Monday, August 31, 2015

Customer knows best

Okay, I really shouldn't be drinking sugar but I decided to take a small treat this afternoon so I asked for a shot of liquid sugar instead of my usual plain black iced tea at Dunkin Donuts.

DD staff assembles my tea and hands me a cup that had what seems to be a half-inch sludge of white sugar granules.

I didn't reach for it and pointed instead, "oh, that's not liquid sugar. I asked for liquid sugar".

DD staff says "Yes, it is. That's liquid sugar."

I say, "Oh no, it's not. See that it's white ? They're clearly sugar granules. Liquid sugar is clear."

DD staff tries to hand the cup to me and asked, "have you tasted it ? you haven't tried it yet"

I respond, "I don't have to. I know it is NOT liquid sugar"

DD staff then says "okay, I'll change it."

"Thank you."

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

My visit to the ER

We had a very bad scare last weekend.

It was Saturday, I took a nap with Swe-cha and woke up around 6p with a headache. I decided to tough it out and by 8p, the headache had only gotten worse so I decided to take an Advil.

At around 9:45p, my sister called and while I was on the phone with her, I felt dizzy & nauseous. I went to bed to lie down while talking to her and she suggests taking my BP.


"Try the other arm.", achi suggested.



She then tells me that I have to get husband to drive me to the nearest urgent care center. NOW NA! I started getting scared and looked at the operating hours of nearby urgent care centers. They all close by 8p. So we decided to go to the ER.

So we packed up Swe-cha, already in his PJs, in the car and drove to the nearest hospital. Swe-cha kept crying because he thought we were bringing him to the doctor.

When we got there, I got off the car and signed myself in the ER. Hubby stayed in the car w/ Swe-cha. I had asked him to leave me behind and just go straight home but he opted to stay in the parking lot and wait a while.

We were in the ER by 10p. 15 minutes later, I was already being interviewed by a nurse. They checked my BP, 197/115.  F*ck. The nurse turned out to be Filipino and I asked, "uh oh. that's really messed up. I guess that means that I'll be here a while ?" Then I explained how my husband is outside with our son and are waiting for me, should I just ask them to go home ?

Nurse confirmed that it will be a while since I would have to be medicated and maybe, the doctor may order a CT scan.  So I call up hubby and they left for home.

In the meantime, I was assigned ER bed #17 and attached to all sorts of monitors. A different nurse would come by every now and then to tell me that the doctor is coming. But he wouldn't really come until an hour later at 11:20p. During the wait, the BP monitor attached to me would automatically go off every few minutes. By the time the doc comes to check me out, my BP had gone a bit down - 180/110. Still very high.

Doc says that he will give me some meds and that he will also order a CT scan to make sure that everything is okay. I see him walk out, give some instructions to the nurse and walk away.

I wouldn't get the medication until just after 12mn.

All this time, I was alone and so scared that nobody would notice me if something happened to me. I asked the nurse not to close the curtains, telling her that I was alone and that if I had a stroke, I don't have anybody to call for help. I didn't care about privacy and would feel much better if I knew that they (hospital staff) can see me. She obliged.

I'd get the medication by 12:20a and would get a CT scan just after 1a.

The CT scan came out clear, thank God! and I was able to get out by 4a. My plan was to take a taxi home but was discouraged from doing so by hubby and by the nurse who did my initial interview.

There wasn't really any definitive conclusion as to what may have caused my elevated BP. I did come home with an Rx for maintenance meds and instructions to see my doctor ASAP so that my primary care doc can adjust the dosage.

This was such an eye-opener. I am not in the best of health, alam ko yan. But I have been making steady improvements since then.

2 weeks ago, I had some labwork done and it came back with the nicest numbers I've seen in a long long time. 1 week ago, I went to my endocrinologist for a follow up and my BP was 125/80 (higher than normal, but not bad). These days, my bp is at 150/90 w/o medication and only goes down to 120/80 with medication.

Ano kayang nangyari ? ER doc suggests my episode on Saturday could've been caused by dehydration. Feeling ko, it could be also be this virus that I picked up from Swe-cha + dehydration.

Would appreciate it if you would say a little prayer for my health.

Thanks :)

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Baseboard heater covers

Finally got around to attaching the baseboard heater covers properly.

We had known that they were loose even before we moved in. Our painter had alerted us to them and told us that it wasn't really a problem, we just had to attach them again using drywall screws.

1.5 years later, nagawa rin namin. And if I have not mentioned how slow we are yet, yep, we are slow. Kaya lang rin namin inasikaso na agad because one section had already fallen off because Swe-cha keeps stepping on them so he can climb onto the bay windows (he loves to look outside from this spot). If we didn't get it fixed right away, the heating element inside could get damaged.

As it turns out, it wasn't so difficult. We kept putting it off because we didn't think it was going to be this easy - the baseboard cover was made of some sheet-metal material and we were anxious about punching holes in it (baka mahirap). As it turns out, we found some videos on You Tube that showed how to do it, easy lang if you have the tools.

a) Look for studs in the wall, this is important. The reason why they were falling off in the first place was that they weren't anchored to studs. The baseboard covers were just screwed onto the drywall so the screws worked themselves loose over time. I suspect that all the other baseboards are attached like that as well, but since they aren't in high traffic areas, they're still secure.

We used our stud finder to locate the studs and marked their locations with tape.

b) Since the baseboard covers are made of sheet metal, we used a drill to make pilot holes. We didn't drill all the way into the wood.

c) Then we got All-Purpose construction screws. These ones we got are rated for wood, concrete, metal and drywall.

While purchasing screws, I realized how much variety there is - there's a whole wall of them in our local home depot. It also occurred to me how expensive they could be. For exeample, we paid $3 for 15 of these screws - that's roughly P8 / screw = 4 pandesals (nagtakam tuloy ako bigla while I was doing the math), kaya wag sayangin!

The next  bigger pack of drywall screws (not all-purpose ones) cost $8 for a 1-lb box, not sure how many screws are there. We didn't need that much so it does not make sense to get a 1 lb box.

I've never really had a need to buy screws when we were still in Manila (home projects were overseen by Dad, he took care of everything) but are they that expensive in the Philippines as well ? No wonder, Dad has a habit of picking up loose screws and nails that he sees anywhere and then saving them. I picked up this habit from him too so I have a jar of orphan screws I picked up and don't really have to buy unless I need more than a few. Needless to say, I did recover and save the loose drywall screws that were used to attach the baseboard covers originally.

d) and then just because I like being sigurista, I also got a pack of washers (30 zinc washers for $1.xx).

We secured 3 sections of baseboard heaters in the living room this afternoon before our drill ran out of juice and had to be recharged. I did an inspection and looks like we still have 1 section left to do in the dining room.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015


The little boy just asked for Ta-Hoe.

Specifically, he said, "Ta-Hoe ? Mommy get Ta-Hoe. Thank you."

Had to think about it before I realized what he wanted, eto pala:
image from:

We usually get our Ta-Hoe fix as part of our Sunday dimsum. Monday pa lang. It's gonna be a loooong week.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Q & A

These days, I like to play question & answer with Swe-cha during the drive home from daycare. First and foremost, this is such a happy activity because he's getting to be more and more verbal lately and I am now able to hold his attention. Secondly, it's also interesting to find out what he recalls and associates with certain things. Note, his answers are his and not taught/scripted.

Mommy: Where do gloves go ?
Swe-cha: On the hands

Mommy: Where do socks go ?
Swe-cha: On the feet

Mommy: Where do shoes go ?
Swe-cha: On the socks  (tama rin naman).

Mommy: What do you do with a bike ?
Swe-cha: Wear a helmet. On the head.

Sometimes, he'd also go off on tangents on his own...

Mommy: Where are the solar panels ?
Swe-cha: on the roof! Ladder, climbing the ladder!
Background: he was watching while the solar panels were getting installed, he saw the crew using ladders to climb to the roof.

And there are times when his answer doesn't really make sense, yung akala mo walang connection pero meron talaga ...

Mommy: What do you do in a restaurant ?
Swe-cha: (pauses and thinks) It's the Angkong
Background: we mostly do takeouts and very seldom dine in a restaurant so it wasn't a surprise that he didn't instinctively say "eat in a restaurant". As for the Angkong (grandpa) part, when my parents are visiting, Dad and I would drive to daycare together to pick up Swe-cha and we'd then drop by a local restaurant to pick up dinner. The first time that Dad went down to the restaurant, Swe-cha asked "where's the angkong?" and I said, "Angkong went to the restaurant to get our food".

Sunday, July 12, 2015

How many boo-boos ?

Swe-Cha is very fascinated with band aids lately, he keeps pointing out the smallest boo-boos and would want me to cover them with a band aid.

We've been using these colored ones that I got from the dollar store a while ago in anticipation of this, medyo na excite ako in preparing band-aids, got them long before Swe-cha wanted them.

This evening, after his bath, Swe-cha asked for band-aids for his boo-boo, I asked him what color he wanted and he answered "red". E wala palang red, so I asked him if he wanted yellow instead and he confirmed "yellow please".

Afterwards, he would recite, "how many boo-boos ? one, two!" as he pointed to each boo-boo in turn.

This makes a mommy's heart full. For a 5.5 yr old child who was non-verbal until 3, he's come a long way :) 

Friday, July 10, 2015


I am a creature of habit. 

Remember those scenes you see on TV where a patron walks in to a cafe/bar/restaurant and orders his usual ? That's me.

These days, I only have to show my face at our cafeteria in the morning and they start making my usual order. I order this custom combination so much that 2 months ago, I saw that their point of sale system had a new entry just for my order - I do feel a pang of disappointment that they didn't name if after me though.

One time, the usual cashier was out and someone who usually works the salad bar took over, I told him what I had and said "there's a special menu item for my order" and he answers, "yeah, I know, she told me."

Wow. Part ng turnover training nila ang order ko?  #ikawna

This isn't the first time that a store customized this pos system for us. The first time was at DD where I order 2 egg and cheese wraps for my son every day. Yes, he is a creature of habit too (may pinagmanahan) and he loves his egg wraps. Occasionally, I would order extra and ask them not to pop them in the oven because the wraps turn hard when not eaten right away. The first few times were difficult because I had to explain in detail what I wanted - put the ingredients together and wrap them, no need to heat because I want it cold. 

After a few orders, the branches I go to now have their own custom instructions just for us. One branch has it listed as "do not make" and another has it as "assemble only". 

Anyway,... so this morning, I thought I'd change things a bit. I liked what the lady in front of me ordered so when the cook saw me, I stopped her from making my usual and instead asked for something a veggie omelet with pepper jack cheese.

Poor cook got so flustered. She walked to and stopped at different stations and to the back, looking for ingredients that were already in front of her. At one point, she mumbling "eggs, ... where did I ...." and she had them in her hand the whole time.

When it was my turn to pay, the cashier got flustered too. It took her longer than usual to punch in my order.

at this point, I see 2 possible options for me. Either I go back to my usual and never order something else so I don't mess up their flow/routines or I mix things up more often para masanay sila.

Aliw lang :)