Thursday, May 28, 2015

My Big White Wall

Hiya! How are you Ladies? It's officially friday and I'm super excited for the long weekend! June 1 is Vesak Day here in Singapore. And I'm just happy that Mr. Panda will be here when I wake up on Monday. We didn't plan any out of town trips because he'll probably work at home but I'm just excited that for three days, I'll wake up next to him. And hopefully, we can do a thing or two from my to-do-list for our flat. Speaking of our flat,we're kinda torn if we will renew our contract... he moved to the head office and his commute time is around 1 hour and 45 minutes via train!  Sayang yung time na he should be home..... but we love our place right now and our landlords are heaven sent. We're worried that we might not get the same type of landlords.

I still want to proceed with my little projects for our flat and one of them is our blank wall at the living room. We have a big white wall where our TV is attached. The landlord only allowed a 42" TV and now we have big spaces sa wall. We're thinking of placing an artwork, frames or ledge..... Here are some of my inspirations :)

Images grabbed from google

What do you think guys? :) 

Monday, May 18, 2015

Top 10 signs you're an Expat wife

I've been an expat wife since October.... but it was only last January when I really felt it. For some reason, when people learned that I don't work... they will ask me at least three times "why? , "when will you look for a job", " do you have a child to take care of?" and since we still don't have a child, the next question most likely is.... "why are you not working? ehhhh you don't have a child?"

I googled the meaning of an Expat Wife.. and I found this.....

Expat wife. A woman who follows her husband abroad, often for his job, while her new job is caretaker and driver. She takes care of the kids, the home / showroom, herself (as in shopping, body treatments and tennis) and the social network (as in voluntary work, lunches and tennis). As a driver, she takes her kids to and from school, play dates and activities such as – tennis, usually in a fancy-schmancy car or a SUV.

Errrr... No. That description is not mine. Yes, I did follow my husband abroad... well, not really. We arrived together here in SG. We still don't have kids. My husband and I take care of the flat. Yes, I do shopping but not the body treatments (because I still find it pricey) and I don't do sports. No, I don't drive. We have plans on getting a car but definitely not a fancy-schmancy car or SUV. Cars in SG are super pricey too!

So, what's the possible signs of an Expat wife like me?

1.  I miss the comfort of our own car. And still take the cab as my first choice.
- back in PH, we're not rich. But Thank God for my parents that we're able to live comfortably because of them. We grew up with cars and a driver to bring us to school until my class schedule is close to my papa's schedule. I miss that I can buy groceries and bulky items and I don't have to worry if the items will fit in the cab. 

2.  Cold Storage and Jason's 
- these two stores offer a variety of choices for expats. From the tissue paper to condiments! and oh UCC 3in1 coffee and i-can't believe-its-not-butter! I also love Giant because they stock some Pinoy goodies and kitchen must-haves like patis and suka :) 

3. Disposable shopping at Ikea
- during our first few months, we're in Ikea almost every week! our flat is fully furnished (and the owners have a good taste too!) but we still prefer to use some items that we personally purchased i.e. cutlery, bed sheets, bathroom rugs, cookware --- all from Ikea. First, the price! everything seems so cheap compared to Tangs. And you can easily mix and match the Swedish design.

4. Shopping while googling
- because I want to try local brands, I google a lot while shopping! especially while doing the groceries. From cleaning brands to air purifier - i google for reviews while I stand in front of the item. 

5. Walk continually while looking at your phone
- not because I'm lost. But because I'm following the arrow at my Singapore map apps.

6. Ship or throw
- that's my mantra whenever I go shopping for our flat. Is this item worth to ship to Manila when we move to another country or when we go home? or this item is ok to throw after 12-24 months of usage?

7. I ride the train before and after the rush hour
-- and I go out wearing shorts, shawl when it gets cold in the train and I have a book or my phone to keep me entertain for the next 30 minutes or more. 

8. Leisure walk
-- people are always rushing here, You'll see them running in walkalator and escalators especially during rush hours. Tourists will always approach me for directions and questions how to load or top-up their mrt card, I don't look like a local but then again maybe because I move in a slower pace, tourist might find it easier to approach me.

9. Marvel at the safety at 11pm
-- still amazeballs that we can walk outside at 11pm! and still feel safe! If there's one thing I'm super happy with this country is that you feel secured and safe! Kudos to SG! i wish Manila will make us feel this way too :)

10. Sepanx with Rice...white rice and gravy
- there's no rice and gravy in Mc Donald's and some KFC branches (i.e. singapore zoo branch). For someone like me who enjoyed drizzling her steaming white rice with gravy. This is major sepanx.

My posts might sound shallow to some of you but for my fellow expat wives --- i'm pretty sure you guys can relate! :) 

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Message to Moms from a non-mommy!

Agree? SuperAgree!!!! Real Moms will do whatever it takes to get it done for their kids!

My Mama will pampered us but scold us to the nth level just to make sure to get things straight. As a child, you'll have a love - hate relationship with your mom but eventually you'll realize that she will do whatever it takes to make sure you'll be in a perfect place.

I'm not yet a mommy but I love my pamangkins with all my heart. Some will say it's not the same but maybe the only difference is hindi ako yung nagdala sa kanila sa earth but the love? I can bet you all my fingers baka mas mahal ko pa sila.

1. Instinct - I know only mothers are supposed to have this, but when you love a person for so long. Kabisado mo na din when she's really happy or not. Sometimes, I woke up with a heavy heart and I'll open my phone and I have messages na, Kaya pala. Or sometimes, sasabihin nila ayaw nila ang isang bagay pero alam mo naman gusto talaga nila. Vice Versa. 

2. Unconditional Love - eto nobela post ( let's make it short) but kahit anong galit ko or sama ng loob ko. By the  end of the day, I still think of them and pray for them na ok sila. Kahit nasan pa sila. I will always pray that they're happy and healthy and most especially safe. Sometimes, we say things we don't mean sa sobrang pag mamahal natin for them but if hurtful yun sa kanila, Multiply it by a hundred sa pain we're feeling na hindi naman tayo ang mommy but our concern and love is nth level na. I cannot fathom the idea of not loving them..... minsan hindi ko na din maintindihan ang sarili. how can I love someone so much na hindi ko man lang anak? that i forgive them without saying sorry? siguro nga kasi unconditional love

3. Discipline - I will often hear this statement " madali pag hindi mo anak, pag ayaw mo na balik mo sa magulang" NOT TRUE. The hardest part of loving someone who's not your own kid is discipline. If you don't discipline them properly... people will say " e kasi hindi niya anak, kaya ok lang sa kanya ganyan yung bata" but if you scold them and grounded them " e kasi hindi niya anak, kaya mahigpit siya" or "hindi naman siya ang mommy, akala mo kung sino".  Damn you do, damn you don't. But if you really love someone, you will try your best to impart wisdom and goodness in them.

4. Loyalty - dahil nga hindi mo anak,  may loyalty yan sa parents, Kahit sayo pa nakatira yan and you spend 80% of your life with them. Loyalty to their parents with them. Expected mo na yan if you love someone na hindi mo anak. Yes, masakit kasi sa lowest points ikaw ang kasama pero sa happy moments hindi ikaw. Pero then again, due to unconditional love ok lang sayo. Ikaw pa magsasabi "don't forget your mom..." and ikaw pa ang magtatakip sa parents niya. 

5. GPS - people will say mommies are wired that way. Pero ako hindi mommy. GPS kung asan sila. Ah lunchtime na --- siguro nasa school canteen na yun, what is she eating kaya? sana hindi yung msg overload na french fries. 3pm - break niya sa office, i hope she's eating kasi maaga siya sa office kanina. baka pagod na yun. 5pm- tapos na kumon niya,I need to pick him up na (sabay takbo sa elevator). Pati sa bahay may GPS ka, GPS sa gamit nila. "Ninang, where's my shoes? the blue one, the brown one, the crocs one" and kailangan mo mahanap agad pa or else that little voice will turn to its highest volume until cranky levels. 

6. Selflessness - I grew up with a pampered childhood. But I made some sacrifices na even my closest friends wanted to kill me at some point. I won't go into details,but let's say until now pag naiisip ko yun. Hindi naman ako iyakin pero naiiyak ako in 10 seconds. Ibang level ng stupidity eto. Pero ganun talaga pag love mo kahit hindi mo pa anak. Kahit last money mo, ibibigay mo.

7. Dreams - all of us have our own dreams and goals. But mine (since I was 7 years old) kasama na sila, and even when I got married. I even incorporated my own husband sa dreams na yun. Dreams na I can support them all the way. I wished that we can travel together, and with my husband's generosity we were able to travel to 3 countries in 1 year. Whenever I remember their happy faces at the happiest place on earth, a big check sa bucket list ko.

8. Organizer, multi tasker - kahit grown ups na sila, you'll treat them sometimes like a 5 years old especially sa travels. Yung travel kit nila with the passports, itinerary, what to do when you get lost and their things to bring and snack bags same sa 5 years old! ang difference lang si 5 years old may whistle for crowded places, sila wala. And kailangan mo isipin yung needs nila before they actually need it. Foresee all the possibilities especially their needs and wants. A niece moved into a dorm para near sa school, walang ref sa room niya, I know hindi naman siya mahilig sa cold beverages but she likes snacks and with her school load. she needs all the comfort and support. A personal refrigerator, stocked with her favorite snacks, is a nice "start of the school year" gift. We got her blue para favorite color pa niya. Whenever we travel, I customized their travel kits. Pati sunblock and anti insect stickers, kasi yung isa may asthma ayaw niya ng scented. Yung isa sensitive ang skin so dapat ganitong sunblock. My mommy friends would always teased me minsan daw mas madami pa ko alam na kiddie products, research lang ng research :) 

9. Temper - I won't lie, may temper ako. Pero pagdating sa kids, wala. Kahit ibang kids, kasi iniisip ko na lang sana maging mabait din ang total strangers sa mga pamangkin ko. Example, a kid pushed a brimming pushcart sakin sa s&r, Susko, ang sakit nun, pero i smiled and told him "be careful next time ha" the mom was apologetic and super embarrassed pero iniisip ko if pamangkin ko yung kid, sana yung "victim" will still be nice and not shout at him/her.

10. Contentment - I'm a person who's rarely contented. But when I'm with them, there is a cloud of peace that enveloped me. I will always hope and pray they are in a good place kahit malayo pa sila. As long as they're in a good place ok na sakin yun. 

11. Counselor - I missed the mornings that when I woke up, i have messages from them "call me" "text me please". Usually, problema ang meaning nun. But I don't mind, as long as they need me andun ako. 

12. I have a very strong personality, always balck and white ang actions ko on things. But pagdating sa kids, iba... I worry and over think a lot. Paranoid na kung paranoid, pero sa isang pagkakamali, pwede mawala ang precious life. Yes, we can't cover all bases but process of eliminations dba? if medyo delikado, wag na gawin. Better to over react, kesa magsisi sa huli. I'm sorry but I get really pissed off when some parents say "naku ok lang yan, wag masyado sensitive sa bata" tapos pag may nangyari blaming game or isisi sa Lord. Yes, accidents happen a LOT pero yung pag iingat sa bata ay endless. 

13. Lastly, hindi porke hindi kami ang mommy. we love them less than the standards of a mom. I love those kids with all my heart kahit alam ko hindi ako ang mom, hindi ako ang katabi nila when they blow the candles sa birthday cake nila, When they go up sa stage to receive their school awards. When they walk down the aisle. When I grow old, hindi sila ang mag aalaga sakin because busy sila sa parents nila. Alam ko yun lahat. But I'm more than happy na they call me when they have problems, pag may masakit sa kanila, pag nahulog sila sa swing and they will reach out to me agad, pag nakabangga sila and we will camp sa police station at christmas eve, pag nahihilo sila sa ferry ride and they need comfort. As long as they need me, whether it's good or bad times. 

I salute all kind of moms! single, stay at home, working moms! all kind of moms! But please don't judge or make comments about ladies like me na hindi mommy na "you don't know how we feel because we're the mommies!" because we do. I do. And it's more painful because you don't have the right to feel that way but you do.

Belated Happy Mother's Day  to all Mommies, Mommies to be and Pseudo Mommies! :)