Thoughts on Turning Thirty

Oh boy, where do I even start?

I hit the big 3-0 last month and although it was perhaps what I would call a simple celebration, the thoughts running through my mind were not as simple. I couldn’t help by ask myself:

“What have I done in the past 30 years?”

Let’s put a pin on that.

Our family has grown to love staycations. I wanted to go to Tagaytay on my birthday so we could take E to Paradizoo and Sky Ranch. Yes, I know it was supposed to be MY birthday, but because he’s going to start ‘big school’ this June, I wanted to be able to enjoy a nice family vacation together and tie in some things I know he’d enjoy.

Unfortunately, my Agoda booking was cancelled over trivial reasons.

As I was scrambling to find another place to stay at in Tagaytay, I found that almost every other place was booked. It’s not the best thing feeling in the world when things don’t go as planned, but I had no choice but to give up the Tagaytay. My husband suggested that we stay at a hotel in the city instead, one with a pool because E loves swimming, and just make the most of it. At this point I didn’t mind anymore, I just wanted to celebrate my birthday with him and E, so I booked us a 3 day 2 night stay at The Bellevue in Alabang.

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Our Favorite Lullabies

Our nights are never complete without lullabies.

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When I was young, my parents always sang me lullabies.. which were usually songs by The Carpenters, I think. Lullabies to me are nostalgic, and having someone sing you a lullaby is, I think, a beautiful way to bond. Whenever I’d hear a nice song on the radio, I’d sometimes think to myself ‘This would make a pretty lullaby” and store it in the back of my head for future reference.

However, if you’re like me and have gone through general anaesthesia thrice in two years, you tend to forget a LOT. So when The Little Troublemaker was born, for some reason I could not think of a song to sing him to sleep. Call me picky or whatever, but I wanted the song to be meaningful and not just some random pop song.The first song that popped into my head was “Skidamarink” because I used to sing it a lot when I was a kid! So I ended up singing him nothing but a slow version of  “Skidamarink” for weeks, and I sang it so much that my husband learned the song, too.

As time passed my list of lullabies grew with songs that The Little Troublemaker enjoys and actually falls asleep to. I’ve tried singing him slow versions of our favorite songs, which are along the lines of rock and alternative, but they never really put him to sleep.

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My Struggle with PCOS

At the beginning of the year, a lot of stressful things occurred. My son was confined on New Year’s Day and a few weeks later I was re-assigned to a new client who had more demands than my previous one. The stress kept piling up over the following months and I noticed how I gained a lot of weight, how my acne increased and how I felt down a lot. I found myself just wanting to stay in bed the entire day and just eat, work and sleep. I lost interest in my usual hobbies including blogging, which explains why you haven’t seen anything new here lately.

Just this summer, I convinced myself to start changing my lifestyle by exercising more often and eating well. It was tough because I continued to feel the pressure from work and I carried the stress with me even after work hours. Exercising helped me feel a bit better but at the end of the day, my mind was always clouded with thoughts of my being a failure at work. A few months into my “lifestyle change”, I decided to weigh myself and realized that I gained more pounds and I also noticed some clothes got tighter. You can imagine my disappointment. I knew I was supposed to lose weight at that point, but for some reason by body was not responding to my weight loss efforts.

Bothered by my inability to lose weight, I decided to see a doctor. I figured it might be hormonal because of my persistent jawline acne and my delayed menstrual cycle. After a few consultations and tests she determined I had PolyCystic Ovarian Syndrome or PCOS and that I was having a hard time losing weight because I was insulin resistant. I was told that being insulin resistant comes with PCOS, like a ‘package deal’, and that it means that my body is not processing insulin properly. Although I felt frustrated upon finding out something was wrong with me, I felt somewhat relieved that I could finally put a “name” to everything I’ve been going through. I wasn’t just “not trying hard enough” or “Stressed lang” like most people around me would say. More importantly, now that I am working with a doctor to manage my condition I don’t feel so alone anymore and I am finally getting proper care.

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I didn’t realize though that treating my PCOS symptoms would be tougher. You see, my doctor wanted to address my delayed menstrual cycle first above everything else, so we set the acne and weight gain issues aside and worked on regulating my cycles and for this she prescribed me some good ‘ol pills. I’ve never taken birth control pills before for a prolonged period – I lasted about five days and gave up because the side effects were terrible. I raised this concern with my doctor and she told me I had to deal with the side effects and give my body about a month to adjust, plus the pills were supposed to help with my acne. She also wanted me to continue with the diet and exercise and to avoid stress because it can aggravate my condition.

Being on the pill for a month was a roller coaster ride. During the first few weeks I was just a huge mess – I had headaches, I couldn’t sleep, I always felt nauseated especially at night (which covers my work hours), I had mood swings and cried for no reason, and my acne grew WORSE. It affected my productivity at work and I got even more stressed. A week later the side effects seemed to subside, but just when I though things were getting better, I was going down the roller coaster again. It was just horrible. The worst part was that my next cycle was still delayed.

At this point I spoke to my supervisor at work, and explained my situation. She understood how tough it was for me and she agreed to help me find another position if I pay my doctor a visit and get recommendation for less stressful work. It just so happened that I was due for a check-up. When I spoke to my doctor, she said I had to stay on the pill for another month and if it yielded the same results I’d have to switch brands. Seeing that I was indeed under a lot more stress than before, she agreed to write a recommendation for less stressful work. That same day, I got word from my supervisor that my client cancelled his contract with me – an immediate cancellation. Although the cancellation was not due to my performance, I still felt disappointed. However, I couldn’t stop thinking that the timing seemed to be convenient to my situation. As my husband likes to say, it’s as if it were “God’s will”.

My supervisors decided to give me two weeks off before taking on a new position at work. If anything, they want me to feel better before I take on a new client again. I think that’s just what I need – time to deal with the stress and “reset”. I’m really glad that my supervisors accommodated my request and understood my situation. So here I am now, typing away on my blog and trying to bring it back to life (Ugh, that sounded cheesy!). I can’t believe that I didn’t get the chance to blog about my birthday last May, or my Little Troublemaker’s birthday last June, and our latest stories and milestones.

If you’re one of my readers, I’m sorry if I’ve been away for so long. There’s just been so much to deal with but I’m working on getting back on my feet. I have this crazy list of things I want to blog about, and I will be sure to scratch them all off my list.

I’m curious to know though if are other moms out there with PCOS. How are you dealing with these crazy symptoms? Please feel free to share in the comments below, I really want to hear from you because I’m new to this. Thank you!

 

 

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Waiting For Something Beautiful

I’ve been having an unbelievable streak of bad luck these past few months. Do you know that feeling when nothing seems to be going your way –  as in nothing? It’s as if I’m being picked on by the universe.

  • In March, my husband and I decided to finally buy our very own car. Spanking brand new one. In a week, the hood got damaged when it hit the gate while we were parking it.
  • I was having an extremely difficult time coping with my job – I couldn’t meet my weekly goals but for everyone else, it was smooth sailing. Imagine telling your client for five days straight that you booked them zero appointments no matter how hard you tried!
  • Early in April both my son and I got sick, and my son is still under maintenance for his bad asthma attack from New Year’s day. He had a terrible cough and cold and he couldn’t sleep well for weeks. His meds were expensive and it was difficult to see him sick.
  • A few weeks later, I fell victim to an ATM skimming device scam, and lost one month’s worth of my salary. Would you believe that my Chinese horoscope predicted a “robbery” in the fourth month of 2015. Surprise, surprise.
  • A week after that, my client was about to cancel their contract with me because they weren’t satisfied with my output. I was hanging by a thread but they decided to give me another month.

You might think I’m being overdramatic, and maybe I am, but when things like this pile up you just feel like your at your wit’s end. I guess what hit me hard the most was losing our money, because we had important plans for that money.

I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve cried last month. There were times when I just wanted to stay in bed and mope all day, times when I wanted to down a bucket of ice cream and boxes of pizza, and times when I just wanted to curse at everyone. But I can’t, and I won’t. Because I’ve been through tougher times and worse things, and especially because I wasn’t raised to be weak in the face of hardship.

I keep telling myself to still be thankful,

..that we’re not broke, that we have a roof over our heads and that we still eat three times a day.

..that Ethan is better now, that I still have my job, and that our car is still intact.

..that I have a family who cares, that I have a husband who works hard for us and always reminds me to stay positive.

..and that I have a son whose smile gets me through the toughest days.

Life may suck right now, but a friend told me that despite everything that’s going on, something great is bound to happen. And I believe her. You know that song by Robbie Williams, “Something Beautiful”? The lyrics really refer to finding love, but there’s this part of the song that I like a lot that I relate to life in general:

“May you find that love that won’t leave you
May you find it by the end of the day
You won’t be lost, hurt, tired and lonely
Something beautiful will come your way”

I always remind myself that things will get better, that “something beautiful” will eventually happen. No matter how bad some days can be, I still pray and thank Him for the good things – for having people I love who help me get through these bad days. Sure, tomorrow could be worse than the day I was scammed, or the day I almost lost my job, but I believe that tomorrow is still something worth looking forward to no matter how much bad luck as rained on me.. because tomorrow might be the day that “something beautiful” happens to me.

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Discovering Minted x Help Me Decide On A Surprise!

My sister-in-law who is based in Toronto is giving birth soon to her second child. We’re all so excited to welcome another baby boy to the family, however I’m a bit sad that we’re miles away and we won’t be able to meet him in person.

I’d like to do something special for my sister-in-law, so I thought of having something custom made for when the baby arrives and then it hit me – birth announcements!

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Though I can just easily make something in Photoshop and just email it to her, I thought it would be extra special to send her printouts – they can hand them out to friends and family and set one aside as a keepsake.

As I was browsing for birth announcement ideas, I came across Minted and I couldn’t help but adore their lovely prints. I ended up spending hours just browsing through their designs – they have wedding and party invitations, post cards, fabric and home decor.

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“Minted is a design marketplace. We source creative content from a global community of independent artists, then sell the best content in the form of art, home décor, and stationery, directly to consumers.”

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