Personal

2019 | July

July is the month of heartbreaks and miracles.

Just looking at my Mood Tracker you’ll know I went through series of ups and downs the whole month.

Though we have the means to spend on our daily expenses because of Aljhon’s business, we started to feel the effect of my work hiatus on our savings.

Nastress kami eh! ๐Ÿฅด

Especially that I was finally able to enroll in Graduate School for MA Counseling program. I actually preferred to enroll in UP, but I decided to prioritize the “quicker” route to obtaining MA degree and RGC license, rather than pursuing my dream school.. Sa ngayon, tiis lang muna kasi may hinahabol akong deadline. Pero wait ka lang Sablay, makukuha din kita.. ๐Ÿ˜Š

Home every weekends for the next 2 years ๐Ÿ˜Œ

This month, Aljhon and I had more “fights” than usual (which is actually zero ๐Ÿ˜‹ ) over varied concerns- household chores, financial obligations, and individual differences. I cried ๐Ÿ˜ and I think he did, too. But the miracle here was Aljhon was able to understand what I’m going through, and I’ve seen great improvements on his attitude (especially towards keeping our house clean hahah ๐Ÿ˜… ).

CFC Wellness Program

In terms of service, we persevered in continuing our mission to train our YFC ROCK and to form our KFC, despite low attendance in our members. Sabi nga ni Tito Art, dibale nang konti, basta ang puso nandun.

Ella is still the biggest miracle in my life now. After turning two, I observed rapid development in terms of her speech and social skills. She can now tell short stories of what she did outside with Loloy or if Daddy pinched her again. She plays very well with other children and now she doesn’t want to go home whenever we’re at Loddy’s house because Ate Heart is there. She embraces me more and I’m loving every second and minute of this precious period of time when she’s a baby and child at the same time.

But the biggest heartbreak and miracle is with my “job searching” story this month. Of course I needed to apply, and after some confusion and as to my decision to pursue the Counseling career, I ended up still doing it, because I knew deep down that despite giving me stress and heartaches, that’s what I was made for. It wasn’t easy but I was shortlisted to 3 schools- 1 specialized college and 2 universities. God directed me to the one nearest our house (2 tricycle rides away! My golly) and I felt at home. He has not really forgotten His promise, and I am in awe and eternally grateful.

Work

Being the school’s Best Office Employee: winning a losing battle

I have always wanted to work in a school. Perhaps because I look up to my Mom and she works in a University so I would like to do the same. But it is really a dream that I grow old looking and feeling youthful because I am serving the young people.

But this dream just happened four years after graduation. I was not so idealistic anymore, knowing the truths and realities of adulthood from the corporate world. I was even ready to settle into married life back then. But finally working with the youth opened a new chapter of my life. I started to dream again- having a Guidance Office that suits me, planning on seminars, activities, and events that benefit my students, going back to school to earn MA, and becoming a licensed Guidance Counselor. I began to see work not just as a job, but my mission. I finally understood what vocation is all about.

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Best Office Staff for S.Y. 2017-2018

Getting this award is just an icing on the cake. I would’ve wanted this not because of anything, but for the reason that I want to become the best in my service for my students. I even feel that I don’t deserve this award (I have attendance issues-hahah, I even started and ended the school year inside the hospital). I wanted the recognition to be given to my co-Non Teaching Staff, because I know deep down that the previous school year was too rough for me. I had difficulty accomplishing my backlogs when I returned from my maternity leave. I got exhausted by all the dramas in and outside the school. I always felt tired. I had already applied with another school and was ready to resign.

But God has another plan for me. Twice He has already shown me that my story with Blessed Sacrament Catholic School is not yet over. I still have a role to fulfill and a mission to finish. And though I may feel insignificant at times and that my efforts are small, or that fatigue may make me weary, I realize that I should not give up because no one else will do MY job better than me.

Work

Summer learnings (as of May 2018)

Team CGS attended the CEAP seminar for non-licensed Guidance Counselors on May 8-9, 2018 at UST. It was a fruitful 2-day learning opportunity as UST Guidance Counselors gave insightful talk about Prevention Programming, Counseling theories applicable to school setting, Suicide Prevention, and Building Resilience.

I am glad that I was finally reunited with my co-GCs after a month-long absence from work. Plus, I was able to meet the two new members of the family (Ms. Jane & Ms. CJ).

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But the highlight of this seminar is that I learned new techniques as well as concrete action plan that I am positive and excited to carry out in my own school. Naeexcite tuloy ako sa parating na school year! I am also grateful (and proud) as I see my former Guidance Counselors (Ma’am Chatt & Ma’am Leni) taught and inspired all of us, participants. And I hope that they also feel the same way when they had seen me traverse the similar path they have taken. I surely look up to them as my model GCs and inspiration, even when I was still a Psychology student. I am also thankful for GC communities like CEAP (in partnership with UST) that they provide avenues which even non-licensed GCs can really learn from. One of the things I learn from this seminar is that Guidance and Counseling is really a lot of hard work, but I, as the Guidance Counselor, have the capacity and heart to do much more.

P. S. I had also attended a seminar on Promoting Mental Health through the Development and Implementation of Responsive Guidance Program at University of the East- Caloocan last Friday with Ma’am Archie.

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Though the workshop wasn’t very engaging, I enjoyed the food (haha) and learned the basics of Mental Health Act of 2018, so the day was still productive. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Married life · Motherhood

Of life and reminiscing last weekend

#GorioPH decided to finally let the sun shine last Saturday so Aljhon and I took the chance to take Ella to her first out-of-bahay experience.

Aside kasi from attending Sunday mass in the neighborhood chapel and her first checkup in UST, this is our first pasyal as a family. I am somewhat hesitant to take baby Ella out for fear of her getting infection, and I am also not really looking forward to nurse in public. But I am also getting itchy to go out myself and eat out again. So we went to the mall, bought a carrier for Ella and had an early dinner. Happy mommy na ako!ย 

Though parang hindi masyadong happy ang aming Baby๐Ÿ˜› Hahahah!ย 

I was very thankful for Ella was behaved while we ate inside the restaurant. She had been irritable and colicky the past few days (huhuh) so I was afraid that she might throw a crying fit while in the mall, but she just quietly observed her new surroundings when she woke up then breastfeed calmly back to sleep. Again, I am still no expert on this, but I just would like to share my learnings on how we had a no-fuss outing with a two-month baby:

  • I planned ahead. Being an OC that I am, I made sure I knew where we’re headed, what are the activities we’re going to do, where we’ll eat exactly, and approximately what time we can get home. While this is no-brainer, I just think that being this “organized” to schedule can make a big difference on what things to bring and more importantly, what you can expect from your gala. By planning ahead, I also have a heads up on when will my baby need to feed. And that leads to my second learning-
  • I fed the baby right before heading out of the house. I think this vital measure made our plan of having a peaceful pasyal possible and saved us from a hungry, crying little one. Because she feeds every 1-2 hours, I only nursed her once when we went out. And this helped me to achieve learning #3-
  • I relaxed and just paid attention to the three of us. Well, I am an introvert and I have this bad habit of overthinking what others may say or think about what I am doing (the Spotlight effect) – thus, what concerned and freaked me out the most is breastfeeding in public. But actually, I learned that when your baby is right there wide-eyed looking at you, expecting to be nursed, there’s no more introversion, spotlight effect, or any shame at all. Everything just takes a back seat. And though I honestly felt awkward at first, my baby and her needs are always the topmost priority. And that makes me brave and proud to breastfeed my child even in public.

In addition, I was able to return to some activities I had forgone when I entered the last trimester of my pregnancy with Ella. ย Aljhon and I attended the Sunday mass at POLP (we didn’t bring Ella because it was raining) and I rode the motorcycle on the way home. I missed riding, going to POLP, and most especially having some solo time with the hubby. I am not complaining, but taking care of Ella requires a lot- if not all- of time, and though we may not admit it, our life nowadays totally just revolve around her.

Doing all those things again (and writing this blog post) makes me think of how I also miss my life before Ella. But of course I wouldn’t trade my life now for anything in the world. I already had a fair share of the single life, and what I have now with Aljhon and Ella is everything I wanted and all I ask for.

Motherhood

A Month to Remember

Ella turned 1 month old yesterday.

Being a newbie Mom that I am, the past first month was crucial, terrifying, and memorable, not just for me but for the whole family. While Aljhon and I were both in tip toes to keep this tiny human being breathing and satisfied, I know both our families (especially the Lolos and Lolas) were also in the lookout to keep us sane and surviving, without putting too much pressure and intrusion. I know I couldn’t have survived it without their help and reminders.

And praise God for our sweetie pie has always been a healthy and happy baby. I am a proud Mama to share her milestones (and some unsolicited tips for any new Moms who might be reading this) for this first month:

  • Feeding. Ella is breastfed since day 1. But my “hakab” story doesn’t have a sweet beginning. On my little one’s first 2 days, she was not a big eater. She preferred sleep than latching onto me, so I think that contributed to my very limited breastmilk supply. When we brought her home on her third day, she had a fever due to infant dehydration. That was my very first cry as a mother. I felt terrible and had even asked Aljhon to buy her formula milk. Thank God the Hubby had more sense than I, and together with my parents, they just fed me with leafy veggies the whole day and urged me to continously express any little amount of milk I had. The succeeding days, ย I was already a leaking faucet, and baby Ella has also become magana to breastfeed. Up to this writing, I am nursing her on demand, every 1-2 hours. Tip: I seriously don’t have any except don’t give up, eat any green vegetables you have, and just #freethebreast because your milk is the one and only thing your little one needs for her complete nourishment.
  • Sleeping. Ella does get her parents’ eternal love for sleeping, so I didn’t have difficulty putting her to sleep. BUT, just like any other babies, she had irregular sleeping patterns. Add to the fact that she must feed every 2 hours, so I was sleep-deprived back then. Thanks to my parents’ helpful tips and my own internet “research”, I was able to build effective sleeping routine for Ella. We could now sleep through the night with just minimal disruption and less hele and sayaw. She wakes up happy and I regain my strength. Tip: Be your baby’s expert first. Get to know her so you could implement routines that work for her. In our case, I noticed that if my baby didn’t have enough naps during daytime, she had difficulty staying asleep at night. We avoid overstimulating her, and by 6-7pm, I am already changing her clothes. By 8-9pm, we would dim the lights, sometimes do some massage, and turn some white noise or music on. Ella is not particularly fond of white noises, but there’s this 4-hr audio in youtube that is effective in putting her to sleep. Lastly, if everything else fails, turn off all the lights. We would co-sleep with her (because she prefers hugs over swaddling) ย and yes, she could just fall asleep on her own when it’s in complete darkness.
  • Cleaning up. Cloth diapering her is one of the wisest decisions we ever did as parents, says my kuripot husband. Hahah! But yes, the truth is cloth diapers are way more economical and environment-friendly than disposable diapers. Yes, upfront each diaper costs 150-300pesos and you will also have to spend for the laundry, but in the long run, having washable diapers is very thrifty. Bonus perk is your little one will have adorable bum with cute designs and prints. Tip: Get your husband to be responsible for the cleaning up task. Guys don’t really have any clue as how to help you with the baby, but he should also have some daily QT with her. Mine’s enjoying his role in taking care of the wet diapers and washing them.
  • Playtime. Even in the womb, our little princess is no stranger to music, thus it’s not unexpected for her to easily be captivated with songs and different rhythms. She can be kept quiet and occupied just by listening to songs we sing or play for her. In stimulating her other senses, we always keep it a point to talk to her as we do our daily activities like changing diapers and bathing. We still don’t have mobile toys for her, but I’m planning to DIY a simple one.

Ella turning a month old also means I’ve been a Mama for a month now. When I gave birth to her she has also blessed my life for making me a mother. Donning on the Mom cape made me see a different kind of love I never knew I am capable of. When I was pregnant with Ella, I experienced a lot of pain and discomfort especially during the last trimester. In childbirth, the pain was both terrifying and sacred for me. But all the sacrifices (not just the physical pain) didn’t end there. For a month now, I am sleep-deprived, have sore nipples, and is continously losing weight (hmmm, sige na nga, hindi ito discomfort, hahah). But all these do not contend with the love I always feel whenever I see Ella. Every day I am falling in love with all the things I discover about her. Yes, there are bad days and (mostly) nights; when she is cranky and always-hungry and hard to understand, but just a smile from her instantly wipes all my frustrations and distress. There were a lot of times that I question my capabilities to be a good mother to this sweet little baby, but I just pray and trust God that He is in control of what I am doing. And knowing this, plus having Aljhon and my family (especially my Mama) help me and make any pain more bearable, lets me stay hopeful and happy with this new role I am to fulfill. For I don’t intend to just experience motherhood for a month. This journey with my Baby Ella has only just begun.

Musings

Starting all over again

Hi! My name’s Josine.

I started this blog three years ago to detail my boring life as a professional yaya in a Child Care facility that pioneered child care inside a BPO company. I was only 23, idealistic, insightful, and hopeful. I was at the peak of my “young (pre) adulthood”- aside from work, I was deeply immersed in serving our Parish as well as thru several outreach programs, and I was in a steady, committed relationship. My life back then had its own drama, but my responsibilities and life perspective were much simpler.

Now, I’m already 26. No longer single, a newbie Momma of a beautiful princess as well. I am working now as a School Guidance Counselor, with 3 completed units in Grad School. I am no longer active in our Choir, but I have already cross-over CFC with the hubby. By society’s standards, I am not getting any younger anymore. There are times even that it’s with the Parentals that I can already identify myself with. Life still has its drama, and the responsibilities are no more simple than being accountable with another human being (wala, wala talagang pressure.๐Ÿ˜›).
And on this point in my life (just because I still have some time to spare in my maternity leave i. e. from 12-3am when the little Babe’s wide awake and playing), ย I would like to revive this blog to once again chronicle the little things that make my life great and awesome. Especially now that I’m a new mom, I have ton of thoughts to share, while also keeping my sanity intact through writing. Fingers are crossed for me to keep this blog alive. ๐Ÿ˜Š