Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Benjamin's Phone Call

Weena is guest writing and will tell you all about Benjamin's phone call he made on Sunday.

Sunday, Mom and I went to the grocery store and I told Bill to watch Benjamin who just woke up from his nap.

We came home from the grocery store and as soon as Benjamin saw us, he helped put away the groceries which he loves to do. A few minutes later, we heard a loud knock on our door and Mom opened the door and there in front of us is an officer and two patrol cars outside. The officer told us that someone had dialed 911.

Mom and I looked at each other and for a few seconds we thought WHO could have dialed 911. Then all sets of eyes went to the direction of Benjamin, and the officer said to him "ah ha so you’re the one who called."

This scared Benjamin a little and he went to hide behind me. Bill explained that Benjamin got a hold of the cordless phone and he loves playing with and pressing all the buttons. Of the many combinations he could have pressed, he dialed 911. The county called the house to verify the call and Bill was not able to pick up the phone in time.

We apologized to the policeman, told him it will never happen again (we hope so), and the policeman tried to shake hands with Benjamin but he was still too scared and stayed behind us.

The officer chatted with us for a bit and said he has a 14-month old and still learning how to walk and that they had to unplug just about everything in their house. He was off duty, and said goodbye to Benjamin, and left. Too bad he didn't dial the Philippines or Europe!


Saturday, May 26, 2007

Closing Time.....

Posting's been a bit light partly because I've been dedicating the little free time I have to searching for a job closer to home and Benjamin's day care. Currently I am waking up at 5:00 AM, leaving the house by 5:30 to drive thirty miles to make it to work by 6:45. I am able to leave at 3:30 to pick up Benjamin at 4:15, depending on afternoon traffic of course.

You do what you have to do and the reason I chose those hours was because I wanted as light a commute as possible and to be able to pick up Benjamin at a decent time so we can have some play time together.

Recently the last thing I do before I head out is go into his room and look at him sleeping. It started to gnaw at me that I wasn't around when he woke up and he started asking for his Daddy.

For a couple months now I've been searching for something closer and on Thursday I was offered (and accepted) a position with a CPA firm near Tyson's Corner. It's a twelve mile commute now and it took twenty five minutes in the heart of rush hour at 5:30 PM when I came home from the interview Wednesday.

I'm very pleased for several reasons. One, the firm I am joining is a solid, growing firm. Two, the commute is shorter and I'll save money. In other words, no more $175 gasoline card bills like I got last month and between $35-$50 in monthly toll costs. Three, there will be times when Weena and I can take just one car into work and finally, I'm a lot closer just in case Benjamin should get sick and the burden isn't on Weena to get him just because I'm so far away.

I had a nice five and a half year run at the CPA firm I am leaving. I learned a lot and met several very nice people and overall the experience was very positive for my career. There is a line in the song Closing Time by Semisonic that "every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end". Part of me is sad to go but the future looks very promising and most important, I will have more time with Benjamin.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Orioles and Nationals

Friday night I went to RFK Stadium to see the Orioles play the Nationals. The last time I saw two teams from Washington and Baltimore play a regular season baseball game against one another at RFK had to be 1971, the Senators last season in Washington before they moved to Texas. Boog Powell, Brooks Robinson, Jim Palmer vs Frank Howard, Don Mincher and Dick Bosman.

It was a good game, the Orioles won 5-4 and I was rooting for the Orioles as they were my boyhood team I followed after the Senators left. I like the Nats but my allegiance is with the Orioles and that won't ever change.

Benjamin and I have been watching about fifteen minutes of baseball a night just before he goes to bed and he likes watching the action. I'm debating taking him to a game at RFK. I'd like to be able to say I took my son there for a baseball game just like my Dad did with me. The Nats are scheduled to move into their new stadium next season. If I do this, Weena and I would take him to a Sunday afternoon game as we wouldn't want to disrupt his routine by going to a night game.

So I had some time to kill Friday night before the game and I stopped by the Nats team store inside the stadium and got Benjamin his first Nats hat. Getting a baseball cap was a big deal growing up in our neighborhood and I wanted to recapture this.

Here's Benjamin with his Nats cap.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

The Week In Review

Benjamin came home Monday with a nasty cough. He sounded like a seal and had a little fever. I stayed home with him Tuesday and we took him to his pediatrician. Result: Croup, which is an inflammation of the larynx. He got two shots of a steroid Dexamethasone and a two day prescription of a drug who's name I now forgot. We took him in the bathroom and turned on the shower to get some steam in the bathroom to help him breathe easier. He slept a lot the next three days and was a little sluggish but his seal cough disappeared. Throughout the three days, his appetite was fine and on Friday he re-joined his playmates at day care.

Saturday we had a nice surprise. My cousin Mac dropped by for a quick visit. He is in the Marine Corps and was in town for a conference. He lives in California with his wife and son (one month older than Benjamin) and it had been about seven years since I had seen him. We spent a nice couple hours catching up and exchanging parenting stories. His visit really meant a lot to us and we were so happy to see him. Benjamin and Mac got along great and Benjamin appreciated the Percy train toy that Mac brought for him!

Happy Mother's Day Mom and Weena!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

D.C. United and Virginia Tech

D.C. United contribute $20,570 to Hokie Spirit Memorial Fund

Here's another reason why D.C. United is one of the classiest teams in sports. I was browsing their web site today and saw this.

D.C. United announced today its Virginia Tech tribute auctions raised $20,570 for the Hokie Spirit Memorial Fund. The club sold, to the highest on-line bidders, maroon memorial jerseys worn by those on the 18-man roster in United's April 28 match at the Columbus Crew. The limited edition kits include a VT memorial ribbon on the left sleeve and are signed by the individual players. Additionally, the club's co-managing partners - Victor MacFarlane and Will Chang - auctioned off their own specially-created memorial jerseys and then each made a donation of $1,340, matching the total earned by Jaime Moreno's shirt, which went for the highest amount.

100% of the proceeds raised will be donated to Virginia Tech's Hokie Spirit Memorial Fund, which was created to offer assistance, support and comfort to the families of the victims of the April 16 shooting at the university.

Visit www.vt.edu for more information on the Hokie Spirit Memorial Fund, other individual funds and alternative ways to support for those affected.

While United is off to a rough start on field, off the field they are tops.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Benjamin's Spring Class Picture

We got Benjamin's class pictures today. Hope you enjoy these. It's tough to get a one and a half year old to pose, which is why I am glad I have a digital camera so I can delete my mistakes. These two came out fine but I will add that it is rare Benjamin sits still. My guess is he was a little tired when these were taken. We got a really great group class picture which will be proudly displayed in our home.

This week is Teacher Appreciation Week at Benjamin's day care so I picked up a couple Starbucks gift cards as a very small token of our appreciation and I signed them from Benjamin. He presented them to his teachers this afternoon with a big grin and they were very happy. We plan to get a display of flowers later in the week for them and we will have Benjamin draw them a couple of pictures. We are very pleased at Benjamin's progress and greatly appreciate everything his teachers do for him.

Here is his class picture below, which was taken in October just before his first birthday. Note, he had not had his first haircut yet as it is Filipino tradition not to cut an infant's hair until after their first birthday.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Flustered Custard

Not much going on here so I will talk about a picture of my Grandfather that Dad sent to me awhile back. Grand Dad's the the one with his hands on his hips. Dad wrote the story of this restaurant on the back of the picture, so he gets top billing here while I search for topics. As usual, click on the picture for a larger size. Here's Dad's story of the restaurant.

This was one of the first fast food restaurants in Florida. It had a fast cooking setting which could cook "steakburgers" and chicken in no time. The name Flustered Custard was given to the place because the tip of the custard would always flop over. Mother named the place.

This was situated on Las Olas Boulevard right next to the draw bridge in Fort Lauderdale. This was a very popular restaurant and the business paid for itself in a year. Plans were in the offing for several more places, however the partnership dissolved between my Father and his business partner. This was pre-McDonald's and this restaurant was started after World War II, around 1947.