Monday, September 30, 2013

Life in the dark ages

Be warned:  This is a rant post.

Ever experienced no DSL/Broadband at home?  Well, I am now going through that, I'm back in the dark ages :(  Apparently, I forgot to pay our PLDT bill for a couple of months... not that I didn't have mullah.  But mainly because they didn't deliver our 2 months billing statements.  In August, I was a headless chicken because of my 11-day business trip, I didn't notice not receiving PLDT's billing statement.  I paid all our other bills before I left - but not PLDT. 

And then I came back from my trip, I got sick with the flu and then my birthday came around soon after.  Who can think of bills when you're still reeling from too much action, right?! LOL

It was only last Friday that I noticed I haven't seen any PLDT mail.  I checked my account's folder - I keep folders for each utility company:  electricity, cable, phone, and water.  And I was right, the last statement I had was for July.

I tried calling PLDT to no avail.  I can't even finish inputting the account number, the line's cut off.  Annoyed would be putting my state then.  Weekend came and errands just took over my two days, I didn't have time to call PLDT again.  But internet over the weekend was awfully slow.

Then today came and it was worse.  And worst still my DSL was restricted.  I tried to view my bill through the link PLDT provided but I couldn't.  So I called Billing Department again and it was difficult to get in touch, of course.  So I called the technical team and they told me I needed to pay.

Frustrating!!! Now, I'm at this cafe working in front of these kids, one of which just happened to sneeze without covering his mouth and nose.  Guess, who'll be drinking lots of Berocca tomorrow? LOL

I need my internet back ASAP.  For a WAHM, it's our lifeline.  Me need internet!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Down Undah Fevah!

The iconic Sydney Opera House
Good day mate!

I was fortunate enough to be sent to the land down under - Australia -  last month.  And it was definitely one place I would really like to migrate to or settle in.  I fell in love with how healthy they are - early morning runs in the CBD (some men run shirtless too!) and lunch time yoga or runs.  Little pockets of gardens or open spaces for people to hang out at.  The yummy, fresh and healthy food.  Lots of wines.  And beers.  And oh, did I mention the beaches yet?  Endless beaches - on the north and east.

The world famous Bondi beach

I haven't been even off the plane yet and I loved it already.  Perhaps because I'm small (in height), people always offered to help me with my carry on, pre-departure and upon landing.  They are laid back but competitive.  Friendly but not pushy. 

A very healthy duck just roaming in Narrabeen

Although shopping was not as good as in Hong Kong or Singapore, since the shops close at 5pm.  Ha.  And their shopping Thursday doesn't spell frenzy - it was just an ok day.  But they have Ikea and I can live with that.

Oh, I still dream of Sydney up to this day.  I'm wishing that one day I'd be able to bring my boys there.  To breathe, live and enjoy Sydney - as I did.  And so to also finally see the Koalas and Kangaroos.  Oh and not to forget the Tasmanian Devil too.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

To be a full time WAHM or better!

When I was single and well, mingled (ha!), my friend and I set out sights on marrying someone rich and then becoming a full time housewife, with lots of shopping money to spare.  Back then, (yes, that was like a decade ago), WAHMs and SAHMs were still foreign terms.  In Hong Kong or Singapore (or perhaps in China too), they call these ladies who married rich as tai-tai.

Anyhoo, I didn't become a tai-tai.  I still worked full time after I got married and gave birth.  Having moved to the suburbs, I commuted for 3-4 hours a day in the early days of marriage and motherhood.  This meant I left home when my baby was still asleep and got home when he was already sleeping.  Heart wrenching to a new Mom when my baby didn't want to sleep with me and that he would rather sleep with the nanny.  Fortunately, I was able to arrange work from home with my boss back in 2007.  And I never looked back.

Now, my work hours are more flexible.  I'm able to work from home most of the time.  Of course, when there are meetings or visitors or when I have to submit files, I do go to the office.  I also miss talking with officemates or exchanging ideas with them, so I do go in the office as well.

I was speaking to the other moms at the office and majority of us dreamed of staying at home.  But we don't, and sometimes we can't.  Working away from home is hard, and seeing your children grow up without you there always is extremely difficult.  But one Mom said this and I totally agree, that if you want to be able to help provide for your family and to also be able to afford some luxuries, then we have to work.  Nothing comes in a silver platter.  There are trade offs of course, but we can always adjust and regroup.

I'm not entirely sure though if I can wing being a SAHM, full time.  I do get cabin fever.  A lot.  And I'm not very domesticated.  So right now, this WAHM situation is working so well for me.  I thank God everyday for this set-up and I work hard to make sure this will continue.... until, maybe, I get an offer to become a CEO :D  But one thing's for sure, I won't giving up WAHMing for anything less.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Uke playing Mommah

Lovin' the Uke  (pls excuse my weight :P )
When my cousin came to visit last May, he bought a Ukelele in Cebu.  He was going to bring it back to the US, but his baggage got too heavy.... so he left the Uke with me! :)

I always wanted to play the uke ever since I heard it was easier than the guitar and I heard my officemates play it too.  So I played whenever I could, which was seldom.

And then, K's (boss & friend) husband, T, was celebrating his 40th and she wanted to surprise with a song.  It was decided that I and another friend E would accompany K with the Uke.  So I had to practice starting August 1st.  We did our first public "gig" last August 10th.  And it was amazing, if I may say so :)  We played "Kahit maputi na ang buhok ko".

I'm still learning to play more songs and I learned that key really is to practice and practice and practice.  I just pray that I will have more time to practice given the hectic schedules - work, business trip coming up and quarterly exams.

Monday, August 05, 2013

My little defender

My little defender at 2 years old
So the other day, I was working late at the office, I called home to check on the little one.  The fist thing he told me was "Mom, I got mad at A (a classmate)."  He told me that their teacher talked to A and A cried.  I asked why he got mad at A.  A said that "Your Mommy's a tabachoy!".

I laughed at the other line.  And told my little son, that it's true, I am tabachoy.  But I'm nice, smart and pretty.  He agreed to all three, but then still defended that it's ok to be mad because it wasn't a polite word.

Tama nga naman.  It's not a polite word.  He had a reason to get mad.

I'm so overly touched that he defended me.  He's a good kid.  I did well :)  Don't grow up too fast little man!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Run, Mommy, run!

I'm a working Mom, work-at-home, yes, but I still need to go to our office once in a while.  This means that although I work from home, I still have emails to send, clients to attend to, boss to report to, calls to make and well, real work to do.

I'm also a Mommy.  And now that's it's summer, I still make worksheets for my son to do coz I don't want him glued to the TV the whole day.  I also find activities for him to do - bring him to his basketball clinic, soccer clinic too, birthday parties, play dates and yes, I've also enrolled him in the McDonald's Kiddie Crew.  It's his second time and he liked the first time, so I enrolled him again.

Champions at the basketball clinic
So, I work, right?  When I have to drive him around, I usually get ready an hour before.  But then I sometimes get delayed when an email comes in or there's a call.  So maybe half the time, we're a little bit late.  For soccer, we've been late twice already.  For basketball, we're usually just in time.  For birthday parties, we've been late many times LOL.  For play dates, the mommy friends already know that I'm always in a hurry, so they understand :D My son has raised this with me several times already.

And after an event, I'm always in a hurry to go home because I have more emails to write and send.  I am a working Mom.  I'm luckier than other working Moms because I can work from home.  I know I'm blessed with what I have.  My own Mama was working full time outside of the home when I was growing up.  No one would bring me to summer activities, I remember I just stayed home summers of my childhood and books were my escape.  I did go visit my Lola and cousins a lot back then, so I was never bored.

At his school's soccer pre-training
Anyway, yesterday was a particularly busy day.  My boss was in town, which meant I had to go to the office.  But before I left, I had to cook my son's lunch and the yaya's too.  The new yaya (who's also leaving by the weekend) doesn't know how to cook.  Then off I went to the office.  At lunch, my officemates and boss decided to surprise a friend who just celebrated her birthday that weekend.  And since we had a meeting at our other office after lunch, I volunteered to drive everyone.  On the way to McKinley, a traffic officer stopped us and told me I was "coding".  All the while, I thought our plate number ends in 4 but that was the old car, since we got a new car in July which ends in 2!  Horror!  So yes, my driver's license was confiscated.  The MAPSA guy was actually hinting na mag-bigay na lang.  But I didn't want to do it, I'll do the legal way.

Because of that traffic violation, the meeting was delayed.  I planned on going home by 2pm since it was my little boy's first day at Kiddie Crew which starts at 3pm.  I was only able to leave at 2:45.  I got 8 missed calls from the little one, I can almost hear his disappointment.  I wanted to cry from guilt!  I got home at 3:45 and dropped him at McDo 10 mins after.  After I parked, I followed him in and saw that he was happily getting drinks from the vendo and helping at the counter.  Major heartbreak was averted, thankfully.

Yestarday at McDo's Kiddie Crew

You see, my daily life is like that.  I struggle to give him my time and also have time to do my job.  He'd go to me for something and I would often times have to tell him to wait a bit.  I speak to my friends at the office who are Moms like me and we go through the same thing.  We'll just have to manage this better, and accept that we're always in a race :D

Saturday, April 20, 2013

My advertising little man

Since it's summer, the little boy has been watching TV.  I do try to limit him watching cartoons - he can only watch it for 2 hours in the morning and an hour in the afternoon.  After his cartoon time, it's Mom or Dad's turn or he can watch other stuff like basketball or any age appropriate show.

The other day, while after his cartoon time was up, and I was working upstairs, he suddenly called me urgently.  He said I needed to watch TV, I went to him and he showed me home tv shopping where they featured ceramic pans.  And then he proceeded to say that it's so easy to use, it's non-stick and you just wipe it and you can use again.  He sounded so convincing too! :D  He knew that I didn't like our old pans, and saw I bought a new set.  He thinks we should get the ceramic pan too since it's nice! haha

photo source here
Then yesterday, I was sitting beside him while he was watching tv and then he showed me a garden hose that expands.  He tells me that it's perfect because it's easy to use and then it's easy to keep.  Meron pang, "Oh!  Look at that Mommy, nice right?!".  Haha  And he said, it's cheap too!  "Only P1,400++ if you call now!" haha  I was just laughing!  He does know how much I love my plants and I water them everyday, so he knows the hose is going to be useful :)

photo source here
He's actually been bugging me to buy him VitaPops.  He sees it on TV all the time.  The thing is, I keep forgetting and I buy him Ceelin chewables.  So when we went to see his pedia the other week, he remembered VitaPops and told me he's going to ask his doc.  When it was our turn, and ask he did.  He asked his doc if he can take VitaPops instead of Ceelin.  His doc is not aware of VitaPops so she asked what it was, he said, "It's Vitamin C and it's from the makers of Ceelin" - his exact words! :D  The doc was so amused and therefore gave her approval.  Good job little man!

photo source here
TBH, I didn't want to buy VitaPops coz I just bought a bottle of his vitamin C.  So imagine my surprise when I was given sachets of VitaPops after buying him a toy at Toy Kingdom.  It's a perfect example of a kid's prayer is granted :D  Pati kay God, his advertising worked :)

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Yourself vs yourself

So the school year has ended.  Just like that.  Sometimes I still can't believe that we survived it - tutorial was pure hard work.  I had to do lots of worksheets and haggle on study time versus TV time, Ipad time, PSP time, basketball time and Xbox time.  It was always a messy morning, always short on patience (me!) and running after time, every time.  Every school day leaves me winded and just wiped out.

I am particularly happy with my son's grades in school - 4 Es and 3 VGs (Ex being the top, then E, VG, G, S, NI and F).  I worked hard for those grades too, so I should get an award, a bag perhaps haha!  In their school, they don't have top 10s during the quarter and at the end of the year.  I was on the fence about not getting or knowing how my little one was doing in school, in comparison to his classmates.  But then it made me think too - the school follows the principle of doing your the best, of not competing against others, but only against yourself.  You see your grades, you just do your best, not withstanding how the others are doing.

But to be perfectly honest though, I still wanna know in Grade 7 (or is still 6?) if he's done well enough, overall. LOL  Yes, I grew up in a competitive world, competition is ingrained :D

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Ze Zandwich

With ham, cheese & fresh Basil leaves
Not sure if any of you remember this super yummy sandwich in Starbucks, it's just cheese and basil leaves.  I loved that.  Of course the name escapes me now (haha!).  For years, I only ordered that and well, of course coffee.  Anyhoo, since I have a basil plant, I tried to make it a home and it's oh-so-awesome!!!

I used Earle's Canadian Back Bacon, got some left over edam cheese and two leaves of basil, and of course the wheat bread.  Sandwiched the ham, cheese and basil and then put it in the toaster for 5 mins.  It came out with the bread toasted, the cheese melted and then ham and basil so perfect.  I had this for breakfast with great coffee.  Pwedeng pwede! :)

Just cheese and Basil leaves
A few days after, I tried it again.  But removed the ham for a healthier option.  So just had the cheese and then the basil, and it was still yum.  My son though doesn't like basil, so I just have cheese and he has grilled cheese sandwich for school baon.  It's cheap and I know it's clean coz I prepared it myself. 

Monday, March 18, 2013

Housewifey lang ang peg

His daily duty

Goodness, I haven't written in eons!  Since my last post, it has been a steady frenzy of activity.  Work has been a stockpile of well, work.  Family kept me so busy as well - taking care of the hubby and son, my Mom came to stay with us for a month.  Oh, and my little boy turned 7!  I'll write a separate post on that, hubby and DIY most of the preparations.... nerve wracking, I tell you.  Lots of lessons learned there.

And, and!  My son's yaya of 6 six years has become pregnant suddenly, had a delicate pregnancy at that.  So from two Yaya's, both of them packed up and left.  They just left, 3 days before my son's birthday!  Good thing we found a new one, but she found our village too quiet.  She left after 3 weeks.  Well, she must have wanted a party all the time vibe LOL

We need a labandera!
So yes, I don't have a yaya.  Which means, I take care of EVERYTHING, plus I still have to work - FULL TIME, and be a tutor too.  The hubby helps and the little one too.  But mostly, I do the job.  The first week, my body ached all over.  I ached in "places no one will find". LOL  But on the second week, my body started to adjust.  It still aches but not as much anymore. 

Here are a couple of advantages without a yaya:

1.  It's so good to our budget!  The yayas salary are now ours (well, should be just mine actually hihi!) to spend.  Plus our grocery, food, toiletries, detergent and other stuff lasts longer.  Our 3k weekly food budget is lasting us 2 weeks.  Our dishwashing soap lasts almost 3 weeks.  More money, more shopping for me? haha

2.  I exactly know the state of our household.  Like I didn't know we didn't have decent clothesline for the laundry.  I didn't know also that we need clips or our mop has long died on us.  I also picked up a couple of organizing shelves for the kitchen. Coz the yayas never told me.  So our house is now well equipped.  I also enjoyed the shopping, needs to be said :D

3.  I actually really get to spend time with my son.  I'm the primary caregiver now, so everything he does, I take care of it.  Before, if he needed something, the first name he'll call is the yaya's.  Now, it's all "Mommy.....".  Lovin' it!

4.  We've become an independent family.  Whilst before, we leave everything to the yayas.  Even getting our water or our bag/s from the car.  I know, in hindsight, we were so spoiled rotten.  I'm ashamed of how we were, we're like the people on Wall-E.  The little boy has his duty - to set the table for meals, to pack away his toys and to put his used clothes on the laundry.  He still does need to be reminded, but overall he's happy to do it.  And he's learned how to shower on his own! :)  I'm loving how we're evolving.

I'm not saying it's easy not to have a yaya.  It's not, specially if you work full time and you still have a little one.  But for now, it's actually doable, when I thought it was impossible.  We do have to contend with a lot of clothes on the laundry basket and our floor can do with a mop, but our house is liveable and it's home.