Saturday, December 31, 2011

Last Day of 2011

Bud was up around 7:30, reading some of his Christmas books, and Buster crawled into bed with us shortly after 8:00. After he'd snuggled for a few minutes, he ran off to play with his Lego in his room.

Around 8:30, I rolled out of bed and got started on breakfast for everyone. We all ate together a little later, and after breakfast had a pretty mellow morning playing together. Bud did a great job on his piano practice, too. We had a fairly early lunch, and after eating got started on writing thank you notes. Bud was a machine, and wrote and illustrated all his letters in a single sitting. Buster was a little harder to convince, but he put a 'C' on most of the letters.

We played more in the afternoon, and Aunt K ran out to do some quick errands. When she got back, she and the kids and I loaded up in the car and headed out to a yarn store, where we picked out some yarn for a new knitting project for Aunt K. It was a fun trip, and the kids were well behaved in the store. They were impressed with the yarn ball winder as well.

Bud played with Aunt K for a bit outside when we arrived home, and I played Lego with Buster. We headed out to an early dinner, and the kids ate really well. When we got home again, the kids opened some late Christmas gifts from Aunt K, and Bud ended up playing with Jenga blocks for most of the rest of the evening. Buster and I played a little bit of Lego Pirates before snack and bedtime.

Hanging with Aunt K

The kids were up this morning around 8:00, and I got them some breakfast. I headed back to bed when they were fed, and M-lady got up for a brief time to get Buster out of his PJs. She came back to bed when he was dressed. Buster played in his room for a bit, while Bud played downstairs with Aunt K.

Around 11:30, I took Aunt K and the kids to the mall. M-lady was still recovering from her cold, and opted to stay home and nap. We had a good lunch, and then did some quick shopping. The kids were excited to visit the Lego store again, even though I made it clear we weren't going to purchase anything.

We got home around 2:30, and the kids played outside for a bit. Buster came in first, and went back to playing with Lego while I spent some time picking oranges from the roof of our house. I took some time afterward to play outside with Bud and play Legos with Buster as well.

Aunt K headed out in the late afternoon to run some errands, and the kids and I played some Lego Harry Potter. When Aunt K returned, we had a quick dinner, and I got the kids bathed. That took us just about to snack and bedtime, which went pretty smoothly. M-lady was feeling well enough to help put Buster to bed, which I think he enjoyed.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Hug, Hug, Squish, Squish

I had to head off to work today, but I decided to bike in. Bud got up and had some breakfast with Aunt K, and Buster slept in until about 8:30. The cleaners arrived a short time later, and I headed out on the road around 9:00 after getting things generally picked up.

They apparently had a pretty mellow morning, and then M-lady got up to help out with lunch and get Bud through his piano practice. That tired her out a bit, so she retired to bed again for a while. Buster joined her, and they played on iPads together for a bit.

The kids played outside with Aunt K for a while in the later afternoon. I arrived home around 5:00, and found Bud playing a dice game (involving math) with Aunt K, and Buster laughing over photos with M-lady. They were looking at photos of Buster and his new stuffed octopus, and seeing the progressive compression of the plush toy in the photos made Buster repeatedly giggle.

I got some dinner together in fairly short order, and we ate pretty well. After dinner, I played with Buster a little bit, and we headed for bed on the early side as Bud watched the end of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone with Aunt K. Buster was in bed before 8:30, and fell asleep pretty quickly. Bud was in bed short time later, and fell asleep on his own.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Happy Birthday, M-lady

The kids were up around 8:00 this morning, and Aunt K came up to see them around the same time. I rolled out of bed and headed off to Home Depot for a quick errand while M-lady and Aunt K got breakfast for the kids. When I got back, they were dressed and eating.

I did some chores around the house while the kids and Aunt K played a little bit. M-lady was still feeling a bit under the weather, so she rested. At about 9:30 the kids and I wrapped M-lady's birthday presents, loaded them into bags, and at about 10:00 we all loaded up and headed over to Aunt O + Uncle C's place, where Ama and Agu were staying.

Cousin C and the boys had a great time playing together today. After lunch (where the kids ate pretty well), we took them out scootering to the nearby elementary school, where they played on the playground for a while. They were able to burn off a little energy there, and after a bit we headed back to the house to have some cake.

The kids were pretty wired, so we cooled off by watching an episode of Kung Fu Panda before loading in the car and heading for home. The kids and Aunt K played outside for a bit after we got home, and I headed out to pick up some dinner before too long.

After everyone had a good dinner, Bud played with Aunt K while Buster and I played a little bit of Lego Harry Potter together. That took us up to about snack time. Buster deferred, and he and I worked on his Lego just a bit before getting into PJs and watching a video. We turned out the lights around 8:30, and he fell asleep pretty quickly.

Bud was put into bed by Aunt K, and he didn't fall asleep until nearly 10:00. It was surprising, given the amount of time he spent running around outside today.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Back to the Mall

The kids were up around 8:00 this morning, and we rolled out of bed a short time later. M-lady was feeling a bit under the weather, so she spent a good portion of the day in bed again. She did get the kids some breakfast and get them dressed while I headed out to start on cleaning the house air filters, though.

By the time I was done, we were all set to load up and head to the mall. M-lady brought the returns with her, and was moderately successful. The kids petitioned to hit the Lego store, but we agreed that we weren't buying anything: just looking. We had a very early lunch at the mall, and then hit a Sears on the way home.

I did more work outside when we got home, and the kids played outside for a bit. They had a good time running around and whacking at each other with sticks. Eventually, Bud had an unfortunate fall in the gutter, and had to go in to change clothes and clean up. We decided it was time for all of us to head in.

We had a snack, and hung out for a little while before Bud did his piano practice. We started dinner a short time after that. Buster got a bit grumpy, and declined dinner. After we'd finished up, he eventually lightened up, and I got him some dinner around 6:00. I managed to get both kids bathed after dinner, and they were in PJs by about 7:00.

I ran out around that time to do a quick shopping run and pick up Aunt K at the airport, who will be visiting for a few days. M-lady got the kids in bed, and Buster was asleep at least when we got back. Bud was still up, but wasn't quite up to saying hello to Aunt K. I'm sure both kids will be excited to see her in the morning, though.

Monday, December 26, 2011


I got up around 7:30 today, to run a quick errand. Bud was up a bit before me, and was working on his Lego when I got up. Buster joined us in bed a few minutes before I rolled out.

My appointment kept me away until about 9:30. When I got back, Bud was practicing his piano with M-lady. After he was done, we spent most of the rest of the morning just hanging out together. We had lunch fairly early, and after lunch I played some Lego Harry Potter with the kids. M-lady was feeling a little under the weather today, so spent a good portion of the day in bed. She napped for a chunk of the afternoon.

After I turned off the video game, Buster protested, and eventually fell asleep on the floor in the playroom. He napped for a couple of hours as well. Meanwhile, I played outside with Bud for a while so we could get some fresh air. We tossed a football around a bit, and I spent a bit of time breaking down boxes for recycling. It was pretty chilly outside, though, and we headed in around 5:00.

Buster was up by that point, and both kids came with me to pick up some dinner. We all ate together, and then built some Lego and generally hung out a bit more before snack and bed time. M-lady was good about getting the kids ready for bed, and I watched a video with Buster before tucking him in for the night. Overall it was a very relaxing day, without an agenda. Looking forward to a few more mellow days this week as well.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Happy Holidays

Bud woke this morning around 6:45. We let him know that we wouldn't be opening stockings until about 7:30. I think we mis-conveyed the message, because he was back every 5 minutes or so to let us know how long we had until it was time to open the stockings. Consequently, there wasn't a lot of sleep after that point.

Buster woke up a short time before 7:30, and snuggled in bed with us for a few minutes before we all headed downstairs to open stockings. The kids were excited by their haul, and we'd given them a couple of little Lego sets to keep them occupied until the main event. They also received an assortment of Harry Potter stuff, including some Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans. Bud ate a dirt-flavored bean.

A first breakfast followed shortly, and after some stalling, we got a video call going with Granddad B. Unfortunately, Grandma Nese was off visiting her family, but we got to say Hi to Granddad B, and we opened gifts on camera. The kids were pretty excited about their gifts, and were good about saying thank yous pretty much all day.

After the call with Granddad B, we got a video call going with Grandma W and Granddad B, and chatted and did the gift opening with that family. Again the kids were gracious, if more excited about opening presents than saying Hello.

After the call with them, we had our second breakfast, where both kids ate well again. We opened a couple of smaller items to keep the kids content for a few minutes, and then Aunt O, Uncle C, and Cousin C arrived and we got on with the main event.

Everyone seemed satisfied with the event, and we spent some time cleaning up afterward as the kids explored their new toys. Around 2:00 we were able to sit down to dinner, and everyone ate well. After the meal, Aunt O, Uncle C, and Cousin C took off for home, and Ama and Agu followed them over to their house a short time later.

The later afternoon and evening were spent playing with Lego, reading, and having a quick dinner around 7:00. We got the kids bathed after dinner, and then the kids and I played with the new Lego Harry Potter Xbox game for a short time before bedtime. The kids were a little reluctant to head to bed, but fell asleep quickly after a long day.

Thursday, December 22, 2011


We were able to send the kids downstairs to get some breakfast with the grandparents, so the kids didn't invade our bed quite as vigorously as usual. I rolled out of bed shortly after 9:00, and joined the kids and Agu as they were opening up their Lego advent calendar item. Buster assembled his A-wing all by himself today!

After Bud finished up his piano practice, Agu bestowed upon the kids some wands he'd build himself. They were immediately put to use, and the kids were casting spells at each other and innocent bystanders all day. A bit later in the morning Buster headed off to a TKD class with Ama and M-lady, and Bud stayed home to play with Agu and invent new spells.

I headed out to work briefly for a lunch with the team, and got home mid-afternoon. I played with the kids for a short time when I got back, and we fed the kids snacks. In particular, Bud has been constantly hungry for the past few days.

Around 3:30, we headed out to a local Winter Wonderland festival, where we arrived at the same time as Aunt O, Uncle C, and Cousin C, around the time the gates were opening. It was still light out, so the lanterns weren't lit, and we took the opportunity to eat an early dinner. Bud ate a huge piece of pizza, and was hungry again about 10 minutes later.

We had fun wandering around, and Buster and I did a big slide, which he loved. He was excited that he was tall enough to ride it with me, and excited about the slide itself. He had no problems with the altitude we climbed to before starting a fairly rapid descent, and finished with a big grin on his face. Bud seemed mostly excited about the food, and we had some mini donuts as a treat.

We headed home around 6:00, and had a light dinner (except for Bud). I lit a fire in the fireplace for the first time in a while, and the kids thought that was pretty cool. The kids got showered before bedtime, and I played a game of Tower Madness with Buster before we turned out the light. Buster fell asleep pretty quickly.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Building Excitement

M-lady had a couple of calls early this morning, and the kids were up as well. I rose a bit after 8:00 to distract Buster, and rolled around on the floor with him for a bit. Eventually we got dressed and headed downstairs to get some breakfast. M-lady ran out for a quick Target strike while we were still getting ourselves going.

We spent a good portion of the day playing Arkham Horror, Lego Indiana Jones, and Tower Madness. Along with piano practice, that pretty much took us up to lunchtime, where we all ate pretty well. Buster asked for a hot dog, and then just ate the bun, but other than that, the meal went well.

After lunch, I ran out for a quick bike ride. It was a bit chilly, but otherwise pleasant. When I got back, M-lady was just packing up to take Bud to a playdate with Friend D. They apparently had a great time together, and then Friend D's mom took them both to TKD together.

M-lady stopped at the library on the way home, so I played with Buster for a bit while we waited for her to return. She got back just a few minutes before Ama and Agu arrived. Buster was absorbed in Lego Indiana Jones, but was willing to say hello.

I ran out for a quick errand, and returned around dinner time. Bud arrived home a short time later, and we had a nice dinner. After dinner, Buster went and turned on the Xbox and TV by himself for the first time. I went ahead and unplugged the Xbox, so hopefully it will take a few weeks for him to figure that out.

The whole family watched a few Christmas specials together before having a snack and starting the bedtime routine. The kids were pretty good about getting ready for bed, and Bud and I turned out the light a little before 9:00. Bud fell asleep pretty quickly.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

New Student

The kids were up early again this morning, and I got them some breakfast before 8:00. I headed back to bed after they were fed, and M-lady got up with them a short time later. Bud did his piano practice before I rolled out of bed around 9:30. By the time I headed downstairs around 10:00, the family was having a second breakfast.

We had a pretty mellow morning. I had a couple of calls for work I took throughout the day, so had to remove myself occasionally, but otherwise things went smoothly. Bud and I played a little bit of Arkham Horror during the day, and Buster played a little bit of Lego Star Wars. We had lunch around noon, and M-lady headed out for a hair cut a short time later.

Around 2:30, M-lady had returned and the kids were ready to go to TKD. M-lady took them while I was on a call, so I didn't get to go with them. Bud received his senior orange belt today, and Buster started classes. He was really excited to join the class, and apparently did very well. Both kids came home excited and proud: Bud showing off his new belt, and Buster showing off his new uniform (with the sleeves and legs rolled up a bit).

The late afternoon was a bit more of the same, with some gaming, and another call for work. I joined the family for dinner after my call, and everyone ate pretty well. After dinner, I had a nice chat with Grandma Wendy, and played a little bit more with Bud before we got started on showers.

The rest of the evening was pretty straightforward, with PJs, snacks, and bedtime. I played a little bit of Tower Madness with Buster before bed, which seems to be the new fad for the family. Buster passed out a few minutes after turning out the light: I think TKD will be a good way for him to expend excess energy.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Successful Backup Care

M-lady had some early meetings, but we didn't have a hard time line in the morning for getting ready. The kids jumped in bed with me while M-lady was on the phone, and then M-lady came back before we all started getting up and moving around 8:30.

We managed to roll out of the house a bit after 9:00, after getting everyone dressed and fed. M-lady and I took the kids to Cisco Day Care for the day, where Bud went to Science Camp and Buster did standard backup care. The kids were OK with the whole thing, and Buster was pretty excited. Bud was a little nervous, but more interested when he saw all the kids playing at the foosball table when we arrived.

M-lady and I took care of various businessy things during the day, and got back to pick up the kids around 4:00. They both seem to have had good days. Bud was a little hesitant to go, since he wanted to finish the book he was reading. Both kids were happy to see us, though.

We picked up pearl milk tea on the way home, and had them as a treat before dinner. Bud got a bit grumpy after dinner when asked to play his piano, and had a bit of a meltdown. He later came down and helped M-lady in cleaning up the kitchen, though. Buster and I watched a little bit of TV, and I got some dinner for the kids around 7:00.

Bud had played with some green plasticine during the day, and played with it more in the evening. He ended up getting it stuck all over his hands and under his fingernails, so we spent a good amount of time in the evening trying to get his hands clean.

Snack time arrived directly, and snack time led to bed time. I helped get Buster into PJs, then played some Tower Madness with Bud before turning out the light around 9:00.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Serious Board Gaming

Bud rolled in around 7:00, and M-lady got him set up with some breakfast. Buster came in a bit later, and M-lady watched the kids for a bit, letting me sleep until about 9:00. Bud was actually done with piano around the time I got up.

Bud got dressed, and both kids did their advent calendar. M-lady headed out to ballet class around the same time. The kids and I played a little bit, and hung out together. Bud has been hounding me to play Arkham Horror, a board game I've had sitting on the shelf for a while, for a few days now, so he and I spent most of our free time in the morning reading more of the Arkham Horror game rules. Buster played various games nearby.

We had lunch around the time M-lady arrived home, and after lunch I headed out with Buster to the grocery store while Bud headed off with M-lady to the post office. We both got home mid-afternoon. I managed to have a nice video chat with Granddad B and Grandma Nese, and Bud interacted with them a bit.

By late afternoon Bud and I were ready to start playing our first game of Arkham Horror. Bud was anxious to keep the play moving, but it was slow for the first game as we figured out the rules. He never got particularly upset, and we both had a pretty good time playing the game.

Buster spent a good amount of time in the afternoon playing Lego Star Wars while Bud and I were occupied, and M-lady was kind enough to make dinner. Buster and I took a break to eat, and then played a bit more, wrapping up the game shortly after 7:00. We won, but it may have been due to several rule modifiers I missed as we went along.

The kids and I showered and snacked, and did a quick bedtime routine. The kids were good about going to bed, and Buster fell asleep a few minutes after the light went out. Bud was up for a couple minutes longer, but was asleep around 9:00.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Big Tree Party

Bud was up pretty early this morning, jumping on the bed and asking for breakfast. I got up and got him started, and got him everything he needed to get seconds for himself, which he did. I was also hoping he'd get breakfast for his brother, but I forgot to leave out a plate and cup.

M-lady headed off to run a quick errand and do ballet class, and the kids and I spent the morning hanging out together. We did a little bit of online Christmas shopping for M-lady, played on the iPad, and watched the Claymation Christmas special. The kids liked 'Here we come a-waffling'.

M-lady returned before lunchtime, and I headed outside with the kids to start harvesting our clementine tree. Bud helped, and climbed up the ladder to pick some fruit. Buster spent the time outside riding his trike and scooter. We got some fresh air, and headed back inside with three full bags to have some lunch.

The kids ate a pretty good lunch, and I had a quick nap in the mid-afternoon. Bud spent a good portion of the day checking out a game I've had on the shelf for a while, but haven't had opportunity to play yet: Arkham Horror. Bud's really anxious to try playing it with me, though. We didn't get to it today, but I expect we'll try a game tomorrow.

Buster took a nap in the mid-afternoon as well, and we rousted him a bit after 5:00. After he was done with being groggy, we loaded everyone up and headed out to a Holiday party at a friend's house. They had a huge, 12-foot tall Christmas tree, which the kids thought was pretty cool.

Bud and I spent a little bit of time during the party petting the dog, since Bud doesn't come in contact with them too much. The kids ate a bit, although we really didn't have a proper dinner. Bud and I also spent some time playing 'I Spy' with the ornaments on the tree.

We headed home, and both the kids skipped snack. Buster and M-lady played on the iPad together for a bit, and Bud and I set up the board for Arkham Horror. Bud and I actually read some of the rules together for a bedtime story (at his request). Both kids fell asleep pretty quickly.

TKD Test

M-lady got the kids ready for school today, and I had a meeting I had to head in for a bit early. I said goodbye to the kids as they were getting ready, around 7:45. M-lady did a great job of getting both kids to school on time.

M-lady headed over to Bud's classroom mid-morning to help out with their holiday party. Apparently the kids had a good time. M-lady headed to work after helping out in class for a bit.

M-lady got home from work a little before 5:00, a few minutes before I arrived home. She got Bud to get into his TKD uniform, so he was ready to go when I got home. We loaded up and headed off to his TKD test.

We arrived about 20 minutes early, and the school was packed. When the yellow belts were finished, we headed into the studio. Bud did a great job with the test, and executed all his skills with competence. We headed home when he was done, arriving around 7:00.

M-lady and Buster had headed out to pick up sushi for dinner, and had eaten before we got home. Bud and I had a solid meal together, and then started getting ready for bed. Bud did have a bit of a lump on his foot from his board break (where he'd accidentally kicked the instructor's hand rather than the board), so we iced that while reading a story. We turned the light out around 8:45, and the kids went to sleep without incident.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Practical Angry Birds

I got Bud out of bed around 7:30, and we had a pretty quiet morning. M-lady was on a call, and Buster didn't wake up before Bud and I headed off to school.

Nanny J had a doctor's appointment this morning, so M-lady stayed home with Buster. They apparently had a pretty good time. Nanny J arrived around lunchtime, and M-lady headed off to work.

The kids had a good day. I arrived home around 5:45, and the kids greeted me as I came in the door. We said goodbye to Nanny J, had a quick, small snack, and Bud did his really small amount of homework. Bud was pretty hungry, so he had (the first part of) his dinner, and I ate with him. Buster deferred.

When Bud was done, the kids and I played a little bit of Lego Pirates before Bud got started on his piano practice and Buster had a few bites to eat with M-lady. While Bud was working on piano, I pulled out my guitar, which is sitting in the living room now, and played along with him a little bit. I don't have the chord changes yet, but I can pick out the melodies of the songs he's working on with him, which seems to be fun for everyone.

The kids played with the guitar a little bit as well, and there was also a brief intermission for playing practical Angry Birds. That is, Buster pulled out his stuffed Angry Bird and Pig, and we set up the pig and threw birds at it.

Snack time came up pretty quickly, which M-lady moderated this evening. I got Buster into PJs and did the bedtime routine with him, and we played a little bit on the iPad before turning out the light around 8:30. He fell asleep pretty quickly.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Just a Morning

The morning routine was fairly straightforward. I woke Bud and Buster when I got up, around 7:30, and worked with Buster to get him dressed while Bud got himself ready. Both kids opened their Lego advent calendar, and we headed down for breakfast. We ended up getting out of the house a few minutes late, but not too bad.

We all (M-lady, too!) headed out in the same car this morning. We dropped Bud off first, and then delivered Buster to class. M-lady and I headed to work together after that. M-lady and I headed out to a show directly after work, and didn't get home until after midnight, so we didn't see the kids again during the day.

They apparently were fine. Babysitter G took over for Nanny J around 6:30, and the kids were good for her. We'll catch up with the kids tomorrow morning and see how their day went.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Not So Restful

Bud was up when I got up around 7:30, reading in his bed. Buster was up a few minutes later, and I got him dressed before both kids opened their advent calendar Lego for the day. After the brief construction, they had breakfast and I took Bud off to school.

The kids seem to have had a good day. M-lady got home early to take Bud to his piano lesson, since he'll be testing for his next TKD belt on Friday. I ran an errand on the way home, and arrived a bit after 6:00, finding Bud working on his homework.

When Bud finished up, I headed upstairs to lie down for a few minutes. The whole family followed me to bed, where the kids squirmed for a bit. I did manage to doze off for a few minutes, but I took a couple kicks to the ribs. After about 20 minutes, I got up and started on dinner.

The kids eventually ate, and had a reasonable dinner. Snack time came up quickly, and I got Buster undressed, but couldn't convince him to get PJs on. M-lady took care of that while I played a game with Bud before turning out the light.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Another Tooth Down

Buster was up early this morning, crawling into bed with us at about 7:00. He tried to wake us up, and even went so far as to turn on the room lights. We convinced him to lay quietly with us until about 7:30.

The kids were good about getting ready, and enjoyed another day of the Lego advent calendar before breakfast. I took Bud to school, and walked him to the door of his class, where we arrived just before the bell sounded. I headed on to work after that, as M-lady took Buster to school.

The kids seem to have had a good day. Bud had a field trip to see a show at a nearby community theater: Madeline's Christmas. He apparently really enjoyed the show.

M-lady got home a little early this afternoon, and took Buster to the doctor to have his scalp checked out. Buster has a couple of dry patches of skin on his scalp, which are flaking off with clumps of hair. Turns out it's not anything more than a dry scalp, and the hair isn't coming out at a faster than normal rate. We just need to oil his head up a bit.

I arrived home around 6:00, and Bud excitedly informed me that he'd lost his second tooth, about twenty minutes previous. This is the second tooth, the other center lower one. The adult tooth is already mostly grown in, just behind where the baby tooth was (shark teeth!). It's mate moved forward pretty quickly when the baby tooth fell out, so I expect the same of this one.

Both kids were very well behaved during the evening, although Buster was a little exuberant. Bud was good about doing his homework and piano rehearsal, and we all had a good dinner together. After dinner, I tuned up my guitar, and M-lady played some Christmas carols on the piano while I clumsily tried to follow along on guitar. I need to practice a few chord progressions, but it should be fun to play with both her and Bud.

Buster was getting very tired towards the end of the evening, and skipped his snack. I got him into PJs and ready for bed while Bud was still snacking. Buster actually fell asleep while we were playing a game together, so I tucked him in and turned the light out.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Decorating The Tree

I got up before 7:00 this morning to head out to a bike race. The family was all still sleeping when I left. They apparently had a good morning together, and were all out running a quick errand when I got home a bit before noon. They arrived home as I was getting into the shower.

We had lunch together, and played for a bit before decorating the Christmas tree. The kids had fun opening some new ornaments, and pulling out lots of the old favorites. Buster seemed to be particularly drawn to the Imperial shuttle which played the Imperial March.

We had a good time decorating, though, and ended up with a very pretty tree. In the mid-afternoon, we packed up and headed over to Friend D and Friend A's house for a party. We were there pretty early, and the kids were very well behaved. Bud asked Friend D if he had a chess set, and the two of them sat down and played a game together. I think Bud had a pretty good time.

After cookies, cake, and other snacks, we packed up and headed for home a bit after 5:00. We were just starting up the car with Aunt O, Uncle C, and Cousin C arrived. We waved in passing, and then headed off.

When we got home, I got the kids showered and PJed. After that we had a quick dinner, and I got the kids fairly well situated before heading out to a friend's place for an evening event. M-lady was kind enough to get the kids into bed while I was out. Thanks for watching the kids so much today, M-lady!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Christmas Tree Day

Alas, putting the kids to bed late didn't make them sleep in any later in the morning. They were up pretty early, and jumped in bed with us, where they wriggled and kicked. M-lady got up to help get Buster dressed, and then headed out to run a surgical strike at Target.

While she was out, I got some breakfast for the kids. Bud ate lots. Bud and I got ourselves dressed and ready for the day after that.

When M-lady arrived home, I headed out to get a smog check on my older vehicle. While I was out, Bud practiced his piano with M-lady. When I got back, we snoozed for a little while before getting up and getting some lunch (Bud deferred on lunch, though).

We puttered around for a bit, had a snack, and then headed out to pick out a Christmas tree. The selection process was pretty straightforward, and the kids seemed to have a good time. We got it home, got it out of the net, and got it up in the living room. The new stand and waterer seemed to work pretty well. Bud helped with the process, and Buster spent some time on his scooter outside.

After picking up some dinner and eating together, we put lights on the tree. We all agreed it was beautiful. After that, M-lady and I got ready to go out for the evening, and got the kids prepared for Babysitter G and mostly ready for bed. Babysitter G showed up while the kids were having their snack, and M-lady and I were able to head out. The kids were apparently good for the sitter, and were sleeping soundly when we arrived home.

Friday, December 09, 2011


We had a fairly standard 'Get Ready for School' morning with the kids pretty good about getting ready. They opened their Lego advent calendar for the day after breakfast, which proved to be a fairly complex model. I helped Buster complete his, while Bud has been good about doing his own.

M-lady got home in time to take Bud to his piano lesson. I got stuck behind a traffic accident on the way home, but managed to reroute and avoid the worst of it. I didn't get home until after 6:00, though. When I arrived home, I discovered that the Christmas tree stand I had ordered had arrived, which meant we could get a tree over the weekend. The kids and I had a good time assembling the stand and wrestling a bit before settling in front of the TV.

We ate dinner very late (around 7:45), after watching the TV show. Dinner was followed immediately by a couple of cookies, and bedtime. I played with Buster and his Lego for a while, did a quick video game, and we turned out the light just after 9:00, with the hope that he'd sleep in just a bit in the morning.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Save The Sheep

Bud got up early this morning, and wasn't in his bed when I went to wake him up at about 7:30. I found him downstairs, finishing up Buster's Lego set for him. I'm still not entirely certain how much he was motivated by wanting to help Buster and how much by wanting to build the set himself.

In any case, he was good about getting ready for school this morning. Buster was up before we left, and was hanging out with M-lady when Bud and I headed out to school.

The kids seem to have had a good day again. Bud greeted me when I arrived home, informing me that he's been deemed ready to test for his next belt in TKD. He's pretty excited about becoming a senior orange belt.

I had a call to make, and Buster entertained himself with the iPad for a bit while Bud played with Lego. Both kids have been playing a game called 'Tower Madness', which is a tower defense game where you try to protect your sheep from alien invaders. Bud's gotten into the game seriously, and Buster just likes saving the sheep.

M-lady arrived home before too long, and we fell back into our usual evening routine. Bud did his homework and practiced piano, and we all had dinner together around 7:00.

After dinner, the kids and I played some Lego Pirates together. As snack time approached, the kids had a disagreement and Bud had a bit of a meltdown. We ended up skipping snack time altogether. M-lady got Buster ready for bed, and Bud get himself tucked in.

Bud came around in time to play a little more Tower Madness with me before we turned out the light around 8:45.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Point Reward Day

M-lady had another early morning, so I got the kids up and going this morning. They were both pretty quick about getting ready, as they were eager to check out the latest Lego mini-model in their advent calendars, which they played with after breakfast. Due to a series of small setbacks, we didn't get out the door until about 5 minutes after I wanted to leave, and consequently Buster was a few minutes late to class, but overall it was a successful morning.

The kids seem to have had a good day. M-lady got home in time to relieve Nanny J, and I arrived about half an hour later. We got Bud started on his homework, and tried to contain Buster, who was particularly wired this evening. After wrapping up homework, Bud got onto his piano practice.

We all had some dinner together, and the kids ate pretty well. After dinner, Bud finished up piano. I encouraged him along, because he'd earned enough house points to get the prize he'd selected, which had been delivered from Amazon earlier that afternoon.

When Bud had satisfactorily completed his piano practice, we broke out the prize. He'd selected a Harry Potter 'Wizard Chess' chess set, and he and I got set up to play a game. I'd picked up a small Lego Ninjago set for Buster as well, so he wouldn't be left out. Both kids seemed thrilled with the awards, and we had a good time playing until bedtime.

The kids had a quick snack, and then I got Buster into PJs and did the bedtime routine with him. Again, he fell asleep pretty quickly after turning out the light.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Smooth Evening

M-lady and I rolled out of bed around 7:30, and I rousted Bud a short time later. M-lady had to leave a bit early for work, so I got Bud some breakfast. Buster woke a few minutes after 8:00, and the kids had just a few minutes to open their advent calendar Lego before Nanny J arrived around 8:15 and I took Bud to school.

The kids had a good day. I got home around 5:45, and we said goodbye to Nanny J. M-lady had an event with co-workers, so it was just me and the kids. After playing together for a bit, we all had some dinner together, and the kids were well behaved and both ate well. After a pleasant meal, Bud worked on his homework, and then practiced piano (with a couple of breaks for games on the iPad).

Once Bud had finished up his piano, the kids and I played Star Wars Lego on the Xbox for a bit. That took us right up to snack time. Buster threatened to be a little upset when we turned off the TV, but was mollified by having a cookie at snack time.

After snacking, we headed upstairs, where the kids were good about getting ready for bed. Once pajamafied, we all read a Where's Waldo? book together, and then I tucked the kids in. Buster fell asleep on his own a few minutes after the lights went out. Bud was still up when M-lady arrived home around 9:00, and requested that she come up and say goodnight. He was asleep a short time later.

Monday, December 05, 2011

Monday Monday

We had a fairly usual morning, with Bud up before M-lady and me, and a little more work rolling Buster out of bed. We got him up eventually, though, and the kids were eating breakfast before 8:00. They got ready fairly quickly, and had about 5 minutes to open and play with the Lego for today from their Advent Calendars before we packed up and headed to school. I took Buster to class, while M-lady took Bud.

The kids seem to have had a good day. I arrived home at a bit after 5:45, and found Bud naked, about to get into the shower. Buster had already had a bath. After Bud bathed, we watched a few minutes of TV before M-lady arrived home and Bud got started on homework and piano.

We all had a good dinner together, and afterward the kids and I played a bit of Lego Pirates together before snack time rolled around. Buster had a little bit of a meltdown when we turned the game off, though, and missed snack time. M-lady got him giggling again, got him into PJs, and did the bedtime routine with him while I played chess and a tower defense game with Bud on the iPad before bed.

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Another Solid Performace

Buster come into the room pretty early this morning, and curled up between M-lady and me. I got up a short time later, around 7:00, to get ready for a bike race. I found Bud up reading, and Buster was heading downstairs, looking for some breakfast, just as I was heading out the door.

I got back around lunchtime. M-lady reported that the kids had a large breakfast, and they'd all done some charitable giving online together for some of the local school systems. Bud was having some lunch when I arrived, but Buster deferred on lunch. I had some food myself, took a shower, and hung out with the kids a bit.

M-lady headed out to run an errand, and Buster and I lounged in his room while Bud was reading in his. After a quiet half-hour, we got up and got snacks. I tried to steer Buster towards more of a lunchy snack. After eating, the kids got ready to head out, and we loaded up in the car as soon as M-lady arrived home.

We headed over to a local senior care home for Bud's piano recital. It was a longish recital, and Bud performed in the middle. Bud banged out his pieces without errors, and did a really good job. Buster fell asleep in M-lady's lap during the recital, and woke as I strapped him into his carseat for the return home.

The kids ran around a bit when we got home, and we got started on dinner before too long. M-lady made a nice meal, and the kids ate well. While M-lady was preparing dinner, I made chocolate chip cookie dough, and started baking the cookies after dinner. A bit after 7:00 we all sat down and had cookies for snack/dessert together.

I got the kids showered, and Bud used adult shampoo for the first time. We'll see if it makes his hair any easier to comb. The kids got into PJs, and I played a game and read a story with Buster a short time later. We turned out the light pretty early, just a few minutes after 8:00.

Saturday, December 03, 2011

To The Theater

The kids were up fairly early this morning, and I got up to get them some breakfast. I was able to get back to be for a bit, but the kids were anxious for some attention. M-lady headed out about 8:30 for a commando strike on the mall, and I tended the kids for a bit while she was out.

When she got back, Bud worked on his piano a bit, although reluctantly, we I entertained Buster. By the time they wrapped up, it was about time to get lunch going. Both kids ate pretty well.

After lunch, M-lady took Buster out to see a local production of the Nutcracker, mostly to test Buster's theater tolerance. Apparently he did really well, and they had a great time at the show. And we now know that we can purchase 4 tickets for the some of the shows coming through town that we think the kids might like.

While they we it, Bud and I played and worked around the house. We got some chores done outside, and after a quick trip to Home Depot, got the first pass at the Christmas lights up on the house. I let Bud climb the ladder a few times, after discussing ladder safety, which he thought was pretty cool.

I got the rest of the Christmas decorations out of storage shortly after M-lady and Buster returned, and then we headed out to RedRobin for dinner. We had a good meal, and the kids had a good time playing Lego Pirates when we got home. That took us up to snack and bedtime.

Both kids seemed pretty tired, and Bud fell asleep pretty quicky after we played a quick game of chess.