September 15, 2017: Video Games and Harry Potter

DuoLingo Streak: 13 Days

Friday.  I had a busy morning of work, no surprise.  Dominica and the girls slept in very late and did not get to school until after noon.  We are slowly trying to fix their sleep schedules to get them onto something that actually works.  This is a mess with them not falling asleep until so late.  But me reading to them at night seems to help a bit, we will do more of that.  Me reading Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone last night at bed time, instead of Dominica reading it in the afternoon as part of school, seems to have helped a bit.

Had a really busy morning and early afternoon of writing and posting.  MangoLassi was exploding with activity, which is good as it has been a slow few weeks leading up today.

At three I ran out to get the oil changed on the Quest.  It’s been overdue and we’ve just been so busy, and generally not driving anywhere.  But it needed to be done, and with the trip next week it would be missed for at least a week and a half, if not more, if I did not get to it today.  So to beat the after work rush, I ran out at three.

I got to our corner auto shop and was first in line on arrival.  They remember me now, just from the car before I even get out.  It’s nice having a little, neighhourhood shop to go to and actually know people.  We scored big time and the synthetic oil that we use was thirty dollars off today, too.  So instead of eight something dollars, the oil change was fifty something.  And it only took about twenty minutes.

This evening, we made a daddy / daughter evening of it.  None of us had eaten all day and both girls begged to get to go to Panda Express, so for the first time in probably more than nine months, that’s where we went for dinner.  That was a nice change, for sure.  It really feels like forever since we have been there.

It was extremely warm this evening, for some reason.  So frozen yoghurt was also in order.  We drove up to Yogurtland and Luciana decided to break with tradition and get caramal froyo for the first time and she loved it.

After dinner, the girls played video games on their own for a while, Slime Rancher continues to be the main game of choice.  It’s been the big one for a week or two and has been a mainstay ever since Liesl got it for her birthday nearly a year ago.  That was one of the best higher cost video game picks ever.  So often when you spend more on a game, it never gets played.  But this one has been a favourite since the very first day and has held up really well over the year.  Both girls love it and still fight over who gets to play; and they often play the game together, helping each other through different parts of it.

Liesl told me that Slime Rancher has had some really significant updates to it in the last few months that have really improved the playability and it is so much better that it is almost like a whole new game, now.  So they are getting way more out of it than they did before.  I pay attention, for the most part, and see new updates to it coming out with some regularity.

I had to work on an article for Information Management that was due today.  I’m writing about the often overlooked aspects of disaster planning, a popular topic given the recent hurricane activities.  That took maybe two hours.  After that, video game time with the girls.

First we played Minecraft, but that is always buggy and everyone gets frustrated after a while.  We are building a new panda themed world, to celebrate having gone to Panda Express this evening, and so the girls were modeling large pandas in the game and tasked me with building a replica of the Panda Express restaurant to be the center piece of the game world.  While we played the game we watched the first half of Wild, Wild West from 1999 with Will Smith, Kevin Kline and Salma Hayek.  The girls enjoyed that, but mostly just played the game.  It’s a recent addition on Netflix and I’ve not seen it for the longest time.

From Minecraft we moved on to Overcooked, which we have taken a break from.  We struggled to get any stars tonight, but did get a few and unlocked what appears to be the final boss battle!  I’m a bit excited to complete this game, it is exhausting.

Then we played a little Cheesecake Cool Conrad, but got stuck on our very first level unable to figure out where the last ice cream cone was and we could not move on.  So the girls are going to research that over the weekend and figure out where we need to go to move forward.

Then we played The Fairy Tale Mysteries: The Puppet Master again which we have not played in a very long time.  I like the hidden object and puzzle bits of that game.  The story is bleh and hard to get into.  But it introduces the Brothers Grimm and is decently well done and part of a series.  It’s simple to follow, making it an easy one for the girls.  None of the puzzles are too stumping.

After the video games were done, it was time for our reading of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.  The girls prefer when I do the reading, so I read again tonight in Dominica and my room.  We ended up reading three chapters, from the time Harry gets onto the Hogwart’s Express at King’s Cross Station until after he is sorted into his house and has started attending classes and visits Hagrid for tea.  The girls were excited to read the first chapter, then Luciana just wanted to go to bed instead of reading the second chapter, but by the third both girls wanted me to keep reading and Dominica had to veto reading a fourth chapter because it had gotten so late by that point.  But the girls are loving the book, now.

It is great that the girls are so much back into doing reading at bedtime.  This helps them get to sleep much better, as well.  They wind down much more quickly and fall asleep hours faster.

After story time, the girls both asked if they could sleep in our room tonight.  Both girls wanted to sleep on the new IKEA sofa in our room.  No one has slept on it yet.  But Liesl is more the snuggler, at night at least, than Luciana so took the bed and Luciana took the couch at our feet and everyone was asleep very quickly.