This Mom is Busy!

You’ve read it right, this mom is busy! Busy with everything about being a mom 🙂

To give you recent updates, school has just started for my 3 kids – Law school, Senior High (Gr. 11) and Junior High (Gr. 9). And as school starts so does the rainy season 🙂

But before the stories about the rain…

Last summer was very productive as we went to the province – Cagayan de Oro to attend a nephew’s beach wedding and Davao to visit siblings, Samal Island for an extended family outing, Baguio for a cool road trip as it’s the Summer Capital of the Philippines known for its very cool weather and Batangas for a swimming escapade.

beach wedding
Wedding buffet by the beach

As you have been reading my blogs, you know by now that we have a close-knit family. We love to do things together.

family outing beach
We love to go to the beach

The summer that has passed was truly a summer well spent. Thanking God for the blessings He has given us – good health to be active, good minds to think of what’s important for the family, good hearts to spend time with the loved ones.

Baguio
Dinner in cool Baguio

Hope you had a good summer too 🙂  Looking forward to more family outings and good summers!

The Loss of a Pet Cat

I don’t know how to start. I’m still grieving. I lost one of my pet cats just last night. His name is Ryu. He has a brother named Ken who is 10 minutes older than him. Yes, we got their names from the famous Street Fighter movie.

My cousin who breeds cats gave them to us almost 4 years ago, June 2010. They were born on March 27, 2010. I got both male cats because it was my first time to have a pet and I wasn’t sure how I could handle if it were a male and a female and they would eventually have babies. So I settled for the brothers.

I remember in their second week at home I almost wanted to send them back to my cousin because I got tired looking after their mess. But in exchange of having another baby I agreed to let them stay.

Here’s the story. My husband and 3 kids still want to add another baby to our family. I was in my mid-30’s then so I didn’t want to have another baby. When I wanted to return the cats they struck me a deal – if the cats stay they won’t ask for another baby. And so that’s how the cats stayed.

More than 3 years of taking care of them, feeding them with their favorite cat food, Princess cat, bathing them once a month, bringing them to my sister’s house when we sleep there overnight, paying a friend to stay in our house to take care of them when we go out on long vacations. My kids go to school and my hubby goes to work so I stay at home doing online work with my 2 cats and 2 turtles too. Though I don’t have much interaction with the turtles that used to be 4 at first. I only need to put food in the aquarium and remove the dirty water then fill up with a clean one every once in a while.

Two weeks ago Ryu wasn’t feeling well. He was trying to pee but nothing comes out. The next day, Tuesday, he won’t drink water by himself. I bought a dropper and manually gave him water with Hydrite. That night we brought him to a pet clinic which was open for emergencies. The initial findings was Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease. The doctor said this was fatal for cats. He put a catheter and manually extracted urine which had blood. He also passed out some stones.

The doctor suggested that we confine him to the clinic so he put on a dextrose. When we left I was afraid I would lose him I cried. My husband somehow didn’t understand my sadness. He said he will get well soon. Everyday my husband called the doctor to ask for Ryu’s condition. On Friday the doctor removed the catheter and he was able to pass urine by himself. He asked us to bring him some food and if he eats it then we can bring him home the next day. And Ryu did!

On Saturday I was excited to take him home. We brought cooked chicken liver requested by the doctor. He showed us how to give it to Ryu along with the medicine. Of course, we needed to buy some medicines which were in tablet form. We had to make sure he would drink it. And Ryu was home!

He was still weak and didn’t smell good. I had to wash him up twice to lessen the odor. He was eating just a little bit and drinking water. But we had to force him to eat the chicken liver with his medicines 3 times a day.

On Monday he was able to climb on the side of the small plastic tub and drink water. That was his favorite. I let him be. The doctor said this wasn’t bad at all. So all the while I thought he was getting better. When I went out of the gate one night, he even followed me but he just slumped in the middle of the street. I thought he just didn’t want to move some more so I put him inside again.

On Tuesday he wasn’t drinking water so I had to use the dropper again. And he wasn’t eating at all anymore. All those days at home, he didn’t poop even once. My husband and I knew something was still wrong with Ryu. Wednesday was worst! He was almost not moving.

That evening I cooked fish tilapia. I know he loves to eat it. But when I put it in front of him he just smelled it but didn’t even open his mouth. I tried to force it in his mouth thinking that he was just too weak to open it but he won’t eat it at all. I gave him water through the dropper but he won’t accept it. That time I was already in tears. I knew that if he won’t eat his favorite food and won’t drink he won’t make it too long anymore.

When my husband came home he fed him with the medicine but like what he did earlier he won’t open his mouth anymore. When my husband was able to force him he gave out a cry. And I was already crying too. I knew he was in pain. He was so weak and couldn’t even move. I was terrified at the thought of losing him. My husband was already talking to me and telling me to prepare myself for what is coming. He had pet dogs before we got married and he knows this kind of situation. I didn’t know. This was my first and I couldn’t accept it.

He told me to stop crying because Ryu might just be holding on to his dear life because he felt me. He felt how sad I was. So after I cried I laid Ryu on a white shirt and told him to take a rest and go to sleep. I prayed on him. I prayed that if he will continue with his life in pain I don’t want it that way. I wanted him to have a good life here with us and if that’s not going to happen anymore then may God relieve him of his pain already. He was just lying down motionless.

My husband told me to leave Ryu there because there was nothing we could do. At one time I said we should bring him to the clinic but he said the doctor may not accept him anymore with his present condition. For all we know, the doctor let him out because he knew he couldn’t do anything to save Ryu’s life. So he better be with us on his few days left and be happy again with his brother and with his family – us. For the sake of conversation I said that he almost looked well again after he left the clinic. He even ate his food to show the doctor that we can bring him home already. Why did all those things happen but end up like this? My husband says that he might have just did what he must do so he can be home with us already. He knew what was already coming.

When I woke up this morning at 5am he was already in a used up plastic tub and covered in the clothes that we gave him that night. My husband says he fixed him up at 1am when he saw that he was already dead.

I cried a lot today. My kids cried a little bit too. Their father is the only strong person at home. He says this happens to everyone including our pets. We’ll just need to be strong. We still have Ken and we should take care of him well. And Ken was extremely close to us from the time that Ryu was in the clinic. He wanted to be always around us which wasn’t like him when Ryu was with him. Today, Ken has been “meowing” a lot. Probably looking for his brother or probably telling us that he’s still here with us.

My husband went home early afternoon because he knows how sad I am. I am grieving so much. Probably because I’m the one who stays with them the whole day. I love them so much.

I haven’t talked with anyone who’s lost a pet before and felt as much grieve as I am right now. I will eventually find one in the next days to come when I get to talk to my friends. But for now I will have to accept that Ryu is gone and will never be with us. We will take care of Ken the best way we can. But after him I don’t want to have another pet anymore. It hurts so much to me now I don’t think I can handle another loss.

I am planning to put his picture here but I can’t seem to find the courage to look at him yet.

New Year and the Virtual Assistant Mom

happy_new_year
Happy New Year!!!

Happy New Year!!!

It’s been so long since I last wrote on my blog. Anyway, I started my blog the same time I was starting to work for other employers online. I learned about WordPress from one of my first employers and since I loved writing (if only I had the time to seriously do this) I decided to open an account.

Here we are now in 2014, more than 3 years after I first worked online. Glad to say that I have stayed with one of my first employers who also started his online business the same time I was. We were meant to be together in the online world 🙂

He goes up and down the ladder still searching for his own place in the world wide web. I was there for him, while he was still a nobody, when nobody knew him, when his business model was seriously hit by the latest Google algorithms, when he never quit searching and learning and modifying his strategies and never letting go of his dreams to conquer the now known digital marketing world. Great lessons I learned from him, right?

And I can say that we’re still strong together. He never fails to show appreciation of whatever work I’ve done for him. I know how to follow instructions quite well and good. I’m a fast learner and absolutely not a dumb girl at all. I would say that a dumb, slow learner does not have a place to work in the online world. The employers working at the other side of the world is asleep while you are working and when he awakes he expects that you’ve done a good job, if not excellent, on the tasks he gave to you. You can’t go back and forth with instructions and questions all the time. An instruction given today and a question you have will be answered tomorrow and then you’ll work on it the next day. That’s 2 days loss for your employer.

Moving on, I’ve been working for 1 year and a half with another employer who also owns a blog and that’s her part in the online world. Probably just like me, she wants to share her thoughts on things that she’s read on the web or experiences that she’s had. She has other businesses but not focused online. I still need to remind her to please post a blog so that her site still gets traffic. (I wonder why I don’t remind myself as well? 🙂 )

And then a year has passed working for another employer who’s based in the land down under. Wasn’t my first time to work with an Australian but I should say I love working with her. She’s a perfectionist… and so am I. We both want things done to the best of our abilities. We can’t just say that this is okay. Everything needs to be well done. And yes, she appreciates my work and has given me more tasks after she has learned to trust me. I’m like her Executive Assistant in the real corporate world. She calls me and introduces me to her colleagues and staff as her Primary VA. Sounds like an autobot to me 🙂

And one great thing about her trust in me is that I have referred a friend and a sister to work for her too and she has accepted since I vouched for them. So far so good. I make sure that my referrals are doing their work properly and as expected. Haven’t heard any problem about them yet.

So with a husband and 3 kids to take care of, household chores to do daily, friends and other family members to spend time with and an online work to do, I’d like to end this on a happy note… I am by all means not just an assistant but a manager. I manage all these things and a lot more on the side not with great ease but with strength and determination. And I feel a sense of fulfillment doing all this.

I thank God almighty for all the blessings that He has given me and may He always guide me to the right path and continue to give me happiness and success in all the aspects of my life – family, home, personal, work. Amen.

9 Things I Learned from My Siblings

Big family
Photo from clipartof.com

I come from a big family. I have 3 sisters and 6 brothers. I am the 9th in our family of 10 siblings.

From one mom and dad

My mom died when I was only 7 years old. My dad died a month after I gave birth to my 3rd child. I was already 27 then.

After my mom died my dad remarried. I got to stay with my 3 sisters who already had their own families at the time I stayed with each of them. I was lucky to be among the youngest as I had lots of older siblings to take care of me.

Even if we come from the same parents we still have different attitudes toward life. Our behavior is diverse since we grew up in different stages in our family life.

Growing Up in Different Stages

The eldest batch experienced the life of luxury. My dad was the son of a Governor at that time.

The middle batch experienced so much bonding with our other relatives. They almost lived with our cousins when they were growing up.

The youngest batch, that would be me and my youngest brother, barely had spent time with our mom. I was 7 and he was 5 when our mom passed away due to cardiac arrest.

My siblings lived in different provinces because some have their own families, some were studying and some were working.

Lucky to have them

I am thankful to my parents for bearing lots of kids. Maybe I can say that because I am among the youngest. I had older siblings to take care of me even when they weren’t around.

My eldest sister and I have a 20 year gap. She was already married and had 2 kids when our mom passed away. She showed strength to guide us all during this hard time.

Learning from what they said or what they did

I’d like to share the things I’ve learned from my siblings. Some things they said to me and some things they showed me. Either way, learning from them is something I’m thankful now that I’m a wife and mom myself.

I saw the positive and negative side of their situations. I got what was good and changed what I thought was bad. This became my formula in my own marriage and in bringing up my kids.

The Positives

1. My eldest sister was a career woman. She retired from work in 2002. She rose up the ranks in the corporate world from being a marketing assistant to executive secretary to the vice-president of a big corporation and eventually promoted as personnel manager.

I learned to value my work. Our profession was similar since I was always the executive assistant to the president of the different companies that I worked with. Our only difference is that she had luck finding a company that gave great benefits to its employees and was in the top 500 corporations in the Philippines while I transferred from one company to another (though easily).

2. My 2nd sister was clearly a stay at home wife and mom. Her husband was a high-ranking local government employee. She had the money to spend whenever she wants to. She had houses and cars, always ate in restaurants and bought whatever she liked.

I learned to be ambitious. I wanted to have the things that she had and thought that one day I’ll have those too.

3. My eldest brother is the most intelligent in our family. Hands down to that! He is still a bachelor and does not have any plans to marry anymore. He is an official in a government office.

I learned to study harder. I wanted to be like him in school, always with honors. And I have been an honor student ever since I started schooling. He was my inspiration.

4. My 3rd sister (I have 3 sisters) is also a stay at home mom. She is a simple woman who just wants to take care of her family all the time. She is courageous to go into small home business like (sari-sari) stores and (carinderia) canteen.

I learned to be responsible in taking care of my kids even when I had my eldest daughter when I was only 17. I want my kids to love me the way her kids love her.

5. My 2nd brother is simple and a hands-on dad. He takes care of his kids very well.

I learned that even if my husband was working too he can still be a hands-on dad to our kids. We share chores at home.

6. My 3rd brother is serious with his work. He puts so much time and effort to his profession.

I learned to be serious with my work but also to balance work and family time.

7. My 4th brother has the ability to turn things around. He has the capability to manage work and life even in crisis.

I learned to understand that our life is not perfect. We could sometimes be up there and sometimes down there. But whatever life brings us we should know how to stand up again.

8. My 5th brother was also into his career. He worked so hard to be able to give to his family their needs.

Again I learned to work harder for my family. But this time I know how to balance time between work and family. Family should not be sacrificed a lot. I am working for my family so I should be able to keep them happy too.

9. My youngest brother (I have 6 brothers) has gone through the ups and downs of life.

I learned to appreciate everything that has happened to me, the good and the bad.

What makes me different from them?

I’ve stayed with all my 3 sisters and I’ve seen my brothers with their families. I see the things that I like in what they do and I pick it up and apply it to my own family.

Of course, nobody’s perfect. I see the things that I don’t like in what they do and I pick it up and throw it away.

I like to psychologize people, what they do and what they might be thinking why they did that. I like to analyze things.

The Negatives

I have siblings who are so much into their careers that their family has been sacrificed in one way or another. They have less time at home. They can give their kids their needs except proper attention. They are surprised how fast their kids have grown and probably have asked “where were they?”

Some of my siblings have broken families. I do not judge them but I know they also have faults. I believe it takes 2 to tango. I love my in-laws (my siblings’ spouses) and they’ve been good to me.

Lessons learned

I analyze what may have happened to their families that it resulted to being broken. I just know that time is important when you have a family.

While time is also important when you are working, then all you have to do is make time for other things as well. Learn to balance what you’re doing.

Make priorities. You’re out of the house from 6am (you need to spare a lot of time for commuting here in the Phils.) and come home by 8pm. You do not need to spend night outs with your co-workers almost every day of the week. When you come home by 8pm your kids might be preparing for sleep already. If you need to have a night out with co-workers at least do it just occasionally. It could be the exception and not the norm.

My husband and I make sure that we spend time with our kids on weekends. We could just stay at home and have movie marathon or general cleaning of the house or indulge in any family activity inside the house. Or we could go out to the malls or visit relatives or go out of town.

Because of this analysis I often resigned from work when I felt that my kids needed me during a particular time. The kids have different stages too.

When my youngest was starting to walk and my 2nd child was already running and he was starting to be naughty I knew I had to resign from work so I can pay more attention to their behavior. This is what a nanny cannot do the way a mom can.

When we were all adjusted I got back to work. Then I had a problem with one of my kids when he was in mid-elementary so I resigned again. I had to focus on his study habits and school activities.

I do not regret not having a big time career right now. I’m happy the way my kids have grown up. I’m proud of them. And I hope they’re proud of me too 🙂

We all have learned a lesson or two from our families. Care to share them on the comments below? I’d love to hear from you too.

A Long Time Ago

It has been quite some time since I last posted on my site… It was on my birthday last year to be exact… What have I been doing?

I have been busy with my online work… saving for the upcoming family reunion last December 2011 in Mindanao… Will share some pics later…

There has been lots of reunions with former high school batchmates that December as well… I will try to share pictures of it as well…

My facebook is updated of my whereabouts though 🙂

I may not be updated with my blog but I surely am still writing for other people… call me a ghost writer for my employers 🙂

March 2012 was a busy time for my family… 2 kids graduated from elementary and college respectively. The other kid was an honor student so we attended his recognition day.

We were out of the country on the last week of April.

My second child is an incoming highschool or grade 7 student in a new school. So we kind of prepared for that this May. We taught him how to commute to and from school and house. It was a success!!!

My birthday

Today is Aug. 5… today is my birthday…

Normal day… kids are in school… hubby is in office… I’m working at home… Lots of greetings in Facebook and cellphone…

We’ll go out later tonight… Always looking forward to happy times with my family…

Later that night… dinner, strolling, live band at Island Cove 🙂

birthday
my family on my birthday