Thursday, May 11, 2017

Asphalt Driveway

We decided to have our asphalt driveway replaced.

It was a spur-of-the moment decision when the paving company who was doing our neighbor's knocked on our door and asked if we were interested in having ours redone.

Our old driveway was old and cracked and we got what we thought was an okay deal so we went ahead and had it done.
For comparison, here's a before shot. I forgot to take a picture before the guys came and broke up our driveway but this one still shows the old asphalt in the ramp that goes from the sidewalk to the street. Our driveway had cracks that were bigger than that and had weeds growing out of the cracks too.

It took the contractors 3 days to get everything done.

On day 1, they came and dug out and carted away the old asphalt.

On day 2, we came home to a mini-road roller parked in our driveway, it was used to compact the gravel base.

They laid the asphalt on day 3.

While all this was happening, I was doing my own research on how to take care of a new asphalt driveway and I learned quite a few things:
- you can walk on asphalt 24 hours after it gets laid
- you can park on it after 3-5 days (we waited 5 whole days to be sure)
- It takes 6-10 months to completely cure so during this time, we'd have to avoid parking in the same spot all the time and also avoid turning the wheels while the vehicle isn't moving.

We may also have to get it sealed after it cures and then every 2-3 years after that.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Child care

Swe-cha is on spring break this week and his backup day care fell through (they're at full capacity and could not accommodate him this week) so I've been working from home.

It's amazing how God always comes through for us and I thought I'd put up a post so I don't forget about this when I get worried again in the future.

So I've been fretting about Swe-cha's daycare for the summer. I learned last week that the summer camp he attended last year may not operate this summer because they did not do well financially last year. Apparently, since he is now 7, there aren't a lot of places in our town that would take kids beyond the age of 6 and given that he is special needs (albeit high functioning), it is not so easy to find a place that would be appropriate for him.

Last weekend, on Palm Sunday, I offered this up to the Lord and asked him for help. I was tired from calling all these places and not getting any leads.

Today, boss calls me up to talk about something else and asked how things are going this week. He then mentions that with our company's offices upcoming move to another city, we're really moving towards getting employees on a hoteling concept and they don't expect employees to come to work daily. Working from home might work out better for me & my child's needs.

The truth is, I've been leaning towards asking to WFH over the summer as a last resort, nahihiya lang ako to ask when I have not thoroughly exhausted all options yet and here, I didn't even have to ask.


Ang galing ni God, he's working miracles through my boss & my company.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Plan B - family room

Okay, our plan to set up the upstairs bedroom to be Swe-cha's playroom has failed.

We started by moving all his toys upstairs but since we mostly stay in the living area, his toys would slowly find their way downstairs. It became too much trouble to bring them up again, especially the bulky ones that are difficult to move up and down the stairs like his Hot Wheels garage sets and race tracks - and I'm always scared that he might fall down the stairs if he tries to bring them down himself.

Now, our living room IS the play room. We really don't mind unless we get surprise visitors.

So we sort of designated the downstairs library/den to be the guest-receiving area but the seating options in that room really leave a lot to be desired and lately, we set up the Wii there (as per our original plan) and so it has become a pseudo-playroom as well.

We racked our brains and came up with an add-on to the plan. We'll move in to the upstairs BR with Swe-cha as well. That's where we'll hang out and if we're there, he'll spend more time there and hopefully we can keep the living room in reasonable order. Tamang-tama, we don't really have a family room so perhaps this can be it.

*fingers crossed*

Monday, November 7, 2016

Fall updates

A blog-worthy weekend:

(1) Hubby found our Wii which has been unused for 7 years. He plugged it in and Swe-cha loves Wii sports. He's been looking for basketball games and we might pick a used game from Gamestop - Wii games are so cheap now as we are probably the only ones still playing.

(2) I realized that my face and my usual orders are well-known in several restaurants now - a Starbucks in Paramus, the Vietnamese restaurant in Belleville and a couple of Dunkin Donuts in Clifton. It's a huge advantage when there's a long line in the order counter and the guys behind can start making up your order before you even make it to the front. All they need is a nod from me to go ahead and make the same.

(3) My car broke down. I heard a clanging noise come from the direction of the engine and soon after, I could not steer anymore (I lost power steering!). Thankfully, I had not gotten to a busy road yet - I was just about to turn into the main road when I realized my steering was compromised so I put on the hazard lights and slowly backed my way away from the busy street. God was watching out for me. Thank you, Lord.

We had AAA tow the mechanic and I'm still waiting to hear back on whether the car would be done today, I'll have to pick up a rental car otherwise. Nakaka-stress

and an exchange I overheard between hubby & Swe-cha:
Daddy: Swe-cha, let's clean up here, can you get the vacuum ?
Swe-cha: [runs off and calls out] Roomba!

[someone farts]
Mommy: Who farted ?
Swecha: that was totot [giggles]

Swecha: [puts on his crocs and shows them to me] Mommy, is balih-tad  ? (baligtad).

Monday, October 31, 2016

Halloween 2016

We went with stickers again in terms of pumpkin decorations this year.

I'm hoping that we might actually try our hands at carving out a pumpkin next year. We'll see :)

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Home Office

Found these $1 whiteboard-surface sheets a while back and thought they'd be great as a temporary writing board for my home-office-slash-Swe-cha's-study-room.

I didn't use them right away so I forgot I even had them until last night when I quickly needed some scratch paper to keep track of my weekend re-indexing for work.

As soon as the "whiteboard" was up, someone immediately commandeered half so I decided to stick that extra piece that I had below my board so Swe-cha can use it too.

Poke-gym realizations

So hubby and I have joined the latest craze, Pokemon-Go .

I've been reading up bits and pieces but it just goes to show that you learn more about a game and think up best strategies while you're actually playing it.

Last weekend, some friends organized an attack on a nearby gym. We all went there, attacked (it was super easy to defeat the gym defenders!) and took over the gym. I didn't really know what I was doing, just kept tapping on the screen and whatever icons happened to come out. At one point, one of the kids who were with us glanced at what I was doing and said "you're not even attacking, Tita Popcorn, you're just moving around.".

Haha, kaya pala akala ko madali lang.

They showed me how to get to the store and check out the gold coins you earned for defending the gym.

After that get-together, I sort of had an idea of what to do now. But it wasn't until afterwards, when I started going out and attacking gyms myself when it dawned on me what A said previously. She had made a comment on how we should've entered the weaker pokemons first, that would give a chance for the stronger ones to kill them.

I didn't get the point because we were on the same team, why'd there be a need to defeat the defenders ?

It wasn't until I actually went out and attacked gyms myself and tried to hold them when I realized the A's point.

- You can't fight in a gym until you get to level 5 and pick a team - red, blue or yellow.

- When you see a Pokemon Gym, there is a level indicator. The level tells how many pokemons are currently defending the gym. For example, a level 5 gym will have 5 monsters defending it. A level 2 will have 2 defending it and so on.

- A gym can either be unclaimed (soft gray / white color) or claimed, in which case it will show a badge in the color of the team currently holding it.

- If you have a pokemon parked in a or defending a gym, you earn 10 coins for every day that you hold the gym. Coins can be withdrawn once every 21 hours (there is a timer), you can only get coins for gyms you are currently defending. This means that even if you have been in the gym for a long time but was defeated just before you got to withdraw your coins, you lose them all.

- When you have a pokemon assigned to a gym, you cannot use that pokemon elsewhere. This is where I realized that having 1 strong pokemon of each type isn't enough. You'll need more than 1 if you plan to use it to defend a gym.

- There's no use attacking and holding a gym if there's just you. 1 pokemon isn't enough to hold on to a gym if someone starts attacking. It's better to look for a gym that's currently being held by your team already and when you initiate a friendly fight, it is a training session. Defeating pokemon(s) in a friendly team's gym will increase the prestige points of the team in that gym and eventually will level up the gym. This adds a spot which you can then quickly claim.

And yes, there is nothing stopping someone with very good timing coming in at the last moment and claiming that spot for himself even if he wasn't the one who worked to create that spot.

and this brings me to the next part of my post....

Remember that gym I mentioned attacking and claiming at the start of my post ? Anyway, at some point while I was still there, someone started attacking me. It wasn't difficult because it was only a level 1 gym and only had 1 monster defending it. I watched my pokemon die and saw the gym turn white / gray color that indicates it is unclaimed.

I clicked on it and then that little icon on the corner that lets you put someone inside and was so surprised to see that I actually got to claim it again! As I watched the gym get attacked again, I quickly healed my other monsters and got ready to step in and claim the gym again right after it gets defeated.

Hubby and I were cackling with glee and were so amused at what we considered to be pure evil genius moves. It was super fun.

Repeat 15x +++

It did get tiring after the nth time. And seriously, I did wonder how long i was going to want to sustain it ? But pride pushed me to stay. Eventually, the attacker gave up and I left too.

I defeated 2 other gyms afterwards, held them for a short period of time and realized that I was wasting my time because I was going to get defeated again as soon as I left. So I went and looked for a gym that was already being held by my team. It was a level 5 with 1 pokemon that I could defeat (all the others were too strong!). It took me more than 10 training sessions because since I could only defeat one monster each time, I was only increasing the prestige points a little at a time. I eventually got it to level up and was able to enter a monster.

Let's see how long this lasts.