Monday, December 31, 2012

Looking Back

I had work today, but didn't have to get the kids to school, so it was a mellow morning. I rolled out around 9:00, and M-lady looked after the kids.

Aside from a minor ant incursion, they apparently had a pretty good day. The kids were good during the errands they ran, and they got a lot accomplished. M-lady was helping Buster go through the things in his room when I got home.

I was able to help out with fitting a new curtain rod in Buster's room and then got dinner ready. The kids are pretty well, and we did piano practice and a little gaming before shower time. Snack time came next, and bedtime followed soon after.

Buster has had a cold for the past few days, and had a low-grade fever this evening. He didn't seem bothered by it, but fell asleep almost as soon as the light went out.

Happy New Year to all!

Sunday, December 30, 2012


Ama and Agu were up before any of us this morning, and headed out for the drive home. The kids jumped in bed with us around 8:00ish, and we were able to put them off for a bit. I got up with them around 8:45 to get them some breakfast.

We had a pretty mellow morning. I built Lego with Buster for a bit, and worked with Bud to get a protective cover on his new desk. Eventually we snoozed a bit more, just before lunch.

I made lunch for the family, and afterward M-lady and Bud got serious about cleaning out his room. They did a fantastic job, and got a bunch of the piles of things off the floor. I worked on getting the new curtain rod up in Buster's room, which involved a quick trip to Home Depot for hardware. I discovered fairly late in the process that the rod was too short (we'd brought it from the old house, so not too surprising). I'd just neglected to check before installing the brackets.

M-lady ran out in the later afternoon to do some quick errands, and I played outside with the boys for a bit. It was fairly cold and getting dark, though, so we came in after running around a bit. I also spent some time while we were out there breaking down cardboard boxes for recycling, a task which is going to spill into next week as well.

The kids and I played Xbox games until M-lady arrived home with dinner, and she and Bud and I ate pretty well. Buster generally deferred, and even had a minor meltdown for unknown causes. We played a little more Xbox after dinner, and Bud took care of his piano practice with M-lady. At snack time, Buster ate reasonably well, and we did a pretty quick bedtime routine.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Lots of Errands

The kids were again up around 8:00, and playing with Lego for much of the morning. I got up a little after 9:00, made sure the kids were dressed, and headed out with them for a quick errand around 9:30.

Santa had brought little Lego bins for them, which they could fill at the Lego store pick-a-brick section. We got there right around the time they opened, and the kids had a good time picking out pieces. Bud had also earned enough allowance points to get a set he'd been eyeing for a while, the Lord of the Rings Weathertop set. Bud apparently just finished reading the "Knife in the Dark" chapter of Lord of the Rings, so it was an especially timely set.

We got home around 10:45, and headed out again with M-lady, Ama, and Agu a few minutes later to the local Japanese dollar store. Buster spent most of the trip attached to me, since I was wearing my new, extra-soft fleece jacket. The trip was a success, and we were home before noon.

I then headed out on my own to do a quick shopping trip, and got home before 1:00. The family was just having some lunch, so I helped supervise the kids. After eating, we settled down for a bit and hung out for a bit.

M-lady and I ran out for a bit in the later afternoon, picking up a plastic sheet (thin vinyl, in this case) to put on top of Bud's new desk to protect the surface. Hopefully that will work out.

I played Xbox with the kids before dinner for a bit, and then we all had a wonderful dinner prepared by Agu and Ama. The kids ate well, and after dinner the kids played with the grandparents for a bit. Bud did his piano practice with M-lady, and snack time rolled up before too long.

I got Buster bathed after snack time, and then read stories with him until bedtime. He fell asleep pretty quickly.

Friday, December 28, 2012

A Birthday Tea

The kids came in at about 8:00 this morning, and were in and out for a bit. I got Buster going on his current Lego project, and then crawled back into bed for a bit. As we rose, we said happy birthday to M-lady, and I tried to keep the kids off her a bit to let her sleep in.

I got up around 9:00 and spent some time working on Bud's desk with him after getting dressed. After getting partway through the build, I headed out to run errands at around 10:30, picking up groceries and pastries for the planned tea party later in the day.

I got back at about 12:30, and worked on Bud's desk for a few more minutes. Aunt O and Cousin C arrived around 1:00, and M-lady opened birthday gifts from the family a short time later.

Friends D + A arrived around 2:00, and Friend J a few minutes later. I got Buster and Cousin C going on the Lego Batman Xbox game, and Bud spent most the time during the tea party hiding/reading in his room.

We had a wonderful tea with friends and family, and the kids wandered in from time to time to get treats and snacks. Ama and Agu and I kept a general eye on kids, but they were pretty good about entertaining themselves. Aunt O and Cousin C rolled out around 4:00.

I took Bud and Buster to play outside for a bit, and we said goodbye to friends around 4:30. We sent them off with a bag of clementines each.

The weather was pretty chilly, and the kids came in before too long. I spent some time with Bud finishing up his desk with him as dinner was getting ready. We had dinner in front of the TV, watching Looney Tunes (Road Runner and Bugs) to everyone's delight. Bud was particularly hungry, and ate almost continuously from dinner to bedtime.

Bud received a new foam chair in the mail which M-lady had ordered for him, and I put it together. I also moved a wall-mount desk into Buster's room, since he was interested in having his own desk, and we didn't want him to feel left out of the room changes.

I got the kids showered before snack time. For snack, Ama and Agu roasted chestnuts, which Bud enjoyed but Buster found very suspicious. I read to Buster before turning out the light, then hung out with Bud before turning out his light. M-lady lay down with Buster for a bit when I went to hang out with Bud.

Happy Birthday, M-lady!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Furniture Upgrade

The kids were up as usual, and had breakfast and played with Ama and Agu as M-lady and I slept in a bit. I rolled out of bed around 9:00, and M-lady and I started getting ready to head out in earnest. I had to get the seats out of the mini-van, and she and I headed out to Ikea to do a little furniture shopping.

We were fairly restrained, and got a desk and desk chair for Bud's room. When we got home a bit before noon, we found the kids had been busy outside with the sidewalk chalk they had received for Christmas. The driveway was fairly well decorated.

Since the seats were out of my car, I took the opportunity to vacuum it out after unloading the boxes. Bud helped out a little, and kept me company as well. After getting the car all assembled again, we headed in and had some lunch.

Bud helped me put his chair together, and M-lady spent some time cleaning out his closet, putting together a few bags of clothes for Goodwill. Bud and Buster both spent some time on their Lego sets, and I played a little bit of Lego Batman and Lord of the Rings with the kids as well.

I vacated Bud's couch to our room, and spent some time taking down the curtains in his room that we've been meaning to take down for the last five years. I found the curtain rod we'd purchased for his room in the old house, and put that up, although we don't have a valence for it yet. I also found another rod which should be good to go up over Buster's window, although I'll probably need to acquire some hardware.

We had dinner around 5:30, and at about 6:00 Bud headed out with Ama and Agu to see the stage show of How To Train Your Dragon. They went to see it with Aunt O, Uncle C, and Cousin C. While they were out, Buster and I played together a bit, starting with more Xbox, and then spending time building his Lego kit. He finally had his dinner, and we headed for bed a few minutes late.

Buster read one of his new, 'Advanced Beginner' BOB books, and did a great job. He'll be reading solidly in a month or two, I expect. We turned the lights out around 8:30, and he was asleep a little after 9:00.

Bud didn't get home until after 9:30, and was really excited about the show, which he'd loved. We heard a lot about it, and he was in bed around 10:00 after getting into PJs. I sat with him for a few minutes before saying goodnight.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Recovery Day

Granddad B and Grandma Nese left early, before we were up. The kids we up before 8:00, and M-lady headed downstairs with them a little later to get them some breakfast. I crawled out of bed a bit after 9:00, and Ama and Agu arrived a short time later.

I headed out for a quick trip to Fry's, and couldn't convince either child to come with me. They were busy working on their Lego sets. Buster's set was a bit of a stretch for him, and M-lady helped him out a bit from time to time.

I got home in time to help out with lunch, and made sandwiches for the kids. After lunch, we played a little bit, and spent some time playing on the Xbox. I worked on the computer for a bit after that, and joined the family again around dinner time.

M-lady and her parents had prepared a great dinner, and the kids ate well. After dinner, I worked in the garage for a bit, before coming in and helped Buster with a shower. Bud was showering himself and the kids were getting ready for bed when M-lady and I headed out to catch a movie. The kids were apparently really good for Ama and Agu, and headed to bed at the appropriate time. The kids were sleeping peacefully when we got back.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Happy Christmas To All

The kids were up around 6:00ish, but good about keeping quiet until about 7:00. We all started getting up around 7:30. The kids were excited by the full stockings and all the presents under the tree, of course, and were anxious to get to them. We got started on the stockings in short order.

We had a quick breakfast and chance to get ready for the day after the stockings were opened, and then got back to opening presents a short time later. The kids were excited about their gifts, and were generally good about thanking people during the day. After opening most of the gifts, we had a video chat with Grandma W and Granddad B, and opened the gifts from them and Uncle D on the call.

A short time later we packed up and headed over to Aunt O, Uncle C, and Cousin C's place. It was raining again, so we spent the day inside. After a snack and hanging out for a bit, we did a second round of gifting. Both kids got started on Lego sets before we had our official Christmas Dinner, which went very well. The kids both ate well, and asked for multiple helpings of cranberry sauce.

We played a little bit more, and then headed out around 3:30ish. We had a nice video chat with Aunt RuggerMom, Cousin LR, the twins, and Aunt K when we got home, and Bud and LR had a good time exchanging notes about their loot.

We picked up a bit, Buster worked on more Lego, and we had dinner around 6:00ish. The kids ate pretty well, and we spent some time playing video games after dinner until snack and bed time.

Before heading upstairs to bed, the kids said goodbye to Granddad B and Grandma Nese, who will be leaving early tomorrow morning. It was great having them here through the holiday, and the kids enjoyed hanging out with them.

Monday, December 24, 2012

And All Through The House...

I got up this morning a bit after 8:30, and headed downstairs to help Granddad B with breakfast. We had our elaborate breakfast this morning, with yeast-risen waffles and bacon. Everyone enjoyed breakfast thoroughly.

After breakfast, the kids got dressed and did the last day of their advent calendars. I headed outside a short time later, since it was drying out, and got started on harvesting clementines. The kids and Granddad B joined me, and we all spent a good amount of time gathering fruit. We ended with about five bags worth before heading back inside and starting to think about lunch.

We headed out to Chipotle for lunch, and Bud had a kids taco. He's much more adventuresome with his eating than I ever was, and it's getting much easier to dine with him. Buster had eaten before we left, so was happy with some chips. We headed home after lunch, and M-lady and I ran out to pick up some groceries while the kids played outside.

Granddad B and I got dressed and went out for a quick bike ride before the sun went all the way down. When we got back, M-lady got started on dinner, and Granddad B and I put together some cookie dough. M-lady did most of the prep for dinner, and we discovered last minute the lack of an important ingredient, so I headed out to the grocery store for a quick pickup.

We had a nice meal, and after dinner Bud did a piano practice, and then joined the rest of us in cutting and decorating some sugar cookies.

After getting the cookies finished, I got the kids bathed, and we headed back downstairs. Buster's excitement suddenly peaked, and he was bouncing off the walls for a bit. Eventually we got him to sit still enough to read Twas the Night Before Christmas, and then got the kids tucked into bed. Bud and I read a few articles together before we turned out the light, and Bud asked me to put out the fire in the fireplace so Santa could come in unhindered.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Nicer Dinner Out

The kids were in bed with us by 8:00, and were in and out of bed a few times. M-lady helped them downstairs to some breakfast, where they had cereal with the grandparents. I ended up getting up out of bed a little before 10:00.

Granddad B and I headed out to do a little shopping, and got back in time for lunch. When we got back, we delivered an early present to the kids: a set of jigsaw puzzles, which Buster got to work on immediately. It was raining heavily all day, so the kids didn't really get a chance to run around outside.

After lunch, Bud spent a fair bit of time doing martial arts (mostly made-up kung fu) in the living room while the rest of us puttered and played a bit. We all watched the Christmas Claymation special in the afternoon, which everyone enjoyed. We then headed out to a local Chinese restaurant for dinner fairly early.

The kids were great at the restaurant, which was slightly nicer than our usual fare. Bud tried just about everything, and ate really well. Buster was happy with his fried rice. After dinner we headed home, where we played a little bit more before snack time rolled around. I read stories with Buster again, and we played a little bit of Star Wars Angry Birds before bed, which has quickly become a favorite game.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Game Before Cake

Buster and Bud sequentially crawled into bed starting around 7:00 this morning. I got up around 7:30, and took the kids for rides in the car we'd rented and needed to return. Bud was excited about riding in a supercar, and Buster was excited to get to ride in the front seat of a car. After the kids, I took a quick spin with M-lady, and then Granddad B and I headed out to return the car.

Granddad B and I returned around 10:00. The kids were helping M-lady with envelope stuffing and addressing of the holiday cards, and seemed to be having a pretty good time. Buster was very diligent about lining up the stick-on address labels very carefully. Bud helped me seal up the envelops to finish the task.

We had some lunch, and then a short time later headed over to Aunt O, Uncle C, and Cousin C's to help celebrate Uncle C's birthday. Ama and Agu were there, and we all had a good time chatting and visiting. Buster and Cousin C played some Lego Batman 2, much to Buster's delight, and Buster was so engrossed that he skipped having cake.

We said our goodbyes and headed out around 4:00, dropping off the holiday cards at the post office on the way home. Bud and I picked a few clementines from our tree out front when we arrived, and found they're ready for harvest. When the rain stops we'll start getting them all off the tree.

I played some Rock Band with Buster, and then got started on dinner. Bud spent some time in the morning and after dinner working on his Erector set project with Granddad B, and they both seemed to have a really good time together with that.

After dinner I got Buster bathed and into PJs, and then played on the computer a bit with him. After Bud was in PJs we also spent some time on the computer before tucking in and chatting for a few minutes before turning out the light.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Fun Friday

We had a fairly normal morning, although Buster didn't have school today, so he stayed in PJs. Bud was ready to go at 8:15, and I took him to school, with Granddad B going along for the ride as well. After dropping Bud off at school, and Granddad B at the rental car place, I headed to work.

The kids seem to have had a good day. Buster spent the morning hanging out with M-lady and Grandma Nese while Bud was at school. When I got home around 3:00ish, I found Bud reading in his room and Buster playing with Grandma Nese. I made a quick attempt to fix our satellite dish with a part that arrived in the mail, then headed out for a drive with Granddad B.

We got home around 6:00, and then headed out to pick up some dinner for movie night. The kids were excited to watch more Loony Tunes, starting with Road Runner and then catching a few Bugs Bunny episodes. The cartoons were enjoyed by everyone, and we watched all the way to snack time.

We had pears for snack, and then I read to Buster for a bit at bed time. Buster read most of Hop on Pop by himself, proving that he's really starting to get reading figured out. We turned the lights out a bit after 8:30, and he dropped off to sleep pretty quickly.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Mid-week Dining

The kids did a fairly standard morning routine, and M-lady took both kids to school. She then came home for a few minutes before heading off to Bud's class to volunteer there for a bit.

I arrived home around 3:00, around the same time Bud arrived home with Buster and Nanny J. They'd apparently walked home from school together. Bud had a snack, and the kids got ready for TKD and took off again a little before 3:30. I waited at home until Granddad B and Grandma Nese arrived, and we loaded up and followed the kids to TKD so the grandparents could see the class.

Unfortunately, we arrived as class was ending, so the grandparents didn't get to see anything. We packed up the kids, said goodbye to Nanny J, and headed home.

M-lady arrived home a short time after we did, and the kids got back into civvies after doing a TKD demo for the grandparents. Bud finished his homework quickly (since he didn't have much), and we decided to go out to dinner. We all packed up and headed over to Red Robin, and everyone ate well. The kids were really patient and well behaved during dinner, and we got home a bit after 7:30.

Bud did a piano practice, and then the kids had Jell-O for snack before getting ready for bed. M-lady read with Buster a bit, and I watched a little bit of a video with Bud and Granddad B before tucking him in.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012


The kids were pretty good about getting up this morning, and we had a fairly routine time of it. I took Buster to school, while M-lady took Bud. It was really cold (for here) this morning, and Buster took a good look at the frost on the grass.

The kids seem to have had a good day, and a good time at TKD in the afternoon. I got home a bit after 5:00, and Buster was having a snack. He took a bath with Nanny J, and we said goodbye to her around 5:45. I got Bud started on his homework, and we were hanging out for a bit together when M-lady arrived home.

We all spent some time lying down on the soft rug in the bedroom for a little while, and the kids had a fairly rambunctious time of it. Bud showed me a splinter he'd picked up at some point during the day with Nanny J hadn't been able to extricate, and I took it out for him. He did a good job of not wincing too much.

We had a solid dinner, and Bud did an abbreviated piano practice (given his fingertip wound). Buster skipped snack again, and I he and I read a fairly advanced BOB book before playing some iPad. We turned out the light around 8:30, and he fell asleep pretty quickly.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Movie Background

The kids were a little slow to get up this morning, but generally cooperative, and we had a few minutes to do the advent calendar stuff before breakfast. I took Bud to school, and then headed off to work, while M-lady took Buster and snack for his class today.

The kids seem to have had a good day. I got home around 5:30, around the same time they got back from TKD. They had each gotten a new tape on their belts, and gather some praise from the instructors that they were excited to share. I finished up what I was working on, and we said goodbye to Nanny J after Buster had taken a bath.

Bud was good about getting his homework done quickly, and we played a few songs of Rock Band before getting started on dinner. Both kids sat at the table with me a chatted away, but neither ate very much while I ate my dinner. I was finished up when M-lady arrived home, and the kids still hadn't touched their dinners. M-lady got her food and joined them, while I headed upstairs for a short time to wrap up some work.

Bud eventually ate, but Buster sort of skipped dinner and snack. Bud did his piano practice with M-lady, and the kids were running around the living room when I came downstairs again to help with snack. Buster headed upstairs immediately to hang out with M-lady, and I hung out with Bud while he finished up his snack.

Bud got himself showered and into PJs, and we headed downstairs again to watch a little bit more of Raiders of the Lost Ark. I had to give him a little bit of background re: World War II and the ark of the covenant, but we had a good time watching a few scenes. Bud was good about heading up to bed when that time rolled around, and went to sleep pretty quickly.

Monday, December 17, 2012

A Different Morning

I took M-lady off to her doctor's appointment this morning, leaving around 6:15. Nanny J arrived to keep an eye on the kids and get them to school. Apparently the morning routine went pretty smoothly for them, although Bud let me know when I got home that he had combed his own hair this morning.

M-lady and I got back a bit after 11:00, and she was able to settle in a bit before Buster got home. Buster snuggled with M-lady for a few minutes, then headed downstairs for lunch and was good about letting M-lady nap in the afternoon. I headed off to work.

I got home around 5:30, and found the kids pretty happy. We said goodbye to Nanny J, and I started on dinner as Bud wrapped up his homework. We all ate pretty well. After dinner, the kids and I played one Rock Band song before Bud got started on his piano practice while I played on the computer with Buster.

Snack and bed time were fairly standard, and I read stories with Buster while M-lady hung out with Bud. I turned Buster's light out around 8:45, and he was asleep in a few minutes.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Cleaning Up A Bit

I had intended to go to a bike race this morning, but opted to sleep in instead. It turned out to be a good decision in hindsight. I crawled back in bed, and slept until the kids bounded into our room.

I got up around 8:30 and got some breakfast for the kids. After they were squared away, I crawled back into bed for a bit. M-lady kept an eye on the kids while I snoozed.

I got up in time to eat some lunch, and got lunch for the kids. M-lady was on a clear liquid diet today to prepare for a minor procedure tomorrow, so had a pretty meager lunch. The kids were excited by the prospect of Jell-O, though.

While Bud was practicing piano with M-lady, I read stories with Buster. A little later M-lady retired for the remainder of the afternoon, and I took over kid duties. We had a nice video chat with Grandma W and Granddad B, and then I put the kids to work cleaning up the dining room. Lego and various toys had taken over, so we got those all picked up and put the room back together. It was quite an accomplishment, and the kids were good about helping.

The kids had some iPad time after we'd gotten the dining room cleaned up, and we had a video chat with Granddad B and Grandma Nese a short time later. We got dinner together after the call, and then we spent some time playing Rock Band together.

Snack and bedtime were fairly straightforward, and the kids were good about getting ready for bed. After tucking Buster in, Bud and I watched a little bit of a Kung-fu movie (The Forbidden Kingdom), which he really liked. He was good about stopping and heading for bed at the cutoff time.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Evening Playtime

M-lady ran out this morning around 9:00 to run some errands. The kids were up and about, and jumped in bed with me occasionally, but generally let me sleep in. They started asking about breakfast, but ended up getting distracted and playing for a bit. M-lady arrived home and got them some breakfast while I took a turn to run out a do some quick shopping before lunch.

Bud and I had lunch shortly after I got home, and then we all loaded into the car and ran to the library, where we checked out another 50 books, and then to the grocery store. We all had a good time together, and picked up some ingredients for holiday treats.

M-lady and I rested for a bit when we returned, and got up around 4:30 to start getting ready for company. At about 5:00, Cousin C came over to hang out while his parents went out to dinner. Buster was really excited, and the house got much louder for a few hours.

They played Xbox for a while, and then we all had some dinner together. After dinner, the boys ran around in their Batman and Thor costumes, as they like to do. Eventually, they settled in front of the TV for about half an hour before snack time.

I helped Buster into PJs, and then read stories to Buster and Cousin C until Aunt O arrived to retrieve her son. I read a couple more stories to Buster before we turned the light out, and he fell asleep pretty quickly.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Martial Art Interest

We had a routine morning, and I took both kids to school as M-lady had to head out for an early meeting. It was pretty chilly again this morning, but the kids didn't seem to mind too much.

M-lady got home in time to take Bud to his piano lesson, and I arrived home around 5:30, a few minutes before M-lady and Bud got back. We said goodbye to Nanny J, and got started on our usual movie night routine.

I got some Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner cartoons at Buster's behest, and we watched those while eating dinner. Buster absolutely loved them, and squealed each time Wile E. got pounded. He was pretty worked up by the time we turned the cartoons off.

We played a couple of Rock Band songs together as a family, and then had a snack before heading up to bed. I watched some YouTube clips with Bud before bed, and I've started watching kung fu movie clips with him. He really likes Jet Li and Jackie Chan. In particular, he seems taken with Drunken Boxing. We turned the light out a little after 9:00, and he was asleep pretty quickly.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Out For A Movie

Buster was in bed with us around 7:00, and we had a pretty standard morning once we got going, around 7:30. I got breakfast for the kids, and they were ready to go in time. M-lady had an early meeting, so I took both kids. It was pretty cold this morning, though, so I warned Bud to keep moving while he waited for the door.

My company purchased a theater's worth of tickets to a pre-showing of The Hobbit this afternoon, so I was there from about 5:00 to 8:00. The film was good, and I made it home before the kids went to bed. Bud was very anxious to find out how the film was.

I read a BOB book with Buster, who's getting better at reading. We played on the iPad for a few minutes before turning out the light.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Picking Up

The kids were pretty good about getting going this morning. We did the advent calendars, and M-lady took them both to school after breakfast. It was a bit wet outside, so they got to wear their new raincoats, which they were pretty excited about.

Nanny J had an appointment this morning and she wasn't entirely sure when she'd wrap up, so I stayed home to go pick up Buster. I got him at 11:30, and we came home to find Nanny J already arrived. I headed off to work as Buster started asking Nanny J about lunch.

The kids seem to have had a good day. I got home around 5:30, and we said goodbye to Nanny J before playing a quick game on the computer. Bud got started on his homework around the time M-lady got home, and the boys and I played a little bit of Rock Band before I started making dinner and Bud started working on his piano practice.

Dinner was a little late, but both kids ate pretty well. After dinner Bud worked on piano a little more, although it was only a few minutes until snack time. The kids did the usual snack and bedtime routine, and M-lady put Buster to bed while I hung out with Bud for a bit before we turned out the lights.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

New Game and Movie

Buster crawled in bed with us fairly early again this morning, and was good about getting up with us and getting ready. Bud got himself ready as well, and we did the advent calendar thing (Lego and Radio ornament) before heading down to breakfast.

I took Buster to school this morning, while M-lady dropped Bud off. The kids had a good day, and I got home around 5:30. Bud informed that he got the first tape on his belt today, indicating that his kicks are good enough to test for the next level belt. He still needs to get marks for his forms and one-step sparring, but he seems to continue to progress quickly.

We said goodbye to Nanny J, and I had a quick call with Granddad B and Grandma Nese. After the call, I had dinner with the kids, who ate reasonably well. M-lady was out having dinner with her team, so it was just the three of us this evening.

After dinner, Bud did a good job on his homework, and then we all played Rock Band together for about half an hour. Buster played drums, and Bud played keyboards for a bit before switching to singing. We had a good time together, and then a quick snack time before bed.

Buster and I played a new game on the iPad together: Star Wars Angry Birds. Two licenses I didn't expect to see together, but the gameplay is pretty good, and Buster, of course, loves the crossover. We played that until it was time to turn the lights out.

After Buster was tucked in, Bud and I started watching a movie together: Raiders of the Lost Ark. Bud is getting to the age where he can handle more mature movies, and was really excited about seeing Indiana Jones. We watched the opening South America temple scene, and Bud covered his eyes for a couple of the scary parts, but didn't want to stop and go to bed at 9:00. We turned it off, and will need to make plans to watch the rest.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Holiday Guests

Buster was in bed with us when we got up around 7:30 this morning, but Bud was still sound asleep. I rolled him out around 7:40, and the kids were pretty good about getting ready. M-lady took Buster to school and volunteered in his class this morning, and I dropped Bud off before heading to work.

The kids seem to have had a good day. I got home around 5:15, and Bud was playing a game of Chinese chess (Xiangqi) with Nanny J. Bud promptly challenged me to a game of chess when he wrapped up that game, and we played a quick game together.

M-lady arrived home, and we got started on preparing dinner for a couple of guests who arrived a short time later, M-lady's work friends F and P. Bud holed himself up for much of the evening, but Buster warmed up to the guests and showed them quite a bit, including drumming a couple of Rock Band songs while dinner was cooking.

We had a nice dinner, and the kids ate reasonably well. Buster continued to bring a parade of tree ornaments and other toys in to show to the guests after eating, and Bud mostly retired to his room again. We said goodnight to our guests around snack time, and the kids did a standard snack and bedtime routine.

I helped put Buster to bed, and we read a BOB book before checking out the astronomy apps on the iPad. He was asleep pretty quickly after turning out the light.

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Decorating the Tree

I got up early this morning, a little before 7:00, in order to head to a bike race. Bud was waking up, and I said goodbye to him before I headed out. I believe he read for a bit before getting up.

The family had a good morning. M-lady got breakfast for the kids, and they were decorating the tree when I arrived home around noon. They were wrapping up decorating when I finished my shower, and I helped arrange a few lights, put the tree topper up, and set up the automatic tree watering device. I got lunch for the family a short time later as they were starting to get hungry.

After lunch, we did some various cleanup around the house, including taking down the rail guard film on the second floor. Both kids helped a little, and the whole house looks nicer with the guards removed.

I was able to snooze for about 15 minutes before heading out to Home Depot to run a quick errand, and when I got back we all got dressed and ready for Bud's piano recital. We headed to the recital on time, and Bud gave a very solid performance.

We picked up some dinner on the way home, and all ate an enjoyable dinner together. Bud's doing better with chopsticks. After dinner, M-lady watched some TV with the kids while I headed out to a friend's gathering. M-lady put the kids to bed, and reported that they had a good evening together.

Saturday, December 08, 2012

Holiday Preparation

The kids slept in a bit, and didn't jump into bed with us until after 8:30. M-lady got up with them after a bit and got them some breakfast, and I enjoyed sleeping in a bit. When I finally got up, I encouraged the kids to get dressed, and we played a couple of songs of Rock Band 3 together before we loaded up and headed out to pick up a Christmas tree.

We had fun picking out a tree, and then loaded it into our minivan (instead of on top of our old SUV, as we'd done previously). It's easier to handle a tree loaded inside the minivan than tying it down and getting it down from the roof of the car.

We got the tree inside and into the stand, and then the kids had some lunch while I headed off to get a haircut.

The kids were excited to show me a chocolate advent calendar the M-lady had brought back for them, and we chatted about that a bit when I returned. The kids helped me get all the boxes of Christmas decorations down from storage, although we didn't really get into the boxes themselves. Then the kids played outside for a bit while I clambered about on the roof, doing some minor repairs on our satellite dish.

We headed in when it got dark, around 5:00ish, and M-lady and I started getting ready to go out a short time later. Nanny J arrived around 6:00, and M-lady and I headed out to a holiday party around 6:30. Both kids were playing with their iPads, and vaguely waved goodbye to us as we left. They apparently had a good evening (Nanny J baked banana bread), and were sleeping soundly when M-lady and I got back.

Friday, December 07, 2012

Two Arrivals

We did a fairly standard morning routine, although I had to roust both the kids from bed. They were good about getting ready, though, and I was able to drop them both off at school on time. I headed in to work shortly after that.

I was home around 11:30 when the plumber arrived to replace our hot water heater (ordering the part didn't work out). Buster and Nanny J arrived a short time later, and Buster had a good time watching the plumber for some of the afternoon.

The plumber finished up around 3:30, after Bud got home, and I headed back to work soon after. While I was in the office, M-lady arrived home to the great delight of the kids. She took Bud to piano practice, and they arrived home a few minutes before I did. We said goodnight to Nanny J, I brought the dinner I'd picked up on the way home inside, and we watched The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Movie again at the kids request. They really enjoyed it again, and loved the Road Runner section.

M-lady and I put the kids to bed, and M-lady was specially requested for snuggling by both boys.

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Quick Borrowed Showers

I rolled the kids out of bed around 7:30 this morning, and we had a pretty usual routine. I got Buster to class a few minutes late, but the door was still open, so that was fine.

The kids seemed to have had a good day. Bud did his homework in the afternoon, and then they headed to TKD for the later class. I met them there, and we said goodbye to Nanny J at the end of class. I'd packed up a change of clothes and some towels for the kids, and we headed over to Aunt O, Uncle C, and Cousin C's place on the way home. Buster was really excited to see Cousin C.

Both the kids got showers, and Buster got a little time to play with Cousin C, and then we packed up and headed home. We got some dinner when we arrived home, and Bud did his piano practice. Snack and bed time were pretty straight forward, and little quicker than usual since we'd already taken care of showers.

We're all excited to see M-lady tomorrow, and hopefully get our hot water back as well!

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Alternate Bathing

Buster crawled into bed with me again around 7:00, and we got up about 7:30. The kids were pretty quick to get up, although it was cloudy and rainy outside. We did the advent calendar, and then headed down to breakfast. I got the kids out the door a few minutes quicker this morning, and we made the school drop-offs in time.

I got home around 5:30, and discovered Nanny J had expected me to be out later. So I dropped my stuff and headed back out for a little while. I grabbed some dinner and ran a quick errand at Target, and got home around 7:00. The kids had enjoyed TKD in the afternoon, and I found Bud had tackled his homework.

We said goodbye to Nanny J, and I baked a small set of sugar cookies with the kids amid piano practice and washcloth baths. We each had a cookie at snack time, and then I did the bedtime routine with Buster. We ended up just spending time reading one of his astronomy books before turning out the light.

After getting Buster to bed, I did a washcloth bath with Bud, and got him ready for bed. We read some Greek myths together before turning out the light around 9:00.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Borrowing a Shower

We got up a few minutes early this morning to have a video call with M-lady, which the kids really enjoyed. It was just a chance to say a quick hello, but it was nice to see her face. After getting off the call around 7:45, we did our standard morning routine. I dropped the kids off at school and headed to work.

I got home again around 4:00, as the kids were having a snack, and helped them get ready for TKD and pack a spare change of clothes. We said goodbye to Nanny J, and I took the kids to the later TKD class. They had a good time, and each received their new belts: Purple Sr. for Bud, and Orange Sr. for Buster.

After TKD, we headed towards home by way of Aunt O, Uncle C, and Cousin C's house, where we stopped to shower the boys (since we're still bereft of hot water at home). Cousin C was pretty excited to have company, and we were invited to stay for dinner after the kids were cleaned up. We accepted (Bud had completed his homework in the afternoon), and had a pleasant meal and company for a bit. Thanks again, O, C, and C!

We headed home around 7:00 after saying thank yous and goodnights, and got home in time for Bud to do a piano practice before snack time. The kids had a quick snack, and we got ready for bed. Buster and I read more of a planet book before bed, and Bud and I played some Boggle on the iPad. The kids were asleep pretty quickly after the lights went out.

Planetarium and Washing

Buster crawled into bed with me around 7:00, and I rolled out around 7:30, as usual. The morning routine was fairly standard (with the addition of the Lego Advent Calendar opening), although Buster wasn't going to school. We dropped Bud off, and then headed back home for a short time.

Around 9:30, Buster and I headed off to the nearby community college planetarium for his preschool field trip. They've been learning about planets and astronomy, and Buster's been absorbing it like a sponge. The planetarium trip was the culmination of their astronomy unit, and I did the same trip with Bud a few years ago.

We had a great time and Buster was excited about the whole trip. There was a movie about the planets, and then a brief tour of the current winter sky, including pointing out Mars and Jupiter. I think Buster's is thoroughly primed to pull out the telescope and take a look.

We met Nanny J as we were arriving home, and I let her know that the water heater was out. I made some space for the arriving plumber, and then spent the day working from home and entertaining plumbers as they showed up.

Bud got home from school mid-afternoon, and the kids and Nanny J played outside for a bit. As the water heater didn't get fixed today, Nanny J gave Buster a warm washcloth-bath, rather than his usual bath. We said goodbye to Nanny J around 5:45, and I got Bud started on his homework a short time later.

While Bud was working on his homework, Buster wrote his alphabet and the numbers 1-20 on a piece of paper. When they had finished up, we got started on dinner, and the kids requested ham sandwiches. Normally not a dinner menu, but Buster was interested, and doesn't eat a lot of meat, so I went with it. Buster devoured his sandwich, so I'll probably ride that meal for a while.

After dinner, Bud did his piano practice while Buster watched some Sesame Street. Snack came up after that, and then bedtime. I read an astronomy book with Buster before turning out his light, and then helped Bud take a warm washcloth-bath as well before watching a few minutes of video with him before bed. He was pretty excited about the bathing, and may be disappointed if we get the water fixed tomorrow.

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Developing the Band

The kids rolled in around 8:00 this morning, and I got up a few minutes later to get them some breakfast. We all ate together, and after breakfast we hung out a bit before playing some Rock Band. We changed instruments a few times, but settled into Buster playing drums (with the set lowered so he can reach the kick pedal, which he used for the first time), me on guitar, and Bud singing. We did a number of songs that he generally knows the tune for, and he can read quickly enough now to get pretty good scores on the songs. We had a great time, and kept with it for a while.

After taking a break, Buster played a little bit of Lego Batman on the Xbox while Bud and I played a game of Scrabble at his request. He did pretty well, and totaled over 100 points before we called the game due to lack of places to play words. That took us to lunch, and both kids ate pretty well.

After lunch, we got through Bud's piano practice, which he did pretty well. After practicing, I put some sugar cookie dough together, and we put it in the fridge before heading outside for a bit. The rain had stopped by that point, so we went to get some air, and spent some time hanging the Xmas lights on the outside of the house. The kids helped, and were excited to see the lights working. We headed back in around 4:00ish and got a batch of cookies in the oven before playing a little more Rock Band before dinner.

The kids ate well, but I discovered an issue with the hot water heater after dinner (it wasn't making hot water) which kept me occupied for a bit. The kids seemed to do a good job entertaining themselves until snack time. We each had a cookie at snack time, and then got started on the bedtime routine. I had the kids skip showers, since we didn't have hot water, and headed straight to bed after snack. I read a couple BOB books with Buster, and then read some of The Hobbit with Bud before turning the lights out.

Saturday, December 01, 2012


The kids were up before 8:00 this morning, and Buster crawled in bed with me for a little while as Bud read in his own bed. It wasn't too long before they started complaining of dire hunger, so I got up and got them some breakfast. After eating, they were excited to see that M-lady and I had gotten them the Star Wars Lego advent calendars again, and opened up the first day to find a tiny Lego model of a Gungan submarine.

I snoozed again for a bit in the later morning, and the kids had fun with Lego and iPads for a bit. After I got up and wrested the iPads from then again, we headed downstairs and all had some lunch together. The kids ate pretty well, and after lunch we spent some time looking at the photos I'd taken the previous night of their TKD tests.

We had a nice video chat with Grandma W, and then another with M-lady, who the kids had asked about several times. Buster in particular was happy to see M-lady, and both kids were communicative on the calls.

After the chats, the kids and I loaded up and headed out to do some grocery shopping. It was nice to get out of the house for a bit, even though it was rainy, and we had a good time doing the quick shopping trip. We unloaded the food when we got home and the kids had a quick snack, and then we played some Rock Band 3 together before all heading out again to pick up some dinner.

We did movie night for dinner, since we'd missed out on movie night the previous evening with the TKD tests. We watched The Bugs Bunny/Roadrunner Movie, since I'd realized the kids hadn't really been exposed to Loony Tunes at all (major gap in their education). The kids loved the cartoons, and loved the characters. We watched a little longer than we should have, and the kids got to bed a few minutes late, but it was totally worth it. I look forward to digging up some of the classic Loony Tunes now, and watching them with the family.