A Budget-Friendly Way to Refurbish a Sofabed

In the tiny living room of the small apartment we used to rent laid this sunny orange 2-seater sofabed which served as a couch and at the same time, a bed for the kids’ afternoon nap. Our apartment had very little ventilation especially our room at the second floor so we just let the kids take their nap at the living room to save on air-con use that we were reserving only at night. And since we had a very limited space, everything that we needed to put inside our little house had to be functional and space-saving.

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The sofabed in it’s once glorious state in the past. 🙂

We got this sofabed at Nemie Furniture, a shop that sells furniture at a much cheaper price than the malls, along Aurora Boulevard for P11,500. A good steal compared to the others we canvassed from the malls. 🙂 The foam was not made of heavy-duty foam like Uratex but this suited our needs and budget at that time so we went for it.

After more than 3 years with 2 toddlers-now-pre-school-age kids sleeping, eating, playing, climbing and jumping on our sofabed, it now looks like a world map! 😀 Just imagine the picture above filled with spots resembling a map of the world caused by a combination of water spillage and some pee plus dirt from the kids’ grubby feet (they walk barefoot at home)! Yikes! 😀 Sigh, kids. 😀 I didn’t take a picture of its icky state anymore, it’s such an eyesore, I swear! 😀 Lesson learned: Get a leather instead of a suede sofabed when there are toddlers at home. 🙂

Anyhow, we endured the horrible look of our sofabed for quite sometime while contemplating on the following options is best to take for the restoration of our sofabed:

  1. Get a new couch. A chesterfield or German leather tufted sofa in teal! 🙂 Like this! 🙂 (Image from zakzons.com)Tufted-leather-sofaHowever, my daydream was not feasible because we had to manage our expenses given the monthly ammortization of our acquired home. So we scratched that idea.
  2. Have the sofabed re-upholstered. This seemed to be the most logical and workable option because we thought we would just be spending half the price to refurbish our sofabed. So I asked for a quotation online from an upholstery shop for the following services: replacement of existing fabric with leather, changing of foam to Uratex and affixing the foam to the frame such that it will be a couch and not a sofabed anymore. The supplier replied quickly and my jaw dropped upon seeing the cost. A whooping P12,800! With this price, we might as well buy a new one!

Because the 2 options above would cost us way beyond our budget, I used my research skills to look for a way to freshen up the look of our poor sofabed without spending too much. I also saw on the internet about the sofa shampooing services but I doubt if the world map can still be removed! Hahaha! Kidding aside, I don’t know but I just didn’t feel giving it a try and I have become too lazy to inquire about this service. Very valid reasons. Hahaha! 😀 So while browsing the Mandaue Foam website, I saw this couch and eureka moment popped!

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Aha! I already knew what to do! 🙂 I just needed a fabric and some sewing skills but since I have none of the latter, SOS to my mother-in-law! (Thank God for loving and supportive MILs like mine!) 🙂

Giddy and excited with this bright idea, Divisoria is the perfect place I had in mind to choose the best fabric at a reasonable price for this project as well as the other home projects I was planning to execute. But we were not able to go fabric shopping in Divisoria for some reason I already forgot. I just went to a fabric store called Cotton Touch at the mall and luckily spotted this fabric on sale for P90 per yard.

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I don’t know what the material is called but the sales lady confirmed that it’s used for upholstering sofas. It has the mix of colors that match our orange couch and exudes the fun, colorful, homey vibe I would like to fill in our house. 🙂

Here’s the finished product of my sofabed-restoration project which will not be complete without the crafty hands of my MIL. She really did an excellent job in sewing the “cover”. 🙂

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Never mind the curtains, please. I was just excited to take a photo of our “new couch” forgetting that the curtains look awful. Haha! 😀

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MIL took the dimension of the seat and sewed the fabric such that it will “wrap” the seat and stay secured and not slide away or displace. If we wish to use the sofabed as a bed, we will have to remove the cover but it’s not a big deal since we no longer use it as a bed.

The total amount I spent for this project: P450 

  • Fabric — P450 (P90/yard x 5 yards). According to my MIL, there was around 1.5 yards in excess which I she turned into a pillow case and a printer cover.
  • Sewing fee — free c/o MIL 🙂

Not only were we able to cover the dirty spots on our couch, we were also able to give it a new look at a budget-friendly way. 🙂

More home projects to come! 🙂

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Experiencing the Beauty of Mt. Ugo

I was 15 when I first had a close encounter with nature and experienced its magnificent beauty. I can still vividly recall the picturesque, little mountain in Bongabon, Nueva Ecija as its green grassland met the perfect blue sky. After a few hours of walking up and down the hilly mountain, a mini-forest stood with a pristine water flowing by its side, the sound rushing down from a nearby falls in harmony with the whispering of the wind and the chirping of the birds. At the end of the stream was the louder sound of the river whose strong current we had to battle for us to go back to where we started.

That amazing experience coupled with my innate outdoorsy and adventurous characteristics made me long for nature. Climbing a mountain had been in my bucket list since then.

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View from the Mt. Ugo trail. I couldn’t find a picture of my first climb ever 15 years ago so I just posted this beautiful scenery instead. 🙂

Last end-April, I was able to finally cross this activity off my list and commune with nature once again. My office/college friend R mentioned during one of lunch breaks that she and her boyfriend-now-fiance were planning to do a 2-day hike to Mt. Ugo, a beautiful mountain in the Cordillera region. Our other friend J expressed her interest to tag along which made me so envious for the obvious reason that I have a family to look after and climbing a mountain and being away from them for 2 days just didn’t sound like a good idea.

Until one morning on my way to work with my dear husband, I casually mentioned it to him who replied me with “Why don’t you join them?” I had to double check if I heard his words right. “Are you serious? It’s an overnight climb. How about the kids?” “I’ll take care of them,” he assured.

I kissed him right there and then who was sitting behind the wheel and screamed, “Yay! Thanks, Daddy!” He knew so well how I really wanted to hike and how long I’ve been pestering him for us to do it together. Since our boyfriend-girlfriend days, I’ll never forget. 🙂

Fast forward a few weeks later. I was so excited and giddy for my first major climb as I later on learned that the Mt. Ugo traverse climb was a bit challenging due to its steep elevation, but definitely worth-it and rewarding because of the majestic view of the Cordillera mountains and the pine forests along the trails. So I did a little running and climbing the 6-floor stairs of our office in preparation for this climb. My friends and I also attended the pre-climb meeting where we first met our new friend, J, who facilitated the orientation.

We booked the packaged tour of Trail Adventours for convenience sake and reserved all the hardship and suffering in doing the hike itself. 😀 This is the most sound decision a first-time climber would make, especially to Mt. Ugo. And since it was going to be my first climb and I didn’t know how difficult the climb would be, I also hired a porter via Trail Ad for P500 per day (so P1,000 for 2 days).

Trail Ad already took care of our round-trip transportation, meals for Day 1 dinner and Day 2 breakfast and lunch, registration fees, and all the coordination with the local guides, porters, local authorities, etc. A Trail Ad shirt, personalized ID and a bag tag were also given as souvenirs. All in all, the package cost was P4,100.

This was our itinerary for the entire trip:

Day 1
10:00 PM Day 0: Meet up and Registration at Victory Liner KAMIAS Terminal
11:00 PM Estimated Time of Departure (ETD) for Aritao, Nueva Vizcaya
05:30 AM Estimated Time of Arrival (ETA) Aritao. Board Jeep to Kayapa (Mt Ugo jump-off point)
07:00 AM ETA Jump-Off Point. Breakfast. Buy Packed Lunch and Supplies
08:30 AM Start Trek
11:30 PM ETA Indupit Village. Lunch
01:00 PM Resume Trek
04:00 PM ETA Domolpos Village. Set Camp
06:00 PM Prepare Dinner
07:00 PM Dinner. Socials
10:00 PM Lights out

Day 2
03:00 AM Wake up call. Breakfast. Prepare for ascent to the Summit.
4:00 AM Start Ascent
7:00 AM ETA Summit
08:00 AM Start Descent
11:30 AM Arrive at Old Saw Mill. Lunch
12:30 PM Continue Trek
01:00 PM ETA Lusod Village
04:00 PM ETA Kawayan Village. Re-group and proceed to Barangay Hall
05:00 PM Arrive at Barangay Hall. Tidy up
06:00 PM ETD for Baguio
07:00 PM ETA Baguio. Dinner and souvenir shopping
09:00 PM ETD for Manila
03:00 AM Day 3: ETA Manila

We were able to follow our schedule except on Day 2 when we were delayed.

Let’s begin my account of my Mt. Ugo experience. 🙂

Day 1

The meeting time was at 10PM at Victory Liner Kamias Terminal but since my office friend J and I didn’t want to get caught in the rainy-Friday-payday traffic, I asked dear Daddy J to bring us to the bus terminal at an earlier time. We left home at around 7PM and arrived at the meeting place an hour and a half later. Early birds but at least we were not left by the group. 🙂

We hung out at the nearby 7-Eleven to pass time where we met our 2 other office friends R and J and at the same time completed our stuff and supplies to bring like toiletries, water, trail food, etc and had some light dinner to fill our hungry tummies.

By 10:45PM, our group of 18 adventurers was already on board the bus and had started to roll by 11PM. I tried to get as much quality sleep as I could during the 6-7 hour travel to Aritao and I think I only got my forty winks after the second stop-over. We arrived in Aritao at 5:30AM and the weather was good despite the rainy forecast. We then quickly boarded a rented jeepney to Kayapa which is the jump-off point. I managed to snatch a nap in that 1-hour jeepney ride. Hihi! 😉

We had breakfast at a carinderia in Kayapa’s mini-palengke where we also bought our packed lunch, additional water and other supplies (AAA batteries in my case for my head lamp), had bathroom break, did a little stretching, applied sunblock and got to know the group we spent the next 2 days with. I also hired a porter to transport my bag

My adventure of a lifetime started with a 2-3 hour steep assault. Whew! That was tough! But I enjoyed every minute of it! 🙂

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The Alpha pack leading the group. 🙂

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I needed a proof I was there! 🙂

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Somewhere along the trail.

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Twilight feels. 😀

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I wouldn’t have fulfilled my dream to climb a mountain if not for this lady. 😉 On another note, why do I have this lousy and annoying habit of bending and folding my knee when being taken a picture? 😀

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After a steep assault. The rest of our trek was made even more fun by the company of this guy. 🙂

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Smile! Where’s J? 😀

Time check: 11:30AM. Time for lunch at Indupit Village. This is where I started to appreciate Mountain Dew we bought from a sari-sari store. It did really taste good in the mountain! 😀

We resumed our trek an hour after where the trail was already flat but the view still fantastic!

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The gang. 😉

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And our new friend. 🙂

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This is the view that we were trying to get as our backdrop. 😀

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More breathtaking view along the flat trail

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Some more

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Taking a break for an emo shot 😀

A few more hours of walking and we reached the Domolpos Village where the elementary school which served as our campsite was located. We arrived at 4:30PM just in the nick of time before the heavy downpour! Thank God! I could imagine how cold and hassle it was for the other climbers who were still on the trail when the rain poured hard.

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There’s the school! 🙂

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Bread with peanut butter, brewed black coffee and hot lemongrass tea were made available as our merienda at the campsite. I had lemongrass tea which tasted so good and felt so relaxing after a challenging 8-hour hike. After merienda, I decided to freshen up by taking a shower despite the seemingly freezer-cold water. It wasn’t as bad as I thought because I used to take a bath with water that cold in my Tita’s place. 🙂

While waiting for our dinner, we played the card game Love Letter and poor me only won once. 😀 At around 8pm, our dinner of chicken curry and sautéed veggies with rice were ready and we all partook the food under the bright light of an improvised gas lamp and our respective headlamps since there is no electricity in the village. We played Love Letter again after having our fill and enjoyed the night with our new friends while the others took a more serious activity of drinking alcoholic beverage and the rest, even more serious and solemn in dozing off. 🙂 I wasn’t able to make a call to my babies because there was completely no network signal in the area. 😦

At 9:30PM, most of us were already in our sleeping bags except for those who were still finishing their bottle of alcoholic drink. I couldn’t sleep even if I already plugged in my earbuds and played by lullabye Hillsong Instrumental on Spotify because the drinkers were still drinking and chatting, there was someone snoring loudly, and I think I was namamahay. 😀 I had very light sleep and I woke up even to the very light scratching sound of movement in the sleeping bags.

Day 2

Everyone was already up at 3:00AM and we all started to pack up our things. We had fried rice, boiled egg, hotdog, canned tuna and coffee for breakfast. A quick briefing about the Day 2 hike was conducted then we were back on the trails on our way up to the summit amidst the cold and dark dawn.

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When the sun was about to rise.

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We caught the beautiful sunrise along the trail and I just couldn’t help but get mesmerized by God’s wonderful creation. He is truly magnificent.

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Beautiful.

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Along the trail to the summit also took place the life-changing event in R’s life: getting engaged! 🙂 How I wish I was with them to witness right before my eyes the proposal that transpired but I was hiking ahead. Booo! 😀 But I’m so happy for R and J! 🙂

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Nope, they’re not the newly engaged couple. 🙂

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Sea of clouds! According to our guide, Mt. Ugo rarely shows a sea of clouds. The downpour the night before was a blessing after all.

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Clearing 🙂

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The campsite near the summit with the campers. They were totally soaked because of the heavy rains the night before. 😦

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The muddy and mossy trail to the summit

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The scenery from the summit

After our group pic at the summit, we started our descent in what seemed to be an endless but full of fun trail because of the company of friends filling the long walk with jokes, laughters and stories. 🙂 This is also when our group began following a different itinerary. 😀

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Pine trees 🙂

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Shoefie in the mountain 😀

Before we started the day 2 trek, it was agreed by the entire team to have our lunch at the Lusod Village also called Kilometro 7, being 7km away from the jump-off point in Itogon, Benguet. But since we were trekking on chill mode, our tummies began growling even before we could reach the Lusod Village so the sweep pack aka slowest team aka our team just looked for a shaded ground where we had our lunch of fried chicken and rice and took some rest.

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Autumn? No, pine trees burnt to prepare the land for farming. 😦

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The endless walking under the scorching heat of the sun resumed until we finally reached Lusod Village. The alpha pack aka fastest group had already left when we arrived but there were other participants who patiently waited for us. Of course, what we had been waiting for: Mountain Dew time! 🙂

The remaining 7 kilometers to the Itogon jump-off point was a steep descent giving the newly-engaged J a hard time because of his ACL knee injury. Our energy began diminishing but thanks to the refreshing halo-halo we enjoyed eating at our last trail stop, we were re-energized. 🙂

At this point, we only cared about reaching the Brgy. Hall. I barely even checked the time but the sure thing was the sun hadn’t set yet when we reached Kawayan Village. Obviously, the much faster participants had already freshen up and were taking a rest while we were still suffering. 😀

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The bridge! We’re near! 🙂 Below this bridge flows the Agno river.

After around a kilometer, we finally reached the Brgy. Hall. Whew! Imagine an entire day of walking. Again, WHEW! 🙂

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Finally, Kilometer 0! Wooooh, we did it! 🙂

And the one thing we were excited about? Shower! 🙂 But our turn took forever because there were a lot of mountaineers who were also lined up. I fixed my things first while waiting for my turn and was very tempted to take a nap. 😀

After an hour or more of waiting, I finally felt fresh and ready to sleep. Haha! We boarded the jeep and left the Brgy. Hall at around 7:30pm, an hour and a half late from our target ETD. We thought we wouldn’t be able to catch our 9pm bus but our jeepney driver was so fast despite the zigzag road – we reached the Victory Liner Terminal in Baguio just in time for us to have a quick dinner before boarding the bus. I must tell that a zigzag road and a fast driver are a not a perfect combination. I felt so dizzy I wanted to puke! 😦

Apart from the dizzy-almost-puking feeling, my entire Mt. Ugo experience was one-of-a-kind and I’m so glad I gave in to my long desire for nature trips. It was a hard climb but a very fulfilling one. My first but definitely not the last. 🙂

The Return of the Super Momma

Background music please (insert Superman theme here) and my Super Momma cape (insert Super Momma fierce look).

Perfect!

…for my foolish-and-corny-epic-drama-fail comeback to my blabbering world (you hear the word again! 🙂 ).

I know, it’s been a while! Been out somewhere out there for the past 10 months! I have already given birth to a precious baby now and spending sleepless nights again if I will liken my “blogging AWOL” to pregnancy. BUT, for the record, I’m not going to be a mom again soon. I do want to but not in the near future. Yet. 😉

Well, it’s just the “virtual” Super Momma who’s been away for quite sometime and the “real” Super Momma has always been around. 😉

So where have I been all along? I’m trying to remember what led to my sudden “disappearance” and I think I can trace it back to the time when I was trying to gather myself together until things happened along the way.

Allow me to recall even just some highlights in the 10 months I’ve been away, based on my epidural-affected memory:

  • Got hooked to #AshMatt (just Google it! Haha!) and felt like a fangirling teenager again 😀
  • Became physically active with running (with inconsistencies though 😀 ) and finished my first ever 10k run with an injured foot
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“Pain is temporary, quitting lasts forever.” My first official 10k run with an injured left foot. Crossed the finish line at 1:10. 🙂

  • Accompanied the Big Boy to their school field trip to Art in Island in Cubao, QC and Sweet Harmony in Taytay, Rizal where he thought we were visiting Dinosaur Island in Pampanga again
  • Traveled to South Korea and experienced the wonderful Korean autumn with my husband to celebrate our 5th wedding anniversary
  • Finally joined a Pursuit Community gathering which I’ve been attempting to do since the community started a year ago
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Thankful and glad to be able to join Pursuit Manila’s last gathering for 2015.

  • Enjoyed wrapping gifts for Christmas using magazine pages and recycled jute strings
  • Became an amateur event stylist for my cousin-in-law’s DIY wedding and magically finished all the DIYs for her wedding in 7 days
  • Spent 3 days in the hospital because the Little Princess experienced incessant vomiting and followed by diarrhea due to food intolerance
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Waiting for the doctor’s advise to go home. 

  • Started our long-delayed home improvement by installing the customized pieces of furniture that I designed
  • Celebrated the Big Boy’s 5th birthday with a trip to Avilon Zoo instead of the usual small home party and granting his simple wish for a Jollibee lunch out 🙂
  • Witnessed my shy Big Boy come out of his little shell when he recited his poem at their Oral Interpretation Contest in school and performed their dance interpretation at their Kindergarten Recognition Day
  • Spent an unforgettable 2 stressful weeks of overtime work in the office and sleepless nights at home to finish a report
  • Took a break from work and spent Holy Week in our province and relaxingly savored the rural life I’ve long been yearning

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  • Suddenly felt becoming a certified Tita of Manila with my growing interest in collecting china and plants 😀
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From cloth diapers to teapots and teacups. I’m now a legit TITA. 🙂

  • Prepared a simple, stress-free Anna Frozen birthday dinner at home for the Little Princess’ 3rd birthday where I baked cupcakes for the first time 🙂
  • Did things for the first time — climbing a mountain and surfing — and awakened the outdoorsy and adventurous in me 🙂
  • Caught up with work, managing our home and the need to balance everything with my family in between all these

It’s been quite eventful and productive 3 quarters, hasn’t it? 🙂

But honestly, after such a long unintentional break, I don’t know how to make a comeback to blogging. I don’t know where to start. It seems to be like an unfamiliar territory all over again. I can even count with my fingers the number of times I visited my virtual home. Sedentary is the perfect description for this blog.

But this long hiatus gave me an opportunity to re-evaluate my purpose for blogging: the one that I stated when I started my very first entry versus the one that was inside my heart.

It’s still and will always be my desire to share my experiences and learnings about faith, life, marriage, motherhood and my other interests through blogging with the hope of inspiring and blessing other people. But I realized and I must admit that this motive was gradually and unmindfully got masked by my “secret wish” to turn my blog into something remunerative. I became so conscious of my low site visit and deep within me, I was hoping to get more readers and to build engaged readers which sort of put pressure to myself to come up with something informative or engaging. But guess what, the ironic thing is, eventhough I wanted to gain readers, I get uncomfortable whenever I see more people are viewing my posts! I personally do not like too much attention. Weird, right? 😀

Having thought about this, I, the Super Momma, am returning to blogging with a fresh perspective and a renewed purpose: to continue to share and hopefully inspire without looking for rewards beyond the heart-warming feeling of being able to impart something worthwhile out of my own heart’s desire because this is already a reward in itself. It also sets me free from the worries and anxieties of trying to reach more people and sort of “please” them with my written thoughts. I’ll just take it easy and bring back the joy of blogging. I believe the Lord has a plan for everything. Even for this blog. 🙂

And while I was planning my return, God reminded me what it means to be a Super Mom according to His standards through the post I read from one of my favorite blogs, Teach with Joy. Being a Super Mom is not about being the “super” mom who can do and be everything all at the same time: taking care of the family, managing the home, espousing a certain parenting style or belief, pursuing own passion and interests, keeping a good job. Nor being the “perfect” mom who can “ably and excellently” do all these at once. Nor being the “better” mom who is a “perfect” mom who is very conscious if she is doing her motherhood duties better than the other moms.

I know as moms who do everything for our children, we have fallen into the trap of this crazy “super mommyhood competition” at one point in our lives. I personally have. Being a breastfeeding, babywearing, cloth diapering and baby-led weaning mom, I had this thought balloon in my head proudly saying “I am that ‘super’ mom and ‘perfect’ mom” because I’m a modern working mom who practices and advocates attachment parenting, unlike the others. I also wanted my kids to be “advanced” in achieving milestones and felt the pressure when I see my fellow moms post updates, photos or videos showing off the accomplishments of their kids in social media. I know, very very wrong on so many levels.

But thank God for poking me and saying, “Hey, Gwynna, that’s not the role of a mother and motherhood is not a competition.” Our children’s behavior  will always be a reflection of how we, parents, rear them and we will always hear other people giving praises or condemnation of our parenting, but as mothers, we are accountable not to men but to the Lord who entrusted us with our wonderful children. Therefore, we should raise our children in accordance to God’s purpose for us. Our standards for being a “super mom” should be based on His standards and not the world’s. And like the essence of this blog, He is the One who makes each and every mom a Super Mom.

Very timely realizations.

And now, I’ll save myself from writing and you from reading a novel because you know, I tend to share a lot without noticing especially when I’ve been away for sometime and it will be quite a long catch-up session. Just want to say that I honestly missed blogging. And I’m back! No pressure. 😉

After 10 months again? Kidding! 🙂

Sweet Cottage and Rustic Dreams

When hubby and I got married, we rented a small 2-bedroom, up-and-down apartment where we nestled for 3 years. I always wanted to decorate our house then but like what hubby would always say, it’s not practical to invest so much on pieces of furniture and other things on a place that we consider as temporary. So for 3 years, we endured the disorganized (no, chaotic is the better term) look of our house until we moved to our own place over a year ago.

It took us a combination of guts and a leap of faith to finally acquire our own home because we didn’t have a huge amount of money to begin with and a concrete timetable on when we would be getting a house. Too much had happened at that time — we getting married, moving to our rented place, the arrival of the Big Boy and the never-ending expenses thereafter. But we just realized that in a span of 3 years, we have been “throwing away” 14k every month for the rent which already amounts to half a million! A huge waste of money. And as what my MIL puts it, “para kaming naghuhulog sa butas na alkansya”. Valid point.

Via Better Homes & Garden

A dream home — a porch, lawn, plants, trees. 🙂 Via Better Homes & Gardens

So we began to actively look for a place we can call our own. There were a lot of considerations — proximity to our workplace, hospital and grocery, accessibility, susceptibility to flood, space for the kids to run around, floor area of the house, the neighborhood and of course, the most important of all, budget. I personally prefer a townhouse or a single-detached house over a condominium, particularly high-rise condos, primarily because I don’t like the idea of settling in a tall building literally. It doesn’t feel like living in a house! It feels like living in an office. With beds.

Also, having stayed in a condo in the past, its floor area tends to be very limited as if designed to accommodate Hobbits if not Snow White’s seven dwarves. And you are allowed to cramp all of your belongings only within the square meters that you purchase/rent. Also with a house, you own a physical land whose value appreciates quickly while in the case of condos, ownership is limited to the “airspace” and its value does not go up as fast as detached houses or townhouses.

Via Countryfarm Lifetyles

Lovely flowering plants by the porch. How I wish we could have this in our current home. 😀 Via Countryfarm Lifetyles

Our search for our new home that’s ours led us to this residential development I was hesitant to consider until I personally saw the place. The moment we entered the gates, I fell in love with it. Hubby did too, the first time he visited the area. I imagined the Big Boy and the Little Princess running while squealing with joy around the playground. It was quiet and peaceful as if you were not living in a city. It may not be a piece of land as I wished but it perfectly suited our needs and budget.

Via Home Bunch
Via Home Bunch

A few months after, we moved in to this new abode. With our bank accounts almost depleted from the purchase of the house, we settled for the available items and furniture pieces that we have to “decorate” even if they looked awful inside our now more appealing house interiors (Imagine dining on poor old scathed monoblock tables resting against a newly painted wall 😀 ). We also needed to prioritize what we would acquire to fit in our little home given our limited funds. And much as we would like to have our home decorated by a professional designer, our budget does not permit as of now. So instead of waiting for our place to magically turn into a space like those that can be seen on the pages of Real Living or Apartment Therapy, we, especially I, awakened my hidden interest on interior design and started working little by little over time on improving our place.

Via Better Homes & Gardens

A pleasant, cheery yard is love. 🙂 Via Better Homes & Gardens

Ours is not yet fully transformed as there are still a looooot of areas that we need to “prettify”– the kitchen (oh the kitchen!), the shoe rack/cabinet (where did I put the design I drafted, btw?), the family command center (my DIYs!), the photo gallery wall in our living room (apparently, it still displays the paper frame patterns I stuck last year 😀 ), the repainting job, our room, the kids’ room, etc, etc…panic attack!  But it looks way better now than when we first moved in. I can say, it looks a bit like a house now. 😉 However, I’m not going to post before and after photos of our house because I didn’t even bother to take photos of our house in its gruesome state. What I’d like to share is how I’d like our home to look like. 🙂 At least, I’d have something inspiring to look at (and motivate me to start drafting our home improvement plan! :D).

I grew up in the province so I would like to come home after a tiring day’s work to a place that would give me a cozy, home-y, away-from-the-city feeling. Something cottage, farmhouse or rustic. I don’t like the modern design with warm, hotel-like beaming lights and shiny floor and furniture because it makes me feel like I’m coming to an office rather than a home.

I’m drooling over those pallet woods! We MUST have that in our home! 🙂

And since hubby and I consider ourselves as happy people, our home needs to be vibrant and colorful giving a cheery vibe!

cottage6

Not as colorful as this but you get the point 🙂 Via Forgie Home Staging

I particularly like the turquoise and orange color combination with a touch of yellow, green and gray.

I want a Chesterfield sofa, in leather ideally, because we have a toddler and a pre-schooler who can easily turn a white linen into brown. 😀

cottage living

The tufting is so pretty! 🙂 Via HGTV

The pieces of furniture need to have distressed look to intensify the cottage-homey feel.

Traditional Entry by Crowley Media & Bloggers The Virginia House

When it comes to the kitchen, wood pallets must also be present – as backsplash! Oh, lovely! 🙂

Via Better Homes & Gardens

Via Cromly

And a wooden kitchen island! 🙂

kitchen

A distressed one at that! Pretty! Via Pinterest

Though our space is a bit small, I’d like to have a small kitchen bar counter also made of wood.

barcounter

Via Etsy

My brother DIY-ed a bar counter out of wood scraps from my parents’ renovated home and I’m resisting all the urge to steal it and put in our home! 😀

For our dining area, I want our table to be made of natural wood with colorful, mismatched chairs!

cottage dining

White table like this is also pretty! Look at the drawer! I like given our limited space. Via Atticmag

How I wish we can have a porch or balcony like this with lots of plants…

And I’ll fill our home with loootttsss of DIYs!

*Swoon* 🙂

I’ve actually kept more photos of and inspirations for my cottage dream home on my Pinterest page. 🙂 You may want to take a peek here!

I think better stop dreaming and start preparing our home improvement plan this weekend. 🙂

New, Exciting and Unfortunate Things

I’m trying to remember what kept me from even saying “Hi!” here on my blabbering world for quite a while and I realized it’s because a lot has happened to me, to the kids and around me that I could no longer catch up.

So while I was “away” trying to figure out what’s going on, this happened.

No, that's not a seahorse! That's my hair! :)

No, that’s not a seahorse! That was my hair! 🙂

And the owner of that unruly wavy hair had the guts to take a selfie to show her new look! 😀

new hair1

Guess how many shots I took to make a successful selfie attempt? I’m always a newbie! 😀

Apart from my new short hair, I’m also braces-free now! Yipee! 🙂 I’m on retainers stage for I don’t know how long.

Okay, enough of vanity. 😀

All the playfulness aside, I personally went through some, let’s say, introspection and reflection I wish I could find the words to put together to tell about. I’ll try to find the words when I find the time. Haha! But for now, I decided to announce my come-back from “unintentional” blogging hiatus with some updates about my adorable sweeties. 🙂 It wouldn’t be about me, fortunately. 😀

If you have, by any chance, visited this blog in the past and out of boredom or curiosity tried to take peek into it again, you may have noticed that I blurred the photos of my kids. I went through the tedious process of checking all my posts one by one and replacing all of my children’s photos with Gausian-blurred ones. Why?

For security reasons. One of the keyword searches that drove traffic to this blog for a couple of days even weeks is mommy8. It was a puzzle in my head:  why would a file name of a photo that I included in one of my posts appear in my keyword search? So out of curiosity, I googled it and got shocked and annoyed at the same time when I found out that it has something to do with XXX! My goodness!

You know, I’m trying to maintain a wholesome blog here and all of a sudden I would get visits from people who have carnal intentions. Scary. My thought wandered. Then I panicked! My kids! They’d get to see my kids! What if they do something sick with my kids’ photos?!  Then some more paranoiac thoughts followed. What if they stalk my kids and kidnap them?!  God forbid please.

So I spent night after night editing photos of my 2 innocent yet spirited children that I have already posted to save them from potential harm from the internet. I know I should’ve done that before. I should’ve trusted my guts to not post any picture of them but I was thinking then, “no one gets to read this blog anyway.” What was in my mind, huh? It’s the world wide web for Pete’s sake and I didn’t even set my blog into private so somewhere, somehow, someone would stumble upon this online dumpsite of my thoughts and experiences. Pffft. Anyhow, at least I’ve done some preventive action. 😀

Moving on to happy thoughts now. 🙂

The Big Boy has been back to school as a Kindergartener for more than 3 weeks now and so far he’s doing good. He has adjusted to going to school and seeing new teachers and classmates except…waking up early in the morning. 😀

He mutters in droopy eyes that refuse to open, “Antok ako”  (or if he’s in English mode, “I’m sleepy”) and covers his face with a pillow. He’s like this 50% of the time so he comes to school late most of the time.

Other than his tantrums obviously due to his interrupted sleep, he’s excited to go to school.  And what makes him excited?  He gets to drag his Lighting McQueen “suitcase bag” (trolley bag) with his matching McQueen lunchbox inside. 😀

schoolbag

He really likes pulling his “suitcase bag” 😀

And he gets home enthusiastic with what they did in school.

ME: What did you do in school?

BIG BOY: I ate my snacks!

I knew it! That’s his favorite part of schooling! Hahaha! Who doesn’t like snacktime? 😀 At least he eats the baon I prepare. Hehe! Don’t worry, there’s normally a follow-up answer.

BIG BOY:  Then I color[ed] the butterfly and paste[d] it on the board. 

Or whatever activity they did for the day. 🙂 But snacktime is usually the highlight. 😀

Of course, days before his back-to-school, I spent a few late nights labeling and covering his school supplies, notebooks and books. The duties of a mom with a school kid, and this will double once the Little Princess has become a school kid, too. 😀  Anyhow, my life was made easier by the Time Saver plastic cover cut into book size that I discovered in National Bookstore and by recycling the Big Boy’s school labels last year which I designed myself and printed on sticker paper.

schoolstuff

But before his school started, we brought the Big Boy to our dentist  Doc M to get dental fillings for his molars. His molars have already developed cavities and whenever he sees his tooth decays in the mirror, the Big Boy always tells me to visit Doc M and have his teeth fixed. “Mommy, sira na teeth ko. Let’s go to the dentist.”

According to Doc M, molar teeth regenerate at age 13 or 14 so it would be better to have his 4 molar teeth filled to avoid toothaches. So we decided to proceed with the procedure.

The Big Boy readily sat on the dental chair and followed Doc M’s instructions. The drilling began and our pretty dentist was amazed at how behaved the Big Boy was. She mentioned she normally does not drill young children’s teeth because kids tend to move a lot or get impatient but the Big Boy did it! 🙂 Right after his procedure, the Big Boy ran to the dentist’s box of toy treats for her kid patients and got an airplane toy. He already knows the drill! 😀

dentistbb

I’m happy that the Big Boy gets to appreciate the importance of dental visits at a young age and he gets comfortable going to the dentist. Because we still need to go back for the other 2 molars! 😀

Now, while exciting things take place for the Big Boy, our Little Princess went through some ordeal!

One fine Friday afternoon about two weeks ago, the Little Princess was playing at the playground with her Daddy (who was on leave from work) and Kuya. She was climbing the stairs to the slide when she slipped and her nose bridge hit the edge of the wood! My poor Little Princess! 😦 I was at the office when I received a call from hubby telling me, in a broken voice, what happened and that he was going to bring her cutie lady to the hospital to be checked because her nose bridge swelled up. He assured that the Little Princess was no longer crying but he wanted to have her checked by the doctor to be sure because it was a delicate part of her body that was hit.

I left work and followed them quickly to the hospital. Thankfully, the Little Princess was her usual lively self when I saw them at the ER. And barefoot. 😀 People at home probably forgot to pick up her shoes out of panic.

The Little Princess was examined by the pediatrician, her wound cleaned and iced (slightly because she didn’t like being pressed with an icepack on her face) then she cried and an x-ray test was performed on her facial area (where she cried again) to ensure she had no fracture as the pedia confirmed that the nasal area is a very sensitive part of our body. An EENT doctor assessed her (where she again cried) after the x-ray results were out and thank God, no fracture was seen. We were just given some instructions and medications for the Little Princess and after like forever, we were discharged. And the crying stopped except when we she didn’t get what she wanted like playing with the hospital stuff.

She was happy when the doctor announced she had no fracture. :D

She was happy when the doctor announced she had no fracture! 😀 (Apparently, the bruise on her nose also got blurred 😀 )

Just a side story: while we were waiting in the ER, the Little Princess of course became hungry and had to nurse from me. I realized it was already dinner time so she latched and latched and latched. Another pediatrician noticed her breastfeeding while we were waiting for them to discharge us and gave this encouraging remark, “Very good, Mommy. Keep it up”. It made me smile giddily. 😀 Because for the first time in 2 years  that we have been breastfeeding, I received a positive feedback about our breastfeeding from a stranger. I normally get a quiet gaze, sometimes with laughter, whenever we breastfeed in public.

Another untoward though funny incident happened on Father’s Day. We went out and brought the kids to a play place at the mall then had a Japanese dinner after. Come dessert time, I ordered a green tea ice cream which the Little Princess liked a lot. She noshed on a spoonful of ice cream then some more, one after another. After getting satisfaction from the green tea ice cream, she walked back and forth the aisle until I noticed a brown thingy on her legs and socks. The green tea turned brown and leaked from her cloth diaper, some even spilled on the floor! Sorry, TMI. Haha! 😀

So I rushed the Little Princess to the washroom and cleaned her up. Thanks to the restaurant crew who was kind enough to offer me lots of bathroom tissue. And for wetbags too, where all her stained cloth diaper, skirt and socks went sealed.

I bet you prefer to see this rather than a photo of what happened on Father's Day. :D This figurine was our gift for Daddy J together with some other stuff :)

I bet you would rather see this than what happened to the Little Princess on Father’s Day. 😀 Btw, this figurine was our gift for Daddy J together with some other stuff 🙂

That’s not the end of it all. Five days after, the Little Princess caught fever which prompted me, as usual, to take that day off from work to monitor her for weakness, loss of appetite, rashes, etc. I don’t want to rely on the yaya when any of my kids is sick. The Little Princess’ fever went to us high as 39 degrees Celsius and lasted only for one day.

The following day though, rashes sprouted at the Little Princess’ arms, hands, legs and feet. I dismissed that it’s Roseola because she has already acquired it in the past so off we went to her pediatrician for check up. The diagnosis — Hand Foot and Mouth Disease (HFMD). It’s a viral infection common among young children that produces sores in the mouth and rashes in the skin specifically the hands and the feet. It made more sense to me why the Little Princess breastfed almost all day while she was sick.

The onset of rashes on the Little Princess' arms. It spread to her body, back, thighs and even her nape. Poor little girl! :(

The onset of rashes on the Little Princess’ arms. It spread to her body, back, thighs and even her nape. Poor little girl! 😦

I’m familiar with HMFD (not because I’ve read about it online 😀 ) because the Big Boy caught this virus on his 1st birthday party and I also acquired it after sharing a frozen yogurt with him. Though I’m obviously no longer a child, the doctor explained that I probably didn’t get the virus when I was younger that’s why it was transmitted to me now that I’m an adult. I’m telling you, it was terrible to get an HMFD because of the sores and rashes which makes it difficult to eat and walk.

So where did the Little Princess get the virus? We’re quite sure it was at the play place we visited on Father’s Day because the place was full of potential carriers aka kids. Well, that’s part of being a kid. 😉 They have to go out and get exposed to their surroundings (and viruses as well 😀 ) every once in a while. We cannot just leave them trapped at home like Rapunzel. Thank God, at least her fever wasn’t dengue. 🙂

Thankfully, the Little Princess is doing well now — no more rashes and back to her energetic state (though it seemed that her sickness didn’t even affect her energy level 😀 ). But we’re not bringing her out yet because she might transmit the virus to other people or get a new virus this time. It’s already sickness season.

There. I guess this pretty sums up what “has been” recently or at least the past three weeks. Another three weeks for my next post? Nope. It’s hard to catch up! Haha! 🙂