Little Improvements

Today is a good day. I got enough sleep the night before so I was energized and inspired to do a 10 minute workout. Samsung Health has cool programs btw. So I didn’t need to pay for a subscription for an app (was considering 8fit for a while) every month to get some workout routines.

I think I also did a good job at work and was able to focus on the important things on my to do list. I realized slowing down and listening intently to meetings instead of multitasking works!

Doing things right is better than checking off things on my to do list!

I need to make this my motto in life because I tend to try to multitask so much that I let some things slip. And sometimes it is the small tiny details that matter most.

My plants are getting lesser every day. Well, winter is coming in about 2 months so I am not so worried about it. I just hope my grape and moringa trees survive the winter.

Daughter is also doing well. She started having a favorite movie, Moana. She watches it at least 3 times a day. She sings, dances and acts like Moana. When monsters come out, she also gets scared, runs to me, and bury herself in my arms. She amuses me.

Husband and I still need to spend some alone time together, just us. We need to have date nights but we just haven’t found someone to entrust our daughter to.


Our Family’s Journey to Wellness

My 2018 is all about overall wellness for our family.


  • Derek to feel more healthy, no emergency care visits, no more throwing up, no more stomach pains
  • Derek to sleep better, lessen dependency on sleep aids
  • Derek to feel happier, less anxious
  • Derek to gain weight
  • Mylene to sleep better and feel better
  • Mylene to lose weight, exercise and eat healthy
  • Mylene to find new dentist
  • Mylene visit derma and find a new OB
  • Mylene to take more PTO
  • Myka to eat healthy food

I will start to track our progress along with the bumps we encounter along the way.

Thinking About Weekly Meal Planning

I tried to include overnight oats in my weekly meal plans but I still could not get myself into liking oatmeal.

So now I am trying to look for other easy meal recipes I can use.

My friends gave me a big zucchini and some large tonatoes last week so I looked for a recipe to use them and found Cheesy Zucchini Tots.

I forgot to do one important step though… to drain the zucchini! So they did turn out soggy.

This is how they turned out.. not so pretty but they taste fine to me.

I also tried to make marinara sauce from the tomatoes because they are so ripe now and I would hate for them to go to waste. Followed this simple recipe.

Child Development @ 19 months

Communication – still refuses to say mama but says others words like shoes, toes, head, foot, dog, dad or dada, no, hello and haha. She also uses hand signals for more, food, and no.

Socialization – she is better with being around people. Gives hugs and kisses to close family members, waves good bye to friends we occasionally meet and lets other people hold her after she warms up to them.

Food and feeding – she eats a lot and is not picky. She likes feeding herself using her hands, spoon or fork. She also tells us whenever she wants to eat or drink. She would come to us and point to the food or take our hand and pull us to the place where we usually put her food.

Motor skills – she started walking when she was around 13 months old. Now she loves taking walks around the neighborhood. She would take her shoes to me and say shoes shoes! And after I put them on her she would drag me to the door.

Sleep – she wakes up around 9 to 10am during weekdays and takes a nap around 3 to 4:30 or 5. Then goes to bed at 10pm. She does pretty good, sleeping throughout the night but I tend to sleep with her, mostly because I fall asleep when putting her to sleep.

Play – she loves watching and singing/dancing along with nursery rhymes on YouTube. We sometimes let her use her tablet during weekends. She also loves building blocks, and playing with her other toys. She is not yet interested in playing with kids her age. But loves to play with me – usually building blocks and Ring Around the Rosy

Emotional – She wakes up happy, smiling from ear to ear when she sees me or her daddy. I think she is a very happy baby. She is also very sweet. She likes hugging and kissing me and her dad, and also her dolls. She likes playing pretend with her baby dolls too. Putting them to bed or putting them in her toy cart, like how her dad puts her in the cart when they go grocery shopping.

Reading – she is interested in books but gets easily distracted or bored. She likes books that she can touch and feel.

Mother’s Day

I dreaded for this day to come since January this year. I used to love this day and do something special for my mother. I live thousands of miles away from her so I ask my brothers or sister to give her flowers or eat out using the money I send to them. This year, I didn’t greet her (heck we haven’t spoken for 3 months now), post any Mother’s Day greeting on Facebook, or text her. I just couldn’t. But I asked my brother to give the money I sent to her so they can go out and celebrate.

My husband, daughter and I went to the Philippines for a vacation January this year. I have been excited months before to be reunited with my family. I envisioned us spending quality time, making special happy memories, relaxing in the beach… it didn’t happen. Actually, it’s quite the opposite. I have been so stressed and unhappy the entire time – it was the worst vacation ever. There were other big factors that contributed to that nightmare of a vacation but I guess the fight with my mother was top 1 in the list.

We were having breakfast and talking about the repairs needed for the house – my mother’s father’s house which I bought from her siblings. I mentioned that I won’t be doing a lot of repairs yet because I will use the money to pay the 100K pesos balance I still have for the house. (Initially, the deal was for me to only pay 700K pesos to them, since there were 8 of them and I wouldn’t have to pay for my mom’s share. But then her brothers and sisters changed their minds and now they wanted me to pay 800K but my mother will still not have any share from it).

Mother said not to pay them anymore, that her siblings already got their share and that they didn’t even give her any. So I was offended, in my mind, what I heard was that I should give her the money instead (later she clarified that what she meant was that we can use the money to buy a car they can use to go to the farm). So I asked (in an offended voice and rather irritated tone), ‘So you still want to get your share? You and the family are the ones living in this house, why do you still want to get your share?’ And she started to yell, saying, ‘I will not live in this house anymore! I will take the kids (my sister’s 2 kids) to the farm right now! We will live there so I don’t have to take part in paying for this house!’

I was so deeply hurt by her words I started to cry. It hurt because I have been paying for this house so they can live in a nicer house (our old house felt like it would give in any time). Yes, I am making decent money but it’s just enough for our small family of 3 to live comfortably. I am being very frugal that is why I am able to send money to pay the house and help them when someone is sick or needed money. I choose not to buy myself expensive clothes, always going to a thrift shop to buy a 10 to  15 dollar dress so I can spare some money to send to the Philippines.

It hurt because I didn’t want her and my father to live in the farm, so far away from my brothers and because they are getting old, they don’t have to travel far if they get sick.

It hurt because I only see them and be with them physically every 2 years or so and she’s threatening me that she’s leaving after my family arrived in the house only the night before.

It hurt me really bad I almost couldn’t breathe.

I cried. My brother comforted me and asked my mom to stop. In my anger, I said that she has a horrible attitude (which also hurt her bad, she said that if she was horrible, she wouldn’t give her life for us to have a good one), but what I really meant was that the words that come out of her mouth are like poison to me. She never thinks first before saying anything, not caring how much she can hurt, she would just say anything as she pleases.

That was the 3rd time my mom and I had a big fight. The first was when I was in 1st year college – but that was my fault for being jealous of my adopted sister. The second time was only about 3 years ago, when she suddenly Skyped me. I was happy and excited to see her and then she started ranting and saying I should just forget about her and that I should think that she’s dead. I didn’t even know what I did to her, later I found out that she was mad that I didn’t give her dollars and I gave my cousin 20 dollars for taking me to the airport!

I love my mother. I do. And I know she has sacrificed a lot for our family. I commend and thank her for giving birth to me, taking care of me when I was a child, and sending me to school. I could never repay all my debts to her. That is why I helped in sending my brothers to college. That is why I send them money when they need it. That is why I bought that house for them.

I always thought I was a good daughter, but maybe I’m not who I thought I was. I always wanted to give them a more comfortable life, but it seems that is not what they want. Now that she’s retired, I wished she would be able to travel more, relax, and enjoy the fruits of her labor. Instead, she is taking care of my sister’s 2 boys in the farm, without electricity, where they have to fetch water from the underground river in the cave, maybe 200 feet away from the farm house. She has to wash clothes with her hands, cook using wood, and endure not having TV for entertainment.

She hasn’t spoken to me. She hasn’t tried. They didn’t Skype me on my birthday . Well, we sort of “patched up” 2 weeks before I left but it was never the same. She did live in the house while I was there. But ever since I got back in Texas, we never spoke. Of course I am used to not seeing or talking to them because I have been living by myself since I was 13. But we Facebooked and Skyped every couple of months and it’s different now. I have resentment in my heart because I am also a mother now. I thought she would want to see my daughter. I hurts me that she could bear not seeing her and while we were there, she didn’t really give much attention to her, not the way I expected, at least. She was too busy taking care of the 2 boys. Maybe I expected way too much from her. Or maybe she was also hurt by what I said. It goes both ways.

Anyway, it will take time but I know we will be able to fix our broken relationship. Just like any mother-daughter relationships, ours is not perfect.

Questions, Answered Part 2

  1. What are my long term goals?

My long term goals include settling down with a responsible, loving and faithful husband who will serve with me in The Feast. I still have to meet this lucky guy though. Hehe. I also wish to homeschool my would-be children until they turn 10 and then they can go to a regular school. I also dream of going back to Davao and live in a home with a beautiful garden. 🙂 Another long term goal is to develop our tiny farm into a farm resort where we can rest and commune with nature. These are more of big dreams than long term goals.. 🙂

  1. How can I improve my processes?

Hmm. I could be more systematic and organized. I could document and take note of the things that worked for me (and why) and those that weren’t effective. I think it could also help if I choose my activ

  1. How can I get better?
  2. What are the things that I should continue doing?
  3. What is blocking me from doing what I really want to do with my life?
  4. Am I really happy?
  5. Am I making a difference?
  6. Have I been loving myself or did I try to please people in the expense of my own happiness?
  7. Am I learning new things?

Monthly Checkup: March 2018

Based on my WordPress blog history, i am most active with planning and reflecting during the month of March. I think this is because of my upcoming birthday.

So i thought of taking as advantage of this and start my monthly checkpoints.

I modified the checkpoint from

Work Focus

Challenges: What are the biggest challenges you faced this month?

Top 3: What are your Top 3 areas of focus for the month?

  1. Defect management
  2. Responding to issues with interfaces
  3. Dealing with difficult people in the team


How would you rate yourself in terms of relationships this month?

As a wife: Poor. Need to plan more solo time with my husband. Maybe look for a nanny who can watch her for 2 hours to have a date with husband for at least a few hours. Watch a movie or something.

As a mother: Very Good. I think I havr spent more than enough time with my daughter, I give her baths and put her to sleep.

As a daughter: Bad. Haven’t spoken to parents for 2 months. They are just not reachable. 😦

As a sister: Good. Talked to my borthers and sister.

As an aunt: Good.

As a friend: Poor. Don’t really know if I have someone I could consider a friend here in Texas. I mean I have a few acquaintances, work friends… but not really someone I could share my innermost thoughts and feelings with. Well, aside from my husband, of course. Just miss having a close girl friend I can pour my heart into.


Whole-Life Planning: For now, the life plan is just to stay afloat and enjoy life more. The past years I have been busy with so many milestones. I feel like now is the time to enjoy those milestones and to stay on top of them.

Pruning: Need to learn to automate and delegate.

Purposeful Experience: What kinds of experiences would you like to schedule into the upcoming month? More outdoor activities with family. Golf, swimming, picnic.

What experiences would help you enjoy life more? 1 week vacation every quarter. Need to see the ocean and smell the sea.


Time Logger chart:

Additional Questions

  • How do you feel about the work you’re doing right now? I think Im doing great work. I often get praisies and good reviews from my leads.
  • Do you feel like you’re doing your best work? Yup.
  • What are areas for improvement?Mentoring, automation
  • What do you perceive to be lacking in your work right now? Pretty content. Maybe to work from home more. Learn more about web services.
    • What do you perceive to be lacking in your life right now? Time with husband, relationship with parents and friends
  • What can you do about it? I can be more deliberate with how I choose to spend my time.

Thinking About How to Spend My 2 year old’s birthday

The moment I learned I was pregnant, I already imagined throwing a birthday party for her. It’s going to be Star Wars-themed. Of course, she’s named Jedi after all.

I have looked into Pinterest tod look for inspiration. She’s going to have a BB8 cake, Storm trooper cookies.. you know, the entire Star Wars ensemble.

I ordered balloons and stressed out about her giveaways. I searched all over the web on how to decorate the house and make a back drop for her grand birthday party.

But months before her first birthday, I realized I didn’t want to stress her out. She was still so shy at the time and would cling to me for dear life when she’s surrounded by strangers and even my friends or family she doesn’t see often.

So my husband and I decided we are going on a family trip on her and his birthday. Her birthday is just 30 years and 364 days before his. 🙂 We went to LA and Seattle and enjoyed our family time. It was a very intimate, simple way of celebrating her first birthday and congratulating ourselves for surviving the 1st 365 days of her life. I think it was the best decision we could have made as parents for our dear little girl. She felt loved, secure, and happy with the undivided attention of her parents.

We took a lot of pictures at the zoo during her birthday and at the forest (forgot what its name was – husband said it was where part of Twilight was filmed).

Now 7 months before her 2nd birthday, I am already planning (again).

  • How many guests to invite?
  • What time to have the party?
  • What food to serve?
  • Where to hold the party?
  • When to have the party?
  • How to set up the house?
  • Do I really want to stress about this??? Haha. I’m just NOT used to throwing parties and entertaining people. I would rather sit at the back or in the corner away from the crowd. Maybe my husband has rubbed off on me, being a loner and anti-social. Haha. I want my daughter to have fun but at the same time I don’t want to be stressed. Oh, well.. we will see how it goes a few months from now.

Thinking About How to Enjoy Life More

My husband and I are both home buddies- We just like to stay in the house on weekends and holidays. But now that Myka is bigger, I’d like to go out more and do fun activities outdoors. But I don’t have any idea what to do or where to go

Here’s a list:


  • gardening
  • swimming
  • camping
  • walk in the park
  • fishing


  • go san Antonio River walk
  • waterpark
  • weekend vacation