Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Weekday bonding time

Its 5:15 and I am waiting for my daughter and yaya to arrive so we can go to Megamall.  Somehow I like that we get to spend some hours at the mall for some bonding time (dinner + malling).  Because normally during the weekends time is spent for chores or resting at home or going places we need to go to.  And malls are usually very cramped on weekends and parking is hell.  Weekday traffic can be bad as well but at least we don't have trouble parking, and the number of people around the mall is forgiving.  I don't know yet if it will get any worse with the Christmas season, thereby we will have to cut back on the weekday visits.  I guess two or three more weeks will be ok, but by December I can forget about it with all the traffic that is Ortigas.

Friday, October 29, 2010

First Checkup for the Baby No. 2

Yesterday afternoon I was finally able to tell the boss that I am pregnant.  I've been contemplating for the past 2 weeks how to tell him, it was sheer luck that he put me through a feedback session.  And since it was a no-holds barred session anyway, I already told him in all honesty about my pregnancy.  It takes a lot off my mind to be honest with him on that.  And luckily he was ok with it and appreciated the honesty and the very early advise. :-) I was relieved.
And then this morning, I finally decided to spend lunchtime going to The Medical City-SM Marikina to have my first check up.  I was kinda delaying it thinking that I want the first ultrasound to have a clear pole and heartbeat already however it was not the case.  Though by age based on my last LMP I am already 6 weeks along, by the trans-V ultrasound I was just actually 4 weeks and 6 days.  No heartbeat yet.  I need to wait another 2 weeks for another trans-V ultrasound and hopefully we would have the heartbeat by then.  I need to take the vitamins, folic acid and the anmum now to supplement.
So all is well,  I am hoping this is a successful pregnancy.  The two weeks wait is a long stretch but then time flies fast and next thing you know I'd be hearing Baby No. 2's heartbeat already.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Lunch Break

Testimony to my newly found laziness: I am now at the office for the 3rd consecutive day during lunchbreak.  I don't know if its because I'm pregnant that's why I'm lazy or its because I've no shopping money right now, but I don't really feel like walking out the door during lunch breaks as I usually would, up until last week.  Now I want to just stay in the office and hug my cute pillow during the break, get a shut-eye for 15-minutes, and then wake up still sleepy at 1pm.
Oh, and I'm really happy that so far, there are no pregnancy symptoms yet.  Last time I didn't get any, I'm hoping this time its the same, a few cravings here and there, and then some throwing up a FEW times is ok.  I did that for like less than 5 times during my first pregnancy and I'm hoping its the same thing now.
Oh, I'm glad I am back to blogging now.  Hopefully, I'll be able to write down my experiences from now on, its something I miss doing, but now I resolve to write again.  I want my second pregnancy to be just as memorable as the first one.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Blessings come when you least expect it

A few months ago, to be exact when hubby when to the US for a month, we decided that I stop taking pills already.  One, to guard my health.  My family has a history of cancer and we're fearing that prolonged use of the pills will have a negative effect.  I've been using it for more than 2 years before giving birth and another 3 years after Jessica.  No other means worked for me.  We are not good at withdrawal and NFP and injectables shook up my hormones a bit when I tried it.  We're not so thrilled of using C's.  So the pills were still the most stable thing we could think of.  And so in July I stopped using it.  When hubby came back it was more the calendar method.
When my period didn't come this October, I didn't think any of it. Might be delayed. I might be stressed.  We did our counting and all seemed well.  Or so I thought.  Just for the fun of it, I tried taking the test with an old kit I kept at home.  For some reason I can't even remember why I had it.  And then it turned positive.  And with the many things I read about the topic, I could remember so well that its more common and probable to have a false negative than to have a false positive.
And the rest, as they say, is history. :-)  Jessica is turning 4 in May and I'll be due in June.  Hopefully I can give Jess a jollibee party before I'm due as a tribute to being the only child. And so she won't feel too jealous when the baby comes out.
We are happy for the blessings.  While its a bit earlier that we expected it, we're just as happy knowing that we have been blessed again.  God is really great.  He gives us what our hearts truly, truly desire.

Monday, September 27, 2010

A year since Ondoy

Its been a year and one day since that fateful day when Ondoy struck hard and changed lives of millions.  Us included.  As I look back to the year that was, its more so that I feel blessed for all the experiences, hardships, and gifts of love for the past year.
I've just stopped from work last July 2009 so when Ondoy happened, I was staying at home and was able to clean and put back what Ondoy destroyed.  Despite being one of the thousands flooded that day, all I felt after the flood was through and the electricity was up and we could look at the news, was to thank God for sparing our lives, and while we had to throw so many stuff away and it took us a month to put life back to normal, a lot had it worse, suffering the loss of loved ones, homes, cars, and livelihood.  All our appliances worked after Ondoy. Our car, although it was wet and a bit flooded, survived without any major problems and there was no need to bring it to an auto shop for repairs. We received a lot of help from family and neighbors and friends, and no one got sick because of the flood waters.  It was an experience we won't forget but rather than to feel remorse or abandoned, I feel blessed that whatever damage was brought about by Ondoy, we were able to move on.
A month after I had my first stint at business and I'd say it did well.  Now even as I do it part-time I know it will work and I know some people already trust me to become repeat customers.  I will still work on the bazaars despite working full time.  That I know for sure.
I let our 1st househelp go last December.  I was seeing things that I felt were not good for my daughter and didn't like the way she was acting up.  While I was tired at night having to bring a toddler everywhere, I was thankful that I could spend time with her, while a lot of moms having full time jobs don't get as much chance.  I spent 3 months as full time nanny and wife before the blessing of another househelp, twice as good as the first, came.  I still consider her as one of my blessings.
Starting January I actively started looking for work again.  It was hard in that I was looking at getting into a senior/mid-manager position but a lot that was coming in was more of supervisory posts.  But I tried anyway. I got some offers but they were far below expectations.  And I was finding it harder and harder to balance the home budget.  I was never a big spender but I wanted to have the liberty to go out with family and spend some for them.  And I felt guilty that all the earnings of hubby went to the family.  I always did let him have the things he wanted, spend for his hobbies.  But he stepped up and offered to give everything and just leave some allowance for him. He was even the one to tell me to reject the offers that came that were too low.  He felt I deserved better.
The job offer I was waiting for finally came in June.  It was near our home and the pay is good.  The position was what I was waiting for too.  Its a good company and I enjoy what I do.  Now, three months into this career and there are no regrets.  We get to enjoy some family eat-outs and I can splurge a little when I want to.  Life is good.
So the past year was one great roller coaster ride.  But it brought me closer to family, and while it was the hardest we have had so far as a family, it made us realize priorities and made us want to plan more for the future.  Now life is back on track and while I find myself so busy at times, balancing work, business, some more outside work, family, and friends.  Sometimes I feel I don't even have time to spend for myself.  I'm in dire need of a haircut, a massage and waxing.  But I go to sleep at night and always, always feel thankful for all the blessings we've received.
Sometimes it takes challenges for us to be wiser and stronger. And for me the past year was exactly what I needed. :-)

Tuesday, August 31, 2010


There is truly a great joy in living at your own place.  Ok, in our mortgaged place, if I may correct myself.  One major, major (tribute to Venus!) is not having to ask permission from anyone to do anything there.  Like if I wanted house repairs then nobody really cares about it and I can do it anytime.
And so I took advantage of hubby's one week vacation to Dumaguete (he went with his friend/officemate), to do some stuff at home.  Pictures to follow, was too busy with the activities to take any pics.
One thing I planned to do on the onset was to paint the single wall in the Dining area that was not white.  Backgrounder: we got a 20yr old house, so it was not exactly in "mint" condition, the previous owners who sold it to us did paint it white before they sold it so it looks ok, but the house itself was built on two parts, the original house had some wood on it separating the dining area to the room (what we now call the hobby room).  All the other walls in the living room, kitchen area, dining area, were concrete and painted white.  So when two weeks a go hubby and I took advantage of a buy-one take one sale on makro of 3-layer shelves, which sold for 2 for 500, or 250 each, I felt what needed to be done was to paint that single wall with white so everything turns out white around the dining table. And so when hubby finally decided to push through with his vacation I took the opportunity to do the painting.
So Sunday morning Jess and I went out to Robinsons MetroEast to do some paint-shopping. I had in mind to use odorless paint so there's a more forgiving smell once I put in on, since its indoors and not exactly a lot of windows around it.  Unfortunately after a long discussion with the hardware guy, I found out odorless paint can't be applied to unpainted surfaces, you will still need a primer, or flatwall enamel in our case, to put there before putting the odorless paint.   Then there is the issue of size.  The odorless paint sold gallon sizes only. And with the primer plus the odorless paint (which costs than Php 500 per can by the way), I felt I did not need all the leftover paint.  So I had to make do with smelly paint and just bought the flatwall enamel, around half-liter which supposedly can cover around 20-25 sqm, my wall was around 2x3 meters only so it should be enough for two coatings already.  Bought a paint tray and a roller, a bottle of paint thinner and one paintbrush.  And then I bought another can of gold spray paint because I wanted to paint an old aluminum table gold so it looks new.  But I'll get to that later.
When I got home I prepped the area, took out everything that's hanging there, set aside the new shelves, and put masking tape along the circular mirror on that wall. I had no plans of taking out the mirror and risk breaking it.  Someday I will take out the whole wall and replace the old wood, so what I was doing was not at all permanent.  I painted the wall with one coat using a roller, and for the small gap-things that was supposed to be part of the design, I had to use a brush since its brown in there.  I felt I did fine, after a few hours I painted a second coating, and left the electric fan open throughout the night to let the wall breath. I put some vinegar and baking soda there as well, to help absorb the paint.  The result was nice, there were smudges of paint on some brown framings near the ceiling, but its no big deal for me.
The next day I painted the old table gold, after spending an hour taking off the rust and the stuff there, I suppose they were because of oxidation.  I used the spray paint which was a really nice idea, and the gold color was a good choice.  I am very pleased with the outcome.
And then I realized I actually need some white spray paint to paint some discolored areas of the wall. That's another small project for me.
All in all, I'd say the past weekend was very fulfilling. I got to do a lot and that pleases me.  I do need some rest though, but this week is going to be quite a busy week, so these activities will probably have to wait until the next weekend.
(Pictures to follow...)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

July Update

Ok, so I haven't updated my blog for a while.  Its been a month since I last blogged and again, I feel bad I always forget, when it makes me feel good that I actually blog.
But anyway, there is quite a few stuff to update, the past month, as I said, was the first time hubby left for a short onsite stint, so for a month it was just me, yaya and Jess at home.  Did a couple of things to while away my time. That is, aside from actually working and transitioning myself back to the corporate world.  But I will forever be grateful that I landed this job, I believe its really more than what I could ask for.  A great role that is both a challenge and a sign of achievement (naks!), pretty good compensation (I am not super highly paid, I just feel that I am fortunate to land a job where I can comfortably stay and not feel underpaid), and winner location, where I actually do walk from outside the village to the office.  Its not something people are lucky to get.  I won't mind working in Makati if it would give me a good role or good pay, but this one, this is just a dream.  And I love it because of that.  One month forward and I'm ok with work.  I love that it doesn't kill me with pressure.  There are downsides of course, such as half-day saturday work which is a first, but since I live too near home I don't mind.  The people in the office are ok, my boss is trying to mentor me, but I think I am slowly getting in the stream of things.  So work-wise, there is a lot to be thankful for.
Last month I got myself to finally work up the courage to enroll in driving school.  Thankfully, I can now drive the car to work (and sometimes a bit farther too!).  Yey for me! I have yet to go a longer way, but I'll let that be slowly. I still like it better when I'm the passenger anyway.
Hubby is finally home, and we're now enjoying time together, as if we're newlyweds! Kidding! We will get back to the mainstream though, just as soon as he's recovered from jetlag.  But all in all, he's ok. And I feel the time away from each other has also helped us see the value of the marriage and being together and actually spending time together (believe me, these are entirely two different things, which you will only realize when you are away from each other).
In summary, the past month was a great one for me, and hopefully a start of better things to come. :-)

Monday, June 28, 2010

A new first

After 9 years of being together as a couple plus another 4 years plus married, you'd think we'd have experienced most of our firsts together already. First big fight, first car, first family home, first pet, first baby.  Now there's a new first for us, and that is the first time to be physically apart for a month.
Hubby has been assigned to an offshore project for a month in the US. We've been anticipating this already since initially he was supposed to be out in April, but this was cancelled and now he is on a new project and it entails being in the US for 4 weeks.  He left june 27 and is due to be back july 25.
Like all first times, it mighty hard to adjust.  First, I'm so used to having him just here.  Free to text, free to chat, same time zone. The 1 day apart from the time he left to the airport was hellish enough because he was incommunicado.  Thank God for Skype though, we at least get to see each other.  Its a big thing, this technology. At least there's webcam and chat.  Good thing I am allowed that here in the office, I can wait for hubby to be online.
We're just starting with the setup and though I know it'll get easier in time and then one month is just a short period, well, there are times I just terribly miss him, and the thought of not having him here just plain sucks.  I could of course savor weekends I can spend with myself or with my daughter.  Always wanted to go out sometimes, and maybe this is one of those opportunities to do so.
As for hubby, I can only say that this is such a great opportunity for him.  I've always been by himself, and by going out of the country alone he will be more confident and sociable. :-) Spread your wings and fly, my love!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

On moving on and forward

Today marks my last day out of a 1 year hiatus from the corporate world. Hopefully it will be a breeze starting work again. It's a good thing though that I am really happy where I am going, it has all the elements for a start of a good career. Too early to tell, I know, but I always think that thinking positive helps to make a good start. Anyway, I'm happy with what's going on ahead of me.
The past year has been a roller coaster ride for us, I definitely learned a lot, lived a lot, and definitely feel that for what we lacked on the financial side the past year, the memories and the experience more than made up for it. I would not have exchanged it for the world.
First and foremost, it was the experience of having been a stay at home mom for a time, while I had busy days when I tried to handle a business, for the most part I was busy with Jessica and running the home. It was heaven being able to take care of a toddler, see to her needs, and generally see how she's growing up, good and bad sides included. At the end of 2009, I even let go of my yaya, and had to struggle being the full-time mom for around 3 months. And I definitely have no regrets over that, I think those 3 months together where we only had each other (hubby, me and Jess) was also a plus because I can definitely say I can take care of my daughter + all the chores on my own, and I can live without being dependent on someone else to do the chores. It was a much needed realization for me as well, that the yaya I had simply lacked the motivation and the concern she once had for my daughter, so it was time for her to move on. The new yaya I have now, I believe she's very much worth it and worth the wait of a couple of months. I'll be leaving the house every morning confident and assured that my daughter is in good hands.
Career-wise, I don't feel that the past year has been a letdown in terms of my career. I for one, believe that the last employment I had was inevitably going to be a dead end. I was happy I ended it at three months otherwise I would spend the next few months (or years if I tried, I guess) probably miserable and 20 years older.  I also don't regret that I left the previous one before that. After a couple of months things there didn't turn out well from what I hear, so it was still a good move. True, I spent a couple of months and several frustrations over my 5-plus months of job hunting, and two job offers after I was studying the possibility that I lost my marketability, despite the UP-education and the MBA.  Turned out it was a matter of getting the right offer at the right time.  Kudos to hubby for always reminding me that the right offer will come at the right time. And it surely did.
Over my relationship with hubby, the past year has been deeply enriching, for both of us.  I have always earned my keep, and I always got the things I wanted. I had a good career in the past and really good compensation for the past 4 years that we were together, we lived a comfortable enough life and can buy the things we want. He had a whole collection of remote-controlled cars and trucks and I was happy seeing him with that, he never heard a word from me about it, just as I never heard him say anything about me shopping, whether its for me or for Jess.  But when I let go of my job our world turned upside down, he had to give me almost all of his earnings, where previously he just gave half of it so he could save or buy the things he wanted). Now he had only his allowance. It was fine for a couple of months, I had the bazaars which also earned enough to keep the lifestyle at the very least, but came December we were already having a hard time.   The first half of 2010 had been a struggle making ends meet. Though we said goodbye to diapers already and saved a lot when Jessica changed over to more economical milk - Nido 1+ to 3+ will save you a lot, we still had to struggle because the salary was only just enough. No extras.  It was hard because when I had the time to spend money, there wasn't any to spend. :-p  But I never heard hubby complain, because I am sure he gave up a lot too. No night outs for him, he would take food to the office so he can minimize lunch outs. But it did bring out a  sense of responsibility for him to be the head of the house.  And I am proud of that. It made us closer to each other and we realize that if we had each other then we can make it, for better or for worse.
In parting, this closes a difficult but otherwise very enriching one year. And as I move on and hopefully to a better more wonderful workplace, I keep this experience up my sleeve and feel happy that I got through it. :-)

Monday, May 31, 2010

On careers and office issues

A good friend of mine and I have been having lengthy discussions about this matter since last week.  A week ago my friend got the shock of her career when she was reassigned to a post which she didn't really like for some bogus reason she didn't really believe. Its when we realized how futile some efforts are. Even if you work the best years of your life in a company, sometimes its just not enough. There are simply times when this will be disregarded, and after all your efforts, you will end up feeling betrayed, empty, and completely demotivated.
Its a sad reality that we can't take out of the corporate world. And in our field its doubly sad because my job, being in purchasing, is based mostly on respect, trust, and integrity. I believe these are the most important things I need to do the job well. And take out one, then its all gone. For instance in the case above, if I were in my friend's shoes, how would I feel knowing the bosses have lost trust in me, and that I have lost my trust and respect for them as well. I'll end up not loving what I do, and resisting any effort for a continuing relationship with them. And an unhappy workplace is the worst there is. I mean, I envy the people who last long in working for companies they absolutely don't like. Never been one to be like that. Never will, I guess. I'll say, if you are not happy, move on. You spend more waking hours at work than you do at home, can you really live for so long doing something you hate?  Its not worth the stress, and life's to short to be bitter. Move on. You'll probably find something better, especially if you know you're good. That way, you'll live a healthier and more productive life ahead of you.
Just springing my thoughts. I definitely feel sad for my friend, and sad for the company I once trusted and loved. I wish things didn't end so badly. But then, its a good thing I've moved forward ahead of time, otherwise I may be suffering the same state now. 
Life is too short for regrets. I definitely won't live my life having any.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Jess is starting school!

And finally, I got to enroll Jess to nursery at the pre-school nearby. The place itself is just a few blocks from here and is very easy to go to. Jess and yaya will just walk to school (great exercise). Now I realize though I'd have to prepare her an umbrella and a raincoat for the rainy season. Good thing last week there was a back to school sale in robinsons so I already got Jess her black shoes, rubber shoes, socks and school bag. yipee. fewer things to buy. The teacher did give a few more things on a list to buy, and I'll get to that as soon as school is nearer. She also put on the list 6 notebooks (how can nursery kids use notebooks??) and pad paper for grade 1. Not used to the idea of tests, seriously, but I guess they can make that work. Which makes me realize perhaps I'm just not teacher material. :-p
Oh, and they have a uniform, which is a dress for girls which is blue (or is it black) and white checkered - dress. love it! just imagining Jess on her uniform makes me all excited for her to go to school. School starts on June 14 and its just 2 hours a day, and there's really no pressure for her to go everyday. I take this schoolyear as just an in intro for her to go to school and enjoy it with new playmates. Doesn't matter if she doesn't learn to write or to count to a 100. :-) I'm sure she will get to that on her own phase, and I'm sure she'll be just as bright and smart as her mom and dad. :-)

Jess is now 3 years old!

Yey! Our one and only princess in now three years old.  The other week I was sorting through her kiddie pics trying to prepare for an avp or mini-movie about her 3 years, but I stopped midway coz I realized the music I put in there sucked. I'm still looking for good music to put in the AVP. Inspite of that, I was really, touched, amused and generally pleased looking back at those pics, and I realize just how much my little girl has grown up.  I won't say I'm the most "hands-on" mom on this planet, I still leave a lot of work to the yaya most of the time, but generally I still could say that I know my daughter inside and out. I can tend to her even if the yaya goes away (have proven that after taking care of her myself for more than two months this year).  But I would say, and I always will, that leaving my career, which was, I believe, a good one, was worth it, despite the financial difficulties now.  I feel that I would never trade off this one year that I have spent together with her for any promotion or higher salary. Being a mom is the best career there is. I guess, if not for me wanting her to have the best of stuff, and giving her everything we can possibly afford (without spoiling her too much), then I won't mind not going back to work.
Generally her birthday passed well enough, my in-laws generously gave what they can so we can celebrate jess' birthday (just us family). So we cooked up a few stuff. I wanted to please the little girl so I made a few surprises for her too. I got the pabitin she used last year at her party and filled it with fruitos, lollipops, nips and some chichirya, then put a few toys in there too that I got from that veinte store in Robinsons (where everything is 20bucks only).  She got to pick the stuff and food she wanted anytime (there is still some more here till now). Also found some old party hats from her first birthday and made her wear them. She also got to blow her birthday candles on the cake.
Happy birthday my baby! Mommy and Papa loves you!

Monday, May 03, 2010

God is GOOD - All the time!

And I have proven that to myself once again. And it makes me happy, and very thankful.  That despite the many problems that came my way the past year he still takes care of me and gives me hope. And has proven also that sometimes we ask for something but he gives us something more. Just because he doesn't give us exactly what we need doesn't mean he won't, he will in fact give us something that is better.

So what's this? Well, I've honestly been one of the many people who got addicted to plastics -- you know, credit cards, the things you swipe and then you instantly get what you need. Retail therapy. Oh, there were times they were useful. Like for booking flights, or for much needed groceries. Stuff like that. And CC companies are such nice entities (*evil grin here*), they will actually give you more credit so you can enjoy your life more. That is until you fall into a financial problem and they complicate your life more. So even when I stopped working, I could still pay them up when I was organizing the bazaars last year. Probably why I don't see where all my hard work went (hmmm...). And then this year, when the bazaars are seasonal and there really is no sense in working my ass of it only for it not to work out, I just reserved the bazaar idea until Q4 of the year. And then the CC problems started to surface.  Because, now, we are living under a single income, and hubby's salary is enough for our family's needs. We are after all, paying for mortgage, gas, electricity, phone, cable, housekeeper. It adds up to a whopping 35k plus a month. Add the fact that Meralco also jacked up the rates so it adds up.  And I have to prioritize, and of course, when it comes to priorities, nothing comes close to family.

So I start worrying every day (and night) about what to do with it, because short of selling my beloved Omnia, I really will not be able to pay up the minimums of these cards. And to note, I've been paying the minimums for the longest time. But I was a good account, I paid every month, 90% on time, and never failed to give them my hard earned money - until this 2010.  And so I worry, and worry some more, and plead to God to please give me a job (a high paying one so I can pay my cards....) and to please make it soon (like next week).  Then I'd get depressed that I don't get calls for interview, worry a bit more, and more....

But much as I would like to, money really doesn't grow on trees. So I failed to make the minimum payments. And then they (evil CC companies) will call me, will try to work it out, sometimes I do, for some I don't. And then I defaulted on them one by one. CC company 1 has cancelled my card, so did CC company 2 for my two cards. I still have one loan and one card still active, and hopefully I can work these out till the end if and when I find a job.  They now want me to pay in full and return the card in halves. Already did the second one, what good is a cancelled card in your wallet anyway. The pay in full part is like duh? how do you pay a card in full if you don't have the means to pay the minimum. (I am not philosophical here, merely practical).  And then days after I already got a letter from a collections company for CC company 1. Ok.... Panic mode it is. Called them up, told them I don't have a job so I can't pay and I will call the Credit Card company once I get a job. They go like -- oh ok, hope you find one soon but we can't do anything about it, it'll get transferred to another collections agency.

In fear (lots and lots of fear -- near panic and suicidal mode), I searched my best friend (Google) and came up with this blog and the matching support group for it. I realized that I'm not alone and I found virtual friends that understand my predicament. I've also come to a lot of realizations on my finances and on my future.  I'm armed with knowledge on how to deal with my problems and move on. I know I am still starting and haven't seen the worse of it, but seeing how others dealt with their problems gave me so much hope.  And no, I am not going to run away from these debts and credit card companies. I simply realize a few things. First, by paying them off with minimum I make them rich, but I don't save, and my balances don't even move. duhhh... Second, I will stop going ito financial marathons - meaning borrowing more just to pay off another. That is digging my own grave because it won't stop. Third, the money I do save from not paying these minimums, I save for my family (when I do find work), and should I be compelled (in court) to pay them CC companies, that's the time I will.  Technically, if I add up all the interests and charges I paid them in the past x number of years, I already paid them off for what I DID spend on the card, so I'll just see them in court.

And now, I actually am looking forward to meeting these collectors. Its good to be financially free and not worry about it. I am hoping to spread the word about this support group. So if you have questions, just send me a note.

And I thank HIM for showing me this. I really am blessed!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Saving on Electricity (Meralco Woes)

We got our electricity bill last Friday, and I must say, we're bordering on panic on electricity spending! With the hot summer days its so hard to scrimp say, on electric fan costs just to avoid some costs. We live in a house with complete appliances so while our electricity spending is not too much, I won't says its the least bit cheap.
First thing we did was to clean our air conditioning unit. Admittedly we're quite stubborn when it comes to maintaining the A/C unit and we haven't had it professionally cleaned since we bought it in 2005. And we did feel that's its due for some cleaning because the room is not as cold anymore even with a temp of 19degC.  What we did is take out the AC from the case, wrapped up the electronics parts in plastic (the timer/controls), and then hosed down the tubes and the body with water.  Its such a good thing that water pressure is good from where we live and we have a great water hose that adjusts the pressure of water so its easy to take out the dirt. After cleaning we left the A/C outside under the sun to dry it completely.  We installed it back after lunch but we didn't test it till the evening, since its the only time we actually do use the A/C. Oftentimes its quite breezy here even if its too hot, so we really don't need the A/C anyway.
Oh, and just after we've received our bill, I made it a point to monitor our usage for electricity, meaning I take readings every morning and evening to see how much we use. So for the A/C, we normally use 8-10 kW per night, thats from around 8pm till 3am, If I shut it down at 5am, it goes up to 10, which is why we are now diligently using the timer to make sure it shuts down on time. The result of the cleaning has been really good, we're now down to 6 kW for the evening, that's already good considering that our daily consumption is at an average of 13.5 kW per day (24hours).  Our consumption during the day is at 4 kW. So next step is to see where we can reduce with the daytime consumption.
And as a first step, I decided to measure consumption of every electrical item we have. This is to see where we are spending so much of electricity and then reduce its usage. Starting at point 0 - meaning all sockets and appliances unplugged, I measured each and every appliance, lighting, and electronic items in the house. That way I see where the big chunk of the electricity is. And true enough, I was taken aback by the results. The appliances I wasn't expecting could contribute to a higher electricity rating were actually the simple, unexpected ones, like the oven toaster and the water dispenser (heater). Now at least we know where to adjust. And then I looked at meralco's sight for estimating the consumption) per month for electricity, and now I have some monetary value estimates for the appliances' usage. Pretty good benchmark. Now all that's left to do is to check how we do with the adjustments we made.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Kids grow up so fast

Its been almost 4 months since I actively searched for a job. I got an offer today, and looks like its going down the drain again. Its simply not for me. I know its not about being choosy. Yeah, I could grab it on the context that we need the income now, but then it won't be fair to me, and it won't be fair to the employer. Yes I'd have a job, but I won't be happy. And yes they would be happy with their choice, but I'd leave the moment something better comes along. Lose-lose for both of us. So I'm saying no. Well, tomorrow that is.

On another context, it means a few more weeks with Jessica. While she spends a lot of time with her yaya, its still going to be a huge adjustment for me when I go back to work. I might just cry everyday thinking about how much I miss her. For all the times I let her be, seeing her, her milestones, her laughter and tantrums, and seeing her only at night, spells a huge difference and a whole new adjustment period for me.  I seriously think it would have been easier for me if she wasn't talking yet. Now that she's this amazing interactive character, its so easy to miss her, tantrums and all.

But well, that's something I have to get through if I will be moving on and moving up again. :-) Here's to new and more exciting challenges ahead, and SOON!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Artsy Craftsy Blog

So this ends my posts on my craft works. Since I'll probably posting on this one a lot of times because of this new addiction, I decided to create a separate blog just for my arts and crafts works. This is so I can concentrate my postings on my creations there and hopefully come up with a unique fan base for that. (fingers crossed).

So if you want to see my latest works, be it digiscrapping and stuff, well, it will be here at my crafts website. Please feel free to link me up there too. ;-) See you soon!

Friday, April 16, 2010

My stash and latest projects

Been on and off being busy the past few days with new projects and have more items on my list. Unfortunately my list of things to do have also drastically lengthened! :-p

But to give a rundown of my new projects, here goes:

1. A box out of old corrugated boxes here. Then I wrapped it up in fabric so it looks really cute. I still don't know what to do with it, but I like the look just the same.

2.  Here is baby Alive's diaper. :-) I'm sure she would have loved to thank me, but its ok, I'd rather not hear her speak. ;-p

3. At last, my dream of making sofa covers for our matching L-shaped sofa. They're not together now, but they now have the same fabric. I'm kinda wishing it could just replace our old (i mean old) sofa set we got when we bought the house, but then its too bulky to take out so it stays there.  Its not perfect, but it does its job of hiding the dirty sofa. :-p

4. Kikay Kit!!! - I've always wanted to match up my kikay kit, and here are some samples. There's a tissue holder, a case for the powder + lipstick, and another for my brushes (I use mineral makeup btw). The brush kit is foldable and can be tied with a ribbon, like the pic below.

5. Fetish: Here's a case for my USB Card reader, such a delightful companion with the digicam since I always upload pics. ;-p Coming soon: Similar case for my internet dongle. This one is made from Catcha fabric, and some brown bias tape.

And just this morning I went to Divi for some fabric shopping-slash-much needed retail therapy.  I didn't get to buy the usual stuff I buy like clothes or house stuff, but I had a grand time building up my fabric stash. Now I don't envy the website I've been looking at anymore. :-) What I bought are just simple cotton fabrics in cute designs much like the ones I also like when I digiscrap.








bought some threads too.

Love love love my collection!!! Can't wait to start with my new projects!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

New Sewing Projects

I was also able to do several projects the past few days. I haven't finished the projects I intended to do from my current favorite blogsite, until then I'll be doing the stuff there. Luckily when I went to the market I was able to buy some zippers, ribbons and bias tape (which I later on found out was too small and hard to use under several fabric layers. yaiks.  Here are some of the newest projects on the house:

1. My sewing machine's new dress. Yup, surely I got it from the website of Ashley here.  It came out nicely with my revisions, such as the foam inside, and the ribbon went to one side only. I also made a small pincushion earlier on, which matched the fabric of the cover. They do look cute together, don't they? :-p

2. I was also able to make a hot & cold rice bag out of the tutorial here.  I've seen this around bazaars last year though I am not sure what material they put inside. Nonetheless I'm thinking of making it my christmas gifts of love this coming holidays, but will have to research on what best to put inside. Its supposed to be put on microwave for heat (2-3 mins I guess) and then a couple of hours on the freezer for the cold. I tried it on both and it worked, albeit I can still smell the rice grains. Perhaps some organic floral beads can be placed inside. I'll try that soon.

3. And here's another throwpillow case set from the scrap fabrics I had. So cute! Its made of soft stretch cotton so its smooth to use. love it!

Thursday, April 08, 2010

My sewing projects

Yey!!! I had a really fun, productive day today. Well, not too fun as I was still constantly reminding myself that I needed to get a job already. But at least the hours thinking about it have been drastically reduced by my sewing projects which I enjoyed doing. And looking back and taking pics, I realize I was able to do a lot! Oh and by the way, I went to Taytay yesterday where they sell fabric leftovers - aka retaso - and I was able to find some. I won't say they are great ones but I then it can get me a long way with the projects I want to do for now. And the retaso is much much cheaper than having to buy per yard which is usually too much for some of the small projects I want to do. So for now, they will do. 

First though, I want to show off my sewing nook at home, actually I have in a room that only I use and it has with it a bigger table and the heat press for our soon to be tshirt biz.  But here is the special nook for my sewing machine. Its a bit hot in this room, but hey, its summer!

Ok, one of the sites I saw (sorry, have to look for that link again) had this cute pattern holder, but I prefer to call it a reminder nook instead. Its made of wood inside, which I lined first with duct take (don't ask me why, its just something I wanted to do to avoid splinters), and then with the black printed cloth which instead of gluing which I saw in the website, I stapled with a staple gun. I then placed the clothespins in cute designs (something I bought in Divi last Christmas) by glue gun. I placed it above the whiteboard because there's no other place for it the room, and it would be hard to put holes in the wood walls.

Here's a closer look with the clothespin designs:

Next I was able to make 2 throw pillow cases of the cloth I bought yesterday. They are matching black and white. I'm thinking of making other throw pillow casings the same way but I'll need to buy more cloth first. This will do for the meantime.:-)

Finally, I was able to make a new stroller cover for Baby Alive. I made some changes because of availability of materials and because I wanted a reinforced one, and i think it was really good.

Here's the original one.

And here's my finished product.

Nice eh? I still have a number of projects I want to do, and hopefully I'll get a good many things done before I get tired and stop. My biggest project and one I hope to actualize is the cover of the sofa, but that's a pretty big challenge so I won't post it till its done! 

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Crafty Sewing

I'm determined to have a productive week ahead. And short of saying I don't have budget to do any more extravagant projects, well, I'm gonna do sewing projects this week. Its kinda sad that I don't have any nice fabrics to work with, but this site I found is simply so nice and helpful for someone like me who wants to start doing crafty things. The steps she gives are simple and easy to follow. I'm just bummed that she uses such great fabrics and I don't have any. I'm going to try to look for retaso sellers soon so I can make some good projects too.

Here's the website I'm referring to:  I know those moms and crafty people will like it too.

Here are my first two projects, the directions of which I got from the the site above:

1. Grocery Bag Holder. Here fabrics she used here are so much more beautiful, and I would love to have something similar to work with.  Since I don't, I used some simple katsa and green ribbon that I have here at home.

2. This one is from a similar project I got here which I simply tweaked so I can place as a tools holder in our storage room. Again I used the katsa at home and made a bigger version than the one she used, and made it good for hanging instead of a belt. I do intend to do one for Jessica, granting I can find good fabrics to work with. 

3. My third project is Jessica's doll's dress. Baby Alive has been naked most of the time what with her shirt always coming off, so this dress is really a cute change for the little girl. :-)

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Mixed Emotions

I don't know if its for the lack of anything else to do, too much FB-ing, or just me questioning my self-worth again that I feel really sad and empty. Not that its anybody else's fault. But a hundred questions are actually running through my mind each and every time I hear of someone else in my circle (be it in my acquaintances side or friends side or simply batchmates in the N@W and W@W e-groups) getting pregnant for the second time. I mean second time because I surely won't be jealous of first timers. I have one pretty and loveable girl of my own and its the best source of happiness I can ever imagine.
So why do I feel sad? Jessica is turning three this coming May. Sometimes I think that I should just let nature take its course and stop taking the pill. God will surely bless us with another one if its the right time, and he will most likely shower us with more blessings, much as he did when jessica was born and hubby got his new job then. I guess I feel scared because right now there is really that uncertainty, what with me in between jobs and there's no defined job waiting for me yet, what if we get pregnant and life becomes too difficult? That's not questioning faith right, merely asking ourselves if its the right path to take.
Perhaps one of these days I will find the courage to stop taking the pill and move head-on, allowing God to shower us with another child at the right time.
A year ago if you ask us if we're ready, I'd say no, reason being I am not emotionally ready to give up some of the time for Jessica. But now that I gave her one year of an otherwise successful career, I feel that she can already adjust pretty much to a little brother or sister, and with lots of love to shower. Now its just a matter of crossing that bridge...
Just pouring my thoughts....

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Gotta Learn to drive

I have to learn how to drive. and soon.  I know I'm missing a lot but I've always been pretty capable in commuting, so there is no real drive for me to learn to drive. I like the train better. or jeepneys. For a while when we didn't have someone else to take care of Jess, I've thought that its easier if I drove myself and we just had a car seat for her so she can sit in the back. The thing is, Jess was not a car seat baby. She likes to be with me at the back of the car while hubby drove. But with the inevitable trip of hubby looming ahead of us, I have to pressure myself much more now.  Don't worry, I will drive. I promise myself that.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Hubby's amazing diet

Sometimes our partners will amaze us in ways we never imagined. Let me tell you something about hubby. He is the type of person who, when he really, really puts his mind into a goal, he will get it.  That being said, he has proven this again when he decided to lose weight and begin to live a healthy life.
Just last February 1 him and his officemates had a mini-contest for losing weight, sort of like the Biggest Loser. It was when he decided to go head on with the weight loss program he set. He didn't have a nutritionist but he read so much about it, I'm quite sure he did a good job with the research! So to give you a rundown, here are the changes he did to achieve his goal:

Diet: Change in diet and eating habits was a huge contributor to his goal.  I won't say he's not healthy before because he's not the type to overeat and is not really eating fatty foods, but he did change a lot of what he does to make sure he gets the right stuff in critical to his weight loss program:

  • Meats: From the usual pork, beef and chicken we ate, he said goodbye to pork and all its derivatives too! I would just cook chicken for 6 weeks, never fried usually steamed, broiled, roasted. and it has to be skinless too. Seafood is ok, but its either grilled or steamed to avoid any fats. He stuck to this and it really, really made a huge difference.
  • Veggies: He wasn't too fond of veggies before. But mind over matter, he put in a lot of veggies into his diet. The lunch I would pack for him is really much of veggies - brocolli, cauliflower, string beans, carrots, lots of kangkong leaves (like the one with chowking). Its either steamed or sauteed. Sometimes beef with brocolli but he sticks to the brocolli. No potatoes, no corn. He says its non-value adding. :-)
  • Fruits: He chooses the fruits he eats. Mangoes have too much sugar. Its mostly bananas, apples, oranges. He's not into pineapples because of hyper acidity, but he hopes that the change in diet can also help.
  • Oats and Cereals: For a time he would eat oatmeal - unsalted, no sugar - for breakfast. It worked a good deal but he got tired of the taste (or lack of it). We use rolled oats by the way. It tastes so much better than the quick-cook ones or the cereal milk drinks. He also eats cereals (healthy ones) with low-fat milk. Fruits with the cereals help too.
  • Rice: This is the clincher. He stopped eating rice altogether. Its been six weeks now and he's ok. After their mini contest he can start taking in some but he said he will still limit the intake to maintain his diet.
  • Supplements: He just had 1 supplement that he took: Its component is L-Carnitine and Green Tea, same as that of Fitrum but higher mg. He says it will help in his exercise. 
  • Lots of water but no salt to avoid water retention. I won't elaborate since I'm no nutritionist/dietician. 
Exercise: When we got married we bought a home-gym for hubby, which he barely used the past 4 years. And then when we moved here in Cainta he bought a stationary bike. Also barely used till this year. When hubby started his program both have been used extensively.

  • Basketball - He plays basketball twice a week: Wednesdays and Saturdays. He also shoots hoops every once in a while in the court a few houses away from ours.
  • Weights, home gym, stationary bikes - he tries to put around 30mins to an hour for this daily, sometimes morning and evening. Now that he achieved his goal he might put in less time but he says he won't stop
  • Walking/running - a few times, not regularly because of too many wandering dogs in our neigborhood.
It was quite a drastic change in both our lifestyles the past six weeks. I had to prepare him the right foods and there were really times we would argue over it (overcooked, too much, too little, etc). But I do understand how much effort and sacrifice hubby put into it and I really, really am proud of it.

The result: 31 POUNDS LOST IN 6 WEEKS. Hubby is back to his pre-marriage weight and built. I'm so happy and proud of him.

Castillo-Sy Wedding

Yesterday Hubby and I attended the wedding of Anj and Lester, Anj being one of my closest friends in Nestle and Les her boyfriend of two years, whom she also met at Nestle. We were witness to their two years of great love which was full of surprises. Lester actually made great effort in coming up with a proposal for Anj, when he asked for her hand in marriage after finishing the ironman race in Camsur, with the cheesy proposal line of "Andrea, will you be my finish line?".  That took their love story to various media: Balitang K, Sports Unlimited and even Weddings Magazine. Ahahaha....
More than 6 months after, they got married at St. Rita de Cascia and reception followed at the Crowne Plaza in Ortigas. It was a fun reception, with quite a few not so ordinary gimmiks, and truly veering away from the traditionals, while still displaying the love from family and friends and giving that wedding its own original touch. They had at least 5 AVP's shown throughout the program, from the start of their love story to the beginning of their new life together. It was truly one of the most unique weddings I have been to. And I am so happy for them. I wish for them to keep the love overflowing and keep the surprises coming.
Love you Anj and Les! Congrats on your new life together!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

NBI Clearance Rants

Yesterday I decided to get my NBI Clearance already.  This is in anticipation of the fact that I want to go to work very soon and this is surely going to be part of the pre-employment requirements, hence I decided to get it already since its an inevitable thing to do anyway. So I went to NBI Taytay at 7am hoping they were open at that time already (which they were not). There was a long queue already and I was hearing conversations about how you should be there by 4 or 5 am to be first in line. Like duh! So it was 7:30 already when they started to give out numbers, I was 148 of the 150 numbers they gave out. Huge relief? Another thing is that you should be using Taytay Residence Certificates, not Antipolo, not any other Rizal or Pasig residence certificates. So there were some tricycle drivers even asking people there to just get from barangay offices nearby (and of course you will ride their trikes).  I didn't, I had enough time already waiting for the 147 other people in front of me.
At 11am I was starting to panic. I needed to be back home by 12 to prepare for my 2pm interview. Lo and behold, at 11:15 they declared they will stop at 141. And I was 148!!!! Grrrr... We tried pleading to let it finish till 150 but they were rude. :-( i ended up leaving (and bringing the number 148 with me!) empty handed and frustrated.  I just decided I'll try out Megamall branch after the interview, maybe I will have better luck there.
Which I did. I got to Megamall around 4pm. The line was short, around 8 or 10 people ahead of me, and after payment took me around 5 minutes to get the clearance. Five minutes! As opposed to the 5 hours I wasted in the morning. Call that irony.
I'm just looking at the bottomline now. At least I accomplished my mission for the day. However frustrating it was. That's it. No regrets, but lessons were learned. ;-)

Friday, March 05, 2010

Here are a few of my newest LO of the little girl. Happy to be digiscrapping again. Its so fascinating that Jessica has grown up so much since she was a tiny, tiny infant. To see her grow up everyday is a blessing, and me stopping work and seeing her in this period of her life is really something I will never, ever regret.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Last year in July the four of us friends from our previous work in Nestle went to Cebu for an all-girls vacation. It was really a lot of fun and we truly, truly enjoyed the bonding time we had, away from boyfriends and in my case, being the only married one in the troop, away from hubby and daughter.  It was something different from all the vacations I had, I was never the type to go out vacationing with girl friends. For the most part, this is the 2nd time I was away from hubby and baby ever since I got married, the first one being my trip to Boracay which was both work and recreational. :-P

Anyway, back to Cebu.  We left on a saturday and checked in at Marriot hotel. Landed in Cebu around 1pm and we checked in the hotel first, then had lunch at a popular resto in Ayala Mall. We went back to the hotel afterwards to rest and wait for Kate, who would be landing late afternoon. She arrived dinner time already and we went back to Ayala for dinner, then back to the hotel to dress up to go to a newly opened club (sorry forgot the name already). We were at the bar till about 2am, was too sleepy already when we got back. As usual, I am not the clubbing type of gal. never been one, and probably never will. Its also not something hubby and I used to do.

Come morning, we checked out of Marriot and went to Plantation Bay, which was a much, much better resort.  We rested and had to catch up with some sleep, because we were going to Crown regency that evening to test our fear of heights. :-D  And we did, in the evening. We conquered the roller coaster on top of the hotel as well as the skywalk. Well, almost all of us did. Anj backed out last minute on the skywalk, and kate gave up on the idea of scary heights the moment we planned to go there. We ate the very popular pochero of Cebu afterwards, and then back to the hotel, where I slept early while the girls were chatting up with Anj's former schoolmate, Mick.

Monday morning before we checked-out of the hotel, we went for a swim, enjoying the waters of Plantation Bay. Had a blast bonding again with the girls. We had late checkout and went to the airport afterwards.

All in all, it was a very memorable trip with my girl friends. Loved it and hope we get another chance. Oh well, Anj is to be married this month, so she'll be pretty busy adjusting for a while. If not this year, I hope we can get a repeat of our all-girl getaway next year!

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Dad and Jessica

The two most important people in my life. :-D

4 years and counting

It has been more than four years of marriage. Its not perfect, definitely, we were like any other couple. We fight, we encounter problems along the way. But in our marriage, there's always love, and laughter.

We have a long way to go, and more upsides and downsides to come, but as long as there is love, I'm sure we can conquer them all.

MamaLa and PapaLo

First (of many, I hope) of my digiscrap work. I'm targetting to finish quite a number of pre-selected pics so I'm hoping my creative juices will soon be on a roll. Once I've done this maybe I can go back to scrapping just ordinary, day to day pics so I can have lots of memories to share as well. This are Jessica's maternal godparents (my mom and dad), and though we don't often spend a whole lot of time with them, they are really such great parents to me and they love Jess very much. I wish I could tell them everyday how much we love them.

starting anew

Ok, here I am again after a LOOOONG non-posting period. And I really do feel guilty about not posting, but then everytime I attempt to write my mind ends up blank so I simply forget about it.
Its been a while, holidays have passed, non-eventful if I may add because I am kinda financially incapacitated with no job the past few months. I'm actively searching now, and since I already have a new housekeeper after more than 2 months without, then I have a bit more time for myself while waiting for interview invitations and things like that.

So what else is new? Right now I am too busy hoarding scrapbook kits that I am finding for free courtesy of some n@wie/plurk referrals, and I am hoping to start and be active again at digiscrapping. I have a lot of pics I need to digiscrap anyway, its just a matter of putting it altogether. hayz. Maybe I should make a target, like 10 in a week. that'd be neat. :-)

Oh, and if any of you have any job leads in purchasing and supply chain (middle manager posts), please feel free to call buzz me, I'm more than happy to try it out!