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Scott Alan Miller :: A Life Online

July 21, 2014: Too Warm for the Playground

July 30th, 2014 by Scott Alan Miller

It is Monday and I am back to work, of course.  It is a warm day today.  I got home and Luciana wanted to go to the playground but Dominica did not feel up to it because it was so warm out so we spent the evening in the living room instead.  It was a pretty quiet evening.  Played some video games with the girls.

Very little going on today.  But that’s okay.  Mondays tend to be like that.

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July 20, 2014: More Wii Today

July 30th, 2014 by Scott Alan Miller

The girls got up on the early side this morning and both decided that they wanted to spend the morning playing on the Wii U.  They are improving so quickly!

We decided on getting Subway for lunch. Liesl is always super excited to be getting Subway. I have no idea what made her so addicted to Subway sandwiches but she really is. Just say “Liesl, what about Subway for lunch” and she gets a huge smile on her face and starts bouncing all over the house yelling “Subway! Subway! Subway!”. What is stranger is that the only sandwich that she likes is a plain Italian roll with lettuce, American cheese, green peppers and mayo. That’s it. She would eat tomatoes but they tend to make a mess. So it is effectively a lettuce sub. So weird. But she absolutely loves them. If only we could ease her into a few more veggies on there. Tomatoes, maybe cucumbers. Something.

I got our subs and returned to the house. Liesl had been watching a new show that she discovered “Tree Fu Tom” or something like that. It is really weird, whatever it is. Once I got home we switched to Jurassic Park, which Dominica just picked up from Amazon VOD (we pretty much buy all of our movies from there now – cheaper and we don’t have to store anything and all of our movies travel with us wherever we go too) which we have been wanting to watch with the girls for a long time. Liesl did not want to watch it, though, and so, as you can predict, she was unhappy with the entire movie. You have to “sell” these things before starting the movie or all hope is lost. She mostly pouted the entire time saying that it was boring and never scary or exciting. Dominica and I loved it though. Has been many, many years since either of us has seen it and it is mind blowing that it is twenty one years old now! I saw it in the movie theater many times when it first released. I saw it in high school and I know that I took a date (Tracy Miller) to it when I was at GMI in Flint, Michigan in the summer of 1994. (Russell, my later roommate, took Lisa Prox and the four of us drove there in Russell’s Chevy Z24.)

The one really funny moment of the movie was the very first time that they show the dinosaurs in the film. Liesl was sitting on the couch and when the giant brachiosaurus came on she literally slid off of the couch onto the floor, she was so amazed!

Ciana has been begging all weekend to go to the playground so we walked up there around five.  It was a nice walk up but the girls didn’t actually want to use the playground for very long today, so it was a short stay there.

The girls played a lot of video games this evening. They are loving the Wii U and Liesl told me that it was a really awesome surprise that I got for them. We are really relieved that they like it so much as it was a large purchase and we had no idea if there would be any games for them or if they would be interested in it at all. They are finding a lot of stuff that they really like to do and they enjoy watching me play it too which I would not have guessed. I played a bit of Wind Waker today and am way ahead of Dominica’s game now. Liesl and Luciana both thought that it was great fun to watch me play. They really get into the adventure. And since it is a Zelda game there is pretty much no story for them to follow making it much easier.

Both girls were super snuggly today. All day they pretty much just spent it snuggling with us on the couch. They have really, really missed being home together as a family, as have I.

After finally getting the girls to bed tonight, Dominica and I watched the first episode in the fourth season of “Sherlock” from the BBC. What an awesome show.

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July 19, 2014: Wii Day

July 30th, 2014 by Scott Alan Miller

After a bit of cajoling I convinced Dominica to go for a drive out to Bedford to go to the diner there because I was really feeling like their smoked salmon eggs benedict.  It was nearly one by the time that we made it out there.  The drive from here is just over half an hour and it turns out that we cannot do that anymore because both Dominica and Luciana were starting to get car sick from the drive.  One of the problems with living out here in the woods is that the roads are so crazy curvy everywhere that you go that you really cannot drive anywhere that isn’t on the expressway without it being a problem for people who have a tendency towards car sickness.

The food was excellent and everyone really liked it.  Dominica got the California omelette burrito which she loved.  The girls, of course, got pancakes.  They are pancake addicts.

After the diner we drove to Yorktown and did some video game shopping at the Game Stop there.  We picked up a Wii U Princess Peach Pink controller for Liesl to use on Wii-style games and got three used games for the girls, a Barbie Wii U game, a Diego Wii game and a Cooking Mama Wii game.  The girls were really excited.

We stopped quickly at a green grocer too that had live herbs for sale on display outside.  We picked up sage, basil and rosemary for the girls to grow in the house.  Then we headed back home as the girls were out of control restless and not able to handle being out anymore.

I played Wind Waker on the Wii U for a bit.  Maybe twenty or thirty minutes.  Luciana sat with me and watched, she likes watching me play that game because it tells a story.  Liesl eventually joined us and she was very insistent on showing me where to go and what to do because she has played a lot more of the game than I have.

Liesl tried playing some more of The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker but she only managed to play a few minutes because she got really scared.  She isn’t ready to handle games with “bad guys”, especially in an action game where things happen in real time.  The she and Luciana played their news Barbie and Diego games.  Luciana picked up the Diego game very quickly and was really making progress.  It is basically a Diego themed copy of the Dora Snow Princess game that Liesl liked so much on the Wii and that was her first real game that she was able to play.

Dominica bought The Incredibles and Sky High from Amazon VOD today and we watched those tonight.  The girls did well and made it right through The Incredibles.  Doing two movies was, apparently, too much for them.  They lost interest and were not into Sky High which we ended up turning off halfway through and putting Luciana to bed with an iPad (and she was asleep very soon thereafter) and Liesl put in a little time playing some Wii games like their new Diego game and Cooking Mama.

We are finally at a point where both girls are able to play real video games on a normal video game console.  That is pretty neat.  Now begins the endless fighting over who gets to play what and when, of course.

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July 18, 2014: Car Repairs

July 30th, 2014 by Scott Alan Miller

We are in the Hilton Garden Inn in Norwalk, Connecticut this morning. Getting up here, right across the street from the office, is awesome. It is so nice to not have to commute for an hour to get to work. I am so tired of doing that commute. Dominica always feels so badly for me anytime that she has to drive down here to Norwalk. She forgets that I am doing this drive every single day. She can barely stand doing it on special occasions and almost always (maybe actually always) gets to stay in a hotel between trips one way and the other so she never experiences doing the full round trip in a single day so never feels the commuting hit as much as I do every day. It is really rough and wears on you pretty significantly.

This morning I got up early and ran the Spark up to Wilton to drop it off at the Chevy dealer there in the hopes that they can get it fixed as it has been having a lot of issues recently. The drop off was very fast and smooth and they had an immediate shuttle to run me back to the hotel. I helped Dominica and the girls get ready and they drove me over to the office and dropped me off.

Kind of a long day in the office today. Higher stress than usual. Late afternoon I had to run up to Wilton again, via shuttle, to pick up the Spark which they managed to get working again. Then back to the office for a while before driving down to South Norwalk to “The Ginger Man” which is a pretty awesome pub down there for a going away party for a friend from work who is moving to California. Was there from about a quarter till seven until nine thirty. Had a good time.

Car did well on the drive home. No further issues, it would appear. Now I can push to get the average past the current 35.9MPG.

Got home and everyone was still awake. Hung out with the family for about an hour and got everyone off to bed.

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July 17, 2014: Country Fair

July 30th, 2014 by Scott Alan Miller

Today is the Country Fair at work. So tonight Dominica and the girls are driving out to join me. We have a hotel room tonight to make things easy. Right across the street from the office.

Work was fine today. Everyone was leaving slightly early because of the fair tonight which is very well attended in general. Overall, pretty quiet.

Dominica and the girls arrived in town after three and got checked into the hotel, the Hilton Garden Inn Norwalk. Ever since we used a Hilton in San Antonio, we have been hooked on using them. We pay more but the rooms are so nice and we get good points by being local so it seems pretty good for us. Dominica and Francesca used a Hilton Home2 property on their last drive up from Florida to New York too. So the girls had about two hours to just chill in the hotel room before I got over there to join them. I got out of work only about thirty minutes early.

We changed quickly at the hotel and then took the Acadia to Bridgeport for the event this evening. Traffic was bad getting out to Bridgeport, took at least forty minutes to get there which sucked. The girls were all tired of being in the car just from driving out to Norwalk!

The event was really cool. Liesl and Luciana had a great time. We got in the door and immediately got some Blue Moon beers for Dominica and I and fried Mac and Cheese, the girls got bandanas in their own colours and little kid cowboy hats to wear too! There was a ton of activities for them.

The first stop was the big bouncy slide. This was a huge double inflated slide, very tall. Maybe the biggest slide that the girls have done. I’m sure that it is the biggest that Ciana has done. At first only Liesl could do it, it was so hard to climb up. Luciana tried and decided that she couldn’t do it and just hung out with us while Liesl played there for a bit.

Of course we had to do face painting right away. Both girls love getting their faces painted so much. Liesl went for a flowery crown paint job and Luciana went for a full face tiger that was really awesome.

Our next stop was a bouncy house. There was a great bouncy house with lots of room to play. Luciana went straight in there and Liesl and Dominica went off for Liesl to take her very first horse ride ever! When Liesl was done with that she joined Luciana in the bouncy house, which had an smaller indoor slide too, for quite a while. They really loved that.

Then the pie eating contest was about to begin so I went to watch that and Dominica took the girls during the lull over to the carnival games area so that they could play a bunch of the silly carnival style games (throwing darts, popping balloons, etc.) when there were no crowds.

We did sand art and painted pottery. We got baked potatoes, traditional mac and cheese and some other food. While we ate for a bit the girls went off on their own to the big huge slide again when they were basically the only kids around and had it completely to themselves for probably twenty minutes. They had an awesome time doing that. They could just run up the slide as fast as they could do it, no other kids in their way. With no other kids there Luciana was brave enough and steady enough to do it without any problem. They were so adorable.

It was a quarter after ten when we left the event and drove back to Norwalk. So it was not long before eleven when we got in and we were off straight to bed. Originally Luciana and Liesl both got into bed to snuggle with me but after a little big Luciana decided that she wanted to snuggle her mommy (or she decided that she needed more space) and she moved over to be with Dominica. We tried ordering room service before going to bed but they closed a few minutes early and we didn’t make it in time so straight to bed for us.

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July 16, 2014: Rain Day

July 30th, 2014 by Scott Alan Miller

It has been really rainy week.  So tonight’s events were pushed off until tomorrow so today ended up just being a normal day.  I went to work and then we had a quiet evening together as a family.

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July 15, 2014: Trying to Get Back to Normal

July 30th, 2014 by Scott Alan Miller

Everyone is home now and we are starting to get back to normal, as much as possible.  I have to go to work during the day so I am still missing the girls a lot, not a lot of time to spend with them yet.  Lots of house cleaning needs to be done too.

This evening we went to the playground and played a little bit of Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker tonight.  Quiet night.  Just time with the girls.

Tomorrow is a very busy day for us so tonight is time to just relax.  The whole family is coming out to go to the country fair with my office tomorrow and spending the night there.

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July 14, 2014: The Family Returns Home

July 30th, 2014 by Scott Alan Miller

This morning I went to work. Today is the big day, Dominica and the girls are coming home. Finally coming back after more than a month away (they were home a few days in the middle.) They have been away most of the summer. It has been really tough.

Work was pretty normal. Left at the usual time. Dominica and the girls drove down from Frankfort in the middle of the afternoon and got to the house about an hour before I did. The first thing was to give the girls a bath, they were still in the bath when I got home.

Both Liesl and Luciana were anxiously awaiting me to get home because they knew that I had bought them something and had it ready as a surprise for them at the house. They’ve been wondering what it could be since the weekend.

Once they were out of the shower I showed them the new Wii U. They were very excited once they saw what it was. Liesl immediately picked it up and started playing The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD. She loved it and was able to do things almost instantly. It requires reading, though, so that is going to be a bit of a challenge. But she was exploring and making progress in the game so quickly. This is not a game meant for her age range at all. Very encouraging. She really pushes herself.

We did a bit of laundry and cleaning tonight. There is no food in the house which is a challenge. Like really nothing except jars of peanut butter.

Liesl is excited to get to play more of her new game tomorrow and Luciana has all kinds of new craft projects that she is asking to get to do including using her first set of real paint.

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