Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Blessed with Isabella

I would like to dedicate this post as a shouts-out to my eldest daughter, Isabella who is the most responsible, understanding ATE in the world.

Our most recent household help unexpectedly left us AGAIN! Well, we're no longer surprised that our household help never came back after her 2-week-long holiday vacation because that's how it is with our helps. It's like most relationships built on nothing - You suddenly realize that it's over and you keep asking yourself if there's anything about you, or anything you did wrong, but at the end of it all, they're just not that into you (errr, your household.). Moooving on...

So we're living away from our parents where it's near Isabella's school and without a help, we cannot depend on anyone else to stay in our house to care for our kids while we're working. It so happened that we just recently moved to a new workplace where we do not have the liberty of choosing schedules. Because of this, there would be at least an hour when the 2 girls would have to be left at home without an adult! Risky, I know, but there was nothing else we could do, so we talked to Isabella about our yaya-less routine plan and she was cool with it. In fact, when I woke up without an alarm and it was time for me to leave, I have heard Isabella rolling on her bed which indicates she was awake. She had expected her time of responsibility and all I had to do was whisper in her hear and she stood up, took her pillows and layed beside her sister! She even had the consciousness to take instructions like where the milk was and all that!

God is really true in His words. Some day, I know that He will give us the perfect setup where we won't have to choose between our means of living and our family, but until then, He blessed us with the Isabella so when times like these comes, we wouldn't have to worry that we won't have household help for the next couple of days... maybe weeks... or months... Thank you, Lord, for daughters like Isabella and thank you Isabella for honoring God and your parents by being the best ATE in the world.

your every woman,

Friday, January 1, 2016

2015... Best year EVERR!!!

Before I completely close the year that was, let me take this time to remember how 2015 is one of the best years I've had in my entire life. Here are the highlights of this exciting and awesome year.

  • January - I found out that tax exemptions don't happen real-time, so I ended up receiving a tax refund because of Serene's addition to our family. On the other hand, our beloved tita Tina died just a few days before her birthday. It was such a sad time for the family.
  • February - We were able to successfully carry-out Serene's 1st birthday. I can say that it is one of the best parties we've hosted given a tight budget... Way more affordable than Isabella's 1st birthday.
  • March - Serene was hospitalized for the first time but received the grace of healing, thank God. I experienced being a borrowed trainer for a different program within the company I worked for where I met a lot of great people and learned new things.
  • April - We were able to send Isabella to swimming school and she actually learned how to swim! Oh I swear the time she spent in the water after her dive into the 10 ft pool for their graduation was the longest 10 seconds of my life! 
  • May - This is when I started to feel a hole in my career. I felt unnecessary and started to rethink my career path. 
  • June - This is the month when a bittersweet revelation about my paternal origins unfolded. To explain how bittersweet it is would require a really long post and would preferably be private, so I'm not gonna go there. Also, God blessed me and my husband with a new career opportunity, however, that same opportunity closed its doors for me almost as soon as it opened. It was one of the culminating events this year that I didn't expect would turn out to be the start of many blessings that year. 
  • July - I completely allowed myself to indulge in the love of new family members and it was really a heartwarming experience. Now I have other homes to visit for the holidays!
  • August - I started to take on a new diet and I failed. Turned out I cannot cut on food the way I did because I'm breastfeeding Serene. Oh well, back to my old self. Darn, this is my heaviest self!
  • September - Drew and I were water baptized and it felt sooo good! We have a renewed faith and had a lot of realizations. 
  • October - I was given apprentices to manage and I learned a lot. Not saying that I was already ok with how my career was going; It was actually the other way around. The emptiness just grows and grows and I was turning into a really ungrateful person. Still, God blessed me with a raise this month but I still sucked at being happy for some reason.
  • November - From June to October I have experienced, in my perspective, what it meant when people say that life is unfair but it was only in November when I realized that what God really wanted to do was change me; heal me. I was hired at a new workplace! The same one that I thought closed its doors for me in June. I now have an entry-level, non-voice job in a BPO that serves a VERY prominent global company where my education had nothing to do about. It just amazes me how God can graciously qualify whom he calls and not the other way around.
  • December - My 31st year of existence welcomed a new company, new friends, new knowledge, new dreams, new inspirations and a renewed heart. I am looking forward to more breakthroughs now that I am able to pursue what I really love to do in 2016. Here's to more blog posts, more hair and make-up experiences, a healthier figure and a better mom and wife.

your every woman,

Friday, December 18, 2015

Conceited Heart

photo grabbed from Etsy

During one of my zone out moments, an idea started in me. I thought "What if in the Philippine setting, a guard at the entrance of an establishment casually asks me 'What's your name?' and once I respond with my name, he'll say 'Oh, Bianca, may I check your bag please?' How would I feel?". Being in the customer service industry working for a 1st world country for almost 10 years, I can easily say it's perfectly fine! I ran the same idea with a couple of people and most of the reactions I received were that they would be offended by a guard asking them for their names and not even calling them "mam/sir". When I asked them if there was anything wrong with it, they realized that there wasn't and I continued to explain that we only have this perspective that something is wrong with it because we think that the guard is lesser than us when in fact, he is not. I continued on with my life thinking highly of myself because I know this simple truth when most people don't. 

Recently, I realized that I am no better than anyone else. I practice the opposite of what I preach. Just because I've been blessed with work where I manage people, I felt a sense of entitlement. Just because I held myself accountable for other people's performance, I felt that I should be honored, celebrated. And as years passed by, I've held this bitterness because I never received the honor I thought I deserved... or sometimes, I measure honor based on monetary value. I have realized now that there is more to work than gaining glory for myself... that everything that I do is for the greater glory of the Lord because the work that I do is a channel of His blessing. Thankfully, the Lord blessed with a means to heal my heart and my life will never be the same.

your every woman,

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Teach Your Child Values

Teach your child values instead of rules
Give them life guidelines
And not laws for fools

Your child is not yours,
Someday you’ll let go
So it’s best they have principles
That they keep as they grow

Teach your child Respect for other people
Even though some people will not earn it
It’s your child who will learn it
And it will be beneficial

When she learns to respect others
She will value their time
It will save her from tardiness
And she’ll never be left behind

Teach your child Integrity
It will help her discern
What is right when no one’s watching
There won’t be cause for concern

Integrity will teach her
To be honest and true
It will reflect in her decisions
And she’ll always pull through

Teach your child Industry
Give her tasks around the house
She’ll learn to clean, cook and wash clothes
And it’s not for her spouse

You’ll want her to be independent
As she follows her dream
You’ll be confident she’ll get by
When it’s time for her to wean

Teach your child Hardwork and Passion
And nothing great comes easy
So when faced with challenges
She will never grow weary

Tell her success is sweet
When you’ve poured out your all
Tell her never to give up
Even after a fall

Teach your child Compassion
For anyone she meets
Let her know she’s blessed
And a blessing, she can be

There are little things she can do for other people
That would give them a break
Imagine it being multiplied
And the difference it would make

Your teachings are not for the world to see
How great you are as a parent can be
Do it for your little one to ensure that she
Will be her best self when you set her free

So instead of do’s and don’t’s, let’s try
To teach them things they can apply
They’ll appreciate things they don’t learn in schools
When you teach them values instead of rules

your every woman,

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Long Distance Parenting

Do you remember your child’s first smile? …first steps? …first solid food? …first fall? …first day of school? …first achievement? …first crush? …first love? …first heartache? Oh wait, were you there?

(photo taken from the Internet about an Iraqi orphanage where a little girl who never knew her mother, drew a mom on the ground and fell asleep with her...)

I know that this is a very sensitive topic because some of the most loving, well-meaning parents may still answer “No” to these questions and I can’t blame anyone. Parents make mistakes too. So let me write this post in a child’s perspective as I have experienced. Mom… Dad… you have to be there.

It was not ok for you to go somewhere far and leave us behind to earn a living. You may say that through this means, you provide for our future, but the best future we could ever have can only be created through positive parenting. You could have ensured our future by having a great relationship with us; By being there to observe our personalities and guide our development. It didn't matter if we attended a great school. It didn't matter if we had new and expensive things. Many children of parents who stayed elsewhere have led difficult personal lives even though they had money to spend. They struggle with trust. They have insecurities; I have insecurities...

It’s never going to be a better option to leave us with relatives in a faraway place instead of at home with you and probably a nanny a few hours a day. I agree that finding the perfect nanny is like finding a needle in a haystack. …That is if we can ever find the haystack at all. Still, when we live at home with you, we still get to bond with you when you go home or during weekends. We can tell the difference and it’s better that way as opposed to not knowing the difference between you and the relatives you leave us with. You have a special effect on us. Use that while you still can.

your every woman,