Week 42 & 43: Finally, Friday!!

 

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Happy 4th of July Weekend! I hope everyone enjoyed the USA celebration with their family and friends. I took a little blogging break, though not intentionally. I think that has been my longest drought, hopefully it won’t happen again. Last week was crazy busy and this week, the girls are back, YAY!!

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Highlights:

We went down to Houston last weekend to pick up the girls(they were ready to come home they said), celebrate Aspen’s 3rd birthday with family, and spend some time with my sister, DJ, who lives in West Virginia, and who rarely get to come home. So, everyone was home for the 4th of July. We took the girls to a water park, and the sun drained the life out of Aspen and I, then we grilled out back with friends, and watched fireworks across the street from our house. No traffic and no hassles. It was a lovely day.

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The Big Girls:

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I am surprised that the girls were ready to come back home, since summer break is only half-way over! I think they wanted to come back home so that they can make sure we don’t visit Tita Dora without them. But still, I am happy that they are back. Now I have my dishwasher, dog-walker, and babysitter back! πŸ™‚ Just kidding.

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Aspen:

Aspen turned 3 last week and she was so excited. But her party got rained out, so it was a complete disaster, in the eyes of me, but she didn’t even notice because she got her birthday song, cake, and her presents. We did get to take her and her sisters to Jollibee, for the first time ever, which is a Filipino must. The food was good, but it was not as festive as I previously remembered from a hundred years ago, when I last visited, as a teenager 😦

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Here is Aspen’s latest try at, “Let it Go!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Week 39: Finally, Friday!!

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Happy Weekend! What are y’all doing this weekend? We went down to Austin and Houston this past weekend and it was really nice to see friends and family and MY GIRLS!! Aspen was being mean to me and only wanted her dad, but she came around….when he had to go to the bathroom. Whatever, she loves me.

Since the girls are off for the summer, I had envisioned myself being able to do so much around the house, but it’s not the case. Unfortunately, all I have been doing is eating, sleeping, drinking, and repeat. Not that it’s a bad thing, but I need to get on a million of these house work or before I know it, it will be back to school time again!

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Highlights:

It is very uneventful around here sans children.We went down to Texas to visit. Highlights were family, friends, baby Santana(that’s him down there with Xavier), Noah(that’s him up there smiling at brunch), and the poker game until the sun came up. FYI: Don’t play Poker with the Ogoes, you will lose your money. We tried Ramen Tatsu-ya in Austin and Xavier was mad because he was still hungry.

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Xavier and I checked out the Summer of Sounds in the Park Concert at Park Place. I am also partaking in Negroni Week, so far I have tried Parisi Coffee’s Cafe Negroni and Julep KC’s Negroni. Still on my list are Barrel 31’s and Snow and Co’s. I was also able to finally check out the Food Truck Rally at First Friday. Xavier had to work, so I dragged a friend along. The lines were uber long so we tried Thai Place on Pennsylvania Ave instead. The food was excellent, but the service was not acceptable, and I will leave it at that. Finally, running has been non-existent this week, just like house work. But I did register for the Aramco Houston Half Marathon lottery. I hope I get picked again!

The Girls

The girls are at their Nana Bubu’s right now(I think), but they spent last weekend with their Tita Paris and Jonathan. Paris reports that they had a blast during their sleepover and it gave her insight into what having 3 kids is like. She said they were very good and even made their beds the next day πŸ™‚ What!? They don’t do that at home! Xavi got Pokemon cards, Boogie got art supplies, and Terminator got a Team Umizoomi book. They built forts, played lots, Β and ordered Chinese, Β because the girls love Chinese food. We are still trying to work out West Virginia into this summer, I really hope it happens. I want to shoot targets and birds and 4 wheel my afternoons away into the woods. And I want to squeeze in McAfee Knob in there somewhere. I am sure my boss will start giving me the side eye with all of these requests that I am submitting. But it is summertime!

Also, Aspen told her Poppa that Jax ate a bad bone and got sick, so now she needs a new puppy 😦 More on that later 😦

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We passed by a drag show at Hamburger Mary’s, but we were too focused on the food trucks, so next time drag show, next time πŸ™‚

 

 

 

 

Hello, 2014!

2014

Yes, we are a halfway through January, but it is still January. So, I thought I would recap 2013 and share some expectations for 2014, because I do not resolute. Resolutions and I don’t get along, too much pressure. Expectations are less concrete, if that makes sense.

2013 was a blizzard of a year, lots of ups and down, and it went by so quickly, I am still trying to figure out where it went. So, a few recap/highlights:

1. After 6 months, I like Kansas City. I detest the winter because it makes a hermit out of me and my family. But that can be a good thing, you have to interact with each when you are stuck at home. I need to work on more indoor activities. I do like winter clothes though, weird.

2. 2013 was a good year career wise, I finished my master’s degree and landed a position with an awesome company: 2 weeks after we decided to move. Talk about being blessed in a timely manner πŸ™‚

3. Some downs: we miss family, friends, and life in Houston and the travel department was limited this year, due to the new job.

4. There were a handful of bumps and challenges in parenthood, but I learned a lot along the way.

5. Fitness wise, 2013 was not good. The allergy thing really set me back. I only ran 5 races as opposed to 12 in 2012.

Extra: I started this blog and it is still alive!

*There were more awesomeness and downs, but these are some that I wanted to share*

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I have a lot of expectations for 2014, just because. I get like that around January because it feels like I am getting a fresh start and another chance at improving from last year. So here are some expectations, order is of no importance.

1. Fitness is a major thing. I expect to run more races than last year. I am aiming for around 15 races, with a couple of half-marathons. And I am hoping to add biking in this department.

2. Blog expectations: I am hoping to do at least 3 posts a week with a more focused content: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. So, look for more blog posts this year.

3. I am aiming to travel more with my family this year. And going home does not count as traveling.

4. Now that we are getting more settled, I am expecting to have the girls back into their sporting activities: soccer and tennis.

5. I expect to volunteer more this year, and to share that with the girls.

6. I expect to read more books and not abandon them after a few chapters: 15 books.

7. This is a hard one: I am aiming to work on being a more patient and efficient parent. Aiming is a key word.

8. I expect to date more this year. For real.

9. I expect to join a church, here in KC. Any recommendations? I am having a hard time finding one.

10. Smile, at some point, everyday, at people. I hear it is good for the soul and sexy πŸ™‚

Doing awesome career wise is a requirement, so no expectations there.

And there are more expectations, but this is a good list to share, and I don’t like for my posts to be too long πŸ™‚

Lofty expectations, but crushable, don’t you think? What are your expectations for this year?

Running from the cold.

BYE BYE, 2013!!

2014 image from google.com

Week 18: Finally, Friday!!

Houston

Hello, Saturday πŸ™‚ It has been a couple of weeks since my last post and that is not a good way to start the new year. But, life decided to have me ill since my birthday and I am still pretty cruddy. However, I didn’t want to get too behind, so let us post away!

I am uber grateful to the Lord that I managed to only miss ONE full day of work, and one day of WFH. So, the damage at work was not too bad. I have no idea what came down on me, actually I still don’t. But, please GO AWAY! I hate being sick.

We went home for New Year’s week and it was awesome, until I got sick. We hit up Lopez and Timmy Chan’s on our first day πŸ™‚

Week 18 Highlights:

The girls went back to school this week. The polar vortex phenomena cancelled the first day of school back(but not work). It was -8F. NEGATIVE EIGHT, y’all. This is not Alaska or Siberia. It was cold.

The rounds of choir practices and math clubs have began again. Xavi decided to join the Scrabble Club. Let us cheer, for it is not the Pokemon Club or a Gamer’s Club. YAY! I think she will do well since she does well during the Spelling Bee.

Aspen:

For a minute, I was worried she might start missing day care, then she reassures me: “No! I don’t want to go to school. I wanna stay here with my, Daddy!” Glad we got that out of the way.

Whilst standing on Xavier’s feet going up the escalator, she yells out, “I AM FLYING!! DAD! I AM FLYING!!” I love her toddlerisms.

Convo with Aspen:

Me: Aspen, how was your day today? What did you do?

Aspen: I was mean to the girls. I was cranky all today.

Me: What!? Why were you mean to the girls and why were you cranky? (I needed to know)

Aspen: BA-CAUSE, Janis. BA-CAUSE. (She turns and walks away).

The End.

Week 18 Gallery

*This includes some from week 17, since I skipped a week.*

A Disaster

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I try to keep the mood of the this blog on the positive side. But sometimes it can’t be avoided.

The Philippines, my motherland, was recently ravaged by a mega-typhoon practically the size of North America. The aftermath is devastating and heart wrenching. It is gut checking to see the devastation brought upon an already struggling, yet progressive, tiny nation. But, despite of the magnitude of the storm, the people took on Haiyan, despite the severity of the aftermath, after they asked for help, they are picking up, cleaning up, and are moving on, with or without help. When you are a nation who are pounded by the greatest number of storms year after year, you learn to pick up, clean up, and smile. It is a testament of will, resilience, and determination.

Sure, there are lootings and finger pointings, after wards, but that’s natural. Let you be in the same situation, let me not see you try to ravage a standing grocery store to find water and food for you and your surviving family. And let me see any government with minimal resources, prepare for a super typhoon whose magnitude is unrivaled, you can’t. So you do your best.

I thought I would give you a few stats to help put things in perspective and some suggestions of organizations to contact on how you can help. I am sure, you have probably heard some these in the news, if not, now you know.

Typhoon Haiyan:

1. Considered on of the most powerful to have reached landfall, Haiyan was 370 miles wide.

2. Winds reached 195 mph, gusts reached 235 mph. That’s strong.

3. Storm surge reached 17 feet, and 27 inches of rain.

After the Storm(numbers may vary depending on source):

1. 9 million people have been affected: 4.5 million of which are children and 1.5 million of which are children under the age of 5.

2. About 600,000 have been displaced.

3. About 12,000 have been injured.

HOW YOU CAN HELP:

Local:

Kansas City

The Filipino Association of Greater Kansas City

Philippine Medical Society

World Outreach Foundation of Kansas City

Houston/Texas

First Philippine Baptist Church

Philippine American Chamber of Commerce

National/International:

The American Red Cross

Save the Children

Doctor without Borders

*As always, if you are making monetary donations, make sure that the organization is legitimate and trust worthy. Sadly, scammers are always out there looking to profit on disasters*

*Image from catholicexchange.com*

Source: United Nations and World News NBC

Video

Cry Baby Corner (2012)

Paris Jomadiao, an artist based in Houston, Texas, was recently interviewed by the Houston Press. Here is the interview. She is a super talented gal and totally deserves the awesome publicity! She also happens to be my baby sister and the one who encouraged me to start this blog. So she is extra awesome because of that πŸ™‚

Also included in the interview is a featured work, Cry Baby Corner (2012). It stars a familiar face, well a snippet, of my XAVION!

Here is the video and go check out the artist as well πŸ™‚ ENJOY!

In 350 Words or Less

Dear Texans Coach(es),

I just want to let you know that, after 5 games, the Browns, the Jets, the Lions, and even the Cardinals, have a better record than the Texans. But, I am sure you are well aware of this. I am also sure that you are aware that this is not acceptable by any standards, mostly because we were supposed to contend this year. That we didn’t get far enough last year was ok by me because I was hopeful that this year, with a second WR and an old, decent new CB, we will go further, it eased my pain a little. But currently we have lost three games in a row and could easily be winless, like 0-5.

Why is that?

Well, I am not going to sit here and blame the quarterback, cause its only about 75% his fault. So, I will suggest that somebody needs to give the man a break, a staycation, plop his feet up, thinking time, whatever you want to call it. He needs to warm up a spot on the bench and give the backups a chance. Ill play can only be tolerated for so many snaps before it lingers and spread to the masses. Currently, the defense is still awesome, but the offense has only scored 3 points in the last SIX quarters. The best time to sit the quarterback is against the not so good Rams.

Why?

If we lose to the Rams with the backup quarterback, ok. But, if we lose to the Rams with the quarterback and there is another pick 6, game loser or not? No Bueno. Plus, there are plenty of success stories that come out of giving the backups a chance. I am not saying that he needs to be replaced, he just needs some time to think about what he has done, you know like, time out. I think that it will help him and the team get on a positive track.

Again, I don’t blame it all on the quarterback.

Plus, I’m positive Tuesday Slushies have been terribly missed.

Sincerely,

A Concerned Fan

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Houston vs. Kansas City: 5 Things You didn’t Know

No, this post is not a preview for the upcoming football game between the Texans and the Chiefs. Sorry. Instead, it is a short compilation of a few random differences between Texas and Kansas/Missouri that I have come to find out in my short time here in Kansas City. Listed by importance to me, from bleh to what!? Here they are:

1. Fountains: There are over 200 registered fountains in Kansas City, hence the moniker, The City of Fountains. Houston has 2(according to my research, you can correct me if you want), it’s called the Waterwall at the Galleria, and The Mecom Fountain at the Museum District, that drives everyone nuts. I am sure there might be a couple more, but I am positive it is nowhere near 200+.

2. Terrain: Kansas City is nice and hilly with lots of green, even the inner city is has plenty of trees. Houston is flat with lots of ditches and potholes.

3. Vehicles: Texas, requires a yearly vehicle inspection along with a yearly(or you can opt to renew for 2 years) registration renewal. Kansas only requires a one time inspection upon the vehicle’s first registration, and that’s it. For how long? My research didn’t get that far.

4. State Income Tax: Texas does not have state income tax, but Kansas does. So, this did not sit in well with me. I consider this important.

5. Education: Kansas, with their stupid state income tax, requires students/parents to pay for their books….in public school. Really? Texas requires no such thing, they just test the heck out of your kids. The Missouri side of Kansas City? Don’t bother, the whole school district lost its accreditation. It’s the main reason why we decided to live on the Kansas side. This is very important, this is my kids’ education. I can’t have slow kids. I’m just being honest.

There you go, 5 things you didn’t know about Houston(Texas) and Kansas City(Kansas/Missouri). And, if you did in fact already know, good for you!

Here is a couple of Kansas City point of interest photos, will periodically post more as they are photographed:

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The Bloch Fountain in front of Union StationmemorialThe National World War I Memorial, with my family walking towards the museum.