Aidan at Beach

Aidan at Beach

Friday, January 27, 2012

Ramblings and Snippets

The high temperature on Sunday in Krasnoyarsk will be -26* F.  Yes, that will be the high.  Now that we're nearing the end of January, I just thought we might need a reality check on how bad it can actually be.

Speaking of the end of January, unbelievably, this blog will be four years old in a couple of weeks!  Four!  Can you believe it???

Aidan has decided he wants to continue with Mini Mites Spring League and through the summer.  He really enjoys it.  His face is always beaming smiles when he's on the ice.  So, we bought him a new hockey stick last night and we'll get it taped up this weekend.  He was invited to try for the Spring Mites League, but I think we'll wait and revisit that this fall.  He's fine for now.

Loudoun County Public Schools will hit the 100th day of school for this school year next week.  Apparantly, the Kindergarten class makes a big deal out this and plans a kind of party for it.  I have been asked to send a 1 pound bag of Skittles. . .they will be making a Trail Mix with the Skittles and other supplies.

On the subject of school, Aidan has been asking, A LOT, lately "How long until I'm in First Grade?"  Too soon, if you ask me!!

Last Friday, I noticed that Aidan's Kindergarten class has posters of teeth up on the wall.  Each one has a month at the top and below that are lists of names of who lost a tooth that month.  I've seen the same thing in his room at Winwood. . .poor Aidan!!!  He has not lost any and none are loose!  The dentist already told me last August it will likely be sometime between the ages of 6 and 7 for Aidan.  So, I just ask Aidan to see if his bottom center teeth wiggle.  He likes checking!

This Sunday, Pat and Aidan will be going to Monster Jam down at the Verizon Center.  Aidan likes watching this on TV sometimes and has collected many of the Monster Trucks to play with.  They'll be taking the Metro and will eat hot dogs and drink juice. . .Aidan has no idea!!!  I'm excited for him to do this. 

Meanwhile, Mommy has an appointment at Red Door Salon for a massage and Pedicure. . .after church, of course!

And, finally.  Here are a couple of pictures for comparison:

This is Aidan's Kindergarten school picture.

This is Pat when he was in First Grade--about 7 or so.

Seriously, if you didn't know, would you know???   Not that it matters, but don't they just look so much alike????  


Monday, January 23, 2012

To Raleigh and Back

On Friday, I had the day off and had signed up to go to Aidan's Kindergarten class to read a couple of our favorite books.  What a great experience!!!  I am soooo doing that again!  I read them "The Magic Hockey Stick" and "There was a Coyote".  Next time I will do "Down by the Cool of the Pool" for sure.  Aidan got to sit next to me and he even helped some by turning pages.  It was so fun!

We picked Aidan up a little early from school and then headed down to Raleigh to see some friends of ours.  It was about a 4 1/2 hour trip each way, but so much fun!  That night we went to see the Carolina Hurricanes play the Capitals. . .we, of course, were in our Caps gear and were cheering loud and strong for our team. . .but, alas, they didn't win.  But, we had so much fun!  Our seats were awesome!!!


Dollar hot dog night, too!!





We were kind of surprised at how many Caps fans there were.  We were definitely not alone!!

On Saturday, Pat's birthday, we got up leisurely and had some pancakes and sausage for breakfast--YUM!! and then headed back home.  We got back in time for Aidan's Mini Mites, where he did really really good, although he was a little rough with a boy who made him mad. . .but that's for another time.  Then we headed straight to Grandma's and Grandpa's to bathe Aidan and then headed out to Clydes for a birthday dinner, which was super yummy!  After cake and presents, we collected the dogs and headed the rest of the way home.  Another late night for all!

We decided to just sleep in on Sunday.  When we got up, we went out to breakfast and then to the grocery store to replenish the pantry and then just hung around doing laundry, watching hockey and football.  Dinner in and then the weekend was over. . .

But, now we have freezing fog!!  Wonderful!  After the ice storm on Saturday--which we followed up I95, this should make some great roads. . .

Happy Monday!!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Happy Busy Continues. . .

This has been a crazy week. . .actually, I'm not sure when things haven't been crazy around here the last time!  Anyways. . .

Pat has been on the midnight shift, which always adds a bit more crazy to our already craziness, but we have still been able to get a few things done.  Last weekend we went over to Home Depot and FINALLY! bought a Storm Door for our front door.  It's only taken us 12 1/2 years of living in this house to decide on the exact one we both like and wanted!  Problem:  Pat is having to adjust the frame around the door in order to make it work.  So far, it's looking goood, so we're all happy.  We're really looking forward to opening that front door up as often as we can!

We also picked out the door knob for the Man Cave.  Yes, I know that doesn't sound very exciting, but it's a big decision!  We put a fancy glass door on that room and we wanted a really cool door knob that would go with the hunting/fishing/sports theme going on in there.  The bar will be begun next week and then we're hoping to put in a small gas fire place in one of the corners surrounded by stone--the floor is slate and we have barn boards on the walls where the bar will go.  Anyway, here is the knob.  Isn't it cool?  It will also have a covered locking device in above it (Aidan will one day be a teen).  The door is wood framed and has an old fashioned door bell.

While working in the Man Cave, we had the hockey game on and I looked up and there was Aidan wearing one of Pat's hunting vests.  So cute!  He had picked up the Turkey caller and was doing a pretty good job!


Pat comes off the Midnight shift this morning. . .yeah!!!  Tonight we're going to the Free skate with Aidan and then tomorrow I have off and will go to Aidan's school to read a couple of our favorite books to his class room. 

We're picking Aidan up early from school--only 45 minutes--and then heading down to Charlotte to see some friends who have gotten tickets for us all to go to a Hurricans vs. Capitals game!!!We'll be wearing our Red and yelling Go Caps!!!  So, look for us if you watch that game!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Parenting Perils

I can't believe it's been a week since I updated here.  Our weather has been so crazy: warm and really spring like one day followed by two or three days of absolutely frigid weather that makes me want to just hole up with an afghan, nice big fire in the fire place and a good book.  These cold days have meant that poor Aidan has been a bit cooped up!  And add to that, Pat has been on the midnight shift. . .a recipe for some not so good behavior.

For the most part, Aidan is a very good and very well behaved little boy.  Further, he is kind, sensitive and caring--traits I absolutely cherish in him.  In fact, I am really proud of how well he has been doing lately.  However, a bad day does happen every so often. . .who among us has not had a bad day every so often???  Friday was Aidan's.

When I went to pick him up at Winwood, he got very whiny and downright mean and told me he didn't want to go home.  In fact, he said he really just wanted to live at Winwood.  Now, when he says things like that, I know he doesn't really mean it.  But, that doesn't make it hurt any less.  So I got him into his coat, grabbed his backpack and we headed out to the car.  It was a very silent ride home. 

The entire way, I wrestled with the thought of how to handle this situation.  Meanwhile, a very pouty, whiny and generally disagreeable Aidan sat in the back seat.  Finally, I decided I needed a couple of minutes without him right there in order to compose myself so that I could talk to him about his behavior with love showing on my face. . .not the angry hurt I knew was there.  So, when we got home, I told him he needed a time out and to go to his room.  I put things away and got organized to start dinner--but didn't start it--and then sat down and took a couple of deep breaths.  Then, I called him down--about 2 1/2 minutes had gone by, but it was enough to separate the situation to calm me.

I talked to him about how mcuh I love him and how I look forward to seeing him all day and then can't wait to get there to pick him.  So, when he acts the way he did, it's really hurtful.  I asked him to imagine looking forward to see me and that when he finally did I was angry with him and told him I didn't want to live with him . . .the look on his face!  I could see that I had spoken to his heart: Aidan is a very sensitive and caring boy.  I then told him that I could understand if he didn't want to stop playing, but that there are better ways of saying so without hurting someones (mine, especially!) feelings.  I then gave him a huge hug and told him how much I loved him and then said he could go and play. 

Before he left, I had started opening his backpack only to discover there was a note from his teacher at Leesburg Elementary about how he had not sat well during a class discussion and was actually acting up.  Before I could stop myself, the words "Well, that's disappointing." had come out of my mouth.  My poor Aidan immediately started to cry. . .oh man.  I grabbed him up and cuddled him on my lap and told him again how much I love him and that every one has a bad day every so often.  He was actually trying to stop himself from crying!!  I told him it's okay to cry and that he should let it out.  He did. . .I held him until it was over saying over and over how much I love him and that it's okay to have a bad day every now and again.  Poor baby!!! 

After Pat got up, I told him, quietly, what had happened and then heard Aidan crying again!  Apparantly, he was upset because now Daddy knew. . .So I told him it was okay and then I made him some homemade hot chocolate.

And, it just occurred to me that it's possible he didn't want to come home was because of the note in the backpack!  This parenting thing has a lot of perils involved. . .

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Our Rising Food Bill

Do you ever have that niggling sense in the back of your mind that something is on the verge of possibly being out of reach???  Lately, that feeling has increased for me as I watch my son eat.  And eat.  And eat. . .This child has been an eating machine.  Don't get me wrong, I LOVE that he is eating.  And so far, I am able to keep up with providing enough quantity and variety of food.  But, he is only five!  What will happen when he is fifteen??  Will I still be able to keep up?  What in the world is my grocery bill going to look like???

I know Aidan is going to be a big fellow when he grows up.  He is already four feet tall.  Incredible!  He has grown 4 inches in  the past year, 2 1/2 since his birthday last May and nearly 2 inches just since the start of school on August 27th!


Yesterday morning, he got up and had a cheese omlet, 3 slices of bacon, a large glass of orange juice.  Then, he then followed that up with some cheese and crackers, string cheese and apple cider.  Lunch consisted of a peanut butter and jelly sandwhich, lemonade, milk, apple slices with peanut butter and cheese puffs.  This was followed by a ho ho and chocolate chip cookies.  For his post hockey snack (some of which got eaten in between his skills class and his Mini Mites game) he had more string cheese, apple slices, cheese and crackers, chocolate chip cookies, teddy grahams and a gatorade--all of this was gone by the time we got home.  Dinner was a lite affair of milk, mac and cheese and two hot dogs. . .pre-bed snack was warm milk and strawberry slices.  Seriously, where does he put all of this food???

The funny thing is, he is growing so fast that when I give him a bath I notice that I can still see his ribs. . .and this child has the true growing pains--he'll get in bed with us in the middle of the night nearly in tears and saying how much his legs hurt.  Poor kiddo!!!

The jeans I bought him before school started and those I replenished the supply with are a bit too short now.  Sorry to say, my son will be wearing floods for a bit!  I just can't afford to buy him new pants every month!  : )  Fortunately, Coach Joe told me yesterday he has some shoulder pads Aidan can have and some skates, so I don't have buy that again for a bit. . .

I'm just wondering how long this growth spurt will continue.  So far, it's lasted nearly four years. . .Isn't that taking the good diet and exercise thing a bit long?  Additionally, that knocking noise is me knocking on wood for the good health we've been enjoying. . .nothing since last June for Aidan!  And I actually only used 4 sick days last year-2 for him and 2 for me!  Wow. 

I was informed by Aidan on Friday, that he now wants me to send snack with him to school instead of buying it at school. . .Apparantly he hasn't been getting enough.  For tomorrow, he has chosen apple slices, cheese and crackers, teddy grahams, and chocolate chip cookies.  He will continue to buy milk at school. . .sheesh!

Finally, I just have to report my success on week one back at Weight Watchers--2.6 pounds down!  9 to go and then hopefully I won't have that big bum any more!  : )  I'm so enthused, that I already have everything completely ready for at least the next two days and a little bit ready for a couple of days after that! 

Friday, January 6, 2012

A Joyous Epiphany to You

Burning the Christmas Greens

by William Carlos Williams  (1883-1963)


Their time past, pulled down
cracked and flung to the fire
--go up in a roar

All recognition lost, burnt clean
clean in the flame, the green
dispersed, a living red,
flame red, red as blood wakes
on the ash--

and ebbs to a steady burning
the rekindled bed become
a landscape of flame

At the winter's midnight
we went to the trees, the coarse
holly, the balsam and
the hemlock for their green

At the thick of the dark
the moment of the cold's
deepest plunge we brought branches
cut from the green trees

to fill our need, and over
doorways, about paper Christmas
bells covered with tinfoil
and fastened by red ribbons

we stuck the green prongs
in the windows hung
woven wreaths and above pictures
the living green. On the

mantle we built a green forest
and among those hemlock
sprays put a herd of small
white deer as if they

were walking there. All this!
and it seemed gentle and good
to us. Their time past,
relief! The room bare. We

stuffed the dead grate
with them upon the half burnt out
log's smouldering eye, opening
red and closing under them

and we stood there looking down.
Green is a solace
a promise of peace, a fort
against the cold (though we

did not say so) a challenge
above the snow's
hard shell. Green (we might
have said) that, where

small birds hide and dodge
and lift their plaintive
rallying cries, blocks for them
and knocks down

the unseeing bullets of
the storm. Green spruce boughs
pulled down by a weight of
snow--Transformed!

Violence leaped and appeared.
Recreant! roared to life
as the flame rose through and
our eyes recoiled from it.

In the jagged flames green
to red, instant and alive. Green!
those sure abutments . . . Gone!
lost to mind

and quick in the contracting
tunnel of the grate
appeared a world! Black
mountains, black and red--as

yet uncolored--and ash white,
an infant landscape of shimmering
ash and flame and we, in
that instant, lost,

breathless to be witnesses,
as if we stood
ourselves refreshed among
the shining fauna of that fire.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

A New Year a New Routine

Here we are at the start of a new year.  We've completed 12 days off from work and school and are now heading back today.  I have mixed feelings about that:  I'm glad to get back to a routine, but I am very sad to not be spending all day with Aidan.  He and I had some fun!!!

I felt a little sorry for him, though, because everyone had family plans for much of our time off.  We don't have much family in our area and definitely no children his age.  We did get him out a few times playing with the neighbor children, but we don't know too many yet.  That will change next year when he starts 1st grade and meets more of the children in our actual neighborhood (because we had to have him in morning Kindergarten due to Day Care, he isn't with our neighborhood kids yet). 

I did make some plans: the museum, ice skating, watching the Caps practice.  And we played a lot of games, watched movies and when for a bike ride/jog around the block a few times.  Yesterday, our last day off, Daddy was also home so we had a family breakfast and then headed to Kettler to watch the Caps practice again.  Daddy hadn't done that before and so he has a new appreciation for why we were so excited about that the other day!  He confessed last night that he really really liked that and is now determined to get to an actual game!  : )

Aida was hilarious this time while watching the Caps. . .he asked who everyone was and, of course, became extremely excited every time Alex Ovechkin got anywhere close to where we were sitting.  At one point, though, he actually said he wanted to get on the ice to show them how to skate!!!  Too cute what a 5 year old thinks!!

Afterward, we went to Chik-fil-A for lunch where I discovered that the medium chicken soup and salad with fat free Italien dressing is only 6 points so I was good on my new weight loss plan. . .then we dropped off a few things at Grandma and Grandpas and headed to Home Depot to see about getting a Storm Door. . .which we will order this weekend once we add some brick molding around the current frame. 

Dinner was a homemade and just the three of us affair followed by some TV and then we headed to bed early. 

Today we get back to our usual routine which will include ice skating on Thursday and then Aidan will be back on the ice on Saturday for Hockey Skills and Mini Mites.  But, the routine will also include Mama being much more careful and watchful on the diet.  After going back to Weight Watchers on Saturday and discovering that I am now 11.6 pounds above my goal, I am determined to be good and stay on track. 

More of our routine will include the annual clean out and organization of the file cabinet to which I'd love to add the Office Closet to that. . .and I need to clean out Aidan's closet and trunk.  That's where I will start on this years organization.  There are so many other areas that need organizing, but that's where I will start.

And so, with that, I bid you a Happy New Year and may your coming days be filled with joy, blessings, good health and all your dreams come true.