Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Fear of Catapults

I woke Bud this morning around 7:20, and got him started on getting dressed. I got dressed myself while M-lady got Buster up. When I went to check on Bud, he was still getting dressed, so I headed downstairs with Buster to get some breakfast. Bud joined us a few seconds later.

The kids had a good breakfast, and then played for a little while before M-lady took Bud off to school. I played with Buster until Nanny J arrived. We had a good time throwing a football back and forth in the living room.

The kids seem to have had a good day. I got home around 5:00, and took over from Nanny J. The kids seemed pretty happy to see me, and we roughhoused a bit before settling in front of the TV. Buster, unfortunately, was strongly against watching Punkin' Chunkin', so we watched some Food Network instead, which put the kids in the mood for dinner.

I was getting dinner on the table for the kids when M-lady arrived home. Both kids ate pretty well, and after dinner Bud got started on homework. I played with Buster a little bit until Bud joined us, and the three of us played 'football' for a little while.

We eventually settled in to watch a little bit of Animusic before Bud did his piano practice and I got Buster into PJs. We convened again at snack time, and the bedtime routine was pretty straightforward. I read a story and watched a video with Buster, and we turned the lights out shortly after 8:00. He took a while to fall asleep, finally drifting off a bit before 9:00.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Early Walk

Bud was up a little early this morning, around 7:00. He is 'Star Student' at school this week, which means he's put together a poster about himself which will be displayed in class, and he gets special privileges for the week. Each student gets a week during the year.

Consequently, he was pretty excited to get to school, and ready to go a full half hour before it was time to head over. He asked to walk to school shortly after 8:00, so we got our stuff together and I walked over with him. It was a bit chillier than usual this morning, just above 40 degrees, so we walked briskly and looked at the frost on the lawns.

The drop off went fine, and I returned home to find M-lady reading a story to Buster before Nanny J arrived. Buster seemed happy to see Nanny J after a week's vacation. I headed off to work a little bit after she arrived.

M-lady arrived home to relieve Nanny J, as I had a late afternoon meeting. She made dinner for the kids, who apparently ate very well. I didn't get home until after 6:30.

Bud got himself into PJs as I was settling in, and Buster tried to do the same. I think Buster was anxious to hurry up the 'going to bed' routine in an effort to reduce the wait to watch Animusic. Around 7:00, after the kids were in PJs and I had eaten, we watched a little bit of the requested program, and then played a little bit of Lego Star Wars until snack time.

The kids both ate solid snacks, and then I read stories with Bud before bedtime. We turned the lights out around 8:30, and both kids were asleep pretty quickly.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

More House Changes

The kids were up fairly early this morning, and I got jumped on a bit while I was still in bed. M-lady took the kids downstairs for breakfast, and I got up around 8:30 to take the kids and let M-lady snooze a bit. After I got dressed, the kids and I headed out front where I worked on putting up Christmas lights on the house while the kids played in the front yard.

The kids were a little helpful, but mostly they played ball with each other while I worked. We came in around 11:30 to get some lunch. Bud was a little disgruntled about having to come in, but M-lady talked him down.

The kids ate a solid lunch, and M-lady joined us. After lunch, we all played some Rock Band 3 together.

In the afternoon, we decided to take the safety gates off the stairs. Bud and I did that, and we spackled up the holes left in the walls where the gates were mounted. Taking the gates off makes getting up and down the stairs so much easier... you forget after a couple of years.

In the later afternoon, Bud had a computer game playdate with Cousin H. They had fun playing Lego Star Wars together as the rest of us chatted on a video call. At 5:00, we said goodnight and packed up and headed out to dinner.

The kids were really good at dinner, and both ate really well. we hurried home afterward, as it seems to be getting pretty cold outside. We played with the kids a bit in the evening, and then did the usual snack and bedtime. Buster was pretty tired by the end of the day, having skipped his nap for the past two days. He fell asleep pretty quickly once I turned the light out.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Recovery Day

The kids slept in a little bit this morning, not really getting going until nearly 8:00. We all sort of rolled out of bed together slowly, and I took the kids downstairs for breakfast a little after 9:00.

We didn't really do much of anything today. It was raining out, so we stayed inside. The kids played with each other a lot, and we watched some football. The big project of the day was going through some of our framed pictures and hanging them (we've been in the house three years now, and it seemed time to get around to decorating a little).

We had a fairly plain lunch a little before noon, and then later had a nice video chat with Grandma W and Granddad B. The kids and I watched most of Winnie-the-Pooh in the mid-afternoon.

We had an early dinner. M-lady made French toast, and I made omelets. The kids ate pretty well. After dinner I took the kids upstairs and we got them showered.

The kids wanted a snack after showering, and looked like they were getting ready to go to bed about an hour early (I guess we had dinner a little too early). We played a little bit more before heading for bed.

I've got a couple more posts to backfill... coming soon!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Great Day At Sea World

The kids were up fairly early, and again M-lady and I traded off taking care of them until Ama and Agu were ready to handle them.

Ama and Agu left around 9:00, heading for Sea World. They got there early in order to buy tickets, while M-lady and I packed up the kids and followed a short time later. We arrived a few minutes after the park opened, met up with Ama and Agu, and all headed into the park.

The park is a bit changed since I was last there, but a lot of it was familiar. We hit the Penguin Encounter first, which looks a lot like I remember it. Then we headed to the Wild Arctic exhibit, which I hadn't seen before, but was a great exhibit to see polar bears, walruses, and beluga whales. The kids really liked seeing the animals.

After that, we were able to check out the Shark Encounter (also updated) before hitting the Seal and Sea Lion show. We managed to do three shows in succession: the Seal and Sea Lion show, the Dolphin show, and the Shamu show. The kids were patient, enjoyed the shows, and had a good time. Unfortunately the shows covered lunch time, so when the Shamu show finished around 1:00, we were all pretty hungry (except for Buster, who'd been snacking more or less non-stop, and ate a bunch of Bud's snacks as well).

We all got lunch after the shows, and Buster continued to eat. He apparently had a 'hungry day'. We had a pleasant lunch, and then wandered to see some more exhibits. We picked up some cotton candy for Bud along the way, and hit the play area last. The kids had a good time running around before we packed up and headed for home. Both kids dropped off to sleep on the way home, and I was able to take Buster inside and put him to bed, where he slept for about 2 hours.

I snoozed as well, and M-lady was a bit out and about. Buster was grumpy at first when he woke from his nap, but brightened up quickly. He skipped dinner, which wasn't terribly surprising given the amount he ate earlier in the day. Bud ate a good dinner.

Bud and I played a little bit of Wii Sports Resort together with Buster watching on before snack and bedtime. The kids were good about going to bed, and fell asleep quickly.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Snack With Animals

The kids were up around 7:00 again, and M-lady and I traded off getting them going. Ama and Agu took over before too long, as M-lady and I put in full days for work.

Ama and Agu took the kids to the recently renamed San Diego Zoo Safari Park (to me, it will always be the Wild Animal Park). Apparently the kids were much more interested in eating snacks than seeing the animals, although they thought the animals were OK.

They returned home around lunchtime, and came to check on M-lady and me. Unfortunately, I was in a meeting at the time, and couldn't really catch up with the kids then. After they'd had some lunch, and I got out of my meeting, I checked in on the kids.

The rest of the afternoon was spent playing and hanging out. I was unsuccessful in a bid to get Buster to take a nap in the later afternoon, although he watched some videos with me quietly.

The rest of the evening was pretty straightforward. We had a nice dinner provided by Ama and Agu, and I got the kids into the shower to get them cleaned up. There was a quick snack before bedtime.

The kids were a little slow to fall asleep, but eventually they both dozed off. The kids haven't had any trouble sleeping through the night here, which is nice.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Legoland Revisited

The kids were up again pretty early today, and M-lady got up with them at first. She was able to get back to bed for a little while before we both got up and started preparing for the trip of the day.

We were packed and ready to head out by about 9:30, and made the 40 minute drive over to Legoland. It was pretty busy, and the lines to get it were fairly ugly. It took us about 30 minutes to get our tickets and get into the park. Fortunately, that was the last really long line we waited in during the day, and the kids were totally fine.

The first thing the kids were excited about was actually Minitown, where there are little scale replicas of the famous buildings of particular cities. The kids took close looks at D.C. and Las Vegas before we wandered on a little bit. We stopped for lunch a short time later, and then checked out some of the other attractions.

Bud was a little hesitant to go on any of the rides, but we had fun at one of the play areas for a bit. Buster in particular enjoyed the slides. After playing, we got a treat (cinnamon apple fries) before continuing on to Fun Town. We visited the Lego Factory demonstration area, and both kids seemed at least moderately interested in seeing the brick-making machines.

We checked out the little car-driving area, and then got in line to ride the helicopter ride. Buster decided not to go on the ride at the last minute, so I went on with Bud while M-lady and Buster watched. Bud enjoyed the ride quite a bit.

We headed over to another play area in Duplo Town, and checked out some of the play fountain areas (better for hot days, of course). The boys managed to not get wet, though. We did a fairy tale boat ride next, which both kids enjoyed, although we realized that they're not really up on their fairy tales. We'll need to bring them up to speed on the classics.

We hit the gift store on the way out, and both kids got Lego sets. They both fell asleep on the drive home, so got short naps in. Ama and Agu were waiting for us when we arrived, and the kids had a good time playing with them and building their lego sets while M-lady and I napped a little bit.

I got up again around dinner time. Both kids ate pretty well, and thoroughly enjoyed the pie we had for dessert. After dinner we played, watched some TV, had a snack, and got ready for bed. The kids were pretty good about going to bed, although it took them a while to fall asleep. They both assured me that they had fun during the day, though.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Relaxing

The kids were up around 7:00, and M-lady got up with them. Once they were situated playing with Ama and Agu, M-lady came back to bed. It was really nice to get a chance to sleep in this morning.

The kids had a great time playing and visiting, although Buster was just a little more irritable than usual, probably due to the new environment. I joined a vigorous sword fight going on a bit before lunch, and enjoyed playing with the kids a bit before we ate. Bud had a solid lunch, but Buster opted out, as he'd had a big late-morning snack.

It was rainy out today, so we mostly stayed inside, tabling plans to go to the park. M-lady and I dashed out to Target in the afternoon, and picked up a few items that we'd forgotten to bring with us. The kids didn't seem to mind being left with Ama and Agu.

Buster was pretty tired in the later afternoon, and I got him to take a nap by watching a few Animusic videos. He napped for about an hour, and woke a little grumpy. The kids both ate good dinners.

After dinner, I got the kids showered after a little more play time. Then it was time for a snack and bed. Bud fell asleep really quickly, but Buster took a bit longer to drop off. Hopefully, they won't have any problems sleeping through the night, and we can have a fun day tomorrow.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Brilliant Travelers

Due to an unexpected issue with tires, I got up early this morning to call around and try and get a new tire for M-lady's car. The kids were up pretty early as well, and M-lady took them downstairs for breakfast as I headed out the door to rustle up a tire.

While I was out, M-lady did the majority of the packing for our trip, and the kids generally played around her. The kids were really excited about the impending trip, and generally bouncing off the walls. I returned, successful, at about 11:00, and got started on my packing. I took a break to get some lunch for the kids, and then we started loading up the car around 12:30.

It was raining pretty hard as we were loading up, and as the kids got wetter, I finally just put them in the car as we finished the loading. We rolled out a bit after 1:00, heading for San Diego.

The kids were fantastic during the drive. They were perfectly content sitting for almost two hours at a time, kept entertained primarily with music and videos. We had dinner in Lost Hills, and then changed the kids into PJs somewhere in LA. They fell asleep during the last leg of the trip, and headed in for bed when we arrived at about 10:00.

The past few years when we've done this drive, we've started late so the kids sleep through it. Arriving at 10:00 really beats arriving at 4:00am, though!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Excellent First Performance

Bud had a busy day today. We started out with a pretty standard morning, with Buster calling for M-lady and Bud rolling me out of bed a little after 7:00. Bud got himself ready pretty quickly, and had a little time to play before M-lady took him to school. I got Buster dressed and we were just heading downstairs when Nanny J arrived.

Bud had his Thanksgiving Feast at school today, and brought a veggie plate to contribute. He reportedly enjoyed the pumpkin pie. Buster went to his music class today as well, and had a good time.

After school, Bud had a play date with his friend D, which he had been very excited about. He apparently had a great time, and Friend D's mother dropped him off at home mid-afternoon.

M-lady and I arrived home around the same time, near 5:00. Bud practiced piano one more time, we said goodbye to Nanny J, and then we loaded up and headed over to Bud's first piano recital. It was held at a retirement community just down the street.

There were about a dozen kids, with Bud the most junior. Bud declined trying out the performance piano, and didn't seem very nervous. When it came time, he went on stage with the rest of the kids for the opening, and then took his place at the piano as the first performer.

Bud nailed his two pieces. He even made it through 'Twinkle, Twinkle' as one of the residents rather loudly sang 'A,B,C..' (and not quite hitting all the notes). I think his practice sessions with his little brother throwing things at him helped his concentration. After a great performance, he bowed and joined the other kids to watch the rest of the recital.

Buster was pretty patient, but I had to distract him with my iPhone for a while to help keep him quiet. The recital lasted about 45 minutes, and at the very end Bud headed back on stage with the others for the final bow.

M-lady and I told Bud how proud we were that he gave such a competent performance. We all headed back to the car, and picked up some dinner on the way home.

It was getting late, and we started the bedtime routine right after dinner. I read stories and watched a couple videos with Bud, and we turned out the light around 8:30.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Short Time Together

I was up late working last night, so M-lady was kind enough to get the kids ready this morning. She took Bud to school around 8:15, and I got myself out of bed to go check on Buster, who was hanging out in his crib. He opted to get up a short time later, and after I got him changed and dressed we headed downstairs for breakfast.

Buster had just started on a bowl of cereal when Nanny J arrived. The cleaners arrived a short time after that, and I got to work in the office. I got myself dressed and out to work around 11:30, about the same time Buster and Nanny J were heading out to walk over to school to pick up Bud.

I got home pretty early, around 4:30, and the kids were surprised to see me. I tried to nap for a bit, but the kids checked up on me (loudly) every 10-20 minutes or so. They certainly seemed to be having a good time when they weren't running into the bedroom to see if I was ready to come play with them.

Around 5:30 I did come out and join them, and we played for a bit. Nanny J stayed on this evening to watch the kids while M-lady and I headed to dance practice, and she helped out as I got the kids dinner. They opted for sandwiches after some negotiating, and ended up eating reasonably well. M-lady arrived home around 6:30, and we headed to dance a short time later.

The kids went with Nanny J to her house where she ate dinner, and apparently had a good time. Nanny J reported that they went to bed without any issue.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Tag At Home

M-lady had an 8:00 meeting, and I had to head in to a doctor's appointment this morning, so we had Nanny J come a little early. Bud and Buster were both up shortly after 7:00, and I got breakfast with them a little after 7:30. Bud was all set to go to school when Nanny J arrived around 8:00. She and Buster took Bud to school as M-lady and I headed out.

The kids seem to have had a good day. They both came running and yelling when I arrived home a little after 5:00. I hope they're not that loud throughout the day... that would be pretty tiring for Nanny J.

After I'd dropped my things and we said goodbye to Nanny J, I played with the kids a little bit. Over the past few weeks, Bud has apparently been playing tag at recess. So he's constantly tagging everyone in the family all the time at home. Buster's picked up on that as well. We've had to institute a 'no tag at the dinner table' rule. In any case, we played a little bit of tag before settling in front of the TV for a bit.

M-lady arrived home a bit after 6:30, and we had some dinner. The kids ate reasonably well, and Bud practiced piano both before and after dinner. He's getting ready for his first recital on Friday, and is playing his pieces with confidence.

After practicing, Bud finished up his homework for the week. The kids had a snack afterward, and then headed upstairs for the bedtime routine. There was a little bit more tag played, and M-lady and I finally cajoled the kids into PJs. I read some stories with Bud, and we turned out the light at about 8:45. He went to sleep pretty quickly.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Haircuts

M-lady opened Bud's window around 7:15, and I rolled him out of bed around 7:30. He was generally cooperative, and was ready to go to school in plenty of time. Buster got out of bed just in time to say goodbye to Bud and M-lady as they headed out. It's really cute when Buster tells his brother, "Have a nice day!"

I got Buster some breakfast, and we played together a little bit until Nanny J arrived. Buster was excited when she got there, and brought her into his play immediately. I headed off for work.

Nanny J took the kids for a haircut today. They were both sporting tidy hair when I got home. First thing in the door, Bud showed me his second Silly Bandz today, also given to him by a friend at school.

After we said goodbye to Nanny J, we ran around a little bit, and then watched some Bob the Builder. Buster doesn't seem interested in the Backyardigans anymore.

Bud and I played a little of his Clone Wars game, and actually finished the story. Bud was a little shocked, and had a little trouble with the idea that there weren't any more levels to play. But it was dinner time in any case.

M-lady had dinner with co-workers this evening, so I got dinner ready for the kids and myself. They ate pretty well, actually. After dinner there was a little bit of sword fighting before I got Bud started on homework. Buster and I played together a little bit, drawing ladybugs in his sketchpad, while Bud worked.

We wrapped up the evening with a little bit of Buster's current favorite, Animusic, which he and Bud like to drum along with now. Snack time was pretty easy, and we headed upstairs and got ready for bed.

We were reading stories together when M-lady arrived home shortly after 8:00. After saying goodnight to her and showing off his new head, Buster and I read a couple more stories and turned out the light. He was actually pretty tired, and fell asleep quickly.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Accompaniment Delayed

We went back to a routine morning for school after a bit of a break. Bud was up early, and played with Lego by himself for a bit. By the time he came down for breakfast, Buster was trailing behind him. I got breakfast for both kids, and then took Bud to school.

The kids seem to have had a good day. I arrived home around 5:00, and Buster immediately asked me if we could play Rock Band. It seems they'd been banging the drums for a while already.

After Nanny J left, they selected different options. We watched some Animusic, and then played some of Bud's Clone Wars game.

M-lady arrived home, and we had some dinner before too long. The kids ate well, and Bud had a very good piano practice after dinner. I pulled out my guitar to join him, but discovered I'd left my guitar tuned down a half-step, which made playing along a little trickier. I'll need to put some fresh strings on the guitar and tune it up a bit.

We finally played a little Rock Band before snack time. The kids had a quick snack, and the bedtime routine went pretty well, if a little long. Bud and I read stories until nearly 8:45, when we turned out the light. The kids were asleep pretty quickly.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Relaxed Sunday

Bud was up a little after 7:00, but M-lady and I were still able to snooze until about 7:45 before getting up and getting Buster going, too. I took both kids downstairs and got them some breakfast before packing up and heading off to a bike race.

M-lady had a good morning with the kids. They made a trip to Target, where both the kids spent money accrued at birthdays and holidays to purchase Lego sets. Bud got a firetruck, and Buster got a Duplo Cars set. They arrived home around the same time I did, shortly after 11:00, and both kids immediately worked on assembling their new toys.

After I'd showered, we all had various sandwiches for lunch. Both kids ate pretty well. After eating, there was more playing with Lego, a quick video chat with Grandma W to wish her a Happy Birthday, and the eventual settling in front of the TV to watch some football and Animusic. The afternoon, overall, was really very mellow.

M-lady put Buster down for a nap around 3:00, and I played with Bud on the computer for a bit. We headed downstairs for a snack around 4:30, and dinner followed a short time later. The kids ate a pretty solid dinner. Afterward, Bud did a quick piano practice, and then I showered with the kids.

After the kids were in PJs, they insisted on a snack, even though it was about 45 minutes before snack time. After snacking, we were able to watch a little bit of TV and play a little on the XBox before heading upstairs for bed. I read a couple of stories to Buster, and we turned the light out a little before 8:30. Since he'd had a solid nap in the afternoon, he wasn't totally exhausted, and didn't drop off to sleep until close to 9:00.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Vigorous Play

The kids were up and jumping on us in bed a little before 8:00. M-lady managed them at first, and I managed to ignore their kicks until about 8:30. I got up then and took them downstairs to have some breakfast.

It was a fairly mellow morning, and we all played together a bit. We had some fun with hide and seek for a while, and played a little bit of Rock Band in the later morning. Around noon, M-lady took the kids to a birthday party held at an indoor playground place in the east bay.

They had a good time at the party. Afterward, they headed over to Aunt O, Uncle C, and Cousin C's place, where I met them a few minutes later. We spent the later afternoon visiting and celebrating Aunt O's birthday. Cousin C was napping when we arrived, and Bud and Buster enjoyed playing with his toys for a bit.

The kids had a great time playing with each other when Cousin C woke up. The energy level was constantly high for a long time. We slowed it down once by watching a little TV, but it went right back up when we turned the TV off again. Overall they all played together very well, if a bit loudly.

We had dinner with our hosts, and Bud ate really well. Buster deferred, probably in part because we had dinner a little earlier than usual. He didn't mind having some birthday cake after dinner, though.

We headed home after cake, arriving a bit after 7:00. Buster fell asleep on the drive home, and was a bit groggy for the rest of the evening. Neither child ate much for the rest of the evening, and we mostly skipped snack time. They were pretty good about getting ready for bed, though.

Bud and I read stories together for a while, and turned out the light a little before 8:30. He fell asleep pretty quickly.

Big Happy Birthday wishes to Grandma W, too!

Friday, November 12, 2010

It's What's For Dinner

It was again a very mellow morning, as Bud didn't have to go to school. The kids slept in until nearly 8:00, and didn't eat breakfast until after Nanny J arrived. M-lady and I headed off to work while they were eating.

Buster was playing with Nanny J when I got home around 5:00. Bud was off at his piano rehearsal with M-lady, which he apparently did very well at. Buster and I watched Animusic while waiting for them to come home.

Buster and I had a short chat about dinner options, and I thought things ended rather inconclusively. However, when M-lady and Bud got home, Buster immediately asked M-lady if we could get sushi for dinner. I guess he did have an opinion.

M-lady went out to pick up dinner while I entertained the kids. We ate when she got back, and the kids really enjoyed the sushi. We almost didn't get enough for everyone... I think we'll need to up our order a bit in the future.

After dinner, we all played a little bit of Rock Band before having a snack and getting ready for bed. I read stories with Buster, who was a little reluctant to have the light finally turned off. He fell asleep pretty quickly once the light was out, though.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Family Rock Band

Bud didn't have to go to school today, which made our morning routine less stressful. He woke a little before 8:00, and after getting the kids dressed, we had breakfast on their schedule. M-lady had an early meeting that she dialed into, so I tried to keep the kids off her legs a bit. Nanny J arrived around 8:45, and the kids settled in to play with her pretty quickly. I headed for work soon after.

Buster's soccer class was apparently canceled, so they didn't get to do that this morning. But otherwise I think they had a pretty good day. The kids were playing together when I arrived home from work, and after Nanny J left we set about playing some Rock Band.

Bud continues to improve on the drums. He's now doing the kick drum on his own, putting in fills which sound really good, and have some rhythmic complexity. I continue to be impressed.

We stopped for dinner when M-lady arrived home, and both kids ate pretty well. After dinner, Bud practiced piano for a little while, and then we all played Rock Band 3 together. It's fun to play as a family.

Snacks and the bedtime routine were pretty standard. I read stories to Bud tonight, and we turned the light out a little after 8:30. Both kids were asleep pretty quickly.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

One-Handed Piano

The morning was fairly straightforward, and much easier with M-lady helping out. I got Bud out of bed and dressed, and she did the same for Buster. I had breakfast with the kids downstairs, and they played a bit while I was fitting Bud's car seat back in my car. We got off to school a few minutes later than usual, and made it to class just as the bell sounded.

Bud had a good day at school, and Buster had fun at his gymnastics class. I got home around 5:00, and was greeted by Bud, who asked if we could invite his teacher to his birthday party.

After saying goodbye to Nanny J, the kids and I watched Animusic. M-lady joined us when she got home, and we started on dinner after finishing up the DVD. The kids ate solid dinners.

After dinner, Bud did a quick piano runthrough. He's starting to sound pretty good. He's only playing with his right hand right now, though, and he has a tendency to rub his face, play with his hair, etc. with his left hand while playing. It looks like he's not focusing very hard. We'll need to make sure his left hand stays still when he performs.

After piano practice, we played some Xbox before snack time and one more piano practice. Snack time stretched out a little bit, so I didn't get started on reading Buster a bedtime story until a little later. He was good about going to bed once we got him into PJs, though, and fell asleep quickly when we turned the light out.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Happy to Have M-Lady Back

I rolled Bud out of bed around 7:30 this morning. He was again very agreeable in getting dressed and ready for school. Buster was up around 8:00, and again wanted to have a waffle on the road as we dropped Bud off at school.

Nanny J arrived soon after Buster and I made it back, and I headed for work. M-lady got back from her trip in the later afternoon, and the kids were very happy to have her back. I got home a little after 5:00, and we all said goodbye to Nanny J.

We all sat down and watched some Animusic together at Buster's request, and then had some dinner. Both kids ate reasonably well. After dinner, Bud did some piano practice with M-lady, and then we all played Rock Band 3 together.

M-lady tried out the keyboard, and Bud played drums. He played on the easy level, doing the kick drum on his own for the first time. Bud did great! He can handle easy with the kick without much trouble, at least on the easy songs. It's really cool to see him having fun with that. He wants to try the keyboard as well, since he's been practicing piano. Buster alternately sang, played drums, and played guitar. He's very involved.

We had snack and the bedtime routine, which was a little easier with two parents. I put Bud to bed, and we had a good time reading stories and talking about drumming and rhythms. I showed him the difference between match and traditional grips, which he found very interesting. And we practiced tapping out a few rhythms together.

Both kids were asleep shortly after 8:30, and have slept quietly so far.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Hanging In There

Buster woke once this morning around 5:30. He was a bit upset that M-lady wasn't available to comfort him, but eventually settled for me tucking him in again. Bud was up around 6:30, and pretty much ready to be awake: I think he's still adjusting to the time change.

We had a fairly straightforward morning. Bud was very cooperative, and got himself dressed and ready to go on the first asking. Buster did his usual teenager-style moaning in bed at first, but was excited to get up and get dressed a short time later. He wanted an Eggo after he'd already had some oatmeal for breakfast, so I toasted it for him and he ate it on the way as we dropped Bud off at school.

Nanny J arrived soon after we got home, and Buster was a little upset that he didn't make it to the door in time to let her in. He got over it quickly, though, and they were having fun playing together when I left for work. The kids seem to have had a good day, and were running around the living room when I got home.

After I settled in and we said goodbye to Nanny J, we ran around the living room together for a bit before settling in front of the TV to watch some Animusic and play on the XBox. I manufactured dinner a little after 6:00, and both kids ate pretty well. After dinner we played a little bit more before having a snack and doing the bedtime routine.

The kids were generally well behaved during the evening, and Bud was great about getting himself ready for bed as I saw to Buster. Both kids got into bed and went to sleep on their own after I tucked them in. Hopefully they'll sleep in a little bit later tomorrow morning.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Easy Journey Home

The time change afforded us a long morning, although we weren't able to spend it sleeping, as the kids woke when they usually do. We all headed down to breakfast together. The kids ate pretty well, and we had a leisurely time packing up to head to the airport. The kids had some time to visit with Ama and Agu as well.

We rolled out to the airport in plenty of time, and were ready to go at the terminal early. We had lunch with Aunt O, who was also on our plane back to the Bay Area. After a bit of a wait, we were able to get on board and get settled on the plane.

Buster was really tired during the flight, but didn't actually fall asleep. Bud held up a little better, but also didn't nap during the flight. We all made it back to SJ safe and sound, claimed luggage, got the car, and headed for home.

It was nice to get home, and we settled in and set the clocks back an hour. I played a little Lego Rock Band with the kids, and got dinner ready. M-lady unpacked and then packed up, as she has a business meeting in Chicago tomorrow.

After dinner and a shower, the kids and I had a quick video chat with Grandma W. The kids were good for the chat, and afterward we headed downstairs for snacks. During story time we said goodbye to M-lady, who was picked up by a limo to get to her red-eye flight. I was able to put the kids to bed without any problem, and they fell asleep almost immediately. They're pretty tired out after the long weekend. They've slept solidly so far this evening.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Off To A Wedding

The kids didn't sleep super well, and we were all up pretty early. M-lady took the kids to breakfast with Ama and Agu, and I took the opportunity to sleep in a bit. After having a good breakfast, the family came back to the hotel room and we got ready to go out.

We all visited Descanso Gardens together. We visited the Japanese Gardens, where the kids had a great time look at the koi pond. Buster in particular enjoyed watching the fish from one of the bridges over the water.

We eventually moved on and wandered about a little more, eventually settling in to see a Taiko performance. Everyone enjoyed the show. Afterward, M-lady and I took the kids back to the hotel (by way of fast food for lunch) in an effort to get them to take a nap before the long evening. The nap failed entirely, and we got up and started getting ready without anyone really falling asleep.

We all got ready for the wedding, and were able to get out the door and on the way on time. We arrived a few minutes before the wedding started, and sat down outside. Buster sat with M-lady and me, and Bud sat with Ama and Agu. There were little bubble wands handed out with the programs to make the processionals more interesting, and these helped entertain the kids as well.

After the brief ceremony, there were a battery of family pictures. The kids were remarkably patient, and even smiled occasionally for the pics. I hope a few of them turned out. There was a bit of a gap before dinner started, but we found a nearby playground which kept the kids entertained for a while.

The servers brought out pizza and french fries for the kids with the salad course, which worked out very well. Both kids ate reasonably, and were very well behaved during the reception. Bud got to play with a couple of his cousins as well, and enjoyed their company.

There was a chocolate fountain aside from the cake for dessert, which fascinated Bud. We took our leave shortly after dessert, as the kids were glazing over. They had gotten up early, it was already past their bedtime, and no one had napped. Buster was asleep before we got back to the hotel, and Bud fell asleep just about as soon as his head hit the pillow. It was a long but satisfactory day.

Friday, November 05, 2010

A Slightly Tougher Travel Day

The morning routine was pretty standard, although M-lady was busy packing for much of the morning. Bud woke around 7:30, and was downstairs for breakfast a bit before 8:00. Buster came down for breakfast a few minutes later, after being dressed by M-lady.Bud was all ready to go to school in plenty of time, and I dropped him off without incident. Nanny J arrived around 8:45, and Buster went to open the door for her.

M-lady took off for work a short time later. I worked from home today, so I sequestered myself in the office and focused for a little while. Nanny J took Buster to his music class, and then they went and picked up Bud from school. Buster ate a solid lunch, but Bud's lunch was a little lighter.

M-lady arrived home after lunch, and we finished packing and hit the road shortly after 1:00. Since we're only going to be gone two nights, the packing was easier and were were able to travel a little lighter. We arrived at the airport, and while I was dropping M-lady, the kids, and the luggage off at the curb, Bud let us know that he had to go to the bathroom. I sprinted with him inside and got him delivered to the urinal in time, while our car was running in the loading zone.

I dropped the car in long-term parking while M-lady checked in luggage and managed the kids. When I met up with them, we packed up and headed through security. Buster knew what to do this time, and trotted off through the metal detector before any of the rest of us were ready. He then chatted with a friendly TSA agent on the other side while we caught up.

We got some food before heading to our gate, and both kids ate pretty well. Then a bathroom trip, a few minutes wait at the gate, and boarding. We were able to get on and settled without too much trouble.

Bud, however, must have eaten a diuretic at some point. He had to pee every 15-20 minutes or so. M-lady took him to pee before the plane pushed back from the gate, then again shortly after we were airborne. Fortunately, it was a short flight.

Picking up the luggage wasn't tough, but it took a lot longer than it should have to get the rental car (given that we're Hertz Gold members, a perk of the company we work at, and are used to walking up and driving off). After getting set in the car, I managed to make a lot of wrong turns trying to get to the hotel. We also hit rush hour traffic. In LA on 5. It took a while to get to the hotel. We finally made it, and Bud had to pee again.

We met up with Ama, Agu, and Aunt O, got into our room, and settled in a bit. It was pretty hot today in Pasadena, and the room definitely needed cooling off. The kids were really excited to see Ama and Agu, and were generally bouncing off the walls. It took a while, but we finally got settled and got ourselves together enough to head out to dinner.

We walked to a local bistro, but M-lady and I concluded that the kids were not going to sit still through a sit-down dinner. So we back-tracked and headed for a Subway right near the hotel. The kids ran around a bit inside the Subway, but they ended up eating solid meals.

We walked back to the hotel, and Bud ended up needing to pee again.

I showered with the kids, and we got them cleaned up a bit. They visited with the family a bit, and stayed pretty wired throughout the evening. Ama and Agu have the adjoining room, so the kids were back and forth a lot.

I eventually got Buster to sit in front of the laptop and watch a Backyardigans. Bud eventually joined us, and after a little more media we put the kids in bed and turned out the light. It was about 8:45, a bit later than usual. Buster fell asleep pretty quickly, but Bud was awake until about 10:00.

All in all it's been a fairly tiring and a more difficult than usual travel day. However, I'm pretty happy that this is generally the exception, and the kids usually travel really well. Really, aside from Bud's continuously full bladder today, the kids were pretty good. Hopefully they'll settle down a little tomorrow.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Family Shots

The morning routine was pretty smooth this morning. Bud got up around 7:30, and I helped him get dressed and get some breakfast. Buster was up a bit earlier than usual, and we were having breakfast before M-lady took Bud off to school. The cleaners were coming today, and the kids helped me pick up a bit in the morning as well. Buster and I were hanging out together when Nanny J arrived, and I headed for work a short time later.

The kids seem to have had a good first part of the day. Bud had fun at school, and Buster went to soccer class. M-lady headed home to pick them up around 2:30, and I met her and the kids at the doctor's office. We'd made an appointment for them to get their flu shots, and discovered that M-lady and I could get ours as well. Flu shots for everyone!

M-lady and I got our shots first, followed by Bud, who was great as usual. Buster was a little uncertain, but after seeing the rest of us get shots with no hysterics, he calmly got his own shot. He was ready to cry for a moment, but recovered quickly, and was heading for the door a moment later.

We all headed home, and M-lady and I took turns logging in to work and watching the kids. M-lady got dinner ready for the kids, and I joined them around 6:30. We had Babysitter G coming at 6:45, and the kids were looking forward to playing with her. However, when the doorbell rang, they ran and hid.

She found them pretty quickly, and they were all playing together happily when M-lady and I left for our dance rehearsal. They apparently had a good evening, and were in bed on time.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Out For A Day

The morning was pleasant. Bud was a little slow to wake, but finally get dressed a little after 7:30. He ate breakfast quickly, and was anxious to play a couple of rounds of Pirate Code with me before heading off to school.

Buster woke a little bit before Bud left, and M-lady got him dressed. I had breakfast with him a little after Bud left. Nanny J arrived a little early this morning, while Buster was finishing up his breakfast.

The kids seem to have had a good day. M-lady got home to watch them as I worked late and had dinner with my team. It sounded as if they had a good evening, ate reasonable dinners, and were good about going to bed. I missed them all while I was out.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Keyboard Excitement

I rolled Bud out of bed around 7:20 this morning. He was generally easy to work with this morning, and was breakfasted and ready to go shortly after 8:00. M-lady took him to school and did the drop off.

Buster slept in late this morning, finally waking around 8:45 and willing to get out of his crib around 9:00. Nanny J had some car problems, so Buster was just having breakfast around 9:15 when she arrived.

The kids seem to have had a good day. They were having a good time playing when I arrived home. Nanny J stayed on a bit as she waited for her ride, and the kids had a lot of fun showing her Lego Rock Band. Nanny J was picked up around the time M-lady arrived home.

Our copy of Rock Band 3 also arrived today. The kids were really excited about the keytar controller that came with it. Unfortunately, we didn't have time to fire it up this evening, as M-lady and I frantically filled out our ballots when she got home. When we were reasonably satisfied, we all loaded up and headed off to Bud's school, the local polling place, where we dropped off our ballots. The kids were very tolerant of the rushed outing.

We had dinner when we got home, and the kids ate pretty well. After dinner, Bud worked on homework for a little while, and then practiced piano with M-lady. Buster and I worked on a puzzle together. The kids had some candy and a snack, and we did the bedtime routine.

I read to Bud for a bit, and we turned out the light at 8:30. Bud fell asleep pretty quickly. Both kids have slept well so far.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Lollipop Strategy

Buster woke once around 6:30, but was quickly consoled, even though he protested that he wanted M-lady rather than me. I got up around 7:15, and rolled Bud out of bed. Bud was agreeable this morning, and got dressed and had breakfast with a minimum of prodding. He and M-lady headed off to school around 8:15.

Buster was content to lounge in his crib for a while this morning, finally getting up near 8:30. He was just having some breakfast when Nanny J arrived. Buster was a little disappointed that I didn't let him have candy for breakfast, but was willing to have some cereal instead.

The kids seem to have had a good day. Bud had computer lab at school today, and came home with some of his exercises printed out. The kids were playing with guns they'd cobbled together out of other toys when I got home.

We said goodbye to Nanny J, and Buster asked me to read some books to him. We did that for a little while, and then played some Lego Rock Band for a bit, breaking around 6:30 to get started on dinner.

M-lady arrived home as we were getting dinner on the table. Bud ate well, but Buster deferred his dinner a bit. We all watched the last inning of the World Series together after dinner, and led us to snack time, where the kids chose a piece of candy.

Bud chose a lollipop, which was slightly problematic, in that Bud does not bite his lollipops. Which means he sucks on them for upwards of half an hour. Apparently, M-lady does the same thing. Buster and I are apparently a bit more impatient, and we both bite our lollipops fairly quickly.

In any case, we got the kids upstairs and ready for bed with the usual routine. I put Buster to bed, and we turned out the light around 8:30. He fell asleep quickly, and both kids have slept well so far this evening.