Friday, December 30, 2011


We flew to California (the trip was a last minute decision, hubby was asked to go on a business trip at work and I didn't want to be alone w/ Swe-cha all that time) a few weeks ago and were able to spend Swe-cha's 2nd birthday and Christmas with family.

Ang saya!

While we had a blast being with family, especially during those important events, I will not deny that it does feel good to be finally be home and be in our own space again.

But spending some weeks at Achi's has made us feel cramped in our condo. We can't wait until we are able to move to a house - ideally, we'd love to have 4 bedrooms and a home office. Imagine all that space to run around in (and wrestle giant teddy bears*), Swe-cha will love it for sure!

* a great aunt gifted Swe-cha with a teddy bear that is bigger than him, we had to leave it behind in California as it didn't make sense to lug it all the way to NJ.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

All is well

Once again, God has shown me that things that go according to His plan always turn out well in the end.

This morning, I was ranting about how stressed I was and as it turns out, it was for the best!

1) Swe-cha waking up for almost an hour a 7 meant that he was sleepy enough to fall asleep on the way to CT (no tantrums in the car)

2) Picking up the lechon from the faraway place made us late but it also meant that we were late enough to get warned by friends about the heavy traffic on the Merritt Parkway - we picked an alternate path.

Ang galing!

Swe-cha only cried for 1 hr (yes, 1 hr, sigh!) at our friends' place, but that is another story. At the end of the day, we had a great day with friends. B & M are wonderful hosts and we enjoyed ourselves immensely!

My boys

Grabe. It's only 10am and I'm already *this* stressed [raises hand to shoulder level].

Hubby fell asleep last night and would not wake up so I had to clean up in the kitchen (this is his usual chore). I started cleaning past midnight. After I loaded the dishwasher, I decided to wash the teakettle and that pot filled with oil that I usually use to deep fry (ewan ko why he leaves these to stand on the stove top, edi nadudumihan lang when you cook other foods).

I was going to stop there but the stovetop needed cleaning too. I was going to go throw out the trash but I was too tired. Maybe I should put a smelly diaper in the trash so hubby will throw it out right away, otherwise, he's okay letting it accumulate.

I think it's time that hubby and I had a talk about chores. He does them naman and is so guilty about falling asleep last night before getting a chance to tidy up, but the thing is, there is a flaw to his method eh. Tidying up is the last thing he does before going to sleep, uunahin pa ang TV, games at kung ano anong babasahin w/c is really optional. I don't usually mind him doing that, my principle has always been "your work, your way", I won't complain about your methods so long as you get things done. Yun nga lang, this isn't the first time and I'm sure that it won't be the last time that he'll fall asleep and I'll have to pick up the slack.***

Anyway, by the time I was done, it was 3:30a. I was so tired that I just fell asleep, forgot to check Swe-cha's diaper. Normally, we change his diaper in the middle of the night because he pees so much while he sleep and there's a tendency for the diaper to leak. True enough, I woke up to screaming at 7am. I was startled and couldn't function right away and the longer it took me to respond, the louder the screams.

I thought it was gas and kept trying to put manzanilla on Swe-cha's tummy. Swe-cha kept swatting at the manzanilla bottle and pulled on my hands, I should've just let him have my hands from the start because as soon as I stopped fighting him, he touched my hand to his wet pants & shirt. The leak was in an awkward spot so I didn't find it right away when I first did a spot check.

After I changed him, he still screamed at me every now and then - para bang nanininisi (haha!) - and finally fell asleep again (in my arms) by 7:50a but I couldn't put him down on the bed and lie down myself until around 8:15a (he would whimper and cry and I was so scared that he'd wake up na so I just sat and held him), he eventually woke up for the day at 9a.

Normally, when I'm too tired to get up, hubby would pitch in & help w/ Swe-cha but there's that lechon that needs to be picked up (that lechon better be so good so it's worth it). Hubby calls me up after he picks up the lechon to let me know that he's on his way home.

"You got the lechon sauce, right ?" I asked.

"Bumili ka ba ? nag order ka ?"

"Kasama ang sauce pag bumili ka ng lechon, dapat meron, did you check ?"

"Di naman tayo nagbayad ng sauce eh"

"Meron dapat, check mo. Hingi ka kung wala."

"Kung wala, bibili ako ?"


[Siguro, if I looked into a mirror at this point, I'd scare myself. Nanlilisik siguro eyes ko. Ang kulit naman kasi eh.]

He must've still been in the parking lot at that time because it didn't take more than a few seconds before he said "ah, meron nga, nandito sa loob."

I love my boys kaya lang when they tag-team me like this, nakaka-ubos ng pasensya talaga. Gusto kong mag Frap or iced coffee, pang recharge man lang.

*** I'm not usually so annoyed when he does this and I'm okay to pick up the slack, it's just that I've been so so tired for days and have had no rest pa. Teka... why am I even explaining ?

Saturday, November 26, 2011


Swe-cha is very affectionate. He liked to be hugged and is very touchy-feely and he likes to sit on our laps while watching TV.

Bedtime is a long drawn-out process too because he will want to hug, wrestle and use us like a jungle gym by squeezing through tunnels he fashioned out of our legs and arms, he would roll us back and forth, dive over us, tumble - basically, a lot of gymnastics!

Tonight, he is unusually affectionate in the sense that he's been kissing us too. Kaya lang, he kissed me twice but kissed his Dad a lot more times. I asked and asked, "kiss Mommy, please" but he wouldn't pay me any attention. His dad was more interesting.

So I decided to tickle hubby. I figure, if he got more kisses from Swe-cha, I might as well as bother him :P I told him that I was going to keep tickling him until I get a kiss from Swe-cha.

So now, both of us were begging Swe-cha to please kiss mommy.

Still no kisses, though.

Hubby then hits upon an idea, "cover your face w/ the pillow! Swe-cha will find that interesting and will want to play with you."

So I did and sure enough, Swe-cha comes to me, screeching with excitement all the way. He pulls the pillow off and bam! head-bangs me right on my cheekbone.

[silent screams and curses going on in my head]

I went down to ice my face & left Swe-cha w/ his Dad. Hopefully, he falls asleep soon.

As for me, if you see me in the next few days sporting a black eye, I'll tell you that it's hubby and that will be true... sort of.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


I was able to do a Costco run today - finally! Picked up some eggs and the rib-eye steaks that hubby wanted to have for Thanksgiving. [ We're obviously not turkey people. ] I also scored some boys' pajamas that are so comfortable and fit me just right.

After Costco, I decided to drop by the pharmacy to pick up the refill for my son's prescription, then I dropped by the grocery store for some basics, Dunkin Donuts for a sandwich and then the bank to deposit some checks.

But that's not the point of my post.

You see, after all that, it wasn't until after I got home that I realized that I was running around and doing all those errands in my sleepwear.


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Take out fiasco

We had a series of mishaps with our take-out dinner last night but before that, background story muna.

I've been very busy with my project so I haven't had time to do some marketing and I haven't even had the time nor energy to prepare something from what little we have in the pantry & refrigerator. So take out has been the answer to the question "what's for dinner" these past days.

Now, between hubby and me, he is the one w/ more exacting food requirements.

I can eat the same thing (well, my favorites) 3x a day, everyday. I can eat fried rice alone w/o any additional ulam. I can have soup as ulam too. I guess that's because I came from a household where we didn't always have a proper kusinera all the time. Hubby's father was a chef and while they didn't have mala-restaurant-types of spreads at home, hindi naman basta-basta lang like what I was used to.

One of the things I really really love about hubby is that he doesn't complain. Alam naman nya what he was getting when he chose me - while I'm not a disaster in the kitchen, my true talents lie elsewhere (haha, feeling talented!). He will gamely eat whatever I serve in the table, whether it's something I experimented on, or something I asked him to pick up on the way home.

He prefers to still have ulam even though we have fried rice. Soup is drunk (like we do with water or soda during meals) and isn't an ulam, ... But if there are no other alternatives, quiet lang siya. He does have 1 weakness though, he absolutely, positively cannot tolerate spicy foods. Sabi nga nya, gutumi mo na lang siya, wag lang pakainin ng maanghang.

Fast forward to last night's fiasco. So walang ulam, right ? I asked him to drop by his favorite Chinese Takeout place to pick up some food. He ordered fried rice (w/ our usual customizations) and the shredded pork w/ eggplant (matagal tagal pa kami nag deliberate if we wanted the pork w/ eggplant or beef w/ mushrooms).

Unfortunately, he does not check his package when he does take out. He never does. So we never realized, until we were about to dig into dinner, that we were given some other pork dish. We would've been okay w/ the substitution except for the fact that it was also spicy.

So we called to complain. We never do this - complain about food, I mean. We're very tolerant 99% of the time because we don't want the hassle but for some reason, hubby wanted to complain last night, so I did.

Takeout place apologizes and asks if we can come back for a replacement. We said, no. Could they deliver ? Okay raw.

While waiting for the delivery, we were discussing if they will get the wrong dish ? Parang mali naman if they get it pa - pwede ko bang tikman ? kagatan ? Haha. I hope they don't give it to some other customer. If this were McDonald's, they'd throw that away so you can keep it.

Delivery guy comes, hands us the package and asks to see the other one. Hubby shows it to him and he takes it with him. Eh ?

Tinikman ko yun. So if you're my neighbor and you ordered some shredded pork dish with peppers last night at around 8:30, ... uh... let's not get into this.

Anyway, it was almost 9p when we sat down for dinner. I was ravenous. I'm not sure about hubby, because he was the one who wanted to complain & wait for a replacement, remember ?

So I started digging in to the food.

I tasted the pork w/ eggplant dish and eek! Seems like the takeout place had the last laugh, the dish they sent us was spicy. It was so spicy that *I* thought it was spicy - and I have a great tolerance for spice.

Poor hubby. He quietly ate his fried rice. No more ulam.

The weird thing was, we've been ordering this dish on and off for at least 2 years now and we never got a spicy version until tonight. There must be something off w/ their cook last night.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Happy bad news

Yes, there are times when bad news make me happy.

My partner and I put up an online shop, right ? Business was unsurprisingly slow when we started. We were newbies, virtually unknown and we had a lot of work ahead of us just to get the word out.

We had great faith in our product choices because we use these products with our own babies, but we didn't have enough experience to judge how marketable these products were going to be. The first few months were lean months and there were times when I (my partner was more confident) was beginning to have nightmares of getting stuck with these baby items that we could not possibly use up - not unless we both start popping babies out in multiples :)

Anyway, it seems like word has spread and people are getting to know us and trust us. We've gotten several special orders for products that we do not normally carry and our stock is selling. We've even had to turn down a lot of orders these past few weeks and have been asking people if they are able to wait a few more weeks until our new stocks arrive.

I feel so bad about not being able to fill orders, nakakahiya sa customer. This brings to mind an ex-officemate's hirit at a restaurant one time when the lady taking my order kept telling me that they didn't have what I wanted:

Me: I'll have the rib-eye steak.

Cashier: Ay, wala na pong rib-eye steak.

Me: uh... (scans the menu) Sige, t-bone na lang

Cashier: Ubos na rin po

Me: e yung tenderloin ?

Cashier: (shouts towards the kitchen area) May tenderloin pa ba ? (hears an answer) Ma'am, sorry po, ubos na rin po.

At this point, my then-officemate, who was lined up behind me peered over my shoulder and asked, "E, Miss, kelan kayo magsasara ?"

One of the customers I've had to turn down recently had this to say, "dapat mag stock na kayo nang mas marami, nakikilala na kayo, marami nang bibili".

She's right.

We do listen to our customers so please, please bear with us. Konting tulog na lang. We are shipping out and stocking up as much as we can.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Holiday Fraps

Starbucks is having their Buy 1 Get 1 free promotion on their holiday drinks again (Nov 17 - 20) and the sweet-toothed, cheapskate sensible spender in me just couldn't resist. I did so want to get hubby a treat too (the 2nd frap is his), he has been working so hard.

Anyway, so despite the fact that it's 40 degrees out (around 5 degrees celsius), I just had to step out and get these fraps. I can't feel my fingers and the only validation I have that they're still attached to my hands is that I could still type out this blog entry letter by agonizing letter.


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

He provides

When I heard the verdict for our bathroom ceiling leak from the superintendent yesterday, all I could think was "Lord, how now, brown cow?". Yes, *blush* I did think the "brown cow" part too, I'm silly that way.

... and yet again, God has come through for us - not that I've ever doubted His plans but katuwa lang to get an answer so quickly. You see, just when I thought we were going to have to dig into our savings, I receive word that we got a week's work approved.


I'm going to have to juggle some things around (I scheduled some important errands for later this week) but, hey, those errands are not going to pay the bills.

I'm sure glad that I didn't have time to curl up in a corner like I wanted to do yesterday (you don't really have time for drama or self-pity when you have a toddler to tend to).

Monday, November 14, 2011

Financially drained

We completed that Central AC replacement last week, the replacement is done but we have to have the work inspected by the city inspector. If work isn't done w/in 30 days, the AC company won't be responsible for any additional work that the city might require. The thing is, the super is going on vacation end of this week so we're kinda limited when it comes to scheduling options. I hope that the city inspector is more flexible.

I finally got the super to check out that leak in our bathroom ceiling. Unfortunately, it is as I feared. The leak is coming from a hole in the vent - super says that that vent is our bathroom vent but I touched it and I know what it is, it's our dryer vent. This brings to mind what that home inspection report told me years ago when I purchased this condo, that the "dryer is improperly vented". I always thought that it didn't have a proper vent in the sense that it went into the wall and then there was no vent, but seeing this now and after doing some bit of research, I see that the problem is that the vent used was the flexible metallic type (the one like an accordion) and new bldg code requires that a semi-rigid aluminum material be used.

Now, the question is, how much are we willing to pay to retain the use of our in-unit dryer ? That will determine our threshold for the repair budget. Worst case, we can always do the long trek to the laundry room on laundry day (at least, we don't have to drive to another location just to do laundry, thank goodness for small blessings!).

When I consider that we've just dropped $6k on central AC and that we're looking to spend another $1500 (per our superintendent), add that to the fact that I still do not have a full-time, permanent job... *sigh*

Times like these make me want to just sit in a corner, curl up and close my eyes.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Lunch with the Girls

Had lunch with A and R today and I really enjoyed it. It's been so long since I was able to get out and enjoy the company of good friends w/o having to worry about chasing a toddler intent on getting into trouble.

We got to exchange stories of toddlers having fun & misbehaving - toddlers making sungit, testing our patience and stories of escape - over a good Popeye's meal. I miss having days like this. Mauulit ulit to, ha ?


Have to dip into our frozen milk stash again today. Since we started using milk from our stash, we've probably used 3 or 4 bags. Not a lot,... but it just shows that my milk production is getting lesser and lesser (or that Swe cha is drinking more and more, which he is).

I used to dread that day when I will finally stop pumping milk but now, I think I just look forward to missing being the moo-cow of the house. It's not such a scary prospect anymore.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Central AC

So our Central A/C unit is struggling, says the technician who came by to do the maintenance service last week.

We could wait this out and replace the unit when it dies, but then again, the technician pointed out that winter is coming upon us and we don't want to take the chance of this dying in the midst of winter and us having to go w/o heat for days.

That made sense, especially with a child in the house. We could probably survive the winter w/o central heat because we do have a portable heater and we do like it cold but I'm sure that the combination of a portable heater + an energetic toddler is an accident waiting to happen.

So I've set up appointments with a few AC companies to get a quote on the replacement. The first companies drops by today and after he gave me his quote, I asked for the brand of the equipment.

salestech: We carry and sell different brands but the one I quoted for you is Payne.

me: Pain ? As in it's going to be a lot of pain to pay for it ?

salestech: *blink blink* huh ? (looks at me like I'm so silly) Payne. You spell it like P-A-Y-N-E. Carrier makes it, same quality, but it's cheaper because you're not paying for marketing & branding.

My pitiful attempt at humor failed and my hopes & dreams (drama!) were dashed when I saw the contract. It wasn't the 10k I feared but this was still a very Payne-ful 6.5k.

Oh well. This is only the first quote. Hope to do better w/ the others.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Kitchen on strike

Our kitchen has reached an all-time low.

I defrosted some meat last night, thinking I'd get a chance to cook dinner tonight. But I didn't realize until this evening that I didn't have anything to cook w/ the meat. That is all we have - ground pork.

Oh, we do have onions and garlic but we've run out of carrots, peppers, potatos - we don't have the basic sahog (or those that I know how to use).


Looks like hubby will be picking up some dinner tonight. Anyway, I'll be off for a few days next week so hopefully, I get the chance to catch up on housechores and errands.... and some personal time for me too (I really do need a haircut!).

My list for next week:
- laundry - wash, fold / iron / hang. Hopefully, the crib-full of clothes will be clear by next week. (We've been using Swe-cha's crib as a huge laundry bin for clean clothes that need to be folded / ironed.)

- grocery shopping & costco run (thanks for offering to bring me to Costco, R!)

- haircut

- clean the house (asa pa!)

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Toddlers and Medicines

Medicine time has always been a struggle in our household, even for medications that taste good. Lately, we've discovered a way that works for our child.

Our issues from the different dosing methods we've tried are:

1) The droppers that come with the medicine are cr*p. This is true for Loviscol and Disudrin drops. They have markings for up to 1.2ml or 1ml but you keep squeezing and squeezing and the medicine level never gets up to that point.

2) The droppers are too small. For Tylenol or any store-brand infant's acetamenophen, my son's weight and age require him to have 1.6ml but the droppers come to only 0.8 ml only. So you have to get 0.8ml, chase a toddler, hold him down & get him to take the medicine and after all that, you're only halfway! You have to do it all over again.

3) Measuring cups are hard to use for thicker medications (for example, suspension antibiotics) so after measuring out the correct amount of liquid, the next problem is how to get all of that into your toddler's mouth ? He will not sit patiently with his mouth open just so you could pour the medicine in.

With that, here are our recommendations:

(1) Bigger droppers

We got this last month when we had Swe-cha's antibiotics filled at Stop & Shop's pharmacy. The pharmacist asked us if we wanted a measuring spoon or a dropper and I asked which was easier to use for a toddler, she gave us this giant dropper.

I was so happy when I first used this because previously, we had to make do with a measuring spoon (shaped like a test tube) and it took such a long time for the medicine to slide out.

You don't have to go to the pharmacy for these, I've seen this on sale at baby stores, I just never realized that they were that useful. Oh, and note that your bottle has to have a wide mouth for you to be able to use this.

(2) Syringe

At friend R's recommendation, we tried out Target's pharmacy last weekend. She's been telling me about the syringe that they give and how easy it was to give medicine using that.

Totoo nga! How could I have doubted her experience ? *smile*

It's easy to just squeeze out a little at a time into my toddler's mouth and wait till he swallows it before I squeeze out a little bit more.

I also like Target's medicine bottle. It comes with this cap at the top, the hole is just big enough to insert the tip of the syringe. To get medicine, you're supposed to:

- insert tip of the syringe into the hole at the cap until it is snug
- invert bottle & measure out the correct dose
- turn bottle right side up and twist the syringe out

Oh, and for anyone wondering what that green ring is ? At Target pharmacy, you can specify a ring color and assign a color to a member of your family. Say, Daddy's are blue, Mommy's are red and so on. The color coded rings make it easier to recognize medications at a glance (because the bottles are all alike).

Saturday, October 1, 2011


I'm currently watching MacGyver episodes (via Netflix) starting from Season 1 and it's brought back memories of my childhood :)

I was afraid to start watching this again because I wasn't sure if it was going to live up to the hype in my head. I've always thought that MacGyver was the coolest person on TV ever and I loved watching each and every episode.

The thing is, when you start watching shows from the 80s and the 90s and then start comparing them to similar-themed ones in the 2000s, the older ones suddenly seem so.. well.. baduy.

But so far, MacGyver is still the coolest and I'm loving it. Walang kakupas-kupas!


Bakit ganon ?

Parang sadyang may mga tao talagang hilig nila ang magbaba ng kapwa. Parang doon lang sila sumasaya pag pinag di diinan nilang nasa mas mabuting kalagayan sila - mas magaling, mas matalino, mas mayaman, mas maabilidad, mas nakakataas ng sweldo, mas nakakataas ng posisyon?

Mabait naman itong taong ito, kaya lang, minsan imbes na makatulong siya, mas lalo lang akong naiinis, kailangan pa talagang haluan ng konting yabang yung sasabihin sa akin eh.

Oo na, magaling ka.
Oo na, talented ka.
Oo na, swerte ka.
May nakalimutan pa ba ako ?

At oo, nag br breastfeed pa ako. BAKET ? MASAMA BA ? Bakit ba pinagpipilitan mong itigil ko na ? Nagrereklamo ba ako ? Nahihirapan ka ba ? Hindi kaya naiinggit ka lang dahil hindi mo ito nagawa sa anak mo ? kaya't pinatitigil mo na ako ? o sadyang pakialamera ka lang talaga ?

Ang palaisipan lang sa akin ngayon ay sa akin ka lang ba ganyan ? o ganyan ka rin sa mga ibang kaibigan mo ? di ba sila nakakahalata ? o ayaw lang rin magsalita ?

O siya. Nailabas ko na ang sama ng loob ko at di na kita iisipin sa araw na ito. Hindi ka rin naman dapat binibigyan ng importansya, darami lang ang wrinkles sa fez ko pag lagi kitang iniintindi.

Basta, Miss, hindi ka nakakatuwa.

Hindi talaga.

Monday, September 26, 2011


... am currently eating leftover toddler's yogurt, the whole milk kind - yes, the ones with lotsa fat! - because my son ate half and then started spitting it out.

Big boy na kasi siya because he has been snacking on cheerios and pretzels today.

Paano ako di tataba if I have to keep eating his leftovers ? Sayang naman if I don't eat.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Mama Fina's

We decided at the last minute to drop by Mama Fina's last night for some takeout (we ate dinner at home). We ordered our usual - lechon kawali, sisig, pork barbeque - and then dropped by at the grocery for a bottle of soda.

Needless to say, dinner was scrumptious - artery-clogging and headache-inducing, yes - but really good. I missed the pinoy food so much that I finished 2 orders of rice all by myself and later that night, I wasn't feeling so well anymore.

To think that 1 order of rice is big enough, I used to not be able to finish it all. Sigh. This was gluttony to the max.

So now, I am making a resolve to eat more sensibly. I won't promise to go on an all-out diet, hindi ko kaya. But I can promise to say no to 2nd servings and then later, when I can, I'll go ahead and have smaller 1st servings.

Small steps.

It's about time that I stop eating like a horse, I'm beginning to lose my weight-loss superpowers since I started pumping less and producing less breastmilk.

am posting Mama Fina's hours here for future reference:
M,W,Th - 11a to 8p
F, Sa - 11a to 9p
Su - 11a to 5p
Tuesdays - closed

Thursday, September 22, 2011


Hubby goes off to take a certification exam this afternoon. Before he left, I asked him to call me when he finishes.

So this afternoon,.. my phone rings, it was the hubby and our conversation went like this:

me: how did the test go ? did you pass ?

hubby: yeah. I got a 98.x%, san kaya ako nagkamali ?

LOL! Di rin mayabang, no ?

Later, while checking the test results printout he was given (it was also the temporary certificate), it seems like he only got 1 answer wrong.

Huwaw! Ang GALING...

... humanap ng sample test.

I love you. Congratulations :)

Monday, September 19, 2011


Uh oh.

My pump, who has been my friend and constant companion since Dec 2009, is now making squeaking noises. I didn't really expect to still be breastfeeding at 20 months and yet, here we are, I'm still expressing milk for my little one.

Konting tiis pa, my friend. Hang in there.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Waterproof pads

If there's one advice that I would give to would-be parents when they ask for a list of must-have things,... I'd say multi-use/waterproof pads. Why ?

For starters, the typical infant's layette list includes bedsheets but it doesn't really explain or give an idea of how much one would really need.

In our case, the waterproof pads were a life saver. Prior to using them, we've always had to keep changing the sheets on the bed (crib or on our bed, since we started co-sleeping) because our little one keeps on soiling them. Pee, poo, wet burp, drool, ... name it, and he's done it. The pads were a better option compared to the sheets because we have to take everything out of the bed (pillows, blankets, etc) and put it back to change the sheets but replacing the pad just takes 2 seconds.

I'm writing about this now because my son has been throwing up a lot again the past few nights - he is congested (yet again) and has a hard time spitting up his phlegm. When he coughs and tries to expel his phlegm, other stuff come out. *sigh* On some nights, his cough gets so bad that we've had to replace the pad 3 times (we have a total of 4).

Hope this congestion goes away na.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Hotel Goodies

I used to take a lot of business trips up until a few years ago.
The weird thing was, though I always brought my own set of toiletries whenever I go on a trip, I couldn't bear to *not* bring the hotel toiletries home.

So as I've said earlier, I've amassed quite a bit of these little bottles & bars of soap over the years - a few shopping bags actually. Some hotels actually have good stuff - neutrogena soaps and shampoos, Crabtree & Evelyn stuff, hubby also likes the oatmeal soap from the Radisson - so we've been using some of these on / off and the others which we haven't tried yet, we've just kept.

When I first realized that my stash was growing, I started looking for an outlet, I wanted to give them away and not just dump them in the trash. I started asking around and someone suggested the local homeless shelters or women's crisis centers and I thought that was a great idea.

Imagine my surprise when I checked out a few websites for the local homeless shelters and saw a list of items that they accept as donations. Aba, they specifically indicate that they accept regular sized bottles of toiletries but they do *not* accept hotel toiletries - not the ones in my area anyway.

Eh ? Nobody wants these ?

So this week, I finally ran out of the shampoo that I hoarded back in 2007-2008 so I started dipping into my hotel stash ( That was the ultimate bargain hunter's dream back then because we had B1 get 1 free coupons that we used in conjunction with the grocery store's B1 get 1 free promotion - bottom line was that for every 4 bottles we purchased, we only paid for 1).

So far, so good. No falling hair yet.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


So I was able to go out and do my errands yesterday right ?

When I got home, I happily gave this bar of chocolate (Dove) to hubby. Sabi ko, it's my pasalubong for him.

And what's the first thing that he says ?

"Saan to libre ?"


Seriously ah, I was a bit offended and asked him why. Does he think that I only bring him pasalubong if it's free ?

He then explained to me that he figured that if I bought it, there'd be at least 2 chocolate bars. I never buy just 1 pc of anything.

That made sense, so I forgave him.

and then he bugged me some more... "so where did you get this libre ?"

So I fessed up. "Sa CVS, I scanned my card in one of those machines and out came a free-chocolate-bar coupon."


Monday, September 5, 2011

Labor day weekend

Hubby did very well this weekend.

He cleaned the dishwasher - inside and outside and all around, even went into all the nooks and crannies. He cleaned our bedrooms and even dismantled the beds so he could vacuum underneath.

Aside from all the cleaning, he also woke up before noon on a holiday (he went to bed late the night before) so I could go out and do my errands. I was able to do my shopping rounds in peace - Babies R Us for Swe-cha's food and snacks, FV & CVS for Swe-cha's medical supplies and shoprite for our groceries. I was expecting to come home to a screaming toddler whom I'd have to drag off to bed for his nap but I was suprised - pleasantly - to come home to a toddler who has already been walked (parang pet, heehee), fed, given his milk and already napping.


Then, this afternoon, Swe-cha asked for cookies and ate 1 whole cookie by himself.

Ang saya.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Night terrors

We had a night terror incident again last night. This is the 2nd, so far, during this round of antibiotics. I really have to note this down and ask Swe-cha's doctor for an alternative next time. The thing is, his meds now - Omnicef - is already an alternative to Augmentin which he could not tolerate (he keeps vomiting). On this note, I'd also like to comment that Augmentin does seem to be overkill for an ordinary ear infection. I wonder why Dr H prescribed it to him last time ?

In any case, I did confirm w/ Achi (she's a pediatrician) that medications do cause night terrors in people. There is a very very very small chance of this happening but it does happen. In fact, my nephew at 2.5 years old has a consistent reaction to a specific asthma medicine (w/c Achi does not remember anymore). He would always have nightmares when he takes that medication.

Kainis, no ?

Today is day 10, the last day, of his antibiotics. Hopefully, last night's is also the last of the nightmares. He kept screaming and crying and nothing could pacify him. Eventually, we turned the laptop on and brought up Netflix. Swe-cha's attention was caught by Thomas the Train and after that, it was Bob the Builder and later, Big Bird in Sesame Street. I don't know what happened after that because I cradled him in my arms and lay him down in a sleeping position and I fell asleep. The next thing I knew, it was already 6a, the show had already stopped (whichever one it was that he last watched) and Swe-cha was already sound asleep.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Tommee Tippee Insulated Cups

We've been trying to transition Swe-cha to using a straw cup for a few months now and purchased these Tommee Tippee insulated cups for him.

The cups look nice and are insulated so they'll keep liquids cold longer and they were spill proof - it was a no-brainer so we quickly purchased it for our son.

The first time Swe-cha used this, he wasn't drinking a lot of water yet so we didn't really notice anything unusual. He liked these cups well enough.

Soon, I started sending him to daycare with these instead of his old sippy cups and the daycare staff told me that he (Swe-cha) doesn't like drinking from these.

We reverted back to the old sippy cups for daycare but we'd bring water for him in these TT insulated cups whenever we go out. We noticed that he didn't like the straw but would often ask us to unscrew the cup and he would drink directly from the cup. As expected, things did get messy & wet a lot.

Tonight, when hubby assembled the TT cup he had just washed, he decided to try it out for himself. He was curious why Swe-cha would rather just bite on the straw but not drink from it, Swe-cha does seem to know how to use a straw because he has no problems drinking from our straws!

Hubby tried to drink.

Then, he called me, "Honey, will you try this ?".

I tried to drink. Nothing came out.

I sucked. And sucked. And sucked. I sucked till I felt the pressure in my eyeballs and still nothing!

Eventually, hubby and I each had a TT insulated cup in hand and we were alternating between laughing and trying to get a drink and we felt so guilty that we kept trying to give this to our child.

And then suddenly - I don't really know how or why this happened - I started getting something. I was drinking!

So I decided to check out Tommee Tippee's website. I figured, we must have been assembling it the wrong way and if we were doing it correctly, then I wanted to write to the company to complain.

1 minute and 17 seconds later, we were disassembling and assembling the cups correctly na and we are able to drink easily - not as easily as it feels drinking from a regular straw and cup (say, your soda from McD) - but there was no resistance anymore. And no more popping of my eyeballs.


Next time, we will try everything out for ourselves before giving it to our child. Promise!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Hurricane Irene

  • Rice - 1 sack. check
  • Spam - 2 dozen. check
  • Cookies (5 packs), crackers (3 boxes), snack bars (200+pcs) and chips (2 cans)- check
  • Portable stove, fuel - check
  • Swe-cha's food (gerber & earth's best jars and a huge pot of homemade lotus root and red bean soup)- check
  • Someone who can cook rice in a pot (instead of a rice cooker) - check
  • Flashlights, batteries - check, check
  • Freezers & refrigerator set to HIGH.
  • Water containers filled w/ drinking water. 6 more spare gallons of drinking water plus 2 extra cases of individual water bottles.
  • Extra water containers filled w/ water in the bathrooms in case pipes burst & we don't have clean running water.
  • Laptops & spare batteries fully charged.
  • Kindle, PSP and DS fully charged.
  • Camera battery full charged.
  • Cellphones fully charged (& spare batteries too).
  • Plants, outdoor tables, pots and the George Foreman grill brought in from the balcony.
  • We might run some tape on the windows (we were reminded by MIL). We feel that this is overkill for our area... but hey, there's nothing to lose so we'll do it anyway.
  • During the day, we wash dishes as we use them - no more soaking & leaving it in the dishwasher for an evening run as we might lose power later on.
Last night, while talking about the preparations we still need to do before Hurricane Irene arrives, hubby suddenly looked worried, "If we lose power, how will we take a bath ?"

"We can use candles to light the bathroom," I replied.

"Noooo, that's not the problem. If there's no power, there's no hot water heater. How will we take a bath without hot water ?" Worried siya talaga, haha!.

"For Swe-cha, we boil water on our portable stove to heat it up & give him a bath from a pail using a tabo. For us, we rough it out. Cold showers. Summer naman eh. "

Hubby cringed. Arte. *laughs*

I guess, this is it. We're as ready as we're ever going to be. The thing is, the water, food and batteries stockpile ? That's normal in our household :) We almost always have that much on hand because I stock up when there's a sale.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Panfried Wontons

We recently tried our local chinese takeout place's Pan Fried Wontons.

It wasn't what I was expecting but I was pleasantly surprised when I started eating and realized that the chewy texture and the taste reminded me so much of my favorite fishballs from home - even the sauce vaguely tastes like the sweet fishball sauce of those street carts I used to get my fishball fix from at university.


Friday, July 22, 2011


We're experiencing a heat wave here in the Northeast. The city, thankfully, has announced the location of its cooling centers - the Main Library and the Senior's Barn at the city hall complex.

Related to the heatwave, hubby's company sent out a memo yesterday announcing that all employees are allowed to come in to the office in beach attire today - shorts, shirt, flipflops, but no swimsuits allowed. Haha! I asked hubby now and he tells me everybody came in shorts, except for him, he does not wear shorts outside of the home. Kaya maputi legs nyan eh, heehee.


Swe-cha has been dropped off at daycare and he's been happy at dc this week - no crying or fussing at all. Last night was also the first full night's straight sleep he's gotten this week and we're thankful. We really should keep him awake long enough to burp after he has his milk at bedtime, even if it means risking him shaking off the drowsiness and staying awake for another hour or so. I think it's worth not having him cry & scream in the middle of the night due to gas pains.


I've just started a load in the wash and it amazes me that we (hubby, mostly) have so many gray shirts that we filled up one huge load of laundry just with the grays alone! I am still shaking my head in disbelief.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


My parents are coming for a visit next week and at 3 weeks, this will be their longest visit ever. I've given their visit a lot of thought but I haven't really decided where to bring them yet, it's so much more difficult looking for places to go because we have Swe-cha to consider now so our choices are now limited to family-friend (or specifically, toddler-friendly places).

Then, there's also the fact that Swe-cha isn't really that adventurous when it comes to food choices and we always have to bring food along. He's also still on (expressed) breastmilk so we have to bring a cooler along to store his next bottle of milk. Basically, it's such a big production when we go out.


In any case, that request hubby put in to the state for NJ's travel guide finally came through. We got a "Travel New Jersey" magazine and a huge fold-out map of the state - it's good to see our tax dollars at work (log in to and file 'em irs extension form 2009). You may also want to check out tax comparisons while you're at it. Anyway, I hope to be able to find something (or someplace) by next week.

Monday, July 11, 2011


I received a letter from a collection agency last Saturday. I thought it was junk mail at first because we've always been religious with our payments.

This turned out to be a bill (a final payment) that we still owed our previous auto insurance carrier. They'd always gotten paid directly from the bank - we're on an auto-debit plan - and for some reason, they did not get the final month's payment directly from our bank.

So last night, while in an extreme panic mode, I quickly made an online payment to settle the the bill and I quickly called the credit collection agency this morning to make sure that:

(1) my payment has been posted

(2) to ask if my credit report will get affected - as it turns out, they do not make adverse reports to the credit reporting agencies *whew* BUT the insurance company might report my delinquent account *sigh*

Now, I need to call up the insurance company to confirm & make a complaint as to why they sent my acct to a collection agency.

Sunday, July 10, 2011


My little guy has figured out how to use his little elephant wagon (originally, a shape sorter) as a skateboard.

Thankfully, he's only taken one spill and has learned to hold on to something while he figures out how to balance.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Midnight Halo-halo

I had just finished expressing milk for Swe-cha's afternoon bottle at the daycare tomorrow and was thinking about going to bed when I heard some scraping sounds.

Puzzled, I looked around and saw hubby with the ice shaver.

He looks at me and asks, "bowl or cup ?".

"Bowl," I replied. And it was only after I said it when I realized what he was doing - halo-halo!

How's that for a midnight snack ? We may not go out much but we do have fun at home, I tell ya.

While feasting on our bowls of halo-halo, our conversation included the following statements:
"Ang galing ng nag-imbento ng halo-halo, no ?"
"Mas magaling yung nag-imbento ng kaong!"
"e etong nata-de-coco ? Magaling rin no ? [brings up wikipedia...] Huwaw! Pilipino pala ang nag-imbento ng nata-de-coco!"

Obvious bang amazed na amazed kami ? at medyo mababaw?


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

and we're live! is live!
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This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Walgreens for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

Walgreens has always been the very first place that I will visit whenever my family needs something health-related. I started doing this when my previous store ran out of the only homeopathic teething product that my infant son tolerates. After much searching, I eventually found that my neighborhood Walgreens' shelves were stocked full of the product! It was a no-brainer about how Walgreens became the first place to go to after that.

As for the Walgreens Brand Health & Wellness Products, one of the mainstays in my medicine cabinet is the Walgreens brand guaifenesin. We've found this to be the most effective product when it comes to combating congestion and coughs and the best part is that Walgreens' pricing is way more affordable compared to a name-brand product with the same formulation. Again, it was a no-brainer. With the financial setbacks a lot of people have been experiencing nowadays, who wouldn't want more value for their money ? 

My mom, on the other hand, is a loyal user of Walgreens' line of supplements - vitamin C, calcium and other herbal whatnots in her arsenal are all from walgreens.

The best part is that buying any Walgreens Brand Health & Wellness Products supports bringing preventative wellness services to local communities through the  Walgreens Way to Well Fund™. I've always been a firm believer in good karma and with this program, you get to take care of your health and help your community maintain theirs at the same time. 

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Milk donation

Our deep freezer is full of frozen breastmilk again and we're making another donation. The recipient will be picking up around 600 oz of frozen milk tomorrow.

Coincidentally, my friend just forwarded me a link to a feature about selling breast milk online and a link to a website w/c facilitates the sale of breastmilk. I can't say that I'm not tempted because the milk is selling for up to $3.00 / ounce. And in some cases, where the milk is being sold at a bargain, it was selling for $0.60 / ounce - I did a quick calculation and this means that the 600 oz I'm donating tomorrow will potentially net me somewhere between $360 to $1800.


Anyway, I've always been a firm believer in good karma and believe in sharing blessings but I just hope that tomorrow's pick up doesn't end up "nickel & dime"-ing me because I'd be seriously annoyed. I don't intend to profit from breastmilk ever (it sounds so ... uhm ... desperate ?) but I don't intend to be at the losing end either so I asked that the recipient to please reimburse me for the cost of the bags, they don't come cheap.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Dream big

This afternoon, my ex-ex-boss told me that they were experiencing a flash flood. Their neighbor's pond overflowed, water rushed onto the street, and onto my ex-ex-boss' house. I asked if they wanted to come over & hang out at home so he can work but he declined and said that since the streets are flooded, they couldn't leave anyway.

Later, I told hubby about this and he said "That settles it, we're not going to buy a house in that area."

I couldn't help but laugh :) You see, ex-ex-boss lives in a neighborhood where houses typically fall in the 7-digit price range (and for the pilosopos out there, that does not include the decimal places).

Okay rin tong si hubby mangarap... but then again, if you're gonna dream, why not dream big ? Libre naman mangarap.

Conversations with the husband

A thread I've been following recently in my e-group sparked some questions in my mind - are we happy ?

I didn't have think hard to find out what my answer was, I only had to look at my son to see the main reason and proof that I am happy. So that leaves the husband.

Last night, I ambushed him with that question, "Hun, happy ka ba ? Are you happy with our life ?"

He took a few seconds to think and said "Yes, masaya ako. Minsan lang, sobrang kulit nitong ni Swe-cha chaka hindi ako masaya pag ginigising mo ako nang maaga."

[translation: he is happy but sometimes he finds it difficult when our son is being overly rambunctious and he does not like it when I wake him up early in the morning]


I prodded him some more, "Come on, be honest. Aren't you the least bit proud of your son's kakulitan ?"

He thought some more and smiled, "yes, basta hindi ako mag-aalaga, proud akong makulit siya."

LOL :)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Forgetful Achi

Hubby brought our Impreza to the shop last Saturday for an oil change and asked the shop to check out the clanging sounds that he's been hearing - let's just put it this way... you know those empty cans that people sometimes tie to the bumpers of bridal cars so there's lots of noise ? Our Impreza sounds like it is dragging a lot of those empty cans even though it isn't even moving yet.

So mechanic checks it out and finds that the screws to a heat shield has come off. So he's fixing that.

Then the humming sound that hubby suspected was coming from a wheel which may not be perfectly round anymore turns out to be caused by a bearing and of course, it needed to be replaced. Damage to our wallets was estimated at $327 + tax.

The up side of all this is that when hubby asked the mechanic if we needed to see about getting rid of the Impreza soon because it's deteriorating, mechanic says that there is no need because the car is in great shape. The stuff that we've been repairing are just normal wear / tear and are to be expected from a car that has that many miles on it and that with proper care, this car should reach 150k miles easily and w/o major issues.

So I tell my sister about this during one of our talks and she tells me.. "so you guys aren't going to replace the Impreza yet ?"


"Are you sure ? The longer you wait, the more the value will depreciate. Maybe you guys should see about selling it and getting a new car."

I went quiet for a minute because I was trying to figure out if my sister was serious or not. I'm pretty sure that she was teasing me but she sounded so serious!

"Uh, I'm still unemployed, remember ?"

* deafening silence *

And then I added, "We can deal with a $350 auto repair bill this month but it's going to be much harder coming up with the $350 or more every month for the next 5 years."

"Ay, oo nga pala no."


This just made me realize that I've been unemployed for the longest time that it seems so normal now. Sad, no ?

It's also made me look back and realize how much better our financial situation was back then because while hubby and I have always operated in tipid mode, we could easily afford a new card DP plus a $500 monthly payment.

And now ? It's a complete turnaround. Super-tipid mode na :)

Parmesan Cheese Container

Is it that obvious that I love reusing containers ?

Sometimes, I embarass myself when I see my stash of containers grow and I start throwing stuff away but I try to keep them as much as I can - I'm such a hoarder! [translation: basurero]

We go through a lot of parmesan cheese in our house and once, I saw the small containers go on sale and I just had to get a few. Here is a perfect example of how I reused the small parmesan cheese jar - a container for loose crayons (the kind that kids get from restaurants). The flip top lid makes tidying up so easy because you can just drop the crayon in (or shake it out if you want to use it).

I wonder how long it'll take us and how many restaurants we'd have to visit with Swe-cha before we can get a full set of colors (I'm not looking to get a full set of colors from any one restaurant).

Monday, June 20, 2011


I've been talking about setting up a business - an online shop, really - with my partner since last year and as we're both first-time mommies, we both had our hands full with our babies and have not been able to devote a lot of time to our venture until recently.

Now, we haven't really launched this with a lot of hoopla & publicity yet, we've been getting a lot of hits and have even run out of some stock (but don't worry, more are on their way!) for some products. Who knew that breastmilk storage bottles were going to be such a big hit for Mommies in the Philippines ? But then again, breastfeeding is widespread now (yay!) and disposable milk bags are such a waste!

Our humble shop started with feeding essentials for your baby and while still keeping with our principles of selling products that we firmly believe in and use ourselves, we've expanded our product line and are carrying Aveeno and Cetaphil products now.

I'd like to post a shoutout to Moms out there who have children with Eczema (unfortunately, my partner's baby has eczema so she's always on the lookout for products such as these), SavyMommy now has the following products especially formulated for atopic skin:

Aveeno Baby Cleansing Therapy Moisturizing Wash P650
Aveeno Baby Eczema Therapy Moisturizing Cream P750
Cetaphil Restoraderm Moisturizing Lotion

Do drop by our site and check out our products. Mention this blog and you'll be eligible for our pre-order promotion for Aveeno Eczema products - buy the Aveeno Baby Cleansing Therapy Moisturizing Wash for P650 and get the Aveeno Baby Eczema Therapy Moisturizing Cream for only P700 -> instant savings of P50!

Mention "newlyweds at work" and this blog when you pre-order, you also get free shipping.

Thursday, June 16, 2011


It's been a year since we started buying baby food for our son and in typical-basurero fashion, we've been collecting and keeping the empty food jars (clean & sterilized), in the hopes that we can repurpose / recycle them in some way.

I had to throw a lot away (I started throwing jars a few months ago) but I thought that it would be too wasteful to throw the ones that I've already washed and kept so we held onto them in the meantime.

This post is part of a series of ways that we've found to reuse these baby food jars :) I'm tagging posts like these "go-green", for now, even though smoking isn't exactly good for the environment.

Use: Ashtray for when a smoker comes-a-visiting.

Pros: We get to cover it with the lid so the ashes don't go flying around as it gets thrown in the trash. Also, being in a lidded glass jar gives me the confidence that no live embers will touch the trash & ignite something else even if we throw this in with the rest of our household trash.

Thursday, June 2, 2011


Last night, I watched Swe-cha play with his milk bottle cap while I'm giving him his milk just before bedtime.

As he twirled the cap around and tried to fit his feet inside, a thought occurred to me - why do we persist in sterilizing his milk bottles and nipples even though we said that we'd stop doing that when he turns 1 ?

The answer was simple,... love namin sya eh and sterilizing, whether or not it is needed, is a labor of love.

cross posted on our family blog.

Saturday, May 28, 2011


I've gained a few pounds since I lost all that weight since giving birth but on a whim, I decided to try out my old swimsuit from 1999 - stretchable naman eh ;)

So I try it on and what great joy! It finally fits again (sort of) after a decade.

Unfortunately, I might have to buy myself a new suit anyway because while the suit fits my body, my milk-laden boobies do tend to spill and burst out.


We've got a climber on our hands.

Yesterday, when I picked Swe-cha up from daycare, J told me that he kept climbing the tables and they've had to pick him up and bring him back down from the tabletops 3x.

At home, I left him in 2 minutes alone in his play area while I popped into the kitchen to set the pot of soup on the stove. I heard him shrieking in glee, glanced at him and saw him walking on the sofa - right at the edge - and he didn't look too stable.

My heart jumped up my throat and I ran to him. It's only a very short sprint from the kitchen to his play area but it seemed so far. I don't remember what happened in the 5 seconds it took me to get to him but I must have banged my knee along the way because now, I'm sporting a huge bump on my knee whose diameter reminds me of a ping-pong ball and it's starting to turn an awful shade of blank, blue, purple and red. My knee also hurts when I walk. But then again, I'm glad that if someone had to get hurt at all, that it was me instead of my son.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Swecha & Daycare

Swe-cha has been going to daycare for a little over 2 months now and with the exception of those first 2 weeks, he is generally happy to go to and stay in daycare the whole day.

This week, however, he's been crying whenever I try to drop him off at daycare. Yesterday, he started clinging to me as I was taking off his jacket and today, he started making for the door as soon as I put him down.

It breaks my heart to see him cry. I hope that this does not mean that he's getting sick again because he usually becomes clingy when he's not feeling well.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Sick baby

As much as I want to get the chance to jump-start my career and go back to work again, there are days such as today that make me thankful that I still get to be a SAHM.

Daycare called me at 2:30p today and told me that Swe-cha had a bad episode of diarrhea - it was running down his legs! - and was crying almost non-stop since morning. He ate lunch and finished his bottle (milk) and did not have any fever but they were concerned because he would hold his tummy every so often and would kick his legs, they think he is having abdominal pains.

I called his doctor and was told to observe him and bring him in tomorrow if he gets worse. There's nothing to be concerned about for now because it was just the 1 episode of diarrhea and that he has no other symptoms - I have yet to see him hold his tummy when he feels the abdominal cramps. I'm thinking that his crying at DC all day has something to do with me and not really because he is in that much pain, he just wants to be with me because he's not feeling well. In fact, he stopped crying immediately and started waving bye-bye to everybody as soon as he saw me walk through the door.

He had another episode of diarrhea (so there's really something going on in his tummy) as soon as we got home but he did not show signs of being in pain. We even sang a few songs and played tickle-cuddle games with each other before he settled down for his nap.

Anyway, he's napping now and I did give him Florastor (probiotics) with his milk as per the clinic's instructions. I'm relieved that he finished his Florastor-spiked milk w/o any complaints as he would sometimes spit it up when he's not in the mood. Aside from wanting him to finish the Florastor so he will get well ASAP, I don't like to waste it since it is on the expensive side and is not

Friday, April 22, 2011

Obviously pinoy

I decided to bring the SUV to the car dealership to get it serviced. We skipped the 7500 mile service (tire rotation) and it was due for an oil change.

After I dropped the car off to be serviced, I walked over the a nearby Chinese takeout place to grab lunch and when I walked in, a guy having lunch smiled at me and said "Kumusta ka na ?"

I was surprised.

My usual get-up is obviously non-American (I never really adapted to US seasonal fashion, I usually just go out in jeans and a shirt) but I look more Oriental than Filipino so I'm usually mistaken for a Korean or Japanese, even on flights headed towards the Philippines.

Weird lang. So anyway, he started doing small-talk. I was aloof and opened my book to signal that I wasn't interested in chatting, I was wary and didn't want to be recruited into listening to a sales-talk, seminar or some multi-level marketing thing. Most of all, I was afraid that he was going to try and sell me insurance (heehee).

I wolfed down my lunch as soon as it was ready and rushed out. On my way back to the dealership, I passed by this salon that opened yesterday. They had an opening special for eyebrow threading - $2.99! This was a huge bargain from the usual $8++.

I checked out the SUV, it still wasn't ready yet so I went back to the salon. When it was my turn, the lady asked me "you want original ?" I pointed out to my eyebrows and said "oh no, I want new and improved version". She laughed :) Glad I made someone smile / laugh today.

I received a call from DC a few minutes after I got home, Swe-cha had diarrhea earlier and then threw up everything that he ate later so they ran out of clean clothes. When I got to DC, he was cranky. I was told that he's been cranky the whole day and had not napped yet and since it was almost 4p, I decided to just bring him home and hopefully, it wasn't too late for him to take a nap yet and he did! DC thinks that he might have a stomach bug again. My guess is that his diarrhea might be due to teething (yes, again) and the throwing up could be caused by his cough (he has trouble expelling phlegm).

Hope he feels better tomorrow.

Happy easter, everyone!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


I have a job interview tomorrow.

This will be my 3rd ever job interview in my whole life, my very first job interview in this country and my first in over 14 years. I guess I could spout out a few more statistics but they'd only make me more nervous than I already am so I won't.

For now, I'm just trying to relax and not to be too nervous. After all, this is a first try. If I don't get the position, it's not like it's a big loss because at the worst case, I get to practice my interview skills.

It scares me more to think about the possibility of actually getting the position. I've technically only worked for 1 company since I started my career, I have not worked at all in over a year and I have not worked in an office setting in 4 years! Eek... again, not a good idea to be spouting statistics / facts.

I have not even begun to think about the changes that Swe-cha will have to go through. Hopefully, this shouldn't be too difficult for him as he already goes to daycare full time now. For now, I'm thinking that the only change he'll be aware of is that he either gets dropped off or picked up at daycare by his Dad instead of me.

Please bless me tomorrow, Lord.


Edit: *whew*

The interview went well in the sense that the guy asked some technical questions that I was able to answer so I didn't leave the interview feeling like an idiot (the interviewer may have thought differently but at least, I didn't feel ignorant afterwards).

As for the possibility of getting the position, I don't think that I was a good match for what they are looking for. I went in thinking that I had just the right mix of technical and management experience but it turns out that they were looking for someone really technical, innovative and able to think of new features and innovations for their products - yes, I asked :)

I get the impression that this company is looking for a product manager rather than a development manager.

Anyway, I'm waiting to hear back from the recruiter who is waiting to hear back from the interviewer. It would be interesting to find out what he (the interviewer) thought of me, it would be helpful to find out what he thought were my strong and weak points (for future employment opportunities).


Finally, there is someone who makes sense!

Here is a snippet of the email that the contractor sent to the property manager regarding his inspection of my window.

Property Manager,

As requested, I met with owner of Unit #### on April 14, 2011. I visually inspected the existing window from the interior and from the ground on the exterior. I believe that you had explained to me that the reason for the requested window replacement was due to a leak in the unit below. I am not convinced that the leak into the unit below is caused by the window. I would perform the window replacement if desired, but I could not offer any guarantee against stopping the leakage below.

[letter snipped]

In the rest of his letter, he proposes to conduct a water test to try and cause the leak to happen and only then will he be able to propose a repair to the leak and offer a guarantee for the repair.

Now, I tell hubby, I feel much much better because we're finally dealing with someone who (seems to be) is objective and does not start with the assumption that my window is the cause of the leak. Now, if after this test, it does come out that my window is to blame, then I have no issues about bearing the cost of the replacement. An expert opinion was all that I wanted and have been asking for all this time.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

No better time than now

I updated my resume & profile on a couple of job sites. I'm also in the process of setting up a LinkedIn profile - yes, I am a bit of a late bloomer.

Swe-cha is thriving in daycare - he is napping, sleeping, playing and is happy - and while he is still picking up a virus or two every now and then, he seems to be coping quite well and we have not had a high-fever scare in a while now.

While I'm quite happy and would love to continue with my full-time-mommy and SAHM stint, I do feel the urge to spread my wings again and pick up where I left off, career-wise. Being a full-time mommy has its moments and rewards but I recognize the need for me to go back to work again if we want our family to become financially stable and get Swe-cha's college fund going.

Anyway, I sent out a few applications today to job postings that seem most ideal to me location and compensation-wise. If I get a nibble, then good.

I also just heard back again from that client who is interested in hiring me. He still has not managed to get a position approved but the good news is that he is still working on it. Unfortunately, the salary that he might be able to offer (if & when the position does get approved) is much lower than what I was previously getting. I sent word that I would be very much interested in checking out the overall package, if and when this materializes. I do recognize that some work benefits are better than cash (i.e. work from home, etc).

Lord, please bless this job hunt and lead me to where You want me to go.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Everybody lies

I don't like our new property manager.

She lies.

In fairness to her, she took over the management of our condo building at a difficult time. The person who used to manage the property before got seriously sick and was in and out of the office and for some period of time, there were too many people covering & pitching in for him and you know what they say about too many chefs ruining the soup, right ? So, now, Z comes into the equation and has to sort through all the issues that have piled up since K (the previous manager) got sick.

Meanwhile, I'm still waiting to hear about the decision that the board has made on our alleged window-leak issue. On 4/1, we were talking on and off the whole afternoon trying to sort things out. She would do some research, ask people and then give me a call back and let me know what's up. I'd have a question or I'd point out an inconsistency and she would do more research and would come back to be again with her answers. I thought we had a pretty good start then.

Unfortunately, she had also told me that she would be sending someone over to come by the house the following Wednesday (4/7) and that she would let me know what time he will be coming over. This is where our troubles started. By Monday, I started calling her office to ask if our Wednesday thing was confirmed or not. I couldn't reach her and left her a voicemail so I tried calling her again on Tuesday and then again on Wednesday. By then, I gave up. Z finally calls me back on 4/13, exactly 12 days from when we last talked and wanted to send someone over that same day, stating "we really need to move forward on this". This p*ssed me off big-time. She takes 12 days to call me back and then puts the pressure on me to accomodate her on the same day ? I tell her that and she denies that it has been that long since we last talked and says that she still has that email I sent her when we talked and she can prove that it has not been that long. DUH, I have the email too.

Anyway, I shift some things around and got something scheduled with her guys.

Last night, I attended the condo board meeting to find out what's up. When I asked the board of directors what the decision was on this issue, I was told by the president that "the board will be deciding on that tonight". WHAT THE ? On 4/1 ? Z told me (verbally*) that the board had decided to shoulder the window replacement expenses and charge me for it if it stops the leak below and if it does not, then I do not get charged for it.

I was miffed.

Z lies. She lied about the 12 days that has passed before she calls me back. And the rest ? I don't know who's lying or who's been giving or has been given the wrong information. But the communication obviously broke down somewhere along the line. If the board has not made a decision as of the start of last night's meeting, why did the property mgt company send me that letter on 3/23 (received 3/31) ? Why did Z tell me that the board has decided to go ahead with the window replacement ... blah blah ... on 4/1 ?

Something tells me that none of the people here can be trusted. Not even if you get something in writing. As Dr House says in his show, "everybody lies" or it could also be that they are incompetent.

Pick one (or two).

--- * note that what Z has told me verbally is the opposite of what a letter I received from the property management office says. The letter (signed by yet another property manager) states that my window is faulty and it is my responsibility to fix it, they will look for a subcontractor to complete the job and I will be assessed the fees.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Food poisoning

Yesterday, I had the worst case of food poisoning (that I can remember in my whole life). Without delving into the details and being too graphic, let's just say that by afternoon, I wanted to just LIVE in the bathroom and by evening, I wasn't even sure if I was going to make it out alive. *wince*

Hubby has been such a trooper. I called him up in the early afternoon and asked him to quickly come home. I was about to pick up Swe-cha from daycare and I was feeling so weak and didn't know if I was going to be able to keep from expelling things out of my system in the short time it will take to drive the 2 blocks to DC.

Since I also wasn't able to cook dinner, he prepped some macaroni soup for me - but I had no appetite for it until this morning - and gamely had some leftover spaghetti (from last week) and feasted on a giant ensaymada that we ordered from Keyks.

Swe-cha missed me so much because I wasn't able to spend time with him that he refused to sleep unless I was holding, hugging and patting him and since I couldn't last more than a few minutes w/o the urge to expel something out (remember, I wanted to just stay in the bathroom ?), it took a while before he fell asleep too because he would cry whenever I had to run off.

I learned my lesson, huwag matakaw. I should not have had that 2nd and 3rd serving of sago.

And lastly, yay for free water! I've been flushing and flushing all day and not have to worry about our water bill.

Spring has arrived!

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Pier 1 for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

Spring has finally come. It sure took its sweet time, teasing us with nice warm days and then just as I've laundered and put our winter jackets way, we get a blast of snow on a cold cold day.

In any case, our days are starting to warm up now and I can't wait to tear off this plastic sheeting that is covering our windows and doors right now (to guard against drafts) and finally let the spring air in and the stale indoor air out.

I've also been planning out my patio garden in my mind and thinking about what herbs, plants and flowers we should grow this season. I'm also thinking of finally replacing our outdoor patio furniture or possibly just getting a new set that we could put in the balcony off of our master bedroom. I hear that Pier 1 has a nice new outdoor furniture collection available this season and they might be worth a look.

This Papasan seems like a good item for our upper balcony, Swe-cha and I would sure enjoy curling up in there while we watch the birds and squirrels out in the courtyard. This also seems like a good place for me to curl up in with a good book (or that Kindle that my brother promised to gift me) and when winter comes around next year, we can just move it back inside the house and it'll fit right in with our other furniture. What I like about Pier 1's furniture is that they can be used both indoors and outdoors.

As for our main floor patio, a set of outdoor stacking wicker arm chairs would be a good buy - perfect for entertaining during the summer and since they stack up on top of each other, storage should be a breeze when we're not using them. 

I also love the look of this beehive drink dispenser, perfect for serving ice cold lemonade during outdoor parties or picnics, no ? Then, some bug yard stakes and a butterfly windchime should complete the look of our outdoor patio garden-cum-outdoor entertainment area.

Check out Pier 1 Tweetups for other updates :)

Visit Sponsor's Site

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


Do you ever get the feeling that when something goes wrong, then a lot of others follow in its wake? Fortunately, the same goes for good news because lately, it seems like when I get a bit of good news early in the day, I can expect to get more later.

This explains why I've been sort of going through an emotional roller coaster lately.

Swe-cha has been alternating between getting sick and getting well and his appetite is suffering most of all. He's still picking up all sorts of bugs from daycare, poor baby! At least, he seems to be happy there. When I pick him up, he's either playing by himself, running around with the other kids, or being held by one of the staff (he tends to get clingy when he is not feeling well and I'm very thankful to the DC's staff because they seem to care).

Window-wise, I'm still up in the air. One week, we're waiting for the other unit owner to cooperate and the next week, my window has been pronounced defective and I am responsible for replacement costs. When I called up the mgt company to ask when and how my window was suddenly declared defective, they got confused as well. Someone thought that a technician had already been sent and done an inspection, someone else says that the guy in the unit below has decided to sue the condo board and they're running scared.

Whatever it is, communication has broken off somewhere along the line and I'm not getting any news. Last I heard, the mgt company was going to send a contractor over to replace my window, the board will cover the cost for now and if it is proved later that the leak is still there (ergo not caused by my window), I have zero responsibility.

Said contractor was supposed to come today and mgt company is supposed to confirm the schedule with me prior to today. But here I am, sitting here and wondering if and when the guy would be coming. I've been calling and calling the mgt company since Monday and nobody seems to know when my contact person ever comes in to work. I keep getting her voicemail and when someone does answer, it's to tell me that "can you try calling after lunch ?" or "she's coming in 20 minutes" and when I call back again later, their office is already closed. Nyek.

On a brighter note, I was able to book affordable tickets for my brother and parents. They're coming to visit us in the summer and I can't wait to see them!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Photographs and Memories

Mom and Dad had just come back from a short trip to HK to attend the inauguration ceremonies of our uncle who was recently elected chairman of his commerce group. They met up with my great-aunt (my maternal grandmother's only sibling) and Mom had a lot stories to share with me when she and Dad got back home. One of the things that she mentioned in passing was that our great-aunt was very interested in seeing Swe-cha and said that she wished she had a picture. Now, my mom is proud of her grandsons, but she isn't really the type to carry a picture around in her wallet / bag so she had none to show and give. While Mom was telling me the story, she also commented that it would be embarassing (did not seem right) to give great-aunt a picture of Swe-cha when she had just returned great-aunt's family pictures to her. Huh ? As it turns out, Grandma (Ama) had loads and loads of pictures of her sister's family. When she passed away, her children discussed returning the photos but my uncle asked to keep them as mementos. Earlier this year, this same uncle passed away and his wife then gathered all these pictures together and let the siblings decide what to do with them because after all, they were pictures of our side of the family. The siblings decided to return them to great-aunt because that was the original plan after all. This set me to wondering... is this the usual practice ? I'm so bothered by what they did because I would want to have a picture of great-aunt to keep, I did get to meet her and spend some time with her while grandma was still alive. Obviously, Mom and my other aunts and uncles don't have any sense of family history at all.

Monday, March 28, 2011


Taking care of Swe-cha leaves me tired and simply drained of energy on most days but I find that so long as my body is still able to stand up and move, I am still able to function on autopilot when it comes to the simple, everyday tasks that I perform.

This afternoon, I felt so sleepy but I wanted to finish setting up and reviewing that database that I downloaded (for PT work) so that I could start fresh and early tomorrow morning. It really didn't help that I didn't get much sleep last night because of this darn cough (I eventually fell asleep when hubby got me a glass of water and a tablet of Mucinex, thanks hun!). Also, Swe-cha stayed in DC (daycare) the whole day today and I didn't get to catch a few winks as I usually do when he takes a nap in the afternoon.

By evening, I pretty much felt like a zombie. I took a shower, shampooed my hair, reached over to the body wash and didn't realize my mistake until I had smeared and massaged it all over my hair and scalp. I washed it off and reached for the conditioner so I could condition my hair and then squirted a generous dollop of hair conditioner onto my body sponge.

My brain sort of realized what was happening but it wasn't quick enough to stop my hands from going through the motions. In any case, the shower did revive me a little and I found that I could still put up a post to share how my day went :)

I'm off to bed now and hope to wake up refreshed tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Helping Mommy

Our building's basement storage area had minor flooding during the recent rains and as luck would have it, our only damage turned out to be a box full of my old office stuff (mostly junk).

We decided to throw them into the shredder and junked the entire box. That was cathartic for Mommy... and looks like it was fun for Swe-cha too.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Caffeine overload

It's free iced-coffee day at Dunkin Donuts today and I planned this morning to take advantage of this offer. In spite of the slush & wet snow, I braved going out and dropped by Buy Buy Baby, Home Depot, Babies R Us and the local grocery store to pick up some essentials.

I dropped by different DD branches in between stores and got 3 cups of iced coffee.

Now ? I have a headache. I have not drunk this much coffee in such a long time - the last time I did was around this time last year when DD had their free iced coffee day too. Okay, more than half of the cup is really ice but this is still 3x what I usually have.

Haha! I'm obviously a sucker for free stuff.

Anyway. Lesson learned, don't be greedy.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Spring Cleaning

Hubby did some spring cleaning this weekend, starting with the master bedroom. He dusted, wiped, and scrubbed everything clean, even climbed up a latter to clean out the ceiling fan and lights.

He also fixed that closet door that's been bothering us, after almost 3 years of "thinking about it", we can finally close the doors to both closets and keep the dust off of our clothes. This is one of the things I've been nagging him about, I'm OC about keeping the closet doors closed to keep the things inside clean but he keeps leaving them open because the door is difficult to close. I eventually gave up nagging and as it turns out, he decides to fix the door after all this time.

Afterwards, he vacuumed. Oooh, the carpets feel so good on one's bare feet after a good vacuuming.

He does this when I start coughing and I start blaming it on a dust allergy. Now, I only wish there was some way to make him clean w/o having to get sick :P In any case, he's already doing it now so I'm not complaining (I did give him a choice of caring for Swe-cha or cleaning, he chose the latter).

He also started putting the knick knacks on our bookshelf into a box so that we can move the bookshelf to another location as part of our "Swe-cha's play area expansion" project.

That's one of the good things I can say about the husband. Once he gets started cleaning, he really does get going. It's just that sometimes, I do have to put my foot down because he can get out of control and start working on other things. Say, he'd start off w/ vacuuming the carpets. When he gets to the computer area, he'll want to organize & clean that as well, so he'll take out all the wires and cables and disks and what-nots and spread it all out to clean. Then when he's done w/ that, he'll want to organize & sort his DVDs.... by the end of the day, he will have started a lot of other small projects and still not finish his original activity (vacuuming the carpet).

Anyway, I hope he finishes this as I'm tired from being up all night because of Swe-cha's teething and I cannot supervise *wink*. But then again, maybe he'll decide to do our floors one of these days and I won't have to scout for an affordable Floor company anymore.