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.

A Day Out in the City

I WENT OUT OF THE HOUSE ALONE LAST THURSDAY!!!

Yes that’s BIG NEWS! The last time I went out alone was for a checkup when I was a few months pregnant and I had to go back home right after because I had so many weird goings-on in my body. This time its to complete my SSS requirements, buy some office supplies and canvass a dress for Olive. We’re planning to have her christened next month.

As usual, the heat and the crowded jeepneys of Cebu were killer factors. I rarely opt to bring an umbrella, but I HAD TO lately. 1 year mahigit na akong di gumagamit ng whitening soap! And though I appreciate the traffic flow in Cebu City, hate ko talaga mag-commute sakay ng jeep. Pilit pa ding pinagkakasya ng mga kundoktor yung isang dosenang pasahero sa jeep na sampuan lang. Siguro kung batang maliliit kaming lahat keri lang. And I don’t know why people still ride a jeep na obvious namang punong puno na if you look from the outside. Meron kahit dulo na lang ng pwet ang nakaupo poise pa din. Talent siguro yun. >_> Dati sa Dasma, kapag nakitang madami ng nakasakay, maghihintay na ng kasunod na jeep yung mga pasahero. Kahit hindi nagsisinungaling yung barker nung sinabi nyang 2 pa yung kasya. Hehe.

Moving on, I unloaded at Maternity (version ng Fabella dito sa Cebu minus the scent of lochia you could smell from outside), crossed to the opposite side of the road para maglakad from Osmeña Circle to Cebu Doc. Oo nagtitipid ako ng pamasahe. Plus I was planning to enjoy the stroll despite knowing its 1:30 PM at walang kaulap-ulap sa siyudad.

Fuente Osmena

Hello City! We meet again!

One thing I appreciate about Cebu is that, unlike Manila, they have wide and clean sidewalks. You wont get paranoid about the people around because there’s a policeman stationed at strategic spots. Hindi naman ganun ka-crowded sa streets ng Cebu on an ordinary day. Compared din sa Manila, controlled naman yung peace and order dito kaya hindi ganun kahigpit ang hawak ko sa bag at hindi din ako nagbaon ng heavy duty cutter.

I passed by the Cebu City Public Library or the Rizal Memorial Library and Museum. Its structure is a bit overwhelming. I learned that the library is only housed in the ground floor. Upstairs probably served as a museum. There was a poster outside about an art exhibit. I’m hoping that its spacious inside, mentally picturing something like APD. Somewhat missed that place. I hope I could bring Olive to the Children’s section when we get home. Oh the huge storybooks and the puppets!

Rizal Memorial Library & Museum

Cebu City Public Library

A few more steps and I’m at my first destination. I went back to Cebu Doctors University Hospital to get my OB and Operating Room record as a requirement for my SSS claim. I just recently had the focus to fix the requirements. Partly because I feel like I need the refund since I couldn’t focus on freelancing lately. I liked the male clerk at the Medical Records Section.  He’s probably around 40-50 years old, but very accommodating despite his intimidating appearance. Plus points that he spoke in Tagalog when I told him I’m can’t understand Cebuano that much. He even checked my SSS maternity claim requirements if I missed something. For my OB record, I had to leave the form with Ms. Arlene, Dr. Larissa’s secretary, and call back if its ready for pick-up. For a while, I kinda missed having my prenatal checkups. Dr. Roa is very reassuring and kind throughout my pregnancy. I’d recommend her to anyone who needs and OB. 🙂

Medical Records Section

Waiting for my OR Records @ Cebudoc

I walked towards the Provincial Capitol after I’m done at CDUH. Mainit pa din. Pero tinamad na ko ilabas yung payong ko. Yung bitbit ko na lang na document envelop pinangsangga ko sa araw. The commute to Ayala was much better. Hindi puno yung jeep and wala ding kundoktor. I went to Broadway Gems first. Kelangang kelangan ko talaga bumili ng pony kasi nawawala yung kaisa-isang ponytail ko na bitbit galing Dasma. Nakakahinayang kasi may sentimental value yun. Tas long hair na ang lola mo, e sobrang humid ngayong mga nakaraang araw mga te. I really need to buy another one and a spare, in case ma-misplace ko na naman. Side effects ng General Anesthesia! So ayun nga. I’m not a fan of fancy hair accessories but I chose a candy colored spring type pony (14 pesos) and a simple black one (8 pesos) (pang serious mood). Namamahalan pa ko dun kasi alam ko sa bangketa makakabili ako nun ng tag-5 lang. Pero sobrang natuwa ako nung napadaan ako sa Marcella & nakita ko yung mga kapareho nun na mas mahal ang presyo. Bargain pa din yung nabili ko. Sinulit ko na din at bumili ako ng dangling earrings, a sparkly heart-shaped fancy diamond and a simple black teardrop pearl at 20 pesos each. Mura na din! Sa bahay lang din naman ako mag-eearrings habang nagtatrabaho. Hehe! I feel like dressing up sometimes kahit nandito lang sa bahay nagtatrabaho no!

Ponies and earrings

Ponytails and earrings from Broadway Gems

Next, I window shopped for a toy para kay Olive. I was thinking about a puppet or a mobile to hang at our bedroom or on top of her crib. Nakaka-respond na kasi siya if she hears a sound. Madaldal na din siya and BabyCenter was recommending the toys for her speech, eye and audio sensory development. Window shop lang kasi I have a strict budget in mind for her toys and christening dress. I found several dresses for Olive and a matching pair of shoes. We’ve decided though, na hindi namin siya pagsusuotin nung makati sa balat yung tela. You know what I’m talking about. Those dresses na parang pang-abay. I’m sure you’ve been forced to wear one before. I saw some that fits our budget pero pretty din & masusuot pa niya on other occassions.

I have my eyes on YOU!!!

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Kikay bib

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Olive's Christening dress?

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Kaso eto na, napansin ko andaming nakabalandra sa hallways. Sale pala sa Metro until March 18! I really not an impulsive buyer, but after seeing so many pretty dresses napakuha talaga ako! I also found a toy for Olive. Just a simple pink baby rattle, the cheapest in the infant toys section. Pero kahit ordinary lang siya, hindi talaga nawala ang attention ng bruha kapag naririnig at nakikita nya yun. ^___^ SULIT!!!

Guilty purchase from the Metro Ayala sale

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Eye candy for Olive

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So this is really how it feels kapag mommy ka na. Parang lagi mo gusto uwian ng pasalubong yung anak mo. Lalo na kapag baby girl! Parang ansarap maghoard ng baby dresses sa mall at umorder ng sunod sunod sa mga online stores. Tough act for a frugal person like me! Nakakaloka lang yung price tags! Mas mahal pa yung mga damit ng baby kesa sa damit naming mag-asawa. At bakit kung anong liit ng mga laruan ngayon, kasing mahal na din ng damit ng baby?! I found a mobile as well with cute teddy bears. I just wasn’t really decisive on buying it (unlike the dress ^_^). I was thinking of bringing along Daddy H before buying. Well actually, its more of getting his approval kasi I’m also planning to buy another set of baby towel and beddings. Mahirap na baka mag-overspend. Hindi pa naman ako masyado nakakapag-oDesk ngayon.

So cute but so expensive

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Hanu ba yan! Pagka-gamay, pagka-mahal! >_>

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Unbelievable price tags! x_X

 

But there. I’m glad I’m able to get another dose of the outdoors. Hope I could go to a different place again next time. Maybe take a stroll again at the Ayala parking lot or the sports complex. Being alone is somewhat therapeutic. Kinda makes me feel like myself again or figure out the changes in my life and embrace it when I come home. I’m thankful my husband allowed me to go. Til the next time! As of the moment, I’ll go burn some keyboards for cash. 😉

Workstation

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