Happy 33rd Birthday to Me!

I turned 33 yesterday, April 10. I didn’t celebrate it… I mean, I’m too tired and not wanting to socialize so I just went to church (D- took and picked me up to/from church). After church we just went to Wendy’s to get a 4 for $4 meal plus extra fries and a chocolate Frosty for me. It was good.. 🙂 Better than the fancy meal we had last Saturday at BJ’s. Well, we call it fancy because we’re very frugal and a $50 meal is already fancy for us. I was looking forward to enjoying my Grilled Chicken Alfredo but I didn’t really like it and ended up only eating a tenth of it. 😦

Anyway, so we enjoyed our Wendy’s meal and went to Walmart to get some bananas, and Honeycrisp apples. We’ve been eating more fruits than meat lately. And it’s very surprising especially for my meat-eating husband.

I enjoyed just lying on the couch and relaxing. We watched Star Wars for the 3rd time while I responded to Facebook greetings and messages.

Update on my pregnancy: I’m already on my 13th week! We had an ultrasound for baby on April 7 – so the doctors can check if the baby is growing at a normal rate and they measured the fluid that was on the baby’s neck to find out if he/she has Down Syndrome. Doctor said that babies who have Down Syndrome have 3 or more measures (forgot the measurement) while normal babies should have less than 3. Our baby had 1.67, which is good! Yay! 🙂 So we finally announced the pregnancy on Facebook and a lot of people left messages of support, which warmed my heart.

What I’m worried about: I have been stressing about my project and work in general. Recently there’s been  a lot of pressure at work. And I’m overwhelmed. I need to handle it better.
– What can I do?
– manage my time better
– organize my work better
– ask help
– delegate
– Work SMARTER!

I’m going back to blogging regularly because this helps me de-stress and unwind

Pregnancy Diaries: Back Pain

Since yesterday I have been experiencing serious back pain! 😦

From what I’ve been reading, this back pain is caused by the change or shift in the center of gravity in my body and also by the hormonal changes.

Gosh, I’m so happy with this pregnancy but I just hope this back pain goes away. It’s bothering me even when I walk. Oh I love you so much little one.

A Different Year: Start of greater things

My husband quit his job last Monday. After working at the company for almost 5 years,  he finally decided it’s time for him to move out. 

He has been complaining about work for quite a long time now. And last October he started having upset stomach and had been throwing up. We had him checked by a doctor and a specialist. Both of them had the same diagnosis. Stress.

Our plan right now is for him to go back to school as soon as possible. He started driving for Uber too. It’s not the same as having a regular job but at least he has an income. He’s still looking for grants and scholarships and maybe a student loan to help cover the costs of culinary school.

We have faith that eventually this investment in his education will pay off. He will excel in this venture. 

I published this post late. It’s been 2 weeks since my husband quit his job. Two wonderful things have happened to us since then.  But those deserve their own post.  🙂

We’re pregnant!

Saturday, January 30, we just arrived from Escoffier(Derek’s culinary school) and I ate a big serving of spaghetti. Derek rented the Transylvania 2 movie and while watching it I can’t fight sleep taking over my body.

Almost a month ago, I felt I was pregnant. Even Derek was suspecting it because I was eating lemons and I really enjoyed it. He cooked baked salmon for me and topped it with slices of lemon and put half of it on the side of the plate. I ate it and wanted more. He thought it was very weird. The next day he bought an early pregnancy test kit.

I didn’t want to take the test because I loved the thought of me being pregnant and didn’t want to burst the bubble. But Derek was insistent so I did it anyway.  It was negative and I was a bit sad. Of course,  I was secretly hoping I was pregnant.

And then last Friday,  while waiting for Derek to be home,  I watched April & Justin’s YouTube channel.  April talked about her having a miscarriage.  She didn’t know she was pregnant and she took some medicine for her flu. I’m not sure if that’s the reason why,  but she lost the baby. So when Derek was home,  I told him about it and we were joking about me being pregnant.

So today,  January 30, I decided to use the second test. I peed on the stick and saw only the horizontal line.  So I was disappointed and I didn’t even wait for 3 minutes to see all the result because I thought it would come out negative again.

Several hours later,  Derek was calling me and asking me what I’ve done.  I was clueless.  I thought I left the toothpaste uncovered or something. I was confused when I saw him wiping his eyes. He’s crying (or maybe just teary-eyed)! And then he pointed to the stick and I saw a faint vertical line.  It was positive!  I’m pregnant!  Oh my God! I can’t believe my eyes!

We were getting ready to go to my friends’ promotion Party at Golden Corral but we stopped by Walmart to buy more pregnancy tests.  This time,  we bought 2 of the more expensive brands.

At golden corral, both of us just kept smiling and having a hard time to keep our little secret all to ourselves. We couldn’t wait to get home and do another test so we went inside the family bathroom and I took the second test for the day.  After 3 mins, right before or eyes,  the screen said Pregnant. We were so happy. We just hugged there,  inside the bathroom! Of Golden Corral! Ha ha.

When we arrived home,  I took another test again and this time,  Derek was 100% convinced – and I was still having second thoughts. LOL.

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San Antonio trip for my green card interview

I took a day off work today to have my interview for the green card. Derek,  my hand l husband drove and it only took us an hour to arrive.  We went to IHOP to grab brunch and to kill time because we were 2 hours early. Below is b the fruit crepe I had. Yummy!
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I hope the interview goes well. After all, we ARE married! Legally. So I don’t see anything that would prevent us from getting a green card for me. Anyway,  my H1b is still valid and if this doesn’t work out, I can still work on my H1B. Although I would still feel bad because we already spent around 3k dollars for all the processing. We paid for the processing of the applications,  medical exams,  English translation of my birth certificate, courier fees,  Uber, fuel, plus all the time I took off work to appear for the biometrics,  vaccinations/medical,  and now, the interview.

We’re praying all goes well.  Crossing our fingers.

Thinking about my progress

Work-life integration – My life has revolved around my job lately and I feel I haven’t been able to manage my time well these past few years. Ever since I got this job onshore, I have been working harder than ever. Sometimes looking for a new job crosses my mind. It’s just harder to look for a new job because I am still not confident with driving. Hopefully when I get my green card, it will open up more options for me.

Establishing a second income stream – My mother-in-law and I have been working on setting up our very tiny business of handicrafts (hair bows, fridge magnets, coasters, etc). Last December we ventured into making hair bows and we were able to make some really cute ones. I haven’t worked on it again this January because I’ve been very busy with work. Hopefully I can carve out some time and commit 1 weekend to working on our business. I really love the idea of having a second income stream and hopefully it grows slowly but surely until I would have an option to work on it full time when I retire when I’m in my 40s.

Work – I have lots of responsibilities at work. From managing the Offshore team, reviewing their technical document and code, analyzing defects, fixing defects myself, answering questions from other teams, submitting status reports, organizing team activities, etc. I feel that I still haven’t achieved my goals in terms of improving and expanding my current technical skills. Maybe I’m being too hard on myself but I think because most of my time is spent working with people, I have very little time left on learning new stuff. I hope this project will be successful and be on schedule so that I can move on to other projects where I won’t have to manage people Offshore – no more waking up at 5:30 am to review code at 6am or 7am! But this is my job, and it pays the bills, I am still very grateful for having it. Besides, I have learned a lot on managing virtual teams and my communication skills – both verbal and written have greatly improved as well.

Thinking about finances and investments

Having been raised in a medium-class family in the Philippines, my goal has always been to get out of the rat race and be financially free.

When I was single, I planned to pay off the condo in Manila as soon as possible (by the end of my first GCP or overseas assignment) so that when I go home,  I won’t have to pay for a very expensive rent in someone else’s condo.

Everything changed when I got married.  Aside from the weddings (two – one in Texas and one in the Philippines) and honeymoon expenses, I now have to think about the long term plans for staying in the US. And that means deciding to buy a house or continue to pay rent.

I am currently torn between paying off the condo this year or putting a bigger downpayment for a house here in the US. I am tempted to get a loan for the condo but it’s too much of a hassle to try to apply for a loan while I am here. I have tried to do it last year and even wasted a lot of my limited vacation time in the Philippines going to the bank and submitting all the required documents. The processing costs and interest rates for the loan are too high. I just think it’s not worth it. If I can pay it off and save myself some trouble,  I would opt for it.

Aside from the condo, I am also paying for my grandfather’s house in the Philippines that I bought from my mom’s siblings. My parents, brothers, and sister, together with their families are living there for now. Once I and my family move back to the Philippines,  we would start renovations on the house. So that’s another monthly expense.

Also, I haven’t been actively investing in the Philippine Stock Market because I am saving the money for the condo. So my stocks are pretty dormant. I try to sell whenever I gain some profit and use the money to buy other profitable stocks.

So, right now I’m still really trying to make wise use of my savings. The plan right now is still to pay off the condo,  look for a house here,  get a housing loan,  and pay it as soon as we can or resell it before we move back to the Phillipines. Also,  pay off my grandfather’s house within 5 years.

How to achieve all that, I still don’t know. But it sounds like a good plan. Hopefully with some divine providence and lots of hard work, these plans will materialize. Better work hard now than later. When we have a baby of our own,  I’m sure there will be changes to these plans.  But let’s save all of those worries for later.

Am I destined to be a momma?

As I sit here waiting for my OB gynecologist,  I think of writing a post on my blog on this experience.

You see, ever since I could remember,  I’ve always wanted to be a mother.  I played with my baby dolls and pretended I was nursing them when I was little. I could clearly remember chairs knocked down,  blankets hanging over them,  towels that served as curtains, flowers and leaves chopped as I, my best friend Honey, and my brothers played house or “balay balay” in my native dialect.

Almost three decades later,  I find myself in my doctor’s clinic, waiting to find out if I have a chance of living out my childhood dream.

Oops. The nurse told me my OB Gyn got a call because she has a delivery to perform. So she won’t be able to see me today after all. Bummer. I had my vaginal ultrasound today so that they will find out why I’m having irregular and painful menstruation. And ultimately, to find out if I still have a chance of having a baby.

Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock. Biological clock is ticking LOUD.