Aidan at Beach

Aidan at Beach

Monday, November 29, 2010

Caught!!!

Aidan:  Mama, I want to give my fourwheeler away.
Mama:  Why?
Aidan:  Because I want something else.
Mama:  Like what?
Aidan:  I want a Bucket Truck like Daddy's.
Mama:  But, Aidan honey, they don't make Bucket Trucks for little people.
Aidan:  It's okay, Mama.  I'll tell Santa to have his elves make one for me.  They can do it!

sheesh!  Talk about getting caught in the whole Santa can do anything thing! And he's still new to this.  What's it going to be like in a couple of years???

So, now that we are past Thanksgiving, the Christmas machine is getting geared up.  I am trying very hard to not over do and to really just enjoy this year.  So, we decorated our tree this weekend and took pictures in front of it, of us, for our card.  However, we keep blowing fuses on the strings of lights. . .I think I put too many on there and will need to undecorate it all in order to redo the lights--fewer would probably be okay--and then redecorate.  Nothing like starting off on the wrong foot!

Here are some of our pictures.  The new big Nikon has a wonderful timer so we could set it up, get situated (sort of) and then wait for the picture.  We got one good one.  We may have to try this again. . .









But, this one is my favorite. . .




As you can see from this one, I'll need Aidan to help me redecorate so we can have that special 4 year old boy area again. . .

He wanted to put them all on  one branch!  He almost succeeded. . .

I'm going to keep trying to keep this thing simple.  The main thing I want this year, in addition to my annual wish for peace and goodwill toward all, is to have a nice quiet Christmas with my family.

In the meantime, I am wishing you all a very peaceful Advent. 


Sunday, November 28, 2010

We Now Resume Our Regular Programming. . .

A few days off, a lot of cooking, some company, and a good time was had by all.  And now we resume our regular programming. . . .

Okay, there was a lot more to it than that!  It just seems like so much has happened in the last week. . .where do I begin????

On Monday afternoon, my dad arrived.  Pat picked him and Aidan up and we all met back at the house for a nice evening of homemade chicken noodle soup, corn bread and some quiet time talking in front of the TV.  We hadn't seen dad for a year and a half, so it was fun to see him watch Aidan and notice all of the changes that have occurred with him. 

Tuesday and Wednesday, I had Aidan in school just half days.  We did some prep- work on cooking both days: brined my turkey; made the pie; made the mashed potatoes and whipped sweet potatoes. . .funny thing about the brine this year.  I had ordered, as I always do, the brine mix from Williams Sonoma in October.  It was not on backorder.  And then it was, about two weeks later.  They shipped it on Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving!!!  So, I made my own mix. . .and got rave reviews!  So. . .although this brine mix I ordered will arrive this coming week, I may reserve it for not so special occasions.

Thanksgiving Day arrived cooler than it had been for a few days, so while I finished preparing our feast--add in the Gingered Carrots, Peas and Gravy. . .not to mention roasting the bird!, we started a fire.  That is where the guests: Grandma and Grandpa, Aunt B and UB, Grandpa Dave, and Daddy and Aidan (not actually guests, but keeping them company) could be found while sipping pre-dinner drinks and eating the baked brie and other cheeses I had set out.




The table was beautiful and Aidan and Maggie helped me take pictures of it. . .






This was actually our fourth Thanksgiving Day with Aidan, although only our third at home.  But, I am really loving this day and the memories it holds.  We didn't have any caviar, but I'm just glad we didn't have any beef tongue on our table this year!

After dinner, every thing was cleaned up and put away so neatly!  Sofia came on Friday to clean the house and we made ourselves scarce by going into D. C. to take in a museum.

Aidan has loved the Night at the Museum series for a while now and it's really nice that we can actually take him to the museums shown in the second movie.  We headed out about 10 am and stopped for a late breakfast, early lunch at Anitas--a local Mexican restaurant.  They have awesome breakfast burritoes.  We should have taken the Metro, but decided to drive all the way in only to find that we could not find a parking spot anywhere.  Everyone else in creation had decided to take in the museums as well--they are free. . .gotta love the Smithsonians!

After driving around for an incredibly long time, we decided to go on up past the Capital and find a place to park and take a short Metro train ride back in.  We parked near a dear old family friends former house and hopped on at Eastern Market.  A few stations later, we were at the Smithsonian station and came up on the Mall.  Perfect!!  Why didn't we think of that before???

Aidan on his first train ride. . .okay he was scared at first, but he settled down to really loving it!


Onward to the Museum of Natural History, which was crowded beyond belief, and where Aidan displayed the kind of interest a Mother usually only dreams of.  Seriously!!  The boy was fascinated with everything.  He wanted to see the Octopus from the movie, and loved them all including the Giant Squid. . .he wanted to see Rexie, and loved all the others as well. . .he saw some butterflies and other creepy flying things and bugs (must go back and take him to the live butterfly exhibit!). . .and we even saw some bones excavated at the Jamestown Settlement, which he really wanted to spend more time looking at.  After about an hour and a half--and we hadn't even seen half of the this ONE museum, Aidan was pretty ready to go--it had been an exhausting few days and he was starting to get tired.  I definitely think we'll be heading back down there, though, during our time off after Christmas.  It was fun and I think Aidan will enjoy seeing even more.  Wonder what he'll think of the Air and Space Museum????

After we got back to the Metro we headed back to the Eastern Market Station.  On the way up the escalator, Aidan said he was thirsty so we decided to stop in at Mr. Henry's pub, which is located on Pennsylvania Avenue.  If you haven't heard of this one before, it is where Roberta Flack got her start.  Not much of a place, but it is comfortable and the people are very nice there.  Some drinks and homemade cheese fries and we were ready to head home. 

But first, we decided to stop in front of Joe's old house to get a picture of his namesake (Aidan Josef) in front of it:
We miss you Joe!  God rest your soul. . . .

Leftovers for dinner and we all hit the hay early. . .

Dad left on Saturday to head up to see Aunty Amy, Uncle Todd, Kendall and Tyler in Chicago.  But, first, there were hugs and tears as Aidan told Grandpa Dave he didn't want him to leave. . .


Seriously. . .Aidan ran out of the house with tears streaming and threw himself at Dad as we were getting into the car to go!  Heartwarming. . .

When I got home, Daddy and Aidan were putting the tree together in the Living Room and had gotten all of the Christmas boxes out.  Okay!   Thanksgiving is done, now we're on to Christmas!

It's all good. . .

Monday, November 22, 2010

Three Years, And Thanksgiving Is Still The Best!!!

Three years ago today, we met and held our son for the first time.  It was Thanksgiving Day, 2007.  The best Thanksgiving Day ever. . .aside from the beef tongue that was part of our dinner. . .Looking back, Aidan has grown so much since then!  It's hard to imagine how much. . .
He continues to amaze me with his intelligence and with his readiness to do new and different things.  As long as I am there to help him get started, that is.  I am looking forward to next year when he will have some friends in the neighborhood whom he can play with.  He has friends now, but they are a couple of years older and I usually feel like they would really rather be doing something else. . .But, still, Thanksgiving has become my favorite holiday ever.  All because of a little boy who was so far away.

Aidan has started this funny thing. . .it's awesome really. . .at any given moment, he'll say, Mama?  yes. . .I love you!  I love you, too, Aidan.  Even in the middle of the night.  I love it.  He's always said I love you.  But, lately it's been all the time.  Out of the blue.  Whenever the words come into his head.  I just love it!

I did get the family room curtains done yesterday and all I have to do is hem the kitchen curtains.  I think I may need to shorten the family room ones, but that can wait.  For now, here's a little before and after on that project:




At least they look fresh and clean!  Looking again, I really do need to shorten them.  About 4 or 5 inches would probably do it.  Next week.

So, the house has been scrubbed.  We're stocked with turkey, and all the makings for a huge Thanksgiving feast.  My dad arrives today and Aidan will be at school all day today and a half day tomorrow.  Aunt B and UB arrive on Wednesday evening and the cooking will commence on Wednesday all day.  Feast time will be about 2:00 on Thursday. 

Finally, I look longingly at this fall addition I made. . .judging by the cat hair I have been removing from the seat, Cleo is the only one using this wonderful chair.  I am sooooo looking forward to curling up with a good book in it. . .someday!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Busy. . .Busy. . .Busy!!!

That phrase always makes me think of the magician from Frosty the Snowman. . .not a very nice fellow. . .but that phrase also typifies what our lives have been like lately. . .okay, not so nice either, but not bad either.  Just busy. . .busy. . .busy!!!

Pat has been hunting most of this month, so he hasn't been home a lot.  This has left most of the household chores--cleaning, shopping, laundry, picking up--to me as well as looking after Little Man.  It's not a bad job, but it does make a lady tired at the end of the day.  I almost always find myself having to take a deep breath and count to ten so I don't get snappy with Aidan.  It's not his fault Mama's tired and cranky!

Last night we went over to Costco to stock up on supplies for Thanksgiving.  It wasn't fun going there with a 4 1/2 year old little boy who wanted to play with the drum set he found in one of the aisles, but it certainly was not crowded!!  We got so much checked off the list by going there, I only have a small list for the actual grocery store--woo hoo!! 

But, we forgot to call Grandma and sing her happy birthday!!  Yesterday was her birthday and I had it in my head to have Aidan call when we got home.  But then I started putting things away and then we had dinner and then bath and then Backyardigans was on and then bed. . .and I forgot.  We'll have to call today.  A day late, but we really didn't forget!!

Meanwhile, I have been making some new curtains for our family room and kitchen.  They are almost done and I hope to hang them on Saturday.  The present ones have been up for 11 years and are looking sad, faded, and really tired.  It will be nice to have something fresh and new up before the holidays get rolling!

My Dad arrives on Monday afternoon for the week.  It will be good to see him.  We haven't seen him for about a year and a half, so I know he'll see a huge change in Aidan.  Fun!!

Finally, Pat has also been helping his sister look for hay for her Alpacas.  I think he's found some that she'll be able to pick up next week when she and her husband come up for Thanksgiving.  They've had a terrible drought and can't find hay anywhere. 

Also, I saw on Facebook the other day, that my sister-in-law invited her cousin to come up here for Christmas. . .guess I'll have a houseful for Christmas again. . .sigh.

Pictures of the curtains and of Aidan, of course, to come this weekend.  I just can't get them uploaded right now because I'm busy. . .busy. . .busy!!!  : )  Life is good.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Getting Ready to Get Ready. . .

Many signs have been appearing lately that Christmas is just around the corner.  Including the songs we are practicing for the Children's Christmas Pageant, the stores are decked out and the annual onslaught of catalogs and commercials have begun.  Aidan, being 4 1/2, is not immune to the "I want. . ." infection.  I am hoping to show a little more restraint this year, keeping in mind the mind numbed look that came over my dear sons face about half way through Christmas morning. 

In the meantime, we (the parents) and Santa wanted to find out what Aidan would like this year.  So, the Target toy catalog was discreetly left out along with the latest Sponge Bob Square Pants pen.  This is the scene I came upon on Saturday morning. . .






Every single boy toy was marked in some way. . .every single one!  Sheesh!!  I do think there may be a Criss Cross Crash under the tree. . .that is one thing I know for sure he wants--I hear about it every time he sees it on Nickolodean.  But, shhhh!  Don't tell!  Pray that Aidan doesn't figure out the child locks yet. . .only one left and that is on the door to the guest room where I am hiding things.

And so it's official, we're getting ready to get ready. . .

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Fall Farm Fun

Time is marching right along, isn't it??  When consulting calendars to get together with some friends, we discovered our next mutually available date is Saturday, December 4th. . .so we scheduled a get together to go cut down Christmas trees.  Okay, I know.  It's only early November still, but December 4th is only a little more than 3 weeks away!  That got me panicking a little so I have been shopping for those gifts that need to be mailed across the country so they can be sent the weekend of Thanksgiving. . .which is only TWO weeks away!!  Yikes. . .Oh, and, yes I also cleaned out Target of those small round pearl colored lights for the tree. . .: )

But, in the meantime, and despite our crazy work/hunting/ice skating/school/swimming lesson schedules, we are having some fun!

Sunday, after church, Aidan agreed be a part of the Children's Christmas Pageant at Church, so he and I met with everyone else in the Music Room and sang some Christmas songs. . .it was adorable!  I can't wait to see him and all the other children present this wonderful array of songs. 

Then we dashed off to Ashburn to ice skating lessons. . .Aidan needs to strengthen his ankles some, but he is doing really great.  He is the best backwards skater in his class!!  Awesome. . .

Then, we dashed back to Leesburg and met up with our church buddies at Temple Hall Farm for some fun in the really chilly sun.  Seriously, it was cold.  But, Aidan didn't care!  He has become buddies with the Rectors son, Owen, and the two of them were inseparable the whole afternoon--running after the chickens, turkeys, pigs, and even riding the camels!  I wouldn't have let Aidan do this, he is only four, but Owen is really hard to resist, so the boys even shot corn cobs out of the corn shooter and then pumpkins out of, what looked to me, like a surface to air missile launcher. . .And I have to tell you, proudly, my son was an excellent shot!  He's still a little small--not much upper body strength yet--to really control that big gun, but he did great!!  His daddy would have been proud.

After all of that, we met Daddy back at home and went out to dinner.  What a full day!  And what a blast.  We, all three of us, crashed early and slept well.

And now I'll leave you with a few pictures from our day at Temple Hall Farm:

The camel ride with Owen.






Aidan's next favorite thing, the cow train!



Getting ready to chase the pigs.  The farm worker was explaining how they would run around and getting the children to name the pigs.

Aidan was chedking out the pigs in the cages. . .


Waiting for the pig race to start. . .

I am just not sure I like this, Mama!

Okay, I'm happy again.  Especially since Taylor is letting me ride with her!!!


And, one more train ride before we head home. . .