Aidan at Beach

Aidan at Beach

Monday, February 28, 2011

A Little Monday This and That. . .

Time sure is flying by. . .I'm happy because we'll have some warmer weather really soon--71 today, although back to the 40's tomorrow. . .but it really depresses me how quickly my little guy is growing up! 

I think this fact is always more apparant this time of year, as I prepare us for our Annual Post Placement visit and report.  Our Social Worker will be here on March 12th for our 3 year visit--3 years already?!?!?!?  And so, I have been going through pictures of Aidan over the past year.  In doing so, I came across a bunch of pictures I hadn't seen in a very long time of our first trip to the beach with Aidan.  We went to Virginia Beach for about 5 days right before I went back to work and he was absolutely in love with the ocean!  He was still so little and really just a baby then.

And now he's a little boy!!  Which is good, but look at the difference!!

I love my little boy, but I really miss my baby at times. . . .And no, the patches don't really work on the knees of his jeans. . .

I'll do a lot more then and now pcitures in a few weeks when we hit our Gotcha Day. . .you'll be amazed. . .

Meanwhile, my little boy is finishing up his swimming lessons this week.  I think we'll hold off on more lessons until fall.  I imagine he will progress a lot over the summer when we take him to our pool.  We try to do that several times a week and he is a little fish the entire time.

Hockey lessons continue.  He has one more lesson for Hockey 1 and then will have 7 lessons for Hockey 2 and then we take the summer off from that as well.  The ice rink does offer summer camps, but they are all during the day and since I work. . .

I'll be picking up the registration packet for Kindergarten in a couple of weeks.  Registration day is April 12th, but they let you have a month to gather information. . .if they only knew how skilled I am at gathering information quickly!!  : )

We made our resrvation last week at the Marriott at Disneyland.  We're going to be there for 5 days and paid for it entirely with the Marriott Rewards points we earned during our stay in Moscow!!  That uses the points up, though. . .I can't wait to see Aidan's reaction to Disneyland!! 

Grandpa's birthday is tomorrow, but we celebrated yesterday.  Fun times!!  We got him a digital picture frame and loaded it up with all kinds of pictures of Aidan from the past three years. . .  Talk about going down memory lane!!  But, that should keep him busy for a while!  : )  Happy Birthday Grandpa!!

That's it for now.  Have a great day!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The I Wants. . .

It's official.  I have "the Wants."  I want Spring--sooo tired of Winter; I want to see more sunshine; I want warmer temperature--not hot, just warmer;  I want another three day weekend.

I loved this past weekend.  I didn't get as much rest as I had wanted--little boys sometimes get scared at night and need to come sleep with Mama and Daddy (sleep on top of Mama).  But, that is a small price to pay.  The household chores were taken care of by our wonderful Sofia on Friday and we had the whole weekend to play and just do family things. . .

After our furniture shopping experience on Saturday, Sunday was much quieter.  All we had was church and then a little shopping at Costco followed by an afternoon of watching the Caps win...

Monday Pat had to go back to work, but Aidan and I were still off.  He slept until 8:30!  woo hoo!!  I took him to the Ice Rink in Ashburn thinking we'd do a little skating and skills practicing. . .didn't realize there would be hockey tournaments going on!  Aidan loved it!  He walked between the two rinks watching the guys playing and just took it all in.  The players were awesome.  Each time they noticed this little boy wandering around looking at them while holding his hockey helmet, they came up to him to do knuckles.  Too cute! 

While at the rink, I had Aidan measured for the hockey gloves and got prices on sticks, etc.  Good to plan!

Then off to the Mall to buy the kiddo new sneakers. . .he is now a size 13!  Yikes!  Two pairs later and we were ready for some lunch.  Aidan was soooo good.  He listened, and did as I asked and we just really were having some fun so off to the Merry Go Round for a ride!    A couple of stops on the way home and then back home to work on the homework assignment.  Dinner out and then another Caps win, this time over the Penguins. . .he he!

Although the homework assignment wasn't fun, and probably not the best way to end a great weekend, Aidan did really well with his word identification.  I am very proud of all he has been learning and how well he is doing with it. 

But, I still want another three day weekend. . .and some warmer weather, please!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Furniture Shopping and Krasnoyarsk hats. . .they go together, right??

We spent the entire day yesterday out shopping for Aidan's new bedroom furniture.  As is the tradition with us, we went back to the first place we had gone and purchased the first bedroom set I liked. . .it was on sale, and I got an addition 10% off for paying cash.  So, we paid about $1000. less than I had actually budgeted!!  : )  Now, of course, Pat is trying to figure out what to do with that other $1000. . . .I'd like to just let it sit in our savings for now, thank you very much!

Anyway, here is a picture of what it looks like on the web site.  The actual furniture was not in the showroom, but some of the samples had a deeper and richer look to the wood than this portrays. 

This flyer is a better portrayal of the actual color of the furniture.

It is supposed to arrive in 6 to 8 weeks. . .that puts it around early- to mid- April, I think, about a month before he turns 5.  That should give me plenty of time to get his room in order-wallpaper border changed out, cleaned up, organized and some of the "stuff" packed away or sold. . .I'm hoping this will take him into Middle School, at which time we will probably have to buy him a King Size bed because he will be soooo big!!  : )  One last thing about the "down" bed, as Aidan calls it. . .we don't have to put that in right away and Aidan can use the space for his tents, if he wants!  But there is a built in bulletin board behind which will be a great spot for art work, awards, certificates, etc. . .  Can't wait!

Also, I found this great hat for Aidan. It says Krasnoyarsk RUS on it. How cool is that???

What a goof ball!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Bright Spots. . .

I can't even begin to tell you how glad I am it is Thursday!  I'm exhausted.  Pat's had larangytis and has just come off the midnight shift, we had a terible wind storm and our temperatures have been down, then up, then down, and now back up.  I've had a very long week following a very unrestful weekend. . .but it's about to get better!  And, there were some really bright spots in this dismal week, so let me tell you about those. . .

Sunday, I had Altar Guild so Aidan and I left for church at 8:45.  We didn't leave church until 11:45. . .the perils of being a church in a box!  We headed straight for the Ashburn Ice House for Aidan's Hockey lesson where we found out he passed!!!  Now we can sign up for Hockey 2!!! 

Monday was Valentines Day and Aidan's school had a sock hop so the kids were supposed to dress up 50's style. . .do you think they understood 50's style when ALL of the parents and teachers were born after the 50's??  But, it was cute anyway.  Here's my little 50's man!

I even did a little duck tail in the back. . .he was sooo cute!

After school, when I picked him up, there was an adorable hand print picture--went to work with me, and a paper flower.  Love them!!

On Wednesday, my new iPhone arrived.  I am still working on setting it up, but it's coming along.  I need to do something about the ring. . .can't seem to hear that!

Today, the weather was gorgeous.  It went up to 67 degrees and at least partly sunny.  Pat picked Aidan up from school and they were able to stay outside until dinner time.  Pat called me outside at one point and this is what I found:

He is all boy!  And lest you worry, the tree is not very tall yet and Pat was right with him the whole time.  The impressive thing is that he climbed up there all by himself!

We have more busyness coming up: Furniture shopping this weekend for the kiddo's bedroom, Mardi Gras party, and the 3 Year Post Placement visit-- for which I have been getting loads of pictures ready.  But, first, we have a nice 3 day weekend during which I plan to sleep in (I hope) and catch up on all kinds of resting hang out time--thank goodness the housekeeper is coming tomorrow!!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Bob Book Success!!

Well, we have completed our first set of four Bob Books and have our prize. . .

A Hockey Helmet!!!  We have started the next set and when that is completed, we will get the hockey gloves and a stick!!  Woo Hoo!!!  Here comes AJ Harrison, into the crease, and with a surprising twist and flip of his wrist. . .He SCORES!!!!  : )  someday soon. . .stay tuned!!  Congratulations Aidan!!  Mama is really proud of you!!

We also went to a pool birthday party today where my dare devil stretched the limits of Mama's heart with his antics.  She was very glad when everyone got out of the pool, got dressed and headed in for ice cream and cake!

Also, have you heard of Tag Readers?  Aidan loves this thing.  He has several books that he will read to himself, with the Tag sort of reading for him, and helping him sound out each word. . .word by word in the book.  Nana got him a really funny book--boys always seem to just love this stuff--about Walter the Farting Dog and we (Daddy) just found one of the series in the Tag Reader!  Aidan is in heaven because now he gets to hear Walter the Farting Dog. . .if you get my drift. . .as I said, boys always seem to just love this stuff!

Update on Russian Kids Galore. . .we are now up to 215 members in this group!  Amazing. . .

Friday, February 11, 2011

Facebook Groups and Air Guitar. . .what a mix!!!

So, I have been in contact with a couple just north of us who started the process just about a year ago and came home with their son on Christmas Eve, 2010.  They are soooo happy to be home and with their son.  And I am happy for them.  We were with the same agency and kept in contact, off and on, through out this past year.  I was able, I think, to provide some insights on what to expect: financial, travel, emotions, etc. 

A couple of weeks ago, we connected further on Facebook, with the promise, from me, to link them up with some others I know who have brought little ones home from Russia.  I didn't get around to it as quickly as I had hoped. . .I have a four year old, ya know. . .but yesterday, a question popped up that I wasn't able to answer and I finally thought, I need to hook them up now. 

So, I went onto Facebook and I started a group:  Russian Kids Galore.  I started it last night with the 8 or 9 folks I know (who collectively have about 11 children between us from Russia) and sent out the request that she had made to me.  Little did I know what I was starting!!

This morning, I noticed that my Blackberry had several messages, all having to do with Russian Kids Galore.  After my run, I checked Facebook and, low and behold there were 50 participants in my little group!!  I checked it again at lunch time and there were 150!!  At last count, there were 184 people connected, with little ones from Russia, all talking together through Facebook.  Amazing.  My Blackberry was busy today!!!

I don't think the question was answered, "Does anyone have the actual phone number to the Russian Consulate in New York?"  But, really!  184 people talking about their Russian babies!!  Amazing!

Also over the past few days, I have been playing a new CD I bought, Third Day's Move.  Love it!!  Aidan loves it too.  Actually, Aidan loves all music: Classical, Country, Christian Rock, Hard Rock, Grunge Rock, Alternative Rock. . .really funny, and such eclectic tastes!!  Just like his mama!  We typically listen to Christian Rock on the way to school in the morning.  It's nice and I don't have to worry about what is being said.  Aidan and I love it! 

Aidan also loves to play Air Guitar. . .so imagine my humor. . .okay major laughter!!  to hear my young son say from the back seat, "Turn it up Mama!!" during Third Day's Lift Up Your Face!  I then looked back into the rear view mirror and saw Aidan playing the Air Guitar!  Lift up your Face!  Lift Up your Face!  Salvation is coming!  Salvation is coming!!  Really cute and really funny!

But, tonight he played Air Guitar to We like to move it move it!!  We like to move it move it  We like to. . . MOVE IT!

I love that kid!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Midweek Midrash

Aidan is back in Swimming Lessons.  He started back last week.  There were three in his class the first night and his teacher was one I didn't like--Zora--but Pat thinks she is great.  At the end of the lesson, one child was moved up to another class which left two:  Aidan and a little girl who is 3 days younger than Aidan.  He had his second lesson on Monday night and it was just Aidan!  A private lesson without the expense of it.  He has 6 more lessons. . .if this keeps up, we might be finished after this set! 

Saturday is another birthday party.  I think we have hit birthday party season.  This one is at the pool, so the lessons will tested--I won't let him leave my sight or go to the deep end, though!  We have another party on the 26th at the Discovery Museum in Winchester.  February has been a busy birthday party month!

Here is Aidan at the last party we went to. . .I think he has outgrown the little plastic cars, don't you think?
Yes, that's right, he has picked the car up and is walking it!  : )

Aidan's room is coming along.  I have taken the vinyl portion of the wallpaper border off and will do the bakcing portion this weekend and then put up the new wallpaper border.  Meanwhile, we have blown up the planets, which are much bigger than I thought!  I may have to rethink how they will be hung in his room. . .

This is Saturn. . .you should see the Sun!  I have finally found the comforter that will be perfect for his room--blue background with stars on it, and some nice blue curtains with a blackout lining. . .his shades are room darkening, too!    Those glow in the dark stars on the ceiling will be put to good use!

WE are getting ready for Valentine's Day and have started signing the cards for the kids in Aidan's class. . .Aidan is doing it himself from a list.  We had some nice little boxes of chocolate for his teachers, but came home last night to find that they  were gone. . .boxes and all. . .Maggie ate them!!!  This followed the Chocolate Chip muffins she ate on Sunday while we were at church. . .Crazy dog!!  I guess we won't be leaving things out anymore!

Our snow is almost gone.  While it is still cold, the weatherman says we will be in the low 50's by the end of the weekend!  Woo Hoo!  Maybe the Groundhog was right this time and we will have an early Spring!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Random Rambling Unremarkable Remarks. . .

So, I have so many little things stored up to say!  I guess I'll begin at the beginning and get started. . .

Aidan is two pages away from finished his fourth Bob Book!!!  I'm so excited for him!!  I heard this from his teacher on Thursday when I picked him up and then on Friday I was told that they had wanted to finish that day, but because it was Kindergarten Club Day, they decided to finish on Monday. . .guess what we're going to get this coming week???  That's right!!  A Hockey Helmet!!!  Way to go Aidan!!!

Our snow lasted an unusual amount of time because of the extremely cold weather that descended after our last storm.  So, a full week AFTER the last storm, Pat and Aidan ventured out to make a snowman.  Pretty good, too!!  They were able to use the Snowman Kit that Santa brought, so that made it even more fun!

We had some rain off and on over the last few days so the snowman is no longer looking as robust as he does here. . .

We are getting closer to our 3 Year Post Placement Visit.  I have many pictures already set aside and have a few more I'd like to gather.  I'll get on that this coming week.  Meanwhile, I have weighed Aidan--45.6 pounds and measured him.  I didn't calculate his height yet, but you can see from the growth chart that he is really growing a lot!!

That is nearly an inch since January 11th, three inches since our 2 year Family Day and a foot since we came home!!!  And I was wondering why the jeans I bought him just before Christmas are looking too short already???  I am assuming this will slow down eventually. . .

We have decided to add a few fireplaces to our house. . .currently we have a beautiful floor to ceiling wood burning brick fireplace in our family room.  Our house is rather large and has 9 foot or cathedral ceilings through out.  Additionally, we get a lot of wind that come down from the Blue Ridge Mountains and have no wind break to stop it.  So, we are going to add a woodstove insert in there. . .we also have an electric fireplace in the Rec Room. . .that will stay as is. . .and we're going to add a small gas fireplace in the Man Cave.  We have noticed that we spend most of our time in the basement in the winter and have noticed that it is cold down there.  We end up using the electric fireplace and electric space heater way too much.  So, with the wood stove and gas fireplace, we should be able to warm the entire house during those really cold snaps like we have been having these last few years. . .

Aidan will be turning FIVE in May. . .sigh. . .he's growing up soooo fast!!! I can't believe he's going to be FIVE! So, at his insistance, we have agreed to take down the Noah's Ark wall paper border and put up a nice Space Border that includes planets and rocket ships. I am also going to put up some glow in the dark stars I bought on his ceiling in a Milky Way type of pattern as well as some really cool planets. . .we'll be buying his bunk bed system within the month, I think. Meanwhile, we went ahead and began the process of taking the really cute Noah's Ark wallpaper border down today. . .here's what it looked like before I started. . .

I really liked this wallpaper border. . .sigh. . . . . .did I mention it was really cute?

Aidan likes to take pictures using my cameras.  In fact, the other day, he saw my camera and asked if he could take a picture.  I said Yes.  He then said he wanted to take a picture of a picture. . .a still life painting I have hanging in the kitchen. . .my grandmother painted it and I didn't have any idea that Aidan had even noticed it!  He took the picture. . .
And then told me that he really likes this picture.  Really?  Yeah, I always have liked it, Mama.   Where did we get it???  Well, my nana painted it. . .your Nana's Mama. . .huh?  Did I ever meet her?  No, sweetie, she went to be with God a very long time ago. . .oh. . .well, I like the picture!!  : ) 

Today I went to an ordination.  A friend of mine, whom I have spoken about here before--she has cancer--was ordained to the Vocational Order of the Diaconate.  It was a very historic occasion because it was the first time, since 1607, that the Diocese of Virginia has ordained anyone to the Diaconate that would not later become a Priest.  I'm so glad I was there for her!!  Here is a kind of blurry picture of the inside of the church it was held at. . .a church that was too small for the crowd that gathered to witness the event, I might add!!

Okay, I took the picture furtively so that I could get it before things got going. . .pictures being frowned upon during services and all!!

Finaly, I wanted to share some news about my Mom.  My mom went in for an Upper GI about a week ago at which time a mass was discovered on her stomach.  She was then scheduled for a full body CT Scan, which was done on Friday.  This is a huge concern to my sisters and I because our Mom has already had three bouts of cancer.  Her last bout which was nearly 6 years ago now, was really bad and she had some pretty radical surgery.  Between that and the chemo and radiation she had the first go round, she has been one messed up little lady in the intervening years.  About a year ago, I saw a picture of her (she lives in Las Vegas and I live near Washington, D.C.) and noticed she was entirely too thin.  She is a tiny lady, but this was really small.  I called her and begged her to eat and to see her doctor about getting on a better diet regimin.  My sisters joined me in this entreaty.  Our thought was, at the time, that she wouldn't have anything to fight with if she got sick again.  To date, Mom still is tiny and struggles to maintain her weight near 90 pounds.  We'll know the results of the CT Scan sometime this coming week. . .at this point we are just praying that it is not what we fear. . .

I hate to end on a bad note like that, so I will add that Aidan is all hugs these days.  Very loving and lovable.  He makes me so proud and he makes it so that, no matter what is going on in the world, I am one Happy Mama!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Bob Book Update

I'm so excited for Aidan!!!  He completed his third Bob Book yesterday!!!!  AND, when we did his flashcards yesterday morning, he zipped right through them!!!  That means we are only about a week away from buying him his first Hockey helmet. . .Bribe #1  :  )

And, he now knows all of the Presidents names, in order that they were President!!!  When he will sit still long enough, I'll get it on video.  Soooo cutre!!!

Way to go Aidan!!!!  Keep it up!!  I am soooo proud of you!!!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Fluffiness or Keeping it Real

I read a lot of blogs.  Some I really enjoy a lot, some I enjoy some times and some I check in every so often to see if the tenor of the writing has changed at all.  One of the things I see often. . .sometimes too often. . .is something called "Keeping it real." 

I'm all about being real.  I don't like to sugar coat things.  But, when it comes to my son, the real that I focus on is his progress in this world.  Progress means moving forward.  Regress is moving backward.  I like the progress he makes.  In fact, I love the progress he makes.  Sometimes the process of getting to that progress is a bit messy, but it is still progress. 

My son is no saint.  Nor am I.  In fact, although I have met some really wonderful people in this world, I don't think I have ever met a saint!  That being said, we do have our moments, on a daily basis, when I wonder if we will make progress this day.  But I have to say, that at the end of the day, when I review the whole day in it's entirety, progress has happened.  And that is good.  And I celebrate it!  Without getting mired in the muck of the bad temper/angry words/bad behavior.

When I write on this blog, I want a record of Aidan's progress.  I don't want to get mired in the negativity.  There is entirely too much in this world as it is.  Isn't there enough of that on television without having it seep into our everyday lives???  That negativity is a bad habit that must be broken.  Focus on the positive, the progress and see how it changes your life.  Patience, kindness and understanding increase. . .toward everyone.

Just my thoughts on that subject. . .now back to my fluffiness!