Aidan at Beach

Aidan at Beach

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Annual Whine. . . Weekly Brag. . . .

Okay, seriously, this is my least favorite time of year.  It is hot, humid and there is ragweed.  Did I mention it was hot????  Really, this summer has been sooooo hot!!  All I can do is endure each day and pray that September is cooler and comes quickly!!  Just over a month to go. . .whine. . .whine. . .whine. . ..

But, on a bragging note, my little man is soooo smart!!  On the way home from the beach, he just started doing this little thing that he had memorized at school:

Five little monkeys swinging in a tree, teasin' Mr. Alligator, "Can't catch me!  Can't catch me!"
Along comes Mr. Alligator, quiet as can be (the ears are turned down and the voice goes soft for this line)
SNAPPED that Monkey right out of the tree!!  (loud voice and two hands motion of an Alligator snapping)

It was sooo cute!!  And, of course, we counted down until there were no more monkeys swinging in the tree. . .reminded us of 100 bottles of beer on the wall. . . .

Aidan also apparantly likes to do the roll play and dress up as the Construction worker boss. . .like Daddy. . .The Director sent us this picture taken as his school.  Daddy says he can be a Contruction worker boss. . .AFTER he finishes Law School!  : )

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Beach Trip July 2010

Well, beach week 2010 is coming to a close. But, we really had a good time. It was so nice to get away, just the three of us, for a week of fun in the sun!

We arrived in Emerald Isle a little after 2:00 on Saturday with only "Are we there yet?" numbering in the low hundreds. . .Aidan even waited until we were almost in Fredericksburg before he voiced The Question for the first time. . .

While Mommy got us settled, Daddy, Aidan and Maggie went out to greet the beach properly.

Then, we were off to dinner and grocery shopping (along with everyone else who had arrived that day!)

Sunday, we only had the morning on the beach.  It stormed pretty good that afternoon and evening. . .but, Monday through Wednesday were hot, hot hot!!!!

Buried in the sand. . .everyone does this, right???
Riding the waves!
Drippy ice creams are the best!
Painting seashells with water colors is a fun occupation when you need to be out of the sun!


Maggie didn't like being left out of the fun, so. . .






By Wednesday afternoon, we were all feeling a little like enough sun for a bit, so we packed ourselves up for a road trip to Beaufort, home of Blackbeard the Pirate and the recovered Queen Anne's Revenge!

We walked around town a bit and looked at the houses and the boats and then went to the Maritime Museum where Aidan loved the Pirate stuff, but was not so crazy about the Diver in the old fashioned diving suit!!!


On Thursday we decided to remain out of the sun a bit more and went up to Pine Knolls to the Aquarium there. . .loved it!!  We saw the huge fish tank filled with all kinds of fish, including sharks, and even got to pet some skate, sting rays and turtles!!




Back in the car, we drove down to Swansboro and the Hammocks Beach State park where we took a Ferry Ride over to Bear Island.  You can get off the ferry there and walk the 1 mile across the island over the beach side, but we decided to stick with the boat and try that beach some other time.  We saw a couple of Bald Eagles, Egrets and some turtles on the ride! 



After a couple of hours on the beach on Friday, we packed up the car and headed home. . .as with all good things, they ultimately come to and end.  But, we all had a good time with memories to sustain us until next time!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Another Quick Update From The Beach




Another quick tease of our time here at the beach. . .we're heading home tomorrow afternoon, a little early due to a funeral for one of Pat's work buddies--long story!!

We've had a great time and will still be here until about noonish tomorrow. I'll update you all when we get back. I have tons of great pictures too!!

We've had a great week, even with some strange things happening (not here). But, I think we'll be glad to be back in our "real home" and in our own beds. At least Daddy and I will like being back in our own bed! : )

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Beach bums. . .

Hey y'all!! We're having a blast here at Emerald Isle, North Carolina. We had some storms Sunday afternoon, but it's been beautiful weather since then. Went to the Maritime Museum in Beaufort today and then walked around a bit. I have tons to share, in word and in pictures. But, gotta run, so here's a quick tease!! : )



Aidan and Maggie are having a blast! So are Mommy and Daddy. . .

Friday, July 16, 2010

Mama Bear Growls. . .GRRRRRR!!!!!



I am frequently stunned by how small Aidan is (he is big for his age, though), especially when I see him from behind like this. I think we tend to forget he is still just a little guy because his personality is so big and he has filled our lives so much!

But, he is just a little guy still. . .a fact that became even more apparrant this week in regards to his school. As previously posted, I had become concerned because several of Aidan's classmates have already moved to the Pre-K class. I know Aidan is ready to go and I was curious so I asked what was going on.

The story I got was what I expected: space came open and several kids were moved so that that space could not be taken by others who were not already attending. A little curious of a response, but whatever. That conversation occured on Tuesday. Put together with the information I had received a few weeks ago about the groups in Aidan's class being rearranged for behavioural and developmental needs I started to realize this has been going on for a while. . .and none of the parents of children not going forward yet were told!

I was completely unprepared when Aidan started making comments such as he missed his friends and why can't he play with them anymore???? In talking to Aidan, I discovered that yet another child is transitioning early. . .my back went up. Mama Bear arrived with a major growl.

Let me preface this next part by saying I was not trying to get Aidan moved early. He is fine where he is and he will begin transitioning to Pre-K on August 23rd. I just wanted to know what was going on and to be told the truth. How can I talk to Aidan if I don't know what is going on????? I let the Director of Aidan's school have it.

I told her what I thought and she was quite clear how angry I was that I was not told by the teacher I questioned a few weeks ago, by her the other day and that she didn't expand on the additional child when we talked the other day (that child's mother found out like I did and insisted that her son be moved right away). Boy was I mad. . .I told her I expect to be told the full truth of what is happening so I am prepared to help Aidan with whatever changes are going on. I told her that we like this school, the teachers--especially the one Aidan has right now!, and the children. We don't like not being told when changes are happening.

I think she got my message. . .loud and clear. I hope.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Scubin Divin'

Aidan hears Mommy and Daddy talk about diving trips and now he's starting to talk about wanting to go too. In fact, he pretends he is "scubin divin" while we are at the pool. It's sooo cute! I'll have to get some pictures of him with his fins, mask and snorkle on when we're at the beach. . .

Speaking of the beach. . .we're off this Saturday to Emerald Isle, North Carolina!!! I can't wait to go. It's been two years since the three of us have been anywhere on a trip just us three. It will be soooooo great. We'll be able to do this every day:



I'm off on Friday and will clean the house, finish packing and then off to Red Door Salon to start my vacation right: massage and pedicure!!! Woo Hoo!!

In other news, there has been some stuff going on with transition at Aidan's school. Many kids are taking the summer off and so this has created some openings in the Pre-K. Thus, many kids moved up from Aidan's class early--transition time is supposed to be all together as a class the Tuesday after Labor Day.

These children who have moved up have been in Aidan's class since last September and they have all become great friends. Many came to his birthday party in May. But, now they have all moved up (their birthdays are all before Aidan's, with the closest being about a week before his). We didn't realize this was happening until Aidan said something. Then, on Monday, I took a look around and noticed none of Aidan's friends were in the class with him. Then, on Tuesday, I noticed all of Aidan's friends names were in the Pre-K class. . .what's up with that???? I said something to the Director and the line I got was that it was about openings and then kids moving up. . .yada. . .yada. . .yada. . .

Suffice it to say, I didn't feel all that satisfied. . .especially when, this morning, while on the way to school, Aidan said, "Every day when we're outside, I ride my bike up to the Pre-K window and wave and Charlotte always waves back!" Charlotte was one of his PSIII friends. . .My heart felt hurt for my Aidan! I asked him if he was okay with this and he said yes, but I still felt I need to go back to the Director and tell her he said this. It just doesn't seem right that one child gets left behind due to not enough vacancies!!! I mean what kind of message is this giving my child???

Finally, I will leave you with the sweet early morning smile of my son with his new friend Milo--a gift from Mama's friend Dana:

Monday, July 12, 2010

Hey Mama. . .

So my son is really becoming a Virginian. He now greets people with Hey! The other day, when I walked in the house, he said, "Hey Mama!" It's so cute to hear him picking up the vernacular from around here!!



This is what else he's been up to. . .that was a big box, turned into a fort, that Aidan and the neighbor girls had a lot of fun with for a few days.

In other news, did you hear the one where, even when you're done with the post placement reports, you must notify your agency and the Russian Consulate where your child is registered (the Embassy in D. C. for us) if you move at any time prior to the child's 18th birthday? Right. I just found this one out today. I don't mind, really. Afterall, Aidan is a Russian citizen (as well as an American citizen). And I realize that this is something new added on due to so many issues that have happened. It just seems like it's never really over. . .I guess I should be grateful that, should a move happen, we only need to notify everyone by letter and it does not need to be apostilled!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh...........

That's a collective sigh of relief from people, pets, and plants. . . It is finally raining!! It started about bedtime last night and is expected to rain most or all of today. Yeah!!! Except for the fact that it is a Saturday and now Mommy has to figure out what to do besides going to the pool, we are soooooo happy for the rain!

We have had such heat this summer. With the exception of a few blessed days here and there, it has been hanging mostly around 95 to 105 for weeks now. And without the rain, EVERYHING has suffered. The children at Aidan's school haven't even been able to go outside to play--the children AND the teachers have suffered on that, not to mention how the parents feel at bedtime. And just look at our front yard:



The grass turned brown in June! JUNE! Not the usual late July or August, June! Yikes. It will green up again, but my goodness, it looks so sad. The trees are doing okay. We have some water bags on them and that helps them not get stressed. Some of my neighbors have trees in distress--the leaves are already falling off. Not good. Two houses in the little town I work in had wells go dry and they have been drilling for new wells. The first house it took over a week to hit water! That is crazy! We have underground lakes and springs around here that are fed by the Potomac River, so they must be really really low.

Here in Leesburg, we are on voluntary water restrictions. We're doing what we can-not watering the yard and not washing our cars, shorter showers and bigger washing machine and dishwashing loads, but we are very happy about this rain. . .

Thank you God for this rain!!

In other news, we are moving forward with house projects. : ) Yes, that's right! We will be going up to the Tile Shop later today to order the tile for our Kitchen floor. I really love it.



It's a beautiful stone. It is 24X24 and we will lay it diagonally with a nice brown grout. You might not be able to see it all, but it matches beautifully with the cherry cabinets. The walls are a nice Sage green and the counters tops are a marble-look green (sometime I'd like granite or soapstone--but that's in the "future") I will sweep and mop it frequently, but if I can't right away, it will hide what gets dragged in by the two dogs and 4 year old boy! (not to mention the 46 year old boy).

We're hoping to order it today and then be able to do this in August. Along with a new refrigerator and new curtains, the kitchen will have a whole new look!

The old refrigerator is a black side by side that will be perfect in the Man Cave--A project we hope to get back to in September. More on that someother time.

And so, after breakfast, Mommy will take Aidan up to Target to get some new, inexpensive sneakers that he can tear up over the next month, and some new books. Then, we'll have a playdate with Catherine this afternoon.

I need to also start going through and thinning out Aidan's clothes. The first weekend of August is Tax Free weekend here in Virginia: all shoes and clothing, individually priced less than $100 is tax free! Perfect time to stock up on Fall and early winter items. . .does his winter coat still fit???

I see a Yard/garage sale in my near future. . .

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Discipline

Disciplining ones child is an interesting and tricky business. You don't want to be too soft, but yet you don't want to be too hard, either. Consistancy is the key. For the most part, we have hit upon a good process of discipline with Aidan: Time Out. We generally give him three chances and then, if the undesirable behavior continues, he does to Time Out. We still only go for about three minutes, although one minute per year of age is the general rule. We also have a few instances: bad language, hitting (very rare), and meanness to the dogs (very very rare) that require immediate Time Out.

ur biggest issue, as indicated, is consistancy.

Yesterday, at breakfast, the over-tired Aidan came out for a visit. He had stayed up way too late the night before, and although I let him sleep until 10:00 yesterday morning (nearly 12 hours) it wasn't enough after the excitement of Fireworks, Food, and Friends. Anyway, the over-tired Aidan came out and pretty much stayed all day. Not a pretty child. . .

Because we were going to go to the pool, Daddy decided that was the punishment, no pool and a Time Out. Aidan WAS given more than three chances, so it was a fair decision, it just hurt my feelings to see Aidan so upset. But, we carried it through. On the way up the stairs to his room, Aidan began to sob. . .and I mean sob! My heart was being ripped out I hurt so much for him!!! And so, the bigger problem, or maybe the culprit of the consistancy issue: Mommy is a softie.

We did end up going to the pool and stayed for three hours, but inevitably, the overtired Aidan came back to rule the roost. Home we came, more Time Out and then while fixing dinner, I looked and found Aidan sound asleep on the couch!!!

Poor baby can't handle so much excitement!

Here are some pictures from the Fourth and culminating in the overtired Aidan asleep on the couch:










Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy 234th Birthday America!

Happy Independence Day y'all!!

On this day, 234 years ago, our Forefathers signed into being our Declaration of Independence. It is a Declaration of Freedom from Tyranny. A Declaration of Freedom to be US, ourselves, our strange and imperfect conglomeration of peoples who have come together to create this great nation, the United States of America.

It was a quest that began on April 19, 1775--the night of Paul Revere's Midnight Ride proclaiming that the British are Coming!! and did not really end, even yet today, but was made more solidified with our Constitution (replacing the Articles of Confederation) signed on May 14, 1787.

At that time, we became the beginnings of, what Aidan calls, the 'Nighted States'! We are not perfect, but we are free. Aidan has now been an American, a United States citizen for more than half his life. . .2 years 2 1/2 months. . .

God Bless America!!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Beach People At Heart

Last summer, Pat spent two weeks down on the Outer Banks helping out due to rough vacation schedules and not enough people. I know. Rough gig. Aidan and I met him down there for a long weekend over the 4th of July and had a blast playing in the surf and eating Carolina Barbaque. That started a year long dream of trying to get down there on a permanent basis.




Our criteria was that it had to be promotion for Pat (it's the same company) and we needed to be in the right school district for Aidan (Kitty Hawk Elementary, First Flight Middle School and First Flight High School), and we wanted the relocation package--offered at the Supervisor level. We spent the year dreaming and looking at houses (online) and planning out the what if's. . .It seemed possible/plausible--one of the guys in a Supervisor position was planning to retire!

In April, Virginia Power offered early retirement and set the criteria for such at a specific level. I'm not sure what they were planning, but a lot--and I mean a VERY lot--of people took the early out. So much so that nearly every office is now understaffed, particularly Pat's position in Leesburg. But, this opened up a new Supervisor position in Kitty Hawk. Oh Yeah!! We were excited. . .

Checking in with Pat's parents first (would they move with us??), we worked on his resume and a cover letter and applied for the position of Supervisor in the Kitty Hawk area. How exciting. But, we cautioned ourselves, Pat may not even get an interview. Afterall, there is a qualified person down there that might apply and they just might give it to him--more years with the company and no package!

I should add here, that our plan included me going back to school for a Masters in Education and in History to hopefully become a Social Studies teacher and, thus, be on the same schedule as Aidan when he's in school. Sounded good. . .Added bonus: Pat would be off shift work--still doing overtime, but NO shift work!!

We started looking at housing a little closer in anticipation of an interview. But, we started noticing something: there were a LOT of Foreclosures. Sure, we could get a halfway decent house for a lot less money, but it was about half the size of what we currently own and we might not have any neighbors due to the number of Foreclosures. . .hmmm. . .something to think about.

Meanwhile, we noticed that interest rates were now down to 4.64 with our Credit Union. Sweet!!!! And then we got the call: Pat was being offered an interview. He had to be in Elizabeth City at 9:00 on June 29th. Woo Hoo!!! They like him!!! And two others. . .

So, I took his suit and tie--the ones he hadn't worn since Court in Russia--to the cleaners to have them cleaned and freshened, ironed his good shirt, cleaned his good shoes and made sure he had a belt and nice socks for this adventure. His bosses boss even got into the act by helping Pat with pointers in a couple of mock-interviews and even called down to the hiring Manager with a recommendation. How awesome.

As the day approached, we decided Pat would leave early on Monday to spend some time in Kitty Hawk and Southern Shores looking at some potential houses and taking some pictures. We checked in again with the in-laws--still on board, but if I'm honest about it, probably a little less than lukewarm on the idea--and we got Pat all packed up with his suit, copies of his resume and kisses from me and Aidan for good luck. Off he went. I felt a little like I was sending him out on a mission for our future!

Pat made good enough time that he was in Kitty Hawk by just before 11:00 Monday morning. He spent the day going around to all the houses we sort of liked, eating Carolina Barbeque, dodging traffic, and looking at the ocean. We spoke a few times through out the day and I noticed that his enthusiasm was fading with each call. In fact, at one point he said he wished I had come with him--I didn't for a lot of reasons (two dogs, etc). By that evening, I was doing the cheerleader thing to get him interested again in going there. The problem: too many Foreclosures and not enough neighborhoods that we could afford that are year round with children. Foreclosures can really dampen the spirit of a neighborhood, you know??

Tuesday morning, as Pat was leaving for the interviw, I told him to not be nervous, be himself, and don't worry: we're happy where we are so no matter what, it's all good. He called me after the interview and sounded so relieved it was over!! Then, I started thinking about how unfair an interview like that is! Ordinarily, people like Pat wear Fire Retardant jeans and shirts, work boots, hard hats, Rubber gloves and sleaves and are out somewhere working to get the power back on. Here, they are in a suit and tie and talking to people they have never met before about working to get the power back on.

And, when he got the call that he didn't get the job, that was almost precisely the problem!! He didn't seem comfortable or enthusiastic. . .Really. . .

Well, we have had a few days to think this thing through and now realize this really was a dream. We probably would love to live at the beach, but it's really not ideal for Aidan--he needs kids to play with all year round, not just in the summer. And, and this is a big AND, I didn't like the idea of our major investment--our house--being surrounded by Foreclosures and Short Sells. Not good for the value of ones home!!

So, now we're planning to buy the property we want and build the house we want for our Vacation/Second Home. Perhaps it will be in the Outer Banks area. . .or maybe on a lake. We'll be getting rid of our $1200. a month daycare bill in a year and our $400 a month Tahoe payment in six months, so we just might be able to afford it. . .

And, maybe we'll have to refinance to that 4.64 rate from our current 5.3 rate! : ) And if we could just figure out how to get Pat off shift work. . .





So on a happy note, we are still beach people at heart!! Two weeks until we head on down the road to Emerald Isle, North Carolina!! Can't wait. . .