Sunday, August 31, 2014

Focus Time

The kids were up pretty early, and were in and out of the room a bit. We eventually got up and had some breakfast, including the remainder of the cinnamon rolls from the previous day. After breakfast, we hung around the house a bit and the kids got started on their piano practice.

I got started on a bike ride at about noon, around the same time the kids were taking off with M-lady to go to the school to play for a little while. After playing at the school, they took a trip to Target, where Bud spent his allowance and got some Nerf weapons, while Buster picked up a Lego set with the remainder of his funds.

At about 3:00, M-lady dropped Bud off at a friend's birthday party. When I got home around 4:00, Buster was wrapping up the build on his new Lego set. After I'd showered and cleaned up, I hung out with him, checking out the set, and then spent a little time playing on the Xbox with him.

Since Bud got to go to a birthday party, we offered Buster the opportunity to select dinner. He opted for McDonald's, so we headed there for a fairly early dinner. Buster got a milkshake after eating his meal, which he was pretty pleased about. When we got home, he and I spent some more time playing together.

Bud called from the party at about 6:00, asking to be picked up an hour later than planned. We confirmed with the parents, and went to get Bud around 8:00. He'd had a great time at the party, and we had a short time to hang out before starting the bedtime routine.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Meeting People Far Away

The primary excitement yesterday was the delivery of our new clothes washer, which seems to be working well. It may be about time for Bud to learn how to do his own laundry, as well. The kids had a good day, a good time at piano lesson, and we had fun with movie night.

We rolled out of bed at 7:30 this morning, a bit early for the weekend, and got ready to head out of the house. Aunt O and Cousin C arrived at 8:00, and a short time later we were loaded up into the minivan and heading south.

The kids enjoyed watching a movie in the car on the way south, and shortly after 9:30 we arrived at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. After navigating the entrance, we headed straight for the new exhibit, Tentacles. It included sections on Octopuses, Squids, Nautiluses, and Cuttlefish. We got to see a fairly active Giant Pacific Octopus, as well as a number of other species.

While we were wandering around in the dark of the exhibit, we bumped into Friends K and S, and their daughters Av and An. It was a very pleasant chance meeting. We chatted for a few minutes, and then planned to meet up again for lunch.

We continued on to see the Jellies exhibit, which had changed since the last time M-lady and I saw it. We did managed to see the Flower Hat Jellies again, though. After that, we headed to The Open Sea exhibit to catch the feeding, which was very interesting.

Aunt RuggerMom, visiting the area for a conference this week, arrived as the show wrapped up, and we met up with her and her Friend M before convening for lunch with the others. We had a pretty big group by this time, but having arrived at lunch early, managed to secure a table for all of us and enjoy lunch together.

We hung out with everyone outside, looking at the kelp beds and sea otters after lunch, and then split up to visit some of the other parts of the aquarium. We had a pleasant time, and eventually headed out around 3:00. After saying goodbye to Aunt Ruggermom and Friend, we drove home. I took a nap on arrival, while the kids played for a bit.

When I got up, I took the kids to Toys 'R Us so we could pick up a gift for a birthday party Bud will be attending tomorrow, and Buster found a way to spend his accumulated allowance by investing in the Skylanders game. That should be entertaining for a while. Bud held off, as Toys 'R Us didn't have the Nerf gun he was looking for.

M-lady did the grocery shopping while we were out, and we had dinner shortly after she arrived home. It was a pretty late dinner, and led to piano practice and then getting ready for bed. I played on iPads with Buster until we turned out the light at about 8:30, and then we giggled together for a little while before he fell asleep around 9:00.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Back to School Night

The kids were pretty good about getting up, although I had to roll Bud out of bed, which is a little unusual. Both kids made it downstairs for breakfast, though, and M-lady was able to get them to school without any trouble. M-lady volunteered in Bud's classroom this morning, and that apparently went very well.

The kids seem to have had a good day. M-lady and I were home at about 5:30, and headed off to their school for the parent's Back to School night. We heard some overview items from the principal, and then visited each of the kids' classrooms. Buster has the same 1st grade teacher as Bud did, so we were back in Mrs. R's classroom again. Bud's teacher seemed really nice, and a lot of Bud's friends from past years are in his class this year.

Nanny J brought the kids back from TKD and fed them dinner, and Bud was playing outside when we got home. Buster had taken his bath, and was reading a book. We said goodnight to Nanny J, and I started the bedtime routine with Buster while M-lady got Bud inside. Buster and I read a book together, and turned out the light at about 8:30.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Playing Outside

Buster's alarm went off this morning, waking everybody up. Buster got out of bed to come snuggle with M-lady for a few minutes, and then we got started on the usual morning routine. The kids were good about getting ready, and we headed out the door in plenty of time. I dropped the kids off, and then headed to work.

The kids seem to have had a good day at school. M-lady picked them up from TKD in the late afternoon, while I headed out to race my track bike again. Bud was apparently demoing at the front of the class, which he hasn't done for some time, since the kids have been in much more advanced classes recently.

They got home, had dinner, and practiced piano. Afterwards, both kids headed outside to play with the neighbors. Buster hasn't wanted to play outside in the evening in a while, so M-lady let them play a little later than usual. They were called in around 8:15, and did the bedtime routine.

I didn't get home until after 9:30, and the kids were asleep. I look forward to seeing them tomorrow, though!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Efficient Evenings

The kids were good about getting up this morning, and we did a standard morning routine. I took the kids to school, and waited with Buster. Bud had a substitute teacher for the morning apparently, which went just fine.

I picked up the kids from their later TKD class at 6:30. The drive home was fairly quick, but we still didn't arrive until about 7:00. Buster took a shower while Bud deferred, and we all had some dinner together. After dinner, the kids tackled piano, I took a look at Bud's homework, and we had a snack starting at about 8:00.

I read a bit with Buster, and we played for a few minutes on the iPad before turning the light out at 8:30. Our evenings are certainly packed on Tuesdays and Thursdays, but with Bud doing his homework beforehand (and Buster not having homework yet), it's manageable so far.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Slow Homework Ramp

The kids were pretty good about getting up this morning, and I got them dressed and breakfasted before M-lady took them to school. I jumped on my bike and headed to work shortly after. The kids seem to have had a good day, and both ate their lunches (although Bud ate most of his after he got home).

Buster explained to Nanny J that the washing machine was broken, so there was no laundry to do today. The kids should have enough clothes to get them through until the new washer is delivered, though. M-lady arrived home in time to relieve Nanny J, and I got home around 6:15, just as Nanny J was leaving.

After I showered, M-lady and I got dinner together, and we all ate. After dinner, the kids did their piano, and I took a look at Bud's homework with him. It was already mostly done, and didn't take more than a few minutes. I expect it to ramp up over the next few weeks, but the focus this year is clearly on Bud doing his homework by himself, rather than having the parents work through it with him.

The kids opted to skip snack and play a bit more: Bud outside with the neighbors, and Buster on the Xbox. We got them moving towards bed at about 8:15, and I watched a bit of Mythbusters with Bud before we turned the light out around 9:00.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Washer Weekend

The kids were good about going to school on Friday, and in the afternoon M-lady took them to their piano lesson. We did our traditional Friday Movie Night, and watched the end of Star Wars Episode II, followed by specials about the movie until it was time to go to bed.

After the kids went to bed, I ran a load of laundry and discovered the spin cycle on our washer had died. The washer is about 14 years old and has been repaired three times: it was time to get a new washer. So the rest of the weekend was largely involved in washer research.

I went out on a bike ride Saturday morning, and M-lady had breakfast with the kids and took them out shopping and to the library. I got groceries when I got home from the ride, and met them at home when I got back. We relaxed a little while for the afternoon, then made an outing to shop for new water bottles for the kids for school, followed by dinner out at a burger place. Dinner was fairly early, so we had time to come home and play a bit more before bedtime.

On Sunday, M-lady got up with the kids and got them some breakfast. A bit before 10:00, we all loaded up and headed over to Ama and Agu's for brunch, where we celebrated their one-year anniversary of moving into their house. We also took a load of laundry with us to do at their place. After a wonderful brunch and little bit of TV, we headed home.

Before too long, we loaded up again to head to Sears and do some clothes washer research. The kids found a spot to sit and play with their iPads while M-lady and I took a look at some models. The kids were great, and didn't really want to leave (and turn over their iPads). We headed home, and Buster watched some of the Chargers game with me.

M-lady and I ordered a washer online, and then got dinner together. Both kids ate well, and we had time to play a bit more after dinner. Snack and bedtime were straightforward, and I read stories with Buster before turning the light out around 8:30.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

More Sparring

The kids were good about getting up this morning, although Buster was just a little slow getting ready and had to be hurried to head out the door to school with M-lady. I worked from home for a short time in the morning, and then headed to work.

The kids had a good day at school, then did TKD in the afternoon again. I met them there, and watched as they had a fairly long conditioning and sparring session. Both kids looked good sparring, although Buster doesn't have much reach yet.

We got home around 7:00, and I helped Buster with a shower as M-lady and Bud got some dinner. Buster and I joined shortly, and after dinner Bud tackled piano while Buster played a little bit of Xbox. When it was Buster's turn for piano, Bud headed outside to play for a short time. When Buster finished up, I called Bud in, and we did the usual snack and bed time.

The evening is certainly crowded when we get home around 7:00. Hopefully we can streamline and handle homework without too much trouble as the homework load increases for the kids.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Wednesday Night Racing

The kids were pretty good about getting up again today, and we did a pretty standard morning routine. M-lady rolled out a bit early to take her car to the shop, and I took the kids to school. The dropoff went fine, and the kids had a good day at school.

They did TKD in the afternoon, and M-lady picked them up while I headed out to race at the track. M-lady brought them home, made dinner, did piano, and confirmed Bud's homework with him, which was to show us his homework planner. M-lady ran the bedtime routine as well, and the kids were in bed by the time I got home. Bud got up briefly to say goodnight to me, which was nice, but I missed out on spending time with them tonight.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Establishing the Schedule

Buster forgot to set his alarm last night, so I rolled him out of bed around 7:40. He didn't have any trouble getting up, and the kids were ready for breakfast before 8:00. They ate, we combed hair, and I took them to school without any issues.

The kids seem to have had a good day. They ate their lunches, had fun at school, and were picked up by Nanny J in the afternoon. Bud was good about doing his (minor) homework assignment when he got home, and I met the kids and Nanny J at their TKD class.

The new TKD class schedule has them getting out at 6:30, so the kids need to be done with homework before they get there. We headed home and came in the door around 7:00. Buster took his shower while Bud and I started on dinner, and M-lady and Buster joined us presently. After dinner, the kids did piano and Bud took his shower before they had a quick snack and we did the bedtime routine.

Time will tell if this new schedule is going to work, but we're hopeful.

Monday, August 18, 2014

First Day of First and Fourth

Buster has set his own alarm clock, which goes off very loudly at about 7:30. We all got up then, and the kids were excited to have breakfast and get ready for school. I helped them get breakfast and packed lunches, and M-lady got a picture before taking them off to class. I headed to work on my bicycle a short time later.

The kids had a good first day of school. Buster enjoyed the longer day, and he waited with Nanny J when he got out 30 minutes before Bud. They arrived home and had time to play before M-lady arrived home, and I got in just before 6:00.

We spent the time before dinner working on completing the first-day-of-school paperwork, signing forms and reading handbooks. The kids were pretty good, and we had dinner together after M-lady worked through the majority of it. After dinner, the kids did their piano practice, and then had a few minutes to play before snack time. Then we did the standard cleaning up and getting ready for bed. I watched a little bit of Mythbusters with Bud before we turned the light out at 9:00.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Last Day of Summer Vacation

Apologies for not posting more over the last week: I was enjoying the last days of summer vacation (as well as recovering from jetlag).

The kids have enjoyed the past week as well, and we had a nice weekend. Today, the kids were up and had some breakfast before M-lady and I were up. I rolled out of bed around 9:30 and joined M-lady in the kitchen, where we got started on putting brunch together. At about 10:00, Ama and Agu arrived, and we all had a nice brunch.

The kids and I played a little bit together after brunch, while M-lady showed travel pictures to Ama and Agu. Our guests took their leave a short time later, and we all rested a bit before having some lunch around 2:00. The kids did their piano with M-lady, and I headed out for a bike ride at about 3:00, and the kids went out with M-lady to do some quick school shopping, including getting a lunchbox for Buster.

They arrived home a short time after I did, and Buster brought in a lunch box almost larger than his backpack. I guess he anticipates being really hungry. M-lady got started on cleaning out the kid's project cabinet, where we stored most of their schoolwork from last year, and the kids helped a bit.

Bud and I headed over to the local track again for some running, and we each did about a mile and half. When we got home and I'd showered, I took Buster with me to pick up Jamba Juice for a light dinner. We all slurped them together when we got home, and had a few minutes of playtime before snack and getting ready for bed. Both kids are pretty excited for tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Back to TKD

The kids don't have school this week, and recovering from jetlag has meant they've gotten up fairly early the past couple of days. Buster tends to crawl into bed with us: yesterday it was at about 3:30am. Fortunately, he fell asleep again, but we've all been getting up around 7:00ish.

Yesterday M-lady took the kids over to Ama and Agu's for the morning, which they really enjoyed. I believe they put together a Nerf war video while they were over there. Nanny J picked them up after lunch, and they played at home for the afternoon.

The kids went back to TKD for the first time in a month in the late afternoon. The studio has expanded, doubling in size, and the schedule has changed a bit. The kids had a lesson starting at 5:00, so I picked them up on the way home. The class had a visiting Korean National Team member as a guest instructor today, showing some sparring techniques. They had a good time, and were tired out by the time we started for home around 6:30.

I brought the kids home from TKD today as well, and we had dinner when we got home. Bud played outside a little bit, Buster played on the Xbox, and both kids did a good job with their piano practice with M-lady. Bedtime was pretty straightforward, and the kids have been falling asleep pretty quickly (since they've been getting up early).

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Running Laps

We're back! We had a wonderful vacation in Norway over the past couple of weeks, and we've been settling back in over the weekend.

We all woke very early this morning, and after all having breakfast together at about 6:30, M-lady and I went back to sleep for a while. M-lady got a second breakfast for Buster a little later, but came back to bed quickly. I finally rolled out of bed around 9:45 to go run an errand, and the kids spent the morning playing together fairly loudly.

M-lady ran an errand when I got back, and I hung out with the kids. We watched a couple of videos on YouTube about Apolo Ohno working on running the Kona Ironman, and the kids got interested in triathlons. Or maybe just drinking chocolate milk for recovery after workouts.

After lunch, we looked at the kids photos from the trip together, and then I headed out for a bike ride in the mid-afternoon. When I got back, the kids were anxious to go out running at the nearby track, so I walked them over. I ran a mile with Bud, and Buster played on the nearby equipment. Bud ended up running more than two miles, and seems to be capable of running an 8:30 mile right now, which isn't too shabby.

We got home and M-lady went out to pick up some dinner. Food was great, and after dinner we had a few minutes to chat before it was time to start getting ready for bed. I helped Buster shower and read a story with him, and we watched a video on the iPad until turning off the lights at 8:30. Hopefully we won't all get up at 5:00 again tomorrow.