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A New Normal (My Home Quarantine Journal)

Davao City Community Quarantine: Day 17

Actually, I had to look that up because I’m confused whether the community quarantine was initially declared on March 15 or March 16. So I had to check to the Executive Order, which was dated March 15 nga. Case closed.

Wow, I have time to check executive orders now. Yep, welcome to the new normal.

Am I still updating my planner? Yes. Do I follow it? Not so much.

Well, honestly, not much has changed for me, at least in general. I work from home, so my daily schedule is more or less the same. The difference is that I no longer go outside the house to do on-site real estate work. My day is pretty much work, chores, Netflix, news updates, books, prayer time, chatting, and calls lumped together with no clear structure.

Oh, and I don’t have to check the time now because I don’t have to take my child to and from school.

1. Speaking of school

Yuri’s school had to abruptly end the school year when classes were suspended on a national level last March 12. They were scheduled pa to have their final exams the following week, kaya lang everything was already cancelled then.

Déjà vu! We had almost the exact same experience last December at school, when the region experienced strong earthquakes. The city had to cancel all classes right in the middle of the 3rd quarter exams and napaaga ang aming Christmas vacation. This time, summer vacation naman ang napaaga.

Segue: Another thing that I find funny (in an ironic way) is that during both times, Yuri had a fever right around the cancellation of classes, and in both times, I worried whether Yuri was healthy enough to take the exams or not.

Anyway, Yuri said it was fine that school ended earlier than expected (syempre, no more exams!), but he felt sad that he didn’t get goodbye to his friends and classmates. They will be in 3rd grade na the next time they see each other, and possibly in different classrooms.

And by the looks of things now, we can’t be sure when the next school year is going to begin…

I have entertained the idea of homeschooling Yuri just in case it comes to a point that the school will require it. Seeing as we have had some experience in homeschooling during his preschool year, I don’t think we’ll have a hard time (if ever). I do think it will be a challenge to families with both parents working, so it’s entirely possible that it will not happen naman. Wala lang, I just like being prepared.

2. Home quarantine supplies

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Personal School

Earthquakes and Christmas Breaks

I suddenly have some free time to blog because Yuri’s school just (at 8pm) cancelled classes this week and declared tomorrow to be the first day of their Christmas break.

Eh yesterday was the first day of their 3rd quarter exams (class last Monday was cancelled because of the 6.9 magnitude earthquake last Sunday) and tomorrow’s supposedly the second day. Kaya bloody ang pagre-review namin ni Yuri because their subjects for tomorrow’s exam are Math, Filipino, and Mother Tongue. Okay lang yung Math; it’s the 2 other subjects that are bloody hehe. 

Yuri was already set to sleep when I received a lot of messages from fellow parents. I wasn’t checking Facebook (where the school makes announcements on its page) so I was really surprised to learn that the exams — and the Christmas party — will be postponed to January.

At first, I was upset. We spent the whole afternoon studying na eh, nasayang lang. But now that I think about it, since the strong (strooong) earthquake last Sunday, there have been numerous aftershocks felt. Not to mention no one can predict earthquakes. So cancelling classes altogether seems to be the best decision to make for the children’s safety.

Not to mention having Christmas parties seems to be in bad taste given the lives lost and the properties damaged  in Davao del Sur because of the earthquake.

Yun lang, tapos na akong magbalot ng gifts ni Yuri hahaha. And we’ve been looking forward to attending our respective Christmas parties (students inside school and parents outside school lol). Oh well, I guess they’ll have to wait until January!

(Good thing I didn’t make my gifts for my fellow parents yet. Yan pala ang advantage of homemade gifts hehe.)

Now, about the earthquakes…

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Personal

Blogging Again! For Good, I Promise!

Is it cobwebs that I see in here? I haven’t opened my blog at all for the longest time… again!

I promised to write more often, but then life happens. So much has happened since last year until this year (we’re already done with the first quarter of 2019, can you believe that?!) that I am having trouble deciding where to begin. All I know is I want to write. And I want to write now because I have time to do so and I’m in the mood. I’m fully taking advantage of it!

I haven’t given up on my blog yet — and I want to believe that I will never give up on it. To be honest, there are a lot of bloggers out there (like me 😭) who have abandoned their blogs because it’s not as lucrative as it was several years back. In my case, the monthly views I’m getting used to be my average daily views in 2013-2016, which I believe was the peak of my blogging career. Chos, career daw. Hehe. So anyway, it made more sense for other bloggers to move to social media.

As for me, because I have a personal Facebook and Instagram account and do not really have a big social media circle, I decided to just stop blogging altogether.

But you see, I wanted to keep writing because I want to keep my writing skills honed (as I have stopped working full-time since last year — another story for another day). More importantly, I want to continue documenting memories. It’s so much fun reading old blog posts and remembering, for example, how Yuri was like when he was a toddler and what my days were like. I even wrote last year that my blog will remain online for the sake of Yuri (and, if God allows it, his future sibling).

However, I admit that blogging now does not come as easy as it did before, when readers would send me emails and would manage to find me on social media to send me messages. Having a readership was the ultimate achievement, whereas today, readers preferred to follow vlogs and soc-med blogs. Which is not a bad thing! I enjoy watching vlogs, it’s just… not my thing.

And then one day, I stumbled upon a comment made by a certain mommy blogger. Continue Reading

Personal

Happy New Year! Here’s My One Word for 2019

Oh wow, what just happened? One minute I was still shopping for Christmas gifts and the next minute, it’s already the 3rd of January. In 2019.

I had planned to blog more often — which obviously didn’t come to fruition — but I still have so much to say so here I am! I wasn’t even able to write about the big decision that I made towards the last quarter of 2018. Since I haven’t given up on writing that post, I won’t go into details here.

Now, 2019. Hello, hello! I think 2018 was quite a rollercoaster of a year for me. There were a lot of big things that happened, a lot of highlights here and there, and I’m very grateful for everything that has happened. I can’t wait to write about the highlights of my 2018 given that I wasn’t able to blog much!

Although it’s fun to write a list of New Year’s resolutions, I find that deciding on One Word to focus on for the rest of the year is much more helpful for me. This is something that I have done every year since 2016 (my 4th year now!) and it’s amazing that each One Word pretty much spoke for the year they represent. Continue Reading

Personal

Joyful Mess Remains Online!

I am so back!

When was the last time I blogged? Summer pa? Classes haven’t even begun then, and right now, we’re approaching the end of the first quarter na. I honestly didn’t expect I’d be able to keep myself from blogging for that long. Even when I was posting my hiatus last May, I was confident I’ll be back to writing soon afterwards. Certainly not near the end of August!

But life happens.

First, school began. And Grade 1 is super different from Kindergarten! What a change. June was one heck of a time for both Yuri and me (actually, the entire family!) because we were still getting used to a new routine, new schedule, new subjects (three subjects are being taught in Filipino now! gasp!), new everything. But almost three months into Grade 1, I think we’re finally getting the hang of it.

Second, I unexpectedly became part of the school’s Board of Officers. A teacher nominated me for Grade 1 Chairperson and I won (despite Job’s protests). And then among all elected Chairpersons and teacher representatives, I was elected again (nominated by another teacher…again) to be Auditor. I couldn’t say no because I already said no last year. Also, it’s not an everyday job. We’re only ~supposedly~ busy during select times of the year.

That’s on top of my school-mom obligations, work, and more. I already have a stack of unopened books — I really have no idea when I’ll be able to read them. Another thing I haven’t been able to do since school started? Write in my planner. Good luck to me!

And the final and my most favourite reason why I wasn’t able to blog, Job! My soulmate was home for a month and a week, which was certainly the highlight of my year. Because each day he was here was packed with activities, errands, Yuri stuff, and plain catching up, I hardly had time for anything else. I’m not complaining though. I miss my constant companion!

Oh I’ve got sooo many things to tell! So much to do, so little time…

But why did I decide to revive this blog if I barely have time for it as I claim?

Funny, but it’s because when I look at Yuri, I remember how well-documented his life is both in this blog and in my old blog (Davao Mommy). Obviously, while I need to protect his privacy as he’s growing up, I would like him to be able to have something to read when he’s older. I personally would like to remember the stories!

And another funnier thing? I keep thinking that if ever — God-willing — I get to have another baby in the future, without a blog in the picture, then his/her life wouldn’t be as well documented as Yuri’s. And it makes me feel guilty! Weird!

Plus I constantly feel like I’m missing something. No matter what I’m doing, a part of me wants to write a blog post. Perhaps I’ve really become a blogger.

So even though there’s a decline of readership, even though it’s not a lucrative as it was years ago, and even though it takes much of my time and effort, simply because I couldn’t imagine not blogging, Joyful Mess therefore remains online. <3

Personal

Standing At The Crossroads

Sooo… I just realised that for this month, I wrote a grand total of one blog post. Two, if you count this one.

I barely participated in any blog-related activity and blog-related emails often go unread in my inbox…

And it isn’t like I don’t have anything to write about. Au contraire, I have a loooot of stuff just sitting in my drafts folder. I just have a lot of things are happening lately — things that eat up a huge chunk of my time — and I don’t have time anymore to sit down and write. I find myself leaning towards updating my Instagram with a post or a story that takes seconds instead of spending an hour or more crafting the perfect blog post.

The truth is I’m having trouble keeping this blogging stint up. A year ago, I decided to be really selective in choosing paid campaigns and only said yes to ones you can’t really say no to. This year, I blogged even less than before. I tried planning drafts in advance and scheduling them ahead of time but, honestly, there’s just no time.

Long story short, I’m thinking of letting blogging go once and for all.

Which is sad because I do love writing. I blog to express my thoughts, to share stories, and to practice writing. Sadder because I just renewed my blog domain for another year and it’s not exactly dirt cheap… Saddest because I’ve been blogging for almost 6 years now and it has become part of my identity.

Then again, I have to decide whether blogging still brings me joy. It used to be one of my favourite things to do. I took great pride in my blog and in the things I write. I was active in the online community and met a lot of great people there. Now, the blogging atmosphere is different, my priorities are different, and I’m not even sure if my heart is still in it.

I wish I can say I’m just uninspired, but it couldn’t be farther from the truth. I have so many things I want to write about! Travels, food, reviews, shopping, plans and ideas… But blogging is not a priority anymore, at least for me, at least for now. I work a 40-hour/week job. I do real estate on the side. We’re looking into business and investment opportunities, God-willing. (Exciting but it will really take a lot of time, effort, and money.) Most importantly, I’m a mother and a partner… and the school year hasn’t even begun yet! I am really afraid blogging needs to take a back seat.

I don’t know if I’ll be able to stop blogging completely. After all, like what I mentioned earlier, I just renewed my domain for another year so sayang naman diba. I may be able to occasionally write this year until my domain needs to be renewed again. And by then we’ll see if I can finally say good bye to blogging.

Personal

Rekindling the Fire at the World Vision Donor Cafe

World Vision Donor Cafe

I’m proud to say that I have been with World Vision for 4 years now. I began in 2014 by sponsoring one child, and then soon after that, I added another child. God-willing, I pray to someday be financially able enough to support more children.

As a World Vision sponsor, I must say that one of the most fulfilling things to ever happen to me is receiving letters and pictures from the kids. It makes you realise that these kids are actual and real and that they know you… and that somehow they look up to you. Wow.

To be honest, I am no model sponsor. I am embarrassed to say that even though it’s on my mental list, I keep on forgetting to send my kids letters. This is not something that I am proud to admit, but sometimes, on particularly hectic months, my sponsored kids become just another responsibility, just another item on my to-do list.

About Joshua

The author of the letter above, Joshua, regularly sent me letters. I saw him grow up from a little boy who can barely write to a young man who writes eloquently. I was always planning to write him back but it kept going down my priority list. Until I completely forgot to do it. Then one day, just this summer, I received an email from World Vision saying that Joshua’s family has already pulled him out of the program. I asked if I could send him one letter; unfortunately, this was impossible because he’s no longer with World Vision.

I needed a reminder that four years ago, I vowed to not only support these kids financially but also love them and pray for them and hopefully see them succeed, and I got a wakeup call I could not ignore.

I know it sounds like I’m exaggerating, but I was really devastated. This boy was in my heart and in my mind, but he probably never knew because he didn’t hear from his ate/tita. This is why when I got an invitation to the very first World Vision Donor Cafe here in Davao City, I didn’t hesitate. I immediately gave them my confirmation and looked forward to being there.

World Vision Donor Cafe

The rain didn’t stop us from going, and good thing because my passion toward what I have always wanted to do — help children — was rekindled that night. I’ll show you some pictures I took that evening.

The venue was provided to World Vision for free, which was awesome. We did however had a little bit of a hard time looking for it, hehe!

The face of someone who almost got lost LOL

My co-sponsor, “Gabe.” New nickname alert!

I even bumped into my upperclassman sorority sister whom I haven’t seen in years. She’s working for World Vision now, which is #goals for me.

There were several inspiring speeches made that night but the ones that stood out for me were the ones given by “major” sponsors or those who are sponsoring more than 10 kids ~wow~ and two professionals who were once sponsored children ~double wow~ (no pictures included because I couldn’t ask them for permission).

World Vision Donor Cafe

Sponsors were given sponsor’s kits which contained stationeries for us to use to write letters to our kids. I didn’t have to be told twice – I immediately wrote overdue letters to mine.

Listening to the sponsors who are currently sponsoring 10 kids was something else. One of them shared that each time they had a new business, no matter how big or small, they sponsored one more kid. With each new blessing they receive, they give back and change not just one kid but an entire family’s life. I was determined to make that an aspiration, a personal example to emulate.

I was truly inspired by the stories of my former sponsored kids who are now successful in their chosen fields. I couldn’t help but wonder, what will my sponsored kids be like when they grow up? Is it possible that I am somehow changing their lives in my own little way?  Listening to their testimonies, I was amazed at how a seemingly small thing, at least for us, can have a huge impact.

It was then when I realised that we are supporting kids who will someday change the world.

If you want to sponsor a child or learn more about child sponsorship, please visit the World Vision Philippines website.

Personal

My One Word for 2018 and Looking Back at 2017

I started choosing a One Word for the year back when the year 2015 was ending. I discovered it from co-bloggers blogging about their One Words and thought it was a great idea.

In my experience, it works in such a way that it is so much easier to remember a single word than a list of resolutions. Right? For example, my One Word for the year 2016 was Commit. Throughout the important changes that transpired that year, I remembered that single word, which became my driving force to commit and remain steadfast in my beliefs. That year also turned out to be the year Job flew to KSA to work, which made my One Word accurate.

When 2017 came, my One Word was Push. 2017 was a very steady year and I can’t say that there were a lot of changes that happened. However, what happened was God blessed me in the aspects that were already present in my life — even when I didn’t deserve it. Thank you Lord! I celebrated my second year in Stay At Home Mum and was made Operations Manager, which means more responsibilities lol. No complaints! This was also the year I got serious again about our finances. And Yuri also started formal schooling, which pushed me to become a better mother. I failed a lot, but my One Word reminded me that I need to keep on pushing.

For 2018, my One Word is…

Move. 

Two aspects. First, the literal meaning of Move. I literally need to move haha! Seriously, though, even though I have been watchful of what I eat, I still lack physical exercise. My schedule is full, but I am sure I can spare even 15 minutes of exercise each day. After all, my elliptical bike is just there in the living room and has been there since 2016. I should have had muscles of steel already if I just used it everyday lol. I already have the means (elliptical bike + free zumba lessons in the community twice a week), I just need to have the self-discipline to actually do it!

Second is the metaphorical Move. I feel like I’ve been in my comfort zone for too long. I stopped driving this year because I prefer being in the passenger seat — and I realized that applies to my own life, too. I stopped being in charge of my life. Oh yes, I did things, I initiated stuff, and I never really felt out of control. However, I stopped trying new things and taking risks. I settled for whatever was nakasanayan na and I let things happen to me instead of making things happen.

In short, if I look at it at a good way, 2017 was, again, a very steady year. If I charted 2017, it would appear to have a steady line that rises ever so slightly. It’s good but there’s very minimal movement — every day was more or less the same.

And if I look at it at a bad way, my 2017 was a passive year. I pushed forward but I didn’t really grow. I am very thankful for the blessings I have received, but I need to change some things.

I have no idea what’s in store for me this year (then again, who has?), but I feel like this is the year when I need to go out of my comfort zone and just move. 

What is your One Word for 2018?

Mixed Mess Personal

Messy Stories: I’m a Stressed but Blessed Mama!

It’s almost 9:30 pm now and we are supposed to be studying for Yuri’s second quarter periodic exam, which starts on Thursday. But obviously we are not. I’m here typing my fingers off while Yuri is dancing to the tune of… guess what… Baby Shark! LOL.

Yep, it’s my fault. Again. Sorry, Yuri! It’s the weekend and I’m very busy with real estate work. Heck, it’s almost Monday na nga eh hahahuhu (good thing there’s no class tomorrow — but there’s still work!). I’m doing a lot of things, and even when I’m not actually doing them, there’s thousands of things running on my mind. And that’s still stressful haha!

Segue: My period is delayed for more than a week now and there’s still no sign of it arriving soon because I’m not having PMS symptoms. It’s not alarming because I don’t feel sick and I’m 101% certain that I’m not pregnant lol, but I have very regular periods so I’m not sure why I’m delayed this month. Is this stress-related?

Anyway, I did spend a good chunk of the weekend making Yuri’s worksheets and catching up on the lessons I wasn’t able to work on this month. You’d think making worksheets is easy, but even if I’m already using a laptop and a printer, it’s still ma-effort and time-consuming. The things we do for love!

Yuri Lately

I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of doing it for Yuri, though. He’s such a good kid and I ~humbly~ think he deserves nothing but the best. He has his pilyo moments, but overall, I think he’s very nice and understanding for his age, malambing, and on top of that, an honor student pa! Did I mention he was one of his class’s representatives for the Math quiz bee last week? The one I stressed about last Monday hehe. His partner was Isabella, who happens to be his girl best friend. Too bad I didn’t have a picture of him (looooong story). What did we do to deserve this child?

Anyway, we’re not studying right now because aside from the fact that I finished doing the worksheets late, even when I started yesterday, I’m still waiting for a video to upload to send to a client. We’ll do the studying tomorrow and hope for the best lol.

Oh by the way, I want to share with you something Yuri said earlier while we were having lunch outside.

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Personal

Today I Failed At Parenting

Some days I feel like I’m on top of everything. I have a very supportive and loving partner, my son is kindhearted and smart, and I have a great job. My family’s healthy and we are not in need.

And then there are days when I just feel like a total failure. There are days when I have to resort to feeding my son junk like canned food or hotdogs. Days when I have to let him use the phone or the tablet because I’m chasing deadlines at work. And days when I have to bribe him with the promise of gummy candies because I’ll be out the whole night attending a real estate event.

(Let’s not talk about the days I go over budget, both in money and calories…)

Whoever told me that parenting gets easier when the child gets older is wrong. It’s not exactly more difficult — I’ll still take problematic school days over sleepless nights — but I think it gets more challenging.

I thought I was ready for those challenges. Apparently I’m not. Because there are days, just like today, when I totally mess up.

All along, I thought the school’s quiz bee was today. Yuri is in the afternoon class, but the quiz bee will be held in the morning, so we have to be in school early. I had to make adjustments to my work schedule. Since I’ll be in school watching for a period of time, I volunteered to start my work early. I was already up at 3:30 am and was on my laptop by 4 am.

Of course Yuri had to wake up early, too. Since he usually goes to school after lunch, I allow him to sleep until 7:30 or even 8 am. But today he had to be up by 5:30 am. It was probably the Mondayest of Mondays; it was a frantic morning in our household as we were in a hurry to eat, get dressed, prepare, etc. And I was also doing some last minute updates for work.

On top of it all, we got stuck in traffic. I was really worried because we were already late and the cars aren’t moving. By the time we arrived at school, the students were already inside the classroom.

The prefects of discipline for elementary and middle school were at the school entrance. Both of them were my teachers when I was still a student so they were a bit friendly with me and Yuri even went up to mano. It’s a good thing kindergarten students don’t get tardy slips! At least that’s one good thing.

We hurried to go to the classroom… only to notice that none of Yuri’s classmates were there, only the kindergarten students from the morning class. Yuri dutifully went inside despite noticing this while his teacher went outside to talk to me.

The quiz bee got rescheduled, ma’am. Sa Wednesday pa. No class for the afternoon class today.

I already knew that there was no afternoon class. But I honestly thought quiz bee was today because that’s the first schedule I was told. And why else would we choose to go to school on a Monday morning, right? Yuri’s teacher was very gracious and apologized for the incident. I can’t blame her. There was a mix-up. Last Friday, which happened to be the kids’ Scout Play Day, they announced that the quiz bee will be on Monday. The teacher who announced it must have corrected herself but I didn’t pay attention anymore. Also, it was very noisy, with a gym full of young Kab scouts.

Yuri’s teacher must have told me about the rescheduling, too, but either I didn’t hear it or I misinterpreted it.

She offered to let Yuri stay in the classroom together with the morning class since we were already there. When I asked Yuri what he wanted to do, though, he just wanted to go home. He was visibly upset but he didn’t complain or whine. This kid gets self-conscious very easily so I hope you can imagine that this was quite a big deal for him…

I was upset and frustrated, too, because who wouldn’t? I already made big adjustments and planned my day around this event and it turns out I was dead wrong. However, I couldn’t really blame anyone because it was partly my fault.

We went home immediately because we were still sleepy and I still needed to work. I got over my frustration pretty soon but I was still feeling guilty over dragging Yuri off to school so early in the morning when he should’ve been sleeping and resting, just like his other classmates. I felt guilty because he relied on me, his mother, and I failed him. He was very obedient and uncomplaining even though he felt embarrassed. I’m glad none of the kids made fun of him because he’s friends with a lot of the students from the morning class. So I know he got over it immediately as kids often do, but I still feel like I completely failed at parenting.

Some of you must be rolling your eyes at me now. I know this is not a big issue. I know this is not the most difficult problem in the world. Still, I can’t help but think I let my child down today.

Do you still get a feeling of inadequacy? How do you deal with it?

Personal

We Were Sick This Week

I’m currently writing this post from bed as I’m still recovering from gastro. Yes, eww, but I’m just thankful that this one is a lot milder than the bouts of gatro I’ve had in the past. Still, I had to take a sick leave because my body is tired from all that (TMI) throwing up and bathroom sessions lol, not to mention the headache that I’m still having.

If there’s one thing good about being sick today, it’s the timing. You see, Yuri had been sick for almost 5 days and just recovered last Tuesday. He’s back to his old form today, which is when my gastro started. At least I didn’t have to take care of another sick person while I was also feeling terrible!

Yuri’s Asthma

Let’s not talk about my yucky gastro. Let’s talk about Yuri’s asthma instead. Yep, he had another asthma attack, which I think just confirms that the poor boy is, in fact, asthmatic. I firmly suspect that it’s cigarette smoke that triggers his attacks since he was exposed to it last week (not in our home). Now I am praning about letting him outside the house. As much as I want him to play with his friends, I don’t want to risk it. I’ll just let him play either in the school playground or in the village playground if the weather’s nice.

Yuri’s first time to be absent from school… and hopefully the last! Asthma, asthma, go away! 😷

A post shared by Marie Angeli Laxa (@marie_angeli) on

I learned that an asthma attack doesn’t always constitute rapid breathing and retraction. In many cases, it is there, but sometimes it’s just dry cough. Yuri happened to have both, but mostly the dry cough. He first got sick last Thursday, and I thought it was just an ordinary cold (which he’s had on and off because kids), and he seemed fine so I let him go to school.

When I left him at his classroom, he was fine and playing with his classmates. I didn’t know that a couple of hours later, he started being lethargic. Yuri refused to participate in the activities, which was unlike him. He was sent to the clinic, but he insisted he was fine (which was very Yuri). And ultimately, he threw up in the classroom. I cleaned it up when I arrived to fetch him.

(Segue: It also happened that they were having their quiz day – all subjects – on that particular day. I wasn’t worried but I was already thinking that he might have gotten low scores on his quizzes since he wasn’t feeling well. That’s why when we received the quiz results last Tuesday, I was really surprised to see that he got all perfect scores! #humblebrag)

On Friday, he was breathing fast and had retractions, but not as severe as before. Kuya Rey, our family friend and neighbor, who worked as a med-tech in Canada if I’m not mistaken, helped us procure medicine (Ventolin) and a nebulizer from another neighbor.

Our neighbor’s nebulizer

It seemed to relieve him, and the retractions immediately disappeared. I thought he was already fine but by the next day, Saturday, Yuri’s cough grew drier. It was so dry that he couldn’t even cough and cried because of frustration. That’s when we decided to finally take him to his pedia.

Yuri’s Nebulizer (Omron NE-C25S)

We were prescribed a gazillion drugs and were advised to continue nebulizing. Job and I decided that it’s high time we get Yuri a nebulizer of his own instead of relying on our neighbor’s. Here it is:

Without the tubing, etc.

I was firm about buying the Omron brand because our 11-year old Omron blood pressure monitor is still working. It’s more expensive than the brands you can buy, for example, at Watsons, but it’s cheaper than hospital-grade machines. Also, Omron has a service center in Davao City, which is certainly a plus. Most of the Omron machines I saw were within the 4k-5k price range, but fortunately, we checked out Amesco, which carries Omron nebulizers for cheaper.

Our Omron NE-C25S costs P2,650.

I’m very contented with it, and it delivered Yuri’s medicines to his lungs very efficiently. I’ll try to write a review about it one of these days! Awa ng Diyos, he’s already feeling a lot better now, still coughing but the normal, not-painful kind of cough.

My little honor student, back to his old self 😍

A post shared by Marie Angeli Laxa (@marie_angeli) on

PS: Meanwhile, I still haven’t eaten a decent meal this day (it’s almost 5 pm) because I don’t have an appetite. Also, even if I wanted to eat, my stomach refuses to keep food down. Help!

Parenting Personal Yurisms

A Bullying Problem & Bikes Without Training Wheels

Hi! I’m hoping you enjoyed your holiday last weekend. Job certainly enjoyed his well-deserved break with his work buddies in Riyadh. They went road-tripping for 2 days, going from Riyadh to Dammam. On the other hand, I didn’t take a holiday (our team’s own prerogative) because we just took 2-3 holidays for the past two weeks. Not that it’s forbidden; it just felt uncomfortable to have to ask for another holiday again.

I’m already done with work so I proceeded to my current favorite place — right in front of our house! It’s a great place to chill (and people-watch) and it’s also a great place to blog because fresh air and all that stuff. Sometimes, our adopted cat chills out with me. It’s a bonus that I can see my son play with our neighbors.

My current favorite chill spot 🌸

A post shared by Marie Angeli Laxa (@marie_angeli) on

Speaking of neighbors. We’re having a little bit of a problem lately. Yuri plays with the neighborhood kids a lot but two of them, the ones he plays with often, are going through their snobby phase. I’m not sure if it is considered bullying because they often play together; however, there are times when they refuse to play with Yuri. For no reason! I’m aware that there’s no reason because we literally just step out of the car and they’re already crossing their arms, looking mad and we don’t know why… Continue Reading

Personal

Piano Lessons and the No-Go Signal

Job and I differ in so many ways. One of the ways we differ is our interests. He’s a very active guy, loves to tinker with things, and loves sports. There are four sports he’s good in: swimming, soccer, baseball, and track and field.

On the other hand, the only sport I’ve ever competed in was Scrabble.

Kainis, ‘no? On top of that, I don’t know how to swim and ride a bike! I’m glad I know how to drive now — at least there’s something I know how to do.

Aside from that, I don’t know how to play musical instruments either. There was not much opportunity for me when I was a child because my parents prioritised education over everything else. Lessons were also expensive and my parents didn’t want to spend their money on that.

Just to make it clear, I don’t feel any resentment over it. I did learn how to write and got to read tons of books because I had all the time in the world. However, I do want Yuri to grow up playing sports, maybe even knowing martial arts, and playing musical instruments. In fact, over the summer vacation, I asked Yuri what he wanted to learn, and he said piano and violin. I kept that in mind and shared it with Job although there weren’t concrete plans made.

The Piano Lesson Promo

I didn’t think about it at all until last Friday. When I went to school to fetch Yuri, there was a lady outside the gate distributing leaflets for what was obviously a music/performance school and I just had to ask for one. I asked her where it was located, and she told me it’s just beside Yuri’s school. OMG!

I studied the leaflet while waiting for Yuri. They’re having a 50% discount promo, and it sounded like a really good deal to me.

Job is off from work on Fridays so I quickly snapped photos of the leaflet and sent it to him and waited for his go-signal. Meanwhile, I was already imagining Yuri as the next piano prodigy.

A go-signal from him is very important to me. This is not just because he’s paying for it or he’s his son’s father. I am a very impulsive person. Making big decisions on the spot is not foreign to me. On the other hand, Job likes to think things through. He never jumps into something without careful calculation, so more often than not, whatever new venture he’s entering, he’s already 101% prepared for it.

A simple decision (like piano lessons!) for me can be made in a split-second; for him, it takes weeks, sometimes months, sometimes years. Now you see why I need his go-signal; I can’t be trusted with myself! I also like to believe that God’s wisdom is better coursed through Job’s method of making decisions. With my style, sometimes I even forget to seek God’s wisdom.

The No-Go Signal

I was already super excited for Yuri to begin his piano lessons (or violin lessons, whichever was preferable). Unfortunately, I didn’t get the coveted go-signal from his dad. I was disappointed, but I understood the decision. I was especially appreciative of the fact that Job explained his reasons. According to him, Continue Reading

Personal

Yuri’s Asthma Scare

Almost a month ago, I rushed Yuri to the hospital because he was having difficulty breathing.

I was supposed to write about this, well, almost a month ago, but school-related stuff piled up, my birthday came up — a lot of things happened. Also, I didn’t dwell on this issue anymore because Yuri already got better, not to mention I don’t really talk about our hospital visits here in my blog.

However, as I was looking through my phone gallery, I saw the pictures again and remembered the entire ordeal. I thought I should write about it because it can help a reader who might encounter these symptoms someday.

Yuri’s health scare started early morning of May 24th. It was still dark when I woke up to Yuri making gasping noises. I initially dismissed it for stuffy nose because he was also having a cold.

But it didn’t sound right. He was literally gasping for air. I adjusted his position so that his head rested higher on his pillow and then he seemed to recover. I went back to sleep because I think it was still around 4 am. When the sun rose, he started gasping again for air, and I started to worry because his face was already looking like this:

He was still trying to sleep, poor baby

He was sobbing and I assumed it was because of the stuffy nose (again!). That he was actually unable to breathe didn’t immediately cross my mind. There’s no one in the family who is asthmatic so I wasn’t familiar with the symptoms. I tried to relieve what Yuri was feeling by applying  Eukybear ointment, changing his position from time to time, letting him breathe in some steam — because I kept thinking it must be his cold. It was after he vomited when I finally listened to my gut feeling and took him to the hospital.

Even though I didn’t know what illness he was having, I remembered counting Yuri’s breathing because it was so rapid. I remembered counting up to 60-75/minute at one time — the normal respiratory rate for a 5-year old is just 20-30/minute.

When Yuri’s pediatrician saw him and saw his rapid respiratory rate, she immediately ordered for him to be nebulized for an hour with breaks in between. According to doc, if he doesn’t get better after nebulization, then it’s hospital confinement for him. She didn’t mention, but when I asked if it could be pneumonia, Yuri’s doctor couldn’t confirm nor deny. At that point, she couldn’t confirm, too, if Yuri was asthmatic or not. It all depended on whether Yuri gets better after nebulization.

It was my very first time to see a nebulizer. Like what I said, there’s no one in the family who was asthmatic, so I was experiencing nebulization for the first time. Immediately after the first dose, Yuri started getting better. After 40 minutes of nebulization, he was able to eat for the first time that day. Thank you Lord! More than an hour and four vials of medicine later, Yuri’s respiratory rate was down to 35/minute and was feeling a lot better.

Honestly, I shudder to think about what could have happened if I didn’t bring Yuri to the hospital. It was only after getting nebulized that he was able to breathe, so Yuri would have suffered a lot if we stayed at home and let him “rest.”

We went back to Yuri’s doctor’s office (when we arrived at the hospital earlier, I had to carry him because he was too weak to walk; by this time, he was already fine walking on his own) to hear the diagnosis. The doctor saw Yuri’s improvement so there was no need for him to be confined. However, he was still under observation for 5 days. If his breathing became rapid again, we were to go immediately to the ER. But after 5 days of religiously taking medicine, it never happened again. Praise God!

To be honest, I am still unsure whether Yuri is asthmatic or not. According to his doctor, there were too many factors to consider. It could have been an asthma attack, or it could have been his cold. It could have been a viral infection (bronchiolitis), or it could have been caused by smoke inhalation or exposure to harsh weather (we went out-of-town about a week before this event). Neither I nor Job has history of asthma, but there’s still a possibility since I have allergic rhinitis.

Even though it’s been a month, I am still observing Yuri. This time, I will be more vigilant and I will listen to my gut feeling right away. Mother’s instinct is real!

Here are the things I learned that might come in handy for you someday:

  • Take note of children’s normal respiratory rate. It varies per age, but it can be easily Googled. If your child’s breathing exceeds this without reason, please see the doctor.
  • Without counting breaths per minute, you can easily spot a child who is breathing rapidly. Look out for flared nostrils, high-pitched breathing sounds, and retraction: “the skin sucking in (indrawing) in the chest below the rib cage, above the collarbone, between the ribs or in the neck” (About Kids Health).
  • Rapid breathing coupled with vomiting is never a good combination.
  • Even if asthma doesn’t run in your family, a child might still get it.
  • If you suspect pneumonia, go to the ER right away.
  • If you suspect asthma and you don’t have a nebulizer at home, go to the ER right away.
  • Listen to your gut feeling. It’s better to hear your doctor assure you that nothing is wrong than stay at home and let the child suffer because you think there is nothing wrong.
Personal

Turning 27 and Getting Schooled by Life

The last time I blogged, which was one day before my birthday, I was in a pretty melancholic mood. Things did turn around for the better, as expected, but at that time, I just didn’t have the energy or the motivation to feel upbeat. All I wanted to do was accept that I was being miserable because nothing was going my way.

But as I said, things did turn up for the better. I’m feeling a lot happier right now despite things not being 100% awesome. My smile is back.

Job and I eventually made up — he broke the ice and sent me a message first, but I admit I would’ve sent him the first message if he didn’t already. Knowing him, though, I know hindi niya ako kayang tiisin charot. He also doesn’t have any choice because it’s my birthday, just kidding 😛 In my defense, I really didn’t do anything wrong and was unfairly accused.

My best friend George and I also made up. We didn’t really fight but like some of you pointed out, I was really nagtatampo because of our cancelled birthday date. I wasn’t really mad but was just feeling frustrated, and now I’m totally over it.

Things are finally going my way… NOT!

It was my birthday yesterday, and I had a simple celebration. Why is it that the older you get, the less grand your birthday needs to be? Or is it just me? I just made cheesecake, bought some food, and celebrated at home and at the hotel. You see, early last year, I chanced upon a promo for Go Hotels Davao, which was not yet open at that time. They had an P88/night promo for their opening (which is this year), and I quickly availed. Nothing to lose!

I’m glad to report that my stay at the hotel is uneventful so far (except for the fact that the hotel internet is down right now).

So what is not going my way?

1. The bank fiasco

Guess who’s celebrating her birthday penniless? Me! Imagine my shock, waking up on my birthday, and finding out that BPI has basically shut down operations. My salary is in my BPI account and I haven’t had time to withdraw it. On top of that, I haven’t paid the bills yet and my Sun Life VUL. Gaaah BPI!

(I was able to pay my Sun Life VUL earlier using some of the savings I have with me. Whew.)

Lesson:

Always be ready and always have a backup plan.

2. When the tables are turned

Also, I have another date with another friend, Yankee, this weekend. And due to some unforeseen events, it needs to be cancelled, too. This time, it’s me who needs to cancel! Oh, the irony!

This was a really humbling experience for me. When it was me who had to experience getting “left at the altar” (exagg), I felt very disappointed and hurt. I did not talk to my best friend for a day because of that. However, now that it was my turn to cancel a date which I knew Yankee really looked forward to (and needed!), she felt hurt and sad but she forgave me right away. She also needed to move appointments to accommodate me, but she didn’t blame me for it. I wish I did the same.

Lesson:

Always forgive. 

3. Saying goodbye to a friend

And on a more serious note, I found out that one of my dearest friends from my office-girl days, Kristine, passed away earlier today. Just a day after my birthday. We were almost the same age, so to say I was shocked is a sore understatement. I knew she was ill, but I thought she was coping well. I never imagined that she would die so young. 🙁

I always think of her from time to time because I admire her strength. She had a chronic illness which attacked her internal organs, and she had to miss work regularly to get long treatments at the hospital. But not once did I hear her complain. In fact, she’s a very lovely, brave, caring girl who didn’t want special treatment just because of her condition. In fact, only a few of us knew about her illness.

Kristine is wearing bold yellow stripes, me on her left

There was a time when I randomly sent her a message because I just happened to think of her. Actually, I read an article about her illness, which made me admire her even more. The last time we chatted was when I was in Manila. We weren’t able to meet up because I didn’t know she was in BGC when we went to BGC, so we just ended up chatting. How I wish we were able to meet for the last time.

Lesson:

Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring.