Sunday, April 13, 2014

Citizenship Day

It's finally Spring and it is also Spring Break.  And with that comes beautiful flowers, warmer weather and a little much needed break from the hectic schedule.  And not a moment too soon, either!

We were beginning to wonder if Spring was ever going to really get here.  I had gone so far as to say out loud that I thought it might still be March, since the Forsythia is just now blooming. . .

Ah, but Spring is really here.  And the Cherry Blossoms have bloomed into all their gorgeousness!!!

And since today marks the 6th Anniversary of Aidan becoming a US Citizen, I had him climb our Cherry Tree to sit amongst the petals for a couple of American boy pictures.

Yes, flip flops are totally appropriate for tree climbing!!  : )

And hanging upside down is totally normal!!  : )

Out tree without the boy ornament.

Not long after these pictures were taken, Pat and our boy took off for a few days of fishing and turkey hunting.  No, Aidan will not hunt turkey.  He will, however, and much to my chagrin, shoot a gun.  Under strict supervision of his dad.  Who sent me a picture of said boy with gun as soon as they got to where they were going. . .

No, it doesn't make me very happy.  But, he's going to hunt with his dad and at least Pat is teaching him all the right and responsible things of gun handling.  Turns out he's a pretty good shot, now that he is shooting from the left!  Left eye dominant.

Back at the Harrison Manse, I got the beds made, floors re-cleaned, and laundry all caught up and then headed out to the porch to sit.  Not really planning to do anything else with my day either.  The dogs, and even the cat!, joined me. .  .In fact, Maggie decided to really get into relaxation mode!

Please don't ask me what she has done to the face of that stuffed animal!  I try very hard not to think about it. . .

And so, I have now finalized, during said porch relaxing time, my Easter menu and will send it off to my in-laws.  If only Easter could be this nice!!!

One final item to report, we decided, re-decided actually, to go back to the plan of redoing the kitchen counter tops.  Yesterday we ordered our granite and new sink.  They will be installed on the 26th!!  Woo Hoo!!!  It won't be in time for Easter, but that's okay.  I have so much to move out of the kitchen and will only have a week to do it!!  And paint, too!!!  Yikes.  But, so awesome.  And here is that granite. . .
And there you have it.  Time to move on to Spring!!!  New Things!!  And more good times. . .Except, it will be awfully quiet here without my boys for the next few days. . .

Have a blessed Palm Sunday and a wonderful week!

PS.  I just love having the windows open and hearing the children's shrieks of laughter and joy at playing freely outside. . .

Friday, April 4, 2014

Wonderfully Sparkling Character

Six years ago today, I woke up so excited!  It was a day that I had been waiting and waiting for.  It still felt like a dream, but the day had finally come.  After packing up our room and moving to a larger suite with a crib, we hung around our hotel, took a walk around town, hung around the hotel some more and finally. . .it was time to go.  Time to go and pick up our precious boy and become a family forever!

Yes, now that six years have passed, it's hard to believe he was this shy little guy who broke out into an amazingly active little boy as soon as he was brought out of that Baby Home. . .And by the time we got to Moscow with him a few days later, we knew he had a wonderfully sparkling character and was a fun loving, curious and joyous little boy. . .

And now, six years later, he's growing into a handsome little man who still has a wonderfully sparkling character and is still fun loving, curious, joyous and also super smart!

Last night was the Spring Concert at Aidan's school.  So fun!  The Chorus, comprised of fourth and fifth graders hold this every year and the entire Second Grade does the opening act.  Each of the Second Grade classes had something to do for each song.  Aidan's class used little noise maker things to accompany the opening and closing numbers: Hola! and Adios!  So cute!

I did film the closing number. . .  : )
And now, the only other thing I can say about my little guy that I didn't know about him six years ago. . .

He is absolutely obsessed with hockey!!!

Total Hockey has a small rink the kids can practice shooting the puck with selected sticks. . .Aidan LOVES going there. . .

Have a great weekend!!!  Yeah Spring!!!!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Growing Up and Moving on Up

We've had a pretty busy and big week this past week.

Aidan's Fall/Winter Travel Hockey Team had their End of Season party last Saturday which was a lot of fun.  We found out that night that the coach for the Spring Team and for the 2006 Xtreme team would be someone we had not worked with before--added to the pre-tryout jitters, I tell you!  We were told he was a great coach and that he would do wonderful with our boys.  Okay then.

Tuesday and Wednesday were the tryouts.  Aidan did really really well.  Honestly, he looked really strong and powerful.  I jokingly told Pat that he was channeling Ovie!  And then later heard one of the parents tell someone else that Aidan looked like Ovie. . .LOL!!!

Aidan was selected for the team.  I was not surprised, but it is always really good to get the confirmation.  20 kids were selected: 18 skaters and 2 Goalies.  There will be 2 teams of 9 skaters and 1 Goalie each, A1 and A2.  Pretty sure Aidan will be on the A1 team.  When I emailed the coach to confirm Aidan's acceptance of his spot, the coach responded back within 5 minutes and told me he thought Aidan had done a fantastic job at tryouts and that he was impressed!  Cool!

The first practice will be Tuesday. . .

The other really big news from Tuesday was that Aidan passed his last Math Facts test for Second Grade.  He, along with 5 other kids in Second Grade, have moved on to multiplication tables!  Whoa!

Third Quarter ended on Friday and the kids will be off on Monday. . .so will I!!  They had an 80's dance on Friday.  Aidan insisted on going and we had to go with him.  Pretty funny to see these children dancing to 80's music.  Of course, the ones we were watching were Second Graders so they didn't dance that long. . .they began to chase eachother around the Gym. . .yes, there were five little girls chasing my baby.  Hmmmm. . .I wonder if this is a preview of the future.

And my baby. . .I think my baby isn't a baby anymore!  He told me last week that he hates the cute PJ's I bought him from Gymboree.  : (  They were adorable on him, too!  But, he is outgrowing them, so I took him to get some summery PJ's. . .I did a bad mommy thing and pointed at some with Dinosaurs on them. . .NO!  MAMA!  Ewww!!!!!  sorry. . .he did find some he liked.  He looks like a pre-teen now getting ready for bed.  How did that happen????  And all the cute ones with the cuffs around the wrists and ankles will be set aside for a yardsale.

And finally, although I think he is insane, Pat agreed with a bunch of other hockey dads to sign up for this adult learn to play class.  It begins in a week so last weekend, he went and got all of his gear at Total Hockey.  Whoa!  Well, hopefully no one will get hurt.  Coach Bucky, one of Aidan's first coaches, is heading up the class and he promised me Pat would be okay.  Alright then.

Of course, Aidan had to try on Pat's gear!!!  So funny!!
Boom!  Boom!  Firepower!!!
That's about it.  March is coming to a close (finally!) and it feels a bit like Spring (finally!!).  Although the sky is grey today and it supposed to rain off and on, it is actually in the 50's and it is still early!!  We just might get some porch sitting in. . .

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Six Years To Today's Joy

It's really hard to believe that six years have gone by since Pat and I stood in front of the Judge in the Krasnoyarsk court carefully explaining why we would be good parents for Aidan.  In all honesty, it sometimes seems surreal that we did that.  I know that we did--we have the scars to prove it (see this post  But we did ultimately get our "Da" and that was what counted.  But, the thing is, Aidan fit so seemlessly (or so it seems now!) that it's hard to imagine that he has not always been with us!

And when I think about me, that day, so nervous and careful.  Worrying about every little thing I was saying.  Every nuance of every word.  My facial expressions.  My ability to show just who I was in one short hour (that seemed like an eternity at the time).  And the me on that day would never have imagined what joy this boy has brought to our lives.  It was still a dream.

And still, the me on that day, had hopes and dreams of what our family would become and how we would be.  But, I guess I still didn't have any idea at all that I would be arranging my entire life around my son's hockey schedule!!  Or his school homework!!  Or his play time!!  I didn't really have a concept of what being a mother meant.  I knew on a deep primordial level, but I didn't really know.  I had no idea the joy it would be to have my entire life wrapped up in everything my child is and does. Or about how fun it would be talking over things Aidan is doing or saying with Pat.  I really had no idea how in love with one little boy I would become!

I wish I could see that Judge again and thank her for giving us the chance to be his parents and to tell her what a wonderful human being he is becoming.  And already is.  And to thank Galina, the Director at the baby home and also tell her of the wonderful little man Aidan is.  And Yelena and Serge for all they did to help us make this happen.  I can't tell them personally, but I will send out to the cosmos my heartfelt and joyful thanks.

And now, six years later, I have the pleasure of sitting on the porch (yeah it was warm on Saturday!!!) and listening to Aidan play street hockey on our pipestem with his buddies.  Or having him come up and say, "Mom can I. . .???"  Or going over his homework and seeing so many marks indicating he is Exceeding requirements.

Oh the joy these six years have brought us.

And now, to celebrate, Aidan has his next travel team tryouts tonight.  And tomorrow night.  I did say my entire schedule is arranged around hockey, right?  : )

Have a great week.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Oy Vey

Well, this winter is not loosing it's grip at all.  I have had my head in the sand a bit lately, not wanting to hear so was a bit taken by surprise by another storm on Monday.  I did hear (after I got the call that school was cancelled) that we were expecting 1-3 inches of snow on Monday.  But really.  We ended up with 10 inches.  How wrong can you be???

Aidan has his hockey lesson on Monday mornings at 6 am.  His coach is Canadian.  So, do you think he cancels?  Nope.  I'm sure Pat thought we were crazy.  At least at first.  But, when I saw that there were about 9 inches of snow I had to clear off the car before we could hit the road, I already knew my office would be closed and I could take my time coming home.  So, Aidan and I got in the car and decided to have an adventure, one road at a time, and drive to the Ice House in Ashburn.  We made it just fine.  The roads were snow covered, and I had it in 4 wheel drive.  But, it really only took us about 5 minutes longer, even with me driving much slower.

And I'm glad we went!  No one showed up for the lesson after Aidan's, so Coach Troy kept the kids and ended up working with them for two hours!!  And then just let them play for another half hour.  They had a great time.

We got home a little after 9:00 and it was still snowing. . .

 We knew we needed to get out there to start clearing our driveway and pipestem, but Aidan was a tired boy. . .and so was Mama!!
So, we decided it could wait a couple of hours.  We did get out there later and got it all cleared.  And we're now hoping and praying that that is it, thank you very much!  We'd like to put these things (shovel and snow blower) away for good already!

Ah well.  At least it is March now. . .

In other news, it's hard to believe that six years ago today we landed in Moscow on our return trip!  We had left the US on the 18th and arrived early in the morning of the 19th nervous and excited and ready to get moving on this final legal portion of our journey to become parents.  It was snowing in Moscow that day, too. . .although, now that I think of it, Spring had already started here at home!  grrr. . .

Have a great rest of the week!