Aidan at Beach

Aidan at Beach

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Tuesday Tidbits

Well, we are packing up and getting ready to head west for our family vacation.  We're very excited about it all except for the fact that our flight leaves tomorrow morning at 6:00 am. . .Yes, 6:00 am!!  What was I thinking??? 

We dropped Mosby off with Grandma and Grandpa last night and tonight we will drop Maggie off to visit with her brother, Mosby Junior.  We will miss them!  Our neighbor will come and take care of Cleo kitty. 

I haven't posted many pictures lately and will try, on this post, to get copies uploaded of Aidan's latest school pictures.  They are really cute.  But, I do promise to have tons of pictures of our trip upon our return!  Desert, Disney and beach. . .it's going to be great!!

Meanwhile, I have a few really funny Aidan stories to share, and some are even at my own expense, so prepare yourselves!

First, this past weekend, I took Aidan to the pool on Saturday to try and cool off.  We had fun with some friends and I realized that my son has all of a sudden become a fish!  There may even be gills growing behind his ears!!  I am an over protective mom so this was a hard fact for me to realize.  : )  We stayed at the pool for about 2 1/2 hours and then came home.  It was actually only marginally refreshing because it was soooo hot!!!  Friday had been 106 with a 118 heat index and Saturday was only slightly better.  Yuck!

Sunday, Aidan and I went to the ice rink, where it was much much cooler, and practices stopping and one foot skating.  While there, we saw Coach Joe from Mini Mites.  Coach Joe is awesome and even took Aidan over to the other rink for about 15 minutes of one on one time.  By the time we left, Aidan was really stopping good!  Thank you Coach Joe.  I also had the opportunity to talk to him about what to sign Aidan up for this fall.  Mini Mites is during the week in the middle of the day--not feasible for us due to Kindergarten and Day Care.  So, the option will be to sign him up for Saturday mornings for the hour lesson and the regular 1/2 hour lesson on Sunday.  He'll be ready to play in the Spring this way and then next year we can sign him up for Mites, the House League.  Coach Joe assured me that Aidan is strong enough to skate with the bigger boys and this way he can continue to learn what he has been learning this summer.  Cool!

The electronic board has gone out in my Tahoe and I can no longer tell what speed I am going.  The Grmin has a spedometer so we are safe and able to still go the speed limit.  But, Aidan is fascinated by this.  He is constantly asking, "Mama, are you going the speed lemon??  I'm not sure because your menometer isn't working.  It says 120!"  We are getting the thing replaced, after our vacation, to the tune of $1,000!  Grr. . . .

This weekend, we were in the basement trying to sort through and clean up some of the toys. . .man does that kid have a lot of cars and trucks!!  I had turned the TV on to provide something for Aidan to do for those moments when I didn't want him seeing where some of his old toys were going.  At one point a Lifeline commercial came on and Aidan got very excited and said, " Mama!!!  Look!!!  This is what you need so if you fall you won't be alone and can call someone!!"  I love that kid.  It only hurt a little and thne only because this wasn't too long after the "I don't want you to get older because you might shrink." comment.  I think he might take good care of me when I get old. . .although it looks like he'll insist on a Lifeline!!  : )

My son has an absolute fascination with fire.  He talks about fire trucks, smoke detectors and burning buildings quite a bit.  And when he isn't, he is making up things and playing with them.  Sunday evening, he built this thing out of his Kinex that was like a large block but had things coming off it in the front and back.  He explained to me that it shoots fire out the front and can also shoot fire out the back and that if they shot fire from the front and back at the same time, "It will splode the house, Mama!"  Where does he get this stuff????

Well, I'm having touble loading the pictures but promise to get them onto this post today sometime.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Grab a Glass. . .

I have to whine a little and am willing to share!

It's the excessive heat.  I know I wasn't whining about it the other day, but now I am.  I. am. so. hot!!  I probably shouldn't be whining about this.  Afterall, we do have wonderful air conditioning in our home. . .we replaced our air conditioner 2 years ago and it is working beautifully; we have fantastic ceiling fans in all four bedrooms, plus two more on the main level, and three in the basement. . .and they are/have been running continuously; we have room darkening shades and curtains on all bedroom windows closed up tight and insulated shades on our southwestern facing windows also closed up tight. . .our house is comfortably cool. . .and dark. . .and yet I find myself wanting to knock that thermostat down a couple more degrees!  But I dare not. . .the husband might not like it. . .he does work for the power company and would likely give me the evil eye for doing such a dastardly deed.

Aye me. . .

I do know that those Rec Room ceiling fans in the basement work wonderfully especially when I am running on the treadmill in the morning. . .wish I had thought of that before!!!

How did my Siberian son learn to love such heat????  Oh yeah.  It's probably a memory of the hot hot buildings in Russia. . .

Better go so I can call him back inside to cool down before bedtime. 

Night y'all!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

A Mid Summer Review

For me, normally summer doesn't fly by.  In fact, the deeper we get into summer, time tends to begin to go slower and slower and sloooowwwweeeer. . . This year things seem to be so much different!

I wouldn't have expected it to go this fast, especially because we don't really have football to look forward to--normally by now I would be doing a major countdown to Pre-Season, but with the lock out continuing, the likelihood of having a season at all is looking dimmer and dimmer.  And so I have set my sights on just enjoying hockey by itself this year.

And with the weather having been several days of intense hot followed by a few hours of nice and then several days of intense hot, that would normally make me say ARGGGHHH!!!  I am done with summer!!  I'm not much of an intense heat fan.  I love the nice fresh days of Spring and the cool refreshing days of Autumn. . .

So, why is this summer going so fast?  I am chalking it up to having an active school age child in my life.  Each week we have spent Wednesday evening at the Ice House while Aidan has Mini Mites Hockey--which he absolutely loves and counts down the days for!; the weekends we have been going to the pool one day and the Ice House to practice our moves the other day; every night after bath we have been outside trying to catch fireflies--we even have a special jar for this purpose. .. just wish Aidan would let the poor things live!; and now we're on the countdown to our vacation-- 1 1/2 more weeks till we see Nana and two weeks until we're at Disneyland!!  Woo Hoo!

And here's another reminder that the summer is going fast. . .when we return from vacation, it will only be 3 weeks until school starts!  Yikes!!

So this week I have decided to pull all of Aidan's winter clothes out, sort through them, and see what still fits.  This way I can make a list of what we need before school starts.  The weekend we return is Virginia's tax free weekend: everything that is clothing or school supply related is tax free.  I will stock up on socks, underpants, jeans, long sleeved shirts, sneakers, jacket, snow pants, pajamas, and I even have the supply list he will need for Kindergarten so I can buy all of that as well.  The thing that is really cool is that LLBean usually has a big sale to get rid of last years snow gear during that same weekend--50 to 75% off and free shipping.  Two years ago, I bought Aidan's jacket and snow pants for a total of $40 and it was tax free!  And they lasted two years (buy too big and roll up the sleeves).  Not bad for forty bucks!

And Aidan is being a true kid:  he looks like he is growing like a weed this summer!  Everytime I look at him, he seems bigger than the last time.  He is the same height he was on his birthday: 3 feet 10 inches; and his weight has been pretty steady at about 48 to 49 pounds.  But, he looks more solid, like he's filling out.  I bought him some jeans the other day--all of his jeans were either too short or they had major holes in the knees--because they had picture day on a pony at school last Friday (cute!).  I wanted him to wear something that was halfway decent and his idea of wearing shorts with his cowboy boots was not hitting so well with this Mama.  I bought him 6 Regular Levis.  I did pull the tags over to the fourth hole inside the waistband (love those things) and they were still a little baggy, but the length was perfect!  I guess I'll be buying 6 Slims during tax free weekend!!

Some other growing up changes I have noticed in Aidan is that his attention span is getting longer and more focused.  He still gets distracted sometimes--during hockey, he watches the other group but does come back to focus back in on the group he is in quicker and easier than before.  He is also showing some amazing advances in swimming.  The little bit Pat and I have worked with him at the pool are really showing up in how strong he is getting in the water.  He still wants to go and do things that are beyond his ability, and really has no fear of the water whatsoever, but I think these are normal  progressions for a child his age. 

So, the other things I have left to do this summer will be to watch for swimming lesson sign ups for this fall-I think Aidan will do well in the lessons again to refine his form; and to watch for hockey sign ups, also for this fall. . .Fall is shaping up to be quite busy around here!!

And so, our itenerary for today: Church followed by a little grocery shopping; then off to the ice house to practice our moves; then daddy and Aidan will go to the pool while Mama gets dinner started and starts making Bread and Butter Pickles with the avalanche of cucumbers that we have coming in. . .next weekend will be stewed tomatoes time!

ahhhhhh. . .a nice quiet Summer Sunday!!!  Enjoy yours!!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

An Ironic Uproar

Ironically, yesterday many American families who have adopted children from Russia, celebrated along with Russia on the 450th anniversary of St. Basil's Cathedral.  Most of us posted iconic pictures of our new families posed in front of St. Basil's that we took on our trips home with our children.  For us, this picture was taken on the same day that we had received our Immigrant Visa approval for Aidan to come home.  Huge celebration!

I say this is ironic because also yesterday, on that momenteous anniversary, another announcement was made:

Sometime today or tomorrow, the United States and Russia will finally sign the Bilateral Adoption Agreement.  For the most part, it does not affect us or our completed adoption.  However, there is wording in there that indicates that part of the agreement will be retroactive to 16 years back: we will now have to report annually to the Russian government about our children until they reach the age of 18. 

On the one hand this makes me angry that my government would come to an agreement which is contrary to what we agreed to, with the Russian judge (a representative of the Russian government), under oath, and which we have fully and happily complied with.  It makes me feel a bit like a criminal who has done something wrong. . .

However, on the other hand, my child is a Russian citizen.  Therefore, as such, he is entitled to the protections that the Russian government can provide him. . .although he is fully protected under US law as well.  I suppose I can understand that the Russian government wants to keep track of their own. . .the US government would do the same, right???

I believe, hopefully, that we won't have to engage the services of our Adoption Agency--not that we don't love them, but because of the cost!  I think we will have to fill out a report and submit pictures, all apostilled, of course, on an annual basis, directly to our region.  This is not expensive, nor is it difficult.  If that is all it will take to keep the Russian's happy, I'll be happy to comply.  But it still feels a bit like my own government just stuck a thorn in my side. 

Additional irony was provided in the news yesterday about Tory Hansen, the woman who sent her Russian son back to Russia by himself on a plane.  It was announced that the Russian government is suing her for child support!  I hope they win.  She is legally still the mother of that child (who is also an American citizen, by the way) because she did not take legal steps to reverse the adoption order.  She made it diffult to impossible for many people who were in the process of bringing their children home to complete their processes.  Just desserts for her.

The uproar happened when this news broke.  The two Russian adoption Facebook groups I am a part of erupted with all kinds of hateful things to say.  I agree we should be angry with the likes of Tory Hansen.  However, we should also remember that our children are citizens of Russia (as well as the US) and one day, when they are old enough, they will understand better from where they have come.  We don't need to be putting our thoughts and angry emotions on them. 

I want my son to be proud of who he is.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Happy Birthday St. Basil's Cathedral!

Today marks the 450th Anniversary of the opening of St. Basil's Cathedral. 

The popular thought on the creation of this cathedral is that Ivan the Terrible, or rather Ivan Grozny (awesome), had it built to be the greatest and most beautiful cathedral in the land and then blinded the builder so that he could not build another one like it. 

Our Coordinator tried to tell us that this is just a myth.  Okay.  But Ivan did kill his son in a fit of rage. . .not really a nice guy.

But the cathedral is really beautiful.  And it is awesome.  It sits at the far end of Red Square with the Kremlin on the right and GUM Department Store on the left.  When you walk onto Red Square, the road rises before you and the cathedral is not in full site.  But, when you walk up the Square, it rises before you and then ultimately is in full majestic site. 

For a Westerner who grew up during the Cold War and seeing the Soviet troops marking on Red Square on May Day, the fact that we were walking freely on Red Square was incredible enough.  But to also see St. Basil's. . .wow.

We toured the nine chapels, on Good Friday in the Western Church, that make up this cathedral while in Moscow and it is truly a unique sight.  The walls are covered in Icons and the smell of incense is everywhere.  It was definitely worth the rubels we spent to see it.  And then later, we took Aidan there to see it and have our first family picture taken.

The best picture, though, was one we took in November on our first trip.  I don't have it on this computer or I would share it--it is on my Russia wall, though.  It was a cold grey day and snowed off an on so some of the domes had snow on them.  The colors, though, really stood out much more vibrantly than on a sunny day.  I think the backdrop of the grey sky is what did it.

So, Happy 450th St. Basil's cathedral!  May your beauty continue to delight and mesmerize people for generations to come!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Don't Forget The Puma's, Mama!

Ok.  I admit it.  I succumbed to the toy gun dilemma and allowed my young son to talk me into buying him a small nerf gun. (he was really really good at church!)  It shoots little dart things that stick to windows and doors.  I admonished sternly that we don't shoot people or dogs or cats.  If he even points the thing at any one of these, it will be taken away immediately, no chances.  He agreed.  Then we began discussing what was permissible to be shot. . .

So, Aidan, what can you shoot with your nerf gun?

I can shoot windows, doors, fences, trees. . .and Bad Boy Bears, deer AND Pumas!


Oh yes!  Pumas are really bad!!  Don't forget the Pumas, Mama!!

LOL!!!  Where in there world did he get Pumas from???  LOL!!!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Put Cancer On Ice

As most of you know, my mom has battled cancer off and on for a little over 12 years.  It has not been pretty nor has it been fun.  But, I am happy to say that the most recent bout is over and she is, once again, enjoying reasonably good health.  Thanks be to God!  The power of prayer really came through here!

As some of you also know, my dear friend Dana has not been so lucky.  She has not done as well and things look a little more dire each time I hear an update on her prognosis.  As you will perhaps remember, the doctors had said in December 2009 that she would not see Easter 2010.  So, we celebrate a simple victory over this insidious disease now that she has made it to July 2011! 

Dana underwent Gamma knife surgery on the brain tumors in January of this year down at UVA hospital.  It was a success and she enjoyed some very positive results.  She was even able, for a short time, to resume driving some.  She underwent a second round of the Gamma knife surgery in early June and also had an MRI of her spine due to some difficulty in walking that had cropped up.  So far, the Gamma knife surgery results were good again.  However, the MRI revealed some new lesions on the spine.  A step forward and then a giant step backward.

Dana was admitted to Loudoun Hospital on Tuesday, July 5th to have an intense round of Chemotherapy directed at the lesion on the spine.  It is anticipated that she will remain in the hospital until next Monday or so.  While there, she will be doing much cleansing of her system to try an not have the organs over affected by the Chemo in the hopes that the treatment does not cause further damage to her already damaged poor body.  I ask that you join me in prayer for Dana and her husband Rob as they continue in this horrible fight.

Disease. . .dis ease. . .

In addition to prayer, here is an awesome link to an event that, I believe, is another great way to help fight this disease and find a cure.  

I think we'll go to this.  What a great way to have some fun while exposing my son to the idea of doing something good for a cause that means something to me and our family!  Perhaps we'll see you there!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Vacation Plans and Aidanisms

These have been some kind of busy times.  We haven't had an evening of quiet for a couple of weeks.  But, tonight, I think, we might be able to sit down for about an hour after dinner and actually do absolutely nothing!  Woo Hoo!!!  But we have been having fun. . .

And, in three weeks we will be on vacation!  First we will fly out to Las Vegas to visit my mom for a couple of days.  It will be hot--why do I always pick July and August to go to Vegas or Florida???  Is there any real wonder why I am not overly fond of those two places???--and we'll stay at her house for a couple of days.  I'm hoping to take Aidan to Hoover Dam and Red Rocks at the National Joshua Tree Forest.  If we go into Vegas itself, it will be to see the fountains at the Bellagio. Of course I'll probably have to blindfold him on the way there and then back out again.  Totally inappropriate place for young children!  While there, we'll see my Grandfather, who is 95 now, and hopefully one of my uncles.

Then we'll be driving down to Southern California where we will go to Disneyland for a couple of days and hang out in Newport Beach (the town I was born in) and Balboa.  I'd love to take Aidan on the Balboa Harbor Island Cruise where we can see som Sea Lions and the Lagoon from Gilligan's Island!  A chocolate covered frozen banana from the Fun Zone is a must, too.  We're hoping to see some of my cousins, a great aunt and some friends who live out there as well.  One thing I also want to do is to take Aidan to dinner at the North Woods Inn.  It's a great restaurant that I grew up going to.  Love it!

Then after about 5 or so days in Southern California, we'll drive back up to my moms house for another couple of days with her.  Then back home again where we will begin the mad dash to get ready for school!  There will only be three weeks of summer vacation left when we get home, but it will be fun times getting ready for Kindergarten!

To add to our fun, we're planning to take Flat Slapshot with us to take some pictures of him at different locations on our vacation.  Just a little fun that the CapsKids are doing. . .similar to the Flat Stanley concept.
Next year, we are already thinking we will stay on the East Coast and go back to a North Carolina beach.  We'll miss that this year, but we're going to have some fun at Disney!

Meanwhile, here are some recent Aidanisms. . .

-Mama, I don't want you to get old.  Well, honey, we all get older.  It's part of nature.  Yes, but you might shrink!!  (LOL!!!  This from my 3'10" child who will pass by his 5' 1" mama in about a year!)

-Capitals Rock!!!  The other team drools!!!  (hmmm. .  .he learned this at Mini Mites. . .)

-Mama, can we have breakfast at Rery Rogers like Daddy??  (Roy Rogers. . .we see Pat there frequently on our way to Daycare.)

-I don't want to be a big boy tonight!!!--said with tears in his eyes as I'm putting him to bed. . .sigh. . .yes, he slept with us after that one. . .

-Upon opening his eyes yesterday morning: I HAVE MINI MITES TONIGHT!!!
And now, I leave you with a little clip from the Mini Mites scrapping it up on the ice:

I think he's doing pretty darn good considering he is only five and half of the other boys are already seven!  He's holding his own and improves each week.  The main thing is that he is having all kinds of fun.  That is what it's all about. . .fun with kids his age doing something he really enjoys.  I think he might be old enough this fall and winter to actually take him to a Caps game.  Fun stuff!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

When in the Course of Human Events. . .

Ever really studied our Declaration of Independence?  The wording was truly Revolutionary. . .and still inspires.  Truthfully, I think it and the Constitution are still very relevant.  Thanks be to God for freedom like ours!!  When you go to a foreign country, the difference between our freedom and that which might be enjoyed elsewhere is bigger than huge.

Just some pictures from this past week. . .Aidan at Mini Mites. . .

Learning some foot skills. . .skating on one foot between two sticks.  He's doing pretty good with this.

 Working on his stick skills.  He has a soft touch with the puck and some great passing!!  The practice on the Pipe Stem with Daddy is really showing on the ice.
And playing the game. . .I could here Aidan from the stands yelling out, "Here!!  I'm open!"  and "Here!  I'm sending it to you!" 

And then we went to the Fourth of July parade yesterday.  My little Russian American cutie pie. . .insisted on jeans that had a hole in the knee, flip flops and his camoflage hunting hat to go with his sleeveless USA t-shirt. . .so like his Daddy!!!  : )

 A few of our favorite things from the parade. . .an old fire engine.. .

Aidan got a little flag to wave. . .

A giant flag. . .


A Unicyclist who was also juggling!!

And a whole lot of Corvettes, of which I am only showing three for the sake of brevity. . .

Aidan ended the afternoon at the park with a large lemonade. . .there weren't any moon bounces this year and the funnel cake wasn't ready yet. . .so we went back home where we had our smoked Carolina Barbaque and other goodies and ended with some home made Blackberry Cobbler and then. . .Fireworks!!!  Daddy even made it home in time for dinner!!!

Hope you had a great Fourth, too!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Crazy Busy--Happy Independence Day, early, y'all!!!

Really quick (sort of):

We have been super busy this past week.  We went to see Cars2 a week ago--great adult movie.  Not really what I would call a good G rated kid movie.  Maybe a PG13. . .the movie opened with bad cars catching a good car, torturing it and then killing it.  Not exactly what a 5 year old boy should see!  But, it was still an entertaining and fun movie.

Then we went out to dinner with Grandma and Grandpa to celebrate my birthday, which was actually Monday.  Yes, I'm a year older. . .let's not do numbers anymore, shall we???

Tuesday, we had dinner with friends after I had a pedicure--love that!!!  My feet are always happy for a time after a peduicure. . .

Wednesday was Mini Mites, more fun for Aidan!!  He is really loving this.  I'm already wondering if he will be content in lessons this fall.  Hopefully, there will be a Mini Mites program for the childrenb of his age group in the evening or on the weekend. 

Thursday we actually stayed home. . .Thanks be to God!!!  But we started having problems with our computer and with our TV's. . .a Verizon problem. . .

Friday we had dinner, again, with Grandma and Grandpa.!!!  Whew!!! 

Still with me??  Or did anyone drop off due to exhuastion from reading this??  I know I'm tired again thinking about it!!

Saturday we went to Costco while our housekeeper, who was supposed to come on Friday but forgot, came and cleaned for us (another Thanks be to God!!) and then we hit the pool for a few welcome hours of R and R.  Then we went to friends for a cook out!  Fun stuff!!

Today has been realtively quiet:  I went to church and had Altar Guild duty and the boys slept in.  Pat also called Verizon and dicovered our router had gone bad, arranged a temporary fix so we could use the computer and watch TV and our new router will come on Tuesday.  Then, after lunch, we all headed back to the pool for a nice relaxing afternoon.

Pat heads back to work tomorrow whle Aidan and I get to sleep in and then take in the Fourth of July parade, complete with the Fife and Drum Corps!  I'm fixing Carolina barbeque, baked beans, cole slaw, potatoe salad, deviled eggs, and Blackberry Cobbler and a few friends will come by for food, fun and fireworks.  We bought some fire works to supplement our wait time while at Costco yesterday.  I think the kids will love that along with the s'mores we'll fix too!

I have tons of pictures from this past week, one of which made it to the header.  I promise an all picture post soon!