boy just got mad and punched him.  I asked which boy it had been and he showed me, and another little girl who was either a sister or friend to the other boy came over and confirmed what Luke was saying.  The other little boy said that Luke was lying and that he hadn't done anything and that made Luke really upset but the little girl stood up for him and said that the other boy was lying.  Then the other boy said that Luke had scratched him on the face.  I don't know if Luke really did scratch him or not, he didn't have any marks on his face, but that doesn't mean that the wrestling hadn't gotten out of hand and Luke does like to pretend to be a cheetah lately.

Luke came over and sat at the table crying and still the other parents didn't seem to be paying any attention.  What do I do?  What do I do?  What do I do?  Finally I told Luke that I wanted him to tell the other little boy that he was sorry for scratching him on the face because I knew that he hadn't meant to hurt him and maybe then the other little boy would say sorry too and they could be friends again.  He was reluctant but agreed if I would go with him.  We went over to the other boy and I told him that Luke wanted to say sorry for scratching his face because it was an accident and he didn't mean to hurt him.  The other boy said OK but didn't offer an apology in return.  What do I do?  What do I do?  What do I do?  I said, "(the other boys name), can you say sorry to Luke for punching him in the nose so you guys can be friends and play together again?"  He did it!  He said sorry to my son and Luke perked up and they started to play together again after I told them both no more wrestling or hitting!  I breathed a sigh of relief.

I didn't know what to do, I wished his parents would see what was going on and discipline their son appropriately, but they didn't and I don't know why.  I didn't want to step on toes or do something that would make them feel like I was over stepping my bounds by parenting their son but I firmly felt that he needed to apologize to my son and Luke needed to know that I would not just let someone else hurt him.  I was worried that even with the way things went that Luke would feel like I hadn't stuck up for him since I asked him to apologize first.

In the car later Luke and I talked, and we talked more at home.  I told him how proud I was of him for being able to say sorry to someone who had hurt him even when the other boy wasn't saying sorry to him.  I told him that I was really sad and angry that the other boy had hurt him and not said sorry to him, but that maybe his mommy and daddy don't teach him that hitting is wrong or that you need to say sorry when you hit someone else.  I told him that I was proud of him because maybe by saying sorry like he did he could have helped teach the other little boy about what is the right thing to do.  Mostly I told him that I loved him and that I was sorry that he had been hurt. I think that he is OK now, that he understands at least somewhat why I did what I did.

Hopefully the rest of his birthday will go better again.  He and Aaron both conked out as soon as we got home and are still sleeping, so hopefully we will have happy good-natured boys again this evening.  I want to put together his lego board game so we can play it together this evening, and we got a movie for the boys and are having chip dip for supper so that should be good.  My sweet baby is growing up so fast.  I love him more each day and I am so grateful that I get to be his mom.  I hope he always knows how much he is loved and how proud we are of him.