Sunday, May 31, 2009

Where did the weekend go?

The Coast Guard was cruising in our neighborhood today.

Aidan had a big time helping Grandpa make little personal pizzas from scratch tonight.

Wow, he can flip that dough!

Aidan just wanted cheese on his.

I had some heirloom tomatoes and some of our fresh home grown basil on mine; Rich added some pepperoni to his. Yum, yum.

Rich worked all day and into the night last night for the Ounalashka Corporation's annual meeting and banquet. Aidan and I went to the library, to the park, and out to dinner with Judi, as well as getting some things done around the house and the never-ending learning programs on the computer. I am happy to say that Aidan is not resisting them as much any more and seems to actually think most of them are fun. He is doing well and making progress so he gets reinforcement for improving, and of course, that makes the whole thing more enjoyable. I have also relented somewhat and have let him use TV time as a reward. That and dessert seem to be the biggest motivators. :)

He loves playing outside our house and has gotten totally muddy the past two days, necessitating a bath before he could even think about sitting down to eat dinner. I laughingly told Rich that I guess I am just not used to little boys. I think they do have something different in their genes. Aidan jumped right into a deep puddle yesterday (on purpose), soaked one sock and shoe, and went happily on his way. I can't imagine walking around in a wet, cold sock for hours. He said, "oh, it will dry." LOL

We leave for Jersey a week from tomorrow. Can't wait to see everyone!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Boy v. Rules, Airline Hassles, Cool Blog to Check Out

The boy is asleep on the couch. He hates to go to his bedroom, even with a night light, even with my ipod in its dock with speakers, even with a soft blanket and his toys all around. I can remember my mom saying that I was afraid I'd miss something when I was a kid, always lurking around to see what was happening. I have the same feeling about Aidan. Why sleep when there might be something interesting going on? Rich and I were laughing tonight about how "Gigi's rules" have been pretty hard to enforce. So much for going to bed at 8:30 with a smile and a sweet little goodnight kiss for the grandparents. LOL

I've tried to go into work for a few hours every day this week and that's worked out pretty well. Aidan will either go to the playground next door or to the babysitter with Luc and Jacob, which he did today. We haven't done anything too exciting the past few days, just stops at the Post Office and the Eagle store and playing outside in the dirt. We've wracked our brains a bit about dinners that Aidan will eat and resorted to chicken nuggets and mac and cheese tonight. :)

I had a long conversation with American Airlines this morning to get Aidan on the same flight as Sarah and Elle from Philly back to DFW on June 21 after our Jersey shore trip. Imagine my surprise when I rec'd my confirmation email and the date was June 12. That is the day that Sarah and Elle fly TO Philly and yet Aidan was flying FROM Philly to DFW. I was so annoyed! I had to call back and explain the whole thing to another agent, who was very helpful and got it all straightened out after a big conversation, consultation with supervisors, and having to call me back. Let's hope it is all set this time. I was also trying to make sure they had Elle down as a lap baby with Sarah and couldn't understand why both agents were confused about her name and spelling it "Lelle." The first woman told me she thought it was pronounced "Lily." I finally realized that I was causing the mixup by saying "Her name is Elle--E.L.L.E." They thought I was saying "L.E.L.L.E."

I was looking through some of the Alaska blogs tonight and came across one I had not seen before, 49 Writers. Sometimes I wish I had aspired to something more than a fluff blog about our daily lives in Unalaska. Maybe one day I will get motivated and inspired to put a lot more effort into writing something with a bit of substance (as likely as Gigi's rules being enforced?) but in the meantime, check out this blog for some interesting and thought provoking writings by real Alaska authors. I put a link on my blogroll for your convenience. You can definitely tell the difference between these folks and most of the rest of us (no offense intended and I know that some of you are excellent writers yourselves so you are exempt from the comment. LOL)

Off to bed for me.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Keeping Busy

We've had lots going on!   Here's a little self portrait of Aidan.   He also took several pictures of the cats hiding out under the deck.   Oh my gosh, I was appalled to see all of the trash and junk accumulated under there, either from the wind blowing it or animals dragging it in.   It's not like we ever lie down on the grass and look under our deck, but leave it to a kid to have curiosity about what might be in an out of the way place (and to document it)!

We went to the annual Memorial Day BBQ at the clinic and waited in line forever (in the cold) for a ride on the fire truck.   But what fun!

We took a walk up to the dam.

I was a little paranoid that Aidan would fall!

It was great to enjoy the sunshine and to throw rocks into the stream.  :)

Aidan has been able to  hang out with his friends Luc and Jacob several times in the last few days.  He went with them to their babysitter's so I could go to work for a few hours, and then their mom Pipa came to get him and took him with them to a bbq over the holiday weekend.   It's been really neat for him to have some kids to do things with.  After lunch at the hotel and a visit with Grandpa at work today, we went to the DMV so I could renew my driver's license, which will expire while we are on our NJ trip.  Can't believe I was actually proactive and got it done in advance. Otherwise you might be reading a funny post about how I was refused boarding on a plane because my ID was expired.   :)   

I worked part of the day today while Aidan played at the Community Center and then got together with Luc and Jacob again.   Pipa took them all to a carnival at the Methodist Church this evening.  Something tells me it's my turn to take all the kids and do something with them! Pipa is the BEST!  

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Boys love boats and crab pots

We're continuing to enjoy the bright and sunny weather. We took a drive out to the spit to see a cruise ship that was docked for the day, then looked around at lots of other boats. He wanted to know all of their names.

When he was here before, Aidan loved the crab pots stacked up all over town. He was just as fascinated this time. He looks pretty small, doesn't he?

I'm falling behind on pictures and postings again. We had a nice Memorial Day weekend, which I will chronicle later!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Saturday on Bunker Hill

It was a beautiful day yesterday and we took full advantage by hiking up Bunker Hill.

Aidan wanted to take some photos, too.

Eagles on watch.

Aidan with the big bunker in the background.

We had a little picnic and a little rest.

Looking across the bridge.

Aidan had no trouble at all with the hike. He was faster than I was!

Friday, May 22, 2009

New friends make a rainy day better

We actually got up early today and met my friends Judi, Darcel and Donna for breakfast.   That's Maribel, who always knows my order before I say a word, and keeps my iced tea coming.

After breakfast, we went right over to my job, which has been suffering a bit while we have a little visitor keeping me busy.   It was rainy so Aidan couldn't go to the playground next door, but my coworker Pipa brought her boys to work today, too, and they all became fast friends.   First, Jacob and Aidan were playing video games and watching a movie.

A little while later, big brother Luc joined them and they had lots of fun playing together for hours.  Here they are engrossed in a card game.  I believe the rules were made up as they went along.   :)

What cute boys!   Pipa was nice enough to take them all to lunch so I could keep working. Thanks, Pipa!   Now the guys are planning to get together another day.

Aidan did NOT want to do his learning programs at all today.  It is becoming a bit of a struggle. I had to bribe him with the promise of a milkshake at Amelia's on the way home.   :)   We stayed at work till 4:30 and I got quite a bit accomplished, thank goodness.  Tonight we've all been pretty  lazy.   

Aidan and Grandpa Rich chilled out with popcorn and Popeye cartoons.  What more could you want?!!   We are hoping for a sunny day tomorrow so we can hike up Bunker Hill and take a picnic lunch.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Wildlife and big fun

A sea otter on the way to Summer Bay.

View from the bunker on the top of Mt. Ballyhoo.

Ptarmigans on Ballyhoo.


Today Aidan and I stopped by the Wellness Center to say hi to my former coworkers. Here "Ms. Healthy Unalaska Biggest Winner Coordinator" Alena sneaks Aidan a whole handful of mini candy bars. Okay, he's skinny enough--I guess they won't hurt him. :)

Alena, Melanie and Patty were teasing Aidan about being a celebrity since everyone seems to know he's here for a visit. Never doubt the power of blogs and facebook. :) We then went to the Behavioral Health office to see Darcel, Donna and Judi, and of course I forgot to take my camera in. But we are having breakfast with them tomorrow so they may not be off the hook.

Aidan was only trying to help me out when he apparently locked the car yesterday. He isn't used to small island life where we leave the keys in the car and don't lock it (shhhhh, don't tell anyone!) Imagine my surprise when we went out to leave today and couldn't get into the car. He tried all of the doors three or four times, just in case. Last night, he turned the bathroom lock and pulled the door shut from the outside, but Rich was able to get it unlocked with a knife. This convinced Aidan that he could do the same thing with the car. :0 I searched high and low throughout the house to find the extra key, to no avail. Luckily, Rich knew right where it was, though we had a little laugh about how surprising it was that he actually remembered. We are always forgetting where we put things. So now Aidan and I have a deal--before he moves to lock the car, he is supposed to say, "Gigi, do you have the car key?"

It was cool and overcast and drizzly today but that didn't stop him from playing outside and somehow managing to splatter mud up the back of his sweatshirt and pants. We picked up our box of fresh produce and stopped in at the store to buy a few more items, including some very green bananas, which he thought were hilarious.

After taquitos for dinner, we had some mean games of Slap Jack and Go Fish before bedtime. He went to his own room tonight but still didn't fall asleep till 11. Oh, to have that much energy!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Ah, to be six years old again!

Aidan and Grandpa Rich have been making fancy paper airplanes and flying them in the house. It's a little too windy outside. One ended up on the roof !

Rich bought several books with patterns and instructions for all kinds of neat-o planes.

We had lunch at Margaret Bay Cafe at the hotel and then dropped in to see Grandpa in his office.

Yesterday, we checked out Town Park where Aidan had to try all of the equipment. It was another sunny, warm day.

Look! The grass is getting green!

I have some dishwashing help. And laundry folding help. Nice!

Today we stopped in at the Museum of the Aleutians. We drive past it every day on our way home and Aidan had asked what the building was. I was a little surprised that he remembered today and asked to go in. I didn't know if he would have the attention span or understanding to walk through and look at the exhibits but he seemed fascinated by all of the artifacts and loved the Unangan bidarkas, baskets, and traditional clothing. He was also very impressed with Karel Machalek's metal works on display. We stopped in the gift shop and bought a book about Alaskan boats and another one about the horses of Summer Bay, as well as a few cards to send to folks back home.

From the Museum, we went by the Post Office, bought some stamps, sent off some mail, and chatted with Ms. Shirl, then on to the Library where Ms. Lauri helped us check out some books and a couple of movies. I wanted to get a little bit of work done so we went to my office and Lauren hooked up a dvd player so Aidan could watch one of his movies and I could work (semi) uninterrupted. After he tired of the movie, Aidan went next door to the Community Center, where he has played several times at what he calls "the little playground." He is proud of himself that he knows how to get back to my office and can come and go as he pleases. He's made a couple of friends who seem to be there around the same time every day.

Rich had to work on a special dinner and then attended the celebration for awhile so was a little late getting home tonight. Aidan and I played card games: "Crazy 8s," "Old Maid," "Go Fish," and "Slap Jack." I had to review the directions on most of them. LOL He's getting pretty good at them and we had a lot of laughs about who was the OLD MAID. He also has to do 90 minutes of a computer learning program every day since he has struggled some in Kindergarten and needs a boost. They started out being "fun," and now, after only five days, he is resisting them pretty hard. It's difficult to keep a 6 year old motivated! I bought prizes at the Eagle and have been trying to get him to work for rewards but he still just wants to blow the whole thing off. We spent a pretty penny on the program so I am determined he will finish it, but we did have a little test of the wills today. He is the sweetest boy but you can definitely see that he has a stubborn side at times. Reminds me of his mama. Haha Susan!!

We have been teasing him that it never gets dark in Alaska since he is usually asleep before the sun goes down and it's already up when he awakens. He was not quite sure whether to believe us or not. Tonight he would not go to sleep and just now finally conked out on the couch. He looked up a little while ago and noted, "It IS getting dark."