Oct 19, 2016

Bring on the Halloween 2016 fuss!

Like in every holidays, occasions, etc this year it's all FIRST for us.

So Ryan wasn't keen about Halloween - CANDIES, EXPENSE ON THE COSTUMES & COLD WEATHER. He can't comprehend the safety of the weather and the possible tons of candies not good for their teeth after. Thanks to Ate Elsie he got convinced and allowed us to shop for costumes last weekend.

Liezl was very determined with her scary witch costume so we just both a witch hat on top of a headband with spiders all around ($2), matching green gloves with spider print on top ($1.50) & table runner with spider webs - for her cape, kelangan daw kse ng web na tirahan ng spiders nya ($2). For Iaree she wanted to be a pirate...then we thought how about a bat and she loved the idea. We found a headband with black ears ($2) and we went searching for a good wings material.

After 4 shops we found a magician's cape in Dollar Tree which I can trim the bottom and will be perfect and I went shopping for makeup since they want to be "scary".

Yesterday we received a note from Liezl's school that they are not allowed to be so scary as it might frighten some of the kids so Liezl was asking daddy if they can shop for a different costume. LOL.Apparently whatever day it falls (this year its on a Monday) that's the day people celebrate it. So they will be in school and we have to be up early for me to put on their make-up. Iaree wants fake blood so I need to make a trip to the grocery so I can DIY some.

As I kept watching youtube videos on how to make halloween make-up I was getting scared myself. LOL. I obviously need to bring my A game here and shop for candies to share in their day-care & school.

Aug 16, 2016

The Kindness of Strangers

I should really get an umbrella.
This isn't the first time that I got wet in the rain here in Manitoba but yesterday was pouring. God is so good that it POURED after I was already in the bus. The rainfall was imminent as I waited for the bus and the dark clouds was fast approaching. I started feeling strong winds too and the drizzle while I prayed please let this be my bus please let this be my bus...and it was! About 5 minutes later it poured.

I looked at the clock inside the bus and thought I am already running late picking up the girls. Despite the fact that the bus driver drive like it was a mini-van he was driving and creating 7-8 feet high splashes of water on the side walk. I texted our sitter and told her I was running late and I will arrive wet. LOL. I didn't get a chance to read her response and she did call me as I was getting off the bus. When I reached her place the kids were wearing big hooded sweaters (not theirs, coz in the morning I decided to remove their sweaters due to the hot hot weather over the weekend). I told them lets make a run for the bus on the other side so we didn't have to wait for it from where I got off as there was no shade. We did run for it but in the mid of our run we saw the bus pass by. LOL.

I thought of taking shelter at the sitter until it's closer to the time the bus is back but she said no. I am taking you girls home. If its not for the girls I would've said no. In the car she told me how when she was a single mom taking home her kids at the harshest of winter she would silently hope that some car would stop by and offer them a ride. How she knows how hard it was taking the bus with weather challenges and wouldn't mind driving us home.

I have been contemplating on this for a while now how we easily look the other way when we see who are in need. We do not know how big of an impact it has on their life. An ounce of kindness = sliver of hope.

Jul 22, 2016

Life after my global company

I've been contemplating a lot if I have a problem letting go, moving on and just be in the present.
If I go with my unfiltered thought, I won't be judged for being ungrateful for what I have now -- that is a good job in my line of work. My unfiltered thoughts will also share why oh why do I have to sit in the office for 8 hours not having the satisfaction of your work contributions making a difference, being micro-managed and each stepped questioned or criticized, mostly not existing to most employees? I wonder if what I am feeling is really uncalled for.

Before migrating here there's the term "survival job" that we were told about. Those are the jobs like flipping burgers, working in groceries to make ends meet until you have gained enough "Canadian experience" to show employers. Well we didn't certainly go that route (and by the way that route is not bad either as there's dignity of labor here and those jobs do pay well). While I may not be flipping burgers or loading merchandise in the aisles of the grocery stores I still feel what I do is a survival job. I hang on to it the best that I can as it is needed by my family then >>complain A LOT in my blog...miss my ex-colleagues, ex-company and ex-role miserably. LOL.

Here's a list of what I have gained and what I am missing:

1. Freedom after working hours! Woohooo...ohhh I worked and worked and even lose sleep working at my previous work. While I say I was tired before I never complained hating it. I do love the fact that since I have no helper in the kitchen not having the work burden after I leave the office.
2. Intellectual and creative avenue for my over-active brain. I love churning ideas. I love talking about it. I love listening to people who give a different perspective that it makes you reconsider yours or let you learn something. I love that in my previous job failure is welcomed in a fashion that you are trying, you are in the right direction or not and that you have room for improvement. That is mainly because the expectations are clear.
3. My awesome ex bosses! You know I didn't necessarily have that instant click with my bosses at first. However it only takes a few weeks of getting to know each other. Plenty of delegation and empowerment. Accepted failure that we grow to work GREAT together. I can definitely say it takes a good leader give that experience. That's what they were. They were clear about their expectations and they take time to get to know me, how I think and work and I was like that to them. They certainly earned my respect, trust and drive to accomplish beyond their expectations. It was mutual and I miss it...terribly.
4. I did gain a lot of time to do personal stuff. That's how light my work is which also scares me as I might not be as relevant to the company. Unlike when I left my previous company...oh how I had the need to put things in order a lot just to ensure they can go on without me. Yes they can just that I felt responsible if I did't hand it over properly however at that point my team is empowered and tasks are delegated well that they can self-manage.
5. The money!I know my husband would disagree but I just don't feel any guilt buying something worth $2-3 once in a while not to mention my starbucks spending last time. While I can live without that Starbucks Caramel Macchiato ('sniff) I just miss being comfortable to spend once in a while and that came in with my manager paycheck before plus extra bonuses for being awesome at what I do.
6. My leaves - sick & vacation. Ugh I was so dizzy with vertigo that my BP rose up and our nurse sent me home. I wanted to rest the next day but I can't afford that as I do not have sick leave. So I dragged my dizzy ass to work. Last time too if my work in the office is something I can manage from home I work from home. Missing that a lot.

I really do enjoy the freedom to be with the kids and take care of my family that this job gives. I just can't help but give in to my emotions and feel all these chaos of sadness that grips my heart and blog about it so I don't carry it around and I can fake a smile.

Jul 14, 2016

Talk it over

After several rushing about to settle in the new work, find the right car, move-out of our sponsor's house to move-in to our apartment, buy the things we needed fix and and get on with our lives. It was easy to fall into the cracks of annoyance, irritation and most of all frustration. I believe that reaction was the only appropriate one. However when the dust (kinda) settled and dear hubby got more sleep and the daily pace was way slower then we had a chance to trash out how we both feel.

It felt good after. Honest to goodness talking. No blaming or shaming just this is how I feel, felt or thought. The more open you are to each other helps A LOT. Life is still not fine & dandy. There are still a lot to criticize about like one that really irritated me is the walk-in clinic didn't accept walk-in as early as 2:30pm and they close at 6pm. Since Ate's fever doesn't want to subside we had to take her again the following day this time after my work at past 4pm and we were the last patient to be seen at 6pm. Turns out the doctor was alone the other day and that he was already taking 100+ patients that day and it was too much. He went on to explain that if its kids and they do need the attention he will consider just tell the receptionist. I guess in this adjustment phase we have to be more tolerant than usual to the different things/process/way of life. This is our life now so we have to make the most out of it. I am grateful to have a partner who through all life's bumps in the road that we come unfettered and we always come back to each others loving and understanding arms. That's saying a lot because if you are so pissed off with each other it's hard to remember that. :)

Jul 6, 2016

Yep! Still a rollercoaster

If I were to be mentally diagnosed right now I am manic-depressive for sure. I was so happy last Monday despite the crazy busy weekend I was surely uplifted with the move to the apartment & the celebration of the kids birthday but obviously the dust haven't settled and bursting my bubble today is when I found out that schools are closed. The problem is we want to move them to a school they are currently assigned to. When the sitter is closed (aka sick) we are troubled to take them to a bus stop closer to the sitter's place (which is where bus picks them up and takes them back). Anyway the painful part is we have no school bus for 2 weeks for late submission of busing information!!Waaaaahh..nobody told us this one! I told the school board then they said...well we are always closed on summer it's always been like that. Ugh! I told her we just migrated so we do not know about this. 

Hooooo....breathe in, breathe out!My gulaaaay!!!
 ...and yes my hair nowadays are as messy as that.Uuuugggggggggghhhhhhh!!!!!!!

Jul 1, 2016

One of those days

5:45 AM and the alarm goes off. I woke up with two sweethearts hugging me like I'm not allowed to go elsewhere (or move for that matter). So cute! I love it!

.... I lingered in the bed for a while longer anyway I have packed Iaree's lunch & I will just make sandwich for my breakfast. Took a shower then got ready to prepare the lunch boxes. When I went down to start waking up the girls at 6:45 AM I got 2 missed calls from Ryan apparently our baby sitter was not well (again). As he was coming off from his night shift we might be able to work it out without me going on leave.

Here's the thing when you feel upset or just sad you just are in that mode until you tell yourself to snap out of it. Believe me until now that I am writing this I am still in that miserable zone (-2%: motivated by the fact that I gotta do what I gotta do). I was sitting on the edge of the bed thinking I wouldn't be in this position if I was still back in KL. I had the workplace flexibility for household emergencies like this. I have paid leaves if I can't shuffle my work schedule and I should be able to as I am the boss. My thoughts then wandered to...back then in KL I will be missed in the office if I am away for just a few hours. People will be looking for me...then I will go online anyway attending to office stuff. That may sound crazy but I love the way it was. I was needed, I was vital yet I can have a life and attend to my family.

The work email I receive from my boss early morning doesn't help either. She's away for now and was asking for updates on the department activities (which is valid). She did appreciate the work I have done (yey for me!) and the reason I'm ranting here is not because of her but because of me. I am feeling micromanaged as she asked to be copied for all the mail that I send out. I do not see anything wrong with her request but I can't help thinking that when I was a manager I never asked that from my staff as long as I know they are doing their job properly and I am not getting any complains. Again as I said its not my boss it's my working style. Shouldn't be a big deal honestly but when you are feeling BLUE like I am you see shades of blue everywhere. Ugh! Resulting again how I miss miss my old job and old work status.

I think I can be fine if I had people to talk to and the best option I have right now is this ghost of a blog. I purposely tell myself don't go that path again and say you had more friends in KL because you have been there for 9 years duh!

This is a journey we have to make. I feel bad that these things take time and when I am not a melancholic mess that I am today I do love it here. I do look forward to the possibilities in our life. Just that this part kinda sucks. While we do have the money we do not want to overspend so despite all the material needs of starting a new life (aka clothes we need for the weather, stuff we need at home, my dying phone..lol) we can't just shop without feeling guilty.

So at 7:10am it hit me that the 3 of them needed lunch at home, Ryan will be too sleepy , I pity him as having bunso around might not give him a chance to have the rest he needs, he told me he was having hyperacidity, he needed to be up by 12nn as Ate will be out early...ugh! I wish I can stay at home but (1)-we can't afford another unpaid leave when I already had 2 last week for a similar situation (2)-I dont want attendance to be an issue in my performance. So I cooked rice & corned beef the fastest option I have. Maybe missed the 8:03 bus which shouldn't be as I didn't see it when I was at the bus stop at 8:00 AM!It was cold outside 16°C but I survived. I know we are still blessed and lucky. I am not saying we aren't but bottom line is it's just one of those days....
photo credit: http://indulgy.com/post/3yU3BQXbJ1/feeling-blue

Jun 9, 2016

Heart is singing in a grateful voice

There are good days and there are bad days but there are days that your heart is just over-flowing with gratefulness.

I am definitely having one of those days. I feel so alive because the first few months I was dragging myself day to day...even the culminating activity prior to migrating was torture. To be liberated from that feeling is WONDERFUL!!

Ryan started work. We are getting our daily rhythm but to top that all we are just find the right car to buy as he passed the driving test last week. Yesterday we got approved to rent an apartment (yes!it's like a job interview / plenty of reference checking). We can finally be on our own again. It's starting to be a little challenging staying at other people's house. Today at work I interviewed people for the first time in decades I guess (interviewing internal people in the company doesn't count much). I can make a difference in their lives as most of them are currently unemployed. I am loving my job. It's not heavy but it requires some brain power on my end. As long as I have that I feel energized. I am challenged to think and assess people at a professional level. It is so awesome!!My gosh felt like it was ages ago despite me having these feelings when I was a manager in my previous company. The girls seems to be coping somehow in the set-up...we are giving them more time. Thing is...life is not perfect right now but I sure can see the light at the end of this tunnel. I even started feeling the light on my face. I love it! All glory & praises to God.

Jun 4, 2016

Thank you Lord!

Glory and praises to God.

It was a tough 2.5 mos really. The bickering, self-doubt, anxiety, exhaustion all creeps up slowly or BAM! All at once but you know what everytime that I feel the lowest of low God sends someone on our path to enlighten us to remain faithful and be strong. In my last blog I was very down but after staying online an old acquaintance who is God's follower told me that he will pray for us and that to remain faithful to him. I never even told him a lot about our situation other than I met someone here who we both know and that we are still looking for a job. Then after talking to him hearing being reminded that God is always with us I was uplifted. Everytime I talk to a family member or close friend who would tell us that they are praying for us I feel so much better and gain energy for another day. Ryan & I also met this wonderful lady in OFE who believed we were doing the right moves and to stay strong. She was nice and gave sensible advice other than what we would hear spoken to us all the time and finally my manager. She believes in giving me a chance. Did you know I only had 1 interview over my 70+ application? I then got the job together with the support of my ex-bosses & ex-colleague for what I could just imagine was a raving reference feedback about me.

When we got the job offer we were worried about the child care but on the same day an advertisement opened up online and this wonderful lady turned out to be just on our neighborhood. Now the kids are receiving good care. We are now faced with a new hurdle which is finding our own place. Contrary to what we hope for we can't stay with our sponsors anymore. In face-value we can't save a lot anymore because we have to move out but deep down it's for the best actually. I can plan our meals better and the kids will be more comfortable not to tip toe around and be told "no" or "don't" or "cannot" all the time. Also as of today Ryan passed his driving test so one at a time we are building our life back.

Thank you Lord!

May 3, 2016


With the right amount of pressure a strong individual shines than break. Less pressure and we get complacent. Too much and we give up altogether.

As another unemployed day starts in my horizon I summon enough energy to type, edit, re-edit applications in the hope that this will be THE ONE. I know I am skipping through what I promised to be a chronological narration of our migration adventure but I am getting more and more impressed with my cover letters that I am beginning to think of making a career out of this. Hahaha.

I do pray to God though that hubby's job interviews bear the elusive fruit of a job offer soon to save me from insanity and you readers (imaginary I suppose) from useless rants from me.

Apr 30, 2016

Where am I?

In a whole new place and a whole new world. Figuratively and literally and it was cold when we arrived despite the layers of clothing it didn't seem to be enough. Finally with a few weeks of delay it started warming up and the kids love love love playing in the backyard.

It has been 1 month and a half since we arrived and left the life we knew. The months before that we both gruel-some, exhausting but exciting because we were going towards something different. It didn't scare me much as I should've been. M-I-G-R-A-T-I-N-G. What we did was not any different from what the geese do...which apparently was defined as ->> to move from areas of low or decreasing resources to areas of high or increasing resources. The two primary resources being sought are food and nesting locations. (Source https://www.allaboutbirds.org/the-basics-how-why-and-where-of-bird-migration/). Did we run low of resources? Well we didn't but we will not wait around not having the success that we have envisioned for our family. We will not sit around waiting until we miss the window of opportunity to give our children a better chance than what we have in Philippines and in Malaysia. The currency was surely depleting and I was and still am (I hope that doesn't change) sure of what we were doing.

A LOT of people think we were crazy and I thought that was because migration was something unusual for them. It's so common in the Philippines and even Malaysians migrate. 45 days after I think I am joining all our friends who told us we were crazy...lol. I am just so grateful that God had been with us every step of the way and that we are not in a dire situation but let me tell you the early stages of migration is E-X-C-R-U-C-I-A-T-I-N-G! Note "early" because I know God has plans for us in His time not ours and He always have. Before you make that major leap answer these:
1) Are you a professional with a good standing career that you built over the years?
2) You are used to the comfort and luxury of your life?
3) You are doing fine but wanted to improve but can't move in your company or country you are in?

YES YES & YES? Think more and really really deeply. I was repeatedly warned this will never be easy. Especially because of #1&2. In my next series of blog I will tell you more in detail about our life here when we arrived and our continuous journey. Migration is not for everyone. It's not for the faint of hear. It's not an escape and it may not necessarily be an economic resolution fit for all. Stay tuned