Be Vaccinated

Last Tuesday, I had my second dose of Astrazenica vaccine (one of the vaccines against Covid-19). I must admit that I was quite uneasy about having my second dose because of what I experienced after my first jab. I had a lot of vaccines already since I also worked as a seafarer before, but I haven’t encountered this kind of pain from vaccine.

During my first jab, we were asked to take paracetamol after. However, I did not do it and so the feeling was quite heavy during that time.. So last Tuesday, after the shot, I immediately took a paracetamol and religiously took it every 4 hours. Surprisingly, I did not really feel what I felt the first time.. I just slept a lot. Now I am okay.

Scared to be Vaccinated

For the past weeks, I was quite busy with our other house that we would for lease. I ordered a screen door, protection for insects. It was installed today by the owner of the shop and his helper. So they were asking me about my experience about the vaccination.

From their questions, I figured out that they are not vaccinated yet. The owner of the shop is quite old already, I suppose he is already at his 60’s and the helper maybe on his late 40’s. They admitted that they were scared to be vaccinated.. This is due to some bad news from their colleagues after the vaccination. They were so hesitant to do it.

Our government here in our town is very organized in terms of the vaccination process. We just need to fill up a form, then submit, then the government will send us message on when we will have the vaccine.

Common Denominator

I read an open letter from a doctor about the current situation now in their hospital. There are a lot of Covid patients and one thing is common amongst them… They are not vaccinated.

They said that people who are vaccinated are super spreaders. I believe that, because you would not know if they have the virus.. because they are asymptomatic.

Vaccine do not guarantee that you will not have Covid-19 but it guarantees that that if you will have Covid it will not be severe or critical.

Expensive Hospitalization

My father visited us last weekend and told us some news about our relatives who had Covid-19. His cousin and her parents paid 1.5 million pesos (30,000 USD). His other cousin who was in the hospital that time was already spending 500,000 pesos (10,000 USD). Health insurance for elders here is not common. It is not required.

It is fortunate also that there are vacant rooms in the hospital.. Nowadays, they are saying that some hospitals are in full capacity already.

Vaccinated Great Grandfather

My great grand father who is 87 years old completed his vaccination last August. He is not even going out but he is cautious.

I admire his desire of being vaccinated. There was no hesitations in his part.

All of these, I have told to the two people I met today who are very hesitant to take the vaccine. They left me very eager to give it a shot. For the love of their families, they should do it. They were the ones who are going out because of their job. They mingle with different people.

I said they should anticipate the pain, they should accept that there will be side effect afterwards. It is expected to be 2 weeks, they just need to accept it. Our thoughts sometimes are so powerful that it could even affect our heart and our whole body. Worrying would not help us.. Vaccines are carefully studied and disseminated. I told them, “be vaccinated”.

Social Media Time-Out

I had a good friend whom I haven’t spoken for months now because he had a social media time-out due to his health condition. I noticed it few months back but I did not have a chance to look for him. I was wondering why it is sudden that he left social media.

This is not the first time that I experienced this, I mean having a friend whom took a pause on social media. I had one who is now in the US, my former at work. She was not active in her social media for a few months and little did I know that she suffered from anxieties.

Last week, I was also checking out on one of my friends who was very active on Facebook but suddenly deactivated her account. When I encounter this, I always say a prayer to them because for some reasons I know that there is something wrong.

Social media is a platform where we share our happiness to others. This is what I am believe in.. Be it superficial or genuine, we are trying to show people the joy that we have in our lives. However, what if there is a crevice of heartache? It’s hard to pretend that we are okay.. We need to fix that crevice first before showing to people our smile, our interests and reasons why we are happy.

My experience

2019 was a devastating year for me.. It was my lowest, as far as my existence here on earth is concerned. I experienced a pain where I never thought I could be experiencing. I did a lot of prayers, I asked my loved ones to pray for me.. It was a difficult journey.

I deactivated my Facebook for more than three months. It somehow helped with my healing. People might be wondering what happened to me. I cannot just post something there to portray that I am okay. It is hard.

I always want to inspire people. I may not be perfect but I want people to remember me as a person whom they look up to whenever they need a smile or comfort. I needed to figure out first how I could heal the wounds that I had in my heart. The lockdown helped me a lot.. (please don’t get me wrong.)

The three months of lockdown being away from family, having only my kids with me was very liberating. Ironically, this is what I felt. I had a lot of time meditating.. a lot of devotions. Being away from social media was an experience of the reality. I experienced being 100% with my kids. I experienced being there for myself.

Oh my, the journey healed me.

Healing

Social media is a great help when you seek an inspiration or an influencer. However, it wouldn’t be effective if our hearts are in pain. We will just end up being irritated on what people post.

I believe that a pause on social media is a time for healing. A lot did not come back anymore and they are okay with it.

Happiness without social media

We are in the era when we wanted to inspire people.. Social media is one of the avenues for this. People might find their happiness by posting good things about themselves. This boosts their self confidence and self worth.

Some people see social media as a venue of envy. On the contrary, it made them feel worthless. It made them feel hatred to people who are trying to inspire.

I think what we need to seek are peace and joy on everything that we do. Will this give me peace of mind? Will this give me a good night sleep?

We are all different.. What’s the point of doing something that could make you feel devastated?

Lessons on Gardening

I have been busy for the last few days because the weather here is quite good and I just noticed some of our plants are not in good condition.. Haha. I mentioned on my previous blogs that I am a newbie in terms of gardening. Oh my, I thought it is only to dig a hole, put the plant and watering it everyday. I did not know that certain plants have some rules on how to care of it.

Just look at this papaya tree. This was so healthy before, I could harvest papaya this month but suddenly it became like this. I thought it is because of the weather that is why it became ill. But the other papaya trees are still standing. Hmmmm… I put fertilizer and observed for a day. There was no improvement, it just died. I searched about papaya trees and I just learnt that these are sensitive plants. It should not be beside any other plants.

When I pulled the tree, I noticed the roots were twisted on the roots of the onions. I think that is the main reason why the papaya tree died.

I also planted tomatoes.. When I saw it becoming a little bigger, I put fertilizer.. Voila! It died. Nah, lesson learnt. I need to plant again.

I also noticed our bougainvillea plants have grown already and I don’t know how to manage it anymore.

There were no flowers anymore. It was just all around growing like an unmanageable hair. Haha.. I again checked what I need to do with these plants. I decided to put those in pots. I think I could manage them well now.

I bought some plants to replace those. It was tiring to pull those bougainvillea. I first dug a little then pull them.

I replaced those with plants that could withstand hot and rainy weathers.

They said these are also good insect repellants.

I did not took photos of the bougainvillea. If I succeeded on taking good care of those, I will show those to you.

PANDEMIC, a Test of Long Distance Relationship

Yesterday, my husband and I celebrated our 12th year wedding anniversary. This is the 2nd time, we celebrated it far from each other. The main reason is… PANDEMIC.

If you’ve been reading my blogs, I mentioned quite a few times that my husband is working in Singapore, while me and my kids are here in the Philippines. It became difficult for my husband to go home because Singapore is very strict to the people who are coming in their country. My husband has to pay a lot for the hotel stay and test. He also needs to have an approval from his company and from the government of Singapore.. It was tough.. very tough. He needs to stay there.

Being away from each other was tougher. This is actually the first time that we were away from each other for this long. People who haven’t experienced this would say that it is really difficult but if you don’t have choice, acceptance is the only solution. We accepted this scenario, this is something that we cannot control.

It has been 1 year and 5 months that we haven’t seen each other in person. I felt blessed because this situation came into our lives when we are already matured and secured in our relationship. I must admit that the notion of a married couple being away from each other is a little scary because relationship could be tested.

This pandemic made us realized how much we love and value each other. There were no days that we don’t speak and there are no hour that we don’t send message to each other. The love that we have for each other, and the faith that we have make us feel secured.

I met quite a few people who were in a long distance relationship but ended up separating because of temptations (maybe) or how their relationship was tested. I thought it is normal to happen for couple who are not together, not until we experienced it. The myth is not true.

Constant communication, honesty and security, for me, are the main keys to survive this long distance relationship. Sometimes, people would say that if you really love your spouse, you would not dive in a forbidden relationship. However, I think it is the commitment to be honest to your spouse is what makes a relationship succeed.

Security

Being secure is not only about your relationship but on the factors that affect your relationship.. What do I mean about this? I believe that my husband is not worrying on how I manage our finances, how I take care of our household, how I discipline our children.. He values me. He is secure that I could handle the responsibilities here in the Philippines. Disappointment is the least that he wants me to feel. This is also what’s in my heart. I value him.. the sacrifices that he is doing to our family, so I would never disappoint him.

We celebrated our wedding anniversary full of hope about what’s next for us. Gratefulness is overflowing in our hearts because in spite of this crisis, blessings come and we are healthy. Home is not a building, it is a feeling of being with the people you love and cherish. We always think of home, though we are far from each other.. We never left home. We are still together.

Our relationship has been tested but we cling to God.. we hold on to His promise that this too shall pass.

Start of Homeschooling

I had a very good sleep last night. For the longest time, I haven’t experienced sleeping at 10 in the evening, it was only last night. Usually when my kids are already sleeping, I get so excited to watch series or do anything that I want. Last night was different, I don’t have much energy to watch the new Korean series that I started.

Homeschooling started last Monday. I was so excited because I will be the one in charge of all the lessons of my children. We did not hire any tutor.

I didn’t know that I was tired because I was enjoying.. especially when I know that my children are learning.

I am waking up a little early to prepare my children’s breakfast. Before, it will only be bread or cereals but nowadays, I am cooking heavy breakfast for them. We, Filipinos, love to eat rice and so it is now part of my children’s breakfast.

In between our lessons, I usually do the chores at home.. Laundry, folding clothes, clean the house.. But I always stick to the schedule that I made for my children.

My 4 year old, learning how to write.
My 11 year old, taking notes of what we are discussing

I can feel that my children are happy that I am the one teaching them. They are very attentive and I can see the bond that we are having. If only I can do this until they finish their school..

I always wanted to teach or mentor someone, an experience that I had when I was still working. The thought that someone is learning from me is very rewarding.

How our Cats remove our stress

Sometimes when we are at home, we tend to think that we have a lot of time to spend with all the tasks in our head. However, the time is so quick, and the day ends up not finishing all the tasks.

With all the things that I have done for the past few days, the main tasks that I wanted to do, gardening and arranging the stock room, are not done. I still prioritize the preparation of my children’s homeschool, everyday responsibilities of cooking, cleaning the house and taking care of my 4-year-old kid.

I know I will be busy for the next months due to my children’s homeschooling. I got some projects in my head that I wanted to do.. We have a new house that I need to do some preparation for rentals.

Nah, may blog sounded like I am complaining.. Haha.. Please don’t get me wrong.. I am enjoying. Part of my enjoyment are my two cats.

Just sleeping & staring

My mom is here with us now. She helps me with other house chores and I am so grateful for that. We used to have cats when we were young but those are somehow stray cats. They did not stay in our house. However, our two cats now stay at home. They have their litter box where the poop and pee. My mom is not use to that.

She was saying that our cats are not doing much for us.. They are always sleeping and staring at us.

I told her that our cats are the reasons why my eldest daughter is not palpitating anymore. We went to the doctor and after couple of visits and laboratory tests, the doctor did not find any fault in her heart nor in her throat. I suspected that it had something to do with the violent games she played in her phone. She learnt from it and she’s not playing that anymore.

The cats are the ones who comforted her. Our cats are so clingy.. They are not sleeping with us but every morning, they are outside our door waiting for my daughter to come out.. for cuddles.

I too experience the warmth of the cats, how they are sent by God to comfort us. Sometimes, when I am tired in the afternoon and lying down, our cats will jump on the bed and cuddle me.

This is Pink.

Makes you feel important

When they need cuddles, they will ask for it. Asking as if they cannot continue the day without your cuddles. Blue, my other cat, usually is with me during breakfast. He is not asking for cuddles but he just knew that I needed someone to be with.

This is Blue.

They know you

When I am upset to my kids, I can see from my cats eyes that they too are scared. They don’t come near to me.. When I am not angry anymore, they will come to me and talk to me. I don’t know how they knew that I needed someone to be with.

They know my daughters, when they are eager to play them, when they can be irritating.

They are not pushy.

These pets are God’s gift to us. They comfort us and give us strength to go on with our day.

How To Survive Lockdown

My daughters’ cousins are now here at home. I fetched them in their homes as my children are very bored now because they are hooked on either TV, computer or phone. I am allowing them because I am very strict when there are classes already.

Our province is under Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ), nothing much changed on the rules before. We’ve been staying at home since last year.. Just going out of the house when badly needed. Nah, can you imagine how we are surviving?

Nevertheless, we are still grateful that we are all healthy here, there are foods on the table and a home to stay in. The best way to survive this quarantine is being grateful.

It has been tough actually.. The progress on the vaccination process is not that fast. Here in the Philippines, some people are scared of being vaccinated. Not sure why some are spreading fake news on social medias about how harmful it is to be vaccinated.. Sadly, people believe on fake news than the real professionals.

My husband is away from us for more than a year also.. If I will just sit down to wait, it will be exhausting. Busyness is the key. I still don’t want to rush the day.. I still want to cherish it. Faith is what keeps me going.. Someday.. yes someday.. My husband will be home. My husband will always tell me to keep on fighting. Enjoy the day and this too shall pass.

Gardening

I have been admitting on my some of my blogs that I am new in this field. I was so happy to be able to grow roses and rare plants (which I don’t know the names).. Haha.. I have a small vegetable garden too. I didn’t know that gardening is somehow complicated as I need to know the needs of each plant. In the past few days, I have been noticing my papaya tree dying. Today, I think I lost it already.

I searched why it died and apparently papaya trees are somehow choosy on what plant would be beside them. And as you could see in the photo, it is beside onion plants. When I pulled the papaya tree, one of its roots was coiled by the onion roots. One lesson that I learned today.. Good thing, I still have two more papaya trees.

I bought some plants also to replace the ones in the front of our house. I will let you see that on my next blogs. This will make me busy in the coming days.

Home Improvement

We are relatively new in this house and so there are lots of things to improve. My next project would be my eldest daughter’s room. We will have our lessons there and I want my daughter to feel comfortable in her room. She is still sleeping with my and my youngest daughter.

I got a lot of projects here at home already. It kept me occupied for months. It was fulfilling.

Home Schooling

The lessons of my daughter will be starting next week. I am quite excited on this venture because, we will not be hiring a teacher for her. Last school year, I was the one who taught Math, PE, Music, Religion and IT, the rest was taught by a teacher. This time, I will dedicate my time teaching my daughter.

I am planning to be strict with my schedule. I should admit last year was a little laid back. I mean this is on myself. I need to start focusing on waking up early and fixing my mind on my children’s homeschooling.

Quality Time with Kids

Sometimes when I am telling my husband about my frustrations, he will just tell me to look at my daughters. Yeah.. I have been busy trying to occupy myself but I am not really having quality time with my kids. Since we have a little patio at home, I always asked my daughters to join me during my afternoon tea time. We usually talk, share insights, crack jokes..

At night, if I am not that tired, we watch movie or again talk about what happened during the day.

Cooking

I love to cook.. I always make it a point that my kids could eat delicious and healthy dishes… Delicious? (Not sure about this, but that’s what my kids usually say). I spend time cooking. I am not into frying or preparing simple dishes. I make time to cook. Sometimes, my mom would laugh at me because of how I am preparing our meal. It is as though we will be having an important visitor.

I want my kids to remember our home where they can eat delicious meal. I want them to really say that there is no place like home.

Blogging

Writing gives me joy.. The thought of me, expressing myself to someone, makes me happy. Sometimes, when I am feeling down, I will turn on my laptop and start writing.

I got some followers now. I am hoping they are genuinely reading my blogs. I wanted to share to others how we are living here in this part of the world. I am also curious about other countries, maybe they also want to know about ours.

Sometimes, moms like me have the same experiences and predicaments. Being able to share my thoughts and learnings is rewarding.

Devotion and Meditation

Every morning is a meditation and devotion time for me. I am doing this before I go out of our room. This keeps me going. Starting the day right by feeding my soul with the right words from God. I got a lot of questions to Him, though I still cannot find the answers, God still comforts me. He will just whisper and say, “don’t worry child, I am always beside you”.

I also have some reminders of the things that I needed to do. Apart from the chores I have at home, I still have some errands.

Other parts of the world are now enjoying the new normal. They can freely go to other places and explore. However, here in the Philippines, improvement is slow-moving. Not sure when we could see some development. But even it is slow progress, at least it is progressing. (wink!)

How this Pandemic affects me

These past few days have been tormenting for me.. For some reasons it is only now that I am very much affected by this Covid-19. A lot of news about people who died because of Covid. But last week was different, I know the people who died. Some were parents of my ex colleague at work, the father died then after few days the mother was next. Professor from college also died, then eventually her brother.

When there was lockdown last year, I was also affected but it was not that hard because for the first time in my life, I could say that last year’s lockdown was when I really rested. I rested my mind. It was really stress-free. My children are with me.. We were alone in a house. I figured out that time, how I could buy groceries. We did want we want to do. We were enjoying. No one was calling me for anything..

I was bombarded with thoughts of what I wanted for my life. I know I should not worry but the reality bit me. This is the time when I should prioritize my health, not just physically but mentally. I always wanted to escape on the reality of the situation here in the Philippines. However, we do not have choice. With that, I need to always choose peace. What are the decisions that will give me peace..

For the longest time, I was always making decisions based on what my family wanted. This time, my husband and I decided to make decisions based on what is good for the four of us. We are still praying for what God wanted for us.. However, we still stick on deciding based on what could give us peace.

Life is very short.. Life should be lived righteously.

Homeschooling a 4 Year Old

After numerous thoughts on whether I will enroll my youngest daughter (4 years old) to a traditional school (but will be online) or homeschool. I finally made up my mind to do homeschooling. The tuition and miscellaneous fees that the schools asked me where not really acceptable on my part because even if it is a traditional schooling, it is still online, therefore I will still be hands on.

Let’s see if I could sustain this excitement that I have. I did quite a handful of preparation because my youngest is quite challenging in terms of her enthusiasm on studying. I bought a couple of books and writing materials. I did some research and watched some tips on how to handle pre-school homeschooling. I read some blogs too. The first hand experiences of bloggers are very helpful.

Last year we experienced how it is to be schooled through online, however, it was really not effective. My daughter is still playful, hence, needs some disciplining. There were four in the class and the lesson must be finished within the day. And so, there were days when my daughter did not really learn. Oftentimes, she was being coached because the lesson should be finished.

So today, we accomplished a milestone. I somehow knew how to handle the homeschooling of my daughter. For the past days, I was trying to see what is effective for her. She is not really into sitting down, teacher teaching and she will just be listening. What I did today was for her to discuss the lesson.

I placed the letter cards on the ground and asked her to bring me the letter that I asked her. It was effective. Surprisingly, there were few mistakes.

I was also able to let her write the letter A by herself. She did a lot. Since I was studying, I am a firm believer that in order for us to remember things in school, we need to use most of our senses. Sense of sight (reading), sense of touch (writing) and sense of ear (music or discussing).

I have a schedule of what we need to accomplish within this year. Hopefully is she will be in a regular school, by God’s grace, it will not be difficult for her.

I got another challenge of homeschooling my eldest daughter (11 years old). I opted not to hire a teacher, I would want to really focus on teaching her as she will be in highschool next school year.

Thinking, Praying Before Speaking

The sun is shining so brightly! Praise God! Weather is not hot but the sun is smiling at us. The week has ended with good weather, lot of things were accomplished.

Sunday is a laid back day. A lot of contemplation and devotion today.

If you know this app called Holy Bible, icon is brown and available in Apple Store and Google.

I have been reading verses in this app for years already, not sure if 6, 7 years or more.. The verse of the day is being forwarded to my family and husband. Been doing this consistently even if I don’t feel okay. This app is so good that there are lots of devotional plans, 5 day plans and stories. This is God’s gift to us. The devotions that I am reading often are so timely, as if God is really speaking to me.

Today I am reminded by God to think first before I speak. Though this has been my practice for a long time already, I am becoming careful on the things that I should say. I am known for being straight forward, but this time I do it properly. Properly means in a calm voice, in a manner when I know that the person could understand.

The devotional message that God wanted me to learn is for me to listen to God first before I speak. There is a difference between saying calmly and straight forward and listening to God first then say what He asked you to say. I think this is a very good reminder to me. Sometimes, I often think that I can say anything to anybody as long as it is calm but asking God for guidance first is different. It is not mandatory to answer everything in an instant, we could say that we need to reflect about it and speak when God has guided us already.

Anyways, I did some project also because the sun is smiling. I decided to make a cover of our washing machine. I really don’t have much experience on sewing, in fact I haven’t tried a sewing machine.. Haha. So I did it the old way, hand stitching.

Please say, “not bad for a first timer”.. Haha..

Our washing machine is located outside, though there is roof there but it can also be wet when there is typhoon.

Please don’t ask me why I suddenly popped the washing machine cover.. Haha.. I am just proud that I did that. I never thought I could have a chance to sew. Part of staying at home.