Monday, September 29, 2008

Productive on the 1st day of the week - check! Bullied for the 1st time = check!

Last week was one of those weeks when my brain and hands do not seem to get along. :) So many ideas and plans but all of them are just random bits and pieces.... on my thesis proposal, business, activities to do with the kids, even my mental to-do-list-before-i-die! I tried to put them in writing but I ended up with more to-do lists! Overwhelming...felt like drowning in my own doing. I just had to pull out myself. I need to FOCUS so I thought hey maybe I'll just slow down a bit and re-align myself.

And so I did. I just did a little bit of design, a little bit of proofing. For my thesis, I was stucked! I just can't seem to figure out what are the sub-topics of my thesis! There's so many things going on my mind about my thesis but when I start to write them down, wah, as in wala ako masulat! :(

Weekend came, still no output. I do work a bit but nothing I expect I could do in a week's time. Instead, I just bonded with the family which is equally, rather more important than I mentioned above. Vcoy just had his Monthly Test and he needed to relax and just have fun playing. Loui improved a teeny weeny bit on her eating time (< style="font-weight: bold; color: rgb(255, 0, 0);">Monday morning Things are going pretty well even if I feel a little dizzy in the morning. Emails answered, designs and samples were sent. Job orders prepared. Production began. Working on my sub-topics. Exciting!

Monday afternoon

Vcoy came home with a swollen upper lip. We thought he's having an allergy/asthma attack. We were advised by his pulmonologist that symptom like this needs immediate attention. He must be brought to the hospital because his allergy might spread on his windpipe/throat (basta sa leeg!) and he might have difficulty breathing. I was about to give him his asthma medicine before bringing him to the hospital when I asked him what happened. "Do you have allergy? What happened to your lips?" I think I was more tensed than him.
"No, Mommy, Kulas (not his real name) punched me!" Whaaatttt???? Then, I think I asked a lot of questions one after another. I can feel my blood pressure going up. But when I noticed tears are welling in his eyes, I told myself "DON'T PANIC! Breathe in, breathe out. All the more you are scaring him." And so I told him we're just gonna talk later. Just take a rest and eat his merienda.

While we were having our snack together, I asked him casually why did Kulas punched him? Did he do something wrong that would make Kulas punch him? He said no. Then he began talking.... "He's been bullying me for some time now. He would always tease me I'm panget (ugly) because I have bulok teeth!" Frankly, his teeth are not as in bulok. He's just starting to develop some permanent teeth. Of course, sino bang hindi naging bulok ang ipin nya at one point in his life! Grrr! Kakagigil ung Kulas na un ah, I thought. But of course, I cannot show my son my "immature" side. Pero kung ako lang talaga, at kung pwede lang, kukutusan ko talaga yung batang yun! Sarap sakalin! ;)

You might say I'm immature but for a mother like me, I don't think so! Who wouldn't like her son to be punched by some bully kid for no reason at all? I know my son very well. He's not the type of kid who bullies other kids. He may be hyper, makulit pero mababaw lang kaligayahan nya. He's basically a happy kid - always smiling, palabati even the parents of his classmates tell me so (I was surprised when I went to the Accounting office of CSA the cashier knows him! She said Vcoy never fails to say "Hi" to her after class!). He is a very sweet to all of us...a gentle creature.

So I called up Kulas' adviser and told her what happened. I took pictures of Vcoy's swollen upper lip but only after 2.5 hrs have past. Kainis! I did not thought about it the moment I knew what happened. Nevertheless, I have documented it and I have proof of what Kulas did to him. So you Moms out there, God forbid, if this happens to your kid, grab that camera and take pictures so you have proof.

The adviser assured me that they will investigate the case and talk to both children and appropriate disciplinary action will be given to Kulas. I told her that I am ready for a conference with the teachers and the parent of Kulas and I have photos of Vcoy's swollen lips as proof of what Kulas did to him.


We prepared ourselves that our children will experience a lot of good and bad things in school or wherever they may be. That's part of life. No matter how much we wanted to protect them from any harm some things are meant to be experienced by them and only them. We, as parents, are just there to assure them that no matter what we LOVE them. We may not be always be there physically to shield them from harm but at the end of the day our children can run to as and we, in turn, will embrace them lovingly with open arms.

We planted seeds of good manners to our kids because we want them to be good persons throughout their lives...God-fearing, can speak out their minds but at the same time responsible for their actions.

While Vcoy and I are studying, he told me out of the blue "Mommy, I miss my old classmates." (referring to his classmates in pre-school). Then I began to explain to him that his former classmates also feel that way because they are also in other big schools. They also miss him just as much as he misses them. I can feel what he is trying to tell me and so I hugged him and said, "Kuya, you will experience a lot of good and bad things in school. But no matter what happens, always remember that Mommy, Daddy, all of us love you. Some kids are just bullies but don't mind them. Stay away from them if you can but then you also have to learn to protect yourself. You have lots of other good friends in school, right? Just don't be like the bullies." And he told me, "...because Jesus can see us...what we do..., right Mommy?"

Yeah...if only we keep that in mind ALWAYS then this world would be a much better place, isn't it?

Monday, September 22, 2008

Natatawa ako! Hahaha! >:)

What a lame title you might think but its just how I feel today....

I started the day with a prayer and a promise to myself that I will be productive this week...tama na yung petiks petiks last weekend (as in BB = buhay baboy = kain, tulog, snack, nuod tv, kain ulet). Had my try to have a healthy breakfast of whole wheat bread but with a gracious spread of Queensland butter. hehehe. You see, I'm just trying to eat healthy here but I cannot take whole wheat bread, plain, just like that. I felt like eating a cup of brown rice with no viand! So, I promised bosing that I will eat whole wheat bread BUT with butter. Bahala na kung kelan ko ma-take na tanggalin ang butter! :) At least I made a small step in eating healthier foods. nyay!

After breakfast, checked my emails, logged on to my ym to greet bosing good morning before he goes on to his presentation today... (no, he's not actor but a part of his job is to convince their client that the project they are working on is moving ie., nagtatrabaho naman sila, hehehe). Then I checked my favorite blogs then checked my lotto ticket if I already won 65M. Hmmm, I only got 2 numbers. The rest are either 1 number away or simply not just my number! Oh well, I am 1 day closer to my lotto jackpot. (Btw, I am not a regular lotto player. Just when I see an outlet and have some money to spare that I get to play and dream to win.)

While surfing the blogosphere, I was multitasking - working on my weekly to-do list, updating my planner and listening to old OPM songs which bosing gave me yesterday. Hmm...quite productive huh until I stumbled upon abuggedlife's entry - the winners from the recently concluded PBA2 (Philippine Blog Awards 2). And so I bloghopped from 1 winner blog to another. From an OFW blog to a call center agent's blog, I had fun reading all of them. Why? Because their blogs are real-life accounts of Pinoys here or abroad, OFW or yuppies, inglesero or jologs, mix-mix! Some really made me laugh, others made me think, some are simply prolific, some simply annoying because of cursing here and there. But overall, I had fun.

Oh, and before I end this entry, maraming salamat to lolo duddy & lala for sending a box of goodies (read: sangkatutak na chocolates at kung anu-anu pang pampa-hyper!) to us. Special mention to lolo duddy for not forgetting my Noni's biscotti and my dried maple leaves. Yes, real maple leaves. I use them for my limited edition (naks!) autumn-inspired invites. Hmmm...amoy isteyts! haha!

As for my work, I managed to revise submitted 4 drafts to my clients while bloghopping. My to-do list, well, that's what I will work on next after posting this!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

"Be the change you want to see in this world" - Gandhi

Two days ago, I got a call from a groom-to-be inquiring about the possibility of supplying them with handmade paper envelopes & backing for their invitation. They will be printing their own invite which was done digitally but they wanted to convey a "green wedding" theme to their invite.

Every time I encounter people who are eco-conscious, especially soon-to-weds looking specifically for handmade paper invitations, I get ecstatic because this is what our country and the whole world needs - a breed of people wanting to change the world in their own little ways. I can't help but give the groom a "little" background of our handmade papers, its impact on our environment and in the lives of the people who were once displaced by a civil war in Mindanao. In my own little way, I wanted him to know that his payment for the invitations that I will make will not only benefit myself but it goes a long way. How?

I employ 2.5 people (the 0.5 is my yaya who part-times in my business handling our inventory :) ) and they have their family to support to back home. As for me, this little business that I have not only brings a little livelihood for myself but this has been my passion, my creative outlet, the one who brought back my self-esteem. Its a long story but lets just leave it at that :)

Going back, patronizing our Philippine handmade paper means we are helping these people to earn a living not just for the workers but also their families who depend on them. At the same time, MSMEs help fuel our economy and help ease our labor problem. On the environmental aspect, these papers are TREE-FREE (you may also want to check out my blog action day entry here), meaning, trees were not cut (= no deforestation = no floods). We use abaca, salago & cogon grass instead. Cogon grass used to be a waste grass but has become useful in handmade paper -making.

So what could be better than this? Environment-friendly + job creation + unique & personalized

Problem is AWARENESS. In the wedding industry, for the past 7 years that I've been doing this, I can say that somehow I made a mark in the handcrafted, handmade paper invitation category because I stick it out in using Philippine handmade paper (not Thailand or India handmade papers pls.) and as much as possible using indigenous materials (Pinoy-made) to help other small businesses, too. But with the advent of digital printing, cheaper imported commercial papers, other printers can come up with really cheap prices of invites but with quality indeed. I cannot really compete with that since handmade paper alone is not cheap as commercial paper + the fact that we are fair-traders.

{ When you choose commercial paper...}

Commercial papers usually contain virgin pulps from trees. Some contain 30% post-consumer waste (pulp from recycled paper products) which is a good thing BUT STILL they still contain virgin pulps from trees.

The production process may or may not be environmentally-friendly (depending on what country and IF the manufacturers follow strict guidelines in production ie., how do they handle post-production waste? are the workers properly protected during production? Are they fairly compensated?)

Most commercial papers here are imported. When we import, we shell out needed $ (that our country needs) and we give "livelihood" big companies abroad. If only we buy Filipino then the money could have been paid to Filipino business that in turn employ Filipinos, too. Of course, you may say that the import taxes also help our government (o "government people"?)in a way but that is quite a big ? for me. Anyway, in my opinion, I think buying locally far outweighs importing (& paying import taxes daw) in terms of livelihood it gives to our people. On the environment aspect, importing means we use more fuel/energy than buying locally.

In printing the invites, I do hope more and more printing presses will use soy-based inks instead of the hazardous chemical inks.

In fairness, digital or offset invitations can take so many beautiful forms - in the design, colors, shapes - that handmade paper counterpart cannot really compete (i ran out of word other than this) to. But as I always say, I don't compete with them...I have a league of my own...we cater to people who appreciate handmade things, eco-conscious and personalized service. People who want to be a change in this world.

So, going back to the groom, we ended up talking longer than the usual inquiry thing... how they (bride & groom) want not just to have a "green" wedding but throughout their lives. Its so nice to meet people who have the same wavelength as is mentally stimulating and makes you feel that you are not alone in your environmental campaign. And just like what Optimus Prime said "....we are here...we are waiting."

Think Green!

Monday, September 15, 2008

A Carrot, An Egg, And A Cup Of Coffee...

A friend of mine sent me this today. This is something I need these days. Hope you'll enjoy this as much as I did. You will never look at a cup of coffee the same way again.

* * * * * * * * * *

A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her.. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up, She was tired of fighting and struggling.. It seemed as one problem was solved, a new one arose.

Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to boil. In the first she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil; without saying a word.

In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs ou t and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl. Turning to her daughter, she asked, 'Tell me what you see..' 'Carrots, eggs, and coffee,' she replied.

Her mother brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. The mother then asked the daughter to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard boiled egg.

Finally, the mother asked the daughter to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled as she tasted its rich aroma. The daughter then asked, 'What does it mean, mother?'

Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity: boiling water. Each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong , hard, and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the e boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior, but after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened. The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water.

'Which are you?' she asked her daughter. When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?

Think of this: Which am I? Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength?

Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff ? Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and hardened heart?!

Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you. When the hour is the darkest and trials are their greatest,
do you elevate yourself to another level? How do you handle adversity? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?

May you have enough happiness to make you sweet,
enough trials to make you strong, enough sorrow to
keep you human and enough hope to make you happy.

The happiest of people don't necessarily have the best of everything ng; they just make the most of everything that comes along their way.. The brightest future will always be based on a forgotten past; you can't go forward in life until you let goof your past failures and heartaches.

When you were born, you were crying and everyone around you was smiling.
Live your life so at the end, you're the one who is smiling and everyone around you is crying.

I am posting this message to those people who mean to me; to those who have touched my life in one way or another; to those who make me smile when I really need it; to those who make me see the brighter side of things when I am really down; to those whose friendships I appreciate; to those who are so meaningful in my life.

May we all be COFFEE!

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Now it can be told.... (a long post!)

First of all, a huge THANK YOU and SORRY to anyone who visited my blog only to find out that I haven't updated it in ages! :(

From my last post, I thought I was ready to come back into scrapping and blogging but I wasn't. I had thoughts running across my mind wanting to tell the universe whatever I wanted to share but when I log on to my blogger, I just can't.

On the scrapping scene, I haven't scrapped in months! I just don't have the mojo to create and I feel like I'm an outcast in the local scrapbooking groups...I'm not sure why I feel this but maybe because I chose not to be in the scene. Why? Its not because of anyone or anything. I just had to trim down my priorities and activities which finally became clear to me after I came back from the states. Those are: my kids' schooling, my business and my own studies. Yes, I went back to school.

Sometime in May when I drove hubby to a job interview, I visited my school which is a few blocks away. At first, I went to the other school (CSB) to inquire about their design courses but thoughts of going back to Main came across since I know I still have an unfinished business there. I am 9 units + thesis away from my Computer Science degree. Its a long story as to why it took me so long in this course (thesis group problems, business and eventually getting married + being a mother to 2) but all I can say is I've never been a bum! I lived a fulfilling life, a so-called career maybe (if putting up 2 businesses count) and being there for my children in the first 7 years of their lives full-time in a way since I work at home. I didn't regret anything... I just couldn't stand leaving my very young children then to the care of the nanny.

I really believe that God has His own plans for us... He is the Master Planner of our lives. Just when I thought I will never pursue my course till the end, an idle time led me to pay a visit to my school and inquire if I can still enroll. "We are just waiting for you to come back....Immortal ka na dito, we cannot deny you enrolment." These words as spoken by the Vice-Dean's Academic Assistant. And as if everything fell into place, they gave me the forms to have them signed that day and asked me to come back since 2 of the 3 remaining subjects would be special classes since they don't offer it anymore.

After hubby's job interview, I told him about it and he was the usual very supportive husband. I love my husband! :) Kids are now older, 6 & 7, one in big school and 1 in prep and spend most of the time in school so Mommy can now also spend some time in school! And a blessing indeed that I only get to go to school on Tuesdays and Thursdays for the 3 subjects (2 were 1x a week only) so it wouldn't take a lot of my time for the kids' homework & reviews plus a time for me to work on my business.

And so, that is WHY I have been MIA on this blog. I realized I have to trim down my activities and priorities FOR NOW because I need to FOCUS on what matters most at hand. And I guess I have succeeded so far because I finally made it!!!! I finished my 3 subjects for this term with flying colors!!!! Yahooo!!!!! Hahahaha! I cried last week after my project defense that required me to learn and make a courseware in Adobe Flash in 2 weeks time! It was indeed a fast 1st term for me. Time quickly passed by and now I am done with the 9 units! But its not yet finished... I still have to work on my thesis which is a teachware using Adobe Flash that I have to defend by March 2009. So my blogging here is just the time I have for now before I start to work on my thesis. I am positive and more than inspired to work on it though since it will involve my passions: designing, the environment and teaching. So pray for me so I will have the strength to do this. The finished project will (I hope) be a significant contribution to what our world needs today - environmental awareness and teaching our kids about it.

For the past months, I didn't subscribe to the yahoogroups so I am unaware of what's happening in the scrapping arena. I only get to read some blogs of friends, oh how I miss them! But I am contented for now just to read their blogs, see their beautiful creations. Sometimes the feeling of guilt & littleness (if there's a word) creeps in but I keep in mind that each has her own world, I have mine and I have a set of priorities that I need to focus for now. Of course, it wouldn't hurt if I make a layout or 2, but I will only do it if and when I feel like doing it, not because of whatever outside pressure.

On the homefront, kids are doing fine. Vcoy is in CSA and he's now enjoying it though the first 2 weeks were torture for him (waking up early, the long bus ride, writing a lot!) but hubby is right, he just have to go through it to learn. (my heart breaks when I see him still sleepy during breakfast but I learned also). Loui is becoming more and more creative (like mommy!) - doodling, cartooning, anything that will keep her hands busy. They were supportive also of my schooling especially the last 2 weeks when I was working on my Flash project. They were my UATs (User Acceptance Testing). Now, they are happier to see me everyday when they come home from school.

On the business side, I'm officially back to work preparing for our exhibit at the Wedding Expo Philippines this weekend. Its the start of the wedding season in the Philippines so things will be busier around here.

Whew! Thank you for reading this (do I still have readers here???). Hopefully I get to update this regularly. Cheers to more blogposts!!! :) And lastly, I just want to share with you the splash screen content I made in my project:

"Be the change you wish to see in this world." - Gandhi