February 10, 2019: BFF Hang Out Day

Sunday. I got up and had only a little time to myself this morning. I was in my office doing a little bit of work and a little bit of travel show research when Luciana got up and came in to ask me if we could go Lego shopping this morning. She had asked last night and I had told her that if she got up in time that we would go in the morning, so she got herself up and asked straight away. Liesl wanted to come, too, as they both have Christmas money from my dad to spend on stuff and Dominica decided that she would come as well. We are just going to check out Walmart’s selection this morning and if they have what the girls want, then good, and if not then we will try going somewhere tomorrow that has a different selection.

I would guess that it was ten when Luciana got up and we were over to Walmart by around eleven. It turns out that Walmart had a great Lego selection and the girls found loads of stuff that they liked. Luciana narrowed it down to two sets that she wanted, one was $99 and one was $63. She finally decided that she would go with the $63 Lego Friends house set, and save some money for another smaller set or two later. Liesl had not been completely sure if she was going to go with Legos for her Christmas present, but once we were there that is what she decided that she was going to do as well. And just to make things easy, Liesl decided that she wanted the $99 Lego Friends Resort set that Ciana had decided to wait on. Now the girls have two sets that they both really like to share. And they are both huge, it is a lot of Lego building for them to do, and both sets are designed to be used in imaginative play which is primarily how the girls will use them.

Liesl and Luciana Lego Shopping at Walmart

We had to rush home after shopping so that I could shower and get ready. Rachel had texted and was on her way to pick me up as soon as we had gotten back. Today was our scheduled LARPing day, plus Nick and Corey need to go house shopping today.

Luciana with Mia’s House, Her Christmas Present from My Dad

Dominica decided that today was going to be a Twilight marathon for her, because it is available on Hulu. She took over the living room and settled in to do that all day.

Liesl with the Heartlake City Resort, Her Christmas Gift from My Dad

Rachel grabbed me at one and we drove up to Denton. We went to Nick’s apartment and picked up Nick and Corey (and today is Corey’s 25th birthday, too!)

Luciana Starting Her Lego Project

We looked at four or five houses. There were some serious duds, but there were two winners, too. Some good options up in Denton. Not a lot on the market right now. Rachel is the real estate agent, but I’m the house master as the only one of the group that has bought and sold houses as an adult.

The four of us were house shopping until four when we had to drop off Nick and Corey so that they could get ready for a birthday dinner party with family.

Rachel and I were both running on zero food for the day and were pretty hungry. A quick stop at Taco Bueno fixed that as we headed to the park to meet up with the LARPing crew who Rachel had been calling to make sure that they were still there.

Unlike last time that we went LARPing (she LARPs, I just hang out) instead of one hundred and twenty people, there were just two. Very different. It was already getting dark and it was chilly and drizzly so it was just hanging out for two hours under the park shelter.

We were not hungry yet, since we had tacos just two hours before, so we hit East Side for a couple of beers. Just the two of us at the bar tonight (the bar was busy, but we didn’t bring anyone else with us) which is unusual so we just hung out for a few hours and actually had a chance to catch up and really talk.

On the way back to Carrollton we stopped at Fuzzy Taco and got fish tempura tacos (Rachel) and rish tempura burrito (me) for dinner; hit the beer store on Kelley for some new beers for Rachel to try; then went to the house.

Dominica switched to the bedroom to keep watching her Twilight movies. Rachel, the girls, and I moved into the living room and we watched Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Rachel has been really excited to get back to the Harry Potter series and she really enjoyed this one.

Then Rachel and I finished the seventh episode of The Haunting of Hill House which we had started a few weeks ago. Three episodes left to go.

Rachel was not feeling well after her fish taco and we are suspecting that she might have a sensitivity to fried food, which I had put together. She managed to make it home, but got sick as soon as she got there.

Next weekend we are considering skipping LARPing and not going up to Denton at all for a change and doing a movie marathon day so taht she can really get into the core Harry Potter movies and maybe finish Hill House.

February 9, 2019: Luciana Completes Her First Hidden Object Game

Saturday. Today was a very chill day. This morning I did a small amount of work in the office, very little. Then there was lots of time to relax. I did some YouTube research on travel shows that are out there. I am trying to find the best ones that I can, both the best quality and those getting the best reach, to research what they are doing, what is out there, what are gaps in the market and so forth. Probably did that for an hour or so.

Then Dominica, Kat, and I watched the newly released third season of One Day at a Time for a while. Still a great show. So glad that it is still getting more seasons. And loved that two cast members of Brooklyn Nine Nine did appearances in the same episode.

Paul made blueberry pancakes for lunch. They were really good.

This evening for dinner I ran out to Taco Bell and picked up dinner for everyone. Right now, while they have the nacho fries that Luciana loves so much so she requests that we go all of the time, and Liesl is always down for Taco Bell so they are very happy.

Paul, Dominica, and Kat went out to go shoot pool this evening so it was just me and the girls hanging out. For a while, Liesl played her new video game Township that Kat plays on her phone. She played that for a couple of hours and is enjoying it. Luciana was in very much of a “hang out on her own” mood today and was in my room playing video games on Steam.

Luciana had started playing Darkness & Flame: Born of Fire, which Liesl played through just a couple of days ago and Luciana thought looked really good, last night. And she managed to make it to the end of the game, even the extended edition parts, tonight. Liesl did help her with a couple of puzzles, but pretty much she played it all on her own! As far as I know, this is the first HOPA game that Luciana has played from beginning to end. She tries a lot of games, but normally she either plays very simple games on her own, or plays less structured games like The Sims 4 or Slime Rancher. Playing a puzzle and story based game from beginning to end is something new.

While Liesl was gaming I continued watching Teresa on Netflix to practice my Spanish. It is Mexican and moves much faster than Colombian shows, but I am able to at least follow what is going on, even though I miss a ton. The overly dramatic acting and goofy plots make following along a little easier.

Liesl and I finished watching Carmen Sandiego first season on Netflix tonight. The first season is really good and they have set up a good plot arc to prepare us for the beginning of the second season. Can’t wait for that to come out.

Then Liesl and I watched Peter Rabbit on Netflix which was okay, I guess. Insanely goofy and not a style of movie that I like. But Liesl requested it and she likes that kind of movie. It wasn’t bad, it just was not very engaging. Not something that I ever need to watch again.

Tomorrow I am supposed to be doing LARPing with Rachel again in the afternoon. Then if all goes to plan she is coming over to continue working through the Harry Potter movie series with the girls.

February 8, 2019: Hacked MSP, Friends Over, Clue with Kat

Friday. This morning started off a little slow but then I got called in to consult for a company in Salt Lake City that had been hit with ransomware because their MSP had been compromised and they needed guidance on what their MSP was now doing, how this happened, what could be done, etc. Which is funny, in a way, because I had just started a topic about how MSPs are the New Hacker Target on the same day that that MSP ended up getting compromised! Talk about timing.

So that kept me busy for several hours of the morning. This afternoon the girls’ friends Isabella and Juancho came over to play. I got to see them get dropped off but was leaving just as they arrived.

Then in the early afternoon I had to run up to Plano to deal with a telephone configuration change for a customer. I grabbed Taco Bell as I had not eating anything all day, on my way up there. I ended up being there longer than I had anticipated and didn’t leave to come back to the house till after five.

I got home maybe fifteen minutes before Stephanie arrived to pick up the kids. We all hung out for maybe half an hour or so before they want home. So the girls had a very fun day and were quite happen.

About an hour after that Kat came over to hang out. The girls have been wanting time to hang out with her themselves and she had promised them a night where there was time for them to hang with her too, so that was tonight’s plan. Paul and Dominica made salmon, green beans, and mashed potatoes for dinner.

We broke out Liesl’s Clue board game and played a round with Liesl, Luciana, Dominica, Kat, and me. The girls did really well and it turns out that they were able to help teach Dominica and Kat how to track things in the game and helped them take their game playing to an entirely new level as neither of them was aware of what made the game so challenging and how you were expected to be playing it (tracking “maybes” from other players and such to reason out what they had without seeing it directly.) Clue just became a way more complex game for them. Liesl and Luciana did an amazing job of tracking everything and knew almost everything that everyone had by the time that I had won.

After our board game, Liesl fired up Steam and shoed Kat her Clue video game, as well.

February 6, 2019: HomeSchool Book Club

Wednesday. Today is the HomeSchool book club at the library, so the girls have to get ready for that much of the morning. A normal work day for me.

Book club went well, the girls had fun. And they arranged to get together with friends on Friday, and again on Valentine’s Day. They learned about “secret codes” while at their book club.

This evening Paul needed to practice for a new master’s league that he is going to start playing in tomorrow night. So the girls and I went and got Taco Bell and spent the evening watching Full House together. It has been a seriously snuggly week for me. I’m getting loads and loads of time hanging out with Liesl and Luciana.

February 5, 2019: Luciana’s Tough Day

Tuesday. This morning I was supposed to attend jury duty in Carrollton, my first anywhere, ever. But I was struggling to remember what I had to do today and did not remember that it was jury duty until noon! Oops. I called in immediately, though, and found out that had I called in last night like I was supposed to, I would have learned that we had been canceled for today and I need not have worried. So once again, no jury duty for me.

It was a slow work day, surprisingly slow. I only barely had enough going on to even keep me at my desk. I considered taking a break, but every so often there would be something and I would need to return, so making not being at my desk not quite worth it.

The girls had a fight over something today and Luciana threw the Amazon Tap at Liesl’s head. So Liesl was a little sore and Luciana was in big trouble. She lost all of her devices today and is stuck doing things with the family all evening.

Luciana decided to just lay down in my room in the middle of the afternoon and ended up falling asleep. She slept for probably an hour, got up to check on us, then went back and fell asleep again for several hours. All in all, she probably got five hours of extra nap time in. Apparently she really needed it.

Kat needed more cookie supplies and they all wanted to see some awful super hero movie that I certainly would not be willing to sit through, so Paul, Dominica, and Kat all went out to the movies for a bit.

Tomorrow is HomeSchool Book Club at the Carrollton library. Luciana read her book during the day. She read her Swedish vegetable folklore book that we own, the one that Liesl has a stuffed broccoli to match, both from IKEA many years ago.

After work was done and school was done for Liesl, Liesl went to her bedroom and read her entire book, one about dolphins who needed a human to rescue their baby, so that she would be ready for her book club tomorrow.

Then we watched Brooklyn Nine Nine for a while. I made us hamburgers for dinner. Once Luciana woke up she came out and we played Nancy Drew and the Phantom of Venice for an hour or two.