Aidan at Beach

Aidan at Beach

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Preparing for Halloween

Halloween is uniquely American.  And we do it up big.  We plan what the children are going to wear, sometimes allowing them a say  : )  We decorate our houses, sometimes inside and out.  We buy pumpkins and carve them up into ghoulishly comical faces.  We buy candy to give out when children come to our doors and say "Trick or Treat!" 

Now that it is fall, there is a little boy in my house whose mind has turned to Halloween. . .truth be know, it turned to Halloween in August and has now become a daily mantra of "pumpkin, costume, witches!!!"  He convinced me two weeks ago that it was okay to decorate the inside of our house with some little Halloween decorations that we have.  And last weekend I caved and allowed myself to be talked into putting the witch in the tree out front.   (My mothers voice keeps after me saying I'm going to have to decorate more now that Aidan is here.)

It has been suggested, and I tend to agree, that Aidan loves Halloween so much because it really was the first big holiday he experienced after coming home.  There was the Fourth of July, but that wasn't really about kids and it was pretty soon after.  I did make a big deal out of going to the store in August and buying the material to make his costume and then, of course, we have a HUGE town parade right in front of our house and then there is the trick or treating. . .outside. . .in the dark. . .a totally different thing that isn't usually done.

Anyway, he has already found which houses have some decorations out in the yard and points them out every chance he gets.  His current favorite is a house down the street with pumpkin lights outside. . .of course we can only see it when it is dark out!

I have promised him a trip to Pumpkinville during Columbus Day weekend where he can run and jump and play in the big straw bale hills and fly on the rope swing and pet the animals and toss a pumpkin or two and paint a pumpkin AND pick out any pumpkin he wants for our porch. . .he's been saving his allowance and plans to spend it all on that pumpkin. 

Pumpkinville isn't cheap, but it is fun.  We go every year and spend a couple of hours of pure heaven--for Aidan.  I do enjoy going into the little farm market afterward and browsing the local wares. 

But. . . .

Last Sunday, I had to stop at Harris Teeter on the way home from Aidan's hockey game for some crackers.  Outside the store were mounded pumpkins of all shapes and sizes. . .with a big sign that said "2 for $10.00".  Okay, I know a bargain when I see one.  And although it still seems early to be buying pumpkins, I gave the go ahead nod to Pat and the two of them were off. . .

And look at the pure happiness that resulted!!

And so, we now have two nice sized pumpkins on our front porch. . .a third will join them in a little more than a week after we find it at Pumpkinville!

And yes, we do have his costume. . .it arrived yesterday and is totally cool. . .and we will reveal it on Halloween!!! 

Monday, September 24, 2012

Going a Million Miles a Minute

Whew!!!  I need to catch my breath. . .

Last Monday, my mother in law went in to have the hip replacement that she had had done 20years ago redone. It kept popping out and she needed the top of the hip joint to have a new ball so it wouldn't do that anymore.  On Thursday, she was transferred to a Rehab Center.  She is doing well, but it will take a while for her to heal.  We went and saw her on Saturday and she seems to be in really good spirits and is doing really well.  But, she can't really get up yet.  She's not strong enough in her upper body to pull herself up and so she is pretty confined to the bed.  But, she did seem okay, if not resigned to it.  She's making the best out of a hard situation.

Thursday was also Aidan's Back to School Night. I met with his new Reading Specialist that he is working with. Aidan apparantly knows a lot of sight words but has trouble with his writing and putting it all together. So, he's working with the Specialist several times a week and a book comes home that we are to have him read to us each night. I then have to inital each day that he has done it. I have to admit that I was a bit worried about him going to a Specialist because I didn't think he had a problem. I'm so about it though in order help him reach his potential!  I'm going to talk to his teacher at Winwood about helping him put his sight words together to create sentences.  That might help as well.

Also on Thursday was Aidan's football practice and then we had to be at the field by 7:30 for his 8:00 game on Saturday morning.  Boy did that feel early!  Aidan did really well with the game.  The other team had a lot of much bigger, and appeared much older, players.  They targeted Aidan becuase he is fast.  Aidan caught a pass and ran 30 yards in for a touchdown and then the other team began going after him.  There was one player in particular who kept pulling on Aidan's shirt and then pulling the flag.  This is flag football:  no holding and no tackling!

And then there was another play where Aidan had the ball and he was running down the sidelines when that kid came up and pulled him down, tackling him.  The refs did nothing!!!  My baby had grass and dirt all over his shins and hands.  It really freaked him out and he started crying. . .and my mommy instincts went into overdrive causing me to run out onto the field to see for myself if he was okay.  Yes, I stopped short of hugging and kissing him, but not by much!!  He was fine, which I saw for myself when I brushed him off.  The coach quietly said to me, "I got this mom."  I looked at him and realized I was on his turf. . .bad mommy.  I did apologize to him later explaining my mommy instincts took over.  He was very gracious about it and told me is was okay at which time his mother said she had Grandmommy instincts kicking in!!  : )  I have to confess, though, that I yelled at the other teams coach on the way off the field about his player.. .who was noticibly absent the rest of the game!  : )  Mom's Rule!!!

Anyway, our team only had 5 boys show up meaning that they had to play the entire game with only a short 5 minute break at half time.  And, I am proud to say, our boys tied this much bigger group!  3 to 3!!!  Go Knights!!!

#1 was the only small player on the other team. . .

Friday night, Aidan had hockey practice and he got his jersey back, now with his name on it!!!  That was exciting!!! 

He is so loving being on the Grey Wolves team.  He is definitely the youngest, but still doing well.  At practice, they had to push a goal across the ice by holding the middle bar.  That goal is easily twice his weight and about three times as big, if not more!  But, he did it.  And smiled the entire time.

Saturday afternoon, Aidan had his Hockey Skills class.  He was loving that as well.  The coaches there know him so well that they will call him out and/or praise him at the drop of a hat.  : )  Aidan loves it.

Sunday morning, bright and early, we headed back to the ice house for Aidan's second Mites hockey game:  Grey Wolves v. Yellow at 7:40 am!!  (yawn!!!) He still didn't score, but he did get an assist and he almost scored once!  He did put one in the goal on our side : ) but he was forgiven by his team.  They were all really cute helping each other and playing more like a team this time.    Unfotunately, they lost.  But, they really gave it  good try!  10-8 Yellow.

Sunday afternoon, some friends came over to watch the Redskins game.  We're trying to get a little more into the football feel this year.  No NHL (darn lockout!), so we need some professional sport to watch!  Although, now that the Nats are in the Playoffs. . .

Anyway, after the game, the kids and the men went outside to play some kick ball while us ladies did the finishing touches on dinner (venison chili) and set the table.  Unfortunately, we didn't even get to eat it!  No more than 15 minutes had passed when Gary came in with the news that Pat had twisted his ankle and that it looked really really bad.  Yep.  Bad enough that I took him over to the hospital.  Thank goodness they reopened the old hospital here in town!  A couple of hours later, some x-rays, a brace a prescription and instructions to go home and ice it down, stay off of it and keep it elevated and we headed home. . .where I made the decision to stay home today to make sure all of the above happened.  For the most part it has.  But, boy does that ankle and foot look awful!  It is so swollen, the skin is a bit shiny.  : /  Pat does have an appointment on Thursday afternoon to see if anything more needs to be done.  I'm supposed to go out of town next week for two days and a night for our annual agency meeting.  I guess I'll see how things are on Friday to see if I actually go.

Today was nice, though.  I was able to take care of Pat, get Aidan on and off the bus (I love that part!) and make some gingerbread cookies which Aidan will love to have as his bed time snack with some warm Apple Cider!  Perfect now that the weather has cooled off and is in the 40's at night!

And there you have it.  What we've been up to.  Lookng forward to Columbus Day weekend which should be much much quieter!!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Oooh! Oooh! Oooooooooooooooooooooooooooh!

So, the Grey Wolves had their second practice last night.  Aidan is doing amazingly well.  He still needs to work on some self control (same issue that continues at school) but he is doing amazingly well.  He is one of two six year olds on the team of eleven boys.  The rest of the boys are seven and eight.  I think that with some more practices and a couple of games under his belt, AND with the Skills Class starting next Saturday, he is going to improve quickly.

A couple of moves I noticed him make last night were some funny little hops which I know he has seen NHL players make to get some speed going.  Cute!  And he is getting fancy with his feet.  It's all good as long as he keeps control of the puck.  But, again, for a six year old, he is doing amazingly well.  I'm very proud of him!

Did I mention that the boys had voted to be called the Wolves?  They were assigned the color grey and at the first practice, they had a team meeting on the ice where they decided to be the Grey Wolves.  Love it!  So, on Wednesday during lunch I drew up a logo for the team. . .which has now been adopted.  : )

And placed on our new team website that another mom created.  The website is really neat because it has the team roster with parent information, etc.; our practice and game schedule; a place for pictures and video's; snack rotation; timer and score sheet rotation; and team stats with win-loss record.  It's password protected, so I can't share it here, but I assure you it is really cool!

The boys got their team jerseys and socks last night.  So cool!!  Aidan is number 21 (just like Brooks Laich from the Caps!).  They will give the jerseys back after the game on Sunday and their names will be put on the back.  Aidan is really excited about that. 

I am also now the Team Manager (I am sooo my mom!).  I coordinate with the other parents snack rotation, timer and score sheet rotation, and coordinate the Christmas and end of season parties.  How did I do that???  Well, only two of us moms volunteered and the coach flipped a coin and I won.  : )  Seriously, though, the other mom is a major drama queen.  Woah!  Seriously.  Last night everything was about her while the boys were getting their gear on and picking jerseys, etc.  Nothing was good enough for her.  She made me feel very uncomfortable.  Yikes.  Pat speculated that perhaps the coach knew her from a prior season which is how I got the job (her kid is eight and the coach's is seven).  Possible.  I did feel better about it all when a couple of other parents appeared very happy I was it.  Okay then. 

The other funny thing was that a few of the parents have adopted a wolf braying at the moon sound for when the boys score or do something good on the ice (thus the title of this post).  It is pretty funny and I imagine it will be unnerving to the other parents in the stands. 

Did I mention this is so NOT the Mini-Mites?

The jump from Mini-Mites to Mites is starting to seem like a major leap.  Aidan will be fine.  But, will we, as the parents?  : /

Friday, September 14, 2012

The Proper Response to a Gift

A Priest friend once told me, "Stacy, the proper response to a gift is Thank You."  He said this to me over ten years ago and yet it is still something that I am constantly having to remind myself.

And remind myself I do.  Daily.

I look at my husband.   He is handsome.  He is kind and gentle.  Sometimes easily frustrated, but who isn't.  He usually listens.  Slow to anger, quick to laugh.  Loves to have fun.  What a gift!!!  The perfect gift to me.

I look at my son.  He too is kind and gentle.  Fun loving.  Sensitive when so many are not.  So empathethic that it's a little scary.  Wonderfully smart and super athletic.  And cute too!  Another wonderful and perfect gift!!! 

We have terrifc parents who love and care about each of us individually and as a whole.  Great sisters and brothers in law, aunts, uncles, cousins, neice and nephews. 

We have a beautiful home in a great location.  Good schools.  Good jobs.

We are absolutely blessed.  I need to remember that more often.

Thank you.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Patriot's Day

Let's get those flags out people!!!  Whether you are left, right or in the middle politically speaking, dress your kids in red, white and blue and show our patriotism!!  Remember those who fell and those who fought and fell.

God Bless America

Friday, September 7, 2012

Very Active People

Our schedule is about to get really crazy.  But, in six weeks, it will move down a level to just crazy.

Aidan is still in football and his practices are Thursday evenings from 5:00 to 6:00.  His games are Saturday mornings at either 8:00 or 10:00.

Hockey practice begins this weekend and will be tomorrow afternoon from 3:30-4:40.  But, his regular practice will be from 6:10-7:20 on Friday nights.  He has a skills class on Saturday afternoons from 2:10-3:20 and then his games will be on Sunday mornings at either 7:40 or 8:50. . .

Are you following?  Or have your eyes glazed over due to the lack of sleep you know I'll be getting???

The good news on all of this:

Football ends on October 13th. . .six weeks from now.  Then we just have the hockey portion of the schedule. . .AND there's no hockey Columbus Day weekend, Thanksgiving weekend, the skills class ends December 8th, but begins again the first part of January.  Hockey practice and games take a three week break during Christmas and New Years. 

So, there is some hope of sleep!  And the better news is that I have long weekends from work at the same time as these breaks happen!!

And the even better news is that Aidan is really loving all of it.  His face brightens and he just smiles the entire time.  AND he ate ALL of his dinner last night without me having to say even once to keep eating!!!!!!!!!  (this is huge, in case you were wondering)

So, if I can just get through these next six weeks. . .

In other news:

Aidan is LOVING First Grade, his teacher, and his friends.  And he seems to be picking up where he left off in Kindergarten and may actually have advanced some over the summer (thank you Winwood!).  But, he is having some trouble with paying attention (listening ears) and not talking when he shouldn't.  There is a reward system at school which gets reported to us each day:  The children start with 4 stars and then lose a star each time they aren't paying attention/talking/being disruptive.  Aidan had 2 stars on Tuesday, 0 stars on Wednesday and then 2 again on Thursday.  Yikes!!!  So, we have started a system here at home to hopefully compliment the one at school.We'll see how it goes.  The good news is that Aidan is really interested in trying to do better. 

I'm hoping this is just because he is an active six year old boy. . .

Saturday, September 1, 2012

He Is Only In First Grade!!!

Turn the page and now it's September!!!  Fall is only three weeks away and that means hockey season is gearing up--at least for us little people. . .maybe not for the NHL.  But, hopefully so!

Anyway. . .

Thursday was Aidan's Evaluation Skate for the Mites.  There is no Mini about these boys.  Honestly, they all looked so huge!!!  Kinda like how Aidan looked with the Mini Mites. ..But, not anymore.  The boys range in age from 6-8.  There is a big difference between a 6 year old and an 8 year old.  I'm here to tell ya!  Aidan may be a big boy, for 6, but he is still 6.  And only has been for a couple of months. 

There were 140 boys skating for Mites positions.  Some will be on the Select Team that is a feed for the XTreme, but most will be on a House League team.  They were split, by alphabet, into three groups.  Aidan was in Group 2 and was assigned a green (his favorite color) vest with the number 23 on it.

As he was going onto the ice, I heard several boys around him talking.  "I just started third grade!" 
"So did I!"  "Me too!"  Aidan, eyes a little big, said, "I just started first grade."  Poor little guy. . .

Once on the ice, the boys were put through the paces: speed skills, foot skills, stick skills, puck handling. . .

Meanwhile, on the other side of the rink, the12 coaches watched and took notes.  Once all three groups were done, they conferred and did a "draft" picking and choosing who would be on what team.  We were told to go on home and that we would find out no later than the 4th what team we would be on and when our practices would start. 

We found out today, we are on the Grey team!!!  Our first practice is next Saturday at 3:30, but our regular practices will be Friday at 6:10 and games will be Sunday mornings. . .It's going to be a fun season!!!  (yes, Aidan is just as excited as I am.  I promise!)

This morning, we got up VERY early and headed over to the Ice House for a Shoot Out I had enrolled Aidan in.  It was free and I thought it might be a good experience for him.  Aidan was excited to do this, but this morning he wanted to "sleep just a little longer, Mama."

We had to be there by 7:00 (yikes) and the boys were on the ice by 8:00 for some warm ups. 

Aidan was ready, inspite of the short sleep!

There were 16 shooters, Aidan among them.  And there were 4 goalies.  The boys were split into 2 groups of 8 each and then they were lined up.  They had three shots per goalie, for a total of 12 shots.  The 6 who had the highest number of shots would go on to the Semi finals at Kettler and then from there, the finalists would go to Verizon Center.  Knowing Aidan was likely the youngest out on the ice, AND he has never gone up against a goalie before, we didn't think we would go past today.  And we don't.  But, our boy made us proud anyway!!!

He didn't make any goals, but he had several close calls, including one that would have gone in between the legs of the goalie except the goalie moved his foot at th last possible second.  Aidan did extremely well!

I was especially proud of how he handled himself.  That was a lot of pressure on such a little guy!  Aidan had poise and didn't buckle under.  And he tried several different moves to see if they would work.  I imagine with some time, he will be scoring tons even with a goalie in the net. . .The thing I want him to always remember is to have fun.  Today was his first time skating with other boys who have been Mites for a year or two.  He just fnished Mini Mites 2 1/2 weeks ago. . .he is doing awesome.

In other news:

I noticed that by Wednesday morning, there were three little girls who had started coming to our bus stop from the stop before ours.  On Friday, we were a couple of minutes later getting there than usual. When we opened the doors, I heard one little girls say, "Oh yeah!  There he is!"  Hmmm. . ."Aidan, do you know these little girls?"  Yeah.  "What are thier names?"  I dunno.  (said with typical little boy disinterest).  Hmmmm. . .and one is a screecher, too.  : <  My sister assures me that goes away. . .

That evening, we were informed by the neighbor girl that Aidan sat next to the screecher on the bus on the way home. . .hmmm. . .

He's only in first grade!!!