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Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
So we've been wanting to spend time with good friends Pang and Glenn since Glen came back from the US. Thinking of an opportunity of a long weekend, we planned on a day trip to Intosan Water Park in Danao City.
The place, though lacking the standard of a starred resort hotel, didn't disappoint. Xofia had a blast with the tiny water fountains, and I swear she could stay there the whole day, she won't mind. For a P120 entrance, it'd do for families with lotsa kids. Probably grownups wouldn't have as much fun, but surely parents will enjoy. We parents get a natural high seeing our children happy and enjoying life.
The major downside was the lack of upkeep and cleanliness of bathrooms. Or maybe I'm just too particular with bathrooms. Because I didn't want to stay in the bathroom longer than 3 minutes, I took my shower outside, soap and all, and changed clothes by the vanity inside the public bathroom. Took me two minutes tops inside.
Will probably come back there, but I think I may first want to know how often they're cleaning their pools.
For the longest time, there is not a day without rain. And of course, I am loving it! I don't like the humidity that comes before the rain, I like the rain itself. I especially like the first few drops as they slowly and deliberately wet the earth. I like that smell.
As what Barney (yep, the dinosaur) had said, when we're thirsty, we get our water from the sink (or bottle) but the plants and trees had to wait for the rain to fall. Rain also, is the best water for the plants. Water from our tap may contain chemicals like chlorine which are harmful. In this thought, I was seriously considering of getting rain water barrels for rain harvesting. Because of the bills I've been grappling with lately, rain barrels simply provide an energy-efficient, if not energy-free way of collecting water.
There are rain barrels for sale that look like planter boxes and decor. If you need to put the barrel out front, it's important to camouflage it to complement the look of the house.
OK, ok. Function first, but if I can have both functionality and aesthetic, why not?
Posted by Purpled Sky at 10:22 AM
Saturday, September 19, 2009
My whole life is full of bills!
Then there's auto-credit that my card company is offering to place all my bills in 1 single bill. Yay, I won't have to wade through bills after bills anymore. But then that's not the issue. Technically, I still have the same number and amount of bills to pay.
We don't use running hot and cold water in the house. We've long abandoned the water heater because, hey, who needs hot bathing water in the Philippines, really?
We stopped using the rice-cooker. Not because it uses too much energy but because helpers just love to bust them.
We only use airconditioning during the night, in one room, usually.
Almost all lights in the house are energy-efficient, save for the one in the stock room and the flourescent in the guest room.
We don't use the washing machine. Oh yes, because I have a helper who's idle most times of the day, so yeah, I let her wash by hands. It's more efficient anyway. :-P
And still I get a whooping P5K~ electricity bill. I think it's a joke.
So, I read the Green Living section of realsimple.com. They have a good article on cutting energy cost. Some, I've been practicing, some I need to enforce on the helpers. Let's see if next month's electricity bill will show any improvement.
We entertain a lot. Our house, because it's practically right smack at the
city, becomes the unofficial gathering place for friends and family. And
because we're living in a small townhouse, I need all practical storage
solutions that doubles as something else.
In connection to entertaining, it's very important to have a bar where guests gather around and socialize. But because my dining area is small as it is, there's just no space to tuck a bar somewhere. I find this bar with wheels practical.
The bar showcases a built-in stemware rack and wine station. I could just easily roll the bar from the dining area to the living space where people usually spills over. After entertaining, I can push it out of the way under the kitchen island. Perfect!
Another practical solution that also caught my eye is this undercabinet wine glass rack.
The hanging wine glass rack had me swooning. What better way to display your crystals than this? Plus it doubles as a wine rack. And oh, be still my heart, it comes in polished chrome. Chrome just has this way of matching with any decor.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
It’s been months since we were at my mother’s. And because her place is significantly bigger than ours, Xofia naturally had a blast. She kept going the whole day and only crashed at 5PM. Dozed for an hour then egged us to go with her high-pitched “Let’s go, let’s go!”
She’s forever fascinated by the presence of animals. Those that she’s only able to see on TV, she can actually see live in her grandma’s place. I could tell she’s gonna be asking for a vacation at grandma’s for years to come.
There was a rooster that kept on crowing. Xofia would go near it, cajoled it to play with her only to be lead out to the backyard where overgrowth becomes unsafe for 2-year olds. She’d then patiently wait for the chickens to come out from the overgrowth and start her befriending. At times when there’s no chicken on site, she’d go to the dog and, well, befriend the dog. I intentionally did not tell her the dog’s name because I don’t want her to get attached to it. The whole time, she’s been calling it “Dog.” Play, Dog. Sleep, Dog. Wake up, Dog, Doooog? Then Dog had to be bathed. The helper had to call Dog by his real name, Pie. Xofia won’t stop calling the dog by his name from then.
Dogs do what they usually do, lounge around and sleepily close their eyes. Pie was lying on the bench and Xofia would knock the other side of the bench because she wanted Pie to wake up. Pie would glare at her and would haughtily turn his attention away as if saying “Go away pesky kid, I don’t wanna play.” Pie has been like this ever since he got injured by a hit-and-run. The once playful dog is now grumpy.
After lunch, I tried putting Xofia to sleep. As routine, she naps around this time. But you don’t get a nap at grandma’s. There are just too many things to do! By and by, the rooster would crow, the chickens cluck, the dog barks, the cows moo. She’d stand up, open the window and call out, “[animal making the sound], wahappen?” Sometimes I wonder if she’s still 2 years old.
So I gave up. We went outside the room and joined the rest of the family. She played with Little Jam, her cousin, and watched Barney. It so happen that the helper’s daughters, aged 8-9 were by the kitchen door. Upon seeing them, she hastily went to the kitchen, smiled, motioned the girls over and cheerfully said “Come on in, come on in!”
My jaw dropped.
Sunday, September 13, 2009
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Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Xofi has had another bout of pneumonia. I don't know why it went there when I am always extra careful whenever she has colds. Then again, I am not always around.
When she had colds and cough the other week, I waited until there's fever. Because really, doctors would only give you Salbutamol and I can very well administer that at home. On the third day of her cough, she developed high-grade fever. We went to the doctor the very next day. She was given Ceclor, an antibiotic. She had it for 7 straight days. The fever was gone on day 2.
However, after the antibiotic, her cough and colds worsened. We went back to the doctor that very day, and since there's no fever as of yet, our goal was to get rid of the symptoms. The doc RXed Ventulin nebules 3x a day. That night, after nebulizing, we played a bit because I wanted the phlegm to clear out before she went to bed. She slept at around 9:30. I got ready myself and went to bed thereafter. At 10:50, I felt the mattress shook. I looked over at Xofia, she was shaking and trembling all over. At first I thought she was only having a hard time breathing because of the colds, but there was mottling on the skin already and it just spelled bad news.
Now, I never had an experience with a baby having chills. I called up my husband who happen to be out of town that day, and relayed to her over the phone what's happening. I woke up Xofia to check if she was still coherent. She still was. I checked the temp, it's still 37. No fever. What's happening? My husband called the doc and the doc advised that we rush her to the ER. All these, while I was frantic and crying the whole time. My goodness, I have got to get a grip of myself!!
On the taxi, I felt her fever rising. When we arrive at the ER, her fever was 39-ish to 40-ish. She was weak and wanted to go to sleep but she can't because the ER is so noisy and busy. I asked if can we have her admitted instead so she can rest in a room. The ER people didn't recommend because the tests aren't back yet. I was like, "Hey, colds and fever clearly indicate infection, what else are you waiting for?" No, we have to wait for the test results, and if I have to insist, it would be against their advise. Needless to say, I was frustrated, and not wanting to waste my energy discussing why these girls should listen to a mother, I shut up and concentrated on collecting Xofia's urine sample.
We got into a room at 3AM. Xofia was cranky the whole time because she's being poked with needles more times than necessary, lodged into an x-ray machine and whatnot.
We stayed in the hospital for 4 days. We are currently finishing her oral antibiotic, and we're down to our last day. Hopefully this time, the meds will get the bacteria.
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Living in a small townhouse, I don't have as much freedom when it comes to gardening. City lots are expensive, and every square inch counts. But how drab could life be without something green and alive to look at. I turn to planters, of course, for my needs.
I love how outdoor planters nowadays come in varied designs, they're as effective as planter and as decorative accents. I'm not sure why, but I am partial to square planters, I just seem to prefer them over the circular ones. Maybe because of the deluge of circular terracotta planters when I was growing up, there's not much choice then.
Right now, I have a handful of basil plants in a couple of window box planters. And because I have to transport them upstairs for their daily dose of sun, I used a plastic window box planter for convenience. If I could provide them a good ray of sun at a fixed place, I would've used a sturdier material.
I am now eying a bag of flower seeds back at the store. I'm thinking of germinating them in a garden planter where they can grow to maturity. I am a slacker when it comes to transplanting. But I think it would be just as pretty.