Aidan at Beach

Aidan at Beach

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Mommies Aren't Supposed To Ask About That!

Today, I took Aidan up to the Ice House to buy his first Hocky skates (we've been using rentals until now), hockey socks, a mouth guard, and. . .um. . .a cup.  When we got there, I told the guy behind the counter that we needed several things, so he turned to a young high school boy and told him he was up.  The boy came around the counter and I told him we needed skates, socks and a cup. . .he froze.  Then he stared at me and I said, "Coach Joe said an Extra small would probably work."  He continued to give me that deer in the headlights look.  So I said, "Let's start with the skates."

Looking relieved and unfreezing a bit, the boy led us over and we went through the skates with me saying something about not wanting to spend $100 on skates that would be outgrown in six months.  He chose some nice sturdy skates that cost me $60.00, including the sharpening, sized Aidan's foot and went off to get them out the stock in back. 

When he came back, he set a package next me and skuttled quickly around to fit the skates on Aidan.  Looking down, I noticed that he had put the hockey cup next to me on the bench (neat little thing that fits into a pair of shorts for under the hockey shorts!) and I said, "Oh!  This will work perfectly!"  Again with the frozen stare and the look that said, "You are not really talking to me about that, right??"  And I said, "I know.  Mommies aren't supposed to ask about that, right?"  He smiled and giggled a bit and then led us over to get the knit socks for over the shin and knee pads. . .

I think he was happy when the skates were sharpened and we left the Pro Shop.

What a funny experience!!!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Strep Throat and Mini Mites

I should have known something was brewing. . .

Saturday, a friend of mine came over with her 4 year old daughter and we went ice skating while daddy slept.  We had a blast.  Aidan insisted on wearing all of his hockey gear and it turned out to be a good idea. . .he was able to get his ice legs going with all of the gear before we started Mini Mites. 

Afterward, daddy was up so we ordered pizza and had an early dinner and then let the kids play in the sprinkler.  We all had a blast.  Our friends left a little after 6 and we were able to have an early evening--rare, to say the least, especially for a weekend!!

Sunday, Aidan and I went back to St. James', and he skipped again on the way into the building.  Funny little man.  He was good as gold. . .until we got home.  That was when things started to go downhill.  He was ugly and mean and even spit at me at one point.  I couldn't believe it!  He did end up saying, by the end of the day, that his throat hurt and so did his head.  I bundled him into bed early and hoped for the best.

Monday, he seemed better.  He said his throat still hurt but that he felt fine.  He was definitely acting much better.  But his teachers told Pat at pick up time that he seemed tired and lethargic all day.  Definitely not his unually overly rambunctious Aidan-self.  Hmmmm. . .

Tuesday, he still didn't seem like he was sick.  He was a little whiny and I realized he hadn't been eating well, but no fever and he said his throat didn't hurt anymore.  So, I took him to school.  But, he was rubbing at his tummy when I dropped him off, so I pulled up his shirt and then saw a strawberry- like rash on his tummy and chest.  It was unusual and nothing I'd ever seen before.  I asked if it bothered him and he said no.  I showed it to his teacher and aked her to call me if it got worse or if it started bothering him or became a distraction to other children.

I called the pediatrician as soon as I got to work and made an appointment for 2:30 and then called the school to tell them I would be picking him up at 2:00.  They were about to call me to say it was bothering him.  After talking with them, they did say he was acting normal and seemed to be having a great time with his friends so we we all decided, together, to let him be unless it got worse and I would stick with the 2:00 pick up time.

Well, the first thing out of the pediatricians mouth was: probably Strep Throat. . .oh man. . .so they did a quick test that usually takes 5 minutes to get the results.  1 1/2 minutes later, they came back in to say it was positive.  Boy did I feel bad!!

But, we got home early enough to get two doses in on Tuesday and then dosed up again yesterday.  By yesterday afternoon, Aidan was eating everything in site, the rash was nearly gone (just a little left in the groin area by then) and he was climbing the walls wanting to go outside to play!  He and daddy ended up talking me into letting him go to Mini Mites last night. . .sheesh!!  Being ganged up on by two boys is not fun!  : )

So, off to Mini Mites we went!  Where Aidan had so much fun!!!  He and about 26 or 27 other little boys aged 5-7 were on the ice for an hour doing speed skills, foot skills, stick skills and then they even split up and played a couple of little mini games.  It was really fun to watch!!  He even told Coach Rob when they were coming off the ice that he wanted to play more. . .couldn't they stay on the ice longer??  The coach was so amused he came over to tell us.  What a funny little guy! 

And here he is.  Hopefully, we can get more video as he goes along to see his progress.

This weekend we plan to get him the socks and the skates.  We'll take that leap now since he seems to really like this and is having fun.

And now, back to work and school for the two of us.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Negative Ghost Rider, the Pattern Is Full

Whew!!  Before we get into this weekends parties, celebrations and social engagements, I better tell you about the fun we had last weekend!!

In addition to Aidan's graduation ceremony, which I already told you about, we had two birthday parties, a resumption of going to our old church, and a date at the pool.  First the parties:

Saturday, we took Aidan to a party for one of his best girls at the Curiosity Shop in Ashburn.  Adorable!  When we got there, the children put on lab coats and then sat down to make sidewalk chalk:

Then they made some floam. . .what in the heck is floam????  And then some playdough.  Everything was done using beakers and test tubs and all of the ingredients were explained.  Really fun! 

And the children got to bring their creations home too!    : \
Sidewalk chalk

Floam--what do you do with this stuff???


Then the children hung up their lab coats and went in to have pizza and cake and make their own drink using dry ingredients and water, test tubes and beakers!  Of course, Aidan and Jack had more fun with the party hats. . .

Then, on Sunday afternoon, we were off to another party for a friend which was done by Reptiles Alive!  Totally cool  The children saw turtles, snakes, an Albino Python!, an Aligator, lizards, etc. . .they loved it!

We also went back to our old church for services Sunday morning because Aidan has been after me to do so.  When we got there, he actually skipped up the sidewalk on the way to the church building.  They do have an awesome Youth Program. . .I guess Aidan has decided where we will be going.  I just have to shut my mouth about my irritations and go with what he likes and feels more comfortable with.  It is about him at this point.

Sunday afternoon, Pat had to go to work and Aidan and I went off to the pool. . .for a couple of hours only!  We had to leave when the pool closed due to a terrible storm that came up.  We got home before it started, but boy was it a doozy!  The roof was awesome but we went to the basement anyway. 

And now, this weekend we have a Graduation Party, get together with friends for pool time and dinner, and then Father's Day is Sunday.  Whew!  I'm ready for a quieter social calendar!  We cannot put another thing on our calendar between now and the time we go on vacation. . .it is completely full!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Our First Graduation Ceremony

Time passes as surely as the sun rises and sets.  And yet, I still can't believe my baby is now really ready for Kindergarten!  Ready he is, though.  And just to prove it, his school held a Graduation Ceremony for all Pre-Kindergartners and they graduated into being Rising Kindergartners. . .Here are some pictures.

After getting their hats on, the children walked into the big room where us parents, and a lot of extended family, waited.  They lined up and then sang us their graduation song.

Well, for some reason, Blogger is having a difficult time uploading the video of that.  I'll keep trying, because it really is very cute.

After that, one of the teachers had put together a disc of pictures that showed first pictures of the chilren, first as babies and then as they are now; then there were pictures of the children throughout the year doing all of thier activities,and finally of the children at the end of the year.  There was also a section showing the children singing the songs they learned: The Planets, The Presidents, The Continents, etc.  Each of us parents received a copy of this disc.  How cool!

Then the children received their Graduation Certificates!

Several of the children will be gone as of Monday and several more will be moving up to the Big Kids room as of Monday.  Aida will still in the Pre-K class along with about six or seven other children until they move up in late August.  It works out because one of the children staying with Aidan will be in his Kindergarten class.  Miss Mandy, Aidan's teacher is moving to the Big Kid room effective June 20th and will be in charge of the Kindergarten children beginning in the fall.  So, he will have her again next year!  This will work out awesome for him.

But, for now, the curriculum will be loosened up and a lot more fun time will be had by the children for the next two months.  We will continue to do our Bob Books at night (I found the next two sets) so he doesn't lose any of his reading skills. 

And so, it is now officially Summer time.  Sort of!  : )

Friday, June 10, 2011

Summery Swelter and New Roofs

I am going to try very hard to not complain and whine about the heat this least until August!  : )

We have been having some extreme heat.  This week started out hot and humid (mid 90's) and then got hotter (100's!!).  Wednesday and Thursday were over 100--I think I heard 102 down in Washington, D. C. and it is possible we were about 103 or 104 degrees!  Yikes!  And summer doesn't officially start for over a week!  Add in some humidity--it was about 78% yesterday afternoon--and you have a recipe for major heat exhaustion/heat stroke/general miserableness. 

And we had our roof replaced this week!

On Easter, we had a terrible thunderstorm with very intense wind and hail.  Enough so that Aidan was very scared and I took him to the basement.  We may have had a tornado just north of us, but if so I am certain it was not very bad.  But, the storm caused some major damage to our roof that is always under wind attack.  We had it checked out and sure enough, we needed the entire thing replaced. 

After working with a few contractors, we finally chose a local one, Piedmont Roofers and they began the process of replacing our roof with a brand new beautiful roof that is supposed to withstand major wind of 80 to 100 miles per hour and comes with a 30 year warranty!!  Woo Hoo!!

Last Sunday, we went to Costco to do our usual re-stocking of some supplies and meats and bought a few other things as well, including an entire case of water and an entire case of Gatorade.  I gave my husband a look of incredulaty because he rarely drinks Gatorade and we had a case and a half of water at home.  But, I didn't say anything (unusal for me) and we went about the rest of our business and then paid. 

Come Monday, we saw how hot it was supposed to be and we decided to leave the roofers a cooler of iced water and some of the Gatorade.  Turns out there were only two guys doing our roof--thus why it took four days--and one of them had to leave early on Wednesday because the heat was making him feel sick.  They went through the entire case of Gatorade and the entire case of water!!  Yikes!!  I can't even imagine how hot it must have been up on that roof.

Last night, after dinner, Pat took our Recycling out and came back in, just as a thunderstorm was getting started (that included hail!!) and he had a note from our roofers.  They thanked us for the drinks and being such a nice family!  They really appreciated us! Wow.  

Ever realize belatedly how God is using you???

Our new roof is really beautiful and it held up awsomely in last nights storm. . .even though Aidan still insisted on sleeping with us!  : )

Speaking of Aidan, here he is on a recent Fishing Expedition in Aldie, Virginia a couple of weeks ago.  He caught his first fish!!!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Wordy Wednesday

Our roof is finally being replaced.  After not getting a call back from the first company who had done an estimate and then calling several other companies for estimates, we finally decided to go with one who is in our area.  They started on Monday and will hopefully be finished today or tomorrow.  Gotta say that the part that is complete looks fantastic!  And, they are cutting in the place for an attic fan that Pat will install. . .And they came in $200. lower than the insurance approved estimate.  We do feel badly for the workers though.  Of course it has been VERY HOT this week with today's temperature going up to around 97--plus humidity!!  So, we have set them up with a cooler of water and Gatorade and told them they can take a break in the shade of our trees when they need to.  We did, however, have to ask them to stop for the night last night at 8:30.  I know they wanted to do a much as they could in the cooler part of the day, but it was bedtime!! 

We had our Spring Parent Teacher conference with Aidan's teacher last week.  He is doing phenominally well.  He has tested above and well above in all subjects!  And, like we didn't know, his best and favorite subject is Science.  His teacher said that when they do Science, Aidan's attention is rapt and he asks tons of questions wanting to know exactly how it all works out and fits together, etc.  His only area needing improvement is that he has a hard time sitting still for too long.  I don't think that is a problem so much in that he is just a very active 5 year old boy!! 

Several of Aidan's friends are moving up a level at is Preschool for the summer and several more are leaving for the summer.  This is going to be a hard transition because a lot of the children won't be back next fall.  However, the group he will be with does include a couple of children that he will be going to Kindergarten with so that will be nice.  The summer program begins next Monday.  Already!!

An update on my mom:  She does have some new cancer cells in the area that was reconstructed 6 years ago.  She will be having surgery next Wednesday to remove these new cells.  Our concern is that this area should not have new cells because it is reconstructed.  So, we are worried that there is another area of cancer that has not been found as yet feeding this spot.  So far, my mom has refused to have further tests done.  Maybe the doctor in Las Vegas will talk to her about this some more.  Prayers for this, please.

Another cancer update (don't you just HATE cancer???):  My friend Dana has now had two Gamma knife surgeries on her brain lesions down at UVA.  She had good results the first time and we're hopeful that this second one will be equally successful.  However, a new lesion was found on her spine.  She will be having some tests done soon to determine the extent of that situation.  Prayers for her, too, please.

And because I refuse to let cancer have the last word. . .

We've been sooooo busy lately that this is the typical scene of the backseat when we go anywhere or get home from anywhere:

Isn't he just the cutest????  I'm so proud of him and sooo full of love for him!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Counting Down To Driving

Every time we come home from anywhere, Aidan always asks if he can drive the car on our driveway.  Yes, he is only five, but Pat has granted this request several times.  It's usually in the Neon--very small car.  Aidan will sit on Pat's lap and "drive" (control the steering wheel) and Pat will handle the gas and the brakes.  No harm done.  Aidan loves it because he can honk the horn as much as he likes!  I'm sure the neighbors love it!

So, as with most kids growing up, he has a taste for driving. 

And for cars.

Pretty much his favorite car has always been a Corvette.  Daddy has one (an old one, 1973, that basically sits in the garage).  Rob has one.  KK has one.  He sees them all over the place.  I think he actually likes them better than Ferrari's, which we also see all over the place.

So, the conversation that occurred the other night at dinner should not have been a surprise to me.

Aidan:  Now I'm five.  Next I'll be six.  Then seven.  Then eight.  Then nine.  Then I'll be ten!!! (holding up two hands and showing all ten fingers).  Then I can drive!!!

Uh oh. . .counting down to driving already?????

And this was then fed further by Daddy, who said, "Yeah Buddy!  We'll fix up Daddy's Corvette and you can drive that when you are in High School!"

I got trouble coming. . .Thanks be to God the High School is just around the corner!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Family Traditions

I have written a couple of articles for the newsletter of our agency, Bethany Christian Services.  The first one was about being a Working Mother, which I have to admit, I initially wrote a bit defensively because of a comment about me wanting to have it all.  It still worked out okay.  For the July newsletter, I was asked to write one about Family Traditions.  It's really perfect timing what with summer time and Independence Day and Family vacations. . .the mind automatically goes to what the family traditions are for this time of year.  And so, without further ado, I share my article with you about Family Traditions.

Krasniy Ugol—Beautiful Corner

By Stacy Harrison

Each family has its own traditions.  What these constitute generally depends upon the makeup and geographic location of the family.   Webster’s Dictionary definition for “Tradition” is 1): an inherited, established, or customary pattern of thought, action, or behavior (as a religious practice or a social custom.)  2): the handing down of information, beliefs, and customs by word of mouth or example from one generation to another without written instructions.   One of the definitions for “Family” is designed or suitable for both children and adults.  This second definition changed for us three years ago when we brought Aidan home from Russia.  The first definition also changed, but more in a manner of adding new cultural traditions to our already established family traditions.  But let me start at the beginning.
A family naturally changes its makeup when a child is added.  Ours changed dramatically from a two income, no kids “family” to one that included a kid a little more than three years ago.  And, we had been a two income no kids “family” for 21 years.  21 years during which we had established our own traditions of customs we cherished from our childhoods:  beach vacations in the summer; family Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter; weekly or biweekly date nights of us or us and friend’s. . .and then we went to Russia. . .and brought home Aidan. . .life changed forever.
The idea of adoption was not a new one to us, or the Harrison family, when we decided to adopt.  In fact, you could call adoption a family tradition.  On the day that Aidan was baptized, I overheard my father-in-law, immense pride and love dripping from his voice, tell the priest about how adoption was a family tradition.  You see, my mother-in-law was adopted as an infant, my husband (and his sister) were adopted as infants, and now our son, Aidan, is the third generation Harrison continuing our family tradition of adoption.  What a blessing to be a part of this wonderful family tradition!  Adoption was always something we wanted to pursue.  We just took longer pursuing it than we had thought we would. 
So, what do we do now as a family of three?  Well, we have continued the traditions we already had in place: we go to the beach every summer; we have extended family for Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter; we go to the 4th of July parade and the Halloween parade here in Leesburg.  And this summer we’ll be taking Aidan to Disneyland, yes “land” because that is where Mama went as a child, where I am from.  And, now we have added some other things from our youth: sports and music.
We have also added some other traditions in our household to recognize the International flavor of our family: we included Father Frost in our Christmas decorations, (a uniquely Russian decoration and story similar to Father Christmas); we have a Russian Easter Egg; and we talk about “what time is it right now in Russia?”   We also take day trips to Washington, D. C. and Mt. Vernon frequently to wander the museums and see the historic sites that are so close to our home, comparing them to what we saw in Moscow, of course.  We hope to add Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, Philadelphia, and Monticello this summer to our repertoire.
We also have, what is called, in Russia, a Beautiful Corner, or a Krasniy Ugol.  I love that it is called Krasniy Ugol.  In Russian, Krasniy means both Beautiful and Red.  This is typically a place where icons and special pictures are that the family can go to for worship.  This was very important to a peoples who had nothing else religious available for over 70 years.  Aidan is from Krasnoyarsk—Beautiful Hills or Red Hills, whichever definition you decide to use.  And so, I have created a place on our main level, with a background of red on which hangs iconic pictures that we took of Russia, some having to do with Krasnoyarsk and others of Red Square—Krasnaya pl√≥shchad, but all are beautiful.    
This past Christmastime, I had lost track of what Aidan was up to while I got us ready to go one morning.  All of a sudden I heard Tchaikovsky’s music for The Nutcracker.   Ironic.  I looked over to the family room and saw my young son absolutely mesmerized by the television.  I walked over to see what he was watching.  It was, in fact, the ballet The Nutcracker.  I said, “Aidan, do you like this?”  Oh, yes, Mama!  Especially the music!!  I anticipate that going to see The Nutcracker at the Kennedy Center will become a new tradition this coming Christmas.