Jul 31, 2009

All things are temporary...especially my job!

Though I was unable to share the past events on how we decided it was best for me to be a stay-at-home mom, those who were close to me knew why I was doing it. It wasn't easy and I wasn't fully supported even by my close friends and relatives. They felt it was such a waste that a straight-A student like me, almost completed her masters, who is very driven and ambitious would simply give up her career (to think they didn't know at that time that I was being offered an Asst. Manager position). We were so decided that even the begging of my boss (who not only had lenghty discussions with me but also sat down with my husband to make me stay even a few months longer) made me even extend my notice. What was hard to explain was since I had Iaree all our priorities shifted to her and what would be best for her. I felt that doing it for her I was doing it for myself too. It came to a point that this was not a matter of multitasking anymore (which I used to pride myself of doing).

It was a tough start, my mom went back at that time and financially it was such a bad timing for my side of the family. My father who was in the Phils for the Christmas break went back to work to find out his company shut down. We were all unemployed, me, my father, my mother & my prodigal brother who after 6 years is still in college and not even close to finishing it. This was followed by a series of unfortunate events which included my sister-in-law's retrenchment (she along with my husband supports their family) and the decision of my husband's client to drop him as their IT Consultant. Adjustment to the new role also took a few weeks for me. Iaree was more clingy and pampered by me when it's nap time. I carry her while asleep and if she sleeps 11AM I would surely miss my lunch. Motherhood it seems was more than a 12 hour job.

Eventually though mama found some temporary jobs and at least they have some sort of income. My sister in law manage to land a job too after almost a two month search.Although my brother who we asked to look for job too doesn't seem to understand the weight of our situation. I also got a hang of things at home and was actually enjoying it - finally! Ryan was very helpful around the house. Even after a long day from work he would help me clean up in the kitchen or take care of Iaree and let me do things. I knew I was doing ok when I manage to prepare regular meals, do a little housekeeping and still have time to play with Iaree. It was fun! And it was so amazing to see Iaree learn so many stuffs, I really got to watch her bloom. I was also enjoying taking naps with Iaree, a luxury working people cannot afford. If I am not sleeping I watch 2-3 episodes of my DVD series collection that I had to put off when I used to work. I completed Sex in the City and was halfway through Ally Mc Beal with Heroes, Brother's & Sister's and other movies on the side. Plus all Dan Brown books and more. I was having a blast for what most people warned me might be a boring role.

A few months later an opportunity came to me. In the midst of retrenchment, pay-cut, no salary increments and difficulties of getting a job, a Filipino acquaintance who got relocated in Malaysia offered me a job straight away with a good salary and a chance to upgrade our lifestyle as this would require us to relocate to a better place just a few minutes away from the convenience of hypermarts & malls.

As the decision to stop working was made over a long period of time it was not an easy feat for us to decide on going back. Arguments, serious deliberation, happy anticipation, fear enumeration all the usual fuss we tried to squeeze in a short span of time as the company didn't give me that long to decide to accept it or not. When we finally agreed to give it a shot against our previous conviction that it was best for me to stay at home for the time being and even if that time mama found a more permanent job & papa set up a small home business. It took like forever for them to process my employment permit but I was finally back to work after 6 mos of role change. It was so heartbreaking to part from my darling girl and after almost a month I'm still not over it. It was just a consolation though that this company is not as demanding and I am only 5-10 mins away from home. So I still get to play with Iaree in the playground or take her out to swim. Plus I cook dinner and even clean our room. Again we needed mama to help us out with Iaree coz they we such in a hurry before that we didn't have the time to process or even look for a yaya. (Nobody really expected the hitches in the work permit). It's all well isn't it? Brand new home in a place we so so love!!!Very very convenient to my workplace and though it's farther for Ryan, his petrol is cheaper because he passes via highway that is not too inclined as compared to where we previously live (read: full tank now lasts 10-14 days as compared to 5-7 days before).

It was a perfect picture...ONLY FOR A WEEK because the next week after I started work I was told that my post had to be dissolve due to wrong calculation on the load of work hence my team's headcount was exceeded. Ang saya di ba?! Literal na di pa umiinit ang pwet ko sa upuan ko. I was so mad and frustrated to a point gusto ko sapakin ung taong nagbigay sa akin ng work. Hehe good thing he was a nice person and he already had an alternative. He was offering me a non-recruitment job in my previous work location (which I totally hated and take note the location was one major factor in my decision to quit). Great right?!

We resorted again to deliberation time, well it wasn't much of a deliberation because as Ryan puts it - you are getting janitorial job with a supervisory pay, I'd just have to endure that long travel again. I have to set aside any career progression with this type of job. If we didn't spend for our house transfer, mama's visa & flight tickets we would consider me quitting instead. But I wasn't really left in the dark right and I came to realize that sometimes God has plans we don't understand at the moment. SLOWLY (yes slowly as the operative word here as I kept on lamenting about this to everybody when I was so so down) I saw the advantage of this unexpected and unwelcomed change. I may work far and travel long hours again but at least my work will not be as demanding. They even hinted that once I get the hang of my new role I can ask permission to work on our branch near our condo (where I am at the moment) or even work from home. With Iaree as my priority that could actually work. Let's see. It's just a year of contract anyway and despite what they say not counting eggs before they hatch we actually have. So a little sacrifice from me could do our family good. Anyway I have a very supportive husband, adorable daughter & helpful mother so I know I can pull this off.

Jul 6, 2009

The 2nd birthday Celebration in Pinas

It's not wise for us to go home as often as before so we wanted to make this trip a memorable one.

We made a last minute decision to throw a quick & simple Jollibee party for Iaree even if we decided against it in the first place (back in Feb when we bought our plane tickets) being considerate of the economic crisis that struck both our families directly. All along it was supposed to be a simple dinner with both of our families and that's it. When we were listing our menu and guest we realized that the expenses is so close to our original Jollibee party budget so a month before we left we reverted to our first plan of Jollibee party. We also thank God for the blessings we have received and we foresee that our families will be stable again soon so a party will not be so inappropriate after all.

Since it was a last minute thing, all the Jollibee's near Makati was either booked or the timing was off (it was Iaree's sleeping time) and although Iaree had no idea who Jollibee is, the food there is something we look forward to since McDonald's and other fastfoods are available here in Malaysia. Meanwhile, in Pampanga we learned from my sis-in-law's that since McDonald's in their town closed they only allowed party in Jollibee every weekends and only during Iaree's sleeping time. Yes, we wanted to give Iaree 2 Jollibee parties (at my hometown - Makati & at Ryan's - Guagua) .. Hehehe we're not addicts nor fans of Jollibee but as I've said it was the easiest fastest and economical choice for a children's party.

End product - a simple close family "grilled all-Filipino dishes" at Pampanga and a Jollibee party in Ortigas Roosevelt. The result? We had a blast and most importantly Iaree really really had a great time.

In Pampanga: After she warmed up with her cousins she had a great time playing with them. Not to mention it was the first time she saw a live chicken so even with the chicken she was so ecstatic. She was screaming, running and forgetting mommy & daddy. She bonded well with her cousins and enjoyed herself very much that Ryan and I was so happy despite not being able to throw a Jollibee or a grander party than that.

In Manila: She bonded well with Jollibee. Her first orientation of Jollibee was through pictures I downloaded and when she saw Jollibee on the first day we arrived she was shouting and pointing at a Jollibee restaurant. Saying "Jaalbeee Jaalbee! Hi Jalbee!Hiiii!" Ryan and I was so surprised. Even when we went shopping at Glorietta and ate at the food court she kept on waving at Jollibee saying hi and goodbye to Jollibee. Okay close sila sabi namin.Hahaha.And at least during her party Jollibee will not be something foreign to her meaning she wont be that scared. Leaving us with our worry that she will shy away from our guest who most of them she have not met and that she has limited food option since she doesn't eat spaghetti.

Come party time, all our worries vanished. She ate the spaghetti, chicken & ice cream (of course) plus after the party she requested for french fries. Best of all, she did not shy away from people that much and she even joined on one of the games. With our encouragement she kisses people and if they are lucky they can carry her. She looooovvvvvvveeeeeed Jollibee (of course with my instructions that Jollibee shouldn't move too much - knowing how Iaree is with dogs, she loves touching them but when they start moving she runs back to us, several times tuloy parang na-stroke na si Jollibee for not moving when Iaree is near-hahahaha). Ryan and I found ourselves enjoying a lot too. No erase that...my entire family enjoyed the party and seeing Iaree that happy Ryan & I was so so elated. We both wonder if elated is a word enough to describe what we felt that day. To sum it up it was simply a huge success. Reasonable expenses, a little career mode for me coz I personalized the loot bag with my imaginary theme (ABC's) and I labored over photoshop for her e-invites; 95% guests turn out (as usual si Remelu & family indianera and si Leira daw na nalimutan ang date hmmm); nice party pictures - no hired photographer needed (thanks to my cousin Tats, but friends who had digicam that day please send me din your shots) and acceptable video coverage (non shaky video) courtesy of my brother (thanks din kapatid!).

High pa din kaming lahat ngayon even if house quarantine mode kami. As expected Jollibee's dance number is on the loop of our video since we arrived last night. Ryan even said a while ago come on let's plan Iaree's 3rd birthday in Jollibee again. Hahahaha! This time we're undeniably a certified fan.