About the Kids

Bryan started pre-school… He secretly loves it but always tries to get our sympathy by fake-crying about it…. Amelia is growing up fast — sleeping through the night pretty much within the first two weeks of coming home. We are pretty sure she’s going to outgrow Bryan in a few more months… That’s what happens when a baby gets baked a few more days in the oven…

Bryan sings and tells his teddy bear stories in his spare time. He even prays (yes, prays) during meal (it’s a Christian-run pre-school he’s attending… long story). And his smart mouth is going to get him in trouble soon enough like mine always did to me in school…

Potty Training

Bryan finally got the idea of taking the initiatives to go to potty on his own. He’s a bit late among his friends, but we felt that he’d do it when he felt ready for it… And indeed he did. It was a milestone event for all 3 of us to hear him insist on going to his potty chair and actually “holding” for it.

Another milestone reached this week was his readiness to sleep alone. This couldn’t have come at a better time as Bryan’s sister is due in about a month. Last night he kicked me out of the bed because he wanted to sleep by himself, with light off and the door closed! And without a fuss or complaint, he went to sleep.

Sometimes I wished he wasn’t growing so fast so that I can rock him to sleep just for a little longer. (Now he won’t even let me hold him like a baby, let alone rocking him.) But soon enough, he’d be his own man and making choices all on his own without requiring my input at all. Life with children goes by way too fast. And some days I wish we’d stay in “today” just for a little longer…

Gone without A Trace

One day my phone was there, and the next day it was gone. Gone without a trace.

But who could’ve done it? Who could’ve done such a senseless act? WHO?!

“I could’ve called my cell and easily found it,” you say?

Oh, no…. If only life was always so simple and straight forward. No way. You see, I had the silent mode on so that I could be in peace and quiet when the least I needed was a ring to break my coding/writing streak. In the age of information and communication overload, being away from it all from time to time can be healthy…

To make a long story short, luckily I had the vibrate mode on. And the phone model is old enough to “vibrate” quite loudly… After a few landline calls to it, I finally pinpointed its proximity in the house — in a far corner of the living room where DVDs were kept. And it’s not just hidden randomly in the orderly pile either — it was carefully tucked away behind the DVD stacks where it was buried under the cover of another DVD. OH~~ Whoever did this was good; whoever planned this thought it through; whoever did this never intended for me to find it… It was a masterfully orchestrated theft…

The first suspect was, of course, Bryan (What! Like Grace was going to hide my phone for fun!?). I offered some candies in exchange for the location of the phone. But no~~, he was no fool and didn’t budge.

Who was behind all this? Bryan — now known as the Master of Treasure Burier, or I might as well call him the Asian toddler version of Arsène Lupin from now on.

We asked if he’d known where my phone was. He protested innocence and even offered to help (and did but only at places that I’ve already looked at right behind me and to no avail). And after I found the phone, he even became “genuinely” puzzled and queried how and why the phone got there (with a tiny sign of smirk in one corner of his mouth).

If even candies can’t buy him off now, I am worried if I’d ever be able to find anything in a couple of year’s time when there’s nothing that can make him talk…


I love working for myself and working from home. The amount of freedom and flexibility is surreal. This makes me not ever want to go back to a 9 to 5 (or 6, or 7, or 10) job ever again. But it does have its trade offs.

I’ve been working pretty feverishly on Neely’s digital signage project for a while. But it seems to take forever to get something done nowadays. Compared to some of my previous code-heavy projects, this is really taking a long time! And the only difference I’ve noticed is — Bryan’s age.

Before Bryan walked and talked, everything was simple then. Grace was able to handle most of Bryan’s needs. But now that Bryan’s almost 2.5 years old, the amount of attention required to satisfy his needs is amazingly time consuming. So what used to take me to finish a block of code before will now triple in time and effort just to get things moving along in the presence of Bryan. And when he does go to bed, I also need to wind down before I could get in the “zone” to get things going.

For the past few days, I’ve been going to bed at 10AM (after working through the night). Before that, my effective work hours have been between 2AM to 6AM. Yes, it’s only four hours, but boy, when nobody is around to bug you, things get done!

This is probably good when the new baby finally arrives because that’d make me the de facto night-shift guard. But wait, that’ll mean it’d take me even longer to get shit done even during my “alone time”… Oh crap!


A few updates on Bryan… No, not brags. Just updates.

He’s now the king of puzzles… He can complete a relatively complicated puzzle mostly all by himself with little help (even ones without any mirroring images printed on the board itself). He’s attracted to anything that requires tinkering of some sort… mechanical or otherwise. I am worried that when he’s older, I might one day come home to a disassembled DSLR camera, or worse, my MacBook Pro…

Bryan can also blow his own nose without assistance from a stupid nasal aspirator or a syringe. This new learned ability totally makes our lives a more quality one.

He’s also a total maniac during parts of the day — he refuses to apologize or back off if he thinks he’s right; he trashes the apartment about 10x a day; he yells, screams and explodes like any 2.5-year-old; he will jump, hop, pounce and stomp on the bed when he’s supposed to nap, but the upside is, when he’s out of the juice, he drops and takes a nice long nap all by himself; he’s exactly like Grace in that, when he’s in the mood, everything has to be positioned and aligned at exactly 90 degrees — even shoes and his toys; he will do things by himself and refuses help until he gets it right by himself — that frustrates him sometimes because his fine motor skills just aren’t there…

I admire so many of his qualities that it reminds me that we, as adults, should probably stick to some of the basic principals Bryan adheres to so strictly and naively. Sometimes we make less-than-good compromises out of convenience, guilt or lack of character, forgetting that we were better than that when we started in this seemingly complicated life.

As Bryan grows, so do we. I think we are learning as much from him as he’s learning from us.

“Back to basics” is hip again.

Clearing Out

I guess it’s the primal instincts doing their bids, or maybe our apartment IS that dirty… Grace and I have been going on a surge of “nesting” moves in cleaning the apartment. Brian said Birgit and he went through similar exercise when they were expecting… Somehow I don’t remember as clearly when we did this with Bryan.

So we have cleared out lots of stuff we no longer needed and donated them to HOPE. And I am happy to say that the last two PCs have also been “removed” and maybe people at HOPE can find better uses for them. The only places that Microsoft Windows exist are on our Macs as virtual machines. Woohoo! But I will miss them as I owe much of my Linux knowledge to tinkering with Linux on them. Grace and I were talking about how “stuff” just get accumulated even though we really don’t buy anything at all (except books in my case; but even with that I try to get from the public library as much as I can).

Coincidentally, Jason blogged about “stuff” yesterday. It’s really an excellent animated flim. Actually, I think it’s the best I’ve seen to have explained things in such a short and concise manner but still keeping everything so positive. I loved it. I do feel a little guilty about having so much stuff… But then I remember we probably have the least amount of stuff among most of our friends. Ha!

Good times.