Tuesday, March 31, 2009


I know my posts have been scarce the last week. The fundraiser I am chairing, RAMA's Book & Author Dinner, is Saturday. So I am a little stressed. Ok, allot stressed. I will be back soon. Until then, enjoy a couple of sites that I find amusing if altogether inappropriate.

F*ck my Life (Yes I call bullsh*t on almost all of these but they make me laugh.)
Sorry I Missed Your Party
List of the Day

Wish me luck Saturday!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Low Rider

As we drove home Sippycups' son after tennis, Morrigan told him how she planned to buy a low rider when she turns sixteen. He asked if a Porsche is a low rider. Morrigan told him "Of course not. Just tape a few episodes of Livin' the Low Life and you will understand." I sense danger here.

Friday, March 27, 2009

No Sh*t!

When I dropped Eion off at school today, Ms. Shelly asked if he told me yesterday what he had done. Naturally, I feared the worst. But as it turns out, he rode a bicycle without training wheels. I was floored. While embarrassing to admit, this makes him the first of my kids to do so. Go get 'em E! Now if we can just get him to dress himself.....

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Preschool Evaluation

Eion went to his evaluation for preschool the other day. He walked in and mutely pointed to a basket of toys. The teacher asked, "Would you like to play with those?" His answer, "Meow, meow!" I can't decide if this will work in our favor or not.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Sk8er Girl

So after avoiding skate night like the m f-ing plague for three years, I finally was worn down and agreed to take the kiddos tonight. And I will have to say this, I was wrong about skate night. It was surprisingly fun. Granted, in the past, Eion was still in the thick of The Dark Years and I don't think we would have enjoyed it as much. And seriously, someone should have told me the public wasn't going to be there. The fact that it was all Crystal Springers went a long, long way with me.

But anyway, seeing our friend Brent on skates inspired us to get out there as well. I was shaky to start but soon felt like it was 1979 all over again. Tim was a bit put out that they did not have a "couples skate" but considering his plan was to make out during said skate, I think it worked out for the best for all involved. I do regret not doing the girls skate race. There were only three entries and I totally could have taken them and won the freezee pop!

On the way home we went through the drive thru where I bashed the Suburban. We made it out unscathed. But as Tim pulled up to examine it, he said it looked like I was not the only driver to tangle with that pylon. Though it was tough to hear him over the children's screams of "Be careful! Don't hit it!"

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Back to Nature

Maggie drew this picture the other day. It was clearly her outside in the mountains. But I was puzzled by the brown object. When I asked her what it was, she told me it was a sofa. Right. Because every good out of doors trek needs a good place to rest. Like a sofa.

Author's Tea

This afternoon, Eion put himself to bed, or more correctly, to chair. I felt his pain. I was beat too. After a few hours of tennis this morning, I went to Maggie's class to help prepare for the Author's Tea. This is when the kids write and illustrate a story which the read to they class. But today, I was just transcribing the stories so I could later type them up. They were a hoot. Among my favorites.....

I Went to a Volcano which was about which sports his family plays.
I Went on Vacation about a how the author went to Michigan to meet her Mom's boyfriend's family. At first it was unclear who they were visiting. I asked if it was her Dad's family. "Oh no - he's not my Dad yet" she told me.
Chris Grown Up which was about the child's Dad, Chris. And she included that he is 53 in the story. Bet he'll like that.

Many also had a very From Dusk Til Dawn feel about them as well. It would be a completely normal story and then all of a sudden, there are lions. Maggie's, naturally, was about kitties. She was, however, the only child in her class that didn't dedicate her story to a family member. Instead, Emily got the honor. We'll remember this Maggie!

Monday, March 23, 2009


Yesterday Jerry came over to help Tim chop down a ghetto palm (or an Ailanthus altissima if you want to get all technical) that had been disrupting our line of sight of the deck for some time. The kids hovered anxiously waiting to yell "Timber!" at the appropriate moment. I mainly stayed inside until I head what sounded suspiciously like a tree hitting our house. When I asked if this was the case, they answered with the reassuring response, "A bit." 

But fortunately, it was just some of the top branches and no harm came from the collision. The kids thought the whole process was "awesome" and "the best thing ever." They played in the branches happily calling it their fort until Tim & Jerry had to slice it into pieces. 

It took Tim & me about an hour to haul all the wood down into the woods for its final resting place. I always forget how hilly our lot is until I climb up and down it over and over. But the whole process left a much better view and easier access to a group of nice boulders. Now we just need to rip out the crappy chain link fence that is falling apart.....

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Stupid is as Stupid Does

Over the past few months, I've heard more than one supporter of Obama say that the one thing they would miss about Bush was laughing at the stupid things he did. 

Do you mean like giving the British Prime Minister DVDs encoded for region 1 rather than region 2? (Tell me more!)

Or do you mean making fun of Special Olympians? (Tell me more!)

Fortunately for all those who would miss laughing at social gaffes, it appears there are still plenty to go around.


I am feeling decidedly uninspired as of late. It may be my lingering illness. Or the fact that in spite of 8+ hours of sleep each night, I wake up exhausted. Or Tim's death march schedule. 

Or it may just be sadness over the end of my favorite tv show, Battlestar Galactica. [By the by...they'll be spoilers here - not that most of you care.] After watching what was a surprising series finale, I went online to see what the fanboys and girls thought. The comments that made me laugh right out loud were the people who were miffed that the surviving humans went luddite and ditched all their technology. "This was unrealistic!" they cried. So just so we are clear here, you were upset that ending of the series about killer robots from outer space wasn't realistic enough. Riiight....

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Urban Homesteading

My dear Tim is actively looking to drop as far out as possible which may explain the frequency of our web browser visits to Mother Earth News and a wide variety of urban homesteading blogs. His efforts have not gone unnoticed by the younglings as Maggie drew this the other day:

When I asked her what the plants in the picture were, she told me, "The berry bushes and apple tree we are going to plant so we can get off the grid."

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Music to My Ears

All the little ones, sick and not, are off to bed. Poor E was laying in the recliner (about a 1/2 hour before regular bedtime) when I asked him, "Do you want to stay up or go to bed?" He said "Bed." and toddled off happily. 

All these days stuck at home has left me with WAY too much time on my hands. And one of the things I have been pondering is what makes me like songs. Generally, I find I have reasonable taste in music. I appreciate the classics (including actual classical) and like a little bit of everything. On any given day if you hit shuffle on my iPod, you might hear Public Enemy, Pink Floyd, Chris Brown, Kelly Clarkston, Radiohead, or Rob Zombie. My years in the South even find me enjoying some Country. 

But every once in a while, my reaction to a particular song defies explanation. For example, I cannot for the life of me understand why I like, nay love, the Flo Rida song Right Round especially considering that it is terribly derivative (ripping off Dead or Alive's You Spin Me Round) and the subject matter is strippers and possibly oral gratification. 

But worse, today while watching a You Tube clip containing the song, Celine Dion's My Heart Will Go On made me get all teary eyed. That's just embarrassing. But shameful as it may be, I have always loved it. And while we are dishing out shame, I also adore the movie (Titanic) which surprises me still as I may be one of the least sentimental people on the planet.

Now I feel a need to cleanse myself of these pop culture elements and watch some obscure foreign horror flick.....

And On And On

I may never get to the gym again as it is one week and counting on the sick watch. Eion was running a 102 temp this morning so he was staying home for sure. Morrigan looked ok but school called after she had only been there an hour letting me know she had thrown up. But having the wee ones home does let me have priceless interactions like these.....

We were watching some show on Alaskan cruises. I was feeling a bit slap happy having not had a decent night's sleep in days. I asked Tim to back up the show as I thought the person they were interviewing was named arse...

Me: [Laughing] Look at that! His name is Arce!
Morrigan: Mommy, I don't think it is the kind of arse you are thinking of.
Me: Yeah but they sound the same. It's funny!
Morrigan: Why is it funny?
Me: Because Mommy has the sense of humor of a 10 year old boy.
Morrigan: A 5 year old boy maybe....

And then getting dressed this morning....

Me: You can't wear the yellow pants and shirt together.
Maggie: Why not?
Me: Because you look like the man in the big yellow hat.
Maggie: Well if that's so where is my hat? And where is my monkey?

Monday, March 16, 2009

On the Road to Recovery

Man. I am finally feeling better. I hate being sick and I felt like this bout would never end. Friday Morrigan was sick so I was pretty much stuck at home. At 8am, my throat had a tickle. By noon, I was laid out on the sofa, shivering under my blanket, praying for death. I felt awful. And what made it even worse was it was Tim's birthday. Ann & Hans were having a St. Patrick's Day party that night and I hated to send Tim alone. So I rallied. I felt like crap but got dressed and socialized. It was fun and a few Guinness made my cold a little less painful. There were more people there than time to talk to them all. I was lacking something predominantly green but I am part Irish, married Irish, and I'm named Katie McSomething so damn it, I AM St. Patrick's Day. 

Round about 11pm we made our exit with the plan of a good night's sleep. HA! Coughing fits, havoc in the temperature control department, and a little boy crying for water in the hallway had other plans....

The next morning I was not feeling great. Morrigan and Eion were also feverish. But Morrigan had Odyssey of the Mind and was determined to go to the competition. Tim was nice enough to take her to Franklin County while I drove Maggie to swim lessons. After swimming, I took to the sofa with children rotating on my lap all day. That night, we were scheduled to play poker. Having cancelled the month before (stupid not showing up babysitter,) we felt compelled to go. So again, I rallied. I didn't play great - at one point laying down trips when I totally had Tim beat - but we had fun. And then I was up all night coughing, again. My solace was that I knew my whole Sunday would be spent on the sofa or in bed!

All day Sunday and most of today were a complete waste unless you count watching all the episodes I had on backlog of The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Lost, and Dollhouse. Tonight, I am feeling much better though when my friend Jerry called, he said I sounded like hell so I must not be 100 percent. But I do think that sub par or not, Tim will be happy to see me in some regular clothes instead of pajamas.

PS When Tim came home he said, "Wow! You have normal clothes on!" 

Sunday, March 15, 2009


I'm sick. The kids are all sick too - to one degree or another. The sofa is getting allot of use. Hoping to be back in action soon......

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Best. Day. Ever.

Or at least it seems to be starting out that way. I hauled myself out of bed at 7 after having been trying to fall back asleep since 5am. I wake up the girls and find Morrigan had a fever. Good thing I wanted a sidekick today at work anyway. So after driving Maggie to school, I came home to quickly get ready so we could stop by school and register Eion for the City Preschool program. I threw on a pair of jeans which are on their second wearing (ok maybe third) and a t-shirt that was on my dresser heavily decorated with skulls. No time to flat iron my hair. And my face is broken out like I am 16. But none of this would matter were it not for the photographer from the local paper in the office to capture registration on film [read: my grungy looking arse.] Like I said, Best. Day. Ever.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

So, So Wrong

How wrong is it that I am even entertaining the idea of entering a Rock Band competition being hosted by a local radio station? Though the defeat of my "band" at the hands of a bunch of 20 somethings would be amusing if one has no pride which, as you may have gleaned by now, is the case.

Multiple Personality Disorder

So lately Eion has added to his alternate personalities. We used to just interface with Nibbles the cat but now he is also making us call him Miss Shelly (his teacher.) I told Tim that I wasn't sure if that was an upgrade from being a cat. I mean, he is again human but a woman. It may just be a lateral move. My favorite addition to the personalities vault is when he puts on his hooded sweatshirt and makes us call him "The Hoodie" or "Belichick." Human and a man. Yet still not himself which admittedly some days is not so bad.

And I Live in a Small Town

While I have been here nearly 10 years, I occasionally marvel at just how small Roanoke can be. The other day I stopped to get gas and some man I did not at all recognize said, "Hi Mrs. McKernan!" I looked at him blankly and he went on to tell me that they had my Suburban almost done. Ah yes, he's from the body shop. He identified me from my plates - all three of our cars have license plates that are a combination of "I" and "1" so they all kind of look like same. [III1III etc.] And then he went on to tell me no fewer than a half dozen times that I should be careful with Tim's Cadillac. Very careful. Thanks buddy. I guess there was no point in telling him this was my first fender bender since 1996 for god's sake.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Have I Mentioned

How very much I hate Daylight Savings? In addition to almost making me miss yoga on Sunday, I can't elaborate just yet but I really needed my zen this week, it really jacks up my kids' sleep schedule. I know there is some purported savings of energy but I can't see how it is possible when last week, we got dressed and ate breakfast basking in the sunrise while this week we get to do those things by artificial light. No, I really don't care for it.

But time zone adjustments aside, we had a great weekend. It was mid 70s to low 80s here and we tried to take full advantage of the break from winter. Saturday we planted some berry bushes, which are step one in Tim's urban homesteading plans. [But that is another post for another day.] Then we grilled out and had friends over to eat on the deck. The kids played outside, we had some beers, it was all good.

Sunday after making it to yoga (thanks Tim for getting me up on time) we headed out to the zoo for a picnic and some family time. As always, my kids seemed to spend a disproportionate amount of time on the fake tiger (commemorating the real tiger who died) and on the playground. But I was outside and couldn't complain.

Later that afternoon, Morrigan had a birthday party where they received makeovers and put on a runway show. While all the other girls wore regular dresses, Morrigan donned her Hollywood Starlet costume from Halloween. The girl was in her element. 

Monday came too soon for my taste and naturally, the kids were all still asleep at 7am since it was pitch black out. Have I mentioned......

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Fab Friday

Yesterday was beautiful here with weather nearing 70 degrees! I went with Maggie's class on a field trip to the art museum where we were led by a first time guide. Now I don't want to knock her too much as she is a volunteer but I was not at all pleased that we were done 15 minutes before any of the other classes. And adding insult to injury, we had to wait for the second bus so we were also the last to leave. But the time did allow for extra group portraits! And I do adore Maggie's teacher so the wait time wasn't too bad.

For some months I have noticed we are emerging from what we affectionately called 'round here, "The Dark Years." If you have kids, you have lived them too. Months and years of never getting a full night's sleep, stumbling around like a zombie as 2-3 toddlers depend on you for everything, not ever eating sitting down etc. Lately, things have improved at a marked pace. Kids can get their own food/drinks, dress themselves (though not always to the fashion standards I would like), and even bathe themselves. Granted the boy still doesn't get dressed on his own but I figure I can fix that by dressing him daily in his Sunday best and letting him know when he operates independently he can choose his own gear.

But I am thinking we are not only exiting The Dark Years but entering The Golden Years. Last night we went to Family Fun Night at the Club where my children sat at a separate table and ate their food requiring no help at all from us! None! They even mastered ordering their own drinks and ice cream. 

To be fair, I have to add that on these nights the Club quarantines the families with kids in a separate room, supplies games and generally lets the little ones run wild. And Kirsten did at one point find Eion in the parking lot. But these are minor footnotes. The important point is my kids were operating as independent people. It is so good.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Snow Days

After the biggest snow we have had this season on Sunday night (about 6 inches), we woke up to school cancellations and this view:

It was a great day off. Tim was not working and we all pretty much knew that nothing was going to get done. So being the good Northerners we are, we shoveled the driveway and walk. It was still early so we decided to load up in the Jeep and see if any friends were out in the snow. One small snag was the fact the Jeep only has 4 seat belts. We asked, "Who wants to be the projectile?" All three kids eagerly volunteered with only Maggie having the foresight to ask, "What's a projectile?" [We ended up with one belt doing double duty for two people.]

We drove down to the "grid" and the first friends we saw out were Ann & Hans' sons. They asked "What are you doing here?" To which the girls quickly replied, "We're invading!" And invade we did. The house across the street had a great lawn for sledding. 

This run was particularly good. The girls were headed down and E wouldn't move so they plowed him down.

The kids all made many runs and were out much longer than I thought they would be. Ann & I (after the photo ops) stayed inside and served hot chocolate to any kid taking a break. 

We made fires, had fresh baked monkey bread, and hung out. It was just what a snow day should be. But as my invading, unannounced family generally ate them out of house and home, we felt it only fair that we provide dinner. By the time the location changeover was complete, we found out that school was cancelled Tuesday as well. Naturally down South we don't let clear, dry roads get in the way of our snow days! 

The gym was open and we didn't feel that we could get away with another day of pure indulgent laziness. So we ran some errands including my visit to the eye doc who confirmed my fear that I did indeed need reading glasses. That afternoon, Melanie & Jerry, also feeling a bit stir crazy, invited us over for dinner. (We are occasionally invited though we mostly just show up places!) By the end of the four day weekend, we were all pretty tired and ready to get back on schedule. Yahoo weather says that 70 degree days are headed our way by weekend which makes it even better - quick snow fun followed by short sleeves weather. Perfect!

Sunday, March 01, 2009


We awoke this morning to find a dusting of snow. The kids were so excited to play in it that I decided to skip yoga so they could do just that. 

We did eventually make it to the gym and the roads were clear. But the snow continued...I took Morrigan to a Brownie meeting at 2pm and still all clear. At 3ish, we attempted to leave to take Maggie to a birthday party. I didn't even have the Cadillac halfway out of the garage and we began to slip and slide. Having already bashed one car this week, I thought best to not go out. 

Poor Maggie was devastated and Morrigan was trapped at Brownies. And then I was witness to the complete dominance of Roanoke. I called up Ann and Hans to see if Maggie could tag along with them. Although Hans had already left, Ann offered to come pick us up, in a BMW, which I can't imagine would fare better than our ride. I told her I was going to try our friends April and Greg, who without hesitation, came to get Maggie pie and brought her home after the party. 

I then called Lori and David, who were hosting the Brownie meeting. David was kind enough to go out into the snowy cold and bring Morrigan home. 

Last call was to Jerry who Eion and I had planned to go visit after we picked up Morrigan. Had to tell him we were trapped at home and the boys' playdate would have to be rescheduled. The first thing he said, knowing my kids were scattered to the four corners, was, "Do you need me to go pick up any of your kids?" Man I have some awesome friends!

Eventually my team of drivers had the kids all back home and they happily played in the snow for what seemed like a very long time for my thin blooded taste. The girls made a snowman. When Tim came home, he looked at it and said that it had been covered in snow and just looked like a blob. No, I told him, that is how it looked all along. But they had a great time!

Snow day already called tomorrow. As I put Maggie to bed, I told her Daddy was home tomorrow and we would have a fun day off. She was so excited. I had almost forgotten that she and Eion haven't seen Tim in days. The week is looking great already.