Saturday, February 27, 2010


The chest freezer I talked about in my previous post has been ordered and should arrive by Tuesday. If all goes well, it should be ready for milk storage by Wednesday, by then it should be up and running. I can't wait as our freezer contents are in a very precarious position and I dare not open the door anymore.

It looks like we may also have to order a new a3 scanner soon as our all-in-one printer / scanner is starting to make funny noises now and we do scan a lot - documents, receipts, statements - on a daily basis.

Sigh. Expenses.

Milk Stash - February 2010

Swe-cha's frozen breast milk stash as of 2/24/2010.

Inside the freezer are 44 six-oz bags and around 30 three/four oz bottles.

It sounds like a lot if you keep track of the milk in ounces as this stash is at least 360 oz already but I read somewhere that you should keep track of your frozen milk in days instead of in ounces.

For example, if you baby takes in 30 oz per day, then divide 360 / 30 and you get 12 days. So this is just 12 days of milk after I stop producing milk, it doesn't sound like a lot anymore, right ?

Anyway, notice that we only have very little space left for our food. Someone's going to have to order that chest freezer soon.

--- edit:
Ordered a 5 cu ft freezer, it's on its way and should be here by next week.

Oh and also talked to a friend who might be needing breastmilk when she gives birth soon so I'm holding on to these in the meantime.


Our baby is 2 months old now and we bear witness to the adage that time flies. In the 2 months that have passed, we've taken loads and loads of pictures and videos of the little guy. So far, we've been moving the pictures and videos that we've taken to the RAID server that hubby set up at home but pretty soon, we'll be running out of disk space there too (just as we've run out of freezer space for the little guy's milk).

Does this mean that someone will be ordering 1tb hard drive before long ? *hint hint*

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


I weighed myself this morning, dreading the results. You see, I have been eating ravenously - and I'm not exaggerating - these past few weeks and I just knew that I was going to gain back the weight that I had already lost after giving birth. In fact, I have been eating twice, thrice the amount of rice that I usually have and let's not talk about how much ulam I eat anymore.

Anyway, imagine my surprise when I looked at the numbers on the scale and it's even lower than ever. In fact, this is the lightest I've ever been in years, I haven't seen this number in probably 5 years. Happy.

I'm not proud to say that I'm already within the ideal weight range for people of my height and age - upper range nga lang, *teehee*.


My baby turns 2 months old today, yay!

... and I took a shower while he slept this morning, yay! (I usually take showers when hubby is around to look after the baby)

... and I'm looking forward to birthday cake tonight, yay! Sana makabili si hubby.

... and I'm still hungry. No yays for this.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


I have a new goal in mind - produce and store enough breastmilk enough to justify a chest freezer. When I first realized that I was making so much breastmilk, I was horrified with thoughts of being permanently (well, almost) hooked up to a pump, it was only later that I realized how much of a blessing it is to be able to provide healthy breastmilk for my baby.

Hubby and I had invested in a nice Medela Pump-In-Style (PIS) breast pump. I figured that with the savings we will have from not buying formula, we'll recoup the cost in no time. Up until last week, I have not been pumping both breasts at the same time because I was making tipid the breast pumps (the flanges / breast shields) and bottles because we didn't have enough for 4 or 5 pumping sessions throughout the day and I didn't have the time to keep on washing, sterilizing and drying them all day long (hubby sterilizes all the parts & milk bottles once every night). If you're a breastfeeding mom, you know how long the pumping session lasts.

Last week, I gave up and decided to buy extra parts and I've been pumping both breasts at the same time ever since. It's been such a time-saver! My pumping sessions have been cut in half now, it's a definite improvement during early morning sessions when I want to rush back to sleep and during the day when the little boy gets fussy and demands my attention. And since the sessions are so much quicker nowadays - 15 to 20 minutes instead of the usual 30 min to 1 hr - I find the extra time to squeeze in extra sessions. I now pump up to 5 times a day instead of the 3 or 4.

Current stash:
30 4 oz bottles half of which has 3 oz and the other half has 4oz (this is approximate)
15 6oz milk storage bags

So far, milk is only occupying a third of our freezer so it's not really that much yet.

Monday, February 8, 2010


So the supposed great snowstorm of the season came and went with nary a snowflake in sight. I have to say that I'm very disappointed. I wasn't really wishing to be buried under tons of snow and I knew that our area wasn't supposed to be hit bad but really, an inch or two would've been nice.

It wasn't until afterwards, when I heard about the 5-hour long power outages in some areas, when it dawned on me how fortunate we were to escape the effects of the snowstorm. Heavens, what if our power were to go out ? Our place is fully-electric and that means that our heat is electric-powered as well.

And suddenly, as I am typing these, some questions come to mind:
- How are we to keep the baby warm ?
- How am I supposed to pump breastmilk when I get engorged (an painful) ? I do have a manual breastpump but I've never used it and haven't not even assembled it before.
- How do we heat cold breastmilk (water heater is electric as well) ?

Monday, February 1, 2010

Baby Stuff

Okay, so I find out from other mommy friends that I need more stuff for the baby. Specifically, I need a mobile and one or two toys that hang off of his crib / bassinet. And a few months later, I would also need a convertible car seat for when he outgrows his infant carrier and sooner than that, I would need a high chair for when he starts on his solid food.

I checked the baby stores out and I'm now back to checking online prices at - Coupon Codes & Discounts to compare prices and make sure that I get the best deals when I buy these items. They don't come cheap, after all.

In the meantime, while checking out deals for baby items, it seems like fate is throwing me some very tempting offers. I keep seeing great deals for big screen TVs. Argh! As I've mentioned in previous posts, now is not a good time to be buying frivolous items. Hubby on the other hand is being tempted by game consoles - a PS3, to be more specific. He is staying away from any stores that sell them though, he apparently has better self control than me.

Beef Salpicao

I had defrosted this ribeye steak in the refrigerator earlier but I didn't really feel like having steak for dinner tonight and while thinking about alternative beef dishes, salpicao came to mind.

So I googled and looked for Salpicao recipes and decided to make up my own combination based on the different recipes I've seen and the reviews of those recipes I've read.

Amazingly, this turned out very very very good.

1 lb beef, sliced into cubes
6 cloves garlic, minced
Olive oil (a few tbsps, just enough to coat the beef)
2 tsp knorr seasoning
2 tsp Lea & Perrins worcestershire sauce
freshly ground pepper, to taste
3 tbsp oyster sauce (dilute in 1/4 cup water)
1 tbsp butter
sliced mushrooms
  1. Mix garlic, olive oil, seasoning, worcestershire sauce and pepper. Marinate beef in this mixture for at least a few hours.
  2. Cook beef quickly in very hot oil. Mix till cooked - around 5 minutes, do not overcook as the meat will get tough.
  3. When beef is cooked, pour the oyster sauce mixture.
  4. Add the butter and mix it around.
  5. Take out the beef, saute the mushrooms in the remaining sauce and add beef back in again when done.

Random thoughts

Baby is now sleeping soundly and while waiting for the laundry to dry, I find my mind wandering. What would we be doing or better yet, where would we be a year from now ?

It's always been a dream of my husband and I to move to a bigger place, a real house this time. One with a modest backyard - but not too big as hubby does not want to have to deal with mowing a huge lawn - and enough space for a swing set which I've always wanted for my kids. We want a house with 3 bedrooms - 4, if we can afford it - at least 2.5 baths and a basement that has enough space for gatherings.

Over the years, we've checked out several open houses in the area. No, we weren't and still are not ready to buy a house yet but we wanted to find out what the going rates were. Basically, what we can get for what price. I've fallen in love with a couple of houses but we weren't really in a position to buy.

Now, I like to think positive and focus on that dream. I'd like to think that we can accomplish that goal in a few years and not have to sell our current condo - we'll just hire some sort of a Property Manager in Cincinnati to rent out and manage our place. Wouldn't that be ideal ? A new house and a separate income property too ?

*wistful sigh*

Fortunately, it doesn't cost anything to dream. *smile*


I just saw a friend's milk stash, she posted a picture on FB and I am so envious!

She had so much breastmilk stockpiled for her 9 month-old that she & her husband had to buy a separate freezer to store the milk. As it is, you could see the shelves sagging in the middle due to the weight of the milk - they got an upright freezer.

I showed the picture to hubby and mentioned that if all goes well with my milk supply, we might be needing a separate freezer some day too. He is amenable to the idea and we started talking about where we could place the freezer - note that we live in a condo, there's not a lot of space available. Eventually, we agreed on the idea of getting a chest freezer and placing it in a corner in the dining area.

When I first started expressing breastmilk, I produced so much that it scared me because I have nowhere to store the excess and had to throw most away - such a waste! I started consciously cutting down on pumping sessions to lessen my milk. Now that we've decided to get a separate freezer if and when one is needed, I've started to go gung-ho on this and pump every 4 hours. *cracks knuckles*

The Plan:
- maintain a reserve of up to 2 servings of room-temperature (fresh) breastmilk ready for Swe-cha to drink
- maintain up to 3 servings of breastmilk in the refrigerator for when I forget or cannot express
- anything I produce that's beyond the room-temp & refrigerator supply goes to breastmilk storage bags and into the freezer.


I often find myself twiddling my thumbs during my pumping sessions - expressing breast milk, I mean - and financial considerations aside, I do find myself tempted with some great deals that I've found online recently. Finding a new shopping tool does not help alleviate this situation either :P

For starters, I still have not gotten a push present after I gave birth to our baby boy. I have to remind hubby and drop hints - oh, and this reminds me, our anniversary is coming up in a few days too! Since hubby and I are supposed to be in recession mode, we could just get one large present for the both of us, an LCD television, perhaps ? I hear that there are good deals going around right now, right on time for SuperBowl too.

Gosh, being online in the middle of the night with the baby sleeping isn't good for my bank account. I should really be avoiding the temptation and just look for that digital video camera that my sister asked me to research for her. I wouldn't be tempted to buy that because we already have one and I would be helping her out too - I'd be hitting two birds with one stone!

Chicken Parmesan

We were supposed to have lemon chicken for dinner tonight but when I realized that it was deep-fried and that I needed to avoid fatty & heaty foods, I decided to look for something else that I could make with the boneless, skinless chicken thighs that we were having for dinner. After checking out what we had in the refrigerator, I decided on baked chicken parmesan.

Checked the internet for recipes and looks like there are a lot of variations out there. I threw caution to the wind and picked & chose what I wanted to do. Hubby helped with this dish as well :D

Boneless chicken thighs, sliced thinly (or use cutlets)
1 egg
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
2 tbsp chopped parsley
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Prepare the parmesan coating for the chicken by mixing equal parts of parmesan cheese & breadcrumbs (more parmesan cheese = better). Mix in the parsley.
  3. Season chicken thighs with freshly ground sea salt.
  4. Dip seasoned chicken thighs in egg.
  5. Coat chicken with the parmesan - breadcrumb mixture.
  6. Arrange chicken on a baking rack and bake until done - around 20 minutes.
We just used bottled marinara for the sauce and made some whole wheat pasta to go with the chicken.

What now ?

It's been a few weeks since I joined the ranks of the unemployed and so far, I have to say that I am enjoying the break. I do have to admit that I did get sad those first few days because, after all, *this* was technically my first job - the first one I got right out of college - and it did feel like the end of an era for me (12 years).

My baby has been a joy to me, he is more interactive now and has been developing quickly. I had just realized that he is already 5 weeks, going on 6 weeks and that's already halfway through the maximum FMLA leave. Yesterday, I thought about the possibility of leaving him at a daycare facility in 6 weeks - which would happen if I still had my old position - and I didn't relish the thought. Apparently, I'm not as enthusiastic about sending him to daycare early (at 3 months) as I thought I was.

So now, the question comes to mind, what now ? Maybe it would be a good idea to channel my inner entrepreneur and start my own Nevada corporation ? I could easily operate one from home, there are a lot of online opportunities nowadays anyway.