Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Car Seat Graduation

Buster was very reluctant to get up this morning, and almost didn't make it to school. He had a meltdown when I got him dressed, and refused to eat breakfast. Eventually I think M-lady coaxed him into the car, and he informed me later that he ate breakfast in the car... must have brought something along. Bud was great about getting ready, though.

M-lady and I both got home around 5:45, and found the kids had gotten their hair cut during the day. They both looked much tidier. Bud got started on homework and piano, and I got started on making some dinner a short time later.

We had a good dinner, and Bud wrapped up his homework and piano afterward. When he was done, I opened the big Amazon box which had arrived yesterday, and I had told him it was a surprise for him. He was delighted to find that we'd ordered a couple of booster seats, and he's graduated to a backless booster. Buster gets to move up to Bud's old seats now, which is good, because he's nearly out of the Roundabout. Buster was pretty excited to move up a seat size as well.

We played a little bit of Lego Pirates, and then had a quick snack. I cut up a pomegranate, which Bud was very interested in. We took a look at it, and Bud seemed to like it. I'm not convinced that the reward is worth the effort for those things, though.

Bud was good for the bedtime routine, and we played a game before turning out the light a bit after 8:30. Bud fell asleep pretty quickly.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


M-lady was up early this morning for a video call, and the kids were up fairly early as well. I rolled out of bed a bit before 7:30, and found Buster playing in his room and Bud reading in bed. I got Bud moving towards getting dressed, and got myself dressed. Buster waited for M-lady to get him dressed a bit later.

Bud and I did a fairly efficient morning routine, and had a little time to play before packing up and heading for school. It was pretty chilly this morning, but otherwise the dropoff went fine. I headed for work, while M-lady stayed home with Buster, waiting for Nanny J to arrive.

M-lady had dinner with co-workers this evening, and I got home in time to relieve Nanny J. Bud had showered, and Buster was just acquiescing to a bath when I walked in the door. After he was dressed again, we said goodbye to Nanny J and watched a little bit of TV together.

I got dinner together for the kids, but they weren't excited about it. Bud eventually stormed upstairs without touching his dinner. I sat with Buster for a bit, and he eventually decided the broccoli was OK and ate pretty well. Bud never came back down again, though, and had a meltdown when I tried to get him to practice piano. He ended up going to bed early, without eating.

Buster and I enjoyed the remainder of the evening, though, and I got him into PJs and played a little bit of Lego Pirates together before having a snack, a story, and bedtime. He was happy and good all evening, and fell asleep quickly when we turned the lights out around 8:30.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Using Soap

The kids were pretty good about getting ready for school this morning, although Buster was his usual 'sleepyhead' self and required some prodding. I got him dressed and we headed downstairs, where we were joined by Bud for breakfast. The kids were ready to go a little early, which was nice. I took Buster to class, and we headed in when the door opened.

The kids seem to have had a good day. Buster collected some pretty leaves from Bud's school when he and Nanny J went to pick Bud up. Apparently Bud asked Nanny J how her break was when he first saw her, which impressed Nanny J immensely. Buster had a small nap in the afternoon, too.

I got home around 5:45, and found Bud naked, just about to take his shower. Buster and I said goodbye to Nanny J, and I found Bud just getting out of the shower and getting dressed. He hadn't used soap in the shower, though, so I sent him back.

M-lady arrived home, and we got started on dinner pretty early. Bud came down to join us (smelling of soap this time), and we ate shortly after 6:00. Bud had already complete his homework, and had a solid piano practice with M-lady after dinner while I played with Buster a bit.

After Bud finished up piano, the kids and I played a little bit of Lego Pirates before snack and bed. Buster was pretty tired, and Bud was good about getting ready for bed. I read a story and played some games with Bud until we turned the light out, around 8:45.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Recovery Day

The kids were up before 8:00, and Buster jumped in bed with us for a while. M-lady got up with the kids before long, and got them some breakfast. I rolled out of bed around 9:00, and found the kids all set for the day.

After getting myself together and hanging out with Buster a little while Bud did some piano practice, I took the kids to the grocery store to reprovision the house. The kids were overall pretty well behaved, although Bud wants to push the cart now. We were fairly efficient, though, and stopped by Jamba Juice on the way back from the store to pick up some lunch.

We all had lunch together. Afterward, I played with the kids for a bit before heading out to run a few errands. The kids played some Xbox while I was out. I found them still playing when I got back.

I played with the kids a bit more in the afternoon, and Buster and M-lady and I had a nice video chat with Grandma W and Granddad B. Buster showed them O-pus, and was generally cute for them.

Around 4:30 I was able to set up a playdate with RuggerMom for Bud and Cousin H on the Xbox. They had a great time played Lego Star Wars together. We need to try to keep doing that, since they have so much fun playing together. It's too bad there aren't more Lego games that allow network co-op play.

We had dinner after signing off with Cousin H, which the family all enjoyed. After dinner, the kids and I watched some Wallace and Grommit shorts until snack time. The kids had a big snack, and then headed for bed.

Buster was pretty tired, and after we read a story and played a game on the iPad, he fell asleep within three minutes of turning out the light. Hopefully he wakes early again tomorrow, so we can get him off to school and back to the normal routine without too much trouble.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Home Again

We rolled out of bed around 7:00 this morning, around the same time that the kids got up and jumped in bed with us. After sending them off to be dressed and fed by the grandparents, we finished up packing, got some breakfast ourselves, and loaded into the car. We were on the road around 8:30.

The kids were great for the drive again. M-lady and I did a quick driver switch about ninety minutes in, and then stopped for lunch in Gorman another ninety minutes later. The kids were fine, ate lunch, used the bathroom, and we hit the road again.

The next stop was almost three hours later again. The kids watched a couple of movies in the back, had some snacks, and were well behaved the entire time. We stopped at a rest stop to pee and stretch, and then loaded up again, drove for another hour or so before a quick driver switch, and made it home (picking up a pizza for dinner on the way).

We made it home around 5:30, putting total travel time around 9 hours (we hit some traffic on the way). We still did it on one tank of gas, though, which is very convenient. After unloading the car and having some dinner, I played with the kids for about half an hour while M-lady unpacked a bit. We did showers, snacks, and bedtime routine after that.

The kids were pretty tired and fell asleep quickly. They were such good travelers today! Of course, they had movies to watch and iPhones to play with, but they really behaved all day, which was nice. We've had a wonderful vacation, but we're all happy to be home!

There are a few posts before this one that I need to fill out and publish... they'll be coming in the next day or two.

Monday, November 21, 2011

A Lego-y Day

The kids weren't up quite as early this morning, but were still up and hungry before M-lady or I was ready to be up. Ama and Agu got some breakfast for the kids, and they checked on us fairly regularly until we got out of bed a bit after 8:00. The kids played outside on their scooters a little bit around 8:00 as well, but I think it was a little chilly out, even for them.

We got ourselves together and loaded up in the car for an outing. Bud was a little grumpy, but came along as we headed off to Legoland. The drive was smooth, and we arrived a few minutes before the park opened, in time to buy our tickets. Aside from being on the cool side, the weather was gorgeous all day, so we didn't need to bring our rain gear with us.

We wandered around a bit, checking out some of the rides. Bud didn't want to go on any rides, and Buster was too small for most of them. M-lady and Buster did find one ride they liked before we discovered the new exhibit.

Legoland has a 'Mini USA' area, where they've constructed the landmarks and distinctive buildings of a number of cities of the US in 1/20th scale. They've got DC, San Francisco, New York, Las Vegas, and New Orleans, among others. But they had added a diorama for each of the Star Wars movies, and another for the Clone Wars. The detail was spectacular, and we were all thrilled to see all the scenes captured in Lego. My favorite was the Millenium Falcon of Episode 4, constructed from 19,000+ pieces and 143 man-hours, apparently.

We had some lunch and wandered around a bit more. Buster and I stood in line so he could drive a little car around an oval (untracked), which he loved. He did a great job, keeping it in line and not crashing at all. He did concentrate pretty hard in the turns, but smiled and looked around on the straights. We also hit the factory demo, which is one of my favorites, saw some street performances, and viewed some more exhibits before getting a snack.

We did one more mellow ride before hitting the final attraction, the big Lego store by the exit. Both kids picked out some sets, and we headed home. Both kids fell asleep on the drive. When we arrived home, around 4:00, I got started on helping the kids assemble their sets.

We had dinner presently, and Buster deferred. The kids played well together after dinner, until Buster started melting down. M-lady and I managed to calm him down a bit, get him fed, and into the snack and bedtime routine. The kids were pretty tired, and fell asleep fairly quickly.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Long Day Trip

The kids were up around 7:30 this morning, and M-lady was up to get them some breakfast. I rolled out of bed around 8:00, and we got started on packing for the trip. The kids were pretty good about getting dressed, and then keeping themselves entertained.

Bud packed up some books and toys, and the kids spent a good chunk of time running around outside. When it was time to load up the car, a bit before 11:00, the kids helped out. We were all loaded and heading out around 11:00.

We hit a gas station and the grocery store for snacks before really getting underway, so we were on the freeway closer to 11:30. The kids were generally well behaved through the trip, and the kids whiled away the drive by listening to music (mostly Pirates and Harry Potter soundtracks), playing with iPhones and iPads, and in Buster's case, a bit of a nap.

We had dinner a bit north of LA, and the kids got set up to watch Cars 2 for the last leg of the drive. We made it to Ama and Agu's house around 8:00. The kids had a snack and then started getting ready for bed, but were super excited to be at Ama and Agu's house. I managed to calm them down a bit by watching a couple videos with them on the iPad. We turned the light out, and tried to get them to sleep a bit before 9:00.

Bud fell asleep pretty quickly, by about 9:00, but Buster was up a bit later. He eventually dropped off around 10:00ish.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Welcome Home Mommy

The kids were up around the same time I was this morning, and we did a fairly standard morning routine. They were pretty good about getting ready, although Buster required a little prodding, and we were out the door a couple minutes after optimal time. I was able to drop Bud off at school, and got Buster to school just a couple minutes late.

The kids seem to have had a good day. I arrived home around 4:30 to take Bud to his piano lesson. When I got home, Bud immediately asked me why M-lady wasn't home yet. I responded that her plane had landed, and she would probably be home by the time we got back from the lesson. As we were heading out the door, Nanny J delivered holiday presents to the kids: hand-knitted mittens for each, in their favorite colors. Buster apparently wore his the rest of the afternoon.

Bud did pretty well at his lesson, and we headed home afterward. M-lady had indeed arrived in our absence, and Bud was pretty excited to see her. After we said goodbye to Nanny J, the kids went a little berserk.

We finally calmed them down, and got started on dinner. Buster didn't eat much, but Bud did a pretty good job on his meal. After dinner, Bud took a shower (with some coaxing), and I played some Lego Pirates with Buster. At snack time, Buster had one more bite of his dinner before heading for bed. He was pretty excited to have M-lady put him to bed.

I got Bud into bed, and we chatted for a bit before he drifted off around 9:00.

Thursday, November 17, 2011


The kids were pretty good about getting going this morning. Buster woke around the same time I did, and Bud was already up reading. Buster took a little bit of prompting to get dressed, but was ready to go by the time we needed to leave to get Bud to school.

The dropoff went fine, and I brought Buster home to wait for Nanny J. He had breakfast as soon as she arrived, and I headed off to work.

The kids seem to have had a good day. As per the agreement I made with Bud, he did his homework after TKD, and before I got home. As soon as I walked in the door, he got started on his piano practice, and really nailed it. We reviewed his homework together, and he added the twist for the evening: he'd been sent home by the teacher with about 50 pencils for sharpening.

After Bud's homework was squared away, we loaded up and headed off to the mall. Bud had accumulated enough points to earn the Lego set we'd agreed on earlier in the week, a day before I expected him to get it. We had a good time at the mall, and the kids were really well behaved.

We grabbed dinner first, and then proceeded to the Lego store. The kids had picked out the same set, so we purchased two of them and headed back to the car. We were home in time for the kids to assemble the sets before snack time. They really seemed to enjoy themselves, and were both good about putting the Lego away and getting ready for bed when the time rolled around.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Quick Video Chat

Buster wandered in about 7:20 this morning, and wandered out again quickly. I got up around 7:30, just as M-lady called to set up a video chat. The boys were cooperative, and happy to see her. Buster showed her the new toy he's been playing with a bit this week as well. We couldn't chat for long, though, as I had to get the wheels in motion to get the boys dressed, fed, and ready for school.

We ran a few minutes behind schedule, but got out the door without drama. Bud was good about his drop off, and Buster and I arrived at his class in time. I headed off to work after Buster was situated.

I worked a little late this evening, and Nanny J stayed with the kids. I got home around 8:30, and found the kids in PJs and jumping out of bed to say hello. Bud assured me he had been good during the day, and had worked on accumulating points, including doing his homework and practicing piano.

I got the kids tucked in and chatted with each for a couple minutes before they went to sleep. They seem to have had good days. Buster was clearly pretty tired, and dropped off to sleep quickly. Bud was up a little bit longer, and we set up a general plan for tomorrow. He's nearly reached his point goal, so we may be going shopping tomorrow evening if he prepares a little bit before I get home.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Eager to Please

Bud was up before I rolled out of bed around 7:30, and I found him reading in his room. He was good, as usual, about getting ready for school and getting some breakfast. Buster was a bit more reluctant to get up, but sprang up as soon as I reminded him he needed to be good this week to get Lego at the end of the week.

Buster and I took Bud to school, and then headed home to meet Nanny J. Buster had breakfast when she arrived, and I headed off to work.

The kids had a good day. I got home around 5:30, just as bath time was being handled. Bud is pretty much showering himself now, and Nanny J bathed Buster just before she left. Bud was pretty eager to earn points towards his Lego set, and so immediately attacked him homework and piano practice with minimal prodding, doing a good job on both.

We had a relatively early dinner, and Bud ate pretty well, although Buster deferred. With homework and piano out of the way, we were able to watch a bit of TV before snack time, at which point Buster ate enough of his dinner to qualify for a snack. The bedtime routine also went pretty smoothly, and the kids and I watched some old Muppet Show videos on YouTube before bed. We turned the lights out around 8:45, and both kids fell asleep pretty quickly.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Point System

The kids were both up before I was this morning. I rolled out of bed around 7:30, and found Bud reading in bed and Buster playing with Lego. I got them going, although Buster took a little more effort, as usual. We managed to all get dressed and fed and out the door with enough time to get both kids dropped off at school.

The kids seem to have had a good day. I got home around 5:45, and we said goodbye to Nanny J. The kids seemed happy to see me, and Bud was pretty good about getting started on homework.

Neither child was very helpful with dinner ideas, and they both turned down a number of suggestions I thought they'd like. I eventually got something Bud was interested in, and Buster said he wanted the leftover California rolls. Buster just had a nibble before he declared himself done, though.

Bud reluctantly did his piano practice after dinner, and the kids had a little time left over to play some Lego Pirates before snack time. At snack time, Buster agreed to eat his sushi. When my back was turned, he mushed up the rolls with his fingers, and then claimed he'd eaten them all. I eventually got him to eat a bowl of cereal.

During snack time, we discussed implementing a 'house point' system. If Bud fulfills his responsibilities, behaves, and does good things, he'll get points. If he misbehaves, he'll have points taken away. We set some point values for expected tasks and behaviors, and a goal for the end of the week. If he hits the goal, he'll get a Lego set.

I didn't formalize the system with Buster quite so much, but he understands that if he's good this week he'll get a Lego set at the end of the week. Both kids seem pretty excited about the prospect.

The bedtime routine went very smoothly after this talk, and Bud and I chatted more after he was in bed. We talked about the points, and about piano, and about math. He's starting to get the hang of multiplication, and seeing some of the symmetry in the operations. Buster fell asleep quickly, and Bud was asleep by about 9:00.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Hanging With The Boys

I got up this morning about 6:30 to get ready for a bike race, expecting Babysitter G to arrive at about 7:00. A few minutes before 7:00, I checked my phone, and discovered a message saying that Babysitter G was suffering from presumed food poisoning and wouldn't be able to make it. Bud came downstairs to see what I was up to at about the same time.

I got some breakfast for Bud, and waited for my friend I was planning on carpooling with to arrive to let him know that I wouldn't be able to make it to the race. I sent him on when he arrived, and got some clean clothes and breakfast for Buster, who had also wandered downstairs. I was able to get back in bed for a little bit, but the kids needed help with Lego every now and then.

I got up again around 8:30, and watched a little bit of TV with the guys. Overall, we had a pretty mellow morning, which included some TV, some of the Lego Pirates video game, some real Lego, some books, and eventually getting dressed. Around 11:00 we got started on a snack/pre-lunch, since we had some plans for noon.

At about 11:45 we loaded up into the car, and headed out to play miniature golf. We arrived as the place opened an noon, as we had before, and were among the first families on the course. Unfortunately we got stuck behind a really slow family, but the kids were pretty patient, and about halfway through the round they let us play through.

The kids had a great time, and were very well behaved overall. We finished up the round by about 12:45, and headed home after turning in our clubs. Bud was getting pretty hungry, so we had the second half of our lunch when we got home.

We had a nice video chat with Grandma W, and the kids made her a birthday card to show her on the call. Buster was particularly engaged on the call today. Happy Birthday, Grandma W!

After the call, we loaded up in the car again and headed over to Bud's school to play on the playground for a little while. Bud wanted to play some wallball, and Buster brought his tricycle along. I couldn't convince Buster to ride the Strider bike. But's he's gotten fast and agile on the trike, and zipped all around the playground on it while I played with Bud for a bit.

We ended up staying over an hour before we headed for home. The kids continued to play outside for a little while, but the light was failing around 5:00. They came in and I ordered some sushi for dinner, which the kids were excited about. We all picked it up together, and had a nice dinner.

After dinner, Bud did his piano practice, and then we all did some push-ups and sit-ups together. Buster was mostly interested in sitting on my back while I did push-ups, which didn't help all that much, but was immensely entertaining for him. We headed upstairs to shower after that.

The kids and I all showered together, which was a little crowded. Buster slipped and bumped his head at one point, but seemed to get over it pretty quickly. We did end all clean, so the purpose was ultimately served. After getting into PJs, we all played on the computer, watching videos, for a few minutes before heading downstairs for snack time.

Bedtime followed, and the kids were pretty good about getting ready for bed. Buster was clearly pretty exhausted, and fell asleep almost as soon as the lights went out. Bud took a little longer to fall asleep, but dropped off around 9:00. All in all, we had a very fun day together.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Fun Day

The kids were up before I was, and M-lady was up packing fairly early this morning. I rolled myself out of bed around 8:15, and took the kids downstairs to get some breakfast. Both kids were excited about Eggos with syrup, and Bud ate four.

We watched a little bit of the new Kung Fu Panda TV show, which I'd captured on the DVR. The kids were pretty excited about it. We took a break around 10:00, which was about the time that M-lady headed out for a week-long business trip. The kids each gave M-lady a hug, and we said goodbye.
We played a little bit of Lego Pirates of the Caribbean before lunch. Buster was a bit grumpy about heading out to get some lunch, and I discovered that he was running a low-grade fever again. I dosed him with ibuprofen, and we loaded up in the car. The kids got to watch some Wallace and Gromit on the way.

We had a good lunch, and headed back home afterward. I ran inside to pick up the grocery list while the kids stayed glued to the car's DVD player. We all had a pretty good time picking up groceries, and the kids were very well behaved. We headed home, and the kids watched most of the end of the Wallace and Gromit episode while I unloaded the car.

We all played outside for a bit. I vacuumed the car while Buster rode his tricycle around the car, showing remarkable ability to turn the pedals. Bud rode his Strider bike around for a bit, which he is way too big for now. I tried to facility the handing of the bike down to Buster, but neither Buster nor Bud was particularly keen on the idea.

I played with the kids outside for a bit before we all headed in and watched an episode of Sesame Street before dinner. The kids ended up eating well, and after dinner we all had a good time building Lego together. I got the kids into PJs before snack time, and the general snack and bedtime routines went pretty smoothly. Buster wasn't running a fever anymore, so I didn't medicate him before bed. The lights were out around 8:30, and Buster fell asleep withing about 10 minutes. Bud took a little longer to fall asleep, but both kids have slept soundly.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Kid's Day Off

Neither child had school today, due to Veteran's day. That made the morning much easier overall. Both kids were up around 8:00, but didn't have breakfast until Nanny J arrived. Buster had a runny nose this morning, but didn't seem too put out by it.

The kids apparently had a good day. Bud had a playdate with Friend D, which he really enjoyed.

The house was empty when I arrived home at 5:30, which was a bit unusual. Apparently, Buster had opted to go with Bud and M-lady to Bud's piano lesson, so Nanny J had headed home. I was alone in the house until the rest of the family arrived home at about 5:45.

I set up the Cars 2 specials for the kids, which they really seemed to enjoy watching. We ate dinner a short time alter, and both kids ate pretty well. After dinner, we watched a few more specials.

Buster still had a runny nose, and I discovered that he was also running a low-grade fever (just below 100 degrees). I dosed him with some ibuprofen around snack time.

I read a few stories with Bud, and we watched a couple of videos on the iPad before bedtime. The lights were out a bit before 9:00.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Looking Forward to the Weekend

Bud was up early this morning, and crawled into bed with me while M-lady got up for an early meeting. I got out of bed around 7:30, and got Bud going. Buster was up pretty early as well, and had breakfast with us. Bud was ready to go in plenty of time, and I took him to school while Buster hung out with M-lady before Nanny J arrived.

I got home just after 5:45, and found the kids playing wallball in the dining room with Nanny J. She was keeping up pretty well, too. We said goodbye to Nanny J, and the kids jumped on me as I tried to drop my stuff. Bud didn't have homework, since both kids get tomorrow off (and were pretty happy about it).

I got some dinner for myself, but the kids didn't join me as I believe they had a big snack late in the afternoon. After I ate, we played a little bit of Rock Band 3 and watched a little bit of School House Rock! before M-lady got home. At that point, Bud got started on piano practice, and I got dinner for the kids.

Both kids ate well, and enjoyed the cupcakes M-lady brought home from a celebration at work for them. They wolfed down the cupcakes, determined there wasn't any more, and then got started on getting ready for bed. I took a few minutes out to take a call for work, and then read some stories and watched a video with Buster. He was pretty tired, and fell asleep almost immediately after we turned out the light.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

70's TV

The morning routine was fairly usual, with Bud being good about getting dressed and ready, and Buster requiring some prodding. Everyone was ready on time, thought, and I took Bud to school as M-lady loaded up Buster. The drop off went fine, and I headed off to work.

I had another longish day, wrapping at about 6:00. M-lady got home early, though, and was able to hit the library on the way home, since Bud has been chewing through his most recent set of books. Bud had finished his homework and the kids were just wrapping up dinner when I got home around 6:45.

I had some dinner, and then played a little bit of Rock Band 3 with Buster as Bud did his piano practice. Bud wrapped up and joined us, and we watched a bit of the DVD which arrived today: School House Rock!, which I'd already watched a few of with Bud. We were able to watch a couple of segments before snack time.

Bud was good about getting ready for bed, and we read a bit together before watching a couple more SHR segments on YouTube and turning out the light.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Gone for the Day

Both kids got up without much fuss this morning. Buster woke with very interesting hair. M-lady got Buster dressed, and then jumped on a call around 8:00. I got breakfast for the kids, and then took Bud to school.

The drop off went fine, and I headed off to work. I was in a late meeting, and then had dinner with my team, so I didn't see the kids for the rest of the day. M-lady was wonderful and watched the kids for the evening. They apparently had a pretty good time. The kids were sleeping soundly when I got home around 10:00.

I look forward to seeing a bit more of the kids tomorrow.

Monday, November 07, 2011

Squirmy Photo Shoot

Bud was up in plenty of time this morning, and I had to work a bit to get Buster up and dressed. Once he was dressed, he trotted down to breakfast without trouble. Both kids were ready to go in time, and I took Bud to school while M-lady took Buster.

the kids seem to have had a good day. M-lady and I arrived home early, around 2:30, shortly before Nanny J arrived home with Bud. We all loaded up in the minivan and headed out to our photographer's place to have some family portraits taken.

The kids were good on the drive, and overall very good for the photo shoot. Buster was amped, though, and particularly wiggly and squirmy during the shoot. Fortunately, our photographer is awesome, and did a good job of coaching the kids. Bud was great, as usual, and very patient as M-lady and I tried to wrangle with Buster. We even got a couple shots with Nanny J and the boys.

Buster was happy through the whole process, just a bit distracted and over-excited. After shooting in the studio for a bit, we headed over to a nearby park for some location shots. The kids had a good time running around, even though it was starting to get a bit chilly. We didn't spend long, as the sun was going down, but hopefully got some good shots.

We packed up and headed back home, arriving around 5:30. Bud did his homework quickly, and Nanny J helped clean up a bit before taking her leave. Shortly after 6:00 we got started on dinner, and both kids ended up eating reasonably well. After dinner, Bud did his piano practice while I entertained Buster with the iPad.

During snack time, Bud demonstrated counting by threes, which reminded me of School House Rocks. Bud and I watched a couple during bedtime on the iPad on YouTube, including math, grammar, and American history. I then described some of the basic outline of the Revolutionary War to him (at his request) before he fell asleep around 9:00.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Family Movie

I woke fairly early (aided by the time change), and packed up and headed off to a bike race, leaving the house around 7:15. The morning apparently went fairly smoothly for M-lady and the kids, with the kids feasting on waffles for breakfast. After breakfast, Bud did his piano practice, and they all went out to run some errands together. The got lunch at Johnny Rocket's, and both kids ate pretty well.

I was just finishing up my shower when they arrived home, and I helped unload various sundries. The kids played outside for a short time before coming in. After having a bit of a snack and hanging out for a bit, I played a little bit of Lego Pirates with them. Buster got a little grumpy when we eventually turned it off, but was consoled by dinner, which M-lady prepared and the kids and I enjoyed thoroughly.

After dinner, I suggested watching Cars 2 again, and this time was met with enthusiasm. We fired it up, and watched the whole movie together before bedtime. It actually ran just a little late, so snack time was short, but we managed to get the kids in bed without too much trouble. They really enjoyed the movie, and neither child seemed unduly scared by any parts of it.

I read a couple of the Mr. Men books to Buster at bedtime, and he was asleep about thirty seconds after I turned out the light. I think he's still adjusting to the time change. Hopefully he'll be easier to wake up in the morning.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Books and Food

The kids slept in this morning, which was nice. M-lady and I were able to lounge in bed for a few minutes, and M-lady got up before too long to say goodbye to her folks, who were headed over to Aunt O and Uncle C's place. Around 8:30 or so the kids jumped in bed with us, demanding breakfast.

I got up and cooked some eggs, and we had eggs and doughnuts for breakfast, which the kids enjoyed. After breakfast, M-lady headed out to run some errands while I played with the kids. We played with the iPad for a bit before turning on the TV to watch a little bit of Sesame Street.

M-lady arrived home before the show finished, so we turned it off to have some lunch. The kids ate pretty well. After eating, I settled in to watch a little bit of football, and M-lady took the kids out to the library. When they came back, Bud absorbed himself in one of his books for most of the rest of the day.

We loaded up again before too long, and headed over to Aunt O and Uncle C's place to celebrate Aunt O's birthday. Bud continued to read his book for a bit when we arrived, but eventually joined us and played with Cousin C and Buster. Those two played well together for most of the afternoon.

Ama and Agu prepared hot sandwiches (at Bud's request), and Bud ate a huge amount at dinner. After dinner, Aunt O opened presents, including the card that Buster and Bud had put together for her earlier in the day. Bud was ready for cake after that, and ate a big slice. The number of calories he's consuming continues to be impressive.

We packed up and headed home a bit after that, arriving home shortly after 8:00. We put the kids to bed straight away. I read with Bud for a short time, and we turned the light out before 9:00. The kids get an extra hour to sleep tonight, so keeping them up a little late won't hurt.

Friday, November 04, 2011

Loading Up

Bud crawled into bed with us at 7:00 again this morning. Buster was hard to wake again, but we got him going. M-lady took Bud to school, and I took Buster a few minutes late.

The kids seem to have had a good day. M-lady arrived home in time to take Bud to his piano lesson, which apparently went well. I got home around 6:00, and found Ama and Agu making dinner.

We all sat down to dinner together. Both kids ate well, and we promised a little bit of a surprise after dinner. When we were all washed up, we loaded up into the van and went for a drive so Ama and Agu could see the new car. We had a pleasant ride, and Bud enjoyed sitting in his booster seat in the far back. The kids were really excited when we arrived at Krispy Kreme.

Everyone put their doughnut orders in, and I got a dozen. We then sat down to eat our doughnuts, and both kids ate the doughnuts I'd picked out. I was slightly put out, but they really enjoyed the doughnuts.

We headed home again. Bud showered when we got home, and we put the kids in PJs. They'd just had doughnuts, so snack was just a little bit of fruit, and then it was off to bed. I watched some musicals with Bud on the iPad, including Sound of Music (with Julie Andrews), Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (with Dick Van Dyke), and Mary Poppins (with Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke).

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Enjoying the Visit

Bud crawled into bed with us around 7:00 this morning, but was good about getting up and getting dressed when the time came. In fact, he was pretty much ready to go to school about half an hour early. He played with the grandparents a bit while he was waiting.

Buster was up around 8:00, and was immediately ready to get dressed. He was having some breakfast when I took Bud off to school. The drop off went fine, and I headed to work.

The kids seem to have had a good day, and had fun with the grandparents. Bud went to TKD, where Ama reported he did very well. Buster stayed home with Agu, and apparently did take a nap during the day. I got home a bit after 6:00, just as everyone was sitting down to dinner.

Everyone ate well, and Bud got into his homework and piano practice after dinner. I again played some Rock Band and Lego Pirates with Buster before snack time, with Bud joining us for a few minutes right at the end.

The kids had a good snack, and headed upstairs afterward. M-lady pulled out footy pajamas for Buster, and I helped him climb into them. He liked how soft and fuzzy they were. We read a few stories, watched a couple videos, and turned out the light. He fell asleep pretty quickly, and then I went and lay down with Bud, who didn't drop off until a bit after 9:00.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011


The kids jumped in bed with us this morning around 7:00, which was a bit early. We didn't have much trouble getting them going, however, and I was able to load Buster up and get him to school in plenty of time.

The kids seem to have had a good day. We were scheduled to do a photo shoot for a family photo this afternoon, but our photographer is apparently sick, so we rescheduled.

In the late afternoon, Ama and Agu arrived. I got home shortly after they appeared, and the kids were really excited. Bud was showing them how he plays wallball in the dining room, and Buster, who's received a new foam sword, was alternately playing ninja and pirate with his two weapons.

I had been up late the previous night, so I retreated for much of the evening. The kids were loud for most of it. Ama and Agu prepared dinner, which was really nice, and we all sat down together for a bit. After dinner, Bud showed off his piano playing and I played some Xbox with Buster, including breaking out the drum kit (which is usually stored in the guest room) to play Lego Rock Band.

I read a bit, played a game and watched a few videos with Bud before bedtime. We turned the light out pretty early, around 8:15, and he fell asleep pretty quickly.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011


Bud was good about getting up this morning, and Buster got out of bed before 8:00. Both had some cereal for breakfast, and Bud was all set to go to school a bit after 8:00. M-lady was on a call, but Buster was pretty happy playing on his own when I left with Bud. The drop off at school went fine, and I headed off to work.

I got home right at 5:45, and we said goodbye to Nanny J. Bud was bouncing a ball against the wall, and Buster was playing with Lego. I played a little bit of Lego Pirates with them for a bit, and then tried to get Bud started on homework and piano practice. He was resistant, and ended up being a bit sulky for a while. He did finish his homework, though, and we all had some dinner. I had to rush my dinner a little bit as I had a call for work, but I was able to hook up with the family again around snack time.

The kids had solid snacks, and the bedtime routine was just a bit frenetic. Bud had far too much energy. I read a few stories and played a game on the iPad with Buster, and we turned the light out around 8:30. Buster had apparently had a nap today, but he fell asleep in a reasonable amount of time. Bud, on the other hand, was up pretty late, and clambered out of bed a number of times.