Aidan at Beach

Aidan at Beach

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Neighbor Kids

We are blessed to have some really fantastic neighbors.  And, lucky for us, there are plenty of kids close by for Aidan to grow up with.  He will have the novelty of having siblings without having to have a brother of sister living with him.

At the latest count, there are 9 children ranging in age of 4th grade down to 1 1/2 years old.  And we all live within a house or two of eachother. 

They all gathered at our neighbors up the street the other day and played for a while.  The mom took these pictures and shared them. . .aren't they all adorable???

Thank you, Jihee, for sharing these wonderful pictures of our kids!!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Conversations about God. . .

Aidan has heard his Daddy and me talk about our old dog, Brutus, quite a lot.  I imagine he is starting to hear how much Brutus was loved, honored, and cherished by the comments we make about him.  In fact, I am positive Aidan hears the difference of how we talk about Brutus as compared to how we talk about Mosby and Maggie--not that Mose or Mags are bad dogs!!!  They are just. . .different that Bru was.

A few months ago, while driving to church, Aidan asked me what happened to Bru.  He had to leave us and go live with God.  "He's with God now?"  Yes.  He was very sick and couldn't stay with us anymore and he had to go and live with God.  "Oh.  Is he happy there?"  I'm positive he is happy there.  "That's really good.  I'm glad he's happy there."

More recently the conversation came up again and Aidan asked about God:  "Do people go live with God?"  Yes they do.  "Do they go there when they have been very sick, like Brutus was?"  Well, when they have been very sick, or sometimes if they have lived long enough here and their work is done here.  Thinking heavily about this, "So, people and dogs go and live with God when they have been very sick or if they are done living here."  Yes, that's right.  "Is it nice where God lives?"  It is a totally awesome place.  The best place you can ever imagine.  "I want to live with God, too, someday!"  Of course!  I think you will, but not for a very long time, okay?  "Okay."

Then, last night, the conversation picked up again. . ."So, if someone has been very sick and then goes to live with God, are they still sick?"  No.  They are well again and are no longer in pain or sick at all.  "What about Brutus?  Is he still sick?"  No.  He couldn't even walk when he had to leave us, but now he can run and jump and play and is chasing balls in heaven with God, just like Maggie and Mosby do here!  "What's heaven?"  That's where God lives.  "What planet is that on?"  : )

I just love how his mind works!!!  I know this is an ongoing conversation.  I just pray each time it comes up that whatever I say, it is with Gods words on my lips and His love shines through in whatever I say or do!!

P.S.  In other news:  The costume is done. . .I would give you a sneak preview, but have decided to withhold pictures until Halloween.  I will tell you that my husband is pleasantly surprised!!  Per him, "I didn't think it would turn out this good!!!  You're more creative than I thought!!"  : ) 

No new signs of the Ground Hog. . .I think he's gone!!  Thanks be to God!!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Ground Hog Day in October. . .

A couple of months ago, we saw a Ground hog in our side yard.  Truthfully, I thought it was living in my neighbors yard and I actually felt badly for them.  I thought that it had come over to our yard to graze. . .

A few weeks ago, I noticed that our outside automatic lights were coming on a lot and that the dogs seemed to be growling even more than usual (if that's possible!).

Meanwhile, because I haven't had the time to really do some good fall planting for about three years now (wonder why???  : )  ) I finally made it over to Home Depot a couple of weeks ago to buy some fall plants.  Aidan helped me pick them out.  We spent about $100. on some gorgeous Ornamental Cabbages and some beautiful pansies in fall colors.  Love them!  The pansies are awesome because they will come back in the Spring and flower again.

When we got home, Aidan helped me plant most of them.  I only had two Cabbages left and a few pansies that I wanted to put in the planters on the front porch--although Pat didn't want to get rid of the Geraniums yet.  So, the remaining sat for a bit while we discussed what to do with the Geraniums.  Okay, they sat for a couple of weeks. 

On Monday, when I got home, Pat said, "Have you see your garden out front?"  No.  Why?  "Go and look."

Oh My!!!!

The Cabbages are nothing but nubs and there isn't a single flower to be seen on any of the pansies!!!!  What???  Apparantly, that Ground hog had taken up residence under OUR front porch.  It's been living in OUR yard!!

On Tuesday, Pat went to Southern States and bought a Have a Heart trap. . . .On Wednesday, when we got home, Pat and Aidan took this fellow over to the park and released him into the woods. . .

He's a pretty chunky guy!!  Barely fit in the trap. . .Hope he didn't leave the wife and kids behind, but I'm nervous.  The front porch automatic light has been going on a lot this morning.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Post Adoption Blues

This is such an important, yet little discussed topic!  In today's MSNNBC, there was an article about Post Adoption blues.  From reading many many blogs, I know that this is something we all experience to some extent--some just a little and some quite a lot.  Rather than feeling like a failure, know that you are not!  Seek help.  Below is the link to the article.  Remember, no one is alone in this process.  Beside those of us here in blog world, there are professionals trained to help:  our Social Workers, Agencies, Counselors.  I pray it helps.  God Bless.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

A Three Heart Day

Actually, we technically found out about the possibility of Aidan three years ago yesterday.  We got a call from our Social Worker, late in the afternoon, telling us about a child that met our criteria.  There was some scanty medical information, much of it scary, but that was it.

It was on October 19th, after we said "yes we are interested in this child," that we found out it was a boy, approximately 17 months old, in the Krasnoyarsk Region. 

Three years have gone by.  Three glorious years that seem so much more than just three mere years.  Our three hearts have grown so much since that day, three years ago. . .

Monday, October 18, 2010

A Hot Air Balloon Festival with no Balloons. . .

On Saturday, we spent the day out in Western Clarke County enjoying company with some friends at a Hot Air Balloon Festival.  The Festival was held on the Historic Long Branch Farm, established in 1811.  It was a gorgeous cool crisp October day, but a bit blustery.  Actually, the wind became a factor in two things on the agenda for the day: the Hot Air Balloons and the blow up slides and Moon bounce!  Because it was so windy, the Balloons couldn't go up.  They thought they might try around noon, but to no avail.  I was disappointed because I really wanted Aidan to see them.  But, we still had fun.

We had arrived at about 10:00 and at that time the Blow up Slides and Moon bounce were not up--due to the wind.  However, I guess because they are anchored, they were able to blow them up later and we took the kids over to play after lunch.  The rest of the time, we just enjoyed going for a hayride, browsing at the crafters, eating some good brats, getting our faces painted, touring the old Mansion, and just hanging out listening to music in a gorgeous setting.  Oh, and lest I forget, after much badgering, Daddy took Aidan on the Monster Truck Ride. . .

In other news, Sunday was Evaluation Day for Ice Skating and Aidan has passed his current level and can move up to the final skills level!!  Woo Hoo!!  I'll be signing him up later today. 

Also, the Music Director at church asked me if Aidan would like to be a part of the Christmas Pageant this year, which is all singing.  He will provide me with a CD with the songs on it and we can learn them on the way to and from school.  Aidan said 'yes' so I guess we have our first Pageant in the offing. . .more on that later.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Cranky Gus. . .

I absolutely love spending time with Aidan in the morning.  Even when he is a Cranky Gus, which happens often enough.  When he wakes up happy, I always know he has slept well and gotten enough sleep, thus putting him in a great mood and ready and willing for whatever comes next.  But, when he wakes up as a Cranky Gus, that's when my skills as a mother come into play.

For instance, I might tickle him all over until he finally laughs.  This might be followed with "What do you want for Breakfast?"  His usual response, when cranky, is "Nothin"!"  What about a bowl full of Stink Bugs with milk?  Or how about some fried Stink bugs with cheese on top?  Or maybe a little bit of Stink bug pankcakes with Stink bug sauce on the side???  (We have a plethora of Stink bugs hanging out with us these days--but NOT in the house!)  Usually the talk of eating Stink bugs will begin to give me a little smile, followed by a laugh out loud, and some giggles and then wind up with a No Way!!  Ewwwww! and full belly laughs. . . smiles all around. . .

Today was no exception on the Cranky Gus. . .He was cranky from the moment he opened his eyes.  I went through my routine, even adding a Stink bug milk shake with Stink bug sprinkles. . .Aidan responded, "Why do you say things like that, Mama?"  Because you're made of snails and puppy dog tails, of course!!  "No, I'm not!  I'm made of boy!"  Yes, little man.  You definitely are. . .  : )

Anyway, after our normal ablutions, Aidan came out and sat down at the top of the stairs and said he didn't want to come down and have breakfast.  I responded, Okay.  I'm going to go and have an omlette. . . I went down and fed the dogs, let them out and began the process of getting my omlette when I noticed Aidan sitting at the bottom of the stairs.  I said, Hey.  And he said he wanted breakfast after all. . .one pancake.  How about I give you two and you can just eat one.  "I'm only eatin' one!"  Okay.  I gave him two. 

About when he was finishing his second pancake, Aidan told me he didn't want to learn anything today at school.  Okay.  That's fine.  Just go and sit in the corner at school and don't learn anything.  I'll make sure I tell Miss Mandy!  "Perfect!"  Okay, go wash your hands and put your shoes on.  It's time to go. . .

When I picked him up today, he proceeded to tell me, word for word, about how to call 911 and about Stop, Drop and Roll.  And even a little about who a stranger is and who to call if he's in trouble.  Perfect!!!  Sounds like you had a great day and learned lots of stuff!!  Yep, Mama.  It was a really great day.

Oooopss!  I forgot to tell Miss Mandy that he didn't want to learn anything!  : )

Monday, October 11, 2010

Fun, Fun, Fun. . . Weekend Fun!!

We have been having some fun this weekend, but it was also mixed with some work. . .

I took a half day off on Friday--Pat is on the Midnight shift and I find it difficult to clean and keep Aidan occupied at the same time.  So, I cleaned about half the house on Friday.  Then I clean a lot more on Saturday.  Today I finished the Basement floors. . .yesterday was a nice day off from cleaning!!

However, also on the schedule was a birthday party on Saturday!!  Aidan's good buddy Jack turned 5 last Thursday and they celebrated at Pump it Up on Saturday evening. . .Funny thing about Jack.  He is from Pksov, Russia.  Aidan and Jack found each other at school. . .

I think they look adorable together with twins Hailey and Sydney--from right here. . .

In addition to the birthday party, hockey started on Friday night. . .we are sooooo excited about hockey season being here!!

But, even better, the Redskins played on Sunday and won!!!  They beat Green Bay in Overtime. . .definitely a great game.  It shows where they can go from here.  And, they are on top of the NFC East!!  Yeah Baby!!

I got a lot done on the Spider costume yesterday.  I just need to add the velcro to the hat and do the hem on the main part of the costume.   Then,  I want to add fishing line to the arms to have them move whenever Aidan's arms move.  It really is turning out nice.

I was off again today.  I went ahead and took Aidan to school so I could finish planting our fall flowers out front and then clean the basement floors.  The floors took me a full 1 1/2 hours!!  yikes. . .But, they look really great now. 

Pat and I picked Aidan up together, a little early, and surprised him with a trip to Pumpkinville.  There were animals to pet, slides to go down and large inflated moon bounces to bounce in.  We had a blast.  And, as part of our fee, we got three small pumpkins and then bought another large pumpkin.  Now we have three small and three large pumpkins.  Perfect!!

Petting the baby deer. . .if Aidan (and the deer) only knew!  Predator Daddy looks on. . .

A camel. . .from our parade???

Pumpkin painting!!

Petty a baby goat. . .

Loving on the Mama goat!!

That's about it.  We're back to work and normal schedules tomorrow.  But, until then, Go Caps!!  And Yeah 'Skins!!  We're loving our sports these days!  : )

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Keeping The House In Order

Gone are the days when Aidan would yell from the back seat:  "Wook!!  Wook!!  Mama!!  Kool but!!"  or "Eye Achin', Mama?"  or (squeal!)  "Sky beep beep!!" 

Now we hold real conversations where Aidan tells me about hibernation and why the seasons change which causes changes in the temperatures and the leaves to change color and fall off the trees. . ."We're experiencing Autum right now, Mama." 

The other day I picked Aidan up from school and told him we needed to go get gas and then go to the grocery store.  Mama would be gone for a couple of days on a business trip and I needed to make sure Aidan and Daddy had enough supplies at home.  While the gas was pumping, Aidan asked me to go over my list with him--he wanted to make sure I had enough of the good stuff for him, I guess.  He then proceeded to pull out a pen and paper and began making his own list!

Disclaimer:  he is technically able to be out of the car seat and into a booster--43ish pounds now--but he still fits in this one and my car is the one he is in most of the time. . .safety, you know??

Anyway, I went away and was separated from my baby for only the second time since we came home with him 2 1/2 years ago.  It is hard to be apart from him!!!  But, it is a necessary thing at some point and I really should be doing it more often, whether I like it or not. 

This time I dropped Aidan off at school on Wednesday morning and then headed, by car, down to Wintergreen Resort.  Wintergreen is up in the mountains about an hour southwest of Charlottesville.  It is absolutely beautiful!  Believe it or not, I had my camera with me and forgot to take pictures.  I was so busy enjoying the view. . .Okay so I was there on business, but the view can't be ignored!!!

But, my goodness it was cold!!  On Wednesday afternoon, I had a pedicure at the spa, which is at the top of one of the ridges.  While schmoozing with some of my agents and waiting to be called back, I watched clouds coming over a ridge a little further away and I would swear they were snow clouds!!  It actually stayed in the 40's all that day and I was very glad I had grabbed my cold weather Loudoun Mutual jacket on the way out the door. . .

After the meeting and lunch on Thursday, I headed back home.  But, not until I picked up a little something for Aidan and the shop in the Lodge. . .

This hat is sooooo nice!  It has a nice fleece lining and is really thick.  There are dinosaurs on it and the main color is green, Aidan's favorite.  Best of all?  It fits his head!!!!It will go nicely with his snow pants and jacket.  (not that he'll care!!)  As a matter of fact, when I gave him the hat, he started crying and said he had wanted me to bring him a toy!  hmmmmm. . . .problem brewing. . . .spoiled child alert!!!!  Beep!!  Beep!!  sigh. . . .

I also brought back some brochures about Wintergreen.  Pat and I had gone down there years ago and we just plain forgot it was so beautiful and so close!  We just might take a few days some time this winter and go down there with Aidan and check out some skiing. . .we have a lot of time off just after Christmas, so it might even make a nice Family Christmas present.  And, Wintergreen would make a nice place for a Girls Weekend. . .

Well, I'm off to my day.  I have a few things to catch up on here at home and I heard Aidan coughing so I need to check on that.  It's going to a beautiful day.  Perfect for getting the house in order and then going to buy some fall plants for the garden.  Enjoy your day!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Big Boy Aidan

He's got his hands in front of his face, but can you tell how he is now a boy and not a baby????  : (  I love my little guy--he's totally awesome, smart and not afraid to tell you what he thinks.  But I kind of miss my baby!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Single Parenting. . .

No, I'm not a single parent, nor am I about to be.  However, there are times when I feel like one.  Lately, with Pat's insane work schedule, I have felt like a Single Mama in spades!!  In fact, Pat worked yesterday from 7 am until 4 am this morning. . .crazy!!  It's enough to make this Mama tired. . .and I have a re-newed respect for those who do go this alone all the time.

That being said, I am very fortunate because I can afford to have someone come and clean my house every other week--next year I am soooo going to have her come every week when I no longer have the $300 a week Preschool tuition bill!!  As someone who cannot stand a messy house, having two dogs and a four year boy create cleaning challenges that make me, an avowed clean freak, shudder.  But, with the blessed Sofia, our cleaning lady, I am able to spend Quality Time with the family both days of every other weekend and on one day on the other weekend.  But, with Daddy's insane work schedule, that means Quality Mommy and Aidan Time.

Yesterday, Aidan and I went to Jo Ann Fabrics and got the last of the items needed to finish his costume (work is progressing and I'll share it when it is complete); then we went to the ABC store because, well, it's that time of year when Mama likes a Bailey's before bed every so often; and then off to Target to get a couple of birthday presents for start of the fall birthday parties from Aidan's class. . .Okay, at Target we had to get a couple of other things too:  Halloween candy, Candy pumpkins, a funky candy bowl that has a hand that comes out and grabs the person who is getting candy. . .oh and milk.  The essentials, ya know??

Then, back home, we had lunch, did some laundry and then headed to the ice rink to practice some of the moves we've been learning.  Aidan did exceptionally well.  The one on one attention really does wonders for him!  Then we were off to get Aidan a hair cut--we've been going to Hair Cuttery and his hair just looks butchered. . .it's soooooooooo much better now!!

Back home again to wrap presents and then get cleaned up and changed and then we were off to Party #2 for the fall (#1 was two weeks ago).  This one was at Chuck E. Cheese. . .I think Daddy REALLY owes Mama big now because that is the second time I had to take him there for a party. . .by myself. . .ugh!!!

After Chuck E.Cheese, we came home for bath and a movie. . .Aidan was so exhausted by bed time, he fell asleep while I was reading him his first book!!  We usually do three. . .

Today, we headed out to church by ourselves, where Aidan decided, on his own, to go to Sunday School.  Usually I ask and he says no.  Today we went to our usual seats and then he said he wanted to go.  So I took him!  He made a new friend and I think he'll be back there again next week. . .yippee!!  Quiet worship time for Mama!!!

After that, Daddy was up and ready to take the kiddo to Ice Skating Lessons without Mama and then they are going to an Open House at one of the area Fire Houses. . .More quiet time for Mama!!!

What am I doing with my quiet time this afternoon--other than writing here--??  I made an Apple Pie, some Chicken and potatoe stew, and now I'm going to work on the costume. . .I might even watch a little Redskins in a couple of hours! 

I love weekends like this, although I would have loved it more if Daddy had been with us on our running around yesterday!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Fall Weather, Fairs, and Weekends. . .

October.  I can't even begin to tell you how glad I am that it is October!  A week ago it was still hovering in the mid to upper 90's.  Today it barely hit 70. . .late in the day!  The 5 inches of rain we got over Wednesday night to Thursday night may have created some mud and flooded streams (and the Potomac, although not near us!) but it also scrubbed the air and made everything fresh and clean again.  That hot dry summer was clean washed away!

But, the problem with mud is that this is the weekend of the Waterford Fair!  I work in Waterford, Virginia--the only business in town, other than the Post Office!--It's a quaint little town founded by Quakers in about 1732 or so.  Beginning in about 1940 or so, the Waterford Foundation has gone about painstakingly preserving the town for development and attempts to keep it the same with no changes at all.  There are Preservation Easements on the inside and outside of most of the homes in the village, which itself is on the Historic Landmark list.

The fair is pretty nice, as fairs go.  It's expensive to get in, and the crafts sold are kind of pricey too, but the Crafters depend on the sales in order to live.  The Foundation takes a cut of all proceeds, which doesn't seem really nice, but then they do sponsor the event. 

Here are a couple of pictures of one of the areas, the park my company owns which is right next to our parking lot:

As usual, the President of our company gave us a two hour lunch in order to wander around the fair, provided we wore our Loudoun Mutual shirts!  After we ate, I bought some of my usual items: Apple Butter, Cherry Preserves, a treat for Aidan, home made Beeswax candals, and some home made Carmel Corn.  Yum!

After we all got home, we walked into town where I got a new walking tour guide of Civil War happenings for Leesburg (btw: Waterford was Pro-Union and Leesburg was totally not!!  Only 10 minutes drive apart, too). 

We then took Aidan to the Train Store and the Dog Store and then some more walking around before going to the old Shoe Store for dinner--not such a great dinner, but what are you going to do?  Tomorrow, I am hoping to get back downtown to walk the Civil War walk and discover some new-old history I didn't know.  I alreay found a discrepancy in the brochure, though.  sigh. . .

Thank you all for your prayers and suggestions for while Aidan was sick.  He is much better and actually went back to school yesterday.  He did a lot of this on Wednesday:

I think that did the trick. . .Back to his usually self. . .bouncing off the walls and talking a mile a minute!

That's about it for now. . .busy weekend ahead:  Daddy is working another double shift tomorrow, so Mama is taking Aidan to the Ice Rink to practice and then to Chuck E. Cheese for a dreaded Birthday Party ( I still fail to see why my Office Mate thought that was funny!)  Daddy will be home on Sunday and has promised to take Aidan to Ice Skating lessons--without mama!! and I will work some more on the Spider Costume, which is coming along!!

Happy Fall y'all.  Have a great weekend!