Aidan at Beach

Aidan at Beach

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Just When I Was Getting Antsy. . .

Just when I was getting antsy about it, an envelope arrived in our mail yesterday from the Virginia State Department of Health. . .inside was:

Aidan's Commonwealth of Virginia Certificate of Foreign Birth!!!!  Yippee!!!  It's all officially official now and we can relax and breathe a sigh of relief:
*that we don't have to pull out the Russian Birth Certificate anymore and risk losing it.
*that we don't have to pull out the Russian Birth Certificate anymore and explain all about Aidan's birth.
*that we don't have to pull out the Russian Birth Certificate anymore and risk seeing the strange looks on the faces of the people we have to show it to.

Yeah. . .And now, in six months, when we register Aidan for Kindergarten, we can pull out the new Certificate of Foreign Birth!!!

And, how funny and strange is this, but the Certificate of Foreign Birth arrived exactly 3 years, to the day, after our paperwork was sent to Russia to be translated and registerd. . .

Friday, August 27, 2010

More On Our Blessed Life

The radio station I listen to, a Christian Rock station, had a lady call in with a personal tragedy yesterday morning that just broke my heart.  As she talked about her issue, she explained how much fear this tragedy was placing in her heart.  The radio station DJ stopped her right there and said fear is not from God.  Fear is False Evidence Appearing Real.  I had forgotten that acronym and wanted to mark it to remember for myself when/if that emotion comes up to me again.  Because it is true! 

The story pointed out to me out fortunate and blessed we are.  We live in a beautiful town in a beautiful state.  We have a great family, great son, and although sometimes a bit slobbery, two wonderful dogs.  We are not in want or need and always seem to be able provide more to our lives while still giving to others.  Thanks be to God!

As for providing more to our lives, the kitchen floor adventure continues.  Here are a few before and during pictures:

We're hoping to get a lot of the tile laid this weekend and then we can seal it next week.  Then we can get the new refrigerator and dish washer delivered and start getting things back to normal.  It's rough having the kitchen all torn up!  But we're surviving!

Aidan is in the midst of transitioning to Pre-K.  From what I hear, he is doing fantastic with this.  When I dropped him off yesterday, I spoke with the new teacher, Miss Mandy.  I told her Aidan is really smart but that he has a hard time sitting still.  He may appear as though he isn't listening, but he hears and stores all of it.  To this, she replied by telling me a great story of Circle time from the day before.  Picture the children all around her, sitting in a circle.. .
Miss Mandy:  "Where does food come from?"  Aidan immediately raises his hand and waves it in the air. . .
Yes Aidan?  "Grandmas House!"  Okay.  Where else?  "Grocery stores!"  Good, but I'm looking for something else. . ."Restaurants!"  LOL!!!  Miss Mandy then went on to talk about farms and vegetables growing in the dirt and cows with milk, etc. . .: )  Truly, we do have food in our house that we cook and we really eat it!!!

Back in the regular classroom, things are winding down and the teachers are doing more and more fun things for the children.  Yesterday, Aidan came home with his face painted as a bear.

It was absolutely adorable but boy did he put up a fuss about NOT wanting to wash his face during bath time last night!!

This year has been so hectic and crazy.  After an extreme winter, very short Spring and an extreme summer (complete with serial stabbers, murders, and murder suicides. . .which brought the news trucks to our narrow streets which have been under construction for months for water line replacement and sidewalk additions!!) I am really looking forward to a nice LOOOOOOOONNNNNNNNGGGGGGG QUUUUUUIIIIIEEEETTTT fall.  We need a little quiet time around here. . .I think we'll have that too. . .Well, except for the swimming lessons twice a week, ice skating lessons once a week, Preschool fund raisers and hunting season, that is!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Some Suggestions For Folks in the Russian Process

shhhhhhhh. . . .we went to the other side for church today. . .Yes, folks, us Protestants went to the local Catholic Church this morning.  It was very nice.  As Episcopalian's, the service felt friendly and familiar.  In fact, it was almost exactly the same!!  Which points up that we are, as Protestants, Catholics in Protest. . .hmmmmm. . . .Anyway, the only differences were that we did not receive the wine--a little strange, but okay, AND Aidan could not receive (let's not go down the road of Protestants receiving communion in the Catholic church, okay??).  In our church, Aidan can receive bcause he has been Baptized.  This wouldn't really be an issue except that he has received communion before.  And he noticed.  And he commented. . ."Mama, I don't get any??"  That about broke my heart.  We'll probably go back so I need to figure out how to talk to him about this.  The funny thing is that I am about 99% positive Aidan was baptized in the Russian Orthodox church at birth and therefore is more acceptable in the RC church than we are because of that!!! 

Also, for all those in the midst of a Russian adoption, I would recommend a book:  Edward Rutherfurd's Russka.  It is written compassionately and pretty close to historical.  As someone who studied Russian History, I think it is a good choice to get your feet wet on old Russian history (pre-Soviet).  And it can help with understanding where your child comes from and how the current government works--not a whole lot different than Tsarist Russia, just different names for the groups of people!!

Another suggestion for you all is a periodical, which I received while we were in the process:  Russian Life magazine.  You can look for it at  I really enjoyed it and may get it back. . .someday. . .when life isn't soooo crazy!!  : ) 


Saturday, August 21, 2010

A Bit Tired, and Here's Why!

Not really liking this background. . .gonna have to figure out what I want now that the trucks were taken away. . .

Anyway, we're seeing some signs of Fall lately:
*The school buses have been out and about.  School doesn't start until the Tuesday after Labor Day, but the drivers are getting used to the new routes.
*The Ragweed has begun to wane. . .thank goodness!!
*There were pumpkins at the Vegetable stand the other morning. . .I wonder if they were harvested early because the excessive heat we've had this summer???
*Aidan and I saw a flock of geese beginning to gather, and then take off!!, over by our airport the other morning.  They swung around, toward the south, and were in V formation. . .
*And, that evening, when we went to the bank, there was a notice in the window about the Waterford Home and Craft Show, which is the first weekend in October. . .could that really be only just over a month away???
*Aidan begins his transition to Pre-K on Monday and he'll be over there permenantly on the 7th.  We received the Transition Schedule this week.  Should be a smooth process!

Aidan has been saying some really funny things lately. . ."I want a Sister" has been the number one hit this past week.  Nearly every day.  I finally asked him why and he told me because he wants someone to play with.  Oh.  : (  I then explained that Mama would rock the Sister, read her stories and put her to bed, and that she would still be here in the morning. . .AND Aidan would have to share his toys. . .Hmmmm. . .let's think about that one. . .then on Friday morning I got, "I want two brothers."  Really?  What happened to the sister??  "I want a sister and then two brothers."  Man oh man!!!  LOL!!

A friend of mine and I had a yardsale today.  Pretty good!   I made almost $60. and she made a little over $100.  We had a good time and think we just might do it again. . .in the Spring. . .when it isn't sooooooo HOT!!  Her daughter Catherine and Aidan had fun, too, playing with their old toys, some of which are actually GONE!!  : )
Sadly, the couch didn't go. . .and strangely, we had a lot of requests for TV's and tools!!  Funny!

Funny, though, right after we were done, we came in for some lunch.  While eating, the Tuscarora High School football team came around for a fundraiser. . .Pat gave them $20 from my yardsale cash. . .then the band came by and there went another $10. . .the cheerleaders were supposedly in the neighborhood, too, but we didn't hear from them. . .thank goodness!!  I probably wouldn't have any yardsale money left!  Tuscarora High School opens, for the first time ever, on September 7th.  Brand new school right around the corner from us.  This is where Aidan will go, in 2020!! when he starts high school.  So, we're all about supporting them.  Go Huskies!!

The tile work has begun in the kitchen, mudroom, and pantry.  Of course, that means I'll be reorganizing and cleaning out those spaces for the rest of weekend. . .after I get caught up on laundry! 

AND, this also means we're working on ordering our new frig.  We've decided on the big Samsung with the French Doors refrigerator on top, the third drawer (for juice and kid snacks) and the pull out drawer freezer.  That also means the frig needs to be cleaned out and then moved down to the Man Cave. . .sigh.

AND, we are also now looking at new dishwashers. . .ours was recalled.  We found one we like and it is really nice.  With the recall rebate we'll get, it's really not a terrible amount out of pocket. . . really.

And, so, that's about it for now. . .except. . .HOW 'BOUT THEM 'SKINS?!?!?!?  They play tonight at 7:00.  Can't wait!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Transitions and Visits

My mom is coming to visit in two weeks.  I'm really glad.  I look forward to seeing her and it will give her a break from all the things she has been dealing with this summer.  It's kind of funny, we had intially thought we would go out to Nevada to visit her. . .but the cost of three round trip tickets was astronomical!!  So, we paid for a little more than half of her ticket to come here.  And now she really needs that break!!  God works in some really awesome ways. . .She arrives on the 1st and will go back home on the 6th.  It's going to be a nice long weekend. . .during which time we will just enjoy eachother and spend some time doing a little bit of touristy things.

Next week, Aidan begins the transition process into the Pre-K classroom.  I am not worried because it is the class I drop him off at each morning, so he is already used to it.  He will spend a couple of hours there each day and then the following week, he will spend about half the day there.  Then, on September 7th, he will be in Pre-K full time.

I'm really excited about the curriculum that is coming up.  In addition to the computer time, work with reading, math and science, the school has added Smart Boards, which are like interactive White Boards, to the rooms.  This will assist in the reading, spelling and many other learning avenues.  AND, Aidan will have daily Spanish lessons, daily art and music lessons and daily physical education class.  This is sooo cool!!  He's going to love it and will come home spouting information about how to use pi, I'm sure!

I wonder if he'll get bored when he starts Kindergarten????

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Gloomy Outside, Bored Inside. . .Movie Theatre Time!!!

So what do you do when it's coudy and, therefore, not pool weather?? And, just sprinkly enough that you can't play outside??  And Daddy is working all weekend??  And your are bored with TV and the games??  Why, you turn your dump truck into a drum!!!  Of course!!

Taking pity on this poor child who has had a very tough week, but is really doing so much better, Mama bought movie tickets to take him to see Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore!!! 

Trying to combat the end of summer blues and preparing for transitions. . .Will post again later with an exciting update on what is coming at Aidan's school. . .it's soooo cool what he'll be doing in Pre-K!!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Stress!!!. . .Tranquil Beach Picture. . .

Whenever I am stressed, I think of very non-stressful things. . .this picture works!!!

This has been a really rough few weeks for me.  The day before we left for the beach, I recieved a call from my sister that I needed to call my mom. . .bottom line, my 94 year old grandfather had been scammed. . .out of a lot of money!  On the way to the beach, I spent quite a bit of time on the phone with my freaked out mom, trying to calm her down and giving her a list of things to do: call the FBI, call Poppy's bank to put a block on his accounts, and call the local police in Poppy's town to report this crime.  That was all done, and a few days later, the police were at my grandfathers house for a follow up visit when the scammers called wanting even more money!!!  I believe that is what led to the discovery that one of the potential scammers was an actual bank employee at my grandfathers bank.  I don't know if the $40,000 lost will be recovered, but I think there is a good chance the people will be caught. . .

Suffice it to say, my grandfather cannot live alone any longer.  He needs help.  So, one of my dear cousins went and picked him up and took him half way to my moms house, about a 4 hour drive each way.  Then, another of my dear cousins has spent at least 3 weekends carting his things up to his new apartment near my moms house.  But, here is where my anger begins. . .my mom is not an only child.  She has a sister, who is quite wealthy, but won't lift a finger to help!!!  It's crazy and it's poisonous. 

So, the family has become divided. 

And all of this came to a big head during a week when I was dealing with chigger boy (who is doing much, much better, thank you--and never even whined!!!). . .and losing a lot of sleep. . .and not being very charitable. . .but being especially mean, defending my mom from threats and stuff. . .

sigh. . .

another view of the tranquil beach picture, please. . .

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

2010 Annual Chigger Experience

The 2010 Annual Chigger Experience is still with us but hopefully on the ebb.  I kept Aidan home yesterday and I really think the chigger rash looked better by last evening.  I had him wear jeans and socks all day and that helped keep the scratching to a minimum.  At bath time, we did a nice Oatmeal bath which soothed him even more.  More Benadryl and Calamine and he was off to bed. . .and woke up at about 2:30 and has been restless ever since, inspite of more Benadryl!!!  Mama is very tried. . .Not sure, but I think Daddy might keep him with him today while Mama goes to work.  I think the rash looks better, but Daddy was not too sure.

In other news, about those jeans. . .Remember that I bought a few new pairs for Aidan at the end of Spring in preparation for next fall????  At the time they were huge on him.  Well, not so much anymore.  In fact, I'm a little worried that they may become floods by Halloween!!!  They are just shy of flood territory right now. . .Daddy says he can wear floods. . .: )

And finally, the chigger experience has not affected my baby's intelligence!!  Over the weekend, while at the pool, Aidan held up the suncreen stick that we use on his face and spelled out K. . .I. . .D. . .S.  That's kids!  And off we go to the magical world of reading!!!! 

Monday, August 9, 2010

King Size Beds

We have a King Size Bed and we love it.  I freely admit I am not a cuddler in bed.  I like my space.  I like my pillows a certain way and I like my blankets a certain way and I like my space.  Don't hate me for it! 

Aidan, on the other hand, is a cuddler.  And inevitably, he makes his way into our room and into our bed, in the middle of the night, once or twice a week.  No big deal.  I chomp down on my desire for space and cuddle my baby when he migrates to my side of the bed (it is always one of us he wraps himself around like an Aidan sized blanket!). 

As previously mentioned, Aidan went with his Daddy to one of Daddy's hunting sites to check out the Trail Cams there.  They had fun.  Sunday morning, though, Aidan said he had itchies.  When I helped him get changed, I saw this incredible rash all around his bum, privates, ankles and a little on his tummy and back.  It was concentrated in his groin and bum area though.  What in the world????  That definitely wasn't there when I put his PJ's on him the night before!

After some discussion and online research, it has been determined, but not definitively, that he has chiggers (the doctor will confirm that later today).  The poor child was miserable all day inspite of the Benadryl taken both orally and topically.  He went to bed like a champ last night and was out like a light super early.  But, into our room he came about 1:30, scratching and miserable again. 

By 2:00, I gave him more Benadryl and some Calamine lotion and tried to pat him back to sleep (I was on the edge of the bed on my side with him curled into me).  We had almost gotten back to sleep about 3:00 when the phone rang. . .work calling for Daddy.  I was able to get Aidan moved over a bit and then patted him back to sleep, where he is still sleeping now (7:30).  Suffice it to say, we're staying home today.  I'm exhausted and I know Daddy is, too (he went to work, of course).  I'm hoping Aidan sleeps a bit longer and then I'm able to keep him comfortable today.  Poor kiddo!!!

No more hunting camps until after a freeze. . .didn't the same thing happen last year????

Sunday, August 8, 2010


That's been our life around here. . .But, summer is winding down and that's okay.

I signed Aidan up for his next swimming lessons.  They will be Monday and Wednesday evenings from 5:00 to 5:30 beginning September 8th and ending November 10th.  I have checked the Ice House but they don't have ice skating lessons posted for the Fall yet.  I'll sign him up for that as well once they do.

In the middle of the week, the phone rang late at night and Pat picked it up, knowing it was work.  Because it was dark and because he had just woke up, he hit the wrong button and missed his call out.  The next day, he went to Target to get an old fashioned phone (snicker).  You know the kind you plug into the wall and the person is there when you pick it up without having to push any buttons!!  I just had to laugh because I wasn't even too sure they still made these kinds of phones!! 

Friday, we took Aidan to the mall and had him fitted for some new sneakers. . .Light up Skechers that he saw on a commercial on Nickelodeon and said for the first, but not the last time, "Mama!!! I really really really want those!!"  So, because he has never said that before, I had to get them for him.  They "only" cost $55.00!!  (yikes!)  And, surprise!  Our son has a 12 to 12 1/2 size foot!!  No wonder we were having trouble getting the size 11 (that we JUST started buying him) on!!  : )  Poor kid. . .But, that also points back to my original thought on his size--he's going to be a big boy!!  Size 12 shoes on a 4 year old!! 

On Saturday, after a big breakfast of waffles, Daddy and Aidan went to one of the spots Daddy hunts to check out the Trail Cameras and then went on to Grandma and Grandpa's house.  I went to the mall to do some shopping for fall clothes for Aidan.  I restocked his long sleeved shirts, sweat pants, underpants, T-shirts and socks.  He still has some nice corderoy pants for dress up and several jeans that fit perfectly left from last year.  I also found some nice dress shoes at Stride Rite, but will wait on those until September.  I also bought him a pair of cheap sneakers (the Skechers will be for school) that he can tear up while riding his bike and playing outside--and I bought them in his new size 12, so they should fit better than the old ones!!  I feel good about what I bought, and everyone was having Back to School sales so I didn't spend a small fortune!!  His winter coat still fits, but he does need a nice dress coat and one nice outfit for special occasions.  Again, I'll look for those items next month.

After dinner, we walked into town to listen to the musicians on the Town Green.  Leesburg has this every Saturday evening.  It was a beautiful night and perfect for being outdoors.  It was the perfect relaxing end to a nice day. It was so nice, though, that we ended up staying outside too long and then going to bed too late!  And now Mama is tired. . .

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Non-Stop Talking!

We've had a busy week.  Monday I took Aidan to the pediatrician to have those pesky immunization shots we had skipped done.  Last week I heard on the news that Whooping Cough was on the prowl across the US so I called the doctors office to see if that was one of the ones he needed. . .yep. . .so in we went to get the MMR, DPT and Polio vaccinations: two in one arm and one in the other.  Poor little guy!!  I took him to school on Tuesday, but probably should have kept him home.  By the time we picked him up, his left arm where the MMR and DPT had been given was slightly swollen and red--he'd been scratching at it all day!!  And he was running a low temperature.  At home, he hardly ate AND went to bed really easily. . .quite unusual.  I gave him a bit of Motrin and he slept soundly from a little after 8:00 until I woke him at 6:30. 

On Wednesday, Aidan was doing a lot better and by today he was back to his normal self!!

Today was a pretty busy day at work, and I got a lot done, but I don't think I paid the attention to some folks I should have.  I'll have to do better tomorrow. . .Coming home made it a lot better.  Aidan was talking non-stop all night.  It was pretty funny. . .I tried to watch a movie that I hadn't seen before Message in a Bottle and was totally struck by the irony that I found an old high school friend today who is the current Copy Editor for the Chicago Tribune. . .but I couldn't really tell what was going on in the movie I watched (the main character works for the Tribune) because Aidan was talking so much!!  He's just like my mother. . .

One of the things Aidan told me tonight, in his non-stop dialogue, was that Octopus' and Jellyfish sleep during the day and play during the night and that means, "they are Nocturnal, Mama!"  Really!  He said that!  Which makes me a little less irritated that our tuition went up to $300.30 a week. . .

Tax Free Weekend starts tomorrow.  We're taking Aidan to get fitted for real shoes tomorrow night.  I mean, we're actually going to take him to a shoe store and have his feet measured.  No Target $10. shoes this time!!  : )  And I have two 20% off coupons for Gymboreee!!  I'll use one tomorrow night and the other on Saturday (they exprire on the 8th). 

That's it for now!

Monday, August 2, 2010

You know you are in the middle of an International Adoption when. . .


"Mama, you have whiskers!"

said Aidan loudly as he grabbed my legs which were dangling into the cold pool water. . .

Sunday, August 1, 2010


I'm truly not trying to wish my life away.  I just really don't like such hot weather!  At least it feels much better today.

I'm going to take Aidan to the pool for a few hours and then this evening we'll be getting together with Grandma and Grandpa for dinner.  A nice relaxing Sunday. . .

Yesterday the tile for our Kitchen was delivered.  After looking at it, Pat panicked a bit and has now decided to hire someone to come and actually lay it for us.  That's fine.  It is a person recommended by our neighbor and it should be done in about two days.  He'll call tomorrow to set that up.  I know he was stressing about doing it, so I am actually glad he will hire it out, even though it will cost us a little more.  We just have a few funny spaces: closet in the Mud Room, pantry, desk area and refrigerator area.  This way, though, the hardest thing Pat will have to do is to move the refrigerator down to the man cave.  We may have to wait a week or so before the new refrigerator is delivered, but we'll survive.  We are up and down the stairs for things stored down there all the time anyway.

In the meantime, I have been busy getting things organized around here.  I will take the opportunity of having to empty our the Pantry for the new floors to get that cleaned our and organized (it hasn't been done since we were in between trips to Russia!), as well as doing the closet in the Mud Room.  I also need to finish organizing the new desk:  books and filing.  I've also cleaned out Aidan's closet and dresser and piled several items for an upcoming yard sale in one of the guest rooms (what a mess it is in there!!).  Next I'll be organizing things for that yard sale, scheduled for Saturday, August 21st.  I also need to clean up the Rec Room in the basement and sort through toys Aidan has outgrown or doesn't play with anymore.  However, as all moms know, once you take things out that they don't have any interest in they are then suddenly interested!!! 

Next weekend is our Tax Free weekend.  I am hoping to get a few shirts and pants, socks and underwear, tennis shoes and good shoes for Aidan to supplement what he has for the coming fall.  After cleaning out his dresser and closet, there's plenty of room!

And finally, two weeks until Pre-season football!!!  I'm excited to see if the Redskins can actually do something this year!