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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! 😷

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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 😍

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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 🌸

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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.

Personal

It’s Okay to Not Be Okay Sometimes

I’m your poster cheerful girl. I pride myself on always looking at the bright side of any situation. I have a permanent laugh line embedded into my cheeks.

Of course there are not-so-happy moments, like health scares and relationship conflicts, financial troubles and work-related stress, but I don’t really like dwelling on them. I get affected by them easily, but just as quickly as I get affected, I like moving on right away. I tend to dismiss them and just focus on the positive. Always focusing on the positive is a good thing, I was told. After all, we don’t like feeling sad — at least, don’t! I like feeling bright and happy and healthy and sunshiny.

Well, most of the time.

This week is an anomaly. Ironically, it’s my birth-week, too, but somehow, everything is just going wrong. Not really everything, but you know what I mean. It sounds terribly shallow because I know I have it a lot better than so many people in the planet. But there’s just something so miserable about a supposedly happy week gone awry.

First, I missed my own birthday outing. My family and our neighbours and I were supposed to go out of town, but it got cancelled because of the Martial Law. So they decided to go somewhere nearer instead, just so we could celebrate my and one of our neighbours’ late husband’s birthdays. Unfortunately, we couldn’t decide on a date. They wanted to have it this Saturday, 10th, but I vetoed because I already had a prior commitment with my friends on that day.

So they moved it to last Sunday, 4th. It was okay for me, but another date popped up, that with my fraternity/ sorority brods and sis (yes, just one lol). I prioritised the latter because it’s been 7+ years since I last saw them. In short, I had to miss my own birthday outing lol. I don’t regret it, however, because I had so much fun with my brods and sis. During that day, I realised just how much I missed them. Then again, it would have been doubly better if I was able to attend both,

Second, Job and I haven’t been speaking for *counts fingers* three days now, going on our fourth day tomorrow. I don’t want to give details about our fight, because our fights — if you could even call them that — are usually petty, but not this one. To make the long story short, I told him I’m not talking to him because I need time to process the issue. After a couple of days of sending me messages and not receiving a response, he gave up and now he’s the one not talking to me. LDR is hard, people.

Third, my friends cancelled out on me for our date on Friday-Saturday, the exact reason why I requested to re-schedule our outing (see item 1). In short, I missed out on my birthday celebration with my family and neighbours, for absolutely no reason at all… I know it’s not their fault, but I can’t help but feel bad because it’s just so so frustrating. Also, I admit, it stings a bit to be the one who has to adjust, especially when it’s my own birthday celebration.

On top of that, the cheesecake I was just making earlier is not the right consistency. *gives up*

Like I said, usually, I would choose to not dwell the bad things and focus on the bright side instead. But this time, I decided to just admit that I am sad, that I am not okay. There’s no use trying to feign positivity if it’s not even remotely genuine. I know things will turn out for the better soon, but currently, it’s my birthday week and it’s not looking good. And yeah, maybe that’s fine. I will still look out for the blessings and reasons to be grateful because I know there are a lot, but right now, I just don’t feel 100% happy… and I think it’s okay.

Lifestyle Messy Weekends Personal

Broker Duties, Lunch with Friends, and Discovering Where to Buy Pop-Tarts!

I had a full day last Saturday. It started quite early (at least for me, because I don’t usually get up early on Saturdays) at 9:00 am and, as usual, Yuri was with me the entire day. It seems like he has completely adopted to being out and about — he prefers it over being left at home.

Which is completely fine with me because Yuri is at this age where he can take care of himself (most of the time) and he can even help around (with tiny tasks like getting himself a cup of water). Also, the boy tends to be silly so he’s very welcome company!

Real Estate Broker Duties

In the morning, we went to the Open House event of this new subdivision called Diamond Heights. They’re relatively new but their houses are selling literally like pancakes. It happened that they also started accepting reservations during the Open House event so it was literally a full-house. There were a lot of brokers and clients there.

With the brother of our client (the client works in Dubai)

We went there early but were already 13th in the registration form. It was a bit stressful because our client wants a corner lot, and there were only a handful of corner lots being opened for reservation! Thank goodness we were still included in the first 10 buyers because our client was already there with us. Because of this, our client enjoyed a nice promo and was able to choose a good corner location.

Lunch with my Soul Sisters

We don’t really plan it, but it seems like meeting with my closest friends since college happens once a month. This time, there were only three of us because JM is busy organising a wedding in Kidapawan City while Christine is still in Japan. It’s easiest for Hazel, George, and I to meet up because we just live in Davao City.

Red Corner, Gaisano Mall branch

Yuri and his tita-girlfriend, Hazel

This time, we decided to have lunch in Red Corner. I already wrote a review of it last year, and it’s pretty much the same, except for the branch. While it was in their Mabini branch last time, this time, I was able to eat at their newly opened branch in Gaisano Mall.

Cookies and cream milkshake

Cheese fries

Golden Boy burger

Food was pretty much the same. This time, though, I just ordered a regular burger (Golden Boy) for Yuri and me because we already ate at the Open House event. The bread still tastes good and the patty just as juicy. I just wasn’t totally crazy over it this time, probably because I wasn’t very hungry.

Taken by Hazel

We also had coffee (I had matcha) at Little Dorothy Cafe, which has the same owner as Cafe Annabelle’s.

Hazel, George, and me (grabbed from Hazel’s cam because all the pictures on mine are the crazy ones)

Grocery Shopping with Yuri!

When we were in college, a meet-up or even just a regular hang-out entailed long hours of partying and drinking and whatever we wanted to do. Because we are all adults now, a meet-up just means 2-3 hours of eating, drinking coffee, and chit chat. After that, we need to part ways to take care of our respective responsibilities lololol.

Upon parting ways with Hazel and George, Yuri and I proceeded to do our (my) favourite chore: grocery shopping! I don’t know what it is with grocery shopping that makes me feel so euphoric. Shopping for clothes and even bags doesn’t even feel remotely the same. If you want to boost my mood, bring me to a grocery store.

Somebody please take a decent picture of us…

I especially like doing groceries at Gaisano Mall because they have everything. I love SM, but it is GMall’s grocery that has everything (okay, maybe except the shoes and clothes). In fact, one of the reasons why it took me long to get an S&R membership is because I can pretty much buy a lot of US goods in Gaisano Mall anyway. I get it that S&R has its own perks, but in a pinch, I would choose to shop at GMall’s grocery. They’re a lot cheaper most of the time!

(It’s a pity it is so difficult to park at Gaisano Mall, though!)

Yuri and I took our sweet time (pun not intended) browsing the snack aisles. My 5-year old was particularly delighted because we discovered they’re already selling Pop Tarts! In single packs! You see, I don’t like buying a whole box of Pop Tarts because it’s pretty expensive for just a snack — not to mention it’s not good for Yuri anyway.

Pop-taaaarts!

We (or was it just I?) also had an awesome time looking for things Yuri can use for school. We already have a list of requirements, but we’re not going to buy all of them until next week. Still, it was fun “canvassing.” I even bought Yuri a lunch box because it was priced at 50% off. It was a Biokips lunch box. I was originally looking at the Lock and Lock ones, but Yuri wanted the Biokips better. I don’t know why; they look the same to me. But I bought it anyway since Yuri likes it and it’s on 50% discount. Not bad!

Plus, I may or may not have bought a few bento tools to go with it.

Obviously, I had so much fun at the grocery store last Saturday hahaha. I took a lot of pictures so stay tuned for my next post about the School Finds that piqued my curiosity at GMall!

Mixed Mess Parenting Personal

Last Day at Eye Level + Nighttime Toilet Training

This post has been sitting in my… wait for it… drafts for way too long!

It’s been terribly hot this summer — where’s my summer breeze to make me feel fine? — but just last night, we had a strong thunderstorm. It was the same as the thunderstorm we had a couple of Saturdays ago where our electricity even got cut off for 5 hours.  And for the first time ever, our home office flooded (a little bit). Thank God it occurred to me to check the office just when the leaking started. (God has been giving me small reminders lately that went on to reveal bigger things. Thank you, Lord!)

I actually meant to post this almost a full month ago. For time reference, Yuri’s last day at Eye Level was on April 8th, and he got fully nighttime toilet-trained on April 13th.

Last Day at Eye Level

There’s nothing about Eye Level that both Yuri and I don’t love. Honest. I already made a proclamation of love here so I won’t go into details anymore. I just want to say that Yuri entered the enrichment centre literally illiterate (does that make sense? haha). Seriously. He just turned four then and before that, I didn’t think it was important to pressure him into learning how to read and write. After all, he wouldn’t be three forever.

(I have nothing against parents whose children were taught to read and write earlier. Different families, different priorities.)

By the time he turned four, though, I knew our time was up: he needed to learn how to read and write. When I enrolled Yuri to Eye Level’s English program May of 2016, he didn’t even know how to hold a pencil. After assessing him, we started at a pre-literacy level, where we even struggled with writing lines! I loved teaching Yuri, but for some reason, teaching him how to draw straight lines, crooked lines, and curves brought me at my wit’s end.

But after persevering, both in the centre and at home, suddenly Yuri was zooming through writing letters. We had to learn the correct strokes (I was lax at first but later learned to abide by the rules — penmanship does matter). At first, he got B’s and C’s on his booklets, but later on, they became all A’s. After several months, he was already on to reading and forming simple words.

From not knowing how to hold a pencil, he’s already writing and reading and spelling words.I know this is in no way an extraordinary feat, but for us, who started the year illiterate, this was amazing progress. And I credit much of it to Eye Level. The one-on-one hands-on sessions as well as the engaging activities and exercises helped a lot. 

Last day at Eye Level today 😭#sepanx

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However, Job and I, even though we are 101% satisfied with Eye Level, decided to pull Yuri out after 10 months of being with the learning centre. This is plainly because Yuri is about to enter formal schooling for the very first time in his life. We felt like we all needed a break from any sort of pressure and just focus on resting and transitioning to school life this summer. We didn’t even enrol him to any summer class this year. I also want Yuri to be able to focus on schooling alone when it starts. By the time he adjusts to our new routines, we may come back to Eye Level. This time, we will be going for Math instead of English. Who knows?

Nighttime Toilet Training Saga

My mother has been nagging me about this for so long. You see, even though Yuri got successfully potty-trained before he turned 2, he has still been wearing pull-ups at night. I don’t know; I just felt like he wasn’t ready yet. Each morning, he wakes up with a full pull-up and he does pee a lot at night. In the early days, I tried having him wear his cloth diapers at night. But barely an hour into sleep, he wakes up because it’s already full of pee. So I just shrugged nighttime toilet training off and waited until he was ready.

I knew he was ready a couple of weeks before he turned five. He still wakes up with a wet pull-up but that’s because he pees upon waking up. It’s also the perfect timing because it’s summer and he pees a lot less during the summer. But then, we travelled and I felt like it wasn’t the best time to toilet train. We were sleeping in a hotel room on a hotel bed, after all! I just didn’t want to risk it.

Heels over head 😂

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When we got back from our vacation, I waited for the next long weekend to come. It happened to be the weekend of the Holy Week. Our first night of no-pull ups happened on the night of Maundy Thursday. I just followed the basic pieces of advice: not giving too much liquid at night and peeing before bedtime. That’s it.

And it was a success! I didn’t get to sleep much that night, though. I was so paranoid he would wet the bed so I kept waking up to check. Nonetheless, he woke up with the bed fully dry and the first thing he did was pee. Teehee. It really does make a difference to wait until the child is ready.


My takeaway from this mothering experience? There’s no competition when it comes to nighttime toilet training. After all, it’s a bodily function that is not easily controllable. We might have used up more pull ups than kids who got toilet trained earlier, but it’s okay. There’s no use pressuring a child who just couldn’t keep his bed dry because he can’t help it. Because I decided to wait until I was sure Yuri was ready, he didn’t have to feel pressured or frustrated. Because we waited, nighttime toilet training for us was super easy, stress-free, and tear-free!

Actually, come to think of it, this can be applied to teaching literacy, too! In other words, raising a child shouldn’t be a competition.

Lifestyle My Christian Walk Personal

Refreshed, Recharged, Re-energised!

I can say that I already 100% recovered from the theft that I discovered just last week.

I credit a huge part of the “recovery” to Job, who has always been there to rescue me. Nope, he did not catch the thief for me. After all, I refused to file a police report against the maid because of personal reasons and because it would be totally unfair to her if the thief turned out to be someone else. I am aware that the chances of it not being her is really slim, but there’s still a chance to consider.

How can I explain this… Let’s just say I did not want to risk it because I’ve been to her home, and I saw how dire her living conditions were. The farmers in remote areas that I have visited and stayed with in the past lived in better conditions that she did. Some of you might be shaking your heads at me right now, but I know I wouldn’t be able to forgive myself if her story turned out to be true. I might have lost a considerable amount of money, but I know it will come back to me in the form of blessings and provisions. Whoever the thief is, I leave his or her fate to God.

So where does Job come in here? I already mentioned that he will be replacing the money that I had lost, but more than that, it’s his simple assurance that he will always be there to come to my rescue. It doesn’t mean that I need to be rescued, nor does it mean that I am someone who cannot take care of herself. It’s the simple fact that there is someone who looks out for me and prays for my well-being, someone who cannot stand the thought of me bothered over little things like money, and someone who shines God’s light for me every single day.

When I was down and deflated, he reminded me of God’s promises — and also reminded me that I’ve been through things that were a lot worse and will probably go through bad things again. It’s just how life is, and our God’s faithfulness will see us through.

A Quick Getaway to Clear the Mind

While God and Job helped me get over this “minor” problem, it was this holiday weekend’s trip that really made me forget all about it. Buda (Bukidnon-Davao road) will always be one of my favourite places to go to, because despite it being still technically inside Davao City (even after 2-3 hours of travel), it always makes me feel like I’m away from the rest of the world.

Credits to The Life Chaser for this beautiful picture of Buda Road

Amazingly, there was cell signal in the rest house that we stayed in. I was pleasantly surprised because we didn’t have signal at all in Jive Resort before. However, getting data connection was difficult. I only captured enough data signal to post a signal photo, and then after that, nothing. Everyone spent the weekend without an internet connection, and it worked really well because nobody was glued to his or her phone. There was also a TV but we didn’t even need to plug it in. Everyone just spent time together through laughter and jokes, eating, sharing stories, walking, swimming, and just resting. Real rest — without a screen involved.

I also realised one thing. If I was able to spend an entire weekend without even thinking about Facebook, that means I could spend a whole less time on social media and spend it on more meaningful things instead. I am planning to reduce my time on Facebook and only go online (after work) to talk to Job or post a blog or do something of equal importance. Oh, the wonders unplugging does!

Also, the fact that the climate there is cold all year round while it is smoking hot in the city helps. A lot. Hehehe

Fog! Sorry for this crappy picture. Remind me to sit in the front seat next time 😛

I spent the long weekend in a Buda rest house with my family and our neighbours, and I felt my stress melt away. It wasn’t a particularly stressful time at work (both as an operations manager and a real estate broker), and I didn’t have a lot of personal problems, so the weight I was carrying was solely the theft’s. Still, I knew I needed a getaway and a quick recharge, and well, the weekend at cold, reliable Buda did the trick!

I just came home this afternoon and haven’t prepared pictures, so even if I want to blog about the trip and recommend the rest house right now, I won’t be able to do so. Not that I have taken a lot of pictures — we were wet half the time so I barely had time to hold a phone! Also, I haven’t even blogged about our day trip to Davao Oriental during the Holy Week-end yet, so I don’t really have a right to be blogging about my Buda trip lololol! But stay tuned for both blog posts, please!

What do you do to recharge?

*Featured picture from Choose Philippines
My Christian Walk Personal

I Had a Long Night (AKA The Story of How My Money Got Stolen)

I feel deflated.

I don’t want to mope around, feeling sad over money because at the end of the day, it’s just that — money. Money that can be replaced, money that can be earned back.

But still, when I think about how I could’ve used that money, I can’t help but feel miserable. Had I known it will get stolen, sana ginamit ko nalang pang-spoil kay Yuri! 

Here’s what happened. I follow the 52-week challenge that we see all over the internet every January. I put my money in a nondescript coin bank because back then, I couldn’t find a decent ceramic coin bank. I just wrapped craft paper around it and printed out the guideline so each time I put money inside, I also crossed out the corresponding date. I didn’t necessarily follow the sequence either. Whenever I had extra money with me, I skipped the low amounts and went straight to the higher amounts. Because I kept track of what I put inside the coin bank, I know the exact amount of money that I had in it.  Continue Reading

Personal

3 New Things I’m Doing This Year

It’s so hot! Just a week ago, there wasn’t a single day with no rain. Right now, it’s too hot to function. Why?!

But rain or shine, we will push to blog hahaha so I’m writing right now in our hot living room. Anyway, I digress. The year is still young and this time is the best time to reflect, plan, and introspect. During my period of planning and introspection (which lasted for about a couple of hours lol), I realised that there are three exciting new things that I’m doing this year, and I would like to share them with you!

1. The 52-Week Challenge

Personal planner savings tracker insert

Did backbreaking work for this – everything is handwritten! I’m proud of it though.

I first heard of the 52-week challenge in 2015. Although I found it interesting, and although I was always planning to join, I never had the chance to do it. I always end up doing another thing or not saving money at all (which was the case last year).

Because I saved virtually nothing last year, I resolved to join this challenge and be serious about it. Right now, it’s only the third week and I’ve been using this cute container as my temporary coin bank, but it already feels good!

2. The Happiness Box

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My Christian Walk Personal

My One Word for 2017 and Some Updates!

Hey everyone! *furiously waves*

This is officially my first post for the year since my last one, the long one about 50 questions and answers (which you seriously need to try because I had so much fun answering it) was written just before the clock struck 12.

Anyway, hi! I subjected myself into an unplanned hiatus because, despite the long days without work (had a grand total of 5 non-working days this season yay!), I just didn’t have time to even check my blog, let alone write. Despite choosing not to go to a lot of Christmas parties, this was my busiest Christmas season yet because of all the guests and gatherings that we had. I had loads of fun but I was actually kinda thankful it’s over. We survived, lol!

Now that I have free time again, time to think and time to write, it’s time to get blogging again. And what else would be a more fitting first-of-the-year post than the One Word?

Everyone, my One Word for 2017:

It’s Push.

I was a bit hesitant to use this word because it is a very widely used slang word, which is sometimes used negatively (read: push mo yan teh said in sarcasm). I even considered using another word, but it’s just not the same. The word “push” just called out to me, and from the moment I thought about it, I knew it was my One Word for 2017.

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Personal

50 Important Questions and Answers as I Bid 2016 Farewell

It’s currently 11 pm where I am. I’m in the living room with Yuri soundly sleeping beside me, and we’re both huddled in blankets because it’s one cold night!

It’s a lot quieter tonight compared to last week, during Christmas eve, where we entertained over 30 guests – a colourful mix of relatives, friends, and neighbours – here at home. But while it was a fun celebration, this quieter one is a welcome change. Honestly, this is how I’d love to spend the last night of 2016: quiet, comfortable, and engaged in meaningful conversations with my loved ones.

Speaking of meaningful conversations, I saw this year-end post in Thought Catalog weeks ago and I just knew I had to answer the 50 questions as I bid 2016 good bye. Here we go.

1. What made you feel the most alive this year?

I’m not sure how to answer this question as the times I don’t feel alive are very rare. Probably the most memorable thing to happen to me this year is our family’s semi-reunion this Christmas. We don’t see our relatives often because they live in different parts of the country, so being with them is always special!

2. How did you surprise yourself in 2016?

For starters, I learned a lot of things this year! I got immersed in a couple of new hobbies: calligraphy/brush lettering and creative planning. I also learned how to drive! Although I don’t drive a lot (I still prefer to have my kuya drive me around haha), I wear my driver’s license like a badge of honour.

3. What did you do this year that you regret?

I regret not watching what I ate and not working out, like, almost at all. Now I’m suffering the consequences (read: nothing in my closet fits…)

4. What made you cry the hardest this year?

Job’s health scare, which, thankfully (as in thank you, thank you Lord) remained to be a health scare that must be forgotten and locked away.

5. Which friends have been there for you the most in 2016?

Everyone close to my heart has been there for me for most of 2016! My college barkada, Superfriends, George, JM, Hazel, and Christine, who are always present in my life despite the distance. And my workmates, the dream team, the bestest girls to work with like ever, Lenz, Jona, Sarah, Xeng, and Yankee (special mention: Julie and Macy!).

6. What are you most grateful for as this year draws to a close?

I am grateful for the people in my life. Job, Yuri, my family, my friends, my colleagues, my neighbours, everyone. God put all of them in my life and made it a hundred times better.

7. Compared to this time last year, are you happier or sadder?

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Mixed Mess Personal

Christmas 2016 as Told Through Pictures

Hi! I haven’t blogged in like forever! Today, Wednesday, is the first day this month that I didn’t have to do anything outside of work. My December is so busy, but busy is a good thing, so thank you Lord!

Let’s assume you’re interested in my life. I’ll tell you all about it. Through pictures. Because I’m too lazy to write a picture is worth a thousand words… Continue Reading

Personal

The Gift of 3 Lessons in the Season of Giving

I always say that Christmas is my ultimate favourite season of the year.

There’s something about this fact and the general feel of Christmas season that brings out the best in us. We become more thoughtful, more generous, more loving – traits that reflect and glorify Jesus Christ! Now, this is especially more personal to me because my love language is gifts (both receiving and giving). I don’t think this love language means materialism. On the contrary, I think gifting is a great way to exhibit generosity, thoughtfulness, and love!

So when the blogger group I belong to, Mommy Bloggers Philippines, announced a Christmas gift swap for this year, there was no question. I’m in! My “baby” wasn’t someone I personally knew, but it was really exciting reading her blog, trying to figure out what she would like, and then choosing a gift for her.

And then, there’s the thrill of receiving my very own gift, too! Just yesterday, I received this package, which came from my fellow mom blogger, Liz Aquino:

I remember getting all excited, thinking of all the possible things the package must contain. After tearing through what seemed like an eternity of wrapping paper, I finally uncovered this!

The Starbucks Mug truly came as a surprise for me because I am no coffee drinker but I sort of collect mugs. What’s surprising about it is that I don’t recall ever talking about my mini-collection. So thanks, Liz!

We have a cupboard full of nice mugs and specialty mugs, but these are the few most special ones for me:

Three Lessons from a Simple Gift Swap

But more than the lovely mug and it being a nice addition to my growing collection, I learned a lot of things from this blogger gift swap. Which is, basically, what should be the essence of any tradition! Here are the three lessons I learned in the season of gift-giving:

1. Sometimes, receiving is just as fulfilling as giving.

I love to think of myself as a giver. I like showering the people I love and care about with gifts as a reminder that they are in my thoughts. However, there is something fulfilling about receiving a gift from someone else, too. It feels wonderful to know that someone took their time and effort choosing a gift that they think you’ll appreciate!

2. There is something special about choosing a gift for someone you haven’t met yet.

Although we visit each other’s blogs through blog hops, Liz and I haven’t met yet. It actually feels kilig (lol) to imagine someone who doesn’t know you personally thinking day and night about what to give you. It’s especially challenging because they don’t really know what you like!

On the other hand, I also have my gift swap baby, Mel of Trying Hard MinimalistI haven’t met her yet and it was exciting to figure out what she would like! With the Mommy Bloggers Philippines gift swap, the limits my gift-choosing ability was surely tested, but it was a lot of fun going through the process!

3. At the end of the day, it is the thought that counts.

We all say that. It’s the thought that counts. Most of the time, it is spoken in an apologetic manner, as if apologising for a gift that is cheaper than expected or a gift that the receiver might not like. I beg to disagree. I think choosing a gift where it’s the thought that most counts is the most wonderful gift of all. If you give me a simple note, I’ll cherish it because I know you spent time on me. What a privilege. What a blessing!

And speaking of blessing…

About my Secret Santa, Liz

I think Liz’s gift accurately represents her personality. She is a big coffee drinker who usually has a cuppa with her when she blogs. She writes in her blog, Diaries of a Control-Freak Momtitled this way because she realised, when her son got confined in the hospital when he was just 3 weeks young, that no matter how much of a control-freak she is, she still has no control over a lot of things life throws our way. I relate to this because this blog is mainly about how I resign to the inevitably messy nature of life!

Her blog has documented her journey as a mother with a special-needs son for three years. Three years and she still doesn’t want to call herself a legit blogger! Thank you, Liz, for your thoughtful gift. To answer your question, I’m not a coffee drinker but I drink tea — and a lot of milk! (Thankfully, my lactose intolerance doesn’t bother me that much anymore lol.)

Merry Christmas, everyone! <3 

PS: Yes, I took a bazillion photos with my new mug. No shame.

PPS: A big thank you to all of the generous companies who sponsored the #MBPGiftSwap of #MommyBloggersPH! (And I’m seeing Yuri’s favourite Arla milk! I swear, I buy 2 litres of it every week!)

Contadina
Tupperware
Lorenzana Lorins Patis and Lorins Bagoong Alamang Guisado
myPhone watch
VillaDelConte chocolates
Arla
Poetry Magnets