Blessed at 50

Our DaddyO is now a golden boy! Yey! Happy and grateful to the Lord for his life. ❤ ❤ ❤

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God made us for joy. God is joy. And the joy of living reflects the original joy that God felt in creating us- Saint John Paul II

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Not your ordinary “spring cleaning”…

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It’s been a while since I’ve written a post! Could not wait to do so and document the recent happenings of our life. But before I do that, I still have some cleaning to do. 😀 Well, I have been cleaning and sorting for more than a month now. Our stint in the north of Cebu had come to an end and we came back to our home city first week of October. It’s already middle of November and I am still cleaning 😀 It’s not an easy task given that we have not really taken care of this home for the past two years or so as much as we would have liked because we were constantly away…and the poor house badly needs some tender loving care right now. Anyway, I’m just taking a break and HAD TO share a great article I came across yesterday. Its timing couldn’t have been more perfect. A big part of our sorting is the throwing away of not just old, broken or excess toys but also toys that simply do not belong in our domestic church.  So, here’s the wonderful article 🙂 It’s a great read! ❤

the little pooch and the little boy that could

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After 2 months of being apart, we were finally reunited with Alexander. He traveled 3 cities and crossed an ocean. He got sea and car sick and was made to sleep in three different strange places but once we settled in our new home in the north, after a day or two, he was back to his old hyperexcited self.  What a trooper. It has been two months since his odyssey and the little pooch has been giving us a lot of work and a lot of love. Q’s giggles and laughter every time he is with Alexander are priceless. Getting a dog, despite the crazy ride we went through since it joined our family, turned out to be one of the best decisions we have made this year. To our delight, Q has stepped up and taken responsibility for much of the care of the dog. Q feeds him and cleans his cage. He brings him outside to let him do his doggy business and walks him around the neighborhood. He plays with him (sometimes reads him a book or tells him a story) and sits him on his lap and pets him even if Alexander’s excitable nature still scares him a little. And he also gives me a hand in giving Alexander a bath. Q also loves it when we go to the park and both he and Alexander can run around and get some exercise. Thank goodness everything worked out fine. Our only challenge (and heartbreak) is every time we travel to the big city and sometimes we are gone for a week, Alexander has to stay in a vet’s clinic (and no, their services do not included walking the dog 😦 ).  Again, such a trooper. I just hope being frequently away from us doesn’t affect him negatively.

 

Our Gypsy Life Resumes (Part 1)

After a little over two months of being back home, we were packing our bags again and preparing for another chapter of our “life-on-the-move”.

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DaddyO’s Papa and Q’s grandpa, who likes to send us off on many of our trips, dropped us off once again at the port

In February, Daddy-O accepted a consultancy job in another NGO. His work will involve some traveling between 2-3 cities. It also requires him to be regularly on site in one of these 3 cities, Bogo City, hence, our need to take up residence here for the next 5 months. But before we moved here, we spent a month in the big city for Q’s Lego robotics class (Introduction to Robotics and Programming) at Compass Education.

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Q so focused on his task. He enjoyed every session he had at Compass. This is an area he is passionate about and he is really thriving here!

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We were so blessed to find a place to rent in the big city for the duration of Q’s robotics class. We were able to rent a fully furnished place at a very friendly price. “Very friendly” is actually an understatement.  The place was way more than we asked and prayed for! And worth a lot more than we paid rent for! That is why we are very grateful to the owner (Daddy O’s cousin) for his generosity and the full trust he gave us.  It was not just a decent place but very upscale for our standards. 😀 Although not our dream living space as we are more the bucolic kind of people and we don’t really have a natural affinity for anything posh haha but a month in a comfortable, convenient and safe place like that, hey, we can’t complain! I mean, the swimming pool, gym, kid’s play area and 24-hour security were not too shabby at all. 😉 Not to mention the view we enjoy nightly from our glass panel bedroom window (high up on the 17th floor): the beautiful city lights.

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My phone camera did not give justice to the view but I must say, it was a wonderful bedtime treat.

We also felt so blessed and relieved that we didn’t have to buy furnishings again or haul our own stuff (in storage in the island until our Bogo move) to the big city.  The place was also nicely situated in the heart of the city and everything was accessible to us.

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We are not the condo-living kind of people but I think that if one must choose to live in the middle of a big bustling city, this is one of the best options.

Since we were in the big city for a month, we had quite a full calendar apart from Q’s Lego classes. We took this opportunity to meet up with our wonderful fellow homeschoolers as many times as possible and join as many activities as possible 😀 I will write about the month-long fun we had in the big city in the second part of this post. 😉

Between Adventures: Home, Christmas and Alexander

Leaving the island was not emotional for me. It was a blur, to say the least… at least at the time I was in the middle of it all –the sorting and packing. I was edgy and under pressure. The emotions and nostalgia came later when I would see photos of our island life that had just come to an end. A laid-back life that we dearly miss. But during the days leading up to our move, everything was a bit overwhelming– the packing and sorting, preparing for our Christmas activities with our homeschool support group in the big city (plus our own family’s Christmas preparations) not to mention the stress I felt for yet another boat trip back home, anticipating crowded terminals with passengers going home for the holidays.

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At the port. Our boat bound for home was delayed for 9 hours!

But all ended well. I lost my voice once, I got sick again (happens to me almost every time we move) but I survived! Yey!

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Our homeschooling community Christmas activities

But of course, little did I know that more was in store for me…

For a little over 2 months, we were between adventures. Before our new life in the new place (not very far from the island) commenced, we were back home for a while,  spending Christmas and enjoying the company of relatives and old friends.

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And of course, in between all the Christmas gatherings and other activities, I had to deal (again) with the spring cleaning and upkeep of our real/actual house, our nearly-neglected-always-locked-up-because-we-are-not-around house. It was a couple of days of junk and dust and lots of antihistamines for me. In the midst of all of these, I managed to travel back and forth (with the boys) between my home city and Daddy O’s and squeezed in a quick trip to the big city (an overnight boat away) to attend a meeting with fellow homeschooling parents. Then, our not-so-little boy Q got sick again, three separate times in the 2 months we were home. All the traveling and frenzy took its toll on the poor thing. Three blood tests, an ear and a viral infection later, he was back to his rambunctious self. 😀 Thank you, Lord. Still fresh from the tiring island life finale, I was experiencing once more a slow stress build-up.

As if all this excitement was not enough, Daddy O and I did something that made our Q a very happy boy but brought mayhem to my mommy life: we got a puppy. A decision that, we later admitted to each other, was not well thought out. 😀 Our excitement (and the puppy’s uber cuteness) muddled our judgment. I’m not playing the blame game here but let me just say that Daddy O greeted me with a grin on his face when I had just come in from a really early morning flight from the big city and an hour and a half bus ride (which did not help in giving me a clear mind for the decision-making that was about to happen). I had barely put down my bags when he excitedly showed me a photo of a dog and told me like a wide-eyed little kid, “Let’s check this puppy out!!!”. We were going to give it to Q as his late Christmas present. Daddy O’s excitement was so contagious! I instantly got giddy with excitement myself. So I skipped breakfast and we sneaked out and went to see the puppy. After a fuzzy deliberation, we paid for it, put it in a shoe box and went home and surprised the little boy. Oh, Q was immediately smitten! And without a moment’s hesitation, he lovingly christened him Alexander. (Up to this day, even if the puppy continues to be demanding and a lot of trouble for me since I’m not really a dog person, we cannot just give up on taking care of him and decide to find him a new owner. It’ll definitely break Q’s heart. We have to commit.). We now had a puppy but, uh-oh, we didn’t have basic puppy supplies and a place for the puppy to sleep in! So unprepared we were! So, in the days that followed, we were running around like mad going to the vet, buying dog food, a dog crate, dog shampoo, and all that jazz. It turned out to be fun, I have to admit but boy, was it exhausting… and expensive! As we were beginning to realize how demanding having a puppy was and how much it was costing us, Daddy O and I started kicking ourselves and shaking our heads while repeatedly saying, “We did not think this through”.  But for some reason we always ended up smiling. Hahaha.

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Who can resist that face? ❤

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Transporting the newly groomed little mutt from Daddy O’s city to Mommy’s city in a private car which cost more because public bus transport wouldn’t allow dogs to be with the passengers. Animals are placed together with cargo in the underbelly of the bus!

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Q still getting used to the puppy. He still gets tense and uneasy handling him but he loves the pup to bits.

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The master of the house.

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Q learns to feed Alexander.

I had a love-hate relationship with the puppy mainly because I did most of the work in taking care of him and oh, good heavens! the toilet training, THE TOILET TRAINING! I just about lost it the first week the puppy was inside the house. I think the trouble that this new family member gave me was the cherry on top of this homecoming!

And here’s the craziest thing- we are a gypsy family. How we will be moving around with a dog in tow remains to be seen. We really did not think this through. Hahaha. But all shall be well!

(As of this writing, Alexander is temporarily in the care of my brother back home. It has been almost 2 months. Daddy O has gone home once to check on him and made sure he got his scheduled shots at the vet. We intend to go back and get him once we have settled in our new place).

every day is dad’s day

Any man can be a father but it takes a real man to be a dad.

My heart swells every time I am reminded that I have a wonderful man in my life who is my best friend and a wonderful dad to our son. I appreciate that he continues to be open and willing to learn new things on how to be a better family man and a better homeschooling parent. I appreciate his sincere desire to take this journey with me as we strive to grow in our faith. It embarrasses me to admit that there are days that I take for granted the things (even the small ones or especially the small ones!) he does for me, for our son and for our home. So today and every day, I salute you, Daddy O for all the things that you wholeheartedly do for us and for the person that you are– loving, hard-working, sensitive, generous and a constant sunshine in our lives. We love you Daddy O! ❤

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Just a few of the many things he does for us at home apart from doing his “big” jobs: keeping our herb plants alive (haha),  tying Q’s long hair and still make him look like a boy (which for some reason I cannot do), makes Q’s cool costumes, does the laundry with me (sometimes by himself), bakes bread for us and prepares my protein shake every chance he gets without my asking him, and so many other things!