Hell-av-a-Monday

I feel stupid, frustrated, disappointed and depressed today. I can hear The Cranberries sing in my head, asking me ‘do you have to let it linger?

I don’t want to, but it just won’t go away either…

First Event

I went back to BIR South to follow up on our Authority to Print, with Form 1906 on my hand. I was more hopeful that everything’s gonna be okay because I was referred to a ‘better’ person (that handles) updates regarding pending ATPs – who is Ms. May. Only to be told that the received stamp was not from their office but from the other district’s branch.

More simply, our printer gave the application form to the wrong branch.

ATP BIR

Biogesic please!

Now angry and frustrated, I went back to Roedils Printing to report to them what I was told. I should’ve known they were disorganized when they had a hard time finding our Form 1909. This time, they said they would prioritize us with their next batch of follow ups with the BIR. I asked them where should I follow up next? Took a while before anyone from the 4 printing press staff could respond that they would update me later around 5:00 pm (which didn’t happen).

Second Event

I was supposed to cross off 3 items on my to-do list: 1) withdraw additional petty cash 2) pay our water bill 3) get a haircut. I was only able to accomplish 1.

Because I felt bad already, I was thinking twice whether I’d give myself a break and go to SM to do everything there. But because I was so fickle-minded, I took a jeep going to the main MCWD branch to pay there. I didn’t even know I lack enough cash, but I retreated upon seeing that it was so crowded inside. I opted to go to E-mall instead.

Cebu Jeepneys

Braving the commute and losing my way…

I hailed a jeep and asked if it would go by E-mall. Speaking in Bisaya, they said no, but would drive by the coliseum. Thinking that they were being sarcastic, I ignored them, but hopped in anyway. I was thinking it would go around anyway and I could just hop off and walk. But it didn’t drop by the Coliseum, and I noticed that we were already on the N. Bacalso highway.

Goodbye haircut.

Third Event

Trying to brush off my stupidity and my misfortune, I was thinking to pay the bill at the nearby bank when I get off on the way to our apartment. I was able to withdraw money from the ATM and was about to enter the bank when I was stopped by the security guard.

Oras

Tumatakbo ang oras naiiwan na ako…

Turns out water bill payments are only until 2:00 pm. I didn’t notice that it was already 3:00 pm. I was still feeling rebellious and I wanted to accomplish more today, so I stood by the roadside, waiting for a jeep to drive by…

I could still pay the bill. I could still get a haircut. I might lift my mood for even a little.

On Second Thought

After I few seconds though… I just walked back home.

Olive is alone with her yaya. I have a deadline to meet tomorrow. I have collections to follow up. I can’t manage to smile or even look at myself in the mirror. I feel dirty from the smoke and dust particles. I feel like an old haggard mom.

And I found myself irrevocably sad.

What Happened?

Why am I sad? Why am I down again? Can’t the happiness factors outnumber the bad things that happened today? Maybe… But my mind is just too clouded to look at the silver linings.

I felt stupid for not being fully literate with this third language. I found my confidence lost because I can’t engage in a full conversation with other people. I lose my way around. I’m like a handicapped person. I wasn’t like this since elementary and high school…

That’s sad, right?

And then I wanted to attend to myself. Because I feel old and unkept. Because I was told that I looked pregnant even if I’m not. Because I didn’t have the freedom and the time I used to have when I was single. Because I can’t go out anytime I want when my husband is working and there’s a baby, a business and a freelance job to look after.

But then, if I want to go out, I’m just by myself – no besties, no friends to talk to – about movies, how our friends are all getting married and having kids, the latest hook-ups in our social circle, where to find a good hairstylist, how was traveling to this country like?

I think I’m going mental…

Even an introvert needs a bit of socializing.

First Aid

So what’s a quick remedy?

I was thinking of Jollibee Flip Float, but its gonna make me more fat. Running? Too early, and it looked like it would rain anytime. I have calls and emails to check. Coffee and chocolate mix – too much caffeine, I might go Parkinsons mode again.

Instead, I rushed to check my Facebook and read the news. Flooding has reached Cavite, and it got me worried some part of our house would break. So I checked on my folks to see if they were alright. My dad called and I learned that the wall at the National Power Grid (which was near our residence) gave in from the the flood and caused damage to the main road and a portion of a huge house nearby. Work was cancelled at the city hall. And the weather was just chilly. Gosh I miss home!

Typhoon Maring + Habagat

Water world ang peg ng Cavite ngayon…

I received mail from a satisfied client. I’m happy that it was worth not sleeping for.

Lastly, I took everything in here. Without this blog, I’d probably be in an asylum now or ran off elsewhere (to mini-vacation on impulse). Its like I’m having a monologue. Unsure if anyone would read, understand or respond. But at least I have a blank page to talk to.

I do not regret living here and having a family, the business and all. Its just that it sucks when you don’t have a social circle and you have a language barrier to break. Maybe its also my fault because I’m not the type to easily make friends with anyone. I often stick to my wolf pack and meet new friends from there. But they’re just beyond my reach right now…

You know that feeling when you miss going out with your bunch – drink, sing at the videoke and talk about stories you’ve talked about infinitely? You wanna catch up with their lives and yours, get advice and share some insight. Girl talk! Bitch out, rant and throw fits for fun or nothing at all. Spend time with people who share the same favorite TV series, books, places, foods… It hasn’t happened for years now. And maybe I’m at my social need limit.

If I was a character in The Sims (yes the game & my favorite one), I’d probably be the depressed one, the one crying helplessly, or the one who fails to wake up and prefer to stay dreaming. (Or later on begin to see aliens and ghosts as well, lolz)

Depressed Sim

Depressed character in The Sims game

And how do you satisfy that virtual need? The character calls up friends to chat, invites them over or they go out.

That’s in virtual reality.

But I think, right now, it essentially holds true in real life.

On the last note, I actually feel better after writing out everything.

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Whoa Saturday!

Can’t believe I was able to doze around 12 midnight and be alive, alert and awake by 7:30 am. Yes that feels good! :3

That’s a consolation from yesterday’s headache which were:

  • Waking up at 11:30 am, because I was still counting sheep around 3:00 am. And even if I can’t sleep, I bothered Mr. H to go down and get me water because I was freaking with thoughts of The Conjuring (even if I didn’t watch the movie).
  • Checking my email which unsurprisingly have pending tasks. Sorry clients! =_=’
  • Fast tracking updates on our business’ vouchers, business expenses, petty cash, account balances, pending cash for deposit.
  • Storming the BIR office to follow up on our ATP (Authority to Print) which has been pending for 2 months. Only to be told that everything’s been released.
  • Which led me to rush to our printer who primarily couldn’t supply the date our requirements were submitted to the BIR. But was able to produce the processing stub after my fit of rage and terrorizing glares.

Yummy mogu-mogu lychee & nata de coco :3

A post shared by Vanessa Ezra Olaes Goopio (@vanessa_xyz) on

Comic & cute relief yesterday! Lychee & Nata De Coco Juice I saw at 7-11. :3

  • Went home to our yaya’s report that our LPG tank is empty.
  • Rushing to the grocery, dined out with the entire family and went back home almost 10:00 pm

I was happy to be dead tired because I know I’d be able to sleep early. With just bread for breakfast, I was greeted by intriguing, sad and happy news for the day:

  • 2 ships collided at Mactan Strait last night (while we were at the grocery). We confirmed the news because Aidz, our lodger who’s a nurse at VSMMC (the PGH of Cebu) saw the patients brought in after her shift.
  • SoWhatsNews published this satirical list of properties allegedly found by the NBI which includes a Wagyu Cattle Ranch in Bulacan to name a few. Hilarious must read. But some people just don’t get satire.
  • Michael V, my favorite Filipino comedian, has dengue 😦 and he was getting worse. His blood type is B+. I hope he recovers soon!
  • Apparently, those who have sex at least 4x a week make more money than average people. My disgust when I thought about JLN and our lecherous politicians. Sexy statistics fail!
  • We have a new supply of LPG tank and Mr. H won’t be going for field service today!

That means I have to haul myself to do some house chores, freelance work and some pampering today.

Energy burst mode!!!

Back on Our Feet

“We’re back on our feet!”

This was what my husband said a few days ago, as he successfully closed new projects and observed that I’m busy doing several design projects (and didn’t have time to blog).

Aside from our savings (which is still in replenish mode), I think could agree. ^_^

My freelancing took a back seat when Olive was born. The problem with being a freelancer is that nobody gives you a maternity leave. You earn great, but if you are impulsive and spoil yourself with a lavish lifestyle, you might end up zero. I had savings on my oDesk wallet to cover a month that I won’t be able to work. But since I delivered via CS, it wasn’t enough and ended up being used as payment for our hospital bills. We were broke after out discharge.

The first few weeks felt so chaotic and depressing.

I had to nurse Olive. We have additional people to feed in the house. I felt like I NEED TO GET BACK TO WORK ASAP. But attending to Olive took up most of the time in my day, I can’t even do anything else. I notified my clients, beforehand, that I’d be away for a while. But although they were supportive and understanding, one by one, most of my contracts ended. Google was no help when I looked up any tips for pregnant freelancers. I guess there really was no advice but to prepare even for the unexpected.

Thankfully, Lauren of Flavours Catering, who’s been my long-time client, sent me a job that kept me busy. I had to send back PSD files of the materials I’ve done for them so they could archive everything. In the end, there were a total of more than 700 PSD files since I began working from them last year. (Come to think of it, I’ve been working with her for a year now) I sent the last batch last March 19.

Having nothing else to do, I applied to open jobs again. Despite being experienced and with good client feedback, not even 1 of the 25 job applications I’ve sent ended up with a job offer. I was anxious. I know that if I can’t meet my self-imposed quota, next month’s vaccination, christening and credit card bills would be a problem. God was probably in the works though, ‘coz the next morning, I had like 4-6 job invitations and has been piling up til now. Like oDesk acknowledges that I’m back from my maternity leave.
Loving My oDesk Clients

As eager as I am in getting new projects, I quickly responded and landed with 3 new tasks. It felt like scoring my first job again on oDesk!

I took on a fixed-rate project with Edie – a motivational speaker/author, who needs a double-sided flyer for a book expo. She’s happy with the draft I sent so far and even recommended me to her colleagues. I like that she’s smart and sweet despite her level of being an expert and that.

On hourly jobs, I got on board the team of James – who’s into promoting Youtube SEO. I’m doing his monthly newsletter using iWork’s Pages. Its actually my first time doing a task out of it, but it feels great that I’m able to deliver and meet his expectations. This is also the first time that I’m actually also able to converse with other outsourced member of his team.

Last but not the least is Jennifer. I’m so glad to have met a client who’s also a fellow work at home mom! Did her flyers and postcards and am exploring MailChimp for customized templates. She’s my second client who needs a template done and I think its about time I learn about it.

Busy with oDesk

Happy to have my hands busy

For the first time, in a long while, I felt happy with getting stressed. My to-do list was full, and I’m juggling with office work with HVPC. I could only manage to whip an experimental snack for a break. Try champorado + Coffee Mate + Corn Flakes, really yummy!

nom nom nom

Quick Snack: mix left over champorado with Coffee Mate and Kellogs Cornflakes. YUM!

But if isn’t for Fahima, I wouldn’t have my first freelance job and my first client feedback. A 5-minute business card was my first stint into the freelance world. She was always patient with me despite my shortcomings when I get loaded with work. She and Lauren are my long-time clients who gave me a badly needed pat on the back! (After a long while of working in the Philippine Government).

Preps for Olive’s Christening

Christening Event

Saved money from not printing invitations

And as projects keep coming, Mr. H and I are busy on the side preparing for Olive’s christening. We’re targeting April 13 at the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral where her dad was also baptized. I’m quite sad that my family and friends couldn’t come due to short notice. Anyhow, we’re also on a limited budget, so we’re not planning anything fancy. We might just take the few expected visitors to a restaurant for dinner.

Last night, we bought her a outfit for the rites. A white dress with cap & frilly socks from Metro Ayala Dept. Store and this super cute headband from Celestina & Co. (The Maze at Ayala Cebu).

Celestina & Co Headband

Really happy with this head band! 🙂 planningtobuymore

Olive's Christening Dress

Cotton dress with bloomers for our princess

I’m super satisfied with what we’ve bought! I might actually wear it myself if I were her size! So glad to have found the headpiece! The dept store at Metro Ayala ran out of stocks. But I think I found a treasure trove at the Maze. They had so much to choose from that I didn’t have to check out online stores to buy from Manila.

Daddy H also INSISTED we buy her pairs of short pants and toys. She’s just always wearing a diaper at home. I bought her pajamas but we don’t dress her with those since its always humid. And the father wants her to have a variety of things to look at at home aside from Ate’s wallflower and our photos and glow in the dark stickers posted on our bedroom wall. While at that, I also bought her extra hooded towels. Olive’s grown out of the ones Mommy brought from Dasma. ^^

Baby Shorts

Assorted colored baby shorts on sale!

Care Bears hooded towel

Care Bears hooded towel

Stuff Toys

Chicken & fish plushies

So we got her these shorts which were on sale, a mobile set from Fisher Price (T_T so expensive), a blue birdie and colorful fishie stuff toys. I insisted we drop by Comic Alley for my choice of stuffed toys. Thinking of cute plushies but they’re out of stock.

Tiny Milestones

My credit card sure got smoking, but its worth it when we saw Olive’s curiosity and enjoyment. Playing with her makes me feel like a kid again! ^_^ And what do you know, from the last time that I’ve posted, our tiny bee also learned some new skills!

She’s beginning to turn to her side, do the caterpillar crawl and, oh, what a loud solid crying voice! XD

Olive learns to turn

Olive learns to turn

She’s also more talkative and responsive compared from the last month. We just have to capture it on amateur video for when she grows up! 🙂

Missing Dasma this Holy Week

Its the start of Semana Santa and we might just stay at home. Its my second Holy Week spent here in Cebu, and I’m missing Dasma a LOT! The last time we were there, we went to Calaruega to inquire about the wedding venue, dropped by Sonia’s Garden and roadtripped to traffic.

McDonald's spotted on our road trip

McDonald’s caught on traffic at Tagaytay

Sonya's Garden

Fantasized our wedding reception to be held here, if not for the vegetarian menu and price tag that’s way above our budget!

 

Calaruega, Batangas

Me and my then-boyfriend at Calaruega :3

In the following days, I know I’d be scrolling down to newsfeed of family outings or friendly get togethers on Facebook. I wish we’d be there next Lenten Season and be with family on Visita Iglesia.

But actually, just being at home with them and Olive. That’s more than enough.

My Daily Routine… Lately

Olive turned 2 months old last March 5. Thankfully, she’s more predictable lately unlike in her first month. Changing diapers, nursing and cradling her to sleep seem more like a habit than a chore. I’m able to work again, although still not in the capacity to accommodate a variety of graphic design clients. I am even able to finish 3 months backlog of cash disbursements for our business. Feeling ko lalo kumulot ang utak ko dahil sa dami ng numero kelangan kong i-review. I admit, I have hard feelings to finish that one but it felt DAMN GOOD to balance accounting figures even though I’m mostly only good at creative stuff. And since I’m a writer ever since, I’m also stubbornly attempting to push blogging in between everything. Haggard, and unimaginable noh?

So what’s a day like in my life? LATELY this has been my routine:

  • Rise and shine at 10:45 AM
  • Breakfast at 11:00 AM
  • @ 11:15 AM — Substitute for a while for Janie (Olive’s yaya) so she could cook lunch
  • @ 12:00 NN – Lunch
  • 12:30 PM – Bring down my working bag (with my Mac, organizer, compilation of vouchers, notepad, wallet, cellphone and chargers) to the dining room which currently serves as my office desk. Love working in wide desks!
Kitchen Desk

My office… in the dining 🙂

  • 1:00 PM – Browse my Facebook, Yahoo Philippines, Bloglovin, Instagram and WordPress for updates before I dive into…
  • 1:30 PM – Work — Business concerns first (client follow ups, checking for scheduled collections and bills payment, coach our Sales Staff, review of liquidated petty cash and update on the accounting stuff) followed by…
  • 3:00 PM – oDesk — As of now, I’m only working with my long term clients. I don’t want to commit yet to new clients and be unable to manage tasks effectively
  • 6:00 PM — Nursing time for Olive as Janie prepares dinner
  • 7:00 PM — Dinner time
  • 8:00 PM — Second evening feeding for Olive
  • 8:30 PM — Move my working bag upstairs to our bedroom where I continue whatever I haven’t finished with oDesk or business concerns.
  • 10:00 PM, 12:00 MN, 2:00 AM — Nurse Olive every 2 hours and still work every hour in between since Olive would be asleep by then OR update my lists such as groceries, things to do, schedules, etc.
  • 6:00 AM — Olive’s bath time (still half asleep during this time. Mr. H & Janie usually does the baths). She’s bottle fed by her yaya from this time until 4:00 PM.

**NOTE: My bath time and blogging are inserted in random hours ^___^’ **

As you can see, I really don’t have time to go out and enjoy a change of scenery. I know. After reading it over, sounds unhealthy. But this is just for now, I guess, until Olive can feed less frequently and would be able to sleep on her own (hindi na kailangan isayaw pa at kargahin para matulog). Yet I know we can’t rush that. As Mr. H & I are saying, we should just enjoy each day while she’s still our cuddly little bundle of joy.

Management Basics

Mr. H & I just returned from a trip back home to Cavite last Monday. It was quite promising to know that there is a potential market for the business we’re planning to establish. With a few connections in the LGU, the business industry and what remains of our wedding gift, I know we can make a start.

The sudden urge to establish our own business came from a few realizations a week ago: 1) Their company doesn’t have an accounting journal. No journal means no accounting book, ergo no accounting. Accounting is of course the blood of the business – hence, there’s no financial figures to interpret or draw encouragement from. 2) His business partners wouldn’t cooperate on the auditing for the past 2 years of the company. The papers are stashed (we don’t know where)… There are receipts and paper trails here and there, but without certainty that everything could be traced here. 3) One of his partners just want to let the past years go by… without conducting audit.

stop over

I have a perfect understanding of how my husband feels about this. After all, I’ve observed entrepreneurs, learned from a few of them, read tons of Entrepreneur Magazine and stuff. Basically, to be a business partner and not know how much your company has been profiting for the last couple of years is alarming and frustrating! I don’t know why his other partners aren’t, but as an outsider I’m worried that they’re not achieving stability.

So to help a desperate Mr. H, I began researching & reviewing basic principles and accounting sheets. I helped design a journal so they could begin at least with this month to apply a system. Its actually what I’ve been helping them out with for some days now. Unfortunately, I feel like some of his partners aren’t happy with what we’re doing.

SIGH! BUSINESS – ACCOUNTING – MANAGEMENT!

I guess I have enough experience when it comes to management considering my previous job, only applied to a different setting in the government office. So this is how it feels to manage a business. You need to be a salesman, an administrator, a human resource manager and most importantly an accountant! You need figures to interpret and make smart financial moves.

As my head gradually became saturated with over-thinking what to do tomorrow and the next week to somehow contribute and ease this problem, I just need to squeeze out and organize a part of my psyche — which is my new email! (Yes, the hassle of getting married and changing last names)  Amazingly, I just found out that Gmail can import messages from my previous email to my new one! I’ve imported my contacts as well! ^__^ Just terrific!

I least expected to find this amusing 3 Minute Management Course which a good friend sent to me last year. I’d like to share with you this:

Lesson One:

An eagle was sitting on a tree resting, doing nothing. A small rabbit

Saw the eagle and asked him, “Can I also sit like you and do nothing?”

The eagle answered: “Sure, why not.” So, the rabbit sat on the ground

below the eagle and rested.

All of a sudden, a fox appeared, jumped on the rabbit and ate it.

Management Lesson: To be sitting and doing nothing, you must be sitting very, very high up.

___________________________________

Lesson Two:

A turkey was chatting with a bull. “I would love to be able to get to

The top of that tree,” sighed the turkey, “but I haven’t got the energy.”

“Well, why don’t you nibble on some of my droppings?” replied the bull.

“They’re packed with nutrients.”

The turkey pecked at a lump of dung, and found it actually gave him

Enough strength to reach the lowest branch of the tree. The next day,

after eating some more dung, he reached the second branch.

Finally after a fourth night, the turkey was proudly perched at the top

of the tree. He was promptly spotted by a farmer, who shot him out of the

tree.

Management Lesson: Bull shit might get you to the top, but it won’t keep you there.

_____________________________________

Lesson Three:

A little bird was flying south for the winter. It was so cold; the bird

froze and fell to the ground into a large field.

While he was lying there, a cow came by and dropped some dung on him.

As the frozen bird lay there in the pile of cow dung, he began to realize

How warm he was. The dung was actually thawing him out! He laid there

Warm and happy, and soon began to sing for joy.

A passing cat heard the bird singing and came to investigate. Following

The sound, the cat discovered the bird under the pile of cow dung, and

Promptly dug him out and ate him.

Management Lesson:

(1) Not everyone who shits on you is your enemy.

(2) Not everyone who gets you out of shit is your friend.

(3) And when you’re in deep shit, it’s best to keep your mouth shut!

This ends the three minute management course!