Aidan at Beach

Aidan at Beach

Friday, March 26, 2010

One of Those Weeks!

Ever have one of those days? Well, how about one of those weeks???? We've had a doozy of a week. . .some good, some definitely NOT so good. . .

Last Saturday dawned beautiful, sunny and promised to be a warm day--it ended up being almost 80 degrees! The house was clean and fresh; everyone slept well--aside from some snoring; and we decided that we were going to spend the day on the go.

A small fly: my coffee maker decided to quit working. I love my morning couple of cups of joe and I'm very particular about it. It has to be strong and it has to be with filtered water, super hot, and from a particular brand and make of machine. Yes, I know how it sounds. Fortunately, I have a French Press, so I have been good to go while I await the arrival of my new machine. . .

We spent the day on the go and then came home to have pizza and play games with friends.

Sunday, a carbon copy of Saturday--weatherwise--and we were on the go again. After dropping off some clothes for Loudoun Foster Care, we were off to the mall to get Aidan's soccer gear. Then on to Grandma and Granpas for lunch and then home again to play outside. But, bad news! The little girl who had been over the night before had pink eye. . .uh oh. . .

Later on Sunday, Aidan came in for a snack. While he was sitting at the breakfast bar, I was getting things ready for dinner and for the week. I looked over and caught a glimpse of a huge lump under his chin about where his tonsils would be! Yikes!! Without trying to scare him, I went over to feel it and found a similar one on the other side. Both were as hard as rocks. I asked all the usual questions: Does your throat hurt? Does it hurt to swallow? Does your tongue hurt? There hasn't been any fever and his appetite has been the usual hot and cold. However, he had been super tired lately. Allergies. . .yes, that's it!

Monday, I called the pediatrician and made an appointment for Tuesday afternoon. Pat and I both decided to go: we're going to get to the bottom of this allergy thing and whip it! We decided it was time to ask about going to an ENT, too.

Tuesday, I left work early and met Aidan and Pat at the doctors office. . .we went in the well side--we were there for allergies! When the doctor came in, she took a look at his tonsils and said, they were huge! She asked about what we had been doing for his fever--really, no fever! She did patiently talk to us about an ENT and gave us some names but also decided to do a throat culture. . .okay, but really, we're here for allergies!

The quick test came back negative--of course it did--we're here for allergies! But, the doctor decided that Aidan needed some blood work just to rule out "scary stuff." Well, as any Mom knows, when the pediatrician says "scary stuff" in this day of computers, you're going to look on line to see what that might mean. . .don't do it. Take it from me that the lost sleep time is better spent laughing with your family!!

Still not thinking this was anything more than allergies, and going on my promise to Aidan on Tuesday of "no shots" we went out to dinner with Grandma and Grandpa and decided to get the blood work done on Wednesday. All I can say about that, was that was "fun" (insert sarcasm here). First, the doctor had put "stat" on the order so we had to go to the ER to get it done--didn't realize it was urgent! And Aidan absolutely freaked out. My poor baby was screaming so loud and with such passion, a lab technician had to come in to help calm him! I DO NOT WANT TO TAKE HIME FOR BLOOD WORK AGAIN FOR A LOOONNNGGG TIME!!!!

It was only Wednesday night and we were exhausted! So, we ordered in, and tried to get to bed early. . .right. . .

Thursday, I started calling the pediatrician office in the morning to find out the results. They finally called while I was at my orthopeadic doctor appt (which turns out to NOT be my last appt afterall : ( ) Aidan's white blood cell count was in the normal range. So, that was good. The other two tests ordered should be in Friday and in a week respectively--the message did not indicate what they were.

Off to PT for my arm and I get another call from the Pediatrician. . .Aidan has strep!! The regular throat culture just came back positive. Oh man!! So, they will be calling in an antibiotic. I'll pick it up after PT.

Called my office and let them know I wouldn't be in on Friday. . .a day which will be in the 40's and rainy! blah. . .

At PT, the pediatrician calls again and says that they had thought all of the tests were in, but we're still waiting on the Epsteins Barr resuls. . .Epsteins Barr??? Someone at PT says, oh, that's mono. . .Mono??? My baby is only 3!!!! How could that happen???

What happened to the allergy scenario??? I'm really not such a neglectful Mom, but I am sure feeling like it right now!!

And so, we're home today. Aidan is still sleeping and has started the antibiotic. He'll be fine, but boy things like this can wear a person down! Seriously, doesn't this child look like the picture of health???

We're hoping for a nicer weekend and to take him to see the Easter Bunny. . .Oh, and lest I forget. . .today marks two years since we got our "DA!" As crazy as this week has been, that week, two years ago, was probably the craziest of my life. March 26th, though, will always be a good day. . .and today will follow that rule, I'm sure!

Sunday, March 21, 2010


Ahhhhh Spring. . .It is the time when hope "springs" eternal. . .

Yesterday was the first day of Spring. And it was a gorgeous day! In fact it was nearly 80 degrees. The sun was shining, the birds were chirping, the forsythia and daffodils are blooming, and the buds on the trees are so big and plump they look ready to pop at any minute.

I didn't notice for certain, but I don't think any little piles of snow are left. It's totally awesome!

We can still have cold weather for a while. . .sometimes even into June. But, boy are we enjoying this for now. We are totally taking the time to stop and smell the flowers!

Friday, March 19, 2010

My Little Smarty Pants. . .

Two and half years ago, when we had just gotten the pictures and medical for Aidan, we were referred to an IA doctor in Fairfax. He was really good and is world renowned for his intellect specifically concerning Internationally Adopted children.

We made our conference call and sent all of the information, reports and pictures, on for his pre-review. There was a lot of scary information and words in the record, but we were able to eliminate much of his through our own research. Knowing that the scariest of information provided was really a non-issue, we were ready to hear what the good doctor had to say.

Basically, he confirmed all that we had already found out. And, he confirmed what we thought in that he did not have Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. But, he went on, this child would need some special attention during his school years and would not be going to Harvard!

My spine straightened and stiffened and I thought, That’s my son you’re talking about! I didn’t want him to go to Harvard anyway. I want him to go to UVA!
Upon meeting my son for the first time, I realized that there was nothing wrong with his intelligence. . .this was later confirmed by our translator who indicated that many of the children in Russia, particularly those in orphanages, are “branded” in some way in order to get State Funding. She was glad we were going through with this adoption because she felt that many things in Aidan’s medical were part of that “branding.” I should add here that should anything come up that I feel is related to adoption, I will still go back to this doctor.

Fast forward two and half years. . . we had decided on Winwood Preschool specifically with the things our IA doctor had said in the back of our minds. It’s expensive, but it is education oriented and really strives to prepare the children for school. It’s working!

This morning, when dropping Aidan off at school, I had just pulled into the parking lot to park when I noticed an airplane taking off at Leesburg Airport. Here is our conversation that followed:

Mommy: Aidan, look! There’s an airplane taking off! How neat. (thinking here that he would think it was cool to see a plane taking off)
Aidan: Yea. That has to do with gravitation.
Mommy: What?????
Aidan: Yea. The earth has gravitation and the plane can go against that and still take off into the sky.
Mommy: Oh my goodness!!!

When I talked to his teacher about this, once in his classroom, she confirmed that, yes, they did talk about gravitation. . .about two months ago!

I need to get him a new UVA hoodie. . .his old one is almost too small. . .

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Heart Songs. . .

Two years ago today, we left the US for a month long trip to Russia. It was the trip of a lifetime to go to court, which ultimately led to bringing home our son.

I was so nervous--a month is a long time to be away from home--and I wasn't too sure how we would live for nearly three weeks in the Siberian town of Krasnoyarsk--we weren't certain our hotel reservation would be honored until we actually got there. Talk about a leap of faith!

But, that faith has brought joy and music to our lives in ways so unimaginable at the time! What began, two years ago today, as a scary, nervewracking, and sometimes tear filled journey led to our happy little family of three with lessons learned, and to be learned by all of us every day.

We have been joyfully blessed with this little man!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Readoption, Vacation, Russian Easter Party, Easter/Forever Family Day, and Change. . .

We've started the process of re-adoption for Aidan. I've almost completed filling out the paperwork--piece of cake compared to what we had to do for Russia!--and had Pat pick up our official documents from the Safety Deposit box. I expect to file on Thursday, March 18th. This is significant for us. . .It will be two years to the day since we left to finalize the Russia portion of this adoption and to bring Aidan home, and it will provide that Virginia, nor any other US State for that matter, may question our foriegn adoption and custody of Aidan. Further, he will receive a Certificate of Foreign Birth--essentially a Virginia Birth Certificate indicating he was born in Russia but is a citizen of the Commonwealth of Virginia. He will then be able to obtain a certified copy of his Virginia Birth Certificate at some obscure point in the future should he decide to adopt. . .he won't have to go all the way to Krasnoyarsk, Russia to get one!

So, here's our status:
Adoption completed in Russia. . .check
Certificate of Citizenship. . .check
Post Placement Reports started and timely. . .check--one to go
Obtained US Passport. . .check
Re-adoption in US with Virginia Birh Certificate. . .in process

In the meantime, we're making our vacation plans--we had some, but they fell through. Now we'e trying to decide if we'll go to North Carolina as usual, go to Mexico, or go to St. Petersburg, Florida and see our friends the Jergers.

In a couple of weeks, April 17th to be exact, we will be meeting up with another couple who adopted from Russia--Joy and Gerard and their little girl Anna. They are coming down from Jersey to go to the Easter party at the Russian Embassy with us. I can't wait! It's going to be a blast. We haven't been down into the city for a while (since the Jergers were here in November '08!) so this will be awesome.

I've never been a big fan of "Gotcha Day" but it has grown on me over the last couple of years. But, I saw recently someone used the term "Forever Family Day." I like that a lot better. This year, Aidan's falls on Easter--April 4th. So, we're not planning anything huge--it will be Easter after all and how much more huge--huger--can you get?? So, I'm planning to do something special and fun with him on April 13th--his Citizenship Day. I may try to go and get something from the Russia store to celebrate. . .his US citizenship. . . : )

One really quick note before I finish this up: Pat and I have talked, at length, over the past couple of years about going back to Russia for another child. We are not going to do so. We've been assured by our Social Worker that we would have no problem, in spite of our name and where we live, because of our successful current adoption and life with Aidan. However, the cost is great--we could scrape the money together somehow, we're sure--and we are feeling our 46 years. Add to all of that, we both feel that if we were to go back, we would want to go to the same orphanage. But, as much as I feel pulled and called to do this, it really isn't in our cards. I think that we are supposed to spend our time focusing and concentrating on Aidan--making sure he is growing, healthy, happy, and becomes all, and more, that he can be. . .the $300. week Preschool bill really isn't playing into that. . .really. : )

Finally, speaking of Preschool, Aidan's teacher changed again last week. It is somewhat okay in that it is the one who is always there when I drop Aidan off. However, he has been moved from his old group and this is now his fourth teacher since last July 20th! And, guess what, he was acting up last week. I really, really like this school but I wish they would hear me when I tell them that Aidan has a hard time with change. . .I did talk to Aidan over the weekend and again this morning. I think he'll be okay, but I need to talk to the teachers again about preparing us for change. For Aidan's sake!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

A Recipe For Humble Pie

A couple of weeks ago, I read one of my blogger friends entries about how she was having some difficulty with cooking of late. In fact, she asked a specific question about the use of yeast and how something she had cooked using yeast had not turned out as expected. She went on to ask for advice.

Proudly, I gave some!

Well, you know what happens when pride enters the picture. . .all kinds of havoc. And havoc it was!!

THE VERY NEXT MORNING, Aidan asked for some of my home made waffles, bacon and orange juice for breakfast. Happily, I went off to the kitchen to oblige.

I got the bacon going and then set the table, pouring the orange juice as I went. I then came back and started the waffle dough and, because we like our syrup warm, set the syrup bottle in a pan of water to warm up on the stove.

A few minutes later, I smelled something kind of different. The bacon was a little over crispy: I like to by the Center Cut Bacon and this package the slices were very thin. It's yummy, but doesn't need to be cooked as long. Oh well, the waffles and juice will be good and Aidan could have the couple of pieces of bacon that didn't over cook.

I started the waffles, but the batter looked funny. It was very thick, but wouldn't hold together. I tried to cook it anyway and proceeded to make a very big mess.

Along about this point in time I noticed another funny smell and a strange sound only to find out that the pan of water I had put the syrup bottle in had boiled down and the syrup bottle was now melting into the bottom of the pan! I swear it had not been going very long or very hot!

We had omlets with cheese that morning. . .and the edges only had to be cut off a little due to being a little overcooked.

I only saw a couple of smirks from the boys. . .

And so, I will not give cooking advice anymore. . .with or without pride. The cost to my pride is too great!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

The Snore King

My husband snores. Loudly. He can't help it. He has a deviated septim. It is always worse if he is over tired, has a cold, or has had a little too much to drink. I've gotten used to it in the 23 years we've been married. I have a nightly plan of action to get to sleep. It's a simple one: I MUST get to sleep before he does. It sometimes happens.

Most of the time, if I get to sleep first, no problem. Unless I wake up in the middle of the night for some reason. Then I almost always have to endure the snoring until I can manage to get him to roll over onto his side.

The other night, I was sleeping soundly and good (we've all had colds, but mine was starting to pass--finally!). I was awakened by a loud rumbling noise. It was coming from right next to me. Sighing, I rolled over to tell Pat to roll onto his side and discovered my son!

Apparantly, Aidan had gotten into bed with us at some point during the night. I was so tired I didn't even notice. Until his snoring reached a certain crescendo level, that is! Poor little guy! That can't be restful for him either!

After getting Pat to take Aidan back to his own bed, I stared at the monitor, which we still use most of the time, and thought to myself I really needed to turn it off, or at least down. The snoring was so loud!

I'm sure it is because of his cold, but I guess that will be something I talk to the pediatrician about next time I take Aidan in for a check up.

I think Pat has been dethroned as the Snore King. . .Long Live King Aidan, Snore King Extroidinaire!

And here is my cute little Snore King helping Daddy put on the finishing touches on my shelves in the office:

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

One to Go!!

As usual, the Post Placement visit flew by and was an absolute breeze. The only flies in the oinment were that we all had colds and Aidan decided to be shy around Kristin. . .our colds are doing better now, but Aidan is RARELY shy! It must his age. . .

We talked, or rather I talked! : ), for a full two hours about everything under the sun relating to Aidan: what he does during the day, his school-what he's learning; his height and weight; health and health issues; play time; sport activities. It was a beautiful day so Aidan was able to show off his bike riding abilities. Kristin was amazed, of course.

We showed off Aidan's growth chart and talked about how he has grown 9 inches since coming home two years ago--that is a lot! And about how he is actually NOT the biggest kid in his class. In fact, most of the boys are about his size. . .so, that tells me that he may have actually been a little behind two years ago. Hmmmm. . .didn't realize it at the time because he was my little chunkamonk!

Krisitn indicated that she thinks we are a very well adjusted family and it seems to her that Aidan really is a perfect fit. We already knew that, but it is awesome when your Social Worker tells you that, too!

Here are the pictures I took of Aidan and Kristin--I'm going to do a multiple picture frame of the one I took last year, this years and then I'll take some next year, too. I love it because Kristin is so important to us--she made us a family!

And so, now we only have one more visit. . .next year. . .and then we're done. I'm going to miss seeing Kristin and having an excuse to call, but it will be good to move on.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Ready, Set, Prepared for 2 Year Post Placement. . .

Well, we're ready. . .The house is clean, and I have all of the pictures set aside and I just heard that it will be 59 degrees on Monday! Woo Hoo! I love it when we're off and the weather is good. . .

I got an email from our Social Worker yesterday saying that the new requirement is to have three sets of 8-10 pictures. . .they don't have to be duplicates, but it is okay if they are. . .I have 75 set aside! I think I have it covered! (Barb-I'll try to share a sampling of what we are presenting after our visit. . .most are already on the blog, but some are really just too cute!! He's grown so much since our last visit. . .)

I also have set aside some examples of what Aidan has been doing in school: writing, arithmatic, pictures, and he drew a pretty good picture on the White Board in the Rec Room last night--save that for Kristin, too! We'll show Kristin the growth chart and Aidan's bedroom-we were still in a crib a year ago and now in a big boy bed--but I'm so happy she'll be able to see him outside playing and riding his bike!! That is his true favorite thing to do and the weather will actually cooperate!

Today is laundry day and time to change sheets and towels. The boys went off to the hunting camp and then to Grandma and Grandpas to set up their new DVD player. So, that will leave me free to work on some of the accumulated clutter in the guest rooms--woo hoo!! Next up will be to go through Aidan's closet and dresser and pull out everything he has outgrown. . .which is nearly everything!! He keeps this up, he'll be taller than me by Kindergarten--and yes, growing pains in his legs and feet for the most part. I think that explains some of why he comes into our bed at night. The change to a nutritious diet has been extremely beneficial for him!

Aidan dressed himself to go to the Hunting Camp, picking everything out himself. Can you tell???

But, the best part of the day is that dinner is already cooking in the crock pot and that means I can enjoy my two guys when they come home later today. . .

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Butterflies in my Stomach. . .

We're ready for our next Post Placement visit. It is scheduled for Monday, March 8th. I can't believe it will be our Two Year Visit! I have our pictures (how do you pick a full years worth representing everything that happened and not have a lot?!?!); the maid is coming tomorrow to clean the house; we have the day off; and I have comfortable but nice clothes picked out to wear. . .

I always get nervous before these. I love our Social Worker and really really miss talking to her on a regular basis--although, truth be known, the discussions she and I were having about two years ago were a bit stressful on my side (I was preparing Pat and I for our month long trip to Russia to get our son!). But, she was, and still is, awesome. So, why do I get nervous?

Well, there are so many questions that are asked during these visits, about 98% of them dictated by the Ministry of Education in Russia:

What is he doing during the day? How is he adapting to his surroundings? Is he growing? What does he eat? What activities is he doing? Is the family keeping Russia a part of his life?

Well, if you've kept up with this blog, you know he is active, engaged, fun-loving, and pretty much being a normal kid (for here in America). You also know that I have lots of books, pictures, maps, icons about Russia around. And if you know me personally, you know I talk about Russia a lot. Probably a little more than normal. I can't help it: I'm fascinated with that country and my son is from there!

I'm not sure about eating--he is going through a stage right now where he is not eating much. He actually lost a pound last time I took him to the Pediatrician so now only weighs 39, but the Pediatrician isn't worried (no booster yet. gotta keep the car seat a bit longer). But, here is evidence he is growing:

Yep, he has grown a touch less than 9 inches in the last two years and is now 3 feet 5 1/2 inches tall! He's going to be a very tall handsome man when he grows up. . .and he has gone from a size 5 shoe two years ago to an 11 now. . .I remember wearing an 11 in Kindergarten!!

So, I think we're ready. Now to calm the butterflies. . .