Aidan at Beach

Aidan at Beach

Friday, July 26, 2013

Amazing Feats

The week following a vacation is always a difficult one.  It's just an amazing feat to get up and get everyone going for the day and get myself to work!  And yet, this week has been a week of amazing feats.

Monday was a very difficult day.  Not in any horrible sense.  But, it was difficult because of a person I work with (not in my office) who continues to make some very bad decisions on business to write and I have to be the one to tell her we can't do it.  It wouldn't be so bad except that this is a continuing problem and she always presents the business to me with the caveat:  This is a very close friend from church.  Monday's situation was especially horrible because she decided to challenge me on every point of my decision.  And I had to involve my supervisor and manager.  I hate it when that happens.  But, they supported me in what I had decided--emphatically--and the matter ended there. 

Until Wednesday when she presented another batch of new business to me--3 applications--again marked that the business was for a very close friend from church.  After looking the applications over, it was very clear that she had not even glanced at our guidelines.  I had to decline the applications and forward a copy of our guidelines to her, which I know she was not happy about.  I'm worried she is painting herself into a corner by trying to do so much business within her own personal community.  I'm not sure that is a good practical business plan.

It was an amazing feat for me to not lose my cool over this situation nor bash my head against the wall!!

I don't usually talk about my work here, but I needed to purge that especially now that it's Friday and time to move on!

Another amazing feat happened on Wednesday morning.  Actually two of them.

Aidan has his Cold Rush lesson on Wednesday mornings.  It starts at 6:00 am, so we need to leave the house about 5:15ish in order to get there and get him into his gear.  This allows a few minutes of breather before the lesson actually starts.  On Tuesday night, I double checked my alarm to make sure it as set for the right time. . .and apparently turned it off!!  I woke up Wednesday morning at 5:15!!!!  YIKES!!! 

I jumped out of bed, ran downstairs, made 3 lunches and got everything ready to go.  Then, I ran upstairs and showered and got ready for work, woke Pat and asked him to get Aidan up and dressed.  We were out the door at 6:00.  Yes, I knew we'd be late, but better late than not at all. 

We got to the Ice House and I got Aidan all geared up and he was on the ice at 6:25. . .Whew!!  I don't mind telling you that I was absolutely impressed with myself on that one!!  Aidan missed 25 minutes of the foot skills portion of the lesson, but was still there for 15-20 minutes of it and all of the stick skills portion.  Not bad Mama!!!

And the other amazing feat happened during Aidan's lesson:  Previously, the foot skills coach has had the boys doing jumps over hurdles of varying sizes.  They do a speed skill drill down the ice and then come back fast and have to jump over a hurdle.  On Wednesday, she only had the tall hurdles out.  Aidan usually jumps over these one foot at a time.  It's more of a stumble jump.  All last week, we practiced jumping over waves at the beach, making it a game.  Well, Aidan not only jumped over those hurdles, both feet together, he cleared them with about six inches of air between the bottom of his blades to the top of the hurdle!!  It was amazing!!!  I could hear the coaches praising him loudly and I could see my baby grinning from ear to ear!!  Amazing!!!

Another amazing feat this week is that We. Are. Starting. Our. Porch!!!!  We have our approval from the HOA and from our Town.  We should have our permits from the County next week.  But we have made our initial contract deposit, materials are being ordered and demolition has commenced!!!  Woo Hoo!!!  After the 8 weeks it has taken us to get to this point, this is amazing!!!  I'm hoping to be in there by Labor Day.

Finally, my mom is doing so much better.  Three weeks ago, I wasn't sure what was going to happen.  She has gained weight, and strength.  And she is cranky about decisions my sisters and I have made for her.  :  )  This is amazing.

And now it's Friday.  I'm tired from all this amazingness.  I am hoping for a quiet weekend.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Beach Week 2013

We're home.  We have arrived back in the land of fast paced living.  We don't get to take it slow again for a while.  I love taking it slow.

We had a great time in Kitty Hawk.  We stayed at a hotel that had a really soft bed and pillows that felt like bricks (really lovely for the back, neck and head--especially I you are old, like me!) but it was right on the ocean, there was a pier the boys could go fish off of, there was no kitchen in our room (which means I didn't have to cook!--although that did have a bit of a backlash for me and my diet--whew!), and we had maid service.  We put on our bathing suits and grabbed some breakfast somewhere and then headed onto the beach where we parked ourselves for a day of fun in the sun and ocean.  It was really nice.

And the funny part is, it has rained and been cloudy all summer long.  Except for the week we were at the beach!  It was sunshine and hot weather the entire week! 

We drove down last Saturday.  Although it should only take about 5 hours to drive down, it took us about 7 1/2 to 8 due to an accident in the Williamsburg area and then heavy traffic once we got into North Carolina.  Everyone going to the Outer Banks has to take the same two lane road over the same two lane bridge out to the Banks.  It's a little frustrating each time, but we still do it because it is so worth it once you get there. 

We still got there early afternoon on Saturday (that gives you a little idea of how early we left!) and I had plenty of time to unpack and spread out while the boys went to check out the pier.  That evening, we walked across the street and got Carolina BBQ. . .yum. . .although, mine is better!  : )

After dinner, the boys went fishing at the pier and I hung out on the balcony reading.  But, I wasn't so engrossed that I missed this!  Beauty. . .

Sunday found us on the beach early.  Aidan had us drag all of his sand toys out to the beach, but all he really wanted to do was to be buried

and go swimming. 

But, something happened while swimming.  We're not exactly sure what, but we think Aidan must have gotten pummeled by a wave without us noticing, although we were watching him carefully--he's a daredevil and this is the north end of the Graveyard of the Atlantic.  Shoals and sandbars make some crazy dangerous currents in this area.  As calm as it looks, people get pulled out and under very easily.  So, we're just not sure.  But, Aidan was afraid of the ocean.  He kept saying the surf was crazy and the current was strong.  But, he worked through it--probably had something to do with a few other little boys his age that he wanted to play with!  In the end, he was surfing along on his boogey board with out too much difficulty. . .as soon as Daddy pulled him out far enough that is!  : )

We spent all day Sunday and Monday on the beach, with a little time at the pool for good measure.  By the end of the second day, we were all feeling a bit crispy and I decided we needed a day away doing some other fun touristy things.  So, on Tuesday, we drove down to Roanoke Island and visited Fort Raleigh.  Very cool indeed!!  In addition to the old fort and the lost colony, there is also an Elizabethan theatre, Elizabethan Garden (which we did not see, sadly), and a wonderful Ranger who told us all about how the island was involved in the Civil War (and he knew all about our little burg's battle too!  very cool); about how the local slaves had come to the island to create their own community during the war (which at the time would have meant they ran away--or worse!--stole themselves!!) and how a local man invented AM radio there on the island--but didn't get credit because he waited too long to get the patent!  On the way out, we noticed the Spanish Moss.  I couldn't help thinking that I hadn't realized Spanish Moss could be found this far north.  I thought Wilmington, NC was as far north as it came.  But, I see I was wrong. . .which was actually cool because Aidan thought it was pretty hanging from the trees that way and actually wanted to bring some home for our trees. . .

All in all, our time at Roanoke Island's Fort Raleigh was a huge pleasure. 

Our next stop for the day was in Kill Devil Hills--The Orville and Wilbur Wright Monument.  Let me tell you:  that was very cool  I had always thought these men had flown their machine from the top of the dunes.  But, in actuality, they flew it from flat ground.  Regardless of who people think was first in flight, these two brothers had an amazing achievement.  On December 17, 1903, they made four flights, none lasting even a minute.  And yet, just over 10 years later, men were flying planes in raids over Europe during World War One.  And then just 60 years later, men were flying spaceships to the moon. . .Truly amazing.  And absolutely genius:

Our day ended with a trip to Captain Franks for hot dogs and then a trip to the pool.  What a great day!  I have to be honest and tell you that Aidan began the day gritchy and grouchy because he wanted to go to the beach.  He didn't want to see a bunch of museum type things!  But, we were pleasantly surprised when he showed interest at Fort Raleigh and then was really into the monument and flight information at Kill Devil Hills!  Pretty great!!  (Mama pats herself on the back for having him read the book earlier about the Wright Brothers!  : )  )

Wednesday and Thursday we were back at the beach for more fun in the sun:  swimming, surfing, being buried in the sand (and not once playing with the sand toys!!!  : (  he's over them. . .)  And the boys went fishing each evening after dinner.
I had a better longer video of Aidan boogey boarding, but Blogger won't let me upload it!  I don't know why.

I'm not touching that thing!

On Thursday evening, we ventured over to Awful Arthurs for Crab Balls, Steamed Shrimp and Hushpuppies.  Yummy and fun, especially when we were visited by a pirate by the name of Captain Curri C. Tuck!

Back at the hotel, the boys went fishing while I began the chore of packing up.  Friday morning, after a very restless night, I was up early and we were off by 8:00.  We were all ready to go home.  In fact, the night before, when I was putting Aidan to bed, he said, "I miss Maggie and Mosby, and my CoCo Puffs, and my bed, and my house, and Charlie and Ava and Zack and Kaitlin.  I'm ready to go home."  Me too, buddy!!  Aidan was totally exhausted and really ready. . .

This was really the perfect amount of time to be away.  We left Saturday morning and came home on Friday.  Traffic was pretty light on Friday coming back, so that made it really great. 

We did have a couple of reality break throughs while away:  I got the notice about Fall sign up for Hockey--which I did online; and I received an email with the Second Grade School Supply List.  And so there you have it:  Fall is coming, like it or not.  Which is actually a like, with these 90+ temps!

Now that we're back, I have completed 6 loads of laundry--washed, dried, folded and put away.  And I did our budget for August; went to Costco for some things we needed; cleaned the floors; and made my grocery list for the next two weeks.  I'll head to Wegman's tomorrow.  And now, we are ready to do our porch!

Stay cool!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Week Five of Summer Break

Summer Break is five weeks old now and Aidan has finished his second of two weeks at Ida Lee Camp.  Well, actually, today is the last day but he is staying home with Daddy so they can go to a Stick and Shoot and practice some of his foot and stick skills he's been learning. 

I think Aidan had a good time at Ida Lee Camp.  He got to go swimming every day, which he absolutely loved.  And he brought home some art that is really pretty cool.  The water park they went to both weeks--which is right here in Leesburg!--has a lot of slides that he liked, but he LOVED the lazy river.  : )  So like his mama.

At his Cold Rush lesson this week, I heard the foot skills coach picking and picking and picking on Aidan.  At first I was a little worried about that.  But, then she skated up to Aidan and said very loudly, "Do you know why I'm picking on you?"  No, Aidan responded.  "Because you're very good and I think you can be even better!"  Whoa. . .this lady teaches and coaches several NHL players. . .After her 40 minutes were up and the Stick skills coach got on the ice for his 40 minutes, I went to talk to Ms. Marco.  And yes, she confirmed what I have been thinking (of course I think this!  I'm his Mama!) Aidan is a very good skater.  She told me some things we can practice at home and on vacation to help him be even better--and it can all be a fun family game, too!  Hopping on one foot; see who can stand on one foot the longest; hop over things with one or two feet, etc.  This can really be a fun thing!  Can't you just see us at the edge of the ocean trying to see who can stay upright on one foot with waves hitting us?? 

When I went back to watch the Stick Skills portion, I noticed the Stick Skills coach picking on Aidan also.  And Aidan was responding excellently.  Apparently, he has been pegged as a Sniper and they are working on that with him. . .hmmmmm. . .

That night, Aidan was so exhausted, he took an hour and a half nap before dinner. . .bad idea on our part for letting him because then he was not ready for bed.  Ooops!

Tomorrow, we leave for the beach.  Yeah!  We're not going anywhere special.  Just Kitty Hawk.  But, I am excited to get away for a bit.  And it will be really cool to take Aidan to Kill Devil Hills and show him where the Wright Brothers flew their plane.  At the beginning of summer, he read a Historic Fiction book about Orville and Wilber Wright so this will bring that to life for him.  And, if we have a rainy day, we thought we would drive down to Ocracoke and explore that island again.  We did enjoy that last year.

And update on my mom:  she finished her radiation treatment on the 3rd but is not doing very good.  She has lost a lot of weight because she got very sick from the radiation and we've been trying to get her to eat anything with a lot of calories.  My older sister was there last weekend and will be going back this coming week.  I'm going to look at my calendar to see what I can work out, too and I'm sure my younger sister will plan something as well.  I'm very worried that she is giving up.  I hear it in her voice when I talk to her each day.  If the cancer is still there, she will likely refuse further treatment.  It all just makes me cry.  But, I'm grateful I had the time with her for Mother's Day and Aidan's birthday. 

That's it for now.  Have a great Friday.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Into Summer and Independence Day

Incredibly, we're already 1/3 of the way into Summer Break.  We've been having fun and we've been busy, but we still have so much to do!

Our weather, this summer, hasn't been the greatest.  It's been warm, mostly in about the mid-to upper- 80's.  But, it's been cloudy and rainy a lot.  Fortunately, it hasn't messed up any of Aidan's camp plans.  Things have progressed as scheduled.  So far.  And this weekend we have hit the 90's. . .can you say humid?????  Blech!

Aidan finished up Hockey Camp and this past week spent his time at Ida Lee Camp.  It was only for three days, due to the Fourth of July and then I was off on Friday.  But, I think he had fun.  He got to go swimming every day, indoor pool on Monday and Tuesday and then at the AV Symington outdoor water park on Wednesday.  He'll be back at Ida Lee Camp this coming week.  He will again get to go swimming most days at the indoor pool, but on Tuesday, they will go to Pump it Up (large bouncy slide place) and then on Thursday they will go to AV Symington Outdoor Water Park again.  They are also scheduled to do some tye dye T shirts.  And then we will be blessedly on vacation. . at the beach. . .as a family!  Woo Hoo!!

The Fourth of July was fun.  I've just not had much energy this summer so I decided to buy these Chili Lime Chicken on a Stick things from Costco--very yummy!  and I served it with hot dogs (for the kids), Four Bean Salad (also from Costco), chips and dips, chips and salsa, and cheese and crackers.  And all on paper plates.  I know.  What no barbeque???  I did make some Carolina BBQ last weekend when Pat's cousin was here visiting.  I even smoked it outside, made the rub, basting sauce and BBQ sauce from scratch.  I added baked beans, deviled eggs, chips and homemade (and homegrown) blackberry cobbler with vanilla ice cream for desert.  Probably why I didn't have the energy for the fourth!  It was all yummy--both days.  In fact, I will definitely buy the Chili Lime Chicken on a Stick again.  Very very tasty!!

On the Fourth, Aidan was asked to be in the parade.  Our neighbor heads up our local Toys for Tots program and drove his Classic Mustang--recently restored to beauty--in the parade with a sign.  Aidan was decked out in his stars and stripes shirt, jean shorts, flip flops (which you can't see) and his stars and stripes sunglasses.  Very patriotic!!

Here with Mama before the parade.

Daddy helping out by moving the car into position.



The rest of the parade was the usual fun. . .George Washington, classic trucks and cars, Town Council, some politicians running for office this fall, fire trucks, police cars and, of course the Bolivian Dancers. . .we never understand the Bolivian Dancers part. . .but whatever.

My baby waving in the parade!!!  Such an American. . .

And popsicles after the parade makes it perfect.
Later in the day, friends came over for the above mentioned easy dinner and the kids got their bathing suits on and played in the sprinkler and hose.

They really had a blast.  It was hot and humid and watching them play like this was actually a lot of fun. . .
After dinner, the kids were in other, clean and dry, patriotic clothes and we did sparklers and some fireworks while we waited for out Town to start setting them off.  And when they did, they were as beautiful as always. . .
Two sparklers at once

I'll just stick to one, thank you.

And Daddy was able to swing by and enjoy some family time, too!  Yeah!!

Oooooh!!!  Ahhhhhhh!!!

Pictures of fireworks rarely turn out as cool as the real thing.  Trust me. . .these were really awesome!
Our other summer projects are continuing.  We have narrowed things down to two for the Screened Porch.  We will likely decide for sure Monday or Tuesday.  The plans are really cool and I can't wait to get going on it.  It will be wonderful to enjoy it. . . in September!!  : )
The gas fireplace has been ordered.  We made a bit of a change in our plans for this.  Originally, we had intended to put this in the Man Cave because it gets so cold in there.  But, with the sizing issues, we decided to move the smaller electric fireplace into that room, rearranged our plans for things in there and are putting the bigger gas fireplace in the Rec Room.  It makes sense, because we actually spend more time in the Rec Room and when we do go into the Man Cave, we really just need to take the chill off and then we're okay.  Our plan is to have it all together and the bar built by the time football season starts.
Speaking of Football, I guess Aidan will find out his team for the fall league in about a week or so.  Probably while we're on vacation.  Practices will start the first week in August.  Ugh!  Hot.
Other summertime enjoyments:  We went to see Monsters University as a family a couple of weeks ago.  Very fun and very funny!!  Loved it.  Yesterday, Aidan and I joined our friends Kelly and Catherine for Despicable Me 2.  Also very fun and very funny!  Nice afternoon out.
We also plan to see Turbo and Smurfs 2 later this summer.  We're not planning on Planes because Aidan is really over the Cars stuff.  I guess that's a sign of him growing up!
And growing he is. . .I think he is getting ready for a major growth spurt.  He is eating everything in sight and the amount of food I am sending with him to camp is amazing. . .and his lunch box comes home empty. . .and it wasn't enough during hockey camp!  Note to self:  Remember to send double the amount of food during the two hockey camps in August. . .
Another Note to self:  Don't take Aidan grocery shopping if he hasn't eaten five minutes before you leave. . .Big Money!!!  Big Money!!!
Have a great weekend and upcoming week!!