Aidan at Beach

Aidan at Beach

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

But I Want To Play Outside!!!!

The stomach flu has hit at Aidan's school, and it appears that Aidan is the latest victim.  He got out of bed this morning at 4:30. . .very unusual. . .and was crying and saying his tummy hurt.  When asked where his tummy hurt, he pointed lower down.  Suffice it to say it is the lower type of stomach flu. . .Home we stay!

I tried to get him to lay down and sleep some more (after washing my hands 20 times!!). . .he's in the basement watching Nick Jr. . .and already whining about wanting to play outside!  Not gonna happen, kiddo. . .We'll watch some movies and possibly get a major dent done on the Halloween costume.  My savior is the weather today--cloudy and cool with major rain coming this afternoon and evening.  TD 16 is targeting the DC area--Yippee!!  A Drought Buster without wind!!

My gut says no swimming lessons, but I guess we'll wait and see. 

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Halloween Decided. . .Finally!!!

After much angst, discussion, trepidation, and more discussion, we finally decided we are going to be a:


Black Spider for Halloween!!!

I would show you the pattern, but it is actually for a Bumblebee. . .I'm going to ditch the wings and add a few (4!) legs to make it a spider. . .I think that will be a good choice for Halloween, don't you???  : )

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Four Year Old Fund Raisers

Yesterday was Aidan's Second Annual Fund Raiser for St. Jude's Children's Hospital.  He did exceptionally well by raising $390.00.  They had bike safety all week and then had a bike/trike-a-thon at the school at the end of the day yesterday.  During the week, they learned about when and where they should ride their bikes and about wearing a helmet.  At the beginning of the bike-a-thon, they had to answer three Bike Safety questions before they could start.  It was so cute!

I left work an hour early and went to the class to help Aidan with getting started.  Because I was a little early, I was able to see the kids doing some "dancing."




When it was time, we got our helmets on and headed outside to the bikes:





The kids were so cute and most have really really improved over last year--especially Aidan!!  : )  It was sooo hot, though.  September 24th and we were having temperatures in the mid- to upper- 90's.  Crazy.  It should be soo much cooler by now. . .But, we have to be thankful that this bike-a-thon wasn't like last years!  Aidan was just recovering from a terrible sinus infection and double ear infections and it was in the low 20's with major wind blowing from the northwest. . .It was December and the start of an incredibly cold winter. . .

But, let's not think about that right now.  Let's focus on the good the children did yesterday and the nice cool fall weather that I just know is almost here!

I'll finish by saying I'm very proud of my son with his bike riding skills and I hope that the fund raising is something he will learn from over the years--he has much to give.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Distractions, Tiredness, Reading, Redskins. . .

Well, as good as Aidan was last weekend at Ice Skating. . .he just couldn't keep his focus today.  He did really well, but just kept being distracted and skating off on his own.  Something we continuously need to work on. . .yes, I know.  He is only 4!

However, I think it may be because we're all so tired this weekend. . .The Awakening Fest was just up the road--totally awesome--and we could sit outside and listen to some wonderful Christian Rock without having to go anywhere.  Unfortunately, I found myself sitting in bed on Friday night at 10:00 listening to Third Day, clear as a bell, and singing along.  I say unfortunately because it was 10:00 at night and I could hear the music, and words, as clear as if I was right there at the Festival.  Hmmmm. . .Nice, but not when you and your family are trying to sleep--as much as we like Third Day!

At the suggestion of his teachers at Pre-K, I ordered some new reading and Math CD's to use on the computer.  I think he'll enjoy these!


They're uploaded and ready for when we have a little free time to play with them. . .whenever that might be!

And, just for the record, as happy as I was last weekend with the results of the Redskin game. . .let's just not talk about it, okay?

Have a great week!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Mid-September Miscellaneous. . .


Aidan loves to wear his cowboy hat and his cowboy boots. . .he was sooo excited last month when there was, yet another, picture day at school and he got to sit on a pony for the pictures and wear his hat and boots!  It did turn out really cute. . .

He is doing really well in Pre-K so far--after a mere two weeks.  He knows his numbers and colors and is doing excellently with math and science, etc.  He needs to learn how to share a little better and he tends to want to talk allllllllllllllllll the time and it seems he needs a little help with the handwriting.  But, overall, I think his progress is excellent.  We'll work on the sharing, talking, handwriting thing here at home to hopefully help him make progress in those areas as well at school.

We're nearly half way through the first round of swimming lessons and Aidan is showing great progress in his listening skills.  He is doing extremely well with kicking on his tummy and on his back and is starting to learn how to use his arms.  By the end of the second session, I expect that he'll be well on his way to becoming a World Renowned Olympic swimmer!  : )

We don't have a lot of plans for this weekend.  (thank goodness)  I'm hoping to get the kitchen desk cleaned out and reorganized and stocked with writing materials for Aidan along with coloring books, crayons and some construction paper.  I thought it would make an excellent craft/art/project area for him to play at while I'm cooking. 

I'd also like to start cleaning out some of the gardens to get them ready for some fall plants--I'd love to be ready to go buy some pansies and flowering Kale next weekend. . .and possibly start thinking about going to Pumpkinville for the pumpkins!

Speaking of pumpkins. . .Aidan still hasn't decided what he wants to be for Halloween.  I'm getting a bit nervous.  If he doesn't decide soon, I won't be able to make it for him.  Not a big deal, but this will probably be the last year he could possibly be something I can make.

Our Kitchen is nearly finished.  The floor is in and the new refrigerator--which I love!-- has been delivered.  I will start on the new curtains this weekend and I'd like to look at some light fixtures for over the island and over the sink.  Next year, possibly, we'll look into getting the granite countertops.  Then, the kitchen will really be finished!  But, in the meantime, here it is. . .



And here is a close up of the floor. . .Pictures don't do this justice!  Pat really did such a great job and I couldn't be happier with it!!

I just finished reading a book that has put me into a major funk:  Look Again by Lisa Scottoline.  I shouldn't have read it, especially once I knew what the story line was.  It is about a reporter who adopts a little boy at about 1 1/2 years old.  When he is 3 1/2 she gets one of those "Have you seen this child?" cards in the mail only to discover that her son was kidnapped as a baby and then left in a hospital, which is where she found him, etc.  The story was riveting and heart wrenching at the same time.  And I couldn't put it down.  I kept thinking about my son.  The Ministry of Education did have the birth mothers signature signing off relinquishing her rights to my child, but they couldn't find her, or any other family member, when the judge ordered them to look during our hearing.  And there is no information about the birth father.  I coudn't help worrying a little about it all.  But when I talked to Pat about it, his response was, "No one is going to take MY boy from us!"  : )  Love that man. 

I would make it an International Incident the likes of which no one has seen or heard about ever. . .I guess I should stop worrying about that now and go about the real happy work of being a Mama.

Enjoy your September!  Fall is just around the corner. . .

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Back to School Night

Last night was Back to School Night at Aidan's school.  Because we both wanted to go, we decided to take Aidan with us.  No problem.  He was able to play with the toys in his classroom while we listened to the teachers talk.  And we got to see how good he is at playing quietly, putting things away, washing his hands without being told.  Little stinker!  I knew he could do those things!!!

We received a packet of information outlining all of the things Aidan, and his classmates, will be learning this year.  It is amazing!!! 

For the remainder of September, the teachers will continue as is in order to fully assess where each child is on the learning curve.  They have a set goal of where the children all need to be by the end of the year and this process helps them determine what needs to be done to get there.

In October, the STAR program will begin with the Interactive White Board.  During the all class Circle Times, the children will be working on Spanish, Technology, Arts, and Recreation.  I'm not really clear yet on how this all works, but apparantly, it helps and encourages children to learn while actually doing it.  More on that as I learn more.

November and December will continue with the same routine, but in January. . .Tada!!!  The children will begin the Kindergarten Club.  They each get a shirt that they will be encouraged to wear on Fridays.  The children will begin the process of learning to read, doing some light homework, write (on their own) in a journal, and fine tune skills that are necessary for Kindergarten in Loudoun County.  The idea is to make this a fun learning time and to help prepare the children for the big transition to Public School and Kindergarten.  Hard to believe my little guy will be heading to Big Boy school next year!!!

The reading program sounds awesome.  The children will begin learning to read the Bob Books in January.  And we will be given a list of common sight words to help work with them on at home.  As they complete a book, they then have to be able to recognize the words, which are on a picture of a turtle in segments (I'll take a picture of one when we start this).  Once a child completes the Turtle, he or she may then move on to the next book and set of words.  The completed books come home so that we can continue reading it with the child.  This program will continue into mid-June when they will graduate out of Pre-K and then they will have fun all summer.

The teachers have a lot of fun things planned to help encourage the children--movies, ice cream days, silly shirt and sock day, etc.  The children have to earn the fun things by good behavior and completing the learning tasks.  If they do so, they are allotted a certain number of marbles each day--they can lose them and earn them back--the marbles are then placed into a jar and when the jar is full, the children, as a group, get the fun thing.  Pretty great concept and helps encourage the children to work together to be better!

And so, tomorrow is show and share day. . .the letter B and I am special are the themes. . .hmmmm. . .what will Aidan take to school to show and share. . .A Bucket Truck perhaps?????

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Back On The Ice

Once again, Aidan is the youngest--by about 2 years-- in his class.  But, he did exceptionally well today.  In fact, he did better than he ever has and really seemed to enjoy being back on the ice!!  He can already do everything he is supposed to be able to do by the end of this level, so I anticipate that he will be moving up a level again at the end of this lesson series.  That's my boy!!

Oh, and although he had a full bowl of ceral for breakfast with a big glass of milk and two bowls of soup for lunch with more milk, he has been eating alllllllll afternoon!!!  Ready to grow again!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Remembrance

I was born a mere 5 months before President Kennedy was shot.  As I grew up, I grew familiar with the questions of "Where were you when it happened?"  Although I knew it was a HUGE event in our American history, it was not personal to me.  In fact, it was a bit surreal.  So, my typical response, when conversations veered to this topice, was " In my crib!" 

My father has told me some memories he has of when Pearl Harbor happened. . .he was just shy of 4 and he knew, from his parents reactions, that it was a very big deal and "scare worthy."

Sadly, now more of us have the "Where were you when" questions. . .and answers. 

But. . .

My son doesn't remember 9/11.  He wasn't born yet!  In fact, the other day when we were driving down the street, we saw a man from the town putting up US flags on every pole and Aidan asked why.  I answered that a very important day was coming up that we need to remember. . .that we need to pray for our heros and some who are no longer with us. . .that we need a reminder of what happened that day.  He, of course, did not understand.  But, he also did not ask any more about it.  His 4 year old mind had already moved on.

He had already moved on. . .

Truly, haven't most of us?  Yes, we will always remember the horror of the day.  It was more than just shocking to be attacked here.  On our home turf.  But, now that 9 years. . .NINE years. . .have passed, I really like to think about the good that came from that day, both personally as well as Nationally.  

Nationally: I think people are a little more tolerant, Florida pastors aside.  In some ways, anyway.  I like to think that people understand eachothers differences more.  And, I like to think that there are more people attending services in their own religion, which I know God loves. . .the God we all believe in.

Personally:  I like to think I have opened my own mind to other religions.  I know I have tried to learn more about both Judaism as well as about Islam.  I have read much of the Jewish Bible as well as much of the Quran in this quest.  I really would love to finish reading them both in conjunction with the Christian Bible.  It is amazing how much the story really opens up!  The same story that is told in all three.  In fact, the Quran has the most amazing stories about Mary--yes, I am a Protestant who loves and adores Mary!  Mary is revered as a most Holy Lady in the Quran.  I think they have that right.  If Jesus is God's son, how could he be born of someone who is not Holy?? 

Anyway, I challenge you, on this Ninth Anniversary of a very tragic day, to not only remember where you were, but to also think about something, anything, good that has happened to you or our great Nation because of that day.

God Bless Us, One And All!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Pre-K

Well, we're off to a good start in Pre-K.  Aidan gets the wiggles, but what 4 year old doesn't, I ask you???  He is already doing really well, though.  And he's really happy to be back with all of his friends, although he did say he missed his "little" friends from the other room. . .

As with any child, the first day of school pictures is a big deal. . .okay as with any Mama. . .And so, this year being no different than last year nor any of the years to come, Mama was out on the front porch early yesterday taking a picture of my little man heading off to Pre-K!!  Look how grown up he's getting!

And, just for comparison's sake, here are last years pictures. . .

I know he's growing and changing right before my eyes, but I don't actually see it until I compare pictures like this!  sniff. . .it's happening sooo fast!

Aidan's daily schedule is awesome.  I drop him off just before 8:00, then he has outside play and then circle time followed by snack before the morning rotation.  The Morning Rotation last for two hours and consists of Creative Art, Technology (computer class), and Math.  Then the groups all come back together (there are three groups) and have Language Arts (Spanish) and then lunch.  After lunch is story time and then nap time.  Nap/Quiet time ordinarily lasts from 1:00 until 3:00, but a parent can opt for an earlier end.  I have asked Aidan to be up by 2:00 and I provided a Quiet time bag with coloring and other fun activities for him to do on his cot.  After nap, they have snack and then the Afternoon Rotation begins during which Aidan has Handwriting and Science.  Then they have outside play time, which is the time we pick him up.  So far, things are going really well!!

Adding on now, we started Swimming lessons again today.  Aidan did everything he was asked to do, but he had to be asked more than once. . .must continue to work on our listening skils!!  : )

Monday, September 6, 2010

Time To Get Back To Routine. . .

We have turned the page to a new month, a new routine and a new schedule. . .complete with a nearly new kitchen!  But, our final few days of summer were busy and exciting. . .

First, on the way home from picking Aidan up on Wednesday, I had stopped at a Stop sign and Aidan said, " S     T      O     P. . .Stop!"  That's right!!!  Wow.  He's already started to put the letters together for words. . .

My mom came into town last Wednesday evening and we have been the stay at home tourists since then.  On Thursday, we got up and ventured over to Mt. Vernon to check out all the changes that have been done at George and Martha's digs:

After lunch, we came back through Fairfax and stopped by Bethany to see our Social Worker, Kristin.  It wasn't a great day for a four year old boy, but Aidan was awesome all day long.  What a great kiddo he was!

On Friday we went over to Dulles Town Center and did all things Aidan. . .Rode on the train:














And bought Aidan a new nice winter coat (awesome wool coat with a hood. . .the tag said $52.00 and because of sales and my Gym bucks, I got it for $30.00) and slippers that are adorable. . .then off to the book store for a couple of books, a look around the Halloween store to see if there is a costume we can't live without (I guess I'm not making it this year : (  ) a little lunch at Chick Fil A and then a ride on the Merry Go Round:


Then we were off to the grocery store to get dinner supplies. . .as good as Aidan was the day before at Mt. Vernon, was as bad as he was that day at the mall. . .it was exhausting and at one point, I wanted to check the back of his head for a 666:

The good part of Friday happened at the grocery store when Aidan just blurted out Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday in a sing songy voice.  I was stunned!  I had no idea he knew all the days of the week!!

On Saturday, we drove up to Luray and went to the Caverns.  Awesome!!!  I have lived in Virginia for 31 years and never been there.  I must say that now that I have been there, I am sooooo going again!! 


These pictures don't really do it all justice.  Truly, these stalactite and stalagmite formations were just stunning. 

Sunday I finally bought the new refrigerator and it will be delivered next Saturday...Woo Hoo!!!  That and a nice dinner out with Grandma and Grandpa were about it for Sunday.

Mom leaves today around noon.  After breakfast, we plan to walk into town and just wander a bit until it's time to go to the airport.  This afternoon, Aidan and I will rest by getting his quiet bag ready for his Pre-K class (starts tomorrow!) and stewing up some tomatoes to try and catch up with what our garden is still producing. 

Swimming lessons start on Wednesday and Sunday School and Ice skating start next Sunday.  So our routine will revolve around those activites.

Time to get back to a good routine. . .