April 30, 2008

Certified Toddler

EJ turns 21-month old this May 10.

Everyday is a wonder with him. Sometimes I still can't believe he is my baby. These days he is a constant source of laughter, frustrations, amusement, madness, amazement and all the other gamut of emotions one can feel.


Just tonight, EJ amused us yet again. While inside the elevator, he was busy making faces in the mirror. He crossed his eyebrows as if he was angry. When he caught us looking at him, he suddenly laughed. It was so cute. I told my hubby "May isip na talaga ang bata"

Not only that, he also has feelings now (well i guess even before now, it wasn't just evident). He gets mad when he falls down, he feel sad when his playmate leaves, gets shy when there are other people around (but sometimes likes to show off too..hehe) and gets excited when told we are going to buy him some toys.

He is learning words everyday. Some of the words may not be that clear but it is understandable already. He can pronounce the words "two" and "toe" properly. I always find this cute.

He shows preference over things too.

He like his toy cars and balls among his other toys.

He likes to sleep without any covers on. Whenever I try to put on the comforter, he always kicks it out.

He loves to drink juice. I am worried about this though because he doesn't like to drink water. Mental note to self: do not buy juice anymore.

He loves taking a bath. If I haven't brought him to the tub by mid day he would tell me "mommy shwim?" Transalation "mommy, swim?" At night before bedtime too, he'd tell me "shwim?"

He likes to be read books before bedtime.

He has gotten some of our traits too. EJ cries/laughs/talks in his sleep. Just like me. He likes his ears to be cleaned. Just like his daddy.

Everyday is really a wonder with him. That is if he is not having one of his tantrums :)

April 28, 2008

Too Thin and Too rich

I know it's bound to happen.

After all the excitement of the incoming holiday, the shopping galore at the weekend and the prospects of opening up a travel agency subsided, I know I will feel less enthusiastic about anything. It always happens to me. When something really good or exciting happens, after a few days I feel a little depressed. It's cyclical and I kind of know what to do afterwards.

Most of the time, I just ride it out. I just keep myself busy doing household chores. During this slump I am most productive. I finish all the ironing, clean the entire house and arrange everything.

But on some days I long for something else. Like going back to work (our travel agency business is still a concept in progress). When I am in this mood, I tend to be lazy. I don't even make the bed. What the hell, we'd be sleeping on it again come night time.

Most importantly when I am this mood, I think a lot.

Being an expat's wife

A friend told me that I am lucky to be able to travel and live in the country where my husband is working. Most of the Filipinos working abroad don't have the luxury to bring along their family. And she's one of those.

I said it's true but it doesn't mean it's really perfect. I always tell my hubby that I always feel like we are not "living". We move from one place to another but we don't own anything permanent.

Our condo in Manila is not yet furnished. We always say we'd do it soon but it's been two years now. Whenever we are in Manila, we always rent a condo. It is much cheaper that way than maintening a condo (association dues doesn't come cheap). Financially speaking, it would be a waste of money if we furnish the condo now but we will only get to stay on it after who knows when. Unless we rent it out. But that's another story.

Our apartment here in KL just covers the bare essentials. I don't want to waste money buying things we won't be able to bring back to Manila or wherever we're going next.


What am I?
Am I just a wife? Or am I just a mother? Aren't I a woman in the first place with needs and wants of her own?

I still have dreams and ambitions but they're taking a back seat now. Right now, I am a wife and a mother. The woman is somewhere in between.

I was talking to a new found friend the other day. She's a new mom as well. She said that it is a daily struggle to be a mom but it is a sweet struggle. Women struggle to find the balance in all the roles they play - wife, mother (SAHM or working mom) and woman.

I guess I should assert myself. Not the wife, not the mother but the real "me" before marriage and motherhood happened. Because I realized that whenever the real me is lost, I do not function well as a wife and a mother.

Financial Matter

How much should we save? Is 60% of hubby's salary enough? Or are we spending too much?

We don't intend to stay expats for a long time. We are actually giving ourselves a maximum of four more years before going back to Manila. So we try to save as much as we can without skimping too much.

Sometimes I feel like the self imposed budget (40% of hubby's salary) is still too much. For this month, we are 1,200MYR less than the budget. What did we do? We splurged and bought something from Gap, Fila, Mango and Toy's R' Us.

And I feel guilty right now.

Weight Loss

This is really a sore topic. I have a love and hate affair with my body.

Whenever I am down, I tend to eat a lot. This makes me feel bad afterwards. Then I make a promise to myself to really start taking control of my weight and my life in general.

But it is just so difficult. There are days when I look at my self in the mirror that I cringe from disgust. But there are days when I just don't care.

I know that being physically healthy is important. But why do we obsess on being so thin?

Or is it just me?

April 26, 2008

And We Are Going to the Beach

After much discussion and research on my part, we finally found our destination. We are going to Langkawi!

Originally, I wanted to go to Phuket. But I couldn't find any available seats at Air Asia on our preferred date. Then I wanted to go to Redang Island. I read a lot of great reviews about the place. I was captivated and intrigued. I was all set for Redang. But when I tried to book our hotel, I was disappointed to hear they were fully booked. I tried Laguna Laguna Redang, Berjaya Redang and two other 3 star resorts but they were all fully booked!

For a while I thought we were just going stay here in KL during the long weekend of May 17-19. I tried Berjaya Langkawi and found out that they still have some available rooms. I checked Air Asia and they have seats available. Though the prices were a little higher than I wanted to, I booked immediately.

I've got the tickets secured in my hands. Tomorrow I am going to Berjaya reservations office to pay for our rooms.

I am ridiculously excited. To think we used to live in Maldives :)

April 23, 2008

Travel Agency

I am getting ahead of myself, as usual.

Everything is still just a concept. We're still trying to get the whole picture. But I cannot contain myself. I feel so giddy! I feel like this is the business "niche" that we have been looking for. Of course, that's just me.

Currently, I'm going crazy researching about the travel industry. Some people say it's very hard work but it's not truly rewarding. Others say that hard work equals great reward. I have to find it out myself.

Both of my older brothers have gone into business. When I look at them, I can't help but feel a pang of jealousy. Not because I don't want them to succeed but because I wanted to be a business person myself. My Mano Jeff has gone into buying and selling vintage and paintings too. It's still new but last I heard he's raking in good money :). My Kuya Jed is in the Ink business . He's been in business for the past three years now and he has franchises all over the country! The name of his company is Starlaser. It's amazing.

I am hoping that my excitement right now translates into something positive and real. We don't want to be expats our whole life. We would like to invest, put up a business or look for ways to make money now so when the time comes when we decide to move back to Manila, we are fully ready.

Anybody know how to go about starting a travel agency, please help me :)

April 22, 2008

So Many Choices

In an earlier post, I've mentioned that we were undecided about our upcoming August vacation. Will it be Manila (to do all the errands and celebrate EJ's 2nd birthday with family) or will it be Phuket (real vacation). Some of my friends suggested we should go to Phuket. We can do the errands later on. Anyway, Manila will always be home.

Just last Sunday while sipping our coffee at Starbucks (and EJ busy playing with the paper napkins and straws) hubby and I talked about families and the importance of it in our lives. Suddenly, there was no issue about where to go on August. We have decided to go to Manila to celebrate EJ's birthday with families and friends. And of course to do the other stuff we need to do.

I know that we have made the decision already but the thought of Phuket and it's beautiful beaches still lingered in my mind. I really really wanted to go to Phuket (or any beach for that matter..hehehe).

While walking aimlessly around the mall, I was hit by a brilliant idea!!! Sure, we can go home on August but surely we also deserve a real treat, right? There is a holiday on the month of May and maybe we can go to Phuket for three days. I checked our budget and we can still afford a short holiday. My hubby also said it is possible. Yipppeee! We're going to Phuket, after all.

Or maybe not. While checking out the resorts and the beaches in Phuket I came across beaches in Langkawi and Redang Island. These islands are also breath taking and the nicest thing is that both are in Malaysia.

I thought I have solved a problem already. But now, I'm swamped with more choices and it's getting difficult to decide. What a mess!

April 19, 2008

Memes: A hubby and 20 questions

I grabbed these two Meme's from Rachel.

Hubby Meme
How long did you date?
5 months. Why wait long?

How old is he?
29, although he still thinks he is 27. He forgot that was 2 years ago :)

Who eats more?
Most of the time, he does.

Who said “I love you” first?
He did.

Who is taller?
Hubby is.

Who sings better?
He sings better than me. Of course, I am tone deaf :)

Who is smarter?
He thinks I am and I couldn't agree more...hahaha. Seriously though, we have our own expertise.

Whose temper is worse?
Definitely, my temper is worse than hubby.

Who does the laundry?
We bring our laundry to the laundry service.

Who does the dishes?
Me!! But if I ask him, he'd do it willingly.

Who sleeps on the right side of the bed?
Me.

Who pays the bills?
I pay the bills, but it's his money...hehehe

Who cooks dinner?
I do.

Who drives when you are together?
The driver. The taxi driver, that is :)

Who is more stubborn?
I am.

Who asked who out first?
He did. He asked me to have "meryenda" with him.

Who kissed who first?
He kissed me first after I gave him all the right signals :)

Who is the first to admit when they are wrong?
I do.

Whose parents do you see the most?
I am not sure but I guess it would have to be my parents.

Who proposed?
It was a mutual decision.

Who is more sensitive?
I guess I am.

Who has more friends?
I am not sure.

Who has more siblings?
I do.

Who wears the pants in the family?
He does but I like to think I guide him through his pants :)


20 Questions Meme
Here are the rules: Remove one (1) question from below and add in your personal question,make it a total of 20 questions, then tag eight ( people in your list. List them out at the end of this post).

1. Who do you miss the most right now?
No one really.

2. Ever thought of going away just to be alone?
Yeah, sometimes.

3. Where is the place that you want to go the most?
Anywhere in Europe.

4. Which part of you that you h*te the most?
It would have to be my lower body. I have the curves in the wrong places.

5. When you encounter a sad moment, what would you do?
Cry and then later on think of positive things like retail therapy :)

6. What are you afraid to lose the most?
Someone I love.

7. If you win $1 million, what would you do?.
Invest. Share some with our families. Travel to Europe. Give some to a foundation.

8. What do you love the most last year (2007)?
EJ's sleeping through the night milestone and our trip to Singapore.

9. List out 3 good points of the person who tagged you.
I just grabbed this. I don't know Rachel personally. I only know her through her blog and she seems friendly, a loving mom and a good writer.

10. How do you cope with boredom?
I blog, read books, watch DVD's and go malling.

11. What is that one thing that you will never ever regret in your life?
Being a mom.

12. What makes life worth it?
Sharing and spending it with people I love.

13. What is your ambition?
To have a successful business and a happy family life.

14. If you had one wish, what would you wish for?
Good health for my family.

15. How did you celebrate new year?
At our house. I cooked phad thai and tiger prawns. It was only me and my hubby. Our baby was sleep.

16. It is already 2008, do you have a new year’s resolution?
I did but it's gone to the bin now :)

17. What do you look forward to in 2008?
I was looking forward to our move to KL. And we're here now.

18. What are you proud of?
A good husband and a beautiful baby.

19. What is the most important to you, besides your family?
Self worth and respect.

20. What do you want to be 5 years from now?
Successful businessowner.

I am going to tag Edge and Yvonne with the 20 Questions Meme. Guys, let me see your answers! Thank you :)

Manila or Phuket?

It's become our mealtime discussion for a couple of weeks now.

We're still undecided where to go on our upcoming vacation on August. A lot of things has to be considered: budget, importance, time constraints, etc.

At the end of each of our conversation, my hubby and I are still undecided. LOL. It's tough when you only have a limited budget and a little time to spend. You want to maximize each and every opportunity. Until now, we still can't justify the Phuket vacation eventhough we really want to go there.

There are some things we have to do in Manila. EJ needs another shot (Booster) of vaccine. We need to finalize the papers for our Condo's turnover. EJ will turn 2 and we think it would be nice if we celebrate his birthday in Manila with our relatives and friends.

But if we go home, it wouldn't be a real "vacation". As usual we will be busy. We won't have time to ourselves. We'd be busy running to the bank, talking to our agent, planning the birthday, catching up with friends, etc. I am sure that by the end of two weeks, we'll be left wondering where did the time go?

Whereas if we go to Phuket (and Bangkok), I'm sure we'll have a grand time. EJ would be busy playing with the sand in the beach. We can sleep as late and wake up late as we like. Eric and I can drink as many red wine as we like (or not)...hehehe.

It's a toss up, really.

However, we have plan B. We can go all go to Thailand and then later on, EJ and I will go to Manila minus Eric. But this is a little difficult. I don't know how EJ will survive without Eric for a couple of weeks?

Tough choice. I guess we'll just take it one day at a time. Anyway, August is still four months away. We'd have plenty of time to think, hopefully.

April 18, 2008

5 Star Blog Award

Thank you Rachel for giving me my first ever blog award :) It warms my heart.



I am going to pass on this award to Janet.

Tagged: Link Building Meme

I was tagged by Rachel to do this link building meme.

~~Begin Copy~~
This is the easy way and the fastest way to :
1. Make your Authority Technorati explode.
2. Increase your Google Page Rank.
3. Get more traffic to your blog.
4. Makes more new friends.

Rules :
1. Start copy from “Begin Copy” until “End Copy” to your blog(for bloggers paste on the “compose” not the “edit html” part in posting blogs so it will be linked automatically).
2. Put your own blog name and link.
3. Tag your friends as much as you can, the more the better!

1. Picturing of Life
2. Juliana’s Site
3. Hazel-My Life, My Hope, My Future.
4. Jeanne-The Callalily Space
5. Starz in De Sky
6. My Charmed Life
7. Denz Techtronics
8. Denz Recreational
9. Life’s Simple Pleasures
10. My Blog
11. Because Life is Fun
12. In This Game of Life
13. Scribbles of my Life
14. Changing Lanes
15. Anna
16. Joytoy
17. Surviving deployment
18. The Deviant
19. All I want is Everything
20. Shadows of love, fate and destiny
21. Tasteful Voyage
22. A mom’s note
23. Bittersweet Collide
24. Jackie Simplypinay
25. Jackie’s Everyday Life
26. Parisukat
27. Heart of Rachel
29. YOU'RE NEXT

~~ END COPY~~

I'd like to tag Edge.

April 15, 2008

Tale of a GPRS Gone Wrong

I don't know if I should cry or I should be mad!

My hubby's Maxis fone bill came this morning. Guess how much is our bill for the month of March? Well, it's only RM5,000+. That's right. If you want to know how much it is in USD, feel free to divide the amount by 3.14 (approx).

I thought it was because of my international calls to Philippines. But when I checked the details, the international calls were only RM35! So what is the culprit???

Remember I posted about our loss of internet connection for about a couple of weeks? Well during that time I was using GPRS from my hubby's fone to connect to the internet. And apparently we've downloaded more than 50MB. Thus the RM5000 bill. Incredible! I don't know how we've managed to download so much when in fact the connection was bloody slow!

My mind refused to accept the amount. I can buy so much already with the amount on our fone bill. I can even buy a small parcel of land and be able to plant rice and help lessen the rice shortage in Philippines!!!

We will check the detailed usage first. Hopefully they made a mistake. Or if not, then we're going to be a lot poorer the remaining of this month.

Oh dear.

UPDATE:

We received the detailed list already. It says we have downloaded 533,728KB for 12 days. It's RM1 for 100KB and half the price if it's from 12midnight to 7AM. So the total amount we have to pay is RM 5,085.73!

The proof is there already but I just can't believe it. The connection from Maxis was slow. I even wrote about it here. I didn't have the desire to check my emails back then much less surf or what not.

We don't have any choice but to pay for the shocking bill. I don't know how we can contest it anyway.

Good thing we got our Izzi internet back. It's faster and wayyyy cheaper than Maxis.

I guess we just have to tighten our belt and hope that something good comes out of this. Like losing weight..lol.

Sigh.

April 13, 2008

A Parent's Worry

Just came back from Megamall Midvalley. My friend N called me this morning and asked if we'd like to go with them to the mall so our babies can play at the activity center. How can I resist? Of course I said yes. Any chance EJ can play and interact with other babies is met with enthusiasm.
The activity center/playground (forgot the exact name) was big and there were many kids playing, running around. Some parents were idly drinking coffee at a coffee shop while their little ones were busy entertaining themselves. I am jealous of them! But of course I still couldn't and wouldn't leave my baby alone to play.

Letting EJ choose where to go, he settled in the toddler's play area. It was packed with toddlers and some older kids which I know they shouldn't be there. Anyway, I was happy because EJ looked excited and happy to be playing/interacting with kids.

When EJ saw the balls inside a "house" he immediately ran and went inside. The place was packed with kids. I didn't want him to go inside yet but he was adamant to go. So I let him be. When he was inside, a little boy pushed him so he can go inside. My heart lurched forward. I grabbed him up and told him to play with some other things but he didn't want to. He wanted to go back inside even if he had just been pushed. N told me to let EJ go. That babies should also learn how to fight for themselves. I let EJ go but I was uncomfortable.

You see, as much as I want EJ to have social interaction with other kids I am also worried about it. In what way? I actually have two worries. Either EJ bullies other kids or he is bullied by other kids. Either way is not acceptable to me. I know parents/guardians are there to correct unruly behaviour but accidents happen. I'm being morbid here but what happens if in a blink of an eye, a child accidentally/purposely hit EJ in the head. Of course I won't take it sitting down. As much as I won't take it lightly if EJ did the hitting. N said that's unlikely. Parents are natural worriers when it comes to their kids. I was just being a worry wart and a little paranoid.

On the way home, I was busy thinking. Was I being paranoid? I guess I was. I don't want EJ to be isolated just because I am paranoid that he or somebody else will be hurt. As parents, it's our responsibility to teach our babies good manners early on as much as it is our responsibility to give them freedom to be able to stand on their own and fight if needed be.

At least that's what I feel.

April 12, 2008

Look Who's Taller Now?

I haven't had the chance to measure EJ but he seems to be growing taller everyday. Here he is playing with his bo-bo (Remote Controlled Robot).








April 9, 2008

Back to Reading

In a span of two weeks I've read four books. Nothing heavy but it's a feat considering the time I can call my own. And it's making me feel good too. I bought typical chic literature kind of books. You know, the girl gets it all in the end kind of books?


I haven't read for quite some time now. Because I thought I don't have the time and the energy to read books anymore. But I guess everything's just a matter of time management.

Once I started with my first book I wanted to read more. I bought Shopaholic and Sister by Sophie Kinsella. I know and heard about the Shopaholic series but have never gotten round to reading it. So I thought I'd check what the hype was all about (even if I'm a tad late already).

Shopaholic and Sister wasn't that captivating. But Becky (the main character) is funny in a dumb, embarassing, sweet kind of way. It was a feel good read.

The next two books I bought were still by Sophie Kinsella: "Shopaholic and Baby" and "Remember Me?" (new release I think). I liked "Remember Me?". It has all the elements of a feel good book. Good girl gets what she wants in the end. It even has the added element of suspense. I read it in two days.

The last one I read was "The Trouble with Marriage" by Debby Holts. Now this book made me cry. Maybe because I can totally relate to the main character. Being married and staying at home (part time in her case) with ker kids, and feeling all the insecurities and doubts. The author quoted William Congreve. It says: "Courtship to marriage is as a very witty prologue to a very dull play". I couldn't help but laugh. It is somehow true. I'm not saying that my marriage is very dull but compared to our bf/gf state, our life was definitely exciting then to say the least. But I get it now. Love during courtship shouldn't be equated with love during marriage. The other might be exciting but the other one is more meaningful.

So, four books in two weeks. I have forgotten how a good read can make me feel good too. Definitely more books in my life again until I find some other exciting things to do while being a SAHM. Haha!

April 7, 2008

EJ Makes Friend

It has been a great week last week.

Simply because EJ has a new playmate and I have found a new friend. My newfound friend is the mom of EJ's playmate. They are staying in the same building as we are. I met her husband first. Then when I saw him again he told me that his wife was excited to see me. Excited to meet another mom, just like me.

I am a very cautious person and sometimes cynical. But still not too paranoid to do people search on the net..hehe. I don't make friends easily but at this stage I was so excited to meet his wife. We have been here in KL for two months now and EJ and I have been bored staring ito each other faces. Funny! hehehe

Last Saturday I went down to their unit. EJ immediately played with the baby girl's (Y) toys. And I instantly liked the mom (N). She was shy but warm and I felt like I could totally relate to her. She's a mother after all! We talked about how to get around KL, the places to bring the babies and where to bring our laundry (the building's laundry service is expensive, I can pay two househelp in Manila) EJ was busy playing with Y, sometimes they would stop playing and dance when the music catches their fancy. It was cute!

This afternoon they came to our unit. The stayed for a couple of hours and it was such fun. N and I are getting to know each other and the babies were getting on well. N is also a first time mom so we had a laugh reminiscing the sleepless nights we had when our babies were still a few months old.

I have a picture of EJ and Y playing but I have to ask permission from them if can post it. Tomorrow we have another play date at a coffee shop. Hopefully the babies will behave so the mommies can enjoy their coffee!

April 2, 2008

I Wonder

Is it any easier if a mother is a working mom?

Sometimes when EJ becomes a unruly, I wish I were a working mom. If I were working, I wouldn't have to deal with his tantrums, I wouldn't have to cajole him into taking his vitamins, I wouldn't need to trick him into taking his bath. I know it sounds petty but when a bad day gets to me sometimes I wish I weren't there to deal with it. Sigh.

But then If I were working, I wouldn't be able to witness all of EJ's milestones, I wouldn't be able to hug him anytime I want to, I wouldn't be able to cup his face and kiss him anytime I want to, I wouldn't be able to hold his hands while strolling in the park or in the mall, I wouldn't be able to share fries and mango juice with him during afternoon snack....and the list goes on and on.

People may look down on mothers who are SAHM. But they just don't know how hard work it is to be a stay at home mom. I read one comment before (forgot where I read it). The person said that SAHM's are just pure lazy people and they take advantage of motherhood. That person couldn't be more wrong!!! I have never worked hard before as I do now. I plan my day ahead and think of creative ways to entertain my baby. I play with him, I cook his food, I read to him and still I worry if I am doing the best for him.

It is easy to complain and complain (more "me" time for me) but at the end of a tiring day I am still thankful that I have a happy baby and a happy hubby. That makes me happy too and that's all that matters for now.