Things That Means Financial Trouble For Families

Keeping on top of your finances when you’ve got a big family is a balancing act that takes a while to master. The most frugal families can run into trouble, even if they’re getting everything right. Life throws you curveballs sometimes and if you aren’t ready to deal with them, you can quickly find yourself in hot water. When it comes to your finances, most of these surprises are things that you can prepare for easily. They’re also things that hit most families at some point so knowing what they are is the key to staying on top of your money. These are the things to watch as these most likely means family in financial trouble.

FinancialTroublesPhoto Credit

Low Income

This is an obvious one but you need to know how to deal with it properly. A common response to low income is to borrow money to make up the shortfalls. Unfortunately, this isn’t the way to go and if you’re borrowing every month, you need a reality check. If you can’t afford your current lifestyle on your wage then you need to cut down, it’s as simple as that. You can start looking for a better job but in the meantime, you need to stop spending so much.

Unexpected House Repairs

Nobody plans for house repairs and if you get a burst pipe or your boiler breaks down, you’ll have to pay out for emergency plumbing services, it’ll cost you around $900 but if the damage is more serious that could go up to a few thousand dollars easily. Chances are, that wasn’t factored into your budget for the month. You should always have a healthy savings account to deal with situations like this, it’s also important to make efforts to avoid damage in the first place. Keeping up with small repairs around the house reduces the chance of bigger problems emerging so it’s going to save you money in the long term.

Healthcare Costs

Health insurance is one of the biggest expenses that most families have and they can easily spiral out of control. If a family member is in an accident or is diagnosed with a serious illness, those bills are going to start shooting up. You’re also likely to need treatments that aren’t covered by your insurance and some of them can cost tens of thousands. You’d be surprised how often there are mistakes on your medical bills so always check them thoroughly, if you challenge them you can pay less.

Financial Disputes

Arguments about money are one the leading causes of problems in a marriage, and they can land you in financial trouble as well. If you and your partner have different ideas about money and how you should use it, you’re never going to agree on a working budget. When you’re working against each other, you’re more likely to make bad decisions. Always try to talk through it and make sure you’re on the same page.

Preparing yourself for these financial surprises might be simple as long resolutions were already planned out, furthermore, it will help stop you from getting into trouble in the future.

Tips in Making Your Home Asthma Safe

If your child suffers from asthma, you know how worrying it can be. The last thing you want your child to go through is an asthma flare up. A flare up is usually caused by pollen, dust, mold or dirt emissions in the air. For most people, these triggers are rarely a problem, but for kids with asthma, it’s something that’s a constant problem. Children should never have to deal with homes that make them unwell. So, what can you do to make sure your home doesn’t trigger an asthma attack?

pixabay-feetonlaminatedfloorsPhoto Credit

Wood Floors
Swapping your carpet for wood floors will allow you to avoid as much dust in the home. Dust mites have a habit of burying deep into carpets, so no matter how often you vacuum, you may not be able to get rid of them. Having a wood floor, whether it’s laminate or solid wood, will allow you to vacuum up dust easily. It’s also the perfect flooring for cleaning up after messy children and spilled drinks.

Your Bedding, Pillows and Stuff Toys
Your bedding is a great breeding ground for dust mites. The bedroom is the most common place in the house to find dust mites, so it’s important to clean there regularly. To avoid dust mites in bedding, vacuum the mattress every two weeks and wash bedding in hot water and on a high heat dryer cycle every month. Change pillow cases and air dry or put pillows in the sun to freshen them up before putting in back in the bedroom. Kid’s stuff toys must also be washed regularly.

Old insulation can attract dust like wild fire. Many people never see the benefit in replacing old insulation, but if you live with a child who has asthma, it could do wonders for their health. Old insulation removal doesn’t cost much and replacing it with new insulation every few years could avoid you dealing with excess dust within the home.

Avoid Clutter
It’s easy for clutter to build up when you live with a large family, but clutter often gathers dust and builds up until it becomes a problem. Try to avoid clutter in the main rooms, like the living room and bedrooms. You can avoid clutter by using storage boxes and asking family members to store their belongings away.

Get Rid of Mold
Mold is a proven trigger for asthma, so if you have mold in your home, it’s important to do what you can to get rid of it. You can get rid of mold by using a dehumidifier in the rooms with damp patches. Air diffusers or catalytic lamps life the Lampe Berger helps cleans the air too but check first sensitivity to fragrance. Make sure to take down any wallpaper that has gone moldy and get rid of any plants that may be growing mold. You can clean mold off the walls by using a bleach solution.

pixabay-rabbitPhoto Credit

Animal Triggers
If your child has asthma, having a pet could be a trigger. The best solution is to keep the pet outside or in a room that isn’t often used by your child. Playing with a pet could be perfectly fine, but hugging and kissing the pet may start off an attack. Use your intuition and limit the amount of time your child can spend with your pet.

Keeping asthma triggers to a minimum isn’t easy, but it is the healthiest option for your child.

Messed-up Friday and Patience

I had a rough start Friday. I slept late last night and even if I’m still groggy at 5AM, had to force myself to get up and prepare for the day. It still Friday and that means the kids still have classes today. Had to walk me back for more snuggle. As I open the freezer, turns out that the fish and pork which was planned to cook this morning was not thawed, thus, still as hard as rock, no deciding to change breakfast plan, I waited and grumble thus, breakfast was prepared late. Then, my heart burst when the kids didn’t have interest on my cooked meals that I had to lecture them not to be choosy and eat what is being served on the table even if that food is not yummy. Still cramming preparing their baon, afraid not to completely done in time for the carpool’s arrival. And while I’m on panic mode, the husband was just calm.

Not able to hold my feelings and not want to make a scene, I went upstairs and cried.

The kids followed me (they noticed it). The eldest said she’s sorry but when I asked her what she’s sorry for, she cried too. But our drama was cut short when the carpool arrived, so we just said our goodbyes and our take cares.

Still upstairs, I fixed the bed, then took a bath. Feeling refreshed, went down and ate my breakfast with the husband asking me what happened. See how insensitive, hmp!

Went to work lightheaded. My manager greeted me with a reminder about my multiple late last month. Which reminds me adjust my schedule at home to avoid being late at work.

Thought about having an early lunch but had to buy a birthday gift for my son’s classmate. I almost forgot that my son had to attend his classmate’s birthday party. Thus, had a late lunch instead.

Good thing, no urgent tasks at work.

The husband was mad that I had to let him wait a little longer outside my office. He wants to avoid the traffic and because I’m late, we had to endure again that terrible traffic jam.

Got home safely and found out that I had my period.

So had to conclude that today was a messed-up day due to female hormones… and if only I handled things differently.

Seriously, having no house help for more than a month is stressful and it tested our limits. Even the husband already complained. But with all the challenges we encountered, how we react and handle it matters most. If only I have the patience. The patience…
to accept and learn to reconsider,
to suffer and learn to alter,
to welcome and and learn to improve.
I’m no perfect mom, I had my tantrums too but I just hope I can control them. Lord, I pray for strengthening my patience so I could be able to think before avoid broken hearts and relationships.

I am thankful that despite the setbacks this morning my kids still love me.

Oh, patience…please let me be your friend.

Rashes and Human Nature Baby Wash & Wonder Oil

3 months after I gave birth to my son, rashes are all over his body.
Could be because I stop breastfeeding him and was not able to adopt with the formula milk?
Could be our place due to too much dust or allergens? (Rented apartment was near highway.)
Could be his shampoo or the laundry soap used in washing his clothes? or soap for his bottles?
We just don’t know the reasons.


Whatever it is, these rashes took us multiple trips to his Pedia, Dra. Myrna Lopez, an advocate to natural healing and healthy lifestyle.
She recommended breastfeeding but its just that my boobs are not cooperating :( so we tried different types of formula milk.
She recommended general house cleaning. She also advised us to avoid stuff toys.
She even ask us to change our laundry soap to the mildest possible type of soap as well as the soap for infant formula bottles.
If you are formula feeding, you may want to check out Kokopax for their Infant Bottle Reviews.
She also recommended change of baby soap and shampoo and initially advised to use Cetaphil.

Cetaphil Skin Cleanser has a mild formulation that soothes skin as it cleans. Since it is mild, I assume it is gentle for a baby’s delicate skin.

Well, I see improvements.
But as much as we want to continue using the product, we just can’t.
Afraid that my baby might get used to the product in exchange of an empty wallet is impractical.
Because, we just can’t afford.

Hearing our concerns, Dra. Myrna Lopez, recommended Human Nature Natural Baby Wash and Wonder Oil.

According to Human Nature, this baby wash is 100% free from harmful chemicals to give mommies and daddies that peace of mind that only goodness touches the baby’s skin. It gently cleanses the baby’s skin and hair with soothing and calming lavender, rosemary, and chamomile extracts. It’s dermatologist- tested so it’s gentle enough to use even on a newborn’s delicate skin. While the Natural Baby Oil uses pure, premium-grade sunflower oil that’s perfectly safe and mild for your baby. Also ideal to infant massage, a few moisturizing drops of this wonder oil can help soothe itchiness.

Photo Credits: Human Nature


Photo Credits: Human Nature

And it did wonders!
Moreover, we need not to worry on our budget since these products are affordable.

And it has been 6 years and we are still using Human Nature Baby Wash and Wonder Oil.

Disclaimer: This is not a paid post, just one happy mommy here.

Flood and Fire

Monday, January 16, 2017.
Northern Mindanao was greatly affected by flood due to heavy rain brought by LPA (Low Pressure Area) and tail-end of the cold front.

I was born and raised at Cagayan de Oro City. We live near that school which became famous for its wait-deep flood and stranded students. That school is my Alma Mater. That school is MPSC, MUST and now USTP. During my high school days, I like when it rains because there is a possibility for classes to be suspended due to classroom flooding. Our classrooms were a foot below the ground level since it is located below the school’s gymnasium, thus the water easily gets in.

Our house is just a minute walk from my school but that doesn’t mean that our place gets affected from the school’s flood. There maybe flood in the neighborhood, but not inside our house.

Then there’s flood control implementation — the school elevated their school grounds, the main highway is also elevated and the creek is modified. Lim Ket Kai mall which is in front of the school made some changes as well, you know — urbanization, modernization.

For some reason, last January 16, 2017, flood finds its new path to our place, in our house which have caused a waits-deep flood. The main highway flood is also deep enough to submerged a 4×4 pick-up thus causing students and other commuters to be stranded. That was only a 2-3 hours heavy rain. This is something the community of Cagayan de Oro City should be to be alarmed with. Remember Typhoon Sendong last 2011? Had the local government done something then to prevent another disaster? Hope for more improvements, CDO!


Photo Credits: Catherine Heruela via Dodong Tipoy

Wednesday, January 18, 2017.
Another heartbreaking news we received early in the morning. I called my father to ask about the flood updates in our house and instead of talking about flood, he told me about fire. My brother-in-law’s house was caught on fire, burned down everything. All consumed.

Worst, this is the my sister’s second fire experience. Personal belongings and stuffs gone the second time. This time, the livelihood of my brother-in-law’s mom has nothing left as her 20 computer set vanished in a matter of hours.

The greatest comfort from the news was that my sister, brother-in-law, niece and all the family members are safe and alive. Thankful that nobody was hurt.


Photo Credits: Omar Jensen Garcia

Your generosity will be very much appreciated if you have extras.
Clothes for 1 yr old baby and for 3 yr toddler is a big help.
Text or Call 0917 623 2712 for details.

Unfortunate events either break or make you:
It may break the family’s planned vacation yet make your family’s bond stronger;
It may break your heart for the lost possessions, yet make you appreciate compassion from everyone’s help.
It may break you or overwhelm you from the challenges, yet make your faith stronger, closer to Him and learn to let go.

Praying for my sister, brother-in-law and family for strength despite the sadness, to be able to smile even if its hurting, to be able to get up and start again even if it feels like quitting.

Welcoming Year 2017 with no HouseHelp


Happy New Year Everyone.

Its already 2nd week of January since we welcome year 2017 with a big bang and cheerfulness. First time to celebrate new year in our new house. First time to celebrate new year at a distant from our families in our hometown. Its kind of “mingaw” or lonely but at same time proud for this achievement.

We are back to the daily grind and this time without a house help/yaya.

We survived the two weeks. Yet tiring.

Our house help/yaya decided not to stop working as per her husband’s advice. Her supposed replacement didn’t show up. Last week, the husband and I had to take turns attending to our kids. This week, I am thankful for neighbors. We are blessed to have good neighbors that offer help. So, apart from our neighbors watching over the kids after school hours while we are still at work, me and husband shared the house chores.

House chores are not new to me. However, when you were used to have someone do the chores for you, it definitely has an effect.

Growing up, we didn’t have a house help and together with my siblings, we do the mundane tasks at home. There are still chores to carry out when I decided to work miles from home. But as a yuppie, you get used to sleeping late, waking-up late and decided to eat breakfast at work, overtimes, piled-up laundry, going home late — meaning you get to perform those chores…on a later time. Then we have weekends that were spent sleeping or malling — not minding the chores.

When I had my eldest, I didn’t quit my job for financial reasons. Aside from the fact that work helps us pay the bills, for food and house expense, it is of great comfort that the our works suits or likes and passion. Try Online Resume Builder to help you create an excellent resume now. Anyways, because of work, we hired a nanny and even though her focus is to take care of my baby, she also takes care of us. This time less chores.

But now, with no house help, we do the chores!

Having no house help may be a good thing as it teaches me to become what a wife and mommy at home really is. My kids get to learn house chores as well as taking accountability of the assigned tasks.

While we can’t afford to let go of my work (job) yet and while the neighbors are still willing to help us, might as well embrace this opportunity to personally do the house works.

Honestly, it drains me. While chores are done and the kids are at school, we had to prepare for work. When you want to rest from 9-10 hours work and traffic, you think twice since you can’t just yet coz there are still homework and chores to finish before you go to sleep.

It is fulfilling, yet exhausting.

Anyways, let’s see… but for now, got to go, need to sleep as I still have to wake-up early tomorrow.

C on my son’s report card


My kids attended a traditional type of education system.

It is a teacher-centered approach wherein the teacher is equipped with all the necessary knowledge needed to be imparted to the students. The teacher is the focus of attention so students are expected to listen and grasp the concepts imparted by the teacher. Exams are given usually after the topic has been discussed. This is to assess if the students understand the concepts being communicated.

My kids school, being a traditional setting has the following feature:

1:20 teacher to student ratio.

Not bad comparing to schools having bigger teacher-student ratio. But isn’t it amazing how teachers able to handle 20 students talking at same time or misbehaving at the same time. Most importantly on how to impart new concepts to a 20 students of varied capacity to absorbing new topics discussed.

Focused on academic excellence.

Heard good news that students from this school excels in universities and state colleges. Their curriculum is so advance that they are using books of higher grade level and — stressful!

Focused on character development

Personality traits of the students are observed. They are focused on improving self-discipline, independence, responsibility, work ethics, respect and faith. They have “buddy-buddy” system which everyone is responsible for his/her buddy thus developing care for each other — this hopefully avoids bullying.


Lots of assignment. Students are given assignment during school break. According to the school, this is their way of the students remember the lessons even during school break.

Motivated by grades

Like any traditional school, students are assessed based on their grades so competition between students is expected. Students are rated based on Academic and Personality.

The school’s first trimester period was completed thus we were informed that the report card distribution will be last weekend.
I requested the husband to picked-up the report card.

Minutes after, he came home disappointed that the eldest did not make it to the honors list. He was even more upset that the youngest rated low in academics and worst had a C in Discipline, one of the trait observed by teachers to rate student personality.

He was upset.
He worries.

C in Discipline.
C for Satisfactory.
One wrong move means we fall to the next level below.
One wrong move and he will get an F for Failure.
One wrong move and surely he’ll be evicted from that impressive school.

The struggle is real.
My son just turn 5yo last month.
He was just 4 when their class my asked to write their names 5 times or write the alphabet letters both big and small 3 times in a Grade 1 sheet of paper.
He had to remember blue-to-blue and red-to-blue rules, and oh, they had to be careful and avoid lapses.
Then he had to learn know how to read 3-letter words, differentiate when to use a or an, knows when use He, She and It, learn proper use of grammatical gender, or identify a phrase from sentence.
The feedback we received from his teachers was that my son talks a lot or keeps roaming within the classroom. He just love to talk. They even had to transfer his seatmate because instead of listening to the teacher, they talk. When reprimanded, he will stop for a while and then talk again.

So how do we discipline him from being too talkative?
Or is the difficulty paying attention a misbehaving trait?

When I was in Kindergarten, I only remembered classroom activities like singing and dancing nursery songs, the recess time and washing our cups and saucers, the nap time (we literally sleep on our mats) or the story-telling time and talk.

The eldest spend her preschool years in a different school which has one-in-one teacher-student session. In this way each child is being supervised and monitored.

Or could gender be a factor — do girls behave better than boys?


Having a C in his report card makes us, his parents, realize the need to allocate ample time every day (after work) to guide and supervise him.
More involvement!
I get it that he needs to cope up with the fast pace class discussion and had to adjust to conform to the norms of the school’s system so we should be there for him to let him understand it but I also hope that teachers need also to adjust and find different approach to cater all students especially to those hyperactive talkative ones. I believe kids are given a chance to express themselves, so rather than suppress these potentials I’m hoping for support from teachers too.

Before this day end, a big shout-out to all teachers.
Thank you for planting the seeds that lasts a lifetime.
Happy Teachers Day :)



Its been a month that its just me and the kids, though not literally just the three of us coz with us is my kid’s yaya, also, since the house is not fully finished, we requested my dad to stay with us for awhile. What I mean is that the husband is on business trip for a month and yeah… its a long distance relationship situation of me and kids with their dad.

As of this writing I realized that I am not good at anything, that I miss the husband and that there are many things that needs to be done at home. My husband is good in dealing with the kids, he’s our kitchen master and the family’s financial manager and he drives.

Woke-up early this morning to make breakfast, thankful our yaya helps me with it.

Still had to bathe the youngest while the eldest can manage to bathe herself.

Then, we had to be sure breakfast is available after their morning bath. Preparing breakfast meal is also tough as my youngest is a picky eater. Just to speed things up, I sometimes feed him with processed foods. These processed foods however affects my eldest who has hyper-acidic tummy. Tough for me :)

As soon as they are ready for school, had prepare myself for work as well, I commute my way to the office and if possible able to travel during “truck ban” hours because of heavy traffic.

And during office’s break period, had to make my way the grocery store – thankful that the company allows lunch breaks outside the office.

Then had to go home early since the kids doesn’t sleep without me — this I don’t mind since this a chance for me to ask about how their day turn out, homeworks, story-telling session, pray together too.


In this short “Long Distance Relationship” moment, these are my realizations:

High Regard on Single Parents
– Amazing they were able to juggle two roles as dad and mom, everyday. A great responsibility that single parents manage to carry on.

Communication is at Risk
– During the past four weeks, I’m too busy checking my phone in the morning and too tired to look through it especially when the lights are out at night. An exchange of pleasantries may not be enough but I am reminded that I am not just a parent but also a wife and the husband is also alone on the other side of the world waiting for a our greetings and newly uploaded photo from me and my kids.

Too Much Dependency means Missed Opportunities
– I missed lot of after-work events because I’m not comfortable going home late alone. I missed the get-together with friends at Handuraw. We missed the birthday party of my friend’s son because I’m not comfortable bringing the kids on a commute ride on a very hot weather (its a 4-ride commute on a jeep or 1-ride thru taxi). Want to try the new cafe somewhere in Banilad or thought of putting new shelves inside my youngest’s bedroom but I need the husbands approval. Petty things, right? There is always a risk, right? Explore and have fun, right? These I need to learn to handle.
Ranilo and family, Promise I’ll make it up to you!

It takes Two to Couple
– While its good to have my Me time, its much better to have that Me time with your significant other. And I honestly don’t know what I am good at because I need him that time when I don’t know how to discipline the youngest for the same mistake he committed, I need him when the eldest ask about her Math assignments, when I run out of ideas on what to have for breakfast, snacks and dinner. The youngest requested for a piggy ride last Sunday and I can’t even give him. They miss their funny clown papa too :) I need him to spoil me and argue with and be easy with me and my lame ideas.

Hahaha… so much drama! Well, few more days and he’s home, weeeh!

Happy Father’s Day Papa Taniel


Dear Papa Taniel,

Thank you is an understatement word for all the love, dedication and perseverance you give to our kids. But this Father’s Day, I still wanna say Thank You.

For forcefully getting up from bed just to prepare their milk.

For the out of tune lullabies just so they could have a good sleep.

For lunchtime and afternoon calls to ask them on how they are doing.

For correcting the kids’ behavior and instilling in them the positive outcome.

For calmly bring them to the hospital in the wee hours to ensure their health.

For teaching them that studying and doing school works are fun and entertaining.

For sparing precious times just so you could play, sing, dance or just talk with them.

For injecting in them the advantage of delayed gratification and that NO means NO.

For being a clown and bringing laughter and joy in the house with your jokes and amusing antics.

For letting them explore the world (I mean, the neighborhood), make new friends and play with them and that a wound and an argument with friends is nothing but part of childhood.

And most of all, for reminding them to always be grateful for the goodness and everything, for good health, for guidance. For reminding them to pray everyday. I know for sure they will grow to be good kids because you are their dad and because you ask guidance from the Greater Dad above.

As I’ve told you, I’m no superwoman when it comes to parenting, but still love taking this crazy wonderful journey with you, being you as my superhero, and being my kid’s superdad. We are not yet halfway there and praying and hoping by the grace of God for more years of being together so we can create more memories with the kids and (we may have flaws but) hoping and praying we can guide them especially in their teen and adulthood years.

Thank You.

We Love You.

School is Out, More Cuddles are In

So school is over and still I haven’t got a chance to look for summer classes that is closer to home… and its been 3 weeks already and the kids are getting bored.
The 4yo wants to go with me to work if not let me stay at home and not work at all. He never accepts my explanations in fact retorts back that bringing food to home is his papa’s job.
Ohh! How tempting! But with school fees increasing and loans and bills and everything seems so expensive these days, I still can’t give up this job. I know I missed a lot of my kid’s growing years but I..we can’t bear not bringing food or providing shelter or giving education for them either. So while we are blessed with these jobs as our main source of income, might as well be thankful and instead find a way to accommodate and spend quality time with our adorable kids.

When school is out, I had a chance to spend more or less 2 hours in the morning and another more or less 3 hours in the evening with the kids, plus a few minutes in between calling them if I can and ohh that is without considering those time when I check my phone or them playing on their gadgets or us watching TV. I do admire the husband who really can spare time to make a call and talk to the kids.

Thankfully, these kids still gave me hugs and kisses as I arrived home from work.
The 10yo has always something to say… stories and jokes and complaints on how her brother behaves while the 4yo likes to snuggle saying he missed me so much and that he and her ate are in dispute on some toys or on the iPad. It melt my heart when he requested me to not to go to work instead stay at home and play. How bittersweet.



But while I can have their hugs and cuddles and while they still love to snuggle beside me…
Might as well enjoy it very very well.

Mommies, enjoy that hugs and kisses from your kids, now :)