Aidan at Beach

Aidan at Beach

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Saturday Plan and Aidanisms

Mama, I love you a Padillion!!!  And that's more than infinity.  Even more than a hundred!!!

Wow.  That's a lot!!  : )

Mama, I just want to hold your hand and snuggle.  Okay?  (said when he got into bed with me this morning)

Okay buddy.  Anytime!!

Mama, I want to wear something that says Capitals on it everyday.

Laundry being done every night to meet that request!!

Aidan has been doing amazingly well with that nose spray we had to get.  I bought a bag of Peppermint Patties to bribe him with.  I don't know if he is doing better because he s more mature now or if its because of the bribe.  Whatever.  He's finally clearing up those poor little sinuses!!  That and the antibiotic he is on are working like a charm.  Once clear, we will get x-rays of his adenoids, tonsils and sinuses and I will film him sleeping for about 15 minutes about an hour before he wakes up and we will then go back to the ENT (late May) to check it all back out again. 

We're now three weeks into the final and fourth quarter of the school year and I haven't yet mentioned how Aidan's doing in school.  Well, amazing, of course!!  His report card came last week and several of his previous M's (Meets Requirements) have now gone up to E's (Exceeds Requiremets).  He is progressing extremely well and is already ready or First Grade--at least intellectually.  Emotionally, probably so also, but he still has some maturing to do.  He still dosen't like to sit still, but I really think that is because he is a very active 5 almost 6 year old boy.  I just tell him to try as hard as he can.

Aidan's homework has gotten progressively harder and we are no longer able to wipe it out in one evening.  But, that's okay too because he can still do it although he is a little more challenged now.  I really like last weeks homework.  His teacher sent home a plan of what to do each evening for three evenings.  It helped to break it up and when it was all finished Aidan seemed to really appreciate what he had done so much more than he has previously. 

I understand First Grade homework is much harder, as it should be.  I'm going to be challenged to sit still myself and have a better plan to help him get his homework done each night.  The neighbor girls (Second and Fifth Grade, respectively) seem to have homework nearly every night.  Ugh!  I don't remember that when I was a kid. . .  : )

Today, after some grocery shopping to supplement what we bought at Costco the other night, Aidan and I will be blowing up his room.  By that I mean that everything will be brought out of dressers, bookshelves, drawers, trunks and closet. . .gone through and either thown away, packed away, put away or given away.  Everything.  Ever.y.thing.  There is entirely too much STUFF in there. 

Then I plan to make a big pot of Spaghetti sauce, have a fire in the fireplace (still in the 50's and kind of drizzly cool today) and put the Caps v. Rangers game on.  Game time 3:00 Eastern Time!!!  Let's Go Caps!!!  C  A  P  S!!  Caps! Caps! Caps!!!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Health Busyness

Things have been crazy these last couple of weeks. 

Aidan came down with a cold on April 11th that prompted his afternoon Day Care to call me--he had a fever of 99.9*.  Aidan never gets fevers, so I called the Pediatrician and went to pick him up.  Fever didn't break 100* and he was negative for strep, so the diagnosis was a cold.  Which got progressively worse over the next few days.  He's on the mend now, but we did do the nebulizer a couple times a day all last week and into the weekend because, as usual, the cold went into his lungs. . .

Crankipants Aidan is much better now, although there is still some congestion.  More on that in a minute.

On Sunday we got a call from Pat's Dad saying Mom wasn't feeling well and had been been in bed all day with a fever.  She seemed better by the end of the day, so we were relieved.  However, on Monday afternoon I got a call from Dad at work saying Mom had fallen and that she was being taken to the hospital.  Turned out she had passed out--no known reason--and then popped one of her hips out.  She was admitted to have the hip manipulated back into place and she ended up staying at the hospital until Thursday.  Pat went to help transfer her back home and then we went out to dinner.  It's going to take some time for her to heal and get some strength back, but she is on the mend now.

Over the weekend, we took a Quiche and some Subway sandwiches over and then Pat took his Dad to the grocery store.  Should be okay for a bit, but we'll check back in later this week.

Yesterday, Aidan had an ENT appointment due to "persistent asymmetrical tonsils" as diagnosed by the Pediatrician last February during our most recent bout of strep.  This ENT is one of the best in the area and it took two months to get in to see him.  Of course, Aidan is still recovering from the cold, so fluid was found in one ear--not infected, though.  And his sinuses are still swollen.  His lungs sound good, but there is still some drainage.  Because we're coming up on two weeks since the cold started--as of tomorrow--we were given an antibiotic to help finish clearing it and a nasal spray tp use once a day (right.  luck with that, Stace!)  So, those will be filled today and then we go back to see the specialist on May 25th.  But, before we do, we need to get x-rays of his head showing the adenoids, tonsils and sinus cavities and I need to film him for about 15 minutes sleeping about an hour before he wakes up.  We're checking the size of his tonsils and adenoids and also checking for sleep apnea.  Wonderful. 

But, other than that and trying to figure out if it is summer or winter, we've been so excited about how great the Caps have been playing!!   Go Caps!!

What have you been up to??

Sunday, April 15, 2012

The Party that Was

It's Sunday morning, so our weekend isn't over yet.  But, what a party weekend!!!

Friday, Aidan went over to the neighbors to play while we waited for Joy and Anna to arrive.  I received this picture of the boys. . .our Leesburg Eagles!!!  These boys will be fast friends for ever, I think.


After our too late of a night on Friday, we got up leisurely on Saturday, breakfasted, showered and then headed out to the store to buy some gifts to take with us to the Embassy.  We were able to purchase a lot of nice pj's, underpants, and play clothes to send to the chidren in the orphanages.  And, the sale was awwesome:  buy one get one 1/2 price and I had a 20% off coupon!!! 

We also gought some new sneakers for Aidan, which I regretted immediately afterward.  : ) The four band-aids are covering a minute scratch that Aidan got when he tormented Cleo the cat. . .we wanted to make sure it was covered!!  : )
After a quick lunch at Chik-filet, we headed off to the Embassy for the annual Easter party.  The party was held in a different part of the embassy.  It was really beautiful!  After checking in, the children were allowed to play in an area where there were large panels showing State Symbols





We were then taken into another room, that had panels from with symbols from each region on them--sadly, I couln't fin dthe one for Krasnoyarsk--and these were also beautiful.  Our children lined up nicely for pictures:
The program was pretty similar to those in the past, although there was a lot more Russian music, which was really beautiful.  There was a group of adults who played traditional Russian instruments and were dressed in traditional Russian clothes.  But, the Embassy children were really cute in their clothes doing a skit about Winter/Spring/Summer and Fall.  Very cute!!!

After the program, there was a nice buffet of sandwich rolls, fruit, veggies, desserts and drinks.  We were able to visit with our friends and the children ate and played.  As usual, we were one of the last to leave.  However, before we left, Aidan put on his Ovechkin jersey and Caps hat, which garnered much comment from others and smiles all around from the Embassy employees--we had to be ready to listen to the game on the way home!!!  : )




On the way out, the Easter Bunny was ready to bid us farewell with hugs and a bags of Easter goodies.
After we left the Embassy Compound, we lined the children up for a picture by the Embassy sign.  How cute are they!?!?!?
Aidan, home 4 years; Anna home 2 3/4 years; Landon home 1 1/3 years. 

And so ended another year at the Embassy for an Easter party to remember. 

On the way home, we did indeed listen to the Caps Game and then arrived in time to watch the Double Overtime win!!!!  Woo Hoo!!!  Go Caps!!! 

After a dinner at Anitas, we sadly had to bid Joy and Anna farewell.  But, with promises to gather again, perhaps soon, and definitely next year for the Upperville Jumper Classic--Anna is a horse fan. . .Fun times still to come!!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

It's going to be a party!

People from all over are gathering in the Washington, D. C. area today. . .and it's not just for the Cherry Blossom Festival and Parade!!  There's going to be a party. . .and we're going to be there!

Last night, our special friends Anna and Joy joined us for an evening of fun:  dinner out and the s'mores by the fire on our patio.  We all went to bed late, so some seeping in this morning is in order.  Once everyone is up and moving, showered and dressed, we will head over to Target to purchase a few items to take to the party: shoes, socks, pj's and underpants will be offered at the Russian Embassy to be sent over to children in the orphanages, where all of our children came from. 

More about it all later!!

But, one last thing.  Yesterday was Aidan's fourth anniversary of being a US citizen!!  Yeah!!!!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Well, here we are at the end of our Spring Break.  Aidan and I are back to work and school tomorrow.  But, we still have one day of fun! 

This morning will be a couple of errands and then this afternoon we will head up to a friends house for a playdate.  Then home for some left overs from Easter Dinner.  Yum!!

And so, rather than write I lot, I will post some pictures from the past few days of our preparations for our glorious Easter:

So loving decorating Eggs!!!

Aidan was very meticulous with some of his pictures on the eggs. . .too bad Maggie ate most of them!

The Easter Bunny arrived late but well prepared. . .

One happy little boy!!!  He got plenty of candy, but also some new Monster Trucks!

Cool!!!  A Batman Monster Truck!!!!

Just checking out the rest. . .can I have the chocolate bunny now???  Aww...after church???  REALLY???

All cutie pie'd up and ready for church. . .

Hunting Easter Eggs. . .

Where are the rest??

Better hurry, they seem to be disappearing!

Here's one. . .but wasn't there a pink one near here, too?  I think Maggie's eating them. . .

Haning out with Grandma and Grandpa.


What a great day!  Hope you had an awesome Easter, too.


Next exitement. . .Caps v. Bruins on Thursday night and then the Embassy Easter party on Saturday!  Never a dull moment!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Wanted by the Easter Bunny. . .

For Egg Thievery. . .5 boiled eggs, shells and all, colored, decorated and stickered have gone missing. . .

Likely suspect is furry and known for eating things that are within her reach. . .and even just out of her reach. . .

Answers to the name of Maggie. . .aka by AKC Steel Magnolia Harrison.

Suspect is also know to be very waggy and loving and will come to you for any treat.  Be very cautious. . .

Friday, April 6, 2012

Good Friday Reflection

Lent Day by Day 2012
Spiritual Reflections by Parishioners of St. James' Episcopal Church ages 6-90

Death of Jesus: Mark 15:33-39
When it was noon, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. At three o'clock Jesus cried out with a loud voice, 'Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?' which means, 'My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?' When some of the bystanders heard it, they said, 'Listen, he is calling for Elijah.' And someone ran, filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on a stick, and gave it to him to drink, saying, 'Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to take him down.' Then Jesus gave a loud cry and breathed his last. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. Now when the centurion, who stood facing him, saw that in this way he breathed his last, he said, 'Truly this man was God's Son!'
Day 39: Good Friday, April 6, 2012

Darkness. It is really dark. It robs the color from everything around me. I am far from home: half a world; 12-hour time difference; 50 degrees colder. This is Siberia -- in the physical, emotional and soulless sense. This is an oppressed and forgotten place.

After being driven through the bleak and frozen terrain, we arrive at the Baby Home in Sosnovoborsk. We are greeted at the door by one of many automaton caregivers and taken to a room. We are left alone with our thoughts and fears. Eventually, a 16-month-old baby boy is brought in and placed in my arms. He does not smile or engage with us at all. He does not understand me -- he understands only Russian. He watches and seems to wait. He seems careful and unwilling to be noticed. Is he mimicking what he sees from the caregivers?

Later, we are told by the Baby Home doctor, through our translator, all of the boy's health issues. My heart squeezes with the desire to take him out of this darkness NOW! But, we must wait through this darkest time. I glance at the doctor and see she is watching me and my reactions. She smiles at me as I catch a flash of gold and see she is wearing an Orthodox cross which rests over her heart. I realize that she has allowed a glimmer of hope into her soul, tearing the curtain of darkness cast over this land.

Stacy Harrison

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Four Years a Family

It's amazing to me to think that four short years ago we were driven to Baby House #5 in Sosnovoborsk for the last time to pick up our son.  He cried when we were leaving the Baby Home and our car was chased to the gate by his Caregiver, but Aidan quickly adapted and by the time we got to our hotel room he was smiling and seemed to have taken it all in stride.

It's also amazing that four years ago, Aidan didn't know a bit of English, aside from Mama and Daddy.  He understood Russian only and spoke Russian only.  And now, he is getting ready to enter his fourth quarter of Kindergarten, reads super great and is super inquisitive about things he doesn't know.  My kiddo is smart!

It's hard to believe there was a time without Aidan.  He's become so much a part of our hearts/lives/family/soul that I can't even begin to imagine life without him. 

My baby is growing up.  He is four feet tall, whereas four years ago he was 2 feet 3 inches.  He now weighs 52 pounds, whereas four years ago he weighed in at 28 pounds.  He loves everything about the outdoors, hockey, fishing wth daddy, playing with trucks.  He is kind, generous, loving, sensitive.  He doesn't like homework but will do it, and well, especially in order to play a video game.  He loves to be read a book at bedtime and still likes to sit on my lap from time to time (not sure how much longer that will happen, though).

We don't have any further obligations to fulfill with the Russian government, having completed our Post Placement Reports last year.  However, we will have to notify the Consulate if we move before Aidan turns18.  Also, although it is not a requirement, I am committed to keeping Aidan's Russian passport current for him until he turns 21--I feel it is my responsibility as his parent to let him make whatever choices he wants to make at that time.  So, that will be something I will start working on updating next Fall.

I also want to say, at this time, we made a decision last summer to stop talking all the time about Aidan's adoption.  Up to that time, we (I was) were an open book.  We told anyone and everyone that Aidan was adopted and that he was adopted from Russia.  We decided that since he was starting public school, it was now on a need to know basis only.  We understood the need during Preschool--transition issues, etc--but now those issues were non-existent.  I did tell his hockey coach--because I was worried he was going too fast with this hockey thing--and another couple from hockey who also adopted their son.  But no one else.  His regular Kindergarten teachers have no idea. 

It's not that we don't talk about it with Aidan--he is fully aware of where he comes from and why we are now his parens--but it is his story and we felt he is now geting old enough to share that information on his own as he sees fit.  If he wishes too, then we will back him up.  Simple as that.

My Aidan is fiercely patriotic.  He is Russin through and through.  He gets mad when we cheer for the USA against Russia during hockey!  : )  It's really very sweet and I love him for this! 

And I am very glad I took so much Russian history in college--with my degree in Eastern European history, Aidan will hear the story of his first country safely and truthfully and with a lot of love--I love that stuff!

And so, here were are, four years later.  A family filled with joy and love for a boy that is so awesome!  We couldn't begin to imagine our lives without him. . .

Monday, April 2, 2012

Manic Monday, but Trying Not to Be Crazy

Well, what a crazy ride we've been on lately!  Last week, Pat began the process of dismantling our Family Room so that we could paint the walls prior to the new floors being put in.  They will be installed this week on Tuesday and Wednesday.  He installed the slate flooring around the fireplace and moved all of the furniture out. . .where it is now jumbled up in the Living Room, Dining Room and Office. . .oh and the couch is now in our kitchen.  What a mess!  He was able to get all of the trim work painted, the mantle painted and the shelves etc. over the windows taken down, too.  Of course, once that was done, we realized we wanted different window treatments--to be ordered today from Pottery Barn, and we also realized we had a couple of doors that needed to be painted. . .oh and some new door knobs, too!  And then we decided we'll be doing a new ceiling fan. . .later. 

We planned on starting to paint the walls on Thursday, but I came home on Wednesday with a major sore throat and a fever.  I hung in there, but I did not feel good, so the painting was postponed.  That night I got maybe an hour of sleep because of the pain and decided to not go to work on Thursday.  By lunch time on Thursday, I realized I didn't have a sore throat, but actually something going wrong in my mouth.  A phone call to the dentist and I was squeezed in for a Friday morning appointment.  Another hour of sleep Thursday night and off to the dentist I went on Friday morning--another day off!! I never take sick days for myself so two in a row was pretty major for me. 

After three hours of work at the dentist, I was sent home with an antibiotic and a strong pain killer--which I did not need, thank goodness--and I was already on the mend.  I slept 12 hours Friday night and woke up Saturday feeling so much better!  Still a bit swollen, but so much better!!

Pat and Aidan went fishing Saturday while I got the first coat of paint on the walls in the Family Room.  They caught some big bass!!



Yes, that's my kid wearing a Cowboys football shirt. . .sigh. . .

When they got home, I think Pat was surprised at how much painting I had gotten done.  The entire first coat was on!  He had to go to work so Aidan and I got changed and we went across the street to Ida Lee Park for the Annual Easter Egg Hunt.  Aidan got so many eggs!!

I have to admit I was pretty exhausted after the Egg hunt, so we came back home and had an early dinner.  We stayed up and watched the first period of the Caps game and then watched the rest in bed, where Aidan fell asleep at 8:15 and I dozed on and off for the remainder. . .but I saw the big win!!

Another 12 hours of sleep and I woke up Sunday feeling so much better!  I still had a little bit of pain, and a small amount of bruising along my jaw line, but so much better!! 

Between us, we got the second coat of paint on the walls and then pulled off the tape.  Even Aidan helped a bit!

Of course, now I'm worried that once the floors are in, our furniture is going to look tired and old. . .  : )  That can wait, though!  Tonight I will begin painting the doors and frames with the hope of having them done and back up by the end of the week.

I do have to say, it is absolutely amazing at the amount of stuff one accumulates in drawers and cabinets. . .right in plain view, too!  And we didn't even know until we tore the room apart. . .The trash man is not going to like us for a couple of weeks because of how long it will take to pick up our trash!  But, what in the world am I going to do with all of these VHS tapes?!?!?!

Aidan had Mini Mites on Sunday, where he scored 16 goals!!! (I really should have moved him up to Mites) and then we met Daddy for dinner.  Another early night and now I am back to work today.  I don't mind saying I'm exhausted still, but I feel so much better.  I still have a little bit of bruising and a little soreness, but no more swelling.  Thanks be to God!!

Aidan is off on Spring Break this week.  Pat will be home through Wednesday with him and I will be home Thursday, Friday and next Monday.  We have things planned for this week in addition to putting the house back to rights.  Today is Pat's parents Anniversary. . .

Happy Happy 63rd Anniversary Grandma and Grandpa!!!  I can only hope and pray we last as long and as happily!

Wednesday is a big day for our little family--more on that later in the week!!

And, it's Holy Week, with some special church services to come. 

I plan on doing nothing next Monday. . .