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Personal

The Lion Doesn’t Lose Sleep Over the Opinion of the Sheep

A Lion Doesn't Lose Sleep Over the Opinion of the Sheep

This (the title) is one of my favourite quotes. However, it is only very recently when I truly realised what it means.

Some of my readers who had read my old blog, davaomommy.com, would know “Honey.” Yep, I’m talking about the ex-yaya. The ex-yaya. She who must not be named unless I had no choice. I wrote an entire freaking saga about her, and I thought that ever since she left — with all the unnecessary drama not to mention — that chapter of my life was officially closed.

Until last week.

I didn’t want to write about it, but this is part of my life and I decide to share it with you. Perhaps to warn, perhaps to entertain, or perhaps just to tell the story of how an employer who tried her best to be good still ends up betrayed.

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My Christian Walk Personal

Getting Right With God

Getting Right With God

Last time I declared that I was living a pretty sweet life. Well, I am. I am truly blessed. But there’s one aspect of my life that I have neglected.

I was hesitant to share with you a personal problem, but then I remembered this is not only a blog but also a personal journal. I’ve always done that (sharing personal things) even on my old blog, so I didn’t understand why it is now a big deal for me. Then again, this is more of an admission of guilt than a mere opening-up.

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Personal

Mixed Mess: A Sweet Life So Far

Heneral Luna, Stupid is Forevermore

Rainy days and Mondays never get me down!

In fact, I love rainy days. When I was younger, I was all about the sun (which explains why I was so dark!) and walked anywhere without sunblock. But now that I’m always at home, I can’t help but appreciate the coolness and “grim-ness” of the rain.

Anyway, it’s Monday! Back to work, people! I had a fine and uneventful weekend – – with some panira like the loss of UP in the UAAP Cheer Dance, the loss of our village’s team in our barangay basketball tournament’s semi-finals, and the loss of Gilas Pilipinas. Anyare? Ba’t ganon? The only thing I’m sure of is that hindi kami nadaya sa barangay LOL!

Seriously, even last Saturday’s episode of Kalyeserye was nowhere as fun and kilig as the previous Kalyeserye episode. But I still

I’ll stop there baka mapagbintangan pa akong mababaw. Chos. 

Let me give you some unnecessary and unsolicited updates about my life.

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Personal

Catcalls Are Not Compliments

Catcall

I originally planned to write a regular month-ender, but then, last night, I came across this post on Facebook by a woman who got catcalled while wearing a non-revealing outfit.

The post reminded me of all the times I’ve been catcalled. She is right. Probably every woman has experienced getting catcalled. I’m not even that pretty but I regularly get catcalled because, I don’t know, a man’s ego needed some stroking?

I don’t remember the first time I found myself in that fearful, anxious, and panic-inducing situation. But I do remember learning to “tough it out” early. As long as they were not really intending harm (at least in the perspective of the general public), I learned to just ignore the catcalls for fear of being branded a crybaby.

Why a crybaby? Because when I was in 4th grade, I was (for the lack of a better term) harassed daily by my classmate who had a crush on me. I finally broke down one day and told my brother who was in high school then about it. He spoke to my classmate and warned him to never go near me again. Sure, the chasing and cornering (I remember getting cornered in the backstage of our school where there were no other people) stopped, but then I was branded a crybaby.

And yes, I realise he was just 9-10 years old, but I was also just 9 years old and the fear I felt was real. I could still feel it now. I realise he might have already forgotten all about it, but I haven’t.

So when I was growing up, each time a tricycle driver called me pretty, or a co-passenger in the jeepney rubbed elbows and legs with me, or just got too close for comfort, I learned to take a deep breath and tough it out.

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Personal

Messy Win: New Helper At Last!

I’ve been trying to have my siesta (which means afternoon nap for the non-Spaniard colonised), but there’s someone who have been singing Masaya, you know, the song by Bamboo, for I think 15 minutes now. Just outside my gate. In fairness to himhe has a nice voice and sings well, but please let me have my afternoon nap. 

Anyway, since my nap has been rudely musically interrupted, I decided to just blog my feelings away. This has been a super busy week, as in, and it’s not even Wednesday evening! For starters, there are the usual work responsibilities. Actually, I like being given more responsibilities at work because, somehow, I feel like I’m becoming indispensable. But I will be honest and say it’s not easy! Then again, nothing good ever came easy.

And finally, there’s this little thing called parenting. I’m managing but I still haven’t been the perfect parent lately. I’m pressured to teach him to write or read (or teach him at least anything) but I’m either busy working or just enjoying spending time with him. I’ll guess I’ll just let him be a child and not a student for a little bit longer haha.

But wait, here’s the news of the week:

We finally have a new helper at home.

Last year, with all the drama my old yaya has caused, I vowed never to hire helpers anymore. But then, I realised it’s so hard to be a single yaya-less full-time WAHM. It’s doable — if a home looking like a war zone is acceptable.

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My Christian Walk

My Year With World Vision

World Vision Philippines

I’ve been with World Vision for a year now.

I didn’t even realise it until World Vision sent me an email last week, celebrating “our” one year of togetherness.

World Vision Philippines

When I started to sponsor kids last year, I didn’t broadcast it. I didn’t share it on Facebook. I didn’t write about it in my blog. Not that there’s anything wrong about doing it; that was just my personal choice.

Even my closest friends didn’t (and still don’t) know about it. And I loved the secrecy – still kinda do – because I wasn’t tempted to accept comments about me being a good person… because I’m not. I’m really not.

So please spare me those comments. It is the hardworking people from World Vision, especially those who immerse themselves in the remote communities of our country, who deserve them.

But the disadvantage of keeping this “affair” a secret is that I wasn’t able to share the loveliness that is World Vision. I wasn’t able to “tell the world” about their good work and how each one of us, ordinary persons, can help even beginning with just one child. Because when you commit to help a child step in school and finish it, you are already helping uplift the life of one family. When you commit to help a handful of kids, you are helping uplift the lives of a community.

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Lifestyle Parenting Personal

Let’s Talk About Weaning and Why I Did It

I’m currently obsessing over my weight while munching on a chocolate cupcake. Life is not fair hahaha. I know I should be losing weight already (my officemates and I “agreed” on wearing bikinis on our next trip – well, reluctantly agreed), so I shouldn’t be eating carbs and sugar anyway.

During times like this, I wish it was 2012 – mid 2014 all over again.

During those fabulous years, I was still largely breastfeeding then-little Yuri. Of course, he was eating solids before he was 1, but he still nursed several times during the day. In fact, even in 2014, when Yuri was already 2++ years old, he was still nursing several times during the day. So even if I had a big appetite, I was still burning a lot of calories without me having to leave my seat. I barely gained weight even though I ate like a horse.

I was looking through my Instagram feed and found some depressing pictures:

 

A photo posted by Marie Angeli Laxa (@maanlaxa) on

A photo posted by Marie Angeli Laxa (@maanlaxa) on

A photo posted by Marie Angeli Laxa (@maanlaxa) on

Never mind my armpit on the last picture. I just gave birth for crying out loud. Gimme a break 😛

(There’s also another reason why I love 2012; I didn’t have my period until a month before Yuri turned 1! Bwahaha)

But those lovely, fabulous days are over. Ever since I stopped nursing Yuri a month before he turned 3, I started gaining weight. Like crazy. As in, I’m not even this fat 6 months ago. I steadily and quickly gained weight each day. I am now 10 pounds overweight and almost 20 pounds from my desired weight. All because I weaned.

(And because I’m still a sugar addict, but let’s focus on weaning for now.)

Let’s talk about weaning.

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Personal

Hello, September!

Wow, I couldn’t believe it’s already September.

Has it really been 11 months since I became yaya-less? 6 months since I took the leap and joined a class to be trained in real estate service? Almost 5 months since our Baguio-Ilocos-Tagaytay vacation? 4 months since I became fully-employed under SAHM Australia? 3 months since I took the board exam and became a licensed real estate broker?

Yet there are still 4 months until the end of this year — I’m surely looking forward to more blessings and challenges!

September 2

And you know what September means to many Filipinos: the beginning of -ber months! Is it a Christmas jingle that I hear in the background? Oh yes, it is. I can’t wait to shop for Christmas gifts (must save up for that)!

(And I really really need to diet to make room for all the deliciousness I can’t afford to refuse.)

How has your year been? What are you looking forward to?

Lifestyle Personal Real Estate Broker Diaries WAHM Diaries

Reclaiming My Life

A little more than a month ago, I started this new blog on a whim (well, not really – I explained my reasons here). I also explained why the name “A Joyful Mess” charmed me, but really, the name was also reflective of my present situation.

Life is messy.

I’ve accepted and embraced living a messy life because I realised that the more I acknowledged the mess, the more I’m allowing God to be in control of the clean-up. I’m nothing but a weak human being who messes up, imperfect. And I love it. I love calling to my God whenever I feel that life is becoming too much for me to handle. I love knowing that God is always there, always there to supply the strength to my weakness, unlimited grace to my flawed human nature.

However…

There are some — many — aspects of my life that I couldn’t afford to mess up any further. I need to acknowledge the truth that for these aspects of my life, it’s not normal living that took course. It’s laziness and lack of planning, pure and simple.

I need to work on these aspects of my life. I need to reclaim and return some sense of organisation to my life!

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Personal

This is the email that tried to ruin my day.

A few days ago, I innocently checked my email for work updates and personal messages when I came across a mail, the intention of which I’m still unsure of.

The email was sent to my blog email, maan@joyfulmess.com. It simply said:

Disgrasyada ka ba?

I didn’t reply immediately. Instead, I pored over it for a day and tried to figure out if it was a spam mail. However, it really didn’t look like one. The coincidences of a mail written in Tagalog, sent through a blog email, and sent to a blogger who happens to be a unmarried mum were just too strong to be plain coincidences. I wasn’t angry, but I felt insulted. Never in my life have I received that comment. Never in my life have I felt judged for being unmarried.

And I couldn’t imagine how angry Job would be if he finds out.

I curtly replied and said:

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Health and Fitness Lifestyle Personal

10 Reasons Why I Need to Lose Weight

10 Reasons Why I Need to Lose Weight

I’m sad.

Last year, in my old blog, I talked about slowly gaining weight as I was weaning Yuri off the breast. He was just 2 years old then and was still nursing, but it wasn’t as often as his sessions when he was a newborn (of course), which made me lose a lot of weight. As in 20-25 kilograms.

I was gaining weight last year but it wasn’t so drastic since I still nursed, ate a good diet, and occasionally worked out.

Now, I’m yaya-less (read: no time for workouts), still a voracious eater, and completely stopped breastfeeding.

In other words, I’m fat. Huhu.

10 Reasons Why I Need to Lose Weight

To motivate myself to start dieting and find time to work out today, I  wrote this list of reasons why I need to lose weight.

TEN

Before, I used to be done dressing up in 5 minutes tops. I just pick out a pretty dress from my closet and it almost always fits me well.

Now, those 5 minutes easily extend to 30 (or more) because only so few of my clothes still fit me. If they do, I have to check in the mirror if I actually look decent in it.

NINE

Still on the issue of clothes, before, I’ll just order whatever dress or piece of clothing online and, when they arrive, they always fit.

Today, I have a bag of newly purchased but never worn clothes which I should either bring to the seamstress or re-sell.

EIGHT

I need to lose weight for possible future reunions and get-togethers.

SEVEN

I need to lose weight because I love how it felt when I was 10 kilograms lighter. Everything felt easy to do – even going up and down our stairs.

Now I just feel heavy and bulky and out of breath.

SIX

I can no longer take OOTDs. I tried but got horrified at the pictures. Okay, I’m exaggerating, sorry. Honestly though, I no longer feel as confident to have my picture taken as before.

FIVE

I need to lose weight because I don’t want to be bigger than Job – which makes it even more challenging because he’s fit. Haha. Huhu.

FOUR

I need to lose weight because I noticed I easily tire nowadays. I can’t even play with Yuri for a long time – which makes homeschooling difficult.

THREE

I need to lose weight because I need to go back to eating a healthy diet. We’ve started eating white rice again this year because a close family friend also recently started harvesting from his farm. But this month, I insisted we go back to eating brown rice.

TWO

I need to lose weight as a motivation to keep moving and minimise my own screen time. One of the woes of being a WAHM is the lack of choice when it comes to movement and screen time. You have to be seated for a good portion of the day in front of a computer.

I need to make sure I’m not a complete slob sedentary person!

ONE

And finally, I need to lose weight because my father’s been seeing doctors (with an s) since last weekend. Aside from high blood pressure (he had a stroke back in 2006) and gout, we found out he has high creatinine, which can lead to kidney ailments.

For the sake of everyone I love, I want to grow old healthy and without ailments. And, given my father’s medical history, I really need to exert more effort into living a healthy lifestyle.

Thus, losing weight is only a side effect.

10 Reasons Why I Need to Lose Weight

What about you? What motivates you to lose weight or maintain a healthy lifestyle?

Personal Real Estate Broker Diaries WAHM Diaries

Taking a Break

I haven’t blogged for days.

To be honest, I haven’t really blogged for months so that should not have come as a surprise. But I truly expected blog-arrhoea during the first days of my young blog. However, these past few days have been so incredibly busy it’s not even funny!

I’m not complaining. I’m grateful I’m buddy because it means I have the means to live.

It means that a lot of things are happening to me.

It means I’m healthy enough to do things and work things out.

It probably means I’m good or responsible enough to be trusted with tasks.

But yeah, I would be lying if I said I also wasn’t thankful it’s already Friday evening.

Parenting Blog

Let me give you a brief description of my week. It wasn’t really exciting so I’ll spare you the boring details.

On Sunday, I decided I can’t take my old laptop’s sluggishness anymore and bought myself a new one. My old laptop isn’t even that old. I’ve had it for barely a year. Oh well, papel.

On Monday, we welcomed two additional members to the Philippine team of Stay At Home Mum Australia. One is a news anchor at a local TV station while the other is a fellow mum blogger (hi, Pam!). I’m thrilled to see “my” (totally claiming ownership here!) team expand, but at the same time, I know I’d be busy training and teaching and answering questions! Again, not complaining!

I’ve also been given a big number of reports to make a few days before the deadline (which was today). Knowing working 8 hours a day wouldn’t allow me to finish all of those reports, I had to work overtime a couple of times this week. I’ve never done this when I was a freelancer! 😀

And let’s not forget my responsibilities as a “freshman” real estate broker. I had to go downtown a couple of days to fix my requirements for my HLURB registration. Good thing the government office is *gasp* efficient and *gasp* waiting was a breeze!

Fun fact: During both days I was out and about fixing my requirements, I had so little free time that I didn’t have eyebrows on both occasions.

My body is still tired from doing my government duties and working overtime (I finished working at 10 pm last night), so today, I signed off from work early (around 2:30 pm), took a shower, and took my 3-year old with me to take a nap. Zzzz.

Parenting Blog

Right now, if somebody made me choose between a new designer bag and a couple of hours of sleep, I’ll choose the latter without batting an eyelash.

Of course, there would be regrets afterward.

Seriously though, I’m so thankful for the break.

What about you? How was your week?

Personal

A Little Thing Called Mummy Guilt

Mummy Guilt | A Joyful Mess
Mummy Guilt | A Joyful Mess

Mummy cat and baby cat

Have you ever felt inadequate as a mum?

I had huge plans for my 3-year old son, Yuri. Don’t get me wrong; his dad and I still do. But sometimes, I doubt my capability as a mum to work those plans into fruition.

I know it’s bad and every wise person should know by now that comparison is the thief of joy, but I’m finding myself in that blackhole. It’s like having a Macbook. Once you go Mac, you won’t go back or something like that. Once you start comparing, it’s hard to stop.

Recently, I find myself comparing Yuri to almost every child I see, and I find myself worrying about his development. For example, one of his friends came to play one day. He’s only 2 and a half but bigger and slightly taller than my boy. It didn’t help that before that, I’ve been worrying about the lack of changes in his height and weight. Yuri had been an exclusively breastfed baby so he was never on the big side.

And then I see posts of kids already reading by 2 or 3; Yuri is still learning the letter sounds (phonics). Last night, I saw my friend’s post about her 3-year old daughter’s drawing of herself and her daddy. Yuri is just learning to trace. It has never occurred to me before, but last night, I feared that we made the wrong decision to postpone preschool this year.

As you might probably have understood, I made a 180° turn from a chill mum to a worrywart.

Mummy Guilt | A Joyful Mess

Biking while mum is working inside the home office

To be honest, I know deep in my heart that Yuri is doing alright. He’s conversant and acts maturely for his age, and he’s rarely sick (although we just discovered he’s allergic to shrimp – sadness). But I can’t help thinking about my own inadequacies. Did we, somehow, make some wrong decisions that might affect Yuri in some way? Are we spoiling him or delaying him in some manner? Are we not paying as much attention to his health as we should be? The questions are plenty. They are not helping at all, but they are plenty.

I haven’t shared this concern to my long-distance partner, Job, yet precisely because I know what piece of advice he’ll give me:

Pray, read your Bible, and don’t let your emotions rule your head.

And then he’ll add that he’s always there for us and that Yuri is doing great; he’s a smart and a good boy. I know he will say that not to make me feel better but because it’s what he thinks is true.

So I’ve done a lot of thinking last night. Instead of focusing on my what my son “lacks,” which may or may not be a figment of my imagination, I tried to think of everything that makes him special.

  • First, he’s the only toddler I know (so far) who knows the names of around 20-30 kinds of trucks and vehicles. I can’t even tell a front loader from an excavator (and yes, I learned the terms from him).
  • He builds this really well. He’s been building crude versions of cars, trucks and aeroplanes using his Mega Bloks since he was 2.
  • He might be clingy (another one of my mum-insecurities), but he surprises me sometimes by acting so maturely. He’s really defensive of me.
  • So he doesn’t know the numbers beyond 30 yet or the lowercase letters, but he can easily memorise songs and sing them in tune. Okay, a lot of preschoolers do that, but still, I find it amazing!
  • So he may not be as tall or as big as some kids, but he’s strong. Yes I am aware that Yuri’s arm is only a few inches wide and that his ribs are somehow showing, but the boy  could lift a mean load. Examples are my middle schooler sister’s school bag which is full of books and our freshly delivered gallons of water. Seriously!

Mummy Guilt | A Joyful Mess

In the end, I understood the meaning of my “exercise.” There are so much more things to thank for than things to complain about. Yuri is a special boy who may lack in a few things but is brilliant when it comes to other things. He may not be as big as his peers, but he is healthy. And strong.

Realising these things, I learn that comparison is really the thief of joy and that it is futile. You’ll end up nowhere except in the hole of your own insecurities, perceived to be bigger.

Personal

Birthing Pains

Strawberry Fields Benguet
Strawberry Fields Benguet

Taken in Baguio last March. I PC-restored my laptop recently and unfortunately lost many of my photos.

My eyes accidentally went to the stats on top of my day-old blog. It read very meagre numbers, very very small. The numbers were a speck compared to my old blog’s stats.

Surprisingly, I didn’t care, not even the tiniest bit.

You see, another reason why I started a new blog is to free myself from the mindset of competitiveness. I got tired of always monitoring my statistics. I needed to let go of such an unnecessary stress.

However, I would be lying if I said completely starting a new blog from ground up is easy. It’s difficult, and sometimes, I have to remind myself why I’m doing this.

Content

For starters, there’s virtually nothing in the blog. I made the choice to not migrate my old blog, so I have to write a lot during the next few months for it to have acceptable content.

On the other hand, it is exciting to have the chance to focus on writing content again with brand new categories and stuff. To be honest, I stopped writing relevant content in my old blog because I thought it wouldn’t matter anyway, I would be transferring anyway. Well, I have no excuses now!

Can you spell blog-horrhea?

Design

I’m currently using a free feminine theme from Angie Makes right now. I find it really pretty, but I’m also hoping to have a customised design just for A Joyful Mess. It’s not my priority now, though. Maybe when we reach a point of stability, we can contemplate on having a customised design made. 🙂

And everything else

I published my first blog post yesterday, but really, my blog was (and is) still not 100% ready. I just figured it would be great to finally start blogging here since it’s the first day of the second half of the month. I’m not sure what the relevance is, but I like the timing.

Looking at my blog now, I realise there are still a lot of things I need to do. Setting aside my pining for a customised design, I also need a new author picture (not that one, which I just grabbed from my old blog!). There’s nothing wrong with that picture – aside from the little fact that both Yuri (my son) and I look different now.

I also need to update my about and contact pages which, you guessed it, are all just grabbed from my previous blog! Even my job is not the same any more!

Outside the blog, I also need to update all of my links. Eventually, once we are able to publish more posts, I’ll also have to revisit blog directories and submit this new blog.

In other words

Starting a blog is just like having a baby. The conception of an idea is only the beginning, and the work doesn’t end with giving birth. You need to feed it, clothe it, nurture it, and be consistent in loving it – an inconsistent mum would be really scary.

But it’s satisfying and oddly comforting. And yeah, it’s also a lot of fun.

Personal

Introducing: A Joyful Mess

Hello! Welcome to my new online home. I call it “A Joyful Mess,” and I want it to be a blog that is truly me.

Why Joyful Mess

I’m a messy person. I may have a bit of an OCD, but I am no grace under pressure, I don’t have the gift to “whip things into shape,” unless you’re talking about something virtual, and I am no Martha Stewart. Even my bun is a mess.

But having a type-A personality made me hate this aspect of myself. I want everything to be perfect and in order. Two things made me realise that the mess will always be part of life – of my life. I first realised that when I became a Christian and made the decision to make Jesus the centrepiece of my life.

However, because I was (still am) working, I slipped into my old neat-freak, perfectionist ways. Then I was reminded about it when I became a mother.

Have you noticed that we are not born with the instinct to clean up but rather the instict to make a mess? To dig, throw, discover?

There is truly nothing wrong with order. The problem is the obsession with order. It becomes a problem when you refuse to step out of your comfort zone, when you stop living your life to avoid making a mess. So instead of always telling my son, Yuri, to not make so much clutter, I have decided to welcome it as part of his young life. He will never learn about anything if the books stay in the shelves and the toys in the closet.

And instead of berating myself when I mess up, I thank heavens that I am one messy, messed up person because it means I need God’s grace to give order to my cluttered life. I thank God that I need to depend on him because in my weakness, he is strong. I am learning that there is joy in the mess.

Now I welcome and embrace the clutter and hope to document my messy life here.

What about my old blog

Perhaps a lot of you know that I used to blog in davaomommy.com. It’s still up and running now, but I have felt the need to “rebrand” and start anew since last year. The reason is that I felt the blog name itself was too cold and sterile and, honestly, didn’t evoke any emotion.

I wanted a more personal blog, one that sounds more introspective than informative.

I chose to start all over again. Instead of just migrating my entire blog to a new domain name, I decided to let it live for two reasons. First, Davao Mommy was the product of more than 2 years of hard work. I couldn’t just remove it from the blogosphere, so I would let it run until its natural death.

Second, it’s just too taxing and frustrating to migrate a blog, fix pictures, change tags and categories to reflect the new blog’s etcetera etcetera. I couldn’t be bothered.

I hope you accompany me on this new adventure!

Beginning again is a big deal for me. I have backed out several times because I wasn’t sure the time and effort would be worth it. All the work I’ve done on my previous blog will now go to waste (hopefully not). All the connections I’ve made, I may or may not take with me to this new home.

But I’ve never felt as confident as I do now. I feel like I’ve made the right decision: both to make a new home and to start from ground up.

This may be worth it after all.