Monday, May 13, 2013

The Great Thunder Snow of Christmas 2012

 We were in the midst of a lovely Christmas dinner at our friends' the Lawrences when the dreaded thunder snow came to town.  Emily must have worked for days making that dinner, with a beautiful roasted duck main course and elaborate accoutrements, and they lost power right in the middle of dinner.  When we looked outside, we started to get pretty nervous about how quickly the snow was accumulating and decided we had better leave forthwith.  We got about half a mile before Shane's car got thoroughly stuck in the now pretty much impassable roads.  We lucked into a lift home from Byron's brother who happened to be passing through with a 4WD truck.  We returned home to lose power ourselves later that night.   It would be 5 days before we would get power back.

That's how I felt.

The damage from the storm was so extensive that hundreds of thousands of houses were out of power.  It is crazy how quickly things went sideways- it is different from any snowstorm I've experienced in Canada.  The problem comes from temperatures dropping too quickly from the usual mild weather, so that all the trees freeze, and so many trunks crack and limbs break, taking down basically all the power lines in the city. 

One of our neighbours, bad time to have your house for sale.

Our big front yard tree snapped in two.

Tbere were some fun parts to the storm of course.  We never miss an opportunity to learn new things.

We took refuge in Shane's parents' house in Benton, as they had the good sense to have a generator and the kind hearts to take us in, Phoebe included.  The only pictures I took made it look like conditions were dire, but truthfully we all had a good time.  I like these pictures, misleading though they be!


Quarters were a little cramped with all six of us under one roof.

Saturday, May 11, 2013



We spent a quality day at LEGOLAND, which was actually a really great amusement park for Declan's 4 year old self.  He was big enough to go on just about all the rides, including their big roller coasters.  Here's our roller coaster selfies!


Got no time for Two-Brick Hussies.
The Joust Ride

With his wookie buddy.


If you ask Declan about LEGOLAND, he will tell you that there was one terrible ride which essentially strapped you into a pirate ship and then unceremoniously dunked you into hypothermic water.  When you disembarked, shivering and miserable, there was a strategically placed towel stand, selling towels for $20 a pop.  To which I say, well played LEGOLAND, well played.  
If you ask me what the worst part of LEGOLAND was, you will get a different answer.  Every year Shane and I go to Las Vegas for a getaway.  We have always told Declan it is a city for grownups, and not fun for kids, so he's never been too upset to be left at home.  Well now that he's seen Las Vegas rendered in Lego, it looks like maybe Vegas is the most fun place on Earth.  He ran around pointing out all the Las Vegas features "it has an Eiffel tower, and a castle, and gondolas and a pyramid, and there's a giant circus right in the middle of town!"  Well when you put it like that, it does look like a lot of  fun for kids doesn't it??   I am anticipating much complaining the next time we try to go without Declan.  Thanks LEGOLAND! 
Declan was happy to see they fixed the Sphinx's face.  Everything is better in Vegas. 

A nod to Legoland's attention to detail:  Lego Las Vegas had streets full of Lego men handing out pamphlets on the street!


Friday, May 10, 2013

Spring Break San Diego

This year for Spring Break, Shane had to work so Declan and I went to San Diego for the week.  I went to fitness camp there and Declan went to kids club, but in between, we spent a lot of time in pools and at the beach despite the somewhat chilly weather.

Thumbs up for our superior sandcastle building at Torrey Pines.


Jumping in the Hotel Pool..
Bundled up and looking like Mother Theresa.

Clean up time!  My window of posting bubble bath photos is drawing to a close so I have to squeeze them in where I can...

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Tee Ball Debut.

We signed Declan up for Tee Ball this year with a view to continuing the McGuire baseball legacy.   Although if we were serious about such things,  I suppose that we should have planned his conception better. As it stands, his birthday is less than two weeks before the age cutoff, making him the youngest on the team, and as Freakonomics has taught us, outlook not so good.  It was cute as heck to watch him play though.


First at bat:  base hit!

Fielding remains a concentration challenge.

Looking like he is about to throw a curve ball.


Post-game analysis with Daddy.  Here Shane explains that tackling one's own teammates to get the ball is not necessarily the best fielding strategy.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Toad Suck Time Warp.

We took Declan to the annual Toad Suck festival on the weekend.   Toad Suck is the very first festival Declan ever went to.  At the age of 2 weeks old, we hauled him there for some of his first-ever novelty photos.  

 You can see how far Declan has come in his novelty photo-taking prowess.  For example, now he can hold his own head up.
Age 2 weeks.
Age 5 years and 2 weeks. 
The careful observer will note that Declan is proudly sporting a participant's ribbon (spoiler alert!). 
He wore that ribbon for 48 hours straight.
This time, the sign wasn't a bald-faced lie as Declan did race a toad in 2013. 
    For you sports fans out there, here is a recap of the race:
Taking a nod from the Kentucky Derby, Toad Suck toad races are all about the haberdashery. 
 Here is Declan at the starting line, looking toadally prepared to race.  Trapped in those gentle hands is an authentic racing toad, which Declan has carefully chosen from a trunk full of authentic racing toads. 
The Toadmaster General creates some pre-race hype by going down the starting line and asking the kids to introduce themselves and their toads.  Declan has named his toad "Rodney".   This is a dramatic and inexplicable departure from his usual most-obvious-adjective nomenclature.   Here is a video of actual race footage.  Please take note- I do not scream like a school girl despite having to handle Rodney a bit at the outset to get him pointed in the right direction.  I am quite chuffed with myself about that.
Robbed by the Toadmaster General's decision to award first place to girl in the red shirt and her hopped up toad, Declan and Rodney pose for a somber post-race photo with only a participant ribbon to show for their efforts.
Cheer up, boys.  We will get 'em next year.  Look out Red Shirt Girl - we are coming for you!