Aidan at Beach

Aidan at Beach

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Spring Break Happenings

Last Saturday, I took Aidan to Ida Lee Park for an Easter Egg Hunt.  It is the last year he'll be able to do this.  He could technically do it again next year--the age cut off is 7--but he'll be weeks away from turning 8 and already looks like an almost 9 year old, so I think this will be it. 

When we got there, the Easter Bunny was roaming around the park and was gracious enough to stop to take a picture with Aidan. . . I had no idea Aidan covered his face until a little while ago when I downloaded the picture!!  And it's the only one I took.

If I had known, I would have thought it was a harbinger in of things to come.

At our appointed time, we went over to our designated egg hunt area for the 6-7  year olds.  We were crammed in a small space, under the trees.  It was not very big.  The areas for the little kids ere out in the open and were huge.  Of course, this really is more about the little kids and they are allowed to have the parents with them.  So, at the sound of the buzzer, the kids were off. . .with several parents running in too and grabbing up eggs for their kids.  I was horrified at these peoples behavior!  Eventually, I snapped out of it and went looking for my son who had wandered up the area looking for eggs.  I finally caught up with him and he was visibly upset.  Turned out it wasn't because he had only gotten 10 eggs (really!!) half of which he had promised to my friends daughter who was too scared to go at her turn because the Easter Bunny was in the area.  No, it was because he had seen one of his friends he had gone to preschool with et knocked down by a parent and his bag holding several eggs went flying and then kids and parents then swooped down on those eggs and snatched them up!  Can you believe it???  My sweet souled little man kept asking me why people would do this!  I was rally so incensed  fired off a scathing email to the park about how poorly planned this was and how it is a shame that this will be my sons last experience with this tradition and this is what he'll remember.

Okay.  I'm sure that nothing will come of that email, but I definitely felt better after I sent it.  : )

I just hugged my baby boy and told him that we could go home and he could play outside until dinner.  He was very happy then.

On Sunday, we went over to the mall and did some Spring Shopping.  I bought an Easter outfit for myself that is very springy and a few shirts and shorts for Aidan.  Pat didn't want anything, so we just looked around Sears and Dicks for him.  I have to admit, though, that we did wander into Yankee Candle and my weakness for the Fall scents overtook me. . .I now have a good supply of the Kitchen Spice candles. . .should last me until next Fall!

Monday was the first day offspring Break for Aidan.  It didn't start off well. . .
My office decided to close but Spring Break Camp over at the park was still on.  I decided to take Aidan late and then picked him up early.  It worked.  I had an unexpected day off to get some things done (cleaned a couple of shelves in the office and polished my silver!)and Aidan had fun with some kids at the park and even went swimming.  Fortunately, the snow didn't last.  It was gone by the afternoon.  I am so done with snow!

Perhaps the snow was a gentle reminder that five years, to the day, earlier, we had been in Krasnoyarsk going to court!  I held, with difficulty, Aidan on my lap that evening and told him all about court.  I hugged him and kissed him and told him that I was the luckiest Mama in the world because of him.  Love that boy!!

Spring Break camp went reasonably well.  There was one little boy who was a bit of a menace and my sweet and innocent little man learned the bad word of bad words while there (that's what happens when you put 6 year olds with 12 year olds!) so I have a couple more grey hairs.  But he had fun swimming every day and they went to see The Croods, which Aidan apparently loved and I am totally jealous he already saw!

This has been an interesting week in other ways.  With no hockey for the past week, my gas savings has been tremendous!  I haven't driven to the rink in over a week.  After going 3 and 4 times a week for so many months, it felt kind of strange. . .but then I saw how little gas I had used!  Woo hoo! 

Speaking of hockey, I think I may get a little confused in the coming weeks.  With two teams that Aidan is now on, I am getting emails and messages from both coaches and parents from both.  I really need to make a cheat sheet of who is on what team:  Kelly Green or Xtreme Selects.  Whoa.  It's going to be crazy for a couple of years with this cross over until Aidan is only on the Xtreme! 

In more hockey news, Aidan has been invited to train once a week with a coach who also works with the Caps.  I think we'll try it out for 5 or 6 sessions over the summer to see how it works for him.  It's early in the morning, so I'm okay with it during the Summer.  But, once school starts again in the Fall, we'll see.  School is top priority.

On Thursday we dyed our Easter Eggs.  They turned out pretty good.  We did some pastels and some glitter.  We're hoping our Egg thief (Maggie) will not eat them before Aidan can find them!



So, the only other thing we have going on, is that we bought new paint for the Man Cave so we can paint in there before the new fireplace is installed.  We also bought the new doorknob that requires us to enter a code to open the door. 

We're ready for Easter.  Grandma, Grandpa, Aunt B and UB will all be here for a nice feast.  We may need a fire in the fireplace, but we're thinking Spring anyway!  We're ready for those60 degree days!!  Hey!  It's a start! 

Happy Easter!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Travel Hockey Team!!

When we left the ice house on Wednesday night, we were told it would take a couple of days before we found out the results of the try outs.  So, we were a bit surprised to get an email last night from the Director of the Hockey Program with a list of names of those chosen. . .

Aidan made the team!!! 

He is so excited.  And yes, so am I.   : )

I am a bit bewildered by how quickly this is going, though.  So, he made the team on his first try out.  Unless he shows little to no progress, I think that means it is a strong possibility he will make the team from now on.  I don't know that for sure, but it seemed that way while I was watching the other night.  The boys who had been on the team previously and not moved up due to age, were excused early on Wednesday night.  All of their names are on the list. 

This doesn't really bother me.  All of those boys are very good and, frankly, were definitely the best skaters on the ice.  I just makes me think about how difficult it is for some boys to break into this system.  Aidan has been around Ashburn Ice House since he was two, so is well known to a lot of the coaches.  And he does skate very good.  So, I guess I'll just leave it alone and be happy for him that his hard work has gotten him a spot on the team he really really really wanted to be on.  (so cute to see his freckled earnest little face say that to me!)

Anyway, our schedule is now even more hectic.  Aidan will now have his House League practice every other Monday night beginning April 1st and his Select Travel Team practice every Tuesday night beginning April 2nd.  His House League games are every Saturday afternoon and I will find out in a week about the Select Travel Team games. . .although I do know there is a Tournament in Philadelphia during Memorial Day weekend. 

I think I need to increase what I am putting into the hockey fund. . .  : /

So, we'll be in Philly at the end of May!!  I am kind of hoping we can do a little touring while there. . .I haven't been there in years!  And it would be fun to show Aidan some of the places he has learned about.

Happy Friday!!  And think Spring!  (at the risk of getting a ticket from my son. . .Stupid Groundhog!)

Thursday, March 21, 2013

The Adventures Continue!

Well, let's see.  Where did we leave off in our never ending adventure???  Ah yes.  The Spring Mites Evaluation Skate.

So, Aidan was chosen to be on the Kelly Green team for the Spring Season.  It's kind of an interesting season.  There are only 5 practices but 8 games.  The practices are every other Monday night from 7:00 to 8:10.  The time is terrible for us as Aidan's bedtime (and thus ours too!) is 8:00.  But, it is only 5 times and it is every other week.  So, we'll deal with it for the short amount of time we have.  The trade off is that the games are Saturday afternoons.  This means we won't be needing to leave for the rink at the ungodly hour of 6:30 AND we'll be able to go to church more regularly again!  Our first practice is not until April 1st and the first game will be on April 6th.  Just right for a little break. . .

On Sunday, Aidan was invited to a birthday party for his Russian friend, George.  It was at King Pinz.  Aidan bowled with George and a bunch of George's friends from his Russian school.  For once, Aidan actually looked little! 

 There had been only one other time in our history together that Pat and I did not have Corned Beef and Cabbage on St. Patricks Day and that was 5 years ago.  Ironically, we left for Russia the next day for our Court trip and I didn't want to leave leftovers for a month so we went out with friends.  For Mexican Food. 

On Monday morning, we awoke to snow falling.  Winter just doesn't want to release it's hold on us!!
All I can say is Blech!!!  So done with winter.

Tuesday, Aidan had his first day of Mites Travel Hockey Try Outs.  He did okay.  He was doing some really good power skating and keeping up with the bigger boys.  This is for birth years '05 and '06.  They take 20 kids.  On Tuesday I counted 42 boys.  I felt at the end of that try out, Aidan was about middle of the pack.  He wasn't the best, but definitely not the worst.  About middle.  He did some good passing and was trying to anticipate where the puck was going.  During the skills portion, he was doing some great turns, stops and controlling the puck.  All in all, he did well.
Day 2 of the tryouts was on Wednesday night.  This one felt more brutal. . .at least to us parents!  Aidan made a face for me, but I don't really think this is how he felt.
On this day, I only counted 31 boys.  Perhaps a few dropped out?  I don't think I miscounted by 11 boys!  Anyway, Aidan again did excellent during the skills portion.  And he again showed some great anticipation and power skating skills.  And I was really proud of him when I saw him skating backwards trying to defend the goal.  I did hear one of the tryout coaches tell him that was really good.   So, we'll find out in a couple of days if he made it or not.  If he doesn't make this team, no worries.  This was the first of many try outs that we will experience in the coming years of hockey.
The other big news for the week is that we closed on our new 15 year mortgage with the insanely low interest rate!  So excited about that loan.  Our plan is to have it fully paid off by the time Aidan goes to college in 11 years.  Definitely doable!

And now, for a couple of days of quiet time.  That is, after mommy goes for a pedicure!  Then all will be quiet for a few days around the Harrison household.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Bad Mama Award X2

Okay, yes, I should actually be given this award for two days.  In a row!

It all started innocently enough.  On Saturday, I kept Aidan out of the house all day so Pat could sleep--he's currently on the midnight shift. We left the house about 9:00 am and we did grocery shopping, went to my weight watchers meeting (where I was down again!  I now have 3.4 to go to get to my goal!), then I took Aidan to the Free Skate with a friend of his, bought him some new hockey socks, and then he had his Skills Class--where he skated a bit sloppy, but was happy enough.  Then we met Pat at his parents for dinner.   A very long day for both of us. 

And then the time sprang forward to Daylight Savings Time!  Love the light, hate the lost hour of sleep.  Makes me fuzzy headed for a few days. . .

Anyway, Sunday dawned beautiful and warm.  In fact, it got up to 66 degrees!!!  After church, we had a quick lunch and then headed over to the new neighbors to see if their little boy could come out and play.  And play they did!  All day long.  In the warm sun.  That night, my little man was not only exhausted, he was a bit pink in his face and arms!  Ooops.  I didn't put any sunscreen on him. 

In my defense, it had just snowed four days earlier.  I wasn't tinking sunscreen yet!  It was hard enough to let Aidan play without his jacket on, okay?

Okay.  Okay.  I know I should always remember the sunscreen.  Especially for my very fair child.  Bad Mama Award #1.

So then on Monday, we got up as usual and headed off to work and school.  Aidan's Evaluation Skate for Spring Mites was in the evening and we had to be there no later than 6:00.  So, Pat worked with him on his homework and then we had a quick dinner before Aidan and I headed off to the rink.

 At the rink, we checked in, got him suited up and ready and then waited our turn to go on the ice.
After the kids were on the ice, I lost sight of mine only to find out he had to go to the bathroom. . .really, Aidan???  sigh. . .
But, then, once he was on there, he went through the drills portion of the evaluation flawlessly.  He was looking really good and I began to relax.
Stopping, turning, controlling the puck, backward skating.  You name, he was doing it good.  I was really happy for him.  There was no sloppiness to be seen.

And then they scrimaged.  I don't know what happened, but all of a sudden, Aidan was holding back.  He wasn't going after the puck.  He skated hard, but he wasn't being at all aggressive.  Just really sluggish.  He wouldn't look at me--probably becuase I had gotten a little angry about him waiting to go to the bathroom  : (  --so I couldn't coax him on.

In the car on the way home, we talked about it all and I even wondered aloud if he wanted to do hockey.  Yes!  Emphatic yes!!  So, I explained he was going to have to skate much harder than that if he wanted to make the Travel Team.  The tryouts are next week and it's all he's been talking about so I know he wants to do it. 

About a minute after we talked, it became quiet in the car and then I heard the heavy breathing of my child asleep.  Doh!!!  Of course!  He's exhausted, too, because of this darn time change thing!

Okay.  So, there you have it.  I'm the Bad Mama X2 for two bad days.  But, I'm blaming the Time Change!!!  : )

In other news,  we are in the midst of refinancing our house to a 15 year mortgage.  We got an incredible rate of 2.75%!   Our plan is to have the house paid off by the time Aidan goes to college, in 11 years.  Woo Hoo!!!  Because the rate is so low, our monthly payment is only about $50.00 a month more than now.  Incredible!  We close next Wednesday.  Can't wait!  And because of that, we are thinking we may be able to begin some of the outsde remodeling this summer!!  Screened in Porch and Stamped Concrete Patio!!  Woo Hoo!!

And finally, I have to share these picture of how my Aidan can actually skate.  It's him scoring in the last regular season game.  I think I'll show him these before his tryouts next week!

Aidan shoots!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

In Like A Lion

When March arrives, we are usually a little excited because it means winter is about over.  The days are getting longer, the temperatures are rising, there are fewer cloudy days, the trees are starting to look a bit swollen with the buds building, and sometimes there are even daffodils blooming by now.  Ah, spring.  We are ready to embrace you and celebrate your arrival!

Unless March comes in like a lion, that is.

Thus is the case this year.  I did happen to see some daffodils blooming near my office the other day, but the ominous weather report was already out there so the enjoyment factor of the daffodils was reduced.

As with any late winter, early spring storm here in the Mid-Atlantic, things can go either way.  A couple of miles can mean the difference between all snow and all rain.  Here, in Loudoun County, though, we general are on the snow side.  Our elevation is slightly higher and we're a little north and west of the city.  So, it should not have been a big surprise to find this when I got up yesterday:

It was really coming down!!  Obviously, school was cancelled for the day and my office also closed for the day so we settled in for a nice cozy day at home.  BONUS!!  Daddy didn't get called in to work until late in the day and didn't have to be there until 6:00!

After a couple of hours of heavy snow, our neighbors trees were starting to look a bit weighed down. . .

We had a nice pancake breakfast and I set up some spaghetti sauce to cook all day in the crock pot and then we got the kiddo bundled up to go outside for some fun in the snow!

The front looked very snowy by this time. . .

And the trees were still getting coated.  Those poor cherry blossom buds!!!  But, they will be fine and should be blooming beautifully in about 3 weeks regardless.

Aidan headed over to the neighbors to "help" shovel, even though it was still snowing.

And snowing. . .

The kids ended up making a snow fort and then sledding on our little hills in the yards.  They had a blast.  Until it started to rain.  Then they all came in for hot dogs, juice and some Cheetos while they dried off. 

There was one little boy who went to sleep immediately when his head hit the pillow last night.  And today he has a little extra time to sleep some more since we are on a two hour delay. . .

But, Spring is still in the offing.  In fact, I heard that this weekend will be in the 50's!  Bye bye snow!!! 

So, if it comes in like a lion, it should go out like a lamb.  Right? 

Sunday, March 3, 2013

End of the Mites Fall/Winter Season

Well, our season is over.  Our Grey Wolves finished off the season with a great win over the White team and wound up in 5th place overall in the entire Mites Division.  That's pretty good, if you ask me!  That's 5th place out of 12 teams. 

Some highlights from today, a game in which Aidan scored twice again--just like last week!

Practicing before the game.

Aidan's buddy George.  Today is George's 9th birthday! 

I love when I see Aidan skate backward.  Even though you can't tell in the picture.

Getting ready to defend our goal.

Staying ready in a defense posture.

At Center for the faceoff. . .you actually can't see my boy.

Chasing down the puck.

Skating backward and staying ready on offense.

Getting checked and giving the shoulder right back!

Ready to receive the puck.

Celebrate good times!  Come On!!!!

Oh, alright.  We'll shake hands, too.

Looking a little raggedy but ready to receive their awards.
Eash boy was called up by name, in alphabetical order.

So cute.  But, boy is my boy looking raggedy!!  He really needs a hair cut.  Or at least a trim!  I also want to put his orange laces back on the new skates so I can find him easier on the ice!!!

Fifth Place!!!!  Way to go boys!!!

And now to celebrate at Buffalo Wing Factory with food, cake and balloons!!

Fun times.
And now we are off for a bit pending the start of the Spring League.  Yes, we have a whole 8 days to rest and recuperate before it all begins again!!  Albeit for a shorter season. . .