Aidan at Beach

Aidan at Beach

Monday, March 26, 2012

Da Day and a Very Early Spring

It's Da day!  While yesterday marked the four year anniversary of us going into court and standing before a judge explaining why we would be the best parents in the world for a little 22 month old boy in Baby House #5, today marks 4 years since we got our Da.  You can read all about our agonizing wait here.

The good news is, we got the answer we prayed for and were able to move on to our 10 day waiting period without too much of a prolonged agony.

We did celebrate a little yesterday by taking Aidan to Stick and Shoot after his Mini Mites game.  He loved it.  We ended up eating dinner at the Ice House and watching most of the Caps game (Go Caps!!) there.  An all around good day.

I have to also share these pictures:

This is our Cherry Tree and I put this picture in the last post:

And this is what it looks like from the upstairs hallway:

I'm sharing this because, well, it's really beautiful.  But, also, I can't help thinking that it bloomed soooo early!  In fact, it looked like this when we returned home from Russia in mid April.  That is when it typically blooms!  I'm not complaining, but it does make me wonder how this summer is going to be!

Pat's has been working some double shifts lately--some because of weather (it's spring!) and some because people are starting to take time off due to the nice weather.  But, luckily for our little boy, he's been able to come by the house in the bucket truck!

Happy Spring, y'all!

Friday, March 23, 2012

A Little Bit of Russia Each Easter

On March 23, 2008, my husband and I watched our Easter sunrise while being driven across the frozen tundra from the Yemelyanova Airport to the city of Krasnoyarsk.  It had been four months to the day since we had seen our son and we were filled with special Easter hope, love and new family life. 
After checking into our hotel, we spent our Easter day wandering around Krasnoyarsk, the city our son was born in.  We wound up walking up the Karaulnaya Gora hill to the Saint Paraskeva Pyatnitsa Chapel and paid a few rubles to light a candle for Aidan and our family. 
Because the Russian Orthodox church typically celebrates Easter a few weeks later than our Western culture, we spent our month long trip learning a few Russian Easter traditions and phrases:  Happy Easter!-- Счастливого Пасхи!; and Easter Bunny!-- Пасхальный самых.  We also bought some Russian Easter Egg dye to use in the future, some of which has been saved to give to Aidan when he is an adult.  We have since found a Russian store near us where we buy Russian Candy and Easter Egg dye each year.

Although we didn’t go the first year home, we have been invited to attend an Easter Party at the Russian Embassy in Washington, D. C..  This year will be our third time.  The party is attended by about one hundred children from Russia, and their families, and is a lot of fun.

 After getting checked in at the gate to the Embassy compound, where we try out a few phrases in Russian on the guards who smile indulgently at us, we are ushered into a large area where the children can play games and do crafts together.  Later we are taken to an auditorium where we are welcomed by the Ambassador, Sergey Kislyak.  We are then delightfully entertained by the children of the Embassy School with songs, skits and dances of Russia.  The party finishes with a wonderful buffet of meats, fruits and pastries.  Many of the Embassy officials circulate and spend time with the families while we are eating.  We have met several wonderful people at this party. 
We met our son on Thanksgiving Day and missed him during that first Christmas, so it was altogether fitting to arrive back in his city on Easter morning, a day of rebirth.  It was an Easter for us to always remember.  And one in which new family traditions were born. 

Monday, March 19, 2012

Second Guessing and On the Fence

So Aidan is now on the Orange team for Mini Mites. . .I was second guessing myself yesterday as I watched my son, who is about a head taller than 90% of the other children, skated circles aound about 90% of the other children and scored 9 goals. . .should I have gone ahead with Mites for him now?  Ah well.  There's only 9 more Mini Mite Sundays.  Mites will be there next Fall when he is 6. . .

Oh, and, who needs a gate when you know how to climb???

Yes, that is my boy climbing over the gate rather than go through it. . .

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Just Really Enjoying Life. . .

I fix corned beef and cabbage every year for dinner for St. Patrick's Day.  It's not the greatest meal in the world, but we love it.  And I've done it every since I left home and got married. . .every year, that is except one.  In 2008, on St. Patrick's Day, we went out for Mexican food with some friends of ours.  We didn't know for sure when we might have Mexican food again because we left for our Court Trip to Russia the very next day. . .four years ago today!  Wow.  Time flies.

I did, however, fix Corned beef and Cabbage, and potatoes and carrots yesterday.  We enjoyed it and will have Rueben sandwiches and fried potatoes today.  Aidan even ate his fair share, in spite of having hamburgers over at the neighbors a little earlier!

We all wore our green. . .I had on a green striped hoodie, Aidan was in camoflage--he picked it out, and Pat wore his Moscow Harley Davidson shirt--there's green in St. Basil's cathedral!

Aidan had worn green to school on Friday, too.  The kids did all kinds of St. Patrick's Day activities, having to do with Leprachauns, pots of gold and green stuff. . .nothing about St. Patrick himself, though.  Kinda sad as he was a great man.  Anyways, it was also sad because when I dropped Aidan off, and just before I really noticed that the shirt and shorts were perhaps a touch too small for Aidan, I had to remind Aidan to not do the face painting at Winwood, if that was done.  They've changed the paint they use and the last two times he has gotten it, his face has been swollen and irritated in the spots that the paint was.  In fact, last time it was just a little too close to one of his eyes and the edge of his eye was irritated.  It goes away within a day, but I don't like it!  So no more face painting!!--poor kiddo.

The boys went fishing yesterday morning while I changed sheets, did laundry and ran a couple of errands.  They went to a friends farm and fished in his pond.  They caught a lot of Crappie and Bass--all catch and release, and had a great time.

They had a lot of fun. 

When they got home, we had a quick lunch and then headed off to the Ice House for Aidan's skills class.  While there, I also set up his Birthday party.  What a relief to have that scheduled!  15 little boys will gather to eat pizza and cake and then have a 1/2 hour lesson and then skate for an an hour and a half.  Fun times!!  Now to order the invitations. . .

After the skills class, we came home and Aidan played with the neighbor kids, Daddy worked on the garden--it might be too late for lettuce and peas, the way this weather is going, though!, and I just hung out with my book on the deck. . .ahhhhhhh!!!!  I love these kind of days!

Our Cherry Tree is about to just bust out into total bloom. . .about a month early!!

We finished off our St. Patrick's Day by watching Hugo on the laptop while sitting outside.  It was too beautiful to be inside. . .What a great day and evening!

One quick note about school:  Aidan only has two weeks left in the 3rd quarter--crazy!! Most of the time, he whines about not liking school and how much he doesn't want to go and when can he have a full day at Winwood???? 

So on Friday, about the time I was noticing that Aidan's shirt and shorts were a touch too small, while he was getting out of the car, I was shocked and happily surprised when Aidan excitedly announced that he gets to see Mrs. Yates today. . .I didn't have a chance to ask who Mrs. Yates was because he was gone and I had to pull forward in the drop off line.  However, I remembered yesterday on the way home from the Ice Rink and Aidan told us that Mrs Yates is someone the kids see a couple times a week.  While with her, they read two books, draw a picture about the books and then see a short film about the books.  He loves this time, he said!  How awesome is that!?!?!?  So, you ask, why didn't we know about this before?  Well, Aidan doesn't tell us much about school, although we ask daily.  We are, however, occasionally rewarded with little nuggets every so often such as this information about Mrs. Yates.  We are always rewarded happily with these little tidbits, too, because it is always happily shared and is always good stuff.

So, today we start the Spring league for Mini Mites.  Other than church, that is all we have on our agenda for the day. . .oh, right, and picking up our tile for the Foyer floor and watching the Blackhawks/Caps game tonight.

Lá Fhéile Pádraig Sona Daoibh  May your days be sunny and bright and your crops be plentiful.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Body of Christ. . .

Bread of Heaven.  Blood of Christ, the Cup of Salvation.

Mama, did we just drink Jesus' blood?????   Note to self:  Must schedule Aidan for an Instructed Eucharist as soon as it is offered. . .

I promised Aidan that if our warm weather holds, he could begin wearing shorts to school in April.  Well, it's not only holding but has begun to feel a bit like early Summer.  I think we're skiiping winter and Spring and heading straight from Fall to Summer!  The lowest high temperature predicted for the next 10 days is 72 degrees on Sunday.  So, Aidan is wearing shorts to school today.  Crazy because just a week ago it was long sleeve shirt and long pants and a coat.  Now we're already going for shorts and short sleeves!  I may even wear some sandles today. 

We're getting ready for a big home improvement project.  We finally bought the wood for our flooring in the family room and extended hallway.  We also bought paint for the family room.  And then this last Sunday we went to the Tile Shop and bought some really nice tile for the foyer and some slate to go around the hearth of the fireplace.  The wood flooring will be installed professionally this time--all we have to do is move the furniture--and is scheduled to be done April 2nd and 3rd.  I'm really excited because it is one step closer to getting rid of the carpet in this house!!  We'll just have three of the four bedrooms, the upper hall and both sets of stairs left.  We're hoping to do our bedroom next year.

I also want to shorten the valances I had already made so I took them down to start that process and then we're thinking we'll replace the shutters we have with some nicer Plantation Shutters.  Should be a nice room when we're done.

Aidan has been complaining of headaches lately.  It's been a bit concerning.  At first we were thinking it was because of the pollen. . .which it may still be in part.  But, Pat comented last night that Aidan hasn't been wearing his glasses at all lately but has been doing a LOT of reading.  He's only supposed to wear them for reading or when he is on the computer for 15 minutes or more.  So, they are getting cleaned up and will go to school with him today.  I'll also be making an appointment to have those beautiful eyes checked out, probably around his birthday.

I do have some great pictures and promise to upload them by the weekend.  We're a bit exhausted around here with the time change and with the Caps continuing to win!  It's exciting stuff this later sunlight, warmer weather, cherry blossoms and flowers blooming and the Caps winnng, but boy are we tired!! 

Enjoy your Spring!!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Napkin Notes, Stick & Shoot and the Russian Embassy

After the Holidays, I started sending Aidan's snack to school with him.  It was his request and he emphatically insisted that he no longer wanted to buy the school snack.  Although this added to my schedule, I agreed.  The school snack wasn't much and I knew I could send better: sliced strawberries, apple slices, cheese sticks, etc.  But, what I hadn't planned on was adding even more stress because of a little note I wrote on his napkin.

It started simple and innocent:  a heart with an I Love You in the middle, which went on to Mama loves Aidan, and then Mama and Daddy loves you.  On Monday as I was drawing the Cat in the Hat, I thought, How did I get here???  I have now drawn Mario, Luigi, Aidan as a hockey player, the Caps logo, The Lorax, Sam I Am, and so on.  What happened????

I am in need of some inspiration of what to draw next on Aidan's napkin.  Hurry please, we leave in a couple of hours and his snack bag will need to be in his backpack!!


About a year ago, Pat and Aidan converted Aidan's soccer goal into a hockey goal and fixed in so it could be easily moved out onto the pipestem by our house.  We bought some inexpensive adjustable sticks and some outdoor hockey pucks.  Aidan can spend hours out there practicing his shots.  He will run up and down the pipestem controlling the puck and then he shoots and scores!!!  He even does it really good while wearing his inline skates. 

His favorite past time is to have one of us, preferably daddy, out there with him to work on passing the puck and to create "traffic" in front of the net.  He's only five and you should see him!  And I do have to say that this has really helped him a lot on the ice.  He typically scores anywhere from 5-7 goals during his Mini Mites games and he has gotten really good at stealing the puck away from other players.  I am sure it is from this practice on the pipestem.

At Christmas, a good friend of ours gave Aidan a pass to Stick & Shoot at the Ice House.  It has 10 sessions pre-paid.  We never know for sure when the Stick & Shoot is going to be offered, so we have been waiting.  And our wait ended. 

All during March Stick & Shoot is being offered at differing times so we decided to take Aidan up there last Tuesday.  In preparation, Pat bought a helmet, gloves and a stick so he could go out on the ice with him.  They only allow 30 people on the ice, which is nice because there are so many more during Aidan's Skills Class.

When we got there on Tuesday, we were too late.  It was full.  So, we decided to watch for a bit to see how it all went and it is exactly like what Pat and Aidan do out on the pipestem.  Aidan stood there watchng and he said with that sad little sound, "I want to be out there too."  Oh.....Okay, we'll try again on Wednesday.

So, on Wednesday, Pat and Aidan went, without me because I get off work too late, and headed up to the Ice House and got signed in (the sign in starts 90 minues before) and then went to have dinner.  When they got home, Aidan was just glowing!  He LOVED it!!!  So, we're going again on Sunday. . .and I think we have some other dates on the March schedule we will try to go. 

What a great gift!!!


On April 14th, we will be heading over to the Russian Embassy for the annual Easter Party.  It will be our third year.  Interesting that it will be the day after our 4 year anniversary of being home!!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Dr. Seuss, Curious George and the White Stuff

As most people with small children know, Friday was Dr. Suess' birthday.  All of our area Elementary and PreSchools were participating in a week long celebration that culminated in a party like atmosphere by Friday.  On Friday, the children were invited to dress up as their favorite character from their favorite book.  Aidan didn't really have a favorite character, so he wore my Dr. Suess sweatshirt that has the Grinch, Thing 1 and Thing 2, the Lorax and a Sneech on the front.  I thought he looked incredibly cute, even if the sweatshirt was much too big!

I do love the way Aidan's school really focuses on literature.  They make it fun which helps the children stay focused and have fun.  Aidan's class has been working on a Curious George project.  Each child take Curious George home and involved him in whatever activities that the child does.  If the child's turn comes up on a Friday, you have an entire weekend of fun.  At the end, you need to write a sentence for each day about what you did with Curious George. 

Aidan's turn came this past Friday.  And he immediately took Curious George to bed with him along with Tigger and Simba. . .we'll set aside the squeemish, you don't know where that thing has been, thought that kept going through my mind and just say that Aidan was excited beyond belief!  Curious George went with us to the Ice House on Saturday and "watched" Aidan play hockey.

I've never really heard of Curious George plays hockey, but maybe it's time!!  : )  Sunday was closed and blustery.  We had planned on playing outside and riding bikes with C. G., but because it was so cold, we palyed Yatzee, watched a movie and then played Super Mario Brothers.  This morning we will write our Day 2 sentence and then back to school Curious George will go to move on to some other lucky young child. 

The other excitement around here is that Aidan has learned how to blow bubbles.  Yes, this is big stuff for a 5 year old kid!  And with each passing day, his bubbles get bigger and better and I worry more about when I will have to cut it out of his hair. . .

And finally, we celebrated Grandpa's birthday on Saturday with a delicious dinner out followed by cake.  Happy Birthday Grandpa!!!

And finally, yes, we moved on to the White Stuff on Thursday due to the continued sore throat. We had the pharmacist add bubble gum flavor and so it is now bubble gum favored white chalky stuff that Aidan still hates. But, we are now four days into taking the Augmentin and he is much much better. In fact, he was better by Friday. We are scheduled to see an ENT April 23rd, due to the persistent asymetry and enlargement of the tonsils, who I imagine will say something about taking the tonsils out. We'll cross that bridge at that time.

And that's it from us!  Hope you all have a great week!