Monday, December 31, 2012

Photo-finish in 2012

Did a lot of last minute stuff these past few days leading up to the year-end.

- renewed our car registration

- renewed hubby's driver's license

- renewed my driver's license

- stayed up overnight (nagpuyat) to finish Swe-cha's photo album for his 1st birthday (oo, 2 years delayed na and if my voucher weren't expiring on 12/30, this will probably still remain pending, haha!). The good news is that if this comes out nice, it'll inspire me to get started on his photobooks for his 1st, 2nd and 3rd  years.

- submitted our elections for our medical & dependent FSA (photo-finish rin ito, last minute submission for the 12/31 deadline)

- hubby finally put up the plastic sheet that we use to seal our balcony door against winter drafts, our master bedroom is so much warmer now! Let's see if he can put up the one for our living room balcony door & possibly get another one for our 2nd bedroom's windows.

- threw trash away (lots of them - around 7 big grocery bags. he kept going down to the trash chute to get rid of pahabol soiled diapers because Swe-cha kept pooping. He was probably purging himself for the new yera too :)

2012 has been a wonderful year and came with lots of blessings for our family (hindi ko na iisa-isahin, overwhelming kasi).

We wish you all a blessed 2013 :)

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Dishwasher - another DIY

So our dishwasher broke down last month and if I had not already said so, we love ours and use it regularly. The dishwasher is such a lifesaver and in our case, it's a no-brainer for us because our hot water cost is already included in our monthly condo fee - not really sure how much the old dishwasher costs us to operate in terms of electricity since it was a dinosaur (20 years old), this new one costs $35 / year to operate assuming you run it 4x a week.

Anyway, losing use of this appliance was such a hardship. We couldn't even use it as a 'drip pan' to drip-dry our dishes because it died in the middle of its wash cycle and it still had a puddle of water at the bottom of the tub which we couldn't completely dry out. Also, since it died mid-cycle, I wasn't up to cleaning the drawers / trays. So on top of having to wash our dishes manually, we also had to air-dry them on our kitchen countertops. It was so difficult to find free space after a while.

The bad news is that we had just replaced our washing machine last month and our wallets aren't quite ready for this on top of the holiday spending for December. The good news is that, apparently, compared to other appliances, dishwashers are pretty affordable and since ours is a standard-sized dishwasher, you could easily get one for as low as $250 or as high as the high $1000 range.

We decided to DIY the installation as it seemed fairly straightforward. We saved ourselves between $90 (handyman fee) and at least $139 (home depot installation fee) or $169 (Sears installation fee) by doing the installation ourselves. It would cost more than $139 or $169 to have it installed professionally because we also needed an electrician to do power hookups.

For this project, I did the wiring and hubby did the plumbing.

Here is the new washer, we will install the footboard (the cover at the bottom of the washer) and remove the plastic sheet on the door & the energy guide sticker after we run it a few times and make sure that there are no leaks.

We've already run a load last night and it ran wonderfully - quiet and efficient.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

The forgotten one

My husband forgot my birthday and yes, despite the fact that we're not big on celebrating our birthdays & anniversaries (no parties, presents, flowers nor any hullabahoo), I was very disappointed that I did not even receive a greeting from him. How can he forget me ? We've been together for more than a decade plus I bore and gave birth to his only child!

He claims that he did not forget my birthday but he just lost track of the days - but hey, does it really matter at this point ?

It's been a few weeks and I still have not quite forgotten how it was to be forgotten. Other than the side comments (translation: parinig) every now and then, I've been pretty good about it, I think. I've been extra nice (possibly so he'd feel even more remorseful, I don't really know) and even got him a Samsung Note II (okay, it was more like a joint decision and he was long overdue for a cellphone upgrade but I said yes to the additional expense).

Anyway, I'm beginning to think that having one's birthday forgotten does have its perks. I am blogging now, see ? Hubby put our child to bed tonight and despite Swe-cha still being awake after 2 hours, I don't hear any screaming from hubby. He's still hanging in there patiently. Goodness knows how disappointed / mad I will be if he cannot do this one thing - put our child to bed - for me tonight.

Also, he's taken the enormous task of doing general-cleaning in our house. Our place has been in total chaos, even more so after I started working again. He volunteered himself for this task (w/o any reference to forgetting my birthday) and I promised him that in return, I'll stop with the snide comments.

If and when he finishes cleaning up our house & organizing our closets ? Okay na and it'll be worth the heartache (or close). Yes, our house has gotten *that* bad.

Chili Sauce Container

One of the ways that I've re-purposed our old milk-storage bottles is to use them to store condiments.

Pictured is a container of chili sauce - the type that you usually get with dimsum. When we get some dumplings for take-out, we usually get a small container or two of the chili sauce and they come in those flimsy disposable containers. They're okay but they do tend to spill.

Don't worry, I don't plan on using these bottles for breastmilk ever again :-)

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

My not-so-baby brother

My not-so-baby brother came for a short visit last week. He left yesterday.

As I was helping him pack his luggage*, it suddenly occurred to me this was probably the last time I was going to pack his stuff for him because the next time he comes visiting, he'd be a married man! His wife will be doing the packing, haha!

I found myself in tears that night. My baby brother may still be a baby when it comes to packing luggage but he's all grown up.

* our older sister helped pack his bags for him when he left CA and our Dad probably packed his luggage when he left Manila :)

Sunday, November 4, 2012


So our neighbor sees hubby pulling this loaded trolley up to our house and comments, "wow, how do you fit all that in a tiny apartment ?" Hubby says, "Easy, you take out everything in the closet and you put these in." and they both laugh.

I think that our neighbor was just too polite to ask her real question - "you can use all that ?"

The thing is,... she didn't see what we brought in 2 weeks ago, these bottles of water & packs of toilet paper  are from a separate shopping trip. If she had seen these, her eyes would pop out.

So why do we do this ?

Simple. Our warehouse club membership is expiring and since these are the only things that we buy there - bottled water (for when we go out on trips), toilet paper and roasted seaweed, I didn't think that $55 a year was worth the savings that we get from these supplies. So, the plan is to buy a lot and just renew our membership when we run out. These will surely last us months.

Yep, I'm cheap that way.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween 2012

- Swe-cha

I'm my Mummy's boy - Swe-cha

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Hurricane Sandy

So we're prepping for Hurricane Sandy, we're expecting landfall early Tuesday. I've heard phrases such as these floating around:
- storm of the century
- catastrophic
- Frankenstorm

I didn't really have much to prepare since we almost always are well-stocked, just bought some fresh bread this morning and we should be set though I do realize that we may not have enough for Swe-cha (will have to rethink his menu).

The only preparation that I did was to purchase a lantern. We have flashlights and candles, but I realize that candles aren't really the best things to have around when you have a toddler plus they hardly give any light. Friend E recommended this and I ordered last Friday. I figure, even if this arrives after Hurricane Sandy, we'll be prepped for the next one.

Thankfully, fortune must have been smiling down on us (Thank you, Lord!) when I put in my order online yesterday because guess what I found in today's mail? Yep, it's here. We've tested it and it gives off a very bright light (240 lumens on high mode).

Checked to make sure that we still have butane for the portable stove (we have an electric stove) so we should be set.

Please pray for us and hope that everybody stays safe.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Itchy foot

I was in the checkout lane in the store earlier, checking out my items when the cashier suddenly bends down, pulls off her shoe, pulls down her sock and starts scratching her foot like mad.


10 seconds later, she straightens up and says "sorry, that was really bothering me".

All I could say was "are you all right ?" but I kept thinking.. "don't touch me, don't touch me..."


Monday, October 15, 2012


Whew! Thank you, poging UPS guy. Yes, he really is cute and nice - he brings our stuff to our door while other delivery guys just leave them in the lobby.)

This greeted me when I got home this afternoon, it was such a welcome sight. We were running out of diapers and our regular diaper subscription decided to take its time getting to us.

Last night, in an effort to look for diapers, I was reduced to scrounging around in the different bags we've used as diaper/baby bags, that pocket in the stroller, and the areas behind the bed and between the mattress & the bedrails. I even got to the point where I contemplated using swim diapers instead of regular ones. Expensive kasi if we'll buy from the grocery.

It didn't help that just when we were running out and needed to hold out till we get the new delivery, Swe-cha chooses yesterday to go on another of his pooping sprees (he wants to challenge Mommy) - 4 poopy-diapers in 1 day. Imagine that!

Anyway, I'll order an extra box as a precaution, I don't want to run out of diapers again.

Sunday, October 14, 2012


Background information: I saw hubby watching the first episode of Star Trek Enterprise Season 1 a few nights go and got hooked and I've been squeezing in or 'trying to squeeze in', rather, some viewing time since then.

This morning, after church, while on our way to the happiest place in NJ (Mitsuwa), our conversation went like this:

hubby: what episode are you in Star trek Enterprise ?

me: yung "Civilization", ano yun ? 5 ? 6  yata (it was episode 8, as it turns out).

hubby: naaliw ka na no! Addict!

me: oo nga eh *sheepish grin* it's nice. I never thought I'd watch it ever, I never got interested until now... but then again, basta hindi [Captain] Janeway, okay lang. i don't like the Star trek w/ Janeway.

hubby: ha ? baket ?

me: basta ayaw ko. I know medyo unfair, kasi I've never watched a Janeway episode ever... pero basta ayoko. hate ko siya.

hubby: are you sure /

me: oo, ayaw ko si janeway. i like kirk. i like picard and now, i like archer. basta wag si Janeway. pero note ah, I just like kirk pero ayoko manood ng episode nila, ang corny na ng effects eh, sobrang luma. yung parang may mini godzilla aliens na parang malalaglag yung mask anytime ?

hubby: naalala mo si Tuvoc ? Neelix ? chaka si 7 of 9 ?

me: oo! I like that.

At this point, I was remembering those episodes fondly, ...

me: remember that episode ? si Tuvix ? yung na merge si Tuvoc and Neelix ? I like that.

hubby: that's Janeway.

me: ano ?

hubby: Janeway na Star Trek yun.

me: Ha ? Ang gulo mo kausap.

hubby: hindi, haha! [and then he started relating other episodes which I really enjoyed watching and characters which I liked]  Naalala mo yung Maqui diba ? sila Chacote ? si torres ?

me: oh.

I blame the anesthesia (C-section) for the forgetfulness. ;)
Kawawa naman si Captain Janeway.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Washing machine

Our washing machine died 2 weeks ago. It was technically still working and alive, but the last of the remaining supports at the bottom which held the tub up gave up and broke. We ran 2 more loads of wash after the last support broke and the machine kept making these awful noises that really scared us. I began to see visions of burst hoses and cleaning up flooding messes so we decided to let our washer move on.

The thing is, we reside in a small two-bedroom condo and our washer resides in one of our upstairs hall closets - not a lot of space. Given the situation, we're limited to compact portable washers and they're not exactly cheap.

Another factor to consider is that God-willing, we don't plan on staying here any longer than we have to (translation: real house!) and when we do move out, we want a full-sized, heavy-duty washer in the new place. In short, the washer is staying.

What i'm trying to say is that at this point, we're looking for something:
- small, should fit in the closet
- usable, of course!
- cheap, preferably below the $500 mark (cost of the new washing machine + cost to get rid of the old one)

And our search has brought up to this point, we found a nice portable washer from and it had good reviews.

To save on shipping costs, we availed of their site-to-store service (free) and picked the washer up from the nearest location. Hubby and I carried, pulled, pushed, rolled (we had a trolley) this all the way from the car to our 2nd floor condo entrance and then up another flight of stairs to our 2nd floor closet (3rd floor relative to the bldg).

It was a BIG 90 lb package. the weight wasn't really an issue, it's just that it was so big and well, hallways, doorways and stairways are tight around here.

As for the old washer, we had paid our fave handyman & his son $80 to haul it out ($40 goes to the town dump for recycling fees).
Next came the unboxing. I will not bore you with the tons of pictures I took - excited kasi - and let's jump to the part where we already have it installed in its place.

It fits just right, no ?

There's 27 inches from the back wall to the sliding door. The new washer's depth is 22 inches, add a few more inches for the hoses & water connections at the back and that is it. Looking at this makes me really relieved that we did not go for the heavy-duty full-sized washer that wasn't a lot more expensive than this (and is a good and known brand), it was 25 inches deep and we were thinking that it might fit.

Hindi pala. now, I realize why my neighbor had to take the doors off her laundry closet - she had a full sized washer installed.

here is a top view of the new machine.

Yes, it's a Magic Chef. We've run a few loads and it does clean nicely, it's also more spacious than the old one because there is no agitator in the center of the tub.

I also like that we can program a delay so you can load up the washer at night and delay the actual run till the next day. You can also program the load size (6 settings), water temperature (hot, warm, cold), wash types (cotton, permanent press, delicates, etc) and cycles (wash, rinse and spin). It's so useful for us because hubby always likes to run an extra rinse cycle after everything is done - oo, magastos sa tubig. My only complaint is that there's no way to change/program the default settings so we have to go through the entire selection process each time we use it.

Sound levels are also amazing. I barely hear a swishing or humming sound, depending on what type of cycle it is on, and only when I listen intently.

Our total costs came to a little less than $400 + some hard work in bringing the new one home and setting it up. Overall, I'm happy and the past 1.5 weeks that we've had to live with using our bldg laundry room for washing our clothes has not been easy - it's so very inconvenient - because we have to walk back/forth and remember to move the clothes from the washer to the dryer and then pick it up afterwards.

Eto pang si bulilit, kung kelan nagtitipid sa clean clothes, saka pa gumagamit ng up to 3 sets of clothes sa daycare and anther 3 sets of sleeping clothes at night (leaks).

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


We love going out to Dunkin Donut these days to grab an afternoon snack because Swe-cha eats the entire egg & cheese snack wrap (pita bread included) and has also started eating munchkins (yay!).

He also likes having his own cup of iced tea (of course, if Mommy and Daddy each has one, why shouldn't he ?) so we'd ask for an extra cup & just pour a little for him.

Enjoy na siya nyan :)

So far, we've been doing these 3 Saturday afternoons in a row.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Hello there

Hello there, blog.  I've missed you so much.

I don't have much time but I just want to jot down some popcorn thoughts as they come to mind :)


I have been unimaginably busy these past months but I am slowly getting into the groove of things and I am now able to breathe.

Work is great. I've met a lot of new people, made new friends and am starting to "network"  with a lot of great and talented people. I love feeling useful again outside of the home environment.

August also saw us moving Swe-cha to a new daycare. His old school was taking on too many kids and there weren't enough staff so kids were mostly unsupervised and so we decided to move - of course, me having an income made the decision easier because tuition at the new place is steeper than the old one. It's taken us a month but I find Swe-cha playing and running around now when I pick him up at the end of the day. It broke my heart each time (these past weeks) when I'd pick him up from the playground in the afternoon and I'd find that he'd been sitting at the gate waiting for me all the time.

I took a day off from work today. Had some appointments to attend, including a doctor's appointment for me, and got home in time to start preparations for beef tendon noodle soup ( will share recipe! ang bango! ). I'm hoping that Swe-cha likes it.

Will be staying home tomorrow as well as Swe-cha's school is closed for Yom Kippur.  Last week, they closed for Rosh Hashanah. *sigh* Each time they have a school holiday, my pocket hurts because either hubby or I have to stay home from work and we still have to pay full tuition anyway.

I started my day off today working moving around - much much more than I usually do at work. Swe-cha welcomed the day by playing w/ poop (sigh!) and after giving him a bath (again), I had to quickly clean & disinfect his play area & toys. Of course, I had to do the entire thing because I don't know what he touched with his soiled hands. And guess what the little one was doing while I was cleaning his play area ? He decided that stairs are a great playground so he went up and started HOPPING DOWN the steps while singing Baby Bop's (Barney) Hop Hop Hop song. I didn't even realize that he had climbed over the fence that defines his play area. Yes, my heart had a great cardio workout.


Then, it was time to go. While he didn't really fight me while I was getting him changed to go out, he didn't cooperating either. Imagine trying to put clothes on a limp rag doll the size & weight of a toddler. Ang hirap! Took me more than 10 minutes to get him changed when it should've been only a minute or two.

Hangkolet. But I wouldn't trade this for the world :)

Monday, August 27, 2012

Space Bags to the Rescue


Finally got around to cornering hubby & getting him to bring out the spacebags (both the original spacebags and the cheaper imitations) so we can put  all the (clean!) pillows & sheets that my family used during their visit last month.

Yep, you heard it right. It took us 2.5 weeks to store them away. This is the part where eyebrows start going up but what can I say ? This is how we operate (we're slow!) so you can understand why a simple thing as being able to put something away & storing it properly is considered such a big accomplishment in our house.

In fairness, it took a while to get everything washed up & cleaned because we have such a tiny washer/dryer and we also have our daily wash to attend to. And our little guy gets anxious when we bring the vacuum cleaner out so one of us has to hug/comfort him while the other vacuums the air out of the bags.

Anyway, did I ever mention how much I love spacebags ? It's such a great thing to have, especially for those who do not have lots of storage space in their closets.

Friday, August 17, 2012

SPAM Mail at Work

Today, I stepped out of my "desk" (home office) for a few minutes and got back to tons of emails in my inbox.

Apparently, someone had sent out some billing information to the wrong distribution list and it was sent out to everybody by mistake. One lady started by replying to all & asking "am I supposed to be in this email ?" and pretty soon, a lot more people were replying to all & saying "I'm not supposed to be in this list" and "me too!"

There were also a lot of emails that said "PLEASE DO NOT REPLY ALL" in big bold letters which, ironically, the senders also sent out to everybody by replying-all.

I don't envy the original sender the damage control that he has to do because he did send out potentially confidential information to everybody - no, I did not read the original email so he has 1 less person to worry about. Can't imagine making a mistake on a more global level than this. :(

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Petite Short Pants

Being short has never been a big issue with me. I'm fine with being short and I'm used to being the shortest everywhere I go 99% of the time.

But sometimes, I can't help but wish that I were a few inches taller. You see, when I buy pants, they almost always have to have the lengths adjusted no matter what size I buy - petite, short,... Problem is, I'm a smart buyer (translation: kuripot) and would mostly buy clothing only when they're on sale and if I factor in the cost of getting the lengths adjusted, that would bring the price up to (almost) full price. This does not sit well with me, so I do my own hemming with what meager sewing skills and tools I have.

Last week, I bought several pairs of dress pants / trousers and I finally received them today. I had been dreading this package because I wasn't looking forward to hemming several pieces in a short span of time.

Imagine to my surprise when I fit all 4 trousers and realized that they were the perfect length! I had ordered the items in this size based on an earlier in-store purchase, that one was a tad long and needs to be hemmed but it fit me well. I wasn't able to find any more of the same brand / size in the store so I ordered more online as soon as I got home.

Yay. Now, I know that for Apt 9, I'm a Petite-Short (meron pala!).

Friday, June 29, 2012

Cheer up, Granny

While grabbing a quick bite at McDonald's this afternoon, I overheard a conversation between 2 ladies (one in her 60s and another in her 80s) at the next table...

60s lady : do you get to go out with your friends ?

80s lady : no, they're all dead. I'm the only one left.

60s lady : and your children ?

80s lady : they live far away, the nearest one is more than an hour away. I live alone, I don't want to go into an institution so in the winter, I even shovel my own snow.

60s lady : do you take any medication ?

80s lady : None, no medication at all. I live a healthy life.

60s lady : wow. you are something. I cannot imagine myself living for years and years after everybody has died or has gone away. I wouldn't be able to bear it, it's sad!

and at that point, I thought to myself, "great job cheering grandma up."

Tomorrow, if we hear about a depressed grandma who ran into a bus in tomorrow's news, you know whose fault it was.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Bank Charges

So I was looking at my bank account online and noticed that I got charged $3 for "viewing web content" last May. I thought about it and realized that the bank had charged me for looking at images of something I had previously deposited.

So sneaky!

I called up the bank and asked nicely if they could reverse the charges. The bank rep checked and put me on hold and when she came back, she says that since the $3 were charges for something I had already seen online and that before those images came up, I had gone through a couple of pages & clicked buttons and agreed that I was going to be charged, then there was nothing she can do for me. Those charges cannot be reversed.

Disappointed. I told her (in a sad voice) that this is the first time that I was truly disappointed in my bank. I've been a depositor for several years and have kept my account open and active, whether or not I was employed and the amount I keep in there is quite substantial. Now, since they're going to be charging me left and right for things that I might see on the web when I access my account - and they make it so easy for me to see things because they provide links to the images when I look at my account activity - then I'd be scared of doing anything and that will render my account with them useless. I see no point in keeping this account active.

And suddenly, surprise surprise, bank rep interrupts me and says "oh, I figured out a different way of reversing the charges. There, the charges are reversed."

hmp. I thought so.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

First Weigh-In

Today is my first weigh-in since I decided to try and lose weight.

I haven't really made any big changes - not ones where I starve myself because I wouldn't be able to sustain that - but instead, I've decided to make small steps that are easier and less painful.

My first step was to stop taking 2nd helpings of rice and with this, I lost 2 lbs in 6 weeks. It's not much but I don't mind because I barely felt the effort (konting sad lang if feeling bitin kasi masarap ang ulam).

Now, my next step is to take have smaller servings of rice, I want to eventually cut down my rice intake to about half of what I take now. Hopefully, I lose more than 2lbs at the next weigh-in. I'm thinking about giving up my DD iced tea fix... but since it's still 99c per cup all summer long, I'll give that up when prices go back to normal :P

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Old Rival

Had a really weird dream last night about an old school rival - we were scientists and our lab is located in a cruise ship. Bongga! Not really sure why, but I suspect that I went to sleep with too many thoughts of "daya" in my head and hence, my dream.


Also had a pleasant surprise this morning when someone from the past called. I thought this was all behind me. But hey, let's see where this goes.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Bradley-Pacquiao Fight

We enjoyed watching the fight between Bradley and Pacquiao last weekend. Remember those previous fights of Pacman where his opponent would get knocked out halfway through the fight ? And we'd all say that it's such a waste of the pay-per-view fee because we hardly saw any "fight" at all ?

Well, last weekend's fight was so different from those previous ones. Up until Bradley was announced as the winner, we were kept in suspense and honestly did not know who would win. To us, both boxers deserved the title.

Now that Bradley has been crowned the winner, it's sad to hear a lot of my countrymen crying foul. Loyalty is good but hey, so is good sportsmanship. Nobody likes to lose but can we please stop crying "luto" or "daya" (cheating) when our bets do not win ?

Isa pa to si Manny... just now, i read an article where he was quoted as saying:

“Wala namang doubt, talagang klarung-klaro that I won the fight.
“Irespeto na lang natin ang desisyon ng mga judges.

 For those who do not understand, let me translate as best as I can.
"There's no doubt, it's really clear that I won the fight."
"Let's just respect the decision of the judges."

Funny how he issues a statement that is the complete opposite of the judges' decision where he states that he is the clear winner and then follows that with a call to respect the decision of the judges. If you respect their decision, then you'd have to accept the loss too.

 Whatever happened to grace ?

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Ayaw raw o!

Last week, a friend posted about a new Jollibee branch opening up in Jersey City on 6/10. I was so excited and told my Mom the next time we talked, Jersey City is a lot more accessible to us than Woodside, Queens (where the first Jollibee branch in the East Coast opened) - and no tolls to get there too!

Mom says, in a snobby-sounding voice, "why do you like Jollibee so much ? Here ? We don't want it anymore. Sobrang sawa na kami." and the rest of our conversation went like this:

Me:  "e Mommy, we like Jollibee because once a year is the most that we can have Jollibee (that is when we visit them in California). Kayo, you're probably sawa because it's so near, you can have it everyday."

Mom: "hindi na nga, ayaw na namin, we don't have Jollibee at all"

Me: "okay, not everyday... sige, every week."

Mom: "hindi nga, matagal na. hindi na talaga kami kumakain ng Jollibee."

Me: "Ediba nung Tuesday lang, sabi mo the kids ate left over Jollibee burger steak ? So ibig sabihin you had it a few days earlier tapos ate the rest again later."

Mom: "oo, mga bata yun."

and then my Dad comes into the room and I hear Mom tell him "pauwi na si B (my sister), may dalang Jollibee breakfast para sa atin."

When mom comes back to the phone...

Me: "O, may Jollibee bfast kayo ? Akala ko ba ayaw nyo ng Jollibee at di kayo bumibili ? last week nag Jollibee kayo.,.. today meron ulit Jollibee. Akala ko sawang-sawa na kayo ?"

Mom: "si Achi mo yan bumili chaka breakfast yun."

Me: "Teka, so nung sinabi mo na ayaw NYO na ng Jollibee, sino yun ? Ikaw at si Dad lang pala ?"

Mom: "Hindi, lahat kami ayaw."

Me: "e bakit nag Jollibee kayo last week ?"

Mom: "Mga bata yun. BURGER STEAK nga eh,"  (emphasis on the burger steak, not sure why)

... at this point, I changed the topic na. Feeling ko, di kami mag kakaintindihan.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Vietnamese Pho

Last week, we dropped by our favorite Vietnamese restaurant for some take out (our usual is the summer roll and vietnamese pho).

While paying for our order, I asked the proprietor, "how do you say it ? Is it PHO ? or FO ?"

and he responds, "it's FAO".

Nya :D

Friday, June 8, 2012

Water Damage

It's been raining again the past few days but dealing with a toddler having some serious cabin fever is the least of my worries.

Remember that leak in the bathroom ceiling that started last year that we finally got fixed early this year ? Well, since it's been raining these days, I've been staring at the ceiling at times and now, there seems to be a suspicious bulge in the paint. I'm scared to poke it lest we find out that there's water but we're going to have to do that pretty soon before it causes even more water damage. Thankfully, there are companies like the The Steam Team who are water extraction experts.

Having migrated from a tropical country that is besieged by typhoons for most of the year, floodings and water damage to homes and structures isn't new to me. But I wasn't aware till now that there are water extraction experts at all like the round rock tx water extraction team. I wonder why there isn't one back home ?

Monday, June 4, 2012

Diablo III

If you've been following my blog for a while, you'll know that hubby and I have this thing about trash - he does not throw them and this annoys me.

A little over a month ago, I decided to lay down the law. I was tired of seeing (and smelling) bags of trash in our kitchen, waiting to be thrown away. I sat hubby down and told him that from now on, trash was his responsibility. If I am able to throw them out during the day, good for him. If not, then he has to throw it away at the end of the day.

He's been so good (sort of - he throws away the trash from downstairs but he never goes up to empty the trashcans from our 2nd floor) until this morning, I find 2 bags of trash again. &*(&#@*(@!#
When I went to bed last night, he was playing Diablo. I reminded him about the trash and he said yes.

Apparently, that was the extent of last night's trash chore - "yes", but no actual action because he got distracted playing.

D*mn you, Diablo III.

The thing is, he's not even playing the full version of the game yet - he says, this is a starter or a demo version ? The game that he ordered is due to arrive today or tomorrow... I should probably hold that hostage. ;)

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Consumerism at its Best

Last month, I was so annoyed when yet another diaper tore before we could even use it (the strip where the velcro is attached falls off, it's not attached securely to the back panel). It was the nth torn diaper from that box and I decided to write Pampers to let them know my dissatisfaction.

A Pampers representative responded to my email within a few days and told me that they'll be sending me a couple of coupons to make up for the torn diapers. I was happy to receive an acknowledgement of my complaint but I wasn't really happy about the coupons because we buy our diapers via subscribe & save at Amazon and they don't accept coupons anyway.

Some time later, I received 2 $10 coupons in the mail. Each $10 coupon could be applied to a single pack of diapers worth $15 or more. This is where it gets tricky. Diapers for our size come in $13, $29 (84pcs) and $49 (132pcs) from the grocery stores. Pampers was very sneaky & creative with their coupon restrictions because even if you discounted the $10 off of the $29 & the $49 boxes, there's no way the prices will even come close (per diaper) to Amazon's.

Kainis, right ? It's like they gave you a pampalubag-loob, but it's useless anyway. I just stuck these in my wallet after I figured out how useless these were. Oh, and the coupons expire in 2 months, it's not like they give you plenty of time to wait for a good sale.

I wasn't happy, UNTIL today.

At the supermarket, I see that the box of 84s (size 5) were down from $29 to $23 AND if you purchase 2 boxes, you get a $6 coupon applicable to your next shopping order. This sale combined with the coupons brought our price down to 18c per diaper (compared to Amazon's 22c per diaper) AND if I count the $6 coupon we received for buying 2 boxes, the price goes down to 14c per diaper.

NOW, I'm satisfied.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

What are little boys made of ?

Snips and snails
and puppy dogs' tails
that's what little boys are made of.

My little boy proved the old nursery rhyme true this afternoon when he dropped this into my hand without warning. I thought he was giving me a leaf and I couldn't stifle my scream when I realized what it was that he put in my hand.

And the little boy ? He just laughed and laughed. He thought scaring Mommy was just hilarious.

--- cross posted on our family blog

Monday, May 7, 2012

Food blogger - NOT!

This is why I can never make an effective food blogger, I never remember to take pictures BEFORE digging into the food and all food blogs I've seen have nice pictures of untouched food.

Maybe I should start a "guess what/where we ate" trend?  That chopstick wrapper beside the tray should be a nice giveaway :)

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Cinco de Mayo and #CoronaRita

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Chili’s Grill & Bar for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.


We had  a wonderful Cinco de Mayo celebration yesterday. Hubby and I had our baby...., well, toddler, with us so we weren't really in a Margarita or Tequila mood. It's a shame though because Chili's Jose Cuervo Especial Tequila and CoronaRita Margarita sound really good.


Fortunately, the weather has been getting warmer lately - yay, summer weather, finally! - and it's easier and more conducive to going out and today, we plan on having a family lunch at Chilis. Hubby is driving and I'm no longer breastfeeding so I can have CoronaRita at Chili's while enjoying that CheeseSteak Slider dish  that I've been imagining for a while now. Hubby is looking forward to his usual sirloin steak.


We haven't really decided what to get our toddler yet, but it shouldn't be difficult as Chili's does have a wide selection of soups (my son is a soup-addict) so we can always order soup as a backup if he does not like what we get him.


CoronaRita sm.jpg


The best part about eating at Chili's is that you can do so even if you are on a budget, lunch combos (yes, combos!) start at $6 and they still have our favorite promotion of all time, the dinner for 2 for $20. This comes with 2 dinners plus an appetizer - we used to go to Chili's all the time while I was still pregnant with my son. I remember vowing to try a different menu the next time we go but when we get there, I couldn't get my mind off of Chili's ribs - I blame pregnancy hormones =)



How about you ? Did you celebrate Cinco de Mayo ? How do you plan to spend today ? Or the rest of your summer ?



Note: You must be 21 years or older to drink alcoholic beverages and as always, please remember to drink responsibly


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Saturday, May 5, 2012

My husband is a smart guy

I woke up one morning a few days ago and went down to the kitchen, expecting to find several bags of trash that we'd accumulated over the previous days. I wasn't really looking forward to it because the weather had already warmed up and among our trash were melon rinds and lots of Swe-cha's soiled diapers.

When I entered the kitchen, I was waiting for the smells to assail my nose and was surprised to see all the trash bags gone.

Wow. Hubby actually threw out the trash the night before ? and without even being told to do so ?

Double wow.

Hubby, you see, has to be told what to do. If you do not ask him, he's okay with just letting full trash bags accumulate. You could pile up loads of clean laundry on our spare bed and he'll just pass by or play games on the side and won't fold unless I ask him to.

I usually just throw trash out myself because I'm tired of having to ask all the time but if I have Swe-cha at home with me on a rainy day, then I can't handle both him and the trash because he will want to go out to run and I don't want to tempt him to go outside.

That night, I was so happy and I thanked hubby over and over.

And then a few days later, it hit me. Teka...

It's okay to be thankful if he threw out the trash or did a household chore but why would I be this happy about it because shouldn't he be doing this anyway ? Parang weird right ? That's when I realized what he's been doing... it was an AHA moment. All along, hubby has been training me to not expect anything na so when he actually makes the effort, I'd be so happy =D


Monday, April 30, 2012


I was just chatting with my cousin who works for a Subaru dealership this morning and I asked him how things are coming along with regards to the Tribeca (our SUV). We haven't see any new models lately and he tells me that it's going to be discontinued (not sure how much more time) in the next few years because of fuel economy laws regarding vehicles that will be put into effect in the future.


It makes sense though. The Tribeca does use up a lot of gas. I get 14mpg - city driving - while hubby is able to coax 18/19 mpg when we go on long drives. It'll be good to replace it with something that has a lot more gas mileage next time. It looks like we're going to be shopping for new car insurance sooner than we thought.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

New goal...

I just saw a picture of myself today and I am huge!


Considering that this time last year, I was at my thinnest (or on my way to my thinnest) and I've gained back all that weight in several months.

I am going on a diet. Hubby too (naghanap ng karamay, haha!).

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Report of Birth of a Filipino Child

After 2 years and a few months, we finally got around to filling a report of birth for Swe-cha with the Philippine Consulate in New York. We could've filed via mail earlier but I wanted to go in person because we are required to submit original documents and I didn't feel confident about mailing in our passports and permanent resident cards.

First off, there is a new Philippine Consulate General NEW YORK website. I didn't know this until recently and I kept going to the old url to check and was so annoyed that it was down. Before I learned about this new PCGNY site (and since the old website was down), I went to the website of consulates in a different state only to find out later that there are small differences in their requirements (i.e. the form itself has "Philippine Consulate General New York" in the corner while a form I downloaded from a different site has a form which does not have any headers).

To get the list of requirements and forms for the NY Philippine Consulate, check out this link:

here are some notes about my experience:
- Fee: $25

- bring original documents and make 4 copies of each. If you need to make more copies there, a coin-operated photocopy machine is also available at the embassy for 25c per copy. Bring quarters.

- The website does not mention it but you may opt to also submit a stamped, self-addressed envelope so they can just mail you your Report of Birth Certificate when it is available instead of you having to come back to claim it on another day. I got a USPS flat rate envelope w/ $5.15 worth of stamps (delivered w/in 2 to 3 days from mailing). I got this because I thought we'd have to leave the original documents and they'd have to be mailed back. As it turns out, I was able to bring home the originals so a regular letter envelope with a first class postage stamp will suffice.

- When filling up the form, hubby and I had a long discussion on how to fill up the following fields: "Child's Citizenship" and "If multiple citizenships, please list...". We eventually settled on putting "USA" in the citizenship field and leaving the other field blank. Baligtad pala.

Citizenship should be "Filipino" and in the other field, list "USA" or "American".

- The list of documentary requirements  say that you need to submit either parent's proof of Filipino citizenship at the time of birth of the child. I brought mine and while going over my papers, the PCG staff suddenly asks me "saan ang ID ng tatay ?".  [ insert curse words here ] And then I realized that I did bring photocopies of my husband's passport as well, just not the originals. I submitted that and they accepted it.

Note: bring anything and everything that you can think of to avoid having to make another trip.

- Last tip: BE ALERT!

When you get in the bldg, you'll be given a number & asked to go up to the 3rd floor and wait for your number to be called. When I got to the 3rd floor, there were several groups of people in the waiting area. Some were just sitting and waiting, some were scrambling around looking for quarters for the copy  machine and others were going  back and forth between the window & their desk, filling up forms and correcting mistakes.

A "Currently serving ##" electronic sign was on and showed "09". I was number 14 so the wait wasn't going to be so bad, I thought.  After around 20 minutes of waiting and not seeing / hearing any number change, I asked one of the people waiting if they've heard any numbers being called. Wala raw. Note that at this point, there were 2 open windows - #3 (Cashier) and #6 (not labeled).

Since #6 was open but unstaffed, I went to #3 to ask the cashier, "Ma'am, nagtatawag po ba kayo ng number ?" and she says "oo, maghintay ka lang na tawagin ka." I went back to my seat. Some time later, the lady at #6 got back to her post and sat there. Nobody moved. We were still sitting down and waiting.

At around 2p, this was 40 minutes after I first got there, I decided to try and make eye contact with the lady at window 6 and when I did, she mouthed "meron pa ba ?" and I approached her. She helped me immediately and processed my papers. When I was done, I was instructed to pay the fee at Window 3 and I was done.

As I was paying at window 3, the cashier then calls out to the lady in #6, "ay, naka #9 pa pala itong sign, anong number ka na ba tayo para palitan ko to ?" and #6 answers, "Di ko alam, ginagawa ko lang kung sino lumapit sa akin."

Pakshet. Kainis. I waited 40 minutes to be called and worse, what about all those people who were ahead of me and were still waiting to be called ? Note, probably not all can speak Filipino so they probably didn't know what was going on.

In retrospect (and considering that I was able to walk all the way back to Port authority and catch the ideal express bus that I wanted), aliw rin this experience because even though we were in USA, the experience was 100% Pinoy =D

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Another hole

While moving around some furniture in the bedroom, Hubby leans against the door to brace himself so he can push against the furniture with his legs instead of leaning forward against the furniture and pushing forward. Don't really know why he prefers this, our furniture isn't heavy and they're on those disks called "Moving Men" so they're easy to push anyway.

He forgot that the door that he is leaning against is missing a doorstop so this is what happens. Yes, he punched a 2 inch hole in the wall with the doorknob.

I didn't even bat an eyelash, these things happen. Also, we still have all these holes in the house from those leaks last year, not all of them have been repaired yet so what was one more ?

But I did take exception to hubby's reaction. Soon after he saw what he did, he was screaming at Swe-cha to behave - the little one was running all over the place as he usually does when he's upstairs.

I was downstairs prepping Swe-cha's milk so I rushed upstairs to find out what happened and saw this. I thought that this was the little guy's doing so I asked, "How did Swe-cha punch the hole ? He slammed the door ?" and hubby explained what happened.

So my next question was "so why are you screaming at our son when he wasn't the one who did this ? If anything, he should be screaming at you!" and he didn't answer. Thankfully, my son seems oblivious.

Now, he's out buying supplies to repair this hole. I asked him to bring the paint chips we saved from the ceiling too so he can get the color matched and we can paint the dining room ceiling already.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

A Poop Story Too

Just the other day, I was reading Mommy Fleur's account of how she helped her daughter poop. She did put in a disclaimer at the start of her post to warn those who might want to just skip it altogether. So with that, consider this fair warning too.... if you're squeamish about poop, please skip this post and move on to the next one.

Anyway, back to Mommy Fleur's account, I was not disgusted at all because I can totally relate on how bad she felt while watching her daughter go through the pain because I have this thing for poop. Specifically, my son's. I like it when my son poops.... no, correction, I LOVE it. Back when he was fully breastfed, he would average 2-3x a day and I would look forward to each one and would, sometimes, even poke around with the used wipes just so I could find out what's in it. Yeah, I'm weird that way.

Hubby found it gross at first (that I would poke around in Swe-cha's poop) and eventually, it just became normal. I always argued that knowing what was coming out is a good indication of his health. Is he constipated ? Is he eating enough veggies ? Fruits ? By now, I've observed his poop long enough to know how it looks like when he eats certain foods. I even know how his poop look like when he is congested.

Today, kawawa naman. I must not have paid enough attention recently because his daycare did warn me that he was constipated on Tuesday because he was crying while doing the deed. He pooped normally when he got home so I figured he was okay. He was also normal on Wednesday so I didn't bother with the prunes anymore.

As it turns out, I should've. Because today, we spent the better part of an hour hugging each other while he strained to get it out. I hugged him and held him and cheered him on. He strained so hard that his face turned red and was still red 20 minutes after he achieved success. Poor little guy.

Thankfully, he also seems to understand what it was I was trying to achieve w/ the prunes because, even though he did not like them, he ate them anyway.

I am hoping to see something good in his diapers later tonight.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Chiu Family Visit

We had the Chiu family come over for a visit this week and we had great fun! Swe-cha did not mind having them over at all (translation: hindi masungit), he was interacting and playing with the two achis.

We brought Kweh-Ahya and his family to Jersey Gardens for a day of shopping. We didn't really have anyplace else to bring them because Woodbury Commons is already part of their tour itinerary (bus tour) and the kids weren't interested in anything else other than shopping - their words, not mind.

Except for a minor mishap where Swe-cha threw up in the middle of the mall, he had the time of his life running ahead of us, playing with his new toy train on the floor and even pulling Kweh-Ape's hand so he'd get more of the bench/sofa's surface area for his trains. He said Hi to a few ladies too before peeking into their shopping bags to see what they bought. Yep, kinda nosy too.

Now, we're just tired. Swe-cha fell asleep at around 5p and we can't manage to wake him up (it's a little past 8 now).

Spending the past few weeks cleaning up, decluttering and trying to squeeze more space out of our < 1000 sq ft place and having a family of 4 stay over has fueled our desires to move out and get a bigger house. Condo living was good and the temecula synthetic turf on our balcony is okay but there are times when you just want a real house with real space and a real yard and a real driveway with Install it Direct pavers.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Conversation with the husband

Me: Ampanget na ng color ng tv natin sa living room, ang hirap nang manood. Siguro sira na and kelangan nang palitan. Di ko na kayang tiisin. Mag check ka nga, magkano ba dapat ang budget para sa TV ?

Husband: *thinks* siguro $2000.

Me: *chokes and does a quick backpedal* Ay, maganda pa pala yung color nito. Di pa sira. Pwede pa ito.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Spring Cleaning

This year, I started my spring cleaning in the kitchen:

- purged all stale, old and expired food items from refrigerator and cabinets

- refilled smaller containers of condiments (vinegar, soy sauce, fish sauce) so bigger containers can be thrown out sooner

- threw away worn out frying pans. I'm so happy that I finally got myself to splurge (well, not splurge per se, they were only $20 more for a 10" and a 12" pair) on my Calphalon frying pans, super worth it talaga.

And now... after filling up the first box full of trash. I'm sort of just feeling lost. I have no idea where to go on from here.


Friday, March 30, 2012

A load of poop

On a regular day, Swe-cha and I take a walk outside after he wakes up from his afternoon nap.

Today, he felt differently and wanted to go outside BEFORE his nap. I think he actually only wanted to go out to the balcony and play there but I didn't want to let him do that because he might get overexcited and not nap at all so I said no.

We went to bed and got ready for his nap. He took 1 bottle of milk, then got up, pulled me towards the balcony door and I said no. He then ran around our 2nd floor back and forth between our 2 rooms.

Some time later, I caught him and brought him to bed again where he downed his 2nd bottle of milk. Afterwards, he tried to get me to open the balcony door again and I said no. He then ran around some more.

By this time it was around an hour after I first brought him upstairs for his nap and once again, I caught him and brought him to bed and he finished his 3rd bottle of milk (very unusual for him) and again, he tried to get me to open the balcony door and I said no.

While he went back to running around, I decided to lie down myself (I had been sitting on the bed waiting for him to come back before) and maybe sort of encourage him to nap as well. I felt/heard him running all over the place and coming near the bed each time. I didn't dare open my eyes.

Eventually, my nose caught a whiff.

Ayun pala, bastos na bata. He had gotten into the trash can and was bringing his dirty diapers (rolled naman) and were putting them ON MY PILLOW. 3 of the 5 diapers he put beside me were poopy ones. Is he trying to make a statement ? :P

Oh well. Time to change the sheets and maybe we should go back to using the Diaper Champ again.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Tax Season

I knew I was postponing doing our taxes for good reason.

It turns out, I was right. I finally got around to doing our taxes because I didn't want to be experiencing issues when everybody else starts doing their taxes online by April 15 (deadline) and I realize now that I did a slight miscalculation when we paid estimated taxes for last year.

We owe $7.5k.

Okay, miscalculation might be an understatement.

Sigh, where to get 7.5k ? I'm just trying to stay positive now by dwelling on the up-side, that if we owe this much taxes, it means that we at least earned that much, right ? Am just wondering how/why I don't remember enjoying that last year ;)

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


You know you frequent a store too much when you drop by one day to pick up some online orders, and the store associate declines to see your ID (they have to check) while saying,

"No need, I know you, I see you here a lot."

and then, 2 more associates w/in hearing range chime in...

"Oh yes, a lot!" (with a lot of emphasis on "lot" and nodding their heads at the same time)

I didn't know if I should be embarrassed or not. :P

Friday, March 9, 2012


I gave Tuna up when I got pregnant in 2009, haven't had it since.

I've missed you my old friend. Come and dance w/ my sinangag.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Defensive driver

I did our grocery shopping yesterday and since I didn't have anything lined up for the day & Swe-cha is in daycare, I had plenty of time to make my rounds of the shop (grabe, we were missing so staples at home already!) & drop by some suppliers to pick up stock for SavyMommy.

My day yesterday worked out so well that I'm wondering why I never thought of doing this before? Why did I always want to squeeze market day & SavyMommy errands in a few hours on a weekend morning ? I don't know what I was thinking.

I also passed by Toys R Us to buy a Little Tikes table & chairs set for Swe-cha (a gift from his A-i) and I just stuffed the huge box in the back of our SUV. I didn't realize, until yesterday, how much I actually use my rearview mirror until I felt the frustration of not being able to see out the whole window because the box was obstructing about 1/4 of it. My dad will be so proud of my driving skills.

As he always used to say during our driving lessons, "use your rearview and side mirrors, bagitong driver lang ang parating nakatingin sa harap, bagito ka ba ?" and just to make sure, he will quiz me randomly, "don't look, what car is behind you ?" Ganon raw ang defensive driver.

O ayan. *hollers* I look ah :) Dad trained me so well that even when I'm not driving, I find myself being defensive as well.

I stopped at McDonald's to fix the box...

.... and for some burger, fries and a sweet tea - in fairness, yesterday was about efficiency. I planned my routes well para "on the way" lahat and in that spirit, it seemed right to eat na rin at McD since I was there anyway. *defensive* --> o, diba ? =)


As it turns out, we have to exchange the table. I didn't find out, until I got home and was wiping the table / chairs w/ Lysol, that the table has a very deep scratch across the surface.

Thursday, March 1, 2012


Today, while watching a manatee swim around on video, the narrator says "manatee" and immediately, Swe-cha says "Mama!" and claps.

Not sure if I'm amused or not.


Sunday, February 19, 2012

Buhay Donya

This afternoon, while talking about a friend's lifestyle,...

me: "nag tr trabaho yun sa family business pero kung kelan lang nya gusto, pwedeng pumasok, pwedeng hindi. Hindi critical yung ginagawa nya. Pa exer-exercise sa bahay all day, kaya sexy"

hubby: "mayaman pamilya ?"

me: "oo, mayaman ang pamilya, kaya buhay donya siya."

[we looked at each other for a few seconds]

me: "actually, parang ako, buhay-donya. Ang pinagkaiba lang, wala akong pera chaka hindi ako nag e exercise."


Friday, February 17, 2012

V-day+2 2012

We're not big on celebrating Valentine's Day, we never did. We've exchanged gifts occasionally, but we're not in the habit of doing that.

Flowers ? Ha! Hubby would prefer to have them kept alive rather then cut, arranged in a bouquet and left to die after a few days and given the limited space that we have plus the fact that we have winter here, I'd rather not take on more plants.

So while I wasn't really expecting anything special for v-day, I won't deny that part of me - the girly part - would still welcome the giddy feeling of having your significant other surprise you. But the thing is, hubby knows me well. He knows that if he went out and spent & splurged on something nice, I'd feel bad about it because we're on a spending freeze - no unnecessary spending - until I get full-time employment and we're able to move to a bigger house.

So v-day came and went and it was just an ordinary day in our household. I wasn't surprised nor was I disappointed. Like I said, this is normal for us.

2 days later, hubby greets me "Happy 2 days after Valentine's Day" with a half-dozen donuts (5 heart shaped donuts and 1 round one because the store ran out of hearts) and I find my laptop touchpad button fixed (yay!). He'd stayed up till 3a the night before fixing my laptop.


Happy 2 days after v-day to you too :)

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Pants on fire...

I've been wanting to file our taxes for the longest time but we still haven't gotten all our paperwork in yet. Yesterday, I got the idea from Achi to call up the church & just request them to send us our statement from last year (donations).

You see, our church normally asks us to fill in this request form & for us to drop it at the collection plate during mass but the thing is, we've forgotten about it on some weeks and when we do remember to bring the form in, collection wasn't taken from the mother's chapel, which is where we stay when we're in church.

So, anyway, I call up our church and ask, "Have you sent out the 2011 tax statements yet ?"

Lady who answered says "Yes, haven't you gotten yours yet ?"

So I say, "No" and this is the truth, I just did not elaborate and say that I have not requested our statement either.

Lady says, "oh, I'm sorry you haven't gotten yours, I'll get your name and I'll send them out again."

I gave her our name (we have a pretty unique surname) and she says "Oh, I specifically remember doing this one last week."

I make a silly grin and think to myself, "... liar!..."

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


The other day, at dinner, hubby bit on a piece of chicken and said, "ang sarap ng luto mo" and he happily munched on dinner.

I was surprised because he's never said that about my cooking before. He would say things like "konti pa, lasang restaurant na", "pwede na", "okay ito", "pwedeng maulit ito", or he'll even ask for a specific dish in a roundabout way such as "miss ko na yung baked ribs mo" or "matagal ka nang di nagluluto nung chicken yakitori ah"... but he never really says that anything is masarap.

So this unprompted, sincere compliment touched me because he's never said that word until now. He'll say "yes" if I ask him, "masarap ba?" but he never actually says it first.

Now, I feel worthy enough to bring out the Calphalon pans :)

Tuesday, January 31, 2012


Hubby finally started moving the baby gear that Swe-cha has outgrown (but we still want to keep) down into the basement - finally!

The boxes have been sitting our in our hallway for so long that I've almost given up getting the space back so now, I'm just so relieved that they're finally out of the way. On my part, I still have to finish sorting his old clothes so I can separate the ones we're keeping and the ones we'll be giving to goodwill.

I'm glad we finally got things going, simple lang pala ang trigger. Sometime last week, I just announced (loudly) that this weekend, I'm going to be hauling the boxes down myself." This works better than "can you move the boxes down to the basement when you have time" line. My fault rin naman, in fairness, because I did say "when you have time". *smile*

Hubby, sweet guy that he is, got up and (predictably) did it because he didn't want to have me doing heavy work.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Hubby in the store

I asked the husband to drop by the store on his way home to pick up some baby wipes and diaper rash ointment.

When he got to the baby store, he gives me a call.

him: "What do I need to get again ?"

me: "Baby wipes and Desitin cream"

him: "What kind of baby wipes ?"

me: "Anything that's unscented."

him: "Pampers ?"

me: "Pwede"

him: "Huggies ?"

me: "Pwede rin, kahit ano nga. Ikaw na bahala. Kahit ano pwede natin gamitin, pero diba ikaw yung maarte na naiinis sa scented wipes ? Ayaw mo yung amoy ? Di naman namimili anak at asawa mo. Ikaw na mag decide kung anong scent ang pwede sa yo or unscented na lang nga, para wala kang reklamo."

Now, this conversation is taking place while I am feeding Swe-cha. So in essence, I'm really talking to both my boys at the same time. Both are demanding my time and attention. At this point, Swe-cha wants to grab the phone already.

him: "Anong mas prefer mo ?"


him: "Ay, sale pala yung huggies, 2 for $12."

me: "edi huggies na"

him: "walang unscented eh"

me: "edi pampers na nga!"

him: "pero merong cucumber and aloe ba ito ? Parang light lang ito"


him: "ilan ? 2 or 4 na lang ?"

me: "sige, 4 na"

him: "ay, 3 na lang nandito. Pano na to ?"


him: [ rummages around the shelves ] "Ay, meron palang unscented, yehey!"

me: "o sige, yan na kunin mo"

him: "huggies na ah ?"


him: "O sige, ako na bahala ha"

Sobrang naubos pasensya ko. Here I am, with a toddler screaming in one ear and I'm struggling to hear hubby through the other ear because he was whispering in the store.

We go through this each and every time we need something. Usually, I just order online & have him just pick up in-store so he does not have to think anymore. I think this is backfiring on me because now, I spoiled him so much that he does not want to think/decide on these little things anymore. Wipes lang, he cannot decide ?

I swear, if gas weren't expensive and if the store weren't out of my way and very convenient for him because it's on his way home ? I'd rather just go buy supplies myself, less stress.

Love ko si hubby. Pero minsan, masarap lang siyang pitikin sa ilong :) Lalo na kung nakikisabay pa siya dito sa bulilit. I can multitask but not when my boys are involved, di ko kaya!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Paint Job

We completed the paint job on the laundry closet and we did a great job. Hubby & I need to pat ourselves on the back.

I tell ya, I get giddy each time I open the doors to the laundry closet and take a deep breath. I love it that much ... but then again, it could also be just the paint fumes having an effect on me.

Anyway,this is how it looked while the shelves were out.

Those lines are from 1 coat of paint ago. The shelves were blocking parts of the wall so those areas weren't painted over by the previous owner last time.

There are also lots of scuff marks on the wall. "Flat" paint was used previously and it isn't really easy to keep clean.

After giving it a nice coat of new paint and getting the shelves installed again. This is how it looks like now.

Note that hubby considered getting new shelving units installed but I vetoed the idea, sayang naman because these wire shelves were still very serviceable and utility closet lang naman to.

Looking at this closet makes me want to continue our other DIY home projects but I really seriously have to get started on my study-plan. Hmm, what to do ?

The most sensible choice is to complete patching up the holes made by the super last year & this year and getting those painted over. Once that is done, studying na and no more tackling other projects. But then again, "sensible" doesn't always give satisfaction.

And last, but not the least, I'd like to share another photo before I end this post.

You see, while in the process of completing this small paint job, the closet wasn't the only thing that got painted.

And no, it wasn't me. He did that to himself. Accidentally, of course.


I did offer to give him a haircut if he couldn't get it out of his hair. Sadly (for me), shampoo did the trick.

Baby Sleep Positions

Found this picture being passed around in Facebook and I just had to share.

Swe-cha's sleeping positions are the:
(1) Booby Trap
(2) H is for Hell
(3) Snow Angel
(4) Donkey Kong

and when he wakes up, he is in the (5) Stalker position.

Sumablay lang sa Jazz Hands :P

Technical Assessment

I went through a technical assessment interview w/ a recruiter that covered C# and SQL this evening and it went fairly well, I think.

I'm not really keen on this company because of the longer-than-usual commute from home but I figured, the technical interview will help me pinpoint areas of weaknesses that I need to improve since I planned on reviewing, studying and possibly, even going for a certification during my downtime (which is NOW). Also, getting some technical exam practices will surely help build up my confidence.

I remember taking my first technical assessment test around this time last year, I was so scared! I had not taken an exam or been tested for anything (technically) since I started working and that was more than a decade ago. I was so scared of failing but since it was a C# test which was only 30 questions long, I wasn't really sure which areas I needed to review so I just threw caution to the wind and told the guy that I have not done any coding in a while (disclaimer).

As it turns out, I got 95% correctly. Ang galing galing ko talaga.... manghula ;) LOL!

Anyway, tonight, I realized that despite the lack of recent practice, I can still hack it as a developer (at least on paper anyway). I do need to brush up on the terminologies - abstract, virtual, interface, override, overload,... - as I realized that I know how and when to use each of those concepts but ask me to define ? .. uh ... I get tongue-tied.

Oh, and I learned about a new SQL Server function "COALESCE " today. Thinking back to the SQL statements, SPs and views that I've written over the years, I cannot think of an instance where I could've used this but I would love to get a chance to use this soon. I remember feeling this excited when I was first learning about SQL's "Partition By" feature too and couldn't wait to use it in an actual application.

*channeling my inner geek*

Thursday, January 19, 2012


Tonight, I tried to express milk and this is all I got, 2.5 oz from both breasts.

And so, I've decided to stop my relationship with my PISA breastpump. We've had a good run and was able to provide my son with breastmilk every single day for almost 25 months.

I just found it appropriate that I produced the same amount of milk the first time I pumped and the last time I pumped :)

Thankfully, Swe-cha is handling his transition to fresh cow's milk extremely well. No complaints at all. Am also thankful that we were able to fill up a deep-freezer with frozen breastmilk so we'll still be reaping the benefits of bm for the next several months even though I've already stopped production.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Nice Guy Handyman (2)

The main reason why we called in a handyman was to come in and repair our 2nd bathroom upstairs. It had a huge gaping hole in the ceiling (can't find the pic I took last month) where the sheetrock was already rotted from steady drip from the hole(s) in the bathroom exhaust vent.

Jeff replaced the venting system w/ aluminum coated vent material, set it up so that there is some sort of a trap (much like a sink trap), patched the ceiling back up, tried to replicate the swirls (didn't too good of a job there, but hey, it's not like people spend a lot of time staring at the ceiling to compare swirls) and painted it up again (he matched the existing paint color). He even left the leftover paint behind for us so we can use it in the future if we need to get more work done.

We also wanted to replace our tub spout whose water diverter had broken off years ago.

It still works, you just have to sort of stick your finger into the hole in the spout. This is okay most of the time but when we have family & visitors come over and you have to explain how to do it... eh.. medyo kahiya.

And while we were doing this, hubby wanted the shower head replaced too.

This is supposed to be easy but the last time we tried doing this ourselves, we broke the shower arm off & left a piece inside the pipe behind the shower wall, we had to pay $150 for a plumber to come & fix it.

I figured, it was worth it to just get a professional to do things right rather than have to pay through the roof to repair what we botched up.

The spout was difficult to do. He had to cut off the existing pipe & solder a new one in. He had to do this a few times before the spout fit, looked and worked right. This wasn't a surprise because we had tried to replace the spout lots of times before. We bought different brands, types, shapes and sizes but none fit the existing pipe.

Lastly, the fill valve in the toilet is also cracked and leaking water big time. We've had to turn the water to this toilet off because water was constantly running all the time and would leak down to the floor.

This, too, is supposedly easy to do but the mechanism inside the tank is stuck to the porcelain due to calcium (hard water buildup). I didn't want to force anything because the last time we (okay... it was me!) did this, the tank cracked and we had to replace the whole thing.

Jeff replaced the toilet tank fill valve ($12 for the part) and the water hose connector ($6 for the part). I checked prices for the parts and his were reasonably-priced.

Nice Guy Handyman (1)

We're almost done w/ the home repairs, we've gotten the major fixes done, at least. My next few posts will be about the various repairs that were done to our place by Jeff, the Nice Guy Handyman.

This post will be about our laundry area (o sige na, ... closet).

Problem 1: Existing ductwork is made of plastic, this is no longer up to current building codes and is a fire hazard. Clothes dryers need to be vented, the vent goes into the wall, up the ceiling and should go all the way out of the building/house.

The outer ductwork is aluminum coated (up to code) but the ductwork inside the wall is made of plastic (outdated & could be a fire hazard because lint & dirt collects inside).

Problem 2: As luck would have it, it turns out that somewhere along the way, one of this condo's previous owners decided to cut off the ductwork in the ceiling and attached this vent to one of the roof struts.

Yes, our clothes dryer has been venting heat, moisture and lint into our ceiling all these years. We didn't know until Jeff went into the ceiling to check it out. The insulation around this vent was wet.

Problem 3: See the water hookup ? That hose is made of rubber. Rubber hoses (non-metal clad ones) should be replaced every 5 years and I recently heard from a friend that some condo associations are requiring owners to use metal-clad hoses in their units already.

Problem 4: See that faucet w/ no hose ? For some reason, our washer wasn't hooked up to the hot water, it's no biggie but I decided to just let Jeff check if the hot water source is live and if it is, to hook the washer up to the hot water.

Work done:
Day 1: Jeff replaced the plastic vent with aluminum coated venting material and connected it back to the ductwork (already exists) that leads out of the bldg. He installed metal clad hoses for the washing machine water hookups, patched up the holes that he made in the closet (for installing the new vents).

That night, hubby decided to cover the ugly walls up of the closet with some paint.

I wasn't really feeling up to it and I felt it was a waste of time since this was a utility closet anyway but I suddenly remembered that we still have that unused gallon of white paint left over from when we were doing some DIY work in 2009 (we stopped when we found out I was pregnant with Swe-cha).

An hour later, we had finished painting the upper portion of the closet. We only painted up to the part where the shelves were going to be installed, we figured we can continue the rest later.

I'm glad that hubby sort of insisted that we do this because the new coat of paint makes everything look so much cleaner and nicer. This is how it looks after Jeff put the shelves back up on day 2.

Now, I'm much much happier, after having done a couple of loads of laundry using HOT / WARM water :)

I'm hoping that we can finish the rest of the painting soon so this doesn't look half-done (and I know us... the longer we put things off, the lesser the chances of it ever getting done at all).

For the vent work, Jeff charged us 1/2 of what the other company quoted us. He also only charged us a little bit extra for the water hose replacement. I'm glad that we had this fixed because the existing vents were almost choking w/ lint (we really have to get the vents cleaned more often) and all that moisture being vented into our ceiling ?... can't be good.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


And yet again the saying that "when it rains, it pours" is proving true in our home.

Yesterday, I made an appointment w/ that Nice Guy Handyman come over to check out the repairs that needed to be done in our house:
- vent replacement (the leaking vent in the bathroom exhaust)
- vent replacement (the dryer vent w/c is still made of plastic, hence, a fire hazard)
- cut out the rotted part of the ceiling & cover it up, apply swirly-textured finish to match the rest of the ceiling and then paint it
- replace the spout & showerhead in 2nd bath, this includes cutting out existing pipe & soldering a new piece in to match the length of the new spout
- fix cracked mechanism in 2nd bath toilet

But before the guy arrived, the bldg superintendent was knocking at my door. Yes, there was a leak again. And before he even started checking things out, he was already explaining to me that if it were my responsibility, I should do the repairs quickly while the damage in the unit below (same unit that was damaged by my leaking windows) gets any bigger.

The next hour was nerve-wracking. Superintendent cut holes in my ceiling and my wall and we started turning faucets/showers in the 2 upstairs bath on and off. Water started pouring down the drain - unfortunately, water poured IN and OUT of the drain (both surfaces).

Luckily, the leak is NOT our responsibility. Super just came back today to fix the broken pipe. Sad lang because he had to cut a hole in my red wall and when he comes back to close the wall, he will just patch it up - no paint job included.

But here comes the next part, while checking out that huge leak, they (superintendent and the unit owner below) happened to notice a water stain in my ceiling a few feet further but didn't see any leaks coming out. Last night, hubby stared at the pipes while I turned things on/off and that's when we found out that there is a leak in our shower.


Ayoko na.

I guess we were lucky, in a way, that things didn't start breaking down until now. I've been here 7 years already, after all.

Ah. Teka.

7 year itch kaya ito between me & my home ?