Monday, July 27, 2009

Vocabulary Updates

In the last week or so, the following phrases and words have come to my attention. I don't know if they have been around for a while but I need to add these to my vocabulary!

Snack Shrapnel
The bits and pieces of snacks that litter the floors of Suburbans and minivans everywhere due to the messy younger set's constant need to snack on the go.

Boot and Rally
When intoxicated, hurling and then going back to the party. I have no real practical use for this. Would I have known it in college.....

People following the herd and not thinking for themselves. LOVE this one. I think I can use this allot!

City/County Champions!!!!!

Yesterday was the RCC swim team banquet. The kids were very excited. You would think it was because the team won the City/County competition and came in 2nd place overall for the season but no, it was all about the choosing the outfits.

So about the second day of City/County......Morrigan had not earned any points for the team on day one. While she was dropping times and having fun, I couldn't help but to feel that if we were there all weekend and added nothing to the final tally, we were kind of wasting our time. Not that I would ever, ever say that to Morrigan. But in the end she placed 13th Bronze in Butterfly and 18th Bronze in the 50 Free for a total of 11 points. Now I know a few readers out there are superstar swimmers or have some kids who are exceptional swimmers and this seems pretty weak. But at Team McK we set the bar low. We were happy to be on the board!

Truly, Morrigan had never swam 25 yards in a row prior to March so the progress she has made this Summer makes me really proud. And good lord, who would have ever thought her best finishes would be in the Butterfly!

The banquet was good, chaotic fun with children running wild, Club staff looking harried and trophies for all! Morrigan was a bit disappointed that she didn't get City/County ribbons - they are handed out for the top 10 in each time group - but thanks to some double fast thinking on Ann's part it turned out ok. Her son Luke got ribbons for all the events in which he swam. Since he was in 6 and under, he also got participation ribbons. Ann peeled off Luke's name from the latter and voila! ribbons for Morrigan! I also gave her the medal Tim got for being new to swim team. All was well.

And as an aside, how much trouble do these two look like they are going to cause together?

Friday, July 24, 2009

City/County Swim Meet

Today Morrigan swam in her first City/County swim meet. I am not sure what to call it other than organized chaos. You have to get there at 7am which meant everyone was up early. Then you make your way to the area the team stakes out which looks like some sort of refugee camp.

I had several swim veterans instruct me to bring chairs, food, drinks, toys and towels so we were in pretty good shape. And it was a good thing. We were there for 5 hours. It wasn't so bad but would have been unbearable if we were unprepared. The boys played lego and bakugan.

Maggie curled up with a friend who had the foresight to bring a DVD player.

The kids were really good. Especially the boy. Stop laughing! I'm not kidding!

Morrigan swam great with her 25 backstroke time dropping 5 seconds and her 25 freestyle dropping 2 seconds. Neither improvement was enough to get her placement or points but I just didn't mention that to her. She was happy to have improved and that's good enough for me!

So unfortunately the meet was indoors meaning my usual diversion, taking pictures, wasn't really an option. But we are halfway done, tomorrow the 50 free and 25 butterfly. And many more hours in the refugee camp.....

Thursday, July 23, 2009

No Breather

I have been ordered by Morrigan to alert the world that she finally made a "no breather." She thought you should know.

Swim Team Psyche Party

As swim team events continue to dominate our social calendar this week, last night was the Psyche Party. We were early as Maggie and her new found love of the deep end were itching to go by 8:30am. We held off til 3pm, much to her dismay.

Eion was working the smaller slide too. We were inches away from disaster and a pariah status when for reasons I cannot even begin to figure, Eion decided yesterday was the day he was going to have his first "#2" accident in almost a year. Good news: it was not in the water. If we had shut down the pool on this day, of all days, I might have killed him then and there. Bad news: I had to clean him up and Tim had to deal with the locker room. As he put it, "I can't be sure the mess was from the boy but I had very strong circumstantial evidence so I thought I should take care of it." I really don't miss diapers.

But on to happier times. There was a pizza and ice cream buffet which my kids love. And the clown came dressed as Jack Sparrow. He took the kids on an elaborate treasure hunt. I wish I had pictures of the horde of children following him but I was too busy enjoying a moment of silence.

Later there were perennial favorites, soda and beer dives. Morrigan didn't see why she couldn't participate in the latter. Other than the illegality of it, I would be in favor. I need more people bringing me beers! Luckily, Kirsten dominated and garnered a whopping 7 beers, many more than needed on a Wednesday night.

Later the kids got to pelt the coaches with whipped cream, an activity adored by all, save the coaches.
In the end, I had to drag the girls out crying to stay. It was a great party.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

All Swim Team, All the Time

This week is Morrigan's dream swim team week. Monday, there was a party at coach Mary's house where, much to my surprise, Maggie went off the diving board. In spite of the fact that she has become a very good little swimmer, Maggie has been reluctant to go in water where she can't touch the bottom.

We went out to the pool for swim team practice on Tuesday and ended up staying and being "that family" ie the very last ones there who refuse to leave. I actually would have been happy to go home sooner but Maggie discovered the deep end of the pool. And boy was she happy.

She spent an hour looping between the diving boards and slides.

Which gave me plenty of time to play with my new toy, a waterproof camera. Now I know that it is not meant for action shots:

But I do love the very Nirvana underwater shots.

And what this means is that when at wet venues, I will now carry two cameras instead of one. That downsizing I thought the waterproof camera would bring, not so much.

Tonight is the swim team "Psyche party." Morrigan wanted to know if we would be swimming or just yelling and cheering allot. Mercifully, it is the former. Then Friday and Saturday mornings are the big City/County swim meet. Sunday is the awards banquet. Like I said, all swim team, all the time......

Monday, July 20, 2009

Will Your Representative Read the Healthcare Bill?

With the push from the White House to get Healthcare reform done yesterday (ok, by the August break but you know what I mean) there are many representatives and organizations already giving their approval even though next to no one has read it. For example, the American Medical Association (AMA) voiced their support last week before the bill was even available for viewing. There is a reason we haven't joined in years.....

Anyhoo, there is a group called Let Freedom Ring asking Congressmen and women to vow to 1) read the bill (which you would think would be required anyway) and 2) make the bill in its entirety available for the public to read on the internet. You can click here to see if you representative has signed on. 

If your rep has not pledged to read the legislation and make it available to you, give them a call or email. No matter where you fall on the issue of Healthcare reform, the idea of passing legislation without reading it is reprehensible. And if Congress is unwilling to let the American people who will be effected by the reform read what it actually will contain, I think we should all be a bit leery. Let's have some of that transparency Obama pledged.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Beer Pong

After Supper Club Friday, I was in no condition to play beer pong. Well, not that I was ever planning to play. While I don't consider myself a germaphobe, piles of people touching balls that will later end up in your drink, but only after bouncing on the floor, is too much for me.  But far be it for me to stay away from a Hans party so we went to heckle the players.

While we were happy to socialize for a while, we had to depart to get dinner as, surprising no one, a party planned around competition drinking by a bunch of guys didn't have much on the menu, save beer. 
Based on the condition of one of the participants I ran into at the grocery store today, it was probably for the best we left anyway!

Super Supper Club Aftermath

For the sake of truth in advertising, we may have to change our Supper Club name to "group of people who get together under the pretense of eating but end up ingesting large quantities of martinis." Might be a bit wordy though. 

Personally, I had three, two of which were largely unnecessary. But I was not alone. Other than the pregnant, there was struggling all around the next day. But it was really fun.......

Friday, July 17, 2009

On the Prowl

So I am at the gym this morning and I see this guy. A really in shape, good looking guy. And while I would never stray from my darling Timmy, I couldn't help but think what a tasty morsel he was. Unfortunately, next I saw his his tshirt. His very new looking, high school basketball tshirt. I don't think he was a coach. I felt like a dirty old woman. Tim finds this all too hilarious and has taken to calling me a cougar. Grrrr......

Healthcare Reform

Feeling all political and making zero apologies for it. Last night, in the middle of the night, a Congressional committee approved a health care reform bill. While I know some people are in favor of reform, take just a few minutes to read about what they are proposing and see if this is the legislation you want. 

The proposal contains a provision that makes it illegal to obtain new private insurance policies once the bill has been made law. If you switch jobs, you cannot be added to the new employer's policy. If you decide to open a business, it will be illegal for insurers to write policies for you and your employees. If you are currently uninsured and want to purchase a health insurance policy, you won't be able to, that is unless it is from the government. This provision will kill the private sector insurance providers.

Not to mention, the director of the Congressional Budget Office, Douglas Elmendorf, said just this week that none of the reform plans being considered would "significantly slow the growth of health spending."

So while failing to curb rising costs, this plan would ensure that within a number of years we would all have only one choice for health insurance, the government. Now ask yourself, even if you think the system needs to change, is this the change you want? 

[Read more here and here.]

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Excellent Timing

Morrigan is going to Highland Park Elementary this fall. Due to recent redistricting, this school has very few returning students and thus the PTA has to start from scratch. I had on my calendar that there was a meeting on Tuesday at 4:30. So Morrigan & I got there right on time - or an hour late since it actually started at 3:30. Ooops. Then the principal handed me the sign up sheet. Nearly everything was filled except President and President Elect. D'oh! I hedged and took a smaller job I didn't really want. 

But when I got home I started to think twice about being President. I really liked the idea of a fresh start where we could get rid of some of the bureaucracy and inefficiencies that many PTAs have developed over time. And HPE is a school that really needs the help. Certainly after Tim & I split a bottle of wine, the idea seemed bulletproof! 

The principal is on vacation for a week so I have a chance to think about it. But I am (insanely) leaning towards yes. Especially after today. Tim was at work and the kids were at camp from 9-3. I finished all my errands, worked out, and did some aimless shopping and just had all this time to fill. Shameful indeed but I think I might end up bored this fall with the kids gone all day. 

Monday, July 13, 2009

Summer Writing

As I was cleaning up tonight, I found a book Morrigan wrote entitled: Morrigan's Future Ideas and Plans. I don't think I have to tell you I was dying to see just what those were. So here, I present the original work in its entirety (with matriarchal commentary in parentheses.)

1) Be a veterinarian.
2) Be smart and rich. (who doesn't want to be)
3) Paint my room hot pink. (Coming from a woman who once painted her room orange, I think you will find this a mistake.)
4) Have three black cats.
5) Collect fancy soaps. (What can I say, I once had a napkin collection...)
6) Get married.
7) Maybe live in a mansion.
8) Get my ears pierced. (I am not sure why she hasn't achieved this goal - I already green lighted the idea.)
9) Sign my name like this [then she signs her name in cursive.] (Plan accomplished!)
10 Get a plasma tv. (Good lord. I am even getting pressure from my 7 year old to upgrade the tv.)

1) Have a big garden.
2) Build a car.

Now there are blank pages following so I feel compelled to leave it out so she can finish it. I just have to make sure I end up with it so I can give it to her when she's grown up!
Maggie wrote a book too and to no ones surprise, it was entitled, My Cats. It is a more factual rather than theoretical book but it is pretty good too!

Thoughts From the Gym

As I was working out the other day, one of the tvs in the cardio area had on The Price Is Right. The contestant who was on at that moment was very excited because she had the chance to win a new car! Then they showed the vehicle, a Smart car. I wish  I were that contestant. I would have told Drew, you know, never mind. I don't think I want to play the game. Even if you gave it to me, I wouldn't be caught dead in one of those POS death traps.

And then as I walked out, I saw a display with a series of racquetball magazine covers featuring a man who, I can only assume by the number of covers, was a famous racquetball player. What caught my eye was the name of the last magazine, Geezerjock. With a name like that, what kind of circulation can they expect? Two people - the editor and his Mom? After googling the name, it does appear to have changed its name to Masters Athlete. Wise choice.

Home Alone

Well Tim & Morrigan are off at the swim meet. After a full day at camp, Maggie and Eion were ragged and I didn't think there was any way they could make it. Much to my surprise, I really wish I were there. While meets can be long and painful, they're somehow fun too. I can't explain it. I just know that when Ann called to tell me Morrigan didn't get disqualified in butterfly and didn't come in last, all I wanted was to be there to see it. That and butterfly would have made for some great pictures....

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Career Plans

Morrigan has worked through the entire Little House series this summer. We need to get out to the book store. But if academics fail her, I think she has a future working in the Phish or Bonaroo parking lots. 

Now that's a darn good tie dye for a seven year old!

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Anniversary Dinner

For our anniversary last night, we went to Wacky Wednesday at the pool where we enjoyed Hutch pizza and wine.

And it was perfect.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009


Fourteen years today and going strong........

And please, for the love of god, save me the emails about how young we look. We're painfully aware.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Swim Meet Monday

So tonight was another swim meet. It was tough. Neither Tim nor Morrigan was swimming the 100 meter medley so we were there for only two events. Morrigan swam the 25 meter free and Tim the 50 meter free. Morrigan took 13 seconds off her time but failed to place. But she took it well especially since she beat her friend from the opposing team. And while she might not be the fastest swimmer, doesn't she look happy and relaxed?

Poor Tim had another goggle malfunction. Everything started off great.

But then he ended up like this, taking of large amounts of water.

But he finished and added two points to the team score. Go team McK!

I think we had a breakthrough with Maggie Pie tonight. As she watched the 6 and under division, she commented to me, "These girls are really slow." No sh*t Maggie! They are your competition. This is why I have been pushing you to be on swim team all year! And then there was the massive meltdown about not getting to go out for celebratory donuts with Daddy. We may have reached the proper ratio of carrot and stick here people.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Sunday at the Lake

Is there anything better than a day at the lake? Even an intermittently rainy day is just about as good as it gets. We swam, fished, boated, went water skiing, went out on the canoe and just generally had a good time.  As it will be many, many years before we are lake house owners ourselves, I will remain eternally grateful for friends like Karen and Damon for inviting us out!

Happy 4th of July!

Two out of three kids chez the Big Top are still out this morning after yesterday's jam packed 4th of July. And yes, it is 7:40am but my kids really don't sleep in. 

We skipped swim team yesterday since it looked like the water was checking in at about 69 degrees. Yeah, we wanted to give it a few hours to warm up. But we were there later so my kids could eat heroic numbers of cookies from the buffet.

And get after it in the soda and jewel dives. Morrigan, who drinks no soda, still participated with plans to sell her winnings. At a price higher than that of the Hutch. Good luck.

Maggie's improved swimming skills meant a marked decrease in tears after the jewel dive coupled with an increase in the number of crappy toys we had to take home. At least none were "Billy Bob teeth" this time.

For the first time I actually took part in the beer dive and found out I suck at it, gathering zero beers. Luck for me, Tim excels and got enough for the both of us!

After the pool, we went to Elmwood Park for  Tea Party protest. Eion carried his sign and politely told passers by "No Cap and Trade!" When he heard the speakers talk about it, he got all excited and held up his sign. 

While it lacked the spontaneous feeling of the April 15th rally, there were plenty of people there and I was glad we were there.

When we left the rally, we went to a big 4th of July party hosted by friends Vicky and Glenn who have an amazing house well situated to watch the fireworks. They had a bluegrass band and barbecue. There were piles of kids and our lot had a ball.

We did lose Eion at one point but eventually found him in the basement where he and a few friends found a cache of legos. Naturally, he was also rocking moist pants. You would think he would be just a little embarrassed, especially considering his new nickname is "Pee-on." But sadly, he didn't seem to care.

There was one little boy who suffered a small cut on the head. Maggie came urgently to get Tim, letting him know it was very important. Tim ended up using dermabond on his head. While it wasn't a major crisis, the girls were duly impressed with their father, the hero.

This was the first year we've seen the Roanoke fireworks. We've always been out of town or in bed by the time they start. It was a good show and the kids tolerated staying up late as well as could be expected. Certainly worth keeping them out.