Tuesday, December 13, 2016

PLANNING that BIG round the world trip

So, I am jotting down the cities that I want to visit, as well as the number of nights we may possibly stay. Some places to visit.. Nothing set in stone, just rough ideas at this stage. So here it goes....

Hong Kong - 3 nights
Tokyo - 4 nights
Osaka - 2 nights
*Seoul - 3 nights
London / UK - 7 nights
Paris - 5 nights
Madrid - 3 nights
Barcelona - 3 nights
*Monaco / Nice - 1 night
Rome / Vatican - 3 nights
*Sicily - 4 nights
Tuscany - 7 nights (car hire)
Venice - 2 nights
*Florence - 2 nights
Cinque Terre - 3 nights
Mykonos - 2 nights
Santorini - 3 nights
*Valetta - 3 nights
Zurich - 3 nights
*Dublin - 2 nights
St Petersburg - 4 or 5 nights
Frankfurt - 4 nights
*Brussels - 2 nights
Amsterdam - 4 nights
Copenhagen - 4 nights
Stockholm - 4 nights
Oslo - 3 nights
Helsinki - 3 nights
New York - 7 nights
Los Angeles / Santa Monica - 7 nights
San Francisco - 7 nights
Lake Louise / Jasper - 3 nights
Honolulu - 6 nights
Maui - 4 nights
Boracay - 6 nights
Cebu - 4 nights
Manila - 7 nights

*Budapest River cruise
*Caribbean cruise

*Optional city visit for now

I've just computed the number of nights above - and it is already looking like a 4 month vacation! Eventually I will need to cut some nights. For now, this is just a rough guide anyway!!! (I got too excited!)

When the kids are older

Sometimes I find myself daydreaming about getting my life back - when the kids are older. Although part of me, of course, wants time to stop them from growing up too fast. However, part of me also wants to enjoy them already (and get a bit of me time, too!). At the moment, my time management skills are super messed up, my organising skills are nearly non-existent. The house is usually a mess, my under eyes are the darkest shade ever, hubby sleeps in a different room - while myself and the kids in ours, we can't travel long drives as the little one hates car rides... the list goes on about what a having a young family entails. But I love it in a lot of ways than one. But for now, I am indulging in my daydream. Fast forward to 4 years from now. The little ones in school, and I am back to earning some moolah - contributing to our family funds (oooh and that BIG Trip in 4 years!).

Sometimes I daydream about:

- Having the Christmas tree decors properly put - and stay put for the duration of the holiday period! (at the moment, for the past 6 years - our eldest puts up the decors first - then I put them back up tidy-er).

- Sleeping in!!!! Weekends are a must, and maybe one or two mornings during the week too!
Ok, even just a proper full sleep. My last proper sleep was in 2008!!!!!

- Do my own thing in the toilet and shower - alone - without it being a whole family affair!

- Cooking because I want to, and because I enjoy it - rather than rushing to cook and feed the brood.
Oh, and cooking with both my arms/hands free. (Nowadays, I have a permanent back and side pain coz I carry little L while I cook - while I clean, while I do a LOT of things) (With one hand).

- Just do nothing. And have time to be bored. (Nowadays, I rarely have that quiet 'me' time where I don't have to think of too many things all at once). (I usually rush things because I sneak 'me' time in between the little one's naps)

- Do something uninterrupted.

- Have 'me' time during the day!!! (Nowadays 'me' time happens late at night when the kids are asleep) (I end up falling asleep too on some nights!)

- I want to travel more. With the family. But also, sneak in a getaway with my girlfriends who I haven't seen in ages!

- Make a weekly menu - and stick to it! (Not be too tired midweek to follow through what my menu says)

- Go on a date with hubby. (I am not comfortable leaving our little one with my sister to babysit - until maybe she's about 4 years old).

- Have time to properly groom myself (have time to be meticulous about my face, hair, clothes, etc). Nowadays, this is always rushed - so I only get to do the basics (if I am lucky!).

I am sure I can think of a lot more. For now, these are what comes to mind. One day!

Friday, November 25, 2016

Lullabye or not

After so long, I was able to attend a concert again last weekend! My favourite band was in the city and so hubby gifted me with tickets! It's one of those things that are reminiscent of my single days when each weekend, or after work on a Friday night involved music or dancing somehow a microkorg would be present in the venue I was hanging out at. Nowadays, my usual music companion would be my phone playing lullabyes! I was telling hubby when the kids are older, we can enjoy a lot of our interests again. For now, my music style is not always in the forefront of my mind.

Wednesday, November 02, 2016

So little time

So much to do so little time! I am finding with a little person under 1 in the household, I need to find ways to save time and be more efficient. It is hard without help and support from immediate family. Usually, I even do my groceries online, just so I don’t have to leave the house to finish this task. Every now and then I read reviews at the hub, ask hubby to help with my online researches. I wish there was more time in a day! But, obviously this is not possible!

Thursday, September 01, 2016

Mother land

Last time I went to Manila to visit my family I did not do much but just spend time at home. Usually I would go out of town, head to the beach or the mountains for a few days. This time around the longest time I spent out of the house was only 4 hours - and that was when my mom was doing some therapy. My mom is quite unwell and so I immediately went overseas to see her as soon as I found out. I am quite glad that her condition improved while we were there (this did not stop me from researching about things to keep her comfortable such as acorn stairlifts queens new york and wheelchairs). It's not surprising how emotional I felt about the whole trip home. Having lived overseas for more than a decade I can say my family is my weakness. I have my immediate family now but of course my parents and siblings would always be important to me. I am quite close to my parents now, and being a parent myself has made me appreciate them even more so. Some days I wish I didn't have to migrate and live away from home, that way I could have spent more time with my parents and siblings. It's pointless to wallow in my regrets, so moving forward I hope that hubby finds a way to live back home even temporarily. They say it is easier to do this while the kids are still young. Lots of things to consider though! But hubby knows I have this hang up about moving back and I've been wanting to live there for quite some time now! (I have also written about this here a million times!!)

If we do push through with the plan, there are a few things I have to research on. Let me try and enumerate them now.

1. Health insurance - This obviously is one big security to have. We have managed to live without this in Australia, but surely we will need it for the Philippines.

2. Dual citizenship - I guess there are pros and cons to weigh about this topic. It is a complex thing to consider - from kids' schooling, taxes, overall alien status if we decide not to take Philippine citizenship in the beginning.

3.  Livelihood - This is the most important consideration among everything as without it we will not thrive back home! So it is a matter of finding and establishing the right business so we have some sort of income while there!

4. School - Our eldest is already in school so we will need to enrol her into a local school for the duration of our stay.

5. Living conditions - I am sure we are able to live somewhere. This would mean though that we won't have a lot of 'say' in the area we will live in. It would mean though less expense - which is important particularly in the beginning of the move when we try and put our roots down again. And I am not even thinking about our means of transport while there!

6. Tax - I am not entirely sure how this would affect the situation. I guess a visit to a tax agent is paramount.

7. Too many other things - I am actually getting a bit overwhelmed just jotting these all down! (For now)

Friday, August 12, 2016

that BIG round the world trip

My husband and I are not really the type who would lug around our young children on a long and tiring trip. It would be too taxing for the little ones and for us parents too! I do know a lot who would not mind bringing the young kids on trips to different cities and countries for months on end. However, we prefer to take our kids on a big trip in a few years time when they are a bit older - still young, but no longer an uber whingeing toddler. And as early as now I am dreaming of that time! Haha!! Sometimes I wish it was sooner than later, but I suppose later just means more time to save up and plan. Being the travel agent that I am, I am super dooper looking forward to planning this eventful trip. I will be jotting down my thoughts between now and then, about our "big round the world trip". I am thinking at least 6 weeks and at the most 8 weeks, or even 10 weeks - depending on the budget of course! 
As much as I would love to "lock" a hotel rate down during our dates- it is too far out and with the fluctuating exchange rate it would be impossible. So, I would have to be happy with putting my general ideas down to categories/pegs : 

1) City - Duration of Visit
2) Accommodation
3) Mode of transport (optional)
4) Must see attractions
5) Must places to dine in
6) Shopping (optional) -- I am not a big shopper usually (plus we came to experience the city and not shop!) 

Which sense rules you?

And I don't mean common sense! Hahaha! As I grow older I find a lot of my memories are triggered by my senses. Visually - obviously pictures, mementos and other tangible things. A lot of times songs I grew up with invoke nostalgia as well. Whenever I listen to songs I am transported to my formative years - I am not good with lyrics so sometimes I search for the lyrics online. I wouldn't go as far as searching for guitar stores near me to make a point about my nostalgic sense.

I also find my olfactory sense can trigger a lot of memories which I associate with events or moments in my past. I know a few people feel this way too, but I wonder if this is true for most people in general. Hmm.

At the moment, I am listening to my playlist which includes "Fields of Gold" by Sting! My ultimate favourite! Oh, I am now on a road trip. Just like how it used to be before.

Tuesday, August 09, 2016

Catching up

When I went home last month I didn't get to see my high school friends. Shame I wasn't able to catch up on the new goss and meet my friend's musicians friend usa who was visiting the islands as well. Luckily for me I am coming back next month and surely I would see my old friends then. Sometimes I wish we all lived in the same city again just like when we were in our teens. Living far from friends used to be harder, but with technology now we all can keep in touch virtually. We have our viber group for instant messaging, and that's just one way of keeping in touch! I remember the time when we used to snail mail each other during summer break! Oh, those were the days!

Tuesday, March 08, 2016


Complete is such a big word- especially when talking about being "done" with having kids.

I would love to have lots of kids, having come from a large family myself. However, there are a few important reasons which hubby and I think/agree/decide(d) on about having more children. (Note: We both would LOVE to have more, but with the way things are we don't think we will have any more).

(I've just realised now that a lot of my posts recently involve inumerations or lists of some sort - I just love, love, love lists!!) Here are two throw back posts fromlist loving 'me': Bursting with Ideas, and A traveller's check list.

Here are some of the reasons why hubby and I think our family is now complete:

1. We have two lovely girls with us, and a little boy in heaven watching over us. Our two girls have each other and we are beyond thankful that they will grow up with a lifelong friend/each other. As much as I would really love to have them be a part of a bigger sibling friendship..............

2. I am nearly 40 years old, and my body seems like it cannot cope with another pregnancy - having lost our little angel in 2014, having had 3 rather difficult pregnancies and deliveries. To have another pregnancy may not be the safest way.

3. Living overseas without family to help will drive me insane if we have another one. Although this one can really be overridden and only would be extremely difficult on the first year or two. Once the children reach 2 years old it usually is more cruise-y and enjoyable.

4. Serious financial issues must be looked at soon, and having another little one means our 'saving' mode will be delayed. We have decided since having our eldest that we would be the primary carer for our children and not put them in childcare for so many personal reasons. And having reason #3 to add to this situation, we have defaulted to being a one (regular) income family. I do have my business and sidelines, but that is very dependent on season and effort I put in (intentionally or involuntarily-- family comes first obviously).

These are the main reasons which I can think of now, but I am sure there are a few other compelling reasons to make us say our family is now complete. Although. while we were at church yesterday I felt this yearning to try for another boy. I think I saw a little boy seated (or lying on the floor mostly, actually!) and I wondered what it was like to be a parent of a little boy (on earth). They (boys) are a totally different specie to girls is what they say! I mentioned it to hubby but I don't think he felt the same yearning as I did. Although the feeling was real and true, I am set back by the above reasons.... and so I am just focusing on being happy and thankful for our girls.

Tonight, while scrolling on Facebook I came across a lovely page and store (etsy!). Just made me think even more about our family being complete and about my girls growing up as sisters. I myself have 3 sisters and so seeing these artworks put a smile and a tear at the same time.... for so many reasons. (And probably also due to my hormones!!).

Anyway, I came across Heather Stillufsen on Facebook, Blog and on Etsy. I love her work! Here are a few of her works which I find appropriate for this entry!

Photo from Heather Stillufsen's page

Photo from Heather Stillufsen's page

Thursday, February 25, 2016

I have this thing for Quora

I have this thing for Quora. I read Q and A's there every now and then and it is quite entertaining and possibly I learn a few things sometimes (whether they are true or not, well, is another thing).

Today while reading I picked this up:
If you don't appreciate your freedom, you don't learn to appreciate (or make) your good decisions.

Those are in my words and my interpretation of what I read. Growing up, I felt I didn't have much freedom. Being the eldest, like a lot of first borns, I was the guinea pig of my parents. They were more overprotective of me when I was young. And as I grew older I felt they didn't really give me much freedom, which my younger siblings had when it was their turn to be a teenager, a young adult, etc. They were stricter with me- which made me a bit more uptight I think as an adult. I was not 'trained' to think that I could make good decisions. Whether this was because of how I was brought up or my personality, I don't know.

So, when I read the Quora answer it kind of struck a chord in me. Perhaps the reason why I sometimes question my decisions (whether I was making the right choice in life) was because I never appreciated my freedom- because I didn't have one before.

When I moved out of home at 25, and moved to a different country- I was seeking freedom. It was the biggest decision I think I would ever make and have made- in my entire life. It was a life changing decision that would pave way for my future life, the future life of my (immediate) family, my kids and the future generation.

The big 4-0

Turning 40 soon has had me thinking about a few things lately. One, major one is whether to have another baby. Hmm. I guess this is partly n...