February 14, 2019: Valentine’s Day

Thursday. It is St. Valentine’s Day. And today Madeline turns nineteen.

This morning our money to pay off our credit cards cleared. So for a little while this morning we had a lot of exciting money in our bank account. But as soon as we saw it, we paid down all of our bills, so it didn’t last long. But it feels good paying so many accounts down to zero.

This morning I managed to get breakfast from Taco Bell, their potato breakfast burrito and their California crunchwrap with no bacon.

Most of the morning was filled with the girls working on more valentines for their party this afternoon. And getting them showered, dressed, hair brushed, and ready to go. It takes so long to get them ready to go anywhere.

At a quarter after one I drove the girls down to Addison and dropped them off. I left at two, got fueled up, and drove up to Plano to go work for a few hours. That went fine, almost two hours up there and got that all squared away.

It was around four thirty when I got back to the house. Worked for a little bit and then Stephanie dropped off the girls. As always, they were very sad to be leaving their friends.

We had our Valentine’s Day dinner at home, pasta with veggie meatballs and marinara sauce. It was our first time trying out the Aldi store brand veggie meatballs, we will be getting those again for sure. It was quite good. The girls felt like doing their own thing so ate in their rooms. Paul ate and ran to his billiards league where he was all night.

Just after we had our dinner, Red and her sister came by and told us that three of the neighbourhood cats were trapped high in a tree across the street. Dominica and I went out and the four of us spent probably half of an hour trying to figure out how to get them down. One of the cat’s was Ken’s cat Nuc that we know pretty well, and Luciana calls him Keaton (as in Buster.) Eventually through careful use of flashlights, we guided one cat at a time down and they were all able to safely run away. But they had been stuck up there for several hours.

Dominica and I spent the evening watching Fear the Walking Dead and have just started the third season now.

February 13, 2019: Taco Bueno

Wednesday. Decently warm today. I thought that today was going to be slow, and it started out that way, but then by early afternoon things just got super busy with work and I ended up needing to work longer than normal. Dominica and Paul did a grocery run this afternoon to both Sprouts and to Walmart to stock things up.

The girls spent a lot of time today working on St. Valentine’s Day cards for their party tomorrow. They are going over to Isabella and Juancho’s house for a party in the afternoon. They have been looking forward to this all week. I have to work in Plano tomorrow afternoon again.

Dinner this evening was Taco Bueno. I figured out that my order is a bean burrito with no chili sauce (it’s made in beef) and the potato burrito with beans instead of meat. Both are just so awesome. I’ve gotten that twice this week. Very satisfying for just three or four dollars.

I hung out in Sherman this evening and watching Pillow Talk, the Doris Day and Rock Hudson classic that I have not seen in a few years. Boy I love that movie, it’s just so well done.

February 12, 2019: Movie Night

Tuesday. Got up and worked this morning. The girls slept in quite late, until the afternoon. Mostly just a work day for me.

Dominica and Paul went out to play pool some tonight. I fed the girls dinner. They both wanted pizza, so I made that. Each of them ate a whole one on their own. Then they both wanted peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Then Luciana wanted four veggie sausage patties. They were so hungry!

The girls were very much in a “do their own thing” mood tonight, so they hung out in the private wing of the house while I hung out in the living room. So I got a chance to watch some Netflix.

I watched National Lampoon’s Van Wilder which surprisingly I have never seen! This is considered a classic of the era (which is 2002) and is often considered the break out role for Ryan Reynolds, although he had been a moderate actor for years before that, this was the role that really pole vaulted him into the spotlight.

I had one episode of The Orville to watch to be caught up. I’m on Season two, episode six.

Then I watched Netflix’ How It Ends which was “meh”. It wasn’t bad, but the story was thin and the plot never really went anywhere. I would not make it a recommendation.

When Dominica got home we watched an episode of Fear the Walking Dead before going to bed. Just one episode.

February 11, 2019: Lego House Assembled

Monday. Back to the work week. The weather got warmer again today, it has been a little chilly the last couple of days. Spring is attempting to happen, couple more weeks and all remnants of winter will be gone.

Luciana got stumped last night doing her Lego Mia’s House, but she nearly did it all herself. I had to help just a tiny bit this afternoon because she believed that some pieces were missing, but it was actually that she had tried to do the same step twice in the directions.

So Mia’s House Lego Set is now done. Liesl has not started on hers yet. Luciana went and got all of her other Lego Friends sets and brought the pieces and directions out into the living room and set up on the bar so that she could attempt to put them all together to assemble a huge Lego Friends village and make it into an epic Lego playset for her and Liesl.

Dominica and I dug into our finances today and decided that it made sense for us to tap our retirement account and use it to pay off all of our high interest debt (leaving just the car and the house.) Our account is riding decently high right now and the credit cards are a real problem. So I made the transaction and we are expected to get our money into our bank account on Thursday. A bit stressful doing any kind of transaction like this, but we feel good about it. The interest rate on credit debt is just a killer. We figure that it will take four years for us to replenish our retirement if we pay into it the same that we had been paying the credit cards every month, with a small additional amount of monthly buffer added.

Paul and Dominica went out to shoot pool tonight. So the girls and I hung out.

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.