Sunday, August 29, 2010


We went to visit Ninang A and the twincesses today. Swe-cha pooped on the way so we borrowed the gehl's changing table. Then Swe-cha started crying... which started one of the gehls crying...

Anak, nakakahiya, boy ka pa man din. In fairness, Swe-cha was sleepy when we visited the gehls.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Sleeping (again)

So I've been reading books and gathering ideas on how to sleep train your child. As it turns out, there is no pain free way. There is the Cry-it-out (CIO) method, a Pick-up-pick-down (PUPD) method and there is the Ferber way too which is supposed to be less stressful on the baby and the parents.

We tried the cry-it-out method months ago but gave up after 1 night. Swe-cha cried so much that he lost his voice. Poor baby, I felt so bad that I was willing to not sleep myself just so he would be happy.

These past couple of months, he seemed to be getting better on his own. He's sleeping longer and has 1 long stretch at night. He's also not getting up so much due to gas. So I thought we were home free. These past few nights, however, have not been good. Swe-cha has been waking up every hour or even half-hour sometimes. Last night, hubby tried to let him go back to sleep on his own (w/o rocking him), but he would just toss and turn and sit and roll. He changed position so many times and moved all over the bed and still couldn't sleep. Eventually, we held him and gave him a bottle and he falls asleep in seconds. Don't really know what to do at this point. My friend, A, is right. It takes commitment from the parent and if you're not committed to following this through to the end, better not start because you just subject your child to unnecessary discomfort and stress.

Oh well, let's just see. I think I'll just observe him for a few more weeks and hope that he sleeps better and longer on his own.

In the meantime, I'll have to check out Teen Book reviews and see what teens are reading nowadays, I want to get my nephew a book and I don't have any idea what to get him.

Sago pudding

I was cleaning out a cabinet and found half a package of tiny, small sago - remnants from long ago. I remember buying a pack ages ago but I don't even remember what I used it for.

I suddenly found myself craving for that mango sago dessert that is so popular in Chinese restaurants. We had some almond jelly in the pantry so I prepared that and refrigerated it, I also dropped by our neighborhood Asian store one day and bought a bottle of pureed mangoes.

I cooked the sago this afternoon and they came out overcooked. I wasn't able to pay as much attention as I was supposed to while cooking it because I was on nanny-duty (hubby had gone out for a haircut).

I mixed it up with a little pureed mangoes but my puree turned out a bit on the sour side - this bottle was probably produced with out-of-season mangies, *boo*. So I rummaged on the cabinet some more and came up with a can of coconut cream, "we're in business," I thought.


1. Cooked sago - cook according to package instructions. I didn't have the instructions but this was what I did: boil water in a pot, pour raw sago and let boil till they're partially cooked but still have white centers. Turn off the fire and cover the pot and let it cook some more till the centers are clear, this means that they are already fully cooked. Make sure to stir constantly to prevent the sago from clumping together.

2. Pour sago into jelly molds or little ramekins and let chill in the refrigerator for a couple of hours.

3. To serve, pop sago shapes out of the molds onto a plate and drizzle with mango puree and coconut cream. I have a bit of a sweet tooth so I was very very generous with the coconut cream.

Ang sarap!

I can imagine this combination - sweetened mango and coconut - on some malagkit or suman already. Methinks I'm going to look for a suman recipe next.
I also poured the overcooked sago into little ramekins and popped them in the refrigerator. A couple of hours later, they had set into the molds.

To serve, slide out the sago (it will retain its shape) onto plates and drizzle with mango puree and coconut cream.

Big boy

Nowadays, Swe-cha can almost always be found standing whenever I leave him inside his play area. He never sits down for long and would pull himself up to a standing position by holding onto the enclosure.

A few times, he would look at me, smile and then let go. He'd eyes would be sparkling as if saying, "Look, ma! No hands!" Sometimes, he'd still have enough strength and balance left to stand for a few more seconds after he lets go but other times, he'd just fall flat on his cute butt (and I'd reach out at the same time to make sure he doesn't hit his head on anything). Thankfully, he seems to know not to let go when I'm not in the enclosure with him.

Time has gone really fast. At about this same time last year, hubby and I were still looking for childcare classes we could attend. We have not bought a single item for the baby, much less bedroom furniture, that would come much much later (a few days before my scheduled c-section, actually). And look at where we are now, our son is pulling himself up and can stand without support for about 2 seconds before falling down. Pretty soon, he'll be walking and running all over the place. So fast!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Chicken Katsu Don

This chicken has been sitting in the refrigerator, already defrosted, since yesterday and I didn't want to keep this till tomorrow. Not having had the chance to do anything beforehand - marinade, etc - I knew that I had to go for a dish that requires little in terms of ingredients and preparation.

I dug through our pantry and found a new bag of panko bread crumbs, so I decided on chicken katsudon.

Ingredients for Chicken Katsu:
boneless skinless chicken thighs
garlic salt
egg (beaten)
panko bread crumbs
hot oil for deep frying

1. Prepare chicken by pounding or slicing into thin fillets. Season chicken with garlic salt and pepper.

2. Dredge chicken in flour, dip into the egg and then coat with panko bread crumbs

3. Fry chicken in hot oil, note that panko bread crumbs burn easily so do not use too high heat.

4. Slice the chicken pieces.

Sauce for 1 serving (1 bowl of rice) of Katsudon sauce taken from Angelica's food blog.:
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp cooking wine (I used rice wine)
1 tbsp mirin
2 tsp sugar
1/3 cup chicken/vegetable stock or water (I used water and added some chicken powder)
1 egg, slightly beaten
spring onions

1. Mix soy sauce, cooking wine, mirin, sugar, water and chicken powder together.

2. In a small pan, pour the sauce and let it boil. When boiling, put sliced chicken in the sauce, pour the slightly beaten egg on top of the chicken, sprinkle with spring onions and let it boil till the egg is cooked. It may help to cover the pan.

3. Pour on top of a bowl of rice - chicken, broth and all - and serve.

This turned out great. My chicken was crunchy on the outside and moist and juicy inside. And the sauce ? PERFECT!

Weekend Stay

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

Hubby's brother (the 2nd one) will be arriving for a two week stay this weekend. We're all very excited as we have not seen him since we left for the US after we got married years ago. We're also very excited and look forward to Swe-Cha seeing another uncle for the first time.

We have not decided yet where we would or could bring DiHya around but I'm joining the Hampton Chain of Friends Sweepstakes in the hopes of getting a free weekend stay at any Hampton hotel. It'll be fun if we could all go for an overnight trip, especially over the labor day weekend. Winning a free weekend stay mean big savings for us because that's usually where the bulk cost of a trip lies - hotel costs. I'm thinking that a short trip out of state might be a good idea, maybe somewhere in Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, maybe ?) as Washington, DC might be too far a trip for our first overnighter with the baby.

If we don't win (see how I am referring to our win as a sure thing ? that's how optimistic I am, haha!) it in time for DiHya's visit, we can always keep it on hand for future trips. We plan to travel more when our baby gets older - I can almost imagine our future trips to Disneyland, Disneyworld, Seaworld and other theme parks. I wonder how old our son has to be to start appreciating these trips ? My nephew was a little over 1 year old when we started bringing him abroad for trips and he seemed to enjoy himself.

Click Here


Visit my sponsor: Win a free Weekend Stay

Monday, August 23, 2010

Chicken fillets with hoisin sauce

I bought several packages of boneless skinless chicken thighs from Costco today and decided to make a chicken dish for dinner. As I usually do when I'm in the mood to try something new, I drop by my favorite food blog, HomeCookingRocks (formerly, and chose a dish for which I have the ingredients on hand.

Tonight's choice was a slight variation from chicken fillets with hoisin sauce and Szechuan pepper.

I also had to make slight variations on the seasoning as I had more chicken than the recipe called for, this was what I prepared:

5 boneless chicken thighs
5 tbsp lite soy sauce
cooking oil (for deep frying)
hoisin sauce
toasted sesame seeds

1. Slice chicken thighs into small strips, season with lite soy sauce and let stand in the refrigerator.
2. Coat the chicken fillets with the cornstarch and deep fry. When cooked, let the oil drain on paper towels.
3. In the pan, heat a dollop of hoisin sauce, add toasted sesame seeds and toss the chicken fillets to coat them with the hoisin sauce-sesame seed mixture.

Note that I prepared a small batch for tasting first and purposely did not coat the chicken evenly and completely with the hoisin sauce. Both hubby and I prefer it that way to preserve the crunchiness of the chicken and we preferred not to have that strong of a hoisin sauce taste.


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

Today, I'm writing about the new cellphone service provider, Boost Mobile. It's a new no contract, prepaid, unlimited cellphone plan which has a Re-Boost program which allows you to either pay online, pay in person, or pay by phone in order to reload your account. If your friend or family even wants to gift you with service, they can even pay for your account by any of the Re-Boost options I mentioned above. Alternatively, you can also sign up for automatic payments so you won't have to worry about forgetting your monthly payments and getting your service interrupted.

My favorite part about Boost mobile is their Blackberry unlimited monthly plan which gives you unlimited nationwide talk, text, web and email for only $60 a month. This is a huge difference compared to the other leading cellphone providers.

If you're not a blackberry fan, you might want to check out the i1 phone by Motorola, it looks pretty spiffy to me. This has me seriously considering switching to Boost mobile because all my friends are able to connect to their Facebook pages and update their status from the mobile phones (everybody, that is, except for hubby and me). It would be useful to be able to have access to the web all the time as well, especially when we're out playing tourist in other places and have no web access, being able to get to the internet from our phones will be handy for those last minute research that you usually have to do. I can't wait.

Oh, and before I forget, I'd like to remind everybody that Christmas is just around the corner. We're only a few months away and if you do want to get some Christmas shopping done, why not get a Boost mobile plan for that special someone ?

Visit my sponsor: Reboost

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Braised Short Ribs, Korean Style

I had some short ribs which had been sitting in the freezer for a long time now and I wanted to cook it to make baby food. When I took it out, it was then that I realized that beef short ribs wasn't really appropriate for making soup meant for baby food as it was too oily.

I really should name this dish "Short Ribs Surprise" as the ingredients and seasoning was really more of a "taste & see" [translated: tantiyahan] so I won't be able to post measurements here for now.

Beef short ribs
spring onions
soy sauce

New school

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

My nephew will be going to a new charter school in California. Unfortunately, the applicants were too many and slots too few that the school eventually had to pick their students by lottery. My older nephew got picked but his younger brother was (and still is) waitlisted.

I figured that since this was a new school and all, that it's supposed to be way better than their previous public school and that it's a brand new school which will be holding classes and occupying a previously vacated school building (school w/c closed a few years ago), they'd sure welcome some new laptops if they do get picked on laptop-a-day giveaway by Charter cable.

Aside from the laptop giveaway promotion to schools, I also passed along the info to my sister that if she ordered any Charter cable service, then she automatically gets a chance to win and get up to $300 cash back.

If you have a Facebook account, you might also want to "like" Charter on Facebook and pass the word along. I just nominated my nephew's new school for the laptop-a-day giveaway and I invite you to do the same and nominate your favorite school. I'm sure that the school and the students who will get the benefit of the laptops would appreciate your gesture and your taking the time and making the effort to nominate them.


Visit my sponsor: Charter is giving Free laptops to Schools

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Sitting still

I've been reading the Sites I Read list from my previous blog in Xanga and I read a post by one mother who has a son who is one week younger than mine. She says "my son can sit still for 30 minutes now" and I'm like "Huh ? She can get her son to sit for 30 min?" I can barely get mine to stay put for 5 minutes.

Swe-cha is always moving around and making me chase after him. One factor could be that he learned to crawl weeks before he learned to sit so he really didn't get a chance to sit still because he already knew how to crawl.

Management Consultant Services

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

It's been a while since I've been able to try out new work-related online services so it really excites me to share this new discovery about Lillilooloo and talk about the features that they offer.

First off,Lillilooloo is the only online website that serves the management consultant community. it offers thousands consulting templates and also has a new book called "Succeeding as a Management Consultant". Seeing as how I'm sort of in-between-jobs right now, this might be a good time to start exploring the management consultant field. After all, I do have a little experience in this field as I've worked with lots of management consultants on various work projects before. And I have been checking out opportunities to get certified as a project manager by the Project Management Institute - just as soon as I am able to get a breather from mommy duties.

Document templates are also available from their template store, if you do not happen to have the specific template that you need. Or, worst case ? You could even have their research team prepare your documents and professional presentations for you! This feature would not only be helpful for newbies like me but I'm pretty sure that even seasoned veterans like my friend, S, would find this useful as well. I wonder how he would rate this site and its services ? Hmm, check this site out and give me a holler or drop me a line, S, I would love to hear what you think.

Visit my sponsor: Review the website

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Stuffed Fuzzy Squash

This is one of the dishes I learned from my mother-in-law when they came to visit us last month. The steps and ingredients are pretty simple but it becomes complicated because no recipe exists. Everything is a mixture of little bit of this and that - as my mother-in-law puts it, "konti toyo, konti asukal, konti asin, masarap na!"

I did exactly as that and seasoned the pork mixture as per my taste & imagination. I figured, we could always adjust the measurements later. This turned out great!

ground pork
corn starch
soy sauce

fuzzy squash

1. Peel the fuzzy squash and cut into disks.

2. Mix ground pork with carrots and corn starch and season with soy sauce, sugar, and salt

3. Pan-fry and sear / brown the fuzzy squash. When a little bit browned, brush with a little bit of cornstarch on the surface and put a dollop of the ground pork mixture on top. Pour some water in the pan, just at the level of the fuzzy squash, cover and let it steam.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Lost super power :(

I think I may have lost my post-partum weight-loss powers. I started losing weight (without really trying) after I gave birth to Swe-Cha. I lost all the pregnancy weight. Then I lost some more. The pounds just kept going away until I was back to the least weight I've ever had in my adult life.

Oh, and during that time, I've also been shedding hair. Hormones, that's what they say.

Recently, I noticed that I've started growing baby hair. Lots and lots of them. So much that my head kinda looks bushy when I have my hair tied down. Whatever it was that caused my hairloss before is obviously righting itself now.

So I decided to check my weight and I swear, if I hadn't gone to Inpost: San Diego Lasik some time ago, I would've doubted my eyes,

*Gasp* It wasn't a pretty sight. So I guess, no more snacking on chocolate chip cookies.

Pearl Powder

Gave Swe-Cha pearl powder with his dinner a few days ago. Pearl powder is a traditional Chinese medicine that is believed to calm one down, among other things. We're hoping that this will help him sleep more soundly. Parang lagi siyang nagugulat eh.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Got diapers ?

Yes :)

These are the size 3 & 4 boxes of diapers that we have on stock right now. Looks like someone's afraid to run out of diapers :)


On another note, I recently signed up for an account with Blog Copy. This service monitors your blog and lets you know which posts are being copied by others. I'm thinking this will be a very nifty tool to find out which of my posts are attracting more attention and / or which posts other people find informative and helpful.

This'll help me develop my blog and attract a wider audience.

Saturday, August 7, 2010


So I've been telling whoever cares to listen - friends are good :) - that I have my heart set on going back to Manila to celebrate Swe-cha's 1st birthday.

I felt the urge exactly 13 days ago and immediately started looking around and doing research - basically, checking to see how feasible a December vacation will be for our family. It occurred to me that there would be lots of factors involved and that they have to all fall in place but I am hopeful that this will push through.

Among our considerations, the most major are:
- award tickets from PAL (if we do not get the award tickets, it doesn't make sense to fly during that time because of the costs), we're currently priority waitlisted* for a couple of dates and just plain waitlisted for a few more dates.
- award tickets from Delta (not a requirement but would be great if we could get award tickets for NJ to CA tickets for maximum savings)
- a stopover in California (a must)
- leave from work
- trans-atlantic travel with a one year old (eek!)

and with that...
- which baby gear to bring along
- pumping breastmilk and all the parts to bring along & sterilize (unfortunately, my son does not direct feed from me)
- feeding bottles and nipples

Milk-wise, we're going to go with disposables as much as we can so the Playtex nursers are going to get a lot of use. I'm just iffy because our Playtex nursers (premium set) are made of plastic that is easily cracked unlike the older ones, I still prefer the original.

Secondary considerations - and the most fun, if I may say so:
- 1st bday party venue (check, Mom is taking care of this)
- caterer & food (Mom / brother are scouting for suppliers)
- decorations / venue dress up (found recommendations thru n@w)
- entertainment, souvenirs and prizes (found recommendations thru n@w)
- photographer & videographer (found recommendations thru n@w)
- clothes!

Luggage wise, I'm thinking that we could assemble a balikbayan box (for personal supplies and pasalubong) and have this sent ahead to our home in Manila. This should reduce the amount of luggage we have to bring with us.

* I asked the PAL booking agent what "priority waitlisted" meant and was told that it means that there is a big possibility that our seats will be confirmed.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

happiness ...

... is a slice of cake

... or a Jollibee chickenjoy

... or a cup of iced coffee or sweet tea

... or a bowl of ice cream on a hot summer day

... or a nice cool bath or a long warm bath, depending on the season

... or a massage or better, a day at the spa.

But today, happiness is getting to change Swe-cha's diaper. He had 3 huge loads of poop and 2 w/ skid marks throughout the day. It made Mommy very happy because he did not poop the past 2 days.


We've been invited to a pool party this Saturday. Looking forward to Swe-cha's first swimming experience, hope he's up to it. We did a dry wet run last night in the tub, dressed him up in his swimsuit and put him in the bathtub. He was plenty excited - unlike the first time he was put in the tub, he cried!

I'm also glad that he's liking his suit already because when I first put it on him, he cried too! I'm guessing it must have been the tags poking him and bothering him because he didn't cry till I closed up the zipper (and the back part with the tags must've pressed on him already). I tore off the tags so they won't bother him anymore.

A few weeks ago, we met up with friends, Swe Cha was okay at first but then, some time later, he cried too!

Whenever I run errands nowadays, he shouts from the back of the car (from his car seat). He also shouts from his stroller - he used to be content so long as he's moving and so long as he hears me. But not anymore.

There's a pattern here.

My son - the happy baby that he is - is iyakin now. Hope this isn't an indication of how he will be in the future. I'm thinking that maybe he's uber lambing now because he's not feeling too well (teething).