Saturday, July 31, 2010

Family Swimming

Bud was up around 7:30, but was able to entertain himself for a while as M-lady and I snoozed. Eventually we all got up around 8:30, and got some breakfast together a short time later. Before long we were all getting dressed and packing up for an outing.

There's a public pool in Palo Alto which has been recommended to us, and we thought we'd give it a try. The pool opened at 11:15, and we figured we'd be there at opening until we got hungry for lunch. We arrived just as the doors opened.

There are two pools at the facility: a standard lap pool, and a wading/kids play pool. We spent our time in the latter. It was 3 feet deep at the deepest part, with a number of fountains and other features. Bud came in with me first, and once acclimated, spent most of his time in the 'deep' end. Buster came in a short time later with M-lady. It took him longer to get comfortable, but he had a great time in the pool as well.

We all played in the water together for more than an hour before getting hungry and hopping out. After getting dried off, we headed for home, picking up some food on the way. After lunch, I showered the kids, and then settled Buster down for his nap. M-lady played and picked up a bit with Bud while we were napping.

An old friend of M-lady's and mine who happened to be in town stopped by in the later afternoon. M-lady and Bud and I had a good time chatting with him and looking at pictures on his iPad. He took his leave just as our dinner guests arrived.

M-lady had invited a coworker of hers and his family who are in town from Oslo to dinner. The parents speak excellent English, but the kids, aged 8 and 6, didn't speak much. It didn't seem to put too much of a damper on the playing, though. Bud and Buster were a little shy at first, but eventually had a good time playing with the visitors. They eventually found something they all really enjoyed: playing with the train set. By the end of the evening, there was a massive train layout set up in the playroom.

We had a good time chatting with our guests, and they took their leave around 8:00. We started in directly on snacks and bedtime. I read a few stories to Buster before bed, including a book about the planets:

Me reading: "Jupiter goes around and around. It has stripes" (referring to the clouds visible on Jupiter's surface)
Buster: "Like Tigger!"

It was about 9:00 before we got the lights out, and Buster chatted to himself for a while before falling asleep. Both kids have slept quietly after a full and fun day.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Fun Swim Day

Friday was pretty usual. The kids were up around 8:00ish, and M-lady and I were out the door shortly after Nanny J arrived. The kids seem to have had a fun day. I managed to get out of work a little early, and got home around 4:00.

Buster was still napping, and Bud was having a snack. I let him know that I was going to nap for a little while before Nanny J had to leave. Bud let me nap, although he came in to check on me and let me know what was going on every fifteen minutes or so. Then he'd wander out again. So I sort of got four short naps.

M-lady arrived home shortly after 5:00, and after wishing Nanny J a good weekend, Bud and I headed off for swim class. It was the last day of his first session of classes, so the teachers mixed it up a little bit. All the kids completed an 'obstacle course', where they crawled down the side of the pool, dunking their heads as necessary to avoid splashing or go under small floats. The kids all seemed to have a good time.

Class ended about 5 minutes early, and all the kids picked up a piece of candy and a report card. Bud got a good report for his first swim class: he's done very well with a couple of the skills, including back floats, and continues to improve with others.

We headed home, and I got Bud into the bathtub. After his bath, we all had a solid dinner together, and then played a little before having a snack and starting the bedtime routine. I read some stories to Bud at bedtime, but rather than lay down with him for a while I set up an online game with a friend of mine while Bud went to sleep. Bud came in a few minutes into the game to ask me to turn it down. After I did that, he fell asleep pretty quickly.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Skills in the Tub

The kids slept in a little bit this morning, and Buster wanted to stay in the dark for a while even after he'd woken around 8:00. M-lady headed off for work a little early this morning. Bud was up a short time later, and we all headed downstairs around 8:45, when Nanny J and the cleaners arrived.

The kids seem to have had a good day. M-lady and I arrived home at the same time, and the kids were pretty excited to see us. I had a few minutes to pack a snack and play a little catch with Bud, and then we headed off to swim class. M-lady took Buster to make a Goodwill donation while we were out.

Bud did well at swim class again, making incremental progress. He was told by his teacher that tomorrow is a fun day, since it's the last day of his first two-week session. He's really looking forward to it.

After class, we did the usual towel off, eat snack, and jump into the tub when we got home. I zoned out while the tub was filling, and Bud ended up with a super-full bathtub. We took advantage, and Bud did a couple of head dunks. He also tried to back float in the tub, but couldn't quite get his butt off the bottom. His form wasn't too bad, though, and he got his head back and ears wet.

We all had dinner together, and the kids ate a huge quantity of edamame along with the rest of their meals. After dinner, we watched an episode of The Backyardigans before snack time and bedtime. Buster resisted starting the bedtime routine, and we lured him in with a new book. It's a counting book with Cars characters, and he had me read it to him about half a dozen times before bed.

Buster was in bed a little after 8:30, and dropped off to sleep relatively quickly. I think his unusual bedtime protest may have been due to fatigue.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Playing Catch

Buster was up a little bit in the early morning. M-lady had a call pretty early, and I got up with Buster and Bud when they woke around 7:30 and 8:00. M-lady took them downstairs for breakfast a short time before Nanny J arrived.

The kids seem to have had a good day. Nanny J reported that they were very good, and Bud let me know that they each got two cookies during the day. I got home around 5:00, and after I settled in we said goodbye to Nanny J.

Bud and I played catch with a big plush block, very soft, about a foot in diameter. Bud was actually really good at catching it. We had a good time tossing it back and forth. Buster got in on it a couple of times, too, making some catches and giggling.

Bud and I took off for swim class shortly after M-lady arrived home. Bud did really well in class. I saw him float solidly, do a self-head dunk, and make a couple of good push-offs from the side of the pool towards his teacher. We did our now-standard routine after class, having a snack in the car and hitting the tub as soon as we got home.

M-lady made French toast for dinner, which was a hit with the kids. After dinner, the kids entertained themselves by riding and crashing their little ride-on cars into each other in the living room. There were lots of screams and laughter.

We had snack time a bit before 8:00, and I did the bedtime routine with Bud. We read a couple of stories, and turned the light out around 8:30. It took him a while to fall asleep, but he drifted off some time after 9:00. Buster woke once briefly around 10:00, but went back to sleep pretty quickly.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Dunking

Buster woke once a bit early, and M-lady slept in his room with him for a bit. Bud eventually got up around 7:30, and I made sure he was OK before heading back to bed for a bit while he played Lego. M-lady got up with Buster around 8:00, and I rolled out of bed a bit later.

Nanny J came a little later this morning due to a doctor's appointment, and M-lady headed for work after she arrived. The kids had a good day, and spent some time in the backyard playing basketball.

I got home around 5:00, and Bud was all set to go to swim class. I packed a snack for him, and after Nanny J left and M-lady arrived, we headed out. Bud was great again in class, and did more head dunking than I'd seen him do before. After class, we did our usual routine of drying off, and he had a snack on the way home.

When we got home, I got him into the tub. He finished up his bath and we got downstairs just in time for dinner. The kids were a little slow eating dinner tonight, but I ate quickly and got started on a new batch of cookies. The kids decided to finish their dinners to that they could have a cookie each at snack time.

After snack, Bud headed upstairs to do the bedtime routine with M-lady, and I put Buster to bed. He requested Cars videos, so I pulled up the old favorites on YouTube and we watched those. Buster took a long time to fall asleep, not dropping off until about 9:30.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Dinner Decision

The kids were up a bit before 8:00, although Buster wanted to stay in his crib in the dark. He wasn't willing to get up until Bud headed downstairs for breakfast with M-lady around 8:30.

The kids had a good day, and had fun going to the park with Nanny J. Bud was already in his swimsuit when I got home around 5:00, and seemed ready to go. M-lady arrived home a few minutes later, and we said goodbye to Nanny J.

Bud was great at swim class again. He continues to get more comfortable and improve each day. I'm looking forward to swimming with him soon: I'll need to find a venue for it.

M-lady took Buster out for an errand while we were out at swim class, and they had just gotten home and were playing on the driveway when Bud and I got home. I took Bud upstairs and dumped him in the bath while M-lady brought Buster inside.

We had dinner when Bud got out of the tub. Buster declined to eat with us again, but Bud ate a solid dinner. After dinner, Bud and I played some Lego Star Wars while Buster watched. We started snack time at about 7:45.

Bud and I had otter pops. Buster wanted one, but I told him he needed to eat his dinner first. After holding out for about a minute, he took his dinner bowl and wolfed it down. After eating, he had an otter pop as Bud and I headed upstairs to start the bedtime routine.

Bud was good through the bedtime routine, and we turned out the light around 8:30. It took him a while to fall asleep, but both kids have slept quietly so far this evening.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

To the Park

The kids were up around 8:00ish, and I got started on waffles a little bit later. For some reason I thought a half-batch of waffles would be enough for us. At least full batches for us in the future.

After breakfast, the kids played with the lightsaber iPhones for a little while as I got ready for a bike ride. I had the kids return the iPhones before I left, and M-lady took the kids to the park while I was gone. Bud had a good time on his glider bike.

They had some lunch when they got back, and then played for a while in the living room I arrived home a bit after 1:00, and after cleaning up I sat and had lunch while the kids watched an episode of The Backyardigans. The kids had a snack after the show, and I put Buster down for his nap after they finished up.

Buster had a solid nap, and I played with Bud for a bit while he was snoozing. We played with Lego, played a little bit of Lego Star Wars, and worked on my computer as well. Uncle C, Aunt O, and Cousin C arrived around 5:00, and Buster woke up then.

Bud and Buster had a great time playing with Cousin C and Uncle C, as M-lady got some dinner ready. Everyone had a solid dinner but Buster, who refused for a while. Our guests had brought a watermelon with them as well, so the kids enjoyed that. Buster decided to eat dinner after the family had left, and enjoyed some watermelon as well.

I got the kids into the shower after that, and got them both cleaned up. We played on the computer for a short time after they got into PJs, and then had a snack before heading for bed. Buster was pretty good about the bedtime routine, and I was able to put him into his crib a little before 8:30. He was asleep by about 9:00. Both kids have slept quietly so far tonight.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

New Lightsabers

M-lady got up with the kids this morning, but wasn't feeling very well, so I took them down for breakfast around 8:30. After eating, we watched some TV together. M-lady came down a bit before 10:00, and I took a turn snoozing while she hung out with the kids.

They had some fun playing piano and reading stories together. When I got up again, we all went for a walk together. Buster enjoyed practicing on his new glide bike, and Buster rode his tricycle. The kids played outside some more when we got home, before we all headed in to get some lunch.

The kids ate well, and after lunch we all headed off to the library together, where we returned Bud's books and picked out some new ones. While we were there, both kids participated in a craft that was being offered, and they glued small seashells onto a small cup lid. Buster seemed to have a good time picking out the different shell colors.

It was time for Buster's nap when we got home, and he was pretty cooperative about going to sleep. While he was napping, Bud and I played together, and then headed out to do the grocery shopping. Bud was really good on the trip, holding the shopping list for me and helping to push the cart.

I got dinner started when we got home, and we ate around 6:30. While the kids were waiting for dinner, they discovered the lightsaber app on the iPhone, which shows the lightsaber, and then makes the appropriate sounds as you swing and shake the iPhone. Bud took one of my iPhones, and Buster took the other, and they had pretend lightsaber battles.

After dinner, they asked to play with the app some more. I dug up an old iPod touch, to minimize the damage possibility when one of them chucked the device across the room. They both had a good time, and we managed not to lose an expensive electronic device.

Both kids were pretty good about going to bed. I read some stories with Bud, and he was asleep by about 9:00. Both kids have slept quietly so far this evening.

Friday, July 23, 2010

The Usual

We had a pretty standard Friday. The kids slept reasonably well, and we all got up and were getting ready by 8:30 or so. The kids had a good day with Nanny J, and aside from being a bit snotty, Buster seems to be mostly recovered from his cold without having handed it off to anyone else in the family.

M-lady and I got home around the same time, shortly after 5:00. After saying goodbye to Nanny J, I helped Bud pack up, and we headed off to his swim lesson. Again, he did a great job, and is continually getting more comfortable in the water. He again successfully floated on his back during one of his exercises today.

M-lady and Buster went out and picked up some dinner while Bud and I were at the swim lesson, and we managed to get Bud bathed before M-lady and Buster got home. We all had a nice dinner together, and then took a look at the package that arrived during the day.

M-lady and I ordered a non-pedal bike for Bud to help him learn how to balance. It's really pretty small for him, but it's very lightweight, and if he can learn the skills to keep it upright, he should be able to transition to the bike he has pretty easily. We put his new glider bike together, and he rode around the living room a little bit before it was time to get ready for bed.

The kids were good during the bedtime routine, and Buster was pretty willing to go to bed around 8:30. Both kids have slept pretty well so far this evening.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Floating

Buster didn't really sleep very well, and M-lady and I spent most of the night with him. I checked his temperature around 4:30, and found he had a slight fever, so gave him a dose of acetaminophen. He slept late in the morning, and was still asleep when Nanny J arrived, and when I left for work around 9:00.

The kids seem to have had a good day. They stayed in, and Buster was fine, if a little snorky, during the day. Bud spent a good chunk of the day playing with Lego.

I got home shortly after 5:00, and got Bud into his swimsuit. M-lady arrived a few minutes later, and we said goodbye to Nanny J. Bud headed out with me to his swim class a few minutes later.

Bud did a great job at swim class. I saw him float on his back, with the teacher showing both hands: he was doing it all by himself. He did a great job with the other exercises as well, and finished up the class happy.

We headed home and Bud took a bath, and then headed downstairs to join M-lady and Buster for dinner. Both kids ate pretty well, and we played a little bit of Rock Band: Beatles after dinner. Snack time and the bedtime routine were pretty standard.

As 9:00 neared, I left Bud in his bed and went to sit with Buster for a while. Buster still wasn't asleep at about 9:30, so I left him and checked in on him occasionally. He went to sleep pretty quickly after that, and both kids have slept well so far. Hopefully Buster gets a more solid night tonight than last night.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Last Day of Preschool

Buster slept solidly through the night, and we all got up around 8:00ish. Buster wasn't running a fever, and Bud was good about getting ready for his last day of preschool. Bud and I rolled out around the time Nanny J arrived.

M-lady stayed home for a bit in the morning to make sure that Buster was OK. He seemed fine, if a bit stuffed up. He was still doing well around lunchtime, so M-lady headed for the office.

I got home in time to relieve Nanny J, and got Bud ready for swim class. He wasn't resistant to going, and we were able to get out the door a few minutes after M-lady arrived home to watch Buster. They apparently headed out to run an errand while Bud and I were at swimming.

Bud did great at swim class, staying in the water the whole time. He's getting more comfortable in the water, which is great. I think the goggles which he likes to wear are getting in his way a little bit, though.

I took Bud home after a very successful swim class, and he was great taking a quick shower. I had to run off to a work dinner event, and M-lady got dinner for the kids. They were apparently very good and behaved all evening.

Unfortunately, Buster took a long time to fall asleep, and M-lady had to sit with him for a long time. He had dropped off shortly before I got home, though, and only woke very briefly once later in the evening. Hopefully he'll continue to feel better, and Bud won't catch what he has.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Change In Attitude

Buster didn't sleep very well last night, and M-lady or I was sleeping with him in his room most of the night. He was coughing a little bit, and the cough persisted into the morning, but didn't seem too bad. Bud didn't get up until a bit after 8:00, though, and hung out with me in our bed for a bit.

Nanny J arrived at 8:45, and M-lady took off for work soon after. I left a short time later, while the kids were having breakfast with Nanny J.

M-lady got a call from Nanny J at lunch, letting us know that Buster was running a low-grade fever. I headed home after lunch, where I found Buster napping and Bud playing with Lego. Buster had a solid nap, but woke with his fever nearing 103 degrees. I gave him a dose of acetaminophen, and he headed downstairs with Nanny J for a snack. He didn't really seem too put out by being sick, although his cough was sounding a little more significant.

I worked from home in the afternoon, and Bud came in to check on me occasionally. A few minutes before 5:00 I signed off, and checked on Buster. His fever was down around 100, and he was playing happily with Nanny J. I got Bud started on getting ready for swim class, including having a snack and getting into his trunks. He let me know that he didn't really want to go, but I convinced him that it would be OK.

M-lady arrived home a short time after Nanny J took her leave, and I left Buster playing with her to get Bud to his class. Bud cried just a little bit before class, but gave me a hug and bravely got into the water. Apparently he had a good time today. He didn't try to get out of the water except once at the beginning when he needed to pee, and when class wrapped up, he said he wanted to stay because he was having fun and liked swimming. Yay!

I got him dried off and we had a snack back at the car. We headed home talking more about swimming, and how much fun it was. When we got home, he took a warm bath, and eventually came down to have some dinner.

After dinner, I made a quick batch of chocolate chip cookies to replenish our supply, since we ran out of snickerdoodles today. The kids each had a cookie at snack time. I checked Buster's temp again, and he was down to 99, which is his normal temp.

M-lady put Bud to bed without any trouble, and I watched a few videos with Buster before reading him a story and putting him to bed. He didn't fuss at all, although he took a little while to fall asleep. He woke once a little later, and sounded like he had a pretty bad post-nasal drip, but went back to sleep pretty quickly. Hopefully he'll get a solid night's sleep, and be OK tomorrow.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Learning To Swim

The kids finally slept in a little bit this morning, although both were up a little bit during the night. I started rolling Bud out of bed a little after 8:00, and he managed to get ready for school before Nanny J arrived.

M-lady had a dentist appointment during the day, and arrived home in the late afternoon. I got home a little after 5:00, and found Bud ready to go to his swim class. I packed a cookie and some water for him, and we headed out in plenty of time, arriving about fifteen minutes before class started.

Bud and I talked about what was going to happen, and then waited for the start of the session. Bud was introduced to his teachers, and they got in the water right away.

Bud was stoic. He spent most of the class clinging to the side of the pool, and occasionally climbing out. His primary complaint was that he was cold, though, rather than being scared of the water. He did everything asked of him by his teachers, including dunking his head and some kickboard exercises. He didn't really have lots of fun, though.

The class was only thirty minutes long, so it was over pretty quickly. I helped him towel off, and he had his cookie in the car as we headed home. When we arrived, he took a warm bath, and we headed down to have dinner with M-lady and Buster as soon as he was in his PJs.

After a good dinner, we all came up to the office, where we first looked for a missing Lego piece, and then watched a few videos on the computer. We headed back downstairs before too long to have a snack, and then started the bedtime routine.

Bud was good for the bedtime routine, and I read a chapter of Winnie-the-Pooh to him before bed. He went to sleep on his own pretty quickly. Buster took a bit longer to fall asleep, not dropping off until around 9:00.

Bud has his swim class every evening for two weeks, so hopefully it won't be too hard to get him to class tomorrow. After he gets a couple of classes under his belt, I'm sure he'll enjoy them more.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Cooperating

Buster was up pretty early, and M-lady was up with him first. Bud came to me a bit later, and I helped him get dressed, and we headed down for breakfast. After Buster had eaten as well, M-lady snoozed for a bit while the kids and I watched Sesame Street and the Tour stage. After we turned the TV off, we headed upstairs to join M-lady again.

While I was hanging out with the kids for a little while, I heard Bud say to Buster, "Let's tackle Daddy!" Then they came to get me.

M-lady took the kids off to get some lunch and run an errand, and I had some lunch and got ready for a bike ride. I was still preparing when they got back, so the kids were able to see me off.

While I was out for my ride, the kids had smoothies with M-lady, and then did some dancing and reading stories. They also had fun playing 'Blowfish' on the iPhone for a bit. Everyone was still happy when I got back around 3:00, and I had snacks with them before M-lady headed out for an errand and I put Buster down for his nap.

Buster took a while to drift off, but when he was asleep Bud and I played with Lego for a bit. Buster woke after about an hour, and I got him down from his crib at his request, but he subsequently fell asleep on his couch for another hour or so.

We had some dinner a short time after M-lady returned home. Both kids ate pretty well. After dinner, we had a quick video chat with Grandma W, and then ran out to get ice cream. Buster was insistent on eating his cup of ice cream by himself, so we were all waiting for him for a bit.

We got home shortly after 8:00, and did a standard bedtime routine. Buster took a long time to fall asleep, finally drifting off a bit after 10:00. Hopefully he'll sleep solidly and sleep in a little bit tomorrow.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

A Different Outing

M-lady took first shift with the kids, and I was able to snooze even when they both invaded the bed and jumped up and down a bit. Eventually M-lady took them downstairs for breakfast. I joined them a bit before 9:00, and M-lady headed upstairs to snooze for a bit.

The kids and I watched a little bit of TV, and then they played for a while as I packed sandwiches and fruit for lunch. We headed upstairs when I was done with that, where the child I wasn't attending to at the time terrorized M-lady while she tried to sleep.

I eventually got both kids dressed and ready to go, and M-lady got up to do the final preparations. A bit before 11:00 we loaded into the car and headed for the beach. The kids were pretty excited, although Buster fell asleep shortly into the drive a took an early nap.

The drive out to Half Moon Bay was pretty straightforward, without too much traffic. We were able to park at the beach, and we grabbed our stuff and found a spot to throw out some towels. I sunscreened the kids as we ate out lunch.

Neither child was interested in getting into the water, but they both helped dig and play in the sand. Eventually Bud and I chased each other into the waves a little bit, and Bud and I had a good time playing in the water. Bud got in up to his hips once or twice. Buster seemed interested, but not yet ready to get into the waves.

Everyone had a good time, and we headed out before anyone got too tired. We were able to rinse off some of the sand, if not all, and had a fairly quick drive home. I showered both kids to get sand and salt off, and after cleaning them up we had a snack and rested for a little while.

I took Bud off to the grocery store a bit before 5:00, and we got started on grilling dinner when we got back. Both kids ate well, and straightaway after dinner I got started on mixing up some cookie dough. The kids had a great time making little balls and coating them with cinnamon and sugar, and we just had time to get them baked so they could each have one before bed.

Bud and I read a few stories, and turned the light out a little after 8:30. Bud fell asleep pretty quickly. Buster again woke about an hour after first falling asleep, but was fairly easily consoled.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Relaxing Friday

Buster woke early again, although Bud's clock seems to be getting back to normal. I got up around 6:30, while M-lady was up with Buster, and headed out to work on my bicycle. M-lady got the kids breakfast before heading to work when Nanny J arrived.

M-lady got home in time to relieve Nanny J, and I arrived home before 6:00. The kids were playing 'cooking' again, and had prepared dinner for everyone, with four identical place settings. Fortunately, they were really hungry, so convincing them to eat a real dinner rather than a play one wasn't very hard.

After dinner we watched a little TV together, and then had some fruit for a snack and did the bedtime routine. Buster was pretty good through the routine, and willing to put his head down when we finished reading books. He fell asleep pretty quickly, and then woke once about an hour later, as has been his pattern recently.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Music

The kids were up early again. I got up with Buster first around 6:00, and set him up with some books in his crib after changing his diaper. He managed to keep himself entertained for a while. M-lady was up with him a bit later. Bud was up a bit before 7:00, and we were getting dressed and ready to go a short time later.

M-lady had to head for work a little early, so I played with the kids and got them downstairs. The kids were eating breakfast when Nanny J arrived, and I packed up and headed for work.

The kids had a good day, and played in the backyard before it got too hot. They had set up a 'kitchen' in the playroom and a drumset in the living room by the time I got home. Bud was excited to show me his kitchen, all the food in it, and that he was going to make some dinner.

We played for a little while after Nanny J left, and then watched an episode of Backyardigans. M-lady arrived home while we were watching, so we had some dinner when it wrapped up.

After dinner, I brought my guitar downstairs, and strummed a bit while the kids played on the drum kit Bud had fashioned. Buster was interested in how the guitar worked, and had fun plunking on the strings a bit. Bud had a good time dancing while I played a 12 bar blues, too.

We did snack and bedtime after that. Bud was really good about bedtime, and got into PJs while I answered questions about Superman for him. We read a couple of stories, and turned the light out at about 8:15. Bud fell asleep pretty quickly, and both kids have slept quietly so far tonight.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Jetlagged

The kids were up a bit before 7:00 this morning, and M-lady and I got up with them. We needed some groceries (milk and fruit), so I headed out and picked those up while M-lady got the kids dressed. The morning was relaxed, and Bud and I headed out to take him to summer school when Nanny J arrived at 8:45.

Buster was a little upset to see Nanny J, since he's gotten so much individual attention from M-lady over the past week. But both kids apparently had a good day, and took baths in the afternoon. They were playing with trains when I arrived home a little after 5:00.

The kids and I played together for a bit before M-lady arrived home. We played more with the trains, did some dancing (and video recording), and kicked a soft ball around the living room. M-lady arrived home before too long, and she set up an early dinner which eventually attracted the kids.

The kids were a bit grumpy as the evening progress, largely due to jetlag. We watched a bit of a recorded SYTYCD episode, and then had snacks and started the bedtime routine fairly early. Both kids fell asleep very quickly once we got them in bed. Buster woke once a little later in the evening, but was quickly soothed.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Troopers

We all rolled out of bed this morning shortly after 7:30, and got ready for a long day of travel. M-lady finished up the packing after we were all dressed, and we had a quick breakfast and started on goodbyes.

We loaded up into one of the vans and rolled out about 9:15. The kids were wide-eyed, and very patient on a pretty boring drive up to the Detroit airport. We were a few minutes later than we would have liked, given the need to fuel and return the rental car, but ended up getting through security about 45 minutes before scheduled departure time. We grabbed some lunch, hit the restroom and then waited as the plane was about 30 minutes late.

The kids really enjoyed the people mover conveyor belts in the terminal, and I had to chase Buster up and down a bit while we were waiting for the plane. Eventually we were able to board, got ourselves settled, and waited for takeoff.

Buster fell asleep before takeoff this time, and snoozed for about an hour while Bud and I watched DVDs. The kids were great for the flight, and we spent time chatting, playing with pipe cleaners, reading books, watching DVDs, snacking, etc. Buster started asking to get down from his car seat about 15 minutes before landing, and I was able to keep him entertained enough that he didn't mind not being able to get out.

When we were standing up, getting ready to head out of the plane, the couple behind us commented on how well behaved the kids were. I think they were parents.

We headed out, got to baggage claim, hit the bathroom, picked up luggage, and made our way (laden with luggage) to the shuttle to long-term parking. Buster loved the shuttle this time, and said, "Whoa!" every time we went around a turn. It was as good as a roller coaster for him.

The last leg of the trip was the drive from the airport to home. I sort of figured the kids would fall asleep, but neither did. In fact, they asked to play outside when we arrived home. So they played a bit while M-lady and I unloaded the car.

The evening was pretty straightforward, with an early dinner, mellow playtime, and the bedtime routine. Bud was in bed around 8:15, and fell asleep within about thirty seconds of putting his head on the pillow and closing his eyes. Buster woke once shortly after 9:00, but I was able to soothe him back to sleep before too long. Hopefully the kids won't wake up at 4:30 tomorrow morning, but I don't expect getting to school late is going to be an issue.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Hanging Out With Family

We had plans for the day, but didn't do any of them, so it worked out to be a pretty good day.

Bud was up early, around 7:30, and I got up with him. We watched some TV with the others who were up (or dozing on the couch), and got some breakfast. M-lady came down with Buster a bit after 8:30, and I was able to head back upstairs and snooze for a little while after 9:00.

We considered going to the park, but never made it out. The kids seemed to have a great time playing in the backyard, and playing with the 'backup' toys we'd all brought along and broke out today.

In the morning, Bud and Cousin LR took the sidewalk chalk and drew an elaborate race track on the driveway for the hotwheels cars Cousin LR had with him. The other kids came out to play with the cars and chalk as well. We all headed in for lunch around noon.

There was a little bit more play before nap time. M-lady and I brought out the squeeze rockets we'd purchased in case we were rained in, and all the kids had a blast with them. It kept them all entertained for the better part of an hour, right up to nap time. Buster and I watched a video in our room, and he fell asleep pretty quickly when I put him down after watching the vid. While the little ones were sleeping, Aunt K did some tye-dying with Bud and Cousin LR.

Later in the afternoon the kids played with balsa gliders and bubbles in the backyard, until pizza arrived for dinner at about 5:00. Everyone had a solid dinner, and afterward we played outside a bit more before getting started on baths.

M-lady and I had run out for a quick spin, and unfortunately suffered a flat tire. We weren't far away, and Aunt K came to pick up M-lady so she could get the kids started on their baths while I finished changing the tire. When I got back, Buster had been bathed, and Bud and Cousin LR were in the tub together. I helped Aunt RuggerMom get the kids soaped up, and we all headed downstairs for some video, Wii, and last snacks.

I helped get Bud and Cousin LR settled in their tent, and they ended up chatting and playing together for a couple hours before going to sleep. Buster was up late watching a video as well, and didn't fall asleep until after 10:00. Buster woke once briefly, but M-lady and I have been in the room packing for the trip tomorrow, so it's not terribly surprising. He went back to sleep pretty quickly.

We've had a great time here, and will be sad to say goodbye to everyone tomorrow. Hopefully the homeward trip will be as smooth as the trip coming out was.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Getting All Together

We all woke around 8:00 again, and headed downstairs for breakfast. After eating, it was a very relaxed time dressing and getting ready for the photographer who arrived around 10:30.

We then spent a rather frantic hour or so, with a snack break in the middle, trying to cajole and corral the kids into photos. We certainly got several photos with all the kids in them, but I'm not sure if we'll get any where someone's not looking away or sticking a finger up their nose.

We generally had a good time, though, and after the snack hit on the strategy of using bubbles to gather the kids. At one point, we lined them all up to wait for a big bubble, which they tried to pop. The photographer shot them while they were lined up, all looking up expectantly.

We had some lunch after the photography session, and played a little before nap time. Buster took a while to fall asleep, and M-lady stayed with him. I worked outside with Granddad B and some of the others to take down a window cover, clean it, and install fresh weather stripping.

The world cup finals started around the beginning of nap time as well, so that consumed peoples attention. The kids were getting up as that game was wrapping up.

We had a solid pasta dinner, and afterward M-lady took Buster for a walk with most of the family, while Granddad B, Uncle T, Cousin LR, Bud, and I headed out to a storage facility Granddad B had some plate parts at, and retrieved a horizontal stab so he could work on it at home.

When we got home, we all took baths and got into PJs. We had some fun playing the fencing game in Wii Sports Resort, and Bud and Cousin LR had a great time facing off. Even the little ones got chances to play, and had a good time. We eventually wrapped up, had a snack, and all the kids headed for bed.

Bud and Cousin LR eventually went to sleep in the tent together, although it took some convincing to get Cousin LR to admit he was sleepy. Buster woke once around 11:00 or so, but I was able to soothe him and get him back to sleep.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Activities

The kids slept reasonably well last night, although Bud was up once or twice. Bud did end up staying in his tent, although Cousin LR left to sleep with his parents. We all got up around 8:00.

After having some breakfast, we all loaded up and headed out a little after 9:30 to go blueberry picking. It was hot and sunny when we arrived, shortly after 10:00. We all grabbed some baskets and headed out to find some blueberries. I showed Buster how to pick the ripe ones, and eventually he figured out that he could eat them. At that point, he stopped putting berries in the basket, and ate everything he picked.

The kids had a pretty good time, but were tuckered out pretty quickly. We had gathered six pounds of blueberries, not including the berries the kids ate. We headed home to get some lunch.

We did a little bit of water play out back with a Slip 'N Slide and an inflatable wading pool before we decided to head in for lunch. After eating, we all headed out back again, and played a bit more. Buster took his shoes off and waded into the wading pool, and Bud enjoyed playing with Cousin LR. Aunt K and Uncle T arrived around that time, and we all said hi.

Around 2:00 we headed inside and watched a little bit of Toy Story 2 before heading for naps. I think everyone except Bud napped. Bud spent some time drawing with his crayons, and generally entertained himself for a bit.

We got up around 4:30, and had time to have a snack and watch a little bit of The Backyardigans before getting ready and heading out to the Toledo baseball park. The grandparents had gotten a box for us for the game, and we had food waiting for us in the box. The fruit plate was demolished by the kids.

We had a good time at the game. The view was great, and after the third inning I pulled out a portable DVD player to let the kids watch more Backyardigans. The kids were getting pretty tired by the 5th, though, so we headed out a short time later. It was around 9:00 when we got home, so getting to bed was the top priority.

Buster went to sleep a bit before 10:00, and Bud and Cousin LR played and chatted together until a bit later. At one point Bud was reading a story to Cousin LR, which was really cute. They eventually went to sleep sometime after 10:30. So far the kids have slept pretty soundly after a long and fun day.

Friday, July 09, 2010

Chilling

At some point during the night, Bud snuck into our room and crawled up to sleep in between M-lady and I. I don't think he woke either one of us, so we're not sure when it happened. LR woke some time after Bud snuck out, and was a little upset to find himself sleeping alone, but was soothed by Aunt K.

We all got up around 8:00 local time, after a solid night's sleep for everyone except Bud, who slept a bit less than usual. We had pancakes for breakfast, and immediately began playtime, which pretty much lasted all day. The TdF was on the TV during the morning, but we went outside and played with bubbles and balls as well before lunch.

M-lady tried to put Buster down for a nap this afternoon, but he chatted for about an hour while lying in his crib. Bud and LR generally got along really well, and spent most of the day playing together. In the afternoon, Uncle D, LR, Bud, and I spent some time playing kickball outside. LR and Bud never really got the hang of running the bases, but they had a lot of fun.

Bud had a little bit of a meltdown around the time we had to go to dinner, but he eventually came out of it, apologized where necessary, and we all had a good dinner out together. Bud ate well, but Buster didn't eat much while we were out. Buster ate a huge pile of fruit when we got home, though.

I bathed Bud and LR, who had a great time in the bath together, splashing away. With a little more adult supervision than last night, the boys went to sleep at a much more reasonable hour, around 9:00. Buster woke once after being asleep a short time with what seemed to be a night terror, compounded by waking in an unfamiliar setting. M-lady was eventually able to calm him down and get him back to sleep, which he's done peacefully since.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Iron Travelers

M-lady and I rolled the kids out of bed around 6:00, and we were on the road by 6:30. The Bud was really excited, and Buster picked up on his excitement. We got to the airport, and I dropped off M-lady with Bud and the luggage and went to park the car in long-term parking with Buster.

Buster was a trooper. He was a little nervous about getting on the parking lot shuttle, since he'd never been on a bus before. But he sat on my lap and had his eyes open the whole time. We met up with M-lady and Bud shortly, finished checking in the luggage, and headed through security.

Both kids were well behaved in the security line, and we made it through without incident. We were at the gate about an hour before takeoff, and stopped to have some breakfast. Bud had a potty break, and we changed Buster's diaper before getting on the plane.

The kids were fantastic on the plane. We watched some DVDs, did some coloring and reading, snacked, etc. M-lady and I took turns hanging out with the kids and snoozing. The kids didn't fuss, or make noise, or even kick the seats in front of them much.

We did end up missing lunch, so we kind of snacked through it. Both kids were tired, but neither fell asleep until the wheels touched down in our destination city. Then Buster fell asleep as we taxied to the gate.

We met up with Granddad B after getting our luggage, and jumped through the hoops to get M-lady and me added as drivers to the rental van. The van has plenty of room, and the kids seats fit fine.

We drove to Granddad B and Grandma Nese's house, which was about an hour away. Both kids (and M-lady) dropped off to sleep on the drive. When we arrived, we headed in and were greeted by Grandma Nese, Aunt RuggerMom, Uncle D, and Cousins LR, V, and B. The kids got on really well, in particular Bud and LR.

We ate some dinner and spent the evening mostly just hanging out and getting used to the space. At bedtime, Buster passed out pretty close to his normal bedtime, even though there was a three hour time change. Bud and LR were sleeping in sleeping bags in a tent in one of the bedrooms, and they were up chattering with each other until about midnight.

All in all, the kids were brilliant travelers today, and I'm really proud of them. Flying across the country with two kids was about as stress-free as it could get.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Preparing For Travel

The kids were up around 8:00ish today, with Buster getting up a little earlier, and Bud waking a little later. Bud was pretty good about getting ready to go, and I took him to school around the time Nanny J arrived.

Bud had a good day at school, apparently learning about sea sponges. The kids had a fine afternoon with Nanny J, and were dancing and playing with her when I arrived home around 5:00. After I settled in, we said goodbye to her, and played together for a little while. Eventually we turned on the TV, and watched some Bob the Builder before M-lady arrived home.

Bud had packed his backpack for our trip tomorrow a couple of days ago, and stuffed it with books. It was pretty heavy, and I sat and read some of the books with the kids as we removed them from the bag. We'll still bring a few books, but try to limit it so he can still lift his bag.

We had dinner a bit later, and I headed outside with the kids for a little while after dinner. I started with figuring out a way to get the drip sprinklers to water our hanging strawberry planter, and ended with a trip to Home Depot to get some replacement sprinkler heads when I discovered a broken one.

M-lady ushered the kids inside and got snacks for them. I got home in time to help put them to bed, although both kids were a bit wired. Bud was super excited about leaving tomorrow, and Buster was clearly picking up on the excitement. It took a while to get them to sleep, and we'll have to roll them out of bed a bit early tomorrow. They've slept well once they dropped off, though.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Already Packed

Buster was up a number of times during the night, and M-lady slept in his room for a bit. He was up, reading books in his crib, by about 7:30. Bud was up a short time later, and we all were rolling by about 8:30.

M-lady and I headed for work shortly after Nanny J arrived. The kids seem to have had a good day, and Nanny J reported that they were very well behaved. Both kids had baths, and Buster had his normal nap.

I got home around 5:00, and found the kids just finishing up a snack. After Nanny J took her leave, the kids performed a dance concert for me. Bud gave me a ticket, then took it and showed me to a seat. Buster started the music, and they bounced around a bit in the dining room.

After dancing a bit, we watched some Bob the Builder until M-lady arrived home. Once M-lady was settled, the kids performed the dance concert for her, too.

We had dinner after that, and the kids are really well. After dinner we picked up the living room, and I played 'soccer' with Bud, kicking around a large plush ball. M-lady played the piano for us as well, and we all enjoyed the music.

Snack time came up pretty quickly, followed by the bedtime routine. Buster was pretty tractable, and we had a good time reading stories before turning the lights out. He didn't drop off to sleep until about 9:00. Both kids have slept quietly so far.

Bud has packed his blanky and favorite stuffed animal, Buff, in his rolling backpack in anticipation of our upcoming trip. So he's sleeping without those staples right now. I think he's afraid we'll accidentally leave them behind if he doesn't have them packed. His backpack also has about fifty pounds of books that he wants to take, so we'll have to trim those down a little bit.

Monday, July 05, 2010

Taking It Easy

I got up with Buster at about 7:30 this morning, and we hung out together for a bit. Shortly after 8:00 I was able to escape and go back to bed for a little while. M-lady was also up with the kids for a bit after that. We all finally got moving around 8:45.

After getting some breakfast, I headed out for a bike ride while M-lady played with the kids. They did a quick run to CostCo while I was out, and the kids were apparently very well behaved.

When they got back, I had lunch with the kids, and M-lady headed out to her ballet class. The kids and I had a nice lunch, and then watched a little TV to let lunch settle. We were fortunate enough to stumble on a documentary about the making of the original Star Wars trilogy, and watched most of the part about The Empire Strikes Back. Bud really enjoyed the show.

After turning off the TV, I packed up the kids and we headed over to Target to get Bud a new backpack. We had to wander around the store for a bit, but we eventually found a reasonable selection of packs. Bud picked out the only rolling backpack available, a Spider-Man branded model. It doesn't look very comfortable, with the handle parts resting on his back, but he likes it.

We came home and hid from the heat outside. M-lady arrived home a short time later, and we puttered about for some of the afternoon.

We had a slightly more involved dinner than usual, as I grilled a tritip roast and M-lady prepared corn and potatoes. It was a good meal, although the meat ended up being just a bit tough for the kids. Bud loved the taste, though, so ended up chewing up pieces and then spitting them out.

Since we had elided Buster's nap in the hope that he'd go to bed a little earlier, we decided just to watch some TV before doing the bedtime routine. We watched some Little Einsteins before snack time, and then did a pretty standard (although slightly earlier) bedtime routine. Bud was good about going to bed, and was asleep before 9:00. Buster woke crying a couple of times, but was eventually soothed, and has slept quietly since 10:00.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Fishy Fourth

We rolled out of bed a little early this morning, shortly after 7:00. Buster was up on time, but Bud took a little cajoling. After getting some breakfast and packing up, we hit the road shortly after 8:00, striking out for the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

The kids were great on the drive, and we made good time, arriving just around the time the Aquarium opened. M-lady and I had purchased tickets online and printed them the night before, so we were able to walk right in. We headed for the far end of the Aquarium first, and checked out the jellies and open ocean exhibits.

The kids were great the whole trip. Buster was pretty intent on walking around on his own, so M-lady and I had to keep a pretty close eye on him. He has much less parent-attachment than Bud had, and is much more likely to wander away in a crowd than Bud ever was. Bud was good about watching out for Buster, too.

We saw about a fair portion of the Aquarium, and stopped for an early lunch, beating the crowds. The kids ate pretty well, although Buster didn't have a bib or high-chair, and ended up with pizza on his shorts. After lunch, we checked out some more exhibits, and hit the gift store on the way out, shortly after 1:00.

We picked up some salt-water taffy at a candy store on the way back to the car, and then hit the road for home right before 2:00. Buster eventually dropped off to sleep on the ride, and I was able to transfer him to his crib when we got home, where he had a solid nap.

I was able to snooze for a little while and unwind from the drive, and then M-lady snoozed for a bit while I watched some of Star Wars - Episode I with Bud. Buster woke a bit after 5:00, and I roused M-lady. Buster was much more personable on waking from his nap today, and didn't do the Emo Baby thing for more than a couple of minutes.

I made omelettes for dinner, which Bud really enjoyed, but Buster wasn't so excited about. Both kids ended up eating solid dinners, though. After dinner, we all played outside for a bit. We all had a really good time playing outside.

Bud was a little grumpy when it was time to come back inside, but eventually agreed to the shower and the bedtime routine. The kids were up late, but not late enough to go out to fireworks, which started at 9:30. The kids were in bed around 9:00ish, and asleep a little bit after that.

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Big Kid Carseat

Both kids were up at some point during the night. I got up with Bud, and M-lady was up with Buster. They both went to sleep again quickly. Buster was up around 7:30, and I got up with him and we headed downstairs for breakfast.

Bud joined us a short time later, and we watched some of the World Cup game while M-lady snoozed a little bit. When she joined us, I headed upstairs to rest a bit.

Once we were all up and conscious, we packed up and headed out to Happy Hollow. We put Bud's new booster seat in place of his car seat: we'll be using it for travel, and it's useful to have an extra seat available now that he's going over to friend's houses and such. Bud was really excited to try the new booster, and use the real car seat belt. It worked out pretty well.

We had a good time at Happy Hollow, which wasn't too crowded. We skipped the park part, and just visited the zoos. The kids had a good time checking out the critters. Buster talked about the carrots on the way there, and we finally determined he was referring to the parrots.

We headed home when it was getting on towards lunchtime, and then ate when we arrived home. The kids had sandwiches for lunch, and we played a little bit before I put Buster down for his nap. Buster protested initially, and then passed out for two hours, from about 2:30 to 4:30.

While Buster and I were sleeping, M-lady took Bud out to run some errands. They arrived home just as Buster was getting up. Buster was pretty grumpy when he woke, prompting M-lady and I to dub him the emo baby.

Buster eventually perked up, and I ran out to get some groceries. We had dinner when I returned, and Bud ate pretty well. Buster skipped dinner at first. After dinner we had a nice chat with Granddad B and Grandma Nese, and then I wrangled the kids into the shower.

After showering, we had snacks, at which point Buster ate his dinner. I took Bud upstairs to get ready for bed, and we played with Lego for a little while before reading some stories. We turned the light out around 8:30, and Bud was asleep by about 9:00.

Buster took a long time to fall asleep, and was chatting amiably until he dropped off at about 9:30.

Friday, July 02, 2010

A Different Dinner Venue

The morning was pretty standard, although a little later than usual again. The kids were just getting ready to come downstairs for breakfast when Nanny J arrived. M-lady and I headed off for work a short time later.

The kids apparently had a good day. M-lady arrived home before I did, and was playing with the kids when I got home a bit after 5:00. We shortly loaded up into the car, and headed over the nearby TGI Friday's to try someplace different for dinner.

Overall dinner went pretty well, although TGI Friday's had a lot of TV screens that happened to be at more or less eye level for the kids. Consequently, it was difficult to get their attention during the meal. Bud ate well, though, and Buster nibbled on different things. Buster was a little unpleasantly surprised when he tried to eat a spoonful of ranch sauce, but other than that the meal was uneventful.

We headed home, and I played basketball out back with the kids for a bit. Buster asked me to pick him up several times so he could dunk, rather than trying to do it all by himself as he had the past couple of days.

We came in for a snack around 7:30, and then watched a little TV before starting the bedtime routine. Buster was pretty amiable about the bedtime process, and fell asleep safely before 9:00. Both kids have slept quietly so far tonight.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Stunting

Buster was up first this morning, and Bud rolled out of bed around the time M-lady and I got up, at 8:00. The morning was a pretty standard affair, although neither child had eaten breakfast by the time Nanny J arrived at 8:45.

Bud had a play date with Friend M in the afternoon, and was asked to wear a swimsuit. They apparently had a great time playing with squirt guns in the back yard of Friend M's house.

I got home a bit early, around 4:30, as Nanny J had to leave for a doctor's appointment. The kids and I had some fun playing around in the playroom before we settled in to watch a bit of Good Eats before M-lady got home.

After the show wrapped up, we all played together in the living room for a while. Bud was amenable to trying some stunting, and we practiced having him stand on my hands while I held him an inch or two off the floor. He also enjoyed standing on my shoulders while I was seated on the floor.

Buster thought this was really cool and wanted to try as well. He did a great job, imitating his brother and standing straight and tall in my hands. He giggled a lot, though.

We had dinner a little later than usual, and the kids ate pretty well. After dinner, we all headed outside to play a little basketball in the backyard. We headed back in a little before 8:00, had a quick snack, and started the bedtime routine. Bud was pretty amenable to the routine, and we read some stories before turning out the light a little after 8:30. He fell asleep pretty quickly once we turned out the light, and both kids have slept well so far tonight.