The Little Mermaid

Posted by Analyse at 10:33 PM

Sunday, June 29, 2008

I have been boasting about our little girl's love for water - how she jumps without fear. She's been learning more and more tricks each passing week - without us teaching her.

Find out her new tricks at Ma Crèche Privée.

6th Month Visit

Posted by Analyse at 10:04 PM

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

I have this impression that this pregnancy goes faster than my first pregnancy. Or am I just a little too inattentive? My gynecologist asked us to get an appointment with the anaesthetist at the maternity clinic. Then with a midwife for my childbirth preparation courses. My reaction was - Déjà? That sounds too soon.

Continue reading here.

Costly Education - How Much Does It Really Worth?

Posted by Analyse at 11:16 AM

Thursday, June 19, 2008

I was chatting with my cousin this weekend and I've learned that her nephew just entered MIT. Not Massachusetts tho - Mapua. Former Mapuan as I am, I've always been interested to any news related to my alma mater. I've always been proud being a part of this huge family.

But did you know that students from this institute are subjected to a kind of stereotyping? Most of the time, when folks learn that we're from this school, the common remark would be Ang talino / galing mo siguro no? To which I reply, Grabe naman, understatement yan, sigurado naman. Lol.

I don't know if current students / graduates still suffer from this same stereotyping. Graduates from this school normally enjoy a relatively high market value. I never wrote a motivation letter, companies were calling at home to get an appointment for an interview. I had choices. But I probably graduated at the right moment too.

Mapua had been known to be pang-masa. You get quality education without ruining your parent's pockets. I'm not the first Mapuan in the family. My Dad's cousin who is 4 years my senior paid P3,500/semester from year 1 to year 5 (older Mapuans in the family paid much less than that of course). I entered year 1993, paid P7,500 for the first semester then finished my studies 4 and a half years later with P12,500 tuition fee. Batch 1993 started the yearly increase system implemented by Mapua.

But did this increase go at a reasonable pace? I'm sure a lot of entities, from pre-schools to universities joined the bandwagon. Everything had gone at a gigantesque proportion. I've learned that they pay around P40,000/semester now (not really sure, but around that amount anyway), and they're practicing quarter-mester. That's a huge P160,000 a year!

Now. If you consider education as an investment, how much is the entering salary of a fresh grad nowadays? How long is the ROI? Are there still jobs in the Philippines? Are the Mapuans nowadays, with the amount of tuition they pay, still get the same prestige as what we, the former Mapuans enjoyed? Ain't that a kind of discrimination? Because by practicing such prices, the target market had been marginalized to a certain social class. Does the government do something to control prices? Or they just let private sectors exige their prices so everything would be inaccessible to lower class citizens?

No. This isn't a black propaganda against Mapua. As I said, I'm proud to be a part of its graduates. It's better to invest in higher education than spend too much money at playschools. Because I also learned that pre-schools could cost even more than P50,000 a year. That's too much money and when you know that during job interviews, employers don't really care if you did kindergarten or not, that's part of the investment going to waste.

Well, if you have the money, why not. Every parent wants the best for their kids. But should best be evaluated through pesos all the time? If you already struggle to make ends meet, I think it's better to explain to your child that you could get good education in public schools too - that you better save for the more important step which is college.

I graduated from Tubotubo Elementary School (no kindergarten, oh yes!), a public school situated at probably the most rural barrio in my hometown. A lot of people smile or laugh when they hear Tubotubo. Cute or baduy, it's up to you to judge. Laugh all you want but it's there where I learned how to write, count, socialize, build the kind of person I am right now. And yabang aside, look at where I am now (o sige, yabang na nga, lol).

Anniversary Treat

Posted by Analyse at 3:16 PM

Sunday, June 15, 2008

We had a double celebration this weekend. We had a lot of fun at daytime to celebrate Father's Day - please check out Louna's blog, she took charge in updating the blog since it's father's day - then had a romantic dinner without Louna.

We went to this rather chic restaurant in Marsannay-la-Côte where a complete dinner was delicately served in 3 hours. In France, it's almost a rule - the more you pay, the longer you wait and the less you get on your plate. But each serving is worth the euro you pay and the minutes you waited. So after 2 and a half years of no dinner en tête-à-tête with Frenchguy, we decided to call last night, our night.

The menus were mouth watering. And to not to spoil the evening, the prices were not indicated in the menu. The list of wines was overwhelming so Frenchguy let the sommelier (wine-waiter) decide for him, depending on the meal ordered. He had a glass of Marsannay 2001 and Nuit-St-Georges 2000, both Grand Cru. They were just so tempting that I took a sip on both. Geez, that was heaven! Alcohol-deprived pregnant women would of course understand me, lol.

3 hours of dinner gave us a lot of time to look at each other and talk. That's probably one thing we don't do that often lately. Of course we do talk. But everyday conversations don't take us that much reflection on what our future holds, etc. We almost always talk about work. Last night, discussions were focused on US. A sudden realization that our daughters are Bourguignonnes (natives of Burgundy) almost shocked us. For me, they're simply French. For him, they're Belloprataines (natives of his hometown). Not a big deal? Not quite. But that would mean they would have Burgundy accent, the adjective that would best describe them would be snob or bourgeois, and a lot more. But well..

Then, while checking out the list of wines, we suddenly thought about the wines we need to buy for Louna (as a symbolic birthday gift). 2005 wines should start to commercialize this year. Then I thought we need to do the same for the 2nd baby. Frenchguy thought we could probably find another good idea. But I vetoed explaining it would be extra special that during special occasions, our daughters could open a bottle of their birth year from the province where they were born. And honestly, Burgundy wines are not nothing.

Then we talked about Louna. It's her first time to stay with somebody else at home. It was our first time to eat in a restaurant without her. It's a new experience and we didn't know how she would react. (Apparently, everything went well. She asked once where Maman and Papa went and that's all. No fuss.)

A lot of topics had been tackled within that 3 hours. We didn't even notice that it was too long. When it was time to enter our pincode, we nearly choked. We looked at each other and without uttering a word, both understood that it's not everyday and we need a break, and it was our night. But like in a comic strip, another bubble message came out. It reads: McDonald next year.

Tough Schedule!

Posted by Analyse at 10:28 PM

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

It will be our 6th year anniversary tomorrow (that’s 9 years of knowing each other and over a year of long distance relationship!) and though we’re both here in France, we will be celebrating the day apart. I’m on the fast train going back to Dijon at the moment (from a 3-day seminar in Paris) while he’s surely driving to join his colleagues for a 2-day team building seminar. Yes, we won’t see each other this week.

What about Louna? She will be spending the night at the nanny’s place (because I’ll arrive too late) and I promise not to work too late tomorrow so I could be with her earlier. Tough schedule!

Well, we have the weekend for the 3 of us to enjoy. I need to find an idea for Father’s day!

Too busy. The 3-day seminar in Paris was great though. It’s a seminar for newly-hired executives in the company (hehe, moi newly-hired after 4 years?). The objective of which is to know the company better – know the strategy, its goals, its market, and the role of different departments to attain common target. 80 participants from different corners of the globe were there. The speakers, including the PDG of the group assured impeccable presentations which kept all participants all-ears from Day 1 to Day 3. Interpreters were there too to ensure that everybody’s getting the same message, but then, switching from French to English was inevitable. A workshop was also initiated - mixing employees from different departments then presenting the other department’s job through a stage play. I normally hate seeing myself in front of audiences but I find that experience pretty fun.

All 80 participants (even Parisians) were required to stay in the hotel to create real synergy among us. Dinners were animated and we really had fun. They organized a kind of casino on the last night with each participant holding 1000€ play money to begin with. Geez! It only took me an hour to lose that amount of money to poker. Now it’s sure, my future is not inside a casino!

It was my first time in my 4-year career life in this company where I travelled and I didn’t work (well, except for reading emails before and after dinner). Ang sarap pala, lol. Our department organizes an annual meeting outside of the company premises but then, it is held in a day so there’s no real synergy being formed.

Frenchguy’s team building seminar is a first in their department and playing golf is apparently included in the agenda. Not to mention that it will be held in a castle somewhere in the Alpes – in a mountain village located far from Dijon!

My big boss just sent a meeting invitation to the whole department and a lunch date was included in the package.

I just have this impression that something is changing in our company. Team building is in the air. Great! Especially when everybody's demotivated with decreasing buying buyer, increasing oil prices, the unpredictable weather, low satisfaction survey on HR department (probably why they boost team building, lol), etc., etc.

And oh, before I forgot, I need an idea for Father's Day. Any suggestion, hmmm?

Le Congé Maternité

Posted by Analyse at 2:48 PM

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Paid maternity leave in France stretches from 16 to 46 weeks depending whether it's your first or third child or you're carrying a twin or a triplet. A pathological leave could even be added - 2 weeks prenatal and 4 weeks postnatal, if the attending gynecologist judges that a mom needs additional rest. A mom could choose nonetheless to take only 8 weeks of maternity leave with the approval of her gynecologist.

In my case, I'm supposed to stop 6 weeks before and 10 weeks after the D Day. This rule has apparently changed since February 2007. Now, moms could choose to take a minimum of 3 weeks prenatal leave and the rest of the weeks not taken before the D Day would be added on the postnatal leave. That's cool! That would give me more time with my 2 girls.

The end of the year announces a lot of roller-coaster ride at home. We need a breather and this news is really a great one. Louna will start pre-school this September. We will need to change our nanny (we will look for somebody not far from our place). Then the coming of the little girl.

All that looks simple but if you know how it works here in France, you would surely wish me goodluck. Great nannies are rare gems here in France. Much as we wanted to keep Louna's nanny, her place is just too far from our place. Louna's pre-school is just 4 blocks away from our place and it's just logical that we search for a nanny (for the 2nd baby) nearby. The nanny should be able to fetch Louna from school too, in case we're blocked. Thus the necessity that she be just around the area. Louna's pre-school have a nursery which could keep kids from 7am - 7pm so that's pretty comfortable.

Well, all that talks about logistics. But the real big change is that Louna will be a big sister and will start pre-school. How will she react to that change? Nobody knows.

We would certainly need to take a closer look on our time management. Work travels should be organized carefully. I would certainly ask not to travel till the little girl turns one (I did that for Louna) and we should find a nanny who could offer a lot of flexibility.

Well, I know that everything will fall at the right place at the right time. There's always a solution to every problem, right?

Breast Cancer Awareness

Posted by Analyse at 9:48 AM

Help spread the awareness on the Breast Cancer Awareness month of June. Please help convey the importance of regular examination and early detection of breast cancer in order to catch this disease when it first erupts, maximizing the chance of survival and recovery.

These are the some information/symptoms that I’ve got upon searching the net regarding Breast Cancer.

  • A change in how the breast or nipple feels
  • A lump or thickening in or near the breast or in the underarm area
  • Nipple tenderness
  • A change in how the breast or nipple looks
  • A change in the size or shape of the breast
  • A nipple turned inward into the breast
  • The skin of the breast, areola, or nipple may be scaly, red, or swollen. It may have ridges or pitting so that it looks like the skin of an orange.
  • Nipple discharge (fluid)
  • Early breast cancer usually does not cause pain. Still, a woman should see her health care provider about breast pain or any other symptom that does not go away. Most often, these symptoms are not due to cancer. Other health problems may also cause them. Any woman with these symptoms should tell her doctor so that problems can be diagnosed and treated as early as possible.


Help spread awareness. You can help the lives of many women by spreading the word about The Breast Cancer Site. If The Breast Cancer Site receives 8 million clicks on the pink button in June, their premier sponsor -Bare Necessities- will donate $10,000 for more free mammograms. CLICK the pink button today!


Please click. Or better yet, do the tag for the whole world to know ;). My nanny's mom has been diagnosed with breast cancer just recently and though we're not related, it was just too painful to learn such bad news.

Bientôt SAHM

Posted by Analyse at 1:52 PM

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Ruth's entry on being a SAHM hit me hard I think. I still have it playing and replaying in my head. Here's an excerpt:

when i hear someone say she'd love to just be stay at home mom if she could, i often find myself thinking that if she really did feel that way, she would. so why doesn't she? if one delves deep enough, i suspect many (not all, of course) women choose to not to stay at home not because they can't, but because they don't want to.

and that's fine.

don't want to be tied at home, tending to the household and kids 24/7. don't want to give up the second income. don't want to lose out on career opportunities. don't want to lose the sense of self they've built over several years. don't want to be intellectually stagnant. don't want to be considered less productive. don't want to lose self-worth. don't want to be financially dependent on spouse. don't want exchange the glamour for the hausfrau lifestyle.

You probably noticed my profile. It says I'm a SAHM wannabe. But all the time I talk about this topic, I can hear myself loud - I sound DEFENSIVE. And I don't know why. So when I read Ruth's entry, I suddenly came to a realization. It hit me bull's eye. She was describing me!

There are certainly a lot of factors why SAHMs choose to be SAHMs and WMs as WMs. There's the influence of the environment where that mom was raised and the society she's in right now. There's the economic impact. There's her personal values that plays an important role. And a lot more..

I was raised in an environment where both my parents worked full time and I don't feel I missed out on something because my mom was at work. Honestly, I don't feel the need to stay at home. I hardly cook and I hate housechores. Needless to say that Frenchguy does almost all the housechores till we hired a cleaning lady. Call me lazy but I could be productive too - not at home but at work.

And what would Louna and I do the whole day? Learn ABC? I'm afraid I would just transmit the wrong values if she sees me doing nothing the whole day. I assure you, I'm capable of doing nothing the whole day! At least, with our current set-up, she could see me active and responsible, juggling between work and family life with ease.

I told you. I sound defensive when I talk about being a SAHM. I'm probably not cut to be such. Well, in fact, I'm quite sure about that. And that kind of frightens me out. I'm approaching my maternity leave which will officially start on August 22. At that same time, we will terminate our nanny's contract. That would mean I'll be a SAHM for the first time (at least for the whole duration of my maternity leave which is 4 months). Now that I think about it, I don't know if I have to be excited or what. I hope Louna will enjoy her time with her boring maman. And who knows, I might enjoy it and reconsider being one. Ayan na naman ako. Wishful thinking.

All moms are working moms, I know. But my CV is just not fitted for the job. Well, at least for now.