Thursday, January 30, 2014

I love you

Swe-cha has been opening our refrigerated drawer and leaving it open. Not only does it waste energy by making the refrigerator motor run more, it also makes our home heater waste more energy because as the cold air escapes and cools the house, our heater has to work harder to get the house warmer. It's not a simple thing these days as we are going through below-freezing temperatures.

I keep telling Swe-cha to close the drawer but he still forgets. Nearing the end of my rope, I point to the refrigerated drawer this evening and told him, "You have to close the drawer, okay ? If you don't close it, I palo you."

He looks at me with his big, round eyes and says "I love you".

With a response like that, how do I have the heart to follow through with my threat ? Hay.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014


I decided to work from home today and for the rest of the week so I don't have to waste time dealing with the traffic caused by commuters rubbernecking along the Giants Stadium - pavilions and tents are being erected for the SuperBowl this weekend (okay, am guilty of rubbernecking too,... what else was I to do ? I was already there and traffic was moving extremely slow *excuse*).

I told hubby that I was just going to lock myself in my home office so Swe-cha doesn't see me, he will not want to go to school and will just want to be with me otherwise. Now, I'm hearing Swe-cha recite "Brown bear, brown bear what do you see" while he is having breakfast and my Mommy-heart just breaks because I do want to step out and give him a big good-morning hug and kiss. I never could do that on weekdays because he is still asleep when I leave for work. Anyway, plenty of time for that tonight, I do not want him to start his day upset - we were told by his school that on days when I send him off to school, he is so upset and takes a lot of time to calm down.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Home Office, Part 3

Guess who dragged in his table and chair into the home office and set it up right beside Mommy's ?

Yes, Mommy is using a kiddie chair for a desk chair (just until we find one that I like) - it's quite comfortable, I swear =)

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Home Office, Part 2

Before I share pictures of how the home office looks like now, I'd like to write about and post some pictures about our experience so we don't have to go through that again =)

When assembly instructions call for a carpet / mat underneath the pieces, there is a reason.

Other than the carpet thing, we followed all other steps faithfully and carefully.

Eventually, we got to the point where we had a fully assembled shelf on the floor and that was where it hit us. The shelf - all 137 lbs of it - was so heavy and slippery, we couldn't get a grip and couldn't lift it up!

For about 10 minutes, we did consider just leaving it on the floor as it does make a nice maze / play area for Swe-cha but we soon realized that this was just the crazies talking...

At this point, I wanted to cry. We did all the hard stuff - the choosing, shopping, heavy lifting from the Ikea shelves to the car, from the car to our home and eventually, assembling it in the yellow room, it frustrated me to think that THIS was where we had to admit defeat ?

We took a few minutes to rest and get our brains going and realized that between the two us, we can easily handle the weight (it was at an angle anyway,.. this is where you Physics fanatics can start calculating the force). We just needed to have a grip and be able to lift it off the floor.

As soon as we felt we had the strength for a burst of energy, we both worked on lifting a corner of the shelf with our hands while I slide a piece of cardboard underneath it with my foot. After we had the cardboard underneath both corners, it was easy to lift the cabinet off the floor.

I am liking how our home office is shaping up, now we only need to unpack / clean up the moving boxes currently stored there and get one or two desk chairs.

The original plan called for placing the table in front of the shelves just as if it was part of the same system. We'd place the shelf in the middle of the wall and we'd each sit on one side so we'd each have our own desk areas.

Since we still have boxes stored in the yellow room and since hubby really had claimed the built-in computer desk in the library, he suggested this layout instead and said that he doesn't really need an office space. And, really, I work more times from home compared to him.

I'm also glad that hubby suggested that we get the shelves anyway during our Ikea trip. We had gone there to check out the Expedit system (shelves + table) and after we found the Melltorp table and I liked it more, I was under the impression that the table was it. It wasn't until much later, when we were in the self-help area and were picking up the actual boxes when hubby remarked - but where will you file stuff if we don't have shelves ? That was also when we picked up the drawer inserts (the black cubes) and I think they look awesome. Note that the drawer inserts aren't great and I don't think you're supposed to put heavy stuff but they fit nicely into the cubbies and they do look cute.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Home Office

We went to Ikea this morning to check out furniture for our home office. Wasn't really expecting to come home with something but a "just looking" trip turned out to be quite productive.

While browsing through the Ikea catalog last year, we sort of liked the way that the Expedit Series was set up. 

This was further confirmed when our friends, the Vs, set this up in their family room. We loved how it seemed to give a lot of work space in a small area.

I also liked that the table is wide enough for both hubby and I to share, we can have our own desk if we sit across of each other. 

One thing I wasn't sure of was that the table only had legs on one end, the other end had brackets that are supported by the bookshelf - and this, I didn't really like. I was skeptical of how it would hold up.

Thankfully, we did see a nice alternative - the Melltorp table.

We chose a white table top and we got this, in addition to the Expedit shelving unit.

On our way out, we passed by a display which showed some drawer inserts for the Expedit series, at $20 each, we thought it was a great addition to the set. It also enabled us to reach the $250 minimum order required for a $25 off coupon.

We also had great timing, turns out that Ikea had a promotion for this weekend that if you get $150 worth of furniture (or more), you could get your restaurant bill deducted from your total =) We were able to apply this on top of the $25 off coupon we received when we moved.


Now, if we could just move the boxes currently stored in the room we designated as our home office (yellow room) and assemble the furniture this weekend, I'd be ecstatic.

Friday, January 10, 2014

D*** you, Solar Vortex

Our gas and electric bill arrived today. I had been dreading this.

Last month, we received a bill for $210.23 and I was flabbergasted because we only lived in the house 1/4 of the time (1 week out of the 4 that the bill covered).

and today ?  $366.23

I am seriously hurting and I just hope that this isn't our normal winter consumption and that this spike in the consumption is just caused by the extreme cold weather we're getting because of the Polar Vortex.


On a positive note, I got a message from our realtor this afternoon asking if pets are allowed in the condo - apparently, there is someone interested in our unit and they have a pet (a small dog) - I responded yes and said that the building allows up to 2 pets.

Sana eto na.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Happy 2014!

First off, I want to wish my readers a happy, blessed and very prosperous 2014 =)

2013 came and went by really fast, ours was filled with lots of blessings - my baby bro got engaged, Mom and Dad have taken countless trips with their barkada (enjoying their retirement, obviously), big sis and family finally getting their permanent resident cards, us moving to a new place (a house!) and Swe-cha starting to become verbal (nothing tops that!).

The latter part of 2013 - starting in October - was very toxic for us as we were spending every spare moment packing and moving. We moved to our new place just before Thanksgiving but we would be spending the next few weekends and holidays in the old place, frantically trying to get it fixed & packed up enough to be put on the market. We finally got that done yesterday, I think, and we dropped off the keys at the listing agent's office this morning. We are keeping our fingers (and everything we can) crossed and are hoping for a quick and smooth sale - please pray for us!

We saw our first big snowstorm in 2014 this weekend. NJ declared a state of emergency so both hubby and I opted to work from home last Friday, it was a blessing because school and daycare were both closed too and it was much easier (with Swe-cha) if both of us are home.

Hubby spent most of Saturday packing up the old place and hauled a lot of our stuff back to the new place. There are still some stuff left, sigh, but he was able to put them away in the hall closet so the house should still be ready to show, even with some of our personal stuff still left there.


On the (Breezy) home front, we unpacked a few more boxes over the Christmas and New Year holidays so we're doing okay. We're still chock-full of boxes for now but we'll get unpacked eventually. Hubby and I did a quick visit to a furniture shop one weekend and got to see different options but we didn't see a couch / sofa that we we both like yet but, again, we'll get there eventually, we're not in a hurry.

In the meantime, we're still tackling the lighting situation. We got a few more bulbs and switches replaced this weekend. I stopped tallying up expenses a long time ago but if my calculations are right, we have already spent close to $800 on lighting alone. These LEDs and switches don't come cheap =( I'm just hoping that they last long enough for the savings to catch up to their cost.

A few weeks ago I bought a motion-sensor switch for the basement, we always leave the lights on and then forget to turn it off. Unfortunately, the sensor switch didn't work with the ballast-fluorescent lighting currently installed there and since I've already opened the clamshell packaging and the product wasn't defective (we tested it out in another location), I couldn't return it and told hubby that it might be a good idea to install it in the garage instead. He said no and said to just keep it for when we refinish the basement.

Yesterday, hubby came to me and asked if we still had the motion-sensor switch, I said yes and he asked if it  wouldn't be a great idea to just use it in the garage ? Haha! I rolled my eyes, told him about a previous conversion we had weeks ago and he claims to  have no recollection. Anyway, it just goes to show that we do both agree on most things but it's just that sometimes, it takes him a while to get there =)

I love the convenience of being able to just step into the garage and grab a broom and dustpan (or whatever) and not have to fumble around for the light switch. We also replaced the bulb with a 40-watt equivalent daylight CFL but I think the space needs a brighter light, we'll replace that in the future and, yes, the garage needs a fresh coat of paint but this will have to wait till the weather gets warmer.

We also replaced the light bulbs in the master bathroom vanity this weekend. We planned to just get CFLs (cheaper) and replace the switch with a standard switch (cheaper too) but we couldn't find any decorative CFL bulbs that seemed suitable for the vanity light so we went with LEDs instead. The lights turned out to be dimmable so we just put in an appropriate switch. I'm happy to find that the old bulbs installed were 40 watts each (there were 5 of them) and the replacement 4-watt LEDs turned out to be much much brighter than the old ones even though they're supposed to be 40 watt equivalents as well.

All these lighting improvements we're installed make me feel so much better. I have less panic-attacks now whenever I see hubby and Swe-cha turn lights on full blast and leave them on.