Category Archives: Baby

This week in history

While I was at the office on Tuesday, we inaugurated Barak Obama as our 44th president. This is a historical moment because he is the first Black president of the United States.

This was also the first time I have ever voted, and yes, I voted for him.

So when I got home, Bev and I were watching President Obama’s speech. Ayden stopped playing and was watching too! When we told him that it was President Obama, he repeated “o-ba-ma” and pointed at the TV.

He probably won’t remember this moment in history, but at least I got it on video :-)

Dear Ayden

You are at a really fun stage in your life 1 year, 4 months, and 14 days old. I look at you every day and thank God you are in my life. You never cease to make me smile and I know that as you get older that sweet boy of mine will develop his independence.

You love to eat! – And eat healthier than Mommy and Daddy!
It didn’t seem too long ago when eating was your least favorite activity. I think that was when you started becoming mobile and would rather explore your world. But now, whenever you smell food, you immediately say “pa pa pa” and run towards the kitchen so we can pick you up and put you in your high chair.

As we strap you in, you’ll reach out to your food and moan and groan as if we haven’t fed you in days. Your mom and I would just laugh at how cute you are. Your favorite food seems to be green peas right now, which surprises a lot of people.

Then, when you get your food, you seem to favor your left hand as you pinch for the little green peas with your index finger and thumb and feed yourself. You’ll sometimes look at us with a smile of content, as to say “thank you for this food!” that just makes us melt. Then you would grab a hand full of rice and shove it in your mouth. Sometimes you’ll rub the rice in your hair and all over your face, but it mostly ends up on your clothes. Speaking of which, Mommy washes a lot of!

But the best part of sitting down as a family at dinner is watching you entertain us as you play hide and go seek with your hands. Your Mom and I have you believing that when you cover your eyes, you become invisible. It is the cutest thing! Sometimes, when I come home and you are with mommy, you are already hiding from me, always ready to play!

I’m sitting here blogging at work because it is somewhat slow today and nothing needs my immediate attention. But I’m trying not to cry because I know that these moments will not last. One day, you’ll be all grown up and we’ll have our first argument. As I look back at the days when I used to be mad at your Lola and Lolo for not letting me do what I wanted, I now realize that they didn’t do things to make me mad, they did it because they loved me. I realize we can’t protect you forever, but I’ll do everything in my power to reasonably do so. So just because other parents are more lax about what their kids can do, doesn’t mean we should live by the same rules.

Unfortunately, none of this is going to make sense until you become a daddy yourself. Right now, I can only focus on how happy you make me feel because it is the simple pleasures that make you happy.

For example, this morning, I was in a hurry to get to work. I went into your room and you showed me one of your books and wanted to sit in my lap so I can read it to you. So I did. As much pleasure as it gave you for that moment, I couldn’t help but burn that memory in my head. Cause I know one day, you’ll want to be out with your friends rather than hang out with Mommy or Daddy.

I wish I could slow time down and cherish every moment with you. I hate having to leave you each day only to have about 3 hour to play with you before you go to sleep each night during the week. Times are tough in these economic times, but Mommy and Daddy try to shelter all the stresses of adulthood from you.

In fact, we have vowed to never yell at you. This is a large departure from how I was raised (I was a really bad boy sometimes)… I’m sure one day, I would love to spank you, but now, there are different ways to teach respect. I’m not condoning what happened to me because I am happy and proud at the way I turned out, and have no regrets. Part of what I want to teach you is individuality, something I’m still learning. In fact, we should never stop learning because I learn something new every day! For example, even though your Tita Jennifer and I were raised the same, we are two totally different people. And I’m still learning to respect our differences.

But back to why I started this post. I know it may seem long, but so many thoughts have been streaming from my head. I try to list of few of my favorite things that you do:

  • When you run back and fourth with your little play cart, or any cart with wheels
  • When you try to say your little tagalog words – At this point, your tagalog is as good, if not better than mine! You have Mommy and Lola and Lolo to thank for that!
  • Your love for Kix in the morning
  • Your voracious appetite
  • Watching you play
  • When you try to make us laugh by making faces, blinking your eyes, or tilting your head
  • When you try to splash us when we try to get you out of your bath
  • You are growing up to be quite the entertainer
  • When you sleep in church when Mommy sings

But one of my most favorite things is watching you sleep in my arms. It is sad to know that one day, you’ll be too big to do that. For now, I cherish the times that you’ll fall asleep in my arms, although you may struggle with falling asleep at times. But it is when you finally slow down, and your cheek is squished against my shoulder, that I’ll just lean my cheek against your, then follow it up with a kiss and tell you how much I love you.

Sister went home and my Red Light Incident

Yesterday, my sister went home after completing her 4 week sub-internship at UCSF for Urology. It was great seeing her and she got to spend some time with Ayden.

One thing is for sure, this girl can not pack! I didn’t see everything, but she brought one huge suitcase and another medium sized one, along with her backpack – yet she still had to borrow clothes from Bev! I thought it was hilarious that she packed hangers and a scale!

I sometimes find it hard to believe that we share the same genetic background, but I do love my only sis. She may be high maintenance and spoiled, but I would have to say it is due to the fact that she is a second born, and a girl…

Youngest children, according to birth order theory, tend to be dependent and selfish – as they’re used to others providing for them. But despite the negatives, they’re also quite often the life of the party – fun, confident, and comfortable entertaining others. Read more

It is an interesting article and a short read…

Running a Red Light
On my sister 3rd to last day, I was dropping her off at the Mount Zion Hospital around 5am in the morning on September 24. After I dropped her off, I proceeded to the stop light at Divisadero and Sutter as usual to make my left u-turn to head back to Geary. After I stopped for a second, I looked left and right and just turned, but at that same moment, I realized my freakin error!

But as I would suspect, there just happened to be a cop a car behind me and saw it all happen.

FUCK

I see people speed through yellow lights all the time and actually run red lights. But noooo, there are no freaking cops around I just had some sort of mindfuck and ran the light like an idiot and boom, a swat team is basically on my ass. Sure, I can blame it on the lack of sleep for the last 3 1/2 weeks, but I don’t know. Indirectly, I blame my sister because if I wasn’t driving her every morning, I wouldn’t have been in that situation. But I did offer her the ride and insisted it wasn’t a problem.

So I have a notice to appear in court for a 2153(a) w / red light infraction. A moving violation is 1 point on your DMV record so I may have to go to traffic school.

I was hoping the cop would let me off on a warning since I have a perfectly clean record. The last ticket I got was in high school.

I’ll have to call and make and appointment. I’ll be sure to update.

On a lighter side of news. Bev went swimming with Ayden last night for his 3rd swim! He looked like he was having more fun this time around! We also think his other molar is coming in because he had a slight fever and has been getting up a few times like before.

Back in Phoenix

This past weekend, I was supposed to be in a Tri For Fun in Pleasanton. But with my travels I never got around to getting my bike fixed and when I looked into it, they wouldn’t have it ready for the tri. So then I asked around to see if anyone had a bike I could borrow, but no luck.

This basically tells me, I need my own bike. I’ve been swimming and running, but haven’t done any cycling. After all, I need to literally prepare my ass for discomfort.

I wasn’t too bummed for missing the Tri – I’m sure I can do another one. But if I am, I really want to train seriously for it. But for the day I was supposed to do the Tri, Bev’s work gave her two Luxury suite tickets at the Oakland Colleseum to watch Barney and Barnum’s circus. Since this was a family event, it was a no brainer to attend this instead.

I’ve never sat in a Luxury box before. It is like a tiny hotel room some seats that face the colleseum. I don’t feel very descriptive, so you’ll have to use your imagination here. What really made it cool is that they included some food like Hot Dogs, Potato Chips, Mixed Popcorn, Tortilla Chips, and sodas.

I had to go and find food for Ayden, but everything is literally junk food. My options were: 1, fried chicken fingers and french fries; or, 2, fried fish and french fries.

I went with the fried fish.

The part I enjoyed the most was the motorcycles in the sphere. I guess the sadist in me was expecting a catastrophe, but it was a spectacle to watch as the bikes looped and zoomed past each other.

The other unexpected entertainment was watching the men in black chase after the giant fecal matter that the elephants were excreting from their anus. Elephant poo is simply huge!

Overall, it was a good show – especially since it was free! Maybe next time, I would take some binoculars. I always wondered why Bev never owned a pair since she’s been to so many New Kids on the Block and N sync concerts. I guess that is why I like TV. You get to see the folks up close without the hassle or the wait. I couldn’t imagine waiting to get into the swim cube. I was able to watch Phelps in all this HD glory in the comfort of my sofa while munching on Techno Gummy Bears!

Oh, and I’m in Phoenix again. Nothing interersting to write about as it is hot as usual.

Happy 1st Birthday

Dear Ayden,

It is hard to believe just a year ago, I rushed your mommy to the hospital because you were ready to greet the world.

I will never forget that night when you were just lying there staring at me with those beautiful eyes. 9 months seemed like a long time to wait for you, and when I did, I was already in love.

I took photos every chance I got, you slept a lot for the first few weeks, and you were an easy prop, until you used the bathroom. I never got used to waking up every 3 hours, but we did everything we could to take care of all your needs.

Next thing we knew, we could make you laugh! And seeing you smile or hear your cute giggles was just gave us instant bliss! Every day we see you, we are always thankful that you are in our lives. Watching you grow from when you first picked up your head, to when you first roll over, to your first crawling moments. It seemed like life was moving at a million miles per hour! I couldn’t even imagine what was running through your little mind experiencing all these things for the first time.

I remember when I couldn’t even imagine you crawling, now that you have mastered that, I can’t even imagine you walking! You are all over the place – you probably have my personality in that regard because you are what we call “Likot!”

Watching you copy us is a blast and I love how you try to make us laugh by making cute faces, opening you mouth really wide, and tilting your head and acting cute when we say “lambing… lambing…”

I was looking forward to your first birthday. Your mommy made a really nice cake for you and she graciously let me photograph you digging right into it. I had to take you upstairs and wash all that sugar and cake off you. Thank goodness you love taking a bath!

For lunch, your mom, Ninang Ethel, Lola, and me took you to Red Robin. It was listed as one of the top baby friendly restaurants. You had the chicken quesadilla and mommy drank your strawberry lemonade. We even brought home the plastic cup that has a Red Robin and you point at it every time you take a sip of water.

Your newest milestone has to be your separation anxiety. First, you are attached to Lola. I guess it is understandable since she watches you all week. But when Lola isn’t around, you definitely want to be with Mommy. And then, I’m your 3rd favorite. At this stage in your life, you are afraid of new faces, but that is okay, we will always be around even though you don’t think so. It may be hard to put you to sleep lately, but I’m sure you’ll make it through fine.

When you sleep, I just love when you rest your head on my shoulder. And sometimes you switch positions and put your head on my chest and it is when I see your chubby little cheeks that make me melt. You are my little baby and I sometimes I wish you can stay my baby, but you are transitioning into a little boy who will be walking soon. I really hope you had an enjoyable birthday!

I love you!

Daddy

Only here for the weekend!

Man, this really sucks. It is my birthday this Sunday, and I have a red-eye back to Washington DC. I guess the positive thing is that I at least come back on the weekends. I couldn’t imagine being deployed where you wouldn’t see your wife and kid for months and have to deal with war, etc. And then on top of that, deal with mediocre government pay. Don’t get me wrong, I respect those folks. I was an Airforce brat and my dad had to leave for Desert Storm.

Since I’m at a client site all week, I don’t have much flexibility to do anything else. So when I get home, I need to cram all my errands into two days. I have quite a few things to do:

  1. Meet with our realtor
  2. Pick up Ayden’s 1st birthday invites from Oakland
  3. Move all my stuff from my office, since I officially work from home now
  4. Do my expenses for this week
  5. Send one of my 580ex flashes for repair so I can sell it (I bought a 580ex II)
  6. Get my tires I ordered at Costco

Ok, Ayden woke back up and he’s babbling in the swing. I’m going to go play with him… Then make some breakfast for Bev.

Saturday at Woodbury Outlets New York

On Saturday, we were planning to see Liz in the city, but we were concerned about the weather and the logistics of going into the city over the weekend. We have other friends who live in New York like Yvette, Joanie, Chang, Ernie, etc. But our time was really limited to make any plans. Instead, we took a small road trip to the Woodbury Outlets in New York.

The trip was well worth it. We spent a lot of time in the FCUK store. I have never owned anything from FCUK because I never wanted to spend the money on it, but I got a few cool things since everything at the store was 50% off. My favorite has to be the jacket with hood. With all the stuff I got this weekend, I could probably be considered “metro” again. The good news about losing weight is that clothes just fit better.

True Religion vs 7 For All Mankind
I’ve been shopping for those brands at the outlets because of their discounted prices. But I haven’t found any True Religion jeans that I liked. I guess I don’t like the big horseshoe threaded pattern on the butt cheek pockets. So I just gave up looking at that brand. Again, part of me was asking “why are these more than $100 for a pair?” I couldn’t help but think at this price, it should have a built in iPod connector or something.

I bought a pair of jeans at Armani Exchange. I haven’t shopped at one since I was single but this outlet store was just a cluster fcuk. Pun intended. I stood in line with 3 pairs of jeans to try on and left with 1. I couldn’t justify spending the money on jeans with built in wear and tear, including holes (as cool as they looked). They were a little pricey, but the one I bought looked great and felt great.

Lunch
For lunch, Bev had a chicken quesadilla and I had a steak taco salad at the food court. We’ve been feeding Ayden some table food, so he had some guacamole and little pieces of the tortilla and chicken. One thing is for sure, his poo is getting a lot stinkier!

Snack
Before we left, we had pretzel bits for a snack. We saw a kid having a total tantrum, screaming his head off. And I just couldn’t help but pray that Ayden doesn’t do that in public. Not sure what causes it, but it can sure causes a lot of unneeded attention. I’m really conscious about Ayden crying on the plane. I remember how annoying it can be for a kid to be crying almost the whole flight – especially during a red-eye. Luckily, Ayden is quite comfortable laying on us on the plane. It is only when he gets bored or hungry when he starts to cry. Usually a bit of milk does the trick.

Usually I hate shopping
But I know that Bev loves this interesting female activity. So whenever she asked to go to a store, I was totally cool about it. There was not a time this whole weekend that I remember getting impatient while Bev shopped (which I usually do here). Although the weekend was a whirlwind, I wanted her to enjoy herself since we couldn’t focus on her first Mother’s day because of the wedding.

I don’t know what is up with the trend of inconvenient weddings. The last one I didn’t want to go because it was our first anniversary, and I almost didn’t want to do this one because I wanted to do something extra special for Bev’s first Mother’s day. But it was my cousin’s wedding and I wanted to be part of it.

Wedding
This section is going to sound like I’m complaining but I’m only a little bugged that I couldn’t do something special for our first Mother’s day. Overall, it was good to see family and for them to meet Ayden. I didn’t even get a chance to call my Mom because I usually use my computer to call the Philippines. I’ll call her today though.

Traveling with a baby takes a lot of planning. It is really easy for folks who don’t have babies to not understand this. It is a good thing that I’ve been in several weddings and helped plan our own wedding. Unfortunately I had no clue where I needed to be and when. I think I was the only groomsman who came from out of town. On contrast, I think all my groomsmen came from out of town. Maybe it is just me being anal, but I created a document that had a schedule of where they had to be and when (photoshoot list) and all contact information for every other groomsmen. All of this paid off because it ran like clockwork. This wasn’t “luck” of thorough planning (Bev is a project manager) and the help with Kuya War and his wedding coordinating super-hero crew Manny and Ron who managed the event by the minute.

I felt I was constantly bugging my cousin for addresses and times, but nothing was clear. He shouldn’t have to worry about this stuff and me calling him. Even before we arrived, I asked if there was a hotel he recommended because we needed a crib, etc for Ayden. He is much more mobile now, but I found out that they were staying at a different hotel when we arrived. For the rehearsal dinner, no one could tell me the address or the name of the restaurant, I had to follow my cousin, so every time we got caught up at a stop light, they had to wait. I was getting nervous that we would be left behind.

Then later that night, I needed to find out details about where I had to be in the morning. I couldn’t just leave Bev and Ayden because for anyone who is not familiar with NJ, that road system is just freaking crazy and the rain wasn’t helping! Exits are labeled right before the exit and each exit has multiple road that it would lead to. If only we knew the hotel where they were staying, not only could we have spent more time hanging out, but I could have been there for the photos. Again, the limiting issue was having a car seat and a mobile baby with us. I guess to make it easier, they just said to meet at the Church.

Again, I hate to sound like a complainer, but it really is hard traveling with a baby.

Mother’s Day
Maybe I should have planned something a week before the trip, but I really didn’t think I was going to be constantly thinking about where I had to be and when. We had breakfast at the Hotel again, and the hostess mistook Ayden as a girl? He is getting that a lot now for some reason? Maybe he’s “pretty” but I dunno, I try not to be offended and see it in a positive light. After all, his hair is getting long.

Since we had extra time in the morning, I figured we could go to the Jersey Gardens outlet so that Bev can review some stores. After all, it was Mother’s Day, she can do anything she wants! Unfortunately, I ended up buying more stuff too ;-)

Ceremony
It was supposed to start at 2:30pm. We arrived at the beautiful church in Bayonne, NJ exactly at 2pm as planned, but the other groomsmen didn’t show up until 15 minutes later. I think around 3pm, the music started, but there was no Bride? My cousin’s brother made a comment that my Kuya was being “Punked” – I couldn’t help but make light of the situation too. But I had my little camera fixed on him recording his reaction (I put it away the rest of the time – although I had to get their vows).

I remember being in his shoes, when I was anticipating Bev walking down the aisle. I saw his eyes were a little watery, and that is what I watch for during the wedding. The happiest moment for any groom is usually during this time. It is amazing. Chona looked absolutely beautiful in her dress. She is very demure and “Maria-Clara” like if that makes any sense. I feel that her and my Kuya Dennis make the perfect couple.

I felt a little bad because this day is supposed to be perfect for them, but there were a little hiccups from a delay of her walking down the aisle (everyone made their jokes and laughed) – it kinda ruins the “beautiful” moment. But it does make light of the somewhat anxious situation (more so for the guests I guess). It was really awkward as everyone had their eyes at the door at what seems like a lifetime. Thoughts of a run away bride probably ran through people’s minds.

She finally showed up and lit up the church, but halfway down the aisle, someone stepped on her veil! It was probably and over excited Lola trying to get her best snaps.

The rest of the ceremony went like a charm. I got to hold Ayden a bit while Bev did the first reading. Again, this was a surprise for us, but it worked out. We couldn’t just let anyone hold Ayden because he’s at the point where he cries at “strangers” and he hasn’t been around his Lola Rose or Tita Owen long enough yet. Although I have to say that he really likes his Tito Rico!

Chona’s tears were timeless as she recited her vows. I could tell this was the happiest moment for her. I’m surprised my Kuya kept it together. When Bev cries, I cry too!

Reception
The reception was in Garfield, NJ. The cocktail food was super fancy and just awesome. Many pieces were just tasty and moist. If you have ever been on a cruise, think of the type of food you would eat at a 5 star buffet. I really enjoyed the mini “White Castle”-like burgers. I got so full from this part of the reception that I only at one bite of my steak! I would have been happy with all these delicious appetizers.

For some reason, my partner was switched, but I don’t think anyone noticed. They used the same DJ / cover singer that my Kuya Rico and Ate Owen used at their respective wedding receptions. They are really good and know how to get the crowd moving.

No one wanted to catch the bouquet or the garter?
What is up with that? It happened 3 times each! No one there was remotely excited to participate? At least entertain your hosts people. I don’t know, maybe it is the “cool” thing to do, or people just don’t want to get married these days? This was the first time I have ever seen this happen 3 times in a row. My cousin Kuya Rico (the best man) had to grab the flower and the garter and pass it off to someone. That was just odd and sad at the same time.

We had to leave early in the morning, so I had to call it a night at 11:45 or so. I brought some clothes to change out of my Tuxedo so that my Kuya Rico could return it. Overall, I loved the decorations, the venue, the food, and the entertainment. They spared no expense for this part of the celebration as there was an open bar too. They did an awesome job at hosting 150 or so guests. I know it is a lot of hard work to plan a wedding and I don’t want to make light of the situations I listed above. Weddings are not about me and I was there to support my Kuya and his Bride. I was just split as I wanted to focus on Bev’s first Mother’s day too. Thank goodness I knew what to expect, otherwise, I would have been a very lost groomsmen.