Aidan at Beach

Aidan at Beach

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Happy St. Aidan's Day!

Yes, there really is an Irish saint named St. Aidan.  Although he is not who we named our Aidan after, he did play a part in our final selection of the name--definitely our spelling of Aidan!!  He was Irish, and is thought to be the Apostle of the English.  He lived in the 650's and is known for his kindness and patience in teaching Christianity to the pagan people in and around Lindesfarne.  Kind of a neat guy. . .Our Aidan received a St. Aidan medalian from my sisters in-laws when he was baptised.  Such a nice gift!  And he actually wears it to church.

This is our last weekend of summer break.  It's back to school as of Tuesday.  So, on this St. Aidan's Day,I thought I'd share some recent things and conversations about our Aidan that keep me smiling.
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After practice last Monday, Aidan and I were driving home and talking about this and that.  Somehow, the conversation turned to who was President when Leesburg (our town) started.  Aidan was very curious.  Well, bub, actually it was King George II of England.  "Who?"  The King of England.  We didn't have a President yet because the Revolutionary War hadn't happened yet.  We were English subjects then and our town was called Georgetown.  That, of course, changed with the war and we decided we didn't like the King (yes, an over simplification.  He's eight.)

Then we drove by our Courthouse--which is actually the third Courthouse, on the same spot.  "So, mama, when was that built (pointing at the Courthouse)."  Well, that's the third one and was built in the early 1890's.  The first was built in the 1750's and then the next was built in the 1820's or so and then this one.  "Ok.  So who was President when that was built?" That particular one, buddy?  "Yes, that one."  Hmmmm. .  .I think it would have been Benjamin Harrison.

"Harrison!!!"

then there's me chuckling. . .

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Last Wednesday night, there was entirely too much activity going on in our house during the dark hours of night.

I had been putting Aidan to bed about 8:30 when I apparently fell asleep with him.  I woke up at about 9:45 and went on to my own bed, where I fell asleep immediately.

About 1:00 or so, I woke up and immediately thought that the body next to me was entirely too small to be Pat.  Realizing it was Aidan and not having any idea of when he had gotten in bed with me, I went in search of Pat.  He was not in the guest room so I went downstairs.  I found his lunch pail on the kitchen counter so I knew he was somewhere in the house and decided he must be sleeping in the basement.  Okay then.  Back to bed.

About 3:00, Aidan sat upright and said, "Mama, where's Daddy???"  I don't know sweetie.  Do you have to go potty?  (That is a must question if he wakes up in the middle of the night)  So, off to the bathroom we went.  In the process, I stopped by Aidan's room and turned on the light where Pat sat up in Aidan's bed bleary eyed.  Oh!!!  There you are!!

After Aidan went potty, the three of us went back to our bed (notice singular bed) and went back to sleep.

My alarm went off too soon after that and I got up for the day, leaving my two boys to enjoy more sleep. . .

When I went upstairs to quietly say goodbye, I found Aidan happy and sitting up.  He had put Tigger on top of Pat and told me that Daddy and Tigger were having a staring contest.  I was pretty certain Pat would much rather be having a staring contest with the backs of his eyelids!  But, he was good natured about it. . .

Much too busy of a night!!!

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On Thursday, I went to meet Aidan's new teacher at the Open House our school has each year.  Ms. Barbee seems very very nice--very similar to Mrs. Fuller from last year.  I wrote down some names of the other students and was surprised to find that there are only 18 children in Aidan's class this year!!  Whoa!  That's awesome!!!

There were a few familiar names, but, alas, no Stella.

When we got home that evening, Aidan was anxious to go out and play.  I had already told him who I knew would be in his class.  He was upset that Stella wasn't in it, but seemed happier when I told him that Ms. Barbee had said all of Third Grade has recess together.

Pat had come by so I was surprised when Aidan came in and laid down on the couch.  He seemed a little upset, but said he was just tired.  But, then Pat came in and started getting mad at Aidan for being rude and just walking away from the kids outside playing.  He told him that being rude is not good and that Aidan needs to stop doing that.  Okay. . . .

After Pat left, I went over to Aidan, who looked very upset by now, and asked him what was going on.  I told him he could tell me anything and then pulled him onto my lap, in spite of his size.  I just kept patting his back and talking soothingly to him and finally, he shifted off my lap, looked at me with ginormous tears in his eyes and said, "Zach told me Stella is in his class!!  I'm sooo jealous!!!"

Oh!!!   My poor sweet sensitive baby!!  So, I hugged and patted him some more and again reminded him about the all third grade recess. . .and then told him I would call and see if Stella and Vivian would like to come for a play date.  I did call and left a message and then told him I had to finish some work in the basement.  He could lay there and rest for a bit and when he was ready he should go on out and play some more.  Ok. . . .

I discreetly called Pat and told him what was up, and he felt terrible.  He said he had heard Zach say that and that Aidan immediately walked away.  He said he should have realized it was something like that.  I told him my plan and all is good now.

Stella's mom did call back and the kids had a play date yesterday afternoon, with Zach joining in for some kick ball at the end.  But, first, Aidan had the girls to himself while they made some chewing gum--which wasn't too bad!!




And some green snot slime. . .which was really gross.
 Aidan was very in to it.  At first, the girls looked on amused. . .

 Then the girls were looking a little less amused because the slime was looking pretty gross. . .

And finally, Aidan was all in for touching and feeling the slime, Vivian was game for trying a little on her hands, but Stella said No Way!!!  Frankly, I didn't blame her!  It was pretty gross. . .

I think the kids had fun, though.  And it will be something they remember as a fun end of summer afternoon.

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And now, today, we just have a little grocery shopping to do and then we're off to see another friend with whom we're going on a short hike on the Appalachian Trail!!!  We also have a phone call to make to my sister Amy to wish her a happy birthday. . .Aidan plans to sing a rap version of Happy Birthday:

To the B to the i to the r to the t to the h to the d  a   y!  It's your birthday!  It's your birthday!  Hap hap happy birthday yo!

(Thanks Grandma and Grandpa for the card that continues!!!  : )  )

And so, with that, I bid you adieu.  Have a great St. Aidan's Day!!


Monday, August 25, 2014

Ch. .ch. .ch. .changes

Well, here we are.  It's the last week of summer break.  One final week of Hockey Camp.  One final week of coordinating our crazy "where is Aidan going?"  "who is watching Aidan this week?"  "what clothes are appropriate?"  "what do I need to send for snack and lunch?"

Next week, he will be back to school and our schedule will be set.  So much easier!!  Love summer, but. .  .

But, meanwhile, we still have this final glorious week.  As I indicated, Aidan is at Hockey Camp this week.  He loves Hockey Camp.  Last week he had a blast at Shoot to Score Camp.  It was a half day camp, which meant a whole new level of planning and coordination.  I was exhausted by the end of the week, but not as much as Aidan!!

Yes, that's my kid with his head inside his lunch box!!  Sound asleep. . .poor kiddo. . .

And this was another day after daddy carried him in from the car and laid him down on the couch. . .two hour nap!!!  Note to self: if you want to go to bed at a decent time, don't let Aidan have a two hour nap!!!

This week is Total Skills.  And he has one final Pre-Season hockey practice tonight.  Next week we start the regular practice schedule.  Tuesday and Thursdays with a couple of Wednesdays each month thrown in for good measure!  And we get to pick up his new uniform and bag. . .he's very excited about that!!!

So, with the crazy schedule coming up, I decided to do some planning ahead.  I spent this past weekend doing a lot of cooking and freezing. . .I made some

Meatloaf

Taco Meat
Sloppy Joes

Shredded chicken for Enchiladas

And some Cilantro Lime Chicken ready for 8 hours on low in the crock pot.

And I did more!!
Some canned Bread and Butter pickles

And chopped up the jalepeno peppers which Pat later pickled and then put up in pints. . .: )

Next weekend, I'm planning to make Spaghetti Sauce, Taco soup, and a couple of casseroles.  It's all a part of my plan to NOT eat out all the time in spite of the crazy hockey schedule coming up!  With a roast here and there and a pot of chili, this should work.  I'm hoping to be able to do a cooking weekend every couple of months.  I'll let you know how this works out!

The pickles and peppers being canned remind me that this really is the end of summer.  The harvest of our garden continues and things are starting to look mellow outside.  In fact the view from our office window shows things are bit overgrown, and filling in with the late summer flowers.

And we've brought a little bit inside as well. . .


Aidan has also started to think and plan beyond summer and into the fall.  This year, we won't be home for Halloween. . .so we won't be going to our Halloween parade.  But, we'll still be having fun!!  His team has a tournament in Hershey, so the boys will trick or treat at Hershey Park!!  And Aidan has found his costume. . .
He'll be an Evil Jester!!  All we have to do is get some black gloves and he'll wear his black and white vans.  So fun!!

Mom continues to do poorly.  She has been in so much pain and is very depressed.  She hasn't been happy about her move, which adds to her depression.  So, we've decided to start some Palliative Care--it's a step below Hospice.  She'll likely need Hospice in the next couple of months, but this will help with the transition and may help her handle her current pain level a little more.

There are a few other changes in the offing, but that will have to wait for another day.

Have a great week!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Life Happenings

The end of summer is fast approaching.  The air is cooler and less humid (did I actually say that in mid-August???; the crickets are singing 24-7; the cicadas are still at it, but not at night as the air is too chilly for them now.  I haven't seen any geese gathering and the leaves are still on the trees.  But, there is a definite change in the air.

I haven't felt the need to whine about the weather this summer and the grass is green, even though it is mid-August.  This leads me to my point of how strange this summer has been:

There has been entirely too much travel for my comfort--I'm a home body.

There has been entirely too much sadness--the health of my mother continues to be not good and the losses of great talent just breaks my heart.

And on that note, I have to make mention of the loss of Robin Williams.  He and his characters have been a part of my life since I was probably close to Aidan's age.  He and his sayings are a part of so many of us of my age and time--we say them all the time without even realizing it.  He always had such great reminders to not take ourselves so seriously.  He was an Episcopalian, as our family is, and even found a way to make that funny with his top 10 reasons it's great to be an Episcopalian:

10. No snake handling.
9. You can believe in dinosaurs.
8. Male and female God created them; male and female we ordain them.
7. You don't have to check your brains at the door.
6. Pew aerobics.
5. Church year is color-coded.
4. Free wine on Sunday.
3. All of the pageantry - none of the guilt.
2. You don't have to know how to swim to get baptized.
And the Number One reason to be an Episcopalian:
1. No matter what you believe, there's bound to be at least one other Episcopalian who agrees with you.

If you belong to the Episcopal Church, I'm sure you've heard these before, but isn't it funny????

There are so many memories of laughter and tears and laughter through tears while watching his movies.  I just love nearly every one of them.  One of my personal favorites was Dead Poet Society.  Walt Whitman wrote O Captain! My Captain! which is about his great love and admiration for Abraham Lincoln after he was assassinated. . .and be honest, how many of you reading this never read any Whitman until you saw this movie and found out how interesting his work can be?  An yet, reading it now, I can't help seeing Robin Williams guiding and anchoring a group of boys while traversing the trials of life. . .and Uncle Walt's poetry.

And even Aidan will be touched by this.  His favorite movies include Night at the Museum 1 and 2. . .we'll definitely go and see #3 when it comes out in December.  So much fun in those movies. . .

I'm not sure if the lump in my throat will ever go away.

But, we are humans and we have to move on in life, so I'll go back to talking about the end of summer happenings:

We have had a bumper crop of tomatoes this year.  We have been eating them daily, making salsa at least once a week (yum!) and now we have decided to make tomato sauce!  Just look at this!  We opted for freezer bags of 8 oz. each because we were pressed for time.  But doesn't that look great???



This weekend we will do some canning though.  I'm going to make my world famous bread and butter pickles and Pat will put up some pints of perfectly pickled peppers.  : )  I love saying that.

Aidan is finishing up another week of hockey camp and is feeling great.  Although he is currently on the pink stuff. . .he was fine last Friday, but Saturday morning he woke up not feeling very good and it sounded like he was talking around his tonsils.  So I called the pediatrician and got him in right away.  Sure enough, he had strep.  I think I caught it quick, though, because he was feeling better after just two doses of the pink stuff.
Aidan Strong!

Pat and I have been laughing because Aidan loves to play with our phones.  But, usually when we get them back  there are about 200 new pictures. . .most of them are Aidan Selfies. . .: )
200 of the same Aidan Selfie, actually. . .so funny!!

On another note, Pat and I were introduced to Waze recently.  And we have been having fun with it.  It's really great for letting us know about traffic and where the police are when you're on the road.  With all of the hockey travel we do, it is a really nice little app.  

Here's a Screen Shot of my Waze

The second Screen Shot is the Scoreboard on my Waze. . .and yes, I check this every day to see if I am ahead of Pat on points. . .I'm competetive.  I can't help it.  : )

And here's another screen shot to show just how beautiful it is here lately!!
That is 78* at 4:00 pm!!!  In mid-August!!!  I just love this weather right now.  I could have this all the time.

And, one final Screen Shot, since I just discovered how to do this. . .

This is the cool page on Aidan's Xtreme hockey team.  There is a full team section, but each player has their own section where we, the parents, can track schedules and etc.!  Very neat little site called Team Snap.  Love it!!

2 more weeks of camps and then we're into the new Fall routine. . .which is already looking to be very busy and active.  All good stuff.

Well, that's about it.  It's Friday.  It's beautiful.  And we have an entire weekend ahead of us.  Have a good weekend.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Summer Tidbits and Funnies

Aidan and the neighbor boy had a sleep over a few weeks ago.  On our porch.  The porch does look like and inviting place for little boys to pull out sleeping bags and sleep the summer night away. . .

There was a problem, however.  And it wasn't because those two adorable dogs didn't want to stay with the boys!

Aidan is a sleeper.  He loves to sleep and will sleep as late as he can when he can.  Most weekends, he sleeps until at least nine and often times even later.  And because of this, Pat and I have never had the need to tell Aidan he can't wake us up before 8:00.  Aside from Christmas, that is!

Zachary, on the other hand, is an early riser.  He is up and at em as early as he can be.  There have been many a weekend morning when he has rung the bell just after 9:00 (I'm sure that is the time his mom has imposed on him!) only to find out that Aidan is still sleeping.  I have gone so far as to put notes, from time to time, on the doorbell button asking that it not be rung--doorbells ringing and dogs barking do not make a good sleep environment for anybody.

Flash back to the sleep over. . .

Aidan and Zach got all snuggled in their sleeping bags, we said good night and off to bed we went.  We did hear the boys up for a while talking, but they did eventually go to sleep.  The problem came up the next morning.  Zach, as is his habit, was up early.  This woke Aidan up and then they were both bouncing around downstairs.  At 6:30, they came upstairs to get us up.  I tried to tell Aidan it was too early, but it didn't work.  We were all up.

It was a tired day for all of us!

Note to self:  Think twice in the future when asked about having an early riser over for a sleep over!!  And discuss appropriate wake up times for Mom and Dad with Aidan.

Have a great weekend!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Vacation Week

I can't believe it's August already!  4 weeks until school starts, 4 weeks of camps left, 2 weeks until we find out who Aidan will have for his Third Grade teacher, and 1 week until Preseason hockey practice starts!  What a crazy summer it's been!

But, this past week was fun, blissful, restful (sort of), and just a nice family get away at the beach.

We don't like driving in traffic and, in fact, can't really tolerate it even to go to the beach.  So, we have altered our plans a bit over the years.  We left on Sunday morning--early--and actually arrived at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina after only 4 1/2 hours of driving!  We had actually been on the road closer to 6 hours, but that included potty breaks and a stop for breakfast.  We made the best time getting down there ever.  That set the stage for a perfect week!

We stayed, like last year, at the Hilton, which is located immediately on the beach just after crossing the bridge to get out onto the Outer Banks.  Aidan was very impatient, so I had him get his suit on as soon as we got into the room so he and Pat could go down to the beach while I got us settled.  He was ready as soon as the cart was empty!


Our view from our room was perfect.  Just right to sit and have a beverage and just watch the beach goings on.  The figure in blue near the center of the below picture is Aidan. . .Pat is sitting in the chair just the left.
As luck would have it, the weather turned very chilly the very next day!  But, honestly, it was absolutely gorgeous.  Just a lot cooler than you would normally have in July in North Carolina!  Mid to upper 70's prevailed the remainder of the week, which set up some very chilly water temperatures.  In fact, I don't think I have ever felt the Atlantic Ocean that chilly this late in the season.  Ever!  But we still had a blast on the beach!

 Day 2 view with my morning Cuppa. . .
Can you see Aidan's hands clenched?  He was so cold!!  In fact, this was Aidan 5 minutes later. . .

And the ocean actually began to look chillier by the second morning there!


 But, the hat was still needed!!!  As was the sunscreen!!!  70spf was the order of the day. . .
We also spent a day several miles north at the 4 wheel drive beach.  This place was so awesome!!  It was nearly empty. . .we didn't see any Bankers (wild ponies) but we did see evidence of them. . .



 Can you believe how empty that is???  We were practically alone!!!
Aidan had a lot of good practice learning how to do his new skim board. . .
 And then we built an Alligator. . .I know.  Most people build sand castles.  But, anyone can do that!!
Ont he way back from the 4 wheel drive beach, we stopped off at the Currituck Light House and toured the grounds.  Beautiful!!!
And just so you don't think I just scanned in a post card for this picture. . .
I had Aidan get in the foreground!  : )

As mentioned briefly, Aidan got a Skim Board and practiced it all week.  He really was getting pretty good at it by the time we left!

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And when he needed to warm up, he would head into the in door pool. . .where he met another little boy.  I couldn't resist a slow mo jump in!!!

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Sadly, as all good things do, our beach trip ended all too soon.  We headed back on Friday. . .and apparantly, a lot of other people now do that too.  The roads were jammed!!!  We did stop at Bass Pro Shop for lunch, but still it took over 9 hours to get home!!  Not happy campers. . .

But, home we arrived.  And just in time to go Back to School shopping for Tax Free Weekend!!!  Where I discovered that Aidan has moved on from Gymboree.  There is no longer anything there that he likes.  At all.  We were only at Dick's Sporting Goods, Old Navy, and The Gap this year.  Sad. . . and end of an era. . .

With a final purchase at Lids 

we headed home. . .

But, there was one final thing we did on our week off.  The Annual Caps Shoot Out!!  I had not signed Aidan up at Ashburn for the Shoot Out because it was held there while we were on vacation.  But, I did sign up for Reston. It was full, so he was placed on the Waiting List.  I got the call while we were in North Carolina that he was in, so we headed up to Reston right after church yesterday.  The boys had three shots in three rounds. . .and Aidan is now moving on to the Semi Finals!!  This will be held at Kettler Ice Plex, which is were the Caps practice, on September 7th.  Two of Aidan's team mates were at the Ashburn Shoot Out and are also moving on to the Semi Finals!!!  Woo Hoo!!!

So now it's Monday and I'm heading back to work.  Have a great week!