Monday, April 30, 2012

Finished Wand

Buster crawled in bed with us around 7:00, and was chipper right up until about the time to get dressed. Then he got sulky for unknown reasons. I concentrated on getting Bud ready for school, and since M-lady had a flexible morning, she humored Buster a bit. He got in to school a bit later, but had recovered and was happy again when heading to school.

The kids seem to have had a good day. M-lady and I arrived home around the same time, and said goodbye to Nanny J. Bud had already done his homework, and we played outside for a short time after his piano practice and before dinner. I took the opportunity to wrap the grip onto Bud's new wand, and glue it in place. We let the glue set while we had dinner.

Both kids ate pretty well. After dinner, Bud played with his new wand, which he was pretty excited about, and Buster played some Lego Pirates on the Xbox. That took us to snack time, and a standard bedtime. Buster and I read stories and played some games, and turned out the light around 8:30.

After Buster was asleep, I finished up his wand, so he'll be able to play with it tomorrow.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Continuing Japanese Theme

The kids were up fairly early again, and both crawled into bed with us to snuggle with M-lady. Buster bailed after a bit, and I got up around 8:30ish to make the kids some breakfast. They were pretty excited about roll-up pancakes, and ate solidly. After breakfast, I was able to crawl in bed for a short while as M-lady got ready to head out to a ballet class.

M-lady rolled out a bit after 9:30, and the kids entertained themselves for a bit. I got out of bed again around 10:00, and helped Buster get dressed after dressing myself. We had a quick second breakfast, and then headed over to Home Depot to pick up stains and supplies for the next step in their home-made wands.

Bud picked out a nice oak stain, and Buster wanted a green color, which we found. I also picked up a satin poly topcoat, which should provide a little extra durability. We headed home with our finds, and arrived a few minutes before M-lady returned home.

When M-lady got back, we packed up and loaded into the car to go to the Cupertino Cherry Blossom Festival. We found a good parking spot, and made it in time to see the second half of an Aikido demonstration, followed by a performance by Stanford Taiko. The kids enjoyed both shows, but were getting hungry and hot by the end, as we were sitting in the sun and it was a warm day. After the show, we wandered over to the fair food and picked up some teriyaki chicken skewers.

Both kids loved the skewers, and ate a lot of chicken. After the chicken, we got Hawaiian shaved ice as a treat, and the kids got to pick their flavors. After cooling off, we wandered a bit, and then headed back to the car to come home.

Bud and I worked on staining the wands, and then we headed inside to clean up. We had nice chats with the grandparents, and Bud did a good job practicing piano. There was a quick nap by M-lady and me, and then I headed out around 6:00 to pick up some dinner. The kids ate well (Buster really packed it in today), and then we did solid showers. I got both kids squeaky clean, and that took us to snack and bed time, which was a fairly standard affair.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Family Movie Night

The kids were up around 7:00, and M-lady got up pretty early to get them some breakfast. I switched places with her around 8:30, and watched a little bit of TV with the kids. We had a very mellow morning, with snoozing and playing with the kids. M-lady did piano practice with Bud around 11:00, while I tried to convince Buster to get dressed. We had some lunch a short time after that.

We rested a bit more after lunch, and then loaded up in the car to run some errands. We had a good time hitting the library, the fruit market, and then the grocery store before coming home and having a snack. The kids had a little bit of time to play outside before we came back in to all watch a movie together and eat a finger-food dinner in front of the TV.

We watched My Neighbor Totoro (inspired in part by my recent travels in Japan, and the stuffed Catbus I brought back for M-lady), and we all thoroughly enjoyed the show. Bud had seen parts before, but not the whole thing. The kids enjoyed the special dinner (although Buster hasn't master eating and watching at the same time yet), and the popcorn for a snack was an extra treat.

After the movie finished, the kids got ready for bed and we had a quick snack. I played Machinarium with Buster for a bit before we turned out the light around 8:30. He was really tired, and fell asleep quickly.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Another Belt Test

Buster was up early this morning, jumping on the bed before we got up. After M-lady and I were up, I got Bud going, and tried to get Buster dressed. He resisted, so I focused on getting Bud fed and ready for school. M-lady got Buster dressed, and I fed him before taking him to school while M-lady too Bud.

We got to school a few minutes early, and watch the tree trimmers feeding branching into a big wood chipper. Buster thought that was pretty cool. After a few minutes, the door opened, and we headed in.

The kids seem to have had a good day. I got home around 5:00, and loaded Bud up to take him to his next TKD belt test. Buster wanted to come along, and was a bit upset when he didn't get to go. All in all, it was better for him to wait at home, though, since we waited a good hour before Bud tested.

We arrived while the yellow belts were testing, and then filed into the dojang with the orange and green belts. The orange belts went first, so Bud had to wait. Bud did a great job in his test, and probably had the best board break of the class with a very solid sliding side kick. His punches and kicks were good, and his forms were solid, too.

After his test, we headed for home, but it was already about 7:40 when we arrived. M-lady and Buster had picked up sushi for dinner, so Bud and I ate well. After eating and snack, the kids got ready for bed. I played on the iPad with Bud for a bit before we turned out the light around 8:40.

Thursday, April 26, 2012


We did a fairly usual morning. Bud was up early, excited about his field trip. I rolled out of bed and got him some breakfast after he'd dressed, packed his lunch, and headed off to school with him around 8:15 after putting some sunscreen on him. Buster woke before we left, and joined M-lady on a video call while waiting for Nanny J.

Bud apparently had a great time of his field trip. It was a forest walk, with a lecture from a park ranger and a look at some of the fauna (brought out by the ranger, apparently). He was most taken with the king snake they saw, I think.

Bud had finished his homework by the time I got home, around 5:45. M-lady had just arrived home as well. After saying goodbye to Nanny J, I took the kids to the garage where we started fashioning wands for them. Bud worked on his own, and I worked on Buster's for him. We selected pieces of dowel, cut them to length, and then started sanding them to shape. I'd like to get Bud started on making, and this seems to be something he's willing to work on. We'll shape, decorate, stain, and put handles on the wands, so they should be pretty cool when we're done. After a bit, we headed inside for dinner.

Bud ate pretty well, but Buster skipped dinner and snack this evening. I played a little bit of Xbox with Buster while Bud did his piano practice. M-lady had a snack with Bud while I read stories and played a little Machinarium with Buster before bed.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


I was out for a business trip for the past week and half, and arrived home today. I left last Saturday, on Buster's birthday, at about 10:30 in the morning. It was a bummer to leave on Buster's birthday, but I got to hang out with him a bit in the morning.

The trip took me to Shanghai and Guangzhou for business, and then swung by Japan and Kyoto on the way back to do some touring. I had a great time, but was really happy to be coming home. While I was on the trip I managed a couple of video chats with the family, which was a great way to stay in touch.

I arrived home today at about 1:00, and was greeted by Buster and Nanny J. Buster was really happy to see me, and bounced around me for a while. He eventually headed out with Nanny J to pick up Bud from school and head off to TKD. I stayed awake as long as I could, but fell asleep for a bit between 4:00 and 5:00. During that time, Bud and Buster arrived home, and chatted with me for a bit before letting me snooze a little longer.

I shared photos with the kids and Nanny J, and gave Nanny J the treats I brought back from Japan for her. The kids were excited for treats and gifts, too, which I shared with them and M-lady after we'd said goodbye to Nanny J for the day.

We got started on the normal evening activities, with Bud doing his homework and piano practice, and we all had some dinner together. There was a little bit of time for Buster to play Machinarium before snack time, where we all sampled some of the treats I'd brought from Kyoto.

The kids got ready for bed, and Buster showed me how he can get into PJs all by himself now. I read with Bud a bit before we turned out the light, and chatted with him about my trip and the field trip he had coming up tomorrow.

I'll be backposting some of M-lady's notes for the time I was gone shortly. Happy to be back!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Wrapping Up the Week

Buster crawled into bed with us before 7:00, and snoozed for a bit. He continued to snooze when we got out of bed around 7:30, and stayed snuggled in the comforter for a while. I rolled Bud out of bed, and we did a pretty standard morning routine. M-lady took Bud off to school, and I hung out with Buster, who had finally rolled out of bed and had breakfast, but refused to get dressed.

Nanny J arrived before too long, and I headed off to work. Apparently Buster was a bit of a pill this morning, but was in a much better mood after a nap in the afternoon.

Bud was pretty tired after school, and also took a nap. M-lady roused him when she got home to take him to his piano lesson, where he did pretty well. They arrived home at the same time I did, where I noticed Bud's cheeks were a little pink. Sure enough, he was running a bit of a fever, so I gave him a dose of ibuprofen and he curled up in bed with M-lady and Buster for a bit. I left them all cuddling and headed out to pick up some dinner.

Bud was feeling better when I got back, and we all had some dinner together. Buster played some Xbox after dinner, and snack time came up pretty quickly. After snack, I got the kids situated for bed, and then played some Machinarium with Buster before turning out the light and chatting with him for a bit. He was pretty excited about his birthday tomorrow, and we talked about that before he went to sleep a bit after 9:00.

Bud crept out of bed a few times, and didn't fall asleep until around 10:00. I think he must have slept just a little too much during the day.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Hidden Talent

Buster didn't join M-lady and me in bed this morning, and the two of us rolled out at about 7:30. I got Bud going a few minutes later, and Buster appeared on the scene as Bud was getting dressed. After the kids had some breakfast, Buster and I hung out together while Bud and M-lady headed for school and work. Buster played a few minutes of Machinarium before Nanny J arrived.

The kids had a good day, and went to TKD again. Buster apparently told Nanny J that he wanted me to give him his bath in Chinese, which was a surprise to everyone: he can speak Chinese pretty well, apparently, but hasn't let on. Nanny J was surprised and delighted.

M-lady got home a bit before me, and Nanny J was already gone when I arrived. I played with Buster for a bit, and he spent some more time on Machinarium. He's getting pretty good, and can navigate some of the puzzles by himself now. Bud had already finished his homework, and spent a good portion of the early evening reading.

We had some dinner together, and then Bud did his piano with M-lady. He showered himself, and I got a snack for the kids. I played a quick game of chess with Bud before bed, and we watched a short video before turning out the light. Bud's getting better at chess, although I don't know how much he's been practicing recently.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Back For A Few Days

I was off visiting a college buddy for a long weekend, and M-lady was nice enough to watch the kids while I was gone. I just returned late last night, and saw the kids today for the first time since Thursday evening.

Buster climbed into bed with M-lady and me around 6:30, and dozed with us for a bit. M-lady got up to take a call, and Buster followed her for a bit. He came back to chat with me when I got up around 7:30 to get started on getting myself ready to go.

Buster wanted to play Machinarium, which I promised he could after he was ready to go. He was motivated, and got dressed and had breakfast quickly. I discovered that he's on spring break this week, so didn't really need to get ready, but it was nice to have him read to go. Bud was good about getting dressed and having breakfast as well, and was happy when I took him to school.

The kids went to TKD today, and that was the first thing Buster told me when I got home around 5:45. We said goodbye to Nanny J, and Bud showed off that he's qualified for the test for his next belt already. He's moving along pretty quickly.

I got Bud going on homework, and played with Buster for a bit while he was doing that. The kids played some Lego Harry Potter after Bud finished up his homework, and then had a quick dinner just before M-lady arrived home. M-lady got Bud going on his piano practice, and then had some dinner herself.

The kids were pretty good about getting ready for bed and having a snack, although it ran a little late. I played some more Machinarium with Buster before we turned out the light, and then chatted with him a bit before he fell asleep. It was nice to get back in touch with the kids after being gone a few days.

Wednesday, April 04, 2012


The morning routine was pretty smooth, with M-lady mostly getting Buster ready, and me looking out for Bud. Buster's hair required a bit of attention, and both kids were off to school without trouble. I dropped Bud off and headed off to work.

I was at work a little late, and Buster and M-lady were just finishing up dinner when I arrived home. Bud had apparently already done his homework, piano, and eaten dinner, and was running around casting spells from Harry Potter at a yell. He managed to keep that up for what seemed an indefinite time, until we asked him to quiet down a little bit.

I had my dinner, and M-lady worked on making little blueberry muffins for Buster's class. Bud continued to entertain himself, and Buster asked to play Lego Rock Band. That took us to snack time.

I got Buster ready for bed, and we played Machinarium until we turned out the light around 8:30. Buster has had a runny nose and a cough recently, and he coughed for a while after falling asleep. He quieted down after a bit though, and has been sleeping peacefully since.

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

New Belt

Bud was up and reading by the time I went to rouse him, and was pretty tractable during the morning. Buster hung out with M-lady, and Bud and I headed off to school on time. Bud was good about letting me drop him off so I could get into work for my meeting.

M-lady joined the kids at their TKD class, and attended Buster's belt ceremony. He was pretty excited to get his yellow belt, which he showed me when I got home around 6:00. Bud got started on his homework around that time, and Buster tried to play with me, although I was unfortunately preoccupied in a call for work.

We had dinner when I got off the call around 6:30, and the kids both ate pretty well. After dinner, the kids played for a bit before I entertained Buster with a game while Bud and M-lady worked on piano. Bud took his shower before having a snack, and we did a pretty short bedtime routine together.

Monday, April 02, 2012

Monday Morning Blues

Buster was up early, but resisted getting dressed when it was time to do so. I eventually got him clothed, but he refused to eat breakfast before M-lady took him to school. He was apparently grumpy at drop off, and M-lady warned the teachers that he got up on the wrong side of bed. Sounds like he warmed up before too long, though.

Bud was pretty good about getting ready, and I was able to drop him off with little fanfare. He was pretty excited to show his new tooth-gap to his friends.

M-lady and I both arrived home around 5:45, and headed in to check on the kids. We said goodbye to Nanny J, and Buster and I played a little bit of Lego Rock Band together while Bud did his homework. We had dinner a short time later, although Bud decided to skip it. Buster ate pretty well.

After dinner, Bud worked his way through his piano practice, and I got Buster into PJs. Buster decided to skip snack in order to play Machinarium, so we did that together until turning out the light a little early (around 8:15). Bud stayed up chatting with M-lady a bit later.

Sunday, April 01, 2012


Buster crawled into bed with us pretty early this morning, and M-lady again got up with the kids to get them some breakfast and hang out with them for a bit. She came back to bed around the time I was getting up, near 9:30.

We had a mellow morning. I headed out to Fry's to get some parts to fix M-lady's computer around 11:00, and couldn't convince anyone to go with me. While I was out, M-lady took the kids to the mall to get socks, and they had lunch while they were out. I was just getting M-lady's computer back online when they got home.

The kids played outside for a bit, and I got myself ready for a bike ride. M-lady and both kids were playing basketball in the backyard when I left. Unfortunately, I had a flat tire and a busted spare about 4 miles from home, and had to call in for a pick-up. The family came to my rescue, and we headed home directly after I loaded up.

M-lady headed out to get some groceries, and the kids played outside more while I showered. I joined them outside before too long, and we had fun pulling weeds in the front lawn together for a while. M-lady arrived home with the groceries, and we all headed inside a short time later.

We had nice video chats with Granddad B and Grandma Nese, and then with Grandma W and Granddad B. Buster active climbed on my head through most of the calls. Bud put in brief appearances, and it was good to catch up with them.

After the calls, I got started on making dinner, while Buster played a video game and Bud read more Harry Potter. When Bud came down for dinner, he showed me that one of his front upper teeth was just about to come out.

The kids ate well, and we had the added excitement of Bud losing his tooth during dinner. I helped him clean it up, and we finished the meal. Buster took his bath after dinner, and Bud had a snack after practicing piano. When Buster got out of the bath, M-lady helped him with a snack while I got Bud into the shower and ready for bed. I watched a few videos with Bud before we turned out the light, and he went to sleep before too long, looking forward to the Tooth Fairy's visit during the night.