Monday, January 31, 2011

Patio door insulation

It works!

A few blogs ago, I complained about the draft of cold air that keeps hitting me whenever I'm at my milk pumping station. My friend, A, suggested a sheet of patio door insulation (you could get these kits at the home depot, I got mine online so it's cheaper).

Last weekend, hubby finally upped and got to installing it - without any nagging from me, yay! He probably took pity on my poor shivering form.

It took him several tries to get the plastic sheeting installed, mostly because he couldn't get it stretched taut across the doorway enough because apparently, the draft was strong enough to keep the plastic sheet bulging inwards (see picture)! We didn't realize that it was that bad.

Anyway, we just did our best and the doorway now looks like this. We didn't cut off the excess sheeting as we didn't want to chance cutting off too much so there is excess plastic bunched up on the floor but I don't mind. I love being warm more than having no plastic. Besides, the curtains cover it anyway.

I'm so happy that I could just use this new easy web design software that I found to make a new website just for these insulation kits! Nah, just kidding :)

I'm off to order another kit for our patio door in the bedroom. Next year, I'm buying these early and I'm getting them for our windows too.

Steamed Stuffed Tofu

Hubby and I love tofu in all its shapes and forms so it seemed weird to me when I realized that the only tofu dishes I've been cooking at home are Mapo-Tofu and Deep-fried tofu. With that, I went on a tofu-dish quest with the ultimate goal of finding the ultimate stuffed tofu recipe.

This is dish #1

Ground pork (around 1/2 lb)
Shiitake mushrooms, rehydrated & chopped
~1 tbsp soy sauce
~1 tsbp cooking sherry
~1/2 tbsp sesame oil

1 tbsp oyster sauce
2 tbsp chicken stock
1 tbsp rice wine

1. Mix the ground pork, shiitake mushrooms, soy sauce, sherry and sesame oil.
2. Slice tofu into squares.
3. Scoop out a hole in the middle of the tofu squares, keep the scooped out tofu, chop it up and add it to the ground pork mixture.
4. Fill the tofu squares with the ground pork mixture.
5. Steam for around 5 minutes.
6. Drain / throw away the liquid that comes out.
7. Mix the ingredients for the sauce and drizzle it over the stuffed tofu and continue steaming until the pork is cooked.

Verdict: very good, pero parang di bagay as ulam w/ rice. This is better eaten by itself (dimsum style). Also, it might be better to mix in a little cornstarch w/ the sauce to thicken it a bit.


There was this sickly sour smell in our kitchen area for several days. We've been looking for the source of the smell but it sort of comes and goes (probably masked sometimes from the aroma of our other food when we cook).

this weekend, hubby and I decided to pull the stove away from the wall and check behind it. Maybe, a piece of meat fell in between the cracks and have started rotting, we thought.

When we pulled the stove out, there was this little dead bubwit (baby mouse). In between gagging, shivering with revulsion and some screaming (me), we were able to get the carcass into the trash.

That's one of the setbacks to condo-living... someone decides to put out rat poison, the little buggers get it and decide to come into my house. Being the glass-half-full type of person that I am, I see the following good in the situation:

- that we were able to get to the carcass and get rid of it (some mice die within the walls and there's no way to get them out short of cutting your walls open)

- that the mouse is dead... if I were to have mice in my house, i'd rather have dead ones than live ones.

- that my husband is here with me, husbands are very useful in getting rid of insects and mice ;)

In the meantime, our kitchen is nice and clean smelling again. Thankfully, I won't have to resort to ppc search marketing just to be able to afford a smell-exterminator or worse, mice-exterminator. Believe me, this is such a relief!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Sad news

The end part of the year of the tiger has not been good. My son came down with this viral - turned - bacterial infection that gave him a bad case of the cough, cold, pink eye and an ear infection. The whole thing lasted for a month. I came down with a bad case of the flu, despite having gotten my flu shots late last year, and it was so bad at one point that I couldn't even stand up without support. My husband was coughing so hard that he sounded like he was trying to cough his lungs out.

The worst part of it all is that despite all that, we seem to have been the fortunate ones as we got off lightly.

My uncle, my mom's brother, was hospitalized last Friday and a few days later, he was pronounced brain-dead. He's still alive, technically, because he is hooked up to all these machines in the ICU. Now, we're just waiting.


Last night, I was praying for my uncle and asking God to put his healing hand on the family. I prayed for comfort and peace and I also prayed for my uncle - that he either gets a miracle and be healed or if he goes, that his soul be accepted into God's fold. It was then that I remembered that my uncle does not believe in God. I just talked to a cousin who confirmed this but I did get some good news, seems like my uncle's two eldest sons have learned to accept God these past few days and have started praying. They've even asked the cousins to help pray for them. It's just so sad that a tragedy needs to happen before God's existence is acknowledged.

I cannot wait till the lunar new year. I really really want this year to end.


Sometimes, my husband frustrates me and tonight is one of those times.

A few days ago, I blogged about feeling a cold draft coming in from the balcony / patio door where I keep my milk pumping equipment set up. My friend, A, suggested that we get one of those window insulation kits to seal the door against drafts. I thought it was a good idea so I ordered a set from Amazon, with the intention of buying another one for our upstairs balcony door once we confirm that this works for us.

So the insulation kit arrived this afternoon and I asked hubby to read the instructions so that we can figure out how best to go about installing it as it seems easier for 2 people to put it up, rather than 1.

And again, he said the same thing that he said the first time that I told him about the insulation kit, "So, this means we're not going to be able to go out the balcony anymore."

My husband is a dear man. Sweet and loving. But I would have to agree with what one of his good friends said about him decades ago, "... minsan kung ano ano sinasabi nyan."

It's winter. It's below freezing outside. How many times have we gone out this winter ? How many times has HE gone out to the balcony this winter ? ZERO. I remember that we still had the AC going full blast the last time he stepped out onto the balcony, so that must be during the summer. Even the plants that we used to grow out in the balcony (they're inside the house now), I watered them! He never went out. The one and only time that he stepped out was to hang a drenched floormat out to dry (which he never brought in, by the way), so that mat is still outside.

Anyway, I guess I should go off to bed now. I'm obviously cranky because I get upset so easily. I know that he means well and that he's just reminding me but really, I feel that it's such a waste of energy to be concerned about something that you have not done in several months. Also, it's not like we're permanently sealing off the doors. We're just sealing the doorways with a huge plastic sheet.

Hay. Bahala na. I'm not gonna nag anymore. If he is that concerned about being able to go out if and when he feels like it, then I'm not gonna push for the insulation anymore.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Pumping station

I have got to find a better place for my breastpump. I currently have it set up in the area between the balcony door and swe-cha's playpen. However, no matter how high I crank up the heater, I can still feel the cold coming in from outside.

Current temperatures outside are -6 F (-14 Celsius). Eek.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Extended Breastfeeding

My son turned a year old last month and I'm still (exclusively) breastfeeding him. Note that for our family, "breastfeeding" is really bottle-feeding him with expressed breastmilk.

Breastfeeding was just something I considered doing when I got pregnant. Before we conceived our son, it never really crossed my mind and frankly, I didn't care. When Swe-cha was born and we were working towards getting him fed exclusively on breastmilk, I was ecsastic when my milk started coming in.

Now, my son is almost 13 months old and I'm amazed and very thankful that we have reached this point and we still have milk coming in. I don't have any plans on stopping, I figure, we'll just do what we can for now and switch to toddler formula or fresh milk when my milk dries up.

Last week, my friend and I were talking about how, despite being tired and jetlagged, I pushed myself to get up and pump just so I could maintain my supply & give my son breastmilk so that the antibodies can help him get well faster (he had cough & colds, eye and ear infection). She said something which struck me, "hindi naman ganon kalaki yung benefits ng breastmilk pag ganito na yung age ng bata diba ? meron pa bang benefits ?"

Hindi nga ba ? So I did some googling and this was what I found:

From this site:
- The American Academy of Pediatrics advises breastfeeding for 6 to 12 months.
- The World Health Organization advises mothers to breastfeed exclusively for 6 months and recommend mothers to breastfeed for 2 years or longer.
- That breastfeeding for 6 months to a year benefits both the mom and the baby. Baby gets antibodies that help his immunity and factors that lower his risk of ear infection, respiratory infection and other diseases. Mom's risk of getting breast cancer, ovarian cancer and type 2 diabetes are lower than average.
- There aren't really a lot of studies done for breastfeeding beyond 1 year so just because there isn't any research documenting the benefits of doing so, it does not necessarily mean that there isn't any benefit at all.

From this site:
- extended breastfeeding can provide your child with vitamins and enzymes which he may not be getting from his diet (this is a big deal for me as my son is a picky eater)
- increased IQ is a benefit of breastfeeding at any age and the benefit only increases the longer you breastfeed
- it is thought to prevent diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and central nervous diseases like multiple sclerosis.

There are many other sites that echo the above statements... but all the articles I've read emphasize one thing - do not let the pros and cons sway you. Extended breastfeeding should be decided by the mom and the child.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Condo meeting

I'm attending the condo board's meeting tonight and I'm bringing Swe-cha with me. I'm hoping that it won't take long, or at the very least, that we'll be able to tackle the issue I'm involved with at the start so I can bring him home in time for dinner.

My downstairs neighbor has had this water leak for months and the bldg super is blaming it on my window. The condo board is now putting pressure on me to replace my window in order to fix the leak. As for me, I'm hesitant about replacing the window because I think that:

(1)it's overkill to replace the entire window w/o trying out other remedies first (i.e. replacing seals, gaskets and weather strips), these windows cost several hundreds of dollars at the very least

(2) no proof that my window is causing the leak downstairs.

I was able to get my home insurance adjuster to come over and check it out, he was no help either. He took a look at my window and pronounced it good and that there was no way that my window is causing the leak. I called the super over, super starts talking about how sure he was that the window was the cause and that there were other cases in other units where replacing the window fixed the leak and the insurance adjuster quickly got convinced! Hmp. I should just get rid of them and get temporary coverage from another company instead.

- superintendent did cut open my wall and found the inside wet, I think this is due to that crack on the outer wall just outside my window that the superintendent sealed last November. Superintendent now denies that there was ever a crack that he repaired (I took pictures so i can jog his memory).

- I talked to the owner of the unit downstairs and asked if they still have the water leak, he says yes. My wall (the one w/ the hole) has been dry ever since so how can the leak be coming in from my window if my wall is dry ? Surely, it's impossible for water to drip down from my window, skip my part of the wall and go straight downstairs.

- Need to talk to the super to fix the hole that he made in my wall - I'm okay to wait till spring to confirm that my wall remains dry and that the leak isn't coming in from my window.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Supplier Ratings

We celebrated my son's birthday last December. Given that I haven't been working for a year now, we decided to keep the celebration small and intimate.

We didn't set out with a specific budget in mind. All we agreed upon is that we'll spend what needs to be spent but will make tipid for things (i.e. no food carts since I felt that we had enough food from the caterer naman) which are unnecessary so budget-wise, I think that we did well.

I won't give the exact amounts that we paid for each item but I can share details if you want, email me privately.

1) Venue: Ariato Function Center, Penthouse Il Terrazzo Bldg, Scout Madrinan corner Tomas Morato, QC

I have to be honest and say that this location is owned by the family so I may be biased with my opinions. With that, here goes...

  • The location is perfect for our guests who are mostly from the QC and Manila areas (it's in a nice, central and accessible location for everybody).
  • Ample parking (free parking in the building perimeter, pay parking in basement of the building).
  • Size is perfect for our event of 170 guests. There are 2 ballrooms available for different event sizes, we used both.
  • The place is new so hindi pa gasgas. Interior is nice w/ high ceilings (not cathedral or vault ceilings pero higher than normal).
  • Great AC unit. The venue was packed full with guests and the AC worked well.
  • There is an open air area near the kitchen wherein our caterer was able to set up their on-the-spot cooking area so hindi bumaho or nag amoy food yung loob ng venue.
  • Free use of Tiffany chairs and tables
  • Sound system is included
Questionable (?):
  • I was not able to check out the restroom, but I heard from my brother that it got smelly towards the end. Something to do w/ the exhaust yata (parang sira ? or di naka on ?) I did not ask any of the guests naman. Unfortunately, hindi rin ako naka ocular ng site before our event so I don't really know how many stalls are available. In any case, the bldg has restrooms w/c are available for guests rin.
2) Apple of Yan-Ple Party Shop

I'm very happy with Apple's services. During the course of our email correspondence, there were a couple of times when nag panic ako when I did not immediately receive an email from her. But once I decided to relax and trust in her (after all, she is a n@wie who has handled lots of parties before), everything became smooth and easy. We got her services for the following:

Balloon decorations for the venue (around 350 balloons) and balloon burst with 30 balloon inside, we also asked Apple to provide the prizes.

Peso Power - very reasonable
Rating - A+

Styro stage backdrop w/ Baby Einstein theme - this came with a standee in w/c was set up at the entrance of Ariato. The backdrop and the standee were customized with my son's name.

Price-wise, medyo iffy ako dito at first because I didn't really want to spend big bucks for a background rental. Pero when hubby and I saw the sample pictures of the backdrop, maganda naman pala and we decided na we might as well pay for a background para maganda rin yung stage ng party.

My one comment lang pala w/c we realized after the party was that the name of the celebrant is way up in the corner and if you look at the picture, yung nasa gitna was the name of the theme "baby einstein". Okay lang ako with this and wala naman akong comments until one aunt approached me and said, "Einstein pala name ng baby mo." Medyo mahaba habang usapan bago namin na find out kung bakit nya naisip yun :) Syempre hindi rin nakatulong that "Baby Einstein" is not exactly mainstream or as popular as Sesame Street or Disney characters.

Cake - we ordered the cake via Apple na rin (my main goal talaga is to lessen the number of people I have to coordinate with so I was happy when Apple had a complete set of services). We also ordered 50 character topped cupcakes para hindi mukhang kawawa yung small cake (I did not want to pay extra for an extra non-edible layer of cake).

Price-wise, okay lang. Look-wise, pwede na. Taste-wise, it was normal. Nothing spectacular. Hindi to naubos because we had lots of dessert provided by the caterer and those were admittedly much yummier and more tempting than the cupcakes. But I have to admit that my brother and I feasted on the cupcakes the day after the party. We kept saying na hindi naman overly masarap and hindi spectacular but we just couldn't stop ourselves - we each ate 4 cupcakes in one sitting that day.

Host - Bobi d' Magician (c/o Apple)

My husband and I were busy talking with the guests so we didn't get the chance to sit down and listen to the entertainment. But from what we've seen and heard every now and then, bentang-benta si Bobi sa mga kids. Super lakas ng halakhak ng mga kids at tuwang tuwa talaga sila. I didn't want to be bothered by any details na because I had a lot of things to attend to so I loved that Bobi and his assistant (Lara?) took care of everything - the programme, hosting, prizes, popping the balloon burst, giving out of the loot bags,... Lara would just cue me on what's next on the agenda and I'd let her know kung ready na kami or not.

peso power - very reasonable (included na ang hosting, puppet show, magic show and he has his own sound system).

Rating - A+
Souvenir loot bags (mini backpacks) w/ goodies inside, prizes for the games and prizes for the balloon burst.

Peso power - reasonable

Rating - okay

The loot bags were customized with the Baby Einstein theme, okay naman yung quality ng bags but the background of the print (the white background) looked dirty, yung tipong hindi maganda yung resolution ng picture that was used when it was printed. We ordered loot from Apple and she assembled the bags for us, the bags contained bubbles, plastic balloon, pencils, a notebook, sharpener, eraser, pick-up sticks and a wallet. Okay naman siya so far as lootbags go and I was happy with the contents and what Apple charged us for it.

3) Caterer: Verleo

I'm super happy with Verleo's services, very courteous ang staff and maganda ang service. Happy rin ako w/ the head waiter (Joey). Aside from the food, our package included: table centerpieces (flower), cake table, gift table, two buffet lines for adults and one buffet line for the kids, tablecloth and chair ribbons for the Ariato tables and chairs, kiddie tables and chairs, lechon chopper / servers

Note that Apple also kindly talked with our contact at so that we could get tablecloths and chair ribbons that coordinate with our balloon decors.

Our menu:
- Verleo fried rice
- Birthday noodles
- Seafood Spinach soup
- Salt and Pepper Spare Ribs
- Boneless chicken teriyaki
- Grilled steak (on the spot)
- Ebi bacon tempura (on the spot) - in retrospect, parang di ko nakitang may bacon
- grilled salmon with lemon butter sauce (on the spot)
- mixed vegetables
- dessert: buco pandan, mango crepe and assorted pastries
- lechon (we ordered 2 lechon from Elars, not part of Verleo's package)

Kids' menu:
- spaghetti
- barbeque
- brownies
Service wise, it was great (as I've mentioned earlier). Food was great too, though there was a batch of two of the grilled steak na medyo tough (hindi tender). Overflowing yung food and we were left with a lot of food to bring home. In retrospect, we should've ordered for a lot fewer people than we had (we ordered food for 160 guests and final headcount was around 180, not including suppliers).

4) Photo Coverage

Main photographer: Michael and Mark Bautista of Pixel8. Chel is the husband of my friend Kay so I didn't think twice about booking him after husband and I saw his sample photos (w/c we liked). Our package included unlimited shots throughout the event plus 40-50 edited photos. I was able to receive our raw pictures na and I'm satisfied with the results naman. I'm still waiting for the edited shots (we did agree that this will follow na lang after a few weeks because of the holiday rush).

Rating: I will reserve my rating for them muna until I receive the final edited shots.

Backup photographers (gratis): Bernard and Karen Osana of BK Pixels Photography
A few days before our event, Apple approached me about Bernard and Karen. They were starting a photography business and were offering to cover our event for free. Syempre, oo naman ako. The more, the merrier diba ?

I have not talked to Bernard or Karen to thank them since our event but I will surely write them a thank you note. What I liked about them were:
- they had uniforms (matching shirts w/ their business name) so very professional ang dating
- ang bilis ng turnaround ng raw pictures. We had our party on a Sunday and we received the DVD via courier that Tuesday. Nagulat nga ako.
- Very nice shots

5) Video Coverage: Louisa (? don't remember), c/o YanPle party shop

Price: very affordable :)
Rating: unknown

I wanted to get video coverage for our party but didn't want to spend a whole lot more. I thought about this long and hard but couldn't decide until I saw that the rate was very affordable - no brainer na. I figured that we were covered by a reliable photographer na so I was okay with any video coverage.

Package inclusions: raw video in MiniDV format, edited video in DVD to be delivered by courier. There was 1 videographer and 1 lighting person.

I have not received our videos so I cannot rate their output yet. Mukha namang sanay mag cover ng events yung videographer, they were always around us whenever I turned my head so siguro na cover naman yung mga dapat i cover. Sila rin yung nag remind sa amin to get some shots taken of us opening gifts, I forgot this na nga because my son was already very tired and sleepy by that time.

Medyo turn off lang because I saw the videographer asking the the waiter for a take-out container after nila kumain, siguro nakita nyang maraming food so nagbalak mag take home. Na turn off ako kasi they did not ask me - I did hear the waiter tell them naman na "bawal po kami magpabalot, ma'am" so I did not comment na.

In fairness, I did not see them sit down to eat throughout the event (either kuha sila nang kuha ng video footage or subtle sila kumain, haha!) so gutom na gutom na siguro sila by the time we finished.

Sense of humor

One day, my brother sent my sister and I an email with something that he wrote, it was a fictitious conversation between our mom and dad. For this post, let's say that my parents' names are Maria and Jose, his email went something like:


Jose: Maria, mahal ko, naalala mo pa ba yung dating panahon nung una tayong nag da date ?

Maria: oo, ang tagal na nun, malalaki na ang mga anak natin.

Jose: Buhayin natin ang nakaraan! Magkita tayo ulit doon sa dati nating tagpuan at mag date tayo.

Maria: O sige, masaya yan.


Jose: Anong nangyari sa yo, maria ? Hintay ako nang hintay pero di ka nakarating ?

Maria: Strict ang parents ko eh.


I sent a response to my brother "LOL" and I was really laughing out loud and was almost hysterical each time I think about my parents having this (fictitious) conversation. Funny kasi.

Then, my sister sends a response, "eto na ? nasan yung punch line ?".

Sis even calls up my brother and me (separately) to ask what was so funny. She was serious, di talaga nya na gets. I tried to explain, but I couldn't explain it clearly to her. All I could say was "e matanda na sila, di na uubra yung strict parents na excuse". She then says "e totoo namang strict ang parents ni Mommy eh".

This got me thinking... is our (my bro & I) sense of humor a bit off ? Bakit di na gets ni Achi ? In any case,... at least my brother and I get each other, even if we turn out to be weird :P

Do YOU find this funny ? or kami lang ?


Time sure does fly fast.

We're in the 3rd week of January and it won't be long before hubby and I will be celebrating our 4th wedding anniversary. This may not sound like a lot, considering that my friends have just celebrated their 11th, but it is still exciting to us all the same. The best part is that we get to spend our anniversaries with Swe-cha and that as the days go by, he is getting better and better at going out and enjoying other activities.

While I do enjoy babying my baby, I am looking forward to him getting big enough to enjoy more grown-up activities so he can go and watch the Monaco Grand Prix with daddy. Of course, before that happens, we have at least several years of Disney vacations ahead of us.

I'm so excited to go out with our son and celebrate milestones out of state or abroad. However, given our recent experience where we all picked up a bug and it is taking weeks for us to recover, I'm having second thoughts about that. In the meantime, we'll just enjoy and celebrate at home. We're happy so long as we're together.

To my hubby, I love you. I look forward to many more years of love with you and Swe-cha.

Sick baby updates

Looks like the meds are working. Swe-cha is way more active nowadays and he smiles so much more than he did the previous days. In fact, he's so kulit and loves playing with his Dad (he just wants Mommy to carry him and loves to kiss Mommy but he seems to enjoy playing w/ Daddy more).

He's also able to keep food in his stomach now, not vomiting anymore. Asking his doctor to change his antibiotics was the right move (thanks for the advice, Achi!). This new med is also easier to administer as only requires 1 dose a day and lesser dose than the previous one.

As for his eyes, I can't wait till Wednesday (the last day of his eyedrops) as it has been such a struggle putting meds in his eyes 3x a day.

I also find ourselves running out of fresh (breast) milk the past few days, ang lakas kumain ng milk! I'm not complaining though :) This just means I have to prepare more for him in an extra bottle because the 9 or 10oz I put in his current bottle isn't enough to last him 6 hrs.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Bingo nights

I just opened the Christmas card that my best friend sent us - I did mention a few posts ago that we are backlogged with our mail - this card is part of the half-foot high stack of mail that I have yet to go through (Swe-cha is asleep right now so I get to sort through part of our mail).

It's been a while since I last talked to her and when we visited my sister in California, we got so sick that we couldn't even go out to meet up with my best friend and her husband who is also one of hubby's and my good friends.

We used to have such long talks. Somehow, through the years, our friendship dwindled from daily several-hour-long talks to a few times a week, then monthly.. and now we're down to occasional letters, emails and cards scattered throughout the year. But when we do get to talk to each other in person, it's really a gabfest.

Now, my best friend is a Bingo addict. Back in Manila, she can almost always be found in SM's Bingo areas whenever she isn't working. Now, I wonder if she is spending a lot of time logged onto bingo sites? The fanatic that she is, I wouldn't be surprised if she is.

Throwing up

How does one get a toddler to keep down his medicine ?

Swe-cha is on antibiotics now, I mix it with milk and he drinks it w/ no complaints (not anymore) but 5 - 10 minutes later, he's throwing it up.

Doc says that it's my decision to give him another dose now or to wait till the next dose. But we were dispensed the exact amount of medicine so if I give him another dose now, we're going to come up short later on. Also, we are fast running out of clothes and pads (for covering the mattress) unless we do the laundry every day and take note, Swe-cha has a lot of PJs he received over Christmas, his birthday and pasalubongs from aunts/uncles.


Edit: Just got off the phone w/ Swe-cha's doctor, we're getting his meds changed to a one-dose-a-day antibiotic. This is still in suspension form (I prefer drops sana) but with only 1 daily dose needed, we can probably schedule this so that it fits in nicely between meals. Hopefully, if Swe-cha takes it on a non-empty stomach, he can tolerate it much better.


The products I sent out to my business partner are supposed to arrive at the port today. If all goes well, my partner should receive the products in the next few days - early next week at the latest - and after a short period for product reviews and inventory, our store should be ready to go.

It's been months since I first started talking about our new online gig. We've encountered some delays (not surprised at all, I did expect to be delayed because my partner was pregnant and due to give birth and I knew that I wouldn't be able to do much during the December holidays) but we're taking things in stride, we're not really pressuring ourselves by setting a deadline.

While all this is happening in the background (product arrivals, review, etc), I've sort of completed my part of the process or most of it anyway - I do need to submit an accounting of expenses along with the currency conversion of USD to Peso) - so I sometimes find myself getting overly excited and aside from business cards and advertising material, I am already imagining getting company checks.

But again, that's putting the cart before the horse. We have not officially opened our store, after all. I got to get a hold of myself :D

Denial queen

My mom *is* the denial queen.

We have not been able to talk to each other this week because when she calls, I'm always either sleeping, napping (Swe-cha's sleeping schedule is still off) or holding Swe-cha while he naps (it helps him breathe when he is inclined). I usually try to call Mom back within 10 minutes of missing her call but each time, she is already on another call with someone else by then and she never answers her call waiting.

For kicks, I would login to our VOIP account online and check out who she is talking to and more often than not, she would be on the phone with our aunt (her sister).

Nothing wrong with that.

The thing is, when I finally made the extra effort to get up at this time today to talk to her and explained how we have not been able to talk, she now denies that she was ever on the phone with someone else at all!

Me: ... but when I call you back, you're already on the phone w/ someone else and you don't answer your call waiting.

Mom: no, never. I never talk to anyone else. I'm always waiting for your call after I try to call you and you don't answer.

EH ? The phone logs do not lie. What boggles my mind is why deny it at all ? I don't expect her to sit around the whole day and wait for me to call (or not call), I don't expect her to never use the phone to talk to someone else.

Sneaky ah. The denial is making me suspicious pa tuloy. Why kaya ?

Thursday, January 13, 2011


Beef shank soup is simmering (beef nilaga) on the stove, the fuzzy squash is cooked and rice is being kept warm in the rice cooker. I suddenly find myself with a few precious moments to myself - these minutes are so rare nowadays, especially with Swe-cha and I being under the weather and all - and I find myself rummaging through my PDF library to look for ebooks that I could imagine myself reading.

I use the term "imagine" because I am still so deprived of much-needed sleep that I would much rather sleep than read. I am just thankful for small blessings such as these few minutes that I find myself alone (Swe-cha is sleeping and dinner is ready to be served) and able to check my email, check out job prospects and post an update or two.

I am also taking the time to check out daycare facilities in my area and hoping to find online reviews so i can at least weed through the list before I start calling and making on-site visits. Ideally, I would love it if Swe-cha can go to daycare a few times a week (or even once a week) so that he can get used to being taken cared of by someone other than me but him getting sick this bad so early in the year is making me have second thoughts. I'm tempted to just keep him home in the meantime and transition him to daycare when I start working (friends tell me that kids adapt quickly and that seeing other kids in daycare will help him with the transition, I hope that this is true).


Swe-cha's sleeping schedule is still off. He's been going to bed at 4:30a to 6a and waking up all through the night due to his colds (can't breath) or hacking cough. It's so painful to watch him struggle through this bout of sickness. A huge part of me wishes that I can take his place and be sick in his place but then the rest of me realizes that that was exactly what happened - he got sick, I got sick and then he got sick again (this time, the virus / bacteria came from me).

So while it might've seemed like a good idea to wish to get sick in Swe-cha's place to spare him the discomfort, it's not really ideal in retrospect because since I am his primary caregiver, he's only going to catch it back from me.


Catch up

So many things to do and so little time! I have been swamped since last month and I can't seem to keep up so I cannot even imagine when I can even try to catch up.

First off, our holiday cards are still on my desk, half are signed but we still need to get stamps.

Then, I have not gotten to sending thank yous for the presents that we received for Christmas and Sean's birthday.

Then, I've got to sort through our accumulated mail (around half a foot high now) and shred the junk and file the important ones.

Lastly, I still need to get a photobook arranged and ordered for my Ama, she has been waiting for her "brag book" of Swe-cha that she can bring to her adult daycare facility and show to her friends.

Oh, which reminds me, looks like I need to revive that running list of things to do that I used last year.

Ear infection

Just got back from the doctor's and it's confirmed that Swe-cha has ear infection in addition to his cough, cold and pink eye.

We just got his prescriptions filled and they're quite hefty. $40 co-pay for the eyedrops, $15 co-pay for the antibiotics. If we consider the $30 doctor's co-pay we paid this week, the $30 we paid last week and the $15 co-pay for his DM drops last week... that's $130 in medical expenses just in January alone.

The expense isn't really so bad, I just wish that my son would get well quickly. I wouldn't mind spending $$$ if he stays well and healthy.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


So the big snowstorm that we've been waiting for has arrived. It's sort of a letdown because while we did get a lot of snow (close to a foot, I think), the roads have all been cleared so quickly that there was really no excuse to declare a snow day and stay home from work (in hubby's case).

Swe-cha is still down with his cough, cold and conjunctivitis. Yes, he has what seems to be the pink eye now. Sigh. It never ends. I did make an appointment for him to see the pedia again tomorrow morning and I hope that we get prescribed some antibiotics so he can get on the road to recovery quickly. He's lost around 1.5 lbs again and I'm not happy about that.

In the meantime, gazing outside at the pristine white snow makes me long to go out, I love walking on and making footsteps on virgin snow. However, with this cough that I'm still nursing and with a sick baby in tow, there's no way we can comfortably go out and get a breath of (cold) air not unless there's a Garden Patio Heater to warm us up a little bit when we go outside. I'm sure I will wish for that heater again tomorrow morning when we venture out to the doctor's.

Monday, January 10, 2011


Our son is still sick and he has not been sleeping well.

Tonight, he seems even more restless than usual and would whimper every now and then. A few minutes ago, as I left him to hubby's care so I could express milk for him, I left careful instructions for hubby and demonstrated how I would massage Swe-cha's hands and feet when he whimpers and told him that this would calm him down and get him back to sleep.

Hubby, skeptical, sort of sneered and said "babies and adults are different" after I explained to him that I started massaging Swe-cha after I remembered how my extremities felt numb when I had the flu last weekend and how I would've welcomed a massage.


So I told him to look for his own baby-specific soothing technique and better yet, go ask the baby what's bothering him and see if he gets an answer. I'm sure there is no need to remind him that babies and adults are different (especially in the sense that he's sure not to get any answer from Swe-cha).


Anyway, I'm hoping to be able to get some serious sleep tonight as I already got myself some Nyquil. I haven't slept well at all since last weekend and it's taking a toll on my attitude (I'm so sungit already!).

Friday, January 7, 2011


Our family is back from our holiday travel and while it has been fun and very memorable for everybody, we've also been plagued by nasty fever, cough and colds a couple of times. We've even had to postpone travel plans for a few days because I had very high fever and we decided to just stay with my sister a bit longer so that they can help us out for a few more days.

Swe-cha's daily schedule is still messed up and I'm still groggy and hazy from these medications that I've been taking so I have not been able to greet 2011 with a bang yet. Nevertheless, I'm looking forward to the new year and all the challenges and opportunities it will bring us.

Hope you all had a great Christmas and new year!