Thursday, June 24, 2010

Father's Day

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of NMEDA. All opinions are 100% mine.

We celebrated my husband's first father's day last weekend, we didn't get to spend time with my own Dad because he is in California with my sister and her family. I did get in touch with them on the phone though and they let me know that they dropped by the cemetery where my grandpa is buried to bring some flowers.

That brought to mind my grandfather's last years with us. He had lost his ability to walk towards the latter years and became bedridden during those last months. I remember our difficulty with purchasing equipment to help him become more mobile and retain his independence. If we had known about NMEDA that time, it would've been a lot easier.

I remember being asked to help look for dealers when we needed a power chair and then later, a hospital bed and a chair lift for the house. I made a lot of calls and did a lot of surfing on the internet, just trying to look for dealers and making sure that they are reputable and have good customer service - we wanted to make sure that we're getting the best equipment that fit our needs.

We not only could've gotten a list of dealers that deal with special equipment for the disabled from NMEDA, but through their Quality Assurance Program, we would be able to weed out disreputable dealers and be able to deal with the best. It would've eased the family's burden during those difficult times. I just checked our zip code in the Locate-A-Dealer link and I got several hits.

Visit my sponsor: NMEDA

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Dining room fan

The dining room ceiling fan is up as well, it matches the one installed in the living room. I asked Ahya how long it took him to set this 2nd one up and he said, "20 minutes, so long as the wiring is already there and sorted out." Apparently, it's not as hard as I thought.

It turns out that this one useless switch near the stairs is actually a 3 way switch that could be used for this fixture. Ahya set that up for us as well.

It's so much fun to "import" an electrician :P

Friday, June 18, 2010

Living room fan

Our home is slowly (as in s.l.o.w.l.y - I've been here for more than 5 years now) coming together. The last time Ahya came for a visit, he helped us upgrade our thermostat to a digital one. This trip, he helped us install ceiling fans in the living and dining areas. Pictured above are before and after shots of the living room ceiling.

I'm so happy that we finally got this project done.

I'm also glad that a couple of switches that do not seem to control anything got sorted out - by Ahya too - the switches are now operational. Yay!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Baptism - preparations (part 1)

I / We don't really throw a lot of parties, this was a new thing for both the husband and I. But I guess since we're parents now, this will be a yearly thing - for the first few years, anyway - so we better start getting used to it.

This post might be a bit scattered because I haven't quite formed in my mind yet how I want to or could tell the story behind our baptism preparations so please bear with me.

Church: I started preparations for Swe-Cha's baptism sometime in March. The church was the easiest part - I just called our parish office for the schedule and picked a date. Baptisms were usually done on the 3rd Sunday of every month so I decided on May. I was told that we would be needing a list of sponsors with letters from their parishes (at least 1) and that parents needed to attend a pre-baptism class.

Theme: I knew that I wanted something with animals in it but couldn't decide on anything more concrete. When asked, I would say that our theme would probably be safari, jungle, or some animal-related theme. A few days later, a friend said to me, "Since this is a religious event anyway, how does Noah's Ark sound ?" And the idea was born :)

Outfit: I was sure that I wanted Swe-cha to wear a christening gown and I started looking for stores that carry them. It turns out that these types of gowns are also called keepsake Christening gowns in the US and could easily cost around $200 - $400. Materials varied - there were cotton, chantilly lace, silk, satin,... - but my heart was set on getting one in Pina. After much searching, I eventually found a supplier online and put in my order. I got one in Pina-silk, which is a much better option than pure Pina because the material is fine and not coarse at all (does not irritate the skin when worn). My friend offered her son's baptismal romper for Swe-Cha and I was only too happy to accept. It made perfect sense to me - it fit Swe-cha perfectly, it saves us money, it's good karma (her son is a sweet boy), and it's good for the environment (Freecycle!) - and so we were set.

Reception: The next thing we tackled was the venue, our requirements were simple - good food at a good price point and that the place shouldn't be shabby. We looked far and wide, even went to several nearby cities to do oculars on potential venues. Eventually, we went with a Japanese buffet and hibachi restaurant nearby that came highly recommended by a friend who recently had her baby's baptism reception there. We stopped by for dinner one time to try out the food (we weren't able to attend my friend's party there) and we were convinced - they had a good assortment of hot dishes and their sashimi / sushi selection was great (they had unlimited salmon sashimi!). We didn't go wrong with them, the managers were easy to talk to and the waiters were very respectful and discrete (i.e. khe-khi in Chinese).

Cake: This was a no-brainer. We had tasted a cake at a friend's baby shower in early March and the moment we took our first bites, hubby and I looked at each other and at that instant, we knew that we had found our baker and that the decision was unanimous :) The only possible issue was that our baker was located all the way in Massachusetts, a couple of hours away, this was easily solved when a friend agreed to bring the cake from MA to NJ.

Invitations: We had a few options: (1) buy invitation kits from a crafts store and print our own, (2) have invites printed out by professionals such a as 123print, or (3) go digital and stick with evite. Convenience eventually won out and we went with electronic invitations.

Next post: decor, souvenirs & pictures

DIY Galore

I mentioned in a previous post that my in-laws are in town. The other added benefit to that is that my brother-in-law is an electrical engineer - we not only have a chef (MIL), we have an electrician as well (BIL).

With that, a few DIY home improvement projects were lined up... pictures to be posted soon ;)

My boy

I still cannot imagine that I have been a SAHM for half a year now.

When I got laid off two weeks after giving birth to my son, I realized that I was being given the perfect opportunity to be a full time mom. I didn't even attempt to delude myself into thinking that I'd find a new position easily since the economy was in recession (i.e. fewer available jobs in my line of work).

I figured, I'd do whatever I can to market myself - resumes, job postings, etc - but that I wouldn't put too much pressure on myself if things didn't go so well on the job-hunt. I will consider it a blessing whether or not I find a job. If I get employment, the added income will be a blessing and if I don't, the additional time that I get to spend with my son and personally see to his care is an even greater blessing.

So now, we're at the 6 month mark. Swe-cha is so big now and is doing a lot of things. He's turning, rolling, creeping and jumping all over the place, he babbles and makes a lot of different sounds too. Time really did go by fast (it is said that this happens when you're enjoying yourself). I still do not have anything concrete on the job-hunt side but I'm thinking that I'm going to have to start looking at daycare facilities in the next few days or weeks just so we're ready in case something comes up. Thinking about it is making me tear up right now, I'm sure that those first few days that we're apart is going to be hard on both of us, I'll cry for sure! I keep thinking that my baby is such a big boy now. Gosh, if I blink my eyes, he might be going on dates and asking about Sweet things to say to your girlfriend!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Popcorn's Kitchen

My in-laws are in town and they've taken over the kitchen and I'm taking a long vacation from cooking duties. I fear that my digestive system is getting spoiled though - I grew up used to having at most 2 courses (ulam) on the table and with hubby's family in town, I'm seeing a soup dish and at least 2 more dishes ALL THE TIME.

MIL has been trying to educate me on the finer points of cooking and trying to pass on her knowledge. It hasn't been easy because I still have mommy duties to see to as I am almost always w/ Swe-cha all day, either entertaining him, playing with him, changing, feeding or putting him to sleep.

Anyway, it amazes me to see MIL in the kitchen. She makes it all seem so easy! A dash of soy sauce, a pinch of salt, sugar, pepper, mix it all around and it comes out perfect. And she even takes the time to arrange the food on the plate and separates the sauces so she can pour it over the food for better presentation - me ? I just dump it all from the pan to the plate, I feel so embarrassed when I think about it. Super kahiya. *blush*

My kitchen is seeing the likes of fuzzy squash, sea cucumber, and other exotic (exotic to me) ingredients these days. I just hope that I can replicate some of the dishes when they leave. It's such a shame that I didn't think about taking photos until last night. I'll be posting some photos at Popcorn's Kitchen in the next few weeks and will tag it "guest chef", watch out for it.