THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO BEING A HAPPY STAY-AT-HOME WIFE AND MOM

It has been a year!!!  I have been a stay-at-home wife and mom with no household help for a year now!  Wow!  I could still remember how fearful I was in being a real full time partner to Bryan and mommy to Risen.  I had all the doubts and ghosts in mind, but praise God because He is really our strength in our weakness.

Aside from this news, I am surprised to see myself joyful in this season of my life.  I am ecstatic to share that I not merely trying to survive my role, but I am actually enjoying it.  If you have known me back when I was single, you would agree how I am unable to stay inside the house for more that 24 hours.  As they say, I am somewhat a changed woman. haha

So please let me put my foot down and list down an ultimate guide to surviving  being a happy stay at home wife and mom:

1.  Make sure it is for you - Not everyone is called to stay at home.  It is a decision to be made and a journey to be tried.  To add, it should not be purely based on emotions and personalities (remember when I was single?) because our feelings and character change over time.  It has to be thought out, prayed for and decided upon.  Not really sure? then try it out!

2.  Decide with your husband - We were on the same page ever since I got pregnant. This is why when things become difficult , I can easily run to Bryan for support, appreciation and determination.  Though he does not verbalize his admiration on the work I do each day, he helps me in the house a lot.  He also does not complain of unfinished dishes, dirty laundry and repeated viands.  It takes a supportive and a non-complaining husband to be a fulfilled SAHM.  Do not let your hubby pass his decision on this.  Ask him to reply with a "yes" or a "no".  I say, this is really important that you agree.  Just so when things get tough, you can affirm and encourage each other.

image from here

3. Outsource help - Figure out the things you can't do.  I for example would not spend a day washing clothes, hence the very first appliance we bought was an automatic washing machine.  Also, when our house help left a year back, we got ourselves an iron lady  (aka taga plansta) haha.  If you do not like cooking, agree on getting a lechon manok once a week, or seek help from your Mom or in-laws to cook a kilo of adobo once in awhile.  Go get that help!

4.  Always have an emergency, handy, easy to prepare and tasty meal - You can't really plan what your day will be like when you have a baby or toddler.  In this situation, make sure you have something in the fridge that you can easily prepare or reheat.  In our home, I always have Tamarind broth for Sinigang, bottled Pesto sauce and pasta, fresh milk, Sardines and rice.

5.  Have a stash of goodies - Aside from the list on emergency food on number 4, I also have a stash of chocolates, wine, good coffee, and coco crunch (for Risen).  These food in my fridge give me superpowers (just like how helpful a stone is to Darna).  They are my source of instant happiness and my light when I feel like it will still be a very long day ahead.

6.  Start early - No matter how difficult it is to wake up earlier than Risen, I try to be ahead at least 2 hours before my son wakes up (around 5am).  This gives me ample to time to do my devotions, catch up with minor house cleaning, prepare breakfast, check email, social media and my to-do list.  The goal is, when he wakes up and becomes clingy, I won't have anything urgent to do.

7.  Stop once in a while - Do not feel guilty of oversleeping, food delivery, malling in the middle of a chaotic home, getting a massage, and allowing your child to be on his Ipad.  If you are a mom, repeat this after me "the work at home will never be done", say it again "the work at home will never be done".

8.  Evaluate your situation - Is this called stay-at-home wife and mom still working for you and for everyone in the household?  Is it making you stressed, cry in the middle of the night?  Are you  becoming a slave of household chores?  Is the Lord calling you back to full time work?

9.  Have something on the side - I blog, host events, organize trainings and volunteer at CCF Muntinlupa intentionally -- meaning, not on my spare time, but in my allotted time.  I really make sure I am "somebody" aside from my roles at home.  I do not think it is healthy to "lose" all of me.  I still want to have my own identity, my personal dreams, allowance and milestones.

10.  Admit you can't  - Surrender.  Our chosen lifestyle is something I pray for every single day.  I mess up, I get discouraged, just last week I slept from 6pm to 6am.  I always see myself in awe of God's grace.  Although it has been a year,  this role is something that I don't think I will ever get used to.  I have come to accept that I can't do this on my own without God.  And guess what? when we seek, ask and knock, He answers, helps and delivers.  What a mighty God we serve!

If you are still undecided to be one of us, that is the best time to be one.  It is when we are unsure that we seek help, pray hard and think deep.  Remember that it is something that you not have to do forever.  It could just be a season of your life.  If you are thinking about it, go back to my list.  Ask God for direction, make your husband decide as well.  You might also need to compute your budget and strategize on how you can help with the finances.

Just remember that the most important thing to answer is, what is God's will for you.  Ask Him.  He will tell you what to do.  This I am very sure.








ON HAVING A SECOND BABY

Bryan and I have been getting a lot of questions and suggestions on having a second baby.  Some asks if we are considering, others question when will Risen have a sibling, some strongly says we should have one, asap.  While I do not really mind people asking, I must admit, I am sometimes get caught unprepared when questioned or advised.  For one, some people who ask are not so close to me so I find it hard to pour out my reasons.  Second, I do not want those who are asking be offended by my strong reasons and responses so I just give my/our  usual answer.

To cut the chase short, are we having a second baby?

We are saying "no" because we believe that this is a spiritual decision and must have God's go signal. Though we know that God wants us to procreate and  that He provides our needs, we know deep in our hearts that God also deals with us differently (hence some are gifted with none, with one or some 10) and that He has specific and personal instructions to us.  And to be honest, God has not given us the go signal yet.

To add, me and Bry are on the same page of not wanting one. There is no desire. No wanting. No "jealousy" towards parents having second babies. As of today, we are good.

image from here
Now to those who are very straight forward in saying that kids with no siblings are kawawa (to be pitied) when they grow up, this is not true. I know of stories of only kids who are surrounded, loved and helped. On the other hand, I also know of kids who have siblings who were abandoned and left alone. So IF the the foremost reason of having a sibling for Risen is because he will be "kawawa" when he grows up, then our definite answer is a "no"... We honestly do not think it is Biblical to "worry about our kids' future"  nor to accept their "defeat" just because they are "incomplete". Risen will probably adjust here and there when he grows up, and just like the other kids I know who are an only child, with God's grace, he will be fine.  

I am sure having "more kids" is great, but as of writing this, it is not (yet) for us. I am pretty much sure that the Lord will somewhat reveal in His time, and if that happens, we will obey. 




HUSBAND AND WIFE TANDEM BUSINESSES: OH-LAUGH PHOTOBOOTH by FRANCIS AND VENI

Name of husband and wife
Francis& Veni

Name and type of business
OH-LAUGH PHOTOBOOTH

Why did you choose to do business together?
We started this business almost 4 years ago when it was the latest trend in the party planning industry. This was supposed to be a stepping stone for me/us because I wanted to be an event organizer for parties, weddings & big events. :)

How do you divide responsibilities?
Since he's the techy one, he obviously does the techy stuff like setting up the camera, the backdrop, lighting and mainly the whole operation. I do the marketing end, looking for customers, bargaining and working on the details for the client's layout.

Do you argue because of your business? If yes, can you give examples?
Yes we do. :) Sometimes it is because we didn't check the venue and the space allotted for the photobooth is very small.  My hubby gets irritated and blames me.  However, when he always gets to adjust and ends up providing our client Class A service. ;)

What are the advantages of working together? Any disadvantages?
 Advantages? Well, we grow together by collaborating our ideas to come up with the best service we can provide. Our virtue of patience is practiced especially when there are technical problems that arises during the event.

Disadvantage? From both of us none so far. Hehe

Any tips on those couples who are planning to do the same?
For couples out there who are planning to start up their own business, we urge you to go on with it! :) Aside from the fact that you don't need to worry about each other because of your whereabouts, you can help each other grow spiritually and learn together by doing the business that you both like. Your relationship will grow deep not only as partners but also as good friends. :)

***For our sample layouts you may visit our fb page: https://www.facebook.com/ohlaughphotobooth/ .  You may also contact Francis/Veni at 09272816651



WANT A DISCOUNT?  Get the code from me through mico.sadorra@gmail.com  :)

SOLI DEO EVENTS MANAGEMENT LESSON LIST


Here we go!

After arguing  discussing with my husband Bryan, we have finally have a lesson list. Here are  some of the topics you can learn from Soli Deo Events Management. If what you have in mind is not on the list, let us know.  We have a long list of facilitators and venues inside and outside Metro Manila.

Contact us:  solideoeventsmanagement@gmail.com or at 0932 5630133






MARRIAGE MANUAL

Papa gave me a new phone eight months back, and since it was an upgrade, I did not bother reading the manual.  Little did I know that I was missing what Papa paid for because it has a lot of new features. 

Now that I know what my new phone can do, I valued and appreciated it more.  I became more inseparable (in a good way of course) to it.  Can you imagine if I just used it for its usual purpose?

And you know what?  it is the same thing with marriage.  If we do not know the deeper sense of the commitment we made, we will miss the grandiose and whole purpose it brings.  Being married is more than companionship, greater than having a lover or a helper, it is one of the deepest forms of commitment was made to be experienced by all married couples.  




That is why, we have a marriage manual and it is called the Bible.  Please do not be intimidated by it because it was written to be understood.  More so, we do not have the read the entire Bible to know what God says about marriage.  Let me type a few verses from the marriage manual which I am sure we are all familiar with.


Ephesians 5:25:
 “For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. 
He gave up his life for her." 

Genesis 2:24: 
“Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother 
and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh."

Ephesians 5:22

Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord.

However, it is just sad that some couples do not take it seriously. Remember the phone illustration above? Would we submerge our costly phones in salt water without protection? Then, later on complain in why it does not work anymore?  Nope, right?  We know phones can't be placed underwater - the phone manual tells us it is not allowed.

It is the same thing with marriage.  If we do not follow what the marriage manual says, we can't complain on why we are facing unending marital problems. God was clear on his advice and He said it because He knows how challenging married life can be. We have got to trust The manual!




My prayer is that we will always put our complete trust in God and on what He says on the Bible. That that we will always choose to follow His tips.  He created marriage for men to enjoy and treasure, therefore, I am so sure that He wants us to maximize the joy and pure bliss of a married couple and this can be done with Jesus.  


6 QUESTIONS TO ASK WHEN CHOOSING A PRESCHOOL

One of the advantages of homeschooling is the freedom to choose activities for a child.  With this in mind, Me and Bryan have decided to try out summer classes for Risen to see on how he would respond to a group set-up and to assess his academic skills as early as 3.8 years old.  Since we are both teachers, we more or less have a list in mind of what questions to ask.  Let me share these ideas with you.

image from here

1.  Who will be my son's teacher?  - We sometimes get overwhelmed with the qualification of the Head Teacher, curriculum, materials or Principal that we forget what matters the most is the person who will be implementing the curriculum.  Feel free to ask the teacher's university, experience, background and specialization/s.  This matters a lot.

2.  If you are enrolling your son/daughter for summer school, ask the specific goal at the end of summer classes.  Make sure to know what your child should be learning.
  • Is it for socialization?
  • Is the class for a specific academic goal? (e.g reading, counting, arts, etc)
  • Is it for a readiness program?
3.  You may also inquire what activities will they be doing.  Most summer classes last for two hours.  A parent should have an idea on what they will be doing inside the classroom so he has an idea what to ask his child when he comes home.

 

4.  Inquire about their protocol during an emergency.  We are entrusting the life of a kid in the hands of the teacher for more or less 2 hours.  Make sure their facility has first-aid kits, an emergency procedure and safety cautions.

5. It would be wise to also ask about their curriculum.  Is it Montessori (learning by doing), traditional (desk, board, teacher,), play (mats, tons of manipulatives, songs), school of tomorrow (less socialization, paces/workbooks) etc. ?  Here, you could also check if your child would fit in the learning strategies of the school.

6. Lastly, ask where their graduates mostly enroll grade 1.  This would give you a hint of the standard they have as a preschool.

To end, let me encourage you to decide on this as a couple.  I made sure Bryan was with me when had a peek on the possible summer school of Risen.  He saw a different view and I saw another which will hopefully help us decide if we should enroll Risen.  The choice of school should not be left to the mother or father.  There should be a discussion that should bring you to a decision.

HUSBAND WIFE TANDEM BUSINESSES: Life Coach and Drone Service Provider

Bryan and I started a business last March and though we have just began, we saw a lot of inspirations and challenges already. This is the reason why I got inspired to feature some couples who are working on a same trading together. Some say it takes "another level of commitment" to be successful in a husband and wife business tandem. I personally am curious to know what our seasoned business partners would say. Quite interesting, right?

For tonight, we have Albert and Vivs. Read on!

Name of husband and wife: Albert and Viviene Bigornia

Name and type of business:
Nielsen Aerial (Drone Service Provider)
www.nielsenaerial.com
The Fulfilled Women (Coaching Business)
www.thefulfilledwomen.com





Why did you choose to do business together?
When we came back from Singapore in 2012, we both didn’t want to go back to the corporate world. Instead, we started a Cupcake Business. It didn’t pull through as successfully as we wish it would be. So my husband came back to work as a Piping Engineer. Our first venture however was followed by 2 more attempts to set up a business until we both figured out what business we really wanted and that is what we do now. Our hope is that we could do business full time so we can have more flexibility in our family schedule.

How do you divide responsibilities?
He has a different skill set and strengths than me so we use that to help each other progress in the business. Example, he has great leadership and problem solving skills. He is also a visionary. So when we do goal setting together, I carefully listen to his advice. My strength on the other hand is Marketing and Social Media. So that is my role in our businesses.



Do you argue because of your business? If yes, can you give examples?
It was difficult in the beginning especially with our very first business venture together. I had been in business for a while so I was ahead of experience and knowledge. It was difficult to submit to his authority when I feel that we should take another route. But after all the struggles, God made me realize it was necessary so that he would learn thru experience and now we are on the same page and things are easier to handle.

What are the advantages of working together? Any disadvantages?
The biggest advantage is that we can talk about business anytime! We don’t need to set up a meeting with each other (although we still do during important decision making situations). We can talk about it in the car or the dining table and we are both ok with that. I also love the fact that we support and inspire each other a lot everyday. I don’t know how it would work out to do business on my own without his full support and involvement. I am not sure there is much of a disadvantage of working together as husband and wife because it works really well for us. Probably, the disadvantage is that when you argue on a business level, it gets escalated on a personal level. There should be some kind of rules with regards to this so it could be avoided or at least lessened.

Any tips on those couples who are planning to do the same?
Pray together for your business. Sometimes the business will work out. Sometimes it won’t. But be mindful of what God is teaching you along the way.Specify your roles in the business. When both your hands are in the business, decision making becomes pretty hard since you both want your own way. But, if you have a specific area to handle, you know he should listen to you or vice versa.
***Please like our FB Page: Nielsen Aerial <www.facebook.com/NielsenAerial> We do aerial shots for commercials, outdoor events, company AVPs even weddings and other special occasions. We also do 3D Mapping and Aerial Site Inspection for construction, real estate, etc.



Also, The Fulfilled Women is launching an ecourse called “The Roadmap to a Fulfilled life: Live the Life God Designed You to Have” It is for women who feel confused and directionless in terms of career or business. Enrollment opens April 28. You can find more info here: <www.thefulfilledwomen.com/fulfilled-life>

BAGGAK HOTEL in SANCHEZ MIRA, CAGAYAN

This came in as a surprise when me, Bryan, my mom-in-law and our forever in tow Risen visited Sanchez Mira, Cagayan.  I did not expect that there would be a hotel smacked in the center of a provincial town.  It is only  a year old so you could just imagine how modern and swiftly clean this place is.  Let me give you a tour of what it looks like inside our room.


twin bed on left and queen size on the right; the sliding door leads to a balcony


water heater, coffee and cable TV

modern restroom

yes to hot and cold shower!
Not yet impressed?  Now, let me tell you that this is all for 2,200 for a night, inclusive of breakfast! Diba???!!! Yes, it is a hotel in far flung Cagayan, but for those who want a solid get away, this is for you!! Aside from this, they have a restaurant that serves Pinoy and Asian dishes.  We had sushi and Vietnamese Rolls for dinner and it did not disappoint.  It as a real winner in our tummies and pockets.









We had a comfortable sleep and we woke up excitedly for the breakfast.  We chose among Egg, Rice and Native Longganisa or ham or hotdog or chicken nuggets.  Yes, there was nothing special but the steamed Pako salad was soooo good!  We wanted to ask for more! haha




Found him like this!!!

Hotel's lobby

parking lot and pool on the left side

restaurant in front





Baggak Hotel is one of the reasons we want to go back to Sanchez Mira.  The life is provincial but this hotel makes you feel you are in the city.   

I AM GETTING DOWN TO BUSINESS

Oh wow!  The Let's Get Down to Business talk by Francis Miranda would perk you up to finally get going to that business you have been dreaming about.  This would be an answer to the famous questions "What is a good business?" and "How do I begin with my business?"

I have so much information stuck in my head and my handout, that I actually do not know where to begin sharing.  With that, let me just quote our energetic speaker



"What do you like to do and what are you good at"

"What people are willing to pay money for?"

"It will never be perfect - just go"

"Structure your business according to the life you want"

"Each business has a cost - mostly time and money"

"Think about "where you are" and not "where you are not"

"Allocate time while working (determine how much time you need in business)"

"How much are you willing to lose?"

"You need to be exact and to focus.  Sometimes, to just one"


The last one made me thinking.  So, during our break, I asked the bloggers I was seated with and they totally agreed to what Francis said. It kept me thinking up until I reached home.  And the result?  At 5am the next day, I re-designed my blog and limited the tabs to just three -- faith, marriage and everything in between.  

From today, I decided to get down to the business of writing about relationships.  Yey!  That means, I already have a brand.  I am now a #relationshipblogger from Manila.  I hope to write about the happiness, answers, questions, struggles and love stories of married couples.  Can't wait!!!

#relationshipblogger with a messy hair from manila
photo by Shootgeeks







WHAT IS SANCHEZ MIRA?

Sanchez Mira is a third class municipality in Cagayan.  Upon leaving Pagudpud, you would need a little over an hour of travel time to reach Sanchez Mira (third city upon entering Cagayan).  From the highway, there is nothing outstanding about the scenery.  Yes, there is a view of Sierra madre, rice fields, and farm animals, however, to be honest, from my view inside the car, I thought it was just a typical town.

However, when I opened the car door, I already knew that my stay in Sanchez Mira will be extraordinary.

We were greeted with the unpolluted cold, and rainy breeze, which by the way, was unexpected at this time of the year.  There was something with the smell of rice fields, mist of the air and dew on the plants -- I swear,  it was like Baguio circa 1980's.  I loved the fact that we were in the center of the town yet the atmosphere is still very provincial.

For a woman who leaves in the busy town of Carmona, Samchez Mira took me back on how it was like to wake up in Alfonso when I was in pre-school (next town after Tagaytay).  Though it was around 8:00 when we arrived, it felt like 5am dawn because of the climate.






As we went around, and ate of course, here are the things I have discovered.  They have very tasty rice.  Do not even be surprised when they will serve purple rice just because.  This is something very usual in this town.  Also, they have the freshest greens.  I got to taste steamed Pako leaves, and other Ilokano veggies in minimal Bagoong sauce.



This town is also a good place to check out old houses.  Me and my husband finally had a chance to see my mom-in-law's family house.  It had the thickest walls and wooden floors!  It was so old yet so charming.
My son, Risen, busy with Makahiya ;)

Before leaving the town, we took time to sit down with the Mayor, Asela Sacramed.  She hopes to improve their town to attract more tourists, help the community and make Sanchez Mira a place for those who want to rest from the busyness of the world.




Baggak Hotel


Some products of Sanchez Mira

Event place by the ocean

Will I visit Sanchez Mira soon?  YES!  I am already thinking of having our Christmas vacation there.  They say, it rains! Therefore it perfect for those who loves the baguio weather but would want to stay away from the crowd.  They too have a hotel now which I will blog about soon.  For the meantime, let us all dream about this quiet community and PM me if you want more details for a lovely holiday.

#WHATISHOMESCHOOL

I have heard about homeschool back in college (circa 1998-2002) but did not pay attention to it because what I read about it are all theories.  However, my interest grew when I met homeschooling families, read Howard Gardner's The Unschooled Mind, and taught homeschooled kids who transitioned to regular classroom set-up.

I must say, I admire those that I met. I remember them to be kind, well adjusted, hard working, and excellent students.  Now that I have been a full time mom for over three years, I saw the importance of training, influencing, and journeying my son, Risen.  So yes, we are considering homeschooling.

So what exactly is this?  Before I list them down, I would like to thank Ms. Donna Pangilinan-Simpao for simplifying this for all the 12 moms who had an intimate session at CMA over the yummy cookies, Empanada, and coffee that Ms. Donna graciously prepared.


  



Okay, let us get back to the question, what is homeschooling?

Basically, this is when the parents decide to be their children's teacher at home.  They have the option to enroll their kids in a homeschool provider or do it independently.  To addm these are the things I have learned:

1.  It is a lifestlye - it does not start and end with books.

2.  It is not permanent - "Always read signs if it is for you or if it STILL for you" - Ms. Donna

3.  It never misses out on character building - one of the primary goals of homeschooling is training and values education.  That means, books should be put on the side to deal with character.

4.  It requires time, commitment, dedication, community and help - Homeschooling needs both the heart and mind

5.  It needs to have a strong foundation - Yes to this!  This is what we mostly learned and I will give you my response on this in the coming days.  I just need to answer the worksheets Ms. Donna gave us.



smacked in the center is Ms. Donna