Thursday, October 8, 2015

Toy Closet

One of the biggest issues we deal with at home is getting Swe-cha to clean up after himself. He does pretty well if asked to clean up but if you're not around, he tends to want to take out ALL his toys. The end result is that we have toys strewn all over the house.

Not good, especially if you walk around barefoot like I sometimes do.

While reading up on possible solutions, I came across a blog where the mom decided to lock up all the toys in the basement. The kids are allowed to choose 1-2 toys every week. Her husband thought she was crazy at first but it turned out well for her family. The children learned to share with each other, play with each other's toys, they got more imaginative because had to get more mileage out of each toy, they turned to their books and crafting, and the house was much much more organized.

Hubby had long been advocating that we turn one of the bedrooms into a playroom. I didn't think that it was such a good idea because I didn't like the idea of Swe-cha being in the room by himself while I'm doing chores around the house. Reading that blog post (I'll put a link back if I find it again) gave me an idea - sort of a twist on hubby's plan. Since we're not using the closet in my home office, we replaced with door knob with a combination lock (Swe cha is good with keys and finding out our hiding spots).

He does not know this yet but whenever I get the chance, I've been putting his toys back into the original box if we still have it or into small containers and storing them in the closet. The plan is for him to clean up his current toys before exchanging it for another set. Since the closet is locked, there's no way for him to get toys when we're not looking.

Wish us lock!

Monday, October 5, 2015

MBR Updates

My boys painted our MBR last week and I am loving the new color. It feels so much more presko and bright - it was exactly what I wanted.

We didn't get to paint the baseboard heater covers anymore for the following reasons:
- we couldn't find the glossy white paint. I know we still have a can and I didn't want to buy more
- we were iffy about taping painters tape on the newly-painted walls before the paint had time to set in.

As it turns out, I barely notice them anyway. And yes, I realize that they are covered in both pictures I'm publishing with this post. That was not intentional :)

Our furniture arrived as scheduled the week after. The delivery truck arrived first thing in the morning - 7am! And they quickly unloaded the stuff. Ambilis!

Probably took them half an hour to get the stuff unloaded - dresser, chest of drawers, 2 nightstands, a king sized bed frame with headboard, and dual box springs. The bedframe had to be put together during this time while the other pieces already came pre-assembled.

At the time when this 2nd picture was snapped, the mattress had not been installed yet, we asked them not to put it on yet as we wanted to clean the wood pieces first.

I am so happy with our furniture and the 2 year wait is so worth it. I'm glad we didn't buy just for the sake of buying before and opted to wait till we find a set that we really like.

Sunday, September 27, 2015


A few seconds ago, Swe-cha came to me with an iPad. He had paused the video he was watching to a particular scene and as he showed it to me he said, "The little ladybug is holding a number 5". This is the longest sentence he has composed ever! =)

Yesterday, while Daddy was still prepping to paint the MBR and hindi pa ready "magpatulong", Swe-cha kept wanted to enter the room already and help. Daddy eventually had to raise his voice in asking him to step out kasi hindi nakikinig. Swe-cha runs downstairs to me, points to the direction of his daddy and "Daddy yell". He's starting to tell a story/talk about something that happened already.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

MBR makeover

Last Saturday, we managed to score a memory foam mattress that hubby found comfortable and whose price I found comfortable. Given that we had the mattress already, I decided to give furniture hunting another shot and started browsing around the websites of our local furniture shops. I found one that we both liked.

We dropped by the shop last Sunday to check it out and we both liked the set in terms of looks, shade/color, build, etc. The drawer mechanism wasn't the soft-close type that we wanted but it was a very small consideration so we decided to purchase it anyway. Delivery has been scheduled in October.

It has been 23 months since we purchased this house and we have been hunting for bedroom furniture on and off all that time. Just imagine finding everything on the same weekend - meant-to-be, diba ?

Now, our master bedroom has been empty all this time. We use the master bath and keep our clothes in the walk in closet but we sleep in the other bedroom where we set-up the queen bed which we brought over from our previous home.

When we got the house, the MBR was painted in blue which I didn't really like. I thought it made the room look darker than it really was. Installing daylight bulbs in the recessed lighting helped brighten up the place but I wanted something brighter. We've always talked about painting it but never got around to doing it, our MBR to-do list looks something like this:
- recessed lighting (installed in Feb 2015)
- paint the room
- furniture
Note that we moved here end of 2013.

Oo, slow kami, but that's just how we roll =)

Anyway, since we expect the bedroom set to be delivered next weekend, we needed to get the painting done this week. We decided to go with Celery Ice again (this is the same color that I used in my guest bedroom in the condo).

I asked hubby if he wanted to get our handyman to do the job but he prefers to do it himself. It's almost 10p now and he's still doing touch-ups but it does look like he's going to be able to finish this project within day, despite the help of his little right-hand man / graffiti artist (see picture). Seeing him/us complete projects like these make me smile. Amerikano na talaga, marunong mag-DIY *grin*.

After today, if hubby wants to go ahead and upgrade his phone, I won't complain. He's earned it many times over. But shhhh, don't tell him I'm saying yes.


edit: note that this isn't over yet. we have to paint the baseboard heater covers tomorrow. The were painted the same blue as the walls, we're painting them glossy white.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Box Tops for Education

Box Tops for Education - BTFE - seems to be a big thing here.

It's really just a small tag that you cut off from a product label and each label is worth 10c to your school. Swe-cha's school this year has a goal of $2000 (wow!) - that is 2000 x 10 = 20,000 labels! Maraming matyagang mga mommies and daddies.

In the past, I used to just tape any small bag that I happen to pick up - picture shows a sandwich bag which is what we currently have - in our message board and collect the labels as we get them. When the school asks for them, I tape & seal the bag and just hand over the whole thing. Sila na bahala magbilang.

I've always wondered about who volunteers to count. The labels aren't uniform and they aren't of the same material. Some are printed on paper (from can labels), some are printed on cardboard (from boxes) and I've even had some that are printed on plastic (from Hanes underwear packaging). The plastic ones tend to stick to my fingers due to static too.

This year, Swe-cha's started going to a new school and it looks like they're more serious about their box tops here compared to the previous one. I say that because they gave out submission sheets! The image below is our 2nd sheet already, so that's our second $1 contribution.

I did some research and found out that there are lots more designs available. There are sheets for 20 box tops, there are sheets for 25, and sheets for 50. It makes it easier to count and when the BTFE coordinator submits this, they have to submit in bunches of 50s (=$5). 

May method naman pala :-)

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Counting to 100

Last night, we found out / realized / proved that Swe-cha knows his numbers all the way to 100, at the very least. We weren't quite sure before because his school reports only say "Can count from 1-20" and there's a check mark in the column beside it which says he does this well. It doesn't really tell us that he can count beyond that.

These days, whenever he wants to use the "Mommy's iPad" instead of his own, his Dad (Yes, Daddy is the main user of "Mommy's iPad", the name is a misnomer) would say "5 minutes" and they'd start counting 1 to 300.

Last night, Swe-cha counted to 1-100 with minimal coaching. He got stuck at 69, 70, 69,  ...
Daddy had to step in and coach him with "seventy....?" and he got right on track with 71, 72 and so on. We never did count to 300 last night because there was a lot of fanfare when he got to 100 - screaming, clapping and jumping may have been involved.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

We're operational

Our solar system was finally operational on September 1. I kept a close watch on the dashboard and was sorely disappointed when we generated 0 kwH all day. I called it in the next day and they said they'd check, I got a return call late afternoon and was told that everything should be okay now. I checked the dashboard again and we generated 13.xx kWh.

On day 2, hubby and I were both watching. We generated 17.xx  kWh.  Better na. It also felt hotter that day so there must have been more sun.

I also pulled out documents to see what sort of levels we were supposed to be generating. As it turns out, we have a 6.76 kW system. I looked up a website which gave some guidelines for estimating solar power generation in our region and I got the following computation:

(system size) * 1600 (the rate assigned to our region) * 78% (efficiency rating siguro)

and ours came down to 8,436.48 kWh / year. Divided by 365 days / year, we have an average of 23 kWh/day. So it looks like we're getting there.