Merry May

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It’s been a good month so far. Made job application rounds and got myself a part-time and a full time work. They don’t start at the same time so I have the time to learn the ropes on one job, establish tasks process, and then tackle the other. Great plan, right? My inner person is actually banging its head against the wall, wondering what I’ve gotten myself into. Again. Oh well. This would help my family. Have to make this work.

These past 2 weeks made me realize the following about house cleaning and this and that:

  • I’m an organized-mess ninja when it comes to chores I hate the most: laundry AND anything clothes-related (sorting, folding, and weeding the closet for clothes that no longer fit) How? It involves closing doors to hide the mounds of clothes or just leaving them where they’re at, the clothesline. And my favorite, strutting around the house naked. I kid you not.
  • My son’s chronic pneumonia and asthma happens even if I’m his sole caregiver
  • My home office is right smack of a high-activity area (feng shui made me do it!)
  • Not to mention, it’s the warmest place in the house during the summer, in a tropical country! That’s how hot it is, it deserved another bullet point.
  • It is possible to eat any leftover in the fridge when you have less than a dollar in your wallet and nothing in your bank account. Yes. Water can be breakfast.
  • You can plan all you want but the Big Man upstairs has the last say.
  • If you must ask for something or dream about it, just make it big. Wish like a kid on his birthday.

During my unemployed period and watching my funds dwindle into nothing actually helped clear my head. I focused on the good points: what talents I possess that I could exploit (kidding!) Mainly it was just a good ‘ol cry-your-eyes-out cleansing session that did the trick. THEN I was able to focus on job hunting, getting that job, bulking up my savings, building my food and art empire, each of my kids has a trust fund, getting my first millions, be on the cover….whoa!

One thing at a time.

Still at it!

Been remiss and for that I apologize. A lot of things had happened in almost a year! Things I am thankful for and unfortunate events that brought lessons. The main highlight is I’m going to have a bundle of joy coming in July! This is my third yet I find myself still feeling the same old excited-but-apprehensive whirlpool mix of emotions. In preparation (and for the lack of reliable caregiver mostly) I decided to stay at home and take care of my 3-year-old and get everything in order before the latest addition comes. Yes, I am now a bonafide housewife!

Being one crossed my mind several years past but I never expected to be an actual one in the purest sense. It’s a new feeling waking in the morning without the aid of an alarm clock. I am entirely in charge on what I do throughout the day. I can choose to clean the house or just let the mess take over (for a day) Friends realize I’m always around in Facebook lately. But what I’m really rejoicing at is the fact that my son gets to see me and be with me. I’ve established a loose schedule for bath time, play time, snack time – just time doing things together without having to rush. I wish I could have done more with my oldest when she was my boy’s age but now isn’t that late (right?) Having a parent on-hand does have its benefits.

WIll this affect our cash flow? Of course it would. Added cost of having a third child is going to be substantial but the internet have afforded parents choices and means to aid running a household financially. I have online work pegged as a shift in my career. I hope against all hope that this will help me be with my kids, work on my extra time, and take care of the bills.

Welcome to the next chapter in my life. Change will be great!

Raising a Son and a Daughter

Parenting decisions, major or minor, don’t come so easy for me. Take this scenario for instance:

Just asked my son’s nanny, Liza, to do some grocery shopping. Apparently, Luke’s gastronomic taste heavily leaned towards hotdogs for the past 2 weeks. Liza had asked to include hotdogs in the grocery list. Please note that I was getting ready for work on that hectic morning; I was an easy vulnerable target.

Liza (19 Y.O.): Well, he loves hotdogs…

Fem (13 Y.O.): But hotdogs are not good for him!

Me (33): (to Liza) Will he eat anything else?

Liza: It’s been mostly hotdogs.

Fem: (hissing at this point) He might get type 2 diabetes! Those are cancer dogs!

Me: (to Luke) What do you think?

Luke (2 Y.O.): Hotdogs!

Luke and Liza won that round. My little health Nazi was fuming in one corner and there I was giving the kids a quick kiss and ran out the door, for once relieved to face the morning rush. Don’t get me wrong. They’re both healthy. Luke consumes more veggies than his sister but asks for Coke sometimes. Fem only drinks water and milk and loves fruits. But they both agree that oatmeal cookies are the bomb.

How did it get to the point where I let a toddler decide? A few years back when it was just Fem and me, I would be at the produce section, her menu for the week in hand and hotdogs wouldn’t be on it. It didn’t help that she was so picky. So my workaround was, let her be picky as long as the choices on the dinner table were all whole unprocessed foods. Did that make me feel like a good parent? Hell, yeah!

Fast forward to now, single mom (again) to a son this time, I seem to be more relaxed and lenient to my son’s whims. Coke and hotdogs? Sure. In fact, I’m not as OC as I was when I was raising my little girl.  Am I guilty of coddling my son? I hope not! I disdain the fact that a LOT of older generation Filipino moms have produced boys instead of men. So why does it feel like I’m becoming one of them? Why do I feel so guilty? I felt terrible that it was the best I could do that morning. But then again, it’s lesser evil to let him have something he likes than have him hungry the whole day.

Maybe I’m being too hard on myself. I know hotdogs are not a factor in shaping the kind of man I want my son to be. Good guidance and parenting would. 

But I can’t ignore the wisdom and the push that Fem wants on healthier eating either. What I feed my family seems to be reflection of what my beliefs are as a parent at that moment. Maybe that’s why I’m banging my head against the wall.

Regardless, I will still instill the same values as when I started parenting (that was sooooo long ago and where IS the manual?!)

And they are:

·    We’re honest and respectful to each other.

·    Please and thank-you in generous portions, please.

·    No finger painting on the wall unless mom taped butcher paper on it (in that case, knock yourselves out)

·    You should try all house chores but specialize in one you enjoy the most.

·    Alternative music is NOT classical music, dear daughter.

·    Trying a new dish mom cooked means you’ve placed a generous portion in your mouth, masticated it, swallowed it, showed mama you’re empty mouth and do the cycle 5 more times before you decide it’s not rocking your world.

·    Kisses on boo-boos is a magical cure-all that sadly expires by the time you reach first grade or when the gash requires stitches.

·    An older child should not and will NOT copy a younger siblings tactic to get mom to cave in.

·    The youngest should not employ tried and tested tactics by the said older sibling to see if it works; if caught, my-sister-told-me-to-do-it excuse will not guarantee immunity from repercussions (Yeah, what do you know Luke, you eat paper)

·    Words and hands can hurt.

·    Positive discipline, yo!

 

So, can I forgive myself now? Let me know I’m not alone in this.

Ducks in a Row

I’ve been finding solace in the fact that sometimes the universe does conspire to put everything in place for you. Although most of the best laid plans appears to have fallen into a crushing heap labeled forgotten as I go through previous months in my planner (you have to go through your planner specially that this IS a new month. June. It officially marks that we’ve survived the first half of the year. Yay!)

March, April, and May entries all point to one goal and that was to increase cash flow. Although April was the highlight because that was when I finally kissed the last check goodbye; that was where a big chunk of my paycheck painfully goes. Not to say that I haven’t added positive cash flow yet with the current part time job, the goal was more or less designed to payoff some remnant loans this year. That will make the cash flow from positive to golden.

However, the hunt for another part time job had been a road filled with perils of distraction, a large dose of Community (season 1, 2, and 3), metallics on black art, organizing a book sale, and a study of food cart biz with a business partner. I know I need another part time job that I could do online but I didn’t understand this hesitance and unwillingness. Makes me think that I may be forcing myself to look for a source of income that my heart isn’t totally sold with. Maybe the universe is telling me to go after my passion instead. Maybe I haven’t been listening to you, Universe.

To celebrate this new month, I will re-align my goals:

  • open a online shop for my illustrations
  • map out the menu for the food cart biz
  • get closer to my goal of working at home so I can be with the kids
  • start retirement fund (quite late in the game but still important to start and sustain it)

 

So universe, hope you could see that I’m paying attention.

Staying Afloat

April was when the last check for a two year loan was finally transacted. It feels good to finally do that! I finally have my very own desktop and internet connection at home (biggest “digital” purchases in my life so far) AND I have a part-time job that has been funding our grocery expenses.

It feels good to know that things absolutely will start to look up.