February 2, 2019: Morning Bakery Run

Saturday. Luciana got up “early” and came into our room and asked if we could run to the Guatemalan bakery this morning to get pastries. She asks all of the time, but normally in the afternoon after it is way too late to go. Liesl just wanted to stay in bed. So Dominica, Luciana, and I got up and drove down to Belt Line to go to the bakery.

Luciana got four pieces of her favourite “sprinkly cake”, two concha so that she could share with Liesl, Dominica got something like popovers, I got something akin to a Nepolian, one “elote” thing, and some meringues. So that was our breakfast.

Luciana with her Concha from the bakery

It was a quit trip but the bakery makes the girls so happy, especially Luciana. She absolutely loves getting to go there. She really has a taste for the style of breads there. Perhaps because she was at just the right influential age living in places like Spain and Nicaragua and getting so exposed to this stuff that now it is something that she looks for.

Elote pan dulce; Corn on the cob sweet bread

It is a lot warmer today. While the north is still buried in snow, we are already into the high fifties today and the house was nearly seventy degrees today even without the heater running! It’s the first time in quite a while that I did not need to wear my fleece in the house. And it is great to not have the furnace kicking on all throughout the day.

I spent a bit of time watching YouTube videos today, mostly Geography Now! which I really like. I was half relaxing and half doing research on Middle Africa. Liesl was in the room watching something on her iPad, so I put on my Bluetooth Plantronics headset and watched that way so as not to disturb her since Luciana was in their room watching YouTube and playing video games and Dominica, as always, has the living room watching some television show that no one else has any interest in (some random medical show now, I have no idea what the name of it is.)

Liesl decided to join me when I made her lunch. She had New England Clam Chowder and some bread. So I put on Family Matters on Hulu and we watched that for a bit.

Later on Liesl got tired of Family Matters and we decided to restart Brooklyn 99 for her so that she could start at the beginning and know what is going on. She loves the show but only sees it from time to time in the fourth season so doesn’t really know the characters and I think that she would like it even more if we started from the beginning. So that was our evening. Luciana never really felt like joining us, so spent pretty much the whole day on her on in her room doing her own thing.

Kat was supposed to hang out tonight but at the last minute had to cancel.

Late in the evening, both Liesl and Luciana wanted to play some board games. So we started with “Sorry!” which I have never played before. I really hate these kinds of games. This one is not technically purely random, but it is nearly so. There is just the tiniest bit of strategy to it, and I really mean tiny. I won, neither girl felt like playing again. It went pretty quickly.

Then we played “Any way you slice it”, the Golden Girls board game that Dominica got for Christmas. I won that one quickly, too. But both girls did pretty well, they really know their Golden Girls! Getting points in the game wasn’t all that fun, so we just played some fun Golden Girls trivia for a while and really enjoyed that.

I made myself some late dinner, I had New England Clam Chowder and bread just like Liesl did earlier. Then got the girls off to bed.

February 1, 2019: Friday with Their Friends

Friday. This morning is the dollar days at Once Upon a Child. Dominica has had it on her calendar and had them text her this morning. So once up she and Paul took a trip there to go shopping. That took a few hours and Dominica came home with loads of new clothes for the girls. Major haul today and they should be set for a little while.

So I was just watching the girls and working this morning. The girls got the day off from school between Dominica needing to shop this morning and plans for going to see their friends in Addison this afternoon.

At twelve thirty, Paul and I had a meeting for a while with a vendor that we worked with earlier in the week.

After the meeting, I took the girls down to Addison to play with Isabella and Juancho. They stayed there until five thirty. It seemed like no time at all to me back at the house working. Seemed like barely an hour. But it was about three. Not a long afternoon, but they did just see them a week ago, at least. We are going to try to get together again this week as they need a lot more time together and are so upset whenever they have to leave. While they were over there they watched the Ninjago movie from Lego.

Dominica, Paul, and I watched some Star Trek: Voyager while eating dinner. Two episodes. Then I sneaked in a little Star Trek: Enterprise and when the girls were ready we all watched our evening’s planned event The Incredibles 2! This is a movie that I have been waiting many years to finally see, mostly because it took them so long to make it. One of my favourite movie franchises. Dominica, Liesl, Luciana, and I all watched it together. Not as good as the first movie, but still really good. It is free on Netflix now.

After our movie we watched some more Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego. We only have three episodes left now before we have completed the series.


January 31, 2019: Carmen Sandiego

Thursday. Paul went out and got donuts this morning at Luciana’s request. From WinCo. He had to go out anyway as we were out of milk. And milk is kind of an emergency need around this house. I’m the only one of the five of us that doesn’t use milk every day. I actually almost never drink milk or use it anywhere. I use half and half in my coffee, but milk is only for my cereal which I do not eat very often. But everyone else is big on milk and has it all of the time.

Work was a little busy today. Nothing too strenuous.

For dinner tonight I made frozen pizzas. The girls prefer them, because of the crust, to the ones that I made for them myself. But I don’t make the crust, so I don’t feel bad about that. The frozen pizzas are really cheap, too. So it all works out and it stops them from demanding Dominos so often, which is much more expensive. It is like five dollars compared to twenty five dollars.

I spent a lot of the evening working with someone in Cameroon, working on opening an office there. It is a potentially great opportunity to work in the Middle Africa region. Very few American companies venture there, for mostly obvious reasons. There are a lot of challenges trying to do anything there. From logistics to corruption to communications to the expected war about to break out.

The girls and I made a night of it tonight. The three of us bundled up on the couch and first we watched Full House for a while, then we started the new Netflix series Carmen Sandiego which is much more than a remake of the 1990s television shows. This one is pretty serious and starts with a hard core origin story of the elusive thief. We watched the first several episodes tonight and are really enjoying it. There are nine episodes in total made thus far, but it is very good so I am thinking that Netflix will be making a lot more of these. Liesl is really into the show. Luciana is liking it, but not nearly as into it and she stop watching part way through our last episode for the evening. Each episode is set in a different country and teaches a little geography and culture.

January 30, 2019: The Girls’ First Hamburgers

Wednesday. I had to be up by eight and watch an hour of video training to prepare for a nine o’clock meeting that we had this morning that ran until ten. So the first few hours of the morning were all dedicated to that.

Today is forty two years to the day that the crazy Blizzard of 1977 hit Western New York, when I was just about to turn one year old. “The start of a five day event that shut the region down. Snowfall totals reached 100 inches in some areas, wind gusts peaked at 69 MPH and snow drifts towered 40 feet high. The devastating winter storm resulted in 23 deaths in Western New York”, according to dad.

Dad had a very good visit with his oncologist today, but had a very scary drive home. He said that it was the worst driving conditions that he’d driven in for the past twenty years.

Work was not too bad today. We got some bad news that we did not get a big contract that we had been hoping for, however. But work was generally good and I was at my desk until evening.

Around six thirty I knocked off of working at my desk and came out to watch Star Trek: Voyager with Dominica and Paul. Paul was cooking his dinner as we started, then I cooked for myself and Liesl who had decided, after having tasted one of my hamburgers a week ago or more, that she would have one for dinner. So I made her an Earth Grown Soy Burger. I had to make it with mayo on the bottom side and ketchup on the top side because she likes both but is not okay with them touching, even on a sandwich. I accidentally included a slice of cheddar, but I don’t think that she noticed, she didn’t say anything. I even toasted the bun for her. She liked it and let Luciana try it and then she wanted one as well.

So I ended up cooking through two episodes of Voyager for the girls until just after eight. We were out of that kind of patty so Luciana got an East Grown Soy Cheese Burger with cheese included in it. I have not tried this variety yet. I made hers with the same mayo and ketchup, and with double cheese on a toasted bun.

This is amazing as neither girl has ever been willing to have a hamburger previously! This is a big step. So many more food options opening up for them. We eat this kind of stuff so often and have a fridge full of it and they always refuse to even try it. I am so excited. They both said that they were okay, but neither really liked it all that much. But it is a major step.

Luciana did not finish her burger, but she did like it. She found it very hard to hold together.

Tonight Ciana requested donuts and asked if, since we can’t get them tonight, if I wouldn’t go out in the morning and get them for her.

Dominica and I watched some Golden Girls before bed.

January 29, 2019: Full House Evening

Tuesday. Today was a crazy busy day with MangoLassi. It was wild posting going on all day, it has been a long time since I have seen it get so busy. That kept me engaged all morning, very little time for anything else. But it was good, great to see this kind of activity.

I had a noon meeting that went well. Then right back to the busy day of posting.

We have a huge winter storm hitting the whole country over the next few days. We will get cold down here, but it is supposed to be really insane farther north, including back home in New York.

This evening, Dominica and Paul went out and I watched the girls. I made the three of us homemade pizzas and we put on Full House all evening. It was really nice, the girls were very happy.

We discovered that Netflix has remade Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego and that it just released. So Liesl has asked that we watch that together really soon.