Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween

I headed off to a bike race this morning before anyone else was up. M-lady was kind enough to look after the kids this morning. They were apparently a little jazzed up about Halloween, and so there was a bit of effort involved in getting the kids to pay attention during the morning.

I arrived home as the kids were eating lunch. They both ate well, and were excited because we were heading over to Happy Hollow to go Trick or Treating. After I showered, we got the kids into costumes (Bud in his pirate costume, and Buster into a football jersey) and headed over.

Happy Hollow was more crowded than we'd ever seen it before, and we had to park across the street at the Memorial Stadium. Fortunately, there was a Halloween event there, too, and they were offering free parking. We'd brought the stroller, so we loaded up and hoofed it over to Happy Hollow.

There were 'Trick or Treat' stations set up through the park. We mostly followed our usual path, hitting the stations as we went. Buster was a little tentative at first, but once he figures out he could get candy, he wasn't shy at all about walking up and presenting his bag. I'm not sure he ever actually said "Trick or Treat", or "Thank You", but we continually coached him on it.

Bud, of course, understands Trick or Treating, and did fine. Both kids were pretty happy with their haul. We swung by the event at Memorial Park on the way back to the car, where we saw some Clone Troopers walking around and taking pictures with people. The kids mostly kept their distance, although Buster waved at one.

We got home around 3:30, and the kids immediately inspected their bags and had a treat. They were a bit hyper, and Buster was clearly really tired, but refusing to nap. Eventually I got the kids in front of Lego Rock Band, and we were able to play that for a little while.

I ran out to pick up some sushi for dinner while M-lady got the kids ready to eat, and they were really excited for dinner when I got back. Both kids ate well, and were bouncing off the walls in anticipation of Trick or Treating around the neighborhood as it started to get dark.

We headed out around 6:30, and took the kids to a few houses on the street. They did pretty well, although they're both a still a little shy. They were both excited with the candy they got, though.

I showered the kids when we got home, and M-lady helped get them in pajamas. They were each allowed another piece of candy before snack and bedtime. Buster's candy of choice today had been lollipops, which he does reasonably well with, but they tend to make him slobber a bit. Bud investigated a Snickers bar, and was excited to trade some of his candy for candy we were giving away.

I read a couple stories with Bud at bedtime, and we turned the light out a little after 8:00. He fell asleep pretty quickly, after a long and exciting day.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Inside Day

M-lady got up with the kids initially, and they joined us in bed a few minutes later. After getting kicked in the head a few times, we all got up, and M-lady headed out to ballet.

I generally stayed inside with the kids today, as it was a bit damp outside. I did manage a quick foray up onto the roof when things were dried out a little bit in an attempt to diagnose a problem with the satellite dish. Bud helped me out by standing in the back yard and telling me when the TV was working and when it wasn't.

We played a fair amount of Lego Rock Band during the day. Bud's drumming skills seem to be progressing each day. He's doing great, and we're all having a lot of fun.

We had a nice video chat with Granddad B and Grandma Nese during the day. Both kids were excited to engage with them. Bud wasn't willing to perform one of his piano pieces for them, though.

We tried a new recipe for dinner, which went reasonably well. Bud enjoyed it thoroughly, although Buster took a pass. The kids enjoyed playing football during the evening, running around with the ball and 'tackling' each other. It usually ends with one or both of the kids crying, but they have a great time before that part.

Buster skipped his nap today, and was exhausted by bedtime. I put him down in his crib around 8:00, and he was asleep when I checked on him two minutes later.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Showing Interest

Bud was a bit reluctant to get up when I went into his room at about 7:20. But when I came back a few minutes later, he was up and on his way to getting dressed. He stayed motivated through the morning, and we were able to get out the door without any trouble. I dropped him off at school, and headed for work.

When I got home around 5:00, Bud was off at his piano lesson. After Buster and I said goodbye to Nanny J, Buster asked to play Lego Rock Band, so we set that up and put Buster on (disconnected) drums. Buster had fun watching and banging on his drums a bit while I played. We played until M-lady and Bud arrived home, and then had some dinner.

Both kids ate reasonably well. After dinner the kids were particularly rambunctious, so I tried to slow things down a little bit by turning the TV on. We watched a little bit of How It's Made before getting snacks and heading for bed.

I suggested to chat about math with Bud, and he opted for that rather than reading a story at bedtime. He's doing well with simple addition, and I showed him how to write addition problems vertically, and add the digits in columns. He picked it up pretty quickly, and was very proud of himself as he learned to add multi-digit numbers. I introduced carrying as well, but I'm not sure he got that.

We turned the light out around 8:30, and Bud fell asleep pretty quickly.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

A Fairly Usual Thursday

Bud was really slow getting ready this morning, and we just managed to get to school in time. It was a lot of effort to keep Bud on track and getting ready. M-lady had an early meeting as well, so I took Buster with us to Bud's drop off. I headed back home with Buster to meet Nanny J before heading off to work.

The kids had a good day, and were happy to see me when I got home around 5:00. After we said goodbye to Nanny J, we turned on Lego Rock Band, and rocked out together until M-lady got home. Bud is getting really proficient on drums, and Buster had a great time playing along and watching as we played. We're progressing in the story mode, and opening up more songs as we go, but Buster's favorite is still "Life is a Highway".

We had some dinner after M-lady arrived home, although Buster didn't eat a whole lot. He'd apparently had a really big lunch, though. After dinner, Bud worked on homework for a bit while Buster played with puzzles and ran around for a little while. Snack time came up quickly, and then I worked on getting Buster in bed.

Buster was good about getting ready for bed. I managed to convince him to put footy pajamas on for the first time, but it took a bit of work. He seemed to like them OK once I got him into them, though. We read a few stories and watched a video before turning out the light. Buster fell asleep after a bit, and slept solidly through the night.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Ready to Run Out

The morning routine was just that. Bud was up around 7:15 when M-lady and I rolled out of bed, and spent some time reading before getting dressed and heading downstairs with me to get some breakfast. Buster got breakfast a short time later, and we hung out together when M-lady took Bud off to school.

Bud had a good day at school, and Buster had fun at his gymnastics class. The kids were playing vigorously when I got home, and were happy to hang out a bit after Nanny J took her leave. After chilling for a few minutes, we played some Lego Rock Band together.

M-lady arrived home soon after 6:00, and I ran out to Home Depot to pick up some bits to try to get our TV service working again. Buster had stated a desire to come with me, but didn't put his shoes on when I told him I was going. Apparently he had a meltdown after I left, and really had wanted to come with me. When I arrived home, he kept trying to put his shoes on and go with me, even though I wasn't going anywhere.

Buster can now climb into his crib, but still requests help before climbing out. So occasionally we get calls for help from his room, where he's stranded himself. I think we're going to deconstruct the crib and put a mattress on the floor for him soon.

Both kids ate pretty solid dinners tonight, which was a step up from last night. After dinner, Bud did a little bit of homework, and we ate some walnuts together which I laboriously cracked with my hands. I've got to get a good nut cracker.

Snack time was pretty quick. Bud dawdled through the bedtime routine, though, so we didn't get to read as much as usual. I read most of a chapter of The House At Pooh Corner to him, though, which he enjoyed. We turned the lights out around 8:45, and he was asleep pretty quickly.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Drum Skills

We all got up around 7:30 this morning. Bud read for a little while before getting dressed, and then did a mostly standard morning routine. Today was his costume parade at school, however, and Bud was a bit reluctant to wear his costume for reasons unexplained. He eventually decided to just wear the vest from his pirate costume.

Buster and I played together while M-lady took Bud off to school. Buster was OK with Nanny J when she arrived, and they were putting a puzzle together when I left for work.

The kids seem to have had a good day. Bud was just getting dressed after his bath when I got home around 5:00. Bud had a pretty good haul of treats and had shared with Buster, so they weren't very hungry in the evening.

After Nanny J left, the kids and I played some Lego Rock Band. After a few hours total of playing drums, Bud has graduated from 'Super Easy' to 'Easy'. He's doing really well. We still have the pedal disabled for him, but he's doing a solid job on the toms, including 2x1 and 4x1 rhythms.

We had dinner around 7:00, and neither child ate much at all. We think they had a bunch of snacks in the afternoon. After M-lady and I ate, Bud spent some time on homework and Buster ran around the living room.

The boys decided to skip snack time, and went straight towards bedtime. Buster had a bit of a meltdown, but eventually cheered up and was in bed after a story and a video. We turned the lights out around 8:20, and he fell asleep pretty quickly.

Hopefully the kids won't wake too hungry after not eating dinner.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Journey Home

We all rolled out of bed this morning a little before 7:30. Buster didn't want to get up, initially, and said, "Mommy, snuggle with me!" M-lady, of course, complied.

We all headed down to get some breakfast, and the kids played with the grandparents for a little while as M-lady finished up the packing. Grandma W took us all to the airport at about 9:00. It was a bit rainy, but we weren't spending much time outside.

The kids were great at the airport, and we were able to check in our bags and get through security without a hitch. They both enjoyed the brief train ride as well. We got set up at our gate, and made a couple of forays to pick up lunch and do bathroom runs before we loaded onto the plane around noon.

Buster fell asleep pretty quickly after we took off, which was nice. He slept for nearly two hours. Bud was perfect on the flight, staying entertained by reading bits and pieces, playing with an activity book pulled out by M-lady, and later playing games on an iPhone.

Buster woke up a bit groggy, and was content to watch an episode of The Backyardigans on the iPhone before we landed. After deplaning, we picked up our bags and I went and retrieved the car. We made it home without any problems. The kids were excited to play outside for a little while after we got home, and it was nice to get some fresh air.

The kids and I played a little bit of Lego Rock Band before dinner. We all ate pretty well, although Buster had a minor meltdown before dinner. After resting for a few minutes, he was fine.

I showered the kids, and they ran around a little bit and looked at pictures from our trip before bedtime. After snack, I read a few stories to Bud, and we turned out the light around 8:30. He fell asleep pretty quickly, and both kids have slept solidly so far this evening.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Chasing Prairie Dogs

We had a fun day with the grandparents today. We all slept in until around 8:00ish, then got up and did the usual breakfast and morning playtime with the grandparents.

The weather was cool but pleasant, and rather than go to the zoo we decided to stay close to home and take a walk. There is a green path area not far from home, so we wandered in that direction. The kids had a great time looking at and chasing prairie dogs in a field, and we continued on with our walk to a creek and a bridge over the creek.

We saw a couple of snakes, Buster had a fantastic time dropping leaves in the creek from the bridge, and we marveled at beaver-eaten trees on the walk back. Buster rode on my shoulders for a good part of the walk back, but got down to look at grasshoppers populating the grass beside the path when we neared home.

We had leftovers for lunch, and Buster did manage to take a nap in the afternoon (after a brief protest). The afternoon was fairly mellow. Bud played outside with Granddad B for a little while, and we tried out some board games that the grandparents thought that Bud might like.

We all packed up and headed off to Red Robin for dinner, where the kids ate well and were very well behaved. Buster was pretty content once he got a balloon. We came home after dinner, played some more, had a snack, and headed for bed. We let the kids stay up a little later than usual (local time) so that the hour gained on the way back to San Jose wouldn't be a problem.

The kids went to sleep without any problems. They seem to really like their beds on the floor, and sleeping everyone in the same room has worked out well. It looks like we'll probably be transitioning Buster out of his crib soon.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Pile Of Leaves

The kids woke a bit after 8:00ish local, which isn't too far off their usual wakeup time. After getting up and getting dressed, we met up with the grandparents in the living room and worked on breakfast. The morning was a very casual affair.

The kids had toys to play with and books to read, and had a good time with those. We all had some breakfast, and afterward the kids and grandparents and I headed outside to play in the fall leaves. They raked all the leaves into a pile, and the kids had a great time jumping into the pile and throwing leaves around. Bud had Granddad B completely bury him at one point. Bud and I also climbed the tree from whence the leaves came.

We headed back inside to get some lunch, which was again a fairly casual affair. The kids ate pretty well, and after lunch we started talking about an outing. It didn't take too long to load everyone up, and we headed off to a local corn maze. We had a good time wandering around the maze together. Buster ran around a bit, and rode on my shoulders for a while as well.

We picked up a bag of kettle corn on the way out, and had that for a snack when we got home. There was more playing, no napping, and a fairly early dinner. After dinner I showered the kids, and M-lady got them into PJs. We watched a couple episodes of The Backyardigans before having a final snack and heading for bed.

The kids were a little reluctant to go to bed this evening, I believe mostly because they'd had so much fun all day. We're all looking forward to more fun tomorrow.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Trooping Off

The morning was fairly straightforward, although Bud was getting excited about our trip. I dropped him off at school without any trouble, and then returned home as I was taking the day off.

Buster had a fun morning with Nanny J, and headed off to his music class in the late morning. M-lady and I spent the morning preparing and frantically packing in the last half hour before we had to head for the airport. When Bud and Buster arrived home after getting Bud from school, we were almost ready to go.

But not quite ready to go, and the kids were bouncing off the ceiling with excitement. M-lady and I finally got everything set, loaded the kids and luggage, said goodbye to Nanny J, and headed off to the airport. I dropped the kids and M-lady off at the curb with the luggage, parked in long term parking, and met up with the fam right before we headed through security.

The kids were good all day, and trooped through the security line without fuss. After getting into the terminal, we picked up a quick lunch (the kids had mostly fruit), hit the restrooms, and waited to board the plane. We were way at the back, but had time to load in and get Buster's seat set up.

M-lady sat with the kids for the beginning of the flight, and kept them entertained with stickers and activity books. After having a snack, I sat with the kids for a little while. Buster enjoyed watching an episode of The Backyardigans on an iPhone, while I read and chatted with Bud. We landed presently, and then had to wait for a bit to get off the plane since we were at the back.

After a rest stop, we headed to meet Granddad B and Grandma W near baggage claim, taking an underground tram in the process which the kids found delightful. After getting the car seats into the car, we grabbed some dinner at an Applebee's before heading back to the Grandparent's house.

The kids were fuss free the entire day, and excited about the new sleeping arrangements. They were both sleeping on the floor in sleeping bags next to our bed. It took them a little while to fall asleep, but it was way past their bedtime. They both slept well.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Field Trip

Bud snuck in before I was up this morning and lay down next to my bed. I almost stepped on him when I woke up.

He was excited this morning, as he had his first kindergarten field trip today. He got himself dressed and ready pretty quickly, and we headed out the door in plenty of time to get to school.

Bud apparently had lots of fun going to the farm/pumpkin patch with his class. He told me all about it when I got home around 5:00. The highlights included feeding chickens and a goat, and getting to pick out his pumpkin. He was also pretty excited about riding on a school bus.

The kids and I played just a little bit of Lego Rock Band together before M-lady got home, and she and I started getting ready to go out to a dance rehearsal.

We got the kids fed before Babysitter G arrived. The kids were playing happily in the living room when she showed up, and they didn't mind at all when we left. Apparently they had a good time with her, and went to bed without any problems.

Bud is really looking forward to the trip tomorrow. He's been packing a bag all week.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Work Guest

I ended up working pretty late last night, and M-lady was off this morning for an early meeting at the office. I rolled out of bed around 7:00, and the kids were up a short time later. Bud was a little slow getting ready this morning, as he was interested in reading and loath to put the books down to get dressed, have breakfast, etc. It was a little bit of a struggle to get him out the door. Buster was perfectly cooperative, though.

We did get Bud dropped off at school, and Buster and I came home to meet Nanny J. I headed off for work as soon as she arrived.

The kids seem to have had a good day, and were playing happily when I arrived home. Buster apparently had a good day at his gymnastics class, and was used as the demonstrator for some of the skills they worked on today.

The kids were anxious to play Lego Rock Band, so we fired it up after Nanny J took her leave and played a few songs. After rocking out a bit, I put on an episode of The Backyardigans and started getting dinner ready.

M-lady arrived home around 6:00, as the show wrapped up, and a coworker of hers, Friend J, arrived a short time later. Bud was a little shy at first, retreating to his room, but he came out again after a few minutes. Buster was busy playing with his train set, and went back to that after saying Hi.

We had a nice dinner, and the kids ate really well. Buster had some turkey burger for the first time, which hopefully portends a new protein source for him. The kids opted to sit at a little table next to the usual table, and were generally well behaved through dinner. After they finished eating, the kids went to play in the living room for about half an hour while M-lady and I chatted with Friend J. The kids happily entertained themselves with no supervision and apparently no disagreements for the duration.

Friend J left just in time for us to start snack time. The kids were good about having a snack, and we headed upstairs to get ready for bed. Bud and I read stories together, and turned the light out a bit after 8:30. Bud fell asleep on his own pretty quickly, and both kids have slept quietly so far this evening.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Rockin' Out

The morning was pretty standard. M-lady was up a little early, and I rose around 7:15. We got Bud up a short time later, and Buster was up and about around the same time. The kids had cereal for breakfast, and I took Bud to school.

The kids seem to have had a good day. They had just gotten out of the bath and Buster was having a snack when I got home around 5:00. After I settled, we said goodbye to Nanny J, and I showed the kids the game we'd received in the mail that day: Lego Rock Band. They were really excited, and we popped the game in and got set up immediately.

The game has a 'super easy' setting, as well as a modification which turns off the base drum (foot pedal) for the drums. Bud played drums on the super easy setting, and was able to do really well. Since we last played, he's developed the understanding and coordination to see the notes coming, and play them roughly on the beat.

I had to set up a second (non-working) drum set for Buster, who was also interested in playing. I accompanied on guitar. We played the game for most of the evening, taking a quick break for dinner. M-lady joined us as well, and played drums for a set.

We wrapped up around 7:40 and started on snack time. As a treat, I toasted a marshmallow for each of the kids (over the gas burner on the range). Bud complained that his marshmallow was too squishy.

Buster and I read a bunch of stories before bed. I introduced searching for the mouse in Goodnight Moon, which he loved. We turned the lights out a bit before 8:30, but he didn't fall asleep for a while. Both kids have slept soundly once falling asleep, though.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Morning Bookworm

M-lady had an early meeting this morning, so was up a bit before 6:00. I got up about 7:15, and nearly tripped over Bud, who was lying in the hallway, reading a book. I made sure he was set up to get dressed, and then got myself ready to go.

Bud was still reading in his PJs when I got back to him, so I held his book for him while he got dressed. I think he read three or four library books this morning before we headed down for breakfast. Bud ate quickly, and was ready to go in plenty of time.

I dropped Bud off at school, and we noted that the whole school was decorated with red ribbons for Drug Awareness Week. Bud asked me what drugs were, and unfortunately my somewhat long explanation got cut off by the school bell. Bud didn't seem to put out by the interruption, though.

Nanny J was still feeling a bit under the weather, but did OK with the kids during the day. When I got home, the kids were chasing each other in circles around the living room. We said goodbye to Nanny J, and I joined in the chasing for a little while before we sat down to watch a little bit of TV. Buster really likes watching football for at least short periods of time.

I got started on making dinner around 6:00, and Buster turned his attention to a puzzle while Bud chatted with me in the kitchen. M-lady arrived home as dinner was heading to the table, and we all ate pretty well. After dinner, Bud did all his homework for the week. He seems to have a pretty good eye for patterns.

I played a little bit of Bud's Xbox game with him until snack time. Each child wanted their own apple to eat at snack, and they munched away happily. I read some stories to Bud before turning out the light, and he went to sleep on his own pretty quickly.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Rainy Day

We had our first rainy, fall-winter kind of day today. Of course, I had a bike race.

I was up a bit before 7:00, and helped Bud get back to sleep before getting myself into riding clothes and heading out the door. M-lady apparently had a good morning with the kids.

They headed to a 'dance friends with kids' get together at a local park. We hadn't been to that particular park before, and it had entertaining playgrounds and structures for the kids to play on. Buster was apparently particularly acrobatic.

I was able to join them after my race wrapped up, showing up around 10:30. I was able to visit with some of our dance friends while trailing the kids around the park for a bit. Both kids showed me some fairly impressive climbing skills.

Some time after 11:00 it started raining a bit, so we said our goodbyes and headed home. Lunch was the first order of business when we got home, but neither kid ate too much. I took a quick shower, and then played with the kids for a little while before trying to get Buster to take a nap.

I was not successful in getting Buster to sleep, which was unfortunate, since he was really, really tired. While we were resting, M-lady was working with Bud on his pirate costume for Halloween, which is looking extremely good. Buster and I joined them when we got up around 3:00.

I played with Buster doing puzzles for quite a bit of the later afternoon. The kids did some running around in the living room before dinner time, which eventually ended in clonked heads (quickly recovered). M-lady and I started putting dinner together shortly after 5:00, and the kids ate pretty well.

After dinner Bud spent some time working on piano, and then I got both kids into the bath. Buster was ready to do the bedtime routine shortly after 7:00, so we read stories and watched some videos. He decided he actually did want a snack right before 8:00, but we made it quick and he hopped into bed after that. Once the light was out, he passed out in a few seconds, given how exhausted he was.

Bud was asleep before too long as well, and both kids have slept solidly so far this evening.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Running Out Of Steam

M-lady got up with the kids this morning, and I was able to sleep in a little bit. I rose around 8:30, when M-lady left for ballet class. Buster was up and dressed, and Bud was still in his PJs, playing with Lego.

I got breakfast for the kids, and we watched a little bit of TV together before I convinced Bud to get dressed. We were playing on the computers when M-lady arrived home again a short time later.

The kids bounced back and forth between M-lady and me, and eventually we headed downstairs and got some lunch. The kids had sandwiches, and ate efficiently. After lunch, M-lady took Buster out to run some errands with her, and I took Bud to Home Depot with me.

Bud was good at Home Depot, although he started getting bored as we wandered around looking for items, and asked if we could head home a few times. He wasn't super difficult about it, though. When we got home, M-lady was trying to get Buster to take a nap (unsuccessfully). I did some odd jobs outside with Bud for a bit.

I played a little bit of Pirate Code with Bud when we came inside, and we were joined shortly by an un-napped Buster and M-lady. We all puttered around for a bit in the afternoon before M-lady headed out to run an errand and meet us at dinner.

Buster was starting to get a little fragile before dinner. We watched a few minutes of TV before I loaded up the kids and headed over to Red Robin, where we met up with M-lady again. The kids were great through dinner, and both ate really well. After dinner, we came home, where the kids and I went for a walk around the block as twilight set in.

Buster continued to want to play outside, so I humored him for a bit. We eventually headed in as it was getting pretty cool out, and joined M-lady and Bud upstairs. When it was time to get ready for bed, Buster had a full blown meltdown, and had some timeout time in his crib before he was ready to get into PJs.

I did snack time with Bud, and then we had a good time reading stories before turning out the light shortly after 8:00. Both kids fell asleep pretty quickly.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Nannyless

Nanny J called in sick last night, so M-lady and I took turns during the day watching the kids. The morning was fairly standard, although Buster slept in a little bit, getting up around the time M-lady took Bud to school.

I did the usual morning routine with him, and then played with him a bit until it was time to go to music class. He was the only kid attending class today, so we got fairly personal attention from the teacher. Buster was pretty shy, and didn't sing much, but got big kudos for showing that he can count to ten in Mandarin.

When we got home, we immediately loaded up in the stroller and walked over to Bud's school to pick him up. The three of us had a nice chat as we walked back, and I got a little more out of Bud about his school day than usual, as it was fresh in his mind.

I got lunch for the kids, and M-lady arrived home a short time later. I headed off to work after M-lady was settled at home.

Buster was apparently good about taking a nap this afternoon, and Bud had Friend D come over for a play date. Bud and Friend D played with Lego quietly for the afternoon, and were entirely self-sufficient.

Later in the afternoon, M-lady loaded up all three kids and dropped off Friend D at his home, proceeding on to Bud's piano lesson. Both kids did well at the piano lesson: Bud was a good student, and Buster was a patient spectator. They got home around 6:00, a few minutes before I arrived home.

I immediately headed out again to pick up some dinner, and we ate around 6:30. After dinner, I managed to run both kids through the bath successively, which took us right to bedtime.

Buster was good around bedtime. We read a couple of stories, and then watched videos on the iPhone. Buster requested Cars videos for the first time in a while. He was pretty good about going to bed, although it took him a little while to drop off to sleep.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

High Energy Playtime

The morning routine was pretty standard. I encouraged Bud to get dressed starting around 7:30, and Buster was up around then hanging around. The kids both finished up breakfast shortly after 8:00, and M-lady took Bud off to school a short time later.

Buster and I played together, doing a puzzle and reading some stories before Nanny J arrived. Buster seemed excited to play with Nanny J when she arrived, and I headed off to work.

The kids were excited to see me when I got home. We played a little bit after Nanny J left, and then watched an episode of Blue's Clues. I got started on preparing dinner a bit after 6:00.

The kids didn't eat big dinners, and afterward they started playing in the living room with their foam swords. It was sustained high-energy running around, swinging weapons, and crashing into each other for more than a half hour. Fortunately, they were content playing with each other, and didn't draw me into it too much.

M-lady arrived home while the kids were running around and screaming. We eventually started winding them down around snack time, and I took Bud upstairs to put him to bed. We had a good bedtime routine, and played more Pirate Code before reading some books and turning out the light.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Video Trends

The kids were up shortly after 7:00 this morning, and the routine was pretty standard. Both kids came down for breakfast around 7:45, and Bud was pretty much ready to go about ten minutes before he needed to be. M-lady took him to school while I did puzzles with Buster until Nanny J arrived.

The kids seem to have had a good day. They were excited to see me when I got home a little after 5:00. After Nanny J took her leave, we ran around the house a bit playing tag. Once we were all a little worn out, we sat down to watch an episode of The Backyardigans. Unfortunately, the episode we picked was a little scary for Buster, so we stopped halfway through and put on an episode of Blue's Clues. That went better.

The kids stayed entertained while I got dinner together, and we were just sitting down when M-lady got home. We all had a nice dinner together.

After dinner, I read stories with Buster for a bit before snack time. The kids had a good snack, and the bedtime routine went well. I read some more stories with Buster, and then watched a couple of videos.

After watching lots of Animusic videos around bedtime, Buster has switched to wanting to see Lego Rock Band videos. One of his favorites is The Final Countdown by Europe. He'll sing the chorus from the song from time to time, which I think is awesome.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Puzzles and Codes

I head to leave a little early this morning for a meeting at work. I got Bud out of bed and headed in the right direction, and then packed up and headed off.

M-lady took Buster and Bud to Bud's drop off, which went fine. Buster was reluctant to get out of the car when they got home, though, and then screamed when M-lady had to go to work after Nanny J arrived. Nanny J reported that he quieted down a few seconds later and had a series of breakfasts.

I got home around 5:00, and the kids were happy to see me. After Nanny J left, we all wrestled in the play room for a little while before settling in front of the TV to watch some Backyardigans. M-lady arrived home as that show wrapped up.

Buster and I played with puzzles for a little while, and Buster continued to play with the puzzles for most of the remainder of the evening. He's getting better at them every day.

The kids ate a reasonably good dinner, and I worked on homework with Bud afterward. He was intent on finishing his homework for the week, and got it done with time to play a couple of rounds of Mastermind on the iPhone. Then it was snack and bed time.

Bud and I played some Pirate Code before bed. He's getting a little bit more methodical in his playing, which is very interesting to watch. He was a bit grumpy about actually going to bed, but fell asleep on his own pretty quickly.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Puzzle Fan

Bud was motivated to get ready this morning, since he wanted to play Pirate Code with me before we left for school. I obliged him and we played a couple of rounds before I dropped him off. Buster was still lounging in his crib when we left.

The kids seem to have had a good day. When I got home around 5:00, But let me know that he'd tried to teach Nanny J to play Pirate Code, but with little success. Buster has been really involved in the big floor puzzles, and is getting better and better and putting them together. He was working on one with Nanny J when I got home.

After we said goodbye to Nanny J, we worked on a couple of puzzles together, and then watched an episode of Backyardigans before M-lady arrived home. We all watched a little bit of Top Gear together before M-lady and I pulled some dinner together.

After dinner, Bud worked on homework while Buster tackled another puzzle. That led us directly into snack time and bed time. I watched a few videos with Buster on the iPhone before he went to bed around 8:30. Bud got up once briefly to complain about the air conditioner noise, but I assured him it would turn itself off presently and he went back to sleep quickly.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Spending Money

Bud was up this morning around 7:00, but was happy to entertain himself for a bit after he woke up. M-lady brought Buster into the bed around 7:30, and he kicked us each in turn for a bit before M-lady took the kids downstairs for breakfast around 8:00. I headed down around 8:30, as the kids were finishing up breakfast. M-lady prepared to head to ballet class while I played with the kids for a bit.

Bud reminded me this morning that he was due his first allowance. Since we started the system in the middle of the week, and he finished half of his weekly tasks, I gave him half of the weekly $1.00 allowance. He was perfectly content with that, and added it to his stash.

We had a nice video chat with Granddad B and Grandma Nese, and the kids both interacted a fair bit. Bud showed off some of the ships he's built out of Lego, and Buster sat in my lap and chattered with them for a bit. After talking for a while, we said goodbye and got ready for a quick outing.

Bud was anxious to get a new Lego game, and I've been pretty impressed with their offerings. We headed to Toys 'R Us, and headed straight for the Lego aisle. We found the game Bud was looking for, called 'Pirate Code'. It's sort of a multiplayer version of Mastermind, and of course, you have to build it. Bud used his own money to purchase the game, and was delighted with the change he got in return for his 20 dollar bill.

We got a small Duplo set for Buster, and headed home presently. Both kids were excited to open their new sets, and played with them while I prepared lunch. M-lady arrived home before too long, and the kids showed off their new toys.

I played with the kids and watched some football, and then tried to get Buster to nap unsuccessfully for about an hour. In the later afternoon, M-lady headed out to run some errands, and I played with the kids more. We watched some Backyardigans, played on the Sesame Street website, and played 'football' in the living room until for a bit.

M-lady arrived home with dinner around 6:30, and both kids ate pretty well. Bud practiced piano with M-lady afterward, and I got him into the tub for a bath after that. Bud skipped the snack this evening and we went straight to getting ready for bed.

In lieu of reading stories at bedtime, But and I played a couple of rounds of 'Pirate Code'. Bud got the idea pretty quickly, and we had a good time playing. I think we need to tweak the rules just a little bit to get the game to work better, but that's really what the Lego games are all about.

We did read a couple stories before turning out the light at about 8:45, and Bud was asleep by 9:00.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Daddy's Day Out

I left for a bike ride at about 4:00 this morning, well before the kids got up. I didn't return until nearly 6:00, so M-lady took care of the kids all day (thanks, M-lady!).

Apparently Bud read stories to Buster this morning before M-lady got up, which was really sweet. They were heading for a local festival when they stumbled across a high-school marching band competition, so they got to see some marching bands this morning.

They went to the local Diwali festival, and the kids seemed to enjoy the usual fair-like food and performances. They came home in the early afternoon and played with Lego, making a pirate Lego movie.

They watched Backyardigans in the later afternoon in lieu of a nap, and they were just getting dinner ready when I arrived home. I sat with them for dinner, and then took Buster into the shower with me.

After we were cleaned up, we all played together in the living room for a little while. M-lady took the opportunity to rest a little bit, and I played video games with the kids until snack time.

Buster was really tired at bedtime, and fell asleep almost immediately after we turned out the light shortly after 8:00. He slept well, waking once around 11:00. Bud has slept solidly since going to sleep a bit after 8:30.

Friday, October 08, 2010

House Repair

The morning was pretty standard, with M-lady taking Bud to school. I had a phone call to be on at 8:30, though, so I listened in on that while looking through books with Buster before Nanny J arrived.

Bud had a good time at school, and Buster apparently continues to do well in his music class. I arrived home around 12:30, and the kids were surprised to see me. We had a technician coming over to fix our HVAC, though, so I needed to be home.

The technician arrived at 1:00, and ended up working on the HVAC until about 4:00 (they did finally fix the problem). Buster mostly ignored him, and took a nap and a bath during the afternoon. Bud was a little more shy, and hid out in the office and his room while the technician was here.

I managed to get a little bit of work done after the technician left, and Bud took a bath with Nanny J. M-lady arrived home around 4:45 and took Bud to his piano lesson, which was a little longer than usual since we'll miss a Friday in a couple of weeks when we go visiting Grandma W and Granddad B. Bud apparently did very well at his lesson.

I made grilled cheese sandwiches with apple slices in them for dinner as an experiment. The kids generally seemed to like them, so we'll add them to the menu.

The bedtime routine was fairly standard, and I had fun reading and chatting with Bud before bed. He does tend to drag his feet a little bit while getting ready for bed, though.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Short Evening

The morning was pretty straightforward. Bud was up a bit before 7:30, and good about rolling with the morning routine. Buster was up a little later, but very anxious to get out of bed. He's getting close to being able to crawl out of his crib, which means we'll be replacing it with a mattress soon.

I took Bud off to school at 8:20 or so, and we had a smooth drop off. M-lady stayed home with Buster until Nanny J arrived.

I got home around 5:00, and found happy kids playing with Nanny J. We played together a little bit before M-lady got home, and then watched some Backyardigans while dinner cooked.

The kids ate reasonable dinners, and M-lady did a quick piano practice with Bud after dinner. At 6:45, Babysitter G arrived, and M-lady and I headed off to dance rehearsal. Buster was a little shy for a few minutes when Babysitter G arrived, but warmed up pretty quickly and didn't fuss when M-lady and I left.

The kids were apparently very good for Babysitter G, and were sleeping soundly when we arrived home. Buster's cold seems to have finally wrapped up: I don't think we had to wipe his nose at all today.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Big Eats For A Little Kid

Buster woke shortly after 4:00 this morning, calling for M-lady. I went to check on him, and he told me that he wanted Mommy. So I went back and rousted M-lady, who checked on him. He went back to sleep quickly.

I got out of bed around 7:30, and got Bud up and going. M-lady took him off to school around the same time I was getting Buster out of bed. Buster and I played and read stories for a little while before getting breakfast. He had 3 helpings of cereal this morning, so seems to be recovering from his cold.

Nanny J arrived a little late today due to car problems, but did get her car running, so she was able to take Buster to his gym class. Buster continues to do well in his classes apparently.

I got home around 5:00, and was able to relax for a few minutes before we said goodbye to Nanny J. The evening was fairly standard, although M-lady got home before we started on dinner. M-lady prepared dinner for us, and Buster again ate enthusiastically. Bud didn't eat much dinner tonight, though.

After dinner, Bud did his last page of homework, and played for a bit before practicing piano with M-lady. I played with Buster a bit, and we had snack time around 7:45. The bedtime routine was just that, and I read stories and watched videos with Buster.

He was in bed with the lights out around 8:30, but took more than 40 minutes to fall asleep. Both kids have slept quietly so far, though.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Money Talk

Bud was up this morning shortly after 7:00, and M-lady got up with him, but came back to bed shortly. We got up for good closer to 7:30, and did a standard morning routine. I had to head for a doctor's appointment at 8:15, though, so M-lady took Buster with her to drop off Bud, and then brought him back home. Buster was apparently very well behaved, as usual.

The kids were playing happily when I got home, and grabbed my legs before I had an opportunity to drop anything. Eventually they let me put my stuff down, and after I'd changed clothes we said goodbye to Nanny J.

Bud had picked up the living room today on his own, with the hopes of earning some money. He did a good job, and I agreed to talk with M-lady about establishing an allowance scheme. Bud really wants to earn some money, although he's still a little fuzzy on some of the money-related concepts.

We played together for a bit, and watched a little TV before getting started on dinner. The kids ate pretty well, and M-lady arrived home to help out while we were eating. After dinner Bud worked on his homework for a little while, and then I chatted with him about money.

We went over the various common coins and their relative values. I'm not sure he quite has a handle on, say, how many dimes are in a dollar, but I drew up a chart for him. We still need to tackle market value, so he can get an idea of the buying power of a quarter vs. a dollar vs. twenty dollars.

Snack time arrived pretty quickly, and bedtime after that. The kids were cooperative, and I read stories with Bud before turning out the light. I continue to be impressed with Bud's reading skills. He seems to have good comprehension of what he reads, as well, but we continue to practice.

Monday, October 04, 2010

A Cloudy, Cool Monday

We didn't have too much trouble getting the kids going this morning, and the routine was fairly standard. M-lady headed out with Bud at about 8:15, and I read stories with Buster until Nanny J arrived. Buster still has a stuffy nose, although he doesn't need it wiped quite as often.

The kids seem to have had a good day. They were chasing each other around to music when I got home, and Buster had to take a break from giggling to say hi to me. After I dropped my stuff and came downstairs, both kids clambered onto my lap. We said goodbye to Nanny J a short time later, and played a bit before settling in front of the TV to watch a little bit of The Backyardigans.

I started getting dinner ready a little after 6:00, and M-lady arrived home as we were sitting down to eat. We had a good dinner, although Buster didn't eat a lot. After dinner, Bud worked on his homework, and Buster ran around a little bit.

Bud and I played a quick game of checkers on the iPhone, with Buster's input, before snack time. The kids had a bunch of grapes for snack, and we headed upstairs to start the bedtime routine afterward. Buster was good about getting into PJs, and we read some stories and watched videos before turning out the light. He was clearly pretty tired, and fell asleep quickly.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Staying Occupied

I got up early to go on a bike ride this morning, and Bud got up while I was still getting ready. I turned him over to M-lady before too long, and headed out around 7:30. Buster was getting up around the same time.

My ride ended up being a little shorter than I expected, so I arrived home around 9:30. After showering and getting dressed, I headed downstairs to hang out with the kids while M-lady napped for a little while. We played together for a bit, and then around the time M-lady got up again I got the kids started on playing with my laptop.

I set up a new Word document for the kids, and they had a great time typing. Now that Bud can read/write a bit, he had fun figuring out words to type.

We all had some lunch together at home, and then headed to a local Slavic Festival. It was a pretty small event, and we didn't show up at the right time to see the dancing. We did get some cookies and pastries, though, which made the kids happy.

We headed out before too long, and trekked over to Santana Row, where I got a new pair of sunglasses. The kids were very patient while I tried on different pairs, and had a custom pair built up. As a reward, we stopped at pinkberry for froyo, which the kids thoroughly enjoyed. After snacking, we headed home to try and get the kids to nap.

Napping was largely unsuccessful, but I did get to sit and read with Bud for a bit. I even managed to snooze for a bit while Bud played with Lego and M-lady. Buster apparently had a little bit of quiet time, but didn't actually sleep.

I played with the kids with SesameStreet.com in the early evening, and we also had a very rambunctious video call with Grandma W and Granddad B. The kids jumped all over me for a bit in front of the camera before running away.

M-lady made spaghetti for dinner, and the kids ate pretty well. I got the kids into the shower after dinner, and they were cleaned up in time for snack. After snack, I read some stories to Bud before we turned out the light.

Buster's nose continued to run today, but has definitely slowed down a little bit. He's not exhibiting any other cold symptoms, fortunately.

Bud asked today about having chores so that he could earn some money. He has a bit of a stash, but doesn't want to spend any of his money as he doesn't see any way to replace it. We're going to start figuring out what chores he could help out with to earn an allowance.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Another Drippy Nose Day

M-lady got up with the kids at about 7:30 this morning. I got up to hang out with Bud, but he wasn't really interested in hanging out, so I went back to bed until nearly 8:30, when M-lady started getting ready to go to ballet. At that point I headed downstairs to hang out with the kids.

Buster had a runny nose all day again today, so we were constantly wiping his nose. Fortunately, with the lotion-infused tissues, his nose doesn't get chapped and he doesn't mind getting wiped.

We finished up breakfast, and watched a little bit of TV, and played some Creationary before coming upstairs. I had a little computer trouble after coming upstairs, so I set the kids up watching an episode of The Backyardigans on an iPad while I took care of the issues. M-lady arrived home shortly, and after things were cleared up we had leftover sushi for lunch.

I ran out to do some quick shopping after lunch, and M-lady took the kids to the library, where they apparently had a good time. When they got home, Bud played with Lego in his room for a bit while I played downstairs with Buster. Around 2:30 I managed to get Buster down for a nap, and I snoozed with him in his room for a bit while M-lady played with Bud.

I got up a little before 4:00 and started getting ready to go to a wedding with M-lady. We rousted Buster soon afterward, and Babysitter D arrived a little before 5:00. Bud immediately pulled him into a pirate sword fight. Buster was happy with another episode of The Backyardigans on TV, and we were able to head out shortly after 5:00.

The kids apparently had a good evening, ate a solid dinner and snack, and went to bed on time. They were sleeping soundly when we got home. I'm looking forward to asking them how their evening went in the morning.

Friday, October 01, 2010

Runny Nose Day

Buster caught Bud's cold today, and had a runny nose all day. He didn't seem too put out by in, but we were wiping his nose for him constantly during the day.

The kids were up on time, and the morning routine was pretty standard, with a small exception. Bud get's a homework packet each Monday, and turns it in on Friday. But Bud hadn't quite finished the last page of his homework, so we had a slightly frantic couple of minutes while he wrapped that up before M-lady took him off to school.

I played with Buster until Nanny J arrived, and then headed off for work. Buster did a good job in music class today, apparently.

In the afternoon, Bud had a playdate with new Friend D from school. His mom came and picked Bud up, and Bud played over at their house until M-lady picked him up to take him to his piano class. Bud apparently did well at piano class.

Buster and I played together after Nanny J left, M-lady and Bud arrived home around 5:45. I headed out and picked up sushi for dinner a short time later, and the kids ate well. After dinner we played with the kids, and Bud worked on 'magic' tricks. That is, he would wrap a domino up in a bandana, manage to drop the domino out, and show that the domino had disappeared. It certainly kept him entertained all evening.

Kids had a good snack, I watched a few vids with Buster before bedtime. Both kids went to sleep without much trouble. Unfortunately, Buster woke about an hour after going to sleep and vomited up post-nasal drip. After that he slept fine, though, and didn't have a fever or any other symptoms. Hopefully he'll start drying up tomorrow.