Monday, October 31, 2011

A Satisfactory Halloween

M-lady and I rolled out of bed around 7:30 this morning, and started getting Buster up. Bud didn't have school today, so he was on his own schedule for the morning. Buster had his costume parade at school, so we worked on getting him up and dressed as Jay, the blue ninja from Lego Ninjago. The kids had some breakfast, and M-lady took Buster to school while Bud and I waited for Nanny J.

There was a minor mix-up with Nanny J's arrival, and she didn't end up getting here until about 9:30. I headed off for work. Buster was apparently very cute as the blue ninja, and was willing to wear his ninja mask (a blue t-shirt around his head) for the parade.

M-lady and I both got home early, around 5:00. The kids were excited for trick-or-treating, and were all set to head out and have candy. M-lady and I rested for a few minutes, said goodbye to Nanny J, and got the kids fed in a quick dinner.

Bud, sticking to his plan of being Harry Potter, had M-lady draw a quick scar on his forehead. Buster thought that was pretty cool, and tried to draw one of his own with a marker. Fortunately, the washable marker came off easily, and M-lady obliged by drawing a scar for Buster, too. Buster then dressed up as Harry Potter as well, and we had two HPs running around for a little while.

I worked to resuscitate a couple of old flashlight/wands, and got a blue one for Bud and a red one for Buster put together. At that point, Buster decided that he wanted to be Voldemort rather than Harry Potter, and told us that Voldemort didn't have any hair. Rather than shave his head, he was content with just putting up the hood on his robe.

We did a practice Trick-or-Treat run on our own door, which M-lady answered. After success, the boys and I wandered around the neighborhood a bit, looking for decorated houses. They did a reasonably good job, and got a pretty good haul. Buster got a few surprised looks when he told people he was Voldemort, though.

The kids decided to turn for home pretty quickly, and we made it back shortly after 7:00. The kids probably hit about five or six houses, total. They were happy with their take, though, and spent a little time trading pieces. I let them each have a couple pieces, and then we spent a little time watching MNF and answering the door. They got one more piece of candy with snack time, and then did a pretty standard bedtime routine. I read a little bit with Bud before we turned out the light shortly after 8:00.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Halloween Prep

I was up early this morning, around 7:00, to get ready for a bike race. Bud woke around the same time, complaining of being hungry, which has been his common complaint, all the time, for the past few days. We figure it's a growth spurt. I got Bud some breakfast while I was getting ready, and he headed back to bed as I headed out the door around 7:30.

The kids had a good morning with M-lady. Bud agreed to do a double piano practice today, so that he could skip tomorrow and focus on Halloween and trick-or-treating. He reportedly did a good job working on his pieces.

M-lady and the kids headed out to Target just a few minutes before I arrived home from the race. They picked up some sundries, including a bag of candy to give out tomorrow night (even though I'd already stocked up). We all had some lunch when the kids got home.

After lunch, M-lady and I napped for a little while. I turned the kids loose on an old iPad, and they watched YouTube videos for a bit, mostly Lego recreations of other movies. When I caught up with them again, they were watching 'Lego Titanic', and Bud commented that all the Lego that was in the water would be getting clean.

We had a snack together, and had video calls with all the grandparents. The kids were pretty good about participating in the calls, and Buster in particular was interested in chatting with relatives. Bud was good about making an appearance and saying 'Hi', though.

The kids and I headed out to pick up dinner a short time later, and Bud continued to eat a huge amount when we got home. After dinner, the kids and I had fun carving the pumpkin, and Bud got his hands dirty, reaching in and pulling out pumpkin guts. We eventually turned out a pretty passable Jack-o-Lantern, and came in to have a snack.

After snack, the kids got ready for bed. Buster and I read a few stories, and then played a couple of games on the iPad. We turned out the light shortly after 8:00, and Buster fell quickly asleep.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Home Improvement

Bud woke me around 8:15, asking to see if we could track M-lady's flight to find out where she was. He was really excited to see her again. After figuring out her flight number, we got the flight tracked and determined that she'd be landing within an hour. Bud told me he was going to wait at the door until she arrived.

I managed to talk him out of that, and we had some breakfast. Buster declined breakfast, and ended up staying in bed until about 10:00am. I was just rousting him out of bed and getting him cleaned up and dressed when M-lady arrived home.

The kids were both excited to see M-lady. We got breakfast for Buster as we were catching up, and Bud had a second breakfast. After eating, the kids got to play with some gifts M-lady brought for them.

M-lady and I both napped for a little while before lunchtime. Bud entreated us to go to Arby's, but we resisted. I got up to get myself some lunch around 1:00, and the kids and M-lady joined me before too long.

After lunch we got started on putting up the big whiteboard calendar/corkboard (custom, but a bit like this one) in the breakfast nook that M-lady has been excited about for a while and finally ordered. The kids had fun checking out the boxes, and helped a bit with the construction. I took a break in the late afternoon, after making some progress, and headed out to the bike shop briefly. When I got back, I worked in the garage while the kids played outside.

The kids had a disagreement while holding lacrosse sticks, and both came inside crying. Buster took a nap, and Bud cooled off in his room for a bit while I worked on the board some more. Before too long, M-lady and Bud headed out to pick up dinner while I finished up the board and Buster napped.

Buster snoozed through dinner, but got up in time to start while I finished up the board installation. The kids played a bit before snack time, and Bud watched me get the last installation done. Snack and bedtime were pretty standard. I played some games on the iPad with Bud, including Scrabble, before bed. We had a good time fitting words in with his new spelling prowess.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Fun Friday Evening

The morning routine was pretty standard, with Bud getting ready on his own with minimal prodding, and Buster taking a bit more effort to get out of bed. Buster's cold is hanging in there, currently in the form of a cough. Both boys were ready to go in time, though, and the drop offs went smoothly. The kids seem to have had good days at school.

I got home around 4:30 to take Bud to his piano lesson. We got there just in time, and Bud did reasonably well. He hadn't been practicing the full list of songs this week, and was a little rusty on a few of them, but overall did pretty well. He's going to be working on his Book 1 graduation recital before too long.

We came back home to say goodbye to Nanny J and pick up Buster, and head out to dinner. Bud picked a nearby fast food place for dinner, and Buster concurred. We had a pleasant dinner together, and then got home around 6:30. We spent some time playing Lego Pirates for a while before having a snack and heading for bed.

The kids were good about getting ready for bed, and I was just reading a story to Buster when M-lady called. The kids were pretty excited to hear her voice, and they're looking forward to seeing her again tomorrow. I watched a quick video with Buster after we hung up, and he was asleep a couple minutes after we turned out the light.

Bud was up a little bit later, but fell asleep shortly after 9:00. He's excited about Halloween, and get Monday off school, so is starting a three-day weekend.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

New Books

The night passed mostly uneventfully. At about 4:00am, Buster padded into my room holding a pair of socks, and asked me to help put them on him so his feet wouldn't be cold. I complied and got him tucked back in bed.

Buster slept in a bit this morning, but I was able to roust him in time to take Bud to school. We headed back so Buster could have some breakfast, which he was working on when Nanny J arrived.

M-lady left a few new books for the kids for the week, and I deemed today the right day. I gave Buster his books as I left, and left the magazine for Bud on his couch for him to find when he got home.

The kids seem to have had a good day, and did TKD in the afternoon. I got home a bit before 6:00, and said goodbye to Nanny J. Buster's cold had moved into a somewhat loose chest cough, but overall he didn't seem too put out. I pulled out the last of the books, a few Mr. Men books for the boys to share. Buster and I read a couple while Bud played with Lego.

Bud and I had some dinner a bit later, while Buster deferred. Buster joined the table as Bud was finishing up and getting started on homework and piano. Both kids ended up eating reasonable dinners, though.

We did an early snack and bedtime, since Buster had missed his nap. The kids and I read a couple more Mr. Men books together before bed, and I tucked Buster in around 8:15 (with socks). He fell asleep pretty quickly. Bud was up a little bit later, reading the Mr. Men books that he'd missed earlier in the evening. He was tucked in around 8:45, and drifted off a bit later.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Nothing To Fear

The kids were both up early this morning, and in good moods. Buster was a little snorky at first, but his nose wasn't running, and he was excited to go to school. So we did a usual morning routine, and the kids were ready to head out the door before 8:15. We dropped Bud off first, and then Buster and I had time to get to his school, arriving a minute before the door opened. Buster happily dropped his coat and found his spot for circle time.

I worried about Buster during the day, since I didn't know how he'd be doing. I was kept away from home for a co-worker's going away party, which I excused myself from to get home before the kids were asleep for too long. I arrived home around 8:30, which is the usual lights out time.

I needn't have worried. I said goodnight to Babysitter G, and both kids snuck out to the top of the stairs to greet me enthusiastically. It took me a little while to calm them down and get them back in bed. Buster was absolutely fine, and aside from still having a slightly stuffy nose, showed no other signs of illness. I managed to get both kids back in bed, and chatted with each for a couple minutes before they fell asleep.

The day was apparently pretty standard for them, with TKD in the afternoon. Bud had finished his homework, and they enjoyed playing with Babysitter G. Overall a good day, apparently.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Drippy Nose

M-lady left around 6:00 this morning, before anyone else was up. I rolled the kids out of bed just a few minutes earlier than usual, around 7:30. Bud was his usual efficient self getting ready in the morning, and Buster was pretty good, although he wanted breakfast before getting dressed. We got out the door to take Bud to school in plenty of time, and had a leisurely drop off. Buster and I then headed back home, where we waited for about 5 minutes for Nanny J to arrive. I headed off to work soon after.

I got home around 5:45. Bud was just taking his shower (on his own), and I found that Buster was a bit sniffly. His nose had been running for a while, but he didn't have a fever. He didn't seem very slowed down, either, and was rambunctious while Bud practiced piano. Bud didn't have homework tonight, so after piano we all played a little bit of Lego Pirates before getting some dinner.

Both kids ate well, and Bud wanted his snack immediately after dinner. I was able to hold him off for about five minutes, but we started snack time early, which led to a fairly early bedtime. The kids were good about getting ready for bed and tucking in, and we had the lights out around 8:15. Buster fell asleep within about 5 minutes of the lights going out.

Buster woke around 10:00 with a somewhat croupy sounding cough. It wasn't bad, though, and he didn't have any stridor, so we did the usual steam/cool air treatment plus a dose of medicine, and he fell asleep again pretty quickly. His breathing had been a bit noisy, but he's slept soundly since then. I'll wait to see how he's looking in the morning, but I'm inclined to keep him home from school tomorrow.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Bedtime Story Reversal

The morning routine was pretty standard. Buster was a little slow to get up, but got going OK eventually. Buster was reading for a while before we prodded him to get dressed and have breakfast. M-lady took Bud to work, and I dropped Buster off.

The kids seem to have had a good day. I got home around 5:45, and we said goodbye to Nanny J. Bud had tied a partly-deflated balloon to the staircase railing so it dangled just over his head when standing in the hallway below, and dubbed it a tetherball. He and I batted the balloon back and forth for a bit before I sat down and watched a little bit of TV with Buster.

M-lady arrived home and got Bud started on his piano practice. He finished his homework, and we were just sitting down to dinner when a friend arrived to borrow some costumes from M-lady for a dance show. The kids and I finished dinner while M-lady was occupied.

The kids played a bit, and then Bud finished up his piano before we did the bedtime snack. Buster got a little grumpy, but headed upstairs and was cheerful again as M-lady got him into PJs. Bud read some of the stories he's been writing recently to me, and I was very impressed with his writing. He's learning not only from school, but from the stuff he's reading.

The kids said goodbye to M-lady, who'll be travelling for the rest of the week. We'll miss you, M-lady! Have a safe trip!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Horticulture Park

I got up a bit early, around 7:00, to head out to a bike race. Buster wandered in a few minutes after I got up, and snuggled with M-lady. I headed out around 7:30 with the house still mostly quiet.

The race was pretty short, and I called home just after 10:00. M-lady had gotten the kids up and dressed and fed, and Bud had completed his piano practice. They were just packing up to head south to go to Gilroy Gardens, and were going to pick me up on the way. I had time to change clothes and get some sunscreen on before they arrived. I jumped in the car with them and we headed to the park.

We met up with Bud's old Mother's Group families, which was a lot of fun. After wandering and visiting for a bit, we headed for the first ride, which was the strawberry swings. That is, suspended cars, traveling in a little circle, shaped like strawberries. Bud declined to go on the ride, but M-lady and Buster had a good time.

Bud was anxious to head over to the spinning garlic, so we eventually broke off from the group and headed that way. The garlic, sadly, was closed down. We wandered a bit, but managed to get on the air ballon ride (a variation on the same suspended swing ride) before we grabbed some lunch.

After lunch, we caught up with the group again, and hung out with them for a while. Bud and I ran off briefly to check out a waterfall that we could walk under (and got a little wet in the process), before heading back to catch a brief animatronic musical show of singing fruits and veggies.

We said our goodbyes to the group at that point, and headed on to a couple more attractions. The kids really enjoyed a car driving ride, similar to the Grand Prix at Disneyland. We did a little boat float ride as well and got Icees before heading for the exit. On the way out, we discovered that the garlic was spinning again, so Bud and I did that. Unfortunately, we were both a bit full of Icee, and left the ride (think Teacups) feeling a bit ill.

We headed home without event, and Bud transferred with me to my car when we picked that up. We got home around 5:00, and M-lady got started on making dinner after we unloaded. We ate around 5:45, and both kids ate well. After dinner, I showered the kids, and then they entertained themselves for a bit playing with Duplo in the playroom until an early snacktime.

I got snacks for the kids, and they were ready for the bedtime routine at about 7:00. I turned Buster's light out around 7:45, and he was asleep in a few minutes. Bud was up a little later, but was also pretty tuckered out, and fell asleep quickly. It was a fun day and a fun weekend with the kids.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Reunion Patience

Buster came in and snuggled with M-lady and me starting a bit before 8:00. Around 8:00, I got up and got started on getting ready. The kids were reluctant to get going, but M-lady and I finally got the kids fed and loaded into the car around 9:15.

We drove over to Stanford, where my 15 year class reunion was being held this weekend. It was already pretty busy, so we found a farther away parking spot and walked over to registration. We needed to move pretty quick, so Buster rode on my shoulders.

After registering, we headed over to the start of the 'Family Adventure Race'. We arrived just as they were starting, so we got the station map and headed out. The goal was to his as many stations as we could (or wanted to), and the kids would have one challenge, while the adults would have another at each station. It was fun to wander around campus a bit, and Bud really got into the game.

We had a good time, but we were really starting to get hot by the end. The high for the day ended up being in the 90's, and we'd dressed for about 20 degrees cooler. Upon completing the race, the kids got goody bags and we wandered up to the bookstore, where we got T-shirts for everyone. We then headed back to the tailgate BBQ, where Bud ate a huge meal and Buster had about half a dozen pieces of watermelon while I visited with some old acquaintances.

The kids were getting a little tired by the end of lunch, so they headed back to the car while I did a little more visiting. M-lady and the kids happened on a dorm with Star Wars-themed decorations, and were just wrapping up a tour of that when I met them back at the car. We loaded up, cranked the A/C, and headed home.

I made a quick jaunt out to pick up my old car from the shop when we got home, while Bud did his piano practice. After I got home, I finished up the cabinet and played with the kids for a bit while M-lady ran a few errands. Bud was excited to hear that M-lady and I finally watched Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, and so we could play the last part of the Lego Pirates game together. We played a level before M-lady arrived home and I headed out to pick up some dinner.

Buster had napped a bit in the late afternoon, and was still sleeping while the rest of us had dinner. When I finished up, I rousted him and got him downstairs, where he ate a solid meal as well. I played with the kids for a short time before snack time was upon us, and the kids had some fruit before getting ready for bed.

Bud elected to skip reading another chapter of Treasure Island this evening, and was reading his Pirates book from the library instead.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Overtired and Underfed

The morning was fine, and while Buster took a little coaxing to get out of bed, he was up early enough that we weren't panicked about getting him to school. Bud was his usual stolid self in the morning, and I headed out with him to drop him off around the same time M-lady was heading out with Buster.

The kids seem to have had a good day. M-lady arrived home early enough to take Bud to his piano lesson, which went well. I arrived home at 5:45, and Buster and I wished Nanny J a good weekend. We chatted and played a bit while M-lady and Bud hit the library on the way back from the piano lesson.

When the kids arrived home, I worked on the cabinet a bit and played with them. M-lady and I made the mistake of not getting dinner set up early enough, and a bit after 7:00, when we tried to have dinner, both kids melted down. Bud stormed off to his room, and Buster had a bit of a more vocal meltdown. He ended up falling asleep without dinner, around 7:30, while Bud came down around 8:00 to eat something before going to bed.

M-lady ended up putting both kids to bed, sequentially. They were clearly both tired, though, and Bud fell asleep pretty quickly.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Standard Thursday

M-lady was up early for a call this morning, and Bud was up around the same time. I don't believe he went back to sleep, and was ready to head down to breakfast pretty early. Buster was also up early. M-lady headed out with Bud by about 8:15, and I got Buster dressed and hung out with him until Nanny J arrived at about 8:45. The cleaners arrived around the same time, and I headed out to work.

The kids seem to have had a good day. I got home right at 5:45, and we said goodbye to Nanny J. We then sat down to work on the cabinet together, and the three of us had fun and made some progress. I was using the drill to install the door handles, which Buster thought was kind of neat. Bud sat down and worked on his homework a bit as Buster and I continued just as M-lady arrived home.

We had some dinner, and Bud did his piano practice. Snack time came up quick, and then I read another chapter of Treasure Island to Bud. He seems to be enjoying it, although I think a lot of the language is going over his head.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Out For Dinner

I got up a little early this morning, about 7:20, and got Buster started on getting up. He was a little slow to get going, but the extra 10 minutes helped, and we were able to get him up and ready for school by the time M-lady headed out around 8:20. I took Bud to school, who as usual was great about getting ready. The drop off went fine.

The kids seem to have had a good day. M-lady met Nanny J with the kids at the doctor's office in the late afternoon, where they all got their flu shots. Buster requested that M-lady go first, but both kids were good, and perked up at the promise of a sticker after the shot.

I got home around 5:00, and M-lady and I headed out to dinner. Nanny J handed the kids off to Babysitter G a little later in the evening. Bud did his piano practice and homework on his own, and there was at least evidence that his homework was done when we got home. Babysitter G reported the kids did fine, and Buster is becoming more talkative around her.

While I wasn't paying attention I hit 2000 posts... this is 2007, I believe. It's been a good ride so far.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Keep On Building

Bud was up early this morning, and pretty excited about the dollar he got from the Tooth Fairy (although he'd clearly been hoping for a little bit more). He was dressed and ready to have some breakfast well before 8:00, and was generally in a good mood and on time. M-lady took him to school, while I worked on getting Buster dressed. We hung out together for a bit, and I had just managed to get his shirt on when Nanny J arrived. He had some breakfast shortly afterward.

I worked from home again today, and had meetings pretty much right up to 5:45. Bud came in a couple of times to say 'Hello', but didn't stay long. After we said goodbye to Nanny J, we got started on working on the kitchen nook IKEA cabinet again.

Bud helped a little, and then lost interest and went to play. Buster helped a lot more, counting pieces and handing me tools. He was really thrilled to help.

M-lady arrived home before too long, and started some piano practice with Bud, while Buster played nearby after abandoning me. I finished up for the day (not finished with the cabinet yet, though) as M-lady got dinner together.

After eating, Bud quickly finished his homework, and snack time came up pretty quickly. I started reading Treasure Island to Bud at bedtime at his request (I happened to have it on my iPad/Kindle). He apparently has read some graphic novel versions of the story, and was interested in the real book. I think we'll be able to read that one at bedtime for a while if his interest holds.

Monday, October 17, 2011

First One Down

I started rolling the kids out of bed this morning when I got up, around 7:30. Buster agreed he was a sleepyhead for a bit, until M-lady got him going. I got breakfast for the kids, and then took Bud to school while M-lady took Buster. After dropping Bud off, I headed back home to work, since I was a little under the weather.

I was in meetings most of the day, and emerged at 5:45 to say goodbye to Nanny J. The kids and I turned on the TV for a few minutes to check out MNF, and then spent some time working on the IKEA cabinet some more. Both kids were excited to be helpful. We got far enough that I realized we hadn't purchased all the right pieces, so we stopped for the day.

Bud practiced piano with M-lady for a bit while I played with Buster. Dinner came up quickly, and Bud did his homework before and after. Bud was worrying his loose tooth all evening, and I predicted it would come out 'any minute'. A few minutes later, while Bud was working on his homework, out popped the tooth.

Bud was thrilled. We cleaned it up, took lots of pictures, and he wrote a fairly extensive note to the Tooth Fairy. He pointed out that one of his friends received five dollars for a tooth from the Tooth Fairy, and he was hoping for a similar windfall. He was a bit taken aback when I told him I usually got a quarter for my teeth when I was a kid.

We did snack and bedtime, and I ran back to IKEA after reading a story to Buster to pick up the missing sections. Buster was good about going to sleep on his own, apparently.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Getting Out a Bit

The kids were up a bit before 8:00, and M-lady got up to get them some breakfast a short time later. I rolled out of bed around 9:00, and we were all ready to head out the door around 9:30.

The kids got to put a DVD on for the drive, which was fairly short, to IKEA. We got there right as they opened the doors, and got a good parking spot. The kids were pretty excited at first, but got a little bored as we checked out some different furniture pieces. We were looking primarily for some sort of storage cabinet for the kitchen nook which could hold the kids art supplies. They managed to hold it together, though, and when we finished with the show floor we headed to the IKEA restaurant, where we had a second breakfast. Bud had French toast sticks, and Buster had the Swedish pancakes with Lingonberry jam. Both kids enjoyed the break.

We headed downstairs and located the necessary flatpacks, loaded up the car, and headed back in briefly to pick up some drawer pulls and door handles which we'd missed on the first pass. The kids enjoyed almost all of the rest of the DVD on the way home, and then helped unload the car.

We had a modest lunch, and then I spent some time cleaning up our stroller to get it ready for sale. I found most of the pieces, and it's all in good shape. When I was done, M-lady was getting the kids ready for another outing, to the local pumpkin patch. While they were out, I headed out for a bike ride.

Pumpkin patches are clearly no longer about buying pumpkins, and all about the bouncy castles and other amusements available for the kids. Buster apparently had a great time driving a little mini-jeep around, and after having some fun, the kids enjoyed picking out some pumpkins and headed for home. They got home and were playing when I arrived home.

I had a video call with Grandma W, and Buster got in on the action a bit, although Bud was a bit shy. Afterward, I started working on putting together the new cabinet, which brought both boys wanting to help out. Bud actually proposed working on some of the blue play mats, which was a great idea. We got the plinth finished before it was time for dinner.

The kids ate pretty well, and after dinner we had showers for everybody. That led pretty directly to snack and bed time. Buster was concerned that we'd finish building the cabinet without him, so I had to promise not to work on it anymore tonight. Hopefully we can all finish it up tomorrow afternoon.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

A Mellow Saturday

The kids were up this morning around 8:00, and I got out of bed around 9:00 to get them some breakfast. As they were wrapping up, I headed out to get a haircut. M-lady watched the kids while I was out, and Bud got his piano practicing done. I was home in time to hang out with the kids for a few minutes before getting started on getting lunch together. They commandeered my iPad for a bit to watch videos, and eventually I took it back.

After eating lunch M-lady ran a quick errand, and I played with the kids on the computer for a bit. When she got home, she worked on organizing closets and cleaning up the kids rooms with them. Bud put in some good effort, and his room looks pretty good. While they were doing that, Buster and I sat in M-lady's car, where I was updating the firmware and maps in the satnav/stereo. It took a while, and Buster enjoyed sitting in the passenger seat like a big person.

Later in the afternoon I spent some time gluing up some of the foam swords which were falling apart, and getting my hand tools organized and up on the pegboard behind my workbench. I got started on getting dinner ready when I came in.

The kids and I watched a little bit of football together in the afternoon, and both kids ate reasonably at dinner time. After dinner, Bud and I ran a quick trip to Target while M-lady got Buster into PJs. We got back in time for a quick snack, and Bud took a shower before getting into PJs. I read a few stories with Buster, but he was clearly pretty tired, and fell asleep quickly when we turned the lights out around 8:30.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Back With The Kids

The kids were pretty good about getting going this morning. Buster was just a little on the slow side, but I was able to get him out the door in time to get him to class. The drop off went fine, as usual. He does seem to enjoy school. M-lady took Bud to school around the same time.

The kids had a pretty standard day. I got home around 5:45, just as M-lady arrived home with Bud from his piano lesson. He apparently had done very well, and the teacher was impressed with how much he'd picked up during the week, particularly with putting two hands together on some of the pieces.

We had stew at home for dinner, which Nanny J had made. Bud was really excited about it. I played some Lego Pirates with the kids, and that pretty much took us all the way to snack time. The kids were pretty good about eating a quick snack, brushing teeth, and getting ready for bed. I read a bit and watched a couple videos with Bud before we turned the light out a bit before 8:30.

It was nice to spend the evening with the kids again, after a couple of night away.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Loose Tooth

I had a 7:00 to 8:00 meeting this morning I was able to take from home, so I was up before the kids. When I emerged, Bud had eaten breakfast and was ready to go. He was excited to show me that one of his teeth was loose! I was encouraging, and intimated that it wouldn't be long before he lost that one and the other one was loose, too. He's got the shark teeth going on for the bottom front two teeth, and the baby teeth need to come out before too long.

Buster was wrapping up breakfast, and I got him dressed as M-lady took Bud to school. We hung out together in his room until Nanny J arrived, and I headed off to work. I was at work late, and M-lady watched the kids in the evening.

Bud apparently balked briefly at going to TKD today, but ended up going and having a good time. The kids ate a solid dinner, and were good about going to be for M-lady. I look forward to hanging out with them again tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Evening Out

I rolled the kids out of bed around 7:30, and made Buster giggle for much of the morning by calling him a sleepyhead. I managed to get both kids moving, and we were out the door just a couple minutes later than I'd hoped. I dropped Bud off at school, and was able to drop Buster off on time.

The kids seem to have had a good day. M-lady worked from home, and took over from Nanny J in the evening. I worked late, so M-lady handled the kids on her own this evening.

The painters finished up in the kitchen this afternoon, so food was accessible. M-lady decided to go out with the kids, though, and they apparently had a good dinner before swinging by Target to pick up a couple of essentials. They got some fruit, too, which the kids have been plowing through the past couple of days.

M-lady got both kids into bed, and they were asleep by the time I got home, a bit after 10:00. I'll be out late again tomorrow, and I'm starting to miss spending time with the kids.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Slightly Roughing It

The kids were up this morning around 7:30, and I got Bud some breakfast fairly early. We had pulled out a box of cereal for him from the still-taped-up kitchen last night, so there wasn't much choice for him, but he was OK with what we had picked. Buster complained at first, but was having a bowl of the cereal when I was taking Bud to school.

M-lady stayed until Nanny J arrived, and then headed off to work a bit later. The kids seem to have had a good day. I got out of work a bit late, and picked up dinner on the way home at Bud's suggestion. The kids were very excited when I arrived bearing BBQ. We all had a nice dinner, and I had time to play with the kids for a bit before snack and bed time.

Buster didn't nap during the day, so he was pretty tired. I was able to do a pretty quick bedtime routine with him, and he was asleep a few minutes after we turned out the light.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Kitchen Work

The kids were pretty good about getting going this morning, although Buster complained of being tired at first. I eventually coaxed him out of bed and into his clothes for picture day. He was aware that they were 'special' clothes, and asked for a bib while eating his breakfast cereal.

We were a few minutes late getting out the door. I was able to drop Bud off in plenty of time, but I got Buster to school about 5 minutes late. Not a big deal, but we need to work on getting out the door a few minutes faster when I need to drop off both kids.

We're having work done on our kitchen this week (wallpaper removal, new paint), and the workers were here this morning. The kitchen was all taped up by the time the kids got home.

I was at work a little late, and arrived home a bit after 8:30. Buster was already asleep, and Bud came down to say hello. I was able to lie down with Bud for a few minutes and catch up on the day with him before he went to sleep.

M-lady was kind enough to watch the kids in the evening. They ordered dinner delivered, and generally had a good evening. After the kids were asleep, M-lady and I spent some time filling water bottles, packing lunches, and preparing snacks for the kids tomorrow, so they can generally keep out of the kitchen tomorrow.

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Something New

The kids were up this morning around 8:00ish, in and out of our bed. M-lady was good enough to get them some breakfast, and get Bud started on his piano practice. I rolled out of bed around 10:30, around the time we all started getting dressed.

We decided to try something new, and after packing up some snacks (since it was near lunchtime) we all loaded into the car and headed to the nearby miniature golf course. We happened to arrived just as they opened, so we largely had the place to ourselves. The kids were pretty excited, and had a good time whacking the balls around a bit.

We spent the better part of an hour negotiating 18 holes, and I only had to fish two balls out of water features. I helped Buster a couple of times, showing him how to hold his club, and both kids got lots better as we progressed. The kids were pretty happy, if a little hungry, by the time we finished up and headed to the car.

We headed home happy, and got some lunch on arrival. I had some nice video chats with the grandparents, which the kids participated in a bit. After that, I worked in the garage a bit.

Aunt O, Uncle C, and Cousin C stopped by for a little while, and it was neat to see the two younger kids playing together. They're so close in age, and are finally at an age where they really interact. It was neat to see. Bud and I spent a little time playing football outside as well.

Our visitors took off before dinner, and dinner time came up reasonably quickly. The kids ate pretty well, although Buster took a little convincing, as he seemed to be running out of gas and got a little cranky. He eventually joined us, though. After dinner the kids spent a few minutes setting up a mini golf course in the house, and batted a ping-pong ball around for a bit.

We have workers coming tomorrow to rip off the wallpaper in the kitchen nook and paint, so we moved all the furniture out to the dining room. The kids enjoyed playing in the empty nook for a bit as well. Snack time came up quickly after that, and I read stories and watched a couple videos with Buster before turning out the light fairly early. He fell asleep quickly, after a busy day without a nap.

Saturday, October 08, 2011

HP Mania Strikes

The kids were in bed with us by about 8:00, and were fairly rowdy. M-lady eventually got them some breakfast, and I joined them a short time later. I played with Buster on the computer for a bit while M-lady and Bud did his piano practice.

M-lady headed out to run some errands, and I played with the kids. We read some stories and played with the iPad, and eventually I convinced them to go out to get some lunch and hit Fry's with me. The kids ate a solid lunch, and Bud in particular ate quite a bit (more than M-lady usually eats). After lunch we hit Fry's, where the kids were pretty well behaved as I checked out a few items. We got a world map to put up in Bud's room, and Buster got some little hand air rockets.

When we got home, we put up the map and played with the rockets a bit before heading outside. The kids played in the yard while I worked in the garage for a bit. M-lady arrived home as we all headed inside, and the kids showed off their new acquisitions.

M-lady had come up with a second pair of Harry Potter glasses, so both kids ran around with wands a glasses on for the better part of the afternoon. I headed out for a quick bike ride, which I shortened a bit, and got back a few minutes before 5:00. After showering, I settled in front of the TV to watch the Stanford football game, and the kids sat with me. They ended up watching videos on the iPad for a while.

We all had a solid dinner, and there was time to play a little bit more before showers, snacks, and bedtime. Bud was pretty good about getting ready for bed, and we watched some videos of songs from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, which he apparently has been learning at school. There was the obligatory Lego Pirates video as well before we turned out the light. Buster apparently fell asleep very quickly, having skipped his nap today.

Bud apparently finished reading the last Harry Potter book today. He's now read the whole series, mostly in the last month. I'm not sure how much he comprehended, but he clearly grasped the basics of the story. We're looking for new books to keep him interested in reading.

Friday, October 07, 2011

Busy Day

It was our first cold night of the year, and I turned the house heat on in the morning. Unfortunately, I think we needed AC by the afternoon.

The kids were just a little slower getting up this morning. Bud was roused easily, but Buster wanted to stay in bed a bit. He ended up getting started about 10 minutes late, and I was rushing him through breakfast a little bit. M-lady took Bud to school, and I dropped Buster off just a couple minutes late.

In the middle of the day, M-lady and I had a conference with Bud's teacher. It was a pleasant chat, and Bud is apparently doing very well in the classroom. He's quiet, but not afraid to speak up, and speaks with authority when he does. He's quick and thorough with his work, and clearly learning, particularly in the writing skills.

I headed home, arriving around 3:00, and got on some calls for work. Bud was happy to see me at home, and hung out in the office with me while I was on the calls for a bit. M-lady arrived home a short time later, and brought some Harry Potter glasses for Bud, which he loved. Buster, who hasn't been as excited about playing dress-up so far, asked M-lady if he could get some glasses, too.

M-lady took Bud to his piano practice, and them Buster and I met them for dinner. After eating, we headed over to Bud's recital, where he played pretty well. It was a short recital, which was nice, and afterward I headed home with Bud while M-lady and Buster went looking for Harry Potter glasses. Unfortunately, they didn't find any.

We had a little time to play some Lego Pirates of the Caribbean before snack and bedtime. Buster was tired, and fell asleep pretty quickly.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Still Rainy

Bud was up this morning around 7:00, and Buster a short time later. M-lady had a 7:00am call, which only lasted about half an hour, so she helped with getting the kids dressed. I got them fed, and then took Bud to school. It was raining pretty hard, and we got a little wet walking to his classroom.

The kids seem to have had a good day. I got home around 3:30, and they were still at TKD. They arrived home around 4:00, and bathed before I relieved Nanny J at about 5:45. M-lady arrived home a couple minutes later.

Bud reported that they had stayed inside for recess and lunch again today, due to the rain. He also had a short day at school, due to parent-teacher conferences. I got Bud going on his homework, which he wrapped up in a matter of minutes. Afterward, he did some piano with M-lady while I got dinner prepared. The kids both ate pretty well, and played a little bit after dinner. Bud finished up his piano practice, and we had snack and bed time. I played a game and watched a video with Bud before we turned out the light. Both kids fell asleep reasonably quickly.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Game Influenced Art

Buster was up a bit after 7:00 this morning, and Bud was up and ready to go shortly after 7:30. M-lady got them some breakfast, and I joined them as they were finishing up. I took them both to school, so we loaded up the car just a few minutes early, and I dropped Bud off at school. Buster and I headed over to his school, where I dropped him off, too, before proceeding to work.

The kids seem to have had a good day, although they didn't get to do an outside recess today as there was apparently a gunman loose in the area (although not near the schools). The schools were open, but locked down, and the kids stayed inside. We received regular communication through email about the situation. The kids probably wouldn't have played much outside in any case, given the rain today.

I got home around 5:45, and we said goodbye to Nanny J. We watched just a few minutes of TV before Bud started on his homework. M-lady arrived around the same time, and worked with Bud on finishing his homework and practicing piano. I played with Buster a bit, and then got started on dinner.

M-lady discovered a drawing Bud had done at school. It took us a few minutes to figure out what it was, but it turned out Bud had drawn a scene from Plants vs. Zombies. It was a pretty good picture, too. M-lady wants to frame it and put it up.

Both kids ended up eating pretty well, and snack time came up quickly after dinner. I played a new game with Buster for a few minutes on the iPad before bed, and we turned out the light around 8:30. He fell asleep in just a couple minutes, having missed his nap today.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Chess of Different Cultures

Buster was up a little early this morning, looking for his blanky. I found it for him in his room, and asked if he was going to sleep some more. He said yes, so I turned the light out in his room again and went back to bed. In about two minutes, he had joined us in bed.

I got Bud ready for school, and Buster was having some breakfast as I took Bud to class. M-lady stayed home with Buster until Nanny J arrived.

M-lady was already home when I arrived, just around 5:45. We said goodbye to Nanny J, and Bud did his homework pretty quickly. M-lady got started on piano practice with Bud after that, while I put some dinner together. Bud got a little grumpy around dinner time, and deferred for a bit, but Buster ended up eating pretty well.

I had a brief call for work around 7:00, and handled that while Bud headed back down for dinner. He apparently ate a lot. He was clearly a bit tired, though, and Buster had only had a short nap, so we did the snack and bedtime routine a little early. Bud and I played another game of Xiangqi using questionable rules before bed, and then downloaded a version of the game onto my iPad, where I started to learn the rules a little bit better. Bud also expressed an interest in Chess, so I'll have to pick up a set sometime.

Monday, October 03, 2011

Football Practice

The kids were up around 7:30, and Bud was good about getting ready. Buster wanted a few more minutes in bed, but was pretty good about getting ready after that. He was just finishing up breakfast when I took Bud off to school. M-lady loaded Buster up and took him to school a few minutes later.

The kids apparently had a good day at home. It was raining a bit in the afternoon, and traffic was bad, so I was home a little bit late. We said goodbye to Nanny J, and I got a small snack with the kids. We all played together a bit, and watched a bit of MNF. Bud was interested in 'practicing' football. I hold the (soft) ball, have him run a route, and throw the ball to him. He really enjoys it. We played that for a bit, and Bud was just getting ready to start piano practice when M-lady arrived home.

Bud did most of his piano, and then did his homework before dinner. The kids ate pretty well, and I made an effort to get Buster right into bed after dinner, as he hadn't had a nap during the day. Bud finished up his piano while I was doing the bedtime routine with Buster.

I was able to get Buster into bed and the lights out just after 8:00, and he fell asleep in a few minutes. Hopefully the earlier bedtime will help alleviate some of the slightly grumpy mornings.

Sunday, October 02, 2011

The Popcorn Store

M-lady got up with the kids this morning, which was nice. I was able to sleep in a bit. Buster came and sat in bed with us for a while, and then M-lady got up and got them some breakfast. Bud was practicing piano and the kids were dressed by the time I got up.

M-lady headed out to work a short time later to finish up a presentation. The kids and I played together for a bit, and then spent some time on the computer. I showed Bud how to use a text editor, since he's been having fun writing, and he enjoyed tapping out some lines. Buster joined him before too long, and they looked at Google Earth together for a bit.

We had lunch a short time later, and after both kids were fed we headed outside. The kids played while I cleaned up the inside of the car and my bike from the ride I did yesterday. They had fun playing in the car while I got their car seats put back in as well. When I'd gotten everything squared away, we loaded up and headed to the car wash. We went to the slightly farther away one, which has free popcorn and lemonade. Buster spent most of the time with his hands covering his ears, but did enjoy the popcorn and lemonade.

We came home indirectly, and the kids had a good time playing Lego Pirates when we got home. Buster eventually dozed off on the couch, and Bud was running around a bit when M-lady arrived home and we formed a dinner strategy. I headed out to pick something up.

Buster was up when I got back, and we all had a solid dinner together. While we were eating, we caught up on the day. Buster told M-lady that we went to the popcorn store (where they also happened to wash the car).

After dinner, the kids played for a short time before snack time rolled around. The kids had a good snack, and we did a pretty standard bedtime routine. Bud wanted to play Chinese Chess with him (Xiangqi), but I hadn't played before. He explained the rules to me, and added more as we went along. I need to look up how to play the game for our next match.

We read a bit, and then turned out the light a bit before 9:00. Buster was up briefly a short time later, but went to sleep on his own without much delay.

Saturday, October 01, 2011

WallBall Practice

I left early this morning for a bike ride, getting out of the house well before 4:00am. The ride ended up being loooooong, and I didn't get home until about 9:30. So the kids were with M-lady all day.

The kids got up a little late, and the family had waffles together. Bud did his piano practice before they packed up to run some errands.

M-lady reports that the kids were fantastic during the errands. They managed to pick up some art and composition pads for the kids, and also hit Toys 'R Us to get a playground ball for Bud so he can practice a popular game they play at recess at school called 'WallBall'. Bud apparently has been sitting out games (as have a number of his friends) because he's not good enough yet.

The family had lunch at Johnny Rocket's, where the kids ate reasonably well and got the treat of having strawberry shakes. This apparently made them cold.

They headed to the school playground in the afternoon, so Bud could practice playing WallBall. There were a couple other kids there as well, and they played some rounds together. Buster had a great time on the playground equipment, showing very developed risk assessment skills.

They came home after a bit, and M-lady made some dinner for the kids. Buster fell asleep for a nap just as M-lady finished making dinner. He slept for almost two hours before he woke to have some dinner, shower and get ready for bed.

When I arrived home at 9:30, Buster actually opened the door to greet me. He had heard the garage door open, and M-lady said it was OK to come say Hello. I sent him back upstairs, and he had crawled back in bed when I got up there. M-lady and I sat with him for a bit before he fell asleep.

Thanks so much to M-lady for watching the kids all day while I did the ride!