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.