Normal Friday at the office. Relatively uneventful day. On my way into the office this morning my gas mileage average improved again and I am now getting 34.8 MPG average over the entire lifespan of the Spark! I am so impressed.
I got to not rush too much this morning. I was on a special project all day at the office today which, like yesterday, made for a nice change of pace. Nothing of particular interest today, but overall a decent day. A really long one, though, by the end of it.
I did not get to leave work until quite late and on the way home I had to stop off at Walmart to pick up Liesl’s chocolate milk drink as she had run out of it and that is the bulk of her food supply, still. In reality, while it seems kind of annoying, I think her fortified health drink addiction is probably awesome as it keeps her on a steady, incredibly healthy diet all of the time. Her other food can vary dramatically but as long as we stay steady on that she is getting a well rounded, vegetarian, very healthy base of nutrition.
Luciana was not listening well tonight and ended up getting sent to bed nearly an hour before I managed to get to the house which was not until after nine! Very late. We watched one episode of “The Mindy Project” with Liesl and then one more while she was getting herself ready to go to bed.
I read Liesl a chapter of “The Silver Chair” and she was off to bed.
Had to get up early this morning, heading out to a farther office today and need to stop by my desk first to pick things up. So my drive in was long today. I was in the office before eight and then out to the other one by eight thirty. It was a nice change of pace. Being at the other office means spending the first part of the morning doing “meet and greets” with some of my clients and then did a project with them until the middle of the afternoon. So a completely different day than my “every day” work which was really nice. Even though I probably did a lot more work than an average day today, it was completely fresh and different and that made it a lot more fun and relaxing.
I was over at the alternative site until two in the afternoon. Then back to my office where I had a few meetings and a very busy rest of the day.
I got home and Liesl and Luciana were busy playing with their Lego blocks. Liesl has had some Lego house kits since long before we left Texas but they were always too hard for her. Dominica worked with her today on them and she had a whole Lego setup going in the living room that she played with all evening.
Dominica and I talked about cruise options. She really wants to take the girls on a cruise sometime and we were trying to figure out how that would make sense and when we could do it. We are thinking that maybe a cruise to the Lesser Antilles would work. So much Caribbean cruising is just lame. We want to go to interesting places.
The evening flew by. All we did was discuss cruising and watching one episode of “The Mindy Project.” We got the girls off to bed later than we had intended, being after ten. I read “The Silver Chair”. I think that this story is harder for the girls to follow and is losing their interest. I am not sure but I don’t think that Liesl is keeping up with the story like she did with the last ones.
Liesl was sneaky and climbed into bed with Dominica and I around midnight after Luciana had fallen asleep and after we were too tired to make her go back to her room.
I got up around five thirty. We went to bed so early last night that I managed to sleep well and still get up at a good time. I showered and got ready to go to work. I heard something around seven from the girls’ room so I went in there and discovered Luciana awake watching “Blues Clues” on the iPad. They went to bed so early last night that this was not surprising.
I told Luciana “You know, Liesl is snuggling with mommy, you can go snuggle with her too.” And she said, in the cutest voice, “I can?” and so she ran in there to spend the morning. Then when she saw me getting ready for work she asked “Why are you getting dressed?” and I explained that I had to go to work and she got all sad.
Dad was already up when I went downstairs. I went right outside to warm up the Spark and to begin cleaning off the Acadia which has been encased in ice for a week. I can’t remember the last time that it actually moved. The ice was so thick on it. Dad came out to help me after five or ten minutes and we spent at least forty-five minutes together trying to get the car free. It was seriously stuck in the ice. The one entire side was ice from ground to roof and most of the way down the other side. There was no approach to the front of the car. It was really something.
I finally got off to the office much later than I had planned and on the way in finished reading “The Moon By Night” which, like the other books in the serious, I have not read in two and a half decades. Next up will be “The Young Unicorns.” I am really tearing through my backlog of Audible titles with this really long commute.
The drive in was fine until I hit the Connecticut line. Then the roads got really slippery. By the time that I was in the office the snow was coming down very thick. That probably lasted for two hours.
Dominica took dad to the train station for Amtrak at Croton-on-Harmon at ten for his Amtrak Empire Service train 281 to Rochester. Official departure time was 11:06. If all goes well he is due to get to the Rochester station at 4:59PM although that is very unlikely. The train was on time getting him this morning but it is always on time northbound this far south in the Hudson Valley. Our stop is only the first one outside of Penn Station in Manhattan.
Dad had all kinds of train issues today. Before he even got to Albany the engine of his train just “lost power.” The engine died and they were stranded. He had to wait for another train to come “rescue” them and carry them on home. So instead of an empty train he ended up on a very full one.
But that was not the end of dad’s train troubles for the day. Shortly after he got moving again, a cargo train ran a red light and preempted them on the rails delaying them even more.
Danielle came down to New York City last night. She was supposed to come down today but the weather got bad and she had to take a quick flight down last night. Originally she had thought that she would probably stay with us but she decided to just grab a hotel in SoHo last night and tonight so we did not see her.
Dad eventually made it home. It was a very long day on the train for him. Dominica is completely exhausted and the ground is still moving for her.
I got up early this morning, before seven, so that I could check on the ship’s status to see if Dominica and Katie got into port. Their ship was listed online as having arrived but I had no emails from them so I was figuring that they were still asleep. I got up and got a start on my day and it wasn’t long until I had an email from Dominica that they were up and getting ready to get off of the ship. She had had a blast on the cruise but was really exhausted and had a lot of travel yet in front of her.
I tried to do a bit of cleaning today to get the house ready for Dominica to return. She will be very happy to find the big 52” LCD up on the wall in the living room and the treadmill pretty much ready to use. And some more boxes moved and put away.
Around ten she got to the airport in Jacksonville, Florida and we talked via Facebook for probably an hour until she was on board her plane and she had to turn off her phone. I figured that I would shower then and head right on down to Brooklyn to get her. But as soon as we were done chatting Art needed me to work for twenty or thirty minutes so I did that and then showered and when I got out of the shower it turns out that I had just missed Liesl’s first tooth coming out. My dad had been with her when it came out. She was very excited to have lost it. He posted the news onto Facebook.
I rushed out to get down to Brooklyn, there was enough time if there was no traffic. I raced as best that I could. Westchester County was clear and I made great time until I hit the Whitestone Bridge and then traffic was pretty slow. But it worked out fine, Dominica had checked her luggage so she had to wait for that and she was only outside waiting for me for two minutes before I pulled up to pick her up. Had I been any earlier I would have to have made the loop or found “cell parking” which would have made it take much longer to go back to get her. So that was really ideal.
On our way home we decided to hit Friendly’s in Yorktown Heights for an early dinner while we were out. It was probably three thirty when we did that. We have not eaten at a Friendly’s in a very long time. Nearly five years, we guessed. I am sure that the last time is on SGL somewhere. I believe that we drove into Connecticut to do it back then, but I might be imagining that. We figured that this would give us a little time to catch up before going home too. We picked up take out for dad and ice cream for dad and the girls.
The girls were very excited when we got home, they really missed their mom. Liesl could not wait to show her the tooth that had come out. She is very excited about getting to put it under her pillow tonight and Liesl decided that she wanted to go to bed very, very early tonight around seven!
I had a short call to do but that was only about half an hour. That gave some time for Dominica to catch up with everyone. Then we all spent a little time in the living room but my seven thirty everyone was tired and we started the process of going to bed. As usual, that takes forever. Dad wanted to get to bed early too since he has to travel tomorrow morning back home via Amtrack. It took the customary sixty to ninety minutes to get the girls to bed. I read chapter six of “The Silver Chair” and while I read Dominica fell asleep on the girls’ bed. It took a bit to get her awake and into our room.
I tried to sneak into the girls’ room around eleven to replace the tooth with a dollar bill but when I did I found Liesl still awake. I was very sneaky, though, and managed to switch the tooth our without Liesl even guessing all while I was just talking to her. Go daddy!
Now that we have the television up in the living room it is very tempting to use it quite a bit. Today, being the last day of just dad and I with the girls, we started by watching the recent 2005 Disney version of “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” which Liesl really enjoyed. I remember now why I was not so happy with Disney’s version of the story – they had altered not just the timeline and events but did so to make the children much less innocent and much more naughty than they were in the books. It is a very odd change for Disney to have made and it slightly changes the flavor of the story.
After that movie we went right into “Prince Caspian.” Now I remember why I never really watched that movie again – it was completely altered from the books in really bad ways. I don’t really want Liesl to watch it now because it ruins the real stories by introducing all of this meanness and evil and were not present in the original story. Except for names and setting, the movie doesn’t follow the book at all, none of it. The people in the movie are really different characters than in the book. That does not make me happy. Nor does it make me happy that they made such a big deal about committing to making all seven movies and only bothered to make the three that everyone knew was all they ever intended to make.
We took a movie break for a while. Played a lot of board games with the girls today.
Liesl was very interested in her loose tooth all day. This is her first day with it and she spent the day playing with it a lot. It is getting very loose very quickly.
We snuggled in this evening and we watched “The Return of the Jedi”. Dad has been looking forward to seeing this one and Liesl is pretty excited. Luciana didn’t care and she set herself up with a little cave made out of their soft shares and a blanket and she took an iPad in there and camped out while we watched the movie. Liesl climbed into my lap and watched the entire movie on my lap snuggled in a blanket. She was riveted although we had to stop pretty often to explain what was happening in the movie and who was who. She really liked it.
After the movie Liesl asked if she could just go to bed tonight without a story because she was so tired that she could not handle reading a story. She is so funny.
Now for my long weekend. We have not heard anything from Dominica or Katie yet on their voyage. Today is their day in Nassau for the bulk of the day. The only day that they have any significant time on the ground in the Bahamas. I have been attempting to keep track of their progress via the online ship tracking sites but since they checked in at Freeport the ship has not checked in again so we only know where they are via their itinerary and not from anything solid.
Liesl had been asking for bagels this week and I had promised her that I would get them for her today. Dad said that he had never had a bagel before. I was pretty incredulous. So I ran out to Daily Bagel and got a dozen bagels and some turnovers for everyone and came back home.
This morning dad looked into mounting the television in the living room over the fireplace. This would be the same television that we had mounted up there back when Liesl was born and that we took with us to the apartment in Texas and then to the house in Texas where Dominica and I used it in our bedroom and never, in the more than three years that we had that house, managed to get around to wall mounting it (which I suppose ended up being a good thing.) So I ran out to Best Buy and picked up a wall mount for the television.
Dad worked on the television mount and I worked on some certification work that demanded my attention. I had a bit of work that needed to be done but I got it done today which felt good. Now I don’t have that hanging over my head for the rest of the weekend.
Once we had the television mounted I tracked down the PS3 and got that hooked up so that we could actually watch things in the living room. We talked about watching “Return of the Jedi” but Liesl said that she had a hard time remembering and understanding what had happened in the first two movies and dad had not seen them in forever so we watched those again. First “Star Wars” which I watched with them when we ordered dinner from Nonna’s – pizza all around. The girls have been wanting pizza since Thursday night when we tried to order some but the shop was closed.
During “The Empire Strikes Back” I went down to the basement and worked through most of it. I just saw it so good time to work.
Tonight, while they were watching an iPad in bed, Ciana accidentally head butted Liesl and suddenly Liesl started crying. Liesl said “She knocked my tooth loose!” and she was right. Liesl’s lower front right tooth was very wiggly! I think likely it was already loose and this just pushed it along. We talked about it for a bit and she was upset at first but started to understand that it was a good thing and meant that she was growing up. That helped a lot. I think by the end she was pretty excited about it.
Went to bed early last night and slept in as long as I could this morning. We’ve gotten no communication from Dominica since her last second post to Facebook after the private concert last night that said that the ship was getting underway. She will be out of contact as long as they are at see but they should be getting into Freeport today so we should get an update from her once the ship is online in the Bahamas. It is just a quick stopover there but then on Saturday she will be in Nassau all day and will have lots of opportunity to get us up to date on how things are going.
Today, Madeline turns fourteen! That means that she is 14 on the 14th of ’14!
Today is also dad’s one day that he will be completely at home alone with the girls. But he got lucky again, the weather yesterday was bad enough that my office is on a delayed start this morning so I was with him this morning two hours longer than I would normally have been. So the day was not as long as it could have been.
The drive to work was not bad at all once the roads had cleared. I was glad to get to wait before going in, though.
I made sure that I left work at a reasonable time today. Wanted to get home and relieve dad before the girls drove him crazy. He did pretty well today, though. The girls had a lot of fun. They all survived and now it is all over, I will be home with the girls for the next three days.
Dominica left Valentine’s Day cards for the girls (and me.) So they opened them tonight. They each got a Disney card with a rubber charm bracelet in it. They thought that those were really cool.
Watched some shows down in the basement before heading to bed tonight.