Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Goodbye Jolly

Today was a very, very sad day. Ciaran has been in physical therapy since he came home from the hospital. Westchester County has an exceptional early intervention program and as a preemie Ciaran got on the fast track for services. Out of an amazing program we managed to get the most premier, excellent, wonderful physical therapist of the whole bunch.

Her name is Anjali, but Beckett always called her Jolly. It was very fitting. She was always so encouraging and happy and helpful. She knew just how hard to push Ciaran to make him work, but not make him break down. She always brought an extra toy for Beckett to play with during therapy so he didn't feel left out. He will miss those bowling animals. She did a great job explaining to me what I needed to be doing at home to help Ciaran achieve his physical goals. She was the first person I called when he finally rolled from his back to his tummy. (Sorry Chris.) Unfortunately for our family she is moving far away and today was our last session together. I am beside myself. We will miss her so much.

Beckett actually took this picture for us. It's a little blurry, but not bad.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Highland Games

Today we went to the Highland Games in Norwalk, CT. This is the 87th year it has been in existence. It's the third oldest games in the US. It was as fun as anything with two small children can be.

We made our way through all the clan tents learning about them and getting stamps in our passports. We learned their war cries and made up our own. Mommy's war cry is, "Those are my rules!" Daddy's war cry is "Gooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooolaso, aso aso!" Beckett's war cry varies greatly. The latest incarnation was, "I see a red rose!" (Which if you're going to go all Lancastrian or something is a pretty good war cry. Or I guess it would be more York since they wanted to kill the red roses....I digress.) Personally I liked, "I like to play Smash Brothers!"

One clan tent with a very good reference book and nice chart did manage to find our poor little, defunct Somerville Clan. Our beast is a dragon shooting fire out of BOTH ends. Well done Lord Somerville for slaying that "worm".

(Another not so helpful clan guy told me it didn't matter if we were StUArts or StEWarts they were all the same. I'm not so sure my ancestors would agree.)

Chris inadvertently wore Clan Macpherson shorts. We're not so sure which clan Beckett inadvertently wore.

We watched some dancing...a fling or a reel or something. It kind of involved swords so that was neat.

We also spent a good amount of time watching a couple of the "heavy" events. I will steal from Wikipedia and explain. (Our hot, crying children forced us to leave before the caber toss. Sad.)

Scottish hammer throw: This event is similar to the hammer throw as seen in modern-day track and field competitions, though with some differences. In the Scottish event, a round metal ball (weighing 16 or 22 lb for men or 12 or 16 lb for women) is attached to the end of a shaft about 4 feet in length and made out of wood, bamboo, rattan, or plastic. With the feet in a fixed position, the hammer is whirled about one's head and thrown for distance over the shoulder. Hammer throwers sometimes employ specially designed footwear with flat blades to dig into the turf to maintain their balance and resist the centrifugal forces of the implement as it is whirled about the head. This substantially increases the distance attainable in the throw.

We almost get an up kilt shot.

Chris got this great video of a hammer toss in action.

Weight over the bar, also known as weight for height. The athletes attempt to toss a 56 pound (4 stone) weight with an attached handle over a horizontal bar using only one hand. Each athlete is allowed three attempts at each height. Successful clearance of the height allows the athlete to advance into the next round at a greater height. The competition is determined by the highest successful toss with fewest misses being used to break tie scores.

The sound of pipe bands and their piping competition filled the background constantly, but I don't think we got any videos of it. We ate scotch eggs and shrimp and chips (for some reason I wanted shrimp not fish). I didn't go for the Irn Bru because it was $3 for a little bottle and that made my penny pinching Scots blood boil. Beckett golfed and won 2 prizes and cheated at the ring toss, but they still let him have 3 prizes for that and fishing. He is in love with his dragon necklace and I think is going to fight to wear it to church tomorrow.

And here are some random "flavor" shots.