Feliz Cumpleaños Aidan! Aidan Turns 6!

This past Mon, May 10th was Aidan’s 6th birthday.  Like with Liam, I can’t get over how quickly the time has gone by.  It really does feel like just yesterday I was complaining about how huge I was that I had wet the bed (turns out it was my water breaking) and before you know it, my sweet sweet baby boy was born.  Aidan is my pride and joy.  Different from his brother in so many ways (both good and bad).  He has just the sweetest and kindest heart of any child I know – he cares so much for others, is sensitive to peoples’ feelings and wants to make people happy.

These days his interests are in video games, legos, tv and of course, sports.  He’s concerned about the environment and what people are doing to it and wants to help make it better these days.  He asks intelligent questions and presses for answers.  He’s smart, witty and when he chooses to be, very funny.  On the flip side he is also very moody and sometimes I confuse him with a teenage girl who apparently takes over his body at times!

I have to give Aidan props for this past year.  It’s been a tough year for us all getting ready for the move but I think it was Aidan who was most affected.  We took away everything he holds dear and told him while we were coming back to that life eventually that we would be making some major changes to our lives.  While he wasn’t thrilled, I have to say he took it in stride.  He also, however, thought that we could just walk across the ocean in order to see his friends – after all it looks so much closer when you look at it on a globe!  How do you explain 3000 miles to a 5 year old?  And at one point after our move he told us that he wanted to go back home for the afternoon (to Attleboro) because it was still daytime there and therefore he would not have to go to bed.  So I think it’s safe to say he understands the time change 🙂

There have been so many things in Aidan’s life this past year it’s hard to think of them all.  He started kindergarten in the fall and when he started he couldn’t identify any letters or sounds other than those in his name.  By the time he left in December, I’m pleased to say he knew them all and was starting to read!  To me this is such a huge milestone this year!  While he isn’t reading books on his own yet, he’s trying and he’s taking much more of an interest.

When it came time for the move, he was so great about the fact that all of his toys except what would fit in the size of perhaps a large shoe box left the US for Spain around Thanksgiving.  Amazing how little these guys can “survive” with.  Apparently we’ve been living with too much excess stuff!  He said his goodbyes to his friends and told them he would be back.  He didn’t cry when we left (I bawled) and got on the plane and said hello to new adventures.

The first 6 weeks here were rough for Aidan and I can’t say I blame him.  The reality set in that his friends were still home and he was here.  He was in a new school within a week of arrival in Barcelona.  New kids, new teachers, new home, new language.  He got punched in the penis on the bus during week 2, lost on the bus around week 6 or 7 but has come out on the other side smiling somehow.  That’s a lot for a 5 year old to take in.  But amazingly, he persevered and guess what?  He loves being here!  He’s adjusted to city life really well too!  He’s made some wonderful new friends and met some really interesting people.  He loves his new school and I think he’s learning a lot.  He’s now doing addition and subtraction (I’d personally like to see more reading) and learning about things like the environment.  He loves his art class and enjoys taking Spanish (though he rarely will share what he’s learned).  He tells me all the time how much he misses home but he understands that he’ll be back at the end of next year when he’s 7 1/2 (yikes!!!).  Until then he enjoys Skyping with his friends and family back home.

We allowed him to open his gifts on Sunday rather than have to wait the entire school day in anticipation.  He was thrilled at the gifts people sent to him – a big thank you to our friends and family who sent him gifts.  We’re waiting for our new thank you notes to come from Vistaprint (ahem, Josh) before he (I) can send out formal thank yous but they are coming!

Most of these are self explanatory but I feel the need to put in a comment on this picture on the left.  This is Liam throwing a tantrum because it is no longer his birthday (last week as you recall) and he wanted to open the presents too.  I have to say, he was heartbreaking, but at the same time you couldn’t help but laugh…
On the right, he was trying to sneak up the stairs as I brought down his new skateboard…
Showing off their new watches.  Liam’s is actually not a watch nor is it his.  It was Aidan’s gift that he “stole” and it’s a Ben 10 Alien projector.  Aidan’s is a true blue real watch – he was so excited.  Another sign that my baby is growing up – he was excited about a watch.

For his birthday we actually had a small party (for him and for Liam actually) on Sunday.  He had 3 of his close friends from school over to help celebrate with pizza, cupcakes and some games – Isa, Sophie and Santi.  And Liam had his buddy Oliver over!  The kids had a great time and it was nice for Josh and I to get to know some of the adults a little better as well.  For once, I’m finally grasping this “less is more concept”.  At home we would have thrown a huge backyard party complete with jumparoo, ice cream cake and TONS of food.  No less than 15 -20 kids and their parents.  And you know what, we had just as great of a time with just 4 kids and 6 adults and I think the kids did too.

Waiting for the party to start…
On the treasure hunt…
Digging thru the treasure and coloring some pictures…
Liam and his friend Oliver play with skateboards, their size.  The kids loved the pinata though it took only one pull to bring it down!
Blowing out the candles!
The day of the party was actually Mothers Day in the US so while most of the day was focused on the kids (not atypical from any other year given their birthdays fall right during the week of Mothers Day), we did take some time for mom 🙂  Josh and the kids bought me a beautiful plant that I added to the ones I recently purchased for the back “yard” – fingers crossed I don’t kill it.  And they also bought me flowers and took me to Hard Rock (yum American food) for dinner.  All and all a great day for all of us!
My flowers and my new plant (the one towards the back left – spikey looking)
On our way to Hard Rock (Tracie this is your worst nightmare and the kids LOVE to chase these pigeons each time we go thru Placa de Catalunya).

On Aidan’s actual birthday I brought cupcakes up to his school so he could celebrate with his classmates.  Then I picked him up from school and we met up with Josh at Aidan’s favorite tapas restaurant – Ciudad Condal.  It was a long day but a lot of fun.  Tuesday he had his annual physical so I let him skip school after so I could spend the day with him just the two of us.  Of course I think he has a crush on his babysitter so he insisted she and Liam come with us too. While I was sad not to have one on one time with him, I was happy he likes the sitter so much (especially since she’s staying with him while Josh and I are in Rome in a few weeks) and we had a great day at the zoo and then crepes for lunch!

The year between 5 and 6 was definitely a time of growth for Aidan and I’m so proud of the boy he is becoming!  I just know that 6 is going to be a great year.  We’re starting off with his first loose tooth so I think we’re off to a good start!!

Happy happy birthday Aidan!!  I love you!!

Love Mom!

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