Aidan at Beach

Aidan at Beach

Friday, December 30, 2011

Resolutions Smesolutions

Sometimes you just need to stop being so organized. . .if you can stand it that is! 

It's that time of year again where I am looking around at all of the things I want to do to get us more organized and to be better about so many things.  I have to say we did accomplish a lot this past year.  We are more organized in a lot of ways.  But, we still have a long way to go in others. 

One thing I really want to do this year is get better about staying disciplined about our meals even when Pat is working overtime.  I was doing really good until the earthquake/Hurricane Irene/October snow, which were quickly compounded by Hockey and Hunting!  Then everything fell apart and I have gained. . .big. . .so back to Weight Watchers I am going. . .tomorrow!!!  Wish me luck!  And strength and fortitude to stay disciplined!!!

This has been a really fun week.  Monday, Pat was off and we hung out as a family all day and even went to an early dinner together.  Tuesday was rainy so Aidan and I hung out in the basement reading: me and playing Mario Brothers: Aidan.  Wednesday was a big day.  We bought a piano from some folks who are moving to a smaller house and Wednesday was the big day when it was delivered.  Check it out!!! 

I love it: it's a 1910 Sheidmeyer Grand piano and it takes up about half of our living room, but isn't it great???

Thursday, our friends Kelly and Catherine came over and we all piled into the Tahoe and headed down to D.C. to hit a museum or two. . .it ended up being just one, but we tried!  We took the metro for part of the trip and then did the Air and Space Museum where we saw all kinds of different planes, missiles and even a movie of the last Discovery Shuttle Lift Off!

Then, today, I took Aidan down to the Kettler Iceplex and watched the Caps practice!!!  Awesome stuff!!!

I got some video too, but it won't upload. . .I'll keep trying!

We really had so much fun!  We're going to go again on Monday with Daddy!!! 

And so, as far as resolutions are concerned, I'm just going to try and keep being a better Mama/wife/person and get back to Weight Watchers!  I think that will be all I can handle for a while. . .

Monday, December 26, 2011

Merry Merry Christmas! Merry Merry Christmas! Ho Ho Ho!! Ho Ho Ho!!!

Well, I would have to say that this is the year of the video game and hockey clothes.  What an awesome Christmas we had!

Christmas Eve, Aidan and I did some final touches around the house: put up the Christmas Cards we had received, rearranged the presents one last time after getting all the final ones wrapped, and we got the table set with our latest Center Piece idea--borrowed from Colonial Williamsburg, of course.

Dinner was a festive affair complete with English poppers that had crowns in them!  We had our usual Prime Rib roast with roasted potatoes and some Red Cabbage Salad on the side.  Dessert was a choice of Cheesecake Factory cheescakes and coffee. 

Later in the evening, the Baby Jesus was put in the manger, stockings were hung, the Night Before Christmas read, and cookies were put out for Santa. . .and Aidan had to say goodbye to Steopa the elf, who goes back home to the North Pole--he'll be back next year!!

Christmas morning, Aidan actually slept in until 8:00!!  He hasn't been feeling too well lately, so I was very glad he slept so late. 

After stockings, we were off to the Living Room to open gifts!  Aidan was surprised to receive not only the skate board and guitar he asked for, but also a really cool telescope--that we need to figure out how to use!!!  He aslo got some really cool hockey clothes from Aunt Gini and Uncle Dennis and a super cool BlackHawks sweatshirt from Aunty Amy and Uncle Todd!!   But, the big hits were the Ovie jersey, Leap Pad and the Mario Brothers for Wii. . .we may have to put time limits on the Leap Pad--after school gets back in, of course!!

There was a point, just like last year, at which time Aidan needed a break from presents.  Fortunately, I had it planned this year to have breakfast at that time and had a Southwestrn Quiche and Orange Juice and coffee ready. 

Later in the day, Aunt Gladys and cousin Kurt came and we exchanged gifts with them and then sat down to a nice Ham dinner catered by Grandma and Grandpa--Thank you!!  Thank you!!!  Thank you!!!

After everyone went home, Aidan went back to the Mario Brothers while I took a bit of a nap before bed. . .exhaustion has set in. . .

But we have a fun week of activities planned for this week off!!!  Stay tuned for more information!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Eve of the Eve of Christmas Eve

I'm so tired. . .We've been so busy!!!  But, it's all been good stuff.

I've been wrapping a little at night and in the early morning, baking something nearly every night, making sure the house is still neat and still trying to keep up with my running--although, as my previous post suggests, my eating habits have taken a nose dive!

I have one more gift to buy and then wrap, which will happen tomorrow.  I have made Christmas dessert--white chocolate mousse stuffed in a chocolate tulip shell with crushed candy canes on top; Christmas Eve salad--red cabbage salad; am defrosting the Prime Rib Roast so I can start marinading it tomorrow and even found time to finally figure out how to set up Aidan's Leap Pad that Grandma and Grandpa are giving him!!!--the secret was in disabling the firewall, virus scan and the virus shield!  Now if I can just figure out have to re-enable those things!!!

Tonight we took Aidan ice skating.  Fun stuff!  And we got his picture taken by the tree at the Ice House:

I checked out the Stick and Shoot class that a friend has gotten him for Christmas. . .wow.  This is going to be fun for him.  Hopefully, Coach Joe will be able to be there with him and help him out.  Aidan really listens to him.  I'll find out for sure next week.

Aidan and I are both off now until January 3rd.  We're hoping Daddy can spend some good family time with us, too, but we will still have a lot of fun.  We have much planned!  So much so that that will need to be saved for another post.

Meanwhile, goodnight.  Sleep tight.  May your dreams be filled with sugar plum fairies and silvery Christmas bells. . . .

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Lessons in Discretion Needed

So, this morning, while making my bed, my young son came up behind me and said, "Mama!  You have a big bum!  I mean really big!"

Sigh. .  .gotta get back into the groove of watching what I eat.

Pat has been informed that we will now be back on a good eating plan beginning January 1. . .He thinks it's all Aidan's fault!  Of course, the big breakfasts and the going out don't help!  I can't blame me, ya know!  : )

Thursday, December 15, 2011

You Can Be Anything You Want, After Law School

One of the things I forgot to mention about our trip was our walk around the campus of William and Mary.

We have always told Aidan he can be anything he wants to be when he grows up. . .after he goes to Law School! He is so conditioned that he now says what he wants to be and then adds on after I finish Law School of course! He even said the other night that he wanted to play hockey instead of having a job. . .but he'lll finish Law School first! : ) Love it!

Well, folks, I think he should go to William and Mary! It's a great school, it's only three hours away so this Mama can go see her baby anytime. . .maybe we'll even move there!

So much history here!  The American troops were gathered and camped here in this depression area on the campus, in preparation for the fight with the English for our Independence . . .most of whom had been students at the college!

. . .And maybe I could even take classes there too!  Pat rolled his eyes at me more than once becuase I kept walking around and just staring and saying with that longing in my voice, "I want to go to school here."

It's a beautiful school and has such a great reputation. . .why not aim for the highest????  Did you know that it is the second oldest school in the USA?  Right behind Harvard! 

The school was named for King William III and his Queen, Mary II and was originally built in the late 1600's.  The main building is the Wren Building, named in honor of Christopher Wren, a great archetect/philosopher/alchemist in England who was actually still alive when the school was built! 
The Wren Building

It's a nice dream. . . .

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Twenty Five

Yep.  That's right.  Today is our Twenty fifth Anniversary!  Can you believe that???  It's hard for me to believe, so I can't really expect you to believe it. . .What's that?  What did we do to celebrate this momenteous occasion?  Well, pull up a chair and I'll tell you the story of our last several days of fun family time. . .

It began Thursday evening with us frantically trying to do some last minute packing to get out of town.  We had planned a get away. . .for the three of us because we're not ready to leave Aidan yet. . .to Colonial Williamsburg with a stint at Great Wolf Lodge thrown in for good measure.  We didn't really know what to expect for either place, so we sort of were packing on the fly without much of a plan.  It worked though!

We left Friday morning and drove the little more than three hours down to Williamsburg.  We arrived at about lunch time so we stopped to eat and then headed over to our hotel to check in.  Upon entering the hotel, Aidan immediately spied the pool--indoor, or course!--and began badgering us to go swimming!  But, we had plans to go to Colonial Williamsburg.  We got our bags into the room and then headed over to the Visitor Center where we got checked in and received our passes.  I had prepurchased what I had thought were two day passes for us and discovered at check in that these were actually multiday (three day) passes!!  Cool!!!  Pat looked at me dubiously, but didn't really say much.

We got our passes clipped on, grabbed a map and off we went, on an adventure back in time. . .back to 1775.  They have this set up really neat in that there is a path you must follow from the Visitors Center over to the Colonial Section.  In the path are brass plaques which count backward:  1950's--you accept that schools are segregated; 1940's--your evening entertainment does not come from television; 1920's--you accept that women do have the vote; 1865--you know people who own other people; 1820's--you can travel as much as 70 miles in one day; 1790's--your most current news is a week old; 1775--you are a subject of His Majesty, King George the Third.  I think I missed a few, but you get the general idea.  It's a pretty neat trick to get you mentally back into the 18th Century frame of mind.

The first stop is at the Great Hopes Plantation.  Aidan LOVED it here!!!  There were yoked oxen, a male slave starting a fire with a flint and steel, a chicken coop, slave quarters, and two different gardens--one for the plantation owners and one for the slaves.  There were also horses and hogs. . .a very well to do plantation, although we, by today's standards, would never have guessed it!!

After the plantation, we moved on to the town proper. . .we first encountered the Governors Palace where were informed that Governor Dunmore and his wife would be hosting a ball that evening.  We were provided a tour of the Palace and given subjects to discuss with Lord and Lady Dunmore as we saw fit.  For anyone into history, Lord Dunmore had been Governor of New York for one year prior to coming to Virginia. . .after he left, a bit on the run from us American rebels, he was assigned a post in the Bahamas.

Anyway, Lord Dunmore had his weaponry on display as decor within the Palace walls.  When you first enter, in his studdy and lining the stairwell.  Quite impressive!!

Other nifty things seen at the Palace were the sconces , bed linens and the beautiful fireplaces:

To his credit, Aidan only looked like this a little bit. . .

At first Pat was a little upset with him until I reminded him that Aidan is a 5 year old boy. . .and by the way Pat, are you really truly enjoying this???  Pat smiled. .  .yes, I know my husband!!  I, on the other hand, couldn't get enough!!  Much to my boys dismay. . .

The Kings crest remains over the door of the Palace which can be seen when exiting on the way to the beautiful boxwood maze, that Aidan absolutely loved!!!

From here we toured the Palace kitchens, yes cooking with the fire in the fireplace, and then on to the Town Green.  Trying to find things to amuse Aidan, we found the Foundry and Gunsmith.  This was cool as we were shown how a gun is rifled and how bullets were made.  Interesting, though, in that it wasn't very near where the town aresnal was kept. . .

From there, were went over to Bruton Parish.  We walked into the churchyard and I noticed some gravestones.  Realizing we were walking over graves, I went up behind Aidan and whispered "Hey!  Get off me!"  He turned and looked at me in horror!  I love doing that, but it isn't nice.  Aidan was fine after a bit and even laughed about it. 

We went into the church proper and saw the interesting pew boxes.  Most of the pews had been inhabited at one time by some very famous Virginians. . .George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Patrick Henry. . .Bruton Parish is the oldest Episcopal Church in the United States.  It was initially founded in 1674, as an Agnlican Church and then became Episcopal after the Disestablishment of the Anglican Church in the 1780's. 

The building was built in 1715 from plans drawn by Governor Spotswood (of Blackbeard fame).  It is really beautiful and it's amazing how well the Parish (still active) has been able to preserve it.

I would have loved to attend services there--still active with four services each Sunday, and we actually toyed with the idea, but judging from the look on Aidan's face, we determined it was in everyone's best interest for us to forego that pleasure.

And while passing the Court House, we made sure we tried out the stocks!!!

Other really cool buildings we toured were the Arsenal, which is Octagonal shaped and first above, and the Capital Building.  Both were really beautiful.  It's amazing to see these buildings and realize how much of our American history was hatched here.

After this, the light was failing and it was very cold, so we wandered over to Raliegh's Tavern for some Hot Cider and Gingerbread cookies all consumed standing near an outdoor fire. . .awesome!!!

That evening was spent at the Hotel pool enjoying ourselves and relaxing. . .

Day Two, we went went back to Colonial Williamsburg and saw much of the same sights with the addition of the Wheelrite and Blacksmith shop.  But the big fun for Aidan started that afternoon when we checked into Great Wolf Lodge. . .a humongous waterpark built for kids of all ages!!  Waterslides, wave pools, lazy rivers, fountains, geyers and a giant bucket of water that dumps a 1000 gallons every five minutes. . .what's not to love???  Well, Aidan loved it.  Pat and I have done this now and know we don't have to do it again. . .  : )But, Aidan loved it!!!  Did I already say that???

Because the waterpark was a bit strenuous and not really adult friendly (with the exception of the money mom and dad needed to spend!) we decided to spend the mornings at Colonial Williamsburg and the afternoon at the waterpark. . .this seemed to satisfy everyone.  However, the end came too soon for Aidan, who was none too pleased at our departure for home!

But home we went. . .while on the way, though, we stopped at a Bass Pro Shop--have you ever been to one of these???  It's an amusement park for hunter/fisher gatherers!  Aidan liked it too. . .we stayed for a couple of hours and had lunch there before making our final trek home. . .but we had to get a picture with the Bad Boy Bear!!

Aidan went back to school and Pat and I still had one more day so we did some Christmas shopping and went out for a really nice lunch. . .oh!  And, he surprised me by taking me to a jewelry store for some new diamond earrings!! 

Whew!!!  What an Anniversary!!