Aidan at Beach

Aidan at Beach

Monday, September 29, 2014

Some Hard Times

First, I'd like to thank everyone for the prayers and condolences received here, on Facebook and in person.  I can't tell you how much they have all meant to me.

My Mom passed on September 19th at 7:30 am Central Time.  I left here that morning to go up and see her and she died right about the time my plane landed.  That was hard.  Neither of my sisters were with her either.  We suspect she wanted it that way.  At least that's what we've been telling ourselves.
I did see her in July and felt at that time that I was saying good bye.  But, I guess I still thought I would see here alive one more time.  I did see her on the 19th, but she was already gone.

We held a small memorial service for her the very next day and were able to pull together many people in the Chicago area that knew her to celebrate her life.  We'll be holding another family only service next Spring or Summer in California.

My older sister had to leave to go home on Sunday morning so my younger sister and I headed over to Mom's to pack up the place.  Fortunately, when we closed her house we had gotten rid of a lot.  But, there was still a lot to get rid of.  Amy and I accomplished nearly all of it in that one day just leaving a few odds and ends and the furniture for Amy to handle later.  I couldn't help but marvel that it was almost exactly two months from the day that Gini and I had packed up Mom's house.  Strange to pack the same things all over again. . .

Amy and I decided to have a day in the city on that Monday and went on an Architectural Tour on the Chicago river.  Very beautiful day, relaxing with my sister and seeing some really interesting buildings.  The only fly in the ointment was my dad telling us he wants a copy of Mom's death certificate so he can change his retirement to all come to him and that his girlfriend (for whom he left our Mom for) will be his sole beneficiary in his new will.  Nice timing. . .

I came home on Tuesday and then decided to stay home the remainder of the week.  I was emotionally and physically exhausted and I wanted to just be around my family.

The week ended with a trip into Washington DC for a Caps preseason game during which my kiddo and some friends skated for Mites on Ice during an Intermission.  Sounded like fun, but wasn't such a great idea.  They were announced as the Vipers, which was a team Aidan had been on during the Spring and Summer.  Turns out, you can't be rostered on another team when you are a member of the Xtreme.  Fortunately, the kids aren't being punished for the bad decision of the parents.  However, we do have to explain ourselves.  Some of the parents are angry.  I'm just upset that I didn't think about it being a problem.  Not a smart move on my part.

And the thing that really gets me about this is that the parent who set this up was warned that we shouldn't do it and he never told the rest of us about that warning!

Now he is trying to say it was something it really wasn't.  I've told our Coach all of what I know and will present that in our mandatory meeting with the head of the Club.  I'm not going to lie and I'm not going to change the story.  I'm just going to say it was a dumb move.

The irony on that situation is that Aidan hasn't had anything to do with that team since the end of June.  He practiced all through April, May and June--hated it due to the horrible verbal abuse of the coach and his minions--and we went to two tournaments in June.  We opted out of the July tournament due to my travels to help my Mom and had said no from the beginning to the August tournament because it was right before school started and I wanted Aidan home to get ready for that and to be fully focused on the Xtreme.  He's wanted to be on the Xtreme team since he was in Mini Mites

And so, I hate drama and here we are in the midst of it on all sides.

But wait, there's more!!

During Aidan's game yesterday, he just all of a sudden checked out and really didn't try anymore.  I should have known something was up but instead I got mad at him.  Not one of my finer Mom moments.  We went to Total Hockey after to get a couple of things, ran into his coach and talked a bit.  On the way out of the store, Aidan complained of a headache.  We headed to Wegmans and I noticed the familiar sound of him talking around his tonsils.  By the time we got home, I knew something was wrong so we took him to Urgent Care.  Yep.  Positive for Strep Throat.  And he had a fever, something he rarely gets.

We got him on the pink stuff and started him on Motrin and he seemed to get better.  But, he woke up about 11:30 with the fever back.  Really hot.  More Motrin then and some more just a bit ago.  Fortunately, Pat is off work today so hopefully Aidan can get some rest and more medicine in him to beat this thing back.

Meanwhile, I am physically and emotionally exhausted. . .I think I already said that!

But, I can't leave this post in such a down mood.  So, I'll share a picture of Aidan with his new buddy Larry Bob (Aidan named him) when he was feeling a little better yesterday.

So funny!

Hoping our hard times are on the wane now, but a few prayers thrown our way wouldn't hurt.  Have a good week.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014


Aidan has transitioned into Third Grade without any hiccups.  He is doing really well in school, for which I am truly grateful.

Homework started off slow, but has been picking up steam.  We found that Aidan is actually doing fourth grade math, which is awesome.  He is very smart in math.  I am very proud of him.  He is working on reading--we were very bad about not having him read more over the summer, but he seems to be doing okay with it.  And his Social Studies!!!  Whoa!!!  He is learning all kinds of things about the government.  It's pretty cool.  And I am very impressed with how he has been picking it up a little more each day.  So proud of him.

And, although the homework has been gaining steam, he has continued to do it each day as he is supposed to.  Even when he has hockey practice.

Hockey practice has picked up steam as well.  His coach has intensified the expectations for the boys and is not putting up with any goofing around on the ice.  He doesn't hesitate to punish them for things:  sitting on the bench while the rest of the team practices or doing push ups on the ice or even doing laps around the boards.  So far, Aidan has only been punished once with push ups on the ice for fighting with a team mate. . .he was actually defending himself and I was proud of him for it, but the punishment was justified as the boys were not paying attention to what they were supposed to be doing.

Aidan did complete the shoot out a couple weeks ago.  It was a lot of fun.  We knew a lot of the people there, although we're on different teams.  The benefit of having been on the Elite team over the spring and summer.

They were all very cute and had a lot of fun.  Daniel, the one above on the far right, won as Goalie.  Another boy, Brandan, won as Shooter.  But, Aidan has some really good goals against the FIVE Goalies he went up against!
Our team had two games this past weekend in West Chester, PA.  We opted to drive up, 2 1/2 hours each way, rather than stay overnight.  The games were blow outs--the other team won.  But, our boys did not give up and it did prompt our coach to make some line and position changes that were needed as well as making some big changes in the practices.  It's going to get much more intense for them now.

We don't have any more games for a bit as our season doesn't actually start until November.  We'll probably get our full schedule soon though.  That will be good so we can plan the rest of our lives!

Our meal transition has not been without hiccups, though.  As much as I like have so many meals ready to go in the freezer, our practice schedule has actually been making it difficult to have dinner at a decent hour.  We ate last night at almost eight o'clock!  I'm going to continue doing freezer meals--which have been awesome to say the least!--but I am rethinking our dinner plans on practice nights. . .we may have to eat out more afterall.  : (

Meanwhile, the other transition that is happening is with my mom.  This is not a good transition.  She began Hospice Care last Saturday and is really slipping away quickly.  I'm going up on Friday morning.  The hospice nurse has told us that she is transitioning, which means that she is preparing to die.  The nurse expects it will likely be sometime this weekend.  I have cried and raged and cried some more.  I will likely still cry even more.  But, the one thing I am hanging on to is that she is no longer feeling the extreme pain that she had been feeling.  She is comfortable now.  Please say a prayer that she will go peacefully.

God bless and have a good weekend.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Lasts and Firsts

Last weekend saw a lot of lasts. . .last weekend of summer break.  Last unscheduled play dates.  Last chance to go to the outdoor pool.  Last stay up late because we can sleep in. . .

It was a lot of fun!

On Sunday, we met up with some friends at the top of the mountain just to our east--Blue Ridge Mountains, actually.  And we decided to take a hike up to Bears Den which is on the Appalachian Trail.  It was a tough climb for me, a novice hiker.  But, Aidan was running and jumping and really enjoying himself.  And my anxiety level climbed the higher up the path we went.  I kept seeing him fall among the rocks and tree roots and breaking something.  He didn't.  He was totally fine.  It was me.  My fear didn't allow me to really appreciate the beauty of the hike and our surroundings.  We'll have to go again.  But, here's a peak at how it was.  This is looking west toward Berryville and Winchester and the Shenandoah Valley.  You can't actually see it, but the Shenandoah River is down there hidden by the trees.

Those clouds in the distance did eventually produce a huge thunderstorm. . .and it was a doozy!!
And our two cuties on the rocks at Bears Den

I think the top one will go on my Aidan wall. . .and these pictures do not even hint at how hot it was!!!

On Monday, Aidan was going to meet up with some friends at the outdoor pool at Ida Lee Park.  We were just heading over when I got a text that there was a line of about 50 people trying to get in and the pool was at capacity.  So, we sat down to wait. . .but 15 minutes later, there was another major thunderstorm. . .pool closed.  End of pool season.  sigh. . .

So, we spent some time making a nice dinner and then packing up the back pack. . .All the supplies were in and we were now ready for the big day.

And then Tuesday finally came.  First day of Third Grade!!!  I had the day off, as usual.  And I fixed a special breakfast for Aidan, as usual.  This year it was pancake muffins.  Super easy.  Just put the pancake batter into mini muffin pan and bake at 375 for 10 or 11 minutes.  Serve it with warm syrup in a dipping cup and a side of milk and Aidan was a happy camper!

And then it was time to head up to the bus stop. . .but first we have to have our annual pictures on the porch!

 Handsome little guy, isn't he???
And the side view showing the back pack. . .

And then we were off. . .

And we waited at the bus stop. . .

And he was off to school. . .

I went home and deep cleaned the basement.  Caught up on laundry and ironing.  And then made some homemade Gingerbread cookies, which smelled heavenly, but which I can not eat.  : (

And finally, it was time to head back to the bus stop and wait for our kiddo to come home and tell us all about his day.  Pat was home by then so we took the dogs and headed up.  But, the sky was looking ominous again.  Fortunately, the kids arrived before the storm and seemed happy to be home!
Aidan said he loves school and his teacher and his new class and recess and lunch time. . .and that feeling has held all week. . .hopefully, that will stay in the weeks to come as the homework mounts!

Tuesday also saw the shift to the Regular Season practice with his Xtreme team.  Aidan was assigned a white practice jersey and so were his buddies from last year, Blake and Spencer!!  The Amigos are back!!!!  Woo Hoo!!!  These three are really hard to defend against.  They play so well together and are nearly instinctive with each other.  So excited to see them play together again!

Wednesday was the first Skills Session with Troy.  I was happy to see Aidan skate hard and keep up with the '05 team in speed.  And then, he and Blake worked together most of the rest of the session.

Thursday was the second Regular Season practice and the boys got their new jerseys.  Wow.  They are really nice.  Gear bags and warm up suits were distributed on Tuesday and they are nice, too.  Coach Sean really pushed the boys and was really working them to become a Team.  They are not individual players, but have to be there for eachother.  Really cool to see it already happening.  Such a great group of boys!!

The storms continued through Wednesday but provided a nice rainbow. . .

And now it's Friday. . .I am off to the doctor this morning for a regular check up and blood work to check my iron and celiac disease.  Hoping to have even better numbers than last May. . .

We have  a weekend of fun coming up with a play date and the semi final round of the Shoot Out.  Next time, I'll talk a little about how the freezer meal concept is going. . .ups and downs. . .

Have a great weekend!