Friday, November 30, 2012

TKD Testing

M-lady was up all night packing, and headed off to the office briefly before the kids got up. Buster crawled into bed with me around 7:00, and we got up about half an hour later to get started on the morning routine. M-lady got back from the office in time to help out with breakfast, and about fifteen minutes after 8:00 we said our goodbyes to M-lady, and I took the kids to school.

I arrived home again around 4:00, and after checking mail and hanging out for a few minutes, I loaded up Buster and we headed to the Tae Kwon Do studio together for his belt test. He was testing for his Senior Orange belt, and we practiced the oral questions together in the car all the way to the studio. Bud had stayed behind with Nanny J, who took him to his piano lesson before bringing him to the studio for his belt test.

Buster executes a solid roundhouse
The previous test was running a little late, so Buster didn't get started until about 5:30. He was the youngest and smallest in the test, but did a pretty good job staying focused and holding his own. He did a great job on his board break, getting the roundhouse kick to connect on the first try with nice, clean form. His oral question wasn't one we'd been studying (he was asked his home phone number), but it was a question he knew the answer for, so he did fine. The test dragged on a while, and he was very patient through the whole thing.

Bud get good extension (and a solid yell) on his hook kick
Bud's test, for his senior purple belt, was with the next group, and Buster sat with me as we watched Bud. Bud did a great job as well, nailing his kicks, one-step sparring, and form. He also did a great job on his board break, using a hook kick with great extension. Bud's test didn't get started until about 6:30, and lasted until about 7:45. We were all hungry, and Buster thought it was really funny that it was snack time, but we hadn't had dinner yet.

We picked up some food on the way home, and then did a compressed dinner/shower/bedtime routine. The kids were good about getting ready for bed, but were both still up about 30 minutes past their usual bedtimes. Bud and I read some of The Hobbit together, which we both enjoyed. It was late, though, so we only got through a couple of pages.

Thursday, November 29, 2012


It was rainy again today, and the kids slept in a bit since it was still darkish out in the morning. I rolled them out of bed a bit after 7:30, and we did a standard morning routine once they were up. I took them both to school, as M-lady had a call. After her call, M-lady headed in to Bud's class to volunteer, as she usually does on Thursdays.

The kids had another good day. I got home around 5:45, and M-lady was already home. We said goodbye to Nanny J, and I spent a few minutes hanging out with Buster before getting Bud started on homework. I also realized that both boys are testing tomorrow for their next TKD belts, and neither had done any studying of the oral questions. So we pulled those out and started drilling. I introduced Bud to a couple of mnemonics, which helped him on some of the questions.

We all had a good dinner, and then a bit of hanging out before Bud got started on piano. While he was doing that, I watched just a few minutes of football with Buster before snack time came up. The kids had a quick snack, and then we did a bedtime routine (peppered with more quizzing on the TKD belt test questions). Bud and I turned out the light around 9:00, and he was asleep pretty soon after singing to himself for a few minutes.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Pizza Toast

The kids were a little slow to get up this morning, perhaps because it was raining. I rolled them both out of bed, as M-lady was on a call. They got moving without too much prodding, and had some breakfast before bundling up for school. I took Bud while M-lady took Buster.

The kids seem to have had a good day. I got home around 5:30, and we said goodbye to Nanny J a short time later. M-lady arrived home a few minutes after Nanny J departed, and I got Bud started on his homework after a bit of protesting.

Bud did a good job on his homework, and we all had some dinner, in a rather staggered fashion. Buster wanted toast with dinner, but didn't want anything on the toast. I suggested tomato sauce and cheese, which he scoffed at, until I told him that was the same thing as a pizza (currently his professed favorite food). He thought that might be good, so I made him a piece of pizza toast. He seems to have enjoyed that.

Bud did a solid piano practice, and Buster spent some time dancing to the music. I took Buster upstairs to get into PJs while Bud was finishing up, and then we headed downstairs for a snack, where I got some popcorn together. Bud joined us, and we read popcorn facts from The Popcorn Book and Wikipedia.

I worked on Buster's Christmas wish list with him tonight before bed, and we turned the light out around 8:30. He was asleep pretty quickly.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Full Evening

Buster was up a little early again, anxious to start on the next phase of his Batman Lego set. He got himself dressed, and worked on the set until breakfast time, about 20 minutes later. Bud protested slightly at waking, but got some breakfast in time to have M-lady take both kids to school.

I got home about 15 minutes after M-lady. The kids immediately informed me that they'll both be testing for their next TKD belts on Friday, which is great. However, M-lady will be headed out of town for work that day, which makes logistics a little more problematic. It also coincides with Bud's piano lesson, so I'll need some help from Nanny J to get the kids where they need to go.

Buster also finished up his Batcave Lego, and spent most of the evening playing with it. Bud had a fair amount of homework that he got started on shortly after 6:00. That led into dinner, and a video call with Ama and Agu for a school project, interviewing the grandparents to find out a little bit about where the family comes from. Bud's family comes from all over the world, though, so we just focused on one side for this project.

Bud had a short break before starting on his piano practice, and Buster ate a solid meal. After eating, Buster played for a few more minutes with his Lego before snack time, and I got him upstairs and into PJs while Bud was finishing up his practice and having a snack. M-lady took over for Buster and snuggled with him a bit before bed, while I chatted with Bud about his Christmas wish list, and we did a little bit of window shopping on Amazon.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Lego Magic

Buster was up a little before 7:00 this morning, and rolled me out of bed so I could open up a bag of his new Lego set for him to work on. That kept him busy for a bit, and he was very good about putting the Lego down and getting ready for school when that time rolled around. Bud got out of bed without too much complaining, and I took him to school while M-lady took Buster.

The kids had a good day. Buster was taking his bath when I got home around 5:30, and M-lady arrived home a few minutes later. We said goodbye to Nanny J, and Buster showed me the work he'd done on his Lego set during the day. He'd made some progress, but I helped him fix some of the work and we finished up the third bag together while Bud worked on his homework.

The Batman Lego set Buster got has an elevator with an obscured section in it. A Bruce Wayne minifig goes in the top of the elevator, and Batman comes out the bottom. When I showed Buster how it worked, he was absolutely thrilled. He executed the exchange over and over, showing anyone who would watch.

We had a good dinner together, and Buster immediately went back to his Lego set after finishing. Bud took a short break before diving into his piano practice. After piano, he got himself showered and into PJs around the same time M-lady and I were putting Buster into PJs.

Around 8:00, Friends D and A arrived to watch Dancing With The Stars with us. Buster showed them both his Lego magic trick, and we all watched DWTS together for a bit. At 8:30 I put Buster to bed, and Bud stayed up to watch the remainder of the show. I put him to bed which it finished, around 9:00, after saying goodnight to our guests.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Recovery Day

The kids were up and active long before M-lady and me, and they came in a few times to jump on the bed and check on us. Bud absconded with the copy of The Lord of the Rings on my bedside table, and read the first chapter. M-lady eventually headed out to ballet, and I got the kids some breakfast. Buster ate a heapin' stack of pancakes, and Bud ate more moderately.

After breakfast we played together a bit, and I had just crawled back into bed to rest for a few minutes when M-lady arrived home. We eventually got up and got lunch together, slightly haphazard based on our somewhat limited larder after the trip. After eating, I headed out to the grocery store to resupply.

Bud worked on his piano when I got home, and after finishing, we watched the beginning of The Lord of the Rings movie (A Long Expected Party), before I headed out to pick up a Lego set for Buster (earned over the course of a month) and dinner.

Buster was really excited about the Lego set when I got back, but restrained himself during dinner. After eating, I build the first part with him, which he played with for the rest of the evening. Showers came up a short time later, and then snack and bed before too long.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Easy Road Home

We had a pleasant drive home today. M-lady and I were up before the kids, around 6:30, which was pretty unusual. We rolled them out around 7:00, and were on the road shortly after 7:30, after saying goodbyes and thank yous to Ama and Agu.

The weather was great, and the kids were patient and fantastic as usual. We had a few stops, had an early lunch, and Buster enjoyed the Xbox in the back while Bud watched a couple of movies on his iPad for the second half of the trip. We got milkshakes in Gilroy as a treat, and made it home around 4:30.

The evening was spent unpacking and watching the end of the Stanford football game. We had a pleasant dinner, and snack and bedtime were very standard. Buster and I worked on Crazy Coasters for a bit before turning out the light. He was asleep in just a couple of minutes.

Please bear with me as I fill in the posts for the past week. I have notes for most of it... just need to fill in the writing.

Friday, November 16, 2012


The kids woke as usual this morning, and we had a standard routine. I helped get the kids together while M-lady had an early call, and then she took the kids to school while I returned to bed for a little while, as I try to shake the cold I've picked up.

Buster arrived home with Nanny J around noon, and I headed out to the office for a couple of meetings around the same time. M-lady finished up her work in the early afternoon and headed out to run a few errands. I returned around 3:00, around the time Bud was getting home, and promptly fell asleep again. The kids checked on me a couple times, but were generally good enough to let me nap.

M-lady took Bud to his piano lesson around 5:00, and got home in time to let Nanny J head out. We did the usual Friday night dinner in front of the TV, watching the last of the Olympics videos. The kids were getting excited about heading out the next day, and their week of vacation for Thanksgiving. They mostly packed up their backpacks before bed, and then I did a fairly standard bedtime routine with Buster before we turned out the lights.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Spreading Cold

Buster was fine today, and woke without a fever. He didn't go to school today, but should be good for tomorrow.

M-lady was up early for a call, and I rolled out of bed around 7:30 and got the kids going. Buster apparently spent some time hanging out with M-lady on the video call, too. The kids had breakfast together, and M-lady took Bud to school while I waited with Buster for Nanny J, who arrived around 9:00.

The kids had a good day, and they both did TKD in the afternoon. I was home by the time they got back, and M-lady arrived a short time later. I wasn't feeling too well, and it turned out I had a low-grade fever, so I was pretty low-key for most of the evening.

After saying goodbye to Nanny J, I watched some of the Thursday night football game with Bud and Buster before we got started on dinner. We all ate together, which was nice, and since we ate a little early we had some time before Bud started his piano. M-lady and I took the time to make Lamingtons for Buster's "World Cultures Feast" tomorrow, and we let them cool off while Bud did piano.

We all enjoyed a Lamington before getting the kids ready for bed. Bud and I hung out and watched a video before turning out the light, and both kids were asleep reasonably quickly.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Practicing Outside

Buster crawled into bed with us a bit before 7:00, but was good about keeping quiet until we all got up around 7:30. He was running the low-grade fever again, so we kept him home from school. He had breakfast with Bud, but didn't get dressed.

M-lady took Bud to school, and I stayed home with Buster for a bit. He played with an iPad while I did some work, and stayed content with that for a while. Nanny J arrived around 10:00, and got him dressed while I took a call. I checked Buster's temperature again before heading off to work, and he was fine.

The kids went to TKD with Nanny J, and Buster watched from outside. He apparently got bored, and did all the moves in the lobby while watching the class through the window.

I got home around 5:45, and we said goodbye to Nanny J. Buster was running the fever again, so I dosed him with ibuprofen. I got Bud started on his homework, and we got dinner together a short time later when M-lady got home. After dinner, Bud did a solid piano practice, and we had just a few minutes to watch a TV segment after snack before getting started on the bedtime routine.

Buster was good about getting ready for bed, and we watched a few videos about planets and the sun before turning the light out. He was asleep in about 15 minutes.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Cold Strikes Again

Buster crawled in bed with us around 7:00, and was chatty and pleasant, although he was also coughing and sniffing a bit. M-lady convinced him to quietly snuggle for most of the time until 7:30, at which point we got up and did a pretty standard morning routine. The kids were good about getting ready, and M-lady took them to school.

Buster's cough and runny nose kept with him through the day, and apparently he vomited in the afternoon. Nanny J reported that she though he also had a bit of a fever, so I headed home to check on him. He was running a fever that was just over 100, so I gave him a dose of ibuprofen and an iPad to entertain him for a bit. He was as bouncy as ever in about 45 minutes.

M-lady arrived home a bit after 5:00, and Buster had his bath before we said goodbye to Nanny J around 5:45. M-lady got Bud started on his homework, and Buster and I watched a few videos about planets on YouTube before heading downstairs and getting some dinner with the family.

We all ate well, and after dinner Bud did his piano. We had time to all play a bit of Rock Band before snack and bed time. Buster is getting better at drums, and Bud is starting to really enjoy playing the keyboard. I think Bud will be ready to try the Pro Keys before too long.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Silly Request

I woke this morning at 7:30, and was half out of bed to get the kids going when I realized that since it was Veteran's Day, the kids didn't have school. I crawled back into bed, and Buster bounded in to join us.

Buster cuddled for a short time, but really felt that he needed to sit next to our bed, read his books, and sing songs. We tried asking him to be quiet a number of times, but those songs just really needed to be sung, apparently. Bud joined eventually, and I overheard Buster suggest to his brother, "Let's go do something silly." I rolled out of bed closer to 8:30, and M-lady got up to get the kids some breakfast.

M-lady stayed home with the kids while I headed off to work. She took them to Bud's make-up piano lesson (for a missed lesson a few weeks ago), and then handed them over to Nanny J around lunchtime.

I arrived home shortly after 5:30, and M-lady had already arrived. The kids were busy sword fighting in the living room. We said goodbye to Nanny J, and hung out for a short time before cobbling a dinner together. The kids ate pretty well, and since Bud didn't have homework or piano practice (given his lesson earlier in the day), we had more time to play before bed.

Everyone agreed to play some Rock Band, and we had fun all switching between instruments. Buster is improving on drums, although he still can't reach the kick pedal, so I do that for him. Bud is enjoying playing the keyboard, and took a turn on the drums as well. M-lady joined on keys for a couple of songs, too.

That took us to snack and bedtime, and the kids were generally good about getting ready. I watched some planetarium videos with Buster before we turned out the light. He fell asleep pretty quickly.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Big Groceries

I snuck out this morning before the kids were up, around 7:00, to head out for a bike race. M-lady was nice enough to watch the kids this morning. They had a good breakfast together, and some snuggling/reading time together.

I got home a few minutes before noon, and was able to get a shower in before helping get some lunch for the kids. As always, they were very interested in my Gatorade, so I mixed up a batch for them and let them each have a cup after having their lunch. They were pretty happy about that.

We read books and lazed around a bit again after lunch. I eventually roused myself and had a nice quick chat with Grandma W before M-lady and I headed downstairs to plan a grocery store run. We did a long-overdue purging of the pantry, and chucked all the expired food. With a much longer shopping list, I took Buster with me and hit the grocery store. We managed to find everything we needed, and arrived home with the spoils just before 5:00.

M-lady and I stowed the produce, and I headed out again with Buster shortly to pick up sushi for dinner. We all ate well, and Bud got started on his piano practice after dinner. I headed out to hang out with some friends a little before 7:00, and M-lady wrapped up the evening with the kids, which apparently went very smoothly.

Thursday, November 08, 2012


M-lady had a call this morning around 7:30, so was on that around the time I got out of bed. The kids were just getting up at the time as well, and were good about getting ready. I got them some breakfast, and they were ready to go in plenty of time. M-lady took Bud to school today, and volunteered in his class this morning, while I took Buster to school.

Buster's class had started putting together a "Thanksgiving Wreath", a collage of handprint cut outs with things they're thankful for written on them. The parents were invited to take a look: Buster is thankful for 'dinners' and 'lunch'.

The kids had a good day, as usual. Bud fell on the pavement at some point, though, and was nursing a slightly scraped left palm when I got home. M-lady got home a couple minutes after I did, and after we settled in we said goodbye to Nanny J.

We hung out together for a short time, and I played on the computer for a few minutes with Buster while Bud finished up his homework. We had dinner a short time later, and both kids ate pretty well. After dinner, Bud did his piano, and we watched a little bit of The Thursday Night Football game before playing a little catch, then having a snack.

The kids were good about getting ready for bed, and I watched some more astronomy videos and played with the planetarium software with Buster before we turned out the light. He was asleep in about ten minutes.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012


The kids were still asleep when I got up at 7:30, but Buster jumped in bed with M-lady a few minutes later. It took some convincing to get the kids up and dressed, but they eventually came downstairs for breakfast and headed out for school. I took Bud, and Buster went with M-lady.

The kids had a good day, and Bud did his homework in the afternoon so that they could attend a later TKD class. They got home around 6:00 (I was already home), and Buster took his bath with Nanny J. Bud was excited to let me know that he'd gotten a medal at school for reading the most pages in October in their reading competition. M-lady got home a few minutes later, and Nanny J took her leave.

I played catch with Bud for a while (still fun!), and then got started on making dinner while M-lady checked over Bud's homework. Buster was a little resistant to eating at first, but eventually ate his dinner as well. After eating, Buster and I played some Rock Band together while Bud did his piano practice.

Snack time came up quick, and the kids had a little more Halloween candy. Given the size of their stashes, they're going to be eating Halloween candy until February.

I hung out with Bud and watched a video with him before bed, and we chatted about the election a little more and looked at the detailed results before turning out the light.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Election Discussion

We had a fairly normal morning, although M-lady took both kids to school as I hopped on my bike and rode to work. I helped get the kids out the door, and they were pretty good about getting ready.

The kids had their usual good day, and had fun at TKD. I got home in time to let Nanny J go, and then sat down with Buster to fill out my ballot as he worked on his homework. Both kids were interested in the ballot, and watched me fill it out.

Bud and I both wrapped up shortly before M-lady arrived home. We all put shoes on and walked over to the polling station to drop off our ballots, and had a nice chat about voting on the way. We did a little bit of stargazing on the way back, since Buster seems to have gotten interested in astronomy recently.

Bud and M-lady had dinner when we got back, although Buster held out until snack time. After eating Bud worked on his piano practice with M-lady, and I sat with Buster for a bit. Buster did eat most of his dinner at snack time, and qualified to have a piece of candy.

After getting the kids ready for bed, I watched a couple of quick videos about Lego Batman 2 with Buster before we turned out the light.

Monday, November 05, 2012

A Slightly Different Monday

The kids were up early, which wasn't too surprising given the time change. Buster jumped in bed with us a few minutes before 7:00, and Bud wandered in, and then out again, and was reading in his room from about that time on as well.

M-lady and I got the kids ready for school, and I loaded them up and took them both as M-lady headed in to a meeting. They were good for the drop off, and both got in on time.

I got home around 5:30, and the kids were playing with Nanny J. The house smelled great, since she had baked raisin bread during the day (really, more of a raisin cake). The kids love it. I settled in, and we said goodbye to Nanny J. The kids and I played a few minutes of Rock Band together, and then I got Bud going on homework around the time M-lady arrived home.

M-lady supervised Bud's homework while I made dinner, and we all had a good dinner together. Bud got started on his piano practice after dinner, and I played with Buster a bit.

Aunt O, Uncle C, and Cousin C arrived around 6:45. Cousin C had brought his Halloween/superhero costume, so Buster suited up and the kids ran around at high volume for a while. We celebrated Aunt O's birthday, and had cake and a couple presents.

They took off around 8:00, and Bud finished up his piano while I got Buster ready for bed. Bud took a quick shower, and I hung out with him for a bit while M-lady explored more planet videos with Buster before bed.

Sending 'feel better' thoughts to Grandma W, who had a procedure today (which went well).

Sunday, November 04, 2012

Catch and Rockin'

The kids were up a little early due to the time change, but Bud stayed in his room reading, and Buster only wandered in around the time I was heading out for a bike race, around 7:00. I told the kids to be good while I was gone, and headed out.

The kids and M-lady apparently had a very mellow morning. M-lady cooked pancakes, which the kids loved, and they chilled a bit. I got home around 11:00 and found everyone still in pajamas.

The kids got dressed before having lunch, and I had a bite with them after showering. Buster and I played together a little bit, and then the kids and I headed outside for a bit. Bud has become interested in playing catch, and is good enough at throwing and catching to make it fun. He was interested in playing catch with a baseball today, but we don't have mitts. So I directed him to tossing a football, which was fun. I'll have to look at getting mitts at some point.

After playing outside for a bit, we headed in. I ran off to the grocery store to pick up food, and couldn't convince either child to accompany me. M-lady got Bud to practice piano while I was out, and he was just wrapping up when I returned. After unloading, I got started on making dinner, and the kids hung out in the backyard with me while I grilled burgers.

After dinner, Bud and I played some Rock Band together while M-lady and Buster watched. Bud tried out the keyboard, and did really well. We had a great time together, and I look forward to gaming more with the kids going forward.

We kept that up until snack time, and the kids did a pretty standard bedtime routine. I read planet and star books with Buster before bed, and we took a look at my planetarium app on the iPad again as well. We turned the light out around 8:30, and he was pretty tired, given the long day from the time change.

Saturday, November 03, 2012

Staying Up A Little Late

The kids bounced into the bedroom this morning around 7:30ish, and M-lady and I managed to stay in bed until around 8:30, when she headed off to ballet. I was up a few minutes later, and got some breakfast for the kids.

They ate well, and I prompted them to get dressed after breakfast. I had a nice chat with Grandma W, and then played some Lego Batman with Buster for a bit. We finished the story of the game, which he was really excited about.

We watched just a little bit of football before lunch. I ate first, as I couldn't convince either of the kids to eat. M-lady arrived home around the same time, and the kids both wanted something shortly after I was done.

After lunch, I headed out to Home Depot to pick up some parts for some afternoon tasks around the house. I couldn't convince either child to come with me, so they stayed home and hung out with M-lady. Around the time I got home, they loaded up into the car and headed over to Bud's school to play on the playground there (and bounce the ball against the big concrete walls). Bud, unfortunately, lost his ball on the roof, but apparently the principal goes up there once a week to collect lost balls.

The kids got home around the time I was wrapping up my house tasks, and we all packed up and headed out for dinner. We grabbed a bite before heading on to the mall, where we ran a couple of errands in the surprisingly crowded place. We headed home, and I hung out with Buster for a bit while M-lady did piano practice with Bud.

The kids got to stay up a little late tonight due to the time change. Hopefully they don't come in too early tomorrow morning.

Friday, November 02, 2012

Almost Out of Olympics

The morning was fairly straightforward, although M-lady took the kids to school rather than myself, as I stayed home in the morning to make sure I could sign for a package I was expecting. The package arrived at the same time Nanny J and Buster arrived, so I said hello to them and then headed off to work.

M-lady got home in time to take Bud to his piano lesson, and I arrived a few minutes before they got home. We said goodbye to Nanny J, and got started on making dinner. We did our usual 'eat in front of the TV' Friday, and watched the waning hours of the Olympic recordings, along with some School House Rocks.

We all had a good evening, and I had fun playing with the Solar Walk application on the iPad with Buster before bed. We walked all the planets, and then watched a few explanatory videos on the seasons and eclipses before turning out the light.

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Candy Snacks

Buster crawled into bed with us around 5:00 this morning, making sleep for the rest of the morning a little light. M-lady got out of bed early for a call, and I rolled out around 7:30. Buster headed out to hang out with M-lady when I got up.

After getting myself together, and prompting Bud to get dressed, we did a pretty standard morning routine. M-lady took Bud to school a few minutes early so she could volunteer before she had to go in to the office, and Buster and I sat around for a few minutes before heading to his class.

The kids had a good day. They did TKD in the afternoon, and were chilling out when I got home around 5:30. Buster was quick to let me know that he'd had one of his lollipops today. After saying goodbye to Nanny J, I had a quick snack with Buster and got Bud started on his homework. M-lady arrived home a short time later.

M-lady and I got dinner for the kids, and Bud was squared away on his homework before he ate. I headed out to have dinner with some friends around 7:00, and M-lady wrapped up the evening with the kids. Bud did his piano practice, and the kids we reasonably good about getting themselves ready for bed.