Saturday, June 30, 2012

A Splash of Fun

I don't know if some parents allow their small children out to take showers when it's raining. I don't let Johan go outside when it is raining for fear that he might catch a cold or something.

But, he did get a close idea how it feels to shower in the rain when we were at my parents' house last week. His Loli, my mom, got this crazy idea to bathe Johan in the garden using our garden hose. And the little one loved it!

Kahit malunod-lunod na cya. Hehe!

Now, I'm thinking, we should have a garden hose installed here as well. Uhm, Dad?


Friday, June 29, 2012

Johan's Favorite Beverage(s)

Johan loves to try everything, nowadays. Whenever me or hubby is eating/drinking something, it is always a sure thing that Johan would try to snatch whatever's in our hands to taste it himself. Here are some of his fave:

The ever tasty taho or beancurd pudding

When we went home to my parents' house last week, Johan drank taho bought from the same magtataho vendor that we bought from since me and my siblings were little. Mang Jerry has me when I was kid and now he is serving my kid.

It was too late when he realized that the disposable glass of the taho is too
soft on his hands. He pressed hard and there goes his taho - all over his face!

When we ate at Hap Chan, Johan wanted to taste my Milk Tea.

He loved it so much, we even transferred some to his bottle.

He also loves pineapple juice and strawberry flavored probiotic drink from Bear Brand. Weirdly, though, he doesn't like the taste of Yakult. I wonder why. 

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Dream to Reality

As I've shared in my previous post, we were set to purchase an Altis from Dennis of Toyota. Our car loan application to PSBank was already approved and we even paid a certain fee to reserve the color that we wanted which was either black or medium gray. During this time, we were still waiting to receive a call from another bank, BDO, to know if our car loan application to their bank was approved as well.

If you're wondering why we applied for two car loans from two different banks, it's because PSBank is Toyota Dasma's affiliated bank while BDO car loan is the preferred bank of AutoTrust Philippines, a car financing company in Quezon City.

We chanced upon AutoTrust's Sulit ad and got interested in an instant. The SRP of the Toyota Altis is the same but they offer more freebies than Dennis of Toyota. We then inquired and asked for a quotation and it appeared that even if we have to pay the same amount of down payment, the monthly amortization is still lower by a few hundreds than that of Toyota's.

June 17, we finally received a call that our car loan from BDO was approved and almost at the same time, AutoTrust's agent France, told us that our preferred Altis in medium gray was already available and can be picked up the next day. Before making a decision, we sent a text message to Dennis asking if he can lower down the monthly amortization that he quoted us. If ever he can give us a closer amount to that of AutoTrust's, we'll definitely get from him. But, as I've said, it took him a day before he sent us a new quotation and it's still higher than AutoTrust. So, the decision has been made.

We initially planned on going the next day, Monday, but we decided to go on Tuesday instead because hubby still needed to open a checking account and I still have to secure a Certificate of Employment from my company.

On June 19, the three of us - hubby, myself and Johan - were on our way to achieving one of our dreams. We left the house early around 8am and met up with hubby's cousin who is a policeman, for security purposes, and my sister who wanted to take part in one of the happiest days of our small family.

When we arrived at AutoTrust's office, we were welcomed by a sad news. Toyota North Edsa didn't want to give us the 3 year LTO registration which was included in the freebies that we discussed with France. This is a huge setback because that meant another Php13,000 which we didn't want to shell out in addition to the 20% down payment that we'll be paying that day. Good thing is, France's boss, Alex, was able to talk to Toyota North Edsa and they agreed to include the 3 year LTO registration. France later on told me that Toyota didn't really agree and that her boss, Alex, shouldered the additional fee because he didn't us to back out of the deal and he was embarrassed that all this had to happen when we're already there and excited to pick up our new car. Now, if that's not great customer service then I don't know what is. Though, our deal with them is not yet done because we are to get our plate from them in a month's time. Hopefully, we get it by July.

All in all, it took us almost the entire day signing the paper works and waiting for the car to be ready for pick up. We had lunch at around 2pm in Hap Chan - SM North and passed the time until 5pm came and the car is finally ready. I would say that it was a very teary moment for me. I can't believe that we finally have our dream car.

It pays to dream coupled with hard work and double up with your prayers. God indeed is good.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Searching for the Right Car

Hubby and I did extensive research before we decided on what car to purchase. We've considered getting a second-hand one and we even made a few trips to the dealers here in Cavite but even the second-hand cars are priced above our expectations. We both think it's not very practical in the long run. Even if a used car is cheaper than a new one - with the possible car repairs and the declining market value of the used one - a brand new car will still end up as a great value for money.

During those weeks that we're on the search, we scheduled a trip to three of the huge car manufacturers - Toyota, Honda and Hyundai. Basically we're looking for the following: a good deal, plenty of freebies, great customer service and a great car.

Toyota Vios 1.5G A/T

The first stop was Toyota. Here we met the sales agent, Dennis. Great customer service, so to speak. He walked us through the different units that they have in the showroom, showcased each of the cars' features, gave as much information as he can and provided us with accurate computation of our desired units and terms of payment, he even told us he'll be very glad to add in a few extra freebies should we decide to get a car through him. He's very easy to talk to in person but takes a day to reply to our text messages. :)

Hyudai Elantra

Our next stop was Hyundai. We met the sales agent Dickson and we received the coldest customer service we ever received. It's as if he doesn't want to sell us anything or maybe he thought we're not really going to buy one. Sure, he showed us the Accent which is the one we're eyeing from Hyundai, but apart from that he offered no other information about the other units that they have. We even had to ask him what the inclusions are, what freebies we'll get and we even had to ask for a computation. He didn't really divulge that much and the crappy customer service stuck with me, so, sorry Hyundai but you need to get better sales persons who can bring in more sales than send prospective clients away.

Honda Civic

Our final stop was Honda. I didn't bother remembering the name of the sales agent that we met here because she's the worst. Yes, she explained to us the features of their units but when it came time to show us the quotations, she asked for the prices that Toyota quoted us and she badmouthed them. If there's one thing that turns me off big time, it is badmouthing a competition to make you appear better than the other. 

The short trip that we did on that day was very productive. Good customer service won though our deal with  Dennis of Toyota didn't push through in the end. We found a better deal online through a car dealer in Quezon City. That's up on the next post.

Monday, June 25, 2012

I Own It

Remember this picture from my "I'm Owning It" post? That is the before photo.

This is the now photo: 

We were finally able to save enough for the down payment and gathered enough courage to sign 48 months worth of post dated checks in the amount that gives me the nerves everytime I think about it. Hehe.

Although, we didn't get a Toyota Vios as I previously posted. We got a Toyota Altis 1.6G instead - which is way better than the Vios but also priced waayyyy higher. The decision was made after much deliberation between the husband and myself - weighing the pros and cons, setting the budget and who to pay this and that, prioritizing and basically planning on how to survive the next 48 months.

I am just so proud of ourselves for finally making this huge decision for our family. This is one dream that came true ahead of time and honestly, almost sent me to tears when we finally met "Joey". 

Yup, we named our car Joey, in recognition to our national hero Dr. Jose Rizal, because we took Joey home on the day that Jose Rizal was born.

More about Joey in the next posts.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Good and Bad Week

It’s been a very long and tiring week at work and as much as I wanted to share some very good news (and sad news), I found myself drained out of energy by the time I arrive home. The past two weeks were unexpected – in a good and bad way. A lot of things happened beyond expectation and I prayed hard during those times – harder than most days, actually.

One of the unexpected was when we were finally able to bring “Joey” home. I will be writing a series of posts about this as this blessing truly deserved more than one post. I will be sharing how we arrived at the decision on when and where to get “Joey”. I’ve already shared some photos in Facebook and even provided status updates on my Facebook timeline and sent emails with lots of gmail emoticons on the day we took Joey home.

Another unexpected and the sad news was when my Tita had a stroke and everybody in the family was devastated. My Tita is the most joyful person I know and she lights up any room she enters. She’s just a happy person and seeing her in that condition saddened me. Thankfully, God heard our prayers and she was out of the ICU in a few days but still has to undergo therapy because the left side of her body went numb. We’re still praying she gets well soon. Will you pray with us, please?

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Happy Fiesta!

It's been such a long time since I witnessed an actual parade - with a marching band, girls doing baton tricks. and people dancing in the streets.

Living outside the city proved to have some perks and during yesterday's town fiesta, my son enjoyed the loud drums, the "higantes", the mascots and the dancing little old ladies as much as I did.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

A Working Mom's Struggle

Last Friday, I came home to Johan looking like this:

MIL told me that Johan got the wound near his eye when a pencil, which he and his cousin were fighting over, hit him, while the wound on his cheek, she didn't have a clue how Johan got.

I was trying so hard controlling my anger that I barely heard the rest of the story how Johan ended up with wounds on his face. There were so many things I wanted to say like, "how many times do I have to remind everybody in the house that Johan is not supposed to get hold of all things sharp, pointed and heavy", "how in the world would one not know how Johan got that long wound across his cheek". But, I kept my mouth shut knowing that like me, my MIL surely didn't want that to happen and probably she's feeling more guilty than I am at that moment.

Yes, I was feeling guilty and I cried out of that guilt. I even talked to hubby over YM and told him how I was feeling. This might not have happened if I didn't go back to work and was still a full time SAHM to Johan. Before I went back to working, I was a super hands-on Mom - I didn't let Johan out of my sight for one second, he didn't have access to anything sharp or pointed or heavy, I made sure he wore pajamas before he went out of the house so he won't have wounds on his knees when he falls down and I'm always, always near him to catch him before he even falls.

I'm sure most moms understand me and like most working moms, I am struggling. I am struggling to keep a certain balance between my career and my family. I am struggling to make the most out of my time to spend every spare minute I have with my son - even if that meant sacrificing a well-deserved rest that I badly needed these days.

Last Friday night, I hugged my son tight and said sorry over and over. I'm sorry for not being there to keep him from getting hurt. I'm sorry that I have to spend a whole lot of time separate from him. And I'm sorry I'm missing so much of his growth.

I'd rather be a mother than anyone on earth
Bringing up a child or two of unpretentious birth...
I'd rather tuck a little child all safe and sound in bed
than twine a chain of diamonds about my [carefree] head.
I'd rather wash a smudgy face with round, bright, baby eyes
Than paint the pageantry of fame or walk among the wise.
-- Meredith Gray


Friday, June 8, 2012

Under the Weather

I’ve been feeling a little under the weather the entire week, hence the lack of posts. I’ve had colds since Monday and by Wednesday I felt my temperature went up a little. Only, it’s weird because I just had the flu vaccine last Friday. Wasn’t it supposed to prevent me from getting the flu? And now, I have flu-like symptoms. Weird.

I can’t be more than glad that it’s finally Friday. I’ve been dragging myself out of bed every day despite me feeling sick. I don’t want to stay home and share the virus with family, besides, I cannot miss work, even for a day. I am not entitled to sick leaves just yet so I have to suck it up a little more and go through the final day of the week. I’m hoping I don’t collapse at work. Hehe.

I’ve been drinking lots of fluids – water and fruit juices – to detoxify my system. Together with the medications I’m taking for my colds and headache, hopefully, I’ll get better soon. We have plans for this weekend and me getting sick is getting in the way of everything we need to accomplish.

I hope I’ll get to have enough rest this weekend, be back on the go and ready for another long, tiring work week by Monday.

I hope you’re having a better Friday than me. J

Monday, June 4, 2012

Monday Sickness

This morning, I almost gave in to temptation, head back to bed and snuggle with hubby and Johan. I almost sent a text message to my team lead asking for a day off work probably due to one of the overused reasons employees tell their bosses (LBM?)

But I didn't and I am mighty proud of myself because of that. The weather is just perfect for snuggling under the covers and I so wished I didn't have to go to work today and just spend the entire day at home playing with my son.

I couldn't be more glad when the clock struck 5:30pm and I am finally on my way home. Monday's over, just four more days before weekend!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Fun Sunday

This weekend so far has been the busiest I've ever had. I already posted something about what we did yesterday, though I know I've never been quite clear about what - I promise I'll make a reveal post one of these days.

Today, we went to a college friend's house to celebrate her birthday and we also ended up going to some model houses because another friend is on the search for one. When we got to the place, we all had fun dreaming that we'd own one someday, hehehe. Johan had so much fun running around the huge space and played with a king-sized chess board which all the pieces are almost the same height as him.

Here are some photos:

Lancaster Model Houses

The Margaret Model House which I loved

Johan making himself at home on one of the beds

Loving the wide open area

Gigantic Chess Pieces

Playing with the pieces with Kuya Biboy

Johan thought this mini-pond is a pool! His Daddy had to stop him from
jumping in!

I love the sunburst clock, I am so having one like this when we have our own

The little boy being so obedient and letting Mommy take his picture!

I hope all weekends are like this!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Productive Saturday

I'm so happy we were able to do everything on our to-do list for today. Even if it's been raining since morning, we accomplished so much including the monthly grocery shopping.

Hubby and I were also able to squeeze in a few hours of quality time together because we were stranded at the supermarket due to the heavy rains - enjoyed a simple lunch of Sizzling Tapa and Pork Chops at the supermarket's small food court and discussed a few things that we need to decide on.

Hopefully, tomorrow's weather will be better because we're off to a college friend's birthday celebration and we'll be bringing Johan with us. Going on commute and heavily raining (well, even if it's not), it'll be a huge challenge to bring a baby bag, a huge umbrella and an overly active toddler.

Oh well, I know this won't be for long. :)

Friday, June 1, 2012

I'd Love to go on a Roadtrip

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of PA Tourism for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

A roadtrip to some place new is one of the things on my bucket list. I’d love to explore a new place, meet new people and create new memories. I’ve seen Oprah went on roadtrips with her bestfriend Gail and they had lots of fun doing that. I’d love to be able to experience going on one with my husband and son and a separate one with my friends. I’m sure we’ll have a blast!

I used to think that roadtrips are a spur-of-the-moment kind of things. Frankly, that’s one of the reasons before why I’m interested in going on one. But, then, since I am also a person who could not live without lists, I am quite hesitant to the idea of going somewhere with no plans.
So, it is good that I can now map out a plan for any pa-roadtrips that I am planning for my family. With Roadtrip-a-Matic, I can now choose what type of trip I would like to go. What’s great with the site is that you don’t have to anything but the packing; the entire trip is planned out for you! You get to go to the wonderful sights and attractions, you get to eat at the best restaurants and you get to stay at the best hotels. Now, doesn’t that sound the best trip of all time?


While browsing the site, I chanced upon one trip that I am very interested in going – the Small Town Charmy. I’ve been living in the city for quite a while and really, the rush of it all gets to me sometimes and I just want to go someplace quite and relaxed. The Small Town Charmy roadtrip lasts two days and two nights and I will get to enjoy the Philadelphia countryside with its small villages, scenic Delaware River and charming small houses. It can be like a second honeymoon to my husband and me.

I highly suggest you check out the site and browse through the many roadtrips that are laid out for you for the taking. I’m sure you’ll find one suited for you and I hope, like me, you also get to scratch off one item on your bucket list and enjoy the roadtrip of a lifetime!

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