Tuesday, January 9, 2007

I'm moving.....

Well....not so much a major move, but a move nonetheless. I'm trying this new blog from blogger .com. So we'll see how this site holds up. I haven't figured out if I can post pictures....so we'll just have to see.....

My 1st Blog !!! (originally posted 8/11/06)

Scary!!! Hahahaha.....let's see what goes thru my brain! Nothing!!!

Ok, it has been a crazy year thus far.....good chaos is what I need, and good chaos is what I got. We got pregnant late last year, and so for most of the year 2006, Nancy was carrying our 3rd child. Let's just do a review of 2006 to date:

Work Wise - Verizon, can you hear me now? Well I've been travelling like crazy. I started traveling this past February, all the way up till now. I've got trips scheduled left and right. Things have slowed down the past 2 weeks. So far, I've gone to Philadelphia nearly 10 times since Feb. Dallas 3x, Seattle 2x, Washington DC (1x), New York (1x). Has it taken it's toll? Yes and no. I just hate the fact that I got to be at the airport an hour or so before the flight, and what gets me most is flight delays. There was one trip from Philly back to LA. We boarded the plane, and the plane left the terminal, literally moved a few hundred yards from the terminal and then just STOPPED! We were stuck in the plane for about 3 hours. The plane did not go back to the terminal, we were just sitting there.

NEW YORK - Of all the places I've travelled to, it is still New York City that holds a special place for me. I will never, ever get bored of going to this city. One has to go to New York and experience it and really LIVE it up. You just have to let your cares go away. There's no other place in the world that will make me walk blocks and blocks, and take a cab, or a subway, other than New York. It's a way of life. This past trip, I was there for nearly a week, and stayed in Times Square, Brooklyn, and Lower Manhattan (just blocks away from Ground Zero). I actually "worked" this time while in New York. I got to play after hours. So I did what most New Yorkers do, go to a deli for lunch, grab a hot dog from a street vendor, walk walk walk!!! After hours, take a train ride to Times Square, watched a couple of shows, even got to see Jessica Simpson leave the MTV TRL studios. Then, there's Chinatown, and Little Italy, and Central Park, and Brooklyn Heights......the list just goes on and on. Fortunately, I've been here quite a few times, that I didn't have to do the other touristy things. I took my digital cam with me and just took pics of different NY sights.

CAITLIN REESE - to those who don't know, she's our newest addition to our growing family. Prior to her birth, Nancy and I were trying everything to have Caitlin via normal delivery. We walked, ate spicy food, did every imaginable thing to get this baby our naturally. We even postponed a C-section, because "I" had a root canal unfortunate event. So imagine me in pain, while my wife was watching the Endodontist drill into my teeth....ouch!!! Long story short, I stole my baby's thunder even before she was born. The C-section was rescheduled on June 27, at the time, Nancy was already 41 weeks. It was very strange to go to the hospital knowing that you will have a baby at a very specific time. Nancy was wheeled in to the Operating Room around 6 pm, and I was allowed to go in by 6:15. Her lower half was shielded by curtain/drape looking thing, but to my right is this glass partition, so when I looked, I was able to see the things they were doing to her. I chose not to look anymore, but curiosity got the best of me every few seconds.

At 6:21, we heard "Ok, you're about to have your baby". And there she was.........little Caitlin Reese.....the rest is history.........Madison just did not know what to do with her little sister. She was so excited, wanted to pamper her little sister right away. As always, little Ethan was just a delight. He sang lullabies to Caitlin during her 1st hours, and he chose to stay with me, Nancy and Caitlin at the hospital. He is such a great help.

Year of the Weddings - Ok, if you're from Oxnard, you know that weddings there is like the Olympics.......they're not as often, in fact, the last time Oxnard saw a major wedding was probably 4 or 5 years ago. Well....NOT THIS YEAR!!! It started with Jaimer and Estrellita's Wedding in March, Hannah and Eric's in June, Rhelee and Bobby's in July, and Jojit and Susan's in August. Not to mention, Zenas and Cuwi got married this year too...although not in Oxnard.....but you get what I mean!

NINONG JASON - I was asked to be a Ninong in Jaimer and Ex's wedding. What were they thinking? hahaha. Anyways, I did what every Ninong in their right mind does during a wedding.....EMBARASS HIMSELF.....here it goes. If you're in Oxnard Choir, you might remember this. Ok.....Neil and Cindy came over my house, hours before the wedding. Neil borrowed black shoes....so we went to our garage, where all the shoes were, I gave Neil a pair of the ones I normally use, and I saw these shiny pair of black shoes meant for a Tux. I've never worn them....I think they belong to my dad. So voila, I put them on, headed to church. We got ready for the Ninong and Ninang processional.....there was a white runner down the aisle and some flowers on the runner. Without joking, as I walked by the 1st pew, things sounded a little funky with the way the shoes touched the aisle. So I kept walking, cheesing for the camera....by the 4th pew, I lost balance....the sole and heel on my right shoe CAME OFF.Panic Time. What to do? The sole and heel were literally a few inches away from me. I turned around, and instead of picking up the sole and heel, I stepped on it......dragged it to the last row, and just wanted to die right then and there. From afar, I made it look like I had a cramp. What I would give to have a cramp that moment. So, please don't ask me to be a Ninong again.... hehehee :-)

JOJIT and SUSAN's Wedding - Well finally! I just didn't think that day would ever come. When they got engaged 2 years ago, and heard that they plan on marrying 2 years later.....I was like "what???" that was so long of a wait. Well, as always good things come to those who wait. Months before the wedding, Madison has been practicing in our hallway, carrying a basket filled with dried rose petals. She would pick up the basket, walk a step or 2, then stop, grab petals and scatter them all in the same place, and once empty.....drop the basket, and run to the finish line. You get the picture. We tried practicing, without petals....just didn't have the same effect for her.

Ethan on the other hand was born a pro. He was asked to be a ringbearer for Ninang Ellie/Ninong Lenne's 50th Anniversary.......just had all the signs of nailing this ringbearer biz! He had the ultimate confidence, the smile, the walk.....the works! By the time he rehearsed for Jit's wedding, he can literally pass out business cards for future wedding events.

SHOWER - In July, while I stayed home bonding with Caitlin, Nancy and I printed the cards for the shower for Jit and Susan. I travelled to Dallas and NY back 2 back weeks, so I wasn't around to help prepare. The shower was held at my house on July 29th. That was the week when it was just pure humid in Ventura County. Ethan had his Lemonade stand. He charged 5 cents per cup. Nancy and I actually gave the coins to our guests to use as payment. Ethan had a blast. The ice-cold lemonade was the answer to our quenching thirst.The shower was fun, Cindy Tanghal led an adult-themed game/s.....food galore, and what is a Pinoy party without Karaoke thru the evening. I had a blast, and I think the guests did too.

REHEARSAL AND DINNER - The day before the wedding, we had a rehearsal at the chapel, and then the dinner that evening at the Clubhouse. The dinner was an invite-only, the sponsors, wedding party, and Jit and Susan's close friends. They had the event catered by L & L Hawaiian BBQ. It was nice to just relax, just a good enough sized guests.

JOJIT and SUSAN's WEDDING DAY - It was nice to wake up a little later than usual, knowing that the wedding was in the afternoon. Knowing that we now have 3 kids, things have to be strategically prepared. We ordered pizza from Toppers instead of cooking. By noon, we were all in a panic mode of getting ready. Our photographer came to our house by 1 pm....took pics....and then it's time to hit the road to go to the chapel. We got there by 2:30, and just admired how the chapel had a simplistic elegance.

Susan walked down the aisle shortly after 3. From my perspective, the wedding was quite solemn, I saw the expression on their faces during their exchange of vows. It was just pure magic. They've been waiting for this moment and it showed how much this moment meant to them. After the ceremony, it was pictures pictures pictures. I had to keep the flow going, ensuring that we don't stay too long in Oxnard, we still have a trek to go Santa Barbara.

RECEPTION - although there was a bit of a traffic, it was nice to see the beaches to the left, and just enjoy the scenery. The reception was at the Fess Parker's Doubletree Resort. There were appetizers and drinks for the guests. By 5:30, they were allowed inside the Reagan Room. By 6 pm, the entourage was introduced, and my little Madison was the runaway flower girl. Around 6:30 were the toasts. Sharlene started with her speech, brief, but very heartfelt. She did tell me earlier that hers will be brief, but not mine heheheeh!

MY SPEECH - I really have been thinking about my speech for nearly 9 months. I was watching thru some old videos, and came across Jojit's dedication to me and Nancy during our engagement party. I built my speech around that. And the rest is history. I really had to pay tribute to what Susan did for my family during her first few months in California. My dad suffered a stroke around that time, and she just stepped right in - ready to help. Thank you Susan. That was a very difficult time....and you were there to help.

All in all, it was fun to see different folks who attended the party. Some commented how they love the details of the wedding, from the invitation, to the location, to the program, to flowers, etc. We were just dead tired after the wedding. I brought extra clothes with me, so I drove home a little on the comfortable side.

Dang, I didn't realize this blog was long until I read it back to Nancy.......!!!!

Ethan's New School (originally posted 10/25/06)

Well, Ethan graduated from Pre-school back in June. His new school, Rancho Rosal Elementary, located just a block away from our house in Camarillo, is not set to open until Winter 2006. So, in the meantime, the future students of Rancho Rosal are attending their classes at a satellite campus, Camarillo Heights Elem. Sch. This is a good 15 min drive from our house. During orientation, they offered school buses for the kids. Ethan heard the offer, and immediately told us he wants to ride the bus. At first it was difficult to let him ride the bus, but I'd like to think of it as one of rites of passage. I figured, once the new school is ready, since it is only a 5 minute walk from our house, he will not have a need to take a bus then.........so grab the opportunity now!!!

Our Must-See TV (originally posted 10/26/06)

Well, now that we have 3 kids, it's not that easy to just go to the nearest movie theatre. So, what do we do? Watch TV!!! Ok....here's the run down:

  • What About Brian
  • Prison Break
  • The Class
  • Lost
  • The Nine
  • Jericho
  • Ugly Betty
  • Grey's Anatomy
  • Six Degrees
  • Desperate Housewives
  • Brothers and Sisters
  • Without a Trace
  • CSI NY
  • 24 (next season)

and reruns of Friends, Sex and the City, Will and Grace

Thank God for TiVo, actually in my case, it's Adelphia's DVR. I don't know what we would do without the DVR. It's the next best thing since sliced bread.

Madison's now in Pre-school

Madison just turned 3 this past September. We weren't sure she was ready for pre-school, so it wasn't until early October that we decided to give it a try. We enrolled her at Mt. Cross Child Development Center in Camarillo. Was she going to cry on her 1st day? Will she get along with other kids? Will we able to leave her? Well...well...well....Madison did just fine on her own! On her 1st day, Nancy stuck around for a little bit, but she was able to slip out of the school without Madison crying at all..........so there goes my little girl

Golf and my new Callaway Clubs (originally posted 10/27/06 at 10:38 pm)

Ok, I'm no Tiger Woods......but I started playing golf about 4 or 5 years ago. I started playing golf with my Kuya Nelson (my bro-in-law), and although I totally suck, there's always that 1 shot or 2 that makes you wanna come back and play the game again. Just like the Mastercard commercial.....priceless :-) 5 years ago, I went online and bought a $99 iron set from Ebay. My driver was a hand-me-down from my Kuya, so was my putter, a Callaway hand me down from him. I figured, heck, if I end up not liking this, at least I didn't go all out with my investment. So as the years passed, my FGI set did the trick for me. Over the years, I actually bought a Nike driver, and an Adams Tight Lies 3 wood. As far as my game, well, that's always debateable.

This past summer, as Emeril would say, BAM!!! I decided to kick it up a notch. I remember talking to Alf, Jessette's husband. He works for Callaway and was quite instrumental in getting me my new set of Callaway X-18's. http://www.callawaygolf.com/en.CLUBS.Irons.X18.html I actually got the new set sometime in September, but due to the Volleyball tournament practices, I didn't get a chance to even take it to the driving range. It wasn't until last weekend when I took the new set to the golf course. Oh man.........I had a great time. As you can imagine, I always have near misses, and lucky hits here and there, but there was something about these X-18s. I've never seen my balls take flight the way it did last Saturday. Even my Kuya was impressed. Alf lent me other loaners (for a "test drive) a driver, a 3 wood, and hybrid (not the car, ok?), and man.....was I loving them too!!! So I guess I better start playing for real now..........yeah whatever!!!! I'm just having a blast!

A Day without Nancy (originally posted 10-28-06 at 11:09 pm)

Well, Nancy started going back to work about a week ago, and already, she's called in sick once :-) I gotta tell you, as much as I love having Nancy at home, but when she's at work, I tend to do more things. Let's see.....

  • my Saturday started with waking up right before 8 am. I went straight to my home office and logged on to my work email thru VPN. I had to do some work, I'm scheduled to be in Dallas beginning Monday - Friday of next week.
  • 1 at a time, my 3 kids woke up and joined daddy in the office
  • After spending a good hour on email, I went to the garage's storage room, and unearthed the paint for my Family Room, a Dunn Edwards paint - Russet Green (like a celery green). I mixed the paint and my whole intention was just to do touch-ups.....I did so...done!!!
  • Then, I sorted my recycled items....headed to the Recycling center, my 4 garbage bags filled with plastics and cans earned me $12.73! Yes!!!
  • Next, some supermarket shopping, got some veggies, and ribs, and a phone call about my rental property...someone wants to see the house
  • Showed the property to this young couple with 3 kids (reminded me so much of me and Nancy)
  • Washed the Camry
  • Watched United Flight 93 on DVD
  • Home Service Haircut
  • Washed the Mercedes
  • Trader Joe's shopping and Kragen Auto parts errand
  • Waxed the Mercedes (no buffing required)
  • Gave Ethan and Madison a bath
  • Some study time with Ethan
  • Dinner at Kuya Nelson's house (just next door)
  • Watched "The Lake House" - Netflix failed us! The DVD was scratched.

You get the picture! It wasn't until after the movie that Nancy came home.....that was a jam packed 12-hours!

The Apple of My Eyes (originally posted 12-5-06 at 10:41 pm)

Yes!!! I recently bought Apple's newest laptop...the MacBook. It's a long lost reunion.......and the keyword here is LOST. I'd like to think that I'm PC literate (somewhat), and moving from PC to Mac is a big change. However, I'm open to changes.

I'm enjoying the MacBook a whole lot, although it's only my 3nd day with it, I'm slowly falling in love with all of its bells and whistles. Now, why the sudden change to Mac? Well put it this way, I am not giving up my PC yet, I will still be using my work laptop and my other windows based laptop. I guess it all started with my 1st iPod that I bought 2 years, it was a 40 GB. I like that iPod a lot. But what I didn't like so much was the PC that I was using at the time. It took forever sync-ing my music, and whenever I used a new CD, it took forever to load the songs to the PC. But still, I kept the pc. Then early in November 2006, my iPod just started acting up. I couldn't use it anymore. It's too bad I didn't buy it at Costco. I could have returned it with no questions ask.

Lo' and behold, on my birthday last month, Nancy surprised me with an 80GB iPod video. Once again, Apple fascinated me. I was able to load my songs, and pics, and some homemade videos. I was having a great time watching the videos and connecting them to the TV. So over the Thanksgiving holiday sale, I started eyeing deals on a Mac. To my surprise, the new MacBook is not really on sale. So with a few searching here and there, I narrowed my searches down to the following places:

Costco - nope......they only have iPod's - no Mac's
Fry's - they carry Mac's , regular price
Apple Store - duh!!!! regular price
Navy Exchange - well I had to try (no tax there)
Verizon - yes, Verizon. It turns out I get Apple discounts ($75 off, free shipping, + tax)

Then a little Angel, Glenn, told me - go with Amazon. $75 rebate, free shipping, no tax.....at that point...NO BRAINER. Placed the order online on Thursday night, by Monday, the MacBook came. The rest is history.

I'm looking for a Mac Crash course. I'm so glued to my PC and I expect to get out more from this Mac. and I just might change my email address.....it might be time to retire gap4jason....to mac4jason? MacdaddyJay? Any suggestions? :-)

New Year Blahs

Happy New Year Everyone!!! Funny how the holidays just came and went.......time just flies. I had the opportunity to just stay at home. I took time off from work from 12/22 and returned on Jan 2nd. It was mission organization for me. At the same time, events left and right. Not in any particular order:

  • Week of Dec 17 - added and installed 3 more garage storage cabinets. We have 7 to begin with, we need more, we're a growing family :-)
  • Installed hanging storage unit in the garage - you might have seen one of those units hanging on the ceiling. We had 2 installed, each unit can carry up to 250 lbs.. This is with the help of my Ninong Nerry
  • Installed shelves in the kitchen pantry - self explanatory
  • Ordered and Installed Water Softener system from GE Aqua 2000 - done
  • Service Time - 60K miles service for the Pilot, 40K miles service for the Mercedes
  • Furniture Moves - swapped the twin trundle bed in my office to the full size bed in Ethan's room, ordered new Leather Sofa and Loveseat for the family room. Delivered on 1/5.
  • Added Blinds in 3 of the bedrooms - with the help of my Ninong Nerry
  • Installed Ceiling Fan in Ethan's Room - with the help of my Ninong Nerry
  • Touch up paint - thank goodness for left over paint, I took out the brush and painted away in the kitchen area
  • Recycle Recycle Recycle - finally took the cans, plastic bottles to the recycling center...I made $9.43 - woo hoo!!!
  • Ate Tonie's Japanese Themed Birthday Party - well, almost! Kuya Nelson and I drove to San Pedro early Saturday morning to buy Freshly caught seafood (we went home with Tuna, Salmon, Yellow Tail, Oysters, Clams). That evening, I was in charge of the sushi rolls, we also had Nabe which is a seafood based soup (I think), and tempura......it was a great dinner
  • New Year's Celebration - I was tasked to do Prime Rib. So I bought a 12-lb roast, seasoned it with Thyme and Rosemary with Garlic and Salt and Pepper, Roasted the meat while it sat on top of Red wine and Beef Stock........after 4 hours......Medium perfection!!!
  • Played Golf at Camarillo Springs with my Kuya Nelson on New Year's Day.......I'm still not playing for the PGA Tour this year or ever! Darn......that's in my to do list hahahahahaa

So the past 2 weeks was nicely busy - but hey, now back to reality! Hope you all have a great New Year!!!