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

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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!!!

Dealing with Cancer: New Motherhood and Survival

Note to Readers:  Last April 10, I received an email from Heather. She’s a survivor from a rare type of cancer called Mesothelioma. She asked if she could in any way spread the word about this disease through my blog. Like you, this is the first time I’ve heard about this disease. And it was scary from her experience to even imagine possibly leaving behind a daughter or a son while they are so young.

Without looking at how many readers I’ve got, she only considered reaching out to fellow mothers. I hope this reaches many women despite my humble blog. I’m encouraging everyone to share/repost.

And to Heather whose courage I admire, it took me a while (my apologies). But as they said, better late than never!

_____________________________________________________________________

About eight years ago, I was faced with something that no one expects in their lifetime. Even worse, it was devastating to the euphoria that I had been blessed with just months before when I gave birth to my first child, Lily. Lily was such a beautiful addition to our lives that I still find myself in disbelief over the next series of events.

Heather and Lily

Mesothelioma Cancer Survivor Heather Von St. James with child Lily. Heather was diagnosed with cancer 7 years ago. She has been an advocate of the disease ever since.

I just wanted to get back into the swing of things after Lily was born. I started working again full-time. My husband also worked full-time. We were going to provide a beautiful life for Lily and we were preparing for her first Christmas just a few months in the future. It turned into such a difficult time. I began feeling exhausted, too tired to move or go to work, and I was losing weight at about five to seven pounds a week. Something was definitely wrong.

My doctor ran tests to figure out what was going on, but in the mean time, I went on being a mother. The results came back, just a few days before Thanksgiving. There I was, ready to hear about a simple deficiency or little problem that had an easy solution, when instead, the doctor told me that I had malignant pleural mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer that affects the lining of the lungs caused by asbestos exposure. I was unknowingly exposed to asbestos as a child. It utterly shocked me to my core, and yet I was left to make a decision. Without treatment, I would only live another 15 months. I had to do something.

We decided that I should see a specialist in Boston. He had helped many patients with mesothelioma already. On February 2, 2006 I had a surgery known as extrapleural pneumonectomy, which removed my left lung, parts of my chest and heart lining along with parts of my diaphragm. I spent 18 days in the hospital and after another 2 months of recovery I began chemotherapy and radiation treatments. All the while, I was still trying to be the best mom and wife I could be considering everything. It was truly one of the most difficult times of my life.

I’ll never forget the way that my family and friends came through to help in this time of need. My parents provided care for Lily at their home in South Dakota while I was in the hospital, as well as a place for me to stay while I was recovering from surgery. I will never forget the way that we were blessed with so much help from our loved ones. I am truly grateful for their support.

Being faced with such a difficult situation, quickly puts things into perspective. Having gone through such a hard time made me truly realize and appreciate what is most important in my life, my family. Being able to use my experience and everything that I’ve overcome in order to help others is very special to me. My battle with cancer shaped who I am today and has allowed me to spreading awareness and keep up hope for this terrible disease.

Heather and Family

Heather and Family

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To learn more about Mesothelioma, visit this link and know more about Heather’s and other cancer patients‘ inspiring experience against this disease.

Mindset Overhaul

Hello blog!

Its been 4 months since my last post and I sincerely missed you! I’m currently on my energy boost mode (that’s between 11:00pm to 2:00am daily recently). And as I found my to-do list brightly highlighted with “DONE”, I figured I now have a guiltless time to revisit my alternate world.

Last time I checked, I mentioned that we had Olive baptized. She was 3 months old then. Fast forward to now. She’s a budding 7-months old baby with advanced locomotor skills which have kept us (me, Mr. H and Yaya) all the more watchful of her. She’s been laughing at funny faces we make, peek-a-boos and quirky sounds. A few weeks ago, she was down with mild fever, cough and flu, but she’s all better now. She’s grown her first teeth and has been fond of biting anything and anyone. She has really become our source of fatigue and joy. And each day, I wanted to spend more time indulging in this phase of her childhood.

7 months old Olive

7 months old Olive

Time is essential for me right now. And time is something I do not want to spend often as a stressed out work-at-home mom who doesn’t have a social life and is unhappy. So I decided to shift back to gear one and take things in stride.

The Happiness Factor

In June, I was able to earn $300 a week from my freelance job. It felt great and I wanted to maintain earning that figure for as long as I could. But that accomplishment came with a price.

I was less attentive in taking care of Olive. I did not gave enough attention to my husband and our business. And despite those, I still found myself constantly stressed and feeling guilty. Stressed because I know, I left a lot of things undone for our business, and guilty because I felt I was irresponsible as a mother and a wife. Think of having a bag full of a month’s laundry which I only washed because we didn’t have anything to wear anymore.

I tried justifying my act. I pushed myself to work hard because I wanted us out of our current apartment. The houses we are looking at cost the same, if not more expensive. But I was looking for a place where we could be more comfortable as a family with a growing kid. I was unhappy with our current environment and the fact that we’re experiencing flooding.

I wanted us to be financially capable of drawing ourselves out of here. But I learned that I can’t change everything in a month’s time, no matter how mad and desperate I am with working.

I was only leaning to become more stressed, more unhappy. I felt like no one was taking me seriously and I was hating by myself, alone.

Pause and Realizations

That’s when I tried to stop for a while.

I felt like I deserved to rest after working so hard. I took time to literally just lie down and do nothing but reflect. Then realization and remorse hit me.

I realized it wasn’t just me who’s having a hard time. Mr. H has also been restless (driving for days, sometimes sleepless working on preventive maintenance schedules and lifting heavy objects). It wasn’t my sole responsibility to earn for us. We’re partners and he’s also burning his ass off earning for our family. I need to stop saying “I”. It should be “us”, “we”.

I shouldn’t work hard. I should be working smart. But right now, the place just doesn’t allow for an engaging workplace to hire an assistant. The first and last one who came for a walk-in interview didn’t came back. Nevertheless, it doesn’t mean I couldn’t work smart in the future. Answer: Set up a spare workstation once we’ve transferred office.

I am unhappy and whining all the time. I am too stubborn to accept that some realities that can’t be changed overnight. I read somewhere that 90% of the problems a man has is caused by himself. For instance, I was sleepless for 2 nights in a row because there’s a wild and loud party on a nearby covered court. I can’t do anything about it. And yet I kept myself bothered about it for several days.

I don’t have a social life. But becoming a mother didn’t cause that. I chose to live here, that’s why. And naturally, I wouldn’t have my family and friends here.

I am not the best person to take care of a child. I admit that. That’s why we hired an in-house nanny. But that doesn’t excuse me from bonding with my baby, and for not lending a hand when Yaya needs to do the cooking, dish washing and the laundry.

Finally, I felt like I was too hard on myself for no good reason…

Night owling again…

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Cultivating Good Vibes

The rest period after my workaholic June was an extended one.

WE treated OURSELVES to a full body massage. It wasn’t at the expensive spas we used to frequent when we were still dating (those that offer sauna and 1.5 hour couple massage). But with a baby behind us, Nuat Thai at the nearby Shopwise sufficed. The last time we had a more luxurious one was the day before our wedding in 2011. I know… its 2013 already.

I started declining job invitations I’m unsure if I could accomplish in time. Instead, I focused with my regular clients who send me tasks every now and then. That meant I didn’t have a full load. But I wasn’t really happy with having a full load and restless just the same.

Pending job invitations... >_>

Pending job invitations… >_>

I scoured the newspapers, internet advertisements and braved talking to the Cebuano landlords/ladies of apartments and houses for rent. I wasn’t successful and we were nearly frustrated discussing with prospects only to back out because of practical reasons. Just in time, my father-in-law told us that someone from their hometown is building a house and they’d want to rent it out to someone they know.

We visited the site (it was still under construction) and it turned out to be exactly what we were looking for. A 3 bedroom duplex house with a garage. The owners are kind enough to allow our business. One room was allotted for our office. They had a really nice ventilation (strategically placed windows in almost every room) which were lacking in most of the houses we’ve seen. The bathrooms are new. And Olive can roam around in a walker. It was the answer to our prayers!

There was a kapilya nearby where fiestas and parties are held oftentimes. But instead of whining about it, I just found a valid excuse for us to occasionally sleep in a pension house.

Alba Uno

Alba Uno Pension House. I dream of sleeping here one noisy night.

I volunteered to do collections from business clients and bank deposits from time to time. Going out of the house makes me forget that resentment of not having family and friends close by. Aside from the cardio, I’ve been able to visit the public library and learned that they offer free wifi access. I was able to enroll our accounts for online funds transfer which has been in my to-do list for so long. I also made efforts to meet with fellow freelancers within the city (who also lack the social life that usual employed people enjoy).

Looks familiar? #librarygirl

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More than anything else, I made it a point to express and show my love for Olive and my husband. I let her crawl, sit, roll and stand on our queen size bed, play with stuff toys, sing songs to her, teach her how to high five, clap and close/open her hands. I embraced her, kiss and cuddle as much as I could, because I know tomorrow she’d be bigger. I carefully watch over her milk, vitamin and hygienic supplies so we wouldn’t run out of stock, and personally walk to the drugstore to make the purchase even when her dad isn’t around.

Whenever my husband comes home after a full schedule (of deliveries, checkups and pull outs), I remember to prepare a dry bath with lukewarm water and a soft towel. I kiss him whenever he goes to sleep first, and take the 2-3:00 am shift of feeding Olive. I became more thoughtful of buying material things (while we’re together) that he needs but wouldn’t prioritize because he’s thinking of our expenses, like a new collared shirt or a better brand of hair gel.

Let Go

Within that rest period, I let myself indulge with things unrelated to work and with which I felt gratification afterwards. Things I stopped doing because I thought I didn’t have time or I couldn’t afford them like:

  • Cooking a meal
  • Doing the laundry
  • Reading AND finishing books (I’ve finished 2 books within that rest period, including Steve Jobs)
  • Watching movies and random Youtube videos
  • Having drinks and pastries in a cafe
  • Appreciating new artists and downloading MP3s
  • Running (although I haven’t repeated this after that one time)
  • Sorting things (clothes, files, bags etc.)
  • Making random lists
  • Thinking about the good times and how I could repeat that with my family in tow

Otherworldlyworkplace

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With those, I let go of my workaholic self and saw how different everything could be. The end result wasn’t like an Extreme Makeover Self edition radical kind of change, but I knew I felt better.

I saw that I have a budding family, a promising business and career, a hope for a better household and the resources to enjoy life. Nobody was demanding me to work 40 hours a week while looking after a baby and running another business but MYSELF. I should stop because I wasn’t actually happy.

And when I did, I felt more lighthearted. I was more playful and was easier to get along with. Everything seemed simpler.

I finally came to terms that in order for me to be happy with what I have now, I should not focus on my anger, frustration and sadness. I am licensed to feel angry, frustrated and sad. But I shouldn’t keep myself feeling that way all the time. Looking back, I felt stupid and stubborn acting like a kid.

I couldn’t say that I won’t feel negative again in the future, its part of my personality after all. But I wouldn’t force myself to go robot mode again, and feel sorry about myself afterwards.

To sum it up:

My to-do list is always full. But I’m pleased that everyday, there’s something being crossed off.

Grapefruit Caught My Eye

I dropped by Gaisano Tisa last night after our window shopping at SM. Pinauna ko na lang sila Olive umuwi dahil gutom na and we’ve exhausted yung baon naming feeding bottles and milk. Wala kasing breastfeeding station sa Gaisano, dyahe naman. And besides, I can see sa face ng makulit na pagod na din siya (pati si Jane).

I’ve been carrying a grocery list since we left the house but I didn’t want to shop at the SM grocery. Bukod sa expired na ang SM Advantage Card ko, cheaper talaga yung merchandise sa Gaisano and the store is just small na kabisado ko na kung san hahanapin yung lahat ng kelangan bilhin. I hate getting lost on the grocery especially if malaki. I had an experience na pabalik balik ako sa magkabilang dulo ng lugar para lang makuha yung isang pack ng powdered milk at isang pirasong butter. Lurky much!

Anyhow, so nandun na ko sa grocery. To follow si Mr. H after making sure that Olive’s rested at home. Start na ko with the shopping. First sa toiletries. Last time, I tried Camay’s Vanilla Shower Gel. I was pleased kasi medyo kaamoy niya yung Body Shop Vanilla Buttercreme Shower Gel that my friend Cecille gave as a present on our wedding. Aside from the scent though, it wasn’t any much better than Safeguard Aloe liquid soap that I’ve been using since nagbuntis ako. I was expecting a cleaner feel and soft feeling as promised sa commercial. Bumenta kasi sa ‘kin si Angelica Panganiban.

Camay Shower Gel

Camay Shower Gel in Vanilla (white) and Grapefruit (transparent bottle)

I was going to buy Safeguard na lang again pero nakita ko sa shelf yung isa pang Camay na Grapefruit naman ang peg. I admit, as a designer bumenta din yung packaging! ^_^’ AND ubos na din yung Safeguard liquid soap sa shelf kaya its fated na subukan ko yung Camay. I checked the price on the scanner and I think its a bit pricey for 62 pesos. Pero ganun talaga, kailangan bumawi sa cost ng advertisement and packaging. Pag-uwi sa bahay I tried it. Dito kasi sa Cebu, mas prefer ko maligo sa gabi kesa sa umaga. Parang Amerikana no? E kasi nakakahinayang din kapag naligo ka sa umaga tapos habang nagbibihis ka sa kwarto, tumutulo na ulit yung pawis mo. The entire day maaalikabukan lang din and papawisan. I also love going to bed na malinis ang pakiramdam. Parang mas mahimbing yung tulog ko kapag bagong paligo.

In fairness energizing naman ang peg ng Grapefruit Camay Shower Gel. Pangtanggal pagod after the long day we had at the crowded mall. Like the Vanilla version, clear din siya and it lathers well when you rub it in your skin. I just hope the liquid is thicker in consistency. The bottome line is that you feel happy when you smell yourself after a long day. There’s also a feeling that you’re detoxified when you smell like fruit. It gives a luxurious experience without regret that your bathing with something super expensive. All in all, if I’m not tight on budget, I’d try Camay Grapefruit and Vanilla Shower Gel again.

A place for my sanity

Again, this late and I’ve just put Olive down. Its good that she’s sleeping soundly tonight despite me breastfeeding her every 2 hours. No insatiable crying tonight! Nakinig siguro kay Dr. Chiu (her pedia) kanina na yun ang cause ng pagmamalat niya. 2 days na siyang paos ang boses.

So for 2 nights, almost sleepless din kami ni Mr. H and on the second night, umatake na naman ang toyo ko. PPD setting in kasi 2:00 am na ayaw pa din paawat. Bad mood talaga ko later on the day. I’ll write more about PPD in another post. But this square icon generator shared by my friend (Ian) on Facebook made my day. Of course, ever an anime fan, I tried it out first inspired by my crazy mood.

v icon

:)) I think, understatement pa yan. If there were gloom bars and eye bags, or zombie effect, swak na swak yung effect. I posted it on Facebook and kuha agad ng reaction. Pano daw kaya itsura ng husband ko if version naman nya. So I did one for him. :))

mr h icon

I think, nakuha ko talaga itsura nya dito, especially the eye brows, goatee and the mole. Kaso nagrereklamo kasi parang kay ex-PGMA daw yung mole. LOLZ!!! But it wouldn’t be HIM without the mole, and its only that and a larger size dot for the options. Laughtrip! XD  …Anyhow, last but not the least, I made a version of the brat who drove me nuts but who I dearly love. ❤ ^_^ ❤

olive icon

SOOO ADORABLE!!! I wanted to add tear effects on Photoshop but I’ll keep it this way na lang. I swear Olive’s gonna get indoctrinated with anime and manga while she’s growing up. I think its cool and it brings out the humor and the kid in you even when you’re a grown up and in the worst mood. Its like a non-prescribed medicine against my PPD.

On another note, I found a lot of mom blogs today other than those I’ve shared on my blog roll. It makes me feel like I have a social circle despite not having close friends around. The feeling of isolation is somewhat lost. Some I hope I’ve read earlier when I was still pregnant. There were also some who admitted to have experienced post partum depression, and she’s even one of the more popular mom bloggers around. A tinge of relief that I’m not the only one who felt like going crazy on the first day of motherhood.

I’m hoping to establish connections and cultivate something positive out of it. I’m really trying my best and I feel that, like them, I’d be able to enjoy motherhood as well. Wanting now to eat those lactation cookies, shop for baby accessories and look fabulous with baby in tow! Inspired much?! Haha!

That’s it for tonight! We’ll be bathing Olive in the tub for the first time tomorrow (later na pala). Gigil na ko sabunin siya ng Lactacyd!!!

On a home run

I’m on a homerun! Finally on my 8th month. Still friggin’ summer-like in here. The only things that make me feel like Christmas is near are the Christmas decorations my husband hanged in our office and living room, the Christmas lights we light up at night and the old-fashioned foil parols – very reminiscent of those my tita used to hang back in Cavite. Mr. H probably caught me tearjerking while tapping a blog entry. A little bit sobbing coz I’m homesick and I haven’t been getting enough sleep for the past few weeks.

I must’ve possibly ranted so much about the things I hated here. How crowing roosters mess up my sleep, neighbors’ squealing voices, the gross habit of construction workers spitting everywhere, how I developed and still have dust allergy and the rust/bits of soil our improvised filter has gathered in the bathroom (meaning the apartment pipes aren’t safe healthwise)… I must’ve been lucky to have married someone who hasn’t told me (YET) that I’m such a nagger. But thinking about it, right now, we really don’t have a choice. Moving to another apartment is so unlikely since I’m about to give birth in a few months time. We wouldn’t have been able to save something for my delivery if we hadn’t stayed here. Having people to split the rent really helps minimize our expenses.

Looking back, I couldn’t imagine how I’ve gotten through 7 months of seemingly endless complaints (about not feeling good, dying from heat and wanting to find another place to live). But maybe, most probably its because…

My husband loves me. That’s the first thing in my mind and my heart when I think about everything I’ve been complaining about. Another guy would’ve fought or debated with me, dared me to go home, worse – left me for an unopinionated woman. When I think about the jobs we get that require him to work on graveyard shift for several consecutive days and he doesn’t complain, I know he’s doing it for us. He LISTENS, and he knows we both yearn to live more comfortably than we do right now, especially when our baby arrives. I’m also lucky that I get to visit my doctor with him as company when most women line up at the clinic by themselves or with their girlfriends.

I’ve got supportive in-laws. Again, a second stroke of luck! My in-laws are ecstatic to have another baby in the family. We’re often sent fresh catches of fish, crabs, even beef – which are considerably more expensive when bought here in the city. I’m really thankful of their generosity!

We got a helping hand. Since we started running the business, I could barely juggle freelance design, office work and doing the house chores. Have to wake up early and cook, take calls, process paper works, do freelance design and cook again in between. Being pregnant made it worse. Its like working 3-jobs while you’re sick. We finally had someone to help us around with through our in-house worker/technical staff. He was my mother-in-law’s scholar back in the province and he lived at Mama’s house as a runner for errands. It was a great relief for Mr. H and I. At least we’re able to rest on weekends again.

I work at home. I might’ve decided to resign if I were employed in another company. It’s really terrible when morning sickness strikes, the heat when commuting and my UTI attacks. At least I’ve got the bedroom upstairs when sleepiness attacks. I could run to the bathroom when I need to pee. I could wake up whenever I want, especially when I couldn’t sleep straight in the wee hours of the morning. Best of all, I could take a bath twice or even thrice a day!

I’m such a spendthrift. When I’m about to reach my limit, when that string of patience is about to break and even when my tears are brimming and I want to rush back home to Cavite – I always do the math. Traveling there and the cost of hospitalization (in case something bad happens while on the plane or land travel) aren’t priority expenses. If I stay in Cavite, I’d be obliged to contribute to food and utility expenses, which are more expensive. I’d be very much tempted to splurge on food, clothing and land travel there. Multiplied by the number of months I have to rest before the baby isn’t as delicate enough to travel. That and I grab the tissue.

I got social media and a blog. Thank God for Facebook, Twitter, WordPress, Pinterest. At least I have a spot on the wall to pour out my feelings whether vaguely or literally. I might’ve been insane right now if it ain’t for them. The people who really care for you would understand and somehow you have people to talk to – even if its not a straight conversation. It kills homesickness a little.

Avril, Pink, James Morrison, Paramore, Katy Perry. When the noise and annoyance becomes intolerable, I cram my ears with my noise-proof earphones and blast some music on. That or I blast on the speakers to get back at the neighbors who have their fair amount of noise pollution.

Air-conditioning is a life-saver! I might have died without an AC! I was hesitant at first because of the increase in electric bill we would surely incur. But you wouldn’t mind the additional PhP500.00 if you could sleep soundly, be a little bit more comfortable than your usual sweaty self, and feel like you’re not located in an equatorial region in this world.

Less than 50 days now and we’d be holding our first family member. Time really flies by so fast. And maybe before we know it, we’d be moving somewhere where God has planned. Maybe He gave me the 8 things I mentioned above to really bear with the challenges, so we could save while we can, think and plan more wisely. Knowing our plans by next year, it still seems overwhelming. And I know we might not accomplish everything that easily. But I know His plans ALWAYS turn out way better than we could ever imagine it to be.

Dealing with Getting Stuck in an Inhospitable Environment

I’m up at 5:30 AM as I’m beginning to write this.

Blame it on the neighbors, neighbors’ pets, and the pesky construction workers who buy their coffee from the apartment next door. My pregnancy must be at the most sleep-deprived phase as of several weeks now. Tough getting sleep as my stomach gets bigger. Tougher keeping oneself asleep when you hear even just a little noise.

I could rant the whole 9 months of my pregnancy and even after giving birth perhaps. And yes I’m at the threshold of my patience. But given our financially constricted situation, we have no choice as of the moment but to stay here…

We’re supposed to have found an apartment in a more ideal environment. I’ve even convinced myself that its worth spending our little savings if I could afford a little peace for ourselves. But upon almost final negotiations, we realized we’d be spending more than we thought about. Not good considering I’m about to give birth in 2 months (62 days from now to be exact). That’s 50k slashed off our pockets and we haven’t bought any baby stuff yet. Heck, 7 months on and I haven’t even bought myself that maxi dress! Paeta!

So to console ourselves… I decided today should be a bit more rewarding. We’ll have lunch out, buy some Christmas décor, get a haircut and shop a little. Anyway, I was able to withdraw some dollar savings with a higher forex rate last night. I promised we’d allot some of that for our personal shopping needs. We haven’t bought anything for ourselves in almost a year now.

*Sigh! So this is how it feels to live (almost) independently. I didn’t realize how much it could cost to eat well, rent a comfortable nest, and keep the simple lifestyle we have. We’ve been so frugal in shopping, traveling and nights out. And we’re still grateful that Cebu offers an urban life at a cheaper cost. I’m sad to admit that my mom was right when she said it was a pain to write down daily expenses and review each tiny expenditure if its worth it or not. Sometimes, especially when a pregnant woman craves for it, you just have to spend. It feels wrong to compute every peso you spend just to eat a decent and filling meal – not when you’re having a baby and is living with 2 adult males.

If I do the math, what we’re probably earning right now is just enough for our basic needs. And it could be lesser than what my parents were earning when my dad was on active police duty. I could almost hear my mom behind me sarcastically saying ‘I told you so…’ =_=

So after accepting the (SAD) fact that we’re bound to stay here a little bit longer, the only helpful things I could make of our situation is to:

1)   Be more productive (as tough as it is to concentrate on working). I’m glad I was able to attend the oDesk Contractors Appreciation Day. I think everyone who participated were able to get increased client job invitations. I plan to increase my weekly quota in earnings. Slacking is not an option if we want to beat life’s bitch. I’m also thinking of collaborating projects with some people in our network. All that while still performing as co-manager of our humble business. AND DESPITE finding it hard to focus. (Construction workers spend their break times on the next door apartment selling snacks. THEY ARE LOUD & always on a yosi break!).

2)   Save more. Increase quota. Increase earnings. Increase savings. We’ll be saving for three people by next year already!

3)   Acquire household stuff one at a time. I didn’t realize we barely have any furniture, household equipment and fixture when we move out. Top on the list would be water boiler, drinking glasses, pitchers, pails, laundry basins, curtains, rugs, kitchen towels and bed sheets. Washing machine and LED TV is also a priority for clean laundry and space-saving home entertainment.

4)   Keep constantly on the look out for rental properties. Apartments for rent don’t run out in the city. Somebody always moves out and moves in. But there are only a few that offer comfort and peace. They’re like needles in a haystack though and may be more expensive. But as my cousin (who’s been renting ever since her college days) says – you’re also paying for the environment. Never live in a place where you’d be unhappy.

5)   Financially, mentally and emotionally prepare. Rent plus utility expenses could almost cost one of our salaries. Being pregnant, I can’t stay sane without an air-conditioning unit. I sweat all the time. Right now, we’re also splitting our rent with my sister-in-law, mother-in-law and a lodger. If we’re moving out, we’ll be paying for the rent by ourselves. And when the baby comes out, we can’t settle with eating noodles and street sold food as meals. It would be quality over expense. Health shouldn’t be sacrificed.

So there… I am now about to count our savings. Not going back to sleep because everyone in the nearby compounds, that brat who always scream for his mama, construction laborers and the roosters next door are thrice more awake by now. Throwing bombs and going on a killing spree is not a kind option. I’m trying to stay positive hoping that somewhere before I get to deliver the baby, we’ll be able to find a better nest.

A whole new world.

Facebook Status – Monday, July 9, 2012

seven months after, i feel as if i’m totally a different person in different place. all the stress, hate and angst are part of a history that only made me see things in a larger perspective. and its a whole new world!

Could not have felt how time flew by so fast…

My last WP entry was May. And by then there were so many interesting turn of events I wanted to write about. In fact I have my list:

  1. 20 Reasons why I love Cebusprung after an American Expat was criticized for hosting a controversial video; I was also intending this to be a comparison of Cebu-Manila and Cavite in terms of implementing social order, traffic management, politics, affordability of commodities and lifestyles.
  2. 20 Reasons why I hate Cebu – inspired to be, well, an express of support to that American Expat who spoke what’s grossly true about our state.
  3. Promoting slavery in the corporate worldafter how I found out that one of the companies I applied for had pending labor lawsuits and how we should fight for what we deserve in this business called life.
  4. A trip to Cebu City Hall – noting how a city hall should look like a city hall and how happy I was from the Cebu City Government’s public service. No irate government employee encountered!
  5. Things I miss from Dasma – mainly the food, some family culture and just being home

In the past months, we followed the historic impeachment of the Chief Justice of the Philippines, watched Mon Tulfo beaten to a pulp by the Santiago gang, how Pacman was ROBBED of his title, got elated and then bored at how ABS-CBN is prolonging Walang Hanggan, missed the ASPIN Day held at Plaza Independencia. I mentally took note of details, saved pictures and planned at how I’ll make time each day to write about everything.

Then came a surprise for me and Mr. H. We found ourselves pregnant with our first baby! And yes, I’m on my third month as of this writing.

TVU Scan

I wouldn’t want to blame it on the baby, but the morning sickness and a multitude of pregnancy ‘norms’ I’m experiencing until now, kept me from working comfortably time. Its not an excuse that I sleep longer and more frequent than usual. I feel tired if I can’t. The horrible moments of puking and loss of appetite almost drove me nuts. Thank God I have such generous in-laws who send us supplies of fresh fish, vegetables and tasty lechon!

But the ultimate gift is having a husband who’s dedicated in supporting me all throughout the cravings, left-overs, running errands on a whim, cooking and washing the dishes especially when I detest the smell of food around. I could not have been more happy that I’m married. ^_^

It must be really God’s fate on how we’re keeping up with our lives…

Our pregnancy is an added toll at how we’re still establishing our business. We have larger bills to pay with the company’s overhead costs, my prenatal care, lab tests, vitamins and supplements. We’ve been quite frantic when we’re busy, double so when we’re not having sales. I’m still working as a freelance graphics designer while my pregnancy hormones are keeping everything in my physique unstable.

In spite of these, we still have time to watch Prime Time Kapamilya (lolx), splurge gastronomically on our wedding monthsary, watch downloaded movies before bedtime, fool around in bed and laugh at the silly things we notice from each other. And no, we’re not taking life as a joke. In fact, we’re looking forward to the birth of our baby. We have this virtual procurement plan for him/her through improvements with our business combined with my freelance earnings. We’re excited to show him/her off to family and friends and welcome him home.

Its really a whole new world, and I could not have imagined surviving if life wasn’t miraculously setup this way now. The rush of temper is often controlled now. In fact, I haven’t been agitated for quite a while – everything seemed forgiveable. Although I do miss nagging at some delinquent people at times, everything seemed so in the past.

And next month, we’re going to revisit that place, not to recollect history, but GORGE. YES GORGE IN FOOD! I’m so craving for home-made food back home!

Cheap ways to de-stress diri sa Cebu

Yesterday, I attended 2 job interviews. I commuted independently without the help of Mr. H – 4-5 rides of jeepneys I guess. There weren’t any traffic jams; smoke, heat and dust I endured during the travels were tolerable. I could still breath some fresh air courtesy of mountains surrounding the City. I didn’t have major language barrier problems since I’m used to the byahero lingo in here. Some must know for Tagalogs & Foreigners:

Para! = Lugar nya/Manaog

Baba = Naog

Sa tabi lang = Lugar lang

Paabot po (ng bayad) = Palihug

Bayad = Plete

Galing sa = Gikan sa

I was hungry after the last job interview. The carinderia that used to be beside the road was gone and to think I already have mild ulcer… Anyhow, I sufficed with a cup of coffee back at Mr. H’s office and another half cup of local tsokolate which I economically sipped while waiting for their out of office meeting to conclude. We went home around 9 pm and with no time to cook, we settled with instant noodles and our favorite char-grilled chorizo matched with puso sold outside.

Yesterday ended and we woke up late today feeling a little bit rejuvenated but still stressed – as in the things we were thinking from morning until before we slept remain running in circles through our minds. Although there were quite a few opportunities that we’re working on as well, we really ought to do any of our usual stress relieving regimens.

So far, this is how we cope…

1)   Jogging for me, Yawyan/Arnis practice for him

I wasn’t really eager for this one before. Considering how slow a runner I am and how my endurance hasn’t been physically challenged for some years now, I was always hesitant about this ‘idea’. But Mr. H allowed me to buy a new pair of rubber shoes to replace the broken one I had back in Cavite. It was sweet of him but his true ulterior motive was to eliminate my excuse for why I can’t jog or go climbing with him. =_=’

NOT A GANG WAR! Arnis sparring at Ayala Parking Lot in Cebu.

Cebu City Sports Complex

Cebu City Sports Complex. A sports venue open to the public.

So I was kinda forced into this, but later on appreciated it as well. We jog around the Ayala parking lot after office hours. Or on days when he’s not working, we run at the Cebu City Sports Complex. Sometimes, his fellow arnis and yawyan fighters meet up for sparring which lets me run alone (without a tyrant after my tails). XD I especially felt some sort of achievement when I was able to run the CCSC Olympic size running track for 2 laps. Last time, I was able to finish 3 laps!

You could definitely channel your inner angst/grudge/stress/rage in this physical activity and let yourself benefit from it.

Cost: Ayala parking lot (no fee); CCSC (PhP10/head before 5pm; PhP15/head 5pm onwards).

2)   Movie nights

I’m a fan of comedy films and he’s a fan of action flicks. Every other night, we try to find a movie to watch before bed. I only beg that for stressful days we watch something funny and uplifting rather than morbid violent ones. ^^’ Of course this is accompanied by late night snacks – usually peanuts or any left-over from edible groceries.

Anyone could use a good laugh after an anxiety-driven day!

Cost: PhP 20-30 pesos for midnight snacks

3)   Videoke

We rarely do this, but when we do its megalomaniac! There’s this cheap videoke bar aroung Mango Ave. – not the fancy ones but those catering to students with a tight budget. They have air-conditioned videoke rooms – more than 8 I think. What I like most is that they have new songs on the playlist/songbook! Definitely Katy Perry-Avril Lavigne-Rihanna!

We first went there with my college friends and then later on just the two of us. The bar also offers finger foods, meals and alcoholic drinks. But if you come in with a full stomach you won’t be paying a hefty price once you check out.

Singing your heart out can fine tune any broken string in your psyche!

Cost: PhP100 per hour (food/beverage not included)

4)   Camping

Mr. H. is a loyal and full-pledged mountaineer. And when he wants to take mind off things, a change of environment wouldn’t be such a bad thing.

Sunset

Sunset at the campsite.

An ideal place is at RCPI in Lahug – a popular place for mountaineers without money as Mr. H says. The travel wouldn’t take 1 hour from the City. You can ride a habal-habal at JY Square Mall going up Mt. Babag. From the dropping point, its only 3-5 minutes hike up to the campsite which offers a spectacular view of Cebu City and nearby islands during the day. Night-lights across the panorama dissolve negativities and give you a moment of peace. The view from the top reminds you how small things are after all.

Temperature up the site could drop to 19 degrees. Waking up surrounded by fog and mist are also likely. It’s a tension reliever from the fast life in the City.

Cost: PhP250/head is a moderate amount and ensures you comfort and satisfaction for the transportation and food expenses on an overnight camping.

Now, now… what option to take later?